this n that

Much as I absolutely despite Rand Paul, for most of what he’d like to get done, I have to give him props on opposing the extension of the Patriot Act: Rand Paul vs. the PATRIOT Act. WT *fucking* F is it about our congresscritters? WHY WHY WHY are the same Democratic politicians who were so against it when Bush was President are for it now? Why was Obama against it when campaigning and so salivating for it now? This is nothing but *headdesk* worthy stuff. Get rid of the Patriot Act. It’s as ugly and un-American as the original Sedition Acts were and we don’t need it. ETA: I actually added this but must have gotten lost in an edit — the 90 day extension has passed *grumble*. Let’s see if we can’t obliterate it three months from now. Seems to me it was originally to be extended for a year, so let’s hope we’re gaining some traction here. More info here: Lieberman: Senate Democrats Eying Three-Month Patriot Act Extension [UPDATE: Extension Passes Senate]. No love to Leahy (Leahy?!?!!) or Feinstein for wanting to extend this forever & amen. Time to write another letter to Feinstein that she’ll ignore, or send me an irrelevant auto reply to.

Update on ongoing U.S. efforts to muzzle the Internet and otherwise intimidate ppl: US targets Twitter in bid to trap Assange. This on the same day that Clinton stumps for Internet Freedom: Clinton Backs Facebook Freedom, Prods Regimes on Censorship. Sigh.

Protests are, of course, spreading across the MENA region, from Morocco to Iran. Aaron Bady aka @zunguzungo has a fabulous piece up at Is Bahrain a Shiite Uprising? — not so much about Bahrain itself but in pointing out the contrast between the U.S. reportage of a disrupted funeral in Bahrain versus reports from the ground. The differences are extreme & enlightening. Go read.

From The Anonymous is Personal

There is a freedom of movement in a free field of archetype and symbol that enables both user and audience to observe without disclosure, absorb without acquisition, and create without demand for completion.

The repetition of archetypical representation uncovers both the user’s and audience’s collective mythologies, thereby revealing:

The anonymous is personal.

If I had more time, I’d write something around that thought.

By the way, on Anonymous and HBGary, this is good, for the technical person (tho it’s readably written). Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack. THEY HAD A CUSTOM CMS. OMG! OMG! Not that I had any sympathy for HBGary, but OMG! A security company should have known how insecure a custom piece of software would be! These are not nearly as well tested and rewritten as off the shelf software and time tested open source software are…

For a security company to use a CMS that was so flawed is remarkable. Proper handling of passwords—iterative hashing, using salts and slow algorithms—and protection against SQL injection attacks are basic errors. Their system did not fall prey to some subtle, complex issue: it was broken into with basic, well-known techniques. And though not all the passwords were retrieved through the rainbow tables, two were, because they were so poorly chosen.

*facepalm* Oh, *wow*. Idiots.

Even in the middle of all the HBGary fallout, Greenwald manages to shine a spotlight on the hypocrisy of a (rather large, unfortuately) segment of journalists: Journalists angry over the commission of journalism.

Interesting background on Sweden and what some of their motivations re the Assange case may be: Sweden’s Big Trade Deal For Assange. Who profits most?

Oh, for fuck’s sake: Lawmaker Reintroduces WikiLeaks Prosecution Bill. These people are tiresome.

Very interesting: Infographic: Think America’s Internet Isn’t Censored? Think Again. I wonder how much of that also includes Google’s weighting of results (although to some extent you can ask them to dial it up or down) in order to remove (or float down) more “objectionable” results. I’m perfectly happy, for example, for a search on “latina women” to give me reasonable results on bloggers, musicians, etc, fitting that critera, rather than an endless parade of porn site. But I should be able to choose that, of course, rather than having it doen for me.

A series of articles on the various different countries protesting their governments in Middle East/North Africa (MENA): The Ripple Effect, from Algeria to Yemen. Helps to get the various different protests sorted out.

This is an interesting site, here: Blogs of War. Check out the different trackers like the Crisis Monitor, where you can choose from a number of different twitter aggregators that are following assorted hashtag tweets and so on. They collect video as well. Worth some browsing.

Lots of activity on the gay marriage front (no wonder the hate groups are frothing even more these days). I like this one: Marriage Bill Introduced in Washington on Valentine’s Day. Seems like a very good day for thatsort of thing 😀 In reading the article, it sounds like they’ve got a pretty pragmatic plan for going forward including (very sensibly) an education period beforehand. I think someone has been studying the mistakes of California’s Prop 8.

Well, there’s an eye opener. I mean, there’s the poor, the middle class, and the rich… and then way absove in the stratosphere, the hyperrich: Nine Pictures of the Extreme Income/Wealth Gap.

Many people don’t understand our country’s problem of concentration of income and wealth because they don’t see it. People just don’t understand how much wealth there is at the top now. The wealth at the top is so extreme that it is beyond most people’s ability to comprehend.

If people understood just how concentrated wealth has become in our country and the effect is has on our politics, our democracy and our people, they would demand our politicians do something about it.

I think UK Uncut (#ukuncut on twitter) is a start, and I’d like to see this meme spread around much more in the US– a serious “US Uncut ” protest would be fabulous… (Rush Limbaugh, by the way, appears to be not rich but fucking rich.)

Finally, courtesy @exiledsurfer:

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