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Jan 14, 2022

Do You Have a Smartspeaker? Another Danger Comes Your Way!

By now, you've heard of tick talk. You might use Tik TOK. Many people do. It's their go-to site online, especially if you're a little on the younger side. Here is a danger of some of these tick talk challenges and combine that with Alexa. Oh my

[Following is an automated transcript]

This is a little bit on the scary side. We built our house some 25 years ago, we contacted a builder, and I put together all of the specs, and I made sure that the wood he used was better than average.
[00:00:30] It's all plywood. It's not particle board or composite boards. And I made sure they were thicker than needed for all of the rules. Struts were closer together than the code required. And we had more oversized plumbing than what was needed through the house. And one of the things I did was I had him wire the house, actually the electrical contractor, with a heavier gauge wire than usually.
[00:01:02] So that I had 20 amp sockets at every socket in the house. Now we put the special 20 amp sockets on some of them, like in the kitchen, we have a commercial toaster, as a sort of thing you need, when you got eight kids and a half of our married life, we had other families living with us too, that we were helping out everything from training through just getting them through.
[00:01:26] Bot. So there were times when we had 20 plus people living in my house. It got crowded, but I wanted to make sure everything was above code so that it would work well and work well for us and know how much juice we tend to use. Yeah, you don't want to see my electric bill. I decided, yeah, let's do the heavier gauge wire, and let's put the sockets in one of the things I had the electrician do to make the sockets a little bit safer.
[00:01:57] This was back before you had these. I, frankly, hate them, but these safety sockets where you push in the plugin Erie must try it for something to get plugged in. There are ways to defeat those safety sockets, and that's where this problem comes in. I had him install the sockets.
[00:02:18] You might consider them to be upside down. So the top of the socket had little grounding. And then underneath that, you had the hot and the neutral lines. So the idea there was, while if something fell onto a plug that wasn't plugged in all the way, or if the kids decided they'd stick something on it, it would go to ground or made sense to be.
[00:02:45] And apparently, it's worked because none of my kids are dead yet. So that's a good thing. There are these challenges on Tik Tok. You've probably heard of them. That's how they got themselves going. They had that, that ice bucket challenge, and many others that people were doing, and they continue to this day.
[00:03:06] One of the tick-tock challenges is very stupid and dangerous. And that's where this article from ARS Technica comes from. Eric Bankman wrote. When was this? Oh my gosh, this is right at the beginning of the year. A 10-year-old girl and her mother used Amazon Alexa. And what was happening in the kid wanted some challenges.
[00:03:32] Mom wanted some challenges, and they were doing a whole bunch of things. Physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over a holding a shot on your foot from a phys ed teacher on YouTube. And the girl just wanted another one. So for those of you who are uninitiated, the plug challenge consists of.
[00:03:54] Partially plugging a phone charger into an electrical outlet. Now the phone chargers usually do not have a grounding pin. So my little workaround of mounting all of the sockets upside down wouldn't matter. Cause if you look at that little charger plug, it's usually just two pins, and it usually doesn't care about the polarity.
[00:04:16] It doesn't have the more significant the side and the smaller side, the. Yeah. I can't remember what they call now, but if they're both the same size, so you can put it in either direction, the spades that you put in. So if you put it in part way, you have defeated the safety mechanism in all of these modern plugs.
[00:04:38] So you put it in part way, you have to push hard and in it goes, and then you pull it out partway. So that's part one. Can you plug this phone charger intellectual outlet partway so that those two conductors are exposed, and then yeah. Then they ask you the challenge is to drop a penny onto the exposed prong.
[00:05:08] So you can get anything from a tiny spark. That little coin may jump off to a full-blown electrical fire. Now, mom was there, and she yelled. No Alexa, no. And the daughter said she's too intelligent to do something. Anyway, I'm looking at a picture here that ARS Technica published of a wall socket, where a short had happened.
[00:05:35] This wall socket is mounted sideways. I don't get that. And the hot side is up. So anything falling against the sock, and by the way, the faceplate is metal. And it was grounded. So anything falling onto a plug that's only partially plugged in because the socket sideways falls onto it. It touches the metal faceplate, and you've got a fire burning.
[00:06:05] So they've got a picture of one of these in a house and you can see where the smoke went up. Now. I don't think the whole house caught on fire here, but it was a major zap. It reminds me of the days when we had. The fuses in the basement. And if a fuse blew, all you really needed to do is go down there and stick a quarter in it.
[00:06:26] And you're fine, which means it's defeated the purpose. Anyways, you gotta be careful. At Amazon confirmed in a statement to the BBC that it has removed that particular challenge from Alex's database. Obviously these are computer generated, and they're based on Tik TOK, idiots. You shouldn't be using Tik TOK for a lot of reasons.
[00:06:52] One of them is it has been alleged that they have been spying for the Chinese. It is a Chinese company. It's part of 10 cents. And the, there's just a little stupid thing. So Amazon said, as soon as you became aware of this error, We took action to fix it. So again, you can't necessarily trust your kid at home with a, an Alexa doing challenges.
[00:07:18] I just can't believe it. It's just incredible exactly what happened here. Hey, I want to give you a real quick tip. Last week, we went over how you can find out. If your computer has been hacked, basically. In fact, we were a little bit more specific. We said, okay, what I want to do here is know if not just the computers have been hacked, but as someone's stolen my.
[00:07:47] Email and or my password. And we explained why and everything else. Then if you missed it last week, you can just go right ahead, online to to oh my I'm just having man's beginning of the year, right? That's what happened. Go online to Craig or slash your favorite podcast player.
[00:08:08] And you can listen to it there. So really good little article from. And make use of technology. And they're talking about what are some of the things you can do? You should do. You shouldn't do when it comes to external GPU's and now if you are a regular computer user, you don't even need one of these things and people might've tried to talk you into it.
[00:08:35] Now, also that GPU is these graphical processing units are built into all of our computers nowadays. All of these new computers that our friends at Apple have come up with have some amazing GPS built into them. Those are great. They're used to update your actual windows screen that you're looking at hate Microsoft for stealing words like windows, mean things anyways.
[00:09:03] But the external GPU is something I use on my main production workstation. So I've got GPU's they work great. And when I'm processing video and doing the edits, and then the final renders, that's when an external GPU comes in. So I can guarantee you if you don't know what I'm talking about here, I guarantee you.
[00:09:29] I need an external GPU. Now the couple of other things to know, if you are looking for an, a GPO of any sort to build and put in your existing computer to build in somewhere out somewhere else, the GPU's are difficult to get right now. And part of the reason for that is so many people have been using them for mining cryptocurrencies, because they're quite good at that.
[00:09:55] Now there's special hardware that's being made. To mine, cryptocurrencies, but GPU's frankly are great little work around for anybody that just has a basic computer and wants to try and do a little crypto mining. So you're going to have a hard time getting ahold of these. GPU's just like many other chipsets out there and my own personal experiences.
[00:10:19] I don't need the top end one because of it takes a few extra minutes to render something. When I'm making a video, it's not a big deal, cause I'm not making videos all day long. So a little tip for you on GPU's and external GPU's. And do you need them, what should do. Use them for, Hey, I am doing some training every week.
[00:10:43] Kind of what we just did just now, but about cybersecurity and other things in my weekly newsletter. So make sure you sign up Craig AU. And if you could, and if you are a podcast listener, like to invite you to subscribe to my podcast, you can find it at Craig
[00:11:07] We've got the end of a era for a device that was considered to be quite secure. In fact, some of our presidents, particularly the one that comes to mind is President Obama used it extensively, and it isn't what it was.
[00:11:23] This device that I'm thinking of right now, and we'll see if you can guess what it is, but it was extremely popular.
[00:11:31] It was for sending and receiving messages that even had some other functions, but it was mainly an email thing. I remember having a couple of those back in the day that was strictly email. They were, they actually nice. And then of course texting came along and they kept up with the times a little bit.
[00:11:49] What we're talking about is the end of the line. This was a Canadian company, a company that was well-known worldwide by the name of rim. They were providing the Blackberry operating system. They had servers that were designed and built to be secure. So you could rest assured that all of your data was safe, no loud you to send and receive emails.
[00:12:23] And it had that wonderful little click keyboard on it. Something that went the way of all the world. That keyboard is now gone, and it's gone for good, as has the ability to use some of those blackberries that you bought over the years to keep yourself. I just had to play taps underneath that, but it's just incredible.
[00:12:51] It is the end of the day for the company, the once dominated the entire smartphone business. If you didn't have a Blackberry, you weren't cool and you weren't secure or secure. And you weren't able to communicate as easily. They were actually. Excellent little devices in their day. I want to add another note here when we're talking about secure, because Blackberry was very big and saying, Hey, listen, it's very secure.
[00:13:21] It's all encrypted. We keep all your emails, encrypted, all your communications and gripped and what we found out, by the way, is it turned out that the Canadian government, basically the equivalent of the FBI, CIA NSA had the master key for all Blackberry messages. And not only did it have the master key, it shared the master key with the United States secret agencies, the end of the.
[00:13:53] CIA, et cetera. So if you were thinking you could use your Blackberry and keep your information safe, you are wrong. You remember when President Obama was elected? One of the first things they scrambled for in the tech business was how do we secure our. Mary. And of course, all kinds are not our Blackberry, his Blackberry, all kinds of rumors erupted that, it was people controlling president Obama and they were using the Blackberry and they're using it because it was secure.
[00:14:22] You, do you remember the whole uproar around. And the biggest problem was obviously our intelligence knew that they weren't secure and they could read any message they wanted to, as well as the Canadian government. And remember the whole five eyes thing back in the day, these five different governments that shared information on their own citizens.
[00:14:45] So it was a real windfall for the United States because Canada was. EV all of this shop software was developed for the Blackberry. It's where all of the servers were located, and data could easily be routed to Canadian servers away from us servers if they wanted to monitor somebody. And so Canada was the one spying on you, technically not your government.
[00:15:08] They'd never do that. So it was an interesting time, frankly. As of January 4th, 2020, These Blackberry phones will no longer be provided with provisioning services, which means they are going to gradually lose the ability to join networks, including the cellular network, by the way. So it's man, it's something that many kids.
[00:15:40] I have never even seen. And I look at it and just think, I remember envied some of the guys that had the blackberries at the time. And I had a couple of other little devices, keyboard-driven that were from people who have been guests on my radio show. And I really liked those, but in the Blackberry was just crazy expensive as far as I was concerned.
[00:16:02] But Blackberry's leadership really messed up. The guys who are developing Android at the time realized, oh, wait a minute. The iPhone is a pretty popular. It's going to be extremely popular. So Android then they mimicked the Blackberry at first, made it look like a Blackberry. And then they switched over and made the Android operating system be like an iPad.
[00:16:31] So they can pick, can compete with it, but Blackberry didn't see any of this coming. And it took over a year after the iPhone came out for Blackberry, for rim research and motion to come up with its own touchscreen phone. And the software was really quite a mass where they tried to. Basically crowbar in some new features and they had the old features.
[00:16:56] They're still incorporate users during this whole time. We're falling into love with their apple phones and then eventually the Android phone. Told their IP department, it departments that they needed to support the iPhone and the Android phones. And so they did, and Blackberry eventually gave up on its own phones and they started releasing Android versions.
[00:17:21] Do you remember those, the Android phones from. Mary, they got out of the hardware business entirely. And now what they're doing is they're trying to promote corporate security services. And that's really what they're trying to do. It's a new claim to fame. Yeah. Remember I just told you last time they were promoting that they were secure.
[00:17:42] They weren't at all. No, they were to some extent, but so the last version of Blackberry opera and he said, The very last release that they had was in 2013. Yeah. 2013 year that hold. So the devices affected here by this shutdown are by all standards, extremely low old. And remember you got to get security updates.
[00:18:07] So these machines, I can't even believe this still online when Blackberry hasn't given an update to them since 2013, that's almost a decade now, nine years. So if you're still using it, stop, and if you're trying to figure out what to use, get an iPhone. And if you say, oh, Hey, films are too expensive. Don't get the latest, greatest iPhone.
[00:18:31] Get a slightly older one because they are supported for five or more years out, unlike everything else out there now, although. We now have Samsung promising some longer support, like five-year support for some of the devices. So we'll see how that ends up going. But frankly, Blackberry, they're done for.
[00:18:53] It's a shame. So there's a handful of software services that relied on the Blackberry servers to function. So if you were using Blackberry world or Blackberry link, those also stopped functioning on the 4th of January and the number of people still using it. I don't know. When was the last time you saw a Blackberry and have you used one I'd love to hear from you go ahead and drop me into the.
[00:19:21] Craig. Yeah, exactly. Let me know, did you have a Blackberry? Are you still using one? And did they bother telling you about the shutdown that was coming up, but this is it. This is the end of what was a very significant technology. So here's to Blackberry. All right, stick around everybody.
[00:19:50] Make sure you are on my email list. I'm going to do something new too, with the list. I'm going to start sending you my show notes. Now you can opt-out of the show notes, just the show notes, if you want to, but expect to start seeing them show up in your email box. And this is the same show notes I send out to all of the radio and television stations I appear on because it's the most important news of the week.
[00:20:17] Artificial intelligence is making its way into all kinds of aspects of our lives. And one of them that concerns me maybe the most, in some ways it's a benefit and others is AI in the criminal justice system.
[00:20:33] China has developed what it calls an AI. Or artificial intelligence prosecutor.
[00:20:41] And they're saying that they can identify dissident and press charges for common crimes with 97% accurate. Now that is a very big claim. And the whole idea behind this is their servers services. If you will, in the court system are overloaded. We have the same problem. Most countries have the same problem.
[00:21:07] I was just looking at India. They've got some 37 million backlog court cases. Absolutely. Phenomenal. So the system now in China can press charges for Shanghai's eight most common crimes that runs on a standard PC. And it takes part in the decision-making process. They say, although apparently it's actually making their decisions, but there are fears.
[00:21:37] The machine could be weaponized by the state. Now it's interesting. Looking at the actual charges that it's designed to press right now, they're saying that it was trained using 17,000 real life cases. And it's able to identify and press charges for the eight most common crimes in Shanghai. These include provoking.
[00:22:05] Now that's a term used to stifle dissent in China credit card, fraud, gambling crimes, dangerous driving theft, fraud, intentional injury, and obstructing official duties. In other words pretty much everything, right? You go against the government. It's just going to charge you. And that's what they say high prosecutor's going to do.
[00:22:28] Now I'm looking to it. Some more details. From the management review journal. And they're saying that the system can replace prosecutors in the decision-making process to a certain extent. Now let's look at some other countries we've got, for instance, Germany, and they're using image recognition and digital forensics to help with their caseloads.
[00:22:54] China's using a system. No. System 2 0 6 to evaluate evidence of a suspect's potential danger and conditions for arrest. Now, we've had some really weird things happening here in the US with our criminal justice system. Some of them are absolutely idiotic. But things like just letting people out the same day that really should be held because they committed a moderately serious crime.
[00:23:20] And we just had cases just at the end of 2021, where we had people. Who had been arrested and got out that same day and then went on to commit serious crimes, rape, murder, and other things. So what are we doing here in the US unfortunately we have found out that in the us, we are monitoring the.
[00:23:49] The funds that people need to put up that are called bail in order to be released from jail. So normally you'd go in front of a justice of the peace and maybe a court clerk, and they would look at what the charges are or what your background is, how sticky you are in the community, family, business ties, et cetera, and then set up.
[00:24:14] So you now put up the bail cash or otherwise, and you are released on basically usually your own recognizance. They're very somewhat, so we are all ready in many areas using artificial intelligence for that entire. Process, there's no pleading with the computer's saying I can't afford a $200,000 bail.
[00:24:39] There's no pleading with the computer saying, listen, I've been a member of the Rotary club for 20 years and I own a business here. I have tight ties to the community. That bail is just way too high because in many communities they are using artificial intelligence and relying on it a hundred percent.
[00:24:57] That's one of the big problems with computers. People because they don't really understand them. Just say fine. Just yeah, go. The computers is almost always right. Yeah. The other problem is we don't know how it was programmed. Now in the case of this Chinese computer, that acts as a prosecutor for charging.
[00:25:20] They fed it 17,000 cases. Do we know what those cases are? Do we know what the computer weighs when it's making its decisions? And we've seen this already, in some cases here in the us where normally you can face your accuser. Normally you can go to the court and say, this decision by the justice of the peace was not quite right.
[00:25:43] It needs to be fixed right now. All well and good. And so if they had someone or they'd come in and testify to say, yeah, you're not a flight risk, et cetera, you're fine. But when it comes to the computers, people tend to just believe them. What were those 17,000 cases where they were, they all nasty dissidents?
[00:26:05] What did the computer learned from it? And some of these cases that we've had in the us we've found. That even the people that provided the software, that AI software, they don't know what the decision-making process actually was because the computer learned how to do it. And you need to understand AI models and how they're fed data and how they work.
[00:26:31] But basically the computers come up with their own way of thinking through things. Just to make this simple. So it's not necessarily totally logic. It's not like back in the day, you'd write software that says, okay, if they have lived in that same home for over twenty-five years, they have kids in school, they own a business, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:26:51] So you set up all of the explicit parameters. And from that, now you can say okay, fine. So you've got, went down this path based on. Person was and what their background was. Therefore, you came to this conclusion. That's not what's happening with this newer AI, not at all. And then you also have the question.
[00:27:12] Okay. What does 97% accurate? Who's going to take responsibility when there is a mistake. Now I'm not talking about the 3% that they're admitting could be mistakes. I'm talking about the 97% of the time. And then if you now move up to the courts, who are they going to talk to? The prosecutor, the machine, the designer of the algorithm.
[00:27:38] Are they going to examine all 17,000 cases that were fed into this? I goes back to what I said before about airplanes. People are not good at monitoring computers, but computers can be good at monitoring people. In other words, in this case, the artificial intelligence may help detect a mistake, but it really cannot replace humans in making a decision.
[00:28:05] It's very true. China's relying more and more on AI to boost productivity. They're using AI with facial recognition systems for their social credit score that allows people to get on. Train you can't get on a train unless you have a high enough social credit score. And if you J rock walk, you have now lost points.
[00:28:28] So it's it's really crazy. So I'm very concerned about this. I found some great information by the way, online from the justice department about what they are looking to have AI do. And it's basically everything making decisions and informing. What should happen? They're looking at using chat chatbox to provide legal advice for pro se litigants.
[00:28:56] In other words, people that are trying to defend themselves can go to a chat box that will give them some direction. That's all in the works. I'm looking at the official documents right now, criminal justice testing and evaluation consortium, looking at artificial intelligence. Hey, make sure you subscribe to my podcast.
[00:29:17] Craig, and I hope I've earned a five star review. And if you could take a minute, just give it right there.