More on John (This article was in Marty's news but bears repeating)http://www.cnbc.com/id/102416048
In USA Today
John McAfee prepares for his 'last stand'
Jon Swartz 12 Hours Ago USA Today
OPELIKA, Ala. — We were somewhere near the Georgia border, riding shotgun with John McAfee in a tricked-out monster truck along Interstate 85, when things got spectacularly weird.
We'd been on the road since 5:30 a.m., subsisting on caffeine and cough drops, when the mercurial McAfee nonchalantly drops a bombshell. Days earlier, someone affixed a mysterious box near the gas tank of the truck that is hurtling down the highway at 85 mph.
"Yes, I believe the device was an explosive meant to do me great harm," he says. "Oh, don't panic. It was removed from the vehicle and is being investigated by the FBI." The FBI had no comment.
To assuage his jittery passenger, McAfee says the truck is heavily fortified with a 1,400-pound crash guard, blinding lights, an ear-piercing wailer and an arsenal of five guns. Not to leave anything to chance, McAfee's security guard, who is following us in my rental car, is packing heat.
Welcome to the unhinged world of John McAfee, a pioneer in the computer-security industry who gained international notoriety in 2012 when he was entangled in a murder case in Belize. McAfee, who was not officially charged, escaped the Central American country and became a cult figure.
After spending the better part of 2014 on the run from, he says, assassins sent from Belize, McAfee and his wife, Janice, are living in plain sight in a house in Lexington, Tenn.
He's also raising his profile with a new incubator that could be the last stab at relevance and respectability for the 69-year-old McAfee, who has been described as "mysterious," drug-addled," "insane," "manipulative" and "brilliant."
"This is a new phase in my life — getting back to building things," McAfee says.
McAfee made his name and fortune by building a cybersecurity empire at then-McAfee Associates only to resign in 1994 and, in 2012, be named by Belize authorities as a "'person of interest" in the murder of his neighbor.
He fled the country and initially moved to Portland, Ore., before settling in Tennessee. According to reports, his fortune, once more than $100 million, has dwindled to a few million dollars — possibly less. McAfee declined to discuss his personal finances.
Along the way, McAfee's outsize ambitions — and tales — made for riveting entertainment. As mind-bending as they may be, the stories required a note of skepticism.
John and Janice McAfee chose Lexington because of its rustic charms and its proximity — a six-hour drive — to Future Tense Central, McAfee's fledgling incubator here on the Alabama/Georgia border, near Auburn University.
"It's kind of like Mayberry R.F.D. grown into a city," McAfee says of Lexington, which is halfway between Memphis and Nashville. "The mayor and sheriff have welcomed us with open arms."
Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes, who recently met with John and Janice McAfee, says they are joining a "quiet, good place to live."
Yet even idyllic west Tennessee has not been peaceful. Several days earlier, someone fired shots from a car at McAfee before speeding off, McAfee claims, though he did not report the incident. Rather than intimidate him, however, it deepened his resolve to establish roots in Lexington. "We aren't running anymore," McAfee says. "We are prepared to make a last stand. I'm no longer scared — I'm angry."
From his base in Lexington, McAfee appears as a security expert on Fox News via Skype and makes occasional speeches at hacker conferences. At Def Con in Las Vegas last summer, he was given a security detail of 25 people.
McAfee remains a free spirit with pointed opinions. He claims "civil libertarian hackers" are behind the cyber attack on Sony Pictures — not North Korea — though he declined to name them. The FBI blamed North Korea for the attack which, it says, was precipitated by the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview. The movie depicts a hare-brained scheme to assassinate Kim Jong Un.
McAfee insists the break-in was the work of hackers who "hate the confinement, the restrictions the music industry and the movie industry has placed on art."
As with most things involving the British-American McAfee, the adventure started with a cryptic text message. McAfee had requested my cell number and, five minutes later, I received an incoming call from "Jon Swartz." Hacked by McAfee to start our latest discussion.
"I want you to come down South and see what I've been up to," McAfee said in late January. "I'm coming in from the wild. I'm not on the run anymore. This is a new phase."
Future Tense, an incubator and maker of security apps that McAfee co-founded, is his ticket to redemption in a multibillion-dollar market he helped create.
From a converted 150,000-square-foot railroad station, McAfee oversees and mentors about 10 start-ups while developing his own security products. Kyle Sandler, a longtime Google employee, runs the incubator day to day.
In a sun-splashed office, with the faint whistles of trains echoing in the background, he and Tom Gusinski, COO of Future Tense and co-founder of crowdfunding venture QiKfunder, mentor young entrepreneurs and plan a tech conference here in mid-April. Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Bitcoin expert Brock Pierce are among the confirmed speakers.
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller rushed over when he heard McAfee was in this placid town of 30,000. "I wouldn't miss a chance to meet the famous John McAfee," Fuller says, broadly smiling. That's because McAfee means big business — McAfee and Gusinski organized the three-day tech event (April 14-16).
"He's getting back into tech, as he should," Gusinski says. "It's like Robert Downey Jr., who had a misstep in his career but came back as good as ever. And this is a great opportunity for (south Alabama). Start-ups don't have to come out of Silicon Valley."
It is a remarkably poised McAfee who meets a reporter at a seedy motel in Birmingham, Ala., at dawn for the trip. It is 25 degrees.
The previous night, McAfee led the reporter on a journey from Memphis to Birmingham via texts. Along the 250-mile trek to Birmingham, a typical text showed McAfee in good humor: "Ignore the would-be thugs attempting to stop traffic during that dark stretch. I don't believe they even have bullets in those weapons."
Almost a year ago, he was a jangled ball of raw nerves, babbling gibberish about conspiracy theories and a plot by a hit squad to snuff him out for defying the Belize government. In the mountains of central Tennessee, McAfee holed up in a safety house brimming with guns and paranoia. His security detail, a former employee named John, offered a pistol to a reporter staying in a trailer on the property in the event of a late-night attack by the hit squad. (I declined.)
The fears are warranted, says John Casaretto, cybersecurity editor for news site SiliconANGLE. He wrote four pieces on McAfee, in which Casaretto named those behind a plot to kill McAfee. "He is not a crazed lunatic," Casaretto says. "In my reporting, the police (of Belize) were thugs."
Shortly after his stories on McAfee were published, Casaretto received threatening messages and was forced to move his family to protect them. "McAfee and I were harassed, and we're tired of it," Casaretto says.
McAfee's business operation in Opelika, and his plans for a tech summit in mid-April, underscore a self-conscious push to put him back in the high-tech game after two years of admittedly bizarre behavior.
But the ever-cautious McAfee is not assuming his troubles — and tormentors — are gone just yet.
"I'm fully prepared to defend my turf — I have a security detail, guns and pit bulls," McAfee says. "I'm in Lexington. This is where you can find me."