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Powerful NSA hacking tools have been revealed online

Posted on August 17th, 2016 at 11:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency’s elite group of hackers have been revealed in recent days, a development that could pose severe consequences for the spy agency’s operations and the security of government and corporate computers.

A cache of hacking tools with code names such as Epicbanana, Buzzdirection and Egregiousblunder appeared mysteriously online over the weekend, setting the security world abuzz with speculation over whether the material was legitimate.

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Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart

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


After 16 months of traveling in the Middle East, I find it impossible to predict what might happen next, let alone sum up what it all means. In most every place Paolo Pellegrin and I went, the situation today looks worse than it did when we set out: The repression of the Sisi regime in Egypt has deepened; the war in Syria has taken tens of thousands more lives; to add to its other problems, Libya is now hurtling toward insolvency. If there is one bright spot on the map, it is the apparently solid and committed international coalition that is now working toward the final destruction of ISIS.

That said, I am reminded of something Majd Ibrahim told me: “ISIS isn’t just an organization, it’s an idea.” It is also a kind of tribe, of course, and if this incarnation is destroyed, the conditions that created ISIS will remain in the form of a generation of disaffected and futureless young men, like Wakaz Hassan, who find purpose and power and belonging by picking up a gun. In short, nothing gets better anytime soon.

On a more philosophical level, this journey has served to remind me again of how terribly delicate is the fabric of civilization, of the vigilance required to protect it and of the slow and painstaking work of mending it once it has been torn. This is hardly an original thought; it is a lesson we were supposed to have learned after Nazi Germany, after Bosnia and Rwanda. Perhaps it is a lesson we need to constantly relearn.

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  1. This is an extraordinarily good piece of photojournalism.

Rudy Giuliani

Posted on August 16th, 2016 at 11:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

“Under those 8 years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the US,” Giuliani told the crowd. “They all started when Clinton and Obama came into office.”

Says the guy who was mayor of New York on September 11th, which he probably slept through and missed completely, I guess..

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  1. Mr. G. has obviously been infected with one of those false-flag conspiracy nutjob viruses. (I want to chew my own foot off when one of these people starts telling me about the impossibility of aircraft felling such buildings.)

Kenny Baker, actor behind R2-D2, dies

Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 19:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


The British actor who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars films has died at the age of 83 after a long illness.

Kenny Baker, who was 3ft 8in tall, shot to fame in 1977 when he first played the robot character.

He went on to play the character in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as the three Star Wars prequels from 1999 to 2005.


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Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 18:52 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 17:00 by John Sinteur in category: News






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McSweeney’s didn’t like it, so here’s my “Who Said It: Trump Or Hitler?” quiz:

Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 16:24 by John Sinteur in category: News


1. When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.
2. Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.
3. Der Erfolg ist der einzige irdische Richter über das Recht oder Unrecht.
4. What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
5. Ich gehe mit der Sicherheit eines Schlafwandlers entlang des Pfades, den mir die Vorsehung geebnet hat.
6. I try to learn from the past, but I plan for the future by focusing exclusively on the present.
7. Ich kann mich nicht täuschen, was ich sage und tue, ist historisch.
8. Mache die Lüge groß, mache sie einfach, wiederhole sie immer wieder, und letztendlich wird man sie glauben.
9. Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.
10. We need strength, we need energy, we need quickness and we need brain in this country to turn it around.
11. Der Terrorismus ist die beste politische Waffe, nichts macht den Menschen mehr Angst, als die Furcht vor plötzlichem Tod.
12. Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken.
13. Was für ein Glück für die Regierenden, daß die Menschen nicht denken!

Trump: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12
Hitler: 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 13

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  1. As my grasp of German is rubbish I had to translate it using google, for those similarly challenged I attach the translated sections:

    3. Success is the only earthly judge of right or wrong.
    5. I’m going with the security of a sleepwalker along the path which Providence has opened to me.
    7. I can not fool myself, what I say and do, is historic.
    8. Make the lie big, make them easy to repeat it again and again, and eventually will they believe.
    11. Terrorism is the best political weapon, nothing makes people more afraid than the fear of sudden death.
    13. What luck for rulers that men do not think!

    I must leave it to you to judge the value of the remarks.

Trump has brought us something we haven’t seen in at least 30 years: a cool cover on Time magazine

Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 16:11 by John Sinteur in category: News




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Coming Soon: Cockpit Cameras, So Your Car Can Keep an Eye on YOU

Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 15:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


Automotive suppliers Continental and Delphi have developed prototypes utilizing interior cameras as part of “driver monitoring” systems. Now the German research organization Fraunhofer is developing cameras and software that not only watch the driver, but everyone and everything in the car.

“Using depth-perception cameras, we capture the vehicle’s interior, identify the number of people, their size and their posture,” Michael Voit, manager of Fraunhofer’s Optronics, System Technologies, and Image Exploitation research group, said in a blog post. “From this we can deduce their activities.”

According to Fraunhofer, interior cameras can play a crucial role in managing the hand-off between man and machine by checking on the status of the person responsible for taking control of a self-driving car. “Using [cameras], the system can estimate how long the driver will need to resume full control of the vehicle following a period of autonomous driving,” said Frederik Diederichs, a scientist and project manager at Fraunhofer.

While automakers use weight sensors in seats to detect the presence of a driver or passengers to arm airbags (and pester occupants with seat-belt warnings) cameras can capture much more detail. For example, Fraunhofer noted that cameras could be used to fine-tune the deployment of airbags to individual body sizes and even the placement of passenger in a vehicle.

Well, sounds like I will never be traveling in one then..

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  1. Well, citizen, that’s your choice – just like whether you want to be subjected to warrantless searches in order to fly on a plane. Whether you want to go anywhere unsurveilled, however, is not your decision to make as that is a matter of public safety. Why don’t you want your fellow citizens to be safe? Surely you love your country don’t you, citizen? Seriously, I’m quite sure by the time my children’s children are driving, these cameras will be the norm in all licensed vehicles.

Joseph Schooling

Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 12:06 by John Sinteur in category: News

Here’s Joseph Schooling at the Olympics:


And here’s why he is so happy:


It’s not just special because he beat Michael Phelps, though. Yeah, sure beating Phelps is already a huge deal, but this picture makes it even more special. It’s Joseph Schooling meeting Micheal Phelps and getting his autograph in 2008:



Joseph went to Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. where he broke the National Independent and overall high school record in the 100 fly.

Bolles is a boarding school with an outstanding athletics program. Ryan Murphy and Calaeb Dressel, who are both on the US Olympic team, were all from Bolles. I guess that makes it a great water boarding school….

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Trump backtracks on Obama as ISIL founder: ‘They don’t get sarcasm?’

Posted on August 12th, 2016 at 18:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


Donald Trump on Friday backpedaled on his comment that President Barack Obama founded the Islamic State, blasting the media for seriously reporting what he suggested was a sarcastic comment.

“Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) ‘the founder’ of ISIS, & MVP,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?”

Remember when Bush sarcastically said there were WMDs in Iraq and we all had a good laugh about it? Good times.

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Bumper Sticker

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


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Remove cat before flight

Posted on August 12th, 2016 at 11:35 by John Sinteur in category: News




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  1. Watch from the beginning and see the cat slowly crawl into view starting around 0:36.

  2. Strap your pussy down!

Secure Boot snafu: Microsoft leaks backdoor key, firmware flung wide open

Posted on August 12th, 2016 at 11:17 by John Sinteur in category: News


Microsoft has inadvertently demonstrated the intrinsic security problem of including a universal backdoor in its software after it accidentally leaked its so-called “golden key”—which allows users to unlock any device that’s supposedly protected by Secure Boot, such as phones and tablets.

The key basically allows anyone to bypass the provisions Microsoft has put in place ostensibly to prevent malicious versions of Windows from being installed, on any device running Windows 8.1 and upwards with Secure Boot enabled.

And while this means that enterprising users will be able to install any operating system—Linux, for instance—on their Windows tablet, it also allows bad actors with physical access to a machine to install bootkits and rootkits at deep levels. Worse, according to the security researchers who found the keys, this is a decision Microsoft may be unable to reverse.

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Facebook rolls out code to nullify Adblock Plus’ workaround

Posted on August 12th, 2016 at 11:13 by John Sinteur in category: News


Adblock Plus launched a workaround to Facebook’s ad block bypass today that ham-handedly removes posts from friends and Pages, not just ads, according to a statement provided by Facebook to TechCrunch.

“We’re disappointed that ad blocking companies are punishing people on Facebook as these new attempts don’t just block ads but also posts from friends and Pages. This isn’t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue. Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.”

That “plan to address the issue” is coming quick. A source close to Facebook tells me that today, possibly within hours, the company will push an update to its site’s code that will nullify Adblock Plus’ workaround. Apparently it took two days for Adblock Plus to come up with the workaround, and only a fraction of that time for Facebook to disable it.

Still, the cat-and-mouse game is sure to rage on.

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Donald Trump: I meant that Obama founded ISIS, literally

Posted on August 11th, 2016 at 21:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


Washington (CNN)Donald Trump said Thursday that he meant exactly what he said when he called President Barack Obama the “founder of ISIS” and objected when a conservative radio show host tried to clarify the GOP nominee’s position.

Trump was asked by host Hugh Hewitt about the comments Trump made Wednesday night in Florida, and Hewitt said he understood Trump to mean “that he (Obama) created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
Trump objected.
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”
From the wiki page of ISIS: Established under the name of Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad: 1999.
Not even 5 seconds on the internet shows what a fucking moron Trump is.

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  1. naw, the internet is rigged.

  2. Only true in that Americans may have continued, created and exacerbated conditions that gave rise to such groups as Al-Q and IS.

    It isn’t complicated. People have always found ways to continue struggling when it is impossible to fight a powerful opponent with conventional means. Basically extreme Islam is the same as Marxism for the Shining Path.

Cracking the Code on Trump Tweets

Posted on August 11th, 2016 at 20:06 by John Sinteur in category: News


A theory has been circulating that the Donald Trump tweets that come from an Android device are from the candidate himself, while the ones that come from an iPhone are the work of his staff. David Robinson, a data scientist who works for Stack Overflow (sort of like Yahoo! for programmers and developers), decided to test the theory. His conclusion: It’s absolutely correct.

Robinson used some very sophisticated algorithms to analyze roughly 1,400 tweets from Trump’s timeline, and demonstrated conclusively that the iPhone tweets are substantively different than the Android tweets. The former tend to come later at night, and are vastly more likely to incorporate hashtags, images, and links. The latter tend to come in the morning, and are much more likely to be copied and pasted from other people’s tweets. In terms of word choice, the iPhone tweets tend to be more neutral, with their three most-used phrases being “join,” “#trump2016,” and “#makeamericagreatagain.” The Android tweets tend to be more emotionally charged, with their three most-used phrases being “badly,” “crazy,” and “weak.”

In the end, this is largely a curiosity. However, having the code broken will make it harder (or easier) for The Donald to disclaim future (and past) controversial tweets. Already, users have gone back to check and see where the anti-Semitic and white supremacist retweets came from. Answer: Android. (Z)

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No Pivot Here: Trump Asks, Why Would I Tone It Down When I’m ‘Winning?’

Posted on August 10th, 2016 at 11:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


“I think that you know my temperament has gotten me here. I’ve always had a good temperament and it’s gotten me here,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business, according to a transcript of the appearance. “I certainly don’t think it is appropriate to start changing all of a sudden when you have been winning.”


“Tone it down? In my moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.” – Grand Moff Trumpkin, 2016

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Facebook Will Force Advertising on Ad-Blocking Users

Posted on August 10th, 2016 at 11:12 by John Sinteur in category: News


Facebook is going to start forcing ads to appear for all users of its desktop website, even if they use ad-blocking software.

The social network said on Tuesday that it will change the way advertising is loaded into its desktop website to make its ad units considerably more difficult for ad blockers to detect.

“Facebook is ad-supported. Ads are a part of the Facebook experience; they’re not a tack on,” said Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform.

The next step in the ad-blocking war. Others will copy whatever FaceBook comes up with, escalating this again…

“This isn’t motivated by inventory; it’s not an opportunity for Facebook from that perspective,” Mr. Bosworth said. “We’re doing it more for the principle of the thing. We want to help lead the discussion on this.”

So you want to help lead the discussion by forcing this? Well, at least he’s honest that their principles involve forcing ads on people who don’t want them.

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  1. Let the ad/anti-ad wars begin, again! Time for an open, ad-free version of FB, call it Openbook! $1 per month with no ads, and no filters!

Donald Trump’s 2nd Amendment Line Will End His Campaign

Posted on August 9th, 2016 at 22:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


OK, is hinting that maybe your political opponent should get shot The Line?

If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.

Is that The Line?

You know, The Line, the one that He, Trump has to cross before the entire Republican Party, not to mention a good portion of the human race, finds him too revolting for their delicate stomachs? What say you, Paul Ryan? Is that the line? John McCain? Mitch McConnell? All you clowns in the tricorns and the Watering The Tree Of Liberty tank tops? What say you all? Do you stand by this?

How about the elite political press? Is this enough to push you over the line to admitting every day in your coverage that this is not a normal election because the Republican Party has nominated a public sociopath for President of the United States? Once, while contemplating the re-election of Richard Nixon, the late Dr. Thompson once wrote this, and it might be the best single paragraph of political journalism anyone ever wrote:

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it—that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes… understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon. McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose as a matter of policy and a perfect expression of everything he stands for. Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?

What he said on Tuesday is something Donald Trump does every day of his life, on purpose, as a matter of policy and a perfect expression of everything he stands for. It seems one could stoop even lower than Nixon to be president.

If that isn’t The Line, then what in the hell is The Line? Actually doing it?

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  1. Was Nixon really so bad when you compare him to what came after? Did he start any wars, kill any American with drones, imprison without trial, unequitable tax cuts for the rich, etc, etc, etc?

  2. More on Nixon: What’s the difference between breaking into Watergate and hacking someone’s computer files?

  3. Trump could go a whole lot lower than he has already & he’d STILL be guaranteed 25% of the vote…
    Yes, many American voters will always vote for their party even if they raided an insane asylum for the nuttiest inmate to put on the ticket.
    There’s a hundred days, and as many gaffes, to go but he’s guaranteed many states.

If you’re at the Rio Olympics, you’ve probably already been hacked

Posted on August 9th, 2016 at 9:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


While athletes head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to compete for medals in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, hackers in the area have their eyes on a different prize: the personal information of unsuspecting travelers.

According to a new report from mobile security firm Skycure, visitors to the former capital of Brazil are being targeted by malicious actors who have set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots designed to steal information from connected devices. These phony wireless networks were spotted by Skycure around the city, but they were most prominent in locations where travelers were most likely to look for a place to connect, like shopping malls, well-known coffee shops, and hotels.

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Why I’m not a big fan of Scrum

Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 22:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


The daily standup deserves a blog post of its own. This religious ritual has become a staple of every team in the world. Ten minutes of staring into the void, talking about what you did while no one else listens, because they were in the middle of something five minutes ago and will go back to it in another five minutes, and waiting for everyone else to finish. I know this sounds cynical, but it is the end result of asking people to do it every freaking day. Nowadays devs are communicating on all kinds of channels (email, Slack, Github/Gitlab, ticketing system) and tracking detailed progress on some of these. What’s the point in having them stand around for another ten minutes to repeat a few standard sentences? The daily standup is in my opinion a manifestation of a significant but unspoken component of Scrum: Control. The main goal of Scrum is to minimize risk and make sure the developers do not deviate from the plan.

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  1. My opinion of scrum, and agile development in general, is that it is a good way to sell books and generate ridiculous consulting fees for nothing in return… Give me a good weekly staff meeting where people can talk about what they are doing, and any problems they have. Keep it to 1/2 to 1 hour, and let them sit down!

Booker prize winner Howard Jacobson on how Britain faces mob rule

Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 15:47 by John Sinteur in category: News


However cynically they were misled, the people must bear responsibility for what happened. They were given a choice and they chose unwisely. The will of the people is the falsest of idols. We bow down to it with hollow hearts. In every Dr Jekyll there is a Mr Hyde, and in every populace there”s a mob. We should be concerned lest, having exercised their will to shattering effect last month, they get a taste for it.

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The Muppets’ Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem Outside Lands 2016

Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 12:20 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Apple Stock Plummets Amid Fears Of New U2 Album

Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 9:45 by John Sinteur in category: News


SHARES in tech giant Apple took an unprecedented tumble today, as Irish rock group U2 announced their next album was nearing completion, and could possibly see a release in September or October of this year.

The news sent icy blasts of pure fear through the souls of iTunes users worldwide, as they remembered the dark days and weeks that surrounded the last U2 album, which they were forced to receive in 2014.

With the release of the upcoming “Songs Of Experience” looking like it will skirt dangerously close to the release of the iPhone 7, markets across the world reacted violently amid fears that a repeat of the publicity stunt would send users screaming away from iOS in favour of an operating system that comes without any threat of Bono showing up in your record collection.

“Apple lost nearly $5bn of its worldwide value overnight,” said one flabbergasted stockbroker.

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Underground music, echoes of war

Posted on August 7th, 2016 at 11:44 by John Sinteur in category: News


To forestall a German blockade, at the beginning of World War II the Royal Navy built huge, multimegalitre subterranean oil storage tanks across the country. In 2009, the facility at Inchindown in the Scottish Highlands opened for visitors – and something remarkable came to light.

There are six tanks, most about 250 metres long – longer than any cathedral in Britain – and nine metres wide by 13 metres tall. After catching a reference to them on BBC TV, Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford, thought such structures of unusual size might have equally unusual acoustic properties and arranged tests.

This wasn’t easy. Access is by way of a walk down a kilometre-long unlit tunnel followed by a drag through a 46 centimetre wide oil-beslimed pipe on a trolley, But Science! will not be denied: in 2013, a starting pistol was fired in the tank to incredible effect The reverberation clocked in at 112 seconds at 125 Hz, 30 seconds at mid frequency, and 75 seconds broadband – a world record for a man-made object.

Since then, a small number of musical recordings have been made in the tanks – the first being Professor Cox himself on alto sax. He also put on a performance of Alvin Lucier’s ‘I Am Sitting In A Room’, itself a milestone in experimental music from 1969, albeit with some appropriate lyrical modifications.

Most recently, opera singer and composer Lucie Treacher descended into the depths in May 2016 for an improvisation with voice and nyckelharpa,

The massive reverberation is often mistakenly called an echo because that’s the name of the world record it holds – and it makes for snappier headlines. And if you want to measure your own underground storage facility, there is of course an international standard to help you.

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HPD: High-tech methods behind massive theft of Jeep, Dodge cars

Posted on August 7th, 2016 at 11:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


That was the same story HPD heard over and over from several Jeep owners in the Houston area. Police were aware Jeep and Dodge vehicles were being stolen for months, but they just didn’t know how and who until home surveillance video surfaced from one victim.

“In that video, you see a guy walk up to the car carrying a laptop computer,” said Jim Woods with HPD. “(He) uses the laptop and — within 6 minutes — starts the Jeep, backs up the Jeep out of driveway.”

Police said two men were behind it all are Michael Arcee and Jesse Zelaya.

“There’s a possibility they may not be the only ones that are doing this, but right now we feel if they are the only ones that are doing this, with this arrest we hope we will be able to curb the amount of thefts occurring,” said Woods.

HPD said it’s nearly impossible to stop this high-tech crime especially if someone else has the same pirated software.

Dear Jeep, dear Dodge, if a car being stolen depends on a piece of software being pirated or not, YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

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Trump or Jesus: Who Said It?

Posted on August 6th, 2016 at 16:27 by John Sinteur in category: News

I don’t know if this is stupid or brilliant.. Probably both.



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State Dept. Spox Laughs Off Idea Of Briefings Being “An Exercise Of Transparency And Democracy”

Posted on August 6th, 2016 at 12:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Microsoft won’t fix Windows flaw that lets hackers steal your username and password

Posted on August 6th, 2016 at 11:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


To exploit this, a hacker has to trick a user into visiting a specially rafted web page in Internet Explorer or Edge (on Windows 10) that points to their own network share. The browser will silently send usernames and hashed passwords to the network share, which can then be scooped up and stolen.

If passwords are weak, they can be easily unscrambled and used to log in to user accounts.


There’s a simple mitigation, according to the group. Don’t use Internet Explorer, Edge, or Microsoft Outlook, and don’t log in to Windows with a Microsoft account.

Chrome and Firefox users aren’t affected.

A Microsoft spokesperson suggested that the company would not patch the flaw.

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