Something to think about: Report: Everyone Should Get a Security Freeze.
It works about like you would think
This is a damning report if you read it, though I am of course a hateful xenophobic bigot for pointing that out.
It is utterly wrong that the people responsible for the state of affairs that made this murder more likely, will themselves never be held to account. It’s a continuing failure of our society that the voters keep electing to office basically those same people.
UPDATE 4 July 2015: Why the pro-illegal lobby owns Wednesday’s murder in San Francisco, by J.E. Dyer
What happens when police encounter a black man with a gun? It depends on what he’s doing with it.
In fact, the part I bolded seems like an astonishingly bad idea:
“Sullivan spoke with multiple consumers who’d seen their Starbucks card balances emptied and then topped up again.
Those customers had all chosen to tie their debit accounts to their Starbucks cards and mobile phones.”
It seems like if someone is going to link his Starbucks card, checking account, and mobile phone, he might as well just put them all in a bag and hang it on a hook just outside his back door.
But I’m not crazy. The foil is only there to block the scanners. The bank sent out the new credit card a while ago, and it has a chip in it. After reading about the potential risks, it seemed like some shielding wouldn’t hurt anything. But how to know if the shielding worked?
At one work site, I get access to the facility by putting my id card against a scanner. This works even if I just hold my wallet up to the scanner. This seems like a reasonable basis for testing. The first thing I put in my wallet was a piece of what seemed to be metalized paper from a coffee package. Holding up my wallet still activated the door, so a coffee bag probably will not block the scanners the men in black would carry if there were men in black following me.
Next time I went out to that site, I folded up four layers of regular aluminum foil and put that in my wallet. The scanner didn’t work. A week or so later I tried it again, and this time scanner did read my card through the foil. Thinking it might be because the foil had compressed, I opened up the foil and interleaved a piece of paper. My knowledge of electricity and magnetism is close to the cargo-cult level, you see. Anyway, this seemed to work, but I’ll test it again from time to time.
If I come across some sheet copper I’ll try that too. A couple of business-card size pieces of copper with the Lord’s Prayer engraved on it would probably excite less interest than a packet of aluminum foil.
“We’ve trained ourselves to think we’re safe if we see that little lock in our browser window, but what Lenovo did was load software that does an end-run around your web browser, making it impossible to tell if someone else had subverted HTTPS. Very few people check that, but that doesn’t make it right to take the option away. As long as Superfish is running, it’s impossible to tell if anyone has gotten between Superfish and your bank, or Amazon. So someone could empty your bank account while serving up a web page that shows you still have money, or hijack your Amazon purchase, running off with your money while Amazon never gets your order and you never get your product, and it will be next to impossible for you to even know what happened.” — Lenovo’s preinstalled Superfish spyware: A post-mortem, by David L. Farquhar
I’d rather build my own (difficult if you want a laptop), and install the OS myself, but sometimes you need something right now — I’m typing this on an off-the-shelf Dell, and there’s certainly software on it that’s useless and a nuisance. There’s nothing malign – as far as I know.
Tangentially, this Chromebox sounds interesting.