Day By Day

Comments

  • Toxic Deplorable B Woodman

    My daughter gave us one for Christmas last year, and wonders why we haven’t plugged it in and turned it on.
    I’ve been hearing about the Alexis and Siri snooping since shortly after they were put on the market. Now it’s slowly becoming public, and coming out from behind the disrepute of “crazy conspiracy theory” .
    (I wonder if you could do a Siri and Alexis “audio faceoff”, and have them listen to each other. Rather like the Weeping Angel and the Elf-On-The-Shelf. hehehehehe)

    • John M.

      I worry about any voice-activated device, especially if it has a wifi or cellular connection. I disable the “mikes” on most of them, and leave them laying face-up so that anyone that snoops into it sees nothing but ceiling. The camera and microphone on my laptop has a big Bulldog-type clip with a piece of foam rubber covering them.

  • Toxic Deplorable B Woodman

    What would be the electronic equivalent of “snitches get stitches”?

    • Henry

      “Bugs get slugs.”

    • Too Tall

      Sam in the workshop with the radial saw.

      • GWB

        Sam with it in the kitchen………..

        • Too Tall

          To the moon, Alexa…..

  • Toxic Deplorable B Woodman

    Anyone know a decent random word generating algorithm/program? Install it on your computer, have it play, and set the Alexa/Siri right next to the speaker. Let any snoops decode that.
    And don’t forget to isolate the setup so the Snoopy Duo won’t inadvertently pick up any any background real conversation.

  • WayneM

    The first time I saw one of these horrid devices, I told the owner that it was like inviting Big Tech into his home as it was always on & listening. He chuckled and said he had nothing to hide… and he thought I was paranoid.

    When the first reports came out about privacy breaches and the hot mikes, I forwarded same to him… and he still has the damn thing… Madness!!

    • MasterDiver

      The first step towards the Televisor from 1984.

      Zar Belk!

    • John

      Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get your data.
      All of it.

  • interventor

    Shortly, I shall take an old laptop to the patio. Then, apply a rubber hammer in full Hillary mode. It used to be easy to remove hard disks from a laptop. Now, it requires the removal of about 16 screws. Screw, that!

    • kadaka

      These days they can recover data from pieces of the actual hard drive disks. You’ll have to melt the unit to slag. Might as well pull the rechargeable battery, if possible, and lay the laptop on a bonfire pile.

      In better news, with ultra-fast USB 3 it’s even more feasible to have a computer with no main drive that solely uses a bootable flash drive which incidentally can be quickly pulled and tossed in a microwave oven for no specific reason.

      • AlexJ

        The recovery of data from an old and damaged hard drive is an expensive and labor intensive task. Many times the data is irrevocably lost. It isNot impossible, just very difficult.

        On the other hand keep in mind Murphy’s Law.

        Onwards to the Future

        • Punta Gorda

          Yeah, I used to be a referral rep for one of those companies. The prices are so high that unless the lost data can keep you out of prison, it’s probably not worth it.

    • John M.

      A general thought on the subject of hard drives – since they’re magnetic material, can you take one of those strong “lifts 750 lbs.” magnets and pass them over the computer a couple of times to scramble/erase them, like we used to do with magnetic tape? For that matter, what if I still have one of those old AC electromagnets that we used?

      • interventor

        I still have a degaussing tool.

      • kadaka

        Hard drive disks are very thin layers of magnetic material on a non-magnetic substrate, usually in a metal housing. Maybe an MRI magnet could take a hard drive out, the ones that hurl oxygen cylinders when activated. But multiple whole disk random-byte read/write cycles are recommended for wiping, techs can read faint traces of old writes from “deleted” disk areas, so a single blanking may be ineffective.

        Converting to slag is more sure. Plus magnesium is often used in laptops and other computer components. Give it to the fire. The fire is pure, natural. It’s for the best.

  • kadaka

    My Android phone has a locked screen, plugged in for charging as my WiFi hotspot, and just now for the heck of it I said “OK Google where is the car”. The screen lit up and Google Assistant showed it heard “Where is Dakar” and showed me a map. I tried again, this time it heard “Where is the car” and said, out loud, that I’d have to unlock for that.

    OK. Just tried something else, got “Here is some information about ‘where is the cat’.”

    Clearly I have nothing to worry about, as like the average Progressive millennial it shows there’s a difference between hearing and listening. And of course no one could ever get a FISA warrant to compel Google to use the phone to spy on me, and especially not to remotely access the cameras.

    • Old Codger

      Why on EARTH would Google need a warrant to bug a deplorable’s phone? I figure by this time in ’21 or ’25 (i.e. when Trump’s prog successor is in office) Google, Amazon and Apple will HAPPILY give the feds everything picked up by their cyber minions. Since the fedgov has data centers with sufficient space to store CD quality recordings of EVERY WORD EVER SPOKEN or a decade’s worth of the WWW, it will be nothing for the feds to store the captures from the eSoops and subject them to keyword analysis.

      • Doggo

        You want to talk storage space? FedGov rents spare storage space from Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Google alone has more storage than the government

  • cz93x62

    All electronic devices/leashes/snoops are a mixed blessing at best. I want no part of any Siri or Alexis in my house. Cell phones and puters give away enough damn info already. It doesn’t take much of an EMP to burn them up, if/when the need arises.

  • Pamela

    Would running porn film soundtracks on a loop cause Alexa and Siri to implode?

    • Henry

      I still remember the very first “fallen and I can’t get up” monitors from the ‘70s — the ones that would happily obey every time the Three Stooges episode came on TV in which Curly was shouting, “Call the police! Call the police!”

    • Too Tall

      If you do that, the CIA will want to weaponize you. See the Dilbert cartoon about Wally’s porn watching habits at work.

  • Mike-SMO

    A friend has a voice actuated TV controller (NetFlix, I think, maybe Hulu), due to arthritis, etc. I know it is “looking” at me.

    Would 10 minutes in the microwave (acidentally, of course) be sufficient?

    • Kafiroon

      A little time contemplating the results of using the cutting lever of a smoke wrench on a hard drive, or any PC, should show satisfactory results.

    • Punta Gorda

      10 minutes will get you a fire.

      As soon as you draw sparks you should be good.

  • Bill G

    Big (Tech) Brother is watching, and while they’ll fight tooth and nail to avoid working with Trump’s government, they fall all over themselves to help a leftist regime.

    • John

      Like Red China.

  • cz93x62

    Sounds like great places for the airbursts. Up REAL high so no one gets hurt, but the EMP will fry much of the ones and zeroes that order our world. That a’ screw things up for a while.

  • Badger52

    “And of course no one could ever get a FISA warrant to compel Google to use the phone to spy on me, and especially not to remotely access the cameras.”

    That is some rich irony given current times…

  • eon

    Yesterday, in spite of my having updates set to Never, MS “updated” my Win7 OS and now I get this in the corner of the screen

    Windows 7

    Build 7601

    this copy of Windows is not genuine

    Accompanied by it blanking my wallpaper. And constant demands that I “get genuine Windows” through online Help that always comes back “This URL does not exist”.

    I’m taking it to the computer repair place down the street this AM. Apparently, they’re very familiar with this kind of shit from Microsoft. Hopefully, they can prevent it from recurring in the future.

    It’s all intended to force me to change to Win 10, which I have no intention of doing. Not least because I use Word a lot, and the 10 version is “in the cloud” and requires constant rental fees I can’t afford.

    I also can’t afford the bandwidth 10 eats up by constantly “reporting” to MS on everything. I use maybe 60-70GB a month, I’m allowed about 1,600 free, and Win 10 can easily gobble up 2,000 to 3,000 GB a WEEK with its constant babbling to MS. And every extra 100 GB over the limit costs me $10/mo. I. Haven’t. Fucking. GOT.

    And please, do not tell me how “great” Win 10 is. It’s spyware, adware, and ransomware in one bloated package. It’s one more example of Microsoft’s obsession with “control”.

    Microsoft is no longer “just” a company. It is a criminal conspiracy with delusions of ruling the world. No wonder it’s so “progressive” politically.

    The only solution is what the Nixon administration did to ITT, and the Reagan administration did to the Bell System. Break it up and sell off the bits. Localize it and prevent it from ever becoming a hegemony again.

    As for those responsible, from CEOs to engineers with dreams of being Big Brother, they should spend the rest of their lives in SuperMax. In little concrete boxes, 24/7.

    And the only “tech” they should be allowed should be a 1960s-era, tube-type, black-and-white portable TV, in a wire mesh cage in the upper corner of the cell. it will go on at 6 AM and of at 9 PM, and they will not be able to turn it down or off.

    And it will be locked on Christian Broadcasting. Permanently.

    clear ether

    eon

    • kadaka

      By the Terms and Conditions you agree to by merely using their product you do not own the Windows on your machine, M$ is graciously allowing you to use it for only as long as they see fit. So if they nullify their own activation key and at some point self-extract the now-illegitimate entire OS leaving you a brick, can’t say you weren’t warned, that’s their right. That includes your version of Word.

      Linux however, being largely free and open-source software (FOSS), is far less restrictive, and installation is easy and highly automated. Ubuntu is a popular and free version, company sells tech support and enterprise solutions. I run Debian because I’m a rebel who likes fixing their own stuff if needed. Also there are free Word alternatives like LibreOffice Writer and AbiWord.

      Does your system even meet the requirements for Win10, or just barely? Linux might be your only real solution.

      • azscram

        I’ve been a full time Linux user on my personal devices since 2006. It is much more secure than the commercial alternatives.

        • John

          I don’t use Linux myself, but I read somewhere that it is under attack by the SJWs and major chunks of it may be withdrawn in protest by the contributing (read rational) programmers.
          I’m not well versed in this so take it with a stock grade salt block.

    • Kafiroon

      Eon and anyone interested:
      I installed: http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/
      GWX control Panel.
      when 10 first came out. My 7 still runs great and that has stopped M$ from taking it to 10. Give it a look.

      • eon

        Thank you!

        cheers

        eon

  • PCChaos

    And at the end of the viewing day, on the old black and white tv, a cowboy comes on with a horse named “Justice” and the American flag waves in the background…

  • Spin Drift

    When I visit a new friend, the first question is “do you have a Siri or Alexa?” If the answer is in the affirmative then it is a very short visit and never going back.

    Spin
    Know the difference between friends and good friends.

    • Too Tall

      According to a Pamela, a good friend will promptly respond to your request to show up in the middle of the night with a bag of lime, a shovel, and no questions asked.

  • LowKey

    There are hard switches (physical) and soft switches (software based).
    All the “switches” shown on your touch screen display are soft switches.
    ANY soft switch can be remotely activated. Even if the device wasn’t designed to be a snoop.

    There is a reason why there are little lockers for phones just outside areas where classified information is worked with to store the phones of those working inside,
    It’s not just concern that someone might intentionally use the phone to steal data, it’s that their phone might have been compromised by a line of code in an app or anything else downloaded. Not to mention things embedded in the chips ROM (our CIA seems to have done this through many chip manufacturers).
    Add in that, “OFF”, doesn’t necessarily mean that the item is off….

    Best not to have such things around when you want privacy, over even discretion.
    This includes “smart” TV’s or anything else “smart” or part of the “Internet of Things”.

    Really, they need to add this modern caution to “The Moscow Rules”.

  • Old Codger

    I don’t have an eSnoop and do not anticipate becoming so demented as to acquire one but is there no way to truly disable one? I figure if I don’t want my android phone/tablet I can shut down the connection to my router (wireless, 24 character pw) and turn off the device. In the case of both my phone and laptop I can shut down and pull the battery. Is there a similarly sure-fire way to shut off/down one of those eSnoops?,

    Also, I have never enabled/set up voice recognition/transcription on any of my devices. Absent a dedicated eSnoop, that should protect me from Big Brother listening, shouldn’t it?

  • azscram

    No matter how you feel about Edward Snowden, he did us all a great service by revealing to what extent the government has spied, and sadly still does spy, on it’s own citizens private communications. I’m quite frankly astounded that there was not a general uprising to end this nefarious program. The so-called Patriot Act is anything but… I am much more afraid of an oppressive government than I am of a relatively small group of radical terrorists. The terrorists only win if we surrender our freedoms.

    Regarding technology, we need strong laws from Congress that honor and enshrine our freedom and privacy. The fact that they fail to pass those laws reflects poorly on their intentions as leaders and poorly on our apathy as citizens. This issues cuts across both parties. Since they are both corrupt beyond hope, neither moves to secure freedom. Unfortunately, I do not believe our current president is much different in this regard. While he is certainly shaking up the status quo, I do not see him moving to secure individual freedom.

    • John

      Snowden only showed us the tip of the iceberg.
      The fact is practically the entire elected Federal Government is on the payroll of Corporate Big Brother one way or another, which is getting more invasive every day thanks to _their_ command of _our_ information.
      It is true that DJT was elected in defiance of the Elitist Machine, but he’s both rich and _not_ beholden to their carefully crafted tax extraction cabal or their demands that he speak as they will it, and we are not likely to see his like again.
      Thanks to laws that extract our private papers through the back door of correspondence and the computer enabled reconstruction thereof, the 4th amendment has been reduced to a hollow facade, protecting almost no privacy and allowing the very exploitation the Founders sought to prevent.
      The only way out of this morass that I can see is to define all such information as OUR personal property that the extractors must _pay_ for and “agreements” made under hyperverbage legalese be damned.

  • Oliver Shank

    Where is the tip jar?

    • Chris Muir

      More like when, at the end of the year, Oliver.:)

      • kadaka

        So why when the home page is loading does my browser say “transferring data from paypalobjects.com”? What script are you running when not even using PayPal links?

        • Chris Muir

          I shall look into that.

  • Chris Muir

    Next year I will be using a different payment processor, by the way.

  • JTC

    Oh. Snitch. I first read that as Snatch. Got my hopes up…

    …only to be crashed to the ground by this espionage shit…which is absolutely what all of this info harvesting and abuse is, as much as any gov. Sickening.

  • Sarthurk

    I’m not getting one until they get real, and name it “Big Brother”!

  • Scary, isn’t it?

  • CactoBlaster

    Is the electrical power off-line in Indiana ? We haven’t heard from Delilah in a while. I always look forward to the “cheeky” comments that she and Pamela have to offer.

  • Mike Mulligan

    I wonder….if you can just say, Alexa! Don’t release any info on me, to anyone!

    • Doggo

      Nope. Alexa works for Amazon, not for you. By alerting her that you’re a subversive, you’ve just become their person of interest. Best to try to blend in with the sheep.

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