NSA Data Leaks

Stronger Muscles May Improve Kids’ Memory Skills
According to www.lHealthDay.com, new research suggests that kids with stronger muscles may have improved memory skills. Researchers examined 70 children aged 9 to 11 years and found that muscle fitness was directly related to more accurate memories. The problem is, only 1 in 3 US children are physically active every day. Physical inactivity produces weak muscle mass. The type of physical activity did not include such strength skills as weight lifting. To read more about this research, click on https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164718.html. If you have trouble accessing this post, surf over to HealthDay at https://consumer.healthday.com/fitness-information-14/misc-health-news-265/stronger-muscles-may-pump-up-kids-memory-skills-721586.html. Best of luck getting your kids to exercise.

Strategies To Combat Fake News
How can Internet users, newspaper readers and TV news viewers avoid fake news? It seems that even reputable news organizations occasionally fall for a fake news item. Well, help is on the way. A website, www.thenewsliteracyproject.org, provides instruction for students, teachers and news media personnel techniques essential to avoid fake news. If interested, sign up for free newsletters focused on students, teachers and reporters. The cure to fake news is not a magic bullet. Rather, the solution requires some training which does require work. Nevertheless, to avoid being taken in by fake facts such as 3 million voters committed voter fraud, give this site a look

Burning Down The Barn After The Horses Have Escaped
The US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, indicated that the Justice Department will close a federal agency formed four years ago to instill more scientific rigor in the forensic sciences. This national commission has worked on establishing best practices for crime lab personnel. The FBI as well as prosecutors all over the country rely on DNA results as well as other forensic tests to determine the guilt or innocense of those accused of crimes. But the truth is, crime lab data may be flawed or inaccurate. In Massachusetts, nearly 22,000 drug convictions may be overturned because a crime lab worker made up test results. And in another test of hair sampling, 26 of 28 examiners gave flawed testimony in more than 200 trial cases. Oops. To read more about CSI screw-ups, visit https://www.propublica.org/article/another-startling-verdict-for-forensic-science. Note: Propublica just shared a Pulitzer Prize with the New York Daily News for a series on widespread abuse of eviction laws by New York City police officers. This abuse caused hundreds of innocent people to lose their apartments. The police used a law designed to fight porn and prostitution in Times Square to unjustly push people out of their homes. New York City cops can’t seem to catch a break in the press these days.

Some Federal Protection For Internet Users
There have been a plethora of news stories about the decision of the FCC to allow internet providers to sell customer data to third parties without the approval of individual customers. That issue is still cooking at the FCC, but Internet users can rely on the Federal Trade Commission to provide some Internet protection for users. The FTC is described as the top cop on the privacy beat. The agency provides consumer protection for health, credit and financial data. To learn more about how the Federal Trade Commission provides protection for you, click on https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2017/04/your-cop-privacy-beat. Of course, President Trump and his minions now scrutinize all agencies to reduce the size and effectiveness of agency services.

NSA Data Leaks
Two websites have recently published stories about the Shadow Brokers’ data drop on NSA hacking software. On one hand, the government tasks the NSA to protect the country from attack by hostile forces on many fronts. On the other hand, whistleblowers have leaked information that the NSA has overstepped its authority by hacking into financial sites that put all financial transactions on government view regardless of whether or not criminal activity or national security is involved. To learn more about this complicated issue, visit these two sites:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/malware-made-by-the-nsa-released-by-shadow-brokers-group/article/490006. A second site with additional information may be accessed at https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/04/purported-shadow-brokers-0days-were-in-fact-killed-by-mysterious-patch/. And so it goes.

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    The idea for this blog arose from fourteen years of writing columns on the same idea that I produce monthly for my computer club newsletter. Over the years I found a number of the Internet URLs featured in a particular column became dated because I ... Read Full
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