May 22 09:59

Mars Hoax Circulates: 'Big as the Moon!'

Once again it appears that a Mars hoax that has widely circulated through the Internet since its first appearance during the summer of 2004 has begun to circulate yet again. It comes in the form of an e-mail message titled "Mars Spectacular," which originated from an unknown source.

In turn, this message has gotten passed on to others who couldn't resist forwarding it to their entire address book.

The e-mail declares that on the night of Aug. 27, the planet Mars will come closer to Earth than it has in the past 60,000 years, thereby offering spectacular views of the Red Planet. The commentary even proclaims, with liberal use of exclamation marks, that Mars will appear as bright as (or as large as) the full moon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, this was back in 2003, and Mars did appear as large as the moon ... through a telescope of the appropriate power.

But along with other recent hoaxes and the flood of porn onto YouTube it is clear that there is an intentional program underway trying to ruin the credibility of the blogs relative to the controlled corporate media.

People fell for it once back with Senator Exon's porn-o-thon. But We The People learn fast.

May 22 09:11

Pornographic videos flood YouTube

Video-sharing website YouTube has removed hundreds of pornographic videos which were uploaded in what is believed to be a planned attack.

The material was uploaded under names of famous teenage celebrities such as Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers.

Many started with footage of children's videos before groups of adults performing graphic sex acts appeared on screen.

YouTube owner Google said it was aware and addressing the problem.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

History repeats.

Years ago, before browsers when the internet was still mostly usenet, there was a sudden flood of really gross and poor quality porn (just because it is an adult movie is no excuse for crappy film making) poured into wholly inappropriate newsgroups on usenet. There are specific areas of usenet for adult material but these pictures were being posted in placing like cooking groups, and the political groups.

The regular usenet readers asked the posters to confine their adult materials to the appropriate groups, and the porn posters came back with this lame claim that the first amendment gave them the right to post their porn in every single usenet news group.

I began to smell a huge rate here, and already having learned what the US government was like I started digging and sure enough the flood of porn was coming through various US Government and military sites. And sure enough, one month after the flood of porn showed up on usenet, Senator Exon introduced his amendment to the telecommunications act calling for government control and censorship of the internet, and making any obscenity on the internet a felony. Senator Exon took to the floor and showed his "Blue" book, a blue binder filled with the very images that had flooded usenet for the preceding weeks. And no sooner had the bill passed than the flood of porn ended as if a switch had been thrown.

So, if someone is flooding YouTube with porn, then it is an attempt to revive a call for government control of internet content. So, you need to ask, Que Bono. Who wants the internet brought under censorship>

May 22 08:52

ACS:LAW: Solicitors Filesharing Blackmail scam

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Like the anti-terror industry, the anti-piracy industry cannot find enough real perpetrators to justify their paychecks, so they are starting to create them out of thin air. This video documents a scam by lawyers to extort money under threat of court action.

As for the Logistep system, here is some more information. At first read, reasonable doubt exists the moment a WiFi is found at the "offending" IP, because you cannot rule out the possibility that a nearby hacker hasn't used an innocent WiFi port for nefarious purposes.

May 20 16:16


Contemporary search engines have a tendency to make dead websites disappear quietly. AntiWar404 counteracts some of the resulting amnesia. It offers a concise record of the peace movement forgotten by Google, resurrecting pages and pages of war resistance that you won't find in your search engine results. Peace documents re-found!

May 20 15:03

Webcam under hacker's control

Reformed hacker Jacques Erasmus from security firm Prevx takes control of a computer by infecting it with trojan software.

The infection allows him to view whatever is on the victim's screen and record his key strokes.

May 20 14:47

Deleted Tweets found living in the hereafter

Careless Twitterers are in for a healthy dose of Web 2.0 reality with the advent of a site that shows it's not really possible to purge errant tweets, as the microblogging site might have them believe.

May 20 08:14

Facebook refuses to ban all Holocaust-denial groups

Facebook’s policy has outraged Australian Jewish groups, which argue that denying the Holocaust is racial vilification -– not legitimate speech -– and illegal under Australia’s current laws.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Truth needs no law to defend it. Truth is unafraid of re-examination. Truth survives a second look. Throughout history, from Galileo to Zundel, only lies and liars have resorted to the courts to enforce adherence to dogma.

Nobody arrests people who claim that Elvis is still alive. People who claim they have seen Bigfoot are not thrown in jail. Folks who claim to have been taken for a ride on a UFO are not subject to intentional efforts to ruin their lives and careers.

Only in this one area of inquiry is so much force brought to bear to silence the simple asking of a question.

Look for the most-protected place where all the coverups overlap. That is the secret being hidden from the world will be found.

May 19 12:25

Blogola: The FTC Takes On Paid Posts

But such back-scratching endorsements could become tougher under a coming set of Federal Trade Commission guidelines designed to clarify how companies can court bloggers to write about their products. This summer, the government agency is expected to issue new advertising guidelines that will require bloggers to disclose when they're writing about a sponsor's product and voicing opinions that aren't their own. The new FTC guidelines say that blog authors should disclose when they're being compensated by an advertiser to discuss a product.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think this is a good thing. The blogs are becoming the new MSM, and we need to act like it in terms of ethics.

Or maybe I'm just pissed off because nobody sends me free product samples! :)

May 19 09:17

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video

This document is a code of best practices that helps creators, online providers, copyright holders, and others interested in the making of online video interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances.

May 18 13:29

What's The Frequency Alex?

May 18 09:35

JIDF censored youtube I say we flag them back

the following are all videos form the JIDF websiteFlag all of them for hateful or abusive content. This is exactly what they do and say on their website. The difference is that their videos really are promoting racism and religious fascism.

May 18 09:08

'Kryptos' and Dan Brown: Inside the CIA's code of secrecy

Artist Jim Sanborn thought his 'Kryptos' cypher at the CIA headquarters would be broken within weeks. But two decades later, it still guards its text. David Usborne reports on a mystery that has frustrated the world's best crypto-geeks

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This underscores something I have been telling you all for years now.

If you use one of the "accepted" encryption systems, your messages will be easy to read.

Breaking a code takes two steps. First, you need to figure out the method used, then after you have the method, you can search for the key to a specific message.

If you are using a common encryption system, such as DES or RSA, then those who would loot your private communications (like the FBI did at APEC) already have the method. Finding the key is just a matter of time and computer power, and NSA has three acres of computers to play with.

The German ENIGMA is a classic case. Until an ENIGMA machine was captured off of a U-Boat, the method was unknown and Germany's messages were secure. Once the method was derived from the captured machine, Allan Turing's "Bomb" (from the loud ticking sound it made while working) would brute-force the keys. After the war, the US and Britain made gifts of captured ENIGMA machines to "friendly" governments around the world, but never bothered to tell them the messages could be read.

May 18 07:45

FBI Defends Disruptive Raids on Texas Data Centers

Mike Faulkner, owner of Crydon, says the seizure has resulted in him losing millions of dollars in revenue. It’s also put many of his customers out of business or at risk of closure.

The raids are the result of complaints filed by AT&T and Verizon about small VoIP service providers whom the telecoms say owe them money for connectivity services. But instead of focusing the raid on those companies, Faulkner and others say the FBI vacuumed up equipment and data belonging to hundreds of unrelated businesses.

May 17 18:25

Get your FBI spyware documents here

Now you can spend hours poring through them in search of noteworthy cases or details that Threat Level missed

May 17 09:02

New script outstrips all other drive-by download risks

A newly-created malicious script has become the source of almost half the drive-by download attacks tracked by one security firm.

JSRedir-R accounts for around 43 per cent of all malicious infections found on websites over the last week, according to a study by net security firm Sophos, published on Thursday. The malware crops up with almost six times the frequency of its nearest rival, iFrame-F (which is recorded in seven per cent of attacks).

The JSRedir-R script is typically found on legitimate websites, hidden behind obfuscated JavaScript, and used to exploit browser vulnerabilities to download malware onto the Windows PCs of visiting surfers via third-party websites under the control of hackers.

May 16 19:59

Hackers 'destroy' flight sim site

Flight simulator site Avsim has been "destroyed" by malicious hackers.

The site, which launched in 1996, covered all aspects of flight simulation, although its main focus was on Microsoft's Flight Simulator.

The attack took down the site's two servers and the owners had not established an external backup system.

The site's founder, Tom Allensworth, said that the site would be down for the foreseeable future and was unsure if would ever go back up.

May 16 11:23

Wolfram Alpha fails the WRH test!

May 16 11:02


May 16 09:05

WolframAlpha is live

May 15 13:57

U.S. Attorney's office tells employees not to log on to Drudge Report

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts directed employees earlier this month not to log onto the Drudge Report website with government-issued computers due to potential viruses on the site.

Read more: "U.S. Attorney's office tells employees not to log on to Drudge Report - Jonathan Martin -" -

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, viruses! Yeah, that's it! Viruses. Yeah, yeah, sure, sure!"

May 15 13:26

NHS viral video on teen pregnancy banned by YouTube

A hard-hitting NHS viral advertising campaign about teenage pregnancy has been banned by YouTube for showing what appears to be a schoolgirl giving birth in a playground while being watched by students.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That would get the message home, I think!

May 15 10:34

Mary Shelley's Worst Nightmare

Unless there is a dramatic and universal change of attitudes, mankind will fall victim to its own robotic weapons of mass destruction.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This has already happened.

Those who wonder why the economic systems of the world have ceased to serve the people and seem only to prey upon mankind in ever more ravenous predations need only to realize that most of the world's financial decisions are already made by computers whose programs have but one overriding goal; seek more profit more quickly.

The choice of whose idea gets funded and whoes does not is often made by computer as is the decision whose home to foreclose. The bankers are but human drones carrying out the directives of their inhuman controllers, who like the Frankenstein's monster have escaped all restraint are wander the countryside seeing only the feed its endless hunger. We are already a world ruled by computer.

May 14 08:56

Israeli “Peace” discussion groups, common pitfalls and how to recognise them.

What they are "there to do" (in my view) can be divided into several branches:
1) Isolate opinions that are not to their liking, and in our case, ones that directly cite Israeli responsibility. These opinions are "imposed" as being off topic, irrelevant, beyond the pale, etc. The opinion is then discarded very rapidly and the gatekeeper cuts to a very routine "attack the person who did that", leading to point two:

May 13 17:43

Man charged over anti-semitic videos

Perth, Australia - A man who allegedly posted anti-semitic videos on the website YouTube has been charged with attempting to incite racial animosity and racial harassment.

The West Australian website said the video carried the remarks: "I head up to Parliament House to ask how it is Jewish supremacism has continued unabated for 250 years to the point where to speak of it warrants abuse, threats, job loss and even jail for those that dare question the new religion of holocaustianity."

May 13 10:11


Webmaster's Commentary: 

I cannot think of anything more UN-American than a self-declared group of censors presuming to decide for the rest of us what we should be allowed to see, hear, or read.

Meanwhile, check out some other "Interesting" facebook groups!

May 13 09:25

Facebook Under Fire for Allowing Holocaust Deniers

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Is anyone asking Facebook to block members who believe the Mon landings were faked?

May 13 07:35

Hawaii prosecutor seeks life in prison for accused identity thief

Susan E. Shaw allegedly stole some $160,000 from at least 11 victims from January 2008 through last month, and an investigation of her activities is continuing, deputy prosecuting attorney Christopher Van Marter said.

Shaw was arrested by Honolulu police detectives Sunday at the airport when she returned from an overseas trip. She is being held on $1 million bail.

May 13 07:24

EU fines Intel $1.44B in antitrust case

The Commission investigation centered around charges that Intel illegally gave rebates to computer manufacturers in return for them buying the bulk of their x86 microprocessors from Intel.

The company was also accused of paying computer makers to cancel or delay the launch of machines using chips made by rival, AMD, and of selling its chips for server computers at below cost to large customers such as governments and universities.

Last year the Commission added fresh charges, accusing the chip giant of paying generous rebates to Media Markt, Europe's biggest chain of IT stores, in return for it de-listing all computers containing AMD chips.

May 13 03:03

Welcome to the New Total Security State

The U.S. government has at its disposal a technological arsenal so sophisticated and invasive as to render any constitutional protections null and void. Yet all is not lost. In this week’s vodcast, John Whitehead points the way toward resisting the government’s insidious slide towards totalitarianism.

May 12 22:34


Webmaster's Commentary: 

I cannot think of anything more UN-American than a self-declared group of censors presuming to decide for the rest of us what we should be allowed to see, hear, or read.

May 12 10:02

The Rise of the Answerbots

The news media is buzzing with talk of IBM's new DeepQA project, aimed at creating a program that can beat humans at the question-answering game of Jeopardy. This is indeed exciting indeed – although, at the moment, it's a partly-completed plan rather than a demonstrated accomplishment. But let's suppose IBM succeeds at its aim. What will this really mean?

May 12 09:28

You Tube Free Speech Purge Accelerates, Infowarrior Channel Banned

You Tube accelerated its aggressive purge against free speech today after the video networking website suspended the Infowarrior Channel, which was the replacement for the previously censored Alex Jones Channel.

When attempting to visit the Infowarrior Channel this morning, one is met with the message, “This account is suspended.”

Just as before, no credible reason has been provided for the suspension of channel. The original Alex Jones Channel was suspended because You Tube claimed that showing a computer print out of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette news article on camera constituted “copyright violation,” despite the fact that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette denied ever making a copyright complaint.

May 12 08:42

You have no rights, so buy Windows 7

Microsoft has every right to do whatever the heck it wants with the RC, and it also has every right to get paid for its software that you are using. But then again, is it insane? No, don't answer that, it is not. It is cold, calculating, and doesn't give a rat's *ss about your rights. All Microsoft cares about is forcing money out of you, repeatedly and as often as possible. If you buy Windows 7 or even use it, you are an idiot. Consider this about your 17th warning, as if everything Microsoft has put people through over the years wasn't enough. Maybe someday you will get a clue.

May 12 08:40

Has Microsoft gone mental?

What is totally mental, and I mean running around the supermarket without your pants on shouting “where is the mustard” mad, would be to start shutting down the user PC every two hours until they upgrade to a paid for OS and to start this nutball feature THREE MONTHS before the thing actually expires.

Yet that is exactly what some loon at Microsoft thought would be a good idea, and that’s what is going to happen. Starting March 1st 2010 your PC will shut down every two hours.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yeah, Microsoft has developed a serious attitude problem. Not that I was looking at W7 after my experience with VISTA, but this is simply loony!

Plus, once you have installed W7, Microsoft could decide to increase the price of the permanent activation.

When my XP machines start to go bye bye, new hardware will be LINUX based. Enough of this American Corporate Arrogance!

May 11 23:29

Youtube censors US journalist

Radio and internet journalist Alex Jones has been censored by the internet giant Youtube with the removal of the "Alex Jones Channel" from the site, causing revulsion across the United States and Europe, in what is increasingly being seen as another example of a "Big Brother" intervention in the democratic process.

The "Alex Jones show" on YouTube was attracting around 1 million views a week, and was responsible for the "The Obama Deception" which has clocked 1,897,810 views.

May 11 20:36

To save $173.50 every week - Microsoft axes 55 people in India - Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times - Ruchi Hajela Software giant Microsoft trimmed down its India work-force [citing need to conserve cash in hard economic times].

“Due to a global realignment of our business priorities, about one percent of the net rolls across India are likely to be impacted. These adjustments reflect the necessary changes to ensure that the right resources are focused on the right priorities,” Microsoft India said in a statement.

May 11 08:36

UC Berkeley computers hacked, 160,000 at risk

Hackers broke into the University of California at Berkeley's health services center computer and potentially stole the personal information of more than 160,000 students, alumni, and others, the university announced Friday.

At particular risk of identity theft are some 97,000 individuals whose Social Security numbers were accessed in the breach, but it's still unclear whether hackers were able to match up those SSNs with individual names, Shelton Waggener, UCB's chief technology officer, said in a press conference Friday afternoon.

May 11 08:26

Windows 7 RC does not uninstall

Windows 7 does not uninstall automatically. While the installation says it is creating a restore point, that point is not your last operating system as in Vista or Windows XP. Microsoft is not clearly warning people when they download the free release code. None of the support sites contemplate reverting which is too optimistic.

This means if you are not happy with Windows 7 release candidate you can live with it or manually re-install your previous operating system. The last choice is time consuming and complex. All drivers will need to be installed for your computer, all programs, all data.

May 11 06:53

Signaling Sure Demise - And Unable to Sell Anything Else - Microsoft Plans to Join Debt Economy and Sell Debt - Gabrielle Coppola and Dina Bass - Microsoft Plans to Sell Debt in Inaugural [GOING OUT OF BUSINESS GALA] Offering - Microsoft Corp. [...] as soon as today, according to a person familiar [...] who declined to be identified [...]

[DON'T BE FOOLED PEOPLE. The debt economy just claimed its biggest victim thus far. This is the first time MicroSoft was EVER forced to sell debt.]

May 10 20:03

Cybercriminals exploit swine flu fears with spam e-mails

Spammers and cybercriminals are exploiting fears over swine flu to peddle counterfeit drugs and steal credit card details, internet security firms have warned.

Millions of spam e-mails are flooding the internet, sending recipients to fake online pharmacies or enticing users to click on links leading to malicious software.

McAfee, one of the leading security software makers, said that its laboratories had detected a spike in swine-flu spam only a couple of days after the news of the spread of the disease broke.

May 08 12:26

Watch Out for the Scam Double-Bluff!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And you thought Nigeria was where all the scammers were!

May 08 12:24

Is JamesMakesMoney a Scam

This scam is running rampant let me tell you exactly what happens with this B.S business Ok remember this lil man says get started for a dollar well i’ma let you see the terms and conditions for that supposed $1 this young man is talking about. if you purchased the program or your about to purchase the program read what I TOOK STRAIGHT OFF THIS mans website on the order form. A reminder to all y’all before signing up for anything read the terms and conditions ALWAYS READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS I GOT THIS READ BELOW.

May 08 09:57

Facebook urged to remove Holocaust-denial groups

"There is no First Amendment right to free speech in the private realm," Cuban said. "This isn't a freedom-of-speech issue. Facebook is free to set the standard that they wish."

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said his company is in agreement with Cuban that the Holocaust-denial pages are offensive and objectionable.

Where the two sides part, Schnitt said, is whether people have the right to discuss such ideas on Facebook.

"It's a difficult decision to make. We have a lot of internal debate and we bring in experts to talk about it," Schnitt said. "Just being offensive or objectionable doesn't get it taken off Facebook. We want it [the site] to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Interesting that Cuban acknowledges that Facebook as a right to set the standards they wish, then proceeds to tell them what that standard ought to be.

But Cuban is actually wrong. Newspapers and magazines and TV are private companies, yet the courts have consistently ruled that First Amendment protections of free speech apply to them.

May 08 07:53

The true cost to the BBC of iPlayer...

Over on CNet, Nate Lanxon has delivered a stonking piece on the technical background to the BBC's iPlayer servers.

Which does raise the question, though: is it value for money?

I'm trying to work out how much more - or less - it costs the BBC to deliver a TV programme over iPlayer than it does to transmit it in the old-fashioned way.

This is surprisingly difficult to do, but I think I have an answer: it costs around sixteen thousand times as much to stream a programme as to broadcast it.

May 08 01:57

Student's Wikipedia hoax quote used worldwide in newspaper obituaries

A WIKIPEDIA hoax by a 22-year-old Dublin student resulted in a fake quote being published in newspaper obituaries around the world.

The quote was attributed to French composer Maurice Jarre who died at the end of March.

It was posted on the online encyclopedia shortly after his death and later appeared in obituaries published in the Guardian, the London Independent, on the BBC Music Magazine website and in Indian and Australian newspapers.

May 08 01:55

Cyberbullying Bill Not About Protecting Kids, It is About Shutting Down the Opposition

Arianna Huffington, the liberal darling in bed with the globalist George Soros by way of the Bermuda-based Atlantic Philanthropies, has posted an article on her website penned by Rep. Linda Sánchez, the Democrat congress critter from California. Sánchez is behind the so-called Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, an effort to impose draconian regulations on the internet.

May 07 14:14

Rupert Murdoch: “Internet Will Soon Be Over”

The establishment media is dying and advertising revenue has plummeted as people turn to blogs and the alternative media for their news in an environment of corporate lies and spin.

This has forced sectors of the corporate media to charge the dwindling number of loyal readers they have left for news content, a practice which is set to become widespread according to Murdoch. This will only send more people over to the alternative media as the old organs of de facto state-controlled propaganda wither and die.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The revolution has begun!

Do not wait for orders; grab your keyboards and ride towards the sound of lies.

May 07 09:53

Computer hard drive sold on eBay 'had details of top secret U.S. missile defence system'

Highly sensitive details of a US military missile air defence system were found on a second-hand hard drive bought on eBay.

The test launch procedures were found on a hard disk for the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) ground to air missile defence system, used to shoot down Scud missiles in Iraq.

The disk also contained security policies, blueprints of facilities and personal information on employees including social security numbers, belonging to technology company Lockheed Martin - who designed and built the system.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, simply deleting files does not destroy the data. The computer's delete command just wipes out the directory. The data is still there and easy to recover.

If you are selling or giving away a hard drive, FORMAT IT, preferably more than once. Personally, I would physically destroy my old hard drives rather than sell or give them away.

If you are selling or giving away a computer, you need to repeatedly over-write the files using tools which can be found online. Even this can be risky since modern computers are designed to leave "forensics files" hidden in places where the users are not likely to look containing information of potential interest to law enforcement. When I process a computer for "Hawaii's Computers For Kids" I will mil-spec wipe the drive completely, then reinstall a new operating system. These days I put LINUX and Open Office on the machines since Microsoft is being such pricks about donating XP to charities.

May 07 09:51

Anti-missile defence details found on secondhand computer

Highly sensitive details of a key US missile defence system have been found on the hard drive of a computer that was disposed of in California.

The information about defence contractor Lockheed Martin included a document detailing test launch procedures, blueprints of facilities and photos and personal daat about employees – including their social security numbers.

Access to such data could allow identity theft or industrial espionage against Lockheed Martin, which is working on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system – a project begun under president Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" Strategic Defence Initiative in the 1980s.

May 07 09:51

Silly John Kerry worried about online journalism, 70,000,000 bloggers

In short, here's what Kerry says: Blah blah blah blah blah blah time we examine the future of journalism in the digital Information Age blah blah and what it means to our Republic and to our democracy.

Blah blah blah blah blah newspapers blah entertained us; they enraged us, but always, they have informed us.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wonder if the fact that the blogs uncovered Kerry's hot young trim back in 2004 might have something to do with his concerns?

May 07 08:45


Jay Rockefeller: Internet should have never existed….. all because of ’some kid in Latvia’.

May 07 08:40

Dirty little secrets of the keyboard revealed

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We use spill-proof keyboards here which have a solid membrane over the actual switches. Those are far easier to clean because you can open up the keyboard case, clean the membrane (I use a vacuum cleaner) then re-assemble the unit.

Of course, these keys are so worn down I can't see the letters any more, so maybe it is time to get a new keyboard! :)

May 07 07:41

Murdoch: Web sites to charge for content

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch expects News Corporation-owned newspaper Web sites to start charging users for access within a year in a move which analysts say could radically shake-up the culture of freely available content.

May 06 20:11

One tonne 'Baby' marks its birth

Sixty years ago the "modern computer" was born in a lab in Manchester.

The Small Scale Experimental Machine, or "Baby", was the first to contain memory which could store a program.

The room-sized computer's ability to carry out different tasks - without having to be rebuilt - has led some to describe it as the "first modern PC".

Using just 128 bytes of memory, it successfully ran its first set of instructions - to determine the highest factor of a number - on 21 June 1948.

May 06 14:49

Police prying into stars' data Records system often misused, state audit finds

The Criminal Offender Record Information system, with its massive databases of criminal records, driving histories, car ownership, and Social Security numbers, is intended to provide police and prosecutors with complete portraits of individuals who have been arrested or brought into the court system.

Law enforcement personnel looked up personal information on Patriots star Tom Brady 968 times - seeking anything from his driver's license photo and home address, to whether he had purchased a gun - and auditors discovered "repeated searches and queries" on dozens of other celebrities

May 06 10:31

Prison Awaiting Hostile Bloggers

Sanchez’s bill goes way beyond cyberbullying and comes close to making it a federal offense to log onto the internet or use the telephone. The methods of communication where hostile speech is banned include e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.

We can’t say what we think of Sanchez’s proposal. Doing so would clearly get us two years in solitary confinement.

May 06 08:31

Zombie computers 'on the rise'

Twelve million computers have been hijacked by cyber-criminals and detected by security vendor McAfee since January, the firm has said.

It reports there has been a 50% increase in the number of detected so-called "zombie" computers since 2008.

May 05 08:41

Goodbye bloggers, it was a nice run

Look for this act to be used to go after bloggers who don't goose-step to the ADL's tune or write puff pieces about how great a country that Apartheid nightmare Israel is.

May 05 07:44

Meet Francis V., a failed phisher

The subject line alone was enough to unmask this criminal mastermind: "This message it is confidential."

This message it is really not from the IRS.

May 04 08:16

Tax Google to help the BBC, say ministers

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Tax light bulbs to help keep candle-makers in business!

May 03 22:08

An invention that could change the internet for ever

The biggest internet revolution for a generation will be unveiled this month with the launch of software that will understand questions and give specific, tailored answers in a way that the web has never managed before.

The new system, Wolfram Alpha, showcased at Harvard University in the US last week, takes the first step towards what many consider to be the internet's Holy Grail – a global store of information that understands and responds to ordinary language in the same way a person does.

May 03 17:24

French Internet piracy bill back in parliament

French lawmakers Wednesday started examining a new version of a contested bill that would cut off illegal downloaders from the Internet, in a tough new precedent for efforts to fight film and music piracy. Under a "three-strikes" system, the law would set up a state agency to send illegal file-sharers an email warning, then a letter, and suspend their Internet account for up to a year if they are caught a third time.

May 01 09:32

Web tool 'as important as Google'

A web tool that "could be as important as Google", according to some experts, has been shown off to the public.

Wolfram Alpha is the brainchild of British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram.

The free program aims to answer questions directly, rather than display web pages in response to a query like a search engine.

The "computational knowledge engine", as the technology is known, will be available to the public from the middle of May this year.

"Our goal is to make expert knowledge accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime," said Dr Wolfram at the demonstration at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Apr 30 18:44

New Vulnerability Discovered in ALL Adobe Reader Versions

Earlier this year, Adobe had to fess up that its flagship PDF Reader, used by virtually the entire business and Internet communities had a critical security vulnerability which could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Now their security staff is reporting that a critical vulnerability in every version of the Reader may be affected due to a weakness found in JavaScript.

Apr 30 18:44

New Vulnerability Discovered in ALL Adobe Reader Versions

Earlier this year, Adobe had to fess up that its flagship PDF Reader, used by virtually the entire business and Internet communities had a critical security vulnerability which could cause the application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Now their security staff is reporting that a critical vulnerability in every version of the Reader may be affected due to a weakness found in JavaScript.

Apr 30 15:42

Warning over swine flu spam emails

The swine flu spam is being sent from all over the world from a network of compromised computers, with the majority coming from Brazil, the United States and Germany.

Spammers are using the virus to try to sell bogus pharmaceuticals or infect computers with malicious software.

Internet users were warned not to click on links embedded in the emails and to try to avoid opening the mail in the first place.

McAfee's director of security research, Dave Marcus, said: "Malware writers, spammers and scammers are low lives. They will use any high impact news story to push their wares."

Apr 30 13:11

Beware surfers: cyberspace is filling up

Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 per cent a year, will start to exceed supply from as early as next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC’s iPlayer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

They were warning about a potential collapse of the net in 1996 and it didn't happen.

Apr 30 11:03

Through a Lens Starkly

The recent attention to teen "sexting" has focused quite a lot on the presumed self-exploitation of kids, not so much on the prurient reflex of grown-ups who spy on and punish them. It has dwelt quite a lot on the traps of technology, not so much on the desires that precede picking up a camera. Quite a lot on the question of whether the teens are sex offenders or merely stupid, sluttish or mean, not so much on the freedom to see and be. Quite a lot on the legal meaning of images, not so much on the ways in which making them might delight, or on the cultural freakout that colors law, images and how they are perceived.

Apr 30 08:41

Microsoft preps Windows 7 release

"We were able to shave 400 milliseconds off the shutdown time by slightly trimming the WAV file shutdown music."

Now there's a stunning technological advancement.

Apr 29 19:54

XP Mode in Windows 7 is a scam

IF YOU HAVEN'T been stuck in a cave lately, you will undoubtedly have heard that Windows Vista SP2.1, aka Windows 7, will have an 'XP mode'. Before you jump up and down for joy, you should know that it won't do what you think it will, it is a scam.

Apr 29 11:51

DOD Can’t Handle the Truth?

As we have witnessed in the hunt for Osama, our satellite-photo-addicted intel shops can’t tell us much. But there is a vast amount of 4GW material available open-source: Web sites by and about our opponents, works by civilian academics, material from think-tanks, reports from businessmen who travel in areas we are interested in – the pile is almost bottomless. Every American soldier with access to a computer can find almost anything he needs. Much of it is both more accurate and more useful than what filters down through the military intelligence chain.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The DOD is putting blinders on our troops because the fact is that we are the bad guys in his war and DOD does not want any more soldiers figuring that out for themselves.

Apr 29 10:42

Introducing the Holo-Disc

The products that GE plans to sell based on the technology -- starting in 2012 -- will work in devices similar to current disc readers, allowing buyers to still access and play their old albums, movies, and other media. Crucially, at least from a cost perspective, GE says the new discs will also be manufactured using the same molded plastic technique that's currently used for making discs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Data storage isn't the problem any more for home users, data MANAGEMENT is.

Most home users use their disk drives like closets, simply shoving in more files wherever they may fit. After a few years, you can wind up with stacks of disks and no clue what is on them or where to find things.

New intelligent tools are needed for sorting and categorizing and indexing the inevitable accumulation of files that accompanies increased data storage.

I also hope that the promise of a 100 year life-span is accurate. We heard the same promises when CD-ROM was introduced, then value-engineering resulted in disks that erased themselves after only a few years.

Apr 29 08:32

EFF urges Congress to shine light on FBI data mining

Here's the gist of today's message from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to Congress regarding privacy oversight of the FBI's massive and mysterious Investigative Data Warehouse: We've done all we can do through the Freedom of Information Act; the Obama Administration has abandoned the cause; now, it's up to you to ensure that the rights of law-abiding Americans are protected.

Not much as last chances go.

Apr 28 16:40

Phone bills 'will rise' to pay for database

Ministers want to farm out a Big Brother database of everyone's emails, phone calls and internet use to private companies who will be given the job of storing the data on behalf of the state.

The £2bn cost of the plans could add millions of pounds to phone and internet bills to help pay for new systems to collect and sort private information.

Apr 28 10:22

Data breach generates class action lawsuit

The fallout from Certegy Check Services (CCS) data breach has reached the courts. A class-action lawsuit has been filed by a California law firm against Fidelity National Information Services, accusing it and its CCS subsidiary of negligence, invasion of privacy and breach of implied contract, on behalf of the 8.5 million customers whose sensitive information was sold to direct marketers by a former employee of the check verification service.

Apr 28 10:18

"A Culture Of Surveillance"

The Internet is the last best source of free and independent information left. Think where the liberty movement would be without the Internet. But even as we speak, President Obama and his allies in Congress are attempting to obtain the authority to censor information on--and curtail access to--the Internet. Plus, in the name of "cybersecurity," they are plotting to obtain the authority to monitor and seize anyone's personal computer at will.

Apr 28 10:00

Ghosts in the machine haunt Okie drivers

Occasional when someone tries to build a better mousetrap, he winds up creating more problems.

Such is the case with the digital driver’s licenses unveiled in 2003. At the time, adding digital photographs and thumbprints seemed like a great way to protect the identity of drivers. And it was - until it was time to get one renewed.

According to a recent report by the Associated Press, the new software that compares driver’s license photos has problems, in that it doesn’t always recognize the photo of the person renewing a license.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"No, no, no, you have to get that stamped over at Information Adjustments!!!"

Apr 28 09:56

Why we need municipal Internet

Fed up with the major telecom’s inaction and unwillingness to invest in the technologies of the future, enterprising North Carolina communities like Wilson, Salisbury, and Morganton have taken steps to control their digital destiny. Faced with this competition, the telecoms are working the state legislature, seeking to pile on as many restrictions on these public initiatives as they can. That’s what the “Level Playing Field” Act (H1252/S1004) gives us. It’s a step backwards in every sense of the word.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When I was in San Francisco working on "The Day after Tomorrow", I saw a project working to build community access WiFi. It was a grass roots project that involved neighborhood repeaters built inside PVC pipes for protection. Some were directly wired into the net, others simply did packet forwarding, but for poorer neighborhoods where school kids did not have broadband internet in their homes (or any internet at all), it have them free access to the online world.

The whole point of the original internet was de-centralization, making the net unstoppable and uncensored. We do need to return to those days, and soon, because the internet as we know it today is being turned into just another commercial TV network, albeit with a few more buttons.

Apr 28 09:07

Study finds dip in satisfaction with government Web sites

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The online system to register copyrights at the Library of Congress is the most brain-dead lame interface I have seen in 30 years of working with computers.

Apr 27 15:55

Konami pulls Six Days in Fallujah

If the game has indeed been canned, one question stands paramount amongst the many moral and ethical quandaries being positied: what did Konami expect?

When commissioning a project based around a war that's not yet over, in which people are still dying, did the publisher believe that the game would be welcomed by the tabloid press, and by families of those who have lost loved ones? Could a global corporation have been so massively naive? Why even greenlight the game in the first place?

Apr 27 09:13

Swine flu: Twitter's power to misinform

Who knew that swine flu could also infect Twitter? Yet this is what appears to have happened in the last 24 hours, with thousands of Twitter users turning to their favorite service to query each other about this nascent and potentially lethal threat as well as to share news and latest developments from Mexico, Texas, Kansas and New York (you can check most recent Twitter updates on the subject by searching for “swine flu” and “#swineflu”). And despite all the recent Twitter-enthusiasm about this platform's unique power to alert millions of people in decentralized and previously unavailable ways, there are quite a few reasons to be concerned about Twitter's role in facilitating an unnecessary global panic about swine flu.

Apr 27 09:01

Apple apologizes for 'Baby Shaker' iPhone app

Apple is apologizing for allowing a 99-cent iPhone game called "Baby Shaker" that let a player quiet a virtual crying infant by shaking the device.

Apple removed the program from the iPhone's App Store on Wednesday, but critics pressed for an apology Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I will be the first to agree that this app was in very poor taste, but really folks; don't we have more important things to fret about?

Apr 27 08:55

ACLU assails Christie for cell phone invasions

While serving as U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie authorized the tracking of people through their cell phones without first obtaining a warrant, the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday.

The ACLU released documents provided by the Justice Department showing that the U.S. Attorney's Offices in New Jersey and Florida had been granted permission by court order to "obtain mobile phone location information without making a judicial finding of probable cause."

Apr 27 08:24

Plan to monitor all internet use

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If they could really do it, they could locate and shut down the hackers.

Apr 26 07:05

Conficker virus begins to attack PCs

A malicious software program known as Conficker that many feared would wreak havoc on April 1 is slowly being activated, weeks after being dismissed as a false alarm, security experts said.

Apr 25 20:13

Windows 7 reveals XP mode

So there’s going to be an XP mode in Windows 7. What does that mean? For users of Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate - sorry, lower-end users! - you will get a full copy of Windows XP that will run under a virtual processor. However, instead of creating a new desktop environment, the XP mode will bring the application up as a window inside Windows 7.

Apr 24 10:00

Detained in Egypt, but still tweeting

Being in police custody in Egypt is not noted for being open to the public gaze, so earlier this month thousands of user of the micro-blog service Twitter were surprised to read updates, or "tweets", from police cells.

Step by step the tweets gave an insight into what it is like to be in custody in Cairo.

Apr 24 08:57

Apple Gets Its Own Trojan Viruses for the First Time

A curious falsehood has surrounded Mac computers over the last decade, as they have resurged onto the market. People believe that Macs are immune to the malware, viruses, and worms that have wrought havoc on PCs.

In reality, OS X is not much more or less secure than Windows Vista -- rather it is Apple's small market share that has protected it. Since Mac attacks would have to be custom-made, there just hasn't been much interest among Black Hats to attack them. Kevin Haley, a director of security response at Symantec, states, "The bad guys generally go toward the biggest target, what will get them the biggest bang for their buck."

However, with surging market share and pop icon status, the Macs are suddenly finding themselves under attack.

Apr 24 06:50

Bernanke put you on the hook for 2 trillion and counting. You are an involuntary investor -The public is an “involuntary investor” in the nation’s banks, according to an April 15 court filing by Bloomberg.

In the report, the Fed detailed its assets in three limited liability corporations, all called Maiden Lane for a street in Lower Manhattan that runs past the New York Fed.

The losses become real if the principal isn’t returned.

Apr 24 05:01

Yahoo pulls the plug on GeoCities - Indicating it is near bankruptcy

BBC News -Yahoo is to close its personal web hosting site GeoCities later this year.

In a statement, the firm says it will no longer be accepting new customers and will focus on helping "customers build new relationships online".

Yahoo bought GeoCities for $3.57bn at the height of the dotcom boom in 1999.

[This is an astonishing admission of just how broke Yahoo! really is. They are saying they cannot afford to operate the servers and pay the modest staff dedicated to Geocities web hosting, which does charge a range of fees for its premium services. The admission is tantamount to saying, We are imploding!]

Apr 24 03:18

Fake Consumer Group Says Price-Gouging Is Good for You

Cable and phone companies, many of which are eyeing similar price structures, don’t want to see TWC fail. So enter the American Consumer Institute, the fake consumer group that is trying to convince us that excluding people from using the Internet is a good thing. Oh, and so is stifling online video innovation.

Apr 23 16:36

Microsoft sales fall for first time in 23 years

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that declining PC sales hurt revenue, as the software giant reported quarterly sales that fell for the first time in its 23-year history as a public company.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company said sales fell 6% from a year earlier to $13.7 billion, missing analysts' expectations of $14.1 billion.

Apr 23 16:29

RSA Offers Encryption Toolkit Free To Developers

RSA traditionally had licensed only its BSAFE encryption technology, which can cost customers tens of thousands of dollars, but company officials say the timing is right to give developers easier access to tools for building more security features into applications from the ground up, rather than tacking them on later. The new Share Project is an online community for developers that provides support, information, and free downloads of RSA's encryption toolkits for C/C++ and Java. The company plans to offer more free security tools under the program, as well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is good news for people who want a certain degree of security in their applications, but for those of you wanting to keep the government out of your private business, there is a drawback.

Breaking a code requires two steps. First, the method must be worked out. After the method is worked out, then the key for a particular message must be found.

Of the two, finding the method is the most difficult. This was the major sticking point for the Allies during WW2 in trying to break the Enigma code, and the method was not solved until an Enigma was captured from a Nazi sub. Once they had the machine and the method, it became a matter of brute force (and Turing's machines) to find the keys.

With RSA (or DES or Clipper or ... ) the government starts out knowing the method used for encryption. And with three acres of supercomputers underneath NSA's Fort Mead complex, finding the keys to a particular message is only a matter of time, usually seconds.

Apr 23 16:23

Researchers Find Massive Botnet On Nearly 2 Million Infected Consumer, Business, Government PCs

Apr 23 09:20

Pirate Bay lawyer calls for retrial

A lawyer representing one of the men convicted in the Pirate Bay trial has called for a retrial after reports that the judge was a member of the same copyright protection organisations as several of the main entertainment industry representatives.