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The Tiger Effect

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 21:52 by John Sinteur in category: News


Internet Providers usually spend their time worrying about threats from hackers, link failures, and router configuration errors. Yesterday, though, many of them were worried about Tigers…

Starting around 9 am Pacific and peaking at 1:30 pm yesterday, many ISPs noticed an unusual increase in traffic. At first, a few security engineers worried they were under some type of new DDoS attack. But the flood of traffic did not appear directed at any individual customer — the gigabits of anomaly traffic surged to almost all customers from multi-national banks to the bakery down the street and home DSL / Cable users. For several ISPs, traffic into their network grew by 15-25%. In one provider, inbound traffic nearly doubled.

It turns out that the U.S. Open played at Torrey Pines yesterday generated one of the larger Internet-wide flash crowds this year. Traffic dipped and peaked corresponding to Tiger’s initial
misses and subsequent spectacular comeback as millions of office bound fans tuned in to the live NBC and ESPN coverage.

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  1. Sure sign that things are slow in the US

AH start proef betalen met vingerafdruk

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 18:25 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy


Supermarktketen Albert Heijn en betalingsverwerker Equens testen het gebruik van vingerafdrukscanner Tip2Pay voor het afrekenen van de boodschappen.

Vanaf vandaag kunnen gedurende zes maanden klanten in een Albert Heijn winkel in Breukelen hun boodschappen afrekenen met slechts een scan van de vingertop. De proef moet uitwijzen of dit technisch naar behoren gaat en of klanten er op zitten te wachten. De technologie en betalingsafhandeling wordt geleverd door Equens, het voormalige Interpay.

Na het tonen van een identificatiebewijs en bank- of creditcard wordt een scan gemaakt van hun vingertop en worden naam- en adresgegevens, bankrekeningnummer en indien gewenst het klantenkaartnummer geregistreerd. Bij de registratie is rekening gehouden met de Nederlandse privacywetgeving, zo meldt Albert Heijn en Equens.

Mooie uitdrukking is dat toch, “er is rekening gehouden met”. Dan heb je als consument toch gelijk zo’n lekker warm gevoel. Maar iemand die regelmatig de krant leest weet wat ze werkelijk bedoelen.

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  1. Germany’s Edeka trialed this also with some success – why are people so willing to submit to this?

Is it safe to download al Qaeda manuals yet?

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 18:17 by John Sinteur in category: Security


Is the “al-Qaeda manual” still an easy get into jail card? The UK Court of Appeal yesterday quashed the conviction of Samina Malik, aka the “Lyrical Terrorist”, for possession of information useful for terrorist purposes under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, but the Crown Prosecution Service still views this and other widely circulated documents as prima facie evidence of wicked intent.

So the jury’s still out, as it were. The Court of Appeal ruled in Malik’s favour because it felt there was “a very real danger that the jury became confused”, and that her conviction was therefore unsafe. The prosecution conceded this, but Sue Hemming of the CPS counter-terrorism division said that although some of the 21 documents that had been used in Malik’s trial could no longer be seen as giving practical assistance to terrorists, “other documents in her possession, including the al Qaeda Manual, the Terrorist’s Handbook, the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook and several military manuals, clearly retain that potential.”

Hemmings added that Malik had already spent time on remand and would be likely to receive a non-custodial sentence if a further trial were pursued, and said that the CPS had therefore decided not to seek a retrial. Which you might well take to mean ‘she’s guilty as hell, but we’re not going to bother with her, so there.’

Section 58 covers the collection or holding of information likely to be useful for terrorism, but doesn’t require any specific terrorist intent, and is therefore particularly useful for sweeping up small fry, wingnuts and thought criminals. The three documents referred to by Hemmings are all widely distributed on the Internet (sometimes, indeed, by the US Department of Justice), and have been used frequently in UK terrorist prosecutions.

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Apple’s open secret: SproutCore is Cocoa for the Web

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 18:11 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Free Software


One of the biggest revelations at WWDC was quietly unveiled in a session on Friday morning entitled “Building Native Look-and-Feel Web Applications Using SproutCore.” While Apple maintained high security during the entire NDA-sealed WWDC session, the secret of SproutCore is out because it is an open source project and people can’t stop talking about it.

As Apple’s public schedule for WWDC explained, “SproutCore is an open source, platform-independent, Cocoa-inspired JavaScript framework for creating web applications that look and feel like Desktop applications. Learn how to combine SproutCore with HTML5’s standard offline data storage technologies to deliver a first-class user experience and exceptional performance in your web application.”

A bit more here.

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iPhone running Windows XP

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 18:04 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Microsoft

All the reliability of Windows XP and the affordability of Apple hardware: Citrix

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The IE team sends a gift to the Firefox team

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 16:58 by John Sinteur in category: Free Software, Microsoft


(oh, and here is a download counter)

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Swedish parliament rejects snoop everyone law

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 16:48 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


A controversial law in Sweden which would have allowed Sweden’s National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) to monitor all outgoing and incoming communications crossing Sweden’s borders didn’t get enough votes in parliament today.

FRA would have been allowed to read emails and SMS messages and tap phone conversations without a court order. A majority of Sweden’s center-right government agreed on Tuesday evening to support a revised version of the proposal, but Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt didn’t get the backing of his four-party coalition and the draft has been sent back to the committee for revision. Government representatives have pledged to build in more protection for personal privacy.

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“Yes We Can” Obama video wins Emmy

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 16:35 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


The famous “Yes We Can” video that spliced together clips of Barack Obama’s New Hampshire primary night speech and set it to music with celebrities singing along has won an Emmy award.

Produced by Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.i.am, the video won in the first time “New Approaches in Daytime Entertainment” category that “recognizes innovative production techniques and the use of media enhancement to support content.”

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The new racist, anti-Obama fashion statement

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 16:22 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


At the Texas Republican Convention this past weekend, the Dallas Morning News’ Trail Blazers blog reports, one vendor was selling the pin that appears with this post.

Well, we all remember this bandaid, so I guess we won’t be accusing anybody of having “class” any time soon…

Mind you, there’s some stunningly stupid stuff at democratmall.com as well – but it’s the same owner…

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US freezing Danes’ money

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 13:52 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Security


A Lolland dress shop owner has had a payment for six dresses made in Pakistan frozen by the US on fears that it is being used to support terrorism

The US government has taken the step of freezing a $205 payment from a Danish clothing boutique to a dress manufacturer in Pakistan, reports Berlingske Tidende newspaper.

Christa Møllgaard-Hansen, owner of Christabella’s in the town of Maribo on Lolland, routinely buys women’s clothing and shoes from around the world to resell in Denmark. But a recent purchase of six dresses from Pakistan for $205 was considered by the American authorities to be money going to support terrorists.

The US froze the funds four months ago and contacted Møllgaard-Hansen’s bank, saying they wanted more information on the payment’s recipient. Møllgaard-Hansen had put all the necessary information into the original netbank payment, but complied with her bank’s request for the additional information.

A few days later, the bank contacted Møllgaard-Hansen and said the Americans were now requesting the birth date of her contact in Pakistan, named Rashid. It was at that point the bank told her that the US authorities suspected the money was going to support terrorist activities.

‘At first I thought it was some kind of sick joke,’ said Møllgaard-Hansen. ‘But later I was just angry that the Americans could conduct that kind of surveillance on us and require such information. What was I supposed to say to Rashid? That the US suspected him of being a terrorist? I couldn’t do that.’

Many politicians are now asking the same questions and want some clear answers from the Liberal-Conservative government. But the Liberal’s legal spokesman, Kim Andersen, saw nothing wrong with the US’ confiscation of Danes’ money.

If somebody from the US authorities is reading this: please freeze all Kim Andersen’s money, and let’s see if there’s still “nothing wrong”…

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  1. What the **** has the US to do with a transaction between a Danish and a Pakistani? Which one of them falls under the jurisdiction of the US Government?
    Last time I checked neither Denmark nor Pakistan was one of the states.

Not Alex

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 8:53 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 8:44 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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