Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Monday is an Oxymoron

Why is our president and some of his staff still using a private email server? Or are they? Trump and some of his staff still have accounts on a RNC server that may or may not have been hacked, depending on what day of the week this is. Oddly enough, this is the same server used by the Bush administration to communicate during the Iraq war (let us pray... that it has been upgraded since then). Professional liar and former and present CIA head James Comey claims there was limited access to a non-used server.

Security experts are also worried about the president's use of an Android phone. The reason given is that he could be a target on insecure wifi. Yes, any of us can be a target - that's why no one should use any old wifi at any old coffee shop or at the airport. Use a VPN if you absolutely must access these services. Trump's own staff would like him to turn in the phone, especially as concerns Twitter.

Speaking as an alleged Security Dude, these people have a point. Virtually no one bothers to secure their phone, including alleged Security Professionals. Even the previous president had a custom-secured cell phone. Is the device encrypted so no one can get into it? Is there a password or PIN code that automatically locks the device? Is it accessing a secure system? Is there any actual secure information on the phone in the first place?  I'd prefer, as you would expect, the device be locked down to hell and back.. you know.... like mine. Even if there's nothing interesting there, less to attack is always better.

  • Over in Iraq, the Islamic State's chief executioner, who has beheaded more than 100 people, has been knifed to death. I believe this is what they call irony. Or just desserts.

Google found and quarantined some brand new malware on a customer's android phone. Yay, they caught the malware!  Now stop for a second and think about this.... Google remotely accessed the phone to quarantine the malware. While this capability isn't news to some of us, it should be news to everybody. iDevice users, don't get all smug - your phone can be remote-accessed by Apple too. In fact at one point, programs 'disappeared'. E-books have also gone bye-bye. It's a PITA, but possible to disconnect from Google (it's beyond the scope of this paragraph). The other message here is to be very careful what you download from Google Play. Since there's very little to tell you whether the program is clean, avoid programs with few reviews, few downloads, non-English or broken English text or reviews, and authors you don't know. Stick with the majors. Also stay away from cleaners/memory boosters/speed boosters; they're not needed on android anymore.

  • Ransomware knocked seventy percent of the Washington, DC, spy surveillance cameras ahead of the inauguration. Some cameras had more than one piece of malware. The ransomware was introduced via a spam email that some high-functioning, security-minded government worker opened. This affected a server with all sorts of documents. The fix to ransomware is to have good, frequent backups, of which it appears there are none. Perhaps we will be spared some aspects of the Security State by its own incompetence.

Cocker Spaniels are notorious for separation anxiety, or at least the three rescue cockers we adopted have been. Marshall prefers his people around the house at all times. I had to go somewhere today and he saw me put on my coat. He sat down and gave me this look. They have big, expressive eyes to begin with, and when they're upset, you know it. Marshall was upset. Small wonder I don't like to leave the house... poor little guy. When I got home, he was anchored to me.

Speaking of Marshall, the little darling continued his weekly visit with the vet for his ear infection, which has been going on forever. Healthy all his life, he has had problems since his cat died (grief-related illnesses?). Cockers are prone to ear problems due to their flaps and closed ear canals. The current diagnosis is antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They referred us to a Doggie Dermatologist. This little diversion cost $200, plus the new consultation. Even his parents have never seen a dermatologist.

guess who...

  • How do you know when the driver in front of you is going to make a turn? His turn signal is not on.

Pasta: Yes, there's an app for that! I can't make the pasta until I charge my phone!

  • Netgear routers have yet another flaw that would allow hackers to get into it remotely. Check to see if yours is listed. Disable remote administration regardless.

A popular new joke is that the Statue of Liberty is going to be deported. I suggest whoever gets it has to take the UN too.

  • Yesterday we had sun, gloom, snow, and sun in the span of about an hour. This is not normal, even for here.

John Wetton, bassist and vocalist for King Crimson and Asia, lost his battle with cancer. He was 67.

  • As if you didn't think I was totally tin foil hat, this should do it for you. You can be ultrasonically tracked while using cell phones, to build up a profile of you across devices. There is an android and a Chrome patch to disable it. My feeling is that if people can't hear the sound, the speaker in the phone can't put that high a frequency out. Apparently my feeling is incorrect. Further, I believe one can avoid this via turning off javascript, but time will tell.

Hey, I think I need some Magnums.
Magnum ice cream bars or Magnum large condoms?
I'm buying both to make it an extra special weekend.

  • The People's Republic of Berkeley had to cancel a talk by a gay Jew who likes black guys the other night, due to rioting on campus. Yes, the tolerant students for free speech (only when it agrees with them), demanded the event be canceled. One of the ringleaders was ok with the violence and said it was 'self-defense'. So the people calling the speaker a nazi are themselves behaving like nazis. Students need to be protected from words. Remember when students protested war? Non-violently?
  • Make no mistake, the students had every right to protest. Violence, however, is illegal and not the way to make one's point.
  • The Associated Press and USA Today's coverage consisted of peaceful people marching with signs. There were fires, assaults with pipes, two groups protesting, an ATM smashing, cars damaged, and a live band.
  • These Students of Public Relations who are essentially protesting Trump are doing a wonderful job of keeping him in office.
  • The Berkeley Police ordered the students to disperse several times. They were extremely helpful in keeping order. Other police departments move in to restore order and stop further crimes. Why didn't this department?

A recent small study has revealed that black humor a sign of high intelligence. Finally-vindication!

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