Friday, June 24, 2016

Let me toss a monkey into your wrench; Will I be able to customize the programming of my self-driving car?  My Ethical Hacking students think so. 
Driverless Cars Should Kill Passengers To Save Lives - But Then People Won't Buy Them
People want driverless cars to act for the greater good in traffic collisions – but they don’t want to be in the cars when they do so.
In a series of surveys, researchers asked people whether autonomous vehicles (AVs) should swerve to avoid hitting a group of pedestrians, even if that meant killing the occupant of the car.  Most people gave the greater good answer, that saving many lives was better than saving one, but those people don’t want to be in a car that would make that choice.
   “Although people tend to agree that everyone would be better off if AVs were utilitarian (in the sense of minimizing the number of casualties on the road), these same people have a personal incentive to ride in AVs that will protect them at all costs,” the researchers said in a paper for Science magazine.

Something for my Computer Security students to consider.
U.S. court rules that FBI can hack into a computer without a warrant
A U.S. court has ruled that the FBI can hack into a computer without a warrant -- a move that is troubling privacy advocates.
The criminal case involves a child pornography site, Playpen, that had been accessible through Tor, a browser designed for anonymous web surfing.
The FBI, however, managed to take over the site in 2014, and then tracked down and arrested its members by hacking their computers.  This allowed law enforcement to secretly collect their IP addresses.
One of the arrested suspects has argued that the evidence against him had been unlawfully seized.  But a U.S. court in Virginia has ruled in favor of the FBI, according to court documents unsealed on Thursday.
   The suspect may have used Tor to keep his browsing anonymous, but his IP address still isn’t private information, the judge wrote in his ruling.  This is because the IP address is given out to third parties in order to access the Internet and even the Tor network.
Privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation is opposed to this part of the ruling.
“The implications for the decision, if upheld, are staggering,” wrote Mark Rumold, an attorney with the group in a blog post.  Law enforcement could seize information from a person’s computer without a warrant, probable cause or any suspicion at all, he said.
   Morgan, however, said in his ruling that the rise of hacking has changed expectations about privacy.
 “For example, hacking is much more prevalent now than it was even nine years ago,” he said. “Now, it seems unreasonable to think that a computer connected to the Web is immune from invasion.”
As a result, Tor users “cannot reasonably expect” to be safe from hackers, he added.  The FBI also didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by hacking into the suspect’s computer.  Law enforcement should be able to use cutting-edge technology to stop crimes done in secrecy, Morgan said.

(Related)  Why would this be different from any other evidence?
Mike Carter reports the latest development in the federal prosecution of Russian hacker Roman Seleznev:
A federal judge has refused to suppress key evidence in the pending trial of accused Russian mega-hacker Roman Seleznev.
U.S. District Judge Richard Jones said Seleznev’s accusations that federal agents tampered with his computer — and the dueling opinions of prosecution and defense experts about whether that occurred — should be considered by the jury in Seleznev’s upcoming federal trial.
Sure, because a jury of 12 citizens is perfectly equipped to consider testimony about evidence of computer tampering by the government.
Read more on Seattle Times.

(Related)  If no computer is safe, how do you secure government computers?
Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
Detect, Disrupt, Deter: A Whole-of-Government Approach to National Security Cyber Threats – by John P. Carlin, Harvard Law School National Security Journal. Volume 7, Issue 2:
“With increasing network intrusions affecting the U.S. government and American companies, and unsecured connectivity creating new vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, the United States is implementing a whole-of-government, all-tools approach to countering cyber threats.  This article discusses the role played by the Department of Justice within this government-wide effort, including its progress in attributing cyber activities to their source, and how attribution can be used to deter, disrupt, and defend against cyber threats.  In doing so, the article demonstrates the need for a continued commitment to and discussion around effective cyber security tools.”

For my Computer Security students.
KSN Report: Ransomware in 2014-2016 The evolution of the threat and its future
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on
Kaspersky Lab, June 22, 2016: “Ransomware is a type of malware that, upon infecting a device, blocks access to it or to some or all of the information stored on it.  In order to unlock either the device or the data, the user is required to pay a ransom, usually in bitcoins or another widely used e-currency.  This report covers the evolution of the threat over the last two years

Supply and demand.  Perhaps an auction App for tickets? 
Hamilton’s $849 Tickets Are Priced Too Low
Hoping to catch the smash Broadway hit Hamilton in the near future?  Good luck: Even as the anniversary of its opening approaches, there remains a frenzy to buy tickets.  The musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton recently won 11 Tony awards, including Best Musical, bolstering its list of accolades — which also include a Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize.  Its level of acclaim has even reached the White House, with First Lady Michelle Obama proclaiming Hamilton is “the best piece of art in any form I have ever seen in my life.”  As a result, the producers of Hamilton are scrambling to find the right pricing strategy to handle demand.
What’s clear is that recent prices — starting at $549 for premium seats and $139 for regular seats — are significantly lower than what the public is willing to pay.  The result?  A paradise for scalpers.  The New York Times estimates scalpers earn up to $60 million annually from reselling Hamilton tickets.  Estimates of the average resale price hover around $1,000 per ticket.  Asking prices for future performances are even higher, routinely in the $3,000–$4,000 range and close to $10,000 per ticket for the last show before creator Lin-Manuel Miranda exits the cast next month.
To capitalize on this strong demand, Hamilton’s producers raised ticket prices for newly scheduled 2017 performances.  Now the top ticket price is $849 (for 200 premium tickets) and the remaining 1,075 regular seats range from $179–$199
   We’ve entered a new era, one where consumers understand market-based prices.  Consumers are surrounded by businesses in their daily lives — Uber, Disney, sports teams, Amazon — that blatantly flex prices to be in sync with demand.  It’s telling that in the rock concert industry, where musicians have been loath to raise prices out of fear of being accused of gouging fans, VIP prices are becoming the norm.

WhatsApp users are making 100 millions calls every day
WhatsApp users are now making more than 100 million voice calls every single day – over 1,100 calls per second.
That’s an impressive number, given the feature only finished rolling out to Android and iOS in April of last year.  Of course, plenty of those calls are from individuals who make multiple calls per day, but it still shows how quickly WhatsApp’s 1 billion users have jumped on the feature.
For comparison, Skype only has about 300 million active users per month, so it’s not a stretch to imagine WhatsApp has already surpassed the number of daily Skype calls (a figure Skype doesn’t make public).  Not bad, considering WhatsApp calling is 12 years younger.

A tool for my students?  Maybe when they add some useful channels. 
Instagram’s new video channels will help you geek out over your obsessions
Instagram wants you to watch more video.
The company is adding new topic-based video channels to the "explore" section of the app.  The channels, which will be labeled as "picked for you," will surface based on topics you may be interested in.
   The channels are algorithmically generated and curated by Instagram.  The company hasn't elaborated on how it determines which ones to show to each user, but we're guessing it's based on the same or similar factors that power the rest of Explore's recommendations, including the accounts you follow and posts you have liked in the past.

Instagram: lost in translation no longer
In keeping with other social media giants, Instagram has decided to offer automatic translation, which the photo- and video-sharing service says it will roll out over the coming month.
   With 80 percent of Instagram users now based outside the United States, the company is keen to banish any barriers that may hamper people’s ability to communicate.

Perspective.  I wonder if this will change how they campaign?  Or talk to constituents?
Live-streamed videos from House sit-in viewed on Facebook 3M times
Facebook live-streaming videos from House Democrats' sit-in on the floor were watched more than 3 million times, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
After official C-SPAN feeds from the House floor were cut off by House Republicans on Wednesday, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) began streaming the sit-in over the Facebook Live feature. Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) was also streaming video from the floor via Periscope, and several other lawmakers streamed videos on social media.
   C-SPAN, which repeatedly noted that it had no control over the video stream from the House floor, began streaming from some of the lawmakers' social media feeds instead. There was often an alert on the C-SPAN screen that noted the "House cameras are not permitted to show sit-in."  
It was the first time C-SPAN had used social media to circumvent the standard House feeds. 
"When they turned the cameras off today, we found out there's an app for that,” Peters said as the sit-in continued late into Wednesday night.

Damn!  Missed another one.
Twilio stock closes at $28.53, jumping more than 90% in first day of trading

My students (some at least) have the talent, now all I have to do is convince them to try.
Khan Academy Announces a Talent Search
Do you enjoy making instructional videos for your students or the general public?  Can you break complex topics into small, digestible chunks for others to understand?  If so, you may be interested in entering the Khan Academy Talent Search contest.  The contest runs now through August 1, 2016.  Ten finalists will be chosen from all of the entries.  Each of those finalists will win $300.  The overall winner will receive $3000.  All finalists will be considered for a contract to produce content for Khan Academy.  Learn more about the Khan Academy Talent Search here or watch the video below.
Should you need ideas for an instructional video, check out the suggested topics list on Khan Academy.

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