Thursday, March 02, 2017

Do you believe that some random Chinese hackers were carefully following the South Korean real estate market?  Or is China sending a message?
Allen Cone reports:
The Lotte Group said Wednesday its website in China was hacked, one day after South Korea’s retail giant signed a deal to sell land for a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.
The website,, was inaccessible since Tuesday afternoon because of a virus planted by hackers, a Lotte official said, citing an analysis of computer security experts.
Read more on UPI.

These are not Terminators.  What damage would a re-programmed Rumba do?  Vacuum counter-clockwise rather than clockwise?  Every new technology must re-learn the security processes of all previous technologies. 
Thomas Fox-Brewster reports:
Are the human gods creating our future robot overlords bestowing their creations with solid cybersecurity?  A pair of hackers think not.
The researchers, from security consultancy IOActive, claimed Wednesday to have found a whopping 50 vulnerabilities across components of major home and industrial robots.  If exploited, those weaknesses could allow remote control of the machines or reprogramming of their functions, whilst possibly leaking their data, the researchers said.  And they believe there’s worse to come, as their hacks have only gone skin deep thus far.
Read more on Forbes.

So, you don’t need a warrant?  This is a regulation, not a law? 
Schumer asks FCC for waiver to trace Jewish center bomb threats
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver to unscramble anonymous phone numbers that had been used to call in bomb threats to a New York Jewish Community Center.

It is no good, but for now it is good, even though it is no good.  Got it!
Tim Cushing reports:
Thanks to the FBI’s one-to-many NIT warrant, which was issued in Virginia but reached thousands of computers all over the world, yet another federal judge is dealing with the fallout of the feds’ efficiency.  Michigan federal judge Thomas Ludington finds plenty he doesn’t like about the FBI’s malware and the DOJ’s defense of it, but still can’t quite find enough to warrant suppression of the evidence [PDF link].
Read more on TechDirt.

Someone in Google’s legal department must have Okayed this, right?  Even if the evaluation was more “Profit will exceed Cost of litigation” rather than “Ethical, Moral and Legal.” 
Glynis Farrell reports:
A federal judge in Illinois refused Monday to dismiss a class-action lawsuit claiming Google illegally collects face geometry scans from photographs taken on its smartphones without users’ knowledge.
Lead plaintiff Lindabeth Rivera alleges a photo taken of her on a Google Android device was automatically uploaded to the company’s cloud-based service, Google Photos, where her facial features were scanned to create a unique face template without her consent.
Read more on Courthouse News.

Who was managing the company?  Apparently, ‘no one.’  So ‘no one’ should go to jail?  And once again, that “really big screw-up” they told us about is even bigger that they initially admitted. 
Wells Fargo says more customers could be affected by sales scandal
Wells Fargo said on Wednesday that eight top executives, including chief executive Tim Sloan, will not receive bonuses this year, the latest effort by the megabank to move beyond a sales scandal involving millions of fake customer accounts.
The bank also said the number of customers affected by the sales practices may be bigger than previously estimated, according to regulatory filings released Wednesday.
Wells Fargo’s board has not found that the executives did anything wrong, [Yes fans, being ignorant IS part of their job description!  Bob] according to a company statement, rather the action is a way for them to share accountability for the sales scandal that has rocked the more-than-100-year-old San Francisco bank. 
   The bank is still conducting an internal review of the behavior, and is looking as far back as 2009 to figure out how many unauthorized accounts were created.  Those findings could also lead to “additional legal or regulatory proceedings,” increased compliance costs or the discovery of other problematic practices, the bank said in the filings.

(Related).  Ignorance is expensive.
Yahoo’s Top Lawyer Resigns and C.E.O. Marissa Mayer Loses Bonus in Wake of Hack
Yahoo’s top lawyer, Ronald S. Bell, resigned Wednesday, and its chief executive, Marissa Mayer, lost her 2016 bonus after a board investigation of the 2014 theft of information on more than 500 million user accounts.
Senior executives, company lawyers and information security staff were aware of the hack in 2014 and also knew about subsequent attempts to break into the affected accounts in 2015 and 2016, but failed to “properly comprehend or investigate” the situation, the company’s board of directors said in a securities filing on Wednesday.
The board “did not conclude that there was an intentional suppression of relevant information.”
   Ms. Mayer, who will also give up her 2017 equity compensation in connection with the incident, said in a statement that she did not learn of the breach until September 2016, when Yahoo first disclosed the hack to the public.

(Related).  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 
The New York Stock Exchange requires that the boards of all publicly traded corporations conduct a self-evaluation at least annually to determine whether they are functioning effectively.  
   In a study of 187 boards we undertook with The Miles Group, a consulting and advisory firm, we found that most board evaluations fail to identify and correct poor performance among individual members.

Perspective.  A brief update.
How to Thrive — and Survive — in a World of AI Disruption
   Deep learning and neural networks have dramatically improved in effectiveness and impact, leading to human-level performance in many aspects of vision, conversational speech, and problem-solving.  As a result, industries are in the midst of a major transformation and more is on the way.

Tales from the techno-future?  Soon, every business will have to accept orders from an App and make deliveries by drone.  (It may even be a law!)  Lots of opportunity for third parties?   
McDonald’s Is Finally Getting Mobile Ordering and Delivery
McDonald's is betting on new tech like mobile orders and payments to halt an exodus of U.S. customers that has seen store visits fall by 500 million since 2012.
The hamburger giant unveiled plans at its annual investor day to make "mobile order and pay" available at all of its roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the autumn.  McDonald's will also finally introduce delivery, giving in to a long held demand from patrons who have drifted to rivals in recent years.

(Related).  Think of these as one of those Amazon buttons sewn into the sneaks.  (You will need to change shoes to order Chinese.) 
Pie Tops: Pizza Hut introduces new smart shoes that let you order pizza with the push of a button

For my students, to create virtual study groups.
Apps like FaceTime have made video calling between two people instant and easy.  Not so long ago, setting up a video chat between several parties was a big pain in the neck, but that’s thankfully changed.
Nobody wants to download a bunch of software, work with a complicated system, or pay money to join a group conference call.  We’ve got good news: There are several awesome, simple services that you can use for personal video conference calls that don’t cost anything.

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