RFID: “The Mark of the Beast”

Like we don’t have enough problems explaining why RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a dangerous new toy that needs to be watched and regulated, the whack-job wing of the Christian faith steps in to muddy the waters still further.

Wired News:

Another passage in Revelation describes a vision in which “a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.” Albrecht and McIntyre write, “”Interestingly, an implanted RFID device like the VeriChip could potentially cause such a tormenting sore if it is subjected to a strong source of electromagnetic radiation,” such as a directed energy weapon.

Phish On! The PayPal Saga Continues

So after all the bull they handed me about having to go through eBay to report phishing emails with the PayPal company logo on them, I’ve just recieved a mass email from thier security deparment on avoiding phishing attacks. Check the “Phishing” category of this site for the whole story of me and PayPal. Lo and behold, thier directions now say:

  1. Forward the message to spoof@paypal.com.

Facial Scans in Bars?

Just found a new PC Security blog, running through some of the latest articles.  It’s called Schneier on Security, and whomever this is has dug up some interesting new information.  It seems that a new facial scanning technology is set to make it’s debut in bars, assuming that the ACLU doesn’t find out about it first.  The implications of this new technology are frightening, even if they are used exactly as the linked article says they’re supposed to.

Yahoo! Bans Allah

Whoopha! And you thought the whole cartoon thing was bad? Allah has been officially banned from Yahoo!, even if he tries to sneak in as the middle of a name like Callahan. Yes, that’s right: Yahoo! has banned the use of the word Allah in the screen name of it’s users. However, Jesus, Messiah, Satan and Pedophile all still work, which is good news for about a third of the planet. However, another third ~ the Muslim one ~ are gonna be pissed.

All of this is part of a larger effort on the part of Yahoo!, my sources tell me, to bring about the new flagship service: Yahoo!Reformation.

Google Makes Good (In US, Anyway)

Well, here are the rules according to Google: if you live in China, you’re probably screwed, but if you live in the US, Google’s going to protect your privacy. I guess as long as they make the right decision once in a while, we aught to be at least supportive. Google has formally rejected the White House’s demands for Internet search results, which the government sought ostensibly to buttress it’s anti-kiddie-porn initiatives.

Let us hope that the pressure applied by Google’s one-time fans has had some effect, and that we will see the effects ripple out to some of thier other offenses to personal freedom.

Mobil Internet Still Stuck in a Rut

Efforts to unify the technology that drives the Mobil Internet never seem to get very far. This new article from The Register indicates that the latest one will do no better. Sad.

The Wireless Internet offers some outstanding opportunities, but until such time as they are able to develop a platform which is readily available to amature web programmers, it will go nowhere. The problem is that there is no competition to drive innovation in this market. I love using my wireless web on my phone, but the news available on it tends to be several hours or even a day old. Meanwhile, I’d love to offer a wireless feed, for what it would be worth, but cannot because the constraints of programming such content are a bit above my interest level.

Lets hope a breakthrough happens soon.


Phish On! All’s Well That Ends Well

Thank goodness that at least eBay responds quicker and with a bit more grace than does PayPal. I sent off my email to the spoof@ebay.com address, and within an hour, received my reply. The reply was a very gracious message of appreciation for alerting them to the problem, along with some tips on avoiding such predators. Now, this new phishing site appears to be relatively new: one security site only seems to have acknowledged this particular bugger as recently as this week; however, there does seem to be an enormous amount of phishing aimed at PayPal customers.

Gone Phishing Part Deux

You might have thought that PayPal would take phishing attacks done in thier name seriously, but alas, at least one representative of this company does not seem to get it. Here is the response to my email alerting the company of a phishing expedition:

Dear Thomas Belknap,

Thank you for writing to PayPal regarding the email you received.

Time Reports on Google in China

Following up on my previous post of the day concerning Google in China, here is an interesting read from (of all places) Time Magazine Online.

The author makes a point to muddy the waters as much as possible to try to give Google some cover, but there are some interesting points to be made here. Much of the logic stems from the “Everybody’s doing it,” field of corporate moral relativism, arguing that China is a market that cannot be ignored, and therefore a little evil is OK.

Phish On!

For those of you who do not know, Phishing is a form of Internet attack which is often referred to as “Social Engineering.”? That means that this is not a virus, per se, but rather just a sneaky bastard trying to fool you into thinking they’re legit when in reality, they are duping you.

This one was an email with a return email address of service@intl.paypal.com, which stated that someone had accessed my account illegally, and that they wanted me to confirm my identity so they could reactivate my account.? “To reactivate your account, please click here.”? Now, I’m a bright techno-boy, so I know better than to just click on links in email, so I opted to read the status bar at the bottom of my WebMail client and find out where that link would send me.

Lo and behold, this link did not send me to PayPal, but rather to karims.com.mx:81.

Just a reminder to anyone who reads this: watch your ass, and never, ever, ever click on email links that don’t make sense.? If your not sure weather the email is legit or not, try just going to the actual site in question (for example, this was supposed to be PayPal, so I went directly to PayPal), and inquire with thier Tech Support or Customer Service.? Believe me, they will be happy to hear from you.

Things are Getting Ugly for Google

Once the media is alerted to the fact that computers can be dangerous, you gotta look out: these people don’t get to actually report on much, these days.

The pile-on du jour at the moment is the Google-and-Privacy issue. It is true: there are certainly a lot of issues swarming around Google these days. However, the pile-on is dangerously close to missing the point on a great many of these issues.