Saturday, August 18, 2018

BlackBerry another dodgy corporation defrauding customers and shareholders


When you mention the BlackBerry brand name to people apart from a common response of "are they still around?", it could conjure up thoughts of secure communications of yesteryear.

After all the POTUS (President Of The United States), Barack Obama had one, so it's got to be secure right?


EVEN in the colony called Australia, MPs were issued BlackBerrys where the phones were work-centric with security policies in action.

This had the unfortunate effect of hindering the politicians from playing games and social media distractions during business hours of course, where Apple and Google based operating system phones were installed in order to support the 'needs' of the politicians, to the dismay of the IT support crowd who actually knew a thing or two about security.

Once upon a time RIM (Research In Motion) founded by a Greek engineer Michael Lazaridis,  later becoming BlackBerry was king of the mobile telecommunications world due to new technology enabling email to its mobile devices via proprietary communications which were even operational during a mobile network blackout which proved invaluable to its users during certain scenarios. 

Let's just forget the 4 day global BlackBerry outage where RIM lost $54 million, oops!

The rise and fall of BlackBerry has been a topic of a few books, where its spectacular rise, share value, corporate restructure has escaped the watchful eyes of consumer watchdogs where this is another topic altogether.

Today BlackBerry is no longer a company that actually manufactures telecommunications devices, where that was outsourced to TCL, but rather a company providing services through software solutions in other directions, under the current CEO John Chen.

New BlackBerry mobile phones are being promoted as secure and private by Chen no doubt in order for the company to regain its share value, which in itself is nothing wrong with that, if it were factually true.

The back end software in conjunction with the phone operating system that made BlackBerry legendary for its secure communications was laid to rest in the first quarter of 2015 in its final version with BlackBerry 10 Operating System, where as recently as April 2018 a device software upgrade was rolled out to users.

 
By late 2015, the marketing 'gurus' at BlackBerry then released a phone model called Priv, where the slogan used was Privilege and Privacy, no doubt riding on the successful communications platform of yesteryear.

The 'problem' with that is the new phone or device as Blackberry refers to it, is that it runs Google's Android operating system which is contrary to the user's privacy or so called security despite whatever the settings may be for each individual alleged action of blocking services or restricting access to hardware or software.

For a corporation to allude that privacy or security for that matter is intact with the use of Google's operating system is just plain and simple false advertising, an action that should be resolved in the courts.

Has BlackBerry escaped with a huge corporate swindle?

See also article from 17 August 2018 by abc.net.au of the headline:

Google clarifies how it tracks a user's location even if they turn the setting off


Key points:
  • Google tweaks help page describing how its "Location History" works
  • An investigation found some Google apps stored user location with the setting off
  • The privacy issue affects iPhone and Android users

After coming under fire from critics, Google has clarified how it tracks users even if they've disabled a "Location History" setting.

The search giant has revised a help page that incorrectly said turning off that setting would stop the tracking.

After an investigation from the Associated Press revealed many Google services store your location data even if you've used a privacy setting that says they won't, Google updated the page to clarify that "some data may be saved". But it has not changed the location-tracking practice.

Previously, the help page had stated:
"… with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."
The page now states:
"This setting does not affect other location services on your device" and acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps."
In a statement, Google said: "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers."

Wait. Google tracked me even if I told it not to?

Yes.

Lots of Google apps use your location information, which it stores in a "timeline" (basically a picture of your daily travels) handled by a setting called Location History.

The AP found some Google apps stored time-stamped data without asking you and if you turned Location History off.

Google said to stop it from saving location makers, you had to turn off a second setting called "Web and App Activity" that was enabled by default.


If you turned Location History off but left Web and App Activity on, Google only stopped adding to your "timeline". It did not stop Google's collection of other location markers.

You can delete those markers by hand, but you need to do every one individually.

To test this, Princeton postdoctoral researcher Gunes Acar carried an Android phone with Location History off and shared the data with AP.

He was tracked:
  • On two train trips to New York
  • On visits to The High Line park, Chelsea Market, Hell's Kitchen, Central Park and Harlem
  • To his home address.


You can see a map of the data here.

It wasn't just Google Maps either

Things like automatic weather updates on Android phones pinpoint your rough location.

And the AP found that even doing a Google search for something that had nothing to do with location — like "chocolate chip cookies" or "kids science kits" — pinpointed your precise latitude and longitude and saved it to your Google account.


This happened to you if your phone ran on Google's Android operating system or if you're an iPhone user who uses Google for maps or search.

Here's what Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communication Commission's enforcement bureau Jonathan Mayer said about the practice before Google changed its help page:
"If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History', then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," Mr Mayer said.
"That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have."
 
Google confirms external apps scan your emails
Here's which apps do it and how to check if you're affected

Google offers a more accurate description of how it tracks you, but it's out of the way

A popup appears when you "pause" Location History on your Google account webpage. There the company notes: "Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps."

Google offers additional information in a popup that appears if you re-activate the Web & App Activity setting — an uncommon action for many users, since this setting is on by default.

That popup states that, when active, the setting, "saves the things you do on Google sites, apps, and services … and associated information, like location".

Warnings when you're about to turn Location History off via Android and iPhone device settings are more difficult to interpret.

On Android, the popup explains: "Places you go with your devices will stop being added to your Location History map."

On the iPhone, it simply reads: "None of your Google apps will be able to store location data in Location History."

Here's how to stop Google tracking you

Fair warning, doing any of these will affect several Google services and devices.

Things like maps, the Google Assistant or the Google Home either won't work at all or will have their functionality severely reduced.

For any device:
  • Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com. Sign into Google if you haven't already. On the upper left drop-down menu, go to "Activity Controls." Turn off both "Web & App Activity" and "Location History." That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.
For iOS devices:
  • If you use Google Maps, adjust your location setting to "While Using" the app; this will prevent the app from accessing your location when it's not active. Go to Settings - Privacy - Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.
  • In the Safari web browser, consider using a search engine other than Google. Under Settings - Safari - Search Engine, you can find other options like Bing or DuckDuckGo. You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings - Privacy - Location Services - Safari Websites, and turn this to "Never". (This still won't prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on IP address on any website.)
  • You can also turn Location Services off to the device almost completely, from Settings - Privacy - Location Services.
For Android devices:
  • Under the main settings icon click on "Security & location." Scroll down to the "Privacy" heading. Tap "Location". You can toggle it off for the entire device.
  • Use "App-level permissions" to turn off access to various apps. Unlike the iPhone, there is no setting for "While Using". You cannot turn off Google Play services, which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on.
  • Sign in as a "guest" on your Android device by swiping down from top and tapping the downward-facing caret, then again on the torso icon. Be aware of which services you sign in on, like Chrome.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Police state laws, a long time in the planning



Migration has not always been a good thing for the people of Australia.

Just take a look at what happened in 1788, where at the end of the day, say 230 years later it hasn't been quite so prosperous for the Indigenous Australians, but rather very prosperous for the invading forces under the guise of this machine called the honourable crown.

Why 'honourable'?

Because everyone representing the crown is labelled as honourable, you know like Mr. Barnaby Joyce, or a judge that let out a paedophile to rape children again and again.

With regards to today's migration, there is something at play called PRS (Problem Reaction Solution) that has been in action for quite some time here on this land.

A good way to start this off is by having deliberately no screening process in force, where you import 'low quality' people, people of low morals and ethics, people who have little intentions of causing no harm to their fellow man or woman but rather steal from them or break into their homes with the intention of causing violent criminal actions, from which ever continent, nation or religious background where you know they will cause harm to the general population of Australia.

Let's put aside the 'good' people that also come from these places.

What you (as the people in government) do then, is deny the 'problem' i.e. the orchestrated action that you have created , where eventually you concede having the brilliant plan of introducing new laws, that enhance the police state on the general population.

Apparently the Australian people live under a Constitutional monarchy, in a democracy which this itself can be fiercely debated for quite some time, but in reality one could call this place a corporatocracy, fascist or authoritarian state or even a dictatorship.

With every new law being put into circulation, the people's privacy and whatever alleged freedoms they think they may have are been taken away from them, by the 'problems' deliberately created by the people in government.

We should all be aware how the dodgy Egyptian government shut down its telecommunications network in order to stop people from protesting against the corrupt people in government.

Austerity is coming to Australia, where they're just setting it all up so that you'll be screwed over without any ability to act on it.

Don't forget this is all - "good for the economy"

Monday, August 13, 2018

Gov agencies to use new data on who's using your phone

Data is the new gold / crude [oil], where you are the product.

Briefly:

Since the early days of Australia, the administration keeps fairly detailed documents on the inhabitants of the colony, where promissory notes were born, but that's another story altogether.

The major difference being that in the early days the paper trail was very costly and slow for the administration. 

The first era of computing, while still costly (not that it actually mattered, as the tax slaves were paying for their own surveillance), enabled central databases to be used and accessed by the authorities, speeding up the information flow throughout the agencies.

As technology progressed so did the data storage capacity on each individual.

With the entry of GSM technology into the public arena, a new level of surveillance was reached where the phone user could be tracked to within a reasonably accurate area, something that the general population was blissfully unaware of  where this data was originally stored exclusively within the telecommunications community, available to law enforcement upon request.

As mobile phone technology matured more and more electronics were crammed into the humble mobile communicating device where today the following censors are installed as seen in graphic below.


With the new sensors in place such as proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope and light sensor new logarithms are being used to identify individuals (front camera, biometric login aside) from the behaviour logged by the user's phone.

The general population within Australia, are able to be very easily administered by the authorities from a small population perspective and their willingness to use the latest data gathering devices such as smart phones.

Together with other devices specifically designed to monitor the user, such as credit cards, public transport and road toll ticketing systems,  smart meters, Google Home,  Amazon Alexa, data logging new vehicles and now the rollout of IoT (Internet of Things) the authorities of this [penal] colony most likely know more about you than you do yourself (oops Minority Report 'conspiracy theory').

While many people may not have had a say or even been conned into a smart meter being installed, even though at law it was not mandatory for the 'customer' to accept the smart electricity meter or you may not have a choice of an alternative public transport ticketing system,  you do have a choice to not use a credit card in many transactions and you do have a choice as to use the latest smart phone or a 3G 'dumb' phone.

Most people choose to use a smartphone, as they have justified its use for 'convenience' where the ultimate price you pay is with your private and confidential data which is gathered and then later sold.

Also don't forget your 'reward' (like a good little puppy) points for handing over your data when purchasing on credit cards

Ultimately it's you who is handing over 'your' phone data on a silver plate to them.

Will you pay the jolly rogering price of $1800 for a new Samsung phone so that you can be monitored more easily?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Australian people's response to Romania's government corruption

One thing that true blue, fair dinkum (dinki-di) Australians will never have on the wogs, oops sorry politically incorrect term used (will one be gaoled to a more formal setting?), 'Europeans' is the zest and oomph they possess, maybe as a result of centuries of border shifting.

It seems that the 'administration' of the colony we call Australia have stitched up the general population with an alternate reality or distraction, where the focus is on data consumption via social media, 'reality tv' (as opposed to reality), blind consumerism, because of the new government slogan 'it's good for the economy'  and the classic government approved favourite of footy and alcohol consumption.

One can sure put forward the very plausible argument that the people in the Australian Government are more corrupt than the mutts in Romania, but it seems that all 'Aussies' are interested in is ... 'da foody' (spewed out incoherently in a thick bogan accent).



Some things will just never change.

Australian Government: 1

Richmond supporters : 0

(Disclaimer: Not all 'Aussie's don't; care/act)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Windows 10 Pay As You Go con job?

You may have heard the sayings;

- If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
- Nothing is for free.

It seems that Microsoft has mislead its customers that the upgrade to Windows 10 is for free.

In reality Microsoft should be sued, for that action alone.

So, when was the best time to ditch Microsoft Windows?

At least 10 years ago.

There is no reason for any person to use the Windows operating system today, as there are plenty of other mature operating systems available which also include the 'Office' suite of programs.

Read the article from 4 Aug 2018 by forbes.com of the headline:

Windows 10 Leak Exposes Microsoft's New Monthly Charge


Ever since its creation, Microsoft MSFT +0.11% has described Windows 10 “as a service”. The fear has always been that this meant Microsoft would start charging users a monthly fee to maintain the operating system, and now a new leak has confirmed this is exactly what will happen… 

In a new report, CNet’s well connected Microsoft specialist Mary Jo Foley reports the company will soon launch ‘Microsoft Managed Desktop’ which will charge a monthly fee to configure computers running Windows 10 and keep them running smoothly as new updates are released. 

Foley also notes “Microsoft already has a number of the pieces in place to make this happen” such as a Windows Autopilot automatic device provisioning service, device financing programs like Surface Plus and a ‘Surface as a Service’ leasing program. Microsoft also has a subscription bundle including Windows 10 and Office 365 called Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 Enterprise subscription plans. 

Furthermore, Foley states “One of my contacts said that Bill Karagounis - former Director of the Windows Insider Program & OS Fundamentals team, who last year joined the Enterprise Mobility and Management part of Windows and Devices - is in charge of the coming Microsoft Managed Desktop.”

With Microsoft also publicly hiring for this new division, managed subscriptions for Windows 10 appear to have the green light.


So what’s the good news? At this time, Foley believes Microsoft Managed Desktop will be targeted at businesses. But the obvious question, given the clear direction Microsoft is moving becomes: for how long?

Foley did ask Microsoft to go on the record about Microsoft Managed Desktop, but the company declined to comment.

All of which means those users who chose to stay on Windows 7 and Windows 8 are probably feeling pretty smug right now. As for everyone who upgraded for ‘free’ to Windows 10, the nagging question must be: will it prove too good to be true?

Monday, August 6, 2018

Unlawfully fined for holding an unopened alcoholic beverage

So let's get one basic fundamental out of the way as to what a law is, at state level.

A law is a booklet or collection of papers (or a pdf for the Millennials) that is called an Act.

This 'Act' MUST come out of the state's parliament, with all the checks and balances in place, obviously.

If your person has been 'fined' it must be defined within an Act passed by the parliament of the state you allegedly commented the offence in.

The corporation aggregate called Australian Government is now 'advertising' that there are 3 (three) tiers of government, that being federal, state and now 'local government', where in fact there are only two lawful bodies that can make laws in Australia, that being the federal and state / territory parliaments, where these Acts must be subject to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK).

To get this message the government 'advertises'  across to the uneducated population, where Victoria Police is part of the fraud, unlawfully issuing fines according to the "Benalla Community Local Law 2017"

 See document:


(Source: http://www.benalla.vic.gov.au/files/assets/public/all-pdfs/document-community-local-law-2017.pdf)

What lawfully enacted Act have you been fined under?

Can you really trust a Victorian police officer issuing your person this sort of 'fine'?

It looks like it's the police state in full swing, down in Victoria, Australia.

See text from 1 Aug 2018 by the Benalla Ensign of the headline:

Little-known law confounds

By Simon Ruppert
Have you ever walked home after 11.30pm with some unopened tinnies in your bag?

Bought a bottle of red, popped it in the boot and driven home later, again after 11.30pm?

If you have, and you were in Benalla, then you’ve been breaking the law and could end up with a $200 fine.

This is a lesson two local 18-year-olds learnt the hard way after falling foul of the little known Benalla Rural City (BRRC) Bylaw last week.

On Tuesday, July 17, Jeb Morrison and Lane Williams had been at a friend’s house when, at about 11.45pm, they decided to take a walk home.

Jeb said he would normally phone home for a lift, but did not want to disturb his parents who had work the next day.

‘‘Mum does night-shift and her husband works long hours, generally they pick me up, but it wasn’t that far so we decided to walk,’’ Jeb said.

‘‘We got to the front of VicRoads, about five minutes from home, and I saw a police car come around the corner and the lights started flashing, so we stopped and they pulled us up.’’

What would unfold has shocked Jeb, Lane and their families.

The policewoman noticed that Jeb was holding a sealed can of scotch and cola in his hand and told him it was illegal for him to have it. The can was subsequently confiscated.

Lane would then explain to the officer that he had sealed cans of alcohol in his backpack, he was also told that he was breaking the law, they were also taken from him.

Both men would then be issued separate $200 fines.

Benalla Community Local Law 2017 10.3 states: ‘‘A person must not, without a permit, in any public reserve or in the Benalla Restricted Area have in his/her possession or control any liquor between 11.30pm and 9am in a container with an unbroken seal’’.

A sub-clause then states that this applies to any stationary vehicle in a public reserve or in the Benalla Restricted Area.

The Benalla Restricted area covers most of the town.

You can see the exact boundaries of the Benalla Restricted Area on the BRRC Community Law 2017 document, which is available at www.benalla.vic.gov.au

Jeb, who works full-time and has never had any previous run-ins with police said he could not believe what happened.

Nina, Jeb’s mum agreed, and said she was shocked the law even existed.

‘‘The kids have been raised to respect the police,’’ she said.

‘‘And the police do an amazing job, they do have to deal with drugs, violence and a lot of horrible things.

‘‘But these kids were not being aggressive, there was no backchat, they’re good kids.

‘‘When Jeb told me what had happened I phoned council, but was told we couldn’t appeal the fine as it was handed out by the police.

‘‘When I spoke to Benalla police one officer told me if Jeb fills out the form to say he will go to court the officer who issued the fine might revoke it.

‘‘But if she doesn’t and we have to go to court then Jeb is going to lose a day’s pay.’’

Leading Senior Constable Ross Plattfuss told The Ensign the laws were implemented a few years ago and have had a positive effect.

‘‘It has decreased the amount of public disorders in relation to alcohol on the street,’’ Leading Sargent Plattfuss said.

‘‘That used to be a big problem, but the laws were changed a couple of years ago, it’s not very common nowadays for us to stop people on the street after 11.30 with alcohol, but when we do the laws are enforceable.

‘‘The concept of the law is that all the bottle shops shut and there is about a two-hour grace period between when you buy alcohol and when you get it home.’’

Leading Senior Constable Ross Plattfuss said the best advice was if you had unopened alcohol at a friends after 11.30pm, leave it and pick it up after 9am in the morning.