Tuesday, November 01, 2005

knit dna, nasa penis monster, musical PEZ, sony rootkits

On the list of still more stupid shit to knit, you can knit DNA.

And you can do it while watching the NASA penis monster.

And a stay-at-home-dad designs, builds, and markets a MP3 player in the shape of a PEZ dispenser.

And Sony distributes a rootkit as part of their "copy protected" CDs. A horrible fuckup on their part. If you hate viruses, worms, and spyware, the word " rootkit" should scare the shit out of you. (Speaking of which, there's an AIM worm that is distributing itself with a rootkit.) Anyway, if your system is compromised by this worm disguised as DRM, you'll be able to create files or directories starting with "$sys$" and it'll be completely invisible to everything else in the system, including virus scanners.

I'm thinking of making directories like "$sys$nastyporn" or "$sys$worlddominationplans".

So we all need yet another security tool along with virus scanners, popup blockers, and spyware removal: rootkit revealer. While it's theoretically possible to design a rootkit to be invisible to rootkit revealer, it's likely to be an arms race and the people at SysInternals have a vested interest (profits) to stay on top of it.

This opens up the same question that I've been wondering ever since Skype was bought out by Ebay: If a high-security software program comes under the jurisdiction of the US Justice Department, will they strong-arm those companies into putting secret spy shit in? I, for one, no longer have that fuzzy feeling of security and warmth that I get by using Skype for secure communications any more. Is the same on the horizon for rootkits? Will the government mandate that SysInternals' Rootkit Revealer be made to ignore government written rootkits?

This bothers me because the feds did strong-arm virus scanners and spyware removal programs into ignoring their own spyware as installed by court order. And they strong-armed cell-phone chip manufacturers into including secret features that allow listening on the mic of cell-phones without alerting the customer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Monday, October 17, 2005

The end of Skype

Skype, currently the easiest way to have encrypted phone calls with your terror^H^H^H^H^H^Hpolitically active friends is now owned by Ebay. Why? Who the hell knows, but it's a sad story that the product is now under the influence of the Justice Department, who will undoubtedly try to force Ebay to give them access to people's private conversations.

Because it's easier than doing honest police work. Lazy cowards.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

First extinct species to be recreated: Tasmanian Tiger

If this catches on, the entire argument of the endangered species act is on thin ice. If 70 year old pickled tissue samples can be cloned, then wholesale tissue banking of endangered species around the world can begin, along with hundreds of stalled public works and development projects.

In fact this could spell the doom of the environmental protection movement altogether -- after all, if we can recreate it at will, why go to great effort to preserve it in-situ?

Tissue banking can be categorized as a "safety net"; demise of the environmental protection movement can be categorized as " moral hazard" or "unintended consequence".

People not meant to live in space: proof.

Evidence of Intelligent Design, anyway. It seems that God put in safeguards to keep us from leaving the planet until we understood genetic engineering inside out.

By implication, it seems that God is giving us permission to genetically engineer (and by implication clone) ourselves, otherwise why would he invent rocket ships through our scientists? Too cool.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Stand Your Ground

I heard on the radio (NPR) that Florida has finally had the common sense to remove the "first you have to try to run away" requirement from personal self-defense. They're calling it the "Stand Your Ground" law. The Brady Bunch (a term used on the air no less) are mounting a crybaby campaign to "warn" tourists that Floridians are inherrently dangerous and should always be treated politely because this law plus the governor encouraging everyone who qualifies to get a concealed carry permit makes it likely you'll get shot if you speak loudly and stuff.

Just hilarious. In the midst of their whining about the "undue" influence of the NRA, they are literally making the NRA's point for them. Or was it Heinlein's point? (sometimes i forget)

In any case, from a practical point of view, it is counterproductive to require that you display a prey behavior (running away/escaping) to your preditor before you're allowed to defend yourself -- it only cements the the nature of the nacent preditor/prey relationship making it far more likely that the would-be preditor become one for real. The idea is to present a strong enough return threat to make the would-be preditor look for other prey as early into the relationship as possible.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cool LCD tech

Sharp announced a new LCD technology. I've never seen it, nor in fact do I know anything at all about it, but I figure that anything that is "premium", "advanced", "super", and "mega" all at the same time has got to be worth every penny.

"Mega-Contrast" Advanced Super View Premium LCD

Friday, September 30, 2005

Boobies: Baring it all for breast cancer.

Again we see a return to the theme of showing your boobies to the public in support of a cause.

I call for more causes like this. Hell, I might even create some societal injustices just to get things going.

I've decided to get a hybrid car.

I've even picked out the model. It was tough going to find one that approached my horsepower requirements, but this one does everything I want (except deliver handjobs on the freeway, which mysteriously isn't showing up on any product feature lists anywhere.)