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The Actuator – January 9th

Level 17

Welcome back to the blog series that never ends, but does take time off for the holidays. I hope everyone had a wonderful time with family and friends these past two weeks. We are about 2.5% done with 2019 at this point. Don’t wait to get started on whatever goals you have set for the year.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

It's Time for a Data Bill of Rights

Yes! Data rights should protect my privacy by default, not force me into consenting to the opposite.

Marriott breach included 5 million unencrypted passport numbers

Passport numbers are considered PII, and should have been protected in some manner. This is a large oversight by Marriott, and makes me wonder what else they are missing.

Is blockchain living up to the hype?

No.

'Tracking every place you go': Weather Channel app accused of selling user data

Well, now we know the real business model behind reporting the weather 24/7.

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.

Wait, you mean that random dude online bragging about success as a ‘full stack blockchain developer’ making $500k a year may not be telling the truth? Shocking.

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass

My first phone was a Droid, and I recall this functionality. But I thought it was a feature at the time. Now I see it’s a bug. Funny how perspectives can change over time.

100+ Lessons Learned for Project Managers

Wonderful article, filled with great advice such as ‘Reviews, meetings, and reality have little in common.’

With 20 guests for Christmas dinner, this 20lb roast beast was just enough:

roast_beast.JPG

46 Comments
Level 14

Thanks for the links.  And wow what a roast!  I smoked a turkey and 4 racks of ribs for my guests.  I am going to have to run through the NASA link...I've read a few nuggets of wisdom so far. 

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Level 13

If that roast beast tasted half as good as it looks, it must have been awesome.

Thanks for the links!

100% with you on the data bill of rights.  I want my data to be mine, not "mined".

But a bill making such a rule into a law must have teeth and the ability to inspect and verify that the data remains private.  And it must have consequences so dire as to make following the rule vastly more affordable than breaking the rule.

Marriott's likely only the tip of an iceberg of inestimable size.  Every bit of PII, PHI, and PCI must be secured and stay secured.  Each user should be informed every time their data is viewed or shared.  And the consequences for violating that privacy must be so large that no individual or company or government would ever choose to compromise the data.  And there must be teeth in that rule, and teams of fully trained data examiners and cyber sleuths who can prove the data was safe or compromised, and then identify where the data went and how it was used.

Otherwise, let's go back to barter.  Would you trade my configuring your network router for you working on my car engine?

One is always encouraged when their impressions of a new technology turn out to be accurate.  I was never a supporter of blockchain's hype.

I never liked the fine print associated with the Weather Channel app, no matter how it was justified.  No app for weather needs the kinds of access that app required, and I'm happy with with government web sites for my weather needs.

Here's one for real time weather radar views of the last 40 minutes of my area--you can customize it for your town:  NWS radar image loop of Composite Reflectivity from Duluth, MN

And here's a similar NOAA weather page that predicts my local weather, that can also be adjusted to show your specific geographic mapped location or your town:  National Weather Service

I just keep those as bookmarks in my PC's, laptop's, and cell phone.  No advertising, no stolen data.  No slick app sucking up resources my PII and PCI and sharing it to unknown others.

Dump apps that aren't secure, and read the fine print.  Deny installations that require access that doesn't make sense to you.

Level 16

Is blockchain living up to the hype?

One of my former team members drove a Chevy Volt so he could be kinder to the environment but then got mixed up with mining Bitcoin. Next thing you know he has an LLC set up and commercial electric brought into his home. Then cooling, backup power etc and the next thing you know he has a mini data center running and a $5,000 monthly electric bill. So much for being kind to the environment. The mining lasted until Bitcoin got below 6,000 and it seems it was no longer profitable after that point because then he sold off his whole operation.

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This was a great story.  Thank you for finding & sharing it!

Level 16

'Tracking every place you go': Weather Channel app accused of selling user data

I'm sure this is very widespread.

With the majority of people always having phones on their person why is it the police can never find the person that did the hit and run, held up a bank, or broke into a home......?

Is that data protected?

Skype providing unauthorized access to your phone's info.  Huh.  Who'd've imagined.

The young man credited with discovering & reporting this security flaw is to be commended.  But it seems he's already in search of kudos.

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That NASA / JPL list for Project Managers is excellent!  Thanks for sharing it.

My better half has been a project manager, in various forms under a wide range of titles, for all her professional life.  No matter if someone's title is Project Manager, Senior (Anything), Manager (of Anything), Director (of Anything), they are managing projects.  She'll enjoy this list.

Level 14

I'd like my data to be mine but it will never happen.  Too many powerful people and organisations are the ones who are abusing the data for their own personal gain.  Same way we still have a petroleum based economy instead of clean energy.  The greedy people are in charge.

Level 14

So Marriott has admitted keeping PII data insecurely.  I wonder how big the fine will be (of if there will even be one).  Also, where does the fine money actually go.

Level 14

New technologies only take off if someone finds a way to make money out of them.  Blockchain is still waiting and it may never take off.  Something better may come along or a big player may back something else.  Remember Betamax was superior to VHS and Blue Ray was superior to DVD.  Both lost.

Level 14

Not really a surprise that the Weather App sold off the location data it gathered.  It was only a matter of time until someone realised what the data might be worth.

Level 14

Surely most of the internet is fake.  I spend a significant amount of my working day researching solutions to problems or new solutions for work.  Most of what I see is utter garbage (or fake).  Problem is that opinions are like ar5eholes, everyone's got one and most of them are wrong.  Sometimes because the person just doesn't know but increasingly because someone is doing it deliberately because they think it is funny.  Idiots.

MVP
MVP

"

One of my former team members drove a Chevy Volt so he could be kinder to the environment but then got mixed up with mining Bitcoin. Next thing you know he has an LLC set up and commercial electric brought into his home. Then cooling, backup power etc and the next thing you know he has a mini data center running and a $5,000 monthly electric bill. So much for being kind to the environment. The mining lasted until Bitcoin got below 6,000 and it seems it was no longer profitable after that point because then he sold off his whole operation.

"

Be careful when you tell someone to get a hobby.....

Level 13

Thanks for the article . With you on the data bill of rights.

Wow!  That guy's out of control!

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually.

So did you fact check your links if those are true? ...don't trust any news you haven't faked yourself

But seriously, it is sometimes really hard to differentiate between "real" information and untrue information. the plain nonsense is easy to spot, but there is a lot of stuff where you really have no clue what to think about.

thanks for reminding everyone to fact check before spreading stuff.

Level 14

What !!!!     Microsoft software with a security bug.  You can't be serious    

Level 14

Like the NASA project management stuff.  Lots of it rings true from my experience with "project managers" most of whom couldn't find their ar53 with both hands and a map.

Level 13

Really like the Nasa list for project managers.  There are a lot of real nuggets in there.  Thanks.

MVP
MVP

Cool article

MVP
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With 20 guests for Christmas dinner, this 20lb roast beast was just enough: -

MVP
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Weather channel app tracking users - really, is this news (sarcasm intended) it seems that everything is now tracking us, especially with our smart phones, bluetooth in cars, smart devices, etc. and etc. It's funny, I remember years ago hearing messages about the "end times" and the question was always "How will they get people to sign up, enroll, submit, etc. There was a lot of speculation of force of law. Turns out we as a people clamor to the local electronics stores to pay for these surveillance devices and willingly give away personal information.

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some people take hobbies too seriously....

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It's Time for a Data Bill of Rights - Nice article

Level 16

My wife's new cars exact location is even being tracked all the time. She can locate it from anywhere on her phone. Good if you forgot where you parked but creepy still....

Level 13

My data....all the time.  Data Bill of Rights -  here is my vote.

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Marriott breach included 5 million unencrypted passport numbers - ooo

Timely...My next focus is Privacy.

Give me a Data Bill of Rights or track me like an animal.

A Guido walks into an Mikes in Boston and orders a box of cannolis....and was tracked by their phone.

RT

Level 20

sqlrockstar  That's a huge piece of meat Tom!  Dang was it hard to get into and out of the oven?  Geesh that pan looks like it's bigger than most ovens?  How did you cook that thing?  I don't think I've ever cooked something that big except maybe roasting a boar in a pit in the ground!  Props to the big family though... that's impressive 20 people!

Level 14

I think I could manage that chunk of beef by myself.  It looks really good and now I'm hungry.

Level 17

That looks like a wonderful meal!

Level 17

It's a standard cookie sheet, and it's a full roast (7 ribs). I sear the outside and ends, then put in an oven at 200F degrees until the inside temp reaches 130F. Oh, and it's encrusted in kosher salt. After the meal we make beef stock to use for pho. Every piece of that roast beast is used and one of these years I'm going to crack open the bones for the marrow.

Wow, Thomas, nice roast you got there!  I'm coming to YOUR place this year!  <JK>...my wife is a pretty awesome cook herself. 

Anyway, on the whole "data rights" issue: I agree that there should be something in place that allows folks to be secure without "owning" their data (although once something is out on the intarwebs, who really "owns" it, anyway?). The problem, I think, will be the same one that has plagued retailers who want to tax purchases on the internet: international rules, laws, policies and regulations.  Unless and until we are all "one big happy planet", which I don't foresee happening in my (or any of our) lifetime(s), this will be a huge challenge.  Since there is no "regulation" possible on the internet, and unless we find ourselves plugged into "The Matrix", the problem will remain in the enforcement of anything that gets passed even resembling a "law".  We have laws on the books now that people don't follow...I don't know how it is where you are but where I live, I'm having to wait a full three seconds when a light turns green so I don't run into the half a dozen cars who are running the red left turn signal.  Sorry, that kind of irks me a little.  But it's a drop in the ocean compared to internet regulation: Looks great on paper but will be nearly impossible to put into practice.

Ya know... In the beginning I had nothing but high hopes for the internet. I'll be honest, I am more than just a little disappointed by what it has become.

However, it does warm my heart to see the re-emergence of the Christmas roast. We've had one every Christmas for as long as I can remember. yum!

Level 15

Great set of articles.  The lessons learned in Project Management was a great read.  Some insignts I already knew but wise words added to my list.

Thanks!

Level 14

As always, a good group of articles.  Working my way through the NASA link.

MVP
MVP

Is blockchain living up to the hype? - totally agree with sqlrockstar

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Tracking every place you go': Weather Channel app accused of selling user data - Hmm, same old story

MVP
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How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually. - We ourselves are fake - lol

MVP
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Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass - Nice catch

MVP
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100+ Lessons Learned for Project Managers - nice write up though it took a huge amount of time we have some cool pointers on the write up

MVP
MVP

I enjoyed reading the content on each of these articles - thanks sqlrockstar

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.