Wednesday, June 25, 2003
In no particular order, and without links this time. Because I'm too lazy. That's why. Just hop on Kazaa.
Drive By Truckers
Phineas Gage (great local band, email me for some tracks)
Jim's Big Ego (you have GOT to listen to "Stress" you can go to bigego.com)
Beck (the new Sea Change album is great)
Hot Hot Heat
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
A good article on the Supreme Court's recent decision allowing "Porn" filters at libraries and extending the defintion of "obscene" termes that such filters will block.
Fox News Chanel has filed a Cease and Desist order against Agitproperties.com for it's "Faux News" parodies (which, by the way are great. go buy a t-shirt!). The fascists will not stop, it seems. Read the order below
Cease And Desist Order and Agit's Commentary
Monday, June 23, 2003
American soldiers in Iraq today make the astonishing admission that they regularly kill civilians.
Advisory Committee on Total Information Awareness
Surveillance System Holds Rare Public Hearing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Contact: Gabe Rottman
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today told a committee of
outside advisors on the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness surveillance
system that the program should be shut down and said that recent
alterations of the spy program's public profile, such as changing its name
to "Terrorism Information Awareness," are little more than cosmetic.
"The Pentagon's recent push to tone down the Orwellian overtones of this
highly troubling program is nothing but spin," said Jay Stanley,
Communications Director for the ACLU Technology and Liberty Project, who
testified today. "Don't be fooled - this program would dramatically
undercut our privacy and civil liberties. We are confident that the
members of this committee will reach the same conclusion."
Advocates ranging in political persuasion from the Eagle Forum and the
American Conservative Union to the ACLU have roundly criticized the system,
which is intended to allow federal agencies to divine terrorism before it
happens by mining the electronic records of Americans' credit card
purchases, medical, educational and financial transactions, travel
itineraries and other daily behavior.
I do not necessarily agree with the entire contents of this site, however I did find the text below quite interesting.
Around the time that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclaimation, which freed the slaves, a lot of Southern preachers were urging him not to do so.
In a climate in which even the United States Supreme Court declared that African Americans were only three-fifths human, America's preachers were called to action. But instead of preaching against the evils of slavery, our preachers did something shocking.
They quoted the Bible in defense of slavery.
They declared that it was God's Will that black people be kept in chains, as furniture. They said that it was ordained by God to be this way, that white men should own black men. And they quoted the Bible to back up their claim, both Old and New Testaments.
The Bible can be very easily interpreted to condone slavery (Leviticus 25:44-45). But such is not God's Plan. But try telling that to those men of God in the mid-1800's. They could quote the Bible better than anyone ever could, and lots of people believed them.
Today, some preachers are still using the Bible the same way that those racist Southern preachers used it to defend the slave trade. Except now, they are using it to say that gay and lesbian people should change.
They are using it to try to stop gay and lesbian people from gaining their equal rights. They call it "special rights", all the while standing on the street corner, using the Bible as a weapon of intollerance against gay and lesbian people.
They quote the book of Leviticus where it says, "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman, it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22) but fail to consider the scripture within its context, which shows us that the book of Leviticus says that...
It is an abomination to wear clothes of mixed fibers (cotton/polyester blends are the most popular);
It is an abomination to eat pork;
It is an abomination to eat lobster;
It is an abomination to drink milk;
It is an abomination to have a blood transfusion;
If your brother dies, you are commanded to take his wife as your own.
Bigoted people and preachers almost always follow the same path. They pick and choose the parts of the Bible that they want to believe, while ignoring the parts that they find inconvenient.
Most people do not read the Bible first and then decide what they believe. They have beliefs inside and THEN go through the Bible, trying to find verses that justify those beliefs. Everyone does this, including people who are bigots and people who are not. It is time for the Church to recognize this and put a stop to its own prejudice.
Think about it carefully. There is no evidence, either psychological, medical or psychiatric that shows that sexual orientation can be changed. The only people who claim that it can be changed are those who have a religious bias against it. It is time for the church to review the evidence at hand and admit that it has made a mistake regarding gay and lesbian people.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Hatch Takes Aim at Illegal Downloading (TechNews.com)
Why is this man still a Senator? Doesn't he read the laws they pass up there, like the anti-hacking laws passed only a few years ago (which makes such measures as the one he suggests illegal)? Bottom line, the man is fascist lunatic. Please vote him out now people.
“I made my comments at yesterday’s hearing because I think that industry is
not doing enough to help us find effective ways to stop people from using
computers to steal copyrighted, personal or sensitive materials. I do not
favor extreme remedies – unless no moderate remedies can be found. I asked
the interested industries to help us find those moderate remedies.”
From Thomas Shaddack on why Hatch's scheme is technologically impossible:
First, the technology has to get inside the computer somehow. Standard
precautions against hostile code apply. However, we have to consider the
possibility that such code would run within the operating system itself,
sneaked there as part of DRM or in a "must-have" player or as an "update"
of oh-so-trusted Microsoft.
Even if the code would run there, the number of warnings has to be stored
somewhere. Catch this (there are tools for monitoring both file system and
registry access at e.g. sysinternals.com), you are indestructible, just
will be annoyed with warnings, which can be clicked away automatically
with a small program like e.g. PTFB.
Once the first warning appears, it is a clear evidence the machine is
compromised and that the trip to Google or the newsgroups or to a local
hacker, who is likely to know the remedy, is advised.
An easy way to get a sample of such hypothetical infector system, or at
least its key part, is to set up a honey pot that will be very likely to
attract the attention (shouldn't be difficult if the adversary wants to
hit 100,000s machines), with logging all its communication on its gateway.
Then, once the warning appears, go through the logs and find the cause.
Besides, if we rule out reflashing BIOS, which is usually preventable with
a jumper, it's rather difficult to physically damage a machine by purely
software means. The ancient ways like overclocking the monitor's synchro
and frying deflection coil transistors, or getting the disk heads to
resonance, can't be applied anymore, as the newer electronics either
doesn't allow access to its lowest-level functions (like head seeking of
HDDs), or safely shuts down when outside of the allowed parameters
(multisync monitors). Otherwise we'd already see cases of
hardware-damaging worms. This turns the risk of "destroyed machine" to the
nuisance of wiped disks, which is easy to mitigate with regular backups,
and the remedy is a routine reinstall.
> "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd
> be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way,
> then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred
> thousand of those, I think people would realize" the seriousness of their
> actions, he said. "There's no excuse for anyone violating copyright laws,"
> Hatch said. [...]
After the first few hundreds victims (the news on the Net spread at the
speed of light in a fiber), the technology will get into hands of
"rogues", who will devise solutions and workarounds - from cloaking,
filtering packets from listed sources or with damaging content, to
(finally) provably secure P2P software. Which can be e.g. a properly
sandboxed Java applet that interacts with the other ones in the Outside
(or maybe even a program complete with its own mini-OS running on its own
virtual machine, completely isolated from the rest of the machine, a
lightweight version of VMware), and another program running with higher
level of privileges that watches for finished downloads and moves the
files outside of the applet's write access (optionally sanitizing it
during that), so even if the applet itself gets under hostile control, all
that can get corrupted are the unfinished downloads and the applet's
process itself. Attempts to corrupt the computer by a buffer-overflow
vulnerability in the downloaded files (the ID3 tag problems can serve as
an example) can be mitigated by a filter that checks every MP3 frame, ID3
tag, and other parts of the files for syntactical validity, clipping
eventual too long strings, sanitizing dangerous content, throwing away or
interpolating frames with overflows.
Orrin's scheme won't turn people away of P2P. Instead, demand for secure
P2P systems will be created and shortly later satiated.
Another day, another politician proved his technological inaptness...
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Remember the Beechcraft that crashed into the middle of Hollywood a few weeks ago? And remember that IMMEDIATELY we were told it was NOT a terrorist attack? Well...read this.
Saturday, June 07, 2003
If you look to the left side of this page, you will notice that I have added two new sites to my list of links. They are SavageStupidity and Michael Savage Sucks. Now, I have been a long time detractor of Michael Savage and his obnoxious, facsist radio program. I have added these links now specifically to show my support for these two sites. They are both being sued by Talk Radio Networks (the network who owns Savage's show) because they enlightened advertisers on the show about the shows contents and some advertisers quit using Savage for promotional purposes. The plaintiff also makes other complaints regarding rebroadcast rights and copyright issues. Now the copyright issues I believe TRN can win on. I am no lawyer of course, but they seem to have grounds there. However, the main part of the suit involves Culligan International's (the water guys) stoppage of advertising on the "Savage Nation". TRN is suing the abovementioned website owners for DAMAGES IN EXCESS OF 100K BECAUSE AN ADVERTISER STOPPED USING THEM WHEN THE ADVERTISER REALISED WHAT MICHAEL SAVAGE WAS ABOUT! Is that not insane? By the way, I encourage you to read the text of the lawsuit here. Further, TRN has filed a complaint through the UDRP to try to seize the domain name of savagestupidity.com claming:
The only difference between Complainant’s MICHAEL SAVAGE mark and the disputed domain name is the replacement of the word “Michael” with “stupidity”. The respondent’s domain name is also confusingly similar to the Complainant’s
Bizarre or what? The link to that complaint is here.
Now, I now some of you are wondering what the problem is with Michael Savage. So there's another pedantic right-wing nut on the radio. Well.... go here, scroll down a bit and look on the left of the page at the sound clips section. Listen to Savage Dixie Sluts / ChickenHawk, Savage discusses women, 11/22/02 Free Speech, the Millstone and Madness!, 11/19/02 The Millstone Hypocrisy, 11/01/02 Racism in Ethnic Restaurants!
11/22/02 Doper Baby!, 6/14/02 - Savage Threat of Arson and Violence, and 01/14/03 (New) - Ratings, Ritalin, and Sex. You should get the idea. In case your wondering, all his rantings about private detectives watching people and the other threats he makes, they're all directed to the folks that run these websites. I encourage you to go to savagestupidity.com and michaelsavagesucks.com and show your support, or at least send a quick email to the advertisers.
Friday, June 06, 2003
When I was little, I used to not drink out of the water fountains at school that were marked for the handicapped. I thought since they were just for them, the had special medicine to help with their incapacities. Then I decided if I started to drink out of them too, the drugs might make me even better, since I wasn't handicapped. Then I got hit with a wheelchair.
Well, seems he wants more. Almost everything is not enough. The Reno administration did enough damage without all these new intrusions, and now Ashcroft has decided we must evicerate the Constitution to protect the Constitution. No good can come of this.
Ashcroft Wants Broader Anti-Terror Powers (washingtonpost.com)
Thursday, June 05, 2003
A Reprint By Request
Music YOU Should Be Listening To
(in no particular order)