Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CCC DWM: Draft Report by Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy - Open Comment Period through 7-15


In this issue you'll find:

» Draft Report by Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy Open for Public
Comment through July 15 via Website

» RSVP for Strong Workforce 'Wrap Up' Town Hall on August 25 & 27

» View Photo Gallery of Task Force in Action


Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice Chancellor
CCCCO Division of Workforce and Economic Development

With input from more than 14 Regional College Conversations and 6 Strong Workforce Town Halls, the Task Force for Workforce, Job Creation, and a Strong Economy has developed draft recommendations to the Board of Governors.

You are invited to give public comment to the draft report by the Task Force. Comments MUST be submitted via the IdeaScale feedback orange icon (on the the left of the webpage), come from registered guests, and be received by 5pm PST on July 15th to be considered. Please read the draft in its entirety before submitting a comment and associate a chapter and line number with each of your comment(s).

The California Community Colleges Board of Governors commissioned the Task Force to surface recommendations for how best to close the skills gap on one million more industry-valued middle skill credentials and leverage the community college system to catalyze growth in California's regional economies.

Members of the public are encouraged to read these background papers for context to the Task Force recommendations:

Once the Task Force considers feedback that arise from the public comment period above and holds its final meeting in July, edits will be incorporated towards a final report which will be advanced to the Board of Governors.

Business leaders, industry associations, economic development organizations, labor, elected officials, education, regional civic organizations, and community college faculty/staff/administrators are invited to attend one of the 'Wrap Up' Town Halls where Chancellor Harris will review the finalized recommendations. RSVP links are provided below. Space is limited.
Date / Time / RSVP
Host / Contact
9:00 - 11:00

Space is limited

Southern California Leadership Council
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
9:00 - 11:00
Space is limited

SEIU - United Healthcare West
Bay Area Council
353 Sacramento St.
10th Floor
San Francisco

In addition to the time and commitment put in by Task Force members, over 1,200 people came together to inform the rollout of the Board of Governors Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy.This photo gallery chronicles the collective journey of California in crafting the report that will go to the Board of Governors. If you have photos to add, please email them to dwm@cccco.edu.

California Community Colleges Workforce & Economic Development Division
info@cccewd.net | http://doingwhatmatters.cccco.edu
1102 Q Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Thursday, June 25, 2015

BBC: Adobe issues emergency Flash Player fix

24 June 2015  BBC
Flash is a commonly used browser plug-in

Adobe has released an emergency software patch for Flash after it found a serious vulnerability being exploited by hackers.
The company said it had evidence of "limited, targeted attacks" and urged people to update their software immediately.

Flash is widely used across the web as a way of providing multimedia content.

This vulnerability - which enables hackers to take control of a computer - affects Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

Users can check if their installation of Flash is up to date by visiting the Adobe website - the current latest version is

People who browse the internet with the latest versions of Google's Chrome browser and Microsoft's Internet Explorer should find that Flash is upgraded automatically.
Adobe's Flash software has a long history of needing security fixes and is regarded by some security researchers as a weak point in many websites.

Along with Java, Flash is routinely targeted by hackers making use of zero-day exploits - the term given to previously unknown security holes.

This was partly because of its ubiquity, said Mark James, a security specialist from ESET.

"Since Flash is such a widely used plug-in, it stands to reason that it will be one of the most targeted apps for vulnerability," he said.

"If you want to affect as many people as possible, then you need an application that a lot of users use, and Flash is one of them."

Security blogger Brian Krebs recently disabled Flash on his machine entirely, as an experiment.

On his blog, he wrote: "It might be worth considering whether you really need to keep Flash Player installed at all."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

State Department database crash strands hundreds at the border

Outage caused by corrupted data, which was mirrored to backup—making it useless.

by Sean Gallagher - Jun 23, 2015 11:14am PDT  Ars Technica

Thanks to the failure of a system used to collect and transmit fingerprints and photos, the US State Department has been unable to issue visas to travelers or guest workers for the past two weeks, The New York Times reports. While some of the systems related to visa processing have been restored, biometric information is still not being processed, leaving many travelers from outside the US and hundreds of agricultural "guest workers" stranded.

State Department officials told the Times that the issue was related to a hardware failure. In an e-mail to the paper, Consular Affairs spokesperson Ashley Garrigus said that there had been data corruption caused by a hardware failure, which had been replicated to the biometric database's backup system. “While switching to the backup system," Garrigus wrote, "we discovered that the data was damaged and unusable. We deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers and recognize the hardship to those waiting for visas, and in some cases, their family members or employers in the United States.”

The State Department normally processes about 50,000 visa applications a day, according to astatement on the outage on the agency's website. But that number surges seasonally as employers bring in laborers (mostly from Mexico) to harvest crops. On top of that, the overall number of visas annually has grown. Earlier this year, the State Department put out a "sources sought" call for a new facial recognition service because of the huge growth in visa requests, especially those driven by the H2-A and H2-B visa programs. "At present, the Visa and Passport face galleries contain over 275 million images combined, which are among the largest face recognition datasets in the world and growing annually at an anticipated rate of 23 million images per year," the State Department's procurement officer wrote in the procurement announcement . "Every passport and visa application requires a face recognition search of the legacy and watch-list galleries."

The guest worker visa program itself is a tangled web of systems. First, employers apply through the Department of Labor with candidate workers. Then the US Citizenship and Immigration Service at the Department of Homeland Security screens the individuals petitioning through the employer for visas. USCIS next sends approved petitions to the State Department’s Kentucky Consular Center to be entered into the visa database. And that in turn allows consular and embassy offices outside the US to see that the individuals are authorized to apply for a visa, thus submitting biometric data back to the Kentucky Consular Center's database to check against watch lists and other image and fingerprint data that might catch attempted visa fraud.

Because of the system failure, the State Department has delayed visas for over 1,500 guest agricultural workers in Mexico. "Last week, nearly 1,250 temporary or seasonal workers who had been issued visas in the past were issued new visas in Mexico," a State Department official said in a statement on the outage. "We have issued more than 3,000 visas globally for urgent and humanitarian travel."

According to a Reuters report, the outage is having real economic impact—especially in Washington, where cherry growers have been unable to get workers out to pick before fruit becomes unsellable. The blueberry crop may be affected next, as workers usually stay to harvest them after cherries. Washington Farm Labor Association Director Dan Fazio told Reuters, "Our farmers are all in for the guest worker program, but the government isn’t. We have a lot of cherries that are ruined and it looks like a lot of blueberries are going to be lost.”

Gmail enables “unsend” option for all users

Had existed as "Labs" option for six years; no other major webmail service offers it.

by Sam Machkovech - Jun 23, 2015 2:10pm PDT Ars Technica

Whew, that was close.
Sam Machkovech

More than any other Google offering, Gmail has been bolstered for years with a range of weird options tucked away in a "Labs" tab in the settings screen. On Tuesday, one of the webmail provider's most interesting Labs options, "undo send," graduated to official status.

With the option, Gmailers get the chance to click an "undo send" link at the top of the screen after clicking "send" on any e-mail message. As with the original Labs version, the option, which now lives in the service's "general" settings tab, lets users pick a safety timespan between 5-30 seconds. Messages won't actually send until that time runs out, unless a user clicks the "view message" tab next to "undo," at which point a message will immediately whisk through the Internet's many tubes and reach its recipient.

The six-year-old option, which won't be turned on for the general public by default, had previously lived in Gmail's Labs tab, so if users wanted to enable it, they had to bypass a stark warning about "experimental" features that could "change, break, or disappear at any time." Major competitors like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail have yet to offer a similar option.

"Undo send" wasn't actually Labs' most stark "whoops, didn't mean to send that" option; that honor belongs to 2008's Mail Goggles, which made users solve math problems before they could click send on late-night e-mails. Sadly, that drunk-send-prevention option was discontinued in 2012 with little fanfare.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Supreme Court declares warrantless searches of hotel registries illegal

Data included credit card, home address, driver's license, and vehicle license.

by David Kravets - Jun 22, 2015 11:00am PDT  Ars Technica

Todd Lappin

The Supreme Court gave a big boost to privacy Monday when it ruled that hotels and motels could refuse law enforcement demands to search their registries without a subpoena or warrant. The justices were reviewing a challenge to a Los Angeles ordinance requiring hotels to provide information to law enforcement—including guests' credit card number, home address, driver's license details, and vehicle license number—at a moment's notice. Similar ordinances exist in about a hundred other cities stretching from Atlanta to Seattle.

Los Angeles claimed the ordinance (PDF) was needed to battle gambling, prostitution, and even terrorism, and that guests would be less likely to use hotels and motels for illegal purposes if they knew police could access their information at will.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the 5-4 majority, ruled (PDF) that the Los Angeles ordinance violated the Fourth Amendment and is an illegal "pretext to harass hotel operators and their guests."

"Even if a hotel has been searched 10 times a day, every day, for three months, without any violation being found, the operator can only refuse to comply with an officer’s demand to turnover the registry at his or her own peril," Sotomayor wrote.


The hotel operators who brought the challenge faced six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for refusing to comply.

But the decision doesn't mean that hotel operators are forbidden from divulging the information upon demand if they choose to do so, the majority ruled.

"To be clear, we hold only that a hotel owner must be afforded an opportunity to have a neutral decision maker review an officer's demand to search the registry before he or she faces penalties for failing to comply. Actual review need only occur in those rare instances where a hotel operator objects to turning over the registry," Sotomayor wrote.

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the dissent, said that "The law is constitutional in most, if not all, of its applications." He scoffed at Sotomayor saying the authorities should get a subpoena or warrant to acquire such information, which Los Angeles requires hotels to keep for at least 90 days. He said Monday's majority decision would hinder sex trafficking and human smuggling investigations, too.

"This proposal is equal parts 1984 and Alice in Wonderland," he wrote.

Sotomayor was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan.

The case is the third high-profile Fourth Amendment decision the court has issued in three years. In 2012, the justices ruled that authorities generally need search warrants when they affix GPS devices to vehicles. And last year, the justices ruled that the authorities need warrants to peek into the mobile phones of suspects they arrest.

In the case decided Monday, Los Angeles hoteliers argued that the law violated their rights, and the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in 2013. The city of Los Angeles appealed, arguing (PDF) that the ordinance helps both local and federal authorities in investigations of all types. The case's briefs can be viewed here.