… brains …


Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance | Politics and Law – CNET News

Filed under: Crypto,IM,iPhone,Politics and Local Topics,Rants and Rambling — ben on 2013/04/04 @ 9:17

The DEA has figured out that getting a wiretap order for an iPhone, executed at the phone company, doesn’t get them iMessage content. It’s pretty obvious the various TLAs engaged in law enforcement will use this as a concrete example to push the “Going Dark” initiative to get CALEA reinterpreted (or legislated) to cover various internet based communication services. And designing a service to use end-to-end protection will be right out.

iMessage is a special case here, since it inserts itself into the normal text message user interface. It’s the phone’s preferred way to send messages, and from the user’s (and law enforcement’s) perspective, it’s a native feature of the phone rather than an app.

I’m worried this will bring up yet another concern–even if they get what they want with CALEA, they are going to discover that they have execute multiple, maybe even many, wire tap orders to track a single subject. How long until we require each ISP to be able to MiTM attach every TLS connection? Or another clipper chip initiative?

Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance | Politics and Law – CNET News

(Via MacRumors.)


Drones toss and catch inverted pendulum – Boing Boing

Filed under: Science,Tech,Toys — ben on 2013/02/21 @ 18:11

The research drones are at it again. This video is really impressive, if not as showy as some of the previous ones. I can imagine the CIA drones go from blowing up suspects with hellfire missiles to just apprehending them Spiderman style.

Drones toss and catch inverted pendulum – Boing Boing:

Mozzies learn to ignore DEET

Filed under: Health,Science — ben on 2013/02/21 @ 14:23

A test suggested that some mosquitoes can be temporarily desensitized to DEET. I wish I could become as easily desensitized to the the stuff. I’d like to see a similar test for picaridin.

Mozzies learn to ignore DEET | TG Daily


Is it time to decomission this?

Filed under: General — RjS on 2013/01/29 @ 19:13

The post rate is low… Leave it latent or do something else?


But for a little serotonin

Filed under: General — RjS on 2012/06/25 @ 21:40




Filed under: General — RjS on 2012/04/30 @ 20:28



Incidental Sci-Fi music?

Filed under: General — pck on 2011/06/30 @ 11:47

OK, it’s been edited in post a bit by hand and the audio stretching tool programatically adds some harmonics, but that doesn’t change how neat it sounds to take a modem-sync conversation and stretch it by 700%:

I came upon this via Bad Astronomy: Slodem, but he originally got it from reddit


Will we ever do anything like this again?



Filed under: General,Science — RjS on 2011/03/19 @ 20:16


Political Fallout

Filed under: Dear God, Make It Stop!,Politics and Local Topics,Rants and Rambling,Tech — ben on 2011/03/12 @ 23:01

It’s started. We knew it would.

Japan current nuclear plant problem is real. I don’t want to take anything away from that.

But the anti-nuclear rhetoric is already starting. This big scary nuke plants must be a danger to us all. And I freely admit, there are dangers involved. The only rational response I can think of, is a quote from Wikipedia:

Comparing the historical safety record of civilian nuclear energy with other forms of electrical generation, Ball, Roberts, and Simpson, the IAEA, and the Paul Scherrer Institute found in separate studies that during the period from 1970 to 1992, there were just 39 on-the-job deaths of nuclear power plant workers worldwide, while during the same time period, there were 6,400 on-the-job deaths of coal power plant workers, 1,200 on-the-job deaths of natural gas power plant workers and members of the general public caused by natural gas power plants, and 4,000 deaths of members of the general public caused by hydroelectric power plants.In particular, coal power plants are estimated to kill 24,000 Americans per year, due to lung disease as well as causing 40,000 heart attacks per year in the United States. According to Scientific American, the average coal power plant emits more than 100 times as much radiation per year than a comparatively sized nuclear power plant in the form of toxic coal waste known as fly ash.

Now, don’t think for a minute that I believe nuclear plants are a good idea. No centralized, high-capital approach to energy is a good idea. But since we seem to be limited to centralized, high-capital approaches, nuclear power is about the best option we’ve got.

Here’s to hoping Japan can solve this problem with the least possible damage to life and property. And to hoping we can learn the lessons needed to make this sort of thing safer in the future. But any discussion about the risks of nuclear power must consider the relative risks of just about every other energy source we currently have.


End of an Era

Filed under: General — ben on 2011/03/09 @ 9:10

Discovery’s Last Flight


Now that the horror is over

Filed under: Dear God, Make It Stop! — RjS on 2011/02/15 @ 22:25

Wrong Tool

Filed under: General — RjS on 2011/02/15 @ 22:01

Never Use This


Not from around here

Filed under: Dear God, Make It Stop! — RjS on 2011/02/04 @ 14:09



Filed under: DFW wildlife — RjS on 2011/01/18 @ 14:46


Bald Eagle at Lake Lewisville (Old Dallas Dam)

Filed under: DFW wildlife,General,Messing About in Boats — RjS on 2010/12/25 @ 11:03


Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Filed under: General — RjS on 2010/12/21 @ 1:56

solstice lunar eclipse


Cause and Effect

Filed under: General — RjS on 2010/11/16 @ 9:09

Think about this


Argentina criminals ‘evade capture by dressing up as sheep’

Filed under: Dear God, Make It Stop!,neither-camelids-nor-goats,Rants and Rambling — ben on 2010/04/14 @ 13:54

Several of you have heard my recurring rant on stock photography on news sites. Take a look at the photo in this article. Be sure to read the caption. Those are the best sheep costumes I have ever seen!

Argentina criminals ‘evade capture by dressing up as sheep’

(Via Boing Boing.)


More Clever AddWords

Filed under: Food,Politics and Local Topics,Silly Stuff — ben on 2010/03/11 @ 23:38

This landed in my RSS reader. If those whales would just learn to eat krill like their big blue cousins, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

Screen shot 2010-03-11 at 11.27.07 PM.png
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