COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

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.

Mar 13 07:27

Society's vital networks prone to 'explosive' changes

US computer scientists have found that random networks – the mathematical description for networks we experience everyday in forms such as the internet and global flight connections – have the potential for extreme behaviour never seen before.

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.

Mar 05 08:13

NASA delays space shuttle launch

NASA is now targeting next Wednesday for the launch of space shuttle Discovery.

The mission has been delayed repeatedly over the past month for tests on critical engine valves.

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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WRH Exclusive
Feb 28 08:39

Ryanair: "Lunatic bloggers can keep the blogosphere"

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Feb 27 21:57

Microsoft Vista voted tech world's top "Fiasco"

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

Feb 27 15:15

Red states consume more porn?

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

Feb 27 09:29

UK rules out charges against Pentagon hacker

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

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

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

Feb 26 15:44

Windows 7 or KDE4?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

It's actually LINUX.

Feb 26 15:15

Ontario Judge Orders Disclosure Of Facebook Profile

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

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

Feb 26 10:52

Web censorship plan heads towards a dead end

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

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

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

Feb 26 09:58

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

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

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

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

Feb 26 08:41

Defeating YouTube Censorship

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Feb 25 19:23

Jack Straw falls victim to Nigerian internet hackers

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

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

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

Feb 25 18:59

Experts sound scam threat warning

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

...

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

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

Feb 25 08:49

Gmail phishing attack hits on heels of outage

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

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

Feb 24 19:29

Gmail fails: Tech world grinds to a halt

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

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

Feb 24 19:29

Gmail fails: Tech world grinds to a halt

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

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

Feb 24 05:11

Social websites harm children's brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist

Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

Feb 23 08:43

Nigerian Accused in Scheme to Swindle Citibank

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Feb 23 08:38

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Feb 23 07:18

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

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

Feb 23 06:52

New Zealand internet sector protests harsh new copyright laws

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

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

Feb 22 20:43

Vista Failure Log.

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

Feb 22 11:50

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't build them.

Feb 22 10:37

Attackers Exploiting Unpatched Flaw In Adobe Reader, Acrobat

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Waterboard the hackers' computers.

Slowly.

Make them watch!

Feb 22 10:00

Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems

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

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

Feb 22 09:58

"Jewish Internet Defense Force" gets a smackdown from Facebook

Two questions:

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

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

Feb 21 14:40

Digg Finally Admits the Auto-Bury Exists

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

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

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

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

Feb 21 11:45

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I want one!

Feb 21 09:31

Online Censorship by Israel

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

Feb 21 08:32

How the Internet is like snail-mail

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Feb 20 20:29

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

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

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

Feb 20 19:07

Windows 7 fast track alarms technical testers

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

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

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

Feb 20 18:32

Zero-day Attack Found In Adobe Acrobat

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

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

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

Feb 20 18:24

Bill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police

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

Feb 19 21:02

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

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

Feb 19 12:38

THE OBAMA FORUM - WEBSITES THAT MUST BE BANNED

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BACK UP AND RUNNING TODAY!

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

Feb 19 10:15

Google Earth reveals secret history of US base in Pakistan

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Feb 18 19:03

Privacy law call in Facebook row

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

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

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

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

Feb 18 18:52

IBM 'pulls out of US'

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

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

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

Feb 18 14:50

Den of thieves raided in S.F.

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

Feb 18 09:26

New exploit targets IE 7 hole patched last week

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

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

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

Feb 18 08:33

The Obama Forum - Websites that must be banned!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I sure hope this website is a joke!

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

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

Whois data indicates the site was located in Texas.

Feb 17 19:43

Antitrust lawsuit filed against Google

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

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

Feb 17 19:28

Facebook - With friends like these ...

At the time of writing Facebook claims 59-million active users. That's 59-million suckers, all of whom have volunteered their ID card information and consumer preferences to an American business they know nothing about.

Feb 17 09:22

Australia government limited Google's bushfire map

Feb 17 09:03

Linksys Routers Now Have Built-In Internet Security

The software will basically deny access to any site it deems unsafe based on a set of predetermined criteria and constantly talks to Trend Micro's server to determine how secure a site is. But you can adjust the sensitivity level of the filter and/or filter out specific sites as you see fit. And if there's a site deemed unsafe you think shouldn't be, you can notify Linksys for consideration.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But if Linksys says you cannot visit a site like WRH, then you will not be allowed to visit the site.

That's the last Linksys product I buy!

Feb 17 09:00

New Zealand netizens go black in protest of new "no-proof" copyright law that cuts off your Internet on accusation

The first day's action was blacking out Twitter and Facebook avatars. I did it, as did Channel 3 Business News, a Creative Director at Saatchi and Saatchi, oh and Stephen Fry. Kudos to Juha Saarinen who first put out the call. This is building up to a full Internet blackout day on February 23rd. I'm delighted to say that the idea was formed at Kiwi Foo Camp, and the folks who were at Kiwi Foo have been running wild with it--building banners, releasing templates, spreading the word.

Feb 17 08:58

Draconian DRM Revealed In Windows 7

"A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM, some of it unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobbered a nagging registration screen by replacing a DLL with a hacked version. With regard to media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC seem to be over (if the program originated on that PC). The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). This may be the tip of the iceberg. Being in bed with the RIAA is bad enough, but locking your own files away from you is a tactic so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Having failed to learn any lessons from the VISTA debacle, Microsoft continues their arrogant attitude that installation of their product means they own your machine.

When my XP machines finally die, I will be switching to LINUX (Already have on 2 boxes).

Feb 16 09:57

Facebook s New Terms Of Service "We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever."

Now, anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later. Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content. They can even sublicense it if they want.

Feb 15 19:38

Harry Markopolos' Big Error...

if Harry Markopolos had taken all of his evidence about Bernie Madoff and put it on a blog, instead of submitting it to the SEC, there's a good chance that would have been the end of Madoff right there. All the time Markopolos was talking to the WSJ, trying to get them to run a story about Madoff, would have been much better spent setting up an anonymous Wordpress blog and just putting the information and analysis out there himself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A word to the wise for all the other Harry Markopolis' out there.

Feb 14 20:35

Clock ticking on worm attack code

Experts are warning that hackers have yet to activate the payload of the Conficker virus.

The worm is spreading through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without current security updates.

Feb 14 18:53

Computer virus invades German defence computers

A computer virus which has already hit defence computers in Britain and France has spread to German military systems, the Defence Ministry in Berlin said Saturday. The Conficker computer worm has exasperated computer users right around the globe in recent weeks, but security-conscious military users had been thought to be better prepared to repel it.

The spokesman said several German armed forces sites had to be disconnected from the military network after hundreds of computers were taken over by Conficker.

Don't it make you feel safe knowing that the "defenders of the free world" can't even apply a much publicised computer patch.

Feb 14 17:53

MS sued for charging for Vista-XP downgrade

Microsoft has been sued this week over claims that the necessity to pay for its Vista-to-XP downgrade program abuses the company's Windows monopoly. Filed in a Seattle federal district court, the lawsuit found by the Seattle Times accuses Microsoft of violating Washington state business and consumer protection laws by creating an unfair license that cost plaintiff Emma Alvarado $59.25 to revert from Windows Vista Business to XP Professional when she bought a Lenovo notebook in June 2008.

She believes Microsoft has knowingly exploited Vista's poor reputation and created a captive audience which has no choice but to pay a significant amount to use an operating system it believes is more compatible and reliable.

Feb 14 11:05

Final Economic Stimulus Bill Permits Americans' Personal Health Information to Be Sold for Research and Public Health Purposes WITHOUT Patients' Consent

The final economic stimulus bill permits Americans' personal health information to be exchanged and sold -- without patients' consent -- for research and public-health purposes, warns the Institute for Health Freedom (Washington, DC) and Citizens' Council on Health Care (Saint Paul, MN).

Feb 14 07:08

Military Laptops For Sale on Pakistan's Black Market

Peshawar, Pakistan, has always had a reputation as a smuggler's paradise, the perfect place to score a 3,000 rupee Kalashnikov knockoff, a rusty Lee-Enfield or a nice block of hash. And as GlobalPost correspondent Shahan Mufti discovered, it's also a place where you can buy some off-the-shelf U.S. military equipment.

Mufti recently paid a visit to the Sitara Market on the city's western edge, and was able to pick up a ruggedized U.S. military laptop for $650. The laptop, which looks like it is part of a vehicle diagnostics kit, came with clear U.S. military markings. According to the story, the laptop also stored "identities of numerous military personnel and information about weaknesses and flaws in American military vehicles being employed in the war in Afghanistan."

Feb 14 07:04

Canadian judge: No warrant needed to see ISP logs

A Superior Court in Ontario, Canada has ruled that IP addresses are akin to your home address, and therefore people have no expectation of privacy when it comes to their online activities being accessed by law enforcement. This means that, in Canada, police can potentially request information from your ISP about online activities, and can do so without a warrant.

Feb 13 15:16

Party like it's 1234567890

This is one of those tidbits only a true geek will appreciate. For those of us who are completely out of the Unix loop, the operating system measures time by counting seconds from January 1, 1970. Needless to say, quite a few seconds have passed in the past 39 years and today, at 6:31:30 PM EST, that magical number will reach the wonderfully sequential 1,234,567,890 mark.

Feb 13 15:05

Why Google's Software Update Tool Is Evil

The recently released desktop app Google Earth 5 contained a little surprise for many Mac OS X users — it installed Google's automated Update Engine without clearly asking.

Worse, the latest version of Google Earth won't work without the Update Engine running in the background.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Google's arrogance is getting into Microsoft country.

Feb 13 09:03

Microsoft Terrified Companies Won't Upgrade To Windows 7

While a Vista-to-7 upgrade seems easy, upgrading from XP-to-7 (or even XP-to-Vista, which is how Microsoft got stuck in this hole in the first place) is a major headache. For an enterprise client with thousands (or tens of thousands) of PCs, upgrading off XP could easily be the most difficult and/or expensive IT deployment a company will undertake all year.

We heard CEO Steve Ballmer tell CIO mag that corporations should move to Windows 7 because "people will ask their boss why the heck they don't have the stuff they have at home." Now that's not the stuff corporate buying decisions are made of, and Steve is smart enough to know that. Which underscores how Microsoft is grasping at straws to get their corporate customers to undertake major IT upgrades amidst the recession.

Feb 12 19:37

Microsoft Offers $250K to Catch Worm Creators

Microsoft has offered a $250,000 bounty for the creators of the dreaded Conficker worm, which has infected 10 million computers worldwide, PC Magazine reports. The software giant is working with security firms and domain name administrator ICANN to find the culprits, whose virus exploits a vulnerability in Windows. Microsoft helped catch a worm author in 2005 with a reward of the same size.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'll throw in an official WRH coffee mug AND a bag of Kona coffee!

Feb 12 14:35

Malware writers target Digg with fake celebrity stories

Where the Web goes, the malware authors follow, and that's doubly true when it comes to websites like Digg that rely on their userbase to submit content. Some of the headlines might never catch your eye, but just a few might—and they don't lead anywhere good.

Feb 12 14:27

New law to give police access to online exchanges

The Conservative government is preparing sweeping new eavesdropping legislation that will force Internet service providers to let police tap exchanges on their systems - but will likely reignite fear that Big Brother will be monitoring the private conversations of Canadians.

Feb 12 09:43

Councils to be given power to snoop on calls and emails

Towns halls, along with police, security services and other public bodies will be able to view "communications" details of any one suspected of crime.

But critics fear the move will simply pave the way for authorities to spy on millions of citizens and taxpayers.

The power is contained in a new statutory order quietly laid before parliament yesterday.

If approved, it will come into effect from next month and cost the public more than £46 million to set up and run over the next eight years.

Feb 12 08:23

New Windows virus attacks PHP, HTML, and ASP scripts

Researchers have identified a new strain of malware that can spread rapidly from machine to machine using a variety of infection techniques, including the poisoning of webservers, which then go on to contaminate visitors.

The malware is a variation of a rapidly mutating virus alternately known as Virut and Virux. It has long proved adept at injecting itself into executable files, which are then able to attack uninfected machines through network drives and USB sticks.

The variant, which Microsoft is calling Virus:Win32/Virus.BM, is also able to infect web scripts based on languages such as PHP, ASP, and HTML. Servers that become infected include an iframe in webpages that attempt to spread malware to visitors.

Feb 12 08:18

Phorm: damn the EU, full speed ahead!

The EU has some tough questions for the UK government about why it never prosecuted advertising firm Phorm for its secret trials. Not that Phorm sounds worried; the company's CEO pledges the system will be live in the UK by the end of 2009.

Feb 11 19:59

UK party edits Wikipedia to support leader's claim

When checking facts with Wikipedia it helps to know who edited the entry last.

In their weekly debate Wednesday in the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and would-be prime minister David Cameron clashed over — of all things — how old the Renaissance painter Titian was when he died.

Titian came up at Prime Minister's Question Time as Cameron asserted that Brown never got his facts right.

"You told us the other day you were like Titian aged 90. The fact is Titian died at 86," the leader of the Conservative Party told the Labour prime minister.

Within minutes, a Wikipedia user registered at Conservative party headquarters logged on and changed Titian's date of death from 1576 to 1572 to conform with Cameron's statement.

Feb 11 19:42

What's so bad about XP?

I prefer XP because, unlike Vista, I don't need to worry about the quality of my GPU or how much RAM my computer has. It just works with what I have. More importantly, I find that Vista is much slower, even with better components, than a comparably equipped XP machine. For a newer OS, that's unacceptable.

From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense to keep XP for now. The enterprise is still upset about Vista's compatibility issues when it first launched and because it's so resource-intensive, many companies would need to update their machines just to deploy the OS.

Feb 11 17:24

US lawmaker injects ISP throttle into Obama rescue package

US Senator Dianne Feinstein hopes to update President Barack Obama's $838bn economic stimulus package so that American ISPs can deter child pornography, copyright infringement, and other unlawful activity by way of "reasonable network management."

Clearly, a lobbyist whispering in Feinstein's ear has taken Comcast's now famous euphemism even further into the realm of nonsense.

According to Public Knowledge, Feinstein's network management amendment did not find a home in the stimulus bill that landed on the Senate floor. But lobbyists speaking with the Washington DC-based internet watchdog said that California's senior Senator is now hoping to insert this language via conference committee - a House-Senate pow-wow were bill disputes are resolved.

Feb 11 15:28

IRS warns against e-mail filing scam

El Pasoans beware of an e-mail scam that is making the rounds.

The e-mail claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and asks people to complete a W-4100B2 form. The form asks for a name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, bank account and other personal information.

The e-mail states, "Our records indicate that you are a non-resident alien. As a result, you are exempted from United States of America tax reporting and withholdings. ... Therefore, you are to authenticate the following by completing form W-4100B2, and return to us as soon as possible through the fax number: +1-646-519-7245."

Clay Sanford, an IRS spokesman, said the e-mail has the IRS seal and may look real.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not just El Paso. I just got one here.

Feb 11 13:22

Western Digital Passport USB Portable Hard Drive (160GB, black)

It seemed ok in the beginning - installed itself quickly and easily, and started humming along as I moved my 120 GB of music from my brand new XP desktop to the drive. But when I checked on it an hour later, there was an error, saying the drive was not recognized. I tried different USB ports, which would work for a few seconds, and then again, the drive wouldn't be recognized.

I tested my USB ports with other devices - all were fine. When I called WDC Customer Support, they told me the drive does not work with front USB ports (not close enough to the motherboard), but the cord is too short to use it effectively on the back ports. I tried it anyway - doesn't work. There are no drivers to download, no fixes, it's just a bad drive. Apparently this is a common issue.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes it is, because my Western Digital Passport drive did the exact same thing. It will work with one laptop, but not my main desktop machine (the one I am typing this post on). It will work with the VISTA machine but only though a rear USB port, not the front one.

Now, this review of this product dates to 2 years ago. And yet, this item is still being offered for sale! Shades of the Parnell guy ordering his peanut company to ship out peanuts laced with Salmonella!

And yes, I am still in a very negative mood about American products after those made-in-the-USA Duracall batteries leaked and ruined my Mead Captureview binocular/camera a few days ago, not to mention anything sold by Microsoft. So yeah, I am pissed off and not at all tolerant of crappy American products.

But here is my point. After I pulled this drive out to use it to make an offsite copy of WRH's source tree, and found I could not get it to work any more (like the author of the linked piece, the drive worked the very first time I tried it, then decided to piss me off), I did a web search and I found TONS of complaints about this drive and model, and astonishingly, an overwhelming amount of "consumer reports" on supposedly unbiased computer information websites which lauded this drive to the high heavens!

So, one of two cases applies. Either these supposedly unbiased computer information websites which lauded this drive to the high heavens were testing something other than what is really being sold to us consumers, or, these supposedly unbiased computer information websites which lauded this drive to the high heavens are biased, which means their websites are just covert advertising for whoever hands them the most cash.

Bottom line. If the US cannot make products like batteries that don't leak and disk drives that operate longer than a few weeks, then our nation is in far worse trouble than we thought.

Feb 11 11:21

Fleischer: I kept Bush from calling on 'dotcoms and oddballs'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now I am pissed!

Feb 11 09:55

Intruder Hacks Into Colorado Woman's Facebook Page

Over the weekend Gamberg received a phone call from a Facebook friend from out of state.

"She's said 'Donna Lu, please call me as soon as you get this message. Somebody is ... I'm chatting with you and it sounds like you need help, and so I'm very worried,'" she said.

Someone had hacked into Gamberg's Facebook account and had started chatting.

Her poser wrote "I'm in London. I've been robbed. Send money."

Feb 10 08:04

Spate of 'zombie' attacks hit road signs

Pranksters in at least three states are messing with electronic road signs meant to warn motorists of possible traffic problems by putting drivers on notice about zombies and raptors. Highway officials aren't amused.

The latest breach came Tuesday morning near the St. Louis suburb of Collinsville, Ill., where hackers changed a sign on southbound Interstate 255 to read, "Daily Lane Closures Due To Zombies."

A day earlier in Indiana's Hamilton County, the electronic message in a construction zone warned drivers of "Raptors Ahead — Caution."

Feb 09 09:14

Australian Minister talks Internet Censorship as Victoria burns

As we’ve reported regularly over the last two days, Victoria, Australia has experienced the worst natural disaster in Australian history. As I type this post, the official death toll has risen to 130, with up to 200 people believed dead.

It’s a tragedy beyond all reckoning. So what do you think the Australian Minister for Censorship Senator Stephen Conroy was doing?

Well he was promoting the Australian Governments censorship proposal.

Feb 09 07:53

Apple blocks Bush shoe throwing game from App Store

However, the developer of the title has claimed that the game was removed from the App Store, with a message from Apple stating: “We cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ridiculing public figures is protected free speech under the First Amendment.

Feb 09 07:11

Ballmer: Stay on Windows XP and you will face a backlash

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is warning IT organisations that they risk provoking an end user backlash if they don’t move off the XP operating system.

The word "desperation" springs to mind.

Feb 09 07:04

Google is watching

'THERE was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment . . . It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time."

That quote from George Orwell's "1984" becomes increasingly prescient in light of developments in eavesdropping, pioneered by Google. Recently the company launched a service called Latitude, which allows consenting users to monitor each other's whereabouts. It's the company's latest snooping tool, the most controversial being the Street Views photographic mapping service.

When I tried Street Views by entering my address, I was surprised to see that with a single click a truly Orwellian image popped onto the screen: my house, my car, the newspaper in the driveway.

Feb 08 10:41

Alternative to Google search engine.

A search engine that does not track you.Google has become a bad habit for many I believe.
Clutchy is also available as a Firefox tool bar.
The Clusty Toolbar for Firefox offers several unique features to help you find information more quickly and easily than ever before.

Now search engines want to know you very well indeed: your queries, the pages you visit, the books you buy, the email you send, your age, sex, zip code, etc. etc. This new world is an inviting target of snoops or agencies that want to analyze, censor, or monitor you.

We at Clusty don't track you. Our toolbar doesn't track you. We don't want to know your email address.

Just search, all the time. No questions asked.

Feb 08 10:35

Why Facebook Isn’t Poised to Steal Twitter’s Thunder

Facebook announced a set of changes to its platform that make it easier for third-party applications to exchange data about users’ status messages, notes, shared links, and videos.

Feb 08 08:28

French fighter planes grounded by computer virus

The aircraft were unable to download their flight plans after databases were infected by a Microsoft virus they had already been warned about several months beforehand.

Feb 08 00:29

Sure, the Googlebots know your deepest secrets - but it's worth it

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No it isn't.

Feb 08 00:25

Warning on US online entry

Websites are charging tourists for a service that is free. Conrad Walters reports.

Feb 07 08:24

Gary McKinnon profile: Autistic 'hacker' who started writing computer programs at 14

From the bedroom of his girlfriend's aunt's house in north London, he hacked into 97 America military computers at the Pentagon and Nasa between 2001 and 2002.

McKinnon was caught in 2002 as he tried to download a grainy black-and-white photograph he believed was an alien spacecraft on a Nasa computer housed in the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas.

Feb 06 07:47

Girl's 22,795 text messages in a month nothing to celebrate

"What a pathetic story!! This is what is happening to our society -- why don't we all withdraw within the confines of our cell phones and spend all of our time texting, while fracturing our English language, and quit openly socializing with others. She also would make a great employee spending all her time texting instead of being a productive member of any team."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"She should put down that cell phone and watch ABCNNBBCBS as God intended, dammit!!!"

Feb 06 06:26

Beware Of Latest Scheme Targeting Social Networking Sites

Last week, Bryan Rutberg's Facebook page fell into the wrong hands and a strange message appeared.

"It changed to "BRYAN IS IN URGENT NEED OF HELP!", all caps, exclamation point," Rutberg said. "I guess that is the way the scammer set the table for reaching out to my friends."

Rutberg couldn't access his own account because a hacker changed the password and was posing as Bryan.

That hacker was chatting by instant message with the friends listed on Bryan's Facebook page, telling them a harrowing story.

"The story was I'm stuck here in London," Rutberg said. "I was on vacation at a resort. We were held up at gunpoint and now I have no way to get back home. Please send money."

Feb 05 22:34

Palin rails against 'anonymous, pathetic bloggers'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Actually, Sarah, the only reason we pay any attention to you at all is that you won't SHUT THE @#$% UP!

Feb 05 19:39

Multiple Vulnerabilities in Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers

Multiple vulnerabilities exist in the Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers (WLCs), Cisco Catalyst 6500 Wireless Services Modules (WiSMs), and Cisco Catalyst 3750 Integrated Wireless LAN Controllers. This security advisory outlines details of the following vulnerabilities:

  • Denial of Service Vulnerabilities (total of three)
  • Privilege Escalation Vulnerability
Feb 05 14:26

Watch a live video, share your PC with CNN

Many people who watched live streaming video of the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama on Jan. 20 may not realize that their PC was used to send the video to other PCs, too.

Clicking "yes" to a CNN.com dialog box installed a peer-to-peer (P2P) application that uses your Internet bandwidth rather than CNN's to send live video to other viewers.

Feb 05 11:12

Fake parking tickets direct to malicious Web site

In a scary online-offline Internet scam, hybrid cars in North Dakota have been tagged with fake parking citations that include a Web address hosting malicious software that drops a Trojan onto the computer.

The yellow tickets found on the cars in Grand Forks, North Dakota, read "PARKING VIOLATION This vehicle is in violation of standard parking regulations. To view pictures with information about your parking preferences, go to" and gave a Web site, according to a blog posting on the SANS Internet Storm Center site.

Feb 04 22:29

Malware distributed by fake parking tickets

The flyers were fake parking violation notices, and instructed people to visit a website (which SANS did not publicize). Once they visited the website, they were infected with a malicious browser helper object.

From the post:

"The initial program installed itself as a browser helper object (BHO) for Internet Exploter that downloaded a component from childhe.com and attempted to trick the victim into installing a fake anti-virus scanner from bestantispyware securityscan.com and protectionsoft warecheck.com."

Feb 04 07:54

Google Offers "Latitude" To Track People

It is designed to work on any phone with Internet capabilities, except the iPhone.

Feb 04 07:12

Coming to a street near you: The camera that measures your average speed - but won't let you know if you go over the limit

Many motorway drivers will have seen the yellow cameras hanging over the road - recording and calculating their average speed along a specific stretch of highway.

Now, the average speed check cameras, which have been trialled on 200 sections of motorway, could be deployed in residential areas.

Feb 04 03:25

We know where you are: Google lets users track friends and family through their mobiles

Internet users are used to sharing minute details of their lives through social networks such as Facebook.

Feb 04 03:20

New .tel Domain Aims to be 'Phonebook for the Net'

You might think that the last thing the internet needs is another top-level domain. Website owners can already choose between more than 200 possible endings for their internet addresses, ranging from the familiar .com to the exotic .xn-zckzah. But starting today, anyone in the world will be able to buy a domain ending in .tel – and the company selling them is convinced they will help to make the internet easier to navigate, not less.

Feb 03 21:28

SpySkype.C Trojan Wants to Talk to You!

Panda Security’s weekly report on viruses and intruders (1/30/2009) provides details on a recently discovered Skype Trojan classified by Panda as SpySkype.C. The initial objective of this malware is to steal the user’s login details.

According to Panda, the Trojan achieves its ends by convincing the user that a new Skype plug-in, Skype-Defender has been loaded onto the potential victim’s computer. As is common with this type of parasite, user action is then required to complete the infection.

Feb 03 16:46

PayPal Sucks

Webmaster's Commentary: 

NOTICE: Users of AVG anti-virus are reporting that visiting this website triggers an warning of malicious code. I cannot see it, and it does not show up on any non-AVG tools. AVG has a bad reputation for false-positives, so exercise the appropriate cautions.

Feb 03 15:05

'NYT' refused to run Bill Moyers's letter intact

A fine column by Eric Alterman in the Nation, echoing David Grossman's outrage over Gaza (see bottom of excerpt) and saying that the New York Times refused to run intact Bill Moyers's letter defending himself on Gaza after he was slagged by Bill Kristol. I don't think this would happen on the internet, by the way.

Feb 03 09:24

So is Wikipedia cracking up?

It was a utopian vision: an encyclopedia for the people, by the people. But eight years on, Wikipedia is plagued by endless hoaxes, riven by boardroom rebellion – and lurches from one cash crisis to another. Will it become a footnote in the history of the web?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wikipedia destroyed its own credibility when it began to enforce a particular editorial bias.

And I think my own case illustrates the point.

At one time there were articles at Wikipedia about Whatreallyhappened and about Michael Rivero. Then a wiki user made some changes to both articles making claims and accusations which were "exaggerated" to say the least. Under the rules of Wiki I was allowed to correct the errors and I did. Then the errors were put back in. I corrected. The errors were put back in and the article locked against changes. When I complained, Wiki told me (I am not kidding you) that Michael Rivero was not considered an authoritative source on the subject of Michael Rivero. When readers complained, Wiki simply deleted the articles and all subsequent attempts by my readers to create new ones.

Many others have also noticed a clear bias in Wiki's articles and edits, and because Wiki now comports itself along the same lines as the corporate media, it has lost the trust of the consumer who views corporate media as little more then paid advertising for vested interests.

I am not surprised Wiki has hit hard times. They abandoned their original purpose of a pure online democracy in favor of enforcing their editorial view of the world on everyone else, and We the People have already had our fill of that kind of thinking.

Feb 03 08:39

Google executives facing jail in Italy over a video

Peter Fleischer and three other Google executives face criminal charges in Italy over the posting of a video showing a disabled teen being harassed by peers. They face up to a maximum of 36 months if convicted on the charges.

"It's akin to prosecuting mail service employees for hate speech letters sent in the post," a Google spokeswoman said in an e-mail. "Seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We cannot try a President who orders torture of innocent people, but we'll bitch-slap the Google execs for a video to prove that we are a species that respects the law!

Feb 03 06:53

Windows Vista stuck on single digit enterprise adoption

Just over two years since Microsoft launched Windows Vista, fewer than 10 per cent of PCs in the enterprise are running the successor to the company's eight-year-old Windows XP.

That compares to last July when Forrester reportedly said Windows Vista adoption was at 8.8 per cent and Windows XP was at 87.1 per cent. In that report, Forrester said Windows Vista was like "new Coke", which was killed by its corporate parent because nobody like it.

Clearly, little has changed since then, with the analyst shifting its emphasis to say Windows Vista is powering "just fewer than 10 per cent of all PCs within enterprises."

Feb 02 11:33

Windows 7

Feb 02 11:24

Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree

Feb 02 10:39

DESERTPEACE IS BACK!

There was an ‘interruption in service’ yesterday on this Blog. If you logged in you were greeted by a message informing you that my Blog had been suspended due to a violation of the Terms of Service.

As this was not the case, I informed WordPress administration and they quickly reinstated my blogging priveleges…

Feb 02 08:15

Windows 7 Will Not Sway XP Users

Why such dire predictions for Windows 7 ability to convert Windows XP users? As I've said, Windows 7 will do very well but just not with XP users. Like our new President Barak Obama, Windows 7 is overburdened with expectations from many constituents, especially Windows XP users who've strongly resisted moving to Vista. Windows 7 has a lot of making up to do for the Windows Vista debacle and that clearly is Windows 7's aim. But merely achieving par with what Vista promised to be at its launch more than two years ago isn't compelling enough to move XP users from their now hardened position about upgrading.

Feb 02 08:11

Your ISP is watching you

Since last autumn, BT – under the "Webwise" banner – has been trialling a technology called Phorm, which dials direct into your internet service provider's network and intercepts communications between you and the websites you visit, using information about the sorts of things you are viewing to serve you targeted ads.

Feb 01 20:42

SWAT teams deployed in 911 fraud

They were victims of a new kind of telephone fraud that exploits a weakness in the way the 911 system handles calls from Internet-based phone services. The attacks — called "swatting" because armed police SWAT teams usually respond — are virtually unstoppable, and an Associated Press investigation found that budget-strapped 911 centers are essentially defenseless without an overhaul of their computer systems.

Feb 01 18:13

Networking site cashes in on friends

Facebook is planning to exploit the vast amount of personal information it holds on its 150m members by creating one of the world's largest market research databases.

In an attempt to finally monetise the social networking site, once valued at $15bn (£10.4bn), it will soon allow multinational companies to selectively target its members in order to research the appeal of new products. Companies will be able to pose questions to specially selected members based on such intimate details as whether they are single or married and even whether they are gay or straight.

Feb 01 10:02

Google blacklists entire internet

Glitch causes world's most popular search engine to classify all web pages as dangerous.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe Google should quit trying to decide for us what pages we should and should not visit. If they detect malicious code on a server TURN THEM INTO THE POLICE!

Feb 01 10:00

Fines fraud hits Italian drivers

Thousands of drivers in Italy are expected to seek compensation after it was revealed that a system to catch them jumping red lights was rigged.

Feb 01 09:18

Firms back data protection pledge

Firms are being encouraged to back a pledge to safeguard the data they hold about citizens and customers.

Drafted by the Information Commissioner, the Personal Information Promise tries to improve respect for the data companies have gathered.

Feb 01 09:04

Broadband link to U.S. jobs exaggerated: experts

A co-author of a widely cited forecast that nearly 300,000 U.S. jobs would be created for every percentage point rise in high-speed Internet use said these and similar estimates are "a gross overestimate."

Feb 01 08:07

[Video] Charts Music - Songsmith fed with Stock Charts

Melodies derived from Stock Charts, arranged with Songsmith, the Microsoft Composition Tool.

Feb 01 06:43

Cybercrime threat rising sharply

The threat of cybercrime is rising sharply, experts have warned at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

They called for a new system to tackle well-organised gangs of cybercriminals.

Feb 01 06:12

Police agencies seek right to jam cell signals

Wireless industry worries about expansion of technology's use

As President Obama's motorcade rolled down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, federal authorities deployed a closely held law enforcement tool: equipment that can jam cellphones and other wireless devices to foil remote-controlled bombs, sources said

Jan 31 18:49

Millions hit by Google 'breakdown'

Google users around the world have been hit by a malfunction that incorrectly reports every other website as potentially harmful.

Jan 31 10:28

Google FAIL!

Ok, this seems to be the biggest screwup Google ever made.

There were error messages “This site may harm your computer” for anything you searched no matter what browser you used or country you were from. The erros seems to be fixed now but I still have the screenshots.

Jan 31 08:19

Over 90% Emails Are Spam & Malware

Out of all the email messages analyzed, 89.88% turned out to be spam and 1.11% were infected with some type of malware. In the last three months of the year, 301,000 zombie computers were activated and used for distributing spam

"For companies, spam is more than just a nuisance: It consumes bandwidth, wastes employees' time and can even cause system malfunctions. In the end, it all results in a loss of productivity," Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And the government that proclaims how successful it is at hunting down terrorists can't do a thing about it.

Jan 31 05:11

Computer has eye for suspicious behavior

A computerized surveillance system in the works could help decide which, with its wide-angle panoramic shots, location tracking software and ‘smart’ video cameras that flag suspicious behavior

Jan 30 19:05

Comcast Labels Innocent Customer a Movie Pirate

Dave Satz wrote in to inform us that one of his friends was served with a DMCA takedown notice a few weeks ago. His friend, John Aprigliano, had allegedly downloaded a CAM release of “Cadillac Records”, without ever having heard of the movie. Although these takedown notices are just a formality and intended to scare the recipient, John decided to contact his ISP and ask for clarification.

After four calls to Comcast support the truth came out. The infringement notice was forwarded to the wrong person because the MAC-address of John’s old modem was still linked to his account. The Comcast techs eventually corrected the mistake, but this case yet again shows how inaccurate takedown notices can be.

Jan 30 19:01

Thousands join email privacy campaign

When Jacqui Smith unveiled Home Office proposals to track the emails, telephone calls and text messages of every member of the public, she might have got more than she bargained for.

Thousands of civil liberties campaigners are planning to flood the Home Secretary's inbox by copying her in on every email they send on June 15.

Martin Allan Gray, an account manager from Dulwich, south-east London, is spearheading the campaign. He said his intention is to send the message: "You want to see our emails? OK then, here they are then!"

Jan 30 18:58

Microsoft force-installs Firefox extension

I haven’t worked with Visual Studio and .NET for a while, but in my current project that’s the platform. I downloaded a necessary update, and as it turned out, Microsoft hit a new low…

Jan 29 19:13

Welcome to the brave new world of broadband for all – and Big Brother

A rights agency will help to deal with piracy issues, funded by a levy on internet providers and music and film companies — effectively a tax on broadband subscribers and CD and DVD buyers. Lord Carter did not say how much the levy would be, but some Whitehall insiders have suggested a figure amounting to £20 per broadband connection per year.

Jan 29 15:29

Cigarette lighter camera shows there's nothing more patriotic than espionage

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oooooooh, I just GOTTA have one! :)

Jan 29 10:18

Irish ISP will disconnect Internet users after three unsubstantiated copyright claims

Eircom, a major Irish ISP, will now disconnect its users from the Internet if they receive three unsubstantiated copyright infringement claims from the record labels. The record labels are vowing to hold other ISPs to the same deal, which is part of a court settlement in a lawsuit against Eircom.

Jan 29 09:43

Google out to expose Internet traffic chokers

Google has begun offering tools to expose Internet service providers (ISPs) that choke traffic or shift users into slow lanes while allowing others to zip along at high speeds.

Jan 29 09:40

Google Sets up Online Broadband Testing Lab

Google Inc. and two nonprofit partners Wednesday launched a Web site that lets consumers test their Internet connections to reveal possible interference and traffic management by service providers.

Jan 29 08:53

Pro-Israel media: Bloggers join media war

Some 1,000 new immigrants and foreign-language-speaking Jews volunteer to army of bloggers set up by Absorption Ministry and Foreign Ministry with the stated objective of flooding blogs with pro-Israel opinions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hitler had a huge propaganda operation, too.

It didn't work.

Jan 29 08:46

£20 broadband charge to fight online music and film piracy

The agency would act as a broker between music and film companies and internet service providers (ISPs). It would provide data about serial copyright-breakers to music and film companies if they obtained a court order. It would be paid for by a levy on ISPs, who inevitably would pass the cost on to consumers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, all the law abiding computer users get to pay for the pirates' "free" music.

So these bozos are no longer simply stealing from the music and film companies, they are effectively stealing from all of us.

Jan 29 07:19

College student wins free-speech spat ... but what about next one?

News comes via the Electronic Frontier Foundation that Michigan State University has dropped disciplinary action against a student who had been accused of spamming and network abuse because she sent e-mail about a controversial campus matter to 391 faculty members.

Jan 29 04:15

The RealNews Network Malware attack.

I logged on to that site and my Security software alerted me to the following.

11:47:27 Firefox Denied: HEUR:Trojan.Script.Iframer

and

Firefox Denied: Exploit.JS.Pdfka.ec

An Exploit is software or code that targets security vulnerabilities, usually in the operating system or browser, but may also target vulnerabilities in other programs. Exploits are typically used to install malicious software on the victim's computer without the victim's knowledge or consent. An Exploit may be used to install malware that gives the attacker complete access to and control of the affected computer from a remote location.

update.More here on that threat.
Sun Java JDK / JRE Multiple Vulnerabilities

Jan 28 08:17

Wikipedia, I'm Not Dead Yet!

Wikipedia never ceases to amaze (well almost never). The online source of everything you ever wanted to know, provides information on virtually any topic or person and can update itself as quickly as news is breaking.

Jan 27 16:32

Wiki editors trying to cover up that Richard Fuld is Jewish?

Jan 27 14:32

Google's 'online' GDrive will make the PC redundant

The proposed new Google GDrive could kill off the personal computer, experts have warned.

Jan 27 11:07

Online privacy tips for teens ... and the adults who ignore them

Jan 27 09:27

More Malware Targeting Users of Pirated Software for Mac

Users of pirated software have a new headache to worry about. For the second time in less than two weeks, malware targeting Mac computers has surfaced on the Web.

According to an advisory from Intego, OSX.Trojan.iServices.B is a variant of the iServices Trojan the company found last week targeting pirated copies of iWork '09. This time, the malware has its sights set on versions of Adobe Photoshop CS4 downloaded via BitTorrent trackers and other sites containing links to pirated software.

“The actual Photoshop installer is clean, but the Trojan horse is found in a crack application that serializes the program,” Intego’s advisory reads.

Jan 27 09:22

Man 'finds US troop data' on MP3

A New Zealand man says he found confidential data about US military personnel on an MP3 player he bought from a thrift shop in Oklahoma.

Chris Ogle, 29, said: "The more I look at it, the more I see and the less I think I should be looking."

The files included names and telephone numbers of American soldiers, according to reports by TV New Zealand.

Jan 27 07:45

Wikipedia editors may approve all changes

Wikipedia faces a revolt among thousands of its contributors over proposals to change the way the online encyclopedia is run.

Until now, Wikipedia has allowed anybody to make instant changes to almost all of its 2.7m entries, with only a handful of entries protected from being altered.

But under proposals put forward by the website's co-founder Jimmy Wales, many future changes to the site would need to be approved by a group of editors before going live.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Which means censorship and filtering, the very things Wikipedia claimed to oppose at the start.

A little history:

Wikipedia used to have articles about whatreallyhappened.com and Michael Rivero. Both were filled with inaccuracies, so I undertook to correct them. My changes were deleted! I did the edits again. Again my changes were deleted and the articles locked against further changes with the explanation that I was not considered an expert on Michael Rivero. When I pointed out that I am Michael Rivero, the articles were deleted. Further attempts to create new articles by my readers are consistently blocked.

So, far from being a people's encyclopedia, Wikipedia is just another controlled media outlet.

Jan 27 07:39

Gary McKinnon believes in little green men – but it doesn't make him a terrorist

To listen to the ravings of the US military, you would think that Mr McKinnon is a threat to national security on a par with Osama bin Laden. According to the Americans, this mild-mannered computer programmer has done more damage to their war-fighting capabilities than all the orange-pyjama-clad suspects of Guantanamo combined.

And how? He is a hacker. He hacked into the Pentagon, he hacked into the army, the navy, and the air force, and the Americans say he temporarily paralysed US Naval Weapons station Earle, by deleting some files.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'm convinced; hang the bastard! TWICE!

Jan 27 07:38

Hackers steal details of 4.5m users of Monster.co.uk in Britain's biggest cyber theft case

The personal details of 4.5 million people have been stolen from a recruitment website in Britain's biggest case of cyber theft.

Jan 26 12:59

Macs hit with BitTorrent-embedded malware attack

For years, Mac users have long been rightfully smug about their platform's relative immunity to virus and malware attacks, but it's inevitable that those days will eventually come to an end. (As the Mac gains in popularity, it also earns more attention from malware developers, and it's this lack of malware being actively developed, not some special, inherent security, that have really kept the Mac a "safe" platform for the time being.)

Now we're seeing one of the first moderately-sized exploits to take advantage of Mac users.

Jan 26 09:56

Mystery virus hits 15 million PCs around the world

A mysterious computer virus, the purpose of which has yet to become apparent, is spreading so fast that it has already infected more than 15 million computers around the world. Some six million machines have been contaminated in the past three days alone by the virus, a worm known as Downadup, Conficker or Kido.

More than 3,000 British organisations – including hospitals, the Ministry of Defence, councils, and what are described as "well-known firms" – have been hit. They and the hundreds of thousands of other victim organisations in countries such as the US, Russia, China and India are now bracing themselves for the virus to be triggered and do whatever malicious work it has been designed to do.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who wants the blog-o-sphere silenced right now?

Had it not been for the internet and the blogs, Israel would have succeeded in selling the idea that the attack on Gaza was all HAMAS' fault.

When Tzipi Livni got up and stated flat out that there were no civilian casualties in Gaza. she did so because she honestly believed that all contradictory information would be blocked from reaching the world.

She was wrong. Photos of dead children were already in wide circulation even as she stood at the podium.

Israel has invested much of the money they get from the taxpayers to buy up and control the media (see BBC). This PR disaster over the last month has finally made them realize that the precious control over the information of the world has been lost; the high ground in the war for the minds of the people is here on the net. If Israel cannot control that (and they are trying) then they will lose the war of public opinion.

So, to repeat; who wants the blog-o-sphere silenced right now?

Jan 26 09:13

Microsoft misses memo, launches DRM-laden mobile music store

Retailers from Amazon to Real have launched their own DRM-free MP3 music stores in recent years. Faced with the competition, Apple finally put the last nail in the coffin of á la carte music DRM earlier this month with the iTunes Store, but don't tell Microsoft. The world's largest software maker just launched a mobile phone-based music store in the UK that charges nearly twice the price for media while offering even fewer rights.

Jan 25 12:20

Mystery virus hits 15 million PCs around the world

A mysterious computer virus, the purpose of which has yet to become apparent, is spreading so fast that it has already infected more than 15 million computers around the world. Some six million machines have been contaminated in the past three days alone by the virus, a worm known as Downadup, Conficker or Kido.

Jan 25 12:09

Worm infects millions of computers worldwide

A new digital plague has hit the Internet, infecting millions of personal and business computers in what seems to be the first step of a multistage attack. The world's leading computer security experts do not yet know who programmed the infection, or what the next stage will be.

In recent weeks a worm, a malicious software program, has swept through corporate, educational and public computer networks around the world. Known as Conficker or Downadup, it is spread by a recently discovered Microsoft Windows vulnerability, by guessing network passwords and by hand-carried consumer gadgets like USB keys.

How to remove the Downadup and Conficker worm

Jan 25 09:45

CUIL search engine

I decided to test this search engine by typing my wife's name into it, and found that her name had been selected to ride aboard NASA's Stardust Mission possibly because she had sent a copy of her album "Isle of Sanctuary" as a gift for the crew of

Jan 25 09:38

Most Successful U.S. Startups 2008 - Cuil

I'd hate to see a bad startup.

http://www.quantcast.com/cuil.com

Jan 25 09:26

Monster.com suffers database breach deja vu

For the second time in 18 months, employment search site Monster.com has lost a wealth of personal data belonging to millions of job seekers after its database was illegally accessed.

Jan 25 09:22

Microsoft could face $8.5 billion in damages for "Vista Capable" case

The Vista Home Basic lawsuit alleges that Microsoft's Vista Capable program would inflate the prices of PCs that were only capable of running that edition, thus enticing users to purchase machines that would not be able to upgrade to a better version of Vista at a later date.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No, it wasn't, because every single commercial for VISTA showed the Aero interface which would lead any reasonable person to conclude that this was what they were paying (huge bucks) for.

I have a VISTA machine here someone gave me when they found out the BIOS prevented them from installing XP on it, so I have had a chance to look at VISTA Home Basic closely. Frankly, it is a step down from XP, and obviously the features of VISTA shown in the TV commercials are all in the expensive add upgrades. I am probably going to load LINUX on this thing when I am done with the VISTA post-mortem.

Jan 25 09:07

Microsoft to axe 5,000, no job cuts in India

"Microsoft will eliminate up to 5,000 jobs in R&D, HR, marketing, sales, finance, legal, and IT over the next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today," the company said in a statement.

The layoff, however, would not be impacting the Indian operations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Imagine my joy.

Jan 24 14:52

CIA/MOSSAD GENERATED "VERIFY YAHOO ACCOUNT" SCAM/PHISHING/VIRUS

Webmaster's Commentary: 

An expert traces the IP path and finds the source of this virus attack is Israel.

Jan 24 01:11

Should controversial subjects be banned?

3th June, 2008 | Community Management
Should communities ban the discussion of certain topics?

"It’s a fact that some subjects are more controversial than others."

Jan 23 19:56

Microsoft layoffs: Is Vista to blame?

In Microsoft's public speeches and press releases, CEO Steve Ballmer has portrayed Windows Vista as nothing short of a wild success, an operating system that has sold millions of copies to adoring fans worldwide.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When you sell an operating system that takes care of corporations more than it takes care of the users, do not be surprised when people do not want to buy it.

Jan 23 17:25

Windows 7 put up against Vista and XP in hardcore multicore benchmarks, XP wins

Now that the Windows 7 beta is out, the benchmarks are coming fast and furious, and while 7's been previously found to best XP and Vista during "real-world" tasks, it looks like XP is still the outright speed champ on current hardware.

Jan 23 11:50

SHOULD MEMBER STORIES BE MOVED TO A SEPERATE SECTION?

YES - Promoted stories should have a section of their own.
26% (511 votes)
NO - leave the promoted stories in the main article list.
74% (1478 votes)
Total votes: 1989
Jan 23 10:47

You Tube Expands 9/11 Truth Purge

You Tube has permanently suspended another major 9/11 truth account in a continuation of the purge that began following efforts by the establishment to smear the 9/11 truth movement as terrorist propaganda.

You Tube has previously been caught blocking 9/11 truth videos from entering into top ranking charts for both views and comments despite their enduring popularity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The videos can still be seen HERE

PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND SAVE LOCAL COPIES WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

Jan 22 17:17

Seagate offers free data recovery for faulty drives, new firmware

Seagate Technology LLC today is offering free data-recovery services for customers who purchased the company's Barracuda 7200.11 desktop hard drive through December 2008. A firmware bug in those drives has produced a high number of failures.

According to users on Seagate's online support forum the drives tend to freeze for about 30 seconds during I/O transfers of streaming video or when reading or writing files at low speeds.

"We're offering free data recovery because the information on the drives is not deleted. It's just rendered inaccessible by this suspect firmware," said Seagate spokesman Michael Hall.

Jan 22 17:10

MAC HACKERS - Pirated iWork '09 installer may contain trojan horse

Intego, makers of VirusBarrier and other security software for the Macintosh, issued a security alert for Mac users on Thursday, advising them about the existence of a new Trojan Horse, which they’ve named OSX.Trojan.iServices.A. This new Trojan Horse can be found in pirated copies of Apple’s iWork ‘09 application suite, which has been downloaded over 20,000 times, according to Intego’s numbers.

When installing an infected pirated copy of iWork ‘09, an extra iWorkServices package is installed; this installation begins as soon as the user launches the iWork ‘09 installer. This package is installed as a system-wide startup item, where it has read-write permissions as root. In other words, this code can do anything to any part of the system, with full authorization.

Jan 22 15:56

Downvote Bots Fight Propaganda War

Government propagandists, their hired private contractors and useful idiots are creating "downvote bots" or scripts to bury stories which question the government.

Anyone who has posted news items questioning the government's version of 9/11, the government's unquestioning support for Israel, or a host of other topics has probably noticed that all of their recent stories get downvoted virtually simultaneously, which defies the laws of probability.

One free, simple scripting program to create automatic downvotes of certain topics or news posters is called "Greasemonkey", which is commonly used on large social news sites such as Reddit.

Jan 22 10:14

Trojan takes 'Office Space' approach to stealing from phone users

Last week, Kaspersky Lab experts detected a new malicious program for Symbian that targets customers of an Indonesian mobile phone operator. The Trojan is written in Python, a script language. It sends SMS messages to a short number with instructions to transfer part of the money in the user's account to another account, which belongs to the cybercriminals.

There are five known variants of Trojan-SMS.Python.Flocker, from .ab to.af. The amounts transferred range from $0.45 to $0.90. Thus, if the cybercriminals behind the Trojan manage to infect a large number of phones, the amount transferred to their mobile phone account as a result could be quite substantial.

Jan 22 10:07

Microsoft profit misses, to cut up to 5,000 jobs

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I'll bet all the jobs will be from the "let's make the software better" department, while leaving the "Let's make licensing and DRM even more of a headache" department and the "Let's pretend we are fighting off the hackers" department.

Jan 22 05:55

Card Data Breached, Firm Says

A New Jersey credit-card processor disclosed a data breach that analysts said may rank among the biggest ever reported.

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. said Tuesday that cyber criminals compromised its computer network, gaining access to customer information associated with the 100 million card transactions it handles each month.

The company said it couldn't estimate how many customer records may have been improperly accessed, but said the data compromised include the information on a card's magnetic strip -- card number, expiration date and some internal bank codes -- that could be used to duplicate a card.

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