Saturday, June 02, 2018

Now we get some details.
… The company offered the first update on the situation Friday, and things aren’t looking great. On a support site, Ticketfly states that it is “investigating a cybersecurity incident” and its website and other services will be inaccessible for the time being. No timeframe has been provided as to when Ticketfly’s operations will return to normal.
This whole unfortunate incident started late Wednesday night when people started to notice some suspicious activity coming from Ticketfly.
… It’s possible for an attacker to vandalize a site without doing any real damage to the behind-the-scenes infrastructure. Unfortunately, in the case of Ticketfly, the breach appears to be far worse than just the digital equivalent of graffiti.
The apparent hacker, going by IsHaKdZ, told Gizmodo via email that he found a vulnerability in the Ticketfly website and attempted to report it to the company. Motherboard reported seeing email conversations purportedly between the hacker and Ticketfly employees. The hacker said he “asked them 1 bitcoin for protection,” and when he didn’t receive it, he exploited the vulnerability.
According to IsHaKdZ, he is in possession of a “complete” database containing sensitive information that he stole from Ticketfly. According to Motherboard, the hacker has several spreadsheet files that appear to contain personal information about thousands of Ticketfly customers and employees of venues that use the service. The database includes names, home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Too big to fail? My Software Architecture students need to think about this.
Visa Card Payments Failing in UK, Europe, Highlighting Need for Decentralized Options
Visa has said that their card payments are experiencing disruptions across Britain and Europe, the BBC reports today, June 1.
Visa, which handles over 150 mln transactions a day, tweeted about the service disruption, noting that they will keep updating as they resolve the situation:
Visa UK ✔ @VisaUK
We are currently experiencing a service disruption which is preventing some Visa transactions in Europe from being processed. We are investigating the cause and working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation. We will keep you updated.
10:49 AM - Jun 1, 2018

Massive Visa Outage Shows the Fragility of Global Payments
… Though some Visa transactions still went through, the failure appeared widespread. The Financial Times even reported that some ATMs in the United Kingdom were already out of cash within a couple of hours of the first outage reports. Some observers saw in the outage a stark reminder of the fragility of payment networks, and the weaknesses in global economic platforms.

Alternatives to self-driving cars. My students are continuing to debate: Who will win, who will lose.
Report: Lyft agrees to buy Ford GoBike, Citi Bike operator Motivate in big bikeshare deal
You've probably never heard of Motivate, but perhaps you've seen these handy Ford GoBike or Citi Bike bicycle docks around your neighborhood? Soon, ride-hailing company Lyft may own these and a handful of Motivate's other docking bicycle networks – helping it challenge Uber and a whole bunch of upstart electric scooter companies when it comes to urban transportation.
The Information reports that Lyft has agreed to purchase Motivate for as much as $250 million, though a deal reportedly hasn't been finalized yet.

Denver warns it will sweep scooters off city’s streets
… Denver Public Works ordered Lime and Bird to remove scooters left in the public right of way or they will be confiscated by the city, according to a news release. The notice came with words of caution for the scooters’ riders and a pledge to develop rules to regulate dockless transportation companies.
The city also warned users where and how they could use the scooters.
… Lime rolled out its scooters in Denver just before Memorial Day weekend; Bird introduced its scooters on Friday. Users download the companies’ apps and unlock scooters to use them. The scooters can travel nearly 15 miles per hour and roll for about 20 miles before needing a charge.

Interesting. Does the tail wag the dog at Google or was this project less profitable that they thought?
Google Won't Renew Controversial Pentagon AI Project
The backlash to Google’s work on a US military artificial-intelligence project began inside the tech giant, but in recent weeks, it has spilled into the public. As employees resigned in protest over Google’s work with Project Maven, which uses AI to identify potential drone targets in satellite images, reports revealed top executives fretting over how it will be perceived by the public. On Friday, Google changed course, as Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced internally that the company will not renew the contract for Project Maven, according to Gizmodo. The current contract expires in 2019.

This could be big (success or failure)
This is why Microsoft should buy $2 billion startup GitHub and turn it into a weapon against Amazon
On Friday, Business Insider reported that Microsoft has held talks to buy GitHub — a $2 billion startup that claims 24 million software developers as users.
It's not immediately clear what will come of these talks. Microsoft declined to comment, but you can read the full Business Insider report here.
While we wait for further word on the future of GitHub, one thing is very clear: It would make perfect sense for Microsoft to buy the startup. If the stars align, and GitHub is integrated intelligently into Microsoft's products, it could give the company a big edge against Amazon Web Services, the leading player in the fast-growing cloud market.
Just to catch you up: GitHub is an online service that allows developers to host their software projects. From there, anyone from all over the world can download those projects and submit their own improvements. That functionality has made GitHub the center of the open source software development world.

Who knew?
Words Matter: How Lyrics Help Songs Top the Charts
… We found that, on average, the more different a song was from its genre, the more atypical a country song was for country music, the more successful it was on the Billboard chart, the higher ranked it was. Even controlling for things like who sang the song, when it was released, etc., the mere fact that it was different from most other songs in its genre was connected to it being more successful.

Humor? Vegetarian repellent?
A.1. debuts 'meat scents' candles to fill your home with the aroma of steak sauce and beef

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