License-Plate Tracking – Common Core Tests by a Yale Graduate – Under 30s Aren’t Starting Businesses

A year after firestorm, DHS wants access to license-plate tracking system

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking bids from companies able to provide law enforcement officials with access to a national license-plate tracking system — a year after canceling a similar solicitation over privacy issues.

How is it keeping information private? It won’t collect the data itself, it is seeking bids from companies that already gather the data to say how much they would charge to grant access to law enforcement officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a DHS agency. “If this goes forward, DHS will have warrantless access to location information going back at least five years about virtually every adult driver in the U.S., and sometimes to their image as well,” said Gregory T. Nojeim, senior counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology.

No More ‘Speeding’ For You!

Tomorrow, you may not be able to “speed” even if you wanted to.

Because your car will not allow you to.

The uber governor — Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter — will see to that.

It uses cameras and GPS mapping technology to keep track of the speed limit in real time — that is, as you drive — on whatever road you happen to be on at any given moment and — by dialing back the throttle — prevents the vehicle from exceeding it. Mash the pedal all you like. Resistance is futile.

What happens when a Yale grad takes the 8th grade Common Core exam?

More than half of the sample exam had essay questions listed after the fiction and non-fiction passages that make up the content of the test . I was pleased with the specificity of the essay question instructions. As opposed to the multiple choice responses, the essays allowed for detailed and specific answers.

In the hour and three minutes I had available to take the test, I scored 22 points out of 25, or 88 percent. And that was the score of a grownup who reads for a living. Compare that to a child knowing that a lot is riding on the exam.

Why Aren’t Young People Starting Businesses Anymore?

According to the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, the share of people under 35 who own a stake in private businesses has fallen from 10.2 percent in 1989 to 6.5 percent in 2013, the latest year data is available, and it is likely all the following reasons have played a part:

  • It has become more difficult to run a small business with various government entities pushing new regulations at entrepreneurs. Government regulations ranked as one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses in a recent survey of 1,000 small business owners.
  • Older people who have run businesses for years have learned to navigate the regulatory regime, but younger entrepreneurs struggle to jump through all the hoops required to start a business.
  • Would-be entrepreneurs are emerging from college with more debt than in the past, making it hard to get additional loans to start businesses.
  • Banks faced with higher costs and new regulations themselves are not willing to make as many small business loans as they did in the past.

Smartmeters Being Used by California Water Authorities To Use New Tool In Fight Against Water Wasters

“It collects the data every five minutes, then after midnight, the cellphone that’s built in here comes on, makes one call, and calls it in to the database that we and the customer, through a password security system, have online access to their consumption.”

Using this data, the town knew the precise moment to send his employees to videotape the infractions to use as evidence.

“We are using it specifically for an enforcement tool to go after those customers who we’ve gotten lots of complaints about,” Wattier said.

NYCLU releases details of EC Sheriff’s cell phone spying

Erie County Sheriff’s Office has been using taxpayer-funded cell phone spying equipment. The cell phone surveillance equipment is called the Stingray, which costs $350,000. It allows the sheriff’s office to track and record the location of a person through their cell phone.

Records show it has been used at least 47 times, but the sheriff’s office obtained a court order only once, even though the sheriff made statement to local media and the Erie County Legislature that each use of the device was subject to “judicial review.”

How Long to Nap for the Biggest Brain Benefits

For a quick boost of alertness, experts say a 10-to-20-minute power nap is adequate for getting back to work in a pinch.

For cognitive memory processing, however, a 60-minute nap may do more good, Dr. Mednick said. Including slow-wave sleep helps with remembering facts, places and faces. The downside: some grogginess upon waking.

Finally, the 90-minute nap will likely involve a full cycle of sleep, which aids creativity and emotional and procedural memory, such as learning how to ride a bike. Waking up after REM sleep usually means a minimal amount of sleep inertia, Dr. Mednick said.

Print Friendly

Anthem Hack Exposes Millions of Children – Show Notes March 21, 2015

Millions of Children Exposed to ID Theft Through Anthem Breach

anthemfacts_com“Every terrible outcome that can occur as the result of an identity theft will happen to the children who were on that database,” said Adam Levin, chairman and founder of IDentityTheft 911. “Criminals will use those stolen Social Security numbers to open accounts, get medical treatment, commit tax fraud, you name it.”

The Social Security number was never supposed to be used as a national identifier, but it’s become that. For an identity thief, that nine-digit number is the brass ring. It’s the skeleton key that unlocks your life.

A child’s number is even more valuable. Here’s why: For most minors, their number is pristine – it’s never been used and is not yet associated with a credit file. That means there’s very little chance that the credit reporting agencies are monitoring it.

So a criminal can take that stolen number, combine it with someone else’s name, address and birth date to create a fake ID – what fraud fighters call a “synthetic ID” – that can be used for all sorts of fraudulent purposes.

How to Tell Which iPhone Apps Are Killing Your Battery.

Apple’s newest iPhone software, iOS 8, has made it easy to tell which apps are literally sucking the life out of your battery.

How Your USB Cables Are About to Change Forever

USB-C is faster, smaller and more flexible and Apple is the first to use it.

The Life Extension Blog: Soda May Accelerate Aging

Researchers surveyed over 5,000 Americans between the ages of 20 to 65 years. They sampled healthy adults with no prior history of diabetes or heart disease. Soda Aged Cells by About Five Years. Telomeres, the end caps of DNA strands that serve as a marker for aging, were found to be shortened in people who drink just one can of soda a day.

Microsoft is killing off the Internet Explorer brand

While Microsoft has dropped hints that the Internet Explorer brand is going away, the software maker has now confirmed that it will use a new name for its upcoming browser successor, codenamed Project Spartan.

Microsoft has tried, unsuccessfully, to shake off the negative image of Internet Explorer over the past several years with a series of amusing campaigns mocking Internet Explorer 6. The ads didn’t improve the situation, and Microsoft’s former Internet Explorer chief left the company in December, signalling a new era for the browser.

The Next Windows Is Coming Way Sooner Than We Thought

The next generation of Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 10, will launch as early as this summer. Microsoft will take the unprecedented step of making the upgrade available for free, even to “non-genuine” Windows users, an oblique reference to pirated versions of the operating system.

GPS Jammers and Maritime Security Threats

Capt. Moskoff spoke of the danger of hostile actors using simple GPS-jamming devices, which are readily available from the Internet. Such “jammers” could “paralyze ship traffic and operations at U.S ports, and that would cause just one port an economic loss of $1 billion per day.”

Currently, North Korea is the world’s biggest jammer of GPS.

Print Friendly

Anthem Heath Care Hacked – What to do about it

anthemfacts_comI’m not going to say “I told you so,” but… the year of the medical hack has started, and it looks like it was the Russian Mob this time.

Current and previous Anthem health insurance customers woke Thursday morning to an e-mail from the company telling them hackers had gained access to the company’s computers and that their names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, addresses and employment data including income might have been stolen. The database that was hacked contained records for 80 Million People!

If you’ve ever had Anthem heath care insurance, contact them now. Don’t provide information to anyone who contacts you about the hack — could be other criminals trying to trick you into revealing your personal information to them as well.

To find out more, go to or call 877-263-7995

The company is still investigating exactly how many records were actually stolen but, “at this point we believe it was tens of millions,” said Cindy Wakefield, an Anthem spokeswoman.

Hackers could use stolen information to conduct “phishing” attacks on customers who unwittingly provide access to their companies’ networks. Government officials have been investigating whether foreign interests are using personal, financial or medical information as leverage to gain intelligence from people who want their information to stay private, according to the U.S. official.

Anthem “will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge so that those who have been affected can have peace of mind.”

Print Friendly

The Year of the Hospital Hack, Smartphones Changing Our Brains

The Lesson of the Sony Hack: We Should All Jump to the ‘Erasable

This month’s news provides yet another occasion for a friendly
public-service reminder to anyone who uses a digital device to say
anything to anyone, ever. Don’t do it. Don’t email, don’t text,
don’t update, don’t send photos.

At least, don’t do it if you have any expectation that what you say
will remain private — a sentiment that’s usually taken for granted
in human communication, but that we should all throw to the winds,
at least until we figure out a way to completely rethink how we
store and manage our digital data.

2015 Could Be the Year of the Hospital Hack. Health-care organizations often store medical records and other information

Medical organizations across the world are switching to electronic
medical records, and computer security is not always a high enough
priority during the process, says Leonard. Easy and fast access to
medical information often trumps security.

Smartphone use ‘changing our brains’

Our brains are adapting to touchscreen smartphone technology say
researchers who have carried out a study on human volunteers.

They found distinct differences between smartphone users and people
who used ‘conventional’ cellphones. Smartphone users had more
attuned fingers and thumbs, based on their EEG readings.

Study author Arko Ghosh, from the Institute of Neuroinformatics of
the University of Zurich, said: “I was really surprised by the
scale of the changes introduced by the use of smartphones.”

Socialism in Decline: France waves discreet goodbye to 75 percent

One adviser warned it was a Socialist step too far that would turn
France into “Cuba without sun”.

Hollande first floated the 75-percent super-tax on earnings over 1
million euros ($1.2 million) a year in his 2012 campaign to oust
his conservative rival Nicolas Sarkozy. It fired up left-wing
voters and helped him unseat the incumbent.

The Finance Ministry estimates the proceeds from the tax amounted
to 260 million euros in its first year and 160 million in the

Do you use online reviews? TripAdvisor Fined $610,000 in Italy for
Failing to Prevent Fake Reviews

The Italian authorities had investigated whether negative reviews
on the company’s site had been made by individuals who did not
visit the hotels and restaurants that they had rated, according to
a regulatory statement.

Print Friendly

Gift Giving and Northeast Delta Dental

There_Are_No_Do-Overs__The_Big_Red_Factors_For_Sustaining_a_Business_Long_Term_eBook__Tom_Raffio__Barbara_McLaughlin__Dave_Cowens__Kindle_StoreLooking for Christmas Gifts? We’ve got a gift giving expert on the show today, and a CEO/Author whose book can help you build your business or become a better manager.

Thomas Raffio is President and CEO of Northeast Delta Dental. He has been able to grow the organization to the point where they’re providing dental coverage for more than 770,000 people throughout New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

His latest book, “There Are No Do-Overs: The Big Red Factors for Sustaining a Business Long-Term” goes into some of the management strategies used at Delta Dental and also ties it into professional sports coaching and life. A great book that I’ve already dog-eared (Ok, so I Kindle-eared it :-) Anyone in management, from Entrepreneurs to the mail room and call cKatie_Linendollenter, will find this book a useful and quick read.

Katie Linendoll’s 2014 Gift Guide can be found right here. You can visit her web site to keep up-to-date on all kinds of technology and gifts here.

Print Friendly