Monday, November 28, 2016

Next: Hack an entire city!  
Alleged Muni ‘hacker’ demands $73,000 ransom, some computers in stations restored
Computer systems at San Francisco’s transit system, Muni, have been restored following a malware attack on Friday afternoon.
Payment systems across the agency’s subways read “OUT OF ORDER” in large red digital letters at Powell Station, Embarcadero Station and other stations across The City following the attack.
On Friday and Saturday, computers in station agents’ booths across the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency displayed “You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted. Contact For Key( ,Enter.”
   As of late Sunday, Muni drivers were assigned routes via handwritten notes posted to bulletin boards, as opposed to the usual computer printouts, which was verified by Muni operators on background.

(Related) Or an entire country?  Sounds like they have no idea what happened.
'Likely Hacker Attack' Hits Almost 1 Million German Homes
Around 900,000 customers using specific models of router have been affected since Sunday afternoon, the firm said, with some unable to connect at all while others suffered intermittent problems.
"We believe that influence was exerted on the routers from outside," a Telekom spokesman told AFP, saying software had been installed on the devices that prevented them from connecting to the company's network.
    Customers affected have been advised to disconnect their routers from the network since the problems began on Sunday afternoon.

Should we think of this as a “bad security tax?”
John Miller and Farah Master report:
Customers of a Chinese-owned Liechtenstein bank are being told by unknown blackmailers they must pay a portion of their savings or face having account details sent to finance authorities and the media, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.
Those targeted have accounts at Valartis Bank Liechtenstein, located in the tiny Alpine principality sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, Bild am Sonntag reported.
The hackers are demanding 10 percent of the account balances, to be paid in Internet cryptocurrency Bitcoin to help preserve anonymity, Bild reported.
Read more on Reuters.

Perhaps, an introduction to social engineering?
A Website That Gives You Points as It Spies on You
Welcome to the strange, creepy world of  (That’s a URL. Go ahead! Click!)
   Poke around for 30 seconds and the site seems silly.  Stay a little longer and the absurdity starts to mean something.  The site is showcase of the ways, big and small, your browser can be used to spy on you.  It turns the browser window into a circus ring, and asks you to perform flips to rack up meaningless points.  For the curious and obsessive (me), it’s impossible to click away.
   The site is part of a project called We Are Data,” and was co-produced by VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster.  Moniker and VPRO started work on the site in earnest three months ago, and released it last week.  The stripped-down site has a homemade vibe to it; the haunting voice that accompanies you throughout is Wouters’s own.

Censorship, just a cost of doing business?
Microsoft's Chinese chatbot won't talk about Tiananmen Square or Donald Trump
The conversational two-year-old Chinese-speaking bot won't talk about certain controversial political topics, even refusing to talk to users if they persist in their attempts.
Alongside the iconic protests, Xiaoice also won't discuss US president-elect Donald Trump, Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Communist Party, and the Dalai Llama.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that the bot censors certain subjects, saying in a statement: "We’re committed to creating the best experience for everyone chatting with Xiaoice.  With this in mind, we have implemented filtering on a range of topics."

For my Software Architecture students.
Long a Novelty, Gigantic Tablets Are Sneaking Into the Workplace
   The devices—anything bigger than 13 inches, the size of an iPad Pro—are interesting for several reasons.  First is the diversity of their uses, from the bowels of cruise ships to your local McDonald’s.  The second is that, unlike tablets and other mobile touch-screen devices, no one owns this category yet.
Third is the way these gigantopads allow people to interact with computers in new ways.  It’s the difference between watching a show on your mobile device and gathering the family around the TV.
   In a sense, these ginormablets combine four devices found in most office conference rooms: a whiteboard, a videoconferencing system, a projection system and the laptops people bring to meetings to take notes and manipulate shared documents.

Also for Software Architecture students.  Maybe you don’t know everything about a business…
   Last week, I spent a day in Detroit as part of a CEO Summit organized by Business Leaders for Michigan, an association of the state’s biggest companies.  The event’s kickoff speaker was Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s Pizza, which is headquartered in nearby Ann Arbor.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than a riff on the company’s most popular toppings, but what I heard were riveting and compelling lessons about making radical, deep-seated change in a traditional, slow-to-change business.  Doyle’s talk was titled, “How to Transform a Legacy Company into a Technology-Enabled, Nimble, Category-Disrupting Machine” — and it delivered.
   How have Doyle and his colleagues unleashed so much change in such a short period of time?  First, by reminding themselves of the business they’re in. Domino’s is not just in the pizza-making business, the CEO emphasizes, but in the pizza-delivery business, which means it has to be in the technology business. “We are as much a tech company as we are a pizza company,” he told the audience, pointing out that of the 800 people working at headquarters, fully 400 work in software and analytics.  All that technology has changed how customers order (using the Domino’s app, or directly via twitter, or even by texting an emoji); how they monitor the status of their order; and how Domino’s manages its operations.

I’ve been teasing my students with questions like these.  No doubt MIT does it better.
Moral Machine
Recent scientific studies on machine ethics have raised awareness about the topic in the media and public discourse.  This website aims to take the discussion further, by providing a platform for 1) building a crowd-sourced picture of human opinion on how machines should make decisions when faced with moral dilemmas, and 2) crowd-sourcing assembly and discussion of potential scenarios of moral consequence.

You mean, they’re not all the same?
New on LLRX – Comparative Criminal Procedure: A Select Bibliography
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 27, 2016
Via – Comparative Criminal Procedure: A Select Bibliography – This expansive, comprehensive and up-to-date guide by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago D’Angelo Law Library, references resources that include books, loose-leaf, online, database and e-government sites, services and resources.

Something for my starving students.

Something for may student vets in particular.
Call To Action App – Locate and contact your Congressional Rep
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Nov 27, 2016
Calling the district office of your Congressional rep is the most effective way to get government to listen to you, according to political staffers.  Calls are taken more seriously and make a greater impact than emails or written letters.  Because your Congressional rep serves fewer constituents than a Senator, a call to your rep is more likely to be answered and carries more relative weight.”

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