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.