COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 29 10:07

Immoral Patsy – How the FBI Groomed Mentally Disabled Teen With a 51 IQ into an “ISIS Terrorist”

By William N. Grigg

It isn’t clear what use ISIS or the Pakistani Taliban would have for an 18-year-old American student with an estimated IQ of 51, is marginally verbal, and has little ability to perform routine tasks like tying his shoelaces. Peyton Pruitt, described by family and school officials as a developmentally stunted child, displays little understanding of terrorism and has no skills a terrorist group would covet...

Dec 29 09:51

RECENTLY BOUGHT A WINDOWS COMPUTER? MICROSOFT PROBABLY HAS YOUR ENCRYPTION KEY

One of the excellent features of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key – which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk – to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt-out.

Dec 29 09:40

Social media bosses face two years in jail if they warn users MI5 is watching them after ministers lose patience with tech giants

Bosses at Twitter and other social media giants face prison if they tip off their customers about spying operations by police and the security services, under a sweeping new law.

Ministers have lost patience with the tech giants after it emerged that some companies were warning users of requests for communications data by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Bosses of any technology firm which ignores the Home Office edict to keep operations secret will face up to two years in prison.

It will become an explicit criminal offence to notify the subject of a surveillance operation that requests for their data have been made, unless they have permission to do so. This could include tweets, text messages or emails.

Dec 29 09:33

The Internet of Things Is Everywhere

In the future, everything will be connected. It won’t just be our phones that access the Internet; it will be our light bulbs, our front doors, our microwaves, our comforters, our blenders. You can call it the Internet of Things, The Internet of Everything, Universal Object Interaction, or your pick of buzzwords that begin with Smart. They all hold as inevitable that everything, everything will be connected, to each other and to the Internet. And that will change the world.

Juniper research predicted that by 2020, there will be 38.5 billion connected devices.

Dec 29 08:35

Mark Zuckerberg can’t believe India isn’t grateful for Facebook’s free internet

All Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to do is make the world a better place for his new daughter. While he’s technically on paternity leave, he couldn’t sit idly by as India attempts to halt Internet.org, Facebook’s initiative to provide free but limited internet to the developing world.

Dec 29 08:18

191 million US voter registration records leaked online – report

A security researcher has uncovered a publicly-available database containing the personal information of 191 million voters on the internet, but it isn’t clear who owns it.

Chris Vickery, who shared his findings on DataBreaches.net, disclosed the trove of voter data, which includes names, home addresses, voter IDs, phone numbers, and birth dates, as well as political affiliations and voting histories since 2000. The database does not contain financial information or Social Security numbers.

Dec 28 16:50

Password-less database 'open-sources' 191m US voter records on the web

A database with personal information on 191,337,174 US voters has apparently been found unprotected online by a security researcher in Texas.

Austin-based Chris Vickery – who earlier this month found records on 3.3 million Hello Kitty users splashed online – says the wide-open system contains the full names, dates of birth, home addresses, and phone numbers of voters, as well as their likely political affiliation and which elections they have voted in since 2000.

Vickery told Databreaches.net he was able to poke around the public-internet-facing database because it is poorly configured: no authentication or password is required to query all 300-plus gigabytes stored within.

Dec 28 16:03

PC Matic Reviews and Complaints by Consumers and Customers

PC Matic Customer Ratings and Reports

Customer Ratings
Average Rating: 1.12 out of 5
Based On: 51 Reviews
Number Of Comments: 268
Consumer Loss Reports
Reported Losses: $27,607.96
Average Reported Losses: $541.33
Latest PC Matic Complaint

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This company is running commercials all over the cable channels, stressing how they are an American company and if you love America you will buy their product. But a little due diligence on this (or any) product is justified!

Dec 28 14:16

Your Business Been Hacked? Thanks NSA!

It appears that the NSA (“or someone”) hacked into the code of a popular firewall and planted a password in there that would allow them access as needed.

Dec 28 13:39

U.S. expects drop in programming jobs, but gains in IT jobs overall

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says IT jobs will grow 12% over the next decade, except for programmers. That occupation will shrink as more work is shifted to lower wage countries, according to the government.

Dec 28 13:05

Your Business Been Hacked? Thanks NSA!

It appears that the NSA (“or someone”) hacked into the code of a popular firewall and planted a password in there that would allow them access as needed.

That means the NSA (“or someone”) would be able to bypass the security features of a network and do what they wanted inside. This is basically an act of sabotage. Given that American organizations as well as foreign ones use these same firewalls, and that the planted password could be discovered by others outside the NSA, the act made vulnerable a multitude of innocent, untargeted systems.

Dec 28 10:49

Look Who’s in Charge of UK Government Cyber Security

We welcome the appointment of the former British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, who will have a key role in cyber security inside the Cabinet Office – a very useful and important position.

Dec 28 09:54

Smartphone turns into heads-up screen for safe driving

A Russian startup has created a device, combining a smartphone & a heads-up display in it.

Dec 28 09:42

Anonymous Takes #OpISIS To A New Level – By Stopping An Actual Terror Attack

By Matt Agorist

The primary ‘Anonymous’ account behind the hacktivist collective’s “Operation ISIS” is claiming to have stopped a terrorist attack in Italy. They claim that they are also working to stop others...

Dec 28 09:23

Flashback - Beyond 12,500 former Nokia employees, who else is Microsoft laying off?

Under the new structure, a number of Windows engineers, primarily dedicated testers, will no longer be needed. (I don't know exactly how many testers will be laid off, but hearing it could be a "good chunk," from sources close to the company.)

Dec 28 09:22

Israeli Missile Defense Director FIRED Because Of "Security Breach"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And THAT is how you should treat people who keep classified data on personal computers!

Dec 28 08:53

Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance

SUDDENLY, IT FEELS like 2000 again. Back then, surveillance programs like Carnivore, Echelon, and Total Information Awareness helped spark a surge in electronic privacy awareness. Now a decade later, the recent discovery of programs like PRISM, Boundless Informant, and FISA orders are catalyzing renewed concern.

Dec 28 08:24

New Chinese spying laws draw international criticism, despite similarity with UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

New spying laws in China have drawn wide criticism from the international community, despite being largely similar to those set to be passed in the UK without much condemnation in the UK.

The new Chinese spying powers allow authorities to weaken security so that messages can be read and force companies to co-operate with surveillance. Both of those powers are also part of the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is expected to be passed into law in early 2016, on a sped-up schedule.

China’s controversial new law was passed on Sunday and requires that technology companies hand over encryption keys and other sensitive information. The country says that the powers are needed to fight against a growing threat from militants and separatists.

Dec 28 07:37

German code-breakers expose huge credit card flaw, companies continue keeping silent

“Previous attacks exploit software bugs, like you would have on your computer. Ones that can be fixed with a software update,” renowned German code-breaker Karsten Nohl of Security Research Labs in Berlin told RT’s Peter Oliver. “Now, what we’re attacking is the protocol itself. The devices work exactly as intended and are still vulnerable. So this is a risk that cannot easily be fixed with a patch."

Dec 28 07:20

UK Home Secretary rejects request for her browsing history as "vexatious"

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has introduced the Snoopers Charter, through which your ISP will be required to retain a record of everything you do on the Internet and make it available to government and police without meaningful checks and balances or privacy protection.

Dec 27 20:20

What Windows 10's "Privacy Nightmare" Settings Actually Do

Plenty of sites have published lists of all the features you should turn off in Windows 10 to protect your privacy, but many don’t explain in detail what each of these settings do, which makes it hard to separate FUD from fact. So let’s go through those settings and explain what we know about them, where the real problems are, and how to turn everything off.

Dec 27 19:10

Theresa May wants to see your internet history, so the independent thought it was only fair to ask for hers

The Home Office has refused to make Theresa May’s internet browsing history public under freedom of information rules, arguing that a request to do so is “vexatious”.

Dec 27 10:38

Tunisia to become first in the world to issue its national currency via advanced cryptofinance tech

Tunisia will be the first country in the world to issue its national currency via advanced cryptofinance technology according to Monetas CEO Johann Gevers in an interview with TechMoran on Mobile Money & CryptoFinance .

Dec 27 09:55

Security gaping holes: Any bank card data easy to get even inside terminal

The German researchers found, any card data may be easily stolen right off the terminals designed to protect it. This risk can not be easily fixed.

Dec 26 09:40

Clinton and Trump are looking for an easy out on the Internet. Don’t give it to them.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are about as different stylistically as can be. But when it comes to Internet policy, they're both equally in the dark — and just as willing to dismiss gaps in their thinking by making vague assumptions about America's engineering know-how.

Dec 26 09:18

Bank of America gets Twitter to delete journalist’s joke, says he violated copyright

"Investment banks apparently have the power to censor journalists on Twitter, simply by asking," Edwards wrote in a short post on Business Insider describing the situation. "That is depressing."

Edwards had quoted a research document produced by analysts. He says the tweets were "probably trivial," but can't really be more specific—in part because the frequent Twitter user can't even remember exactly what they were about.

Dec 26 09:10

NSA HELPED BRITISH SPIES FIND SECURITY HOLES IN JUNIPER FIREWALLS

A TOP-SECRET document dated February 2011 reveals that British spy agency GCHQ, with the knowledge and apparent cooperation of the NSA, acquired the capability to covertly exploit security vulnerabilities in 13 different models of firewalls made by Juniper Networks, a leading provider of networking and Internet security gear.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is insane.

The drug kingpins, the gangs, and the highly placed criminals already have nearly bullet-proof encryption; so why, please should the rest of us, trying to make a living, be punished with the various US alphabet-soup agencies examining everything we do on line?

Well, whatever poor sod has the dubious distinction of having to follow me on line knows I love my husband; love to create music; am a Christian pacifist who never advocates for violence; love staying in touch with my friends, and love to look at jewelry ( but rarely buys). In a word: boring!! :-)

Dec 26 08:58

Key lottery leader out amid Hot Lotto scandal

A prominent lottery official who has run the Powerball game since its inception was quietly removed from his 28-year post leading the Multi-State Lottery Association after a jackpot-fixing scandal inside his organization got bigger, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press....

Dec 26 08:30

Feeling abandoned by Adobe? Check out the video editing suites for penguins

Options for those lacking a Linux render farm

Dec 26 08:09

Juniper firewall fiasco is a major blow-up for government's backdoor rhetoric

The Juniper breach is by far the best example of why backdoors in any products, services, or technology is a bad thing. Once the backdoors were found, it took just three days for the master password used in the backdoor to be posted online, sparking open season for any hacker to target a Juniper firewall.

If whoever planted the backdoor was non-American, it highlights the point the security community has been making for months: these backdoors can and will be used and abused by the enemy.

Dec 26 08:03

Hackers Are Already Using the Secret Juniper Firewall Backdoor in Their Attacks

With over 26,000 NetScreen devices that run the vulnerable versions of ScreenOS, this puts hundreds or thousands of companies at serious risk.

Dec 26 08:02

Steam had a major glitch that gave users access to each others' accounts

Steam, the online market for PC games, experienced a major glitch on Friday.

Steam users who logged in were getting access to other users' accounts. We've also seen reports on social media that some people were able to make purchases with other users' credit cards.

In fact, simply visiting the Steam store website gave anyone access to another user's account. Valve, the company that runs Steam, shut down the store within an hour after the glitch hit. The store was operational again about an two hours later.

It's unclear what the cause was, and Valve's statement to The Verge didn't shed much light on what happened. Valve has only said the glitch was caused by an "internal error".

Dec 26 08:02

Turkish Internet servers reeling under huge cyber-attack

Experts unable to identify source of hack, but newspaper reports suggest Russia may be behind it

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They don't actually know who is behind the attack, although Anonymous has taken credit,. but the newspapers blame Russia anyway.

Typical.

Dec 25 08:44

Ukraine resorts to creating fake DPR websites as "sources"

“Ukraine is trying to discredit DPR media by creating false sites of the republic"

Ukrainian media, feelings powerless in the information war, is resorting to new tricks. This time false websites allegedly belonging to the republics have been created which are spreading false information. This was reported by the technical service team of Donetsk News Agency.

n/a
Dec 24 18:55

Livestream alerts customers to possible hack

Broadcasting service Livestream has admitted it may have been hacked, informing customers that an "unauthorized person may have accessed our customer account database."

Livestream is a video live streaming service that allows customers to broadcast content via the internet. It boasts of having more than 10,000 active customers.

In an email to customers, it said: "While we are still investigating the full scope of the incident, it is possible that some of your account information may have been accessed.

"This may include name, email address, an encrypted version of your password, and if you provided it to us, date of birth and/or phone number."

Dec 24 18:53

Latest Microsoft updates erase Word customizations, can break Edge, Outlook, File Explorer

Microsoft needs to either drastically overhaul its QA, return additional flexibility and customization options to average users, or both. The just-trust-us model isn’t working. And I’d have a great deal more faith in Microsoft’s willingness to fix these issues if the company wasn’t relentlessly pushing holdouts to adopt W10 as opposed to fixing the problems with its distribution and testing model.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Dec 24 16:17

NSA HELPED BRITISH SPIES FIND SECURITY HOLES IN JUNIPER FIREWALLS

A TOP-SECRET document dated February 2011 reveals that British spy agency GCHQ, with the knowledge and apparent cooperation of the NSA, acquired the capability to covertly exploit security vulnerabilities in 13 different models of firewalls made by Juniper Networks, a leading provider of networking and Internet security gear.

The six-page document, titled “Assessment of Intelligence Opportunity – Juniper,” raises questions about whether the intelligence agencies were responsible for or culpable in the creation of security holes disclosed by Juniper last week. While it does not establish a certain link between GCHQ, NSA, and the Juniper hacks, it does make clear that, like the unidentified parties behind those hacks, the agencies found ways to penetrate the “NetScreen” line of security products, which help companies create online firewalls and virtual private networks, or VPNs.

Dec 24 11:51

FLASHBACK - VIRTUAL 9-11: Will the US & Israel Hack The US Banking System Computers and Falsely Blame It On Iran (or Syria or Russia or China)?

Something new is needed; something the public may not be expecting. Something unprecedented in history. Something that will directly impact every single living American directly, to make them all directly feel the threat, to fan the flames of war and conquest against the designated enemies, including Iran, against Russia and China to protect the weakening US dollar's role as the global banking and trade currency against the rising Ruble and Yuan.

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Dec 24 11:06

US prisoners released early by software bug

More than 3,200 US prisoners have been released early because of a software glitch.

The bug miscalculated the sentence reductions prisoners in Washington state had received for good behaviour.

It was introduced in 2002 as part of an update that followed a court ruling about applying good behaviour credits.

State officials said that many early-release prisoners would have to return to jail to finish their sentences.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would argue that this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment to tell these prisoners they are free, then say "Oops" and drag them back in.

Dec 24 11:06

Hackers allegedly open “pathway” to U.S. Power Grid, steal passwords

Power Grid compromised, attacks on the way

Dec 24 11:00

Copyright Wars: Kim Dotcom can be extradited to US, NZ court rules

New Zealand-based internet millionaire and Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his business partners are eligible for extradition to the US to face charges of copyright infringement on a massive scale, the court has ruled citing “overwhelming” evidence.

Dec 23 08:18

Anonymous declares cyber war on Turkey over ‘supporting ISIS’

The Anonymous hacktivist group has taken responsibility for a powerful cyber-attack on the Turkish sector of the internet last week. It promised to continue waging cyber warfare on .tr domains until Ankara stops the “insanity” of supporting Islamic State.

Dec 23 07:32

The Digital Dark Ages: Movies and Books Get Deleted as Selfies Pile Up

The irony is that, even as we’re generating more records than any civilization ever, we’re destroying so much important stuff that future generations will hardly know we ever lived.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We can still read a 4000 year old recipe for beer on Sumerian clay tablets, but the back-up copies I made of my wife's music files in 2000 had self-erased by 2002. Future historians will have little with which to understand our times other than the monuments built by our leaders to promote the propaganda of their glorious victories in war.

As for selfies, I see those as a symptom of a growing self-obsessed culture that thinks the whole world wants to know what they had for lunch today!

Dec 22 16:39

Apple warns about UK surveillance powers bill

The tech giant Apple has warned that a plan set forth by the UK government to give intelligence agencies extra online surveillance powers could weaken the security of personal data for millions of people and paralyze the tech sector.

Dec 22 10:48

Error 451 is the new HTTP code for online censorship

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the body responsible for overseeing the internet's technical standards, has approved HTTP 451, "an HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles". The new status code will show viewers when a web page is being blocked for legal reasons.

Dec 22 09:53

Researchers Solve Juniper Backdoor Mystery; Signs Point to NSA

The researchers’ findings suggest that the NSA may be responsible for that backdoor, at least indirectly. Even if the NSA did not plant the backdoor in the company’s source code, the spy agency may in fact be indirectly responsible for it by having created weaknesses the attackers exploited.

Dec 22 09:50

US Gov't Agencies Freak Out Over Juniper Backdoor; Perhaps They'll Now Realize Why Backdoors Are A Mistake

Putting backdoors into technology is a bad idea. Security experts and technologists keep saying this over and over and over and over again -- and politicians and law enforcement still don't seem to get it. And, you can pretty much bet that even though they now have a very real world example of it -- in a way that's impacting their own computer systems -- they'll continue to ignore it. Instead, watch as they blame the Chinese and the Russians and still pretend that somehow, when they mandate backdoors, those backdoors won't get exploited by those very same Chinese and Russian hackers they're now claiming were crafty enough to slip code directly into Juniper's source code without anyone noticing.

Dec 22 08:25

Wikipedia, co-founded by a porn peddler, is now exposed as a massive blackmail engine run by criminal editors

Hundreds of Wikipedia accounts have been shut down after a number of celebrities, businesses, entrepreneurs and others reported being targeted by unscrupulous editors who tried to blackmail them into shelling out cash in exchange for page updates and entries. Denying that its own editorial team had anything do with the scam, a Wikipedia spokesman told the media that the site is devoted to "neutrality," despite earlier accounts of Wikipedia actively censoring information about the natural healing arts and alternative medicine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Long time readers will recall that Wikipedia used to have entries for both the whatreallyhappened.com website and me personally. But the article on myself branded me as an anti-Semite, so I edited the article to state that I had been accused of anti-Semitism because of my criticisms of Israel's government, which is more accurate. The next day, the original version calling me an anti-Semite was back, and edits to the article were locked from me under the Wikipedia rationale that Michael Rivero was not a recognized authority on the subject of Michael Rivero. When I went public with this absurdity Wikipedia simply deleted all mention of whatreallyhappened.com and Michael Rivero, so the fact that they are biased is old news.

Dec 22 08:02

THE ETHICALLY SOURCED SMARTPHONE YOU CAN REPAIR AND UPGRADE YOURSELF IS NOW ON SALE

Fairphone say they aim to create a more ethical device with an emphasis on reparability and sourcing key minerals used in the phone's construction from conflict-free areas.?e,’ the first Fairphone was the product of a carefully crafted supply chain that seeks to minimize the use of conflict materials. Now, the second model ups the ante with a modular design that allows for easier repairs, resulting in a smartphone that could do something completely unheard of in the world of pocket-sized electronic gadgets. This could eliminate the need to buy another phone – ever.

Dec 22 07:23

I-Team: Experts Warn Passengers To Protect Boarding Pass

Some boarding passes have revealing information hidden in the barcode. But with a simple cell phone app, anyone with a little expertise can find out personal things you don’t want them to know.

Valerie Ugarno let us try it on her boarding pass at Logan Airport. “That seems a little scary,” she said after the app revealed her information.

Some airlines like Southwest scramble the information on the barcode others don’t, revealing frequent flyer account numbers.

Dec 22 07:14

The FTC says Oracle 'deceived consumers' and left software on 850 million PCs vulnerable to hackers

The FTC says that Oracle never told consumers that when they get those pesky messages to update Java security and agree to the updates, that Oracle wasn't fully updating all versions of the Java SE apps they may have installed on their machines.

It was only updating the most recent version and ignoring older versions. And these older versions were often chock full of bugs that hackers could use to hack a person's PC.

Dec 22 06:56

Not your ‘back door man’: Apple CEO rankles authorities who target encryption

Granting the feds a “back door” to encrypted software will give away access to “everybody,” including terrorists, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on 60 Minutes. The backlash from national security hawks has been unforgiving.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

All back doors will do is allow the government to spy on law abiding citizens. As we proved with our encryption challenges, it is trivial for criminals and terrorists to create new methods of encryption the NSA cannot break. And the Paris Attackers were not even using encryption at all!

Dec 21 16:33

Sky customers ‘blocked from viewing porn’ by default in 2016

British telecommunications company Sky will automatically block adult content by default for all of its new broadband customers from 2016, the company has revealed.

Dec 21 10:22

FLASHBACK - THE HILLARY EMAIL SCANDAL - THE SCANDALS BEHIND THE SCANDAL

There is a term of craft in Propaganda called a "Limited Hangout." This refers to admitting to a smaller scandal as a distraction from the larger scandal that must remain hidden.

See how it works?

Good.

Because it appears we are in the middle of yet another limited hangout, in which the public furor over the questionable use of a private email server by Hillary Clinton may be concealing far greater and darker secrets!

Let us start with the email server issue itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BUMP TO THEW TOP

PLEASE FORWARD AND REPOST

When I first wrote this article, I suggested two potential scandals lurking behind Hillary's email server. The first was covert arming of ISIS and Al Qaeda by the US Government (or at least by Hillary). The second was the likely possibility that Hillary was using her weak email server and "charitable" foundation to stage a repeat of the "Chinagate" secrets-for-campaign-cash scandal.

The first suggested theory has now been confirmed.

Will the same be true for the second?

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Dec 21 10:04

THE HTTP 451 ERROR CODE FOR CENSORSHIP IS NOW AN INTERNET STANDARD

The 451 HTTP status code is now official in the eyes of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the independent organization responsible for many of the internet’s operating standards. Now, when an internet user hits a web page that has been blocked for legal reasons (read: censorship), they may be presented with a 451 error instead of the more generic 403 “forbidden” error. This is a win for transparency. The 451 code has been on the table for two years now, having been first been put forth by software engineer Tim Bray in 2013, who was in turn inspired by a blog post by security thinker Terence Eden.

Dec 21 07:56

Here's what Microsoft has planned for Windows in 2016

Windows is still Microsoft's most important product. After a tough year, the company has managed to fix many of the issues that bugged users, businesses, and anyone else who came across Windows 10.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No, they haven't. Details on today's radio show.

Dec 21 07:51

Did the Windows 10 upgrade and I lost all my data files, music, pictures, documents etc. How can I get them back?

Did the Windows 10 upgrade and I lost all my data files, music, pictures, documents etc. How can I get them back?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Short version; you can't! This confirms the email I got about someone in Seattle whose computer upgraded to Windows 10 by itself and vanished her business data files. I love the attitude from Microsoft, "You should remember to backup important files." Memo to Microsoft; you should not create operating systems that destroy data!

Apparently this is a major problem with the Windows 10 upgrade. Odd how corporate media isn't mentioning this amid all the fluff pieces about last second holiday gift suggestions!


Dec 20 17:21

Comcast customer discovers huge mistake in company’s data cap meter

The ISP said he used 120GB of data... while on a multi-week vacation.

Dec 20 17:18

Apple's stock loses over $160B as analysts forecast smartphone decline

Apple continues to try to gain profits in other areas than smartphones - such as computing, with its Mac product line. At this point however, the company still relies heavily on its smartphone sales from the iPhone - and any disruption to the smartphone demand can hit them hard.

Dec 20 17:05

Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw

The self-driving car, that cutting-edge creation that’s supposed to lead to a world without accidents, is achieving the exact opposite right now: The vehicles have racked up a crash rate double that of those with human drivers.

The glitch?

They obey the law all the time, as in, without exception. This may sound like the right way to program a robot to drive a car, but good luck trying to merge onto a chaotic, jam-packed highway with traffic flying along well above the speed limit. It tends not to work out well. As the accidents have piled up -- all minor scrape-ups for now -- the arguments among programmers at places like Google Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University are heating up: Should they teach the cars how to commit infractions from time to time to stay out of trouble?

Dec 20 17:02

A Cybersecurity Bill Loathed By Tech Companies Is Now Law

If you thought the US government’s ability to spy on its citizens had languished of late, think again.

Yesterday, Congress and President Obama approved the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), a measure that lets private companies turn over consumers’ personal data to Homeland Security, as long as that data meets some broad and vague criteria of relevance to cybersecurity investigations. Homeland Security can then pass said data directly the NSA, the Department of Defense, and the FBI.

Tech companies, civil liberties groups and security experts have all decried this bill. How did it become law? Simple. House Speaker Paul Ryan attached CISA as a rider to the omnibus budget bill, a $1.15 trillion federal spending plan. If Congress and the President hadn’t approved the measure, we would be on the brink of another government shutdown right now.

Dec 20 17:00

Secret Code Found in Juniper’s Firewalls Shows Risk of Government Backdoors

The security community is particularly alarmed because at least one of the backdoors appears to be the work of a sophisticated nation-state attacker.

“The weakness in the VPN itself that enables passive decryption is only of benefit to a national surveillance agency like the British, the US, the Chinese, or the Israelis,” says Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute and UC Berkeley. “You need to have wiretaps on the internet for that to be a valuable change to make [in the software].”

But the backdoors are also a concern because one of them—a hardcoded master password left behind in Juniper’s software by the attackers—will now allow anyone else to take command of Juniper firewalls that administrators have not yet patched, once the attackers have figured out the password by examining Juniper’s code.

Dec 20 16:58

Newly discovered hack has U.S. fearing foreign infiltration

A major breach at computer network company Juniper Networks has U.S. officials worried that hackers working for a foreign government were able to spy on the encrypted communications of the U.S. government and private companies for the past three years.

The FBI is investigating the breach, which involved hackers installing a back door on computer equipment, U.S. officials told CNN. Juniper disclosed the issue Thursday along with an emergency security patch that it urged customers to use to update their systems "with the highest priority."

The concern, U.S. officials said, is that sophisticated hackers who compromised the equipment could use their access to get into any company or government agency that used it.

One U.S. official described it as akin to "stealing a master key to get into any government building."

Dec 20 16:47

This Dumb Smart Fridge Shows Why the Internet of Things Will Break

Refrigerators usually last about 14 years, a lifespan that has held pretty constant in the last few decades. But smart fridges threaten to shorten that lifespan significantly. In the software world, 14 years is practically an eternity. Most companies won’t support software that old, so the fate of the Samsung smart fridge Google Calendar is all but inevitable. And when people can only fix the out-of-date electronics on the front of their fridge by replacing the whole kit and caboodle, they’ll upgrade. This wastes all the materials and energy that went into manufacturing. Sad news for anyone who cares about the environment.

So, before you go out and educate all your appliances, consider how smart you really need them to be—and how smart they’ll be when their software is out of date next year.

Dec 20 08:41

BEX ALERT - British government admits selling internet addresses to Saudi Arabia and says it can't stop ISIS extremists using them

The British government has admitted selling large numbers of internet addresses to Saudi Arabia, but refused to reveal how much it has has earned from the transaction.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Computer Security experts traced ISIS accounts back to British government offices. So the only way Britain can duck the conclusion that ISIS is a fake made-up enemy to justify war is to claim they sold those IPs to Saudi Arabia.

Dec 19 19:04

Keep China’s Creepy “Sesame Credit” System Out of America

Raja just wrote about Congress sneaking surveillance act CISA into a critical spending bill. Some cry Orwell, others gesture wildly at Huxley’s Brave New World unfolding on social media. What private details we don’t cough up voluntarily on Facebook are teased out of us by marketers and siphoned by the government, while a new wave of shout-down censorship is ruining debate and progress on important issues. But there may be a new player in town. China has been rolling out a system colloquially known as “Sesame Credit”, in which citizens are scored not by their payment histories, but by their purchase histories, their political views, and their friends list. Chinese core participant TenCent just purchased the most played online game in the world and American favorite League of Legends. Watch this quick primer, then ask what might happen if China plans to use this platform to influence young American customers.

Dec 19 15:50

ISIS Twitter accounts traced to UK govt, hacker group claims

At least three Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) supporters’ social media accounts are run from IP addresses linked to the British government.

Dec 19 09:34

Why Did the DNC Let the Bernie-Hillary Tech Story Leak?

There was some serious dumbassery involved on the part of the Sanders campaign, and the person most responsible has been sacked, so the story's over, right? The DNC could allow the Sanders campaign access to the data again. But what admittedly sends my thoughts up a grassy knoll is how this relatively minor blip made it to The Washington Post in the first place. After all, the bungling was with the vendor, and with the DNC for hiring the vendor, so wouldn't the smart play have been to keep this whole thing in-house? Also, if this story survives through the Saturday night debate, let alone becomes an issue therein, and if the Sanders campaign is shut out from the national party data for longer than this weekend, I'm going to be very, very suspicious. Devious and clumsy are, after all, the hallmarks of the Debbie Wasserman Schultz era.

Dec 19 07:59

Bernie Sanders accuses DNC of trying to ‘sabotage’ his campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign declared war on the Democratic National Committee Friday, filing a federal lawsuit to get access to its own voter files stored on DNC computers after a stunning data breach.

The DNC blocked access after it learned the presidential candidate’s staffers took advantage of a software glitch to comb through data belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign that are also stored on the DNC servers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dec 18 19:50

A Ukrainian Website Is Outing Russian Soldiers, and Moscow Wants Canada to Stop It

Amid frosty relations, Ottawa is tackling a request from the Kremlin to go after a Ukrainian website, hosted in Canada, that is publishing identifying details of Russian soldiers fighting the Islamic State.

Dec 18 18:42

Worst Anti-Privacy Bill Since the PATRIOT Act, Passes Hidden in a Budget Bill and Media is SILENT

By Jay Syrmopoulos

On Friday, Congress passed a $1.15 trillion omnibus spending package to continue funding the federal government, which included an already defeated, and extremely controversial cyber security bill, that was inserted into the spending package as a means of assuring its passage.

In spite of this massive revelation and horrific blow to privacy, the mainstream media remains mum. While many outlets are covering the passage of the spending bill, they are completely omitting anything about CISA...

Dec 18 16:19

I just found out how bad sellers on eBay (and elsewhere) get great reviews!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You can buy great reviews online! For $5, people will review (in any way you want) a product/book/etc.

Dec 18 14:32

DNC Backs Clinton in Database Flap With Sanders

Officials with the Democratic National Committee have accused the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of improperly accessing confidential voter information gathered by the rival campaign of Hillary Clinton, according to several party officials.

Jeff Weaver, the Vermont senator’s campaign manager, acknowledged that a staffer had viewed the information but blamed a software vendor hired by the DNC for a glitch that allowed access. Weaver said one Sanders staffer was fired over the incident.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The DNC wants Hillary and is using a computer spotware error to torpedo Bernie.

Dec 18 13:39

DNC Deals Devastating Blow to Bernie Sanders’ Campaign

The DNC has suspended Bernie Sanders’ campaign from accessing the master list of voter information. Without access, Sanders’ campaign could potentially be crippled beyond repair.

Dec 18 09:02

Bernie Sanders Campaign Is Disciplined for Breaching Hillary Clinton Data

The Democratic National Committee has told the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont that it was suspending its access to its voter database after a software error enabled at least one of his staff members to review Hillary Clinton’s private campaign data.

The decision by the party committee is a blow to Mr. Sanders’ campaign as he prepares for a debate against Mrs. Clinton Saturday night. The database includes information from voters across the nation and is used by campaigns to set strategy, especially in the early voting states.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Why is Sanders being punished for the DNC's computer goof? Is it because Sanders is closing the gap with the DNC's anointed Queen Hillary?

Dec 18 07:39

Sneaky skimmer scam stings several Safeway supermarkets

US grocery chain Safeway has confirmed that registers at several stores in California and Colorado had somehow been fitted with "skimmer" hardware to collect payment card information.

According to a report from Krebs on Security citing investigators involved with the case, registers at two stores in northern California and five stores in Colorado were found to have been fitted with the skimming devices. Safeway believes these were unrelated incidents. The source of the devices is not known.

Dec 18 07:36

Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

The "Big Brother" comprehensive national database system feared by many MPs has been built behind their backs over the last decade, and even has a name for its most intrusive component: a central London national phone and internet tapping centre called PRESTON.

PRESTON, which collects about four million intercepted phone calls a year, has also recently been used to plant malware on iPhones, according to disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The phones were then targetted for MI5 "implants" (malware), authorised by a ministerial warrant.

Dec 18 07:10

Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw

The self-driving car, that cutting-edge creation that’s supposed to lead to a world without accidents, is achieving the exact opposite right now: The vehicles have racked up a crash rate double that of those with human drivers.

The glitch?

They obey the law all the time, as in, without exception. This may sound like the right way to program a robot to drive a car, but good luck trying to merge onto a chaotic, jam-packed highway with traffic flying along well above the speed limit. It tends not to work out well. As the accidents have piled up -- all minor scrape-ups for now -- the arguments among programmers at places like Google Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University are heating up: Should they teach the cars how to commit infractions from time to time to stay out of trouble?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If all the cars were driverless and followed the laws, the idea would work. But in the real world the theory of operation gets into troubles. Ultimately, the smart cars need to be more aware of the situation around themselves and adjust their behavior. The sensors and processors available for deployment in cars may not be up to that above hypothetical of merging with a large number of rapidly moving cars. I expect at some point all cars will be equipped with short-range transponders to allow the smart cars to use a TCAS-like system to know what other cars are close by and keep them sorted out.

Dec 17 16:46

UK police busts karaoke “gang” for sharing songs that aren’t commercially available

However, it turns out that this "gang" is actually three blokes, aged 60, 53, and 50: one man from Barnstaple, Devon and two men living in Bury, Lancashire.

PIPCU's press release says: "hundreds of albums have had their copyright uploaded by the men, leading to thousands and thousands of tracks being accessed illegally and depriving legitimate music companies of a significant amount of money." That sounds dramatic, but once again the reality is rather different.

An online list of the karaoke titles provided by the "gang," which calls itself KaraokeRG, says: "They were created primarily because they are not available from any professional karaoke manufacturers." This means that far from losing "a significant amount of money," music companies were actually deprived of little or nothing, since there were no legal copies that people could pay for.

Dec 17 16:09

The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Building a Hackintosh (OS X El Capitan)

A hackintosh is simply any non-Apple hardware that has been made—or “hacked”—to run Mac OS X. This could apply to any hardware, whether it’s a manufacturer-made or personally-built computer. For the purposes of this guide, we’re only discussing a tried-and-true method for building a hackintosh that you build.

Dec 17 15:32

E-Waste Hell

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Funny how Al Gore and his ilk never talk about THIS threat to the environment!

Dec 17 15:26

Windows 10 Upgrades Cannot Be Stopped

Windows 10 introduces something new and highly unpleasant for its millions of consumers: the complete loss of control.

This revelation comes as Microsoft drip feeds nuggets of information ahead of Windows 10’s July 29th release and it is sure to spark anger and frustration as awareness grows. In a nutshell all upgraders to Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro (whether free or paid) will be forced to install every feature, patch and fix Microsoft throws at them or have their security updates cut off.

Dec 17 15:10

 GWX Control Panel (formerly GWX Stopper)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Block the Windows 10 upgrade.

Dec 17 13:07

ISIS IP Addresses Traced Back To Saudi Arabia and UK Governments

By Brandon Turbeville

A recent successful hacking of three ISIS supporters’ Twitter accounts has revealed that the source of these accounts is not located in Syria or Iraq but in the UK and Saudi Arabia.

According to a report by the UK Mirror, a group of four hackers known as VandaSec hacked the ISIS accounts and linked them back to the Department of Work and Pensions in the UK. Indeed, according to the hackers, the accounts are being run from Internet addresses that can be traced back to the DWP...

Dec 17 12:43

CIA funding of tech companies

Government funding of companies provides a steady stream of support for tech developing innovations. One vehicle for facilitating this relationship can be found in an entity called, In-Q-Tel.

Dec 17 10:55

“PROGRESSIVE” MEDIA ARGUES “THANKS TO ISIS, WE HAVE TO CONSIDER LIMITS TO FREE SPEECH”

“Thanks to ISIS, we have to consider limits to free speech.” Slate tweeted, along with a link to the piece penned by Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

Posner posits that “America faces unprecedented danger from the group’s online radicalization tactics,” and therefore “The novelty of this threat calls for new thinking about limits on freedom of speech.”

Posner argues that there are thousands of “Lonely and bored” Muslim Americans who are at risk of becoming radicalized online by ISIS.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, now that we know those ISIS Twitter accounts trace back to government offices, wouldn't it just be easier to shut those offices down? :)

Dec 17 10:14

A key under the doormat isn’t safe. Neither is an encryption backdoor.

There is overwhelming consensus in the technical community that even ostensibly “secure” backdoors put the systems into which they are incorporated at increased risk of outside attack and compromise. At best, a backdoor greatly increases the “attack surface” of the system and creates rich new opportunities for unauthorized exploitation of hidden (and inevitable) software bugs, to say nothing of the human-scale processes that manage the access.

Dec 17 10:02

A key under the doormat isn’t safe. Neither is an encryption backdoor.

Reliable, robust security — which means cryptography unencumbered by an extra key “under the doormat” — is not just a privacy nicety, but also a matter of national security and public safety. New technology certainly can create new challenges for law enforcement personnel, but they should be careful about the solutions they wish for. Our adversaries may want exactly the same thing.

Dec 17 09:53

Revealed: how Google enlisted members of US Congress it bankrolled to fight $6bn EU antitrust case

Google enlisted members of the US congress, whose election campaigns it had funded, to pressure the European Union to drop a €6bn antitrust case which threatens to decimate the US tech firm’s business in Europe.

The coordinated effort by senators and members of the House of Representatives, as well as by a congressional committee, formed part of a sophisticated, multimillion-pound lobbying drive in Brussels, which Google has significantly ramped up as it fends off challenges to its dominance in Europe.

Dec 17 09:43

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 nag screen: Upgrade now, or upgrade tonight

Microsoft is at it again with the Windows 10 upgrade nag screens, with the latest one giving users of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 the option to "upgrade now" or "upgrade tonight."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Spying issues aside, Microsoft is still refusing to guarantee that the software running on Windows 7 and 8 will run on Windows 10!

Dec 17 09:07

'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

The catastrophic service outage at Glasgow City Council's data centre, caused after its IT systems servers were taken down by a fire suppressant accidentally going off, is continuing to cause widespread havoc for staff and the public.

The embarrassing blunder was caused by a faulty air conditioning unit setting off its fire suppressant system on Tuesday morning.

A spokesman said the suppressant system released a "powerful blast of gas" which shook the building.

A source told The Register that the malfunction caused damage to various equipment, including its IBM storage array, which hosts the data for many of the council’s systems – including the Microsoft Exchange email system, the social work client database, and the council tax and benefits systems.

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Dec 17 07:13

‘More devastating than any nuclear war’: John McAfee on the coming cyber war with ISIS

Every presidential contender says they want to destroy Islamic State, but John McAfee is the only one predicting a war involving cyberattacks, not conventional weapons. “We have to prepare ourselves” for an enemy that is “far more clever,” McAfee told RT.

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Dec 16 09:46

Sources: Review affirms Clinton server emails were 'top secret,' despite department challenge

An intelligence community review has re-affirmed that two classified emails were indeed “top secret” when they hit Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal server despite a challenge to that designation by the State Department, according to two sources familiar with the review.

Dec 16 09:19

ISIS Twitter Accounts Run from British Government IP Addresses

At least three Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) supporters’ social media accounts are run from IP addresses linked to the British government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a group of hackers has claimed.

Dec 16 09:04

Firefox OS is dead. Mozilla is giving up (again) on its Thunderbird e-mail client. And, the Firefox web browser's market share continues downhill.

Firefox 1.0 was a world better than the decrepit Internet Explorer 6 in 2005. A decade later it's a different story. Mozilla and Firefox are the zombies, and IE -- alongside its Windows 10 browser cousin Edge, are alive and well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Part of the problem is the constant "This script has stopped responding" messages and browser slow-downs. To be fair, the cause for those problems is some very sloppy Java coding by advertisers, but Firefox could be a bit more resilient in dealing with that bad code.

Dec 16 07:38

DARPA’s Top 3 Predictions For The Future

By Kevin Samson

When it comes to predictions, perhaps no organization on the planet is better able to make dreams a reality than the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Their “mad science” reputation already has given the world humanoid robots, drones, and the world’s most advanced surveillance systems. But they are telling us that there is much more to come...

Dec 16 07:31

America’s secret arsenal

It’s one of the biggest secrets in the government: The U.S. has the most powerful cyberweapons on Earth. So what are they? And when will we use them?

Dec 15 12:28

YouTube axes direct video uploads from webcams

If you're one of the few recording to YouTube straight from your webcam, the video-hosting site will soon get rid of that feature. On January 16th, you'll no longer be able to capture video straight from the camera connected to your computer and upload it to the web. Google says the feature is "rarely used" and runs on "tech" (read: Flash) that's no longer supported.

Dec 15 11:27

In Australia, Even Learning About Encryption Will Be Illegal Soon

You might not think that an academic computer science course could be classified as an export of military technology. But under the Defence Trade Controls Act — which passed into law in April, and will come into force next year — there is a real possibility that even seemingly innocuous educational and research activities could fall foul of Australian defence export control laws.

Under these laws, such “supplies of technology” come under a censorship regime involving criminal penalties of up to ten years imprisonment. How could this be?

The story begins with the Australian government’s Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL). This list specifies goods considered important to national defence and security, and which are therefore tightly controlled.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I had the chance to visit Sidney almost a decade ago, and I loved it.

I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that its government would wind up going so fascistic in this part of the 21st century. Ever.

Dec 15 10:11

Piracy Sites Collect $70 Million a Year by Installing Malware (Study)

A new study estimates that sites that traffic in pirated content collect $70 million per year for installing malware, underscoring the threat of content theft to consumers.

The study, called “Digital Bait,” was commissioned by Digital Citizens Alliance and conducted by RiskIQ, and sampled 800 sites dedicated to distributing infringing movies and TV shows. According to RiskIQ, one out of every three of the sites contained malware.

Dec 15 10:09

Microsoft narrows Win10 upgrade options to 'Upgrade now' or 'Upgrade tonight'

Microsoft’s nagging 'Get Windows 10' campaign has hit a confusing new low -- and user backlash is vocal

Dec 15 10:08

Marco Rubio Pushes to Block Low-Cost, High-Speed Broadband

In a rare senatorial act, full-time Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio joined with a handful of fellow legislators on Friday in an attempt to block local municipalities from undercutting big telecom companies by providing cheap, fast internet service.

Rubio, who is raising campaign cash from the telecom industry for his presidential campaign, fired off a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to allow states to block municipal broadband services.

The letter was the latest salvo in a long-running effort by the major telecom companies to outlaw municipal broadband programs that have taken off in cities such as Lafayette, Louisiana, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, because they pose a threat to a business model that calls for slow, expensive internet access without competition.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, if we didn't know before, we know what this man thinks about "healthy competition", particularly as it applies to his financial backers, like the telecom companies.

Dec 15 10:06

Apple users complain of pop-up ads telling them to buy a better iPhone

Over the last week, there have been multiple reports on Twitter and Reddit of full-screen ads appearing when users open the App Store. The ad shows pictures of the iPhone 6S with the tagline "ridiculously powerful," offering options to skip, "learn more," or "upgrade now." Most users say they saw the ad after upgrading to iOS 9.2 while using an iPhone 5S or older, although at least one person on Twitter claims he was shown the iPhone 6S ad while using an iPhone 6S.

Dec 15 09:56

Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions

The hacking collective showed Mirror Online details of the IP addresses used by a trio of separate digital jihadis to access Twitter accounts, which were then used to carry out online recruitment and propaganda campaigns.

At first glance, the IP addresses seem to be based in Saudi Arabia, but upon further inspection using specialist tools they appeared to link back to the DWP.

"Don't you think that's strange?" one of the hackers asked Mirror Online. "We traced these accounts back to London, the home of the British intelligence services."

Dec 15 07:46

Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions

Hackers have claimed that a number of Islamic State supporters' social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions.

A group of four young computer experts who call themselves VandaSec have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting accounts can be traced back to the DWP's London offices.

Dec 14 21:49

Backslash: Anti-surveillance gadgets for protesters

“There is a huge disparity between the amount of technologies used by the authorities and the technologies available to protesters and activists during protests and riots,” warn Pedro Oliveira and Xuedi Chen, two designers from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. “That gap is only getting wider.”

Oliveira and Chen hope to even the odds with an electronic arsenal of their own. At the Radical Networks conference in Brooklyn this past October, they presented the Backslash kit, a package of devices that help protesters stay safe and connected during demonstrations. Gadgets include everything from portable routers that create improvised communication networks in the event of an Internet blackout to a pendant that blocks radio signals (to prevent cell phone surveillance).

Dec 14 13:55

Twitter Had to Warn Its Users They Might Have Been Attacked by “State-Sponsored Hackers”

Why worry about typical hackers when the government is hacking everyone? It’s to the point that Twitter is having to warn its users that “state-sponsored hackers” may have “tried to obtain sensitive data from their accounts.”

Dec 14 10:11

CLUELESS PRESS BEING PLAYED TO SUGGEST ENCRYPTION PLAYED A ROLE IN SAN BERNARDINO ATTACKS

As law enforcement and their friendly politicians have used the attacks in San Bernardino to renew a call to undermine and break encryption, the mainstream press has been an easy target for politicians looking to get out whatever message they want.

Dec 14 07:34

Key Bankers Told Bank Holiday Is Near-Read This Before Taking Money Out of the Bank

I am going on the recording by predicting that the Federal Reserve will steal your money by faking a cyber attack. In fact, FEMA and DHS actually practiced for this event on October 23rd and 24th of 2013. As I wrote on June 12, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the Bank of London practiced for widespread banking failure on November 10, 2014. On November 16, 2014, the G20 nations declared your bank deposits to not be money and they can take it whenever they want. On August 8, 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the banks own your money when you deposit your paycheck into the bank.

Dec 14 06:51

Facebook German Headquarters Vandalized

No one was injured in the incident which involved 15 to 20 masked individuals smashing glass, throwing paint and painting ‘Facebook dislike’ on a wall. Police in the city have told media an investigation is underway and a Facebook official told Reuters there’s no clear sign of a motivation for the attack.

However, one possible impetus could be the fact Facebook’s Eurpoean head is currently under investigation in Germany. The investigation was launched last month over allegations the social network is not removing racist comments and speeches from news feeds.

Dec 13 09:38

UK citizens may soon need licenses to photograph some stuff they already own

Changes to UK copyright law will soon mean that you may need to take out a licence to photograph classic designer objects even if you own them. That's the result of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which extends the copyright of artistic objects like designer chairs from 25 years after they were first marketed to 70 years after the creator's death. In most cases, that will be well over a hundred years after the object was designed. During that period, taking a photo of the item will often require a licence from the copyright owner regardless of who owns the particular object in question.

Dec 13 09:29

A needle of suspicion in an information haystack

If you were looking for a needle in a haystack, simple logic would tell you that the smaller the haystack, the likelier you are to find the needle. Except for the government.

Since Edward Snowden revealed the federal government’s unlawful and unconstitutional use of federal statutes to justify spying on all in America all the time, including the members of Congress who unwittingly wrote and passed the statutes, I have been arguing that the Fourth Amendment prohibits all domestic spying, except that which has been authorized by a search warrant issued by a judge. The same amendment also requires that warrants be issued only based on a serious level of individualized suspicion backed up by evidence — called probable cause — and the warrants must specifically identify the place and person to be spied upon.

Dec 12 11:51

Encryption vs. Surveillance in the New Civil Rights Movement

What if in 1960, instead of performing an act of civil disobedience at the Woolworth lunch counter, the Greensboro Four had been arrested for "attempted disorderly conduct" on their way downtown?

Even if the charge were bogus and had no chance in court, its effect on the movement would have been real. Instead of engaging in a high-profile confrontation with the state that highlighted the cruelty of the United States' racist laws, four young Black people would have been arrested on minor charges - hardly a noteworthy occurrence.

Law enforcement and the intelligence complex are paving the way to preempt activism in this way with their current talk of banning strong encryption while perpetuating an ever-growing system of mass data collection and surveillance.

Dec 12 10:50

Less than a perfect 10

Windows 10 accounts for only 9% of computers used to surf the web, says Net Applications, an internet analytics firm based in Aliso Viejo, California. By contrast, six-year-old Windows 7 runs on over 56% of computers. Even the disastrous Windows 8/8.1 has a 14% share, while older versions still (mainly Windows XP) account for over 12%. For the record, Apple’s OS X claims 7% and open-source Linux 1.6% of total users.

Dec 12 10:18

Adding WRH to a local hosts file.

This is useful to do if the Domain Name Service is hacked or simply unavailable. IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED WITH SYSTEM-LEVEL CHANGES, PLEASE CONSULT AN EXPERT SO THAT YOU DO NOT DAMAGE YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There have been recent attacks, possibly tests, on taking down the domain name servers that resolve the names of websites, such as whatreallyhappened.com with the numeric IP that actually directs to the web server, in this case 173.236.29.251. Should the domain name servers be "interfered with" to keep the truth about false-flags from being available to the public, such as the mutation of three tall white athletic shooters into two conveniently dead brown-skinned Pakistanis, you can still reach whatreallyhappened.com. DO NOT FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING! If you do not know what you are doing, you can see my web page by simply typing 173.236.29.251 instead of whatreallyhappened.com in the browser's URL bar, then create a bookmark.

I would suggest getting the IPs for all your favorite independent media websites and making a list, however these two methods for accessing a page by IP only work with dedicated servers, meaning the server delivers just one website. For servers running multiple sites this will not work, as shared servers require both the IP and name and as of now I don't know how to construct a browser URL correctly using the IP to access a virtual host.

Dec 12 09:59

Couple takes pics of Star Wars figure they bought, gets DMCA notice from Lucasfilm

For the last decade, Marjorie Carvalho and her husband have produced Star Wars Action News, a podcast dedicated to Star Wars collectibles of all sorts. Predictably, they've had a lot to talk about, as waves of action figures and other collectibles have been launched in the run-up to the much-anticipated release of Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens next week.

On Tuesday, a SW Action News staffer saw something he shouldn't have—and bought it. A 3 3/4" action figure of "Rey," a female character from The Force Awakens, was on display in a Walmart in Iowa, apparently earlier than it should have been. The staff member bought it for $6.94 plus tax, no questions asked. The following day, he posted pictures of the Rey figure on SW Action News' Facebook page.

"Have we known this figure was coming?" the staffer, named Justin, asked in the post. "I just found her at Walmart—no new other figures."

A short time later, Carvalho got a surprising message.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This sort of pettiness makes Disney/Lucas/DMCA look really bad. Especially when the theme of the Stare Wars franchise is freedom from tyranny!

Dec 11 17:06

Adobe: We locked our customers in the cloud and out poured money

Reassuringly expensive software maker Adobe is laughing all the way to the bank after shunting more of its customers into the cloud - like they had any choice in the matter.

The company closed off fiscal ’15 ended 27 November with Q4 revenue of $1.31bn, up 22 per cent year-on-year, driven by a 44 per cent hike in subscriptions to $907.4m as products declined 13 per cent to $284.4m and services/ support dipped 1.7 per cent to $114.4m.

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