Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How would the average company respond to a phone call like this?  There are probably no procedures in place…
Dell Cameron reports:
A leaky database has exposed the physical security of multiple Oklahoma Department of Public Safety facilities and at least one Oklahoma bank.
The vulnerability—which has reportedly been fixed—was revealed on Tuesday by Chris Vickery, a MacKeeper security researcher who this year has revealed numerous data breaches affecting millions of Americans.
The misconfigured database, which was managed by a company called Automation Integrated, was exposed for at least a week, according to Vickery, who said he spoke to the company’s vice president on Saturday.  Reached on Tuesday, however, an Automation Integrated employee said “no one” in the office was aware of the problem.
Read more on the Daily Dot.
[From the article:
“This is an example of excellent incident response,” Vickery said of the Automation Integrated whom he alerted of the breach . “The guy didn’t try to call me a hacker, he didn’t try to claim that it was a fake database filled with dummy-data, and he didn’t try to deflect responsibility onto another company.  What he did do was fix the issue promptly, verify with the original reporter that the issue was fixed, and he appreciated the fact that someone would go out of their way to make sure an issue like this was taken care of.”

No wonder card issuers are willing to pay to move to the chip-imbedded cards. 
ACI – Globally, Nearly 1 in 3 Consumers Victimized by Card Fraud
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 12, 2016
“Thirty percent of consumers globally have experienced card fraud in the past five years, according to new global benchmark data from ACI Worldwide and Aite Group.  The global fraud study of more than 6,000 consumers across 20 countries revealed that, compared to ACI’s 2014 benchmark study, card fraud rates—unauthorized activity on three types of payment cards (debit, credit and prepaid)—is on the rise worldwide.  14 out of the 17 countries surveyed both years reported an increase in card fraud between 2014 and 2016.  Risky behaviors, such as leaving a smartphone unlocked when not in use, have a direct correlation to fraud—and the overall risk for fraud is rising due to the global increase in smartphone and tablet usage…”

Marketing tools look remarkably like surveillance tools.
Twitter will tell brands more about people who see their tweets, visit their sites
Twitter knows a lot about a person based on their Twitter account.  Like whether they’re male or female, what language they speak, what kind of music they like, which TV shows they watch, what major city they live in and who their cell service provider is.  Now Twitter is making it easier for more brands to access that information.
On Tuesday Twitter-owned data platform Gnip officially opened up its Audience API so that any brand can use the analytics tool to get a cheat sheet of demographic and interest data about any group of Twitter accounts.  And it’s making it easier for any brand using the tool to find out about people who may have come across the brand’s tweets or stumbled onto its website.
   Brands can also pull this data about people who are in their customer databases.  A brand would just need to upload a list of people’s email addresses, phone numbers or the mobile advertising IDs that brands can collect when someone uses their mobile app.  And if a brand has placed Twitter’s Tailored Audience tag on its site — which Twitter uses to connect site visitors to their Twitter accounts — they will be able to create audience segments of those site visitors as well.
Twitter isn’t adding any new types of demographic or interest data that it hasn’t already exposed during the Audience API’s beta period.  But here’s a quick refresher on what categories of information brands will be able to access.

Automobiles look remarkably like surveillance tools.
Your Car’s Been Studying You Closely and Everyone Wants the Data
As you may have suspected, your car is spying on you.  Fire up a new model and it updates more than 100,000 data points, including rather personal details like the front-seat passenger’s weight.  The navigation system tracks every mile and remembers your route to work.  The vehicular brain is smart enough to help avoid traffic jams or score parking spaces, and soon will be able to log not only your itineraries but your internet shopping patterns.
The connected car will be a wonderful convenience or an intrusive nightmare, depending on your tolerance.  For automakers, it could be a gold mine, which is why the industry is building firewalls to keep the likes of Google Inc. and Apple Inc. at bay -- and hoping to pry you away from their phones and apps when you’re motoring.
   The dashboard battle is gearing up as cockpit technology rapidly advances.  Once self-driving cars are the norm, people will have the downtime to become truly mobile consumers. 

Of course, Hillary didn’t “intend” to delete these emails that are required by law to be kept.
FBI to give deleted Clinton emails back to State Dept.
The FBI will give the State Department thousands of deleted work-related emails that it uncovered while investigating Hillary Clinton's private server.
The bureau said in a letter filed with a federal court late Tuesday afternoon that, now that the investigation into Clinton is over, it would turn over the emails over to the State Department for record-keeping.
   According to FBI Director James Comey, investigators “discovered several thousand work-related" messages that were not among the roughly 30,000 emails Clinton gave to the government in 2014.  The former secretary of State and her lawyers deleted approximately half of the 60,000 emails on her server, claiming at the time that they were purely personal and did not belong in the government’s hands.
The FBI recovered the emails through digital traces left on decommissioned servers and via the inboxes of people with whom Clinton communicated, Comey said.
The State Department did not indicate whether it would release the thousands of new emails to the public, as it did with the 30,000 emails she had already handed over.  [If they don’t, this looks like a good way to hide a smoking gun.  Bob]  

You gotta have an App for that, no matter what “that” is.
The Avis Now app could end our car rental nightmare
   “We’re re-engineering of entire rental process," Avis CEO Larry DeShon told me on Tuesday. 
A 10-year Avis veteran, DeShon assumed the Avis CEO job in January.  Since then, he’s been busy trying to reinvent car rental for a new generation of customers, namely millennials.
   The new app, which is live today in Apple’s App Store and Google Play, is designed to handle virtually the entire Avis car rental process.
Customers who register with Avis will be able to use the Avis Now app to book rental cars, receive notifications, change car selections, find the car in the lot and unlock it.
   Avis’s DeShon contends that end-to-end app-based car rental is a first in his industry, but the process is not new.  In fact, Avis learned it from subsidiary Zip Car.
Zip Car is a long-time innovator in the car rental experience.  It started letting people share cars and rent them by the hour through web sites, and later apps, years ago.  Avis bought Zip Car in 2013.

Well, I think this is an interesting article.  Do you?  My answer?  Those that survive will.
Will AI Companies Make Any Money?
I was recently consulting with a publishing company that is exploring various ways to digitize and contextualize its content.  Knowing that some of the company’s competitors had signed deals with IBM’s Watson, I asked several executives why they had not done a Watson deal themselves.  “We think that the market for AI software is rapidly commoditizing, and we believe we can assemble the needed capabilities ourselves at much lower cost,” was this company’s party line.  Some particularly knowledgeable managers mentioned that they expected the company would instead make use of open source cognitive software made available from various providers.  These potential open source providers are not small vendors; they include, for example, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Yahoo.

Think how this will translate to personal use.  (It’s like the model I proposed for leasing computers to grandma.) 
Microsoft debuts “Surface as a Service” program aimed at getting devices into the enterprise
Microsoft announced this morning a new program aimed at expanding Surface’s footprint in the enterprise, dubbed “Surface as a Service.” The initiative will allow businesses to lease Surface devices, alongside subscriptions to Office 365 and Windows 10.
   Surface has been a growing business at Microsoft, the company also notes, having grown in the past year from generating $1 billion in revenue per year to $1 billion per quarter.
   The program’s launch also follows the recent unveiling a Surface Membership program, which lets consumers buy Surface devices by making low monthly payments.  The plan was also aimed at businesses, not consumers, and offered access to Surface Book, Surface Pro 4 and Surface 3 models.  It included free upgrades when new models became available.

Something for history buffs and researchers.
International Coalition on Newspapers Metadata Search
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 12, 2016
Via Center for Research Libraries (CRL) – “The ICON database is the most comprehensive source of information about significant newspaper collections in print, digital and micro formats.  The large and growing database is designed to inform library decisions on the development, management and preservation of newspaper collections.  Current statistics: 47,222,880 issues from 171,518 publications dating from 16492015.  See more ICON statistics and visualizations.

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