Saturday, November 12, 2016
Keep telling yourself “it’s only a coincidence.”
At least three major airlines report computer outages
… Most customers complained on social media that they couldn't access the airline’s app or website to book a reservation or check into their flights around the country.
Just before 1 p.m. Friday, the major airline advised customers that the issue was resolved and was the result of a glitch with Sabre, the technology company that provides booking services to airlines.
"Earlier today, Sabre had a brief technical issue that impacted multiple carriers, including American. This technical issue has been resolved.
… Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways also reported computer problems on Friday.
Good thing I don’t have a Facebook account! I wonder what triggers this “feature?”
Check your Facebook account right now, you might be dead
… I can see slip ups happening like a weird news link or maybe some fake news from a content farm (that’s a problem, too), but social networking might need to do some better quality checks. I can’t think of anything worse than telling everyone I know I’m dead.
When does a sting escalate into “aiding and abetting?”
FBI operated 23 Tor-hidden child porn sites, deployed malware from them
… according to newly unsealed documents recently obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, the FBI not only temporarily took over one Tor-hidden child pornography website in order to investigate it, the organization was in fact authorized to run a total of 23 other such websites.
According to an FBI affidavit among the unsealed documents:
In the normal course of the operation of a web site, a user sends "request data" to the web site in order to access that site. While Websites 1-23 operate at a government facility, such request data associated with a user's actions on Websites 1-23 will be collected. That data collection is not a function of the NIT. Such request data can be paired with data collected by the NIT, however, in order to attempt to identify a particular user and to determine that particular user's actions on Websites 1-23.
… Security researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis told Ars that “it’s a pretty reasonable assumption” that at one point the FBI was running roughly half of the known child porn sites hosted on Tor-hidden servers.
Who is failing here?
The best feature of AT&T’s new $35 TV subscription might be illegal
Starting sometime this month, AT&T will offer an internet-only subscription TV package, with upwards of 100 channels for $35 per month. If the channel selection and pricing are as good as the company promises, it will be a hit.
But AT&T was banking on one other thing to really sell DirecTV Now: integration with AT&T’s cell network, which would let you stream TV channels on your smartphone without using up your data plan. It’s the kind of deal that only AT&T could pull off, as the owner of a national cell and cable network. But according to a letter from the Federal Communications Commission, doing so could be illegal.
In the letter, the FCC says it “believes that the terms and conditions under which Sponsored Data is offered to content providers unaffihiated with AT&T, combined with s current practice of zero-rating DIRECTV video applications for AT&T Mobility subscribers, may obstruct competition and harm consumers by constraining their ability to access existing and future mobile video services not affiliated with AT&T.”
Reinforcing prejudice with legislation? Only in California do they attack a symptom rather than the cause.
Revealing an actor’s age is illegal? IMDb website sues California
Many actors think there ought to be a law against posting their ages online, and California has obliged critics of ageism in Hollywood with legislation targeting a leading online source for information on movie and television figures.
The law, passed earlier this year, has been challenged in a lawsuit by the company IMDb, which is owned by Amazon and operates a repository of information on the film and television industry.
… The lawsuit said the law, known as AB 1687, was unfair because it was carefully tailored to apply only to the Delaware-based IMDb.com Inc, and not other sources of information such as media websites.
Doors close fast when a big giant like Pinterest gobbles up a smaller Instapaper. But sometimes a ray of light shines through which promises more. The bookmark-and-read-it-later service was bought out by Pinterest in August. Instead of shuttering it, Pinterest has decided to open it up for everyone.
In short, Instapaper Premium is now free and open for all.
One of my students is having far too much fun crushing her opponents. I can wait to get her opinion.
Enter the Digital Dragon
As someone with a second-degree black belt in Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate, I’ve made martial-art training a big part of my life for the past 20 years. I’m equally committed to learning how to do things online. But I’ve always wondered: Is studying karate online a viable option for those who can’t get to a real school?