Trump is just as insecure as Hillary

Donald-Trump-funnyWhile US presidential comedy candidate Donald Trump keeps huffing and puffing about how “crooked Hillary” operated insecure email servers it seems his own security is not up to snuff either.

UK Security researcher Kevin Beaumont discovered the Trump organisation has a comedy level of security and uses a hopelessly outdated and insecure internet setup. servers are using outdated software, Windows Server 2003 and the built-in Internet Information Server 6 web server. Vole cut off support for this technology in July 2015, leaving the systems unpatched for the last 15 months.

Trump Organisation emails don’t support two-factor authentication and its web-based email access page relies on an outdated March 2015 build of Microsoft Exchange 2007.

“Windows Server 2003, IIS 6 and Exchange 2003 went end of life years ago. There are no security fixes. They don’t have basics down,” Beaumont said.

Trump’s supporters have decided to resolve the problem by reporting Beaumont to the Feds, however his research is based on looking at publicly available information rather than actively scanning for vulnerabilities.

The Trump Organisation responded to Beaumont’s criticism by putting out a statement to the media saying that its web setup is shielded behind a firewall.

When he stopped laughing Beaumont tweated: “That’s a bit like saying it’s okay to install WordPress and leave it unpatched forever because there’s a firewall.”

In otherwords, Trump’s reply suggests that IT security is not a glass house he should be biffing boulders in.  However, if hacking Trump were that easy then why doesn’t Wikileaks have hackers who have done it?  Oh that is right the Russians are only interested in providing Clinton leaks.

UK’s Micro heads overseas

3-BACKThe Micro Bit mini-computer is now going to get a worldwide distribution and enthusiasts are to be offered blueprints showing how to build their own versions.

The announcements were made by a new non-profit foundation that is taking over the educational project, formerly led by the BBC.

About one million of the devices were given away free to UK-based schoolchildren earlier this year.

The BBC says they encourage children, especially girls, to code

Beyond the UK, Micro Bits are also in use in schools across the Netherlands and Iceland. But the foundation now intends to co-ordinate a wider rollout.

The foundation’s new chief executive Zach Shelby said the goal is to reach 100 million people with Micro Bit.

“That means [selling] tens of millions of devices… over the next five to 10 years.”

Micro Bits will be available across Europe before the end of the year and currently the outfit is developing Norwegian and Dutch-language versions of its coding web tools to boost demand.

Next year the foundation will target North America and China, which will coincide with an upgrade to the hardware with a more powerful chip and better sensors.

Micro Bits currently sell for about £13, excluding the batteries needed to power them.

Samsung taps LG for new batteries

lemon batteryMaker of the incredible melting Note 7, Samsung, is planning to use batteries manufactured by LG for its next Galaxy S series flagship.

Samsung is said to be in talks with LG Chem for a possible partnership to supply batteries. At present, Samsung SDI, which is a sister company of Samsung, and Chinese battery maker ATL are its suppliers. Samsung SDI supplied 70% of the batteries used in the Note 7, while the rest of the batteries were from ATL.

According to a report by Korean Herald Samsung is looking at getting lots of battery suppliers.

When Samsung announced the first recall, it was speculated that Samsung could go in for LG batteries. But sources told the Korean Herald that the deal is yet to be finalised between Samsung and LG. Samsung’s phones already use cameras from LG.

Microsoft lifts its kimono for Brazilian conspiracy nuts

brazilSoftware king of the world Microsoft is going to show its source code to the Brazilian government to re-assure conspiracy nuts that it has no back doors which allow US spooks to spy on people.

Vole opened a centre in Brazil where officials can inspect its programming code, in an attempt to allay suspicions in the region that its software programs are vulnerable to spying.

It is the fourth ‘Transparency Centre’ that Vole has established and it is only a little bit transparent. It has reinforced walls and the sort of strict security settings a bank would be proud of.

Experts from Latin American and Caribbean governments can see the source code of its products.

To be fair, Edward Snowden revealed that the United States had been spying on Brazilian communications including those of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Microsoft prevents anyone from copying the massive amount of coding on display – as much as 50 million lines for its email and server products. Viewers inspect copies of source code on computers connected only to local servers and cut off from the internet. The copies are later deleted.

Viewers can use software tools to examine the code, Microsoft said, but it was not immediately clear whether experts would be able to run deep code analysis necessary to uncover back doors or other bugs.


Apple supplier issues profit warning

confusingtrafficsignSigns are that all are not as well at the fruity tax-dodging cargo cult Apple as one of its suppliers has issued a profit warning.

Apple supplier Laird issued a warning on its full-year profit, saying that acceleration in production for mobile devices this year had come in much later than seen in previous cycles and that it had “poor” visibility in order volumes.

The electronic components maker said it expected full-year underlying profit to be about $61 million, also partly blaming margin concerns due to increased pricing pressure. Laird had not previously given any guidance for the full year.

Some of this margin pressure would be from Apple leaning on its suppliers to reduce their prices. But the disappointing results could also indicate that things are not working as well as Jobs Mob hoped and sales of the iPhone 7 were not doing as well as expected.

Apple has indicated that it does not expect this year to be as good as the last, in fact its iPhone 7 is a stop-gap product to keep its toe in the water until things pick up a bit.


Clinton wanted Gates or Tim Cook for Vice president

main-qimg-c3c35d5a1a6001a0fcf594c49a5af26fAn email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump shows that Clinton wanted Bill or Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns for the Vice-President role.

There were 40 names on the list, so it was more like my Amazon wish-list, and there were signs that some of the names were not well researched. Apple’s supreme dalek Tim Cook is currently raising money for Ayn Rand–influenced ideologue Paul Ryan who shares similar views about stuffing up the great unwashed for a rich elite of self-serving bastards.

Bill and Melinda Gates are too busy saving the world to be bothered with the job of Vice-President, which unless the president gets sick is more of a ceremonial role. Even Dan Quayle managed to be a vice-president and he could not spell potato.

Burns probably does not want to leave Xerox where she earns on average $13 million a year. In fact her and her management team have all received salary increases over the last six years, but staff has not.

Apple’s cultish behaviour lost its entire networking team in a week

apple-cultFruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple lost its entire networking team in a day after it refused to join the Open Compute Project. (OPC)

Apple’s networking team was apparently told by management to make its network 100 percent reliable – a virtual impossibility given the fact that it used Apple hardware.  To reach the target the networking team asked to join the OPC.

The OPC is the open source for hardware which provides designs for free so that anyone can modify them.  The Apple team wanted to solve their networking problem by contributing to the project and receiving help. However, when they asked Apple, the managers had a fit. It would mean breaking Jobs’ first law, which states that everything must be done in secret and if any two people share the secret one of them must be shot.

However, when the Apple team were told “no” by their boss they suddenly realised that they were working for a bunch of idiots who were setting impossible targets using an out-of-date technology approach and all quit.

Suddenly when it found it had to hire a complete network team, Apple sheepishly joined the OPC project.  Oddly the Tame Apple Press is citing this story as a “cultish” behaviour on the part of OPC rather than idiotic cultish behaviour on the part of Apple.


Human drivers will bully self-drive cars

classic car, wikimedia commonsTechnology experts are starting to worry that human drivers will bully self-drive cars – simply because they can.

While self-driving cars promise to bring increased safety, comfort and speed to our roads. The rest of the road will be populated by men in white vans, BMW drivers and Italians who will make life hell for automated roadsters.

The London School of Economics and Goodyear conducted a study into social attitudes to self-driving technology. Drivers who are more “combative” will welcome the adoption of self-driving technology, because they assume it will be easier to “bully” self-driving cars than actual humans.

Self-driving cars will be programmed to avoid accidents, just as they should be. So given the choice between driving timidly or causing an accident just to prove a point, the self-driving car will slam on the brakes every time. The more aggressive drivers in this survey said that they’d treat self-driving cars like “learner drivers” and mess with their automatic heads.

One respondent he would be overtaking all the time because they’ll be sticking to the rules,” one Another said robot cars are going to stop. “So you’re going to mug them right off. They’re going to stop and you’re just going to nip around.”

So those who really should be self-driving are exactly the sort of people who should not be behind the wheel.  It is only a matter of time before self-driving will require a psyche-test to see if they should be allowed to drive.


Peter Thiel’s trumping is bad for business

Bad-smellPaypal billionaire Peter Thiel’s $1.25 million donation to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is driving away partners from Y Combinator.

Thiel is a part-time advisor for the Silicon Valley accelerator. But Project Include, which works to improve diversity at tech companies, said today that it would no longer work with YC startups.

The group’s co-founder, Ellen Pao, wrote that Thiel’s actions were in direct conflict with her outfit’s values. “Because of his continued connection to YC, we are compelled to break off our relationship with YC.”

Founded in 2005, Y Combinator has incubated some of the biggest tech companies of the past decade, including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe. But it refused to dissociate itself from Thiel, who took an advisory role with the organization in 2015.

In a series of tweets, YC’s president stood by Thiel. “Cutting off opposing viewpoints leads to extremism and will not get us the country we want. Diversity of opinion is painful but critical to the health of a democratic society. We can’t start purging people for political support.”

But  Pao rejected the idea that Thiel’s donation could be dismissed as political speech and said while she agreed that people shouldn’t be fired for their political views, but this isn’t a disagreement on tax policy, this is advocating hatred and violence.

“Giving more power to someone whose ascension and behaviour strike fear into so many people is unacceptable. His attacks on black, Mexican, Asian, Muslim, and Jewish people, on women, and on others are more than just political speech; fueled by hate and encouraging violence, they make each of us feel unsafe.”

Assange falling out with Ecuadorian government

Julian AssangeLast week, Julian Assange claimed that a “state actor” had pulled the plug on his internet connection soon after he released some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Despite the implication that the US or UK had cut him off to prevent more embarrassing leaks it turns out that it was actually an ally of his – the Ecuadorian government.

For those who came in late, Assange is holed up in the London Ecuadorian embassy because he does not want to go to Sweden to face serious sex charges. Now it seems that the Ecuadorian government is getting a bit tetchy about its somewhat embarrassing guest.

The country’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long made no comment on the claim, saying only: “The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.”  But it appears that the government is not too happy about its embassy being used as ground zero for Wikileak’s pro- campaign.

Ecuador is not a big fan of Trump.  Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has said that a Trump Presidency would be good for Latin America because it would increase support for the Left generally. In other words, Trump would be so bad everyone would rush to the left.  The concept that Assange is trying to get the right-wing Trump elected using Russian supplied documents is not something that is sitting well with the left-wing Ecuadorian government.

Wikileaks said that it is working around the problem, but it might mean that Assange’s presence on future leaks might be curtailed. As far as Assange is concerned that means that doing it would be pretty pointless.