Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tequila. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

If anyone had tried to tell me this I would have just looked at them strangely and allowed the word "bullshit" to flow out of my mouth. However, this is found on the internet so it MUST be true!

It seems some scientists in Mexico have found a way of using Tequila for more than just getting people drunk, getting ugly people laid, and making people worship the porcelin god. They claim that they've found a way to turn it in to "diamonds" which can be used for detecting radiation, coating mining equipment, and even as a replacement for silicon in computer equipment.

Can someone explain to me how a drinking alcohol, a radiation detector, a solid coating for mining tools and a silicon replacement can be even remotely related?

They say that due to restrictions on tequila/cactus harvesting many Mexican farmers have changed to hashish farming. Methinks the scientists have been smoking a tad too much of their produce. Read the article and decide for yourself.


Via: OCAU.

Nananananananananananananana Batmaaaan!

The cheap-arsed money grabbing mayor of Batman in Turkey is ruining the credebility of his town and making the entire world and their dog laugh at them by sueing Nolan and the WB for royalties from the success of the Batman movies.

Nobody seems to have told him that for this to be successful he needs to have trademarked the name Batman, plus there needs to be some correlation between the brands. Maybe if the city was called Gotham or something? Maybe.

I'm too busy chuckling about this to be able to think of much more that can be said.

Source: El Reg.

It's a beautiful day.

In relation to this post below, it seems that although the amount of spam getting past the filters in my inbox has gone up, the overall spam volume has gone down by a massive 50%. That number is almost impossible to believe, but that's what they're reporting over at Security Fix as well as numerous other non-affiliated IT news websites.

Good news? This is friggin brilliant news. I wonder which bastards are next.

Source: Security Fix.

NebuAd sued.

Normally I'm against America's over litigatious ways, but this is one case where I can't help but feel glad it is happening. A class action suit has been filed against the company and numerous US ISP's in regards to trials of their new products at said ISP's.

In a nutshell, NebuAd are ex-Claria (who used to be known as Gator) staff, a company infamous for silently installed adware and spyware which was notoriously buggy and difficult to remove. At NebuAd these staff are using similar lack of scruples and working in secret with ISP's to spy on customers without any notification what so ever in order to sell this data to advertising companies for split profit.

They were found out though, and it was only after numerous people spoke up and the media latched on to any of this that anything was made public. Understandably people are upset and hopefully this will be one more nail in the coffin of these people and their ways. I somehow doubt it, though.

Source: Arse Technica.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Gullible? Idiotic? Moron? Then we have the deal for you.

The 4000 year old ancient chinese art of placing furniture where you're most likely to find it in the middle of the night with your shin, has now been modernised with this all new ultra fab ... Electronic Feng Shui Compass!

Yes, that's right for the low low price of the contents of your wallet and 1/3rd of your brain cells you too can be ripped off and demonstrate to your friends just how idiotic you are with this handy wallet sized Feng Shui Compass. Be the envy and embarressment of your friends, order one today!

Source: Gizmodo.

The hills are alive, to the sound of dead hard drives!

I saw this on /., and got very excited. I quickly opened up the site, then it hit me just how sad it was. However, I don't care. This site goes off like a sog in a frock. I can't think of a decent way to describe it, so I'll just quote some text from the site itself.

"These are some typical sounds we hear in our data recovery lab.
To listen to the sound simply click on the play button. Click on the drive manufacturer next to the sound button to learn more about common problems these drives experience."

Source: Hard Drive Sounds.
Via: /..

CC companies do something non-useless.

Most people dislike security because it adds complexity. One could almost say "with greater security comes greater complexity", but it is in no way true that "with greater complexity comes greater security". And in this lies the problem, many a time companies add to the complexity in the name of security, but they don't actually add any security at all.

Credit card companies are brilliant at this. That 3 digit number thing (CCV - remember this term) on the back of your card for example, if someone is skimming visually then when you turn the card over that is read too. Microchips, no more secure than the magnetic strip just read in a different way. It's like writing a sentence in English twice, but the second time using crayons rather than felt tip pen. It's still in English, it's still the same information. RFID? That's LESS secure as it can be skimmed simply be being in the vicinity of the card. It really does make me angry and glad my current card only has the magnetic strip. I hate the idea of any cards I carry around with having RFID to be honest.

The credit card companies or to be more accurate, Visa, has now actually done something intelligent that DOES add to security. Looky at the picture above. The basic idea is that you enter your PIN on to your own card (so the PIN cannot be skimmed except for visually), then then generates a one-time code to use in place of the CCV. This means the theif needs to visually note your PIN then actually steal your card (at which point you'll know to cancel it immediately), they can't just copy it with a skimmer.


If these come out in Australia and only on Visa, I'll definitely be switching (I have a MC at the moment). It's the first change CC companies have made in 5-10 years which hasn't angered me. My hat goes off to you, Visa.

Source: DarkReading.

Spam and scams and other S words.

My home email is weird. It seems every time there's a success against spammers or other malware pundits, the amount of email getting through my filters actually increases. This morning for example I had 3 times as much through the filters (which I only tightened two weeks ago), and now I read this.

It appears Brian Krebbs from Security Fix has, on the back of his assistance in the take down of EstDomains, struck a blow at another large hoster of malware and malicious websites. This is one I haven't actually heard of before, McColo Corp. After gathering data on this company over the last 4 months, just the other day they contacted a few ISP hosts to see if they would assist in doing something about it. Although only one of them has so far, it has resulted in the homepage for the company as well as other sites of theirs vanishing in to thin air. Unfortunately some of their clients are still online, so we are waiting for the other ISP's to react and to see what their reaction is.

Source: Security Fix.

In other related news (so part of this post rather than as its own separate post), it seems SPAM isn't quite as affective as researches used to think. Every mailing results in a significantly smaller return than previously thought. For example, one mailing of 350 million addresses resulted in only 24% making it to a mailbox. Of that 82 million, only 10,500 resulted in clicks, and only 28 resulted in a purchase. You can read more below.

Source: DarkReading.

Revisit: Rabbit Proof Firewall.

It's been a while since I've done an update, so I thought the best way to start would be by explaining a post a page or two back. The post in question is this one in regards to Australia's Rabbit Proof Firewall.

Well, at the time I was under the impression the filter would either be on or off. The on setting being one designed to protect the children, off being no filtering what so ever. My biggest gripe was that I had just come from an argument with the people on OCAU about it, me saying this is all it would ever be and those saying it would be more need to dump the paranoia and to look at things in a more realistic sense, there's no way the sky is falling and their claims/worries could be even remotely accurate.

I was wrong. They were right. I'm leaving my post for posterity as I'm not afraid to admit when I fail. In fact, they couldn't have been more right. This internet filter is looking worse and worse by the day as more information comes out. It's also coming out VERY slowly with Conroy not wanting to let anybody know what is really in the works.

For starters, the only reason we even have any information right now is due to a technician at a large ISP came forward in a forum and told the world what it is he was currently working on. If he hadn't have done that, every man and his dog would still be completely in the dark in regards to it. Conroy has also been lying left right and centre about what is and isn't happening. He lies about the tests, he lied when he said initially that it was only one filter (it's now two filters, a kiddie one and an adult one), he lied about what the filters were (the adult one was originally just illegal material, now he's added "other unwanted" to that).

It's beyond a joke, and Conroy deserves to have his political career unceremoniously stripped from him. He's abusing his position and those he's supposed to represent. What he's doing isn't democratic, it's unaustralian, and it's just plain wrong.

For more information follow the below links.

Somebody Think of The Children - Discussing censorship and moral panic in Australia.
No Clean Feed - Stop Internet Censorship in Australia.

Censored - Add this image to your avatars/website images in protest.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Poe's law as it applies to the internets.

"Poe's Law — Without a blatant indicator such as a smiley, it is impossible to tell the difference between religious Fundamentalism and a parody thereof."

I suggest an addition to this. "Without a blatant indicator, it is impossible to tell the difference between a comic strip and real life." What brings forward this suggestion? Well, the numerous real life actions inspired by the comic XKCD, and now changes to the (in?)famous CAPTCHA system at Yahoo and Hotmail which to me hints at the idea they are moving slowly towards this.

Source: Secure Computing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voting machine musings.

Is it just me, or every time there's a test (or live usage) of voting machines and the votes screw up, it's always in favour of Republicans?

Am I imagining things?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Blu-ray price hike.

According to an article at the SMH, the price of Blu-ray players has gone up 5% since the announcement that Blu-ray won the format wars.

To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised it isn't the discs themselves not only for royalties for other companies to make, but also for the movies they come out on (ie, hikes on two seperate fronts).

This hike in players isn't surprising. No more competition from another format, so manufacturers can afford to charge more for the product now as they're only competing against other manufacturers of the same format.

Source: SMH.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

DDoS's make up 2% of all traffic in the tubes.

One out of every 50 packets on the internet is malicious junk intended simply to clog the tubes, according to a high level traffic analysis by Arbor Networks.

Distributed Denial of Service attacks or DDoSes aim to bring a site down by bombarding it with fake requests for a web page or image. It's like having 1,000 people continually crank calling a company -- the real customers can't get through.

Arbor now says those attacks account for about two percent of internet traffic, with peaks of up to five percent.

Some DDoSes are spurred by online grudges, such as the ones that occasionally target the anti-phishing site CastleCops or the large one launched against Estonian targets by Russian nationalists last year. Others are launched by cyber-criminals as part of an extortion attempt against an online retailer.

Plagerised from: Threat Level.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You can't help but laugh.

Sony, infamous for their proprietry formats, DRM, rootkits, and coming down VERY hard on anyone who doesn't use their products exactly the way they demand (including plugging a PS3 in to a powerboard), have been caught out as being the hypocrits you'd expect them to be.

PointDev, a French software company that makes Windows administration tools, received a call from a Sony BMG IT employee for support. After Sony BMG supplied a pirated license code for Ideal Migration, one of PointDev's products, the software maker was able to mandate a seizure of Sony BMG's assets. The subsequent raid revealed that software was illegally installed on four of Sony BMG's servers. The Business Software Alliance, however, believes that up to 47 percent of the software installed on Sony BMG's computers could be pirated.

Comedy gold I tells ya.

Source: Ars Technica.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Comcast pretending to do the right thing.

In case you're not aware, comcast were caught out last year cancelling all bittorrent traffic. Their method for doing so was by illegally injecting their own data in to all torrent traffic on their network. The data they injected ended all torrent downloads as though no more data was available even though it was. It is not known how long they were doing this for before they got caught red handed.

Comcast, under federal inquiry over its throttling of BitTorrent traffic, said Thursday it will deploy a so-called "agnostic" approach to traffic management and treat all data equally by year's end.

So it takes an entire year to flick a switch and turn off an illegal data injector?
Comcast said it was working with BitTorrent Inc. of San Francisco, to develop a neutral, traffic management protocol, and said government intervention was unnecessary.

They have to work with the creators of bittorrent to figure out how to stop themselves from purposefully interfering with a protocols data?

This is all a load of shit, it makes you wonder what new dodgy deeds they are planning. I feel sorry for those in the US, generally you're limited in ISP options depending on where you live so some people have no choice but dial-up or comcast.

Source: Threat Level.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Bunrum day, everyone.


Bunram was a rationalist rabbit who brought himself into conflict with the strictly theist majority, the Order of Gallus. The Gallusians were chickens who subscribed to the belief that by simply pondering the question of which came first -- the chicken or the egg -- one could attain perfect grace. Resolution to the question was considered impossible for any creature to attain, and the very asking of it was an affront to the Feeder.

This perfect mystery was reaffirmed, the Gallusians believed, by the existence of the Ovum, an unhatched egg that was said to contain an eternally self-replenishing supply of shelled corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa (this is now only subscribed to by the orthodox sects, whereas the 'modern' or 'reform' denomination supports the later high-fructose corn syrup creeds of the Council of Cadbury).

Bunram, by contrast, believed this approach led only to infinite regression and raised far more questions than it answered. He felt the creation question was a scientific one, and that it could be answered definitively by rationality, reason, and, of course, scientific experimentation on unfertilized eggs.

In response to this 'haresy', the Gallusians waged a campaign of persecution against the minority population of rabbits (now ethnically reclassified as Bunrammites, or simply 'bunnies'). Being faster than a tortoise was considered incontrovertible proof of haresy, and punishable by being pecked to death. Rabbits were often accused of tempting innocents to follow them down into holes, where all manner of unnatural phenomena was said to occur, and suspicion of this activity could also result in death. It soon became apparent that if a rabbit could get by with a simple pecking off of the foot ('keychaining'), they could consider themselves among the lucky.

This dark epoch achieved its zenith with the massacre of twelve newborn chicks ('The Extirpation of the Peeps'), which was blamed on Bunram. He was mercilessly pecked, covered in a rich layer of chocolaty excrement, placed in a basket (some accounts say the basket was pink, others yellow, and still others make no mention of the basket at all), wrapped in cellophane and left in a field to suffocate.

According to the legend, Bunram broke free of the trap (The 'Decampment'), stole the Ovum, and disappeared to the East. The chickens' attempts to find Bunram and their sacred egg have remained fruitless for more than two millennia. It seemed that no matter how far East they travelled in search of him, they could never be 'more East' than Bunram.

Now, we celebrate Bunram's heroic defense of logic and scientific inquiry by boiling the unfertilized eggs of the Gallusians' descendants and playfully hiding them, consuming the likeness of Bunram in excremental chocolate (the Lapin Transubstantiation) and watching 'Bugs Bunny vs Foghorn Leghorn', which ABC-TV plays every year on this day.

Happy Easter, Bunramists!

Source: RRS.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Profit.

The Profit is a feature film written and directed by Peter N. Alexander. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 2001. Distribution of the film was prohibited by an American court order which was a result of a lawsuit brought by the Church of Scientology, although the filmmaker says that the film is not about Scientology. The Disinformation Book Of Lists and The Times have characterized The Profit as a banned film in the United States.

The film was described by its producers as a work of fiction, meant to educate the public about cults and con men. It was widely seen, however, as a parody of the Church of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. The main character L. Conrad Powers leads an organization called the "Church of Scientific Spiritualism", and many elements about both the Church portrayed in the film, and Powers' life have been compared to Scientology and Hubbard. The film was mainly produced and shot in Tampa Bay, Florida, and the cast included actors from the area and cameos from a few Scientology critics.

More Information: Here.
Torrent: Here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bastard Exclusive: Vatican ahead of japan in android technology.

The vatican has shown today that it is the world leader and years ahead of Japan when it comes to cybernetic and android technology, many think thanks to secrets held in their vast library.

Shown here is their cream of the crop, the best kept secret the vatican have had for the last 40 years - their Joseph Ratzinger android. The Joseph Ratzinger Mk.XVI (development name), also known as Pope Benedict XVI or Emperor Palpatine (production names) is a return to the tried and tested older wind-up technology. Shown (left) is a bishop demonstrating the cap-winder.

They made this move due to the slow failure and meltdown of their previous battery operated attempt, Pope John Paul II. Others say they should have just used Energizer instead of Duracell.

Blu-ray made usable.

The next-gen DVD war was won unfortunately by sony, a company renowned for proprietary formats, not playing well with other products/companies, and rootkits.

Fortunately, the good people at SlySoft have worked their magic and made the Blu-ray format usable.

Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group will have to revise his statement from July, 2007 regarding BD+: "BD+, unlike AACS which suffered a partial hack last year, won't likely be breached for 10 years". It is worth mentioning that since he made that statement only eight months have gone by.

Source: BoingBoing.

Australian Racketeering Industry Assosication strikes again.

The ARIA/RIAA are getting one step closer to their greatest wish - a world without music. The latest method is by increasing the amount pubs and clubs have to pay for music. But it's ok, it's not much. They only want it to go from 7c per song per person ($1.05/hour/person) to $1.05 per song per person ($15.75/hour/person) over 4 years, a mere 1400% increase. They initially sought $2.32 per song per person ($34.80/hour/person).

Honestly, if anybody here still listens to any bands who are represented by an ARIA/RIAA affiliated company, you're a fucking moron. That's all there is to it.

Source: SMH.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Great Sharknet of Australia.

I've just been having a debate with the folks over at OCAU. The topic was the Internet Censorship Bill being introduced to Australia shortly. The reason I was debating it? Because I could comprehend the number of people who seriously need to take off the tin foil hats, step outside and open their eyes to the real world. So many conspiracy theorists on there it wasn't funny. People seeing what we are getting as being akin to the Great Firewall of China, or with 1984-esque ideas of what internet access in Australia will suddenly become.

If anything, we'll have slightly slower internet speeds when going from one page to the next, and that's about it. Hardware-wise it's already easy enough for ISP's to filter things out. This can be seen by the big net neutrality debates happening in America. If their ISP's want it, surely they have the technology to cope with the overall affect it will have to the speed of browsing.

As for the 1984-esque ideas, it won't be a complete government state. You won't have someone peaking over your shoulder at everything you do as some have claimed. If anything it will be more like a sharknet. Stops the big and obvious nasties such as paedophilia sites, general and publicised porn or shock sites, but that's about it. It won't stop all the raw sewerage from the offshore pipelines, nor the jellyfish, and other crap in the ocean. That'll still flow through easily.

Then there's those going on about all the legitimate sites they want to access. Of course a shark net is going to catch the odd dolphin or other nice animal, but that's a risk that must be taken with anything like this. It's easy enough to opt out, and then you're free from it until you change ISP's or move and get a different account name. Whoop de doo. It won't put you on any government watch lists or get you targeted by the RIAA/MPAA mafia.

I swear, every time I post on OCAU my IQ goes down a few points. Conspiracy theorists, clueless morons or people who are just abusive despite posting in a forum that was designed for people to get help on said subjects. I don't know why I bother, that's exactly why I left the ZStoner forums.