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You are here: August 2019

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Philmore up, is this the beginning of the end?

“Welcome to Philmore Productions, may I take your bug report?”

“Yes, I have a huge bug report, Phil. Your voice mail seems to be completely broken. I can’t send any messages out, so having you tell me to leave a voice mail in your box is going to be pointless.”

Yes folks, this is now what Philmore Productions Voicemail is like now, according to reports. It just came up in the afternoon of August 28, 2019. During my podcast break during my moving process, I’ve written several articles in regards to Philmore’s potential. It seems like now that the system, in parts, is completely broken.

Hey Phil, did you end up copying the data like you said you did? If you did, did you find out if it was corrupted? How is the corrupted data treating you?

I called it a long time ago that copying corrupted data is going to cause you a lot of problems. I even told AT&T when I ordered my service for this location, the short version of what has gone on through the years in this company. The girl I talked to said that it wasn’t good. Now, what do you plan to do? The voice mail lines that were forwarding are now back up and operating, although you were apparently supposed to have access to be able to do that when you were upgraded. Is that broken too, or are you too stupid and don’t know how anything works and you have to have companies tell you everything?

When I got in to the web hosting business, I made it a point to learn everything I can about the features I use, and where stuff is in my control panel. While I may not know a lot of stuff, and/or things move around, I’ll go look and try to figure it out before I try to bug my provider. If there is a pannel you can access, look at it, save the company some time. The fact your shit is broken isn’t doing you any good right now, and now will be the time for you to respond to this type of bug report which will certainly happen.

How many times have you said that your system is going to be up better than ever during the reports you provided your customers? I believe that your voices need to speak even louder, folks. If this is a tell tale sign that this isn’t what you expected, maybe you need to decide what is best. This can’t be good. I’m not telling people to leave, but while I’m writing this article, the voice mail bug that was mentioned in the first section of this article is fixed. I’m sure that the rest of the issues will be fixed over time, and the time is now! You said it was going to be better, but in my opinion, its now more crap.

You all will figure it out, and make your own decision. Make it the right one.

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Capital One update

There are two articles I’ve recently read within the past week in regards to the Capital One breach. Amazon Web Services finds no ‘significant issues’ at other companies allegedly breached by Paige Thompson written on the 16th, and <a href=”Alleged Capital One hacker may have taken data from dozens of companies, feds say which was written on the 14th. Yes, I’m behind, but these are significant, because we know that this was an inside job the purpetrator had, yes they got caught, and they showed no remorse. I’ve not talked about this on the podcast nor did I blog about it because I was waiting to see if we were going to be notified. Looks like we aren’t, but this won’t be the last time this will happen. Capital One did the best they could, under the circumstances. This is unfortunate, but I’m hopeful the investigation will be continuing because we need to know for sure if other companies are part of the hack job that was supposedly done. Thoughts?

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We’re on feedburner

This is crashmaster creator of the blindvms podcast.
We are on feedburner.
My podcast address is http://feeds.feedburner.com/blindvms
This cast is on feedburner at
There have been some articles from 2014 saying feed burner is shutting down, its a google service so I thought, why not.
Its another way.
Note, I am not intergrating any of this with the site, or anything, but this is another way because its free, and I was making a feed for myself anyway and I thought, oh well may as well for no reason what so ever except I can.
Goes to the rss, adds a few more subscription options and avenues, I mean its not like there are loads allready but just because it exists I put it up.
Articles say that its shutting down, and maybe it is, but its not yet.
A lot of stuff still is on it and its part of google so whatever.
All other feeds work.
Oh, to jared, I just put the feed up, its in my google but your address and name is on it since I previde only the feed linking, not the content.
I don’t care if these feeds actually get subscribers it was just put them up there because I can for no reason but I can.

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Do you think the military is prone to having problems? This article says no

Hello folks, I’ve recently read an article where the military is getting targeted. U.S. charges five in scheme to swindle millions from military personnel was written on August 21st, and this could be the best news ever. The military is one of our most valuable citizens, and they are out for long periods of time. We should try to protect them as much as we can from these scams.

Millions of dollars from current and former military personelle were targeted in this scheme, according to the article.

The scheme targeted thousands of people, many of whom were elderly or disabled, and involved the compromise of a U.S. Defense Department portal that military
members use to access their benefits online, law enforcement officials said.

Robert Wayne Boling Jr., Frederick Brown, Trorice Crawford, Allan Albert Kerr, and Jongmin Seok were charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, wire fraud,
and aggravated
identity theft. Three of the accused were arrested in the Philippines, while the other two were apprehended in the U.S. Lawyers for the defendants could not be reached
for comment.

Identity Theft is a link to their tagged section of the site where they cover plenty of stuff in regards to that. It could be tagged, or category base, I’m not sure on this. The total amount of money taken is unclear, and this could still be investigated.

Three were apprehended outside the United States and two were in the U.S. according to the article. Remember, crime does not pay, make this a well known fact, if the authorities want you, they will work to get you. Thoughts?

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Transcription software can’t do it all: Even Braille 2000 doesn’t have every possibility

Hello folks,

While we’re still in beta in Braille 2000 before the 2.275 release, I’m now on assignment number 15. While I have seen the concepts in my daily reading, I’m still studying it thoroughly before I take the RTF representation made for me and have it transcribed. Here are some things I do not believe any transcription software can do:

  • Transcriber-defined segments, I.E. words, passages, and the like
  • Passage transcriber defined material
  • Small caps, I.E. the instructions say that words are smaller than the other words, I.E. Star-Spangled Banner in one of the drills, the words are small caps minus the first letter
  • Displayed Material by default unless its shaped or percent coded I.E. 5-3 paragraphs or 3-3 blocked material.

While the file i’ve gotten was shapped and percent coded, there are still some aspects I need to correct. Braille Translation software, including Braille 2000, should take the font attributes I.E. bold, italics, underline, and script, and take the appropriate symbols which would include passage appropriately. The lesson stresses that we should always check to make sure that it does this correctly. This is going to be fun, as now is the heart of what we’re going to learn from now on. Formatting, some foreign language, transcriber specific stuff, including pages, title pages, table of contents, and more.

Braille 2000 may be upgraded to assist in transcriber defined material, but it is not available as of yet. This way, the blind transcriber can be put in word or wordpad where it may be more accessible for them to work. I’m not sure about any other software and how it works with this type of thing, please comment here and let me know. I’d love to have a discussion about this new UEB concept, and how others do it.

I’m putting this in the Braille 2000 category for convenience, but this also implies other software as well and how they work and how you deal with such things.

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Technology podcast 320

Tech podcast 320 is out with a set of segments dealing with some of the technology I have in my house. I also have a braille transcription update, as well as an update on AIRA which I’ve utalized a little bit. RSS is here for those who need it.

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Breaches are neither targeting big or small, its an equal opportunity hitter

The past few days, I’ve been looking at my twitter, and I’ve been seeing articles on various breaches at merchants including a merchant that has had a bad history of problems, a grocery chain I’m fmailiar with that isn’t in this area, and even including the ransome articles, you could say that the data is breached unless a backup is restored or payment is made. This seems to be now an every day occurrence, and one that will not be going away anytime soon.

The one that really crossed my desk that Krebs On Security posted about was in regards to an Iowa company who got hit. Breach at Hy-Vee Supermarket Chain Tied to Sale of 5M+ Stolen Credit, Debit Cards is the article title. Its not the number of people effected that I was concerned with, it was the chain. I know someone who went to their market, but I didn’t know they are also a gas chain as well. Only the gas station portion of their chain got hit, which is a good thing, but at the same time, we just don’t know.

There are other aspects which we could discuss, but at the same time, this is now pretty much a daily thing at all kinds of merchants.

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I want to install fibre, but how do you tell

With all the scams, both phone and electronic, serveys and the ongoing list of nusance calls and door to door religious and other salespeople going about, there are many reasons not to trust what comes to the door.
For example I have been told by my parents that under no cercumstances should I open the door at all even to a curior because of safety concerns.
Yesterday I was at my aunt’s house, after a salesperson knocked on the door which I did open asking to install fibre.
Like this “hello sir, I have come to install fibre in your house”
Me, I never ordered any.
Man, “we are upgrading your ariea and I need to connect fibre to your house right now.”
I didn’t order it.
Do you live here alone was the next question.
At this point I was shocked, now my dad, a power enginier who has no fear of serveys, and men at the door even going so far as to engage and start a deal, a man coming offering the same thing, wanted to install fibre, and while dad watched it closely what he did, managed to get us a nice fibre connection of which I am using and am thankfull for.
I am not one such man.
I am blind and spam savi.
My responce was to get this guy to fuck off as quickly as I could, manners were out the window.
This guy was obviously a scam, I had no way of knowing if he was truth and with all the horror stories well who knows.
In hindsight, the instal I have been talking about as the connection we currently have there has been shocking.
In fact the way it started with u was that our connection broke and stopped working and the previder basically said I should order fibre.
In this reguard, the previder at my aunt’s address has allready set up a plan for us to confirm of which all I need to do is hit a button and it will just work.
My aunt and other family were quite rood back but that does bring up the situation.
An example can be found here

some guy in a construction vest just tried to get me to switch to Optik fibre, anyone else experience this? from vancouver

There are many horror stories, one of these happened to a friend.
One of my friends had a man come to the house, they botched it completely, the cables were not deep enough, the ceelings were smashed, and they came round at all hours of the night to confirm things worked and to sign off.
My friend complained to the previder and it went up the chain to their boss who got rid of them and handled everything himself and it was happy all round.
My friend got a good deal out of it to.
However, how would you tell.
There is precious material on the dark side of fibre installs even though I tried to search for it.
What I have clearly got from several sites is you need to order it yourself.
So if some random shows up and wants to install it, its probably a scam, but it could be also the company upgrading an ariea so how do you tell.

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Tech podcast 319 is now out

Hello folks,

Tech podcast 319 is now out. We’ve got quite a bit of news, notes, a braille transcription update, and some commentary in regards to a Security Now episode dealing with sharing files and services out there. RSS is here or you can listen to the show on Live Wire on my box: 2276. I hope to have another podcast out very soon. Thanks for listening!

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Here’s something to ponder: a con man turned cybersecurity pro has tips

I’ve already read one book, in the midst of another, have a third on Bookshare, and now … a fourth book in the series. Cybersecurity Tips From a Master of Deception Turned Consultant is the article title

The gentleman’s name that is being interviewed in this article is Frank Abagnale, a very good con man for his day, seeing he started in the 60s with forged checks. In the 2nd book I’m reading, he talks about getting away from checks, and his reasoning.

The Library of Congress has two of the three available books out, and “Scam me if you can” seems to be another great one when it comes out.

link to Penguin for Scam me if you can

about the book

The following comes from the website, and its about the book.

Are you at risk of being scammed? Former con artist and bestselling author of Catch Me If You Can Frank Abagnale shows you how to stop scammers in their
Maybe you’re wondering how to make the scam phone calls stop. Perhaps someone has stolen your credit card number. Or you’ve been a victim of identity theft.
Even if you haven’t yet been the target of a crime, con artists are always out there, waiting for the right moment to steal your information, your money,
and your life.
As one of the world’s most respected authorities on the subjects of fraud, forgery, and cyber security, Frank Abagnale knows how scammers work. In Scam
Me If You Can, he reveals the latest tricks that today’s scammers, hackers, and con artists use to steal your money and personal information–often online
and over the phone. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals hundreds of tips, including:
* The best way to protect your phone from being hacked
* The only time you should ever use a debit card
* The one type of photo you should never post on social media
* The only conditions under which you should use WiFi networks at the airport
* The safest way to use an ATM
With his simple but counterintuitive rules, Abagnale also makes use of his insider intel to paint a picture of cybercrimes that haven’t become widespread

other books in the series

In no particular order, here are the other books in the series. Where appropriate, the book number will be made available from the library of congress. As discussed, only two out of the three are available, and one is available both in audio and braille for those who want it in braille. All are on Bookshare if you’re members.

  • Stealing your life: the ultimate identity theft prevention plan DB64907 I’m reading this one right now. This looks to be the third in the series, and this one is also in braille. The braille number is BR17324 and is two volumes long. The reading time in the audio book is 7 hours, 34 minutes.
    • Former criminal, now a fraud expert, provides a guide to safeguarding personal information. Exposes criminal tactics and offers a twenty-step prevention
      plan with tips including using a shredder, avoiding questionable web sites and ATMs, and consolidating credit cards. 2007. Its read by Butch Hoover for the Library of Congress.
  • Catch me if you can: the amazing true story of the youngest and most daring con man in the history of fun and profit DB55517 This book was recommended to me by the library and I couldn’t put it down! I even saw the movie of the same name, which went in to more detail of what happened after he served his time. Both were excellent. Its also co-authored by Stan Redding. Jack Fox did a great read of this book for the Library of Congress.
    • Lighthearted autobiography of a high-school dropout from the Bronx who became a master counterfeiter and a millionaire by the age of twenty-one. Describes
      his successful impersonations throughout the 1960s of an airline pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, and a college professor, before being apprehended. Some strong
      language. 1980.
  • The Art of the Steal I’ve downloaded this one to read after the first title in this list is read. Its not available on BARD.
    • In his celebrated bestseller, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, Frank Abagnale recounted his youthful career as a master imposter and forger. Before he was 21 he had
      cashed US$2. 5 million in forged cheques, practised as a lawyer, doctor, pilot, and college professor, even though he was a high school dropout. In THE
      ART OF THE STEAL, Abagnale tells the remarkable story of how he parlayed his knowledge of cons and scams into a successful career as a consultant on preventing
      financial foul play – while showing readers how they can spot and outsmart perpetrators of fraud. Technology may have made it easier to track down criminals,
      but cyberspace has spawned a skyrocketing number of ways to commit crime, much of it untraceable. Frank Abagnale has discovered that punishment for fraud,
      much less recovery of stolen goods, seldom happens – prevention is the best form of protection. Drawing on his early years of experience as a master con
      man and his 25-year career on the other side of the law, he shares eye-opening stories of true scams – and tips on how they could have been avoided. A
      peek inside the predatory criminal mind from a past master of the con, THE ART OF THE STEAL is the ultimate defence against even the craftiest crook.

The last one in this list is a 2001 title, so I read the first, the third, and will go back to the 2nd. I don’t think the order much matters, but this is a great author, not saying that the series by Kevin Mitnick was bad either, but this is a different type of con, and a good one too. I was impressed by catch me if you can, his mind is sharp, yet, he was even able to con his own father. You all should get a chance and get this article, check out the books if you’re interested in them, and feel free to let me know what you think about them. Looking forward in hearing from you!

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Say what? More than a million people have their biometric data exposed in massive security breach

Before I get to the heart of my post, I must add that this post is three days old, but still fresh off the presses. This is definitely something to think about.

I just saw this article entitled: More than a million people have their biometric data exposed in massive security breach and it brings up some very interesting questions. Sadly, I’m not versed on this, and I would rather pass along the article than to comment on something I’m not versed with. I do know that the OPM breach was mentioned, and sadly, if this breach is similar to that one, there is nothing we can do. Hey Steve at GRC? Are you reading? I don’t think this will be the last time we hear of this.

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You cannot pay your Apple Card bill online if you lose your iPhone

I did not know Apple had a credit card. This is quite interesting, until you go to pay a bill that you can’t access for some reason or another. Why would I want to give a company a bunch of info just to pay my bill? I had paid for the first time, a gas bill, and Internet bill. None asked for any information such as social security number, but verification of address or number and/or both was performed. I also will be paying electric bills too, and have set that up over the bank through the electric company web site. Why would a company ask for name, address, SSN, and other information just to get a bill paid? I’d be asking for payment info to assist, and maybe your name. You cannot pay your Apple Card bill online if you lose your iPhone is the article and you should check this out.

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Its time for windows update again

Hello all,

Its time for windows update again if you haven’t applied it. < Trend Micro has a great blog post as usual describing some of whats fixed in a lot of detail, but we can’t forget Krebs On Security as well for providing a post on this. Both have their good points, just look at them and decide what may be of importance information wise for you. Both were good reads.

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Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less

I saw this article on blind bargains, I had to do a doubletake. Michael Hingson, a representative of IRA, spoke at the Accessibility Advisory Committee in our last meeting in regards to IRA. Either a meeting back, or two meetings back, Paul Schroeder also spoke as a public commenter in regards to IRA. I talked briefly to both gentleman about IRA and what I’ve heard amongst the community here on twitter and elsewhere.

I was on Facebook today, why, I don’t know. Perusing the posts, was the announcement from Michael Hingson himself, in regards to the free offering that IRA is offering. I’ve personally never used the service, and this is definitely a welcome change for those who can’t afford long term services.

I’m going to link to the blind bargains post, and I’ll look to utalize it to do basic mail stuff to determine what I need to keep, and what can be thrown away so when I do get help, they can only deal with what I know I needto have help with.

Blind Bargains: Breaking: AIRA now free for calls of Five Minutes or Less August 14, 2019

I’ll look at getting the app, and see what I think. The demo at Metro had some issues due to connectivity issues but for the most part, it went well. A video was also shared.

Thanks Michael and Paul for letting Los Angeles Metro know about the service, I hope that we can have a partnership with IRA where we can utalize the service in some way while traveling, so we can get assistance with finding bus stops, train departures, and the like.

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More breach news, the breaches just keep on coming


In the past two days, I’ve seen breach notifications. In an article I found on twitter, over 800 South Carolina employees that work the state in some capacity or another got breached and someone is getting diciplined. 824 current and former Charleston County employees impacted in HR data breach is the article, and the good news out of this will be that the number is small compared to some of the other big time breaches.

The next one comes from Krebs on Security where we get an update to a breach from First American. SEC Investigating Data Leak at First American Financial Corp. is the name of the article and let it be known that this is huge.

Word of the SEC investigation comes weeks after regulators in New York said they were investigating the company
in what could turn out to be the first test of the state’s strict new cybersecurity regulation, which requires financial companies to periodically audit and report on how they protect sensitive data, and provides for fines in cases where violations were reckless or willful. First American also is now the target of a class action lawsuit
that alleges it “failed to implement even rudimentary security measures.

I know one thing, I store backups of my stuff in dropbox, unlinked, safely in my hands, and protected by two factor. While no service is 100 percent fullproof, we must start somewhere. Having databases open like the capitalone breach, insiders like the capitalone breach, firewall issues like the capitalone breach, and the like won’t cut it anymore. Maybe not all these factors were related to Capital One, but all of them are the same in every breach. This can’t be good. It can only get worse, correct?

Thoughts? Feel free to sound off.

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Bard suspending accounts older than 180 days

I just saw the following in my list email that I thought you should know. It was delivered to my email on the second of August.

Suspending Unused BARD Accounts

As of Friday, July 26, 2019, patron accounts that have not been used for 180 days will be moved to an Inactive/Suspended status. This means the account
will be temporarily suspended and the account holder will not be able to log into BARD.

This is a security measure put into place by the Library Of Congress. Accounts that remain unused for an extended period of time pose a security risk.

If you try logging into your account but find it has been disabled, simply call your regional library for assistance. Contact information for your library
appears at the bottom of every screen of the BARD web site.

Thank you,

The BARD Support Team

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Philmore orders new server

Hello folks,

Last update we got was at some point last week indicating that Philmore Productions would be ordering a new server for the voice mail system. On Sunday, after recording the first file for podcast 319, it was learned that the IT department will be proceeding with the ordering of the server. My hunch of the company shopping around and looking for a deal looks to be coming true.

Also, it is to be rumored that people are now asking for cancellations left and right.

Philmore Productions is now making it clear you need to ask for money back, going back on their word on automatic refunds for this downtime.

Still not satisfied? You can report your concerns to the BBB who’s link is in an earlier post, as my opinion still stands whereby automatic refunds, and/or no billing past the outage date if prolonged is the necessary step.

Please advise I’m not here to tell customers what they should or not do with their money. I enjoyed Philmore Voicemail when I was on it, but I’m no longer there as I wouldn’t call it very much now anyhow.

Please make the right choice for you.

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Security Now said that Blue Keep was going to be a problem, it may be almost here

I’m on twitter, and I found an article entitled US company selling weaponized BlueKeep exploit and it looks to be a mixed blessing as both a testing tool, as well as something which could be exploited like Security Now’s Steve Gibson and others have predicted. Unless this gets out of hand and it gets reversed engineered, than we’re OK for now. I’m also running the latest version of Windows, which is version 10 update 1903 I believe it was. I updated to that before my computer was shut down for the move I went through. I wonder what Steve will say about this now? I retweeted the article from Twitter, and mentioned Steve so he could see it. Thoughts? Leave them here.

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Waking up with a nightmare

Hi all.
There is nothing worse than waking up early in the morning to find your site is hacked.
There is nothing more annoying to wake up with an error.
So thursday morning I get up early to do a few things only to check email and get an odd message I have never gotten before.
From google search console.
Crawl error with one page, index failure.Solution, not sure.
Site works, page works, so assume a network brounout for 1 or 2 seconds, during index, logical solution is request entire domain index.
Mean time I decided to go and do a health scan.
1. run health scan.
1. you do not have the latest php.
2. your site is not secure.
3. you are missing some optional modules.
Searching all things, 3, doesn’t matter, however I did a download of another php tool for plugins so hopefully things don’t go stupid.
Next ssl, do we have ssl?
Easiest solution for me is to update and get ssl on the site.
Since I don’t have that sort of access the easiest way was to set up cloudflare which I did but not sure if I will bother using as I found out we have ssl already.
So install simple ssl, enable it and set it all up.
So thats up.
So if you get the site in https by default thats why.
Technically it doesn’t matter if we have ssl or not but google puts search ranks up for it so its a good idea.
So thats all that.

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