This is a bit sinister: the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has been dropping digital certificates into the computers of everyone in China, which could potentially allow them to snoop on your normally secure ‘https’ web-surfing, such as your online banking and email.
CNNIC’s digital certificate, which is probably in your computer right now, has not been proved to be maliciously spying, but it’s a matter of trust. Do you really trust CNNIC, the overlords of the ‘Great Firewall’, to not be potentially peeking into your email, Facebook, Paypal account or online bank? Nope, thought not.
These digital certificates are not viruses or malware; they’re genuine tools that sites use to encrypt and verify information, and are issued by third-party Certificate Authorities (CA). For this CNNIC certificate to be on your computer, it has taken numerous levels of consent: by the web browser makers (Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and more obscure ones, such as Opera) and by the CA ‘Entrust’, who will have evaluated, accepted and issued CNNIC’s digital certificate.
So, what’s the drama, you ask… Well, in devious hands, these important data snippets can be configured to pry, spy and snoop on your web traffic and private data. A benign digital certificate could turn malicious if remotely reconfigured, so as to tap into a certain users encrypted web data. In one other scenario, CNNIC could possibly use this tool in conjunction with the Great Firewall to tunnel into your encrypted web sessions. And, remember, CNNIC has a history of putting malware on people’s machines, hence all the alarm bells ringing over this tiny, new development.
So, let’s get about blocking CNNIC’s ass off of your computer: It’s best not to delete it – it’ll only be re-added – so we’re going to need to ‘never trust’ it in your computer’s settings. Then, you’ll be safe and unsnooped upon. It’s pretty easy, taking it step-by-step…
Mac: Safari and Chrome This applies only to the Safari and Chrome web browser (Firefox needs to be done separately, in its own settings; see below). First, use Spotlight to search for the Keychain Access app (or, find it in Applications > Utilities folder) and launch it. Now, in the Keychain Access app search-box you should type CNNIC, and if their digital certificate is on your laptop, you will see 1 or 2 of them. If there’s nothing, that’s good. But, if you have 1 or 2 of the little buggers, this is what to do next: right-click on one of the digital certificates and select Get Info. A new window will appear; in this, click on the little arrow to the left of the word “Trust” so that more options are revealed. Now, in the first drop-down box you should select “Never trust” which’ll cause all the others drop-down boxes to also change to ‘Never trust’. Now that certificate is never, ever trusted, and will not be re-added since it already sits there. Repeat on the 2nd, if there is one.
To check that it has worked, quit your browser(s), and then restart a browser and go to the website https://www.enum.cn where now a warning should appear saying that the site’s digital certificate is not trusted. If so, that’s great. If not (and the website loads normally), repeat the instructions more carefully.
Firefox (Windows, Mac, Linux) First go to the Firefox ‘Preferences’ (on Mac), which is called ‘Options’ (I think) on Windows. Then, click the Advanced tab, then the Encryption tab, then click ‘View Certificates’. Next select the Authorities tab, and scroll down to find the CNNIC entry. Highlight the certificate, and then lower down click on the ‘Edit’ button, and in here you should now uncheck all the checkboxes, then click ‘Okay’. OK, that’s one blocked. Also scroll down to the Entrust.net entry, and see if there’s another CNNIC one in there. There’ll either be 1 or 2 in total. If there’s another one, repeat the above instrcutions.
To check that it has worked, quit Firefox, and then restart it and go to the website https://www.enum.cn where now a warning should appear saying that the site’s digital certificate is not trusted. If so, that’s great. If not (and the website loads normally), repeat the instructions more carefully.
Windows: Internet Explorer I’m afraid I don’t have a clue how to do it on IE. And, seriously, with all the holes and bugs in IE, you should be thinking about ditching it for Firefox, pronto. But the Chinese blogger and techie Felix Yan, who first alerted me to this whole situation with his detailed blog post on the issue, has a step-by-step guide for Internet Explorer, though it’s all in Chinese, over on his site. Here’s the link for it.
Windows: Chrome Google Chrome browser, for some reason, utilizes the digital certificates stored inside Internet Explorer, so you’ll also need to refer to Felix’s instructions for how to block CNNIC inside IE.
A National Science Foundation press release reports “scientists predict mobile phone viruses will pose a serious threat.” The scientists are network experts who have studied how “a Bluetooth virus can infect all phones found within Bluetooth range of the infected phone, its spread being determined by the owner’s mobility patterns.” The image above is a frame from a video accompanying the press release depicting the spread of a Bluetooth virus. Another video with the release is a time-lapse of a spreading pattern of a MMS mobile phone virus. The work is based at Northeastern University and led by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.
The driver pulled up to a small office complex in the heart of the city and beckoned us into the back of his scuffed white van. The surface of the vehicle was caked in dust and the seats, clad in new blue velvet, were sized for someone much smaller. I curled up in the back and we were off into the city, cars coming at all sides and bikes darting out in front of the unflappable driver, his smile never wavering as we drove.
I was on my way to a factory outside of Shenzhen, a city of 14 million people mostly dedicated to the manufacture of the things we buy. If it beeps, makes phone calls, or increasingly, if you can wear it, it’s probably come from out here. We roll through the city to the outskirts and then onto a wide five-lane highway that rolls up through the smog, past rocks and hills that look like a stage set for a Kung Fu fable. This is modern China, a place of conflicting images and a world of untrammeled growth.
The factories are about forty minutes outside of town in a special economic area dedicated to commerce. Sadly, the smoke from the endless stream of cars and trucks heading back and forth from the manufacturing center along with whatever is coming out of the factories themselves casts a pall on the landscape; little can be done about that right now, though. Motorcycles are outlawed here for safety and environmental reasons, and if this van is indicative of the current state of repair of many work vehicles, it’s going to take a long time to scrub this city’s skies clean again. Most of this most recent smog comes thanks to this chilly November. People outside of town – and in – are burning wood. It won’t get clear again until the Spring and then the Summer will bring idling cars, their air conditioners cranked up in the heat.
We trundle along into the economic zone, down long roads lined with people returning from work. We narrowly miss a man on a bike and we pass electric cycles carrying huge, heavy loads of plastic and other scrap. This zone is where the factory workers live and raise families. There are no street lights and I see children meeting their parents after work, silhouetted by the lights of a stream of cars.
We pull into a guarded complex of smaller factories. The man I’m here to see runs a company that makes USB keys. I probably have twenty of his products, all of them given to me by PR people, in a jar at home and don’t even know it. He has clients all over the world and most don’t even know they’re doing business with him. A chain of distributors come to him to make the finished product. When people say “OEM,” this is who they’re talking about.
I climb up the dark stairway into a wood-paneled office area where sales and marketing people sit. I sit down with the president who offers me a water and a cigarette. He shows me his new selection of LED lights: he’s coming in on the ground floor with these just as compact fluorescents are leaving the realm of the profitable and moving into the commodity. He’s betting on these new lights to take him through the next decade.
He’s been doing this for about seven years. He used to work in integrated circuits but he bought a few used Japanese PCB manufacturing machines and started making devices for clients. He stuck with USB keys because it’s a steady market and he lives comfortably.
We walk into the factory. This is no “Intel Inside” clean room. A dozen long benches run through the room. There are ten old Dells with CRT monitors for quality control and a line of soldering irons at the ready. It’s late – about 6pm – so everyone is home. During the day the factory is full of people. All of them are making USB keys and the company can punch out about 30,000 a day, a minuscule number compared to the capacity of the behemoths down the road.
The keys start out as circuit boards. There are about five keys per board and they come already milled to specifications. One employee lays down a layer of solder and puts the board through to the SMT machine. SMT stands for surface mount technology; it’s a way to tell a robot how and where to place resistors, transistors, and capacitors on a board. The machines here are old. They still use 3.5″ floppies to program them and they’re all in Japanese. They cost about $100,000 each, now, used. The better ones can hit the $1 million mark.
The first SMT machine grabs tiny components from a long reel of electronic parts. It’s a mad dance. The hand – a box with pistons, really – picks the part and then places it. Pick, place, pick, place. It takes about a minute to do a set of five. Another employee checks the work and then it moves on. There’s plenty of room of error here simply because this is a commodity. The machine breaks down, it places transistors a bit skew. It doesn’t matter. In the end it’s going to hold whatever data you put on it, at least for a while. The dead devices go back into the recycling bin.
The second SMT places the IC chips, the controllers and the memory. A final employee spot checks the board and sends it out to the soldering line. There they solder on each USB port by hand. The PCB itself costs maybe 50 cents to manufacture – that’s only parts – but the IC and the memory add about three dollars more. In the end, you’re looking at about $5 in costs, including labor. The final step is the application, by hand, of the silk screen, embossing, or laser etching. Each piece. By hand. The margin is slim at best, especially considering distributors sell these things to customers for about $7.
So is this a place of horror? No. This is where men and women are given a wage and living quarters to make USB keys. There are few amenities here, no child care, no donuts at lunch. The toilets are squat toilets; the sinks are overflowing into the bathroom. The lockers are six inches by six inches. Enough for shoes, maybe, and a jacket.
But this is how this stuff is made. Bigger companies won’t touch these orders – a run of 1000 pieces to them isn’t even worth the energy it takes to start up the machines. This factory fills a hole in the market. The employer fills a hole in the employee’s life. The employee lives in a free house and comes to a steady job. It’s hard, to be sure, and it’s a mess — but it’s a living.
We moved our manufacturing over here. That’s what happened. To say this is good or bad, positive or negative, is not my place. The employees here are content and the owner has a nice car and is planning a vacation to the US next year. On a micro scale, this is what countless small businesses have done all over the world for about two centuries. You fill a need. You fill an order.
On the macro scale you can cry and moan about exploitation, pollution, and capitalism. Pittsburgh was probably once as dirty as Shenzhen is right now. Blue laws were put into place there early on to prevent desolate employees from drinking themselves into an oblivion. We changed, and China will change.
My fear, however, is that we’ve become inured to the way things are made here. We love how our phones spring to life a touch of a button. We love how we can buy a terabyte of disk space for $100. We love how Moore’s law is always punching something new across the transom. But consumption clouds the true value of this stuff. We need to rethink what we buy and expect more from the companies that try to sell it to us. This is a mom and pop USB factory. Someone like Foxconn, manufacturers of the iPhone, are a different animal entirely. But both are part of the menagerie that is Chinese manufacturing. It’s globalized. It’s monstrous. It caused this smoke and this darkness and this mind-numbing work. Don’t be fooled by clean rooms and white walls you see on TV with magical robot arms carrying iPhones into the heavens. This is dirty work and it will get dirtier.
This is an industrial process to fulfill our desire. Shenzhen, and this small factory on her outskirts, show us the price of that desire. Next: Order Fulfillment
Nothing has ever changed the world as quickly as the Internet.
Less than a decade ago, "60 Minutes" went to the Pentagon to do a story on something called information warfare, or cyberwar as some people called it. It involved using computers and the Internet as weapons.
Much of it was still theory, but we were told that before too long it might be possible for a hacker with a computer to disable critical infrastructure in a major city and disrupt essential services, steal millions of dollars from banks all over the world, infiltrate defense systems, extort millions from public companies, and even sabotage our weapons systems.
Today it's not only possible, all of that has actually happened. And there's a lot more we don't even know about.
It's why President Obama has made cyberwar defense a top national priority and why some people are already saying that the next big war is less likely to begin with a bang than with a blackout.
"Can you imagine your life without electric power?" Ret. Adm. Mike McConnell asked "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft...
It's tempting to blame the victim. In May, a twentysomething French hacker broke into several Twitter employees' e-mail accounts and stole a trove of meeting notes, strategy documents, and other confidential scribbles. The hacker eventually gave the stash to TechCrunch, which has since published notes from meetings in which Twitter execs discussed their very lofty goals. (The company wants to be the first Web service to reach 1 billion users.) How'd the hacker get all this stuff? Like a lot of tech startups, Twitter runs without paper—much of the company's discussions take place in e-mail and over shared Google documents. All of these corporate secrets are kept secure with a very thin wall of protection: the employees' passwords, which the intruder managed to guess because some people at Twitter used the same passwords for many different sites. In other words, Twitter had it coming. The trouble is, so do the rest of us.
Your passwords aren't very secure. Even if you think they are, they probably aren't. Do you use the same or similar passwords for several different important sites? If you don't, pat yourself on the back; if you do, you're not alone—one recent survey found that half of people online use the same password for all the sites they visit. Do you change your passwords often? Probably not; more than 90 percent don't. If one of your accounts falls to a hacker, will he find enough to get into your other accounts? For a scare, try this: Search your e-mail for some of your own passwords. You'll probably find a lot of them, either because you've e-mailed them to yourself or because some Web sites send along your password when you register or when you tell them you've forgotten it. If an attacker manages to get into your e-mail, he'll have an easy time accessing your bank account, your social networking sites, and your fantasy baseball roster. That's exactly what happened at Twitter. (Here's my detailed explanation of how Twitter got compromised.)
Everyone knows it's bad to use the same password for different sites. People do it anyway because remembering different passwords is annoying. Remembering different difficult passwords is even more annoying. Eric Thompson, the founder of AccessData, a technology forensics company that makes password-guessing software, says that most passwords follow a pattern. First, people choose a readable word as a base for the password—not necessarily something in Webster's but something that is pronounceable in English. Then, when pressed to add a numeral or symbol to make the password more secure, most people add a 1 or ! to the end of that word. Thompson's software, which uses a "brute force" technique that tries thousands of passwords until it guesses yours correctly, can easily suss out such common passwords. When it incorporates your computer's Web history in its algorithm—all your ramblings on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere—Thompson's software can come up with a list of passwords that is highly likely to include yours. (He doesn't use it for nefarious ends; AccessData usually guesses passwords under the direction of a court order, for military purposes, or when companies get locked out of their own systems—"systems administrator gets hit by a bus on the way to work," Thompson says by way of example.)
Security expert Bruce Schneier writes about passwords often, and he distills Thompson's findings into a few rules: Choose a password that doesn't contain a readable word. Mix upper and lower case. Use a number or symbol in the middle of the word, not on the end. Don't just use 1 or !, and don't use symbols as replacements for letters, such as @ for a lowercase A—password-guessing software can see through that trick. And of course, create unique passwords for your different sites.
That all sounds difficult and time-consuming. It doesn't have to be. In Schneier's comment section, I found a foolproof technique to create passwords that are near-impossible to crack yet easy to remember. Even better, it'll take just five minutes of your time. Ready?
Start with an original but memorable phrase. For this exercise, let's use these two sentences: I like to eat bagels at the airport and My first Cadillac was a real lemon so I bought a Toyota. The phrase can have something to do with your life or it can be a random collection of words—just make sure it's something you can remember. That's the key: Because a mnemonic is easy to remember, you don't have to write it down anywhere. (If you can't remember it without writing it down, it's not a good mnemonic.) This reduces the chance that someone will guess it if he gets into your computer or your e-mail. What's more, a relatively simple mnemonic can be turned into a fanatically difficult password.
Which brings us to Step 2: Turn your phrase into an acronym. Be sure to use some numbers and symbols and capital letters, too. I like to eat bagels at the airport becomes Ilteb@ta, and My first Cadillac was a real lemon so I bought a Toyota is M1stCwarlsIbaT.
That's it—you're done. These mnemonic passwords are hard to forget, but they contain no guessable English words. You can even create pass phrases for specific sites that are coded with a hint about their purpose. A sentence like It's 20 degrees in February, so I use Gmail lets you set a new Gmail password every month and still never forget it: i90diSsIuG for September, i30diMsIuG for March, etc. (These aren't realistic temperatures; they're the month-number multiplied by 10.)
How many different such passwords do you need? Four or five at most. You don't have to keep unique passwords for every single site you visit—Thompson says it's perfectly OK to repeat passwords on sites that don't need to be kept very secure. For instance, I can use the same password for my accounts at the New York Times, the New Republic, The New Yorker, and other online magazines, because it won't hurt me too much if someone breaks into those. (My mnemonic is, I like to read snooty publications quite often.) You should probably use different passwords for each your social networking accounts—someone can do real damage by breaking into your Facebook or Twitter, so you want to keep them distinct—but you can still come up with a single systematic mnemonic to protect them: Twitter is my second favorite social networking site, MySpace is my third favorite social networking site, etc. Reserve your strongest, most distinct passwords for the few very important services that, if cracked, could do the most damage—your bank account, your computer, and most of all your e-mail, which often contains the keys to everything else in your life.
To be sure, this is more of a hassle than what you're doing now—but what you're doing now is going to come back to bite you. These days, we're all dishing personal information all the time; you may think that your password is totally unguessable, but your Facebook makes clear that you're a huge U2 fan and you graduated from college in 2000. Achtung2000, eh? Just go ahead and make some new passwords right now. Trust me, you'll feel better.
According to the story he gave TechCrunch, the Twitter hacker began exploiting Gmail's forgotten-password feature to get into one staffer's personal e-mail. The hacker got a bit lucky here: When he hit the forgotten-password button, Gmail gave him a hint about the secondary e-mail address that the employee had entered when he or she had set up the Gmail account: ******@h******.com. The hacker guessed that this was a Hotmail address; when he checked Hotmail for some addresses that might belong to the user, he found they were no longer active. (Hotmail, like a lot of Web e-mail services, deletes accounts that haven't been accessed in a while.) So the hacker set up the Hotmail account that Gmail thought belonged to the Twitter employee. When Gmail sent a password-reset link to the Hotmail address, it went right into the hacker's hands. (Google has recently added a feature in Gmail that occasionally prompts users to update their backup e-mail addresses.)
After rifling through the Twitter employee's Gmail in search of passwords, the hacker noticed that he seemed to use similar passwords for a lot of different sites. From there, Twitter fell like a line of dominoes: The hacker used the passwords he found in the Gmail account to get into the employee's Google Apps account, which led him to company documents that contained personal information about other Twitter employees. That information allowed him to guess those employees' passwords, which gave him even more personal information, which got him even more passwords, and so on. Eventually the hacker had access not only to documents floating around inside Twitter but also to some employees' accounts at Amazon, AT&T, and iTunes. He even got into the GoDaddy account that managed some of Twitter's domain names.
September 28, 2009 3:00 PM (Monday) Author: andrew
Whether you want to keep an eye on your pet, your aging parents, your kids, your vacation home, your boat, or whatever else you feel needs watching, the internet is now the best way to do it.
You can buy security systems of all types and prices including PC or Mac-based systems that can use just about any camera hooked up to a computer. For this roundup, we picked a handful of wireless cameras that make it easy to watch and listen to what's happening anyplace that you are not.
Panasonic BL-C131A Yes, the Panasonic BL-C131A camera costs more than most good point and shoot digital cameras, but it's a quality web camera that gets good reviews and has a lot of useful features including a microphone and thermal sensor that can detect when a human or animal enters the room. You can also make it pan and tilt remotely. Set it up to talk to your router, use their free service to create a personal web address like mycamera.viewnetcam.com and then you or anyone you give permission to, can view your camera's live images on the Internet. It costs around $250.
Sharx Security VIPcella-IR SCNC2607
Users say the Sharx Security VIPcella-IR SCNC2607 camera may not be the easiest to set up especially when you read comments like, “you need to configure some things in your router.” However, users also say it has a very good installation guide and once you get it working, it does a good job of sending video directly to a browser on your computer or phone without going through a service. It includes features like motion detection, a microphone, email alerts, and even infrared night vision which could come in handy when trying to see what’s going on in the dark. It’s a little on the expensive side at $399 (on sale now on Amazon for $300) but it does have all the right features. If you don’t need the night vision feature you can get the less expensive, Sharx SCNC2606 for around $225 but for $75 we say go for the night vision.
Cisco WVC210 (formerly a Linksys product) When you see the Cisco WVC210 you may want to say, “open the pod bay doors,” but seriously, for $250 this wireless web cam has some nice features including one that most other cameras don’t have which is audio out (you need an external speaker). Imagine being able to tell Spotty to get off the couch, or say "hi" to the kids. The Cisco WVC210 offers remote pan and tilt and email alerts with attached video when it detects motion. Users say it does a good job but has a few quirks like occasional lost connections, a noisy motor, and overly sensitive motion detector, not to mention the fact that the software doesn’t work with Windows Vista and you need to use an ActiveX control to listen to the audio with Internet Explorer (which actually isn’t that big of a deal).
TRENDnet Wireless Internet Camera Server (TV-IP110W) The Trendnet TV-IP110W wireless webcam doesn't get the highest ratings and there are many comments saying it's not the easiest device to get working but at a little over $100, the price is reasonable and once you do get it working users say it has pretty good image quality and useful features like motion detection and email alerts.
Linksys WVC54GCA Some reviewers rave about the Linksys (now Cisco) WVC54GCA camera while others don't have a lot of good things to say about it. If you’re in the group that makes it through the setup procedure to get it working you will have what one reviewer called an “adequate,” camera for keeping an eye on things. You can buy the Linksys WVC54GCA for under $100.
Coming Soon the D-Link DSC-1130 D-Link, the company known for routers and other quality communication gear is about to release a wireless network camera and companion “portal,” that sounds like it may make setting up and watching the remote camera real simple. You access the video from the camera on your browser via a user account on mydlink.com. The DCS-1130 will have an MSRP of $219.99 but you should be able to find it for less.
Novelty Web Cams The WowWee Rovio Wi-Fi Enabled Robotic WebCam costs about $230 but should be lots of fun to use. You move this three-wheeled little bugger around your house via an Internet connection. You can make it go to preset waypoints or self-dock in its charging station. It even has a built-in LED headlight.
Spykee Spy WiFi Robot
The Spykee Spy WiFi robot comes as a kit that you put together. Once it’s up and running, you control it remotely, watch and listen to what’s going on around it, and even speak through it. You can even use it with Skype. Spykee lists for around $250 but you can find it online for a lot less.
Point Your Wireless Webcam at Retrevo Whether you’re looking for the tools to watch your cat sleeping at your home or you need help deciding what netbook to buy, Retrevo has reviews and manuals for the latest gear and gadgets including digital cameras, GPS, laptops, HDTV, and more.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 8:00 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 September 2009 12:14 PM PDT
The handheld puke ray gun is ready (yuck) Mood:
down Now Playing: I FEEL LIKE PUKING Topic: TECHNOLOGY
6.2.09.... Hello Family Friends and faithful readers of the Z3 Report this article will make you sick to your stomach ... well the technology that is discussed will. But I myself find this type of weaponry to be uncalled for and is Pandora's box of potential tools to be used on innocent people by the authorities. Nasty toys in the hands of nasty people is not going to be of any service to our society. Z3 Readers this type of technology (sic) is leading us down the slippery slope:
US firm says
handheld puke ray is ready to go
Pistol style chunder-gat
torch/vom-sabre modelshttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/01/laser_energetics_puke_ray/By Lewis Page • Get more from this authorPosted in Biology, 1st June 2009 11:39 GMTA US industrial laser company says it has developed a functional puke-ray system, ideal for use by cops or military personnel wishing to take down their opponents without shooting them. The firm proposes to issue the "non lethal light fighting technology" in two form factors - light-sabre/torch and blaster-pistol.The so-called Dazer Laser™ technology comes from Laser Energetics Inc, of New Jersey, which has been supplying more conventional laser equipment since 1991. Now, however, the company is pleased to announce its new Defender™ and Guardian™ chunder-beam weapons. According to Laser Energetics' statement:These non-lethal weapons have the ability to control the threat at ranges of 1 meter to 2400 meters (model dependent). The Dazer Laser™ - Light Fighting Technologies - emit a green “eye safe” laser beam, that is shaped into approximately a 1 foot to 8 foot Dazer Zone™ (model dependent) which when focused on the threats eyes, the threats vision is temporarily impaired, their balance is effected, and they become affected by nausea. This controls the threat making it difficult for them to manoeuver. The Ultimate Non – Lethal Weapon."This life saving non-lethal weapon will help all branches of the military, law enforcement, correctional facilities, security, border patrol, piracy control, homeland security, airport security and much more," says Laser Energetics CEO Robert Battis.Battis says that his regurge-ray weapons are better than the well-known Taser electrojolt stungun as they have a longer effective range and aren't single-shot. If an embattled cop, soldier etc. misses the target at first he can simply swing the dazzle-beam onto his opponent's face and leave him slipping and stumbling helplessly in a self-generated chunky puddle.The Defender™ is the ray-pistol model, perhaps effective to 2400m; the Guardian™ is the cylindrical job which emits its belly-scrambling dazer rays from one end like a torch. The Guardian™ will work out to 100m, according to the Laser Energetics pdf brochure. Both models also have a "searchlight" illumination mode - presumably without the nauseating special sauce. There's no word yet on price.It seems that there may be countermeasures that would have some effect against Dazer™-toting government goons. The company specifies that both models "can control the threat with the threat's eyes shut, making it difficult for them to manoeuvre". No mention is made of tactical possibilities involving mirrors, reflective sunglasses etc.One question does spring to mind here. Do the rival puke-ray programmes at the Department of Homeland Security and the US Navy know about this?
For my distant friends and relatives, free videoconferencing software is a wonderful gift that allows us to chat face-to-face although we may be thousands of miles apart. A few weeks ago, Jessica Dolcourt reported on the most recent update to free video chat client Skype, which expanded the video window and improved audio reception.
Teens are known for having a lot of time, some seriously outrageous ideas for filling that time, and a slightly obsessive need for revenge. Add a few residential speed cameras into that mix, and what you have is a creative perversion of the entire speed camera system. Teens in Maryland have evidently been printing out the license plates numbers of rival teens, putting them on their own cars, and then purposely blasting by speed cameras posted in residential neighborhoods. The rival teen -- or his parents -- then gets a $40 citation in the mail.
The police say they haven't heard anything about it, and the local government doesn't sound like it has come up with any way to prevent or limit the habit. Which means that teens will be teens, and parents will be left to complain about it and fight the citations in court. Said one parent, "I hope the public at large will complain loudly enough that local Montgomery County government officials will change their policy of using these cameras for monetary gain. The practice of sending speeding tickets to faceless recipients without any type of verification is unwarranted and an exploitation of our rights." Oh, these kids today...
File Sharring and Professor Nesson Mood:
celebratory Now Playing: Professor fights back at song-swapping lawsuits Topic: TECHNOLOGY
Hello Z3 Readers
Todays reading is all about a Harvard Law School professor who is fighting back against the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999
This sucessful professor, (Nesson) who is the founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said in an interview that his goal is to "turn the courts away from allowing themselves to be used like a low-grade collection agency." He also argues that the digital theft law passed in 1999 is unconstitutional.
BOSTON - The music industry's courtroom campaign against people who share songs online is coming under counterattack.
A Harvard Law School professor has launched a constitutional assault against a federal copyright law at the heart of the industry's aggressive strategy, which has wrung payments from thousands of song-swappers since 2003.
The professor, Charles Nesson, has come to the defense of a Boston University graduate student targeted in one of the music industry's lawsuits. By taking on the case, Nesson hopes to challenge the basis for the suit, and all others like it.
Nesson argues that the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 is unconstitutional because it effectively lets a private group — the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA — carry out civil enforcement of a criminal law. He also says the music industry group abused the legal process by brandishing the prospects of lengthy and costly lawsuits in an effort to intimidate people into settling cases out of court.
Nesson, the founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said in an interview that his goal is to "turn the courts away from allowing themselves to be used like a low-grade collection agency."
Nesson is best known for defending the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers and for consulting on the case against chemical companies that was depicted in the film "A Civil Action." His challenge against the music labels, made in U.S. District Court in Boston, is one of the most determined attempts to derail the industry's flurry of litigation.
The initiative has generated more than 30,000 complaints against people accused of sharing songs online. Only one case has gone to trial; nearly everyone else settled out of court to avoid damages and limit the attorney fees and legal costs that escalate over time.