Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ Criminals Thought Bitcoin Was the Perfect Hiding Place, but They Thought Wrong – MIT Technology Review
So, you’re a fan of these criminal-loved “currencies”? You won’t be buying any insurance here with any of them. I can tell you that for sure.
⇧ Secret Ultrasonic Commands Can Control Your Smartphone, Say Researchers – MIT Technology Review
Early adopters run more risks, but security holes in tech can be undiscovered for years, even decades. What are we going to do about it all?
The main problem is the criminal mind. That’s what needs hacking and patching more than anything else. Are we willing to go down that path? Will we have a choice?
⇧ The Great Rent Shakeup: Are Rents Collapsing Across the Country?
Lot’s of useful stats in this one …
⇧ Reinsurers Will Largely Be Writing the Checks to Pay for Irma Damage – WSJ
Many analysts say Harvey and Irma and other disasters this year would need to top $100 billion in insured damage before prices would harden, given how much capital there is. Risk-modeling firms estimate that insured damage from Harvey will be between $25 billion and $35 billion, while some early estimates put Irma’s in the tens of billions of dollars also.
Missing from this thinking is the fact that it won’t be lost on reinsurers that global warming is making things vastly more risky and that Irma fortunately turned West. The next big one might not.
⇧ Australian Banks Sitting on A$500 Billion of ‘Liar Loans,’ UBS Says – Bloomberg
I still think it’s a question of when and not if.
⇧ Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show | Environment | The Guardian
Some environmentalists have said the threat of plastic pollution now “rivals climate change”.
The oil industry is at the heart of both gigantic problems.
⇧ Trump administration backs off plan to strengthen homes in flood zones
Dan Zarrilli, who oversees Sandy recovery for New York City, told the Daily News that scrapping the rule is “terrible” and that houses will be “built to lower standards because the feds aren’t looking at addressing the effects of climate change.”
They know it’s there but are focused on fast bucks. I say it’s criminal.
⇧ Editorial: Price-gougers, scammers take advantage of storm victims, our desire to help – Longview News-Journal – Longview, TX
… bottom feeders who see in them an opportunity to re-victimize storm survivors through price gouging, scams and fake businesses.
Yet, we see numerous articles touting price gouging as a good thing.
⇧ Jamie Dimon Slams Bitcoin as a ‘Fraud’ – Bloomberg
I’ve disagreed with Jamie Dimon often over the years, but I’m glad he’s taken my side on this issue. The only thing that gets me is why so many people in high places have been so slow to speak out this way.
⇧ Houston’s Floodwaters Are Tainted, Testing Shows – The New York Times
Sewage, heavy metals, and more …
In the Houston area, air pollution, flooded toxic waste sites and reports of oil spills after the storm have residents and environmental groups concerned.
That’s only the half of it.
⇧ National Flood Insurance Is a Disaster | AIER
This is only partly true. There are things the article does not say on purpose.
Most people do not buy the insurance they need. If they don’t have the coverage, they don’t get the benefits. However, they still live where coverage should really be considered mandatory. Also, floods are worsening due to the exact market mechanisms lauded in this libertarian article. Only democracy, which is government and not the absence of it, will rein in the unbridled capitalism that has wrought human-caused global warming making the flooding worse. I could go on, but I’ve said enough to make my point.
⇧ Texas GOP Leaders Push for Expensive, Long-Delayed Flood Infrastructure Projects
I’ll let this one speak for itself.
⇧ A $150 Billion Misfire: How Disaster Models Got Irma Wrong – Bloomberg
For 10 days, computer-forecast models had struggled with how the high was going to push Irma around and when it was going to stop, said Peter Sousounis, director of meteorology at AIR Worldwide. “I have never watched a forecast more carefully than Irma. I was very surprised not by how one model was going back and forth — but by how all the models were going back and forth.”
⇧ Italy’s main opposition parties call for new currency to flank euro | Euronews
Germany’s stubbornness will break the EU. Angela Merkel is the most coddled international leader out there. The corporatists protect her in the mass media. It’s extremely shortsighted. Ordoliberalism is dying, and that’s a good thing, a very, very good thing. It’s a shame the German people as a whole don’t get it yet. They think way too small.
⇧ Florida on Alert for AOB Abuse as Irma Recovery Begins
Good thing to understand: assignment of benefits abuse versus direction to pay.
Yes, our program includes offering earthquake coverage in California.
Seismic retrofitting is a good idea. Nothing is a complete guarantee against damage, but retrofitting statistically makes a significant difference.
⇧ False promises about corporate taxes and American workers | Equitable Growth
Give any tax cuts directly to the poor, lower class, and middle class. Corporate tax cuts have not been shown to increase the economy. US corporations have been enjoying record profits already. Income inequality is very bad. Huge corporate tax cuts would only worsen the situation.
⇧ How Tax Reform Can Raise Working-Class Incomes | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Here’s a deep dive. Are your tenants rich? Are they struggling to make their rent payments? Does that stress you out too? What are the social and community impacts and costs?
⇧ Florida Insurance Regulator Issues Irma-Related Emergency Order
When emergency regulations kick in to help make sure insureds are protected …
⇧ Irma’s Path, Girth Created Bizarre Storm Surge in Florida
I don’t think pooh-poohing the size of Irma and the impact of carbon-burning-caused global warming is a smart idea.
⇧ [The article covers much more than the title suggests] After Hurricane Harvey and Irma: flood protection for your home
Fifty-five refineries and petrochemical plants in the Houston, Corpus Christi and Beaumont areas collectively emitted 5.8 million pounds of benzene, ammonia and other pollutants to the air in connection with Hurricane Harvey, according to reports filed by the companies with state regulators.
In addition, more than 560,000 gallons of crude oil, gasoline, saltwater and other contaminants spilled from wells, pipelines and storage tanks into coastal or inland waters, including the Colorado River in Fayette County southeast of Austin.
Keep in mind that much of this info is from the companies themselves and are preliminary or subject to adjustments.
⇧ Colorado’s ultra-low unemployment rate didn’t budge in August
You see here just how low the unemployment rate has to go before wages might go up. This substantiates what I’ve been writing for years here on this blog.
⇧ Don’t Look Now, But Rent Inflation Is Back
Keep in mind that rent inflation discussed here is relatively localized. I say relatively because there are ripple effects as some people move away from the storm-hit areas and don’t plan to return.
⇧ Hurricanes could lift insurance rates for homeowners, drivers around U.S.
“… There’s less capital supporting the insurance industry, and there’s equal demand,” says David Havens, managing director of investment bank Imperial Capital. “The way insurers respond to that is to raise prices, because they need to replenish.”
States have to authorize rate increases in many cases. The insurance companies have to justify such increase requests before the increases will necessarily be allowed. Thats the case for most standard types of personal-lines coverage.
⇧ Determining Where and Whether to Rebuild After Hurricanes Irma, Harvey
Smarter zoning, better maps, more stormwater management
The most impactful immediate change is likely to happen at the local level, Abkowitz said.
“I think a lot of scrutiny should be placed on zoning boards,” he said. “If they’re allowing developers to build in hazardous places, putting the opportunity for tax revenue over personal safety, then shame on them. Someone has to hold them to task.”
⇧ How to determine arson: Greeley, state fire investigators talk about how they do their jobs | GreeleyTribune.com
⇧ Federal flood insurance sinking fast – News – The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH
Katrina is not the only issue.
Critics say that a better-designed flood insurance program charges appropriately for those at risk; prioritizes subsidies for the poor, who likely need help with flood damage more than the wealthy; encourages people to build in ways that take into account the flood zones; and encourages private insurance to help meet needs.
Let me add, again, carbon-fuel-burning-driven global warming.
⇧ The Suburb of the Future, Almost Here – The New York Times
⇧ Boomers Are Turning 71—These 4 Charts Paint A Perfect Storm It Will Set Off For Investors | Mauldin Economics
Why we need a guaranteed living-income …
⇧ Superpower India to Replace China as Growth Engine – Bloomberg
Japan’s experience shows there are opportunities from ageing, too. Demand has risen in sectors such as nursing, consumer goods for the elderly, age-appropriate housing and social infrastructure, as well as asset management and insurance.
The US faces the same thing. We need a guaranteed living income paid for by United States Notes, which are debt-free notes (no bonds issued, no interest paid).
⇧ As Wildfires Burn in West, Ash Rides Wind High Across U.S. – The New York Times
⇧ Action not words needed on foreign access to China markets, says chamber | South China Morning Post
“It appears that in many areas China is no longer opening up, but selectively closing up,” the report said.
The report also listed concerns about forced technology transfer in China — such as in new energy vehicle production — in exchange for market access.
The old globalization was dead on arrival. People are just now starting to figure that out. Unbridled capitalism isn’t, and never was, the answer. Democracy, real democracy, was and is.
⇧ Here’s why Congress can create bipartisan fix to flood insurance this year
The program was established in 1968 to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures.
“It does so by providing affordable insurance to property owners and by encouraging communities to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations,” according to the FEMA’s website.
Floodplain management is key. It includes vastly better climate and weather modeling, which, in turn, includes vastly more recognition of carbon-fuel-burning-driven global warming. If we get that part right, the flood maps will be much more reliable and people will be told to build better and higher, etc., and to move before it’s too late (again). We should pay for the poor to relocate into truly decent housing, and we should radically force curbing carbon burning.
⇧ [Still good] Emergency Information: Hurricane Irma
⇧ Equifax Ignored Apache Struts Patch For Months
Don’t just blame opensource.
In a statement released Thursday (Sept. 14), the foundation said a vulnerability in Apache Struts, an open source framework for creating “enterprise-grade” Java web applications, was announced and patched on March 7, 2017. Six months later, Atlanta-based Equifax announced a data breach affecting an estimated 143 million consumers.
“The Equifax data compromise was due to their failure to install the security updates provided in a timely manner,” the Apache Foundation statement concluded.
⇧ TRNN SPECIAL: Trump, The Koch Brothers and Their War on Climate Science – YouTube
I am not posting this for anti-Republican purposes. There are Democrats and others who have taken the wrong position on carbon-fuel burning and global warming driven by it. I’ve posted it purely for sound global-risk-management reasons. We absolutely must stop allowing a few to put their private wealth and income above the welfare of pretty much everybody and everything else. Either we stop global warming or it will stop us.
[lightly edited video description:] A documentary special reveals how climate-change science has been under systematic attack: the multi-million-dollar campaign allowed a climate-change denier to be elected President of the United States.
⇧ Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group Blog: CCleanup: A Vast Number of Machines at Risk
The comments section contains a URL to a free scanner/protection software by Cisco: https://www.immunet.com/index
It uses ClamAV, which contains the signature for the CCleaner infection. If you don’t have a backup to roll back to before August 15, 2017, it’s recommended that you run a scan/program that can detect and remove the malicious code.
Let me say that Immunet appears to put a high load on CPU and RAM. Also, as noted in the last link below, only the 32-bit version of CCleaner shipped with the malware.
⇧ Hurricane Maria Takes Aim at Caribbean Islands Battered by Irma; NWS Issues Dire Warnings for Puerto Rico
⇧ Understanding Society: Worker-owned enterprises as a social solution
This issue will soon become passe if not already.
⇧ FEMA Trailers Auctioned at Fire Sale Prices Prior to Harvey Landfall
In 2011, FEMA announced that all of its trailers would be built with wood products that met emission standards set by the California Air Resources Board. Units rolled out in 2016 ranged in size from one to three bedrooms and were equipped with smoke detectors, fire sprinklers and central heating and air conditioning, with hookups for washing machines and cable TV.
⇧ Piriform – Security Notification for CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 for 32-bit Windows users
If you were using the 64-bit version, they say you weren’t infected.