I was interviewed about my iPhone video which showed rats crawling around the Fairway Market Olives. All in all, an amusing piece from Channel 7 ABC in NYC. Now, if only the rat could get his or her royalties…
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- Office of Personnel Managem… by glennherman
The House Oversight Committee’s hearings on the massive OPM data breach have been absolutely astounding. The rank incompetence on display at this agency was mind-boggling.
The government knew security was wide open for years, and did nothing. It’s a wonder they weren’t hacked before now. As committee chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) but it, “OPM’s data security posture was akin to leaving all your doors and windows unlocked and hoping nobody would walk in and take the information.”
- ‘Collective Panic’ Spreads … by glennherman
The first reports of the massive penetration of Office of Personnel Management files and security clearance applications — apparently by Chinese hackers most likely working for, or with, that country’s military intelligence apparatus — included grumbles from the affected employees that the administration didn’t handle the situation very well.
Those early grumbles were but the snap responses of a few individual employees the media chose at random. Now that the millions of people potentially affected by the hack have been given a few days to digest the news and consider the Administration’s response, their attitude has soured into what government employees described to BuzzFeed as “collective panic.”
It is interesting that the mainstream press has not exerted itself to collect a wide range of responses. Usually they’re all about the human-interest angle. Every news organization could easily talk to dozens, or hundreds, of federal employees and produce a piece like BuzzFeed’s, but they have not.
Tellingly, only former government employees jeopardized by the hack were willing to go on the record with BuzzFeed. Current employees insisted on remaining anonymous.
- Exorcist Director William F… by glennherman
From The Telegraph:
William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The French Connection and The Exorcist, has dismissed the modern craze for superhero and sci-fi movies.
The acclaimed 79-year-old filmmaker, who is currently working for television channel HBO on a series about Mae West, told AFP reporter Sophie Laubie: “Films used to be rooted in gravity. They were about real people doing real things. Today cinema in America is all about Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Avengers, Hunger Games: all kinds of stuff that I have no interest in seeing at all.”
The Chicago-born director, who also wrote and directed To Live and Die in L.A, was speaking at the Champs-Elysees Film Festival in Paris. He believes that the chase by studios to appeal to the broadest audience possible is why his own films fell out of favour after the Seventies. “That is when my films went like that – out of the frame,” added Friedkin.
- Paid as a Pro-Kremlin Troll… by glennherman
Lyudmila Savchuk speaks quickly. She also uses two phones at the same time — they’ve been ringing nonstop since a news agency ran a feature about Savchuk and her experiences working as a professional Kremlin Internet troll. Savchuk, who hails from St. Petersburg, says she wants to set the record straight: She isn’t simply a former employee at a St. Petersburg “troll factory,” she is a journalist who deliberately infiltrated it to expose the business of paying people to post pro-Kremlin online comments.
To do so, Savchuk says she joined forces with other activists in a group called InfoPeace. Savchuk now wants to take her former employer to court so that the truth about the Kremlin’s troll houses and the people behind them will come to light.
- Windows 10 seems to run fas… by glennherman
Image Credit: wccftech.com
Alex King, a computer science student studying at Tufts University, spent a month with the new 12-inch MacBook and provided some insightful new details about running the beta version of Windows 10 on it.
- New Smartphone Gets Iris-Sc… by glennherman
The common objection to using your phone for purchases is that any sufficiently-motivated criminal could lop off your thumb and go on a spending spree. That’s one of the reasons why Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo and Fujitsu have teamed up to unveil the Arrows NX F-04G. The pair say that it’s the world’s first smartphone with iris recognition technology that can be used to both unlock a device and certify mobile wallet payments.
- Head transplant: The Aim is… by glennherman
Image Credit: kl5film
The patient for Canavero’s first attempt at the head transplant has already been chosen, and identified as Valeri Spidonov. He is a 30-year-old Russian man who has Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, which wastes away his muscles and means that his health is rapidly declining.
As well as casting doubt on the scientific likelihood of the procedure, doctors have said that if successful it could cause huge problems for Canavero. One expert warned that Spidonov could suffer something “a lot worse than death”.
- Tapping into the Origins of Zork by glennherman
- William Shatner’s $30 Billi… by glennherman
William Shatner. Wow. He’s 84 years old, looks 65, and juggles a schedule that would exhaust a team of 10. Book projects, TV projects, tech projects, horse-riding projects, charity projects. And his willingness to embrace the tech world is impressive; he’s got YouTube channels, he’s conducted Kickstarter projects, and he has a huge Twitter presence: more than 2 million followers. (He’s tweeted 30,000 times so far — and yes, it’s really him.)
The hour he spent with me in a Yahoo Tech Mix interview wasn’t even enough to scratch the surface.
- FTC staff report details ho… by glennherman
Image Credit: harishares
…But Marissa Mayer, who was then a Google vice president, said Google didn’t use click-through rates to determine the ranking for its own specialized-search sites, because they would rank too low, according to the staff report. Ms. Mayer is now chief executive of Yahoo Inc. A Yahoo spokeswoman didn’t immediately make her available for comment.
Instead, Google would “automatically boost” its own sites for certain specialized searches that otherwise would favor rivals, the FTC found. If a comparison-shopping site was supposed to rank highly, Google Product Search was placed above it. When Yelp was deemed relevant to a user’s search query, Google Local would pop up on top of the results page, the staff wrote.
Other regulators have found similar practices. European antitrust authorities in 2013 said Google had a different, “specialized” search algorithm for ranking its own content.