Saturday, June 04, 2016

For my Computer Security students.  (Hackers gotta hack)
Security concerns rising for Internet of Things devices
The burgeoning market for gadgets that trigger a sprinkler system, help you count the number of times you swing a bat, or dim the lights automatically are rising.
That’s a concern for any business due to how these devices are also starting to show up at the corporate office for use in conference rooms, executive suites, and even as a low-cost building security camera system.  Experts claim the industry is not doing enough to protect these devices.
Craig Young, a cybersecurity researcher at Tripwire, says a big part of the problem is that the firmware is not updated on a regular basis.
In one recent example, researchers at the University of Michigan found they were able to hack into the Samsung SmartThings platform and even control an entire home automation system.  
   Young says the most common hack is to break into a connected home hub, which then provides access to any of the connected devices including door locks, motion detectors, sprinkler systems, and even the alarm system protecting a home.
Surprisingly, there are few security apps available that can monitor Internet of Things devices, let you know about any new emerging attack vectors, and tell you about any recent compromises.

If not, why not?  IBM is using Watson to allow you to ask questions about the Ads they present.  Lots of voice activated digital assistants are available.  Why not use the technology you have available? 
Facebook: No, we're not using your phone's mic to eavesdrop

Wal-Mart partnering with Uber, Lyft to pilot grocery delivery program
At the company's annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark., Friday, CEO Doug McMillon will announce a grocery delivery pilot with Uber and Lyft.  The test will debut in Denver, Colo., and Phoenix, Az., over the next two weeks, and follows what the company called a "very quiet" pilot between Sam's Club and Deliv in Miami, Fla., in March.
   To place an order for home delivery, a customer in one of the test locations goes online and selects the preferred delivery window.
Store associates will then select and prepare their orders, and request a driver from one of the companies to pick it up.  Shoppers pay the retailer's standard $7 to $10 delivery charge online, and pay nothing to the driver when their order is delivered.
Wal-Mart's latest test comes as it seeks to use its network of stores to better compete against Amazon.  To do so, it's leaning heavily on its grocery business.

See?  You can over-incentivize. 
Chile Producing So Much Solar Energy It’s Giving Electricity Away for Free
In a new Bloomberg report, Chile Has So Much Solar Energy It’s Giving It Away for Free, solar capacity from the country’s central grid has increased four fold to 770 megawatts since 2013.  Another 1.4 gigawatts will be added this year with many solar power projects under development.
   However, the article points out that Chile’s rapid solar expansion isn’t all good news.  Due to the nation’s bifurcated power grid, the central and northern grids are not connected.

I didn’t think the two industries talked the same language.  Still, nice to see a local kid make good.
Nest's new CEO lives in Denver and will commute to the Palo Alto headquarters
Nest named Marwan Fawaz as its new CEO on Friday, after Tony Fadell announced that he was stepping down.
Fawaz is a cable-industry veteran who is not nearly as well-known of a name in Silicon Valley as Fadell, a former Apple executive.
In fact, he doesn't live in Silicon Valley. Fawaz currently lives in Denver, Colorado.
And according to a Nest spokesperson, the company's new CEO will continue to live in Denver. 

For my geeky students.
How to Create a Portable Windows To Go USB Drive
   What if I told you that you could carry around your own version of Windows in your pocket, ready to run on any computer you may encounter, with all the programs you typically use already installed and set up exactly the way you like?
Well, you can.  Don’t worry, I won’t hold you in suspense.  Here’s how you can set up your own Windows 2 Go USB Drive (or external drive, if you prefer) that will let you run Windows 8 or 8.1 anywhere you need to.  It’s free, it’s portable, and it’s yours.

For all of my students!
Asking for Advice Makes People Think You’re Smarter
Download this podcast
A written transcript will be available by June 13, 2016.

Every week.
Hack Education Weekly News
   Via the AP: “Donald Trump said that the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by former Trump University students has an ‘absolute conflict’ in handling the case because he is ‘of Mexican heritage.’” More via The Wall Street Journal.
   Via the MIT Media Lab: “What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain.”
   Via The Baltimore Sun: “Company says it can predict whether a teacher will be good – before entering a classroom.”  Riiiiight.  “The four-year-old company [TeacherMatch] says that its proprietary screening tool – the Educators Professional Inventory – can accurately predict whether a prospective hire will be an effective teacher, and more specifically whether they will be able to boost students’ test scores.”  Proprietary algorithms so no way third party verification, no research.  But hey.  This company was just acquired – more on that in “The Business of Ed-Tech” section below – so it has to be legit, right?
   Cengage says that for fiscal year 2016, its digital textbooks outsold its print textbooks for the first time.
   Via Education Dive: “IT security in education on the decline.”
   Via Techcrunch: “Nearly 1 in 4 people abandon mobile apps after only one use.” So when folks insist “the future of education is mobile” (and mean “apps” and not “the Web”), do keep this statistic in mind.

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