Saturday, March 04, 2017

Another ‘proof of concept’ hack? 
On a Tuesday night last October in Olympia, Wash., 911 operator Jennifer Rodgers stared at the list of incoming calls on her screen.
Normally, one or two calls at a time would trickle in at this hour.  At 9:28 p.m., they began stacking up by the dozens like lines on an Excel spreadsheet.
An alarm alerting operators to unanswered 911 calls filled the room.  It almost never sounds more than once.  Tonight, it was going off constantly.
Ms. Rodgers had no idea what was happening.  People in Olympia, a city of about 50,000 an hour’s drive south of Seattle, and the surrounding county were dialing 911 and hanging up before their calls were answered.  Then they were dialing 911 again.
After about 15 minutes, a girl stayed on the phone long enough for Ms. Rodgers, a 911 operator for 15 years, to say through her headset: “Don’t hang up! Don’t hang up!”
“We didn’t mean to call 911!” the operator recalls the girl saying.  “I’m not touching the phone!  I’m not doing anything!  I don’t know how to make it stop!”
For at least 12 hours on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, 911 centers in at least a dozen U.S. states from California to Texas to Florida were overwhelmed by what investigators now believe was the largest-ever cyberattack on the country’s emergency-response system.
   Federal and state officials have worried that America’s aging 911 system is vulnerable to hackers.  The October cyberattack confirmed those fears and sent investigators scrambling to answer two questions:  Who launched it?  And why?

How my Computer Security students should start their Budget process.
What’s Your Data Worth?
In 2016, Microsoft Corp. acquired the online professional network LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion.  Why did Microsoft consider LinkedIn to be so valuable? And how much of the price paid was for LinkedIn’s user data — as opposed to its other assets?  Globally, LinkedIn had 433 million registered users and approximately 100 million active users per month prior to the acquisition.  Simple arithmetic tells us that Microsoft paid about $260 per monthly active user.
Did Microsoft pay a reasonable price for the LinkedIn user data?  Microsoft must have thought so — and LinkedIn agreed.

Speculation or wishful thinking?
Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles

I guess it is in their power to bypass the warrant.  
FCC grants emergency waiver to combat Jewish center bomb threats
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Friday it had issued an emergency waiver to allow law enforcement to temporarily access caller-ID information for those making anonymous threats against Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the country.

How my students can cause disruption and become extremely wealthy!   
How Insurers Can Protect Against Digital Disruption
The U.S. insurance industry is among the largest in the world, with net premiums written totaling $1.2 trillion in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
   A Gartner report showed that “only 12% of insurance business and IT leaders consider their organizations to be digitally progressive, while most believe that their organizations are digital beginners or intermediate, at best.”
   In 2015, more than $800 million in risk capital was invested in insuretech startups, according to Tradestreaming.
Pascal Bouvier, venture partner at Santander InnoVentures, told Tradestreaming that the profit and growth opportunities in insurance technology are “immense” because “the industry has barely been touched as of yet by [digital] disruption.”

Another ‘take’ on Internet access.  Probably would not work here. 
Wifi Dabba wants to help stores in India provide low-cost internet access
   as incumbent network providers battle among themselves and outside third-parties struggle to break in, the cost of the internet remains unreachable for many people.  Wifi Dabba is a startup with a mission to bring low-cost internet access to India, starting in retail stores.
   By installing Wi-Fi access points at small merchant locations such as tea stalls and bakeries, customers can purchase internet time the same way as baked goods and beverages.  “In India, there is a tea stall or a bakery every 100 yards in every city.  [In the US, that would be Starbucks.  Bob]  There are an estimated 50 million such micro-businesses in the country.

Is this the right thing to do or the ‘far left’ thing to do?
Massachusetts might tax self-driving cars to prevent the rise of 'zombie cars'
Introduced in late January, the twin bills would tax self-driving cars per mile and allow large municipalities to ban them altogether, the Northeast-focused news website Metro reported.
   The proposal is meant to curtail the rise of "zombie cars," or driverless vehicles that drive in circles waiting for a customer instead of parking, Lewis told The Boston Globe.
   The bill also requires self-driving cars to be marked as autonomous vehicles, be zero-emission vehicles if they weigh less than 8,500 pounds, store data required by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, and have a panic button.

As far as I can see, they view Snap as just another channel.  Disappearing has nothing to do with it, it’s how long teenagers watch Snap (hours per day).    
NBCUniversal invests $500 million in Snap's IPO
Comcast Corp's NBCUniversal has invested $500 million in Snapchat owner Snap Inc, according to a memo on Friday, its latest move aimed at driving digital growth as more viewers go online for their favorite content.
Like other traditional U.S. media companies, NBCU is pushing more into digital media, and over the past 18 months it has invested $400 million in online publisher Buzzfeed and $200 million in Vox Media, operator of The Verge and Recode news.  
   NBCUniversal has already launched entertainment programs such as The Voice, SNL and E! News' The Rundown on Snapchat, and said in its memo that it expects to launch more shows on the disappearing-message app in the coming weeks.

We’ve already paid for it, why not see if we can use it?
NASA grants free access to its technologies in latest software release
NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalogue free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.
   This third edition of the publication has contributions from all the agency’s centres on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics. … Each catalogue entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.

Friday, March 03, 2017

A challenge for my students.  How do you avoid this in the future? 
When Amazon Makes a Mistake, Expect a Prompt, Overly Detailed Response
On Tuesday, many websites and services, including Medium, Slack and Business Insider, were either not working or working very slowly.  It turns out, these websites, and many others, utilize Amazon's cloud storage service S3, which suffered "high error rates" that day.
As Wired points out, "the internet is actually pretty brittle."
To explain the outage, Amazon today issued a dense, technical statement.  In it, the company says the issue stemmed from a programmer entering a command incorrectly.  It's scary to think that's all it takes to bring down part of the internet.  If you have the technical chops to understand it, here's the full statement:

That’s why “it is better to look good than to feel good!” 
Andrew Boyd reports:
Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company.  At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers.  But it’s not quite so simple.
Under the program, people who have certain health insurance coverage plans with UnitedHealthcare can elect to wear a Fitbit activity tracker and share their data with the insurance company.  The data would be analyzed by Qualcomm Life, a company that processes medical data from wireless sensors for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies.  Depending on how active participants are, as measured by the Fitbit, they could earn as much as US $1,500 toward health care services each year.
Read more on TruthOut to find out the potential down side, particularly in light of the political climate and changes the current Congress may try to make in insurance requirements, etc.

Surprising how many of my classes this touches.
Announcing the new EDRM website
by on
“EDRM, the leading standards organization for the e-discovery market, announced today the launch of a newly designed website at  The redesign was initiated to reflect the new relationship with and branding of Duke Law School.  Duke Law acquired EDRM in August 2016.
“As the home for e-discovery resources and education, the new website is the heart of EDRM,” says Jim Waldron, deputy director of EDRM, which operates out of the Center for Judicial Studies at Duke Law.  “EDRM members and public visitors come to the site over 15,000 times per month to participate in the development of new standards and guidelines, download practical tools and checklists to accomplish their professional work and learn about e-discovery.  We have an ambitious agenda for EDRM in 2017, and the new website will support collaboration among team members working on TAR/analytics, cross-border discovery, and other initiatives.”
In addition to the iconic Electronic Discovery Reference Model, a visual model of the phases of electronic discovery from information governance through presentation of evidence, EDRM develops related e-discovery and information governance frameworks and publishes them on the site.
The Resources section of the site offers practical tools for use in planning, preparation and execution of e-discovery processes, including:
Calculators for budgeting, data calculation, RFP comparison
Data privacy and protection laws
A variety of datasets for use in product testing, demonstration and training
A reference collection of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and related articles, presentations and commentary
Glossaries of e-discovery terms
Educational webinar videos on a wide range of topics
E-discovery project guides and white papers…”

The business of AI?  Why my AI is smarter than your AI. 
Ozlo finally reveals a business model for its AI training app
   Founded by Charles Jolley and Michael Hanson, the former head of Android platform development at Facebook and principal engineer at Mozilla Corp. respectively, Ozlo is three years in the making.  Today the startup unveiled its open index of knowledge, now available to the business world for training the likes of chatbots, digital assistants and intelligent machines.
   Released as a set of three application programming interfaces, Ozlo’s knowledge index contains over two billion data points on topics ranging from movies to restaurants and bars to the smart home, and specializes in real world interactions.  The APIs cover data extraction, intent recognition and conversion actions, all designed to understand and close the deal on business-to-consumer transactions.  Instead of narrow, fact-based responses to user queries, Ozlo’s spectrum view of relational data hopes to provide more practical answers to everyday questions.

Isn’t it enough that our computers (smartphones) want to talk to us?  Now they want us to watch them being ‘cute’ for our amusement?  (Probably won’t fit on your dashboard.)
With a Siri rival and a holographic girlfriend, Line makes a big AI push
Messaging app Line is set to make a big push into AI, later this year rolling out a Siri-esque voice assistant and an Amazon Alexa-style smart speaker, the Japanese company announced yesterday at Mobile World Congress.
“AI is our most important project at Line, and represents a paradigm shift as dramatic as the rise of the smartphone a decade ago,” said CEO Takeshi Idezawa.
Line’s answer to Siri is called Clova, short for “cloud virtual assistant.”  Its speaker, Wave, will also feature the AI assistant.
Both will launch “early summer” in Japan and South Korea.
Line also announced it has acquired a controlling stake in the Japanese startup behind a holographic anime bot designed as a companion for lonely salarymen and anime-obsessed otaku.  The financial details were not revealed.

Perhaps I should be writing software for the Intelligence Community?
Agility in US national security
by on
McKinsey – Book Excerpt – March 2017  -“The shift continues from the manufacturing economy of the industrial age to the digital economy of the information age, US national-security organizations need to transform as well.  American military forces have been, and continue to be, the most capable in the world, but the national-security infrastructure, refined and perfected during the 40-plus years of the Cold War, is increasingly ill suited to the challenges the United States faces today.  Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity are so pervasive they have spawned a military acronym: VUCA.  Yet the inherently bureaucratic [Amen!  Bob] national-security institutions have failed to keep pace.  The US Department of Defense (DOD) is still largely governed by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, which focused more on procurement efficiency and unity of command than responsiveness to volatility, uncertainty, and the rest.  Similar changes are roiling the business world.  But there, companies are successfully adapting by flattening their structures, exploiting modern information technology, and empowering managers to create flatter, faster-moving, and more flexible organizations.  And though some would argue that these new-age management techniques don’t apply to an organization as large and complex as the Pentagon, in fact, they have been successfully deployed in numerous settings in the defense and security arena, and can be usefully adopted in ways that recognize the DOD’s unique context.”

Is this the next big thing?
This New Tiny Breed of Computers Might One Day Make The Cloud Obsolete
Micromote computers have actually been around for a few years.  And University of Michigan computer scientists David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester have been presenting different variations, the latest of which were presented during the recent IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC).
According to the duo, their goal is to make smaller, smarter, and more energy-efficient sensors for medical devices and the Internet of Things.  As it is, many of the sensors that serve as the eyes (e.g. cameras) and ears (e.g. microphones) of smart devices are constantly on alert, and regularly send data to the cloud for analysis because they can’t do it on their own.  Because some have predicted that the number of smart devices might already reach 1 trillion by 2035, this regular beaming of data to the cloud might become a problem.  As Blaauw was quoted as saying: “If you’ve got a trillion devices producing readings constantly, we’re going to drown in data.”  Developing tiny, energy-efficient sensors that can compute and do their own analysis without help from the cloud will effectively address this.
Some of the variations they presented at the conference include designs that can do tasks like distinguish the sound of a passing car and measure temperature and light levels using only a few nanowatts of power; and a compact radio that can transmit data to receivers about 20 meters away — a huge improvement compared with last year’s 50-centimeter range radio.

And I’ve got to ask, ‘Will the TSA want to review all your DNA before you can enter the country?”
Engineers Store 214 Petabytes Of Data In A Gram Of DNA: What It Means For The Future
As more and more torrents of data pour in every day, some experts fear that modern hard drives may become too limited or outstripped to capture information.
But as years of computer science have proven before, the solution to this problem may be found in the smallest and unlikeliest of places.  This time, it's in a single gram of DNA.

(Related).  Forgive them, for they know not what they do?  Nor do they know what they should be doing, or how to do that.  (What should I be telling my International students?) 
Caroline Fairchild reports on a situation that never should have happened. This is just not my country.
….After landing, Omin waited for 20 minutes and then reached the front of the line, where a Customs and Border Protection officer asked him a series of questions.  It was here that Omin realized that the job might be challenging, but getting into America could now be impossible.  No one at Andela had prepared him for the new reality.
After a few minutes of grilling him about the job, the border agent escorted Omin into a small room and told him to sit down.  Another hour passed before a different customs officer came in.
“Your visa says you are a software engineer.  Is that correct?” the officer asked Omin in a tone the engineer described as accusatory.  When Omin said it was right, the officer presented him with a piece of paper and a pen and told him to answer the following questions:
·         “Write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced.”
·         “What is an abstract class, and why do you need it?”
Read more on CNBC.
[From the article:
For every web developer looking for work in the United States, there are roughly five open positions.  That's why startups like Andela exist in the first place: To connect foreign tech workers with opportunities here in the United States.  But now with his partners having a hard time getting into the country to work, Johnson is worried that he might have challenges in the future.  He has already reached out to Customs and Border Protection for further clarification on why Omin's work visa was flagged, but he hasn't heard back yet.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Do you believe that some random Chinese hackers were carefully following the South Korean real estate market?  Or is China sending a message?
Allen Cone reports:
The Lotte Group said Wednesday its website in China was hacked, one day after South Korea’s retail giant signed a deal to sell land for a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.
The website,, was inaccessible since Tuesday afternoon because of a virus planted by hackers, a Lotte official said, citing an analysis of computer security experts.
Read more on UPI.

These are not Terminators.  What damage would a re-programmed Rumba do?  Vacuum counter-clockwise rather than clockwise?  Every new technology must re-learn the security processes of all previous technologies. 
Thomas Fox-Brewster reports:
Are the human gods creating our future robot overlords bestowing their creations with solid cybersecurity?  A pair of hackers think not.
The researchers, from security consultancy IOActive, claimed Wednesday to have found a whopping 50 vulnerabilities across components of major home and industrial robots.  If exploited, those weaknesses could allow remote control of the machines or reprogramming of their functions, whilst possibly leaking their data, the researchers said.  And they believe there’s worse to come, as their hacks have only gone skin deep thus far.
Read more on Forbes.

So, you don’t need a warrant?  This is a regulation, not a law? 
Schumer asks FCC for waiver to trace Jewish center bomb threats
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver to unscramble anonymous phone numbers that had been used to call in bomb threats to a New York Jewish Community Center.

It is no good, but for now it is good, even though it is no good.  Got it!
Tim Cushing reports:
Thanks to the FBI’s one-to-many NIT warrant, which was issued in Virginia but reached thousands of computers all over the world, yet another federal judge is dealing with the fallout of the feds’ efficiency.  Michigan federal judge Thomas Ludington finds plenty he doesn’t like about the FBI’s malware and the DOJ’s defense of it, but still can’t quite find enough to warrant suppression of the evidence [PDF link].
Read more on TechDirt.

Someone in Google’s legal department must have Okayed this, right?  Even if the evaluation was more “Profit will exceed Cost of litigation” rather than “Ethical, Moral and Legal.” 
Glynis Farrell reports:
A federal judge in Illinois refused Monday to dismiss a class-action lawsuit claiming Google illegally collects face geometry scans from photographs taken on its smartphones without users’ knowledge.
Lead plaintiff Lindabeth Rivera alleges a photo taken of her on a Google Android device was automatically uploaded to the company’s cloud-based service, Google Photos, where her facial features were scanned to create a unique face template without her consent.
Read more on Courthouse News.

Who was managing the company?  Apparently, ‘no one.’  So ‘no one’ should go to jail?  And once again, that “really big screw-up” they told us about is even bigger that they initially admitted. 
Wells Fargo says more customers could be affected by sales scandal
Wells Fargo said on Wednesday that eight top executives, including chief executive Tim Sloan, will not receive bonuses this year, the latest effort by the megabank to move beyond a sales scandal involving millions of fake customer accounts.
The bank also said the number of customers affected by the sales practices may be bigger than previously estimated, according to regulatory filings released Wednesday.
Wells Fargo’s board has not found that the executives did anything wrong, [Yes fans, being ignorant IS part of their job description!  Bob] according to a company statement, rather the action is a way for them to share accountability for the sales scandal that has rocked the more-than-100-year-old San Francisco bank. 
   The bank is still conducting an internal review of the behavior, and is looking as far back as 2009 to figure out how many unauthorized accounts were created.  Those findings could also lead to “additional legal or regulatory proceedings,” increased compliance costs or the discovery of other problematic practices, the bank said in the filings.

(Related).  Ignorance is expensive.
Yahoo’s Top Lawyer Resigns and C.E.O. Marissa Mayer Loses Bonus in Wake of Hack
Yahoo’s top lawyer, Ronald S. Bell, resigned Wednesday, and its chief executive, Marissa Mayer, lost her 2016 bonus after a board investigation of the 2014 theft of information on more than 500 million user accounts.
Senior executives, company lawyers and information security staff were aware of the hack in 2014 and also knew about subsequent attempts to break into the affected accounts in 2015 and 2016, but failed to “properly comprehend or investigate” the situation, the company’s board of directors said in a securities filing on Wednesday.
The board “did not conclude that there was an intentional suppression of relevant information.”
   Ms. Mayer, who will also give up her 2017 equity compensation in connection with the incident, said in a statement that she did not learn of the breach until September 2016, when Yahoo first disclosed the hack to the public.

(Related).  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 
The New York Stock Exchange requires that the boards of all publicly traded corporations conduct a self-evaluation at least annually to determine whether they are functioning effectively.  
   In a study of 187 boards we undertook with The Miles Group, a consulting and advisory firm, we found that most board evaluations fail to identify and correct poor performance among individual members.

Perspective.  A brief update.
How to Thrive — and Survive — in a World of AI Disruption
   Deep learning and neural networks have dramatically improved in effectiveness and impact, leading to human-level performance in many aspects of vision, conversational speech, and problem-solving.  As a result, industries are in the midst of a major transformation and more is on the way.

Tales from the techno-future?  Soon, every business will have to accept orders from an App and make deliveries by drone.  (It may even be a law!)  Lots of opportunity for third parties?   
McDonald’s Is Finally Getting Mobile Ordering and Delivery
McDonald's is betting on new tech like mobile orders and payments to halt an exodus of U.S. customers that has seen store visits fall by 500 million since 2012.
The hamburger giant unveiled plans at its annual investor day to make "mobile order and pay" available at all of its roughly 14,000 U.S. restaurants by the autumn.  McDonald's will also finally introduce delivery, giving in to a long held demand from patrons who have drifted to rivals in recent years.

(Related).  Think of these as one of those Amazon buttons sewn into the sneaks.  (You will need to change shoes to order Chinese.) 
Pie Tops: Pizza Hut introduces new smart shoes that let you order pizza with the push of a button

For my students, to create virtual study groups.
Apps like FaceTime have made video calling between two people instant and easy.  Not so long ago, setting up a video chat between several parties was a big pain in the neck, but that’s thankfully changed.
Nobody wants to download a bunch of software, work with a complicated system, or pay money to join a group conference call.  We’ve got good news: There are several awesome, simple services that you can use for personal video conference calls that don’t cost anything.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Our infrastructure is not really that fragile, but interconnections may make it seem so.
Update: 11-hour AWS failure hits websites and apps
Amazon Web Services, a major cloud hosting service, had a system failure on Tuesday that affected numerous websites and apps. 
The issue was not fixed until just before 5 p.m. ET.
“As of [4:49 p.m. ET] we are fully recovered for operations for adding new objects in S3, which was our last operation showing a high error rate.  The Amazon S3 service is operating normally,” the company reported.
The problem had lasted for approximately 11 hours and caused problems for  websites and online services throughout the day.
AWS had reported on its Service Health Dashboard at 2:35 p.m. ET that its engineers were working on the problem, which affected websites including Netflix, Reddit and Adobe. 
The Associated Press reported that its own photos, webfeeds and other online services were also affected.  And at approximately 3 p.m. ET, Mashable tweeted that it was also struggling.

"We can't publish our story about AWS being down because, well, AWS is down," the news outlet tweeted.

Computer Security students: How did you think they would respond?  Give up crime and become monks?
Online Fraud in the U.S. Grew Dramatically Post-EMV
The introduction of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) cards, also known as chip-and-PIN cards, into the U.S. has had the expected effect: with card present fraud more difficult, fraudsters have moved to on-line card-not-present fraud.  Domestic online fraud became 79% riskier in 2016 than it had been in 2015, according to figures come from the Forter/MRC Fraud Attack Index (PDF).
Forter, which provides a fraud detection system for merchants, teamed with the Merchant Risk Council (which currently has almost 450 member companies in more than 20 countries) to develop a Fraud Attack Index.  This is defined as the 'dollars at risk per $100 of sales'.  The 'dollars at risk' combines detected and prevented fraud with actual fraud.
The relative simplicity of cloning non-EMV cards made domestic (ie, US) off-line card-present fraud attractive.  This is no longer easy.  The introduction of more secure EMV cards has driven fraudsters from card-present to card-not-present fraud -- EMV was never going to eliminate fraud, it was merely going to change its nature.  This is shown in the fraud attack index for 2016, rising from $2.7 in Q4 2015 to $4.98 in Q4 2016.

Privacy issues that AI can’t or shouldn’t deal with?  Should Facebook tell friends of the potential suicide?  How about neighbors?  Don’t get me wrong, I think this is the start of a good thing.  How do we hurry development along?
Facebook artificial intelligence spots suicidal users
The social network has developed algorithms that spot warning signs in users' posts and the comments their friends leave in response.
After confirmation by Facebook's human review team, the company contacts those thought to be at risk of self-harm to suggest ways they can seek help.
   The tool is being tested only in the US at present.
   It has now developed pattern-recognition algorithms to recognise if someone is struggling, by training them with examples of the posts that have previously been flagged.
Talk of sadness and pain, for example, would be one signal.
Responses from friends with phrases such as "Are you OK?" or "I'm worried about you," would be another.
   Ms Callison-Burch acknowledged that contact from friends or family was typically more effective than a message from Facebook, but added that it would not always be appropriate for it to inform them.

We need to understand how this works so we can keep it from becoming the only tool politicians use?
Throughout the recent U.S. presidential campaign, commentators of all political stripes urged Donald Trump to give his Twitter account a rest.  He ignored them, bypassing mainstream media in favor of a technology that continued to deliver his provocative messages directly, frequently, at all hours, and without filters.  While no hard proof exists that his tweets put him over the top in the election, they undeniably riveted the attention of a broad public, media included — and continue to do so.  Here’s what business leaders can learn from the tweeter-in-chief about trying to win over large segments of consumers through social media.

In series of paper researchers document how Twitter impacted who won US Presidential election
by on
University of Rochester – “Luo and Wang, a dual PhD candidate in political and computer science, summarized their findings in eight papers during the course of the campaign, including these observations:
  • The more Donald Trump tweeted, the faster his following grew–even after he performed poorly in debates against other Republican candidates, and even after he sparked controversies, such as proposing a ban on Muslim immigration. (Read the paper.)
  • When Trump accused Hillary Clinton of playing the “woman card,” women were more likely to follow Clinton and less likely to “un-follow” her during the week that followed.  But it did not affect the gender composition of Trump followers. (Read the paper.)
  • Moreover, a “gender affinity effect” seen in other elections–women tending to vote for women–did not appear to be working for Clinton as the primaries drew to a close. The percentage of female Twitter followers in the Clinton camp was no larger than that in the Trump camp. Moreover, though “un-followers” were more likely to be female for both candidates, the phenomenon was “particularly pronounced” for Clinton. (Read the paper.)
  • At the same time, several polls, including ABC/Washington Post and CBS/New York Times, suggested that some Bernie Sanders supporters might “jump ship” from the Democratic column, and end up voting for Trump if Sanders dropped out. Luo and Wang found supporting evidence, reporting that the number of Bernie Sanders followers who were also following Trump was increasing–but the number also following Clinton was declining. The dual Sanders/Trump followers were also disproportionately (up to 64 percent) male. (Read the paper.)

Perhaps the problem goes beyond the Oscars?
From the Oscars to the Oval Office, tweeting and texting at work is catching flak
   “Distracted working has become the distracted driving in the workplace,” says Steve Langerud, workplace consultant and principal of Steve Langerud & Associates in Grinnell, Iowa.  “My clients ask regularly about how to manage employees who text at work.”
While major gaffes like Sunday’s mix-up of Best Picture are rare, “the bigger issue is how present employees are at work,” Langerud says.
Indeed, one in five employers think that employees are productive fewer than five hours a day, with most citing smartphone use as the culprit, a 2016 CareerBuilder report of hiring managers found.
Despite repeated warnings, people still get fired for sending an inappropriate photo or tweet.  The problem with sites like Twitter and Instagram is that immediacy and informality are also social media’s greatest dangers, experts say.  And in many cases, there’s no turning back once you hit “send” and there are plenty of reasons not to.  
   There’s a growing body of research supporting “nomophobia” — the fear of being without your cellphone.  Nearly half of Americans (47%) say they couldn’t go a day without their smartphone, according to a 2014 Bank of America survey.  

Make an App, no matter how narrow your focus and sell the company for big bucks? 
Yelp acquires restaurant waiting list tech startup Nowait in a $40 million all-cash deal
   Founded out of Pittsburgh in 2010, Nowait integrates its technology with that of restaurants to streamline and optimize front-of-house operations, including table turnover and waiting lists.
   The partnership was also designed to enable Yelp users to verify restaurants’ waiting times and start queuing remotely — all without leaving the Yelp app.  When a diner’s table is good to go, they receive a message, and the Yelp user can message back to say if they’re running late or whether they’re just a few seconds away.  It essentially replaces archaic systems involving handheld buzzers or pieces of paper — now everything happens through a smartphone.

As long as it’s not Soylent Green!
Subway chicken in Canada was part meat, part something else, according to DNA analysis
   A researcher delved into the DNA of chicken sold at various fast food restaurants, at the request of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Marketplace” program.  Not all poultry, the CBC reported, was as it seemed.
Four of the five fast food joints were mostly hawking the real bird.  McDonald’s grilled country chicken, for instance, contained 90 percent chicken DNA.
But the chicken tucked into the world’s most ubiquitous submarine sandwiches proved to be an outlier.  The chicken sold at Subway — which has the most restaurant locations of any fast food chain on the planet — was found to be almost equal parts meat to soy, based on DNA.

More tools for my researching students.