security

THE EXPLODING TOILET and Other Memories
"And in one of those dreaded realizations pilots are advised to avoid, that insulation between cockpit calm and atmospheric anarchy looks thin indeed. An extrapolated horror: the riveted aluminum planks bending apart, the wind rushing in, explosive depressurization, death, the first airliner — no, the first vehicle — in history to crash because of an overflowing toilet." This guy tells a good story. Via marnanel
(tags: flying toilet pilot aircraft funny)
Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight | Threat Level | Wired.com
by a court case. Those guys have some nice kit.
(tags: eavesdropping FBI spying bugging surveillance interception)
The Boston Marathon Bombing: Keep Calm and Carry On – Bruce Schneier – The Atlantic
"But our brains are fooling us. Even though this will be in the news for weeks, we should recognize this for what it is: a rare event. That’s the very definition of news: something that is unusual — in this case, something that almost never happens. "
(tags: terrorism bruce-schneier security)
PSA: Ignore the news – Charlie’s Diary
The reading the news is bad for you: a timely reminder.
(tags: television news tv media charles-stross)

Missiles over London: a new Olympic event | A Latent Existence
“Today Brian Whelan woke up to find information from the Ministry of Defence waiting by his letter box.

The leaflet informed him that during the London 2012 Olympic games the army will be putting missiles on the roof of his building and there will be soldiers on duty there 24 hours a day. He was not asked about this in advance, or given a choice, simply informed that his building was the best place to site these missiles.”
(tags: brian-whelan security military missiles london 2012 olympics)

gmancasefile: TSA: Fail
“I have dealt with TSA since its inception and FAA security prior to that. I have witnessed TSA operate since they became a separate organization in 2002 and seen their reaction to intelligence provided them. I have now watched them operate for a decade, and I have respect for their hard-working employees who are doing a thankless job. But I have come to the conclusion that TSA is one of the worst-run, ineffective and most unnecessarily intrusive agencies in the United States government.”
(tags: america 911 hijacking usa government fbi politics DHS security tsa)
Open letter to violent Muslim protestors | The Chronicle
“I really don’t understand how my fellow Muslims do not see that, with their reactions, they actually prove what has been said about them by their enemies. You call my religion evil or terrorism and, in order to “disprove” this insult, I will go kill people, burn embassies, act like a bloodthirsty crazy person…. Don’t you fellow Muslims see the ridiculousness of this logic and actions! The uncivilized images of these violent protests by these irresponsible and violent Muslims shape the image of 1.6 billion Muslims all around the world. “
(tags: violence religion terrorism quran islam)
Verisign seizes .com domain registered via foreign Registrar on behalf of US Authorities. » blog2.easydns.org – Happenings and observations
Don’t register a .com if you don’t want the US authorities to be able to take it down, apparently.
(tags: SOPA web law DNS verisign internet domains icann)
24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed
“there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 16/44.1 or 16/48, and it takes up 6 times the space.” Includes good stuff about how ears work. Via andrewducker.
(tags: Nyquist sound sampling mp3 science music audio)
The Crazyist Metaphysics of Mind by Eric Schwitzgebel
“Crazyism about X is the view that something that it would be crazy to believe must be among the core truths about X. In this essay, I argue that crazyism is true of the metaphysics of mind. A position is “crazy” in the intended sense if it is contrary to common sense and we are not epistemically compelled to believe it. …. Well developed metaphysical theories will inevitably violate common sense, I argue, because common sense is incoherent in matters of metaphysics. No coherent and detailed view could respect it all. Common sense is thus impaired as a ground of choice. Nor can scientific evidence or abstract theoretical virtue compellingly favor any one moderately specific metaphysical approach over all competitors. Something bizarre must be true about the mind, but which bizarre propositions are the true ones, we are in no good position to know.”
(tags: crazyism david-chalmers epistemology descartes dualism idealism materialism consciousness metaphysics philosophy)

The latest code release onto LiveJournal has introduced a problem where people are randomly getting logged into the wrong journals. This exposes friends locked and filtered entries belonging to those journals to those random people. There’s no indication that this used to read the locked entries of a specific, targeted user, but there’s no analysis of the problem available, so we don’t know that it can’t be, either. Edit: It looks like this was a problem with caching. If that’s true, it’s unlikely that it could have been used to read posts from a specific user. More here from cahwyguy.

More information is available here.

This has been going on since at least yesterday morning, yet LJ still hasn’t responded officially to reports of the problem or warned users that their private data is at risk. Edit: LJ has posted about the problem, however, they don’t seem to have some details right. For instance, they’re claiming it was only a problem for a few minutes, when people were noticing it all day on Thursday.

This is the second time that LJ has dealt with a major security incident with staggering incompetence. It illustrates that they apparently don’t have a test server, i.e. they’re a bunch of coyboys. My vague plans to move this blog just got a lot less vague.

A. J. Ayer to the rescue! « Measure of Doubt

Ayer vs Mike Tyson, apparently really happened. "A. J. Ayer is known for writing "Language, Truth, and Logic." Lesser known is his sequel, "Language, Truth, and Being a Friggin' Badass.""
(tags: philosophy a.j.-ayer positivism funny biography)

TSA Agent Threatens Woman With Defamation, Demands $500k For Calling Intrusive Search ‘Rape’ | Techdirt

A woman sexually assaulted by a Transport Security Agency employee is then threatened with a libel suit when she blogs about it. Thugs Standing Around, indeed. Her own lawyer writes an excellent letter in response. Note: contains a description of the assault.
(tags: privacy surveillance rape defamation tsa security transport)

What People Don’t Get About My Job: From A(rmy Soldier) to Z(ookeeper) – Derek Thompson – Business – The Atlantic

"Tell us what people don't get or appreciate about your job. The response was so eloquent and overwhelming, it was practically encyclopedic. So we made an encyclopedia. From A to Z, we went through your responses to find the best vocational essays for each letter."
(tags: work jobs)

New Statesman – Faith no more

"Earlier this year, Andrew Zak Williams asked public figures why they believe in God. Now it’s the turn of the atheists – from A C Grayling to P Z Myers – to explain why they don’t "
(tags: atheism richard-dawkins philip-pullman daniel-dennett sam-harris)

Pompous Theist

You've seen Advice Dog and Courage Wolf, now enjoy Pompous Theist. Well observed stuff: I've seen quite a few of these "arguments" in my time.
(tags: atheism meme funny humour theism religion)

“Shut Up, Rich Boy”: The Problem With “Privilege.” | No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz?

"I’m a feminist writer, but I don’t like to use the word “privilege” in my writing. Here’s why not:"
(tags: feminism privilege)

Why Have Hackers Hit Russia’s Most Popular Blogging Service? – TIME

Where LJ has been the past week or so. For once, it's not their fault.
(tags: internet security livejournal politics ddos)

“Don’t Talk to the Police” by Professor James Duane

Of course, in the UK, we don't have an unqualified right to silence, but this stuff's interesting anyway. There's a follow-on video where a police officer responds and says the professor is right 🙂
(tags: law video police legal lectures rights)

Try Thinking | Here lieth the thoughts of SiânyB

"I do (despite appearances) totally understand the importance of prayer for some people – I know people who use it as a kind of meditation to clear their heads, to unburden their guilt or to enter some kind of celestial lottery of hope. But, given current world events, the message ‘Try Praying’ is a grimly obscuring lens through which to view your surroundings."
(tags: religion culture advertising prayer edinburgh christianity)

Sean Carroll: Does the Universe Need God?

Top theoretical cosmologist Sean Carroll wrote a chapter for the Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, and this is it. Interesting to compare Carroll's stuff with other popular science about the Big Bang.
(tags: philosophy god science bigbang big-bang sean-carroll physics cosmology)

The Blog : Being Mr. Nobody : Sam Harris

"Imagine a language in which, instead of saying ‘I found nobody in the room’ one said, ‘I found Mr. Nobody in the room.’ Imagine the philosophical problems that would arise out of such a convention. " Sam Harris quotes Wittgenstein to explain why he doesn't like to call himself an atheist.
(tags: wittgenstein atheism philosophy language sam-harris)

Fixing HTTPS

Glyph, of Twisted Python fame, talks about ways to fix HTTPS, presumably in the light of the recent attacks on certification authorities.
(tags: https security internet encryption)

AC Grayling: ‘How can you be a militant atheist? It’s like sleeping furiously’ | Books | The Guardian

Graying mocks the people who call atheists militant and fundamentalist, and talks about his new book: "But the third point is about our ethics – how we live, how we treat one another, what the good life is. And that's the question that really concerns me the most."
(tags: philosophy religion atheism grayling books)

If you do this in an email, I hate you – The Oatmeal

Via matgb
(tags: email funny internet humour)

Killing Elvis – David Hines (hradzka) – Alien series (1979 1986 1992) [Archive of Our Own]

"Aliens" fanfic. Good fun.
(tags: aliens alien fanfic humour)

Football Mascots, English Democrats And Shadow Mayors | MetaFilter

"Some council leaders and their new powers under the Local Government Act 2000 ("LGA"): – Councillors of the Borough of Telford and Wrekin have the power of flight (section 2 of the LGA)."

Light Blue Touchpaper: The Gawker hack: how a million passwords were lost

The security group at Cambridge on how the Gawker hack occurred.
(tags: security hacking gawker passwords)