Thursday, February 01, 2018

Another unsecured “Thing” on the Internet of Things.
As a data leak, this belongs on I will cross-post it there, but I do want readers of this site to remain cognizant that there is just so much risk to privacy and data these days. Thomas Fox-Brewster reports:
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Some might be considering the purchase of a special kind of pleasure-giving device for their partner as a gift. But they might want to rethink those plans: the quality of cybersecurity in newfangled, connected sex toys has been unsurprisingly shocking in recent years. And it doesn’t look to be getting much better, if research released by Austrian company SEC Consult on Thursday is anything to go by.
Probing Vibratissimo’s ‘Panty Buster’ sex toy for women, the researchers found the device and associated websites had multiple vulnerabilities. By far the most severe issue (and one that was thankfully immediately addressed by Vibratissimo’s owner, Amor Gummiwaren) allowed anyone to obtain a database of all customer information by simply grabbing a username and password from an open file on the website. And it was possible to grab passwords for the sex toy owner accounts, as they were left open in plain text. From there, a hacker could look at sensitive data, including explicit images, sexual orientation and home addresses, according an SEC blog post.
Read more on Forbes.

Facilitating terrorists?
Court: No evidence that Twitter can be blamed for deaths in Islamic State attack
Islamic State may have used its access to Twitter to spread its message of terrorism and recruit new members, but that doesn’t make the social media company legally responsible for the deaths of two Americans in an ISIS-linked attack in Jordan, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Wednesday.
Lawyers for the widows of the two men argued in their lawsuit that Twitter had been essential to the emergence of the terror group and bore some responsibility for the deadly consequences.

Isn’t this argument similar to the one being made against Facebook and Google?
The Government's Unraveling Antitrust Case Against AT&T-Time Warner
Antitrust scholars, media industry experts and economists across the political spectrum have been scratching their collective heads since November, when the Department of Justice filed suit to block AT&T’s planned $85 billion merger with Time Warner.
As the case now heads for an early trial in March, that confusion has only grown.
The government’s untested new theory is that the merged entity will have both the incentive and the ability to withhold or overcharge for Time-Warner content if the deal goes through.
But that view stands in stark contrast to what is happening across the media landscape. Incumbents, including AT&T, have continued to lose ground to new entrants and new forms of content, pushing traditional producers and distributors into more deal-making.

Perspective. I doubt Facebook is doomed.
Facebook lost daily users for the first time ever in the U.S. and Canada
Here’s a troubling data point if you’re a Facebook investor: The company may have finally tapped out its most valuable market, the U.S. and Canada.
Facebook’s daily active user base in the U.S. and Canada fell for the first time ever in the fourth quarter, dropping to 184 million from 185 million in the previous quarter.
Each user accounted for $26.76 worth of revenue for the company last quarter, and it went up by 35 percent over the same quarter last year.

Perspective. Have we reached several “tipping points?”
Study – All fossil-fuel vehicles will vanish in 8 years in twin ‘death spiral’ for big oil and big autos
All fossil-fuel vehicles will vanish in 8 years in twin ‘death spiral’ for big oil and big autos, says study that’s shocking the industries. This speedy revolution, a Stanford economist says, will be driven by technology, not climate policies — and while his timing may be off a few years, there is little doubt about the direction. No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century. This is the futuristic forecast by Stanford University economist Tony Seba. His report, with the deceptively bland title Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030, has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries.”

(Related). Tipping point two?
Is a Transition to Renewable Energy on the Verge of Being Unstoppable?

Strange business model. Would this work to give school children free tablets?
All inmates in New York State prisons will get free tablets
Each inmate incarcerated in a New York State prison will soon have a free tablet.
The tablets will give inmates access to educational content, eBooks and music, officials said. They’ll also help inmates file grievances and allow them to communicate with family and friends through a secure email system. There will be no internet access.
New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will receive the tablets for inmates as part of a deal with JPay, a company that specializes in corrections-related services, a DOC spokesperson said. The company will provide the tablets as part of a contractual agreement the state DOC entered with the company. No state funds will go toward the tablets.
JPay will make money if an inmate chooses to purchase approved additional books or items with the tablet.
… There are about 52,000 inmates in NYS DOC facilities as of March of 2016.

This seems backwards. If women get paid less, shouldn’t that bring the average down? The “why” is interesting.
… For Every 10% Increase in Women Working, We See a 5% Increase in Wages

This is what has replaced bird watching?
Watch this short Pokémon Go nature documentary narrated by Stephen Fry

An article for my geeks.

What happened to praise for the ethical employee?

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