Friday, January 30, 2015

This is very important to small businesses.
Angel Diaz writes:
Big or small, all bank accounts are susceptible to hijacking and fraudulent wire transfers. Banks ordinarily bear the risk of loss for unauthorized wire transfers. Two independent frameworks exist to govern these transfers: the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”) for consumer accounts, and Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) for business accounts.
While the EFTA will ordinarily shield consumers from having to pay for most unauthorized charges as long as they provide notice to their bank, UCC §4A-202 shifts the risk of loss to the customer if the bank can show that (1) a commercially reasonable security procedure was in place and (2) the bank accepted the payment order in good faith and in compliance with the security procedure and any other written agreement or customer instruction.
Read more about the courts’ interpretations of these laws on Proskauer Privacy Law Blog.
[From the article:
The commercial reasonability of a security procedure is a question of law, and courts will consider several factors, including:
  • Customer instructions expressed to the bank
  • The bank’s understanding of the customer’s situation, [This should include the ability to identify “abnormal” transactions Bob] including the size, type, and frequency of payment orders ordinarily issued
  • Alternative security procedures offered to the customer
  • Security procedures in general use by similarly situated banks and customers.

A new trend? Broadcast sexting? Anti-social media? I think it will be important to see what is going on here.
ABC reports:
Palatine police are investigating a sexually explicit and obscene email sent Tuesday night to almost all of the 5,400 students at William Fremd High School and Palatine High School in Palatine, Ill.
The email was sent using the internal student email system.
Read more on ABC.
[From the article:
Some students told Eyewitness News that the sender was able to hack into the district's main email server using a router that switches IP addresses every two hours. [Good luck tracing that. Bob]

Are reporters really this ignorant about technology? From some articles I've read, it seems probable. (For example, not knowing the difference between “Delete” and “Backspace” keys.) Or this could be an attempt at disinformation. (That is probably too sophisticated for DoJ)
Watchdog: Attkisson wasn’t hacked, had 'delete' key stuck
A former CBS investigative reporter was not hacked by the Justice Department for writing critical stories about the Obama administration, according to an investigation by an independent watchdog.
An inspector general report concluded that Sharyl Attkisson's merely had her “delete” key stuck when text disappeared from her computer, and said there's no evidence that government officials erased stories.
… A summary of the Justice Department’s inspector general report obtained by The Washington Post and the Huffington Post disputes her claims.
The elimination of text in the video she posted “appeared to be caused by the backspace key being stuck, rather than a remote intrusion,” the DOJ report said.

If this is limited to their banks, I can see most companies exiting. Few would want to leave the consumer markets though.
China Wants US Companies To Hand Over Source Code, Use Stated-Sanctioned Encryption
China is demanding that American companies that sell software products to Chinese banks must hand over their source code to be reviewed. And, it gets even better. China also wants these same companies to begin using Beijing-sanctioned algorithms in lieu of their preferred algorithms.
… China's demands are downright outrageous, and if this rule is in fact put into place, it's hard to say exactly how things are going to play out. No company is going to be willing to hand over its intellectual property just because it's asked; in some cases it'd just be better to depart the country. Given China's other recent actions, it no doubt would prefer that to happen. To China, it sometimes makes sense to reinvent the wheel because those who invented it first cannot be trusted.

Anonymous ain't!
Privacy challenges
Analysis: It’s surprisingly easy to identify individuals from credit-card metadata.
In this week’s issue of the journal Science, MIT researchers report that just four fairly vague pieces of information — the dates and locations of four purchases — are enough to identify 90 percent of the people in a data set recording three months of credit-card transactions by 1.1 million users.
When the researchers also considered coarse-grained information about the prices of purchases, just three data points were enough to identify an even larger percentage of people in the data set. That means that someone with copies of just three of your recent receipts — or one receipt, one Instagram photo of you having coffee with friends, and one tweet about the phone you just bought — would have a 94 percent chance of extracting your credit card records from those of a million other people. This is true, the researchers say, even in cases where no one in the data set is identified by name, address, credit card number, or anything else that we typically think of as personal information.

Interesting, but we should have asked these questions years ago. Note that these questions parallel those we should ask when writing a Privacy Policy. (I only post the questions, not the discussion)
With each week, we seem to learn about a new government location tracking program. This time, it’s the expanded use of license plate readers. According to the Wall Street Journal, relying on interviews with officials and documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA request, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been collecting hundreds of millions of records about cars traveling on U.S. roads. The uses for the data sound compelling: combating drug and weapons trafficking and finding suspects in serious crimes. But as usual, the devil is in the details, and plenty of important questions remain about those details.
First, who approved the program, and under what circumstances?
Second, are there any limitations on how the data can be used?
Third, how long can it be kept?
Fourth, where else does the data go?
Finally, which other federal agencies are using license plate readers?

Economics according to Putin?
Russia Unexpectedly Cuts Key Rate as Economy Eclipses Ruble
Russia’s central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate by two percentage points, letting the ruble slide as the economy sinks toward recession.
… “The central bank’s actions are becoming less and less predictable, which isn’t positive for the currency market,” Oleg Popov, a money manager at April Capital in Moscow, said by e-mail.
… The regulator shifted to a free-floating exchange rate ahead of schedule in November and burned through about $88 billion of reserves last year to prop up the ruble.

This is very difficult for my students to understand, but as Warren Buffet might say, “It's all about the cash flow!”
Amazon's Profit Shows How Few People Understand The Way The Company Works
Amazon revealed a profit Thursday, and Wall Street analysts were pleasantly surprised by it. Comments coming from some of them suggest they still don't understand the core philosophy of CEO Jeff Bezos and the way Amazon works.
… A lot of people believe that if a company never makes money, it must, fundamentally, go bankrupt. This isn't the case, as Amazon proves.
Here is how Amazon actually works: As long as the company can grow its revenues, it can spend any profit it makes on new lines of business that throw off more revenues. Those revenues may also be profitable, and those profits can in turn be immediately spent again on more growth. By eschewing profits, the company can also offer the lowest prices possible (which is why consumers are so loyal to it). Some parts of the company are profitable and fuel growth in others.

Skynet? Hardly. Remote control is a long way from autonomous.
Is the Future of War Autonomous?
… Some 40 percent of the U.S. aerial fleet is comprised of unmanned drones, and the Air Force is now training more drone operators than pilots.

I wasn't sure there was a large enough market in BYOD management. I still learn something every day.
Good wants to manage your smartphones for $3 a month, per user
Good Technology is hoping its cloud-based Management Suite for mobile devices will make life easier for IT departments that don't want to rely on products from multiple vendors to manage the seemingly countless phones and tablets that employees are using for work these days.
… Good is best known for the company's app containerization technology -- software that separates an app from other apps and the OS to improve security -- but has been expanding its offerings to include mobile- device and application management.
… Good's main competitors are VMware-owned AirWatch and MobileIron, according to Wallin. Unlike Good, they have both been expanding their tools to include the ability to manage desktops and laptops in addition to smartphones and tablets.
… In addition to the Management Suite, Good also offers an Enterprise Suite, a Collaboration Suite and a Mobility Suite, which offer more extensive functionality and cost between $5 and $15 per user and month.

Perspective. Contrast this with Google fiber at 1000Mbps. (I'm having a devil of a time finding the actual report.)
FCC Says You're Not a Broadband User Unless You're Getting 25Mbps Download Speed
The Federal Communications Commission changed the definition of broadband Internet, increasing the service's required download speed from the current 4 Mbps to 25 Mbps.
… In terms of broadband speed, the United States currently ranks 14th among all the nations in the world, according to data from Akamai Technologies, with an average speed of 11.4 Mbps.
South Korea is the leading nation with an average broadband speed of 24.6 Mbps, followed by Hong Kong, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.

This will help my Business Intelligence students interpret their Twitter analysis. Won't it?
10 Things Katy Perry Can Teach You About Twitter Marketing
… Perry is now officially the most followed user on Twitter, making her even more popular than the President of the United States is on the social network.

For my Cable-free students.
How to watch the Super Bowl for free: Cut the cable cord!
If you're looking to watch Super Bowl XLIX online this Sunday, NBC has you covered.
Just like other networks that have offered a free live stream of the Super Bowl in previous years, NBC will make the 2015 game available through its NBC Sports website and mobile app.

A cute infographic I can hang in my classrooms.
Not Thinking About The Security Of Your Data? You Should Be
What can you do to protect your data? How can you make sure that your identity isn’t stolen? This infographic breaks it down in detail.

Useful resource.
Never trust a corporation to do a library’s job
Andy Baio, The Medium: “Two months ago, Larry Page said the company’s outgrown its 14-year-old mission statement. Its ambitions have grown, and its priorities have shifted. Google in 2015 is focused on the present and future. Its social and mobile efforts, experiments with robotics and artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles and fiberoptics. As it turns out, organizing the world’s information isn’t always profitable. Projects that preserve the past for the public good aren’t really a big profit center. Old Google knew that, but didn’t seem to care. The desire to preserve the past died along with 20% time, Google Labs, and the spirit of haphazard experimentation. Google may have dropped the ball on the past, but fortunately, someone was there to pick it up. The Internet Archive is mostly known for archiving the web, a task the San Francisco-based nonprofit has tirelessly done since 1996, two years before Google was founded. The Wayback Machine now indexes over 435 billion webpages going back nearly 20 years, the largest archive of the web. For most people, it ends there. But that’s barely scratching the surface. Most don’t know that the Internet Archive also hosts:
That last item, the software collection, may start to change public perception and awareness of the Internet Archive.”

For my programming students.
A Free Course on Developing iOS 8 Apps
In the past Stanford has offered free online courses on developing iPhone and iPad apps. Their latest offering is a free iTunes U course on developing iOS 8 apps.
Before you get too excited about the course, note that it is not for people who don't have any prior programming experience. The prerequisites for the course require that you have experience with C language and object-oriented programming. If you're up for the challenge, this course could be a good opportunity to learn to develop iOS 8 apps.

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