Sunday, June 21, 2015

This could help me develop my role-playing game for my Computer Forensics students.
Unmasked: How Police Beat Shakespearean Cyber Thieves
Gal Frishman scours the Internet looking for things most people try to avoid — malicious bits of software sent out to spy or steal. On Aug. 25, 2011, sitting at his desk in Tel Aviv, he found something he’d never seen before.
It was a banking Trojan, designed to sneak into a computer and drain your bank account. This one had peculiar survival instinct. It could hide or play dead, giving the impression it had been deleted only to re-install itself later.
… By 2014, Shylock had infected more than 100,000 computers, mostly in the U.K., but also in the U.S. and Italy. The malware was transferring millions of pounds a year from unwitting bank customers to the Russian-speaking gang of computer nerds who created it. A BAE Systems report in 2013 called Shylock “one of the most sophisticated and fastest growing threats posed by cybercriminals today.”
… Operation Disputed, the first malware takedown led by Europeans, began on July 8, 2014, at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, Holland. This is its story.

Just in time for my IT Governance class, a wonderful example of the “foreverness” of anything on the Internet.
Heinz QR porn code too saucy for ketchup customer
… The code, which people can scan using a smartphone in order to access content online, was supposed to direct browsers to a site where users could design their own label for a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup Hot, as part of a promotion by the company.
Instead, the URL was hosting porn.
… He said he believed he bought the bottle recently, but that the registration of the URL had lapsed because the related promotion had ended.
… "It seems [Heinz] failed to renew their registration of the domain name, so it slipped out of their hands and was snatched up by an opportunistic porn site.
"Maybe in future they'll think of redirecting any customers via, rather than directly to a custom site for a specific campaign."

Good, bad and creepy? Eventually, you plumber will know your bathroom schedule. Still, this would be a nice feature if I was the only one that saw the data.
Nexia Home Intelligence says its free service can predict heating-and-air system problems
Nexia Home Intelligence is offering a new opt-in advanced diagnostic service that allows your local dealer to remotely monitor your home’s heating and cooling setup. Should there be a problem with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, you’ll see an alert on your Trane or American Standard Wi-Fi enabled thermostat. Your local installer will also be notified, so they can proactively call you to schedule a service appointment.

Interesting. Perhaps we should start writing childrens' book style, no more than 6 words per page. Or perhaps one line of a limerick per page? (Do you think anyone will notice how much your Kindle is telling Amazon about your reading habits?)
What If Authors Were Paid Every Time Someone Turned a Page?
… Soon, the maker of the Kindle is going to flip the formula used for reimbursing some of the authors who depend on it for sales. Instead of paying these authors by the book, Amazon will soon start paying authors based on how many pages are read—not how many pages are downloaded, but how many pages are displayed on the screen long enough to be parsed.
… A system with per-page payouts is a system that rewards cliffhangers and mysteries across all genres. It rewards anything that keeps people hooked, even if that means putting less of an emphasis on nuance and complexity.

An interesting article for my Data Analysis students. Shouldn't this be how all review systems work?
Amazon Wants New Customer Reviews System To Be More Helpful And Gain Your Trust: Here's How
… The new system is currently being rolled out, and while it may not make much of a difference initially, as it goes it will start sorting reviews, giving more value to newer ones and those made by verified Amazon customers.
… One of the great things about the new system is that it will learn which reviews are more helpful over time, hopefully becoming more useful as time goes on.
"The enhanced system will use a machine-learned model to give more weight to newer, more helpful reviews from Amazon customers. The system will continue to learn which reviews are most helpful to customers and improve the experience over time," said an Amazon spokesperson.

I'll be very curious to see if this flys. A $600, it's almost as much as an entry level DSLR. Are they counting on people relying on their phones? Should the camera manufacturers add a phone to their options?
DxO ONE turns your iOS device into a DSLR
… With the DxO ONE, I could have a DSLR-quality camera that’s small enough to fit in my pocket. You just pop out its Lightning adapter and plug it into the iPhone or iPad, and the ONE uses the iOS device and its app as the viewfinder and user interface for the 20.2MP DxO ONE camera.

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