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User Journal

Journal: I have returned.

Journal by Shoggoth of Maul

Suddenly I'm becoming more active on /. again. Wierd.

And of course, concurrent with my getting a livejournal, I'm writing in my /. journal again.

Comment: Re:Mod Grandparent Up..... (Score 1) 1079

by Shoggoth of Maul (#27607655) Attached to: College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

Ouch. I feel for ya. Worst I've had to deal with is obscure, uncommented OCaml scripts created to do things I didn't fully understand by people that weren't my co workers any more. I have heard some horror stories though, and there's always more on The Daily WTF.

I'll have to follow this case, see what shakes out. And I'll have to make sure to read the original documents, as the EFF reports seem a little misleading...

Comment: Re:Mod Grandparent Up..... (Score 1) 1079

by Shoggoth of Maul (#27607373) Attached to: College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

I agree with you; it's quite plausible for this guy to inform on Riccardo because of some dispute.

My reasoning is like this: he feels strongly about this, since he brought the police into it. Also, he described the crashed machine as "brand new" but says that Riccardo helped him set it up and therefore could have access, so their falling-out must have been recent.

Given that, I don't think it's out of the question that he'd try to embellish the charges. Hence my skepticism of the implication that Riccardo installed some arcane back-door by which he crashed Mr. Redacted's system, as opposed to putting loads of... uh, "alternative," porn on it, or sending the emails from THAT computer instead of his own, et cetera. It seems a little far-fetched.

Basically they have some evidence that appears to incriminate Calixte for "outing" Mr. Redacted, but the rest of it seems like hearsay or exaggeration. "He implicated himself in several computer crimes" could just have been Calixte bullshitting. It seems he was a prankster.

Like you said, it's common for former friends of criminals to rat them out. According to my computer security professor, it's not so uncommon for "hackers" to be painted like unstable demigods that might wreak havoc if given access to a touch-tone phone. This could be more of the same.

Comment: Mod Grandparent Up..... (Score 1) 1079

by Shoggoth of Maul (#27605329) Attached to: College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

The EFF article seems FUDdy, I'll warrant (pun intended).

EXHIBIT-A.pdf is well worth the read. Check the Basis of Probable Cause especially. Item b) establishes some usernames/aliases that Calixte is supposed to use, which comes back into play in item e) and f) where the relevant DHCP and DNS log entries are posted. The hostnames, IP address, Operating System (unfortunately ubuntu 8.04 it seems) and DNS activity logs all point to Calixte. It's not like this was warrant was cooked up ad hoc.

Item b) does say that he jailbreaks cellphones... dunno what's supposed to be wrong with that. It may be a breach of contract if you bought your iphone through AT&T somehow, but how is it illegal?

It seems from the warrant, though that the person accusing Riccardo Calixte is the same person who he "outed." Even if that person had been a useful source of information before, wouldn't that cast some doubt on his veracity? That he crashed Mr. Redacted's computer, and cracked the school's grading system? I only saw the accusations of these, not the evidence. "Implicating himself" in illegal activities might be just empty bragging.

In particular, the accusation that Calixte crashed Mr. Redacted's computer: is the fact that several experts couldn't fix his computer on his machine supposed to indicate Calixte's devious hackeriness? Is there supposed to be a second user account? A back door? If he simply knows the password, why couldn't "several experts" help Mr. Redacted change it?

The warrant was probably justified, in my own unqualified opinion, but I'm skeptical of some of the charges.

Comment: Heck, I saw this on Cosmos... (Score 1) 397

by Shoggoth of Maul (#27592233) Attached to: Are Human Beings Organisms Or Living Ecosystems?

So when Carl Sagan said, "we are each of us a multitude," he was possibly more right than he knew...

But then again, I think I was exposed to this notion in High School Biology when we covered mitochondria. The process by which separate organisms like mitochondria became inextricably paired with animal cells need not have stopped, I suppose. If that actually IS what's happening here, anyway. But so long as there's uncertainty, we're free to speculate wildly.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.