Saturday, August 05, 2006

German hackers clone RFID e-passports


Oh snap. First the Dutch get their RFID e-passport system cracked, then VeriChip gets its "counterfeit proof" RFID implant copied by a pair of hackers in front of a live audience, and now some hackers in Germany have undermined some of the security behind the electronic passports that the United States and other countries are planning to implement this month.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Time to play in a tree

It's worth a DNA swab:

But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree - then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked in cells for up to two hours.

Their shoes were removed and mugshots, DNA samples and mouth swabs were taken.

Officers told the children they had been seen damaging the tree which is in a wooded area of public land near their homes.

The lesson is: do not do anything. Otherwise you will be tagged and marked. I'm happy that our U.K. brethern see this threat.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Don't keep trade secrets on your laptop

Another good reason to encrypt your data:

The case made its way to a Nevada court, which found Romm guilty. An appeal of the case went to the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which was charged with deciding an important issue: can border patrol agents search laptops without a warrant and without probable cause? The court's ruling was handed down on Monday, and said that yes, agents can search laptops for any reason.

Geek drool

Nvidia unwraps 64x SLI monster GPU rig

What do you get for the graphics buff who has everything? How about Nvidia's Quadro Plex 1000, a racked collection of GPUs in their own box, together capable of rendering 80bn pixels every second and powering monitors with a combined resolution of up to 148 megapixels.

It doesn't come cheap, mind - prices start at $17,500. Nvidia has three models on offer. Two contain two Quadro FX 5500 GPUs, while the mid-range version, the Model II, has two Quadro 4500 X2 GPUs - ie. four graphics cores.

Whew! Democracy is safe.


The most serious issue is the ability to choose between "EPROM" and "FLASH" boot configurations. Both of these memory sources are present. All of the switches in question (JP2, JP3, JP8, SW2 and SW4) are physically present on the board. It is clear that this system can ship with live boot profiles in two locations, and switching back and forth could change literally everything regarding how the machine works and counts votes. This could be done before or after the so-called "Logic And Accuracy Tests".

A third possible profile could be field-added in minutes and selected in the "external flash" memory location, the interface for which is present on the motherboard.


Why Should Feds Track College Students?

They shouldn't.

Whether you call it a "national unit records database" (the first name) or a "consumer-friendly information database" (the second), it is in fact a mandatory federal registry of all American students throughout their collegiate careers - every course, every step, every misstep. Once established, it could easily be linked to existing K-12 and workforce databases to create unprecedented cradle-to-grave tracking of American citizens. All under the watchful eye of the federal government.

One more nail in the coffin.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Bank customers going bust in record numbers

You mean lending crap loads of money to everyone is a bad idea?

Struggling Britons, who are weighed down by loans and credit card debt, are going bust in record numbers.

HSBC today revealed that it has been forced to write-off £2 billion in the first half of this year - much of it loaned to British customers.

The bank pointed to rising levels of bankruptcy and the number of people reduced to taking out debt repayment plans.

HSBC today warned that 'serious' and 'excessive' levels of consumer debt in the UK was a growing issue.

I wonder if the UK has a negative savings rate like the US does...

Next troublesome missile test: Taiwan?


As Asia grapples with the fallout from North Korea's projectile posturing, another military flashpoint in the region - the Taiwan Strait - is in the midst of missile tensions as well.

A private TV station reported earlier this month that Taiwan's military was preparing to test-fire a tactical missile in September capable of striking targets in China. While the details were sketchy and the claim was swiftly denied by the Ministry of National Defense, they struck a chord with analysts who have heeded the frustration among hawks in Taiwan over the island's vulnerability in the face of China's military might, including its expanding missile arsenal.

In the event of an imminent attack, Taiwan would be justified in launching a preemptive strike against military targets in China, runs the hawkish argument. This should go hand-in-hand with improved defenses on the island, including advanced interceptor missiles and attack aircraft. "Even if we are going to buy [US-made] Patriot missiles, we also need to develop our own offensive missiles," says Lee Wen-chung, a government legislator.

Federal judge throws out Minnesota's video game law


A federal judge on Monday threw out a pending state law that would have fined minors for obtaining adult-only video games, saying it was unconstitutional.

The law - one of several attempts across the country to prevent minors from getting gruesome or sexually explicit video games - was scheduled to take effect Tuesday.

It would have fined youths under age 17 $25 for renting or buying video games designed for adults - those rated "M" for mature or "AO" for adults only. The law also would have required stores to post warning signs about the fines.

Video game makers sued to stop the law, saying it violated the right to free speech.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

So, You're Living in a Police State

It's Funpressive!

U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Muppet Hunter D

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More critical legislation passed in the House

Chat rooms could face expulsion

Web sites like and may soon be inaccessible for many people using public terminals at American schools and libraries, thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives.

By a 410-15 vote on Thursday, politicians approved a bill that would effectively require that "chat rooms" and "social networking sites" be rendered inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the Internet's most ardent users. Adults can ask for permission to access the sites.

Congress fighting the good fight.

Why hedge funds will destroy the world

Hedge fund.

If hedge funds were a country, it would be the eighth-biggest on the planet. They can sink whole economies, and have the potential to crash the entire global financial system. Yet they are beyond regulation. We should be very afraid.
Hedge funds by numbers

$1.5trn Total amount of money managed by hedge funds worldwide

9,000 Estimated number of hedge funds today

$250bn Estimated value of the Asian hedge-fund industry by 2010

$750,000 Amount that GLG Partners was fined for alleged insider trading by its star hedge-fund manager, Philippe Jabre

Cell Phone Picture Called Obstruction Of Justice

Land of the free.

Police at the 35th district said they were in Cruz's neighborhood that night arresting a drug dealer.

Cruz said that when he heard a commotion, he walked out of his back door with his cell phone to see what was happening. He said that when he saw the street lined with police cars, he decided to take a picture of the scene.

"I opened (the phone) and took a shot," Cruz said.

Moments later, Cruz said he got the shock of his life when an officer came to his back yard gate.

"He opened the gate and took me by my right hand," Cruz said.

Cruz said the officer threw him onto a police car, cuffed him and took him to jail.

No one is allowed to watch the watchers.

War on Sunlight

Which nanny statist will be the first to utter the battle call?

As many as 60,000 people a year die from too much sun, mostly from malignant skin cancer, the World Health Organization has reported.

It found that 48,000 deaths every year are caused by malignant melanomas, and 12,000 by other kinds of skin cancer. About 90 percent of such cancers are caused by ultraviolet light from the sun.

House Passes 'Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act'

Good news for people that like all of our Amendments:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and law-abiding gun owners won another major victory today when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass HR 5013, the NRA-backed "Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act." HR 5013 passed with a broad bi-partisan margin of 322-99.

Law-abiding gun owners scored a significant victory in the House of Representatives today. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina confirmed a fear long-held by American gun owners: the day government bureaucrats declare our Second Amendment null and void, leaving law-abiding citizens defenseless in the midst of chaos and lawlessness.