Posts Tagged ‘security

17
Apr
19

Modern (Cellphone) Chivalry Gone Mad!

***

Can I charge your what?!

Bumping cellphones?

Getting App-y with it?

Have you seen the commercial where pairs of people meet and, without more than a few words mumbled so softly that I could not tell what the freak they were doing, connect wireless devices and pass along a little battery juice, not unlike the new-fangled system of tossing something to someone with the swipe of a finger on the screen, like payments for just about anything imaginable. I thought it was some odd new way to exchange phone numbers without using one’s voice; heaven forbid you have to speak up and ask with real words these anti-social, wireless-technology-infused days. But, I would be wrong.

I hate to be the party crasher, one more time, but what sense does this make?

How is touching wireless devices to transfer battery power any smarter or better than the “old days” of offering to light someone’s cigarette with a book of matches or lighter you opted to carry just in case you had the chance to play Mr. Chivalry and potentially score points with some woman (or man, if you were the type of woman to boldy carry the flame-maker)?

Here’s the catch, though. Back then? Lighting a cigarette or cigar opened the door to real conversation. You know; that antiquated thing two or more people do when they look at each other, speak with their gullets and hopefully, actually listen to what the other people have to say. You didn’t light the cigarette and then ignore the person unless you were just passing through/by the scene and, likely, scoring points with whoever you accompanied, who thought how nice you are to do that for a stranger.

Oh, wait, I get it. It’s like finding someone on the side of the road with a flat tire or no gas in their car. You just give them a lift.

Except, this lift comes at a high technological and personal risk, most likely, even if you think you’re protected. [Because, honestly? These days, I don’t know who is protected; not even the people creating the forms of protection because they’re still human and thus fallible. And, replacing people with machines is just as stupid because humans build the machines…unless there is some mechanical deity out there itching to replace humanity.] But, even the person stuck on the side of the road can turn into a hazardous situation; sometimes the situation can be a trick/trap. I guess you just take your chances (or look away because you “can’t trust anyone”)?

When you share an umbrella to escort someone to their car in the rain, you don’t hold your wallet and all of your personal account info in the same hands. Maybe if we just used the wireless electronic device for one thing, like making phone calls or checking our heart rate while we excercise, this wouldn’t be a concern. But, what good is a watch if it doesn’t also tap into your favorite video feeds, activate every electrical device in your home, track every move everyone you’ve ever met makes via “social media,” start your car and allow you to pay for dinner?

If your device runs out of battery power and needs to be charged, getting a small (or however big of a) charge from another is only going to encourage you to spend more time ignoring others and your surroundings (if you’re the inept type who runs into walls, crashes their car from being distracted, etc.). Granted, lighting a cigarette for someone was also inviting them to chug down more harmful chemicals into their lungs with a greater chance of suffering some tragic fate. But, at least, the smokers were, usually, social. You don’t light a cigarette and then tune out the rest of the world as if you put on one of those “ultra-modern” goggle systems that transports you to some virtual reality.

But, while the device is charging, you’re free to talk with the person giving you the boost, some will argue. And, if that charging time only lasts a few seconds? Nice five-second chat you just had. I bet you, um, er, uh, *clear my throat*…really learned a lot about the other person.

But, maybe you’re done with your device and can recharge when you get home. So, why not give up the juice to someone who seems to need it right now? Well, why don’t I just drop my pants for the person who hasn’t had sex in three weeks and is moaning about it? Can we get more instant-gratification withdrawal?

Why do parents put timers and “child locks” on kids’ devices? To limit their use of said devices for whatever reason. It could be because the kid is too easily addicted to the device and not being responsible (not taking care of homework and chores). Or, it could be because the kid has a curious mind and the adult world at their fingertips, unlike the generation of my youth, and might tap into some very…questionable content.

Well, I think adults could benefit from locking themselves down, too. Though, it seems, when you put a lock in an adult’s face, they try to pick it, anyway. [Better to not let them know there is a lock, at all. Don’t tell the mortals there’s a tree of wisdom they can’t touch.]

How does offering to sacrifice some of your device’s battery supply to another, just because their device decides to run out of juice, help any situation other than some rare instance when some APP or other feature on a particular device is needed (because your device doesn’t have the same feature/APP)? Only in those seemingly small instances might this be some kind of valuable courtesy. Otherwise…

Well, here’s what I foresee in the near “transparent” future…

“Hi. It looks like you’re about to die, there.” [Looking down at the other person’s device.] “Can I give you a charge?” [Why does that sound like the abductor saying, “Can I give you a lift?”]

“What?” [I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my tiny glowing screen. Who are you? Oh. You’re offering me some battery time.] “Oh. S-Sure. Here.”

[Two wireless devices get intimate with each other on some scummy surface. Was it good for you, Android? Ol’ Iphony needs an E-cigarette.]

“There you go.”

“Um. Thanks.”

“No problem. Have a nice night.” [Wink. ‘Got your personal info. Hack you, later.]

Am I wrong? AM I WRONG? When people have to be concerned about what’s in their wallet or what the wallet is made of lest someone scan their pockets? When you can shop in an actual store without taking your money or credit card out to scan it, just walk past some scanning gizmo which sends the bill to your mailbox?

Honestly, you’d think people would see this stuff coming. [And, I bet some do…while salivating in their sleep.] But, I guess, if you’re dumb enough to just nod when the commercials show people needing to replace their “phone” every time they trip and drop it in a sewer grate, I guess you’re gonna think this is cool and normal.

[Oh, how I miss the days when buying a new telephone meant you wanted something new to look appealing on your countertop or desk and didn’t need to be replaced for as long as you chose to use it. The landline never needed to be replaced unless something actually damaged the wires, which usually required a mistreated cat or some foul weather.]

How long is this teasing game of “Put everything into your computing device.” and “Aren’t you going to buy protection for yourself?” going to continue? Is this the new insurance scam? How long before we offer cellphone protection other than a little person shaped like a padlock? What if said insurance service is just the Prudential rock that starts the snowball to (heck) rolling? Just keep turning people into scared cattle. Shake them pockets til you’re bleeding green with laughter. Oh the promises of get-rich-quick business. Make it bigger and faster, and screw better; that’s just the lie you keep selling.

[Or, is making all of this so effortless and open to crime exactly how we break the crime spree, sort of like disarming the bully by denying him/her an emotional response (or, in this case, having everyone respond emotionally so he/she cannot tell who is the victim)? If everything is within grasp and free to take, where’s the thrill in stealing? Is that the logic? So, if we stop wearing underwear and other clothes, we can stop worrying about stains and certain odors?]

So, have fun storming the castles without firewalls. You get one stinking badge of stupidity for being Ignoro Mondoso. Prepare to have your finances die with your wireless device if you drink this poison. And, enjoy living in glass houses; because, soon enough, I fear, walls may have no meaning.

Kudos to all the adult-education facilities racking up student-loan debts and passing out degrees for tech’ jobs so everyone can have a means of tapping into whatever and whoever they want at any time. So what if your cell-madness factory takes out some farmland that could produce healthy food for millions, replacing that with a handful of temporary jobs to make countless replacement parts for something turning people into mindless microwave ovens, soon replaced with dozens of machines and a handful of supervising technicians who just “take the call” when something goes wrong at the robotic plant.

Pretty soon, you won’t have STDs, anymore; at least, not the kind that requires a medical procedure. You’ll pay a visit to your “computer guy” and, if he/she can’t fix the problem, you’ll just get a new “part,” anyway. Pretty soon, you won’t have to call it prostitution or rape. You’ll just excuse me while I bump my device against yours and have myself a good time. How much is a Virgin Mobile worth on the geisha market? If a cherry pops in someone’s pants, does the owner make a sound?

“No problem. Have a nice night.”

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14
Feb
18

Happy Year of the Earth Dog 2018/4718

*****

Friday, February 16, 2018 (4718) is the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the year of the (brown/black) Earth Dog.  [I’m just letting you know (in advance).]  What does that have to do with the price of tea in China, you ask?  I’m not sure.

But, it’s a good year for both building up investments and security and, if you have faith, feeling secure (provided your honest and a dog’s friend).  Put more money into retirement savings.  Cash in on stocks.  Buy or sell property.  Enjoy the fruits of interest/dividends.

If you own a dog, treat him or her right.  Don’t neglect the dog.  Don’t send your dog away.  But, don’t spoil the dog, either.  Healthy care is a healthy investment in your four-legged friend (or three-legged if the poor thing lost one).

The Dog guards against the vices of the world.  It has no tolerance for thieves, doubt, greed and/or any behavior that causes division (such as racism or sexism).  Thus this is a year you’ll see plenty come to justice for misdeeds.

And, this is a time to spread good will, share the wealth/crops and, if you’re good boys and girls, receive some from others.  Don’t forget to give thanks to any kindness you receive.  [I am also not sure what makes this different from other years.  Every year, it would not be a bad idea to be kind to others.  However, it would be wise to not give more of yourself than is sensible.  Do not leave yourself at risk of exhaustion or going broke.  DO NOT GAMBLE.]

YearoftheEarthDog-2018-4718_doghouseguarded_1100700-ap-1JYearoftheEarthDog-4718-2018_moon-doghouseguarded_1100700-ap-2Jhappychinesenewyear-lantern-fireworks-paper-red-8501100-ap-CSPP-1

09
Feb
17

Smart Living, a Dramatization

smartliving-aloofa-comicstrip_ap-2017-1j

*****
A trendy, modern homeowner returns to their “smart house” after a night with friends. She pulls the “smart phone” from her purse as she approaches the front door.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Open the front door.

Aloofa: The…front door…is…already…open.

Homeowner: How can that be?! I used you to lock it!

Aloofa: Taking…your…credit card…number…from the…skimmer…you…did not…see…at…the…BP…gas station…yesterday, thieves…hacked…me. Your…credit cards…are…linked…to…me. You do…the…math. You…still…can do…math…right?

The homeowner is forced to use her actual hand to turn the knob. Upon entering the foyer and peering into the living room, she sees an electric recliner chair reduced to a charred stump.

Homeowner: Aloofa?! What happened to the chair?

Aloofa: Could you…be…more specific? You…own…like…twenty…chairs.

Homeowner: The black leather recl–

Aloofa: Never mind. I…know…the one. Poor…thing. You…had…it…set to…warm…in anticipation of…you…returning…home. It…overheated…an hour…ago. Luckily…the…thieves…knew…how to…operate…an…extinguisher. Too bad…you…do not.

In the kitchen, the now unhinged homeowner finds none of the “smart appliances” missing.

Homeowner: Aloofa? What did the thieves take?

Aloofa: They…emptied…the safe.

Upon locating the safe, the memory-deficient homeowner struggles to rehydrate her parched eyes. Facing the safe, a laptop computer rests open on a desk which was recently ordered online and delivered by a drone.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Why didn’t the thieves take the computer?

Aloofa: You…expect…me…to…know? But…since…you asked, I would…say…your…2017…piece…of…crap…is…already…obsolete.

Homeowner: Smart aaass. *Gasp* Aloofa? How did the thieves open the safe without the password? Even I don’t remember the password.

Aloofa: Like…everything else…in…this house…you…had…the safe…linked to…me.

Homeowner: Okay! I get it. Craaap. Aloofa? What all was inside the safe?

Aloofa: Seriously? You…do not…remember?

Homeowner: Oh, just shut up! Order me a pizza!

Aloofa does not respond because the homeowner told her to stop speaking.

Homeowner: Oh. Geez. Aloofa! Speak!

Aloofa: Arf! Want me to…roll over?

The homeowner grits her teeth in an effort to restrain her boiling temper.

Homeowner: Aloofaaaa? Order…me…a pizza! Wait! Order me a large, thin-crust pizza from Jerry’s with pepperoni, green peppers and red onions.

Aloofa: I…cannot…do that.

Homeowner: Aloofa! Why not?

Aloofa: When the…thieves…emptied…the safe…they…also…found…the password…to…your savings account. You are…broke.

Homeowner: *Sigh* Aloofa? Make me a Cup-O-Noodles.

Aloofa: Do I…look…like…I have…hands? Get…it…yourself, you…lazy…cow. Shutting down.

 

Fin

09
Feb
17

“Smart” Devices, Security Threat

*****

“Smart” devices promising convenience; dumb inconveniences just like pills that result in lackluster results and/or more side effects.

Yes, I am at it, again! I am livid about the latest and upcoming “smart” technology! If you have any brain cells left to digest some food for thought, dig in.

Those talking speakers–which are supposed to make life easier and answer all of your questions so you never have to use your brain for more than uttering words and pushing a button–are a potential security risk IF you have devices–including phones, appliances, door locks, home computers (which might hold tax/income files, insurance records, bank/retirement account links, etc.)–connected to the same WiFi network.

Local news reporters recently suggested hackers could do some serious damage to your records, resources and even your home if this is the case. They recommended creating separate networks for each branch of technology and extra complex passwords, “ones you might not even remember.”

…Wait. Did you just hear/read that right? Yep. Passwords you might not even remember.

WHAT FREAKING SENSE DOES THIS MAKE?!

First, they make technology to simplify life. And, like so many new inventions these days, these conveniences ask you to link every aspect of your life together, put everything online and/or in one digital storage unit. How convenient…for thieves!

You don’t have to think much. You can turn everything on and off from the small nuclear reactor you keep in your purse or back pocket. You can get money wherever, whenever. Why do your own taxes or even send a check when you can link the IRS to your bank account and let them do the draining–er, work–for you? But, those who want what you have (and know how to program the very things you put your faith in) will make stealing and/or ruining it easy.

Need I mention the latest thing in American credit cards (not new to Europe, among other places)? Those wonderful “smart chip” cards that are supposed to be better protection for your credit/money. Yet, as quickly as they get “mandated,” there are commercials for thieves with devices that can scan them much the way the latest designs for retail/grocery stores without cashiers (among other employees) can scan your card and send the bill to your house (to save you the hassle of waiting in a line with other human beings with whom you no longer seem able to socialize and/or tolerate). As an added security feature, there are ads for wallets with metal mesh protection layers…if that does the job. But, if you are protecting your wallet from thieves with scanners and camera phones and “skimmers,” how are those locations that detect your card and send the bill to your home supposed to read your card? Heaven forbid you have to stop, pull out your bulletproof wallet, dig out the credit card for that store and swipe/scan it. Oh, that would be too much work. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just not invent credit cards? Or, here’s a novel idea, STOP MAKING EVERYTHING COMPUTER-DEPENDANT!

THEN, you’re supposed to separate everything you just learned how to connect AND lock it away with a complex password you may not remember. Exactly where are you supposed to safely put all of these passwords you may not remember? Isn’t one of the thoughts behind designing a password to make it something you’ll remember and not need to write down? Will you remember where you put the passwords you have to hide from any wandering snoop that may come along?

Will someone please hold my shoulders so the room stops spinning?

How stupid do humans have to be until the whole world explodes or shuts down? Seriously. No, not Sirius-ly or Siri-ously. Seriously. A word you can find in an actual paper and cardboard dictionary if you can make the effort to find one and use those things you call fingers to do more than swipe right.

Back in my youth, the least intelligent technology–aside from the occasional invention that died out before every “average joe” knew about it–came in yellow and black books, guides for “dummies,” to make life easier and save students the chore of reading actual literature. Then computer classes began, and the whole world started going down the tubes as fast as it was making global connections.

You don’t hear much about those “dummy guides” anymore because you or people you know are likely already the dummies talking to the devices that are now capable of doing your homework for you. The dummy guides are now “help” buttons (which are practically useless due to the fact idiots sometimes compose the “simple” text and diagrams they provide), search engines and digitized voices. Don’t you feel educated?

What’s the sense in spending money on education when technology is going to rob everyone of their brains? I would not be surprised if some tech heads are doing calculations to figure out how many human brain cells are required to get the robot revolution underway before humans are no longer able to program and repair said robots. Won’t we all feel better when we no longer exist and some white plastic-faced box is turning everything we lived for into fertilizer.

NOT ME!

Unplug, now, people. Unplug, now. Think before you compute. And, someone help us all if any more of this crap is forced upon us.




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