May 23, 2006

VA: Data on 26.5M veterans stolen

From my girlfriend &

WASHINGTON — The federal government is warning every living veteran discharged since 1975 to watch banking and credit card statements closely after sensitive personal data on all 26.5 million of them was stolen this month.

Real fucking classy guys. Out of all the people that should have their personal data private, safe & secure... Jesus H. Christ. This is ridiculous....

Thanks for the link, my love. (Link -

Nepalese Buddha Boy 'reappears'

From the BBC...

A missing Nepalese teenager popularly known as "Buddha Boy" reappeared briefly on Sunday, his followers say.

The committee managing the meditation site of Ram Bomjan, 16, released video of its members purportedly meeting the boy near his village in southern Nepal.

The boy's meditation and apparent 10-month fast attracted global attention before he vanished in March.
(Link - BBC News: South Asia)

Water Tasting...

When I was in college, I spent 1 term in a class that dealt entirely with bottled water. How it is marketed, how the need is created, how there are less stringent health standards for bottled water than for tap water. I did research, interviews, more research & finally compiled it all into a final paper that to this day I consider my greatest collegiate accomplishment. So, that all said, I present to you a water tasting even in Berkley Springs.

There are many arguments to something like this. Many people swear by the bottled water that they drink. They say they can tell the difference between different brands of water. We conducted these same experiments in class and found that most people can't tell the difference between brands of water. I'm sure you can point me to studies that prove the opposite.

I'll give you a brief overview of how they judge the water.
Appearance 0 - 5 with 5 being the best.
Odor 0 - 5 with 5 being the best (along with characterizations, ie chlorine, plastic, sulfur, chemical, musty)
Flavor 0 - 10 with 10 being the best & the same descriptive words + salty
Mouthfeel 0 -5 with 5 being the best.
Aftertaste 0 - 5 with 5 being the best.

Finally, there's Overall Impression. That consists of a 14 point scale. And it's Very, Very, descriptive. The article is a very easy read, and it's hard to take it seriously even though everyone in the story takes the whole event seriously. (Link - Oxford American [thanks])

Vending machines & printers can be open network threats.

From our buddies over at ZDNet Australia...

As common office items such as printers, vending machines and lifts become more advanced and run embedded operating systems, they could easily create vulnerabilities that are often overlooked by administrators.

The article goes on to say that many of these machines run on modified versions of windows or Linux. As such, there are usually updats for them to fix security problems that arise. The article ends by telling people to moniter network traffic... (Link - ZDNet Australia)

Another Torrent Post.

While we're on the subject... JesusIsAPervert's blog has some steps to take to keep wasted data & the RIAA out of your torrents.

He recommends using µTorrent (Link) to download torrents & gives ways to use it to exlude certain IP addresses.. Very informative & well worth the read. (Link - JesusIsAPervert)

WizBit: A BitTorrent client written in Python

Note: Program in Alpha Stage
Only for Nokia Series 60 smart phones

This guy is writing a BitTorrent program for his final year at college project. I'm not sure how useful this will be... Maybe to trade games & or ringtones & wallpapers. We'll see. Seems like a good way to transmit viruses via cellphone... I'll keep you posted. (Link - WizBit Blog)

H4ck your Pruis

Don't like certain features of your Prius?

More & More people are taking those matters into their own hands. From stopping beeping sounds to using the onbard navigation system while driving, hacking a prius is a different kind of car modification.

Read more at News.Com. (Link)

Also, check out CalCars.Org for more Prius Tunning Tips. (Link

The Mathmatical Structure of Terrorism

From our buddies at PhysOrg.Com...

The nature of war is a question of great interest to everyone, especially as the era of large-scale conflicts recedes into the past. The wars of today tend to be lopsided affairs, where guerilla forces, insurgent groups, and terrorists oppose incumbent governments. Instead of a few large-scale battles, this situation leads to an apparently random series of small-scale attacks against vulnerable targets of opportunity.

The article continues to describe specific formulas... I'll provide a clip of that...

Let’s look at a specific example. In the case of the Iraq war, we might ask how many conflicts causing ten casualties are expected to occur over a one-year period. According to the data, the answer is the average number of events per year times 10–2.3, or 0.005. If we instead ask how many events will cause twenty casualties, the answer is proportional to 20–2.3. Taking into account the entire history of any given war, one finds that the frequency of events on all scales can be predicted by exactly the same exponent.

If you're into math & or war.. This is a very interesting read.
(Link -

Sony Rootkit Settlement...

From the cats over at News.Com...

A federal judge on Monday gave final approval to a settlement in a class action suit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment over anticopying software the company had embedded in some music CDs.

Customers can file claims & get downloads, non-DRM cds, & even cash settlements... Additioanly, SONY CD's transmitted data over the internet with usages statistics... Good for them... Assclowns. (Link - News.Com)

Gameboy Hardware Schematics

Because everyone needs to know how the gameboy ticks...
A lot of it is very technical drawings & descriptions of how the Gameboy's ciruits run. I don't get it, but it's interesting... Homebrew on Gameboy (the original) would be freakin' sweet!