Where the Heck is Microsoft’s ‘Edge?’ (Left Behind for Dead)

In the North American Browser War, there is only one winner.
When Microsoft released its super-duper Windows 10 in July 2015, it aggressively pushed people with Windows 7 and 8 to ‘upgrade’ for free to what has turned out to be highly functional and slickly presented corporate spyware. Since then, Windows 10 has been the default system pre-installed on most desktops and laptops sold in North America. It worked: According to StatCounter, Windows 10 now runs on 49% of all PCs (desktop and laptops) in North America.
All Windows versions combined, including Windows 10, run on 74% of PCs in North America, with Apple’s operating systems running on 21%, Chrome OS on 3%, and Linux on 1.6%.
Part of the goal of Microsoft’s push to get people to install Windows 10 was to get them to use Edge, the browser that comes with Windows 10, so that Microsoft could more seamlessly track what these people are doing on the Internet. But people are spurning Edge.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 17, 2017.

How A Half-Educated Tech Elite Delivered Us Into This Chaos

If our supersmart tech leaders knew a bit more about history or philosophy we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now…
One of the biggest puzzles about our current predicament with fake news and the weaponisation of social media is why the folks who built this technology are so taken aback by what has happened. Exhibit A is the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, whose political education I recently chronicled. But he’s not alone. In fact I’d say he is quite representative of many of the biggest movers and shakers in the tech world. We have a burgeoning genre of ‘OMG, what have we done?’ angst coming from former Facebook and Google employees who have begun to realise that the cool stuff they worked on might have had, well, antisocial consequences.
Put simply, what Google and Facebook have built is a pair of amazingly sophisticated, computer-driven engines for extracting users’ personal information and data trails, refining them for sale to advertisers in high-speed data-trading auctions that are entirely unregulated and opaque to everyone except the companies themselves.
The purpose of this infrastructure was to enable companies to target people with carefully customised commercial messages and, as far as we know, they are pretty good at that. (Though some advertisers are beginning to wonder if these systems are quite as good as Google and Facebook claim.) And in doing this, Zuckerberg, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and co wrote themselves licences to print money and build insanely profitable companies.
It never seems to have occurred to them that their advertising engines could also be used to deliver precisely targeted ideological and political messages to voters.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 19, 2017.

Equifax Discloses its Coming Nightmares

‘It is not possible to estimate the amount of loss or range of possible loss.’
Equifax reported that revenue ticked up 4% year-over-year in the third quarter to a less-than expected $835 million and that net income plunged 27% to $96 million due to the initial costs related to the most damaging consumer data hack in US history. But it also disclosed in the fine print of its SEC filing just what a legal and financial nightmare it is getting into over what it calls the ‘cybersecurity incident.’
The ‘cybersecurity incident’ occurred in mid-May, was discovered in July, and was first disclosed on September 7. Its dimensions have since expanded. It compromised the personal-data crown jewels, including Social Security numbers, of 145.5 million US consumers, credit card numbers of 209,000 US and Canadian consumers, ‘certain dispute documents with personal identifying information’ for 182,000 US consumers, personal information of 8,000 Canadian consumers, and personal information of at least 690,000 UK consumers.
The initial expenses related to the ‘cybersecurity incident’ were an undramatic $27.3 million. But that’s just the timid beginning.
Then the costs related to the ‘free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection’ will likely range between $56 million and $110 million. And that too is just the beginning.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 10, 2017.

How Equifax Explained its Coming Nightmare

‘It is not possible to estimate the amount of loss or range of possible loss.’ Equifax reported that revenue ticked up 4% year-over-year in the third quarter to a less-than expected $835 million and net income plunged 27% to $96 million due to the initial costs related to the most damaging consumer data hack in US history. But it also disclosed in the fine print of its SEC filing just what a legal nightmare it is getting into over what it calls the ‘cybersecurity incident.’
The ‘cybersecurity incident’ occurred in mid-May, was discovered in July, and was first disclosed on September 7. Its dimensions have since expanded. It compromised the personal-data crown jewels of 145.5 million US consumers, credit card numbers of 209,000 US and Canadian consumers, ‘certain dispute documents with personal identifying information’ for 182,000 US consumers, personal information of 8,000 Canadian consumers, and personal information of at least 690,000 UK consumers.
The initial expenses related to the ‘cybersecurity incident’ were an undramatic $27.3 million. But that’s just the timid beginning.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 10, 2017.

ALERT: WORLDWIDE Netflix Email Scam Is Targeting Millions Of Subscribers

A new email scam is making the rounds and this one appears to be targeting Netflix’s millions of subscribers. The email threatens to shut down the users account if they fail to update their billing information.
According to ABC News, the email asks its readers to click the link, leading them to a fake Netflix homepage and prompting them to enter their private information. According to MailGuard, an Australian cybersecurity firm, that includes billing information, so the scammers can access debit or credit card numbers.
The well-designed, individualized, and fake email convinces customers to update their account information to avoid suspension. This results in stolen personal and credit card information.
Action Fraud has enclosed an image of the scam email so it can be easily spotted.
A well designed Netflix email targets some of the 110 million Netflix subscribers worldwide! Check out the steps: – Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) November 6, 2017
‘Unfortunately, scams are common on the internet and target popular brands such as Netflix and other companies with large customer bases to lure users into giving out personal information,’ Netflix said in a statement to ABC News. Netflix says that the company will never ask for personal information in an email and advises its subscribers to be careful of any phishing emails that lead to false websites, according to its security page.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 8th, 2017.

Amazon-Whole-Foods Already Rattling the Grocery Sector

Here are the numbers since the August 28 price cuts.
When Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods Market closed on August 28, the first thing that happened was a panoply of strategic and massive price cuts on some items at Whole Foods. The second thing that happened was that the media jumped on it, creating enormous hoopla, so that every consumer in the US would know about it. No advertising needed. It was ingenious marketing. The media fell for it. And consumers flocked to Whole Foods to see for themselves.
Whole Foods used to be known as ‘whole paycheck’ based on the prices it charged for even mundane items. So price cuts of this type were a shift in strategy – and a sign of how Amazon would be shaking things up.
Now we have some numbers, gathered by data intelligence firm Thasos Group via real-time location data from smartphones (yup, that spy device in your pocket that never stops giving). It used its technology to ‘quantify the competitive impact of the price reduction.’
Here are the key nuggets from its report (PDF) about how it turned out for Whole Foods:
Average daily foot traffic of new and regular customers (those who shop at a given Whole Foods at least twice per month) jumped 17% year-over-year during the week starting on August 28, the day of the price reduction.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 4, 2017.

Why We’re Doomed – Idiocy On Display

This is worth watching folks…
The WSJ went out and showed people exactly how much of your personal information was available online.
There were a lot of oh my gosh’s, and a few oh that’s creepy but I didn’t hear one I’m going to kill them all.
That’s the problem, in a nutshell.
It actually concerns me was the strongest thing I heard.
It concerns you?

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-06-11.

Government Spooks Can Use The Mic And Camera On Trump’s Phone Even When He Thinks It Is Turned Off

After reading this article you might not ever view your electronic devices the same way again. Last year, Hollywood released a biographical political thriller based on the life of Edward Snowden that had one particularly creepy scene. In that scene, a government spook used a program to remotely activate the microphone and camera on a laptop, and by doing so he was able to watch a woman as she got undressed. Sadly, as you will see below, this kind of thing is happening constantly. Any digital device can potentially be accessed and used to spy on you even if it appears to be turned off. And this is why Donald Trump needs to be so careful right now, because the intelligence community wants to take him down and they can literally use any digital device in his possession to try to gather dirt on him. We have a ‘deep state’ that is absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking and monitoring the American people, and something desperately needs to be done about this unconstitutional surveillance. Now that Trump has become greatly upset about how the government was tapping into his phone calls, maybe something will finally get accomplished.
In an article that I just published on The Most Important News, I talked about the NSA’s brand new two billion dollar data storage facility in Utah that can store up to five zettabytes of data. Secret ‘electronic monitoring rooms’ embedded within the facilities of major communications companies across the United States send an endless flow of digital information to this facility, and most Americans have no idea that this is even happening. The following comes from Wired…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on March 5th, 2017.

Reddit Bans Three Alt-Right Forums As Users Blast “Leftist Intolerance”

In what will undoubtedly be viewed as just another attempt to censor dissenting, conservative political views, Reddit has banned three major ‘alt-right’ subreddits, /r/altright, /r/rightyfriends and /r/alternativeright, this evening for allegedly breaching the company’s content policy restricting the sharing of personal, private information. The so-called ‘Alt-right’ group had roughly 16,000 followers and grew in popularity last summer along with the rise of Donald Trump’s political campaign.
While Reddit hasn’t yet issued a formal statement on the ban, the following comments were offered up to The Daily Beast:
‘Reddit is the proud home to some of the most authentic conversations online,’ a statement provided to The Daily Beast by the company read. ‘We strive to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting our users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation and adheres to our content policy.’
‘We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting of personal information can get users banned from Reddit and we ask our communities not to post content that harasses or invites harassment. We have banned r/altright due to repeated violations of the terms of our content policy. There is no single solution to these issues and we are actively engaging with the Reddit community to improve everyone’s experience.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 2, 2017.

Britain Passes the Snooper Charter Ending ALL Privacy

Britain has passed what everyone calls the ‘snooper’s charter’ otherwise known as the Investigatory Powers Bill. This new legislation establishes the legal framework authorizing the government to hack into devices, networks and services in bulk and to create vast databases of personal information on all UK citizens. This is a preliminary step for a movement to impose worldwide taxation on Brits. This is really to hunt money, not terrorism.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 19, 2016.

The Turnkey Tyranny Game Plan

‘Hence we may learn the lesson that on seizing a state, the usurper should make haste to inflict what injuries he must, at a stroke, that he may not have to renew them daily but be enabled by their discontinuance to reassure men’s minds, and afterward win them over by benefits…. Injuries, therefore, should be inflicted all at once, that their ill savor being less lasting may the less offend; whereas, benefits should be conferred little by little, that so they may be more fully relished.
– Niccol Machiavelli, The Prince, Book VIII
Everything is in place. Do you see anything missing?
Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA collects everything on everyone. Thomas Drake, the former NSA senior official who blew the whistle from inside the organization, proved that it would have been cheaper and more useful to keep only information on suspected terrorists – but Cheney and Obama wanted it all.
And they got it. Snowden’s in exile and Drake, harassed by the DoJ for four years, lost his job and is now a genius at an Apple Store in Maryland.
So the fix was in. All that was left was the implementation.
Why are the most advertised Gold and Silver coins NOT the best way to invest?
And that was easy. Propelled by fear of Islamic terrorism, a complacent Republican Congress ignored widespread anger and hostility towards the Thought Police after Snowden’s revelation. In order to intensify that fear, Obama has allowed thousands of unscreened Moslems into the country, including an unknown number of covert Jihadist wannabes. In response, fearful Americans will be stampeded into subjection (‘security’) rather than liberty. After all, terrorists cause chaos and tyranny flourishes amid chaos. ‘Never let a crisis go to waste,’ wrote a twenty-first century minor Machiavelli.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on October 11, 2016.

Big Brother Arrives In Public Schools – Biometric Scanners Track Students Every Move

The world is disintegrating on every front – politically, environmentally, morally – and for the next generation, the future does not look promising. As we detailed previously, those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people.
They will find themselves overtaxed and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and on guard against domestic acts of terrorism, blowback against military occupations in foreign lands. And they will find government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice. As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences. And perhaps most crucially, their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state.
It appears that day is drawing closer as PlanetFreeWill.com’s Joseph Jankowski details, all over the United States, school districts have been implementing biometric identification technology for the purpose of allowing students to purchase lunch with no cash or card, and to track them getting on and off the school bus.
This technology has many worried that school districts are going to far with collecting personal information on students and are putting their privacy at risk.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/06/2016.

Keiser Report: Debt Slavery (E906)

The following video was published by RT on Apr 26, 2016
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss debt slaves who are under constant surveillance, facing the threat of being thrown into the prison-industrial complex. In the second half, Max interviews Andy Johnson of ClearChat.com about encryption and authentication in a post-Snowden world. They discuss the half-trillion dollars ‘stolen’ from companies annually through hacking, and how his service is among those that can stop that.

New Bill to Collect Taxes Outlawing Encryption

Those in power are simply liars. Why we elect such people is beyond me. We simply cannot afford career politicians because they will ALWAYS divide between themselves and the people. NO REPUBLIC has ever resisted converting into an oligarchy. It just does not work. I reported that Obamaslipped and actually said the truth by mistake. In the case against Apple, he said if they government could not break into a phone then EVERY American had a Swiss Bank Account in their phone. This is not about terrorism. It is the hunt for money and their mismanagement of the economy.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Apr 11, 2016.

Apple Wins Against FBI in Drug Case

The government is demanding Apple to create a program to hack phones under the excuse of ‘terrorism’ as a threat to national security. The FBI in New York ordered Apple to unlock the phone of a local drug dealer, but Apple refused. On Monday, a federal magistrate judge in New York said no. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein denied the FBI’s request as part of the criminal case against Jun Feng, who had already pleaded guilty in October to drug charges. The FBI’s request as part of a drug case clearly shows what they are up to. The government wants to eliminate all encryption for anyone suspected of any crime, which would include taxes.
Apple is correct. There will be no end in sight if they create hacking software for the government. Once you establish a precedent, then they will apply it to every type of crime right down to just ‘investigating’ if you owe taxes. There need not be any charges. All they would need to do is claim in court that they ‘suspect’ there is a crime. That is how the system works.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Mar 3, 2016.

More On CyberSecurity — Beware

The latest from the cybersecurity (or lack thereof) front…
Websites have been warned they could be exposed to eavesdroppers, after researchers discovered a new way to disable their encryption protections.
The experts said about a third of all computer servers using the HTTPS protocol – often represented by a padlock in web browsers – were vulnerable to so-called Drown attacks.
They warn that passwords, credit card numbers, emails and sensitive documents could all be stolen as a consequence.
I had an associate ping me on this one yesterday and I replied with a couple of short, curt words: No SSLv2.
Some background is in order.
SSLv2 is an old and obsolete protocol. Old isn’t necessarily bad but obsolete is if the reason it’s obsolete is that it’s weak. In this case that’s where the facts lie; SSLv2 has numerous unfixable security problems and this has been known for a quite-long time — close to 10 years now.
In other words there’s nothing out there in the world that should have this particular flaw enabled and exploitable in the world of today. But there is, and it’s because of laziness that this problem exists.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2016-03-02.

5 Signs Of America’s Decaying Society

While Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou are vilified for revealing vital information about spying and bombing and torture, a man who conspired with Goldman Sachs to make billions of dollars on the planned failure of subprime mortgages was honored by New York University for his “Outstanding Contributions to Society.”
This is one example of the distorted thinking leading to the demise of a once-vibrant American society. There are other signs of decay:
1. A House Bill Would View Corporate Crimes as ‘Honest Mistakes’
Wealthy conservatives are pushing a bill that would excuse corporate leaders from financial fraud, environmental pollution, and other crimes that America’s greatest criminals deem simply reckless or negligent. The Heritage Foundation attempts to rationalize, saying “someone who simply has an accident by being slightly careless can hardly be said to have acted with a ‘guilty mind.’”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/23/2015.

It is Time to Knock off the Bullshit About Surveillance for Terrorism

The worldwide collection of phone calls, emails, text messages and our total loss of privacy is all about taxes – NOT terrorism. With all this power and the demand that encryption be outlawed, not any of this surveillance has stopped one terrorist act. There was the Boston bombers, two kids using cell phones. They didn’t catch that either. Then there was the two guys dressing up as women who attacked the NSA itself. They didn’t know about that. Then Charlie Hebdo, that too was a surprise. Now we have an all out assault on civilians in Paris carried out by 3 suicide squads and again they were clueless. This surveillance does not work because they are really monitoring the people for taxes or they would not be storing everything forever.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on November 15, 2015.

The Loss of All Liberty Is Coming Faster Than You Imagined

UK Prime Minister David Cameron reflects the serious problem we have with politicians. Politicians have ZERO respect for our human rights for they only think about how they are going to raid our wealth to pay for their families and retirements at our expense. Cameron actually asked, ‘In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication we cannot read? My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not’.’
These people are highly dangerous. They only see government as the solution and do not grasp that we have rights. Government wants to eliminate all encryption because they are hunting money. You have a 1000 times greater chance of dying in a car crash than by a terrorist. They use terrorism as the great excuse to collect everything we do.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on October 16, 2015.

Here’s What We’ll Try – And What Will Fail – Next

The UK’s Guardian newspaper, of Edward Snowden leaks fame, just published a good overview of the world’s recent financial missteps titled The world economic order is collapsing and this time there seems no way out.
Some excerpts:
The heart of the economic disorder is a world financial system that has gone rogue. Global banks now make profits to a extraordinary degree from doing business with each other. As a result, banking’s power to create money out of nothing has been taken to a whole new level.
The emergence of a global banking system means central banks are much less able to monitor and control what is going on. And because few countries now limit capital flows, in part because they want access to potential credit, cash generated out of nothing can be lent in countries where the economic prospects look superficially good. This provokes floods of credit, rather like the movements of refugees.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on October 11, 2015.