Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Could better security have saved Home Depot $34 million?
Home Depot profit beats estimates as U.S. job market improves
Home Depot Inc, the world's No.1 home improvement chain, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as an improving job market encouraged Americans to spend more on renovations.
… That includes about $34 million of net costs related to a data breach between April and September.
The company said it may face other breach-related costs, including legal action, that could have a material impact on results for the fourth quarter and future periods.
The retailer is facing at least 44 civil lawsuits related to the breach in the United States and Canada.
… Home Depot's net income rose to $1.54 billion, or $1.15 per share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 2, from $1.35 billion, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier.

Are you connected in ways you don't know? Perhaps there will be a market for a “Internet connection detection” service?
Internet-Connected Devices Soar
A report from Ericsson released Tuesday (Nov. 18) shows some startling growth of Internet-connected devices in the U.S., with 90 percent of U.S. households having three or more such devices, while almost half have five or more such devices and almost 25 percent have seven or more such devices. The report, as reported by Recode, said the average number of Internet devices per household was 5.2.
Some other goodies that the report itself opted to highlight:
  • By 2020, 90 percent of the world’s population over 6 years old will have a mobile phone, and smartphone subscriptions are expected to top 6.1 billion, compared with 2.7 billion smartphone subscriptions today.
  • India and China show fastest growth for new mobile subscriptions with 18 million and 12 million net additions in Q3 2014
  • 800 million new smartphone subscriptions in 2014 brings total to 2.7 billion worldwide
  • Mobile video traffic to increase tenfold and constitute 55 percent of all mobile data traffic by 2020

If these folks are a dim-witted as we believe, perhaps someone should collect a “Best Example of Stupid” from their Social Media so we can all have a good laugh.
For Hate Groups Like The KKK, Social Media Is A Double-Edged Sword
Spreading hate speech just isn’t as easy as it used to be as a Missouri chapter of the Ku Klux Klan found out when, after threatening Ferguson protesters with violence, its website was knocked offline. For that the Klan can thank the Anonymous hacking collective, which also took control of the KKK’s social media presence and claimed to leak personal information about members of the white supremacist group.
… “The Internet gives these groups more of a voice, there’s no question about that,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the editor of the award-winning Intelligence Report journal. “Whether it actually gives them more influence is highly debatable. The vast majority of people, as they learn about these groups, are turned off by them.”
… Still, the Anonymous hacking collective was angry enough with the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK’s letter threatening “lethal force” against Ferguson protesters to un-hood alleged members of the group, posting names, addresses and phone numbers online while also knocking multiple sites offline and taking control of the @KuKluxKlanUSA Twitter feed.

(Related) Now that's a headline!
According to a new US court ruling made in San Francisco, Google can list its search results in whatever order it pleases—and it has the First Amendment behind it, too.
That's according to a hearing which saw a site called CoastNews file a lawsuit against Google, saying that it was knowingly lowering its rankings in search results. It argued that it appeared at the top of results created by Bing and Yahoo, and was being actively relegated by Google.
But Judge Ernest Goldsmith has said that Google was merely undertaking a "constitutionally protected activity." In other words, it was exercising its right to free speech.

If you have 300 million users, some of them will be way to the right on the litigious scale.
Karina Basso reports:
On Nov. 13, a federal judge refused to toss an email harvesting class action lawsuit filed against the internet company LinkedIn Corp., ruling the popular social media business could not claim immunity under the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The proposed LinkedIn class action lawsuit alleges the company broke into LinkedIn users’ personal accounts in order to send emails on the users’ behalf.
In addition to denying immunity to LinkedIn, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh also disagreed with the company’s argument that the alleged email harvesting was protected under the First Amendment.
While Judge Koh has dismissed most of the claims in the LinkedIn email harvesting class action lawsuit, the social media internet service has prevailed on one count. The judge did dismiss plaintiffs’ claims under California’s statutory right of publicity, however, the plaintiffs have been granted permission to amend their complaints under this statute.
Read more on Top Class Actions.

Peter S. Vogel writes:
LinkedIn has been a wildly successful social media business site for many years. It provides a free platform for millions of members to share professional experiences and for businesses to promote themselves. However, LinkedIn’s financial success also makes it a target for lawsuits — even suits that don’t seem to make much sense.
LinkedIn Sued for Making Employment History Available
LinkedIn currently claims that it “operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories.”
Its members voluntarily post their employment history (whether true, embellished, or fabricated) as an online biography or resume. This information is available both to LinkedIn members and Internet users (depending on members’ LinkedIn settings).
A lawsuit was filed on Oct. 4, on behalf of a potential class in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming that LinkedIn violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The basis of the suit is that “any potential employer can anonymously dig into the employment history of any LinkedIn member, and make hiring and firing decisions based upon the information they gather, without the knowledge of the member, and without any safeguards in place as to the accuracy of the information that the potential employer has obtained.”
Read more on TechNewsWorld.

Interesting idea. Think what this might mean for a business leasing computers to grandpa and grandma – all they need is an access device.
Cloud computing's not-so-secret mission
There is no denying that the cloud and cloud computing have changed the way many of us are doing business. You only had to attend last week’s sold out AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas to see the cloud out in force.
But as the cloud matures, we are seeing another layer of cloud computing that promises to shake the foundation of our IT infrastructure to its core – the advent of IT-as-a-Service, which will be perhaps the cloud’s highest calling.

Could be interesting... Registration required.
McKinsey Quarterly’s 50th anniversary edition
“In this unique anniversary edition of the Quarterly, leading management thinkers tackle the management challenges of tomorrow. Leaders including author Tom Peters, former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner, eBay head of HR Beth Axelrod, and The Second Machine Age authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee explore topics such as leadership, the future of the organization, machine learning, long-term capitalism, and global productivity.”

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