Wednesday: Time Travel

In this roundup: A short film about a mother’s time travel adventure, the Internet of Stupid Things, and more.

My oldest just finished her degree program and my youngest left for his first year of college this past month. Now I feel like the main character in this short film about a time traveler, but without the ugliness of teen drug abuse and the awkwardness that comes with an unexpected change in gender identity within the social circle.

Internet of (Stupid) Things
Speaking of time travel…remember when I posted back in June 2014 about the Internet of Things and asked how much more deeply embedded does the internet need to become in our lives before we begin to rethink its widening application?

Yeah. That. Before ransomware attacked hospitals and universities.

Before insecure webcams were used to conduct one of the largest distributed denial of service of attacks on the internet?

Just wondering when the public, government, and corporations will begin to take the threat of pervasive but insecure wireless devices seriously. It’s not as if there haven’t been pointed warnings in which we’ve all been told “vendors ship their products like this…[A]nd then people put them online.” (video at 22:40, c. 2013)

The attack on computer security expert Brian Krebs would have taken down nearly any other entity altogether. Not all individuals or organizations should expect Google to step in and rescue them (which was awfully generous of Google, since the information it will collect from continuing DDoS on Krebs isn’t worth much commercially).

Let’s face it: no new government effort will begin before the next president takes office. Is anybody preparing for changes in standards and regulation after the next administration begins?

It’d be nice to hear about this topic in one of the remaining pre-election debates, but I’m not holding my breath.

Stray Cats and Dogs
Here’s a few tidbits I’ve been thinking about but haven’t pulled together enough related content for a theme.

  • Apple iOS 10 passwords even easier to crack? (Elcom Soft blog) — Post published by a ‘password recovery’ application website should tell you more than Apple iOS 10’s backup protection has a weak spot.
  • Long whiny profile piece on EPA’s Chris Grundler (Bloomberg) — Corporatist media outlet complains that Grundler, as Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, will cost poor Fiat Chrysler a whopping $5 billion. Nice framing, boneheads. Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles are required by law to meet EPA emissions standards. This expense is part of the cost of goods sold, period. Somebody at Bloomberg needs to take a basic accounting class. Same somebody should take comparative note how much it costs to wantonly violate emissions standards a la Volkswagen and its passenger diesels.
  • Linux development community conflicted over ransomware (Softpedia) — Should infosec researchers and Linux developers post ransomware at Github, ostensibly for public review, or should it be kept under wraps? Surprisingly, the open source software community is split about the benefits/risks. The ransomware which had been posted has since been removed.
  • Germany ordered Facebook to stop collecting data on WhatsApp users (Reuters) — Facebook plans to appeal this decision which protected German users’ privacy. Have to wonder if Google’s new communications app Allo could run into similar conflicts with German privacy laws.

Longlisten: Corporate bot-pwned farming
I’ve previously mentioned the problem with current copyright law and machines. Andrew Middleton (@EcoAndrewTRC) and Andrew Thaler (@SFriedScientist) discuss John Deere tractors in particular in their latest podcast at What the Farm?!

That’s a wrap on this post, please use it as an open thread. Sorry about the site’s performance burp last evening; new and refreshed sites often have hiccups, but we’ll try to keep them to a minimum and as short as possible. And do note the site’s comment policy has not changed with the refresh. Thanks!

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