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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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!