[Axis of Easy] April Fool’s Day Has Been #Canceled

Weekly Axis Of Easy #139

Last Week’s Quote was “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming”, by David Bowie, winner was Thomas

This Week’s Quote:  “If you are going through hell, keep going.” …by ????

THE RULES:   No searching up the answer, must be posted to the blog

The Prize:   First person to post the correct answer gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.


Listen to the podcast here:

AxisOfEasy #139: April Fool’s Has Been #Canceled from Mark Jeftovic on Vimeo.


In this issue:
  • April Fool’s is Canceled
  • Cell phone tracking in Coronavirus response
  • Zoom client sent data to Facebook even if you don’t have an account
  • Russian police shut down credit card fraud network
  • Internet loads pushed as world moves remote
  • Announcing:  https URL forwarding is here 

April Fool’s is Canceled

We’ve decided to cancel our traditional April Fool’s jape.  Internal discussion was divided.  Overall we think people are stressed enough as it is, with dissenting opinions that everybody could use a good laugh, all things considered.

However, not everybody finds our sense of humour to be…uh… humorous.  Our April fools jokes usually rely on inducing some sort of cognitive shock and then letting you off the hook with a Rick Roll or a witty punchline.  Even then, it doesn’t always land with everybody.

Times being what they are, we’re going to forgo it for this year.  It’s a shame, ’cause it was a good one.  Been planning it for months.  Oh well.  We’ll get you back next year, that’s a promise.

You may want to revisit April Fools’ jokes of yesteryear to get a dose of levity on your day, including:

Bitcoin payments are now mandatory

Satoshi Nakamoto was an easyDNS customer, and we know who it is

easyDNS to Issue $3 Billion in negative yielding easyBonds

Social Justice Pricing Goes Live Today

Stay calm and stay safe everyone.

Cell phone tracking in Coronavirus response

A theme we’ve seen repeated across multiple countries and government agencies is the adoption of utilizing cell phone tracking in order to monitor the movements of people who are supposed to be in home isolation.

The first instance that came to my attention was right here in Toronto, where the mayor declared a state of emergency last week (in addition to the Provincial declaration just prior) and it came to light the city was working with telco providers to find out where people are still congregating.  Civil liberties watchdogs point out that this could be illegal.

Read: https://business.financialpost.com/technology/city-of-toronto-gathering-cellphone-location-data-from-telecoms-in-bid-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19-tory

Meanwhile, south of the border, where Spring Break revellers congregated in places like Ft Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach to party, Party, PAR-TAY have finished infecting each other and dispersed to various points throughout the country and even the world, no doubt.   As depicted in cell phone tracking data by the company X-mode.

One newscaster remarked that they didn’t know which was scarier, the diffusion of these empty-headed punks all over creation or the level to which every single one of them can be tracked by their phones.

Zoom client sent data to Facebook even if you don’t have an account

It was reported last week that the iOS client for Zoom, one of the goto choices for video conferencing now that the entire world is working remote, reports data about you to Facebook, even if you don’t have a Facebook account.  Motherboard analyzed the Zoom iPhone client and determined it contains Facebook’s SDK (as do many apps), and it sends analytics to Facebook, yet there is nothing about that in the stated privacy policy for the app.

A few days after the story broke, Zoom announced that they were removing the Facebook SDK from the client.

Read:  https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/27/zoom-use-of-facebook-sdk-in-ios-client/ 

This is another reason why, if you’re going to be moving  toward remote work and conferencing, it should be done in a way you can control the data egress and if possible, encrypted – something you’d be able to do with your own Matrix server.  Jesse Hirsh wrote a good high level overview of Matrix in a recent Future Tools segment and we are close to deploying hosted Matrix servers at your own domain.

Russian police shut down credit card fraud network

The kingpin of one of the largest credit card fraud networks in the world has been arrested in Russia along with 24 co-conspirators.  Alexey Stroganov a.k.a “Flint” or “Flint24” has been running underground carding forums since 2001 who laundered his gains via the BTC-e crypto exchange, which was shut down by authorities in 2017.  He is alleged to be involved or behind some of the largest retail data breaches over the last few years.

It seems he accelerated his downfall by targeting victims in his own country, thus attracting the attention of the Russian FSB.  He had previously been incarcerated on a 6 year sentence but had been released after only two years.

Internet loads pushed as world moves remote

As touched on in last week’s #AxisOfEasy, network loads continue to come under pressure as everybody who possibly can work remote, now works remote.  An internet expert in the UK warns that as children move to distance learning online, internet traffic may be prioritized to favour educational and health traffic over say, gaming and pr0n.  Both Amazon and Youtube recently joined Netflix’s initiative in lowering the bitrate of their streaming in Europe in order to reduce system loads.

Read: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/03/19/internet-use-could-rationed-prioritise-health-services-online/

Meanwhile, in Canada, where internet loads typically spike on Saturday and Sunday nights, the traffic patterns are beginning to look like those peak times, all the time.  Where traffic used to peak around 7pm weeknights, it now ramps up sometime after lunch and stays ramped well into the evening.  Overall home usage is up 60% during the day, and 20% higher at night.

Announcing:  https URL forwarding is here 

We’re happy to announce that URL forwarding at easyDNS can now be https enabled.  We’re starting to deploy this at the DNS Pro and Enterprise levels, if you want to be able to setup your forwarders to use https, it’s now as simple as selecting the HTTPS checkbox in your URL forwarding settings and waiting a few minutes.  We’re using Lets Encrypt certs to spin up a cert for your domain on the web forwarders.

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