Smartphones Too Much… Now Selling Dumbphones

7 Nov 2017

2017/11/06 – Ditching Smartphones: ‘Dumbphones’ With Basic Functions Appealing To Some – CBS Philadelphia

“We’ve hit a point where we can pretty much do everything with these phones and I think some people are finding themselves saying, ‘What do I need all that for?’”

“I think some will gravitate to dumpphones because they want simplicity. They want their lives back.”


Warrantless Wiretap Reform Percolating in Congress

6 Oct 2017

2017/10/04 – Warrantless wiretapping reform legislation circulates on Capitol Hill – The Hill

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday is circulating a hotly-anticipated proposal to reform the National Security Agency’s controversial warrantless wiretapping program.

Good to hear. It would be even better to investigate possible wiretapping violations that may have occurred. A copy of the legislation is at the link.

Hackers Advancing in Trying To Control Power Grids

7 Sep 2017


Security firm Symantec is warning that a series of recent hacker attacks not only compromised energy companies in the US and Europe but also resulted in the intruders gaining hands-on access to power grid operations—enough control that they could have induced blackouts on American soil at will.

In more than 20 cases, Symantec says the hackers successfully gained access to the target companies’ networks. And at a handful of US power firms and at least one company in Turkey—none of which Symantec will name—their forensic analysis found that the hackers obtained what they call operational access: control of the interfaces power company engineers use to send actual commands to equipment like circuit breakers, giving them the ability to stop the flow of electricity into US homes and businesses.

Doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies, does it?

In Context: Democrat, Pakistan Computer Scandal

7 Sep 2017

2017/09/06 – Police Report Indicates Wasserman Schultz IT Aide Planted Computer For Investigators To Find – Daily Caller
2017/09/06 – Former Democratic IT Staffer to Return From Pakistan, Face Charges – Washington Free Beacon
2017/07/29 – Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Pakistani IT Scammers – National Review
2017/07/26 – Why Was Wife of DWS’s Swindler Staffer Allowed to Leave the Country? – National Review
2017/07/26 – Wasserman Schultz Fires IT Staffer After Fraud Arrest – CBS Miami
2017/07/26 – Former Wasserman Schultz IT staffer arrested on charges of bank fraud – CBS News
2017/07/24 – Imran Awan FBI Affidavit – US District Court, DocumentCloud
2017/07/23 – FBI Seized Smashed Hard Drives From Wasserman Schultz IT Aide’s Home – Daily Caller
2017/07/19 – Wasserman Schultz to allow laptop scan after months of stonewalling in IT probe – Fox News
2017/04/30 – Wasserman Schultz IT Guy Threatened Kidnappings For Cash, Court Docs Say – Daily Caller
2017/03/13 – House Hacking Suspects Could Read Every Email Dozens Of Congressmen Sent And Received – Daily Caller
2017/03/08 – House Staffers In Security Probe Allegedly Kept Stepmom In ‘Captivity’ To Access Offshore Cash – Daily Caller
2017/03/01 – House Democrats fire two IT staffers amid criminal investigation – Politico
2017/02/21 – House Dem IT Staffers Owed Money To Hezbollah-Connected Fugitive – Daily Caller
2017/02/07 – Congress IT Probe Suspects Had Massive Debts, Years Of Suspicious Activity – Daily Caller
2017/02/04 – House Dem IT Staffers Fired In Computer Security Probe – Daily Caller
2017/02/02 – House staffers under criminal investigation for alleged equipment theft – Politico
2017/01/30 – Abid A. Awan, Congressional Staffer – Salary Data – Legistorm
2017/01/05 – Fairfax police report on suspects in Congressional security breach – DocumentCloud

Drones Used To Supply Quick EMT Services

14 Jun 2017

2017-06-14 – Emergency drones rush life-saving help to simulated cardiac arrest cases – Ars Technica

Reenacting 18 real-life emergency calls of cardiac arrest to emergency medical services in Norrtälje, Sweden, researchers dispatched a drone carrying an automated external defibrillator (AED) from the local fire station. The drone reached the site of the emergency in around five minutes—about 16 minutes faster than emergency medical responders—researchers report Tuesday in JAMA.

Good stuff…

When ISIS Goes Underground

31 May 2017

2017/05/29 – What Happens After ISIS Goes Underground – The National Interest

The good part…

ISIS is losing territory and struggling financially. Its fighters are fleeing, and its leadership is being targeted at a frenetic pace. Throughout the Arab and Islamic world, ISIS had been losing support through 2016—given the group’s military losses, that trend has likely continued in the past year. And in what appears to be a rather desperate attempt to continue fighting, the organization is increasingly relying on elderly militants to conduct suicide attacks.

The bad part…

Despite such adversity, it is highly likely that ISIS will not be defeated in the coming months and years.

Taking away territory from ISIS is a temporary stopgap that will merely push the group toward more clandestine activity in the near term, as Craig Whiteside, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, and other terrorism experts have repeatedly noted. In conjunction, the group will probably shift the locus of its activities to other enclaves where it continues to hold power and can remain capable of resupplying its organization with weapons and other materiel. And, the organization will undoubtedly redouble its efforts and presence in cyberspace, where for years it has enjoyed relative sanctuary in the conduct of offensive and support operations.

Also take into account that many sympathizers have been exported across the globe.

A good article if you follow these things.

Chipotle Customer Info Hacked in March, April 2017

27 May 2017

2017/05/26 – Chipotle says hackers hit most restaurants in data breach – Rueters

Chipotle said it did not know how many payment cards or customers were affected by the breach that struck most of its roughly 2,250 restaurants for varying amounts of time between March 24 and April 18, spokesman Chris Arnold said via email.

Stolen data included account numbers and internal verification codes. The malware has since been removed.

The information could be used to drain debit card-linked bank accounts, make “clone” credit cards, or to buy items on certain less-secure online sites, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the non-profit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.