Mobile: Bloatware To Be More Bloated

Source:  Forbes.

Short and simple:  if you get an Android device from AT&T and Verizon (probably others as well), you're in for an unpleasant surprise.  See, an annoying company with just as much as an annoying name called Digital Turbine created a service that will allow carries to send you bloatware after they've sold you the phone. 

So, prepared to be "hacked" by your carriers.  And what's worse is that we cannot tell how dangerous this is since we don't know if the apps that are being pushed to our devices are legitimate or not.

Breaking Bad Spin-Off 'Better Call Saul' Trailer: Saul Goodman Is Back!!!

Source:  Cult of Mac.

If you're not a Breaking Bad (AMC) fan, you need to do yourself a favor and give it a chance.  There's a reason why many people are still talking about Walter White and his turn into darkness as some might call it along with former student, Jesse Pinkman.

Well, here is the spin-off based on the what some might called "sleazy" lawyer, Saul Goodman, who really is no where near being a "good man".

Here is the trailer for "Better Call Saul", a tagline Saul used during his late-night commercials to drum up business.

What do you think?  From the vibe of the trailer, things are going to be even darker than Breaking Bad occasionally sprinkled with Saul's winning personality.

The thing with Breaking Bad is that you have a man in a desperate situation, trying to balance right and wrong with doing right by his family and then taking that fateful turn down the slippery slope into a darkness that most people won't go down.  Nor do most of us have to face with these kinds of decisions.  And once we have had that taste of blood or power, then what?  Walk away from it?  Well, it's not as easy as one might think.

I reckon Saul didn't go to law school with the goal of helping meth kingpins evade the law and launder their misbegotten treasures.  No, I have a feeling that Saul took was faced with an unthinkable situation and did the only thing that was available to him that turned him towards the dark side.  

Social: Folks Go To Our Satirists and Comedians For News

Okay, so we know for years that Jon Stewart has had an impact on American society and politics and has been the source of news and information many young minds go to.  Gone are the days when Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings has us glued to the evening broadcast news for the day's events.  Who has time to sit around the dinner table watching the news when we almost never eat at the same time and have Twitter and other social media to keep up.

But we still find time for The Daily Show, right?  Of course.  And what's amazing is that spin-offs and offshoots of TDS has also skyrocketed to the top as the place where we find out facts about issues should be important to us.

Case in point is the debate over net neutrality.  John Oliver, Steven Colbert, and Jon Stewart dominated over traditional media with Fox News coming in last as the place where people have heard a lot about the future of the Internet and whether the net as we know it will continue or go the way of the dinosaurs and only those who can pay can play.

According to The Mary Sue, satirists have at least a 10 point lead over traditional media with newspapers coming the closest at 12% behind TDS's 22% of a survey of people who have heard quite a bit about the issue.  Fox News came in at 7%.

Interestingly, if you look at the ranking, maybe there is a certain slant of the political views of the news (or comedy) organizations - net neutrality being a more important issue to liberals and democrats than conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans.  Perhaps, this alone says a lot about biases in the media as well.

Here is a video clip on net neutrality from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Privacy: Russian Website Streaming Webcams From the UK

British authorities are trying to get Russian law enforcement to take down a website that apparently has access to many webcams from homes and gyms among other locations.  It appears the hackers gained access to these webcams through poor choices of passwords as British authorities are trying to educating webcam owners the importance of using difficult to guess ones.

There are a lot of sick people out there.  They're smart and motivated.  And as with anything that is connected to the Internet, you have to assume that nothing is 100% secured and you have to do your own due diligence to make sure you do everything to make it difficult for hackers.

Notice I didn't say lock out hackers.  I said make their lives difficult.  Again, nothing is completely secured and locked down.

If Russian authorities do not act, the British will work with our Federal Trade Commission to shut it down.  It's uncertain how that can be accomplished.  Right now, the West and Russia are at odds over Putin's adventure to annex more of Ukraine.

Source:  The Guardian.

Freezing? (Scratching My Head)

I've read multiple headlines, pretty much all sensational, about how every state has temperatures that are freezing or below.

72. Here now.

It originated from Reuters and because of how stupid the post sounded, I'm not linking. I'm sure this "weather phenomenon" where all fifty states of the Union has frigid air has happened more quite often.

But we live in the unfortunate age of click-baiting, so I simply find this to be very sad.

Again, 72. Here. Now at the time of this writing. I'll trade some of this "heat wave" for some cold and rain.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Privacy: DOJ Wants A Child Dead So That Can Be Pinned On Apple (And/Or Others) And Then Get The Law Changed To Access Our Data Freely

I know that this is a very inflammatory title and that is what this 9to5Mac post stated as such.  The Department of Justice warned Apple that it could be blamed for its crusade to protect user privacy (Google is also now following suit with Android data in similar manners) should a child die all because authorities could not have access the kidnapper's iOS data.

Here is why I titled this post that way.  Because should this actually happen and law enforcement could not prevent a child's murder in time, there will be some giddy bureaucrat or two and its PR machine ready to pin it square on Apple or Google, depending on what phone the kidnapper may be using.  And regardless of whether the mobile device of the kidnapper is relevant or not, the DOJ will use this child's death to its end.

It's unfortunate that the government is stooping so low to get what it wants - wholesale access to our data no matter what.  Collection of data is paramount.  Isn't that Big Brother?

Like others have said, it isn't as if authorities cannot find out where this kidnapper might be if they go to the wireless companies to find what they need to pinpoint the location of the kidnapper.  Having access to the criminal's phone won't help unless he specifically states where he is at any given time.

The the problem is the lack of transparency that usually is involved with government programs and lack of accountability.  Personally, I think my information is safer with the NSA than with Google but that is not the point.  The point is that I'm a law-abiding American citizen and there really is no need for any law enforcement or intel agency to track my Twitter, Facebook, or texts.

The government has to wonder why corporations are pushing back.  Of course, they're doing it because of the bottom-line but it's also the trust of the consumers they have be accountable to.  Apparently, some in the government do no feel they are accountable to voters, many of who are the same consumers of these corporations.

I think a vast majority of the law enforcement, the agents, analysts, and other personnel, have nothing but our best interest at heart and want to protect us and bring criminals and terrorists to justice.  They're just like you and me.  And at their disposal are other tools and means that will allow them to accomplish their jobs without doing away with the notion of general privacy.

Scare tactics like the one the DOJ used in their meeting with Apple executives has me very wary.  I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I cannot help but think what will happen should something bad happen again and the government is asking us to relinquish more of our privacy, well, I think you know where I'm going with this.  The inevitable fear from the general public will so overwhelming that we are once again faced with the choice of what is more important:  our privacy or safety.  If history is any indication, it'll be a sad dark road we head down.

Can you imagine what Prism 2.0 will be like?

According to the Wall Street Journal which accounted the meeting between Apple executives and the DOJ, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, second highest ranking official over at Justice, implied that that is exactly how it'll play out.  Some child will die and the public outcry will force Congress to change the law allowing government access to our information.

That's is the gist of it.  Some in the government are waiting (maybe even hoping) for something awful to happen to a child or another terror incident so that the pendulum will swing away from our need for privacy and our willing to give that up for safety.