Thursday, April 06, 2017

Working at a school does not make you well educated. 
Michael Konopasek reports:
A computer hacking scam has made $40,000 of direct deposit money for Denver Public Schools employees disappear.  Internet thieves are suspected of stealing the funds that were intended to pay the school district staff
Read more on Fox31.  Sadly, it appears that despite the district’s training/awareness efforts, at least 30 employees fell for a phishing attack that gave the attackers access to the district’s payroll system.

Privacy equals good banking?
John Revill reports:
Switzerland’s highest court has rejected a French request for help in investigating a married couple for tax offences, ruling that data stolen from HSBC’s Geneva private bank was inadmissible.
The ruling comes amid the latest scandal to hit Credit Suisse after an anonymous tipster alerted Dutch authorities to thousands of suspect accounts that triggered police raids last week.
Read more on Reuters.

But they did, didn’t they? 
We are not substituting stock-picking machines for humans, says BlackRock's Larry Fink
BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Thursday it is not substituting stock-picking computers for humans.
Right now, machines do not outperform human analysts, Fink said.
   "We are reorienting some of the humans' jobs in terms of doing more data science and data analysis," Fink said.  "We'll have the same amount of employees in our equity division a year from now than we do today."
The move to incorporate more computing power into investment decisions is a recognition that there are so many sources of information that need to be analyzed quickly, Fink said.
"Very fast computers [can] analyze blogs, analyze all the feeds of the internet to come up with different nuances, different fields of information," he said.  "It requires model analysis and deep-data analysis."

Customer service down under?
Apple forbids consumers from taking their iPhones to third parties for repair, and sometimes even bricks phones as punishment.  But Australia has said that’s not cool and is suing the tech behemoth.  
Australia’s consumer watchdog agency, the Competition and Consumer Commission, announced early this morning that it’s suing Apple for refusing to service iPhones and iPads that have been bricked by software updates.  Bricking a device means that it’s been rendered completely unusable—about as good for making things like telephone calls and Snappy Chats™ and Twitter Tweets™ as a brick.
   Apple refused to restore the phones after bricking them, which appears to be in direct violation of Australian consumer laws.
According to Apple’s terms of service, if you get something like a broken screen repaired by anyone but Apple, the company doesn’t have to honor warranties, including the extended warranties of AppleCare.  But Australia says that it doesn’t matter what Apple says—Australian law supercedes Apple’s bullshit policies.

Apparently, there is much more going on in this market than I get from the article. 
Taser stuns law enforcement world, offers free body cameras to all US police
Taser, the company whose electronic stun guns have become a household name, is now offering a groundbreaking deal to all American law enforcement: free body cameras and a year’s worth of access to the company’s cloud storage service,
In addition, on Wednesday, the company also announced that it would be changing its name to “Axon” to reflect the company’s flagship body camera product.
Right now, Axon is the single largest vendor of body cameras in America.
   If the move is successful, Axon could quickly crowd out its rivals entirely.
   “Only 20 percent [of cops] have a camera,” Rick Smith, the company’s CEO, told Ars.  “Eighty percent are going out with a gun and no camera.  We only need 20- to 30-percent conversion to make it profitable,” he added.  “We expect 80 percent to become customers.”
   In the last two years, police largely have warmed to the idea of cameras.  They believe they can protect themselves against false accusations of wrongdoing and can highlight professionalism.  In a recent Pew poll, two-thirds of officers favored their use.
“Our belief is that a body camera is to a cop what a smartphone is to a civilian,” Smith said.  “Cops spend about two-thirds of their time doing paperwork.  We believe, within 10 years, we can automate police reporting.  We can effectively triple the world’s police force.”

Is this enough to motivate my gamers?
The MASSive Mass Effect: Andromeda writing contest
   as part of the review process, Electronic Arts and BioWare not only provided Ars with an expiring review copy of the game, but also an Origin code good for one standard edition of Mass Effect: Andromeda—and a remote-controlled Nomad vehicle, too!  Since we already bought our own retail copies of Andromeda, and since we don't keep expensive promotional items, we figured the best thing to do with these goodies would be to set up a simple contest to give them away to you fine folks!
Here's the dealy-o, faithful readers: if you'd like this copy of Mass Effect: Andromeda and this RC Nomad to be yours, we're going to make you work for it.  Specifically, you need to write a short story (500 words max) set somewhere and sometime in the Mass Effect universe.  Where and when is up to you
   To enter, you'll need to enter your details and your story in the form below.

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