Archive for July, 2008

Quote of the month

Monday, July 28th, 2008

You can stop eating to lose weight, but you’d have to stop breathing to lose stupid.

Obama gives OK to FISA Bill

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

It’s not a tough call at all. There’s no grey area here. A bill is either good or evil. Period. Allowing telecom immunity is tantamount to saying that a guy who raped and murdered a child but spends every weekend volunteering at the homeless shelter and helping underprivileged kids is a great choice for a babysitter because he knows how to watch kids. A bad rider on a good bill makes it a bad bill. One bad apple spoils the barrel and all that.

More to the point, not only is Obama a hypocrite, everyone who did not vote against this bill voted AGAINST the will of the American people – against the voters who elected them – and voted against the U.S. Constitution. Thus, they are twice hypocrites to the oath they swore before Congress:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”.

Can someone explain how any bill that retroactively grants permission for companies to conspire with illegal actions by the federal government to spy on its citizens and subvert the fourth amendment can possibly be interpreted in any way other than as a direct attack on the U.S. Constitution? Seriously? Anyone?

Everyone who voted in favor of the FISA legislation is also, IMHO, a traitor against the United States and is guilty of treason:

“whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

Their actions are directly aiding and abetting terrorists by reducing the freedoms that those terrorists despise, thus effectively winning the terrorists’ war from within our own government without the bad guys having to lift a finger. The whole lot of those Senators and Representatives should have their citizenship revoked and be ejected from this country for their disloyalty to the Constitution and to the American people.

Do your part. Vote to impeach Congress. Whoever the incumbent is, regardless of your party affiliation, vote for the other candidate. We have to send a message to our government that the public will not roll over and allow our rights to be trampled upon. We must do it NOW before it is too late. And elect an independent for President.

Punished for a fake identity on the net

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

From Slashdot: “Recently a MySpace user, Lori Drew, was charged with a felony for the heinous crime of pretending to be someone else on the Internet. Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Lori was charged for signing up for MySpace using a fake name.”

I have used fake identities and fake information to sign up for user accounts since I have been on the internet. Thanks, but I don’t like spam in my inbox or my snail mailbox giving me “offers” from your business associates. You can continue sending it to Howie Feltersnatch at 1313 Mockingbird Lane somewhere in Ohio.

I really don’t give a flying fuck if IMDB wants to sell my personal info in order to allow me the privilege of posting a review saying that some movie sucked.

I really don’t give a flying fuck if Myspace or Youtube or Facebook want me to provide personal info they can use or sell in return for the privilege of showing me advertisements.

If Meijer’s required me to let them photocopy my driver’s license for the privilege of buying groceries from them, I’d give them a fake ID just out of principal. When stores want me to sign up for a “shoppers card” so they can track me just for the privilege of being able to pay normal prices instead of the inflated ones, I sign up with a fake address and the name Seymoure Butts. Out of principal.

If they don’t like that and don’t want my business and want to ban me – fine, I’ll shop somewhere else. If they don’t ban me, then I’ll patronize them and continue to flout their bullshit and intrusive policies.

But if they want to have me arrested, then we have a serious problem.

A few ways to detect social engineering

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

I think we’re pre-programmed to trust and assist everyone in our tribe by default, and distrust anyone not of our tribe. The problem is that this doesn’t work well anymore, since we don’t know everyone in our tribe. It’s likely quite useful when you hunt wildebeest, but not as useful when you work for a hospital, protecting patient records.

Most of us don’t think of trust at all, but assign perceived trustworthiness automatically, and only by being reminded of trust do we pay it any thought. Social engineering takes advantage of this. You get the victim to draw the conclusion (without being told – it has to be subconscious) that you belong to the same work tribe as them, and thus trust becomes implicit.

Some warning signs that you may be subjected to social engineering:

– The person starts using your first name without you having ever met.
– The person refers to an authority figure in a jocular/friendly way, in order to make you draw the conclusion that the authority figure knows and trusts this person.
– They will try to appeal to your vanity. E.g. they may imply that they called YOU because you’re so friendly and helpful. Ask yourself whether, if it really was this urgent, they would be calling you instead of those whose job it is to deal with this sort of situation. If you believe for one second that it’s because of your demeanor, you’re not only stupid but vain too.
– They mention a common foe. “You know how accounting is…” Yeah, everyone knows that accounting are bastards to anyone not in accounting, in every company in every country. That doesn’t lend credence to you being on the same side.
– They mention an interest of yours. “I had planned to take my son fishing this weekend, but I guess I’ll be working, trying to fix this”. Why would they tell that to a stranger? (Especially if you have a sticker saying “BITE MY BASS” on your car.)
– If face to face, the person smiles a lot. Nothing disarms suspicion as easily as a smile.

And yeah, cops learn this, and with time become pretty good at it too. My main advice is to never trust a person who smiles. Ever. That invariably means they want something. Yes, this includes loved ones too; what they want might be something you’re willing to give, but they’re still unconsciously trying to lower your defense by smiling. A smile is always a mechanism to disarm the one who sees it.