Web Wandering Dump

November 5, 2007

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Web Wandering Dump

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Geek2Live: Ghost Open Source Alternative

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 10:56 PM CST

Geek2Live: Ghost Open Source Alternative

As we know Ghost is a software used to image your Windows installation, in other words it help you to have a complete backup of a PC for later restore or replication in environment such as School,University, Computer Training lab, and so on.
The good thing about “FOG” that it stores the images in a local server that you easily build through the installer with We based Admin Interface to control your backup and restore operations.

There is an Open Source Alternative called “FOG” Free Open Source Ghost,FOG is good for anyone running Windows XP and Vista with a single partition. Right now FOG can only handle a single partition on the hard disk. FOG is currently being used by many schools and small businesses who can’t afford the licensing of commercial products like Ghost.

What makes FOG different?

  • FOG is easy for end user. The end user no longer needs to worry about NIC drivers to image a computer, this is all handled by the kernel. FOG management is done via an easy to use web GUI.
  • FOG is centralized. Most of tasks done on FOG don’t require the user to visit the client PC. For example if you imaging a computer all you need to do is start the task. After the task is started WOL will turn the computer on if it is off, PXE will load the OS, DHCP will give it an IP address, FOG will tell the server it is in progess, and PartImage will image your computer. Then when imaging is done FOG will tell PXE not to boot the machine to the fog image and your computer boots up. After the computer is booted, if the FOG service is installed, FOG will change the computer’s hostname and that computer is ready to use!
  • FOG is easy to access. All you need is a web browser to image a computer, no client software required. We have heard of organizations using FOG who image computers from an iPOD touch or iPhone.
  • FOG is Powerful. With features like memory testing (comming in version 0.05), disk wiping, testdisk, and file recovery, FOG does more than just imaging.
  • FOG can grow with you. The FOG server can be broken down and run across multiple machines. For example, your NFS, apache, PXE, and DHCP services can all run on different servers to maximize performance.
  • FOG is community driven. Is a feature missing in FOG that you would really love to see? If so, let us know and we will do our best to include it in FOG.
  • FOG is Open Sorce Whether you have 2 computers or 20,000 computers in your organization, FOG is Open Source

via upload.wikimedia.org

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 10:34 PM CST

gOS

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 10:29 PM CST

The Sound Of Silence: Cellphone Jammers Are Effective, Illegal

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 10:27 PM CST

The Sound Of Silence: Cellphone Jammers Are Effective, Illegal

The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets — and it also pursues their users.

Investigators from the F.C.C. and Verizon Wireless visited an upscale restaurant in Maryland over the last year, the restaurant owner said. The owner, who declined to be named, said he bought a powerful jammer for $1,000 because he was tired of his employees focusing on their phones rather than customers.

“I told them: put away your phones, put away your phones, put away your phones,” he said. They ignored him.

The owner said the F.C.C. investigator hung around for a week, using special equipment designed to detect jammers. But the owner had turned his off.

The Verizon investigator was similarly unsuccessful. “He went to everyone in town and gave them his number and said if they were having trouble, they should call him right away,” the owner said. He said he has since stopped using the jammer.

Of course, it would be harder to detect the use of smaller battery-operated jammers like those used by disgruntled commuters.

An F.C.C. spokesman, Clyde Ensslin, declined to comment on the issue or the case in Maryland.

gOS: Where Computers Are Headed?

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 09:53 PM CST

gOS: Where Computers Are Headed?

We reported Thursday on the gPC going on sale at Wal-Mart, a $199 bare minimum PC that runs a Linux package by the name of gOS. Unlike some initial reports suggested, this isn’t the long fabled Google Operating System, but the folks behind it most definitely had Google on their mind.

In an interview at Fsckin, David Liu, founder of the gOS project gave some indication of what they are trying to achieve:

I got interested in Google applications, especially docs and spreadsheets, presentations; and originally, I wanted to create my idea of what a Google OS would look like.. if there were such a mythical OS. As I started looking around at all the Google applications out there, I realized that all of our “computing” could eventually be done in the Google cloud. We just needed an OS that looked really good and pointed people to Google in a really friendly, intelligent way. After seeing this, I got excited because I saw it was also commercially viable for the mainstream end user… Google makes Linux familiar.

gOS is billed as “Linux for human beings who shop at Wal-Mart” but how does it really stack up? gOS is available for download so I gave it whirl under VMWare Fusion to see if we are seeing the future of PCs.

gos1.jpg
Not your usual Linux desktop

The most obvious difference in gOS to a usual Linux install is the use of the Enlightenment windows manager as opposed to the more commonly used Gnome and KDE managers. KDE and Gnome in a standard install look and feel a little like Windows, Enlightenment looks a bit like OS X, complete with the rounded window open/ close buttons to the left of each window.

A dock bar runs across the bottom and provides links to a range of Google tools, Meebo, Skype, Wikipedia, Facebook and a couple of OS specific apps. A Google search box is embedded in the desktop in the top right corner.

gos2.jpg

A leaf icon bottom left opens up a familiar Windows style menu, complete with program short cuts and settings options. Interestingly the Live CD comes with Open Office, despite the emphasis on Google apps elsewhere.

It Works

I tested a number of Google apps and they all work, pretty much as they would on any machine. Apps are delivered via Firefox. The only drawback I found is one of aesthetics: the standard font pack in gOS doesn’t make for the nicest online experience, but many wouldn’t notice.

The dock shortcuts are handy, and will probably be more appreciated by those who aren’t highly computer literate, like those who cant save a bookmark or type in a web page…perhaps that’s a little bit harsh but most people don’t need gigantic shortcut buttons.

The Future?

This isn’t a PC anyone reading this article will likely buy, the specs are low and if you’re competent enough to read blogs then you can use an operating system that isn’t gOS. It is however an interesting exercise in where computers may well be heading. In a range of areas, web apps are now the equal to their offline equivalents, or are quickly catching up. If we get to the point where we can do the majority of our activites via an online interface, the need for all-powerful operating systems and computers diminishes. gPC and gOS is a nice try, and for people out in middle America looking for a cheap second or third PC for their kids to do their homework on, or conversely to do their own work on as their kids are using the main PC for gaming, its a pretty good buy. This is very much a first generation, or perhaps even 0.1 effort, but going forward it’s an option we will see more and more of. In 10, 15 or even 20 years time, when the idea of locally installed applications may be foreign, the likes of gOS may well be the norm.

“Man is not free unless government is limited. Ronald Reagan “

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 09:07 PM CST

Man is not free unless government is limited.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan Quotes

How To Make Gmail Your Email Hub

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 09:02 PM CST

“Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement. Ronald Reagan “

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 09:01 PM CST

Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan Quotes

No email privacy rights under Constitution, US gov claims [printer-friendly] | The Register

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:59 PM CST

No email privacy rights under Constitution, US gov claims [printer-friendly] | The Register

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/04/4th-amendment_email_privacy/

No email privacy rights under Constitution, US gov claims

By Mark Rasch, SecurityFocusPublished Sunday 4th November 2007 12:02 GMT

On October 8, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati granted the government’s request for a full-panel hearing in United States v. Warshak case centering on the right of privacy for stored electronic communications. At issue is whether the procedure whereby the government can subpoena stored copies of your email – similar to the way they could simply subpoena any physical mail sitting on your desk – is unconstitutionally broad.

This appears to be more than a mere argument in support of the constitutionality of a Congressional email privacy and access scheme. It represents what may be the fundamental governmental position on Constitutional email and electronic privacy – that there isn’t any. What is important in this case is not the ultimate resolution of that narrow issue, but the position that the United States government is taking on the entire issue of electronic privacy. That position, if accepted, may mean that the government can read anybody’s email at any time without a warrant.

What is Privacy?

In a seminal case (Katz v. United States in 1963) the US Supreme Court, over the strenuous objections of the US government, upheld the right of the user of a payphone to claim a right to privacy in the contents of those communications. The Court held that the Fourth Amendment right to be secure in your “persons, house, places and effects” against unreasonable searches and seizures protected people, not just places. Thus, to determine whether you had a right against unreasonable seizure – a kind of privacy right – the court adopted a two-pronged test: did you think what you were doing was private and is society willing to accept your belief as objectively reasonable?

The method you use to communicate can effect both your subjective expectation of privacy and society’s willingness to consider that expectation as “reasonable.” Shouting a “private” conversation into a megaphone at Times Square would neither be subjectively nor objectively reasonable, if you wanted the conversation to be confidential. “Broadcasting” the conversation over the radio is likewise unreasonable.

But, what about “broadcasting” it over an unsecured Wi-Fi router, analog cell phone, or cordless telephone? While certain statutes may make the interception of such communications unlawful, absent such statutes is there a Constitutional prohibition on listening in? Put more narrowly, if the cops listen in on your baby monitor, do they violate your “right to privacy,” or do you give up your right by knowingly putting the monitor in little Timmy’s room in the first place?

Partial Waiver

Do you have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in the contents of email you send and receive at work, using a work computer, over a company supplied network, where the company has a “business use only” policy, and an employee monitoring policy that states that any communications may be monitored? Think about it. Indeed, the policy will go further and says “users have no expectation of privacy.” But is this true? Or, is it even a good idea?

Remember Katz? The Constitution only protects reasonable expectations of privacy. If you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in your email, then the examination of the contents of your email by anyone for any purposes is not an invasion of privacy and raises no Fourth Amendment concerns.

What you really mean in your policy is that your employer (your supervisor, the IT staff, HR, legal, etc.) may examine the contents of your e-mail for legitimate reasons and if they choose to, disclose the contents to whatever third parties they deem reasonable. Fair enough. But, it also means that you can’t read your bosses’ email or your co-workers’ email, just because you are curious. Why not? Because they have an “expectation of privacy” in their email.

Privacy is not like virginity – you either have it or you don’t. You can have privacy rights with respect to some uses by some people and not with respect to other uses by other people. Right? Well, not according to the government.


No Constitutional Privacy

In arguing that the government did not necessarily need a wiretap order to obtain the contents of Mr. Warshak’s email from his ISP, the government argued that the Fourth Amendment did not preclude a mere subpoena because users of ISPs don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The government argued:

… any expectation of privacy can be waived [citing case holding that a privacy disclaimer on a bulletin board “defeats claims to an objectively reasonable expectation of privacy.”] Many employees are provided with e-mail and Internet services by their employers. Often, those employees are required to waive any expectation of privacy in their email each time they log on to their computers. [Court] orders directed to the email of employees who have waived any possible expectation of privacy do not violate the Fourth Amendment.

Now, we are not talking about cases where the employer reads someone’s email and decides to give it to the government, or where the employer consents to the search by the FBI. Essentially, the Justice Department is arguing that when you give up your privacy rights in an e-mail policy vis-a-vis your employer, you waive any Constitutional claim to privacy if the government decides to just take it – even without the knowledge or consent of the employer. Once you give up privacy in an email policy, the game is over. Since the Fourth Amendment only protects legitimate privacy rights, and you have no privacy in email, theoretically (absent a statute that prohibits it) the government could constitutionally walk in and just take anyone’s files.

Wow.

But then the government goes on: they note “some email accounts are abandoned, as when an account holder stops paying for the service and the account is cancelled.” There “can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in such accounts.” Oh really? So if I decide not to keep paying Comcast, then not only to I potentially lose Internet service, but the government can then read every email I ever wrote or received? Better pay the bill, then. When I terminate my service, I am terminating my right of use – not “abandoning” my privacy rights. A few years ago, when an US soldier was killed in Fallujah, Yahoo had to decide whether his parents could legally access the email in his account, an account that Yahoo’s policy terminated at the soldier’s death. The case was resolved with a consented to court order allowing such access, but the government’s argument would be that when you die your account terminates and your email is up for grabs. In other words, don’t die with email in your account and don’t get any email after you die.

The government again goes on:

… hackers may obtain internet services and email accounts using stolen credit cards. Hackers maintain no reasonable expectation of privacy in such accounts.

So the privacy of your communications may be determined by the legitimacy of the method by which you pay for such communications? Bounce a check to the phone company and the government can listen in to your phone calls? Or buy a cell phone with a stolen credit card, and the government can read your text messages?


The most distressing argument the government makes in the Warshak case is that the government need not follow the Fourth Amendment in reading emails sent by or through most commercial ISPs. The terms of service (TOS) of many ISPs permit those ISPs to monitor user activities to prevent fraud, enforce the TOS, or protect the ISP or others, or to comply with legal process. If you use an ISP and the ISP may monitor what you do, then you have waived any and all constitutional privacy rights in any communications or other use of the ISP. For example, the government notes with respect to Yahoo! (which has similar TOS):

Because a customer acknowledges that Yahoo! has unlimited access to her email, and because she consents to Yahoo! disclosing her email in response to legal process, compelled disclosure of email from a Yahoo! account does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

The government relied on a Supreme Court case where a bank customer could not complain when the government subpoenaed his cancelled checks from the bank itself and where the Court noted:

The checks are not confidential communications but negotiable instruments to be used in commercial transactions. All of the documents obtained, including financial statements and deposit slips, contain only information voluntarily conveyed to the banks and exposed to their employees in the ordinary course of business.

In essence, the government is arguing that the contents of your emails have been voluntarily conveyed to your ISP and that you therefore have no privacy rights to it anymore. In a previous proceeding in Warshak, the government went even further, arguing that automated spam filters, antivirus software, and other automated processes that examine the contents of your email, establish that you cannot possibly expect your communications to be private.

What is silly about this is the fact that, at least for the government, the argument is unnecessary. The Fourth Amendment protects against “unreasonable” invasions of privacy interests. The government could effectively argue that, by obtaining a subpoena or other court order for the records which are relevant to a legitimate investigation, the search or seizure is reasonable, and therefore comports with the Fourth Amendment. All subpoenas and demands for documents infringe some privacy interest, and unless overbroad, they are generally reasonable. The statute which permits government access to stored communication pursuant to a mere subpoena may likewise be perfectly reasonable and may withstand constitutional scrutiny. But that doesn’t mean that the Constitution doesn’t apply.

No, the government is seeking to eliminate any Constitutional privacy interest in email. Under this standard, if the FBI walked into your employer or ISP, and simply took your email (no warrant, no court order, no probable cause, no nothing), you would have no constitutional argument about the seizure, because you had abandoned your expectation of privacy. This appears to be more than a mere argument in support of the constitutionality of a Congressional email privacy and access scheme. It represents what may be the fundamental governmental position on Constitutional email and electronic privacy – that there isn’t any.

And that, frankly, scares me.

This article originally appeared in Security Focus (http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/456).

Copyright © 2007, SecurityFocus (http://www.securityfocus.com/)

Wired Test 2007 — The Best: Obsolete Technologies, From the Sundial to the Laser Disc.

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:42 PM CST

$200 Ubuntu Linux PC Now Available at Wal-Mart | Gadget Lab from Wired.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:42 PM CST

via farm3.static.flickr.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:41 PM CST

via blog.wired.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:41 PM CST

via blog.wired.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:40 PM CST

via www.pligg.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:40 PM CST

via blog.wired.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:40 PM CST

via img.photobucket.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:40 PM CST

via blog.wired.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:39 PM CST

via www.techcrunch.com

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:36 PM CST

Windows: Get a Complete List of Drivers On Your Machine

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 08:34 PM CST

Christians leaving neocons for Ron Paul [Digg]

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 04:40 PM CST

Christians becoming Ron Paul supporters

Apple Store Sales Guy Nearing Meltdown. [Overheard + Story Description] [Digg]

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 03:36 PM CST

Overheard Conversation–about the iPhone. Arrogant Apple Store sales guy vs. confused seemingly meek customer. Turns into mini-drama. (Overheard text, plus description of front & back stories.) Not for everybody. But amusing, different. Guy seems to go through a mini-story arc in a few minutes.

NBC’s Brian Williams: “Media has already chosen Clinton” [Digg]

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 01:17 PM CST

Isn’t it great that we can joke about the fact that corporate media has ruined our American democracy?! Brian Williams, host of NBC’s Nightly News, appeared on Saturday Night Live last night as guest host. Watch the video here.

Domain Squatter Wants To Give His Domains To Google In Exchange For A Job [Digg]

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 03:58 AM CST

“Creative minds write not a normal application, they will ensure that you will be attentive to them!”That’s the first line of an open letter posted on adwordsgoogle.de, docsgoogle.de, , and 6 other domain names. The sites’ owner and letter’s author, German IT guy Sebastian Klein, wants to give his domains to Google in exchange for a job.

12 Sure-fire Ways to Have Energy All Day Without Caffeine [Digg]

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 01:15 AM CST

Here is one list I need to follow, not just read. we’ll see about that :)

What we should all be teaching our kids: how to say no to a police state [Digg]

Posted: 04 Nov 2007 12:17 AM CDT

Have you talked to your kids about liberty today?

Q: What do sea urchins look like at a depth of over 1000 ft? (PIC) [Digg]

Posted: 03 Nov 2007 11:01 PM CDT

A: OMG!

Top 25 Craziest Deaths [Digg]

Posted: 03 Nov 2007 09:31 PM CDT

Crazy, weird and even funny deaths of prominent people in the last 100 years.

Facebook is More Popular than Porn [Digg]

Posted: 02 Nov 2007 09:51 AM CDT

An analysis of web-surfing data suggests that Gen Y-ers would rather spend their time with Facebook than with sex…

Windows Home Server Review [Digg]

Posted: 01 Nov 2007 12:07 PM CDT

Microsoft has a difficult challenge ahead of them in convincing people that they need Windows Home Server. After all, having another computer in the house isn’t something people are shoving each other in the face for. We got our hands on a Norco DS-520 Home Server, one of the first pre-made boxes available, and definitely loved what we saw.

Messenger 9: GTalk Integration, Messenger API, New Client for Mac OS X [Digg]

Posted: 31 Oct 2007 02:51 PM CDT

“In a presentation to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s IEEE Student Branch yesterday, Microsoft employee and Georgia Tech graduate Andrew Jenks had some surprises in store”

Show your feelings towards the RIAA with… thong underwear [Digg]

Posted: 31 Oct 2007 11:56 AM CDT

Given how the trial went, the copyright infringement verdict against Jammie Thomas was not much of a surprise. The $222,000 award to the record labels certainly was, and although Thomas is attempting to get the amount of the award reduced and the verdict overturned, she’s facing the possibility of a crushing financial liability if her appeals are u

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