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NC #600 WWII Letter, HomeKit, The Printer is a Lie, 3D Touch, Security Bits

600th poster from georgeOn this 600th episode of the NosillaCast, I included the same audio from Chit Chat Across the Pond, which was the dramatic reading of a letter from my father to his family during World War II. Then we’ll discuss why I think the printer is a lie, and I’ll try to convince you that 3D Touch is more useful than you might think. Bart is back with Security Bits.


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Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday November 13, 2016 and this is show number 600. Wow, 600 episodes. It’s not as exciting as 100, or nowhere near as cool as 500, but hey, 600 is pretty fun too.

George from Tulsa had a cute poster made to commemorate the show, but I think he snuck in an editorial comment into it. You see it’s a picture of the meat grinder Kevin sent to us in honor of how often the live chat room gets to see the sausage get made, and being grinding out is the number 600. But the 600 and resulting grindy bits are definitely in the Google color scheme! I also want to call out Chris, aka CalMiKy on Twitter and the live chat room. I looked back at show #300 and in the comments he said, “Just listened to #300 and congrats. I plan to be listening to the promised next 300 shows which will take you to November 20, 2016!” Well even waiting a week we got to 600 a week ahead of schedule so I sure hope Chris is still listening!

Chit Chat Across the Pond

This week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond is very different from anything I’ve done before. This story took place on September 16, 1945. On that date a horrific typhoon hit the island of Okinawa, Japan during World War II. My father, Ensign John Paul Moorhead, was serving as Chief Engineer aboard the LST 965 and was in that typhoon. He wrote a letter to his parents and my mother describing the harrowing experience of living through that typhoon.

I thought about reading my father’s letter aloud to you, but it didn’t sound right in my voice. I asked my dear friend and noted voiceover artist Ron David to read the letter to you instead. You may recognize Ron’s voice from Raise The Titanic on National Geographic and Wings on the Discovery Channel.

I’m so excited about this episode, I’ve decided to play it for you in the NosillaCast as well. If you’ve already heard it, just skip ahead 15 minutes.

Before we hear the letter, I’d like to give you a little background. The ship on which my father served was an LST, which stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs were amphibious ships designed to bring cargo and troops to unimproved shorelines.

I remember my father explaining to me that the LSTs were never expected to last long enough to come back home, because they were designed and assembled in such a hurry that they weren’t likely to survive for very long. I read online that the contracts were let to build the ships before a single test ship had ever been completed. This is not the kind of ship you’d choose to be in, in a typhoon.

The typhoon you’re about to hear my father describe reached winds of 150 miles per hour, beached 122 ships and small boats, sank five others and killed or injured hundreds of American service personnel. Since this week is Veteran’s Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada, I thought it would be an appropriate day to bring you this very special Chit Chat Across the Pond.

I’ve included the full text of my father’s letter in the blog post along with a few snapshots of the ships aground after the typhoon. If you want to know more, I’ve included a zip file of four news articles my father kept that you can download.

Blog Posts

The Printer is a Lie

3D Touch is More Useful Than I Thought – Part One

Patreon and Amazon

I’d like to take a moment to thank the 28 patrons who have signed up to pledge a little bit of money each week to represent the value they get out of the NosillaCast. I really appreciate this support. Patreon makes it easy to support your favorite shows, by setting up a donation amount for every new show that comes out. I figured the math would get really hard if I did it for both the NosillaCast and Chit Chat Across the Pond, so the only show that triggers a Patreon payment is the NosillaCast. If you find value in the show and would like to demonstrate your support, head over to podfeet.com/patreon and sign up to help the show.

Security Bits

Followup

  • Google released their monthly Android patch for November, but surprisingly, it did not include a patch for the DirtyCOW Linux kernel bug – all android devices remain vulnerable, presumably for another month at least – arstechnica.com/…
  • Yahoo confirm what had already been reported – their staff knew of the mega-breach they finally made public a few weeks ago way back in 2014 – arstechnica.com/…

Important Security Updates

Important Security News

  • Popular web hosting/CMS provider SquareSpace teams up with Let’s Encrypt to offer HTTPS at no extra cost to its customers – blog.squarespace.com/…
  • Security researches find a new IoT botnet that infected 3,500 devices in 5 days – the malware combines the best parts of three previously known IoT bonnets, including Mirai – arstechnica.com/…
  • FireFox have decided to drop support for the controversial battery status web API that was being abused by some advertisers are a kind of super-cookie to track users – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Facebook put an end to a controversial scheme by British insurer Admiral – they were offering cheaper car insurance to users who granted them access to their Facebook feed (via an app) – they would then use an algorithm to guess how safe a driver you would be based on your posts, and alter your quote accordingly. Thankfully, Facebook is ahead of this kind of creepy carryon, and it is explicitly banned in their TOS, so they killed the app – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Google fixed a bug in Ad Sense that was being exploited in the wild to force-download malware onto Android phones, primarily in Russia – arstechnica.com/…
  • Yet more research that shows that humans are terrible at choosing sufficiently secure passwords (editorial by Bart – this is why you need to start using password generators – take the predictable human out of the process!) – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Under pressure from the UK Information Commissioner, Facebook has suspended their plans to collect WhatsApp user data in the UK – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • The Web of Trust have been caught doing very untrustworthy things with the data collected by their browser plugin – including gathering and selling user browsing data, and messing up the anonymisation of that data to boot! For now, the advice is to uninstall their plugin immediately – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…
  • Evidence has emerged that the FBI exceeded their warrant when they placed malware to infect TorMail users – the warrant allowed them to infect users suspected of trafficking child porn, but they infected users of TorMail indiscriminately – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…

Notable Breaches

  • Tesco Bank in the UK was hit by an attack that resulted in fraudulent transfers out of thousands of customers accounts. The bank responded by blocking all online banking. Normal service has now been resumed, and all the fraudulent transfers have been refunded – arstechnica.com/…

Suggested Reading

  • Apple’s HomeKit Security vs. ioT Botnets – There’s Only So Much Apple Can Do (Editorial by Bart: ultimately, HomeKit is not designed to solve the botnet problem, it is designed to solve the privacy problem. Making device makers thing about security probably has a halo effect on their design for the whole product, but HomeKit certification does not say anything about the hackability of the device, it’s only about the security of your data) – www.macobserver.com/…
  • The UK government announces plans to spend $2.3Bn on a new cybersecurity plan – arstechnica.com/…
  • Hacking group TheShadowBrokers release more documents related to the NSA-affiliated hacking collective the equation grouparstechnica.com/…
  • Another sci-fi-sounding threat to our privacy from the ad industry – ultrasonic tracking – arstechnica.com/…
  • Electronic voting is still not secure – arstechnica.com/…
  • Security researchers have published the results of a study that found they could abuse a bug in Philips Hue bulbs to create a wirelessly spreading worm using the ZigBee wireless protocol the bulbs use to communicate with their hub. Thankfully, the researchers reported the bug to Phillips over the summer, and it was patched before they released their research – nakedsecurity.sophos.com/…

That’s going to wind this up for this week. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at allison@podfeet.com, follow me on twitter @podfeet. Remember, everything good starts with podfeet.com/. podfeet.com/patreon, podfeet.com/facebook, podfeet.com/googleplus, podfeet.com/amazon! And if you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

3 thoughts on “NC #600 WWII Letter, HomeKit, The Printer is a Lie, 3D Touch, Security Bits

  1. George Conant - November 29, 2016

    Allison, with the holidays and houseguest, I’m a bit behind in listing to the NosillaCast. I just heard the reader of your father’s mail to his parents. It was really terrific. Your father couldn’t have been too old when he wrote that. Perhaps back then, we learned to write better. In any case, I thought it was very mature, well-written, and exciting (given that things appear to have turned out alright for him). Also, I think you’re a good writer (and podcaster, of course). It appears that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

    George

  2. podfeet - November 29, 2016

    Oh George, what a lovely note. I’m humbled to be compared to one of my biggest heroes. My dad would have been 25 in 1945. My son pointed out that this letter was clearly from the perspective of an engineer – no nonsense, and a lot about the equipment. My father really did convey the strength and terror of the event and sprinkled in humor. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts.

  3. Raspi & aurduino guy - October 25, 2017

    It was all happy, like yay I printed! That just made me laugh so hard

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