New Privacy Concerns with Ring Doorbell Camera, Smart TVs Collecting Your Data, Rumors about new Russian Bitcoin Today on TTWCP Radio Show:[01-19-2019]
Have you heard of Ring? Well they make some pretty cool video doorbells. But today we are going to tell you about some things they did not get right.
Bitcoin is in the news but so is Russia. We are going to talk about how huge this is and what Russia is up to.
And we have to talk about Alexa? Did you know there are 100 million of them out there? We will talk about what that means.
We’ve got these huge corporate websites and not just any website getting hit but other sites hacking going on an unprecedented scale.
Did you get a Smart TV for the holidays? Did you ever stop to think why was it so affordable? Well, we will discuss spying and your privacy as it relates to you TV.
These and more tech tips, news, and updates visit – CraigPeterson.com
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 01/19/2019
New Privacy Concerns with Ring Doorbell Camera, Smart TVs Collecting Your Data, Rumors about new Russian Bitcoin
Craig Peterson: 0:00
Hey everybody. I love this beat. This is Craig Peterson. This is show number 990. Isn’t that just amazing? We get right down to it. That’s a lot of weeks because 990 is one per week. Okay, we’re not talking about these guys that are doing dailies, although I have done dailies, that’s not part of this. That means we are a matter of what a couple of months out from show number 1000. Wow. That’s a lot of show. So anyways, welcome everybody. Hope you’re having a good day and hope you like this bumper music. I don’t know I kind of like this.
It was between this and a kind of a Beatles-ey type rock song. I really like them, right? These songs I think you got to choose it’s got to be whoever the host is that decides that
But I’d love to hear from you too. And what you think I I think Sheryll who does most of our show transcriptions might not like having a lot of music in the background. But I’m kind of liking this, I don’t know,
I never played the guitar. I played a lot of instruments over the years, you know, back when I was a kid, right? I kind of stopped when I had a family
That’s really nice. It’s got a nice beat to it. Anyhow, we’re going to talk about tech as we always do. And of course, a lot of that tech has to do with security, as it always does. And we’ve had a few shows this year so far. But it’s been a busy year. And I haven’t really been trying to keep up on all the latest latest latest stuff. So that’s what this week is all about. And I want to start by talking about some of this Bitcoin stuff because I think this is absolutely huge, and what Russia is doing, and this is going to drive up the price of bitcoin. We’ve got now 100 million Alexa devices that have been sold. So what’s next for us out there after they’ve got 100 million of them? What does that mean to us? We’ve got this huge corporate website and not just website but other sites hacking going on an unprecedented scale. So what’s happening there? What does it mean to your business? Do you think your websites been acting strangely, maybe this has been going on, particularly if it’s been acting badly, the top tech trends of 2019 according to the tech experts out there. And the simple reason, by the way, if you got a new Smart TV for the holidays, why was it so affordable? Well, you will believe this, I think, hey, it’s kind of scary, frankly.
And if you’ve been worried about your TV spying on you, while Ben Gilbert from Business Insider has some news for you, and we’ll start out with Amazon’s Ring. Now, this is a pretty cool device.
In fact, my wife wants one of these for our house. And I’ve thought a lot about it that the Ring started with just kind of a doorbell with a built-in security camera. You’ve probably seen these before, right and you can have the strangers come up to your door and ring the doorbell and that I think the commercial shows someone on a beach in an in a tropical area and just sitting there answering the door on their phone and seeing who it is and what’s going on which is really cool. But this article from the Intercept is talking about excuse me talk
Rings frankly abysmal privacy practices. And there have been a number of reports about that in the news over the last little while, but they’ve got cameras all around. Now it’s not just the doorbell. These devices are providing high definition feeds from all around the house. We’re talking about the doorbells, but also in garages and on bookshelves. And it’s not just for keeping tabs on your home while you’re away. But a lot of people are using them kind of like nanny cams to find out also when their kids are home when they get home from school, that they bring some friends with them. Maybe some friends, Mom and Dad don’t like it. There’s all kinds of things are used for neighborhood watches. People are putting together boards where all of the cameras in their neighborhood are on one website you can go to, and you can see what’s happening in the neighborhood. You know, that can be really good. I know my wife helped to found a kind of a neighborhood watch thing here in our neighborhood. And everyone kind of keeps tabs on what’s going on. And the founder of Ring his name is, or she I’m not sure, Jamie Siminoff, he said that our mission to reduce crime and neighborhoods has been at the core of everything we do at Ring. And you know, that marketing message has really hit with consumers. Frankly, they got a $1 billion acquisition from Amazon, who now owns Ring. And that’s kind of nice if you have the Alexa as we mentioned a little bit earlier, 100 million of them out there right now. So that that Ring device ties into all of that.
So despite this mission that they have talked about to keep people a d their property secure, the company’s treatment of video feeds has been anything but secure. And this is according to people who have been talking to the Intercept to say they’re pretty darn familiar with what’s going on. According to one source, starting in 2016, Ring provided its Ukraine based research and development team, virtually unfettered access to a folder on Amazon S3 cloud storage that contained every video created by every Ring camera everywhere around the world. Now, this is just if this is true, this is just an enormous invasion of privacy. And we’re talking about a list of highly sensitive files and could be browsed and viewed by these developers over in Ukraine, you know, could be wonderful people.
But if it’s out there on S3, if there are any security lapses, we know Ukraine got hit really badly last year, or actually a little more than a year ago now with some malware, some ransomware that was aimed specifically at Ukraine and companies, what’s going on here?
Well, apparently these files are also not just on S3, but they were left unencrypted. And they said that was it because of the expense of implementing encryption and lost revenue opportunities. Because of restricted access and you know, all the excuses you can think of.
Now, you might be familiar with Uber’s God Mode. We talked about it here on the show before Uber, of course, that ride-sharing service where people are taking their vehicles and are driving the streets and picking up strangers for money, right. It’s not what mom said not to do when we were a kid. But Uber had this God Mode that let anyone in the company basically look at every ride that was currently occurring, where everyone was, who was getting a ride, they were watching celebrities. And just crazy what Uber was doing.
This is vaguely familiar of that, isn’t it? And in fact, I think it’s kind of worse because now you’ve got the video. So who knows, right? reporters, competitors, email addresses, all of these people could view all of their cameras. That’s all they needed in order to get at the data. And apparently, there were instances of Ring engineers teaching each other about who they brought home after romantic dates. In other words, they were watching each other as well. So this is something we have to be careful of. We know about some of the risks that we’ve heard for years, about nanny cams, baby cams being hacked. And believe me, they are. If you bought yourself a camera system for your office, and your little bit worried about it well, if you bought it, and it was just one of these lower-end camera systems that most of these video surveillance companies sell. Or if you bought it at Harbor Freight or the local big box door, almost all of those are a very high percentage. And I’ve seen numbers as high as 90% of them have been hacked by the Chinese, very hackable, let me put it that way by the Chinese and many of them have been hacked. And we have done that we’ve seen that we have come into a business who was having security problems, they thought maybe there were security problems, they thought maybe there were viruses on their machines. So they brought us in, we checked, Of course, the word viruses on their machines, but what did they come from, they were being hacked from the camera system that was installed. Some cases one case it was installed by a professional firm, but you know, people don’t want to pay money for the good stuff from Cisco or some of these other resellers that really check this and keep tabs on this and so that’s what happens so you know, it’s going to happen.
If you’re using these types of devices hopefully like in the case of Ring, you’ve got Amazon buying them and Amazon kind of whip you into shape so I think it’s important to keep that in mind. Right. Ring very big company they paid a billion dollars for it. You think they do a little bit better than that, don’t you?
Well, let’s talk about TVs now. Smart TVs.
You know smart TVs, have been all the rage. I who was I was at my one of my brother’s houses, I think it was. Oh, it was my mom’s house and they had just bought a smart TV over the holidays and they had set it up and I had to help them reconfigure some things because they just didn’t have it configured right. And it was kind of interesting to ask some questions of her and her Smart TV because it has all of these features on it. She’s got it hooked up to the internet so she can stream Hulu and Amazon and she can stream her CBC stuff that she wants to stream from Canada when she is down in the US. She was completely oblivious to the potential problems here but here’s another one to add to your list and to seriously complain when you are going to buy a smart TV about these things spying on you right because you have a right to be upset It doesn’t say anywhere on the label that they’re spying on you but Have you wondered why that smart TV was so cheap right they remember how much they used to be Why are they cheap well here’s a great story Ben Gilbert over the Business Insider and of course all of these articles I’ve mentioned today including the ones I’m going into more detail on are available at my website http://CraigPeterson.com hopefully you are a member of my insiders email and you got an email comes out every Saturday morning if you’re not subscribed, just go to http://CraigPeterson.com/subscribe. You’ll get all of this and more when there are big hacks or big things happening in the news that I think are worth you knowing about. And kind of jumping on top of I will let you know, and I let you know via that email list. So you will see these articles right there. You just click on the links, I’ll take you right to my website.
But here’s what Business Insider had to say. The vast majority of televisions available today are smart TVs. We knew that right? You go into any store. That’s what you see that they have internet connections, and they aren’t connected to the internet. Sometimes it’s via wireless because the Wi-Fi in our homes has gotten so good and sometimes as via hardwire, but they’ve gotten internet connections. I’ve got advertisement placement as part of the TV where the TV recognizes that maybe the channel you’re watching has a commercial coming on right now. So the TV overlays a commercial or to overlay it in the corner. They also have streaming services built into them. So despite the all of this added functionality, think about what that all costs to put together right there. They aren’t Roku that aren’t making the hardware and then selling streaming services. They aren’t Apple TV who is selling new or the Apple TVs set-top box and also making the real money off of streaming services, right. They’re not a fire stick where Amazon can give it to you at a great discounted price. Because Amazon selling new video content, right. All of that stuff just plain adds up.
We have to seriously consider what business these people are in. You know, you can go out right now you can buy a 65 inch 4K Smart TV with HDR capability for less than 500 bucks.
That’s a massive piece of technology. It’s going to last you for years. Are you kidding 4K? I don’t have 4K my house. My TV is half the size of this one. Right? How can you get it for that cheap? Well, there is a caveat. Some manufacturers that are selling these TVs are making their money on the back end. Now we understand the back end with your fire stick, you understand the back end with your Apple TV or your Roku because they’re all making money off of the streaming. But how about the TV set? Well the TV manufacturer may also have deals with these you know Australian providers so that they get a little bit of a cut in the action just like you buy a Windows PCs especially if you buy it retail you know if you get a Windows PC from us it’s going to be clean but these retail machines that you buy come pre-loaded with all kinds of crapware. Right? Right? They’ve got Norton Antivirus or Symantec can have viruses tho those are going to do you any good. And they’ve gone to these games that you can play, they’ve got all of this stuff that you can have, if only you pay them money, right. So you get a free 30-day trial or something. But you know, you have to go through all the trouble taking the software off of your machines. So they make an extra 10 bucks per machine. It’s estimated by putting all that junk on your machine before you buy it.
So how are the TV manufacturers going to make that extra money? Well, they are collecting data like the types of show you watch which ads you’re watching when you’re flipping channels, right? The eyeballs, that’s what they want to know, and your approximate physical location. And we talked before on the show about how some of these people manufacturers are actually even using cameras to figure out who’s watching the TV.
Now, there is an interview on The Verge. They have a podcast, and they had Vizio chief technology officer on there. I think his name’s Bill Baxter, and Vizio is a big TV company. I have one of their TVs. And he was talking about how this technology works. And he said this is a cutthroat industry. This is a direct quote. I’ve found it here. It’s a 6% margin industry. The group greater strategy is I really don’t need to make money off the TV. I need to cover my costs. So more specifically, companies like the Vizio, V-I-Z-I-O, don’t need to make money from every TV they sell because they’re making money on the back end. So there’s the answer you can tell your friends if they’re wondering why those TVs or smart TVs are so cheap now you know the answer.
And we’re going to talk about Russia here right now and the whole Bitcoin thing.
Now we just had a Canadian sentenced to death over in China and we know that two Chinese executives we had, Huawei executives and that made the news was arrested in Vancouver, Canada when she was changing airplanes there. And another Huawei executive with just arrested last week as well I think that was in South Korea but I don’t remember and Huawei courses in trouble I heard just I think it was the last couple of days that Huawei is up on some criminal charges, which you normally don’t see for Corporation. But it’s a real problem.
Why was there a warrant for that Huawei executive to be arrested that caused her to be arrested in Vancouver? Well, there was a warrant because the United States is accused, Huawei of violence, this sanctions against Iran. So Canada honored that warrant and arrested her and you know, the aftermath is still kind of kind of me trying to figure out there.
So what does this all mean? Why did I bring this up? And when I’m mentioning Russia? Well, there are also sanctions against Russia. And there is a lot of fake news out there as well. Right? But the big fake news started with was Dan Rather, right, who was who made up completely made up this story about George Bush, President Bush and his lack of service and what he did in the Texas National Guard, completely fabricated, right. And then he lost his job over the whole thing and got defensive about it, and you know, it, it was the wrong thing to do. And that was really, really the beginning of the fake news that we have today.
So fake news. We’ve been seeing I’m going to put this up on my website. Hopefully, that’ll be up by the time the show’s over here. We got my people working on it, but hopefully what we find is that this is fake news as well. So here’s what’s been going on. If you listen to me before, you know I am not a fan of cryptocurrencies, not because of the fact that cryptocurrencies can help you maintain a degree of anonymity And believe me, it’s only degree people can be tracked down, they have been tracked down and they have been arrested, okay, criminals doing evil things with Bitcoin. Now, there’s nothing wrong with Bitcoin or these other things, you know, cryptocurrencies, as far as you’re using them for legal purposes. And of course, if you make a profit in selling any of these cryptocurrencies, you have to report that to the Internal Revenue Service, right? Pretty straightforward, pretty simple.
Well, how does this tie into Russia and Iran and China? Here’s how it ties in. There’s rumors that Russia is looking to buy bitcoin and the rumors are that it’s going to invest about $10 billion in Bitcoin.
Now, this is an economist that’s saying that the guy’s name is Vladislav Ginko, and we’ll see what happens because he’s saying hey, this could start as early as February 2019. Well, first thing why would Russia buy bitcoin?
Well, according to this economist Russia wants to get away from the US dollar as being the world’s currency and when you buy and sell oil it’s always done in US dollars right so he’s saying that we’ve got our wonderful president or prime minister the president of Russia Putin over there saying hey listen we want to get away from the US dollar so let’s make Bitcoin be the reserve currency for the world now uh. How would that be something? What do you think that would do the price of bitcoin? Bitcoin that struggling to get back up to $4,000. Remember it at one point in some markets it was as much as $40,000 but generally speaking was about 18,000, 20,000 at its peak. So it’s a lost a lot as have pretty much every other cryptocurrency and these initial coin offerings that were happening every day, last year, they’re pretty much dead now. Because the cryptocurrency boom has faded. It’s faded in a very big way.
So what do you think that starting a rumor that Russia was going to put $10 billion into bitcoin? What do you think that would do to the value of Bitcoin?
So we’re looking at this saying, okay, maybe that’s legitimate. We’ve got the Trump administration, adding some more Russians to the list of sanction entities that US companies and persons cannot trade with. And the sanctions, of course, are this aggressive stance that the Trump administration has had against Russia, although Trump’s been colluding with Russia. So he, you know, the Trump administration has been much tougher on Russia than any previous modern administration.
So maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t, but I’m looking at all of this same, you know, maybe really, what we’re looking at here is not that Russia is looking to buy bitcoin, and maybe they are, maybe they’ve considered it, but no one except Ginko was saying that they’re seriously considering that is this another fake news and that may be what it is if it’s not fake news I don’t know maybe Bitcoin to be something to put money into this is not investment advice you know I’ve never bought any of this stuff I don’t want any of this stuff because it’s it’s frankly way too volatile but I thought I’d bring it up because it’s an interesting angle and from what I’ve been able to tell online doing research on all of these various cryptocurrency websites this is not a legitimate story well we were not going to have time to get to all of the articles today. As I mentioned before you can get them by just going to my website at http://CraigPeterson.com. Read my newsletter that hopefully you get every week my little insider newsletter letter and you get that by going to http://CraigPeterson.com/subscribe. And hey I want to shout out here and a big thanks to everybody who’s left comments we got a few comments on my podcast the more of those we get you know the more coverage we get the more people that are going to hear about the podcast well I’ve been doing this for a very long time huge labor of love here for everybody I really am trying to help you out so please share but also leave a comment go to http://CraigPeterson.com/iTunes. http://CraigPeterson.com/iTunes and that’ll take you to a place where you can subscribe right there on iTunes. They are the 800-pound gorilla. I would really love it if you subscribe there because that’s where the numbers come from. that the show is rated on and leave some five-star comments. Hopefully, I’ve earned five stars from you. But do it right there. subscribe and leave a comment. I so appreciate it. http://CraigPeter son.com/iTunes.
Okay, so we got a couple more minutes. Let’s talk about the biggest tech trends of 2019. This is a FastCompany article FastCompany still seems to be a pretty good magazine, I have a subscription to it. And I enjoy a lot of the articles. But they’re saying that this might be more of a quiet year, 2019 more about laying the groundwork than any historic breakthroughs. And what is the groundwork? Well, number one, the growth of AI. Artificial intelligence is really going to grow. It’s frankly, most of its still really machine learning. But IBM is actually now selling quantum computers, how’s that for amazing? And these things are going to change the whole world of cryptology for prediction for weather, a prediction for earthquakes at a kind of everything. Okay, so that’s kind of rolling out right now. I think they’ve only sold one of those quantum computers. They had one on the floor at CES this year, and they may be putting more of them out there.
We’re also going to see technology that is really going to kind of blur some of the boundaries between what’s real and what’s synthetic. When it comes to the reporting you’re reading. You might have noticed this already articles that the English kinda is terrible in right? Have you noticed that? So we’re gonna have more synthetic media This year, we’re going to have more ethical questions. As we have these autonomous vehicles rolling out an AI rolling out. Consumers may start adopting some more these are you know AR glasses, really, we’ll see what happened. 5G is going to really start rolling out this year, it’s going to start showing up in some phones, we’re going to have new user interfaces available because of the virtual reality an augmented reality, we’re going to see more on the wireless side, you might have heard me a few months ago, talking about how Wi-Fi is about to change again, we’re going to seem more the slow death of cable TV is has become to be known. It’s going to move over to frankly, our wireless devices, voice platforms, you know, you’ve seen Alexa, Google Home rise up, we’ve seen Siri kind of plod along but that’s going to be improving as well. So keep an eye on your mailbox. You should have gotten an email from me this week. yesterday. Yeah, Friday. And I made a note of it too, in this morning’s newsletter. I have something going on right now. This is my first in a series of special reports. It’s absolutely free. All you do is make sure you are on my email list and you can sign up for but this is why you should not be buying some of this so-called insurance for identity theft and what you can do for free. So I’m writing that absolutely free. I have a special I actually have like four or five special surprise bonuses that are part of that everything there is for free. And if you want to attend some of my master classes, there’s information about all of that there. So check your email for an email from me@CraigPeterson.com and have a great week. Take care, everybody. Bye-bye.