Archive for July, 2006

You are INNOCENT! Don’t let them tell you otherwise!

I just wanted to say a quick comment regarding how the US government wants into VoIP at any cost:

You are innocent.

You have done nothing to give the government the right to investigate you or collect your phone records with the intent to prosecute you.

If you’re an American, take a few hours to protect what so many people have fought and died for: your rights to privacy and being innocent until proven guilty.

Use strong encryption, protect your rights, your families, and everything your forefathers died to grant you.

ACLU lawsuit against AT&T dismissed

American Civil Liberties UnionIt looks like the lawsuit filed by the ACLU against AT&T was dismissed by the Federal judge yesterday.

Another notch in the belt of our current administration to violate the Constitution once again. Its ok, this is just a prelude to a massive, ongoing civil war within these borders. Not to worry, fair citizens, everything is proceeding as planned.

I found this comment interesting:

“Even if AT&T — or the government — is successful at having the suit dismissed, the onus will be on similarly situated corporations to develop safety mechanisms ensuring that they do not face the same type of scrutiny and potential lawsuits as AT&T is facing now,” said Sean P. Melvin of LaSalle University.

The official court opinion is pretty revealing on the matter.

From the Chicago Tribute article:

“First, the Terkel plaintiffs cannot establish whether AT&T has unlawfully disclosed their records in the past,” Kennelly wrote in a ruling issued Tuesday.

..because the plaintiffs were denied access to the records, as required by law, under the guise of “state secrets”, an excuse used far too frequently lately.

“Second, the plaintiffs cannot establish whether AT&T is currently disclosing their records, which would tend to show that there is a real and immediate threat of repeated injury.”

Let me try to sum this up:

  1. We are not conducting such surveillance, nor have we done anything illegal.
  2. The reason we have not done anything illegal is because you cannot demonstrate that AT&T provided records to the government.
  3. Forcing the government to provide such evidence might alert the terrorists that this surveillance program, which does NOT exist, is watching them, making us less safe.
  4. Therefore, this case should be dismissed.

That about covers it. Any questions?

Want a better pedaling stroke? Look at PowerCranks!

PowerCranksI was just turned on to something called PowerCranks today while reading a story about high-tech Tour de France. This product really seems like it could be a winner in a lot of areas.

From their website:

  • Fully train the hip flexors and hamstring muscles that are otherwise difficult to train
  • Enable neuromuscular changes that improve cycling efficiency and running form
  • Balance the muscle effort and improve the coordination in lower extremities and core which can lower the risk of injury
  • Improve running ability while training in a non-impact environment
  • Act as a rehabilitation tool since the good leg cannot assist the bad leg (thereby utilizing all the major muscle groups in the legs).
  • Nothing beats a PowerCranks™ workout! Twice as many muscles exercised results in increased basal metabolic rate compared to standard biking or spinning

Basically its a crank with a clutch that takes the backpressure off of the stroke, forcing you to use both legs to power the bike, all the way around the stroke, removing the dreaded “dead spot” in the stroke.

They’re definitely NOT cheap, but if you’re interested in top-performance from your legs, and you’re training to get better, this seems like a solid way to do that. (There’s even a set on eBay right now for $200.00, and they’re the xLite model).

The other interesting application for these, is rehabilitation. If you’ve hurt or damaged your leg in any way, you can’t push the bike with the same power as the ‘good’ leg. Having the independent clutch in the cranks will let your legs work at their best, even if they aren’t equal.

I wonder if these are allowed in by the UCI for racing events…

FIX: open of shared memory object failed

If you’re using the ATI driver (fglrx) on your Linux machine and are suddenly getting these errors:

FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
fglX11AllocateManagedSurface: __FGLTexMgrCreateObject failed!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
fglX11AllocateManagedSurface: __FGLTexMgrCreateObject failed!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
fglX11AllocateManagedSurface: __FGLTexMgrCreateObject failed!!
FGLTexMgr: open of shared memory object failed (Permission denied)
__FGLTexMgrCreateObject: __FGLTexMgrSHMmalloc failed!!!
fglX11AllocateManagedSurface: __FGLTexMgrCreateObject failed!!

But your 3D/OpenGL application works as root, the fix is to add the following line to your /etc/fstab file:

tmpfs   /dev/shm   tmpfs   defaults   0   0

Then type “mount tmpfs” to mount it:

Voila! No more errors.

Are you tired of Gutenspam?

Tags:

I’ve been seeing a sharp rise in the amount of “Gutenspam” sent to my mail servers lately. It started as innocent garbage paragraphs buried in HTML comment structures, so if you viewed it in a normal mail client that “rendered” HTML (dangerous), it wouldn’t be visible. If you viewed the source of the email, you’d see the random snippets of public poetry, books and other materials.

Here’s an example:

perturb this carport this open phony plant crawl I eyeful
these when beograd ex place ivy them befit good income
muncie differ sheep prophet eyeful match made bull one merritt
stonecrop downpour degrade four sheep adolescent does spoon place proust
match head by about electrolyte inconsolable turn z's great pastor
baylor off sheep downpour cabinetmake ywca boy income change bull
furl calendar wreak when sis throaty change deliquesce word berserk
downpour build tribesman cubicsis inexperience late persia line muncie
z's many mud answer chef sony city ridgway now brownell

This does nothing at all, except to possibly try to confuse the filters which are searching for ‘spammy’ words, by lowering the threshold of the Bayesian filtering schemes. In the case of dspam, it does absolutely nothing, and dspam happily catches all of them and marks them as spam, quarantines them and users never see them.

But I see 100-200 per-day now, coming in. 99.514% of them are caught, but some are slipping through.

There was a story on NPR the other morning about how these spammers are just taking public works from projects like Project Gutenberg and including them in their email body.

But they’re not selling anything.

No links to some Viagra site in Singapore.

Nothing useful, except garbage random snippets from etexts and other literary works on the web.

Gutenspam.

The other funny trend I’ve been seeing, as more and more people are exposed to spam, is the emails which come across looking like this:

Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 10:50:11 -0400
From: "Al B. Sure" 
To: David A. Desrosiers 
Subject: RE:%%SUBJECT%%

%%BODY%%

The funny part about this, is that it too has no useful content at all, just some unpopulated macros. Its like there are more people trying to use some of the newer spam applications, and these people don’t have a clue what they’re doing with them.

They’ve probably forgotten to add their text to the e-mails to fill in these macros, or are just not reading the documentation on how to successfully send their spam to people.

What a waste of perfectly good oxygen recycling organisms.

Bad Behavior has blocked 465 access attempts in the last 7 days.