Friday, January 06, 2017

“Okay Bob, what did you screw up now?” 
Those Voices at the Call Center? They May Know a Lot About You
The next time you dial customer service, who answers your call may be determined by what you have said on Facebook.
Companies from casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. to wireless carrier Sprint Corp. are increasingly checking social media and other personal data to tailor calls for each customer.  The practice, however, raises concerns among privacy advocates.
   A startup called Afiniti International Holdings Ltd. is trying to change that.  Its artificial intelligence software, which has been installed in more than 150 call centers by dozens of companies, examines as many as 100 databases tied to landline and cellphone numbers to determine the best agent to answer each individual caller.  Such matching can result in more satisfied customers and more sales, the company says.
Afiniti’s technology not only pulls callers’ histories for a business and credit profile, but seeks insights into their behavior by scouring their public Facebook and Twitter posts as well as LinkedIn pages.

For my Data management students.  How would this data benefit the organization?
Why Bosses Can Track Their Employees 24/7
   The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures, but it only constrains the government’s actions.  If local police or the FBI wants to track your car, they have to ask a judge for a warrant first.  But if your boss wants to track your phone, it’s likely within his or her rights.
In fact, businesses track their employees’ locations all the time.  Often, it’s to keep an eye on their equipment, like company vans or employer-issued cellphones.  Other times, tracking helps bosses make sure their workers are clocking in and out on time, and that remote employees—like a technician or a plumber who make house calls, for example—are indeed where they say they are.  Tracking systems can also help employers make sure their employees are reporting mileage correctly, and that they aren’t taking detours between jobs to pick up groceries.

(Related).  Why are these companies chasing technology?
Digital Dunkin’: Non-Tech Firms Crash CES, Looking to Connect
At the world’s largest consumer electronics show this week, Carnival cruise lines, Dunkin’ Donuts and the owner of Absolut vodka unveiled new technology and swapped tips.

It’s not that the security was bad, it’s that they said it was good?  
FTC takes D-Link to court citing lax product security, privacy perils
The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against network equipment vendor D-Link saying inadequate security in the company’s wireless routers and Internet cameras left consumers open to o hackers and privacy violations.
   For its part, D-Link Systems said it "is aware of the complaint filed by the FTC.  D-Link denies the allegations outlined in the complaint and is taking steps to defend the action.  The security of our products and protection of our customers private data is always our top priority."  [Update: A full response fromD-Link can be found here]

According to the FTC’s complaint, D-Link promoted the security of its routers on the company’s website, which included materials headlined “Easy to secure” and “Advance network security.”  But despite the claims made by D-Link, the FTC alleged, the company failed to take steps to address well-known and easily preventable security flaws, such as:
·         “Hard-coded” login credentials integrated into D-Link camera software -- such as the username “guest” and the password “guest” -- that could allow unauthorized access to the cameras’ live feed;
·         A software flaw known as “command injection” that could enable remote attackers to take control of consumers’ routers by sending them unauthorized commands over the Internet;
·         The mishandling of a private key code used to sign into D-Link software, such that it was openly available on a public website for six months; and
·         Leaving users’ login credentials for D-Link’s mobile app unsecured in clear, readable text on their mobile devices, even though there is free software available to secure the information.

The tech version of “too big to fail?” 
How Samsung Weathered the Galaxy Note 7 Recall
A strong earnings forecast from Samsung Electronics Co. on Friday offered a fresh reminder of the company’s central place in the global technology supply chain.
Even with the recall of its premium Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in early October last year that cost it at least $5 billion, Samsung projected profits for the last three months of 2016 that would be the highest in more than three years.
The boost in profits didn’t come from its own lineup of premium smartphones, but rather from competitors like Apple Inc., Dell Inc., HP Inc. and Sony Corp., whose smartphones, laptops and televisions rely on components manufactured by the South Korean technology giant.

“Mess with me and I’ll sue you!”  Probably not a viable threat in cyber-space. 
Law firms subject to same cyber risk as others, but is compliance required?
   ALM Legal Intelligence has reported the following facts on the legal sector.
  • Nearly 10% of firms have not performed a formal information security and privacy assessment.
  • Approximately one-third of firms do not hold cyber liability insurance policies.
  • More than 55% of firms have either already established a cybersecurity practice or have plans to form one.
  • A whopping 98% of law firm respondents to the ALM intelligence law firm survey believe that the legal industry is increasingly a target for attacks.
  • 22% of law firms don’t have a data breach plan in place
  • Only 50% of law firms have a cybersecurity team in place
  • 87% state they train users on basic security practices yet only 47% conduct drills
  • Most view cybersecurity as an IT issue vs the reality, it’s a business issue 
Additionally Daniel Solove, professor at George Washington University Law School and organizer of the privacy + Security forum, said “On a scale of 1 to 10, the risks law firms are facing are an 11.”

Another ‘talking car.’  Will all cars talk like KITT?  Is voice a ‘must have?’
Nissan is placing Cortana in the passenger seat
At the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas today, Nissan announced that, as part of Microsoft’s existing partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, it’s working with Microsoft around the use of the Cortana virtual assistant and other services that are part of a new Connected Vehicle Platform.
   This comes a day after Google said that Daimler and Hyundai will be integrating the Google Assistant, and Ford said Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will be coming to its cars.  Apple, for its part, fields CarPlay, which is integrated into hundreds of vehicles.

Technology for those IoT connected devices that don’t change much over the years.
Intel’s Compute Card wants to give your fridge a brain transplant
   Hardware manufacturers, which already include big names like HP, Dell, InFocus, Lenovo, LG, and Sharp, will use Intel’s specifications to build the Compute Card into their new products.
It’s an easy way for a company that doesn’t have experience producing tiny smart internals to add the functionality into a new device.  Now LG doesn’t have to figure out how to produce the computing portion of its fridge, it can just outsource the problem.  Even better, it means you don’t need to replace your fridge when you want new features — you can just upgrade the card.

Now children, let’s not get into another “did too!” did not!” shouting match.  The FBI didn’t think this was worth mentioning at the time? 
FBI Says Democrats Refused Access to Hacked E-Mail Servers
The Democratic National Committee rebuffed requests by federal agents to inspect computer servers that had been breached last year during the presidential campaign, forcing them to rely on third-party cyber security data to investigate the hack, the FBI said.

The next great time-waster?
The Internet Archive has created a repository dedicated to Donald Trump.  The Trump Archive is designed to be a public record of the views the next President of the United States of America has expressed in recent years.  Allowing us all to become fact-checkers.
   The Trump Archive contains more than 520 hours of Trump-related videos.  This includes speeches, interviews, debates, and other televised broadcasts concerning the president.  The earliest video dates back to December 2009, when Trump started expressing views relevant to his presidency.

(Related).  Presidents move markets.
New app alerts users when Trump tweets about stocks they own
Worried that a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump might sink your stocks?  There’s an app for that.

(Related).  Hardly unexpected. 
South Korea assigns official to monitor Trump’s tweets: report
South Korea’s government has assigned an official to monitor President-elect Donald Trumps Twitter account, according to a new report.
The officer will screen all of Trump’s tweets, The Korea JoongAng Daily said Thursday, paying special attention to those regarding Asia, North Korea and South Korea.

(Related).  Usually it takes a few years to sort out Presidential papers.
White House releases new Obama social media archive tools
The Obama administration's social media archive plan includes everything from GIFs to Vines, the White House revealed Thursday.
In a post, the White House shared links to several platforms that allow users to access a history Obama’s posts during his time in the White House.  Some of the sites included Giphy, which archived every GIF image ever used by the White House, and ArchiveSocial’s searchable database of every White House social media post.
The White House’s Twitter, Facebook and Vine posts are also available for anyone to download in their entirety and use to create their own data and archival projects.
Not all of the tools are purely archival. One, created MIT Media Lab’s Electome group, analyzed Obama’s tweets and categorized them into policy categories, tracking them against 2016 election discourse on Twitter.  The charts highlight discrepancies between the president’s tweets and other tweets in areas like healthcare and employment.
The charts reveal Obama's tweets focusing on these things much more than other politically focused Twitter users.  2016 political Twitter users did, however, spend a lot more time than Obama tweeting about foreign policy and national security matters.
In October, the White House announced its initial plans for its digital archival project, which included housing all of the president’s tweets on the Twitter account @POTUS44.
Obama has been called the first “Twitter president"

What will my geeks do with this?  Stay tuned!
You might have heard about PIXEL, the new Raspberry Pi desktop environment, that comes as part of the Raspbian Jessie operating system.  Basically it offers a slick, new user interface to the low-spec hobbyist mini-computer, and the results are stunning.
Given the spec of the Raspberry Pi (we’re talking ARM processors without much RAM and no hard disk drive) it would be rather great if this OS could be ported to Intel and AMD 32-bit and 64-bit processors, to pump some new life into older PCs, wouldn’t it?
Well, as fortune would have it, this is exactly what has happened.  The Raspberry Pi team has released a version of PIXEL for x86 and x64 computers, which means that there is a good chance that your old, low spec PC or laptop could be persuaded to run, and run well.
..   Your mileage may vary, but in short, if your computer will run Debian, then it should run PIXEL.

The traffic light is a fun little project, that can be completed in under an hour.  Learn how to build your own – using an Arduino – and how to modify the circuit for an advanced model.
Don’t worry if you’ve never used an Arduino before, we have a beginners guide.

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