Sunday, January 04, 2015

It's not always a hacker attack.A much more interesting aspect of this story would have been a list of companies who were NOT impacted. 
Yahoo, Bing Briefly Knocked Offline Due To Botched Code Update
Poor Microsoft - 2015 hasn't been too kind to it so far. We reported just yesterday that Google exposed a rather big Windows bug to the world simply because Microsoft didn't patch it in time, and now, we learn that a bad code update conducted yesterday knocked out the company's Bing search. That in turn took out Yahoo's search, as it's based on Bing.
Another service that was temporarily affected by the outage included Apple's Siri personal assistant.
A bad code update can result in various levels of problems, but for Microsoft, the biggest problem was merely rolling the update back.

They didn't call it “an act of war!” I wonder why not?
Sony cyber-attack: North Korea calls US sanctions hostile
…. In response, the North's state-run KCNA news agency on Sunday quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying: "The policy persistently pursued by the US to stifle the DPRK [North Korea], groundlessly stirring up bad blood towards it, would only harden its will and resolution to defend the sovereignty of the country.
"The persistent and unilateral action taken by the White House to slap 'sanctions' against the DPRK patently proves that it is still not away from inveterate repugnancy and hostility toward the DPRK."

(Related) Oh, yeah. That's why.
Why North Korea Sanctions Are Unlikely to Be Effective
… There is a long-running scholarly debate about the effectiveness of international sanctions generally. In North Korea, there are particularly high hurdles to significant results. In contrast to Russia, another country that has recently faced U.S. led sanctions, few North Korean officials travel widely or have significant assets in foreign banks. Instead, North Korea earns hard currency through the illicit sales of military technology and narcotics. The United States Treasury Department acknowledged that sanctioned North Korean organizations are likely to reconstitute under new names. Said Adam Cathcart, a Tokyo-based expert on the country, "North Korea will be able to get around the sanctions pretty easily."
… Sanctions do, however, serve one function: Issuing them has allowed President Obama to uphold his promise for retaliation, tidying up one of the most bizarre episodes in recent U.S-North Korea history (even as questions over the origins of the hacks remain).

The truly sad part is, government in general has gotten much better in the technology area. (A bit of a fluff piece, but it does reiterate why the government has so much trouble understanding echnology.
Her Task Is to Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks
… Not only does she now carry a BlackBerry, she uses a 2013 Dell laptop: new by government standards, but clunky enough compared with the cutting-edge devices of her former life that her young son asked what it was...
… The problem, technology experts say, is that the mandate of the chief technology officer has been nebulous since Mr. Obama created the job five years ago, not least because it does not come with a substantial funding stream, a crucial source of power in the government.
And while Mr. Obama started the United States Digital Service in August to upgrade the government’s technology systems and improve its websites after the meltdown, that team is housed in the Office of Management and Budget and overseen by a chief information officer, a position that does not currently have a permanent occupant.

Russia plans to launch national digital library in 2015
Calvert Journal – “Next year we will launch a national electronic library, set to be the largest collection of online texts, books, magazines and so on [in Russia],” Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky told regional governors. “We will send you an approved model of a library, the implementation of which will allow the libraries to be turned into modern information and cultural centres at minimum cost. Successful examples of this work can be seen already in Moscow, Murmansk and Belgorod.”
TeleRead: “Russia has increasingly raised its profile in the ebook world as more and more people there get their books digitally. One year ago, IDC, a consultant group, stated Russia had the third largest e-book market in the world, only behind the United States and China.”

Dilbert illustrates the “boundary” between work and personal life.

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