Apscitu masthead.
Apscitu motto.

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Apscitu websites, no Flash, Einstein, Master lock, rocket.

Websites: Simple is Smart, Secure, and Speedy

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          August 19, 2020

The IT incompetent might criticize the Apscitu websites -- www.apscitu.com, www.apscitumail.com, and www.stop-it-incompetence.com -- as simple so amateurish. These IT incompetents know so little about web programming and are so used to flashy websites jam-packed with annoying distractions -- like one or more videos playing, full volume, when the website first comes up, when it finally does come up -- they believe that is the way modern "good" websites should be. It's not, it's just that website design has been taken over by self-proclaimed artists who are IT incompetent. They don't care if a website is annoyingly hard to use or easily hackable or annoyingly slow, as long as it's flashy. To the IT incompetent, flashy seems advanced, which is stupidly wrong. Simple is smart, secure, and speedy.

New York Times logo, their PGP public key, ProtonMail logo, goofy glasses media clown.

Incompetent Encryption Is Worse Than No Encryption

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          August 17, 2020

When you think of email security, you probably think of encryption. This is not the most important aspect of email security -- your email server is, see About Apscitu Mail -- but email encryption can add another layer of security, which is generally good. You might not use email encryption because you think the NSA, and more competent hackers, can break the encryption, but you are wrong; see No, The NSA Does Not Have Encryption-Breaking Quantum Computers. Or you might not use email encryption because it seems too complicated to use. In that case, you are right. Studies show that even the most user-friendly email encryption system is too difficult for even above-average users to use competently. And incompetent encryption is worse than no encryption because you are lulled into a false sense of security and insecurely send more, and more sensitive, data than you would otherwise. You might go looking around for some one-size-fits-all solution to your email encryption, particularly if you are someone like a whistleblower trying to contact the media, or vice versa, but you would be wrong then too. Your getting competent email encryption requires an IT expert working closely with you, i.e. custom work, like with Apscitu Mail. In that case, you would be right.

Logjam picture, Amazon logo, Prime Video logo, IMDb TV logo.

Amazon Streaming Jammed Up

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          August 11, 2020

If you use Amazon video streaming -- and given its various guises and massive popularity you probably do -- then you have probably been frustrated since late last year by its unwatchable "stuttering" (buffering), particularly if you try to use a large monitor and/or if you try to use it on Friday or Saturday evenings or holidays (i.e. non-business days, which is every day during the current Coronavirus Scare) and/or if you are paying for it. If you call up Amazon to complain and can understand the foreigner speaking at all, you will be told it is either your computer's fault or your Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) fault, even though you never got a chance to say what your computer is or who your ISP is. If you call up your ISP to complain and can understand the foreigner speaking at all, you will be told it is either your computer's fault or your streaming service's fault, even though you never got a chance to say what your computer is or who your streaming service is, and you will still be offered a supposedly faster, much more expensive Internet service plan, even though your current plan explicitly lists streaming as what you can do with it. Unless you are an IT expert like myself, there is no way to know who is lying, so you can know how to fix your problem. Here I show that Amazon is lying and you should get rid of them as your streaming service.

Experian hacked Sep 2013 - Sep 2015; HealthCare.gov hacked Oct 2013 - Sep 2015.

HealthCare.gov Hacked

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          July 25, 2020

HealthCare.gov, the Obamacare website, was launched in October 2013. Its launch was universally considered a monumental disaster and this was largely due to the IT incompetence of the website's foreign (Canadian) developers. There had been great concern HealthCare.gov would be hacked. When that didn't happen immediately it was taken as proof that its IT was secure. However, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Most hackers want to steal sensitive data, particularly identity data, undetected, and go to a lot of trouble for the undetected part, since it means they can continue to steal data, which is constantly updated, for years. Data breaches are thus often not discovered, and made public, until years later, if ever. In early March 2020, I made the shocking discovery, reported nowhere else, that HealthCare.gov, via Experian, had been hacked from its launch in October 2013 until September 2015, i.e. for 2 years.

No Twitter, fake Trump tweeting, nuclear explosion, Twitter dunce, hash, Apscitu.

Apscitu Warned of Twitter Hacking Two Years Ago

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          July 24, 2020

It was reported that in mid-July, Twitter, in its worst data breach yet, was hacked such that hackers could tweet from the accounts of the rich and powerful -- e.g. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Barack Obama -- in order to fool their followers into sending the hackers money via Bitcoin. Over two years ago I warned, including the Trump Administration, about the dangers of the rich and powerful using Twitter in Trump Using Twitter is a National Security Risk (February 2018) and about how IT incompetent Twitter was in How Twitter Made a Hash of Passwords (May 2018).

As reported, badly, by the IT incompetent media, once the hackers had control of the accounts of such rich and powerful Twitter users, they made tweets like "Everyone is asking me to give back. You send me $1,000, I send you back $2,000." along with a Bitcoin account number (address). While it is difficult to trace the owner of a Bitcoin account, how much is in the account is (by design) public knowledge and easily checked. Apparently this Twitter Bitcoin scam was quite successful -- people believe such rich and powerful people wouldn't lie -- garnering over $120,000 in just a few hours.

Figure of The Internet.

Announcing The New Apscitu IT Services And Consulting Webpage

          July 23, 2020

The Apscitu IT Services and Consulting webpage has been completely rewritten and expanded, including multiple new images. It now includes the clearest explanation available of "What Is IT?".

The new Apscitu IT Services and Consulting webpage also explains more specifically what IT services and consulting Apscitu Inc. offers and why Apscitu Inc. is the best.

Email route.

Announcing The New About Apscitu Mail Webpage

          July 8, 2020

The About Apscitu Mail webpage has been completely rewritten and expanded, including a new webpage image. The new webpage, including the image -- a figure showing the route an email takes -- is the clearest explanation available of how email works, including with encryption. As such, it is also listed under Email Technology on the Apscitu Mail website.

The new About Apscitu Mail webpage also explains more specifically what Apscitu Mail offers you and why it is the best email service for you.

Apscitu Puzzle #2.

Apscitu Puzzle #2 -- For The Coronavirus Scare

          April 15, 2020

A puzzle to do during, and a puzzle relevant to, the Coronavirus Scare, the most destructive delusion ever perpetrated by the media, politicians, and scientists; one for the books, like Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. See Coronavirus and Spam: The Fear Is Worse Than The Disease.

Download a PDF of Apscitu Puzzle #2 here. For puzzle background and discussion, which may help doing the puzzle, see the March 14, 2020 article, Introducing Apscitu Puzzles, including doing Apscitu Puzzle #1 if you haven't yet.

Coronavirus, can of spam, snake oil salesman, Chicken Little, fear of own shadow.

Coronavirus and Spam: The Fear Is Worse Than The Disease

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          March 23, 2020

What do Coronavirus and spam have in common? The effect of the exaggerated fear, the overreaction, does far more harm than the actual "disease".

People won't admit this, but they don't care how many people die of a disease, just how easy it is to catch or hard to avoid and what the death rate is if you do catch it. The 2019-20 U.S. flu season resulted in 24,000 deaths. The 2017-18 U.S. flu season resulted in 61,000 deaths. Even 24,000 is probably far more people than you've ever been within six feet of in your entire life. Nobody cares. That's because the flu is relatively easy to avoid and even if you do catch it, the death rate is only around 0.1% (0.06% for 2019-20 and 0.14% for 2017-18) and mostly among the old.

Apscitu Puzzle #1

Introducing Apscitu Puzzles

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          March 14, 2020

I invented a new kind of puzzle, a crossword puzzle for the digital age, called an Apscitu Puzzle. If you, like myself, are the kind of puzzler who enjoys figuring out puzzles cold, without any hints on how to solve them, then download a PDF of Apscitu Puzzle #1 here and try doing it before reading this article.

I've always liked doing crossword puzzles and codebreaking (cryptanalysis), which require similar smarts. In fact, during World War II British intelligence used a timed crossword puzzle as a test to recruit codebreakers to crack the German Enigma code.

From right to left: Chinese national emblem, Huawei logo, Made In Canada seal with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in blackface, Democratic Party logo, State of New Hampshire seal, U.S. Presidential seal, IT.

Foreign Hacking of New Hampshire Voting Machines

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 12, 2020

The New Hampshire Primary was held yesterday. It's important because it's considered the first real election of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Elections and the winner of the Democratic primary (Trump is a shoo-in for the Republican primary) gets a much-needed boost. "Real election" means one where voting is done the same way as it will be in the final presidential election in November -- voters go to an official polling place and use state-certified voting technology (IT). This is in contrast to the earlier Iowa Caucus, which was run by party officials and used, disastrously, their own voting IT, a smartphone app designed by IT incompetents; see IT Incompetence Caused the Iowa Democratic Caucus Catastrophe. After Iowa there was worry about the voting IT in all states. IT incompetence causes hacking and there is great fear of foreign hacking of this year's elections.

State of Iowa seal, Democratic Party logo, Shadow Inc logo, Fake, IT.

IT Incompetence Caused the Iowa Democratic Caucus Catastrophe

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 7, 2020

The Iowa Democratic Caucus was held February 3rd. "Caucus" is Latin for "drinking vessel" and historically (maybe even today) meant a private meeting in a smoke-filled back room to pre-select candidates for public office. The 2020 Iowa Democratic Caucus is very important because it is the first primary of the 2020 presidential election, the Democratic field is crowded with no clear leaders, and the winner would get a big boost. Thus the results should have been reported quickly, the evening of the caucus. But due to IT incompetence they weren't, it was days later. This left the Democrats looking foolish -- if you can't run a relatively simple caucus how can you run the U.S. or even healthcare? -- which lost them votes and money.

Sergey Brin, Google logo, Chief Blue Meanie.

Your Friends Get By (Google) With A Little Help From You

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 1, 2020

Recently I was doing business with a company that I discovered was unknowingly losing customers due to Google's spam filter. Like many businesses, and government and universities, the company used Google Mail (see Google: Invasion of the Email Snatchers). Gmail was automatically sending customers' emails to the spam folder, which they rarely if ever checked -- and Gmail spam is automatically deleted after 30 days -- or was rejecting customers' emails outright, without notifying the company (see Whitelists, Blacklists, and the Great Spam Filter Scam).

So the company was losing customers without even knowing it. Losing customers is literally money out of the company's pockets. This is every company's nightmare. They spend a small fortune on advertising (including to Google) and when it works, the acquired customers are ignored (by Google).

Some-caps web address, =, no-caps web address, ?.

Do Capitals In Web Addresses Make Any Difference?

          January 25, 2020

A while back I wrote Do Capitals In Email Addresses Make Any Difference? but people also often wonder "do capitals in web addresses make any difference?"

A web address, also known as an URL (Uniform Resource Locator), is that often-long character string you type (or better, paste) into the address bar of your web browser to go to a webpage. It starts with http, or https for more secure websites like Apscitu.com.

Ryan Kalember with Pinocchio nose and bike lock around his laptop, FAKE, Proofpoint logo, FCC seal, Email, 1st Amendment, Department of Commerce seal.

Proofpoint Investigation: Fraud and Government Email Tampering

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          January 10, 2020

The research for Net Neutrality: Who Controls the Communications of the Communications Controllers? led to further investigation of Proofpoint Inc., the IT incompetent email service provider for the IT incompetent Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It was discovered that Proofpoint is also the email service provider for the IT incompetent Department of Commerce (DOC) and that Proofpoint is illegally reading and blocking emails from people trying to contact both the FCC and the DOC based on Proofpoint's own arbitrary criteria, probably political or profit-seeking. Moreover, it was discovered that Proofpoint's Cybersecurity Executive Vice President (EVP), Ryan Kalember, is an IT incompetent fraud who has widely lied about his qualifications.

Susan Penfield, Q*bert.

No, The NSA Does Not Have Encryption-Breaking Quantum Computers

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          December 7, 2019

Many people who absolutely should be using email encryption, like VIPs, don't because they say the National Security Agency (NSA), and thus the CIA, FBI, etc., can break the encryption (decrypt) anyway so why bother; the encryption will just point out their email to the NSA as worth breaking. The slightly more knowledgeable of these people say that the NSA can break this encryption because they have encryption-breaking quantum computers. The IT incompetent NSA does nothing to dissuade them of this belief because it makes their job of reading people's emails much easier. And the IT incompetent media, universities, and tech companies can't hype quantum computers enough -- it sells ads and gets funding and investors, much like bogus artificial intelligence stories do. However, without any NSA-insider knowledge you could have been fairly sure the NSA doesn't have encryption-breaking quantum computers and now with the NSA-insider revelations of Edward Snowden you can be very sure the NSA doesn't have encryption-breaking quantum computers. So encrypt your email. Let Apscitu help you do it right so it is actually unbreakable.

NSA seal, CIA seal, IT, clown, airliners crashing into World Trade Center towers.

9/11 Was Due to IT Incompetence

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          September 11, 2019

Today is the 18th anniversary of 9/11, which occurred in 2001. I was living in New York City (Manhattan) at the time, where both World Trade Center towers were brought down by foreign terrorists in hijacked airliners. I had been to the publicly-accessible tower top many times and it was weird trying to navigate the city without the towers. Living in NYC right after 9/11, waiting for the next attack, was scary.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are the U.S. Government organizations tasked with protecting us from foreign threats like 9/11. Their spectacular failure to prevent 9/11 -- which all the evidence indicates should have been possible -- was due to IT incompetence.

Apscitu, Apscitu Mail, Stop IT Incompetence, Expert News's.

Announcing The New And Improved Apscitu Website

          September 1, 2019

The website for Apscitu Inc., which provides the highest-grade ultra-secure custom IT services and consulting for select clients, has been completely redesigned and rewritten.

Apscitu Mail, Apscitu's new revolutionary ultra-secure custom email for VIPs, has its own website. See Announcing The Apscitu Mail Website.

Apscitu Mail Masthead, Motto, About, Email Technology, article.

Announcing The Apscitu Mail Website

          September 1, 2019

Apscitu Mail, Apscitu Inc.'s new revolutionary ultra-secure custom email for VIPs, has its own website, separate from the Apscitu website. The Apscitu Mail website though, links back to the Apscitu website for many things, including Credentials, Legal, and Secure Contact; see their tabs and also the Apscitu tab, which goes to the Apscitu website home (Expert IT News).

Like Apscitu Expert IT News, Apscitu Mail Expert Email News has longer, more in-depth articles but also has more frequent but shorter "blurbs". Blurbs, like this, are what Twitter's tweets always should have been: short but as long as needed to say something important non-cryptically and not controlled by anyone but the author.

Stop IT Incompetence Masthead, Motto, ITIHOS, Principles, article.

Announcing The Stop IT Incompetence Website

          September 1, 2019

Formerly part of the Apscitu website, Stop IT Incompetence, home of the IT Incompetents Hall Of Shame (ITIHOS), now has its own website and is greatly improved. The Stop IT Incompetence website though, links back to the Apscitu website for many things, including Credentials and Legal (see their tabs).

Like Apscitu Expert IT News, Stop IT Incompetence Expert News has longer, more in-depth articles but also has more frequent but shorter "blurbs". Blurbs, like this, are what Twitter's tweets always should have been: short but as long as needed to say something important non-cryptically and not controlled by anyone but the author.

US Internet backbone, net neutrality participants

Net Neutrality: Who Controls the Communications of the Communications Controllers?

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          August 10, 2019

Answer: Proofpoint Inc. of Sunnyvale California, just minutes down the road from Google, Facebook, and Twitter. The question more specifically: Who controls the email of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)? Your question: What does this have to do with net neutrality? My answer: Read on.

The Internet in the United States has a backbone. It's fiber optic cables able to carry massive amounts of data, starting with voice, across the country (note: I'm a certified fiber optic technician). These fiber optic cables, or at least their copper predecessors, were laid by AT&T back when it was a government-authorized monopoly -- so could more easily get rights-of-way, the most valuable asset -- long before the Internet started in the early 1990s.

Sergey Brin (wearing Google Glasses) and Anne Wojcicki.

Biggest Turnoff: Gmail Spam Filter

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          June 27, 2019

I mentioned Google Mail's (Gmail's) spam filter in Whitelists, Blacklists, and the Great Spam Filter Scam, particularly how it reads your emails and censors them based on content and probably sender too. As discussed in Google: Invasion of the Email Snatchers, most have surrendered their email to Big Brother Google and think they have to do email however Google says, including using its spam filter. You can actually turn off the Gmail spam filter, although Google tries to hide and discourage this, and until you get Apscitu Mail, this turnoff is the biggest thing you can do to protect yourself.

When you get a Gmail account, the spam filter is on by default, with no option given to turn it off. Whenever Google deems an email you receive to be spam, including because its content is politically incorrect or because it was sent from a rival email service provider, it gets sent to the Gmail spam folder.

Santa's huge naughty list and small nice list; kidney with renal artery (red), renal vein (blue), and ureter (tan).

Whitelists, Blacklists, and the Great Spam Filter Scam

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          June 15, 2019

Spam is unwanted email and is often dangerous and offensive. Dangerous because it is a leading hacking method (e.g. phishing) and offensive because it often involves porn. Spam has become such a big problem that many people have drastically reduced or even stopped using email. This is an incredible waste since email is the best form of communication -- you can inexpensively and instantly send large amounts of text, documents, photos, audio, and video at any time and it can all be sent securely. Spam filtering is used to address the problem but the most common methods -- because they are the most profitable to the companies that produce them -- are frustratingly bad, often causing the loss of important wanted emails while still allowing dangerous and offensive spam. There is a simple, free, highly effective spam filtering method, whitelists, but spam filter producers and email service providers don't want you to use them because they are free and highly effective.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Nero, SPQR.

The Decline and Fall of Amazon

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          June 2, 2019

Amazon is the quintessential IT company. It rose when the Internet (actually the Web) rose, in the early 1990's. It's one of the most visited websites in the world. And it's the biggest seller of IT itself.

According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder/chairman/CEO/president, "Amazon is not too big to fail ... In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years." Jeff Bezos incorporated Amazon in 1994, so Amazon will fall in 2024, in just a few years. You can already see the decline.

No-caps email address, =, all-caps email address, ?.

Do Capitals In Email Addresses Make Any Difference?

          May 29, 2019

Mostly you see email addresses that have no capital letters, but you may have seen email addresses that were all caps or mixed caps and small letters. You may have wondered whether you can use caps yourself when giving out your own email address, perhaps to emphasize some part of it or indicate the start of individual words in a multi-word address. In more technical terms, you wondered whether email addresses are "case-sensitive".

The answer is caps shouldn't make any difference, but given the plague of IT incompetence there may be some bad programming along the way that results in caps causing problems and emails not reaching their destinations.

Cliff Clavin, Kristin Seaver, Gregory Crabb, NOT Benjamin Franklin.

The U.S. Mail SHOULD Be Worried About Email Competition

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          May 28, 2019

Even though it is a U.S. government agency explicitly written into the Constitution, the U.S. Mail, a.k.a. the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), considers itself a business. In fact, online it is usps.com not usps.gov. In the U.S. Mail's most basic function, delivering letters, it is of course subject to competition from email. And it should be worried about this email competition, very worried.

Cliff Clavin was the bumbling postman on the very popular TV sitcom Cheers. In one episode Cliff was worried about email putting the U.S. Mail out of business and him out of a job. So he took pills for this worry, especially every time some evidence supporting it popped up. He ended up taking so many pills he developed gynecomastia ("man breasts").

Swedish, Goran Marby, ICANN, Loki, world serpent.

ICANN Do Whatever I Wants

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          May 25, 2019

What is ICANN and why should you care that ICANN do whatever I wants? ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Among other profitable Internet fiefdoms, they control the Domain Name System (DNS).

You've probably heard of DNS but don't know exactly what it is. Computers on the Internet have numerical (IP) addresses, like When you go with your browser to a website, which is on a webserver computer somewhere on the Internet, you have to tell your browser the webserver computer address. People have a hard time remembering numbers like that but are much better with names, like icann.org, which is a domain name. DNS is a system of computers on the Internet, queried by your browser, that translate domain names into IP address numbers, like icann.org into

NSA, Big Brother, Russia, Sergey Brin with Google Glasses, Gmail, body snatcher pod, Columbia.

Google: Invasion of the Email Snatchers

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          May 18, 2019

I have been at four American universities since I graduated from high school as valedictorian: MIT, the University of Arizona, Columbia University, and the University of Alaska.

Three of these four have surrendered their email systems to Google. That means that the university email accounts of faculty, staff, students, and alumni are owned by Google -- they are Google Mail (Gmail) accounts just like anyone can get, with the simple exception that the associated email address is not @Gmail.com but @SpecificUniversity.edu.

Bad programming climate scientist clown.

Climate of Incompetence

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          January 3, 2019

The first thing some people looking at Apscitu.com do is Google me, Duane Thresher (use DuckDuckGo instead since they don't track you like Google). What they find is that according to Google I am most famous for climate, particularly my website RealClimatologists.org. I am one of the most qualified climate modelers in the world. Reading what Google tells them to, these people soon discover that I am also a global warming skeptic. Some of the less intelligent of these people quickly label me a climate change denier and dismiss anything I have to say after that. Then they go back to taking scientific and political advice from high school dropout celebrities. On Apscitu.com I talk a lot about IT incompetence and how it is destroying America, particularly government, business, and the media. But another part of this destruction is climate science, the most political science there is. Let me tell you my story (the names are unchanged to damn the guilty).

NSA = Snowden = DHS = FAKE = SEC = Bandit Clown = Booz.

Booz Hacks Fed IT, Makes It Incompetent, Insecure, Bankrupt

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          November 15, 2018

Booz Allen Hamilton (a.k.a. Booz) was just awarded a $2.5 billion 10-year IT (which includes cybersecurity) contract by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with the help of the IT incompetent SEC Chief Information Officer (CIO) Chuck Riddle and the IT incompetent SEC Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Andrew Krug, who are both former Booz employees (a.k.a. Boozers). High school dropout and traitor Edward Snowden, who hacked the National Security Agency (NSA) then fled to Russia to avoid capture and execution for espionage, was also a Booz employee at the time. IT incompetent Jeanette Manfra, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, is also a former Booz employee. All, except possibly Snowden, are in line to be rewarded with high-paid executive positions at Booz after they go through the government-business revolving door once again.

Enron's Arthur Andersen = Accenture = GSA and Fed IT = Fake.

Fed IT Run By Enron's Corrupt Accountant, IT Incompetent Accenture

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          October 24, 2018

I am investigating the General Services Administration (GSA) for my IT Incompetents Hall of Shame (ITIHOS). The GSA notoriously does procurement, including IT services, for the U.S. Government. As usual this investigation yielded IT incompetents responsible for GSA's IT. But I also discovered another connection to IT incompetence -- and corruption -- as so often happens while investigating for the ITIHOS. The GSA's longtime but retiring Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Kurt Garbars, who knows far more about drinking wine than cybersecurity, is essentially having his job outsourced to IT incompetent Accenture (CISO Nicole Dean), which has taken over much of federal IT, including the GSA's. Accenture used to be part of Arthur Andersen, Enron's top-five accounting firm that was dissolved after its criminal complicity in Enron's massive fraud. Suzette Kent, the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO), who I wrote about in You're Fired! Trump's Worst Hire Ever: IT Incompetent Fed CIO Suzie Kent, worked for Accenture, in Financial Services, for almost 15 years before becoming Fed CIO, including during the Enron scandal. She will be making decisions about federal IT infrastructure. With GSA IT run by Accenture and with the Fed CIO a longtime Accenture employee -- and probably a future Accenture executive -- there is no question what corporation will be running federal IT, no matter how IT incompetent it is.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg reading emails.

Facebook Reads Your And Government Officials'/Politicians' Email

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          October 11, 2018

Continuing my investigation of massive invasions of privacy by Facebook (see my previous three articles in Apscitu Expert IT News), I discovered that Facebook reads the emails of you and millions of other Facebook users, including government officials/politicians. This may be where many of the unexplained leaks in government and politics are coming from.

Recently, while I was easily creating another fake Facebook account, I quickly came to yet another scary Facebook demand:

Fake passport for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.

Insecure Facebook Demands Your Passport, Bank Statements, Medical Records, ...

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          October 8, 2018

As I reported in Facebook Has A Database Of User ID Photos, Facebook has been demanding users upload their ID photos (not profile photos) for account verification, assuring users the photos were secure and would be deleted after use. In the meantime, as I reported in Yahoo-Then-Facebook CISO Alex Stamos Allows Yet Another Massive Data Breach, Facebook admitted to a data breach that compromised 50 million user accounts. Continuing the investigation into Facebook's demand for user ID, I discovered that insecure Facebook is demanding that you upload your passport, birth certificate, driver's license, marriage certificate, green card, voter ID card, bank statements, credit card, medical records, Social Security card, ... Further, Facebook is keeping your entire search and location history forever. If Congress really cared about the security of the American people, and not just its access to free Facebook advertising -- see Fake Federal Facebook Fury Finally Finished -- it would make Mark Zuckerberg testify about this outrageous invasion of privacy and the FBI would investigate it.

Yahoo then Facebook dunce CISO Alex Stamos.

Yahoo-Then-Facebook CISO Alex Stamos Allows Yet Another Massive Data Breach

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          September 29, 2018

Yesterday, Facebook admitted to yet another massive data breach; 50 million user accounts compromised. Alex Stamos was (Jun 2015 - Aug 2018) Facebook's Chief Information Security Officer (CISO a.k.a. CSO) when the hole that allowed the breach was introduced into Facebook's code (Jul 2017). Stamos was (Mar 2014 - Jun 2015) also CISO of Yahoo during their two massive data breaches (late 2014); 500 million and 1 billion user accounts compromised. Stamos staggeringly exemplifies another aspect of IT incompetence: being overwhelmingly more interested in imposing his political beliefs on customers than in being competent at his high-paid IT job.

Photos of Big Brother from Apple's 1984 commercial and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook Has A Database Of User ID Photos

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          September 25, 2018

Recently, Facebook has demanded that some users upload an ID photo (not profile photo) before they can log into their Facebook accounts, supposedly so users can prove they are who they say they are. The only way this can work is if Facebook already has ID photos of the users for comparison, i.e., has (or has access to) a database of user ID photos. Big Brother Zucker is indeed watching you.

As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted, many Facebook accounts are fake. As I've mentioned, I even have a fake Facebook account, since it's foolish to have one under your real name but access to Facebook can be useful, although usually only for harming a real Facebook user.

Photos of Jesus Christ Superstar, Mark Zuckerberg, Antichrist Damien, Elon Musk.

Artificial Intelligence: Savior, Antichrist, or Hyperbole?

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          September 11, 2018

Artificial intelligence is going to save humanity! Artificial intelligence is going to destroy humanity! Artificial intelligence is going to sell magazines and get research funding! Which is it? And what is it?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been in the news a lot recently, including from my alma mater MIT, where I got a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and where I used to hang out at the AI Lab (which was funded by the military). I later wrote parts of some of the most sophisticated computer programs in existence -- climate models (for example, see NCAR's climate model and search for "Thresher") -- and AI is just programming (which will make it another victim of IT incompetence).

Left: Twitter logo bird wearing dunce cap and hash mark.  Right: A can of ro\
ast beef hash.

How Twitter Made a Hash of Passwords

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          May 4, 2018

Yesterday it was reported that Twitter user passwords may have been exposed, at least to Twitter employees, which may be a bigger security risk than you think, and any Twitter hackers. The descriptions of the technical aspects of this story in the IT incompetent media have been awful, to say the least. Here is the best description, one boiled down to its understandable essentials, from an actual IT expert.

When you are at your computer or smartphone and want to log in to Twitter you enter your password into the browser or app. (Probably you have your computer or smartphone remember the password for you but that is not important here.)

Photos of Hoover Dam and Vladimir Putin.

Handing Over America's Electrical Grid to the Russians

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          April 26, 2018

Despite recent massive data breaches like Equifax and Facebook, Americans seem to have become inured to having their most personal data stolen by foreign hackers, particularly Russia, probably because most don't see an effect immediately. This "hacking fatigue" will end dramatically when America's electrical (power) grid is "pwned". That's hacking slang for taken over. Actually, given the embrace of IT incompetence by government and business it is more like America just handed over its electrical grid to the Russians. I use the past tense because America's electrical grid is probably already pwned by the Russians, but being smart they are just waiting for an important event, like a war, before using and thus exposing their powerful secret weapon. Where will you be when the lights go out?

Photos of Allan Thomson and a British clown.

Secret Service Outsources IT to IT Incompetent Foreign-Influenced Company

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          April 23, 2018

The Secret Service is tasked with protecting President Trump's life. Like it or not, President Trump is hated even by our closest allies, who make no secret about wanting him dead. These days protecting the President involves a lot of Internet work. You would reasonably expect that this work would be done by the highest-grade IT people, people not from foreign countries. But incredibly, the Secret Service outsources this work to an IT incompetent foreign-influenced company, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions.

Recently, I was looking at the web logs for Apscitu's website. This is basic critical IT security practice since websites are the leading attack vector for hackers.

Photos of Mark Zuckerberg and Mary Surratt.

Fake Federal Facebook Fury Finally Finished

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          April 16, 2018

Last week the much-hyped testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's supposed creator, in front of the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Senate Judiciary Committee finally finished. It was supposed to be a grilling by a furious Senate on Facebook's selling of its user data to outside unscrupulous companies, as well as other Facebook violations, like political censorship, but was more of a softball questioning publicity stunt. That it was a publicity stunt was further confirmed by the redundant anticlimactic "me too" questioning by the House a day later, which I thus don't cover here.

Photos of President Trump and Suzie Kent with You're Fired!

You're Fired! Trump's Worst Hire Ever: IT Incompetent Fed CIO Suzie Kent

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          April 10, 2018

There has been endless ignorant talk about President Trump's hirings (and firings). Whatever else his appointments have been, most have at least been somewhat qualified. Not so with his appointment of IT incompetent Suzette Kent as Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO), the CIO of CIOs. Suzie Kent is Trump's worst hire ever and should be fired.

A CIO is not just any management position. It requires a specific education, exactly like judges being educated in the law or doctors being educated in medicine. If a CIO does not have to have an IT education then neither should a judge have to have a law education or a doctor a medical education.

Photo of Equifax's tombstone.

Equifax Dead: Hacked So Credit Reports Worthless

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          April 5, 2018

Last year Equifax allowed the worst data breach in history and the legal fallout continues. Everyone assumes that the worst result of the Equifax hacking was that hundreds of millions of people, including those at sensitive government agencies, like national security agencies, had their most personal financial information given to hackers. That is indeed horrendous but that may not be the worst of it. No one has considered that with Equifax hacked its credit reports are worthless, even illegal, since the Equifax hacking may have been to change credit reports, not just steal data.

Everyone knows how important credit reports are. They are essentially used to determine where you can work and live. Even before the hacking, Equifax had major problems making sure the data it gathered was correct, and had been successfully sued numerous times for getting it wrong and harming people. Trying to discover what data for hundreds of millions of people has been changed by hackers is well beyond the capabilities of Equifax IT.

Photos of James Comey and Michael Horowitz.

FBI Hacking Investigation Negligence Lawsuit

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 22, 2018

My family and I, particularly our young daughter, were the victims of not one but two(!) health insurance company data breaches: Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and Premera Blue Cross. At the time (2013 - 2015) these were two of the worst data breaches ever.

It was officially pretended that identity theft was the only concern from these so only cheap credit monitoring (probably using the now-hacked Equifax) for a couple of years needed to be offered as a remedy. However, child abductors, including pedophiles, find this information invaluable since it includes names, addresses and medical records, which is personal information that greatly aids a child abductor.

Mike Hamburg LinkedIn photo, Trump photo, Mike Hamburg ShiftLeft blog photo, Spectre logo, Google logo.

Secret Service, Spectre Hacker Threatens Trump With God's Justice

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 15, 2018

I've written about the infamous Spectre computer security vulnerability in Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities -- Deck Chairs on the Titanic and about the hackers who developed and distributed exploits for it in Google -- Illegal Competitor or National Security Threat.

The Spectre exploit could be a devastating weapon -- it has the power of anything it can hack into -- but currently there are only a few people who know how to use it. Mike Hamburg, one of the Spectre hackers, is one of these.

Fake Trump tweeting, Twitter logo, nuclear explosion.

Trump Using Twitter is a National Security Risk

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          February 8, 2018

There has been a lot of condemnation of President Trump using Twitter, but mostly by his opposition because he has used it so successfully. No IT expert thought has been given to whether Trump using Twitter is a national security risk. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has said that Trump's use of Twitter is not a national security risk. Unfortunately, and with all due respect, IT incompetence is rampant in government and business and analysis by an IT expert gives the opposite answer: Trump using Twitter is a national security risk. It is imperative however that President Trump be able to speak directly to the people, since not being able to is a national security risk itself, so a Twitter alternative is required.

Whatever appears on Twitter from Trump's account, @realDonaldTrump, has extreme and immediate believability the world over. It is well-known that Trump uses Twitter -- he currently has 47.5 million followers, some of them probably heads of state and other higher-ups in foreign governments.

Photos of Sergey Brin and Edward Snowden.

Google -- Illegal Competitor or National Security Threat

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          January 25, 2018

If the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities are relatively unimportant as I argued in Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities -- Deck Chairs on the Titanic, then they are illegal attacks by Google on its competitors and Google should be investigated by the SEC and DOJ. If they are as catastrophic as they have been made out to be, then Google is a national security threat and should be investigated by the FBI (or higher DOJ) and DHS.

If Meltdown and Spectre are unimportant security vulnerabilities then they are illegal competition by Google.

Meltdown logo, Spectre logo, Titanic deck chair.

Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities -- Deck Chairs on the Titanic

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          January 18, 2018

I have a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, among much other relevant education and experience. Panicking about the Meltdown and Spectre computer security vulnerabilities is like panicking about the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic was a safety issue -- theoretically passengers could be blocked by them -- but the actual giant hole in the side of the ship was the much bigger concern. (For simplicity I won't make the analogy using the design flaw in the Titanic that actually caused it to sink -- the bulkheads did not reach high enough and make watertight compartments.)

GoDaddy logo guy and GoDaddy logo guy with black hat.

GoDaddy Hacks Its Own Customers

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          January 11, 2018

A web page is created by program code -- usually HTML, JavaScript, and CSS together -- that tells a web browser how to display it and what user-interactive action to take, like user information entry. Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a hacking technique in which code is secretly added to a web page's code so that it runs in the web browser of anyone looking at the web page just like the authentic web page code but performing possibly-malicious actions. GoDaddy, a leading web hosting (web page serving) provider, was discovered using XSS on some of its customers.

Scripting in cross-site scripting refers to web page code, typically JavaScript code inside <script> tags of the HTML code of the web page. Cross-site refers to the code secretly added from elsewhere, like another website, running as if it were from the authentic website. This has serious implications because as a primary security measure, browsers will not allow code from one website, possibly malicious, to access the data, possibly sensitive user-supplied information, stored by code from another website, like a banking website. XSS defeats this browser primary security measure and is one of the most commonly used hacking techniques.