Posted by & filed under Cyber Security, IT and Politics, Politics.

The cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, which has been at the center of false conspiracy theories since 2016, is once again in focus after a White House transcript published on Wednesday revealed President Donald Trump brought it up in his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.In a complaint released on Thursday by the intelligence community, a whistleblower expressed confusion about Trump’s references to the company.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: September 26th, 2019

Link (the video is not related to the article): https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/tech/what-is-crowdstrike/index.html

Discussion

“the FBI, when investigating the hack, looked at CrowdStrike’s “imaged” servers — a direct copy — rather than physically taking the servers themselves. But that’s the FBI’s official guidance or investigating cybercrime — it’s faster and it doesn’t require the victim to completely halt their operations while the FBI takes months, or possibly years, to return those servers. “
1) Why do you think the FBI is okay looking at “direct copies” of CrowdStrike’s servers instead of the actual servers?
2) Does it actually matter to a company like CrowdStrike, which likely has thousands if not tens of thousands of servers, that the FBI take the original, source servers?
3) The article suggests that using “imaged servers” is “faster”. What do they mean, and is this possibly not true?

Posted by & filed under Cyber Security.

Cameron Ortis, shown in a court sketch from his court hearing in Canada on 13 September

The arrest of a senior Canadian intelligence official on allegations of stealing classified materials has shaken the international intelligence community.

Cameron Ortis, a civilian member of Canada’s RCMP national police force, had access to intelligence from Canada’s global allies and has been charged with a number of offences under the country’s national security laws.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 26th, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49720731

Discussion

  1. ” Mr Ortis has expertise in cyber security.” What do you know about cyber security
  2. Cyber Security is important at the individual, company and national level, as this article illustrates. Growth in cyber security is enourmous. Is it important for all business majors to know some level of detail about cyber security?

Posted by & filed under Programming, Uncategorized.

Makeblock is one of the rare Chinese tech companies finding commercial success outside of China.

Source: CNN Gadgets

Date: September 17th, 2019

Link to video: https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2018/11/26/shenzhen-china-makeblock.cnn-business

Discussion

  1. Is it important to know how to code?
  2. We are in the middle of a “low-code revolution”. Low-code means that you don’t code from scratch, but “code” by using menus, much like you use menus in Excel to get things done such as build a chart. Why is it important to know business and how to low-code?

Posted by & filed under Satellite, Space-based internet.

CubeSats are small enough to fit into the spare space around rocket payloads meaning they are a more affordable alternative to conventional satellites.

Source: BBC Future

Date: September 17th, 2019

Link to video (with 15 second advert lead-in): https://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-49552894/how-tiny-satellites-could-transform-weather-forecasting

Discussion

  1. The video here is about hand-sized satellites transforming weather forecasting. What else could a network of small satellites improve?
  2. A hand-sized satellite whizzing through space is an enormous object that can do significant damage if it hits a big satellite or spacecraft. Isn’t the proliferation of these small satellites dangerous?

Posted by & filed under AI/Artificial Intelligence, Ethical issues.

ImageNetRoulette

An artificial-intelligence art project has been criticised for using racist and sexist tags to classify its users.

When they share a selfie with ImageNet Roulette, the web app matches it to the ones it most closely resembles from an enormous library of profile photos.

It then reveals the most popular tag, assigned to the matching pictures by human workers using data set WordNet.

These include racial slurs, “first offender”, “rape suspect”, “spree killer”, “newsreader”, and “Batman”.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 17th, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49726652

Discussion

  1. The title of this article suggests that AI is being racist. However, it turns out that the photos/art are being labelled by humans, sourced from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. What is the problem with using humans to label things for AI?
  2. How can AI be trained to be correct without human input?
  3. Can AI that has trained itself still be racist?

Posted by & filed under Agile Development, Systems Development.

In the digital era, businesses now rely on a staggering number of critical applications to support their operations, so the need for rapid, flexible software development is directly connected to business success. Application updates are more frequent than ever, change is continuous, and everyone expects tomorrow’s functionality today.

This need to improve—and improve faster—has pushed the issue of software development outside the realm of the IT floor. “Much like cybersecurity over the past decade, we believe software development is emerging as a board-level discussion,” says Keith Weiss, head of Morgan Stanley’s U.S. software research team. “Business leaders increasingly recognize the close tie between how quickly a company can bring new software to market and their level of differentiation and competitiveness.”

Source: Morgan Stanley

Date: September 12th, 2019

Link: https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/new-software-stack-2019/

Discussion

  1. ” more companies are adopting new concepts such as agile development and DevOps—what Weiss and his team call “New Stack” software development methodologies—that drive higher developer productivity, more complete automation and, ultimately, faster software development. ” What are you doing to better understand software development methodologies?
  2. Why should every business student understand at least the basics of software development?

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Gig economy, Uber.

uber and lyft drivers protest in new york

Moving quickly against Silicon Valley’s brilliant 21st Century labor arbitrage, California’s state senate approved legislation on Wednesday intended to reclassify many more workers as employees. Just a day after passage by the state assembly, the vote sent the bill, known simply as AB5, that could restructure much of the so-called gig economy to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature.

But even before Newsom made a move, one of the bill’s prime targets–Uber Technologies–had a few things to say.

Source: Fortune Magazine Technology News

Date: September 12th, 2019

Link: https://fortune.com/2019/09/12/uber-california-gig-economy-law/

Discussion

  1. The gig economy is so-called because workers are just doing “gigs”, rather like musicians do a “gig”, which many would not consider “a real job”. Why does California feel like this is a bad thing for workers?
  2. Why does Uber think this a good thing for workers?
  3. What app-based jobs are in the gig economy, in addition to Uber and Lyft?

Posted by & filed under Apple, Huawei.

Ren Zhengfei

Huawei’s chief executive has proposed selling its current 5G know-how to a Western firm as a way to address security concerns voiced by the US and others about its business.

Ren Zhengfei said the buyer would be free to “change the software code”.

That would allow any flaws or supposed backdoors to be addressed without Huawei’s involvement.

The US and Australia have banned their networks from using Huawei’s equipment. The UK is still weighing a decision.

Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it would help the Chinese government spy on or disrupt other countries telecoms systems, and says it is a private enterprise owned by its workers.

One expert, who had previously cast doubts on Huawei’s claims to independence, said the idea of it helping another country’s business to compete represented an “extraordinary offer”.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 12, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49673144

Discussion

  1. As the article notes, the U.S. has banned the use of Huawei’s 5G products because of the possibility that the Chinese government will use them for spying on the U.S. The offer from Huawei to sell its 5G technology and critically to allow for changes in the source code is, really, an “extraordinary offer”. Why is this?
  2. Does Apple allow changes to be made to the Apple iOS source code? Why not?

Posted by & filed under Ethical issues, Google.

Google has been accused of using hidden webpages that are assigned to users to provide more information to advertisers about their every move online.

The allegation has been added to a complaint lodged with the Irish Data Protection Commission.

The tech firm insists it acts in accordance with EU privacy laws.

It comes a day after Google was fined $170m (£138m) by a US watchdog for illegally capturing data from children and targeting them with adverts.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: September 5th, 2019

Link: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49593830

Discussion

  1. A police officer “said he discovered hidden webpages that had a unique address. It acted as an identifier, which was unique to him. This so-called pseudonymous marker, when combined with cookies, can help track user activity across the web, he claims.” Should Google be allowed to anonymously track everything you do?
  2. How could you stop Google tracking you?

Posted by & filed under Deepfake video, Facebook.

Facebook logo

Alarmed by the rise of realistic fake videos created with artificial intelligence, Facebook is funding a competition to find ways to automatically detect these counterfeits.

The competition, called the Deepfake Detection Challenge, will be overseen by the Partnership on AI, a non-profit group whose members include many leading technology companies, non-governmental organizations, and research bodies. Microsoft will also be working on the project along with researchers from several well-known universities, according to a blog Facebook posted Thursday.

Source: Fortune Magazine

Date: September 5th, 2019

Link: https://fortune.com/2019/09/05/deepfake-videos-facebook-contest/

Discussion

  1. How might you go about detecting deepfake video?
  2. Why are deepfake videos thought to be more problematic than fake news?