Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Because laptops (or voters) have no value?  At least they were encrypted. 
Ng Kang-chung reports:
In what could be one of Hong Kong’s most significant data breaches ever, the personal information of the city’s 3.7 million voters was possibly compromised after the Registration and Electoral Office reported two laptop computers went missing at its backup venue for the chief executive election.
The devices also stored the names of the 1,200 electors on the Election Committee who selected Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor as Hong Kong’s new chief executive on Sunday.

Another warning. 
MIT – FBI’s Facial Recognition Program Is Sprawling and Inaccurate
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Mar 27, 2017
“Last year, we learned about the remarkable scale of the FBI’s facial-recognition technology, with its access to nearly 412 million photos—many originating from sources unrelated to crime, such as ID documents.  The intelligence agency has been trying to create a system that can accurately identify criminals in, say, CCTV footage—though it wasn’t then known how well the bureau’s software worked, nor whether it actually improved investigations.  Now, we have at least a little more insight into the program.  The Guardian reports that a House oversight committee hearing last week revealed some interesting new details about the proliferation and abilities of the FBI’s facial-recognition systems…”

The technology is working fine, it’s those dang humans that are slowing everything down!
Starbucks says that crowd of people waiting for their Frappuccinos is hurting sales
Mobile pay is speeding Starbucks customers through the checkout line, but a bottleneck is building for the baristas.
   While these transactions are a boon for the coffee giant, the increase in volume has hurt same-store sales.  That's because congestion at the hand-off counter has caused incoming customers to leave without making a purchase, despite lines at the register being short, said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks' president and soon-to-be CEO, during an earnings conference call.
   Starbucks managers across the U.S. have designed their own solutions to this bottlenecking by employing additional staff members, redeploying already hired employees and adding mobile kiosks designed specifically for customers who used the company's mobile pay and ordering.

Keeping up with the competition.  Of course, you would have to pass my test to graduate.  So, not much risk.
Coding Schools Build Tuition-Back Guarantees Into Business Model
Guarantees may be a scary prospect for four-year colleges, but they are built into the business model of the new and rapidly growing for-profit coding boot camps, which depends on students seeing a solid return on their investment.
Udacity, a Silicon Valley-based online course provider last year launched a deal on a nano-credential—find a job in six months or get your tuition back.  The program cost is between $2,000 and $3,000.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, prepares for Cobol, cloud, mainframes
   The White House on Monday announced an "Office of American Innovation," which will be tasked with "modernizing the technology of every federal department," said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, at his daily briefing Monday.
   The House approved that funding after the Oversight and Government Reform Committee last year held a Cobol-bashing hearing.
The committee, in building support for modernizing federal IT, pointed out that there were at least 3,500 federal IT employees at work to maintain "legacy" languages, including 1,100 employees dedicated to Cobol.

AGI (Artificial general intelligence) resources. 
Research – Open AI
by on

(Related).  Thinking about AI.  Interesting graphic…
Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse

Geeky stuff.
As far as JavaScript web development is concerned, React is one of the easiest frameworks to learn and one of the most effective for rapid and robust development.
   most worthwhile React courses come with a hefty price tag.  For example, the highly-acclaimed React for Beginners course is $89 (starter version) and $127 (master version).  Free courses are rarely as comprehensive and helpful — but we’ve found several that are excellent and will get you started on the right foot.

You have got to really, really want something like this.
Giant Gold Coin Worth $4 Million Stolen in Berlin Museum Heist
Burglars stole a 100-kilogram (220-pound), solid-gold coin worth $4 million from a Berlin museum in a heist out of a Hollywood movie.
   The coin is as big as a car tire.

For my geeks.
The Gearhead Toolbox: Raspberry Pi tools
   The uses for ALPR, Automatic License Plate Recognition, cover a wide range from monitoring traffic and locating stolen vehicles, to controlling gates and parking access.  Using a Raspberry Pi for this is a great opportunity to create a low-cost, easily deployed system and OpenALPR is one of the leading ALPR packages you can choose.

Ditto.  Please, not in the halls.
It’s not every day that you’re surprised by tech. Usually, the outlandish ideas fail; but sometimes, they work.  So, does the Vidius HD budget FPV/VR Streaming Drone — which streams images to a smartphone-powered VR headset — surprise, or disappoint?
The Aerix Vidius HD is available now for $95 with the headset, or $75 without.

Again, ditto.
   What you should do depends on whether the hard drive is working or dead.  But surprisingly, a functional old HDD has fewer uses than a dead one.

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