[Following is an automated transcript of Week 1115 podcast aired 2021-05-29]
Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] We’ve got these semiconductor shortages. What that means is various types of chips are just not available and it’s been hurting us all the way across our economy. And that’s where we’re going to start the day with today. Semiconductors.
[00:00:15] Man, this has been so bad, these semiconductor shortages, because what it means is we just cannot get the types of devices that we want because those raw components just aren’t available. I was talking with a gentleman earlier this week and he was telling me how he has a special little app that tells him when there is a Sony PS five available for sale anywhere online.
[00:00:45] It’s gotten that bad. First of all, Why does he want a PS five so bad? I’ve never owned one or an X-Box or any of those gaming consoles? Since the original Nintendo, we had a we as well. Cause we had all the exercise stuff that went along with the week. But anyways, that’s a different story entirely.
[00:01:04] I’m sure a lot of you guys play a lot of video games, but. There really are not Sony available. And we’re finding much the same problem in even the car industry where some of these major manufacturers here in the U S have had to shut down lines. They’ve had, gone from three shifts down to a single shift every day.
[00:01:30] And in some cases it’s gotten even worse where vehicle manufacturers are only. Making vehicles of few times a week. It is incredible. What’s been happening and there a number of reasons for it. This isn’t just one reason, but it does bring up the real problem we could have with our critical infrastructure.
[00:01:53] How critical is it that we have computers that can run our businesses, drive our cars, and fly our airplanes. I think it’s pretty darn critical when you get right down to it. Yeah. You can probably get an extra year out of that computer, if you really need to many times that computer’s just plain broken, you just can’t use it.
[00:02:15] So you do need to replace it. But in reality, we’ve gotten a little bit soft. We are not making most of the chips here in the U S anymore. Yes, it’s us technology. But most of this is in Southeast Asia, particularly in Taiwan. And do you remember what’s happening with Taiwan with the threats from China?
[00:02:38] China is flying over Taiwan right now with military jets in Taiwanese air space, because China has never officially recognized that Taiwan is independent from the people’s Republic of China. And do you know how socialists are? They’re just going to go ahead and take that land. What would happen if they did.
[00:03:00] Remember China really wants to get their hands on our top chip technology because that helps them in the military. It helps them with all of these facial recognition systems they have in China, the social credit systems that they have in China, by the way, all built primarily by us companies and sold to China to track their people.
[00:03:23] Including the nasty things have been happening with the Wiggers over there. It’s just absolutely incredible as well as Christian communities and others in China. So all of this tech has stuff they want to get their hands on. If they were to invade Taiwan, what would happen? The Biden administration.
[00:03:40] There they’ve been a little soft on this. Unlike president Trump, who said, yeah, the Trump administration, we’re not going to tolerate any of this. And the Trump administration shipped all kinds of military systems to Taiwan, so they could potentially defend themselves because we don’t really want to get drawn into a hot war, but.
[00:04:00] Oh, if they had taken over Taiwan, they would now have access to the U S technology on chip making. Now let me explain what that means from a technology standpoint, the chips that we have are. into a wafer of silicone. I’m going to try and keep this pretty simple. And then, and that silicone is grown. Cause you think of a crystal or maybe think of a still-life tight or it’s like titers to leg might that you’d find in a cave.
[00:04:34] Those crystals are grown. They’re humanly grown, and obviously you don’t want any defects in them. So it’s very hard to do to grow them. And we need those crystals for all kinds of things, including these solar panels that some people are so hot to trot about. I, Hey, I love the idea. Don’t get me wrong.
[00:04:52] It’s just right now, again, with solar panels, like so many other things, don’t think you’re green because you. Are or putting up solar panels. You’re not right. There’s certainly other advantages to it, but you’re not being green by doing that. But what really matters is how much power does that chip use in order to do a certain number of computations?
[00:05:17] And how much heat is given off by the chip. Think again about the old Edison light bulbs that we’ve had and still have in some places and those Edison light bulbs, by the way, one of the original ones still burning in New York city and the fire department after over a hundred years, that one light bulb just incredible.
[00:05:37] But think about that Edison light bulb, it gives off light. Sure. But it also gives off heat. And the same thing is true with. Anything electronic the movement of the electricity through that conductor or semiconductor create heat. Heat is a waste. That’s part of the problem with Edison bulbs. It’d be one thing if they were giving off just straight light, the, but so much of that energy is used to generate heat that we don’t want.
[00:06:06] And then we have to dissipate that heat somehow, but that’s another story. The same thing is true. When we’re talking about these chips, the chips have a resistance to them. In fact, that’s what a semiconductor does. It provide some resistance, so that resistance is going to. Do what create heat. So you feel your laptop when you’re running it and so hot to get over time, the laptops have gotten faster and have actually created less heat, certainly poorer computational unit.
[00:06:44] They created a lot less heat. What we’re looking at now is if we can make these chips even smaller. We can decrease the amount of electricity they need, because it doesn’t have electricity. It doesn’t have to flow as far through the conductors or semiconductors inside these chips. So that’s what the race has been over the years.
[00:07:09] The race has been how small can we make them? And by making them smaller, You’re doing a couple of things. You’re making them faster because electricity has to travel less distance. Even though electricity is really fast. When you’re talking about a billion transistors inside one of these chips or more, you are traveling through a whole lot of conductor and semiconductor.
[00:07:32] So you can make that chip faster by making it smaller and you can reduce the amount of power it needs, because you’re not going to be giving off as much power via heat and heat generation. And that’s important for everything, but particularly important for our mobile devices. Look at your apple watch or your iPhone or your laptop or your desktop.
[00:07:56] All of them need to consume less and less electricity as time goes on. So what we’re talking about now are just teeny tiny measurement. We’re talking about nanometers. So if you go online, you look up nano meter. Which is a foul. Yeah, there you go. 10 to the negative nine meters. It’s a billionth of a meter.
[00:08:21] Isn’t that something looking it up right now, sell it a 1E-9.000000000. Give or take, and it’s a unit of measurement that is being used now in chips and chip designs. And we’re seeing these faster and faster chips getting down into the five nanometer process that is incredibly small, incredibly.
[00:08:49] Fast potentially, but likely incredibly fast and uses a lot less electricity right now. We’re seeing seven nanometers out of Taiwan and we’re working on five nanometer, but we have such a shortage of chips right now that they’re bringing some of these old 15 nanometer. Chip fabs online, even 22 nanometer.
[00:09:14] I’m looking right now online at some of these old chip fabricators that are being brought online and China really wants to get their hands on some of this technology, because at this point anyways, they really can’t get to the seven nanoliter chips. China right now. I think is pretty much limited to 14 nanometer.
[00:09:39] So we’re still, I had in that race, but because they’re being made in Taiwan, these chips that we’re using here in the us using us technology, and because we had the lockdown in Taiwan and pretty much worldwide, the whole supply chain got interrupted and these big car manufacturers just. Shut off the orders.
[00:10:01] So there’s no reason for the manufacturers to continue to make these things are a little reason for them to make them for the car industry in the current street, he thought we can just turn it back on and we’ll have the chips. And of course they didn’t, but it’s also been compounded by the conditions in Taiwan right now.
[00:10:19] Because the Taiwanese centers for disease control this week raised it’s epidemic warning level and is strengthening their containment measures and making things even worse. Taiwan is in the midst of a severe drought. So they are. Rationing water in Taiwan. They’re looking at cutoffs of two days a week.
[00:10:42] And water reduction plans are expected to decrease supply to all major manufacturers by as much as 15%. So there you go. In a nutshell, that’s why we care. Nanometers and we’re talking about chips. That’s why we need to start making them back here in the U S. And the good news, apple and others are doing exactly that.
[00:11:03] Starting to bring some of this technology back from Taiwan, into the U S and I think that’s going to help keep us safer in the long run
[00:11:12]All electric vehicles are I think very cool. And some people give me a hard time because I am not a fan of it.
[00:11:20] If you think you’re being green, because you’re not. And I went through the whole science behind that the life cycle of an electric vehicle is much more. Dangerous and hazardous and polluting in the environment. Then even a diesel truck is just to give you an idea of small truck. So that’s, let’s put that aside, but in reality, these things I think are potentially the future.
[00:11:50] Now there’s a lot of things we’ve got to take care of, for instance. Our electric grid is not set up for electric cars. Our electric grid is not set up for us to have windmills in our backyard or to have solar panels on our roofs. It’s set up to have a main power station of some sort, whether it’s nuclear, which by the way is green or whether it might be.
[00:12:17] Be coal or natural gas or wood or trash. That’s what the grid is set up for. So we have some problems there and there’s another big problem. And that has to do with how much power one of these vehicles can hold, because I don’t know about you, but having a, what is it? The brand new car that came out a Fiat or somebody and his electric vehicle and its range is 78 miles.
[00:12:46]In some places that might be okay, but progress. The problem is I’ll write, let’s say I’ll put up with stopping every hour to recharge these cars, unless it’s a rapid recharger, you’re going to be there for an hour and a half or more. And even with the rapid recharger, you’re going to be there for a least 20 minutes.
[00:13:07] Now Tesla had some innovative ideas on how to deal with that. Like the, I don’t know if you ever saw it a battery pack, so you’d pull into the station and it would just trade battery packs for you. The idea was it’s right in the center. GM has this concept of the roller skate, where the entire car really is built into this frame.
[00:13:29] That kind of looks like roller skate. And then on top of that, Goes your car and there’s some thinking maybe we can make it so that you can just swap out your rollerskate. Make it nice and simple and hopefully relatively inexpensive, but we still don’t see the range on the vehicles. And as of yet, we haven’t seen any huge forays by any of the big auto makers.
[00:13:54] Of course, Nissan had it to leaf, which. Pretty well accepted GM had their entry. And I chuckled because it was in a lot of ways. It was a joke. And of course they’re up with better stuff here in the future, but I want to play a little bit here. I’m going to play about 25 seconds worth of an ad.
[00:14:12] And then we’re going to talk about it a bit.
[00:14:16] Unknown: [00:14:16] It’s got a targeted 775 pound feet of torque. It’s targeted to go from zero to 60 in the mid four second range. It’s a driving experience. That’s pure unfiltered exhilaration from the moment you hit the accelerator. Oh, and it’s an F-150 introducing the all electric F-150
[00:14:40] Craig Peterson: [00:14:40] lightning.
[00:14:41] So you noticed there were no mentions in there of no birds were harmed in January generating electricity here. And of course, a little tongue in cheek because of course birds are harmed in generate electricity, particularly windmill, but anyways, they’re not going for the eco greeny. They’re not going for the Prius driver.
[00:15:01] You remember the stats on the Prius where they surveyed the drivers of Prius’s. This was probably five. Maybe a little more years ago. And the number one reason they found people drove a Prius. 70% of the time in fact, was they drove a Prius because of what they thought other people would think of them.
[00:15:23] So there they are driving this car that they’re driving it for one reason, because they, I think it’s going to make other people think that they’re just fantastic people. I obviously I disagree with that. I think that’s little bit of a problem, but what is what they’re doing here with that Ford commercial is they are working on mainstreaming.
[00:15:46] Yes. Electric vehicles. Can you imagine this a 700 plus foot point foot pound torque in a sub $40,000 truck? It’s just amazing. And you can even use the batteries that are in this truck. Of course, there’s a lot of batteries in that truck to run power tools while you’re out at a work site. Which I think is a great idea.
[00:16:12] And you can even use it to power your house. They have a special adapter you can use to hook up to your house so that you can get up to three days. They say of electricity in your house. If the power goes out, No mention in here of, any of these greeny things, right? Oh, none of oases talking points are in that ad.
[00:16:37] At least I didn’t hear him on, did you guys hear them, but this is going to be amazing. This of course is Ford’s best-selling vehicle, the F-150 and I drove one for years. It was very handy with the horses and chickens and everything here. And I’m looking forward to this thing coming out. I don’t think I’m going to buy one, by the way.
[00:16:58] They’ve also got this Mustang mark II, which is this electric Mustang thingy. And then they have an electric transit van. And the reason I don’t think I’m going to buy one is it just doesn’t have the range. Now you can get better equipped lightening trucks in that sub $40,000 one. You can also go ahead and get bigger batteries.
[00:17:22] You can do a whole bunch of things, but this range is a combined output here, a 426 horsepower estimated range of 230 miles. And the extended range of this F-150 lightning is going to get an even. Bigger horsepower rating, 563 horsepower and an estimated range of 300 miles. And 775 foot pounds of torque, which is just stump polling.
[00:17:56] It’s absolutely amazing. So I don’t know about you. I’m not in the mode for pain, 60 ish grand for an electric truck that is only going to take me 230 miles. That, but maybe that’s me. And then looking further into the stats on this thing, it can do a bunch of towing. It can have a 77, a hundred pounds of towing.
[00:18:22] You can get Reduce cargo, excuse me, reduce cargo course. If you’re getting the bigger battery and looking at an illustration of the F-150 lightening, what they’re doing is similar to what GM had proposed way back with the roller skate. The entire drive train is underneath the truck. And it’s just like an old frame.
[00:18:44] You remember, trucks used to have frames now? The F-150 is, I think still do have frames underneath, but the whole bottom of the truck is one piece. If you will, obviously there’s little pieces to it, but one major component and then the cab and bed and everything else just sits right on top of it.
[00:19:03] It’s amazing. Now with this truck, if you connected to 150 kilowatt fast charger, you’re going to get 41 miles in 10 minutes. So how long does it take you fill up with gas? Probably about 10 minutes. How long is it good for? It was my car 400, 500 miles in this case that 10 minute stop. At the fuel station is going to get you 41 miles.
[00:19:29] And if you can find the, just the 50 kilowatt fast charger, it’s going to take you 91 minutes to get 41 miles of range. It’s not there yet, but it’s very obvious that Ford is aiming for the truck driver. And more particularly if I was a construction guy and I was taking my truck out and I needed to plug in tools and I don’t have to drive very far.
[00:19:56] I look seriously at that new F-150 lightning.
[00:20:00]President Biden . I’ve got an article in my newsletter this week about what he’s been doing when it comes to the hackers, China, is it Russia? What’s going on? He’s been blaming. It looks like. Russia for some of the hacks that China has actually been carrying out, but no matter what the bottom line is, we are getting hacked and this is a very big problem.
[00:20:28] We have to modernize our technology strategy. Because this ideological divide between these authoritan or authoritarians, whether it’s a dictatorship like the socialists have in China, where you have chairman Mao, who is chairman for life now, or Putin. President Putin, who is president for life over in Russia.
[00:20:53]It’s absolutely amazing. They are coming after us. And so is North Korea, of course, again, socialist dictator for life over there as well, Iran not so socialist, but a very fascist in many ways, which is typically a form of socialism anyways. We need to be able to protect ourselves. It’s a real problem, frankly.
[00:21:18] 1947 world war two was over and George Kennan, R yeah. Kennan introduced this concept of containment and that containment concept was used throughout the entire cold war. And of course you probably know what that is. At least, excuse me. I hope you do. But today we don’t have that cold war anymore.
[00:21:45] What is it that we have? Why would China be attacking this? We know, for instance, a China comes after our intellectual property and they w they come after it because it helps them militarily. If they know what we’re doing, what we’re ordering. What’s going on that we know they come after us as well, because they want to cause some havoc.
[00:22:11] There’s no question about that. Some of these other smaller countries come after us because they need the hard currency. Ultimately they want to trade in those Bitcoin for us dollars, which of course can be spent here. But. This whole system that we have right now is really on the brink of a new economy.
[00:22:34] Look at the technology we’ve been using. Look at the number of people that have been working from home. We’re sitting on the edge of three simultaneous bubbles. Right now we have the housing bubble. We have the stock market bubble and we have the cryptocurrency bubble and we’ve seen downs in all of those just over the last week or so.
[00:22:56]We’ll see what happens, but there’s no denying that they’re bubbles are home values adjusted for inflation, have not been higher than the last 100 years as an example. So there’s a lot for us to look at. And when these bad guys are under the same types of financial pressures we are under, because, collapses tend to be worldwide.
[00:23:21] What are they going to do? What’s ultimately going to happen? Here is what president Biden thinks should happen with these two executive orders that came out really It, it has to do with federal government supply chains. And that is people who obviously are selling to the feds. And I want you to think mostly about department of defense here, and we deal with the department of defense contractors and tightening them up.
[00:23:50] But in getting them to the point they should be at. And there’s a lot to be concerned about it from that standpoint, but they have been releasing some details over the last few months, really. They started in April this year, and they’re saying that because of the supply chain problem that we had with solar winds, they are now.
[00:24:15] Pushing out some rules that require the people who sell to the federal government to keep a certain level of cybersecurity. We’ve talked a little bit before about CMMC, which is. Again, it’s a cyber security maturity model that’s out there and they are requiring certain federal contractors to meet that.
[00:24:40] We’ve also talked about some of the NIST standards, which is the national Institute of science and technology. In fact, we talked about their password standard and how a year and a half or so ago, they changed the way we need to do passwords. And if you don’t know what that is, have a look at my. A special report on passwords.
[00:25:02] And I go through that in some detail, but there’s an executive order on American supply chains that came out in February and it’s leaning pretty heavily on these newer emerging technologies, including secure access to semiconductors. And we talked about them earlier in the show today, the high capacity batteries.
[00:25:24] Because again, if we’re not innovating. In the, you name it. But in end in the automotive field, we’re going to fall behind what’s important automotive. We just talked about it. Last segment here. Batteries. So it’s covering batteries and materials that are used to create them. So they both of these orders address the need for us to really work closely together with our allies economically, as well as national security.
[00:25:55] But that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Isn’t it? What it really boils down to in my mind is democracy versus authoritarianism. It was so funny that they called president Trump and authoritarian a decade, her right. He was liking to Hitler constantly. I thought if you brought him up, you automatically lost the argument.
[00:26:18] But in reality, now we’re seeing more of a hands-on from the federal government more authoritarianism. And I got a question whether or not that’s what we really want. Do we need a digital politic. This guiding doctrine, that places digital considerations at the forefront of our national strategy. Is this something that should be handled by the state or the businesses involved?
[00:26:47]We’ve seen all kinds of mixed. Pros and cons to each one of those strategies over the years, we know government controls, centralized government control, ultimately causes serious problems serious as in the deaths of over a hundred million people in the last century alone. So I’m not sure that’s the best idea.
[00:27:09] And I have to say work. I With defense contractors, even not really a defense contractor, someone that makes something that’s sold to a defense contractor. Having a one size fits all cybersecurity policy, a cybersecurity czar, and these executive orders pushing everything down does not make sense. It doesn’t make sense for a real small company that makes a wiring harness to have to meet the same.
[00:27:38]Cyber security requirements as a big BAE systems, they don’t have the time. They don’t have the money. It can cost a million dollars over the course of three years for even a small company to meet these federal standards that are required. If you take a contract from the federal government or from one of these contractors.
[00:28:04] So you are a subcontractor, all of those requirements that are put on that huge military contractor, all of those requirements get pushed down to you. So this just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I’m very concerned about it. There’s a bipartisan bill. That’s moving right now called the democracy technology partnership act.
[00:28:26] And they’re trying to get some collaboration and innovation amongst democracies. I think it’s good now that there are rules in place that have changed, that allows competitors to talk with each other when it comes to cyber security.
[00:28:43]Internet Explorer was Microsoft’s first major foray into the internet browsing world internet browsing didn’t really take off until almost the mid nineties. And it was really cool. I remember when I first started using. Web browsing and websites and building them with NCSA mosaic. Oh my gosh. Those were the days heady days back then.
[00:29:09] And we were just thinking about everything that could happen, how great it would be. And there were no hackers to speak of online. You didn’t have to worry about drive by downloads or so many of the other problems that we have today. And Microsoft took that NCSA mosaic browser code base and created something.
[00:29:33] They called internet Explorer. Now the history of internet Explorer, frankly. Is rather interesting when you get right down to it. Internet Explorer. Yeah. It’s been around for a long time, but in genetics, Explorer was one of the worst browsers out there for a very long time. It was just terrible.
[00:29:57] And one of the things that Microsoft did that really got. With the whole internet community upset with them is they built it right into their operating system. Absolutely. They used the code here from again, mosaic, which was this early commercial web browser back in 2003. It, the whole project started in 1994.
[00:30:25]I’m looking right now, Wikipedia. I remember these things happening. It’s just nuts to think about how far it’s gone, but they took internet Explorer and they bolted it into the operating system. So the operating system now supposedly was dependent on internet Explorer. Now it’s an interesting concept to think about if all they have to do is maintain a user interface.
[00:30:51] That’s web based for the operating system. That’s really cool. Microsoft internet Explorer is some 5 million lines of code that is a lot of programming to maintain. And then on top of that, of course you have all of the user interface code that’s sitting there in the operating system. So I think this is my suspicion.
[00:31:12] What Microsoft is trying to do is make their life a little bit easier. But by doing that by hard wiring in internet Explorer, into the operating system, they ended up making it so that other companies like the Firefox guys, Mozilla, they could not run independently on inch, on a windows. And a third party, like Dell could not decide, Hey, I don’t want to use internet Explorer because Google’s paying me to install Google Chrome.
[00:31:43] So I want to put Chrome on windows. So you just couldn’t do any of that. So they got a whole bunch of flack. The industry came after them and because of that, so did the department of justice. And the United States versus Microsoft case, very fundamental. And it was absolutely, it was essential, I think because Microsoft never would have done anything about this, but they developed Microsoft this thing called ActiveX technology, which is a security nightmare and remains one to this very day where you could effectively as a website.
[00:32:25] Tell the internet Explorer to do almost anything you wanted to do. And there were bugs after bugs. I don’t have a count. It might be interesting to see what the actual count would be, but it was, it had to be in the thousands of bugs that were fixed security bugs that were fixed and internet Explorer because of active X and because of some of these other things.
[00:32:48] So it’s just been absolutely terrible. One of the questions I get asked most often to this day. What do we do when we don’t want to use internet Explorer or more commonly, what is the best browser to use while I’m online? And the answer to that kind of varies. It depends, right? That’s the answer, but as a general rule using Firefox is a good idea.
[00:33:20] Now, one of the things I like about Firefox for an individual or for a, an extremely small business, like a small office home office, where you’re not tying into a corporate network at all. One of the things that’s really good is Firefox. Uses a version of DNS, which is the main name, service. It’s what your computer uses in order to find websites online, Firefox uses a version of DNS that is.
[00:33:50] Encrypted and protected so that your internet service provider cannot see the website names you’re looking up and cannot intercept it. And that’s the bigger thing. You don’t want it to be intercepted because one of the major hacks, and this is affected millions of people. Homed and businesses.
[00:34:10] One of the major hacks is let’s just go in. We can hack the router and then we’ll change the router DNS settings so that it uses our DNS and our DNS by the way is great because it redirects you. If you think you want to go to bank of America, it takes you to bank of America dot China. Okay. A fake site, not a real site.
[00:34:31] And you may not even know. You may not even be able to tell unless you look really closely. So that is a big plus for Firefox as well as it has all kinds of anti-trafficking technology. Anti-malware technology built right in, they’ve just done a bang up job. The reason I do not like it for bigger businesses is that same.
[00:34:54] Feature that DNS feature because what we do when we go into a business, and one of the things we do is we change their DNS servers to use some commercial DNS servers that we have from Cisco that get updated minute by minute for the sole purpose of trying to stop the bad guys. And they’re very good at it.
[00:35:16] It stopped being ransomware just by DNS. If you’re using Firefox inside one of these networks, the problem is Firefox is going to try and hide the DNS request. So it was not so much as I care that they’re being hidden, except that might be going to a malicious site. It said, I can’t see any of them.
[00:35:36] And I cannot tell your web browser or your computer not to go to that website because that particular site or that particular internet server is actually malicious. So there’s the two sides for Firefox. So if you’re a regular little home user, get Firefox, it’s free. It’s a great little browser. If you are a business, you can still use Firefox with things like Cisco’s umbrella.
[00:36:04] But what you need to do is turn off the DNS over HTTPS or TLS in which gets a little advanced. You can probably find it. If you’d duck, duck, go search it online. And that’ll get you the answers you need. So turn that off so that all of your DNS requests are going through the filter, whatever it might be.
[00:36:24] A Barracuda has a DNS filter. I don’t like Barracuda. Don’t think I’m endorsing them, but it’s better to use the Barracuda DNS filter. If that’s all you have, then nothing. Let me tell ya. And then there are also free DNS servers that are going to be fantastic for you to check them out. I talked about them this last week.
[00:36:44] I got a lot of emails, open dns.com open ope, N D N S the letters, DNS domain name service, or. Dynamic name server or whatever you want. How are you going to remember it? Open dns.com and there it’s easy enough. You just set it up on your ad drought or, and you’re off and running. So that’s my general favorite.
[00:37:10] If you want something that’s more secure, you can take a look at our friend, the epic browser, epi C. It has been very good in the past, and I assume it’s going to continue to be pretty good in the future. Microsoft’s newest ed edge browser. I think there’s been three different browsers. They call ed just under what Microsoft, they call them all the same thing, even though it’s entirely different code basis. And what were there? Seven different versions of windows that were entirely different? I was just, ah, drives me crazy. The current version of the edge browser from Microsoft is based on Google’s Chrome browser. So keep that in mind, if you’re using edge, Microsoft is looking over your shoulder.
[00:37:55] Google may be looking over your shoulder as well. A little bit. The edge browser also uses Google chromium base, but they’ve gone through and Labatt itemized it pretty seriously. If you’re on a Mac, you can even do this on a windows computer. The fastest browser, generally speaking is safari, which is an apple product and it’s available for free S a F a R.
[00:38:18] I. And it also like most apple products doesn’t like you being tracked. And so it has a lot of anti-trafficking stuff. Built-in. And it also not this too. The safari browser has a whole bunch of anti-malware stuff built in. So whether you’re using iOS on your iPhone or I panned or Mac iOS or windows, you can get safari.
[00:38:46] And I had recommended that. So Fari frankly, is the browser I use for a little bit more secure stuff. And then I also use opera, the opera O P E R a browser. You might want to have a look at it as well, but if you’re looking for ease of use and compatibility, I think you’re probably about right. Sticking with the Firefox browser.
[00:39:09] I do use that. So I actually use all of these browsers in different circumstances. I also use the brave browser and others. I just don’t want to confuse you guys. Firefox stick with Firefox and you’re probably going to be pretty well off on rare occasions. Firefox is not going to work for you. And in that case, you might consider a Google Chrome or the edge browser.
[00:39:34] If you’re using a cloud-based to service a website that is obviously a website for something you’re doing. And it does not work with Firefox. It might not even work with the default on the Microsoft edge browser. And that’s because that website might’ve been poorly coded, had not written right. And requires the old Microsoft engineer Explorer.
[00:40:04] If so you can turn on compatibility mode so that the edge browser will act just like the insecure bug ridden internet Explorer, but try and force the vendor to upgrade their site so that it works with modern browsers rather than having to stick with that old piece of software. That’s dangerous as can be internet Explorer.
[00:40:29]I have always been fascinated by it ever since I saw people who were communicating, using computers and it, I always thought it just. It would be so wonderful if we could help people out, particularly people who are locked in who have a brain that’s functioning fully, and yet their body isn’t cooperating, they can’t communicate, or they can’t communicate well.
[00:40:54] And of course, that comes to mind. Of course, one of the greatest scientific minds of our generation, Stephen Hawkins, who was in a wheelchair, he was unable to move. And later in life, other than just a little bit with his face and mouth, and he used that to communicate. And it’s just an incredible thing. I can’t imagine being in a position like that.
[00:41:19] So when I see these technological advances that help people out, even in a minor way, I am just overjoyed, really overjoyed. So we’ve got to, I want to talk about right now. One is a brain implant that ARS Technica is John Timmer was talking about here about a week ago. And he was talking about robotic arms.
[00:41:42] Now you might’ve seen them before. There’s various types of robotic arms and they have different types of functionality depending. Right. Well, one of the problems that we’ve had with robotic arms is how much force can you put on them? I, again, I remember the first time I saw someone who had lost, uh, the forearm and of course the hand and he had on one of those kind of captain hook things, appliances with a rubber band on it to close it.
[00:42:13] And he was able to pull one of the muscles in his arms in order to open it and close it. I thought, well, that’s really cool. Those have advanced now, and there are projects with 3d printers. I forget the name of the company. I had them on my radio show. Maybe a decade ago now been awhile and they were selling 3d printers.
[00:42:34] And when you bought their printer, they would give you the plans to make a specific artificial prosthesis for. Child that couldn’t afford one. So it might be for a leg or an arm or so I guess something else. And you bought the printer, they would provide you with the material that you needed as well as the design specifically for that person.
[00:43:01] And that you could print it up. It might take a couple of days and you ship it off. And many of these kids were in Africa. There are some here in the us, and of course in Russia, and this was, I thought an amazing project. It was just so cool again, because they’re helping these kids get a little bit of mobility.
[00:43:21] Then we came out with some of these robotic arms that can be controlled through your brain. I don’t know if you’ve seen these. Arms, there’s been also some major advancement in just thinking about moving a cursor on a computer screen and the computer can track your brain enough to be able to move that cursor around.
[00:43:46] And basically what you’re doing is you’ve lost a limb or you’ve lost mobility. You think about moving your hand or a leg, and usually it’s your arm and your hand. And that can be picked up. Of course, that’s per person, that’s programmable per person. Then they figure out what the pattern is in your brain.
[00:44:06] And then they tie it all in so that now you can control a cursor on a computer, which means you can communicate. Robotic arms a little bit different because what you have now is something that can reach out. These things have all of the joint and the flexibility and functionality of a regular hand, except for.
[00:44:30] The feedback loop and that’s been really important. How do you know if you are actually touching something? How do you know if you’re squeezing it too hard? Like that egg and early robotic arms? It was very visual. So you watch that arm and you’d see, okay. It now has a grip on that ball or that pencil or whatever you pick it up and you all visual.
[00:44:58] And so you’re able to pick it up and you know that you’ve got it. Maybe you don’t know how hard you’re holding it, but that’s okay. You had to track the arm visually as you moved it around and estimate really when you had that grip, that was strong enough on the object by looking at it. And obviously that’s just an incredible improvement over a missing limb or potentially paralysis, but it’s not very intuitive.
[00:45:25] And the question is how do you make things intuitive for the brain when they’re obviously foreign? We’re going to talk about an extra thumb here in a minute too, but this is just absolutely phenomenal. It’s called propyl. Yeah. Prope re O ception proprioception. And it’s a sense that we have, this has been difficult to reconstruct that ties the sense of touch and pressure and.
[00:45:55] Knowing where something is. So you can close your eyes. And on the side of the road, when the police offers is there and close your eyes, hold your arm out and touch your nose. Right. Hopefully you can do that. I’m doing that right now, here in the studio. I’m touching my notes with my eyes closed with my arm, starting out fully extended.
[00:46:16] That’s the sense we’re talking about. That’s very, very difficult. How do you build that in? Because we’ve been able to build in a little bit of sense of touch feedback for these arms, a little bit of pressure feedback, but we haven’t been able to really understand how the brain processes, all this information that’s sent by these sensory nerve cells in the hand, in order to let you know where it is.
[00:46:42] And what it’s doing. So for this new research at team and planted two electrode arrays into the part of the brain that specifically handles information coming from the skin, and they’re able to activate these electrode and produce the sensation of something, interacting with the Palm of the hand, as well as the finger.
[00:47:04] So they’ve made a whole lot of progress here, and this is very cool. They were able to tie it into a robotic arm. They got a study together, got some funding for it. And they got a participant who had been paralyzed from the neck down. And this doesn’t save as male or female, but. Default gender right in English.
[00:47:29] As he sold, say, he’d been controlling this robotic arm for about two years by using brain implant in the motor control region of the brain. And he could successfully use the arm even without sensation. He’d gotten pretty good at it. Uh, so for these experiments, they had some different tests because they wanted additional, tactile feedback.
[00:47:53] They wanted to be able to somehow tie into this perception that your body has, of where your body parts are. Have you ever tried to tickle yourself? Usually it doesn’t work. Right. But a third person or a second person tickling you may, it’s definitely going to work. That’s all party, these same systems. So they come up with a whole bunch of tests.
[00:48:16] I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on the tests, but they did say that having a sense of. Touch and the ability to understand where that arm and hand were in space, dramatically improve performance. And that makes sense. Hold on a sense to me, it w it really increased or decreased actually the time it took to pick up something to move something, to drop it in every case.
[00:48:43] So. I am pretty darn excited about this, and I hope it’s going to be able to help a lot of people very, very soon. This is the university of Pittsburgh medical center, by the way, that’s been conducting these experiments. Now there’s another one I want to talk about. And I thought this was really cool. I saw this about a couple of weeks ago.
[00:49:02] I think it was, and this is a robotic extra thumb. What they did is they placed a robotic thumb on a hand underneath the little finger. So if you’re looking at your hand right now, I got my left hand out in front of me. I’ve got my thumb here on the far left side. I’ve got my four fingers pointing up and on the right hand side opposite where your real thumb is, they put.
[00:49:30] An extra thumb, like a robotic thumb that can, can bend up and down and a little other lateral movements. This study, I think was phenomenal. And there were 36 people that were part of the experiment. This was at Danielle Clode, university, college, London, and her colleagues. Uh, and it’s, it’s phenomenal. So when we get back, I’m going to play a little bit of audio.
[00:49:57] That is from a story over there in the UK about this. I’m going to tell you a little bit more about this thumb and the. Impact to the hat on the brain. One of the things I think it was fascinating to me anyways, was it did change the brain in unexpected ways, basically the brains of these people. And this was determined by cat scans and watching the activity when they were moving their hand, the brains were changed.
[00:50:27] Two, if you will, uh, look at the hands and as more of a single unit than individual units. I thought that was really fascinating and that extra thumb became part of the brains understanding of the hand. So this is the kind of thing we can be looking forward to. Now, this one is it’s kind of cool. It’s kind of fun.
[00:50:53] We’re going to find a lot of different uses for, and it’s part of what’s fun is what they did in the experiments. So we’ll talk about that as well. Hey, I want to point out if you have questions about cyber security, I might have the answers for you and you’ll get those answers in the form of some stuff.
[00:51:13] Special reports. I wrote, if you subscribed to my email list, just go to Craig peterson.com/subscribe, and I’ll make sure I send them all to you and get you on the right track.
[00:51:25]this is augmenting a human and I think this is the future. We are going to be augmented. And how many movies have been made about that movies where they’re saying model? Yeah, we’ll just tie basically Google into your brain and have Google site into your brain.
[00:51:41] That have as a thought. And you’ll get a response from Google, which I think is scary. Look at Google now and how they’re tracking you. Imagine if they get a copy of every one of your thoughts, but things like this that make us super human. I think are going to become more mainstream. So Google, for instance, had the Google glass, you might remember that these glasses type things that you wore, Apple’s done some work on something similar.
[00:52:11] And the idea is they can project in front of you an artificial reality. Maybe that our official reality is just telling you to turn left, to get to grandma’s house or where the best food in town is. Or maybe you’re playing a game. All of which are cool. This that’s going to happen. This is really something that is going to happen.
[00:52:30] And it’s going to talk to you with a set of speakers that are right on those glasses. And it’s going to be, I think, potentially amazing not reading your brain, but helping you to navigate a, read an audio book to you, do all kinds of things, and you can already get Alexa. Which is, of course Amazon’s digital assistant in a lot of different configurations from your car all the way on out through these little mobile devices.
[00:52:59] In this case, we’re talking about a third thumb and that third or second thumb, I should say, it’s really a third one because you have two hands, right? Two thumbs, but a second thumb on one hand. And the pictures I’m looking at from the experiment had it on the right hand. I don’t think it really matters, but it’s opposite your normal thumb.
[00:53:20] It’s not a fancy thing. It doesn’t look human. It’s close to the wrist. W on your hand, but it still is on your hand and you control this thumb and how it moves based on why our wireless sensors that are on your big toes. So you wiggle the toe and you can move the thumb in different directions and also have it clench the grip.
[00:53:49] And these experimenters gave the thumb to people for about five days and the participants were. Told to use the thumb in regular, old things in the world. So they use it in the labs, of course, and they wanted the participants to really push the envelope about what was possible. And they didn’t want the lab to just think of all of the different experiments they wanted the participants to think of things.
[00:54:17] Maybe they hadn’t thought of. So I’m looking at a video that’s really cool people think of this guys. You can hold a cup of coffee and stir it all with the same hand, because you use that third thumb to grab onto the coffee and then your right thumb and forefinger. In order to stir the coffee. I think that’s cool.
[00:54:42] There were other people did things like bloom bubbles, right? You hold the little bottle of the bubble soap, water. And in the fake thumb. And then again, use your fingers to hold the little thing that you are blowing into. So it’s really cool. And it did change the brain. What this showed us, I think more than anything else was our brains are capable of controlling limbs and dependence pended, GS dependencies.
[00:55:14] Yeah, appendages. There you go. That, that you don’t normally have, and it leads him into think about cats here in the Northeast. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed cats with a thumb. Have you ever noticed that it’s really a Northeast phenomenon? And apparently the captains of these old boats loved these cats because they could go on the ship and chase the rats and kill the rat and hold on really well in the heavy weather and even climb up on the ropes because I had a thumb, we had a cat like that.
[00:55:52] And it wasn’t the brightest cat one, a Fox caught it when it was in our yard one time, but that cat could pick things up off the floor and using the thumb. Now, cats don’t normally have a thumb, but some of these cats here in the Northeast, they have a thumb. It’s a real thumb. They really can pick things up.
[00:56:12] So they, this experiment proved that we can, as humans control an appendage, like an extra thumb. So let’s play a little bit here about what happened a little bit of the report. The
[00:56:26] Unknown: [00:56:26] additional thumb could cradle a cup of coffee while the same hands, four fingers held a spoon to stare in milk. While some participants use the thumb to peel a banana, blow bubbles, or even play the guitar to understand how the extra thumb effected people’s brains.
[00:56:40] The researchers gave them an MRI scan before and after the experiments.
[00:56:45] Craig Peterson: [00:56:45] Is that cool or what. And you can find more online. I duck goat it, you can just duck, duck go a robotic extra thumb, and you’ll be able to find the video and more reports on it, but we will see what ends up happening. With our appendages what are we going to be attaching to our bodies in the future?
[00:57:07] We know we are going to be using those glasses like Google glass. We’ll see what it ends up looking is it going to project right? Enjoy your eyes. What’s going to happen here. We’re seeing heads up displays in our cars where the speed you’re going, the maps, et cetera, are projected right on.
[00:57:25] The windshield. So you don’t have to move your head a big direction, in order to see what’s going on. So lots of stuff. And we’re starting to understand the brain a little bit better when it comes to some of this stuff, dark side. My gosh a little bit of, a little bit about the dark web, because you guys are the best and brightest, right?
[00:57:47] So the dark web of course, is that part of the internet that was created to keep things secret. No, not totally secret, but the identities of people posting things on the dark web are hard to determine. And it is in fact, something that is maintained by our military and was developed in order to allow people in other countries to communicate effectively with the CIA, with the military, et cetera, without.
[00:58:19] Being caught by their government. So the dark web is a pretty secure place, but because of that, it’s a place where people go to conduct illicit transactions. This is the place where the. The major site that was out there that it’s called silk road was man, I can’t remember how many billions of dollars they say went through the silk road website, but they were selling everything you can think of for drugs or drug running, a gun running some of these military weapons.
[00:58:58] you name it? I don’t even want to talk about some of the stuff that was being sold there on that website. Now there’s other websites and taken over, but we caught that guy by the way. And all the transactions were in between. Coin. So those people that think that Bitcoin is somehow impossible to track you are wrong.
[00:59:19] And those who think that the dark web is a place where you can go and really be anonymous. Again, you are wrong. More technically we’re talking about something called the onion network, the Tor browser, and it is an interesting thing. So when we get back. We’re going to talk about a court case, a really weird court case involving the dark web.
[00:59:47] You’ve heard before about trust amongst thieves, this kind of throws it entirely out the window, shall we say
[00:59:56]You might’ve heard of DarkSide. I mentioned them here on the show before. DarkSide is a bad guy, right? It’s a group of people that got together who had been experts at ransomware. And so what they ended up doing is deciding, Hey, we want to make a business. We’re going to do ransomware. And because we’re so good at it, we’re going to sell ransomware as a service.
[01:00:28] And this ransomware is a service. All they did was they would take a cut of what you made off of their ransomware. They do things like provide tech support. So you ran some poor guy, some poor, small business, and that small business now is, a really hurting and you say Pay up sucker.
[01:00:50] It’s going to be whatever it is. I think most of the time for very small businesses, about $40,000 and you need to buy Bitcoin and you can’t how to have a lot. I don’t know. Why do I buy Bitcoin? So you contact. To the DarkSide, a webs support site, and guess what they do at that point? They can help you.
[01:01:13] Okay. So go to this site. This is what you’re going to see. Click on this. They have little user guides. They will help you when you’re encrypted. Do you just give them the key and they’ll tell you, okay. So use this key and this software to decrypt it. Just like a real business bottom line. They disappeared.
[01:01:32] You might’ve heard about this. Of course, DarkSide attacked the colonial pipeline. And if you live in the Southeast United States, you were hit perk too. Darn hard by this, because that shut down over a thousand gas stations, they ran out of gasoline because it was not getting shipped via the pipeline. So off they went and a DarkSide said there, I think there’s a little too much heat here.
[01:02:03] At least that’s what we were thinking. Initially DarkSide was trying to avoid prosecution. And so they shut down their website. Where was the website? Obviously? Wasn’t out there for you on DarkSide.com. No, it was on the dark web while they shut down. And apparently they were not paying out these people that they were providing ransomware services to.
[01:02:32] Isn’t that kind of interesting. So Russian speaking person, you use the handle darks up for DarkSide support had XSS dot IIS. Guess what that is. Yeah, a recruiting site for these bad guys. Now, you’re not going to be able to get there. If you’re not on the dark web, you shouldn’t be able to get there just in general, but he was trying to recruit him affiliates for DarkSide and DarkSide was the new ransomware as a service kid in town.
[01:03:05]And it was looking for business partners until a partner could come along and say I have a hundred million email addresses or. I’m going to go after a company X like colonial pipeline. And so they become an affiliate of DarkSide. And as an affiliate, now they can send out the ransomware, try and get somebody at colonial to click on it.
[01:03:29] And then once inside then DarkSide takes over and they go ahead and download important files from the machines that are compromised. That’s part of the one-two punch that they were doing. And the punch that we saw that happened on Metro PD down in Washington, DC, where the bad guys got in down there and threatened to not decrypt stuff unless a paid up.
[01:03:57]And then secondarily, you said. Since you’re not paying that ransom, pay us this ransom and you have so many days, or we’re going to start releasing information from the private police records. And they actually did end up releasing some of that information. All of that sort of stuff is part of the ransomware as a service.
[01:04:16]This is interesting and DarkSide has made a bunch of money. There’s some newly released figures from a company called chain analysis and they track cryptocurrency. Trading. Yeah. Guess what? It’s not completely private. So chain analysis said the DarkSide netted at least $60 million in its first seven months.
[01:04:44] That’s a small fortune. Actually that’s a pretty big fortune 46 million of it. Came in the first three months of 2021 and Darkseid made another $10 million this month with about 5 million coming from colonial pipeline. You probably heard about that. Colonial paid the ransom. And I saw an interview with the CEO of colonial, who said we didn’t know if we’d be able to recover.
[01:05:13] And it’s basically, it’s a small business, my words, small price to pay to know we can get back in business. So they made the 5 million from colonial and 4.4 million from the chemical distribution company known as Brenntag. And then last week, DarkSide went dark. And I mentioned that on the show as well.
[01:05:37] And this guy, dark sub said that his group had lost control of the infrastructure and it Bitcoin. Does that mean that maybe Interpol the S somebody shut them down because. We have verified that there was a huge transaction where all of the money was taken out of their bit coin account. Okay, so the servers can the access to anymore the hosting panels to see panels been blocked and the hosting support service isn’t providing any information, except quote, you ready for this at the request of law enforcement authorities.
[01:06:25] Okay. Yeah. And within a couple hours of the seizure funds from the payment server were withdrawn to an unknown account. And Darkseid hasn’t been heard from since now DarkSide is supposed to be paying affiliates 75% of ransoms that are less than $500,000. And that cut rises to 90% for ransoms higher than $5 million.
[01:06:55] So DarkSide gets the money, right? Cause they’re doing this whole thing. It’s a service it’s service provided to the bad guys out there, but apparently these affiliates have not been paid. Apparently the ransomware as a service provider of did not honor its commitment and the affiliates, these bad guys, I feel so sorry for them.
[01:07:22] Not they’ve been asking to be reimbursed from a deposit about a million dollars. The DarkSide was required to make with this website X access, which is one of these sites on the dark web, where they are setting up these deals. Okay. So there’s three posts on the site. Where there are plaintiffs who have filed charges against the defendant against DarkSide.
[01:07:53] So here you go, honor. Amongst thieves, DarkSide did not honor its financial commitments. It did not pay the bad guys. The ransomed people. Like they were supposed to they’ve disappeared and apparently their servers have been seized and all have DarkSides, holdings have been taken. All right. Interesting.
[01:08:19] That’s what you get DarkSide disrupted gasoline supply for the huge swaths of the U S about two weeks ago. And no doubt, the FBI brought full force of its might onto DarkSide. And I also know personally that historically the secret service has gotten involved too.
[01:08:40]Electric vehicles. We’ve talked about a lot. I had a lot of fun talking about, of course, that great Ford electric vehicle in the first hour of today’s show.
[01:08:52] And they’ve got some cool looking cars, but they’re coming out of everywhere. Now. You’ve got Italy with a few manufacturers that are now right. Pushing out the cars GM of course has had them for quite a while. The volt Nissan has had theirs. Ford has a couple, including the Mustang, the new electronic Mustang.
[01:09:14] There is some good things to say about them. I love the technology myself. I prefer to have something that can go a long distance. I can’t really have two or three cars right now. And they might make a nice little car. If I was commuting just a few miles or maybe if it was cheap enough, I would use it to run to the grocery store.
[01:09:37] But looking at the cost of these vehicles like that, that Ford pickup truck fully maxed out, fully loaded. I looked it up. During the break it’s $90,000. That’s crazy money. And even though it starts at 40,000, well $39,999 95 cents. Even though it’s a $40,000 start. That’s a lot of money to pay for a car is especially with these batteries, there’s next generation stuff coming out.
[01:10:09] That’s going to be just phenomenal. That’s what I’m waiting for, but here’s part of the problem. We’re looking at electric vehicles and there’s so many things to talk about, but electric vehicles do not pay the taxes that are used to construct our roads and maintain our bridges and our roads.
[01:10:30] There is a per mile tax that is added on by the federal government and by the state governments. But it isn’t computed as a per mile tax. It’s computed as an add on to the price of gasoline and the price of diesel. What they’re doing is they figure okay your fuel mileage may vary. And they had a big hit, of course, when fuel injectors came into cars, because they basically doubled the fuel mileage, but they say, okay, so the average car is getting 20 or maybe 25 miles a gallon and his pain anywhere from about 50 cents to a buck, a gallon in.
[01:11:14] Road taxes and those road taxes are supposed to be used to build new roads, maintain existing roads and bridges by the states and by the feds. And again, that’s a topic for another conversation. So how about electric cars? They’re not buying gasoline, they’re not buying diesel. So those vehicles are really putting a major dent in the road budget for the feds and the state government.
[01:11:46] We’ve got states like California, Massachusetts, and New York who want to completely phase out any fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 and Washington state plans to follow the California rules and phase out sale of gas powered cars by 2035. But there’s a huge hitch in those plans. How do you have these electric vehicles, including that Ford F-150 lightning hit the road?
[01:12:18] Because gas sales will continue to decline along with the revenue from taxing them. It’s a very big deal. So what do you do while there are some bills that have been moving in? All of those states had just named, including Massachusetts, where they’re saying we need to charge people. Per mile when they’re driving within our state, how do you do that?
[01:12:48] Charging per mile means, how many miles they’re traveling? You could certainly set up something like easy pass that covers the major highways, but the major highways are not where everyone’s always driving. Think of the state routes we’re on all of the time that have no toll ability. And of course, all of the side roads, how do you tax it while there are things that say maybe we use an easy pass type thing only on the bigger roads and we’re charging by the mile.
[01:13:21] That’s just going to drive people off of those bigger roads that are meant for traffic onto the side streets. I’ve seen that happen before in my own town. There are other things that are being proposed that include having the car report on miles driven within a state. So the car would have to have GPS information would know when it has crossed state lines and then keep.
[01:13:51] Tabs on how many miles it drove in the state and
[01:13:56] Craig Peterson: [01:13:56] report that to the tax authority for you to be charged. How would that be to have at the end of the year, right? This additional tax burden based on how many miles you drove. Yeah, that would be a lot of fun. And then there are other proposals while we’ll just look at all of the vehicles that are registered in our state.
[01:14:16] So again, in mass it would be when you go in for that mandatory vehicle check every year at your birthday, we will read. Your car’s mileage every year and we’ll discharge you by the mile. They don’t care if you drove up and down to Florida most of the year or out to Texas, or most of the year back and forth to California from mass.
[01:14:40]All of that would be charged against you. So there are a lot of debates going on to try and figure it out. How can we make this work? The feds have a gas tax that hasn’t changed since 1993. So the federal gas tax is 18. 0.40 cents per gallon. And then you have the state taxes and most states have increased their fuel taxes since 2010 to beginning to, to bring in more money and fix the roads.
[01:15:15] But this is going to be difficult. Some states, including California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia have implemented road, user fees. A lot of questions there. It’s so easy to collect a gas tax. It’s hidden away in the price of the gasoline. Are they just going to put an extra tax on electricity and say, the average home is using so many kilowatts for their cars and do it that way.
[01:15:43] We really don’t know. We just don’t know. And our roads I think, are going to suffer until we figure that whole thing out. We’ve talked about some of these big hacks. And I was talking with a client this week about the whole solar winds hack. And where did it come from and what did they do? The solar winds hack.
[01:16:07] It looks like came in through Microsoft exchange server. There are a lot of patches out there for exchange server. If you don’t have it. Pay close attention, try and figure that whole thing out. Okay. It this is a very big deal, but these reasons, cyber security instances in incident are really a reminder to all of us that public and private sector entities are being attacked from nation state actors and these big cybercriminals, like what we were just talking about.
[01:16:44] Here’s our big question, who was behind the solar winds hack. Remember we talked about it here. The reports coming out of the federal government in the U S were, that was Russian intelligence was to be hunted it’s Poot and blame Puente. Oh no. It’s a Russian. Hacker gang, nothing to do with Putin.
[01:17:06]Maybe Putin was, giving them a little bit of a nod, it was a Russian hacker guy, gang. Things have changed a little bit. They announced here, but Microsoft being there. Microsoft announced in March that a detected multiple zero day exploits being used to attack the exchange server and a hacker group that they dug half a numb, which operates primarily from least virtual private servers in the U S so think about that.
[01:17:37] And what does that mean least. Virtual private servers. That’s everybody from GoDaddy through Amazon all the way on out. Everybody now has these virtual private servers and they also installed additional malware so they could get long-term access to these victims networks. Where do they come from?
[01:18:00]Microsoft wrote in March that half of them operates from China. And this is the first time we’re discussing its activity. And he called the Chinese hacker group, Microsoft here, a highly skilled and sophisticated actor that primarily targets entities in the United States. For the purpose of exfiltrating information from a number of industry sectors, including infectious disease, law firms, higher education institutions, defense contractors, policy think tanks and NGOs non-government organizations.
[01:18:37] Now, cause I’ve talked about it before that we’ve been called into organizations and D found indications of compromise that were coming from China. And that’s what it looks like. It came from a huge attack. It, it hit pretty much every one of our lives in one way or another through the companies we deal with.
[01:18:59] But the Biden administration has been silent on attributing the attack to China. They won’t say the China was doing this at all. And they are completely blowing it off. Yeah. All of the questions about it. So it looks like it was China that did this. The Biden administration is unwilling to say it was China for whatever reason.
[01:19:25] They are very willing to attribute it to Russia. And I don’t know, maybe this is another, yeah. Russia, like we’ve seen before. Hey, everybody, I want to invite you. Make sure you get my newsletter. When you sign up, I’m going to be sending you some special reports on passwords and what to do with your cybersecurity.