Technology

Discussions and information about technology - news, ideas, tech events in Wisconsin.

RIP Microsoft Vista

As of yesterday, Microsoft Vista is no longer supported.  In any way. At all. So if you're running Vista on something it is well past time to upgrade. Vista was always pretty much a bad idea - I know I ran it for a while on one of my desktop computers.  It was  at the time the only Windows machine in the home office, and I felt I needed it to recreate client problems in Windows. And there were problems galore.

Windows 10 is actually pretty nice, other than the glaring privacy and advertising-against-your-will issues (though I upgraded a machine yesterday to the new Creator Edition and it seems to have suddenly become unstable). I'm really glad that I don't depend on Windows for my everyday work. But if you're running Vista, it's really past time to move on to something else. 

My cord-cutting story part 2

So, a while back I wrote a little about our attempt to cut the cord on our TV. The ever-increasing price of cable (even on our wonderful telephone co-op service) had been becoming hard to bear, not to mention the fact that the company providing the cable service to the co-op seems to be a tad on the sloppy side.  We have often found our local PBS channel only has one channel of stereo sound, and some other anomalies.

Five things your ISP can do if Congress Repeals the FCC's Privacy Protections

Interesting article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

1.  Selling your data to marketers

2. Hijacking your searches

3. Snooping through your traffic and inserting ads

4. Pre-installing software on your phone and recording every URL you visit

5. Injecting undetectable, undeletable tracking cookies in all of your HTTP traffic

Amazon S3 storage issue affecting a lot of the Internet today - but not us

For the past couple of hours Amazon S3 has been experiencing (as Amazon loves to put it) "high error rates" in their East Coast zone. This is having some serious effects on a lot of the web at the moment as sites, parts of sites, pictures, etc. are randomly appearing and disappearing. Some of the big hosting providers who are heavily dependent on Amazon services are also suffering at the moment.

Recent warning about some Netgear home routers

An advisory posted on Friday in Carnegie Mellon University's public vulnerability database (CERT) said that Netgear's R7000 and R6400 routers, running current and recent firmwar

Cloudflare warns of DDOS botnet activity

CloudFlare has warned of another massive botnet that appears to be ramping up and targeting the US West Coast.

In a blog post, the content delivery network said it has been watching a flood of attack traffic that started two weeks ago and appears to have been coming from one person testing out its abilities before moving it to 24-hour management.

The Internet Archive is building a Canadian copy to protect itself from Trump

The Internet Archive, a digital library nonprofit that preserves billions of webpages for the historical record, is building a backup archive in Canada after the election of Donald Trump. Today, it began collecting donations for the Internet Archive of Canada, intended to create a copy of the archive outside the United States.

FBI to gain expanded hacking powers as Senate effort to block fails

A last-ditch effort in the Senate to block or delay rule changes that would expand the U.S. government's hacking powers failed Wednesday, despite concerns the changes would jeopardize the privacy rights of innocent Americans and risk possible abuse by the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Voter ID isn't the issue

Once again this election season we're hearing about the need for voter ID - fixing a problem that doesn't really exist, while completely ignoring all of the ways our elections can really be compromised on a large scale. Certainly voter suppression is one of these, and is a real issue, but we're also continuing to ignore the technological weaknesses of our voting infrastructure. The passing of the HAVA act after the Bush/Gore election fiasco was intended to make it easier to vote and to make our system more secure, but it in fact had exactly the opposite effect.  Our new higher-tech voting infrastructure is in many ways designed as if it was still the 1980's and we were under the illusion that the Internet was a secure thing.  

Remember how I said we'd be seeing more of these Internet of Things attacks?

A couple weeks back I wrote about how the Krebs on Security site had been taken down by a huge DDOS attack from Internet of Things (IOT) devices around the world.  And I said we'd be seeing more. There have been a vew of them, but today's is a doozy. Many of the biggest sites on the Internet fell over today (and are still struggling) due to a massive attack on the DNS infrastructure at a company called DYN.

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