Unhealthy Choices

Unhealthy Choices

Poisoned Junkware / JEDI Oracle Mind Games / AT&T Sours

Some older Lenovo factory-installed software opens back doors to hackers. Rather than addressing the issue, it appears the company has been vague about when they ended support for the product and who might be vulnerable. Like egg-on-face events involving Dell and other hardware manufacturers, the software designed to make maintenance easier has traded away some security. Consumers probably should remove everything but the operating system when buying a new computer; if fact, make installation media and start with a fresh partition and format.
With $10 billion on the line, Oracle is not ‘taking no for an answer’ after a judgment locked them out of the JEDI project. A judge ruled that Oracle didn’t have standing to stop Amazon’s win. But Oracle claims the project proposal process did not meet narrow “single vendor” specifications and believe there were shenanigans with an Amazon worker who helped write the RFP specs. Can the federal government trust Amazon to provide outsourced security for military projects? With container spills making the news so frequently, will they do less damage than the federal government?
Browsers are finally catching on. Security-minded users are branching out to find programs like Brave and add-on extensions for other popular browser that block ads, malicious links, bad domains and more. Despite all their efforts, fake SSL certificates, drive-by malware and phishing continue to give hackers access. A recent study found that clickjacking (fake clicks on ads or popping under / pop-up’s) intercept much more traffic than you might think. Apple users have fewer options in this browser war, but are probably less vulnerable too. Google is improving Chrome but for the price of tracking users’ every move. Firefox with the Navy’s TOR is likely the best solution for most, but there are always trade-offs. If you’re unsure, NordVPN did a rundown of which browser’s are doing the best job at the moment, but users should revisit their settings a few times each year to tweak security settings.
AT&T is having a really bad couple of weeks. After bleeding customers over raising prices, DirectTV rebranding, a data throttling judgment, teasing a Warner TV service piggybacking on HBO branding, confusion with their TV strategy, retirements, and content providers’ price wars, things got worse as 20,000 employees walked off the job:
“…technicians and customer service representatives, as well as those who install, maintain and support AT&T’s residential and business telecommunications network in nine states…Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.”
With cord-cutting taking hold, consumers found à la carte services much less expensive than traditional cable bundles. But a proliferation of TV, movie and streaming choices all with different interfaces, made finding specific content very difficult. Roku led the pack with guidance across many services to find titles, pricing & bandwidth/quality choices. But rather than skinny-up their own offerings, big entertainment is busy consolidating to defend more expensive packages with exclusive content, forcing consumers to pick winners and losers. With Disney+ on the horizon and seemingly all streaming services raising prices to cover big losses in subscription revenue, consumers are paying more and getting less believing they can continue to subsidize poorly-performing content. In 2012, just 6 Corporations Control 90% of American media…and that was when Digg was still a thing. Will the illusion of choice finally be evident to the consumer? Will they decide to read the book instead?
Will we look back on this time to acknowledge that TV didn’t live to be 100?
This article originally appeared on Your Tech Moment. Tune In! 
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