All the recent news about the Android and iPhone smartphones storing geo-location data without the user’s knowledge and consent are just the tip the iceberg of the very long history of the clash between the growing functionality of mobile phones and the unawareness of the userbase, and a omen of what’s to come in the ever increasing privacy erosion created by the digital world. The applications to uncover the hidden features are freely available (iPhoneTracker, Location Cache) and it was their very own existence what propelled the public worry and interest.

Yet as Scott McNealy, CEO and co-founder of SUN, once said, “You have zero privacy anyway, get over it”: a truth best-known to computer scientist but hardly understood by the general public.

I’ve also been reading the very small list of books written on mobile security, and these are my recommendations:

  • Mobile Device Security: A Comprehensive Guide to Securing Your Information in a Moving World. Very high level and non-technical overview of the new mobile paradigm for computing and communications, covering the threats, risks, scenarios, business cases, security models and policies of organizations. Technical readers will be highly disappointed.
  • Mobile Application Security. Recent book covering all the topics required to master mobile application security, making it a very good compilation of all the data currently scattered all over the net. It covers all the mobile operating systems, even the disappearing ones (Windows Mobile, WebOS, Symbian, Java ME) and the specific mobile technologies (Bluetooth, SMS, geolocation). An expanded chapter on enterprise security on the mobile OS would be preferred.
  • Mobile Malware Attacks and Defense. A wonderful technical and historical reference on mobile malware and other mobile threats, with an emphasis on forensic techniques applied to the different mobile platforms. It shines at its comprehensiveness, as it lists almost every technique, malware and software known as of its publishing date. The only shortcoming is that Android is not mentioned since the book is a bit dated.

With the SEC recommending the use of Python to report ABS cashflows and major investing banks (J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley) slowly substituting their Matlab code with Python to take advantage of its much faster time-to-prototype/time-to-market, it’s an awesome moment to enjoy watching a nascent field grow up.
I’ve collected the most representative public resources on the use of Python in finance and some experiments of mine in this slide.

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