Thursday, June 02, 2016

A nasty breach indeed.  They detected it a day before one of their vendors (website host?) notified them of a previously unknown hole in their software.  Both seem to have detected and responded to this breach quickly, but still are unsure what was accessed. 
Simon Sharwood reports:, the Scrum certification and training site run by Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber, appears to have contacted users to warn them of a nasty security breach.
Reg reader “KB” has sent us an email sent to members and customers that says “On May 26, 2016, we noticed an issue with the website outgoing mail server.”
“Upon investigation, we determined that emails used to communicate initial passwords were not being sent.  After further investigation, our information technology professionals discovered that some of our mail server settings had been modified and found one new administrator user account.”
Read more on The Register.

The argument is that full disclosure would undermine trust in the banking system.  I think failure to disclose makes me suspect this was much worse than they (reluctantly) admit.  Do they know who did the hacking?  If so, did the US retaliate? 
Jason Lange and Dustin Volz reports:
The U.S. Federal Reserve detected more than 50 cyber breaches between 2011 and 2015, with several incidents described internally as “espionage,” according to Fed records.
The central bank’s staff suspected hackers or spies in many of the incidents, the records show.  The Fed’s computer systems play a critical role in global banking and hold confidential information on discussions about monetary policy that drives financial markets.
The cybersecurity reports, obtained by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request, were heavily redacted by Fed officials to keep secret the central bank’s security procedures.
Read more on Reuters.

Think what the NSA could do with this…  Oh, wait, they probably had something very like this 25 years ago.
Facebook Unveils DeepText: An AI With ‘Near-Human’ Level Of Language And Context Comprehension
A lot of companies — Facebook, Google and Microsoft included — have, in recent years, begun working in earnest to incorporate “deep learning” algorithms into their software that are used to recognize objects in images, faces in photographs and spoken words. Last month, Google open sourced “SyntaxNet” — an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that, through the use of deep neural networks, aims to read and understand human language in order to process it and derive real meaning.
In another step toward creating a deep learning-based AI capable of grasping the way humans talk with a near-human level accuracy, Facebook on Wednesday unveiled “DeepText” — a natural language processing engine that comprehends the textual content of several thousand posts per second, spanning more than 20 languages.

This is an update.  I did not have a link to the order last Friday.  But I think the transcript is much more interesting.
I had noted this opinion last week, but now June Williams has more on the court’s opinion in U.S. v. Michaud:
A federal judge has thrown out evidence in a child pornography case after prosecutors refused to turn over the code used to hack the defendant’s computer.
U.S. District Judge Robert Bryan ordered the government to provide the defense with the full code of malware used in a network investigative technique (NIT), a type of hacking that traces website viewing back to the computer used.
The FBI used the method to trace users of the “Playpen” child pornography website.  The FBI seized the site last year but continued to operate it for two weeks while using malware to trace visitors.
Read more on Courthouse News.

I had not expected this.  Uber must seem better than taxis?
Never Fear, Uber Is Here! Crime and Fatal Accident Rates Fall Since Company Launch.
   Researchers at Stonehill and Providence colleges co-authored a study titled “Ridesharing, Fatal Crashes and Crime” in which they examined 150 cities to determine the effects of Uber on auto-related incidents.  They found that ridesharing services are related to a decrease in fatal crashes, DUIs and some types of crime.

Always interesting.
Mary Meeker's 2016 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis
At 213 pages, there's a ton of data, but here are our Top 3 takeaways.
1) The internet itself is seeing slowing growth.  In the past two decades, the internet economy was affected by macroeconomic trends, but it was external issues like the housing crisis and the financial crisis that were driving the slowdown.  Now it is global internet growth itself that is slowing down.
2) Typing text into a search bar is so last year.  In five years, at least 50 percent of all searches are going to be either images or speech.
3) The home screen has acted as the de facto portal on mobile devices since the arrival of the iPhone and even before.  Messaging apps, with context and time, have a chance to rival the home screen as the go-to place for interaction.

Probably a few of these have broader applications. 
15 Tools for Teaching History With Technology - A Handout
One of the things that teachers often ask me for is a set of tools to get them started on using technology in their classrooms.  This is a common request because it can be overwhelming to look at a website or a read a stream of emails with tips and try to figure out where to start.  For that reason, I have started to put together short PDFs that contain a few options for a three or four common activities in a subject area.  These are not meant to be comprehensive guides, they're meant to be starter kits.  The first starter kit is for social studies teachers.
In the handout embedded below you will find my recommendations for tools to create timelines, tools to create videos, tools to create digital maps, and tools to help students conduct better web research.  You can download the document from Box or grab the Google Docs copy.

For the Gaming Club.
Game of Drones is a form of aerial warfare where drones fight to the death

Either the “Internet” has fully matured or familiarity has bred contempt?
The internet gets decapitalized
Some of the world's most influential news outlets on Wednesday stopped treating the internet as a proper noun.
The Associated Press, whose style guide is used in many newsrooms, announced back in April that it would soon stop capitalizing the word for the global networks of interconnected computers, which has become ubiquitous in modern life. 
The AP timed the change with the release of its 2016 style guide on Wednesday, and a number of other outlets have followed the company’s lead.  The New York Times announced last month that it would change over, as did the The Wall Street Journal.

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