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Comment Re:Firewall (Score 1) 527

There's a great package available for dd-wrt called pixelserv. It's a basic web server that returns a single pixel image for unwanted resources through dns-poisoning. Combined with a list of tracking hosts it cuts ads and tracking (even youtube ads are removed) and none show in /. The package comes with a blank whitelist and a blacklist that affects the default list of unwanted ad/tracking websites. Runs on any router, even a 10-year-old Linksys 54G.

Comment Re:Comcast Business Class (Score 1) 291

I've confirmed that the public network uses a different public IP (clients connected to it get a private IP), but I'd still like to be able to disable it.

Very interesting that it runs public WiFi even in bridge mode. So the modem must obtain two IPs from Comcast. I'd disconnect the internal antennas at this point. I cannot fathom running provided equipment of which I don't have control for my private networking. Only bridge mode and my own router/access point.

Comment Re:Not as simple as teaching how to ... (Score 1) 328

The short summary wasn't precise, I admit, but the point was slightly different. What the installer guy did should never be illegal regardless of intent. Let's consider someone coming to a car dealership and saying: "I'd like to buy a car to commit a crime, here's a full sticker price." The dealer wants to make money and sells the car. Guilty? Why should he be? Should the specific car salesman go to jail or the whole dealership closed (since corporations are people)? Let's imagine that some folks agree that selling a car in this case should be considered a violation of some sort. But it's not usually exactly black and white as "I want to commit a crime with your help" type of statement. What if the guy says "I want a car to transport marijuana"? Illegal? In what state? Should the sales guy know all the applicable laws? Does anyone know ALL the laws? What if the guys says "I want to transport cathinone?" or "I want transport schedule 1 substance"? Who should even know what specific schedule substance is? Should it matter if the whole conversation happens not at the dealer but at your large grocery chain between the guy and a cashier? Should cashier go to jail? Anyway, the intent should not matter and installing any traps in the car should be legal by anyone.

Comment Re:Not as simple as teaching how to ... (Score 5, Informative) 328

If he had claimed the training was for some other purpose and always told people to never employ these techniques during a real government polygraph and to always tell government investigators the truth he would not be in trouble.

It always amuses me how simplistic the arguments can become. If you just tell how to beat an abstract polygraph without mentioning the government you'd be fine! Nonsense. If the government doesn't like what you do, there will be a way to lock you in for a long time. Even if you do everything legal.

Here's a good example. A guy in California was installing hidden compartments in cars (traps). Those were very slick and he was careful -- it was impossible to detect that something was altered. There were no switches, opening such traps would require following some elaborate sequence, like opening specific doors, rolling down the window five times, starting the car seven times, whatever. Nothing illegal here. One may think that some uses for traps would be to store drugs but there could be many legitimate reasons (like storing cash or whatever personal items). So the installer asked if the traps are going to be used for anything illegal and refused to do the job if the answer was positive. Nothing illegal. Well, some lied and stored drugs and the DEA's job became more complicated and they staged the whole kangaroo court where the trap installer guy was convicted for 22 years! 22 years for not doing anything illegal, but the thinking was that he could have imagined that some traps could be used by drug dealers and therefore he facilitated drug dealings.

More details on the story:

Comment Helping retailers (Score 4, Informative) 613

Interesting interview on the reasons behind the DST was on NPR with the author of "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time". "The upcoming shift in the daylight-saving time change is designed to help retailers — and is a substitute for a genuine energy policy, says author Michael Downing. Congress moved the time shift up this year. Melissa Block talks with Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time." No DST is fine with me.

Comment Appropriate response (Score -1, Flamebait) 206

The appropriate response to this violation would be to create a web page impersonating police officers and sending the link to everyone in the school and the newspaper. The content should be along the lines: "I'm officer John and officer Jack, we live at such-and-such address and we are very sorry for creating a fake Seattle Times page causing a wide outrage. Our kids Jill and Jack attending such-and-such school are feeling the heat too. We are sorry." To be believable, the page needs to have appropriate pictures of the officers, their kids (we have to think of the kids!) and all the addresses need to be correct, they didn't misspell Seattle Times, right? The overall content that they are sorry can be fake, just like the page they'd created.

Comment Modified car? (Score 5, Interesting) 221

I have a car that uses a wireless key. After browsing the web trying to find more about the security, I found that you could buy a programmer that connects to the car's data port and programs a new key. What was surprising to me was how relatively easy it is to buy such a device and how quick the programming process was (about 30 seconds). A thief would have to get an entry into the car first (breaking a window, perhaps), but once that is done, it's relatively easy to just drive off with a newly programmed key. What I did was to disable to data port, not permanently, but more of a need to use basis. Since it works on obfuscation, this is not a type of security to be mass produced. Not knowing how exactly the port is disabled, it will take a long time to make it work, so I don't expect a thief to start taking the car apart. Wonder if you can claim for the insurance that the port is disabled. There are many other ways to steal a car, I just want to prevent the easy ones known today.

Comment Copyright infringement maybe? (Score 1) 580

What they call "piracy" or "illegal downloading" is properly called copyright infringement (I don't think they refer to happenings in Somalia when they refer to "piracy"). The copyright infringement defines the infringement as "unauthorized distribution." So, if you distribute the copyright material without the proper authorization from the copyright holder you're committing a copyright infringement. Now, downloading itself is not the distribution, so downloading cannot be illegal (can, but not currently). It's the same idea as you walking into a grocery store to buy napkins and the store didn't have the proper clearance from the napkin manufacturer to sell those napkins, so the store might be in violation, but not you -- the purchaser. Same with downloading. It becomes murky with cases where files get uploaded at the same time as they get downloaded. But I don't expect the average user to know such details. But if you're just downloading, you're not committing the copyright infringement.

Comment Re:Inverse Wi-fi law (Score 2) 278

A few realize that it's possible to run a wi-fi client and a hotspot on the same card in a laptop at the same time. I had a similar experience with the hotel that allowed only one mac address connection. So I connected my laptop, created a new hotspot called "free wi-fi" and had it running all the time I was at the hotel without any credentials. At least I could connect all my devices and provide a useful public service at the same time.

Comment Re:Jamming unlinced spectrum is illegal? (Score 5, Insightful) 278

...WiFi operates on UNREGULATED spectrum, which means anyone can use, and anyone must accept interference from other users... and we did EXACTLY the same thing that Mariott was doing, for just that reason. ... we also investigated the legality of it, and the conclusion we came to was that it was perfectly legal since it was on unregulated spectrum.

According to that logic, I can come with a router backpack and prevent all users from connecting to YOUR university network. Well, it's unregulated, right? You should accept the interference and you cannot ask me to leave (in fact, I can be on a public place to cause you enough of a headache, so all is a fair game).

How did Google get charged exorbitant fees for briefly recording unencrypted wi-fi traffic from their street view cars while everything they did was on an unregulated spectrum?

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