“Beware slow moving newsrooms: On this metric, you’ll be competing against more agile, maybe less scrupulous staffs that “publish first, verify later”. This requires a smart arbitrage by the news producers. Once the first headline has been pushed, they’ll have to decide what’s best: immediately filing a follow-up or waiting a bit and moving a longer, more value-added story that will rank better in metrics two and three? It depends on elements such as the size of the “cluster” (the number of stories pertaining to a given event).”—
“In the good old days, the traders were human beings. Now they are
computers programmed to trade in a millisecond not only on news but also on how the other computers are going to react to the news. The result is market movements that contain absolutely no information, except that computers have been programmed. In this situation, any normal human being just gets out of the game and waits a week or so to let the computers destroy each other.”—http://www.battleofthequants.com/Research/GKDailyReport120809.pdf
Security researchers at Columbia University have accused HP of selling printers with a flaw that could let hackers gain remote control over the devices. Once compromised, the access can be used to steal personal information, attack networks, and even set printers on fire by feeding them a continuous stream of instructions designed to heat them up.
The researchers, funded by government and industry grants, reported the flaw to federal officials and HP this month, and gave a demonstration to MSNBC, which has an extensive article on the subject today. HP told MSNBC that it is reviewing the details, but denied that the problem is as extensive as claimed by Columbia PhD student Ang Cui and Professor Salvatore Stolfo.
While not every journalist is an international war correspondent, every journalist’s cellphone is untrustworthy. Mobile phones, and in particular Internet-enabled smartphones, are used by reporters around the world to gather and transmit news. But mobile phones also make journalists easier to locate and intimidate, and confidential sources easier to uncover. Cellular systems can pinpoint individual users within a few meters, and cellphone providers record months, even years, of individual movements and calls. Western cellphone companies like TeliaSonera and France Telecom have been accused by investigative journalists in their home countries of complicity in tracking reporters, while mobile spying tools built for law enforcement in Western countries have, according to computer security researchers working with human rights activists, been exported for use against journalists working under repressive regimes in Ethiopia, Bahrain, and elsewhere.
"Reporters need to understand that mobile communications are inherently insecure and expose you to risks that are not easy to detect or overcome," says Katrin Verclas of the National Democratic Institute. Activists such as Verclas have been working on sites like SaferMobile, which give basic advice for journalists to protect themselves. CPJ recently published a security guide that addresses the use of satellite phones and digital mobile technologies. But repressive governments don’t need to keep up with all the tricks of mobile computing; they can merely set aside budget and strip away privacy laws to get all the power they need. Unless regulators, technology companies, and media personnel step up their own defenses of press freedom, the cellphone will become journalists’ most treacherous tool.
“Netflix’s data indicated that the same subscribers who loved the original [House of Cards] also gobbled down movies starring Kevin Spacey or directed by David Fincher. Therefore, concluded Netflix executives, a remake of the BBC drama with Spacey and Fincher attached was a no-brainer.”—igowen: “How Netflix is turning viewers into puppets, an overly alarmist title (and conclusion) for an otherwise interesting article.”, via blech.
We’re watching out for the crowd in crowdsourcing because nobody else seems to be. Almost half of the Mechanical Turk workers who wrote their Bill of Rights demanded protection from employers who take their work without paying. Turkopticon lets you REPORT and AVOID shady employers.
CROWDSOURCING might be big business now but it has never been fair. The pay is terrible, there is zero regulation and no recourse for workers if things go wrong. But crowdsourcing’s Wild West days of exploitation could soon be over. Moves to make employers more accountable and give crowd workers more benefits are helping shift the balance in favour of the employees.
In one case, researchers were able to reverse-engineer “amateur” code to reveal data about the identity of one child in Canada.
The company said children must be educated on coding “rights and wrongs”.
"As more schools are educating people for programming in this early stage, before they are adults and understand the impact of what they’re doing, this will continue to grow." said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at AVG.
The researchers found that many instances of malware targeting games popular with children shared the same characteristics.
Most were written using basic coding languages such as Visual Basic and C#, and were written in a way that contain quite literal schoolboy errors that professional hackers were unlikely to make - many exposing the original source of the code.
“A recent study of Google searches by Professor Latanya Sweeney has found “significant discrimination” in ad results depending on whether the name you’re Googling is, statistically speaking, more likely to belong to a white person or a black person. So while Googling an Emma will probably trigger nothing more sinister than an invitation to look up Emma’s phone number and address, searching for a Jermaine could generate an ad for a criminal record search. In fact, Sweeney’s research suggests that it’s 25% more likely you’ll get ads for criminal record searches from “black-identifying” names than white-sounding ones.”—Can Googling be racist? | Arwa Mahdawi | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk