Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Trump tweets.  Oliver creates a domain.  Unknows launch a DDoS attack.  Protests (or outright attacks) follow triggering events almost instantly. 
FCC Says Website Downtime Caused by DDoS Attacks
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said its website was disrupted by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on Sunday night, not due to a large number of attempts to submit comments on net neutrality.
“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver revisited the subject of net neutrality on Sunday, urging people to leave comments on the FCC’s website.  Oliver has criticized FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over the proposal to roll back net neutrality rules, and he even set up a domain, gofccyourself.com, which redirects users to a page on the FCC website where they can submit comments on the proposal.  The FCC’s site became inaccessible shortly after.
   “Beginning on Sunday night at midnight, our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDos).  These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC’s comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host,” the FCC stated.
“These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves; rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC.  While the comment system remained up and running the entire time, these DDoS events tied up the servers and prevented them from responding to people attempting to submit comments.” it added.
Some people are still skeptical and believe the FCC may have mistaken the large volume of traffic for a DDoS attack.  Other theories are that someone launched a DDoS attack on the FCC just for fun, or that entities opposing net neutrality rules launched the attacks to prevent consumers from complaining.

Ryan Luby reports:
The Larimer County Clerk and Recorder’s office made sweeping changes to how it conducts business amid a Denver7 investigation, which revealed how officials had published sensitive information belonging to thousands of people online for months.
Among the records were child support liens, death certificates, and commercial lending filings.  Many of them contained a variation of social security numbers and dates of birth — the types of information that would be valuable to identity thieves.
Read more on The Denver Channel.

Something my Computer Security students should start considering.
A guide to business continuity planning in the face of natural disasters
   A recent study conducted by a leading insurance provider found that 48 percent of all small businesses do not have a business continuity plan.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster, and another 25 percent fail within one year.  The factor underlying this failure rate is business’ fundamental under-preparedness.  Compounding the problem is the lack of understanding of the scope and breadth of insurance coverage or government provisions.

A whole new can of worms.  Any talk about North Korea would be viewed by Kim Jong Un as hate speech. 
Austrian court rules Facebook must delete 'hate postings'
   The case - brought by Austria's Green party over insults to its leader - has international ramifications as the court ruled the postings must be deleted across the platform and not just in Austria, a point that had been left open in an initial ruling.
   Strengthening the earlier ruling, the Viennese appeals court ruled on Friday that Facebook must remove the postings against Greens leader Eva Glawischnig as well as any verbatim repostings, and said merely blocking them in Austria without deleting them for users abroad was not sufficient.
The court added it was easy for Facebook to automate this process.  It said, however, that Facebook could not be expected to trawl through content to find posts that are similar, rather than identical, to ones already identified as hate speech.

Something to follow? 
The National Constitution Center has launched a new white paper series on a Twenty-First Century Framework for Digital Privacy, with some very interesting papers from none other than David Kris, Chris Slobogin, Jim Harper, and Neil Richards.  The launch event is set for this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Philadelphia, with a keynote by Jeffrey Rosen.

How do I surveil thee?
Let me count the ways
The Independent reports:
An increasing number of Android applications are attempting to track users without their knowledge, according to a new report.
Over recent years, companies have started hiding “beacons”, ultrasonic audio signals inaudible to humans, in their adverts, in order to track devices and learn more about their owners.
Electronic devices equipped with microphones can register these sounds, allowing advertisers to uncover their location and work out what kind of ads their owners watch on TV and which other devices they own.
The technique can even be used to de-anonymise Tor users.
Read more on Independent.

I surveil thee from any camera
My AI can reach
Potentially, this would allow England to “watch” all 4 million TV cameras and catch all the events requiring intervention.  As automated surveillance becomes cheaper, can automated responses be far behind? 
Nvidia Metropolis video analytics paves the way for AI cities
In a city of the future, it would be nice to know quickly if there’s a fire burning out of control, a crime in progress at a certain location, or a traffic snarl at a particular corner.
Nvidia hopes to detect such problems in smart cities using Nvidia Metropolis, which the company said could pave the way for the creation of smart artificial intelligence cities.
   “Deep learning is enabling powerful intelligent video analytics that turn anonymized video [no details  Bob] into real-time valuable insights, enhancing safety and improving lives,” said Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager of the Tegra business at Nvidia, in a statement.  “The Nvidia Metropolis platform enables customers to put AI behind every video stream to create smarter cities.”
   By 2020, the cumulative number of cameras is expected to rise to approximately 1 billion.
But people can only monitor a fraction of that content

This is worth reading.
How Big Data Is Empowering AI and Machine Learning at Scale
Big Data is moving to a new stage of maturity — one that promises even greater business impact and industry disruption over the course of the coming decade.  As Big Data initiatives mature, organizations are now combining the agility of Big Data processes with the scale of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to accelerate the delivery of business value.

How valuable is good writing?  Something my students should ponder. 
VCs Put $110 Million Into Grammar-Checking Software
Venture capitalists want a piece of just about anything involving artificial intelligence, whether it’s computers learning to drive or helping people shop for clothing.  The latest to get a sizable investment is a startup looking to use AI to improve people’s grammar.
General Catalyst, a Silicon Valley venture firm, said Monday that it led a $110 million investment in Grammarly Inc.  The San Francisco startup makes software that underlines awkward words and phrases in the user’s writing and makes suggestions, similar to a feature in Microsoft Word.
   6.9 million people using the tool daily, many of whom interact with the service through a web browser extension for Google Chrome.

Another citation generator.  Even gives you the in-text citation.
Cite It In - A Free Tool for Creating Reference Citations
Cite It In is another in a long list of tools that are designed to help students properly format research citations.  Cite It In provides students with templates for creating inline and bibliography citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago style.  Cite It In works the same way regardless of the citation style that students choose.
To use Cite It In students simply go to the site, pick a style, and fill in the information requested in the template.  Once the template is completed, students click "generate citation" and a citation is created for them to copy and paste into their documents.

Something for my lawyer friends?
Center for Open Science Releases Another Branded Preprint Service With LawArXiv
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 8, 2017
“The Center for Open Science (COS) is pleased to announce that it has added another branded service to its open source preprints service, OSF Preprints.  The new service, called LawArXiv, provides free, open access, open source archives for legal research.  LawArXiv is an open access legal repository supported and maintained by members of the scholarly legal community.  The repository was developed by three non-profit membership organizations and an academic lead institution:

An interesting idea.  This website only allows articles by academics.
The Conversation
Academic rigor, journalistic flair

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