COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Apr 03 08:27

Watch out Broughton! Street View fans plan to descend on 'privacy' village for photo fest

The villagers complained Google had no right to take pictures of their homes, calling it an 'invasion of privacy' and an 'invitation for burglars to strike'.

But not only has the village now become the focus of national attention, it has raised the ire of Internet users, who are now campaigning for Street View enthusiasts from across the UK to descend on the village to snap their own perfectly legal photographs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Inside of ones home should be private.

But outside is, well, outside, with all that that implies!

Apr 03 08:25

'Privacy risk' of new mobiles that give away location and stored details to marketing firms

Millions of us are unwittingly signing away our rights to privacy when we upgrade to flashy new mobile phones, warn campaigners.

The latest handsets are so advanced they can reveal the location of the owner to within a few yards - along with their internet shopping habits, their interests and the names and addresses of their friends.

Although phone providers are not supposed to pass on this 'Big Brother' data without permission, a 'worryingly large number' of people give consent for the information to be sold to marketing companies, campaigners say.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The good news is that my first generation iPhone shows my location as at the Aloha Stadium, actually about 2 miles away from where I am really sitting!

Apr 03 07:55

Phoenix police raid home of blogger whose writing is highly critical of them

Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, said the officers confiscated three computers, routers, modems, hard drives, memory cards and everything necessary to continue blogging.

The 41-year-old software engineer said they also confiscated numerous personal files and documents relating to a pending lawsuit he has against the department alleging harassment - which he says makes it obvious the raid was an act of retaliation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aim for the badges!

Apr 02 09:48

Budget ‘rider’ would bid ‘Hasta la vista’ to Windows Vista

It could be “Hasta la vista, baby” to state agency purchases of Microsoft’s Windows Vista information technology under a proposed state budget provision.

The “rider” in the proposed two-year, $182.2 billion state budget — expected to be taken up Wednesday by the Texas Senate — would require state agencies to get written approval from the Legislative Budget Board before buying Vista technology related to an operating system, equipment or licenses.

Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, added the provision in committee and said it’s meant to block purchases of the technology, which has been targeted by criticism: “Don’t buy it, because it’s not worth it.”

Apr 01 13:29

White House website hosted in Germany?!?!?

Apr 01 10:30

Youtube have lost the plot - James Randi Educational Foundation account suspended

Apr 01 08:32

Microsoft Offers Better "Truth in Advertising" for Windows XP Dialog Box

Redmond, AP. Microsoft is preparing to release an update to Windows XP offering better "truth in advertising" for one of Windows XP's most important dialogs.

Apr 01 07:54

Senate Legislation Would Federalize Cybersecurity

Addressing what intelligence officials describe as a gaping vulnerability, the legislation also calls for the appointment of a White House cybersecurity "czar" with unprecedented authority to shut down computer networks, including private ones, if a cyberattack is underway, the officials said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: During the next false-flag staged event, the internet will be shut down so that ABCNNBBCBS have an exclusive "preserve" to spew government propaganda.

Apr 01 06:12

Introducing Opera Face Gestures

:)

Mar 31 09:11

IPhone users will be able to make free phone calls from today as Skype becomes available for the first time on the popular Apple gadget.

Mar 31 08:27

Security experts eye worm attack

While no-one in the industry is 100% sure of the aim of Conficker, they are positive the people behind it are more concerned about making money than causing mayhem.

That is a view backed by PC Magazine editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff.

"People write malware today not because they want to make a public splash. It's old school to want to make computer screens turn red and say Love Bug.

"Today crime syndicates run these things because they are interested in making money and if they are not making money there is no point in it."

A recent report by security firm Finjan claimed that cybercrime is as lucrative a business as drug trafficking.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember, Microsoft has a $250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Conficker's author(s).

Mar 31 08:23

IBM files for patent on offshoring jobs

As IBM was firing thousands of American workers last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Big Blue's application to copyright a computerized system that calculates how to offshore jobs while maximizing government tax breaks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is an April Fool joke, right?

Right?

Right?

Right?

No?!?!?

Crap!

n/a
Mar 30 17:31

Japan homeless living in internet cafes

Residents can order food and even take a shower. If they stay for more than a month, they can even register the café as their address for job hunting and so that they can receive government funds.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aloha to all of you who read whatreallyhappened.com!

Mar 30 14:42

How to Remove Conficker Virus

Several Win32 conficker removal tools are now available but because the conficker worm also spreads through portable storage devices such as USB drives, disabling your PC’s autorun feature for external media is recommended. Here is how to remove conficker with a conficker remover.

Mar 30 14:19

Conficker: world's greatest April Fool's joke or 'digital Pearl Harbor'?

Much as has been written and blogged about the Conficker worm. At least 12 million computers around the world have already been infected by it since autumn, and Microsoft has announced a $250,000 US reward for information leading to the capture of the Conficker authors. The French military has even grounded some of its fighter planes.

Mar 30 11:47

Leaving computers on overnight = $2.8 billion a year

Admittedly I don't think much about it at all. I leave my laptop running overnight because I know it'll take five minutes or more to get things going in the morning -- not just booting up, but launching the various apps I start the day with, downloading my overnight email, filtering out the spam, and otherwise "getting settled."

But all the power wasted while computers are sitting idle overnight adds up, and one study has finally tried to measure it. The tally: An estimated $2.8 billion wasted on excess energy costs each year in the U.S. alone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Computers have various "hibernate" functions, but at least on Windows, they usually quit working properly after a while.

However, along with the waste of electricity, leaving your computers on overnight also shortens their lifespan. I know in the age of planned obsolescence where you buy a new computer every 3 to 5 years that might not seem like an issue, but as the economy tightens people will need to keep their computers far longer, and turning them on ONLY when needed will help.

Yes, constant switching off and on should be avoided, but turning everything off when you go to bed is a good idea to prolong the life of your equipment.

As for the long boot up time, I turn the computer on when I get out of bed, then go make coffee. By the time the caffeine kicks in, the system is ready to rock!

Mar 30 11:30

Fusion Center Agents Working Public Forums?

What we're seeing on many forums, attached to radio talk shows, or to local counties that have general forums, allowing national/political input....we're seeing a growing trend of forum infiltration by persons that monitor those forums to quickly debunk, and/or provide disinformation, when the subject matter is about Barack Obama.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, we get a few of those here as well.

Mar 30 11:28

Someone else is spying on YOU. And it isn’t the NSA. Fusion Centers.

Ever hear of a Fusion Center?

They are run by the Department of Homeland Security and are locally based across the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It was a fusion center that came up with that MIAC report that claimed anybody not not giving the government a hand job (metaphorically) was a potential terrorist.

Mar 30 10:32

Beware Conficker worm come April 1

Thanks in part to a quarter-million-dollar bounty on the head of the writer of the worm, offered by Microsoft, security researchers are aggressively digging into the worm's code as they attempt to engineer a cure or find the writer before the deadline. What's known so far is that on April 1, all infected computers will come under the control of a master machine located somewhere across the web, at which point anything's possible. Will the zombie machines become denial of service attack pawns, steal personal information, wipe hard drives, or simply manifest more traditional malware pop-ups and extortion-like come-ons designed to sell you phony security software? No one knows.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could easily be as overblown as the Y2K bug, and little more than a coordinated campaign to sell you more computer security software you do not need, but prudence suggests at least using whatever free resources are out there.

Mar 30 10:24

Planting cyber seeds

In a 600-word post, Brad questioned the credibility of an online petition on Smith's website, urging the administration of President Barack Obama to require labeling of biotech foods. He called the petition "sheer political theater" and prodded the activist for purportedly being a yogic flying instructor.

More than 30 comments followed in the next few weeks. On one level, the exchange was just another online debate about GMOs. But this one was notable because of who initiated and hosted it: Monsanto Co.

Mar 30 10:21

Propaganda.com

Many of these governments have honed their Internet strategies beyond censorship and are employing more subtle (and harder to detect) ways of controlling dissent, often by planting their own messages on the Web and presenting them as independent opinion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 
Mar 30 09:25

Credit card details freely available on web

The credit card details of up to 19,000 British shoppers have been made freely available on the internet.

The data, which includes names and home addresses as well as full card information, was accessible through a simple Google search.

It is believed that the details of thousands of Visa, Mastercard and American Express customers was mistakenly put in the public domain by fraudsters, who planned to sell it on to other scammers.

A spokesman for the banking industry body APACS said that most of the cards on the list had already been cancelled, but there are concerns that their owners were not made aware that they had been leaked online.

Mar 30 08:46

Daily Kos: CIA Engineered Controlled Opposition?

“Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, owner of the DailyKos website, now admits that he spent six months in the employ of the US Central Intelligence Agency in 2001,” writes Holland. “In a one-hour interview on June 2, 2006 at the Commonwealth Club, Moulitsas, also known as ‘Kos,’ admitted that he was a CIA employee and would have ‘no problem working for them’ in the present.”

Mar 29 15:24

Could a Massive "False-Flag" Cyberattack Be On The Horizon

Since the attacks on September 11th, 2001, which many have called a "false-flag operation", meaning elements within the Federal Government carried out the attacks while blaming it on its enemies, there has yet to be a massive Internet attack which would, no doubt, cripple the global infrastructure, especially in these unstable times. But could one be in the works in order to usher in complete worldwide government control of the Internet?

Mar 29 12:28

FLASHBACK - Digg Blocking WhatReallyHappened.Com

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sent in by a reader.

Mar 29 12:20

WHATREALLYHAPPENED HAS BEEN TAGGED BY OPENDNS

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If this page is accurate, OpenDNS is not yet blocking What Really Happened, but it has been submitted for potential tagging by some who fear the spread of truth. If you have an OpenDNS account (this is free) you can vote on this issue., If you vote "YES" for the tag, you are voting for WRH to be blocked by OpenDNS filters.

As to why OpenDNS is not showing WRH right now, that remains a mystery.

Mar 29 12:12

U of T team tracks China-based cyber spies

Although the Canadian researchers said most of the computers behind the spying were in China, they cautioned against concluding that China's government was involved.

Ronald Deibert, a member of the research group and an associate professor of political science at Munk, said: "This could well be the CIA or the Russians. It's a murky realm that we're lifting the lid on."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I notice that they give out no information that would help computer users determine if their computers were indeed targets.

Mar 29 11:55

OpenDNS now allows "user" defined filtering.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have been receiving a lot of complaints from users of OpenDNS that they can no longer reach whatreallyhappened.com using OpenDNS. Apparently OpenDNS is now offering filtering services, and worse, they are allowing anyone who has an account to decide who gets on the ban list. Clearly it doesn't take too many "megaphonies" to add a website to the ban list and "vote" it into activation.

The end result is that OpenDNS is becoming ClosedDNS and will soon mutate into just another corporate ISP that only allows a bland porridge made of things that offend nobody to get through.

Mar 29 11:02

Big Money is Going to Take Your Internet Access Away!

The subject has been dubbed net neutrality, but that`s an entirely too bland term for what is going on. What is at stake is whether you and I can have the same kind of high-speed, equal-service access to the Internet that Big Business has, or whether giant telecommunications companies like Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will get away with creating a tiered, or multilevel system of Internet speeds so that certain providers can buy a fast lane ahead of you and me. It would be like a rich guy having a lane all to himself on a six-lane highway because he paid for it. You would get the lane you could afford. Net neutrality, on the other hand, would mean no special privileges for Big Money. It would mean equal access and equal service.

Mar 29 10:39

Major cyber spy network uncovered

Analysts say the attacks are in effect industrial espionage, with hackers showing an interest in the activities of lawmakers and major companies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Given the nature of the net, I would caution against assigning any actual blame for this spy network to China, since more than likely the machines the hackers used in China were themselves hacked from unknown sources and used as "cutouts".

But of course, the real danger is pirated music files, so that's where the enforcement and investigation money will be focused!

Mar 28 08:15

Ryantineocons was deleted from youtube

Mar 27 18:03

YewTube's Shame

Mar 27 13:24

ReactOS

ReactOS is a free and open-source operating system based on the Windows NT architecture design, providing support for existing applications and drivers and an alternative to the current dominant consumer and server operating systems.

Mar 27 12:39

Girl,14, faces child porn charges for posting nude pictures of HERSELF on MySpace

A 14-year-old girl will go before a court on child pornography charges after she put nude pictures of herself online.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This will get interesting, because this is clearly a free speech issue. Nobody was forcing her to do this, nobody "exploited" the young girl. She just expressed herself, apparently to her boyfriend.

I think she was stupid to do it, but stupidity isn't a crime in the US or half of Congress would be in jail by now.

I think this is a really bad use of the law.

Mar 27 10:31

YouTube star summoned to White House?

Bob Basso, who posts videos under the name funbobbasso on YouTube, has created videos in which he portrays Thomas Paine, author of the "Common Sense" pamphlet that made the case for independence during the American Revolution.

Mar 27 09:38

Kingston Police Harass FreeDominion Website:

On March 18, 2009, Connie Fournier, the owner of FreeDominion, (a conservative message board), received a phone call from the Kingston Police Service asking why they did not ban a member named Edward Kennedy, for comments he allegedly made about serial plaintiff Richard Warman.

According to a posting by Connie Fournier on FreeDominion, a complaint was filed with the Kingston Police by Richard Warman, who is well known on the internet as a serial plaintiff and former employee with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Mar 27 09:11

Obama passing new law to allow searching of PC's, Laptops, and media devices

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, mp3 players and even laptops are cheap these days, so have an mp3 player and laptop you use for everyday life and a second cheap set you use to travel, not only because the travel set can be sanitized but because the TSA are probably going to drop and break it anyway.

ATTENTION TERRORISTS: The US Government has just opened the door for your activities. Buy an mp3 player, load it up with downloaded stolen music and just leave it abandoned in the waiting area at the boarding gate. Watch who "recovers" it and get in line behind them. The TSA will be so orgasmic at having found a real music pirate they will ignore you while you carry that SCUD missile onto the airplane!

ATTENTION AIRLINES: You know, I really did want to buy a ticket to fly to that trade show, but I can't take the risk that the TSA goons will steal my clients' data from my laptop while searching it for illegal copies of rap music, so I am going to stay home and read sales brochures instead. I know you are just hovering at the edge of bankruptcy and that several thousand business travelers deciding to cancel their trips for security reasons (i.e. to protect themselves from the government) will probably drive you under, but heck, that's the way the economy crumbles, when the government makes it impossible for us all go on about our business.

ATTENTION MEDIA CORPORATIONS: Your sales of movies did not decline because of piracy. The buying public just got sick of all those remakes of stories we have already seen, especially about Germany in the middle of the last century.

Mar 27 06:40

Most electronic voting isn't secure, CIA expert says

Stigall told the Election Assistance Commission, a tiny agency that Congress created in 2002 to modernize U.S. voting, that computerized electoral systems can be manipulated at five stages, from altering voter registration lists to posting results.

"You heard the old adage 'follow the money,' " Stigall said, according to a transcript of his hour-long presentation that McClatchy obtained. "I follow the vote. And wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to . . . make bad things happen."

See also: How To Rig An Election In The United States

Mar 26 20:09

Parliament reveals lack of digital security

The parliamentary IT system has suffered a virus attack, joining millions of other computers that have fallen victim to the Conficker computer virus.

But astonishingly, an email sent to MPs, lords and their staff reveals that parliament's IT network seems to be completely unsecured.

The Conficker virus that has found its way computers used by MPs and members of the House of Lords has been in circulation on the internet since November 2008.

"We update our computer and antivirus software once a year whether we need to or not."

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!

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