COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Oct 21 15:51

Pew Study: Drudge Report More Trusted Than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS

A Pew Research study has found that the Drudge Report, the most pre-eminent independent media source on the web, is trusted by the American public more than CNN, MSNBC, ABC, or CBS.

Oct 21 15:02

Mass Surveillance Destroys Freedom

It’s longstanding. It’s institutionalized. It’s lawless. It has nothing to do with domestic or foreign threats. Or anything related to national security.

America’s only enemies are ones it invents. It spies globally. It watches everyone. It monitors allies. It’s for control.

It’s for economic advantage. It’s to be one up on foreign competitors. It’s for information used advantageously in trade, political, and military relations.

Oct 21 14:59

Staples investigates possible data breach

In what could be the latest data breach to strike U.S. retailers, Staples Inc. said it is investigating “a potential issue involving credit card data.”

Oct 21 13:10

How Federal Agents Illegally Force Twitter, Google, and Banks to Turn Over Private Customer Data Without a Proper Warrant

Earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to 60 Minutes during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are looking for non-public data.

Oct 21 12:26

nationalreport.net is a fake news site we have encountered before

The site nationalreport.net is best ignored. This is a site where leftist provocateurs post fake news stories in the hopes that patriotic conservatives will latch onto to them and embarrass themselves by passing them around as true.

Oct 21 09:47

32 Cities Want to Challenge Big Telecom, Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

More than two dozen cities in 19 states announced today that they're sick of big telecom skipping them over for internet infrastructure upgrades and would like to build gigabit fiber networks themselves and help other cities follow their lead.

Oct 21 07:50

The Troubling Arguments from the Gov't in Smith v. Obama NSA Spying Case

Nadia Kayyali
Electronic Frontier Foundation

We’ve filed our reply brief in the appeal of Smith v. Obama, our case challenging the NSA’s mass telephone records collection on behalf of Idaho nurse Anna Smith. The case will be argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal on December 8, 2014 in Seattle, and the public is welcome to attend.

Another case challenging the telephone records program, Klayman v. Obama, will be argued on November 4 in Washington DC before the DC Circuit and EFF will be participating as an amicus.

We thought we’d highlight three of the more outrageous arguments the government made, and our responses debunking them...

Oct 20 22:38

Invisible Biometrics: Your Voice is Your New ID

Waking Times

In a recent article, “In The Internet of Things YOU Will Be The Key,” I outlined the many ways that the human body will become the next generation identification system. The move to give everyone a global unique ID that can be verified across nearly all human activity has been in the works for some time, with defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin becoming a global leader in biometric identification. The applications are pervasive.

Oct 20 18:31

Facebook tells DEA: Stop impersonating users

Sondra Arquiett was unaware as the DEA masqueraded as her while speaking to her friends. The DEA even posted photos of her with her son and another photo of her alone in panties and a bra.
She has sued the DEA agent who set up the account. The Justice Department is backing him up, claiming federal agents have the right to do such things.

Oct 20 18:27

Officials warn 500 million financial records hacked

Federal officials warned companies Monday that hackers have stolen more than 500 million financial records over the past 12 months, essentially breaking into banks without ever entering a building.

Oct 20 18:13

Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions

Bob Foreman’s architecture firm ran up a $166,000 phone bill in a single weekend last March. But neither Mr. Foreman nor anyone else at his seven-person company was in the office at the time.

“I thought: ‘This is crazy. It must be a mistake,’ ” Mr. Foreman said.

It wasn’t. Hackers had broken into the phone network of the company, Foreman Seeley Fountain Architecture, and routed $166,000 worth of calls from the firm to premium-rate telephone numbers in Gambia, Somalia and the Maldives. It would have taken 34 years for the firm to run up those charges legitimately, based on its typical phone bill, according to a complaint it filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

Oct 20 17:59

GET OFF THE CLOUD! IBM Plunges as CEO Abandons 2015 Earnings Forecast

International Business Machines Corp. plunged the most in more than four years after abandoning an earnings forecast for 2015, as the company struggles to transform fast enough to handle the shift to cloud computing.

Oct 20 15:59

Microsoft warns users to kill botched KB 2949927 patch

After yanking botched patch KB 2949927, which failed to install on some machines, Microsoft is now warning users to uninstall the update -- even though there has been no mention of problems after the patch is installed.

Microsoft released KB 2949927 as part of its ill-fated batch of October "Update Tuesday" patches. On Wednesday I wrote about the first patch that showed widespread problems, KB 2952664, which failed to install with error 80242016. I followed up on Thursday with details about four more patches causing problems:

Oct 20 15:06

Your email isn’t as private as you think

Employers must respect the privacy of employees’ communications, but there are exceptions.

You may think that private emails from private accounts, and private messages from private social media accounts, are just that – private. You may also think that your employer cannot discipline you for their contents. You may be wrong.

Oct 20 14:54

New trolling laws 'threaten freedom of speech'

If you threaten somebody’s life on the internet or you threaten them with a serious crime you can be done for it, you can do prison time for that. So nobody understands quite why are the laws being proposed in this way. It is particularly savage because there is a degree of hypocrisy about these charges of online terrorism. From the very people who are bombing others around the world, it is a little strange. There is a kind of moral panic here, a political panic, could be seen by politicians to deal with what is really a small-scale social problem.

Oct 20 13:19

Nearly half of cardholders likely to avoid stores hit by data breaches

As data breaches exposing consumer credit card, debit card and other personal information become more common, nearly half of cardholding shoppers say they're reluctant this holiday season to return to stores that have been hacked, according to a new survey by CreditCards.com.

Forty-five percent of respondents with credit or debit cards said they would definitely or probably avoid one of their regular stores over the holidays if that retailer had experienced a data breach. Sixteen percent said they definitely would not return to a retailer if the store had been hacked and 29 percent said they probably would not shop at such stores. Just one in eight said they are more likely to shop with credit cards this season.

Oct 20 13:12

Social Media giants will hand over info about suspected 'terrorist' activity

Social media outlets Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will be asked by the UK government to automatically hand over information about suspected extremists who use their online services.

Tech giants Google and Microsoft will take part in government talks where senior policy advisors are expected to request outlets routinely turn over information about suspected online terrorist activity.

Oct 20 12:26

Data Secrecy Company Accused of Sharing Information with Media and Military

Whisper – a new social network that claims to provide anonymity – has been accused of secretly tracking users. The allegations were made by the Guardian newspaper, provoking renewed scrutiny of a multitude of data privacy claims made by software companies.

Oct 20 10:12

Kickstarter Suspension of ''Anonabox'' Highlights Popularity of Privacy Tech

by TechSwarm

An open-source networking device that would allow you to connect to the Internet anonymously via Tor has been suspended by Kickstarter due to apparent violations of Kickstarter's guidelines.

According to Wired, the anonabox team misled funders about the origins of some of the components as well as the more serious accusation that "the router’s default settings left its wireless network open and included a hardcoded root password that would leave users vulnerable to spying or compromise by hackers."

The anonabox was intended to be a plug-and-play $50 item that anyone could install and enjoy full encryption and anonymity instantly. Obscured by the story about anonabox's violations, however, is the real story: the amount of funding it received before it was pulled...

Oct 20 09:46

Virginia Police Have Been Secretively Stockpiling Private Phone Records

While revelations from Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency’s massive database of phone records have sparked a national debate about its constitutionality, another secretive database has gone largely unnoticed and without scrutiny.

The database, which affects unknown numbers of people, contains phone records that at least five police agencies in southeast Virginia have been collecting since 2012 and sharing with one another with little oversight. Some of the data appears to have been obtained by police from telecoms using only a subpoena, rather than a court order or probable-cause warrant. Other information in the database comes from mobile phones seized from suspects during an arrest.

Oct 20 09:09

Microsoft pulls faulty Windows Patch Tuesday fix

Microsoft has pulled a fix for a flaw affecting Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, following the discovery of "unexpected behaviour" associated with it.

Microsoft announced the move in a revision on its threat advisory, just days after releasing the fix. The "behaviour" associated with the fix remains unknown, although Microsoft recommends uninstalling it as soon as possible.

"Microsoft recommends that customers experiencing issues uninstall this update. Microsoft is investigating behaviour associated with this update, and will update the advisory when more information becomes available," read the advisory.

Oct 20 08:25

Edward Snowden and the Golden Age of Spying

Here’s a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of the national security state in the post-9/11 era. Imagine the kind of system needed just to vet that many people for access to our secret world (to the tune of billions of dollars).

We’re talking here about the total population of Norway and significantly more people than you can find in Costa Rica, Ireland, or New Zealand. And yet it’s only about 1.6% of the American population, while on ever more matters, the unvetted 98.4% of us are meant to be left in the dark.

Oct 20 08:21

Google changes 'to fight piracy' by highlighting legal sites

Google thwarts piracy with search algorithm changes

NO WORRIES, GOOGLE KNOWS IF YOUR SITE IS NAUGHTY OR NICE

Oct 20 07:43

Internet Morality and Policing Harassment: Punishing the Trolls

It has been in the works for some time, but the British government is showing keenness to enact laws that will punish those guilty of Internet “trolling”. According to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, “This is a law to combat cruelty – and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob.”

Oct 20 05:55

Florida court: Come back with a warrant to track suspects via mobile phone

In a rare decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled last Friday that law enforcement must get a warrant in order to track a suspect’s location via his or her mobile phone.

Many legal experts applauded the decision as a step in the right direction for privacy.

"[The] opinion is a resounding defense of our right to privacy in the digital age," Nate Freed Wessler, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. "Following people’s movements by secretly turning their cell phones into tracking devices can reveal extremely sensitive details of our lives, like where we go to the doctor or psychiatrist, where we spend the night, and who our friends are. Police are now on notice that they need to get a warrant from a judge before tracking cell phones, whether using information from the service provider or their own ‘stingray’ cell phone tracking equipment."

Oct 19 18:16

Britain threatens Internet 'trolls' with two years in jail. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: "This is a law to combat cruelty—and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob."

People found guilty of Internet "trolling" in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined on Sunday, following a number of high-profile case of abuse on Twitter.

Oct 19 16:01

Using Carfax to Kick a Dirty Car Dealer to the Curb at Trial.

My old friend and client Jason Bromberg describes the lengths that a dirty scumbag foreign car dealer went through before settling our case in the 1990's. Funny how this case doesn't appear in the Franklin County Court records search but fuck it, we were there, it happened just as he says it did :)

This was another all-too-quick visit with Jason Bromberg, the man who will always be my brother. In an upcoming video he tells the story to his cousin about how we crushed All Foreign Auto, who bailed on the first day of trial regarding the fact that they knew the Mercedes 300D they sold him had indeed been spanked. We overheard them talking about it when we stopped in one day, then I found the prior owner through Carfax, which was kind of new back then in 1997.

Oct 19 09:20

Feds Continue Orwellian Surveillance of Social Media

Joe Wright
Activist Post

Even amid the public outrage and pushback in the wake of whistleblower revelations about the global spy network, the establishment continues to push forward with justifications about why it is in our best interest to be under their constant watch.

Social media is a playground for data harvesters of all stripes, but it is now apparent that it is becoming the single most pursued line of open surveillance...

Oct 19 07:00

FBI Director Warns Google and Apple "If You Don't Decrypt Phones, We'll Do It For You"

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution is crystal clear in meaning.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

FBI Director, James Comey, an Obama appointment, does not give a damn what the Constitution says.

Oct 18 18:20

China Hires As Many As 300,000 Internet Trolls To Make The Communist Party Look Good

The Chinese government doesn't just censor its internet. It actually pays people to leave fake comments that make the country - and its communist regime - look good.
After reading "Blocked on Weibo" by Chinese researcher Jason Q. Ng, we recently learned China's version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, banned the phrase "50 cents." It references China's "50 Cent Party," a group of ordinary citizens hired by the government to post internet comments spinning that day's news in China's favor.

Oct 18 17:07

Cyber-Espionage and Trade Agreements: An Ill-Fitting and Dangerous Combination

Jeremy Malcolm
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Yesterday's leak of a May 2014 draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement revealed the addition of new text criminalizing the misuse of trade secrets through "computer systems", as mentioned in our previous post about the leak. This is a significant revelation, because we also know that trade secrets are planned for inclusion in the EU-US free trade agreement, TTIP (the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The revelation of the proposed text in the TPP provides a good indication that the same kind of language will likely also appear in TTIP. Frighteningly, this text contains no protections to safeguard the public interest.

Today we delve into this provision and its background in more depth...

Oct 18 12:16

Updated Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

Activist Post

WikiLeaks has released a second updated version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the world's largest economic trade agreement that will, if it comes into force, encompass more than 40 per cent of the world's GDP. The IP Chapter covers topics from pharmaceuticals, patent registrations and copyright issues to digital rights. Experts say it will affect freedom of information, civil liberties and access to medicines globally...

Oct 18 12:12

World's First Biometric Credit Card Will Arrive in 2015: Pay with Your Fingerprint

Nicholas West
Activist Post

In a recent article, "In The Internet of Things YOU Will Be The Key," I outlined the many ways that the human body will become the next-generation identification system. The fear of identity theft and cyber-banking crime has been the latest sales pitch to encourage accepting identity tech such as vein scanners, facial recognition, voiceprints, iris scans - even tears - as well as their attendant databases.

Another data point to note in the evolution of biometric ID is that Mastercard is now partnering with a Norwegian company called Zwipe to introduce the first fully biometric credit card, which will dispense with a PIN and instead use a fingerprint sensor for verification...

Oct 18 10:23

South Korea prepares for 10Gbps broadband; transfer 1GB file in 0.8 seconds

While AT&T and Verizon argue over an FCC proposal that would set 10Mbps as America’s new minimum speed to qualify as “broadband,” South Korea is positioning itself to introduce 10Gbps fiber service.

Oct 18 09:29

Kickstarter Freezes Anonabox Privacy Router Project for Misleading Funders

On Friday afternoon Kickstarter suspended the crowdfunding campaign for Anonabox, an initiative to sell a tiny, $45 router that would run all a user’s online traffic over the anonymity network Tor. The idea tapped into an explosive demand for simple privacy technology, and earned more than 10 times its modest goal in hours. But as funders shoveled more than half a million dollars into the project, they also began to pick apart Anonabox’s claims of creating custom hardware, as well as the promised security of its software. Soon, many were calling for the project to be cancelled, and asked others to report its shortfalls to Kickstarter staff, who now say they’ll cancel all investors’ pledges.1

Oct 18 08:29

The FBI Is Dead Wrong: Apple’s Encryption Is Clearly in the Public Interest

The Edward Snowden revelations of massive secret government surveillance and the string of data breaches at large U.S. companies have increased awareness among the American people about the need to protect the privacy of their electronic data. While public pressure has so far had no affect on U.S. law, it has prompted many technology companies to increase the security of their products, most notably Apple’s encryption systems on its new iPhone 6. This change significantly improves the protection of personal data that is stored on the device, but it also places a narrow set of information beyond the reach of anyone, including the government, and makes other communications information slightly more difficult to access.

Oct 18 08:00

Iran expert helping develop IoT platform

An Iranian expert and postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Colombia is helping develop a revolutionary platform for a new technology called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Ali Kashani, the Vancouver-based Energy Aware Technology’s vice president of software, is helping the company develop the Neurio platform, billed as a revolutionary new technology that makes an ordinary home smart.

The evolution of the IoT involves the embedding of sensors in physical objects. The sensors are, in turn, linked through networks to computers that analyze the vast amounts of data they produce.

Neurio’s development, however, has drawn upon the fact that all electronic devices have a power signature, hence just enlisting the help of a Wi-Fi power sensor.

Kashani has described Neurio as the “brain of the home,” not a “fancy” remote control, like other smart-home products.

Oct 18 08:00

Microsoft to cut 18K jobs worldwide

The US software giant Microsoft has announced plans to slash 18,000 jobs from its global workforce in 2015, the largest cuts in the company’s 39-year history.

Oct 18 07:00

Obama’s credit card denied at restaurant on New York City trip

President Obama came perilously close to having to wash some dishes on his recent trip to New York.

Mr. Obama revealed Friday that his credit card was rejected when he went to pay for his meal at a New York restaurant during the U.N. General Assembly gathering last month.

“Apparently they thought there was some fraud going on,” Mr. Obama joked at a meeting Friday with employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Board, adding that “even I am affected” by the difficulties of dealing with the American financial system. The remarks were picked up by the C-SPAN feed of the event.

Oct 18 05:59

Revealed: how Whisper app tracks ‘anonymous’ users

The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be “the safest place on the internet”, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed.

The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

Oct 17 13:30

FBI Director: Government Surveillance 'Enhances Liberty'

In a speech on Thursday, FBI director James Comey invoked "national security and public safety" to push for more permissive government surveillance policies, claiming new encryption technologies are poised to leave law enforcement agencies "in the dark" as they try to hunt down terrorists and child molesters.

Civil liberties watchdogs criticized Comey's claims, saying that the encryption tools would have no bearing on police and FBI operations, and that privacy is a federally guaranteed right.

Oct 17 12:45

Thousands Of MacBooks Made In 2011 Have Self-Immolating Graphics Cards

Models of Apple’s higher-end portable computer, the MacBook Pro, have come to the end of their three-year extended warranties. That leaves their owners at the mercy of Apple when something goes wrong, and at minimum thousands of the computers have had the same computer-killing problem with their graphics processing unit. Apple has not publicly admitted that the machines have a problem.

Of course, MacBook Pro owners are people who have spent at least $2,500 on a computer designed for serious graphics work. That means that they’re probably media professionals or serious amateurs, and able to make YouTube videos making fun of the situation with really great production values.

Oct 17 08:33

FBI director to citizens: Let us spy on you

The expanding options for communicating over the Internet and the increasing adoption of encryption technologies could leave law enforcement agents “in the dark” and unable to collect evidence against criminals, the Director of the FBI said in a speech on Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am going to take it from the above that FBI Director James B. Comey is tacitly admitting that our series of NSA encryption challenges did in fact defeat the NSA cryptographers.

So, Comey is trying to revive an idea from 1995 and declare that any encryption system not authorized for use by the government (meaning not including a back door for them to use) is a "weapon" whose purpose must be assumed to be criminal, and therefore punishable. Better copy off those code snippets in my challenge while you still can!

The new attitude is "Use A Secret Decoder Ring: Go To JAIL!"



The government wants us to trust them that they are only going to spy on criminals, but we already know this is a lie. The FBI and other US Intelligence agencies have been caught stealing personal data for cronies of the President and their own personal profit. The Fourth Amendment says that the government cannot peek into your personal life absent an actual accusation of a crime and given the tsunami of evidence that the government is not complying with its Constitutional limits, We The People have every right to secure our business secrets, photos of our scantily clad partners, my Aunt Mary's Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and everything else from a government that is itself the biggest criminal organization in the country.

Oct 17 04:54

Los Angeles court got license plate reader ruling totally wrong, groups say

Two activist groups have filed an appeal in their lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to access one week’s worth of license plate reader data. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) lost their case before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge last month.

In May 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the law enforcement agencies in an attempt to compel the agencies to release a week’s worth of LPR data from a particular week in August 2012.

Oct 16 12:01

Amazon.com Targeted by Censors

• Thought police “gatekeeper mafia” pushing book-selling behemoth to censor content.

Amazon, the billion-dollar online bookseller, stands as a test case in regard to whether free expression or Orwellian suppression will reign supreme in America. Currently, nearly every type of book is available on Amazon. Only graphic pornography is banned. But certain forces are working tirelessly in an attempt to curtail free access to certain types of political and historical writings found on the retail giant’s website.

Oct 16 08:48

Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods

Businesses should not need to notify consumers that their personal data has been lost or stolen if the data has been encrypted, EU ministers have said.

Ministers in the Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the EU's Council of Ministers backed the plans as part of a wider partial agreement reached last week on reforms to EU data protection laws.

Oct 16 08:20

Parents may be held liable for children’s Facebook posts

The parents of two children who posted defamatory comments about a fellow student in a fake Facebook account are heading to court, which will determine whether parents should be liable for their children’s internet activity.

The parents of seventh-grade students Dustin Athearn and Melissa Snodgrass learned this the hard way after their children created a fake Facebook page under the name of fellow student Alexandria (Alex) Boston. Dustin and Melissa, with the help of a “Fat Face” app, distorted Alex’s features, while also making offensive comments about the girl.

Oct 16 06:26

NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies

Newly disclosed National Security Agency documents suggest a closer relationship between American companies and the spy agency than have been previously disclosed.

The documents, published last week by The Intercept, describe “contractual relationships” between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has “under cover” spies working at or with some U.S. companies.

Oct 16 05:21

YouTube has potentially infected over 100,000 users during the past 30 days

YouTube has become a daily habit for millions all over the world, but it looks like there has been some malicious activity on the website -- which may have affected more than 100,000 users over a 30 day period.

According to Trend Micro, they have been monitoring the activity on YouTube over the past couple of months and have found that the attack comes in the form of ads that are present on the site. While the ads themselves have no malicious content, the issue seems to occur when the ad is clicked. Although these ads should be monitored and screened by YouTube, some have seemed to slip through the cracks, redirecting to malicious websites that could cause infections. While this all sounds fairly simple, the actually process for passing off a malicious site for something legitimate is fairly complex.

Oct 15 15:53

Windows 7 patch KB 2952664 fails with error 80242016

I think Microsoft MVPs TaurArian and dvk01 nailed it:

If you don't intend to update the Windows 7 computer to either windows 8 or Windows10 TP, then uninstall the buggy KB2952664 update. It isn't needed... This is the sort of update that should be offered ONLY when you intend to update as part of the pre check by Microsoft when you do a compatibility check on a new OS to see if it will be suitable.

Oct 15 14:20

BBC spends more than £200,000 on staff iPhone training

The BBC has reportedly spent 200,000 pounds training its staff to use iPhones, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act. Over three years, 783 employees took part in training courses costing 300 pounds per person.

It was also revealed that over the past two years the BBC has spent 2.5million pounds on state of the art technology for employees. In total, the BBC bought 4,266 iPhones, 427 iPads and 815 MacBooks between January 2012 and October 2013.

Oct 15 08:40

Ebola.com Owner Wants $150,000 For Rights To Domain Name

Las Vegas-based entreprenuer Jon Schultz paid $13,500 for the rights to Ebola.com back in 2008.

Now he hopes to make a killing off the disease's domain and figures his asking price is more than reasonable.

Oct 15 04:49

Obamacare website won’t reveal insurance costs for 2015 until after election

Those planning to purchase health insurance on the Obamacare exchange will soon find out how much rates have increased — after the Nov. 4 election.

Oct 14 17:30

Rise of 'voiceprint' ID technology has privacy campaigners concerned

Identification of people through speech could dent trust in anonymous services, like crime hotlines and phone counselling

Oct 14 17:20

Researchers find new web encryption bug, warn of 'Poodle' attack

Jeff Moss, founder of the Def Con hacking conference and an advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said that successful attackers could exploit the bug to steal session cookies in browsers, taking control of accounts for email providers, social networks and banks that use that technology.

To do that, however, they would need to launch a "man-in-the-middle" attack, placing themselves in between the victim and the websites they were visiting. One common approach is to create a rogue WiFi "hot spot" in an Internet cafe, he said.

Matthew Green, assistant research professor at Johns Hopkins University's department of computer science, said this vulnerability was not as bad as either Heartbleed, which allowed hackers to snoop or steal large quantities of data, or Shellshock, which could give attackers remote control of computers.

Oct 14 12:50

Drop Dropbox? Concern after alleged 7-million account hack

The passwords of nearly 7 million Dropbox accounts have been seized through third-party services and 400 directly leaked on Pastebin, with promises of more leaks following bitcoin donations. Dropbox denies a hack.

Oct 14 09:12

Chat logs reveal FBI informant’s role in hacking of Sun newspaper

The FBI is facing questions over its role in a 2011 hacking attack on Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper in the UK after the publication of chat logs showed that a man acting as an agency informant played a substantial role in the operation.

In July 2011, a group of hackers known as Lulzsec – an offshoot of Anonymous – posted a fake story about the death of Murdoch, penetrated several News International (now News UK) corporate sites, and claimed to have obtained gigabytes of material from the company’s servers.

Oct 14 08:29

Kmart shops hit by payment card hack attack

Cash registers at 1,200 Kmart stores were infected with malware that scooped up payment card numbers for over a month, reports the retailer.

In a statement, Kmart said the security breach was discovered on 9 October and that the malware had been operating since early September.

An initial investigation suggests the cyber-thieves stole credit and debit card numbers.

So far, it is not clear how many cards and customers have been affected.

Oct 14 07:07

Censorship Alert: the Alternative Media Harassed by the NSA

Google’s Safe Browsing List, which blocks websites and flags them as containing malware, is increasingly used as a mechanism for the censoring of independent media and the falsification of history. It is an alarming development that, left unchallenged, puts the survival of any independent newspaper, blog, TV or radio station at risk. Over the past months the list has apparently been used to target websites critical of U.S.’ involvement in the wars in the Middle East, U.S.’ involvement in Ukraine and independent media who are publishing material that is critical of Zionism

Oct 14 06:46

NSA 'Core Secrets' leak points to spies working within companies

New documents leaked by Edward Snowden suggest the National Security Agency (NSA) has agents working under deep cover in US and foreign companies.

First published by The Intercept on Friday, the highly-classified document points to the NSA having a small group of well-placed and heavily-vetted insiders, whose mission is to infiltrate commercial companies and work from within.

"How do you know the NSA is not sending people into your data centers?" the publication cited the American Civil Liberties Union's Chris Soghoian as saying.

Oct 14 05:28

Private donors supply spy gear to cops

In 2007, as it pushed to build a state-of-the-art surveillance facility, the Los Angeles Police Department cast an acquisitive eye on software being developed by Palantir, a startup funded in part by the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital arm.

Originally designed for spy agencies, Palantir's technology allowed users to track individuals with unprecedented reach, connecting information from conventional sources like crime reports with more controversial data gathered by surveillance cameras and license plate readers that automatically, and indiscriminately, photographed passing cars.

Oct 14 04:41

Disturbing mystery affecting your favorite news sites…

watchdog news websites are scratching their heads and trying to make sense of the latest data released by a California company that measures website traffic.

Oct 14 03:29

Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques - Robert Fisk

Ever since the Pentagon started talking about Isis as apocalyptic, I’ve suspected that websites and blogs and YouTube are taking over from reality. I’m even wondering whether “Isis” – or Islamic State or Isil, here we go again – isn’t more real on the internet than it is on the ground. Not, of course, for the Kurds of Kobani or the Yazidis or the beheaded victims of this weird caliphate. But isn’t it time we woke up to the fact that internet addiction in politics and war is even more dangerous than hard drugs?

Oct 13 17:28

Censorship Alert: the Alternative Media Harassed by the NSA

Google’s Safe Browsing List, which blocks websites and flags them as containing malware, is increasingly used as a mechanism for the censoring of independent media and the falsification of history. It is an alarming development that, left unchallenged, puts the survival of any independent newspaper, blog, TV or radio station at risk. Over the past months the list has apparently been used to target websites critical of U.S.’ involvement in the wars in the Middle East, U.S.’ involvement in Ukraine and independent media who are publishing material that is critical of Zionism.

Oct 13 14:30

PARENT ALERT! NSF Awards Grant for Data Mining Children

The National Science Foundation has awarded grants of $4.8 million to several prominent research universities to advance the use of Big Data in the schools.

Benjamin Herold writes in Education Week:

"The National Science Foundation earlier this month awarded a $4.8 million grant to a coalition of prominent research universities aiming to build a massive repository for storing, sharing, and analyzing the information students generate when using digital learning tools."

Oct 13 12:25

NSA agents may have infiltrated the global communications industry

Leaked Snowden documents published by Laura Poitras and Peter Maass in The Intercept describe the NSA's SENTRY EAGLE program describe six programs aimed at weakening the capacity of people all over the world to communicate in private.

Oct 13 12:10

From WiFi to LiFi: start-up is poised to win $10m funding British start-up invents light bulb fitting capable of acting as a wireless network

A British hi-tech start-up has invented a light bulb fitting capable of acting as the equivalent of a wireless network in the home.

PureLiFi, a spin-out from Edinburgh University, is poised to announce new technology that can create a two-way high-speed connection using signals sent by LED lightbulbs for the first time.

The company’s creation has attracted the interest of a club of hi-tech investors who are close to agreeing a $10m (£6.2m) funding to help miniaturise and commercialise the system.

Oct 13 11:47

Invisible Biometrics: Your Voice is Your New ID

Nicholas West
Activist Post

In a recent article, "In The Internet of Things YOU Will Be The Key," I outlined the many ways that the human body will become the next generation identification system. The move to give everyone a global unique ID that can be verified across nearly all human activity has been in the works for some time, with defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin becoming a global leader in biometric identification. The applications are pervasive.

The fear of identity theft and cyber-banking crime has been the latest sales pitch to encourage accepting identity tech such as facial recognition, iris scans, and fingerprinting - even tears - as well as their attendant databases. There is an ongoing cooperative effort between global banks and corporations to ensure that there will be standardized, centralized entry into the consumer/Internet/banking matrix of the future.

Oct 13 11:11

Censorship Alert: the Alternative Media Harassed by the NSA

Google’s Safe Browsing List, which blocks websites and flags them as containing malware, is increasingly used as a mechanism for the censoring of independent media a

Oct 13 08:41

113-year-old woman joins Facebook... she had to lie about her age to sign up

When silver surfer Anna Stoehr decided to join Facebook on the eve of her 114th birthday, she came across an oversight which Mark Zuckerberg and pals may not have anticipated.

Oct 13 08:35

Computerized Election Theft and the New American Century

Many despairing observers of The New American Century have asked me whether - given the recent revelations about NSA surveillance, along with other signs that American democracy is deteriorating irrespective of which party governs - an honest vote counting system would even matter anymore. A fair question to which I believe the ultimate, if uneasy, answer is "Yes."

Oct 13 05:55

Snapchat images stolen from third-party Web app using hacked API [Updated]

An alleged cache of about 13 gigabytes of stolen images from Snapchat—some of them apparently of nude, underage users of the “ephemeral” messaging platform—was posted online Thursday night, many of them to the image-sharing site 4chan’s /b/ discussion board. However, the threads linking to the images have largely been shut down by 4Chan over concerns of trafficking in what could be considered child pornography. Over 100,000 user images and videos were in the cache, according to 4chan discussions.

Oct 13 05:29

E-signatures just one concern, election integrity advocate says

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The acceptance of electronic or e-signatures on voter registration forms from third parties poses risks, but there’s a lot more to be worried about leading up to Nov. 4, says one election integrity advocate.

At the end of September, Attorney General Mark Herring confirmed a directive that the State Board of Elections issued a year ago under the administration of former Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Norfolk Electoral Board had asked Herring whether it should accept signatures issued by third parties electronically, given concerns about potential ID theft and voter integrity.

Oct 12 08:50

The Snowden documentary shows that only government transparency can stop leaks

Transparency is coming, whether the government likes it or not. The only question is whether they decide to bring it to the public before whistleblowers do it for them.

In the dramatic conclusion of the film, Snowden learns on-camera Poitras and Greenwald now have a new source, who gave The Intercept information about the US government’s enormous “terrorism” watchlist. That watchlist, which contains 1.2 million names – most of which have no direct nexus to terrorism – is governed by Kafkaesque secrecy rules that were recently ruled unconstitutional (and which took another blow from a fed-up federal judge on Friday night).

Oct 12 08:29

Edward Snowden Doc 'Citizenfour' Reveals Existence of Second NSA Whistleblower

In the key scene, journalist Glenn Greenwald visits Snowden at a hotel room in Moscow. Fearing they are being taped, Greenwald communicates with Snowden via pen and paper.

While some of the exchanges are blurred for the camera, it becomes clear that Greenwald wants to convey that another government whistleblower -- higher in rank than Snowden -- has come forward.

Oct 11 15:25

NSA Watchlist Guidance PDF - The Intercept

Terrorism Watchlist - Processes and Procedures.

Oct 11 14:16

Judeo-American imperium manipulates Canada into farcical ISIS quagmire

Like a blind mule,Canada has been led by the nose into nearly all of America’s militarist incursions in the Middle East and everywhere else the US imperium decides to plant its seed of destruction. Canadian troops, like their American and European counterparts, are essentially globalist cannon fodder, shipped halfway across the planet to fight unwinnable wars against bogus enemies manufactured in the propaganda caverns of the Pentagon.

On October 7 the Canadian parliament, effectively operating under the Stalinist dictatorship of Stephen Harper’s Neoconservative Party, voted to join the farcical US-led anti-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria.

Oct 11 11:48

Arrested For Sending A Tweet

A Bahrain human rights activist currently awaiting trial has told HuffPost the British government bear some of the blame for allowing the repressive Bahraini authorities to crush the country's democracy movement.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, had been in prison for two years for his part in the Arab Spring uprisings in Bahrain.

Oct 11 09:22

Arrested For Sending A Tweet

A Bahrain human rights activist currently awaiting trial has told HuffPost the British government bear some of the blame for allowing the repressive Bahraini authorities to crush the country's democracy movement.

Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, had been in prison for two years for his part in the Arab Spring uprisings in Bahrain.

Oct 11 09:12

US government surveillance is destroying the digital economy, a roundtable of execs from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other tech companies tell Sen. Ron Wyden

The impact of US government surveillance on tech firms and the economy is going to get worse before it gets better, leaders at some of the biggest tech firms warned US Sen. Ron Wyden on Wednesday during a roundtable on the impact of US government surveillance on the digital economy.

Oct 10 17:29

Get Ready for BioSurveillance of Your Preschooler's Health

University of Michigan research shows web-based system could help improve detection and response to spread of illnesses.

Joe Wright
Activist Post

There is growing trend toward the use of "biosurveillance" - Web-based systems to track public health, many times with an added predictive model. A familiar sales pitch is employed to assert that the only way to keep the public safe is through pervasive surveillance ... now including preschoolers...

Oct 10 15:36

Will our robots have legal rights?

A glimpse into the futur

Oct 10 14:09

Smartphones 'remotely wiped' in police custody, as encryption vs. law enforcement heats up

British police forces have complained that as many as six smartphones seized have been remotely wiped in the past year, potentially killing vital evidence as part of ongoing investigations.

The somewhat comical angle from the BBC News on Thursday was that Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Durham police "don't know how people wiped them."

Oct 10 07:55

It's not just Munich: Open source gains new ground in Germany

While Munich city council's decision to replace Microsoft software with open-source alternatives made headlines, it is one of a number of municipalities across Germany to make such a move.

Across Germany at the national and local level authorities are running Linux and open-source software. The German federal employment office has migrated 13,000 public workstations from Windows NT to OpenSuse, and a number of German ubran areas are using or in the process of switching to open-source software on the desktop, including Isernhagen, Leipzig, Schwäbisch Hall and Treuchtlingen.

The latest town to make the switch is Gummersbach, with a population of about 50,000 in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which this summer completed its switch to Linux PCs from Windows XP.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They are correct to do so, and I don't think anything illustrates that better than the problems I am having with Autodesk 3DS MAX on Windows 7. Now, I am no longer in the animation business, but I still like to play with it and occasionally make some illustrations for this website in 3D. But as of last night I am still unable to get the Autodesk installer to work. The only thing the installation log gives me is "Error 1603" which is described by computer experts as the most useless error code ever used by Microsoft, as it simply means the installer did not work (which we already know), but fails to explain what the problem might be. Autodesk's self-help pages claim it is a Microsoft problem. Microsoft ways Autodesk screwed up. Autodesk is cranking up for their cloud-based pay-by-the-month system and apparently could not care less if customers are unable to install the stand-alone systems. I have found hundreds of web articles from people dealing with this problem, all of whom offer suggestions of things to try, none of which have worked. If I were still in the animation business, I would be going out of business by now! This is yet another way the abuses of modern fascist-style corporate behavior is wrecking the national economy as a whole, and Germany is wise to drop Microsoft and Windows products for the more stable and open-source environment. Certainly, after this experience, I will not be looking at any Autodesk products ever again!

Oct 10 07:19

Google, Facebook’s spying on users bigger intrusion than NSA’s

Unlike Facebook and Google who collect enormous amount of users’ data, the NSA is not actively snooping on Americans’ internet and e-mail accounts and is acting within a carefully regulated program, Fred Fleitz, former CIA analyst, told RT.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt attacked the NSA surveillance of American citizens during a meeting of Silicon Valley executives Wednesday. He claimed that spying can break the internet. His concern, AFP reported, was echoed by Facebook, Microsoft, Dropbox and others involved in the discussion led by US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden.

Oct 10 07:03

Sen. Wyden: NSA Tech Spying Hurts Economy

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and other Silicon Valley executives say controversial government spying programs are undercutting the Internet economy and want Congress to step up stalled reform.

"We're going to end up breaking the Internet," warned Google Inc.'s Schmidt during a public forum Wednesday convened by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been an outspoken critic of electronic data-gathering by the National Security Agency. Schmidt and executives from Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp. and other firms say revelations of extensive NSA surveillance are prompting governments in Europe and elsewhere to consider laws requiring that their citizens' online data be stored within their national borders.

Oct 09 13:43

EFF Launches 2 New Sites Dedicated to Protection From Mass Surveillance

Sites highlight how opponents of mass surveillance around the world lead by example, featuring counter-surveillance success stories.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Activist Post

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched IFightSurveillance.org, a new site showcasing digital privacy advocates from around the world who are leading the fight against mass surveillance. The site includes figures from the organization's growing list of Counter-Surveillance Success Stories, a set of guides showing how individuals and organizations have taken on state and corporate spying in their own countries—and won.

Translated into 16 languages, IFightSurveillance.org highlights images and quotes from activists, business leaders, lawyers, and technologists...

Oct 09 10:45

Ex-NSA chief admits govt secrets are cover-ups

Australia’s The Canberra Times just ran an article called "Government secrecy cannot disinfect, or hide, dirty laundry." It focuses on how governments keep information secret from the press and consequently, the public, and how that can generally suck. In the article, Jack Waterford writes about how he sat in a two-hour seminar where an ex-NSA chief talked at length about how much he was against government secrecy, and in the course of the seminar, he admitted that the government practice of keeping secrets is often used to cover up blame or hide hypocrisy.

Oct 09 09:03

US spying scandal will 'break the Internet,' says Google's Schmidt

The impact of US government surveillance on tech firms and the economy is going to get worse before it gets better, leaders at some of the biggest tech firms warned US Sen. Ron Wyden on Wednesday during a roundtable on the impact of US government surveillance on the digital economy.

Oct 09 08:21

Google announces it can now monitor your bills

Figuring out how broke you’re about to become has never been easier: a new feature being rolled out by Google is letting mobile app users see when their bills are due and how much is owed with a single prompt.

Oct 09 07:22

What could go wrong? Pentagon prepares to put high-risk secret documents in the cloud

The Pentagon is preparing for the first time to let documents graded as “impact level 6,” or sensitive, high risk data, be stored on the digital cloud to be shared around the world on the web.

Oct 09 05:44

Young Israeli cyberwarriors learn to duel in the dark

BEERSHEBA, Israel — There are a lot of secrets kept in Israel’s intelligence community, but this is not one of them: Israel aims to become a cybersecurity superpower, and to do that, the Israeli military is launching an ambitious program to groom the next generation of cyberwarriors while they are still in high school.

The little Jewish state that prides itself on the sobriquet “Start-up Nation” has set cyber­security as a national goal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a prominent cheerleader.

Oct 09 04:50

Whistleblower suit accuses Northrop Grumman of fudging GPS systems testing

An employee of defense contractor Northrop Grumman has accused the company of faking tests on its LN-100 Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS). The GPS unit is installed on "various aircraft, including helicopters and unmanned drones (including the Predator drone), missiles, submarines, and other vehicles," the lawsuit said. The LN-100 provides essential positioning data to the sensitive systems.

Oct 09 04:46

Feds reviewing DEA policy of counterfeiting Facebook profiles

Federal prosecutors are reviewing an incident in which a Drug Enforcement Agency created a counterfeit Facebook profile and posted risqué personal pictures the agency obtained from a female suspect's mobile phone without her consent.

Details surrounding the DEA creating the fake Facebook account in the woman's name—a profile complete with pictures seized from her mobile phone during a 2010 drug-related arrest—were disclosed Monday by Buzzfeed.

The Justice Department told Buzzfeed on Tuesday that the "incident at issue in this case is under review." The department did not immediately respond to Ars for comment.

Oct 08 17:14

Humans Need Not Apply

If you are afraid for your own economic security now . . . don't blink.

Oct 08 15:30

Federal Court Says the Government Can Impersonate You on Social Media — and There’s Not Much You Can Do About It

In June 2013, Arquiett filed a formal complaint against Sinnigen on the grounds that her privacy was violated. However, the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of New York ruled the DEA did nothing to overstep its authority.

“Defendants admit that Plaintiff did not give express permission for the use of photographs contained on her phone on an undercover Facebook page, but state the Plaintiff implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations,” the court said.

Therefore, the court went on to state, “Plaintiff does not have a First Amendment Right to Privacy in the photographs.”

Oct 08 14:21

Google announces it can now monitor your bills

Figuring out how broke you’re about to become has never been easier: a new feature being rolled out by Google is letting mobile app users see when their bills are due and how much is owed with a single prompt.

The search engine announced in a statement on Tuesday this week that a new feature in the Google app available for Android- and iOS-powered devices will let users quickly see if they have any bills coming up by simply saying a few words into the phone or tablet’s microphone.

Oct 08 12:55

Sir Tim Berners-Lee speaks out on data ownership The inventor of the web says data must be owned by its subject, rather than corporations, advertisers, and analysts

The data we create about ourselves should be owned by each of us, not by the large companies that harvest it, the Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, said today.

Berners-Lee told the IPExpo Europe in London’s Excel Centre that the potential of big data will be wasted as its current owners use it to serve ever more “queasy” targeted advertising.

By gaining access to their own data, people could use it with information about themselves from other sources in order to create “rich data” – a far more valuable commodity than mere “big data”, he said.

Berners-Lee said that “people only look at one angle” of big data. “When you read big data pieces in a magazine, it’s about how big companies are spying on you. A lot of the marvel of big data is a threat to me.

“What are these people going to do with that data? They’re going to target you with an ad which makes you feel a bit queasy. Targeted adverts are not the future.”

Oct 08 09:25

DEFCON Router Hacking Contest Reveals 15 Major Vulnerabilities

It's clear from the fact that the list spans many different manufacturers that the problem is not unique to any one company.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe they stumbled on one of the NSA back doors!

Oct 08 08:23

A woman is suing the US government after it created a fake Facebook page containing photos of her

A woman is suing the US government after it created a fake Facebook page containing photos of her, including one that showed her half-clothed.
The Department of Justice acknowledged that one of its agents had created the page without telling Sondra Arquiett.

Oct 08 07:51

US says it can hack into foreign-based servers without warrants

The US government may hack into servers outside the country without a warrant, the Justice Department said in a new legal filling in the ongoing prosecution of Ross Ulbricht. The government believes that Ulbricht is the operator of the Silk Road illicit drug website.

Monday's filing in New York federal court centers on the legal brouhaha of how the government found the Silk Road servers in Iceland. Ulbricht said last week that the government's position—that a leaky CAPTCHA on the site's login led them to the IP address—was "implausible" and that the government (perhaps the National Security Agency) may have unlawfully hacked into the site to discover its whereabouts.

Oct 08 07:16

Twitter sues US for right to disclose government requests

Internet giant Twitter is suing the Department of Justice in hopes that the United States government will let the web company publish more details about requests made for user data.

Oct 08 07:14

Adobe Spyware Reveals (Again) the Price of DRM: Your Privacy and Security

The publishing world may finally be facing its “rootkit scandal.” Two independent reports claim that Adobe’s e-book software, “Digital Editions,” logs every document readers add to their local “library,” tracks what happens with those files, and then sends those logs back to the mother-ship, over the Internet, in the clear. In other words, Adobe is not only tracking your reading habits, it’s making it really, really easy for others to do so as well.

And it’s all being done in the name of copyright enforcement.

Oct 07 17:51

Twitter Sues the Government for Violating Its First Amendment Rights

Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, so it can release more information about national security requests.

Oct 07 16:02

Feds Stole Woman’s Identity, Made Fake Facebook Page for Her

A DEA agent commandeered a woman’s identity, created a phony Facebook account in her name, and posted racy photos he found on her seized cell phone. The government said he had the right to do that.

Oct 07 14:59

Twitter Sues the Government for Violating Its First Amendment Rights

Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, so it can release more information about national security requests.

Oct 07 13:34

Stop the Spies: Australians Rise Up Against Mandatory Data Retention

It is a tried and tested technique: fomenting a culture of fear of ceaseless war or terrorism, in order to justify arbitrary and authoritarian incursions on civil liberties back at home. We've read about it in George Orwell's 1984, we've heard about it being practised by oppressive regimes such as North Korea, and now we're witnessing it first-hand, in our own supposed liberal democracies including the United States, the United Kingdom and now Australia.

Oct 07 09:22

FBI: There 2 types of US company. Those who've been hacked by the Chinese, and those who don't know they have

FBI director James Comey has accused China of engaging in widespread corporate hacking in an attempt to steal trade secrets from America's biggest companies.

Oct 07 08:55

Belkin router users worldwide unable to connect to the internet

The most plausible cause of the issue appears to be that the router outage is caused by the downtime of the Belkin website. Belkin routers ping heartbeat.belkim.com frequently to diagnose themselves and also that URL is not reachable.

Other possible causes is that the company allegedly updated the software of the routers overnight and another possible reason could be a vulnerability found in Belkin routers that’s currently exploited by cybercriminals.

Oct 07 08:18

Microsoft Outlook You have received a voice mail – fake wav malware

You have received a voice mail pretending to come from Microsoft Outlook is another one from the current bot runs which try to download various Zbots, cryptolocker, ransomware and loads of other malware on your computer. They are using email addresses and subjects that will entice a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.

Almost all of these also have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your bank, PayPal or other financial details along with your email or FTP ( web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your Facebook and other social network log in details.

Oct 07 07:54

Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing

Don't want Microsoft tracking you online and collecting data on your computing habits? Then you probably shouldn't install the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Redmond says.

The interwebs were abuzz on Monday over concerns about the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of Microsoft's newly released, not-even-beta-yet OS, with some sites going as far as to claim that Windows 10 comes with a "built-in keylogger" to watch users' every move.

Turns out these Chicken Littles were right – sort of – but according to Microsoft they should have known about the data collection from the get-go, because they agreed to it.

Oct 07 07:07

Facebook Restores my account

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We kissed and made up, apparently. :)

Oct 06 16:37

FBI Director: The Internet Is The Most Dangerous Parking Lot Imagineable

FBI Director James Comey was on 60 Minutes on Sunday, in a segment that will continue next week as well. Apparently next week is when we’ll find out his views on mobile encryption and whether or not the FBI is spying on all of us, but this week, he gave us a tiny hint towards the end of the segment, in which he discusses why the internet is so dangerous.

Oct 06 15:22

Here's Every Organization That's Currently Flying Drones in the US

After months of stalling, the Federal Aviation Administration has at last released an updated list of the organizations that have approval to fly drones in US airspace—and which are currently seeking it. New approvals include the ATF and the Army Corps of Engineers, Michigan State Police, local cops in Mobile and Daytona Beach, and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

Oct 06 15:05

Homeland Security to scan federal computer networks without prior authorization

After failing to identify the potentially disastrous Heartbleed bug, the United States Department of Homeland Security has successfully lobbied to have the ability to conduct “regular and proactive scans” of civilian agency systems.

Beth Cobert, the deputy director for management at the White House Office of Management and Budget, wrote on Friday that “growing cybersecurity threats,” including this year’s Heartbleed bug, have prompted the federal government to embrace better tactics aimed at ensuring the computer networks used by agencies stays secure.

Oct 06 11:27

My Facebook page, myself

I did a quick search and saw that Facebook had been requiring users to send in photos of their IDs to verify their identities for at least a year.

Without thinking, I picked up my phone to write a Facebook post to see if this had happened to anyone else. But, of course, I couldn't use Facebook on my phone either. I tried to enter my password and the little wheel spun futilely. This was serious.

So, I did what anyone else would do when locked out of Facebook: I posted on Twitter.

It turned out that at least five people I knew through Twitter were locked out of their Facebook accounts Tuesday. Some were thoroughly creeped out that Facebook would demand a copy of their IDs. Some decided this was their cue to shut their accounts once and for all.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Thinking about it.

Oct 06 11:26

Facebook apologizes for locking a ‘small portion’ of users out of their accounts

On Monday afternoon, some Facebook users reported on Twitter and Hacker News that, for some unknown reason, they were locked out of their accounts. In the error message displayed, users were prompted to upload a photo ID in order to verify that they are the account holder. The company has issued a statement on the matter, saying:

Earlier this evening, we showed an account verification message to a very small portion of our users unnecessarily. We promptly removed the messages when we discovered the error. We’re sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused.

The issue has since been resolved.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No it hasn't because this is exactly what I am seeing on my Facebook account! And I am still waiting to hear back from Facebook about why my account (which I don't even use that much) was locked.

Oct 06 11:24

3 On Your Side: Facebook Lock-out Issue

Recently, Karina says Facebook locked her out of her account without any explanation. The page was still up, but she could not log in.

“It asked me to submit a government-issued photo ID, so I automatically assumed it was a scam,” explains Moreno.

When she contacted Facebook, she was told it was not a scam — Facebook really needed a copy of her identification.

“Why should I have to submit it to a free social networking site?” she says she asked. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

We found a number of people complaining online about the same issue with Facebook.

Oct 06 11:23

Facebook apologises for locking out drag queens over user names

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/284e9f1c-4a1b-11e4-bc07-00144feab7de.html#ix...

Facebook has apologised to its transgender and drag queen users, after suspending a number of their accounts under a policy that required people to use their “real” names.

The social network provoked an outcry from members of the LGBT community in recent weeks after it locked out users for operating pages under their stage names, such as Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't think that is why Facebook just locked my account. :)

Oct 06 11:14

Twitter Opens Entire Database to MIT - How Will It Be Used?

Nicholas West
Activist Post

Predictive technology is exploding, in stealth, across the virtual landscape. The arrival of Big Data initiatives by government, as well as a massive industry of data brokers is not only putting privacy at risk, but is offering those with access to the information unprecedented ways to manage the lives of everyday citizens.

The viral story of Facebook using their algorithms to go beyond surveillance and actually manipulate the emotions of users as a type of psychology experiment has caused consternation among anyone who might have had illusions of social media privacy, or beneficent intentions of offering free peer-to-peer communication.

Twitter is the latest to seek new ways to utilize its massive database of public information. It has granted MIT's Media Lab $10 million to analyze all communications beginning with the very first post in 2006...

Oct 05 08:26

Researcher Takes Wraps off Two Undisclosed Shellshock Vulnerabilities in Bash

Zalewski took the wraps off the vulnerabilities, one of which, CVE-2014-6278, mimics the original vulnerability reported Sept. 24 but affects only systems patched against the original Bash vulnerability, CVE-2014-6271.

“Systems that relied solely on the original fix will be vulnerable to attacks and need to be updated again,” Zalewski said, adding however, that systems running a patch released by Red Hat engineer Florian Weimer should be immune.

Oct 05 08:21

Microsoft Collects User Data In Windows 10 Technical Preview

"When you acquire, install and use the Program, Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks," the privacy policy stated. "Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage."

Oct 05 07:26

ISRAEL FRAMING RUSSIA FOR ANTI-U.S. HACKER ATTACKS?

There it is! From the very same Yellow Press 'paper of record' that brought you the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" lie, and the "Assad gassed little children" lie, and the "Putin invaded Ukraine" lie, and the "ISIS beheadings" lie, comes the story of the cyber-bogeymen of Putin's Russia. This baseless accusation should be dismissed immediately upon first glance. It's not even worth the dignity of a rebuttal.

We would, however, like to address the question as to who the likely culprit might be. In crime-solving, precedent is a very important factor. Here's your precedent, brought to you by Israel's Main News Service, Ha'aretz:

Oct 05 07:06

George Clooney Has a Real “Spy” Satellite Watching Sudanese War Lords Every Day; Syria Next?

Here’s something that’s kind of an open tip though has transient a courtesy completely: George Clooney and friends have a satellite– an actual, genuine up-in-space satellite– that hovers over a Sudan holding cinema each day. The satellite gathers information about atrocities exacted by Sudanese fight lords on a people–especially in Darfur. The cinema and videos are posted to a website run by Clooney’s charity.

Oct 04 07:06

Hackers’ Attack Cracked 10 Financial Firms in Major Assault

Questions over who the hackers are and the approach of their attack concern government and industry officials. Also troubling is that about nine other financial institutions — a number that has not been previously reported — were also infiltrated by the same group of overseas hackers, according to people briefed on the matter. The hackers are thought to be operating from Russia and appear to have at least loose connections with officials of the Russian government, the people briefed on the matter said.

Oct 04 06:23

Germany handed law-protected private data to NSA for years – reports

Intelligence service BND failed to protect the private data of German citizens as it handed over internet data collected at a Frankfurt traffic hub to the US, German media report citing secret documents.

The documents cited by VDR and EDR television and the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which broke the news together, were obtained from the federal government during an ongoing parliamentary investigation into US National Security Service spying on German soil.

Just like the NSA is forbidden by the law to spy on Americans, the BND is not allowed to spy on Germans. So when last year in was revealed that the two intelligence services had been collaborating to collect communication data at the De-Cix internet exchange node in Frankfurt, the BND had to produce explanations.

Oct 04 02:19

Bogus Assignments -- Slorp v. BoA, Sixth Circuit Slams Corrupt Reimer Arnovitz Law Firm.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

KingCast and Mortgage Movies Present: Bogus Assignments -- Slorp v. BoA Sixth Circuit Slams Corrupt Reimer Arnovitz Law Firm.

The Ohio law firm of Reimer Arnovitz has been getting away with a dirty foreclosure with a fake assignment but a brand new Sixth Circuit case says that homeowner Patty Busby has a goddamn right to challenge a false Assignment. It's common sense, really.

In this video I help educate people about the real character of Reimer Arnovitz: They have been telling lies since 1977 and show no signs of remorse. This is proved at the link below.

From Slorp:

Oct 03 15:59

Marriott Fined $600,000 for Jamming Guests' Wi-Fi forcing them instead to pay as much as $1,000 each to use the hotel's own connection.

Marriott International will pay a $600,000 fine for jamming conference attendees' own Wi-Fi networks at its Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, forcing them to pay hefty prices to use the hotel's own connection.

Oct 03 15:10

How the NSA and Its Allies Tried to Stop the First Book-Length Exposé of the Agency

The tone of the answering machine message was routine, like a reminder for a dental appointment. But there was also an undercurrent of urgency. “Please call me back,” the voice said. “It’s important.”

What worried me was who was calling: a senior attorney with the Justice Department’s secretive Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.

Oct 03 14:12

Failure to pass US surveillance reform bill could still curtail NSA powers

Two members of the US House of Representatives are warning that a failure to pass landmark surveillance reform will result in a far more drastic curtailment of US surveillance powers – one that will occur simply by the House doing nothing at all.

Oct 03 14:06

Facebook plotting possible move into health care

Facebook Inc already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health.

Oct 03 12:13

Why Phone and Cable Companies Want to Kill the Internet's Most Democratic Right

Net Neutrality -- the principle that protects Internet users' free speech rights -- is censorship.

Did you get that? You did if you happened to be reading the Wall Street Journal's editorial pages. Former Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell recently wrote a screed claiming that Net Neutrality supporters have taken a turn "toward undermining free speech."

Oct 03 10:55

Turkish President Erdogan tells conference: 'I am increasingly against the internet every day'

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has defended his government’s efforts to control online speech, telling a press freedom conference: “I am increasingly against the Internet every day.”

Oct 03 08:24

The J. P. Morgan breach is one part of a larger crisis

J. P. Morgan’s disclosure that hackers compromised the data of more than 76 million of its consumer patrons — and 7 million small business clients — may seem stunning.

But it reflects just a sliver of the withering bombardment the U.S. financial services sector has endured for at least the past three years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And where is the mighty NSA in all of this? Americans footed the bill for billions of dollars and were forced to surrender their Constitutional rights to create a system of total computer surveillance which was claimed to be intended to fight crime and terror. We have been hearing month after month after month of data breaches costing companies and individuals vast amounts of money. And not a single peep from the NSA. No identified cyber-criminals gleaned from all the data kept of all computer transactions in the nation (and much of the rest of the world). Nothing. Is the NSA totally incompetent? If so, we should shut them down, refund the money and restore the Bill of Rights. Or, as some suggest, is the NSA itself breaking into these data systems to feed its addiction to your data (and make a little party cash on the side)? If so, again, we should shut them down, refund the money and restore the Bill of Rights.

Oct 03 06:57

US Attorney General urges tech companies to leave back doors open on gadgets for police

US Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday urged tech companies not to lock police out of popular consumer gadgets, lest law enforcement's efforts to nab kidnappers or child predators be stymied.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"I mean, sure, a lot of Americans, millions really, will have their bank accounts broken into and stuff, but it will be worth it to allow the police unfettered access to nude photos of their wives and daughters, I mean, criminals."

Oct 03 06:36

FBI informant organized Anonymous hackers’ attacks on government sites in 30 countries

Government websites in the UK, Australia and more than two dozen other countries were provided by an undercover FBI informant to a hacker involved with the group Anonymous as cybertargets to attack, according to previously unpublished documents.

The files — chat logs between a turncoat and hacktivist Jeremy Hammond that were used by US attorneys to prosecuted the latter for major intrusions committed by Anonymous and an offshoot, AntiSec — are under seal by order of a United States District Court judge and weren’t publicly available until The Daily Dot used them to report on Wednesday this week to show that the informant encouraged Hammond to hit foreign government targets.

Oct 02 15:55

JPMorgan: 76 million customers hacked

JPMorgan said Thursday that cybercriminals gathered information on more than 80 million account holders as part of a massive bank hack this summer.

Oct 02 15:53

Police want back doors in smartphones, but you never know who else will open them

The government’s increasingly loud complaints about Apple and Google’s tough new forms of smartphone encryption have sidestepped a crucial fact: The same security measures that make it hard for police to get into electronic devices also deters other – be they foreign governments, business rivals or creepy guys looking to steal your photos and post them on the Internet.

In other words, it’s not technically possible to build a backdoor for the FBI without weakening a smartphone’s security in fundamental ways. Doors are made to be opened, and once they’re built, you never know who might find a way to get in.

Such is the consensus view of security experts. And to hear them tell it, the reality of backdoors is even worse than it may seem at first glance.

Oct 02 15:52

New OS X backdoor malware roping Macs into botnet

New malware targeting Mac machines, opening backdoors on them and roping them into a botnet currently numbering around 17,000 zombies has been spotted and analyzed by malware researchers of Russian AV company Dr. Web.

The malware, dubbed Mac.BackDoor.iWorm, targets computers running OS X and makes extensive use of encryption in its routines, the researchers noted.

Oct 02 15:51

The Unpatchable Malware That Infects USBs Is Now on the Loose

It’s been just two months since researcher Karsten Nohl demonstrated an attack he called BadUSB to a standing-room-only crowd at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, showing that it’s possible to corrupt any USB device with insidious, undetectable malware. Given the severity of that security problem—and the lack of any easy patch—Nohl has held back on releasing the code he used to pull off the attack. But at least two of Nohl’s fellow researchers aren’t waiting any longer.

In a talk at the Derbycon hacker conference in Louisville, Kentucky last week, researchers Adam Caudill and Brandon Wilson showed that they’ve reverse engineered the same USB firmware as Nohl’s SR Labs, reproducing some of Nohl’s BadUSB tricks. And unlike Nohl, the hacker pair has also published the code for those attacks on Github, raising the stakes for USB makers to either fix the problem or leave hundreds of millions of users vulnerable.

Oct 02 14:33

JPMorgan Says Data Breach Affected 76 Million Households

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, said a previously disclosed data breach of its systems affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

Customer names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses were taken, the New York-based bank said today in a regulatory filing. Internal bank information “relating to such users” also was compromised, the company said.

“There is no evidence that account information for such affected customers -– account numbers, passwords, user IDs, dates of birth or Social Security numbers –- was compromised during this attack,” the company said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Suuuure. The hackers broke in to steal information that was already public. We believe that!

And where is the NSA during all this computer crime?

Oct 02 12:23

HOUSE INTEL CHIEF WANTS TO INCREASE CYBER ATTACKS AGAINST RUSSIA

The United States should be conducting more disruptive cyber attacks against nations like Russia, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Oct 02 12:08

FBI informant organized Anonymous hackers’ attacks on government sites in 30 countries

Government websites in the UK, Australia and more than two dozen other countries were provided by an undercover FBI informant to a hacker involved with the group Anonymous as cybertargets to attack, according to previously unpublished documents.

Oct 02 06:44

“Tracking Ebola contacts”: call in the Surveillance State

Jon Rappoport
Activist Post

Now that the US has its own “Ebola case number 1” in isolation at a Dallas hospital, it can swing into gear tracking his/her contacts, and the contacts of those contacts.

Never mind that “case number 1” is unproven as an Ebola carrier (see my previous piece, “Is 1st US Ebola patient a hoax?”).

Who cares? It’s hunt and search and isolate in America. And if this campaign gains real steam, the Surveillance State will be deployed, as a “friend of the people.”...

Oct 02 06:18

Hundreds of US police forces have distributed malware as "Internet safety software"

Law enforcement agencies have been buying and distributing Computercop, advising citizens that the software is the "first step" for protecting their kids; one sheriff bought copies for every family in the county.

But Computercop isn't security software -- quite the opposite; it's classic malware. The software, made in New York by a company that markets to law enforcement, is a badly designed keylogger that stores thingstyped into the keyboard -- potentially everything typed on the family PC -- passwords, sensitive communications, banking logins, and more, all stored on the hard drive, either in the clear, or with weak, easily broken encryption. And Computercop users are encouraged to configure the software to email dumps from the keylogger to their accounts (to spy on their children's activity), so that all those keystrokes are vulnerable to interception by anyone between your computer and your email server.

Oct 02 04:43

Making a homemade metal semi-automatic rifle just got crazy easy: Defense Distributed releases "Ghost Gunner," a $1,200 desktop CNC mill.

Eighteen months after demonstrating that he could make a 3D-printed gun, Cody Wilson announced Wednesday that his nonprofit group, Defense Distributed, has now moved on to simplifying the process of manufacturing traditional metal guns.

Defense Distributed is now selling a $1,200 computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) mill—dubbed the "Ghost Gunner"—that can complete an unfinished lower receiver for an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle as part of a limited pre-order. While designed to mill an AR-15 lower, the CNC could theoretically mill anything of a similar size.

Oct 01 18:32

Hundreds of US police forces have distributed malware as "Internet safety software"

Law enforcement agencies have been buying and distributing Computercop, advising citizens that the software is the "first step" for protecting their kids; one sheriff bought copies for every family in the county.

But Computercop isn't security software -- quite the opposite; it's classic malware. The software, made in New York by a company that markets to law enforcement, is a badly designed keylogger that stores thingstyped into the keyboard -- potentially everything typed on the family PC -- passwords, sensitive communications, banking logins, and more, all stored on the hard drive, either in the clear, or with weak, easily broken encryption. And Computercop users are encouraged to configure the software to email dumps from the keylogger to their accounts (to spy on their children's activity), so that all those keystrokes are vulnerable to interception by anyone between your computer and your email server.

Oct 01 17:09

Security bug in Xen may have exposed Amazon, other cloud services

The Xen Project has published a security advisory that could affect millions of virtualized servers running in Amazon’s cloud and other public hosting services

Oct 01 08:30

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Is Skipping Windows 9

On April 1, 2013, Infoworld published an article headlined, “Microsoft skips ‘too good’ Windows 9, jumps to Windows 10.’” A disclaimer at the top clarified that the story was an April Fool’s Joke, but it now appears that wasn’t necessary.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that it will indeed be skipping Windows 9 and jumping to Windows 10 as the name for its next operating system. No joke.

Oct 01 08:00

The Dubious 'Internet Safety Software' That Hundreds of Police Agencies Have Distributed to Families

For years, local law enforcement agencies around the country have told parents that installing ComputerCOP software is the “first step” in protecting their children online.

Police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys have handed out hundreds of thousands of copies of the disc to families for free at schools, libraries, and community events, usually as a part of an “Internet Safety” outreach initiative. The packaging typically features the agency’s official seal and the chief’s portrait, with a signed message warning of the “dark and dangerous off-ramps” of the Internet.

Oct 01 07:45

Advertising firms struggle to kill malvertisements

In late September, advertisements appearing on a host of popular news and entertainment sites began serving up malicious code, infecting some visitors' computers with a backdoor program designed to gather information on their systems and install additional malicious code.

The attack affected visitors to The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, The Hindustan Times, Internet music service Last.fm, and India-focused movie portal Bollywood Hungama, among other popular sites. At the center of the malware campaign: the compromise of San Francisco-based Internet advertising network Zedo, an advertising provider for the sites, whose network was then used to distribute malicious ads.

WEBMASTER ADDITION: Zedo reports that it was not their servers that were compromised but those of their clients, and the problem has been resolved, so oyu are safe here at WRH.

Oct 01 07:05

Exclusive: Top 10 Flashlight Apps Are Stealing Your Data, Even Pics Off Your Phone

Nashua NH- The makers of some of the most widely used flashlight apps for smart phones are doing more than just helping you find your lost car keys, they are geo-locating you and stealing your data. At least, that is the claim being made by Snoopwall LLC. Snoopwall is the world’s first “counterveillance” company and according the founder, Gary Miliefsky in a web exclusive interview with Benswann.com, the top ten flashlight apps are stealing you data.

Sep 30 10:17

Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement…

If you’re a Grooveshark user, you should probably start backing up your collection. In a decision released Monday, the United States District Court in Manhattan has found Grooveshark guilty of massive copyright infringement based on a preponderance of internal emails, statements from former top executives, direct evidence from internal logs, and willfully deleted files and source code.

Specifically, CEO Samuel Tarantino and co-founder and CTO Josh Greenberg will face the heaviest charges, which remain to be determined. The others were just scared rats: earlier, a number of top Grooveshark executives were removed from the defendant list in a settlement agreement, which now appears part of a clever exchange for cooperation. Oh and did they talk…

Sep 30 09:15

Trust in cloud security at all-time low: Execs still betting on the cloud

A new report on IT decision makers shows enterprise trust in cloud security at its lowest -- yet they're flocking to use it. OpenStack's Matt Joyce thinks it's fair to ask if everyone's gone nuts.

Sep 29 12:38

AT&T’s congestion magically disappears when it’s signing up new customers

AT&T yesterday began offering “double the data for the same price” to new customers and existing customers who sign new contracts, apparently forgetting that its network is so congested that speeds must be throttled when people use too much data.

Like other carriers, AT&T slows the speeds of certain users when the network is congested. Such network management is a necessary evil that can benefit the majority of customers when used to ensure that everyone can connect to the network. But as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has argued, the carriers’ selective enforcement of throttling shows that it can also be used to boost revenue by pushing subscribers onto pricier plans.

Sep 26 11:56

Apple shares lose £12bn as iPhone 6 is hit by new fault: Stock loses all gains it had made since launch of device last week

More than £12billion was wiped off the value of Apple yesterday after its latest iPhone was rendered unusable by a software update.

The 3.5 per cent drop in the share price meant the company’s stock lost all gains it had made since launching the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last week.

Users of the brand new devices were cut off from telephone signal and data networks, meaning they could not make or receive calls and text messages or go on the internet away from wifi signal.

The update for the iOS 8.0.1 operating system also killed off the Touch ID function, a much-trumpeted feature that allows users to log on to their phone using their fingerprint.

Sep 26 09:25

Vaccine wars: the censoring of Rob Schneider

Yesterday, I reported on State Farm dropping Rob Schneider from their TV ads because he’s alerted people to vaccine dangers.

Because he has a view about vaccines that departs from the norm.

“Punch a hole in consensus reality and you can’t be a spokesman for our products.”

“Cause a ripple among the sleeping populace and you’re out.”

What’s next?

Well, I’ll tell you what could be next, based on the fact that the Internet runs via an interlocking system of commercial companies.

Some companies that facilitate emails to large lists, and website hosts, to say nothing of Facebook, which is already censoring information, could decide, under pressure, or voluntarily, to close down “controversial data.”

Sep 26 09:21

FBI blasts Apple, Google for locking police out of phones

Comey added that FBI officials already have made initial contact with the two companies, which announced their new smartphone encryption initiatives last week. He said he could not understand why companies would “market something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We would not be in this mess had "The Law" not placed itself beyond the Constitution!

Of course, this could also be a bluff to lull you into a false sense of privacy with these new phones and stimulate sales!

Sep 26 08:30

Photos: Robots and drones - here's what Intel's answer to the Raspberry Pi can do

The maker movement is thriving – with hobbyist technologists across the world packing low-cost computers and sensors into bespoke electronics that fuse art and technology.

The market is dominated by single-board computers and microcontrollers such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino, but new competitors are arriving all the time.

Intel's entry is Edison, a tiny single-board computers, little bigger than a postage stamp, measuring just 3.55 x 2.5 x 0.39cm.

Although it will be compared with the $35 Raspberry Pi model B+, it is designed to work as an embedded Linux board for electronic prototypes and products, rather than as a small-board computer running a full-blown Linux distro.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I love technology when it works, and am old enough that some of the newer advances keep me in awe when I remember what I started with. This new desktop I built easily outpaces the Cray Supercomputers of the 1980s. Of course, back when computers were slow, software had to be efficient, but I have observed that as processors got faster, software companies got lazy, writing bloated, inefficient code, relying on the advances in hardware to keep their products usable.

Sep 26 05:28

Alternative Media Success Panics NeoCons

While most old people still cling to the corporate media worldview, the young are skewing ever-harder toward alternative perspectives. In Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum, for example, the London Daily Mirror reported that 71% of 16-17 year olds voted “yes” while those over 65 voted “no” by a 73%-27% margin.

Why does the vast majority of Scottish young people favor independence, while an equally crushing majority of old people opposes it?

Short answer: Old people still believe BBC propaganda, while the young do not.

Sep 25 11:41

Obamacare Website Costs Top $2 Billion, Almost Triple Government Estimates

What's the opposite of government efficiency? In a double-take-instigating headline, the federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project. BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. However, that pales into insignificance when considering health reform has cost American taxpayers $73 billion in the last four years... and counting.

Sep 25 11:39

Major Sell Program Trips 50-DMA, Sends Stocks Sliding

A "huge" institutional sell order, covering almost 200 individual stocks, is rumored to have been responsible for getting this morning's weakness across stocks going as equity indices catch down to bonds and credit. The S&P 500 broke key support at its 50-day moving-average (for first time in 2 months) and is back at 6 week lows. The Russell 2000 is now down 4.25% from the FOMC meeting last week...

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