Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Putin legacy?
Russia braces for ‘junk’ downgrade as oil drags
The ruble continues to fall, sanctions are biting and the slide in the price of oil shows no sign of slowing – it's hitting Russia hard and means a credit rating downgrade to "junk" status could be on the way.

Russia Says Inflation Could Hit 17% By March
… Russia's national currency has lost some 16 percent against the dollar since the start of the year after plummeting around 41 percent in 2014.
Russia's budget depends heavily on revenues from oil and gas, and the ruble continued to fall as the price of a barrel of Brent fell to around $46 on Tuesday.

Something for my Computer Security and my Disaster Recovery students to consider.
Strategy: Planning and Recovering From a Data Breach
Mandiant’s 2014 threat report cites an average of 243 days to discover a breach.
Given the near-certainty that some form an attack or data breach will happen in your organization, it makes sense to consider scenarios and plan for them when it happens. A data breach plan lays out the key steps and the key personnel to involve when a data breach happens, and needs to incorporate the following three elements:
Forensics and evidence collection
Forensics teams no longer serve just in post-incident response. As part of a continuous monitoring security framework, forensics teams can proactively look for possible risks in the network.
Identifying regulatory mandates impacted
Almost every state in the US, and EU government entity has data privacy and regulatory compliance mandates, which typically requires appropriate disclosure when consumer information or corporate information is exposed.
Managing notification of breach
Part of the data breach plan must include the specific steps to notify anyone who may be impacted, but doing it in a way that adequately addresses their concern. This includes training call center personnel, creating a specific call center line to address calls related to the breach, and offering credit monitoring services.
As Gartner advocates in their “adaptive protection process”, IT organizations should shift their mentality to a continuous response mentality where systems are assumed to already be compromised.

Look for yourself.
JPat Brown writes:
After the Department of Homeland Security released documents which indicated that it was monitoring social media via its National Operations Center’s Media Monitoring Capability program, MuckRock’s Todd Feathers requested a copy the program’s automated logs from 2011 to present.
According to the earlier acquired docs, the automated logging mechanism “captures the date and time of the search, the analyst user ID, and the character search term. The purpose of such searches is to locate a previously issued MMC report.”
Read more on MuckRock.

I find this very strange. Do we fail to teach people that this is possible?
CFPB Report Finds Nearly Half of Borrowers Do Not Shop for a Mortgage
“Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report finding that almost half of consumers do not shop around for a mortgage when purchasing a home. The report also found that informed consumers are more likely to shop, especially if they are familiar with available mortgage rates. As part of its Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative, the CFPB is releasing “Owning a Home,” an interactive, online toolkit designed to help consumers as they shop for a mortgage. The suite of tools gives consumers the information and confidence they need to get the best deal. “Our study found that many consumers are not shopping for a mortgage. Consumers put great thought into the choice of a home, but the mortgage process continues to be intimidating,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The Know Before You Owe Owning a Home toolkit makes it easy to see how shopping for a mortgage can translate into big dollars saved in the long run. We want to enable consumers to be more savvy shoppers.”

Another chunk of Big Data.
OECD Public Data is in Beta
Find, compare and share the latest OECD data: charts, maps, tables and related publications’. Start with one or two short search terms, then refine your results by adding more words.

(Related) Not all Big Data is immediately useful.
Map – Literally every goat in the United States
Washington Post – “There were 2,621,514 goats in the United States as of 2012, the year of the most recent USDA Agricultural Census. If America’s goats were their own state, its population would be larger than that of Wyoming, Vermont, D.C. and North Dakota — combined. This is what all those goats look like on a map.”

To share with my fellow teachers...
Create, Share, and Find Online Courses on Versal
Versal is service that you can use to create online classes that are bit more robust than your average flipped lessons. On Versal you can build online courses that incorporate text documents, images, videos, maps, slideshows, and more. When you build a course in Versal you build it lesson-by-lesson in an easy-to-follow outline. To build a lesson you drag content widgets onto a blank canvas. The content widgets include all of the previously mentioned media plus a whiteboard for drawing (perfect for math lessons), GeoGebra animations, timelines, and quizzes. When you add a quiz to your lesson you can require that students meet a minimum percentage in order to advance to the next lesson in your course. You can invite students to take your course and or embed your course into your blog or website. You can track the progress of invited students.
If you don't have the time to create a course from scratch or if you're looking to take a course yourself, jump into Versal's public course catalog. These courses can be embedded into your blog or website. Unless you upgrade to a premium account, you won't be able to track your students' progress on courses that you didn't create.
What makes Versal an appealing option for developing online courses is the wide variety of content types that you can add to your courses. Versal's whiteboard, Desmos, and GeoGebra gadgets are perfect for developing online mathematics courses. The option to require students to complete a quiz with a minimum score before moving into the next lesson is perfect for ensuring that students don't rush through your course.
On Wednesday at 7pm Eastern Time Versal is hosting a free webinar on using their service.

Unbelievable. We didn't make the list?
Which Universities Have Produced The Most Startup Founders?

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