Microsoft Betrays Us (again); and Windows Wants All Your Info. All. Of. It.

May 31

Today's report from the New York Post confirms what I have long been expecting from Microsoft.  They have joined the hackers of their own products in re-progamming that little X in the upper right of every window that we have learned to totally trust over 20 years or so of using Windows 95 or greater.

For those years, and across all versions of Windows, we have placed total trust in that little X to dismiss an application without any action taking place, except for perhaps a 'save file?' dialog.  Well, you cannot trust that little X to do that anymore, and Microsoft is doing it on purpose to ensure that you accidentally click to install their Windows 10 upgrade - the upgrade that so many wish to actively refuse, and desperately wish to avoid.  


GOP Candidates: Nutty Ideas About Tech

December 23

Nutty Digital Claims from GOP Candidates:  To paraphrase 'The Great Communicator' Ronald Reagan, "It isn't so much that our GOP candidates are ignorant about digital tech. It's just that they know so many things that just aren't so."

Although his status as a sage is hotly contested, when speaking of digital tech, candidates would do well to remember Rumsfeld's discussions of 'unknowns' and recall that the first 'unknown' Rumsfeld examines is the 'known unknown' -- that we know the things we do not know - and senior GOP politicians are notoriously weak on digital tech.  They know that.  So why put their ignorance on such open display?


Wordpress Threat Multiplies - by Factor of 20

October 02

In July, we noted that even Forbes was reporting a serious rash of attacks on Wordpress web sites, causing them to spread serious viruses to web site visitors.   Many, many GOP candidates and county/state parties use this platform.  In mid-September, security consultants Sucuri were reporting that the attacks had gotten much worse, and Ars Technica was reporting Wordpress sites being infected at the rate of almost 6,000 sites each day.

Since then (reported on Sept 30 - 3 days ago - by Sucuri again), these successful Wordpress attacks have escalated, infecting 120,000 sites on some days - an increase by a factor of 20.  

Tech Times notes that the Wordpress web site infection does not show up on most security scans, and so local site administrators (webmasters) are totally surprised to learn that their web site is infecting visitors' computers with malware and spyware that makes the infected computer a participant in one or more bot nets.


QR Code: Your Campaign Held Hostage?

August 24

GOP Tech Week News Short: QR Code - Your Campaign Held Hostage?

QR codes are gaining traction and wider use in all campaigns, not just GOP campaigns.

They are especially valuable to GOP campaigns because they make the campaign appear more digitally savvy and 'with it'.

Unless it means they actually are not.

Web sites are multiplying that make it very easy to quickly generate a highly attractive QR code in color, with your campaign logo, and attractive curved QR  code 'eyes'.   

The only problem is that many of these web sites do not make it clear that you are participating in a 'trial' - you get the QR out in print on all yuor campaign collateral, then the phone calls start to come in...

Your QR code is not working!


Wordpress: Danger for GOP Candidate Sites

July 26

zeroday.png2015 seems to be the year that killed Wordpress for political web sites, except nobody knows it yet.  

Even the FBI has warned that ISIS is exploiting Wordpress vulnerabilities.

No candidate wants to be a victim of having his/her web site hacked.  Worse yet, no candidate wants his/her web site to be the source of a virus infection and infects his/her supporters' and donors' computers [Forbes] with a serious virus.  It's bad enough that your web site might get hacked and defaced so it's obvious to the public that you've been hacked.  

Wordpress' documented credential leak reveals login credentials, but worse yet, could yield the attacker your email list allowing your attacker to email your entire list - claiming (truthfully or untruthfully) that they have fully compromised your site. 


Barkett Gives RNC Digital Ground Truth in SF

July 23

Bless Andy Barkett, the former Facebook digital savior hired by the RNC after the famous 2012 digital 'autopsy' of failed digital operations.   Saturday, Barkett appeared at a Lincoln Labs event in  San Francisco and elaborated on his previous statements about the dearth of digital regard at the RNC.   The digerati sigh and wonder wearily if this continuing indictment will ever be closed.  The RNC hired a savior, from Facebook for cryin' out loud, for its digital game, but conceptually couldn't harness his expertise so generously offered.

"Read the whole thing" as they say - at both links above.


RNC Digital Message at CRP: Hopeful/Promising

March 15



Kudos to the CRP at their convention this weekend for hosting the RNC's new digital CTO Andy Barkett (hired from Facebook) for an educational session entitled 'The Wonderful World of Data'. 


In a fairly comprehensive (and somewhat technical) presentation,  Mr.  Barkett both instructed his audience at set forth hints of his overall vision for data development within the RNC for the near future.   

Share Offers Dems Free Web Sites

March 13 has released a new web site resource that claims to offer you a free candidate web site (although we suspect there is a percentage charge for donation processing) and significant social media hooks.  


Avoid Social Media Suicide: Consult Experts HuffPo and Kos for Free

November 29

kiss.of.death.pngI swear if I see another set of social media icons like I see at the right, I'm going to commit hissing, spitting seppuku right here online.  

The sad part is, illiterate GOP consultants are giving candidates and parties the icons at left and guaranteeing that they are 'good to go' with social media.  

Bunk.  And even more unsavory expletives.

Let's consult the acknowledged experts, the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos.  Leaders of the left social media, I guarantee you can follow the links to those sites above and you will not see the icons at right, nor pages similar to what those icons  link to.

Instead, you'll see icons/buttons that actually work to promote their web site content - the very reason that the left is winning in social media spaces.  At the experts' sites, you see icons and toolbars like this:


25 or so of them on each HuffPo page, fewer on Kos, but both take advantage of one idea: let your readers promote your ideas to their friends and followers.

If you are a conservative candidate or  party you do not see the buttons immediately above but instead see the buttons at the top, you should immediately be on the phone with your consultant screaming bloody murder.  

Why?  Because the second set of buttons promotes your site and gets you free advertising.  The first set of buttons does not.

Does the second set of buttons cost more to put on your site?  No.  They are copied/pasted onto your site just like the first set of buttons.  The only explanation for the presence of the first set of buttons and not the second set is social media illiteracy.




Secure Email Self-Reliance is Easy.

October 25

Me(mod N) = C

At the end of this article, we'll offer you (free) the solution we discuss: subpoena-resistant email servers set up in Europe, with encryption tech you can use like a mini-storage: you lock it, you keep the key. (or also  Permanent FREE secure email accounts will be available for a limited time so you can try our Beta.

Today, we learned that CryptoSeal has followed Lavabit and SilentCircle in stopping secure email operations for US customers.  A moment's reflection (and wide discussion) reveal the theory that they shut down because they received US Government subpoenas for their encryption keys - subpoenas that contain secrecy orders, imposing severe penalties if they disclosed that that their encryption keys had been subpoenaed.  We don't know for sure, because they aren't saying, but the fact that they won't disclose specific reasons for shutting down their services suggests they have been placed under legal obligations of a subpoena with a gag order attached.

Although these vendors benefited from the misconception, the entire scandal rests on one deplorable consumer miscalculation: that people and companies must rely on an outside vendor to manage their day-to-day encryption and privacy security for them.

That's simply not the case.  Like Americans in an earlier era, we do have the capability to be easily and securely self-reliant for our privacy and ciphers to secure our own communications.  The tech is available, and it's easy to use.

And if we are self-reliant with easily-deployable tech in that fashion, then the NSA, CIA, Homeland Security and DOJ can issue all the subpoenas, warrants and pen register demands they desire, and even retrieve encryption keys from the vendors... and the contents of our communications are still safe, still secure.


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