COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Oct 11 17:20

Yahoo may owe you up to $358 due to a class action settlement over security breaches between 2012 and 2016

If you had a Yahoo account between 2012 and 2016 you may be eligible for damage payment resulting from a class-action lawsuit filed against the tech giant.

Some users will be eligible for credit monitoring and identity recovery assistant services from AllClearID, paid for by Yahoo.

Others will be eligible for a cash payment of up to $358.80 to reimburse for credit monitoring services paid out of pocket.

Oct 11 17:12

Nemty 1.6 Ransomware Released and Pushed via RIG Exploit Kit

The RIG exploit kit is now pushing a cocktail of malware that includes a new variant of the Nemty Ransomware.

First spotted by exploit kit researcher mol69, a malvertising campaign is redirecting users to the RIG exploit kit to target enterprise users who are still utilizing Internet Explorer and Flash Player.

If a user running these outdated programs are redirected to the exploit kit landing page, the malicious scripts will attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in the browser to install a variety of malware including the Nemty 1.6 ransomware.

...

According to security firm Tesorion, Nemty 1.6 also modified their encryption algorithm to use the Windows cryptographic libraries instead of their own custom AES implementation.

This was most likely done to break the decryptor created by Tesorion, which didn't go as plan as Tesorion's decryptor can still decrypt Nemty 1.6 victims for free.

Oct 11 17:04

Telecoms Want to Hide Detailed 5G Installation Maps from The Public AND The Feds

By B.N. Frank

The role of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is to protect the public by regulating the telecom industry. Unfortunately, they’ve been doing the exact opposite for many years now.

Now telecoms don’t even want the FCC to know where they are installing 5G...

Oct 11 10:12

Attackers exploit an iTunes zeroday to install ransomware

Attackers exploited a zeroday vulnerability in Apple's iTunes and iCloud programs to infect Windows computers with ransomware without triggering antivirus protections, researchers from Morphisec reported on Thursday. Apple patched the vulnerability earlier this week.

The vulnerability resided in the Bonjour component that both iTunes and iCloud for Windows relies on, according to a blog post. The bug is known as an unquoted service path, which as its name suggests, happens when a developer forgets to surround a file path with quotation marks. When the bug is in a trusted program—such as one digitally signed by a well-known developer like Apple—attackers can exploit the flaw to make the program execute code that AV protection might otherwise flag as suspicious.

Oct 11 08:18

A Code Glitch May Have Caused Errors In More Than 100 Published Studies

Scientists in Hawai?i have uncovered a glitch in a piece of code that could have yielded incorrect results in over 100 published studies that cited the original paper.

The glitch caused results of a common chemistry computation to vary depending on the operating system used, causing discrepancies among Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. The researchers published the revelation and a debugged version of the script, which amounts to roughly 1,000 lines of code, on Tuesday in the journal Organic Letters.

“This simple glitch in the original script calls into question the conclusions of a significant number of papers on a wide range of topics in a way that cannot be easily resolved from published information because the operating system is rarely mentioned,” the new paper reads. “Authors who used these scripts should certainly double-check their results and any relevant conclusions using the modified scripts in the [supplementary information].”

Oct 11 08:16

Florida is scooping up huge amounts of data on schoolchildren, including security camera footage and discipline records, and researchers are worried

Aspen Institute researchers are raising concerns about a Florida initiative meant to collect and collate huge swaths of data on schoolchildren, according to a report released Thursday.

Florida schools are now required to collect, store and crunch data on students in the name of predicting a school shooting.

The initiative comes at a time when social media companies and app developers have encountered withering criticism over their collection of children's data and possible violations of students' privacy.

Oct 11 07:18

Revealed: Facebook paid just £28m tax despite £1.6billion earnings in UK and a 50% surge in profits

Facebook has generated a record £1.6billion in British sales and its profits are also up 50 per cent but they only paid £28million in UK corporation tax last year, new figures revealed today.

Mark Zuckerberg's social media behemoth increased its UK revenues by almost a third in 2018 - up around £300million - from £1.3billion.

But profits only increased by £36million to £97million - meaning the Treasury only received £28million in corporation tax - with a £356million research and development bill and a £431million wage and pension bill blamed.

Oct 11 07:11

Trolls for hire: Investigation finds online smear campaigns can be bought for as little as $8 for a post or $1,500 for two week campaign

A new report shows how easily and cheaply trolls can be hired to spread disinformation online.

Researchers created a fictional company and hired the services of two different disinformation providers, one to spread positive stories and social media posts about the company and another to publicly undermine it.

The services range from $8 for social media posts to $1,500 for SEO services that ensure disinformation posts rank higher in searches.

Oct 11 07:06

'Movie Idiocracy is a reality!' Google gets to chug millions of gallons of drinking water from dwindling aquifer to cool servers

Google has been given the go-ahead to pump some 550 million gallons of clean drinking water per year to cool servers at its sprawling data center in South Carolina, sparking outrage and fears the company will deplete the supply.

After months of wrangling over the tech giant’s request, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) gave its approval for the company to draw water from a major aquifer for its data center in Berkeley County, so long as it complies with the terms of the permit, in particular caps on the amount it can use.

While Google insists it strives to “build sustainability” into all of its projects, critics have slammed the move for putting Big Tech ahead of South Carolinians, arguing the aquifer in question is drying up and that its remaining supply should be preserved for residents.

Oct 10 19:59

The Best Linux VPNs for 2019

For ultra-nerds and people who are serious about desktop security, Linux is the operating system (OS) of choice. But even if you're a penguin user, you still need to protect your data once it leaves your device. This is where Linux-compatible virtual private networks (VPNs) can help. We test 10 of the best so you can find the best one for you.
By
Daniel Brame
October 9, 2019 4:39PM EST

Oct 10 19:47

15 Most Secure Linux Distros for Privacy and Security Concern Users

Here is the list of the Most Secure Linux Distros which are ’Specially Focused on Linux security.’ That means this article is done especially by focusing on Sharp Security that a Linux user is more concern about.

Oct 10 19:44

Distrowatch

Linux Operating systems,reviews and ratings.
Page Hit Ranking
Data span:

Rank Distribution HPD*
1 MX Linux 4898<
2 Manjaro 2608<
3 Mint 2046=
4 Debian 1538>
5 Ubuntu 1398=
6 elementary 1306<
7 Solus 1084>
8 Fedora 994<
9 deepin 846>
10 Zorin 829>

Oct 10 19:42

Best Linux laptops of 2019: the top open-source notebooks

For some people, going with the best Linux laptops is the way to go, contrary to popular opinion that Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s macOS are the only options for a notebook operating system. With this guide, we’re going to dive into the best laptops that are specifically built for the open-source operating system.

There aren’t any mainstream notebook vendors, beyond Dell at least, that offer Linux as a base OS option on a new laptop. This leaves us with other smaller manufacturers, which can carve out a niche for themselves with the best Linux laptops.

Plus, you can still install Linux on pretty much any laptop, even though some manufacturers lock down their products, making installing Linux kind of a pain.

We picked out five of the best Linux laptops on the market right now, all of which have been fine-tuned to run some of the best Linux distros (like Ubuntu, for instance). That means they’re guaranteed run the open-source OS out of the box without any tinkering.

Oct 10 18:17

China’s Global Reach: Surveillance and Censorship Beyond the Great Firewall

By Danny O’Brien

Those outside the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are accustomed to thinking of the Internet censorship practices of the Chinese state as primarily domestic, enacted through the so-called “Great Firewall”—a system of surveillance and blocking technology that prevents Chinese citizens from viewing websites outside the country. The Chinese government’s justification for that firewall is based on the concept of “Internet sovereignty.” The PRC has long declared that “within Chinese territory, the internet is under the jurisdiction of Chinese sovereignty.”

Hong Kong, as part of the “one country, two systems” agreement, has largely lived outside that firewall: foreign services like Twitter, Google, and Facebook are available there, and local ISPs have made clear that they will oppose direct state censorship of its open Internet.

Oct 10 17:41

Bots Evolving to Better Mimic Humans – May Prove Harder to Detect in 2020 Elections

USC Information Sciences Institute (USC ISI) computer scientist, Emilio Ferrara, has new research indicating that bots or fake accounts enabled by artificial intelligence on social media have evolved and are now better able to copy human behaviors in order to avoid detection.

Oct 10 17:21

Nemty Ransomware Decryptor Released, Recover Files for Free

Victims of the Nemty Ransomware finally have something to be happy about as researchers have released a decryptor that allows them to recover files for free.

Oct 10 17:13

Amazon employees 'watch home security footage from Cloud Cams including video of owners having sex'

Amazon employees are reportedly watching video taken from inside people's homes on the tech giant's Cloud Cam and have even seen customers having sex.

The security camera, which links up to the Alexa voice assistant, allows people keep an eye on what's happening in their home 24/7.

But, according to anonymous insiders, human workers at the company are watching up to 150 20 to 30 second clips per day, some of which are intended to be private.

In some instances, the employees said, staff are faced with footage of intimate moments inside people's houses.

The company insists footage is only reviewed if it's sent in voluntarily because of a problem and that customers are 'in control' of their videos.

Oct 10 11:20

“Opting out” is a myth

Consider a day in the life of a fairly ordinary person in a large city in a stable, democratically governed country. They are not in prison or institutionalized, nor are they a dissident or an enemy of the state, yet they live in a condition of permanent and total surveillance unprecedented in its precision and intimacy.

As soon as they leave their apartment, they are on camera: while in the hallway and the elevator of their building, when using the ATM outside their bank, while passing shops and waiting at crosswalks, while in the subway station and on the train—and all that before lunch. A montage of nearly every move of their life in the city outside their apartment could be assembled, and each step accounted for. But that montage would hardly be necessary: Their mobile phone, in the course of its ordinary operation of seeking base stations and antennas to keep them connected as they walk, provides a constant log of their position and movements.

Oct 10 11:04

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US citizens? Well, guess what…

The FBI routinely misused a database, gathered by the NSA with the specific purpose of searching for foreign intelligence threats, by searching it for everything from vetting to spying on relatives.

In doing so, it not only violated the law and the US constitution but knowingly lied to the faces of congressmen who were asking the intelligence services about this exact issue at government hearings, hearings that were intended to find if there needed to be additional safeguards added to the program.

That is the upshot of newly declassified rulings of the secret FISC court that decides issues of spying and surveillance within the United States.

Oct 10 09:26

ABC Affiliate Asks If 5G Cell Towers Will Impact Pacemakers

By B.N. Frank

In 2007, former Vice President Dick Cheney was so worried that someone would try to murder him by hacking his wireless pacemaker that he had the antenna turned off. He wasn’t wrong to worry. Over the years, the potential for pacemaker hacking has been reported by many experts. In 2017, the FDA recalled almost ½ million pacemakers due to hacking concerns.

It makes NO sense that the FDA continues to approve wireless medical devices and doctors continue to prescribe them. Electromagnetic Interference(EMI) seems to be a possibility with cell phone radiation – even the FDA says so...

Oct 10 09:16

Devices with hidden cameras or microphones will be forced to carry warning labels if new bill is passed in bid to stop tech firms snooping on people

A new Senate bill would require tech companies to label internet-connected devices equipped with either a camera or microphone.

Introduced by Cory Gardner, a Republican senator from Colorado, the Protecting Privacy in our Homes Act is intended to enhance consumer privacy as more and more tech devices come equipped with surveillance tools that aren't always obvious.

The Federal Trade Commission would be responsible for creating the specific language for the label and for determining and enforcing penalties for non-compliance.

The bill would exclude devices marketed specifically as cameras or microphones.

Oct 09 19:16

Beware of Fake Amazon AWS Suspension Emails for Unpaid Bills

In this article we take a look at a phishing campaign that pretends to be an Amazon AWS suspension notice for unpaid bills that looks good enough to trick many users.

A billing notice from a vendor, especially one like Amazon, that states that your account has been suspended for unpaid bills, may confuse a user enough to click on the email link.

Attackers are capitalizing on this confusion by sending emails that pretend to be from Amazon AWS Support at postmaster@amazon.com and that use a subject of "Your service has now been suspended".

Oct 09 18:29

Chinese citizens must pass a facial-recognition test to use the internet as part of Beijing's social credit system

China has stepped up its internet censorship by demanding its citizens pass a facial-recognition test to be able to use web services.

People who want to have the internet installed at home or on their phones must have their faces scanned by the Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to a new regulation.

The rule, which will take effect on December 1, is said to be part of the social credit system which rates the Chinese citizens based on their daily behaviour.

Oct 09 16:22

Twitter “Unintentionally” Used Your Phone Number for Targeted Advertising

By Gennie Gebhart and Jacob Hoffman-Andrews

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: you give a tech company your personal information in order to use two-factor authentication, and later find out that they were using that security information for targeted advertising.

That’s exactly what Twitter fessed up to yesterday in an understated blog post: the company has been taking email addresses and phone numbers that users provided for “safety and security purposes” like two-factor authentication, and using them for its ad tracking systems, known as Tailored Audiences and Partner Audiences...

Oct 09 09:34

You Gave Your Phone Number to Twitter for Security and Twitter Used it for Ads

After exposing private tweets, plaintext passwords, and personal information for hundreds of thousands of its users, here is a new security blunder social networking company Twitter admitted today.

Twitter announced that the phone numbers and email addresses of some users provided for two-factor authentication (2FA) protection had been used for targeted advertising purposes—though the company said it was 'unintentional.'

Oct 09 08:57

Amazon Is Becoming One Of America’s Biggest Military Giants

By Aaron Kesel

Amazon is on its way to becoming one of the U.S. military’s biggest security giants, with a pending $10bn JEDI cloud computing deal that the company could win, MIT Technology Review reported.

In August the Pentagon halted the controversial contract deal, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), an initiative to “aggressively accelerate the Department’s adoption of cloud architecture and services, with a focus on commercial solutions.”...

Oct 09 07:35

Researchers Attempt to Invent Low-Cost Alternative to Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin may be limited by its astronomical electricity consumption. A nearly zero-energy alternative sounds too good to be true, but as School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) Professor Rachid Guerraoui explains, it all comes down to our understanding of what makes transactions secure...

Oct 08 17:57

U.S. Hospitals Turning Away Patients and Canceling Surgeries Due to Ransomware Attacks

By B.N. Frank

Being targeted by cybercriminals is no laughing matter – especially for health care facilities. Non-payment of ransomware puts lives at immediate risk.

Thanks to Threatpost for providing details about recently targeted hospitals, as well as plans being discussed to reduce risks...

Oct 08 14:49

Brighteon.com video platform rolls out huge new features next week: Channel subscribes, video categories, video likes and more

Brighteon.com, the free speech alternative to YouTube, rolls out huge new features next week. We’ve been working diligently for months to re-structure the site with improved data structure, browser compatibility and multiple features. Testing is complete and the R&D team is preparing for a new deploy.

Oct 08 10:47

News from The Constitution-Free Zone: Border Patrol Using Biometrics for “Citizenship Checks” in Maine

By Joe Wright

For a number of years now, I have been chronicling the ever-widening use of “The Constitution-Free Zone” by Border Patrol agents in the name of immigration enforcement...

For anyone who supports this type of invasion, you also should be comfortable with the fact that this exact type of screening has directly trickled down to the U.S. from Afghanistan where it was used by the U.S. military to screen the public there for potential links to terrorism...

Oct 08 10:43

Windows patch causes more pain: Start Menu, boot and printer problems surface

It's groundhog day for some Windows users. The required October 3 security update to plug an Internet Explorer flaw and a printing bug turns out to be causing more problems. And Microsoft has quietly reissued the updates for KB4524147 as October 4 updates.

Reports of issues with the latest update from Microsoft have been reported on numerous Windows-focused sites and tech-help blogs, including Microsoft's Answers forum, Reddit, Neowin, BornCity, AskWoody, BleepingComputer, Techdows, and Windows Latest.

Oct 08 10:38

FBI warns about attacks that bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA)

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has sent last month a security advisory to private industry partners about the rising threat of attacks against organizations and their employees that can bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions.

"The FBI has observed cyber actors circumventing multi-factor authentication through common social engineering and technical attacks," the FBI wrote in a Private Industry Notification (PIN) sent out on September 17.

Oct 08 08:57

Nix to the mix: Chrome to block passive HTTP content swirled into HTTPS pages

Google has announced forthcoming changes to the Chrome web browser that will prevent image, audio and video content from loading if they are served over HTTP.

Oct 08 07:33

Some targeted sanctions! Adobe cancels all subscriptions in Venezuela, no refunds will be allowed

Washington likes to claim that the sanctions it imposes against foreign nations are tailored to harm the rulers and spare the common folk. Well, here is Adobe banning all of its Venezuelan customers.

California based software giant Adobe Inc. is best known for its array of designer tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. Lately, the company has been switching to a subscription-based business model, which means clients pay regular fees to keep using its products rather than make a one-time purchase and own them. Later this month, all subscriptions in Venezuela will be canceled without refund, Adobe informed its clients in emails sent this week.

The company said it cannot offer its services in the South American country because in August, President Donald Trump issued an executive order which essentially bans almost all transactions between the two nations.

Oct 07 18:16

Timeline of Lawsuits, Legislation, Opposition, and Warnings Regarding Forced 5G Installation in the U.S. and Worldwide

By B.N. Frank

Activist Post regularly reports about increasing opposition to 5G in the U.S. and around the world. It’s difficult to keep up with it. In February, the telecom industry provided U.S. congressional testimony that they have NO scientific evidence that it’s biologically safe. Many doctors and scientists say it isn’t. Engineers, environmentalists, meteorologists, NASA, NOAA, U.S. Navy, security experts and other credible sources have also described 5G as a recipe for disaster.

It’s ridiculous that 5G is still being forced on so many communities – especially since illness from exposure has already been reported...

Oct 07 17:37

Erin Brockovich Law Firm Joins Citizens’ Lawsuit Against 5G and Wireless Radiation

By B.N. Frank

Long before Ms. Brockovich became the subject of a blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts, she was just another determined activist trying to stop a corrupt corporation from poisoning residents of an American community.

Unfortunately, corruption like this never seems to end...

Oct 06 18:14

House Resolution Submitted for the Recognition of October 7-11 as “Smart Cities Week” Despite Increasing U.S. Opposition and 5G Lawsuits

By B.N. Frank

According to an article published last August in Smart Cities Dive, 66% of Americans don’t want to live in “Smart Cities.” The article focused on privacy and cybersecurity concerns and ignored the biological and environmental risks and opposition associated with 4G and 5G small cell technology densification exposing residents to harmful radiation 24/7.

American opposition to smart cities and 5G has only increased since last August.

But none of this seems to matter at least to Ms. Clarke from New York who submitted this preposterous resolution...

Oct 06 11:17

Britain's first 'deep fake' fraud: Energy executive conned into handing over £200,000 to thieves who used software to fake their boss's voice

A British energy executive was tricked into paying more than £200,000 to cyber scammers who used artificial intelligence to fake his boss's voice.

In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, hoaxers used so-called 'deep fake' computer technology to defraud the multi-billion-pound energy firm.

In a chilling echo of BBC drama The Capture, the UK manager of the unnamed firm was duped into transferring the money after a phone call that appeared to come from his boss at the German parent company.

The fraudsters were able to use technology that imitated the German boss's accent and speaking style so convincingly that the manager had no reason to suspect his request for the transfer.

Oct 06 10:48

Windows 10 KB4524147 Update May Cause Boot and Printing Issues

Windows 10 1903 users have started reporting boot, printing, and Start Menu issues after installing the KB4524147 cumulative update that go away once the update is uninstalled. Microsoft has not acknowledged any of these issues as of yet, but the amount of reports indicate that there is something going on with this update.

As typical with Windows updates, some users are having problems after installing the Windows 10 KB4524147 update, while others, like myself, are not having any issues at all.

The reality is that this update is a hot mess of confusion, the description of what it fixes was worded poorly, and nobody has any idea whether this is a cumulative update with a security fix or primarily a security update with non-security fixes.

Regardless, once the KB4524147 update is installed, users are reporting issues that they did not previously have.

Oct 06 05:25

The government can now activate your phone camera to stream live video of whatever you are seeing

A New Jersey police department recently implemented new technology that allows 911 operators in the area to stream live video from callers’ smartphones with the touch of a button.

While callers will still have to give their consent to such monitoring, some media outlets have dubbed the technology a slippery slope towards automatic surveillance, whereby Big Brother will one day have immediate access to people’s smartphones without their consent.

Oct 05 12:19

Chinese Citizens Will Be Required To Scan Their Faces To Use The Internet

By Aaron Kesel

The Chinese government continues its Orwellian practices with the announcement that citizens will have to use facial recognition technology to access the internet (which is already highly fire-walled.)

This is all a part of China’s social credit system that will take effect on Dec. 1st. After the law is in effect, Chinese citizens who want to have the internet installed at their houses or on their smartphones will be required to undergo a facial recognition process by Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to the new regulation...

Oct 05 08:44

Danish Citizens Are Suing the Danish State Over Forced 5G Installation

By B.N. Frank

Worldwide opposition to forced 5G implementation increases every day. Now a group of Danish citizens have hired a lawyer and are suing Denmark for forcing its installation...

Oct 04 19:20

Hack attack puts health details of one million New Zealanders at risk

A mass hack has placed in jeopardy the medical details of a million people.

The Ministry of Health is in the dark over what - if anything - was taken in the cyber attack on a two months ago.

It has admitted the hack attack revealed previous cyber intrusions going back to 2016 with data back to 2002 at risk.

The hack attack appears to have come from a hacker or hackers dubbed Vanda The God, which this morning tweeted about the exploit saying: "Yes I'm Have 1 million datas PHO Zealand."

The tweet came with an offer to sell information.

Oct 04 18:43

Attackers exploit 0-day vulnerability that gives full control of Android phones

While the vulnerability reported on Thursday is serious, vulnerable Android users shouldn’t panic. The chances of being exploited by attacks as expensive and targeted as the one described by Project Zero are extremely slim. Just the same, it may make sense to hold off installing non-essential apps and to use a non-Chrome browser until after the patch is installed.

Oct 04 18:40

Here’s what quantum supremacy does—and doesn’t—mean for computing

Google’s achievement is significant, but quantum computers haven’t suddenly turned into computing colossi that will leave conventional machines trailing in the dust. Nor will they be laying waste to conventional cryptography in the near future—though in the longer term, they could pose a threat we need to start preparing for now.

Here’s a guide to what Google appears to have achieved—and an antidote to the hype surrounding quantum supremacy.

Oct 04 17:28

FBI softens stance on ransomware: it's (sort of) okay to pay off crims to get your data back

The FBI is easing up a bit on its hardline stance against paying ransomware demands.

The Bureau has posted an updated version of the guidance it offers for companies on how to handle ransomware demands with a section discussing the option of paying the hackers to get data decrypted.

In short, the FBI still says that companies should not cave to hacker demands and pay to have their data unlocked, but the bureau acknowledges that paying is an option.

Oct 04 16:28

New 0-Day Flaw Affecting Most Android Phones Being Exploited in the Wild

Though Google will release a patch for this vulnerability in its October's Android Security Bulletin in the coming days and also notified OEMs, most affected devices would not likely receive the patch immediately, unlike Google Pixel 1 and 2.

Oct 04 16:19

PayPal withdraws support for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

However, a report published by the Financial Times yesterday said PayPal had begun distancing itself from the project amid increasing regulatory scrutiny. The company reportedly signaled its intention to skip a meeting in Washington, DC scheduled for today, and the FT reports that at least one primary concern for PayPal has been the lack of attention Facebook executives have paid to Libra’s considerable backlash. Another key concern is how the platform will combat money laundering activity.

Oct 04 16:15

Netflix viewing eats up world's data

Video streaming service Netflix is the world's most data-hungry application, consuming 15% of global net traffic, according to research from bandwidth management company Sandvine.

Video in general accounts for more than half of net traffic, it suggests.

Other media streaming such as embedded video on websites accounts for 13.1%, YouTube, 11.4% and web browsing, 7.8%.

The report also found that gaming and file-sharing are becoming a significant force in traffic volume.

Video accounts for 58% of the total volume of downstream traffic on the internet, followed by web browsing (17%), gaming (7.8%) and social media (5.1%), according to the report.

Oct 04 10:44

Do I Need ID to Ride a Train?

By Edward Hasbrouck

We’ve been trying for years to find out what the real story is with respect to ID requirements for travel by train, especially on Amtrak.

Amtrak and Greyhound ID policies and practices are of paramount importance to the mobility of undocumented people and people who, whether or not they are eligible for or have chosen to obtain government-issued ID credentials, don’t want to show their papers to government agents as a condition of exercising their right to freedom of movement.

Amtrak and Greyhound policies and practices will become even more important if the government and/or airlines further restrict air travel by people who don’t have, or don’t show, ID credentials that comply with the REAL-ID Act.

The latest responses to our requests for federal and state public records reveal more about passenger railroad policies and practices, but still don’t give a clear answer...

Oct 04 07:30

'Ditch Facebook to be happy': Scientists find people who switch off the social network become less depressed, more productive and better with money

Economist Roberto Mosquera of the Universidad de las Américas, Ecuador and colleagues studied 1,765 Facebook-using students at the Texas A&M university.

Researchers split the participants into two groups — one who took a week's break from Facebook, and the other who stayed on the platform.

They found that the students who went off Facebook were more productive, reported feeling less depressed, engaged in healthier activities and even made fewer impulse purchases and ate out less.

Oct 04 06:51

Short Video: Doctor Explains How LED Screens Affect Your Mental State and Sleep Quality

By B.N. Frank

According to Dr. Leland Stillman’s Facebook page, he is a physician with an interest in how the environment affects human health. Last month he posted a 4 ½-minute video about 2011 research on how LED light affects our minds and our sleep.

Because blue light from LED screens can keep us awake and stimulated, some people really like it. Unfortunately, it can also prevent us from sleeping well. Many health experts have warned about this especially in regard to how LED light from screens affects children...

Oct 04 03:50

CHINESE INTERNET USERS MUST PASS A FACIAL-RECOGNITION TEST TO USE WEB

SOURCE: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK
China has stepped up its internet censorship by demanding its citizens pass a facial-recognition test to be able to use web services.

People who want to have the internet installed at home or on their phones must have their faces scanned by the Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to a new regulation.

The rule, which will take effect on December 1, is said to be part of the social credit system which rates the Chinese citizens based on their daily behaviour.

At present, a Chinese citizen will need to show his or her ID card while applying for a landline or the internet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you don't think this kind of draconian surveillance isn't coming to the US, just wait a year of so, if it takes that long.

Oct 04 03:47

14 BILLION POLICE LICENSE PLATE DATABASE THAT KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE IN REAL-TIME

SOURCE: MASS PRIVATE I

Forget everything you have ever heard about police license plate readers and public safety, because it is all a lie.

Three major automatic license plate reader (ALPR) companies have created a mind-boggling database of 14 billion license plates that allows law enforcement to track anyone in real-time.

The Digital Recognition Network (DRN) has a database of over 8 billion license plates and boasts about sending customers (law enforcement) live vehicle location alerts.

"If you think there is nothing you can do to automatically detect vehicles, think again. DRN’s Live Alerts, part of the DRNsights for Insurance solution, uses vehicle location data gathered from over 8 billion nationwide sightings plus the 160,000 million gathered each month, to provide alerts when vehicles are detected."

Vigilant Solutions webpage has a database of over 5 billion license plates and collects a little less than DRN daily.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Our general movements are so dull and boring, that we both think that surveillance on this little family of 2, is "punishment duty" for whoever in whatever "alphabet soup" agency, is surveilling us.

Oct 04 03:42

FORMER GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT ON BIOLOGY: “SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DIGITALLY MANIPULATED

It’s easy to laugh at the barking insanity of these monsters, but at the same time, you probably know someone who spent their hard earned money to buy a “smart speaker” surveillance platform for their home.

Via: CNBC:

Brain inserts and carbon-absorbing bacteria aren’t just the fantasies of Silicon Valley’s richest executives, they’re also a part of a larger hope to advance artificial intelligence and computing efforts.

“Biology will undoubtedly fuel computing” in coming years, former Google CEO and current technical advisor Eric Schmidt said at a conference called SynBioBeta in San Francisco Monday. “Taking biology, which I’d always viewed as squishy and analog, and turning it into something that can be digitally manipulated, is an enormous accelerator.”

Schmidt’s comments come as Silicon Valley’s seeming obsession with biology attempts to move beyond fascinating projects and into more serious investments that could help modernize tech processes.

Oct 03 19:22

Yes, computers really are taking jobs from humans — especially in banking

Study shows automation and artificial intelligence will cut 10% of banking jobs alone

Oct 03 19:14

‘Nuclear weapon of bad ideas’: US, UK & Australia demand Facebook give backdoor access to WhatsApp & other encrypted messengers

US Attorney General William Barr and other western officials are calling on Facebook to provide authorities backdoor access to its encrypted messenger platforms, used by hundreds of millions of people around the world every day.

In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Barr and his British and Australian counterparts will argue that law enforcement requires access to encrypted applications, effectively asking the company to hand over the keys to the private communications of 300 million daily WhatsApp users, as well as 1.5 billion who log into Facebook every day. The letter is dated Friday, but An advance copy was seen by the New York Times.

“Companies should not deliberately design their systems to preclude any form of access to content, even for preventing or investigating the most serious crimes,” the officials wrote.

Oct 03 17:18

The Open Letter from the Governments of US, UK, and Australia to Facebook is An All-Out Attack on Encryption

By Andrew Crocker and Joe Mullin

Top law enforcement officials in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia told Facebook today that they want backdoor access to all encrypted messages sent on all its platforms. In an open letter, these governments called on Mark Zuckerberg to stop Facebook’s plan to introduce end-to-end encryption on all of the company’s messaging products and instead promise that it will “enable law enforcement to obtain lawful access to content in a readable and usable format.”

This is a staggering attempt to undermine the security and privacy of communications tools used by billions of people. Facebook should not comply...

Oct 03 17:07

Livestrong.com and Cardiologist Promote Apple Watch Despite Known Cardiac Risks From Electromagnetic Radiation and WiFi

By B.N. Frank

Telecom companies have been warning shareholders for many years that they may eventually be held liable for their devices and transmitters. Insurance companies won’t cover their devices or transmitters because it’s too risky. Regardless, many health organizations still promote wearable tech as beneficial even though boatloads of research has determined that exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) aka “Electrosmog” (including WiFi) is biologically harmful. Symptoms and severity from exposure varies and includes cardiac issues.

A quick search on Livestrong.com indicates they regularly promote wearable tech. More nonsense was posted recently which includes a recommendation from a cardiologist for Apple Watch wearers...

Oct 03 10:43

Victory! EFF Wins Access to License Plate Reader Data to Study How Law Enforcement Uses the Privacy Invasive Technology

San Francisco—Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) have reached an agreement with Los Angeles law enforcement agencies under which the police and sheriff’s departments will turn over license plate data they indiscriminately collected on millions of law-abiding drivers in Southern California.

The data, which has been deidentified to protect drivers’ privacy, will allow EFF and ACLU SoCal to learn how the agencies are using automated license plate reader (ALPR) systems throughout the city and county of Los Angeles and educate the public on the privacy risks posed by this intrusive technology. A weeks’ worth of data, composed of nearly 3 million data points, will be examined.

ALPR systems include cameras mounted on police cars and at fixed locations that scan every license plate that comes into view—up to 1,800 plates per minute...

Oct 03 10:25

How to Create an Anonymous Digital Identity Using Cryptocurrency

By Kai Sedgwick

If you could go back in time and do the internet all over again, what would you change? Would you think twice about joining Facebook, decline to upload those fancy dress photos from ‘09 and delete that rhetoric-laden blog post instead of hitting ‘Publish’? It’s too late to undo the mistakes of the past, but it is possible to start afresh by creating a new online identity using privacy tools and cryptocurrency. Here’s how...

Oct 03 08:01

14 Billion License Plate Image Database That Knows Where You Are In Real-Time

By MassPrivateI

Forget everything you have ever heard about police license plate readers and public safety, because it is all a lie.

Three major automated license plate reader (ALPR) companies have created a mind-boggling database of 14 billion license plate images that allows law enforcement to track anyone in real-time.

One company says it "provides vehicle type, make, and color, something the competitors cannot do." ...

Oct 03 07:26

FaceFirst and Amazon Want To Influence Facial Recognition Laws; Motorola Joins The Push For A Surveillance State

By Aaron Kesel

FaceFirst is another company with something to lose if facial recognition regulation bans the technology. They have now entered the lobbying ring to attempt to influence laws for the Orwellian biometric technology.

Vested interests writing laws, what could go wrong? ...

Oct 03 05:07

We Finally Understand How Destructive Negative Interest Rates Actually Are

Submitted by Tuomas Malinen is a Chief Economist of GnS Economics and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Helsinki.

We are in the midst of a strange economic experiment. Vast quantities of negative-yielding debt are currently sloshing around the global economy. While the amount of negative-yielding bonds has dropped recently from a mind-boggling number in excess of $17 trillion, reinvigorated central bank easing across the globe ensures that this reduction is only temporary.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The most logical thing individual consumers, with a brain, can do, is get out of as much credit card debt as is humanly possible.

And please, at the risk of sounding like a chipped CD (and as a musician and composer, I HATE when that happens!!) please have only enough money in the bank to pay the bills; keep the rest under your personal control.

Start looking at investing in silver and gold, which are, in an of themselves, mediums of financial exchange. And with the silver, you are looking for "melt value"; not numismatic value (that is a pretty, artsy-looking coin, but has no real value, other than its melt value, to most collectors.)

Learn the "little cheats" that can make a real difference in your financial stability; and I am talking about the little things which eat up money every month, and should not. "Brown bagging" it for lunch, and bringing your own coffee/ latte to the office or to the workspace?!? This is an amazing help.

Learning to "slow-cook" meats in the oven, or crock pot?!? Another way to insure your family (even if it is a family of 1), has good healthy food, and you can freeze portions of it for later.

And to our ladies and gents out there, who are still purchasing clothing with the tags "dry clean only", please STOP IT; dry cleaning is, generally, not great for the environment, and is a money hog for your budget. If you still have a lot of stuff like this, it may be time to hold a yard sale, and then, only look for those nice bits of clothing which survive washing and drying well.

Oct 03 04:39

"This Is A Major Risk": France Rolls Out New Facial Recognition Technology

Is this how French President Emmanuel Macron is choosing to celebrate 70 years of Communist rule?

In a plan that sounds eerily similar to China's 'social credit score' system, Macron and the French Interior Ministry are pushing ahead plans to launch a national facial-recognition program, arguing that it "will make the state more efficient."

According to Bloomberg, the ID program, known as "Alicem", is set to be rolled out in November, after the launch was moved forward from an end-of-year timeline.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have mentioned that this kind of Orwellian software would soon be unleashed by Western governments against their own people; it 's just that France decided to be "ahead of the curve", by rolling it out, just after after the Chinese celebrateD the 70th year of the Communist takeover here.

And one of two things are possible here; either Macron has done this as a a gesture of defiance against those who are legitimately, logically, and peacefully, protesting elements of his regime for which they do not care; or this was absolutely timed to coincide with the Chinese Communist 70th anniversary of their having taken over the country, to say to France's people "We can do to you what the Communists have done to the people of their country who DON'T LIKE US!!."

Oct 02 18:19

This won't end well. Microsoft's AI boffins unleash a bot that can generate fake comments for news articles

Updated As if the internet isn’t already a complicated cesspool full of trolls, AI engineers have gone one step further to build a machine learning model that can generate fake comments for news articles.

Oct 02 17:07

US hospitals turn away patients as ransomware strikes

Three US hospitals have been forced to temporarily close their doors to "all but the most critical new patients" following a ransomware outbreak.

"A criminal is limiting our ability to use our computer systems in exchange for an as-yet unknown payment," said DCH Health System.

DCH operates the three affected hospitals in Alabama.

One cyber-security expert said the groups using ransomware were becoming increasingly well organised.

Computers at the DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Fayette Medical Center and Northport Medical Center were infected with ransomware.

The incident was first reported on 1 October.

Oct 02 16:26

Robots are hurting American wages: Study finds the national income has dropped to 56% as workers fear asking for raises in case they are replaced by automation

The study suggests that employees that employees feel they have lost their bargaining power when it comes to asking for a raise out of fear they may be replaced by a robot.

'Businesses have more options to automate hard-to-fill positions now than in the past,' the study authors write. 'With rapid advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, robots can perform more jobs and tasks that required human skills only a few years ago.'

Most would think that a strong labor market in the US would mean a boom in wages, but as the use of robotics rises, the lower the national income becomes.

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that there has been a decline from about 63 percent in 2000 to 56 percent in 2018, as first reported by Bloomberg.

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