Sunday, April 26, 2015

My Data Management class was discussing the fragility of data collections. Thanks for the great fail example Starbucks! Also points out that people don't carry cash (or baristas can't make change)
Starbucks back in business: Internal report blames deleted database table, indicates outage was global
Good news, Starbucks fans: The coffee giant’s stores are open again. Bad news: The coffee isn’t free anymore.
The Seattle-based coffee company says it has resolved a point-of-sale computer outage that struck stores in the U.S. and Canada on Friday afternoon and evening. The outage made big news as baristas around the country, unable to ring up transactions, started giving away coffee at no charge, before the company announced that it would be closing stores early.
… The company’s point-of-sale system runs on MICROS Simphony. An apparent internal Starbucks incident report — posted on Reddit by a person identified as a “corporate partner” — said “the main POS table was deleted,” preventing any stores from logging in and ringing transactions.
The incident report, which has since been deleted from Reddit, described the impacted region as “Global,” including North America and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
Starbucks has publicly characterized the incident as a North American problem. Because of the time difference, problems at closed stores overseas would not have been as obvious, but as further evidence, a Redditor who works at a 24-hour Starbucks in the UK says systems went down there, and describes the problem as global. We’ve asked Starbucks to clarify the geographic scope of the problem.

“We can, therefore we must!”
FTC Sinks Fangs Into Firm Accused Of Incessantly Tracking Mobile Shoppers
The FTC has just laid the smackdown on yet another company that's been found guilty of exploiting mobile users without their knowledge. The FTC found that the company, called Nomi Technologies, even went against its own privacy policy mere months after it promised not to, in late 2012.
Nomi's business model involves working with retail outlets to install sensors in their stores. As a customer walks in, these sensors fetch a phone's MAC address, which is broadcast broadcast via Wi-Fi, and begin to track it. You can see where this is going. With information in-hand, Nomi is able to tell these retailers about a couple of different things: how long the customer stayed in the store, and how often they visit. I would not be surprised of the retails gained information on other stores the customer went to.
… The biggest flaw with Nomi's operation is that its opt-out methods were useless. If someone doesn't even realize they're being tracked, how are they going to know about an opt-out mechanism? While this tracking system was in place, Nomi had data on over 9 million phones.
Going forward, Nomi has said that it will begin abiding by its own privacy policy, but I am not entirely sure how it's going to go about its business when it profits most on unsuspecting users.

Sure to be heavily debated. I was thinking that it should be simple to keep only 20 minutes or so (deleting anything older) unless someone overrides the delete. Most “Encounters” take less than 20 minutes. The override could come from the officer, his on-scene supervisor, the communications center, or any other specified authority.
What Good Is a Video You Can't See?
Soon, thousand of police officers across the country will don body-worn cameras when they go out among the public. Those cameras will generate millions of hours of footage—intimate views of commuters receiving speeding tickets, teens getting arrested for marijuana possession, and assault victims at some of the worst moments of their lives.
As the Washington Post and the Associated Press have reported, lawmakers in at least 15 states have proposed exempting body-cam footage from local open records laws. But the flurry of lawmaking speaks to a larger crisis: Once those millions of hours of footage have been captured, no one is sure what to do with them.
… If a body-cam program, scaled across an entire department, were to release its footage willy-nilly, it would be a privacy catastrophe for untold people. Police-worn cameras don't just capture footage from city streets or other public places. Officers enter people's homes, often when those people are at their most vulnerable.
So while body-cam footage is “very clearly a public interest record,” says Emily Shaw, the national policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation, it is also “just full of private information.”
… But some experts say that, if departments can’t deal with the high cost of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, then officers shouldn’t get body cameras.
… If there’s any consensus among experts considering body camera policy, it’s about this: Most groups, including the ACLU, agree that individuals recorded by body cameras should have access to that footage.
Yet implementing even that provision is tricky, says Shaw.
“If there are several people in the video and some of them don’t want it to be public but one of them really does, what happens in that circumstance?,” she told me. “Even if you redact the person who doesn’t want to be seen there, everybody knows this person is an associate of this person who is visible.”

Do you know what works before you try it? How long should your 'experiment' last? Who gets to call, “Stop?”
Charlie Savage reports:
The secrecy surrounding the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 warrantless surveillance and bulk data collection program hampered its effectiveness, and many members of the intelligence community later struggled to identify any specific terrorist attacks it thwarted, a newly declassified document shows.
Read more on The New York Times.

The old phrase is, “Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.” Will future generations have a phrase than begins, “Clinton's wife...”
State Department records show official concern about Clinton ties to 'Saudi entities'
State Department officials raised concerns about former President Bill Clinton's ties to Saudi Arabia in 2011 amid a flurry of ethics reviews that weighed whether his philanthropic and commercial activities posed any conflicts of interest with his wife's duties as secretary of state.
According to documents obtained by the nonprofit Judicial Watch, the department's legal team repeatedly discussed Clinton Foundation activities in countries around the world.
The heavily redacted emails refer to an "urgent" foundation matter in Tanzania that required legal guidance as Bill Clinton prepared to touch down in the African nation. Un-redacted portions of the emails suggest the problem involved a "specific arrangement with Tanzania post" in June 2010.

Because I'll want to find this list later.
13 Antivirus Software Options for Your Business

For my students' toolkit.
Your Mobile Phone can Detect Earthquakes
Was it just you or did the ground really shake? Your iPhone, iPad and most newer mobile phones can work as basic seismometers, the same instrument that is used to measure the magnitude of earthquakes and volcanoes. You don’t need to install any apps, just the built-in web browser would suffice.
OK, try this. Launch Google Chrome or the Safari browser on your mobile phone (or tablet) and then open this page. You should see a continuously moving waveform but if you slightly shake or tilt your mobile device, simulating seismic activity, the graph will capture these movements in real-time much like a seismograph.

No comments: