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User Journal

Journal Journal: Actively sabotaging security

Recently I purchased a new laptop that I've been having all sorts of fun with since it arrived in the mail (if only my Office 2003 would show up!). It only came with a 2 month subscription to Norton's AV service, though. What a ripoff. No matter, I promptly wiped the hard drive, partitioned it correctly, and reinstalled WInXP from the ground up without all the OEM crap all over the system. Without AV on a Windows platform I'm taking extraordinary care with the web browser settings. The internet zone gets no permissions, like, none. Even links has more capability than IE once the javascript is blocked. Well, not really, but close.

First lets talk about Hotmail. Hotmail is a MSN member. This is Microsoft. Microsoft should be instituting policies and mechanisms which encourage, aid, and teach the user how to make proper use of the security settings inside of their web browser. Just to get Hotmail working I had to tcpdump the packets going through one of my intermediary systems and then see who was being called. I knew I had typed, and the Hotmail login page redirects to who would've known that one also needs to add to the trusted sites list? No where, except inside of the tcpdump log, did I see a reference to

I've been unemployed for the last three months. I go to lots of job sites on a daily basis to search for open positions and submit resumes. I've been doing this with Mozilla but I've got a suspicion that, at some level, companies are profiling their potential employees by user agent string (three months of searching and I've had, what, maybe 3 telephone calls? WTF?). Now I'm using my bright and shiny new XP laptop to visit the job sites. Most of them (the general job boards) are pretty good and play well within the restricted internet zone. The ones that pose problems are the employer sites. Many of these sites rely heavily on javascript. No problem, I'll just add them to the Trusted Sites list. Some of these farm out their /careers section to a third party provider through their website. Sure, the address in the top bar still reads the general employer's site, but the data is obviously coming from elsewhere. How do I know?

Well, that's the point of this journal entry. Using Windows, I wouldn't know unless I was real intuitive with that little "powered by" box at the bottom of the page. Even adding that site to the trusted sites list doesn't always completely fix the problem. I often have to resort back to tcpdump on the intermediate system to capture the packets when I refresh or resubmit the page. How would someone else who's not as tech savvy or as experienced as I am know? For them these career pages would be a useless mish-mash of "you must enable javascript you must enable javascript you must enable javascript". These sites do absolutely nothing to play nice with a user trying their best to mind their online security. The very nature of serving these applets third party style without any clear notification would drive most users to give up on their foray into IE internet zone security and put everything back on a medium low security setting.

Therefore, MS and the big corporations create their own security problem. It isn't the users. It is solely the fault of the people who oversee the corporate framework of the internet.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Crime and retribution

Running with scissors is against the rules because there is potential for an accident to occur and injury to take place. Not everyone who runs with scissors, however, is automatically charged with conspiracy to commit murder nor are they forbidden from using a cutting tool. There is no automatic retribution for the crime of running with scissors. Instead they are asked to stop running and walk.

Driving under the influence is against the rules because there is potential for an accident to occur and injury to take place. Everyone who is caught driving under the influence, however, is automatically charged with a politically correct wording for "intent to commit injury" and their driving priveleges are revoked. There is automatic retribution potentially on the order of thousands of dollars and even potential jail time. They are not asked to stop and walk home but instead incarcerated for a period of time at the discretion of an arbitrary person.

I don't condone driving around mad drunk, tearing around corners, speeding off stoplights, and recklessly running people off the road. With the legal limit for intoxication always being lowered and the costs of the penalties always going up I really wonder if the true intent is to keep peace or if we're seeing yet another example of politicians playing the emotions of the ignorant in order to hide their own failure to make any real improvement in their world. It's probably the latter but, eh, what can you do? Life is what it is and unless you're independently wealthy there's no way to avoid it much less change it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Employment, Religion, and Politics

They always say that there are two things you don't talk about at work, religion and politics, because it always degenerates into an argument where both sides are utterly convinced that they're correct and usually end up doing little more than slinging mud. Productive conversation comes to nil very quickly.

I'd like to say that, outside of work, there is one thing you shouldn't bother talking about and that's work. Why? Let's profile it the same way we would profile religion or politics. There are two sides. There is one side that has it good (whether because they were born into it or they got lucky) and one side that does not have it good (whether because they were born into it or because they didn't get lucky). Let's get one thing straight. How hard you work has nothing to do with it. Zero, zilch. Let's get another thing straight. How smart you work has nothing to do with it. Zero, zilch. Plenty of people will claim that they made it to success through hard work and perserverence but that is simply not true. It is a correlation and causation disconnect. Those very same people could claim, with the same statistical accuracy, that they made it to success because the weather had been just right on the day they hit their promotion, or their hair was exactly 2.5 inches long, or because they had eaten turkey the night before. Let me reiterate: the only two factors that affect the separation of the two groups are birth and luck.

So now that the two groups are defined, let's look at how the conversation will inevitably go. This is the same way that employment conversations have gone on this board, and many others, and in many pubs, and around many lunch tables, for years.

Person A is the person who has it good. Person B is the person who does not.

Conversation 1: (re: Happiness, Person B leads)

Person B: "My job sucks."
Person A: "You're an incompetent fucktard who can't do anything right and doesn't concentrate on your job."
Person B: "Fuck you."
Person A: "You're a loser."

Conversation 2: (re: Happiness, Person A leads)

Person A: "My job is great."
Person B: "Mine isn't."
Person A: "You're an incompetent fucktard who can't do anything right and doesn't concentrate on your job."
Person B: "Fuck you."
Person A: "You're a loser."

Conversation 3: (re: Economics, Person B leads)

Person B: "I'm not getting paid enough."
Person A: "You should be happy just to have a job! There are people starving in China!"
Person B: "Fuck you."
Person A: "You're a loser."

Conversation 4: (re: Economics, Person A leads)

Person A: "I just bought a new car!"
Person B: "I wish I could afford one."
Person A: "You should be happy just to have a job! There are people starving in China!"
Person B: "Fuck you."
Person A: "You're a loser."

And that's how it always goes. Why do we even bother anymore? Nothing ever gets resolved. Person A is always self-satisfied and, usually, doing nothing but trolling B. B is always frustrated and looking for that lucky break and wishes A would quit needling them, for just once, and offer some real advice.

Who wrote this script? It's getting old.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Riots around the world

After the nth day watching the riots around the world I found myself wondering what the big deal is. It finally occurred to me that:

cartoons are really all of the propaganda that was released worldwide when the US was getting ready to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

The riots are really about the Muslim community striking back at years of reports used to bolster the worldwide opinion for the false US WMD claims... and possibly even more.

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