Friday, January 09, 2015

My Disaster Recovery students have to create a plan to restore all computing functions in 96 hours. Sony would fail that class too.
Sony Corporation: Network Is Still Down Following ‘The Interview’ Hack
Sony’s film division says its computer network is still down more than six weeks after being hit by a massive computer hack. Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton told the Associated Press on Thursday that the cyberattack hasn’t impacted the company’s film and TV schedule.
The network should be back up by the end of January, according to the report. In the meantime, Sony Pictures’ employees are still being paid by paper check.
The Sony hack was likely the largest cyberattack ever to occur on American soil, experts say, by hackers who eventually claimed the attack was a response to the production of “The Interview,” a comedy film that depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
… Sony's losses due to the cyberattack were still being calculated, but Lynton told the AP that they would not be “disruptive to the economic well being of the company.”

(Related) This should be obvious...
Blaming North Korea in Sony hack complicates case
he Obama administration's extraordinary decision to point fingers at North Korea over the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. could lead to a courtroom spectacle in the event charges are ultimately filed against someone without ties to the isolated country, such as a disgruntled employee or an unrelated hacker.
… "Once the government says it has good reason to believe North Korea did it, then that is good reason to believe that the defendant did not do it unless the defendant was an agent of North Korea," said Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

(Related) The story of the Sony hack may not play out for months!
Why You Still Shouldn't Totally Trust FBI Claims On North Korean Hacking Of Sony

(Related) Really interesting. This is how the industry views Sony.
5 Key Questions Facing Sony in Wake of Hack Attack
… Sony’s leaders must mend fences with top talent and theater chains, and convince the corporate brass in Japan that they are still fit to lead the studio amid all the collateral damage.
“The brand has been tarnished,” says media analyst Hal Vogel. “They look a bit incompetent in the way they handled this. They fumbled about like they had a loose football.”
1) Who’s in Charge Here?
Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton are battling for their professional lives. At first blush, Pascal is the more damaged party. Her racially insensitive email joking about President Obama’s preference for African-American films has her trying to make amends with civil rights leaders, while her uncensored musings about A-list stars has made her a master at apologizing.
… Likewise, Lynton’s finger-pointing at exhibitors as the ones responsible for pulling the plug on “The Interview’s” release have put him at odds with the major circuits.
2) Studio for Sale?
3) Will ‘The Interview’ Pave the Way for More Online Film Releases?
4) Will Exhibitors Forgive and Forget?
5) Where was the MPAA?
At one point during the crisis, Lynton said to CNN, “You would expect the industry to rally around and support you.”
He was right. Rival studios didn’t step into the fray, and their mouthpiece, the MPAA, was curiously low key until the FBI concluded that North Korea was behind the attack. Only then did MPAA chairman Chris Dodd issue a strongly worded statement condemning the attack as a work of cyber terrorists.
In the weeks after the attack, Dodd worked behind the scenes trying to organize a letter of support for Sony, but it never materialized; studios had their own fears of becoming a target of the hackers.

If your systems are at risk when clocks are “corrected” then you probably already have the scientists and programmers who can handle the issue.
Leap second: computer chaos feared as scientists let world catch up with clocks
… The Earth’s spin is gradually slowing down, by about two thousandths of a second per day, but atomic clocks are constant. That means that occasionally years have to be lengthened slightly, to allow the slowing Earth to catch up with the constant clock.
But last time it happened, in 2012, it took down much of the internet. Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp and LinkedIn all reported problems, and so did the Linux operating system and programmes using Java.
The reset has happened 25 times since they were introduced in 1972, but the computer problems are getting more serious as increasing numbers of computers sync up with atomic clocks. Those computers and servers are then shown the same second twice in a row — throwing them into a panic.

Worth a quick read.
New Clues from Doc Searls and David Weinberger
“Fifteen years ago, four of us got together and posted The Cluetrain Manifesto which tried to explain what most businesses and much of the media were getting wrong about the Web. These New Clues come from two of the authors of that manifesto, and of the book that followed. There’s more information here about this project, and about its authors, Doc Searls and David Weinberger
New Clues – (Open Source Document) excerpt:
“Hear, O Internet. It has been sixteen years since our previous communication. In that time the People of the Internet — you and me and all our friends of friends of friends, unto the last Kevin Bacon — have made the Internet an awesome place, filled with wonders and portents. From the serious to the lolworthy to the wtf, we have up-ended titans, created heroes, and changed the most basic assumptions about How Things Work and Who We Are. But now all the good work we’ve done together faces mortal dangers. When we first came before you, it was to warn of the threat posed by those who did not understand that they did not understand the Internet. These are The Fools, the businesses that have merely adopted the trappings of the Internet. Now two more hordes threaten all that we have built for one another. The Marauders understand the Internet all too well. They view it as theirs to plunder, extracting our data and money from it, thinking that we are the fools. But most dangerous of all is the third horde: Us. A horde is an undifferentiated mass of people. But the glory of the Internet is that it lets us connect as diverse and distinct individuals. We all like mass entertainment. Heck, TV’s gotten pretty great these days, and the Net lets us watch it when we want. Terrific. But we need to remember that delivering mass media is the least of the Net’s powers. The Net’s super-power is connection without permission. Its almighty power is that we can make of it whatever we want. It is therefore not time to lean back and consume the oh-so-tasty junk food created by Fools and Marauders as if our work were done. It is time to breathe in the fire of the Net and transform every institution that would play us for a patsy. An organ-by-organ body snatch of the Internet is already well underway. Make no mistake: with a stroke of a pen, a covert handshake, or by allowing memes to drown out the cries of the afflicted we can lose the Internet we love. We come to you from the years of the Web’s beginning. We have grown old together on the Internet. Time is short. We, the People of the Internet, need to remember the glory of its revelation so that we reclaim it now in the name of what it truly is.” David Weinberger, Doc Searls. January 8, 2015.

For my Statistics students. All you need to do is memorize 24 trillion possible hands!
Self-taught computer program finds super poker strategy
… The program considered 24 trillion simulated poker hands per second for two months, probably playing more poker than all humanity has ever experienced, says Michael Bowling, who led the project.
… The strategy applies specifically to a game called heads-up limit Texas Hold ‘em.
… Poker is hard to solve because it involves imperfect information, where a player doesn’t know everything that has happened in the game he is playing — specifically, what cards the opponent has been dealt.

For my Math students.
A Couple of Graphing Calculators for Your Chrome Browser
A few days ago I wrote about the new graphing calculator Android app offered by Desmos. In that post I neglected to mention that Desmos also offers a Chrome app. The Chrome app version of Desmos works like the web version. Along with all of the graphing functions Desmos allows you to share your equations and graphs. Desmos graphs your equations as you type them and redraws them as you alter your equations. is a free online graphing utility that is also available in the Google Chrome Web Store. allows you to plot multiple functions through its dynamically re-sizing grid. To graph an equation on just click the "+" symbol to enter a new equation. One thing that isn't clear the first time you use is that you need to delete the existing default equations before you start.

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