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Former Microsoft Managers Now In Charge of Washington State's Budget

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the with-special-advisor-Clippy dept.

Government 126

reifman writes "The Seattle Times reports, 'For the first time in state history, the Washington state budget is being written by Microsofties,' Representative Ross Hunter has 'tamed his Microsoft-style head-butting with a politician's trust-building.' Senator Andy Hill is 'the first Senate budget chair ever to request Excel files instead of paper spreadsheets.' 'The two must find $1 billion in new money for the state's K-12 system.' Unfortunately, The Times neglects to mention that Hunter and Microsoft are among those behind the deficit and cutbacks in the first place. Hunter helped pass the amnesty bill for Microsoft's $1.5 billion Nevada tax dodge ($4.37 billion if you include impacts from its lobbying to reduce tax rates) that contributed to $4 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education since 2008. The state has resorted to using Yelp to tax dancing to try to make up the shortfall (for real)."

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Google execs too (0, Troll)

rmqkr (2908319) | about a year ago | (#43566341)

I'm not so worried about ex-Microsoft employees taking care of budget issues, but more worried about current employees of Google running in the senate and government positions. They are lobbying against nationwide surveillance and are pro-lessening privacy. Google employees and execs have been doing this for a few years now, and that is why were seeing so heavy legislate like CISPA and anti-piracy attacks.

Re:Google execs too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567199)

Yeah, we get it - let's distract everybody from the truly diabolical behaviour of Microsoft and it's spawn by pretending Google has done something bad. Fucking Scroogle this!

Re:Google execs too (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567339)

Sadly, Microsoft is an irredeemably shameful company. They have no ethical standards whatsoever, and would rather use astroturfers to point the finger of blame at others than deal with the horrific culture they've developed.

Re:Google execs too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567439)

Right.. because Microsoft is never dragged in when there is a negative story about Apple or Google. I'm sure that whenever that happens, its "interesting" and "insightful' or "informative" to do so. An advertising company would never hire shills. Nope. All those lovely advertising execs... hearts of gold ya know ! all pure gold !

Re:Google execs too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567905)

MS are easily the worst of the astroturfers, and they're vindictive scum who constantly spread lies about community projects like Linux. They deserve all the contempt and ridicule they get.

Ob (1, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43566349)

Just hope they aren't using excel to do the budget.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23448-how-to-stop-excel-errors-driving-austerity-economics.html [newscientist.com]

Also, frist poot.

First it was Nokia, now Washington state (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43566431)

When the M$ mole infested Nokia, Nokia tanked

Sales tanked, share price tanked, everything tanked

Will Washington state be next ?

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43566667)

Yes, but it's not MS that caused Nokia to tank and it's not MS that is causing USA to tank either. Pretty bad timing though, I would not have taken that job unless I was given a green light to cut all government spending close to 0.

Re: First it was Nokia, now Washington state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566757)

Things are already pretty close to zero. Pray tell then, who's going to cover the cost of all the infrastructure that's required for modern life?

Re: First it was Nokia, now Washington state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567917)

In Obama's America 4,000,000,000,000 = 0.

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43566971)

it's not MS that caused Nokia to tank

They didn't exactly help, though.

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (2)

fascismforthepeople (2805977) | about a year ago | (#43567187)

I would not have taken that job unless I was given a green light to cut all government spending close to 0.

By which, of course, you mean the salaries of all the employees other than yourself. You would cut (most || all) of the government employees, and in the process your salary would (grow a lot || grow ridiculously) while you would force people to do (all || more than all) of the work that the fired people were doing for free. Meanwhile you would be doing (less work than before || no work at all) while celebrating your achievements.

And of course, in the process your power would have increased (incalculably || beyond your wildest dreams || beyond everyone else's nightmares) while you strip away all the rights of everyone else that allows society to exist and people to live. But this is just how your strategy works, you bring power for the wealthy and fascism for the people.

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (5, Informative)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#43567963)

it's not MS that caused Nokia to tank

That is self serving Microsoft bullshit. On the day Elop released his stupid memo Nokia lost 20% and it was all downhill from there. Fact.

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43570137)

Nokia was already downhill. They temporarily stopped going downhill because they thought Microsoft might actually outright buy Nokia. Then clearly that didn't happen.

Note their stock trajectory pretty closely matches other failed phone businesses with no Microsoft conspiracy:

http://img.yle.fi/uutiset/news/article6586005.ece/ALTERNATES/w960/1804_Nokia_NEWS-01.png [img.yle.fi]

M$ caused Nokia to tank (4, Informative)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about a year ago | (#43567997)

M$ did cause Nokia to tank [seekingalpha.com] . That was done via Elop. The topic of Elop comes up often [blogs.com] at Tomi Ahonen's blog. He is the most accurate mobile forcaster around and has on multiple occasions enumerated the damage being caused by Microsoft's Elop at Nokia. Nokia was at the top of it's game when Elop killed it [blogs.com] . The Linux phone that he stopped was getting better reviews than the iPhone. But at this point there's nothing viable left and he's even brought in more people from M$ than just himself to ensure that the damage is permanent. Most of the talent has been fired or left on their own. If you want to look for progress, you'll have to turn away from Nokia and towards Jolla. That's just a sample of what the state of Washington can expect with microsofter in charge.

Re:M$ caused Nokia to tank (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43570159)

The Windows phone he picked up was also getting better reviews than the iPhone.

It's actually not hard to get a better review than an iPhone, since the iPhone is the standard to which phones are compared so just one stand-out feature and you're "better".

Also, Microsoft is mostly in Washington state. Why would they have a master plan to tank Washington state?

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43568495)

So you are one of those tools that think the only purpose of gov't is to make sure people don't interfere with corporations...

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (2, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43566673)

Microsoft killed Nokia because it wanted to kill Nokia. That was obvious as it was happening.

I'm not a fan of their technology at all, but they do know how to make money quite well and there's no reason to believe that their financial managers are incompetent or irresponsible with their own interests.

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566751)

When the M$ mole infested Nokia, Nokia tanked

Sales tanked, share price tanked, everything tanked

Will Washington state be next ?

Maybe, but they'll buy Oregon co-opt their government into Washington's.

Then they'll sue California for patent infringement because in the meantime, the Microsoftie would have patented fucking up a state government and then California will be ordered to pay royalties.

We're in a new area of Corporate Governments - a la "Friday" by Heinlein.

Re: First it was Nokia, now Washington state (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567335)

And California would claim prior art and win spectacularly

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566931)

When the M$ mole infested Nokia, Nokia tanked

Sales tanked, share price tanked, everything tanked

Will Washington state be next ?

This is Nokia's 5-year share price [google.com] trend. Can you spot any change where Elop joined?

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43566957)

This article is making a serious mistake though. I guarantee you that the $1 billion they claim was lost due to lost tax revenue wouldn't have been dumped into the education system. Maybe some of it would have, but for the most part the other government agencies would be sticking their hands out, and many of them would probably have first dibs (namely stupid-yet-loved items like paying sports franchises to keep teams there - not that this is what is happening in Washington, but these kinds of things tend to take priority over education, I shit you not.)

Blaming that billion dollar education deficit on microsoft is just plain stupid. The politicians would love you to believe that though, because then if you blame microsoft, they'll still get your vote even if it was their fuckup. I can almost promise you that it is more of a result of pork than anything else.

Re:First it was Nokia, now Washington state (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567375)

Wait... you can corrupt a government office in the US it more than it already is?

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566445)

Also, frist poot.

(Score:-1, failed it)

Re:Ob (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43566983)

I calculated the position in excel and it said 1!

Re:Ob (3, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43566929)

The problem was somebody made some serious mistakes when they were inputting the data.

That wasn't an excel error. Excel did it's job exactly as it was supposed to (not joking, it really did.) Excel can't tell you when your data is wrong, rather only what your data amounts to as per your parameters. Garbage in, garbage out.

Both TFA and TFS in that case made mistakes of their own when they blamed Excel, and TFE (The Fucking Editor) didn't catch it.

Re:Ob (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43567017)

One of the most common mistakes is entering something that looks like a number, but isn't. Say there's a space between the digits, or before them.

While that's the user's fault, when you do a calculation with it excel could at least say something, rather than just fucking pretending there's zero in the cell.

Re:Ob (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567157)

No that is not the user's fault. When there is an error state and the program doesn't indicate that there is an error state, that is bad design.

STUPID !! STUPID !! MUTHA FUX !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566351)

It is a case of not 'bend over!?' but 'how far??'

My lawyers are contacting Rob Malda... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566365)

* Breaking news: corrupt Slashdot administration attempted to ban me for blowing the whistle on their illegal activities, while not banning the criminal who stalks, harasses, and impersonates me. Whistleblower abuse is a federal felony. Lunatic Slashdot admin's have been owned by me in so many tech debates over the past decade that they conspire with criminals to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts and censor me. Jealousy at it's finest.

=> Lawsuit's and criminal prosecution against Slashdot are now inevitable. Moderation+posting records will be sequestered and anyone acting aginst me will be dealt with permanently.

Previous notice:

A corrupt slashdot luser has pentrated the moderation system to downmod all my posts while impersonating me.

Nearly 330++ times that I know of @ this point for all of March/April 2013 so far, & others here have told you to stop - take the hint, lunatic (leave slashdot)...

Sorry folks - but whoever the nutjob is that's attempting to impersonate me, & upset the rest of you as well, has SERIOUS mental issues, no questions asked! I must've gotten the better of him + seriously "gotten his goat" in doing so in a technical debate & his "geek angst" @ losing to me has him doing the:

---

A.) $10,000 challenges, ala (where the imposter actually TRACKED + LISTED the # of times he's done this no less, & where I get the 330 or so times I noted above) -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3585795&cid=43285307 [slashdot.org]

&/or

B.) Reposting OLD + possibly altered models - (this I haven't checked on as to altering the veracity of the info. being changed) of posts of mine from the past here

---

(Albeit massively repeatedly thru all threads on /. this March/April 2013 nearly in its entirety thusfar).

* Personally, I'm surprised the moderation staff here hasn't just "blocked out" his network range yet honestly!

(They know it's NOT the same as my own as well, especially after THIS post of mine, which they CAN see the IP range I am coming out of to compare with the ac spamming troll doing the above...).

APK

P.S.=> Again/Stressing it: NO guys - it is NOT me doing it, as I wouldn't waste that much time on such trivial b.s. like a kid might...

Plus, I only post where hosts file usage is on topic or appropriate for a solution & certainly NOT IN EVERY POST ON SLASHDOT (like the nutcase trying to "impersonate me" is doing for nearly all of March/April now, & 330++ times that I know of @ least)... apk

P.S.=> here is CORRECT host file information just to piss off the insane lunatic troll:

--

21++ ADVANTAGES OF CUSTOM HOSTS FILES (how/what/when/where/why):

Over AdBlock & DNS Servers ALONE 4 Security, Speed, Reliability, & Anonymity (to an extent vs. DNSBL's + DNS request logs).

1.) HOSTS files are useable for all these purposes because they are present on all Operating Systems that have a BSD based IP stack (even ANDROID) and do adblocking for ANY webbrowser, email program, etc. (any webbound program). A truly "multi-platform" UNIVERSAL solution for added speed, security, reliability, & even anonymity to an extent (vs. DNS request logs + DNSBL's you feel are unjust hosts get you past/around).

2.) Adblock blocks ads? Well, not anymore & certainly not as well by default, apparently, lol - see below:

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option

http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/12/2213233/adblock-plus-to-offer-acceptable-ads-option [slashdot.org] )

AND, in only browsers & their subprogram families (ala email like Thunderbird for FireFox/Mozilla products (use same gecko & xulrunner engines)), but not all, or, all independent email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express, OR Window "LIVE" mail (for example(s)) - there's many more like EUDORA & others I've used over time that AdBlock just DOES NOT COVER... period.

Disclaimer: Opera now also has an AdBlock addon (now that Opera has addons above widgets), but I am not certain the same people make it as they do for FF or Chrome etc..

3.) Adblock doesn't protect email programs external to FF (non-mozilla/gecko engine based) family based wares, So AdBlock doesn't protect email programs like Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows "LIVE" mail & others like them (EUDORA etc./et al), Hosts files do. THIS IS GOOD VS. SPAM MAIL or MAILS THAT BEAR MALICIOUS SCRIPT, or, THAT POINT TO MALICIOUS SCRIPT VIA URLS etc.

4.) Adblock won't get you to your favorite sites if a DNS server goes down or is DNS-poisoned, hosts will (this leads to points 5-7 next below).

5.) Adblock doesn't allow you to hardcode in your favorite websites into it so you don't make DNS server calls and so you can avoid tracking by DNS request logs, OR make you reach them faster since you resolve host-domain names LOCALLY w/ hosts out of cached memory, hosts do ALL of those things (DNS servers are also being abused by the Chinese lately and by the Kaminsky flaw -> http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/082908-kaminsky-flaw-prompts-dns-server.html [networkworld.com] for years now). Hosts protect against those problems via hardcodes of your fav sites (you should verify against the TLD that does nothing but cache IPAddress-to-domainname/hostname resolutions (in-addr.arpa) via NSLOOKUP, PINGS (ping -a in Windows), &/or WHOIS though, regularly, so you have the correct IP & it's current)).

* NOW - Some folks MAY think that putting an IP address alone into your browser's address bar will be enough, so why bother with HOSTS, right? WRONG - Putting IP address in your browser won't always work IS WHY. Some IP adresses host several domains & need the site name to give you the right page you're after is why. So for some sites only the HOSTS file option will work!

6.) Hosts files don't eat up CPU cycles (or ELECTRICITY) like AdBlock does while it parses a webpages' content, nor as much as a DNS server does while it runs. HOSTS file are merely a FILTER for the kernel mode/PnP TCP/IP subsystem, which runs FAR FASTER & MORE EFFICIENTLY than any ring 3/rpl3/usermode app can since hosts files run in MORE EFFICIENT & FASTER Ring 0/RPL 0/Kernelmode operations acting merely as a filter for the IP stack (via the "Plug-N-Play" designed IP stack in Windows) vs. SLOWER & LESS EFFICIENT Ring 3/RPL 3/Usermode operations (which webbrowsers run in + their addons like AdBlock slow down even MORESO due to their parsing operations).

7.) HOSTS files will allow you to get to sites you like, via hardcoding your favs into a HOSTS file, FAR faster than remote DNS servers can by FAR (by saving the roundtrip inquiry time to a DNS server, typically 30-100's of ms, vs. 7-10ms HardDisk speed of access/seek + SSD seek in ns, & back to you - hosts resolutions of IP address for host-domain names is FAR faster...). Hosts are only a filter for an already fast & efficient IP stack, no more layered b.s. (remote OR local). Hosts eat less CPU, RAM, I/O in other forms, + electricity than a locally running DNS server easily, and less than a local DNS program on a single PC. Fact. Hosts are easier to setup & maintain too.

8.) AdBlock doesn't let you block out known bad sites or servers that are known to be maliciously scripted, hosts can and many reputable lists for this exist:

GOOD INFORMATION ON MALWARE BEHAVIOR LISTING BOTNET C&C SERVERS + MORE (AS WELL AS REMOVAL LISTS FOR HOSTS):

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org]
  http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ [someonewhocares.org]
  http://hostsfile.org/hosts.html [hostsfile.org]
  http://hostsfile.mine.nu/downloads/ [hostsfile.mine.nu]
  http://hosts-file.net/?s=Download [hosts-file.net]
  https://zeustracker.abuse.ch/monitor.php?filter=online [abuse.ch]
  https://spyeyetracker.abuse.ch/monitor.php [abuse.ch]
  http://ddanchev.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  http://www.malware.com.br/lists.shtml [malware.com.br]
  http://www.stopbadware.org/ [stopbadware.org]
Spybot "Search & Destroy" IMMUNIZE feature (fortifies HOSTS files with KNOWN bad servers blocked)

And yes: Even SLASHDOT &/or The Register help!

(Via articles on security (when the source articles they use are "detailed" that is, & list the servers/sites involved in attempting to bushwhack others online that is... not ALL do!)).

2 examples thereof in the past I have used, & noted it there, are/were:

http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1898692&cid=34473398 [slashdot.org]
  http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1896216&cid=34458500 [slashdot.org]

9.) AdBlock & DNS servers are programs, and subject to bugs programs can get. Hosts files are merely a filter and not a program, thus not subject to bugs of the nature just discussed.

10.) HOSTS files protect you vs. DNS-poisoning &/or the Kaminsky flaw in DNS servers, and allow you to get to sites reliably vs. things like the Chinese are doing to DNS -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/29/1755230/Chinese-DNS-Tampering-a-Real-Threat-To-Outsiders [slashdot.org]

11.) HOSTS files are EASILY user controlled, obtained (for reliable ones -> http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] ) & edited too, via texteditors like Windows notepad.exe or Linux nano (etc.)

12.) With Adblock you had better be able to code javascript to play with its code (to customize it better than the GUI front does @ least). With hosts you don't even need source to control it (edit, update, delete, insert of new entries via a text editor).

13.) Hosts files are easily secured via using MAC/ACL (even moreso "automagically" for Vista, 7/Server 2008 + beyond by UAC by default) &/or Read-Only attributes applied.

14.) Custom HOSTS files also speed you up, unlike anonymous proxy servers systems variations (like TOR, or other "highly anonymous" proxy server list servers typically do, in the severe speed hit they often have a cost in) either via "hardcoding" your fav. sites into your hosts file (avoids DNS servers, totally) OR blocking out adbanners - see this below for evidence of that:

---

US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/03/16/0416238/US-Military-Blocks-Websites-To-Free-Up-Bandwidth [slashdot.org]

(Yes, even the US Military used this type of technique... because IT WORKS! Most of what they blocked? Ad banners ala doubleclick etc.)

---

Adbanners slow you down & consume your bandwidth YOU pay for:

ADBANNERS SLOW DOWN THE WEB: -> http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/11/30/166218 [slashdot.org]

---

And people do NOT LIKE ads on the web:

PEOPLE DISLIKE ADBANNERS: http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

As well as this:

Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It:

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/02/0058247.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Even WORSE still, is this:

Advertising Network Caught History Stealing:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/22/156225/Advertising-Network-Caught-History-Stealing [slashdot.org]

---

15.) HOSTS files usage lets you avoid being charged on some ISP/BSP's (OR phone providers) "pay as you use" policy http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/08/2012243/FCC-Approving-Pay-As-You-Go-Internet-Plans [slashdot.org] , because you are using less bandwidth (& go faster doing so no less) by NOT hauling in adbanner content and processing it (which can lead to infestation by malware/malicious script, in & of itself -> http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com] ).

16.) If/when ISP/BSP's decide to go to -> FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/08/2012243/FCC-Approving-Pay-As-You-Go-Internet-Plans [slashdot.org] your internet bill will go DOWN if you use a HOSTS file for blocking adbanners as well as maliciously scripted hacker/cracker malware maker sites too (after all - it's your money & time online downloading adbanner content & processing it)

Plus, your adbanner content? Well, it may also be hijacked with malicious code too mind you:

---

Yahoo, Microsoft's Bing display toxic ads:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/16/bing_yahoo_malware_ads/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Malware torrent delivered over Google, Yahoo! ad services:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/24/malware_ads_google_yahoo/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Google's DoubleClick spreads malicious ads (again):

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/24/doubleclick_distributes_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Rogue ads infiltrate Expedia and Rhapsody:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/30/excite_and_rhapsody_rogue_ads/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Google sponsored links caught punting malware:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/16/google_sponsored_links/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

DoubleClick caught supplying malware-tainted ads:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/13/doubleclick_distributes_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Yahoo feeds Trojan-laced ads to MySpace and PhotoBucket users:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/11/yahoo_serves_12million_malware_ads/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Real Media attacks real people via RealPlayer:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/23/real_media_serves_malware/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Ad networks owned by Google, Microsoft serve malware:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/13/doubleclick_msn_malware_attacks/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Attacks Targeting Classified Ad Sites Surge:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/02/02/1433210/Attacks-Targeting-Classified-Ad-Sites-Surge [slashdot.org]

---

Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/01/20/0228258/Hackers-Respond-To-Help-Wanted-Ads-With-Malware [slashdot.org]

---

Hackers Use Banner Ads on Major Sites to Hijack Your PC:

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2007/11/doubleclick [wired.com]

---

Ruskie gang hijacks Microsoft network to push penis pills:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/12/microsoft_ips_hijacked/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Major ISPs Injecting Ads, Vulnerabilities Into Web:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/04/19/2148215.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Two Major Ad Networks Found Serving Malware:

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/12/13/0128249/Two-Major-Ad-Networks-Found-Serving-Malware [slashdot.org]

---

THE NEXT AD YOU CLICK MAY BE A VIRUS:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/09/06/15/2056219/The-Next-Ad-You-Click-May-Be-a-Virus [slashdot.org]

---

NY TIMES INFECTED WITH MALWARE ADBANNER:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/09/13/2346229 [slashdot.org]

---

MICROSOFT HIT BY MALWARES IN ADBANNERS:

http://apcmag.com/microsoft_apologises_for_serving_malware.htm [apcmag.com]

---

ISP's INJECTING ADS AND ERRORS INTO THE WEB: -> http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/04/19/2148215.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

ADOBE FLASH ADS INJECTING MALWARE INTO THE NET: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/20/0029220&from=rss [slashdot.org]

---

London Stock Exchange Web Site Serving Malware:

http://www.securityweek.com/london-stock-exchange-web-site-serving-malware [securityweek.com]

---

Spotify splattered with malware-tainted ads:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/25/spotify_malvertisement_attack/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

As my list "multiple evidences thereof" as to adbanners & viruses + the fact they slow you down & cost you more (from reputable & reliable sources no less)).

17.) Per point #16, a way to save some money: ANDROID phones can also use the HOSTS FILE TO KEEP DOWN BILLABLE TIME ONLINE, vs. adbanners or malware such as this:

---

Infected Androids Run Up Big Texting Bills:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/03/01/0041203/Infected-Androids-Run-Up-Big-Texting-Bills [slashdot.org]

---

AND, for protection vs. other "botnets" migrating from the PC world, to "smartphones" such as ZITMO (a ZEUS botnet variant):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=ZITMO&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]

---

It's easily done too, via the ADB dev. tool, & mounting ANDROID OS' system mountpoint for system/etc as READ + WRITE/ADMIN-ROOT PERMISSIONS, then copying your new custom HOSTS over the old one using ADB PULL/ADB PUSH to do so (otherwise ANDROID complains of "this file cannot be overwritten on production models of this Operating System", or something very along those lines - this way gets you around that annoyance along with you possibly having to clear some space there yourself if you packed it with things!).

18.) Bad news: ADBLOCK CAN BE DETECTED FOR: See here on that note -> http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars [arstechnica.com]

HOSTS files are NOT THAT EASILY "webbug" BLOCKABLE by websites, as was tried on users by ARSTECHNICA (and it worked on AdBlock in that manner), to that websites' users' dismay:

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT FROM ARSTECHNICA THEMSELVES:

----

An experiment gone wrong - By Ken Fisher | Last updated March 6, 2010 11:11 AM

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars [arstechnica.com]

"Starting late Friday afternoon we conducted a 12 hour experiment to see if it would be possible to simply make content disappear for visitors who were using a very popular ad blocking tool. Technologically, it was a success in that it worked. Ad blockers, and only ad blockers, couldn't see our content."

and

"Our experiment is over, and we're glad we did it because it led to us learning that we needed to communicate our point of view every once in a while. Sure, some people told us we deserved to die in a fire. But that's the Internet!"

Thus, as you can see? Well - THAT all "went over like a lead balloon" with their users in other words, because Arstechnica was forced to change it back to the old way where ADBLOCK still could work to do its job (REDDIT however, has not, for example). However/Again - this is proof that HOSTS files can still do the job, blocking potentially malscripted ads (or ads in general because they slow you down) vs. adblockers like ADBLOCK!

----

19.) Even WIKILEAKS "favors" blacklists (because they work, and HOSTS can be a blacklist vs. known BAD sites/servers/domain-host names):

---

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT (from -> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/16/wikileaks_mirror_malware_warning_row/ [theregister.co.uk] )

"we are in favour of 'Blacklists', be it for mail servers or websites, they have to be compiled with care... Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like stopbadware.org (which protects the Firefox browser)...

---

20.) AND, LASTLY? SINCE MALWARE GENERALLY HAS TO OPERATE ON WHAT YOU YOURSELF CAN DO (running as limited class/least privlege user, hopefully, OR even as ADMIN/ROOT/SUPERUSER)? HOSTS "LOCK IN" malware too, vs. communicating "back to mama" for orders (provided they have name servers + C&C botnet servers listed in them, blocked off in your HOSTS that is) - you might think they use a hardcoded IP, which IS possible, but generally they do not & RECYCLE domain/host names they own (such as has been seen with the RBN (Russian Business Network) lately though it was considered "dead", other malwares are using its domains/hostnames now, & this? This stops that cold, too - Bonus!)...

21.) Custom HOSTS files gain users back more "screen real estate" by blocking out banner ads... it's great on PC's for speed along with MORE of what I want to see/read (not ads), & efficiency too, but EVEN BETTER ON SMARTPHONES - by far. It matters MOST there imo @ least, in regards to extra screen real-estate.

Still - It's a GOOD idea to layer in the usage of BOTH browser addons for security like adblock ( http://adblockplus.org/en/ [adblockplus.org] ), IE 9's new TPL's ( http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Browser/TrackingProtectionLists/ [microsoft.com] ), &/or NoScript ( http://noscript.net/ [noscript.net] especially this one, as it covers what HOSTS files can't in javascript which is the main deliverer of MOST attacks online & SECUNIA.COM can verify this for anyone really by looking @ the past few years of attacks nowadays), for the concept of "layered security"....

It's just that HOSTS files offer you a LOT MORE gains than Adblock ( http://adblockplus.org/en/ [adblockplus.org] ) does alone (as hosts do things adblock just plain cannot & on more programs, for more speed, security, and "stealth" to a degree even), and it corrects problems in DNS (as shown above via hardcodes of your favorite sites into your HOSTS file, and more (such as avoiding DNS request logs)).

ALSO - Some more notes on DNS servers & their problems, very recent + ongoing ones:

---

DNS flaw reanimates slain evil sites as ghost domains:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/16/ghost_domains_dns_vuln/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

BIND vs. what the Chinese are doing to DNS lately? See here:

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/29/1755230/Chinese-DNS-Tampering-a-Real-Threat-To-Outsiders [slashdot.org]

---

SECUNIA HIT BY DNS REDIRECTION HACK THIS WEEK:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/26/secunia_back_from_dns_hack/ [theregister.co.uk]

(Yes, even "security pros" are helpless vs. DNS problems in code bugs OR redirect DNS poisoning issues, & they can only try to "set the DNS record straight" & then, they still have to wait for corrected DNS info. to propogate across all subordinate DNS servers too - lagtime in which folks DO get "abused" in mind you!)

---

DNS vs. the "Kaminsky DNS flaw", here (and even MORE problems in DNS than just that):

http://www.scmagazineus.com/new-bind-9-dns-flaw-is-worse-than-kaminskys/article/140872/ [scmagazineus.com]

(Seems others are saying that some NEW "Bind9 flaw" is worse than the Kaminsky flaw ALONE, up there, mind you... probably corrected (hopefully), but it shows yet again, DNS hassles (DNS redirect/DNS poisoning) being exploited!)

---

Moxie Marlinspike's found others (0 hack) as well...

Nope... "layered security" truly IS the "way to go" - hacker/cracker types know it, & they do NOT want the rest of us knowing it too!...

(So until DNSSEC takes "widespread adoption"? HOSTS are your answer vs. such types of attack, because the 1st thing your system refers to, by default, IS your HOSTS file (over say, DNS server usage). There are decent DNS servers though, such as OpenDNS, ScrubIT, or even NORTON DNS (more on each specifically below), & because I cannot "cache the entire internet" in a HOSTS file? I opt to use those, because I have to (& OpenDNS has been noted to "fix immediately", per the Kaminsky flaw, in fact... just as a sort of reference to how WELL they are maintained really!)

---

DNS Hijacks Now Being Used to Serve Black Hole Exploit Kit:

https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/dns-hijacks-now-being-used-serve-black-hole-exploit-kit-121211 [threatpost.com]

---

DNS experts admit some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/12/08/1353203/opendns-releases-dns-encryption-tool [slashdot.org]

---

Potential 0-Day Vulnerability For BIND 9:

http://it.slashdot.org/story/11/11/17/1429259/potential-0-day-vulnerability-for-bind-9 [slashdot.org]

---

Five DNS Threats You Should Protect Against:

http://www.securityweek.com/five-dns-threats-you-should-protect-against [securityweek.com]

---

DNS provider decked by DDoS dastards:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/16/ddos_on_dns_firm/ [theregister.co.uk]

---

Ten Percent of DNS Servers Still Vulnerable: (so much for "conscientious patching", eh? Many DNS providers weren't patching when they had to!)

http://it.slashdot.org/it/05/08/04/1525235.shtml?tid=172&tid=95&tid=218 [slashdot.org]

---

DNS ROOT SERVERS ATTACKED:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/02/06/2238225.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

TimeWarner DNS Hijacking:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/2140208 [slashdot.org]

---

DNS Re-Binding Attacks:

http://crypto.stanford.edu/dns/ [stanford.edu]

---

DNS Server Survey Reveals Mixed Security Picture:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/07/11/21/0315239.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

Halvar figured out super-secret DNS vulnerability:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/has-halvar-figured-out-super-secret-dns-vulnerability/1520 [zdnet.com]

---

BIND Still Susceptible To DNS Cache Poisoning:

http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/08/09/123222.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

DNS Poisoning Hits One of China's Biggest ISPs:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/08/08/21/2343250.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

DDoS Attacks Via DNS Recursion:

http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/03/16/1658209.shtml [slashdot.org]

---

High Severity BIND DNS Vulnerability Advisory Issued:

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/02/23/156212/High-Severity-BIND-Vulnerability-Advisory-Issued [slashdot.org]

---

Photobucketâ(TM)s DNS records hijacked:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=1285 [zdnet.com]

---

Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks:

http://crypto.stanford.edu/dns/ [stanford.edu]

---

DNS Problem Linked To DDoS Attacks Gets Worse:

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/11/15/1238210/DNS-Problem-Linked-To-DDoS-Attacks-Gets-Worse [slashdot.org]

---

HOWEVER - Some DNS servers are "really good stuff" vs. phishing, known bad sites/servers/hosts-domains that serve up malware-in-general & malicious scripting, botnet C&C servers, & more, such as:

Norton DNS -> http://nortondns.com/ [nortondns.com]
  ScrubIT DNS -> http://www.scrubit.com/ [scrubit.com]
  OpenDNS -> http://www.opendns.com/ [opendns.com]

(Norton DNS in particular, is exclusively for blocking out malware, for those of you that are security-conscious. ScrubIT filters pr0n material too, but does the same, & OpenDNS does phishing protection. Each page lists how & why they work, & why they do so. Norton DNS can even show you its exceptions lists, plus user reviews & removal procedures requests, AND growth stats (every 1/2 hour or so) here -> http://safeweb.norton.com/buzz [norton.com] so, that ought to "take care of the naysayers" on removal requests, &/or methods used plus updates frequency etc./et al...)

HOWEVER - There's ONLY 1 WEAKNESS TO ANY network defense, including HOSTS files (vs. host-domain name based threats) & firewalls (hardware router type OR software type, vs. IP address based threats): Human beings, & they not being 'disciplined' about the indiscriminate usage of javascript (the main "harbinger of doom" out there today online), OR, what they download for example... & there is NOTHING I can do about that! (Per Dr. Manhattan of "The Watchmen", ala -> "I can change almost anything, but I can't change human nature")

HOWEVER AGAIN - That's where NORTON DNS, OpenDNS, &/or ScrubIT DNS help!

(Especially for noob/grandma level users who are unaware of how to secure themselves in fact, per a guide like mine noted above that uses "layered-security" principles!)

ScrubIT DNS, &/or OpenDNS are others alongside Norton DNS (adding on phishing protection too) as well!

( & it's possible to use ALL THREE in your hardware NAT routers, and, in your Local Area Connection DNS properties in Windows, for again, "Layered Security" too)...

---

20++ SLASHDOT USERS EXPERIENCING SUCCESS USING HOSTS FILES QUOTED VERBATIM:

---

"Ever since I've installed a host file (http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm) to redirect advertisers to my loopback, I haven't had any malware, spyware, or adware issues. I first started using the host file 5 years ago." - by TestedDoughnut (1324447) on Monday December 13, @12:18AM (#34532122)

"I use a custom /etc/hosts to block ads... my file gets parsed basically instantly ... So basically, for any modern computer, it has zero visible impact. And even if it took, say, a second to parse, that would be more than offset by the MANY seconds saved by not downloading and rendering ads. I have noticed NO ill effects from running a custom /etc/hosts file for the last several years. And as a matter of fact I DO run http servers on my computers and I've never had an /etc/hosts-related problem... it FUCKING WORKS and makes my life better overall." - by sootman (158191) on Monday July 13 2009, @11:47AM (#28677363) Homepage Journal

"I actually went and downloaded a 16k line hosts file and started using that after seeing that post, you know just for trying it out. some sites load up faster." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, @11:20AM (#38086752) Homepage Journal

"Better than an ad blocker, imo. Hosts file entries: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm [mvps.org] " - by TempestRose (1187397) on Tuesday March 15, @12:53PM (#35493274)

"^^ One of the many reasons why I like the user-friendliness of the /etc/hosts file." - by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday March 05, @09:26PM (#35393448)

"They've been on my HOSTS block for years" - by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Thursday August 05 2010, @01:52AM (#33147212)

"I'm currently only using my hosts file to block pheedo ads from showing up in my RSS feeds and causing them to take forever to load. Regardless of its original intent, it's still a valid tool, when used judiciously." - by Bill Dog (726542) on Monday April 25, @02:16AM (#35927050) Homepage Journal

"you're right about hosts files" - by drinkypoo (153816) on Thursday May 26, @01:21PM (#36252958) Homepage

"APK's monolithic hosts file is looking pretty good at the moment." - by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 17, @10:08AM (#38085666)

"I also use the MVPS ad blocking hosts file." - by Rick17JJ (744063) on Wednesday January 19, @03:04PM (#34931482)

"I use ad-Block and a hostfile" - by Ol Olsoc (1175323) on Tuesday March 01, @10:11AM (#35346902)

"I do use Hosts, for a couple fake domains I use." - by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday December 11, @09:34AM (#34523012) Homepage

"It's a good write up on something everybody should use, why you were modded down is beyond me. Using a HOSTS file, ADblock is of no concern and they can do what they want." - by Trax3001BBS (2368736) on Monday December 12, @10:07PM (#38351398) Homepage Journal

"I want my surfing speed back so I block EVERY fucking ad. i.e. http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ [someonewhocares.org] and http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm [mvps.org] FTW" - by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday December 13, @12:04PM (#38356782)

"Let me introduce you to the file: /etc/hosts" - by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 19, @05:03PM (#38427432)

"I use a hosts file" - by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday December 13, @01:17PM (#38357816)

"I'm tempted to go for a hacked hosts file that simply resolves most advert sites to 127.0.0.1" - by bLanark (123342) on Tuesday December 13, @01:13PM (#38357760)

"this is not a troll, which hosts file source you recommend nowadays? it's a really handy method for speeding up web and it works." - by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday March 22, @08:07PM (#39446525) Homepage Journal

"A hosts file certainly does not require "a lot of work" to maintain, and it quite effectively kills a LOT of advertising and tracking schemes. . In fact, I never would have considered trying to use it for ddefending against viruses or malware." - by RocketRabbit (830691) on Thursday December 30 2010, @05:48PM (#34715060)

---

Then, there is also the words of respected security expert, Mr. Oliver Day, from SECURITYFOCUS.COM to "top that all off" as well:

A RETURN TO THE KILLFILE:

http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/491 [securityfocus.com]

Some "PERTINENT QUOTES/EXCERPTS" to back up my points with (for starters):

---

"The host file on my day-to-day laptop is now over 16,000 lines long. Accessing the Internet -- particularly browsing the Web -- is actually faster now."

Speed, and security, is the gain... others like Mr. Day note it as well!

---

"From what I have seen in my research, major efforts to share lists of unwanted hosts began gaining serious momentum earlier this decade. The most popular appear to have started as a means to block advertising and as a way to avoid being tracked by sites that use cookies to gather data on the user across Web properties. More recently, projects like Spybot Search and Destroy offer lists of known malicious servers to add a layer of defense against trojans and other forms of malware."

Per my points exactly, no less... & guess who was posting about HOSTS files a 14++ yrs. or more back & Mr. Day was reading & now using? Yours truly (& this is one of the later ones, from 2001 http://www.furtherleft.net/computer.htm [furtherleft.net] (but the example HOSTS file with my initials in it is FAR older, circa 1998 or so) or thereabouts, and referred to later by a pal of mine who moderates NTCompatible.com (where I posted on HOSTS for YEARS (1997 onwards)) -> http://www.ntcompatible.com/thread28597-1.html [ntcompatible.com] !

---

"Shared host files could be beneficial for other groups as well. Human rights groups have sought after block resistant technologies for quite some time. The GoDaddy debacle with NMap creator Fyodor (corrected) showed a particularly vicious blocking mechanism using DNS registrars. Once a registrar pulls a website from its records, the world ceases to have an effective way to find it. Shared host files could provide a DNS-proof method of reaching sites, not to mention removing an additional vector of detection if anyone were trying to monitor the use of subversive sites. One of the known weaknesses of the Tor system, for example, is direct DNS requests by applications not configured to route such requests through Tor's network."

There you go: AND, it also works vs. the "KAMINSKY DNS FLAW" & DNS poisoning/redirect attacks, for redirectable weaknesses in DNS servers (non DNSSEC type, & set into recursive mode especially) and also in the TOR system as well (that lends itself to anonymous proxy usage weaknesses I noted above also) and, you'll get to sites you want to, even IF a DNS registrar drops said websites from its tables as shown here Beating Censorship By Routing Around DNS -> http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/12/09/1840246/Beating-Censorship-By-Routing-Around-DNS [slashdot.org] & even DNSBL also (DNS Block Lists) -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSBL [wikipedia.org] as well - DOUBLE-BONUS!

---

* POSTS ABOUT HOSTS FILES I DID on "/." THAT HAVE DONE WELL BY OTHERS & WERE RATED HIGHLY, 26++ THUSFAR (from +3 -> +1 RATINGS, usually "informative" or "interesting" etc./et al):

BANNER ADS & BANDWIDTH:2011 -> http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2139088&cid=36077722 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1907266&cid=34529608 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1490078&cid=30555632 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1869638&cid=34237268 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1461288&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=30272074 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1255487&cid=28197285 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1206409&cid=27661983 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> http://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1725068&cid=32960808 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1743902&cid=33147274 [slashdot.org]
  APK 20++ POINTS ON HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1913212&cid=34576182 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1862260&cid=34186256 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2010 (w/ facebook known bad sites blocked) -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1924892&cid=34670128 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS FILE MOD UP FOR ANDROID MALWARE:2010 -> http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1930156&cid=34713952 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP ZEUSTRACKER:2011 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2059420&cid=35654066 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP vs AT&T BANDWIDTH CAP:2011 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2116504&cid=35985584 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP CAN DO SAME AS THE "CloudFlare" Server-Side service:2011 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2220314&cid=36372850 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS and BGP +5 RATED (BEING HONEST):2010 http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1901826&cid=34490450 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS & PROTECT IP ACT:2011 http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2368832&cid=37021700 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2011 -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2457766&cid=37592458 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP & OPERA HAUTE SECURE:2011 -> http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2457274&cid=37589596 [slashdot.org]
  0.0.0.0 in HOSTS:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1197039&cid=27556999 [slashdot.org]
  0.0.0.0 IN HOSTS:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1143349&cid=27012231 [slashdot.org]
  0.0.0.0 in HOSTS:2009 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1198841&cid=27580299 [slashdot.org]
  0.0.0.0 in HOSTS:2009 -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1139705&cid=26977225 [slashdot.org]
  HOSTS MOD UP:2009 -> http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1319261&cid=28872833 [slashdot.org] (still says INSIGHTFUL)
  HOSTS MOD UP vs. botnet: 2012 -> http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2603836&cid=38586216 [slashdot.org]

---

Windows 7, VISTA, & Server 2008 have a couple of "issues" I don't like in them, & you may not either, depending on your point of view (mine's based solely on efficiency & security), & if my take on these issues aren't "good enough"? I suggest reading what ROOTKIT.COM says, link URL is in my "p.s." @ the bottom of this post:

1.) HOSTS files being unable to use "0" for a blocking IP address - this started in 12/09/2008 after an "MS Patch Tuesday" in fact for VISTA (when it had NO problem using it before that, as Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 still can)... & yes, this continues in its descendants, Windows Server 2008 &/or Windows 7 as well.

So, why is this a "problem" you might ask?

Ok - since you can technically use either:

a.) 127.0.0.1 (the "loopback adapter address")
b.) 0.0.0.0 (next smallest & next most efficient)
c.) The smallest & fastest plain-jane 0

PER EACH HOSTS FILE ENTRY/RECORD...

You can use ANY of those, in order to block out known bad sites &/or adbanners in a HOSTS file this way??

Microsoft has "promoted bloat" in doing so... no questions asked.

Simply because

1.) 127.0.0.1 = 9 bytes in size on disk & is the largest/slowest
2.) 0.0.0.0 = 7 bytes & is the next largest/slowest in size on disk
3.) 0 = 1 byte

(& HOSTS files extend across EVERY webbrowser, email program, or in general every webbound program you use & thus HOSTS are "global" in coverage this way AND function on any OS that uses the BSD derived IP stack (which most all do mind you, even MS is based off of it, as BSD's IS truly, "the best in the business"), & when coupled with say, IE restricted zones, FireFox addons like NoScript &/or AdBlock, or Opera filter.ini/urlfilter.ini, for layered security in this capacity for webbrowsers & SOME email programs (here, I mean ones "built into" browsers themselves like Opera has for example))

MS has literally promoted bloat in this file, making it load slower from disk, into memory! This compounds itself, the more entries your HOSTS file contains... & for instance? Mine currently contains nearly 654,000 entries of known bad adbanners, bad websites, &/or bad nameservers (used for controlling botnets, misdirecting net requests, etc. et al).

Now, IF I were to use 127.0.0.1? My "huge" HOSTS file would be approximately 27mb in size... using 0.0.0.0 (next smallest) it would be 19mb in size - HOWEVER? Using 0 as my blocking IP, it is only 14mb in size. See my point?

(For loads either in the local DNS cache, or system diskcache if you run w/out the local DNS client service running, this gets slower the larger each HOSTS file entry is (which you have to stall the DNS client service in Windows for larger ones, especially if you use a "giant HOSTS file" (purely relative term, but once it goes over (iirc) 4mb in size, you have to cut the local DNS cache client service)))

NO questions asked - the physics of it backed me up in theory alone, but when I was questioned on it for PROOF thereof?

I wrote a small test program to load such a list into a "pascal record" (which is analagous to a C/C++ structure), which is EXACTLY what the DNS client/DNS API does as well, using a C/C++ structure (basically an array of sorts really, & a structure/record is a precursor part to a full-blown CLASS or OBJECT, minus the functions built in, this is for treating numerous variables as a SINGLE VARIABLE (for efficiency, which FORTRAN as a single example, lacks as a feature, @ least Fortran 77 did, but other languages do not))!

I even wrote another that just loaded my HOSTS file's entirety into a listbox, same results... slowest using 127.0.0.1, next slowest using 0.0.0.0, & fastest using 0.

And, sure: Some MORE "goes on" during DNS API loads (iirc, removal of duplicated entries (which I made sure my personal copy does not have these via a program I wrote to purge it of duplicated entries + to sort each entry alphabetically for easier mgt. via say, notepad.exe) & a conversion from decimal values to hex ones), but, nevertheless? My point here "holds true", of slower value loads, record-by-record, from a HOSTS file, when the entries become larger.

So, to "prove my point" to my naysayers?

I timed it using the Win32 API calls "GetTickCount" & then again, using the API calls of "QueryPerformanceCounter" as well, seeing the SAME results (a slowdown when reading in this file from disk, especially when using the larger 127.0.0.1 or 0.0.0.0 line item entries in a HOSTS file, vs. the smaller/faster/more efficient 0).

In my test, I saw a decline in speed/efficiency in my test doing so by using larger blocking addresses (127.0.0.1 &/or 0.0.0.0, vs. the smallest/fastest in 0)... proving me correct on this note!

On this HOSTS issue, and the WFP design issue in my next post below?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/02/09/recognizing-improvements-in-windows-7-handwriting.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage [msdn.com] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I am convinced they (MS) do NOT have a good reason for doing this... because of their lack of response there on this note. Unless it has something to do with IPv6 (most folks use IPv4 still), I cannot understand WHY this design mistake imo, has occurred, in HOSTS files...

AND

2.) The "Windows Filtering Platform", which is now how the firewall works in VISTA, Server 2008, & Windows 7...

Sure it works in this new single point method & it is simple to manage & "sync" all points of it, making it easier for network techs/admins to manage than the older 3 part method, but that very thing works against it as well, because it is only a single part system now!

Thus, however?

This "single layer design" in WFP, now represents a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE/ATTACK for malware makers to 'take down'!

(Which is 1 of the 1st things a malware attempts to do, is to take down any software firewalls present, or even the "Windows Security Center" itself which should warn you of the firewall "going down", & it's fairly easy to do either by messaging the services they use, or messing up their registry init. settings)

VS. the older (up to) 3 part method used in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003, for protecting a system via IP Filtering, the Windows native Firewall, &/or IPSEC. Each of which uses diff. drivers, & layers of the IP stack to function from, as well as registry initialization settings.

Think of the older 3 part design much the same as the reason why folks use door handle locks, deadbolt locks, & chain locks on their doors... multipart layered security.

(Each of which the latter older method used, had 3 separate drivers & registry settings to do their jobs, representing a "phalanx like"/"zone defense like" system of backup of one another (like you see in sports OR ancient wars, and trust me, it WORKS, because on either side of yourself, you have "backup", even if YOU "go down" vs. the opponent)).

I.E.-> Take 1 of the "older method's" 3 part defenses down? 2 others STILL stand in the way, & they are not that simple to take them ALL down...

(Well, @ least NOT as easily as "taking out" a single part defensive system like WFP (the new "Windows Filtering Platform", which powers the VISTA, Windows Server 2008, & yes, Windows 7 firewall defense system)).

On this "single-part/single-point of attack" WFP (vs. Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003's IP stack defense design in 3-part/zone defense/phalanx type arrangement) as well as the HOSTS issue in my post above?

I also then questioned MS' own staff, even their VP of development (S. Sinofsky) on this here -> http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/02/09/recognizing-improvements-in-windows-7-handwriting.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage [msdn.com] & other places in their blogs, to get them to tell me WHY this seemingly intentional inefficiency was implemented... & I have YET to get a solid LOGICAL answer on this as to why it was done - THUS, @ this point?

I'll stick to my thoughts on it, until I am shown otherwise & proven wrong.

----

Following up on what I wrote up above, so those here reading have actual technical references from Microsoft themselves ("The horses' mouth"), in regards to the Firewall/PortFilter/IPSec designs (not HOSTS files, that I am SURE I am correct about, no questions asked) from my "Point #2" above?

Thus, I'll now note how:

----

1.) TCP/IP packet processing paths differences between in how Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 did it (IPSEC.SYS (IP Security Policies), IPNAT.SYS (Windows Firewall), IPFLTDRV.SYS (Port Filtering), & TCPIP.SYS (base IP driver))...

2.) AND, how VISTA/Server 2008/Windows 7 do it now currently, using a SINGLE layer (WFP)...

----

First off, here is HOW it worked in Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 - using 3 discrete & different drivers AND LEVELS/LAYERS of the packet processing path they worked in:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb878072.aspx [microsoft.com]

The Cable Guy - June 2005: TCP/IP Packet Processing Paths

====

The following components process IP packets:

IP forwarding Determines the next-hop interface and address for packets being sent or forwarded.

TCP/IP filtering Allows you to specify by IP protocol, TCP port, or UDP port, the types of traffic that are acceptable for incoming local host traffic (packets destined for the host). You can configure TCP/IP filtering on the Options tab from the advanced properties of the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) component in the Network Connections folder.

* "Here endeth the lesson..." and, if you REALLY want to secure your system? Please refer to this:

http://www.bing.com/search?q=%22HOW+TO+SECURE+Windows+2000%2FXP%22&go=&form=QBRE [bing.com]

APK [mailto]

P.S.=> SOME MINOR "CAVEATS/CATCH-22's" - things to be aware of for "layered security" + HOSTS file performance - easily overcome, or not a problem at all:

A.) HOSTS files don't function under PROXY SERVERS (except for Proximitron, which has a filter that allows it) - Which is *the "WHY"* of why I state in my "P.S." section below to use both AdBlock type browser addon methods (or even built-in block lists browsers have such as Opera's URLFILTER.INI file, & FireFox has such as list as does IE also in the form of TPL (tracking protection lists -> http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Browser/TrackingProtectionLists/ [microsoft.com] , good stuff )) in combination with HOSTS, for the best in "layered security" (alongside .pac files + custom cascading style sheets that can filter off various tags such as scripts or ads etc.) - but proxies, especially "HIGHLY ANONYMOUS" types, generally slow you down to a CRAWL online (& personally, I cannot see using proxies "for the good" typically - as they allow "truly anonymous posting" & have bugs (such as TOR has been shown to have & be "bypassable/traceable" via its "onion routing" methods)).

B.) HOSTS files do NOT protect you vs. javascript (this only holds true IF you don't already have a bad site blocked out in your HOSTS file though, & the list of sites where you can obtain such lists to add to your HOSTS are above (& updated daily in many of them)).... apk

Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566927)

You're embarassing yourself Jeremiah Cornelius http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3581857&cid=43276741 [slashdot.org] since you posted that using your registered username by mistake (instead of your usual anonymous coward submissions by the 100's the past 2-3 months now on slashdot) giving away it's you spamming this forums almost constantly, just as you have in the post I just replied to.

Re:Jeremiah Cornelius: Grow up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567727)

Shut up, Paul.

Re:My lawyers are contacting Rob Malda... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569091)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

* POOR SHOWING TROLLS , & most especially IF that's the "best you've got" - apparently, it is... lol!

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

apk on 4chan [4chan.org]

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

INCONTROVERTIBLE FEEDBACK PROVIDING ESTABLISHED PROOF OF ALL MY POINTS:
OVERFLOW QUOTES MOVED HERE (UPDATED 4/25):
http://pastebin.com/t8SMF51h

--

That was amazing. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40948073 [slashdot.org]

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My, God! It's beatiful. Keep it up, you glorious bastard. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41835161 [slashdot.org]

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Let us bask in its glory. A true modern The Wasteland. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40948579 [slashdot.org]

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put your baby IN ME -- I just read this whole thing. Fuck mod points, WHERE DO I SEND YOU MY MONEY?!!! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3037687&cid=40950023 [slashdot.org]

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[apk]'s done more to discredit the use of HOSTS files than anyone [else] ever could. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40945357 [slashdot.org]

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this obnoxious fucknuts [apk] has been trolling the internet and spamming his shit delphi sub-fart app utilities for 15 years. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40954565 [slashdot.org]

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this is hilarious. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40955479 [slashdot.org]

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I agree I am intrigued by these host files how do I sign up for your newsletter? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40961339 [slashdot.org]

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Gimme the program that generates this epic message. I'll buy 5 of your product if you do... - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041313&cid=40954251 [slashdot.org]

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a pretty well-executed mashup of APK's style - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40945357 [slashdot.org]

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a very clever parody of APK - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038791&cid=40944229 [slashdot.org]

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Please keep us updated on your AI research, you seem quite good at it. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3038597&cid=40944603 [slashdot.org]

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Damn, apk, who the fuck did you piss off this time? Hahahahaahahahahahahaahaha. Pass the popcorn as the troll apk gets pwned relentlessly. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3041123&cid=40954673 [slashdot.org]

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KUDOS valiant AC. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40897777 [slashdot.org]

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Polyploid lovechild of APK, MyCleanPC, and Time Cube --> fail counter integer overflow --> maximum win! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029723&cid=40899171 [slashdot.org]

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You made my day, thanks! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3029589&cid=40896469 [slashdot.org]

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Wow. The perfect mix of trolls. Timecube, mycleanpc, gnaa, apk... this is great! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3027333&cid=40893381 [slashdot.org]

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truer words were never spoken as /. trolls are struck speechless by it, lol! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3042765&cid=41041795 [slashdot.org]

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Mod this up. The back and forth multi posting between APK and this "anti-APK" certainly does look like APK talking to himself. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40969175 [slashdot.org]

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APK himself would be at the top of a sensible person's ban list. He's been spamming and trolling Slashdot for years. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3043535&cid=40967137 [slashdot.org]

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Not sure if actually crazy, or just pretending to be crazy. Awesome troll either way. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3138079&cid=41432951 [slashdot.org]

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Awesome! Hat off to you, sir! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3154555&cid=41509273 [slashdot.org]

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That isn't a parody of Time-cube, it is an effort to counter-troll a prolific poster named APK, who seems like a troll himself, although is way too easy to troll into wasting massive amounts of time on BS not far from the exaggerations above - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3154555&cid=41514107 [slashdot.org]

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that is Art . Kudos to you, valiant troll on your glorious FP - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41832599 [slashdot.org]

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It is in fact an extremely well thought out and brilliantly executed APK parody, combined with a Time Cube parody, and with a sprinkling of the MyCleanPC spam. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41841251 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] er... many people have disproved your points about hosts files with well reasoned, factual arguments. You just chose not to listen and made it into some kind of bizarre crusade. And I'm not the timecube guy, just someone else who finds you intensely obnoxious and likes winding you up to waste your time. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3222163&cid=41843313 [slashdot.org]

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That's great but what about the risk of subluxations? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3224905&cid=41847101 [slashdot.org]

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Read carefully. This is a satirical post, that combines the last several years of forum trolling, rolled into one FUNNY rant! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3227697&cid=41864711 [slashdot.org]

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I can has summary? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3227697&cid=41861327 [slashdot.org]

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Trolls trolling trolls... it's like Inception or something. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3229177&cid=41869353 [slashdot.org]

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We all know it's you, apk. Stop pretending to antagonize yourself. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3229179&cid=41869305 [slashdot.org]

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Now you've made me all nostalgic for USENET. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486045&cid=42981977 [slashdot.org]

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Google APK Hosts File Manager. He's written a fucking application to manage your hosts file. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486045&cid=42984521 [slashdot.org]

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In case you are not aware, the post is a satire of a fellow known as APK. The grammar used is modeled after APK's as you can see here [thorschrock.com] . Or, you can just look around a bit and see some of his posts on here about the wonders of host files. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486045&cid=42983119 [slashdot.org]

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You are surely of God of Trolls, whomever you are. I have had stupid arguments with and bitten the troll apk many times. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3486901&cid=42989683 [slashdot.org]

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"What kind of meds cure schizophrenic drunk rambling?" -> "Whatever APK isn't taking" - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3501001&cid=43028403 [slashdot.org] http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3501001&cid=43028425 [slashdot.org]

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I'm confused, is apk trolling himself now? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3501001&cid=43029495 [slashdot.org]

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Excellent mashup. A++. Would troll again. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3503531&cid=43037445 [slashdot.org]

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Best. Troll. Ever. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3506945&cid=43044811 [slashdot.org]

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This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3508287&cid=43052263 [slashdot.org]

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I admire this guy's persistence. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43063797 [slashdot.org]

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It's a big remix of several different crackpots from Slashdot and elsewhere, plus a liberal sprinkling of famous Slashdot trolls and old memes. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43063881 [slashdot.org]

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Here's a hint, check out stories like this one [slashdot.org] , where over 200 of the 247 posts are rated zero or -1 because they are either from two stupid trolls arguing endless, or quite likely one troll arguing with himself for attention. The amount of off-topic posts almost outnumber on topic ones by 4 to 1. Posts like the above are popular for trolling APK, since if you say his name three times, he appears, and will almost endlessly feed trolls. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3511487&cid=43064383 [slashdot.org]

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I love this copypasta so much. It never fails to make me smile. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3512099&cid=43069271 [slashdot.org]

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^ Champion Mod parent up. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3513659&cid=43067371 [slashdot.org]

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I appreciate the time cube reference, and how you tied it into the story. Well done. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3521721&cid=43094565 [slashdot.org]

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The day you are silenced is the day freedom dies on Slashdot. God bless. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3522191&cid=43097221 [slashdot.org]

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AHahahahah thanks for that, cut-n-pasted.... Ownage! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3522219&cid=43097215 [slashdot.org]

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If you're familiar with APK, the post itself is a pretty damn funny parody. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115215 [slashdot.org]

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">implying it's not apk posting it" --> "I'd seriously doubt he's capable of that level of self-deprecation..." - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115337 [slashdot.org] http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43115363 [slashdot.org]

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No, the other posts are linked in a parody of APK [mailto] 's tendency to quote himself, numbnuts. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3528603&cid=43116855 [slashdot.org]

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Just ban any post with "apk", "host file", or "hosts file", as that would take care of the original apk too. The original has been shitposting Slashdot much longer & more intensively than the parody guy. Or ban all Tor exit nodes, as they both use Tor to circumvent IP bans. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3561925&cid=43216431 [slashdot.org]

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Sadly this is closer to on-topic than an actual APK post is. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3561925&cid=43216225 [slashdot.org]

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YOU ARE A GOD AMONG MEN. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569149&cid=43236143 [slashdot.org]

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I've butted heads with APK myself, and yeah, the guy's got issues - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569173&cid=43236987 [slashdot.org]

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Clearly you are not an Intertubes engineer, otherwise the parent post would be more meaningful to you. Why don't YOU take your meds? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569425&cid=43238177 [slashdot.org]

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+2 for style! The bolding, italicizing, and font changes are all spot-on - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569149&cid=43238479 [slashdot.org]

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Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3570085&cid=43243509 [slashdot.org]

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APK is not really a schizophrenic fired former Windows administrator with multiple personality disorder and TimeCube/Art Bell refugee. He's a fictional character like and put forward by the same person as Goatse Guy, GNAA trolls, Dr. Bob and so forth. His purpose is to test the /. CAPTCA algorithm, which is a useful purpose. If you're perturbed by having to scroll past his screeds just set your minimum point level to 1, as his posts are pretty automatically downmodded right away. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3570085&cid=43243145 [slashdot.org]

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oh man, that incredible interminable list of responses is almost as funny as the original post. This is getting to be truly epic. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247231 [slashdot.org]

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"Does anyone know of an Adblock rule for this?" -> "No, but I bet there's a hosts file entry for it..." - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43246997 [slashdot.org] http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247097 [slashdot.org]

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"Can a hosts file block apk's posts, though?" -> "The universe couldn't handle that much irony." - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247135 [slashdot.org] http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247219 [slashdot.org]

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"That's it, I've had enough. ... Bye everyone, most of the last decade or so has been fun, but frankly, I quit." - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247225 [slashdot.org]
--> "So basically what you're saying is that you've added yourself to the HOST file?" - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43247481 [slashdot.org]

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Sweet baby Moses, this is beautiful work - I wish we could get trolls as good as this on TF. :) - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572629&cid=43247533 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] shut up you stupid cock. Everyone knows you're wrong. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572687&cid=43250533 [slashdot.org]

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I will hand it to him, he is definitely consistent. I wish I knew how he did this. That thing is scary huge. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3572629&cid=43250411 [slashdot.org]

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I admire the amount of dedication you've shown - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3573571&cid=43251593 [slashdot.org]

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Word is, ESR buttfucks CmdrTaco with his revolver. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3573679&cid=43252957 [slashdot.org]

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Hey APK, Protip: It's not the truth or value (or lack of) in your post that gets it modded into oblivion, it's the fucking insane length. In addition to TL;DR (which goes without saying for a post of such length), how about irritating readers by requiring them to scroll through 20+ screenfuls just to get to the next post. If you want to publish a short story like this, please do everyone a favor and blog it somewhere, then provide a brief summary and link to your blog. Readers intrigued by your summary will go read your blog, and everyone else will just move along at normal /. speed. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3573873&cid=43255013 [slashdot.org]

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I like how this post seems to just sum up every Slashdot comment ever without actually saying anything. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574283&cid=43256029 [slashdot.org]

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You provide many references, which is good. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574035&cid=43257043 [slashdot.org]

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Obviously very passionate - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3574035&cid=43261975 [slashdot.org]

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Thanks ... You should probably stay - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3577613&cid=43262993 [slashdot.org]

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Art? -- http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3569681&cid=43244883 [slashdot.org]

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PROOF apk sucks donkey dick. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3577639&cid=43263029 [slashdot.org]

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I've been around /. for a while now, but this post is by far the most unique I've seen. Many have tried, but few achieve the greatness of this AC. My hat's off to you. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3576225&cid=43264325 [slashdot.org]

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I think it's hilarious. Get over it! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578301&cid=43265657 [slashdot.org]

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Obviously APK filled his hosts files with backdoors before distributing them to ensure he doesn't block himself. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3578229&cid=43265767 [slashdot.org]

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Alexander Peter Kowalski is an obnoxious prick. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3406867&cid=42698875 [slashdot.org]

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Don't mention that file. Ever. It'll draw APK like a fly to rotting meat. Last thing I want to read is 80 responses worth of his stupid spam about that file! I swear that cocksucker does nothing but search Slashdot for that term and then spams the entire article. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3554655&cid=43209619 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3406867&cid=42701491 [slashdot.org]

--

You are my favorite Slashdot poster. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3580251&cid=43270359 [slashdot.org]

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Most insightful post on the Internet - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3579259&cid=43275207 [slashdot.org]

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I read the whole thing *again* just to see if my comment was in there - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3588003&cid=43293069 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] So, did your mom do a lot of drugs when she was pregnant? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3586303&cid=43291531 [slashdot.org]

--

people are looking at me funny because I'm laughing hysterically at what a perfect APK imitation it is. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3581991&cid=43278203 [slashdot.org]

--

Slashdot devs seem in no hurry to fix this problem and it's been driving me nuts. So for anybody who values viewing at -1 and uses greasemonkey here's a Script [pastebin.com] . There's a chance of false positives and it's not the most optimized. But I value not having to scroll through > 10 paragraphs of APK, custom hosts files, or 'acceptable ads' spam. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3586291&cid=43287671 [slashdot.org]
--> slashdot devs are too busy installing itunes for their hipster nerd buddys to sort this problem out. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3586291&cid=43290701 [slashdot.org]

--

I can't get enough of all of this good stuff! Thanks for the informative links! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3586291&cid=43287553 [slashdot.org]

--

When threatened, APK typically produces a post with links showing he's essentially posted this hundreds of times to slashdot stories... - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3586291&cid=43290275 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] Your post got downmodded because you're a nutjob gone off his meds. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3586081&cid=43288893 [slashdot.org]

--

[to apk] The reason people impersonate you is because everyone thinks you're a moron. The hosts file is not intended to be used as you suggest. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3591803&cid=43302885 [slashdot.org]
-->What? You don't have a 14MB hosts file with ~1million entries in it? Next you'll probably tell me that your computer doesn't start thrashing and take 5 minutes for a DNS lookup! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3591803&cid=43302977 [slashdot.org]

--

[about apk] - this fwit is as thick as a post. worse, this shithead has mod points. and using them. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3591681&cid=43302873 [slashdot.org]

--

In before the fight between those two guys and their walls of text... - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3592647&cid=43306485 [slashdot.org]

--

HEY APK YOU ARE A WASTE OF OXYGEN -GET A LIFE - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3593009&cid=43308147 [slashdot.org]

--

KPA ...thgim dik a ekil .s.b laivirt hcus no emit hcum taht etsaw t'ndluow I sa ,ti gniod em TON si ti - syug ON - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3592933&cid=43307605 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] You seriously need to go see a shrink. You are a fucking fruitcake! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3592933&cid=43307559 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] Did you ever consider that it's not just one corrupt moderator, it's a bunch of regular slashdot users who infrequently get mod points who think you are totally full of shit? Stop posting annoying off topic irrelevant bullshit, and people won't mod you down. I'm seriously sick of reading your posts about someone impersonating you. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3592933&cid=43308389 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] you should be forced to use a cholla cactus as a butt-plug - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3592647&cid=43308219 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] No one is on your side, that is why you're here. posting. still. No one cares. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3595009&cid=43310903 [slashdot.org]

--

Who's the more moronic? The original moron, or the one who replies to him knowing full well his comment will certainly be ignored, if not entirely unread, thus bringing the insane troll post to the attention of those who would otherwise not have seen it at all (seeing as it started at 0 and would have rapidly been modded down to -1) and whose post (and, somewhat ironically I grant you, this one as well) now requires 3 more mod points to be spent to hide it? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3593207&cid=43311073 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] I miss trollaxor. His gay porn world of slashdot executives and open-source luminaries was infinitely more entertaining than this drivel. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3593207&cid=43311225 [slashdot.org]

--

PLEASE stop modding biters up. Anyone who responds to an abvious troll, especually one of these APK trolls, should autometically get the same -1 troll as the damned troll. Any response to a troll only makes the troll do more trolling. Come on, guys, use your brains -- it isn't that hard. Stop feeding the damned trolls! - (missing link)

--

[to apk] Lick the inside of goatse's anus, it's delicious! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3589605&cid=43301757 [slashdot.org]

--

Excellent post A++++++++++++ would scroll past again!!!! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3595009&cid=43312407 [slashdot.org]

--

[to apk] You are the one who is pitiful. If you didn't spam /. with your bullshit you wouldn't have spammer 'impostors' doing the same. Just fuck off and die already, ok? Please, really. Step in front of a bus. Drink some bleach. Whatever it takes, just FUCK OFF and DIE. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3595851&cid=43313459 [slashdot.org]

--

[to apk] From one AC to another please for the love of god, PRINT YOUR HOST FILE OUT AND CRAM IT DOWN YOUR JAPS EYE!!! For fucks sake we don't care we see this and it takes the piss, short of a full frontal lobotomy what will it take to stop you posting this you moronic fuckwit? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3596285&cid=43314755 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] And someone forgot to take his meds today...Are you really that dense that you cant tell that the only reason the "impostor" exists because you have a hard time realizing that you are wrong and/or wont let it go. It would take a complete moron to not realize that the whole reason he continues to do it is because he knows he can get you to respond by simply posting. This isnt rocket science, this is internet 101... Let me offer you some advice on how to get rid of this "impostor"...shutup - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3595561&cid=43313235 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] If you had a 'luser' account it wouldn't be a problem. But you don't want one of those, because your long rambling and bizarrely formatted posts mean your karma gets nuked in next to no time. So I guess you just have to work out which is 'worth it'. Posting AC because I don't want to become your latest fixation. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3593207&cid=43314397 [slashdot.org]

--

I wouldn't be surprised if that is APK trying to draw attention to himself, since he thinks such endless tirades are examples of him winning and make him look good. When people stop paying attention to him, or post actual counterpoints he can't come up with a response to, he'll post strawman troll postings to shoot down, sometimes just copy pasted from previous stories. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3592647&cid=43308851 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] No one wants to read your copy pasted crap. Maybe someone is mocking you because you make it so easy to? So drop it, and participate like an adult please. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3596383&cid=43315069 [slashdot.org]

--

Seriously.... What. The. Fuck. Can you two homos just go make out on brokeback mountain already, and stop talking about how one of you misspelled "penetration", and how the other cockblocks with their hosts files while grabing the other's goat? Goodness, it sure feels like being in a mountain range, trying to peer around those fucking orbital tether lengthed posts of pure premium bullsit the two of you somehoq manage to keep pushing out on demand. Shit stinks! At this point, i'd be willing to risk the fucking extinction of all life on earth by redirecting siding spring C/2013 1A to miss Mars and land on both of your fucking heads instead. The deaths of billions would be a small price to pay to shut you two cackling lovebirds up! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3596513&cid=43315327 [slashdot.org]

--

[to apk] Listen up jackass, why the hell would somebody want to impersonate you? You're a certified internet kook. Nobody gives a hot about your 3 gig hosts file. And nobody is impersonating you. You're already a fucking parody. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3596557&cid=43315579 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] You have had it repeatedly explained to you that your posts are long-winded, unpleasant to read due to your absurd formatting style and full of technical inaccuracies borne of your single minded i-have-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail attitude. Despite this advice you are convinced that your comments are valuable contributions, ignoring the obvious evidence to the contrary (namely the -1 scores your posts earn on a regular basis). - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3406867&cid=42698875 [slashdot.org]

--

[about apk] Can this be killed off? I don't mean this account, I mean the actual meatbag behind it. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3598035&cid=43319201 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] Get an account retard. If you format your password as crazily as your posts no-one will ever crack it. - http://mobile.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3598035&cid=43319999 [slashdot.org]

--

[to apk] You are the most consistently annoying creature on the internet. There are people worse than you, just like cancer is worse than psoriasis, but you're more like the latter: pervasive, annoying, and always cropping up when one has mostly forgotten about it. You are that indeterminate, continuous itching that slowly erodes someone's mood until they consider cutting off a part of themselves just to stop it for a while. And like psoriasis, you're auto-immune and not fully understood by science. Slashdot continuously makes it worse by scratching that itch over and over again. It's not smart. It just encourages the disease. But everybody's got a limit to their patience. There is no cure for you. But at least, when slashdot dies, you will die with it, and there will be peace. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3626185&cid=43394107 [slashdot.org]

--

Alexander Peter KowalskI and anyone arguing with him are insane. I saw their crazy tirades once and googled his name, and HOLY SHIT. This guy has mini battle raging all over many sites for some of the most inane shit you can think of. He meticulously catalogs the people who have crossed him and works to MAKE SURE everyone understands they are fools. Now, they well be fools, but by his meticulous and obsessive actions Kowalski (APK) has proved without a shadow of doubt his absolutE insanity. I haven't even argued with this guy so don't think I'm part of these internet crusades. All this I've found by googling his name. The trove of flaming and incomprehensible obsessive agression is humongous and both funny, and pathetic to varying intense degrees. Just google if you are curious about the kinds of crazy that are out there." - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3667319&cid=43499927 [slashdot.org]

--

I'm convinced APK is serious, he has got battles raging everywhere, meticulously catalogued, yet he thinks this is proof of his knowledge and experience, not obsessive insanity. And making that point doesn't make him reconsider, it incites him. He also seems to think what looks like many multiples of people saying this are one or a few people who are out to get him. Just read my post and google Alexander Peter Kowalski. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3667319&cid=43499959 [slashdot.org]

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Alexander Peter Kowalski ubuntu touched my junk liberally. he strapped me in to his HOSTS file and he couldnt keep his offensive hands off of me - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3667507&cid=43499285 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] Hey man, I know this is important to you, but maybe you should talk to someone outside of the internet about it? I mean, you sound really batshit insane. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3667319&cid=43499419 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] You're an AC and you say you have impersonators? - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3667275&cid=43502821 [slashdot.org]

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ghod bless you APKtroll for bringing some much needed balance and reason to this thread! - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3666269&cid=43492403 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] APK, you suck. Go die in a fire. The hosts file in Windows is a _terrible_ way to filter internet traffic. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3666873&cid=43497201 [slashdot.org]

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I'm replying just so you'll add me to your quote list. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3669649&cid=43505105 [slashdot.org]

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Best troll post, anywhere, ever. Well done. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3673585&cid=43517005 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] Just please stop the spamming. Get yourself a real life and a girl. That helps most against your troubles. Or at least a cat. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3671573&cid=43516813 [slashdot.org]

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Alexander Peter Kowalksi's low intelligence, extreme narcissism, and histrionic personality make him unsuited for anything but menial labor. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3669841&cid=43505717 [slashdot.org]

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Fact: it takes amost 2 hours for windows to load a 645,000 lines HOSTS file into the DNS cache. While loading, all DNS queries are blocked. That is neither fast nor efficient. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3673585&cid=43516711 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] it is very disconcerting to see the sort of writing style you introduce as it is a very harsh contrast to the "normal" -- which goes even for non-native English speakers. The amount of fervor you utilize to make this point comes off to me as insanity. You seem to imply there is an unexplained, even conspiratorial effort at Microsoft for sabotaging your preferred host file entry method. You also seem to think you have a reputation which is at stake, and I assure you, aside from your raving posts, I have never heard of you before. The time-cube APK imposter you mention appears to be (at least to me) an adequate parody of your abrasive writing and argument style. The fact that you seem to take such excessive offense to this parody further strengthens the lehman's perception of your insanity. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3673561&cid=43516775 [slashdot.org]

--

I remember seeing somewhere that this APK guy is actually mentally deranged. He has been a drug addict and was known to abuse his "girlfriend" on more than one occasion. So, he certainly seems to need help, badly. Go ahead and google around for "Alexander Peter Kowalski" for evidence. It's frightening that this guy has not yet been put away. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3686331&cid=43548611 [slashdot.org]

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APK is a parasitic creature, nestled between mountainous testes, sucking the life out of them. AKA, a queer sumbitch. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3673585&cid=43517039 [slashdot.org]

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[to apk] Stop posting and kill yourself you unintelligent useless fuck. - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3673561&cid=43516879 [slashdot.org]

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I honestly can't tell if this is anti-APK, imitative trolling or if he really does have multiple personality disorder. But either way, it's almost like it's reached a new level of... - http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3655187&cid=43471873 [slashdot.org]

--

OVERFLOW QUOTES MOVED HERE (UPDATED 4/25):
http://pastebin.com/t8SMF51h

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

* :)

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

P.S.=> That's what makes me LAUGH harder than ANYTHING ELSE on this forums (full of "FUD" spreading trolls) - When you hit trolls with facts & truths they CANNOT disprove validly on computing tech based grounds, this is the result - Applying unjustifiable downmods to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts & facts/truths they extoll!

Hahaha... lol , man: Happens nearly every single time I post such lists (proving how ineffectual these trolls are), only showing how solid my posts of that nature are...

That's the kind of martial arts [google.com] I practice.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Disproof of all apk's statements:

OLD POST LINKS MIRRORED HERE (UPDATED 4/20, 223 POSTS):
http://pastebin.com/zZqNtDmR

RECENT POST LINKS:
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Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566377)

I fully expect the budget of Washington State to BSOD.

What is worse, MS or Islam? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566381)

or was this just a rhetorical question?

You decide.

Re:What is worse, MS or Islam? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43566461)

Well, that's a false dichotomy. You assume the two are mutually exclusive.

Re:What is worse, MS or Islam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566921)

Well Microsoft provides a product and employs many people and can be used by the State as a source of free money so I guess they're worse.

Goldman Sacks (1)

mitcheli (894743) | about a year ago | (#43566423)

Hopefully they do better with their Mortgage-backed Securities....

public schools are theft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566563)

The state is stealing from ME to pay to educate other people, most of whom are fat lazy welfare queens and their dumb and ugly crotch fruit. Why the FUCK should the Galt's of the world be forced to pay for these leeches? Good on Microsoft for doing what they can to fight the liberal leftist welfare scam.

Take back america from obamacare and socialism. Ron Paul 2016!

Re:public schools are theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566647)

The sad thing is that this troll isn't really any different than the other idiots that support Ron Paul.

Re:public schools are theft (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43567033)

I would suggest it's roman_mir, but it's too well written and coherent.

Re:public schools are theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567589)

The sad thing is that this troll isn't really any different than the other idiots that support Ron Paul.

You have it backwards: the state makes sure that the Ron Pauls of the world are made to support idiots.

Re:public schools are theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568815)

What's a "Galt?"

Proprietary (2, Insightful)

puddingebola (2036796) | about a year ago | (#43566619)

The budget will be proprietary, only render correctly in Internet Explorer, and include Microsft Bob to help explain the loss of state revenue.

I understand I'm never going to win this argument (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566627)

But isn't there something just a little wrong with the idea that there are morally no limits to what the State can extract from a for-profit corporation?

I realize Microsoft is a powerful corp, etc, etc, and that they can handle losing more more money to the State. That's not the point. I'm concerned about the relationship between the shareholders of Microsoft and the State. Who serves whom?

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43566663)

But isn't there something just a little wrong with the idea that there are morally no limits to what the State can extract from a for-profit corporation?

You have that exactly backwards.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567461)

You have that exactly backwards.

And what do these corporations extract from the state? I'm sure they benefit from some services, but an examination of government budgets shows that the bulk of money now spent by governments amounts to forced charity or transfers of money.

The typical things we think of like police, courts, etc, make up a very small portion of money spent by the State.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568785)

And what do these corporations extract from the state?

Their existence is entirely state derived. If limited liability isn't worth paying whatever price the state demands for it then the owners can always do without it.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568111)

Ah, spoken like a wage slave who is angry with himself that he isn't opening his own business and wants to drag down everybody to his level. If you actually ran your own business, you'd think differently.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43566773)

But isn't there something just a little wrong with the idea that there are morally no limits to what the State can extract from a for-profit corporation?

Well, if Microsoft doesn't like the taxes it has to pay there, it can easily go elsewhere. I don't see the big difference to a land owner demanding rent from anyone using the land.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566821)

Well, if Microsoft doesn't like the taxes it has to pay there, it can easily go elsewhere. I don't see the big difference to a land owner demanding rent from anyone using the land.

I think you've properly characterized the present relationship between those in control of the State and everyone else.

Those that receive tax dollars are land owners while everyone else is a share-cropper.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566973)

I think you've properly characterized the present relationship between those in control of the State and everyone else.

Those that receive tax dollars are land owners while everyone else is a share-cropper.

If that's the case, then the Democratic Party Incorporated is a national mega-corp that rents most of the country out to workers that pay taxes to support those their shareholders (registered Democrats) that don't work.

And soon they'll have uncontested control in perpetuity once illegal immigrants (foreign mercenaries) are given amnesty and allowed to vote (fight).

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43567083)

Well, if Microsoft doesn't like the taxes it has to pay there, it can easily go elsewhere.

They did: they opened an office in Nevada and are selling the software from there. How is (not) paying taxes in Nevada any more arbitrary than paying taxes in Washington? The majority of Microsoft's employees aren't located in Washington State.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566885)

Limited liability corporations are an artificial creation of the state. The shareholders have been granted a massive privilege: the opportunity to make money with no liability for wrongdoing, however egregious. There is absolutely no problem with the state taxing the recipients of that massive privilege. If they don't like it, they can put aside the liability protections and work as, for example, a partnership.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567039)

Limited liability corporations are an artificial creation of the state. The shareholders have been granted a massive privilege: the opportunity to make money with no liability for wrongdoing, however egregious. There is absolutely no problem with the state taxing the recipients of that massive privilege. If they don't like it, they can put aside the liability protections and work as, for example, a partnership.

But people aren't taxed based on that privilege. They're taxed simply for wanting to work. The LLC privilege is extended by the state in the hopes that some people will be more willing to contribute to enterprises that will later be taxed instead of being too fearful of being personally the object of a lawsuit. Two different issues.

Re:I understand I'm never going to win this argume (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43567061)

The shareholders have been granted a massive privilege: the opportunity to make money with no liability for wrongdoing

I don't think you understand what limited liability means.

First ever to request files instead of paper? (1)

Tomji (142759) | about a year ago | (#43566629)

And you guys are somehow making this into a bad thing. It's laughable that apparently they've been using paper before.

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566811)

as long as they still keep a paper trail ... since we all know that state electronic communications are always properly backed up and will remain accessible for hundreds of years (well, that and excel really shines at history tracking and debugging someone else's spreadsheet errors) /s

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (3)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43566863)

The bad thing isn't that they demand files. The bad thing is that they demand Excel files.

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567041)

Exactly. All government finances should be required to be run through Google Docs!

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567175)

Actually, they should. And they should be publicly viewable with no option to restrict sharing.

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567107)

Like it or not Excel runs most businesses. Other spreadsheets are looked on as toys and most business folks can't understand why some people insist on using other spreadsheets that have single digit market share. What files should they ask for? LibreOffice? Please. KSpread? Joke. Google Docs? Haha. Gnumeric? Yeah, right. Asking for an Excel file for a spreadsheet is akin to asking for a band aid instead of a sterile adhesive bandage. Or asking for a Kleenex instead of a soft facial tissue.

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (2)

fritsd (924429) | about a year ago | (#43567501)

Businesses need documents. They then need to communicate with those document files to all and sundry other businesses, government institutions, consumers etc.

So they need an open document format. Luckily, one exists: ODF [oasis-open.org] .

In the EU, the right-wing ex-commissioner for Competition, now commissioner for Digital Agenda,Neelie Kroes [wikipedia.org] , understands this, as she said:

"In other words, as I said on that occasion: choosing open standards is a very smart business decision."

(http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-10-300_en.htm) in 2010.

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43568019)

Other spreadsheets are looked on as toys

...which is quite funny in the light of the fact that it is in fact Excel that is the toy.

Re:First ever to request files instead of paper? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43568057)

CSV

Charity begins at home (3, Insightful)

seven of five (578993) | about a year ago | (#43566649)

Open up that checkbook, Bill.

first lobbying, then direct corruption. (3)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43566659)

First, they learn about lobbying. Then, what they learn in lobbying is that greasing the wheel requires either
a - hiring some politico's kid, niece, girlfriend, cousin, dad, mistress (what's the male version of mistress?), or such
b - hiring some politico's flunky as soon as they leave office to teach you how to reach the politico or to give you special access to former coworkers
c - hiring some politico when they leave office

Then, they figure out that instead of hiring at the end of the cycle, why not embed somebody in directly at the beginning of the cycle? Have current or recently current employees run for office, and also looking out for the best interests of their employer / former employer.
.
Next, they figure out how to do all of this at a lower cost. Easy ways to lower cost:

- decrease tax liability
- - decrease taxes
- - increase credits for employment, etc
- increase profits
- - require your software to be purchased
- - make your software a de facto requirement for even transacting business with the government
- - make tax rules in your favor

Why pay for the hamsters to run on the wheel when you can own the hamsters yourself? [can you tell that ihashhasst? : i have a seventies hippy history and social-sciences teacher]

Re:first lobbying, then direct corruption. (2)

tqk (413719) | about a year ago | (#43567453)

what's the male version of mistress?

"Giggolo" or "Cabana Boy." Of course, "Employee" and "Taxpayer" work if you need gender neutral.

Here's a real link to the "dance tax" article (5, Informative)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43566745)

The real article about the "dance tax" in Washington is at http://jeffreifman.com/2013/04/12/seattle-dance-clubs-fundraise-to-pay-microsofts-tax-bill/ [jeffreifman.com] , whereas this /. article only links to the boingboing article which then links to the dance tax article. The short version: washington caves to ms and allows them to bail on 1.5 billion (BILLION!!!!) dollars in tax liability, then it goes on a crusade to nickel-and-dime other businesses for obscure tiny laws like
providing the "opportunity to dance", proven by yelp postings that "people like to dance here" or by obituaries that mention that XYZ "liked to dance at $geoloc".

In other words, the rich get to write the laws (or fund the writing of laws, wink, wink) that allow them to avoid taxes whilst the poor (or relatively poor-er) get told to pay higher taxes. Sounds like the republican platform has taken over all of washington state to me.

Re:Here's a real link to the "dance tax" article (2)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#43567397)

So nothing has changed. Before MS it was Boeing. Before them it was Weyerhaeuser. Before them it was the railroads. No different than any other state.

Microsoft Kinect Spy System (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43566793)

Microsoft Kinect Spy System

THIS ARTICLE IS BEING SCRUBBED FROM THE NET. THE SITE IT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED TO YANKED THE PLUG ON THEIR WHOLE SITE!!! COPY/PASTE THIS ARTICLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO DISCUSSION FORUMS, BLOGS, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND ARCHIVE AND MIRROR THIS DOCUMENT SO IT DOES NOT VANISH FOREVER!

"So you just got the Kinect/Xbox360 gaming system and you're having fun, hanging out in your underwear, plopped down in your favorite lounge chair, and playing games with your buddies. Yeah, it's great to have a microphone and camera in your game system so you can "Kinect" to your pals while you play, but did you read that Terms of Service Agreement that came with your Kinect thingy? No? Here, let me point out an important part of that service agreement.

        If you accept the agreement, you "expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft, our partners, or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the Service; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

Did you catch that? Here, let me print the important part in really big letters.

"If you accept the agreement, you expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications⦠on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

OK, is that clear enough for ya? When you use the Kinect system, you agree to allow Microsoft (and any branch of law enforcement or government they care to share information with) to use your Kinect system to spy on you. Maybe run that facial recognition software to check you out, listen to your conversations, and keep track of who you are communicating with.

I know this is probably old news to some, but I thought I would mention it because it pertains to almost all of these home game systems that are interactive. You have to remember, the camera and microphone contained in your game system have the ability to be hacked by anyone the game company gives that ability to, and that includes government snoops and law enforcement agents.

Hey, it's MICROSOFT. What did you expect?

And the same concerns apply to all interactive game systems. Just something to think about if you're having a "Naked Wii party" or doing something illegal while you're gaming with your buddies. Or maybe you say something suspicious and it triggers the DHS software to start tracking your every word. Hey, this is not paranoia. It's spelled out for you, right there in that Service Agreement. Read it! Here's one more part of the agreement you should be aware of.

        "You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Service."

Did you catch it that time? YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY LEVEL OF PRIVACY concerning your voice chat and video features on your Kinect box."

###

"Listen up, you ignorant sheep. Your government is spending more money than ever to spy on its own citizens. That's YOU, my friend. And if you're one of these people who say, "Well I ain't ever done nothing wrong so why should I worry about it?' - you are dead wrong. Our civil liberties are being taken away faster than you can spit. The NSA is working away on its new "First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center' to keep track of every last one of us. This thing will be the size of 17 football stadiums. One million square feet, all to be filled with more technology and data storage than you could imagine. And 30,000 spy drones are set to be launched over America which can each stay aloft for about 28 hours, traveling 300 miles per hour. WHY? Why do we want these things in our skies?

The military is now taking a keen interest in the Microsoft Kinect Spy System, the fastest selling electronic device in history. Conveniently self-installed in over 18 million homes, this seemingly innocent game system, armed with facial recognition programming and real-time recording of both sound and video, will be used by our own government to spy on and record us in our own homes.

And it doesn't stop there. Other game systems such as Nintendo's WWII are also being turned into government-controlled spy systems. WHY?

That's the real question. WHY?!!! Why is our own government spending billions and billions of dollars to spy on its own people? To keep us safe? Do you really believe that?"

Microsoft's Kinect System is Watching You
Published on Apr 5, 2012 by TheAlexJonesChannel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYgC-AvPGM [youtube.com]

###

Big Brother alert: Microsoft wants to know how many friends you've got in your living room

- http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/micwright/100008237/big-brother-alert-microsoft-wants-to-know-how-many-friends-youve-got-in-your-living-room/ [telegraph.co.uk]

By Mic Wright Gadgets Last updated: November 9th, 2012

- http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/author/micwright/ [telegraph.co.uk]

"One of Microsoft's latest patent applications[1] is a humdinger. It proposes to turn the Kinect camera into a snitch for movie studios, reporting back just how many friends you've got in your living room and what they're watching. Think that sounds alarmist? Here's what it actually says: "The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken." It's that blatant â" a system to spy on private viewing habits.

If put into practice, Microsoft's plan could mean that the film you're watching suddenly stops playing if it detects that you've got more people squashed on to the sofa than the licence allows. You'd then be prompted to buy a more expensive licence to keep watching. It's as if Big Brother had built 1984's Telescreen not to monitor the population but to ensure no one was pirating the Two Minutes Hate.

In all likelihood, Microsoft will struggle to actually apply this patent in the real world. While copyright holders would be delighted, customers would be turned off by such a draconian system. But that's what's interesting about this application and patent applications in general: they often reveal what companies would do if they could get away with it. The black and white drawings and blandly technical language can cover immoral, scary and downright evil ideas.

There was an even more striking example from Apple earlier this year[2]. In September, it was granted a patent for "Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device", i.e. a system allowing companies or governments to remotely disable mobile phones and tablets in a particular area.

While Apple mentions benign examples such as preventing phone calls from disturbing concerts or ensuring devices are switched off on planes, it also states: "Covert police or government operations may require complete "blackout" conditions." That's exactly the kind of feature certain governments would love to use to suppress pictures and videos. The patent Apple put its stamp on is a handy form of censorship regardless of whether it will ever apply it.

Last year, Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, said that the company would hold off from creating a facial recognition service because it would be "crossing the creepy line". Still, Google has filed for and been granted extensive patents in the area and, as its Project Glass augmented reality goggles move forward, who knows when the "creepy line" will shift?"

[1] http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220120278904%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20120278904&RS=DN/20120278904 [uspto.gov]

[2] http://www.zdnet.com/apple-patent-could-remotely-disable-protesters-phone-cameras-7000003640/ [zdnet.com]

(C) Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012

###

"People are aware that Windows has bad security but they are underestimating the problem because they are thinking about third parties. What about security against Microsoft? Every non-free program is a âjust trust me program'. âTrust me, we're a big corporation. Big corporations would never mistreat anybody, would we?' Of course they would! They do all the time, that's what they are known for. So basically you mustn't trust a non free programme."

"There are three kinds: those that spy on the user, those that restrict the user, and back doors. Windows has all three. Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission. Flash Player has malicious features, as do most mobile phones."

"Digital handcuffs are the most common malicious features. They restrict what you can do with the data in your own computer. Apple certainly has the digital handcuffs that are the tightest in history. The i-things, well, people found two spy features and Apple says it removed them and there might be more""

From:

Richard Stallman: 'Apple has tightest digital handcuffs in history'
www.newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2012/12/05/richard-stallman-interview/

###

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

(Remotely Attacking Network Cards)
http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com/2010/04/remotely-attacking-network-cards-or-why.html [blogspot.com]

(Persistent BIOS Infection)
http://www.phrack.org/issues.html?issue=66&id=7#article [phrack.org]

(BIOS --> Vbootkit code(from CD,PXE etc.) --> MBR --> NT Boot sector --> Windows Boot manager --> Windows Loader --> Vista Kernel)
http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/442/2 [securityfocus.com]

(The ROMOS project)
http://web.archive.org/web/20100111040625/http://rayer.ic.cz/romos/romose.htm [archive.org]

Secure boot is Microsoft's attempt to maintain computer OS market share as their influences is being stripped away by the likes of Google (Android) and Apple (iOS). With HTML5 on the way, we will have WEB based applications that rival desktop versions, and run on ANY device. The OS is just a layer to get to where the real work gets done, information exchange.

AND the worst part is, secure boot doesn't actually fix the problem it pretends it solves. It can't. This is the whole DRM of DVD's and BluRay all over again. Look at how well that is working out.

DRM is broken by design."
- linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2985953&cid=40681007

"Richard Stallman has finally spoken out on this subject. He notes that 'if the user doesn't control the keys, then it's a kind of shackle, and that would be true no matter what system it is.' He says, 'Microsoft demands that ARM computers sold for Windows 8 be set up so that the user cannot change the keys; in other words, turn it into restricted boot.' Stallman adds that 'this is not a security feature. This is abuse of the users. I think it ought to be illegal.'""
- linux.slashdot.org/story/12/07/17/2326253/richard-stallman-speaks-about-uefi

I'm concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

###

CIA Head: We Will Spy On Americans Through Electrical Appliances
Global information surveillance grid being constructed; willing Americans embrace gadgets used to spy on them
http://www.prisonplanet.com/cia-head-we-will-spy-on-americans-through-electrical-appliances.html [prisonplanet.com]

###

Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording.
Philip Harrison, from JP French Associates, another forensic audio laboratory that has been logging the hum for several years, says: "Even if [the hum] is picked up at a very low level that you cannot hear, we can extract this information." It is a technique known as Electric Network Frequency (ENF) analysis, and it is helping forensic scientists to separate genuine, unedited recordings from those that have been tampered with."
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20629671 [bbc.co.uk]
- http://cryptogon.com/?p=32789 [cryptogon.com]

###

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

* Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

* Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

* Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/19.60.html#subj9 [ncl.ac.uk]

###

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer' personal computer' CD-ROM drive"

Yes and the hard drive and in some PC's the cooling fans as well are under CPU control.

You can also do it with PC's where the CPU does not control the fan, but the hardware has a simple thermal sensor to control it's speed. You do this by simply having a process that uses power expensive instructions in tight loops, thus raising the CPU temprature (it's one of the side channels I was considering a long time ago when thinking about how the temp inside the case changed various things including the CPU clock XTAL frequency).

The change in sound side channel is one of the first identified problems with Quantum Key Distribution. Basicaly the bod who came up with the idea whilst first testing the idea could tell the state of "Alice's polarizer" simply by the amount of noise it made...

The CD-ROM motor idea I'd heard befor but could not remember where till I followed your link.

Dr Lloyd Wood has worked with the UK's Surrey Uni, the European Space Agency and Americas NASA and one or two other places as part of his work for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. He has been involved with CLEO (Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit) and other work on what's being called "The Space Internet".

Of interest is his work on Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTN). It's not been said "publicaly" as far as I'm aware but the work has aspects that are important to anonymity networks such as TOR.

You can read more on Dr Wood's DTN work etc at,

Lloyd Wood - Delay-Tolerant Networking work
http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L.Wood/dtn/ [surrey.ac.uk]

The UK occupies an odd position in the "Space Race" it is the only nation who having put a satellite into space then stopped further space rocket development (the Black Knight launch platform was considerably safer and more economic than the then US and CCCP systems). The UK has however continued in the Space Game and is perhaps the leading designers of payloads for scientific and industrial satellites (it probably is on military sats as well but nobody who knows for sure is telling ;-)

Clive Robinson
Schneier on Security: Information-Age Law Enforcement Techniques
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2012/12/interesting_win.html#c1049823 [schneier.com]

###

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

Thereâ(TM)s thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

        Know your routerâ(TM)s firmware may easily be replaced on a hackerâ(TM)s whim?
        Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
        Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
        Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
        Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
        Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
        Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
        Sarch out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
        Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either donâ(TM)t need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

###

âoeDisconnect your PC from the internet and donâ(TM)t add anything you didnâ(TM)t create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossibleâ

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies donâ(TM)t shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

subversion hack: (check it via archive.org, as the domain appears to be expired)
tagmeme(dot)com/subhack/

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit âoefm fingerprintingâ software
âoespecific emitter identificationâ
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, Iâ(TM)ve personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didnâ(TM)t find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

Blogspam (-1, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about a year ago | (#43566895)

Ah, yes, more anti-MS blogspam. How wonderful that Soulkill and Timothy are so predictable.

Re:Blogspam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567463)

Ah, yes, more anti-anti-MS slashdot tears. OM NOM NOM NOM mmmmmmmm.

Obligatory.. (2)

ImperialSardaukar (2904421) | about a year ago | (#43566923)

So it looks like you're trying to do a budget....

Re:Obligatory.. (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year ago | (#43567621)

So it looks like you're trying to do a budget....

Well, that's a bit ambiguous. Which did you mean:

i) "... and it'd be a shame if anything happened to it."

ii) Clippy.

So, does this mean ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year ago | (#43566949)

... that when funding runs out in April, because of an Excel error, the kindergartener's whiteboards will all go BSOD?

"Nevada tax dodge"? (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43567051)

Why should Washington State get 1.5% of royalties from Microsoft? What costs do royalties impose on the state? What is the state providing in return that contributes to those royalties?

Why not some other state? Tons of people around the world have contributed to Microsoft's products and royalties; why shouldn't the places they live get a cut? And if it's as arbitrary as it is, what's wrong if Microsoft arbitrarily moves its location to Nevada or anywhere else?

Remember that that money is going to be used either as a business expense, or it is going to be taxed as capital gains or salaries anyway.

I like pork and beans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567373)

Most of the people slamming MS have obviously never run a business. Not once in that article do they mention anything to do with payroll taxes which aren't cheap.
And everything seems to be implying they don't pay property tax, taxes on office supplies, fleet vehicles, utilities, etc. all.

Most people either choose to ignore all these taxes in their day to day life or bury their heads in the sand, but when you run a business you see ALL of these and it's not very pretty and you WILL look for any way to cut those expenses.

If I were Microsoft I'd just head to Texas where the majority; so far; don't seem to feel so entitled to everyone eless money. And they do just fine with no income tax on top of that.

When you morons are done giving all the money power to the government and they turn on you, I'll be in my bunker laughing my ass off eating canned pork and beans. Should be entertaining.

PS. You are not entitled to any of my pork and beans.

Re:I like pork and beans (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567681)

Microsoft wont move to California or Texas or New York because those starts are big enough that even Microsoft cannot push them around.

Also, you are an idiot. The issue here is that the government taxes the shit out of individuals and gives the money to giant companies like Microsoft. (you can bet your ass the mom and pop shops get no breaks at all)

But go ahead and keep believing that the big bad government is stealing all of Microsoft's hard earned money. As long as you have your guns and your religion, right?

They should come to Illinois then (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about a year ago | (#43568599)

Big tech companies are almost unheard of in the Midwest. Boeing already made the move, MS should be follow their footsteps.

Re:I like pork and beans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43569573)

Typical. "you are an idiot" most surely indicates the person saying it has no argument and is in fact the idiot.

"The Government taxes the shit out of individuals and gives the money to giant companies like Microsoft" Hahahah, dude that is hilarious. They are just giving Microsoft money. Really? You believe that? Seriously? Next you're going to tell me trickel down economics is a myth. LOL

"Guns and Religion." Haven't gone to church since I was a kid and don't own any guns, but thanks for the religious persecution line there. That's about as classy as racism.

I truly hope your blood is boiling and your body is tense. It means I'm winning because at this very moment while you read this your stress level is taking seconds maybe minutes off of your life; not that I want to see you die any sooner; oh no. Cool aid drinkers make me smile and laugh, and if laughter is the best medicine you sir will surely ensure that I live a long and healthy life.

Thanks again. And please keep on hating. It gives me a healthy glow. :)

Is this a joke? (1)

hammeraxe (1635169) | about a year ago | (#43567419)

"Senator Andy Hill is 'the first Senate budget chair ever to request Excel files instead of paper spreadsheets.'"

Please tell me this is a joke. Sure, bash Microsoft and Excel all you want.... But how the hell did they plan the budget before this?

Re:Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567543)

But how the hell did they plan the budget before this?

Using the time honoured tradition of passing notes in coconuts carried by swallows.

(that's a joke)

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567573)

The two must find $1 billion in new money for the state's K-12 system.' Unfortunately [for them, they] ... are among those behind the deficit and cutbacks in the first place.

I think the technical term for that is "Hoist with one's own petard."

Schadenfreude. When will they ever learn.

It is official. (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#43567659)

We are now letting companies directly write laws instead of simply bribing elected officials.

Of course the Washington state senators know that the Microsoft guys will only be looking to protect their own interests. But Microsoft officially owns Washington state, they can simply threaten to move billions of dollars of taxpayers out of state if they do not bend over and do whatever Microsoft says.

Now they can offshore government employees too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567699)

Now they will offshore all government jobs and infrastructure to India. Pay twice as much and get half the productivity. How is that any different than the status quo?

One word for Washingtonians..... (1)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#43567763)

Nokia!

WA r.i.p Welcome to the State of MS (or worse?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43567867)

I fully expect that the State Legslitature will soon be packed with ex MS staffers. Then they will bring in a bill to officially change the name from Washington (the only state named after a president) to MicrosoftLand and replacing WA with MS

Think of all that lovely free advertising on all vehicles. Fantastic

(tongue in cheek here)
Surely they wouldn't, would they?

vaccination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568095)

That is just ordinary corporate compromising of the state. No comparison to the cynical world health camapigns for state money by a certain foundation.

Dirty grubby politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568219)

Since his former employer was massively corrupt, you can bank cash that he is still being paid by mickeysoft, and Washington State will continue to suffer as he gets 100,000 mickeysoft shares per year, every year that he 'helps' them not pay their fair share of taxes. A $4.37 Billion tax dodge should be worth at least 43.7 million in 'retirement fund for former employee turned politician fund'. Is it underhanded, immoral, unethical and illegal? You betcha! Fucking xl files? You bet he is still working for them. I wouldn't even be surprised if they gave the politician a special version of xl so that when it reads 'mickeysoft' and 'tax' it always puts "$4.37 billion" beside the box that says 'refund'. Fuck the kindergardeners. Fuck the school kids. Fuck the old people. Fuck the roads, and fuck everyone else! There are multi-billionaires who are desperate to not pay a penny in tax. Think of them! We must dismantle the infrastructure that led to the creation of the billionaires in the first place (competition is always a bad thing), and then squeeze the little people. Its the American way!

FSM help you all (2)

bytesex (112972) | about a year ago | (#43568279)

I had the pleasure of working with Windows 7 a week ago, on the rare occasion I had to set up a demonstration on a netbook. Hadn't seriously touched windows since.. I don't know. Probably NT. And it *still* is a toy-OS.

Microsoft is nt responsible for the state deficit (4, Insightful)

mschuyler (197441) | about a year ago | (#43568423)

It's ludicrous to claim that because of Microsoft "tax breaks" the state of Washington faces cuts. Washington does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. From 1999 to 2009 the state budget increased 80%. Inflation and population growth combined was 39%. I don't know anyone who can even point to an increase in services provided by the state today compared to 1999. If they had been prudent in their spending they could have accounted for inflation and population growth with half the increase they did.

How did this happen? Lots of special interests, of course, but the basic fuel was sales taxes, which people don't really notice. When people were buying new cars the money rolled in and the state spent it. When the recession hit people cut back spending and suddenly the gravy train of sales taxes slowed to a trickle.

Now the state wants to tax everything because it's "for the children." They're looking for scapegoats and Microsoft is a nice big one to blame. It already has one of the highest sales taxes and gas taxes in the nation. It's a liberal tax and spend state.

But hey. If you want to move where the welfare payments are pretty good, move to Washington, a place where "undocumented aliens" get in-state tuition and help. With policies like Washington it won't be long before this place looks like Detroit.

Re:Microsoft is nt responsible for the state defic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568929)

Typical right wing response. Every time the rich evade lots of taxes everybody else has a "spending problem", as if that excuses the behavior.

Issues of spending may be legitimate, but are separate from the subject of tax cheats.

Re:Microsoft is nt responsible for the state defic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43570353)

Tax evasion is illegal.
Tax avoidance is legal.

This article isn't about evading taxes, it's about avoiding taxes.

For tax evasion, the company or individual is responsible for not doing it. For tax avoidance, the legislature is responsible for having a reasonable tax code, but a company who doesn't take any available tax avoidance measures (so long as the cost of avoiding taxes is below the taxes avoided themselves) is irrational or ignorant.

Re: Microsoft is nt responsible for the state defi (1)

murphtall (1979734) | about a year ago | (#43569247)

+1 informative. This state is suffering from out of control spending fueled by special interest projects. Grrr

Re:Microsoft is nt responsible for the state defic (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43570193)

are you denying the tax breaks happened or not? I'm confused. giving tax breaks is as good as spending in the situation too though, so the special interest group of MS would count.

don't look now but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43568653)

America seems to be blue screening !

thats good ol' american fascism (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year ago | (#43569645)

just like the guy from Monsanto working for the FDA, and the guy from General Electric working as Obama's Job Tzar, it isnt anything new, the revolving door of crony/fascism has been going on between the private sector and govt for a long long time

Microsoft.gov? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#43570385)

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
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