Recent Entries in Hacking

How does he know so much about people?

Amazing mind reader reveals his 'gift' - YouTube

Interesting point. Also, it brings up a very good point referenced in the Little Brother novel: what happens when a government organization puts out its own version of ParanoidLinux in an attempt to snare those who think they need it?

It's not the "there are already too many distributions" argument that is unsettling. It is more that the project feels a like a waste of human resources -- why is it necessary to put the applications and services designed to protect anonymity, to encrypt files, to make the user nameless and faceless, all together, in one distribution? Let's think in a truly paranoid manner. Wouldn't it be far easier for a nefarious government organization to target that distribution's repositories, mirror that singular distribution's disk images with files of its own design, and leave every last one of that distribution's users in the great wide open? It would take more effort, it would seem, for a despotic goverment to hit every last repository of every last distribution with a bogus security application.

Linux Rooted in Fiction: ParanoidLinux

Soon, I won't be able to tell you about that rich, Colombian coffee I've been drinking. Oh yeah ... buy Moxie.

In case you're not familiar with the practice of "sponsored blogging," imagine that Your Favorite Blog written by Joe Schmoe of Little Rock, Arkansas often gives rave reviews of certain home appliances that he allegedly uses. Joe might have purchased those things himself, and he might really love them--but he might be getting paid by GE to push the company's new washer and dryer. Or, if he's not receiving money, Joe might be the recipient of paid trips to Hawaii or prepaid gift cards. All of these things can and do happen in the blogosphere, and there are no rules on disclosure.

FTC to crack down on undisclosed "sponsored" blogging - Ars Technica

We don't really get much exposure to Trader Joes up here in Canada, but I remember loving it when I was visiting the U.S. Such a crazy store. It was like a small hometown food surplus store with a tiki theme. But in a good way.

Apparently, they don't allow photography in the store. Huh.

YouTube - If I Made a Commercial for Trader Joe's

  How to launder money

You never know. This might be useful information someday. Like when a shopping bag full of money winds up on your doorstep.

The Straight Dope: How would I go about laundering money?

You sure as hell don't just spend it â.. Al Capone learned that the hard way when he was convicted of tax evasion. Modern bad guys understand that when large sums are involved, it's important to make the loot appear to have been legally acquired. Money laundering accomplishes this in three steps: (1) getting the money into the financial system, called "placing," (2) moving it around to hide the illegal taint, or "layering," and (3) commingling it with legitimate funds, known as "integrating."

Great, so ISPs are now pro-actively pulling down content. Maybe learn a little about how copyright works before doing this kind of thing.

Record Label â..Infringesâ.. Own Copyright, Site Pulled | TorrentFreak

Quote Unquote Records is an Internet based record label, run by Bomb the Music Industry! and â..The Arrogant Sons of Bitchesâ.. frontman Jeff Rosenstock. A forward looking outfit, all artists on the label give their music away for free on the labelâ..s website. Well, they would, if the webhost hadnâ..t have taken down the site for alleged copyright infringement.

Around a week ago, the label was notified by its webhost that it had some copyright music files on its server, which was no surprise to them since they were tracks by Arrogant Sons of Bitches, one of the labelâ..s bands. The tracks the webhost referred to were actually written by Jeff himself. Jeff spoke with someone at the host on the telephone, explained that they were his own tracks and was informed this wasnâ..t a problem.

Oh snap. And we hate those bastards that stifle free speech, don't we?

Stifled by Copyright, McCain Asks YouTube to Consider Fair Use | Threat Level from

After seeings its videos repeatedly removed from YouTube, John McCain's campaign on Monday told the Google-owned video site that its copyright infringement policies are stringent to the point of stifling free speech, and that its lawyers need to revamp the way they evaluate copyright infringement claims.

The letter is notable both because YouTube and online video generally have become prime platforms for communicating political messages during the 2008 presidential campaign, and because this is one of the rare instances when a member of Congress is speaking out in favor of fair-use rights, after experiencing for themselves the onerous burden put on citizens using media to express ideas.

I'd just like to point out that Andrew Telegdi, Liberal MP, Kitchener-Waterloo, is not on this list yet, whereas Cindy Jacobsen, New Democrat candidate, Kitchener-Waterloo, is.

Mr. Telegdi, get your ass in gear!

Michael Geist - The Copyright Candidates

Sounds like a lot of Canadians don't like being cold-called.

Glitches mark launch of 'do-not-call' registry

Consumers eager to add their phone numbers to the newly launched national Do Not Call list to block telemarketers ran into trouble on Tuesday when the Web site crashed on its first day and the telephone sign-up number was not accessible.

The online service went down Tuesday morning within nine hours of the launch at midnight. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission spokesman Denis Carmel chalked up early glitches to a "very higher volume that's causing a few initial problems."

About 157,000 people were able to register online ( before the site crashed Tuesday morning. It remained unstable for most of the working day, during which time nearly another 100,000 were able to register. More than 1.5 million people tried to call the toll-free number, but only 74,445 people got through to register.

  RIAA loses $222K verdict

What a twist! The RIAA now has zero wins at trial, says Wired.

RIAA loses $222K verdict against Jammy Thomas | ZDNet Government |

The $222,000 verdict against Jammy Thomas for copyright infringement by P2P is no more. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis dismissed the verdict (PDF), saying it was based on the faulty â..making availableâ. theory of distribution. Thomas will face a new trial, in which the RIAA will have to prove actual distribution.

Unfortunately, they reversed the notion that RIAA-sanctioned investigators downloading music were not considered "unauthorized"::

One important tidbit, little noticed yet, pointed out by Excess Copyright: â..distribution to an investigator, such as MediaSentry, can constitute unauthorized distribution.â.

You may remember Brian Sapient, who uploaded an excerpt from a documentary that critiqued Geller's performances and abilities (it was a clip from the Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson). In an attempt to stifle criticism, Geller claimed copyright infringement, and had the video removed.

EFF joined in the fray, and a little lawsuit took place.

Sapient and Explorologist Settle Lawsuit | Electronic Frontier Foundation

As part of the legal settlement, Explorologist has agreed to license the disputed footage under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, preempting future legal battles over the fair use of the material. A monetary settlement was also reached.

I'm including the video here for reference, and also because it's cool.

You would think people would stop using loaded terms such as "Fakeproof", "Foolproof", and "Non-Lethal".

â..Fakeproofâ.. e-passport is cloned in minutes - Times Online

New microchipped passports designed to be foolproof against identity theft can be cloned and manipulated in minutes and accepted as genuine by the computer software recommended for use at international airports.

Tests for The Times exposed security flaws in the microchips introduced to protect against terrorism and organised crime. The flaws also undermine claims that 3,000 blank passports stolen last week were worthless because they could not be forged.

  The history of trolls

No, no. Internet trolls. This gargantuan 7 page NYTimes article examines the history and motivations of the Internet's bridge-dwelling monsters.

Magazine Preview - Malwebolence - The World of Web Trolling -

Why inflict anguish on a helpless stranger? Itâ..s tempting to blame technology, which increases the range of our communications while dehumanizing the recipients. Cases like An Hero and Megan Meier presumably wouldnâ..t happen if the perpetrators had to deliver their messages in person. But while technology reduces the social barriers that keep us from bedeviling strangers, it does not explain the initial trolling impulse. This seems to spring from something ugly â.. a destructive human urge that many feel but few act upon, the ambient misanthropy thatâ..s a frequent ingredient of art, politics and, most of all, jokes. Thereâ..s a lot of hate out there, and a lot to hate as well.

So far, despite all this discord, the Internetâ..s system of civil machines has proved more resilient than anyone imagined. As early as 1994, the head of the Internet Society warned that spam â..will destroy the network.â. The news media continually present the online world as a Wild West infested with villainous hackers, spammers and pedophiles. And yet the Internet is doing very well for a frontier town on the brink of anarchy. Its traffic is expected to quadruple by 2012. To say that trolls pose a threat to the Internet at this point is like saying that crows pose a threat to farming.

At least according to bill C-61. Yes, he's adorable, but that won't get him anywhere with the Canadian government.

SFFaudio - Blog Archive - WALL-E, a Bill C-61 copyright criminal.

Here's the evidence:

1. WALL-E records audio from his favorite movie, Hello Dolly, putting in onto his own digital recorder (bypassing the macrovision DRM on the tape). A COPYRIGHT CRIME UNDER C-61

2. WALL-E archives the audio, he doesnâ..t merely time-shift it. He listens repeatedly! A COPYRIGHT CRIME UNDER C-61

3. WALL-E shares his DRM-broken music with his friend, another robot named EVE. A COPYRIGHT CRIME UNDER C-61

4. WALL-E watches Hello Dolly on multiple evenings, on the screen of an iPod. Hello Dolly is not available through the iTunes store, therefore he broke the videocassette DRM when he platform shifted it. A COPYRIGHT CRIME UNDER C-61

Bill C-61 sucks. Big time.

Michael Geist tells us why we should be mad at Industry Minister Jim Prentice right now.

Michael Geist - The Canadian DMCA: A Betrayal

So why is it a betrayal?

Because in a country whose Supreme Court of Canada has emphasized the importance of balance between creators rights and user rights, the Canadian DMCA eviscerates user rights in the digital environment by virtually eliminating fair dealing. Under this bill, the right to copy for the purposes of research, private study, criticism, and news reporting virtually disappears if the underlying content is digitally locked.

Because in a country that rightly promotes the importance of education, the Canadian DMCA erects new barriers for teachers, students, and schools at every level who now face the prospect of infringement claims if they want to teach using digital media.

Because in a country that prioritizes privacy, the Canadian DMCA will render it virtually impossible to protect against the invasion of privacy by digital media companies. The bill includes an exemption for those that circumvent digital locks to protect their privacy, yet renders the tools needed to circumvent illegal. In other words, the bill gives Canadians the right to protect their privacy but prohibits the tools needed to do so.

There's much more. Write to your MP, the Industry Minister, the Canadian Heritage Minister, and the Prime Minister.

Go to for sample letters.

Check out Online Rights Canada's new action alert, "Tell MPs What's Wrong with the Prentice Bill":

Here's what their website says about it:

"After months of hesitation, Industry Minister Jim Prentice has finally revealed his re-write of Canada's rules of copyright. Tell your MP just what you think of it."

2817 people have already taken action. Add your voice today!

  Zealous WiFi Autoconfig

This is pretty funny. It'd be funnier if it hadn't happened to me once.


xkcd - Zealous Autoconfig

Oh great. Now I can't take my iPod with me?

Copyright deal could toughen rules governing info on iPods, computers

The agreement is being structured much like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) except it will create rules and regulations regarding private copying and copyright laws.

Federal trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval.

The deal would create a international regulator that could turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies.

The guards would also be responsible for determining what is infringing content and what is not.

The agreement proposes any content that may have been copied from a DVD or digital video recorder would be open for scrutiny by officials - even if the content was copied legally.

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