Police are stumped as to how thieves are breaking into cars holding small unknown devices, even when they are caught on video doing it.
There are a lot of gift guides for the holiday season, but Make Magazine's open source gift guide skews towards the cool, techy, but also hackable products. Lots of great things listed including: display images in your bike spokes with a POV kit, an open source media server, control your house lights with perl, and free planetarium software.
Ed Felten shows a hacked Diebold voting machine (youtubesday) in action, on Fox News of all places. Yeah, that Ed Felten.
Congress is about to consider an entertainment industry proposal that would authorize copyright holders to disable PCs used for illicit file trading. "The measure would permit copyright holders to perform nearly unchecked electronic hacking if they have a "reasonable basis" to believe that piracy is taking place."
This is some scary stuff. Life in prison for malicious hacking? We can't keep rapists and murderers away from society for very long but now hackers & crackers could be jailed for life? And on top of that the FBI can monitor internet packets without a warrant? If you enjoy your freedom from gov't surveillance, it looks like it's time to start using PGP.
Berman's P2P Hacking bill (mentioned last week) has caught the notice of a few people, and it's worth noting their suspicions. Cory from boingboing wonders why there needs to be a law for something that is on the surface, not illegal. Declan McCullagh's request for comments about the bill netted a handful of scary responses. Berman's clearly in Hollywood's pocket, but how far will he go to get his legislation passed? And what will happen once P2P hacking is legally permitted for big studios?
Not only can Kevin Mitnick not touch a computer, cell phone, or the Internet for three years, but a judge is trying to bar him from the lecture circut because he's talking about hacking and technology. I wonder, if they get him to stop talking about technology, are they going to bust him for thinking about it too?
The Discovery Channel has a pretty good "Hackers Hall of Fame" but of course they get hacking/phreaking/cracking all munged up. There's a brief bio and short synopsis of activities for each person.
Last night Kevin Mitnick was on 60 minutes (the gist of the interview is quoted here), and I have to say he came off as an utterly harmless geek. He was an information junkie that enjoyed the challenge of cracking firewalls. He never profited from his activities and the affected companies made up their monetary losses. It's a shame he was forced to waste away in prison instead of offer his security expertise to the affected companies.
Kevin Mittnick is finally being released from prison today, but I wouldn't call what he's getting as being "free". Prohibiting Kevin from touching a computer for 3 years? This isn't like giving a toddler to a ex-con child molester, it's a computer. A person can do a lot of things besides hack into company servers. How does anyone expect Kevin to make the $125 restitution he owes each month, if he can't use a computer or get a job that requires a computer? Now that I think about it, what percentage of decent jobs are completely free of computers?
If you had problems reaching MetaFilter over the weekend, this is why. Some script kiddies launched some gnarly smurf attacks against the regional ISP that provides bandwidth for this site. Oh well, it gave me time to code. I've added lots of little enhancements (like user pages, a working search engine), but still have to get the archives working and expand the preferences page.