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Technology in the News

Technology is constantly changing and providing the casual user with challenges never dreamed of. Technology in the News is provided in an effort to assist you in getting the most out of your computer, while avoiding some of the pitfalls. Your computer really isn't out to get you. Why not learn to be friends?

      
 Title   Date   Author   Host 

slate.com

by Jennifer Daskal, Matt Perault

May 22, 2020

This article is part of Privacy in the Pandemic, a Future Tense series. -- Big Tech's contact tracing initiative complicates the narrative of European governments protecting citizens against Silicon Valley's privacy intrusions.

In debates over digital privacy, American tech companies are often branded as the villains, with European policymakers cast in the role of savior. Big Tech is out to steal your privacy, but European governments are stepping in to protect it. Or so the narrative goes. But the new exposure notification system released by Google and Apple on Wednesday has turned these roles on their head, albeit in ways that at least some public health authorities say will make their job more difficult. It stands as a clear warning against type casting in this debate.

forbes.com

by Zak Doffman - Cybersecurity I write about security and surveillance.

May 22, 2020

So, the big news this week is that Apple and Google have launched their watered down "contact-tracing" platforms into the world. Only "contact-tracing" has now become "exposure notification..."

...and judging by all the evidence to-date, they're not going to be effective enough to make a difference. Worse, they introduce a set of dangerous security risks that have not been addressed. False hopes, false starts. Let's clear something up from the start. Contact-tracing is not an opt-in Bluetooth app that might register your proximity to an infected person, under a very limited set of circumstances, including that you're both fully running the app. No, contact tracing is a manually-intensive, surveillance-heavy, privacy-intrusive process where a combination of brute-force measures and meticulous attention to detail, under the purview of well-trained operatives, roots out the spread of infection.

theverge.com

by Makena Kelly

April 3, 2019

On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced a new piece of legislation that would make it easier to criminally charge company executives when Americans' personal data is breached.

The Corporate Executive Accountability Act is yet another push from Warren who has focused much of her presidential campaign on holding corporations and their leaders responsible for both their market dominance and perceived corruption. The bill, if approved, would widen criminal liability of "negligent" executives of corporations (that make more than $1 billion) when they commit crimes, repeatedly break federal laws, or harm a large number of Americans by way of civil rights violations, including their data privacy.

theverge.com

by Chris Welch

April 3, 2019

Google has officially started the process of shutting down and deleting all consumer accounts on its Google+ social network platform, bringing an end to the company's attempt to directly compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Google+ is being phased out due to "low usage" and because it turned into something of a security liability for Google; the company has disclosed two significant data leaks that could have exposed information for tens of millions of Google+ users to outside developers. The first vulnerability, which was kept secret for months, prompted Google to decide it was time to close Google+ for good, and the second led to the company accelerating those shutdown plans by four months, meaning the service will meet its end in April instead of August.

minds.com

by @gocat

April 3, 2019

Google isn't a search company anymore, they're a tracking company. Google trackers have been found on 75% of the top million websites.

Investigation by the Associated Press revealed that Google continues to track location data even after a consumer has turned off the setting. In "Google Data Collection," Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers.

digitaljournal.com

April 3, 2018

Scientists call on the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer to re-evaluate the carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation after the Ramazzini Institute and US government studies report finding the same unusual cancers

Researchers with the renowned Ramazzini Institute (RI) in Italy announce that a large-scale lifetime study of lab animals exposed to environmental levels of cell tower radiation developed cancer. A $25 million study of much higher levels of cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation, from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), has also reported finding the same unusual cancer called Schwannoma of the heart in male rats treated at the highest dose. In addition, the RI study of cell tower radiation also found increases in malignant brain (glial) tumors in female rats and precancerous conditions including Schwann cells hyperplasia in both male and female rats.

scientificamerican.com

by Charles Schmidt

April 3, 2018

Researchers call for greater caution, but skeptics say the evidence from rat studies is not convincing

Does cell phone radiation cause cancer? New studies show a correlation in lab rats, but the evidence may not resolve ongoing debates over causality or whether any effects arise in people. The ionizing radiation given off by sources such as x-ray machines and the sun boosts cancer risk by shredding molecules in the body. But the non-ionizing radio-frequency (RF) radiation that cell phones and other wireless devices emit has just one known biological effect: an ability to heat tissue by exciting its molecules.

medium.freecodecamp.com

by Quincy Larson

February 24, 2017

A few months ago I wrote about how you can encrypt your entire life in less than an hour. Well, all the security in the world can't save you if someone has physical possession of your phone or laptop...

On his way through the airport, Customs and Border Patrol agents pulled him aside. They searched him, then detained him in a room with a bunch of other people sleeping in cots. They eventually returned and said they'd release him if he told them the password to unlock his phone. Bikkannavar explained that the phone belonged to NASA and had sensitive information on it, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

infoworld.com

by Roger A. Grimes

February 15, 2017

No fewer than 70 percent of internet-connected Seagate NAS hard drives have been compromised by a single malware program. That's a pretty startling figure. Security vendor Sophos says the bitcoin-mining malware Miner-C is the culprit.

I'm surprised this story hasn't garnered more attention. Perhaps it's because we're talking only 7,000 hard drives possibly in total, or perhaps it's because the mainstream media doesn't understand what NAS means. Either way, it has colossal implications. Apparently, storage admins:

infosecurity-magazine.com

by Tara Seals

February 15, 2017

Typically, the affected TVs will be locked, and a ransom message pops up asking for 10,000 yen (around $100) to be paid within 72 hours.

Japan alone has reported more than 300 ransomware attacks on smart TVs this year, marking a sharp increase in cyberattacks targeting internet of things (IoT) appliances, according to Trend Micro. Typically, the affected TVs will be locked, and a ransom message pops up asking for 10,000 yen (around $100) to be paid within 72 hours.

      
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