1. US DoJ says that highly-ranked White House personnel are exempt from subpoena.

    27 July 2007

    The Department of Justice snuck back home with its tail between its legs earlier this month after deciding that senior White House officials are exempt from subpoena and thus can freely ignore summons to testify. That's right... they don't have to show up in court if they don't want to, especially with regard to questioning about the possibly illegal firing of eight US prosecuting attorneys. The House Judiciary Committee has been trying to get to the bottom of this because, in the past couple of years a number of prosecutors that didn't toe the party line exactly lost their jobs …

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  2. NASA project for the International Space Station sabotaged.

    27 July 2007

    A couple of days ago it was discovered by NASA that someone had sabotaged a hardware upgrade destined for the International Space Station. Specifically, someone cut the wiring inside of a sensor package designed to monitor physical stress upon the ISS' superstructure and relay the data back to Mission Control. While being able to keep an eye on the overall status of the space station would be a good thing, it's unlikely that it would have directly placed the crew in harm's way, barring unforseen circumstances. The sabotage was first discovered in a test unit in the lab; a subsequent …

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  3. I like how they didn't invite the EFF or the ACLU to this conference.

    26 July 2007

    It would appear that the US Senate is pushing to turn the Net into a nice, safe, sandboxed playground that are constantly monitored because they don't like what you can find on it. It should come as no surprise that they're invoking the protection of children to justify the installation of near-ubiquitous content monitoring and filtering so that They can decide what you should or should not be allowed to look at. They seem to like using children as an excuse, because no one in their right mind would not want to protect kids, right? Parents, they say, are utterly …

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  4. Clockwork automata on the micro-scale.

    25 July 2007

    An article in the New Journal of Physics this month postulates a novel use for the not-yet-extant technology of nanotechnology: Building clockwork computers on a microscopic scale. The idea is that electronic circuitry isn't suitable for some environments but difference engines constructed on a microscopic scale might be because they would be far more precisely engineered and constructed with more durable materials. Sure, they'd be slower than conventional integrated circuits, but for some applications (like monitoring engine timings) you don't need a processor that can play Doom 3.

    I hate to break it to them, but this isn't a new …

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  5. Lynch's Law #4.

    25 July 2007

    No anonymity network is fully operational until the following three things have been successfully made available:


    1. A copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    2. The King James Bible.

    3. Porn.

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  6. Cellular PDAs with RATs in the datawalls.

    24 July 2007

    RATs meaning remote access tools, that is. Malware that conceals itself in a system and lets someone on the outside with the right application and credentials connect and manipulate the system remotely. The classic such utility is Back Orifice by the Cult of the Dead Cow, and was probably the first of its kind which let you do such things as mess with the mouse cursor and typed text, flip the display upside down, access the webcam, and open or close the CD-ROM.

    It seems that combination cellphone/PDA's are now advanced enough to be targeted. Nowadays many cellphones have …

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  7. Backing up PalmOS devices using open-source software.

    24 July 2007

    When using the Pilot Link toolset with an open source operating system to back up a PalmOS device such as the Palm Treo 700p, remember two things: One, when you connect the phone to your system using the USB cable, it will create two devices in the /dev directory, /dev/ttyUSB0 and /dev/ttyUSB1 (assuming that there is only one Treo plugged in at a time). You'll want to reference the second device file, /dev/ttyUSB1. Secondly, press the hotsync button on the cable or activate the hotsync function on the device before running the pilot-link utility. This is the …

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