Friday, August 31, 2012

It could be leakage from the Saudi malware (very unlikely). It could be someone trying to drive up the price of natural gas. It could be someone like Syria, angry at states that aren't supporting them.
Qatari Gas Company Hit With Virus in Wave of Attacks on Energy Companies
The Qatari natural gas company commonly known as RasGas has been hit with a virus that shut down its website and e-mail servers, according to news reports.
The malware, however, did not affect the company’s operational computers that control the production and delivery of gas, an official of the Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas company told Bloomberg.
The attack reportedly began Aug. 27. The RasGas website was still unavailable on Thursday, three days after the attack.
Qatar is the world’s largest producer of liquified natural gas. RasGas, a joint operation of Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, distributes about 36 million tons of the resource annually.

(Related) We do need a scorecard.
A who's who of Mideast-targeted malware

For the Security/Privacy toolkit
Supports Firefox, IE, Chrome and Safari.

Texans certainly know RFID. Those tags attach to the ears of livestock are a common sight. Perhaps this is merely a reaction of parents concerned that their children will pierce their ears and wear the RFID as “Orwellian bling”
Rebellion Erupts Over School’s Student-Chipping Plan
August 30, 2012 by Dissent
It may not be the Alamo, but some Texans are taking a stand for student privacy with the support of a number of organizations.
Bob Unruh reports:
A rebellion is developing in Texas against a plan by a school district in San Antonio that would monitor the exact location and activities of all students at all times through RFID chips they are being ordered to wear.
Katie Deolloz, a member of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, told WND today that parents and students from San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District confronted the school board last night, stating their concerns about privacy and other issues “clearly and passionately.”
Read more on WND.
If truancy is a problem, chipping kids isn’t a solution. Finding out why they don’t care about classes and making education more important to them is. And if a school district can’t manage to keep accurate attendance figures without technology, the parents should be raising questions of competence. supports the students and parents who are fighting mandatory chipping. They’re our children, not merchandise on a pallet or sheep. Yes, schools have a responsibility to keep schools safe, but chipping students is no substitute for teaching them responsibility. Kids have always cut school. Good schools know how to deal with that without dehumanizing children by chipping them.

As my friends in New Jersey would say, “Good luck wid dat,”
EFF Sues to Get Secret Court Rulings Showing Feds Violated Spy Law
… Specifically the EFF wants the government to make public a secret court ruling that found that the feds had broken a 2008 wiretapping law that was intended to legalize President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The public first learned of that ruling thanks to three damning statements U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) obtained national security clearance to make public. Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, presumably learned of the lawbreaking in briefings from the intelligence community.

Un-humor. How else do you reward campaign contributors?
Army Doubles Down on ‘Garbled, Ineffective’ Next-Gen Radios
… The radio in question: the General Dynamics Manpack, a backpack-portable version of the Pentagon’s ambitious Joint Tactical Radio System. Voice traffic from the Manpacks was “garbled” and “unintelligible,” according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester. In a memo dated July 20, Gilmore declared the Manpack “not operationally effective.” In other words, it didn’t work in mock combat — and it probably won’t work in real combat, either.
But the scathing review hasn’t stopped the Army from doubling down on the meager remnants of the once-mighty JTRS initiative, which aimed to equip the entire U.S. military with hundreds of thousands of cheap, high-tech radios whose smart processors would switch waveforms in an instant, making them the radio equivalent of Star Trek‘s universal translator. Just over a week ago the Army dropped $54 million on 13,000 copies of General Dynamics’ similar Rifleman radio, banking on engineers to work out any bugs like those identified in the Manpack in New Mexico.

“We are not delaying, we're incompetent! We don't do anything deliberately.”
TSA Denies Stonewalling Nude Body-Scanner Court Order
… On July 15, 2011, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside a constitutional challenge brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center trying to stop the government from using intrusive body scanners across U.S. airports. But the decision also ordered TSA “to act promptly” and hold public hearings and publicly adopt rules and regulations about the scanners’ use, which it has not done, in violation of federal law, the court ruled.
The agency said in a court filing Thursday that there was “no basis whatsoever for its assertion that TSA has delayed implementing this court’s mandate.” (.pdf)

For those times when I'm hinting that my lawyer friends should pick up the check? (Okay, that's every time) Mostly, this is to make them drool into their keyboards.
Court filing provides peek at Apple's massive legal bill
… All told, the bill for just that motion rings up to $116,668.50 for nearly 232 hours of work, a figure that could come out of Samsung's pocket. [a mere $500 per hour Bob]
Update at 8:24 p.m. PT: Not to be outdone, Samsung's firm Quinn Emanuel has filed its own similar paperwork detailing how much work went into preparing for three separate motions pertaining to sanctions the company wanted against Apple.
All told, Samsung's attorneys say they spent $258,200.50 working to prepare just the three motions.
… The highest paid among the group was Quinn Emanuel partner Marc Becker, who was billed $1,035 an hour, a third more than Apple's top paid attorney from the above filing. Nonetheless, the firm notes that its hourly rates are "consistent with prevailing market rates for attorneys of similar skill and expertise," as well as "rates charged by Apple's outside counsel."

My Blog, apparently... (No real value, but it might illustrate something about SEO)
Ask any website owner or SEO specialist what the most important aspect of owning a website is, and they will probably tell you that it is to get on to the first page of search results – and stay there. In fact, since search engines rank all pages based on relevance and popularity, many people, when searching for something, rarely go past the first or second page. But have you ever wondered what you would be presented with, if the top one million results were automatically removed? That is what Million Short offers to show you.

If you haven't tried RSS Feeds, you should.
RSS is one of those web technologies that boomed many years ago but isn’t a top priority anymore. With the advent of widespread social networking, many users end up getting their updates through emails and site-specific news feeds. But for blogs, which are still on a popularity rise, RSS is one of the best ways to aggregate news updates.
… For web-based RSS aggregation, my go-to site is Google Reader. But just as some people prefer to use Outlook and Thunderbird instead of Gmail’s web interface, it may please you to use a desktop client instead of a web-based solution. For that, Omea Reader is one of the best on Windows.

Social Math! Might have potential!
Wolfram Alpha Launches Personal Analytics Reports For Facebook
Wolfram Alpha, the “computational knowledge engine” that quietly handles a large number of queries from Apple’s Siri, launched a new feature today that allows you to quickly get an overview of all your data on Facebook.
… The company plans to expand these reports with new features over time, but they already give you a pretty deep look at your Facebook habits.
The report, for example, shows which words you use most in your status updates, who likes your updates the most, when you use Facebook the most, your app activity and how your friends are connected to each other.
The report also gathers a good amount of data about your friends, including, for example, their marital status, age and gender distribution and lists of the most common names among them. You can also see a specialized report that just focuses on your friend by searching for ‘facebook friends.’
… To see your own personalized report, just head over to Wolfram Alpha and search for ‘facebook report.’ You’ll then be prompted to connect to Facebook and create a (free) Wolfram Alpha account. After that, Wolfram will gather all your data and compile your report within a few seconds.

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