Oh No! People Might Be Expected to Pay Off Loan$

It used to be that keeping a promise – even to a bank – was a virtue. 400,000 were promised student loan forgiveness. Now they are panicking – May. 18, 2017

Panicking because they might actually have to do what is they promised to do; pay off a loan.

Thanks at least in part to the Dept. of Education, the cost of a college degree has risen astronomically. So students are saddled with debt, that in many cases they are struggling to paying back. But then perhaps they should have thought of that before they ransomed their futures to get a degree in Whatever Studies.

I don’t want to have a debate about whether or not we need folks with degrees in stuff like French Literature. (Not chosen at random – I know someone with a degree like that.) But we don’t need millions of folks with that degree, and the 1 person I know had to settle for raising his family in backwoods place – granted a college town – where his wife is not happy. That doesn’t count the number of people with like degrees who are working in retail.

If you want to get a college degree in Whatever Studies, that’s great. Figure out how you are going to pay for it outside of “Getting a loan through the Dept. of Education and then having the .gov pay it off.

WannaCry: You Probably Haven’t Even Seen the Beginning – Let Alone the End

This latest cyber attack has been called a “wake-up call.” But no one will wake up. Ransomware attack ‘like having a Tomahawk missile stolen’, says Microsoft boss | Technology | The Guardian. (The name of this malware – WannaCry – always makes me think of the song “She Makes Me Wanna Die” from the soundtrack of The Replacement Killers. The video is at the end of this post.)

The cyber attack on Friday was stopped. (More on that in a bit.) But the fix was likely temporary. And new versions without a “kill switch” have been reported in the wild. So buckle-up buttercup, cause it gets bumpy from here.

Security officials around the world are scrambling to find who was behind the attack which affected 200,000 computer users and closed factories, hospitals and schools by using malicious software that believed to have been stolen from the US National Security Agency.

Can you imagine the devastation that would be unleashed if the .gov got a backdoor into every smartphone? Because they clearly can’t be trusted to keep secret things secret.

Businesses and hospitals were running PCs with Windows XP, and claiming that they are “critical infrastructure” and they also exposed those PCs to the public internet. What a bunch of idiots.

As I said the other day. If you are running “critical” systems on an operating system that isn’t supported, or you aren’t keeping up with the security updates, then treat it like a critical system and take it off the public internet.

  1. Make your system separate from the Internet. A hard gap. No access to the outside, only access to the features (like medical records) that are critical. (And no access to email, etc.)
  2. Commit to keeping your systems up-to-date. That means applying every MS patch Tuesday update, updates for all your application software (including such things as PDF readers) Not as fool proof as 1, but you can say you are doing your best.
  3. Go back to keeping records with pen and paper

Of course, no one will do this. Executives/Administrators/Powers-that-be will claim it is critical, and that it MUST be available on the internet, that we can’t possibly keep up with monthly security updates, or afford new hardware, and it isn’t our fault. It’s the fault of those damn folks in Information Technology who didn’t scream loud enough about this being a problem. We didn’t believe them when they spoke calmly.

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LAPD Paid Out About $81 Million in Fiscal Year 2017

If you live in LA, this is your tax dollar at work. LAPD Reported to Have Paid Nearly $81 Million in Legal Settlements Over Fiscal Year 2017 – westsidetoday.com

I won’t repeat the list – click through and see. It was the headline that caught my attention. That is a lot of money, no matter how you slice it.

I looked but I couldn’t find any info on Chicago’s payouts. You know me and Chicago.

Welcome to the Police State

Where the press does the bidding of the government (at the Dems in power), and your phone company spies for the .gov as well. AT&T reportedly spies on its customers for government cash

The Daily Beast is reporting that the telco has essentially turned itself into a spy-for-hire in the pay of the government. According to the piece, the company’s Project Hemisphere is providing warrantless surveillance, thanks to some legal gray areas, that score it millions of dollars from taxpayers.

And no one seems to care.

Never Fear! The .gov is Here!

The FBI and Homeland Security Are Investigating Today’s Giant Cyber Attack. Well that will make all the difference.

The same people who gave us the Office of Personnel government employee database security* are on the job to track down the hackers from this morning’s DDoS attack.

I feel so much better.

* Thanks to Yahoo! that is no longer the world’s worst hack. But it is still runner-up.

In the Midst of Financial Meltdown, Chicago Teachers’ Strike ‘may be inevitable’

So says Alderman Howard Brookins, chairman of the City Council’s Education Committee. That will improve the education system! Ald. Brookins says teachers strike ‘may be inevitable’ | Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has argued that another teachers strike would be “one of choice — not of necessity,” calling the 13 percent pay raise on the table a “fair offer” that would stabilize teacher pensions.

Pensions are what is driving the Chicago Public School System and the City into the ground. (The 2 pension systems are mostly separate.) But the teachers don’t think that they should have to pay for their own retirement. Basically.

That 13% is over a 4 year contract. That doesn’t sound too bad to me, given the current state of inflation.

Something needs to be cut. The city can’t afford to go on the way it has been. But the unions don’t think that should apply to them.

Police Raid Home of Innocent Family

They were so sorry. (Sorry excuse for professionals.) This is happening so much, it is becoming a “Dog bites man” story. Police apologize after raiding home for drugs, only to find innocent family | Fox News

Armed with a search warrant, sheriff’s deputies and police officers knocked on the front door but no one answered. They plowed through the door and broke multiple windows to get into the home, only to find the innocent family. Two adults and five children between the ages of 3 and 12 live there.

The search warrant was based the “tip” of an informant. No word on if the guy was trying to Make a Deal™.

Investigators were trying to determine what went wrong and whether the informant was credible, Davidson said.

Whether the informant was credible? I vote NO!.

So how about detectives actually do some work to determine if their sources are “credible” before they break down doors, shoot grandmothers or toss flash-bangs into cribs. All in the name of the War on (Some) Drugs™.