Jim’s WebLetter for 10/22/16

Hi-ya Webfriends!

Talk in the political world is the upcoming presidential election could be tampered with come November 8th. Of course the Democrats are attempting to discredit the allegations. But if anyone needed proof of Internet disruption at a time it will be needed, all they had to do is look at yesterday’s event that took place with the Internet company Dyn, whose servers monitor and reroute internet traffic. Seems they began experiencing what security experts called a “distributed denial-of-service attack” just after 7 am.

Reports that many websites were inaccessible started on the East Coast, but spread across the country as the day wore on and into the last evening. Consequently a number of well used websites were cut off and millions of people couldn’t access their online accounts.  

Hackers apparently used “Internet of Things”, connected home devices such as CCTV security cameras and wireless printers, to attack popular websites like Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit.  

Dyn, a DNS service provider, can best be described as a form of an internet “phone book” which directs users to the internet address where the website is stored. Such services are a crucial part of web infrastructure. A dedicated denial of service (DDoS), relies on thousands of machines sending co-ordinated messages to overwhelm the service.  

The Internet of things, while a great idea enabling devices to become smart – refrigerators that keep tabs on contents, thermostats that control in-house temperature, and security cameras for home use, can also be open for hacking. These things need to be better protected from intrusion. That will be the next challenge facing manufacturers of these devices, and the people who own them. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/business/internet-problems-attack.html?ref=technology&_r=0

Also in the New York Times this week was a story about moving your email account out of Yahoo and into another email service. Times writer, JD Biersdorfer, picked Microsoft’s Outlook.com as an alternative email – I happen to prefer Google’s Gmail. But with all the negative events that have taken place this year with Yahoo, I suggest Yahoo email users find another place. After all, millions of accounts have been hacked and have become open source for government investigation without a court order. Couple that with the fact Yahoo is about to be sold, making owning a Yahoo email tenuous, at best. So, follow the instructions in the Times article and get piece of mind with your emails. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/13/technology/personaltech/how-to-bid-adieu-to-yahoo.html?ref=technology

Finally this week, I discovered Google Photos, the photo and video storage facility available to all Gmail users, has improved its service by adding more features like turning photos and videos shot at the wrong angle, right side, and converting videos to animated GIF files. Setting up the service to automatically upload and store all your images from your device is easy and you to add your newly taken photos to folders. Google Photos offers a search engine for easy retrieval plus you can Chromecast your images and videos to your TV to watch on the big screen. Here’s more about Google Photos in this article from Tech Crunch … https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/13/google-photos-can-now-turn-videos-into-gifs-fix-sideways-photos


That’s it this week, friends. I hope you have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.


Jim’s WebLetter

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