Monday, May 11, 2015

Rather vague warning. Do we have any way to counter their propaganda? Will any nut case who does something stupid be branded a “propaganda influenced lone ranger terrorist?” Maybe only middle eastern nut cases?
US Security Chief Warns of 'New Phase' in Terror Threat
"We're very definitely in a new environment, because of ISIL's (IS's) effective use of social media, the Internet, which has the ability to reach into the homeland and possibly inspire others," Johnson said.
"We're very definitely in a new phase in the global terrorist threat, where the so-called lone wolf could strike at any moment."
FBI Director James Comey last week said authorities were concerned about the IS group encouraging attacks on "the uniformed military and law enforcement" via online propaganda.

As a CISA, I'd like to see them change the name – or perhaps pay us a royalty? As a follower of government security breaches, I wonder how risky sharing this information will be. Has the government ever created a national database that worked?
Andrea Castillo writes:
This May, Congress is expected to come together on a bill to protect private entities that secretly share user data with federal agencies. Privacy advocates say the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) threatens Americans’ civil liberties by sanctioning yet another avenue for government surveillance. But there’s another big problem as well: CISA is unlikely to meaningfully prevent cyber-attacks as proponents claim, and could ultimately weaken cybersecurity.
The stated premise behind laws like CISA (and the defeated 2013 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is that cyber-attacks can be prevented if private network operators are able to quickly report and disseminate information about new threats and vulnerabilities. Proponents envision a seamless, national cybersecurity-threat system to roust the hackers, coordinated by the federal government.
Read more on Reason.

Can you override the computer? Should you? What will your insurance carrier say? (I would assume that when the computer is in control, everything is being recorded.)
AP Exclusive: Self-Driving Cars Getting Dinged in California
Four of the nearly 50 self-driving cars now rolling around California have gotten into accidents since September, when the state began issuing permits for companies to test them on public roads.
Two accidents happened while the cars were in control; in the other two, the person who still must be behind the wheel was driving, a person familiar with the accident reports told The Associated Press.
… Google and Delphi said their cars were not at fault in any accidents, which the companies said were minor.
… The fact that neither the companies nor the state have revealed the accidents troubles some who say the public should have information to monitor the rollout of technology that its own developers acknowledge is imperfect.

Another patent that can't possibly be valid. Can it? (Digest Item #3)
Amazon Wins Patent for Drone Deliveries
Amazon has been granted a patent for delivering products using drones, and the patent reveals new details about how Amazon Prime Air will work. Unfortunately for Amazon, being granted a patent is only half the battle, and the company still has to figure out how to persuade the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to let it fly drones across the country.
The patent reveals that Amazon will employ a range of different drones to carry packages of varying shapes and weights. These drones will communicate with each other about the weather and flying conditions, and use a range of cameras and sensors to both avoid crashing and to find suitable landing sites.
Customers will be able to direct the drones to various locales, including their home, their place of work, or even their boat. Because we all own boats, obviously.

Perspective. “Good enough” has different meanings for different (old? anti-tech? Lazy?) people.
2.1 million people in the US still use the Internet like it is 1995
In an age where the average US broadband speed is 11.4 Mbps, some 2.1 million people in the country are still using the decades old AOL dial-up to connect to the Internet.
AOL reported the mind puzzling number in its quarterly earnings last week. About 70 per cent of Americans use broadband that is 200 times faster than AOL's dial-up. However, it seems AOL loyalists prefer to experience the Web like it is 1995.
… Despite the turtle-pace, AOL customers are still paying $20/month on an average for the service, CNN Money reports. The service says that its 2.1 million dial-up customers include some subscribers who are paying reduced monthly fees, and some on free trials.

For our Linux students? Cheaper than a textbook!
CHIP: The $9 Computer
A new entry into the Ultra-Compact computer market squeezes a fully-capable Linux computer into your pocket for just pocket change. At $9, the CHIP from Next Thing Co. uses purchasing volume and lessons learned from the first generation of Ultra-Compact computers to reduce the cost of this newest addition to the ultra-compact computer landscape. The Kickstarter hit its goal quickly and is still skyrocketing as it sits over ten times that goal after just a few days. While no heavyweight, it can manage a surprising number of desktop tasks including HD video and 3D gaming.

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