A blogger for information security firm Imperva reports the discovery of a hacker site offering root access on US & foreign government, military & educational sites for sale for prices ranging from $55 to $499, or just database records for the reasonable price of $20/1000. Besides US sites the hacker(s) also offer government servers in India, Taiwan & Italy. The hacker(s) also provide what they claim is proof of their access for the skeptical or cautious buyer. No credit card offers, please - the only currency they accept is Liberty Reserve. posted by scalefree at 7:17 PM PST - 29 comments
Belgium's telecoms companies have a reputation for customer care that is only slightly better than the Gestapo's. Because of divisions among the linguistic areas, monopolies and a disinterest in oversight, the phone and internet companies are notorious for outstandingly poor customer service.
Everyone has a tale to tell. In my case, I had a deal with one company and when my neighbour got connected with a rival firm, instead of putting in a new cable, they literally cut through mine and attached him. They then refused to reconnect me, on the grounds that I was not a customer of theirs.
After five weeks of getting nowhere, I had to pay another company to install a new cable.
Recently a Flemish TV show fought back for all of us. SLYT. A fine and elaborate prank that needs to be watched to the end.
Yes it is a SLYT but for anyone who has ever had to deal with Belgian telecoms or internet companies, this is entirely justified payback. posted by quarsan at 1:59 PM PST - 32 comments
Microaggressions.This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.” Each event, observation and experience posted is not necessarily particularly striking in and of themselves. Often, they are never meant to hurt - acts done with little conscious awareness of their meanings and effects. Instead, their slow accumulation during a childhood and over a lifetime is in part what defines a marginalized experience, making explanation and communication with someone who does not share this identity particularly difficult. Social others are microaggressed hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. posted by prefpara at 1:54 PM PST - 56 comments
Real Men Find Real Utopias Historian reviews new book by bigshot sociologist Erik Olin Wright and gives it a thorough drubbing. Wishes sociology could be like it used to be, with more history and better English. Via ALDaily. posted by Philosopher's Beard at 6:36 AM PST - 34 comments
The Doge was the leader of the Venetian Republic, which lasted for over a thousand years, so they must have been doing something right. Here's Wikipedia's concise description of the selection process: "Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge." Sounds crazy, but Miranda Mowbray and Dieter Gollmann wrote a paper, "Electing the Doge of Venice: Analysis of a 13th Century Protocol" (pdf) explaining its virtues in terms that should warm the cockles of MetaFilter's collective geeky heart. From the abstract: "We will show that it has some useful properties that in addition to being interesting in themselves, also suggest that its fundamental design principle is worth investigating for application to leader election protocols in computer science." Interesting sidelight: "security theater" can be a good thing. posted by languagehat at 6:06 AM PST - 49 comments