November 2005

News & Culture & Privacy & Punditry22 Nov 2005 04:21 pm

Here are links to the news items that I will be talking about tonight on The David Lawrence Show:

Hackers Targeting Security Programs – WashPost

Sony BMG Sued Under Anti-Spyware Laws – AP

Teens Especially Vulnerable to ID Theft – Dallas Morning News

Denver Woman to be Arraigned for Not Showing ID on Public Bus

Malware & Privacy21 Nov 2005 02:16 pm

Check out my column for this month at eSecurity Planet. Here’s a sample:

It’s important to remember that plenty of good companies make mistakes. But in my book, what sets a good company apart from a bad one is how they react when their mistakes are discovered.

When interviewed on the radio, the president of Sony BMG’s Global Digital Business, Thomas Hesse, said, “Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?”

Note to Mr. Hesse: “Who cares?” is seldom a good response.

I’m betting that Mr. Hesse didn’t know what a rootkit was before this issue arose, and from the tone of his comments, you can be sure he still doesn’t understand the consequences of it. Unfortunately for him, the gross tonnage of what he doesn’t understand about how his company screwed up only now is coming to light.


Politics20 Nov 2005 02:48 pm

A friend of mine, John Levine, sent me a quote that he recently ran across.

The quote is from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a letter he sent to his brother Edgar in 1954, which was found among his papers at the Eisenhower Library.

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.


Privacy & Punditry15 Nov 2005 07:20 pm

Here are the news items I’m talking about tonight on The David Lawrence Show:

Police chief can’t get off secret U.S. ‘no-fly’ watch list

Sony Numbers Add Up to Trouble

ChoicePoint Warns Consumers About Fraud

Unsuspecting Users Still Freely Give Up Personal Info

Homeland Security & Law & Religion14 Nov 2005 03:26 pm

My Bible tells me it was the evil Roman Empire who used torture to oppress those sharing truth and knowledge. The evil Soviet Empire built gulags to torture and oppress those seeking truth and justice too. Now we learn that the Bush Administration is using former Soviet gulags as secret torture prisons?

Do these twits not understand irony? Actually, irony isn’t the right word. What is the word for something that is ironic, appalling, immoral, unconscionable, and may even border on crimes against humanity? The closest term I can think of is: the official policy promoted by Vice President Cheney.

The hubris, the unmitigated and unbridled gall of Dick “I had other priorities than serving during Vietnam” Cheney going to the U.S. Senate and fighting against a bill written by torture victim John McCain. It really takes some balls to stand before McCain and say that torture should be a legitimate option for interrogating terrorists.

Well, if the Vice President does have such durable testicles, perhaps they might come in handy to prove a point. If our esteemed vice-leader truly thinks torture is useful and in the best interests of the United States, it would be an interesting experiment to have a CIA interrogator drop by the Veep’s office and show him how easy it is to get bad intelligence through torture.

My bet is that if someone attached some electrodes to Mr. Cheney’s testicles, he’d give up every secret he had, confess to the Natalie Holloway murder, and offer to to do Rockette kicks while singing “Happy Days are Here Again”… all before a single volt is ever applied. I’m guessing this because it’s my theory that only cowards would prescribe torture.

Yes, I’m saying that the Vice President is what folks down in Texas would call a “yellow-bellied sum-bitch.” And if the President thinks torture is acceptable, then he’s one too.

Sorry my argument isn’t more fleshed out… still kinda flabbergasted by the brazen obscenity of our country’s leadership.

News & Culture10 Nov 2005 11:56 am

Ten years ago today, the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald went down on Lake Superior. Few would know or remember it but for the haunting song by Gordon Lightfoot. But there’s more to the story than that great song.

Indeed, the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald is very much the story of the important role that the shipping traffic on the Great Lakes plays in our economy, and the risks that arise for thousands of sailors every day as they traverse waters that have claimed more than 6,000 ships.

But most of us just know the song. In a great AP story today:

The song remains a part of Lightfoot’s set list; he played it last summer at Detroit’s Fox Theater, where the crowd included Ruth Hudson, the mother of a deckhand from the Fitzgerald.

Hudson, who met backstage with Lightfoot, has become friendly with the singer over the years. The North Ridgefield, Ohio, resident said the song is therapeutic to the families of the crew.

“It’s kept the men and the memorial to the men alive,” said Hudson. “I think it’s been good for the families. They have felt comfort in it. I have talked to just about all of them, and I haven’t talked to anyone who didn’t like the song.”

Lightfoot declined to be interviewed for this story. But he told The Associated Press in 2000 that “Wreck” was “a song you can’t walk away from.”

A few years ago I saw a fascinating documentary made in 1995 about the Edmund Fitzgerald in which they sent the first deep-water divers to the wreck to survey the damage and to test theories behind the cause. The divers left a plaque and salvaged the ship’s bell, which they unveiled at a memorial service later that year. It was incredibly moving.

You owe it to yourself to learn more about the Edmund Fitzgerald. You won’t be sorry that you did.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum – Edmund Fitzgerald

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot (Song Lyrics)

Sailing Into History – Edmund Fitzgerald Remembered

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald – Educational Videos

NTSB Marine Accident Report – SS Edmund Fitzgerald

National Weather Service Marquette, MI Office – Edmund Fitzgerald History