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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, for half my life
Home country: USA
Current location: Sw corner of Ala. for the rest of my life
Member since: Wed Feb 27, 2008, 01:09 PM
Number of posts: 37,178

About Me

Being the "Queen of Everything" (Mr. dixie is the Prince of What's Left) but................ Golden Retrievers RULE!!!

Journal Archives

Facebook Messenger appears to have more spyware code in it than commercial spyware products...."

tweeted Jonathan Zdziarski, a noted author and expert in iOS related digital forensics and security on Tuesday.

The story:
In August, Facebook announced that it would no longer be allowing its users to communicate via private message on mobile phones without first downloading its proprietary "Messenger" app.

Some of those who downloaded the app may be thinking twice this week about keeping the app around, however, in light of one iOS forensics and security researcher's recent assertions that Messenger is tracking more data than most people realize.

"Messenger appears to have more spyware type code in it than I've seen in products intended specifically for enterprise surveillance," tweeted Jonathan Zdziarski, a noted author and expert in iOS related digital forensics and security on Tuesday.

Several of his tweets previous to this shed light upon what he found while disassembling Facebook Messenger's iOS binary.

Messenger has so many analytics running (even in the background), it would not surprise me if your battery life noticeably suffered.
-- Jonathan Zdziarski (@JZdziarski) September 9, 2014

Messenger performs analytics on everything - windows you view, everything you tap, icon badge number, application state, everything you do.
-- Jonathan Zdziarski (@JZdziarski) September 9, 2014

Messenger even gathers data on how much time you spend using it in the foreground, vs. background time. So glad I don't use Facebook.
-- Jonathan Zdziarski (@JZdziarski) September 9, 2014

Messenger even gathers data on what orientation you're holding your phone in most often.

NM city plans to auction excavated vintage video games

At first I thought WTF
but THEN I wanted to grab a shovel and head to our landfill..

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - A city in New Mexico where 1,300 unwanted vintage video games were discovered buried in a landfill has voted to auction off more than half of the cartridges in the run-up to Christmas.

Members of the Alamogordo City Council voted 7-0 late on Tuesday to offer some 800 of the Atari games found earlier this year for sale on eBay and the council's own website.

Snip......The find included hundreds of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" cartridges, considered by some the worst video game ever made.
It flopped after being rushed out to coincide with the release of Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit movie, and it contributed to a collapse of the video game industry in its early years.
Atari is believed to have been saddled with most of the 5 million E.T. cartridges produced. The New York Times reported at the time that the game manufacturer buried the games in the New Mexico desert in the middle of the night.

Pope Francis: Pope says world's many conflicts amount to piecemeal World War Three

REDIPUGLIA, Italy, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a "piecemeal" Third World War, condemning the arms trade and "plotters of terrorism" sowing death and destruction.

"Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep," Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy's largest war memorial,
large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.


Has Syria's Assad ASKED us for help against ISIL?

I just read...
.President Obama discusses plan to combat Islamic State militants in weekly radio address, says, 'We're moving ahead with our campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists, and we're prepared to take action against ISIL in Syria as well' - @NBCNews

Was Joan Rivers murdered?

Yorkville Endoscopy Medical Director Fired

BREAKING: Medical director of Yorkville Endoscopy where #JoanRivers went to cardiac arrest is out," the network stated. "He is no longer performing procedures at the clinic." (A rep for the clinic has confirmed to TMZ that Dr. Lawrence Cohen has been on administrative leave since Aug. 28.)

the comedienne and E! Fashion Police host stopped breathing while undergoing an outpatient procedure on her vocal chords on Aug. 28 and was later pronounced dead at the age of 81 on Sept. 4, at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital.
Nearly a week later, the New York Daily News reported that an unplanned throat biopsy led to her untimely death.


the source is a bit glossy, but the facts are accurate, as stated in other news.

Oh great.....Twitter is now serving ads.

Starting today Twitter will begin experimenting with commerce. It’s the latest effort to expand the atomic unit of a tweet beyond 140 characters. The implementation is straightforward: a big "Buy" button that will appear alongside an image of the item for sale.
Give Twitter your billing and shipping info once and you can make one-click purchases from inside a tweet if you’re logged into the app or web service. The big question on Wall Street’s mind is whether this might provide the company a meaningful secondary stream of revenue alongside advertising. The more interesting question for the average consumer is if the real-time nature of Twitter might produce some interesting new forms of business we haven’t seen yet

Yeah, I am just dying to turn a rapid read Twitter experience into a catalog reading experience.

Cops are seizing hundreds of millions of dollars from drivers and bragging about it in chat rooms

This weekend, The Washington Post published a deeply reported look at "highway interdiction," a controversial tactic that has allowed police to seize hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists without formally charging anyone with a crime. Typically, police will stop a driver under suspicion of drug trafficking, seize their cash as evidence, and refuse to return it without a legal challenge. Only one in six seizures were challenged, typically because of the high cost of legal assistance.

But the legal justification is only part of the practice. As private consultants sought to expand the practice, they turned to surprisingly familiar methods, including an encrypted chat room where officers could brag about their latest hauls, share tactics, and spread private information about juicy targets passing through other jurisdictions.
Known as the Black Asphalt Electronic Networking and Notification System, the chat room has over 25,000 members spread across the country, most of whom are law enforcement officers. Until recently, it was hosted at a DEA intelligence center, but has never received any official government oversight. Within the system, officers are encouraged to brag about particularly big hauls, and the member with the highest seizure total at the end of the year is dubbed a "Royal Knight."

In other words, it's Reddit for the highway interdiction, turning an otherwise sketchy practice into a game of online oneupmanship. If highway cops aren't encouraged to make seizures within their department, they can get that encouragement online, with plenty of other interdiction-happy cops cheering them on. And the encouragement works: seizures have more than tripled since 2000. Any dissenting voices, worried about the legal or moral implications of grabbing cash based on the thinnest tissue of reasonable suspicion, are kept out of the conversation entirely.

The Washington Post article is a hell of an eye-opener, highly recommended:

Edited to add:
It just got worse:
from the Post article...
In January last year, David hired himself and his top trainers out as a roving private interdiction unit for the district attorney’s office in rural Caddo County, Okla. Working with local police, Desert Snow contract employees took in more than $1 million over six months from drivers on the state’s highways, including Interstate 40 west of Oklahoma City. Under its contract, the firm was allowed to keep 25 percent of the cash.

Remember the phrase highway robbery? It's baaaack.

there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?

PG&E Should Pay $1.4 Billion for San Bruno Blast: Judges

Let's see how this actually turns out...

PG&E Corp. (PCG), owner of California’s largest utility, should pay a $1.4 billion penalty for a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, two state regulatory judges said in a proposed decision.

The fine would be the largest safety-related penalty ever levied by the agency, the California Public Utilities Commission said in an e-mailed statement today. The penalty consists of $950 million that would be paid to the state and $450 million in charges and remedies that shareholders would have to pay. Added to a prior ruling that forced the company to swallow $635 million in pipeline modernization costs, the total would be $2.04 billion. The agency’s five commissioners must still approve the proposal and can offer alternatives.

Anyone here know how stacked the Commission is????

Protesters chain themselves to railroad tracks to stop coal/oil trains.

This is a brief blurb from my home town.
Notable because the area is supposed to be site of new coal terminal.
it mentions the railroad has its own police force. WTF?????

Coal, oil train protest blocks Everett rail yard

EVERETT, Wash. - About a dozen protesters have blocked railroad tracks at a Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard in Everett.

Railroad spokesman Gus Melonas says some have chained themselves to the tracks. He says the demonstration that started about 6 a.m. Tuesday has blocked freight trains at the yard although the main line remains open.

Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell says officers are standing by. They'll let BNSF police handle the situation because it's a trespassing issue.

The demonstration was announced by the group Rising Tide Seattle to protest shipments of oil and coal by train and proposed terminals in the Northwest.


This is entire short article.

Wow...no wonder Bank of America was not too bothered by that $7 BILLION settlement.

These banks get plenty of input into settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice,
and this last big one is no exception.
So BOA had plenty of time and plenty of ways to negotiate the settlement...

which is one of the reasons, perhaps, why BOA started selling off its mortgage servicing biz last year.
3 companies were all too happy to buy mortgage servicing rights: Nationstar, Ocwen and Green Tree.
They do not have to operate under the new strict banking reform regulations that were implemented.

And why is BOA selling off the servicing biz?

Turns out, with this settlement....
Not only will the bank be able to take sizable tax write-offs, but some of the $7 billion earmarked for homeowner relief will actually come from sources other than B of A.

How? In part because many of those mortgages are now being serviced by companies other than Bank of America, which means that those companies will now be responsible for assisting the borrowers of those troubled loans.


Yep...the companies that bought the mortgage servicing contracts are liable for a huge hunk of the settlement costs.
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