Saturday, July 15, 2006

File-Swappers' Identities Protected by Dutch Court

Jan Libbenga writes on The Register:

A Dutch appeals court has thwarted attempts by the Dutch anti-piracy organisation BREIN to get the identities of file-sharers from five ISPs, including Wanadoo and Tiscali.

The court found that the manner in which IP addresses were collected and processed by US company MediaSentry had no lawful basis under European privacy laws. A lower court in Utrecht had reached a similar conclusion last year.

More here.

User Friendly: If It Ain't Broke, Don't... Break It.


Click for larger image.

Virginia Man Gets 150-Year Term in Child Pornography Case

Kurt Eichenwald writes in The Washington Post:

A Virginia man who helped run a child pornography business that has been the focus of federal and state investigations as well as Congressional hearings was sentenced on Friday to 150 years in prison.

The man, Gregory J. Mitchel, 39, pleaded guilty in January to charges involving the sexual exploitation of boys and the operation of illegal Web sites. Mr. Mitchel was an administrator on several of the sites and admitted in his plea to producing and distributing child pornography.

Mr. Mitchel was arrested in September after being implicated by Justin Berry, a 19-year-old California man featured in a December article in The New York Times about teenagers who run for-pay pornography sites, showing images of themselves transmitted by Webcams. Mr. Berry’s story prompted the hearings before a House subcommittee, and he testified in April.

More here.

Indian Telecom Satellite Disintegrates on Liftoff

Via The Los Angeles Times.

India's attempts to launch its heaviest satellite failed Monday, when the rocket carrying it went into a tailspin about a minute after blastoff and disintegrated, a space official said.

Scientists at the control center were stunned into silence as the rocket carrying the 2.2-ton telecommunications satellite veered off its course.

More here.

Hackers Break into Northwestern University Computers

An AP newswire article, via The Chicago Sun-Times, reports that:

Northwestern University officials are trying to contact about 17,000 students and applicants to the school after discovering hackers broke into nine desktop computers on campus that contained personal information, the school said Friday.

There is no indication the hackers who breached the computers in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid in May gained access to the personal information or even were aware that the computers contained Social Security numbers, addresses and other information, according to Chuck Loebbaka, the school's director of media relations.

But as a precaution, the university is trying to contact, via e-mail or letters, affected undergraduates, graduate students and applicants, Loebbaka said.

More here.

15 July 1957: Full-Scale Production of the Edsel Begins


1958 Edsel Pacer
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

The Edsel was a make of automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company during the 1958, 1959 and 1960 model years. The car brand is best known as one of the most spectacular failures in the history of the United States automobile industry.

The Edsel was introduced amidst a considerable amount of publicity on "E Day" — September 4, 1957. It was promoted by a top-rated television special, The Edsel Show on October 13, but it was not enough to counter the adverse public reaction to the car's styling and conventional build; the rumors that Ford had circulated led consumers to expect an entirely new kind of car when in reality the Edsel shared its bodywork with other Ford models.

The Edsel was to be sold through a new Ford division. It existed from November 1956 until January 1958, after which Edsels were made by the Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln division (referred to as M-E-L). Edsel was sold through a new network of 1,500 dealers. This briefly brought total dealers of all Ford products to 10,000. Ford saw this as a way to come closer to parity with the other two companies of the Big Three: Chrysler had 10,000 dealers and General Motors had 16,000. As soon as it became apparent that the Edsels were not selling, many of these dealers added Lincoln-Mercury, English Ford and/or Taunus dealerships to their lines with the encouragement of Ford Motor Company. Some dealers, however, closed.

More here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Microsoft Withdraws Private Folder App

Nate Mook writes on BetaNews:

Following a barrage of criticism from security experts and IT administrators, Microsoft has withdrawn its new Private Folder application. The program was introduced last week as a free download for those who verify their operating system as genuine through Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage Program.

Private Folder was designed to hide data from the hard drive in addition to protecting it with a password. However, the application quickly drew concern from administrators who feared users would lose their password and not be able to unlock their files. In addition, parents voiced worry that kids could use Private Folder to hide content they download.

More here.

UT-Austin to Pursue Nanotech Center

An AP newswire article by Liz Austin, via, reports that:

The University of Texas at Austin moved a step closer Friday to opening a research institute that officials hope could make the Lone Star State a major player in the emerging field of nanotechnology.

University of Texas System regents gave Chancellor Mark Yudof permission to seek grants from the state and industry leaders to help create the South West Academy for Nanoelectronics.

The research center would be part of a $30 million initiative that also would include recruiting eight top faculty members to UT campuses in Austin, Dallas and Arlington.

More here.

Debian Locks Out Developers After Server Hack

Renai LeMay writes on C|Net News:

The Debian GNU/Linux project has locked a number of its developers out of their system accounts, following the hack of a key internal server.

A compromised developer account was used to take control of the server, according to an e-mail sent Thursday to the community by Debian developer Martin Schulze. List members were told of the intrusion in an announcement the day before.

"At least one developer account has been compromised a while ago and has been used by an attacker to gain access to the Debian server," Schulze wrote.

The developer said the attacker then used a recently discovered vulnerability in the Linux kernel to gain root--or admin--access on the server.

More here.

In-Q-Tel: A Revolving Door

Matt Marshall writes on Silicon Beat:

In-Q-Tel, the venture arm of the Central Intelligence Agency with an office here in Silicon Valley, has now lost three managing general partners over the past year.

However, this does not surprise us. It is just like any other government-related investment agency. Like CalPERS here in California, there is a steady stream of departures among top investment managers. If managers are any good, they get sucked up by the private sector, which pays more. It is the way the system works.

Some people are saying the defections point to "some very real poblems" at In-Q-Tel, and shrug off suggestions they are merely compensation related. However, we're not so certain.

More here.

The Great Net Neutrality Debate: Dr. Vinton Cerf and Prof. David Farber


The Center for American Progress is pleased to present Dr. Vinton Cerf and Professor David Farber in "The Great Debate: What is Net Neutrality?" The event is currently sold out for attendees on-site, but you may access the reservation page to be put on a waiting list here.

The event will take place from 10:30-12:00 on Monday, July 17 at the Center's event space, which is located at 1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor, Washington, D.C. Audio streaming from the event will be available.

More here.

Picture of the Day: A Series of Tubes

Hat-tip, David Isenberg.

China Throws Journalist in Jail

Sumner Lemon writes on InfoWorld:

Chinese authorities have jailed a journalist for two years for posting articles that were critical of Chinese society and called for democratic reforms on the Internet, a media watchdog group said Thursday.

Li Yuanlong, a journalist for a daily newspaper in Bijie in southwestern Guizhou province, was sentenced to two years in prison and loss of his civil rights for a further two years for posting "subversive" articles on the Internet, Reporters Without Borders said. Li's trial was held in May and the verdict was announced Thursday.

Li posted several articles online that were critical of modern Chinese society and called for greater freedom and democracy, Reporters Without Borders said. Two of his articles, entitled “Becoming American in Spirit” and “The Banal Nature of Life and the Lamentable Nature of Death,” angered officials, it said.

Li was arrested in September 2005, but he was not charged until February of this year.

More here.

Skype Communications Protocol Possibly Cracked

Anders Bylund writes on ARS Technica:

A blog following VoIP developments is reporting on a personal experience with what appears to be the first third-party Skype client. The blog post describes an unreliable but working connection made from China to a standard Skype client in the US, along with supporting evidence such as the (obviously modified) screenshot below.

The new client is supposedly under heavy development by a Chinese company, and intrepid blogger Charlie Paglee notes that it may turn Skype from something evil and illegal in the eyes of the Chinese government to a national point of pride: "I wouldn't be surprised if a major Chinese telco ends up licensing this technology to produce a competing Skype client for use in China. [...] They reverse engineered a protocol that was not protected by patent. They will be seen as heroes in China and it is unlikely the government will ever take action against them."

More here.

Cisco Equipment at Heart of £9M Alleged Scam


Co-ordinated raids by police on either side of the Atlantic have resulted in the capture of two Russians suspected of operating a warranty scam using Cisco equipment.

The two Russians, a man aged 46 and a woman aged 23, were questioned by police, said the Daily Telegraph. The suspected fraud was said to be worth £9 million.

The raids were on a company called Com-wealth and involved over 30 police officers, including several computer specialists.

The alleged scam involved using Cisco's warranties to receive replacement parts for supposedly faulty ones. Those faulty ones were never returned and both parts were sold on auction websites or on the 'grey' resale market.

More here.

D.C. Law Firm Claims IBM Worker Hacked Its Computers

Paul McDougall writes on InformationWeek:

A Washington, D.C. law firm says it's the victim of a computer hacker, but claims the perpetrator isn't some nerdy cyberpunk of offshore criminal gang. Rather, the firm says its computers are under attack by tech giant IBM.

Attorneys at Butera & Andrews claim an unidentified hacker working within IBM's Websphere services facility in Durham, N.C., secretly dropped malicious code into the firm's e-mail server, giving him or her unauthorized access to the system. The IBM worker "initiated, directed and managed this attack from the Durham, North Carolina facility," Butera & Andrews claims in a lawsuit. The firm says its servers were hit by the assailant's code more than 40,000 times throughout 2005.

In its complaint, originally filed in April in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C., Butera & Andrews gives no motive for the attack. However, it says it fingered IBM because an IP address traced to the computer initiating the attacks is registered to a system inside the IBM facility.

More here.

U.S. Democrats Slam Bush on Cybersecurity

Martin Sieff writes for UPI:

U.S. Senate Democrats have slamed the Bush administration for lagging on cyber-security issues.

Several Democratic senators Thursday assailed the administration over its failure to fill a Cabinet-level post it created last July within the Homeland Security Department for a cyber security czar, National Journal's Technology Daily reported.

In the wake of several high-profile data breaches at government agencies this year, Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said the administration had been reckless in its refusal to fill the position in a timely manner. He said individuals whose personal information had been compromised had paid the price for such mistakes.

More here.

Super Geek: Star Trek Crop Circle Maze

An undated handout image released July 14, 2006, shows a 32-acre maze dedicated to cult TV show "Star Trek" on a English farm near York in northern England. Tom Pearcy used satellite technology to help him design the huge maze at his farm to celebrate 40 years since the airing of the first episode of the show, which starred William Shatner as Captain James Kirk.
Image source: Yahoo! News / Reuters /Kippa Matthews / Handout

Via Yahoo! UK/Ireland.

FBI Consultant Spared Jail Time in Hacking Case

An AP newswire article, via The Boston Globe, reports that:

An FBI computer consultant who pleaded guilty to hacking the secret passwords of Director Robert Mueller and others will not serve any time in prison, a federal judge has ruled.

Joseph Thomas Colon of Springfield, Ill., was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon to six months of home detention and ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the FBI.

Colon pleaded guilty in March to four misdemeanor counts of intentionally exceeding his authorized computer access. He faced up to 18 months in prison after he acknowledged using two computer programs available for free on the Internet to extract the information and decode the passwords of Mueller and others.

More here.

Gapingvoid: If You Were Me...

Via Enjoy!

EU Court Overturns OK of Sony-BMG Unit Merger

An AP newswire article by Aoife White, via The Washington Post, reports that:

An EU court overturned the European Commission's approval of the merger between the music units of Sony and Bertelsmann AG on Thursday, forcing the companies to request clearance for the deal again.

Both Sony and BMG said they would study the ruling and discuss next steps with the commission, but did not believe the decision undermined their business.

More here.

Proposed Surveillance Bill Would Sweep NSA Spying Programs Under the Rug

Via The EFF.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said today that he has negotiated a proposed bill with the White House regarding the NSA's illegal spying program. While the final bill is not public, a draft of the bill obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a sham compromise that would cut off meaningful legal review -- sweeping current legal challenges out of the traditional court system and failing to require court review or congressional oversight of any future surveillance programs.

"This so-called compromise bill is not a concession from the White House -- it's a rubber stamp for any future spying program dreamed up by the executive," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "In essence, this bill threatens to make court oversight of electronic surveillance voluntary rather than mandatory."

Although the bill creates a process for the executive branch to seek court review of its secret surveillance programs, it doesn't actually require the government to do so. The bill would, however, require that any lawsuit challenging the legality of any classified surveillance program -- including EFF's class-action suit against AT&T -- be transferred, at the government's request, to the FISA Court of Review, a secret court with no procedures for hearing argument from anyone but the government. The bill would further allow the government to prevent the court from disclosing any information about the government's surveillance programs to opposing counsel, regardless of the court's strict security procedures.

More here.

14 July 1995: Happy Birthday, MP3


Diagram of MP3 File Structure.
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

MPEG-1 Audio Layer 2 encoding began as the Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) project managed by Egon Meier-Engelen of the Deutsche Forschungs- und Versuchsanstalt für Luft- und Raumfahrt (later on called Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, German Aerospace Center) in Germany. This project was financed by the European Union as a part of the EUREKA research program where it was commonly known as EU-147. EU-147 ran from 1987 to 1994.

In 1991, there were two proposals available: Musicam (known as Layer 2), and ASPEC (Adaptive Spectral Perceptual Entropy Coding). The Musicam technique, as proposed by Philips (The Netherlands), CCETT (France) and Institut für Rundfunktechnik (Germany) was chosen due to its simplicity and error robustness, as well as its low computational power associated to the encoding of high quality compressed audio. The Musicam format, based on sub-band encoding, was a key to settle the basis of the MPEG Audio compression format (sampling rates, structure of frames, headers, number of samples per frame). Its technology and ideas were fully incorporated into the definition of ISO MPEG Audio Layer I and Layer II and further on of the Layer III (MP3) format. Under the chairmanship of Professor Mussmann (University of Hannover) the editing of the standard was made under the responsibilities of Leon van de Kerkhof (Layer I) and Gerhard Stoll (Layer II).

A working group consisting of Leon Van de Kerkhof (The Netherlands), Gerhard Stoll (Germany), Yves-François Dehery (France), Karlheinz Brandenburg (Germany) took ideas from Musicam and ASPEC, added some of their own ideas and created MP3, which was designed to achieve the same quality at 128 kbit/s as MP2 at 192 kbit/s.

All algorithms were approved in 1991, finalized in 1992 as part of MPEG-1, the first standard suite by MPEG, which resulted in the international standard ISO/IEC 11172-3, published in 1993. Further work on MPEG audio was finalized in 1994 as part of the second suite of MPEG standards, MPEG-2, more formally known as international standard ISO/IEC 13818-3, originally published in 1995.

More here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Judge Dismisses 'Rank Listing' Antitrust Complaint Against Google

Eric Auchard writes for Reuters:

A federal court judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against Google Inc. by disgruntled advertising customer Kinderstart that had accused the Web search leader of monopolistic business practices.

Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose said in a ruling he would grant Google's motion to dismiss Kinderstart's complaint, but gave Kinderstart leave to amend and resubmit its case.

Kinderstart filed suit in March after Google altered the way it ranked sites in its Web search and advertising system. The change allegedly relegated the parental information site to a "zero" ranking in Google searches, leading to a 70 percent plunge in traffic to the site in 2005, according to court papers.

More here.

U.S. Congress Identifies Pornography Purchasers

Kurt Eichenwald writes in The New York Times:

A Congressional subcommittee investigating the growth of online child pornography has referred the names of hundreds of people who purchased illegal images to state prosecutors around the country, according to government officials.

The referrals for possible prosecution were made late last month to attorneys general in 46 states by the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The information provided to prosecutors included names, credit card information and identifying details of the computers used to purchase monthly memberships at an illegal child pornography site.

More here.

FCC Fines Alleged Phone Records Scammer

Anne Broache writes on C|Net News:

Federal regulators on Thursday voted to impose fines on a Florida company accused of thieving phone call records and selling them on the Web for as little as $100.

At its monthly meeting, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted an order that would force LocateCell to pay $97,500--the highest fee possible for an unregulated company in such a situation--for allegedly failing to provide the agency with all the information it had requested about how the company obtained the data it had sold.

More here.

Cisco, Motorola Vetting VoD

A Cable Digital News article by Alan Breznick, via Light Reading, reports that:

Cisco Systems and Motorola are looking to move deeper into the cable and digital video market through acquisitions in the video-on-demand (VOD) space, analysts and other sources say.

On the heels of last month's Cable-Tec Expo in Denver, where rumors flew wildly on the tradeshow floor about numerous possible deals, three potential hookups have emerged as the most likely to happen, sources believe. The consensus view is that Motorola is sniffing out Broadbus Technologies, and Cisco is seeking to scoop up Arroyo Video Solutions, while a smaller player, Arris, is considering a buyout of Concurrent Computer.

As might be expected, representatives of Motorola, Cisco, and Arris all declined comment on their companies' purported purchase plans. Broadbus, Arroyo, and Concurrent all declined comment as well.

More here.

Core Debian server compromised

Kelly Martin writes on SecurityFocus:

A core server of the popular Debian GNU/Linux distribution was compromised recently, prompting swift response from the developer team.

A mailing list post alerted users about the compromise, which affected a number of services available to developers. A followup message on indicated the compromised server has already been restored, and that a local root vulnerability in the Linux kernel was used from a compromised developer's account. The local exploit, BID 18874 (CVE-2006-2451) allows a local user to cause a DoS (denial of service) and gain privilege escalation to root.

The report indicated that even with root access, the attacker was not able to reach restricted Debian servers containing its regular and security archives. In response to the server compromise, a password audit performed by the Debian team has apparently revealed various developer accounts with weak passwords (without public key authentication) that have since been locked.

More here.

N.Y. AG Sues Chip Makers Over Price Fixing

An AP newswire article, via The Globe and Mail, reports that:

New York's attorney general sued leading makers of memory chips Thursday, claiming they made secret price-fixing arrangements that inflated the cost of personal computers and other electronic devices.

More than 30 other states were expected to file a separate but similar lawsuit against chip makers Friday in San Francisco federal court, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

The lawsuits follow a long-running U.S. Justice Department investigation that has resulted in more than $730-million in fines and guilty pleas from four companies — Samsung Electronics Co., Elpida Memory Inc., Infineon Technologies AG and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

More here.

Valerie Plame Sues Cheney, Rove Over CIA Leak

Via The Smoking Gun.

Claiming that Vice President Dick Cheney conspired with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials to destroy her CIA career, Valerie Plame today filed a federal lawsuit over the leaking of her identity to reporters.

Plame and her husband Joseph Wilson allege that Cheney & Co. outed her as a CIA agent in retaliation for Wilson's criticism of the White House's rationale for invading Iraq, according to a U.S. District Court complaint.

In addition to Cheney and Rove, the lawsuit names Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby as a defendant. Libby is currently under indictment for lying to a federal grand jury examining the circumstances of the Plame leak.

In the federal complaint, which does not specify monetary damages, but seeks compensatory, exemplary, and punitive awards, Plame and Wilson charge that the defendants's actions have led them to "fear for their safety and for the safety of their children."

More here.

Spacecraft Successfully Inflates in Orbit

The Genesis I spacecraft successfully inflated in orbit several hours after liftoff.
Image source: USA Today / AP / Bigelow Aerospace

An AP newswire article by Alicia Chang, via USA Today, reports that:

An experimental spacecraft bankrolled by real estate magnate Robert Bigelow successfully inflated in orbit Wednesday, testing a technology that could be used to fulfill his dream of building a commercial space station.

In a brief statement posted on his website, Bigelow said the Genesis I satellite "successfully expanded" several hours after liftoff. No other details were provided.

Genesis I flew aboard a converted Cold War ballistic missile from Russia's southern Ural Mountains at 6:53 p.m. Moscow time. It was boosted about 320 miles above Earth minutes after launch, according to the Russian Strategic Missile Forces.

More here.

MySpace Kills Internet Tube Song

Ryan Singel writes on Wired News:

After hearing Sen. Ted Stevens' now infamous description of the internet as a "series of tubes," Andrew Raff sang the senator's words over a folksy ditty and anonymously posted it to, where about 2,500 people listened to the tune, thanks to a link from one of the net's top blogs.

On Tuesday, MySpace canceled the TedStevensFanClub account, telling Raff that the social-networking site, now owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., had received a "credible complaint of your violation of the MySpace Terms of Services."

(Editor's note: MySpace reinstated Raff's account Thursday afternoon following publication of this story. The company says Raff's account was deleted in error.)

The cancellation e-mail referenced a number of prohibited activities, including trademark and copyright violations. MySpace also reserves the right to remove any profile for any reason.

More here.

The Daily Show Takes on Senator Ted Stevens


During last night’s “Daily Show,” Jon Stewart questioned Senator Ted Stevens’ grasp of the Internet, calling into doubt the telecommunications legislation that bears the Senator’s signature.

To clarify Net Neutrality, Stewart goes to Stevens’ “dump truck-tubes symposium,” a 10-minute monologue in support of the Senator’s own anti-Net Neutrality bill.

More here.

White House Accepts Review on Eavesdropping

An AP newswire article, via The New York Times, reports that:

The White House has conditionally agreed to a court review of its controversial eavesdropping program, Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter said Thursday.

Specter said President Bush has agreed to sign legislation that would authorize the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's most high-profile monitoring operations.

"You have here a recognition by the president that he does not have a blank check," the Pennsylvania Republican told his committee

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said the administration supports Specter's bill.

More here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Toon: DHS Foibles

Click for larger image.

IBM Sued Over Hacked e-Mail Server

Robert McMillan writes on InfoWorld:

A Washington, D.C., law firm has sued IBM, claiming that the computing giant is responsible for a 2005 attack on its e-mail server.

Butera & Andrews claims that an unknown IBM employee attempted to attack its e-mail server in November of last year, shortly after the law firm discovered that its computer had been taken over by an unknown attacker. Security investigators traced the source of the attack to a computer within IBM's Cornwallis Road facility in Durham, North Carolina, the law firm alleges.

More here.

VMware Releases Free Server Software

Nate Mook writes on BetaNews:

VMware on Wednesday released the final version of its VMware Server virtualization product, the successor to GSX Server. Just like the beta release that debuted in February, VMware is making the software available free of charge, much like Microsoft has done with Virtual Server 2005 R2.

The company hopes that by giving away its entry-level product, it will drive users to upgrade to its for-pay ESX Server, as well as position the company as the leader in virtualization technology. While VMware Server will require a "host" operating system in order to use its features, ESX requires no host.

VMware Server enables customers to provision a single physical server into multiple virtual machines. With computing power continuing to far surpass operating system requirements, virtualization is becoming a key way for businesses to get more bang for the buck.

More here.

DHS Asset Database Can't Support Vaunted Infrastructure Protection Plan

Wilson P. Dizard III writes on

The Homeland Security Department’s database of critical infrastructure and key resources is so faulty that it does not serve as a useful basis for making decisions about how to protect national resources, the department’s inspector general said in a new report issued today.

The IG’s report noted that flawed data-gathering methods had led state officials to submit irrelevant and even comical assets for inclusion in the critical asset inventory.

The database’s alleged shortcomings cast into high relief the department’s public claim in late June that DHS had completed the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) to protect physical assets and cyberspace, which in turn relies on the National Asset Database that the report analyzed.

More here.

U.S. May Want More Bank Data

Richard B. Schmitt writes in The Los Angeles Times:

The Bush administration is considering requiring U.S. banks, for the first time, to inform the government of all their customers' international wire transfers, regardless of possible terrorist ties, a Treasury Department official said Tuesday.

Such mandatory reporting would mark a major expansion of the government's efforts to comb financial data to fight terrorism and other international crimes. Depending on how the program is structured, it could mean that banks would be forced to turn over data on millions of transactions that they are now required to keep secret.

More here.

Net Neutrality: Verizon Disconnects Google

Via Red Herring.

Calling the Internet freedom fight on Capitol Hill the “oddest Washington debate I have ever seen,” Tom Tauke, a Verizon executive and former congressman, came out swinging against Net neutrality supporters, particularly Google, which he accused of perpetuating an old-world business model.

In a sharply worded address before a Media Institute forum held on Tuesday, Mr. Tauke charged that Net neutrality is an attempt to seal the business model that has made companies such as Google successful in government regulation.

“We’ve seen what happens to innovation when the government imposes old-world, common-carrier regulations and tries to anticipate or impose business models,” he said. “For consumers and the country, government regulation of this developing market is a lose-lose proposition.”

Without mentioning the company by name, Mr. Tauke took Google to task for its efforts in support of Net neutrality.

More here.

Security Advisory: Multiple Cisco Unified CallManager Vulnerabilities

Via Cisco Systems.

Cisco Unified CallManager (CUCM) 5.0 has Command Line Interface (CLI) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) related vulnerabilities. There are potential privilege escalation vulnerabilities in the CLI which may allow an authenticated administrator to access the base operating system with root privileges. There is also a buffer overflow vulnerability in the processing of hostnames contained in a SIP request which may result in arbitrary code execution or cause a denial of service. These vulnerabilities only affect Cisco Unified CallManager 5.0.

The CallManager CLI provides a backup management interface to the system in order to diagnose and troubleshoot the primary HTTPS-based management interfaces. The CLI, which runs as the root user, contains two vulnerabilities in the parsing of commands. The first vulnerability may allow an authenticated CUCM administrator to execute arbitrary operating system programs as the root user. The second vulnerability may allow output redirection of a command to a file or a folder specified on the command line.

Cisco Unified CallManager supports the coexistence of both SCCP and SIP phones, allowing for migration to SIP while protecting investments in existing devices. CUCM contains a buffer overflow vulnerability in the processing of excessively long hostnames which may be included in a SIP request.

Successful exploitation of the CLI vulnerability documented in Cisco bug ID CSCse11005 may allow authenticated CLI users to execute arbitrary operating system commands with root privileges. Exploitation of the CLI vulnerability documented in Cisco bug ID CSCse31704 may allow an authenticated CLI user to modify or overwrite any file on the filesystem as the root user.

Exploitation of the SIP vulnerability documented in Cisco bug ID CSCsd96542 may result in arbitrary code execution or a denial of service.

More here.

Security Advisory: Cisco Intrusion Prevention System Malformed Packet Denial of Service

Via Cisco Systems.

Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) software version 5.1 is vulnerable to a denial of service condition caused by a malformed packet, which may result in an IPS device becoming inaccessible remotely or via the console and fail to process packets. A power reset is required to recover the IPS device. There are no workarounds for this vulnerability.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerability may result in the failure of an IPS device to operate as expected. Affected devices will become inaccessible remotely or via the console and stop processing packets. If deployed as an inline device, an IPS device will stop forwarding packets, including devices configured to use the auto-bypass feature. This may result in a network outage. A power reset is required to recover the IPS device.

This issue is fixed in IPS version 5.1(2) which is available for download at

More here.

Citibank Phish Spoofs 2-Factor Authentication

Click for larger image.
Image source: Security Fix / The Washington Post

Brian Krebs writes on Security Fix:

Security experts have long touted the need for financial Web sites to move beyond mere passwords and implement so-called "two-factor authentication" -- the second factor being something the user has in their physical possession like an access card -- as the answer to protecting customers from phishing attacks that use phony e-mails and bogus Web sites to trick users into forking over their personal and financial data.

These methods work, however, only so long as the bad guys don't fake those as well. Take this latest phish, spotted by the people over at Secure Science Corp. It uses an impressively crafted Web-based e-mail that targets users of Citibank's Citibusiness service, which -- as its name suggests -- caters to businesses. Citibusiness also requires customers who want to log into their accounts online to use a supplied token in addition to their user name and password. The small device generates an additional password that changes every minute or so.

The scam e-mail says someone (a nice touch added here -- the IP address of the imaginary suspect) has tried to to log in to your account and that you need to "confirm" your account info. Not a whole lot that's revolutionary there, but when you click on the link, you get a very convincing site that looks identical to the Citibusiness login page, complete with a longish Web address that at first glance appears to end in "," but in fact ends at a Web site in Russia called ""

More here.

SAVVIS To Host FirstGov Web Portal

Via WHIR News.

SAVVIS subsidiary and IT infrastructure services provider SAVVIS Federal Systems, announced on Tuesday it has been subcontracted by Raytheon Company for the FirstGov Web Solutions task order awarded by the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center and the US General Services Administration.

The task order, awarded to Raytheon under the GSA's Millennia Government-Wide Acquisition Contract from the GSA Office of Citizen Services and Communications, will provide the hosting and technology services underpinning the FirstGov Portal and other citizen-facing government Web sites. It has a potential value of up to $71 million for a one-year term, with four renewal years.

More here.

Adobe Issues 'Critical' Security Update

Brian Krebs writes on Security Fix:

Adobe on Monday issued a new version of Acrobat to fix what it called a "critical" security vulnerability in the program that hackers could use to hijack machines running the software just by convincing people to open a specially crafted PDF document.

Nearly everyone has the free Adobe Reader installed on their computers, as it is necessary to view PDF files. Adobe Acrobat, the paid version of the product, allows users to not only view Adobe documents but create and modify them as well. This flaw is present in Acrobat versions 6.0.4 and earlier, for both Windows and Mac. Adobe recommends that customers either use the product's automatic update feature to install version 6.0.5 or manually download and install the update.

More here.

U.S. Toll in Iraq

Via The San Francisco Chronicle.

As of Tuesday, at least 2,544 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Hacker Spawns a French Watergate

Bruce Gain writes on Wired News:

A hack of a Luxembourg bank's records is emerging as a key detail of the so-called Clearstream affair here, a national scandal that's pulled top-level politicians, powerful corporate executives and now a white-hat hacking group into its orbit.

Like a spy novel or a French version of All the President's Men, the scandal has captivated the press, and produced a steady stream of leaks about political vendettas, secret meetings between high-level government officials and anonymous letters penned by a mysterious "Le Corbeau" (the Raven). The apparent electronic espionage now adds a high-tech angle to what many are calling "the French Watergate."

At the heart of the storm is a sophisticated conspiracy to falsely implicate a number of celebrities, high-ranking officials and political candidates in a bribery scandal.

More here.

EU Fines Microsoft $357.3M for Defiance

David Lawsky and Sabina Zawadzki writes for Reuters:

European Union regulators fined Microsoft 280.5 million euros ($357.3 million) on Wednesday for defying a 2004 antitrust ruling, and warned the company to comply or face bigger fines from next month.

The tough new penalty is the first of its kind and comes on top of a record 497 million euro fine the Commission imposed in its landmark antitrust decision against Microsoft in March 2004.

More here.

12 July 1861: U.S. Medal of Honor Award Signed into Law


Three different versions of the Medal of Honor are awarded: one each for the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

The Medal of Honor, sometimes referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor because it is awarded by the President on behalf of the Congress, is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is bestowed "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force."

Since it was first awarded during the American Civil War, the medal has been awarded 3,460 times, most recently in 2005. All branches of the U.S. military are eligible to receive the medal, though each branch has a special design. The Medal of Honor is presented by the President of the United States, who acts as commander-in-chief on behalf of the American people.

The Medal of Honor is one of only two U.S. military decorations that are presented as neck orders. The other is the commander's degree of the Legion of Merit.

More here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stop Specter's Surveillance Bill

Via The EFF.

EFF's lawsuit against AT&T aims to expose and stop its collaboration with the NSA's massive spying program. But Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) has drafted a bill that would sweep this illegal activity and any further government surveillance under the rug, shuffling legal challenges out of the traditional court system and into the shadowy FISA courts. Tell Congress to reject this proposal and let cases like EFF's have a fair hearing in court.

Specter's bill would stack the deck against anyone suing to stop illegal surveillance, including the wholesale violation of the Fourth Amendment alleged in EFF’s case. The FISA courts' secret proceedings -- where only the government gets to present arguments -- violate our nation's tradition of openness and transparency in the court system. Burying legal challenges in these secret courts will cut off meaningful judicial review.

Worse still, the bill tries to make an end-run around the Fourth Amendment by creating a secret, Congressionally-sanctioned approval process for future dragnet spying programs. Without the public ever knowing, the Attorney General would be able to covertly obtain general warrants that let the government spy on everyone.

Specter will no doubt try to sneak this bill through quickly and without scrutiny -- act now to stop it in its tracks.

More here.

WebAttacker Unseats WMF as Most Popular Exploit

Matt Hines writes on eWeek:

While the once highly-feared Windows Metafile software code exploit has finally lost some of its steam, another Russia-born threat, WebAttacker, became the most widely used malware attack format in June.

According to the latest survey released by software maker Exploit Prevention Labs, WebAttacker-generated exploits took off in June, accounting for 32 percent of the attacks it was notified of during the month, versus representing only 24 percent of exploits in May.

Meanwhile, examples of the WMF exploit, which first appeared at the end of calendar 2005, fell from the most prevalent threat format in May, when it accounted for 33 percent of attacks, to fourth position overall, representing 15 percent of threats tracked by the company.

Both WebAttacker and WMF are known to have originated in Russia.

More here.

Tellabs Victorious at Verizon

Phil Harvey writes on Light Reading:

It's official: Tellabs Inc. has bagged the big elephant of reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) contracts. The vendor announced today that it has been selected as the primary supplier for next-generation optical transport gear to Verizon Communications Inc.

What's it all mean? In addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue for Tellabs, the deal is also strategic. ROADM technology, which makes optical networks more flexible by enabling optical channels to be added or dropped remotely, is becoming the linchpin of metro networks -- and landing such a marquee deal with a big RBOC makes Tellabs a clear leader in the market.

More here.

Secure Computing to Acquire CipherTrust for $273.6M

Kevin McLaughlin writes on

Secure Computing Tuesday revealed plans to acquire messaging security vendor CipherTrust in a $273.6 million cash and stock deal.

CipherTrust, a privately held firm based in Alpharetta, Ga., develops technology that combats spam, viruses, and phishing, and host intrusion attempts. Last month the vendor rolled out its IronMail 6.5 appliance, which includes the ability to prevent sensitive corporate data from being sent out of the network, as well as block pornographic or other offensive images from arriving in e-mail.

More here.

Wired Pays Lycos to Recover

A Reuters newswire article by Eric Auchard, via Yahoo! News, reports that:

Wired magazine, the publication that helped popularize the Internet craze during the 1990s, is poised to recover the online business it lost when the company was divided in half eight years ago.

Lycos Inc. said on Tuesday it had agreed to sell its Wired News online properties for $25 million to Conde Nast Publications, owner of Wired magazine, the print publication that is equal parts technology culture trend-spotter and glossy product catalog.

More here.

Gapingvoid: Money is No Object

Via Enjoy!

Tiscali Snubs Music Industry Demand for Names

Bravo, Tiscali. Kudos.

Jeffrey Goldfarb writes for Reuters:

Internet service provider Tiscali on Tuesday rebuked demands by British music companies to reveal the names of some of its customers who allegedly used the network to share songs illegally.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) trade group said on Monday it had "unequivocal" evidence about 17 of Tiscali's customers and 42 from fellow telecoms company Cable & Wireless to support its claims.

Tiscali, an Italy-based company with about 1.2 million broadband customers in Britain, said it had received only extracts of a screenshot of one of its customers and nothing to support the allegations against the 16 others.

"Further, you have provided no evidence of downloading taking place nor have you provided evidence that the shared drive was connected by the relevant IP address at the relevant time," Tiscali wrote to the BPI in a letter, portions of which were provided to Reuters.

More here.

San Francisco Reviews Contracts with AT&T Over Domestic Spying

An AP newswire article by Scott Lindlaw, via, reports that:

City officials are investigating AT&T's alleged cooperation with the National Security Agency and considering possible "consequences" the company could face in its extensive municipal contracts here if it is violating civil liberties, Mayor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

"If what I'm reading is true, I've got some serious problems as a San Franciscan, as a taxpayer and as mayor," Newsom said in interview with The Associated Press. "And I don't like it."

More here.

Hackers Target U.S. State Dept. Computers

An AP newswire article, via CNN, reports that:

The State Department is recovering from large-scale computer break-ins worldwide over the past several weeks that appeared to target its headquarters and offices dealing with China and North Korea, The Associated Press has learned.

Investigators believe hackers stole sensitive U.S. information and passwords and implanted backdoors in unclassified government computers to allow them to return at will, said U.S. officials familiar with the hacking.

These people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the widespread intrusions and the resulting investigation.

The break-ins and the State Department's emergency response severely limited Internet access at many locations, including some headquarters offices in Washington, these officials said. Internet connections have been restored across nearly all the department since the break-ins were recognized in mid-June.

More here.

FDA to Consider Another Artificial Blood Experiment Without Subjects' Consent

Joseph Rhee reports on ABC News' "The Blotter":

With medical ethicists raising alarms, the Food and Drug Administration meets behind closed doors this week for secret deliberations on whether to allow an artificial blood substitute, Hemopure, to be tested in trauma patients without their knowledge or consent.

The proposed medical experiment would be similar to one already underway in 27 American cities involving a product called Polyheme, being conducted by Northfield Labs.

More here.

Mad Whacked, Crazy-Long WiFi Hacker Sentence Upheld

Kevin Poulsen writes on Wired News:

A federal appeals court upheld a nine-year prison term Monday for a hacker who tried and failed to steal customer credit-card numbers from the Lowe's chain of home improvement stores.

Brian Salcedo, now 23, has been in custody since 2003, when an FBI stakeout caught him and a partner breaking into several Lowe's networks over an unsecured Wi-Fi connection at a suburban Detroit store.

Under Monday's ruling, Salcedo will not be eligible for release until May 2011.

More here.

Juniper Networks JUNOS IPv6 Packet Handling Denial of Service

Via Secunia.

A vulnerability has been reported in the M-series, T-series, and J-Series routers, which can be exploited by malicious people to cause a DoS (Denial of Service).

The vulnerability is caused due to an error when freeing memory after receiving certain IPv6 packets. This can be exploited to cause a exhaust available memory by sending specially crafted IPv6 packets to the vulnerable router.

Successful exploitation crashes the router.

The vulnerability has been reported for routers using a version of the JUNOS Internet Software built before 2006-05-10.

Apply an updated version of the JUNOS software.

Provided and/or discovered by:
Reported by the vendor.

Original Advisory:

More here.

Fergie's Tech Blog is Moving; Well, Not Really, But...

Actually, I'm moving -- the blog is staying where it is.

Me -- I'm moving to Silicon Valley, que sera.

It's kind of a stipulation in my taking a new job, etc. All good stuff. I'm going to miss Austin -- I have really grown fond of it. Really.

In this world, you have to be flexible, and fluid, or else you get eaten by the faster fish.

Not this fish -- gotta swim.

In any event, the blog will keep keepin' on, just some minor, esoteric changes,

Austin! I hardly knew ye!

- ferg

NSA: We're Too Secret to Be Sued

Gail Gibson writes in The Baltimore Sun:

A courtroom challenge to the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program would expose sensitive state secrets and should be thrown out, government lawyers told a federal judge yesterday.

In making that sweeping assertion, lawyers employed the state secrets doctrine, an obscure tool that has been used by the Bush administration in 22 other instances - more than any other presidency - to squelch cases touching on intelligence practices.

And it is virtually always a winning strategy, say legal scholars and attorneys who handle national security cases.

More here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Google to Put a Research Center in Michigan

Micheline Bunkley and Nick Maynard write in The New York Times:

Google plans to build an office and research center here that will have up to 1,000 employees, people who had been briefed on the plan said Monday night.

The announcement is set to be made Tuesday morning by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm at a news conference at the state Capitol in Lansing.

Google is expected to open the center in downtown Ann Arbor, the hometown of the University of Michigan, where Larry Page, one of Google’s founders, earned his undergraduate degree in engineering.

More here.

10 July 1979: The End of Skylab


View of Skylab space station cluster in Earth orbit.
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

Following the last mission, Skylab was left in a parking orbit expected to last at least 8 years. The Space Shuttle was planned to dock with and elevate Skylab to a higher safe altitude in 1979; however, the shuttles were not able to launch until 1981. A planned unmanned satellite called the Teleoperator was to be launched to save Skylab, but funding never materialized. Skylab was considered junk by many. It was falling apart, according to the visiting astronauts, and had suffered great damage during launch when the solar panel tore off with the solar shield. The station needed new gyroscopes, fuels, equipment, life support systems, plumbing, and much more.

Increased solar activity, heating the outer layers of the earth's atmosphere and thereby increasing drag on Skylab, led to an early reentry at approximately 16:37 UTC July 11, 1979. Earth reentry footprint was a narrow band (approx. 4° wide) beginning at about 48° S 87° E and ending at about 12° S 144° E, an area covering portions of the Indian Ocean and Western Australia. Debris was found between Esperance, Western Australia, and Rawlinna, Western Australia, 31–34°S, 122–126°E. As this area was sparsely populated there were no human casualties but three cows were reportedly killed by debris. Because the debris landed on Australian soil, the Australian government fined the United States $400 for littering.

More here.

San Jose Police Arrest Two in Theft of Copper Wiring

Something that is apparently becoming a trend, as the price of copper rises....

Leslie Griffy writes in The Mercury News:

San Jose police snared two alleged copper thieves Wednesday night in a sting at a Pacific Gas & Electric facility near downtown.

Lance Grahn, 36, and Marlene Dortch, 39, were arrested as they allegedly attempted to make off with 200 pounds of copper wiring, San Jose police officer Erik Hove said.

The arrest came after five officers, at different vantage points of the facility, staked out the location on reports from PG&E officials of an ongoing problem of copper theft.

More here.

Toon: 1st Amendment & Georgious Rex

Click for larger image.

Identity Theft Fears At HUD

Via The Smoking Gun.

A Department of Housing and Urban Development employee suspected of bank fraud and identity theft had access to "sensitive information" at the agency, including material stored on the Blackberrys and computers of Secretary Alphonso Jackson and other agency brass, as well as separate "personal client information housed on HUD computers."

Following the June 26 arrest of Tracyee Martan for passing a phony cashier's check at a Maryland bank, federal agents secured her HUD office "in order to prevent any further access by Martan to sensitive information," according to a search warrant affidavit. Court filings do not indicate whether Martan is suspected of misusing confidential HUD information, or the nature of the "personal client information" housed on the federal agency's computer system.

A search of Martan's Washington, D.C. apartment turned up "numerous boxes of consumer goods" that "are believed to be the fruits of a credit card, bank fraud, identity theft scheme," the affidavit notes.

More here.

Gapingvoid: If I can Sell Hope...

Via Enjoy!

Microsoft Blacklist Strategy Swaps Accuracy For MS's Convenience

Via eMail Battles.

Want to make email easy on your mail servers? Do it the Microsoft IT way. Reject messages from senders that show up on realtime block lists (a.k.a., blacklists, RBLs).

Microsoft IT claims that using RBLs as their first line of defense results in killing 80% of all incoming messages.

You gain other benefits, as well. The processing muscle required for a simple RBL lookup is nothing, so your gateway server can handle tons of messages.

There is, however, a downside.

Innocent users and organizations frequently find themselves on blocklists for a variety of reasons, some of which are flat-out silly.

More here.

UK Hacker Gary McKinnon Vows to Fight U.S. Extradition

Via The BBC.

Former computer hacker Gary McKinnon has vowed to fight extradition to the US, where he faces decades in jail.

He told the BBC he was lodging a High Court appeal against Home Secretary John Reid's decision to allow him to be sent to America.

Mr McKinnon, 40, from London, said he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if he needed to.

He is accused of hacking into US government computer networks, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

More here.

Best Buy, Geek Squad Settle With Winternals

Via The Austin Business Journal.

Three months after it was filed, Winternals Software LP says it has settled its copyright infringement lawsuit against Best Buy Co. and its subsidiary Geek Squad Inc.

Winternals' lawyer, David Weaver in Vinson & Elkins LLP's Austin office, filed motions Friday in U.S. District Court in Austin officially announcing the settlement agreement and asking U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to dismiss the lawsuit.

Financial terms of the agreement are confidential, but Winternals and Best Buy have entered into a three-year business relationship to license a variety of Winternals' software programs to Best Buy's Geek Squad and other computer service and repair employees.

More here.

Hackers Exploit Banking Sites

Via WHIR News.

Web hosting provider Goldleaf Technology announced on Monday that a recemt phishing scam attempted to steal personal financial data from its clients' bank sites.

According to the company, its 600 client bank sites were affected by the security compromise for periods from nine to 91 minutes on May 25 between 1:35 p.m. and 2:50 p.m. CST. Goldleaf Technology says when customers logged onto the banking Web sites, they were redirected through a server in Madrid, Spain, and from there, customers were redirected again to servers in several countries. However, many customers felt suspicious as the phishing site didn't resemble the official bank sites.

Despite Goldleaf Technology's recovery of the situation, some clients--including West Georgia National Bank--have voiced their unhappiness with the Web host's slow reaction, and aren't sure whether they will stay on with the host.

More here.

UK ISPs Urged to Lock Out File-Sharers

Jeffrey Goldfarb writes for Reuters:

The British music industry stepped up its campaign against illegal file-sharing on Monday by demanding that two Internet service providers suspend 59 accounts it believes are being used to swap copyrighted songs.

The British Phonographic Industry trade group called on Cable & Wireless and Tiscali to join a crusade against consumer practices that have undermined music companies in recent years.

More here.

Vonage Sued for Alleged Patent Infringement

Via Reuters.

Klausner Technologies Inc. said on Monday it sued Internet phone company Vonage Holdings Corp.vfor alleged patent infringement, seeking damages and royalties it said were worth $180 million.

Klausner said the patent in question was used in Vonage's voicemail services. It recently granted a license under the same patent to Time Warner Inc. subsidiary AOL, it said.

More here.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

10 July 1925: Scopes 'Monkey Trial' Begins


Clarence Darrow (left) and William Jennings Bryan (right) chat in court during the Scopes trial in 1925.
Image source: Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia.

The "Scopes Trial" (Scopes v. State, 152 Tenn. 424, 278 S.W. 57 (Tenn. 1925), often called the "Scopes Monkey Trial") pitted against each other lawyers William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow (the latter representing teacher John T. Scopes) in an American court case that tested a law passed on March 13, 1925, which forbade the teaching, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee, of "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."

This is often interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution.

And yes, the trial was a three-ring circus.

More here.

Yahoo! Planning New Campus In Santa Clara County

Katherine Conrad writes in The Mercury News:

Internet giant Yahoo of Sunnyvale has acquired 42.5 acres in Santa Clara for a new campus that could serve as its corporate headquarters.

Yahoo, which bought the property from San Francisco-based TMG Partners, is quickly expanding its workforce, which grew by about one-third last year to more than 10,000 worldwide.

Yahoo closed escrow Thursday on the 42.5 acres and is expected to finalize the purchase of an additional 3.5 adjacent acres -- also from TMG -- along Tasman Drive in the next few weeks. The company is buying the 46 acres for about $50 million, according to a source close to the deal.

More here.

At AOL, A Plan for a Clean Break

Saul Hansell writes in The New York Times:

Should AOL sacrifice its cash cow in hopes of finding a prosperous future?

In two weeks, the board of Time Warner Inc., which owns AOL, will hear a proposal from Jonathan Miller, AOL's chief executive, calling for a near halt in marketing for AOL's 17-year-old Internet access service, price cuts for existing customers and thousands of layoffs. His goal is to devote all of AOL's energy into building its free Web-based services.

More here.

Daily Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq

Via The Boston Globe (AP).

As of Sunday, July 9, 2006, at least 2,546 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,009 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

The AP count is six higher than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EDT.

The British military has reported 113 deaths; Italy, 32; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 17; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Slovakia, Denmark three each; El Salvador, Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Romania, one death each.


CNNIC Launches 'Growth Project'

Considering the amount of malware hosted in, and initiated attacks coming out of China, I'm not sure if this is good or bad.


Worried about the current status of Internet growth among Chinese enterprises, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has initiated a program called "Growth Project" in an effort to help the more than 24 million Chinese enterprises get online.

Statistics show that of the over 24 million companies in China, only about 400,000 have their own website.

To stimulate growth among businesses, CNNIC plans to offer a suite of options including domain name registration support, website building assistance, and tips on how best to monetize various enterprises' products via online channels.

More here.

White House Kept 'Major Program' Secret From Congress

A Reuters newswire article by Alan Elsner, via The Boston Globe, reports that:

The Bush administration was running several intelligence programs, including one major activity, that it kept secret from Congress until whistle-blowers told the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, the committee's chairman said on Sunday.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News Sunday he had written a four-page to President George W. Bush in May warning him that the failure to disclose the intelligence activities to Congress may be a violation of the law.

In doing so, he confirmed a story that first ran in Sunday editions of the New York Times.

More here.