• IT’S BEEN A YEAR SINCE ‘WannaCry’ RANSOMWARE infected over 200K machines in 150 countries, bringing the global marketplace to a standstill and causing billions in damages. Since then, there have been over 175 million new attempted attacks as “nation-state developed hacking tools have become widespread, and as newest variations of ransomware have evolved to automated, self-learning ‘ransomswarm’ strategies which accelerate attacks to digital speeds.” While cyber-awareness has improved, poor security practices continue to plague companies who focus solely on deploying patches and updating antivirus programs but fail to “define how a ransomware infection will be contained & remediated, then actually implement that defense strategy… A ransomware attack should be a blip on the radar that wastes people’s time only to restore from backups, not a week long debacle of trying to restore service and deciding whether to pay the ransom or not.” [THREATPOST.COM – May 17, 18]
  • OUR WISDOM-FREE SOCIETY: “America has been influenced and is now being largely led by members of the baby-boom generation, whose motto once was “Never trust anyone over 30,” making it the first American generation to proclaim contempt for wisdom as a virtue… The fact that one of our two major political parties is advocating lowering the voting age to 16 is a good example of the absence of wisdom among a large segment of the adult population. What adult deems 16-year-olds capable of making a wise voting decision? The answer is an adult with the wisdom of a 16-year-old… There is more knowledge available today than ever before in history, but we are living in a period that is largely wisdom-free, especially among those with the most knowledge: the best educated.” [Dennis Prager – LBNELERT – May 13, 18]
  • SURGICALLY EMBEDDED MICROCHIPS UNDER THE SKIN have become pretty mainstream in Sweden, with organized corporate-sponsored “Implant Parties for people to hook themselves up…The chips essentially act as a digital keychain” – unlocking doors to cars & offices, making credit card transactions, signing into the gym, buying train tickets, and of course allowing whomever/whenever to track the person (similar to chips veterinarians implant in dogs & cats in case they run away). “Near Field Communication (NFC) chips give corporations a fair amount of control over your activities, and ‘opting out’ is a lot more convoluted than leaving your wallet at home… also making your personal info far more vulnerable to hacking.” But technology moves forward irrespective of those type concerns, so get ready for personal microchipping. [FUTURISM.COM – May 14, 18]
  • “SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RARELY ATTRACTIVE, AND EVEN MORE RARELY REWARDED.” Today’s Left Liberal agenda, according to national polling, is consistently losing voter support by “painting Conservatives as their intellectual and moral inferiors, deriding anyone concerned with illegal immigration as a Racist, or hesitant about transgenders using the ladies room as a Bigot.” Liberals take for granted that anyone who doesn’t automatically accept the rapid changes in cultural norms must be “backward and deplorable… Pressing a political view from the Oscar stage, declaring a conservative campus speaker unacceptable, flatly categorizing huge segments of the country as misguided – these reveal a tremendous intellectual and moral self-confidence that smacks of superiority. It’s one thing to police your own language but a very different one to police other people… Continuing to write-off nearly half the country as ‘irredeemable’ is provoking a cultural and political backlash.”   [NEW YORK TIMES – May 12, 18]
  • BEING CYBERSECURE DURING FOREIGN TRAVEL IS INCREASINGLY TOUGH as mobile phones and computers can be stolen or hacked, and airport searches can put sensitive data at risk. Basic precautions start with avoiding Wi-Fi connections and any internet connection without a Virtual Private Network (VPN), as well as using a password manager without reusing passwords. A deeper level of protection “from being forced to hand over sensitive info at the border of many countries (particularly China, Russia, Brazil & Chile) involves taking a disposable prepaid phone and laptop wiped of all but essential information.” Other annoying but practical precautions include: using device encryption & access control; avoiding links solicited through text messages (especially ‘alerts’ and ‘urgent’ notifications); using privacy screen protectors; disabling all wireless services when not in use; and avoiding openly displaying company logos or other identifiers. [FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – Mar 31, 18]

     The ‘mining’ of Bitcoins, which requires cooling fans, manufacturing hardware, and energy to operate a ‘mining rig’ is now using as much electricity as a major industrial nation (e.g. the entire country of Ireland) – around a half-percent of all the electric power used on the planet.

    “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are small matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson