Although true, it makes me wonder: what was the illiteracy rate, again?
Secure card maker HID Corp. is objecting to a demonstration of a hacking tool at this week’s Black Hat Federal security conference in Washington, D.C. that could make it easy to clone a wide range of so-called “proximity” door access cards.
HID has sent a letter to IOActive, a security consulting firm, accusing Chris Paget, IOActive’s director of research and development, of possible patent infringement over a planned presentation, “RFID for beginners,” on Wednesday, a move that could lead to legal action should the talk go forward, according to Jeff Moss, founder and director of Black Hat.
IOActive will hold a press conference Tuesday at 9:00AM to discuss the issue, according to Joshua Pennell, IOActive’s CEO told InfoWorld.
Paget’s talk will address widespread security issues with the implementation of RFID in proximity cards that are sold by HID and other companies and that are widely used for building access. His RFID cloner was on display at the recent RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, where he demonstrated for InfoWorld how the device could be used to steal access codes from HID brand proximity cards, store them, then use the stolen codes to fool a HID card reader.
In other words, “Your door is secure because bad guys would have to infringe on our patents to open it!”
Yeah, I feel safer already.
Guess what? Despite Microsoft’s efforts to provide for a more fluid and agreeable interface with Vista’s Aero, Pfeiffer Consulting found Vista to be even worse than Windows XP (SP2) –and of course Mac OS X. Their conclusion is backed with cold, hard research. Pfeiffer Consulting conducted the research based on an independently financed series of benchmarks that establish how Vista impacts User Interface Friction (UIF) and user efficiency.
Pfeiffer Consulting, a Paris/France based international research and consulting operation specialised in technology and media, just recently released a report on Windows Vista User Interface Friction (UIF). UIF is a Pfeiffer concept, which describes and quantifies the perceived differences in efficiency and user experience between operating system, applications, and digital devices. UIF defines the fluidity and productivity that can be observed when performing the same operation on different computer systems, programs or devices.
Pfeiffer Consulting looked for a specific number of issues that it knew under-performed in previous versions of Windows. With Windows Vista, Microsoft claims to have re-invented the Windows interface, making it simpler and more efficient to use. Some Mac users pointed out from the beginning that Aero looked suspiciously close to what Tiger has to offer. With Pfeiffer’s report in mind, their observations seem to miss the point. Even if Microsoft has been playing copycat all over, the results are simply lousy –there’s no other word for it.
Assume for a second that you’re among the almost 80% of people that use Internet Explorer to surf the web. You’re looking for Lexus Financial Services. You know that their actual domain name is LexusFinancial.com. But for some reason you enter Lexus-Financail.com into your browser bar – and you’re in good company, because millions of people mistype domain names every day.
Fire up Internet Explorer and try this right now. Enter Lexus-Financail.com into your address bar and hit enter. (If you’re on a different browser, click here to see the results you would get.)
As the domain Lexus-Financail.com doesn’t actually exist, Internet Explorer in its default configuration sends you to Live Search, which offers you two related terms: Lexus Financial and Lexus Financial Services.
If you click on either of these links, you’re taken to a Live Search Results Page filled with PPC (pay per click) ads:
Click on any of these ads and Microsoft earns anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars, thereby profiting from a typo of Lexus Financial’s trademark.
Pretty sneaky! If a domainer were to actually register such a typo domain and profit from it, wouldn’t he run the immediate risk of losing the domain and facing expensive lawsuits?
Case in point: The typo domain LexusFinancail.com (same as our example but without the dash) actually exists and is in the process of being taken away from its original registrant by Lexus. Lexus had brought a cybersquatting complaint before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center under ICANN‘s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
Under this policy, which was established to resolve domain disputes quickly and inexpensively, a complainant must prove three different elements in order to win the rights to a disputed domain name:
- The disputed domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights.
- The respondent has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the disputed domain name.
- The disputed domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith.
In the case of LexusFinancail.com, the WIPO panelist in charge of the proceedings ruled that the domain fulfilled all three of the above conditions must therefore be transferred to Lexus. The full decision is available here.
From a semantic point of view LexusFinancail.com and Lexus-Financail.com are almost identical. But there is a difference. LexusFinancail.com was registered by a domainer who subsequently lost it to Lexus due to anti-cybersquatting rules. And Lexus-Financail.com will be successfully monetized by Microsoft for as long as it actually doesn’t exist.
Apple, long a ghost in the corporate-infrastructure mainstream, is beginning to cast a shadow as IT departments discover Mac platforms that are being transformed into realistic alternatives to Windows and Linux.
A number of factors are helping raise the eyebrows of those responsible for upgrading desktops and servers: for example, Apple’s shift to the Intel architecture; the inclusion of infrastructure and interoperability hooks, such as directory services in the Mac OS X Server; dual-boot capabilities; clustering and storage technology; third-party virtualization software; and comparison shopping, which is being fostered by migration costs and hardware overhauls associated with Microsoft’s Vista.
“The changes in Vista are significant enough that we think we can absorb the change going to Macs just as easily as going to Vista,” says Tom Gonzales, a senior network administrator for the Colorado State Employees Credit Union in Denver. He says the thought of going to Apple is not as scary as it once was. “If you had asked me two years ago to consider Macs, I would have laughed. But Boot Camp and Parallels, anything we can’t do with our Macs we would be able to run a Windows environment under there,” says Gonzales, who is currently in the Mac evaluation stage.
I doubt many will switch anytime soon, but that last quote is a very scary one for Redmond.
Bijna alle kiezers hebben vertrouwen in de stemcomputer. Bovendien vinden meer kiezers het stemmen met de stemcomputer betrouwbaarder dan met het potlood. Alternatieve vormen van stemmen, zoals per telefoon, via internet of per post, zijn niet erg populair. Slechts een minderheid van de kiezers heeft vertrouwen in deze stemprocedures.
Potdorie, we hebben nog een hoop uit te leggen…
The Canadian parliament has refused to extend controversial anti-terrorism legislation enacted after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US which allows for preventive arrests and compels testimony.
The motion by Stephen Harper, the prime minister, was defeated 159-124 in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
The ruling conservative government had wanted to extend the contentious pieces of legislation that are set to expire on Thursday.
“The powers that are there are necessary for national security,” Harper said before voting began.
The laws allow the authorities to arrest and detain suspects for three days without charge and to compel individuals with knowledge of terrorist activity to testify before a judge.
Neither piece of legislation has ever been applied.
But all three opposition parties argued that they were a blatant violation of civil rights.
Stephane Dion, leader of the opposition Liberal party, said the two measures were an unnecessary infringement on civil liberties and rejected charges that he was soft on terrorism.
“These two provisions especially have done nothing to fight against terrorism, have not been helpful and have continued to create some risk for civil liberties,” he said.
Laws that have never been applied are necessary for national security… now that’s the kind of prime minister you can vote out of office.
EFF’s Danny O’Brien sez, “Klaus-Heiner Lehne, the Euro MP proposing that Europe turn *all* infringement (including copyright, patent and trademarks) into criminal offenses – investigated by national police forces, and punishable with long prison sentences – turns out to have used copyrighted Apple graphics on his own ego site. If his amendment to IPRED2 had passed, would he turn himself in, or merely rat on his webmaster?”
Nowhere in advertising is the gap between natural beauty and manufactured perfection more apparent than on subway posters. As we wait for transportation, we are unwillingly assaulted by larger-than-life representations of supposedly beautiful salespeople. The large scale of these ads and their extremely close proximity to the viewer offer up more than perceived intimacy, however… they give us the chance to see the mechanical flaws designed to correct their physical flaws.
Why don’t we just see them for what they are? They are regular people just like us, they just have a team of retouchers waiting at the ready.
Printable cold sores allow us to take action! Bring these people back down to our level, and tell advertisers that you don’t agree with their message. How can you help? It’s easy…
Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan has refreshingly asked fans not to buy an “awful” re-released album of the band live at Birmingham’s NEC, the BBC reports.
The sub-standard 1993 offering – thrillingly entitled “NEC 1993″ – was, Gillan lamented, “an unfortunate reminder of one of their worst ever concerts”. The singer fingered tensions within the band for the performance. He said that “he and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore were barely on speaking terms at the time of the concert”, and admitted: “It was one of the lowest points of my life – all of our lives, actually.”
Gillan continued: “In fact, it lasted five or six shows after that Birmingham show. Then Ritchie left the band. And we’ve had 13 years of stability ever since then.”
Deep Purple are currently planning a new tour, and Gillan described Sony BMG’s decision to inflict NEC 1993 on an unsuspecting world as “opportunistic”.
Civilisation has been spared further exposure to NEC 1993, since Sony BMG this afternoon decided to recall the album and will “investigate why Gillan was not told about its plans”, as the BBC puts it.
A spokesman for the company offered: “Sony BMG is not in the business of releasing albums without the knowledge of the artists. It is in our interests to work with artists, so they can promote their records and continue to work with us.”
Yeah, right. And if you believe that, I’ve got some prime Florida real estate for sale…
Pfc. Ekenberg prepares for the flight to Kandahar.
In an effort to display his administration’s willingness to fight on all fronts in the War on Terror, President Bush said at a press conference Monday that American ground forces in Afghanistan will be aided by the immediate deployment of Marine Pfc. Tim Ekenberg of Camp Lejeune, NC.
“I want the American people to know that I have not forgotten that our battle for freedom began in Afghanistan, rooting out the extremists of al-Qaeda and the Taliban,” Bush said. “Today, I am ordering the deployment of the 325th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Private Tim Ekenberg, to the embattled Kandahar region.”
“We will take whatever measures necessary to win,” Bush added. “Isn’t that right, Tim?”
Ekenberg is scheduled to arrive in Afghanistan on Friday. His duties include providing full military support for the still-tenuous democratic government, resolving potential conflicts between rival warlords, gathering intelligence for his superiors, delivering humanitarian relief to millions of Afghan citizens displaced by factional warfare, and maintaining a high level of personal physical fitness.
Ekenberg’s most vital assignment, however, will be to patrol approximately 1,200 square miles of volatile territory on the Afghan–Pakistani border and conduct search-and-destroy missions on the estimated 40,000 caves where U.S. intelligence sources believe Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda operatives could be hiding.
Germany’s police and secret services are pushing for a legal basis for “online house searches” – carried out without the knowledge of suspects, using spyware similar to a Trojan.
The German public learned of the practice in November last year, when a magistrate of the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal High Court) ruled that there is no legal basis for such measures as part of police inquiries.
Magistrate Ulrich Hebenstreit argued that house searches could only be carried out openly, with the knowledge of the suspect. In his view, and legal parlance, secretly searching a hard drive, whether in private or for commercial use, constituted “a major interference with the right to informational self-determination”.
Moreover, because all data can be viewed and analysed by the authorities – from private photos to email correspondence – the suspect’s right to refuse to give evidence was violated by the measure.
Hebenstreit’s decision received mixed response.
While the Home Office stressed that it immediately stopped online searches, spokesman Christian Sachs says: “One organisational unit at the Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Criminal Office) is currently working on the technological basis for such online house searches. For obvious reasons, we cannot comment on the technicalities.”
Okay, let me comment instead. Wanna bet this is Windows-only?
Democrats argue that taxes on the rich should be raised because others need the money. This wins votes from the legions of voters who aren’t rich.
Republicans argue, with great piety, that high taxes crush incentives and should be reduced, and that only then will the American way see a new dawn.
Politicians talk this way because they generally talk about only one tax: the federal income tax, which offers graduated rates from 10% to 35%.
Politicians rarely talk about what real people experience: the true maze of taxes and government benefits. If someone put them all together, we could see what our actual tax burden was. We could see who pays at the highest or lowest rates. Discussions of tax policy wouldn’t be a waste of time.
Well, two researchers did it.
In a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Boston University economists Laurence J. Kotlikoff and David Rapson have found that our all-in marginal tax rate is 40%, give or take a bit. Yes, you read that right: 40%.
This just in: The supreme court has ordered a recount in the Oscar voting for best documentary.
Earlier this month it was widely reported that EMI was indeed ready to cast DRM into the dark abyss and earn the company the honorable status of being the first major music label to realize that DRM alienates honest customers. As it turns out, the company is indeed open to the possibility of ditching DRM, but they expect to be paid well for it, and the online music retailers aren’t ready to meet their demands.
EMI is the only major record label to seriously consider abandoning the disaster that is DRM, but earlier reports that focused on the company’s reformist attitude apparently missed the mark: EMI is willing to lose the DRM, but they demand a considerable advance payment to make it happen.
According to Bloomberg, EMI has backed out of talks for now because no one will pay what they’re asking. No dollar amounts are known at this time.
So EMI only wants to sell via companies that pay them a lot of money for the privilege? I guess we’ll wait a few years for this dinosaur to die. We’ve all been shafted for so long a few extra years won’t matter, especially if the end result will be that the large record companies no longer exist.
America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.
In a move that reflects Washington’s growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran’s border regions.
The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.
In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.
Wasn’t there a major claim of “them bad!” based on Iran doing the same funding thing with groups in Iraq? Fucking hypocrites.
But if alcohol is a drug, then “drug use” is normal, and not all drug use is abuse. That undercuts the entire project of stigmatization underlying much of what passes for “drug abuse prevention.” If smoking cannabis, snorting cocaine, swallowing MDMA (“ecstasy”), or even injecting heroin, are not different in principle from having a glass of wine, then the moral basis for treating cannabis-smokers, cocaine-snorters, rave-goers, and heroin-injectors as carriers of a deadly plague is called into question, and even suppliers of those drugs might be seen as regulatory violators rather than hostes humani generis (enemies of humankind) the modern incarnation of a legal category that used to cover pirates and slave-traders.
Conversely, labeling alcohol a “drug,” given the nasty connotations that word has been so carefully given, calls into question the presumptive innocence and innocuousness of drinking by responsible, non-alcoholic adults, and of the industry that supplies them, as it also supplies children, alcoholics, and those who become violent and imprudent under the influence of drink. To the analytically-minded it seems perverse that the one-eighth or so of diagnosable substance abuse disorder (other than nicotine dependency) that relates to the controlled drugs should receive much more attention (whether measured by rhetoric or control resources) than the seven-eighths in which the problem substance is alcohol.
Back when the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (the “drug czar’s” office) was new, I had a conversation with someone who was then a staffer and is now a senior official. When I suggested that the office ought to include alcohol among its targets, he fairly snarled, “Don’t change the subject!” Someone of a psychodynamic or cultural-critical turn of mind might be inclined to turn that response around, and consider the current social and political formulation of the “drug problem” as a massive displacement mechanism, an effort to “change the subject” from the one drug that claims the majority of the addicts and accounts for the vast bulk of drug-related deaths and drug-related violence
“I thank God for helping me keep the faith, even when I didn’t believe,”
- Jennifer Hudson, accepting her Oscar
Sudan’s president told attendees of the Nation of Islam’s national convention Friday that the United States is exaggerating troubles in his country’s volatile Darfur region so it can control the country as it has in Iraq.
In other news, people think the US has control of Iraq.
Remember this story?
It just got worse:
Health officials are going to review the inspection of a Greenwich Village KFC/Taco Bell, which was completed one day before CBS 2 cameras caught dozens of rats scurrying across the store, jumping on tables, and climbing into food trays.
“It doesn’t look like the inspection that was done Thursday met our standards,” said Geoffrey Cowley, a health department spokesman. “I don’t want to prejudge that. We’re concerned and we’re going to carefully revaluate that inspection.”
After a late-winter snow and ice storm, the clouds over the Northeast United States cleared on February 19, 2007, affording the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite this stunning view of the brown and white landscape. Snow stretches from Maine to Virginia, highlighting the curving folds of the Appalachian Mountains, branch-like rivers and streams, and the solid white smoothness of frozen lakes. Beautiful though the snow is, it trapped hundreds of motorists in eastern Pennsylvania, shut down some air and train travel, closed businesses and schools, triggered power outages, and caused 15 deaths, reported CNN on February 15.
People wanting to walk down Cricklade Road have been left with nowhere to go as cycle-lane markings have been painted on both sections of the pavement.
Nearby resident Daniel Woodwards said: “They re-marked the cycle track as two lanes, one for bikes and one for pedestrians.
“But they accidentally marked both lanes for bikes and then repeated the mistake further along the track.
“Then they must have realised their mistake and blacked out one bike in each lane, but on opposite sides, so both lanes are still for bikes.
Last week, Swindon Council told the Adver that contractors had made a simple mistake on the footpath outside Kingsdown School and said it would be put right as soon as possible. A spokesman for the council said: “To prevent any confusion the cycle lane should always be the one closest to the hedge.”
Note the beautiful hedge in the picture…
Half of children between the ages of seven and 11 are anxious about the effects of global warming and often lose sleep over it, according to a new report.
A survey of 1,150 youngsters found that one in four blamed politicians for the problems of climate change, while one in seven said their own parents were not doing enough to improve the environment.
The most feared consequences of global warming included poor health, the possible submergence of entire countries and the welfare of animals.
Most of those polled in the survey by supermarket chain Somerfield understood the benefits of recycling – although one in ten thought it was linked to riding a bike.
A new AP/Ipsos poll asked Americans for their perceptions of how many American soldiers and Iraqi civilians have died in the Iraq war.
The median number of American military deaths was estimated at 2,974. According to the CNN, the correct number is 3,154.
The median number of Iraqi deaths was estimated at 9,890. However, reported civilian deaths are estimated at between 56,000 and 62,000. One study late last year estimated the number of deaths at more than 655,000.
This is a good place to point out… I mentioned this a little bit earlier today at one of the house parties. I know that one of the running threads, one of the narratives that’s established itself among the mainstream media is this notion “Well…ya know Obama has pretty good style. He can deliver a pretty good speech, but he seems to prioritize rhetoric over substance.”
Now factually, that’s incorrect. Because the fact of the matter is that I have THE most specific plan in terms of how to get out of Iraq of any candidate. I have delivered major speeches over the course of two years before I started running for president on every major issue out here whether its education, healthcare or energy. I have written two books that have sold close to a million copies each that would probably give people more insight into how I think and how I feel about the issues facing America than any candidate in the field and probably any candidate who has run for office in recent memory. The problem is not that the information is not out there. The problem is that that’s not what you guys have been reporting on. You’ve been reporting on how I look in a swimsuit.
Well, he should have shaved his head, that would have helped…
Apple aired their teaser ad for the Apple iPhone during the Oscars tonight. The ad has run multiple times during the Oscars.
The advertisement started with a collection of scenes from television and film with actors saying “Hello” on a telephone.
Here is a complete list of actors.
Here is a low-res YouTube version:
What you cannot see in this version is that in the top left of the iPhone screen there’s mention of “AT&T” instead of Cingular…