My thanks to Kolide for once again sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote their new Kolide Cloud “User Focused Security” concept. Last year, Netflix blogged about a great internal tool called Stethoscope which helped their security team communicate the key settings they expect their employees to manage instead of relying on intrusive enforcement. They termed this concept “User Focused Security”. Kolide recently released Kolide Cloud, which enables you to roll out this User Focused Security strategy and effectively communicate your organization’s Mac security best-practices to your users. Additionally, Kolide Cloud can detect and alert you about situational security concerns in your Mac fleet that often lead to serious compromises. Kolide looks for improperly stored 2FA backup codes, evidence of unencrypted backups, browser extensions that subvert the privacy of your users, and a litany of other issues that you will want to shut down immediately. Kolide Cloud is free Continue reading "Kolide"

Does Google’s Duplex Violate Two-Party Consent Laws?

Devin Coldewey, writing for TechCrunch:
“It may be possible with careful design to extract the features you need without keeping the original, in a way where it’s mathematically impossible to recreate the recording,” Kortz said. If that process is verifiable and there’s no possibility of eavesdropping — no chance any Google employee, law enforcement officer, or hacker could get into the system and intercept or collect that data — then potentially Duplex could be deemed benign, transitory recording in the eye of the law. That assumes a lot, though. Frustratingly, Google could clear this up with a sentence or two. It’s suspicious that the company didn’t address this obvious question with even a single phrase, like Sundar Pichai adding during the presentation that “yes, we are compliant with recording consent laws.” Instead of people wondering if, they’d be wondering how.
This is one scenario I’m imagining for Google’s Continue reading "Does Google’s Duplex Violate Two-Party Consent Laws?"

Rebecca Solnit: ‘The Coup Has Already Happened’

Rebecca Solnit, in a compelling essay for Literary Hub:
The current situation of the United States is obscene, insane, and incredible. If someone had pitched it for a thriller novel or film a few years ago, they would’ve been laughed out of whatever office their proposal made it to because fiction ought to be plausible. It isn’t plausible that a solipsistic buffoon and his retinue of petty crooks made it to the White House, but they did and there they are, wreaking more havoc than anyone would have imagined possible, from environmental laws to Iran nuclear deals. It is not plausible that the party in control of the federal government is for the most part a kleptomaniac criminal syndicate.

Washington Post: ‘Trump Administration Preparing to Hold Immigrant Children on Military Bases’

Nick Miroff and Paul Sonne, reporting for The Washington Post this week:
The Trump administration is making preparations to hold immigrant children on military bases, according to Defense Department communications, the latest sign the government is moving forward with plans to split up families who cross the border illegally. According to an email notification sent to Pentagon staffers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make site visits at four military installations in Texas and Arkansas during the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability to shelter children. The bases would be used for minors under 18 who arrive at the border without an adult relative or after the government has separated them from their parents. HHS is the government agency responsible for providing minors with foster care until another adult relative can assume custody.
Let’s not mince words. What they’re describing here are called concentration camps. For Continue reading "Washington Post: ‘Trump Administration Preparing to Hold Immigrant Children on Military Bases’"

Samsung Compares Galaxy S9 to Very Slow iPhone 6 in New Ad

Two thoughts on this Samsung ad trying to get iPhone 6 users to upgrade to a Galaxy S9:
  • I’m glad they’re making fun of the notch rather than copying it, like every other Android maker. Samsung should go all-in on anti-notch-ism. It’ll make them stand out not just compared to the iPhone, but to their Android competitors. I don’t think this weird haircut is the way to do it, though.
  • I’m curious about the legality of using the Apple logo on the shirts worn by the employees inside the fake Apple Store. I’m not sure I’ve seen that before. There’s a long history of second bananas mocking their market-leading competitor, by name, in ads. Pepsi mocking Coke, Burger King mocking McDonald’s. But can you imagine a Burger King commercial where someone goes into a McDonald’s, including employees wearing McDonald’s-logo’d uniforms, and gets a bad hamburger? Wendy’s iconic “Where’s Continue reading "Samsung Compares Galaxy S9 to Very Slow iPhone 6 in New Ad"

‘No, of Course No.’

Jack Morse at Mashable, following up on DF reader Jay P’s deduction of the actual restaurant where Google claims two of its employees enjoyed a meal booked via Google Duplex:
And sure, this could be some kind of coincidence. There could be two noodle places, both within a short drive of the Googleplex, that both have booths, salmon colored walls, and that same painting and frame. That’s why I called Hongs Gourmet. When I did, a woman answered the phone. After explaining I was a reporter with Mashable and that I was curious about Google employees eating there after using an AI to make a reservation, she told me she’d put me on the phone with Victor. Victor got on the phone, and I explained the Google blog post and photo and asked him if the AI had made the reservation there. He replied in the affirmative. I also asked Continue reading "‘No, of Course No.’"