Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Still waiting for the snow. Being contrary--again.

The snow we expected last evening is coming in a good bit more slowly than originally thought.  Now we aren't expecting it till later today through Thursday.  Doesn't matter.  We don't have any errands or shopping to do till next week sometime.  Everyone is very tired of winter but we have another six weeks till the vernal equinox and the beginning of spring.

So the Feds want to require vehicles to have "vehicle to vehicle" communications to prevent the large number of fatal crashes that don't involve some form of driver intoxication.  My contrary thoughts:  First, how much will this cost?  Second, do we really want another operation (driving) deskilled to the point where people have only rudimentary abilities to take control if something the system can't handle occurs?  I have recently read and heard accounts of airline pilots who can't really fly their planes without the computer control systems often with lethal outcomes.  Do we really want millions of drivers on the roads in similar circumstances?  Third, we are already hearing about the possibility of hackers using appliances as platforms for their hacks.  I have seen some stories speculating on the possibilities of such attacks on the semi-smart cars we already have.  What would happen if someone hacks into the really smart cars the government proposes and causes accident on major highways in major cities at rush hour?

Land of the free??  Home of the brave??  I saw one reference to Snowden's German network interview on either BBC or Al Jazeera.  Not a breath of a word otherwise.  Al Jazeera had a piece this morning about an alternative news site that was taken down in Turkey by the government which evidently can shut down sites they find offensive, for any reason, in less than an hour.  I saw a couple of stories which described the efforts of the Saudi government to criminalize every criticism as "terrorism."  How is our government any different?  I think our government has gone from valuing an informed electorate to deciding that "in a government of the people, by the people, for the people" they shouldn't tell the people.  Or allow them to find out from any other source.

Just had an interesting phone call.  Interesting even though I didn't talk to or text anyone.  I heard one of our phones ring and before I figured out which it was--mine as it turned out--the caller had hung up and the phone recorded a "missed call."  Well, I didn't recognize the area code or the number so I decided to try to check it out on line.  I entered the number in the search bar and came up with a number of options none of which told me exactly who was calling.  The top two were message boards complaining about the unknown party on the other end.  The call was a phishing expedition trying to get information.  We have seen several stories about new phone scams like the "one-ring" ploy that routes those unwise enough to call back to foreign exchanges which results in huge bills for the respondent.  Better safe than sorry.  I prefer to check out the caller before calling back.

While on the subject of scams, Maha has a few words about the newest Repthuglican scam.  Evidently the (less than) Grand Ole Party has put up several web sites that look like the official websites of Democratic candidates but when the unsuspecting visitor clicks to donate they are shifted to the GOP fundraising site.  As I said: "scam."

Here we go again!!  Different state, different substance but the same problem.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

What great info!!! I don't have caller ID so I hang up a lot or ask the name of the offending party and tell them to put me on their Do Not Call list.

I don't get a lot of junk calls anymore.