Saturday, August 05, 2017

Even geeks can make mistakes.
The New Indian Express reported this in July:
In a case of corporate espionage, a computer engineer’s bid to sell his employer’s data to a company, which he thought was a competitor, fell flat when the recipient discovered the two firms are in fact partners, and the data sought to be sold was their own.  Shreesha Rao (23), a resident of Vinayaka Nagar in K R Puram, has been arrested and is now cooling his heels in judicial custody.  He is a computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) professional who designs radius maps for a company called New Generation.
In a bid to make quick money, Shreesha Rao contacted another company, SBT Associates, offering to sell his employer’s data.  After SBT Associates agreed, he sent the data as an attachment to his personal email, and then forwarded it to the buyer.  However, Shreesha didn’t know that SBT Associates was a vendor for his employer, and that the data in question was in fact sourced from them.
Read more on New Indian Express.

This raises many questions for me.  What would they have done if there was a “fake news” story that might have changed a lot of votes?  Did they have any criteria for identifying such a story?  What attack on voting machine was possible that might change even 1% of the vote? 
Exclusive: FBI tracked 'fake news' believed to be from Russia on Election Day
The FBI monitored social media on Election Day last year in an effort to track a suspected Russian disinformation campaign utilizing "fake news," CNN has learned.
   On Election Day, dozens of agents and analysts huddled at a command center arrayed with large monitoring screens at the FBI headquarters in Washington watching for security threats, according to multiple sources.
   FBI analysts had identified social media user accounts behind stories, some based overseas, and the suspicion was that at least some were part of a Russian disinformation campaign, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.
The FBI declined to comment for this story.
For the FBI, this was uncomfortable territory, given the First Amendment's free speech protections even for fake news stories.
"We were right on the edge of Constitutional legality," a person briefed on the investigation said. "We were monitoring news."
   At the end of day, top officials exchanged congratulations for an election day that was completed without disruptions of the vote.

(Related).  Gosh, maybe everyone does it!  Perhaps I should add this to the Ethical Hacking course? 
South Korea Spy Agency Admits Attempting to Rig Election
South Korea's spy agency has admitted that it had engaged in a far-reaching attempt to manipulate voters as it sought to help conservatives win parliamentary and presidential elections.
In-house investigators from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) confirmed that the agency's cyber warfare unit organised and operated up to 30 teams for more than two years in the run-up to the 2012 elections, the agency said in a statement late Thursday.
They hired internet-savvy civilians and sought to sway voter opinions through postings on portals and Twitter.
   The internal probe also found Won ordered the agency to muzzle the press, provide support for pro-government conservative civic groups and put some major opposition politicians under secret surveillance.

…and the ‘proof of insurance?’ 
The march of technology is eliminating another favorite tool police use to search vehicles.  The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals last week said police cannot rummage through an automobile’s glovebox without permission or warrant to “find the registration” when a simple computer search can look up the same information from the VIN, the vehicle identification number visible from outside the car.
Read more on The Newspaper.

Win some, lose some.  Wait for the reversals. 
Brett Max Kaufman of the ACLU writes:
When you fill a prescription at your local drug store, you would surely bristle at someone behind you peeking over your shoulder — but in a decision issued last week, a federal court in Utah said that you have no Fourth Amendment right to object when the peeker is the United States government.
You read that correctly: In a case challenging the Drug Enforcement Administration’s warrantless access to patient prescription records stored in a secure state database, the court relied in part on an outdated legal doctrine to rule that a “patient in Utah decides to trust a prescribing physician with health information to facilitate a diagnosis,” and thereby “takes the risk . . . that his or her information will be conveyed to the government.”
Read more on ACLU.

Complete speculation.  (Fun, isn’t it?)
Snapchat would let Google finally conquer the $72 billion TV ad market and stop Facebook in its tracks
As Business Insider's Alex Health reported on Thursday, Google has looked into buying Snapchat for as much as $30 billion.
Who knows whether this deal would ever happen?  But in the meantime, it's worth examining what such an acquisition would do for Google (besides keeping Snapchat away from Facebook).
At top of the list: a marriage of Snapchat and Google's mega global video platform YouTube could help Google make a serious bid for the biggest prize in advertising — the $72 billion TV market.
   Snapchat boasts of average daily users sessions of 30 minutes.  YouTube users now average 60 minutes a day on its mobile app.  Facebook, by contrast, is doing everything it can simply to convince users to spend 3 second watching a video in its Newsfeed. 
The combination of YouTube - which reaches 1.5 billion users a month - and Snapchat could give Google an unmatchable daily "reach machine"; a direct pathway to youngsters who log their screen time hours in front of phones and tablets.  It's easy to imagine a specialized Google ad buy that connects brands with the majority of teens and 20-somethings every day, giving Google a legitimate rival to the reach marketers currently get through TV.  

Simple enough to be useful?
Flip Anim - Quickly Create Animated GIFs
Flip Anim provides possibly the easiest way draw and create an animated GIF.  Within minutes of learning about Flip Anim on Larry Ferlazzo's blog I had created a couple of animated GIFs illustrating basic addition problems.  One of those is included below.
To create an animation on Flip Anim simply go to the site and start drawing on the notepad in the center of your screen.  You can draw as much or as little as you like on each page of your notepad.  You're essentially drawing a piece of each animation on each page of your notepad much like the way that old cartoons were created.  When you're done drawing on all of your pages you can preview the animation by pressing the play button.  To save your work you do have to upload it to Flip Anim (registration is not required) then you can download it as an animated GIF.

No comments: