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The Actuator – April 17th

Level 17

Back from Copenhagen and back writing the Actuator after Suzanne’s takeover last week. Thanks to everyone for their supporting comments, both public and private. I’ve got more travel coming up, so maybe we will have more takeovers. Stay tuned.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

Tesla boom lifts Norway's electric car sales to record market share

One thing I noticed last week in Copenhagen was the quiet. Electric cars do more than cut down on fossil fuels; they also reduce noise pollution.

Amazon wants to launch 3,236 satellites so it can rain down internet from space

Pretty ambitious project for an online bookstore.

Yahoo tries again to settle lawsuit over massive data breach. This time it offers $118 million

This works out to about 4 cents per breached account. Sorry, not sorry, that’s the message being sent here.

Walmart says its new robots will make human employees happier

Looking forward to a kid hacking the robots and rolling back prices.

Internet Explorer security flaw allows hackers to steal files

The old “file association” trick that has been used for various exploits over the past 20 years. Microsoft doesn’t think this is critical, but you might want to push an update to your devices that removes the default association for now.

540 million Facebook records left exposed due to sloppy third-party developer security

I am really starting to believe that Facebook might not be good at security.

Facebook spent $22.6m to keep Mark Zuckerberg safe last year

Well, Facebook can secure and protect the privacy of at least one person. That’s a start, I guess.

One of many beautiful views from walking around Copenhagen last week. This is Nyhavn, a fancy word for "New Haven":

nyhavn.JPG

50 Comments
Level 14

Thanks for the articles!

Level 12

Welcome back! thanks for the links.

Level 14

So 3236 satellites roaming the heavens to get internet access across the globe. It's going to get pretty crowded up there and what goes up must come down at some point, I can picture the nightly news with the latest satellite re-entry info given with the weather report!

Looking at the basics....

Ambitious...you bet....

Desired outcome needed..... of course....

Opportunity for abuse ........... need I say more?

Level 14

Electric cars.... just get the price down a bit more so the average person can drive it and sales will take off in the US.(without government incentives)

I wonder how many of those picturesque old boats in Nyhaven are functional versus there for the impressions they leave on tourists? I love the photograph of the waterfront you provided, but I immediately thought to myself "How practical is that sailing/fishing schooner?  If it were "in business" for active netting, wouldn't it be bigger and white and made of metal and look like it was built in a modern shipyard during the last thirty years?"

I'm OK with it being purely for beauty and not functional.  I'm also open to being amazed someone uses it for netting fish commercially and can make a living while competing against factory trawlers.

Less highway noise AND less air pollution AND less carbon emissions to slow the growth of global warming, while simultaneously increasing employment?  I'm all for Win-Win-Win-Win scenarios!

Bill Gates came up with that "fill the skies with Internet Satellites" philosophy twenty-five years ago. 

Teledesic - Wikipedia

I LOVE the math performed on the Yahoo "settlement" offer.  $.04 per breached account is totally laughable!

I'd consider accepting $10K for each Yahoo account of mine that's been compromised.   I've experienced more than that much frustration and had to waste far too much time recovering from their lack of security.  They'd probably still come out ahead, compared to having to fully compensate me for the hassles they've caused.

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Apparently Microsoft doesn't think their default file association is a security risk because fixing it would cause them to spend time and money doing what should have been done 30 years ago.

Facebook really needs to subscribe to Thwack so it can learn what to do to prevent security events.

The Actuator – June 27th

The Actuator – October 24th

The Actuator – March 20th

The Actuator – March 27th

Maybe Thwack could be a paid white paper contributor and white hat for Facebook?

Naw, I don't think we'd want to share responsibility for their shortcomings.

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Level 12

Facebook...aaargghh...Facebook!

Level 13

As always, thanks for a bunch of great links.  FB and privacy are like east and west - they will never meet.

Level 14

Robots in Walmart.... I am going to censor my comments a bit.

Walmart is a company possessed by efficiency and cost saving, if a robot can do inventory, scan inventory, stock shelves or clean the floors (heck vacuums has been at it for years!) then they will do it. The more important issue is that this is addressing the problem that all firms have now in a "full employment" universe and I am sure these things have factored into the development and deployment of these new "tools". Their efforts will make it more mainstream and absolutely more acceptable for other retailers and companies to join in. They are blazing an interesting trail, away from the factory floor to a  more customer facing and presumably more efficient environment. Film at 11!!!

Level 14

Facebook protecting Mark Z.... $22.6 million TIMES xxxxx users = A whole lot of $$$$

Yup.. just protect the boss!

MVP
MVP

Thanks for the links. The one problem with electric cars is that you normally don't hear them coming and when driving them, there's no thunderous noise when going fast.

Level 11

I will cool down before I try and read any of those. but hanks for the articles - something to do while sitting on the throne.....

Level 20

Still bummed you've never come to Phoenix yet Thomas!  Missed you at two SWUG and now there's no PHX SWUG this year :^{

Level 20

Dang the website is really weird lately... links for success center all messed up and now moderation is coming back again.

Level 20

There were some April MS patches that also were really slowing peoples computers down I think I read somewhere... considering how serious some of the patches were I suppose it is what it is?

Level 14

Also helps with population control as the numbers of people stepping out in front of them, because they don't hear them coming, increases.  Seen some very near misses.  Some people need all the help they can get to avoid being run over.  Probably using their one brain cell to read tweets on their phone.      

Level 14

Just what we need.  More crap in low Earth orbit.  It will soon be impossible to actually launch the spaceships we will need to escape Earth and explore the stars.   

Level 14

Really generous of Yahoo.  Pity they didn't spend some of that up front to actually secure the data in the first place.

Level 14

I'm not sure there are any exciting aspects of working in retail.

Level 14

Internet Explorer security flaw allows hackers to steal files

You could leave out the words "security flaw" and the sentence would still have the same meaning.    

Level 14

So Facebook is selling data to 3rd parties and they are then allowing free access to the data.  Surely there must be something in the contract between Facebook and the 3rd parties to stop this.  Maybe Facebook sues the 3rd parties then gives the money to the affected people. 

Level 14

Surely Zuckerberg doesn't need any protection.  With all the data people freely give him he must have enough dirt on everyone to keep him safe. 

Level 14

Wish I was sitting outside one of those bars in the photo right now.    

Level 13

Thanks for the Articles

Level 13

The electric car boom in Norway is interesting.  The raw numbers aren't quite what I expected - the percentages sound so much more impressive.  The other thing to note is there is a massive tax penalty driving the whole thing.  It would be interesting to see what would happen if electric vehicles were treated like every other vehicle from a tax perspective.

Great articles.  So what is up with the locks on the bridges?

I would love to go there and practice lock picking.

RT

Locks on bridges?  I know there's an old trend of putting a lock on a piece of public infrastructure, often near or over water, indicating one's heart is locked to another for being in love.  Combinations are discarded, keys tossed in the water, to show one's love will never be broken.

In a few cases the locks have become so many that they've caused problems.  Public structures fail due to the weight of thousands of locks, fences or gates won't pivot properly, etc.

Is that what you're referencing?

Paris removes 'love locks' from Pont des Arts bridge | CNN Travel

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Level 16

Tesla boom lifts Norway's electric car sales to record market share

I'm pretty sure my next car will be an electric one.... unless they start taxing them like they do the gas ones.

In my state we are now paying 38 cents per gallon fuel tax and our governor wants to raise it another 45 cents per gallon or to 83 cent per gallon fuel tax.

My car, which gets around 24 mpg will be 3.45 cents per mile tax.

For comparison:

FACT CHECK: Cost to Operate the Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt:

$18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.

My daily drive to work and  back is right around 22 miles round trip, all highway with few stops.

Level 16

Walmart says its new robots will make human employees happier

One of my local stores now lets you bring in your own bags and scan your own stuff with your phone. They spot check a few items from it looks like about 1 out of 4 carts on your way out. One more step with automating the cashiers.

Same thing going on with fast food and the kiosks that are showing up. No need for the counter person.

Level 17

IIRC, many were used for dining, but a handful were in operation. That canal opens up to the sound, which leads to the Baltic (or North Sea, if you turn the other way).

Level 17

Hmmm....I'm not sure I have ever visited there. Tucson, yes. But not Phoenix. Weird.

Level 17

Yep, locks of love, that's what they were.

Level 16

Amazon wants to launch 3,236 satellites so it can rain down internet from space

Actually. I don't see that as a bad idea. Maybe I could get high speed internet at home then.....

Level 16

Walmart says its new robots will make human employees happier

My Roomba gets stuck under the couch, sucks up the string and tries to pull the mini blind down, pushes my stuff everywhere, etc... 

Pretty sure a bigger one will just cause mayhem on a larger scale.

MVP
MVP

All those satellites.  NORAD and other agencies have to track thousands of objects already in orbit including chunks of old satellites.  This further complicates future space launches as it would add thousands of more objects to have to dodge...think frogger in space.

Another side effect is all the extra RF (radio emissions) noise that desenses other radios/transponders by increasing the noise floor.  There would have to be essentially a mesh style network between the satellites to keep communication going since they would be constantly moving.

Level 14

True in a big box or chain environment... Slightly different outlook if it is your own business.

Level 14

I am still laughing!  Good job Rick!

MVP
MVP

Cool article

MVP
MVP

One of many beautiful views from walking around Copenhagen last week. This is Nyhavn, a fancy word for "New Haven": -

Unfortunately you reminded me of Roomba stories that didn't work out so well for home owners.   One (of many on Youtube):  Funny Dog Video - Roomba Runs Over Dog Poop - YouTube

MVP
MVP

Thanks for the articles... is it true Papa .. Internet Explorer has seen better days!!!    Sploder .. I hate to see you go ... perhaps I can limit your access!

MVP
MVP

Tesla boom lifts Norway's electric car sales to record market share - Nice

MVP
MVP

Amazon wants to launch 3,236 satellites so it can rain down internet from space  Do you think that it this effort will assist in making cloud services a bit more stable and reliable ?

Level 12

Ten years ago Iridium 33 crashed into a Russian military satellite and debris will be in orbit for probably at least another four decades. With SpaceX launching thousands of satellites, Amazon launching thousands of satellites, OneWeb  launching thousands of satellites, and others wanting to get into the game, space debris will soon close orbit off to humans.

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.