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Comments

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University Developing Technology To Vote On Your Tablet, Smartphone

vik How do they validate the security of the client? (259 comments)

Not much bleeding point in having the most secure voting software in the universe if the client's OS or GUI is compromised. This is what TOR users found out when the NSA broke not the TOR network, but simply hacked the user's browsers and got them to betray themselves.

about 10 months ago
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Backdoor Discovered In Netgear and Linkys Routers

vik Huawei at least have a password... (189 comments)

You can telnet into most Huawei/Vodafone DSL modems with admin/{VF-}[Countrycode]hg[ModelId] through the ethernet port...

about 10 months ago
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Auto Makers To Standardize On Open Source

vik Open Source car firmware pls (160 comments)

Forget the infotainment/bugging crap - we have that already and it's called a smartphone. What we need is Open Source and Open Standard systems for controlling the car and - new kid on the block - battery management.

Real hardware and software already exist in projects like Tumanako which even have the foresight to integrate with distributed power generation systems. But no, big auto manufacturers still focusing on bling that will date faster than a Miley Cyrus video.

1 year,13 days
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Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys?

vik Re:Problem solved, move on (9 comments)

Convergence is no longer in active development, and TACK uses elliptic curve keys, which are suspect.

about a year ago
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Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys?

vik Re:Because sabotage (9 comments)

IPSEC packet handling is separate from the PGP algorithm. Because one application using PGP may have been sabotaged, this does not mean the entire PGP system is broken, or that using SSL is any safer. There is stil a strong case to replace SSL with PGP.

about a year ago
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Will the Headless Ape Robot Win the DARPA Challenge?

vik How will they arm it? (37 comments)

I presume someone is planning offensive capabilities to get the fuunding?

Vik :v)

about a year ago
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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature

vik Not all PLA is made from maize (128 comments)

It's made from sugarbeet, milk waste, and current pilot plants are looking at cellulosic production piggybacking on ethanol research. Only in the US where agricultural subsidies encourage it is it made from maize. That's a political problem, not a biological problem.

about a year ago
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NASA Mulling Joint Lunar Missions With Commercial Enterprises

vik The Artemis Project offered this in 1998 (59 comments)

If anyone is interested, the http://asi.org/ site is still there. Would've cost the same as 4 shuttle flights and left a permanent base on the moon. But nooooo.

What's changed? Well, now there's even less money spare...

about a year ago
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In a Security Test, 3-D Printed Gun Smuggled Into Israeli Parliament

vik It's not the gun they're scared of (280 comments)

Governments are scared of technology that allows people to be creative, particularly if they can share that creativity. It fosters an independent spirit, and that's something that questions authority.

about a year ago
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In a Security Test, 3-D Printed Gun Smuggled Into Israeli Parliament

vik Re:bullet? (280 comments)

They make ceramic ball bearings which allegedly work fine in primitive non-metallic muzzle-loaders.

about a year ago
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Saudi Arabia Blocks Viber Messaging Service

vik Distributed solutions the way to go (83 comments)

Not just a Saudi problem - Obama thinks snooping on messages is just fine and dandy as long as it is not done to members of his Master Race. So far. May I once more bring people's attention to the Open and Free SMS encryption via the Textsecure Android app, and the disaster- (and government-) resistant mesh networking of Project Byzantium which now runs on a Raspberry Pi. They are becoming more and more relevant, and soon we shall have to switch to darknets to do anything non-commercial. Get with the program early, folks.

about a year ago
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MS Targets Google With Another Smear Campaign

vik Encrypt your e-mails (513 comments)

The inevitable next step by Kim Dotcom's Mega.co.nz's completely encrypted file sharing is completely encrypted messaging. When that takes off, Google's evil practice of not encrypting mail will be left for dust. They're going to lose a lot of customers unless they decide to jump first. Which, as you can see, will lose them more revenue.

about a year and a half ago
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Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less Than Germany Because US Has Less Sun

vik Re:wait (644 comments)

You could always, you know, buy all their cheap solar panels? Or do what I do and make better products rather than cheaper ones. No need to fight them, just take the right road. That's how come I end up exporting plastic to China.

Vik :v)

about a year and a half ago
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The 3D Un-Printer

vik Re:As someone who is a large part of the community (91 comments)

"Remember when teenagers all designed their own patches and made their own clothes? Oh right, never happened."

I call bullshit. Did happen lots. Still happens. Happens more the further back you go and the poorer you get. Just doesn't apply to rich white folks anymore.

VIk :v)

about 2 years ago
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The 3D Un-Printer

vik How do the filter crap out of the plastic? (91 comments)

I have a few reservations, and big disclaimer here - I make 3D printer filament. The main one is that the tiniest bit of crap in your plastic will inevitably find your printer's nozzle pinhole. If it does not fit through, you will block.

The other is that the machine does not yet seem to be fully functional and they're already welding up all the pretty boxes. Priorities, guys.

about 2 years ago
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IBM's Watson Gets a Swear Filter After Learning the Urban Dictionary

vik Limited data set, flawed result (310 comments)

If the idea is to make it understand and converse with real humans, teach it not to swear inapropriately.

If you can't figure out when it is apropriate or not, leave the fucking program to it.

Vik :v)

about 2 years ago
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French ISP Blocking Web Ads By Default

vik Good for society (317 comments)

Adverts are little attention-getters that push buttons to make you do things you don't want to do. It could be that they're causing us to do a number of other weird things too as a side effect - like get unreasonably violent and agressive. This is of particular suspicion in the US where foreigners meeting US advertisements for the first time get a big culture shock. Could this "Shock! Get yours now!" subliminal message be driving roberies, greed, rape and other undesirable behaviour, which let's face it is over-abundant in the US?

The more that is done to supress them the better.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys?

vik vik writes  |  about a year ago

vik (17857) writes "The whole SSL process has been infiltrated by the NSA, GCSB and other n'er-do-wells. If governments want a man-in-the-middle certificate they simply issue a secret gagging order to the CA to make them issue one. Consequently "certified" SSL certificates can no longer be trusted. Ironically self-issued certificates are more secure, but not easily verified.

However, PGP/GPG keys can be trusted and independently verified. They are as secure as we can get for now. Why not replace the broken SSL CA system with GPG/PGP encryption keys? Make the NSA-infiltrated stuff obsolete, and rely on a real-world web of trust?"
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NZ Politician accused of hiding Kimdotcom's donations

vik vik writes  |  more than 2 years ago

vik writes "Kim Dotcom well remembers splitting an NZ$50,000 payment into two to help MP John Banks hide the money under the limit for anonymous donations. John Banks claims amnesia, and this is not the first bout of donation-induced memory loss he has suffered from. If convicted, he will lose his seat in NZ's Parliament. But NZ has recently been very flexible in changing its laws to suit big business, so the outcome is far from certain. Meanwhile, negotiations are beginning to free up the legitimate data trapped on Megaupload's site by the authorities."
Link to Original Source
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NZ Politicians accused of hiding Kimdotcom's donations

vik vik writes  |  more than 2 years ago

vik writes "Kimdotcom well remembers splitting an NZ$50,000 payment into two to help MP John Banks hide the money under the limit for anonymous donations. John Banks claims amnesia, and this is not the first bout of donation-induced memory loss he has suffered from. If convicted, he will lose his seat in NZ's Parliament. But NZ has recently been very flexible in changing its laws to suit big business, so the outcome is far from certain."
Link to Original Source
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Judge Say Kim Dotcom May Never Be Tried, Let Alone Extradited

vik vik writes  |  more than 2 years ago

vik writes "As Megaupload's Kim Dotcom's megafarce trial continues, the New Zealand Herald reports that his alleged offence not only falls below the threshold for extradition, but also the warrant may not be properly served. "My understanding as to why they haven't done that is because they can't. We don't believe Megaupload can be served in a criminal matter because it is not located within the jurisdiction of the United States," says Megaupload's lawyer Ira Rothken.

Not surprisingly, Kim Dotcom has a few choice words to say about having his business trashed this way, with 220 jobs lost, and millions left without access to their legitimate data."

Link to Original Source
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Kimdotcom seizures illegal

vik vik writes  |  more than 2 years ago

vik writes "So Kimdotcom's goods were seized with a warrant that has been declared invalid by the court. Looks like Kiwis aren't very good at following instructions from the USA, eh?"
Link to Original Source
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On The Trail of A Fake Virus Scammer

vik vik writes  |  more than 3 years ago

vik (17857) writes "A sysadmin of my acquaintance recently received a phone call from "Computer Maintenance" purporting to be on behalf of Microsoft, and smelt a rat. The scammers want you to visit supportvirtual.com ( or perhaps curingyourpc.com ) and want remote access to your computer, to install malware, your credit card or both. This is how he tracked Rajat Kumar Jain of JARS services to his lair."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft's bulk deal with New Zealand Collapses

vik vik writes  |  more than 5 years ago

vik writes "The 3-year whole-of-government deal that Microsoft has been establishing with the New Zealand government since 2000 has collapsed, opening the doors to the wider use of Open Source software in government. The NZ State Services Commission (already a prize-winning user of Open Source) says in a statement that it "...became apparent during discussions that a formal agreement with Microsoft is no longer appropriate". Having lost their discount, individual government departments will now have to put their IT requirements out to tender individually."
Link to Original Source
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Meteorite destroys warehouse in Auckland, NZ

vik vik writes  |  more than 5 years ago

vik writes "According to local media, multiple eye witnesses are reporting that a meteorite crashed into a warehouse in Auckland, New Zealand last night, setting it on fire. The warehouse roof was destroyed but no nearby buildings were damaged and there was only one minor casualty — a man who happened to be inside the building at the time. The fire service have not yet made an official announcement."
Link to Original Source
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Kiwis Attack US Spy Base

vik vik writes  |  more than 6 years ago

vik writes "A New Zealand peace group called Anzac Ploughshares attacked the Waihopai spy base, deflating one of the two large satellite domes with sickles. After disabling this part of the Echelon network, members — including a Dominican friar — "built a shrine and knelt in prayer to remember the people killed by United States military activity"."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Digging Nuclear Dirt

vik vik writes  |  about 8 years ago

One aspect of North Korea's nuclear activity is being steadfastly
ignored: you can use nukes to make more nukes.

Take lots of natural uranium - which North Korea has in abundance - and
stack it up in a pile. Place a small nuclear device near it, preferably
underground and let it off. Small is good as it spreads less debris and
makes more neutrons. Underground is good because it catches the bits.
Sound familiar?

Then, send a few expendable citizens in a few days later after the
initial radioactivity has decayed off to recover the irradiated uranium.
This is now loaded with plutonium, which can be separated using simple
chemical techniques rather than all that tedious faffing around with
centrifuges.

This is not a secret technique, and it would surprise the hell out of me
if the Koreans weren't at least testing the concept. If they aren't,
someone is likely to be shot for incompetence, and that's a powerful
motivator. Could it be that - gasp - they're not complete imbeciles as
the US administration would have us believe, and are in fact cunning
bastards?

Vik :v)

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vik vik writes  |  about 8 years ago

As I write, 2,740 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion started according to official figures. The 9/11 Trade Towers attack killed 2,752 people, and despite any link between the perpetrators and Iraq was widely used to justify its invasion. There are still no accurate figures for the number of Iraqis killed, and no exit strategies for the invaders. For some reason, I find this more disturbing than someone letting off a nuke in an abandoned mineshaft.

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War of Terror - US terror strike on Pakistan

vik vik writes  |  more than 8 years ago

US Senators are claiming that the misguided US strike in Pakistan is justified by their faulty intelligence which, incidentally, is not going to help the case against Iran where is hard to spot any intelligence whatsoever from any party involved.

The "War on Terror" seems to be morphing into a "War of Terror", enacting the old cliche of the righteous becoming as bad as the ones they seek to eliminate. How else can one describe the bombing without warning of 18 innocent Pakistani villagers by remote control? Expect more irony as the US military death toll approaches 2,752 - the same number of people that died in the 9/11 attack.

Vik :v)

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Bush's wiretapping acts in context.

vik vik writes  |  more than 8 years ago

G.W. Bush's actions need to be considered as desperate acts by a man who considers himself and his country above international laws and UN regulation, who regards his view of security as being more important than liberty, who invades other countries with falsified justifications,
practices indefinite imprisonment without justice or Red Cross access, kidnaps foreign nationals, uses chemical weapons, and whose forces are committing acts of violence, torture and intimidation which are only serving to increase the threat of terrorism world-wide.

No excuse is sufficient.

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US PSy-Ops US$300m budget for worldwide propaganda

vik vik writes  |  more than 8 years ago

The US Special Operations Command is spending US$300 million on planting pro-American stories in the world's press - something which it has declared illegal to do in its own newspapers, but apparently is OK to do in the rest of the world. The funding is divided into three US$100 million contracts with the Lincon Group, Science Applications International Corp., and SYColeman. The former are currently under investigation regarding the paid articles in the Iraqi press.

This will make it very hard to take any pro-American news seriously.

Ref:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/pentagonrollsoutstealthpr
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-12-13-propaganda-inside-usat_x.htm
http://www.infoshop.org/inews/article.php?story=200512011036117
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-12-14-pentagon-pr_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA

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Air Marshals Not Needed In NZ

vik vik writes  |  more than 8 years ago

New Zealand is suggesting that it will allow air "marshalls" to fly on planes headed to New Zealand. Now, I don't know about you but I don't much fancy the concept of state-sponsored terrorists being given a ticket to carry firearms into my country.

Since their inception they have killed more than they've saved and their tactics are indistinguishable from those of hijackers - even down to shooting unarmed passengers. Their training is to intimidate and threaten, then shoot those who do not comply.

Familiar tactics? They are either going to kill more innocents, or get themselves killed because Kiwis are certainly not going to put up with such behaviour on their aircraft.

They're not needed and not wanted. Bugger off.

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vik vik writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Ms. Condoleezza Rice is asking the world to trust the US on its approach to fighting terrorism. This is rich, considering they are using weasel-words to bend international law to breaking point: It's not
kidnapping, it's "extraordinary rendition"; it's not torture, its "innovative interrogation techniques"; they're not breaking US law, because they do it overseas.

Is this clever wording supposed to increase our sense of their trustworthiness? To make up for the falsehoods of Iraqi WMD, their bogus denials on the use of white phosphorous and napalm, their mass incarcerations without trial? No, it won't wash. It is past time for the braver countries of the world to tell the US bluntly that their trust quota is now in overdraft and further credit will be refused.

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