Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A more reasoned voice. One not selling consulting services? (Perhaps this explains why the FBI can't find enough evidence to arrest this guy.)
There has been much media coverage of Chris Robert’s alleged claims about controlling an airplane in-flight. I haven’t bothered to link to them as they generally just re-hash what is already known and not known. But Iain Thomson got a more detailed response from those who are skeptical about Roberts’ claims:
At last year’s DEFCON hacker’s meeting Dr Phil Polstra, professor of digital forensics at Bloomberg University (and a qualified commercial pilot and flight instructor), delivered a lecture on the feasibility of in-flight aircraft hacking. It turns out it’s a lot more difficult than you might think.
Aircraft IT systems are built around non-TCP/IP protocols called ARINC, or AFDX on Airbus equipment. One of the key differences with this protocol is that it allows unidirectional data and will lock out a non-standard sending signal.
With regards to Roberts’ claims, Dr Polstra said that they were interesting and that he looked forward to discussing them with the researcher at a future DEFCON conference “assuming he is not in jail.” But the method of hacking seems unlikely.
IFE systems do receive some information from the emergency information crew alert system (EICAS), chiefly the aircraft’s location and speed for those little progress maps, but this data comes through a unidirectional Network Extension Device (NED).
Read more on The Register.

Continuing the bad karma.
Kudos to Bob Sullivan for staying on the Starbucks story. Today, he writes:
Ryan Benharris had $200 stolen from his debit card after his Starbucks account was hijacked recently, but that’s not why he was furious at the firm. He was angry about what happened next.
“I had to beg and plead to get my money back,” he said. “They lied to me… I’m an attorney, and it took me four hours on the phone and six weeks to get a refund.”
As Benharris and a pile of other victims have contacted me with stories of frustration, it appears Starbucks has made a change to its website in light of disclosures last week that criminals were attacking customers and stealing money from their Starbucks-linked bank accounts. More on the change in a moment.
Read more on BobSullivan.net.

“Obfuscation by any other name would smell...” (with apologies to William Shakespeare) If the response to a discovery order was paper copies of the emails, would the court sanction the lawyers? Paper is both slower and more expensive to provide and to review. Lawyers, even Hillary, should know better.
State Department plans to release Hillary Clinton's emails in January 2016
The State Department is proposing a deadline of January 2016 to complete its review and public release of 55,000 pages of emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton exchanged on a private server and turned over to her former agency last December.
The proposal came Monday night in a document related to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit Vice News filed in January seeking all of Clinton’s emails.
“The Department’s plan … would result in its review being completed by the end of the year. To factor in the holidays, however, the Department would ask the Court to adopt a proposed completion date of January 15, 2016,” State’s acting director of Information Programs and Services John Hackett said in a declaration filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.
… The controversy over Clinton’s private email account led to a turbulent start for her presidential campaign, which she announced last month. She has said she wants the emails public and is eager for State to release them as quickly as possible. Clinton said she turned over all work-related emails to State, but acknowledged that she had erased a roughly equal number of emails her lawyers deemed private.
… Hackett said 12 State staffers have been assigned full-time to reviewing the Clinton emails and that it took until sometime this month to scan in the records, which were provided on paper by Clinton in 12 “banker’s boxes” in December. He said the scanning process took five weeks and was “complicated” by some of the printouts of Clinton emails being double-sided.
… State officials have said at least some of the emails she provided are clearly personal. [No doubt in order to claim that she exceeded the minimum requirement. Bob]
… The Iowa caucuses are due to be held Feb. 1, 2016 — just two weeks after the proposed release of Clinton’s emails.

As long as we think this through and discuss it with parents and accept the liability. (Digest Item #1)
More Schools Should Ban Smartphones
Schools should ban smartphones from the classroom in order to help kids perform better in exams. This is the obvious conclusion to be drawn from a study conducted by the London School of Economics. It has been published at a time when, having previously banned smartphones, some schools are starting to lift restrictions.
Titled, Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction & Student Performance [PDF link], the study found that teenagers studying in schools which have banned smartphones perform better by an average of 6.4 percent. This is the equivalent of one hour extra spent in school every week, or, as the LSE put it, the “equivalent of adding five days to the school year.”
This study suggests we should actually be toughening bans on smartphones in schools, especially as students deemed as “low-achieving and low-income” actually saw the biggest improvement (of 14.23 percent) in tests. Thus countering the claims of New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who has suggested lifting restrictions on smartphones in schools would reduce inequality.
While this study was carried out in four English cities — London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leicester — it stands to reason that the results would be replicated elsewhere in the world. Smartphones are obviously a hugely important innovation driving the modern world, but that doesn’t mean they belong in classrooms, where they’re likely to distract students from learning.

Interesting. I could work with the Intel legal department.
Best Legal Departments 2015
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 18, 2015
Corporate Counsel – “Two legal departments are fully immersed in the digital age, two maintain a solid presence in the world of bricks and mortar. What’s more, one of them is a nonprofit, which renders many of the concerns of the other three irelevant. Examined from another angle, two of them are resolutely, explicitly multinational; another is, too, just by its ubiquity. The last one is in flux. What could these diverse legal departments possibly share? We asked ourselves this question as we pored through dozens of nomination forms. And we came up with an answer that’s hard to define, but easy to see when you bump into it. They rise above what a group of lawyers is expected to do. They do it with innovation, a sense of community, even a bit of swagger. They’re confident in their abilities, but they also look to improve.”

For my Data Management students. Manage data no matter the source.
Obama joins Twitter: How the first day of @POTUS unfolded
U.S. President Barack Obama sent his first tweet from his very own account on Twitter on Monday, quickly amassing a million followers in five hours, the latest of many White House efforts to amplify his message with social media.

(Related) Just for perspective.
Most Influential Twitter List: Which World Leaders Made the Cut?

My students have already done this. I will use this article to try and talk my wife into cable cutting.
Considering Canceling Cable? The True Cost of Cutting the Cord
… In the USA there are four main options:
… This is worth repeating, because many people seem to have forgotten: the major networks are available to you free of charge. Get a high-quality antenna like the Mohu Leaf and you can watch some of the most popular shows on television without any monthly subscription costs at all.
The FCC reception map [Interresting Bob] can provide you with a list of TV channels you can get locally, right now, without paying a cable company.

Tools for my website developers.
WebRTC Explained: What Is This API, and How Is It Changing the Internet?
The Internet today is vastly different to what it was 10 years ago. Back then, if you wanted to do anything moderately ambitious like video conferencing, you had to work with plugins that simply didn’t work all that well. I am, of course, referring to Flash, which was notoriously slammed by Steve Jobs in 2010 for being insecure, slow, and ill-suited to a world of touch devices.
There’s something better now.
It’s called WebRTC, and it’s allowing developers to build real-time applications, such as MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) and video-conferencing tools, using open web technologies, like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.
Here’s everything you need to know about WebRTC.

For my Data Management class. Perhaps I should be asking them for Vine videos?
What CEOs Have Learned About Social Media
When it comes to social media, today’s CEOs have made a remarkable transition over the past five years. A recent analysis by my firm, Weber Shandwick, found that 80% of the chief executive officers of the world’s largest 50 companies are engaged online and on social media. The results, published in “Socializing Your CEO: From Marginal to Mainstream,” show that CEO sociability has more than doubled since we began tracking the social activities of chief executives in 2010, when only 36% of CEOs were social.
… Companies don’t want to be left behind. For example, even in 2013, Scottish fashion brand Lyle & Scott put out a call for a new CEO on Twitter. They linked to a microsite so people could learn about the brand’s history, what it takes to be a leader, and how to apply.
The company also asked each candidate to produce a Vine video and Pinterest board for the brand. According to the executive recruiter leading the search, the owner of Lyle & Scott wanted “a modern, tech-aware retail CEO who is social media literate. By conducting the search using social media, we automatically select out the dinosaurs.”

A timely article for my Business Intelligence students.
Competitive Intelligence” Shouldn’t Just Be About Your Competitors

The second cartoon rebuts the most famous Internet cartoon ever.
Strategic Humor: Cartoons from the June 2015 Issue

Dilbert explains the difference between being social and being sociable.

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