Thursday, October 09, 2014

Interesting that the Privacy Foundation had selected the Internet of Things as tomorrow's seminar topic months before Gartner published this list. Join us! Go to and register today!
Gartner lays out its top 10 tech trends for 2015
The Internet of Things, and everything that's part of its universe, including smart machines, pervasive analytics and 3D printing, are on Gartner's annual list of strategic technologies for the year ahead.
1: Computing Everywhere. To Gartner, this simply means ubiquitous access to computing capabilities.
2: The Internet of Things (IoT).
3: 3D printing.
4: Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics. Every application is an analytical app today.
5: Context Rich Systems. Knowing the user, the location, what they have done in the past, their preferences, social connections and other attributes all become inputs into applications.
6: Smart Machines.
7: Cloud and Client Computing.
8: Software Defined Applications and Infrastructure.
9: Web-Scale IT.
10: Security. In particular, Gartner envisions more attention to application self-protection.

We can does not mean we must.
Alistair Barr reports:
Google already scans users’ Gmail email accounts to show more relevant ads. Now the Internet giant is scouring emails for bills.
The company said Tuesday that its Google Search mobile app can now remind users when bills are due by spotting emailed bills in their Gmail accounts and automatically reading the important details.
Users can tap the microphone icon in the app and ask “Show me my bills” or “My bills due this week,” and it will show upcoming bills, how much is owed, as well as a summary of past bills.
Read more on WSJ.

Interesting. I don't think they mean their targets are dumb, rather that they don't think their security needs through. For instance, Al Queda leaders used their cellphones normally until President Clinton mentioned that we could track (target) them using the cellphone signal. They all stopped using cellphones.
Kevin Gosztola writes:
In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to evade detection.
The ACLU in Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a lawsuit seeking documents on location tracking technology on July 31, 2012. The Justice Department has produced a few documents but has continued to insist that many of the documents requested are “work product” so they are protected from disclosure. The agency has also refused to search for documents that were requested.
Read more on Firedoglake.

e-Drugs for recreation? What could possibly go wrong? If you can elevate your mood, can my Ethical Hackers bring you back down? Will there be a record of this mind alteration after the (inevitable) accident? Could this be why Facebook was conducting those “experiments” on its users?
Thync to Launch First Mood-Altering Wearable With $13M Led by Khosla
… After working in stealth for several years, Thync Inc. has announced that next year it will launch the first wearable health gadget for the mind, and that it has raised $13 million from venture capitalists to do so.
… People world-wide spend billions every year on various products to change or enhance their mood, including energy drinks, alcohol, coffee and other stimulants and depressants. Thync will attempt to bring consumers to their happy place by using electrical waveforms and neuro-signaling algorithms, Dr. Tyler said.
The head-worn device will send electrical signals to regions of the brain, he said. Though it will be subject to regulation, the company will seek to sell the wearable as a consumer device, meaning it will have a less rigorous pathway to approval than new drugs or many medical devices.

Sort of like stalking you based on your phone's unique “fingerprint.” ...and Facebook isn't the only one doing this.
Even More Facebook Ads Will Now Appear in Your Other Apps
Facebook is extending the reach of its ad-targeting talents—again.
On Tuesday, the social networking giant invited all mobile app developers and publishers onto the Facebook Audience Network, a mobile advertising network that extends beyond Facebook itself and onto third-party mobile apps.
… That means any developer or publisher can sign up to display the network’s ads inside their apps—and take a cut of the revenue.
… The Audience Network is just one way that Facebook is expanding this sort of ad targeting beyond its own social network. Last week, the company unveiled Atlas, a separate tool that allows companies to grab ads from all sorts of sources and serve them across all sorts of sites and services, and it too can target ads based on Facebook data.
With the Audience Network, Sriram Krishnan explains, Facebook targets users via a mobile device identifier—a software token that’s specific to a particular phone or tablet.

We'll need to integrate this into our Data Mining and Data Analysis classes.
Martin Abrams writes:
The Foundation has released the first paper from its Big Data Ethics Project. The project’s purpose is to establish tools for both companies and enforcement agencies to assure people get the benefits of big data but are not boxed in by inappropriate analysis or application. Part A of the project establishes the basis for the other three parts that will follow. (Read Part A.)
The term algorithmist was invented a few years ago to define the person who would fix all the ethical problems associated with big data. Since then, I have been interested in just how they would they do that.
Read more on IAF.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Microsoft but were afraid to ask? Hardly.
The Empire Reboots

Definitely something for my students.
If you purchased a Red Bull since 2002, they owe you $10 – here’s how to get it
Customers who purchased a Red Bull product between 2002 and Oct. 3, 2014 are owed $10 cash or $15 in Red Bull products, according to a settlement the company agreed to last month.
… To receive a $10 cash payment or $15 in Red Bull products, you must submit a claim form. No proof of purchase is necessary to obtain settlement benefits.

As it happens, I'm teaching a spreadsheet class. This will be a useful “handout.”
10 Helpful Spreadsheet Templates To Help Manage Your Finances

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