Friday, July 10, 2015

Unfortunately, not that unusual. If you don't have control of your records it should be no surprise that you can't quickly determine what was taken in a breach.
Millions more Americans hit by government personnel data hack
Data breaches at the U.S. government's personnel management agency by hackers, with suspicions centering on China, involves millions more people than previously estimated, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) said data stolen from its computer networks included Social Security numbers and other sensitive information on 21.5 million people who have undergone background checks for security clearances.
That is in addition to data on about 4.2 million current and former federal workers that was stolen in what the OPM called a "separate but related" hacking incident. Because many people were affected by both hacks, a total of 22.1 million people were affected, or almost 7 percent of the U.S. population.

(Related) Amusing, but offers no solution.
… “It is outrageous that the personal information of at least 21.5 million individuals has been compromised as a result of an extensive cyber-attack at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Despite knowing that its files contained highly sensitive personal data such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, and in some cases, extensive background information, OPM officials ignored repeated warnings from its own Inspector General about the vulnerability of its computer systems.
“It is also unacceptable that OPM officials for weeks maintained that only 4.2 million Americans were affected, disputing the FBI’s assertion that the real number was 18 million. Today, we finally learn from OPM that the accurate number is many times the 4.2 million and even higher than that initially estimated by the FBI. In the latest statement, OPM officials implausibly assert that ‘There is no information at this time to suggest any misuse or further dissemination of the information that was stolen from OPM’s systems.’ That incredible statement, which implies that the perpetrators of this lengthy and extensive attack have no intention of using the stolen data, suggests that OPM has yet to come to grips with the gravity of this cyber-attack.”
SOURCE: Senator Susan Collins
[I couldn't find it here, perhaps that is deliberate?

Yesterday, this was a “Configuration Issue.” Software could control the network configuration, but typically we add in controls that flag problems and are ready to back out bad changes. (In fact we test changes before installing them, but that's a rant for another day.)
NYSE blames software update for three-hour trading halt
… “On Tuesday evening, the NYSE began the rollout of a software release in preparation for the July 11 industry test of the upcoming SIP timestamp requirement,” the exchange said in a trader alert.
… It was determined that the NYSE and NYSE MKT customer gateways were not loaded with the proper configuration compatible with the new release.”

A mere 15 million got their attention? I don't believe it. What are we not seeing?
Janene Van Jaarsveldt reports:
Google has improved its privacy policy after the Dutch Data Protection Authority threatened the company with a 15 million euro fine, the Authority reported on Thursday.
According to the Authority, Google has already applied a number of the suggested measures, AD reports. The internet giant has updated the information on its privacy policy and now also asks new users’ permission to combine their personal data throughout Google services.
Google’s not totally out of the woods yet, though. Read more on NL Times.
A statement on the Dutch Data Protection Authority site explains:
As a result of an incremental penalty payment imposed by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (Dutch DPA) Google has partly ended earlier established infringements on the privacy of individuals.
… The results of the investigation by the Dutch DPA, which were published earlier, showed that Google combines personal data of internet users, to, amongst others, display personal ads. This combining occurred without Google adequately informing the users in advance and without the company asking for their consent. This is in violation of the law.

Perspective. Computers are so last century.
PC sales are imploding
… On Wednesday, Gartner and IDC both published estimates for PC shipments in Q2 of 2015 — and it makes for unpleasant reading for hardware vendors.

(Related) Perhaps a business model that allows you to access ancient (older than 3 years) technologies?
How to Play DVDs & Blu-Rays on Windows 10, Even Without a DVD Drive
With the removal of Windows Media Center from Windows 8, and the pulling of support for the software in Windows 10, it has suddenly become more difficult to play DVD and Blu-ray discs on your computer.
… fewer devices are sold with built-in DVD drives, and those that are can usually be described as high-end desktop PCs with Blu-ray support. Very few laptops (notebooks and ultrabooks) ship with optical drives; the battery requirements for spinning the disc and moving the laser, as well as the amount of space the drives take up make optical drives a prime candidate for removal from the design of portable computers.
… Isn’t It Time to Abandon Physical Media?
The lack of optical drives in new computers is a symbol of changing habits, a trend that Microsoft has noticed. If you still use optical drives, now might be the time to consider creating and using virtual discs, software images that can be played back on your computer without the requirement for an optical disc or drive.

(Related) Popular so far...
Poll: Smartphone users stay connected entire waking life
More than eight in 10 U.S. smartphone owners report keeping their device near them during their entire waking day, and a majority report checking their phone multiple times per hour, according to a new survey.
A Gallup poll released Thursday confirms the trend of increasing smartphone use as the government seeks to free up more spectrum, or airwaves that help connect mobile devices to one another.

'cause it's good to know the law?
Open Access Law Reviews and Commentary MetaSearch
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 9, 2015
Via Lyonette Louis-Jacques, thanks to the work of Annette Demers – we all have access to this Open Access Law Reviews and Legal Commentary Meta Search which searches sites that include the following:
  • BePress Law Commons Network
  • BePress Law School Institutional Repositories
  • Centre d’accès a l’information juridique (CAIJ)
  • Cornell Law School Working Papers Series
  • Directory of Open Access Journals – Law
  • European Integration Online Papers
  • European Research Papers Archive
  • International Review of the Red Cross
  • JurisBistro
  • Law Review Commons
  • New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO) Legal Scholarship Repository, including Harvard (DASH), Columbia (Academic Commons) and New York University (Faculty Digital Archive
  • WorldLII – International Legal Scholarship Library

After so much hype, will this be a major let down?
The first chapter of Harper Lee's new novel, 'Go Set A Watchman,' is out — here's a taste
… The first chapter of "Go Set A Watchman" has been published by The Guardian and boasts the instantly recognisable low-key style of story-telling that was emblematic of "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Warning: There are spoilers ahead. Stop reading now if you want to enjoy the book without ruining the surprises.

This is more my style, SciFi! I wonder what other wonders have been hidden in Cuba all these years?
Like Science Fiction? Cuba's Best Writers Now Published In English
… can one Cuban author boldly go where none have gone before and inspire American readers?
Heavy metal rocker turned science fiction writer José Miguel Sánchez (known for his pen name, Yoss) believes he can. Restless Books translated and published his novel "A Planet for Rent" for the first time in the United States. Science fiction fans, especially those attending the San Diego Comic-Con (running July 9-12), will be interested in the way Yoss addresses important questions about the future: Who are we? What does it matter to be human? And, what is our place in the universe?
… Restless Books, which was founded by the noted Mexican-American author, essayist and Amherst professor Ilan Stavans, also published the Cuban science fiction classic "A Legend of the Future". The author, the late Agustín de Rojas, is considered one of the fathers of Cuban science fiction.
The novel, a space mission to Saturn's moon Titan which has gone terribly wrong, is often compared by fans with Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Something we should add to our Office courses?
How to Add Features to Microsoft Office with Office Apps
Apps are a popular way for developers to add functionality to software programs. In both Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 365, you can download and install apps created by third-party developers to extend the productivity suites' usefulness. Some apps work only in one program—such as Excel—while others operate across multiple programs.
… To find apps, open one of the Office programs—such as Microsoft Word—click the Insert tab and, in the Apps group, click the Store icon to open the store dialog box. If that icon's grayed out, it means you have either a document open in Compatibility Mode or one that's saved in the older .doc format. You can also access the Office Store using a Web browser.
The Office Store displays the apps available for the program that you're using so, if you're using Word it will show only apps designed for Word.

For my students.
6 Free Android Math Apps to Help You Survive Math Class
… In fact, the reality is that calculators are so 1990s. Smartphones are rendering them increasingly obsolete.

Sorry, I had no advanced notice. I'll put it on my calendar for next year.
Krispy Kreme 78-cent donut day: Buy a dozen, get a dozen for 78 cents on Krispy Kreme's 78th birthday
… Krispy Kreme is celebrating its 78th year in business today, July 10, by offering a dozen glazed donuts for 78 cents at participating shops in the United States and Canada.
The only thing is, you have another dozen other donuts (of any variety) to get the 78-cents-a-dozen offer.

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