Thought for the day

"The supreme trick of mass insanity is that it persuades you that the only abnormal person is the one who refuses to join in the madness of others, the one who tries vainly to resist. We will never understand totalitarianism if we do not understand that people rarely have the strength to be uncommon." -- Eugene Ionesco

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A new set of Android malware, phishing, and adware apps have infiltrated the Google Play store, tricking over two million people into installing them.

The apps were discovered by Dr. Web antivirus and pretend to be useful utilities and system optimizers but, in reality, are the sources of performance hiccups, ads, and user experience degradation.

One app illustrated by Dr. Web that has amassed one million downloads is TubeBox, which remains available on Google Play at the time of writing this.

Posted on: Dec 04 11:00

Google has released Chrome 108.0.5359.94/.95 for Windows, Mac, and Linux users to address a single high-severity security flaw, the ninth Chrome zero-day exploited in the wild patched since the start of the year.

"Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2022-4262 exists in the wild," the search giant said in a security advisory published on Friday.

According to Google, the new version has started rolling out to users in the Stable Desktop channel, and it will reach the entire user base within a matter of days or weeks.

This update was immediately rolled out to our systems when BleepingComputer checked for new updates from the Chrome menu > Help > About Google Chrome.

Posted on: Dec 04 10:48

"The importance of opposing these megalomaniacs, and their games of nuclear chicken, has never been higher..."

Posted on: Dec 04 10:30

The BoE first unleashed QE after the financial crisis to buy bonds in a bid to cut interest rates, boost shares and support the economy.

Policymakers doubled down during the pandemic, lifting total bond purchases to a staggering £895billion.

It is now starting to sell those bonds to curb inflation, a process known as quantitative tightening (QT), but the cost of its policy is becoming clear.

So far, the government has received profits totalling £120billion from QE due to low interest rates. Today it is running at a loss as interest rates rise. The higher they rise, the bigger the loss.

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that the Treasury faces a bill of £133billion between now and March 2028, wiping out earlier profits. 

The BoE itself has admitted that the total net loss could range from £50billion to as much as £200billion. The truth is that it has absolutely no idea how much taxpayers are on the hook for.

Posted on: Dec 04 10:22

Norway, which supplies around 60 percent of Britain's gas, has raked in astonishing profits amid the energy crisis due to the skyrocketing cost of wholesale gas, sparked largely by actions committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. But while Norway reaps the benefits of Putin's war, scuppering Putin's grip on Europe, households in the UK are also footing the bill. Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Oslo received about £24billion in oil and gas revenues annually. But following the onset of the war, its profits are expected to hit £100billion for the whole of 2022 and will even surge to £119billion in 2023. 

Posted on: Dec 04 10:18

Elon Musk has slammed journalists who are criticizing Matt Taibbi for releasing documents about Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

In a Twitter Spaces call on Saturday, the 51-year-old billionaire said reporters who are smearing Taibbi for revealing how the social media giant took down tweets about Biden's laptop should 'look in the mirror' and confront their own deceitfulness to 'the American people,' saying they were 'not being truthful' about the story.

Taibbi, 52, has faced backlash from journalists — primarily from MSNBC — trashing his ethics and standards since his exposé revealing how Twitter executives were urged by Biden staff to delete tweets relating to the damaging contents of Hunter Biden's laptop.

Posted on: Dec 04 10:07

Iran has scrapped its morality police units after more than two months of protests triggered by the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini who allegedly violating the country's strict female dress code, local media say.

'Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary' and have been abolished, Iran's attorney general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

The attorney general also said the Iranian parliament is considering removing law that makes wearing a Hijab mandatory, in a rare sign that the Islamic theocracy is making concessions due to the protestors.

Posted on: Dec 04 10:05

A California Reparations Task Force has found descendants of slaves are due more than US$200,000 in reparations for historical housing discrimination. Sky News host Rita Panahi said this means people who were never slaves could receive money from “people who have never owned slaves”. “And now we’re all going to feel better about ourselves,” she said.

Posted on: Dec 04 07:26

Microsoft is warning Windows users about a fast-approaching end-of-life date for one of its former flagship operating systems. The Redmond-based tech giant is once again reminding users that support for Windows 8.1 is ending soon, with this big cut-off date pencilled in for January 10, 2023. After this date, Windows 8.1 users won't receive any technical support as well as software updates and security fixes - with the latter crucial for when bugs or hacks emerge.

Posted on: Dec 04 06:29

Express.co.uk readers have unleashed fury over their "very annoying" smart meters which are proving to be a massive headache for many customers who had hoped to get real-time information about their energy usage at a time when bills are soaring to record highs amid a crisis. With energy bills set to increase in April to a price cap of £3,000 when the energy price guarantee changes, customers with smart meters are generally led to believe that these devices can help them use their energy more wisely and help to limit bills. 

But large swathes of Express.co.uk readers are furious with their various energy companies over their faulty devices, which for many is having the opposite effect and seeing them forced to fork out even more to pay their bills. 

While a lot of their issues are slightly different, the overriding similarity is that there may a downside to having a smart meter after all. 

Janet Harris was shocked when she saw that her smart smeter was saying that she was using up far more energy than was actually the case. 

Posted on: Dec 03 19:04

The COP27 climate change conference wrapped up last month. World leaders flew in private jets to Egypt to discuss how fossil fuels were quickly heating the planet to the point of no return, as humanity was doomed if crucial climate change policies weren't implemented. But while the climate alarmist leaders met in the desert, November's snowfall across the Northern Hemisphere was running at rates exceeding a half-a-century average. 

Posted on: Dec 03 17:04

An exam board has removed the word 'blacklist' from its computer science GCSE due to concerns that the term could be considered racist.

AQA told the Times it would be removing the term from its specification for 2024 exams onwards following advice from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a branch of GCHQ dedicated to cyber security.

Blacklist is a commonly used cyber security term used to describe a list of suspicious or malicious entities such as viruses, spyware and other kinds of malware. A whitelist is the opposite- containing everything that is allowed.

The NCSC said this equates white with good and safe and black with bad, dangerous and forbidden. It has instead opted to use deny-list and allow-list.

Posted on: Dec 03 14:56

Russia has successfully test-launched a monster of a weapon system, identified as a new anti-missile defense platform under the national Aerospace Forces, at its Sary Shagan firing range in Kazakhstan.

"The anti-missile defense system is in service with the Aerospace Forces and is designed to protect against air and space attacks," the defense ministry said in a statement. However, the statement didn't specifically name the missile that was tested.

Posted on: Dec 03 12:37

In the event of a massive power outage, Austria will hand out emergency food rations to the public. The plan comes as food prices soar and the energy crisis spreads worldwide.

The plan, which was published on the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Regions, and Tourism website, decrees that all grocery stores are to remain closed on the first day of a potential blackout. On the second day of the same blackout, stores are to remain closed but act as centers from which bags of fresh produce will be given to residents, between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

From day three, only products from the dry range will be offered, for safety reasons, according to a report by RT.  Additionally, the stores will offer prepared bags with water, long-life bread, canned goods, convenience products, and candles to be sold for cash. Baby items and hygiene products will be made available on request only.

Posted on: Dec 03 12:14

The United Kingdom is expected to release a report featuring some proposed steps for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by the end of the year.

According to Tom Parker of Reclaim the Net, the Bank of England and the UK Treasury will be issuing the report. Sir Jon Cunliffe, the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor of Financial Stability, announced the release of the report at a recent speech titled “Reflections on DeFi, digital currencies and regulation.”

In the speech, Cunliffe stated that the Bank of England and other UK government agencies have plans on imposing more regulations on cryptocurrencies as they proceed to establish a CBDC.

Additionally, Cunliffe called attention to how the Bank of England is “actively exploring the issuance of a digitally native Pound sterling” and alluded to the notorious collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX as one of the reasons why the UK must pursue stronger cryptocurrency regulations.

Posted on: Dec 03 11:49