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2018-10-19 21:15 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 68 references
[Comments enabled]  

Read this and cry folks....

Thermostats know the temperature of your house, and smart cameras and sensors know when someone’s walking around your home. Smart assistants know what you’re asking for, and smart doorbells know who’s coming and going. And thanks to the cloud, that data is available to you from anywhere — you can check in on your pets from your phone or make sure your robot vacuum cleaned the house.

Because the data is stored or accessible by the smart home tech makers, law enforcement and government agencies have increasingly sought data from the companies to solve crimes.

And device makers won’t say if your smart home gadgets have been used to spy on you.

So why do you buy them when there is an alternative?

Because there is.

Let's say you as an entrepreneur (or larger firm) acquire HomeDaemon-MCP and retail it, either directly or via distributors and installers -- or both.

Then let's say for the sake of argument the government comes banging on your door with a subpoena for one of your customers and wants to know when people came and went to and from their house.

Tough ****.


Because you don't and never did have the data.

You can't provide what you don't have.

The state of the user's house, what happens in the house, when motion was last seen in the living room, when the thermostat was last changed, what it was set to, why it was set there, who did it, when the garage was last opened and closed, what video was seen by the camera(s) in the house at whatever time, when the smart front door was opened and with what (key, code, etc) -- none of that data ever goes anywhere except to the user's handheld device or PC signed in via the web interface.

There is no notification channel through the cloud, so there's nothing to intercept.

There is no data stored in the cloud or on the company's devices, and thus nothing can be subpoenaed.

The only thing present is the client's license certificate data.  Ok, so the government can learn you bought a copy of the software and it's on a subscription model that runs for the next year.  Whoopie-de-doo-dah.

Oh, one of the devices noted in the referenced article, August, is a smart-lock that HomeDaemon will talk to.  I strongly recommend that once you set it up you delete the app from your phone, because the unit needs the phone to talk to the cloud since it has Bluetooth in it but not WiFi and thus can't "get out" to tattle on you once you kill the app.  Nevermind that I specifically don't recommend the unit in the first place for other reasons, including most-seriously crappy supervision of manual operations compared against even the lowliest Kwikset comparable deadbolt.  Yeah, in my view you're better off with the Kwikset (never mind it has no built-in spying capabilities.)

Two years ago, former U.S. director of national intelligence James Clapper said the government was looking at smart home devices as a new foothold for intelligence agencies to conduct surveillance. And it’s only going to become more common as the number of internet-connected devices spread. Gartner said more than 20 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020.

That which is not collected can't be subpoenaed and I built HomeDaemon-MCP specifically to not need or use, everany sort of cloud or other outside resource.  It runs entirely autonomously and communicates over SSL using PFS when possible on the user's device, encrypting all data flows using high-security public keying.  All data flows only to and from the owner of the installation in question and never to anyone else except as he or she directs.  The only data the company would ever have on its customers is who licensed the software from them and whether it's operational because it's checking renewal of its license -- and that's the beginning and end of it.  Further if there is reason to suspect the keying has been compromised the customer (or firm) can request that the certificate be revoked and reissued and thus rekeying can be done in minutes if not seconds on demand.

So who wants to make a billion dollars disrupting this industry by being the company that CANNOT comply with such a demand for perfectly-legal reasons whether the government likes it or not because you don't have the data being demanded!

Look to the right and email me.

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2018-10-19 13:33 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 69 references


Come and get it!  Nice poured-media piece ready to hang and enjoy -- email now to put this on your wall tomorrow.

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2018-10-19 10:03 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 117 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's happening again.

The MegaMillions jackpot has reached nearly a billion dollars.  Well, sort of.

Of course the real figure isn't the published one, because that's the "25 year annuity" value -- not the cash price.  Like virtually everything these days fraud is part of the model and since it's government committing the fraud nobody cares.  Neither you or I would get away with claiming $600 million was nearly a billion, but government will -- and does.

Yes, the real cash amount is still a hell of a lot of money -- don't get me wrong.

But the odds of winning are roughly 1 in 300 million, and what's worse is that with taxes out the game just became more-positive on an investment basis in the last few days. Not positive mind you, since the ticket is $2 instead of $1.

Or did it?

No, because the odds of multiple winners go up too and without knowing how many tickets have been sold, which is not disclosed before you buy a ticket you cannot quantify that risk.

In fact the game is designed to never become cash-investment positive as half the money received goes to the states participating and not into the pot; ergo you would have to have an extraordinarily improbable run of no-winners beyond where the cumulative odds of a sold winning ticket are well beyond 1.0 in order for that to happen -- a set of improbabilities that exceed that of you being personally hit by an asteroid in your lifetime. 

The Lottery is often called a "stupidity tax" but that's really a misnomer.  Instead it's just another example of people selling hope to those who have none.

There are rational people who do occasionally (or even regularly) play with money they can afford to lose.  They recognize that the odds suck, they're almost-certain not to win and indeed even when it looks like the money odds are ok they're in fact not and yet they don't care.  That's fine.

But for those of less means it's a different story.  Many of them play with money they cannot afford to lose and they are suckered into the game by a dream and the lack of full, fair disclosure.

In a rational world we would call this what it is -- fraud -- and jail the people involved.

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2018-10-19 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Macro Factors , 120 references
[Comments enabled]  

Greedscam was on the TeeVee once again talking about the "entitlement problem."

And as before he was lying.  

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are always lumped together when talking about "entitlements."  But they are not the same thing and they are not equally troubled.  In fact Social Security ex the disability scam isn't in much trouble at all.  Yes, the fund will draw down its Treasury holdings.  So what?  And very modest changes -- such as raising the income cap on FICA tax -- will allow it to get through the "pig-in-the-python" period with the Boomers, after which reserves will begin rising again.

Medicare and Medicaid, on the other hand, are a disaster.

Those are facts.

Demographics are destiny -- eventually.  And more to the point incentives matter. Whatever you pay people to do you will get more of.  Whatever you punish through taxes and other regressive measures you will get less of.  Neither changes everyone's behavior but we're not talking about "everyone", only trends, because at a macro level that's all that matters.

So let's put forward A Bill.

We might call it The Legitimate Children Protection Act.

No person who gives birth to or sires a child and is not married to the other biological parent at the time of said birth, or where both biological parents are not either US Citizens or permanent lawful residents, shall receive any entitlement benefit from Social Security or Medicare.

For the purpose of this legislation one shall be considered married if and only if they are married to the other biological parent of said child at the time of the child's birth and remain so through said child's 15th birthday, excepting those who divorce for cause and are not found substantially at-fault in said divorce proceeding.

If you're a woman and pop out children while unmarried or screw someone other than your spouse and get pregnant you forfeit all social benefits in your old age.

If you're a man and impregnate one or more women to whom you are not married (whether you're married or not) you forfeit all social benefits in your old age.

If you divorce your spouse "no fault" or are the abusive jackass that leads to a "for-cause" divorce after producing children you forfeit all social benefits in your old age.

If you sleep with an "undocumented" immigrant (illegal invader) or any other person without a right to permanent residency in the United States at the time of your sexual congress, married or not, and produce a child (either as a man or woman) by doing so you forfeit all social benefits in your old age.

If our society is going to provide incentives through tax policy (and it does) then those incentives must align with the interests of the nation in producing and maintaining a productive citizenry that can afford to pay the taxes required to support the programs voted upon.  Those who take actions that are intentionally destructive to the tax base must not be provided incentives to engage in those destructive behaviors.

Entitlements are not "owed"; this has been ruled on repeatedly by the US Supreme Court and in fact is written in the law explicitly.  They are mere political promises, and as such Congress can condition them on not engaging in fiscally-destructive behavior.

I prefer to neuter the medical monopolies, incidentally, over this proposal.  But if Congress will not neuter the medical monopolies then this is one of the few remaining answers to prevent destruction of our federal government via budgetary foolishness and what is an impending actual civil collapse or civil war over the next decade.

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2018-10-18 07:49 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 289 references
[Comments enabled]  

Well well look what we have here...


They are not "undocumented workers" or "refugees."

A person who wishes to work or immigrate asks permission before coming and complies with the law.  If told "no" for whatever reason the abide that decision as they recognize reality -- they have no right of entry, they are guests and they are requesting a privilege.

If you do not do that -- if you instead choose to break the law, to demand something you're not entitled to and when refused you take it anyway you're an invader and those invading another nation are subject to being -- and should be -- shot.

And by the way -- the Constitution requires the President to do this (Article 4 Section 4.)  It's not optional and if the President will not do so he must be removed and replaced by whatever means are necessary or we no longer have a Constitutional Republic.

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