Nov 14 09:39

Mayor Wants Ban On Public Surveillance Lifted, Claims It Limits Ability To Fight Crime

By MassPrivateI

What should be headline news across the country is relegated to a single local newspaper fighting back against illegal government surveillance.

Over the past two years, Memphis, Tennessee Mayor Jim Strickland and the Memphis Police Department have claimed that a 1978 consent decree barring them from conducting political surveillance limits their ability to fight crime...

Nov 14 09:33

Microsoft: If you're on Windows 10 version 1803, you'll be automatically upgraded

With support for Windows 10 1803 now ended for Home and Pro, Microsoft says it will automatically update anyone on those editions to a new version. But users will have the ability to choose when that move will occur.

Microsoft says Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update, "Keeping those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health".

Nov 14 08:18


The Indian Army will soon reinforce its strength in Kashmir with hundreds of combat robots capable of lobbing grenades, overcoming obstacles, and carrying out search-and-rescue raids, local media report.
The Defense Ministry is looking for around 550 “robotic surveillance units,” each with a 25-year lifespan, according to Indian media, citing military sources. “These robots should be capable enough for water fording with minimum 20 cm depth,” an unnamed officer told Livemint.

Once acquired, the robots will be sent to the Rashtriya Rifles, the Indian Army’s counter-insurgency force. The unit will use them in built-up areas to gather intelligence on terrorists’ movements.

Aside from collecting imagery intelligence, the unmanned vehicles will be armed and capable of firing “suitable munitions at the intended target, for example, throwing grenade at places where the terrorists are holed up,” the source explained.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What could possibly go wrong with these robots, other than the cold, hard
reality that they have no morality to tell them whether they are aiming at a bad guy, or attempting to shoot an infant out of its mother's arms?!?

I very much fear, that these robots will become instruments of mass genocide against every possible Muslim Kashmiri, and Pakistani non-combatant possible; children; women; infants; and the medically fragile elderly.

(Sigh) I have no magic wand to wave at this situation; I can only hope (and pray) that the "adults in the room" of global geopolitics (and guys, you know who you are), start working the phones like crazy between Islamabad and New Dehli, and attempting to ratchet the tension here down.

Because if a calming of tensions does not happen, we are looking, potentially, at a full-scale hot war, between two nuclear armed adversaries.

Nov 13 16:40

As 5G Rolls Out, Troubling New Security Flaws Emerge

The researchers from Purdue University and the University of Iowa are detailing 11 new design issues in 5G protocols that could expose your location, downgrade your service to old mobile data networks, run up your wireless bills, or even track when you make calls, text, or browse the web. They also found five additional 5G vulnerabilities that carried over from 3G and 4G. They identified all of those flaws with a new custom tool called 5GReasoner.

Nov 13 16:24

Google wants to be your bank: It will soon offer checking accounts

Google (GOOGL) plans to offer checking accounts to customers starting next year, a source familiar with Google's plans told CNN Business. Google is partnering with Citigroup (C) and a credit union at Stanford University for the initiative. The Wall Street Journal first reported Google's entry into checking accounts.

Nov 13 16:10

Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use

When you're scrolling through Facebook's app, the social network could be using your camera, concerned users have found. Multiple people have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while they were looking at their feed.

The issue came to light through several posts on Twitter. Users noted that their cameras were activated behind Facebook's app as they were watching videos or looking at photos on the social network.

After people clicked on the video to full screen, returning it back to normal would create a bug in which Facebook's mobile layout was slightly shifted to the right. With the open space on the left, you could now see the phone's camera activated in the background.

Nov 13 16:09

Google: You can trust us with the medical data you didn’t know we already had [Updated]

Update: The Google/Ascension project is now being investigated by the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Wall Street Journal reported in an update last night. The office said it "will seek to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals' medical records to ensure that HIPAA protections were fully implemented." Google said it is "happy to cooperate with any questions about the project," and that "We believe Google’s work with Ascension adheres to industry-wide regulations (including HIPAA) regarding patient data, and comes with strict guidance on data privacy, security, and usage."

Nov 13 12:37

Latest Intel CPUs Affected by New TSX Speculative Attack

A new speculative vulnerability called ZombieLoad 2, or TSX Asynchronous Abort, has been disclosed today that targets the Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX) feature in Intel processors.

Using this vulnerability, local attackers or malware can steal sensitive data from the operating system kernel or other processes.

Nov 13 12:20

Is Facebook WATCHING you? Users discover their cell phone cameras mysteriously switch on without permission when they open the iOS app and Facebook is investigating the issue

Facebook has yet again come under fire for invading its member's privacy.

The app is activating iPhone cameras without the user's knowledge while they are scrolling through the platform.

The issue seems to only plague smartphones that are operating on iOS 13.2.2 and occur when a user swipes 'rapidly' through the app.

Nov 13 12:17

Google enlists help of THREE cyber security firms to scan all new Android apps for viruses in a desperate bid to stop malware-riddled software infiltrating the Play Store

Google has recruited three cyber security companies to help it scan new Android apps that are submitted to the Play Store for viruses and other malware.

The newly formed 'App Defense Alliance' - which includes security companies Zimperium, ESET and Lookout - will use scanning and threat detection tools to evaluate all new apps submitted to Google Play before they go live.

This is designed to cut down on the amount of malware-riddled software infiltrating the Play Store, after Google admitted that the number of apps being uploaded was too large for it to handle alone.

Nov 13 10:58

MRI Study Associates Screen Time Exposure In Children To Lower Brain Development

By John Vibes

The research team found that white matter in the brain was less developed in children who spent more time in front of screens. White matter is important to thought processing, speech and literacy...

Nov 13 09:49

Feds Launch Investigation Into Google's Secretive "Project Nightingale"

Big Tech can't seem to go one month without becoming involved in some new data privacy scandal, but this time, Google parent Alphabet has outdone itself.

Yesterday, WSJ broke a story about a deal between Alphabet and Ascension Health System, a Catholic non-profit that operates hospitals and nursing homes in 21 states and Washington DC. Ascension has more than 2,600 facilities, but its data - including critical patient data - is presently spread across 40 data centers in more than a dozen states.

But thanks to a deal between the two organizations that spawned Google's "Project Nightingale", all of that data are being moved into Google's cloud, and Google engineers are working on a system that they say could revolutionize how doctors use patient health data to make diagnoses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF caught having done this, in absence of HIPAA protections, every single person whose data was shared, would have one heck of a base for a class-action lawsuit against Google.

Instead of calling this Project Nightingale The Brit reformer who invented the profession of modern nursing, this project SHOULD have been named "Project Nightmare"; because the ripples of repercussions as to how this data got shared, is only just beginning.

Nov 13 09:19

Malware attacks on hospitals are rising fast, and the problem is about to get a lot worse

The healthcare industry stores some of the sensitive personal information there can be about people: hackers know this and are looking to exploit what they view as an easy target.

Nov 13 08:02

How Israeli spy tech reaches deep into our lives

"Information Clearing House" - Israeli software used on Palestinians is producing new cyber weapons that are rapidly being incorporated into global digital platforms

Digital age weapons developed by Israel to oppress Palestinians are rapidly being repurposed for much wider applications – against Western populations who have long taken their freedoms for granted.

Israel’s status as a “startup nation” was established decades ago. But its reputation for hi-tech innovation always depended on a dark side, one that is becoming ever harder to ignore.

A few years ago, Israeli analyst Jeff Halper warned that Israel had achieved a pivotal role globally in merging new digital technologies with the homeland security industry. The danger was that gradually we would all become Palestinians.

Nov 12 13:10

New Home “Amazon Experience Centers” Are Really Amazon Home Surveillance Centers

By MassPrivateI

For those of you who miss the good old days when government spies used to bug people’s homes, I give you “Amazon Experience Centers”: new homes pre-equipped with a mind-boggling array of listening devices.

Amazon’s ‘Experience Centers’ tagline, “Try smart home devices in person and see how Amazon can simplify your everyday” is less about simplification and more about home surveillance.

As NPR notes, builders like Lennar Homes have pre-installed Amazon smart devices in at least 45,000 new homes this year alone...

Nov 12 11:25

The case of the disappearing snow: A stormy week — for the computers

The Philadelphia region might see its first snowflakes on Tuesday. But what happened to that threat of a major snowfall? How did it devolve into a prosaic forecast of harmless white fireflies appearing in the air?

The alleged offender is a familiar one, particularly as winter nears: the computer. While last week represented a welcome respite from the traumas of tornadoes and mass power outages, it was a wild one in the world of long-range virtual weather.

Nov 12 11:22

iOS 13.2.2 causes battery havoc

iOS 13.2.2 might fix the bug that broke multitasking on the iPhone and iPad, but it appears to introduce a new bug that severely limits productivity when on the move.

Nov 12 11:11

No, YouTube Won't Cancel Accounts That Don't Generate Revenue

A new update to the YouTube Terms of Service has users concerned that Google will cancel their account if they are deemed to be not "commercially viable". Google says this is not true and that this section of the agreement only applies towards Google services and not user accounts.

On November 10th, 2019, Google released an updated YouTube Terms of Use in order to make it easier to read and to make sure they are up to date.

"We made some changes to our Terms of Service in order to make them easier to read and to ensure they’re up to date. We’re not changing the way our products work, how we collect or process data, or any of your settings," a YouTube spokesperson told

Unfortunately, a part of the "Account Suspension & Termination" section of the updated Terms of Use is not clearly written and states that Google can terminate your access or your Google account's access to YouTube if it is not "commercially viable".

Nov 12 05:16


The official deadline for states to comply with the REAL ID Act is Oct. 1, 2020. The legislation was passed in 2005, and implementation has been stalled for years due to state-level resistance. After playing the waiting game, the feds have settled on next year to enforce their unconstitutional legislative mandate.

Analyst Peter Earle of the American Institute for Economic Research explains that state-level efforts to resist REAL ID are futile, and all will be forced to comply due to federal aid being tied to implementing the onerous scheme. Earle believes these “internal passports” are another step toward the destruction of privacy rights by Big Brother.

Nov 11 14:44

Google running Orwellian project to secretly hoover up health records of millions of Americans across 21 states – WSJ

Google is teaming with one of the country’s largest health-care systems on a secret project to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states, according to people familiar with the matter and internal documents.

The data involved in Project Nightingale includes lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, complete with patient names and dates of birth.

Neither patients nor doctors have been notified. At least 150 Google employees already have access to much of the data on tens of millions of patients, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Nov 11 14:42

YouTube now banning doctors for daring to question transgenderism… Trannies the new “untouchables” who can never be questioned

“See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.”

Those are the words of Dr. Michelle Cretella, a pediatrician with many years’ experience and the executive director of the American Academy of Pediatricians, in a Daily Signal video published in 2017.

It’s a sentence YouTube will not allow the doctor to say about children and gender identity issues.

Talk about rational; Cretella is spot-on. But no; the Left-wing speech Nazis at YouTube will not allow anyone to question the wisdom of self-mutilation over what really only amounts to gender confusion.

Nov 11 12:18

YouTube says it can delete your account if you’re not 'commercially viable'

YouTube’s new terms of service has some users and content creators very worried that the company could delete their account.

In the section titled “Account Suspension & Termination” with the subheader “Terminations by YouTube for Service Changes,” the site’s new terms, which are set to take effect on Dec. 10, adds the following:

“YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.”

In its most basic terms: if YouTube isn’t making money off you, the company can delete your account.

Nov 10 12:04

THOUGHT POLICE: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter all ban any mention of “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella as the Overton Window of allowable speech collapses

In order to achieve this Orwellian goal of complete secrecy and obfuscation of the facts, the tech giants are now aggressively de-platforming any channel that mentions the name “Ciaramella” in text, images or videos. This action is predicated on the coordinated liberal lie that falsely claims naming whistleblowers is somehow against the law.

It turns out it isn’t. That’s why the left-wing media itself routinely names whistleblowers if doing so is calculated to be able to harm President Trump, Kavanaugh or other prominent conservatives. (Remember the Christine Blasey Ford circus against Kavanaugh? Ford’s name wasn’t blacklisted from the internet…)

Nov 10 10:59

China Working on 6G Despite Opposition and Lawsuits Against 5G Increasing Worldwide

By B.N. Frank

According to many respected sources, 5G is already too risky. Regardless, China and other countries -- including the U.S. -- are working on 6G...

Nov 09 08:16

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be removing an posts which name alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be removing an posts which name alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella.

"We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in the debate," Facebook said in a statement in which they claim it violates their "coordinating harm" policy which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activist.'

On Wednesday, the social media giant removed ads naming Ciaramella which had been viewed several hundred thousand times according to the Washington Post.

On Friday, Breitbart's Allum Bohkari reported that the news outlet's posts containing references to Ciaramella had been scrubbed from the site.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Frankly, this is precisely what we can expect henceforward from the Zuk, the Malnificent's "Facebook"; since the 4th estate in this country has been defined as "journalism, or what passes for it in this country today", the 5th estate has become that of both the cybersurveillence, and cyber-scrubbing ordered by the US Deep State; folks, it is just that simple.

Zuk the Malnificent, through Facebook, is simply a tool of the US Deep State; nothing more and nothing less.

Nov 09 06:16


A team of cybersecurity researchers has discovered a clever technique to remotely inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice-controlled devices — all just by shining a laser at the targeted device instead of using spoken words.

Dubbed 'Light Commands,' the hack relies on a vulnerability in MEMS microphones embedded in widely-used popular voice-controllable systems that unintentionally respond to light as if it were sound.

According to experiments done by a team of researchers from Japanese and Michigan Universities, a remote attacker standing at a distance of several meters away from a device can covertly trigger the attack by simply modulating the amplitude of laser light to produce an acoustic pressure wave.

"By modulating an electrical signal in the intensity of a light beam, attackers can trick microphones into producing electrical signals as if they are receiving genuine audio," the researchers said in their paper [PDF].

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is more than scary; and if it can happen to civilian equipment, what about military equipment?!?

Nov 08 18:04

Some online retailers can now get the phone number of people who visit their sites and call them while they're still browsing

This week the online furniture retailer Wayfair confirmed the company is testing a new program that allows them to identify the phone number of some of their customers and call them to ‘assist them in the shopping process.’

According to Wayfair, the program is currently being tested with fewer than one percent of their customers, and everyone who receives a call is first sent an email to explain the program.

The program is part of a growing trend of online retailers who’ve begun calling customers visiting their sites to try and encourage them to go through with a purchase.

Nov 08 16:06

Facebook Communications Leaked Antitrust Behaviors, Admits 100 Developers Had Access To User Data

By Aaron Kesel

Facebook states that even after the company locked down its Groups’ application programming interface (API) last year, some app developers retained improper access to information about the site’s millions of members, according to a Facebook blog post.

Facebook notes that roughly 100 developers might have accessed user information since Facebook changed its rules in April of 2018, and at least 11 of those devs accessed member data in the last 60 days. Facebook now says it has cut all partners off from that data.

Facebook Group administrators are able to use third-party tools to manage their groups, giving apps information about its users’ activity. However, since the changes last year, developers shouldn’t be able to see individual members’ names, profile pictures, or unspecified other profile data...

Nov 08 12:20

NSA to Congress: Our spy programs don’t work, aren’t used, or have gone wrong – now can you permanently reauthorize them?

The NSA was unable to give a single example of how one of its most controversial spying programs has been useful in the fight against terrorism in a Congressional hearing on Wednesday morning.

The repeated refusal by NSA senior official Susan Morgan to provide any detail whatsoever about how the program - which the NSA and FBI are formally asking Congress to permanently authorize - has proved useful, left senators on the Judiciary Committee shaking their heads in disbelief.

Nov 08 09:29

DNS-over-HTTPS will eventually roll out in all major browsers, despite ISP opposition

All six major browser vendors have plans to support DNS-over-HTTPS (or DoH), a protocol that encrypts DNS traffic and helps improve a user's privacy on the web.

The DoH protocol has been one of the year's hot topics. It's a protocol that, when deployed inside a browser, it allows the browser to hide DNS requests and responses inside regular-looking HTTPS traffic.

Doing this makes a user's DNS traffic invisible to third-party network observers, such as ISPs. But while users love DoH and have deemed it a privacy boon, ISPs, networking operators, and cyber-security vendors hate it.

Nov 07 13:19

Elon Musk-backed AI company releases its text-generating robot despite concerns it could be used to create fake news and spam

Creators of a text-generating robot have released the tool to the public despite initial trepidation that it could be manipulated by bad actors.

OpenAI - an Elon Musk-backed company that researches artificial intelligence- detailed its system, called GPT-2, in February, but stopped short of releasing it over concerns that it might be used to proliferate spam and fake news.

The AI is capable of taking a snippet of text and extrapolating that small piece of information into a larger document.

For instance, if fed a phony headline, the bot would be able to produce a fairly convincing fake news story based on the prompt.

Nov 07 12:52

Another day, another iOS update: Apple rolls out SECOND update in a week that fixes an app-killing bug

The tech giant has rolled out iOS 13.3 to fix a multitasking issue that was found to 'aggressively' kill apps, instead of leaving them open in the background.

Nov 07 12:42

Netflix scam warning: New email con tries to steal YOUR username and password - what to do

This latest attack, which is being sent out via email, tells Netflix users that their account has been put “on hold.”

The message reads, “Hello, we're having some trouble with your current billing information. We'll try again, but in the meantime you may want to update your payment details.”

Users are then urged to update their account via a link embedded into the email. Once someone clicks on the link, they're taken to a website that looks almost identical to the official Netflix sign-in page.

But instead of checking the username and password and signing you into Netflix like you'll get with the official Login page, this one sends the details you've entered to the creators of the suspicious website.

It's likely the attacker will then use this personal data to try and access other accounts and services.

Nov 07 12:21

Google open sources Cardboard VR after killing its Daydream project

After killing its ambitious Daydream VR project last month, Google is making the Cardboard VR project open source.

The company said the code repository includes features such as APIs for head tracking, lens distortion rendering, and input handling, for developers to build Android and iOS apps designed for Cardboard VR experiences.

Nov 07 12:17

tFacebook Flip-Flops; Mulls New Political Ad Policy After Hillary Warns Zuck "Should Pay Price"

After a chorus of Democrats came down hard on Facebook after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company would continue to distribute political ads without fact checking them, the company is now 'mulling' changes to how such ads are treated, according to CNN. That said, the company will continue to allow politicians to run unverified advertisements.

Notably, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - who still appears to be having issues accepting the results of the 2016 election decried a "war on truth" last week, and suggested that "Mark Zuckerberg should pay a price for what he is doing to our democracy."

"Part of our problem, those of us who are appalled by this war on truth and this fake news which is truly surrounding us these days, is we’re not very good at combating it. It’s hard because you’re up against algorithms, plus all these other powerful forces, it’s really hard," she added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 


Nov 07 12:08

Amazon's Ring Video Doorbell Lets Attackers Steal Your Wi-Fi Password

Security researchers at Bitdefender have discovered a high-severity security vulnerability in Amazon's Ring Video Doorbell Pro devices that could allow nearby attackers to steal your WiFi password and launch a variety of cyberattacks using MitM against other devices connected to the same network.

Nov 07 10:57

Netflix will stop working on some Samsung smart TVs next month due to 'technical limitations' - as the company announces crackdown on password sharing

Some Samsung smart TV users will no longer be able to stream Netflix from next month, due to 'technical limitations' on older models.

In a statement on its website - which now appears to have been deleted - the tech giant announced that anyone with an older model who still wants to use Netflix will need to buy a compatible device.

Nov 07 06:41


Cops have discovered a new source of useful third-party records: DNA databases. Millions of people have voluntarily handed over personal information to a number of services in exchange for info on medical markers or distant family members.

Investigators are submitting DNA samples from cold cases in hopes of tracking down criminals who’ve managed to evade them for years. It has led to the closing of some cases, which is all agencies need to argue for continued access to DNA samples from millions of users.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I used to think about using DNA services to get a little more background on my ancestors; however, with recent revelations, (and not that I have done anything to cause any police to come knocking at my door), I don't think I want to at this point in time.

Nov 07 06:01


Two Former Twitter Employees Charged With Spying For Saudi Arabia, May Be Involved In Khashoggi Murder
For all those still seeking details about Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it may be time to give Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey a call.

Two former Twitter employees were charged with spying for Saudi Arabia, the Justice Department unveiled on Wednesday in San Francisco, in a case which the WaPo said "raises concerns about the ability of Silicon Valley to protect the private information of dissidents and other users from repressive governments."

The complaint unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco detailed a coordinated effort by Saudi officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of thousands of Twitter accounts. The accounts included those of a popular journalist with more than 1 million followers and other prominent government critics.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) President Trump, a word, please.

I understand that you greatly admire your two BFFs in the Middle East, The Butcher of Yemen, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the Butcher of Gaza, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu, primarily because they seem to be able to get away with anything, including murder, and never seem to have to pay a moral or political price for their actions.

I would like to politely suggest, Mr. President, that those days may well soon be over for both men.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu was unable to create a majority for the Israeli government, and is awaiting his fate on corruption charges.

IF in fact these charges indicated above are proven true, your BFF in Saudi Arabia, the Butcher of Yemen, may well be facing a "coup-coup-a-CHOO!!", courtesy of other family members who never believed he should have been given the title of Crown Prince by his dad in the first place.

IF, in fact, by some miracle, you are re-elected in 2020, I would strongly caution you to only have around you moral and ethical people who really care about the future of this country (not just the fatness of their own wallets), and understand that the actions of this current administration appear to be those archetypal "last gasps of an empire in decline", and wish to see this country change course before it is too late.

And it well may be too late to save any vestiges of this country; I say that as someone who cares about this future of the US (because Mike and I have young family and we want to see them all thrive and survive); unfortunately, its leadership has dug itself into so many holes, post World War II, from which there is no return, that I cannot begin to enumerate them.

And one final observation, President Trump; your having positioned yourself as this country's "Merchant of Death in Chief", by signing off on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, in its continuing, unmitigated genocide in Yemen, has not done much to endear you to those people in this country, and on the planet (I am one of them) who sincerely wish to see this country prosper by promoting peace, prosperity, innovation and through intelligent, moral, hard-won negotiations.

Nov 06 20:43

Setting up the perfect Windows 10 Installation | Faster, Lighter, and Functional

-Update to the Latest
-Block Updates
-Debloat Script
-Disable Privacy Settings
-High Performance Power Settings
-Disable Indexing
-Disable Firewall (ONLY ON SECURE NETWORKS!)

Nov 06 17:43

NVIDIA Fixes Security Flaws in GPU Driver, GeForce Experience

Users are urged to update their GeForce, Quadro, NVS, and Tesla Windows GPU display drivers by applying the security update available on the NVIDIA Driver Downloads page. Some of the affected driver versions will receive patches during the week of November 18 as per NVIDIA.

The company also advises customers to patch their GeForce Experience software by downloading the latest version from the GeForce Experience Downloads page or by launching the client to have it applied via the automatic update mechanism

Nov 06 17:40

Facebook executives planned 'switcharoo' on data policy change: court filings

began cutting off access to user data for app developers from 2012 to squash potential rivals

Nov 06 14:31


The ACLU has sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other federal agencies, making claims that the government is improperly withholding information on how it uses a facial recognition database on millions of Americans. The civil rights organization also asks for a “federal court to intervene and order the FBI and related agencies to turn over all records concerning their use of face recognition technology,” according to a legal document.

“Because of the FBI’s secrecy, little is known about how the agency is supercharging its surveillance activities with face recognition technology,” Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union wrote in a post on its website.

The public has a right to know when, where, and how law enforcement agencies are using face recognition technology, and what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect our rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I find that I do have a "hug and a punch" relationship with this organization, but on this issue, I am having a "hug and let's do coffee" moment, with their actions here.

Nov 06 12:38

Netflix will stop working on older Samsung smart TVs next month

Some Samsung smart TVs will no longer include Netflix support starting Dec. 2, a Netflix representative said Tuesday. The change is due to technical limitations.

Nov 06 12:27

Heads up from Internet of S*!# land: Best Buy's Insignia 'smart' home gear will become very dumb this Wednesday

FYI: US mega-retailer Best Buy will switch off the "smart" portion of its Insignia-branded smart home gadgets this coming Wednesday, rendering them just plain old dumb gear.

Folks who've bought these soon-to-be-internet-less Internet-of-Things gizmos can apply for some money back in the form of a gift card, though a full refund is off the cards, literally.

“As the Insignia Connect platform will be discontinued on November 6, 2019, this process will determine your eligibility for compensation for your eligible Insignia Connect products,” Best Buy stated on its webpage about the shutdown. An FAQ with more details is here.

"The compensation will not be a full refund of your product, and will be determined by product type."

Nov 06 12:17

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

The self-driving Uber car that hit and killed a woman walking her bike across a street wasn’t designed to detect “jaywalking pedestrians.”

That's according to an official dossier published by the US National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) on Tuesday.

The March 2018 accident was the first recorded death by a fully autonomous vehicle. On-board video footage showed the victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, pushing her bike at night across a road in Tempe, Arizona, moments before she was struck by the AI-powered SUV at 39 MPH.

Now, an investigation by the NTSB into the crash has pinpointed a likely major contributing factor: the code couldn't recognize her as a pedestrian, because she was not at an obvious designated crossing.

Nov 06 09:52

Israeli spyware targeted Americans

An Israeli company enabled the hacking of American citizens’ phones – possibly including some belonging to government officials.

The NSO Group’s spy software used a security vulnerability in WhatsApp to hijack the phones of at least 1,400 people in the spring, a Reuters report revealed on Thursday.

The news agency spoke to sources familiar with an internal WhatsApp investigation into the breach.

The targets were spread across more than 20 countries, many of them US allies, Reuters reported.

Their sources stated that a “significant” number of the known victims were high-profile government and military officials.

Some of the victims are in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Mexico, Pakistan and India, according to Reuters’ sources.

Nov 06 09:44

Fitbit is doomed: Why everything Google buys turns to garbage

Late last week, Google announced its intention to purchase Fitbit, the beleaguered health tracker manufacturer, in an attempt to vitalize its wearables business, with the presumed intent of producing a Pixel Watch to rival Apple and Samsung's offerings sometime in the future.

You'll have to excuse my pessimism. I fully expect this to result in a total catastrophe for Fitbit's employees, products, and customers. Just about everything Google has ever purchased has been discarded like garbage or has been completely devalued as a result of the company's inability to successfully integrate acquired businesses into its culture.

Nov 05 20:37

More Smartphone Lawsuits Expected. RF Radiation Exceeds Outdated Federal Safety Levels Up to 500%

By B.N. Frank

An article published in the Chicago Tribune in August revealed that 11 smartphone models exceed very outdated federal RadioFrequency (RF) exposure safety limits.

How outdated? No “safe” levels of RF radiation have even been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women. Health experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics have warned that children are more susceptible to harm from all sources of wireless radiation and have encouraged reducing their exposure everywhere including in medical buildings, schools, etc.

Because of the Chicago Tribune article, Fegan Scott law firm started a class action lawsuit...

Nov 05 18:20

8chan Relaunches As 8kun

After months offline due to a sustained assault by our Big Tech oligarchs, 8chan is finally back online after relaunching as 8kun.

Nov 05 17:01

Apple, Google, Facebook move aside: State Duma mulls making Russian-made software mandatory for mobile devices

A bill obligating all devices in Russia to have local software pre-installed on them is being considered by the Parliament. If it becomes law, there are fears that Apple could leave the $3 billion market altogether.

The legislation, which passed the first reading by the MPs on Tuesday, stipulates that any smartphone, computer or smart TV sold in Russia must have Russian applications by default on it. Such software, it claims, is friendlier and more attractive for Russian users than Western counterparts.

Nov 05 16:55

AMD, a chipmaking underdog, is having its day

Two things explain the firm’s resurgence. One is a better product. In 2012 AMD rehired Jim Keller, a well-regarded chip designer who had been at Apple. AMD had long been competing on price—its chips were slower than Intel’s but much cheaper. Mr Keller’s “Zen” chips, unveiled in 2017, are still cheap. But they are now as zippy as Intel’s, or even zippier: AMD’s top-end server chip, for instance, is faster than its Intel counterpart in many tasks, and costs half as much. Zen chips have won a string of contracts with Microsoft and Sony (for new games consoles), Google (data centres) and Cray (supercomputers), among others.

The second reason is that, while AMD has improved, Intel has stumbled. The firm makes its own chips. Its latest and greatest manufacturing process, which should have delivered a big performance boost, is years late, leaving the firm to rehash existing designs.

Nov 05 16:31

Boeing's poor information security posture threatens passenger safety, national security, researcher says

Boeing's poor information security practices threaten aviation safety and national security, security researcher Chris Kubecka told an audience at the Aviation Cyber Security conference in London today.

Boeing test development networks are publicly exposed to the internet, Kubecka said, and at least one of Boeing's email servers is infected with multiple strains of malware. Kubecka believes that the infected email servers are being used to exfiltrate sensitive intellectual property including code used in both civilian passenger aircraft as well as aircraft Boeing sells to the US military.

Nov 05 16:23

Actively exploited bug in fully updated Firefox is sending users into a tizzy

Scammers are actively exploiting a bug in Firefox that causes the browser to lock up after displaying a message warning the computer is running a pirated version of Windows that has been hacked.

The message, which appears without any user interaction upon visiting a site, reads:

Please stop and do not close the PC... The registry key of your computer is locked. Why did we block your computer? The Windows registry key is illegal. The Windows desktop is using pirated software. The Window desktop sends viruses over the Internet. This Windows desktop is hacked. We block this computer for your safety.

The message then advises the person to call a toll-free number in the next five minutes or face having the computer disabled.

Nov 05 10:08

Executives at more than half of organizations worldwide say they are not prepared for cyberattacks, troubling new report claims

More than 4,000 cyberattacks occur daily worldwide, half of organizations across the globe admit they are not prepared for such events.

A new report has found that only 49 percent of chief information security officers believe in their company's ability to respond to a hacking incident or data breach.

Executives in the US were found to be the most confident with 72 percent stating they are fully prepared, but just a quarter of organizations in Japan said they could handle a cyberattack.

Nov 05 10:02

Uh Oh, Siri ?— Researchers Hack Smart Speakers With Lasers

Ars Technica reports that the attack exploits a vulnerability in microphones that use micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMs. The microscopic MEMs components in these microphones respond to light as if it were sound.

“We show how an attacker can use light-injected voice commands to unlock the target’s smart-lock protected front door, open garage doors, shop on e-commerce websites at the target’s expense, or even locate, unlock and start various vehicles (e.g., Tesla and Ford) if the vehicles are connected to the target’s Google account.”

Researchers tested Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Portal, and tablets and phones. All devices that use MEMS microphones are susceptible to this laser attack.

Nov 05 09:31

Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant smart speakers – they're all open to remote laser attacks

Researchers have found that MEMS microphones are so sensitive they can interpret light as sound, allowing an attacker to shoot silent commands to voice assistants from afar.