Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is it a unique hacker attack or is it politics as usual?
Aha. Sometimes it pays to ask questions about backups.
Yesterday, after reporting on a puzzling report out of Newburgh, NY, I was contacted by a friend who asked me if I would speak with the MidHudson News. I did, and suggested some questions they should be asking.
Today, they report:
One day after it was revealed that Newburgh City Council members’ iPad data that were stored on the cloud had been deleted, it is back.
City Manager Michael Ciaravino told council members at the Thursday night session that because of a data breach, he ordered the data removed. But Councilwoman Cindy Holmes took exception, saying she wanted it restored along with her notes and photos on constituent issues and her accomplishments while on the council for the last two years.
On Friday night, Mayor Judy Kennedy announced all city data had been restored to council iPads and all efforts are being made to recover the personal data.
Read more on MidHudson News. This still sounds more than a tad chaotic and to the extent that there are public records that may be involved, the city needs a comprehensive information management and security system.
Surely there must be some curious Newburgh resident or journalist who will file under FOIA to find out what kinds of information are being stored on iCloud and if any of it involves constituents SSN or other personal information, etc.
And of course, we still don’t know what this alleged “data breach” was that led the city manager to order the data removed, other than it somehow involved his location information being shared with others.

There is always a tendency to grow your bureaucracy, but speed, computer power, even the definition of “Bog” is constantly changing.
FCC accused of power grab on broadband
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote next week on an annual report about the state of high-speed Internet deployment around the country, something that has become a magnet for debate.
A proposed draft of the congressionally mandated report finds that advanced telecommunications capability isn’t being deployed in a “reasonable and timely fashion” to all Americans.
… But critics say the report isn’t just a compendium of statistics, but a way for the FCC to expand its authority and place arbitrary standards on Internet service providers.
The commission is authorized to take steps to expand access when the annual report finds it lacking, which critics contend turns the report into a tool for amassing more authority.

The Big Data and standards market research report
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 23, 2016
Big Data and standards market research January 2016 – First published in the UK in 2016 by BSI Standards Limited.
“While Big Data is perhaps not an entirely new concept, it is certainly a hot topic of the modern, digital era. However, it is an evolving concept, and any standards created must take into account that what is classed as ‘Big Data’ today is likely to change rapidly over the next few years (and may even cease to be called ‘Big Data’). Standards must therefore look beyond the ‘here and now’ of how Big Data is currently being used and instead seek to establish frameworks for dealing with data sets that represent a significant logistical challenge. BSI wants to take a lead on Big Data standards. By engaging the market, collaboratively developing standards content and promoting best practice, it aims to provide businesses with the help they need in order to flourish. To support this journey, BSI partnered with B2B research consultants, Circle Research, to explore the Big Data opportunities and challenges facing businesses, and to understand where standards could help to play a pivotal role in driving business success and market growth.”

I will be curious to see how this trickles into the US market.
Google’s WiFi for Indian Train Stations Launches At Mumbai Central Railway Station Tomorrow
Google’s long-anticipated Wi-Fi for railway stations in India is slowly going operational starting tomorrow. As was announced late last September, Mumbai Central railway station will be the first location at which Google will provide high-speed internet access.
The program, part of Google’s Access & Energy Team, is in partnership with Indian state-owned company RailTel. RailTel has built a network of fiber-optic lines along most major rail tracks across the country, which Google will be using to support Wireless Access Points at train stations.
Initially, the partnership aims to provide access points at 100 train stations across India, with plans to grow to 400 stations nationwide.
… Google’s decision to provide internet services for free at the onset comes at an interesting time for India given the ongoing debate over Facebook’s Free Basics program in the country. While for the moment internet access through the new system is both free and unrestricted, Google does have plans to make the system financially viable. It hasn’t yet clarified if this will be supported by access fees or other types of monetization routes.

For my student App developers.
NASA’s Data Portal
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 23, 2016
“This site is a continually growing catalog of publicly. Available NASA Datasets, APIs, Visualizations, and More.
  • Welcome to the Developer Resources Page! Did you know that every dataset on this site has an API? Get started by diving into the documentation, test drive examples, or browse other open data applications.”

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