Thursday, March 12, 2015

Journalists are supposed to report the facts. What do you call the people who write for the “infotainment” shows they try to pass off as the evening news?
Sue Marquette Paremba takes the media out to the wood shed for reporting on breaches in ways that repeat false claims of “sophisticated” attacks and that may leave us thinking that there’s nothing we can do to protect ourselves or better secure data we are responsible for:
Some media outlets called last month’s data breach at health-insurance company Anthem, which resulted in the theft of highly sensitive personal information pertaining to up to 80 million people, a “sophisticated attack.” However, later reports showed that weak authentication had let hackers into the database, and that a lack of proper encryption had allowed the personal information to be shared.
In a similar breach in 2014 at Community Health Systems, the company said the attackers “used highly sophisticated malware and technology.” It turned out the hackers had actually exploited the simple, very fixable Heartbleed bug, which had been widely known for months.
Read more on Tom’s Guide.
I hope more journalists covering breaches in the mainstream media read Sue’s article.

Spinoff from the Hillary Email story. Interesting timing on this one.
IG report: Problems with State email records

(Related) ...and the Quill Pen Award for refusing to learn new technologies goes to... (No doubt Hillary will claim this proves she is more tech savvy than most.)
A brief history of Congress and email

(Related) You should have known this was inevitable since Hillary assured us there was no classified information in her emails.
AP sues State Dept. over Clinton emails
… The AP said the lawsuit to force the government to act came only after multiple requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) went unfulfilled.

(Related) Hillary also told us it was perfectly secure.
Clinton Email Server Vulnerable for 3 Months: Venafi
Access to the personal email server used by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not encrypted or authenticated by a digital certificate for the first three months of her term, research from security firm Venafi has found.

This has potential. Researchers will need to be careful.
Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research
Apple SVP of Operations, Jeff Williams, today announced "ResearchKit", a new open source software framework in the vein of HomeKit and HealthKit that will turn an iPhone into "powerful diagnostic tools for medical research." The new software aims to assist doctors and scientist gather data at a faster and more accurate rate via the accessibility of the iPhone.
Williams mentioned multiple conditions that ResearchKit will be aimed at, including: Parkinson's, Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Asthma and Breast cancer. Apple also promised it "will not see your data" when reiterating on Privacy of the new ResearchKit app.

(Related) The iPhone is subject to all the downsides of “old fashioned” research. Can we avoid that by making the App smarter?
Apple ResearchKit has thousands sign up amid bias criticism
Stanford researchers were stunned when they awoke Tuesday to find that 11,000 people had signed up for a cardiovascular study using Apple Inc.’s ResearchKit, less than 24 hours after the iPhone tool was introduced.
“To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.”
… “Just collecting lots of information about people — who may or may not have a particular disease, and may or may not represent the typical patient — could just add noise and distraction,” said Lisa Schwartz, professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, in an e-mail. “Bias times a million is still bias.”
For starters, the average iPhone user is more likely to have graduate and doctoral degrees than the average Android user, and has a higher income as well, according to polling company CivicScience Inc. Those sort of demographic differences could skew the findings from a study.
Misleading data can also come from a user accidentally hitting a button or giving her phone to someone else, said C. Michael Gibson, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an interventional cardiologist.
And apps may be more restricted in the types of questions they can ask than standard trials, which allow researchers to ask open-ended questions in face-to-face encounters. Asking about specific side effects — “Mrs. Jones, are your teeth itching?” — may prompt false memories and make people more apt to report them, a problem that an open-ended question wouldn’t have triggered, Gibson said.
Yet the iPhone also helps address a problem that standard trials often encounter: People enrolled in studies often falsely report their activity to researchers. By using its internal components or secondary devices connected wirelessly via Bluetooth, the iPhone can silently measure users’ behavior, without relying on them to keep track or be honest about what they’re doing.

(Related) As I tell my Statistics students, some unknown percentage of respondents lie to survey takers.
Elizabeth Earl reports:
The national attention on the risk of data breaches may be keeping patients from sharing information with physicians.
A survey from Austin, Texas-based software advising firm Software Advice of 243 people found that 45 percent of respondents were moderately or very concerned about security breaches involving personal health information. Nearly a quarter, 21 percent, withholds personal information from their physicians for fear of a data breach.

All that is not forbidden is mandatory.
All that is not mandatory is forbidden. “The Once and Future King
“We changed our privacy policy so this is no longer our responsibility.” Head Twit
Charlie Warzel reports:
Twitter is cracking down on the scourge of revenge porn with a series of updated rules in its privacy policy designed to make sure users don’t publish nude photos or post pictures of users engaging in sexual acts without the subject’s consent.
As of 6 p.m. ET, Twitter has changed its rules to reflect the following (all changes are in italics):
Private information: You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission. You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.
The company also modified its abusive behavior policy page to include the following:
Threats and abuse: Users may not make direct, specific threats of violence against others, including threats against a person or group on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, or disability. In addition, users may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.
Read more on BuzzFeed.

As the non-lawyer, statements like this always confuse me. Does this mean state courts are a Federal-Law-Free Zone? “We're concentrating on a crook, sometimes innocent folk will get trampled.”
Mike Cason reports:
Prosecutors in House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics case responded to an accusation that they might have violated federal law by revealing bank account numbers in a recent court filing in Hubbard’s ethics case.
Prosecutors said a federal law and federal court filing rules cited by Hubbard’s defense don’t apply in state court cases.
On Feb. 27, prosecutors filed a response opposing the request for a more definite statement and saying that the 23-count indictment was sufficient.
They said that a vast number of emails, bank records and other documents provided to Hubbard's defense removed any doubt about the nature of the charges. They included more than 300 pages of exhibits in that Feb. 27 filing as examples of those documents.
Hubbard's lawyers complained that the documents included six bank account numbers (not Hubbard's), as well as cell phone numbers and other personal information. They said two people had their bank accounts changed as a result and said the content of the documents violated rights of privacy.

My library will lend you a GoPro camera or an iPad. These articles suggest more technology may be coming soon.
Forecasting the Future of Libraries 2015
This special section focuses on some of the key trends shaping libraries. It pairs with American Libraries’ annual coverage of the ALA Emerging Leaders. These librarians are, after all, representative of a new wave of library leaders who will help shape our futures—and likely have already contributed to, influenced, or led the trends that we will cover. The first piece, “Trending Now,” is a quick introduction to the Center for the Future of Libraries’ “trend library.” The trend library is designed to provide the library community with a centralized and regularly updated source for trends—including how they are developing; why they matter for libraries; and links to the reports, articles, and resources that can further explain their significance. As a collection, it will grow to include changes and trends across society, technology, education, the environment, politics, the economy, and demographics. Makerspaces are playing an increasingly important role in libraries. Four librarians from three library makerspaces—Tampa–Hillsborough County (Fla.) Public Library System’s The Hive, the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Maker Jawn, and the Innisfil (Ont.) Public Library’s ideaLAB—talk about how maker culture is transforming their libraries and share ideas about this important trend’s direction, in “Making Room for Informal Learning.” Keeping up to date with changes in education is important for all of us but especially for those of us working in academic and school libraries. Joan K. Lippincott shares her thoughts in “The Future for Teaching and Learning” on how academic libraries can leverage growing interest in active learning, new media and information formats, and technology-rich collaborative spaces within the higher education environment. Natalie Greene Taylor, Mega Subramaniam, and Amanda Waugh, all of the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, look at how school librarians can integrate three trends—the mobility of information, connected learning, and learning in the wild—to keep up with the future of K–12 education in “The School Librarian as Learning Alchemist.” There is news from two library science programs’ initiatives exploring what’s ahead in library education, in “The Future of the MLIS.” This focus on the education of librarians is important for all of us.”

There's not just AN App for that, there are lots of Apps for that. Find the one that works best for you.
Time To Ditch Evernote? Letterspace & Fetch Are Compelling Alternatives
Evernote is the world’s most widely used notebook application, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Letterspace and Fetchnotes are two alternative iOS notebooks that focus on quickly adding and accessing notes.

For all my students.
How to Upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update
… Here’s all you need to know to upgrade to Windows 10 directly from Windows 7 or 8.1 and start getting to grips with the future of Windows.
Ever since it was officially unveiled last year, Windows 10 has been an intriguing prospect for PC users. Given that Microsoft is set to make the upgrade free for its first year of availability,

Gee, mentoring sounds a lot like teaching.

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