Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Will the FTC go after Target for inadequate security?
Evan Ramstad reports:
The Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to penalize Target Corp. for the 2013 cyberattack that led to the exposure of data for millions of the retailer’s customers, the company said Tuesday.
The agency was one of several governmental entities to investigate the company in the wake of the attack, one of the largest against a U.S. company.
In its quarterly results document, filed with the SEC and published by the agency on the Internet for investors to see, Target said the investigation ended during the May-to-July period. It said the SEC “does not intend to recommend an enforcement action against us.”
Read more on Star Tribune.

As a Security Manager, you could panic or drop out and become a hacker.
Juliet Williams of AP reports:
Many California state agencies are not complying with the state’s information technology standards, leaving them vulnerable to a major security breach of sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, health information or tax returns, the state auditor reported Tuesday.
“Our review found that many state entities have weaknesses in their controls over information security. These weaknesses leave some of the state’s sensitive data vulnerable to unauthorized use, disclosure, or disruption,” Auditor Elaine Howle wrote in the report.
Related files for “High Risk Update— Information Security” audit:

Just keeping investors informed requires some serious analytics.
Twitter questioned by SEC on user stats
The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year asked Twitter about its decision to stop reporting "timeline views", a longtime metric to measure user engagement, according to documents released on Monday.
Twitter decided in April to stop reporting timeline views — the number of visits, timeline refreshes and searches on the site — because it says that changes in its offerings rendered the metric unnecessary.
The SEC asked then-CEO Dick Costolo whether the company would publicly release new ways to measure engagement with the service in an April letter released Monday and reported by The Wall Street Journal.
“Please describe the alternative metric(s) you anticipate presenting in future filings to explain trends in user engagement and advertising services revenue,” the agency asked. “Also, please describe your reasons for choosing such metric(s).”
It also asked the company to provide data for how the number of advertisers on the platform and average revenue per advertiser broke down by “channel and geography.” The agency said that providing that information to the public could “prove informative to investors if you consider them to be material to investors’ understanding of those key factors impacting current and prospective levels of advertising services revenue."
Twitter responded in May by noting that a new filing included numbers related to how users responded to ad products and the price that ad buyers paid for those actions. The Journal reported that the SEC stopped pursuing the issue after the company’s response.

Is the Chinese government looking for people to blame?
As Markets Flail, China Investigates Large Brokerage Firms
The authorities in China have opened two investigations into the country’s biggest brokerage firms amid market turmoil.
The police are investigating eight executives from Citic Securities, China’s biggest brokerage firm, on suspicion of illegal securities trading, Xinhua, the official news agency, reported late Tuesday.
In addition, staff members from the main stock market regulator, China Securities Regulatory Commission, and a reporter were been taken into custody, Xinhua said.
The reporter, from the respected news outlet Caijing, was identified by Caijing as Wang Xiaolu and wrote an article last month that said the government was considering withdrawing its support for the stock market. [That's exactly what it looked like. Bob] The report prompted a denial from the securities regulator, but was later seen as contributing to a huge plunge in Chinese stocks in late July.

I thought you were supposed to find people in the “other party” who made the same mistakes? This makes it look like a “Democrat thing.”
Is Amb. Caroline Kennedy using private email for government business?
Senior staff at the U.S. Embassy to Japan, including Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, have used personal email accounts for official business, an internal watchdog said in a report Tuesday. Some emails contained sensitive information.
The State Department's Office of Inspector General said that it identified instances where emails labeled "sensitive but unclassified" [Better than “Top Secret” Bob] were sent from or received by personal email accounts. Department policy is that employees generally should not use such accounts for official business, the watchdog's office said.

How appropriate. Some people think they will cause crashes, Florida want's them to catch crashes.
Self-driving ‘crash’ trucks to hit Florida highways this year
The first autonomous vehicles to hit US highways will not be Google or Apple cars, but self-driving trucks – and they will be riding roads in Florida by the end of the year.
The self-driving construction vehicles, fitted with special rear-end crash barriers and lights, have been successfully demonstrated, driving using GPS waypoints and following a lead car, mimicking its path, braking and speed.
The specialised crash trucks are fitted with large signs to warn road users of the presence of workers and are used to protect construction crews resurfacing roads, painting lines, inspecting bridges or installing traffic signals.

For my IT Governance students.
FDIC Publication Focuses on the Critical Role of Corporate Governance
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 25, 2015
News release: “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today released the summer 2015 issue of Supervisory Insights. The lead article, “Strategic Planning in an Evolving Earnings Environment,” highlights the critical role of corporate governance and strategic planning in navigating a challenging operating environment. “Although the financial performance of banks is steadily improving, the operating environment remains challenging,” said Doreen R. Eberley, Director, Division of Risk Management Supervision. “Strategic planning can be a tool for an engaged bank management team to deal with tradeoffs between risk and return and promote sustainable earnings.” Another article, “Bank Investment in Securitizations: The New Regulatory Landscape in Brief,” summarizes important new requirements related to investment in securitizations as a result of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act, including potential effects on bank capital. The article also explains how an investment decision process can be structured to help a bank remain compliant with these new requirements. The “Regulatory and Supervisory Roundup” provides an overview of recently released regulations and supervisory guidance. Supervisory Insights provides a forum for discussing how bank regulation and policy are put into practice in the field, promoting sound principles and practices for bank supervision, and communicating about the emerging issues that bank supervisors face.”

Is a street eligible to be on the Internet of Things? (Is a hole a thing or a non-thing?)
Google Patents Pothole Detection System
… As first spotted by AutoBlog, Google was recently granted a patent covering a system capable of detecting road quality conditions, which in theory could allow it to deliver warnings of potholes and other road quality issues to its users.
A pothole mapping database would further enhance the already widely used Google Maps, and could also be plugged into an autonomous driving system, which Google has been extensively testing. [Imagine a self-driver swerving to avoid potholes and cops trying to pull the car over to administer a sobriety test... Bob]

If I'm thinking of buying a cheap phone, am I an “emerging market?”
Nokia 222 Is Microsoft’s $37 Phone With Month-Long Battery Life
Many have been waiting for Microsoft to launch the two high-end Lumia handsets that we keep hearing about every now and then, Microsoft has launched two new phones today but they’re far from those Lumias. The company has launched the Nokia 222 and Nokia 22 Dual SIM today, it can still use the Nokia brand so don’t get confused and start thinking that the Finland-based company is back in the game, these are cheap smartphones aimed squarely at emerging markets.

One of my students showed me this Python package.
Anaconda is a completely free Python distribution (including for commercial use and redistribution). It includes over 195 of the most popular Python packages for science, math, engineering, data analysis.

Geeky, but probably useful.
MIT Researchers Create Resilient File System That Is Impossible To Crash
You might imagine that in 2015, we'd have a plethora of file systems that could guarantee the integrity of our data in the event of a crash - but that isn't exactly the case. While there are a handful of quality file systems that are much better than others from a data integrity standpoint (ZFS being a good example), none of them can guarantee without a benefit of a doubt that when a system crashes, absolutely no data is going to be lost.
Well, except for the file system that MIT researchers have just revealed, which is set to be presented at the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles in October. The file system's researchers claim that their new file system is mathematically proven to not lose track of data in the event of a crash. While the methods will result in a performance penalty, that could be a small cost for guaranteed data integrity.
To achieve the file system's goal, its developers rely on a technique called formal verification, which can prove or disprove the intended effect of the algorithms used. Again, this is going to impact performance, as it would on any file system that has added data integrity checks.

Enquiring minds want to know...
Why People Are Drawn to Narcissists Like Donald Trump

My beer is quite near.
Too near I fear.
I'll abstain, I swear...
(At least until noon)
Booze at our door in 34 minutes: Testing Amazon’s new Prime Now alcohol delivery service
Amazon debuted one- and two-hour delivery of beer, wine and liquor in the U.S. this morning along with the launch of the Amazon Prime Now service in its hometown of Seattle. We’ve tested just about every type of delivery service at the GeekWire offices, so we thought to ourselves, why should this be an exception?
Thirty-four minutes later, we were pouring screwdrivers in the break room.

For my researching students.
Good Online Bookmarking Tools for Students

If we could do this for textbooks, I'd push it to my students who won't/can't read them. (Business opportunity?)
TuneIn takes the ads out of your on-the-go real radio
TuneIn, the site best known for streaming thousands of radio stations online, is angling to become the one-stop shop for everything you feed into your ears.
The company on Tuesday added an $8-a-month subscription that unlocks a variety of new perks: It removes the audio ads from 600 radio stations, streams audio play-by-plays from Major League Baseball and from Premier League soccer, and opens up aisles of audiobooks.
… Radio stations that stream with TuneIn already have devices in place to swap their ads on the regular broadcast with digital ads for the online one. TuneIn's commercial-free feature simply helps the programmer play a song the same length as the ad break instead.
… In audiobooks, subscribers have unlimited access to a library from publishers like Penguin Random House, HarperCollins and Scholastic, including the "Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter" series. Subscribers will also have access to 16 different language-learning programs.

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