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Comments

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JavaScript For the Rest of Us

jginspace I hope this is a joke (285 comments)

Presumably these 94% will have put for foray into the javascript dom on hold until that gets translated.

The Japanese like to put their verbs at the end - are they going to accommodate that?

About half the planet like adjectives after the noun - so is going to be array new?

more than 2 years ago
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One Tablet Per Child Program Begins In Thailand

jginspace Re:Sounds good to me (90 comments)

Presumably the Thai education ministry studied the problem and came to the conclusion that these tablets would be worth buying. Maybe you really are that much smarter than the Thai education ministry... or, maybe you shouldn't be so quick to make a snap judgement.

For starters, read this:

BANGKOK (AFP) — High school test results in Thailand have revealed a failure rate of more than 80 percent in mathematics, biology and computer studies — among the teachers. The failure rates for teachers who took exams in their own subjects were about 88 percent for computer studies, 84 percent for mathematics, 86 percent in biology and 71 percent in physics, the education ministry said. And almost 95 percent of about 37,500 secondary school directors did not score a pass mark in English and technology, according to the ministry. The poor results have ignited controversy in Thailand about educational standards. “Even teachers fail, so how can we raise the quality of students?” Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post newspaper. More than 84,000 teachers and school directors took the exams, the first of their kind.

more than 2 years ago
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One Tablet Per Child Program Begins In Thailand

jginspace Bangkok Post (90 comments)

The caption in the Bangkok Post article reads 'A worker loads boxes labelled "One Tablet Per Child" on to a truck at the Education Ministry in Bangkok. The ministry sent off trucks on Wednesday to deliver the first batch of 55,000 tablet computers to primary schools in eight provinces.'.

Are they saying that all 55,000 boxes are currently sitting at the Education Ministry in Bangkok? Such logistical half-assedness would add at least a dollar a unit to the final cost I should imagine. Or more likely it was just a photo op and the Bangkok Post didn't properly attribute it as such. This being Thailand, and this being the Bangkok Post (establishment ring kissers), we can never be sure.

more than 2 years ago
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UN says North Korean 'fake missile' transporters supplied by China

jginspace Quote (2 comments)

And this is what they had to say about the missiles:

Analysts debate whether the KN-08s on display may have been mock-ups.

more than 2 years ago
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UN says North Korean 'fake missile' transporters supplied by China

jginspace Quote ... (2 comments)

From the UN report

The newly revealed missile was carried by a new 8-axle transporter erector launcher (see figure V), bigger and more sophisticated than previous transporter erector launchers displayed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which have had up to 6-axle configuration. An off-road mobile transporter erector launcher of such dimensions needs very advanced features such as the ability to pivot wheels in the front and back to assist steering, divided axle with differential gear to assist off-road movement, and hydro-pneumatic suspension to handle sensitive payloads. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has not previously demonstrated its capacity to build such a vehicle. The Panel will further examine this.

more than 2 years ago
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Discovery Channel Crashes a Boeing 727 For Science Documentary

jginspace Re:Forget the ejection seat. (281 comments)

... The Airstair makes the 727 one of the few airliners that it's possible to parachute from without the risk of being hit by the engines, wing or tailplane - a person known as "Mr Cooper" proved this was possible in 1971.

Ly Tong jumped out of an Airbus A310 over Saigon in 1992.

more than 2 years ago
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The Pirate Bay seems to be down

jginspace Back again? (1 comments)

It came back after around seven hours of downtime and then after thirty minutes was down again for another hour. Currently seems to be up. God bless.

more than 2 years ago
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Chief Replicant Dev On Building a Truly Free Android

jginspace replicant.us? (113 comments)

Great tld for an open source project.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech Manufacturers With Better Labor Practices?

jginspace Re:General Chinese labor conditions (375 comments)

She thought $400 a month (in a culture where there are no tips) was excellent money.

I don't know why people always quote things in dollars-per-month. That is meaningless. When I was in Russia in the late 90s, bus fare was less than 5 cents ...

I'm guessing you had the phrase Purchasing Power Parity on the tip of your tongue.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech Manufacturers With Better Labor Practices?

jginspace Re: 'Apartments' (375 comments)

AC was referring to his friend who is a waitress having a shared apt with a bunk, not factory workers in a dorm. A shared apt is not going to have a sufficient quantity of people in it to talk about the body heat warming the place.

Hopefully. And hopefully it doesn't get that cold (the GP seemed to be struggling to make it sound cold - frost is "moderately common" - wow). But I don't think you get the gist: if this is indeed the situation then she's doing well - it's hardly the sob story that was intended. But actually I don't think the picture you have in your head of an "apartment" bears any resemblance to the kind of "apartment" Chinese businesses provide for their staff. Clue: We're talking high population density, high property prices.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech Manufacturers With Better Labor Practices?

jginspace Re:General Chinese labor conditions (375 comments)

Most meals and a bunk in a shared apartment provided. No heat, at a latitude where frost is moderately common.

I'm not asking to be modded down and i'm not trying to be all Monty Python but ... if these bunks are arranged really spaciously they might need heating - depends on the latitude. If they're arranged anything like the standard for employee accommodation then body heat will take care of it. So which to choose? Just how bad is it?

Let's hear some balanced accounts of conditions in these places. As you said, your friend thought this was a decent job.

more than 2 years ago
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Journalist Arrested By Interpol For Tweet

jginspace He's been deported (915 comments)

KUALA LUMPUR, February 12, 2012 (AFP) - Malaysia on Sunday deported a young Saudi journalist whose Twitter comments about the Prophet Mohammed triggered calls for his execution in his home country, an official said.

Hamza Kashgari, who was detained in Malaysia during the week after fleeing Saudi Arabia, left the country in the custody of Saudi officials, according to a Malaysian government official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

more than 2 years ago
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If You're Fat, Broke, and Smoking, Blame Language

jginspace Asian perspectives (297 comments)

Interesting observations. Using some examples from my neck of the woods, I'd say it could be mixed up with agriculture and migration patterns.

Vietnamese is very strongly future-typed. No tenses but an auxiliary verb 'se' = 'will' which appears in front of the verb. It is used even when the word 'tomorrow' or 'this evening' appears in the sentence. Vietnamese are famous for their over-indulgence in alcohol and coffee, although culturally they're savers (in the form of gold or ornaments). Oh, and they're atrocious drivers. (And there's a Catholic influence - sin now, confess later.)

Thai is even more strongly future-typed, in that their word for 'will' ('ja') takes even more precedence in the sentence - eg "ja mai pai Pantip" - "I will not go to Pantip". Thais are known for their moderation in most areas and they're characterized as undisciplined when it comes to wealth/savings. But they do drive well. Talk about Thai attitudes and most foreign observers will sum up with "mai pen rai" ("no worries").

Both the Thais and Vietnamese are rice-growing societies who recently migrated (the Thais much more recently) from China, where they're very loose with future markers.

Contrast with the Malays. Spoken Malay has no future typing - they rely on words like 'tomorrow'. Their society is characterized by its indifference to planning and saving, feasting today, forget tomorrow. Not very organized agriculturally. They're also an island race - perhaps best not to think too much about the future when you're getting into that boat and you can see nothing on the horizon (but a full belly will help).

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Envisions DIY Solar Cells Made From Grass Clippings

jginspace Re:Or you could electrocute yourself in the proces (126 comments)

Just because it's "green" doesn't mean it's safe to let just any yahoo install an electric generator on his hut. Methinks it might be wise to let the village electrician do the installing.

And just to be safe he should wait till it goes dark. Oh wait a minute ...

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Envisions DIY Solar Cells Made From Grass Clippings

jginspace Concentrated right? (126 comments)

If all goes well, in a few years it should be possible to gather up a pile of grass clippings, mix it with a blend of cheap chemicals, paint it on your roof and begin producing electricity.

I assume the method concentrates these photosynthetic molecules. If so you're going to need several roof-areas-worth of grass clippings. And then you have the old problem of taking arable land and forcing food prices up. If this produces much with the grass clippings from an average suburban house then I'm amazed - and will it last through the winter?

more than 2 years ago
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What is a journal?

jginspace Another strange dissappearance (2 comments)

Just saw this with an orange box next to it on /recent, then it got tagged 'nod', then it disappeared just like that. Does samzenpus have the ability mod down multiple times? Why would he do that? It seems like somebody is making a concerted effort to prevent journals being visible on /recent or /popular. Has a journal ever got accepted as a story any time in the last several weeks/months?

more than 2 years ago
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BTJunkie No More?

jginspace Re:HAH! (328 comments)

They shut down MegaUpload recently, and they were in New Zealand. The operators were arrested, too, ...

MegaUpload was in Hong Kong, the fat guy and his fleet of cars was in New Zealand. At least one of their servers was in the US and so were their domains.

more than 2 years ago
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BTJunkie No More?

jginspace Re:Nooooooo!!!! (328 comments)

Not really, but [the Feds] did put on a big PR stunt where a big, popular file-sharing site, seemingly out-of-reach on the other side of the world, were shut down and the operators arrested. I'm not convinced that is was anything but a scripted reality show, but it seemed to have convinced the operators of BTJunkie that they should quit while they're ahead.

Yes indeed, just after the Megaupload circus Btjunkie removed all the latest torrents from their home page - it became Google style, with basically just a search box. This was before Rapidshare restricted their functionality. Btjunkie were obviously being very cautious.

more than 2 years ago
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BTJunkie No More?

jginspace Re:Pirate bay decision is probably why (328 comments)

So straight after this case, Pirate Bay move to a .se domain and continue operating; Btjunkie close down. This Sweden connection doesn't work out.

Magnet links are still links. They require much less space to host but they still need hosting. According to the US Immigration and Customs guys, linking is a crime - you lose your domain - or if you happen to live in the US (or UK) ... your freedom.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jginspace writes "As per the advance notification, Microsoft's monthly security bulletin, released yesterday addressed five general Windows issues and one in Visual Studio. It also included a fix for a problem in Outlook Express for a total of seven updates.

As patch Tuesdays go it was fairly unremarkable. The only general Windows update labelled as 'critical' is for a flaw in Media Player. As usual, there's a cumulative update for Internet Explorer, and it does sound quite nasty - there are two critical script-related vulnerabilities and Secunia has already issued an advisory. Significantly, only versions of Internet Explorer versions 5 and 6 are affected. Version 7 is clean - which is welcome news as this is the first round of updates since the upgrade was pushed to world+dog last month as part of Windows Update.

Sans is calling this 'Black Tuesday' and recommends patches be applied urgently for the Visual Studio and Media Player vulnerabilities. The Visual Studio update is for version 2005. Sans indicate that there are already known exploits circulating for the SNMP vulnerability but currently none targetting the latest flaws in IE. However if you really have to use IE I recommend using a metabrowser such as Maxthon, Avant or SlimBrowser. Sans is recommending the Heise Offline Update utility covered in a previous story."
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jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jginspace writes "Vulnerabilities seem to be flavour of the month, what with exploits for Oracle and OS X being in the news just lately.

Microsoft probably won't be outdone. Watch this space - next advance notification is Thurs Dec 7th. It should give you a modest idea of how vulnerable - potentially and currently - you are. Vulnerabilities are exploited quickly once the miscreants know where to look - see previous journal entry - so with advance notice you'll have an idea whether you should be taking steps to boot Linux for a few days, make sure you're running as non-admin, making sure that firewall is up, turning off unnecessary services or getting used to running Open Office instead of the Microsoft version.

Remember the next bunch of updates will be the first since Internet Explorer 7 was pushed out to world+dog via Windows Update. Previous versions of IE made near-monthly appearances so the second Tuesday security bulletin will be an indication of whether Microsoft have really sorted out their browser issues or whether it's a case of more of the same."
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jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jginspace writes "As per last Thurday's advance notification Microsoft has just released five general Windows updates and one for XML. So what's new? Well a grand total of five are rated 'critical'.

We have the omni-present Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (922760) - pay particular attention to the "HTML Rendering Memory Corruption Vulnerability" - and a nasty-sounding "Vulnerability in Workstation Service".

Last month Microsoft Office took the limelight; this month "Remote Code Execution" targetting the core services seems to be de rigeur. Keep your systems patched, don't run unecessary services and don't run more than you have to as administrator. Sign up for notifications here."
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jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jginspace (678908) writes "Surprised this hasn't been posted, a 17-year-old from Singapore is is facing three years' jailtime for accessing his neighbour's wireless network.

Yup, the neighbour complained and now the unfortunate Tan Jia Luo is facing charges under the computer misuse act and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

It must be great having such lovely neighbours."

Journals

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UN says North Korean 'fake missile' transporters supplied by China

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

In April I wrote about the North Korean missiles, likely sheet-metal mock-ups, on display at a parade shortly after the failed missile launch. Of particular note were the transporters, speculated to have been of Chinese origin, likely in breach of UN sanctions. The Chinese issued a denial, the UN said yes they did. The UN report is here [pdf].

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North Korean missiles were likely mock-ups

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Shortly after this month's failed rocket launch, the North Koreans unveiled what appeared to be a new missile design at a military parade in Pyongyang. Now analysts have suggested they were clumsy mock-ups. Markus Schiller and Robert Schmucker noted [pdf] that each of the six missiles on display were slightly different, that they contained a mix of solid fuel and liquid fuel components and the casings showed undulations betraying the use of thin metal covering a basic frame.

Of more interest were the transporters. In the past the North Koreans have used Russian/Belorussian vehicles but in the April 15th parade new 16-wheel launchers were on display. They were most likely supplied by the Chinese - which would be a violation of UN sanctions - but the main talking point revolved around the observation that these launchers were actually designed to carry bigger missiles than those on display.

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The Pirate Bay seems to be down

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

For the last few hours, The Pirate Bay seems to have been completely unreachable. First the server at 194.71.107.15 went down, then then 194.71.107.50. A few days ago it was reported that Swedish authorities were cranking up their investigation into the site. Just a few weeks ago they moved from a .org to a .se domain - we could be about to find out what other tricks "The galaxy's most resilient bittorrent site" has up its sleeve.

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North Koreans build hovercraft base near disputed islands

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

North Korea has apparently just finished building a specially-equipped hovercraft base less than 60km from disputed islands in the Yellow Sea. The base could be home to 70 conventional hovercraft, which can travel at more than 50km/h and can carry between 35-55 marines. In theory they could take 30 minutes to get to Baengnyeong island and land 2000 marines. The North Koreans are also reported to have developed high-speed military hovercraft which can travel at speeds up to 90km/h and, according to one source in the south, carry tanks.

The North has a recent history of staging provocations in this area - in 2010 they sank a patrol boat and shelled the island of Yeonpyeong, to the south of Baengnyeong - and they basically got away with it - they could be even bolder next time.

According to a South Korean daily: "North Korea's plan is to shell the islands with coastal artillery on a moonless night, render South Korean soldiers at military bases on the islands helpless, then take over the territory with soldiers landing on hovercraft".

Hum I don't know, after the artillery bombardment has begun then I'd think the element of surprise has gone and the hovercraft should be easy targets for the South Korean defences. Surely the North prefers to save their chips for more one-sided provocations than this one. Whichever way it pans out, we don't want the defenders posted on those islands to get any more jittery - last year marines on Gyodong island fired at a passenger jet carrying 119 passengers and crew approaching Incheon.

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Seizedservers.com melts under NFL load

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Last Thursday agents working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 307 domains. Sixteen were involved with streaming sports events while the rest were implicated with the sale of counterfeit jerseys and other NFL merchandise. This brings the number of domain names seized to nearly 700 and the timing of the latest swoop is having a possibly unintended side-effect - currently all those 307 domains, plus the 370-odd seized in 2010 and 2011, as well as their 'example' domain seizedservers.com are all offline right now as their single server is struggling under the load.

So rather than seeing the Department of Immigration and Custom's serious-looking takedown message, visitors are just getting a timeout, and rather than being 'educated' they'll more likely feel vindicated by the wisdom of the crowd. Also the confiscated domains which had been used to show the department's Youtube anti-piracy video will be similarly paralysed.

It looks like ICE are paying up to $7.8 million to immixGroup for the hosting of these seized domains. Are they getting a good deal? A huge operation combining personnel from Intellectual Property, Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs (operating far from any border, airport or port) manages to bag a theoretical $4.8 million worth of fake shirts in support of a circus worth billions and they trumpet it like they're saving civilization itself! And it's all of questionable legality. All the while the majority of the owners of the seized domains consider themselves innocent and are still jumping through whichever hoops ICE have erected to get their property back. And I doubt Senator Wyden has received a proper reply to any of his questions yet.

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The 'SOPA Blackout', and the 300 domains that have already gone

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago Today is SOPA Blackout Day (and belatedly, PIPA too). In rough order of importance, Google, Boingboing, Arstechnica, 4Chan, ThePirateBay, Identi.ca, Craig's List, Mozilla, Wordpress and Wikipedia are drawing attention to the SOPA bill by either blacking out their whole sites or displaying banners. Wikipedia's blackout got the most press but their effort was a rather trivial javascript trick.

Most of the afore-mentioned are only displaying banners (but thanks Google, your support is priceless). Closer to home, projects such as Fedora, OpenSUSE (javascript too, unfortunately), Mageia, XBMC and ElementaryOS are also joining in. And huge kudos to OSNews. If you Slashdotters aren't impressed so far then how about if I told you that Bruce Schneier has just joined in too?

The effort against SOPA has failed on two levels: 1) The communinity (or communities) haven't quite managed to inculcate the average geek on exactly how bad SOPA will be, and; 2) They've failed miserably in getting the average geek to understand just how bad things are *already* without SOPA.

I've heard a dozen times SOPA described simply as a bill to "order the removal of DNS records of sites thought to enable piracy". Newsflash guys: The US government have been doing this for 18 months already and more than 300 domains have been confiscated. A site which was declared legal TWICE in Spain just disappeared from the Internet. They weren't selling counterfeit goods, they weren't hosting warez or movies or songs - they simply hosted links. At least two dozen such sites were seized during 2011. As far as I know, only one site, Dajaz1.com is up and working again after being seized by the authorities. Their lawyer was not allowed to see any of the judgements in connection with this case. The case did not actually exist in any court. He was not even notified when they gave up and the site was released.

The program which is running already is called Operation In Our Sites, an effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to meddle in affairs well beyond any port, airport or border crossing. The program is known as ICE for short.

Remember, this is not SOPA, this has been going on for 18 months.

However in a discouraging aspect to the story it seems like none of the sites that got shafted by ICE are displaying any kind of ICE/SOPA-related notice today. I checked all the sites listed on the page of the FireICE add-on for Firefox: Firstrow, Atdhe, Torrent-finder, Movies-links, Rojadirecta, Ilemi, TVshack, HQ-Streams, Onsmash and Rapgodfather. Nothing. I also checked Wiziwig, Filespump, Channelsurfing, Absolutepoker, Funtimebingo, Truepoker and Betmaker. Still nothing.

Of the sites that got shafted by ICE, the ONLY one taking any action against SOPA is the afore-mentioned Dajaz1 - the site that was confiscated for a whole 12 months without any due process nor any paperwork whatsoever.

Several sites are tracking who is participating in SOPA blackout day. Perhaps you might want to help record who is participating and who is NOT particpating by going over to Herdict, a project run by the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society. We could get some interesting data.

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Windows XP now requires 99 security updates

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago The first Patch Tuesday of 2012 gave us seven security bulletins with five of them applying to Windows XP. A fully-patched machine would require the installation of six additional patches as of Tuesday, however if you were to install Windows XP today, followed by Service Pack 3, you'd have 99 patches to install. And you'd better move fast because a grand total of 47 are rated by Microsoft as "Critical".

(If you installed Fax Services, IIS and FTP server you'd need 106 patches but only masochists would install those on Windows XP right?)

Most of those critical patches are marked with a severity of 9.0 or higher on the National Vulnerability Database. Eight receive a rating of 10.0 - meaning that they're both high-impact and easy to exploit. Several of the high-impact vulnerabilites that don't quite attain the coveted 10.0 rating are docked points (decimal points) because potential adversaries require authentication credentials to proceed. Those who reuse the password they use for Windows to log into their favourite forums while they're using unencrypted wifi could get into trouble.

The 47* patches marked by Microsoft as "Critical" require a total download of 49,962 KB, so quite how one should download and apply all these while the machine is getting constantly probed is an exercise best left to the reader. (* Note that the Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer is not included in the critical list - Microsoft rate MS11-099 as "Important", which is a bit odd considering it accumulates three years' worth of "Critical" patches.)

Support for Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014 (that's a patch Tuesday) and it seems like Microsoft do not intend to release another service pack - fair enough - but don't they think it might be time to release a security roll-up? They released such a package for Windows 2000 in 2005, two years after the release of SP4 - we're approaching four years since the release of Windows XP SP3.

So it's probably time to get patching - if you're running across the street to help out with a neighbour's particularly neglected machine or you want to email a few links to granny then you might want to prioritize the eight bulletins rated 10.0 by the NVD - these are:

CVE-2011-1868 / MS11-042, Vulnerability with DFS;
CVE-2011-1268 / MS11-043, Vulnerability in SMB client;
CVE-2011-0661 / MS11-020, Vulnerability in SMB server;
CVE-2009-2494 / MS09-037, Vulnerabilities in Active Template Library - a whole bunch of patches to download here;
CVE-2009-0086 / MS09-013, Vulnerabilities in Windows HTTP Services;
CVE-2008-4250 / MS08-067, Vulnerability in Server Service
... and CVE-2009-3677 / MS09-071, Vulnerabilities in Internet Authentication Service - rated by Microsoft as "moderate" for XP
... and CVE-2009-1930 / MS09-042, Vulnerability in telnet - rated by Microsoft as "important".

Or you could use Secunia - their two most severe ratings are labelled "Highly Critical" and "Extremely Critical" - with the latter defined thus: "... used for remotely exploitable vulnerabilities that can lead to system compromise. Successful exploitation does not normally require any interaction and exploits are in the wild". Secunia have six advisories rated "Extremely Critical":

CVE-2011-3402 / MS11-087, Vulnerability in Windows Kernel-Mode Drivers
CVE-2010-3970 / MS11-006, Vulnerability in Windows Shell Graphics Processing
CVE-2009-2493 / MS09-035, Visual C++ Redistributable Package - not present on a fresh install, but shipped with applications that require it.
CVE-2008-0015 / MS09-032, CVE-2008-0020 - MS09-037, vulnerabilities in Active Template Library (appears in the NVD list)
CVE-2009-1537 / MS09-028, Directx
CVE-2009-0235 / MS09-010, Vulnerabilities in WordPad ...

As you can see there's little overlap between the two lists. Most of the vulnerabilities given top-billing by Secunia actually require user interaction to be exploited. I think Secunia tend to assume that Windows XP users will open any .exe and click on this, that and every link; whereas the NVD ratings work on the assumption that you'll exercise more restraint.

Of course some of us understand the futility of trying to patch a system that's been vulnerable for months/years, or of carrying around a USB stick full of updates, and we use a program called nLite - it's no longer updated but it's still fit for purpose.

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Thai girl could be tried in juvenile court for Facebook post

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Back in 2010, while the Thai military snipers in Bangkok were gearing up to slaughter nurses, journalists and protesters, many unarmed, some sheltering in a temple that had been declared a safe zone, a young student posted a mild rebuke to the monarchy on her Facebook page.

After that cyberstalkers posted her name and address online, leaflets were posted to her neighbours, she even received death threats and her family were intimidated. A network called 'Social Sanction' which actively hunted down individuals who posted views deemed disrespectful of the monarchy joined the fray. She planned to study at Silpakorn University however the dean, a known royalist, refused her application despite her having passed the exams.

She'd once got up on stage and made a speech at a Red Shirt rally, and had been kicked out of high school for criticizing the monarchy, so for a fiery young spirit like this it must have been a case of "here we go again ...", and ... she changed her name, actually both her names and attempted to enroll in another university. She passed the entrance exam at Prasarnmitr College but the interview was suddenly cut short and she later found out she'd been denied a place. She then applied to Kasetsart University but after a Facebook page called, "We are confident that the people of Kaset would not welcome someone who insults Father", was setup and a mob turned out at the university on the day of her interview she decided not to attend.

Recently it came to light that she had won a place at the famously liberal Thammasat University - she was just completing her first term. (Thammasat University is located right next to the Grand Palace in Bangkok and was the site of a massacre in 1976 where several royalist militia groups stormed the campus and killed, according to the official count, 46 students.)

The campaign of vilification predictably called for her expulsion from Thammasat but the head of the university stood firm. The right-wing media joined in the frenzy and she suffered attacks from fellow students. All sorts of screenshots from Facebook were posted online - the majority of which couldn't have been authentic - nevertheless someone filed a complaint with the police. The complaint was that the student had committed the dreaded 'Lese Majeste' offence - insulting the king, queen, crown prince or regent. (Anybody can walk into any police station and file a Lese Majeste complaint - and the police are bound to investigate it.) She's been asked to report for questioning on Wednesday. Fortunately she happens to be free that day as she's studying for her end of term exams.

She was born in May 1992, which means she was under 18 at the time of the supposed crimes, so should the case come to court she could be tried as a minor, possibly in a juvenile court. Her name is Natthakarn Sakuldarachat - aka 'Kan Thoob' (Joss Stick) - please support her.

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Mer project restarted

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

The Mer project began as a community-led effort to keep Maemo alive. Maemo was the Debian-based OS that Nokia shipped on its Nxxx internet tablets - and it's probably still the best Linux distro ever developed for small devices.

Nokia released the N900 nearly three years ago and then abandoned Maemo, later joining Intel to develop Meego, a supposed successor to its lacklustre Moblin effort. The Mer developers, full of hope, signed up to the new project, however as it turned out Meego had more of Moblin in it than Maemo and nobody was sad to see it dropped last year.

Tizen was inaugurated to take up the reins but it seems nobody has any faith in any Intel-led mobile OS effort anymore and the Mer team have just resuscitated their project. Unfortunately for those of us nostalgic for a bit of Maemo, the project will not be resuming where the earlier venture left off, instead it will be picking up the freely-available Meego code. Also, in their manifesto they say: "Primary customers are device vendors - not end-users". So I suppose no chance of picking up a cheap Nokia N810 and putting a shiny new OS on it.

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Amnesty International's site serving Chinese malware

jginspace jginspace writes  |  about 2 years ago

Last weekend I upset some dude when I suggested that Amnesty International might not be worthy of his charitable contributions - citing administrative incompetence as well as their track record of taking their eye off the ball and cosying up to repressive regimes.

Now it turns out they've been serving malware from one of their servers - most likely targetting human rights workers out in the field.

The hackers are most likely Chinese. Amnesty have a very poor track record as regards their info security.

Sad.

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Thai prime minister begs royal pardon for posting pic of wrong king on Facebook

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has just fired her entire Facebook team for mistakenly posting a photo of the king's bother to mark his birthday last week. The mistake was all the more sensitive because the brother in question, Ananda Mahidol, died in mysterious circumstances in 1946.

Some say there's more to it than simple incompetence, however Thailand watchers will recall that the hapless Yingluck got her Twitter account hacked just a few weeks ago - perhaps 'the Facebook team' means 'the social networking team'.

This latest mishap illustrates the perilous waters (sorry, not a flood joke) that netizens in Thailand must navigate. A guy just got sentenced to 20 years for sending four 'off-colour' text messages. A US citizen of Thai descent just got two and a half years for merely linking to a translation of a banned book. The bloggerati and Web 2.0 crowd are suddenly living in fear - bloggers dare not link to pieces in such respected journals as The Economist or even quote the titles of the offending articles, and Facebook users have been pointedly warned that clicking 'Like' or even the failure to completely delete incoming messages could get them serious prison time.

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Thailand using stationary boats with propellers running to shift floodwaters

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Thailand is currently experiencing its worst flooding for decades. Bangkok is sitting right between the main rivers and the sea and they've decreed that barricades must be erected to keep the capital dry at the expense of the central provinces. How can you allow the water to run off without sacrificing the capital?

As usual with the challenges facing the country, it seems like calm intelligent leadership is hard to find. However, the king is reputed to be a serious hydrologist so perhaps it's no surprise that budding part-time flood experts are coming up with cunning plans to help alleviate the floods and no doubt receive favour from royal circles. Notably, a guy named Plodprasop Suraswadi, who just happens to be Minister for Science and Technology, claims to have come up with the idea of deploying stationary boats with propellers churning to speed up the flow of water out to the Gulf of Thailand. Now they've just decided it was working so well that they lined up 500 boats to finish the job off.

Armchair analysts are skeptical.

Phony science? Thailand watchers will recall the GT200 fiasco, where the security services spent $21 million on several hundred "bomb detectors" which turned out to be empty boxes.

While Western Digital are warning they'll be unable to meet customer demand as their plants on the outskirts of Bangkok are submerged.

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Crunchbang Linux 9.04 Released

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The latest Crunchbang Linux has just been released. Based on Ubuntu Jaunty, Crunchbang distinguishes itself by its use of the lightweight Openbox window manager. Along with Openbox, PCMan File Manager is used and in keeping with the basic theme, Abiword and Gnumeric replace the Openoffice.org suite. And when distros are trying to go all WinXP on us, the theme is refreshing - black and white, normal text, with Conky desktop and tint2 panel.

Crunchbang is maintained by one guy in the UK and it has a devoted and notably polite and helpful band of followers.

The download links are all saturated so please use the torrents.

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Microsoft's Patch Tuesday to be Biggest for a While

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 6 years ago

After a few relatively quiet months on the patch front we're back to the good old days with a bumper issue of security bulletins coming up. Microsoft releases patches in a bundle on the second Tuesday of each month and according to the Advance Notification, we should expect 7 patches rated as 'critical' and 5 rated as 'important' next week.

Expect the regular cumulative patch for Internet Explorer 6, along with a slightly less regular one for IE7, along with a bundle of fixes for older versions of Office. It also appears someone has been poking around Microsoft's script offerings as vulnerabilities in VBScript and JScript have been found.

Internet Information Services (the web server bundled with Windows) is affected - versions 5 through to 7 (Win2000, XP, 2003, Vista). This could be an embarrassment for Microsoft as I think there were a few murmurings from Redmond about IIS being more secure than Apache. In what could be something of a headache for systems administrators, a denial of service vulnerability has been found in Active Directory

Overall Vista seems to be affected to just about the same degree as XP.

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Truecrypt 5.0 Released

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The long-anticipated version 5.0 of Truecrypt, the disk-encryption software, became available today.

With 5.0 there's now a Mac OS X version and the Linux version has a GUI. Other improvements include XTS mode, SHA-512 hashing, huge speed improvement under Windows and the ability to encrypt a Windows system partition with pre-boot authentication.

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Patch Tuesday — IE7 Clean

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago As per the advance notification, Microsoft's monthly security bulletin, released yesterday addressed five general Windows issues and one in Visual Studio. It also included a fix for a problem in Windows Media Player for a total of seven updates.

As patch Tuesdays go it was fairly unremarkable. The only general Windows update (not counting IE) labelled as 'critical' is for the flaw in Media Player. As usual, there's a cumulative update for Internet Explorer and it does sound quite nasty - there are two critical script-related vulnerabilities and Secunia has already issued an advisory. Significantly, only versions of Internet Explorer versions 5 and 6 are affected. Version 7 is clean - which is welcome news as this is the first round of updates since the upgrade was pushed to world+dog last month as part of Windows Update.

SANS is calling this 'Black Tuesday' and recommends patches be applied urgently for the Visual Studio and Media Player vulnerabilities. The Visual Studio update is for version 2005. SANS indicates that there are already known exploits circulating for the SNMP vulnerability but currently none targetting the latest flaws in IE. However if you really have to use IE I recommend using a metabrowser such as Maxthon, Avant or SlimBrowser. SANS is recommending the Heise Offline Update utility covered in a previous story.

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Security bulletins - advance notification

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago Vulnerabilities seem to be flavour of the month, what with weaknesses in Oracle and OS X being in the news just lately.

Microsoft probably won't be outdone. Watch this space - next advance notification is Thurs Dec 7th. It should give you a modest idea of how vulnerable - potentially and currently - you are. Vulnerabilities are exploited quickly once the miscreants know where to look - see previous journal entry - so with advance notice you'll have an idea whether you should be taking steps to boot Linux for a few days, make sure you're running as non-admin, making sure that firewall is up, turning off unnecessary services or getting used to running Open Office instead of the Microsoft version.

Remember the next bunch of updates will be the first since Internet Explorer 7 was pushed out to world+dog via Windows Update. Previous versions of IE made near-monthly appearances so the second Tuesday security bulletin will be an indication of whether Microsoft have really sorted out their browser issues or whether it's a case of more of the same.

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Patch Tuesday - Pick an exploit, any exploit

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago As per last Thurday's advance notification Microsoft has just released five general Windows updates and one for XML. So what's new? Well a grand total of five are rated 'critical'.

We have the omni-present Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (922760) - pay particular attention to the "HTML Rendering Memory Corruption Vulnerability" - and a nasty-sounding "Vulnerability in Workstation Service".

Last month Microsoft Office took the limelight; this month "Remote Code Execution" targetting the core services seems to be de rigeur. Keep your systems patched, don't run unecessary services and don't run more than you have to as administrator. Sign up for notifications here.

Update: Vnunet says the vulnerabilities in XML and IE's DirectAnimation ActiveX control are already being actively exploited. Sans reports that the exploit for the workstation service is out in the wild.

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Jailtime For Leeching Wireless?

jginspace jginspace writes  |  more than 7 years ago Surprised this hasn't been posted, a 17-year-old from Singapore is is facing three years' jailtime for accessing his neighbour's wireless network.

Yup, the neighbour complained and now the unfortunate Tan Jia Luo is facing charges under the computer misuse act and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

It must be great having such lovely neighbours.

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