Thursday, March 9, 2017

Anal Probing by Illegal Aliens

Australia has many scenic views and an endless supply of deadly fauna. Australia also has female traffic light signals. Not to be outdone, London's Trafalgar Square has gay marriage-celebrating signals. Because the government has already cured cancer and has some time on its hands. But it gets better - Australia's Minister for Women said that it would make public space more inclusive of women. Because women felt they couldn't cross the street before this?

  • Many police departments across the country are maintaining their own DNA databases.  The ACLU is suing San Diego over warrantless collection of DNA of a minor without parental consent. Apparently this process allows police to skirt state and federal laws about who they can collect from and how long the samples can be retained. Loopholes are magnificent, aren't they?

Stop what you are doing this very minute and watch Star Trek - Libertarian Edition.

  • Just in case you were bored today, the latest Wikileaks is most interesting. It concerns the CIA and its spying/hacking army. Among other things, how malware can turn androids, iDevices, Windows computers, smart cars, and smart TVs into listening devices. Yeah, I'm tinfoil hat. Yeah, I made it all up and this release is just coincidental fiction.

If there's one thing I learned in my life so far, it's that I'm not that good at mornings.

  • Faceyspaces has a program to report and remove images of child abuse (that haven't already been removed). Journalist reports child abuse images. Faceyspaces reports him to the police. Don't. Use. Faceyspaces.
  • In other news, Faceyspaces plans to update its algorithms to "listen" for people who are in danger of suicide (warning - link). This is a refreshing change from listening for people who are in danger of not being accurately marketed to in a targeted fashion. No word yet on who this data will be sold to.

On International Women's Day, we celebrate women and their contributions. We also note that women are taking off work to celebrate and march in parades; thus nullifying their input for the day. This is akin to everyone taking off work on Labor Day. We also eagerly anticipate International Left-Handers' Day.

  • Reaction to the Wikileaks CIA spying story has been swift for cell phone OSes. Based upon vpn use, antivirus manufacturer F-Secure has stated that 80% of iDevice users have the latest OS; they tend to update quickly. The outlook is not so good for android users, because phone manufacturers are slow to distribute OS updates. While the Nordics (F-secure area) have a high percentage of android 6 and 7, most of the world still uses 4 and 5. Android users: bug your phone manufacturer and make sure you're current. Check your OS version in Settings.
  • The nice folks who wrote the Notepad++ program have fixed a .dll file process by which the CIA could hack the program and monitor what goes on in the background. While this is by no means foolproof, it will prevent the program from loading anything other than the proper .dll file. This will not prevent problems if the hackers are already there or if the notepad++.exe file is replaced. Credit where credit is due.
  • Meanwhile the CIA says Americans should be deeply troubled by Wikileaks' latest leak. I think most of us would tend to agree, just not for for the reason the CIA states ("jeopardizing personnel and operations"). Nowhere does the CIA address jeopardizing citizens' rights and privacy.
  • Curious about what the CIA thinks of your antivirus?

Confide, a secure messaging application very popular with White House aides, has been discovered to have "multiple security vulnerabilities of varying severities", proving that DC cannot even hide questionable thoughts or misdeeds correctly.

  • A while back I reported on the US government trying to get records from an Amazon Echo's spying to help their murder case. The Echo is Amazon's version of Google's Alexa, that sits there and processes requests (what is the weather, set reminder to call Mom, how late is Costco open?). At question is anything Echo might have recorded during a murder. The trick here is that Echo (and Alexa) isn't supposed to record anything that isn't preceded by  "Echo" (or "Alexa"). Amazon decided not to fight the subpoena and submitted to demands for the recordings because the defendant said he didn't mind the recordings being submitted to prosecutors. Amazon could have and should have fought this on privacy principles. Next time it could be your data.

Things are always more interesting at Walmart. The St Augustine, FL, police were called to Walmart, due to the 4-5' shark found in the parking lot. Yes, it was a whale of a sale.

Not to be outdone, Vilano Beach, FL, found a shark in a driveway. Sorry, Charlie.

  • Yes is to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Asked why it took so long, a spokesman said it was because Donna Summer, Green Day, Joan Jett, Michael Jackson, NWA, Public Enemy, RUN-DMC, and Tupak needed room.

Happy International Women's Day!
I am a dead man

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