OPEN THREAD 20200326

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

After going through the elements, we now enjoy a sequence of RANDOM somewhat pseudo-random topics that will be thrown out for investigation and commentary on each open thread. At some point, in a way something like composite numbers, I will accidentally hit a second occurrence of one of them – that’s just normal.

Have fun!

Citizen U

(a.k.a. W on the OTHER site)

Day 141 – The Internet of Things

17 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200326

  1. Ah….The Internet of Insecure Things…..

    There is so much hype and buzz about IoT, and there are several news stories every month that pop the hype like an overinflated balloon. Yes, there will be more networked widgets — thermostats, video displays, security cameras, kitchen appliances, alarm clocks, door locks, lawn irrigation sprinklers, outdoor lights…..and everyone and their mother-in-law is trying to convince you that you’ll be buying everything from them and they’ll make sure it all works perfectly.

    ….and the more homogenous and vendor-specific your system is, they more insecure and unreliable it will be. The only company out there with enough experience, clout, and branding to even attempt this is Apple…..and it’s not like they’ve never flopped. Instead, interoperability standards will have to be developed — and security standards adopted — that will drag everyone kicking-and-screaming into an ecosystem.

    And, BTW, there will be gates and checkpoints to ensure that bad actors don’t do end-runs. Visix televisions spy on what you watch; Samsung televisions spy on everyone in the room. Various security cameras leak video all over the internet. Alexa and Siri send your every utterance God-alone-knows-where to be analyzed sixteen ways from Sunday. Ring doorbells used to send everything to Ukraine. Certain baby-monitors could be accessed from the internet. Keeping all the private stuff private will be a major activity, especially if you want to watch it on your phone.

    Many of the tools are available and work, but there has been no overall map towards successful implementation.

    Things will get even worse with IP6. Many people believe they are firewalled by NAT (spoiler — they aren’t), but IP6 threatens to make everything accessible to everything, by default.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have two nice blu-ray disc players. We got them, specifically, because they could play every region DVDs out-of-the-box. They have RJ-45 internet ports on the back, so that they can share what they’re playing with other intelligent equipment in your house……but, the second they touch the actual internet, they’ll become NTSC-only DVD players.

    We have a Vizio TV. I happen to know it’s running Ubuntu 12.04 — because some intrepid souls managed to fool a similar model into presenting a shell. Ubuntu 12.04 has been out-of-support since 2017, so I can’t just update it. There are voluminous known — and documented — insecurities in 12.04 (this system is currently based on 18.04 and patched up to this week). If I allow it to touch the internet, the Vizio people will remove my ability to see what it’s running……but will not necessarily upgrade it to current security. So it can’t touch the internet. [I suggested that the Vizio people give owners a way-in if they were going to let their Linux go out-of-date so that owners could configure their systems appropriately, but never got a response.]

    I can get substantially better security on my Vizio TV by using it only as a display device for a Raspberry Pi, and using the Pi to run all the apps that the TV claimed it could.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s hackable everything. It all runs Linux — and Linux can be the most secure environment out there — but only if it’s configured properly and updated regularly.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A man is on trial for murdering his wife, although a body has not been found.

    His lawyer says there is not enough evidence. “The ex-wife is not even dead, I am going to prove it to you, she is going to walk through the door in about one minute.”

    All eyes are focused on the door. A minute passes. Another minute passes. And another.

    The prosecution says: “she didn’t walk in.”

    “But the fact that you were all staring at the door expectantly proves that there is reasonable doubt.”

    The jury discusses. The defendant is found guilty.

    “How can you send a man to prison on such flimsy evidence?” The lawyer says.

    One juror says: “In the three minutes that passed, I looked through the courtroom, and I saw that the defendant was the only person who didn’t look at the door even once.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The phone rang as I was sitting down to my evening meal. As I answered it, I was greeted with, “Is this Karl Brummer”? Not sounding anything like my name, I asked who was calling. The telemarketer said he was with The Rubber Band Powered Freezer Company or something like that.

    Then, I asked him if he knew Karl personally and why was he calling this number. I then said off to the side, “Get some pictures of the body at various angles and the blood smears.” I then turned back to the phone and advised the caller that he had entered a murder scene and must stay on the line because we had already traced this call and he would be receiving a summons to testify in this murder case.

    I questioned the caller at great length as to his name, address, phone number at home, at work, who he worked for, how he knew the dead guy and could he prove where he had been about one hour before he made this call. The telemarketer was getting very concerned and his answers were given in a shaky voice. I then told him we had located his position and the police were entering the building to take him into custody. At that point, I heard the phone fall and the scurrying of his running away.

    My wife asked me as I returned to our table why I had tears streaming down my face and so help me, I couldn’t tell her for about fifteen minutes. My food was cold, but it was the best meal in a long, long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Below is an alleged letter sent to the makers of Tide Detergent by a housewife —


    Dear Tide,

    I am writing to say what an excellent product you have! I’ve used it all of my married life, as my Mom always told me it was the best. Now that I am in my fifties, I find it even better!

    In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse. My inconsiderate and uncaring husband started to belittle me about how clumsy I was, and generally became a real pain in the ass. One thing led to another, and somehow I ended up with his blood on my new white blouse! I grabbed my bottle of Tide with bleach
    alternative, and to my surprise and satisfaction, all of the stains came out of my blouse, the rug and the floor!

    In fact, the stains came out so well the detectives who came by yesterday told me that the DNA tests on my blouse were negative, and then my attorney called and said that I was no longer considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband. What a relief! Going through menopause is bad enough without being a murder suspect!

    I thank you, once again, for having a great product. Well, gotta go, I want to write to the Hefty bag people.


    Jane Smith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just as an aside….around here, laundry detergent got the panic-buy treatment and shelves were cleaned out.

      Except for Tide.

      If I worked in Tide’s marketing department, I’d be sh*****g bricks — in times of total panic when shelves are cleared, people hate our stuff so much they’ll bang clothes on rocks with sticks in the river before they’ll buy our product.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all, Truth has no agenda so I am not against the following.

    Question: What is the balance between figuring out if WuFlu has been in the US longer than the tested cases indicated and supporting the CCP’s narrative on the spread of WuFlu?

    Truly not upset or arguing against it…just wondering where the balance is.


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