Author Archive

TBT: In celebration of tax season and the 19th Amendment

February 6, 2020

Perhaps you heard: 2020’s tax seasons is upon us. You may also be aware that August of 2020 will mark 100 years since the adoption of the 19th Amendment, finally acknowledging women’s right to vote. It’s an issue that, like many, today makes us shake our heads to think it was ever hotly contested. It seems [...]

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Fooling sophisticated security systems with a photo

February 3, 2020

Ever notice how easy it is in the movies to get the better of high tech security?  Every secure room and prison cell has a person-size ventilation shaft covered by an easily removed grate. You can spray fog to reveal laser beams and then contort your way through. For every floor with alarm pressure plates, you [...]

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Patriot Act Section 215 gets a quiet reprieve

January 30, 2020

Don’t feel bad if you missed it. Some allege that that was the idea. Late last year, Congress quietly extended Section 215 of the Patriot Act by burying it in the Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2020.  “Most famously,” reported Harvard Law School’s Jolt Digest, … Section 215 authorizes the bulk collection of telephony metadata, or call detail records [...]

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Fiserv Relieves Gas Pains

January 27, 2020

Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show: Payment at the gas pump just got cooler I once heard a statistician characterize Las Vegas—at, of course, a convention in Las Vegas—as “a monument to people who do not understand probability and chance.” To her point, gambling profits indeed built the town. Reno, about 400 miles to the north, [...]

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TBT: Oh what a tangled (dark) web we weave

January 23, 2020

Originally posted October 10, 2017 How the U.S. government helps hackers When you email or visit a website, your computer leaves behind a calling card in the form of its IP address. Short for “Internet Protocol,” the IP address helps devices locate and recognize each other, thus speeding communication. People, too, can identify senders and visitors by [...]

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