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Connected Car Security

Posted on May 29th, 2016 at 12:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Connecting cars to the Internet and cloud-based services has clear benefits for both drivers and passengers with features ranging from navigation systems with live search functions to streaming audio options. But along with connectivity comes a certain level of risk—cybersecurity concerns recently exposed in hacks of a Jeep SUV and the Nissan Leaf EV (electric vehicle).

Now, experts say, the same connectivity may also offer a solution to this cybersecurity problem, in the form of over-the-air updates.

Think of Windows update fun brought to cars…


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  1. Oh, there used to be that joke about if Windows were a car…

    Not so funny now, huh?

By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates

Posted on May 28th, 2016 at 18:06 by John Sinteur in category: News

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To those who have tried to relate theory to practice, capitalist democracy is neither capitalist nor democratic. Ironically, in the modern era it was Bill Clinton who used this paradox to (his own) best affect by joining politics with economics through ‘micro’ choice in the context of a fixed system of political economy. People are given a choice between capitalist products— Bank of America or Wells Fargo, Coke or Pepsi, and a choice between political products— Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump; Democrats or Republicans. This strategy serves to define the realm of choice in terms beneficial to the providers of these products as well as to give ‘democratic’ credence through the fact of choice, no matter how implausible it may be.

Lesser-evilism is the ‘negative’ choice that leaves this realm of choice intact. In recent polls a majority of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump supporters gave stopping the other candidate as their main reason for supporting their chosen candidate. The problem for  ‘consumer choice’ theories of electoral politics is that ‘consumers’ don’t buy Pepsi to limit Coke consumption— all choices are ‘positive’ in the sense that they are ‘for’ one product or another. When negative votes (votes against one candidate or the other) are added to voters who are registered Independents and eligible non-voters, rejection of the broad system of electoral politics is over 90%. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and their alleged majoritarian views are about as popular as dog feces and pedophilia when the votes, broadly considered, are counted.

What is gained politically from / for this system of electoral politics is the façade of popular consent without the burden of actually getting and keeping it.


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Everything is a Remix: The Force Awakens

Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 23:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Secret Text in Senate Bill Would Give FBI Warrantless Access to Email Records

Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 16:47 by John Sinteur in category: News

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A provision snuck into the still-secret text of the Senate’s annual intelligence authorization would give the FBI the ability to demand individuals’ email data and possibly web-surfing history from their service providers without a warrant and in complete secrecy.

If passed, the change would expand the reach of the FBI’s already highly controversial national security letters. The FBI is currently allowed to get certain types of information with NSLs — most commonly, information about the name, address, and call data associated with a phone number or details about a bank account.

Since a 2008 Justice Department legal opinion, the FBI has not been allowed to use NSLs to demand “electronic communication transactional records,” such as email subject lines and other metadata, or URLs visited.

The spy bill passed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, with the provision in it. The lone no vote came from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who wrote in a statement that one of the bill’s provisions “would allow any FBI field office to demand email records without a court order, a major expansion of federal surveillance powers.”

Wyden did not disclose exactly what the provision would allow, but his spokesperson suggested it might go beyond email records to things like web-surfing histories and other information about online behavior. “Senator Wyden is concerned it could be read that way,” Keith Chu said.


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Revealed: report for Unesco on the Great Barrier Reef that Australia didn’t want world to see

Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 10:55 by John Sinteur in category: News

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This description of the Great Barrier Reef, obtained by Guardian Australia, was written by experts for a Unesco report on tourism and climate change but removed after objections from the Australian government. This draft would have been subject to minor amendments after being peer-reviewed. The lead author, Adam Markham, is deputy director of climate and energy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.


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Dropbox Wants More Access to Your Computer, and People Are Freaking Out

Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 10:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

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On Tuesday, Dropbox published more details about upcoming changes to the company’s desktop client that will allow users to access all of the content in their account as if it is stored on their own machine, no matter how small the hard-disk on their computer.

In other words, you can browse through your own file system and have direct access to your cloud storage, without having to go and open a web browser nor worry about filling up your hard-drive.

Sounds great, but experts and critics have quickly pointed out that Dropbox Infinite, as the technology is called, may open up your computer to more serious vulnerabilities, because it works in a particularly sensitive part of the operating system.

Reminder: former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined DropBox’s board of directors.


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Hussam and The Death Way

Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 9:20 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]


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  1. What a fucked up world we live in.

Google beats Oracle—Android makes “fair use” of Java APIs

Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 23:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Following a two-week trial, a federal jury concluded Thursday that Google’s Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by “fair use.” The verdict was reached after three days of deliberations.


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US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM ‘puter waving 8-inch floppies

Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 11:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Coordinates the operational functions of the United States’ nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts. This system runs on an IBM Series/1 computer — a 1970s computing system — and uses 8-inch floppy disks.

 

Excellent news. That way they’re not part of the IoT, the Internet of Targets.


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What’s driving Silicon Valley to become ‘radicalized’

Posted on May 25th, 2016 at 7:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Like many Silicon Valley start-ups, Larry Gadea’s company collects heaps of sensitive data from his customers.

Recently, he decided to do something with that data trove that was long considered unthinkable: He is getting rid of it.

The reason? Gadea fears that one day the FBI might do to him what it did to Apple in their recent legal battle: demand that he give the agency access to his encrypted data. Rather than make what he considers a Faustian bargain, he’s building a system that he hopes will avoid the situation entirely.


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Google plans to bring password-free logins to Android apps by year-end

Posted on May 24th, 2016 at 23:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Google’s plan to eliminate passwords in favor of systems that take into account a combination of signals – like your typing patterns, your walking patterns, your current location, and more – will be available to Android developers by year-end, assuming all goes well in testing this year. In an under-the-radar announcement Friday afternoon at the Google I/O developer conference, the head of Google’s research unit ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) Daniel Kaufman offered a brief update regarding the status of Project Abacus, the name for a system that opts for biometrics over two-factor authentication.

Really. So from now on, you’ll have to trust Google to allow you into your bank account. Or not. Well…. Dear Google… The relationship which I might tentatively venture to aver has been not without some degree of reciprocal utility and perhaps even occasional gratification, is emerging a point of irreversible bifurcation and, to be brief, is in the propinquity of its ultimate regrettable termination.

I’ve arrived at the point where I feel I need more protection FROM Google than I need protection BY Google.


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Comments:

  1. Freedom from Google. yes!

R.I.P., GOP: How Trump Is Killing the Republican Party

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 at 21:57 by John Sinteur in category: News

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There was a time in this country – and many voters in places like Indiana and Michigan and Pennsylvania are old enough to remember it – when business leaders felt a patriotic responsibility to protect American jobs and communities. Mitt Romney’s father, George, was such a leader, deeply concerned about the city of Detroit, where he built AMC cars.

But his son Mitt wasn’t. That sense of noblesse oblige disappeared somewhere during the past generation, when the newly global employer class cut regular working stiffs loose, forcing them to compete with billions of foreigners without rights or political power who would eat toxic waste for five cents a day.


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  1. “Then they hired politicians and intellectuals to sell the peasants in places like America on why this was the natural order of things. Unfortunately, the only people fit for this kind of work were mean, traitorous scum, the kind of people who in the military are always eventually bayoneted by their own troops. This is what happened to the Republicans, and even though the cost was a potential Trump presidency, man, was it something to watch.”

  2. I feel sick whenever politicians say American workers need more training to compete with farmers in China. I guess we need to learn how to survive on rice and grubs.

Mad Max: Fury Road vs Mad Max Trilogy

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 at 13:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. I suppose I should be embarassed to admit it but they could make 10 of them that similar and I’d enjoy every minute of every one of them…

EU’s top court: APIs can’t be copyrighted, would “monopolise ideas”

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 at 12:11 by John Sinteur in category: News

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The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that application programming interfaces (APIs) and other functional characteristics of computer software are not eligible for copyright protection. Users have the right to examine computer software in order to clone its functionality—and vendors cannot override these user rights with a license agreement, the court said.

The case focuses on the popular statistical package SAS. A firm called World Programming created a clone designed to run SAS scripts without modification. In order to do this, they bought a copy of SAS and studied its manual and the operation of the software itself. They reportedly did not have access to the source code, nor did they de-compile the software’s object code.

SAS sued, arguing that its copyright covered the design of the SAS scripting language, and that World Programming had violated the SAS licensing agreement in the process of cloning the software.

The EU’s highest court rejected these arguments. Computer code itself can be copyrighted, but functional characteristics—such as data formats and function names—cannot be. “To accept that the functionality of a computer program can be protected by copyright would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development,” the court stated.

Perhaps we should get the EU Court to look at the Oracle vs Google case…


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How the Pentagon punished NSA whistleblowers

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 at 11:51 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet. When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing.

But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed.

Drake was fired, arrested at dawn by gun-wielding FBI agents, stripped of his security clearance, charged with crimes that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life, and all but ruined financially and professionally. The only job he could find afterwards was working in an Apple store in suburban Washington, where he remains today. Adding insult to injury, his warnings about the dangers of the NSA’s surveillance programme were largely ignored.

“The government spent many years trying to break me, and the more I resisted, the nastier they got,” Drake told me.

Drake’s story has since been told – and in fact, it had a profound impact on Snowden, who told an interviewer in 2015 that: “It’s fair to say that if there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake, there wouldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.”

But there is another man whose story has never been told before, who is speaking out publicly for the first time here. His name is John Crane, and he was a senior official in the Department of Defense who fought to provide fair treatment for whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake – until Crane himself was forced out of his job and became a whistleblower as well.

His testimony reveals a crucial new chapter in the Snowden story – and Crane’s failed battle to protect earlier whistleblowers should now make it very clear that Snowden had good reasons to go public with his revelations.


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Making History Sucks

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 at 11:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

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I won a big FOIA victory, and all I got was this stupid police state.


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Uber knows when your phone is about to run out of battery

Posted on May 23rd, 2016 at 9:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Uber knows when the battery on your phone is running low – and that you are more likely to pay higher “surge” prices for a car as a result.

The taxi-hailing app captures a huge amount of data on all its users, and the company’s head of economic research Keith Chen has revealed how Uber uses that to inform its business strategy.

Speaking to NPR’s Hidden Brain programme, Mr Chen said the amount of battery users had left was “one of the strongest predictors of whether or not you are going to be sensitive to surge” – in other words, agree to pay 1.5 times, 2 times or more the normal cost of a journey.


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What kind of person is dumb enough to become a Scientologist?

Posted on May 21st, 2016 at 18:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Naturally his audience would laugh nervously at all of his speedfreak “jokes”, because if they didn’t chuckle at the Master’s unfunny remarks it meant that they weren’t “in” on something. You see how this sort of anxious dipshit groupthink might work? They were all so invested in not looking like fools that they became the biggest fools of all.


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Fox ‘Stole’ a Game Clip, Used it in Family Guy & DMCA’d the Original

Posted on May 21st, 2016 at 13:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Just when you think you’ve seen every ridiculous example of a bogus DMCA-style takedown, another steps up to take the crown. This week’s abomination comes courtesy of Fox and it’s an absolute disaster.

 


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Feel Me

Posted on May 19th, 2016 at 17:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote:]

Only recently has brain science fully grasped that skin and touch are as rich and paradoxical as any other part of our humanity. Touch is the unsung sense -the one that we depend on most and talk about least. We know the illusions that our eyes or ears can create. But our skin is capable of the same high ordering and the same deceptions. It is as though we lived within a five- or six-foot-tall eye, an immense, enclosing ear, with all an eye or ear’s illusions, blind spots, and habitual mistakes. We are so used to living within our skins that we allow them to introduce themselves as neutral envelopes, capable of excitation at the extremities (and at extreme moments), rather than as busy, body-sensing organs. We see our skins as hides hung around our inner life, when, in so many ways, they are the inner life, pushed outside.


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Politician claims porn tabs a malware experiment, then finds God

Posted on May 18th, 2016 at 23:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

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The Republican, who is vying for Virginia’s 8th district, posted a screenshot of his computer to his Facebook page about a call he had received from a staffing agency, but failed to check what other browser tabs he had open.


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  1. Democrats = dick pics. Republicans = porn.

    Conclusion? Democrats are better endowed.

CIA ‘mistakenly’ destroys copy of 6,700-page US torture report

Posted on May 18th, 2016 at 23:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

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The CIA inspector general’s office has said it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a comprehensive Senate torture report, despite lawyers for the Justice Department assuring a federal judge that copies of the documents were being preserved.

The erasure of the document by the spy agency’s internal watchdog was deemed an “inadvertent” foul-up by the inspector general, according to Yahoo News.

One intelligence community source told Yahoo News, which first reported the development, that last summer CIA inspector general officials deleted an uploaded computer file with the report and then accidentally destroyed a disk that also contained the document.


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  1. Why do these top government agencies accidentally delete files when corporations have at least 2 to 3 backups of their data? Given that it is the government, I suppose this question is moot.

Cyanide & Happiness

Posted on May 18th, 2016 at 14:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]


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Charles Koch’s Disturbing High School Economics Project Teaches ‘Sacrificing Lives for Profits’

Posted on May 18th, 2016 at 11:36 by John Sinteur in category: News

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“The charge that sways juries and offends public sensitivities … is that greedy corporations sacrifice human lives to increase their profits.Is this charge true? Of course it is. But this isn’t a criticism of corporations; rather it is a reflection of the proper functioning of a market economy. Corporations routinely sacrifice the lives of some of their customers to increase profits, and we are all better off because they do. That’s right, we are lucky to live in an economy that allows corporations to increase profits by intentionally selling products less safe than could be produced. The desirability of sacrificing lives for profits may not be as comforting as milk, cookies and a bedtime story, but it follows directly from a reality we cannot wish away.”


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  1. Nasty.

Indefinite prison for suspect who won’t decrypt hard drives, feds say

Posted on May 17th, 2016 at 15:24 by John Sinteur in category: News

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US federal prosecutors urged a federal appeals court late Monday to keep a child-porn suspect behind bars—where he already has been for seven months—until he unlocks two hard drives that the government claims contain kid smut.

The suspect, a Philadelphia police sergeant relieved of his duties, has refused to unlock two hard drives and has been in jail ever since a judge’s order seven months ago—and after being found in contempt of court. The defendant can remain locked up until a judge lifts the contempt order.

The government said Monday he should remain jailed indefinitely until he complies. The authorities also said that it’s not a violation of the man’s Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination because it’s a “foregone conclusion” that illegal porn is on the drives and that he is only being asked to unlock the drives, not divulge their passcodes.

“This is not a fishing expedition on the part of the government,” federal prosecutors told the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals of Philadelphia.

The suspect has not been charged with any child-porn related crimes

Not charged, but, yeah, foregone conclusion. Guilty until proven innocent. Ever notice how it’s always either child pornography or terrorism that these things are used?

“It’s not self-incrimination because we already know you’re guilty”. That’s a scary argument…


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  1. What’s the statute of limitation for child-porn?

A priest….

Posted on May 17th, 2016 at 15:18 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

A well-known Catholic priest in Ireland — who was vocally homophobic in his sermons — has been outed for

You know where that’s going, no need to post even the full sentence.

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Armagh confirmed to Irish News that Coyle is taking a temporary leave of absence, though the statement stopped short of explaining why

 


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Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism

Posted on May 16th, 2016 at 17:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

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What does this rule change mean for you? In short, domestic law enforcement officials now have access to huge troves of American communications, obtained without warrants, that they can use to put people in cages. FBI agents don’t need to have any “national security” related reason to plug your name, email address, phone number, or other “selector” into the NSA’s gargantuan data trove. They can simply poke around in your private information in the course of totally routine investigations. And if they find something that suggests, say, involvement in illegal drug activity, they can send that information to local or state police. That means information the NSA collects for purposes of so-called “national security” will be used by police to lock up ordinary Americans for routine crimes. And we don’t have to guess who’s going to suffer this unconstitutional indignity the most brutally. It’ll be Black, Brown, poor, immigrant, Muslim, and dissident Americans: the same people who are always targeted by law enforcement for extra “special” attention.


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  1. But will they be able to keep our restrooms safe?

ODDLY SATISFYING VIDEO COMPILATION

Posted on May 16th, 2016 at 12:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Updating a classic

Posted on May 16th, 2016 at 12:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In 1944, the Office of Strategic Services—the predecessor of the post-war CIA—was concerned with sabotage directed against enemies of the US military. Among their ephemera, declassified and published today by the CIA, is a fascinating document called the Simple Sabotage Field Manual (PDF). It’s not just about blowing things up; a lot of its tips are concerned with how sympathizers with the allied cause can impair enemy material production and morale

[..]

So it occured to me a week or two ago to ask (on twitter) the question, “what would a modern-day version of this manual look like if it was intended to sabotage a rival dot-com or high tech startup company”? And the obvious answer is “send your best bad managers over to join in admin roles and run their hapless enemy into the ground”. But what actual policies should they impose for best effect?


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  1. Encourage your executives to read airline magazines. They’ll soon find a new hot productivity improvement paradigm that they’re hire an expensive consulting company to implement…

Government Surveillance Program In The Bay Area Exposed

Posted on May 15th, 2016 at 11:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Federal agents are planting microphones to secretly record conversations.

Jeff Harp, a KPIX 5 security analyst and former FBI special agent said, “They put microphones under rocks, they put microphones in trees, they plant microphones in equipment. I mean, there’s microphones that are planted in places that people don’t think about, because that’s the intent!”

FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.

Federal authorities are trying to prove real estate investors in San Mateo and Alameda counties are guilty of bid rigging and fraud and used these recordings as evidence.

 

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

Frank Zappa


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