Jimmy Carter: Snowden Disclosures Are 'Good For Americans To Know'
In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?
the first amendment is a right, not a privilege.
In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?
it is not rationed out to journalists who have been ordained by editors and publishers. What we need are good whistle blower protection laws, not shield laws.
Best Valentine's Day gift (as recipient):
how could the options not include flowers?????? roses guys, go with roses.
New Study Shows One-Third Of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution
to vote in school board elections. Science teachers need popular support in order to do their jobs.
Are Tablets Replacing Notebook Computers? (Video)
things will really changed. You will still need computers for serious production, but the $38 tablet may take over as the home computer.
Are Tablets Replacing Notebook Computers? (Video)
precisely so. wish I had mod points.
The Startling Array of Hacking Tools In NSA's Armory
almost all our electronic toys are made in China. It is difficult to dismiss the possibility that they have inserted their own malware into our toys.
Safeway Suspends Worker For Sci-Fi Parody of His Firing
What I mean is that video, which otherwise would have been lucky to get 50 views, will now soar to the top of social media.
The Startling Array of Hacking Tools In NSA's Armory
it is difficult to believe that the NSA is the only one doing this, so who else owns my electronic toys?
Safeway Suspends Worker For Sci-Fi Parody of His Firing
How many of these incidents will it take before corporations work out that ignoring your critics is usually your best strategy.
Former CIA/NSA Head: NSA Is "Infinitely" Weaker As a Result of Snowden's Leaks
spying by a government on behalf of a private corporation for the purpose of giving them an advantage over a foreign competitor is crony capitalism. Didn't work for the Philippines under Marcos, and it won't work for anyone else.
The Startling Array of Hacking Tools In NSA's Armory
2013 is the year that proved your ‘paranoid’ friend right
The person who can figure out how we can have all our tech toys and our privacy too will earn a fortune. Assuming that the technology is not made illegal.
What computing device do you use most while on vacation?
what is this vacation thing of which you speak?
Obamacare and Middle-Wheel-Wheelbarrows
or at least permit states to set up their own single payer systems. Problem solved.
Snowden Used Social Engineering To Get Classified Documents
We have not heard Snowden's version of events.
Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster
lambert strether is doing the best post by post analysis of what went wrong. It is clear from the posts that he has experience with IT and web implementation projects, so it is written from a techie's point of view.
Wikipedia Actively Battling PR Sockpuppets
Unlike Slashdot, Wikipedia does not permit PR people to post openly under their own names. The result is what anyone would have predicted, sock puppets. Wikipedia needs to follow Slashdot's example and permit us to post under out own names.
Ask Slashdot: Can Bruce Schneier Be Trusted?
make it to the front page of Slashdot?
DHHS Preparing 'Tech Surge' To Fix Remaining Healthcare.gov Issues
Lambert Strether has a tremendous post-by-post analysis of what when wrong.
We're all Wikileaks now
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
There is a new twist: the merger of the private sector, DHS and the FBI means that any of us can become WikiLeaks, a point that Julian Assange was trying to make in explaining the argument behind his recent book. The fusion of the tracking of money and the suppression of dissent means that a huge area of vulnerability in civil society – people's income streams and financial records – is now firmly in the hands of the banks, which are, in turn, now in the business of tracking your dissent.
Review of Murdoch's Pirates
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Murdoch’s Other Hacking Scandal: A Review of “Murdoch’s Pirates” by Neil Chenoweth
It was all about crypto. If you want to be in pay TV, you have to be good at intellectual property protection. If you don’t make it difficult for non-subscribers to rip off your content, that’s exactly what they will do, in such numbers that you won’t make any money. In practical terms that means good (robust, but scaleable) crypto. In turn, that means understanding the weaknesses of cryptosystems in order to make better ones. Cryptology and cryptography go hand in glove. Hire hackers! Hire geeks ...!
... So, anywaydata breaches, flaky ex-cops, private investigators, wildly out of control News International minionsthose are the operational signature of “The News Of the World”. They are NDS hallmarks, too, as we see. To all appearances, the same rather profitable syndrome has manifested itself twice on Murdoch’s watch, more or less at the same time.
But twice is still just a coincidence, isn’t it?
Spy Stories From The Murdoch Empire
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "News Corp Fights With Itself In Grand Game Of Espionage
But amidst all the lawsuits and accusations, it turns out there are some other fascinating stories to be found in News Corp's world of competitive corporate hacking and private security. A new book by Neil Chenoweth, Murdoch's Pirates, digs into that world and turns up some pretty fascinating results. From an excerpt published in the Sydney Morning Herald, we get the story of some befuddled inter-agency espionage between News Corp and its own subsidiary, complete with aliases, informants, moles and a cross-border escape gambit by a spy on the run.
Slashdot users give new beta design a huge Bronx cheer
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Alice Marshall reports that:
Slashdot users are extremely unhappy with the new Slashdot Beta design. The comment section of every single post is devoted to dissatisfaction with the new design. ... ... The thing to keep in mind about community sites devoted to user generated content is that the users generate the content.
NYPD is beta-testing Google Glass
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Venture Beat
The New York City Police Department’s massive and controversial intelligence and analytics unit is evaluating whether Google Glass is a decent fit for investigating terrorists and helping cops lock up bad guys, VentureBeat has learned. The department recently received several pairs of the modernist-looking specs to test out.
“We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we’re trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes,” a ranking New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat.
Mob Source Phone Video Collaboration
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Google patent suggests automatically sending your videos and photos to law enforcement
Google recently filed a patent for a system that identifies when and where a “mob” event takes place and sends multimedia alerts to relevant parties. The patents are actually titled “Mob Source Phone Video Collaboration” and “Inferring Events Based On Mob Sourced Video“.
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Technology is evil only through its misuse, and in the case of this dirty dozen the potential for abuse is frightening
A device to capture your fingerprints 20 feet away
iDair's primary customer is the military, but it's pushing into the commercial space. The device is about the size of a small flashlight, so now your employer can set one up at the front door of the office and within a few days have the prints of the entire company.
Legal spyware for government workers
The software is called Spector360, and its manufacturer says it's about stopping intellectual property theft and data breaches. But it caught the FDA scientists sending emails to lawmakers and others about medical devices they thought were dangerous, and the scientists are now suing.
Molecular scanners that can secretly scan you from 164 feet away
But as always, it's not so much the technology itself as how it can be used or misused. With Genia's tech, the Department of Homeland Security will be able to scan from up to 164 feet away for traces of drugs or explosives on your clothes,
'Pre-Crime' cameras are watching you"
Tech corporate leaders charged with conspiracy to depress wages
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages
These secret conversations and agreements between some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley were first exposed in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation launched by the Obama Administration in 2010. That DOJ suit became the basis of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billion effectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward. A jury trial date has been set for May 27 in San Jose, before US District Court judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung-Apple patent suit.
MPAA joins the W3C
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "TechDirt:
The W3C has been at the forefront of open standards and an open internet for many years, obviously. So it's somewhat distressing to see it announced this morning that .
So does the W3C still support open standards?"
InBloom, Bill and Melinda Gates, Rupert Murdoch, and student data
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Parents fighting back against sharing children’s data with InBloom
There is a movement afoot in New York (and other places) to allow private companies to house and mine tons of information about children and how they learn. It’s being touted as a great way to tailor online learning tools to kids, but it also raises all sorts of potential creepy modeling problems, and one very bad sign is how secretive everything is in terms of privacy issues. Specifically, it’s all being done through school systems and without consulting parents. ...
...Who’s behind this? InBloom is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the operating system for inBloom is being developed by the Amplify division (formerly Wireless Generation) of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. More about the Murdoch connection here.
What could possibly go wrong?"
New secret tape raises more questions about News Corp bribery
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Secret tape links News Corp UK to bribe policy
A new tape has emerged of journalists at Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun newspaper in London warning they will testify that News Corporation UK had a long-standing policy to make secret payments to police officers. ...
...One journalist warned Mr Mockridge in November that if it came to court: “We are not going to be saying nice things about News International because we’ll be telling the truth.
“I’ll be honest with you, if I have to stand up in court, I’m not going to be saying nice things about News International, because I’m not going to prison because I wasn’t properly trained and I was the victim of a policy that this company employed.”
Clearly no one is planning to fall on their sword."
News Corp Executive is very concerned about piracy
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "News Corp CEO Shines Spotlight on Piracy in Australia
"Piracy in Australia is at an extraordinary level," he said. People not only don't understand the value of content in Australia, he said, but also choose to disregard what he called "the inherent value of obeying the law."
He added: "I think people are just in the habit of illegal downloads ... speaking as an Australian, Australians have various bad habits — piracy habits being one of them."
Gosh, I wonder why that is?"
Conflict minerals and cell phones
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Is your cellphone made with conflict minerals mined in the Congo? The industry doesn’t want you to know.
If you are reading this on a smartphone, then you are probably holding in your palm the conflict minerals that have sent the biggest manufacturing trade group in the U.S. into a court battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At stake in this battle between the National Association of Manufacturers and the government is whether consumers will know the potentially blood-soaked origins of the products they use every day and who gets to craft rules for multinational corporations—Congress or the business itself.
Lapel cameras for the LAPD
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Private donors offer to fund LAPD lapel cameras
LOS ANGELES—Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said Tuesday that he has privately raised roughly half the $1 million he says is necessary to equip 1,500 Los Angeles Police Department officers with lapel cameras.
Can't say that I am enthusiastic."
Faulty fax machine may have cost the Sex Party seat in the Senate
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Faulty fax machine blamed in Sex Party spat over Senate seat
An argument has broken out between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Australia on one side and the Sex Party over a failure to lodge group voting tickets with the Australian Electoral Commission.
Liberal Democrat leader David Leyonhjelm said his party’s tickets for Victoria were not lodged by the required deadline because a wrong number was dialled on a fax machine.
Why can't the US has controversies like this? I want to move to Australia!
The fax machine then chewed up the documents.
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "NSA using Squirrels to pick up wireless signals
INTERNET — Iranian sources report that small chips implanted in squirrel populations have been found containing data on sensitive nuclear weapons projects. These advanced chips are powered by kinetic energy from the scurrying of the animal. In the presence of other nearby chips, each squirrel forms a node on a “mesh network” which exchanges and processes data according to an advanced algorithm. When one squirrel picks up wireless signals from a target, such as a nuclear weapons facility, this data proliferates through the mesh network until it reaches a hidden satellite transmitter, which relays the information back to the NSA headquarters.
The NSA's botnet
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Introducing Genie, the NSA's $652 million botnet
Covert cyberattacks between nations are a reality, and under certain parameters, perfectly legal under the current laws of war. Since 2009, the NSA has maintained a sort of military branch devoted to both offensive and defensive cyberattacks, called the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).
Initially, computers infected as part of Genie were controlled manually and not to their full potential. In 2011, it only attempted to access 8,448 of the 68,975 compromised computers. But the NSA plans to eventually use those computers to automate "potentially millions" in that system, a project codenamed Turbine.
Dealing with pay TV pirates: "It was a business agreement, it was not extortion"
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "One of the few times that a small pay-tv operation which has been pirated managed to defeat the pirates without replacing its smartcard. Sometimes the little guy wins
‘At this point I was confronted by piracy, and because I was a small operator I was much more vulnerable than the big guys,’ he said. One of Kinsbourg’s main dealers in England told him he could arrange some contact with the pirates so that they would not be targeted. ‘So there was some special arrangement made and they would leave us alone.’
I tell Kinsbourg that this sounds like extortion, and he looks pained. ‘It was a business agreement, it was not extortion. Well it is and it is not. It is whatever, a settlement, arrangement, whatever you want to call it. It’s consultancy fees.’ He laughed. ‘It was un arrangement.’
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed?
But just who are the long-term unemployed? Well, that's the question Josh Mitchell of the Urban Institute looked at, and the answer is at once reassuring and terrifying. It turns out the long-term unemployed aren't much different from the other unemployed — with two exceptions. They're just as educated (if not more so). And they're pretty much the same racially. But they're older.
Age discrimination has special relevance for IT and quality control
Oh, and here's the devastating secret about that 59-year-old mainframe guy you already employ: He can learn mobile development; maybe even as fast as any kid out of school. And he would if you hadn't relegated him (and his 30 years of experience) to keeping the lights on. Blame risk management if you want. I blame structural ageism, cowardice and a lack of imagination.
Saving Rupert Murdoch's job
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "The Telegraph is reporting that Rupert Murdoch is threatening to shut down his entire British newspaper operation in an effort to protect the rest of his empire.
The Telegraph revealed last week that the Metropolitan Police is now treating News UK, the newspaper corporation, as a corporate suspect in its investigations of alleged hacking and bribery at the News of the World. ...
...However, the potential case would “go away” altogether if the company News UK ceased to exist, in the same way as the CPS cannot press charges against a person who has died.
Neil Chenoweth suggests that this is nonsense.
News Corp & 21st Fox are separate companies they can't protect each other without shareholder suit
This is really about saving Rupert Murdoch's job.
For while Murdoch himself is not the target, the consequences of charging News International as opposed to charging News International directors including Rupert Murdoch himself may be indistinguishable—they would both spell the end of his control of at least the greater part of his split empire, 21st Century Fox.
Currently the odds seem to be against either of these things happening, but Murdoch must bitterly regret the comments he made to Sun journalists in March.
Security through obscurity?
Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable
As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a âoezero-knowledgeâ proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked?
There must be something I am missing; because this sounds like proprietary software.
Fight voter suppression, work as an elections official
One way to insure the upcoming election is honest is to serve as an elections official. These are the people who check you in as you come in to vote and show you a voting machine or hand you a ballot, depending upon the jurisdiction. It is a long day, in Virginia it begins at 5 AM and lasts until the votes are counted, which can be past midnight in a Presidential year. As an elections official you cannot change unjust voter ID laws; but you can make sure that they are administered fairly.
The economics of online piracy
Follow the Money: Who Profits from Piracy? is a great video which explains online piracy from the content creator's point of view. What struck me is the similarity between online piracy and spam. The same actors are profiting from both, payment processors and online ad servers.
Open source e-mail marketing software
Fellow Slashdotters, is there a good software package to run and manage e-mail marketing and list management? If so, what is it?
Politico salutes SOPA
Smith and Leahy are also the chief sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), respectively. Both bills, which purport to combat online piracy of copyrighted material, face opposition from big-name technology companies that fear they will stifle online innovation. Legal scholars have denounced the bills as unconstitutional and said that they are tantamount to Internet censorship. Perhaps most significantly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) both oppose SOPA in its current form.
Just about everyone hates these bills ... but the entertainment industry loves them. And among the sponsors of the Politico awards gala is the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the video game industry's chief lobbying group. According to disclosure records, the ESA has spent thousands of dollars this year lobbying in support of PIPA, designated S.968. (For the individual filings, click here, here, here, and here.) ESA has also donated $1,000 to Smith each election cycle going back to 2008. They donated $2,400 to Leahy in 2010.
Payola journalism, Washington, DC style.
FAA investigating News Corp
Forbes is reporting that the FAA has launched an investigation into News Corps' use of drones to collect news. The New York Observer is reporting that News Corps is experimenting with the Parrot AR.Drone âoequadricopterâ, which can be controlled with an iPad. And yes! drones can be used for phone hacking. The latest in secret police journalism.
Who owns your online profile
Writing for PC World, Katherine Noyes reports that companies are monitoring their employees online profiles at LinkedIn and Facebook. If I understood the report correctly, the monitoring software has the power to block user changes to their profiles. As a self-employed person I am not immediately affected, but am certainly not ethusiastic. I don't think that this will work very well for employers once the job market picks up.
Microsoft Access imports and the Wisconsin election
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus claims to have failed to have failed to save votes when importing them from spreadsheets. But as Pruning Shears points out, Access automatically saves. Nickolaus has been in trouble before. Citizen Action of Wisconsin is calling for a federal inquiry. More from Crooks and Liars.
Market for stolen cell phones
Here in DC we are having a crime wave of stolen cell phones (article in Washington Post Express, not onlline). How does the market for stolen cell phones work? As I understand it, if mine were stolen I would notify my provider, who would disable it, thus destroying its resell value. Except clearly it does not work that way, hence the market for stolen phones.
Also, since our cell phone providers are clearly tracking our phones, surely they could work with police to recover stolen phones. So why don't they?
Federal solicitation for online astroturf
Writing for Exainer.com, Sean Kerrigan reports that the federal government has put out a solicitation ( PDF) for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.
There is such a thing as being too clever, putting aside other considerations.
The walled gardens of Mobile computing
Writing for Corrente Wire, danps points out that the ecosystem of app stores combined with usage caps on mobile devices has the effect of restoring the old walled gardens of the early internet. As more of us become dependent upon mobile computing, this poses a de facto threat to the neutral net.
Who else has been dis'ed by PayPal?
I have not had access to my PayPal account for over a year now. For reasons best known to PayPal, but never communicated to me, I cannot access my account, even less send out invoices and receive payment. This is extremely annoying as many clients prefer to pay by PayPal. Bad vendor! bad! bad!
FCC's Genachowski backing away from neutral net
Twitter to expand collection of user data
From the NNSquad discussion list: Twitter to log every click on every link in every tweet
"Soon, Twitter will be collecting data on which Twitter users click any
links in any Twitter streams. They will also be able to collect IP
address info for any user (even non-Twitter users) who click on any
link in any Twitter message via the Twitter Web interface."
I can't say that I am enthusiastic.
Want to buy a cell phone? Papers please!
The Identity Project alerts us to
S. 3427, a bill introduced in the Senate this week by Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would require would require ID âoeverificationâ as a prerequite to buying a prepaid cell phone or SIM card.
Putting aside the not insignificant civil liberties issues, this would be a devastating blow to homeless people who often lose their documents in the events that lead to their homelessness.
Apple supports open standards, except when it doesn't
Christopher Blizzard writes about Apple's HTML5 marketing effort. It seems Apple has a blurb about how they support open standards followed by a demo that can only be viewed in Safari. Bit of a disconnect between the message and the practice eh? Besides that, Apple drastically cuts back on the number of people who will bother to look at the demo. The drop off rate will be prodigious under the best of circumstances; but will anyone download a browser just so that they can look at a demo?
India's voting machines are insecure
Hari K. Prasad, J. Alex Halderman, Rop Gonggrijp are reporting that India's voting machines are vulnerable to fraud:
In the video above, we demonstrate two kinds of attacks against a real Indian EVM. One attack involves replacing a small part of the machine with a look-alike component that can be silently instructed to steal a percentage of the votes in favour of a chosen candidate. These instructions can be sent wirelessly from a mobile phone. Another attack uses a pocket-sized device to change the votes stored in the EVM between the election and the public counting session, which in India can be weeks later.
We have known for years that these machines are insecure, yet there use continues to spread.
Virginia AG investigating climate scientist
The Hook, the student newspaper of Virginia Tech, is reporting that Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has launched an investigation into the research of Michael Mann.
In papers sent to UVA April 23, Cuccinelliâ(TM)s office commands the university to produce a sweeping swath of documents relating to Mannâ(TM)s receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research conducted while Mannâ" now director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn Stateâ" was at UVA between 1999 and 2005.
If Cuccinelli is successful he could force the return of research money, legal fees, and trebled damages. It is hard not to believe that this will have a chilling effect on climate science research in Virginia; indeed a chilling effect upon scientific research in general, at least in Virginia.
It is a great day for economic development in DC and Maryland.
The GIGO deficit game
1up reports: Microsoft, Government Working Together on Deficit Reduction Game
Game would be update of 1994 simulator that was designed to educate the public. ...
- ...Fiscal commission co-chair Erskine Bowles has reportedly been in talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer about creating the title in order to educate the public on the difficulties of balancing the budget.
What do you want to bet that Microsoft will be very selective with the inputs? Somehow I am guessing that a transaction tax will not be one of the game's options.
Are there any public spirited game developers within the Slashdot community interested in building an alternative deficit game with a wider selection of options?
The piracy wars & social discourse
TorrentFreak is reporting that Warner Brothers is recruiting students to set up accounts at BitTorrent and similar sites to "develop link-scanning bots, make trap purchases and perform various other anti-piracy tasks." BitTorrent's response is to encourage its members to apply for the jobs and, in effect, become double agents. There is such a thing as being too clever. It is disheartening to see young people encouraged to take up a career of being a professional liar.
It is just too easy to rationalize this; but to the people involved it becomes a question of which identity is the real identity? It also will poison the organizations who engage in these practices. It will swiftly devolve into a case of say anything, pretend anything if it serves the business model.
Society will become unsustainable under these circumstances; like pre-1989 Eastern Europe.