Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perspective. The other face of North Korean technology...
Dissection of North Korean Web Browser Shows Country May Run Off Single IP Address
Addresses in the 10.x.x.x space are not designed to be routable on the Internet, but it appears from Hansen's explorations that all of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is non-routable IP space. It was well known that North Korea exercised rigid control over what IP addresses were used because it owned a small block of IP addresses, but it appears to be funneling all traffic through one—or a handful—of public IP addresses.
"They're treating their entire country like some small to medium business might threat their corporate office," Hansen wrote.
Hansen felt it was "odd" that the entire country could run off one IP address. "Ultimately running anything off of one IP address for a whole country is bad for many reasons," he said.
It seems pretty reasonable when considering the small portion of population who has access to the Internet in the first place—when the total number of Internet users number in the thousands, it's convenient to run it through this system. And as the same Hacker News thread noted, Red Star OS is not the only system being used in North Korea, and researchers and students at universities are given access to the broader Internet.
North Korea goes to great lengths to limit what their people can do. "It’s quite a feat of engineering. Creepy and cool," Hansen said.

Interesting. Should be fun to follow!
Susan K. Livio reports:
Health insurance companies will be required to protect client information by encrypting the data, under legislation Gov. Chris Christie signed into law today.
The bill follows a series of incidents involving stolen laptops containing policyholder information protected only by user passwords.
[From the article:
Customers’ personal information is sacred, and if a company is requiring them to provide sensitive information, then they should make sure it is protected,” said Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) who sponsored the legislation with Sen. Nia Gill (D-Essex). “These safeguards are long overdue. All insurance companies should make protecting the privacy of its customers, who are required to submit highly personal data, a top priority. "

Social statistics never seem to ask, “Why?”
Facebook Still the King of All Social Media
Facebook might be losing some of its cool, but the decade-old site is still riding high as the king of the social media space.
According to new data from the Pew Research Center, Facebook is still "by far" the most popular social media site. In fact, if you don't have a Facebook account, you're actually in the minority at this point. Some 71 percent of Internet users are now on Facebook, including – for the first time ever – more than half (56 percent) of those ages 65 and older, the research firm said Friday.
But on a more concerning note for Zuckerberg and Co., Pew found that Facebook's overall growth has slowed in the past year. The site's membership rates have seen "little change" from 2013 while other platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn saw "significant" increases in usership. Facebook-owned Instagram, for instance, increased its overall user figure by nine percentage points between 2013 and 2014, posting "significant growth" in almost every demographic group.
… Seventy percent of Facebook users engage with the site every day, a significant increase from the 63 percent who did so in 2013.
… Interestingly, Twitter engagement has dropped. Some 36 percent visit the site daily, a 10 percentage point decrease from the 46 percent who did so in 2013.

New week, new laughs.
Hack Education Weekly News
… The big news this week: President Obama’s proposal to make 2 years of community college free for some students. Not a lot of details on how the plan would be funded (the federal government would pick up three-fourths of the cost; states the rest).
… On his last day in office Arizona Superintendent John Huppenthal said that schools that violated the state’s ban on ethnic studies could risk losing state funds. His target: schools that teach hip hop. [Because there are some things man was not meant to know? Bob]
… “Nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, under counter-terrorism measures proposed by the [UK] Government,” reports The Telegraph.
… The New York City Board of Education is lifting its ban on cellphones in schools.
Via The Oregonian: “Oregon schools’ biggest worries about giving new online Smarter Balanced tests this spring aren’t about slow Internet connections or a lack of computers; officials in many districts are concerned that elementary students can’t type well enough to handle the new tests.” [...and we no longer teach cursive writing. How will we communicate? Bob]
… The for-profit Northeastern Institute of Cannabis “prepares people for positions ranging from dispensary workers to medical marijuana educators.”
Homeschooling is on the rise in the US. “According to the most recent federal statistics available, the number of school-age children who were home-schooled in the United States was close to 1.8 million in 2011–12, up from 1.5 million five years earlier.” (From Vox: “The states that don’t require homeschooled kids to learn math or English, in one map.”) [Next: Homecolleging? Bob]

A perfect article for the first day of my Business Intelligence class.
Mobile Business Intelligence: Hot, or Not?
Last month when I spoke to Carsten Bange, CEO of BARC and co-author of its BI Survey 14, he positioned mobile business intelligence as a trend that generated lots of hype but had experienced little traction in the enterprise.
… Companies are beginning to realize that deploying mobile business intelligence requires more than simply porting BI software to mobile devices or purchasing mobile BI apps, Bange said. "For example, they need a strong mobile policy and mobile device management before they deploy apps with sensitive data."
… Yet the latest study on mobile BI by Dresner Advisory Services – which, like BARC, does annual surveys – shows a more consistent interest in mobile business intelligence. While the percentage of respondents who called mobile BI "very important" or "critical" dipped briefly in 2013, Howard Dresner, the firm's founder and CEO, said the number "recovered and then some" in 2014.
Infrastructure appears to remain a sticking point for mobile business intelligence adoption. "Mobile is a heck of a lot easier if you are in the cloud," Dresner pointed out. Despite this, 58 percent of respondents use their existing on-premise systems to support mobile BI in 2014, while 24 percent used public cloud and 22 percent used private cloud. Those numbers have remained fairly constant over the past four years.
Wearable form factors like smartwatches could give mobile BI a boost, Dresner predicted. Wearables "are very relevant for BI for anyone in an operational role," he said. "If the system can let me know about something that has happened that is relevant to what I am doing now, that is a pretty big deal."

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