Friday, January 01, 2016

It's just practice and “proof of concept.” When they get serious, everything will go offline at the same time.
Web attack knocks BBC websites offline
All the BBC's websites were unavailable early on Thursday morning because of a large web attack.
The problems began about 0700 GMT and meant visitors to the site saw an error message rather than webpages.
Sources within the BBC said the sites were offline thanks to what is known as a "distributed denial of service" attack.

WhatsApp suffers outage on New Year's Eve
Popular free messaging service WhatsApp was temporarily down on Thursday for users across the globe.
The New Year’s Eve outages were mostly concentrated in Europe, but the service was also briefly unavailable in several U.S. and South American locations, according to Down Detector, which tracks Internet sites and mobile apps in real time.
As of early afternoon, WhatsApp said it had gotten the Facebook-owned service back up and running.

Worth a read.
Paul Karlsgodt writes:
The burgeoning area of privacy class action litigation showed no signs of slowing down in 2015. Here are some of the most significant developments from the past year, as well as some things to watch for in the coming year. For purposes of this article, we include in the definition of “privacy” class action litigation class actions arising out of data security breaches; litigation involving the collection, use, or transfer of consumer information; and litigation involving alleged intrusions upon privacy interests.
Read more on BakerHostetler Data Privacy Monitor.

What is it that a company like Carrier IQ knows (or can do) that a company that has been in the phone business since the phone business started (1875) does not know?
AT&T acquires parts of phone-monitoring company Carrier IQ
Carrier IQ came under scrutiny in 2011 as the public learned about its practices of capturing the user data on more than 140 million mobile devices. The company logged where and when people made calls or sent text messages, which apps they used, how they used the web and other mobile habits, and it was employed by major carriers including Sprint, Apple, AT&T and HTC. Now, in a post-Snowden world, Carrier IQ appears to have shut down, and AT&T has picked up its software and some staff, a spokesperson tells TechCrunch.
"We use CIQ software solely to improve the customer's network and wireless service experience," the AT&T spokesperson says.

?We are fully automated. Nothing can go wrong. ...go wrong. ...go wrong.” (It's actually a Y2K kind of problem.)
Why Facebook is saying you and your friends go back 46 years
Like many of you out there in Internet land, I woke up this morning to an interesting bug on my Facebook page. According to my own account, I had a lot to celebrate today, as I'd apparently become friends with 226 people 46 years ago today, on Dec. 31, 1969:
… That, by the way, is just shy of two decades before I was born. I've been called an old soul before, but this seems ridiculous — especially given that Facebook itself is only 11 years old.
A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement that the company has "identified this bug and the team's fixing it now so everyone can ring in 2016 feeling young again."
… That term refers to the way that systems with a Unix base, such as Macs and many servers, calculate time. The start of time, according to Unix, is midnight, GMT on Jan. 1, 1970 — apparently a mostly arbitrary starting point — and these systems keep track of time by calculating the number of seconds that have elapsed since then. (Excluding leap seconds, in case you're wondering.) When systems don't have a time for something, they will sometimes reset to zero. That results in emails occasionally being sent from 1970 — or late 1969, depending on your time zone.

Let the hilarity begin!
Twitter to restore tool that tracks deleted tweets
Twitter has reached an agreement with transparency organizations to restore the tool that archived lawmakers’ deleted tweets around the world.
The company announced Thursday that it had negotiated an agreement with the Sunlight Foundation and the Open State Foundation — the two groups that ran the archiving tool known as Politwoops.

Perhaps this could be next – after we get the self-driving cars debugged.

Do you suspect someone in your congregation of plotting mass murder? Your fear is illogical and very irritating. It is frightening the children and those with childish minds.
Joe Cadillic writes:
Police State America has invaded churches and places of worship in America. Churches now join private companies, schools, colleges, sports stadiums, malls and hospitals that are conducting active shooter drills. For more information, read my December article titled: ‘Hospitals and private companies are conducting mass shooter drills with police.’
In Alabama, a Presbyterian church wanted to be able to hire its own police for protection. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been holding specialized training for congregations for active shooter incidents.
Police across the country are speaking at places of worship, drumming up fear and telling churches to have greeters (security) welcome worshippers and look for anything that might be out of the ordinary.
On a FEMA webinar last Wednesday on protecting houses of worship, the chief security executive at The Potter’s House, the Rev. TD Jakes’ megachurch in Dallas, gave tips about behavior that should raise concern, such as a congregant arriving in a long coat in hot weather. If needed, church greeters could give a hug and feel for weapons, said the executive, Sean Smith.
“I call it the Holy Ghost pat-down,” Smith said.
Read more on MassPrivateI.

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