Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Could this happen here?  (Hint: Absolutely!)  Just out of curiosity, what does the computer do that doctors can no longer do manually? 
Abe Hawken reports on what sounds like it might be a ransomware situation:
All operations have been cancelled at three hospitals run by the same NHS Trust after a virus attack compromised their computer system.
The system, which is run by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust, had to be shut down on Monday following yesterday’s breach, which has been described as a ‘major incident’.
More than 1,000 outpatient appointments, procedures and operations scheduled for tomorrow have been cancelled.
Patients at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, Scunthorpe General Hospital and Goole and District Hospital have been affected by the breach.
Read more on Daily Mail.

From the country that gave us Turing, and then persecuted him. 
UK will 'strike back' if it comes under cyberattack, says government
International hackers and cyberattackers who launch operations against the UK will be retaliated against, the government has warned, as it sets out plans to protect infrastructure, business, and citizens from online threats.
These tactics form part of the government's National Cyber Security Strategy, an effort to boost defences against a variety of online threats.
   In his speech in London, Hammond is expected to argue how reliance on old IT systems, the rise of Internet of Things connected devices, and easy access to hacking tools means it's necessary for the government to take steps to fight back against cyberattacks and cyberespionage.
The strategy is being overseen by the National Cyber Security Centre, a new part of the GCHQ intelligence agency which opened in October.

U.S. Should Strike Back at Cyberattackers: Report
   "The time for action on the issue of active defense is long overdue, and the private sector will continue to be exposed to theft, exfiltration of data, and other attacks in the absence of a robust deterrent," the report said.
   However, the panel did not recommend hacking back "because we don't want the cure to be worse than the disease," project co-director Frank Cilluffo said.

For my Architecture students.  A common failing of government software projects.  “We’re so unique, nothing that exists could possibly be useful!” 
Thiel’s Palantir Wins Battle Over Army Combat Data System
   The Army failed to adequately consider commercially available options for the system, effectively shutting out the Silicon Valley firm from bidding, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

A question for my students.  First, self-driving cars, trucks, busses, etc.  Then what?
When Will Robots Take All the Jobs?
There is a contradiction in economic forecasting today that I’ve come to think of as the “robot paradox.”  Some people seem confident that automation will take many workers’ jobs, yet they cannot point to evidence that technology has done anything in the last few years to replace work or add to productivity.  Indeed, economic growth has been lackluster for the last few years, productivity growth is mysteriously moribund, and the last two years have been perhaps the best time this century for wage growth.  This is not what the end of work looks like.

Everyone is getting into ride sharing.  Fear than no one will want to own a car is spreading.  (Sounds like an easy hack to me!)
Automaker may launch unmanned rent-a-car business in Japan
Automakers are beginning to realize too many cars are sitting for too long without being driven.  In that vein, Toyota is launching a car sharing pilot program that allows users to unlock shared cars without the need for a physical key.  The program, established in partnership with car sharing company Getaround, starts in January in San Francisco.
Instead of a key, car sharing users will receive special codes on their smartphones granting them access to the vehicle.  When the smartphone comes in close contact with the car, the codes are authenticated through Bluetooth technology with what Toyota calls a Smart Key Box.  This box can be preset to operate within certain time periods specified under a car-sharing reservation.

Because reality is not that interesting?
This Project On Law Enforcement And Popular Culture Is So Good I Want To Call It Data
Over at The Washington Post, popular culture writer Alyssa Rosenberg1 has written an incredible series on the role and portrayal of police in pop culture called “Dragnets, Dirty Harrys and Dying Hard.”  Rosenberg notes the intersections of law enforcement and culture historically, such as New York police shutting down theaters in the city in 1908 (long before filmmaking was considered protected speech) and Hollywood’s role in the war on drugs.  From there, she discusses the many ways such intersections are reflected — or not — in how culture has portrayed police activity itself, including idyllic early police shows (like “Dragnet”) and the family friendly dystopia in “Zootopia.”

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