Tag Archives: security

My latest read – The Numerati

This is not a book about Dan Brown’s character, Robert Langdon and his fight against the Illuminati in Angels & Demons.  This is The Numerati, a slight spin on very advanced mathematics and high performance computing, the future of shopping, medicine, safety, sex, voting and yes …. even work.

the numeratiThe Numerati is a great read regarding the impact of advanced analytics across the board.  I was impressed with mathematicians Baker interviews and the surprising number who eventually work for IBM or the NSA.  Baker has written a book about how the best mathematicians are changing the way we live by processing amazingly vast amounts of data and simply detecting patterns.  The data comes via mouse-clicks, cell phone calls and credit card purchases just to name a few.

It sounds simple.  On the surface with today’s high performance computing and powerful consumer technologies.  But Baker shows how mathematicians are working to draw upon extremely high levels of computational power to deliver products and solutions that will dramatically impact our lives.

At the same time some of the projects mentioned seems more ‘wonderland’ in design. Yet consider the amount of data created by the Large Hadron Collider for example, the emerging world of Big Science is just starting to take off.

Chapters tackle different subjects (mentioned above) and as others. Many have indicated the shopping chapter is the best of the book. It was very enjoyable to read.  Some of the ideas and inventions about health were interesting, some ideas a bit hard to wrap around your brain – like the ability of a floor tile to detect if your elderly father has a change in an existing medical condition.  Another example, how a computer can analyze a sequence of video (over time) and determine in your are prone to suffering Parkinson’s disease.

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My latest read – The Future of the Internet

Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University wrote The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It. This book is very interesting for all the wrong reasons. Zittrain documents that existing, closed, controlled systems are damaging the internet an if continued, he writes will negatively impact our future access and interaction.  I enjoyed reading the book and dedicated blog established by Zittrain to keep his conversations moving forward.

The Future of the Internet

BTW: The cover is not an actual photo rather a Photoshop’d image. However the image clearly represents his message.  The book is about Generativity impacting the internet.  Ultimately his argument is to place generativity at the core of all open technologies that tap into the internet.

Zittrain begins Part I in the book with a tbit of historical reflection: The Battle of the Boxes, Battle of the Networks and CyberSecurity.  He followed on the impact of legal lessons learned from Wikipedia.  There are plenty of examples how open, generativity systems make the internet better.  Here are a couple of examples Zittrain addressed that do not:

Law enforcement agencies have used network devices to manually turn on OnStar (the in-vehicle security, communications, and diagnostics system from GM) to record and monitor conversations of unknowing passengers.  OnStar is installed in over 50 models of GM cars alone.

The FBI requested from a judge the ability to turn on the microphone of a unsuspecting cell phone owner allowing law enforcement to tap, track and record conversations.

Think about that for a moment. Ever take a picture with your digital camera or cell phone?  Millions of people do this everyday and upload content to photo-sharing websites like Flickr.  Can you imagine taking a series of photographs — only to later realize the camera (via remote commands) copied all your photos without your knowledge.  Zittrain addresses how your personal content can be affected by a judge in Texas while you live … say in Ohio.  Don’t believe it? Read Chapter 5: Tethered Appliances, Software as Service and Perfect Enforcement” to see how a judge in Marshall Texas did just that — regarding a copyright case involving TiVo.

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Chinese cyberattacks on US Government

This does not leave me sleeping well at night.  It should bother you:

“When the US Department of Defense is the target of no fewer than 128 information infrastructure attacks per minute from China, and we discover that while DoD is almost universally using off-the-shelf Microsoft Windows systems while China is engaged in working toward 100% military deployment of security hardened FreeBSD, it becomes clear that there’s definitely something wrong with US information security policy.”

Source: TechRepublic

The amount of cyber attacks from foreign countries is pretty amazing.  K12 School Districts are not amune from foreign attacks either.

Tags: China, network, The Great Firewall of China, globalization, national security, Microsoft Windows, Censorship, education, technology, trends

MKE Angelbeat Conference

angelbeat logoToday WiscNet is offsite at the 10th annual Angelbeat conference at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center.  The team is coming in from Madison and I was able to sleep in this morning until 5:30am and hang with Max for a bit before driving downtown. The agenda looks pretty good, should learn much today:

angelbeat agenda