The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Google and Mozilla both make the news today. Neither will make you happy.

Google Tracking

According to reader J.B., Google tracks your movement whether you like it or not. Even if you explicitly refuse to allow Google to obtain and keep this information, it would appear that they just ignore your request and do it anyways. The Associated Press investigation found that despite the fact that many apps on Android and iPhones have a check mark that allows you to refuse to share this data with the app, Google obtains it anyway. It’s possible, though laborious, to delete the stored information, but there are approximately two billion devices that do this.

Gun Control

Reader H.L. sent in this article profiling a politician who was arrested and charged with murder for shooting and killing her former campaign manager. It turns out that this politician had promised to push for stricter gun control. Authorities are not even sure where she obtained the firearm that she used to kill with. How ironic. She pledged to reduce gun violence and is now charged with furthering gun violence. Even if she is mentally/criminally insane, has our politics been reduced to this level of hypocrisy?

Coffee

I love coffee! I’m excited when I see a health study that proclaims just how good coffee is for your health. One SurvivalBlog reader sent in this article that shows just how good it can be for your health as well. Apparently four girls, ages 11, 12, 13 and 14 were leaving a gas station convenience station when they were approached by a would-be kidnapper who grabbed one of the girls. One of the girls threw her coffee cup at his head and then began punching and kicking him.

When the other girls joined in the kicking and punching and the kidnapper was overwhelmed with the violence. He then turned loose and after a momentary attempt to reacquire one of the girls that was met with more violence, he fled. See, coffee really is good for your health – along with the willingness to refuse to be a victim. Teach your kids to defend themselves!

Pirates

To add to the already overwhelming problems that socialism has brought to the one rich country of Venezuela, vessels sailing in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago know have to worry about pirates. Criminals who are desperate to make a living have now taken up the centuries-old crime of attacking yachts and fishing vessels along the coast of South America. One group that studies crime in the area says that pirate attacks rose by 163% between 2016 and 2017. This is very similar to the rise in pirating that was seen off the coast of eastern Africa as those economies collapsed. Thanks to reader A.D. for the link.

Sloppy OPSEC

Oops! According to this article sent in by reader G.P., British and Canadian governments accidentally exposed passwords and security plans to the entire Internet by misconfiguring pages on Trello, a popular project management website. Between the two governments, a total of 50 Trello pages were published on the open web and indexed by Google. While not specifically related, this is one of the reasons why I hate cloud based software. There is no such thing as “The Cloud” in computing.

Everything exists somewhere on the Internet and the cloud is just a vague reference meaning you don’t know where the server is. It could be in someone’s closet or it could be in a high security facility. In addition to the problems associated with running a server, you know have to worry about access beyond just your company. I’m a firm believer in keeping your data in-house and off of the Internet. VPNs should be used when others outside of your network have to access the data. Sensitive data should never be where Google can access it if you have a security failure like this.

Go Louisiana!

After the Parkland shooting, much of the financial industry locked arms and pushed hard on the firearms industry, removing and blocking any firearms related transaction that they identified by refusing to do business with the store. One should note that all of these banned transactions are perfectly legal unlike the transactions that they back in the Colorado and California marijuana dispensaries. One state, however, has taken action against them. A Louisiana commission voted to block two banking giants (Citibank and Bank of America) from taking part in a $600 million highway project. The state commission said it would refuse to do business with companies that tried to bully consumers against a constitutional right.

Mozilla Firefox

Another one bites the dust. As the article sent in by reader H.L. states: “Remember the day you found out Google was steeped in pure evil? So you sought out a different browser to escape the evil overlords that run Chrome.” Many of us turned to Mozilla Firefox. It was disturbing to us when we found out that the company had fired the CEO for giving money to conservative causes. Now it appears that Mozilla has aligned itself with a George Soros group and formed the “Information Trust Initiative” and has pushed for “net neutrality”. The article suggests Brave and Vivaldi as two alternatives.

Medical Tests

A SurvivalBlog reader wanted to pass on an interesting tidbit of information that can help you manage your own health care. There are a number of labs that can perform blood tests that you can access like mymedlab. If you have the ability to draw blood (or access to someone who can do it for you) you can have some of these tests done yourself for as little as $88 rather than the exorbitant rate of $700+ that some labs charge. Using information you can obtain on the Internet (the same information that your Doctors use) you actually have the ability to diagnose and manage a good portion of your own health. Of course, if you find something serious, you need to seek professional help, but the access to these tools is invaluable.

o o o

Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!




14 Comments

  1. Regarding less expensive blood tests, another option http://www.ultalabtests.com. A friend paid $700 for local hospital lab to run, and then did the same test for $88 with http://www.ultalabtests.com. She did NOT need a doctor’s prescription to get the test. Direct consumer to lab, and had results in a very timely manner. The more we can run our own lives, the better for us and the BETTER FOR THE NATION. Govt at ALL levels is way to much in our lives from “can see to can’t see”!

    1. I’m liking Epic. Good tip, thanks. Easy-peasy to install. Did a DNS leak test, tight as a drum. It imports Bookmarks from an HTML file as well as direct from another browser. I made a file to use so no other data was brought over. The free (VPN) Proxy has multiple locations to pop up public including 2 in the US and several in Europe and Asia and it doesn’t leak to the ISP upon testing. Runs smooth, lightweight. The only drawback…the Icon looks like a Tide Pod.

  2. Regarding lab tests, I have used walkinlab.com a few times and love it! It is simple, easy, and I saved a ton of money. Through them you get a physician order for the lab tests you need, schedule an appointment at a lab near you, and off you go. Between my medical cost sharing ministry, walk in lab, and healthwarehouse.com as my mail order pharmacy, I save a ton of money and extend my middle finger to Obamacare and the insurance companies.

  3. Regarding Google tracking, many people are clueless as to how Google maps can tell them how long it will take to get to their destination. With millions of cell phones running google in the pockets of millions of drivers on the road, it is very easy to see how Google can see that there is a 20 minute delay on your route. Or how google asks you for a review of a business, because they know you have been there. It isn’t random. Duh!

  4. “has our politics been reduced to this level of hypocrisy?”

    well, for them, it’s not hypocrisy. see, precociously immitating their owners, they see themselves as the humans, and the rest of us as cattle put here to serve them, to be eliminated if we don’t. so the gun control is for us, not them. they are free to do as they please, using us to pay for it all.

  5. re: Mozilla Firefox

    Supposedly the TOR browser is based on Firefox. (I’ve read that it shares 95% of it’s code with Firefox)

    Does anyone know the extent of the partnership?

    Is any info being kicked back to Firefox?

    I’d hate to have to ditch it but I will if I feel it’s tainted.

  6. Google Tracking: this reminded me of a recent experience when my computer was not online and I tried to upload some photos. The computer would not accept them until it was back online. This did turn out to be a glitch, however, I got to thinking (and feared) that we have gotten to the point where your computer will not function unless it is online and every single thing you do on a computer is sent off and stored somewhere. I have programs that will not operated unless there is an internet connection.
    Is it unthinkable that there will be a day when everything you do on a computer is uploaded and examined for content? Will there be a knock on the door if there is a questionable keyboard input? Just asking.

  7. Just got a new computer. The old HP (2005 model laptop) still works but the power supply/charger fried itself. New one on order. Anyway just bought a Dell, having fun learning Windows 10. Immediately downloaded the Brave browser. There is a learning curve. It has a lot of the look of Firefox but is way faster. I noticed it also appears to have the ability to open a Tor window or tab. Haven’t played with that yet.

    The one downside I have noticed is the inability to customize the appearance. It just has a plain grayscale look to it. Kind of boring, a little hard on these old eyes. Needs some color to it. If I’m missing something, let me know.

    Still working on turning off the ads and tracking in Windows 10, getting better, not seeing as many ads. Also learned to keep many apps from accessing the camera and the microphone and monitoring my actions on the ‘puter. Much more to learn.

    Looking to download Libre Office instead of the free version of Office 365, I don’t trust Microsoft. Libre Office took up where Open Office left off and appears to do all storage directly on the computer instead of in some cloud somewhere. A side note: if you store anything important in some cloud server, and the internet disappears for an extended period of time, and you need your stored records, you are seriously left out in the cold.

  8. Both Brave and Vivaldi are based on Chrome. Vivaldi seems to be able to use any Chrome extension. Brave has a limited selection of extensions at this time. Vivaldi is available for Windows but not for any Smartphone. Brave is available for all manner of devices. Both seem to work just fine, although the setup for both reminds me of the early interactive text games like Zork. Just figuring out the info I posted above regarding the extensions took a very long time.
    The Mozilla email client Thunderbird seems to be in the process of splitting the blanket with Mozilla. I would be curious to hear the story behind that.

  9. Google Tracking.

    I went to the site listed: myactivity.google.com. Signed in, there was nothing there, as expected. I’d previously told google not to store/track, seems to work for me.

  10. I use FIREFOX
    I tried to go to “article sent in” from the article about Mozzle Firefox only to receive a notice that says Firefox won’t connect me because “my connection is not secure”. However may connection seems to be secure for most everything else? This gets curiouser and curiouser.

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