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Google Could Lose it's Trademark

August 21, 2017

Is Google a generic term like KleenexDumpster and Realtor- unworthy of protection with a trademark symbol? The case is pending.

Dr. Wikipedia tells us:

A trademark is said to become genericized when it begins as a distinctive product identifier but changes in meaning to become generic. This typically happens when the products or services with which the trademark is associated have acquired substantial market dominance or mind share, such that the primary meaning of the genericized trademark becomes the product or service itself rather than an indication of source for the product or service. A trademark thus popularized has its legal protection at risk in some countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, as its intellectual property rights in the trademark may be lost and competitors enabled to use the genericized trademark to describe their similar products, unless the owner of an affected trademark works sufficiently to correct and prevent such broad use.



Ellen Pao and California Senate Point to a Huge Valley Harassment Problem

August 21, 2017

Ellen Pao has a new book coming out "Reset." you might recall she was a poster child for Silicon Valley sexual harassment a few years ago in her lawsuit   against Kleiner Perkins which she ended up losing.

But back to her book. A fascinating excerpt follows:

Once we were airborne, the CEO, who’d brought along a few bottles of wine, started bragging about meeting Jenna Jameson, talking about her career as the world’s greatest porn star and how he had taken a photo with her at the Playboy Mansion. He asked if I knew who she was and then proceeded to describe her pay-per-view series (Jenna’s American Sex Star), on which women competed for porn-movie contracts by performing sex acts before a live audience.

“Nope,” I said.




Intermedia Anti-Phishing Tools for Small Business

August 21, 2017



Large companies generally have IT teams to deal with phishing attacks but really, there is no perfect defense from a determined phisher who wants to get you to click on a link. Once you click, they could install a backdoor which gives them access to your passwords or perhaps they could start installing ransomware.

All a company can do is be as protected as possible. One way to achieve this is with strong anti-phishing tools - similar to the ones rolled out by Intermedia last week.

The company says they have unveiled Enterprise-grade anti-phishing protection, designed for SMBs - otherwise knows and small and medium businesses.

The new Intermedia Email Protection features include:

  • Similar domain check: Spear-phishing campaign authors will typically register an email domain that looks 'similar' to a company's email domain (e.g., iintermedia.net with two i's instead of intermedia.net). Intermedia's domain check feature uses a similarity algorithm to confirm that the sending domain is in fact is someone from within the organization.
  • User impersonation check: Spear-phishing attacks target specific employees within an organization, by impersonating someone they know – most typically the CEO or other high-profile individuals.








Maybe Net Neutrality Needs to Apply to Silicon Valley

August 21, 2017

In the debate for net neutrality, its been left versus right for about a decade. Silicon Valley, and Democrats are for net neutrality while conservatives are for free markets with minimal government regulation.

The biggest argument advocates of net neutrality use is they fear for a world where unregulated ISPs are able to throttle and block content they don't agree with or that which is competitive.

Last month, Google, Facebook and Spotify among many others worked together to participate in a June 12 Internet-Wide Day of Action in support of net neutrality.

Organized by Fight for the Futurefreepress, and Demand Progress, the event precedes a July 17 deadline for public comment on the FCC's proposed changes to net neutrality rules, originally designed to prevent huge internet service providers from creating internet 'fast lanes' that deliver content from some owners at higher speeds (and potentially higher costs) than that of others. In his new role as head of the FCC, former commissioner and Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has quickly mobilized efforts to roll back the Obama-era protections, among other things, arguing that the regulations will inhibit investment and innovation in the field.

Interestingly net neutrality proponants are generally associated with the antifa movement - the communist group which says it represents anti-fascism.

So there we have it - the left wants net neutrality rules so the government can ensure corporations can't keep sites they don't agree with, off the internet.









How Technology can Eliminate White Supremacy

August 17, 2017


As our country is mired in race debates, it's interesting to see how technology has inadvertently begun to actually reduce the number of white supremacists.

When researching how many white supremacists there are in the US, you find that there aren't any accurate surveys on the matter. Apparently, inbreeding makes it difficult for these people to read survey forms.

The closest number we could find is 5,000-8,000 people in the US who are part of the KKK or about .003% of the population if we use the high end of the range.

What gets really interesting is that thanks to quick and simple DNA testing white supremacists can now determine just how white they are.

The results have been shocking as 2/3 of them have found they aren't pure white.

Irony of ironies - the odds are 2:1 that the average cross-burning moron actually isn't what they think.

This of course has led many people in these groups to question the tests. It must be some conspiracy that just 2/3 of of the people tested in their "group" are impure while 1/3 are. Obviously, many of these people need to loosen their sheets to reduce the brain damage associated with oxygen deprivation.

Bottom line - technology now exists to take a population of perhaps 6,000 KKK members and knock the number down to to a mere 2,000 or the amount of people who went to our high school.

So far, 153 people in these groups have posted their results.
















The Long Tail of Cybersecurity

August 9, 2017

The long-tail, a term coined to describe the ability for organizations to sell vast amounts of products in small quantities accurately describes how a music store like iTunes can generate massive quantities of profit selling virtually limitless inventory.

The online world made this possible. Try as they might, Barnes & Noble could not match the inventory of Amazon in all its stores. Online wins because inventory is near-infinite.



In the cybersecurity world there is is a similar phenomenon taking place. The same bell curve applies but in this case, we can assign it to the value of a target.





Tesla Model X vs. Porsche 911

July 31, 2017



I recently had a chance to test drive a friend's Tesla Model X and he could not have been more enthusiastic about this car. In fact, another friend forced me to test drive his Model S over a year ago. I say forced because, I was surprised just how much people who have Teslas want to evangelize the car to others. I'm not so sure I'd be so generous with my new car that I would offer to share the drive with others shortly after purchase.

That is what Tesla does to its fans - it makes them raving fans, not unlike what Apple has been doing since the 1980's.

We went for a drive around rural New Jersey and my friend kept asking me to floor it to feel the power...





Facebook and Google May Become Regulated Utilities

July 28, 2017


Google effectively has a monopoly in search and Facebook has one in social networking and together they have a virtual monopoly in online advertising. Worldwide, Google has 92% market share! Facebook has 2 billion users with no competitor in site. The two companies alone account for virtually all digital advertising growth.

It is for these and other reasons that Steve Bannon wants the companies regulated like utilities.


DieselGate: We Were Right, Something Smells Awful

July 13, 2017


Remember back in 2015 when we said something doesn't smell right in the VW diesel scandal? it would be impossible for the whole auto industry to not know what was happening - including execs at these organizations.

Well, fast forward a few years and many arrests later and now Mercedes may have to recall over a million vehicles because well, apparently they did see what VW did and decided it was a great idea to emulate.

Had you been a reader, you would have known this was coming back in 2015 when we said:

If management learned VW engineers were able to achieve the impossible… They found a way to burn diesel in a manner which literally saved billions of dollars for the company, they would naturally want to know how it was done. This was a breakthrough. It is inconceivable that all of management wouldn’t be interested in learning at least something about how the system worked.








StaffAlerter Provides Value in Emergency Notification and IoT

July 8, 2017

With terrorist attacks and other shooting incidents becoming commonplace, the need to quickly notify large groups of people regarding dangerous situations seems to have never been greater. While many of the solutions on the market are targeted at governments or large police departments, the emergency notification system on a budget market has been neglected.

Enter StaffAlerter, the infinitely flexible solution which combines the power of IoT-like sensors with IFTTT real-world flexibility. By this we mean that the system can be easily programmed to sense an emergency button being activated in the freezer and then proceed to unlock the freezer door.

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