Category Archives: K9ZW Just Rambled

Brief Hiatus – please check out some of the 2100 other posts

Have something unexpected that requires attention and plenty of windshield time.

I’m short on time to finish off draft posts for publication.

I invite readers to browse the roughly 2100 other blog posts during my brief hiatus.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Small Local Example why Media can’t be trusted – with how this relates to Amateur Radio

Click bait that “Rise in Retail Theft Incidents Reported Around the Country and Locally” with a byline of a local reporter on a very local news service.

I’m editing out names and station/source identifiers, as I want to point out that the logic is crap, rather than take the messengers to task.

A recent survey of small business owners across the country showed that 54 percent of them experienced an increase in shoplifting last year, much of it stemming from organized crime.

During an interview on the [local talk radio show], Neil Bradley, Executive Vice president, and Chief Policy Officer with the national Chamber of Commerce told us, “What they told us is 56 percent say they’ve been a victim of this in the past year and a majority say it’s getting worse. Our good friends at the National Retail Federation tried to put a dollar amount on it. What they found was that for every billion dollars in retail sales $700,000 was lost to theft. That number is up dramatically in the last 5 years.”

In our area, Bradley explained retail theft was such a growing problem in Green Bay, that the police department had to set up an initiative to do something about it.

“It turned out before that they had to pick up somebody at least 4 times for theft from a store before they would refer it to the district attorney’s office for prosecution,” he said. “That’s a pattern by the way we see across the country of people being able to steal multiple times before anything is ever done to them.”

Bradley added, “That’s a lot of what is fueling this shoplifting epidemic.””

Let’s take this piece of journalism apart paragraph by paragraph.

A recent survey of small business owners across the country showed that 54 percent of them experienced an increase in shoplifting last year, much of it stemming from organized crime.”

The claim expects us to believe that the shoplifting is universal across every area of the country – at the same time we are show in the media the extraordinary situation that so many major metro retailers are facing with literal intrusion-teams stealing in broad daylight. There is no reason to think what happened to retailers in areas where the rule of law has been sacrificed for political posturing – like metros – has any correlation to the experiences in small town upper Midwest USA.

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Collins Ruminations – Forward Station(s) Design(s)

Collins S-Line Gear in Temporary Storage

Pickup up the freshened benched and aligned Collins S-Line S-1 Winged Emblem  (WE) station from Chuck W9KR at the end of November 2022. Hats off to Chuck W9KR for all his fine work and taking the time to educate me on many “things Collins.”

My original S-1 gear was a station assembled with each component having a different history. Most were workable, the 75S-1 Receiver, the first Collins unit I was given by George W9EVT to start my Collins Station building off, responded great to W9KR’s attentions. However the 32S-1 I acquired from Northwestern Wisconsin simply wouldn’t respond to W9KR’s best efforts and in the end is now relegated as a parts unit.

So in mass purchase I was able to purchase a 32S-1/75S-1 setup in near museum-grade condition.  These radios and accessories have stayed together since produced some 60+ years ago!  It appears that I am only the third owner to boot!

Chuck W9KR previously went through my Round Emblem (RE) Transceiver KWM-2/A setup.

So refreshed and ready to put on the air, I now have two complete Collins S-Line Stations – the early WE 32/75S-1 setup and the late RE KWM-2/A setup, plus my KWM-380 rack setup.

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More on Malevolent APPs

Continuing on the Bad-APP theme from https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2022/11/29/last-post-made-simple-do-not-install-free-apps/

I went looking around the web for recent examples of APPs gone wrong.  Some that jumped out are:

Auto-Installation of APPs:

“When some Android device owners discovered and subsequently deleted the App, DPH would re-install it onto their devices,”

APP Based Nonconsensual Tracking:

Millions Of Americans Assigned Secret ‘Covid Decree Violation’ Scores ……. Over 100 million Americans were tracked from their cell phones and assigned “COVID-19 decree violation” scores throughout the Covid lockdowns.

PredictWise, a voter analytics firm, harvested location data from tens of millions of US cell phones and provided the data to Democrat campaigns and the Democrat National Committee to develop campaign ads targeting swing voters.

Government/Big Tech Programs to Covertly Load APPs:

Massachusetts Department of Public Health SECRETLY Colluded With Google To Auto-Install Contact-Tracing SPYWARE On Your Phone
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is facing a class action lawsuit after colluding with Google to repeatedly auto-install contact-tracing spyware on the smartphones of over a million Massachusetts residents without their permission or consent.

According to a class action lawsuit filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan nonprofit civil rights organization, the Department of Public Health rolled out the contact tracing app it worked with Google to create in April 2021.

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Last Post Made Simple – Do not Install Free APPs

My previous post on Event Specific APPs – https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2022/11/25/a-cautionary-tale-about-event-specific-apps/ – resulted in a couple “Huh?” emails.

So I wanted to distill this down further – “Do not Install Free APPs” – that is about as simple as it can get.

Those APPs may be not what you think they are.

Free” means you and your data are the “Product.”

Let that sink in – your data is what is being traded for third party payments.

Few organizations have their own dedicated resources to test & vet an APP for security, much less build their own secure APPs.

And many APPs are hard to completely uninstall, if you do decide to install it for an event or special purpose period.

Or if like the Egyptian APP you may have invited an advanced suite of spyware on your phone by installing a Free APP.

Good luck getting clear of that mess.

It boils down to is “who do you trust?” the real issue when you know so little about the actual APP, the APP writers, and the tools they use to build up an APP.

73

Steve
K9ZW

A Cautionary Tale about Event-Specific APPs

You may have been offered event-specific APPs for either hobby events or for work? I know I have, and I also had been warned off of using them.

Recently saw yet another article outlining exploits done by Event-APPs:

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2022/11/another-event-related-spyware-app.html

Another Event-Related Spyware App

Last month, we were warned not to install Qatar’s World Cup app because it was spyware. This month, it’s Egypt’s COP27 Summit app:

The app is being promoted as a tool to help attendees navigate the event. But it risks giving the Egyptian government permission to read users’ emails and messages. Even messages shared via encrypted services like WhatsApp are vulnerable, according to POLITICO’s technical review of the application, and two of the outside experts.

The app also provides Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, which created it, with other so-called backdoor privileges, or the ability to scan people’s devices.

On smartphones running Google’s Android software, it has permission to potentially listen into users’ conversations via the app, even when the device is in sleep mode, according to the three experts and POLITICO’s separate analysis. It can also track people’s locations via smartphone’s built-in GPS and Wi-Fi technologies, according to two of the analysts.

Now domestically one would think there shouldn’t be this sort of mischief going on, but having been on the committee side of significant events that offered their own APPs I was surprised when there wasn’t any process to verify what was being offered. None, zero, zip. Maybe someone informally looked at the claimed certification of the previously unknown APP provider, who of course was selected for the lowest expense as the main axis of selection, but then maybe not so much.

Technology and Exploit/Security Free-For-All?

  • Does the APP have bad aspects?
  • Did anyone with qualifications actually check it out?
  • Does it even fully uninstall after the event or does it leave residuals that either are exploits or could be exploited?
  • Who actually built the APP?
  • When users install it, does it install other programs or APPs?
  • Were they able to fund the APP from the sales of their product, or have they chosen to monetarize the APP by reselling data or allowing exploits?

I’ve had some of these Event-APPs on my iPhone and deleted them, because I needed them for my job.

Going forward I am leaning towards only installing them on a “burner phone” if I have to use an Event-APP, rather than allowing the safety-unverified Event-APP on my main phone.

Ditto with Hobby-APPs.

73

Steve
K9ZW