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We Are FOOLS For The Internet

Remember when we were told that our Internet searches might be watched over surveilled ‘reviewed’ by the Intelligence ‘Community’ (“Jesus, you guys are kind to yourselves!” ‘Joe Turner (Condor)’, in Three Days of the Condor)

Now, my friend Borepatch brings us this:

Amazon Echo, Google Alexa, and the NSA

Amazon Echo and Google’s Alexa are Internet Of Things devices that listen for your voice commands and then do not particularly interesting things for you.  The minor convenience and gee whiz factor are way outweighed by how you are painting a big bulls eye on your house:

As a rule, IoT devices lack security and these are no different. Unlike other IoT devices, these personal assistants compromise your security in even more ways they you may think. In general, most users don’t read the Terms of Service (ToS) associated with IoT devices or software being installed. Users have a basic understanding that Amazon and Google will maintain your profile information, such as what music you listen to, when you turn off your lights, or even the coffee you order, in an effort to provide a better over-all experience. Over time these devices learn your preferences; the more intuitive and responsive the device, the more we tend to use it.

What is more alarming is what you don’t think about when using these voice activated devices including those from Apple and Microsoft. There has been a lot of discussion around the security and privacy of these devices over the past few months. One of the biggest concerns is the question of whether the devices are always listening. Both Amazon and Google say the devices listen for hot words that activate them, such has Hello Google or Echo/Alexa, but because these devices are controlled by and interact with by Amazon and Google, the hot words and or the device itself can be easily manipulated to allow for an always on “listening mode” by the vendor at any time by the way of a crafty term of service

How’s the security of these devices?  You can’t know.  What will the Terms Of Service provide to protect your privacy?  You can’t know:

Amazon:In order to keep the Amazon Software up-to-date, we may offer automatic or manual updates at any time and without notice to you.

Google:When a Service requires or includes downloadable software, this software may update automatically on your device once a new version or feature is available…

So the services can update the software without your knowledge, whenever they want, for any reason they want.  The terms of service state that they may sell or share your data to other organizations.  And this is creepy but entirely to be expected:

In addition to the vendor maintaining access to the device, it isn’t unfathomable that cyber-criminals could gain access as well. These are, after all, IoT devices and are just as vulnerable to being pwnd (geek speak meaning owned/or controlled) as any other IoT device. Both devices have indicators when they are in listening mode, however this can be easily disabled by a hacker. A hacker could be listening to your every word and you would not be aware.

And so would NSA listen in?  The Snowden revelations suggest that they might already be listening in.  How much data do they have?  Who knows?

It will be a cold day in Hell when one of these things shows up at Castle Borepatch.

It’s probably good we at Guffaw de alquiler cannot afford such things.  My roomie is not particularly tech savvy (less than I) , but loves toys!  Between the two of us, we have a PC, a laptop, two tablets, two smartphones, and she has a smart watch!
If indeed, United States intelligence (or Israeli?  They reportedly have a listening post not far from Fort Huachuca) is actually paying attention to what we email, and to whom, and records our cellular calls, and computer searches, adding a voice-actuated room-wide link to the Internet just seems like overkill.
Inviting what is essentially an open wiretap into one’s home, with which to do Internet searches, order products and services, pay bills, etc. seems a little self-defeating.  If privacy is your goal.
If we ever get out of this financial hole we are digging (with her working little, and surgery pending – putting her off for six to twelve weeks), I can see her wanting one, though.
Sigh.

 

Badass!

(copied stolen from Bayou Renaissance Man)

One can only salute the courage and determination of this victim of terrorism.

An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.

The attacker, a Palestinian, died a few minutes later, police said.

The victim, later named as Yonatan Azarihab, an ultra-Orthodox man of about 40 who suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was hospitalized in moderate condition.

The store owner was not injured.

There’s more at the link.

There will doubtless be those of a bleeding-heart persuasion who try to convince us that the Palestinian was merely ‘resisting Jewish oppression’.  Bull.  As the late, great Jeff Cooper once said:

The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.

He was a terrorist – a criminal by any other name.  Thanks to a courageous, determined – and, yes, probably very angry – victim of his terrorism, he ended up paying the price for his crime right then and there.  Congratulations to Mr. Azarihab.  I hope and pray he makes a speedy and full recovery from his wounds.  I don’t know whether Orthodox Judaism condones the drinking of beer, but if it does, I’ll gladly buy him one (or any suitable beverage of his choice) anytime I get the chance.

Peter

Reminiscent of the tales of late regarding Ghurka warriors, in another part of the Old World, dispatching bad guys with aplomb!  Not one-on-one, but one-on-many!

But here we get told engagement is a no-no, it might make the attacker (more) angry.

Obviously, one needs to know oneself and one’s abilities (and limitations), but we need to stand up to any bastards who confront us with potential immediate harm and stop them!

And yes, I know I’m stating the obvious and preaching to the choir.

What’s For Me Is Not For Thee!

Sipsey Street Irregulars brought this clown to my attention…

Matt Sweetwood won a landmark victory for gun ownership rights from the New Jersey Supreme Court. So he’s against gun restrictions, right? Wrong. Here is his six point plan to help reduce gun violence.

There needs to be a Federal database of all guns and gun owners.

7-day waiting period before a gun is purchased and background checks on every purchase.

Elimination of unregulated gun selling / trading events. Every gun sold needs to be in the Federal registry.

There should be a set standard for gun ownership. Currently, it is left in the discretion of local authorities who sometimes error incorrectly either way. If you have committed an aggravated felony you can’t have a gun. If you have mental health issues you get a hearing to determine your status. If you don’t fall into those categories, you can’t be denied a gun.

Let’s do as the Israelis do. Currently, here in the USA, most sports arenas have searches on the way in. That needs to be effectuated on any public place where there are crowds. In Israel, you can’t enter a movie theater, bar, mall, etc., without bags being searched and wanded by a metal / bomb detector.

Most gun crimes are committed by repeat offenders. There needs to be mandatory minimum jail sentences for any crime committed with a gun. Sell drugs while carrying a gun and get 10 years in prison – do it again, get 20 years. We need to let the bad guys know, gun crime gets you real time.”Bill of Rights?  We don’ need no Bill of Rights!”

Doesn’t it make you are gooey inside that someone for whom we stood up has such an individual-civil-rights-oriented view?

Yeah, makes me sick, too.

(Of course, he does live in NEW JERSEY!)

h/t The Good Men Project

Starbucks And Politics

pequodsI like Starbucks.

They are not my favorite, but they are close by.

And being near a university, there are many pretty people to watch – some of them college girls!  🙂

They are overpriced, and the stores are filled with students and hipsters, but the ones I sometimes visit are clean, well stocked, and the staff is attentive.

As far as that goes.

messageNow comes the producers of corporate messaging, trying to imbue us with the idea that Starbucks supports inclusion, racial equality, and fairness.  Except for White people.  They, by the wearing of their very pink skin, are racist.

Almost simultaneously with this message being promoted by handouts and scrawling cryptic racial messages on their overpriced cups came ‘news’ across the Internet that Starbucks is anti-Semitic!  (I wonder if this was planned?)

It seems there are numerous and ubiquitous stores throughout the Middle East in Arab countries, but the six lone stores in Israel have been closed by corporate edict!

It certainly must be because they are anti-Semitic.  Right?

A quick Internet search determined that Hebrew doesn’t necessarily mean he brews coffee.  The Israelis like their tea.  And Starbucks, being of a profit-making mind, decided to close the stores as they weren’t producing.

As they have been in the Arab (coffee-drinking) nations.

Of course, it was only a year or two ago that Starbucks encouraged legal firearms possession in locales where doing so was legal – then reversed their decision and said it didn’t support such action in their stores.

Perhaps they should keep their corporate minds on their coffee and not my politics!?

Of course, I still carry discretely, wherever.

Sometimes, caffeinated.

(FTC – Starbucks gives me nothing!  Get your own coffee!)

Self Defense In Israel – “Never Again!”

israelI’d always believed that ISRAEL had very liberal gun laws.  Liberal as in classically liberal, e.g. open carry is ubiquitous, etc.  Turns out this was NOT the truth:

From Nikki

If you haven’t already heard, two pig-humping Paleoswine walked into a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel today (posted November 18) and proceeded to murder five innocent people, including three U.S.-born rabbis. The sons of sows used meat cleavers, an ax, and a gun in their attacks in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

That’s right. They hacked innocent worshipers to death with meat cleavers. By the time police arrived and shot the two savages, several people had been hacked and/or shot to death.

Meanwhile, it was a rude awakening for Israel. As Y.B. ben Avraham explains at Zelman Partisans, it is an error to cite Israel as some sort of bastion of firearms freedoms. It isn’t.

While it is true that one sees young people, fresh from graduating high school, with select-fire rifles slung on their backs, and in Judea and Samaria it is a bit easier to obtain a community weapon or permit, in reality, the “freedoms” look much more like Chicago or NYC than say, Arizona. Everything is by permission, and licensure, and the restrictions have been getting much more restrictive and onerous, in practice, especially in the large metropolitan areas.

It took a massacre for Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to announce an easing of restrictions on carrying weapons. Unfortunately, the epiphany is insufficient. The moderation in policy only applies to those who currently hold licenses, such as security guards and off-duty military officers. What about the rest of the defenseless would-be victims whose only recourse against ax- and meat cleaver-wielding sociopaths is to wait for a police officer to arrive? What about the innocent faithful, praying in a synagogue whose only hope is to wait for help to arrive?

The homicidal butchers gave Israel a wake-up call when they walked into that synagogue wielding implements of murder and proceeded to shed innocent blood. The massacre prompted the Public Security Minister to loosen gun regulations for license holders.

What will it take for the Israeli government to realize that their infringement on the natural rights of the people can end up in nothing but slaughter?

Have they forgotten?

Or are they channeling their rights-controlling brethren in Chicago and NYC?

It’s better to ask forgiveness than to get permission!  MAROONS ALL!

It’s For The Children

They were CHILDREN . . .

Over here in the States we have been following every day the story of the kidnapped & murdered teens Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Frenkel, also 16 – it is horrific – words cannot express . . . our deepest and sincerest sympathies to their families, and the greater family of the State of Israel . . . S.L.(Sean Linneane)

REMEMBER Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney?

Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney are killed by a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob near Meridian, Mississippi. The three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi, thus inspiring the ire of the local Klan. The deaths of Schwerner and Goodman, white Northerners and members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), caused a national outrage. (The KKK kills three civil rights activists – June 21, 1964)

For some reason, these two events connected for me.  Maybe it’s that they were young (The KKK murder victims were a little older than those in Israel).  Maybe it’s the senselessness of it all.

Violence in war is sanitized for our consumption; when young people die, though, when seen as individuals, it touches our hearts.

May God Bless all their memories.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…