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1426  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: OpenDNS + DNSCrypt - Mini-Review on: July 16, 2013, 03:34:41 AM
You may have missed the advent of DNSCrypt because, almost immediately after it was announced/released, OpenDNS seemed to stop talking about it. It was kinda buried away. I suspect that they may have been asked to do that, as the implications of using DNSCrypt are that government snooping (NSA) is frustrated to some extent...

I can't answer "What is going on with that?", but here is a screenshot capture of the relevant OpenDNSCrypt connections on a laptop, as viewed in Process Hacker:

[attach]

It rather looks as though DNSCrypt may be automatically dynamically making as many connections - and polling the relevant ports - as it needs at any given point.

I was not sure what the OpenDNS Updater was as I don't use it and I don't get any messages from anything by that name.
I looked it up and found it referred to at https://www.opendns.com/support/dynamic_ip_tech/
Windows IP Updater
Quote
This is the officially supported OpenDNS Windows client, which sends your network's new IP Address to OpenDNS whenever it should change.
I have the Primary and Secondary DNS nodes (IP addresses) set in my router as being the OpenDNS addresses, so when I restart the router or my ISP assigns a new dynamically allocated IP address, it doesn't stop the connection going to the OpenDNS nodes.
1427  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 15, 2013, 11:16:39 AM
My daughter sent me this link. TV News reporting FAIL (Asiana Flight 214 pilots' names):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1JYHNX8pdo
(DC Forum YouTube window artefact not working?)
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1JYHNX8pdo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1JYHNX8pdo</a>
1428  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Secure Cloud backup -e.g., Digital Lifeboat - what alternatives are there? on: July 15, 2013, 02:40:36 AM
...I would like to know why the service had to be killed.
   I guessed that the reason was probably a financially non-viable business model, or infeasibility, or police/SS pressure that led to this "cryptographically unbreakable" data backup service being closed down. I suppose another reason could be a mixture of all three reasons.
   Because the Digital Lifeboat system was redolent of BitTorrent functionality, today I did a search of BitTorrent-related comments in the DC Forum, and then I realised why Digital Lifeboat may have been shut down - viz: it is an application concept that seems to be already being worked on and moved into the public domain.
   For example, including:

   I suspect that such a P2P "cryptographically unbreakable" data backup service would be anathema to the police/SS/NSA from a surveillance prospect.
   The thing about Cloud storage and Cloud-based services is that (as we now know thanks to the Snowden leaks) the "Big Data" and "Social Network" providers  - including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, for example - have been obliged to act as data suppliers to the NSA, for NSA (and other) surveillance agency purposes. So you categorically cannot expect the common "Big Data" and "Social Network" providers to be not breaching your privacy/security/confidentiality.
   Since Them are bigger than Us, I suspect that it may be only a matter of time before operating such P2P "cryptographically unbreakable" data backup services in what could effectively be a virtual "Dark Net" could become illegal, or at least "showing a suspicious intent".

Note: This might be handy as a BitTorrent summary: 4 Things You Didn’t Know About BitTorrent
1429  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Computers Outlawed in Florida on: July 15, 2013, 02:32:38 AM
On second thoughts, maybe this Florida fiasco is no accident of incompetence.
Just sit back and watch how complex and time-consuming it may have to become before it gets fixed and the bad bits undone - if they ever are, in entirety.
Quote
"I've got a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel." - Blackadder.
1430  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Computers Outlawed in Florida on: July 15, 2013, 12:36:40 AM
The points above mostly all make sense, given that:
  • The police/SS seem obliged to deem cash business to be implicitly/potentially illegal, because you cannot trace the source of the money being used in the transaction to establish:
    (a) proof/certainty as to whether it was used for bona fide legal/legitimate purposes (e.g., it might be operating an unlicensed casino), or
    (b) whether the cash came from a "legitimate" or criminal source (e.g., as in money laundering).

  • There seems to be a necessary drive by police/SS to exercise State control over all financial transactions so as to be able to "prove" them at the POS (Point Of Sale), as the police/SS are otherwise unable to effectively police various areas of crime engaged in money exchange/laundering.

Fans of the Breaking Bad series will recall the problems with having all that illegally-obtained cash (millions) stashed away in the wall linings of your garage or wherever...

@sword may well be right though:
See, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", by Lewis Carroll
(Which I thought was a very droll comment.)    Wink

   But there is at least one other important aspect to this that I can think of - banking transaction "tollgate" fees - which are a huge real/potential source of revenue.
We have witnessed that payments intermediaries/agents (e.g., PayPal, Visa, Mastercard) can pick and choose at their whim which of their commercial accounts can use their services - e.g., withdrawing access to their payments service and freezing accounts for "pirating" organisations frowned on by the **AA or by the State (e.g., Wikileaks).
   There will undoubtedly be a financial benefit for this "self policing", probably in terms of some kind of a fee from the **AA or the State, and/or from the use-of money interest by effectively sequestering the funds (assets) in any frozen or "unclaimed" or "unclaimable" accounts.
   The precedent for this form of highly lucrative and legitimised piracy bonanza was set in the case of the thousands of secretive anonymous Swiss Bank accounts of wealthy Jews killed in the Holocaust, and of the hundreds (or more) of Nazi/SS generals who had squirrelled away their humungus stolen assets - the spoils of war. Sitting on that sea of "gifted wealth" after WW2 was what made the corrupt (QED) Swiss banks even more secretive (lest they be discovered and were asked to pay the legitimate account monies to the descendants/heirs of the "untraceable" account-holders) and is apparently the main reason for Switzerland's strong economy today and their pride of place in the respectable (ho, ho) banking community.

   So that represents a  view of the population providing lucrative revenue from the accounts that you have as a banking/financial intermediary. But what about the accounts that you do not have? They could be potentially very lucrative.
   Well, every cash transaction is a missed tollgate fee, and there are likely to be billions of them, and once you have established your bank as the tollgate financial intermediary for those accounts, you can collect a fee on every transaction. It's a tax levied by nominated financial barons, for an ephemeral service, and which is authorised by governments and their Agencies (which collectively are otherwise the authorised thieves tax-gatherers). The government cannot function without a well-subsidised banking system creating the magical "trust" money (debt) that government necessarily feeds upon for its projects. For example, to conduct its philanthropic "peace-making" wars on a global scale, or to conduct philanthropic global mass surveillance...
   Some people (not me, you understand) might say that this issue (fees and commissions to feed the banks) - and not crime - might be the main reason that cash transactions must be discouraged in favour of EFT-POS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point-Of-Sale), or similar - all operated by/through the banking system - but I couldn't possibly comment.
(By the way, this may indicate that Bitcoin or similar must be verboten.)
1431  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Why you should avoid using social media on: July 14, 2013, 10:33:27 PM
I posted this as, though it is not a comprehensive list of reasons by any means, it does rather seem to sum up some pertinent points: How Thieves Use Social Media To Rob You

There may be some useful pointers there for those who might be interested in protecting/maintaining/improving the privacy, security and confidentiality of their data.
This would be in addition to protecting data from the now acknowledged gross breach of privacy and security by apparently increasingly data-totalitarian governments - including the USA and other countries (e.g., in Europe, Canada, NZ, Australia), as has irrefutably been revealed by the UK Guardian's publication of the Snowden leaks regarding the US NSA/PRISM mass internet surveillance.
1432  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / I'm sooo EXCITED with the overhyping of everything. on: July 14, 2013, 10:12:16 PM
 Wink
1433  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Must...stop...playing...that addictive game! on: July 12, 2013, 05:05:53 AM
My just-turned 3 y/o son accidentally discovered these games and a whole stack more. I shall post them up here.
Some are really rather good, some are poorly-made, some are addictive.
I have to help him play a lot of them as he hasn't yet developed the knowledge or co-ordination to use the keyboard/mouse game controls properly.
He likes what he calls the "bamming" games where you shoot zombies or other monsters or enemy hordes with a gun or bow and arrows. Now when I chase after him pretending that I'm a cookie-eating monster and he's a cookie, he doesn't run away anymore, just points a finger at me and goes "BAM!" and I'm dead.
1434  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Need...more...brains...yummy... on: July 11, 2013, 02:26:37 AM
It gets quite tricky!  http://www.kongregate.com...adg/all-we-need-is-brain#
1435  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Must...stop...playing...that addictive game! on: July 11, 2013, 02:19:00 AM
I beat this one 4 times so far... http://www.y8.com/games/bubble_hit     embarassed
1436  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: digitising slides on: July 10, 2013, 08:59:49 PM
@brahman: Thanks! I learned some things there...
1437  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 10, 2013, 08:48:36 PM
...
In other words, screw what he said! The Renninator is Baack!

No he's not. Someone probably just spoofed his ID on the DC Forum, that's all. ...
1438  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: July 10, 2013, 05:57:41 PM
@40hz: Wow. Those are pretty telling pictures. And that Tactical Operations group photo - how blatant/brazen to pose like that! It must be such super fun having your own private army to control potentially wayward citizens - and all paid for by those selfsame grateful and generous citizens too! "Happy as a pig in shit" as the old agricultural saying goes.
   Those photos could probably be sufficient to send shivers up the spine of most concerned citizens though. Pretty much exactly the sort of thing that sent shivers up my spine when I saw the news footage of the NZ police/SS raid on Dotcom's home in Auckland. That whole sorry affair seemed to have been a deliberate (?) demonstration to NZ citizens that NZ had become corrupted by, and as corrupted as, the US police state.
   Some people (not me, you understand), might say that the Stasi would seem to be alive and well in both countries, and that, evidently, you can't keep a "good idea" down for long. They might point out that several Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes, after 1990, and that maybe it was time to redress those injustices by rescinding those prosecutions and instead formally award the officials for their having lead the way into the brave new age that our governments and the police/SS have now taken us into - but I couldn't possibly comment.
1439  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: digitising slides on: July 09, 2013, 09:23:30 PM
Maybe I should mention the EPSON Perfection V330 Photo Scanner.
I posted about it here: EPSON Perfection V330 Photo Scanner + ABBY and ArcSoft software

I'm fairly pleased with its slide and photo-scanning, and the bundled software is good. I mostly use Picasa to manage and edit/clean up the images.
One caveat is that you can't necessarily guarantee that the colour you see on-screen on your computer's display will be what others see on their different screens/displays. Standard colour tones output from the different brands of display drivers may differ quite significantly.
1440  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why you should record video of the everyday people in your life on: July 09, 2013, 09:04:23 PM
The beautiful thing about modern sd/flash memory card based video cameras is that you can get cards that can hold 24hrs of video.. wheras in the old days the best you could hope for was a big box of tapes that you had to change every 2 hours.
Yes, which is eggsactly why I would not use that older technology, but am really happy about using the newer technology - especially when it comes accompanied with the newer 1080HD resolution and associated built-in camera anti-shake, zoom, auto-this & that & everythng, etc.
1441  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: July 09, 2013, 08:30:52 PM
Justification for the NSA surveillance is apparently based on "The war against terror" - as Bush declared it (though I am not so sure whether it is politically correct to call it that now as it may risk marginalising Islamist extremists, or something).
Anyway, I read an interesting review by a retired NYPD police officer (on a book in Amazon) that makes some good points about what happens when you declare "war" on things: (my emphasis)
Quote
Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces
by Radley Balko
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.86
      
36 used & new from $11.40

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, July 1, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces (Hardcover)

In his new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, author Radley Balko provides a detailed history of our decline into a police state.

He works his way through this history in a sound way describing police raid upon police raid gone terribly wrong, resulting in a useless loss of life. He discusses police agencies that serve populations of only 1,000 people but receive federal funding for military-type weapons and tank-style vehicles. We have also seen a total disregard for "The Castle Doctrine" which has been held dear by our citizens since the colonial days. The "Castle Doctrine" is the idea that a man's home is his castle and a warrant signed by a judge is necessary to enter and search the "castle." Balko cogently explains the reason for all of this: The war on drugs and the war on terror are really wars on our own people.

A profession that I was once proud to serve in has become a militarized police state. Officers are quicker to draw their guns and use their tanks than to communicate with people to diffuse a situation. They love to use their toys and when they do, people die.

The days of the peace officer are long gone, replaced by the militarized police warrior wearing uniforms making them indistinguishable from military personnel. Once something is defined as a "war" everyone becomes a "warrior." Balko offers solutions ranging from ending the war on drugs, to halting mission creep so agencies such as the Department of Education and the FDA don't have their own SWAT teams, to enacting transparency requirements so that all raids are reported and statistics kept, to community policing, and finally to one of the toughest solutions: changing police culture.

Police culture has gone from knocking on someone's door to ask him to come to the station house, to knocking on a door to drag him to the station house, to a full SWAT raid on a home.

Two quotes from the HBO television series "The Wire" apply quite appropriately to this situation:

"This drug thing, this ain't police work. Soldiering and police, they ain't the same thing."

"You call something a war and pretty soon everyone's gonna' be running around acting like warriors. They're gonna' be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs and racking up body counts. And when you're at war you need an enemy. And pretty soon damn near everybody on every corner's your enemy. And soon the neighborhood you're supposed to be policing, that's just occupied territory."

Detective John J. Baeza, NYPD (ret.)
Manhattan Special Victims Squad
Manhattan North Narcotics
32nd Precinct, Harlem
1442  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why you should record video of the everyday people in your life on: July 09, 2013, 07:33:38 PM
   Yes, @mouser makes a very interesting point.
   Relatively recent research confirms that when we are doing mundane stuff to which we actually pay little attention (because we don't need to for survival), we become unaware of what is occurring around us, and so our brain does not store memory of those events that we are surrounded by (because it doesn't need to). Thus, you can (say) drive 30km or so on your daily commute to or from work, and be surprised that the time has passed so quickly and that you don't recall the trip.
   The explanation of what has happened is:
  • (a) that you were not in a state of awareness, and so your brain has not recorded the memory of the trip;
  • (b) your perception of time passing is only active whilst your brain is recording events through your state of awareness.

   So, when you leave your video recorder running, you might well be recording a mundane series of events, but, because those events in all probability will not be being recorded by your (unaware) brain, when you watch the video playback, it will be the first time that you become truly aware of what occurred - even though you were there at the time.
   Meditation provides an interesting angle on this. Various forms of meditation teach you to use focus of attention (awareness) on a particular thing to learn more about yourself. For example, meditate on a rose and consider its natural beauty, and you will rarely look at a rose as "just a flower" ever again. You will have learned to be aware of the rose and conscious of the characteristic of beauty in nature.
   Similarly, transcendental meditation trains you to use the thought of the imagined sound of your voice repeating a mantra, as a point of total focus for your conscious awareness, thus excluding your awareness of any other thoughts/senses.
   I have seen this absolute focus of awareness in my own experience of real physical danger - e.g., when tackling a difficult downhill ski run - when time literally seems to slow down and things seem to happen in slow motion, as one's brain is furiously becoming aware of every single event in order to help you to survive. It's an adrenalin buzz.

   When you start to learn meditation, you realise how unaware you usually are. It's like we are alive, but not aware of our life events. Some events we take photos and videos of, because we consider them to be "memorable" and wish to retain a photographic memory of them. But looking at a photo of a beautiful sunset is nowhere near the same as being focussed on and aware of that sunset and experiencing every passing moment through our several senses as it unfolds in its beauty.
   You cannot live your life through the two-dimensional medium of a camera lens and its photo - as so many Japanese tourists seem to want to do!    Wink

This is referred to in the movie Joe Versus the Volcano, where the character Patricia Graynamore says:
Quote
"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake, and they live in a state of constant, total amazement."

Thus Living life = (is equivalent to) being consciously aware of what is happening.

@mouser's video idea is a good way of retrospectively reviewing mundane parts of your life when you might have been in an unaware state.
Coincidentally, I started using my digital video camera for this a couple of years ago, and am still experimenting with it. The possibility of recording large chunks of mundane life like this on video has been enabled through the development and use of what are now low cost and very large flash RAM storage devices.
1443  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 09, 2013, 06:23:47 PM
It was either LOL or cry about this one.
Stupid rare avian doesn't understand physics.
Quote
The Daily Mail:
Rare bird last seen in Britain 22 years ago reappears — only to be killed by wind turbine in front of a horrified crowd of birdwatchers

        The white-throated needletail is usually only seen in Asia and Australasia
        Forty birdwatchers dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of this one
        But as they watched it was knocked ’stone dead’ after impact with turbine

    There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, twitchers were understandably excited.
    A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.
    But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.
    John Marchant, 62, who had made the trip all the way from Norfolk, said: ‘We were absolutely over the moon to see the bird. We watched it for nearly two hours.
    ‘But while we were watching it suddenly got a bit close to the turbine and then the blades hit it.
    ‘We all rushed up to the turbine, which took about five minutes, hoping the bird had just been knocked out the sky but was okay.
    ‘Unfortunately it had taken a blow to the head and was stone dead.
    ‘It was really beautiful when it was flying around, graceful and with such speed. To suddenly see it fly into a turbine and fall out the sky was terrible.’ ...
   Thmbsup  (Classic)
1444  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: How to activate hyperlinks, in ScreenCaptor v4.3 ? on: July 09, 2013, 06:25:02 AM
Wow, cool IainB, FotoTagger is impressive!
Yes, it is, isn't it? It has a quirky and unique functionality set.
What I especially like is the appreciation that there is "knowledge" in an image and that you can add to that knowledge - e.g., with tags and captions.
The FotoTagger approach seems to be a proprietary approach/format, however, so I have not committed to using it as my standard, though I am sorely tempted with the most recent version of the software. In fact "standards" with image tags and suchlike are a bit of a confused mess - as I mentioned here: On the lack of standardisation in "tagging".

I have long regarded images as data, and especially images with text in them. What may not be widely appreciated is that images saved as TIFF files are OCRed, indexed and searchable by the Windows7 OS - so you can, for example, scan a document to a TIFF file, and it becomes data and an image, or if you use SSC to write some notes into an image, and then save it as a TIFF file, then that image also becomes data. At present, OCRed data in a TIFF file is not copyable though - except if you save any image with text in it to MS OneNote, whereupon you can immediately copy all the OCRed text to the Clipboard, or view it as "Alternative Text", and then copy that to the clipboard - as below in the example of OneNote Alt Text of an image with embedded text from a SSC edit:

[attach]

By the way, you can search for that image's Alt Data text from the Windows Start search bar - which automatically searches and indexes OneNote Notebooks.
(Additionally, you can search for words/phrases in an audio file that you have saved into OneNote.)
Pretty nifty.
1445  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: LATEST VERSION INFO THREAD - ScreenshotCaptor - v4.5 - July 8, 2013 on: July 08, 2013, 04:30:10 PM
^^ Thanks!    Thmbsup
1446  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: July 07, 2013, 10:35:23 PM
This is priceless: The NSA Comes Recruiting
I copied it here in case it gets taken down.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)

Got it via:
Quote
NSA Recruitment Drive Goes Horribly Wrong
Posted by Soulskill on Friday July 05, 2013 @03:08PM
from the recruitment-unsuccessful dept.

An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian is running a story about a recent recruitment session held by the NSA and attended by students from the University of Wisconsin which had an unexpected outcome for the recruiters. 'Attending the session was Madiha R Tahir, a journalist studying a language course at the university. She asked the squirming recruiters a few uncomfortable questions about the activities of NSA: which countries the agency considers to be 'adversaries', and if being a good liar is a qualification for getting a job at the NSA.' Following her, others students started to put NSA employees under fire too. A recording of the session is available on Tahir's blog."

This link was amusing, too: Hello, NSA
1447  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: How to activate hyperlinks, in ScreenCaptor v4.3 ? on: July 07, 2013, 10:34:55 AM
I gather that you may be able to conceal/reveal captions and make embedded links in captions clickable in images, by using FotoTagger.
I have not needed to use that feature myself, but I have used the software occasionally over a number of years. The latest version seems better (more features) than my (old) version.
Pretty impressive examples of use here: http://www.fototagger.com/home_users/examples
1448  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: July 07, 2013, 09:22:46 AM
Whoops! Amerikans trying to avail themselves of offshore-from-US VPN providers may face some difficulties: Mastercard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers?
Quote
...“It means that US companies are forcing non-American companies not to allow people to protest their privacy and be anonymous, and thus the NSA can spy even more. It’s just INSANE,” Sunde says. ...
How could this be?    Wink
1449  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: July 07, 2013, 08:01:48 AM
Relevant, and potentially useful:
...Having used OpenDNS + DNSCrypt for a while now with no issues, I have been trialling VPN gate for greater security/privacy, and have found it pretty good.
Coincidentally, I read this rather relevant post in LewRockwell.com today: Want to Defend Your Privacy?
In the post, he discusses using VPN (Virtual Private Network) services, refers to various links (some offshore to the US) for improved security/privacy, and recommends consideration be given to the use of the likes of:
1450  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: OpenDNS + DNSCrypt - Mini-Review on: July 07, 2013, 07:57:27 AM
@mouser: Thanks for your appreciation. Always nice to have.
I am no expert on TCP/IP telecommunications, but I like to know how things work and why I should probably be using them, so using OpenDNS and later DNSCrypt was an educational voyage of discovery for me. Hopefully, posting the mini-review will help others take a shorter learning curve for DIY in this. The Lifehacker post I linked to was especially informative.

Having used OpenDNS + DNSCrypt for a while now with no issues, I have been trialling VPN gate for greater security/privacy, and have found it pretty good.

Coincidentally, I read this rather relevant post in LewRockwell.com today: Want to Defend Your Privacy?

In the post, he discusses using VPN (Virtual Private Network) services, refers to various links (some offshore to the US) for improved security/privacy, and recommends consideration be given to the use of the likes of:
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