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Open thread 2/7/24

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  • Anne February 7, 2024, 8:22 AM

    Snow like this picture is the norm. We do not have anything nearly like “the norm” this year in MT. You can see some pictures of very shallow storm very high up, but our mountain snowpack is down to about 30% average with some areas being down to 19%. Nothing like the median anywhere. There is a very serious water shortage coming out of MT this summer.

    • ghostsniper February 7, 2024, 8:52 AM

      Ever eat a powdered donut and then look at your shirt?
      Yeah, that’s the snow we received around here, almost nothing.
      What the hell good is a cold assed winter if it don’t have no snow???

  • ghostsniper February 7, 2024, 12:05 PM

    Imagine your toothbrush turning off your water heater in the middle of the night and you can’t have a hot shower in the morning before going to work.

    Or, it shuts off your electric car charger over night and drains the battery, so you can’t drive to work.

    Maybe it could KILL your phone. Oh em gee, what will you do when 90% of your hand held brain is trashed?


    Three million malware-infected smart toothbrushes used in Swiss DDoS attacks — botnet causes millions of euros in damages

    According to a recent report published by the Aargauer Zeitung (h/t Golem.de), around three million smart toothbrushes have been infected by hackers and enslaved into botnets. The source report says this sizable army of connected dental cleansing tools was used in a DDoS attack on a Swiss company’s website. The firm’s site collapsed under the strain of the attack, reportedly resulting in the loss of millions of Euros of business.

    In this particular case, the toothbrush botnet was thought to have been vulnerable due to its Java-based OS. No particular toothbrush brand was mentioned in the source report. Normally, the toothbrushes would have used their connectivity for tracking and improving user oral hygiene habits, but after a malware infection, these toothbrushes were press-ganged into a botnet.

    Stefan Züger from the Swiss branch of the global cybersecurity firm Fortinet provided the publication with a few tips on what people could do to protect their own toothbrushes – or other connected gadgetry like routers, set-top boxes, surveillance cameras, doorbells, baby monitors, washing machines, and so on.

    “Every device that is connected to the Internet is a potential target – or can be misused for an attack,” Züger told the Swiss newspaper. The security expert also explained that every connected device was being continually probed for vulnerabilities by hackers, so there is a real arms race between device software/firmware makers and cyber criminals. Fortinet recently connected an ‘unprotected’ PC to the internet and found it took only 20 minutes before it became malware-ridden.

    We don’t have the finer-grained details of the specific Swiss company targeted and suffered from the extremely costly DDoS attack. However, it is common for malicious actors to issue threats with monetary demands attached before weaponizing their DDoS zombie army. Perhaps the Swiss firm refused to pay up, or perhaps the malicious actors instigated this attack to show their muscle (teeth?) ahead of making any demands.

    Though we don’t have the finer details of the DDoS story, it serves as yet another warning for device owners to do their best to keep their devices, firmware, and software updated; monitor their networks for suspicious activity; install and use security software; and follow network security best practices.

    We’ve reached out to Fortinet for comment and will update this story as necessary.


    • DT February 7, 2024, 3:33 PM

      “smart” toothbrushes??? WTF?

  • Anne February 7, 2024, 3:45 PM

    Don’t get me wrong. I would have died of a broken heart if my seven year old had been shot at Sandy Hook Elementary. I would’ve wandered around in a daze for several years, but then finally I would have put together some kind of life.

    There is a group of parents whose children died that day that have formed a very powerful and well funded non-profit group. They lobby for no guns, they have crafted several video tape announcements campaigning for “NO GUNS”.

    What they are doing to me is to intrude several times a day into any page I am reading on the internet. I am not sure that the Biden government would let Jack Daniels whiskey intrude onto my privacy like this, why should these traumatized, wealthy and angry parents be allowed to intrude into my private life? Because we are afraid to say “no more”. Just think if they had taken the time to reconcile with their pain the could have had four years to re-build a life to have another child. They could’ve had another seven year old by now. But NO THESE WEALTHY PARENTS want to take away my right to protect myself because they have suffered great pain. I am sick of these jerks–no longer respect them–and want to know how the heck to stop them from taking over my computer!
    May G*d bless them with the ability to move on in a positive way–to see the good possibilities in this life! TO understand the definition of harassment.

    • ghostsniper February 7, 2024, 5:27 PM

      This may sound retarded but, clear your cache.

  • Joe Krill February 7, 2024, 4:15 PM

    “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
    Poland has had enough…..

    • ghostsniper February 7, 2024, 5:43 PM

      When I was younger I used to get PO’d at the people that want to prevent me from having guns.
      Then over time, and exposure to other things, and quite a bit of time inside my own head, I took on a new way of thinking about this.

      It’s not about the guns.
      They may claim it is, or they can claim anything the want, but it is irrelevant.
      But really, it is about property and the enslavement of people.

      What is the most valuable thing you own?
      Your self, right?
      You are your own property.
      Likewise, your guns and everything else you own are your property.

      Suppose a group of people continuously solicitated the gov’t and other people in an effort to steal the most valuable thing you own. They probably wouldn’t get very far in their effort would they. Because virtually everyone wants to live, preferably free and not caged or dead.

      People that have never had anything to do with guns, and people that are weak in the head, think that stealing peoples guns is the right thing to do and their silly reasons are legion. If you can demonstrate that stealing one type of property is tantamount to stealing ALL types of property maybe they would get a clue.

      The point is that in history every instance where some people were able to steal one type of property (the means to self protection) has always lead to the stealing of ALL types of property (belongings and lives). This used to be common knowledge to a majority of the people in this country but during the past century common knowledge has been slowly exchanged for worthless and fraudulent knowledge.

      Again, the worst thing this rotten assed gov’t ever did was to hijack the public school system because that has lead to multiple generations of people that are improperly educated and do not have the ability to think. Only criminal retards are interested in stealing stuff that belongs to others. Just one more layer of parasites that have chewed through the hull of the sinking ship the USS America.

      • azlibertarian February 8, 2024, 8:58 AM

        I knew it.

        We are talking about the hoarding of ammo.

        I can forgive the Sandy Hook families (et al.) for the delusions brought on by their grief. Those who I have less understanding for are the Gun-Banning-Industry. They naively believe that if guns, either of the Evil Black Type or more broadly considered, were eliminated, that the violence that they focus on would be measurably decreased. And they refuse to accept that there are other social elements that contribute to this violence.

        It is true that if you fail to adequately care for a gun, over the years, it might rust to the point of being unsafe or inoperable. But with even minimal care, a gun is durable enough to last for generations. They do have parts that will wear out–springs primarily, but barrels too–but only the most active shooters will shoot enough to see these parts affected.

        But the bigger point that the gun-banners miss is that they’re past the point of being able to ban them. That horse is out of the barn door, and is now well into the next county running at full speed. A conservative estimate is that, in a country of 350 million people, you can find 400 million guns. JMO, but a better count would be placed in the 600 million range. In Connecticut (population 3.6 million), they have tried to ban “assault weapons” (sic) and “large-capacity magazines” (sic, too). The CT Assembly estimates that there are 2.4 million large capacity magazines in CT. How many CT residents registered a high-capacity magazine, as required by CT law? 40,491. That same article says that there is one Connecticut resident who claims to have 544,000 high-capacity magazines. [I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of magazines.] My point here is that these schemes of registering, or banning in any way, these devices are wholesale failures. You may hate this awful, awful device, and maybe a bad guy used a similar device to hurt or kill someone you love. But as tiny, tiny Connecticut shows, even after Sandy Hook, people will not register, or allow you to ban an item that Americans believe allows them their freedom.

        Freedom wins. Every time.

  • Anne February 7, 2024, 8:24 PM

    How do I “clear my cache”? I can go to history and clear today or every/any day this week, but I don’t have a place to go to to”clear my cache”.

    • ghostsniper February 8, 2024, 3:05 AM

      Are you using Chrome?

    • azlibertarian February 8, 2024, 8:17 AM

      I am a boomer, capable of every sort of on-line foolishness, so don’t take my advice for anything related to these infernal machines.

      That said, this might be a good place to see how to clear your cache.

      • ghostsniper February 8, 2024, 9:34 AM

        Anne, be careful as you may delete stuff you don’t want to.
        Your passwords for example.
        I suspect your machine is bogged down with zillions of cookies, and graphic images, and “stuff”.
        I clear my cache a couple times every day but I never delete my passwords.
        I’m using Chrome and for some reason when the cache gets to about 319gb everything starts to slow down. So I clear it, cept for passwords, and it runs fine again. I’m running Windows 10 and it’s the worst OS since Win 3.11. My work machine is running Windows XP, the best OS ever.

  • Anne February 8, 2024, 1:11 PM

    I just did a comparison of how much DH received in his monthly SS check and compared that with the new amount for 2024. You wanna know how much the gov’t thinks we need extra to stay afloat in this economy? You wanna hear it? How about $67/month !!
    Everyone here already knows that there is a well-organized plan to take over this country: right to vote, quality of education, destroyed our churches, destroyed our borders, etc.,etc. You know what I think they are also doing this year? They are going to bankrupt the white people so they can get control of their real estate! Those big banks who own all that paper on America’s homes those are the same guys who trip up to Davos every year to become enlightened.
    I have been watching the financial report from Australia. Up until just two weeks ago the Australian gov’t has been making a determined effort via their “media” to convince Australians that the economy is stable and growing. They have been pushing that and pushing that until two weeks ago when suddenly the report came out that oh whoops we were wrong–their economy is doing a fast dive into the tank! All this time for the past several years the Australian people have been victimized by banking schemes, government fraud, etc. But, oh no–they were still being told it was all wonderful!
    I think the same thing is going on in this country. Biden is telling us how the economy is growing, but I am here to tell you that I just had to pay $5.50 for a pound of regular butter that used to cost $2.99 on sale and $3.99 regular. Eggs–geez louise WTH happened to the eggs? $2.99 to $5.99 also.

    Has anyone here noticed that their internet carrier has upped their fees by $30/month? HOWEVER, watch this if you go this site: https://www.fcc.gov/acp to see if you qualify for a discount do you know what information they want? Not just where you live, but if you own your home? This is a new scheme the gov’t has created to make it possible to update their home ownership inventories in local areas. They should only require our income and our monthly home payment–not all the details.
    Just sayin!

    • ghostsniper February 8, 2024, 1:49 PM

      Last week I received an email from our ISP (Mainstream) about a reduced rate down to $30 a month and a link to find out if we qualify. I fakely filled out an online form to find out you have to be a ghetto rat to get the discount. So, our ISP is receiving $$$ from the rotten assed gov’t to offer their product to people that would not be able to afford it, or, just give them a reduction so they have more money to spend on other stuff. Essentially, once again we (working class productive people) have to pay more for a service so that said service can be offered to preferred people at a steep discount.

      Regarding the home mortgage. We have been working hard to reduce the amount owed on our mortgage. Currently we have enough cash on hand to pay it off but if we did so then we’d have nothing to fall back on except credit cards if an emergency occurred and that’s not acceptable. So we work harder and cut more corners. I desperately want a mortgage free home. I’ve been working to this goal for a very long time and it is in sight. If we can pay this off in the next 2 years, and continue to add to our cash on hand, then we will have enough cash on hand to pay the yearly property taxes and insurance for 10 years at the current rate. Yes, I know, current rates are always rising. Right now this house is the only thing my wife and I owe money on except utilities and we are very frugal with them.

      It’s past time for people to have a game plan and be working it hard.
      The future’s coming in now sweet and strong,
      ain’t no one gonna hold it back for long.
      There are new dreams crowding out old realities,
      there’s revolution sweeping in like a fresh new breeze.
      Let the old world make believe, it’s blind and deaf and dumb,
      cause nothing can change the Shape of Things to Come.

    • ghostsniper February 8, 2024, 1:53 PM

      Ann, just went to the link you posted and got this:

      The ACP Is No Longer Accepting Applications
      The Affordable Connectivity Program stopped accepting new applications and enrollments on February 8th. Barring additional funding from Congress, April is expected to be the last month enrolled households will receive the full benefit. Consumers had to be approved and enrolled with a service provider by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 7th to receive the ACP benefit.

      All ACP households enrolled at the time of the enrollment freeze, February 7, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET, will be able to remain enrolled through the final month of ACP service if they are not required to be de-enrolled under FCC rules.
      Households that are de-enrolled from the program, such as for failure to use their ACP-supported service, will not be able to re-apply or re-enroll in the ACP during the enrollment freeze.
      ACP enrolled households are strongly encouraged to carefully review written notices from their internet company and from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), the ACP administrator, about the ACP wind-down.

      Households are also encouraged to consult their internet company to learn more about how the end of the ACP will impact their internet service and bill.

      For more updates about the ACP Wind Down, refer to AffordableConnectivity.gov.

      ACP Wind-Down Fact Sheet | Hoja informativa sobre el fin del programa ACP
      Frequently Asked Questions and Answers | Preguntas frecuentes sobre el fin del programa ACP
      ACP & Lifeline FAQs | ACP y Lifeline: Preguntas Frecuentes
      ACP Wind-Down Webinar: Video | Powerpoint Slides| PDF (Jan. 18, 2024)
      The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

      The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

      Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

      The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

      Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?
      A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

      Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
      Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program;
      Participates in one of these assistance programs:
      Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, including at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
      Your Medicaid eligibility may be up for renewal. Learn more about how to renew.
      Federal Housing Assistance, including:
      Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
      Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA)/Section 202/ Section 811
      Public Housing
      Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians
      Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
      Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
      or Lifeline;
      Participates in one of these assistance programs and lives on qualifying Tribal lands:
      Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
      Tribal TANF
      Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
      Tribal Head Start (income based)
      How Does the ACP Protect Consumers?
      FCC rules protect Affordable Connectivity Program recipients by:

      Empowering consumers to choose the service plan that best meets their needs (including a plan they may already be on);
      Ensuring consumers have access to supported broadband services regardless of their credit status;
      Prohibiting providers from excluding consumers with past due balances or prior debt from enrolling in the program;
      Preventing consumers from being forced into more expensive or lower quality plans in order to receive the ACP;
      Ensuring that consumers are not liable for early termination fees;
      Reducing the potential for bill shock or other financial harms;
      Allowing ACP recipients to switch providers or broadband service offerings; and
      Providing a dedicated FCC process for ACP complaints.

  • ghostsniper February 8, 2024, 2:10 PM

    When you hear dems squawking about “our democracy” remember that what they really mean is our oligarchy.

    Since you already realize that everything the dems say is an outright lie then you also realize that “our democracy” is also a bald faced lie.

  • Anne February 8, 2024, 10:29 PM

    Nice work Ghostsniper on following up on those programs–thank you!

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