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Friday, May 02, 2003

Bush Declares Victory - Wiggles Approve

Bush Speech Viewed By The Wiggles

Is is just me or did the troops in the backdop of the President's speech on the USS Abraham Lincoln the other night look like the cast of the Wiggles? Maybe you have to have really young children to see it...

The Wiggles greet the President

The Wiggles Greet The President

Am I the only one who see's this? Considering I made a Wiggles greatest hits CD for my kids it might be a personal problem.

The Man of Virtues Has a Vice

Newsweek is reporting that Bill Bennett has wagered millions in Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos during the past decade.

Apparently being a white knuckled gambler is not a problem in the virtue department.

Intellectuals Launch Campaign to Defend Cuba

HAVANA (Reuters) - More than 160 foreign artists and intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, have come out in defense of Cuba even as many of their peers condemn recent repression on the Communist-run island, one of the campaigners said on Thursday.

Latin American Nobel laureates Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Aldolfo Perez Esquivel and South African writer Nadine Gordimer, also a Nobel prize winner, have signed a declaration of support, Mexican sociologist Pablo Gonzalez said.

U.S. singer Harry Belafonte and U.S. actor Danny Glover are also among the personalities who have signed the two-paragraph declaration "To the Conscience of the World" so far, Gonzalez announced to a May Day rally in Havana.

Sadaam is gone so the true left wingers need another brutal dictator to heap some love on... What a disgrace!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

New Hampshire Bids to Protect Wireless Access Jumping

From the Security Wire Digest:

Lawmakers appear poised to make New Hampshire the first state to protect computer users who get free rides on wireless networks by passing a bill saying corporations are responsible for keeping the networks secure.

The legislation was written to protect accidental bandwidth jumping, which occurs when laptop and mobile device users using WiFi to connect to one wireless access node actually find another, private access point. But it would also legalize "war driving," in which laptop users scan airwaves for open wireless local area network (WLAN) ports.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and groups such as FreeNetworks back the legislation, which shifts the onus of keeping unauthorized users off networks squarely to their owners.

To simplify setup, WLANs are shipped with minimal security features, a fact that last year prompted the Department of Homeland security to label them a terrorism risk.

The actual text of the bill is as follows:

I.(a) A person is guilty of the computer crime of unauthorized access to a computer or computer network when, knowing that the person is not authorized to do so, he or she knowingly accesses or causes to be accessed any computer or computer network without authorization. It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution for unauthorized access to a computer or computer network that:

(1) The person reasonably believed that the owner of the computer or computer network, or a person empowered to license access thereto, had authorized him or her to access; or

(2) The person reasonably believed that the owner of the computer or computer network, or a person empowered to license access thereto, would have authorized the person to access without payment of any consideration; or

(3) The person reasonably could not have known that his or her access was unauthorized.

(b) The owner of a wireless computer network shall be responsible for securing such computer network. It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution for unauthorized access to a wireless computer network if the unauthorized access complies with the conditions set forth in subparagraph I(a)(1)-(3).


So the gist of the bill is that WiFi networks in New Hampshire must be secured against random access. Subparagraph (3) seems to be the most important of the affirmative defenses to unauthorized access in the case of WiFi. Given the insecurity of WiFi networks (even with WEP enabled) there is sure to be some legal tests regarding the owners responsibility for securing the wireless network.

Enabling WEP should protect a network owner from affirmative defenses for unauthorized access, since an unknown user would have to use a tool like AirSnort to capture your encryption key. While it is already been proven that the security in 8011.B networks provided by WEP is easily crackable, it should protect a network owner from the "I didn't know it was wrong" defense. You cannot accidentally crack and encryption key. The more interesting case would be an open network that uses a identifying ESSID. In this case you as the war driver or casual user would have to take the proactive step of changing your ESSID to match. But what if the ESSID was PRIVATE NETWORK, and you changed yours to match. Is the network owner giving you enough warning that even though this is an open network you are not autorized in any way that could be covered in subparagrah's I(a)(1)-(3)?

My judgement is that unless you enable WEP you will have no claim to the unauthorized access provisions of the New Hampshire law. I suspect there is a wide variety of opinion on this topic...

Driving in Boston - What $14.6 Billion Dollars Buys

As a resident of the fast growing suburbs of Northern Virginia there is little in the way of traffic that can shake a jaded occasional commuter like me. I've been in Boston for the last couple days and have noticed some improvement with the partial opening of some of the Big Dig project.

My first indication that something had changed was taking a cab out of Logan to my downtown hotel. On the way through the Frozen Hitting Legend Tunnel (Ted Williams) I spotted a SUV ahead of us. I asked the taxi driver how that person was able to use the tunnel, since the last time I was in Boston ( a few weeks prior to 9/11) the tunnel was for commercial vehicles only. He told me the tunnel was now open to anyone willing to pay the $4.50 toll, and that the extension to Mass Pike was open. My head spun in amazement at the possibilities this opened up. As an employee of a outer beltway tech company I used to leave the office 3 hours before my flight. Remember this was pre 9/11 when you could get to most airport 30 minutes before your flight and be fine...

The little strech of road from Mass Pike getting onto 93, then into the Sumner Tunnel (I know it is called something like the Callahan Tunnel going towards the airport - but I call it the Sumner Tunnel in both directions) was the closest thing to a permanent gridlock situation I'd ever seen. It almost didn't matter what time you went It was always an adventure. At rush hour - forget it, but even non rush hour you just never knew what the $14.6 billion dollars of the Big Dig was going to do to your driving experience.

There is a flowery Washington Post article on the benefits now being seen by Boston commuters. What the don't tell you is that when new sections open all hell breaks loose as people careen into one another since now no one knows where they are going. Another item that seems to be missing from most reports is that all of the money spent on the Big Dig seems to have done absolutely nothing to ease congestion in downtown Boston. Sure traffic has been rerouted and nice new tunnels have replaced older elevated and non elevated roadways, but to my eye I did not notice the "LA effect" - namely throwing more lanes at the problem. Traffic jams on northbound 93 are still visible at rush hour, and 93 southbound is not done yet so I'm sure it still sucks. Much of the traffic getting onto 93 to go to Logan now uses the Mass Pike extension and the Frozen Hitting Legend Tunnel, but is that really worth $14.6 billion dollars? I think you could have paid every man woman and child in the Boston metro area to use rapid transit for the last 20 years and still have spent a lot less.

I really have no conclusion about the Big Dig, it is nice that it is providing some traffic relief, but the fact that it is sooooo expensive and will probably be out of date before it is finished is not in my opinion a lasting legacy. The lasting legacy is that this big government project was sink hole that ran over budget every time they revised the budget ( I think it started at $2 billion dollars).

One tidbit I learned from my cab driver:
The cost of the section of I-90 recently completed ($6.5 billion for 2.5 miles of road) exceed the cost of building the entire length of I-90 from Boston to Seattle.

Update: Jay Solo check's in with a local's perspective in the comments and at his blog. The last sentace of the original post now references I-90, not I-93. For the record we are both correct on the tolls. Non-comercial traffic is $3, but it will cost you $4.50 if you are in a cab. Toll information.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Fisk Update

For those of you wanting to keep tabs on Robert Fisk, I've found a link that shows his recent stories, since the UK Independent is now subscription only. Independent Online a South African news organization carries his stories. Click here to see the search results for "Robert Fisk"

As posted at Media Review:

Monday, April 28, 2003

Read This

Bill Whittle at ejectejecteject.com has a very long and very well reasoned article on the Victory. He's not really talking about the military operations in Iraq - he's talking about a much bigger victory. It is an absolute must read...

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Tucker Carlson is a spudgun freak

In a Darwin Award worthy story of a boy, a frog, and a potato gun unfortunately the loser seems to have been the boy. Blinded by a frog shot out of a spudgun seems to me to be like amputating your hand with a butter knife...

Read all about it (halfway down the page) at SpudTech. Note: I guess your really can have the business of your dreams on the Internet. Imaging that guy's high school reunion - "Yeah I'm doing great I sell spudguns on the Internet".

Especially of note in the latest article on whether the "gun" misfired were comments by bowtie wearing CNN talking head Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson, commentator for CNN’s "Crossfire," agrees there could be no hang fire, but since there is no trigger guard, the button could accidentally be pressed without the person knowing it, he said. Last year he wrote an article for GQ magazine on potato guns.

Mr. Carlson has four children and several spud guns. He closely supervises their use, he said.

"I like them. They are fantastic toys, but dangerous toys," Mr. Carlson said. "They’re all capable of hurting you. I had a stockade fence in my back yard and in one afternoon, we disintegrated it."


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