Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Any publicity is good publicity? Can you trust any of this?
Ashley Madison Claims 'Hundreds of Thousands' of New Users Have Created Accounts in the Last Week
Extramarital affair dating site Ashley Madison's identity was based on its ability to facilitate private, discreet affairs.
Considering recent events – in which hackers exposed the personal information and account details of more than 33 million of its members – you'd think it may be time for the company to throw in the towel.
Instead, Ashley Madison just came out swinging. In a new blog post, the company suggests that in contrast to reports that the hack attack has crushed its business, things are actually going swimmingly.
"Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing," the post reads. "This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform – including 87,596 women."
The company also refuted reports that the leaked data revealed Ashley Madison's user base contained almost no real women

Data Breaches by the Numbers
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has maintained an easily searchable database of breaches from 2005 to the present, allowing us to easily track the rise and fall of data breaches.
The data is clear and powerful. First, based on the number of records compromised, breaches are on the rise. In security circles, 2014 was known colloquially as “the year of the breach.” However, 2015 almost doubled the 2014 tally of breached records, and has done so in the first eight months.
Digging deeper, we can see the source of these breaches. The first thing that stands out is that external hacking is far and away the leading source of breaches, and the percentage is growing. In 2013, external hacking accounted for 83.77 percent of the total records that were compromised. In 2014, that percentage jumped to 98.73 percent. So far in 2015, the percentage continued its rise to 99.99 percent.

Grounding the pendulum of rulings?
EFF amicus brief in SCOTUS case on seizure of historical cell site records from a cell phone provider
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 31, 2015
EFF – “Americans have the right to expect that digital records of their daily travels—when they left home, where they went, and how long they stayed—is private information, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States. Weighing in on one of the most important digital privacy rights cases of the year, EFF is asking the court to hear arguments in Davis v. U.S., a federal criminal case from Florida that examines whether police need a search warrant to obtain historical cell site location information (CSLI). These records show law enforcement which cell phone towers your phone has connected to in the past. In this case, police obtained 67 days of records about defendant Quartavious Davis without a warrant and used them to implicate him in various robberies. In the brief filed Monday, EFF and other advocacy groups argue that the ubiquity of cell phone use in this country—along with a clear increase in law enforcement demands for cell site records and conflicting court rulings about the need for search warrants—means the U.S. Supreme Court should grant review in Davis’s case.”

(Related) You mean it's not a series of pipes?
… For example, it is well-established — and generally understood — that the contents of any sealed letters or packages we send through the Postal Service are considered private, and they “can only be opened and examined under [a] warrant, issued upon [] oath or affirmation, particularly describing the thing to be seized, as is required when papers are subjected to search in one’s own household.” The only exceptions to this rule are the observations of the letter’s properties one can observe without opening it, such as its size, its weight, and the address information written on it. Can the same be said about our email? One can’t touch or otherwise physically manipulate an email message like one written on paper, but we still tend to think of email messages as a contemporary analogue to “letters.” Does it therefore follow that we have the same expectation of privacy in our email messages as we do our letters and packages?

Research tool or stalking tool?
How to get Social and Professional Info From Email Addresses with Pipl
The Pipl Search API allows you to perform people lookups using a variety of search inputs. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how to use the API to enrich the data you have of your newsletter subscribers.

Lawsuits? You know there's an App for that!
Law firm targets Google foes for private damages claims
U.S. law firm and class action specialist Hausfeld launched a platform on Tuesday to help pursue claims against Google, posing a potential headache for the world's No. 1 Internet search engine amid its regulatory troubles in Europe.
… The law firm said the Google Redress & Integrity Platform (GRIP) is aimed at those affected by alleged anti-competitive behavior by Google in Europe.
It said the platform would build on the European Commission's April charge sheet, which accuses Google of unfairly promoting its own shopping service to the disadvantage of rivals.
"GRIP offers corporations, consumers and other entities harmed by Google's anti-competitive business practices in Europe a mechanism to evaluate their potential claims," Michael Hausfeld, chairman of Hausfeld, said in a statement.

Perspective. Interesting, but I doubt it's predictive.
Which Presidential Candidate Is Winning the Tech Money Race?
It is becoming clear that the road to the White House in 2016 leads straight through Silicon Valley.
Once a bit-player in the political money game, the technology industry came in second behind the oil and gas industry among the top sources for political contributions in the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. The candidates have noticed and are courting the Valley’s wealthy tech elite.
With 435 days to go until Election Day 2016, several of the major party candidates — including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — have already made early pilgrimages to Silicon Valley, looking to drum up support and to build their campaign war chests.

Political courtesy? I have to agree with my military students – if they sent classified information over personal email they'd face a court-martial.
Hillary Clinton email scandal: Legal experts see no criminal activity thus far
Experts in government secrecy law see almost no possibility of criminal action against Hillary Clinton [That is quite different from the headline. Bob] or her top aides in connection with now-classified information sent over unsecure email while she was secretary of state, based on the public evidence thus far.

Perspective. We've gone from corporate, room-sized mainframe computers to employee owned, pocket sized computers. How do we control them?
Apple, Cisco Unveil Business Partnership
Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. are teaming up to help bring more iPhones and iPads to business users.
The partnership, announced Monday, is aimed at helping Apple’s mobile devices communicate more effectively on corporate networks where Cisco gear is widely used, the companies said. They also plan to jointly work on technology to help workers with iPhones and iPads better exploit Cisco’s collaboration products, including its video- and Web-conferencing services.

It matters to me.
Good to hear that “Why blogging still matters”
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 31, 2015
opinion | David Weinberger |Boston Globe: “…blogging went mainstream. Most media outlets now feature less formal, more personal columns either by their official columnists or by a cadre of writers who can’t be fitted into the limited space of a print newspaper or magazine. Even so, when the media refer to “bloggers,” they often mean unschooled amateurs unaffiliated with respectable publications — people who are obsessed with the trivial, full of hate, and unfamiliar with spellcheck. Yet delve into almost any field of research and you’ll find webs of bloggers joined by their common interests, whether it’s cooking, policy, or contemporary philosophy. We bloggers are still there, connecting, learning from one another, and speaking in our own flawed human voices. The leading blogging site, WordPress.com, hosts 37 million of them, although not all are personal or still active. Tumblr claims 252 million blogs and 99 billion posts, mainly short form. We’re not noticed as much outside of our webs, and we are no longer considered a “phenomenon,” but we’re there. In fact, blogs now often are where the most interesting ideas are surfaced, argued, and appropriated into a discipline’s discourse. Unlike the output in scholarly journals and magazines, in these webs of blogs we get to see ideas emerging from conversation among people sharing what in the old days we’d take as early drafts. These webs allow participation by people regardless of credentials, enabling voices to rise to their own level of credibility…” [thanks to Bob Ambrogi – grateful to hear this message and share it via my Word Press blog – and also celebrate 13 years of blogging on beSpacific.]

For my (you had better be) researching students.
NISO Launches New Primer Series with the Publication of Primer on Research Data Management
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 31, 2015
“The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has launched a new Primer Series on information management technology issues with the publication of the first primer on the topic of Research Data Management. Two more primers on the topics of Understanding Metadata and Linked Data for Cultural Institutions, respectively, will be released in coming months, with additional Primers to be published periodically. The primer on Research Data Management provides an overview of how data management has changed in recent years, and outlines best practices for the collection, documentation, and preservation of research data. The importance of creating a data management plan (DMP) before beginning a research data project is emphasized. Crucial questions regarding how the data will be managed are answered ahead of time in a DMP, thus making it easier for the researcher to collect and document the data properly for future use and reuse. Creating research data that is easily reproducible and transparent is the ultimate goal, and following the guidelines in this primer can help educate researchers to ensure their data is available for others. The differences between publishing papers and publishing datasets and the citation challenges the data community are working on solving are also discussed. “Research in all domains is seeing an increasing prevalence of data-driven research and an influx of diverse data sources and analysis methods,” says Carly Strasser, author of this primer. “Data management is therefore an emerging concern for researchers. This primer provides a high-level overview of research data management, and is intended to be useful across domains.” This primer on Research Data Management and the forthcoming primers on Understanding Metadata and Linked Data for Cultural Institutions are introductory documents on these important topics relating to information management for those new to our community, or for those who just need a summary understanding of these issues. The NISO Primer series will be freely available and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons-BY-NC 4.0 license. “Meant to provide insight and instruction to researchers collecting data, these primers discuss the latest developments in research data and the new tools, best practices, and resources now available,” says Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. “Providing basic information to the wider community about NISO’s activities is a critical component of our work as an organization. We seek to serve not only those who are deeply versed with technology in our community, but those who are starting out as well.” The NISO Primer on Research Data Management is available as a free download from the NISO website at: http://www.niso.org/publications/press/researchdata/

Dilbert suggests a downside to “smart” robots.

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