Now we see fears and the reality of coronavirus hitting the markets hard.
I’ve said it before, so this is repetition, but worth repeating. Stock markets move on emotion much more than the fundamentals. Companies are overvalued because there are more people with more money in pensions and the money has to go somewhere.
Disclaimer: I’m a programmer and an established businessman with a long history of accomplishments and contributions to the global community. But mostly to America as that is where I am a proud citizen. I’m an independent because I grew up on Army bases throughout the world and in the Military (I have *not* served, my parents and brothers have), we were taught to NOT be partisan. TAMU reinforced that. It forces you to THINK. I’m not allowed to be a sheep to any cult on either side. And because I LOVE my country, that’s how I roll. Deal with it or stop reading. For reference, eschipul on linkedin
Let’s start with this. TheUS Senate is about to take away your Second Amendment rights to bear arms. Yes, read that again. We are going to lose our right to bear arms. Guaranteed.
Why? Because we can’t just pick and choose which parts of the Constitution we want to follow. Logically, if you do that, when a new “King” takes over, they will strike through the articles and amendments that THEY don’t like.
Yes, the “conservative” party (a misnomer as neither party is conservative or liberal if you actually read their party planks) is missing the fact that if you ignore the part of the Constitution at the request of one branch of the government, then ALL of the constitution is subject to dismissal by future Executive Branch leaders.
If this becomes true, which we all hopefully pray it doesn’t, we will have become either a monarchy, a dictatorship, or an autocracy. (Think Cuba under Castro.)
Let’s start with “Freedom of speech.” That means if I start a company, and grow a following in social media or whatever, I can express my opinion, right? So this is me saying that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. personified the leadership I expect of my elected officials. And he wasn’t elected – he was a LEADER.
Was MLK a perfect man? Of course not. But daaaaaammmnnn, he was patriotic. He understood that strong resistance to social injustice is STRONGER when it is done PEACEFULLY. That is strength.
Dr. King’s actions, peaceful and strong, are what makes America great. Not the valuation of the top 1%’s investments.
The American experiment is about PEOPLE. You, me, all of us. Together. As RFK stated.
Yes, obviously we must stand with a strong military behind a voice of reason. But that amazing power requires rational leadership. And real power comes from truth. To find truth, in a country ruled by LAW, you can’t ignore subpoenas. The Mafia does that.
On this day, on Martin Luther King Jr. day 2020, we encourage everyone to read Dr. King’s speech.
That is the end of the post on blog.tendenci.com, the company blog. It also ran as the masthead on https://www.tendenci.com yesterday and was posted to all of our social media accounts.
As a true patriot and believer in the American dream, I must speak out as I see bipartisanship and an American public accepting the replacement of the K-street swamp be replaced by an even more corrupt corporate swamp of national intrigue. I’m disappointed in us.
What do I ask of you? I have no authority or ability to ask anything of you, except rationality.
Understand this: if the Senate ignores the facts, refuses to hear the facts, refuses to read the documents, not only will you lose your right to bear arms, but the very fabric of our country will be shredded and we will truly be subject to tyranny of the majority.
And being raised Catholic, people who were also persecuted in the global tragedy of WWII, American “dough-boys” who literally saved the world, will have succeeded only briefly. Only to see our rights thrown out the window by a reality TV personality.
In closing: to those who think I am “flip flopping” – I am not. The data has changed. Only a fool doesn’t change their views when their data changes. I don’t suffer fools. Nor should you. We will not only lose lose our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, but the supposedly conservative party will have distorted the constitution to make all rights “questionable.”
** The great fool is he in whom we cannot tell which is the conscious and which the unconscious humour; we laugh with him and laugh at him at the same time.
I don’t think there are any “triggers” in here, but I recognize it is a sensitive topic so please be aware. Our goal was to use non-lethal means to prevent, or at least mitigate the impact of mass shootings on soft targets. So we invented a security system that would use AI and ML to do just that.
In the beginning, we were all aware of shootings at “soft targets.” But we got desensitized. Then in June of 2016 I was talking to a relative who knew people who IN the Pulse Nightclub in 2016. Although our friends were unhurt, it made the issue more personal to me. Still I felt helpless.
This blog post is the beginning of the SOMA Robotics story, which while eventually we did not prevail, we do believe in the future for non-lethal security robots to help the innocent. More to follow. But let’s start with an image of the two inventors who originally came up with the concept at DefCon in Las Vegas.
Words from a wise poet, Devon Spier, that resonated with me today. From the post:
By ‘un-Praying’ – letting our bodies, minds and souls exist just as they are, we free all the stories we have long buried deep, dropping all pretense to make our entire existence the instrument of greatest hopes and our desires.
And when we move from unearthing what is communally unacknowledged to acting in ways that are spiritually life-giving, just and necessary, the progression of our spirituality will lead to the repair of humankind.
And so, our task is to become human piyyutim (liturgical prayers); to make our lives the liturgy that answers the call of a moral universe. For as much as the Torah reflects our ancestors, the Torah is bittersweetly and substantively, us.
Why I stumbled onto her writings today, I don’t know. But this phrase from her post really resonates
“…. to make our lives the liturgy that answers the call of a moral universe.”
It is a powerful statement. It assumes a “moral universe.” Most of us assume moral means something akin to “kind, fair and just.” Yet our actions betray this definition.
Moral means to do what is “right.” If you are the CEO of Disney then “right” means increasing shareholder value. But “moral” and “right” stops when it comes to requiring fact checking its subsidiary Fox News.
These questions are beyond me, but I remain a student of life and they force me to think. I believe it is “right” to question. I believe it is “right” for poets to make us question what that means.
FC: A lot of people were really blindsided by the level of misinformation on social media in 2016 and the scope of the campaign. I hope that people are at least a little more skeptical now, a little more ready for what they might see leading up to 2020.
SK: I think now we’re a little more savvy as Americans, about how we deal with this and how to spot bad actors, but not as much as we should. There are other countries like Estonia, for example, that have been dealing with this for a long time, and they’re much better on cybersecurity, better at educating the public about propaganda. When I went to Germany shortly after the  election, I was speaking with college students. You know, they have a very good understanding of this propaganda because they know their own country’s history, and they know how you can get lured down this slope. And I’m not saying either of these countries is perfect and that everybody had amazing grasp of it. But at least it’s emphasized that this is a civic problem. This is something we have to actively get on top of and be proactive about in order to solve it—in the U.S. it took us forever to even admit that these troll and bot networks were there.
“What prison program can turn a 50 percent recidivism rate into a 4 percent rate? That would be college courses for people behind bars, an underfunded and politically unpopular move in American politics. PBS’s four-part documentary this week, College Behind Bars, persuasively makes a case for corrections departments to save money by expanding this opportunity. What’s more corrective than learning? (Washington Post)”
We all know what cyrpto currency assets are at this point, but to correlate current events with the role of International Central Banks and International Trade is indeed complex. This presentation was for the Luxembourg American Chamber of Commerce in New York City. It does assume a baseline understanding of international finance and the role of Central Banks, Securities and International Trade.
Some highlight slides followed by the embedded presentation from slideshare. Note: these are NOT all of the slides from the presentation, so be sure to view the embedded presentation on cryptocurrency on linkedin.
The following slide is CRITICAL to understand the differences between how Central Banks functions versus how Cryptocurrency functions. Although people are working on options that reduce the all-or-nothing nature of the change. (see slidedeck for more)
OK, WHAT IS CRYPTOCURRENCY?! Speak English Please!? This is the way I try to explain cryptocurrency in plain language so that normal people can understand it. This is the simplified explanation of cryptocurrency:
Where does cryptocurrency come from and why should I care anyway? Let’s start with the “who makes this stuff?” question. Because that is the important part. It’s all about CONTROL.
From the article: “Bitcoin is a slow burn, one that will take another five or ten years to really explode. And when it does it won’t be visible like Facebook or Netflix. It won’t be one level removed from our browsers, hiding just out of sight, like Linux. It will be ingrained in our lives, in the interaction between our money and the world. It will be the currency used between humans and robots and between robots and robots. It will become so useful that it will disappear.”
From the article, and this applies to our country and *both* political parties in my opinion:
….imagine the impact of the next great recession on these already stark social and economic divisions within American society.
Finally, political institutions in fragile states either erode or are captured by the governing elite to advance their personal interests. Typically, fragile states arbitrarily apply the rule of law against political opponents, delegitimize and undermine normal state bureaucratic functions that fail to align with elite interests, and leverage external political agents and foreign states to intervene in domestic matters.
Overall, VC investment in software is trending well according to CB Insights as well as Pitchbook. However, one of my observations while living in SF during and after the 2016 election was an immediate drop in seed level investment right before and after the election. The data:
“It’s these last six seconds (of the video) that underscore the danger posed by the vulnerability, which according to Internet scan results posted eight days ago remains unpatched on almost 1 million computers. The flaw, which is indexed as CVE-2019-0708 but is better known by the name BlueKeep, resides in earlier versions of the Remote Desktop Services, which help provide a graphical interface for connecting to Windows computers over the Internet. A much more detailed blow-by-blow is here.”
(It) Only takes one unpatched system to spread
Last Friday, members of the Microsoft Security Response Team practically begged organizations that hadn’t patched vulnerable machines to do so without delay, lest another WannaCry scenario play out. “It only takes one vulnerable computer connected to the internet to provide a potential gateway into these corporate networks, where advanced malware could spread… officials with the National Security Agency on Tuesday echoed Microsoft’s warning. The video posted by Dillon, particularly in the last six seconds, demonstrates that the danger is in no way exaggerated.
If the intermingling of Mimikatz and a critical Windows vulnerability to devastating effect sounds familiar, it’s probably because that’s how another paralyzing worm, dubbed NotPetya, managed to wipe out entire networks. According to an analysis from Kaspersky, NotPetya, which is regarded as the most expensive malware attack in history, used the Eternal Blue exploit developed by and later stolen from the NSA to exploit one or more vulnerable machines. NotPetya,
In the NotPetya analysis, Kaspersky researchers wrote, “IMPORTANT: A single infected system on the network possessing administrative credentials is capable of spreading this infection to all the other computers through WMI or PSEXEC.”
My Thoughts on EternalBlue, BlueKeep and Why These Are Human Problems
Closing thoughts: NOT all countries can realistically afford the cost of the Windows Operating System in their schools. But without that experience they can’t compete, so they use hacked versions. If you lived in Indonesia or Mongolia, what would you do?
Those companies, with employees using hacked system in countries of different economic status, are possible subcontractors for international global leaders (like Maersk for example). They are the weak leak, because a hacked Windows system can’t be patched.
To be clear: I do *NOT* agree with software theft. But I also don’t agree with sloppy work on the part of our security agencies that have the resources to secure the nuclear weapons of the cyberwar that are being unleashed against not just the US, but the world.
We all need to stop and think about the overall situation. I believe the existential threat of EternalBlue, a gift that keeps on giving, is that it was an American agency funded by the US tax payers that did not report the vulnerabilities to an American software company. For years.
Unintended Consequences of Huawei and Google Android Patch Ban (possible)
If people don’t realize cryptocurrency “payment channels” (basically like a purchase order between merchants – settled up later but pre-approved) is a threat to the petrodollar, they are mistaken. The USD is nothing more than what we would call “proof of stake” in the crypto world. The Fed is the issuer, the stake.
Energy traded based on a proof of stake crypto currency pinned to the future value of a fiat currency in, say 30 days, via a smart contract could replace the influence of the US at a global level – I believe you are mistaken.
A programmer starts a company in Houston, because why not? Expanded to Mountain View maybe 2011 ish? Along the way took up photography in 2006. I know the exact photo. It’s on flickr. I’m on flickr because it was talked about at Etech. That’s the backstory.
Economics of Data (including Photos)
Let’s forget ethics, the value of community, the historical role of a site, the role of O’Reilly and Etech growing their brand, and let’s just talk about PROFIT. Smugmug’s CEO is currently making a HUGE error by blocking new uploads to flickr for long time users. I know this because not only am I holding out, despite having been a Pro paying user for many of the last 13 years.
As a long time flickr user I can point out the fact that many of my photos are on wikipedia, despite the fact I have NEVER uploaded a photo to wikipedia. How? Because I frequently share my photos creative commons attribution. Other people can legally use them and upload them with attribution (e.g. “Photo by Ed Schipul”) and nothing more. They found these photos on Flickr because the taxonomy allowed us to specify the CC license.
But first, the email I received today looks this:
Text from their email:
We’ve made some big changes to free Flickr accounts over the past year, and our community has made it clear that they’d like more time to decide on a home for their photos.
Because we know how important that decision is, we’re giving free Flickr accounts with 1,000+ photos and videos another month to make a decision, whether it means upgrading to Flickr Pro (with unlimited storage) or downloading your photos onto a computer. On March 12, 2019, any photos and videos over 1,000 on free Flickr accounts will be at risk for deletion.
Having spent years traveling, and one year living full time in San Francisco, I can say with the advent of AI and machine learning, there are startups that offer FREE security cameras. Why? Because of the value of the XIF data and to feed into algorithms.
And on the Internet there are numerous currencies; attention, cash, link-backs are three primary currencies.
Riddle me this. Why would you block someone from uploading high value content to your site that creates attention and links back to your site? It’s not like they bought any of my cameras or paid me. But I’m blocked from uploading and the smugmug CEO is sending out emails pointing out that their “storage” is cheaper than “other people’s storage.” Baroo? Did you seriously just call my photography “storage”? WTF?
As I type this, this is what flickr looks like so I can’t “link you” to any of the ridiculously rich content and photos I have uploaded over the last 13 years.
Because flickr is down. Me thinks they are in over their heads.
I’ll end on a positive note. Flickr/Smugmug’s CEO may not understand their actions, that they are killing photography on the Internet, because they weren’t there back in the day. Naive, yet at least they did provide a download link. The community is being destroyed, and we will rebuild. Ethically I have to say THANK YOU for providing our data.
Any other open source developers out there who want to provide a Python/Django based gallery option that includes OG community? Because we are apparently on our own folks.
Why does the Internet seem broken lately? Let’s start with the obvious – the government shut down is a horrific occurrence far beyond what people realize.
Why is the Internet slow right “now”? Because DNS is under attack and the government is shut down and incapable of responding. Seriously. We, the InfoSec community, are flying blind. For the average person – you are kind of hosed. (kidding, not kidding….)
What is DNS? “DNS” means “domain name resolution.” and it tells your computer how to find a web site. The thing is, *most* sites pull content from numerous places (think twitter feeds on your page, or a FB badge, or a font, etc.) If *ANY* of these items are slowed down, so is your site.
Not surprisingly, criminals look for opportunities and our politicians gave them a big giant gift by shutting down the government.
The DNS attacks, among others, haven’t made the news because the government has been shut down.
Recovery from one month of nobody managing CyberSecurity for the US Government will take months if not years. Some damage is permanent. (I’m just the messenger.)
If the Internet and cybersecurity are put in the category of “non-essential” then we have a serious problem. And we have a serious problem far larger than the drop in home buying. Hackers are patient. Very patient. Recon conducted over the last month will be used far into 2020. The RATs will persist in silence and nobody will know until they are activated.
One federal agent with more than 20 years on the job told KrebsOnSecurity the shutdown “is crushing our ability to take the fight to cyber criminals.”
“The talent drain after this is finally resolved will cost us five years,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the news media. “Literally everyone I know who is able to retire or can find work in the private sector is actively looking, and the smart private companies are aware and actively recruiting. As a nation, we are much less safe from a cyber security posture than we were a month ago.”
The source said his agency can’t even get agents and analysts the higher clearances needed for sensitive cases because everyone who does the clearance processing is furloughed.