How to avoid the curse of ransomware — don’t pay to unlock your computer
[I’ve had local clients hit by this twice. Craig.]
Criminals don’t need to kidnap humans to extort money out of
individuals or organizations. They’ve found something that’s
possibly just as valuable and can be much easier to obtain: your
This malicious software has adapted seamlessly with technological
advances and now spreads through infected programs, compromised
websites, and email attachments. From the moment a victim clicks
the infected mode of delivery, the virus begins encrypting
everything on their computer.
The most prevalent ransomware, CryptoWall, cost victims around $18
million from April 2014 to June 2015, the FBI says. And the problem
is only expected to get worse.
There’s another web out there, a better web hiding just below the
surface of the one we surf from our phones and tablets and laptops
every day. A web with no ads, no endlessly scrolling pages, and no
annoying modal windows begging you to share the site on social
media or sign up for a newsletter. The best part is that you don’t
need a special browser extension or an invite-only app to access
this alternate reality. All you need to do is change one little
setting in your browser of choice. Just un-tick the checkbox that
NYPD has super-secret X-ray vans
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton won’t let the NYCLU — or anyone
else — bully him for details on the NYPD’s super-secret X-ray vans.
Called Z Backscatter Vans, they can can take X-rays of you, your
car, your house — all without your knowledge.
“People should be informed if military-grade X-ray vans are
damaging their health with radiation or peering inside their homes
or cars,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “New
Yorkers have a right to protect their health, welfare and privacy.”
Little is known about how the NYPD uses the high-tech machines,
which reportedly cost between $729,000 and $825,000.
The vans are also employed by US Customs and Border Protection to
scan for drugs and explosives.
For 1st time, MIT’s free online classes can lead to a degree
This blended online-offline offering is an experiment: it will be
available, at least for now, only for MIT’s one-year program in
supply chain management. Nonetheless, it is a significant
endorsement of the idea that massive open online courses, or MOOCs,
will help reshape how universities operate.
Reduce your nighttime anxiety and permit your brain to sleep effectively
A soon-to-be-released study at California State University,
Dominguez Hills, conducted sleep research that stems from work on
the “psychology of technology,” where they’ve discovered two
important variables that encourage us to use (and misuse)
technology, thereby losing sleep: (1) poor executive functioning,
which includes our (in)ability to pay attention, problem solve,
control our impulses, and make decisions, and (2) anxiety. In our
work, anxiety is sometimes referred to as FOMO, or the fear of
missing out. We see this anxiety in the majority of smartphone
users who feel uncomfortable if they are not in direct contact with
their phones — and their many electronic connections — 24/7/365. A
dead battery and no charger can bring upon a panic attack.
Why Cars Are Apple’s Next Big Market
Some $2 trillion in potential annual sales, or even a fraction of
that, has convinced the iPhone maker to move from the exploration
phase to committing to a deadline to deliver an Apple-branded
car. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has tripled the
size of the team devoted to the project, code-named Titan, and has
set a target ship date of 2019.
Tesla Motors, founded a dozen years ago, has already claimed 20
percent of the luxury vehicle market in the U.S. So far this year,
Tesla has sold more Model S sedans than Mercedes sold of its
Boston Consulting Group expects another wave of technology to come
this year or next — including highway autopilot, in which a vehicle
would drive autonomously on highways and change lanes on its own,
and autonomous valet parking, in which the vehicle finds an open
parking spot and parks itself.
This Time May Be Different’: Bank of England Chief Economist on Robots Taking Your Job
Haldane suggested that although hundreds of years of technological
innovation hasn’t necessarily displaced more jobs than it has
created, that might not be the case in the future. Or, in his
words, “This time may be different”: 80 million jobs in the
U.S. and 15 million in the U.K. could potentially be “automatable.”
“Technology may be set to change jobs and wages more fundamentally
than in the past. Job displacement and creation may come thicker
and faster than ever previously,” Haldane said. “‘Hollowing out’
[‘mid-skilled workers’ losing their jobs] may become more
pervasive. And gaps between those with and without skills, or with
and without jobs, may widen as never before.”