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Security Round-Up: LaCie Breach, Gmail Lawsuit, and Really Stupid Heartbleed Mocker

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well, it’s only Wednesday, and it already seems to be a week filled with security-related stuff!  Today, I present you with stories about the unaware, the lawyers and the idiot.

Spring Is in the Air, so Remember What’s Important


Well, it looks as though spring is finally here, although it is filled with some unusual storms this year.  Ironically, tonight it is supposed to snow here, but the ground is so warm it should melt quickly.

First, I want to say my prayers are with you in the areas that have had some extremely rough weather.  Some places have lost power and have sustained damage from the winds knocking things about, including many downed trees in the Midwest.  Yesterday, I was told about snow storms in Denver, so even out West is not exempt.

iPhones and the “Other” Data


There just seems to be something that is up with iOS 7.x, at least on the iPhone.  I was astounded to look at iTunes the other day and find about 3GB of data storage taken up by “Other”!  I only have an 8GB phone, so that is just not good.  In comparison, I was able to run my 3GS through several updates of iOS 5 and 6 and still have enough room for some podcasts, the latter of which I no longer put on my phone!

Editorial: Heartbleed Aftermath and The Parade of the Incompetent

When “experts” really are not and the lemmings that follow them.

photo credit: KAZVorpal via photopin cc

Uninformed or ignorant?

Uninformed is a temporary condition, fixed more easily than ever.

Ignorant, on the other hand, is the dangerous situation where someone making a decision is uninformed and either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about his lack of knowledge.

~ Seth Godin, “Uninformed or ignorant?

This whole Heartbleed thing has me a little disillusioned in humanity.  I can forgive someone who lacks knowledge.  That’s quite easy.  We all have been in that spot.  What I have trouble with is incompetence and/or willful blindness on the part of a person to see reality.  Double that aggravation whenever a “news reporter” gets it wrong by not double-checking facts.  Triple that aggravation whenever that person presents themselves as an “expert”!

Heartbleed Bug Follow-Up, What Everyone Needs to Do

Don’t listen to the iFUD, and don’t set your hair on fire.


In the Army, we used to talk about people who went around “setting their hair on fire”.  According to StackExchange, “Is ‘Set one’s hair on fire’ a popular English idiom?” isn’t all that common of a phrase and may have different meanings and intents.  Some seem to take it as meaning something of great urgency.  However, I notice that it seems to refer to setting someone else’s hair on fire and not your own.  When we spoke of setting one’s own hair on fire, it mean whenever someone was both making the emergency bigger than necessary and actually being part of the cause.  One of the StackExchange references even refers to setting one’s hair on fire in order to gain attention.

That’s part of the problem with traditional news media conveying information about technological issues of the day.

Dropbox Trustworthy? Ubuntu One Shutting Down: Reviews of Wuala and TeamDrive For Privacy and Security

Some companies have a privacy policy that could have come straight out of the mouth of Sledge Hammer.


Sledge Hammer was a wacky television comedy series that was born out of a comic writer’s admiration of the over-the-top actions of the Dirty Harry character in other films.  By pushing it beyond outlandish into the absurd, the character Sledge Hammer was created.  One of his favorite things to say was, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”  Inevitably, catastrophe follows, including one episode where he said that line and promptly set off a nuclear bomb.

I have learned that even competent and well-meaning individuals can make mistakes.  However, rules are not made for those individuals.  Rules and laws are to keep people from intentionally stepping over the line.  However, whenever someone has it in mind to do what they wish or believe is correct, the rules and laws are often ignored.

Critical OpenSSL Updates Are Out For Heartbleed Bug

If you are running Ubuntu 12.04 or above, this is a “Stop, drop and roll” sort of patch!

Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I spent a good portion of this morning chasing down details about a reported security flaw in OpenSSL, which is used in many clients and servers alike to make your web surfing more secure.  SSL is what happens when you type in or connect to an address starting with “https” instead of “http”.  It is also used by many instant messaging systems and email servers for secure connections.

Make no mistake about it, this bug, called “The Heartbleed Bug“, is serious.  It is not considered a design flaw, but rather it is a serious implementation issue.

More Scams: IRS Emails and Google Docs

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A little while ago, I reported in “You and Your Money: XP Deadlines and Your Bank Being Attacked Right Now, IRS Deadlines and Scams” how many are getting phone calls claiming to be from the IRS demanding immediate payment for back taxes and fees.  As April 15th nears, some scammers claiming to be from the IRS are ramping up, but in email this time.

Windows XP: RIP, Well, Sorta


Windows XP: You never know where you’ll find it

In between all of the mixed messages that Microsoft has been giving, Windows XP support, at least for consumers and businesses who are not paying extra for support, comes to an end tomorrow 8 April 2014.

I don’t know if people will understand even if they’ve been told.

Microsoft introduced a popup intended to alert users to the end of XP support, but my sister saw it and asked what it meant.  Of course, as the PC World article that link points to says:

The problem, of course, is that the popup looks like every popup, complete with a link, that decades of computer use have taught us not to click–including the time-honored advice that every tech-savvy son or daughter has given their parents.

It’s all a mess, if you ask me.  There has to be an easier way …



Gladly Dumping Mozilla, More Reasons Than Not to Seek Better Alternatives for Firefox and Thunderbird

No_Firefox.png          No_Thunderbird.png

I originally only had one reason to dump Firefox, but thanks to the company’s cluelessness, I now have three: Stupid language tricks, stupid discrimination and stupid dropping of popular products.

Stupid Language Tricks

Over a month ago, I decided once again to re-dump Firefox and go back to Chrome.  I have really tried to like Firefox — really.  For years, I used it on Windows until they started fiddling around with Flash and somehow broke it for Windows 64 bit.  Then, the same thing happened to 32 bit Windows.  Recently, I decided to give them another go because of some of Chrome’s policies, but here I go switching back to Google Chrome nonetheless.

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