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Friday Cyber News, July 31 2015

Cyber technology-related news and links from around the web, for the week of 7/25 - 7/31:

1. A visual introduction to machine learning, if you were wondering how, exactly, algorithms seem to predict your preferences so accurately, or how a smart mirror can alert you of disease risks by analyzing your face. [R2D3; Intelligent Life; New Scientist]

2. Russian women have turned the tables on ISIS and catfished them out of thousands of dollars, for which the women likely won't be punished. The internet has proven to be better at identifying who shouldn't be allowed to touch wild animals than the authorities. Is it time for the internet to replace the justice system? [CS Monitor; Gothamist]

3. The US CTO, Megan Smith, and her deputy, were both Silicon Valley insiders. Now, they're setting up initiatives to gather data on the police, host more hacking events at the White House, and increase diversity in tech companies. [Medium]

4. What is the legality of hackback? And more importantly, how many companies are actually doing it? FT investigates the "honey badger" strategy: annoyance, attribution, and attack. [FT, h/t George]

5. Robots aren't taking your jobs; productivity through automation has actually slowed. Good news for the 47 million Americans who don't use the internet? [Vox; The Atlantic]

6. Even while using Tor, or other anonymization services, you can be uniquely identified by the way you type--how long your fingers spend on the keys, how forcefully you press them, and other biometric measures. [Ars Technica]

7. Nasdaq will be using Bitcoin's blockchain technology in the fall, having examined the technology and found it both speedy and secure. [Bloomberg]

8. Companies like Google and Uber that find it easier to ask forgiveness than to directly address privacy or disability law concerns about their products are drawing on a tradition of "nullification" dating back to Southern legislatures' attempts to evade civil rights laws. Incidentally, the black cars Uber shows you on a map before you order one? They're not actually available; they're "a screensaver", the company reveals. Internet balloons are coming to Sri Lanka, meanwhile--surely they won't be used to record video. [Guardian; Vice; Quartz]

9. NIST released a cybersecurity practice guide to securing electronic health records on mobile devices, necessary as telemedicine expands. A recent survey revealed that 45% of wearable or mobile health device users are concerned about their information being stolen (and the other 55% may have clicked the wrong survey answer by accident) [NIST; PRWeb]

10. The NYTimes has a tool to help you estimate how many times your personal information was exposed due to hacks, and it's not pretty (and hey, all of your information only costs about $20). Who was hacked this week? Planned Parenthood, by a politically motivated group who released employee names and email addresses. Sniper rifles, proving that just because something can be connected to the internet doesn't mean it should. Android phones, by a vulnerability described this week that can give hackers access just by sending you a text message. Websites with unsecured git folders, which can have a lot of interesting information. [NYTimes; Quartz; Daily Dot; NPR; Wired; The Next Web]

 

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