piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so kim dotcom, the currently-being-prosecuted owner of megaupload, has finally launched his new site, dubbed with characteristic humility "mega".

the site is significantly different from megaupload; it's designed to function as encrypted cloud storage, and only you have the key to any data you store on it (you can share it with others). mega does therefore not know what you are storing. kim dotcom is making a lot of noise about how we all deserve more privacy, blah blah, but here's the kicker:

the site logs your IP information, and keeps track of what you access on the site. and it keeps that data for the duration of you holding an account with them (https://mega.co.nz/#privacy).

yeah, not so much with the privacy after all.

i can't stand kim dotcom, and while i cheer that he is not buckling under the full pressure of the US government, that he remains a big, fat thorn in their side, and rubs his audacity in their face, i feel slightly dirty for cheering. and i won't use his new site if i can help it.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
happy internet freedom day.

i don't know how "free" it really is, considering certain regime restrictions and crackdowns, and i am anything but happy at this point, but i guess it's worth celebrating that SOPA, PIPA (and ACTA) didn't pass, and that we threw a small wrench into the attempts by greedy and authoritarian scum to destroy the internet.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
AOL releases 20 million search entries from 650,000 users, with associated information, and poorly anonymized.  what were they thinking?  did they not pay attention when the USDOJ got raked over the coals for asking search engine companies for this data (ostensibly to protect The Childruuun)?  no, they must have known, since they handed over their data then, all compliant-like (bastards!).  did they miss that google actually fought this tooth and nail?  or did they somehow think that provided an opportunity for them? i boggle at the stupidity of this move.

they took the page and the dataset down after the news hit the blogosphere and was clearly not received with delight, but not fast enough -- i got a copy. which means thousands of other people also got one. and since the data is now out there it will spread.  while i won't do anything with this, the net is rife with opportunists.  the data includes personal names, addresses, social security numbers.  hello, identity theft!  this will probably also affect google, since AOL just repackaged google's engine, and this data will provide a gold mine for spammers whose method of choice is google's adsense.

these news come on the same day as this (which is how i came across it):  AOL lays off 5000 people. it has lost 9 million paying subscribers in the past four years - almost one in three from its peak.

if i were on AOL i'd be cancelling my account today. in a poll taken after the above-mentioned USDOJ scandal, 56% of people didn't appreciate their private data being given to the government.  guess how many will appreciate having it given to criminals?

i imagine those won't remain the only layoffs.  and you know? i am not gonna weep if AOL hits the big bitbucket in the sky. that company made the internet a bit crappier by offering bad value via an interface designed for "dummies" (in the yellow book sense, not the "stupid people" sense).  it's always september on the net now in large part due to AOL.  seems they've caught their own stupidity virus.

2006-08-08 addendum:
well, that didn't take long.  somebody has put the dataset into an SQL database and put up a query interface -- so if you're concerned that you might have sensitive private data out there, you can check for yourself rather easily now.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
our new internet broadcasting company, al qaeda.

apparently the production is quite "professional", complete with logo, marquees, subtitles, and that little box in the upper right corner to show pictures relevant to the news being read.

*boggle*. though why i am boggling, i don't know. it makes sense, but it just seems surreal at the same time.

the "voice of the caliphate" is apparently right up there with certain christian and jewish twerps in having gotten direct notice from the divine about hurricane katrina being retribution -- except terrorist-tv is more flowery: the hurricane was a soldier of god fighting those bad, bad homosexuals. *gnrg*. just once it would be nice if their god were to smite these idiots. *smite*smite*smite*. if i were god, there would be some mighty smiting, believe you me. forgiving is all good and well, but first: smiting.

more detail on terrorist-tv in german; couldn't find an english equivalent at the time of writing this. the article has pictures. i am guessing al qaeda does not pick its newscasters by their looks, since looks are irrelevant if you're in full ninja outfit.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

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