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Journal Journal: Ebay to Feds: Our Data == Your Data

The Register is reporting that in a closed door meeting at Cybercrime 2003 , Jophn Sullivan stated that "We don't make you [law enforcement] show a subpoena, except in exceptional cases." He goes on to say that clicking on "I agree" in the user agreement gives them the right to give out any and all information about you to legal atourities without any judicial oversight. ( submitted 9/20/03)

User Journal

Journal Journal: sigh 2

An eye for an ey, a tooth for a tooth. That seems to be the way things are handled in the middle east. Palestinians blow up isralies, israelis blow up palestinians, shiites get revenge on sunnis for pas transgressions and vise verse. Im sure all the pwople who got revenge for the loss of a family member or some other slight feel much better now. Yeah right, revenge wont bring people back, it just leads to more heartache as the person you killed's family kills you or one of yours. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The only problem with that is pretty soon everyone is blind and toothless.


Journal Journal: The 60000 year itch

There are well over 6 billion humans on the planet today. In all of human history there have lived perhaps 12-15 billion humans on the planet. Its quite plausible to say that half of the humans that have ever lived are alive today. Civilization started about 8000 years ago as far as we know. I was out looking at mars tonight and I wondered: What was earth like the last time mars was this bright in the sky? Think of all that has changed since then. I saw planes flying by, lights obscuring my view, a pneumonia stricken bum coughing nearby. 60000 years ago the spot where I was standing was possibly covered with miles of ice, or roaming with wolly mamoth and proto humans. Then I turned my gaze forward: What will life be like in another 60000 years? All of human civilization rose in 1/6th fo that time. How many civilizations will rise and fall? How many wars will be fought and won, fought and lost over a little corner of this rock? What religions will be created, what religions will fade into myth and from myth into obscurity?Will we even still be here? or will we have destroyed ourselves? I hope that the next time mars is this close to the earth there will be people on Mars wondering what mars was like 60000 years ago when it was this close to earth. And just maybe they will be thinking the same things I am now.


Journal Journal: Female Iraqi Geek Starts Blog

Following on the heels of Salam Pax and his friend G, Riverbend, a young woman in Baghdad, has started a blog on her daily experiences. Her latest posting tells how she lost her job at a local software company after the war due to her femaleness. I think this was the most heartbreaking blog entry I've ever read. Submitted to the main page 8/25/03

Christmas Cheer

Journal Journal: Ski on the fourth of july

Apart from our friends in the southern hemisphere, ski slopes that are open in July are unusual. According to this article from the boston globe, skiing in July may get a bit more common. A small ski area in New Hampshire is experimenting with a Japanese snow making machine that works regardless of the temperature. Opening day was July fourth weekend, with temps in the 90's (submitted to the main page 7/28/03)


Journal Journal: US vote tallying machines compromised?

A New Zealand webzine has an interesting article on how machines in the US that electronically tally and report the votes on election night have a large software backdoor that could allow malicious users to modify vote results without anyones knowledge. In case of slashdotting, mirror is here (submitted to the main page 7/9/03)


Journal Journal: Phd. Dissertation vs National Security

Imagine this scenario: You're working on your Phd. Dissertation, with a topic so boring to normal people that you cant talk about it with friends and relatives for fear of placing them into a deep coma. Suddenly, 9/11 happens, and now your boring disssertation is threatened with being classsified by the government , CEO's are threatening to not let your laptop out of the building and Osama bin Laden would give up his 70 virgins for access to it. This article details how a graduate student developed a map of the US power and telecommunications infrastructure using material available online, and how now he might never get to publish this "boring" dissertation. (submitted to the main page 7/8/03)


Journal Journal: What the chinese know that we dont

Recent news reports and press releases from the Peoples Republic of China indicate that it will soon be the third nation to independently put a human being in space. Further reports state that china has every intention of putting a second human on the moon. Why all this sudden interest in space exploration by the Chinese? Most attribute it to a desire for increased national and international prestige, and as a distraction for the general population from pressing domestic issues.
        However, one need only look into Chinas past to realize that they were once in the same position they are in now. In the early 1400s, 90 years before Christopher Columbus, the Chinese were the most technologically advanced culture on the earth. Their seafaring abilities were unsurpassed. During these early days of the Ming dynasty, a Chinese admiral named Cheng Ho set out on a series of 7 voyages of exploration. In flotillas of 50-60 ships this admiral, accompanied by 25-30,000 soldiers, sailors, cooks, doctors, shipwrights and ambassadors reached as far west as the coast of Africa. The flagship of the fleet was longer than the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria stretched end to end. These voyages brought great riches and prestige to the emperor of China, as well as to Cheng Ho. But, after Cheng Ho's death in 1433, Mongol invasions in the north and Japanese pirates in the east led the emperor to decree that the voyages were too expensive. He ordered the shipwrights home, the ships burned and the logs of the voyages destroyed.
        A century later, the Europeans began several centuries of dominating the Chinese. It could have easily been the other way around. At the time of the Chinese voyages, Europeans were utterly unprepared for the technologies that the Chinese brought with them. Europe, militarily weak after the end of the crusades, was a willing market for Chinese goods, and at the same time a source of needed raw materials, making them wide open for colonization. The Emperor missed his opportunity, to the Europeans benefit nearly a century later.
        Today the last Saturn V sits on its side at Kennedy space center. Moon rocks are in museums, but not under the boots of astronauts. The plans for the Apollo moon rockets are becoming rapidly unreadable. For at least another year the United States lacks the ability to send astronauts into space. The United States does not explore other planets with humans anymore, it is âoetoo expensiveâ and âoedefenseâ needs more money and attention. We see no benefit of putting people on other planets. The Chinese see the benefit, because they have been there before, and they will not be caught flat footed a second time.


Journal Journal: Rastafize him by 10%!

The BSA has developed a cartoon ferret designed to stop kids from pirating software. The new mascot is deployed at A full article is available here at the washington post. I can just see some suit saying "rastafize him by 10%" This article was submitted to the main page 5/6/03


Journal Journal: The Fall of Civilization

"X will be the end of western civilization" Weve all heard it, and usually promptly dismissed it. How can video games, TV, movies etc be lead to the downfall of civilization? Of course they cant, in and of themselvess. I believe they are a symptom of the decline of civilization, rather than the cause. Civilization is declineing due to the failure to transmit civilization from generation to generation. For whatever reason, parents do not transmit the rudiments of civilized behavior to their children. Society teaches that each individual is unique, and is the most important person in the world, and that anything that is done that discomforts the individual is wrong, and the individual needs to be compensated for that slight. If the trend continues that the individual is more important than the society, people will become less and less willing to make sacrifices for society and disorder and violence against fellow citizens will increase as vendettas and vigilantes take the place of justice. Eventually the government will be unable to contain the violence and society will collapse. I wish i knew a cure for this, but unfortunately those that are the most self centered also tend to have the most children and teach the values of self importance to them, eventually civilized people will be evolved out of the species to the point where war once again becomes common. At this point, the tide turns and the uncivilized kill each other off, allowing civilization to once again be reborn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: In AD 2003...

In AD 2003, War was beginning....
Saddam: What Happen?
Osama: Somebody Set us up the bomb!
Operator: We get signal
Saddam: What?
Saddam: Main screen turn on!
Bush: Ha Ha Ha!
Saddam: It is you!
Bush: How are you gentlemen
Bush: All your base are belong to U.S.
Bush: You are on the way to destruction
Saddam: What you say?
Bush: You have no chance to survive, make your time
Bush: Ha Ha Ha Ha...
Saddam: Take off every Scud, for great justice.


Journal Journal: Apple Releases BIND security patch

Come 'n get it. Apple has released a new security update for OS 10.2 , available through software update or here. According to the readme:
  This Security Update fixes potential vulnerabilities introduced in BIND, the domain server and client library software package from Internet Software Consortium (ISC), that is shipped with Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server. BIND version 8.3.4 addresses the recently-discovered potential vulnerabilities where an unauthorized person may disrupt the normal operation of the DNS name service. BIND is not activated by default on Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server.

United States

Journal Journal: Terrorism = Bad stuff

Here we go again, polititians have corrupted a word such that it no longer means what it initially did. Like liberal, or "raise taxes" terrorism has a new meaning. Terrorism now means anything that is bad, and more importantly anything that is against administration policy. Voting against the bush homeland security bill is terrorism, in brasil, they call currency devaluation "economic terrorism" hacking is now "electronic terrorism" Fighting for the freedom of your people against a repressive regime is terrorism (see chechnya) These things are not terrorism. Terrorism is the actions of people or peoples to spread fear through a population in order to further a pollitical cause. Suicide bombings in israel are terroism. The DC sniper was terror-causing, but not terrorism, because it was not specifically designed to further a pollitical cause. Voting against bush is definetly not terrorism. Newscasters and polititians need to get a dictionary.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Liberty

Liberty is bigger than a person, or a group of people, or even a country. It is an Ideal, timeless, unchanging, immutable. Who are we to trample on even the hem of lady libertys robes. Hundreds of thousands of americans have died in the cause of liberty. When americans go to war it is not to "protect the fatherland" or to protect their families, their jobs, and especially not their politiutians. Americans go to war to protect freedom, to protect liberty, to make the world safe from evil.
    Its so easy to say that you should submit to searches and seizures and the government and president should have more powers to get in everyones buisness. Ultimately more presidential and governmental powers will backlash. Its just a mater of if its a year or if its 100 years. Hopefully the former.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Death 2

Death is depressing. It makes me think as so many others have thought, about what lies beyond death. Space may be the final frontier, but even that frontier will someday be conquered. Death is a frontier that will never be conquered. It is impossible to know for certain what happens when you die. The multiplicity of theories abound in the worlds religions. You can go to Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Nirvana, be Reincarnated, be reunited with loved ones, or maybe just nothing. I wish I knew witch it was, but my feeling is that nothing happens when you die other than you ceasing to exist. I come to that belief through lack of evidence for anything else, but the truth is ultimately that it is a belief, I have no more evidence for it than I have that everyone will go to heaven when they die.

Funerals are also weird, especially christian ones. For those that dont know, Christians believe that everyone will go to heaven or hell when they die, depending on how they behaved in this world. My question is then; why are funerals so sad? Shouldnt they be celebrations of people entering into paradise? Unless you believe that the person was bad enough to warrant entrance into hell, in which case I would understand the sadness. But inexplicably, christians also believe that god is a forgiving god, and a loving god, so wouldnt only the mose heinous offenders and a sad funeral?

On the other hand, if you believe that death leads to nothing, then funerals would truly be a sad occasion, because no matter how goud the person is, they are now truly dead and nonexistant. I think thats why funerals are sad, because people secretly suspect this is the case but are afraid to admit it.

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