Wikileaks, Spies, Cheaters, and Cocaine

Dear Brian,
What is a simple summary of the history of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden?

Wikileaks = journalist organization dedicated to publishing confidential and leaked information. Wikileaks activists work to help whistleblowers.

Julian Assange = one-time defacto leader of Wikileaks who’s been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy for involvement with Wikileaks.

Chelsea Manning = U.S. Army private who turned whistleblower by leaking confidential U.S. cables to Wikileaks and Julian Assange. She’s currently in military prison.

Edward Snowden = Government contractor who leaked manuals showing how government monitoring platforms work. He’s stuck in Russia.

Learn more about cyber war heroes on my blog.

5 Heroes of the Cyber Wars – Thought for Your Penny

Dear Brian,
How do I find out if someone is spying on my phone?

There are a few technical and intuitive ways to deduce this as every action on a computer leaves a trace.

However, you posited this question in the love section, so I assume you mean “how do I find out if my partner is spying on my phone?” and the answer is, should they be?

Protecting your personal information and operations from the general public or government is one thing – lying or hiding the truth from someone in a relationship is a bad sign.

My advice would be to ask, and if there’s something you’re doing on your phone you don’t want your partner to see, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Riding a moral high horse about privacy won’t excuse and reflect blame for your sins onto your partner, and if that’s even a goal you have, then you are being a terrible partner who needs to grow up and leave that person alone.

Dear Brian,
What are some extraneous services that Bank of America will perform for customers for a fee?

Don’t feel like paying your insurance? Don’t worry – Bank of America contracts a former subsidiary that’s been bought and sold under high regulatory scrutiny for years to track all collateral loans, placing a service deceivingly disguised as a product, called Force-Placed Insurance (or Collateral Protection Insurance) on the loan.

Now your insurance payments will be rolled into your monthly loan payments through an automatic escrow account. This insurance can cost up to 10x as much as a consumer insurance policy, and provides coverage only to protect the bank’s interest (i.e. no death, injury, belongings, etc. covered).

Force-placed insurance has been under high levels of regulatory scrutiny over the years because of its costly and fraudulent nature, but Bank of America continues the practice, with the hot-potato game of ownership over the force-placed insurance practices signaling one of the biggest instances of financial fraud in human history…

Dear Brian,
What would happen if I drank a glass of LSD?

Dear Brian,
How do you do a two-monitor setup?

You need two connections for a monitor (HDMI, DVI, VGA) on your computer tower. If you don’t, the easiest way is to buy a video card that does support two monitors with two of those connections and replace your old one (there are other configurations, but they take more technical comfort).

Once you have the hardware, the steps are specific to your OS, though the general idea is to go into display settings as you normally would for your monitor and activate the second monitor with either mirroring (the second display showing whatever’s on the first display) or stretched desktop (both screens acting as independent and connected desktops).

Most everything cool you see coming from a computer happened at the video card…

Dear Brian,
What is the good outcome coming out from cocaine?

There are tons of upsides, but the reason people have an issue with it is for every up…

There’s an inevitable down…

Knowing your limits in life will keep you out of a lot of trouble…

Dear Brian,
Why did my girlfriend leave me even after I left my wife?

She saw what you did to your last wife and didn’t want to end up in that position.

Brian Penny WhistleblowerBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, Lifehack, and your mom.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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