Friday, September 01, 2017

Contempt, where deserved is a good thing.
Medicare data breach: government response ‘contemptible’, says former AFP officer
The federal government’s response to a Medicare data breach that led to patient details being sold on the dark web was “disappointing, confusing and often contemptible,” according to a former detective who headed the Australian federal police’s investigations into high-tech crime.
   A Guardian Australia investigation revealed in July that a darknet vendor on a popular auction site for illegal products was selling access to anyone’s Medicare card details.  The seller used an Australian Department of Human Services logo to advertise what they called “the Medicare machine”.
   A few days after Guardian Australia revealed the data breach, Tudge and Hunt announced a review into the the security of Medicare online.  The government has still not announced how the breach occurred.  The review’s final report is due by 30 September.  The government was warned in 2014 in a report from the auditor-general’s department that Medicare data security procedures did not fully comply with mandatory information security requirements.  

Should be interesting to see who reacts (and how) when all of this data is released.
Ben Hancock reports:
Civil liberties advocates scored a win at the California Supreme Court on Thursday with a unanimous ruling that data gathered by police license plate readers are not generally exempt from public disclosure under state law.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and various news organizations have sought data collected by automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to raise awareness about how much data is collected by police on innocent civilians.
Read more on The Recorder.

Social Media can be useful?  Who knew?
After Harvey, Small Social Networks Prove Their Might
   In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — which has left thousands seeking shelter — small, locally oriented social networks like Zello are showing their strength as organizing tools.  Though social networks are an imperfect substitute for rescue infrastructure, a listen into Zello, or a peek into Nextdoor (where neighbors are working to inform and help each other), or even a visit to Harvey-related Facebook groups shows why people are relying on these networks.  They are focused and intensely local, and put critical information in front of the right audiences quickly with little distraction or noise.

Isn’t this how deliveries were made before things like postal services?  Are there more start-up potentials in Ye Olde Way of doing other things? 
Same-day delivery startup Deliv expands to 1,400 cities, rivalling Amazon’s Prime Now
As Amazon continues to expand its retail muscle beyond its own e-commerce portal, there’s been some activity among startups and businesses hoping to develop systems that can help others compete better with it.  Deliv, a “crowdsourced” same-day delivery startup that currently partners with some 4,000 retailers to help them offer same-day delivery services to rival those of Amazon, today announced that it has expanded its service to 33 markets and 1,400 cities, up from 19 markets previously.
   Deliv squarely addresses one aspect of the commerce retail chain: getting delivery of goods purchase online, and getting them quickly — a service and expectation that has become a norm for many in today’s on-demand world.
“Same day delivery is quickly becoming table stakes across every retail segment.  With Deliv, retailers can offer their customers that same exceptional level customer experience without the need to invest in their own asset-based delivery fleet,” said Daphne Carmeli, CEO and founder of Deliv, in a statement.

Mark wishes to remind you that he is not running for President in 2020.
Mark Zuckerberg calls on Trump to protect ‘dreamers’ from immigration reforms
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other tech executives are calling on President Donald Trump to preserve the rights of "dreamers" under any immigration reform plan.
   In an open letter published Thursday, the executives urged the president to retain the policy, saying that the U.S. economy would lose hundreds of billions of dollars if workers and students currently protected by DACA were faced with deportation.

I’ll bet most of my students don’t know these tricks.  (Or that they have a middle button on their two button mouse.)

Next Quarter, I’m teaching Spreadsheets again.  

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