Friday, July 19, 2019

Trump angry at NY Times article on US cyber attacks on Russia

(June 17) Last weekend, the New York Times broke a story about US cyberattacks on Russia particularly against their electrical grid. The report suggests the US has placed massive malware across vital Russian systems.

US could devastate Russian infrastructure if necessary
The malware would allow the US to launch devastating infrastructure attacks on Russia at a moment's notice if the US administration should wish to do so. The report is quite credible as the US officials have been openly discussing the need to go on the offensive in cyberspace for ages. It also comes after reports of offensive US cyberattacks against Russia during the mid-term election. US counter action during the midterms is described in a NY Post article.
The New York Times article noted: "The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States."
Naturally advocates of the new policy include White House hawks such as John Bolton. The aggressive cyberattacks carry the risk of escalating the developing Cold War with Russia.
Trump's reaction to the New York Times report
Trump was outraged by the article even though the information it contains is actually available if not widely circulated. He goes beyond calling the New York Times, the "Enemy of the People" as he has done in the past. Now Trump claims that even publishing the story is "a virtual act of Treason". He accused the New York Times of being willing to publish any story "even if it is bad for our country".
Trump raged on over the weekend about the Times dishonesty. He then postulated within six years the Times and Trump's other media bĂȘte noire the Washington Post would both be gone forever at a time when he claims that his supporters will insist he remain in office beyond his two-term limit.
Trump often has flights of fancy in a series of tweets. However, the Times article which just makes clear what has been already revealed from other sources seems to have really set him going. The last thing that this supposedly transparent and populist president wants is to reveal obvious aggressive behavior on the part of the US. Of course the Russians already know what is happening. They are meant to so that they know if they attack the US then they will pay dearly.

Previously published in the Digital Journal

Lyft Inc. introduces new more durable scooter for its scooter-sharing business

Transportation network Lyft Inc. is introducing its own special model of scooter for its scooter-sharing business. The scooter is mean to be more durable, has a longer battery life and bike-like brakes. The scooters are available in Denver.

Wikipedia describes Lyft as follows: "Lyft, Inc. is a transportation network company (TNC) based in San Francisco, California and operating in 640 cities in the United States and 9 cities in Canada. It develops, markets, and operates the Lyft mobile app, offering car rides, scooters, and a bicycle-sharing system. Lyft is the second-largest TNC with a 30 percent market share in the United States, according to Second Measure. Most jurisdictions regulate TNCs and TNCs are banned from operating in some jurisdictions."
The new scooter
There is a new hand brake located on the left handlebar. It works much like those on bikes and stops both wheels when pulled. The new frame is made by the well-known Segway company. It does not fold which Lyft claims makes it sturdier. The scooter's base is 20 percent wider at 6.5 inches. The new batteries will travel about 35 to 40 miles on a charge.
Uber also sports a new scooter
Lyft's larger competitor Uber also has announced a ruggeder scooter at a recent conference, and is to introduce it on June 24 in the United States. The industry overall is trying to create more durable scooters. The business is losing money. Both Lyft and Uber are also losing money in their ride-hailing business. The more durable scooters may improve the per unit economics for the scooters. However, it is not known yet if the change will make the business profitable. Industry insiders will be watching closely to see what happens.
Both the Lyft and Uber new scooters sport pink wheels. Lyft has re-branded its bike sharing program formerly known as Ford GoBike is now known as Bay Wheels.

Formerly published in the Digital Journal

Trump angry at NY Times article on US cyber attacks on Russia

(June 17) Last weekend, the New York Times broke a story about US cyberattacks on Russia particularly against their electrical grid. The re...