Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cyber security info explosion

As a IT security guy, I used to read cyberattack and data breaches news, trying to learn from others missteps. However, in the past few months, it becomes impossible to keep up with those stories! There is a cyber security info explosion in mass media. Blogger, journalist, lawyers, bankers and even comedian started to comment on cyber security.

Just thinking, we may need a course to teach people how to (not to ) write about cyber attacks. Purely rely on fear factor is not helping.

There are secrets in our life and we trust the computer by using them as our password.

I really don’t like the opening story of this article but it is one of the most interesting story telling how software become part of our life and memory. Our love and hate with password will never end. Even in Sci-Fi world, Star Trek captain still needs a code to activate the auto-destruct system !

Read the stories about a mom discovered her son was gay when she researched on the password of the son’s password (“Lambda1969”) after he committed suicide, password may be serve as a will. Something the son believes that people will definitely found out after his death.

NYTimes : The Secret Life of Passwords

“Virtually all the people who revealed their passwords to me said they planned to stop using them. And yet they divulged them all the same.”

IBM to build Chinese cloud presence with help from Tencent

When cloud computing is now a mainstream product, does Tencent need IBM to build cloud ? My answer is NO since I saw the presentation on Openstack Summit in HK last year.

Gigaom

The great race by U.S. cloud companies to capture part of the huge Chinese market continued with Friday’s news that IBM is working with Tencent Cloud to provide cloud infrastructure and software-as-a-service capabilities for business in China. IBM SoftLayer opened a data center in Hong Kong in June.

This news revolves around IBM using Tencent cloud to provide business services; it does not at least yet involve IBM’s SoftLayer cloud arm, a spokesman said.

[company]IBM[/company] and [company]Tencent[/company], the company behind the popular WeChat mobile messaging app, signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) to this effect. To participate in the Chinese market, U.S. companies have to partner with local vendors. Microsoft was the first provider down the chute. Azure went online in China in March via Microsoft’s collaboration with Via21net. [company]Amazon[/company] is working with China Net Center and SINNET to set up its new Beijing region slated to go live this year. (The AWS…

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Is an ad-based business model the original sin of the web — and if so, what do we do about it?

Is the lack of a transparent and convenient payment system for consuming content hinder Internet growth? There is a vicious circle the author did not mention. Ad-based business model fuels the creation of content specially fit for ads, both format and subject! User behaviour also adopt to bite size content. We are stuck but very few is searching for a way out.

Gigaom

Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT and co-founder of the blog network Global Voices, argues in a fascinating post at The Atlantic that the “original sin” of the internet was that almost every web business defaulted to an advertising-based business model — and that this in turn led to the privacy-invading, data-collecting policies that are the foundation of companies like Facebook and Google. But is that true? And if so, what should we do about it?

Zuckerman says his thoughts around advertising and its effects were shaped in part by a presentation that developer Maciej Ceglowski gave at a conference in Germany earlier this year. Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard, a site that allows users to bookmark and store webpages, and someone who has argued in the past that free, ad-supported services are bad for users, since they usually wind up having…

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Now even Germany’s postal service has an encrypted messaging app

Just installed this secure mobile message app. A few things to note:
-in Singapore AppStore
– need access to your phone address book to find others installed this app. I need to invite people to use this app!

Gigaom

Last year’s NSA revelations sparked a great deal of interest in secure messaging apps, from Threema to Telegram to TextSecure, particularly in German-speaking countries where people and businesses are highly sensitive about surveillance. Now you can add another one to the list – and this one comes from the German postal service itself.

Deutsche Post, known internationally as delivery firm DHL, launched a free messenger app called SIMSme on Wednesday, promising end-to-end encryption with passphrases left in the user’s hands. According to the firm, all data is stored on German servers as it passes between users, and is deleted as soon as messages are delivered.

The app is quite comprehensive, featuring group chat and location sharing. What’s more, those willing to pony up 89 euro cents ($1.19) can add a self-destruct function for very sensitive messages and photos, effectively making SIMSme a Snapchat alternative of sorts. The first million users…

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Data enabled decision making is not to play God.

Reading a law professor letter to NYTimes, I notice a line of thoughts encroached our society: Truth, fairness and objectivity are within reach with data analytics.  The author arguing against using data scores to calculate sentencing said

“Data-driven predictions grounded in legitimate factors might be about as accurate as current profiling schemes. There is no persuasive evidence that the current troubling variables add much predictive value, once criminal conduct is already taken into account. But even if they do improve accuracy, this gain doesn’t justify sacrificing fairness.” 

In turn, she tried to weight traditional and data driven methods, when justices and fairness are concerned. The underlying tone is that there is a correct sentencing and judges should pursue it whenever possible. 

Human hunt of fairness and objectivity goes astray. A correct sentencing doesn’t exist, no matter how we hard we try, how smart our algorithms become. Using data driven decision making tools should not let us to play God’s (or Gods’ ) role. 

If we accept data is not truth and we are not God, then the seemingly unfair situation “that people should be imprisoned longer because they are poor” is a fallacy. One way of the other, judges make decision based some references point, be it his/her visit to Disneyland or prison, be it the risk score of the convicted. There is no faultless human decision.