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Security

Electronic Health Records Only as Strong as Weakest Link

August 24, 2011

It is becoming commonplace to find that organizations of virtually all sizes are getting hacked and their data compromised. Sony and the CIA are just some of the latest we have heard of.

Let's be clear, these are some very high-profile sites and if they are hackable, it may be safe to say virtually all sites and are potentially vulnerable. Of course we know security is a journey and not a destination meaning companies need to install the latest patches and updates and monitor their code carefully for potential buffer overrun and related attacks.

One of the most recent areas of digitization is electronic health records and candidate and President Obama has discussed the potential benefits of going digital in the past. Then again, it isn't like the average consumer who has used LPs, tapes and MP3s doesn't understand that the digital format is the best for multiple reasons.

So when politicians finally read the Obamacare bill and start implementing it - we can bet there will be a heavy, heavy focus on electronic health records (EHR).

But wait, the EHR of 300,000 Californians have been floating around the Internet according to a story on TMCnet's HealthTechZone.







News Corp. PhoneGate Analysis and Suggestions

July 21, 2011

Based on the constant media coverage you should all be aware that reporters at a now shuttered News Corp. newspaper broke into voicemail accounts in order to get scoops. News Corp is certainly center-right in its reporting - depending on which brand of course. And it is also a very successful company with products like Fox News being monsters in terms of viewership.

But journalists are generally liberal and before you dispute my assertion, please recognize I hire and work with them for a living and as such, media outlets across the world have gone out of their way to focus on what isn't such a huge story.

Porn Stars Warn Against Malware and Spyware

July 20, 2011

The porn industry has been suffering as of late due to the rise of free sites which provide cloud-based movie clips and this makes a bad situation worse as p2p porn sharing has exploded with growth over the last decade. But what is most interesting to me is the public service announcement highlighted in this article where porn stars are trying to persuade you to pay for porn.

They make the argument that they want to keep providing quality content, have families to support, they pay taxes, etc. But most interesting to me is that porn stars are warning us that free porn sites are quite often set up to distribute malware and other harmful software. You can take a look at the video below to see it for yourself and if you don't recognize any of the people below its because they are clothed.

Will Future Hackers Be Short-Sellers?

June 22, 2011

If you are publicly traded in a country where shorting is allowed – you are a bigger target

 

One can’t help but wonder if the opportunity currently exists for hackers to find loopholes in the security of publicly traded companies only to short the stock and then exploit the loophole and do tremendous damage to the company in question. You can’t help but come to such a conclusion when you read about how investors are weighing at least in part – the data breach when sending Sony’s shares lower.

In May a CNBC headline read: Sony CEO Apologizes for Internet Breaches; Shares Fall and today the Wall Street Journal had a piece titled Sony Investors Skeptical, Sending Shares Down which does make the connection between the breach and the below average share price performance compared to other Japanese companies.

Tehrani Stuck on Train

May 17, 2011

Is Android Security Really an Issue?

April 15, 2011

Yesterday I showcased an interview with investing legend Roger McNamee, managing director and co-founder of Elevation Partners but what I didn't mention was the following comment he made, "I don't trust Android because some 16-year-old kid in the Eastern Bloc presses a button and erases everyone's hard drive."

McNamee also made a call to short Google as a pairs trade with buying Apple the day before the stock of the search leader dropped almost $50 or 8% after missing their earnings number.


But just as interesting is another big piece of news which has to do with Skype responding to an Android vulnerability which has to do with unencrypted SQLite information on the device which can be accessed by malicious software. Of course the challenge is - what software is malicious - it certainly isn't advertised as stealing data in its description in app stores. Moreover, in this case, the issue seems to be Skype not setting file permissions appropriately to avoid data from being hijacked.

Of course when I read about the controversy I thought of the comments about the 16-year-old kid.

And at a time when Android is so popular - in fact in South Korea there is an antitrust complaint against the company - one wonders, what happens if McNamee is right and the platform isn't so secure?

But then again, any platform with a degree of openness and massive adoption is a major target of hackers and if our experience with Microsoft products is a solid guide, we can expect more Android vulnerabilities to surface and potentially frequent patches to be released to counteract them.












HTML5 to Allow 15-year Post Internet Boom Mega-Cycle

April 14, 2011

Investing legend Roger McNamee, managing director and co-founder of Elevation Partners was interviewed on CNBC this morning and explained why he is bullish on the tech sector. He goes on to say Apple is winning and tell us why. He continues by saying companies are trading down from Windows to tablets and saving thousands per year on support. This will free up $100B worth of revenue per year in this category.


Moreover, there is a titanic clash for Internet control - will it be app stores or HTML5?


Cablevision iPad App Review

April 3, 2011

The battle to take control of TV 2.0 continues with a new application (iPad link) from Cablevision allowing customers with iPads to view about 300 channels and 2,000 videos on demand from anywhere in the house. I say in the house because you really aren’t supposed to watch outside of your home according to the company's terms of service and you must have a password-protected router, a secure WiFi network and you must not stream Cablevision content via Apple Airplay to other devices. Customers must further agree to use the app for personal, not commercial use and they can register three iPads and use two simultaneously. Support for other devices is said to be coming soon.

You Want a Gun With That Satellite Dish?

March 28, 2011

At a Montana Radio Shack you can get a free gun when you buy a satellite dish and if you don't want the gun you can get a $50 Pizza Hut gift certificate instead. And it seems Montana is a great state in which to have such an offer as there is no permit required to purchase or to carry one concealed outside the city limits.

And its worth mentioning that customer service at this store is probably among the best in the world as no one wants an upset customer who you know with 100% confidence is armed.

Update 3/29/2010: Apparently this offer has been widely successful and - surprise - controversial - check this out: Montana Gun-With-Satellite-TV Deal Draws Criticism as Sales Soar



How China is Unleashing a Sales Boom for Tech and Media

March 14, 2011

Shanghai at Night
In many parts of the world, rampant pirating of products takes its toll on businesses costing billions of dollars of lost sales and value. While countries like Iran violate rampantly with no signs of improvement, others are slowly making changes.

China is one of the countries under the spotlight because it is growing incredibly fast and so many manufacturing jobs have fled to the country and in return, many there aren't paying the originators for software, movies, music and various other products.

The US has complained to China for years and although there hasn't been much progress, there has at least been the promise of progress from the country's leaders. This is why I called the Apple App Store the OPEC of the West in June of last year. My thinking was, even though I am not a fan of closed app stores, at least Apple is ensuring people get paid for their hard work.




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