Wednesday, July 15, 2015

If this relates to the January 2015 breach, what does it say about their confidence in their security going forward? Probably not much difference in the cost for the 80 million breached and all 106 million “members” given that many will not bother to opt in. (But if you leave, we'll toss you to the wolves!)
John George reports:
Independence Blue Cross, the Philadelphia region’s largest health insurer, said Tuesday it will offer identity protection services — at no charge to eligible members and their dependents — starting Jan. 1, 2016.
The action was part of the national Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s announcement that Blue plans across the country will make such services available to their 106 million members throughout the United States.
The Association’s press release follows:
… The new offering will be made available on an opt-in basis to all eligible* members for as long as they have a Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance policy in effect.

A law to “force” management to do its job?
Neil Ford explains:
Germany has passed a new IT security law requiring critical infrastructure institutions to implement minimum information security practices or face fines of up to €100.000.
The new law, which was drafted last August, was passed by the Bundestag last month and has now been passed by Germany’s upper house, the Bundesrat.
It gives more than 2,000 essential service providers two years to comply with the new requirements, which include achieving certification to cyber security standards and obtaining clearance from the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). The BSI itself will be expanded to cover new obligations, which include evaluating reports of possible cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.
Read more on IT Governance.

Making you a “Thing” on the Internet of Things?
Eddystone beacons let Google pinpoint exactly where you stand
… Dubbed Eddystone (apparently after a U.K. lighthouse), the project is a cross-platform answer to Apple's iBeacon technology that arrived in 2013. It allows small beacon devices to detect when a phone, smartwatch, or other Bluetooth-enabled device comes within close range, in turn triggering a specific action. [The assumption is that a real person carries these devices. Bob]
Google offers a few examples of how this might be useful: When you arrive at a bus stop, you might get a notification informing you of any delays, and when you sit down on your couch, your phone might instantly display what's on TV. A beacon-equipped cat collar could deliver the owner's contact information, and a restaurant could show you its menu as you walk by. Bluetooth beacons allow for much greater accuracy than Wi-Fi and GPS alone, locating devices that are as close as a few centimeters away.

Is this true for Universities as well? I think it might be.
Infographic: Transforming the Digital Enterprise
Findings from a new 2015 global report on digital business, by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, indicate that strategy, not technology, is driving digital transformation. The report, “Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation,” is based on a survey of more than 4,800 business executives, managers and analysts from organizations around the world.

“It's easy to make money once you get rid of all those pesky lawyers!” And you wouldn't need the lawyers if you had done a better job of managing your business.
Bank of America profit more than doubles as legal costs drop
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, reported its biggest quarterly profit in nearly four years on Wednesday as its legal costs dropped sharply, driving expenses down to their lowest since 2008.
… The bank's profit in the year-earlier quarter was dragged down by $4 billion of legal expenses linked to mortgage disputes stemming from the financial crisis. Litigation expenses fell to $175 million in the latest quarter.

Big Data: If the Library of Congress can't handle a mere 500,000,000,000 Tweets their IT Department is in much worse shape than I thought. What else are they missing? (Where else are they failing?)
Twitter archive project at LC deemed a failure
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 14, 2015
Politico: “In the spring of 2010, the Library of Congress announced it was taking a big stride toward preserving the nation’s increasingly digital heritage — by acquiring Twitter’s entire archive of tweets and planning to make it all available to “How Tweet It Is!” the library said in an exuberant blog post, which generated fanfare from tech sites, the mainstream media, librarian blogs and, of course, Twitter. For the two-century-old library, it was evidence that even an institution that traces its heritage to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson can break new ground in social media. But more than five years later, the project is in limbo. The library is still grappling with how to manage an archive that amounts to something like half a trillion tweets. And the researchers are still waiting. [Note – I respectfully declined to participate in this program when contacted – I have over 35,000 postings on with exponentially more links therein – extrapolate on the breath of the LC project and the number of blogs that simply go silent – I am not one of course. When I stop you will know I have departed this earth, and not for another planet!]

Like all “Free” software...
This Is How Microsoft Can Monetize Windows 10

Perspective. Once upon a time, you picked up the phone and called your friend at the local paper. Now you can target hundreds of journalist with a single Ad. Call it e-Politics?
Rand Paul's campaign targeting reporters with Twitter ads
Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) 2016 presidential campaign uses Twitter’s advertising tools to directly target messages at certain journalists, an aide said Tuesday.
“If something’s breaking and we really need to get it out there, we’ve created a list that we’ve uploaded into Twitter’s ad platform of journalists,” Chief Digital Strategist Vincent Harris said at an event put on by Twitter for political advertisers and operatives.
… Twitter has a relatively small reach, with just over 300 million active users compared with more than 1.4 billion at Facebook. But its popularity in political circles has made it a potent tool for campaigns to reach out to individuals they view as disproportionately influential.
“We have even created lists of journalists in early primary states, working with the communications team,” Harris said. “And it’s a really good cheap, effective, targeted way to get a piece of content out there in front of people that you want to see it — journalists who are going to help with their megaphone push a piece of content out further.”

For psychology students, when they get off their smartphones.
Extreme Digital Addiction Is Destroying Kids’ Lives Around the Globe
According to The Conversation, it was back in 2006 that the American Journal of Psychiatry pushed for digital addiction to be more formally recognized. Since then, plenty of research on the topic of effects, recognition, and treatment of digital addiction, has been conducted by specialists in various fields.

I try to teach my Excel students to avoid these. Really try.
Your Excel Skills Suck
… If you picked up your Excel skills on the fly, the last thing you want to do is advertise your lack of knowledge.
We'll show you five typical Excel behaviors that tell the world your Excel skills suck. And because we're not heartless, we'll show you how to avoid them.

Apps for Office. I have selected a few we should be showing our students.
App Awards Winners 2015
Powerful solution to embed legally binding signatures into documents with a few clicks, then share. Apps for Outlook, Word, SharePoint and Office 365. Drag & drop interface, robust web back end.
Highly interactive and engaging handwriting-based mathematics app designed for teachers and students. Enables users to easily create, solve, and graph math and physics formulas on their touch-screen device.
Highlights variances and exceptions in Microsoft Project Online and Project Server environments. Interactive dashboard allows project managers to better identify problem areas and resource bottlenecks.

Global warming! Global warming! Won't Al Gore be pissed?
A 'mini ice age' is coming in the next 15 years

(Related) Then again, maybe not.
No, Earth is not heading toward a ‘mini ice age’

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