Saturday, May 23, 2015

If I could see it was a bad deal, why didn't they?
Target and MasterCard just scrapped a $19 million deal to settle data breach claims
A $19 million deal between Target and MasterCard to settle lawsuits stemming from the retailer's massive pre-Christmas 2013 data breach has been scrapped, because it failed to get enough support from the affected banks and credit unions.
… Lawyers for banks that had sued Target over breach-related losses called the settlement an attempt by Target to "extinguish pending legal claims for pennies-on-the-dollar."
… Target shares rose 2 cents to $79.41 in afternoon trading, while MasterCard shares rose 8 cents to $92.98.

How do you tell vandals from terrorists? Wait for another attack? More likely, wait for someone to claim responsibility in the name of ISIS. I've never heard of an inflatable dam but apparently they have been around for at least 40 years.
Vandals damage dam, nearly 50 million gallons of water pours into Bay
The loss of 49 million gallons of water began sometime Thursday morning, when an inflatable dam on Alameda Creek was destroyed. Alameda County Water District, which maintains the dam, reported it to police at 11:30 a.m.
… Police said the felony vandalism was an intentional act, but as of Friday afternoon had no suspects and were not exactly sure how it was damaged.
Because of its age, the district was already working to replace the dam, officials said. It was built in 1971 and is one of two dams ACWD controls.

Let's hope this is not the last word.
DOJ releases privacy policy for US drones
The Justice Department on Friday released guidelines that would explicitly bar the agency from using drones solely to monitor activity protected by the First Amendment, like peaceful protests.
… The Justice Department said it would adhere to constitutional principles that requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant when conducting surveillance or other activity in which people have a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Law enforcement would also be barred from using drones to engage in discrimination. [Someone will have to explain how you can use a drone to discriminate. Bob]..
The guidance builds off a presidential memorandum released in February that outlined general privacy and civil rights principles related to drones, and required all federal agencies to adopt their own procedures on how to collect and use information collected from domestic drones.
… The agency would be forced to keep logs of the purpose and number of flights, including those in which other agencies like the Homeland Security Department conducted the flight.
… In a footnote, the Justice Department noted that the guidelines are not legally enforceable and are "intended only to improve the internal management" at the agency.

Is this really a big problem?
Eric L. Sussman, Daniel L. Schwartz, and James M. Leva of Day Pitney LLP writes:
On May 19, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Public Act No. 15-6, titled “An Act Concerning Employee Online Privacy” (the act). The act applies to both employees and job applicants and prohibits employers from requiring or requesting employees or applicants to (1) provide the employer with a user name, password, or other means to access the employee’s or applicant’s personal online account (such as e-mail, social media and retail-based Internet websites); (2) authenticate or access a personal online account in the presence of the employer’s representative; or (3) invite, or accept an invitation from, the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account. The act is effective October 1.
Read more on Day Pitney LLP.

(Related) This is a real problem. Would the Connecticut law have protected this student? If there is a privacy violation and the school claims they own all the pictures, can the students sue the school?
Michael Archambault reports:
Imagine assembling a portfolio of over 4,000 photographs and then being forced to make it disappear or face life-altering consequences; that’s the situation sophomore Anthony Mazur is currently facing at Flower Mound High School in his Texas hometown. After discovering the love of sports photography, the Lewisville Independent School District is now claiming that Anthony’s photographs are theirs and that he has no right to use them.
And there’s not just a copyright issue, but a privacy issue in there, too.
Read more on PetaPixel.
[From the article:
The real question is whether or not Anthony Mazur has a case on his hands. In his support stands Title 17 of the United States Copyright Law, which denotes that the “Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work”; in the case of photography, the individual who presses the shutter is the ‘author’.
In addition, the District’s Board Policy Manual explicitly states “a student shall retain all rights to work created as part of the instruction or using District technology resources.”

Would it be worth Russia's while to block access to a few dissidents? Perhaps it's not a few?
Maria Tsvetkova and Eric Auchard report:
Russia’s media watchdog has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian Internet laws and a spokesman said on Thursday they risk being blocked if they do not comply with the rules.
because of the encryption technology used by the three firms, Russia had no way of blocking specific websites and so could only bring down particular content it deemed in violation of law by blocking access to their whole services.
To comply with the law, the three firms must hand over data on Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day, and take down websites that Roskomnadzor sees as containing calls for “unsanctioned protests and unrest”, Ampelonsky said.
Read more on Reuters.

Interesting. I note they have still not convinced a jury and the article does not say what else they might have used for leverage to get a guilty plea. Why is this so hard?
Feds win first conviction in online prostitution case
… Prosecutors say the case marks the first time federal authorities have successfully convicted someone who ran a website for the purpose of facilitating prostitution.
Eric Omuro pleaded guilty in December to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce with the intent to connect prostitutes and johns. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
He admitted to operating, where prostitutes advertised and clients could search for services available in their area.
… How to combat the sex trade online has been a vexing question for law enforcement officials. Online classified ad sites have drawn particular attention.
Last October, two women who said they were victims of sex trafficking while juveniles sued classifieds site and said that the site had permitted them to be advertised online as prostitutes.

(Related) Perhaps this is why prosecution is so hard?
And so it begins…
RT reports:
The men behind the screen names “Eaglesfan_6969” and “Verywilling2011” are looking for sex, and they’re doing it from government-provided email accounts, according to data pilfered from a hacked dating website.
A trove of personal information pertaining to paid account holders of AdultFriendFinder, a website that touts itself as letting users “Find a fuck buddy for online sex,” has surfaced, and its contents suggest employees of local and federal agencies, including law enforcement, the Navy and the Federal Aviation Administration have used their government-provided email addresses to search for partners.
Read more on RT.

A few questions arise: Could Hillary's people have erred the other way too? But then, she destroyed all the emails she didn't printout for the State Department, so we'll never know. (But then is a 4% error rate that significant?)
More than 1,200 Clinton emails deemed 'personal'
… The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) classified 1,246 of those emails as personal communications, CNN reported Thursday.

For my Data Management students.
Data Professionals Not Going Away, at Least Not Soon
Software vendors continue to create data analysis tools for the average business user, eliminating some of the complex or tedious processes, but businesses shouldn’t expect technology to bring about game-changing insight, experts say.
"Does software make anyone a great musician?" asks Greta Roberts, CEO and co-founder of Talent Analytics, a company focused on an analytic approach to predicting pre-hire employee performance.
… Alex Langshur, co-founder and senior partner of Cardinal Path, which helps companies make the most of their digital assets by "instrumenting" their data from various sources such as point-of-sale, website, mobile apps, social, email and more, describes three roles among data professionals:
  • Data collection, a very technical and challenging task at which many organizations fail. "If you get it wrong, every other piece of the chain falls apart," he said.
  • Data management, which includes skills traditionally associated with database professionals. Chances are the person performing it is familiar with Hadoop or NoSQL and can assemble data sets to really extract value from them.
  • Data analysis: Data analysts are able to look at the data and understand what it means in order to derive insight from it. That takes a curious mind married to the ability to use a specific tool, along with some statistical experience and knowledge. An analyst uses tools like R or SAS and/or visualization tools like Tableau or Spotfire.
… Roberts, whose company researched the characteristics of data professionals, said preparing the data is where the bulk of time is spent. The research grouped data tasks into four roles: data preparation, programming, manager and generalist. The generalist role is disappearing as more people specialize, she said.
… While machines will ultimately take over some of the data analysis work that humans have traditionally done, human insight will remain critical to decision-making, said Jack Phillips, CEO of the International Institute for Analytics.

A tool for my Business Intelligence students.
Silk Offers Great Tools for Creating Data Visualizations
Silk is a free tool that I first tried a couple of years ago when it was primarily a digital portfolio and simple web page creation tool. Since then it has evolved to include some fantastic tools for creating and sharing data visualizations.
To create a visualization on Silk you can upload data in a spreadsheet, manually enter data, or use one of data sets that Silk provides in their gallery. Once you've uploaded data or selected it you can use it to create fourteen different visualizations. To create a different visualization of the same data set simply choose a different visualization style from the Silk menu.
Silk visualizations can be made public or kept private. If you keep your visualizations private you can still share them directly to other Silk members by inviting them to your project. Public visualizations can be embedded into blog posts as I have done below.

For my students' amusement.
Free Gift Cards, Games & Design Tools: 5 Sites with Great Giveaways

It's that time of the week!
Hack Education Weekly News
Bernie Sanders for President. “Sanders introduced legislation that calls for the federal government to dole out $47 billion per year to states that agree to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at their public colleges and universities,” reports Inside Higher Ed. “Bernie Sanders’s plan to have Wall Street pay for your college tuition, explained” via Vox’s Libby Nelson. (More from Nelson on Sanders here.)
Via the BBC: “Students at Oxford University are voting on whether or not they should continue being forced to wear special clothes to sit their exams. At the moment, students and examiners have to wear a gown over an outfit known as ‘sub fusc.’ The compulsory clothing includes a dark suit, black shoes, a plain white shirt or blouse with a bow tie, long tie or ribbon.”
The New York Times reports that “Hackers from China infiltrated the computer systems of Pennsylvania State University’s College of Engineering, gaining usernames and passwords in what investigators described as a sophisticated cyberattack that lasted more than two years.”

No comments: