Wednesday, August 11, 2004

 

Crack Talk 8-12-4

Crack Talk 8-12-4

Terry Blount
tblount@mchsi.com

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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.http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,61792,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1
I don't know about you but I feel kinda sick about this.
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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.http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/hacking/story/0,10801,95054,00.html?f=x583
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Microsoft is testing a new version of its MSN Messenger that can be usedover the Web without having to install software.http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/nm/20040809/tc_nm/tech_microsoft_messaging_dc
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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. http://www.newsisfree.com/iclick/i,46988933,1846,f/
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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.http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=049C9DBE-3B8E-4F30-8245-9E368D3CDB5A&displaylang=en
A group called Downhill Battle has set up a link using file-sharingsoftware to distribute the Windows SP2 update. http://www.downhillbattle.org/
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. http://s88606488.onlinehome.us/UpdateBlacklist.zip
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: http://www.ebcvg.com/news.php?id=3282
SP 2 exploit has already been found.http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/hacking/story/0,10801,94366,00.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. http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=17738
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.http://channelzone.ziffdavis.com/article2/0,1759,1633858,00.asp
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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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3554084.stm
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...http://www.theregister.com/2004/08/11/winxp_starter_edition_announced/
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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.http://www.newsisfree.com/iclick/i,46626726,7127,f/
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The Official DOOM 3 Hardware Guide http://www2.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NjQ0
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. http://www.rage3d.com/
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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. (http://www.wola.org/Colombia/plan_col_report_card03.pdf).
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. http://www.plastic.com/article.html;sid=04/08/09/19074890
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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.
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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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3552132.stm
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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. http://www.newsisfree.com/iclick/i,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.
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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.
http://www.marklyon.org/gmail/gmailapps.htm
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Toolbar Boots Out Spies and Pests
Yahoo has released a version of its internet-services toolbar thatremoves spyware and adware. http://216.92.8.170/hardnews/input/index.html
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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 GotDotNet.com, 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.
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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.
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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 BN.com. 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."
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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.http://abcnews.go.com/sections/SciTech/FutureTech/super_capacitors_futuretech_040810-1.html
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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. http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews/20040809_183807.html
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Five top video games to check out in August, as selected by the editorsof Game Informer magazine.http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0408050020aug05,1,7960654.story
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Just Tooo Cool
http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/motor_cycles/2004/1/2004_ny_motorcycle_show/print.phtml
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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. http://www.newsisfree.com/iclick/i,47143999,1846,f/
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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.http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,64550,00.html?tw=rss.TOP
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Bigger, Harder, Longer
It's sometimes amusing at the way companies will go about selling theirproducts. Here is an example of very cleaver marketing:http://www.boingboing.net/2004/08/10/syndication_sold_lik.html
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Walmart Unlimited DVD Rentals $15.54 per month (2 titles out at once)($22 for titles out at once)
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/catalog.gsp?cat=5430&path=0%3A5430&sourceid=16001185382047055143&dest=20765
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.http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/sns-ap-blockbuster-subscriptions,1,7805128.story
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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.http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?DEPA=0&description=27-152-025&ATT=CD+DVD+Burners+RW+Dr&CMP=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r
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Suck it Up!
HSN.com Today's Special - Euro Pro 1440 Watt Vacuum with MotorizedPowerhead - $99.90 Shipping =$14.95!! You save $200.09 http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=37919329&siteid=41126262
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Walmart has 83-Piece Kitchen Starter Set $30 http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=2618730
That is a great deal! I spent $70 outfitting my travel trailer kitchen.
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The End

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