South Carolina state representative Bill Chumley (R-Spartanburg), has introduced a bill designed to fight human trafficking by blocking pornography on any device sold in the state. According to GoUpstate.com, the bill will require manufacturers of devices to install digital blocking on all computers and phones sold within the states borders. The manufacturers of the devices would be able to remove the block by paying the state $20 per device sold. The end users of the products would also be able to get the blocks removed by proving their age, confirming they have received a written warning of the dangers, and paying the $20. The proceeds of the fees will go to the states fund to combat human trafficking. It should be noted that Rep. Chumley represents South Carolina’s upstate region, which according to authorities is a “hotbed” of human trafficking activity.
It is being widely reported that internet company Yahoo was breached by hackers, back in 2013. Yes, you read that right, 2013. Here we are three years later, and it is just now being revealed that account information for a record-breaking billion accounts may have been compromised. If this sounds familiar that is because it is. In September of this year, Yahoo reported a breach resulting in data for over 500 million accounts stolen. However, according to a Tumblr blog post from Yahoo, this attack is separate from the attack that took place in 2014.
Internet retailing powerhouse Amazon announced its latest venture into the physical marketplace. It is launching a new brick-and-mortar food market it is calling, Amazon GO. Amazon has forayd into various offline markets in recent years. They launched a physical bookstore in Seattle, and 4 more in cities around the country. The Amazon Go stores are advertised by Amazon as “compact”, at about 1,800 square feet, “so busy customers can get in and out fast”. In addition they will use technologies to eliminate lines, and the checkout process altogether.
I am a pretty big geek, and I love to travel and take day trips. I am also someone who prefers to stay connected, be it for business purposes, or personal. When I’m out and about I use every downtime opportunity to get online. In many cases I don’t want to carry a bag with me when I’m out exploring, so I have to slim down to the bare essentials.
Here is my list of 4 absolute necessities that I carry when I plan to be out for an extended period. The idea here is that everything on this list is able to be carried in your pants pockets. Unless of course you prefer skinny jeans, then it might be a bit tight. These items probably won’t be enough for more than a day, but should be enough to get you through a full days adventure, and possibly even an overnighter.
The FCC now has AT&T in is crosshairs over violating net neutrality rules by allowing its users to use its new DIRECTV Now video streaming service, without charging them any data, a practice known as “zero rating”. According to an article on Cnet the FCC sent a letter on Thursday informing AT&T that they believe, through a preliminary investigation, that this zero rate offer is in violation of net neutrality rules. It should be noted that zero rating is not specifically prohibited, but the FCC can take action on a case by case basis. The FCC is also investigating Verizon over claims that it is doing the same with access to its GO90 service.
News is spreading across the internet that more than 1 million Google accounts have been compromised by a malware known as “Gooligan”. The Gooligan malware, which is a type of Trojan Horse, infects Android devices through infected apps that a user installs on their device. Once infected the malware than steals the users authentication key and has full access to the users Google account, including photos, email and docs. According to Google, the Gooilgan malware is a variant of malware that has been around since 2014, called “Ghost Push”. Another variant of Ghost Push was found in SnapPea, an Android backup and sync application, last year by security researchers at Checkpoint. They are estimating that 13,000 new accounts are being compromised daily.
Pine64, makers of the popular single board computer product meant to compete with products like Raspberry PII and Onion boards, has come up with a sub $100 laptop. The Pinebook, is a fully functional laptop sporting a quad-core Arm Cortex A53 processor. It also sports 2GB of RAM, 16GB of flash (with expandable storage up to 256GB via SDHC). For networking it has Bluetooth and WI-FI networking. Officially Pinebook supports certain flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, for one) and Android 5.1. The laptop is is priced around $89 for an 11 inch or $99 for a 14 inch. The Pinebook is avalible for purchase but is in very short supply. So, we are on the waiting list and will let you know what we think as soon as we can get our hands on one.
Those of you who have visited before might have noticed that we now have a new look. I really didn’t want to part with the black theme, but with the feedback I have received from associates and a couple of site visitors, it seemed like a change was necessary. I am actually very happy with the result and will continue to tweak it as necessary. If you find any bugs please feel free to contact us.
In other news, the site has been online for a couple months now and things have actually been going fairly well. We have been receiving some traffic, certainly not major traffic, but for a brand new blog a substantial amount none the less. We even got linked to by a couple of small blogs. Really not a big deal for most sites, but when you are this small it is something of an accomplishment. If you like what you read here (or just like sharing) please share us on social media and social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, or Delicious.
I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Life is not always easy, often seems to throw a lot of bad things at us, and it can become easy to loose sight of the good things. Thanksgiving is a day where we should take pause and reflect on that which we are thankful for, the good things in life. Many will spend time with our families, and feast on some good food. For those that can’t be with their families today, or have no family to be with I hope you still find a way to enjoy the day and have many things to be thankful for.
With Thanksgiving coming this week we have been inundated with advertisements for America’s favorite holiday, Black Friday. Black Friday is of course not a real holiday, but it is something retailers and many Americans look forward to the entire year. There is good reason to look forward to it. You can knock out that Christmas list and you can even find real deals on some of those big-ticket items. Retailers of course love Black Friday, because they see massive sales not only on the advertised “DoorBusters”, but other items in the store that customers will inevitably buy when seeking the advertised items. After all the reason it is named Black Friday is it is supposed to be a time when retailers get their financials back in to the black (profitable). Here are some of the Black Friday tactics I have used over the years. They are especially good for tech products, but may apply elsewhere.
You should really be planning out what you intend to buy well before Black Friday. Make a list before you shop, and stick to it. I recommend for larger purchases price them out in the months before the big day. Use this information to see if the Black Friday pricing is really a deal. You may find that the items are not that much more lower priced, and may even have been cheaper in the past. Don’t feel like you have to buy something now just because it is Black Friday. Many retailers will have several more sales leading up to Christmas.