Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Congress might finally take some action. Lots of them are old enough to need drug pumps, pacemakers, etc. The FDA hasn't looked at this new technology seriously. I wonder how the manufacturers justify the liability risk?
Researcher warns drug pumps could be hacked to give fatal dose
A researcher says a line of IV drug pumps can be remotely hacked to deliver an incorrect, and possibly fatal, dosage of drugs to patients.
Security researcher Billy Rios told Wired that a range of pumps from manufacturer Hospira, including one line that the company stopped selling in 2013, include a flaw that allows someone to alter the device’s software to change the dosage.
Hospira is able to update the pumps’ firmware, but Rios says the devices aren’t able to recognize the difference between an update from the manufacturer or from another party. He also said a hacker could make it look as though the pump was still delivering the correct dosage of the drug.
… He also says he told Hospira about the flaw in one of the lines of pumps allowing hackers to deliver an incorrect dosage a year ago, but the company said it was not a problem. He then tested other pumps produced by the company. The Food and Drug Administration released an alert last month about vulnerabilities in the line of pumps that Rios says he warned the company about last year.

But is it still spreading?
Stuxnet Still Present in Some Organizations: Researchers
The notorious Stuxnet malware is still actively running on some computers and while the threat cannot be controlled by the original attackers, its presence demonstrates the weak security posture of these organizations.
Stuxnet, reportedly developed by the United States and Israel, is a worm designed to target industrial systems. The malware became known as the world’s first cyber weapons after it caused serious damage at Iranian nuclear facilities.
Now, five years after it was first discovered, Stuxnet infections still exist, according to Czech Republic-based security firm Kleissner & Associates, which operates the botnet monitoring system Virus Tracker.
In a paper published last week, titled “Internet Attacks Against Nuclear Power Plants,” the company provided some Stuxnet-related statistics from Virus Tracker. Kleissner & Associates has the ability to monitor Stuxnet infections because it has acquired two of the command and control (C&C) domains used by the worm and pointed them to Virus Tracker sinkhole servers.
According to Kleissner, there were at least 153 unique machines infected with Stuxnet in 2013 and 2014. Nearly half of these infections were traced back to Iran, but some infected devices had also been spotted in India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and China.

This is what happens when you let computers vote! (You have no constitutional right to drive.)
Poll: 1 in 4 Americans Supports Laws Restricting Human-Driven Cars
Never mind those occasional fender-benders, humans. Face it. Robots are better drivers than you because they don’t drive drunk, they don’t do drugs, they don’t doze off and they don’t get distracted.
… Removing humans from the driving equation might sound scary, but it seems more Americans could be warming up to the Jetson-esque idea. Some are even in favor of laws that would limit people driving cars, if the results of a poll recently conducted by the Ferenstein Wire, via Google Survey, are any indication.
Per the notably unscientific Internet-based poll, 27 percent of those surveyed -- more than one in four -- support laws restricting human-driven vehicles. In other words, they would be okay with giving up their right to drive in order to pave the way for possibly safer computer-driven cars.

There are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roads each year. Here’s how to stop them.
There are about 1.7 million rear-end collisions on U.S. roadways each year. About 1,7000 people die in those collisions and another 500,000 are hurt.
Many of those most-common-of-all car accidents could be avoided if auto makers begin making collision avoidance systems standard equipment in their vehicles, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a recommendation issued Monday.

Enough of these and you have a zone of barrage balloons. Makes it hard for me to fly my drones safely.
CDOT launching blimp to monitor I-25 traffic in Denver area
The Colorado Department of Transportation is launching a helium-filled "half-blimp, half-kite" above Interstate 25 on Tuesday for a three-day trial to see how well it monitors traffic, officials said.
The 1,600-cubic-foot device, called a SkySentry, will be tethered above I-25 and 70th Avenue and will use cameras to assess traffic conditions, CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said Monday.
Law enforcement agencies and other groups have used the device for monitoring, Ford said, but CDOT is the first department to use it for traffic-monitoring purposes.

Speaking of drones... Many NFL stadiums have overhead cameras that run on wires, but college and high school football programs will no doubt want this technology. (Perhaps I could write an App to turn players into little X's and O's to match the playbook?)
NFL team using drone to film practice
The National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys are using a drone to record footage of their practice sessions, ESPN reports.
The team uses the drone to capture footage directly overhead players in an attempt to supplement existing aerial cameras in other areas of its practice field, according to the report.

For my Risk Management students. Notice that TSA can not protect US infrastructure from “rouge bull squirrels.” Fortunately, they are not well organized.
Squirrel knocks out power to thousands in San Francisco bay area
… PG&E spokesman J.D. Guidi told the Contra Costa Times that power was down in cities east of San Francisco, including Berkeley and Oakland, on Monday night after a squirrel "impacted equipment" at the El Cerrito substation. He gave no details

For my students, all of whom seem to need it.
Skype Translator coming as app, Microsoft wants you to speak in 4 languages
Microsoft has announced that its Skype Translator, which can allow people to speak and understand 4 languages in real time, will be coming to computers as an app by the end of July.
… Skype Translator is a tool that integrates with Skype, a popular VoIP app that allows people to make voice and video calls using internet. With the Translator, according to Microsoft, people can talk to others in four languages -- Italian, Spanish, Mandarin and English. So for example if they you are an Indian and wants to talk to a Spanish person who doesn't know English, you can use the Translator feature. You can speak in English and it will be translated into Spanish in real time.
Skype Translator was first announced in December 2014. It was available to users through a web page. But now with Microsoft coming out with an app, more people will be comfortable using it.

I sense a challenge for my students!
These 5 SMS Services Offer You the Internet Without a Data Plan
… Today Cool Websites and Apps outlines services that take advantage of SMS to give you access to web services without actually connecting to the Internet. Call it the offline web.
Whether you’re hoping to make your dumb phone smart or just save money on your phone bill by ditching mobile data entirely, these apps give you access to information without the need for Internet access – thanks to SMS.

Send in the geeks! Some of my students will love this, others will see it as just another language to learn.
Swift Goes Open Source
Among all the talk about watch faces, music streaming and iOS 9 many failed to grab a hold of perhaps the biggest story of the day. Last year Apple introduced Swift, a revolutionary new programming language that makes it easy to get started programming, removing the reliance on Objective-C and simplifying much of the process involved in turning raw code into finished apps.
Despite a massive surge of interest, many were concerned that developing with Swift would see them hemmed-in to Apple’s ecosystem. Apple just burst that bubble by announcing that the language is to be made open source (“later this year”), providing all developers full access to Swift’s inner workings regardless of platform. It’s worth pointing out you’ll still need to pay the $99 developer fee to get your app listed on the App Store, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build Swift apps for another platform completely free of charge.
We think Swift is the next big programming language, the one that we’ll all be doing application and system programming on for 20 years to come,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering. It’s also been updated to version 2.0, with an assortment of improvements and tools for porting your old Swift 1.2 code.

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