Thursday, July 30, 2015

What is the FBI really telling us? Should we assume they have all the other social networks covered? They need more money for Social Network Analysts? People who make good analysts would rather work for Twitter?
Exclusive: FBI Says Twitter Needs to Do More to Combat Terrorism
Twitter isn’t doing enough to stop ISIS and other terrorists, FBI officials in Washington, D.C. tell FOX Business. Twitter “needs to do more in setting up teams to troll, monitor and review all terrorist-related tweets and content. It needs to build up its budget for these teams and let these teams grow even bigger,” an FBI official tells FBN.
... “Authorities can request the info” on terrorist activity a Twitter spokesman tells FBN, but adds, “Like all of our technology industry peers, we do not proactively monitor content."
Yesterday, Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said ISIS should be banned from Twitter and the Internet. "We have got to shut down their internet presence, which is posing the principal threat to us," the former U.S. secretary of state said.
… FBI Director James Comey testified before Senate Intelligence on July 8 that social media concerns do voluntarily report to law enforcement when they catch terrorist activity. "I do find in practice they are pretty good about telling us what they see," the director had said. But there is a sentiment inside the FBI that Twitter could do more.

(Related) Perspective. (Digest Item #1)
Facebook Is Still Growing
Facebook is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate, with 1.49 billion people now using the site on a monthly basis. This figure, correct up to June 30th, represents a 13 percent year-on-year increase in the number of users during the second quarter of 2015.
As BBC News points out, with around 3 billion people estimated to be online, Facebook is used by half of the whole population of the Internet. Which is no mean feat. More impressive still is that fact that almost 1 billion of those people use Facebook every single day.
There have been several times when it seemed an implosion was imminent at Facebook, with people angry at changes being made and searching for a viable alternative. But no such alternative has ever arrived. Sure, Google+ has its fans, but Ello utterly failed to impress.
The result is that Facebook continues to go from strength to strength, adding users and growing revenues. At this point in time I’m not sure the Facebook juggernaut can be stopped, so perhaps the 1.5 billion holdouts should just succumb to its lure.

Legally right, tactically very very wrong.
Peter Howe reports:
Embattled New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has undoubtedly created a public relations disaster for himself with new reports that he had the smartphone he was using during the “Deflategate” saga destroyed, apparently hours before he was called before Deflategate investigator Ted Wells.
But as a member of a powerful labor union using a personal phone, not one issued by his employer, Brady appeared to be on solid ground legally tossing the “broken Samsung.”
Read more on NECN.

For all my students!
How to Encrypt and Set a SIM Card Lock on Any Mobile Device
Encrypting your data is (in most cases) so simple that not bothering is more or less an open invitation to thieves and scammers to steal your data and profit from it.

For my Ethical Hacking students.
Learn ethical hacking and session hijacking on Pluralsight

Does Colorado's “Make my day” law apply? (Can I use my heat seeking missile armed “Interceptor” drone?)
Cyrus Farivar reports:
The way William Merideth sees it, it’s pretty clear-cut: a drone flying over his backyard was a well-defined invasion of privacy, analogous to a physical trespassing.
Not knowing who owned it, the Kentucky man took out his shotgun and fired three blasts of Number 8 birdshot to take the drone out.
The Kentuckian was arrested Sunday evening in Hillview, Kentucky, just south of Louisville and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.
Read more on Ars Technica.

The geography of the Internet.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a luncheon honoring winners for best of the 2014-2015 Call for Papers by the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) at its annual conference. It featured Just Security‘s own Jen Daskal for her excellent paper, The Un-Territoriality of Data, which is forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal.
… A link to Jen’s article can be found here.

Perspective. Health is expensive. This system may be cheap, late and ultimately useless.
Pentagon Awards $4.3 Billion Contract to Modernize Health Records
The Pentagon on Wednesday awarded a $4.3 billion contract to modernize its health-records system to a team led by Leidos Holdings Inc. and Cerner Corp. the biggest federal information-technology project since the troubled rollout of the insurance exchange in 2013.
The highly coveted project is expected to take seven years to transfer records of 9.6 million military personnel from a fragmented patchwork that still includes paper files to a single electronic system.
The contract has attracted controversy because of the … Pentagon’s reliance on a proprietary supplier of health records to private hospitals rather than an Internet-based system that can be upgraded more regularly.
… “This is really not an IT project, it’s a business transformation project,” Dave Bowen, chief information officer for the Pentagon’s Military Health System said in an interview earlier this year.
… Health care accounts for around 10% of the Pentagon’s total budget compared with 6% in 2000, and costs have more than doubled over that period, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
… “The business rationale that the Pentagon is using probably will produce sub-standard results,” said Loren Thompson at the Lexington Institute, a think tank part-funded by big defense companies.

Perspective. Will this spread to other industries?
Lufthansa CFO believes other airlines will follow with GDS charge
Lufthansa believes other airlines will follow its strategy of imposing a fee on bookings made via third-party sites, part of plans to try to direct more customers to its own website and offer them tailor-made tickets, it said on Thursday.
Lufthansa will impose a 16 euro surcharge on bookings made using global distribution systems (GDS) from Sept 1. It is seen as a risky move, given that the German airline sells around 70 percent of its tickets via third party channels using GDSs from providers such as Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre.

You might want one of these (kept in the original package) for your grandchildren. I suspect they will be replaced very quickly by a generic version that knows where you are by talking to things on the Internet of Things, and replacing this hardware with software. But first, you might see them come in the package like a prize in Cracker Jack.
Amazon starts selling quick-buy Dash Buttons for $5 each
Amazon's Dash Buttons, interesting little devices that allows you to easily order household items by simply pressing a button, are now available to Amazon Prime members for just $4.99 each.
When Amazon first announced the Dash Buttons on March 31 this year, many suspected the strange product was an April Fools' Day gag. However that's clearly not the case, with Dash Buttons expected to reach the doorsteps of Prime Members who buy them by July 31st.
There are currently 18 Dash Buttons available, most of which cover cleaning product brands such as Tide, Glad, Cottonelle and Bounty, although you can get Buttons that quickly send you more Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Gatorade, or Gillette razors.

Trust your politicians?
Here's Our Tally of Donald Trump's Wealth
… The celebrity presidential candidate says he’s worth more than $10 billion.
… Last month, Trump released a summary of his net worth as of June 30, 2014, which calculated his fortune at $8.7 billion, including $3.3 billion for the value of his name.
… Based on an analysis that included the candidate's 92-page personal financial disclosure form, his wealth is closer to $2.9 billion.

(Related) Should you trust the local sports team?
No, every person on Earth did not read about the 2014 Redskins training camp
… With the help of third-party media monitoring services Meltwater and TVEyes, the team put out a fancy 13-page report on its findings. That report determined, among other things, that there were “7,845,460,401 unique visitors of print/online coverage of the 2014 Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp from July 24-Aug. 12.”
That’s a big number. To put it in perspective, that’s considerably more than the population of Earth, which the Census Bureau estimates at 7.26 billion.

For my Computer Science students. Note that neither the CIA nor the NSA are mentioned. Why is the FBI separate from DHS?
Obama's New Executive Order Says the US Must Build an Exascale Supercomputer
President Obama has established a new initiative across multiple government agencies that will focus entirely on creating the fastest supercomputers ever devised. The National Strategic Computing Initiative will attempt to build the first ever exascale computer, which would be more than 30 times faster than today's fastest supercomputer, according to an executive order issued Wednesday.
The initiative will primarily be a partnership between the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation, which will be designing supercomputers primarily for use by NASA, the FBI, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, and NOAA. Each of those agencies will be allowed to provide input during the early stages of the development of these new computers.

For my International students (and me)
See the world in your language with Google Translate
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 29, 2015
Google Blog: “The Google Translate app already lets you instantly visually translate printed text in seven languages. Just open the app, click on the camera, and point it at the text you need to translate—a street sign, ingredient list, instruction manual, dials on a washing machine. [Class assignments Bob] You’ll see the text transform live on your screen into the other language. No Internet connection or cell phone data needed. Today, we’re updating the Google Translate app again—expanding instant visual translation to 20 more languages (for a total of 27!), and making real-time voice translations a lot faster and smoother—so even more people can experience the world in their language.”

Because I missed the live versions.
Three Webinar Recordings - Blogger, Google Drive, and YouTube
Last week I presented three webinars on behalf of Simple K12. If you couldn't attend the live sessions, you can now access the recordings through Simple K12.
Click the links below to access the webinar recordings and hand-outs.

Short notice. Sorry. I think this is free.
VACCINE Webinar Focuses on Decision-Making and Counter Terrorism
“The most significant aspect of terrorism that we’ll see evolve in the coming years is ideological based terrorism … Once you identify the ideology, you can then identify the causes, the roots, the underpinnings of that ideology – and that is going to determine the counter terrorism measures to utilize,” stated Dr. James Hess, Faculty Director & Associate Professor of Intelligence & Terrorism Studies at American Military University (AMU).
Dr. Hess is co-presenting the upcoming VACCINE Center series of counter terrorism-based webinars, co-sponsored by Purdue University and AMU.
Established in July 2009 in partnership with Purdue University, VACCINE is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center of Excellence in Visual and Data Analytics. Its mission focuses on creating methods, tools, and applications to analyze and manage vast amounts of information for all mission-critical areas of homeland security in the most efficient manner.
The first webinar, “Decision-Making and Counter Terrorism: How the Visual Analytics of Data Can Help Save Lives” is scheduled for July 31, 2015.
Anyone interested in registering for the first seminar, may still do so by clicking here.

You were warned!
Angry Birds 2 Now Available for Android and iOS

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