Monday, August 11, 2014

My Reading List 8/11/2014 - Complex P@$$w0rd$ Suck

Wired - Turns Out Your Complex Passwords Aren’t That Much Safer -
pinning your security on an insanely complex password is a fool’s wager. Just ask the people running the airline, travel and social networking sites that got hacked by Alex Holden’s Russian hackers. “Why are we burdening users with demands to chose stronger and stronger things with the goal of withstanding increasingly sophisticated guessing attacks when 1.2 billion credentials are just spewed from servers that are improperly protected,” says Herley. “That seems like a big waste of effort.”
Any system can be broken.  I believe the proper question is how do you mitigate damage when it is.

The Next Web - Google is backing a new $300 million high-speed internet Trans-Pacific cable system between the US and Japan -
The new cable system will be landed at Chikura and Shima in Japan, but will also feature connectivity to many neighboring cable systems so as to extend the capacity beyond Japan to other Asian countries. Connections in the US will extend the system to major West Coast hubs including the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle areas.
How about just getting fiber to my door step?  Just saying.

Techcrunch - Gradberry Aims To Bridge The College Grad Skills Gap -
Gradberry works with graduates and employers. The site has jobs listings and courses, so students can take courses to fill in the gaps in order to land a position, or they can be hired and their employer will sponsor them to take a course to learn a required skill for the job. Masood says the majority of its revenue today comes from the latter. The way it works is that a company hires a recent graduate who looks promising, but lacks a requisite skill. For example, a marketing graduate could lack training in social media marketing. They take the online course, get a certificate and they should be better prepared for the job at hand.
Interesting concept.  Udacity is already doing something similar by working with employers to develop courses, and I had a similar idea, at least similar in getting employer input on required skills, a few years ago when I wrote up my plan for "The Open University".  

Gizmodo - 18 High-Tech Warships From the Future That Rule the Seas Today -

Mankind has fought naval battles for thousands of years. And in the 21st century, the navy is still the most important branch of any maritime nation's combat forces. But technology does change, and if you don't live near a navy harbor, there's a chance you've missed all the newest ships being built and launched in the past few years.

The following set of photos will introduce to you the latest, most advanced, sometimes surprisingly futuristic vessels from the largest navies of the world.
From 1800 to the 1920s, inequality increased more than a hundredfold. Then came the reversal: from the 1920s to 1980, it shrank back to levels not seen since the mid-19th century. Over that time, the top fortunes hardly grew (from one to two billion dollars; a decline in real terms). Yet the wealth of a typical family increased by a multiple of 40. From 1980 to the present, the wealth gap has been on another steep, if erratic, rise. Commentators have called the period from 1920s to 1970s the ‘great compression’. The past 30 years are known as the ‘great divergence’. Bring the 19th century into the picture, however, and one sees not isolated movements so much as a rhythm. In other words, when looked at over a long period, the development of wealth inequality in the US appears to be cyclical. And if it’s cyclical, we can predict what happens next.
 An obvious objection presents itself at this point. Does observing just one and a half cycles really show that there is a regular pattern in the dynamics of inequality? No, by itself it doesn’t. But this is where looking at other historical societies becomes interesting. In our book Secular Cycles (2009), Sergey Nefedov and I applied the Phillips approach to England, France and Russia throughout both the medieval and early modern periods, and also to ancient Rome. All of these societies (and others for which information was patchier) went through recurring ‘secular’ cycles, which is to say, very long ones. Over periods of two to three centuries, we found repeated back-and-forth swings in demographic, economic, social, and political structures. And the cycles of inequality were an integral part of the overall motion.
Obviously I don't agree with the articles conclusions, but the argument is fairly well reasoned.

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