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From User: Decius

Current Topic: Miscellaneous

You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again | Epicenter |
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:33 am EDT, Aug 11, 2009

More than half of the internet’s top websites use a little known capability of Adobe’s Flash plugin to track users and store information about them, but only four of them mention the so-called Flash Cookies in their privacy policies, UC Berkeley researchers reported Monday.

Awesome! Thanks Adobe!

Ajax Security, Chapter 8, pages 218 - 226 pages ;-)

You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again | Epicenter |

Topic: Miscellaneous 10:06 am EDT, Jun 25, 2009

The issue isn't that insurance companies are evil. It's that they need to be profitable. They have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profit for shareholders. And as Potter explains, he's watched an insurer's stock price fall by more than 20 percent in a single day because the first-quarter medical-loss ratio had increased from 77.9 percent to 79.4 percent.

The reason we generally like markets is that the profit incentive spurs useful innovations. But in some markets, that's not the case. We don't allow a bustling market in heroin, for instance, because we don't want a lot of innovation in heroin creation, packaging and advertising. Are we really sure we want a bustling market in how to cleverly revoke the insurance of people who prove to be sickly?

I have a problem with the concept of medical insurance companies. The goal of a corporation is to maximize share-holder value. Officers and employees of the corporation are negligent if they are not pursuing that goal as rigorously as possible within the confines of the law. Only we are not talking about using market forces to drive innovation to make the best, cheapest, yet acceptable widget. We are talking about the lifespan and quality of life of a human. Can you imagine the concept of Planned Obsolescence applied to healthcare?

A more chilling (and often overlooked) point is that the entire purpose of insurance is to protect you from the effects of rarely occurring but catastrophic events. So you have in place a system whose function is to be as profitable as possible when its customers are struggling with the most damaging and life altering events that can occur. Yet the needs of the medical insurance corporation seem completely perpendicular to the needs of the patient.

I have a very difficult time reconciling this.


Transcript of President Obama's national security address -
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:09 am EDT, May 22, 2009

The President's speech is a major step against the Bush administration's approach to the rule of law. It is worth a read.

Time and again, our values have been our best national security asset...

It is the reason why enemy soldiers have surrendered to us in battle, knowing they'd receive better treatment from America's armed forces than from their own government.

It is the reason why America has benefited from strong alliances that amplified our power, and drawn a sharp and moral contrast with our adversaries...

From Europe to the Pacific, we have been a nation that has shut down torture chambers and replaced tyranny with the rule of law. That is who we are. And where terrorists offer only the injustice of disorder and destruction, America must demonstrate that our values and institutions are more resilient than a hateful ideology.

I think this sort of perspective demonstrates a depth of understanding of the purpose of our institutions that conservatives have lost sight of.

Transcript of President Obama's national security address -

Court Upholds Hacking Conviction of Man for Uploading Porn Pics from Work Computer | Threat Level |
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:11 pm EDT, May 13, 2009


An Ohio appellate court has upheld the felony hacking conviction of a man who was found guilty of unauthorized access for misusing his computer at work.

This case supports the very very bad idea that it is a crime to do something with a computer that you weren't authorized to do with it. This idea would have people go to prison with felony convictions for reading MemeStreams from work. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

This not getting the attention it deserves. This entire legal interpretation is frightening beyond words.

With the Ohio case and the Lori Drew nonsense, legal precedent is being created that says violating a site's Terms of Service is committing a felony.

This is unbelievably scary.

Violating laws is what should be punished. But we have a legal interpretation of a law, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, that says "Doing something a person says you cannot do violates the CFAA." This interpretation has in essence extended law passing power to anyone in the world.

Think about it. Some random dude somewhere in MySpace put in there TOS "You cannot lie in your profile." Lori Drew did lie. Thus Lori Drew violated MySpace's TOS which violates the CFAA and bam! Conviction.

Is Lori Drew a horrible human being? Without a doubt. Do I hope all her and her family's assests get seized in a wrongful death civil suit? Completely. Should she get hit with a felony conviction for violating the CFAA because some dude put a "don't lie" clause in MySpace's TOS? Not at all.

I'm violating a Terms of Service right now. Am I a felon?

Court Upholds Hacking Conviction of Man for Uploading Porn Pics from Work Computer | Threat Level |

EFF sues Cheney, Bush, and the NSA to stop illegal wiretapping - Boing Boing
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:21 pm EDT, Sep 19, 2008

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed suit against the NSA, President Bush and Vice President Cheney on behalf of AT&T's customers to fight illegal wiretapping.

I know this is totally beside the point, but don't you wish that this actually was the NSA logo?

EFF sues Cheney, Bush, and the NSA to stop illegal wiretapping - Boing Boing

Preview added to MemeStreams!
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:13 pm EST, Jan 21, 2008

You can now preview your posts before submitting them. Please let me know if you run into any problems with this.

Preview added to MemeStreams!

Government In Action
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:33 pm EST, Dec 31, 2007


Government In Action

MemeStreams Stickers!
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:25 am EDT, Jul 18, 2005

Frustrated by MemeStreams? Sick of our bad UI design? Tired of all these stupid people and their insipid political ideas and boring personal interests? Why start a flame war when you can take out your frustrations like a man... with firearms! Send an email to with your mailing address and I'll mail you some MemeStreams sitckers! Stick them to your car. Stick them to your laptop. Stick them to your little sister. Or better yet, take them down to the range...

MemeStreams Stickers!

Liberal Bias or Crazy Moonies
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:12 pm EDT, Apr 29, 2005

This paragraph is from the Washington Times:

] The CIA's chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out
] the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction
] were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003
] invasion, citing "sufficiently credible" evidence that
] WMDs may have been moved there.

Sounds like WMD probably went to Syria from Iraq...

This text is from the Washington Post:

] Although Syria helped Iraq evade U.N.-imposed sanctions
] by shipping military and other products across its borders,
] the investigators "found no senior policy, program, or
] intelligence officials who admitted any direct knowledge of
] such movement of WMD." Because of the insular nature of
] Saddam Hussein's government, however, the investigators were
] "unable to rule out unofficial movement of limited
] WMD-related materials."

Liberal Bias?

The Times doesn't respond to this quote:

] Iraq's ability to produce nuclear arms, which the
] administration asserted was a grave and gathering
] threat that required an immediate military response,
] had "progressively decayed" since 1991. Investigators
] found no evidence of "concerted efforts to restart the
] program."


] Hussein "retained the intent and capability and he
] intended to resume full-scale WMD efforts once the
] U.N. sanctions were lifted," Pentagon spokesman Bryan
] Whitman said yesterday. "Duelfer provides plenty of
] rationale for why this country went to war in Iraq."

Thats the key question isn't it?

The times says:

] Clearly, the media needs an object lesson in an old
] truth: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Yeah, but is it ok to actually launch a war based on a total absence of evidence? Is a sentence like "Years later, there is still absolutely no evidence that the Bush administration's justification for the Iraq war was accurate." a reasonable enough headline for you? You really have no idea whether or not you were right. You've grabbed onto the tinyest thread left to uphold your position. This is the kind of crap I expect from silly online debates. This is not something that I want to hear coming out of the US Government.

There is absolutely no proof that bunny rabbits don't have tea on pluto. However, its extremely unlikely, and most people would tend to beleive that it isn't true. At what point to you admit that the idea that there was an imminent threat that Saddam would give WMD to a terrorist organization is extremely unlikely, and start asking objective questions about whether or not it actually made sense to re-elect a political team that sent thousands to their graves based on what was most likely a bad call? Oh no. We couldn't do that... That might involve voting for a (blech) liberal. Fuck Liberals. They suck. Conservatives rule!


Liberal Bias or Crazy Moonies

StripeSnoop on /.
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:48 pm EST, Mar  1, 2005

] Magnetic Stripe Snooping at Home

[ Billy makes the front page of /. Go billy! -k]

I was rather surprised myself. When SS was /.ed in August, I had submitted the link, and it was a slow news day. I imagine this was because of the Make article (and hence the credit to Billy Hoffman).

On a side note I received my copy of Make last week and it really is damn cool. Excellent layout, beautiful graphics. People should check it out.

StripeSnoop on /.

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