Archive for January, 2008
This is another cool thing about Virginia. We test the Navy weapons of the future.
Check out the railgun. It fires slugs so fast it may as well be a solid ray of deadly steel.
From Fox News here:
DAHLGREN, Va. — A futuristic weapon getting a trial run by the Navy demonstrated its destructive power at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren.
In the demonstration Thursday, engineers fired the electromagnetic railgun at what they said was a record power level: 10 megajoules. Railguns use electromagnetic energy to launch projectiles long distances — more than 200 nautical miles.
According to the Navy, the railgun, when fully developed, will be able to launch solid projectiles at Mach 5, or about 3,700 mph.
I used to build aircraft carriers. I know how awesomely powerful our ships are. Our navy has not been challenged in almost 70 years. With a friggin rail gun powered by a nuke plant, who’s to stop us at sea?
Most people associate spyware or remote control trojans as part of a toolkit used by spammers or fraudsters. But such utilities are also common tools of jealous or abusive spouses that either don’t trust their partner, or feel the need to control every aspect of their lives.
McAfee even included such analysis in a recent white paper according to the Register here:
Spyware is becoming a tool of domestic abuse. Privacy-invading software packages are most commonly associated with surreptitiously snooping on victims to find out the passwords they use for online banking sites or bombarding them with invasive pop-up ads. But spyware can also be used as a tool to monitor and control their spouses by abusive partners, McAfee researcher Anna Stepanov warns.
“With so much of our lives dependent on computers and other technologies such as cell phones, the use of spyware is ideal for abusers, who often feel the need to control all aspects of a victim’s existence,” she writes. “Monitoring a victim’s online, cell phone, or general computing activity is of more value than ever in controlling or hurting a victim.”
Safe computing has joined finding safe housing as a list of requirements for people fleeing abusive relationships. A mobile phone is an obvious target for snoopers, but email inboxes are also a tempting target for control-freaks looking to keep tabs on their partners.
New post I wrote over at Geeks are Sexy discusses what happened to the CAPTCHA application used by Yahoo! Hint: Hackers cracked it.
I am expecting more Spam soon from Yahoo addresses.
This was passed along to me and I thought I’d share. I think I saw this video make its rounds through the blogs this time last year, but its too good not to see again. Awesome stop motion photography and a catchy little song to go along with it. You can also check out the homepage of Jeremy Fisher here. Click the video below to enjoy.
Toronto says black kids suck at school. They have studies that prove it. So their solution? Create black-only schools with an “afro-centric” education model. Only the leftists in Canada don’t call it segregation. They call it “understanding and developing cultural models for marginalized students.”
And the racist moonbats that pass for leaders of the black community in Toronto think this is a great idea. Meanwhile, the chorus of black kids scream:
From CTV here:
Trustees with the Toronto District School Board have voted to approve an “operational model” for an Afrocentric school, a controversial plan to help struggling black students in the city’s education system.
“The strategies will more effectively address the needs of black youth who struggled in TDSB schools,” John Campbell, chair of the board, said in a press release.
In total, the board has approved four strategies:
- Creating a “Program Area Review Team” to recommend the program and operational model for an Africentric Alternative School, to open in September 2009;
- Establishing a pilot program in three existing schools that would integrate the “histories, cultures, experiences and contributions of people of African descent and other racialized groups” into curriculum;
- Establishing a “Staff Development, Research and Innovation Centre” to assess the best way for improving the success of marginalized and vulnerable students; and,
- Drawing up a plan to address underachievement for all marginalized and vulnerable students.
I wonder what would be on the curriculum of an afro-centric school? How to properly swing a machete? How to commit election fraud or revolt against a government? How to commit or avoid genocide? Or how to contract HIV at a young age? Or maybe how to steal United Nations funding for your own corrupt government?
Matt and Trey had it right:
Times have changed; our kids are getting worse. They won’t obey their parents, they just want to fart and curse. Should we blame the government…? Or blame society…? Or should we blame the images on TV…?
Not that I would ever advocate criminal activity- but if you are going to do it, don’t resort to a gun, a mask and a stick-up note. Use a keylogger and remote access to a PC instead. They might have gotten away with it too, if not for an alert teller.
From the AP here:
A gang of Swedish criminals was seconds away from completing a digital bank heist when an alert employee literally pulled the plug on their brazen scam.
The would be bank robbers had placed “advanced technical equipment” under the employee’s desk that allowed them to take control of his computer remotely. The employee discovered the device shortly after he realized his computer had started an operation to transfer “millions” from the bank into another account.
“By pulling out the cable to the device, the employee managed to stop the intended transfer at the last second,” he said.
The foiled heist happened in August at a bank north of Stockholm, police said. They announced it only Wednesday after seven suspects, all from the Stockholm region, were arrested this week while allegedly preparing another heist.
Cops didn’t say what it was, but it could have very easily been a simple thumb drive with a trojan file set to autoplay. Even a CDRom given away at a trade show could contain malware set to autoplay on insertion.
Elizabeth Edwards is proud to have both cancer and a cheating husband.
Either that or he has to go inject more cancer into his wife so she will be ripe and rotten in time for the 2012 presidential race. He will announce his failure in New Orleans, the same place he announced his intentions to fail.
Typically, I’m not germaphobic. I eat pizza that has set out overnight. If I drop a cookie in my house I will use a modified 5 second rule and eat that cookie. But I probably think your house is dirtier, so your floor has a strictly enforced no-eat zone. And I have no problem shaking your hand unless I saw you knuckle deep in a nostril or have just sneezed into your hands.
But for those of you who are a bit more germaphobic, you should watch this video and then go put Kleenex boxes on your feet.
And one of the oddest presents my son got for Christmas was a virus. Yep, Grandpaw gave Cartney a plushy rhinovirus. He likes the color and thinks it tastes good.
You can give your loved ones a great germ or virus too.
How about Chlamydia?
Or maybe some great Hepatitus C?
And the dreaded HIV!
New York introduced a bill to their legislative assembly to ban known child molesters and other sex offenders from contacting kids online. They are asking all of the dirty pervs (who have never been known to do anything “sneaky”), to turn over their screennames, IM handles, anonymous email accounts on Yahoo, hotmail and gmail, to the state.
Once the state has the information, they will allow Facebook and MySpace to access this database. Anyone using one of those email addresses will not be allowed to signup to the social networking sites.
From CNET here:
New York’s lawmakers have introduced legislation to keep convicted sex offenders off the likes of Facebook and MySpace.
In a press conference on Tuesday, New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver unveiled details of the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (E-Stop), a new bill to crack down on the presence of sex offenders on the Internet, specifically on sites where they could get in touch with minors. The legislation aims to restrict convicted sex offenders’ Web use, banning them from social networks like Facebook and News Corp.’s MySpace.
Under E-Stop, registered sex offenders in New York would have to turn over online identity information, such as e-mail addresses and instant messaging screen names, to the state. Participating social-networking sites would have access to the registry so they could block access.
These politicians are breaking their own arms patting themselves on their backs to congratulate themselves for a huge steaming pile of FAIL. Email addresses are cheap and plentiful, as are screen names. Even if the sex offenders comply and turn over their data, what’s to stop them from using a different alias? Nothing, that’s what.
New York Legislators are hopping aboard the bus to Fail City.
As I have said before, the problem with criminals using social networking sites can be solved by a for-fee payment system using a credit card. The payment doesn’t have to be expensive, merely 1 dollar per year. You see, there is only one unique identifier for all Americans, and that is the social security number. All criminals register their social security numbers into a law enforcement database. All credit cards are tied back to the cardholder’s social security number. Allow social networking sites to check credit histories (by machine to enforce privacy) to match the social security numbers with a national criminal database, and problem solved.
And if the social networking sites print the url of the profiles onto the billing records, parents would be better able to keep track of children who are using their parents’ cards to get an online profile, and it will also enforce age verification since you must be 18 to get a credit card. Identity theft victims would be able to see when someone used their card to purchase a facebook profile. Criminal activity such as cyberbullying and fraud would decrease if such activity could more readily be traced to a real live person who holds the account.
E-Stop proponents can cheer if they want to. They have solved nothing.
Tax documents are pouring into everyone’s snail mailboxes this week and people are sharpening their pencils, buying Turbotax, or consulting with their accountants. All of this is good, and Wesley Snipes should take a lesson to see how Americans dutifully pay their fair shares.
But what you shouldn’t do this tax season is give away your private information to phishers and scammers. Sans has a report here saying that this type of phishing is hitting hard right now.
Bottom line is the IRS will never email you to tell you that you are owed a refund. Its not how it works. So if you see one of those emails, don’t respond to it. Instead, send it to the Anti-phishing Working Group and they will work to get the site shut down.
Daniel Meachum is the black lawyer of choice for black celebrities facing long jail sentences. Meachum was the star on Mike Vick’s dogfighting legal defense team, and now he’s the driving force on the Wesley Snipes Tax Evasion case.
We all know how well Meachum did keeping Mike Vick out of jail. Well, Vick did kinda put himself in that spot, killing the dogs, smoking pot on bail, etc. But surely, when his client Wesley Snipes is facing 16 years in prison and millions in fines and back taxes, Meachum will put up a great defense, right?
Nope. Not a single witness was called for Snipes’ defense. Its a good thing Wesley Snipes hired Meachum back after he fired him for ineffective counsel.
From Fox News here:
The defense in the tax fraud and conspiracy trial of Wesley Snipes rested Monday.
Snipes stopped filing his federal tax returns in 2000, demanded some $11 million in refunds on taxes previously paid and tried to settle other U.S. Treasury debts with fake checks. Snipes faced six additional charges of willful failure to file a return from 1999 to 2004. The 45-year-old actor, star of the “Blade” films, faces a potential sentence of 16 years in prison
“We chose not to call witnesses because there was no need to. The government prosecutors have put on a case that simply does not come close to meeting the standard of its burden of proof,” Snipes’ attorney Daniel Meachum said in a statement.
“It was obvious after we went over the evidence the government presented that we could move on to closing arguments immediately and get a just acquittal for Wesley on all counts listed in the indictment,” Meachum said.
Maybe OJ needs a really good black lawyer. Maybe Meach can help the Juice.
I have a new entry posted over at the great site Geeks Are Sexy. Its all about the cyberwar against the Church of Scientology as waged by Anonymous.
Jack Johnson has a new CD coming out called “Sleep Through the Static.” You can order it here at Amazon.
My wife and I actually heard this for the first time last night on the drive home and were happily surprised that Jack is using a full band for a change. It gives his music a fuller depth and richness his previous albums lacked. Click the video to enjoy.
A crazy woman who had an online fling with a Sacramento man turned to Craigslist to hire a hitman to rub out her lover’s wife. Maybe the heinous looking bitch can blame it on the “change of life” and hot flashes.
From the AFP here:
Anne Marie Linscott, 48, from Grand Rapids, Michigan offered www.craigslist.org users the chance to kill Carol, a 56-year-old woman in California, in a vaguely worded free ad under the category of “Freelance,” according to court documents.
Two women and one man responded to the ad. During subsequent emails, Anne Marie divulged that the task was actually a hit.
“Marie informed one respondent that she was looking for ‘silent assassins’ and she asked him to eradicate a targeted victim,” offered 5,000 dollars for the job and provided the address, name, age and occupation of the man’s wife.
“Asked what she meant by ‘eradicate,’ Anne Marie said ‘Duh. Well to have her killed,” the court documents said.
Linscott was charged with three counts relating to murder for hire and using interstate commerce to commit a felony.
The potential victim’s husband “acknowledged meeting Linscott through an on-line college course in 2004 or 2005,” The pair met for sex on at least two separate occasions.
At this site here, Linscott is described as a masseuse who used the online identity of “bourne2run.” Imagine this frost beast giving you a rubdown. Brrrr!
With the death of Heath Ledger, there are some guys out there, most likely at the urging of their wife or girlfriend, that may be rethinking their whole personal ban on watching a film about dudes making out. Well don’t update your Netflix list or rush down to Blockbuster just yet. First check out Angry Alien’s Brokeback Mountain in 30 seconds as re-enacted by bunnies.
I do love me some good Sangria now and again. Its great on hot summer days or as the beverage of choice when nibbling tapas. In fact, La Tasca is a chain of Spanish tapas restaurants in the local DC/Nova area, and they specialize in making a few great flavors of Sangria. Imagine their surprise when they found out they were breaking the law by mixing wine with fruit and brandy!
From the AP here:
If you’re served a pitcher of authentic sangria in a Virginia restaurant, someone’s breaking the law.
Since 1934, the state has prohibited mixing wine or beer with spirits. Frances McDonald, vice president of La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurants, found that out the hard way when his Alexandria location was cited for violating the sangria ban in 2006 and fined $2,000 and was ordered to pour its sangria — about 40 liters — down the drain.
In the meantime, the restaurant has taken to modifying its sangria recipe. The brandy has been eliminated and the triple sec replaced with a nonalcoholic orange liqueur.
The restaurant is working to appeal the ban or get the law changed, and I have to agree with this one. Also, wouldn’t that make all of the restaurants and pubs that sell “car bombs” or “boilermakers” in violation of the same law? I
don’t remember several nights when I’ve had multiple beers with shots of whiskey, rum, baileys, jaeger, etc dropped into a beer mug.
I stumbled onto a real gem of a collection of YouTube videos last night and just had to share. The videos are shot by Bill, aged 60, a retired Vietnam war veteran and former Army Ranger from Richmond, Virginia. Simply put, the man plays with toys.
But oh, what toys! He has converted his basement into his own playland, and he builds models, K’Nex toys, Lego Villages, miniature roller coasters, electronics whiz kits and toy robots. His previous creations surround him as he films his newest toys, freshly assembled and ready for the camera.
He’s prolific too. As of today, there are already 560 movies of Bill playing with his toys uploaded to YouTube since October of 2006.
Bill’s videos are made very well, and always features several unique qualities. First, he plays great music in the background. If he is playing with an action/adventure toy set, the music is either from the action genre or from the movie itself. For instance, with pirate toys, the music is from Pirates of the Caribbean. For the Raiders of the Lost Ark toys, he plays the Raiders themes.
His camera-work is excellent too. He gets close zooms of his handiwork and takes his time showing all of the details. He will turn his models over so you can see the bottoms, and will pop the hoods on cars and boats to show you the engine compartments. He takes time to demonstrate the working parts of the models too. If it has an engine, he will run it. If there is a pitfall trap built into a Lego playset, he will operate it. If the model has snakes to drop on the hero, by God, he drops the snakes.
Then halfway through the video comes his happy HA-HA-HA’s, his deep joyous voice booming his welcome, and his explanation of what he built, and his exclamation of “Isn’t that neat??!” He goes over the box, the model number, the number of pieces, how long it took to build, the difficulty level, and details of the instruction booklet.
His sign-offs are unique too. He shows his waving robot and then a googly-eyed monitor toy, and always says, “And guys! Get a critter!” He then flash pans to a little Lego man holding a smiling face sign and admonishes his viewers to “Think! Happy thoughts!” Then he pans to a pool of blinking diodes, softens the focus and says, “See ya later alligators!”
I spent two hours watching his videos of his amazing toys, thinking happy thoughts, and I think I know what I want to do with my future retirement days now.
Abdul ties Hassan’s sandals together. Hilarity ensues.
From the AFP here:
A WOULD-be suicide bomber fell down a flight of stairs and blew himself up as he headed out for an attack in Afghanistan.
It was the second such incident in two days, with another man killing himself and three others on Tuesday when his bomb-filled waistcoat exploded as he was putting it on in the southern town of Lashkar Gah.
The would-be attacker tripped as he was leaving a building apparently to target an opening ceremony for a mosque that was expected to be attended by Afghan and international military officials.
No mention of what religion this graceful fellow was following. Must have been Buddhist, huh?
There is a current story line running in DC comics that has Batman lying dying in a heart-stopped coma, and Batman replacements are lining up. April’s issue is titled “Batman R.I.P.”
From DC comics here:
Are you ready for “Batman R.I.P.”?
Beginning the epic story that will change the legend of the Dark Knight forever! Everything in Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking run on Batman has been leading to this story, and nothing will ever be the same again.
Who will live? Who will die? Who will be Batman? The answers are sure to shock you in “Batman R.I.P.”
Paulthewineguy’s Flickr site has lots of artwork images that have been modified so geeks can understand them better. A few of them I chuckled on the inside. Others, like the Caravaggio piece below depicting a flawless victory made me laugh out loud.