Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Blogtipping

Just a quick reminder that Thursday, June 1 (actually, the 1st of every month) is Blogtipping Day. My post is ready to go, it yours?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Guest blogging

Over on the Linux World Net blog network, we are in need of a writer for Linux Security. In the meantime, I've decided to provide a few guest entries. If you're interested, check out my first entry on establishing a baseline and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Towel Day!

Happy Towel Day, everyone! Due to continuing troubles with my firewall at home, I nearly forgot my towel today. I remembered it at the last minute, though! I did forget to wear my "42" shirt :(

Luckily, I have caught most of the crashes and rebooted fairly quickly. But I think I have a replacement ready to swap in. I apologize again for anyone who has had problems with the site. The troubles are nearly over :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Save Nazanin

From the website Save Nazanin:
Save Nazanin According to the Iranian daily Etemaad, then 17-year-old Nazanin and her niece had been spending some time in a park west of Tehran with their boyfriends, when three men started harassing them.

The girls` boyfriends fled from the scene, leaving them helpless behind. The men pushed Nazanin and her niece down on the ground and tried to rape them, and to protect herself, she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

The girls tried to escape, but the men overtook them, and at this point, Nazanin stabbed one of the other men in the chest, which eventually killed him. According to the newspaper, she broke down in tears when she told the court: "I wanted to defend myself and my niece. I did not want to kill that boy. At the heat of the moment I did not know what to do because no one came to our help." Nevertheless, the court sentenced her to death by hanging.

And a little further down:
Another point worth noticing, is that if Nazanin had let the men rape her, she could in the worst case have been arrested for extra-martial sex, which carries a maximum penalty of 100 lashes.

I understand that the culture is one that values men's lives more than it does women's. I have a separate issue with that. But this is clearly more than a culture difference. This is not only a miscarriage of justice, but a human-rights violation.

There is not much time before her execution is carried out. Please go to the page to see how you can help.

[Update - 06/01/2006] There are unconfirmed reports that Nazanin's execution may have been overturned. I'll update this entry as I find out more.

Found via SuicideGirls.com

Towel Day is the 25th!

That's right! Tomorrow is Towel Day 2006! And this year, I will *not* forget my towel!

My previous employer was big on sponsoring a lot of local teams and events. One of the teams that the company sponsored was a softball teams. When they had their shirts made up, they ran a few extra, which my boss gave some of us senior staffers.

What's that got to do with Towel Day? Everything! It has, in great big letters across the back, the number 42! So I will be wearing that shirt on Thursday and carrying my towel! :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Firewall

Apparently, the firewall machine is suffering some hardware issue which causes it to lock. I will swap it out this evening, but in the meantime I apologize for the intermittent problems with the site.

Monday, May 22, 2006

We're back

The website is (obviously) back up after a brief outage. Sorry 'bout that. The firewall decided to take a brief vacation this morning.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Usage Statistics

Over at Successful Blog, Liz mentions "One truth about blogging is that you can never know for sure where a post might take you." I thought I'd comment here, because I recently discovered how true that is.

It all started not only with my May 10 entry on Links, but with the discovery of Successful Blog. When I discovered it, I did what I always do when I find something interesting; I added it to Bloglines. This, in turn, caused it to show up in my blogroll (which displays the 20 most recently updated blogs that I read through Bloglines via a PHP script I hacked together). Liz graciously acknowledged her addition to my blogroll and promptly heaped a ton of much-appreciated attention on that May 10 post.

In case you're wondering where I'm going with this ramble, I was starting to wonder too. But to get back on track, after the initial flury of hits to the site and everything has calmed back down (I was up to 10 times normal trafic for awhile!), it appears that my readership has doubled! Looks like I had excellent timing for the site redesign :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Eternal Value of Privacy

Bruce Schneier has a great article over on Wired titled The Eternal Value of Privacy. It's an excellent read for all of you who strugle to articulate their answer to "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?"

Thanks, Bruce, for putting it into words that I couldn't :)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Survivor

OK, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to reality TV, especially Survivor. This season's finale was a letdown - I was realy hoping Terry would win. But he didn't, and was gracious enough to vote for his biggest rival.

But, you might be saying, this isn't a TV blog. And you'd be right. The reason I bring this up is because I am seriously considering sending in a tape and seeing what happens. My wife planted the idea in my head, and then began encouraging me to go for it. And not for the money (who couldn't use a million? Minus taxes, of course.) but because she believes in me, and that I could do well at it. Having someone show that much confidence in you really inspires confidence in yourself :) So, when I get home tonight, it's time to make a three minute video and fill out some paperwork :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Save The Internet

Save the Internet is a nationwide coalition of Internet users united together in the belief that the Net's phenomenal growth over the past decade stems from the ability of entrepreneurs to expand consumer choices and opportunities without worrying about bribing AT&T to carry their traffic. We believe consumers across America see the results of this "hands off" approach - through such benefits as expanded distance education opportunities, improved access and speed to almost any information, on-line commerce, and an easier and inexpensive way to communicate with family and colleagues.

"Hands Off the Internet" is a coalition of telecom companies who somehow don't get that Yahoo, Google, etc., have already paid for their bandwidth and shouldn't have to pay for it again. They think that content providers should have to pay more than content consumers and don't realize that the value of the service that they provide is in connecting the two ends, not one end to the middle. They think that Google and Yahoo are getting a free ride, even though they already pay substantial bandwidth fees. They're greedy bastards, and if it takes legislation to stop them, so be it.

5 things you can do today to preserve internet freedom

The following list is available elsewhere, but it's worth sharing again:

  1. SIGN a petition to Congress

  2. CALL your member of Congress now

  3. WRITE your member of Congress

  4. BLOG or put the "Save the Internet" logo on your Web site

  5. MYSPACE add "Save the Internet" as a friend

Thursday, May 11, 2006

From the archives: Spam from Jesus

I may have mentioned this before, but I am somewhat of a digital pack-rat. This holds true for old data just as much as it does for old equipment. So when I was going through a bunch of files on the web server in preparation for a server project over on Minimum Linux, I was pleasantly suprised to discover that I still have all my old blog posts from when I started with Blogger, through my transition to Wordpress, and back to Blogger again. So I thought I'd repost some of the gems, such as the following (from November 1, 2004):
Take a look at this spam that I received today. Apparently, Jesus thinks that I need Norton Internet Security 2004. It also appears that Jesus prefers Yahoo! mail over Hotmail. Maybe someone should send Jesus a Gmail invite? But, being the Son of God, shouldn't he already have one?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Links

Over at ProBlogger.net, Darren Rowse has a post titled Link Lust which asks "Which 3 Blogs or Websites would you most love a link from?" [Update 05/11/2006]Credit should be given to the Link Leak Virus and to BlogTipping for the wonderful idea!

My answer, which you can also read in his comments, are as follows:
My top three picks aren’t so much for the traffic they’d generate, but because I really admire the people who run them:

ASCII by Jason Scott - Jason directed The BBS Documentary and runs Textfiles.com and a ton of other related sites. If I could relive one period of history, it would be the BBS era. Jason’s sites (and excellent documentary) help me do that.

A Day in the Life of an Information Security Investigator - This is a field that I am extremely interested in, and Security Monkey does an *excellent* job of entertaining as well as educating.

Wil Wheaton dot Net - Wil seems like such an average Joe for an actor who “used to be famous.”

So what would your three be?

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Vetoed: HB 1259

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Georgia's HD 1259 has been vetoed.

FireHatch.com

I've been posting so much on politics here lately, that I'm considering creating a seperate blog for those posts! Actually, I've got a WordPress.com blog that isn't really being used, plus my personal space over at Green Apple, so I'd probably use one of those before launching something new.

At any rate, here's another political post.

FireHatch.com is a site dedicated to the goal of unseating incument Orrin Hatch in November elections. From the site:
Hatch is as bad as it gets when it comes to shafting the public on copyright and technology policy. This is the guy who wants Hollywood's hackers to blow up computers that are used for unauthorized downloading. He championed a policy that authorizes jail time for sharing a single song on the Internet. Hatch also wrote 2004's ill-fated INDUCE Act. All of this support for Hollywood cartels might seem strange coming from a Utah Senator, but then you notice that entertainment companies have given Hatch hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Found via Boing Boing.

Monday, May 8, 2006

My new blog

OK. The time has come for me to announce the launch of my new blog, Minimum Linux - The Power of Skinny. The blog is part of the just-launched Linux World Net blog network. I'm very excited about the new blog and hope everyone else is too!

"Minimum Linux" is a play on the magazine title "Maximum Linux," while the term "The Power of Skinny" refers to the power of Linux on older machines with limited resources. Unfortunately, I can't take credit for that subtitle. The person who runs the network, Jon, threw it out while we were working on the details of the blog, and we both decided to run with it.

The new blog brings me into the ranks as a pro blogger. Here's hoping that today's launch is a huge success! ;)

You may also notice the redesign here as well. I got bored with "Minima Black" and found a theme out there called "Folio" that I liked just a little better. Any thoughts?

Friday, May 5, 2006

RIAA Petition

From the EFF:
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is on a rampage, launching legal attacks against average Americans from coast to coast. After over 18,000 lawsuits and counting against P2P users, file sharing has continued to increase rapidly. Meanwhile, music fans, like 12 year-old Brittany LaHara, college student Cassi Hunt, and parent of five Cecilia Gonzalez, are being forced to pay thousands of dollars they do not have to settle RIAA-member lawsuits, and many other innocent individuals are being caught in the crossfire.

This irrational crusade is not generating a single penny for the artists that the RIAA claims to protect. The RIAA should be working to create a rational, legal means by which its customers can take advantage of file sharing technology and pay a fair price for the music they love. With artists increasingly turning against the lawsuits, momentum may be shifting in favor of a better way forward.

Copyright law shouldn't make criminals out of more than 60 million Americans — tell Congress that it's time to stop the madness!

I just signed. Isn't it time that you signed, too?

Thursday, May 4, 2006

New blog

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I will be starting a new blog very soon. I will post more details once the blog is launched :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Save the Internet : Commerce Committee Map

If you are unsure of where your representative stands, Save the Internet.com has a wonderful map that can help you find out.
I urge everyone to sign petitions. Call your Senators and Representatives. Write them letters. Send them email. Blog about it. Send a letter to the editor at your local paper. Do anything and everything to make your voice heard!

Update: This map doesn't show where everyone stands. I decided to contact Congressman Hobson (7th District, Ohio) to find out where he stands. My message was simple: "I wish to find out where you stand on the Markey amendment to the COPE Act and to urge you to please keep the Internet free and open by voting for enforceable network neutrality requirements in the future. Thank you."

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Wired News: Feds Go All Out to Kill Spy Suit

According to Wired:
In this case, the government will be asking a federal judge in California to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T for its alleged complicity in warrantless government surveillance of its customer's internet and telephone communications. The EFF alleges that AT&T gave the government access to a massive phone billing database and helped the NSA spy on its customers' internet use.

The state was breaking the law. As such, they have no secrets to protect, other than the fact that it broke the law. Now, I'm no conspiricy nut, but nothing says "cover-up" any better than that.

Monday, May 1, 2006

ITtoolbox

Anyone know what's up with ITtoobox? The front page works, but I can't get to any individual entries to one of my favorite blogs, A Day in the Life of an Information Security Investigator. Hope it comes back up soon, because Security Monkey recently updated his latest case file.