TECHNOLOGY: Banks should have a better security system on checks

A friend got a check “washed” that had been mailed in a drop box, altered, and cashed.

Needless to say, they didn’t even conceive of such happening.

I suggested a few follow ups on what to do. 

First and foremost, immediately file a police report.

He’d notified bank and changed accounts Updated on the credit reporting agencies (transunion, experian, equifax, etc).

Then, he’s going to notify all the places he hold accounts.

Argh!

I think IMHO the banks should have the ability for account holders to “pre post” the checks they write with the check number and amount.  In effect, “write” it twice — once on paper and once on line.  Then if the check gets altered, the bank will no to reject it.  Seems simple enough to me and would be a great “value added service”.  I’d think it would be real popular with business.  After all the bank’s bill pay is almost that already.

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TECHNOLOGY: Old fashioned keys are “better” than fobs

https://newjersey.news12.com/folly-of-the-fob-skyrocketing-car-thefts-more-proof-that-old-metal-keys-were-better

Folly of the fob: Skyrocketing car thefts more proof that old metal keys were better
Apr 08, 2022, 6:32pmUpdated 10h ago
By: Brian Donohue

# – # – # – # – #

I agree.

It’s funny when I switch cars and look for the start button to press in the truck.

Force of habit and a lack of mindfulness.

How many people still walk around their vehicle and look underneath before driving?  I was taught to look at each of the tires reporting the .  Yes, I’m older than dirt!  Was driving long before tires reported they were flat.

It’s like the habit of opening the (left) driver’s side door with your right hand.  And visa versa.  (With distracted pedestrians on the sidewalk, one has to look out for those fools as well. Argh!)

FWIW.

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TECHNOLOGY: Automating a beehive?

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/beewise-hives-save-colonies-from-colony-collapse/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_medium=weekly_mailout&utm_source=05-04-2022

Company’s Innovative Smart Beehive Gets $80 Million in Funding to Save Bees From Any Hazard

*** begin quote ***

The traditional hive most commonly used in the world today (the Langstroth box) was designed by humans about 150 years ago. Most people are so used to them they mistakenly confuse them with bees’ natural habitat.

By completely redesigning the beehive, a company called Beewise was able to address many of the inefficiencies of the box and significantly improve bees’ well-being and life longevity.

*** end quote ***

I found this fascinating.

And, an example of replacing a 150 year old solution with an improved one.

400$/month? Too rich for my backyard.

Maybe a GoFundMe could put one in a park as a way of “helping”?

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TECHNOLOGY: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium deplatforming — are they declaring they are NOT a “common carrier”?

https://stevekirsch.substack.com/p/the-final-word-from-twitter-on-my?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo0MTQyNTAzMCwicG9zdF9pZCI6NTA3OTYwMjIsIl8iOiJ3dWtjQSIsImlhdCI6MTY0Nzk1Nzc3NSwiZXhwIjoxNjQ3OTYxMzc1LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItNTQ4MzU0Iiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.q2jPYmNmrf7OZUiHun3q4AojKCwAdEBBdJr06q7nO5s&s=r

The final word from Twitter on my account (after 13 years): we’re deleting you and everything you ever wrote

  • After 13 years on Twitter, I was suspended for life a second time on Feb 6, 2022 and I was just notified today that there is no appeal. It took them 6 weeks to review my appeal.

Steve Kirsch

*** begin quote ***

Summary

Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium all believe deplatforming me (and others who share my beliefs that early treatments work and the vaccines are dangerous) is a service to their community.

The message these companies want to send to everyone is that if you stick to the popular narrative, you will not be punished.

This is a new America where you need to conform or you will be deplatformed.

*** end quote ***

I guess it’s time for me to leave ANY platform that “deplatforms” ANY ONE for anything other than a “free speech violation”.

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TECHNOLOGY: Old hardware gets a new life?

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/02/google-turns-old-macs-pcs-into-chromebooks-with-chrome-os-flex/

CLOUDREADY BECOMES CHROME OS FLEX —
Google turns old Macs, PCs into Chromebooks with Chrome OS Flex
Google acquisition results in free, downloadable Chrome OS.
SCHARON HARDING – 2/15/2022, 12:00 PM

*** begin quote ***

Google is positioning Chrome OS Flex as an answer to old Mac and Windows PCs that might not be able to handle the latest version of their native OS and/or that might not be owned by folks with budgets to replace the devices. Rather than buying new hardware, consumers or IT departments could install the latest version of Chrome OS Flex.

*** end quote ***

Sounds like something I want to try and maybe better than trying to run some version of Linux on old junk?

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TECHNOLOGY: The cost of EVs are much higher than our current gas vehicles.

EMAIL FROM LUDDITE

*** begin quote ***

I have been talking a lot with friends about the push for EVs, and am hoping that you would consider doing a segment that investigates the practicality of electric vehicles.  Here are the questions I have that I believe have not been addressed:

1.  The cost of EVs are much higher than our current gas vehicles, that will exclude many from being able to afford one. 

2.  I have also heard that the cost of replacing the batteries in 4-5 years is in the thousands of dollars.  Add that to the high cost of a new vehicle, and it makes it even more prohibitive.

3.  Each home or business that needs to charge their vehicles will require a new electrical circuit installed.

4.  Charging an EV requires anywhere from 25 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on whether the charging station has a fast super-charger or not.  What will the impact be on people waiting to get their EV charged?  First, assume that every current gas station will have to convert to have both gas and electric fill pumps, making them available for older gas vehicles and new EVs, more additional costs and additional space required.  With an EV the average time to “charge up” will be at least 4 times longer (5 minutes for gas versus 20 min for EVs).  Without the “fast” chargers, it could be 12 times longer (5 min vs 60 min) or even longer to charge up.  Think of the impacts, time itself on the traveler, at “least” twice as many charging stations as current gas pumps, waiting locations for travelers while they charge up?

5.  What about apartment/condo dwellers that park outside, or city street dwellers that have to park in the street?  Will chargers be installed in all apartment parking lot locations or street parking spaces? At whose cost?

6.  Where is all the additional electrical power to come from?  Can you imagine the peaks during nighttime charging?

7.  Hazard/space component to storing so many dead batteries after they are no longer useful?

I’m sure there are several more questions that I have not thought of, and many more issues that would need to be addressed.  But it does seem as if the government has “environmental blinders” on, and are not able to foresee the damage that moving to EVs will cause. If they are concerned about “climate change” they shouldn’t be, that’s what our climate does, change.  It’s been very cold and very hot off and on since it’s creation, it’s what the earth does, and we are just along for the ride!

*** end quote ***

EV’s seem to be a dead end technology.

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TECHNOLOGY: Add your COVID vaccination … but should you? (IMHO NO!)

https://freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/4034897/posts

You can add your COVID vaccination certificate to the Apple Wallet… but should you?
TNW ^ | 2/2 | Callum Booth
Posted on 2/2/2022, 5:01:47 PM by nickcarraway

*** begin quote ***

Spoiler: Yeah, why not?

The modern world hurts my brain. Let’s take the news that Apple enables users to store their COVID vaccination certificates in the Wallet and Health apps as an example.

When I first heard about it, I was pumped. Flashing my QR code to enter a restaurant or grab a coffee would be far simpler if it sat in my Apple Wallet. Friends, the time I’d save!

But, of course, the world had something to say about that.

We talked to 4 successful entrepreneurs This is what they wish they knew before getting started

While putting my digital certificate of vaccination in an easy-to-access place is cool… is it safe? And because I can do it, does that mean I should?

Something that seemed simple on the surface is actually a minefield. I wanted some clarity on this issue.

*** and ***

COVID vaccine certificates in the Apple Wallet app: not a huge concern To put it bluntly: there are no obvious dangers of moving your vaccine certificate to the Apple Wallet. This does come with a large caveat though, as this is only true if you tightly control what apps can access your data.

In this way, vaccination certificates differ from digital IDs. The majority of the former are digital by nature, while the most common forms of identification (driver’s licenses and passports) are paper-based. Digitizing them opens a huge and wriggling can of worms — while the vaccine pass system could actually benefit from being incorporated into the Apple Wallet.

So, there you have it! A little bit of respite before the modern world messes with our heads again.

*** end quote ***

It’s just too easy for the Gooferment make this the digital version of “show me your papers”!

It’s a BIG “NO” for me.

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TECHNOLOGY: Wish I could create a manifest of applications

https://www.howtogeek.com/778951/why-you-should-get-rid-of-unused-android-apps/ Android
 Android Phones & Tablets
Why You Should Get Rid of Unused Android Apps
JOE FEDEWA
JAN 17, 2022, 8:00 AM EST | 3 MIN READ

*** begin quote ***

Clean Phone, Clear Head

Lastly, cleaning up your phone is a good way to eliminate distractions. A more focused phone experience can make it much more pleasant to use.

We tend to treat email spam and unwanted phone notifications the same way. Rather than spend an extra minute or two unsubscribing, we waste even more time being distracted and deleting them. Don’t let apps you’re not using make your phone more annoying.

Take a few minutes to scroll through your app list and evaluate which apps you’re actually using. Don’t hesitate to delete unused apps. After all, you can just install them once more if you end up needing them again. Your phone will thank you.

*** end quote ***

Now if there was some easy way to create a “manifest” so that apps could be easily tracked.

Same problem exists on IOS!

Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: Will the developers please consider old people using their stuff?

I, as with many other people, act as “tech support” for our older friends and relatives.

Will the developers please consider this when they push products to the marketplace.

I like tech products to have a “supervisory mode” that his all the “dangerous” functions from the old, and young, users.

Just like enterprises do to their employees with varying degrees of success.

Phones, chromebooks, and computers are my current hot buttons, but as more devices like TVs and streaming sticks become “configurable”, they have the same problem with “fat fingers”.

Argh!

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HARDWARE: iX1500 is neat recommended product based on the added support for external cloud services

I have had the scanner for awhile.  While good, the cloud implementation to Fujitsu cloud was lame and timed out quickly.

After a complete reinstall after something melted down software-wise, I needed their tech support to walk me through the the process. 

Updated to all the latest “stuff”, I found that the device now supports external cloud services like dropbox, Evernote, etc etc!

So now a scan to the cloud goes right into the appropriate cloud vendor.

This displaces ADOBE’s scan on the iPhone, that wants a monthly subscription.

So all in all a good “update”.

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TECHNOLOGY: APPLE and GOOGLE with suck at tagging photos

I like to phot everything that passes through my hands.  ID cards, letters, people, etc. etc.

From time to time I need to find the “needle in a haystack”.  Unfortunately, I can’t “tag” photos to indicate what they are and why they’d be important.

Argh!

I have to create “albums” and “folders” and what not that some developer thinks is “kool”.

Argh!

Why not tags like Twitter and Facebook?  Why reinvent the wheel?  Like labels in Gmail but not in photos.

Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: Shouldn’t we have universal distress alarms

https://www.cnet.com/news/missing-teen-girl-rescued-after-using-hand-signal-learned-on-tiktok/#ftag=CAD590a51e

The Women’s Funding Network created the sign as a lifeline for those trapped at home with abusers during the pandemic.

# – # – # – # – #

Like keystones on a computer or a pin sequence at an ATM.

For an ATM pin, I’d suggest 9111 being that duress alarm.

Tellers have such a button, but why not have it as keystrokes on their keyboard?

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APPLICATION: Address Book — anyone have a good solution?

I’m really tired of struggling with various address books  — IOS, OSX, Android, Google.  Does anyone have an evernote template that could be the universal address book.  I remember an old Windoze app “Little Black Book” that just allowed one to print out specialize address books for different purposes.  For example, I used to print various ones for older relatives that only had “their” items of interest.  Now, it just seems to be a virtually impossible to print something that would look like an address book without a lot of manual effort.  Any suggestions?

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TECHNOLOGY: Apple frustrates the “right to repair”

https://www.reviewgeek.com/102499/apple-prevents-iphone-13-screen-repairs-in-what-ifixit-calls-an-unprecedented-lockdown/\

Apple’s Attempt to Prevent iPhone 13 Repairs Hurts Customers and Professionals
ANDREW HEINZMAN NOV 5, 2021, 3:26 PM EDT 

*** begin quote ***

When our friends at iFixit did their first iPhone 13 teardown, they called the device “a new low” for repairability. Apple took unprecedented steps to prevent “unauthorized” iPhone 13 repairs—particularly screen replacements, which (by design) break the phone’s Face ID functionality.

Screen replacements are by far the most common phone repair procedure. They’re also fairly cheap and easy to perform, so as you can imagine, they’re the bread and butter of small repair shops. But unless Apple gives you permission to perform an iPhone 13 screen or battery swap, you will end up with broken features or a non-working phone.

And I’m not exaggerating when I say that you need Apple’s “permission” to repair the iPhone 13. Its components are serialized—meaning that parts like the display and Face ID camera can identify each other using unique serial numbers. To make one of these serialized components work with a donor part, an authorized Apple technician needs to sync each part with Apple’s cloud network and request approval from the corporation.

*** end quote ***

It seems apparent that Apple wants to control its “customers” like sheep to be shorn.

As much as I am a little L libertarian, we are stuck with the current system until “We, The Sheeple” stand up and say “NO!”.

‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: [screaming at the top of his lungs] “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” — the character Howard Beale played by Peter Finch in the movie Network (1976)

So, I hope the anti-monopoly folks take notice of this.

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TECHNOLOGY: YSK When apps have both a web presence and phone client, try both.

Recently, on both CLASSDOJO and SHUTTERFLY, I was trying to upload a photo.

In CLASDOJO, the web site would only accept a live photo. (MY workaround was to take a photo of my phone. Argh!). In SHUTTERFLY, I was trying to upload a photo from my laptop and couldn’t get it it.

After calling in and wasting time, I found out that if I used the IOS or ANDROID client, I could easily do what I wanted. In my “after action” review, a habit I got in the military, I could NOT find anything in their “help” sections that would let me avoid the phone call.

In the future, I’ll try different versions of the same offering on the off-chance that some developer was too lazy to make all the versions functional equivalent. Argh!

I’m putting this YSK on my blog so I’ll remember to follow my own advice.

FWIW YMMV

WHY YSK: I wasted a lot of my time and that of two support organizations because their sites were not intuitive and, I never thought that their IOS / ANDROID apps would be that different. DOn’t make my mistake and ASS-U-ME that everything is identical. It MAY not be.

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TECHNOLOGY: GOOGLE is one interconnected mess

Accidentally deleted my Google Pay account and now Google FI and Google One are all screwed up.  My pixel 5a is a unable to be used as a phone.

Argh!

Been on the phone with support for two hours today and 90 minutes yesterday.

Wonder if I can return the phone and start over?

Argh!

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HARDWARE: Apple spits in the face of “right to repair”!

https://www.reviewgeek.com/98982/ifixit-calls-the-iphone-13-a-new-low-for-repairability/

iFixit Calls the iPhone 13 “a New Low” for Repairability
ANDREW HEINZMAN @andrew_andrew__
SEP 27, 2021, 5:48 PM EDT | 1 min read

*** begin quote ***

As Right to Repair legislation garners support from both sides of the political aisle, Apple is doubling down on its anti-consumer practices. A now-complete teardown from iFixit shows that the iPhone 13 reaches “a new low” for repairability, as it’s effectively impossible to repair at home without losing key features like Face ID.

*** end quote ***

Way to lock in the consumer.

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TECHNOLOGY: What a freak accident

https://nypost.com/2021/09/22/brazil-man-dies-in-freak-keg-explosion-on-his-43rd-birthday/

Cancer survivor killed after beer keg explodes at 43rd birthday party
By Ben Cost September 22, 2021 10:58am 

*** begin quote ***

A Brazilian man died at his own birthday party last week after a beer keg exploded while he was trying to fix it.

The tragedy occurred the evening of Sept. 17 after Gilson do Nascimento, 43, rented the booze barrel for his b’day bash in Campo Bom in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Newsflash reported.

*** end quote ***

What a freak accident.

I foresee a big lawsuit about who said what!

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HARDWARE: Chromebook versus Apple care

My experience with getting my ROSE Mac book air repaired continues. 

Yeah, I spilled coffee on it — thanks Dunkin Donuts — and I sent it in and paid for repair — spills not covered by Apple Care — back it came still broken.

Just went thru the process again because the box got lost. Argh!

I’m going to chrome books completely.  When they break you just recycle them.  Argh!

My fiancé’s chrome book broke down and I had her back in operation in less than a day.  Most of the time was to drive to Best Buy and pick up a new one. 

Chromebook = Appliance like “Toaster” where as the Mac Book Air is more like a cranky computer. Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: Texting sucks

2021-Jul-23 2148

Texts have been really screwed up on the TMobile network.  All sort of weird crap going on.  Texts to and from TMobile are just going into the bitbucket.

My work around is just to use the damn phone as a voice call.

All communications protocols SHOUD BE authenticated and error-resistant!

Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: Can’t Sue the Corporation that Wrongly Marked You a Terrorist?

https://www.eff.org/effector/33/4

Supreme Court Says You Can’t Sue the Corporation that Wrongly Marked You a Terrorist

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court barred the courthouse door to thousands of people who were wrongly marked as “potential terrorists” by credit giant TransUnion. The Court’s analysis of their “standing” —whether they were sufficiently injured to file a lawsuit—reflects a naïve view of the increasingly powerful role that personal data, and the private corporations that harvest and monetize it, play in everyday life. It also threatens congressional efforts to protect our privacy and other intangible rights from predation by Facebook, Google and other tech giants.

# – # – # – # – #

Seems like they made big mistake on this one.

Gooferment politicians and bureaucrats are immoral, ineffective, and inefficient. As well as untrustworthy.

Argh!

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TECHNOLOGY: “peak” cell phone?

https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/does-the-two-year-phone-upgrade-still-make-sense/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Wait a second, does the 2-year phone upgrade still make sense? I think not
Commentary: Flagship phones are giving us only incremental improvements, and our upgrade culture makes less sense than ever.
Sareena Dayaram  
July 7, 2021 5:00 a.m. PT

*** begin quote ***

Smartphone innovation has stagnated, and this is not a knock against the consumer electronics companies or the tech giants that design them. Maybe we’ve reached peak smartphone, and this is as far as it needs to go. It could well be part of the reason why the race to upgrade your phones is slowing.

*** end quote ***

I have a “broken” iPhone 10 (some broken glass on the back?) and pristine iPhone 7 (I brought to one of the cable companies cheap plans)..

Ever since I’ve found that there was no real reason to upgrade the 10 to the 12.

While I like technology, a $1,000 is an expensive “want”; not “need”.

Then I read about that NBA star from a third world country who uses a broken screen phone explaining that he can use the money for helping his people.  I guess that really shamed me.  If he can do it, so can I.

So I guess we have reached “peak phone” for me UNLESS there is some striking each-shaking feature “I just can’t live without”.

Sigh!  But upgrading was fun!

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TECHNOLOGY: Don’t depend on ANY Google product ever

https://www.makeuseof.com/google-products-discontinued/?utm_source=MUO-NL-RP&utm_medium=newsletter

Google Fails: 10 Google Products Discontinued in 2021
BY JOY OKUMOKO

*** begin quote ***

If you have used some of the above Google products in the past, you will agree that some will be missed. We hope that Google will shape the lessons learned from these failures into better products in the future.

*** end quote ***

Unless YOU can see the “value equation” (i.e., how does a service pay for itself), do NOT commit yourself to using it.

Perhaps, it’s unique or serves you well, then just make sure you can get your data “out”!

Note how many of the ten “products” just “silently” disappeared!

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TECHNOLOGY: Podcast will disappear behind paywalls

https://theconversation.com/apple-threatens-to-upend-podcastings-free-open-architecture-160318

The Conversation – Articles (US)

Apple threatens to upend podcasting’s free, open architecture
by John Sullivan, Professor of Media and Communication, Muhlenberg College

*** begin quote ***

A medium that exploded due to the lack of institutional gatekeepers is now seeing big tech companies act like traditional media networks, signing popular hosts and shows to exclusive contracts. Of course, other publishers like Slate and Stitcher have offered subscriptions to their shows via their own websites and mobile apps. But the m

uch larger audience share of Apple Podcasts and Spotify has much greater potential to move the podcast ecosystem in the direction of premium paid content.

This presents a potential long-term threat to the free, open architecture of podcasting, though projects like The Podcast Index are aiming to preserve the medium as platform-agnostic.

One thing is for certain: Apple and Spotify have given us a glimpse of a podcasting future where the walled gardens of platform-exclusive, premium content become the norm.

*** end quote ***

The Podcast Index are aiming to preserve the medium as platform-agnostic.

Guess that’s all that can save us from paywalls and the Apple Tax?

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TECHNOLOGY: Buying a Tesla? You could be “owned”

Researchers hack into a Tesla from an aerial drone

This one is material for a scene in a cyber-thriller: a Tesla speeds down the highway carrying “The MacGuffin” in the trunk…. suddenly a scary looking drone with spikes and a razor teeth paint job zooms out of the sky, falls into pace above the car, our hero takes evasive actions but no, the drone has put the vehicle into autonomous mode and veers it… off a cliff… the hero bailing out just in time (or a red-shirt unceremoniously disposed of)… an LED lights up on the drone and trunk pops open, it zooms in, scoops out The MacGuffin and soars away, as the Ian Fleming-esque music begins rolling….

Well we’re not there yet. But security researchers did hover a drone over a parked Tesla, and used a weakness in the vehicle’s WiFi to take control of the onboard infotainment center and make changes to the vehicle’s internal settings, including unlocking the doors and moving the seats (perhaps in our cyber-thriller the drone ejects the driver at accelerated force through the front windshield).

The duo of researchers work for a German cyber-security research firm called Comsecuris GmBH and they’ve dubbed the security flaws “TBONE”

Read: https://futurism.com/the-byte/hackers-tesla-drone

# – # – # – # – # 

Seems like an obvious hack.  What about the important controls?

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