Safety Tips for Ride Share

On Episode 440 of the Waves of Tech, we are back into our usual routine of sharing news that matters to you as a user and consumer of technology.  After learning of the killing of a university student by a would-be Uber driver, we share some crucial safety tips when deciding to use ride share services.  We learned this week of a security researcher that hacked Vtech, Microsoft, and Nintendo without consequence when a London court released the hacker. California is now one of 30 states that will now be taxing companies for goods provided by out of state companies after a court ruling in 2017 now allows this.  Lastly, Gmail is celebrating its 15th birthday and continues to serve the needs of their users.

Safety Tips for Ride Share Riders

Earlier this week we learned that Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina student, was murdered after she inadvertently entered a vehicle she thought it to be her Uber driver.  The driver in fact was a killer. This has again raised the need to have a conversation about passenger safety when it comes to ride sharing. Here are some tips for you.

  • Match license plate of car with app; Ask ‘Who Are You Waiting For?’
  • Look at photo on app and confirm name; Wait for your ride indoors
  • Do not reveal personal details; Always ride in the backseat, always
  • Share trip details with a friend; Rate your driver every time you ride

24-Year Old Researcher Pleads Guilty to Hacking

Tom Warren, Microsoft expert and previous founder of WinRumors, wrote an incredible article about a security research with Malwarebytes that hacked Vtech in 2015, hacked Microsoft in 2017, got arrested, hacked Nintendo in 2018 while he was on bail, pled guilty, and got off without any jail time!  Not sure as to be impressed or disheartened about the entire process.

  • Zammis Clark gained access to Microsoft server using an internal username/password
  • Clark stole 43,000 files, accessed Microsoft’s network and downloaded data
  • Using a VPN and similar software, he hacked Nintendo’s internal network
  • He hacked Nintendo’s game development servers, code for unreleased games

Joining the Party, California Begins New Taxation

Back in 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided that states in their union could tax remote or out-of-state sales.  Since then, 30 states – including California as of April 1st – have implemented a tax structure to allow for taxation collection resulting from outside company sales.  There are some exceptions but very few companies will be unaffected by the law.

  • Someone online retail marketplaces may be impacted if sales amass $100,000
  • It is best to consult a trusted tax advisor for how your online business may be impacted
  • California boasts the 5th largest economy in the world, so it seems to be a no-brainer
  • We predict very little change in terms of businesses conducting services to the state

Happy 15th Birthday to Gmail, Around Since 2004

15 years ago on April 1, 2004, Google announce the launching of Gmail.  To those that do not recall, Gmail was originally invite-only that caused many to buy and sell accounts via Ebay.  Gmail was the beginning of an impressive suite of services offered to Google users, including the eventually integration of Calender, Travel, Drive, Play, YouTube, Photos, and Maps.

  • Unlike Yahoo and Hotmail, Gmail offered users a gigabyte of free storage
  • Google began using threaded conversations, larger file size for attachments
  • Gmail has proven hard for users to quit because of its ease and experience
  • Other companies have tried to take down Gmail with little to no success

Resources & Links
Tips for Uber and Lyft Riders
Security Researcher Hacked Vtech, Microsoft, and Nintendo
California Taxes Out of State Sales
Gmail – 15 years old today

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