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daily 01/23/2015

    • C major, G major, A minor, F major
    • In a major key, this progression is I V vi IV.
    • All of these progressions can be and are played with fifth or “power” chords;
    • A Visit to the BART Lab

      Before I busted through the door at the MTA and started laying down design gauntlets, I had some questions for BART engineers. So I headed out to their headquarters in Oakland.

    • Owen recalled the days of BART’s previous generation of kiosks, which were decidedly straight-forward.

      “You put in your bills and coins, and you pushed a big, large button that said ‘issue ticket.’ And that was it. It was a very, very quick transaction,” he recalled.

    • The ATM vs. Store Dilemma
    • At first, I had what felt like pre-fight jitters. I had a serious design gripe and some hard-hitting questions that I wanted to level at this man, who happened to be the co-founder of a highly respected and accomplished design studio.

      The conversation did not unfold as I planned.

    • When [the MTA ticket] machine came out in 1999, 50 percent of subway riders didn’t have bank accounts, so they had no experience with ATMs, let alone touchscreens.”
      • how is pay first in MTA machines any different than all other vending machines that people use?
    • Here he was touching on another facet of the MTA design that drove me crazy. BART’s pay-first model meant that I sped through the process of purchasing tickets or adding fare while hardly even interacting with the machine. I loved that feature of BART, but back in the ‘90s, Udagawa identified it as the biggest problem with the MTA’s design.
    • [At] a store, no one pays upfront. So you go in, you check out the products, check out the prices, you gain confidence and then you decide to pay.”
    • “In New York City we have a constant flow of new people,” reflected Udagawa. “Even though the machine itself is 15 years old, there’s always a first time for people new in the city. So it is good to keep that super obvious instruction there.”
    • Pradip Mistry leads research and development at Cubic Transportation Systems, one of the major players in public transportation machinery. His company makes the ticket vending machines for both BART and the MTA. Mistry believes that in time, we will all rely on the machines less.
    • Bahrain
    • When the cars pulled up outside his home that night, he had just served a nine-month prison sentence on charges that were never revealed to him.
    • He was granted asylum in 2006, his wife and child joined him a year later, and for a while, it seemed as if he was finally safe.
    • An investigation would later reveal that Moosa’s online life was hijacked for eight months. All signs pointed to Bahrain as the culprit, and FinFisher, a mysterious spyware for-hire tool, as the weapon of choice.



       <!– ######## END SNIPPET ######## –> 

    • Morgan Marquis-Boire first got the package from Bahrain. He was working on Google’s incident response team at the time, protecting high-risk users from state-sponsored attackers.
    • Following standard procedure, Marquis-Boire set the program running in a virtual machine, essentially a fish tank where he could watch the virus at work. He watched the virtual machine’s working memory, keeping his eye on the software as it stretched its legs in the new environment.
    • The implant used a technique called process-hollowing — injecting its own code into a program that’s still running in order to use the legitimate program as cover.
    • FinFisher was created and sold by Gamma International, an international surveillance company with offices in London and Frankfurt.
    • When Arab Spring protestors found evidence of FinFisher use by the Mubarak government in Egypt, Gamma simply said the software had been stolen. No one was ever able to prove otherwise.
    • A fourth module encrypted the data into a unique file format, so anyone looking through a hard drive wouldn’t notice the device was recording anything.
    • The two uncovered a mobile version of the implant, which came in different versions for iOS, Android, and even Symbian, like a hot startup trying to cover as much of the market as possible.
    • Then there were the command servers themselves. After studying the implant, Marquis-Boire and the others were able to recreate the fingerprint it used when it phoned home to the command server, which gave them a new way to catch FinFisher in the act.
    • Why not send the ping into the wild and see how many servers answered? If it worked, it would show them all the FinFisher installations running on the open web.
      • Pretty genius.
    • But finding that out meant sending out a ping to billions of IP addresses at once — which also meant finding an extremely understanding traffic provider.
    • All told, 25 countries hosted a server of some kind, each hired out to a different regime and pointing the x-ray at a different enemy of the state.
    • Targeted exploits weren’t just for the NSA anymore. They were available to anyone who could pay for them.
    • Gamma not only sold FinFisher to the Bahraini government, but actively worked with the regime to remotely access and monitor the computers and smartphones of opposition activists. (Gamma did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)
    • They’ve come here to the upscale, commercial district of Mayfair to protest directly in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy, as they do every Wednesday afternoon between 2 and 3 PM.
    • Saudi troops to leave the island nation that they invaded following the Arab Spring.
    • “Most victims, they want to forget what has happened to them, but Moosa is the kind of person — after what he went through, he only wanted to challenge it, to fight against it. He’s so determined.”
  • If you didn’t yet see @danielwaisberg’s recent talk on telling stories with data, it’s worth a watch: https://t.co/9VrxQCPnq6

  • tags: KISSwebinar

    Free resources for market research: Google Trends, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, talking to experts #KISSwebinar

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Categories: Uncategorized
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