Trump Back Pedals After Email Collusion

The Republican Presidential candidate Donald J Trump tried to back pedal on some of the collusion and illegal statements he made this week regarding national security and email security. His major line of reasoning was that he believed that they were made in jest, and were not to be taken seriously, if only he admitted that is how all statements that leave his mouth should be viewed. Among other things, Trump suggested that Russian central intelligence services should look for more than 30,000 deleted emails belonging to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and reveal them to the world. The Donald Sayith, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’ll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” This in many respects was seen as incentive’s acts against the United States of American, which if committed by one of its own citizens would constitute acts of treason.

So for the Trump campaign this is damage control number one, and people aren’t really going forget it. “In general, I believe that the Russia related allegations floating around are completely inadequate and inappropriate,” said Yuri Melnik who is the press secretary for the Russian Embassy to the U.S. who declined to comment to any of the specific comments by Trump or anyone else, and said he had no knowledge of Trumps dealings in Russia. What makes this case particularly sticky is the fact that Trump said that members of the press would reward them for their involvement in their ascertainment of sensitive materials, we accept this as the first premise. Then the second premise is that Trump by all accounts of the word is kind of the media he is referring to, so he is in a very loose way saying that he would either directly or indirectly fund things that could be seen as acts of war against the United States of America. 

Melnik went on to say that, ” in general, I believe that the Russia related allegations floating around are completely inadequate and inappropriate, its surprising how childish the narrative is.” He goes on that, “at a time when the U.S. is confronting serious cyber security threats from foreign adversaries the comments of the Republican candidate for President are beyond reckless.”

“whether its removed from the recipients systems and servers has no impact on the data’s continued existence in the myriad systems that it moved through prior to arrival, or was copied to if those systems were themselves compromised.”

Anyway you slice it, there is definitely a hit to Hillary and her campaign as well as Trump and his place in the American Spotlight, but more importantly there is a serious loss to the American people. How the hell did we get here, and is idiocracy really coming to fruition. The constitution is always seen as a document that has an answer at every turn, but in this case we may very well be out of luck, and up a creek with no pedal.

Brexit Blindsides English Tech Industry

In London many tech and media companies are set to bolt town in the wake of the Brexit. Many are beginning to wonder if this could be the end of London’s position as Europe’s  media capital of the continent.  Since the begining of the television revolution, London has been there to answer the call, and more importantly collect those dollars of the market. London in many ways has long been seen as the finacial and media capital of the world just behind the United States of America. American tech and media companies such as Facebook and Google have hube offices there, and it’s an English speaking toehold for American firms doing business on the continent.

Now to put this in the context of recent developments most notably the Brexit. This does not mean that there aren’t consequences for the firms in the media and business sectors that are based out of London. In fact its quite the opposite really. According to Frank Sinton who is the CEO of Beachfront Media, a company that makes an advertising platform for mobile video he says that, “We’d been thinking about an EU extension for the last year, and we took a month long trip to figure out where we wanted to set up base, it became pretty clear among the media and ad community that London was the clear choice. But the leave campaign winning has us completely reevaluating.” 

You may think that given the recent developments on the isle there is going to be some recourse that is not favorable. This is most certainly the case, but what does not naturally follow which would in most cases of industry is the notion that they will be overhauled and taken over by some new hub of industry. The reason being is that there is very little they can do in this regard to really not be seen as a go to, and the sheer fact that there isn’t really anyone who is even positioned to take them to that level and necessitate England’s fall from grace. What I mean by that is the only thing that will happen is an attack to quality and scope but they do not face an existential threat to their holdings. Carter Pilcher, is the head of Shorts international, a video company that specializes in (surprise) and or short form video for a largely concurs with Sintons. “I think it will go from the capital of media in Europe to capital of the U.K. The biggest beneficiary is possibly Germany, but probably the Netherlands, because their regulation system is effective.”

“A lot of American TV type businesses-MTV,CNN, Discovery- are all headquarter in London because it’s a much easier place to live… it’s an enormous set of media companies; And they haven’t yet negotiated what will happen but i am almost certain that the EU will not allow TV networks created outside the EU to broadcast because media is too precious to be regulated outside the trade zone.” This is the state of affairs we find on the isle known as Britain.

Assange and the Politics of Tech

The founder of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced this week that the whistle blower organization will be planing on releasing and publishing another stream of sensitive information that has implications of adversely affecting the presidential hopefull Hillary Clinton. This will be coming from her private email serve while she served as secretary of state and will be a major blow to her already spotty credibility. What remains to be seen is if the information provided will amount to anything substantive that could be used in a court of law against her, or whether or not it remains something that they cannot offer as evidence. The reason being is that for all intensive purposes its going to be highly irregular and illegal the way it was obtained. That being the case this may only clear a path for a Trump presidency which has everyone wishing we could go back in time one year and rectify this whole political arena and mad house we find ourselves in today. This is all considered within the larger context of economy of tech. 

Assange said that, “we have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton… we have emails pending publication.” the sites founder Julian Assange told U.K’s ITV Sunday He was not able to indicate how many said emails he would be publishing, nor how the site would or when the release would occur, but we can rest assured
that it is going to be a big one. He was been critical of the presumptive Democratic nominee, but told ITV that Loretta Lynch would not indict her. “she’s not gonig to indict Hillar Clinton, that’s not possible. It’s not going to happen. But the FBI can push for concessions from a Clinton Gov.” 

This is a crazy political arena we find ourselves in considering the recent attacks in Orlando that resulted in the death of 50 individuals and the injury of 51 others. Hillary is calling for stronger more hawkish attacks on ISIS which is strange considering that ISIS was not responsible for the recent attacks. At the end of the day we can safely assume that the limited freedoms we enjoy now in terms of net neutrality and privacy on the internet are going to be greatly curtailed and even totally eliminated this time next year. Either candidate is going to be trample individual liberties and greatly affect what we understand as normal when it comes to our interactions with the government. It is in a sense the culmination of what Edward Snowden warned against several years prior. In so far as his warning that even if you feel that the tools of government are too powerful, they remain in hands you more or less trust not to abuse said power. However, whoever wins the upcoming election, all bets are off, and we are going to be trust into a political free fall that may be the last one we ever know. Like a forest that is too choked out from any light reaching its roots, so too is the state of the American political arena, where in the only way it can be purged or cleaned is with a cleansing fire.


The Big Picture for the Tech Economy

Amazon and Facebook have reached all time highs but their success may not actually be good for the economy, in fact its probably pretty bad for it. Pretty regularly the two tech companies are seeing their stock sour other big names have reported their first quarter earnings below estimates and are struggling with falling numbers. Macy’s and Disney land are the two most recent corporations to be slammed in recent weeks. Some inside traders can’t help but wonder that the internet giants are to blame.

Amazon is shaking up everything, and is changing the way people buy and sell everything. The brick and mortar are no longer the necessity they once were. “Amazon has a huge impact on employment, on rents and on downtown usage, we’ve seen mall retail effects here that are nontrivial.”

More over, their vast online retail sector that Amazon has also introduced a myriad of services, over the years to compete in a variety of markets. The company is also now expanded to include not only their Amazon Prime swag, but also their grocery delivery service. fgfgfg

Facebook, is also for the most part expanded beyond its core social media platform which is becoming, an ad revenue generating powerhouse which is thanks in large part to its huge reach and scope. But that seems kind of obvious.

“So Facebook and Google control online advertising and Amazon is 30-plus percent of e-commerce, so what’s a bit counter intuitive about these new and exciting technologies that are making everything competitive is they tend to be very dominant.”

But the true scope we are trying to understand may be harder to see than originally believed, but that’s fine. Especially, given their reliance on the internet and their vast reach across burgeoning markets.

“There’s a big disruption going on and economists really have trouble quantifying it in terms of productivity growth, which at the end of the day is important for economic growth. There’s an old saying that you can see the internet every where except the productivity data, and you’re definitely seeing that play in the stock market as well… You have disruption but it’s not yet crating the kind of growth that we had either in wages or in the economy with prior technologies like in the 1920’s and 30’s.” Colas added.

So we are in between a rock and a hard place for our economy. In once sense we don’t really want to break away from Inc. logos are displayed on laptop computers in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Inc. is scheduled to release third-quarter earnings on Oct. 24. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

this trend because of the convenience and speed inherent to its model. However, it is clearly a kind of means to toxicity in the market place and among US consumers. So where they decide to go from here will only tell of the coming change we see across the board both in distribution and manufacturing.

What is going to be interesting is what the face of Facebook will be in a decade and how they will continue to monetize their product. What I mean is that this is largely a market experiment so we’ll see how it goes down in the town.

The Ad Blocking Dilemma

Lets face it the internet is one giant multi national billboard. A means for anyone to plug their product or service by directly reaching their clients or potential clients though search engine specific content targeting. In terms of advertising there has never been anything this direct or successful in achieving this end. But for the everyday internet user they see this constant stream eerily Stop-hljtising1 and applicable advertising for your particular circumstance or disposition at the time. How many times have you looked at the advertisements and thought “this thing knows me, better than I know me” to escape this weird orwellian nightmare of content specifically geared for you many have turned to Ad Blocking software to avoid the omnipresent distraction.

But the very content we seek out and love can only maintain its level of excellence through the direct funding of advertisers. Thus Adblockers is undoubtedly a big deal for the internet and the future of the production of content. and it is clear that something has got to give in this arena because they are loosing money, in a big, big way. Ad blockers put themselves forth as a means to circumnavigate the ills of data collectors and bring place themselves upon a plane as an almost robinhoodian hero of the internet and net neutrality. However, we often forget that Ad Blocking services need to keep the lights on and are a tech business in the same way any internet company is. Their business is not different than the very ones they claim they are protecting you from.

In fact the Ad Blocking companies are making their money by streamlining the way to advertisers by offering a back door to your internet content, and giving the most robust and complete look at your data and search history. what are the implications of this? well that remains to be seen, but what we do know is that this huge industry very few people are even aware exists. The industry is in a kind of limbo period where no one really knows where it will go, or what to expect in the future. Although we can be certain that the several high profile cases surrounding this industry will come to a head in the near future.Careelkjlkjyramid

Some experts in the field have argued that by solely focusing on ad blockers buisness model is a red herring for the real topic at hand, which is of coarse how to better serve its users and the relationship to advertisers advertisement and internet security in general. This debate is the result of a larger systemic problem that defines the perimeters of this para dime and our navigation of the internet in general. As the Harvard business school associate Benjamin Edleman writes “You’ve modified our website for your business purposes… You’ve modified it in order to get us to pay you tribute, in order to get us to buy our ads back in. You claim it’s all about protecting consumers from bad ads, but actually you’re perfectly willing to certify our ads so long as we paid you.”

FBI Employee Information Accessed By Hacker

This Monday, the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced that investigations were taking place regarding a hacker that broke into the American government’s computer systems and stole sensitive information about employees at the agencies.

The hacker accessed and stole information regarding 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees online Sunday and publicized data on 20,000 FBI employees on Monday.

DHS spokesperson S.Y. Lee gave the following staement:

motherboard“We are looking into the reports of purported disclose of DHS employee contact information… We take these reports very seriously; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information.”

The Department of Justice was investigating “unauthorized access of a system operated by one its its components containing employee contact information,” and added that no sensitive personally identifiable information appeared to have been compromised.

Strange statements considering that DHS data posted to the Web contained phone numbers and email addresses of past employees, though some of them hadn’t worked int he agency for years.

Motherboard did report the data theft on Sunday, claiming that a hacker had turned stolen information over to it and announced his intention to go public with the information.

According to Motherboard, the hacker was able to use the email account of a DOJ employee and social engineering to enter into the agency’s intranet and download 200GB of files. This was all explained to Motherboard by the hacker.

Motherboard is a section of Vice news focused on the future:

“With in-depth blogging, longford reporting, and video journalism, Motherboard investigates the news and events that are already affecting the years to come. We want to help you get your hands on tomorrow. Beyond that, we strive to bring our audience an honest portrait of the futures we’re racing towards.”

The hacker apparently failed to penetrate the DOJ Web portal on his own,  but had the bright idea to call a government department, act like a newbie, and simply request the code for accessing the portal, which eh was given over the phone. Once inside, he gained access to the computer used by the person whose email he had compromised and gained access to DOJ’s internal network.

mb2“It was a fairly simplistic attack combined with social engineering, but audacious when your’e going after an FBI employee,” commented chief research analyst with IT-Harvest Richard Stiennon. “It’s easy for complacency to set in at high-volume call environments such as government help desks… If you flood a help desk with password reset requests and similar requests without any negative consequences, eventually operators are going to get comfortable handing out login tokens.”

The whole situation is an indicator of the limits of even the most secure systems; the gullible employee is always the Achilles’ heel.

“All the advanced algorithms, machine learning and log aggregators can’t protect an organization from a gullible employee susceptible to the ‘Look, your shoe’s untied’ ruse,” commented Stealthbits Technologies channel marketing manager Jeff hill.

“In today’s world, the best cybersecurity strategy is to look for and identify suspicious behavior of legitimate accounts,” he added.

Zano Fails, Kickstarter Hires Investigative Journalist

Zano promised the world a mini-drone with a host of bells and whistles, and the world was psyched. Its Kickstarter raised over $3 million and earned its stature as a Kickstarter staff pick. It was even short listed for its best of CES 2015 award and chosen as one of Popular Science’s 100 most amazing innovations of 2015 last October.

torquing groupUnfortunately, the crew behind Zano just couldn’t deliver on its promises.  Its failure sparked intense anger among Kickstarter donors, who accused Zano of scamming them out of their hard-earned donations. Kickstarter took a creative approach to the mounting tension, enlisting an investigative journalist named Mark Harris to determine what factors led to Zano’s disappointing inability to produce.

Based in Seattle, Harris was shown to South Wales, where he spent six weeks conducting interviews and connecting the dots to complete an epic tale of tragedy that was no scam, but a legitimate failure on the part of Zano.

It all started with a business called the Torquing Group, a business led by self-taught engineer Ivan Reedman. Reedman wanted to create a marketable drone that, through clever and misleading marketing, lit Kickstarter on fire and galloped towards its target goal.

Unfortunately, once the money was secured, Reedman and his associates soon discovered that the past to mass producing what would have been an incredible drone was fraught with obstacles; obstacles none of them was equipped to handle.

“Torquing’s director managed their business poorly and spent the Kickstarter money too freely, but I’ve found no evidence that any of them ended up rich on the backs of the crown,” concluded Mark Harris in his 13,000 word write up. He claims that as production problems increased, Touring associates demonstrated “a dangerous lack of self-awareness of the problems the company was making for itself.”

Reedman himself apparently admitted that neither he or any member of his team “possessed the technical or commercial competencies necessary to deliver the Zano as specified in the original campaign.”

And so a humbling lesson was duly learnt by Reedman and the Tourquing group. But what about Kickstarter?

kickstarterHarris asserted that Kickstarter and other funding websites must “reconsider the way they deal with projects involving complex hardware, massive overfunding, or large sums of money,” advising that they bring in mentors to keep an eye on projects like Zano which suddenly become responsible for opening much more money on many more consumers than originally projected.

Harris also stated that Kickstarter and crowd-funding websites should be much more straight-forward about the risks that backers face; after all, it’s not Kickstarter’s responsibility if a project like Zano ends up tanking.

Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler wasn’t open to much of Harris’s criticisms. He claims that Kickstarter’s rules regarding realistic videos and genuine prototypes are extremely difficult to enforce, and that it is a backer’s responsibility to assess the potential for the creator to successfully create the product.

“If you want 100% success with hardware and new products, I think the only solution is that you just shop on Amazon,” Strickler stated.


HTML; You Can Do It Too!

Web page design is an industry that will thrive as long as companies see fit to have an internet presence; and that shows no signs of ending right away. Accordingly, people with creative juices and an interest in tech have found very satisfying jobs in this arena. Think web page design might be for you but don’t know anything about it? Here’s a brief overview of what HTML entails.

Wait… What’s HTML? It stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. Web page designers use HTML to instruct web browsers on how to format all the text and pictures of a web page to the designers’ specifications. HTML tags determine everything from headings, font, and text size to where videos and links are located on the web page. If you’d like to see the HTML tags that determine how this page is formatted, simply right click and choose “view source.” There you’ll see all the HTML tags enclosed within < (less than) signs and > (greater than) signs.

html2Don’t worry if it looks confusing; it’s a little time-consuming to learn all the HTML tags at first, but it’s easy to use once you just know what everything means. If you’re ready to get started, you can open up the application on your machine that possesses the least tools; on Windows this is Notepad and on Macintosh the application is called SimpleText.

To convey that you want to begin the web page, write <html> in the first line. To initiate the heading, then write  <head> in the second line. To initiate the text of the title that will make up the heading, write <title> at the next line. Now you can choose whatever title you want. I’ll choose “Eternal sadnes” and then close the title with the command </title>. Back slashes are used in HTML to end formatting categories. The title all together will now look like:

<title>Eternal Sadness</title>

To end the head, I drop to the next line and write </head>. Now I have my titled heading. Next I’ll start with the body by writing <body>. I drop to the next line and write I am always sad and it makes it hard for happy people to want to be friends with me. Then I close the body using </body>. The whole thing looks like this:


I am always sad and it makes it hard for happy people to want to be friends with me.


To wrap things up on this little introductory project, I tell the browser that my formatting is finished by writing </html>.

firstIf you save this file in Notepad or SimplyText, you an open it in your web browser. Find a drop down menu and pick the Open File option. Open that sucker up and see how it looks. Pretty cool, huh? That’s the basics of web design, now all you need to do is go out and educate yourself on what HTML tags are out there and how you can best use them. When you’re ready to make a web page of your own accessible on the internet, you’ll have to pay for a web server to carry it.

The Manhattan District Attorney Calls for Access to Encrypted Data

According to the BBC, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has released a report claiming that law enforcement should have access to encrypted data on smartphones. His report comes as a direct response to Apple and Google, whose iOS and Android operating system automatically encrypt the data used by their operators.

The report claims that “the consequences of these companies’ actions on the public safety are severe.”

franceDebate regarding whether data encryption services should be accessible to the average consumer have been even further fueled by last week’s tragic multi-pronged terrorist attack in France. 129 Parisian citizens were killed and 352 were wounded by three teams of terrorists that staged coordinated attacks at six locations. The planning necessary to carry out these attacks has prompted authorities to claim that increasing their access to the private information of the public would help them to find attackers’ murderous plans before they are carried out.

The U.S. feels intrinsically involved in the issue, as is demonstrated by the statement given by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: “The United States and France are not only friends, we are family. And today, the entire world joins our family in the heartbreak yet again.”

“Don’t mistake what these attacks represent,” Kerry continued. “This is not a clash of civilizations. These terrorists have declared war against all civilization… This is an assault not just on France, but coming on the heels of brutal attacks in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere, it is an assault on our collective sense of reason and purpose, an attack on civility itself.”

The egregious attack has caused a ripple of international security concerns all around the world. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a plan for $3 billion in additional funding to be spent on the country’s military forces to fight terrorism, law enforcement has been ramped up considerably in large U.S. cities like New York and Washington D.C., and a variety of international sporting events and music concerts have been cancelled.

So back to Manhattan: recently in a case unrelated to the, attacks in France, Apple refused a court order to unlock data on a smartphone that is part of a criminal case.

encrypt iphoneThe District Attorney of Manhattan then filed his report, claiming that “smartphones are ubiquitous, and there is almost no kind of case in which prosecutors have not used evidence from smartphones… Evidence from smartphones has been used across the country to investigate and prosecute homicides, rapes, assaults, domestic violence, narcotics rings, kidnappings, larcenies, frauds and robberies. ”

Alone with these assertions came a series of case examples and several questions for Apple and Google regarding the technical details of their encryption schemes and their policies of not adhering to requests to decrypt data. Apparently the District Attorney had already asked these questions in other letters but received no response.

The report proposes that smartphones be made subject to search warrants, so law enforcement could force operating system designers to unlock encrypted data held on the device.

System 76 Releases Wild Dog Pro

On October 20th, System 76 announced the release of its latest and greatest desktop, the Wild Dog Pro. Wild Dog has a variety of top-of-the-line customizable configurations for the best possible video editing, media creating, software engineering, and computer-aided designing experience available. The device offers high-end processing capabilities for the most demanding games in circulation and was described as “the absolute latest and greatest in hardware innovation” by Carl Richell (who is, admittedly, the president of System76).

Wild Dog is priced at $769 and comes preinstalled with Ubuntu 15.10 (also known as Wily Werewolf), so buyers can expect a cutting-edge operating system to go along with their top-of-the-line hardware.

The default desktop is set to Unity. Users can install other Linux desktop environments and distributions if they so please. Users can choose between a sixth-generation Intel multicore, a multithreaded Core i5 Skylake processor, or the Intel i7 water-cooled 6700K processor. The chipset is Intel H170 Express.

Wild Dog has a dual-channel DDr4 @ 2133 MHz up to 64 GB. In addition, users can opt into either the Intel HD Graphics 530 or an Nvidia graphics card up to GTX 980 with up to 4 GB.

One of the handier accoutrements of the Wild Dog is its possession of a variety of ports and accessory connectors, including front and rear data ports for both USB 3.0 Type-A, USB 2.0 Type-A and USB 3.1 Type-C. The power supply is rated 500W to provide 80 percent or greater power efficiency.

wild dog pro2

Ever trend setting, System76 has become one of the first industry leaders to omit Adobe Flash from its newly remastered software images. The company claims that the absence of Flash is due to some security concerns as well as the fact that Flash is no longer totally necessary for a full internet experience.

The Wild Dog is not designed to be light, small and portable. First and foremost it is meant to be powerful and durable.

“While thin and light computers and all-in-ones are a great fit for some users, they sacrifice performance and storage to achieve their size,” explains Richell. “The wild Dog Pro is designed for creators and engineers that don’t want to make sacrifices. It’s quiet, powerful and beautiful.”

As Richell confirms, the Wild Dog Pro targets engineers, designers and other professionals who appreciate or need high-end technical features and performance.

Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT posits, “There are more of those folks than you might think, especially in technically savvy companies that develop their own Linux-based applications and tools in-house.”

“The Wild Dog Pro units sell at a premium,” he continues, “but System76’s ongoing success suggests that there is a sizable audience for thoughtfully and well-designed Linux-based desktop systems.”

Reviewers also love the Skylake processor, which gives them the opportunity to “completely arm themselves with the power needed to accomplish their tasks with brimming confidence.” (System76 again).

The internet is definitely raving- better get out there and check out Wild Dog for yourself!