I've been playing around with SpamAssassin and discovered that e-mail containing URLs to one of the sites I help to maintain matches its PORN_4 test. You see, http://tobaccodocuments.org contains an obscene three-character string. Now I know how Bruce Schneier feels.
Better check to see whether the test is the same in the bleeding-edge version.
The first two articles in the latest issue of Risks Digest are about the recent US election and the headlong rush to implement poorly tested, unauditable, opaque voting systems:
The general consensus among election officials and voters seems to be that the all-electronic machines are a great improvement, relatively easy to use, and inherently able to prevent overvotes. The general consensus among knowledgeable computer security experts seems to be that almost all of the existing all-electronic systems could relatively easily be rigged by internal fraud in the software and external manipulation of the local polling-place configurations and could also be subject to undetected internal errors, because of an almost complete absence of meaningful audit trails and independent verification of the consistency of votes tabulated with votes cast. Just because an all-electronic machine looks like it might be working, how do you *KNOW* it is doing the right thing? From a RISKS perspective, a perceived potential lack of integrity is a serious obstacle to democracy.
—Peter G. Neumann
On the bright side, I seem to be starting to have more to talk about with my conspiracy theorist brother-in-law (and fewer disagreements).
From knowledge base article Q138365:
If you configure the Autodisconnect option to -1 at the command prompt, Autodisconnect is set to the upper value in the registry. This is approximately 8,171 years (not tested), which should be long enough to be the equivalent of turning Autodisconnect off.
Microsoft put up its own switch ad today, "Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert", complete with a photo of the unidentified supposed switcher that someone determined was actually a stock photo. Most of the claimed Windows advantages are things that Mac OS X has as well.
I've just done my brave deed for the day: eating dinner at an outside table at a DC restaurant. Of course, it's safer than stopping at a gas station in the suburbs.
The bhindi masala (okra curry) was good, and there were no signs of sniper-carrying white vans.
"We've been amazed by the patterns revealed in the error reports that customers are sending us," Ballmer wrote. "About 20 percent of the bugs cause 80 percent of all errors, and -- this is stunning to me -- one percent of bugs cause half of all errors."
Another news flash: Microsoft discovers people aren't interested in buying computers crippled to keep Hollywood happy.
More evidence. The sad thing is that some morons probably did buy the service after getting the insult (the same people responding to spammers and telemarketers).
The latest issue of Risks Digest brings the stories of a teacher who received an unexpected bonus and, right after it, the accidental sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock (caused by confusion between "million" and "billion").
At least the erroneous stock sale was at the right price, unlike this one from last year, in which the price and number of shares were switched, resulting in a $100 million loss.
The winner of Fox TV's "American Idol" competition will be singing at the Lincoln Memorial September 11. Earlier, callers to Operation TIPS (the denounce-your-neighbors program) were routed to the "America's Most Wanted" hotline.
In other news, homeland security czar Tom Ridge has tapped the producers of "Big Brother" to coordinate domestic surveillance efforts, and Anne Robinson will be helping to ferret out the weakest links in the intelligence agencies.