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Posted by mac @ 07:35 AM EST [Link]
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Warning: Scam artists are now spoofing telephone caller IDs in order to appear to be a call from your bank, a trusted business, your credit card companies, or any place they can use to advantage. They choose the # that will show up at the other end. This Q&A from Star38 explains that the spoofing service was created for law enforcement, private investigators and collection agencies. One of the Q&As: Can you give us a general overview of how this works? Without giving away the secret of the product, of course. We control the call from begining to end: the length, the route, the access, etc, on either a PSTN line or VOIP. As a user all you have to do is log in, sign off on the legal disclaimer, enter in the number you are calling, the number you would like to be called back at and the number you would like to show up on the caller ID. Depending what service your company is offering (PI, law enforcement or collections) depends on what number you can enter.
Other services seem less selective. SPOOFTEL.com "the World's Leader in Spoofing Caller ID allows you to appear as the cupid of choice when calling your Valentine on Valentine's Day. Just imagine all the fun you can have." And the Chicago Sun-Tribune reports today, Millions of people have Internet phone equipment that can be set to make any number appear on a Caller ID system. And several Web sites have sprung up to provide spoofing services. For instance, one Web site sells a virtual ''calling card'' for $10 that provides talk time. The user dials a toll-free number, then keys in the destination number and the Caller ID number to display.
Our house has pre-solved this problem by never, ever giving out information over the phone unless we've originated the call.
Posted by mac at 11:32 AM EST [Link]
Quote of the Day: “You know a politician is in trouble when even shooting a lawyer can’t boost his approval ratings.” -- Joseph Sobran
Thanks to C.M. for sending the following article, which amazes even me -- a cynic about the police who believes taking my chances with criminals is preferable. The report opens, Most police officers are a credit to the badge, serving the community and the people who pay their salary, getting criminals off the street, making the community safer for everyone. But on occasion, a police officer and a member of the public they serve don't see eye to eye, and the citizen feels a need to complain. In many departments around the country, the process starts out simply: a person just requests a complaint form. Police departments around the country, like here in Tallahassee, give citizens police complaint forms all the time, no questions asked. But walk into a police station in South Florida, trying to find out how to file a complaint, and watch what happens.
The report then proceeds to offer a wide array (transcripts) of the responses received from the various police officers of whom a form is requested. The responses range from stonewalling to a threat of violence. The latter is reproduced below. [more]
Posted by mac at 10:25 AM EST [Link]
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
It is time to get out of U.S. dollars if you possibly can. Why? I quote an article from The Free Market News Network, "The clock is ticking folks. Next month, the Federal Reserve is due to discontinue reporting M3 money supply [and related] statistics. They would have us believe that it's their intention to save us a few nickels. Many in the mainstream are as reluctant to see this ruse as they were to recognize gold rigging or corrupted inflation data. Oil is also slated to begin trading for Petro-Euros next month too. Many pundits feel that this is a non issue as well. I beg to differ." Without money supply statistics, it becomes almost impossible to know whether inflation is rising, by how much, and other information vital to the average Joe and Jill on the street. For more analysis, click here.
BTW -- and strictly as my personal opinion -- I think the U.S. will move against Iran in March in order to disrupt the switch to Euros.
Posted by mac at 11:51 AM EST [Link]
Posted by mac at 06:23 AM EST [Link]
Dear Bill: everyone knows your Windows product will crash on the slightest provocation. You really don't have to advertise the fact in Times Square. —brad
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Two fun items on Cheney's hunting debacle:
1) Letterman's latest comments.
2) With a hat tip to Karen de Coster...Quail Hunting School.
Posted by mac at 10:22 AM EST [Link]
I've seen several libertarians on favorite sites such as lewrockwell.com and antiwar.com come to the defense of the Dubai Ports deal, on commendable free-market principle. But I haven't seen any libertarian site ask the key question: cui bono?
The closest has been Justin Raimondo, who asks this question about the opposition to the deal: "In politics, one should always follow the money – and, as I've said before, on this occasion someone's financial interests seem to be intertwined with the effort to smear DPW."
Why stop there? What are the financial interests of those supporting this deal? Why did Dubya, who admitted not even knowing about the deal, immediately threaten to use his presidential veto to preserve the deal -- a veto he hasn't employed once in five years? Who told Dubya the deal is that important, and why is it that important? What are we not seeing, behind the scenes?
Follow the money, indeed. —brad
Monday, February 27, 2006
Regarding my parents' new computer: I got a helpful note from a McBlog reader who says that Windows XP really needs 1.5 GB of RAM to run adequately. Which, I guess, makes my point about XP being a pig.
My laptop, which came with XP, has only 256 MB of RAM. I'm going to try installing the same security software on it as on my parents' PC, and see if the performance suffers. (I won't be able to test one theory, which is that the Norton ransomware is still running on their PC and consuming resources, despite my turning it off.)
When I started putting together a CD of useful downloads for my computer repair trip, it occured to me that I may need it for other PCs. So as I was downloading, I kept a text file of "system requirements" for each program, and this makes a handy list that I can include in the blog.[more]
An interesting thread has developed on my libertarian discussion BB, sparked by growing concern over the U.S.'s rapid devolution into a police state. Some people (like me) have come to the conclusion that it is time for Americans who value their freedom and that of their families to get out while the getting out is still comparatively easy. The question around which the thread has organized is "Where should I go?" You are cordially invited to browse the BB. If you wish to join the discussion, then just sign up.
Posted by mac at 04:25 AM EST [Link]
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Here we go again...maybe. F-Secure reports that the German DVD of "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" uses "rootkit-like features" for copy protection. That's a DVD, not an audio CD. The Finnish edition does not have the rootkit; no word yet on the North American editions. You'd think these people would learn from the Sony BMG debacle.
Gordon P. writes, Just came across a phrase in a Wikipedia article that summarizes the ideological origins of the "Neoconservative Movement" better than any other single phrase I have ever come across: The original Neocons were basically "Socialists for Nixon."
Posted by mac at 09:06 AM EST [Link]
I'd be interested in seeing this movie and/or hearing reactions from anyone who has seen it: Valley of the Wolves. (Comments that I've read on one movie site have ranged all over the map.) Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily reports: The raucous reception by some members of Germany's 2.5 million-strong Turkish community to "Valley of the Wolves," a movie depicting crazed U.S. troops in Iraq massacring a wedding party and a Jewish doctor removing organs from prisoners, has German politicians worried..,
A partial summary of the movie: A record breaker on Turkish TV for three seasons and now a phenomenon, "Valley of the Wolves" is now preparing to shake the world with the movie. The story begins with a true story: "The Hood Event" On 2003, the 4th of July, allied American forces come to the unofficial, half-secret Turkish headquarters consisting of eleven people. The Turkish soldiers suppose that this an ordinary visit from their allies. But this time it is different. In the changing conjuncture, America wants to be the only power "calling the shots". To them, there is no place for Turks in the region any more; That day, eleven soldiers are deported with hoods on their heads with no respect to their soldier ship dignity and in front of the region's people; It's all truth up to this point in the movie. [Click link for full plot summary.]
Posted by mac at 08:21 AM EST [Link]
Thanks to Lee K. for bringing the following article to my attention: "Homeland Security Hassles Owner of Truck with Bumperstickers." I reprint the opening paragraphs, Dwight Scarbrough used to be in the Navy. He was a machinist on submarines, some of them nuclear, in the Pacific from 1975-1980. Now he heads up the Vets for Peace chapter in Boise, Idaho. And he’s not shy about expressing his opinion. At any given time, he may have as many as ten bumperstickers or peace signs on every conceivable spot of his truck. He usually doesn’t get hassled, he tells me. But then, on February 7, at his day job for a federal natural resource agency, Scarbrough got a call from, of all places, Homeland Security. An official told him to come out to the parking lot and said he was in violation of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Posted by mac at 07:44 AM EST [Link]
A tip of the hat to Kirsten at Crackers Central for this item. I'd heard that someone did a parody of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun"; now I have a link to the lyrics and mp3 of "Cheney's Got a Gun." —brad
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Yes, I am back from the Visit To The Parents. Or more to the point, the Visit To Fix The Parents' Computer. Or as it turned out, the Visit To Replace The Parents' Computer. [more]
I salute Claire Wolfe for providing a detailed set of instructions for installing email encryption for Thunderbird under Windows. (My own more skimpy instructions for Linux -- really links to other people's instructions -- are available here.) —brad
Friday, February 24, 2006
Thanks to Marc Angelucci for sending me the article below [click on more to view] [more]
Posted by mac at 03:37 AM EST [Link]
I am at risk of overusing the word "chilling" as a description of news stories. Perhaps it is merely that I am up late at night, writing in a less-than-warm farmhouse. It is, aftrer all, winter and Canada. In between blogging and attending to other business, I am throwing wood into the airtight stove, which does a fine job of heating the house but which went out shorly after we retired early. What news story tempts me to drag out that overused adjective? Again it is from Consortium News: Labor Camps. So is this one of the ways the Bush Administration will deal with an acute recruitment shortage into the military; they'll use forced civilian labor on military grounds to free up the soldiers? The changes in the referenced law went into effect on February 14th. Happy Valentine's Day. [more]
Posted by mac at 03:04 AM EST [Link]
A new audio version of the old and not-so-funny joke about ordering a pizza in the near future. It is called ACLU Pizza.
Posted by mac at 02:33 AM EST [Link]
Thanks to David Theroux of the Independent Institute for bringing this chilling editorial to my attention. The editorial in Consortium News links two separate news items that are each frightening in their own right and exponentially so if they are connected, as the commentator suggests.
Posted by mac at 02:04 AM EST [Link]
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