Post Tagged with: "Facebook"

Google Readies SDK For Wearable Tech

March 10, 2014 11:070 comments
Google Readies SDK For Wearable Tech

Google will soon release a software development kit (SDK) for adapting its Android mobile operating system to wearable technology such as smart watches, according to statements by Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome and Apps.   Pichai was speaking over the weekend at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. He said that the SDK for wearables will be available sometime in the next two weeks and is intended to help flesh out the company’s vision for how wearable technology should work. The news was first reported here by The Guardian. Wearables are just another “platform” on which small, powerful sensors will be deployed, he said. “Sensors can be small and powerful, and gather a lot of information that can be useful for users. We want to build the right APIs for this world of sensors,” he is quoted saying. [Read more Security Ledger coverage […]

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Facebook Joins In Tech Industry Demands For Surveillance Reform

February 12, 2014 11:26Comments Off
Facebook Joins In Tech Industry Demands For Surveillance Reform

Facebook on Tuesday reiterated calls for reform of laws pertaining to government surveillance practices in the U.S. and elsewhere. The company, in a blog post, urged governments to stop bulk collection of data and enact reforms to limit governments’ authority to collect users information to pertain to “individual users” for “lawful purposes.” The company also called for more oversight of national intelligence agencies such as the US National Security Agency, and more transparency about government requests for data. The blog post was authored by Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch. Facebook reiterated its calls for surveillance reform in recognition of “The Day We Fight Back,” a grass roots effort to use Tuesday, February 11th as a day to rally support for more civil liberties protections.   [Read more Security Ledger coverage of Facebook here.] The date is the one year anniversary of the suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz. Leading online […]

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US Allows More Talk About Surveillance Orders

January 27, 2014 22:01Comments Off
The German magazine Der Spiegel says it has viewed confidential NSA documents that reveal government surveillance of smart phone data, including SMS, geolocation data and email.

The U.S. Department of Justice has acceded to requests from some large, technology firms, allowing them to post more specific information about government requests for data on their users, according to a report by The New York Times. In a statement released on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder and James R. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, the new rules allowing some declassification followed a speech by President Obama calling for intelligence reform. “The administration is acting to allow more detailed disclosures about the number of national security orders and requests issued to communications providers, and the number of customer accounts targeted under those orders and requests including the underlying legal authorities,” the joint statement reads. “Through these new reporting methods, communications providers will be permitted to disclose more information than ever before to their customers.” [Read more Security Ledger coverage of the NSA surveillance story.] Previously, companies were prohibited from […]

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Thingful is a Facebook for Smart Devices

December 16, 2013 10:591 comment
Thingful is a Facebook for Smart Devices

The data on exactly how many Internet of Things devices will be online by the end of the decade is a matter of debate. Cisco famously put the number at 50 billion by 2020, though Morgan Stanley thinks it could be as high as 75 billion. The analyst firm IDC estimates the number at 50 billion. But others have put the number lower. Gartner puts the number of connected things at around 30 billion by 2020. We might all be better off taking a cue from McDonald’s and just start using the phrase “billions and billions” by the end of the decade. As with McDonald’s hamburgers – the exact number doesn’t really matter, so long as everyone agrees that it’s going to be big. Really big. But all those devices – and the near-limitless IPV6 address space that will accommodate them – do present a management and governance problem: how […]

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Obama Administration: Speak Up On Trusted ID Plans!

December 10, 2013 11:45Comments Off
The Obama Administration is looking for feedback on plans for a trusted identity marketplace.

The Obama Administration is throwing its weight behind two federal efforts to increase the use of so-called “trusted identities” online as a way to combat consumer fraud and threats to critical infrastructure. Writing on the White House blog on Monday, Michael Daniel, the Obama Administration’s cyber security coordinator said that the current system for managing online identities (user IDs and passwords) is “hopelessly broken,” and that the stakes are getting ever higher for breaches. “While today it might be a social media website, tomorrow it could be your bank, health services providers, or even public utilities,” he wrote. Daniel said two federal initiatives aim to tip the scales in the direction of stronger and more secure online identities, but that more public engagement is needed to ensure that what is produced by those projects gets adopted. Specifically: Daniel highlighted two NIST-led efforts: the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), […]

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Two Million Passwords Stolen From Facebook, Twitter, ADP

December 4, 2013 11:481 comment
Passwords belonging to users of Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter were stolen by the Pony botnet.

The passwords to access more than two million online accounts have been recovered from a server that is part of the command and control network for the Pony botnet, a large and active network of infected computers, according to a blog post from the security firm Trustwave. The company said that it found a cache of approximately two million compromised accounts, most from popular online services such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Twitter. More concerning: the cache also contained tens of thousands of credentials for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) servers, remote desktop and secure shell (SSH) accounts, and a site belonging to ADP, the payments processing firm. Facebook accounts made up the lion’s share of the haul, with 318,121 user credentials discovered – 57% of the total. Yahoo was the next biggest victim, with 59,549, almost 11% of the total. Leading Russian social networking sites vk.com and odnoklassniki.ru were also in […]

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Supply Chain Transparency Doesn’t Extend To Security

November 12, 2013 09:54Comments Off
Supply Chain Transparency Doesn’t Extend To Security

We live in an ever-more unstable world in which massive disruptions, whether natural or man-made, are a frequent occurrence. Companies that make everything from aircraft to mobile phones to cappuccino need to be nimble – sidestepping global calamities that might idle assembly lines or leave customers without their morning cup of coffee.  As in other areas, the benefits of technology advancements like cheap, cloud based computing, remote sensors and mobility are transforming the way that companies manage their vast, global network of suppliers. These days, supply chain transparency is all the rage – allowing companies to share information seamlessly and in realtime with their downstream business partners and suppliers. Firms like the start-ups Sourcemap, and LlamaSoft are offering “supply chain visualization” technology that leverages a familiar formula these days: mobility, social networking, crowd-sourced intelligence, and “Big Data” analytics. [There's more to read about supply chain security on The Security Ledger.]  However, as […]

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At MIT Conference, Warnings of Big Data Fundamentalism

October 9, 2013 23:04Comments Off
At MIT Conference, Warnings of Big Data Fundamentalism

A senior Microsoft researcher issued a stern warning about the negative consequences of the current mania for data harvesting saying that a kind of “fundamentalism” was emerging regarding the utility of what’s been termed “Big Data” that could easily lead to a Orwellian future of ubiquitous surveillance and diminished freedom. Speaking to an audience of around 300 technology industry luminaries at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s annual Emerging Technology (EMTECH) conference, Kate Crawford, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in Boston said that the technology industry’s fetish for “Big Data” had blinded it to the limits of analytics, and the privacy implications of wholesale data harvesting. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) annual Emerging Technologies (EMTECH) conference, a high-gloss event that throws entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics together to talk ‘big ideas’ on TED-inspired sets. Crawford’s speech, coming on the heels of a talk about transforming healthcare with big data […]

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Beyond ‘Likes’: CrowdOptic Uses Google Glass To Map Your Focus

October 4, 2013 17:41Comments Off
Google is readying a software development kit that it hopes will spur development of wearable technology.

Sometimes a technology becomes so ubiquitous and obviously useful that we (humans) cease to think critically about its shortcomings. As an illustration of this, imagine yourself teleported back in time to the island of Manhattan in 1900. You’d find a bustling metropolis, for sure. You might look around and notice that the people dressed differently, or that the skyline was different from what we’re used to. But I bet one of the things you’d notice first was the stench emanating from the piles of horse manure and puddles of urine. As this (great) post at The Daily Kos points out, there were 200,000 horses working in New York City by 1900. Those horses were dropping 4 million pounds of manure and 40,000 gallons of urine on city streets every day. “The ubiquitous street sweepers could only pile the stuff up in vacant lots, occasionally to the height of sixty feet. To […]

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Health Exchanges Need A Fail Whale

October 3, 2013 17:04Comments Off
Health Exchanges Need A Fail Whale

In a blog post on Veracode’s blog today, I write about the problems encountered at government-run online health exchanges that were intended to connect millions to private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The exchanges opened to the public on Tuesday, and they got off to a rocky start, with reports of web sites paralyzed as millions of uninsured Americans logged on to sign up for subsidized health insurance. In some cases, the problems appear to have been caused by “external factors.” New York State’s online health exchange was felled by the weight of more than 10 million requests of dubious origin, The New York Post reported. But other exchanges, including Healthcare.gov the federal government’s main health insurance storefront, which is used by residents or more than half of the states, were victims of their own success: overwhelmed when the doors swung open and millions of eager customers poured […]

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