AS HEARD ON: WGAN Mornings News with Matt Gagnon: What's with All the Internet Outages Lately and Autonomous Cars -- Will they Ever be Safe?

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I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon. He jumped right in with a question about the problems with the internet and why are there so many outages. Will they continue? What can be done? Then we talked about the Facebook hack and release of the personal information of 533 Million users and we wrapped up with a discussion about how long it will be until we have fully autonomous vehicles. Here we go with Matt.

And more tech tips, news, and updates visit - CraigPeterson.com.

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: Good morning, everybody. I was on with Mr. Matt Gagnon this morning and he is in Maine, as you probably know. I'm carried there through there are stations in Maine and parts of eastern New Hampshire and Southern Maine. Because of an outage, they had on the internet that hit parts of New Hampshire, as well as Maine he asked me about the internet backbone and much of it was kind of surprising to him. Frankly, I don't think it's really good news.

[00:00:31]We also talked a bit about what's happening with autonomous vehicles. Why aren't they just everywhere already? When are we going to consider them safe? So here we go with Mr. Matt.

[00:00:44] Matt Gagnon: So Craig, let's get to your topics and what we need to talk about with you here this morning, sir. Okay. So we had a huge power outage recently. We had a huge internet outage recently. Are we worried about this? Like in the future is this a sign of things to come? What caused it? I mean, what's going on here?

[00:01:00] Craig Peterson: Yeah. There's well, there's a couple of different reports. One talks about breaks in two different fibers. There's a power problem. Here's, what's really going on behind the scenes. The major internet providers have multiple connections to the internet. Let's explain what the internet is to help really understand it.

[00:01:19] The internet is an interconnected network of networks. There is no internet. It doesn't exist as you don't pay your bill to the internet.

[00:01:32] Matt Gagnon: A United States Senator once called it a series of tubes as you recall. Right.

[00:01:40]Craig Peterson: What happens is all of these different providers that we get it from, like spectrum, for instance, that had the outage. They all get internet connections to other providers. The idea is that the internet can have thousands of networks that are almost, you might call them backbones, but none of them really are right now.

[00:02:02] Most of the data on the internet is actually being routed through Amazon who is running these big data centers. Spectrum will have a connection to a network provider over here and another provider over there. There are some major central hubs, if you will, of this internet connectivity. If you lose one piece of fiber and you are connected to the internet at different points using the other pieces of fiber, you're still okay.

[00:02:33]If you only have two fiber connections to the internet itself, then you lose both of them. You are off the air. Whether it's because of a break or because of a power failure, it doesn't really matter. If you're going to be really reliable as an internet provider, you have to remember that upstream from you they could go down.

[00:02:54] To now the big problem we're seeing now, nowadays. The internet was designed to withstand a nuclear explosion anywhere in the United States. We could lose the entire city of New York and the internet would still run. That's because again, all of these small networks together.

[00:03:13] However, as time has gone on, we've seen happen to the internet that's happened in many other industries, there's been consolidation.

[00:03:20] I mentioned Amazon handles much of the traffic for the internet, and frankly, Netflix is about half of the internet traffic on any given day. We now have, instead of thousands of these networks connected together, in reality, just a handful.

[00:03:37] There's only really about a dozen that you might call backbones that almost everybody connects to. If you lose one of those, we're in big trouble. So, to answer your question, yes, this is something we can continue to expect more and more of.

[00:03:53]One of the more troubling things is just within the last year a minor player in the internet backbone business. A small business bought one of the biggest companies out there and they just haven't been taking care of the internet. They were trying to keep the price low. They have people working for them. Some of them are brilliant. We've got a lot of them. This is brand new to them. They have brought the internet down a number of times over the last even six months. This is growing pains. I think it's going to get a little bit worse and I'm not sure it's going to get that much better.

[00:04:31] Matt Gagnon: Well, that's a happy thought. Thanks a lot, Craig. Appreciate it.

[00:04:33] Craig Peterson, our tech guru. You hear him not only here at this time, every Wednesday, but also on the same radio station you're listening to right now on Saturdays at one o'clock WGAN of course. Check out that for some more in-depth analysis and talk over many of these same topics.

[00:04:47] Craig also, the Facebook hack. I have to ask you about here a little bit as well. Apparently, everybody now knows Mark Zuckerberg's phone number because of this. So tell me what happened and what's the fallout from it?

[00:04:58] Craig Peterson: Yeah, it's about 533 million Facebook users. Their data was stolen and it has been sold and reused.

[00:05:08] Now this type of data is data that is used for phishing, which is trying to fool us. They got all kinds of information about all these half a billion Facebook users. They had Zuck's name, his location, his marriage information, date of birth, Facebook user ID, his phone number.

[00:05:28] But they had it on half, a billion, other people as well.

[00:05:32] Absolutely crazy, what happened?

[00:05:35]The hackers have been selling this information to other bad guys if you will for about two years. They no longer have any, any buyers for this data, you know, half a billion people's personal information. So they posted it openly on the internet for anyone to download, not just their network of friends that have been paying them.

[00:06:00]You've just got to love the response that came from our friends over at Facebook when they were asked about it. This was the Daily Mail that asked by the way. The Facebook spokesman said, this is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. Okay, but don't you care that you've got half a billion people's personal information.

[00:06:23] It's been resold, sold for quite a while, and just on Saturday, it was posted for free for anyone on the internet.

[00:06:33] So, it's okay. Obviously, the same old stuff, right? Make sure you change your password. Use two-factor authentication, get one password as a password manager, but what's really upsetting to me is the nonchalant attitude.

[00:06:49] All of these things, businesses have, including the Equifax's of the world. Remember they didn't just steal your basic in personal information, Equifax, they stole everything. They show your income, your job history, they stole your social security number. According to reports out there, it was all of this information and more. No one is going to prison over this. There have been no charges, one or two people lost their jobs. That's the extent of it.

[00:07:19] We have to get these large companies to really honor our data, keep it private and respond in a reasonable way. Not, Oh, it's yesterday's news.

[00:07:35] Craig Peterson joins us at this time every Wednesday to go over what's happening in the world of technology really quickly.

[00:07:40] Matt Gagnon: Craig, we only have a couple of minutes left maybe, but I wanted to ask you about self-driving cars. Does the question continue to remain about these things if they're ever going to be safe? I continue to believe that someday none of us are driving anything any more. Am I right?

[00:07:52] Craig Peterson: Yeah, you are absolutely correct. The Jetson's world might come our way.

[00:07:56] There are now autonomous cabs, basically, uber's in some cases that will fly. So yeah, it'll eventually be there. The problem we're seeing is how do we evaluate them as you mentioned, are they safe? Well, how do you define safe? One of these autonomous cars is going to react differently in a situation, than a human driver.

[00:08:19]That's the problem we've had. Most of the accidents that have happened with the autonomous vehicles that are already on the road have been rear renders. Not them rear-ending somebody, but somebody rear-ending them. We have as drivers, certain expectations as to how another driver's going to behave on the road and these cars do not behave the same way.

[00:08:42] So its going to be a little while. If they were all autonomous now, that probably would go away. This is going, this problem, for a good 20 plus years, I think.

[00:08:51] Matt Gagnon: All right. Well, Craig Peterson, our tech guru. You can hear him here, not only every Wednesday but on Saturdays at one o'clock.

[00:08:56] Thanks a lot, Craig. Appreciate it as always. . We'll talk to you again next week.

[00:08:59] Take care, Matt. Bye-bye.

[00:09:00] Hey, one last reminder. I have discount coupons for people who are signing up for my Improving Windows Privacy and Security course.

[00:09:10]If you haven't signed up yet, you don't have much time because this is closing on Friday night at midnight.

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[00:09:29]We're probably gonna do a couple of phone calls as well. Maybe a little webinar you can call in if you'd rather, but all of that is on my email. You know, if you don't sign up right now, you're not going to find out about it.

[00:09:41]When it goes onto my site, it is going to be full price. It's only now that you can get the coupon. So you might want to email me M E@craigpeterson.com. If you haven't signed up already, or if you want more details.

[00:09:54] I am more than glad to send them to just open your email and send it to me. M E@craigpeterson.com. I'd be glad to send you all the details you'd like.

[00:10:04]Of course this weekend I will be back as well.

[00:10:07] Take care everybody.

[00:10:10] Bye-bye.

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