online safely, you should type the address of the financial institution in the browser instead of following a link, you should enter your personal information only in trusted sites that use encryption, you need to check that the little padlock in the corner of your browser is locked, you also need to verify the digital certificate is valid and matches the site you want to visit, etc… Well, that’s not enough!
Recently we analysed a Trojan horse program (Infostealer.Banker.D) that, uses some cunning creativity. Using an HTML injection technique, it is capable of fooling even those who practice the standard precautionary measures against online fraud.
When the user of an infected computer goes to the login page of certain websites, the Trojan intercepts the HTML page, checks for certain blocks of HTML code specific to that website, and injects some additional HTML code that presents the user with extra fields in the same login page. In some cases, additional warning messages are inserted, explaining that the extra information is required to “prevent fraud”. Ironic, eh?
Some examples of the Trojan handiwork:
Software has been wiped from thousands of school computers because of a row over Government funding.
Microsoft Office programs have been ordered to be removed from about 25,000 Apple Macintosh computers in schools.
The Ministry of Education did not renew its deal for the programs, meaning that students using the Apple computers will not have access to common programs such as Excel and Word unless the school buys the software independently.
The problem was over licensing deals said to be worth $100 million over 10 years.
Education Minister Steve Maharey said Microsoft insisted the Government pay a licence fee for all Apple Macintoshes in schools to use Microsoft Office.
But the programs were used on only half the machines.
“The ministry could not justify the extra $2.7 million being given to Microsoft for software that would not be used,” said Mr Maharey.
He said Apple supplied a program similar to Microsoft Office, and NeoOffice, an open-source program developed by volunteers, was also available.
When the State of Illinois was tardy in paying its legal bills after attempting to defend a law that regulated the sale of violent and sexually explicit video games, the Entertainment Software Association wondered about the reasons for the delay. Now they know: the state was scouring department budgets, looking for the $1 million it cost to defend the unconstitutional legislation in court. Yes, you read that right—the State of Illinois spent one meeeellion dollars of taxpayer money on the litigation even as the state budget was starved for cash in other, more pressing areas. And worse yet, they spent it on a bill which, when introduced, was plainly unconstitutional.
The grand total was reported this week in a Quad Cities Online article which revealed that “the governor raided funds throughout state government to pay for the litigation. Some of the areas money was taken from included the public health department, the state’s welfare agency and even the economic development department.” A state representative who attended recent hearings on the issue said that Gov. Blagojevich’s staff simply spread the legal bills around by sticking them to agencies which had funds left in their budgets—even if the agencies had nothing to do with the issue or the litigation.
Dutch TV station BNN is rejecting calls to axe a TV programme in which a terminally-ill woman will choose one of three contestants to receive her kidney, the BBC reports.
The Big Donor Show – spawn of Big Brother creator Endemol – is due to screen this Friday. The 37-year-old organ benefactor, known only as Lisa, will select the lucky recipient “based on the contestants’ history, profile, and conversation with their family and friends”. Viewers can chip in their two cents’ worth by sending advisory SMS’s during the 80-minute spectacle.
Reaction to the planned airing has been predictable enough. Joop Atsma, of the ruling Christian Democrat Party, decried: “It’s a crazy idea. It can’t be possible that, in the Netherlands, people vote about who’s getting a kidney.”
BNN has defended the project, and claims “it will highlight the country’s shortage of organ donors”. The station’s former director died of kidney failure after spending years on a transplant waiting list, the BBC notes.
Alexander Pechtold of Dutch social liberal party D-66 agreed with the need to raise the organ donation issue. He told Radio Four’s Today programme: “For years and years we have had problems in the Netherlands with organ donations and especially kidney donations. You can have a discussion about it if this is distasteful, but finally we have a public debate.”
Indeed we have, and it’s about time!
If the media does not start connecting some dots, they will have abdicated their citizenship duties. How many times has the nation potentially come within a hair’s breadth of suffering a right-wing terrorist attack this spring? As of today, three, or possibly six times – at least that we know about.
• Late in April, 150 federal, state, and local law enforcement
officers carried out simultaneous raids in four Alabama counties in a sweep that yielded 130 grenades, a rocket launcher, and 2,500 rounds of ammunition.. In the town of Trussville, it took a U-haul truck to cart away all the materiel. At the Collinsville camper belonging to militia “major” Taymond Dillard, agents first had to defuse trip-wires rigged to explode hand grenades to kill intruders.
• Right-wing vigilantes arrested in a scuffle at one of the May 1 immigration marches, in Washington D.C., was found to have a stash of automatic weapons and explosives in his home.
• Now this, the violence allegedly thwarted at Falwell’s funeral. One of the suspects is a soldier at Fort Benning – yes, he traveled all the way from Georgia with his munitions. Another was a high school student.
After the Alabama incident, I set up a Google News alert to learn more about the “Alabama Free Militia,” formerly known as the “Naval Militia.” But there was no follow-up coverage that I could discover. None.
It’s becoming a trend: Evangelical Christian institutions that try to do science inevitably demonstrate breathtaking inanity of their own. The latest victim is the Pawleys Island Christian Academy. Take a gander at the first place winner in biology.
Brian Benson, an eighth-grade student who won first place in the Life Science/Biology category for his project “Creation Wins!!!,” says he disproved part of the theory of evolution. Using a rolled-up paper towel suspended between two glasses of water with Epsom Salts, the paper towel formed stalactites. He states that the theory that they take millions of years to develop is incorrect.
“Scientists say it takes millions of years to form stalactites,” Benson said. “However, in only a couple of hours, I have formed stalactites just by using paper towel and Epsom Salts.”
This isn’t just wrong, it’s appallingly wrong. He’s wrong on the facts, wrong on the interpretations, wrong on the understanding of how science works. If we’re charitable and grant that a 14 year old has some reasonable excuse for ignorance, we can still indict his parents, his science teacher, and the judges at this fair on gross incompetence on multiple charges.
- This experiment has nothing to do with biology.
- Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate; stalactites are made of calcium carbonate.
- Stalactite growth rates are estimated to be around 0.1-10 centimeters per thousand years. If we assume his ‘stalactite’ was 10 cm long and use the slowest growth rate, that’s 100 thousand years, not millions.
- Even if he had demonstrated an accelerated rate of stalactite growth, stalactite length isn’t the method used to date the age of the earth.
- To quote the unquestionable authority, Terry Pratchett: “And all those exclamation points? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.” Mister Benson comes perilously close to the underpants limit in his title.
Susan Ralston, the former executive assistant to top White House adviser Karl Rove, invoked her rights against self-incrimination while she was being asked to answer questions by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, announced in a memo Tuesday. The deposition for which she sat concerned contacts between convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Rove, as well as the White House more broadly.
“The subjects this morning that she will be unable to testify to…are the subjects of the relationship between Jack Abramoff and his associates and White House officials, including Ms. Ralston, and the subject of the use by White House officials of political e-mail accounts at the RNC,” Ralston’s lawyer, Bradford Berenson said, during the May 10 deposition. “She has material, useful information about both of those subjects.”
According to Waxman’s memo, which was sent to Oversight Committee members, Ralston is seeking immunity from prosecution.
Which of these corporations are the most abusive, manipulative and harmful? You decide.
Vote for the three nominees that deserve to be inducted this year—or use your votes to write in another corporate candidate. You can even post comments about why these corporations should be inducted. We’ll announce the three new inductees in June, so check back then, but vote now and spread the word to other voters.
Coca-Cola, for draining local water supplies in drought prone areas in India, allowing harassment of workers fighting for labor rights in Colombia, undermining public confidence in local water utilities, and falsely promoting itself as a socially responsible corporation.
ExxonMobil, for refusing to pay $4.5 billion in damages from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and spending millions to delay action on global warming, including funding “junk science” to confuse the issue.
Ford, for awful fuel efficiency and pollution ratings, blocking government efforts to improve auto emissions, thwarting efforts by workers to unionize, and paying its CEO $28 million (for only four months of work) as they plan to cut 30,000 jobs.
Halliburton, the nation’s leading war profiteer, for grossly under-delivering—and shortchanging our troops—on more than $20 billion in lucrative government contracts and for planning to move its headquarters to Dubai, enabling them to shirk paying their full share of U.S. taxes.
Kimberly-Clark, for using the same tree fiber suppliers — after years of denial — for its tissues that have contributed to the destruction of the world’s remaining ancient forests in North America.
Merck, for keeping Vioxx on the shelves for four years after learning that the pain medication was causing heart attacks, heavy-handed political tactics, and fighting government efforts in Thailand to allow generic versions of AIDS medications.
Nestlé, for numerous abuses — including use of child labor on cocoa farms, skirting responsibility for its role in the obesity epidemic, and draining community water supplies for its bottled water products.
Wal-Mart, for failing to support its workers, who live close to the poverty line and often are not covered by the corporation’s health plan, for displacing local businesses and for massive claims of sexual discrimination.
I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called “Face” of the American anti-war movement. Especially since I renounced any tie I have remaining with the Democratic Party, I have been further trashed on such “liberal blogs” as the Democratic Underground. Being called an “attention whore” and being told “good riddance” are some of the more milder rebukes.
I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.
The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a “tool” of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our “two-party” system?
However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the “left” started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of “right or left”, but “right and wrong.”
I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt “two” party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an “attention whore” then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a “grateful” country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.
The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.
I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.
Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.
I am going to take whatever I have left and go home. I am going to go home and be a mother to my surviving children and try to regain some of what I have lost. I will try to maintain and nurture some very positive relationships that I have found in the journey that I was forced into when Casey died and try to repair some of the ones that have fallen apart since I began this single-minded crusade to try and change a paradigm that is now, I am afraid, carved in immovable, unbendable and rigidly mendacious marble.
Camp Casey has served its purpose. It’s for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford , Texas ? I will consider any reasonable offer. I hear George Bush will be moving out soon, too…which makes the property even more valuable.
This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This is not my “Checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.
Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.
It’s up to you now.
Retail is supposed to be hard. Apple has made it seem ridiculously easy. And yet it must be harder than it appears, or why hasn’t the Windows side of the personal computer business figured it out?
Of the many predictions in the world of technology that have turned out to be spectacularly wrong, a prominent place should be made for what the pundits said in 2001 when Apple opened its first retail store in Tysons Corner, Va. “It’s completely flawed,” one analyst said, and that was the conventional wisdom. Commercial rent and furnishings would be expensive, inventory tricky and margins slim. Experienced computer resellers were struggling, and no computer manufacturer had ever found success operating its own branded stores. Analysts predicted at the time that Apple would shut down the stores and write off the huge losses in two years.
Customer response is told in the numbers. Last month, Apple released results for the quarter ended March 31. More than 21.5 million people visited its stores, which now number more than 180. Store sales were $855 million, up 34 percent from the quarter a year earlier, and they contributed more than $200 million in profits.
For perspective, look at the parallel story of Sony, which in 2004 began its attempt to create a branded retail chain. That was the same year Gateway closed the remnants of its 188-store chain. Today, Sony has 39 Sony Style stores, built out from the flagship stores in New York and San Francisco. The company’s breadth of product lines in consumer electronics and related accessories, as well as computers, would seem to give it a significant advantage over Apple. But because Sony does not release data on the stores’ sales or profits, it is hard to assess how its retail venture is doing.
Last Sunday, I set out to have a look for myself. I began at Sony’s flagship in San Francisco, at the Metreon Center, the shopping and entertainment complex. The mall was crowded, but Sony’s store, measuring an enormous 20,000 square feet, was all but deserted. The two uniformed members of the store security staff matched the number of customers I could see browsing the store’s wares.
Then I headed for the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, where I could see a Sony Style store compete almost directly across from an Apple retail store. The weather was gorgeous, drawing the usual weekend throng to the shopping center.
Sony’s mall store was long and large — 6,000 square feet — and filled with curvy panels and chirpy taglines like “My Style” on the walls and plush theater nooks. Here, too, the sales staff seemed to outnumber customers.
Records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act show that only 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were terrorism related, despite the fact that the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that it is the primary focus of the DHS.
Feel safer yet?
Earlier this year, 500 people received letters accusing them of illegally distributing a computer game. The letters demand a settlement payment, or a court appearance was threatened.
Many people wondered how they were caught at all, while others claimed they had no knowledge of such a game and stopped to consider that their router security may have been compromised. If security features are not enabled on a router, anyone can easily fall victim to an authorized connection. In this case, it’s feared that someone may have accessed an unsecured router, downloaded and redistributed even just a tiny piece of this file via BitTorrent or eMule, with the router’s owner getting the blame.
Lawyers representing the game’s publisher state as fact that a full copy of a game must have been uploaded to their monitors for the infringement to be flagged – clearly the lawyers have no idea how a protocol like BitTorrent operates. It would be virtually impossible to download a large file in it’s entirety from just one source and the time it would take would prove totally impractical. There is a very real probability that a tiny transfer of a few hundred kilobytes can trigger legal action against an alleged infringer, a transfer easily achieved by someone accessing a victim’s router for just a few seconds.
People who are using this defense are now starting to receive letters, part of which reads;
If it is your contention that at the relevant time you did all that you could to secure your network and PC but that, nevertheless, an intrusion occurred and that the infringing act complained of was perpetrated by a person or a person unknown who gained access to the network without your permission, please provide (in accordance with the Practice Directions for Pre-Action Protocol) all copies of the essential documents on which you rely.
In other words, forget ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty‘ and start getting used to ‘Guilty! Now Prove Yourself Innocent!‘
Furthermore, even though they demand ‘evidence’, don’t think for one minute that corresponding with these lawyers is something that can bear fruit. One unfortunate gentleman whose wife has been wrongly accused of distributing the game has been talking to Davenport Lyons via letter, trying to sort the matter out, until he received a letter from them with this paragraph;
….we consider that to enter into further correspondence with you on technical or evidential points is unnecessary and unhelpful and will serve only to increase costs. We are therefore instructed not to continue this circular correspondence.
So by this measure, trying to clear your name is deemed “unecessary and unhelpful’ by the lawyers, something which is considered by many as one of the cornerstones of British justice and a fundamental right of it’s citizens. Of course, if you’re a lawyer working on tight profit margins, any correspondence will cut into that profit. ‘Unhelpful’ indeed.
These lawyers should get the Arkell v. Pressdram response.
Voting ballot from 10 April 1938. The ballot text reads “Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Empire that was enacted on 13 March 1938, and do you vote for the party of our leader Adolf Hitler?,” the large circle is labeled “Yes,” the smaller “No.”
Quanta Computer Inc (2382.TW) said it has no comment on a local newspaper report that it has secured an order from Apple Inc to assemble 5 mln iPhones.
As per its usual practice, the company makes it a point of not commenting on media reports pertaining to business secrets involving specific clients or contracts, the world’s largest contract maker of notebook computers said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Earlier, the Commercial Times cited industry sources as saying that Quanta Computer is slated to start the delivery of iPhones in September.
This is the second company to make iPhones, the first batch is created by Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry). Looks like Apple expects to sell at least 10 million before Christmas…