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Tom Briant

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth with more articles for you

Apple Denies Working With NSA on iPhone Backdoors

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone

the NSA bugs, remotely, your iPhone.

the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device ...… retrieve contact list, voicemail, location, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. 

Do you think Apple helped them build that?

On The Apple/NSA Kerfluffle

Uh, nope, the NSAgency does NOT have the ability to snoop on nearly every communication sent from an Apple iPhone.  In fact, if you actually read what was released it was quite clear that they had to get physical access to the device.

The most interesting two words in Apple's official statement today on the news that the NSA can put spyware on 100% of Apple's products, including the iPhone, are these: "malicious hackers."

Apple's statement went out of its way to portray the U.S. government as a security threat:

We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

Everyone Who Believes In Bitcoin Should Try To Answer This Question

Placing a floor on the value of bitcoins is… what, exactly?

There's a good case to be made that Bitcoin is impressive technology for payments, but why a Bitcoin itself should be something of value is not easily answered.

there's nothing guaranteeing that people will stay interested in trading Bitcoins (that's not the case with real currency... by law there are people that have to hold US dollars).

Bitcoin As An Alternative Currency? - Libertarian Vs Pragmatist

mining Bitcoin is waste of resources from a social perspective. The amount of CPU and electricity needed to mine Bitcoin is high, and from a social viewpoint about as valuable as building defenses against attacks from Mars.

the proponents of Bitcoin as a store of value/speculation crucially need Bitcoin to be unique and have strong barriers to entry, despite the replicability of the technology. If it turns out that investors/miners will arbitrage between Bitcoin and other mined alternative currencies, the outcome will be that there are many perfect or near perfect substitutes for Bitcoin, and the effective supply will be much larger than would be suggested by the gradually increasing and ultimately capped supply of the original Bitcoin. This will mean that valuations will be very fragile because in the long-term there will be no ability to limit the supply of Bitcoin lookalikes ... unless some subset of Bitcoin-like currencies gain government/central bank endorsement which gives them an advantage over non-endorsed Bitcoin-like currencies.

It is far from guaranteed that that Bitcoin will emerge as a stable store of value.

The [So-Called] Death and Burial of Facebook, In Two Charts

The story was a big hit for the Guardian and others.  Too bad it's wrong.

"The phrase `dead and buried' unambiguously only refers to the way Facebook is never going to be cool again for this age group," Miller wrote

Miller's full post is worth reading for its insight into how academic research findings get "sexed up" in the press.

In the case of Facebook, the confusion arises when people conflate the site's "cool factor" with its popularity.

This Irate Cookbook Author Represents A Swelling Threat To Facebook's $6 Billion Ad Business

While Everyone Else Whines, This Guy Makes His Whole Living Off Facebook Traffic

"It's not too much of a surprise that when Facebook changes their formula that a lot of people are getting upset."

"But can you blame Facebook?"

"A lot of people have been posting sub-par content for a long time."

I Decided To Delete All My Facebook Activity, And It Was Incredibly Hard

This describes the hard time the author had deleting his Facebook history -- some things he deleted didn't stay deleted.
He also provides his own instructions  to get it done.

Why hackers want your phone number
Lessons from the data breach at Snapchat

Phone numbers are a building block for hackers.

Though most people wouldn't give their phone number to a stranger on the street, they're happy to share their digits with Google, Facebook and other sites.  But as millions of young Snapchat users just learned, phone numbers are valuable information to hackers.

Consumers should be wary about sharing their mobile numbers, security experts say.  Phone numbers are unique identifiers that tend to last for a long time.

Hackers can also fake a caller I.D. by using your number to sidestep a security step.

So why do companies want your mobile number?  It's is a necessary and useful part of e-commerce,  but you should not give it without a specific reason.

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