jenk: Faye (working)
From the local paper's article on tracking down the person leaving recorded death threats for Senator Murray (emphasis added):
The FBI got the phone number that coincided with the calls through a search warrant served on Verizon. Another agent called the number, posing as a representative of Patients United Now, a group that has called for the repeal of the Health Care Reform Act, and identified Wilson by his voice, according to the charges.

The use of that group, which is affiliated with the pro-tea party, anti-tax, anti-big-government organization Americans For Prosperity (AFP), caused some concern among AFP officials.
[...]
[Special Agent Fred Gutt] said the agents needed to talk to Wilson to verify his identity, and they wanted a ruse to get him to the phone. They found Patients United Now on the Web, and called the contact number to ask permission. However, the number was disconnected.

"They presumed the organization was defunct," Gutt said. "It wasn't."

Why do I think that somewhere, volunteers are arguing about who sent whom the new phone number and who should've been sent the new phone number (or press release or what-have-you)? Or that some FBI agents are arguing about who should've tweaked the name a bit to make it fictional?
jenk: Faye (Anal-Retentive)
You know you've been on LJ too long when you don't understand why "unfriend" is being celebrated as "a new word". It's freaking ancient.
jenk: Faye (KirkMorons)
Woman approaches a man at Starbucks who fit the description of her blind date.
She approached him and asked: "Do you happen to be waiting for anyone?" The black male responded by asking if she needed any help? He then quickly seemed angry when she told him, "No." The black male asked why she had approached him? At that point, she left his table, after apologizing, and walked to another table.

He then follows her to the other table, accuses her of being a terrorist, starts shoving her, and ends up being booked for assault.

Headline? Police Beat: The Problem With Internet Dating.

It's not clear whether she told him she was supposed to meet a blind date who fit his description or not, but ye gods man --- she apologized. Let it go.

qotd

Jun. 1st, 2009 09:23 am
jenk: Faye (DominantParadigm)
The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.
- Esther Dyson

Alcohol makes a good metaphor for this one. Another is moving or starting a new job, in that you can create a "new" or "newer" persona. ;)

*brr*

Dec. 29th, 2008 06:16 pm
jenk: Faye (Kim)
The office temp tends to nosedive around 5pm every day. The scarf I've had around my shoulders all day is now wrapped around my head and neck for a Scottish Muslim effect.

Meanwhile, the WSJ discovered "unfriending" and MSNBC found out that family can make you crazy. "It's ♫ a slow newsday after all ..." ♫
jenk: Faye (FayeAtComputer)
What is amazing me about the whole Dr Horrible thing is that I am seeing comments about it from all over. This is not just [livejournal.com profile] jw1776 and the RL friends who can spend an entire weekend speaking only in Buffy references, or mad science mavens [livejournal.com profile] tithonium and [livejournal.com profile] cadhla and [livejournal.com profile] filkertom, this is Raymond AND [livejournal.com profile] takihisis, who as far as I know have nothing else in common.

So far my favorite reviews (though also VERY spoilery) are:
http://vixyish.livejournal.com/693030.html
http://k-crow.livejournal.com/424011.html

They are very different, and yet, I do not care, because they both say very useful things. I also love this (only spoils the casting) summary of Dr Horrible.

I am beginning to wonder if Jeph Jacques is right. Oops, no, there's [livejournal.com profile] s00j, as she's made clear :)

upsetting

Jun. 18th, 2008 10:00 pm
jenk: Faye (Default)
TG Daily: Computer virus loaded state worker’s laptop with porn.

PC Mag put it more bluntly: Guy Gets Fired and Ruined for Having Virus On His Notebook.

How did this happen? Massachusetts employee Michael Fiola was issued a laptop by his department's IT group in November 2006,
but apparently it wasn’t properly configured for the agency’s server-based software and security maintenance. Plus, the Symantec Corporate Edition antivirus software on the laptop was never operating correctly while Fiola used the machine.

“For three-and-a-half months, IT never once communicated with that laptop, so it had nothing to monitor or maintain it,” says Tami Loehrs, the forensic expert who investigated Fiola’s laptop and concluded that there was no evidence he had engaged in the activity nor knew the files were on his machine. [...]

There were no signs of Fiola himself actually typing in a URL to one of the sites or directing his browser there. Instead, the malware on his machine as well as a possible remote attacker were doing the dirty work and storing cached images of child porn, according to Loehrs. Another indication of Fiola’s innocence, according to Loehrs, was that there were no files actually stored on his computer, which true child porn criminals typically do. “All of the files were cached in his temporary Internet files” in his browser, she says. “We would log into his work Website... and things would appear on his temporary Internet cache.” - Dark Reading
The problem was discovered when IT noticed that Fiola's laptop was using four times as much bandwidth as his coworkers. Did they check for malware? Did they find the viruses? No. But they found porn (including child porn) in the browser cache.

Did management investigate how the porn got on the machine? No. They fired Fiola in March 2007 and called the cops. The police's initial examination of the laptop confirmed the porn and charges were filed in August 2007. Fiola's wife and immediate family did stand by him. The Fiolas hired Loehrs to do a month-long independent forensic examination, and two forensic examinations conducted by the state Attorney General’s Office for the prosecution concurred with her that malware was at fault, not Michael Fiola. Charges were dropped recently.

In the meantime, the Fiolas have been ostracized, and are planning to sue his former employer - a state agency. Not that I blame them; he was fired for IT's incompetence and effectively framed for child porn, even if it was (I assume) unintentionally.

And I wonder: The IT folks who didn't notice the viruses and Trojans, or that the antivirus software wasn't running properly or that the laptop wasn't getting updated: How are they feeling? Did it ever occur to them that the porn might be related to their (in)actions? What happens when user support fails the user? And how did our society get so freaked that being a malware victim can result in criminal charges?
jenk: Faye (daria esteem)
Faulty character set for text messaging results in misunderstanding which results in assault and death.

Because of course if an insult is on a computer / cellphone screen, it must have been deliberately sent and cannot have been a bug or typo. And of course an insult cannot be mended with an apology.

There are days when I really do not understand humans.
jenk: Faye (daria esteem)
Oklahoma sex offender registry exposes and executes SQL statements in the URL, enabling downloads of social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, et cetera. Who knows, maybe their site executed INSERT statements too.

Nobody accessing sensitive government databases should assume that users don't know SQL. And yet.

TV news

Jan. 2nd, 2008 09:40 pm
jenk: Faye (Default)
I thought that I didn't watch network news because the signal-to-noise level was way too low. But this article in Technology Review by former Dateline correspondent John Hockenberry has numerous good points too. On To Catch a Predator:
Dateline's notion of New Media was the technological equivalent of etching "For a good time call Sally" on a men's room stall and waiting with cameras to see if anybody copied down the number.
On watching trends:
I knew it was pretty much over for television news when I discovered in 2003 that the heads of NBC's news division and entertainment division, the president of the network, and the chairman all owned TiVos, which enabled them to zap past the commercials that paid their salaries.
On "edgy" programming:
Entertainment programs often took on issues that would never fly on Dateline. On a Thursday night, ER could do a story line on the medically uninsured, but a night later, such a "downer story" was a much harder sell. In the time I was at NBC, you were more likely to hear federal agriculture policy discussed on The West Wing, or even on Jon Stewart, than you were to see it reported in any depth on Dateline.
Oh, and there's the bit about how GE owns NBC and does lots of business with the Bin Ladens. Could GE help Dateline get an interview with the Bin Laden family? Oh. Dear me. No.

SAFE Act

Dec. 6th, 2007 12:12 pm
jenk: Faye (SydneyStress)
From C|Net:
This is what the SAFE Act requires: Anyone providing an "electronic communication service" or "remote computing service" to the public who learns about the transmission or storage of information about certain illegal activities or an illegal image must (a) register their name, mailing address, phone number, and fax number with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's "CyberTipline" and (b) "make a report" to the CyberTipline that (c) must include any information about the person or Internet address behind the suspect activity and (d) the illegal images themselves. (By the way, "electronic communications service" and "remote computing service" providers already have some reporting requirements under existing law too.)
Do they honestly expect hotels and restaurants that provide wifi will hire someone just to snoop on every image crossing the wires? Or could this make it LESS likely that public wifi providers will want to see what's on your monitor?

In response to C|Net's article, ZDNet quotes the bill):
Protection of Privacy- Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an electronic communication service provider or a remote computing service provider to–
  1. monitor any user, subscriber, or customer of that provider;
  2. monitor the content of any communication of any person described in paragraph (1); or
  3. affirmatively seek facts or circumstances described in subsection (a)(2).
Which seems to suggest that "don't look" is the simplest strategy.

Which, um ... why bother writing, passing, etc this bill, then? It does increase the retention requirements on ISPs*. So why have all these other requirements? Is this really going to do any good?

*Requiring ISPs to store TBs of material that could potentially be construed as illegal: helping nerds have access to porn, increasing the barriers of entry to the biz, and violating the privacy of millions. Wow.



Thus far all google results are references to the C|Net article. Will see what else turns up.
jenk: Faye (daria esteem)
A new begging website claims that a couple will abort if they can't raise $50,000 for a down payment on a house and other costs.

[Poll #1011958]

Via Slog.

EDIT: Thanks [livejournal.com profile] miz_hatbox for noting it IS a hoax, per Snopes.
jenk: Faye (GeekGirl)
In 2002, Tom R Tyler published an article title Is the Internet Changing Social Life? It Seems the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same in the Journal of Social Issues* From the abstract:
A review of the studies reported in this issue suggests that the Internet may have had less impact on many aspects of social life than is frequently supposed. In many cases, the Internet seems to have created a new way of doing old things, rather than being a technology that changes the manner in which people live their lives. As a consequence, the policy implications of increasing Internet use may be less than is often believed.
Here's an example:
A cute 30-something single from Lincoln, Neb., Minnie began corresponding with George Hoagland, a handsome young doctor from New Jersey [...] The two exchanged notes and photos and seemed to totally click [Turned out George was a white-haired septuagenarian who'd sent her a 40-year-old photo.]
A New Danger of the Internet Age? Not quite.
[T]his little drama took place in 1904, when singles sought each other out through matrimonial ads in newspapers like The Correspondent, The Matrimonial Register, The Wedding Bell, and The Matrimonial Post and Fashionable Marriage Advertiser.
- Seattle P-I.
Scam artists existed before - they just work online now instead of through print. If you're going to rail against the net, why not print?
It is fine to say that parents are responsible for what their children read. But no parent can realistically patrol a child's access to paper. [G]overnment regulation of paper is clearly needed. We look to Congress for a Paper Decency Act, to close the giant loophole left open when [the] Communications Decency Act was limited to electronic media.
- from Slate
All that said, some things have actually changed. For example, single and married women have far more legal rights now than in 1904, at least in 1st world countries - including the rights to own property, start a business, enter into contracts, and otherwise live a full life of their own.
jenk: Faye (Default)
At least, that's what James Pacenza, who was fired by IBM for visiting an "adult chat room" while at work, is claiming. The Vietnam veteran says he is a sex addict and internet addict who visited chat rooms to get support for dealing with war-related PTSD.

I'm wondering ....
[Poll #930799]

hee

Feb. 13th, 2007 11:09 am
jenk: Faye (GeekGirl)
From The Daily WTF message board:
Comment: Sometimes I feel like the only person over 30 on the internet.
Reply: I usually feel like the only person who is AND ACTS over 30.

There are plenty of old farts on the internet. They're just all trying to hook up with teenagers on MySpace.
jenk: Faye (leia)
Something tells me the jurors who convicted a technologically incompetent substitute teacher of showing porn to 7th graders haven't had to deal with adware. Julie Amaro now faces up to 40 years in prison; sentencing will be on March 2.

It's also rather stupid that the defense counsel didn't provide full disclosure of its forensics evidence, preventing it from being presented during the trial. Not to mention that the school's firewall software had expired. As had the antivirus program. And the computer had no anti-adware tools. Win98 and IE 5 don't need any of that - just ask Microsoft. (Pop-ups? What are those?)

So, of course, the only way for the adult-themed images and Web pages to come up would be for her to intentionally visit the sites by clicking on a link or typing the address into the browser address bar. 'Cause the prosecution's expert, a local police officer, said so.

Right.

Something tells me Julie Amaro isn't the only technical incompetent in the group. She's the just the only one who admits it.

-o-

And if you're wondering why I linked to Microsoft's info on security and spyware — the school is using Microsoft software. One would think the "experts" running the school computers and/or police forensics would be aware of the vendor's information on the subject.

Good God

Jan. 23rd, 2007 04:00 pm
jenk: Faye (KirkMorons)
Stupidity the First: Married 47-year-old man is accused of murdering a 22-year-old coworker and friend.

Stupidity the Second: Out of jealousy....

Stupidity the Third: ...over the person claiming to be a 18-year-old woman who was chatting with both of them online and sending pictures and such.

(No, the person wasn't a 18-year-old woman. It was a 40-something woman using her daughter's picture. But then the 47-year-old man initially claimed to be a single 18-year-old Marine about to go to Iraq.)

Stupidity the Fourth: Internet crime expert J.A. Hitchcock, author of "Net Crimes & Misdemeanors," says: "I'm hoping that this case will make people think twice about what they do online and what their actions can cause in the long run."

(Right. Because murder and lying and sexual jealousy only happens when people misrepresent themselves online. It's all the intarweb's fault.

And yes, it's an amusing hook that the 18-year-old woman was really not. But it also illustrates that it's really not her that mattered. The chances that she would actually agree to meet either man were miniscule. This was about the 47-year-old. His perception of her, his perception of the murder victim, and most of all, his perception of himself.

Facts? Who cares about facts?)


Oh, and lest you think they're all dumb:

Smart Move #1: The accused murderer's wife intercepted one of the packages sent by the supposed 18-year-old woman and wrote back to the return address, including a family portrait.

Smart Move #2: ...and she's filed for divorce.

Source: AP story.
jenk: Faye (Daria esteem)
Anyone who has traveled from coast to coast in the United States and seen the vast empty spaces should know that America is not overpopulated. In fact, the entire population of the world could live in the state of Texas, in single-family dwellings with front and back yards. Fertility rates are falling everywhere. The world’s population will never again double. If current trends continue, world population will peak by the middle of this century and then begin demographic freefall. Our long-term problem is not too many children, but too few children. Having another child will help offset the coming population implosion.

- from QuiverFull, emphasis mine.

It's so good to know that the main problem with a large population is housing. Somehow I thought that food production (arable land) might be an issue, or safe drinking water, or waste disposal (can include pollution in this category...) or space for working (cottage industries can't do everything) or living....

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jenk: Faye (Default)
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