Friday, January 23, 2015

What is going on here? Perhaps there is even more damage that I thought. What could keep Sony from simply adding up the costs? Have they lost all their accounting records? No backups anywhere?
Sony Hacking Attacks Delay Earnings Report
Sony Corp. said Friday that it will miss a stock-market deadline for issuing its third-quarter results due to the hacking attacks that hit its movie unit late last year.
The Japanese electronics giant said it still plans to hold briefing sessions for the media and analysts on Feb. 4, the original date scheduled for its earnings report, but would only provide estimated figures for the performance of its movie subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.
All other segments, including its financial division and electronics arm, will report finalized numbers, it said.
… Part of the movie unit’s intranet system is expected to remain powered off until early February, preventing accountants from using software to finalize the results. [Bull! Bob]
Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said previously that the financial damage to Sony from the hacking campaign would likely be limited.
The statement on Friday said the impact would be “light.”

Sharing data without consideration? This makes me think it might be better not to register your guns in the first place.
Raquel Okyay reports:
Gun rights advocates have asked Rochester District Court to end a state regulation they contend authorizes the state to secretly compile personal mental health information without cause to confiscate firearms in violation of the Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
“We made a motion for preliminary injunction to shut down the Integrated SAFE Act Reporting System,” said Webster-based attorney and policy analyst, Paloma A. Capanna. “Our concern here is that the New York State police in conjunction with local law enforcement are using confidential mental health information to strip people of their firearms and pistol licenses.”
Read more on Rockland County Times.
[From the article:
Montgomery, who is also a U.S. military veteran, sought voluntary treatment for insomnia at Eastern Long Island Hospital in May, was treated by a mental health professional and sent home, she said. “A few days later he received a call from the Suffolk County Police telling him they had to come by and pick-up his guns.”
… The complaint said the state is actively conducting an overreach into the personal health records of tens of thousands of New Yorkers, more than 99 percent of whom do not even know that the confidentiality of their doctor-patient relationship has been compromised.

They hear, but do they listen?
Privacy is Dead, Davos Hears
"Privacy as we knew it in the past is no longer feasible... How we conventionally think of privacy is dead," she added.
Another Harvard researcher into genetics said it was "inevitable" that one's personal genetic information would enter more and more into the public sphere.
Sophia Roosth said intelligence agents were already asked to collect genetic information on foreign leaders to determine things like susceptibility to disease and life expectancy.
"We are at the dawn of the age of genetic McCarthyism," she said, referring to witch-hunts against Communists in 1950s America.
What's more, Seltzer imagined a world in which tiny robot drones flew around, the size of mosquitoes, extracting a sample of your DNA for analysis by, say, the government or an insurance firm.
… "Governments are talking about putting in back doors for communication so that terrorists can't communicate without being spied on. The problem is that if governments can do that, so can the bad guys," Nye told the forum.
"Are you more worried about big brother or your nasty little cousin?"
… And at a separate session on artificial intelligence, panellists appeared to accept the limit on privacy as part of modern life.
Rodney Brooks, chairman of Rethink Robotics, an American tech firm, took the example of Google Maps guessing -- usually correctly -- where you want to go.
"At first, I found that spooky and kind of scary. Then I realized, actually, it's kind of useful," he told the forum.
Anthony Goldbloom, a young tech entrepreneur, told the same panel that what he termed the "Google generation" placed far less weight on their privacy than previous generations.
"I trade my privacy for the convenience. Privacy is not something that worries me," he said.

Students must be taught that they have no rights.
Illinois School Districts To Require Facebook Passwords From School Bullies
There's no arguing the fact that bullying is something that should be combated, but is that enough to go against the Fifth Amendment and require someone to hand over their password as part of an investigation? That's the reality Illinois schools could soon face, as their government has decided that if asked, a student must hand over access to their social media accounts -- in effect, requiring them to cough up their password.
A requirement like this isn't new, and in fact it's been put into use many times before. Most often, cities or governments will end up banning the practice.

I'm curious as to who initiates this poorly worded nonsense? Is it really intended to force acceptance of “compromise” legislation that is not quite as idiotic, or is it just uncompromisingly idiotic?
Orin Kerr’s not the only one with concerns about the DOJ’s proposal to revise the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Over on Twitter, Nate Cardozo of EFF got some attention with his tweet claiming that an article and links to it could become a felony under the proposal.
As Nate explained to me in other tweets, this noncommercial blog (and blogger) could also be at risk due to the changes in the proposed language.
Tim Cushing has more on TechDirt.

Russia keeps talking like this is no big deal...
Russia: 'Don't call us losers' over oil prices
… Russia, which depends on the oil and gas industry for the majority of government revenue and export earnings, is faced with a dire situation. Oil prices have plunged below $50 per barrel, which has slammed the value of the ruble, sent inflation soaring above 10 percent and caused ripple effects throughout the country.
But Dvorkovich was upbeat at the World Economic Forum, turning on the top economist at the International Energy Agency for daring to suggest Russia was the biggest loser from the oil price plunge.
"We are not losers. Don't call us losers," Dvorkovich said during a panel discussion.

(Related) ...but this is more like what they must be thinking.
Oil price drop is ‘economic warfare against US enemies’

(Related) Interesting, but hard to reach any conclusions.
Beyond the Gas Pump: A New World Order for Oil

If nothing else, Kim Dotcom is innovative and amusing. This could be a very useful App (and an easy way to watch movies without the MPAA being able to prove it?)
Kim Dotcom Hopes To Bury Skype With Launch Of Encrypted MegaChat
If there's one thing Internet legend Kim Dotcom despises, it's being spied on. Likewise, he hates that governments take it upon themselves to spy not only on him, but everyone. Not long after his Auckland mansion was raided some three years ago, his love for privacy and security only skyrocketed. What eventually came of that was Mega, a cloud service that offers an impressive 50GB of free storage, as well as promises that your data will be safe from prying eyes.
… We reported on this venture last month, and today, the first bit of functionality rolls out: video calls. Dotcom says that his "Skype-killer" will roll out in parts, with text chat and video conferencing to come soon.
A major feature of Mega's chat service, aptly named MegaChat, is that it can be used right inside of a Web browser, rather than through a dedicated app like with Skype.

For my Data Management students. An update on the old paper invoice scam we were discussing last week.
Email Scam Nets $214 Million in 14 Months: FBI
… In the scheme, fake invoices are delivered to businesses which deal with overseas suppliers, asking for payment by wire transfer.
The scam has claimed 1,198 US victims and 928 in other countries, according to the statement. US firms have lost more than $179 million of the total.
In one version of the scheme, a business which works with overseas supplier is contacted by phone, fax or email asking for payment. The emails are "spoofed" to look as if they came from the legitimate supplier. Phone and fax requests also appear genuine.
In another version, email accounts of high-level executives are compromised to allow the criminals to request a wire transfer, often including instructions to "urgently send" funds.
A third version of the scheme involves the hacking of an employee's email account, which then sends out bogus invoices to vendors or suppliers.

For my Computer Security students. An infographic.
How To Set Up A VPN (And Why It’s A Good Idea To Use One)

I think of something like this when I repeat myself for the 4 billionth time...
Amazon goes after Apple with Kindle Textbook Creator
Amazon wants to make it easier for people to craft textbooks for its e-book platform, so the company just released the Kindle Textbook Creator, an app that makes it easy for publishers to create their own richly-formatted textbooks that can be viewed on a wide variety of devices.

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