Ramblings & ephemera

Arguments against gay marriage make no sense

From Theodore B. Olson’s “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage” (Truthout: 12 January 2010): What, then, are the justifications for California’s decision in Proposition 8 to withdraw access to the institution of marriage for some of its citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation? The reasons I have heard are not very persuasive. The […]

Who would ever think that it was a good idea?

Image via Wikipedia Read this article about Paul Krassner’s experiences with the Manson Family & note the emphasis I’ve added – is this not the greatest sentence out of nowhere you’ve ever seen? How in the world did that ever seem like a good idea? From Paul Krassner’s “My Acid Trip with Squeaky Fromme” (The […]

The end of Storm

From Brian Krebs’ “Atrivo Shutdown Hastened Demise of Storm Worm” (The Washington Post: 17 October 2008): The infamous Storm worm, which powered a network of thousands of compromised PCs once responsible for sending more than 20 percent of all spam, appears to have died off. Security experts say Storm’s death knell was sounded by the […]

Protected: American courts and government and the f-word

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

How Obama raised money in Silicon Valley & using the Net

From Joshua Green’s “The Amazing Money Machine” (The Atlantic: June 2008): That early fund-raiser [in February 2007] and others like it were important to Obama in several respects. As someone attempting to build a campaign on the fly, he needed money to operate. As someone who dared challenge Hillary Clinton, he needed a considerable amount […]

1st criminal case involving a botnet

From Chapter 2: Botnets Overview of Craig A. Schiller’s Botnets: The Killer Web App (Syngress: 2007): The first criminal case involving a botnet went to trial in November 2005. Jeanson James Ancheta (a. k. a. Resili3nt), age 21, of Downey, California, was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail for conspiring to violate the […]

The latest on electronic voting machines

From James Turner’s interview with Dr. Barbara Simons, past President of the Association for Computing Machinery & recent appointee to the Advisory Board of the Federal Election Assistance Commission, at “A 2008 e-Voting Wrapup with Dr. Barbara Simons” (O’Reilly Media: 7 November 2008): [Note from Scott: headers added by me] Optical Scan: Good & Bad […]

San Francisco surveillance cameras prove useless

From Heather Knight’s “S.F. public housing cameras no help in homicide arrests” (San Francisco Chronicle: 14 August 2007): The 178 video cameras that keep watch on San Francisco public housing developments have never helped police officers arrest a homicide suspect even though about a quarter of the city’s homicides occur on or near public housing […]

The HOLLYWOOD sign as multi-user access-control system

From Bruce Schneier’s “Hollywood Sign Security” (Crypto-Gram: 15 January 2005): In Los Angeles, the “HOLLYWOOD” sign is protected by a fence and a locked gate. Because several different agencies need access to the sign for various purposes, the chain locking the gate is formed by several locks linked together. Each of the agencies has the […]

The first movie theater

From Adam Goodheart’s “10 Days That Changed History” (The New York Times: 2 July 2006): APRIL 16, 1902: The Movies Motion pictures seemed destined to become a passing fad. Only a few years after Edison’s first crude newsreels were screened — mostly in penny arcades, alongside carnival games and other cheap attractions, the novelty had […]

The date Silicon Valley (& Intel) was born

From Adam Goodheart’s “10 Days That Changed History” (The New York Times: 2 July 2006): SEPT. 18, 1957: Revolt of the Nerds Fed up with their boss, eight lab workers walked off the job on this day in Mountain View, Calif. Their employer, William Shockley, had decided not to continue research into silicon-based semiconductors; frustrated, […]

California’s wide-open educational software reveals personal info

From Nanette Asimov’s “Software glitch reveals private data for thousands of state’s students” (San Francisco Chronicle: 21 October 2005): The personal information of tens of thousands of California children — including their names, state achievement test scores, identification numbers and status in gifted or special-needs programs — is open to public view through a security […]