Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – November 18, 2015

Encryption is not the enemy: A 21st century response to terror;  Why the CIA wanting encryption backdoors is a failure of leadership, not intelligence;  The Best Free Password Managers for 2015;  Benchmark your hardware with one of these five apps;  5 new Windows 10 features worth looking into;  Vizio slapped with two class-action lawsuits over alleged smart-TV spying;  When will your phone get Android Marshmallow?  These Are the Gadgets Everybody Wants This Holiday;  Inside Windows 10’s November update: 3 tips to get started;  Black Friday 2015 tech guide: The best deals so far;  Turn any HDTV Into a Chrome PC for Only $90;  Tumblr’s app can now turn your photos and videos into GIFs;  Google just completely revamped Google+;  NBC streaming service SeeSo to launch free public beta;  This Is the Best Selling Video Game of 2015;  10 Games Every Xbox One Player Needs;  Tor Is Trying to Make Dark Web Sites More Secure.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Encryption is not the enemy: A 21st century response to terror – Whenever terrorists strike, governments respond. It is in the quality and wisdom of those responses that the future of our society rests. David Gewirtz looks at the question of encryption, and how we should think about policy and security in light of the Paris attacks.

Why the CIA wanting encryption backdoors is a failure of leadership, not intelligence – Analysis: The question shouldn’t be if encryption should have backdoors, but why intelligence agencies have begun shifting the blame onto those who push for privacy.

The Best Free Password Managers for 2015 – Remembering strong, unique passwords for every website you visit is too hard to do on your own. Fortunately, there are plenty of free password managers that can help.


Microsoft updates Privacy Statement, addressing concerns from critics – Windows 10 isn’t the only Redmond-based product that got a big update in the past few weeks. Microsoft recently revised its global Privacy Statement, with a few minor changes and some significant additions aimed at cooling overheated privacy concerns. Here are the details.

When will your phone get Android Marshmallow? Here’s what we know so far – Android Marshmallow is here! Well, sort of. You see, Android updates are a tricky affair. Unless you have a Nexus device, where you get the updates directly from Google, it’s a bit of a slog before you can actually get the latest Android operating system on your phone. That’s because there’s a process. Here’s what we know at this point about when your phone or tablet will get Android Marshmallow. We’ll update our list as the carriers or handset makers detail their plans.

Inside Windows 10’s November update: 3 tips to get started – Microsoft’s November update is rolling out now. Here are three tips to help take advantage of the switch and watch out for one minor annoyance.

Pointing up   Upgraded both Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Home yesterday – a very smooth experience on both machines. No issues at all.

5 new Windows 10 features worth looking into – Microsoft has just rolled out the biggest update to Windows 10 for PCs yet. Considering its new practice of flowing updates as they come, it might almost be unusual for Microsoft to dump such a huge update and yet here it is. Of course, this is more than just a maintenance release and if you’ve been following news and hints for the past months, you will most likely be familiar with some of the changes. But in case you’re only jumping in now, here are some of the five most noteworthy changes to your Windows 10 experience.

Benchmark your hardware with one of these five apps – Whether you want to play the latest first person shooter game or perform some hard core data analytics, having the right hardware can make all the difference in the world. That’s where system benchmarking comes into play. Benchmarking allows you to quantify your PC’s performance to make sure it’s up to the task at hand. This article discusses five benchmarking tools.


Passmark PerformanceTest sells for $27.00, but a free trial version is available for download.

These Are the Gadgets Everybody Wants This Holiday – According to research from the Consumer Technology Association, 65% of Americans are planning on buying tech gifts this year, with one in three holiday shoppers scooping up cutting edge devices like drones or smart home gear. So, what should you be on the lookout for while you do your shopping? Here are some of the most popular items that people will hunting down this year.

Turn any HDTV Into a Chrome PC for Only $90 – The Asus Chromebit is no bigger than a flash drive and can turn any HDMI-equipped HDTV or monitor into an all-in-one desktop PC.


Google Voice Search Gets Smarter, Now Understands Complex Questions And Their Meaning – If voice-based assistants are to become the primary way we interact with our devices now and in the future, then Google has just upped the ante in the battle between its own voice search functionality and that of rival mobile assistants like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana. While Google’s app has historically done a better job at understanding its users and answering queries accurately, the company says today that its app has now gotten better at actually understanding the meaning behind users’ questions, as well. That is, the app has been improved so that it better understands natural language and more complex questions.

Black Friday 2015 tech guide: The best deals so far – What are the best gadgets and tech on sale leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday? ZDNet finds out. [This guide will be updated as new deals appear]


Google Photos can now delete pictures to save space on your phone – After an update to Google Photos on Android today, a new button will appear in its settings tab offering to help “Free Up Space.” Tapping it will delete all local photos that have already been backed up by the app. A similar option has appeared in the past for people who back up photos at full resolution, but Google is now building it into the settings menu for everyone to use. On some Android phones, Google Photos will also be able to delete copies stored on SD cards. With Photos being the default Android gallery app for many, this update really should make it easier to start clearing up space. The feature is coming “soon” to iOS.

Tumblr’s app can now turn your photos and videos into GIFs – The next time you go to post a photo on Tumblr, you may find a bunch of GIFs ready and waiting to be posted instead. Tumblr is updating its iOS app today with a new feature that lets it turn photo bursts and videos into GIFs. It works really well, automatically detecting GIFable moments in your camera roll and presenting them right alongside your other images, nearly ready to post. If you have a long video or burst, Tumblr will ask you to trim the GIF down to about three seconds. You can also choose to speed up or slow down a GIF and whether you want it to restart over and over again or if it should play back and forth endlessly, hiding the cut.

Google just completely revamped Google+ – Google’s update to Google+ includes a redesigned home stream that keeps main controls atop and below the moving river of content. Material Design cues can be seen throughout this complete aesthetic change-up, making the app more spectacularly simple, visually, and in turn making the app faster. The new look for Google+ will be released simultaneously this afternoon on desktop machines (via the web), Android, and iOS devices – iPhones and iPads. The version you’re seeing today is a preview, so you’ll be able to switch to and fro between the new and the old if you do so wish.


How to enlarge display text in Windows – You can easily enlarge the text on your screen by switching to a smaller resolution…but I don’t recommend it. You’ll lose all of the advantages of high-definition (and likely get a soft-focus visual effect), and you won’t be able to put as many windows on your screen. You’d be better off changing the settings in Windows that control the size of your text and other objects, such as icons and the taskbar. Here are instructions for Windows 7, 8, and 10.

12 travel-friendly tech gifts you’ll want to take with you – The travel-friendly tech in this gift guide can save your favorite frequent flier some stress on their next trip. Whether it’s a clip-on camera accessory or a great organizer, it’s all worth taking with you.

Apple Pay Arrives in Canada, Australia This Week – The Cupertino tech giant on Tuesday launched Apple Pay in Canada, but just for American Express customers.


Vizio slapped with two class-action lawsuits over alleged smart-TV spying – Vizio, the company best known for its bang-for-buck TVs, is these days in the news for all the wrong reasons owing to some truly troubling data collection practices. And it doesn’t seem as if the controversy is going to blow over in a jiffy. On the contrary, as first reported by Consumer Reports, it has boiled over into court. While that site only referred to a single lawsuit in its report, turns out the company is facing two different class action complaints.

Disable this feature to stop your Vizio smart TV from spying on you – Vizio is the latest TV maker to come under fire for tracking the viewing habits of its customers. A feature that is turned on by default on more than 10 million Vizio smart TVs can track what you’re watching and then share the data with advertisers. This is similar to programs we have seen in the past from Samsung and LG. While you could disconnect your TV from the Internet to prevent this, it’s not the best solution. You likely bought a smart TV to use built-in apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video. Disconnecting the TV from the Internet would mean that you could no longer use a majority of the smart functions. You can, however, manually disable the data collecting feature. Here’s how:

Tor Is Trying to Make Dark Web Sites More Secure – Tor users were reminded about the importance of dark web security recently with news that a university had unmasked both the servers and users of some hidden services—sites that hide their location using the Tor network—and provided that information to the FBI. Tor has since patched the vulnerability that the attackers took advantage of, but there are still concerns with some aspects of its security. With that in mind, the Tor Project is making several security improvements to the infrastructure that allows dark web sites to remain hidden.

Blackhole exploit kit makes a surprising encore appearance – The Blackhole exploit kit has made a surprising reappearance two years after cybercriminals stopped using it, according to security vendor Malwarebytes. About four years ago, the source code for Blackhole was leaked, which led to more cybercriminals using it. But exploit kits require quite a bit of ongoing maintenance, and fresh exploits for new vulnerabilities need to be integrated to maintain high infection rates. For some reason, whoever decided to start using Blackhole recently made a large error and left the server that hosted the exploit kit’s infrastructure open on the Internet, which allowed Malwarebytes to take a look.


Don’t fall for drone registration scams, warns FAA – The Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t revealed its plans for drone registration yet, but that hasn’t stopped at least one company from trying to make a buck from confusion about the rules.

Microsoft touts new, holistic approach to enterprise security – Microsoft combines the attack protection, detection and response features built into Windows 10, Office 365, Azure and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite to help enterprises improve their operational security posture.

How Cisco is trying to keep NSA spies out of its gear – Cisco’s suppliers have stronger security requirements, and customers will soon be able to inspect products before buying.

Millions of sensitive records exposed by mobile apps leaking back-end credentials – Thousands of mobile applications, including popular ones, implement cloud-based, back-end services in a way that lets anyone access millions of sensitive records created by users, according to a recent study. The analysis was performed by researchers from the Technical University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Darmstadt, Germany, and the results were presented Friday at the Black Hat Europe security conference in Amsterdam. It targeted applications that use Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) frameworks from providers like Facebook-owned Parse, CloudMine or Amazon Web Services.

ISIS calls Anonymous ‘idiots,’ offers tips to elude hackers – In a message circulated via encrypted messaging app Telegram, an account allegedly linked to ISIS called Anonymous “idiots” and offered tips to avoid being hacked by the group. The message, which was posted in English and Arabic, was forwarded to multiple ISIS-affiliated Telegram channels, according to Business Insider. In its warning message, ISIS gave supporters a handful of tips to avoid being hacked by Anonymous. The group warned against opening links from untrusted sources and talking to unknown people on Telegram. Supporters were also told to avoid direct messages on Twitter. The message also said supporters should use a VPN, or virtual private network, which can create a secure “tunnel” for Web browsing, so all data sent to and from a browser is encrypted.

Company News:

Microsoft Invests In Affordable Internet Access With Launch Of New Fund – Microsoft is ramping up its efforts to bring affordable Internet access to underserved parts of the globe with the launch of a new fund that will invest in companies that are solving problems associated with bringing the Internet to the 4 billion people worldwide who are still disconnected. The fund will aid in entrepreneurial efforts focused on last-mile access technologies, cloud-based services and applications, new payment mechanisms, and other innovative business models that help get people online.

Pandora To Buy Rdio Assets For $75M In Cash, Rdio Files Ch.11, Will Shutter Service – That was fast: just as soon as it was reported that Pandora was in talks to buy Rdio, the two sides have confirmed that an acquisition is indeed taking place. Pandora has acquired “key assets” from Rdio for $75 million in cash, the company has just announced. But as part of it, the Rdio service as we know it is tanking: the streaming service is filing for bankruptcy.

India’s largest technology incubator ‘T-Hub’ launched – The PPP project aims to assist 800 Indian start-ups, with the first phase offering seed funding, working space, mentorship, and opportunities to network in one place.

Home Services Marketplace Angie’s List Rejects IAC’s $512M Acquisition Offer – Well, it looks like it might be a while yet before you swipe right to find your next bricklayer or painter. Angie’s List, a marketplace for independent contractors, has formally rejected an offer from IAC, owner of Tinder, to buy the business for $512 million. The offer, originally made earlier this month, was for IAC to buy the company at $8.75 per share. Angie’s List trades on the NASDAQ exchange.

Citrix to spin off GoTo, focus on enterprise, cut 1,000 jobs – Citrix outlined its moves to focus on its core business and simplify. The GoTo business, which has about $600 million in trailing 12-month revenue, will become an independent entity.

Nuance tops Q4 targets on revenue of $513 million – Nuance released its fourth quarter and fiscal 2015 earnings report Monday after the bell. The voice recognition software giant posted a net loss of $11 million, or four cents per share (statement). Wall Street was expecting earnings of 35 cents per share on revenue of $508 million. Nuance also acknowledged that it lost $9.2 million of revenue due to “accounting treatment in conjunction with acquisitions.” For fiscal 2015, the company reported net income of $411.6 million, or $1.27 per diluted share, compared to $360.1 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, for fiscal 2014. Nuance also narrowed its GAAP net loss to $115 million, compared to $150.3 million the year prior.

NY Attorney General Adds Yahoo To FanDuel & DraftKings Investigation, Preliminary Hearing Next Week – While DraftKings and FanDuel await their day in court next Wednesday, the NY Times has reported that Eric T. Schneiderman, NY’s Attorney General, has decided to include Yahoo in his investigation into the daily fantasy sports. While Yahoo has avoided the flashy prime-time ads that are now common in the industry, the site actually added daily fantasy sports to its fantasy offerings in July, and since then has become the third largest DFS provider after FanDuel and DraftKings.

Games and Entertainment:

This Is the Best Selling Video Game of 2015: It earned over $750 million in 24 hours – Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is no longer the biggest entertainment launch of 2015. Bethesda’s Fallout 4 sold 12 million copies and generated over $750 million in its first 24 hours at retail on Nov. 10. Those numbers obliterate the over $550 million in 72 hours that Activision-owned developer Treyarch earned with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.


NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1 returns with new $200 price – NVIDIA’s Shield Tablet is back, refreshed post-recall and sweetened with a $100 price cut over the original model. The Android slate was already one of the cheaper ways to get a performance tablet, but now NVIDIA has trimmed both the range and the specifications to a single unit at $199, dubbed the Shield Tablet K1.


NBC streaming service SeeSo to launch free public beta – NBC is preparing to launch SeeSo, its own streaming video service with a focus on comedy TV shows and movies, no ads, and priced at just $4 a month. Basically like a mini Netflix or Hulu service that only offers one specific genre of entertainment. In order to let viewers try out SeeSo, and in turn test the demand for the service, NBC has said it’s launching a one-month free trial in the form of a public beta.

10 Games Every Xbox One Player Needs – The Xbox One games that you’ll find in this list are titles that will let you: engage in hyper-violent combat; race fast cars down beautiful, winding roads; hop inside mechanical behemoths; solve murders; and more. Microsoft’s console has a little something for nearly every type of gamer. If you’re ready to discover what the PCMag staff considers the best Xbox One games, click through the slideshow. You can watch video clips of the games in action, and read our pithy words regarding what makes each title one that’s worth owning.

Xbox One now supports button remapping for standard controllers too – Last week, the Xbox One was treated to a big new software update that not only introduced backwards compatibility with over 100 Xbox 360 games, but also improved the console’s dashboard interface, making it easier to navigate. Even better, however, is that the update introduced a feature that, until now, was exclusive to Microsoft’s new Xbox One Elite controller: total button remapping. This customization option allows users to swap button functions, like switching the X and B buttons, or A with the left trigger, for example, and is now available on the console’s standard controller.


Green Man Gaming under fire for potentially unauthorized sales – In this day and age, when you want the best deal, you don’t need to drive around to multiple stores to check their prices. You just hop online, browse your favorite sites, and in a few minutes, you’ve found the lowest price. Sure, there’s a chance that you’ll stumble onto a site that you’ve never heard of, but as long as you stick to the big names, you won’t have any trouble getting your order filled. However, what happens when one of the big sites starts showing signs of questionable practices.

Off Topic (Sort of):

More than a billion PCs are over three years old, and there’s little reason to replace them – There are over a billion PCs in use today that are more than three years old (according to Intel, I’ve not personally counted them, but I assume they have their finger on the pulse), and around half of those it is claimed are four to five years old. While that sounds like a massive opportunity for the OEMs to cash in on an upgrade wave, the truth is that there’s little reason for people to spend the money to replace a working PC. There’s a dirty little secret that PC makers don’t want you to know, and it’s this – take a middle-of-the-road PC from three years ago and put it next to a brand new middle-of-the-road PC and you’ll be hard-pressed to see any difference.

Anonymous just might make all the difference in attacking ISIS – Anonymous’ key message on Twitter is: “Make no mistake: #Anonymous is at war with #Daesh. We won’t stop opposing #IslamicState. We’re also better hackers.” That last sentence is key. What Anonymous is talking about is a cyberwar against ISIS, one that is not restricted by any of the laws that could hamper a cyberattack undertaken by U.S., French or Russian governments. And, to Anonymous’ credit, they are indeed better hackers. This could be very effective. While governments bomb and soldiers attack on the ground, it’s essential that ISIS’ recruitment and funding be killed. If DDoS and other shutdown tactics make social media useless to the terror group, it will find it far more difficult to fund terror and recruit replacements. Let’s take a look at Anonymous’ prospects for weakening ISIS in these areas.

Thales shows watch app for plainclothes cops at French security show – French defense contractor Thales Communications & Security wants to take the smart watch back to its “Dick Tracy” origins with an app for plainclothes cops and security services.


Grow your own insects at home, then eat them to live – Bugs may very well be the future of food and Livin Farms wants to help you grow your own. The Desktop Edible Insect Hive is a device with a small footprint designed to allow you to raise your own food. However, this food would be mealworms — rich in protein and a sustainable source of food, but mealworms. “Insects give us the opportunity to grow on small spaces, with few resources,” Katharina Unger, the founder of Livin Farms, said in an interview with Fast Co. “With their benefits, insects are one part of the solution to make currently inefficient industrial-scale production of meat obsolete.” This device provides one possible solution to the growing problems surrounding factory farming, which is responsible for around 9 percent of emissions. But until lab-grown meat goes to mass market, insects are a viable option.


Australian Police Are Actively Trying to Arrest Motorized Picnic Table Riders – Australia is known for being pretty chill, as a nation. It’s an outdoorsy, laid-back kind of place. So this group of mates cruising around Perth on two motorized picnic tables is peak Aussie. The Western Australia Police posted a short clip on Facebook of the nine offenders motoring their creations down an alarmingly busy road, and said they are seeking the men for “failure to wear proper protective clothing,” but that they could also be charged with driving an unlicensed vehicle and drunk driving, the last of which is a little preemptive.


A Gift Guide For The Cyclists You Care About – Does someone you care about bike to work even as winter sets in, with all of the associated cold and damp? Upgrade their commute with some great digital technology and plain cool hardware. Show the bike enthusiast or commuter in your life that you really do care – both that they get places in style but also that they do it safely. From turn signals to light-up jackets, make sure that your gift recipients are the coolest and safest bikers on the road. We hope that you’ll bike safe and follow traffic rules. Please remember that as great as smart devices are, they are not a replacement for good common sense and situational awareness.

DJI is updating its drones so they won’t fly in restricted airspace – By default, starting in December, users of DJI-brand drones will not be able to enter into, or take off from, areas like prisons or power plants. The company says the system — called Geospatial Environment Online, and powered by a company called AirMap — will also be constantly updated with new information on restrictions, which will prevent drones from entering zones with shifting security needs, like stadium events or wildfire areas. DJI will be letting people bypass the system if they so choose, but only on one condition: users must have a verified account with the company, including a credit card, debit card, or phone number, although the system will be free. The company says users will not allow the system to be turned off in certain areas with national security concerns, such as Washington, DC.


This Subreddit Captures That Awkward Moment People Realize They’re on Camera – All of us are probably guilty of a photobomb or two, but some of us take this art to the next level. This subreddit captures that really awkward moment that people realize they’ve been caught on live TV. The gif that started it all features a policeman brusquely strolling toward the camera, realizing he’s live on air and freezing like a rabbit caught in the headlights before crab walking out of the frame:

Do IT pros work too much? Survey says ‘Yes’ – More than 600 IT pros made their collective voice heard in a new survey conducted by Spiceworks. You’re working longer hours and there’s no end in sight. The people who work the longest hours won’t surprise you.

Coffee drinking linked to lower mortality risk—again – In a fresh-brewed study involving more than 200,000 people, researchers found that drinking coffee—regular or decaf—is associated with an overall lower risk of mortality. Drinking between three and five cups a day perked up survival rates the most, lowering the risk of premature death by up to 15 percent compared to coffee abstinence, researchers reported Monday in Circulation. Though the study reveals only a correlation—not a potential cause for the life-upper—it follows decades of studies that found specific and general health benefits of coffee drinking, particularly lower risks of cardiovascular disease, liver diseases, diabetes, and overall mortality. Plus, the study’s large size helps parse other health factors, particularly smoking, that may conceal coffee’s protective effects.

Something to think about:

“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.”

–       Josh Billings


Windows 10 Threshold 2 – Still waiting for Windows 10 or need to clean install or make a backup copy? You can create your own Windows 10 installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD with this download.

This installer will download Windows which is actually about 4 GB.

Before you begin install make sure you have:

Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.

A blank USB or DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.

If you will be installing Windows 10 for the first time, you will need your Windows product key.

Editor’s Note: While Microsoft offers a 32 bit and 64 bit download, both will let you choose Home or Pro editions as well as 32 or 64 bit. Be sure to select your language as English is NOT the default. Downloading it and burning it only to see it’s Croatian is a bummer (or so I am told) .

In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Encryption Is Being Scapegoated To Mask The Failures Of Mass Surveillance – Well that took no time at all. Intelligence agencies rolled right into the horror and fury in the immediate wake of the latest co-ordinated terror attacks in the French capital on Friday, to launch their latest co-ordinated assault on strong encryption — and on the tech companies creating secure comms services — seeking to scapegoat end-to-end encryption as the enabling layer for extremists to perpetrate mass murder.

There’s no doubt they were waiting for just such an ‘opportune moment’ to redouble their attacks on encryption after recent attempts to lobby for encryption-perforating legislation foundered. (A strategy confirmed by a leaked email sent by the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Robert S. Litt, this August — and subsequently obtained by the Washington Post — in which he anticipated that a “very hostile legislative environment… could turn in the event of a terrorist attack or criminal event where strong encryption can be shown to have hindered law enforcement”. Et voila Paris… )

Speaking to CBS News the weekend in the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks, former CIA deputy director Michael Morell said: “I think this is going to open an entire new debate about security versus privacy.”

“We, in many respects, have gone blind as a result of the commercialization and the selling of these devices that cannot be accessed either by the manufacturer or, more importantly, by us in law enforcement, even equipped with search warrants and judicial authority,” added New York City police commissioner, William J. Bratton, quoted by the NYT in a lengthy article probing the “possible” role of encrypted messaging apps in the Paris attacks.

Congressman: To stop ISIS, let’s shut down websites and social media – US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) has a plan to stop terrorists: shut down websites, including social media networks.

Barton today asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler if the commission can shut down websites used by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Barton didn’t name any specific sites but said that “we need to do something” because of the terrorist attack in Paris.

“ISIS and the terrorist networks can’t beat us militarily, but they are really trying to use the Internet and all of the social media to try to intimidate and beat us psychologically,” Barton said. Addressing Wheeler during an FCC oversight hearing held by the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Barton continued:

Isn’t there something we can do under existing law to shut those Internet sites down, and I know they pop up like weeds, but once they do pop up, shut them down and then turn those Internet addresses over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies to try to track them down? I would think that even in an open society, when there is a clear threat, they’ve declared war against us, our way of life, they’ve threatened to attack this very city our capital is in, that we could do something about the Internet and social media side of the equation.

Wheeler answered, “I’m not sure that our authority extends to picking and choosing among websites, but I do think there are specific things that we can do,” with Barton interrupting to ask, “Do we need on a bipartisan basis to give additional authority to shut sites down?”

Brandis warns of even less privacy for Australians – Islamic State has declared war and made life harder for liberal democracies, and as a consequence, Australians will have to accept further limitations on their privacy, Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said on Wednesday morning.

Asked if Australia was at war, Senator Brandis told the Nine Network: “Absolutely. ISIL have declared war on us.”

“We would be fools not to take them at their word and to take whatever steps are necessary to protect our civilisation,” he said.

Senator Brandis said Australians may have to “calibrate their attitudes” on privacy.

“There will be occasions in which we will have to accept greater limitations, greater impediments to personal privacy,” he told the Seven Network.

Under Brandis’ tenure as Attorney-General, Australia passed legislation that mandated the collection and storage of call records, assigned IP addresses, location information, billing information, and other customer data stored for two years for warrantless access by law enforcement.

Pointing up    Time for Australia to put the boots to these bastards!



Filed under Free Software Downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Latest Tech News

4 responses to “Tech Thoughts Net News – Wednesday – November 18, 2015

  1. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Re: Brandis warns of even less privacy for Australians

    It really is nauseating when, after a tragedy like what happened in Paris occurs, these slimebags start sprouting on about less privacy etc. We don’t even know yet how the events leading up to the Paris horrors were planned , yet there is good old George talking total shit as usual. I feel like kicking the TV in when I see his head, honestly.

    You can bet on one thing, Austalians will have less privacy with the exception of Australian politicians. Bastards, the lot of them.


    • Hey Mal,

      Well, we now know this – mobiles used in this horrific crime were NOT encrypted. Despite that, we also know that the SUPER DUPER PRIVACY INVADERS of French Intelligence Service failed. So encryption – that’s the problem – NOT.

      All of this is sheer bullshit – security theater taken to the max. Unless we as citizens retake our governments from the corptocracies who now subvert our democracies, the bombs will keep exploding.

      “Stay Calm and Carry On” will soon be re-released as our daily operative.



  2. Keith

    Hi Bill – Don’t know if you’ve read about a new Ad blocker called ublock Origin. It blocks alot of stuff and seems to speed up surfing. Here’s some links about it.

    10 Ad Blocking Extensions Tested for Best Performance

    Leo Laporte/Steve Gibson – ublock Origin

    Steve Gibson starts explaining Ublock Origin at 1:21:45 although he mentions it at times throughout the show. There’s useful info about Ad networks and websites from 1:15 on.

    ublock thread at Wilder’s Security (gorhill is the program creator)