« | Home | Categories | »

Once-Mighty Motor City Files for Bankruptcy

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 23:29 by John Sinteur in category: News


Once the very symbol of American industrial might, Detroit became the biggest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy Thursday, its finances ravaged and its neighborhoods hollowed out by a long, slow decline in population and auto manufacturing.

The filing, which had been feared for months, put the city on an uncertain path that could mean laying off municipal employees, selling off assets, raising fees and scaling back basic services such as trash collection and snow plowing, which have already been slashed.

Write a comment

‘America has no functioning democracy’ – Jimmy Carter on NSA

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 19:56 by John Sinteur in category: News


Former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted US intelligence methods as undemocratic and described Edward Snowden’s NSA leak as “beneficial” for the country.

Carter lashed out at the US political system when the issue of the previously top-secret NSA surveillance program was touched upon at the Atlantic Bridge meeting on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia.

“America has no functioning democracy at this moment,” Carter said, according to Der Spiegel.

He also believes the spying-scandal is undermining democracy around the world, as people become increasingly suspicious of US internet platforms, such as Google and Facebook. While such mediums have normally been associated with freedom of speech and have recently become a major driving force behind emerging democratic movements, fallout from the NSA spying scandal has dented their credibility.

Write a comment


  1. HHmm…he seems outraged.

The Superheroes Hangover

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 19:47 by John Sinteur in category: News

(English subtitles available)

Write a comment

Fox Guest Decries Immigration Reform: Naturalized Immigrants Can’t Be Exploited

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 19:29 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane, Foyer of Ennui (just short of the Hall of Shame)


On the July 15 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney hosted former Center for Immigration Studies fellow Michael Cutler to discuss immigration reform. Cutler argued against what he called “amnesty,” saying that after naturalization and employment, immigrants “will no longer be willing to be exploited” and “legally cannot be discriminated against.” Cutler went on to warn that, if immigration reform is passed, immigrants “will have the right to expect that they will be treated equally as Americans”:

Write a comment

Schneier on Security: DHS Puts its Head in the Sand

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 19:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


From: xxxxx

Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:28 AM

To: xxxxx

Cc: xxx Security Reps; xxx SSO; xxxx;xxxx


I have been advised that this article is on the Washington Post’s Website today and has a clickable link title “The NSA Slide you never seen” that must not be opened. This link opens up a classified document which will raise the classification level of your Unclassified workstation to the classification of the slide which is reported to be TS/NF. This has been verified by our Mission Partner and the reason for this email.

If opened on your home or work computer you are obligated to report this to the SSO as your computer could then be considered a classified workstation.

Again, please exercise good judgment when visiting these webpages and clicking on such links. You are violating your Non-Disclosure Agreement in which you promise by signing that you will protect Classified National Security Information. You may be subject to any administrative or legal action from the Government.

SSOs, please pass this on to your respective components as this may be a threat to the systems under your jurisdiction.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”.

— Voltaire

Write a comment

Heineken Asks Travelers at JFK to Drop Everything, Fly to Mysterious Location

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 18:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


Would you be willing to abandon your flight plans to take a free trip to a mysterious location? For most travelers, the answer seems to be no.

In its latest marketing stunt, Heineken asked travelers in JFK’s terminal 8 to take a leap of faith and press a button on a specially-designed “departure roulette” board, which would assign them a new destination at random — effective immediately.

Many declined the offer with various excuses — business trip, heading to a bachelor party, or just not adventurous enough — but some decided to be spontaneous and go for it. Some of the travelers seem a bit happier than others about where they end up.

Write a comment


  1. Heck, that happens to me occasionally when I have too much to drink – I end up in some mysterious location, wondering how I got there! 🙂

  2. The British railway companies have a similar plan, but they don’t normally let you know your new destination until you arrive.


Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 18:33 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


Write a comment

The Life of an Admin in the IT World

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 16:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin, Network Admin

Write a comment


  1. I’m more of a follower of BOFH, thanks.

Blackberry 10 macht E-Mail-Passworte für NSA und GCHQ zugreifbar

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 15:37 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


When you enter your POP / IMAP e-mail credentials into a Blackberry 10 phone they will be sent to Blackberry without your consent or knowledge. A server with the IP which is in the Research In Motion (RIM) netblock in Canada will instantly connect to your mailserver and log in with your credentials. If you do not have forced SSL/TLS configured on your mail server, your credentials will be sent in the clear by Blackberrys server for the connection. Blackberry thus has not only your e-mail credentials stored in its database, it makes them available to anyone sniffing inbetween – namely the NSA and GCHQ as documented by the recent Edward Snowden leaks. Canada is a member of the “Five Eyes”, the tigh-knitted cooperation between the interception agencies of USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, so you need to assume that they have access to RIMs databases. You should delete your e-mail accounts from any Blackberry 10 device immediately, change the e-mail password and resort to use an alternative mail program like K9Mail.

Write a comment

The NSA Admits It Analyzes More People’s Data Than Previously Revealed

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 14:32 by John Sinteur in category: Do you feel safer yet?


As an aside during testimony on Capitol Hill today, a National Security Agency representative rather casually indicated that the government looks at data from a universe of far, far more people than previously indicated.

Chris Inglis, the agency’s deputy director, was one of several government representatives—including from the FBI and the office of the Director of National Intelligence—testifying before the House Judiciary Committee this morning. Most of the testimony largely echoed previous testimony by the agencies on the topic of the government’s surveillance, including a retread of the same offered examples for how the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had stopped terror events.

But Inglis’ statement was new. Analysts look “two or three hops” from terror suspects when evaluating terror activity, Inglis revealed. Previously, the limit of how surveillance was extended had been described as two hops. This meant that if the NSA were following a phone metadata or web trail from a terror suspect, it could also look at the calls from the people that suspect has spoken with—one hop. And then, the calls that second person had also spoken with—two hops. Terror suspect to person two to person three. Two hops. And now: A third hop.


For a sense of scale, researchers at the University of Milan found in 2011 that everyone on the Internet was, on average, 4.74 steps away from anyone else.

This site:


Gives the average number of people you’re connected to as 634, or 669 for internet users. At 634 and three hops that leads to 254,840,104 individuals records, and at 669 it’s 299,418,309 people per suspected terrorist. Basically the entire population of the US for each suspected terrorist.

There’s an easy solution to overwork the NSA: Everyone friend Kevin Bacon on facebook.

Write a comment


  1. One theory is there are 6 degrees of separation between everyone in the world. So if you spy on everyone, you’re only 6 degrees of separation from a real terrorist at the most.

CGI brings back the dead

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 11:51 by Paul Jay in category: News


Although it is always based on strict scientific principles, sometimes – and more and more often – CGI does something that seems miraculous

And because of that, it’s starting to move into territory where it raises ethical and moral questions, as well as the usual aesthetic ones.

Here’s a case in point. It’s a rather remarkable CGI resurrection of Bruce Lee, who died 40 years ago. He was known to be a non-drinker, and yet the sponsor of this advert is Jonnie Walker, the well-known whisky brewer.

The ethical dilemmas are explained well in this piece from the Jing Daily (“The Business of luxury and Culture in China”).

Meanwhile, here’s the video, so that you can make your own mind up.

Write a comment


  1. I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and
    see if the problem still exists.

  2. Video has been removed from YouTube, but it is everywhere. For example here: http://vimeo.com/69868746
    Personally, I think it’s tasteless and that is putting it polite.

Android vs. iPhone: Why Apple still has the edge over Google’s operating system.

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 8:53 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google


When you buy an iPhone, it works exactly as Apple intended; it’s never adulterated by “features” that the company didn’t approve. But when you buy an Android phone, even a really great one, you’re not getting the device that Google’s designers had in mind when they created the OS. You’re not even getting the device that the phone manufacturer—Samsung and HTC, in this case—had in mind. Instead you’re getting a bastardized version, a phone replete with software that has been altered by many players along the way, usually in a clumsy, money-grubbing fashion.

I noticed this immediately when I first turned on the Sprint-powered HTC One and Galaxy S4. When you run an iPhone for the first time, you’ve go through just a handful of steps to get up and running: choose a language, add a Wi-Fi network, and log in to your Apple account. The same is true of the Google editions of the One and S4—just a few prompts and you’re good to go. But not the carrier versions. I had to sit through more than half a dozen screens. I was pushed to sign in to several social-networking accounts. I had to create accounts with HTC or Samsung’s own services. Then, when I thought I was at last ready to start using my phone, another prompt came on the screen to let me know that Sprint was installing some software of its own. After another five minutes, my phone was finally ready to use—but when I browsed through the menus, there was a whole bunch of software that I didn’t need, including apps for Yahoo, Amazon, the NBA, a Sprint app for watching TV, and a White Pages app. Why these apps specifically? Not because Sprint believes that you’ll find them really helpful, but instead because it received a promotional fee. Congratulations on your new phone—now look at all the ads.

You might not consider these preloaded apps such a big deal. We’re all used to getting crapware on new PCs; this is the same story, just on phones, and it’s not such a big hassle to delete everything you don’t need. But you shouldn’t have to delete stuff just to get your phone looking like you want it. Plus, I suspect that many users probably don’t even know how to delete these apps, so they just sit there, clogging up the home screen.

The worst thing about Android phones isn’t the crapware, though. It’s the “skins”—the modifications that phone companies make to Android’s most basic features, including the dialing app, contacts, email, the calendar, the notification system, and the layout of the home screen. If you get the Play edition of these phones, you’ll see Google’s version of each of these apps, and you’ll come away impressed by Google’s tasteful, restrained, utilitarian design sense. But if, like most people, you get your phone for $199 from a carrier, you’ll find everything in it is a frightful mess.

Write a comment


  1. But they’re cheap!

    The line “I suspect that many users probably don’t know how to …” may be strictly true but it’s pompous and patronizing – everyone knows someone who’s figured it out and can help them with it. In their day, PCs were the same.

    (Disclaimer: I just got my first, used, Android phone for $15 from a garage sale. These things are cute!)

  2. The conclusion is wrong: “You can pay full price for a Play edition Android device (I’d choose the HTC One over the Galaxy S4, because it’s much more attractive, physically). Or you can buy an iPhone.”

    Or you can simply Root it (the Android) and put on a cleaner OS ver.

  3. The problem is the average mom-and-pop user. They don’t know there exists something like rooting, clean install, etc, and they don’t know about crap-ware. They are left wondering why everybody is so enthusiastic about smart phones when all they have seen sucks donkey balls through a garden hose.

  4. Agreed, (except the balls are probably still attached to the donkey) but I know individuals who find Apple gear confusing. I try to find appropriate tech for people like my mom and configure it for them. One major factor is price, so a 3+ year old device (practically free) is perfect.

  5. The catch is in the first sentence: Apple will not allow you to use features they don’t approve of. And that may be fine to people like the average mom-and-pop user, because they have no clue what to expect of the device and what it should or could be able to do, so they’ll deal with what they get. They will not be bothered by the fact that the standard mail app on an iPhone or iPad will not allow you to put attachments in the mail, you have to depend on other apps to do that, and thus you cannot use reply with an attachment. This is where Apple is not just keeping the device and software simple, but also it’s customers.
    To me, it looks and feels like being treated like a toddler, telling me ‘it can be done, but you cannot have that’. The only good reason for acting this way by Apple must be it’s very profitable to do so, and for the customers to be in the comfort zone of ‘Daddy knows best’. This is so totally unlike the Apple II we used to play with as a kid, we controlled the machine and told it what to do. It’s the very reason I dislike the iPad my employer gave me – it can but won’t do what I want it to, without good reason.

Hungry aboriginal people used in bureaucrats’ experiments

Posted on July 18th, 2013 at 0:17 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


Recently published research by food historian Ian Mosby has revealed details about one of the least-known but perhaps most disturbing aspects of government policy toward aboriginal people immediately after the Second World War…

“It started with research trips in northern Manitoba where they found, you know, widespread hunger, if not starvation, among certain members of the community. And one of their immediate responses was to design a controlled experiment on the effectiveness of vitamin supplementation on this population.”

Mosby also found that plans were developed for research on aboriginal children in residential schools in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta.

Systematic crimes against humanity(imo) – nm, some guys probably got their doctorates. The neglect continues.

Write a comment