Saturday, March 25, 2017

I may ask my students to explain security on all the social media they use.  Is this sufficient? 
Facebook’s ubiquity makes it dangerous in so many ways.  Aside from the threat of picking up malware, the ever-present risk of someone hacking your account — plus privacy issues from Facebook itself — mean you must be vigilant when using the service.
Thankfully, it only takes a few moments to make sure you’re not at risk for Facebook issues.  Here are six easy ways to avoid becoming a victim on Facebook.

I don’t see much of a downside here if they do what they say they will do. 
T-Mobile is rolling out scam warnings on incoming calls
T-Mobile is trying to help its subscribers dodge more spammy calls.
The carrier is going to begin warning subscribers when an incoming phone call appears to be from a scammer.  If a scam call is detected, the caller ID will display as “Scam Likely,” giving subscribers a heads up before they answer or the chance to just ignore it outright.
T-Mobile will also let subscribers block all suspected scam calls so those calls never reach their phones in the first place.  But subscribers will have to actively opt in to the blocking service, as there’s a chance the carrier could accidentally filter out legitimate numbers.
   T-Mobile says its service works by comparing phone numbers to a list of “tens of thousands” of known scammers.  The database is constantly updated, the company says, by analyzing call patterns.  So it sounds like T-Mobile might catch on to new scam numbers if it notices a bunch of subscribers immediately hanging up on a number they’ve never contacted before.

We’re still drawing the line between public and private.  
Kelsi Loos reports:
A man charged with killing a Frederick County resident in an alleged MS-13 gang hit contended that police violated his rights when they seized his Facebook account and searched his apartment.
This month, Raul Ernesto Landaverde Giron joined co-defendants, other accused gang members.  They asked the U.S. District Court of Maryland to disregard evidence collected from social media accounts, arguing that the Fourth Amendment protected the private communications against search and seizure.
Defense attorneys noted that the Maryland federal district court had not yet considered whether Facebook messages are protected under the law, but other federal courts had said private messages on the social media site are entitled to Fourth Amendment protection.
Read more on the Frederick News-Post.

There should be a “guide to paying for law school” and this should be in it. 
There’s Money in Faxes—for Plaintiffs
In the annals of modern technology, the fax machine has nearly gone the way of the floppy disk.
But some enterprising plaintiffs’ attorneys are still turning faxes into money, using a decades-old federal statute aimed at protecting consumers from overzealous marketers.
The stakes are high: The law allows recipients of unwanted fax advertisements to recover at least $500 per message from a sender, an amount that can turn a proposed class-action lawsuit into a multimillion-dollar business threat.

Apparently, “Fake News” is anything you wish it to be.  But (see yesterday’s blog) this is very much what Sloan said, except for the timeline.  
Tech community "dumbfounded" by Mnuchin's dismissal of AI impact on jobs
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin riled the tech community this morning when he told Axios' Mike Allen that displacement of jobs by artificial intelligence and automation is "not even on my radar screen" because the technology is "50-100 more years" away.  Mnuchin also said he is "not worried at all" about robots displacing humans in the near future.  "In fact, I'm optimistic."

Keeping current.  
Rust, React, JavaScript, Python top Stack Overflow survey
   The annual survey, which had 64,000 developers participating worldwide in January and February, uncovered a wide range of experience levels.  Thanks to online courses and coding boot camps, adults with little to no programming experience can now more easily transition to a career as a developer, Stack Overflow said.  Slightly more than 50 percent of respondents had been coding professionally for about five years or fewer, while just 7.5 percent were coding for 20 years or more.  
   If developers want to make the most money, the technology to learn worldwide is Clojure, a Lisp dialect for the JVM, the survey found.  In the United States, Google's Go and Scala can yield the highest paychecks.  "Globally, developers who use Clojure in their jobs have the highest average salary at $72,000," Stack Overflow said. Rust followed at $65,714.  "In the U.S., developers who use Go as well as developers who use Scala are highest paid, with an average salary of $110,000."  
Stack Overflow also asked developers about which languages they are using, as well as which ones they like and dislike.  JavaScript (62.5 percent), SQL (51.2 ), and Java (39.7) remain the most commonly used programming languages.  But Rust, with 73.1 percent of users wanting to keep working with it, was the most loved language, followed by SmallTalk (67), and TypeScript (64.1).  "This means that proportionally, more developers wanted to continue working with [Rust] than any other language," the report stated.  "Swift, last year's second most popular language, ranked as fourth." 
The most wanted languages were Python (20.8 percent), JavaScript (18.6), and Go (13.5).  "Python shot to the most-wanted language this year (as in, the language developers want to use this year more than any other), after ranking fourth last year," Stack Overflow said.  Hanlon cited Python's usage in data science and its interest among developers as boosting its popularity.

The last bastions have fallen.
The holiday is over: Amazon will collect sales taxes nationwide on April 1
Amazon, the online merchandise juggernaut, will collect sales taxes from all states with a sales tax starting April 1.
Tax-free shopping will be over as of next month in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico, the four remaining holdouts.
   After April, the only states in which Amazon won't collect taxes are Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire.  These five states don't have sales levies.

For my next Statistics class.
3 ways to spot a bad statistic

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