Category Archives: Technology

Let’s talk about privacy.

I have been reading a whole lot about the NSA as of late, as I’m sure many of you have been doing as well. I would like to go on record as saying I think this is the single largest crime against humanity since WWII. The difference here, of course, is we have been largely kept in the dark about it all.

What can we do about it?
If you know the answer to this, there are many of use who would like to know.

What else can we do?
Educate ourselves. We know now how horrible these revelations are. We are really only just beginning to learn how bad they are. The first thing any of us can do is to educate ourselves about what the NSA and GCHQ are doing, to whom they are doing it to, and why they are doing it.

I would love to talk with some others who feel the same as I do about this and hold some meetings. Like a user group.

Any takers?

Does this ever happen on a Mac?

I’m being serious in asking this question. Below is an example of what I am talking about, Java isn’t the only one doing this, but this seems pretty rampant on the Windows side of things. Ed Bott for ZDNet:

Java is the new king of foistware, displacing Adobe and Skype from the top of the heap.

And it earned that place with a combination of software update practices that are among the most user-hostile and cynical in the industry…

  • When you use Java’s automatic updater to install crucial security updates for Windows , third-party software is always included. The two additional packages delivered to users are the Ask Toolbar and McAfee Security Scanner.
  • With every Java update, you must specifically opt out of the additional software installations. If you are busy or distracted or naïve enough to trust Java’s “recommendation,” you end up with unwanted software on your PC.
  • IAC, which partners with Oracle to deliver the Ask toolbar, uses deceptive techniques to install its software. These techniques include social engineering that appears to be aimed at both novices and experienced computer users, behavior that may well be illegal in some jurisdictions.
  • The Ask.com search page delivers inferior search results and uses misleading and possibly illegal techniques to deceive visitors into clicking paid ads instead of organic search results.

Has this ever happened on the Mac? Am I just naive to think it doesn’t, or lucky that I haven’t run into it? What is even more shocking, is how they trick experienced users:

In the background, the Ask toolbar installer continues to run, but it delays execution for 10 minutes. If you are a sophisticated Windows user and you missed the initial checkbox, your natural instinct at this point would be to open Control Panel and check Programs and Features. When you do, you will see that only the Java update has been installed. You might also check your browser settings to confirm that no changes have been made to your settings. You might conclude that you dodged a bullet and that the unwanted software wasn’t installed.

But you would be wrong. The Ask installer is still running, and after waiting 10 minutes, it drops two programs on the target system.

Seriously? I was a Windows admin in a former life before becoming a Mac guy. I would like to think I would have noticed it shortly after it did eventually install, but no system admin wants any software being installed, and mucking up the registry, when it shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Yes, I blame Java, specifically Oracle, but I also place a lot of this blame on Windows for even allowing this sort of thing to happen. Something that has been happening for years and years.

Shameful.

Aaron Swartz

Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney’s office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community’s most cherished principles.

Official Statement from the family and partner of Aaron Swartz

Preview of DEFCON hacking conference documentary

Filmed over the summer of 2012 and containing hundreds of hours of interviews, parties, presentations and spectacle, the Documentary is to be released on 2013. Directed by Jason Scott with camerawork by Eddie Codel, Alex Buie, Drew Wallner, Rick Dakan, Steve Fish, Kyle Way and Rachel Lovinger. Produced by Jeff Moss and Russ Rogers. Over 280 hours of footage was recorded in support of the documentary, and five separate camera crews were in action. Thanks to everyone who contributed and everyone at DEFCON for letting cameras in to such a degree for the first time in its history.

Your TV Ruins Movies

TVs are designed to do one thing above all: sell. To do so, they must fight for attention on brightly-lit showroom floors. Manufacturers accomplish this in much the same way that transvestite hookers in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district do—by showing you everything they’ve got, turned up to eleven.

Great tips in delivering the best movie viewing experience on your new TV.
via Prolost