Thursday, September 04, 2014

My Reading List 9/4/2014 - Harry Potter gets even geekier and Bye Bye Bitcoin

#HarryPotter #Bitcoin

Wired - A Graphic Novel That’s Like Harry Potter, But With Computers Instead of Wands -
Two students discover a mysterious school hidden just beyond the limits of their humdrum lives, and are ushered into a world of secret knowledge and power that they never imagined possible. However, unlike Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, the school in this graphic novel teaches a form of magic that readers can learn right alongside the fictional students. That’s because they’re not learning how to levitate objects or charm mythical beasts—they’re learning how to code.
I'll have to check it out.  My nephew has expressed interest in video game design and went to a camp at UW where he really enjoyed himself, but there isn't anyone around to kind of push him into coding. This might help.

Boing Boing - Free cybersecurity MOOC -
The course is designed to teach you to use privacy technologies and good practices to make it harder for police and governments to put you under surveillance, harder for identity thieves and voyeurs to spy on you, and easier for you and your correspondents to communicate in private.
Cory Doctrow is a douche but maybe this course will be OK. 

Lifehacker - Why Social Engineering Should Be Your Biggest Security Concern -

Some decent advice here.  Personal note - I almost got caught yesterday.  Got an email from "Amazon" about suspicious account activity.  I had logged in from a couple places I don't normally log in from to compare some prices and make sure that what I was looking at was the same thing so it seemed reasonabale.  I was just about to click the link to view the activity and make sure it was what I thought and stopped myself.  I know these emails are almost always scams and I almost got caught because I was in a hurry and got a little careless.  Shows how effective this stuff can be.

Ars Technica - Scientific consensus has gotten a bad reputation—and it doesn’t deserve it -

On its own, the existence of a consensus seems trivial; researchers conclude some things based on the state of the evidence without that evidence ever rising to the level of formal proof. But consensus plays a critical role in the day-to-day functioning of science as well.
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn discussed the idea of paradigms: big intellectual frameworks that organize a field's research. Paradigms help identify problems that need solving, areas that still have anomalous results, giving researchers ways of interpreting any results they get. Generally, they tell scientists what to do and how to think of their results. Although not as important or over-arching as a paradigm, a consensus functions the same way, just at a smaller scale.
(Posted a link to this article on face book took about 2 secs for someone to try and prove consesus was bad.) - Reconnaissance code on industrial software site points to watering hole attack
Attackers have rigged the website of an industrial software firm with a sophisticated reconnaissance tool, possibly in preparation for attacks against companies from several industries.
Ars Technica - In case of cyberattack: NATO members ready to pledge mutual defense -
The agreement will put cyber attacks into same policy bucket as kinetic acts that may trigger Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, the founding document of NATO, according to policy experts. Article 5—"an armed attack against one or more ... shall be considered an attack against them all"—calls for signatories to aid any member attacked by another country.
The problem here is that they apparently aren't really defining what constitutes an attack so I think this will be pretty toothless.

Related - Infosec Island - Collective Self-defense: What Japan’s New Defense Policy Means for International Cooperation on Cyber Security -

Quartz - Bye Bye Bitcoin -
Ecuador is on track to become the world’s first nation to create its own digital currency. The country’s central bank announced last week (link in Spanish) that it would begin distributing the yet-to-be-named currency in December.
I don't actually think this will kill bitcoin, but interesting.

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