Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Still Not Handling This Morning Thing Well

In case you were fretting that there had been no major hacks in the news lately, I've got you covered. A security expert warned Congress that DC's T-Mobile wireless network was hacked. The Department of Homeland Security was notified and would provide no further information.  This shows the dangers of using T-Mobile, living in DC, and talking to DHS.

  • Check out this shelf of store-brand cereals. It was described as an old English army major, trying to find a euphemism for gay men.

The Super Sleuths of Edina, Minnesota's police department, are working a case of a (failed) fraudulent $28,500 wire transfer. So they went to court to get the Google searches of the entire city. The entire city. You're shaking your head - I can tell. It gets better: the judge granted it. It's bad enough that law hasn't caught up with the internet.. neither have the judges. And let's not tell them that Google isn't the only search engine. This is our future.

  • President Trump released a requested budget. If you are alive, you've heard about it. One of the interesting parts is the cutoff of the National Endowment for the Arts. This is where the government gives a lot of money to artists to produce art. Already the arts community has weighed in, screaming that art will die without federal funding. This is complete doggie doo. The government has no business in the arts (or healthcare, but that's a different argument). People interested in art can pay for it, like buying music or going to the theater. This move not only saves tax money (for the armed forces, in this case), but it's downright libertarian.
  • Another false argument, designed to cut off funding, is that the artists produce total crap. Well, yes, one can argue that Pisschrist is total crap (urine would be a more accurate description), but if art is to be funded, should there be a Taste Requirement? Isn't art subjective? I don't like what passes for art anyway. A Picasso line drawing of a hand holding flowers? Art?
  • But then there's that part of the budget that cuts funds to Meals on Wheels...

If you have an internet-connected (Internet of Things!) security camera, CCTV equipment, or network recorders from AVTech, you're in deep doo-doo. It can be hacked, meaning it will be hacked. The manufacturer was alerted in October 2016 and has not responded. The servers used are located in South Korea.  There are no recommendations at the moment, although at least Trend Micro antivirus will detect it. If I had one of these devices, I'd pull it immediately.

  • RIP Chuck Berry. Play on.

In other Hacking News, there's a Dark Web vendor selling three sets of five million Yahoo and Gmail accounts, complete with decrypted passwords.  They all seem to be from previous breaches of the systems.

  • Next time you're in San Francisco, visit the famous Haight-Ashbury section and see the brand new Ashbury Tech. It's a computer store. No, it's a head shop. No, it's a computer store AND head shop! They were in the tobacco business for twenty three years and are expanding to computers. Hey, the price on that system seems a little high...

If you shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, there's a good chance your personal data was accidentally made public. The data was discovered on the store's website in plain text. You do NOT store ANYTHING in plain text, lest something stupid or malicious happen. So all of my readers who shop at Saks... sorry, I'll stop....

  • The Fappening 2.0 is upon us. Remember the hack and leak of many celebrities' iDevices, turning loose all sorts of private, sometimes naked photos? They're at it again. Now that I have performed my important notification duties, I need to offer caution if you happen to be online and happen to accidentally click on a link to view these pictures. Don't. Many of the links are malware. Any link that asks you to install software to view pictures should set off red flags to begin with. At very least, hover over the links to see where they really go. Better yet, just don't.
  • In the interest of Science and investigation, so I can offer warnings if there is a security risk, I have viewed some of these pictures. You can thank me later. There are indeed quite a few Emma Watson pictures. Before you hurt yourself, they consist entirely of her trying on bathing suit-like outfits. One Redditor commented that she looks much better in clothes and I'm forced to agree. 

Because cancer has been cured and world peace has broken out, we turn our attention to technical term scrubbing. The terms "blacklist" and "whitelist" are starting to cause a bit of a storm among groups who tend to cause a bit of a storm. So if you come across any Fascist Agent of Oppression, you can instruct them to use the terms "blocklist" and "safelist". My mind goes back [wayback music] to the days when hard drives were master and slave....

  • I've discovered that my wife's pocketbook is like Dr. Who's Tardis: larger on the inside than the outside. link for people with too much time on their hands.

Welcome to the second day of spring. We're celebrating by digging the car out of the snow.

  • The Internet of Things strikes again.  Got a Google Nest camera? You got a problem. Bluetooth, which is required to set the device up, cannot be turned off.  This means that anyone who can get within Bluetooth range can shut down the camera's recording capabilities for 60-90 seconds. You know, long enough for someone to slip by. They do not have access to video. Google was notified in October 2016 and promptly sprung into inaction. One of the issues is that you cannot turn Bluetooth off. As I mention (frequently), this is not going to be pretty.

An email from Wellesley professors states that controversial speakers "impose on the liberty of students" by "enabling the bullying of disempowered groups". This would explain why the students are the way they are. Safe Spaces for all! The right not to be offended! Real Life is going to be quite a shock for these snowflakes.

  • Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is in trouble. A long trail of 'gifts' has been uncovered, with Williams doing favors and corrupting justice. The criminality dates back to his first month in office. This once again puts Philthy on the national stage, once again in a negative light. The only thing more head-shaking than Philly Corruption is listening to Philly prosecutors pronounce the charges. Jag-wire? And a custom-made couch for four grand. You can buy a regular couch for four grand. Watch the Philly Follies on national news near you.

If you're using LastPass password keeper, there's a serious vulnerability.

  • On the local Fox morning show, they brought in a special reporter for a two-part in-depth series on new flashy nails with shiny bits on them. Hard hitting coverage, from people who say q-pon.

Marshall the cocker continues his rounds to specialty veterinary practitioners in the area. For those following along at home, he had to see an Ear/Nose/Throat vet for a procedure to open up his small ear canals, due to constant infections, requiring constant medicines. This failed, due to a problem around anesthesia. Since the surgeon has no specialist for this, it's off to another specialist/hospital, continuing all of the expensive medicines. The second operation is scheduled. Meanwhile, it's difficult to get the oral meds into him because we have to put it into food and he will only eat people food for a few days before spitting it out. Poor Marshall never had a health problem until his cat died. It's like he's competing for highest vet bill with his deceased diabetic cat.

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