COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Dec 28 07:17

“Everything is fake”: Ex-Reddit CEO confirms Internet traffic metrics are bullshit

“It’s all true: Everything is fake,” tweeted Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao regarding a Wednesday New York Magazine article which reveals that internet traffic metrics from some of the largest tech companies are overstated or fabricated. In other words; they’re bullshit.

Dec 27 11:30

Mix.com Doesn't Believe In Free Speech

Here is the response from Mix.com,why they will not post Breitbart or many of the websites here on WRH.

Daniel from Mix Support
1:57 AM (8 hours ago)
to me
As per our Terms of Service, we reserve the right to exclude any content form our service at our discretion, and without explanation.
Kind regards

Frank Marion

10:19 AM (0 minutes ago)
to Daniel
In other words you are deepstate and you are censoring Free Speech. Pathetic.I don't agree with much on Breitbart but they unlike you believe in the Bill of Rights!

Dec 27 09:53

Grassroots Networks Mobilize From Coast to Coast to Promote Digital Rights: 2018 Year in Review

By Shahid Buttar

The digital rights movement showed its strength this year by projecting influence in jurisdictions across the United States. Community organizations on both coasts, as well as the Midwest and the South, took action, promoting issues from net neutrality and civilian oversight of local police surveillance to the right to repair and digital security...

Dec 27 09:47

WikiLeaks Releases U.S. Embassy Shopping List, Further Exposing Surveillance By The Special Collection Service

By Aaron Kesel

The international whistleblowing organization, WikiLeaks, has published a Christmas-themed searchable database of more than 16,000 acquisition requests posted by United States embassies around the world for various job listings, revealing covert activities like spying...

Dec 27 08:09

Seven Cryptocurrency Trends to Look out for in 2019

By Kai Sedgwick

Another year is coming, filled with fresh optimism and newfound determination to make 2019 the year when cryptocurrencies take over. Having gotten their calls badly wrong for 2018, so-called experts will be hesitant to make bullish price predictions for 2019. That’s probably for the best since there are far more interesting things to focus on than price action. Here are seven trends that should dominate the cryptosphere over the next 12 months...

Dec 27 07:57

Facebook is not equipped to stop the spread of authoritarianism

Whether by accident or design, Facebook makes it easy for even low-tech governments to silence dissent

Dec 27 07:45

Saudi Arabia’s first robot gets its first job at government entity

Saudi Arabia’s first robot employee started work at one of the Kingdom’s government entities and has been handed its job ID as well as his required functions, SPA reported.

The robot attended its first meeting on Sunday morning at the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), in the presence of the Kingdom’s Minister of Education Ahmed Al-Issa, and the governor of TVTC Ahmed Al Fahaid.

The robot will contribute to serving customers through an electronic evaluation system, and the delivery of messages to visitors to exhibitions and activities of the TVTC.

Dec 27 07:39

Busted! Enterprising boy, 6, gets caught on camera using Alexa to cheat on his winter break homework in adorable video 

A kid in New Jersey was busted when his mother caught him asking Alexa for the answers to his home work, and she recorded it on her cellphone before yelling at him.

New Jersey mom Yerelyn Cueva, 24, took to Twitter to share the short clip of her son, posted a short clip on Twitter of her son, six-year-old Jariel, who was supposed to be doing his math homework without help.

Jariel asks, 'Alexa, what's five minus three?' The Amazon Echo quickly replies with the right answer, before you hear Cueva burst into the room saying 'BOY!'

The clip, which she posted to Twitter, has received more than 8.2million views.

Dec 26 12:15

Shine a Light’: ACLU Sues 7 US Federal Agencies to Expose Government Hacking

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Privacy International and Civil Liberties and Transparency Clinic at the University of Buffalo filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against seven federal criminal and immigration enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

According to a press release by the ACLU, the lawsuit demands that the agencies reveal "which hacking tools and methods they [these agencies] use, how often they use them, the legal basis for employing these methods and any internal rules that govern them." It also calls for internal audits or investigations of the agencies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I must confess that I have a "hug and a punch" relationship with the ACLU; this morning, it's hug time!! :-)

Dec 25 09:49

When Santa Gives Your Little Ones a Personal Digital Spy

The increasing popularity of internet-connected interactive toys is a reminder that there are only two kinds of databases: those that have been hacked, and those that haven’t been hacked, yet

Dec 24 13:43

Hackers Steal Thousands Of Files From M&A Giant Evercore

We break from tonight's episode of "Powell in turmoil" to let you know that an "unknown" hacker appears to have inside info on a substantial portion of the global pipeline of upcoming M&A deals. According to The Times, thousands of "sensitive documents" have been stolen by hackers in a cyber-attack on M&A and restructuring giant Evercore.

According to the report, one of the boutique bank’s junior administrators in London was the victim of a “phishing” attack - similar to the way in which John Podesta allegedly handed over control of his inbox to an unknown hacker - in which a recipient is lured into clicking on a corrupt link in an email. The hackers gained access to her inbox, leading to the theft of 160,000 “data objects” such as diary invitations, documents and emails. It is likely that among the tens of thousands of stolen objects was confidential data on the countless merger deals the company is currently working on.

Dec 24 11:27

video -- Tim Pool - "Thank You Patreon For Destroying My Income -$5,219.75"

Patreon's Actions have led to my income falling over $5,000 per month and they know it.

Dec 24 06:38

Before and After: What We Learned About the “Hemisphere” Program After Suing the DEA

By Dave Maass

As the year draws to a close, so has EFF’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Agency about the mass phone surveillance program infamously known as “Hemisphere.”

We won our case and freed up tons of records. (So did the Electronic Privacy Information Center.) The government, on the other hand, only succeeded in dragging out the fake secrecy...

Dec 23 22:43

Virtual Internet Prison?

Dec 23 11:04

Apple's latest transparency report reveals a steep rise in government demands for user data

Apple said it received 32,342 device requests from the government, which is a 9 percent increase from the last reporting period.

Those requests sought to access 163,823 devices in the second half of the year.

Germany issued the most device requests, making 13,704 requests for data on 26,160 devices.

The U.S. followed it in second place, with 4,570 requests for data on 14,911 devices.

Dec 23 10:32

INDIAN GOVERNMENT TO INTERCEPT, MONITOR, AND DECRYPT CITIZENS’ COMPUTERS

The Indian government has authorized 10 central agencies to intercept, monitor, and decrypt data on any computer, sending a shock wave through citizens and privacy watchdogs.

Narendra Modi’s government late Thursday broadened the scope of Section 69 of the nation’s IT Act, 2000 to require a subscriber, service provider, or any person in charge of a computer to “extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies.” Failure to comply with the agencies could result in seven years of imprisonment and an unspecified fine.

In a clarification posted today, the Ministry of Home Affairs said each case of interception, monitoring, and decryption is to be approved by the competent authority, which is the Union Home Secretary.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A memo to the citizens of India; your government has now declared that you have utterly no right to internet privacy, no matter how "vanilla" your messages, and documents sent and received may be.

Dec 23 10:01

FACEBOOK SUSPENDS 'RESEARCHER' WHO FAKED RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN ALABAMA ELECTION

Facebook has suspended the account of Jonathon Morgan, the researcher behind a disinformation campaign against an Alabama Republican candidate who ended up losing the race for a Senate seat. Morgan claimed it was “research.”
Morgan, the CEO of New Knowledge, a social media research firm that published a major report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, has confirmed to The Washington Post that his Facebook account was suspended.

In a statement, Facebook said it had yanked "five accounts run by multiple individuals for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior" and was investigating them.

"We've removed thousands of Pages, Groups and accounts for this kind of behavior, as well as accounts that were violating our policies on spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior during the Alabama special election last year,"Facebook said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable, but perfectly predictable.

And remember, originally Facebook fell for this codswallop, hook, line and sinker.!!!

Dec 23 09:46

BEFORE AND AFTER: WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE HEMISPHERE PROGRAM AFTER SUING THE DEA

As the year draws to a close, so has EFF’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Agency about the mass phone surveillance program infamously known as “Hemisphere.”

Dec 23 09:44

The Amazonian tribe defending their land with technology

While the Amazonian basin is most often touted for its biodiversity, there are also hundreds of indigenous tribes that live in the rainforest. Many of these tribes are under direct threat of displacement by resource extraction and deforestation. To this day, 70 percent of the Ecuadorian Amazon has been leased to oil companies, and plans have been set to auction off more land.

One of these areas includes a large swath of Waorani territory, labelled Block 22 by the Ecuadorian government. The territory is home to 18 roadless Waorani communities, including hundreds of medicinal plants, hunting routes, cemeteries, battlegrounds, watering holes, and a huge diversity of flora and fauna.

Dec 22 09:45

Parents are warned to avoid buying 'smart toys' this Christmas amid fears they could be used to spy on children

Smart toys such as furbys and microphone dolls were found to spy on children

60 per cent of manufacturers shared data to third parties, investigation reveals
Toys that connect to internet or sync to phones are often vulnerable to hackers

Parents have been warned to avoid to buying 'smart toys' for Christmas over fears they could be used by hackers to spy on children and share data.

Gifts and toys that connect to the internet or sync to a smartphone are part of a £4.8 million market.

But toys including robots, drones, dolls, games consoles and watches have been found to spy on children, the Times revealed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is scary/creepy in ways I cannot begin to describe!!

Dec 22 09:39

China Tracks Workers’ Brains; Now Tracking Children With “Smart” Tech Uniforms

By Nicholas West

If there is any country on Earth that is most emblematic of the rising governance model that is Technocracy, it is China. The many pieces to this structure have included much of what we see emerging in the U.S. with pervasive surveillance, biometrics and a notion of protecting the public by instituting pre-crime algorithms in police departments and travel. So, in many ways, China is the very large canary in the coal mine for anyone who wishes to attempt to slow the rapidity of our slide down the slippery slope toward scientific totalitarianism...

Dec 22 09:30

Scott Adams: The Steel Slat Barrier, Google Images Update, and Syria

Chuck Schumer now stuck in a great trap by President Trump
President wants strong border security…like everyone
Chuck wants to deny a President Trump “win”
Google offending images update
As of this morning, they are all gone, thank you!
Leaving Syria, possibly the greatest example of leadership ever seen
How is it that suddenly everyone became a Syria expert?
Weighing options, managing risk, creative solutions

Read and leave comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1076493801261133824

Dec 22 06:59

MALAYSIA DEMANDS GOLDMAN PAY $7.5B IN 1MDB "REPARATIONS"

Malaysia is seeking a massive financial penalty from Goldman Sachs after filing criminal charges against the bank alleging that it lied in deal documents and knowing enabled Malaysian government officials and one corrupt financier to steal billions of dollars from the Malaysian people through 1MDB, the sovereign wealth fund that is at the center of one of the biggest financial frauds in history.

In comments to the Financial Times published Friday, Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said Goldman should pay reparations in excess of $7.5 billion in connection with three bond deals it underwrote for 1MDB (deals that netted the bank a staggering $600 million in fees, well above the typical 1% to 2% fees that are typically collected in these types of deals). The $7.5 billion figure is the largest floated so far by Malaysia, which has charged three of the bank's Asian subsidiaries, as well as two Goldman bankers, in its criminal probe into 1MDB.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a betting woman, I would bet that there will be some sort of compensation to the Malaysian government, but that the number they are demanding will ultimately be considered "too extreme".

Time will solve that mystery.

Dec 22 06:56

RECORDS RELEASE UNEARTHS NEW DETAILS ON GOVERNMENT'S HEMISPHERE SPYING PROGRAM

A public records lawsuit has unearthed new details on the efforts government agents made to keep secret a spying tool that accessed decades of phone records.

To settle a lawsuit with civil liberties watchdog the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Justice Department surrendered hundreds of files on its Hemisphere spying project, which pairs AT&T employees with law enforcement agents to track trillions of phone records dating back to 1987.

After settling the lawsuit last month, EFF released a massive trove of files Wednesday.

“The government has worked with AT&T to create this database where there are almost no barriers to law enforcement’s ability to access the information,” EFF attorney Aaron Mackey said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Retention is forever.”

The files show that AT&T urged the government in 2007 not to include the use of Hemisphere information in court filings so the program would stay hidden from the public.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like the 4th Amendment, protecting Americans from unreasonable electronic search and seizure, has been thoroughly eviscerated by this practice.

Dec 21 11:33

Latest Amazon Privacy Invasion Granted User Access to 1,700 Audio Files From Another Account

By Nicholas West

Artificial intelligence is not in full control just yet. Lurking behind the algorithms contained in Amazon’s smart home tech device, Alexa, are humans capable of making mistakes. One user in Germany found out the hard way ...

Dec 21 09:37

Caribou Coffee chain announces card breach impacting 239 stores

US coffee store chain Caribou Coffee announced a security breach today after it discovered unauthorized access of its point of sale (POS) systems.

The company listed 239 stores of its total 603 locations as impacted, which roughly amounts to 40 percent of all its sites.

All customers who used a credit or debit card at one of the affected stores between August 28, 2018, and December 3, 2018, should consider their card details compromised and take precautions such as asking for a card replacement, reviewing credit card reports, and enrolling in identity protection programs.

Users can consult the list of impacted stores via the company's data breach notice, posted on its homepage.

Dec 21 09:33

You’re not quitting Facebook if you still use Instagram and WhatsApp

So you’ve decided you’ve had enough with Facebook and its continuing antics, or all the times it’s been hacked this year, or perhaps you’re just sick of how much time you spend on it. You’ve finally made the plunge to delete it from your life. And after all, between apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, you’ve got all the social media you need.

Sadly, I am here to burst your bubble, if you weren’t already aware: Instagram and WhatsApp are both run by Facebook.

Dec 21 08:55

BEX ALERT - Britain blames China's secret service for campaign of 'significant' cyber attacks that tried to steal business secrets by hacking into global firms based in Europe, Asia and the US

Britain today sensationally blamed China for a campaign of global cyber attacks aimed at stealing business secrets from the UK and allied countries.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt blamed Beijing for the 'one of the most significant' cyber attacks ever made against the UK and its allies.

The 'sustained' campaign has tried to steal secrets from global companies based in Europe, Asia and the United States.

British spies have assessed 'with the highest level of probability' that China is to blame for the hacking of corporate giants - warning the attempts to breach security are 'almost certainly' continuing.

Mr Hunt demanded the Chinese offensive action 'stop', warning they breach international agreements made at the G20.

Dec 21 04:40

Amazon’s Creepy Facial Recognition Doorbell Will Surveil the ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD From People’s Front Doors

At first glance of Amazon’s new patent application, one would be tempted to think it no more than a built-in “smart” security system.

But no, this facial recognition surveillance doorbell does a lot more than record would-be thieves. It will surveil the entire neighborhood from people's front doors, identify everyone, and then save that information to the cloud.

Dec 21 01:21

Data Storage Issues (And Solutions)

Ten to fifteen years ago, we would struggle to fill up those seemingly huge 20 GB disks that were available for a rather high price. For many of us, all of our accumulated resources, including music, videos, and photographs could easily fit on modest DVD discs.

Today, the hundreds of gigabytes of storage on our computers, smartphones, and tablets, and in the cloud are not enough for us. We are constantly buying additional external drives and cloud space to fill them with things that we collect all the time. But this growing volume of data creates can create more problem than benefits. In this post, we explore those issues and discuss what can be done.

Too much data for storage and backup

Dec 20 18:52

'White hat hacker' talks directly to man through his Nest to inform him that the security camera was compromised after his password leaked online

A Phoenix man thought he was getting robbed when he first heard an unfamiliar voice inside his home.

But Andy Gregg was even more startled when he realized the voice was coming from the Nest security camera he had installed at his front window.

The voice informed Gregg that the very camera he installed to make his home more secure had actually been compromised after his password was exposed online.

Gregg had been hacked.

Dec 20 18:49

Facebook gathers private data from popular apps including Tinder, OkCupid and Pregnancy+, report claims

Popular apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Pregnancy+ may be siphoning off private user data and sharing it with Facebook.

The apps were found to be collecting data like users' religious affiliation, dating profiles and healthcare data, according to a report from German mobile security initiative Mobilsicher, which was first spotted by BuzzFeed.

Mobilsicher tested the Android version of religious apps like Bible + Audio and MuslimPro, health-related apps such as Pregnancy+ and Migraine Buddy, as well as dating apps including OkCupid and Tinder and found Facebook collects data from them.

In total, Mobilsicher concluded that some 30 percent of all apps in Google's Play Store 'contact Facebook at startup and transmit user data.'

'This way, the company knows which apps you use and when you use them – including apps related to religion, sexuality or health,' the firm explained.

'For users, this data-transmission is entirely invisible.'

Dec 20 17:00

Amazon Sends Couple's Intimate Alexa Recordings To Wrong Person

Amazon accidentally sent the wrong person approximately 1,700 audio files and a PDF containing transcripts of intimate conversations - all recorded over the company's in-home echo assistant.

In August 2018, a German Amazon customer took advantage of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to request whatever personal data Amazon had on file about him. Several months later, he received a link to download a 100MB ZIP file, according to German news outlet Heise.

About 50 of the zipped files contained data relating to everyday things like Amazon searches, but there were also around 1,700 WAV files and a PDF cataloging unsorted transcripts of Alexa’s interpretations of his voice commands. Schneider was extremely surprised to find these files as he doesn’t use Alexa and doesn’t own any Alexa-enabled devices. He listened to some random sample files but didn’t recognize any of the voices they contained. -Heise

Dec 20 11:43

We Should Replace Facebook With Personal Websites

Personal websites and email can replace most of what people like about Facebook—namely the urge to post about their lives online.

Dec 20 11:01

'ZUCKERBERG MUST RESIGN NOW': OUTRAGE AFTER REPORT SHOWS FACEBOOK LET CORPORATE PARTNERS READ USERS' PRIVATE MESSAGES

Just hours after civil rights groups called on Facebook's top executives to step down from the company's board for allowing "viral propaganda" and "bigoted campaigns" to spread on the platform, demands for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to resign intensified after a bombshell New York Times report late Tuesday detailed a "special arrangement" the social media behemoth had with tech corporations that gave them access to users' data and private messages without consent.

"Facebook is evil, folks."
—Jeet Heer, The New Republic

"An incredibly damning indictment of Facebook, every single paragraph," Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, wrote of the Times report, which is the latest in a long line of recent revelations about Facebook's intrusive—and possibly illegal—data practices.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Anyone else hear that big sucking sound?!?

It's going to be interesting to see how this company unravels, and what - if anything - "the Zuck" can do to protect those private fortunes he has amassed to date.

Dec 20 10:53

Don't Take the DNA Test You'll Probably Get for Christmas

On the face of it, these tests seem like the perfect stocking stuffer. They’re pegged as a novel, exciting experience, one that might even bring a family closer together by revealing their shared genetic past. But in this humble writer’s opinion, consumer DNA kits are one of the last presents you want to unwrap on Christmas morning. Why? Because they can still be laughingly imprecise, are barely regulated, and most worryingly of all, could expose your identity to people you’d rather not know anything about you.

As more people take these tests and add their DNA to companies’ databases, the accuracy and specificity of these tests should get better. But that improvement comes with its own drawbacks, namely a loss of privacy.

Dec 20 10:43

HOV LANE DISCOUNTS TO BE REPLACED WITH A CUSTOMER REWARDS SPYING PROGRAM

A recent article in the Dallas News titled "HOV rewards to replace discounts on Dallas Fort-Wort tolled lanes" is basically a rewards program for government spying.

How is this a rewards program for government spying?

The article claims that the "Council of Governments" plans to spend $24 million to replace HOV discounts with a rewards program.

How does VeriRide track drivers and passengers?

Carma Technology's VeriRide app first started in 2008 and has quickly spread across the country and the world.

According to Carma's "What We Do" webpage, "VeriRide provides real-time passenger information and smart ticketing systems." And Carma's "Toll Roads Discount" webpage, reveals that drivers and passengers are monitored continuously.

"VeriRide's continuous monitoring and post trip analysis insures 99% accuracy."

Carma's app does much more than provide real-time driver and passenger information to DOT's.

VeriRide turns vehicles into Bluetooth beacons

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That DOES it!

I'm turning Amish, and buying a horse and buggy!

Hey, you've got to admit, THAT would be a sight to see on Oahu!!

Dec 20 10:39

SOCIAL MEDIA GIANTS CENSOR USER CONTENT AT ISRAEL’S REQUEST

Social media giants are collaborating with Israeli authorities to censor user content, according to a new update by legal rights centre Adalah.

Adalah is continuing to demand that Israel’s state attorney’s office closes its “Cyber Unit”, which works with companies like Facebook and YouTube to remove posts.

According to official data, in 2016 the unit submitted 2,241 content removal requests, of which 69 per cent of posts were duly removed. In 2017, the unit submitted a massive number of 12,351 content removal requests, 85 per cent of which were removed.

Adalah maintains that there are “constitutional and legal flaws inherent in the Cyber Unit’s activities”.

“The state attorney’s authority in such issues is limited to the possibility of retroactively appealing to the courts and bringing suspects to trial,” Adalah stated.

“The court is the only body authorised to determine whether a particular social media post constitutes a crime and to order punitive measures,” it added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised at this revelation.

THAT is why, if you want the real news on what Israel is doing, you need to do so with the independent medial (like WRH).

Dec 20 10:15

Peak Deep Fake - Nvidia's Scary AI Generates Humans That Look 100% Real

Believe it or not, all these faces are fake. They have been synthesized by Nvidia’s new AI algorithm, a generative adversarial network capable of automagically creating humans, cats, and even cars.

The technology works so well that we can expect synthetic image search engines soon - just like Google’s, but generating new fake images on the fly that look real. Yes, you know where that is going - and sure, it can be a lot of fun, but also scary. Check out the video. It truly defies belief:

Dec 20 10:12

Amazon error allowed Alexa user to eavesdrop on another home

A user of Amazon’s (AMZN.O) Alexa voice assistant in Germany got access to more than a thousand recordings from another user because of “a human error” by the company.

The customer had asked to listen back to recordings of his own activities made by Alexa but he was also able to access 1,700 audio files from a stranger when Amazon sent him a link, German trade publication c’t reported.

Dec 20 09:28

Mayday! NASA Warns Employees of Personal Information Breach

According to the agency, any NASA Civil Service employee who joined, left, or transferred within the agency from July 2006 to October 2018 may have had their personal data compromised. NASA currently employs roughly 17,300 people.

Dec 20 09:22

Facebook Like, social sharing buttons on your website may land you in GDPR hot water if data goes a-wanderin'

In a case being considered by the European Court of Justice (CJEU), Advocate General Michal Bobek argued on Wednesday that website operators should share some responsibility with providers of embedded web widgets for ensuring that any data collection complies with legal requirements.

In other words, if you embed a Facebook 'Like' button or similar on your site, it's on you to make sure information collected through that button is all above board, in terms of legal privacy obligations, or else you're on the hook.

Dec 20 08:56

Facebook Inc. took a second stab at convincing its 2.3 billion users that it didn't allow more than 150 other companies to misuse their personal data

Facebook Inc. took a second stab at convincing its 2.3 billion users that it didn't allow more than 150 other companies to misuse their personal data on Wednesday night after its valuation fell by more than $28 billion on the stock market.
"In the past day, we've been accused of disclosing people's private messages to partners without their knowledge," Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships, said in a post on the company's blog. "That's not true — and we wanted to provide more facts about our messaging partnerships."

Dec 20 08:14

What will you get with a Microsoft 365 consumer subscription?

Once again, a job listing on a public website has accidentally given away details of an unannounced product Microsoft is developing. My colleague Mary Jo Foley had the details last week in her post, Microsoft is readying a consumer Microsoft 365 subscription bundle .

This development shouldn't be surprising. As I noted at the beginning of 2018, Microsoft has been actively looking for ways to milk more revenue profit out of its Windows cash cow . PC sales are down, and Windows OEM licensing revenue is flat, so the monetization opportunities have to come from somewhere.

Dec 20 07:34

Rand Hindi: Human-Like Artificial Intelligence is Never Going to Exist

Dr. Rand Hindi says that without emotional intelligence machines will never be able to obtain human-like artificial intelligence. Reminiscent of Data on Star Trek Next Generation, Hindi says that despite the impressive ability of machines to learn from other machines and to solve logic problems better than humans, most decisions humans make are actually emotionally driven and machines simply don’t have an emotional IQ.

Dec 19 23:25

Amazon might have a Cambridge Analytica-size problem

When you make an order on Amazon, your personal data including name, address, and basic credit card information and purchase details are passed through to the seller. The seller also needs to have a receiving account, so they can receive the proceeds from your purchase. Amazon requires that the receiving account is linked to the country where the seller is operating.

For this reason, many Chinese sellers use big payment processing companies based in China such as Pingpong, and Lianlian. The payment provider needs access to the seller's Amazon account to set up their receiving account, and here is where the data privacy issue occurs.

A seller has a couple of options for how a third party can plug into their Amazon account. The highest level of access is using the seller's secret key. Someone with a seller's secret key can access all the same data as the seller themselves, including customer data of people who have ordered from the seller.

Dec 19 19:46

How to delete your Facebook account

If you're tired of a new privacy data breach from Facebook every ... single ... month, you might be ready to #deleteFacebook. We don't blame you.

Dec 19 18:43

FB STOCK PRICE FALLS AFTER FACEBOOK REPORTEDLY SHARED YOUR PRIVATE MESSAGES WITH NETFLIX, SPOTIFY

As of 12:50 p.m. EST, shares were down more than 6 percent from the opening, and by the market's close it was at $133.24, down 7.25 percent. The downward trend for Facebook's stock price is not new. In the past six months, the company's shares have fallen nearly 5 percent. Its stock price reached a high over the summer, hitting $217 on July 25.

Documents obtained by the Times showed that "Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages."

The report also alleges that Facebook allowed Amazon to get usernames and contact information and Yahoo to view friends' posts.

Dec 19 18:35

Pinterest bans natural medicine information but allows minors to view pornographic and violent content

The extreme censorship of vaccine safety information by tech giants and social media companies is nothing short of astonishing. Pinterest has now banned GreenMedInfo’s account to prevent them from posting scientifically-validated vaccine safety information that could help save lives. Yet at the same time, Pinterest openly allows minors to view pornographic content and violent content that can harm developing minds.

Dec 19 18:31

Houston, we've had a problem: NASA fears internal server hacked, staff personal info swiped by miscreants

A server containing personal information, including social security numbers, of current and former NASA workers may have been hacked, and its data stolen, it emerged today.

According to an internal memo circulated among staff on Tuesday, in mid-October the US space agency investigated whether or not two of its machines holding employee records had been compromised, and discovered one of them may have been infiltrated by miscreants.

It was further feared that this sensitive personal data had been siphoned from the hijacked server. The agency's top brass stressed no space missions were affected, and identity theft protection will be offered to all affected workers, past and present. The boffinry nerve-center's IT staff have since secured the servers, and are combing through other systems to ensure they are fully defended, we're told.

Dec 19 18:28

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is

Someone claiming to have worked to Microsoft's Edge team has alleged that Redmond ditched its own browser engine, EdgeHTML, in favor of Google's Chromium was mainly because "Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn't keep up."

The netizen, Joshua Bakita, gave as "just one example" the appearance of a seemingly useless empty HTML div tag in YouTube videos that had the effect of slowing down the Edge browser. According to the intern, that tag caused "our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail" with the result that the browser's speed advantage over Google's Chrome disappeared.

He also claimed that shortly after the appearance of the div tag, Google "started advertising Chrome's dominance over Edge on video-watching battery life" before concluding: "What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower."

Dec 19 18:25

On the first day of Christmas, Microsoft gave to me... an emergency out-of-band security patch for IE

Microsoft today emitted an emergency security patch for a flaw in Internet Explorer that hackers are exploiting in the wild to hijack computers.

The vulnerability, CVE-2018-8653, is a remote-code execution hole in the browser's scripting engine.

Visiting a malicious website abusing this bug with a vulnerable version of IE is enough to be potentially infected by spyware, ransomware or some other software nasty. Thus, check Microsoft Update and install any available patches as soon as you can.

Dec 19 13:30

Gen Z trolling culture is the backlash to Millennial outrage culture.

The Cultural Significance of TikTok
"Generation Z are rebelling against the compliant Millenial

Dec 19 10:01

Scott Adams talks about Flynn, the Wence, Trump Charity, Sargon and Patreon, Climate, and Coffee.

Scott also talks about his 1997 book,The Dilbert Future, prediction of the media using assassination for ratings.

Dec 19 09:08

CHINA ACCUSED OF "HUGE HACK" OF THOUSANDS OF EUROPEAN DIPLOMATIC CABLES

Step side Russia: the new global hacking bogeyman is now officially China.

But how do we know it's China this time and not, say, North Korea, Moscow, or some basement dwelling supporter of Julian Assange? Well, according to Oren Falkowitz, CEO of Area 1, he had “absolute confidence” that a Chinese group was behind the attacks, because of an extensive analysis of their techniques... the same way CrowdStrike had "absolute confidence" Russia hacked the DNC server without, of course, allowing the FBI to also investigate it independent. He linked the hacks to the Strategic Support Force of the People’s Liberation Army.

In a hack surprisingly reminiscent of how "the Russians" got access to John Podesta's email, Area 1 said the hackers initially accessed the system using unsophisticated phishing techniques, sending an email with a malicious link or attachment to people inside the ministry in Cyprus.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This smells like more demonization of China.

And we all know what demonization, coupled with sanctions means; it is, most generally, a prelude to a shooting war.

I would very strongly caution President Trump against war with China, either now, or in the very near future. And I say that because, at this point in its history, the American military doesn't have the weaponry; the troop strength; the manufacturing; or the money to insure a positive outcome in such a conflict.

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