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Category: Computers & Technology

Thursday miscellany

This hasn’t been verified. Could the FBI really put a backdoor into an open-source operating system — and have it go unnoticed for 10 years? Seems dubious. Isn’t a major point of open-source that thousands of geeks can freely examine the code to find and correct bugs, bad coding — and backdoors? In any case, hats off to Theo de Raadt for immediately taking the accusation public. As the creator of OpenBSD, he has as much to lose as anybody. But he’s obviously got a boatload of integrity, too. “A fresh Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that somehow 13%…

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Friday miscellany

Yesterday, we had news of deeper, more difficult-to-foil privacy attacks on our computers. Well, today those very same attackers bring us more honorable news. Yesterday, I also linked to the WikiLeaks donation page and suggested this might be a good time to send money to those lone warriors battling government secrecy. Alas, WikiLeaks.org is no more. Continuing attacks against the site forced it out of existence. BUT. The site came back to life. It’s now at WikiLeaks.ch in Switzerland. Here’s the IP address in case the domain name is killed once again: http://213.251.145.96/. And here’s that donation page again, which…

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Thursday miscellany

Creepy marketers want to fingerprint your computer. But don’t worry; Your Government will protect you. Fifty-one percent of polled voters seem woefully misinformed. Or is it 72 percent? So hard to keep track, these days. This would be a good time to donate to WikiLeaks. There are a number of ways — including ones that would protect your privacy from the ignorami who are shouting “Treason!” “Terrorists!” and “Killers!” The TSA is not only conditioning children to accept molestation. But egads, it’s doing it using the same tactics non-government molesters do. Nine trllion in “emergency loans” by the Fed??? Other…

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A pox on CenturyLink

A small rant. About an inconsequential matter. But … well, “it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.” CenturyLink. The company formerly known as CenturyTel. CenturyTel was a very good company. OTOH, if you attempt to deal with CenturyLink (a metastasized version of C’Tel and something called Embarq) you may be taking your brains into your own hands. If you have any left after listening to the screaching music and shouted sales messages they have on their (I use the term lightly) customer service line. The short version: On Monday I signed up for DSL Internet. No telephone.…

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Late Thursday miscellany

One year ago today, a man named Ian Tomlinson was attacked by police. He died minutes later. They tried to cover it up, of course. Most Americans have probably never heard of Tomlinson. Let’s just say our country has no monopoly on armed thugs roaming the street in uniform. Tip o’ the hat to Jim Bovard for this lovely interactive map that shows current rates of return for census forms. Good going, Texas! Some of your counties have rates as low as 19%. Interesting that basically the whole southern tier of states is balking at the snoopery. (To see your…

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