Sunday, August 29, 2004


Cracktalk Newsletter 8-27-4

Crack Talk Member's Edition
Terry Blount
Worm Uses Webcams to Spy on Users
A new variant of the Rbot worm has the ability to take over users'webcams and use them to spy on people in their offices and homes.
Now if you could only point the cams away from the wall! Voyeurs would be better satisfied loading paltalk.
Free Online Legal Service Launched
The site is sponsored by the San Francisco-based Public InterestClearinghouse and can be found at The statecourt site address is they have referralsin 48 states.,49284759,1466,f/
MS Releases XP SP2 App Testing Guide
Separately, Microsoft released a script on its TechNet portal in orderto offer a way for enterprise customers to remotely block or unblock theautomated delivery of SP2.
"The ability to block delivery of Windows XP SP2 will be available for alimited time only," the company said.
US Starts Cyber Crime Crackdown - Spammers and Scammers Targeted
THE US JUSTICE Department is set to announce a major crackdown oncyber-crime that will include arrests, subpoenas and property seizuresof email spammers and online scam artists. They have already bustedabout 100 people.
U.S. Searches Computers, Trying to Disrupt Piracy
The government said its action was aimed at a group called theUnderground Network.
Public Radio News Site
Public Radio has a pretty good web site that covers stories not pickedup by major news networks.
RSS Attracts Really Serious Money
Over the last year or so, RSS has become one of the buzz terms mostheard in blogging circles. It allows anyone to automatically receivefree feeds from countless numbers of blogs and a growing number of newsservices. One of the leading blog and RSS tracking services acknowledgedMonday it recently closed a multimillion-dollar round of venture capitalfunding.,1367,64716,00.html?tw=rss.TOP
Record songs from your XM PCR satellite radio directly onto your PC inMP3 format!
It's a pretty cool program since it saves the songs individually undertheir titles. It only works with XM and is $29... till someone cracksit.
I'm happy with one huge mp3 file. After all I couldn't skip a song beingplayed via satellite anyway. I've also filled several tapes that I takewith me if I'm going on a short drive and don't want to move my receiverto my pickup. It's easy since the music is played through a radio thathas a tape recorder.
For $42 you can broadcast anything on your computer to a tv or radio.This card turns your PC into a high definition TV and FM entertainmentcenter.
There are much cheaper ways to broadcast audio only from a pc, or anyother device with a headphone jack, but since the range of most of themis limited to about 30 feet you may as well turn up the volume.
'NFL 2K5' edges out 'Madden NFL 2005'
NFL 2K5 has rolled out a polished game for the bargain price of $20,while Madden NFL 2005 goes for $50. give the edge to NFL 2K5 for itslower price and superior graphics and presentation.
Ratings: NFL 2K5, four stars out of four; Madden NFL 2005, three and ahalf stars out of four. Madden NFL 2005 has sold 1.3 million copies.
Size Doesn't Matter After All
A new extra-solar planet has been identified orbiting a star 500 lightyears from our solar system. The discovery was made by a team using afour-inch diameter telescope to make their observations - a size of'scope readily available at stores like Walmart.
Steve Writes:
How to fix XP SP2 after it blocks your maximum new connections to max 10/sec.
Installing SP2 on AMD 64-bit machines may cause the devices to restartrepeatedly, according to Microsoft. The problem occurs in those systemsif they also are configured to enforce so-called data executionprevention (DEP) and contain hardware that requires driver softwareknown as mpegport.sys. A specific program known to set off the glitch isSigma Designs' Hollywood Plus DVD decoder application.
Microsoft says users may be able to resolve the problem by configuringan exception to the DEP rule. Otherwise, the company advises AMD usersto remove SP2 altogether.
A security bug in Microsoft Internet Explorer's drag-and-drop featureaffects IE versions 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0 on fully patched systems runningMicrosoft Windows XP SP1 or SP2.
Secunia rated the flaws "highly critical" and urged IE users to disablethe browser's Active Scripting feature.
The company said the vulnerability is caused by insufficient validationof drag-and-drop events issued from the "Internet" zone to localresources. An attacker could potentially plant a harmful executable filein a user's startup folder, which will execute the next time Windowsboots.
NOTICE: Turning scripting off causes many major websites to FAIL toopen. Only do it if you are running XP and remember you have done itif a page won't load.

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes
by Stephen King
Good stuff although I think #5 is the most important thing you cancontrol. "Don't do anything that will break your train of thought." Onceyou get rolling on an idea just let it go and don't stop for spellin,gramar, ect.
Energy from the Sea
Escalating oil prices and worries about global warming have shifted thequest for renewable energy sources into high gear. While wind and solarclaim most of the attention, and hopes are high for high-tech hydrogen,the dark horse in this race may be the restless energy of the sea.,1282,64695,00.html?tw=rss.TOP
Energy from Hamsters - Hamster Powered Night Light
Holiday Inn Pulls Out Of Expedia,
The reason for pulling out of Expedia and is a failure tomeet the "certification" process they've laid out, but it really justmeans they want more control over their own inventory.
More than half of all hotels booked online are booked by a third-partyagency such as Orbitz," according to a 2004 study by PhoCusWright.
Google to Pay Bloggers
We were making money from those ads, but you weren't getting any of it.Now, we're inviting you to set up your own Bloggerized AdSense accountso that you make the money. What's the catch? We're going to take someof the action. The move to pay bloggers is sure to give Google a leg upon rivals in the space, notably Movable Type's fee-based TypePadservice.
Why drive a long way and stand in line and wait for hours to get a lostbirth certificate?
Go to and look for the "National Center for HealthStatistics" link. Here you will find state-by-state listings of how toobtain a birth certificate. In a matter of minutes, a certified copy canbe authorized and put in express mail to you.
Someone at Google literally scans the pages of more than 6,000 mailorder catalogs, page by page, into the site. Although you can't orderdirectly from the site, you can browse and then grab the telephonenumber off the bottom of the page, call and place an order or simply getyourself on the catalog's mailing list.
NASA will parachute samples to the earth from outer space and catch themas they fall with a hook from a helicopter.
U.S. investigators found that women who sipped at least one sugary drinkevery day had an 83 percent higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes.Previous research has also shown that kids who are heavy soda-drinkershave a higher risk of obesity, suggesting that sugary soft drinks putpeople in particular danger of weight gain.
Have some fun and get a 30 second review of a classical movie performedby bunnies.
This is currently the hacker's favorite DVD player.
Philips DVD/Divx Player $69 now has the popular Philips DVP642 in stock at $69.84, $7.01shipping. Search for DVP642
Plays those downloaded movies. DVD, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/+RW, CD, CD-R/RW,VCD, SVCD, MP3-CD, MPEG-4, Picture-CD and DivX 3.11/4.x/5.x.
Also plays JPEG, mpg, Xvid, PAL DVDs, PAL Divx, and even ASF (which itdoesn't claim to support, but still works). It also has Progressive scanand 4x upsampling. You can just dump these files on a DVD and it willstart playing them. No need to specially format the disk. We've verifiedit ourselves.
Latest firmware update-
Instructions on how to run the firmware upgrade at: you just unzip the firmware and write it to a cd and put thecd in the player. The flash is automatic and takes about 2 minutes. Ifit's successful the player will shut down. Unplug the unit and waitabout 15 seconds. Plug it back in and turn it on and the tray will open.Remove the cd immediately.
Region hack - PRESS and HOLD STOP for 2 seconds. The dvd player willopen. Press 7, 8, 9 on your remote. Press OKAY. Select 0 for regionfree. (if that didn't work your firmware is different and 0-0-0-0-OK-0may work.) Get some snacks, drink, lubrication, and watch your movie.

Businesses that record the security videos day and night pay thousandsof dollars for the systems. However with the $29 video/audio camera fromharbor freight you can set up the same system for a fraction of theprice. You won't get real high quality and you'll need a vcr that canrecord real time 24 or more hours but it will work good enough to catcha thief. Here is the best deal I have found for a 24 hr vcr... and itwill record up to 960 hours (on 120 min tapes) using snapshots. Anexcellent value for UNDER $200!
These are only about $10 more and will record up to 1280 hrs on a tape.Some have built in alarms.
This one for $211 has Longest-life bearing capstan motor for 250% to800% longer life than standard time lapse VCR's 24 hour real-time/1280hour recorders.
Gateway 5Mpixel $149, Aug 27
TigerDirect has the Gateway DC-T50 / 5.25 Megapixel / 3x Optical Zoom /4x Digital Zoom / Refurbished Digital Camera $149.99, $13 shipping. (32meg memory stick)
For about $20 more you can have this 6.0 megapixel 4x zoon digitalcamera (16 meg memory stick)
For Export Only
The Model AMP2441 is a 1 Watt, 2.4 GHz waterproof bi-directional polemounted amplifier for use with Spread Spectrum radio modems and wirelessLAN equipment. When used with 24 dB gain grid dish antennas, ranges upto 50 miles (80 km) line-of-sight can be achieved! $545
Another one for $300
You can find some great deals and interesting stuff by searching formerchandise marked for "export only" using sites like
The End
Political campaigns usually bore me because it's mostly the same old bsover and over again. But sometimes I see something clever like this. 10 out of 10 terrorist agree: Anybody But Bush

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Cracktalk Newsletter 8-19-4

Crack Talk 8-19-4

Terry Blount

I'll probably be sending out the newsletters on Friday for a while.


According to the Internet Storm Center, an unpatched Windows PC
connected to the Internet will last for only about 20 minutes before
it's compromised by malware, on average. That figure is down from around
40 minutes, the group's estimate in 2003.

The drop from 40 minutes to 20 minutes is worrisome because it means the
average "survival time" is not long enough for a user to download the
very patches that would protect a PC from Internet threats.

Internet security firm MessageLabs said one in every 12 emails it
scanned between January and June contained a virus designed to infect
computers and often cause havoc. MessageLabs said 63.5% of emails
scanned on behalf of its customers in the first half of the year was
spam. This is up from 37.9% during the same period last year


Watch out for Freddie

This is the monster of all browser hijackers. Like the villain of
Nightmare On Elm Street, it can't be killed.

This new 'kruegerware' can steal your homepage, lock you permanently to
a pornographic site, or ship all your Google queries to a dubious
ad-driven alternative.

This type of program doesn't just wreak havoc, they cause computers to
crash or slow down so much you can't use them. By locking in their own
main search page, the kruegerware, and other hijacking, authors can
generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in referral commissions.

Kruger can avoid detection by spyware programs, and even if you think
you've got rid of it, it usually returns, like Freddy, to haunt you.

The resurrection instructions are buried deep within the code for
Microsoft Windows, making removal extremely difficult for even
technically savvy users. And once kruegerware reinstalls itself on a
"cleaned" machine, the nightmare continues.,4136,67508-1,00.html

Steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim of kruegerware:

There is NO CURE yet...

FIRE, stakes and silver bullets won't work. There's only one sure way to
get rid of persistent spyware, including browser hijackers: Completely
rebuild your operating system and software, a process that takes the
better part of a day.

Most computer manufacturers simplify this by including an 'image' CD set
of Windows and the rest of the programs that came with your computer.

Before you run this restore disk, copy or back up all your data files,
because the restore disk will wipe out changes that have been made to
your computer since you bought it.

Allow a couple of hours to download the updates to Windows that weren't
on the original disk, and still more time to restore settings.

There are some good utilities from Seememe Software -
(Diagnose Window, IE Manager, Windows Utilities and Junk Remover (on the
120 gig drive too) that are good for cleaning up Windows and IE spyware,
scum ware and hijacking. I tested the IE Manager (also on Cream 46 -
SeeMeMe.IE.Manager.v2.0) and it returned IE to it's original state,
removing the Google tool bar and other addons I had intentionally
installed. I tried their Registry Firewall but it killed almost every
program I tried to load when it was running. I reported the errors
and maybe they will get it fixed. This kind of protection is probably
the future of Windows security. Permission to install anything on an OS
should be required and protected from stealth installations. That is why
I have encouraged everyone to run the Startup Monitor I've written about
so many time. Here is another program like it that's worth checking
out. I'm running both for a while.


I took some time to experiment with several of the packet sniffers on
the last 120 gig drive. I was hoping to catch the url for a music feed.
One program grabbed a url (that looked like the ones we once had) but
when I tried it Windows Media Player opened with an error code. I also
tried the ip address the music was coming from but when Windows Media
Player loaded I got the same error message.

If someone can figure out how, or show me how to find these direct feeds
again let me know. It's interesting to view how much is going on and
where it's going to when you are surfing the internet.


New Tool Identifies 'Phishy' Web Sites

WholeSecurity tool can spot fraudulent Web sites used in online cons The
new product, called Web Caller-ID, can detect Web pages dressed up to
look like legitimate e-commerce sites.

Phishers also spoof domain names, as well as URLs and legitimate Web
sites, to trick people into divulging passwords, credit card numbers and
other personal information.

The Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy (ISIPP) launched a new
service to help businesses whose domain names have been hijacked by
spammers. ISIPP helps them evaluate and take charge of suing spoofers
for trademark infringement.


The Norwegian hacker famed for developing DVD encryption-cracking
software has apparently struck again this time breaking the locks on
Apple Computer Inc.'s wireless music streaming technology.

Jon Lech Johansen released on his Web site defiantly named "So Sue Me" a software key that helps to unlock the encryption Apple uses for its
AirPort Express, a device that lets users broadcast digital music from
Apple's online iTunes Music Store on a stereo that's not plugged into a


Blogs: The Marketing Killer

Weblogging -- or blogging -- is taking social networking to new heights.
And with the improvements to the technology, the personal journals are
now supplying tens of millions of bits of information every day. Now
multi-million dollar corporations looking for cheap and effective ways
of getting their message out are using the technology to their

~~~~~~~~~~ started an online classifieds site

Basically they are indexing newspapers for jobs and real estate much
like Froogle indexes vendor's prices for hardware.

They just use eBay and and other major sites to find
autos/merchandise and for personals... like other portals....
and you have to actually subscribe (and pay) to use those services.

This is a VERY lame effort for a multi-billion dollar company. This page
could have been set up in a couple hours by anyone who has ever created
a homepage.


Online Music Price War

RealNetworks has halved the price of its music downloads in an
aggressive attempt to boost its share of the online music market. The
company is offering songs for $0.49 each, down from the usual $0.99.


Windows update causes headaches for at least 200 applications.

SP2 impacts Unreal Tournament 2003 Games, security software and popular
business programs are clashing with Microsoft's long-awaited security
update for Windows XP. eBay has posted a notice saying that some of the
features of its eBay Toolbar program will cease to function after users
install SP2. (

XP SP2's security uses DEP but its useless on new Intel processors.

DEP - (Data execution prevention) uses the CPU to mark all memory
locations in an application as non-executable, unless the location
explicitly contains executable code. This way, when an attacking worm or
virus inserts program code into a portion of memory marked for data
only, an application or Windows component will not run it.

If you purchased a computer since February that doesn't support DEP (for
example, any non-Itanium Intel-based PC), you've purchased a computer
that is unable to take advantage of the latest SP2 security feature.
From a security perspective, it could be argued that you purchased an
obsolete system.

Ok... but on the bright side... SP2 does fix about 1,000 problems that
Microsoft has listed here:;EN-US;811113


If You Are Too Weak to Just Say NO

Give this address to a spammer or someone who is bugging you for your
email address and when they write they get back a rejection reply...
telling them you don't want to have anything to do with them.

Should they insist on getting your phone number there are rejection
hotlines in about 30 major cities:,1284,64612,00.html?tw=rss.TOP


Internet Heading to Light Speed

A new nanotechnology that eliminates network bottlenecks could help
create a web surfers' paradise that is 100 times faster than today's


New High-Speed Wireless Format

A group of technology companies including Texas Instruments Inc.,
STMicroelectronics and Broadcom Corp., will propose a new wireless
networking standard up to 10 times the speed of the current generation.§ion=news


Although Microsoft neglected to include msconfig in Windows 2000, you
can run it by copying the files onto your Windows 2000 computer from a
Windows XP computer.

Using msconfig saves you the trouble of digging in the Registry or a
half dozen other places for basic settings. You can control what
programs and services load at startup for diagnostic purposes, as well
as settings in the System.ini, Win.ini, and Boot.ini files. Use it to
either look for an entry that shouldn’t be there (e.g. a virus) or, more
commonly, to turn off some program that insists upon setting itself to
load at startup when you install it.


This is truly revolutionary!

The Internet Revolution Meets the Industrial Revolution

A new program lets people design 3-D objects like car parts and door
knobs in metal or plastic then order them online. You can sit at your
home computer, draw up some parts, submit them and 30 days later they
are on your doorstep, all without human contact.


Energy of the Future Flows into Downtown Toronto

Air cooled by the frigid waters deep in Lake Ontario started bringing
relief to buildings in downtown Toronto on Tuesday after the valves were
symbolically opened on the multi-million-dollar project.

The project, which is believed to be the first of its kind in North
America, could be cooling significant parts of the downtown by the time
the heat and humidity hits Toronto next summer.

This is clean, renewable, reliable energy. Compared to traditional
air-conditioning, Deep Lake Water Cooling reduces electricity use by 75
per cent and will eliminate 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the
equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off of the streets of Toronto.


Give us back our pot!

A group of 38 California medical marijuana patients filed legal motions
on Tuesday asking the federal government to give them back their pot
worth nearly a million dollars.


Brian Writes:

Some people like me have been looking for codecs to play certain video
files and here is what will help us all out!

The mega codec pack is 44 MB of codecs for damn near everything you
could want to play. I have also used the ever-popular K-lite Codec pack
as well, which is a nice alternative to this one with a smaller


Genetic Savings & Clone enriches the lives of pet lovers through
superior cloning technologies. Cat cloning available today; dog cloning
available in 2005.


New Cars Never So Affordable

The average American has never had a better opportunity to purchase a
new car or truck. According to the Comerica Bank Auto Affordability
Index in the second quarter of 2004 it took 20.6 weeks of median family
income to purchase a new vehicle compared to 21.1 weeks in the first
quarter. This is the lowest level in 25 years. Those enormous
incentives, continuing low interest rates and what some consider an
improving economy all factor into the statistics.


After much criticism over the release of Microsoft's "lite" edition of
Win XP Microsoft's spokesman says:

"We have designed an operating system that enables first time users to
perform their most popular tasks, such as e-mail, accessing the web,
writing documents and entertainment, and that provides a lot of
assistance and guidance in getting started with using their PC."

Hummm.... sounds like Windows 95.... which you can get FREE when you
buy a $20 mouse:

Or for about $43 you can get a legal copy of Win ME:


Wireless networks could soon be running 10 times faster than they do
now. Competing technology groups are proposing different ways to speed
up the data rates of wi-fi which could reach 540 megabits per second.


1,747 Miles Per Gallon,1,697907.story


Cellular Connects With Home Phone

You can save/eliminate long distance phone charges using your land line
with cell phone free minutes.,1,4548191.column

But don't pay $140 for the cradle.... they are available for $18


Illustrated guide for buying, selling, maintaining, fixing cars.

This is an excellent site folks!


I wish I could take credit...

I've written a couple times to complaining about
their high shipping fees.... now I see "free shipping" on several of
their products... mostly light weight stuff like software, flash cards
or expensive stuff like LCD monitors. Maybe if a lot of people start
getting on their case they'll do away with shipping fees. They have
cheap crt monitors but shipping for them is $35 and up. It's worth
checking the site now and then. The best deal I found was Logitech
QuickCam Express USB Camera 2 Pack $23.99 + $6 shipping. The best thing
about this deal may be that you could throw away the cameras and still
have 2 good usb cables worth about $15.

~~~~~~~~~~ - Rent Any Movie For Just $0.99.

Movielink is a newer service that allows you to download movies to watch
on your computer. After you download them you usually have between
25-30 days to start watching it. After you start viewing you can watch
it as many times as you like in a 24 hour time span. Great for taking a
trip with the lappy or even a movie for home. New customers can use
code FIRST99 (exp. 9/30/04). Registered users can use coupon code
LINK99 (exp. 8/31/04) or EQ99 (exp. 10/15/04) and you can watch any
movie for just $0.99


Fun Unclogging Drains

Explosive sink and toilet plunger is a gift from the gods


Targus PA605U Noise Reduction Headphones $10 These are good. I have a
set myself that I paid $30 for. You don't need a rebate to get this deal


100 DVD-R or +R Azo $23

Meritline has GreatAZO 4X DVD+R or DVD-R Blank Media 4.7GB DVDplusR
Disc, 100 for Only $23 after Coupon "Techbargains-azo4off"


My oldest son is taking a welding class his senior year in high school
and the cost of supplies, boots etc came as a shock. But learning a
skill like welding is good to have. I have found it useful many times.
I have an older flux welder but thought about looking around for the
newer welders that uses the wire feeds and found that Harbor Freight is
currently offering 2 models at half price:


The End

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Crack Talk 8-12-4

Crack Talk 8-12-4

Terry Blount

Big Brother is Watching
The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 grants the FBIunprecedented power to obtain records from financial institutionswithout requiring permission from a judge.
Today's the Day. Under the law, the FBI does not need to seek a courtorder to access such records, nor does it need to prove just cause.
Previously, under the Patriot Act, the FBI had to submit subpoenarequests to a federal judge. The new law, however, lets the FBI acquirethese records through an administrative procedure whereby an FBI fieldagent simply drafts a so-called national security letter stating theinformation is relevant to a national security investigation.
And the law broadens the definition of "financial institution" toinclude such businesses as insurance companies, travel agencies, realestate agents, stockbrokers, the U.S. Postal Service and even jewelrystores, casinos and car dealerships.
The law also prohibits subpoenaed businesses from revealing to anyone,including customers who may be under investigation, that the governmenthas requested records of their transactions.,1848,61792,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1
I don't know about you but I feel kinda sick about this.
Feds Seek a Few Good Hackers
"We're looking for good, talented people. We need a lot of help," saidJim Christy, director of the U.S. Department of Defense's Cyber Crime.,10801,95054,00.html?f=x583
Microsoft is testing a new version of its MSN Messenger that can be usedover the Web without having to install software.
Car owners will be able to let insurance companies monitor their drivingvia new technology in exchange for lower rates. The technology willtrack some combination of when, where, how far and how fast they drive,giving insurers a way to reward low-risk driving. Now just experiments,the technology might be a glimpse of the future of car insurance.,46988933,1846,f/
Microsoft is limiting downloads of the Service Pack 2 for Windows XP to2.5 million a day. 80 megs - if you use dialup you are in for a longwait. Microsoft says there will be an order button on the Microsoft Website where you can get a copy of the CD completely free -- includingpostage and packing.
A group called Downhill Battle has set up a link using file-sharingsoftware to distribute the Windows SP2 update.
I don't know if the SP will require valid registration but I've saw acrack that was released a while back that allows you to update Windowseven if you are using a blacklisted reg number.
The ‘new’ XP firewall still doesn’t work on outbound connections - soyou still need something like ZoneAlarm. Microsoft released Windows XPService Pack 2 to the masses today after months of delay and mountainsof hype. But don’t think IT managers are chained to their desksfeverishly working to install it across their networks. Those asked saidthey’ll carefully study the package on test computers to ensurecompatibility with other programs before loading it. More here:
SP 2 exploit has already been found.,10801,94366,00.html
Big Blue Warns Users About Windows XP SP2
IBM is warning its users not to install Microsoft's much delayed ServicePack 2. In an article headlined "To patch - or not to patch" which wasposted on its corporate intranet, IBM has warned its employees not todownload SP2.
Other SP2 article to consider:
Redmond, We Have a Problem Here: XP SP2 - Implementing XP SP2 is almostas much work as installing a new operating system.,1759,1633858,00.asp

Microsoft Opens Cut-Price Windows
Microsoft is to launch a cheaper version of its Windows XP operatingsystem in an effort to halt the rise of low-cost Linux software."XP Lite" - will feature lower resolution graphics and limited optionsfor networking computers together. It will also limit users to runningthree programs concurrently.
Even at $30 it's more than a pirated copy of the full blown XP sells forin the countries the "Lite" version is targeted for release in.
It will be a failure... read on...
FCC Lets TiVo Send Shows Via Internet
Over the objection of the entertainment industry, federal regulators onWednesday approved technology that allows TiVo subscribers to sendrecorded television shows over the Internet.,46626726,7127,f/
The Official DOOM 3 Hardware Guide
Doom III Performance Boost for ATI Cards
A post a Rage 3D suggests that a shader file might increase Doom IIIperformance with ATI cards. The download URL and description areavailable here.

The War on Drugs morphs into the new War on Terror
U.S. has spent more than $3.6 billion on Plan Colombia with dismalresults. (
By declaring leftist guerilla groups such as FARC (with some 35,000members) as terrorists, the U.S. is now funding counter insurgencyefforts in Colombia -- tripling the U.S. military personnel and doublingthe "civilian contractors" in country.;sid=04/08/09/19074890

Google Adds More Number Based Searches
Google has added more search by number features, which include areacodes(will bring up maps), UPC codes(displays information about theproduct), airline flight numbers(provides links for flight tracking),Vehicle ID Numbers(will link to a CarFax report on the kind of car andit's status), and United States Postal Service tracking numbers to showthe status of a package.
3D Holograms to Crack Forgeries
No two signatures by one person are exactly the same in style, so thenew technique involves making a 3D model of the pressure applied when aperson writes.
The model translates the writing into an image showing dips and furrowsof the sample so that anomalies can be detected.

Cosmic phone hasn't rung; why don't they call?
The search for life in the stars has yielded only statistics, falsealarms, some inexplicable blips, some intriguing anomalies, but nothingthat has come close to meeting the standard of scientific proof.,47077787,7665,f/
They are wasting their time... if they want to contact other "life forces"they need to work on a way to communicate with the spirit world... withouttaking peyote.
About 2 dozen programs have already been released to support Gmail. Hereare a few examples:
Using GMail For Backup - PHP script that can be used to backup files toGmail and then quickly retrieve them back if and when you need them.(Note: You have to install the PHP for Windows server to run this scriptand this is a complicated process - Probably better to wait for a bettersolution or run it from a web site that is on an Apache server.)
Pop Goes the GMail - Lets you access your GMail account with a POP3 mailclient.
GmailerXP - This program, still in development, will offer total controlof your GMail account from any Windows computer.
GTray - Lives in your system tray and alerts you to pending GMails.
Toolbar Boots Out Spies and Pests
Yahoo has released a version of its internet-services toolbar thatremoves spyware and adware.
Microsoft Releases Server Toolkits
Microsoft has released two new Web Part toolkits and a Web servicestoolkit for Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. The kitsenable the connection of systems from multiple vendors using XML Webservices standards. Available at no charge on, andcomplete with source code, the two Web Part toolkits facilitate theintegration of Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 andWindows SharePoint Services sites with information line-of-businessapplications from SAP and other vendors.
My Drivers Pro - So Sweet !! Install it and back up your drivers!
I got around to backing up all my drivers with "My Drivers" that ison Cream 46 and must give the program an A+. Once you have made abackup you can also take any drivers to another machine with thesame hardware (for example a modem) and click "Have Disk" and installthe hardware directly ...or right click on the .ini file and selectinstall to do it instantly. You don't need My Drivers installed on themachine to restore/install a driver that is backed up. Copy all yourdrivers to cd and you won't regret having them. Even if you have allthe driver disks it's still much easier to find one backup that works.

Despite the Kerry camp's best efforts to attack the book and discreditits co-author, the white-hot new book Unfit for Command is holding firmat #1 on both Amazon and Publisher Regnery Publishing reports thatbookstore orders are still flooding in, and that they have gone back fora third printing, putting the total number of books in print up to 175,000.All this before the book has even been officially released, still slatedfor August 15th.
Unfit provides an avalanche of evidence that Kerry's war wounds were self-inflicted, that he lied to gain his medals and get out of Vietnam after justfour month' active duty, and that the vast majority of Swift Boat vets whoserved with Kerry do not think him fit to be Commander-in-Chief.
Even ABC News couldn't deny the book's appeal, calling it "clear, crisply-written, occasionally compelling, and full of polarizing firepower."

Honeywell has developed a chemical solution that will help make so-called supercapacitors. Like batteries, these devices could hold enough energy topower portable devices, computers, or even cars. And they could be rechargedwithin seconds, not hours like traditional rechargeable batteries.

Sharp today introduced a LCD with 3D technology, which previously onlywas available for certain models of its notebooks line. The screen canbe switched between 2D and 3D display, the latter offers a greater levelof depth perception resulting in a more realistic display ofthree-dimensional graphics.
Five top video games to check out in August, as selected by the editorsof Game Informer magazine.,1,7960654.story
Just Tooo Cool
Electric motors use 65% of the total electricity consumed by U.S.industry, ranging from large pumps for municipal water plants tocompressors that transport fuels through pipelines to simple airconditioning units, the companies said.
The goal is to dramatically reduce the cost of owning motor monitoringsystems, which should accelerate technology adoption and enable energysavings in motor systems throughout industry, the companies said.
Wireless sensors will be installed on selected motors in a plantoperation. The sensors will monitor motor efficiency, paying attentionto vibration, temperature and power quality.,47143999,1846,f/
Shut UP and Get Back to Work ... or I'll Give You Another Treatment!
Researchers use a gene treatment to turn off monkeys' dopamine receptors-- yielding harder-working, more focused monkeys. Despite obviousapplications in the corporate world, the scientists say they're justtrying to understand mental illness.,1286,64550,00.html?tw=rss.TOP
Bigger, Harder, Longer
It's sometimes amusing at the way companies will go about selling theirproducts. Here is an example of very cleaver marketing:
Walmart Unlimited DVD Rentals $15.54 per month (2 titles out at once)($22 for titles out at once)
Blockbuster throwing their hat into the ring too: three movies at a timefor $19.99 per month -- undercutting Netflix by $2. It will offer fiveDVDs at a time for $29.99 a month or eight for $39.99.,1,7805128.story
NEC 8x DVD Burner Dual Layer $71.99
Price drop. NEC ND-2510A Dual Layer 8.5GB 8x DVD Dual Layer burner atnewegg for $71.99 shipped free. Select the free DVD-R 5 pack too.
Suck it Up! Today's Special - Euro Pro 1440 Watt Vacuum with MotorizedPowerhead - $99.90 Shipping =$14.95!! You save $200.09
Walmart has 83-Piece Kitchen Starter Set $30
That is a great deal! I spent $70 outfitting my travel trailer kitchen.
The End


Personal Entry

So much to do..... so little time...
My oldest son, Charles, move to the farm to go to Millry High School his senior year and try to play football. He has been in the band until this year. He worked very hard to get his grades up enough to play ball but with no experience and going to a school that had about 70 kids trying to make the team he realized that his best chances to play were to transfer to the small school I went to for 12 years. There are about 30 boys dressing out in Millry High but about half are 8th and 9th graders or very small. Charles is 6' 2" and over 200lbs and has lifted weights for several years and should be able to hold his ground.. once he figures out what to do and gets more confidence. It's good to have him here since I have been spending a few days a week here for the last 3 years and trying to help out my parents. I think he enjoys being his "own man" for a while.
My daughter Teresa is 20 now and has finished 2 years of public service she joined after she finished high school. She will be coming home next week and Charlotte is flying to New York to her graduation and spend a week visiting her friends (who used to be our neighbors.) Teresa is flying home with her and we have fixed her old room so she can stay with us and attend college. It will be good to see her. I got to see her about 6 months ago when she was in Atlanta.
James is staying with Charlotte and entering the 11th grade this year. I'll have to go take care of him while Charlotte is gone since he is a diabetic and needs to have someone around should his sugar level get too low. And to get him off to school in the mornings. He hates to get up!
I should be finishing the work on the house in Butler this weekend and although I really appreciated the income I need some time to slow down and catch up on some things... and maybe even relax or travel to a flying event.
Speaking of flying... it seems the guy who sold me the bad engine is going to have to answer to court. He was served and has 14 days to reply or set the date of the hearing. I'll be so happy to get that matter resolved. I really think he should have cooperated to swap the engine when it was obvious the engine he sold me was not going to work on an aircraft and the company pulled it from the aviation market. I offered to pay the difference but he just took the "screw you" attitude. I guess he figured it was too much trouble for me to take him to court.
On top of all this stuff .. and the work that I put into each newsletter every week, my dad had a company come and cut down a 70+ year old oak tree in his front yard. The base of the tree is at least 5 ft. The limbs are up to 2 and 3 feet. They just cut the tree and left everything for us to clean up. It's a HUGE job, especially since it is all going to be cut to about 18 inches and the big logs split for fire wood. And dad wants to run the limbs through a chipper.... that will be a LOT of work. I rather buy chips than fight that thing... I suspect he will eventually reach the same conclusion.
I borrowed a bush hog from the guy who lets me fly from his field and cut the bushes and tall weeds that grew up between the pine trees that were planted about 5 years ago. That makes the place look much nicer. Within a couple more years the trees will be so big that nothing can easily grow under them. I'm looking forward to that.
Since I got my new 2.7ghz computer I gave Randy (the guy at Millry Metal Works that flies with me and help me fix my powerchute) a good deal on my old system. The Scsi drive and extra memory on a processor 3 times the speed he was running is a world of difference. He is probably going to use it mainly to listen to BlueGrass music on Sirius and play Elf Bowling and Solitaire... but at least he can load it fast! I have a feeling he will be too busy to waste time because he got the contract to build the stairs for the tallest building in Alabama... 37 stories.
Ok... this is taking too long and I got to get the newsletter mailed out and play a game or two of spades in the zone before I go to bed.


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Cracktalk Newsletter Aug 8-2004

Crack Talk - 8-5-4
Terry Blount

I selected articles from the May - August member's edition of cracktalkand converted the text to html so the links will be easy to open and putit online.
Security Update Fixes Critical IE Flaws,1759,1629559,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03129TX1K0000614
Microsoft Warns of Three Critical IE Flaws
Go to Tools/Windows update to get the patches... however, it seems thatsince I applied the new patch I have to load web pages twice to get themto appear. When I click on a link it just opens a blank page and saysdone. I suspect they need to patch the patch.
Microsoft will finalize the code for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)sometime today, release it via Microsoft Download Center and MSDN onthe Web tomorrow, and then ship it to customers via Windows Updatebeginning August 25, though Automatic Update users will get itimmediately on a staggered basis.
Business Software Alliance - The Microsoft Police
Here are some of they facts about how the BSA operates. I found itinteresting that they only have 13 members and they use their "audit"power to comb through a company's PC stock, matching installed programswith licenses. Companies that come up short can be forced to pay bigfines and buy tons of new licenses. (and simply upgrade older version)
~~~~~~~~~~ - Account Hijacking
Like most people I don't read all the "fine print" and didn't know web hosting would freeze/lock an account if too many visitorsvisited a site.... AND shut down all access and hold data for ransom.But that's what they have done to my site.
It is not unusual that a web hosting service has a limit and will closethe service if the monthly quota is exceeded... TILL the next month. Andweb host don't lock FTP access and tell members that they must pay to gettheir data back. This is the way works.
Doom 3 leaked to the Internet
Thousands of copies of Doom 3 have apparently already been downloadedfrom the Internet. The official shipping date is August 3 2004.
Pirates who download Doom 3 may be in for a surprise when the game failsto install on their system, as the hardware requirements aresubstantial.
'Doom 3' may doom users' current systems
System requirements, which are the minimum components needed in a PC toplay the game, are often souped up compared to the average system. For"Doom 3" they include, according to Microsoft Windows2000/XP, a 1.5GHz Pentium 4 or an equivalent AMD Athlon processor, 384MBof RAM and various high-end video cards.'Doom+3'+may+doom+users'+current+systems/2100-1043_3-5295390.html
You have to carefully read the system requirements of games these days.My boys bought 2 $40 games that would not run on their computers.Walmart will only replace software with the same software when it'sdefective.
57 people have been arrested in a weekend operation targeting music,film and computer game piracy in the UK.
Plenty FREE music here - some commercial free
The Long View on Longhorn
If you want a good look at what the next version of Windows is aboutthis is a good overview.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday that the FederalAviation Administration should require babies to be in infant seatsduring flights, which would mean parents would have to purchase ticketsfor little ones.. F.A.A. said that requiring parents to buy an additionalticket for children under 2 years old would make some of those familiesdecide to travel by car instead, raising the overall risk.
...Hold on a miunte... ins't the National Transportation Safety Board thesame folks who have decided that seat belts on school busses is not necessary?

7,000 Sources... Or Just A Few Favorites?
For all the hype about how good Google News is for putting together anautomated snapshot of the news of the day, an analysis of the front pageof Google News found that they seem to rely on just a few sources forall of their main stories.
Firewall FAQ
Here are 15 frequently asked questions regarding firewalls. We've alsoprovided some additional resources for your research.
Security Management - July 2004
Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do? Cleaning a Compromised System What Tools Will Help? Salvaging Data in the Absence of Backups Recovering After an Attack
Amazing photos
Here are two that caught my attention
Largest FREE wi-fi network
Panera Bread is now offering Wi-Fi high-speed wireless internet access —free of charge — in bakery-cafes across the country. If your computer isWi-Fi enabled, you can connect to the Internet wirelessly while at yourPanera.
Justice Department attempting to remove public documents from libraries
The topics addressed in the named documents include information on howcitizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by thegovernment during an investigation. The documents to be removed anddestroyed include: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure; SelectCriminal Forfeiture Forms; Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statutes;Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directory; and CivilAsset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000. Destroying these documents frompublic libraries would make their content available only to those withaccess to a law office or law library.
I don't remember ever mentioning a "Mac OS" tip but here is one I haveread that really works great to speed up a Mac. It's worth reading abouteven if you never intend to use a Mac.
Windows XP Super Tweaks
Political Humor at it's best
Pentagon Looks to Directed-Energy Weapons
It just feels like your skin is on fire," said Rich Garcia, a spokesmanfor the laboratory who, as a test subject, has felt the Active DenialSystem's heat. "When you get out of the path of the beam, or shut offthe beam, everything goes back to normal. There's no residual pain.,46237472,1466,f/
Portable Video Players
These compact players have room for up to 80 hours of video — that'sall five seasons of The Sopranos, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and sixhours of Thighmaster infomercials.
Built-in video screens about 3.5 inches across provide a crisp picturefor personal viewing, while output jacks allow them to be plugged into aTV screen for a more panoramic experience.
Users can record TV programs off the air, download movies from theInternet or copy vacation videos from their own camcorders.,46412940,1846,f/
D-Link today announced what it says is the first 802.11g wirelessInternet security camera with remote pan, tilt and zoom features.
System Uses Ultraviolet Light to Disable Airborne Threats
Bio-Defense Research Group Inc is testing prototypes of the device,which zaps airborne threats with ultraviolet light as they pass throughheating and cooling ducts.
Building affordable strong homes using polystyrene in Florence Alabamafor housing in Afghanistan and other parts of the world with harshenvironments.
New Pill May Help Recovering Alcoholics Stay Sober
A new pill that aims to keep alcoholics from drinking again after theyhave quit could hit the shelves by the end of this year after officials approved the drug on Thursday. It was not clear how thepill worked, health officials said, but studies showed more patients whotook the drug stayed away from drinking compared to those who took aplacebo.
Colleges Selling Leftovers on eBay,46510061,1466,f/
Imitation's new double layer DVD+R media nearly doubles the storagecapacity of a DVD recordable disc from 4.7GB to 8.5GB on a single side,without having to turn the disc over during recording.
(Verbatim brand is $14 from vendors on
NEC Double layer recorders are available from $72 from vendors onPricewatch and JVC for $70, Sony $77 found by
~~~~~~~~~~ - 50 Free MP3's.
eMusic offers 50 free MP3 files for signing up for a two week trial oftheir music service. You can cancel at any time right from yourcomputer.
Panasonic 48-Pack Of Alkaline AA Batteries For $10
Circuit City has a Panasonic Digital Alkaline AA Battery (48-Pack) onsale for $9.99 this week after a $10 instant rebate. At the time ofposting, it's sold out online - but you can still order it online andreserve a copy for in store pick up!
Executive Chair $19.99 A/R...Office Depot - Leather or Cloth
Some good stuff here... especially the military surplus
The End

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