Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for June 2017

iPhone Shmyphone

leave a comment »

Apparently I missed the whole iPhone 10-year anniversary celebration thing yesterday.

Judging from my RSS feeds, though, there was a lot of fond remembrances of how much the iPhone changed the world, even if the original 2G phone connections were lethally slow.
In 2007, I was still a diehard BlackBerry user — my Bold took me around the world and back again, and it did email really, really well (and worked in just about every country I flew to).

But eventually I pried my cold, live hands from the BlackBerry keyboard and migrated to the iPhone. I’d already been a Mac user since…well, I won’t say when…and it only seemed logical.

I’m not one of those who holds the iPhone up on the altar of technology worship. Nor do I denigrate the iPhone because it’s presence has led to no end of human folly and absurdities due to its use or misuse. And don’t ask me to name any of them, because I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

No, for me, the iPhone is a tool, plain and simple. A wonderous one, one that allows me to stay in touch with people all over the globe at the touch of a button.

One that allows me to watch human calamity in real-time from afar.

One that allows me, for good and bad, to respond to work email from anywhere I have a data connection (which is almost everywhere, but not completely).

One that allows me to learn new things, entertain myself, buy stuff, take pictures and videos….we all know what it does for us, personally.

What it does for culture and society and the broader world? Well, I can make a strong argument that it brings us all closer together, but others would argue it does just the opposite, that it takes us further apart.

As with anything, and as with any technology, it’s really all relative and depends on your point of view.

As I look back on the first ten years of the iPhone, I force myself to remember that these devices are called “smartphones.”

Whether or not the iPhone (and subsequent smartphones) have made us any smarter is probably still up for debate.

Whether or not I would pretty much be lost without my own is not.

Are you paying attention to me? Are you still reading this?!

Look at me and stop looking at that damned phone!

: )

Written by turbotodd

June 30, 2017 at 9:06 am

The Petya Attack

leave a comment »

Another big ransomware attack is coming…has already arrived??

From The Verge: A major ransomware attack has brought businesses to a close throughout Europe, in an infection reminiscent of last month’s WannaCry attack. The most severe damage is being reported by Ukrainian businesses, with systems compromised at Ukraine’s central bank, state telecom, municipal metro, and Kiev’s Boryspil Airport. Systems were also compromised at Ukraine’s Ukrenego electricity supplier, although a spokesperson said the power supply was unaffected by the attack.

From Krebs on Security: A new strain of ransomware dubbed “Petya” is worming its way around the world with alarming speed. The malware is spreading using a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that the software giant patched in March 2017 — the same bug that was exploited by the recent and prolific WannaCry ransomware strain….Security firm Symantec confirmed that Petya uses the “Eternal Blue” exploit, a digital weapon that was believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency and in April 2017 leaked online by a hacker group calling itself the Shadow Brokers….Organizations and individuals who have not yet applied the Windows update for the Eternal Blue exploit should patch now. However, there are indications that Petya may have other tricks up its sleeve to spread inside of large networks.

The Guardian is reporting that “Victims of a major ransomware cyberattack that has spread through the US and Europe can no longer unlock their computers even if they pay the ransom.”

The New York Times on what we know and what we don’t.

And from IBM’s X-Force Exchange: Petya Ransomware Campaign.

Written by turbotodd

June 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

American Airlines Migrates Key Workloads to IBM Cloud

leave a comment »

IBM announced that American Airlines will use IBM Cloud as the foundation for a massive cloud transformation designed to make internal processes more efficient, faster, and adaptable to better handle site traffic during high volume periods.

Building on the strategic cloud partnership signed with IBM in 2016, American Airlines will migrate to the IBM Cloud a portion of its critical applications, including aa.com, its customer-facing mobile app and its global network of check-in kiosks. In addition, other workloads and tools, such as the company’s Cargo customer website, will also be moved to the IBM Cloud.

“In selecting the right cloud partner for American, we wanted to ensure the provider would be a champion of Cloud Foundry and open-source technologies so we don’t get locked down by proprietary solutions” said Daniel Henry, American’s Vice President Customer Technology and Enterprise Architecture. “We also wanted a partner that would offer us the agility to innovate at the organizational and process levels and have deep industry expertise with security at its core. We feel confident that IBM is the right long-term partner to not only provide the public cloud platform, but also enable our delivery transformation.”
– via www-03.ibm.com

As part of the solution, American and IBM will work together to move critical applications to the IBM Cloud. In parallel, the two companies have teamed to rewrite these applications to the IBM Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), and establish a cloud-native architecture. As part of this process, American will work with IBM Global Services to leverage IBM’s Garage Methodology of creating innovative applications quickly through a micro-services architecture, design thinking, agile methodology, DevOps, and lean development.

IBM Cloud will help enable developers to quickly build and change application functionalities for the airline’s customers. These customer-facing systems will be on the IBM Public Cloud, while American maintains backend connectivity to other on-premise legacy and third-party systems, for true Hybrid Cloud functionality.

You can more about IBM Cloud solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

June 27, 2017 at 9:58 am

Google To Scrub Out Private Medical Records

leave a comment »

Happy Friday.

Bloomberg is reporting that Google has “quietly decided to scrub an entire category of online content — personal medical records — from its search results.

On Thursday, the company added the line: “confidential, personal medical records of private people” to its policy page.

As Bloomberg observes, prior to that Google had only removed webpages with identifying financial information (credit card numbers) and content that violated copyright laws. Revenge porn was later added in 2015.

What led to the change?

According to Engadget, last December an Indian pathology lab mistakenly uploaded 43,000 patients’ blood tests, including their names and corresponding HIV test results.

Google indexed them all because, well, that’s what Google’s algorithm does.

Written by turbotodd

June 23, 2017 at 9:34 am

The Weather Channel Launches Advanced Global Radar App

leave a comment »

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, announced today that its consumer brand, The Weather Channel, has launched a new, highly advanced global radar app for iPhone and Android devices.

The Storm Radar App places the most accurate, detailed, and advanced weather and storm tracking data directly in the hands of individuals across the globe – providing them with the necessary information to help them prepare for safety when severe weather strikes.

Utilizing sophisticated forecasting models and leveraging over 800 data sources, as well as the expertise of over 160 meteorologists – the largest in the private sector – The Weather Company is able to generate hyperlocal forecasts for over 2.2 billion locations across the globe every 15 minutes.

Taking weather information to the next level, the Storm Radar App provides eight hours of high-resolution past-to-future radar data, over 20 map layers, as well as hyperlocal current condition and forecast information based on data collected from the company’s network of over 250,000 personal weather stations across the globe. The Storm Radar App helps prepare users for impending weather via customizable storm tracking and real-time weather data layers.

Features of the app include:

  • Global Future Radar: Two hours of animated past radar and six hours of cutting-edge, forecasted future radar across land and sea
  • Storm Tracks: Detailed analysis of impending severe weather, including storm arrival time, strength rating, detailed components of the storm (such as wind, hail, lightning, and tornadoes), the speed and direction of the storm, the precipitation rate, storm tracker data, and more
  • Hurricanes and Tropical Storms: Historical and forecasted paths, complete with wind speed, strength, arrival times, and the cone of uncertainty
  • Lightning: 100 miles of lightning data for the Continental U.S.
  • Local Storm Reports and Severe Weather Alerts: Local radar and global severe weather warnings and alerts from anywhere in the U.S. and around the globe from NOAA, National Weather Service (NWS), Environment Canada, and MeteoAlarm
  • Customizable Data Layers: Severe weather alerts, local storm reports, wind, temperature and precipitation overlays, earthquake info, and more

 

To help users prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season, summer thunderstorms and other seasonal severe weather around the world, The Storm Radar App is available for global audiences and is free to download on mobile devices within the App Store or Google Play.

Written by turbotodd

June 22, 2017 at 10:30 am

AOS and IBM Developing Logistics and Transportation Solution Using IBM Blockchain, Watson IoT

leave a comment »

IBM and AOS — a Colombian company specializing in providing business solutions — today announced they are collaborating to create a solution to enhance efficiency in the logistics and transport industry throughout the country, built on IBM Blockchain and Watson IoT on the IBM Cloud.

Traditionally, supply chain transactions are completed manually, creating delays and a higher risk for recording error, which can cause differences between what was recorded and what was actually loaded.

By digitizing this process using blockchain and IoT, the relevant information is captured directly from the sensors placed on the trucks, and entered onto the blockchain, creating a single, shared repository that all authorized participants can access and which can only be altered with consensus from all parties.

With the solution, once the truck leaves the distribution point, an automatic message is sent to the customer, informing them about the load, weight and estimated time of arrival. If part of the delivery is returned, the invoicing can be automated depending on the actual load delivered.

Also, through the sensors located on the trucks, an information repository is generated using IoT and blockchain, which tracks all the exchanges, stops and transactions made by each truck and its respective load, from the distribution point to the final customer. This heightened level of transparency can help increase accountability between shippers and their customers, promoting the flow of business.

The new solution also integrates Watson IoT, designed to monitor what is happening with the trucks. For example, the solution captures the input and output weight to define available capacityas well as in which silo and which person will carry the load; and that data is also correlated to external information, such as weather, humidity, temperature and driver’s data, to estimate delivery time to customers.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain solutions here.

Written by turbotodd

June 21, 2017 at 8:30 am

IBM & Ponemon Institute: Cost of Data Breaches Dropped 10 Percent Globally In 2017

leave a comment »

IBM Security has announced the results of a global study exploring the effects of data breaches on business.

Sponsored by IBM Security and conducted by Ponemon Institute, the study found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.62M globally, a 10 percent decline from 2016.

This is the first time since the global study was created that there has been an overall decrease in the cost. According to the study, these data breaches cost companies $141 per lost or stolen record on average.

Analyzing the 11 countries and two regions surveyed in the report, IBM Security identified a close correlation between the response to regulatory requirements in Europe and the overall cost of a data breach.

According to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview, “compliance failures” and “rushing to notify” were among the top five reasons the cost of a breach rose in the U.S. A comparison of these factors suggests that regulatory activities in the U.S. could cost businesses more per record when compared to Europe.

For example, compliance failures cost U.S. businesses 48 percent more than European companies, while rushing to notify cost U.S. businesses 50 percent more than European companies. Additionally, U.S. companies reported paying over $690,000 on average for notification costs related to a breach — which is more than double the amount of any other country surveyed in the report.

Some additional findings from the report:

  • By Industry, Healthcare Breaches Most Costly: For the seventh year in a row, healthcare has topped the list as the most expensive industry for data breaches. Healthcare data breaches cost organizations $380 per record, more than 2.5 times the global average across industries ($141 per record.)
  • Top Factors Increasing Cost of a Breach: The involvement of third-parties in a data breach was the top contributing factor that led to an increase in the cost of a data breach, increasing the cost $17 per record. Organizations need to evaluate the security posture of their third-party providers – from payroll to cloud providers to CRM – to ensure the security of employee and customer data.
  • Top Factors Reducing Cost of a Breach: Incident response, encryption and education were the factors shown to have the most impact on reducing the cost of a data breach. Having an incident response team in place resulted in $19 reduction in cost per lost or stolen record, followed by extensive use of encryption ($16 reduction per record) and employee training ($12.50 reduction per record). 
  • Positive Impact of Resiliency Orchestration: Business continuity programs are significantly reducing the cost of a data breach. The overall average data breach cost per day is estimated at $5,064 in this year’s study. Companies that have a manually operated Disaster Recovery process experienced an estimated average cost of $6,101 per day. In contrast, companies deploying an automated Disaster Recovery process that provides resiliency orchestration experienced a much lower average cost per day of $4,041. This represents a net difference of 39 percent (or a cost savings of $1,969 per day).

You can download the full study results here.

Written by turbotodd

June 21, 2017 at 8:24 am

%d bloggers like this: