COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Mar 26 09:25

A not-so-private PC

The personal computer may soon be not-so-private, with the U.S. and some European nations working on laws allowing them access to search the content held on a person's hard drive.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, thanks to the music thieves, governments are now pressing for laws to allow random searches of all of our computers for stolen materials without probable cause. The real danger is, of course, that corrupt people involved in those searches will copy and exploit personal business information for their own use.

In theory, what these laws do is force you to leave the keys to your house with the local police station, so that the cops can come in and look around whenever they feel like it, even when you are not at home. No sane human would allow this, given the previously reported actions of the police forces, and likewise many of us carry data on our laptops which is private not only to our own businesses but to our clients.

As one example, on my laptop I have materials related to a TV show I work on; materials which are of some value to the various fan magazines, but which would be harmful to my client if it were released. I am legally allowed to have this material, but what if some TSA bozo (assuming he didn't drop the laptop and wreck it again) sees the familiar faces, decides to copy off the files, then sells them to a buddy at 'embarrassing moments on the set' magazine! The bozo picks up a few thousand, I get in trouble because I was the last person known by the production company to have the files, and all we get from TSA is "We're fighting music piracy!"

So in the name of protecting profits, the government will treat all of us like we are criminals rather than dealing with the fact that we cannot expect young people to be moral when the leaders of our nations are so obviously immoral.

Let us be honest; real criminals and terrorists can buy plenty of those fingernail sized multi-gig flash drives to put sensitive data on, then sneak them through the security scans (hidden inside the hundreds of tons of cocaine and heroin that cruise right past the customs people every year). Homeland Security admits that half of the practice bombs get through those gates (probably more now that TSA is working for RIAA) so getting a flash drive past them is easy.

So, in short, we will all be totally inconvenienced for a policy that doesn't stand a chance of working in the first place, but opens up our private files for looting by the "authorities."

Mar 26 08:34

Jay Rockefeller Cyber Security is 1 Threat......... AKA "Internet should have never existed"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"If we can't lie to 'em, then we can't control 'em!" -- Official White Horse Souse

As a side note, the internet was never intended to be a public resource by its original developer, the Defense Department Advanced Research Projects agency.

Mar 25 11:34

IBM to shift 'large number' of US jobs to India

Computer giant IBM plans to cut a "large number" of US employees in its business services unit and transfer their duties to India, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the situation," said that IBM generally avoids public disclosure of layoffs and the number of US jobs being eliminated could not be determined.

Mar 25 08:32

I Hate Facebook

Oh, Facebook. You cyberland of rampant narcissism and wasted time. What started out as a social networking site for college kids has somehow turned into a cesspool of self-absorbed way-too-old-to-be-fucking-around-on-Facebook adults who think that the rest of us actually give a shit about what they're drinking, eating, thinking, reading, watching, and/or are listening to every five minutes.

Mar 25 08:20

Outcome of the first unusual DVD court case *

The British government through Westminster Magistrates Court are looking to have John Anthony Hill extradited to the UK, accused of mailing a DVD (with no letter) to a court, to face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment . The DVD was titled to the judge and to the “foreman of the jury”. I think most people would have faith that a court administrators would know whether to legally pass it on or not, which they did not pass on. The way it was sent makes it impossible to pervert the course of justice. John is also the producer and narrator of this documentary which basically shows footage from the BBC, ITV and some news articles by the New York Times and others.

Mar 25 08:07

Personal information papers found in dumpster

Reams of personal information - Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers - have been found carelessly dumped in a Sarasota dumpster.

Police say someone at the Westaff Employment staffing company on U.S. 301 in Sarasota apparently tossed it out. The business appears to be closed.

Mar 25 07:36

Melissa virus turning 10 ... (age of the stripper unknown)

Somewhere out there in America is a stripper (or former stripper) who for 10 years has lived with the naked truth that she was David L. Smith's inspiration for naming the first widely destructive, self-propagating, network-paralyzing, e-mail-borne macro virus: W97M_Melissa.

When the 10th anniversary of Melissa's explosive debut occurs later this week, perhaps its namesake will celebrate her notoriety quietly with friends, family and/or her bigger tippers. Those IT professionals who had to deal with the fallout a decade ago are more likely to mutter an obscenity or two.

Mar 25 07:33

Now 'Big Brother' targets Facebook

The idea to police MySpace, Bebo and Facebook comes on top of plans to store information about every phone call, email and internet visit made by everyone in the United Kingdom. Almost half the British population – some 25 million people – are thought to use social networking sites. There are already proposals under a European Union directive – dating back to after the 7 July 2005 bombs – for emails and internet usage to be monitored and added to a planned database to track terror plots.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, they are tracking people who object to what the government is doing.

They better have a really BIG computer system!

Mar 24 22:02

Police raid home of Wikileaks.de domain owner over censorship lists

Some details of the search raise questions:

* Wikileaks was not contacted before the search, despite Wikileaks having at least two journalists which are recognized members of the German Press Association (Deutscher Presse Verband).
* The time of at least 11 police detectives was wasted conducting a futile raid on the private home of volunteer assistant to a media organization.
* Police asked for the passwords to the "wikileaks.de" domain and for the entire domain to be disabled.
* Mr Reppe was not informed of his rights; police documentation clearly shows that box to be left unchecked.
* Contrary to what is stated in the police protocol, Mr. Reppe did not agree to "not having a witness" present.

Mar 23 16:05

Obama Sides With RIAA, Supports $150,000 Fine per Music Track

Two top lawyers in President Barack Obama's Justice Department are former RIAA lawyers: Donald Verrilli Jr. is the associate deputy attorney general who brought down Grokster and fought to prevent a retrial in the Jammie Thomas case. Then there's the No. 2 in the DOJ, Tom Perrilli. As Verrilli's former boss, Perrilli argued in 2002 that internet service providers should release customer information to the RIAA even without a court subpoena.

Mar 23 12:28

Rockefeller: Internet is “Number One National Hazard”

According to the great-grandson John D. Rockefeller, nephew of banker David Rockefeller, and former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller the internet represents a serious threat to national security. Rockefeller is not alone in this assessment. His belief that the internet is the “number one national hazard” to national security is shared by the former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Obama’s current director Admiral Dennis C. Blair.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"If we can't lie and get away with it, how are we supposed to control the slaves???" -- Official White Horse Souse

Mar 22 10:54

Ning Exposed - Tech Company Scams its Clients

Clients of Ning are outraged over a decision that Ning made public last week. The software maker sent out an email to all of its clients, those who have created a social network on Ning, stating that they would email all members of all websites who use the Ning software to promote the newly designed Ning.com.

“Please do not send the email to my members. I pay you not to advertise on my site and I don’t think you should target my members directly,” says one Ning network creator and paying customer. Ning charges network creators to keep all Ning promotional links off their site. Some members have been paying this fee for a couple of years and so are even more upset at the direct email marketing campaign. Why pay the fee?

Mar 21 16:40

Australia's Vast, Scattershot Censorship Blacklist Revealed

"Australia's secretive Internet filter blacklist held by its communications watchdog has been leaked, revealing the government has understated the amount of banned Web pages by more than 1000. Multiple legitimate businesses and Web sites have been banned including two bus companies, online poker sites, multiple Wikipedia entries, Google and Yahoo group pages, a dental surgery and a tour operator.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wikileaks has been taken offline since publishing the list.

Mar 21 16:35

The U.K. wants your Twitter chatter under surveillance

Not happy with pushing the EU Data Retention Directive which would make ISPs store communication data for 12 months Vernon Coaker, the U.K. Home Office security minister, now wants all social networking sites and IM messaging service monitored as well. The Interception Monderisation Programme (IMP) is the government proposal for legislation to use mass monitoring of traffic data as an antiterrorism tool.

The IMP has two objectives; that the government use deep packet inspection to monitor the Web communications of all U.K. citizens; and that all of the traffic data relating to those communications are stored in a centralized government database.

Mar 21 15:52

Microsoft Officially Launches Surface PC In UK

Microsoft has finally launched its widely anticipated tabletop PC, dubbed Surface, in the UK; the computer was launched earlier this month at the CeBit Show in Germany.

Eliminating the need of mouse and keyboard, Surface is a coffee table that has a high-tech computer integrated into the tabletop, and it sports a 30-inch multi-touch screen that reacts to the movements of fingertips of the users.

If you like backaches you'll love this.

Mar 21 12:58

Yahoo starting to censor email? Image verifcation as chilling effect?

Rest of the parts (didn't embed so it wouldn't take so much real estate, but please click on them.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBhU6d0HCJI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwy8rMUJl6g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O2PX0bhnwQ

Can't say that I've seen this image verification before while trying to send email. Anyone else? It could just be something he is doing with formatting - like using HTML. I'd like to narrow it down so it could be demonstrated that two messages that are exactly the same except for a certain target word are treated differently.

Mar 21 08:02

The Internet Surging as a Major Influence in the Political Landscape

Democracy is only as good as the information that we receive. Our right to vote means very little if we don’t have enough information on which to make an intelligent choice in the voting booth.

That is why corporate monopoly control over much of our national news media, which was greatly facilitated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, has been so toxic to our democracy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The blogs are already beating newspapers and magazines, and we are closing in on TV.

Mar 21 07:58

Who allowed Google to put my big knickers online?

This week, almost everybody in the UK became unwitting participants in Google's own not-so-little version of Through the Keyhole. Street View provides pavement-level pictures of 22,639 miles of road in 25 cities across Britain. All you need to do is type a road name or postcode into your computer and there it will be on your screen in glorious Technicolor; with the drag of a mouse you can stroll down the street and take a look in all of the front gardens. Frankly, it makes the aerial views on Google Earth look as antiquated as Christopher Columbus's map collection.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If you have no problem airing your knickers to the neighbors, why is it a big deal when Google images it?

There is and should be an expectation of privacy inside your home, but as any law enforcement expert will tell you, the expectation of privacy does not extend outside the walls. You can be arrested for indecent exposure (whatever the heck that means) while sunbathing nude in your own back yard, as one example.

Now, that being said, it might be a courtesy for Google to run an announcement in the local newspapers when they start scanning a neighborhood so that people may clean up their front yards if they so desire.

Mar 19 10:11

Secret Aussie blacklist leaked

The inevitable has happened - the secret Australian blacklist of banned websites has been published on the internet.

The list contains some 2,395 sites about half of which do not contain child sexual abuse images. It includes online poker sites, fetish, satanic and Christian sites, Wikipedia pages, gay and straight pornography, a travel operator and even the website for a Queensland dentist.

Mar 19 08:28

Dentist, tuckshop cited on web blacklist

The Queensland dentist included on the Australian communications regulator's blacklist of prohibited websites has demanded that the list be cleaned up, as he is now being associated with child porn peddlers and sexual violence sites.

Mar 18 17:52

Death of the Internet

More and more I'm hearing alarmism about the "takeover of the internet" or the "death of the internet". Some in the survivalist and patriot movements fear that any day now, the Federal Government is going to move to take down half of the sites on the World Wide Web, and restrict access to the other half.

Poppycock.

Mar 18 09:48

Be God on Iphone

Clearly. For the virtual megalomaniac.

Mar 18 07:26

Rundle: there is no bigger issue than net censorship

Of course, the ACMA decision doesn't affect many people at the moment, only sites hosted from Australia. But should mandatory filtering be introduced, the pages would be blocked for everyone. As would the pages telling you which pages had been blocked. And the pages telling you the pages that tell you the ... and so on, a repressive tower.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

All this net censorship is sold "To protect the children", but already it is being applied to political speech; the very sport of speech the First Amendment is intended to protect.

Mar 17 14:50

Website-infecting SQL injection attacks hit 450,000 a day

SQL attacks take aim at the database layer of websites. They typically were manual attacks designed to pilfer customer data from merchant websites. But last June someone figured out how to automate the attacks, and use them to plant infections.

Mar 17 08:08

Computer science major is cool again

U.S. tech industry heavyweights, computer science educators and CIOs hailed the news as a sign that IT is becoming more popular with teens.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That is all well and good, but will there be jobs waiting for these graduates, or will they, like so many other Americans, have gone into debt to obtain a degree which is worthless inside this nation?

Mar 15 14:46

Apple Adds Still More DRM to iPod Shuffle

Even as it attacks DRM on music, Apple is continuing to add more DRM to its own hardware (we recently documented all of Apple's various hardware DRM restrictions). The latest example is the new iPod Shuffle. According to the careful reviewers at iLounge, third-party headphone makers will have to use yet-another Apple "authentication chip" if they want to interoperate with the new Shuffle.

Normally, of course, independent headphone makers could simply reverse engineer the interface. The "authentication chip" is there so that Apple's lawyers can invoke the DMCA to block those efforts. So this shows us, yet again, what DRM is for -- not stopping piracy, but rather impeding competition and innovation.

Mar 15 09:01

Real news

Newspapers? Television newscasts? So-called "news magazines?" All garbage. I get most of my news from the Internet. Long live the Internet.

Mar 15 08:59

Partial list of corporate lickspittles who are allowed to know what s in the secret copyright treaty the Obama administration claims is a matter of "national security"

Mar 15 08:08

NSA offering 'billions' for Skype eavesdrop solution

News of a possible viable business model for P2P VoIP network Skype emerged today, at the Counter Terror Expo in London. An industry source disclosed that America's supersecret National Security Agency (NSA) is offering "billions" to any firm which can offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic.

The spybiz exec, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that Skype continues to be a major problem for government listening agencies, spooks and police. This was already thought to be the case, following requests from German authorities for special intercept/bugging powers to help them deal with Skype-loving malefactors. Britain's GCHQ has also stated that it has severe problems intercepting VoIP and internet communication in general.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The only thing I use Skype for is my radio shows, and you can tune into those at GCN and LNR and listen all you want!

Where's my billion?

Mar 15 07:44

‘Bridge to Microsoft’ Is One of Puget Sound Prizes in Stimulus

Microsoft Corp., which has $20 billion of cash in the bank, is among the first in the Puget Sound area to benefit from the investment in roads and bridges through President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

Local planners allotted $11 million of $214 million awarded to the region to help pay for a highway overpass in Redmond, Washington, connecting one part of Microsoft’s wooded campus with another.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, We The People pay for the bridge so that Paul Allen can buy another yacht?

Could we maybe spend that $11 million taking the bugs out of VISTA instead, or jailing the hackers that make all that buggy DRM necessary?

Mar 13 08:35

Facebook Targeted By Yet Another Malware

In the second attack, Facebook users received notices that they had allegedly being reported for infringing the website’s terms and conditions by a friend added in their contact lists, and instructed users to click on to a provided link which directed to an application named ‘F a c e b o o k - closing down!!!’, which after installation posted spam messages to the members added in the victim’s contact list.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at the Sophos blogs, notified that the users who clicked on to the malicious links were inadvertently provided the hackers access to their profile and personal data, as well as unintentionally forwarding spam messages to other members.

n/a
Mar 13 06:37

ISPs must comply with snooping law from Sunday

UK ISPs will be required to hand over records of customers’ internet surfing habits, including IP addresses and times of use, to police and intelligence agencies from Sunday.

As part of the EU Data Retention Directive, all ISPs must retain customers’ names, addresses and user IDs, as well as records of email and internet telephony communications, for a year.

ISPs have been given an extra 18 months to comply with the regulations after some smaller providers complained of a heavy administrative burden phone companies are already subject to the law.

Mar 12 19:22

Israel's Google

"Israel is disproportionately important to Google"
Google vice president David Rosenblatt explains to "Globes" how the acquisition of DoubleClick positions his company to change the global online display advertising market.
Noa Parag

""From the research and development angle, Israel is disproportionately important to Google. Many good things that we do as a company, particularly products connected to the advertising industry, come from the Israeli development center. This is the reason why Israel is important to us." ."

Mar 12 16:47

French anti-P2P law toughest in the world

France's long talked-out law to kick repeat copyright infringers off the Internet has finally come up for debate in Parliament. If passed, it would be illegal not to secure one's Internet connection, and even public WiFi hotspots will have to offer only a "white list" of approved sites.

Mar 11 21:00

Top 10 Breaches By Removable Device

I thought it would be valuable to put the top ten most important incidents regarding removable devices, including hardware keystroke loggers, USB thumb drives, and MP3 players, together into a list. It helps highlight the risks inherent in removable devices to have all of these incidents in one place.

Mar 11 20:47

Abandoned jail and probation computer project cost £155m

An attempt to introduce a computer system for the prison and probation services that was abandoned after three years, after it had already cost £155m in public money, was last night labelled "a masterclass in sloppy project management".

The chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, Edward Leigh, said the problems with the project, to ensure that the services could share information, were "in a class of their own. This committee hears of troubled government projects all too frequently," he said. "But the litany of failings in this case are in a class of their own. All of this mess could have been avoided."

Mar 11 10:23

eBay scammers work unpatched weaknesses in Firefox, IE

eBay scammers have been exploiting unpatched weaknesses in the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers to deliver counterfeit pages that try to dupe people surfing the online auction house to bid on fraudulent listings.

The attacks managed to inject eBay pages with hostile code by exploiting issues long known to afflict Firefox and IE. While eBay has managed to block the exploit from working on its domains, other websites that accept user-generated content may still be vulnerable to the attacks, web security experts warn.

Mar 11 07:37

Google's 'interest-based' ads sure to stoke privacy fears

Google announced this morning that it is going to more and more sophisticated tracking of its users online browsing patterns in the interest of displaying to them advertising that will presumably be of greater interest. And while the company made all the requisite assurances about privacy and transparency, that's not stopping industry observers from predicting a showdown over the practice.

Mar 10 17:11

Avoid scam festival tickets

Here are more sites the experts say you should avoid:

  • cliffrichardtour.com
  • vfestival2009.net
  • tinaturnerworldtour.com
  • downloadfestival2009.com
  • worldticketshop.com
  • theonlineticketshop.com
  • double8tickets.com
Mar 10 10:05

Free Software Downloads to Optimize Windows XP

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Updated goodies for the I-HATE-VISTA crowd (of which I am one).

Mar 10 07:45

CGI Boobs: 7 Special Effects The Stars Want to Keep Secret

Webmaster's Commentary: 

From "The Day Job." )

Mar 10 07:08

Symantec Warns of Worm's Return

A third version of Downadup has been identified by Symantec, which says the new variant gives infected machines more powerful instructions to disable antivirus software and analysis tools, among other actions.

W32.Downadup.C is a modular component for machines currently infected with Downadup. This variant of Downadup, also called Conficker, is not attempting to self-replicate and appears to behave more like a Trojan than a worm, says Vincent Weafer, vice president of Symantec Security Response.

"Think of it as an updated module that's more aggressive, more robust in defending itself," Weafer says.

Mar 09 17:42

Whale Oil Lamp Makers Dismiss Electric Light as Passing Fad!

Obama is dissing economic blogs, saying they are unreliable.

The editor of the Aurora Sentinel says that there is "very little real news on blogs".

Time magazine asks "Does the News Industry Deserve a Bailout?", and trumpets the heroic work of mainstream newspapers:

Politicians have every reason to want to see print media fail . . . too many governors and congressmen have lost jobs after newspaper investigations to make the relationship between Fourth Estate and politicians a comfortable one. A neutered press would benefit a number of elected officials.

But the whole debate about blogs versus mainstream media is nonsense.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Mar 09 10:38

Stop Robot Nudity Now

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And here I was thinking pet costumes were an unnatural act!

Mar 08 18:25

Google Privacy Blunder Shares Your Docs Without Permission

In a privacy error that underscores some of the biggest problems surrounding cloud-based services, Google has sent a notice to a number of users of its Document and Spreadsheets products stating that it may have inadvertently shared some of their documents with contacts who were never granted access to them.

According to the notice, this sharing was limited to people “with whom you, or a collaborator with sharing rights, had previously shared a document” - a vague statement that sounds like it could add up to quite a few people. The notice states that only text documents and presentations are affected, not spreadsheets, and provides links to each of the user’s documents that may have been shared in error.

Mar 08 09:25

Jailed for a MySpace parody, the student who exposed America's cash for kids scandal

Less than a minute into the hearing the gavel came down. "Adjudicated delinquent!" the judge proclaimed, and sentenced her to three months in a juvenile detention centre. Hillary, who hadn't even presented her side of the story, was handcuffed and led away. But her mother, Laurene, protested to the local law centre, setting in train a process that would uncover one of the most egregious violations of children's rights in US legal history.

Last month the judge involved, Mark Ciavarella, and the presiding judge of the juvenile court, Michael Conahan, pleaded guilty to having accepted $2.6m (£1.8m) from the co-owner and builder of a private detention centre where children aged from 10 to 17 were locked up.

Mar 08 09:00

CONTENTION

Home to really, REALLY average thoughts!

Mar 06 17:29

Spotify user data compromised after service hacked

Spotify, the online music streaming service which allows users to listen to music on their computers, has been hit by hackers. Users of the service have been advised to change their passwords.

Spotify also warned that personal details, such as email addresses, birth dates and post codes may also have been exposed during the security breach. However, it said that because credit card details used for premium accounts were handled by a secure outside organisation, payment information was not at risk.

Mar 06 15:41

Can MySpace get its mojo back?

With Facebook soaring, and top talent leaving, News Corp.'s social network needs answers.

n/a
Mar 04 22:20

‘Koobface’: New Facebook worm back as fake YouTube site

So how does it work?

You receive a message on from a friend on Facebook inviting you to view a video by clicking on a link.

Then it takes you to a page that looks like a YouTube page -- which is fake -- and there is even a picture of the friend who sent you the link to make it seem more trustworthy when in actual fact, it isn't.

Once you open the link, though, you’ll be told you need to download an update to your video player. That update is actually the Facebook worm threat in disguise.

Mar 04 22:10

The Tigger Trojan: Icky, Sticky Stuff

A relatively unknown data-stealing Trojan horse program that has claimed more than a quarter-million victims in the span of a few months aptly illustrates the sophistication of modern malware and the importance of a multi-layered approach to security.

When analysts at Sterling, Va., based security intelligence firm iDefense first spotted the trojan they call "Tigger.A" in November 2008, none of the 37 anti-virus products they tested it against recognized it. A month later, only one - AntiVir - detected it.

See also: Why I Enjoyed Tigger/Syzor

Mar 04 08:19

Judge orders defendant to decrypt PGP-protected laptop

In an abrupt reversal, U.S. District Judge William Sessions in Vermont ruled that Sebastien Boucher, who a border guard claims had child porn on his Alienware laptop, does not have a Fifth Amendment right to keep the files encrypted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They are using a child porn case to set a precedent that the Fifth Amendment should not apply to encryption on a laptop, but the real danger here is that if you can be ordered to allow the government to snoop your files that they will use those files for their own enrichment.

This is not idle speculation. It has happened already many times. The APEC conference in Seattle some years back was rocked by revelations that US Intelligence agencies were stealing business secrets from conference attendees to give to US executives. FBI agents have been arrested for insider trading using information gleaned from suspects' computer files.

My own laptop (the replacement for the one dropped and ruined by the TSA bozos at the airport) contains information belonging to my clients; information that could be sold for a price to rivals or fan magazines. I need to protect that from the feds so that it does not get out.

Mar 03 21:21

Facebook Hit by Five Security Problems in One Week

Facebook has been the victim of five different security problems in the past week, says Trend Micro.

According to the security firm, four hoax applications have become available on the social network along with a new variation of the Koobface virus, which was first detected at the end of last year, and directs users to a fake YouTube page where they are encouraged to install malware.

Two of the hoax applications that have been downloaded by Facebook users include 'F a c e b o o k - closing down!!!' and 'Error Check System'. By downloading the app, users are giving hackers access to their profile and personal information, and also unwittingly forwarding fake messages to their friends, also encouraging them to download the programs.

Mar 03 10:36

Freepers/ADL brag about shutting down free speech.

Mar 01 10:23

Pentagon hacker faces 70 years in US jail - because CPS won't try him in Britain

Feb 28 12:05

Bloggers are not journalists, according to Senate bill

The House version, on the other hand, puts limits on who is covered in a way that potentially leaves most bloggers and many others outside the protective zone of the shield. From the bill:

The term "covered person" means a person who regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.

Feb 28 09:39

I AM BLOGGER, HEAR ME ROAR!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... just because Bill Maher pissed me off!!!!!!!!!!

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Feb 28 08:39

Ryanair: "Lunatic bloggers can keep the blogosphere"

"Ryanair can confirm that a Ryanair staff member did engage in a blog discussion. It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers and Ryanair can confirm that it won't be happening again.

"Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Great PR Ryanair. Between your attitude towards blogs and charging to use the inflight toilets I can promise you I will never set foot on one of your aircraft ever again!

Feb 27 21:57

Microsoft Vista voted tech world's top "Fiasco"

It's official, Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system gets the prize for being the most overhyped, underperforming information and communication technology (ICT) project. Windows Vista garnered 5,222 of 6,043 votes (86 percent) entered via the Web to snag top honors in the first-ever Fiasco Awards announced in Barcelona, Spain, today, beating out other contenders, including Google's Lively virtual world, the One Laptop per Child computer (developed by the Nicholas Negroponte-chaired One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc.) and Second Life

Feb 27 15:15

Red states consume more porn?

According to a new Harvard Business School study, eight of the top ten states in terms of online porn consumption were ones where McCain won in the presidential election.

Feb 27 09:29

UK rules out charges against Pentagon hacker

A British court ruled in 2006 that he should be extradited to the United States to face trial. If convicted by a U.S. court, he could face up to 70 years in prison. McKinnon has been battling the British court decision ever since.

His lawyers asked Britain's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to consider a request to prosecute him in Britain where they believe he would receive a much shorter sentence.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said a review had concluded it would be wrong for him to face trial at home.

Feb 26 15:44

Windows 7 or KDE4?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In a parody of the Microsoft "Mojave" commercials, where computer users are shown a "new" and impressive operating system, then told it is really Windows VISTA, this spot shows computers users an operating system which they are told is Windows 7. The users are impressed and ready to buy it.

It's actually LINUX.

Feb 26 15:15

Ontario Judge Orders Disclosure Of Facebook Profile

An Ontario judge has ordered a party to a civil litigation case arising from a motor vehicle accident to hand over the contents of their private Facebook profile. Importantly, the judge ruled that "a party who maintains a private, or limited access, Facebook profile stands in no different position than one who sets up a publicly-available profile." The judge seems to have arrived at that conclusion based on her understanding of Facebook:

a court can infer from the social networking purpose of Facebook, and the applications it offers to users such as the posting of photographs, that users intend to take advantage of Facebook’s applications to make personal information available to others.

Feb 26 10:52

Web censorship plan heads towards a dead end

The Government's plan to introduce mandatory internet censorship has effectively been scuttled, following an independent senator's decision to join the Greens and Opposition in blocking any legislation required to get the scheme started.

The Opposition's communications spokesman Nick Minchin has this week obtained independent legal advice saying that if the Government is to pursue a mandatory filtering regime "legislation of some sort will almost certainly be required".

Senator Nick Xenophon previously indicated he may support a filter that blocks online gambling websites but in a phone interview today he withdrew all support, saying "the more evidence that's come out, the more questions there are on this".

Feb 26 09:58

ZIO WEB ATTACKS ~~~ ARE YOU A ‘VICTIM’?

Do you write articles giving the truth about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Do you have a Blog known for its anti zionist viewpoints? Have you been getting extra ‘visitors’ to your Blog who leave negative comments or participate in polls?

If yes to any of the above, there is a good reason for all of this….it’s a project called Megaphone Israel. It is a new desktop tool that alerts its subscribers to any entries that might be anti Israel or anti zionist.

After notification, the ‘warriors’ jump into action and attack the source of the article. Are we to quiver in our seats because of this? Are we to stop posting because of this? I THINK NOT!

Feb 26 08:41

Defeating YouTube Censorship

But precisely because these videos are having such a large effect on the political landscape, there is now a backlash by the corporations whose interests are threatened by a renaissance of grassroots citizen journalism. As The Corbett Report has detailed in the past, the fears of insidious corporate control over YouTube generated by Google’s takeover of the site in 2006 have been realized slowly but surely.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In other words, YouTube is being turned into another TV network like ABCNNBBCBS.

Feb 25 19:23

Jack Straw falls victim to Nigerian internet hackers

What would you do if you were the justice secretary and had lost your wallet while visiting Africa? You'd send out an email to hundreds of your friends, colleagues and passing acquaintances, asking them for the fare home, of course.

That is what fraudsters who got hold of Jack Straw's email account would have had his contacts believe. It emerged yesterday that a gang of Nigerian internet hackers had sent hundreds of emails to the Blackburn MP's contacts, claiming that he had lost his wallet while on charity work in Africa and was in need of $3,000 (£2,000) to get home.

Straw may have been a little disgruntled to learn that among the numerous Ministry of Justice officials, Labour party members, constituents, and council bosses who were emailed, not one offered a single penny to help.

Feb 25 18:59

Experts sound scam threat warning

Experts are warning of an increase in the number of fake anti-virus websites.

...

"This week, we've seen fake AVG anti-virus that was so good, one of my engineers was convinced that it was the real thing," said Mr Woolley.

"If we can't tell, what hope is there for Joe Public?"

Feb 25 08:49

Gmail phishing attack hits on heels of outage

The malicious message spread via the Google Talk instant messaging chat system, urging users to a video by clicking on a link connected via the TinyURL service. The link points to a website called ViddyHo, which invited users to submit their Gmail usernames and passwords.

Once extracted from marks these login credentials could be used for a variety of malign purposes ranging from impersonation to identity theft, or simply for sending spam. The motive for the attack is unclear.

Feb 24 19:29

Gmail fails: Tech world grinds to a halt

Two hours later, we're back up. I was asked to do a captcha as my request "looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus of spyware application" - which could well be a clue to the culprit. If someone out there did manage to hack the mighty Google, they will be feeling very chuffed with themselves, regardless of how much disruption they have caused. Now back to work...

Could this be a test to see if Google could be brought down in the event of "something" happening? Conficker offers a huge amount of untapped computer power. Just a thought...

Feb 24 19:29

Gmail fails: Tech world grinds to a halt

Two hours later, we're back up. I was asked to do a captcha as my request "looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus of spyware application" - which could well be a clue to the culprit. If someone out there did manage to hack the mighty Google, they will be feeling very chuffed with themselves, regardless of how much disruption they have caused. Now back to work...

Could this be a test to see if Google could be brought down in the event of "something" happening? Conficker offers a huge amount of untapped computer power. Just a thought...

n/a
Feb 23 08:43

Nigerian Accused in Scheme to Swindle Citibank

Swindles in which someone overseas seeks access to a person’s bank account are so well known that most potential victims can spot them in seconds.

But one man found success by tweaking the formula, prosecutors say: Rather than trying to dupe an account holder into giving up information, he duped the bank. And instead of swindling a person, he tried to rob a country — of $27 million.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that when it's a bank instead of you or I, the authorities actually arrest the crooks.

Feb 23 08:38

GOP: ISPs, Wi-Fi Must Keep Logs For Police

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points - even hotels, local coffee shops and home users - to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The real goal of all these absurd laws is to gradually make using the internet so expensive that most people will be forced to go back to ABCNNBBCBS for their news.

Feb 23 07:18

Forget about the WGA! 20+ Windows Vista Features and Services Harvest User Data for Microsoft

Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company.

Feb 23 06:52

New Zealand internet sector protests harsh new copyright laws

New Zealand’s internet sector is up in arms over new laws that mean internet service providers can disconnect users accused of downloading copyrighted material, even if those accusations are not proven.

Section 92A in NZ's new Copyright Act was rammed through New Zealand’s Parliament last year and is due to come into effect on 28 February.

Feb 22 20:43

Vista Failure Log.

Vista has failed and M$ may soon go out of business. This is a list of failure and rejection news, written as it happened. Here is what Vista looks like to me. This is what it looks like to xkcd and having seen the single line of blinking text that Vista reduced a friend's computer to, I can agree. Vista is such a flop it can take M$ down, which would put an end to their attacks on free software, free software advocates and reasonable standards. Vista's failure is the predicted, practical result of a business model that tries to keep customers helpless and divided. Renaming Vista 6.1 to Windows 7 won't save it.

Feb 22 11:50

Experts Warn of 'Terminator'-Style Military-Robot Rebellion

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't build them.

Feb 22 10:37

Attackers Exploiting Unpatched Flaw In Adobe Reader, Acrobat

Hackers are exploiting an unpatched security hole in current versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat to install malicious software when users open a booby-trapped PDF file, security experts warn.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Waterboard the hackers' computers.

Slowly.

Make them watch!

Feb 22 10:00

Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems

If — no, make that when — your PC’s hard drive crashes and can’t be read, don’t be too quick to throw it out. Stick it in the freezer overnight.

“The trick is a real and proven, albeit last resort, recovery technique for some kinds of otherwise-fatal hard-drive problems,” writes Fred Langa on his Windows Secrets Web site. Many hard drive failures are caused by worn parts that no longer align properly, making it impossible to read data from the drive. Lowering the drive’s temperature causes its metal and plastic internals to contract ever so slightly. Taking the drive out of the freezer, and returning it to room temperature can cause those parts to expand again.

Feb 22 09:58

"Jewish Internet Defense Force" gets a smackdown from Facebook

Two questions:

1. Is it organized crime, RICO violations, for these "mobbing", "focusing" organziations like JIDF, GIYUS.org, Operation MEGAPHONE, etc...to engage in the types of activities that seek to disrupt those who wish to bring those who have violated International law and have committed human rights violations (war crimes) to justice?

2. Could it be assumed, based on all of the activities of these mobbing organizations, that there exists, a militant faction similar to the Israeli IRGUN, a secret army, on the ground in western nations (the United States)?

Feb 21 14:40

Digg Finally Admits the Auto-Bury Exists

It has long been debated and rumored that Digg has an auto-bury feature that would automatically bury specific user’s submissions.

They have for a long time denied any such mechanism exists, but a recent incident with Digg user ‘Nitmeh3? shows evidence to the contrary… through Digg’s own admission.

It all started yesterday when Nitmeh3 submitted an graphic and NSFW image telling Digg what they could do with themselves.

The initial submission did not explain what had occurred but the submission was quickly buried (or as we now know probably auto-buried). Later the user was also banned.

Feb 21 11:45

Meet iCub - the robot that moves and learns like a child

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I want one!

Feb 21 09:31

Online Censorship by Israel

Following up on yesterdays post “Is Israel Controlling the Internet” today we will learn about Israel’s Government and the IDF attempting to censor and control the internet, face book, you tube and many other social networks, blogs, message boards and news organisations. Today I will be discussing these groups who work online for Israel and the IDF (Israeli Army).

Feb 21 08:32

How the Internet is like snail-mail

"While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children," U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not to mention expose political and corporate corruption, which is really what Congress is worried about.

Feb 20 20:29

Upcoming U2 album all over P2P after band's label screws up

What's the worst thing that could happen to a band that is adamantly pro-DRM and anti-filesharing? Having an unreleased album leaked all over the Internet, of course, and by one of the Big Four labels to boot. U2's upcoming album, No Line on the Horizon, is slated for release on March 3, but it's already available on numerous filesharing sites and P2P networks thanks to the accidental posting of the album by Universal's Australian branch.

The album was mistakenly posted for sale on UMG-operated getmusic.com.au. How, exactly, the site managed to give fans access directly to the music files ahead of its official release remains unclear, but the tracks have now spread across the Internet like a bad meme—CD-quality and DRM-free.

Feb 20 19:07

Windows 7 fast track alarms technical testers

Microsoft has moved to contain growing criticism from beta testers that it's railroading the Windows 7 and Windows Live test programs, leaving bugs unfixed.

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has invited technical beta testers to contact him and provide details of areas where they feel Microsoft is not listening to their feedback.

Sinofsky was responding to a post on GeekSmack that questioned the whole value of a test program. The post claimed Microsoft has left long-standing bugs in Windows Live unfixed and appears to be prepping for the Windows 7 release candidate just weeks after floating the public beta in January.

Feb 20 18:32

Zero-day Attack Found In Adobe Acrobat

Adobe and others have warned against a critical-level security flaw affecting all recent versions of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader for all platforms including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

The attack is known as a zero-day attack because it takes advantage of computer vulnerabilities that do not currently have a solution, making it even more dangerous. In this case, all versions of Acrobat and Reader are vulnerable. Attackers are going after the vulnerability by sending infected .pdf e-mail attachments to various users.

Tip: ditch the bloated Adobe Reader and use a lightweight alternative like Sumatra PDF.

Feb 20 18:24

Bill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

Feb 19 21:02

New bill would force ISPs to retain user data for two years

A pair of Republican legislators have introduced legislation that would require ISPs to retain user data for two years as a means of helping law enforcement fight child porn; is this latest effort narrow enough to finally pass?

Feb 19 12:38

THE OBAMA FORUM - WEBSITES THAT MUST BE BANNED

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BACK UP AND RUNNING TODAY!

(I am still not sure if this is a joke or not)

Feb 19 10:15

Google Earth reveals secret history of US base in Pakistan

The US was secretly flying unmanned drones from the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan as early as 2006, according to an image of the base from Google Earth.

The image — that is no longer on the site but which was obtained by The News, Pakistan's English language daily newspaper — shows what appear to be three Predator drones outside a hangar at the end of the runway. The Times also obtained a copy of the image, whose co-ordinates confirm that it is the Shamsi airfield, also known as Bandari, about 200 miles southwest of the Pakistani city of Quetta.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Okay Googlers; start searching out those secret US bases!!!!

Feb 18 19:03

Privacy law call in Facebook row

The row over Facebook's change in its terms of service governing users personal data highlights the need for a privacy law, claims a leading watchdog.

The Electronic Privacy Information Centre was on the brink of filing a legal complaint when Facebook announced it would revert to its old policy.

The new terms seemingly gave Facebook vast control over users' content.

"This row underlines the need for comprehensive privacy laws," said Epic's president Marc Rotenberg.

Feb 18 18:52

IBM 'pulls out of US'

Earlier this month, the Examiner reported that the IBM has given an option to its 2,000 ex-employees who were recently laid off in Canada and the US to relocate to cheaper destinations like China, Brazil, India and Europe. However, an insider told the Examiner, it’s not just ex-employees but even existing employees are being asked to make the move.

"Those who shift will be paid at the prevailing wage of the country they shift, and may even include a lower position. The company will pay for their movement to the other country but will not guarantee a job length or help in moving back to the original country. The exception to this is for executives," said the insider.

“IBM’s goal is to move all non-customer facing jobs off North American soil," he added.

Feb 18 14:50

Den of thieves raided in S.F.

People who frequented the two-story home knew it as "the Castle," probably because of ornamentation along the roofline that resembles that of a turret. Inside were illegal gaming machines, methamphetamine for sale and an extensive identity-theft operation in which criminals could trade stolen mail, authorities said.

Feb 18 09:26

New exploit targets IE 7 hole patched last week

Cybercriminals are exploiting a critical hole in Internet Explorer 7 that was patched a week ago by Microsoft, security firm Trend Micro warned on Tuesday.

The malicious code, which Trend Micro named "XML_DLOADR.A," is hidden in a Word document. On unpatched systems, when the file is opened an ActiveX object automatically accesses a Web site to open a backdoor that installs a .DLL (dynamic link library) file that can steal information, according to a Trend Micro blog entry. The code sends stolen data to another Web address via port 443, Trend Micro said.

As a result of the back door, "anybody can run commands on the affected system," said Jamz Yaneza, a senior threat analyst and researcher at Trend Micro.

Feb 18 08:33

The Obama Forum - Websites that must be banned!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I sure hope this website is a joke!

Because it looks like part of a larger campaign to trick Americans into taking their anger out on each other, Republican versus Democrat, rather than uniting against the real cause of our woes, the US Government.

UPDATE: No sooner had I linked this page then the site went dark.

Whois data indicates the site was located in Texas.

Feb 17 19:43

Antitrust lawsuit filed against Google

A complaint has been filed in federal court charging Google with violating antitrust laws by “eliminating competition and choice.” The suit has been filed by a New York company called TradeComet.com.

The company is alleging that Google identified SourceTool.com, which is a business to business search engine and subsidiary of TradeComet.com, as a competitor site and took “predatory” steps to drive the company out of business.

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