Friday, May 15, 2015

If your algorithm is really, really fast, you can make or lose lots of money. It is possible to 'trigger' trades if you know how the algorithm works. Connecting these guys to some particular trader is going to be difficult.
SEC Reviews Dubious Avon Bid
What appears to be a bogus filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that Avon Products Inc. was the target of a takeover bid, sending the embattled beauty-products company’s stock soaring on Thursday and leaving the agency looking for answers.
Avon’s shares shot up by more than 20% midday to nearly $8 after an entity calling itself PTG Capital Partners Ltd. said in a securities filing that it had lodged a bid of $18.75 a share to buy the company.
Avon said it hadn’t received such a bid and hadn’t even been able to confirm that PTG Capital existed. A person familiar with the matter said the company was treating the offer as a hoax.
… The apparent Avon hoax underscores a weakness in the SEC’s “Edgar” filing system. It is relatively easy to set up a fake account and make fraudulent filings directly to a legitimate firm’s cache of disclosures. To make filings, one only needs to provide Edgar with a street address and a document signed by a notary, according to an Edgar user’s manual published by the SEC.
… The PTG filing includes a number of instances of odd spacing and typos, including twice referring to the firm as TPG, a known private-equity firm that acquired an Avon business in Japan in 2010 and reportedly considered a bid for Avon earlier this year. The language used in the SEC filing about “PTG Capital” mimics the wording that TPG uses to describe itself.
… The purported offer bears a resemblance to one received in December 2012 by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc., a small publicly traded confectioner. In that case, someone calling themselves PST Capital Group Ltd. claimed they offered $13.50 a share for Rocky Mountain.

You don't have to put everything on the same server or even the same network. You can log access to files, but then you would have to actually look at the logs!
InfoSecurity reports:
Last fall, it came to light that Chinese hackers had roamed around unnoticed for months inside the network of USIS, the biggest commercial provider of background investigations to the federal US government. In fact, two of the company’s biggest customers are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
Onapsis Research Labs analysis finds that the breach most likely utilized an SAP attack vector that Onapsis has been tracking in the wild and warning enterprises about. It marks the first time an SAP attack against a national security service provider has been publicly uncovered.
Read more on InfoSecurity.

“We make it up as we go along” or “Because they supported the other candidate” are probably not part of the written guidelines.
Jenna Greene reports:
The Federal Trade Commission this week was sued for refusing to turn over information about how the agency decides to bring data security cases.
The Freedom of Information Act suit by Philip Reitinger, a former Department of Homeland Security official who is now president of a cybersecurity company, comes as the FTC defends its role as data security cop in two ongoing cases.
“The FTC’s data security activity has increased in recent years and is likely to continue to do so,” wrote Reitinger’s lawyers, Steptoe & Johnson LLP partners Michael Baratz and Stewart Baker, in the complaint.
The FTC’s response to their FOIA request will likely irritate a number of people. As Greene reports:
In refusing Reitinger’s request for internal documents about data security enforcement, the FTC claimed FOIA exemption 5, asserting that all the material is protected by the “deliberative-process privilege.” It also said that FOIA Exemption 7(E) applied, alleging that the documents are also law enforcement guidelines, and that their disclosure could “reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.”
Well, if you want compliance, wouldn’t it make sense to to make the guidelines not only public, but loudly public, to foster greater compliance? [But if you want political power, being able to strike when and where you choose is the more attractive option. Bob]
Read more on Legal Times.

I might use this as the basis for an “incident response” project.
FTC – Recovering from identity theft is easier with a plan
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 14, 2015 is the federal government’s one-stop resource for identity theft victims. The site provides streamlined checklists and sample letters to guide you through the recovery process.”

Do you have the right to confront the technology accusing you? Could I create a guilt-o-meter(TM) for prosecutors that would convince a jury but not be available for cross-examination?
Ellen Nakashima reports:
In a handful of criminal cases around the country, local police officers have testified in recent months that non-disclosure agreements with the FBI forbid them from acknowledging the use of secret cellphone-tracking devices. In some, prosecutors have settled cases rather than risk revealing, during court proceedings, sensitive details about the use of the devices.
The FBI, however, says such agreements do not prevent police from disclosing that they used such equipment, often called a StingRay. And only as a “last resort” would the FBI require state and local law enforcement agencies to drop criminal cases rather than sharing details of the devices’ use and “compromising the future use of the technique.”
Read more on The Washington Post.

Not just a “slippery slope,” this reminds me of the New Jersey basketball “cheer” following a bad call: “Elevator, elevator, we got the shaft!” Does this suggest that people entering Australia illegally phone ahead?
This is exactly what civil libertarians and privacy advocates in Australia tried to warn the public about.
Josh Taylor reports that less than two months after the government passed a hotly debated data retention law for ISPs, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been added to the list of agencies that can access Australians’ telecom data:
Under the mandatory data-retention legislation, only a select number of government agencies can access the stored call records, assigned IP addresses, location information, and other telecommunications data for the purposes of investigating breaches of the law.
When the Australian Labor Party announced that it would side with the government and pass mandatory data-retention legislation in March, the support came with a number of amendments to the legislation, designed to increase oversight and improve accountability over government access to the stored data.
Read more on ZDNet.

Should we all start learning Chinese?
Colter Hettich reports:
Chinese web search giant Baidu unveiled its latest technology Monday, saying it had taken the lead in the global race for true artificial intelligence.
Minwa, the company’s supercomputer, scanned more than 1 million images and taught itself to sort them into about 1,000 categories — and did so with 95.42% accuracy, the company claims, adding that no other computer has completed the task at that same level.
Google’s system scored a 95.2% and Microsoft’s, a 95.06%, Baidu said.
Read more on NY Daily News.

Interesting. Could this be why SurveyMonkey was able to predict the UK elections when everyone else failed?
Online polling could increase negatives in 2016
The expansion of online polling in recent years could be a negative for 2016 candidates.
A study by Pew Research released Thursday found members of the public tend to be more willing to express a "very unfavorable" view of politicians when they are surveyed online, compared to questioned on the phone.
The share of people who view Hillary Clinton as "very unfavorable" increased 8 percentage points when polled online, compared to the phone. Sarah Palin's negatives increased 13 percent, Michelle Obama's increased 9 percent, George W. Bush's increased 9 percent, Harry Reid's increased 8 percent, and Mitch McConnell's increased 5 percent.
Pew found people are more likely to report increasingly negative views of politicians online if they are a member of the opposite party. For Clinton, 36 percent of Republicans gave her a "very unfavorable" rating when polled on the phone, but that number shot up to 53 percent online.

Resources for my spreadsheet students.
An Excel Template for Every Occasion

“Pop quiz today!” (Well, I find it amusing)
Breaking News from
Breaking News is Russel Tarr's latest creation on Breaking News is a template for creating fake breaking news screens like those that you might see on CNN or BBC News. Russel sent me a Twitter message about Breaking News this morning and I quickly tried my hand at making a fake breaking news screen. Through the template you can add a news headline, a ticker, a location, and custom background image. After completing the template you can download your news screen as an image or host it online at Imgur.
Applications for Education
Russel Tarr has a bunch of examples of Breaking News screens created about historical events like the assassination of President Lincoln. You could also have students create Breaking News screens about major turning points in the plots of their favorite fiction works.

One of my students tipped me to this one. Also available for iPhones and Windows phones
Learn C++
Learn C++ is another FREE programming course by SoloLearn.
[Makes me wonder if any of these are useful:

Dilbert explains how to crush the competition in the age of social media!

No comments: