Saturday, October 15, 2016
Something for my Governance students to chew on.
British banks fail to report hacks in order to protect their image
… Reported attacks on financial institutions in Britain have risen from just 5 in 2014 to 75 so far this year, data from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) show.
However, bankers and experts in cyber-security say many more attacks are taking place. In fact, banks are under almost constant attack, Shlomo Touboul, Chief Executive of Israeli-based cybersecurity firm Illusive Networks said.
Touboul cites the example of one large global financial institution he works with which experiences more than two billion such “events” a month, ranging from an employee receiving a malicious email to user or system-generated alerts of attacks or glitches.
Machine defenses filter those down to 200,000, before a human team cuts that to 200 “real” events a month, he added.
Does TSA know one phone from another?
U.S. Bans Samsung Note 7 Phones on Airplanes
U.S. officials said Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Note 7 cellphones will be banned from airline flights from noon ET on Saturday.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that passengers who try to carry the phones onto flights could have them confiscated and face fines or possible prosecution if they try to evade the emergency order by placing them in checked luggage.
My Ethical Hacking students know this is one of the best places to discover weaknesses. I suspect Russian hackers know it too.
Andrea Noble reports:
Information technology shortcomings within the Secret Service mean the potential still exists for employees to improperly access the agency’s restricted database, as agents did last year when they leaked unflattering information about House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, according to a new inspector general’s report.
The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General has found that even after last year’s embarrassing incident, the Secret Service still does not have adequate controls in place to protect sensitive information it stores in its databases.
Read more on Washington Times.
Well, that should be helpful after our government commits cyberwarfare against Russia and Russia looks to hack back.
Dale Singer reports:
Missouri school districts need to tighten controls over student data and other information to help ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands for the wrong purpose, a state audit said Thursday.
Using information she gleaned earlier this year from audits on five districts, including Orchard Farm in St. Charles County, state Auditor Nicole Galloway said schools need to pay more attention to cybersecurity in several areas including who has access to the information and what needs to be done when a breach is discovered.
Read more on KRCU.
Would it be wiser to amend the process for requesting data from foreign governments? How much could be automated?
… As anyone who is reading this undoubtedly knows, the Second Circuit’s opinion limits the government’s warrant authority under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) to data that is held within the United States. If a US-based service provider stores communications content outside the United States, the US government can no longer compel the production of that data directly from the provider. It instead must seek the data from the country where it resides—making a diplomatic request through the time-consuming and often laborious the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) process.
Why my Architecture students are taking the class.
Watchdog: IRS wasted $12M on software subscriptions
The IRS wasted $12 million on subscriptions for software that it couldn't utilize, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) said in a report made public this week.
"The purchase was made without first determining project infrastructure needs, integration requirements, business requirements, security and portal bandwidth, and whether the subscriptions were technologically feasible on the IRS enterprise," TIGTA said.
For my geeky students.
The White House is open-sourcing that Facebook Messenger bot
Back in August, you may recall, the White House unveiled the first-ever government Facebook Messenger bot. We used it to send a message to President Obama. It was cool.
Now the team behind the project is taking it a step further and open-sourcing the code used to create the bot. As of this week, the Drupal module is up on GitHub, complete with step-by-step instructions.
Could be useful.
Credo Reference - Research Starters for Students
Credo Reference is a good reference site for students that I recently learned about from David Kapuler. Credo Reference provides students with reference articles from more than 4,000 reference books. In that regard Credo Reference is a search engine for encyclopedia entries.
There are a few features of Credo Reference that teachers will appreciates. First, all articles returned in a search provide students with an option to hear the text read aloud. Second, every article is accompanied by a list of related terms and links to those related articles. Finally, every article has a pre-formatted citation listed at the bottom. Students can copy and paste that citation to use in their works cited pages.
The basic Credo Reference search and the functions highlighted above are available to anyone visiting the website. Libraries that subscribe to the Credo service can unlock additional tools for students.
Hack Education Weekly News
… “One of India’s largest colleges, Amity University, is expanding into the US with the purchase of one campus in New York and a proposal to buy two more, drawing opposition from state officials in Massachusetts about the quality of the education it will offer,” the AP reports. More from Quartz.
… Khan Academy wants to start offering diplomas. What could go wrong?!
… Via ESPN: “In an unprecedented foray into college sports, the National Labor Relations Board general counsel has declared that Northwestern University must eliminate ‘unlawful’ rules governing football players and allow them greater freedom to express themselves. The ruling, which referred to players as employees, found that they must be freely allowed to post on social media, discuss issues of their health and safety, and speak with the media.”
… Via Inside Higher Ed: “Of the six winners of Nobel Prizes affiliated with American universities so far this year, all are foreign born.”
Friday, October 14, 2016
You might believe that all of this is old technology is failing at several airlines simultaneously because all the technology is about the same age. You might believe that this technology is relatively easy to hack and these failures suggest someone is practicing their Cyber War techniques.
New Computer Glitch Delays Thousands of United Airlines Passengers
It is the third computer glitch to hit United’s owner United Continental Holdings in recent months.
Thousands of passengers were delayed worldwide after a computer glitch temporarily halted departures at United Airlines, the latest in a series of outages to affect rival companies in the industry.
Almost 6,000 web shops are unknowingly harbouring malicious code that is stealing the credit card details of customers, suggests research.
The code has been injected into the sites by cyberthieves, said Dutch developer Willem De Groot.
He found the 5,925 compromised sites by scanning for the specific signature of the data-stealing code in website software.
Some of the stolen data was sent to servers based in Russia, he said.
Read more on BBC.
It’s just a big repository of evidence. You just have to know how to retrieve it!
Google: More than 44K government requests for data
… Google said that it received 44,943 requests from government entities worldwide in the first six months of the year, up from 40,677 in the previous six month period. The requests affected 76,713 accounts — a decrease from the previous six months.
The company said it had provided the authorities with some data in 64 percent of cases. That was the same rate as in the prior six months.
An interesting article for lawyers defending hackers. (The PDF is online)
False Flags and Mis-Direction in Hacker Attribution
On October 7, 2016 the U.S. government officially called out Russia and accused it of involvement in cyber attacks against American political organizations. Two days prior, at the Virus Bulletin (VB) Conference, Kaspersky Lab researchers presented a paper on the problems of attribution: Wave Your False Flags! Deception Tactics Muddying Attribution in Targeted Attacks.
Cyber attack attribution has long been a thorny problem. It is difficult to develop norms of international cyber behavior if attackers can hide behind plausible deniability. Microsoft recently proposed an independent international committee of experts to ascribe responsibility. The Kaspersky paper, however, questions whether absolute attribution is even possible.
Look at what Dissent built!
Looking for some monthly stats on healthcare data breaches in the U.S.?
See Protenus’s Breach Barometer for September, produced in conjunction with DataBreaches.net.
Explaining the risks of poor Governance to my students.
Worst-ever Smartphone Recall Could Cause a $17B Hole in Samsung’s Pockets
… It is worth noting that the whole debacle is causing Samsung an immediate and significant financial blow. On Tuesday, even before the company had announced the Galaxy Note 7 as a goner, its shares printed an 8% nosedive, the biggest intraday drop since fiscal 2008. According to analysts at Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS), Samsung could lose a massive $17 billion from the fiasco. In addition, Nomura predicts that the firm’s mobile division could see its profits plunge by as much as 85% in Q4. There are also concerns that Samsung’s image as a trusted electronics brand could be negatively effected as a result of the handset’s production end.
For my IT Architects.
Why Digitization Won’t Put Operations Managers Out of Work
On Oct. 3, ING Group joined a growing number of big European banks when it announced a big investment in digital technology (800 million euros) and a big reduction in force (11% or 5,800 jobs). “Unfortunately digital transformation means less jobs,” CFO Patrick Flynn told Bloomberg Television not very ruefully.
But perhaps not fewer management jobs. “Even as organizations balance lower investment in traditional operations against greater investment in digital, the need for operations management will hardly disappear,” write McKinsey consultants Albert Bollard, Alex Singla, Rohit Sood, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk in a new article in McKinsey Quarterly. “In fact, we believe the need will be more profound than ever.”
What do they see that I don’t and should I try to grab a piece of it?
Softbank's New $100B Tech Fund Shows Exactly How It's Expanding Beyond Telco
The revelation today that the Japanese telco Softbank is planning a $100 billion tech fund with the Saudi Arabian government is a big announcement in and of itself. It will be one of the biggest tech investment funds in existence. Then add the fact that just three days ago, Softbank invested $130 million in the biotech startup Zymergen, and that it’s been just over a month since it completed its $31 billion acquisition of chip-maker ARM Holdings.
Together, the moves add up to one simple fact and a couple more less simple questions. The fact is that even though Softbank is often referred to as a telco company, it no longer fits that profile. Far from it. The questions are: “If it is not a telco, what is it then?” and “What on Earth is it going to spend $100 billion on?”
Interesting. The FBI wasted several hundred million dollars trying to develop a case management tool.
New York City cops are now part of the Windows Phone 1%
New York's Police Department has joined the modern era. Alongside guns and badges, new officers now pick up phones when they join the New York City Police Academy. While the obvious choice might seem like an iPhone or an Android phone, the NYPD has actually picked Microsoft's Windows Phones for its fight against crime. Windows Phone market share might have slipped below 1 percent, but CNET News reports that the NYPD has worked with Microsoft to create apps and secure the devices.
Cops are using either a Lumia 830 or Lumia 640 XL, equipped with special 911 apps, case management apps, and the ability to receive assignments, fill out forms or reports on the go, and access training videos.
Something for my students?
Hootsuite Academy Schools Entrepreneurs in Social Media
Need to brush up on your social media skills? Enrolling in the new Hootsuite Academy is one way entrepreneurs can build the expertise they need to help drive business results using Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
Signing up is simple and free.
(Related) Why my students should understand social media.
McDonald’s Turns to Social Media to Draw Millennials
How many people does it take for a 61-year-old burger maker to tweet? At least a dozen.
Inside a high-tech room at McDonald’s Corp. ’s suburban Chicago headquarters, employees tap away at computers responding to tweets and crunching data on what’s trending on social media, long a standard practice at most consumer companies.
Companies. such as online retailer Zappos.com Inc., coffee giant Starbucks Corp. and discount airline JetBlue Airways Corp., have been using social media for years to manage customer complaints and generate ideas.
But as recently as two years ago, McDonald’s had no way to consistently track and respond to what is being said about it online, a lost opportunity for a brand that gets mentioned on social media every one to two seconds.
… Now, McDonald’s has a digital media hub in Singapore and London as well as the one in Oak Brook. It recently hired 200 people from companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. to bolster its digital efforts and win back the millennials it lost to rivals serving fresher food. Just one in five millennials has ever tried the company’s flagship Big Mac, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Might be useful in my next Statistics class. Do look at the EVA tool!
Data Driven Journalism – Fragile Cities: Plotting lesser known urban stories
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 13, 2016
Data Drive Journalism: “London, Paris, Madrid, New York…there are a numerous “global cities” that mesmerize us with their power and opportunity. But what about the lesser known cities? That can’t boast such potential? What do we know about them? To scope out which cities are forging ahead, and identify those that are falling behind, the Igarapé Institute has launched one of the world’s most comprehensive city mapping platforms – Fragile Cities… Leveraging the power of Explorable Visual Analytics (EVA) – a web application for visualizing and exploring large and complex datasets – the platform provides an easy mechanism for users to congest datapoints, drilldown data, and look at different conceptual zoom layers to get the big picture insights as well as the minute details. EVA is also optimized for time-series visualizations – you can explore trends across different time scales to discover patterns and seasonalities…”
Sort of a geo-selfie? (Is it me or is this data not as easy to find as the article suggests?)
National Geodetic Survey damage assessment imagery available online
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 13, 2016
“From October 7-10, 2016, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected damage assessment imagery for more than 1,200 square miles in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service. Select the round icon with directional arrows using your mouse (or your finger) and slide back and forth to view a “before and after” comparison. “Before” images are provided by Mapbox, Digital Globe, and OpenStreetMap; “After” images were captured by NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.”
Like shooting fish in a barrel?
Labeling fact-check articles in Google News
Over the last several years, fact checking has come into its own. Led by organizations like the International Fact-Checking Network, rigorous fact checks are now conducted by more than 100 active sites, according to the Duke University Reporter’s Lab. They collectively produce many thousands of fact-checks a year, examining claims around urban legends, politics, health, and the media itself.
In the seven years since we started labeling types of articles in Google News (e.g., In-Depth, Opinion, Wikipedia), we’ve heard that many readers enjoy having easy access to a diverse range of content types. Earlier this year, we added a “Local Source” Tag to highlight local coverage of major stories. Today, we’re adding another new tag, “Fact check,” to help readers find fact checking in large news stories. You’ll see the tagged articles in the expanded story box on news.google.com and in the Google News & Weather iOS and Android apps, starting with the U.S. and the U.K.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Because the fashionistas will never notice?
Vera Bradley Is The Latest Retailer To Have Payment Systems Hacked
… Vera Bradley announced this morning that, between July 25 and Sept. 23, hackers gained access to the payment systems in its 112 stores and 44 outlets.
The breach was first discovered on Sept. 15, the company says, when they were notified by police of a “potential data security issue” with the retailer’s store network.
After learning of the breach, Vera Bradley says it notified payment card networks and launched an investigation into the hack.
The probe found unauthorized access to Vera Bradley’s payment processing system and the installation of a program that looked for payment card data. The program was specifically designed to find data in the magnetic strip on a payment card that may contain the card number, cardholder name, expiration date, and internal verification code – as the data was being routed through the affected payment systems.
My students would not have been as generous. (I train them well!)
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Steps Down
Wells Fargo & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive John Stumpf, under fire for the bank’s sales-tactics scandal and his own handling of its fallout, is stepping down from both roles, effective immediately, the bank said Wednesday.
… Mr. Stumpf won’t receive a severance package, the bank said. The board, at Mr. Stumpf’s own recommendation, had previously decided he should relinquish $41 million in unvested equity, one of the biggest-ever forfeitures of pay by a bank chief. He still retires with tens of millions of dollars earned during roughly 35 years at the bank.
… Mr. Stumpf will walk away with total compensation during his years at Wells Fargo valued at about $120 million, according to an estimate by Mark Reilly, a managing director at human-resources consultancy Overture Group LLC. This estimate reflects the value of stock and stock options as well as retirement benefits and deducts the $41 million Mr. Stumpf has already forfeited. It is based on the bank’s Wednesday share price.
“Tis a puzzlement!” User ids and passwords match. How do you know if it came from you?
Catalin Cimpanu reports:
The company says that nobody breached its servers, but that it took this step after its security staff discovered a set of customer details posted online as part of another breach at another company.
Amazon says those details matched the details of Amazon accounts, and since it had no way of knowing if those customers reused the same passwords for their Amazon accounts, it decided to air on the safe side of things and reset those customers’ passwords, just in case.
Password reset emails started going out last week, when several users posted screenshots on Twitter, and have continued to reach users this week.
Read more on Softpedia.
Could we use the same tools to defeat the hackers?
Akamai Says Hackers Use ’Smart’ Devices to Test Stolen Usernames, Passwords
Attackers are hijacking DVRs, satellite antennas and networking devices to conduct mass tests of stolen login credentials, according to research from Akamai Technologies Inc., the latest sign that common household gadgets are being remotely marshaled for malicious activity.
The network security provider on Wednesday said it has new evidence that hackers spent several months or more manipulating as many as two million “smart” devices in homes and businesses to test whether stolen usernames and passwords were able to access others’ websites, known as “credential stuffing campaigns.”
Ah, the power of social media!
Facebook Helped Drive a Voter Registration Surge, Election Officials Say
A 17-word Facebook reminder contributed to substantial increases in online voter registration across the country, according to top election officials.
At least nine secretaries of state have credited the social network’s voter registration reminder, displayed for four days in September, with boosting sign-ups, in some cases by considerable amounts. Data from nine other states show that registrations rose drastically on the first day of the campaign compared with the day before.
(Related) Ah, the curse of social media!
Facebook has repeatedly trended fake news since firing its human editors
… As part of a larger audit of Facebook’s Trending topics, the Intersect logged every news story that trended across four accounts during the workdays from Aug. 31 to Sept. 22. During that time, we uncovered five trending stories that were indisputably fake and three that were profoundly inaccurate.
… This is the second in the series; read the first here.
Amazon leads, everyone else scrambles?
Wal-Mart, Kroger Strive to Counter Amazon’s Grocery Challenge
More than mere disruption. Was this any way to run a business (or industry)?
Uber and Lyft are demolishing New York City taxi drivers
The price of taxi-cab medallions in New York seem to have hit a new low.
Early this month, a medallion — basically the right to operate a yellow cab in New York — was listed for $250,000 on nycitycab.com.
That's a stark contrast from 2014, when the value of a medallion was listed around $1.3 million.
Medallions are tightly regulated, and you cannot operate a taxi in New York without one. They're losing value with the cab business taking a hit amid the rise of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft.
I hope my students have the natural kind…
The Administration’s Report on the Future of Artificial Intelligence
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 12, 2016
… . This Thursday, President Obama will host the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh to imagine the Nation and the world in 50 years and beyond, and to explore America’s potential to advance towards the frontiers that will make the world healthier, more prosperous, more equitable, and more secure. Today, to ready the United States for a future in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a growing role, the White House is releasing a report on future directions and considerations for AI called Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence.
… A companion National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan is also being released, laying out a strategic plan for Federally-funded research and development in AI.
(Related) Or not.
Artificial Intelligence Systems Manage More Complex Tasks
Artificial-intelligence systems can do increasingly complex tasks but they can’t yet figure much out on their own without help from humans.
In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers at Alphabet Inc.’s Google DeepMind describe experimental software that they say gets closer to that goal and could be more accurate and less costly than current systems.
Similar, but different.
As businesses enter the unchartered waters of machine intelligence – where machines learn by experience and improve their performance over time – researchers are trying to predict its impact on jobs and work. Optimists suggest that by taking over cognitive but labor-intensive chores the intelligent machines will free human workers to do more “creative” tasks, and that by working side by side with us they will boost our imagination to achieve more. Experience with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) seems to confirm this prediction. Pessimists predict huge levels of unemployment, as nearly half of existing jobs appear prone to automation and, therefore, extinction.
More nuanced analysis points to a less dystopian future where a great number of activities within jobs will be undertaken by intelligent systems rather than humans. This view, in effect, calls for a re-examination of what a “job” actually is: how it is structured, and how it should be reconfigured, or perhaps redefined, in the age of intelligent automation.
As a longtime fan, I did vote for beSpacific. I will also look at some new-to-me blogs I found in the list of nominees.
beSpacific nominated as one of top Legal Tech Blogs – please vote
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 12, 2016
Dear Colleagues/Readers – beSpacific has been nominated in the The Expert Institute’s – Best Legal Tech Blogs category. I appreciate your taking a minute to vote for beSpacific – thank you very much.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
“We know this is a problem. We know there is a simple fix for this problem. We chose to ignore the problem until someone pointed out to the rest of the world that the Emperor wore no clothes.”
Much has been written about the dangers of poorly secured MongoDB databases among others. Despite the many warnings, millions of records have been lost due to misconfigurations in this database software. Now we have yet another massive database leak has been uncovered related to an insecure MongoDB installation, exposing at least 58 million subscriber records.
Twitter user @0x2Taylor posted exfiltrated data on the file sharing site MEGA twice over the weekend, each time resulting in the data being taken down very quickly. The data was then released for a third time on a smaller file sharing website. After analyzing the dataset, we can confirm that nearly 58 million records contain full names, IP addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, vehicle data, and occupations were included in the leak.
Read more on RiskBasedSecurity, who note that ModB may have dodged a serious bullet, because there was another table with 258 million records that were being downloaded or accessed when the entire bucket was pulled offline.
As of today, ModB has not responded to this site’s original notification to them, alerting them to the leak. Nor have they responded to an inquiry asking them for a comment or what they intended to do about 58 million people having their PII exposed.
We need to talk about this guy, ‘foreign power.’ Clearly he is acting like a common criminal. Should we sic Elliot Ness on him now or wait for him to become a full Tony Montana?
Claire Reilly reports:
It’s official. Foreign spies compromised Australia’s government networks last year, and they got at us through our weather division.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has confirmed that a 2015 attack on servers at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology was conducted by a “foreign intelligence service.” The attack saw two computers on the BOM’s network infected with remote access malware, allowing the attacker to search for, and copy, an “unknown quantity of documents.
Read more on CNET.
(Related) Probably not worth mucking up their elections – they do a fine job of mucking themselves. Could we un-muck them? Probably not. An interesting question…
White House Vows ‘Proportional’ Response for Russian DNC Hack
… White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama is considering “a range of responses” but isn't likely to announce one in advance.
It used public data, but it was against the rules!
Facebook, Twitter block surveillance tool
Facebook and Twitter are cutting off Geofeedia's access to their data after an ACLU report that the company created tools to help law enforcement with surveillance.
The ACLU report released Tuesday, titled “Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Provided Data Access for a Surveillance Product Marketed to Target Activists of Color,” claims Geofeedia marketed the tool to help police monitor activists particularly minorities. The company mines social media and location data.
… “Twitter does have a 'longstanding rule' prohibiting the sale of user data for surveillance as well as a Developer Policy that bans the use of Twitter data “to investigate, track or surveil Twitter users,” a Twitter spokesperson explained in an email.
The tool made use of Geofeedia’s access to Facebook’s Instagram API and Topic Feed API, as well as searchable access to Twitter’s database of public tweets — data available to commercial entities with company approval.
A Facebook spokesperson noted that Geofeedia, “only had access to data that people chose to make public.”
Disappearing messages for Signal
With this update, any conversation can be configured to delete sent and received messages after a specified interval. The configuration applies to all parties of a conversation, and the clock starts ticking for each recipient once they've read their copy of the message.
… This release also includes support for Signal Protocol's numeric fingerprint format, which are called "safety numbers" in Signal.
Safety numbers can be verified by either scanning a QR code or by reading a string aloud.
… As always, all of our code is free, open source, and available on GitHub.
Time to replace SWIFT?
Second hacker group targets SWIFT users, Symantec warns
Cyber-security firm Symantec Corp said on Tuesday that a second hacking group has sought to rob banks using fraudulent SWIFT messages, the same approach that yielded $81 million in the high-profile February attack on Bangladesh's central bank.
Symantec said that a group dubbed Odinaff has infected 10 to 20 organizations with malware that can be used to hide fraudulent transfer requests made over SWIFT, the messaging system that is a lynchpin of the global financial system.
… The company in May said it believed the Bangladesh heist was carried out by a group known as Lazarus, which was also responsible for attacks on SWIFT customers in Southeast Asia as well as the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The U.S. government has blamed North Korea for the Sony attack.
This is not as hard as this article make it seem. It does require managers to manage. An unused tool is worthless.
Samsung Recall Puts Supply-Chain Oversight in Spotlight
Samsung Electronic Co. ’s botched recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is putting a spotlight on supply-chain oversight and raising questions about the ability of today’s technology and management tools to help companies maintain quality control in giant complex networks of suppliers—as when products are being built and upgraded more swiftly.
It's like Wells Fargo, only smaller. Will I get my money back?
FCC hits Comcast with $2.3 million fine
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on Tuesday that it has a reached a $2.3 million settlement with Comcast Corporation over charges for services that customers never authorized.
It’s the largest fine the FCC has ever levied against a cable company.
“The Communications Act and the FCC’s rules prohibit a cable provider from charging its subscribers for services or equipment they did not affirmatively request, a practice known as ‘negative option billing,’ ” a statement from the FCC said.
… The Comcast representative said the company is overhauling its customer service process.
“We have retrained our reps, and we’re providing specific information to customers on the phone,” the representative said. “We have a way for them to quickly get things resolved if there is something that they didn’t know about on their bill.”
Is this how Jeff Bezos beats Safeway and King Soopers? (Or 7-11?)
Amazon to Expand Grocery Business With New Convenience Stores
… The Seattle company aims to build small brick-and-mortar stores that would sell produce, milk, meats and other perishable items that customers can take home, these people say. Primarily using their mobile phones or, possibly, touch screens around the store, customers could also order peanut butter, cereal and other goods with longer shelf lives for same-day delivery.
For customers seeking a quicker checkout, Amazon will soon begin rolling out designated drive-in locations where online grocery orders will be brought to the car, the people said. The company is developing license-plate reading technology to speed wait times.
A heads-up for my lawyer friends.
Faced with the claim that AI and robots are poised to replace most of today’s workforce, most mainstream professionals — doctors, lawyers, accountants, and so on — believe they will emerge largely unscathed. During our consulting work and at conferences, we regularly hear practitioners concede that routine work can be taken on by machines, but they maintain that human experts will always be needed for the tricky stuff that calls for judgment, creativity, and empathy.
Our research and analysis challenges the idea that these professionals will be spared. We expect that within decades the traditional professions will be dismantled, leaving most, but not all, professionals to be replaced by less-expert people, new types of experts, and high-performing systems.
60 seconds of social media.
What happens online in one minute / 60 seconds
Potentially useful tool?
A Nice Way to Share Bundles of Links With Your Students
Sqworl is a free bookmarking tool for teachers and students. In Sqworl you can create groups or bundles of bookmarks to share with your students and or colleagues. It provides a convenient way for you or your students to share collections of resources created while researching or browsing the web. As is demonstrated in my video below, Sqworl has a nice feature that lets you add descriptive notes to each visual bookmark within your Sqworl bundles. Watch my video embedded below to learn more.
This is interesting!
Stack Overflow puts a new spin on resumes for developers
Stack Overflow, the community site best known for providing answers for all of your random coding questions, also has a thriving jobs board and provides services to employers looking to hire developers. Today, the team is expanding the jobs side of its business with the launch of Developer Story, a new kind of resume that aims to free developers from the shackles of the traditional resume.
… Developer Story offers two views: a traditional resume view for employers and a more modern timeline view. It’s the timeline view that emphasizes your achievements, but even the traditional view puts its emphasis on which projects you have contributed to, which languages you’ve used, which questions you’ve answered on Stack Overflow, etc. What’s important to note is that it’s the developers who gets to choose which accomplishments they want to highlight to potential hiring managers.
… If you want to give it a try, the new service is now available on Stack Overflow; like all of the company’s other services for developers, it’s available for free.