Monday, October 06, 2014

Just a reminder. The Privacy Foundation at DU is hosting a seminar and lunch on Friday, October 10th. The subject is “The Internet of Things” Details are at

Could this...
Surprise talks: North Korea officials arrive to South for highest-level visit in years
… After giving a 24-hour notice, North Korean delegates arrived to South Korea to formally attend the closing ceremony of the Asian Games on Saturday, according to South Korea’s state news agency and the Ministry of Unification. The South's ministry was only informed of the visit late on Friday. because of this?
Former North Korean spy believes Kim Jong-un has been overthrown in ‘silent coup’
… Jang Jin-sung, once a key element in former leader Kim Jong-il’s counterintelligence and propaganda machine, says the dictator is being quietly but firmly sidelined by a powerful group called the Organisation and Guidance Department (OGD).
The OGD was set up by Kim Jong-un’s father in the Nineties, and the group remains loyal to the policies and direction of the former leader.
… He said the OGD has taken control of the long-term strategy for North Korea – not so much in open and aggressive defiance of Kim Jong-un, rather they simply ignore any of the leader’s orders.
… Recent reports say that the cheese-loving, heavy-smoking Kim Jong-un is suffering from gout, diabetes and high blood pressure – so the need for the OGD to do the day-to-day driving may become more of a necessity if he dies.

I suspect there are swarms of lawyers sending their wifi-detecting minions out to find similar evil doers.
Marriott blocked guests' personal hotspots, fined by FCC
While some hotel chains have embraced providing guests with cheap (or free) connectivity, others continue to charge exorbitant daily rates for it. The Marriott's Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center was actively blocking all hotspots in the convention center to force guests to use its own expensive wi-fi network.
The FCC has fined Marriott $600,000 for the practice, determining that this is in violation of the right for individuals to take advantage of their own connectivity. While the Marriott hotel didn't jam signals, a violation of law, it used its network hardware so that the hotel hotspots were the only ones that guest devices could see and access.

(Related) Not worth the effort to route calls through another country? India cracking down? What's happening here?
Skype users in India will no longer be able to call India-based phones
Starting on November 10, you will no longer be able to call landlines or mobile phones through Skype in India. Microsoft has not issued a specific reason, but has apologized to users and those affected will receive full refunds.
To clarify, Skype users in India will not be able to call phone lines in India. They will still be able to call phones that are based in other countries. Users not in India can still call phones in India. Calls to Skype users are still, of course, available.
The Indian Government regulates companies with VoIP services and does not let them make internet-based calls from India. The companies had to reroute calls from Indian users to other countries to comply with this law and still deliver the functionality to Indian users.
While Skype has apparently decided to stop, there are still companies such as Viber that still have this functionality.

Cute. Quote-able. Typical FBI self-promotion.
China Cybercrime Costing US Billions: FBI Chief
China is waging an aggressive cyber-war against the United States which costs American business billions of dollars every year, Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey said Sunday.
The FBI chief told CBS television's "60 Minutes" program China topped the list of countries seeking to pilfer secrets from US firms, suggesting that almost every major company in America had been targeted. "There are two kinds of big companies in the United States," Comey said.
"There are those who've been hacked by the Chinese, and those who don't know they've been hacked by the Chinese."
Annual losses from cyber-attacks launched from China were "impossible to count," Comey said, but measured in "billions."

Is HP following IBM? Perhaps, like TVs, all personal computers will be made by non-US companies.
Hewlett-Packard says to split in two
Hewlett-Packard Co said it would split into two listed companies, separating its computer and printer businesses from its faster-growing corporate hardware and services operations.
HP said its shareholders would own a stake in both businesses through a tax-free transaction next year.
Shares of the company, which has struggled to adapt to the new era of mobile and online computing, rose 6.3 percent to $37.40 in premarket trading on Monday.
Each of the two businesses contribute about half of HP's current revenue and profit.

I wonder if MIT will share some of that data for academic “Big Data” research, or if I need to go directly to Twitter?
MIT researchers given access by Twitter to all public tweets
Joshua Brustein – Bloomberg: “Twitter is giving $10 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over the next five years to study patterns of public discourse on the Internet, and potentially to build technology that will make online civic action more effective. The research will happen as part of the MIT Media Lab under a vaguely ominous moniker—the Laboratory of Social Machines—and will be headed by Deb Roy, an associate professor at MIT who already spends one day a week serving as Twitter’s chief media scientist. The idea of sifting through tweets for patterns and insights is hardly new. The company made $70 million in 2013 licensing use of its so-called fire hose—the entire, massive flow of tweets flowing through its servers. Commercial and academic research comes out regularly, shining light on the six types of Twitter conversations, the impossibility of keeping political affiliations hidden on the network, or which countries are the saddest. “There are a lot of people at Twitter who are interesting in leveraging Twitter for social good,” says Roy. “This serves as kind of an outlet for that.”

For iPhone or Android. Now with Text-to-speech.
Instapaper Is Now Available For Free
Instapaper is now available for free on Android and iOS. This is thanks to a new business model which offers the basic version of the app for free, with a premium version of Instapaper — costing $3 per month or $30 per year — bringing additional features. Follow these links to download Instapaper for Android or Instapaper for iOS.
[Why that might be interesting:

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