If you were part of the class action lawsuit against Facebook for using your name in their Sponsored Stories without your permission then you have a nice check for $15 headed your way. Brendan Spaar is unaware if he was featured in a sponsored story because he does not use Facebook. In addition to the settlement with some 600,000 users, the social media site must pay $5 million to the lawyers and several more million to nonprofits like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and schools. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg should adopt Google's philosophy of Do No Evil. Is the person responsible for this ad campaign still working at Facebook? There may be an opening soon.
If you thought that your WiFi router was secure, you will be in for a rude awakening after reading the CNET article below. Most home and small business routers have vulnerabilities that continue to go unpatched by their vendors. Even if the exploits were patched, routers generally do not offer automatic updates like Windows so the patch may never get applied. Brendan Spaar asks when was the last time you logged into your router and applied an upgraded firmware? If you answered never then it is time that you wake up and protect yourself.
Do you remember the old Wendy's commercial where the little old lady inquired "where's the beef?" The answer could soon be "in the lab." A few British scientists have successfully produced beef grown from stem cells in a lab in an effort to prove that meat can be produced without slaughtering animals. The beef patties were cooked and eaten by two volunteers at a London media event. Brendan Spaar wonders if this will convince some vegans to eat meat once again. The burgers were not cheap, coming in at around $375,000. Once scientists get the cost down, we may have another problem on our hands. What to do with all of those cows that we aren't slaughtering?
Edward Snowden has already warned us that this was coming but now CNET is reporting that the FBI is putting pressure on telecommunications providors such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Comcast, and Sprint to install surveillance mechinisms within their networks to spy on American citizens. Brendan Spaar from GA assumes that everything he does online is monitored and has been since 2008 if not before. The FBI is using the Patriot Act to justify the need to spy on more citizens. There is apparently a port reader program that harvests Internet metadata including source and destination IP addresses for all transactions done on the internet. That means the government knows where you are going at all times. For most of us this means the FBI knows how many cat videos we have watched on YouTube. I Can Has Privacy?
Michele Catalano, a recently fired employee of a Bay Shore computer company, discovered recently that everything that you search for online is monitored by someone. In his case, his searches were being monitored by his employer. After he was discharged from the company, his employer sent his list of searches, which included pressure cooker bombs and backpacks, to the Suffolk County Police Department for investigation. Officers responded by questioning Michele about these searches and later determined that they were not criminal in nature so he was not arrested for any crimes. Brendan Spaar wonders if this could happen in Forsyth County GA. Even though Georgia is a good distance from the Boston bombing, where suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suffered multiple serious injuries before his capture, there is no escape from the long arm of Google.
Brendan Spaar is a technology blogger from Forsyth County, GA. Since 2008 he has had a major presence on the web from Alpharetta to Georgia you can find many of his posts all over the internet. This is the technology blog where you will not find arrest or mugshot photos of people but instead you will find