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Android glitch allows hackers to bug phone calls

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 23:02 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google, Security


Computer scientists have discovered a weakness in smartphones running Google’s Android operating system that allows attackers to secretly record phone conversations, monitor geographic location data, and access other sensitive resources without permission.

Handsets sold by HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Google contain code that exposes powerful capabilities to untrusted apps, scientists from North Carolina State University said. These “explicit capability leaks” bypass key security defenses built into Android that require users to clearly grant permission before an app gets access to personal information and functions such as text messaging. The code making the circumvention possible is contained in interfaces and services the device manufactures add to enhance the stock firmware supplied by Google.


Unlike out-of-the-box iPhones, which allow users to install only apps that have been approved by Apple, the official Android Market performs no security checks on the wares it offers. To compensate, Google built the permission-based security model into the mobile OS to give users control over the personal information apps get to access. Before a new program runs for the first time, it lists the sensitive resources it will access. Users who are uncomfortable with the permissions then have an opportunity to cancel the installation.

The researchers found that the manufacturer-supplied enhancements offer a way to circumvent this permissions-based model.

Again, not Google’s fault – unless you count allowing others to modify your software before release.

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  1. C’mon, it’s open source. Open source wins. Open source is safest, most dependable and all round best 🙂

  2. It is odd to see Microsoft has been bashed a lot for having a huge market share, and protecting it by not being very open about it’s system and basically being able to determine who writes software that will run on Windows, whilst nowadays Apple is being cheered for not being very open about it’s system, for determining what it allows to run on iPhones, and for having a huge market share (tablets). It’s odd to see Windows has been bashed for not being open and Linux embraced as the superior platform because it was open source, yet when downsides to open source appear in Google’s Android software, immediately it is pointed out that Apple has a superior closed system. I believe (pun intended) that Apple’s marketing appears to resemble the faith of those in a superior being (aka God) and it’s followers will tell you their device/god is the only one/best one, despite the sometimes overwhelming evidence there is this cannot be true.

  3. Jim, how can a posting against the closed way telco providers act be the cause of an anti-apple-fanboi comment?

AC2011 Session 1.2 Come Undone: Kyle Bass redux – YouTube

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 22:31 by John Sinteur in category: News

Embedding disabled, but if you’ve got an hour: Quote]:

One other key takeaway is: Don’t believe these governments. When they tell you that everything is going to be fine, they’re gonna solve these problems […] The government can never tell you what they are about to do. They try to fight it tooth and nail and they have to lie to you all along the way, it’s just a fact.

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Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 21:18 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Effectively, the Fed was selling dollar bills for 97 cents. Not to me, not to you, of course. Only to the big banks.

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  1. And many of the big goody two shoes Canadian banks got help with a teeny, tiny…er…liquidity problem to the tune of tens of billions of U.S. money. By the U.S.

    But they makes the stuff in the U.S., so no-one gives a toss. And it was so long ago…

  2. No, no, the secret loans gave the banks $7 TRILLION and with that they made a PROFIT of $13 billion.

    By the way, I haven’t actually seen a clear explanation of the $7T number. The max outstanding was said elsewhere to be something like $1.4T, so presumably the $7T is the cumulative amount of very-short-term loans. That makes the amount a bit deceptive if there was never more than $1.4T outstanding. But it’s outrageous enough to begin with…

    As an aside, a $13bln profit on $7T is a return of, what, less than 0.2%? And the program ran for, what… a year? Hmm.

  3. ”Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world”

The $7 trillion secret loan program: The government and big banks should be punished for deceiving the public about their hush-hush bailout scheme.

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 21:18 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Imagine you walked into a bank, applied for a personal line of credit, and filled out all the paperwork claiming to have no debts and an income of $200,000 per year. The bank, based on these representations, extended you the line of credit. Then, three years later, after fighting disclosure all the way, you were forced by a court to tell the truth: At the time you made the statements to the bank, you actually were unemployed, you had a $1 million mortgage on your house on which you had failed to make payments for six months, and you hadn’t paid even the minimum on your credit-card bills for three months. Do you think the bank would just say: Never mind, don’t worry about it? Of course not. Whether or not you had paid back the personal line of credit, three FBI agents would be at your door within hours.

Yet this is exactly what the major American banks have done to the public.

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Twitter / @csoghoian

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 21:16 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google


Prediction: within 2 weeks, all US carriers will ditch Carrier IQ. Within 2 months, Carrier IQ will change its name.

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The Muppets Are Communist, Fox Business Network Says

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 21:06 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?


It ain’t easy being green, but according to Fox Business, Kermit the Frog and his Muppet friends are reds.

Last week, on the network’s "Follow the Money" program, host Eric Bolling went McCarthy on the new, Disney-released film, "The Muppets," insisting that its storyline featuring an evil oil baron made it the latest example of Hollywood’s so-called liberal agenda.

Bolling, who took issue with the baron’s name, Tex Richman, was joined by Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center, who was uninhibited with his criticism.

"It’s amazing how far the left will go just to manipulate your kids, to convince them, give the anti-corporate message," he said.

So there you have it – the Muppets are the enemy of Fox.

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The We-Are-At-War! mentality

Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 18:39 by Desiato in category: Mess O'Potamia, News


Obama DOJ lawyer Marty Lederman, for instance, announced: because of secrecy powers, “we’re in armed conflicts with some groups the American public doesn’t know we’re in armed conflict with“.

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  1. “The American public?” A lot of them don’t really seem to be informed about reality anyway. What can he mean?

  2. For best effect, assume he means the ones who are well-informed…

  3. The only groups they might be in armed conflict with, that truly represent a threat to the American WOL, and that most people would be surprised about, are bankers.


Posted on December 5th, 2011 at 11:15 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News, Quote

What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There’s no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told-and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their ‘beliefs.’ The reason is that beliefs guide behavior which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. Next question.

— Michael Chricton via

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