This started when a man unknowingly bought Ebola to Goma, Congo. Goma is one of Congo’s largest cities and is a huge tourist and transit hub. But since then, it’s worse. Because now, this new Ebola outbreak caused over 1,500 deaths and 2,500 illnesses just in Eastern Congo alone. But that’s just the beginning. Then, add lack of medical and tech resources, many years of conflict, and lots of cynicism. In fact, I read reports where medical and tech responders were killed when they tried to aid some of the medically ill. Because of these things, they expect this crisis to go on for a long time.
Now some of you are going to say, “Didn’t we go through an Ebola crisis around five years ago?”. Yes, the world sure did. In fact, over 30,000 people worldwide got sick during that mid-2010s outbreak. Also, it hit real close to home when two nurses got infected in Dallas. After a major scare, they treated those nurses, they fully recovered, and nothing came after that. Thank goodness! But this incident, and others globally, forced the world to pay attention and do something about it. And they did. So what’s the difference between then and now?
Well, now, there’s a lot more fear going on, and that fear often leads to violence. WHO leaders say that until they can secure that nation from conflict, then Elola will continue to flourish. Also keep in mind doctors, nurses and tech leaders will be less willing to aid in conditions like that. Also, and I hate to say this because I know how this will sound. But these things don’t get much notice until it hits a Western nation. I know that sounds awful, but look at humanity’s track record. So unfortunately, this is the new Ebola crisis. What can IT service do about it?
So there are a lot of iPhone/social media wiseguys out there (that’s not a compliment). I think we all know of the ‘food licking’ challenge on social media. But what I’m talking about is far worse. This disturbing iPhone photo causes flight problems.
The flight is Jet Blue Flight 573 from Newark to Tampa. This occurred Sunday July 14. They scheduled take off was for 7:45 am. But those plans changed quickly when somebody sent pictures of suicide vests to passengers and flight attendants. The culprit used Apple’s AirDrop feature. So therefore, he/she can share pictures with other Apple phones and devices simply by using Bluetooth.
So when the pictures came up, pilots immediately returned the flight to the gate. Then, flight attendants escorted passengers off the plane. Police units of all kinds checked luggage. But even before that, people interviewed talked about Port Authority police and dogs coming on the plane. This was before anybody knew anything. Now imagine it’s you and your little kids on that plane. Imagine the nerves and fears and tears. The plane did take off…at 11:30am. That’s almost four hours after this security crisis got started.
What is even worse? Authorities believe the culprit behind the disturbing iPhone photo was one of the passengers on that plane! However, they can’t catch him. The sad thing is, they may never. I don’t know what the motive behind this was. But if this was a prank, then it’s not funny. And please…stop! Stop using your IT support and phones to terrify and hinder innocent people and tie up police units. It’s not cute, funny or cool. All it does it messes everybody up. Just like this food licking and spitting challenge. That’s not funny or cute or cool, either. All you’re doing is putting innocent people, including children, at risk for diseases. Do you really want that on your conscious? Also, do you want this disturbing iPhone photo on your conscious?
So, how many of you know about ‘deepfake’ porn? Don’t feel bad, because I didn’t either until I read about this article. At least one state is fighting this evil. Virginia fights ‘deepfake’ porn.
So deepfake porn uses machine learning to take a photo and strip a woman of her clothes. For instance, a couple has an innocent photo. Then the couple breaks up. The guy manipulates this innocent photo and makes her nude. Then he blasts it all over the Internet. That’s deepfake porn. In fact, they had an app that’s totally dedicated to this thing. The former app DeepNude could turn any photo of any clothed person into a nude photo. Thankfully, due to public outrage, the owner of DeepNude took down this app, and it is no more.
So now, Virginia fights ‘deepfake’ porn. Effective July 1, 2019, it is illegal to share these kinds of nude photos without the person’s permission or approval. This includes all kinds of nude photos, whether real or altered. Virginia had a tough stance of revenge porn since 2014. But because ‘deepfake’ porn was new, but rising at an alarming rates, it took a while before lawmakers caught on. But thank goodness they are. Other states, and nations are catching on. In New York, there are debating laws making this kind of revenge porn a crime. In other nations, like United Kingdom, are passing laws giving deepfake porn victims the right to sue.
So what do we do to combat the evil of deepfake porn? We’re already doing it. People are raising awareness and are letting people know such perverted behavior is not tolerated. Look at the righteous outrage that eventually took DeepNude down. That’s a huge start. I think we as a public need to keep the pressure on. Deepfake porn give IT support, and society in general, deep scars that may never be healed. What can you do to fight deepfake porn?
So you know I try to keep this blog all about tech. But this one may be or not be. In a way it is. Because if power goes off, then how will you use your tech devices? What’s going on with power outages?
So first, let’s talk about Target. It’s one of America’s largest retailers. . Saturday, at approximately 2pm Eastern Time, an power outage caused most target cash registers to stop working. That meant all shopping came to a complete standstill. This was on a Saturday afternoon, already a busy day. But this was the day before Fathers Day! They did get power back up by 5pm Eastern. However, the next day, many stores only took cash and gift cards. Target leaders say this was not a security breach, but an ‘internal technological issue’. That’s all they’re saying about it.
Then there was the massive power outage in South America. Last night, it left 40 million people in the dark over several nations. Argentina’s president said this power outage is unprecedented. Uruguay residents say they never saw anything like it. It wasn’t just lights out. IT services like social media and smartphones stopped. So did public transit systems. They had to stop food and water supplies. Even medical supplies were hindered. Thankfully, for the most part, they got power back on by the end of the day. However, investigations of a cause will take many days.
I wish I could tell you these were the only power outages in the world over the past weekend. But I can’t. Here in Boston, home of our computer repair headquarters, this happened to our subway systems, or as we call it, The T. My concern is that things like this will keep happening if we don’t hurry and do something. It could be by accident. Or worse, a hacker or foriegn enemy could cause a power outage. And look at the chaos they cause. So I ask again. What’s going on with power outages?
So by now, we all know about the Hong Kong crisis. We also know communist China wants to further impose their will on free Hong Kong. But this shouldn’t surprise anyone. China is neck deep in things like surveillance technology. Let’s look at China’s facial recognition problem.
Yet a new report exposed China’s government using more facial recognition on minority groups. It came out last week on Tech Crunch. They found a web browser without a password. Then, on that browser, they found hundreds of face images, most of them from ethnic minority groups. The data even uses labels to describe which race the person comes from. Then, human rights groups exposed how police use a smartphone app to spy on the Muslim Jighur population.
And this app captures everything; from car licence plates to where they shop. Not enough surveillance for you? Then more data exposed that two minority communities in Beijing were under constant surveillance watch. This data includes face recognition. And it’s enough to follow them everywhere they go. We also learn that Alibaba, China’s answer to Amazon, is the main host and maker of this tech. But when asked about this, they seem to dance around the issue.
Also, like the US, China is going through a great political and cultural divide. Their IT service issues is only going to add to that. And boy, do they have a lot. As far as this exposure, it can’t come at a more turbulent time. First you have the trade wars with the US, then add the Huawei controversy. If that’s not enough, then add the Hong Kong protests. And now, the exposure of China’s facial recognition problem. And it is a problem. First of all, this kind of intense surveillance is never a good thing. Then, when a nation adds unfair treatment like this, then it’s a recipe for outright disaster. What do you think?
So what if you had an opportunity to share a meal with multi-billionaire Warren Buffet. How much would you pay for that? Would it be $1,000, $10,000, $100,000? Lunch with Warrren Buffet. What’s your price?
So one man, crypto currency enthusiast Justin Sun, paid a whopping 4.57 million to lunch with Warren Buffet. But you don’t hear me though. That’s $4,570,000 (approximately)! But how did this happen? Justin Sun won an auction on Ebay. There were five bidders fighting for this honor. Furthermore, they put in a combined 18 bids. However, when the smoke cleared, Justin Sun won it..for this much. I should also point out every dollar of Sun’s bid goes to Buffet’s Glide Foundation. That’s a charity that aids to homeless and poor in San Francisco, especially the impoverished Tenderloin district.
So Sun can invite seven of his friends. They will dine with Buffet at Smith & Wollensky? in Manhattan, NYC. But there is one rule…they can’t talk about Buffet’s investments. However, I’d like to be a fly on the wall for this one. Because Justin Sun loves crypto currency. In fact, many in IT service and computer repair truly believe crypto currency will be the next big economic thing. Warren Buffet hates it. Nonetheless, Buffet says he is delighted to meet this young man. I wonder how happy Buffet will be if the topic turns into crypto currency.
Now some of you may look at this and say, “Who in the world would pay 4.57 million to eat with Warren Buffet, or anybody else?”. That’s my first reaction. Then I read about the Glide Foundation. For decades, they aided the poorest of the poor in one of America’s richest cities, San Francisco. This money will go to things like housing the homeless, job training and provision, and getting people off drugs and alcoholism. Buffet says this money will go to help thousands. I believe him and I hope so. In San Francisco right now, they need Glide Foundation more than ever. But if you won a lunch with Warren Buffet, what would you ask him?