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  • links for 2008-02-09
  • links for 2008-02-07
  • U2: Don't Download, Don't Listen, Please Ignore ..
  • New Cold Proxy War
  • Old Cold Proxy War
  • links for 2008-01-29
  • links for 2008-01-27
  • links for 2008-01-25
  • Which Whiskey Ken??
  • Buying a Criminal Record
  • links for 2008-01-24
  • Tom Cruise vs Goebbels
  • links for 2008-01-22
  • What’s big, grey and gets you arrested?
  • Lip Reading Machines
  • links for 2008-01-20
  • links for 2008-01-19
  • links for 2008-01-18
  • Scientologists vs The Web - Again
  • links for 2008-01-17
  • Endemic Surveillance Micro-Societies
  • UFOs over Texas?
  • "Server in the Sky"
  • Organs to be taken without consent
  • Highest Ratings in Kabul?
  • Por que no te calles?
  • Plant "logic bomb" - Go Directly to Jail ..
  • Chip 'n' Pin
  • Ron Paul: Not Fit for Purpose ...
  • The Secret Cause of Flame Wars
  • links for 2008-01-08
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  • Top secret entry codes to 73 police stations - STOLEN!!!
  • Hacking Airplanes - the Next Big Thing?
  • £2bn Wasted on Failed Computer Projects
  • links for 2008-01-04
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  • Digital Bubble
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  • Pamela Bone nails it ... again
  • Mandatory Internet filters to "protect children"
  • Hacker's Handbook V3.0
  • Cadizfornia Dreaming
  • FaceBook vs MySpace???
  • Echovolt y Fangoria
  • Do I "Diggit"
  • Where has it gone?
  • POLL: Which digg tool do you prefer?
  • "New Cold War" in Iran
  • A Job Worth Having?
  • Women Must Submit
  • Put a Necktie on that Pig!
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  • The Archimedes Palimpsest
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  • Watch Lists Cause Credit Problems
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  • Malaysia terminates 'un-Islamic' vampire exhibition
  • Cheeta the "Tarzan" Chimp Outlives Co-Stars
  • Data Mining Foils Non-Terrorist Plot
  • Wife Is Stranger Than Fiction
  • Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007): "So it Goes"
  • Blair Denies Making Decisions ...
  • The New "New Cold War"
  • Uranium Prices Skyrocket
  • Propaganda Wars
  • The Lady Doth Protest ...
  • Dalai Lama Under Threat
  • Ahmadinejad Frees Hostages
  • Conspiracy Theory
  • Blair Barks, Yaps, Rolls Over
  • Bone Find Could Change History
  • The Trouble With Islam
  • The "Suicide Bomber" Gap
  • The Slow Death of DRM
  • Gary McKinnon Extradited
  • Brainwashing: A Desirable Mental Attittude?
  • NewSpeak: A Desirable Mental Attitude?
  • Pyramid Construction Puzzle: Solved?
  • Physical Object Disconnection
  • Chocolate Christ "a sickening display"
  • Teach Children to Walk and Talk
  • Anti-Americanism in Germany
  • Madurai Temple Elephant is Dying
  • Backbone or Backpedal?
  • Solitary Confinement for Female Combatants
  • Sales of Music Decline Sharply
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  • Cyber Politics

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    About Dr. K

    Described by the BBC as an author and chronicler of the hacking scene, Dr.K is a veteran IT specialist and “old school” hacker who has worked with computers for over 24 years.

    Trained in Cognitive Psychology, Psycholinguistics and Artificial Intelligence, Dr.K soon spotted the potential of the Internet and began learning TCP/IP in the days before the “World Wide Web” had even been developed.

    Dr.K later worked as part of the team that developed the prototype smartcard systems that became the “Oyster Card” - before moving on to be an IT specialist for what The Times has called “The World’s Most Famous Secret Society”.

    A long time attendee of London 2600 meetings and co-founder with "Zap" of the PHUK ezine - Dr.K has written "Complete Hacker's Handbook " (Carlton 2000, 2nd Edition 2002) - which has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, "Hackers' Tales " (Carlton 2004) and is currently working on Hacker's Handbook v3.0" .

    Complete Hacker's Handbook

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    February 09, 2008

    links for 2008-02-09

    February 07, 2008

    links for 2008-02-07

    January 29, 2008

    U2: Don't Download, Don't Listen, Please Ignore ..

    U2 manager takes Internet providers to task

    Paul McGuinness, longtime manager of rock band U2, has called on Internet service providers to immediately introduce disconnection policies to end illegal music downloads and urged governments to make sure they do.

    I think what he means is that people who download anything by "U2" should be cut off - possibly he has other motives in saying that - but I don't, because I regard "U2" as an overhyped rock band with second rate tunes that I won't waste my money on - let alone my bandwidth.

    Basically I am so sick of "Bozo" and his third rate rock combo that if I never hear any U2 tune again it will be too soon - and as for having yet another rich little ego twit thinking he can save the world - I have a message: "Grow up and ditch the self-narcissim thing before you end up like a certain other celeb that is as crazy as you"


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    New Cold Proxy War

    Just to make the point that the Iranians are somehow important in the "New Great Game" - I found this article which shows how Iran is being courted by both Russia and China.

    Does that sound at all familiar?

    A China base in Iran?

    China's strategy is confined to the port city of Gwadar along the southwestern coast of Pakistan in Balochistan province, strategically located near the Hormuz Strait. Yet, due to the close US-Pakistan relations, it is highly improbable the US would permit Islamabad to enter into strategic relations with Beijing so that China, still lacking a formidable navy, could utilize it for power projection in the region.

    Not so with Iran, which is constantly threatened by the US, and now France, and which already enjoys observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), headed by China and Russia. Iran's bid to join the SCO has been stalled partly as a result of the standoff over its nuclear program, but will likely succeed in the not too distant future should the present patterns of Iran-Russia and Iran-China cooperation continue.

    Regarding the latter, China has already surpassed Germany as Iran's number one trade partner. Sinopec, China's largest oil refiner, has just finalized a multi-billion dollar deal to develop the giant Yadavaran oil field, and this is in addition to the "deal of the century" contract for natural gas from Iran's immense North Pars field. Chinese contractors are also busy constructing oil terminals for Iran in the Caspian Sea, extending the Tehran metro, building airports, among other projects. And this while China arms sales to Iran have included such hot items as ballistic-missile technology and air-defense radars.

    The growing Iran-China cooperation on the energy and trade fronts is bound sooner or later to spill over into more meaningful military cooperation and, in turn, this depends to some extent on the ebbs and flows of Iran-US and China-US "games of strategy", particularly if China feels additional pressure from the US on the geopolitical front.

    For sure, Iran's willingness to show a greater willingness than hitherto to embrace China's naval vessels making port calls to Iran is now in the cards, this as a prelude to more extensive agreements up to and including provisions for a small Chinese naval outpost on one of Iran's Persian Gulf islands.

    Read it all


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    Old Cold Proxy War


    Is Ahmadinejad setting a trap for Israel and the US?

    The Israel Air Force has managed to use that capacity with amazing skill and daring, as it showed last September when a dozen fighter bombers and support aircraft jammed Syria's Russian-supplied air defenses and destroyed a secret nuclear facility on the Euphrates river --- not far from Iran. The nature of that target has still not been revealed, but it must have been important enough to risk triggering a missile attack from Syria. That means the target was believed to be very important: most likely a joint Iranian-Syrian-North Korean nuclear facility.

    In a very odd move, the Syrians are now rebuilding that mysterious concrete cube in exactly the same location --- even though the whole world knows about it now. Why should they spend vast amounts of money doing that, if it would only become another fat target?

    One possibility is that it's a trap for IAF jets. Surround the concrete cube with enough new Russian anti-aircraft missiles, back it up with radars based on Russian ships that just happen to be doing the biggest naval exercise in years right now in the Mediterranean, and provoke another attack by announcing another nuclear breakthrough. It could be a baited ambush.

    The whole thing smells like an Ahmadi-Nejad shell game, with Russian help: put your nuclear materials under a dozen different giant concrete shelters, and dare the enemy to attack all of them, without knowing which one has nuke materials. All of the sites would be heavily defended with state-of-the-art Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Not just one trap for attacking aircraft, but a dozen or more.

    I have expressed my doubt about the true nature of Iranian nuclear ambitions and about how these Iranian nuclear ambitions are possibly responsible for the Uranium shortage and rise in prices.

    But I have also pointed out that the "New Cold War" is actually just a re-heated and re-vamped version of the "Old Cold War" with the same puppetmasters and different proxy agents.

    Now it seems others share my doubts - but the big question is why is Russia cosying up to Iran when it is a competitor in selling energy? Why would the Russians assist a competitor which is often suspected of promoting terrorism worldwide?

    Unless the Russians are still playing "The Great Game" of course - which seems likely given how they have recently taken to flexing their military muscles in Europe once again with a series of exercises and mock battles.

    Otherwise I can't see any reason why they export nuclear technology to Iran - and to be quite honest, after Chernobyl, who want's Russian nuclear technology anyway? Unless it is because they are "helping the enemy of their enemy".

    It also gives them a huge lever to really p*ss off the USA and help to expand the Russian hegemony across the rest of Europe by controlling the supply of natural gas ..

    As I said - back at the beginning of 2006 - I don't want a "New Cold War" because I remember the "Old Cold War" - but it looks increasingly likely that we are going to get one ..

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    links for 2008-01-29

    January 27, 2008

    links for 2008-01-27

    January 25, 2008

    links for 2008-01-25

    January 24, 2008

    Which Whiskey Ken??


    Whisky in the morning for Ken as sleaze row claims first victim - UK Politics, UK - Independent.co.uk

    For years, Ken Livingstone has been the immovable face of London politics. Yesterday, as an avalanche of sleaze allegations engulfed his office and forced the resignation of a key aide, his position had never looked more precarious. Even for a man who thrives on controversy, the capital's Mayor has not had a good week.

    A slew of accusations, including that he fortifies himself with whisky during morning question and answer sessions with members of the London Assembly – have sparked doubts that his astonishing political career can last beyond the mayoral election in May.

    Mr Livingstone has cheerfully owned up to that particular habit, but he added: "I don't think I've ever reached Winston Churchill's levels, and as it didn't impair him in the destruction of the greatest evil facing humanity, it won't interfere with my continuing to lead Londoners to the sunny uplands of the future."


    I've been watching this with interest - I can't say I am surprised - but I do have one question:

    Which whiskey do you prefer Ken? Irish whiskey or Scottish whisky? A 12 year old unblended - or a bottle of Brand-X???

    PS: If "Brand-X" is your choice you should move here where cr*p whisky is €3 a bottle - not only will you annoy people in London less - but you can also take a "snifter" for "medicinal purposes" in virtually any bar starting around 6am rather than waiting until 10am ...

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    Buying a Criminal Record


    Record labels seek piracy clampdown

    The record industry has called on internet service providers and governments to take stronger action against digital piracy, after revealing that another year of strong digital growth had failed to compensate for the continued slump in CD sales.

    According to the 2008 IFPI digital music report released today, global sales of digital music via the internet and mobile phones grew by 40% to an estimated $2.9bn (£1.48bn) last year.

    Some of the ongoing structural problems of the music industry date back to its delayed and confused reaction to the emergence of file-sharing and digital distribution at the turn of the century.


    Having seen groups of illegal immigrants selling a whole range of DVDs and CDs for as little as €2.50 each in the larger towns - I am shocked the the recording industry hasn't figured out what everybody else knows - the primary vectors for copyright theft on a grand scale are criminals - not music lovers.

    If people are quite happy to pay out €2.50 for the music they want - even if it comes in a plastic envelope with a shoddy photocopy inside - is the slump in music sales really due to the Internet? Or is it that people are fed up with paying through the nose for music?

    The people who download music are taking a single copy for their personal use, the people who rip their CD collections to their iPods are merely "device shifting" what they already own - but these criminals are stealing music for resale purposes and making a handsome profit from other people's work.

    Who are the biggest criminals?

    Meanwhile in Spain we will soon have no option but to subsidise the music and movie industry through a tax on CD's and DVD's called the "Digital Canon" - so everytime I make a backup of my system or distribute my own music on a CD I will be paying Big Media for the privilege of copying my own files

    Now that is what I call criminal ...

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    links for 2008-01-24

    January 22, 2008

    Tom Cruise vs Goebbels

    More fallout from the Tom Cruise Scientology Video - as a German historian likens Tom Cruise to Goebbels ..

    German historian compares Tom Cruise speech to Goebbels

    Guido Knopp, an expert on Second World War history, told Bild newspaper that Cruise's address to his fellow Scientologists "inevitably" recalled Goebbels.

    Mr Knopp was referring to a video recording of a sermon Cruise delivered to Scientology members four years ago that surfaced on the YouTube website this week.

    The Mission Impossible star asks fellow members of the church: "Should we clean this place up?"

    Mr Knopp said it was bound to remind Germans of Goebbels' notorious speech in Berlin on February 18 1943 when he asked the audience: "Do you want total war?".

    Mr Knopp said: "It may be the case that Cruise's delivery style is not uncommon in certain religious movements in the US.

    "But for Germans with an interest in history, that scene where he asks whether the Scientologists should clean up the world and everyone shouts 'yes' is inevitably reminiscent of Goebbels' notorious speech."

    Scientology - already referred to as a "sect that exploits its members financially" is under investgation in Germany ...


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    UPDATE: "The Times" site is still "timing out" when trying to post comments - maybe it is under attack by DD0S people or maybe they have just banned my IP/Login because I am too dissident for "The Times" .. I'll keep trying - but in the meantime here is the comment I am trying to post

    If you want to get an overview of Scientology read "Bare Faced Messiah" about the life and times of L.Ron Hubbard - a hack SF author who had links with the OTO and Crowley (although Crowley - to his credit - disavowed LRH) - and which the Scientologists tried to suppress ...

    .. and no - I am not an "SP" - I just make links between the behaviour of Hubbard in his final days with the behaviour of other "cult leaders" such as "Bhagwan" (recently rebranded as "Osho") who died owning nearly 100 "Rolls Royce" cars donated by his followers ..

    links for 2008-01-22

    January 21, 2008

    What’s big, grey and gets you arrested?

    This made me LOL - I particularly liked the idea of "elephant mules" who swallow "up to six elephants at a time" to supply the black market in illegal elephats ..

    What’s big, grey and gets you arrested?

    What’s big, grey and gets you arrested? Keeping an eye on the news pages, I note with relief that the Government has, finally, made it illegal for anyone to keep an elephant in the back garden. While it would, perhaps, have been ideal for them to have implemented the ban before Christmas - the period when pressure to buy an elephant, as a gift, is most intense - it is good to see that, ultimately, sense has been seen.

    For those regretful that they didn’t buy a six-tonne pet before the loophole was closed, there is little comfort. Now you’ll never be able to have that gigantic Diwali elephant parade from the patio to the shed. Not while keeping your respectability, anyway.

    Because, yes, there will still be back-garden elephants available. It’s just that their purchase will now, inevitably, follow an established path: a black market will spring up to service the continuing demand.

    Just as there are drugs mules, so, now, there will be elephant mules - flying out to Africa, swallowing up to six elephants at a time, then flying back into Gatwick or Heathrow, bearing their illicit cargo. Certain pubs and clubs will become notorious for then fencing the gear - although working out which ones these are should be fairly simple, given that it wouldn’t work anywhere much smaller than the Ministry of Sound, and all guilty venues will have huge piles of dung outside them, consisting of 28 per cent peanuts, 72 per cent buns.

    What I’m sure will be most concerning our law enforcement agencies, however, is the knock-on effect of criminalising domestic elephant use. Plunged into a seething underworld, desperate elephant users may find that keeping an elephant ultimately proves to be a “gateway activity”. The more vulnerable in our society may well attempt to keep even more extreme things in their back gardens: a herd of impala. Six million locusts. Volcanoes. A major tributary, or swamp.

    Indeed, watching the news reports last week on the flooding in Tewkesbury, I think I may have detected an active hotspot for the last of these already. And all because of a lack of joined-up thinking at No 10. Whoever said that being in government was easy?



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    Lip Reading Machines


    Via Slashdot

    "Researchers at the University of East Anglia are working to develop computerized lip-reading systems. Lip-reading is extremely hard for humans to master, but a software-based system has several benefits over even the most highly trained expert. The ultimate goal of the project is to convert lip-read speech into text. 'Apart from being extremely helpful to hearing-disabled individuals, researchers say that such a system could be used to noiselessly dictate commands to electronic devices equipped with a simple camera - like mobile phones, microwaves or even a car's dashboard. England's Home Office Scientific Development Branch ... is currently investigating the feasibility of using lip-reading software as an additional tool for gathering information about criminals or for collecting evidence.'"


    After automatic "recogniiton" of numberplates, automatic "recognition" of faces and the automatic "recognition" of "brand marks" - will the automatic "recognition" of lip-reading be the next thing ...

    What we don't get told very often is the success rate of programmes like these - and of course - the failure rate ..

    If my "lip reading computer" has a 0.001 chance of mis-reading somebody's lips - and its is then let loose on 50,000,000 people what are the chances of it getting it wrong?

    Will the "evidence" from "lip reading computers" ever stand up in court?

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    January 20, 2008

    links for 2008-01-20

    January 19, 2008

    links for 2008-01-19

    January 18, 2008

    links for 2008-01-18

    January 17, 2008

    Scientologists vs The Web - Again

    Scientologists try to block Cruise YouTube rant

    Scientologists are attempting to block the spread of a video clip in which Tom Cruise zealously espouses his faith in the church.

    "If you're on board, you're on board, just like the rest of us," he tells those of wavering faith. We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we can rehabilitate criminals and unite cultures," he says.

    Mr Cruise's emotional testimonial is accompanied by a guitar riff playing the theme from Mission: Impossible. Cruise, a Scientologist for 20 years, has recently emerged as one of the controversial church's most outspoken proselytisers. Some suggest that the actor, 45, has been elevated to one of the highest echelons of the secretive church, cryptically known as OT-VII.

    Well - this is interesting - I expect they Scientologists are playing the "copyright card" again - but this time they might have overdone it.

    Did the Scientology Church pay for the licensing of the use of the "Mission Impossible " theme music by Lalo Schifrin used in this video?

    If the Scientologists did license this music - what was the licensing deal? Was it based on expected number of plays based on the actual audience - rather like radio licensing?

    Will the copyright holders of the Mission Impossible theme be able to claim residual payments based on the numer of times this piece of music is played?

    If so - Scientology could be in big trouble - no matter how much they paid then it still might not be enough based on the zillions of times Internet users have watched this clip.

    In other words "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones ..."

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    links for 2008-01-17

    January 16, 2008

    Endemic Surveillance Micro-Societies

    Microsoft seeks patent for office 'spy' software - Times Online

    Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.

    The Times has seen a patent application filed by the company for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.

    Technology allowing constant monitoring of workers was previously limited to pilots, firefighters and Nasa astronauts. This is believed to be the first time a company has proposed developing such software for mainstream workplaces.

    Microsoft submitted a patent application in the US for a “unique monitoring system” that could link workers to their computers. Wireless sensors could read “heart rate, galvanic skin response, EMG, brain signals, respiration rate, body temperature, movement facial movements, facial expressions and blood pressure”, the application states.

    The system could also “automatically detect frustration or stress in the user” and “offer and provide assistance accordingly”. Physical changes to an employee would be matched to an individual psychological profile based on a worker’s weight, age and health. If the system picked up an increase in heart rate or facial expressions suggestive of stress or frustration, it would tell management that he needed help.

    The old question - "who watches the watchers?" comes to mind.

    How will monitoring "heart rate, galvanic skin response, EMG, brain signals, respiration rate, body temperature, movement facial movements, facial expressions and blood pressure" help produce a better and more productive workforce?

    Worse still - could the manipulation of these parameters within the software of this new "Working Police" be used to make a more compliant (but less productive) work-force ??

    Either way - very soon we all will learn to chant "I Love Big Brother, I Love Big Brother" - because the software that records all this will let "Big Brother" (or even "Little Brother") know when we are telling the truth or not ..

    The implications of this kind of monitoring are too vast to explore in one post - but right now I would expect an upsurge in colleges that teach Zen Buddhist meditational techniques to enable workers to hide their real feelings and hack the system ...

    Now repeat after me "I love little brother, I love little brother" ...


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    January 15, 2008

    UFOs over Texas?


    Dozens in Texas town report seeing UFO

    STEPHENVILLE, Texas - In this farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported sightings of what many believe is a UFO.

    Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.

    "People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it's the end of times," said Steve Allen, a freight company owner and pilot who said the object he saw last week was a mile long and half a mile wide. "It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts."

    While federal officials insist there's a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object.

    Machinist Ricky Sorrells said friends made fun of him when he told them he saw a flat, metallic object hovering about 300 feet over a pasture behind his Dublin home. But he decided to come forward after reading similar accounts in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune.

    "You hear about big bass or big buck in the area, but this is a different deal," Sorrells said. "It feels good to hear that other people saw something, because that means I'm not crazy."

    Sorrells said he has seen the object several times. He said he watched it through his rifle's telescopic lens and described it as very large and without seams, nuts or bolts.


    A lot of people ask "why don't people see UFO's anymore? Why aren't there the level of sightings that we saw in the 50's and 60's?".

    Well - apart from any social and cultural analysis of UFO's that you might have - the media doesn't bother reporting sightings anymore.

    But if you scratch the surface - and bring up the subject of UFOs among a group of people - you soon realise that people see just as many UFOs as they always did - but they don't report them for fear of all the "UFO and X-Files Nuts" that wouldn't give them a moments peace ..

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    "Server in the Sky"


    FBI wants instant access to British identity data

    The US-initiated programme, "Server in the Sky", would take cooperation between the police forces way beyond the current faxing of fingerprints across the Atlantic. Allies in the "war against terror" - the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - have formed a working group, the International Information Consortium, to plan their strategy.

    Biometric measurements, irises or palm prints as well as fingerprints, and other personal information are likely to be exchanged across the network. One section will feature the world's most wanted suspects. The database could hold details of millions of criminals and suspects.

    Britain's National Policing Improvement Agency has been the lead body for the FBI project because it is responsible for IDENT1, the UK database holding 7m sets of fingerprints and other biometric details used by police forces to search for matches from scenes of crimes. Many of the prints are either from a person with no criminal record, or have yet to be matched to a named individual.

    ...

    The FBI is proposing to establish three categories of suspects in the shared system: "internationally recognised terrorists and felons", those who are "major felons and suspected terrorists", and finally those who the subjects of terrorist investigations or criminals with international links. Tom Bush, assistant director at the FBI's criminal justice information service, has said he hopes to see a pilot project for the programme up and running by the middle of the year.


    How does one get your name taken off the list if it is entered in error?

    Or will pie server in the sky be like the "No-Fly" list which is full of errors and is impossible to get off?


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    January 14, 2008

    Organs to be taken without consent

    Organs to be taken without consent - Telegraph

    The proposals would mean consent for organ donation after death would be automatically presumed, unless individuals had opted out of the national register or family members objected.

    As if ID cards and lost data weren't a problem for the UK government - they are now committing themselves to yet another register of people - which, of course, we can trust - won't just be a money pit but will also ensure data security ...

    I can just see it now - the "Death Register" makes the mistake of saying that you are dead and the "Opt-Out Register" can't find your name - the next thing you know they are cutting out your kidneys for resale recycling and the guy with the scalpel is saying "Sorry - but I'm just doing my job. See - your name is on this list (holds up deathlist printout) and this list (holds up unreadable fax copy of portion of opt-out list) and therefore - your kidneys are mine!!"

    Wouldn't happen? Try reading this ...


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    January 12, 2008

    Highest Ratings in Kabul?

    Afghan clerics want to clean up TV by banning soaps - Times Online

    New television stations have proliferated in the past three years, offering a mix of hard-hitting news, which is often critical of the Government, and light entertainment shows, which draw the wrath of religious hardliners.

    Tolo TV, Afghanistan's first commercial channel, shows three Indian dramas, The Story of Every House; The Trials of Life; and Because a Mother-in-Law Was Once a Daughter-in-Law Too. Some channels show as many as six daily. Clerics accuse the dramas of encouraging “stone-worship” even though Hindu images are pixellated and scenes of Hindu worship are cut.

    The hardliners also oppose Tolo TV's pop programmes - Hop, a local MTV-style show, and Afghan Star, a talent contest.

    After meeting the President, an Islamic council spokesman said: “The unrestrained programmes on TV have angered and prompted the ulemas [scholars] to react. Hop ... is spreading immoralities and hurts the sacred religion of Islam. Afghan Star encourages immorality ... and is against Sharia.”


    Taboos are funny things - in Japan they pixellate genitals but allow the worst kind of porn - but in Afghanistan they pixellate images of Hindu Gods ..

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    January 11, 2008

    Por que no te calles?

    The phrase "Por que no te calles?" - "why don't you shut up" - which was uttered (very publically) by King Juan Carlos to Hugo Chavez has enterered massively into Spanish media conciousness.

    Not only do we have t-shirts and mugs (inevitable) - but also slippers with the phrase printed across - I guess they will do bras and socks next ..

    Meanwhile the obsession with all things Chavez manifests itself on Spainish TV - which today asked the question "Are Hugo Chavez and Naomi Cambell lovers?"

    This was based on the recent interview by Naomi of Hugo where it is reported he offered to pose "topless" like Putin and stated that his fashion leader was Fidel Castro "His uniform is impeccable. His boots are polished, his beard is elegant."

    Of course this is the same piece of Spanish "telebasura" that also feigned shock and horror at the recent "Spice Girls" London show because of its "lesbian" tendencies ...

    Suffice it to say that Spanish TV is no better and no worse than any other TV I've watched in the rest of the world - a bit like reading a "RedTop" but with visual bubblegum ...


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    January 09, 2008

    Plant "logic bomb" - Go Directly to Jail ..

    Medco sys admin gets 30 months for planting logic bomb

    A former systems administrator at Medco Health Solutions Inc. was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison today for planting a logic bomb that could have taken down a corporate network that held customer health care information.

    Yung-Hsun Lin, 51, of Montville, N.J., was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J. Lin, who faced a maximum of 10 years in prison, pleaded guilty to one count of computer fraud in September. He was responsible for programming and maintaining the servers at Medco, where he worked from 1997 to 2005.

    This "young hacker" - only 51 - has just been found guilty of planting a "logic bomb" in the systems where he worked ...


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    Chip 'n' Pin

    Sounds like a pair of drunken chipmunks ...

    The Yorkshire Ranter

    Incredibly, years after Professor Ross Anderson's successful war with the banks forced them to admit first that card fraud existed, secondly that it was a problem, and thirdly that one major bank's IT department was implicated, and finally to replace the system, one of his PhD students is having to refight the war all over again - this time, because the banks are trying to deny that it is possible to breach Chip-and-PIN. Despite the existence of multiple security breaches, notably the failover attack in which readers are sabotaged so that the chip cannot be read, and the reader instead reads data off the back-up magnetic stripe, which is then used to make withdrawals in a non-PIN country, the yes card attack, in which a fake card is prepared whose chip responds "yes" to any given PIN, and the possibility of large-scale reader subversion (at least one type of card reader uses a small linux OS which can be remotely managed over a wide-area network; if the administrator security is compromised, an online attacker could do anything they liked with them. These are the ones involved in the Shell security breach), they are still trying to claim infallibility.

    .. but is still not secure ...


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    Ron Paul: Not Fit for Purpose ...

    I don't know - but I'd never heard of "Ron Paul" until this US election frenzy - but would you vote for a man who says this???

    Ron Paul Statement on The New Republic Article Regarding Old Newsletters — Ron Paul 2008

    For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.

    Not doing anything about it - and yet claiming to have taken "moral responsibilty" for "not paying closeer attention to" - sounds like Ron Paul should be signing up for the "Nu-Labour" incompetence project that has been running in the UK for some years now ..

    I have a new slogan for supporters of Ron Paul - "Ron Paul - Not Fit For Purpose ...."


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    The Secret Cause of Flame Wars

    The Secret Cause of Flame Wars

    According to recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, I've only a 50-50 chance of ascertaining the tone of any e-mail message. The study also shows that people think they've correctly interpreted the tone of e-mails they receive 90 percent of the time.

    "That's how flame wars get started," says psychologist Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago, who conducted the research with Justin Kruger of New York University. "People in our study were convinced they've accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance," says Epley.

    The researchers took 30 pairs of undergraduate students and gave each one a list of 20 statements about topics like campus food or the weather. Assuming either a serious or sarcastic tone, one member of each pair e-mailed the statements to his or her partner. The partners then guessed the intended tone and indicated how confident they were in their answers.

    Those who sent the messages predicted that nearly 80 percent of the time their partners would correctly interpret the tone. In fact the recipients got it right just over 50 percent of the time.

    "People often think the tone or emotion in their messages is obvious because they 'hear' the tone they intend in their head as they write," Epley explains.

    At the same time, those reading messages unconsciously interpret them based on their current mood, stereotypes and expectations. Despite this, the research subjects thought they accurately interpreted the messages nine out of 10 times.

    Email and IM are not responsible alone - if you don't know a person well enough to "get" their sense of humour - even interactions in "meatspace" can go astray very quickly ..


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