Tuesday Morning: Trash Day

It’s trash day in my neighborhood. Time to take the garbage to the curb. I aim for as little trash as possible, which means buying and consuming less processed/more fresh foods. I use paper/glass/ceramic/stainless steel for storage, avoiding plastics as much as possible. Every lick of plastic means oil — either the plastic has been created wholly from oil, or fossil fuels have been used in its manufacture. Can say the same about the manufacturing of paper/glass/ceramic/stainless steel, but paper can be composted/recycled/renewed, and the rest can be used for lifetimes if cared for. I use ceramic bowls that belonged to my great-grandmother, and stainless pots and bowls once belonging to my mother, and I expect to hand them down some day.

Which makes me all judgy when I’m walking through the neighborhood, side-eyeing the garbage cans at the curb. Can’t believe how much waste is created every week, and how willing we are to pay tax dollars to stick it in the ground as landfill. How can Family X not bother to recycle at all? How can Family Y live on so much processed, chemical-laden garbage? It’s all right there at the end of their driveway, their addiction to fossil fuel consumption spelled out in trash.

What small change can you make in your lifestyle so Judgy McJudgyPants here doesn’t side-eye your trash cans?

Speaking of trash…

Piling on the wonks, Part 3: United Healthcare exiting Obamacare in Michigan
Disclosure: UHC is my health insurer, which I am fortunate enough to afford. But I couldn’t stay with them if I had to go on Obamacare. UHC says it’s losing too much money in Michigan to remain in the program — not certain how given the double-digit underwriting increase it posted for this past year. UHC will leave other states which may not fare as well as Michigan, and even Michigan will suffer from decreasing competition. Do tell us, though, wonks, how great Obamacare is. I’m sure I will feel better should I ever have to shop Obamacare plans for pricey coverage with a dwindling number of providers. And if you missed the previous discussions on inept Obamacare wonkery, see Part 1 by Marcy and Part 2 by Ed Walker.

Tech Tiews

  • Don’t let anybody say Apple isn’t cooperating with law enforcement (Phys.org) — Apple has, to the tune of 30,000 times from Jul-Dec 2015 alone, according to a report released late Monday.
  • BlackBerry CEO says telecom companies should ‘comply with reasonable lawful access requests‘ to assist law enforcement (Reuters) — Nice bit of footwork from a company which passed their encryption key to Canadian law enforcement as far back as 2010.
  • If you missed the 60 Minutes segment about the security threat posted by Signalling System Number 7 protocol (SS7), you should read up. (The Guardian) — Also wouldn’t hurt to look into end-to-end encryption for your communications. Wonder what role SS7 played in NSA’s and GHCQ’s ‘treasure mapping’ Germany’s Telekom and other global networks, and if this explains why SS7 is still not secure?
  • [Presence of drugs in car] plus [pics of cash on phone] = suspicious (Ars Technica) — Wait, isn’t the presence of illegal drugs in one’s car enough to make one a suspect?
  • New technology for chip-embedded smart cards will speed checkout times, says VISA (Phys.org) — What the hell are we being forced to switch to so-called smart cards for if they don’t actually improve checkout process already? We’ll piss away any savings from increased security standing in line waiting.

Time to fetch the emptied trash can. See you tomorrow!

7 replies
  1. SpaceLifeForm says:

    SS7 – The Mother of all Metadata

    It does not matter if the SS7 servers can be hacked
    when the metadata can be handed to no such agencies.

  2. lefty665 says:

    Hey Rayne, Ya don’t suppose the Canadians would have used the Blackberry encryption keys for easy access to Hillary, Huma, et al’s precious Blackberry traffic do ya?

  3. P J Evans says:

    Smart cards need to be faster in processing – they’re currently much slower than swiping.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    I’m sure you’ve noted that if you buy the best quality goods available (not necessarily the fanciest brand name or highest price) they will work better and last longer. For example, 18/10 stainless steel cookware. And as to “How can Family Y live on so much processed, chemical-laden garbage?”, that one’s not a problem. Because of their diet, they won’t live as long–increased consumption, but for a shorter period of time. Watch for a “For Sale” sign outside their house soon.

  5. SpaceLifeForm says:

    More SS7 covered outside of US over 6 months ago:


    “The demonstration also shows how the key fraud protection relied on by banks to protect banking transactions from fraud – verification by SMS message – is useless against a determined hacker with access to the SS7 portal because they can intercept and use
    the SMS code before it gets to the bank customer. The same technique can also be used to take over someone’s online email account. ”

    Google, your 2FA is not trustable.

    Note: SMS is texting for those not acronym aware.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Smart cards generate far more real-time data than older magnetic strip versions, virtually none of it subject to meaningful retention or use restrictions. What’s not to like? They are theoretically harder to counterfeit and more digitally secure. That begs a few questions. Why is the US adopting these 25 years after Europe? How secure are the corporate data vaults of those who obtain the data from their use. Even if virtually and physically secure, what rules, if any, limit use and commercialization of the collected personal data?

    Inevitably, adoption is about protecting card issuers and generating new ways for them to make money from your data. These smart credit cards, like your cell phone, are essentially small, powerful computers, with LAN and WIFI access, containing your intimate personal data. Given those uncontrolled communications pathways, I suggest looking into the Faraday pouch. These block unwanted signals into you remove your device for use. They’re not foolproof, but like encryption, are a step in the right direction. Several varieties that can hold a few credit cards, a cell phone or a tablet or laptop are on the market (eg, silent-pocket; teeltech; disklabs). You can also make them yourself.

  7. Ian says:

    RAYNE says:
    If you missed the 60 Minutes segment about the security threat posted by Signalling System Number 7 protocol (SS7), you should read up. (The Guardian) — Also wouldn’t hurt to look into end-to-end encryption for your communications. Wonder what role SS7 played in NSA’s and GHCQ’s ‘treasure mapping’ Germany’s Telekom and other global networks, and if this explains why SS7 is still not secure?

    I SAY:
    A far more informative explanation of SS7 tracking, the platforms used, the capabilities and limitations of the software packages involved —and the need for routine encryption of “between telephone networks” links is provided by a trade blog( A Dublin,Ireland Mobile Networks Security/Privacy firm) called: Adaptive Mobile [www.adapativemobile.com].
    The SS7 inter-network communications system was being rolled out across the USA in the early 1990’s arranging the immediate connection for a phone call between the long-distance carriers(AT&T,Sprint,then MCI) & their local equivalents—all connections between their long-distance carriers telephone exchanges(called switches in the industry) were by hard-wired data connections.
    From 1991,under the London & Paris’s direction a protocol to drive/make work the world’s 1st cellphone network was developed. The standard/the protocol was called Groupe Spécial Mobile–later Global System for Mobile Communications or GSM or G2.
    By 2014 the cellphone standard GSM (or G2) was used globally (apart from in the USA & Japan). “As of 2014 it has become the default global standard for mobile communications – with over 90% market share, operating in over 219 countries and territories”…(Wikipedia)
    Inherent in all cellphone/smartphone network therefore is London & Paris’s designed architecture—where telephone companies (called Sprint or British Telecom) treat their switches/telephone exchanges as pieces of Nationally Critically Important Infrastructures that obviously, the police and other Instruments of the Nation State have access to, where the network always knows where you are [when the CIA’s Italian kidnapping/extra-ordinary rendition [17 February 2003] 16 person squad abandoned any effort at skilled “living their cover” they left their cellphones turned ON—and Italian police to this day have arrest warrants issued for the [false] names in their US passports….& you can always “text” or send an SMS message.
    The SS7 protocol is used in a cellphone/ mobile/ smartphone network to allow Global Roaming
    Inevitably firm’s like Adaptive Mobile gain customers[the carriers, the networks themselves etc] if the customers—or the national governments that supervise them insist on treating the switches as pieces of National Critically Important Infrastructure.
    What Adaptive Mobile has noticed then, is that “Hackers” using the SS7 protocol are NOT teenage boys with Anonymous—but telephone carrier experienced individuals co-opted by their National Intelligence agencies. What the hacker demonstration would have done is “hack into” a cellphone network provider—in a non-NATO country—and gone roaming from there.
    The link is:

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