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Security

California Lawmakers Plunge Some Transactions into 3rd World

September 11, 2014

California has come up with a law that hurts the very people it says it is protecting by making it difficult to record call center transactions. Penal code 632 of California law says in-part:
(a) Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section or Section 631, 632.5, 632.6, 632.7, or 636, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
This is part of a more bewildering law Penal Code 630-638 that seems to be designed to make it exceedingly difficult to do business in the state.

The challenge for business owners is they need to record calls for many reasons such as quality control and government compliance. Now, it is potentially illegal to record such calls without the consent of the caller.

Then there is the importance of keeping a record of all calls for the caller's own protection.



Securus eResponder a Solid IoT, M2M Device

August 4, 2014

With an aging population around the world, the potential for strokes, falls and other medical problems which leave a person unable to reach help, only increases. As a result, the need for a device you wear all the time – something small and light increases as well.

This category of product in fact is likely one of the first in the M2M space otherwise known as IoT.

I recently had a chance to try out the Securus eResponder Mobile Personal Emergency Response System, a device name which apparently is designed as a filter.

Top Business Scams to Watch For

July 19, 2014

As a young child I was fortunate enough to get to work with my father and he used to teach me about things to look out for in business. The first story I ever heard about unethical business practices was a company that sent small bills for snow plowing to companies and the accounts receivable departments assumed they were legitimate and just paid them. Only when they sent a bill to an area of the country where there was no snow did they get caught.

The premise of the scam was that a company is likely in need of the service you are fictitiously billing for, so there is a high degree of likelihood they will pay because the bill is too small to check.

9 Shocking Facts about the Nasdaq Breach by Russia

July 17, 2014

In October 2010, the FBI determined malware, most likely from an intelligence agency of another country had snuck into the Nasdaq’s central servers.

The following facts are the most shocking:



  1. Several different groups were operating freely on Nasdaq computers, some of which may have been in the exchange’s networks for years, including criminal hackers and Chinese cyberspies.
  2. Basic records of the daily activity occurring on the company’s servers, which would have helped investigators trace the hackers’ movements, were almost nonexistent.
  3. The website run by One Liberty Plaza’s building management company had been laced with a Russian-made exploit kit known as Blackhole, infecting tenants who visited the page to pay bills or do other maintenance.
  4. The situation was so bad, one investigator referred to Nasdaq’s computer banks as “the dirty swamp.”
  5. There were indications that a large cache of data was stolen, though proof was scarce, and it was hard to see what was spirited out.
  6. A subsequent investigation showed systematic security failures riddling some of the most important U.S. financial institutions.
  7. Many of them were vulnerable to the same attack that struck Nasdaq. They were spared only because the hackers hadn’t bothered to try.
  8. By mid-2011, investigators began to conclude that the Russians weren’t trying to sabotage Nasdaq.

Is the US in Store for Another 9/11?

July 3, 2014

Let me start off apologizing for writing about a non-tech topic and also for a somewhat sensational headline but I believe what I have to say here supersedes my responsibility to just cover the typical topics you come here to see. I have been traveling a great deal lately and as a result signed up for and was accepted to the TSA Pre check lanes at the airport meaning a more relaxed screening as shoes remain on, laptops stay in the bag, etc. The only issue is over the last few months, before I was accepted to the program, I have been chosen at random with hundreds of other passengers in Indiana, New York and Orlando to go through this line.

The point is, to be accepted in Pre you have to give fingerprints, submit to a background check, etc.

Surprise! Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Not Airplane Friendly

July 1, 2014

Whether you think the Surface Pro 3 is a good product or not depends a great deal on the applications you plan on using and the specific needs you have. It is better than an iPad and a MacBook Air in many ways and also worse. While I have had about a week to use the device I have found it is a lot more productivity-inducing than an iPad Air if you get tremendous volumes of email like I do. Specifically, Outlook 2013 is a much better interface than the email client on an iPad.

Alcatel-Lucent: NFV Can be More Secure than Legacy

June 16, 2014

As NFV and SDN usher in a new era of software telcos, there are just so many pieces which have to be put into place to enable solutions from disparate vendors to interoperate smoothly. Moreover, carriers are always looking for one throat to choke and NFV really opens up the carrier network is so many new ways that determining who is responsible for issues is more difficult.

Security has always been a major focus for operators. Indeed, when their networks were proprietary and thought to be bulletproof, it was determined a simple whistle distributed in a box of Captain Crunch cereal could give access to hackers.

Edward Snowden Interview is Quite Revealing

May 29, 2014

If you missed the Edward Snowden interview what you should know is he tried to use proper whistle-blower channels to get the word out about the US population being spied upon. This has been confirmed in fact by NBC News. He was generally told to shut up and it was explained to him he better not go public with the information he had.

Moreover, he went on to say that virtually all electronics can be turned into a microphone remotely and other truly scary things to anyone who takes their freedom and civil liberties seriously.

One other point is he says he was at a much higher position in our intelligence services than the government and president has told us. Take a look and decide for yourself who you believe is more trustworthy.





Metaswitch Forum 2014 Live Blog

May 13, 2014


Metaswitch Forum 2014 will kick off soon, stay tuned.

Any second now - its 8:05 am in New Orleans

The event has kicked off with a keynote presented by Steve Gleave - which has been preceded by a few well-produced videos. The idea so far is tying in the theme of the event "The brains of the new global network" with Steve's brain. The cast of characters behind the scenes show how they tinker with Steve's brain - he eventually comes out on stage on a Segway with Harley Davidson sound-effects.


Russia and US Internet Freedoms Go In Opposite Directions

May 7, 2014

Edward Snowden left the US and fled to Russia after effectively causing the largest security leak in US history and today, both countries seem to be going in somewhat opposite directions with regards to electronic freedom. In the case of the US, there are two competing bills which are designed to limit bulk collection of phone records. The Guardian has a good write up of the situation.

In summary, there is the The USA Freedom Act, designed to prevent the US government from collecting US phone data in bulk, passed by the House Judiciary Committee with a 32 to zero bi-partisan vote, making it the first surveillance reform bill to proceed out of committee and to the House floor.

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