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Tom Briant

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Senior Correspondent Arnold Woodworth has articles for you this rainy weekend

Apple released an important update for Mavericks, or OS X 10.9, plus security updates for its two predecessors, Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was nothing for Snow Leopard or any other previously-released versions of OS X. All of the updates included a critical patch that resolved a major security exploit.

Snow Leopard hasn't been issued an update since September 2013, which has led many to believe that the four-year-old operating system is being retired.

Apple acknowledged a major security flaw in its software for mobile devices on Friday but did so in such a low-key way that most users likely aren’t aware of just how at risk they might be if they fail to update their software.

So what is the problem? A Secure Socket Layer (SSL) vulnerability allowing hackers to intercept information that was supposed to encrypted.

Remember how the NSA was saying they had "unfettered" access to IOS communications -- and Apple claimed they had never given it to them?

They didn't have to.  The NSA exploited an Apple security flaw -- a bug preventing checking of the certificates.

Everything We Know About The Huge Security Flaw That Affects (Nearly) All iPhones, iPads, And Apple Computers

What you need to know about Apple's SSL bug

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and Transport Layer Security are a pair of networking technologies that establish an encrypted link between your computer and servers.

this bug, which has apparently gone unpatched since iOS 6's release in 2012, could be what the NSA was referring to when it claimed it could conduct surveillance on Apple products under the PRISM program.

OS X 10.9.2 arrives to fix SSL vulnerability, Mail problems, and more

Highlight of Apple shareholder meeting turned out to be a joke

Social Media Mastermind Gary Vaynerchuk Explains The Biggest Thing Marketers Are Getting Wrong In 2014

Those who don't learn to tell their stories on today's platforms (e.g., Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) are the ones who will go out of business.

Psychopath pro tip: Abusing a puppy? Don't post it on Facebook

How To Erase Everything You Search For On Facebook

Couples could see that their significant others are searching for old flames.  Don't let this happen to you.

10 Things You Should Know Before You Start Using WhatsApp

WhatsApp is Hugely Popular Among The Syrian Opposition

the Syrian government banned the free and safely encrypted messaging application WhatsApp, primarily to disrupt the rebel opposition’s cellular privacy. The ban isn’t working. It’s doing the opposite of working.

The 6 Types Of Twitter Conversation

The Tech Job Market Is So Insane Right Now This Guy Got 7 Job Offers From An Anonymous Post On Secret

Turns out that tech companies are so desperate for staff who can create and design mobile apps for iPhones that they will hire people sight unseen, name unseen and resume unseen.

Verizon CEO Wants To Charge Video Gamers More Money For Internet Access

6 Lessons Learned About the Scariest Security Threats

Debit card skimming is on the rise, and much of it originates from a trusted source: bank-owned ATMs.

Data from the FICO Card Alert Service shows a 48% increase in ATM fraud as a result of skimming from 2012 to 2013 (ATM fraud meaning the thief used the stolen PIN and card information to fraudulently withdraw funds from an ATM). The bulk of those fraudulent withdrawals used information skimmed from bank-owned ATMs.

A $629 Ultrasecure Phone Aims to Protect Personal Data

The $629 Blackphone will strongly encrypt all communications and block the tracking of your Web browsing and search terms. It even blocks extraneous Wi-Fi beacons from your phone, as they tend to leave a detailed record of your phone’s movements.

“The entire reason for the phone to exist is to protect your privacy,” says Phil Zimmermann, a Blackphone cofounder who invented a widely used encryption system known as PGP for “pretty good privacy.” “We are not a phone company adding a privacy feature; we are a privacy company selling a phone.”

Microsoft Told A Room Full Of Journalists That Windows Phone Is Beating BlackBerry And They All Laughed

MtGox, once the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, has gone offline.

Sites tracking trading on the Bitcoin exchange are reporting no trading activity there.

A document unearthed by Bitcoin enthusiast Ryan Selkis that's been widely circulated estimated at least 744,408 BTC — about 6% of all coins in existence — are now out of circulation.

Regulator sounds alarm on bitcoin

Joseph Borg, state securities administrator in Alabama, plans to issue a consumer alert Tuesday ...... stop trading bitcoins—or adding holdings on account—until issues are resolved.

More than a dozen regulators ...... felt that bitcoin exchanges were out of their purview ...... largely because most of the operators are located offshore.

Mt. Gox says all transactions closed ‘for time being’ 
Japanese regulators say they can’t help

“Pony” botnet pilfers digital coins worth $220,000 in sustained attack

The malicious application known as Pony stole the digital loot from 85 wallets from September through January.

Malware that steals digital wallets relies on end users who fail to take oft-repeated advice from security experts. Chief among the recommendations is to avoid storing wallets on Internet-connected computers when possible. The wallets contain the private cryptographic keys needed to transfer ownership of bitcoins and other forms of digital currency. Once someone gains access to the private key, he or she takes ownership of the corresponding coins. The decentralized structure of the digital currencies makes it impossible to reverse the transaction.

Mt. Gox Leaked Financials Show It Was Profitable (Before Being Robbed Of $300 Million)

Bitcoin Proves The Libertarian Idea Of Paradise Would Be Hell On Earth

Senator Manchin calls for federal ban on bitcoin

Mt. Gox loses customers' bitcoins, files for bankruptcy

Mt. Gox said it was filing for bankruptcy protection and that 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins and 100,000 of its own had been lost.

The only known regulatory action involving Mt. Gox has come from U.S. authorities.

Bitcoin exchange BTC-e, a Mt. Gox alternative, is an Internet black hole

who runs it, and from where?
BTC-e's legitimacy questioned in a post on Reddit that has nearly 300 comments.

How history explains bitcoin, Mt. Gox bankruptcy

the intrinsic value for these virtual monies was unchanged; they were-and are-worth whatever someone will pay for them or give in return for them at any given moment.

The reason that tulip bulb prices are important is that they, too, are worth what someone will pay for them.

people should be looking toward the past as they consider how the story of bitcoin could play out.

during tulip-mania in Holland in the 1630s ...... the rarest bulbs grew to be worth thousands of florin, the equivalent of more than $750,000 today for just one flower.

There's a new word you need to know:  Goxed

ANDREESSEN: MtGox Is Like MF Global And Not An Existential Threat

He wrote:
"MtGox has been obviously broken and possibly outright crooked for months.  As seen in trading spreads.  This is like MF Global.  Not some huge breakdown of the underlying technology or other exchanges.  Bitcoin protocol is unchanged and other bit coin exchanges and companies are doing fine."

"MtGox had to die for Bitcoin to thrive. Its former role from early Bitcoin days has been supplanted by better, stronger entities."

Mt Gox exchange problems have not changed my stance on bitcoin.

Getting rid of a bad player is a very good thing for the good players who remain. There will be other companies, exchanges and bitcoin scams if/as bitcoin continues to grow in acceptance as an exchange of value.

Do you think those who had bitcoins $BTC at MtGox will get a bigger percentage of their deposits back than:

1.  Farmers who had millions plundered from their custodial accounts at MFGlobal?
2.  Savings and checking account holders at the Cyprus Banks last year?
3.  People who hold one of the 150 promised paper claims per each physical ounce of gold
    at the Comex when the music stops playing there someday?

Answer: If you are not holding your asset in hand - stock certificate, bitcoin (good article on this topic - To keep your bitcoins safe, just print them out - really), gold, or dollar, your money's at risk. Just sayin'.

TSA Harasses Traveler After 'Seeing Bitcoin' In His Bag

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