Friday, June 09, 2017

A prelude to war? 
Qatar's Al-Jazeera Says Battling Cyber Attack
"Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms," it said on Twitter.
The attack was also confirmed by a source at Al-Jazeera, who said the broadcaster was attempting to repel the hack.
"An attempt has been made, and we are trying to battle it," said the source.
Following the initial reports of a cyber attack, some viewers in the region said they could no longer receive Al-Jazeera television.
Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, has long been a source of conflict between Qatar and its neighbours, who accuse the broadcaster of bias and fomenting trouble in the region.
The alleged cyber attack comes during a time of heightened tensions in the Gulf, which has seen Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and other allies cut ties with Qatar.
They severed relations over what they said is Doha's alleged financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival.
Long-running tensions broke out into the open last month after Qatar claimed its state news site was hacked by unknown parties who posted "false" statements attributed to the emir in which he speaks favorably of Iran and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
The remarks were widely reported as true across the region.

Certainly one of the last places I would look. 
A Russian Cyber Espionage Group Is Using Britney Spears' Instagram To Control Its Malware
   Security researchers have uncovered a Russian cyber espionage group known as Turla, that’s using comments on Britney Spears’ Instagram to hide locations for command and control (C&C) servers of one of its Trojans.

Why?  So they can cut funding and blame the NGO?  Or will an NGO have greater access to countries like China?  (Probably not North Korea)
Experts, Microsoft Push for Global NGO to Expose Hackers
As cyberattacks sow ever greater chaos worldwide, IT titan Microsoft and independent experts are pushing for a new global NGO tasked with the tricky job of unmasking the hackers behind them.
Dubbed the "Global Cyber Attribution Consortium", according to a recent report by the Rand Corporation think-tank, the NGO would probe major cyberattacks and publish, when possible, the identities of their perpetrators, whether they be criminals, global hacker networks or states.
"This is something that we don't have today: a trusted international organization for cyber-attribution," Paul Nicholas, director of Microsoft's Global Security Strategy, told NATO's Cycon cybersecurity conference in Tallinn last week.
   Pinning down the identity of hackers in cyberspace can be next to impossible, according to experts who attended Cycon.
"There are ways to refurbish an attack in a way that 98 percent of the digital traces point to someone else," Sandro Gaycken, founder and director of the Digital Society Institute at ESMT Berlin, told AFP in Tallinn.
"There is a strong interest from criminals to look like nation-states, a strong interest from nation-states to look like criminals," he said.
"It's quite easy to make your attack look like it comes from North Korea."

Why is Google getting out of robots?
Softbank is buying robotics firms Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Alphabet
Here’s a surprise turn of events: Softbank — maker of the friendly Pepper robot and a major M&A player in the tech world — has just announced that it is acquiring two more robotics companies from Google owner Alphabet as part of its own deeper move into the field: it is buying Big Dog developer Boston Dynamics and the secretive bipedal robotics firm Schaft.

Something for Watson to browse through?
Harvard Obtains Continued support for the Caselaw Access Project
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 8, 2017
Et Seq – The blog of the Harvard Law School Library: “Harvard Law School launched the Caselaw Access Project in 2015 to digitize the Harvard Law School Library’s complete collection of U.S. case law and to make the materials in that collection available online for free.  We’ve been able to undertake this ambitious project — covering 44,000 volumes — with the support of Ravel Law, a legal research and analytics platform.  In the time since and according to a detailed agreement between them, Harvard Law School and Ravel Law together have digitized nearly 40 million pages of published court decisions, and today the work continues to convert those digital images into machine-readable text to allow searching as well as display.  This week Ravel was acquired by LexisNexis. LexisNexis has affirmed its commitment to continuing Ravel Law’s support for and fulfillment of the objectives of the Caselaw Access Project, including providing open access to all of the digitized cases.  

Are you sure you want to be a CEO?
More CEOs Are Being Fired for Ethical Matters Today Than Ever Before
While the position of CEO is often associated with high pay, excellent benefits, a large social network and private jets -- it comes with much more than that.  The pressures of being a CEO are at a high today, and from public opinion to government regulation, nearly every aspect of being top executive is under close surveillance.
So it’s no surprise that the number of CEOs being fired for ethical lapses is increasing.  The 2016 CEO Success Study, conducted by Strategy&, a network of PwC, found that CEO dismissals for ethical lapses have increased by a whopping 36 percent over the past five years.  Analyzing CEO successions at 2,500 of the world’s largest companies, the study uncovered this increase in ethical lapses, which include bribery, sexual indiscretions, fraud, insider trading and negligence that leads to environmental disasters.

Someone got serious.  About time!
Dish Hit With Record $280 Million Fine for Illegal Robocalls
U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough issued the order Monday, directing the company to pay $168 million to the federal government and $84 million to California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio for federal law violations.  An additional $28 million in fines was awarded to California, North Carolina and Ohio for violations of state law.
Myerscough also prohibited the company from violating do-not-call laws going forward and imposed a 20-year plan for supervision of its telemarketing.

Perspective.  Perhaps everyone will have an “unlimited plan?” 
Cisco: Global IP Traffic From Smartphones Will Quadruple by 2021
According to Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index report, the global average IP traffic from smartphones is set to skyrocket from 3,500 MB per month per device in 2016 to 14,900 MB per month per device by 2021.  Tablet IP traffic worldwide is also set to rise from 9,100 MB per month per device to 25,600 MB per month in the forecast period.  All told, smartphone are set to account for a third of global IP traffic in 2021, up from 13 percent in 2016, while non-PC devices overall will make up three-quarters of worldwide IP traffic.
   More insights from Cisco’s report can be found here.

Perspective, and a sad one at that!
The U.S. ranks 28th in the world in mobile internet speeds
The U.K. has the fastest mobile speeds, with an average of 26 megabits per second, according to the latest State of the Internet Report by content delivery company Akamai.  Among the 62 countries Akamai measured, the U.S. isn’t even in the Top 25, at 10.7 Mbps.  (The U.S. ranks 10th in the world for average wireline internet speed.)

Judging from the number of articles, this is a bigger story than I would have guessed.
Taylor Swift embraces streaming, brings full catalog to Spotify and more
After breaking up in 2014, Taylor Swift and Spotify are getting back together.  To celebrate her album 1989 hitting 10 million records sold and her selling 100 million total songs, today the pop singer announced she’s making her full back catalog available on all streaming services starting tonight at midnight.
   But now, artists are wising up that streaming is essentially a promotional vehicle for the real ways they make money — concert tickets and merchandise.  Listening on Spotify can turn someone who heard one of TayTay’s singles on a radio into a hardcore fan that shells out lots of cash for her shows and t-shirts.  And at the current rate of growth, streaming service payouts will approach what musicians made of CD sales in the peak of that bygone era.

The “shade tree mechanic” has been replaced by a Bot.  Might be useful when buying a used car too. 
Did you know that your car knows more information that it lets on?  While the basic lights and gauges on your dashboard display information on mileage, fuel, and warnings, your car hides a lot more information.  Using an Android device, you can tap into this and learn more about your car without visiting a mechanic.

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