Tuesday, January 07, 2014

None of the possible fixes look permanent. I wonder if clients could force a “Product Recall?”
Richard Chirgwin reports:
The new year begins as the old year ended: with yet more vulnerabilities turning up in consumer-grade DSL modems.
A broad hint for any broadband user would be, it seems, to never, ever enable any kind of remote access to the device that connects you to the Internet. However, the hack published by Eloi Vanderbeken at github, here, resets devices to factory default, enabling a remote attack without the password.
Vanderbeken says the backdoor is confirmed in devices from Cisco (under both Cisco and Linksys brands, the latter since offloaded to Belkin), Netgear, Diamond, LevelOne and OpenWAG. According to a post on HackerNews, the common link between the vulnerable devices is that they were manufactured under contract by Sercomm.
Read more on The Register.

Interesting way to dodge the “Privacy Issue.”
In late December, 2013 the Department of Defense released a database on the military’s controversial Student Testing Program in 11,700 high schools across the country. An examination of the complex and contradictory dataset raises serious issues regarding student privacy and the integrity of the Student Testing Program in America’s schools.
The data was released after a protracted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Pat Elder reports, in part:
53% of all students taking the ASVAB across the country did so under Release Option 1. Students and parents may not determine which release option is used; therefore they cannot opt out of releasing the information individually. Just 15% of students taking the ASVAB had Option 8 selected by school officials.
DoD officials wash their hands of the privacy issue. “Whether or not a school official seeks students’ or parents’ or guardians’ permission is entirely up to that school, and we don’t have anything to say about that at all,” said Curtis Gilroy, the Pentagon’s prior Director of Accession Policy during an NPR Interview in 2010.
Read more on Global Research.

The “victims” are tainted. If there is a mug shot, you must be an ax murder! But seriously, why can't they charge whatever they want to remove your photo? If their business is based on the number (completeness) of mugshots, removing any would harm their reputation. On the other hand, if they act like extortionists, perhaps that's their business model.
John Caniglia reports that there’s been a settlement in one of the lawsuits filed over online mug shots sites that require payment for removal of the mug shot:
An Ohio lawsuit that gained national attention over Internet sites that make money off jail booking photos has been settled, though a plaintiff’s attorney says he continues to seek out the owner of a key player in the industry.
Three residents sued companies in U.S. District Court in Toledo, claiming the web sites, including BustedMugshots.com and mugshots.com, post the photos and then charge people — in some cases hundreds of dollars — to take them down.
The lawsuit was one of several filed across the country involving the web sites and their use of the photos. Others have been filed in Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
The notice of the settlement, filed Dec. 27, was signed by U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary but does not go into any detail.
Joseph Centrich, an attorney for Citizens Information Associates LLC, said the agreement called for his client to pay $7,500 and agree to stop charging for the removal of the photos, something he said the company already had done.
Read more on Cleveland.com.
While I’m sure this is good news for the plaintiffs, their suit was not able to address the biggest web site involved, mugshots.com, as they are registered in Belize could not be served in Ohio. And since this is a settlement, we’re still without any precedent as to whether the sites’ conduct was lawful or not – although that might not be a bad thing should it turn out that the First Amendment might protect their offensive behavior.

“There's an App for fat!” Okay, not really an App, but this could be amusing. (From MakeUseOf.com)
– allows you to find, track and hopefully eat at the restaurants you see on your favorite Food Network and travel shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Man v. Food, Best Thing I Ever Ate, No Reservations, Top Chef and more. With 30 shows and over 2,900 restaurants TV Food Maps is the most comprehensive list of restaurants seen on TV you can find in a single app.

It's what my students do while I'm “flapping my lips.” (From MakeUseOf.com)
Console Living Room Now Online
The Internet Archive has added a new section to its Historical Software Collection, with the Console Living Room making hundreds of retro games available to play online directly in a Web browser. The line-up of games includes Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Mario Bros, with more due to be added in the future. This will hopefully include some of the classic games that changed the world, but only time will tell.

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