Wednesday Morning: Whac-A-Mole

Can’t bop them on the head fast enough. There are just too many issues popping up. See which ones you can nail.

And GO!

Video popularity in Facebook’s ‘walled garden’ means change for news outlets
This is not good. This is AOL’s model come full circle. Increasingly Facebook is shutting down access from outside, forcing news outlets to move inside, and to produce video instead of text content in order to fight for attention. Numerous outlets are affected by this trend, including the former AOL (now Huffington Post). The capper is Facebook’s persistent tracking of any users, including those who click on Facebook links. What will this do to general election coverage? Facebook really needs effective competition — stat.

Weather and bad flu season raised French deaths above WWII’s rate
Wow. I knew the flu was bad last year, but this bad? Ditto for Europe’s weather, though the heat wave last summer was really ugly. Combined, both killed more French in one year than any year since the end of World War II, while reducing overall life expectancy.

FDA issues guidelines on ‘Postmarket Management of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices’ for comment
Sure hope infosec professionals jump all over this opportunity to shape policy and regulation. Imagine pacemakers being hacked like a Chrysler 300, or reprogrammed without customer knowledge like a VW diesel, or surveilling user like a Samsung smart TV…

UK’s Cameron says one thing, UK’s arms dealers another with sales of £1Bn arms to Saudi Arabia
Can’t. Even. *mumbles something about pig porker*

“The day after the prime minister [David Cameron] claimed to be ‘trying to encourage a political process in Yemen’ and declared ‘there is no military solution in Yemen’, official figures reveal that in just the three months July to September, the government approved the sale of over £1bn worth of bombs for the use of the Royal Saudi Air Force. …

[Source: The Guardian]

Lack of transparency problematic in fatal French drug trial
Like talking to a brick wall to get answers about the drug involved in one death and five hospitalizations after 94 subjects were given an experimental drug. On the face of it, simultaneous rather than staggered administration may have led to multiple simultaneous reactions.

Canadian immigrant helped two Chinese soldiers attempt theft of U.S. military aircraft plans
You want to know how ‘chaining’ works? Here’s a simple real world example allegedly used to spy on U.S. military aircraft: Identify a key node in a network; identify the node’s key relationships; sniff those connections for content and more key nodes. A Chinese immigrant in aircraft biz, located in Vancouver, shares email addresses of key individuals in the industry with Chinese officers. They, in turn, attempt to hack accounts to mine for plans, which their contact in Vancouver vets.

Now ask yourself whether these key individuals are in or related to anyone in the Office of Personnel Management database.

Ugh. Keep whacking those moles.

5 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Pacemakers and the Internet of things. I can see it now. You think you are turning on your toaster oven, and you fry your heart.

  2. orionATL says:

    flint, michigan drinking water crisis. it has happened before – over and over and over again.

    these are some of the experts, along with epa, on lead poisoning:

    centers for disease control – agency for toxic substances and disease registry

    cdc – national center for environmental health

    these are some of the consequences of relying on those experts:


    [… On October 5, 2004, the Washington Post ran a front-page article reporting that cities across the United States were illegally manipulating lead testing results, such as discarding high readings or avoiding homes likely to have high readings.[16] A former EPA official described it as “widespread fraud and manipulation” on the part of water utilities.[16] …
    … That July, however, an EPA administrator told Congress that “we have not identified a systemic problem”.[16] Using data from the EPA, the Post identified 274 utilities that had reported unsafe lead levels between 2000 and 2004.[16] Some utilities defended their testing practices as being approved by state regulators; others argued that the lead was actually leaching from customers’ fixtures, not their plumbing.[16]….]



    see also a u.s. house of representatives sub committee report on how the cdc-atsdr covered up lead poisoning in the d.c. water. then ask what were the consequences for these ATSDR officials.

  3. bloopie2 says:

    One bit of goods news today. The Supreme Court has ruled that a company can’t get out of a class action suit simply by offering the named plaintiff(s) a monetary settlement, if that offer is not accepted. That was widely seen as a tactic to further gut the effectiveness of the class action.

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