Summary of “What Littleton Learned”

It’s 8:27 a.m. on a sunny Thursday morning in April, and Grace, the director of Security and Emergency Preparedness at Littleton Public Schools outside Denver, Colorado, is standing in the lobby of Goddard Middle School.
Beside him are Derek, an armed school resource officer, and a handful of school administrators.
Grace’s district had its own tragic shoot- ing in 2013, when two students died at Arapahoe High School.
At the click of a button, Grace and his team can bring up interactive floor plans of any school and see which doors are open or locked, or connect into live video and audio from any remote corner of school property.
Littleton Public School District has 22 schools spanning 28 square miles.
Littleton’s technology lets director of security Guy Grace and his team know what’s happening at any school, instantly, and communicate to administrators and first responders.
The exterior doors at elementary and middle schools in Littleton are always locked.
Like many secure schools in the U.S., Littleton has a backstory.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s How the Social Security Retirement Benefit Formula Works”

Social Security is the largest retirement program in the United States, but far too many people don’t understand how their retirement benefit is determined.
Knowing how Social Security benefits are calculated can help you make smart decisions when it comes to claiming your own benefit, and can help you estimate your eventual retirement income for planning purposes.
With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to how the Social Security Administration, or SSA, determines the size of your monthly retirement benefit checks.
The first step in the Social Security formula is determining your average indexed monthly earnings, or AIME. To calculate your AIME, the SSA takes each year of earnings throughout your working lifetime, up to the Social Security taxable maximum.
Calculating your PIA. Your average indexed monthly earnings are then used to determine your basic Social Security retirement benefit, which is officially referred to as your primary insurance amount, or PIA. This is the number that, along with your age at the time you apply, determines your initial Social Security benefit.
The other major consideration is if I’m claiming Social Security retirement benefits earlier or later than my full retirement age.
If you decide to claim Social Security before reaching your full retirement age, the benefit amount calculated by the previous steps will be reduced at a rate of 0.56% per month for as many as 36 months before reaching full retirement age, and at a rate of 0.42% per month beyond 36 months early, until as early as age 62.
On the other hand, if you wait until after full retirement age, your retirement benefit will be permanently increased at the rate of 0.67% per month, and this delayed retirement credit can continue to accumulate until you reach age 70.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Equifax Operates Another Credit Bureau And You Can’t Freeze Your Report Online”

Remember all that trouble you went through to freeze your credit report after the massive and unforgivable Equifax hack? Turns out it was all for nothing, as security writer Brian Krebs reported Wednesday that the same company responsible for compromising the security of nearly two-thirds of the adult population of the United States also operates a secondary credit bureau that is plagued with security vulnerabilities.
The shady-looking credit reporting institution is the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange, and it’s been operating outside the walls of the Big Three credit bureaus of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion that we typically hear about.
Members of the NCTUE include AT&T; the New York Data Exchange, which has a partnership with Verizon; the California Utility Exchange; and Centralized Credit Check Systems, which has next to no web presence whatsoever and is shrouded in mystery.
This is the company in control of consumer information stored in a database that has thus far avoided the spotlight placed on credit reporting firms by last year’s breach.
Krebs wrote that with a call to the NCTUE hotline and information like a person’s social security number and the numeric part of their home address-information pretty readily available online now, thanks to Equifax-it’s possible to order a credit report from the lesser-known bureau.
It is possible to freeze your credit score through NCTUE as well, but it’s not all that easy.
Krebs describes the online process for placing a freeze on NCTUE reports as “Completely borked at the moment.” Oh, and the site has an invalid SSL certificate, which means communications with the site are not encrypted and secure.
It is possible to place a freeze on your credit report through NCTUE by calling the 1-800 hotline at 1-866-349-5355, though be warned that you might incur a fee for the process.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Criminal Gang Used a Drone Swarm To Obstruct an FBI Hostage Raid”

That’s just one of the ways bad guys are putting drones to use, law enforcement officials say.
It shows how criminal groups are using small drones for increasingly elaborate crimes.
Mazel said counter surveillance of law enforcement agents is the fastest-growing way that organized criminals are using drones.
Some criminal organizations have begun to use drones as part of witness intimidation schemes: they continuously surveil police departments and precincts in order to see “Who is going in and out of the facility and who might be co-operating with police,” he said.
In Australia, criminal groups have begun have used drones as part of elaborate smuggling schemes, Mazel said.
Rew Scharnweber, associate chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, described how criminal networks were using drones to watch Border Patrol officers, identify their gaps in coverage, and exploit them.
“In the Border Patrol, we have struggled with scouts, human scouts that come across the border. They’re stationed on various mountaintops near the border and they would scout to spot law enforcement and radio down to their counterparts to go around us. That activity has effectively been replaced by drones,” said Scharnweber, who added that cartels are able to move small amounts of high-value narcotics across the border via drones with “Little or no fear of arrest.”
“Remote identification is a huge piece” of cutting down on drone crime, Stubblefield said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best Antivirus Is Not Traditional Antivirus: Reviews by Wirecutter”

We set out to do a standard Wirecutter guide to the best antivirus app, so we spent months researching products, reading reports from independent testing labs and institutions, and consulting experts on safe computing.
After all that, we learned that most people should neither pay for a traditional antivirus suite, such as McAfee, Norton, or Kaspersky, nor use free programs like Avira, Avast, or AVG. The “Best antivirus” for most people to buy, it turns out, is not a traditional antivirus package.
Every information security expert we talked to agreed that most people shouldn’t pay for a traditional antivirus suite: The virus and malware protection built into Windows and macOS, combined with good habits, are enough for most people.
Although each expert we interviewed had their own preferred solutions to the endless stream of computer threats, none recommended buying a traditional antivirus app.
Vulnerabilities: The nature of how antivirus apps provide protection is a problem.
Performance: Antivirus software is notorious for slowing down computers, blocking the best security features of other apps, popping up with distracting reminders and upsells for subscriptions or updates, and installing potentially insecure add-ons such as browser extensions without clearly asking for permission.
All the experts we spoke to recommended that most people stick to Defender as their antivirus app on Windows.
While Windows Defender serves as a traditional system-protecting antivirus layer, Malwarebytes Premium protects you from newer threats not traditionally spread by email, USB drives, or other old-fashioned avenues.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Can You Learn From Ring’s Astounding Success?”

Jamie Siminoff is not only one of the single best true entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, he’s amongst the best we’ve worked with in the country.
We would have gladly followed Jamie right through an IPO if we could have.
Jamie is truly a visionary and a focused executioner.
We were sure that Jamie would be maniacally focused on improving the product, marketing the dream to consumers and out-maneuvering the slower-moving competition.
Then Jamie built “Stick up cams” to allow you to protect the perimeter of your house and floodlight cams for night time that screwed into existing floodlight sockets, making installation a piece of cake.3.
Jamie’s ethos led him to price at just $3 / user / camera / month at a time when traditional home security companies’ monthly fees were so unaffordable.
On numerous occasions I heard investors suggest that there was a much higher price point that consumers would pay but Jamie would have none of it.
See bullet point 1.Next Jamie told me he planned to sell products on QVC. That was probably one step further away from the Silicon Valley ethos than even Shark Tank! Jamie’s logic was clear - millions of people watch QVC and I will have unique access to them to tell our story that they might not pay attention to in an online ad - so he went on.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s Why I Plan to Take Social Security at 62”

Instead of waiting to claim Social Security at my full retirement age or later, I plan on taking my Social Security at age 62, the earliest age possible.
Although my full retirement age is 67, I can start receiving Social Security as early as age 62.
Specifically, because Social Security reduces full retirement age benefits by 5/9 of 1% per month for the first 36 months and 5/12 of 1% for each additional month I claim early, I’ll only receive 70% of my full retirement-age benefit if I begin receiving benefits at age 62.Alternatively, if I delay claiming my Social Security, I can receive a bigger payment.
Specifically, Social Security awards delayed retirement credits that can increase my payment by two-thirds of 1% for every month I delay beyond full retirement age, up to age 70.
If I take Social Security at age 62, then I’ll receive $1,525 per month.
If I claim at age 62 and invest my $1,525 monthly Social Security check into an S&P 500 index fund that returns a hypothetical average 6.5% annually, the value of my estate will be $593,104.
In 2018, people can earn as much as they want without it reducing their Social Security income after they reach full retirement age, but if their income exceeds $17,040 per year and they’re between age 62 and full retirement age, it lowers their Social Security income by $1 for every $2 earned.
In my case, I believe the right approach is to claim Social Security at age 62, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Xinjiang surveillance is the dystopian future nobody wants”

Xinjiang is the home to the Uyghurs, a Turkic people who mostly follow Islam and have a distinct culture and language.
“Abuses are most apparent in Xinjiang because of the lack of privacy protections but also because the power imbalance between the people there and the police is the greatest in China,” said Maya Wang, China researcher at Human Rights Watch.
According to Adrian Zenz, a lecturer at the European School of Culture and Theology who has written extensively about the police presence in Xinjiang and Tibet, the region’s security forces doubled between 2009 and 2011 to more than 11,000 people.
It kept growing: In 2017, he documented more than 65,000 public job advertisements for security-related positions in Xinjiang, and last year Amnesty International estimated that there were 90,000 security staff in the region, the highest ratio of people to security in any province in China.
It started with a drive to put up security cameras in the aftermath of the 2009 riots before evolving into something far more sophisticated, as Xinjiang turned into a place for state-connected companies to test all of their surveillance innovations.
Today, Xinjiang has both a massive security presence and ubiquitous surveillance technology: facial-recognition cameras; iris and body scanners at checkpoints, gas stations and government facilities; the collection of DNA samples for a massive database; mandatory apps that monitor messages and data flow on Uyghurs’ smartphones; drones to monitor the borders.
“But to do that in combination with a large DNA database of up to 40 million people and to integrate those methods with other modes of surveillance and intrusion – that represents a very new frontier and approach when it comes to online surveillance and oppression.”
Violence in the region has fallen as riots, protests and attacks are now rare in Xinjiang.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Retirement-Savings Crisis Is Making Never-Ending Work”

“I’m a working woman again,” she told me, in the common room of the senior apartment complex where she now lives, here in California’s Inland Empire.
Gordon has worked dozens of odd jobs throughout her life-as a house cleaner, a home health aide, a telemarketer, a librarian, a fundraiser-but at many times in her life, she didn’t have a steady job that paid into Social Security.
Many people reaching retirement age don’t have the pensions that lots of workers in previous generations did, and often have not put enough money into their 401(k)s to live off of; the median savings in a 401(k) plan for people between the ages of 55 and 64 is currently just $15,000, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit.
“In the early decades of our work, we were serving communities that had been poor when they were younger,” Prindiville told me.
If today’s seniors are struggling with retirement savings, what will become of the people of working age today, many of whom hold unsteady jobs and have patchwork incomes that leave little room for retirement savings? The current wave of senior poverty could just be the beginning.
In 1979, 28 percent of private-sector workers had participated in defined-benefit retirement plans-by 2014, just 2 percent did, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a nonprofit.
At least Belleau and others are physically able to work.
She’s still working at 76, but she feels a little more secure now that she has more help.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Dad Stole This Toddler’s Identity To Open Credit Cards. Here’s How The System Failed Him.”

KJ’s mother, Trina Patterson, filed the suit in US District Court for the Southern District of New York; it alleges that three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax – violated fair credit reporting laws by distributing inaccurate credit information about KJ to creditors.
Because of their young age, they have clean credit reports and often don’t discover the theft until they reach adulthood and apply for credit, John Krebs, identity theft program manager with the Federal Trade Commission, told BuzzFeed News.
So how exactly did Capital One issue two credit cards using a toddler’s social security number, and why has it been such a battle to clear KJ’s credit history? At least part of the explanation lies in banks’ methods for verifying credit applicants’ identities, which leave loopholes that fraudsters can exploit.
Even with their sophisticated algorithms, credit bureaus’ system of relying on credit applications to collect social security numbers and build credit reports has flaws, as KJ’s case demonstrates.
“Credit thieves have figured this out – if you apply for credit in the name of the innocent person, the innocent person’s name will come back, and [the bank] will open a credit account,” said Smith.
The bank said that after determining fraud had been committed, it immediately closed KJ’s credit card accounts and contacted the credit reporting agencies to remove the accounts from the minor’s credit file.
“It’s obviously awful that any parent would seek to steal their child’s identity, but part of the problem here is that it does not appear that the credit reporting agencies have policies in place to prevent the issuance of credit reports on minor children,” Mallon said.
The three bureaus declined to respond to questions about their credit approval process, what procedures they have to protect against this type of identity theft, and how they issued credit reports that included a toddler’s social security number and an adult’s date of birth.

The orginal article.