Monday, November 16, 2015

Infect devices at the source. A cautionary tale for my Computer Security students, a warning for manufacturers of self-crashing cars. (Not a particularly hard to detect virus.)
Conficker Worm Shipped With Police Body Cameras
Police body cameras acquired from Martel Electronics have been found to be infected with the notorious Conficker worm.
Florida-based IT services provider iPower Technologies has been working on developing a cloud-based system for police departments and government agencies to store and manage video from their cameras. While analyzing the Martel Frontline Camera, a body cam designed for police departments, iPower discovered that the devices acquired by the company for testing had been infected with a variant of Conficker, a threat also known as Downup, Downadup and Kido.
The company’s tests showed that a functional version of Conficker had been shipped with multiple cameras. Once the cameras were connected to a computer, the malware attempted to spread to other machines on the network and communicate with a command and control (C&C) server.

Can you trust a Twit?
2016 pollsters taking social media metrics with a tweet of salt
Technology and social media companies are pushing out an ever-increasing amount of data to tally up which 2016 presidential candidates are winning the race for most mentions online.
But pollsters and other observers caution these new metrics are not a reliable gauge of support for a candidate and are not necessarily a reflection of the state of the race.
“They offer information, but we don’t know if they are representative of the electorate,” said Duke University professor Sunshine Hillygus, who focuses on survey methods as well as technology and politics.
Neil Newhouse, the Mitt Romney campaign’s lead pollster in 2012, says his industry does not ignore the data, but it has to look at it skeptically.
… “And so there are lots of people now studying Twitter and Facebook and the number of people at rallies,” Hillygus said. “Unfortunately, all of those have this degree of self selection — right, where people are choosing to put a post, a tweet, about politics. And unfortunately we have found that they are considerably biased. They are biased towards those people who are engaged and more extreme in their views and polarized.”
“I would bet there are very few moderates on Twitter,” Newhouse added.
… Some studies in recent years have touted the predictive powers of Twitter in congressional elections, but critics have noted that most of the main forecasting in those models can be traced back to incumbency and the political leanings of a district.
A recent study factored in the growth of a candidate's Facebook likes and engagement into a traditional forecasting model to predict 2012 Senate election winners.
The technique outperformed a traditional model. The study concluded that the “question remains, however, whether these results are a ‘flash in the 2012 pan’” or a broader indication of the effectiveness of the technique.

The economics of virtual currency?
New on LLRX – The True Measure of Bitcoin’s Success
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 15, 2015
Via LLRX.comThe True Measure of Bitcoin’s Success – This commentary by financial analyst Ryan Davis supports the position that the price of Bitcoin should not be the primary measure of the state of Bitcoin, nor should any one metric be the primary measure of the state of Bitcoin. The true measure of the state of Bitcoin is a combination of everything from activity in GitHub repositories to the number of daily bitcoin transactions.

(Related) Too late to get in the Bitcoin business?
New on LLRX – Bitcoin Derivatives – Independent Study Report
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 15, 2015
Via Bitcoin Derivatives – Independent Study Report – Financial analyst Ryan Davis describes the landscape of exchanges based in and outside of the U.S. that have begun to offer trading in bitcoin derivatives. TeraExchange completed the first bitcoin derivative trade on a regulated exchange in the U.S. on October 8, 2014 with its Bitcoin Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF) contracts. More recently, LedgerX has submitted applications to become the first regulated bitcoin options exchange in the U.S. Additionally, some exchanges are based outside of the U.S. but may have significant customer bases in the U.S. Bitcoin derivatives offered on these exchanges include futures, forwards, and options.

I frequently tell the story of my mother asking me if I could pronounce the name of her new doctor. I amazed her because I had gone to school with Dr. Czyzk's brother.
How to Change the Way Siri Pronounces Names

Aimed at younger students but my students might benefit too.
5 Good Typing Instruction and Practice Sites for Kids

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