Managing and Predicting the Future through Software
Posted by Pamela S. on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
If you are reading this, you must have heeded the warnings about the malware known as “DNSChanger.” In the weeks leading up to July 9, the FBI and numerous websites and blogs, including this one, provided information on how to check your computer to see if it had been infected. Computers affected by the DNSChanger would have been unable to connect to the Internet as of yesterday.
At midnight on Sunday, there were an estimated 211,000 computers worldwide affected by the malware. Internet service to these computers was disabled as the FBI switched off temporary servers that had been running since November. That was when the FBI arrested six Estonians who have been accused of running an Internet fraud ring. The FBI decided to postpone taking down rogue servers that redirected Internet traffic. This would have immediately shut off Internet service to affected computers. Instead, the FBI set up the temporary servers and put out warnings and advice on how to remove the malware. Since approximately 4 million computers around the world were infected, the plan was successful. If your computer was involved and you resolved the problem using the provided information, you can thank the FBI for being able to connect.
Last week, all 47 members of the U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution that affirms the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet.
The resolution “affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice.”
Even China, which regularly censors and blocks websites, signed the non-binding resolution. Read the resolution here.
Not all predictions are as dire as the DNSChanger. An article on CNN’s Fortune predicts that cash will soon be a thing of the past, as you pay for your goods and services using your smartphone. I hardly ever carry cash, and I know most people do the same. While many of us use credit or debit cards, the use of digital or e-wallet apps is starting to catch on, making it even easier to pay for your coffee or that new dress.
The Internet has changed everything, including the way we pay and get paid. Most of the people I work for pay me through PayPal. It’s easy and secure, and I can access my account from anywhere. The cashless future is a pretty smart thing if you ask me. Of course if all the conspiracy theories come true and the banking system collapses or the Internet goes dark, we are all screwed. Even a minor computer glitch can affect everything. I’m sure you’ve been in a store when their payment processing machines went down and you had no cash. That is why my neighbor keeps all his money in gold, or maybe hidden in his mattress.
Who needs a hefty pile of change weighing down their pockets and purses? Canada has made a smart move by discontinuing to mint the penny. A similar bill was not approved in the United States. When I’ve been low on cash, I’ve taken my jar of change to those Coinstar machines and come away with some money. Coins are just a pain and only useful for parking meters and vending machines, both things I like to stay away from when at all possible.
I’m no psychic, although I have gone to a few. Yes, I know most are scam artists, but I wanted to see for myself. A new program called PredPol is helping police departments predict where crimes are most likely to take place. The program has been tested in California for the past six months with favorable results. An article on CNN Tech describes how PredPol and other predictive police software is making it easier for law enforcement agencies to do their jobs.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.