What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?
As the large software company most in cahoots with the NSA from what we know (pre-encryption access Skype, Outlook.com, Hotmail.com etc.):
They could, reasonably, provide the NSA a good platform to plant back doors within commonly used software installed on all platforms. This should be assumed.
Skype Unveils Preview of Live English-To-Spanish Translator
Always good to keep in mind with Skype, courtesy of Edward Snowden, Microsoft, as a partner to the NSA, rewrote it and coded in pre-encryption access for the NSA for all Skype communications (video, audio and text). Microsoft has never said it has taken them out. So always assume that whatever you do on Skype is getting recorded and kept, for future use, by the NSA or one of the other five eyes agencies.
As others have pointed out, last week the U.S. passed a law (and the President signed it), which got no press, authorizing all U.S. citizen communications can be recorded without a warrant and that information can be passed from the NSA (which was created only to spy on external threats...not anymore), kept for as long as the NSA would want and passed directly to law enforcement agencies when they want it. Its not that President Obama won't do anything with your skype communications, its what the future Nixon, McCarthy or (FBI) Hoover, or worse, will do with them.
Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications
I think you're getting it - in the end they want a daily log from every system in the U.S., all citizens (otherwise known as suspects) and eventually the world - they only need time to get there. Given the language here, it seems an okay for the govt to plant malware in all citizen systems for use "when needed".
It's rather hard to see how we get out of this spiral towards a surveillance state.
Microsoft Is Bringing WebRTC To Explorer, Eyes Plugin-Free Skype Calls
Privacy of Skype communications is very important for Microsoft and always good to keep in mind (probably all logged and kept forever):
IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division
Probably need to change the name to IBC and drop the M as they are rapidly on that road to not really building/creating anything anymore - and just being another offshoring consulting firm (once they offshore the managers they could change it to Indian Business Consultants).
Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9
You are correct, except the Sony Z3 compact (they put the high end stuff in a smaller design):
We just have to wait and see if we can actually buy it.
Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project
Now it talks about fission reactors in Navy aircraft carriers and submarines. The article notes that the fuel would be deuterium and tritium so it would have radioactive bi-products, not massive amounts but some. The article talks about future reactors could use a different fuel (boron?) to have no radioactive by-products (but the fusion reaction is harder to initiate and sustain).
All that asside this is a huge step forward...Lockheed wouldn't come out and put this in the open if they weren't very confident they could do this....the fusion age may be at hand (although Wind and Solar will almost probably be cheaper producers of power - as their costs have continued and are expected to continue to fall over time).
Windows Flaw Allowed Hackers To Spy On NATO, Ukraine, Others
Since Microsoft added the vulnerability at the request of the NSA, the NSA thought it was secret and only they new about it. /s
The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola
Heard an expert on infectious diseases interviewed the other day and they said the temperature taking of passengers was a joke as Ebola victims don't show a temperature until many, many days after they've been infected (i.e. it would not have caught the guy who recently died in Dallas from Ebola because he didn't have a fever when he came in). It just gives the appearance the govt is in control somehow, when they really aren't.
Definitely can't trust the government is saying regarding the disease if/once it gets established in the U.S., as preventing panic is the highest priority. The disease expert did say the industry and Feds were working night and day to get a blood test created and available and said they were probably a month or so away from that (if things continued moving along).
GlaxoSmithKline Released 45 Liters of Live Polio Virus
Had a neighbor, growing up, who came from the age just before the vaccine - you really don't want to wish that disease on anyone, even if they believe in something erroneous.
Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
"The whole NSA thing has the masses much more cognizant of such things currently."
Especially for Microsoft and its products...
Browser To Facilitate Text Browsing In Emergencies
Leave SMS to just be SMS for disasters.....we don't need people trying to browse via text and overloading the SMS network (which will already be straining). JMHO...
Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential
Don't forget they fired their award winning composer who'd been with them since Marathon (?) days & treated him bad while doing so - made me wonder what was going on over there at the executive level (and add a bit of apprehension for this game's release - which turned out to be warranted).
I was ready for this game as I loved Bungie's releases previously (been with them since the Mac days), but the always connected part put me off (hate having to pay a subscription to Microsoft just so I can connect my 360 online) and then they weren't allowing reviews of the game to be done in advance...so I decided to wait just a bit, now I'll wait for the price to fall significantly or maybe skip it altogether. Big disappointment.
Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers
Back in 2006 it was already out that the NSA was sharing information with the FBI among others:
With multiple leaders of the U.S. intelligence apparatus having been caught lying under oath, we'll never know. One of the techniques is for the NSA to pinpoint something then the FBI look at the target and find something else they can label as the "reason" they found out about it.
At this point, because of our government's shortsighted decision's (Bush/Obama) to pursue and institute a surveillance state (ala East Germany), we'll never know what the story was here and have to take any claim from the Feds with a huge dose of skepticism.
Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?
I know that Apple introduced that feature with iOS 7 and the number of robberies of iPhones dropped dramatically thereafter...which was the point of it and a really nice thing to see.
However, this angle on things, which I hadn't thought of, is totally on target - this is totally ripe for abuse by the NSA etc. when the correct number comes up..political or otherwise. Remember we have seen one of these agencies erase information that the Senate was looking at to audit them with, then that agencies leader lies under oath about it - then doesn't get punished in the slightest for it afterwards.
At this point, Joe public wouldn't need to worry about it, but we need to have things set for when stuff gets bad (when the wrong President gets into power and knows how to use all that intelligence offense he has behind a military official whose only oath is to his orders) and things go to a police state for political gain (as it always is)...then this becomes a terrible thing and not worth having.
The Biggest iPhone Security Risk Could Be Connecting One To a Computer
Not really (at this point), at the recent BlackHat some researchers demonstrated how they could remotely compromise a Blackberry.
Another great article that talks a little about that instance with Blackberry and another smartphone platform designed for security as well:
Cornering the Market On Zero-Day Exploits
I think the point of the speaker was to create a silo-ed verifiable way to do this (so things couldn't be siphoned off to the NSA like they currently are as those costs are a rounding error for the NSA). I like the idea if its implemented properly, currently we have the NSA & foreign intelligence agencies being the big buyers, keepers and exploiters. JMHO...
Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier
Microsoft gave the NSA pre-encryption access to all communication streams via Skype (through the rewrite they did after purchasing Skype). They've never said that access was removed.
It's good to keep it in mind when using Skype (or choosing to continue using Skype) that all messages, pictures, conversations and videos are probably recorded by the NSA for future use. Bummer for the Leopard users on the convenience side of things.
Alleged Massive Account and Password Seizure By Russian Group
Far from its nadir at this point, but your post makes excellent points. It definately seems to be getting worse at an accelerating rate.
At what point of security breakdown do online roles/uses become unusable...my guess is that the credit card folks have seen a significant falloff in use (and collection of fees) due to the constant capture of people's credit card numbers as an example - at some point that will become more pronounced.
What is the point where enough people start clamoring for a "secure" (by the state of course) system to replace the "internet"? It's an interesting question, hopefully we don't get to see the answer to that - but the trajectory for online security is not heading in the right direction.
Alleged Massive Account and Password Seizure By Russian Group
The article noted that many of the sites are still vulnerable to attack (and probably still being harvested of UserID/pword data).
The Kee Pass (password manager) recommendation is probably the best - i.e. unique password for each website going forward.
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