31.10.04

Password Scrambler

Remember that javascript password hasher I was talking about? Well now there is a full firefox extension. They want you to click on an asp an auto-install from their server, however, which is irritating. I want to download it and examine it at my leisure before installing it. Call me paranoid, but I think it is worth a little extra time to understand the tool that will be holding all of my passwords in its greedy little fingers.

Update - I downloaded it from extensionmirror it seems that there is a nice binary .dll in there. I don't understand why and I don't trust it, so I'm going to try to make the javascript thing work to my satisfaction. In the immortal words of Monty Python "Strange women lying in web-sites distributing binary scramblers is no basis for a system of trusted security."

Gmail security hole

I am, um, hoping they fix this quite quickly. It is probably an injection attack based on an otherwise valid login, but no details yet.

100 Facts and 1 Opinion

Well, I suspect that is more like 95 facts, 1 opinion, and 5 interpretations but it is also definitely 1 good read.

Nintendo v. Suicide Girls

Alrighty, because apparently some people don't read Boingboing and surf suicidegirls.com (wierd eh?) I thought I would link to a nice summary article that includes a link to the destroy-keyboard-with-coffee funny Penny Arcade take on the issue.

The Globe and Mail

The willingness of the U.S. governement to apply its laws extraterritorially hasn't been much of a secret for the last, oh, 2 centuries, so I am a little surprised that others are surprised that private information about Canadians held by American companies is subject to the draconian 2001 Patriot Act. Perhaps this will be a wake-up call to all levels of Canadian government to not out-source their IT needs to foreign companies or their Canadian subsidiaries? Canada is supposed to be a highly technologically developed country. We should roll our own as much as possible.

28.10.04

Controvery erupts

OK, so I take him to task in a somewhat pedantic fashion about "information wants to be free" -- which is ridiculous, information doesn't _want_ anything, it isn't sentient. I propose an interesting alternative about memes and evolution and he doesn't like that either.

Perhaps "ridiculous" is too strong a word. But I don't think that "information wants to be free" is at its heart a commentary on the difficulty of treating information or ideas as property. I think it very much flows from an economic point of view. Now while I tentatively agree with it, I don't think can be accepted as an a priori assumption for further debate.

We have reached a small dilemma. The original topic of cybot's post was about the usefulness of information flow monitoring. We segued into the whole information-meme thing (completely bypassing the Big Brother aspect of the monitoring) and left me with a somewhat breathless annoyance at the clumsiness of comments.

So now I have four posts to write -- none of which are simple "well lookey here boys and girls" bits. Curse you, nude cybot.

1) information flow
2) free as in beer?
3) sigils and the 3M corporation
4) big brother is watching you.

Sigh. It will have to wait for another day.

27.10.04

xml2

These days, you can find a lot of xml data floating around. A lot of programs have an export-to-xml feature. In the unix world there are a lot of tools that can do very useful things to documents but on a line by line basis and xml documents which have line breaks and padding and indentation and what not can be a pain in the but to parse. So Dan Egnor presents xml2, a nifty little utility that (with it's brother html2) converts structured documents into a line by line equivalent that you can feed into your favourite grep|sed|awk pipeline.

Project Computing - Google Desktop Proxy

Just in case you, y'know, wanted to expose your Google Desktop to all and sundry. Actually, you can have fairly fine grained control over the incoming IP addresses so it's a pretty decent tool to use within a network, say on a file server.

Update: Nudecybot is, as usual, right. He found it. When composing the post on the bus on the way home I had included credit where credit is due. Damn you, public transit, for taking so long.

Little lady of Flores forces rethink of human evolution

news @ nature.com has an article of the recent discovery in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores of several 13 000 - 19 000 year old hominid skeletons of a new species in the genus Homo. Adults were about 1m tall and had a brain one-third the size of h.sapiens. Also found were many relatively advanced tools that appear to have been in constant but unchanging use for as many as 80 000 years. Skeletal features have lead the discovery team to link the new species closer to us than any of the other hominds that have been around.

Security Pipeline | The Biggest Threat From Digital Rights Management

Or, Why You Didn't Buy What You Thought You Did.

Freedom to Tinker: LAMP and Regulatory Arbitrage

Or, Why Johnny Needs CD-Jukeboxes and a Cable TV Setup Instead Of A Server.

Lexmark ruling: Chock Full O' Nuggets

I'll just get this out of the way. Lexmark thought that they could use the DMCA to stop 3rd party cartridge manufacturers and refillers from selling ink at a price less than 100 year old cognac. Turns out they were wrong.

26.10.04

Hi Fi Writer - Home Entertainment Blog

Hi Fi Writer - Home Entertainment Blog: "Here I report, discuss, whinge about or argue on matters related to high fidelity, home entertainment equipment and the discs and signals that feed them"

And then, the bad news: "Since this Blog is hand-coded (I like TextPad), there are no comments facilities." That's all well and good Mr Dawson. But hand-coded also means no RSS. We hates him.

GearBits is _My_ New Best Friend

Update: I am sad.

GearBits: Gary Shapiro is My New Best Friend - he talks about Gary Shapiro, Presdient and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association who has interesting things to say about copyright and the broadcast flag:

"In closing, let me again reinforce that non-commercial recording of freely broadcast over the air radio programming is a fundamental consumer right, and one that has consistently been given great deference by Congress. Any discussion of curtailing that right, prior to even the most minimal showing of harm, is ill conceived and premature."

The HTML tag of the week is obviously <blockquote>.
I read about this back then, but didn't post cuz I am silly. I found Gearbits while seeking for an audiophile/videophile blog with an RSS feed.

In reference to the last paragraph of Craig's post, I do feel that he is being a little kind to the RIAA, but maybe he's just a softie.

The Great Pigeon Debacle of 2004

Because there just aren't enough things that can go wrong with expensive computer equipment.

Court decision foreshadows policy debate

Michael Geist's October 11th post in the Toronto Star addresses a Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that makes me happy. In it the judges reference recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings that emphasize balance in copyright cases. Real balance.

"the Act's objective is to maintain a balance between the public interest in access to information and the right of the author to prevent others from appropriating the benefits generated from his or her work. Excessive control by authors that limits creative innovation is not in the long-term best interests of society as a whole."


I was going to look for a stupid ruling about privacy or freespeech to balance out the good news, but I changes my mind. Only good news in this post.

25.10.04

CBC News: B.C. voters to choose electoral system next May

Cool. I must make sure that my parents take advantage of the opportunity to vote in favour in a referendum to institute a Single Transferable Vote system for the B.C. provincial gov't. Lucky them. More info here.

can't cast a ballot on Nov. 2?

Vote with your wallet instead. A list of the brands associated with the top 25 corporate Republican party donors.

Explosives? What explosives? Ooooh. Those explosives.

It seems that the International Atomic Energy Agency (you know, the ones who were inspecting Iraq for nuclear weapons and didn't find any) had sealed off 350 tons of HMX and RDX explosives because it is "dual-use" (you need some excellent explosive to ram the parts of a nuke together to make it go boom). The location of the stuff was disseminated to those who needed to know (including the yanks several times). Now during the invasion, when everyone and their brother was either


  • looting, or

  • landing on aircraft carriers acting all macho,


it all went missing. Yup. 350 tons of the stuff. At 2.5 pounds per car bomb, I'd say the insurgents/terrorists/ba'athists haven't even made a dent in a small corner of their stockpile.

Great planning George! Oh, and Don? The bit about new wars not needing lots of soldiers? Turns out not to be the case.

Oh yeah, and they told the interim Iraqi gov't not to tell anyone. They've known it was gone since at least May/2003.

24.10.04

Oo oo. Someone else is ranting about copyright. Yay.

In his latest piece at The Inquirer, Prepare to get screwed by digital rights management, Charlie Demerjian asks the question:

Why would a consumer want to buy something that has more restrictions and less functionality for more money than current solutions?

Strangely, none of the industry (media or electronics) types that he talked to could give him an answer. Shock. Horror.

NY Times - Making Votes Count editorials

This page contains links to editorial and opinion articles concerning voting. The latest entry (October 24) includes such interesting snippets as

Congress should impose much more rigorous safeguards, including a requirement that all computer code be made public

They imply that these articles won't be taken behind a subscriber-only wall, which is very public spirited of them doncha think?

GrokLaw vs O'Gara - Court of Public Appeals

In case you wanted to hear about more unbiased O'Gara reporting. Look no further.

CBC News: French court tough on turbans in school

I'm not sure how I feel about this law. As a fanatical agnostic I don't have too much sympathy for religious dress codes. Cultural ones though, that's a different story :)

Any way, it's easy to say "wait, they target Christians too, noone can were an ostentatious cross!" Well, sure, but you can wear a small one under yourr clothing, but main stream christianity doesn't have too many dress-codes, unlike orthodox Judaism, Sikhism, or Islam. So no, it doesn't affect all people equally.

Fact is, I can't respect any major deity who goes around worrying about how people dress or what they eat but that is my choice, not theirs. Eh. Messy.

Oink, oink | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist Magazine

Grist Magazine talks about the new corporate trough stuffing bill that shrub signed late on Friday (69-17 -- which dems voted for I wonder?). They also have a wee summary of environmental concerns linked to it.

They use pretty creative numbers to spin it as revenue neutral too. 2 years worth of firm hand-outs and cuts are matched against 10 years of expected revenue from closing loopholes. Hands up those who really think that the loopholes will
a) stay closed
b) stop corps that pay 0 taxes from using other holes to still pay 0.

Slashdot | IBM Tells SCO Court It Can't Find AIX-on-Power Code

I was a little worried about this slashdot article because there may be some issues. IBM has rights to SVR 3.2 and the AIX Power code was based on SVR V4 -- we'll see how that plays out. In any case, I am no longer concerned because it turns out that the article on Linuxworld that the Slashdot entry links to was written by Maureen O'Gara. A woman who is so far up SCO's rectal cavity that she cleans their nostrils. Follow the Groklaw link, it is quite interesting. I wonder if someone is going to be disbarred.

Senior Senator for lower fines for copyright infringement

Norm Coleman(R-Minnesota) wants (as of the beginning of October) to introduce "legislation this year to reduce legal penalties for people who download copyrighted music off the Internet." The interesting thing about this guy is that, in addition to chairing the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, is also angling to be the next chairrichwhiteguy of the Republican party senatorial committee.

The first link is a bit skimpy but its an AP report and they only make their articles available to newspapers. The most complete version is at *shudder* fox news. I can't be a good commie pinko pakeha canuck and link to them now can I?

23.10.04

Welcome to Vote2004.eRiposte.Com!

A really great resource that compiles all sorts of information about vote/election fraud, vote suppression, voting irregularities, voter intimidation in the U.S November 2004 elections (note to non-americans - the vote is about a lot more than just homecoming queen, there are representative and senate, local and state and ballot initiatives as well.)

Is copyright necessary?

First Monday is a "peer-reviewed" journal. Obviously the term peer-reviewed brings all sorts of interesting questions to mind: how many peers, how representative are they, what does review really mean. To get on with our story, they present a paper by Terence Maxwell: Is copyright necessary?

White House's truth-bending revisionism on Tora Bora

The important thing to take away from Josh Marshall's article at Talking Points Memo is somewhat tangential:

"And the major news outlets covering the campaign -- as nearly as I've seen so far -- are just treating the disagreement as a he said/(s)he said in which both sides' arguments have equal merit."

Crash Ballet

For your viewing pleasure. NASA crash footage set to music.

CSTB Project: A Framework for Understanding Electronic Voting

F.Y.I

CBC News: 76 species to be added to Canada's 'at risk' list

The article has some interesting things to think about. Apparently there are 2 (among many) species of sockeye salmon - Cultus Lake and Skinaw Lake that are at risk. They were not added to the list because they are virtually indistinguishable from other sockeye salmon and travel up the Fraser river with > $100 million worth of non-endangered fish.

So what to do. Do you shut down the entire fishery (which is what they would have to do if those 2 species were added to the list)? $100 million is nothing to sneeze at. It seems they are going to leave them off the list but continue to try to take other routes to improve the numbers.

No details in the article of the 76 species that were protected. Proposed species are being published in the Canada Gazette today prior to public comment and a cabinet decision in January.

22.10.04

Bush supporters are foolin' themselves ...

OK, everybody else is talking about this as if it wasn't obvious just watching them mouth breathe so, for your edification:

From WashingtonMonthly:


From discourse.net:

Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.

Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.


Wired News: On the Trail of the Analemma

Interesting pics of the sun taken at the same time of day several times a year on the same film

More switch ads

Not Mac this time, instead people who voted Bush in 2000, voting Kerry in 2004.

Howls of laughter continue

The New York Times > Business > Record Labels Said to Be Next on Spitzer List for Scrutiny

Secretary General Clinton?

A Clinton candidacy is likely to receive overwhelming support from U.N. member states, particularly the Third World.

21.10.04

Just in case you were, you know, wondering "What, exactly, is a URI?"

Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax This is, of course, of no interest to me. It's not like I haven't had to write (85 g'b'jillion) URI regexs and parsers in $1+1 different languages.

Luv me, luv my mad l33t perl references. :p

The problem is, you see ...

I am at 33 RSS feeds and counting. And all of the links they lead to. And all the political blogs. It takes me so long to read them all that I can only find time to link to interesting things. I can reinforce my own opinions or (rarely) change my mind, but I don't really get a chance to create a critical exposé and go into what I think in detail. Not that it is really interesting to you, dear reader, but it would provide more context and flavour. If I had something important to say that I wanted you to believe, I think that would help. Luckily enough most of what I think is explained more clearly by others who have a more focused output on the matter in question. Anyway, on with the linking.

Public Knowledge - Welcome

I think that it is a good thing™ that these guys are actually sitting at the table during negotiations over the Induce Act.

Slashdot | Secure, Portable, Virtual Privacy Machine

See, I want one of these but ... I want it the size of a pack of smokes. I want it to have all of the features of an iPod & a palm pilot. I want it to have several gigs of flash ram for the OS and apps and to (if I chose) save the text portion of my email. I want it to have the functionality of ZOË. I want a removable hard drive to store my media (and mail attachments). I want it to have HDTV out. I want it to have digital out for multichannel listening, with the codecs in firmware but DSP accelerated. It should have bluetooth/wireless/IR or somesuch and be able to live securely on a network as a passive media device or connected to a PC via USB/FireWire/SAS/xxx . It should cost less than $300 US. The headphone jack/amplifier should have externalization capability. The browser should be able to save all of my browsed pages and any other extension I choose to install.

aaaaaaaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaaah

Music sales rise despite RIAA's best efforts

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2004

Some seriously cool pics.

Operation Snowbird

If only I had been able to expose my massive american audience to this a little earlier. Ah well, here's hoping it isn't necessary in 2008. Or wasn't in 2004.

Speaking of ships & sagas and dogs

I guess this is a more appropriate link.

Indymedia -> the continuing saga of a [ship|justice system|governemnt] that's gone to the dogs

From the Blog of Richard Allan, the MP who asked a question about it in parliament. Comments include a link to coverage in The Register. I love the fact that this stuff flies under the popular media radar.

Various Artists: Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground: Pitchfork Review

This compilation sounds pretty sweet to me. As long time readers, first time callers will know, I am not so extremely concerned about my mixes blending seemlessly.

Politech: Harper Markle Cato Water redux

Jim Harper replies to Stu Baker on "surveillance-industrial complex"

matthewgood.org | mblog: We're Better Than This

He is a good singer and composer too.

Copyright Takedown Experiment Reveals Horrible ISP Policies

Oh yeah, the article in the IP Abuse section that I was reading when I noticed the category.

20.10.04

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents: The Ad Graveyard

The first of a series of 5 dog food ads banned for obsenity in New Zealand. Warning: crude language and sexual inuendo :)

19.10.04

Corante > Copyfight > IP Abuse

I never notcied that Cppyfight had categories. Cool. Whenever I need excercise, I can just scroll through their IP Abuse section and get the ol' ticker worked up :)

Froggies

Just in case you thought this Nature article on the huge amphibian die-off was news, well, it isn't

Plus que ca change ...



17.10.04

Court rules against metal detectors at protest

"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War of Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over."
"September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." - Judge Gerald Tjoflat

I don't want to link to CNN, so I'll link to someone who does the dirty work for me. :) All the feelthy yankee newspapers require a trip to BugMeNot these days. The article is an AP release, but they can be pretty heavily edited.

I'll get a link to the ruling once it is up on FindLaw

Obfuscated V Contest

No, you read that right. A contest to write software that looks like it counts votes properly, but doesn't.

Funny guy

Check him out, no, seriously, check him out.

14.10.04

You might think

that my blog is located at http://pacanukeha.blogpsot.com but you would be wrong. Abundant indeed.

IndyMedia Gets Its Servers Back

And you thought I would go a day without giving you a political link to chew on.

Giant virus qualifies as 'living organism'

From news @ nature.com

Bill Gibson

The url to my latest RSS feed:
http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/blog/blogger_rss.xml

Ah William, William, William (we're close y'know). ASP? For shame.

Oh. Here is another one

I need someone to create a Thunderbird => Blogroller extension.

13.10.04

Oh yeah

Note that the Creative Commons link to your right now points to a Canadian version. The image is not CC-CA yet. Soon young ones, soon.

Massive victory at WIPO!

It seems that WIPO is actually coming to its senses. Wierd.

More on that.

A Tiny Revolution

I don't like MT any more, but this guy is using it to spread my kind of righteous indignation.

Censorship in action: why I don't publish my HDCP results

It seems that Neil Fergus has broken HDCP but isn't publishing his results for fear of DMCA prosecution. Yay! I am very happy about this. Why? Becaus if he did publish they might rework it, instead now it will be much easier for DeHDCP to be useful once everyone buys into the tech and starts manufacturing devices and content Good on yer Neil!

Dave Farber & al give a big shout out to their congressional peeps about civil liberties.

Word ?

Of course, the first thing that springs to mind is "Markle Foundation?" Riiight. I wonder if their markles are wise and full of markle.

EPO revokes patent on wheat

And do you want to know why? Because they didn't invent it, it was a strain that Indian farmers had developed.

I can see it now: Next up, Bill Cosby's "People Patent The Craziest Things!"

11.10.04

Morbid Tendencies: Bunny Of The Month Club

This is just so exceptionally cool. I ran across it a while ago, and found it again. My man Neil has a subscription. Sigh. I want a $35 _and_ a $5 subscription. And also 4 7/3/4/8 Block, Leap ST blitzers, but that goes without saying.

EFF & the usual crowd write a letter to congress on 9-11 commission recommendations

Download the pdf

BBC NEWS | Health | Gene switch can 'turn off cancer'

The really interesting part is that the cancerous cells return to acting like normal cells. Now obviously the tumour is still there, and as soon as you stop taking the drug it becomes cancerous again, but it is a pretty cool discovery. Although you would have thought that something that turns of Myc and stops the cancer cells from growing would stop the regular ones too. I guess they were lucky and doxycycline only disrupts the mutated gene. They don't talk about how it works. More information at New Scientist

US seizes independent media sites

The BBC is carrying the story now. The amazing part about this whole thing is that it has taken so long for a major news agency to pick up this story (apologies to the SMH which picked it up on the 7th). And now, of course, since it was servers that were seized they are reporting it under the Technology section. No major dumberican services are following the story. Declan's Politech was the first place I heard about it, and it is registering on politics.technorati.com too.

10.10.04

Global Rich List

An interesting perspective. If only I was paid in Euros, I would jump 5 percent.

5.10.04

Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire

Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire < - what she say.

Although spending $0.25 for a phone call to a volunteer continuity editor would have allowed someone to realize that the guitar playing and the music aren't related :)

4.10.04

Patently Obvious: Patent Law Blog

Patently Obvious: Patent Law Blog <- What he say.

Protecting ourselves to death

Your copyright link o' the day

EFF - BnetD ruled infringing

frowny face

CreativeCommons.ca

It's alive

Point. Shoot. Kiss It Good-Bye.

Cool artical at wired on what happens when you have several thousand digital pics on your hard drive and they are all call something like DSC00234.jpg