Monday, February 08, 2016

Have these systems really been hacked? Which would be worse: They really have this data and will dump it OR they found data for thousands of randomly chosen non-FBI individuals but claim the data is accurate.
Joseph Cox reports:
A hacker, who wishes to remain anonymous, plans to dump the apparent names, job titles, email addresses and phone numbers of over 20,000 supposed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees, as well as over 9,000 alleged Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees, Motherboard has learned.
The hacker also claims to have downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of data from a Department of Justice (DOJ) computer, although that data has not been published.
Read more on Motherboard. After the publication of the story, Cox updated it:
Update 8 February 2016: After the publication of this article, a Twitter account with a pro-Palestinian message published the apparent details of the 9,000 DHS employees. The account also tweeted a screenshot supposedly from the Department of Justice computers that the hacker claimed to have accessed.

So, something for nothing is illegal. Everything for nothing is okay? Would everything for something be okay too?
Facebook Faces Setback as India Bans Differential Data Pricing
India’s telecom regulator ruled against cellular operators offering plans that charge different rates for access to the Web depending on the content – a setback to Facebook Inc.’s push for its limited Internet plan in the South Asian nation.
Telecom operators cannot offer discriminatory tariffs for data services based on content, and are not allowed to enter into agreements with Internet companies to subsidize access to some websites, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a statement Monday.

The Tragedy of Ethiopia's Internet
… The only way to access the internet in Ethiopia is through the government-owned provider, Ethio Telecom, which has unilateral control over the telecom industry. A burgeoning tech scene in neighboring Kenya, which has an internet penetration rate of 69.6 percent, has garnered the name “Silicon Savannah.” But in Ethiopia, the monopoly on internet access has created one of the most disconnected countries in the world.
Only 3.7 percent of Ethiopians have access to the internet, according to the latest data, one of the lowest penetration rates in the world. By comparison, South Sudan, which lacks most basic government services, has an internet penetration rate of 15.9 percent. There are only ten countries with lower internet penetration than Ethiopia. Most of them, such as Somalia and North Korea, are hampered by decades-long civil wars or largely sealed off from outside world.

A backgrounder for my Computer Security and Data Management classes.
Get Ready: How EU's New Privacy Law Will Affect Your Business
… The final text of the GDPR includes the following provisions, as reported by TechCrunch:
  • Anyone involved in processing EU consumer data, including third-party entities involved in processing data to provide a particular service, can be held liable for a breach.
  • When an individual no longer wants his or her data to be processed by a company, the data must be deleted, "provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it."
  • Companies must appoint a data protection officer if they process sensitive data on a large scale or collect information on many consumers (small and midsize enterprises are exempt if data processing is not their core business activity).
  • Companies and organizations must notify the relevant national supervisory authority of serious data breaches as soon as possible.
  • Parental consent is required for children under a certain age to use social media (a specific age within a group ranging from ages 13 to 16 will be set by individual countries).
  • There will be a single supervisory authority for data protection complaints aimed at streamlining compliance for businesses.
  • Individuals have a right to data portability to enable them to more easily transfer their personal data between services.

Is there still value in the education business? Someone seems to think so.
Apollo Education Group, University of Phoenix Owner, to Be Taken Private
Apollo Education Group, the owner of the University of Phoenix and other for-profit educational institutions, said on Monday that it had agreed to be taken private by a consortium of investors in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.
The consortium of investors includes the private equity firms, the Vistria Group, funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management and Najafi Companies. Apollo Education Group is not affiliated with Apollo Global Management.
Under the terms of the agreement, the investor consortium would pay $9.50 a share in cash for the outstanding shares of Apollo Education Group, representing a 44 percent premium over its closing price on Jan. 8, before the company announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives.

Perspective. Is I real or is I Memorex?
Smart Email and the Path to Digital Immortality
I attended IBM Connect last week, where I checked out one of the most interesting products you've likely never heard of – a new email offering called "IBM Verse." While there was a lot of discussion about how it better integrated social networking, what really intrigued me was the idea of putting cognitive computing inside an email client.
"Cognitive computing" is the new way of saying "artificial intelligence," because, you know, the industry likes to change terms every once in a while just to mess with our heads.
… A lot of what we do with email is repetitive. That's why executives in the past rarely handled their own correspondence; their secretaries would do it for them. Secretaries, apprentices or assistants set up meetings, offered birthday wishes, responded to inquiries -- even sent direct messages. They often still do, which makes those roles especially powerful.
The fact is, if you get an email from a politician, chances are pretty good that it wasn't written by that politician. It might not have been written by a human at all -- but rather by some machine regurgitating the same text over and over again, mostly to annoy us.
If you could make an email system smart, it could do not only what secretaries used to do, but also a whole lot more -- and likely better.
… An email system generally will handle most all of your daily correspondence, though, and if it were a smart email system tied into social networking, then over time, it likely would come to know you better than you know yourself.
As it gained insight, it not only could prioritize messages and automatically handle tasks like setting and changing appointments, but also could begin to respond for you, if you let it. You could opt to increase its responsibilities with your oversight.
… Let's push the envelope a bit. There are a number of projects designed to create an immortal digital concept of a person – a digital avatar, if you like. At the core of these projects is some process to capture what makes every person unique. The easiest way to do that would be to mine a person's email for insights into personality, speech patterns, history and knowledge.
By increasingly being able to emulate someone, a smart email system eventually could create a decent digital clone that initially could interact over email, and perhaps with a good sound sample from the individual and the right speech integration, also do a pretty decent job of vocal emulation.
… What IBM Verse does is funnel your email accounts and social network feeds into one client. It then learns to organize your communications based on priority. No more last in first out -- you see your important stuff up front and can blow off your unimportant stuff more easily.

Should I trust this to provide my students with background? Definitions? Could I build an entire textbook?
4 Easy Ways to Export Wikipedia for Offline Use
… Here are four ways to export Wikipedia for various needs.
Using the Book Creator, you can choose any articles you like and turn them into a book. Or, try visiting the book collections page to download books made by others!
If you only need a single article, just click the Download as PDF on the left sidebar of any article (it’s under the Print/export heading).
Those who haven’t yet gone paperless can utilize the Printable version in the same sidebar heading to easily print an article out, perhaps for a friend who doesn’t have Internet access.
Finally, anyone who wants to go big can actually download the entirety of Wikipedia.

Free for everyone. Take note, students.
Google Search Education Online
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Feb 7, 2016
  • Learn tips and tricks to become a fast and effective fact-finder with Power Searching with Google.
  • Deepen your understanding of solving complex research problems using advanced Google search techniques with Advanced Power Searching with Google.
  • Join a growing global community of Power Searchers.”
[From Google:
This course will run from Monday February, 8th through Sunday, February 21st. But if you can’t make that time, don’t worry, as we’ll be running this class continuously every two weeks until June. The next class will begin on Feb 22, then again on March 7, then March 21, and so on.

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