Tag Archives: privacy

IRS Should, And Could, DENY Whether Donald Trump Is Being Currently Audited — Without Violating Law?

by Anura Guruge


Click to access ‘USA Today’ story. Google for many, many more.

Yes, the IRS has privacy laws, as it should, to stop it from divulging information about taxpayers and their status.

BUT from what I can see the IRS, or for that matter any agency, can DENY A FALSEHOOD without compromising privacy laws — especially IF it impugns your integrity.

This is a matter of National importance.

IF Trump is not being audited the President or the Attorney General on behalf of the IRS should make a statement that “per the IRS Trump is not being currently audited”.

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by Anura Guruge

Samsung Confirms That Smart Devices Will Spy On You — Big Brother Watching YOU!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read excerpt here. Use link below to access original at “The Week”.

Click here for the original at “The Week”.

This is exactly what I was referring to when I said, on Monday of this week, that I had MAJOR privacy concerns when it came to the Amazon ECHO that was advertised during the Super Bowl.

As somebody who has been actively involved in computers for 47 years (yes, since 1969) I have a good grasp of what the technology can do and what vendors are likely to do with that technology.

That smart devices go out of their way to collect data on us is not knew. I first subscribed to satellite TV 24 years ago. Of course that meant I had to have a settop box that had a phone connection — supposedly so that I could PPTV. But the guy who installed the system told me, kindly, that the main reason for having the phone connection was so that all of the channels that I had surfed through could be uploaded, at 2 am in the morning, on a regular basis — on the pretext that diagnostics were being performed on the box and that new software was being downloaded. That was 1992.

Obviously any smart device that offers voice commands MUST listen to everything going on so that in can pickup its name. This was my concern with Amazon’s ECHO. Having an Internet-connected device, with a sensitive mike, in the middle of our living area listening to everything that was going on. What a boon for Amazon. 

Yes, as is the case with Samsung, in theory, they need to cover this in their published privacy policy. But that is just in theory.

So be warned. Be aware. Be very afraid. Big brother is watching you and listening to you. Any internet connected device with a camera and mike can spy on you without you realizing it. SMILE.


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by Anura Guruge

Amazon ‘Echo’, As In Super Bowl Ad, Apple’s Siri On The ‘Cheap’.

by Anura Guruge


Amazon’s ‘Echo’ Super Bowl ad. Click to access YouTube video posted by Amazon.

I am sure most people seeing the Super Bowl ad yesterday had NO idea as to what an AmazonEcho‘ was and what it was capable of doing — other than maybe play music, turn lights on and answer questions. But these features are NO LONGER new, let alone ‘oh gosh’ to many people. From TV ads I have seen (albeit not during Super Bowl) quite a few contemporary cars have this type of voice-controlled automation — and then there is Apple’sSiri‘. [You really should check out this ‘Siri‘ link.]

So this is not groundbreaking technology. Amazon had offered my one, as a Prime customer, at a discount quite a few months ago. I really didn’t see a need. PLUS it would never be able to understand my garbled accent — given that most times I can’t understand what I am saying.

PLUS, there is a MAJOR privacy reason I will talk about in a later post!

For now let me just give you the specs. Yes, you need an APP, running on an mobile device, to set it up.

Click images to ENLARGE and study here.

Use this link to access Amazon’s product page for the ‘Echo’.

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by Anura Guruge

Al Gore ‘The Future’ Book Signing In Concord, NH: What I Learned.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Al Gore ‘The Future’ Book Signing Made Me Sad — Feb. 6, 2013.
Do NOT Buy Al Gore’s ‘The Future’ In Hardback — Feb. 6, 2013.
Is Al Gore Gay? — Feb. 6, 2013.
Al Gore In Concord, NH, February 6 — Feb. 5, 2013.

These were the main things I learned from yesterday’s ‘The Future‘ book signing in Concord. My overall sentiment was one of profound sadness: credibility compromised for commercialism.

Al Gore, though BAM was hoping he would only speak for 20 minutes, spoke for 30 minutes. BAM only permitted four questions from the audience, randomly (or they said) picked. I actually learned quite a bit from one of the questions. I will point that out.

So here, in very pithy form, are my takeaways, from yesterday, more or less in the order they registered in my brain. I did not take notes.

>> :: Privacy :: Dictionary.com places 243 cookies on your computer to track your Web surfing trends.
[Since I do use Dictionary.com, with increasing annoyance with their blatant intrusions, I checked this as soon as I got back. He was right. It might be 230 cookies, but they are using me as a cookie jar. I had it on my bookmark toolbar. I deleted it. I will not use it again. I replaced it with Wicktionary. Not the same, but will do. Plus, it will force me to do something that I have been remiss in doing for the last couple of years: reaching down and picking up my beloved ‘Oxford Concise Dictionary’. Thank You, Al Gore.]

>> :: Privacy :: The U.S. Government is currently spending billions developing a system that vacuums up ALL of our electronic transactions, including e-mails, Tweets and posts so that they can be electronically analyzed, if needed, to check what we have said and done in the past.
[I did not check this, but I know that this has been talked about. I have always assumed that all of this data was captured and stored. I have known, since the 1970s, that all phone calls to/from the U.S. were recorded and stored. So, to me this is nothing new. I always work under the assumption that Big Brother is watching me.]

>> :: Wealth Inequality :: 6 descendents of the two Walton brothers who created Walmart are worth more than the 100 million Americans at the very bottom of the wealth pyramid; so 6 = 100,000,000.
[I wasn’t shocked. I checked. It is on Wikipedia. Yes, these 6 are worth [albeit per the vagaries of the Walmart stock price], $102.7 BILLION (B).]

>> :: Genetic Engineering & Shift In World Power :: China is spending billions on genetic engineering, even working on ways to change the IQs of unborn babies. Al thinks that China or India will overtake the U.S. in the future as the #1 superpower. He thinks later than sooner.
[I am not surprised. I think the shift will occur sooner than what Al thinks. Just keep an eye on China’s space program.]

>> :: Global Warming :: We are now releasing the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day, 365 days per year, in terms of burnt hydrocarbon energy into the atmosphere each day.[I looked it up. But Gore is the ultimate hypocrite. That ‘The Future’ is in hardcover only proves that. I do NOT believe that global warming, if true, is due to humans! I also now know that the Earth is losing MASS. That is a much bigger issue and most, including Gore, don’t even know about it, let alone understand it. I will talk about it here, soon.]

>> :: Bloody China :: This was from the 1st Question asked yesterday:: China is spending $2xx million a year processing ivory!
[I checked. There appears to be a basis — same as the Philippines that I have railed about on my Pope blog. We can’t boycott China and I shudder because I do have some Chinese in me: my fraternal grandmother was 25% Chinese. Maybe after Chinese New Year I will stop eating Chinese, especially now that I have dramatically cut back on carbs.]

>> :: Global Warming :: Lakes Huron and Michigan are at their lowest known levels.

>> :: Robots Running The World :: Robots will soon be able to create new robotic capabilities.[Yes, and pigs will fly. I do know some about AI. I have dabbled in AI for 4 decades. No, we have yet to make that pivotal AI breakthrough to impart self-learning and creativity into machines.]