Germany sees big rise in security problems affecting infrastructure

Found on Reuters on Monday, 18 February 2019
Browse Technology

The Welt am Sonntag weekly had reported on Sunday that Germany had learned of 157 hacker attacks on critical infrastructure companies in the second half of 2018 compared to 145 attacks in the whole of the previous year.

German and European authorities have become increasingly worried about the risk of security breaches in infrastructure as well as interference in elections especially from Russia, China and far-right groups.

But, but! Everybody needs IoT and Cloud, and 5G so that everything can go online! Seriously, if politicians wouldn't be so clueless and corrupt manipulable by lobbyists they would realize that they are just spreading lies.

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

Found on The Register on Sunday, 17 February 2019
Browse Various

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the tech titan was actually paid $129m by US taxpayers thanks to an income tax rebate.

With the average American paying an income tax rate of between 10 and 15 per cent, and the corporate tax rate reduced recently from 35 to 21 per cent, Amazon as one of the largest corporations in the world paid a tax rate of minus one per cent.

According to ITEP, the entire company has been specifically constructed to avoid paying tax.

That's so digusting that it speaks for itself and does not need any comment.

Facebook uses its apps to track users it thinks could threaten employees and offices

Found on CNBC on Saturday, 16 February 2019
Browse Internet

Several of the former employees questioned the ethics of Facebook's security strategies, with one of them calling the tactics "very Big Brother-esque."

Facebook notifies its security professionals anytime a new person is added to the BOLO list, sending out a report that includes information about the person, such as their name, photo, their general location and a short description of why they were added.

Users who publicly threaten the company, its offices or employees — including posting threatening comments in response to posts from executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are often added to the list.

Facebook has the capability to track BOLO users' whereabouts by using their smartphone's location data collected through the Facebook app, or their IP address collected through the company's website.

That does not sound "Big Brother-esque"; that is much more cult-esque like Scientology. Not to mention that tracking users like that might be very well illegal too. This is just another good reason not to use them and avoid Facebook like the plague.

5G Has Become The Magic Pixie Dust Of Tech Policy Conversations

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 15 February 2019
Browse Technology

Fifth generation wireless (5G) has quickly become a sort of magical carrot on a stick in tech and telecom policy circles. Telecom lobbyists and the Ajit Pai FCC have spent the better part of the last two years trying to claim that unless we gut consumer protections like net neutrality, America will somehow fall behind in the "race" to 5G.

Of course this is all bullshit. As we've noted previously, the "race to 5G" rhetoric is largely nonsense crafted by hardware vendors looking to sell more network hardware and wireless carriers looking to justify high US mobile data prices and spur lagging phone and tablet sales.

5G ist nothing else but a buzzword that politicians manage to remember. Just ask one of them why a factory, which usually does not move around much, absolutely requires a wireless uplink instead of FTTB which is better; or why autonomous cars, which have to be capable of sensing the environment via build-in sensors, need a wireless connection to operate. They won't be able to answer, because there is no answer.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Found on The Register on Thursday, 14 February 2019
Browse Technology

GPS signals from satellites include a timestamp, needed in part to calculate one's location, that stores the week number using ten binary bits.

Every 1,024 weeks, or roughly every 20 years, the counter rolls over from 1,023 to zero.

For devices unprepared for the counter overflow, a firmware upgrade will be necessary to keep the things working properly.

It's not like bits are very expensive. They could have used 12, or better 16 bits and be on the safe side; but no, they decided to make the timeframe short instead.

You Can Now Run Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 3

Found on Tom's Hardware on Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Browse Technology

Raspberry Pi is finally ready for the full Windows 10 experience. A new installer lets you put Windows 10 on Arm, including the Pi.

Previously, the only way to run Windows at all was by using Windows IoT Core, but Windows 10 on ARM may be far more capable.

Maybe you can, but why would you want to?

Phone Scammer Gets 6 Years in Prison After He Made the Mistake of Calling William Webster

Found on Slashdot on Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Browse Legal-Issues

The Washington Post has an amusing story about phone scammer Keniel A. Thomas, who made the mistake of calling William H. Webster. Thomas told 90-year-old Webster that he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, but that he needed to send $50,000 in taxes and fees to get his money.

He didn't learn that the man he was calling was the former director of the FBI and the CIA, the only person ever to hold both jobs. And he didn't know that Webster would call him back the next day with the FBI listening in. Thomas was arrested in late 2017, after he landed in New York on a flight from Jamaica.

Always do your research first.

Article 13 Was Purposefully Designed To Be Awful For The Internet; EU Moves Forward With It Anyway

Found on Techdirt on Monday, 11 February 2019
Browse Politics

This happened despite the fact that there's basically no one left who supports this version of Article 13. The public is widely against it. The internet companies are against it. And, perhaps surprisingly, even the legacy copyright companies -- who pushed so hard for this -- are still angry about the result, which they insist is too lenient on the internet.

It would, effectively, make it nearly impossible for any website to ever host any user-generated content. In nearly all cases it would require expensive and problematic upload filters.

What's to complain about? The best politicians you can buy with money are sitting in Bruessel, next to lobbyists with money-filled suitcases.

83% Of Consumers Believe Personalized Ads Are Morally Wrong, Survey Says

Found on Forbes on Sunday, 10 February 2019
Browse Various

A massive majority of consumers believe that using their data to personalize ads is unethical. And a further 76% believe that personalization to create tailored newsfeeds -- precisely what Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications do every day -- is unethical.

"Companies must acknowledge and protect consumers’ right to privacy while considering the impact of emerging technology," the report reads.

Yet Facebool, Twitter and other resellers of personal data continue to grow because people keep signing up.

After No-Knock Raid Goes Horribly Wrong, Police Union Boss Steps Up To Threaten PD's Critics

Found on Techdirt on Saturday, 09 February 2019
Browse Legal-Issues

The no-knock warrant was supposed to make everything safer for the officers, giving them a chance to get a jump on the suspects and prevent the destruction of evidence/officers. But as anyone other than cops seems to comprehend, startling people in their own homes with explosives and kicked-in doors tends to make everything more dangerous for everyone.

According to cops, the 59-year-old Tuttle opened fire on officers and his wife tried to take a shotgun from a downed officer, resulting in her being killed as well. The married couple are now dead, having amassed a combined 21 years of marriage and a single criminal charge -- a misdemeanor bad check charge -- between them before this raid ended their lives.

It started with a CI tip about an illegal substance that wasn't found during the search and ended with four cops wounded and two people with no criminal history shot dead in the home they had lived in for twenty years.

No-knock might work in many other countries, but seriously, in the land of the guns with "Stand Your Ground" laws?