The cell tower your phone uses may be run by the FBI, police, etc.

Southern Stingray 

Powerful “stingrays” used to go after 911 hangup, ATM burglary
[Via Ars Technica]

Newly released records show that Florida law enforcement agencies have been using stingrays thousands of times since at least 2007 to investigate crimes as small as a 911 hangup. They also seemingly obliquely refer to stingrays in police reports as “electronic surveillance measures,” or even as a “confidential informant.”

Stingrays, the common name for “cell-site simulators,” can be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. During the act of locating a phone, stingrays also sweep up information about nearby phones—not just the target phone. Earlier this month, Ars reported on how the FBI is actively trying to “prevent disclosure” of how these devices are used in local jurisdictions across America.

The trove of documents, which were published earlier this week by the American Civil Liberties Union, show that while police agencies often justify the purchase of such hardware in the name of counter-terrorism—none of the the hundreds of disclosed uses involve terrorism.

[More]

Yes, this device mimics a cell tower, acting as a man-in-the-middle attack. While they may collect all the information  from the desired phone, including text and voice, they also recors all the data from every other phone in the area that thinks this is a legitimate cell tower.

That they can then do whatever they wish with. Like collect the phones calls of every single person neaar a protest. Including those from people in surrounding buildings.

And these can be worn by an individual. Walking around. The FBI has even stated that they do not need a warrant. Because you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when you call someone outside the privacy of your home.

So think about that the next time a friend calls you while walking down the street.

No way is the WSJ correct on its sales numbers for the gold Apple Watch

 Bullion bar with Coins

Paging Auric Goldfinger
[Via Daring Fireball]

Josh Centers does some back-of-the-envelope math to estimate how much raw gold Apple might need for Apple Watch Edition production:

There are two conclusions we can draw from this scattering of data. The first is that Apple is about to take over the world. Not only will it be the most valuable company on the planet, but it will also be bidding for a third of the world’s annual gold supply, wreaking havoc on gold prices and doing who knows what to the global economy.

The alternative is that the esteemed Wall Street Journal is off on its Apple Watch Edition sales by an order of magnitude (or more). That would put the number at 100,000 per month, which seems more plausible.

I think the WSJ’s sources are deeply suspect on these production numbers. There’s no way Apple is planning on selling one million Edition models a month. That’s just nutty. Rolex sells only 600,000 watches a year.

[More]

The numbers do not add up.

Always do the math. Amazing that the WSJ just acted as stenographers of the information rather than actually check their reality. I would not doubt that this was a leak from Apple used to determine who could not be trusted. I suspect someone mau have lost their job leaking this false information.


More instances of the high tech capitalist selling the rope to their own hanging

Death Noose 

SSL-busting code that threatened Lenovo users found in a dozen more apps
[Via Ars Technica]

The list of software known to use the same HTTPS-breaking technology recently found preinstalled on Lenovo laptops has risen dramatically with the discovery of at least 12 new titles, including one that’s categorized as a malicious trojan by a major antivirus provider.

Trojan.Nurjax, a malicious program Symantec discovered in December, hijacks the Web browsers of compromised computers and may download additional threats. According to a blog post published Friday by a security researcher from Facebook, Nurjax is one such example of newly found software that incorporates HTTPS-defeating code from an Israeli company called Komodia. Combined with the Superfish ad-injecting software preinstalled on some Lenovo computers and three additional applications that came to light shortly after that revelation, there are now 14 known apps that use Komodia technology.

“What all these applications have in common is that they make people less secure through their use of an easily obtained root CA [certificate authority], they provide little information about the risks of the technology, and in some cases they are difficult to remove,” Matt Richard, a threats researcher on the Facebook security team, wrote in Friday’s post. “Furthermore, it is likely that these intercepting SSL proxies won’t keep up with the HTTPS features in browsers (e.g., certificate pinning and forward secrecy), meaning they could potentially expose private data to network attackers. Some of these deficiencies can be detected by antivirus products as malware or adware, though from our research, detection successes are sporadic.”

[More]

This software, originally used to inject ads into encrypted  (and supposedly secure) web pages, actually make things less secure and allows a man-in-the-middle to capture all your data, including passwords to things like your bank accounts.

They essentially hacked the security of their own system to allow them to sell ads. 

These approaches made the user less secure, and never told the user that this was happening. I expect money changed hands to pre-install the software.

Makes one wonder what other things might be used by these guys  to make money at the expense of the security of the user?

Maybe a few good lawsuits will change this. Perhaps the rest of the sociopaths will get the message.



The Art of Political Lying – still relevant today

Jonathan Swift

Putting this up so I can find it later. Human behavior has not changed (my bold):

Few lies carry the inventor’s mark, and the most prostitute enemy to truth may spread a thousand, without being known for the author; besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect

1710, The Examiner

Selfish people doing stupid things

Stomach pump, aspirator, and enema syringe. 

Parents trying to reverse kids’ autism by ‘flushing out’ vaccines with bogus ‘miracle’ bleach enemas
[Via Raw Story]

Parents seeking help with children with autism are turning to a “miracle” cure that involves giving the children enemas, using a dangerous industrial solution used for bleaching wood pulp. According to If You Only News, parents have turned to Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), containing so…

[More]

They don’t like facts fromthe published literature but will inject chlorine dioxide up their children’s butts.

Other parents report that they are still continuing treatments despite extreme vomiting, kicking, and hysterics when enemas are being administered.

The reason for the existence of the FDA was to prevent people from scamming others. But the scammers still exist (the person pushing this is “certified homeopath”) because there are always stupid people.

Now, what often makes people stupid is fear. The scammer play on this fear, making them only trust the ones doing the scam.

The inability to use System 2, analytical thinking, is not only hurting their children’s healt. It also hurts the health of many, many others.



Open Carry T-shirts are not a good idea

Open Carry T-shirts are an invitation to be shot by cops
[Via Boing Boing]

The only difference between Open Carry T-Shirts and the Please Kill Me T-shirt that Richard Hell wore is that the Open Carry T-Shirts will really get you killed. Junior sizes available!

[More]

Only if someone has a deathwish. This is crazy. Cops kill unarmed people all the time because they think a bottle is a gun.

Former GM CEO does his Steve Ballmer impersonation

 musk

Apple would be crazy to make cars, former GM chief says 
[Via - CNET]

Talk of Apple entering the car market is serious enough that former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has felt the need to offer his two cents: Don’t do it!

Akerson, who left GM in 2014, told Bloomberg in an interview published Wednesday that if he were an Apple shareholder hearing news of the company considering building an electric car, he “wouldn’t be very happy.”

“I would be highly suspect of the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing” business, he told Bloomberg.

[More]

The former CEO of the worst car maker in the US doing his best Steve Ballmer impersonation. Here is what Ballmer said about the iPhone in 2007:

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

 That sure went well. The iPhone is not only increasing market share but also making most of the smartphone profits. Having your stuff in 60% of anything but making no money will never overcome 10% of the market with all the profits.

Because of Apple’s money, it can leverage all sorts of things to give itself a competitive edge. Few other makers can meet Apple’s prices and make a profit because Apple acts so much like a monopsonist by tying up long term contracts for parts that no one else can meet and even loaning the foundries money to upgrade themselves, as long as Apple gets first dibs.

The profit margin for Tesla is 25%. GM’s is 12%. Apple would love ot get Tesla’s and probably could.

In fact if Apple is going to make cars (something I really am skeptical of) it will follow Tesla not GM.

But if Apple ever does make a car, it will not be anything like what GM makes, just as the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac were not like anything that was being made before they entered the market.

Speculation is fun. I’m not even sure it will be private cars. Maybe combining auto-guided cars with flight.

Or perhaps coupling an electric car with Musk’s Hyperloop. The Hyperloop itself looks to be moving forward. Maybe you drive in your electric Apple car and get special pricing and perks (like a rest room).


 

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