Read this job description. Sony wants an intern to spam weblogs and myspace with astroturfing. And not pay for it, of course.
Sony, please commit seppuku already. We’re getting really, really tired of you.
UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects’ computer files.
Windows Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.
He urged the government to look at establishing “back door” ways of getting around encryptions.
The Home Office later told the BBC News website it is in talks with Microsoft.
There’s a new bill being debated in the House of Commons. The story is that the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill will exist as a means for ministers to remove or amend redundant laws without any Parliamentary oversight. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Trouble is, it doesn’t end there. A quick glance through the text of the bill shows that as well as removing redundant laws, ministers would also be able to create new offences punishable by not more than two years in prison.
“One reading of the Bill leads one to the conclusion that its primary purpose is not to remove burdens from business or people, but to remove the burden of having to legislate from the Government”
I’m not going to scold Sony BMG. The problem here is larger than one company’s effort to own its customers’ desktops and spy on their behavior. The real issue is the blurring of lines between blackhat hacking and legitimate business. It’s one thing when Russian gangsters take over a few million computers to shake down online casinos. It’s another when commercial enterprises adopt the same methods to protect their market. At that point, good corporate citizenship devolves into vigilantism and the implicit trust between supplier and customer unravels.
Imagine the mayhem if this kind of attitude were to become widespread: Coca-Cola would use your desktop to propagate spam about its latest bottle-cap sweepstakes. Vonage would keep Skype offers from reaching your inbox. Samsung would make sure that, when your browser tried to load Sony.com, it reached a fake Sony site where nothing worked. Companies would compile vast archives of customer data merely because they could, hoping they’d stumble on a revenue model.
It’s time for lawmakers, trade groups, and public-interest organizations to get down to the hard work of hammering out standards for what businesses can and can’t do to customers’ computers. Such an effort will need to be international, because the Net knows no bounds. It will need to come up with simple, understandable language for end-user licensing agreements. It will need to draw red lines around unacceptably invasive hacks and map gray areas between spying and market research.
I’m not holding my breath, though. After all, we asked for this. We didn’t want to ruffle the feathers of the goose that laid the golden egg of technological progress, so we allowed manufacturers to claim more and more control over the ways we use their products and what they can do with our information. It should come as no surprise that they’re using that power as a cover for bigger, possibly more lucrative schemes.
You may not be interested in the digital rights war, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines. Because the other side is very, very interested in you.
A Muslim cultural institute in Germany on Monday criticized Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad for disparaging the Holocaust, daring him to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp.
“In this place of horror he can again deny the Holocaust, if he has the courage,” a spokesman for the Islam-Archiv-Deutschland Central Institute told the German Catholic press agency KNA.
A Hartland man was treated at a Pittsfield hospital after he nailed himself to a cross. The 23-year-old man apparently was trying to commit suicide Thursday evening in his living room, the Bangor Daily News reported.
Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong said Monday that no charges will be filed. “There is no crime here,” he said.
Police said the man appeared delusional and told them he had been “seeing pictures of God on the computer.” He told them he had not seen the hit movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus.
Lt. Pierre Boucher said the man took two pieces of wood, nailed them together in the form of a cross and placed them on the floor. He attached a suicide sign to the wood and then proceeded to nail one of his hands to the makeshift cross using a 14-penny nail and a hammer.
“When he realized that he was unable to nail his other hand to the board, he called 911,” Boucher said.
Heise Online is reporting about yet another example of the ever-warming relationship of copy protection and rootkit technologies. The affair started with the digital rights management system Sony BMG was using to protect audio CD’s. Now, we can also confirm (thanks to Rüdiger from our German office!) that at least the German DVD release of the movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” contains a copy protection mechanism which uses rootkit-like cloaking technology .
The Settec Alpha-DISC copy protection system used on the DVD contains user-mode rootkit-like features to hide itself. The system will hide it’s own process, but does not appear to hide any files or registry entries.
(It looks like Mr/Mrs Smith is distributed by Fox – another big one to add to your boycott list if it isn’t there already)
And as usual, the shift key is your friend.
Yet a thorough analysis by an American law professor and a defence lawyer of information released by the US defence department revealed last week that 92% of the 517 Guantanamo detainees had not been al-Qaeda fighters.
Of these, 40% have no clear connection with al-Qaeda, and 18% have no connection with either al-Qaeda or the Taleban.
But where do all these prisoners come from, anyway?
According to the Pentagon, 95% of them were not captured by the Americans themselves.
Some 86% were handed over in Afghanistan and Pakistan after a widespread campaign in which big financial bounties were offered in exchange for anyone suspected of links to al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
The US lawyers quote the text of one of the notices the Americans handed out: “Get wealth and power beyond your dreams… You can receive millions of dollars helping the anti-Taleban forces catch al-Qaeda and Taleban murderers.
“This is enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life.”
So, according to the figures supplied by the Pentagon, it looks as though more than 440 men out of the total of 517 at Guantanamo were handed over to the Americans in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a direct result of these bounties.
No sooner had the White House decided that the best strategy to deal with Cheney’s Chappaquiddick was to make self-deprecating jokes about it than his Texas hospital inconveniently revealed that birdshot in Harry Whittington’s body had migrated to his heart and caused atrial fib — turns out he had a heart attack. He’s back in the ICU. Worse, there’s no reason that other shot can’t now migrate into additional internal organs.
Does this mean ix-nay on the jokes, Scottie?
Now that the White House press corps has learned firsthand what Pat Leahy must have felt like to get the full Cheney treatment, Harry Whittington’s predicament threatens to become a metaphor of what’s happened to America under Bush/Cheney. Profound injury has been inflicted on us. The damage could worsen at any moment. And the only response from those responsible is silence, arrogance and misdirection. With their short-lived comedy offensive in disarray, how long do you think it will be before they return to tried-and-true 9/11 fearmongering?
UPDATE: Turns out that Scottie knew about the heart attack before doing his White House press corps briefing today. He later explained that he didn’t mention it at the time because it was more appropriate for that information to be released later on by, um — hey, how ’bout those Longhorns, huh?
UPDATE 2: That distinguished gentleman, Senator Norm Coleman, just told Wolf that — instead of fighting about how the White House was handling this thing — what we should all be doing is feeling sympathetic toward the Vice President, on account of what a heavy “burden” he must be feeling after what happened.
Every conservative on the internet is an avid hunter and they’ve all been shot multiple times.
Shotguns aren’t really guns, just toys. You can’t really hurt people with them, only animals.
It’s standard hunter etiquette to yell and scream at your fellow hunters as they’re stalking their prey.
The most dangerous place to be is behind the people with the guns.
And Dick Cheney was not drunk, so stop saying that.
Democrat Donna Howard has won election to the Texas House today to serve the remainder of Republican Todd Baxter’s term.
Baxter resigned November 1. He became a lobbyist for the Texas Cable and Telecommunications Association.
After two elections in the last month, voters in west Austin and western Travis County are making a big change in the State Legislature.
House District 48 is switching parties and sending a Democrat to the State House for the first time since the district was re-drawn in 2001.
Howard was outspent $480,000 to $80,000 in a district that is 52% Republican, and still won.
More photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Tonight the SBS Dateline program plans to broadcast about 60 previously unpublished photographs that the US Government has been fighting to keep secret in a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Although a US judge last year granted the union access to the photographs following a freedom-of-information request, the US Administration has appealed against the decision on the grounds their release would fuel anti-American sentiment.
Some of the photos are similar to those published in 2004, others are different. They include photographs of six corpses, although the circumstances of their deaths are not clear. There are also pictures of what appear to be burns and wounds from shotgun pellets.