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Could the World be a Safer Place Without John McAfee?

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Speaking ill of the deceased is a bad move, to say the least. It’s that sort of thing that forever paints the writer’s name black. 

Yet, it must be taken into account, who the character of this anti-eulogy is. The notorious influencer, serial entrepreneur, eccentric millionaire, bitcoin angel John McAfee who was found dead June 23rd in his prison cell in Barcelona was no angel.

Prostitutes, guns, drugs, and twitter rants have forever intertwined with his name in the eye of the general public. Singing church praises to such a persona would require the level of hypocrisy that he himself would never appreciate. If anything, John McAfee was always true to himself and never pretended to be anything else but a sociopath with no regard to social norms. 

To honor the memory of the last digital punk, let’s recall all the crazy stuff that we’re going to remember him for.

#10 Crazy tweets 

Mentioning something once might be an honest mistake. But saying something THAT gross SO MANY times is 100% intentional. Not only did John create a “whale fuckung manifesto”, he had it displayed on road signs, bar menus, marquis and fake Seventh Day Adventist promotional foldouts, with his worshippers’ help.

If whale copulation doesn’t strike you as a serious business, check the website http://whalefucker.com that John created. This cringe topic is just the tip of the iceberg. McAfee’s Twitter is so notorious it will probably burn in digital hell after it’s deleted. Needless to say, we won’t be surprised if John’s most repulsive tweets will soon make overpriced NFTs. 

#9 Crypto fraud

Twitter was the sanctuary where McAfee advertised scamcoins and shitty ICOs while earning millions of dollars from his numerous subscribers. In addition, it was noted that in recent years, McAfee regularly received payments for public speaking and consultations, and also earned selling the rights to filming of his biography. The not-any-more-living legend was accused of fraudulent schemes and money laundering that brought him more than $13,000,000.

“Crypto Jesus” talked shit officially, a lot. For example, he promised to eat his penis live on national television, if by 2020 BTC wouldn’t hit one million USD, to which a website http://dickening.com is dedicated. That, against the background of the rapid growth of bitcoin in 2017, still looked too presumptuous, and even after the collapse of the rate in the spring of 2018. 

Another flaw was the launch of a bitcoin wallet called Bitfi. McAfee argued that the wallet was completely impossible to hack as it was the most secure of all. And, just a bit later, Bitfi was hacked twice.

#8 Alcohol and drug frenzy

A runaway without a specific date of birth, John made a fortune on the “worst software on the planet” and turned his life into a rollercoaster full of eccentricity and escaping the law.

He was an embodiment of the “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” motto.

In the 60s, while working for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, McAfee began to dabble in hard drugs. According to Wired, he could work for days on end while under the influence of LSD. Once McAfee started with a line of the psychedelic known as DMT (dimethyltryptamine), but he later doped himself with the whole bag at once. He had such a hell of a trip that later on he confessed ever since then his whole life was one big hallucination.

In the 70s, McAfee settled in Silicon Valley. There he worked for a wide variety of technology companies (including NASA’s Space Research Institute), while still abusing drugs and alcohol. At the time, he worked for Omex, where sniffing cocaine and drinking scotch at his desk became a daily routine for him. And only in 1983, McAfee decided to finally switch to a sober lifestyle. According to John, he suddenly felt terribly lonely and scared and, in the end, he came to Alcoholics Anonymous. Did that help? Read it up and see.

#7 Intensifying paranoia 

McAfee was the king of paranoia. It all started in 1992, when he founded the company that was the first in the world to release a commercial antivirus. Later on, the Michelangelo virus appeared. At that time, the world didn’t know the word “hype” but McAfee knew how to make money by spreading paranoia. He declared the virus was the worst that had ever existed and predicted an infection of up to 5 million (10%) computers in the United States. In fact, Michelangelo only ruined tens of thousands of devices, but one way or another, the demand for McAfee software increased rapidly, and after the IPO the company turned into a multi-billion dollar business.

After the antivirus business, McAfee lived an almost-quiet life till he got bored with the United States and with people who, as he put it, were jealous of his wealth. Then he moved to Belize. In the late 2000-s, the creator of the antivirus got watchdogs and a small army of bodyguards. He changed his IP address several times a day as it seemed to him that he was constantly being watched. He believed that criminals, spies, politicians and drug dealers were after him. Allegedly, John killed his neighbor who he considered to be a spy, which is difficult to describe as other than paranoid delirium (check #2).

Many-a-times did the cybersecurity pioneer express paranoiac ideas about the American authorities. He blamed the United States for being engaged in electronic espionage. He claimed the CIA used vulnerabilities in smartphones. In an interview with Newsweek, he said: “We are being lied to by the government from every single corner of the world. The CIA provides [info], which is deceptive, manipulative. The government provides information which is manipulative and deceptive. So if you ask me, for example, what my position is, on anything, how the f*** would I know? Because I don’t have any information that is real.” 

And even after death, the great mysticist spreads paranoia via his Twitter. According to preliminary reports, McAfee committed suicide in the Spanish prison. However, in the fall of 2020, the millionaire tweeted that he would never take this step, and even stated that the US authorities were threatening him.

A year before that, there was a tweet from John that has been recently used as proof he was murdered. No one knows if McAfee’s theory is true or just an exciting rumor he made to stay afloat, but the Whackd tattoo sure looks authentic.

#6 Provocative videos

In 2013, McAfee posted a provocative video titled “How to Uninstall McAfee Antivirus” featuring the tech millionaire himself. At the very beginning of the video, McAfee stated that he was receiving a huge number of emails asking how to get rid of McAfee programs.

“I have no idea how to do this,” the businessman replied, stressing that he had no relation to the company for more than 15 years. Lighting up a hundred dollar bill is probably the most innocent thing John does in the video you should definitely watch. 

#5 Alleged coprophilia

Some say McAfee’s plethora of disturbing sexual endeavours are actually the least scandalous and interesting things about him. But have you heard of a cornucopia of coprophilia fetishes? In the documentary by Showtime, 2016, some frivolous looking girls from Belize paint a (disgusting?) brown picture while describing their experiences with him.

#4 Hired his wife as a prostitute

The eccentric cybersecurity millionaire assured that he had 47 biological children. But there is something more to his love life than that – and even more interesting than the harem he boasted to have. 

We’re coming closer to the murder accusations in Belize.

In 2012, McAfee was emerging from a month on the run with a wad of $5 bills, when he was first deported to Miami. He met this special girl Janice at a cafe in Miami Beach and paid for a day and a night of her company. There was clearly a sparkle between those two, and at the age of 67 the software creator married the 30-year-old, and the two spent four years of good times in a gun-filled mansion in remote Lexington, Tennessee. Now, if your party isn’t this lit don’t invite me!

#3 Creating a private army, or owning guns in the Apocalypse Now style

This photo captured McAfee’s good time with a private army that protected his laboratory in Central America.

image

Once McAfee’s alleged underaged girlfriend (another story there?) began to fuel his paranoia, he decided that drug dealers were in charge of the village located next to his lab and bungalows in Belize.

We will never know the truth but we can make a couple of wild guesses. Maybe for a good cause, but more apparently to throw his persecution mania a bone, McAfee began funding the local police: he organised a site, issued weapons and uniforms, and paid officers to patrol after hours. The police became something of a small army of mercenaries.

McAfee carried weapons, stopped suspicious cars and bribed small drug dealers to stop their business. You got that right! In spite of his controversy and eccentricity, John was not alien to pure impulses.

#2 Alleged murder in Belize

Finally, we’re here. As you already know, over the years, McAfee, who was famous for his eccentric behavior, had problems with the law. In 2012, the Belize police decided to interrogate him when investigating the murder of Gregory Viant Faull, who was shot on the island where both men lived. No one knows whether John saw an enemy or a spy in Faull, but they had multiple conflicts. 

After McAfee was released without charge, he accused the Belize government of persecution; the police responded by saying that they were only investigating the crime. Then-Prime Minister Dean Barrow called McAfee “crazy.” The police said they did not consider McAfee a suspect. In 2019, a Florida court ordered McAfee to pay $25 million to Faull’s heirs, but he refused. 

McAfee went on the run. He said he was hiding because he feared for his life as the Belizean authorities had been trying to catch him for several months. The businessman also suggested that Faull was shot by mistake, and that he was the real target of the killers. On his website, McAfee offered a $ 25,000 reward for any information about Faull’s murder. He decided to flee to neighboring Guatemala, and the escape itself was a real special operation. But that’s another story.

#1 Tax evasion

In this life two things are inevitable – death and taxes. McAfee had been fleeing both all his life, but he could not escape. In 2019, McAfee said that for eight years he had not paid taxes for ideological reasons. In the same year, he left the United States to avoid trial, and spent most of the time on the yacht with his wife, four dogs, two guards, and seven employees.

image

In the fall of 2020, McAfee was arrested in Spain after being charged with tax evasion and violation of securities laws. According to the indictment of the U.S. Department of Justice, McAfee did not pay taxes (2014 – 2018) and tried to hide his assets, including real estate and a yacht (usually by transferring ownership to other people). 

The crypto enthusiast assured that the unimaginable luxury that was attributed to him existed only in the head of his pursuers. Mockingly, he stated that all the cryptocurrency he supposedly had stashed away was in the wet dreams of the Attorney General of the United States. One can assume that even if McAfee had massive savings, with his way of life, he undoubtedly spent it all, and he did it at scale.

Famous last words

John McAfee once claimed that he was always drawn to those on the margins. Prostitutes, criminals, adventurers — the framework of ordinary life was too narrow for him. Someone might consider McAfee a repulsive, wicked, and extremely dangerous psychopath. But, to tell the truth, he was one of the most interesting men alive.

A larger than life digital punk who lived at a whale scale, this eccentric badass could get away with anything when they thought they had him by the balls. To honor John’s memory make sure to watch the Showtime documentary called “Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee.”  We must admit nobody can have more fun than he did in Belize. We love you, John, and we hope you are sipping your martini in heaven and making fun of everyone you fooled. 

RIP. 

Lead image via https://www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-john-mcafees-last-stand/

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ZDNET

Industry once again warns Australian government about falling behind in tech

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The Australian Academy of Science has published a policy primer calling for the federal government to place emerging digital technologies higher up the priority list.

“Australia risks falling behind as a technologically-driven nation unless we recognise emerging digital technologies as a central, independent sector in its own right, warranting investment in the core aspects of research, innovation, and workforce development,” the organisation wrote.

In the policy primer [PDF], the government-endorsed, not-for-profit organisation warned that Australia could potentially lag behind global peers, saying other nations such as Canada, France, the UK, and the US have placed more resources towards prioritising digital technologies as a strategy to bolster competitiveness.

Australia’s digital innovation earnings relative to its GDP was almost four percentage points lower than the OECD average of 11.2%, the organisation said.

To address this, the organisation put forward three recommendations that it believes would help Australia’s digital technology capability and innovation keep pace with other countries.

The recommendations are to elevate emerging digital technologies as a national science and innovation priority; include research and innovation in emerging digital technologies in the 2021 Research Infrastructure Roadmap; and recognise emerging digital technologies as an independent growth sector.

The Australian Academy of Science added that more investment is needed towards improving the digital literacy of Australians. Referring to RMIT University’s digital inclusion index, it said Australians with lower income, employment, and education have increasingly fallen behind in this area.

Kaspersky APAC managing director Chris Connell has also pushed for stronger promotion of security awareness and digital education saying that government needed to work more closely with industry to achieve this.

“We’re facing security challenges that put a strain on cybersecurity resources. Investing in cyber talent and promoting security awareness and digital education are the keys to success in building cyber resilient digital societies and economies,” Connell said.

“We need to move from the ‘needs’ to actually delivering on this — if we don’t, and the way the world is changing, there will be more and more risk moving forward.”

While the Australian Academy of Science did note the federal government’s recent digital economy strategy and modern manufacturing strategy were a “welcome signal”, it gave the caveat that government still needed to recognise the importance of building scientific capability behind the digital economy, both from an investment and narrative point of view.

“The national narrative and strategy for Australia’s digital economy needs to address the fundamental importance of building and maintaining scientific capabilities in emerging digital technologies to drive investment and build sovereign capability and capacity,” it wrote.

Following a similar theme, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) a few weeks ago expressed concerns that the federal government was not placing enough resources into commercialising emerging technology, such as quantum computing.

“We are in a position of thought leadership and in some ways, we do lead the way. But our concern is that based on global trends, if we don’t take the steps necessary to maintain our position, and we’re not taking those steps, then we will in fact lose our leadership position, lose our resources, lose our IP, lose our skills, and our thought leaders,” AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said at the time. 

Related Coverage

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Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/industry-once-again-warns-australian-government-about-falling-behind-in-tech/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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ZDNET

Industry once again warns Australian government about falling behind in tech

Published

on

The Australian Academy of Science has published a policy primer calling for the federal government to place emerging digital technologies higher up the priority list.

“Australia risks falling behind as a technologically-driven nation unless we recognise emerging digital technologies as a central, independent sector in its own right, warranting investment in the core aspects of research, innovation, and workforce development,” the organisation wrote.

In the policy primer [PDF], the government-endorsed, not-for-profit organisation warned that Australia could potentially lag behind global peers, saying other nations such as Canada, France, the UK, and the US have placed more resources towards prioritising digital technologies as a strategy to bolster competitiveness.

Australia’s digital innovation earnings relative to its GDP was almost four percentage points lower than the OECD average of 11.2%, the organisation said.

To address this, the organisation put forward three recommendations that it believes would help Australia’s digital technology capability and innovation keep pace with other countries.

The recommendations are to elevate emerging digital technologies as a national science and innovation priority; include research and innovation in emerging digital technologies in the 2021 Research Infrastructure Roadmap; and recognise emerging digital technologies as an independent growth sector.

The Australian Academy of Science added that more investment is needed towards improving the digital literacy of Australians. Referring to RMIT University’s digital inclusion index, it said Australians with lower income, employment, and education have increasingly fallen behind in this area.

Kaspersky APAC managing director Chris Connell has also pushed for stronger promotion of security awareness and digital education saying that government needed to work more closely with industry to achieve this.

“We’re facing security challenges that put a strain on cybersecurity resources. Investing in cyber talent and promoting security awareness and digital education are the keys to success in building cyber resilient digital societies and economies,” Connell said.

“We need to move from the ‘needs’ to actually delivering on this — if we don’t, and the way the world is changing, there will be more and more risk moving forward.”

While the Australian Academy of Science did note the federal government’s recent digital economy strategy and modern manufacturing strategy were a “welcome signal”, it gave the caveat that government still needed to recognise the importance of building scientific capability behind the digital economy, both from an investment and narrative point of view.

“The national narrative and strategy for Australia’s digital economy needs to address the fundamental importance of building and maintaining scientific capabilities in emerging digital technologies to drive investment and build sovereign capability and capacity,” it wrote.

Following a similar theme, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) a few weeks ago expressed concerns that the federal government was not placing enough resources into commercialising emerging technology, such as quantum computing.

“We are in a position of thought leadership and in some ways, we do lead the way. But our concern is that based on global trends, if we don’t take the steps necessary to maintain our position, and we’re not taking those steps, then we will in fact lose our leadership position, lose our resources, lose our IP, lose our skills, and our thought leaders,” AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said at the time. 

Related Coverage

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/industry-once-again-warns-australian-government-about-falling-behind-in-tech/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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ZDNET

Westpac has blocked 24,000 abusive messages in payments

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Westpac said it has managed to block some 24,000 transactions that were deemed as abusive payments.

In its environment, social, and governance strategy update, the bank also noted it required 19,000 customers to change the language they used in transaction descriptions before their payments could be accepted and processed.

The bank added it issued more than 800 warning letters and account suspensions and reported more than 70 customers to authorities for abusive payments.  

The bank announced earlier in the year it would not tolerate any messages containing abuse being sent in transaction descriptions. Terms considered inappropriate by the bank range from swear words through to domestic violence threats.

“We want to create a safer digital banking experience for our customers and send a clear signal that abusive messages in payment transactions will not be tolerated,” Westpac general manager of customer solutions Lisa Pogonoski previously said.

To contain such behaviour, the red and black bank rolled out a new tool enabling customers to report abuse and harassment received in the payment transaction description for inbound payments.

The bank also deployed technology to monitor outgoing payments sent through its online and mobile banking platforms, which blocks certain transactions containing inappropriate or offensive language in real-time.

In other updates, Westpac highlighted that in relation to its Customer Outcomes and Risk Excellence (CORE) program, it has completed 104 out of 327 planned activities designed to uplift the bank’s management and governance of risk. These included upgrading its transaction screen software and settings, identifying data points and establishing automated reconciliations and checks, using analytics to improve detection, and improving risk reporting through a new insights platform.

For the first half the 2022 financial year, Westpac highlighted tech expenses increased AU$40 million, attributing part of the rise was relating to the CORE program. This was off the back of a profit increase, posting AU$3.4 billion.  

IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW IN AUSTRALIA NEEDS HELP CONTACT ONE OF THESE SERVICES:

  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890
  • In an emergency or if you’re not feeling safe, always call 000

MORE FROM WESTPAC

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/westpac-has-blocked-24000-abusive-messages-in-payments/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

Continue Reading

ZDNET

Westpac has blocked 24,000 abusive messages in payments

Published

on

Westpac said it has managed to block some 24,000 transactions that were deemed as abusive payments.

In its environment, social, and governance strategy update, the bank also noted it required 19,000 customers to change the language they used in transaction descriptions before their payments could be accepted and processed.

The bank added it issued more than 800 warning letters and account suspensions and reported more than 70 customers to authorities for abusive payments.  

The bank announced earlier in the year it would not tolerate any messages containing abuse being sent in transaction descriptions. Terms considered inappropriate by the bank range from swear words through to domestic violence threats.

“We want to create a safer digital banking experience for our customers and send a clear signal that abusive messages in payment transactions will not be tolerated,” Westpac general manager of customer solutions Lisa Pogonoski previously said.

To contain such behaviour, the red and black bank rolled out a new tool enabling customers to report abuse and harassment received in the payment transaction description for inbound payments.

The bank also deployed technology to monitor outgoing payments sent through its online and mobile banking platforms, which blocks certain transactions containing inappropriate or offensive language in real-time.

In other updates, Westpac highlighted that in relation to its Customer Outcomes and Risk Excellence (CORE) program, it has completed 104 out of 327 planned activities designed to uplift the bank’s management and governance of risk. These included upgrading its transaction screen software and settings, identifying data points and establishing automated reconciliations and checks, using analytics to improve detection, and improving risk reporting through a new insights platform.

For the first half the 2022 financial year, Westpac highlighted tech expenses increased AU$40 million, attributing part of the rise was relating to the CORE program. This was off the back of a profit increase, posting AU$3.4 billion.  

IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW IN AUSTRALIA NEEDS HELP CONTACT ONE OF THESE SERVICES:

  • National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732
  • MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890
  • In an emergency or if you’re not feeling safe, always call 000

MORE FROM WESTPAC

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/westpac-has-blocked-24000-abusive-messages-in-payments/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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