There have been 70,000 people killed in Mexico in the past 7 years due to activity related to the Drug Cartels. Of course, 70,000 people would comprise a sizable American city, and now those people are gone due to the lax enforcement of American Drug laws that have made the drug trade even more lucrative. But it seems the citizenry is also fighting back with Punisher-style tactics. I don’t know whether to applaud or be horrified.
From the DailyMail here:
These shocking photos show how the bodies of seven men were found on plastic chairs in Mexico having been shot in the head, with threat messages nailed to some of their chests using ice picks.
A placard on one of the bodies, which were found early yesterday morning in Uruapan, Michoacan state, said: ‘Warning! This will happen to thieves, kidnappers, sex offenders and extortionists.’
Seven bodies had bullet wounds and had been placed individually in the sitting position in chairs near a roundabout.
Some of the bodies had their hands and feet bound, outside a Pepsi bottling plant. The men were believed to have been aged from 15 to 40. The bodies were found at 05:30 local time.
Someone has had enough down in Mexico. And they are taking out the trash. So the next time you think that smoking a little pot is a victimless crime, remember these men wearing the ice pick neckties. They worked hard to get that pot to America and paid for it with their lives.
The World Trade Organization has said it is okay for the tiny nations of Antigua and Barbuda to steal American Intellectual Property because the US said online gambling was illegal. The Taiwanese animators put together this little show to demonstrate the issue:
From NMATV here:
Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny Caribbean nation whose economy was devastated by a US embargo on online gambling, is threatening to retaliate by legalizing internet piracy. The WTO says the US embargo violates international trade rules and has given Antigua the okay to retaliate by using US intellectual property.
Internet gambling was a boon for Antigua’s economy. At one point more than 4,000 people out of a population of less than 100,000 were working in the industry. Then the US placed an embargo on Antigua’s online gaming industry, under the logic that placing bets across state lines violates American law. Now the industry only employs 500 people.
Antigua is threatening to allow ultra-cheap subscription or pay-per download sites to operate from Antigua, or set up a government-run torrent site that would allow free downloads of American music, movies and software, unless the US decides “to negotiate fairly and honestly in the very near future.”
I was never an advocate for online gambling because I simply didn’t trust it to be honest. And in its heyday you were likely playing against smartbots rather than other people. To me it was just another dangerous place on the internet where the buyer should beware. For the US to have outlawed it always struck me as inappropriate. But now the Hollywood bigwigs will certainly get involved. Pass the popcorn, this is gonna be good.
When we last left our discussion about Gottfried Svartholm Warg, he was cooling his heels in a Swedish prison, awaiting trial on hacking charges for attacks against a Swedish Tax Bureau. Now it looks like the prosecution has piled on a few more charges, mostly for the lulz.
From TorrentFreak here:
Every other Friday there is a court hearing in Sweden to discuss the continued detainment of Gottfrid Svartholm. A request to detain the Pirate Bay co-founder for an additional two weeks was granted yesterday but not without more drama being added to the proceedings. Gottfrid was arrested under suspicion of being involved in a second hacking case along with accusations of four instances of serious fraud and four attempted frauds.
Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm is currently being detained in Sweden, locked up for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.
He is being held under suspicion of hacking into Logica, an IT company closely connected to Sweden’s tax authorities.
The prosecutor presented new accusations against the Swede, namely that he was involved in a second case of criminal hacking, including four instances of serious fraud and four instances of attempted fraud.
“The new suspicions mean that the court can keep Gottfrid in custody even if the Logica case is closed in the near future,” Gottfrid’s mother Kristina Svartholm informs TorrentFreak.
What a shame this thief is still in jail. I’m sure the charges are 100% politically motivated and have nothing to really do with breaking Swedish law, at least not according to every left-leaning hacker out there. And what’s up with these hackers’ mommies becoming their criminal children’s mouthpiece to the Press? Gary McKinnon’s mom was a media whore and it looks like Gottfried’s mom is a bit of one too. Maybe if Gottfried flaps his arms and pretends he has Aspergers, this will all clear up in no time.
The story of Fletcher Christian’s mutiny aboard the HMS Bounty against Captain Bligh is one of the most fascinating seafaring stories of all time. Christian put Bligh and 18 crewmen off the ship to fend for themselves while Christian took the Bounty to Pitcairn island to live a life of freedom with hot Tahitian chicks. The original HMS bounty was burned and scuttled. A replica of the Bounty set sail earlier last week from Connecticut to reach Florida, but ran into trouble off the Outer Banks of North Carolina- just like so many other ships historically encountered. The Coast Guard had to rescue the entire crew while the Bounty foundered. Reportedly the crew aboard had tried to “go around” the historic hurricane and failed miserably.
From WTOP here:
The Coast Guard rescued 14 members of a crew forced to abandon the tall ship HMS Bounty caught in Hurricane Sandy off the North Carolina Outer Banks and continued the search Monday for two other crew members.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill said the crew members were rescued by two Coast Guard helicopters around 6:30 a.m. Monday. The survivors were being taken to Air Station Elizabeth City on the North Carolina coast.
The tall ship had left Connecticut last week en route for St. Petersburg, Fla.
“They were staying in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center,” she said. “They were trying to make it around the storm.”
The rescue took place in winds of 40 mph and 18-foot seas about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
The tall ship had been used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The website is here, but unreachable as of this post. You know, for a historical society, these guys sure did ignore a lot of history in regards to storms and the difficulty of navigating the treacherous waters of the Outer Banks.
I happened to catch Pink on Spongebob dressed as a Pirate wench and singing a great song about the unfortunate side of pirating.
The same deadbeat leftists that whine that “information must be free” would be outraged to find out that all of their illegal downloads are recorded, tracked and often reported to collection agencies and groups of various kinds. Most file sharing protocols are open clear text and you can clearly see usernames, passwords, filenames, IP addresses and even delivery speeds. And for whatever reason, it took a British research team 3 years to figure out this obvious activity.
From CBS here:
A recent study found that those who participate in illegal file-sharing are not flying under the radar, but rather are closely monitored within hours of engaging in suspect activity.
The study, conducted at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, used software created by computer scientists that emulated the file-sharing program BitTorrent and logged all interactions and connections made to it, the Korea IT Times reported.
Over the course of the three-year study, researchers reportedly saw monitoring firms tracking activity within three hours of a given download.
According to the tech website, those conducting the study were “surprised” at the diligent way in which such activity was monitored, and noted in their findings that there was no difference between frequent users and occasional downloaders.
The monitoring likely happens at several organizations at once. Your own ISP has a legal liability if you use their network for criminal activity, so they are the first tracker. Likewise for the ISP at the other end. And owners of intellectual property and copyrighted works have agencies that track these things for them too. The Tor network won’t help. Its seeded with sniffing points as well, decrypting traffic, recording it and then passing it along re-encrypted.
Gottfried Warg, one of the founders of the Pirate Bay Bittorrent Search Engine used by criminals to download pirated and copyrighted materials, was nabbed in Cambodia and arrested. Warg fled Sweden to avoid jailtime for copyright infringement, but his arrest wasn’t due to his failure to appear for his sentencing. It seems that Warg hacked into a Swedish company and stole tax records.
From CNET here:
Swedish police arrested Gottfried Svartholm Warg today as soon as he stepped off the plane from Cambodia.
Warg, one of the founders of The Pirate Bay, one of the best known file-sharing services on the Web, is accused of hacking into the servers of a company that supplies IT services for some of Sweden’s tax services and making off with records belonging to thousands of people.
Up until late last week, it was believed that Warg had been detained by police in Cambodia because of his conviction in Sweden on copyright charges. In 2009, Warg, and fellow Pirate Bay cofounders Peter Sunde and Fredrik Neij of creating 33 copyright-protected files for downloading on Piratebay.org.
Warg failed to show up at a hearing on the matter and was believed to have fled the country. An International arrest warrant was issued.
Gads, it would suck to be on the run and have to live in Cambodia. Kudos for the cops arresting this criminal. And leftist hackers around the world will start parading around in their “Free Gottfried” shirts.
William Kidd was one of the last pirates of the golden age of Caribbean Pirates. He started his career as a privateer and pirate hunter. Eventually he turned to piracy himself and was hung three times in London and had his tarred body locked in a crows’s cage hanging over the River Thames as a warning to other would-be pirates. Now his old family bible was discovered hidden in a piano.
From the DailyMail here:
Lost treasure belonging to the pirate who inspired Johnny Depp’s famous character Jack Sparrow has been discovered hidden in a house under a grand piano. Carved with a skull and crossbones, the 17th-century wooden Bible box, King James Bible and mirror were possessions of Dundee-born scourge of the seas William Kidd.
There has long been speculation that Kidd buried treasure on an island and maps apparently showing where it is stashed have surfaced over the years.
The 17th-century treasure includes a wooden Bible box, King James Bible and mirror once belonging to the feared pirate William Kidd was found inside a piano formerly owned by Hubert Palmer, a collector of pirate memorabilia.
Kidd, who was born in Dundee, was initially hired by the government as a privateer to hunt down pirates, but became one himself.
He murdered one of his crew on board and captured many ships, robbing them of their treasure. He buried some of the plunder on an island off the US and it was dug up and sent back to England for use in the trial against him.
He was convicted of murder and piracy and hanged in 1701 in London. The rope broke on the first and second attempts and he had to be hanged a third time. His body was then tarred and suspended in an iron cage for three years over the River Thames at Tilbury Point as a warning to others.
Kidd was also one of the only pirates to actually bury treasure, and he did so when he was on the run from Royal Naval forces.
If you are not following Congressman Darrel Issa on Twitter, you should. He is the undisputed cyber thought leader in the House, and he objects to the Stop Online Piracy Act and how the Movie Industry is flooding Washington with lobbyists that, if they had their way, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter would be sued out of existence.
And those domains that were shut down without having SOPA already written into law? The huge bulk of them related to non-official NFL Jerseys.
The story about the Jersey takedown operation is here at Torrentfreak.
Once again my website is being accused of all manners of legal evil-doing. This time, a band of Indians (dot not feathers) are threatening to launch DDOS attacks against my website because I once linked to a story over a year ago that details how Aiplex Software was launching distributed denial of service attacks against websites that were illegally hosting their software.
Now Jagadish of Aiplex sends me this threatening letter, accusing me of causing defamation to his company and causing his company to suffer losses due to damages and threats from hackers. Honestly, I never knew I had such awesome power by using hyperlinks to stories others have written!
From: Aiplex AntiPiracy [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2011 4:53 AM
Cc: Girish; Mahesh R
This has reference to the below article on your webpage, we kindly request you to deactivate the link as the article is defaming the company’s image & its prospects. It was mis-interpreted by the news agency which was blown out of proportion by some of the pirates across the globe. And subsequently we have to face damages/threats from the pirates & undergo immense losses due to their attack on our servers/websites etc.
Although, we did declare that we are not involved in any of those activities as published in the article, we still have to face the consequences for reasons unknown.
Below is the link for your reference:
We kindly request you to deactivate at the earliest possible please.
Appreciate your help on this matter.
Aiplex Software Pvt. Ltd.
No. 2943/E, 1st floor, Opp Maruthi Mandir,
Service Road, Vijayanagar,
Bangalore – 560 040
Ph : +91 80 23305411 / 12 / 13
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.aiplex.com
To which I responded:
Please stop DDoSing me you evil bastards!
Now I get the following response from a lawyer for aiplex, who I’m sure has belch.com in the sites of his nefarious DDoS botnet:
I did clarify that we are not into such unscrupulous activity pls understand that it was a mis-interpretation by a news agency.
Anyways, it is your prerogative to keep it active or disable the link.
U have a nice weekend Patrick.
Girish Kumar N
Aiplex Software Pvt. Ltd.
Ph : +91 80 23305411 / 12 / 13
Mb : +91 98451 28280
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.aiplex.com
Confidentiality & Non-Disclosure Warning: This message is intended for the exclusive use of the person or entity to which it is addressed. It may contain information that is confidential/privileged, and must be treated as such. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or making a decision in reliance of its content is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by error, please, destroy the message and kindly notify us immediately. Inappropriate/unauthorized use of the information shall be dealt with the applicable confidentiality and non-disclosure laws. Please note that while we scan all e-mails for viruses we cannot guarantee that any e-mail is virus-free and accept no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email.
I snort loudly, by the way, for every lawyer who sends out a clear text email with a retarded non disclosure warning appended to it. I can disclose anything I want, and I dare anyone to find a law that says posting something like this is a breach of any confidentiality laws.
Who is the Girish Kumar who is spending so much time emailing me? This guy pictured here. The story from theAge in Australia describes further how Girish Kumar was bragging about launching DoS attacks against websites that link to movie downloads.
Anyways, I finally responded:
Wait a minute. Are you accusing me of defamation or not? Am I causing you to suffer damages and threats because of hackers or not? Your email seemed to imply this, and my own legal team will need clarification. And of course, I expect if I don’t comply you will immediately DDOS me, right? That’s what you guys do, right? Send threats and then strong arm/abuse people to bow to your every demand to remove links? So even if you talk about piracy its as bad as committing piracy because now you are going to wreak havoc on my internets page because I linked to a story about you guys running huge DDOS operations against pirates?
Guess who has reloaded his hurricane gun and is pointing it at black folk again? Bush, according to Kanye West. President Bush is at it again, damn his scurvy heart, Yaaaarrrr! Don’t know why I just went pirate there, but I’m better now. But there is a hurricane a’comin’ and it has its angry, vacant, gaping, seepy eye aimed toward Baltimore and Harlem. Gosh, I hope Ray Nagin can save everyone this time around!
So far they have evacuated the Outer Banks, Virginia Beach and other areas. I know three days isn’t much time for a warning, but I really hope we don’t have to see anyone pushing anyone through flooded streets on the news again. So Baltimore, Newport News and Harlem, please head toward the mountains, okay?
That’s London Bridge, looking at the north bank of the Thames. This shot was taken right next to the replica of Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind, that circumvented the globe, pictured below.
And, here is a panorama of the site. And yes, I was certainly drinking a few delicious English ales at the time.
This post gets the pirate tag because Drake died after attempting to take San Juan, Puerto Rico from the Spanish.
Archaeological work continues on the remains of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the pirate ship of the infamous Blackbeard. A sword has been pieced back together from remnants left behind after the pirates abandoned the ship. I seriously doubt this piece would have belonged to Blackbeard, who was killed prior to the ship running aground in 1718.
From NatGeo here:
(the sword) was found amid the North Carolina wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of the infamous 18th-century pirate.
Since 1997, archaeologists have been excavating the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The sword hilt—found in pieces but reassembled for this picture—is among their latest finds and was revealed to the public this month.
After running aground on a sandbar in 1718 near the town of Beaufort, the ship was abandoned but likely remained intact and partly above water for as long as a year before collapsing and disintegrating.
“In any event,” he said, “the pirates would have had ample opportunity to take anything that they thought valuable.” The newfound hilt may have been left behind because it was unwanted, or it may have been inaccessible.
Blackbeard’s brief career as a pirate lasted only about two years, but during that time he became one of history’s most feared outlaws. Operating in the West Indies and off the coast of colonial America, he struck terror into the hearts of commercial ships’ captains and once held the entire city of Charleston, South Carolina, hostage.
This one man, Ed Teach, aka Blackbeard, once blockaded an entire port city with just the help of his merry band of cutthroats.
Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundstrom of the Pirate Bay Torrent Tracker site will now have to each pay the RIAA and MPAA about 6.5 million dollars. They lost their appeal in Swedish court and the judge stuck them with a higher fine in exchange for less jail time. They will still face about four to ten months in prison. They should be thankful they don’t still hang pirates.
From Wired here:
Three of the admins behind The Pirate Bay are all still guilty, a Swedish appeals court decided on Friday, but their jail time has been reduced. Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundstrom’s prison sentences have all been reduced from the original one year to between 4 and 10 months each, though the trade-off is an increase in damages that they must pay to the music and movie industries.
The Swedish district court found four of the Pirate Bay members guilty of assisting copyright infringement in April of 2009, despite the fact that the site never hosted any of the files being shared. The four were sentenced to a year in prison each plus a shared 30 million kronor fine ($4.26 million at today’s conversion rates).
Now, three of the four will be able to get out of jail early—but their shared fine has been bumped up to 46 million kroner (just over $6.5 million). That’s still lower than the 117 million kronor fine initially sought by content owners, but definitely nothing to sneeze at.
And Sunde is still being defiant, planning to appeal to the Supreme court. Do you think they will be able to ask torrent users to help them pay their fine? That would be like they had bought the music after all, but I somehow don’t think anyone will donate money to help them out.
Every user of the Pirate Bay Torrent Search site had their user credentials exposed in a vulnerability that existed on the website. User credentials such as usernames, hosted torrents, IP address information and search terms were available to be siphoned off as demonstrated to Brian Krebs in his great story here.
Security weaknesses in the hugely popular file-sharing Web site thepiratebay.org have exposed the user names, e-mail and Internet addresses of more than 4 million Pirate Bay users, according to information obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.com.
An Argentinian hacker named Ch Russo said he and two of his associates discovered multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities that let them into the user database for the site. Armed with this access, the hackers had the ability to create, delete, modify or view all user information, including the number and name of file trackers or torrents uploaded by users.
Russo maintains that at no time did he or his associates alter or delete information in The Pirate Bay database. But he acknowledges that they did briefly consider how much this access and information would be worth to anti-piracy companies employed by entertainment industry lobbying groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), each of which has assiduously sought to sink The Pirate Bay on grounds that the network facilitates copyright infringement.
Actually, if the information was obtained illegally, it would be worthless to the MPAA and RIAA since that information would not be allowed to be used in court. But that would be absolutely hilarious to turn the tables on the data thieves. He should have uploaded the entire database to Wikileaks, but wait, you can’t do that since that site’s submission process is still broken.
Of course, all of the users of PirateBay download and upload only legitimate files, and never pirated material, right? The Pirates have been scuppered.
Stupid Dutch. Instead of sending the Pirates to Davy Jones’ Locker where they mythically and literally belong, they brought them to trial. Now 16 months after capture they go before a judge and say, “We weren’t pirates. We use those rocket launchers to go fishing for sharks! Arrr Matey!”
From the Telegraph here:
Five Somali men have protested that they were shark fisherman not pirates despite being intercepted off Somalia’s coast after attacking a Dutch vessel with rocket launchers and assault rifles.
Europe’s first modern trial for the 17th century crime of “sea robbery” has opened in Rotterdam amid protestations of innocence from the accused.
The men, facing jail terms of nine to 12 years, are accused of attacking and attempting to hijack the Samanyolu, a Dutch Antilles-flagged ship, while it was sailing in the Gulf of Aden in January 2009.
Farah Ahmed Yusuf, 25, accused the cargo ship of attacking the Somalis after engine failure had forced them to abandon their shark fishing expedition and seek help.
“The intention was to fish,” he said.
“As we came closer, we put our hands in the air. While we had our hands in the air, they shot at us. They attacked us.”
Seems like a pretty light sentence for something like this too. European justice is way too nice.
This is how you deal with Prates. You don’t negotiate with them. You don’t give them ransom. You certainly don’t read them their miranda rights. You do what the Russians did when they caught them- you kill them.
From the AP here:
Following high level complaints about “imperfections” in international law, Russia announced Tuesday that captured Somali pirates “have all died.” A Russian official claimed that 10 pirates seized by Russian special forces aboard an oil tanker last week were quickly freed but then died on their way back to the Somali coast.
They did not elaborate on how the pirates died, deepening a mystery that has prompted speculation the pirates were executed by commandos who had freed a Russian oil tanker seized in waters 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Somalia’s coast.
“They could not reach the coast and, apparently, have all died,” the official said.
Russian officials have said one of the 11 pirates was killed during a gunbattle when the Russian special forces stormed the tanker on Thursday. The others, some said to have been wounded, were brought aboard a Russian destroyer.
Officials initially said they would be taken to Russia for trial, but the Defense Ministry said Friday they’d been released because of “imperfections” in international law. The statement was met with skepticism, especially in light of a comment made by the Russian president.
“We’ll have to do what our forefathers did when they met the pirates” until the international community comes up with a legal way of prosecuting them, Dmitry Medvedev said on the day the ship was stormed.
I’m pretty sure that International law dictates that you can kill pirates if they attack you. Nice to see that Russia aren’t pussies who worry about what the International community thinks of them. And I’m pretty sure they don’t take kindly to illegal immigrants either, but you don’t hear about folks protesting them do you?
You thought UPS only shipped packages and drove those big brown trucks and wore those brown shorts? Well they also sell Pirate Insurance. Just in case your shipments are lost to Corsairs along the Barbary Coast, or your packages end up in Davy Jones’ locker when a military vessel blasts a pirate scow out of the water, you need coverage, and they offer it for less. The original image from below is here, embedded in a letter posted by, of all people, ArchieMcPhee, who makes whoopie cusion gag gifts and has an interest in making sure that their shipments from Taiwan arrive on time.
But what I want you to notice is where all of the pirates are: Along the coasts of Islamic countries- Along Thailand, the Indian coast, the Arabian Peninsula, and of course along the Ivory Coast and Ethiopian waters. There are pirate problems in Morocco too.
Leftist Indians along Peru and Ecuador’s coasts are clearly marked along with one outpost in the Caribbean, which must be Jack Sparrow or Venezuelans.
This is hilarious. Pirate Bay, the Torrent Search engine that enables millions of downloads of pirated and copyrighted software and music and videos was up for sale because the owners are going to jail for breaking copyright laws. But the buyer might not pay for the site after all. Ironic, don’t you think? Getting something for nothing? Surely there is a word for that?
From PCWorld here:
The Pirate Bay’s shot at legitimacy may be over before it even began, as Swedish firm Global Gaming Factory hasn’t produced enough money to buy the legendary torrent tracking site.
GGF has a week to come up with $7.8 million but that seems unlikely as the company’s key business relationship is crumbling. Wayne Rosso, the former Grokster CEO who joined the new Pirate Bay to broker deals with the music industry, has already jumped ship. He said that GGF wasn’t coming through on several promises, and has yet to pay him or his partners.
GGF was hoping that The Pirate Bay’s user base could be tapped for extra bandwidth, which would be sold to Internet service providers. This would generate revenue for the site, but it would also subsidize users’ membership fees. Rosso was working on bringing the music industry on board, so users could download all they wanted.
The problem is that a bandwidth-sharing scheme assumes The Pirate Bay has a critical mass of users. But illicit-file-sharers are a fickle lot, more loyal to the idea downloading free music, movies, and software than to the site that had served them for so long. Pirate Bay has no certainty of heavy traffic — never mind the fact its new business plan is unique and untested.
It’s not clear what will happen to Pirate Bay if the sale indeed falls through. The Pirate Bay’s founders are fighting to keep the site running while its legal battle continues on appeal, but the damage to its reputation — as a place to get content illegally, mind you — won’t easily wash away.
So the Pirate Bay users won’t stick around to help share bandwidth and purchase music legally. Duh. Pirate Bay is being scuttled.
Artist Heinz Edelmann, artist and director of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine passed away this week.
The story is here from the Times.
The bulbous Blue Meanies, which personify an evil mood as actual villains, pursue the innocent, well-coifed cartoon Beatles across an ever-shifting milieu of mysterious seas and holes that can be magically picked up and moved. The yellow submarine itself stops in an ocean of pulsating watches, representing time, to light a cigar for a friendly sea monster.
The story goes on to mention that inspiration for the movie came after the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein went to the Tate gallery and were captivated by the painting “Peace — Burial at Sea” by JMW Turner. That piece is below, and yeah, its pretty awesome. How they got what looks like South-Park style psychodelic animation from this beautiful painting, however, seems like a big leap.