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1426  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: June 15, 2013, 06:05:30 AM
Ron Paul apparently warned about this sort of thing in, erm, 1984...
September 6, 1984: Ron Paul Warns of Surveillance State - Don't Ever Say We Weren't Warned.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkRu6BctHWk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkRu6BctHWk</a>
1427  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: June 15, 2013, 06:01:42 AM
That is priceless.
1428  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 14, 2013, 07:29:01 AM
It didn't work. It still pops up the UAC thing and makes me click to get it to work.
Then like I said, send them some feedback via the Preview Feedback in the DNSCrypt GUI. When you do that, it sends an email and attaches details of your system and DNSCrypt configuration. They should be able to spot the problem right away from that.
1429  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 13, 2013, 11:13:25 AM
Apparently a recent and genuine apology published in the Sun newspaper (UK):

1430  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do! on: June 13, 2013, 10:08:55 AM
...There've been news bulletins about a Web site that reports life expectancy in different parts of Britain.  They apparently used an average span of 75.
Yes, statistically, the likely lifespan has increased.
This is actuarily quite a sound tool: Assess your life expectancy (Flash).swf
1431  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: LATEST VERSION INFO THREAD - ScreenshotCaptor - v4.3 - April 22, 2013 on: June 13, 2013, 05:56:41 AM
@mouser: in the latest release notes of SSC, there is a note:
[BugFix] Updated ScDx ScreenshotCaptor DirectX capture addon (separate download).

Where might I download this from, please?
1432  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How to prevent screen flickering when scrolling chrome? (nvidia issue) on: June 11, 2013, 07:26:23 PM
1.5 months later, HP is still passing the buck around and not able to produce a solution.
They say I'm on their 3rd level of support. Whatever that is.
There's no doubt now about HP's support being incompetent.
  Well, that's pretty telling. I presume you are not waiting for something to be done about it by HP.
HP's 3rd Level (L3) support uses their best-qualified and experienced techos.
HP use (or used to use) an ITIL approach, so that Incidents (basically errors or reductions in service levels reported by users) get handled pretty efficiently via their standard HelpDesk ticket queuing process. If L1 can't resolve the problem, then it gets passed to L2, and then to L3 - where the buck stops. It's a well-defined process (CMM Level 3 or above).
   If your ticket has been open and unresolved for 1.5 months, then it could be because it is stuck in a low priority queue and keeps slipping to the back, because of resource problems - e.g., the L3 techos are too few in number and don't have time to address/resolve the Incident because they are all focussed on higher-priority problems. So the low priority Incidents will never get addressed/resolved - kinda like a death spiral.
   It may be that the Incident is symptomatic of a general causal Problem (in ITIL-speak) - something which requires root cause analysis and analysis of the frequency of occurrence and population of users affected, and whether it seriously impacts their work, etc. (which will determine the priority). However, if they have resource issues and if the Incidents are low priority, then a Problem root cause analysis may never get done - another death spiral.
   This is a failure of process, resulting in infinitely-cycling and lengthening low priority queues. This could have been brought on by (for example) cost-cutting measures, where the number of competent techos has been pared down to a bare minimum so that there are insufficient numbers of competent techos left in the pool of support resources (which manifests in the ludicrous reality of the sort of amusing meme you give an example of at http://www.quickmeme.com/...ompetent-HP-Guy/?upcoming). The user experience is that (typically) one never seems to get the chance to talk to anyone competent in a technical support role.

   I would suggest your Incident ticket is in the death spiral zone and may never be addressed/resolved in timely/useful fashion by HP. It would be incorrect to call this "incompetence". It is likely a direct result of global cost-cutting - seemingly certainly so in HP's case, as a review of their financial history over 2006 - 2012 will attest. The responsibility for the cost-cutting lies at CEO/Board level, where there has been evidence of corruption and unethical/illegal behaviour and the focus has been on maximising short-term shareholder returns - seemingly at any cost. One result of this is that there is a tendency to overlook/ignore the potential/real deleterious effects of this on service level performance of customer support. In fact, regarding this, HP itself seems to have been in a kind of self-induced death spiral for a number of years.

   If what I say above is generally true, then arguably it could apply to all PC manufacturers. Under the circumstances, I suspect that the only way you are likely to get HP or any other manufacturer's attention focussed on addressing/resolving any problem on one of their PCs would be if it had a sufficiently high priority. This would generally be if:
  • (a) The PC is covered under a valid, current service warranty/guarantee for either return to depot or on-site service/replacement, and
  • (b) the PC is exhibiting symptoms that, to all intents and purposes, make it near impossible to use the device, and
  • (c) the indications are that it is an intermittent or permanent hardware error/failure.

   Since it seemed to me that hardware failure was not an issue in your case, but simply that your PC was experiencing nothing more than DPC Latency - e.g., from (say) automatic priority interrupts causing conflicts affecting bus traffic - I made the several points above regarding checking/analysing DPC Latency. I suspected that you were either going to have to do the analysis and address/resolve the issue yourself, or get/pay someone else to do it for you, and it probably won't be the hardware manufacturer per se (i.e., HP in this case), but you might be able to use one of their registered HP service agents - who would typically be the ones contracted to attend a callout for on-site HP service/replacement under warranty, for example.

   Sorry I can't suggest anything more useful than that - or that you consider (say) trialling an Apple Mac, maybe.    ohmy
1433  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do! on: June 10, 2013, 09:18:57 PM
Very long innings?  Haven't heard that expression. ...
  Sorry, it's an English cricketing metaphor/term. The period of time that you are a batsman "in" the crease and being bowled at is your "innings", and you are defending your wicket (from being hit by the ball) meanwhile.
   To say that someone "didn't have a long innings" means that he didn't last long before being bowled "out", caught "out", or otherwise adjudged "out" by the umpire (e.g., LBW - leg before wicket).
It's complicated by the fact that, in any given innings, there would be two batsmen - one at each of the two wickets. The one who is currently not being bowled at is waiting his turn and just supports the other in taking any runs.

Iain Banks was apparently only 59 years old when he died - well below the typical "three score and ten" (Christian Biblical, Leviticus 12, and Psalms 90) - hence "He didn't have a very long innings, did he?" - i.e., a lifespan prematurely cut short.
1434  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 10, 2013, 07:07:53 PM
Select the Log On tab and ensure that the correct user account Password and corresponding Confirm Password have been entered, thus: (click the Apply button after making any necessary changes)

Um... I'm pretty sure my account doesn't have a password. I never have to type one in to login to windows, anyway. Maybe that's why?
^^ Then you could try checking the Local System Account instead. That might do it.

@Deozaan: Did you try ticking the Local System Account - if so, then what was the outcome?
If that didn't do the trick, then I would suggest you post it as a problem/incident to OpenDNS DNSCrypt support. You could do that in the Preview Feedback in the DNSCrypt GUI. They always seem to reply to any feedback placed there.
1435  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 10, 2013, 06:49:41 PM
^^ I said above:
...However, what I find amazing is that the American political "leaders" and the people seem to be the ones doing their level best to kill it in a sort of slow dance of death, or they are apparently standing idly on the sidelines discussing it as observers, whilst it happens in front of them.
That it is allowed to happen at all seems to signify a general ignorance, a malaise. Maybe it is perhaps coupled with a lack of moral fibre and a lack of backbone to stand up for the principles involved, I don't know - but that might explain it. ...

However, I have just posted in the DCF thread Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates that:
NSA surveillance - Edward Snowden's Motivation: Internet Freedom
- where I wrote:
"Snowden is one American who apparently has a massive amount of spine."
1436  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / NSA surveillance - Edward Snowden's Motivation: Internet Freedom on: June 10, 2013, 06:34:18 PM
   The somewhat shocking revelations initially published by the Guardian UK, regarding the US NSA's (National Security Agency) mass surveillance of electronic telecommunications and Internet communications, leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, have probably been a good wake-up call. Terms such as "PRISM" and "Boundless Informant" will arguably have taken on a whole new meaning in the IT lexicon, now.
   The wake-up itself is timely, insofar as it shows us that whilst we may have been putting our efforts into assiduously lobbying/working to protect the Internet freedoms from erosion by frontal so-called "legal" attacks (SOPA, PIP, etc.) - driven apparently by political and commercial lobbies - there has been an infinitely greater, total and hugely successful attack on Internet freedoms and other telecommunications freedoms. The attack is now a fait accompi, and has been progressively expanding for years (since 2006, at least) and has come from within, driven by the US government, under the catch-all justification of TWAT ("The War Against Terror"), or something.

This arguably rather makes a joke of our imagining that our/any efforts (above) to protect Internet freedoms from attack/restraint would be of any use. You can't protect something that has cynically already been destroyed without your realising it.
I had assumed that Edward Snowden's motivation for blowing the whistle might have been something to do with personal privacy and security, and the erosion of the the Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution, represented by the invasive surveillance. Per Wikipedia, this the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.
   However, according to this Mashable article, it would seem that Edward Snowden's motivation was a little more specific than that:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images, and with my emphasis.)
Edward Snowden's Motivation: Internet Freedom
By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai2013-06-10 21:47:02 UTC

"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather."

Those are the words that open the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, a seminal paper by John Perry Barlow. In the paper, the former Grateful Dead lyricist and founder of the online rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation argued governments should never meddle with cyberspace, a separate place where the real-world rules had no reason to exist.

SEE ALSO: PRISM: Does the NSA Really Get Direct Access to Your Data?

Barlow's declaration — the product of a time when Internet thinkers were perhaps a bit naive — might seem outdated now. Much has changed since then. Governments have indeed claimed sovereignty over the Internet, and nobody reasonably expects the Internet to be left alone anymore.

However, the Utopian ideals that shaped that declaration influenced an entire generation of kids who grew up messing around with a Windows 95 computer and a noisy 56k connection. Those ideals still resonate today.

And they're partly what pushed Edward Snowden to become a whistleblower by leaking a series of top-secret documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post. His leaks have revealed a secret court order that allows the NSA to collect the metadata of Americans' phone calls for months at a time; a secret system codenamed PRISM that intercepts Internet communications; a presidential directive asking for a list of targets for cyberattacks; and "Boundless Informant," a NSA tool to data-mine the world.

One of Snowden's reasons to leak those documents, according to his interview with The Guardian, was a belief that Internet privacy and freedom foster progress.

"I don't see myself as a hero," he said, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."
Snowden considers the Internet "the most important invention in all of human history." He thinks the NSA and the U.S. government are curtailing Internet freedom in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism. His views have deep roots: As a teenager, he spent hours and hours on the Internet, "speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own."

We can agree or disagree with Snowden's actions and argue for hours and days about whether he is a hero, the most important whistleblower in America's history or a villain. He did what he did at least partly because he wanted the Internet to remain free, and he thought the people of the Internet deserved to know more about the NSA surveillance programs.

Image via The Guardian via Getty Images
Topics: bradley manning, edward snowden, Internet freedom, U.S., US & World, WikiLeaks, World

The emboldened bits speak for me.
Snowden is one American who apparently has a massive amount of spine.
1437  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: June 10, 2013, 06:29:26 AM
This is from 2006: Wire-tapping in US.swf
I thought it was rather well done.
1438  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do! on: June 10, 2013, 05:16:54 AM
^^ I don't recall reading anything by Iain Banks. He didn't have a very long innings, did he?
1439  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 09, 2013, 10:03:44 PM
...And gosh, how did this get so far off-topic?  First we're talking about encrypted DNS queries and now privacy protection!
Not so off-topic as you'd think. It would seem that encrypted DNS and personal security/privacy are inextricably intertwined. That's why I belatedly got around to doing the OpenDNS + DNSCrypt - Mini-Review

And I wouldn't call this "political" either, though politically-inclined bigots of any persuasion could no doubt try to use it as such. There's a very level-headed point made in the middle of a post on HotAir about this, referring to a post by Charles M. Blow in the Opinion Pages of the NY Times (entitled Of Slippery Slopes): (my emphasis)
Quotes of the day
posted at 8:31 pm on June 8, 2013 by Allahpundit
This is a “Papa knows best” approach to security policy.

We are told that this has helped to keep us safe, and that any loss of civil liberties and sense of privacy is but collateral damage, inconsequential in the grand sweep of things. Many innocents must be violated so that a few guilty people can be stopped. It’s a digital stop-and-frisk, using data trends and a few successes to do huge damage…

This is not a right-left thing. This is a right-wrong thing. This is not about short-term damage to political prospects but about long-term damage to democratic ideals. This is not about any particular person or president or party but about principles and limits.

Insofar as it is (or might be) construed as being "political", I gather that the point being made is that this business would seem to run contrary to the American Constitution. There seems to be a unique and rather valuable set of humanitarian principles of freedom and democracy enshrined in the latter  - a set of principles that all humanity could well rue the death of.
However, what I find amazing is that the American political "leaders" and the people seem to be the ones doing their level best to kill it in a sort of slow dance of death, or they are apparently standing idly on the sidelines discussing it as observers, whilst it happens in front of them.
That it is allowed to happen at all seems to signify a general ignorance, a malaise. Maybe it is perhaps coupled with a lack of moral fibre and a lack of backbone to stand up for the principles involved, I don't know - but that might explain it.

Whatever the cause, it makes me sad to see this. Maybe history will show that it is just time for the change/fall of Empire, and so this is how it happens. There are arguably, and have been, other signs of this.

Maybe you should look to your poets for answers. There is something almost prophetic in the apparently allegorical lyrics in the superb song "Real Gone" sung by Sheryl Crow:
I'm American made, Bud Light, Chevrolet
My momma taught me wrong from right
I was born in the South, sometimes I have a big mouth
When I see something that I don't like
I gotta say it

Well we been driving this road for a mighty long time
Payin' no mind to the signs
Well, well this neighbourhood's changed, it's all been rearranged
We left that change somewhere behind

Slow down, you're gonna crash
Baby you were screamin', it's a blast, blast, blast
Look out babe you got your blinders on
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone
Real gone, real gone

But there's a new cat in town, he's got high paid friends
Thinks he's gonna change history
You think you know him so well
Yeah you think he's so swell
But he's just perpetuatin' prophecy
Come on now

Slow down, you're gonna crash
Baby, you were screamin', it's a blast, blast, blast
Look out, you got your blinders on
Everybody's lookin' for a way
To get real gone, real gone
Real gone, real gone, uhhh

Well, you can say what you want but you can't say it 'round here
'Cause they'll catch you and give you a whippin'
Well, I believe I was right when I said you were wrong
You didn't like the sound of that
Now did ya?

Slow down, you're gonna crash
Baby, you were screamin', it's a blast, blast, blast
Look out, you got your blinders on
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone

Well, here I come and I'm so not scared
Got my pedal to the metal, got my hands in the air
Well, look out, you take your blinders off
Everybody's lookin' for a way to get real gone
Real gone, real gone, ooh!
Real gone, real gone

(Written by Sheryl Crow and John Shanks for the 2006 Disney-Pixar film, Cars.)
From <http://www.metrolyrics.com/real-gone-lyrics-sheryl-crow.html>
1440  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Worth Reading: Trevor Pott's editorial on NSA PRISM and its real ramifications on: June 09, 2013, 09:09:55 AM
@40hz: Thanks for the OP and link. Very interesting, albeit the whole situation is confuzzling to me (looking in from the outside).
There's an interesting post at Slashdot:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
NSA Surveillance Heat Map: NSA Lied To Congress
Posted by timothy on Sunday June 09, 2013 @08:26AM
from the hey-dad-what's-up-with-that? dept.
anagama writes "NSA officials have repeatedly denied under oath to Congress that even producing an estimate of the number of Americans caught up in its surveillance is impossible. Leaked screenshots of an NSA application that does exactly that, prove that the NSA flat out lied (surprise). Glenn Greenwald continues his relentless attacks with another bombshell this time exposing Boundless Informant. Interestingly, the NSA spies more on America than China according to the heat map. Representative Wyden had sought amendments to FISA reauthorization bill that would have required the NSA to provide information like this (hence the NSA's lies), but Obama and Feinstein demanded a pure reauthorization of FISA, which they got at the end of 2012." And if you don't mind that you might have your name on yet another special list, you might enjoy this Twitter-based take on the ongoing news.

They link to "Twitter-based take on the ongoing news", and one of those tweets is a rather droll image/caption:
(He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.)


Made me smile anyway.    Wink
1441  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates on: June 09, 2013, 04:30:34 AM
The FFII ACTA blog has an interesting piece:
EU Court allows more access to documents for companies than for citizens
June 7, 2013
By Ante
Corporate Europe Observatory writes (CEO):
    “Court ruling fails to stop business lobbies’ privileged access in EU-India trade talks

    In a ruling delivered today following a lawsuit by lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory, the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg concludes that the European Commission did not violate EU rules when withholding information about the EU-India free trade talks from the public, even though it had already shared the information with corporate lobby groups. Corporate Europe Observatory warns that this decision risks deepening the secrecy around EU trade negotiations and legitimises the Commission’s practice of granting corporate lobby groups privileged access to its policy-making, at the expense of the wider public interest.”
Read the rest at the link.
1442  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 08, 2013, 07:36:31 PM
^^ Yes, you could be right about that.
Maybe it'll be only  a matter of time now before the **AA are tapping into all that data too - if they aren't already, that is.
I had a genuine LOL moment this morning, when I read the HuffingtonPost article Obama Defends NSA, Says America Has To Make Choices Between Privacy And Security
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Friday that America is "going to have to make some choices" balancing privacy and security, launching a vigorous defense of formerly secret programs that sweep up an estimated 3 billion phone calls a day and amass Internet data from U.S. providers in an attempt to thwart terror attacks. ...

Apparently somebody already made that decision for all Americans quite some time ago.
I'm not sure whether it was an intentional joke, but I found it amusing anyway.

Happy days.
1443  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / OpenDNS + DNSCrypt - Mini-Review on: June 08, 2013, 11:59:41 AM
    Original post:2013-06-08
    Last updated:2014-06-08

    Basic Info
    App Name[attachthumb=#] + DNSCrypt
    Thumbs-Up Rating Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
    App URLOpenDNS home page
    DNSCrypt download page
    Lifehacker overview of DNSCrypt
    App Version ReviewedDNSCrypt up to v0.0.6 (since May 2012)
    This is the current version as at the "Last updated" date at the top of this post.
    Test System SpecsWin7-64 Home Premium, Windows 8.1
    Supported OSesDNSCrypt runs on:
     - Windows - XP, Vista and 7 and 8.
     - Mac..
    Support Methods
    Upgrade PolicyDNSCrypt - FREE - as and when available.
    Trial Version Available?FREE - NO limitations.
    Pricing SchemeOpenDNS + DNSCrypt are both FREE.

    Screenshot of the main tabbed DNSCrypt GUI pane, showing the settings summary on the General tab:


    I had been meaning to pull together a mini-review of this for some time, but after (a) some recent events and (b)some discussion about DNSCrypt and VPNGate on the DC Forum, I figured the mini-review was probably now overdue.
    (a) The recent events were:
    • 1. Guardian report: the published details of a leaked secret court order, as first reported in the gurdian.uco.uk on 2013-06-06: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

    • 2. DemandProgress email: An email sent on 2013-06-08 to subscribers, from demandprogress.org:
      The revelations of spying on telephone customers are extraordinary -- but it gets even worse.  The government is spying, in real time, on all Internet users. From the Guardian:
      (Referring to: NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others)
      The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
      The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

    (b) The DC Forum discussions were:

    What this is all about is personal privacy and security: we now know that different governments - for a variety of reasons - are spying on their citizens, tapping into their Internet, telephone and general communications traffic. As well as that, there may be criminal operations with sophisticated equipment, tapping into the same communications, for multifarious criminal purposes. I'll leave it up to you, the reader, to figure out which of these two is probably the greater threat, or which countries' governments are not spying on their citizens in this manner.

    Description of OpenDNS + DNSCrypt:
    • 1. DNS:
      DNS stands for "Domain Name Server". Here is a somewhat over-simplification of what this server does:
      • When you set your browser to go to a URL (Universal Resource Locator) address - e.g., (say) google.com - your browser passes the request to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) connection node.
      • That node is usually the Primary DNS for you, and there will be a Secondary one also, as backup.
      • The IP (Internet Protocol) addresses - which are strings of numbers - of the 2 DNSes are set up in your broadband router.
      • The DNS takes the URL your browser sends it, and looks it up in a huge conversion table of all available IP addresses.
      • The DNS then finds the IP address for that URL, and sends off  a request to connect to that IP address.
      • This begins your Internet communication/transaction with (say) google.com.

    • 2. OpenDNS:
      This essentially is a FREE service that you access by setting two OpenDNS IP addresses as your Primary and Secondary DNSes in your broadband router, replacing those of your ISP's:
      • First you could set up (it's not mandatory) your OpenDNS Premium account here.
      • Then you set up these two IP addresses as your Primary and Secondary DNS in your broadband router:

      There is an OpenDNS server map at https://www.opendns.com/technology/network-map/
      (Hover over the network nodes to see a description of each one.)


      Once you have set up the OpenDNS IP addresses in your broadband router, the ISP becomes a passive "pass-through" node, with the OpenDNSes taking over the role of serving your request to (say) google.com, and the handling of the communications between google.com and you from that point on.

      The benefits of doing this are several, and include: (from the OpenDNS website)
      • Speed up your Internet experience.
        OpenDNS’s 12 global data centers are strategically located at the most well-connected intersections of the Internet. Unlike other providers, OpenDNS’s network uses sophisticated Anycast routing technology, which means no matter where you are in the world, your DNS requests are answered by the datacenter closest to you. Combined with the largest DNS caches in the industry, OpenDNS provides you with DNS responses faster than anyone else.

      • Make your Internet more reliable.
        With our extensive data center footprint and use of Anycast technology, the OpenDNS network has built-in redundancy ensuring zero downtime. SmartCache technology, an OpenDNS innovation, enables you to access sites that may otherwise be inaccessible due to authoritative DNS outages, providing you with the most reliable Internet possible.

      • Phishing protection.
        OpenDNS blocks phishing websites that try to steal your identity and login information by pretending to be a legitimate website. Surf the Web with confidence.

      • Gain visibility into your network usage.
        OpenDNS’s reports provide you with visibility on your networks' Internet activity, giving you needed insight into how your Internet resources are being used.

      • Easy to set up and it’s free.
        Getting started on OpenDNS Premium DNS takes minutes; there are no downloads or additional software required and it’s completely FREE

    • 3. DNSCrypt:
      Here is the About tab on the DNSCrypt GUI:


      DNSCrypt is a tool for securing communications between a client and a DNS resolver.
      dnscrypt-proxy provides local service which can be used directly as your local resolver or as a DNS forwarder, encrypting and authenticating requests using the DNSCrypt protocol and passing them to an upstream server - by default OpenDNS, who run this on their resolvers.
      The DNSCrypt protocol uses high-speed high-security elliptic-curve cryptography and is very similar to DNSCurve, but focuses on securing communications between a client and its first-level resolver.
      While not providing end-to-end security, it protects the local network, which is often the weakest point of the chain, against man-in-the-middle attacks. It also provides some confidentiality to DNS queries.
      You can download and install the DNSCrypt application from the link given in the table at the top of this review.

    Who this app is designed for:
    The combination of OpenDNS + DNSCrypt will appeal to those who wish to improve their personal privacy and security on the Internet.

    The Good:
    The combination of OpenDNS + DNSCrypt works in this regard - i.e., the improvement of your personal privacy and security on the Internet.
    The privacy/security could be further improved with the use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) services.

    The needs improvement section:
    Not so much needs improvement, but caveats to bear in mind:
    • Though you can set your OpenDNS Premium account to not maintain your traffic logs, a government authority could oblige the OpenDNS operator to maintain logs, regardless of users' wishes, and these logs could be used for surveillance (spying).
    • DNSCrypt only encrypts traffic between your PC and your OpenDNS server(s). The traffic between those DNSes and the Cloud is unencrypted, and compulsory government access and surveillance could still monitor that traffic at some point.
    However, on balance, it would seem that the chances of improved personal privacy and security would be better with using the combination of OpenDNS + DNSCrypt than without it.
    Further privacy/security and also anonymity could be gained through the use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network), in addition to OpenDNS + DNSCrypt.

    Why I think you should use this product:
    • Because your personal privacy and security would likely be improved with using the combination of OpenDNS + DNSCrypt.
    • Because if you are using a VPN, then DNSCrypt could help avoid the risk of "DNS leak" (refer the Lifehacker review for explanation of this).

    How does it compare to similar apps.:
    I am not aware of any closely similar current services/applications.
    Some paid-for (not FREE) VPN service providers might offer some form of PC-to-DNS encryption, but I do not know.

    • 1. Objective achieved: Using OpenDNS should improve on the Internet service experience that you might normally expect to receive from your ISP.
    • 2. Objective achieved: Combining that with the use of DNSCrypt should improve your levels of personal privacy and security on the Internet, even if you are already using a VPN.
    • 3. Experience indicates that OpenDNSCrypt is very stable: I started using OpenDNSCrypt in May 2012 on a laptop running Win7-64 Home Premium, and in May 2015 migrated with it to Win8.1. OpenDNSCrypt has run flawlessly at all times, but it will always be dependent on the underlying network infrastructure being in a robust state.
    Links to other reviews of this application: (the first two are all you really need to get started)
    1444  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 08, 2013, 07:03:58 AM
    ^^ Then you could try checking the Local System Account instead. That might do it.
    1445  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 08, 2013, 05:01:10 AM
    Alternative uses for placentas, in New Zealand ...

    1446  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Mathematica on: June 07, 2013, 10:07:03 PM
    There is a really interesting post on the history behind Mathematica, on Stephen Wolfram's blog: There Was a Time before Mathematica …

    Though I had used Mathematica only briefly and experimentally a while back, I had absolutely no idea of its history.
    Mathematica is a clever invention. My main exposure to what you might call mathematical programming languages previously had been things like - for example - FORTRAN, APL - used in the fields of financial modelling, econometric modelling, weather system modelling, general mathematical programming/modelling (e.g., linear programming), and finite element analysis and mesh models. That is, nothing much like Mathematica.
    1447  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Coffee/Caffeine Thread! on: June 07, 2013, 09:37:26 PM
    Here's something novel - How To Make Coffee Concentrate to Serve Hot Coffee to a Crowd Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn.
    It's made by soaking ground coffee in cold water. I haven't tried it yet, but I intend to.

    On another coffee angle, I have just finished drinking my large mugfull of coffee, made with:
    • Arabic coffee (made in a plunger).
    • a dash of cold (green top) milk.
    • a level teaspoon of white sugar.
    • a sprinkling of hot chilli powder.
    - all stirred up together. It's rather yummy!    thumbs up
    (I use green top milk as it affects the taste/bitterness of the coffee, but I don't like the taste of milk/cream in my coffee  - and green top milk is probably about as far from being normal milk as you can get, and it doesn't taste of much.)
    1448  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Encrypted DNS queries via OpenDNS dnscrypt for Windows / linux / BSD / iOS / OSX on: June 07, 2013, 08:01:35 PM
    The main problem I have with DNSCrypt is that it pops up a UAC permission thing every time I boot my computer. And if I'm not there to click the button to give it permission, my computer does not have internet access. Normally this isn't a big problem, but in the case of power outages or whatever the case may be that my computer reboots while I'm not there, it means I can no longer remotely access my PC.
    I wish there was a way to get DNSCrypt to run automatically without needing to manually click the go button each time my PC starts up. Other than that, it's mostly been pain free and transparent.
    Ah, I think I understand.
    This might be of help:
    (I have put this in some detail so that anyone reading this and who has the same problem should be able to follow it, regardless of expertise.)
    This is from my experience of having installed DNSCrypt (now up to version 0.0.6) on two laptops with:
    • Win7-64bit
    • Windows 7 Firewall control

    I have never experienced any problem of the sort you describe with OpenDNSCrypt loading automatically after system bootup.
    If you were the one to set security settings up on your PC in such a way as to get/force the system UAC permission request, then that (the UAC request) would not be a feature of DNSCrypt per se. You (or whoever installed OpenDNSCrypt on that PC) could have (probably inadvertently) created that situation.
    I would therefore suggest that you inspect the security settings for your PC relating to OpenDNSCrypt, which runs as two processes in the system (visible in Windows Task Manager):
    • OpenDNSCryptService.exe - a Service.
    • OpenDNSInterface.exe - the UI that provides a Systray icon (right-click to open the interface's window).

    Try this:
    Open up the Services control window (Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Services), click once on any service and then type "open" - you will be taken to the OpenDNSCrypt service.
    Double-clicking on that will open up the Properties for that service.
    Select the Log On tab and ensure that the correct user account Password and corresponding Confirm Password have been entered, thus: (click the Apply button after making any necessary changes)


    Unless you have somehow got some UAC settings peculiar to either or both of the two executables, then, fingers crossed, this password check should do the trick.
    1449  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: June 07, 2013, 07:32:04 AM
    The Bitcoin cryptographic protocol is an unconventional agnostic and rational form of currency, not easily subject to the political whims of regulatory or policy bodies charged with controlling/manipulating monetary policy for economic benefit and/or Treasury benefit - e.g., bailing out failed/corrupt banking systems.
    Here's an interesting set of discussion points by Detlev Schlichter, on the subject of conventional monetary policy:
    (Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
    Is present monetary policy rational?
    By Detlev Schlichter On May 8, 2013

    While the stance of monetary policy around the world has, on any conceivable measure, been extreme, by which I mean unprecedentedly accommodative, the question of whether such a policy is indeed sensible and rationale has not been asked much of late. By rational I simply mean the following: Is this policy likely to deliver what it is supposed to deliver? And if it does fall short of its official aim, then can we at least state with some certainty that whatever it delivers in benefits is not outweighed by its costs? I think that these are straightforward questions and that any policy that is advertised as being in ‘the interest of the general public’ should pass this test. As I will argue in the following, the present stance of monetary policy only has a negligible chance, at best, of ever fulfilling its stated aim. Furthermore, its benefits are almost certainly outweighed by its costs if we list all negative effects of this policy and do not confine ourselves, as the present mainstream does, to just one obvious cost: official consumer price inflation, which thus far remains contained. Thus, in my view, there is no escaping the fact that this policy is not rational. It should be abandoned as soon as possible.

    The policy and its aims

    The key planks of this policy are super low interest rates and targeted purchases (or collateralized funding) of financial assets by central banks. While various regional differences exist in respect of the extent of these programs and the assets chosen, all major central banks – the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan – have been engaged and continue to be committed to versions of this policy. Its purpose is to facilitate exceptionally cheap funding for banks and to affect the pricing of a wide range of financial assets, in particular and most directly government bonds but also mortgage bonds in the US and real-estate investment trusts and corporate securities in Japan. There is an ongoing debate in the UK and in the Euro Zone, too, about directly boosting prices of other, ‘private’ securities, that is, to have their prices manipulated upwards by direct purchases from the central banks.

    To the wider public this policy is described as ‘stimulating’ growth, ‘unlocking’ the flow of credit and ‘jump-starting’ the economy. If that is indeed the aim, this policy has already failed.

    We have now had almost five years of near-zero interest rates around the world. If such low interest rates were indeed the required kick-starter for the economy, we should have seen the results by now. ‘Stimulus’ is something that incites or arouses to action, a kind of ‘ignition’ that sets off processes, in this case, one assumes, a self-sustained economic recovery. But if the world economy was really fundamentally healthy and only in need of a dose of caffeine to stir it back into action, then dropping rates from around 4 to 5 percent to zero, as happened already 4 or 5 years ago, should have done the trick by now.

    Defenders of the policy will argue that we would all be in much more of a bind without it but this is not the point here. This is something we can discuss when comparing costs and benefits. There is no escaping the conclusion that this policy has failed if its aim is to provide a required ignition – the stimulus – to ‘jump start’ the economy.

    In support of my conclusion that this policy has failed as a ‘kick-starter’ of self-sustained growth I can quote as witnesses the very officials and experts who advocated this policy in the first place and who are still implementing it. Not a single one of the major central banks is even close to announcing the successful conclusion of these policies or is even beginning to contemplate an exit. 5 years into ‘quantitative easing’ and zero interest rates, the Fed last week began to openly consider increasing its monthly debt monetization program. Although the week ended on a bright note, at least for the professional optimists out there, as the unemployment rate came in a tad lower than expected, manufacturing data during the week was disappointing and the US economy is evidently entering another growth dip.

    Still, many argue that the roughly 2 percent growth that the US economy may achieve this year is nothing to be sniffed at. Yet, for a $15 trillion dollar economy that is just $300 billion in new goods and services. In the first quarter of 2013, the Fed expanded the monetary base by $300 billion alone, and the central bank is on course for $1 trillion in new money by Christmas, while the federal government will run a close to $1 trillion deficit despite the ‘sequester’. That is very little growth ‘bang’ for a lot of stimulus ‘buck’. Self-sustained looks different.

    Last week in the Euro-Zone, the ECB cut its repo rate to 0.5%, a record low. If suppressing interest rates from 3.75% in 2007 to 0.75% by 2012, has not lead to a meaningful, let alone self-sustaining recovery, or at a minimum the type of underachieving recovery that would at least allow the ECB to sit tight and wait a bit, what will another drop to 0.5% achieve?

    Shamelessly, some economists and financial commentators cite high youth unemployment in countries such as Spain as a good reason to cut rates further. The image that is projected here is evidently one of countless Spanish entrepreneurs standing at the ready with their investment projects, willing and eager to employ numerous Spanish young people if only rates were 0.25% lower. Then all their ambitious investment plans would become potentially profitable, and the long promised recovery could finally commence.

    The number of young Spanish people who will find employment thanks to the ECB cutting rates close to zero cannot be known but I suggest a number equally close to zero is a reasonably good guess.

    The ‘benefits’ – or are they costs?

    This is not to say that this policy has no effects. It even had benefits, for some.

    By suppressing market yields and boosting the prices of financial assets this policy has delivered substantial windfall profits for owners of stocks, bonds, and real estate. Those who did, for example, speculate heavily on rising property prices in the run-up to the recent crisis, then were put through the wringer by the financial meltdown, now find themselves happily resurrected and restored to their previous wealth, if not more wealth, courtesy of central bank charity.

    The 0.25% rate cut from the ECB may not lift many young Spaniards into employment but it surely makes ‘owning’ financial assets on credit cheaper. For every €1 billion of assets the rate cut means a €2.5 million saving per year in cost of carry, as duly noted by the big banks, ‘investment’ banks and hedge funds. After the ECB rate cut, German Bunds reached new all-time highs as did, a few days later, Germany’s main stock index.

    That we are witnessing strange and dangerous deformations of the capitalist system, if we can still even call it capitalist, and that new bubbles are being blown everywhere, is not only evident by the increasingly grotesque dichotomy between a woefully underperforming real economy perennially teetering on the brink of renewed recession and a financial system, in which almost every sector is trading at record levels, but also by the fact that the high correlation among asset classes on the way up to new records is beginning to strain the minds of the economists to come up with at least marginally plausible fundamental justifications for such uniform asset inflation. ‘Safe haven’ government bonds that would usually prosper at times of economic pain are equally ‘bid only’ as are risky equities and the grottiest of high yield bonds. The common denominator is, of course, cheap money. And if cheap money for the foreseeable future is not enough, then how about cheaper money – forever?

    A conflicted conscience or outright embarrassment are now stirring some financial economists to suggest that the joys of bubble finance should be brought straight to the economic war zones in the European periphery, and that in order to have a bigger impact on the ‘real’ economy, the ECB should buy private loans and other local assets in these regions and thus more directly interfere in their pricing. The manipulations of the monetary central planners are too blunt, they need to be more fine-tuned. These suggestions are dangerously wrongheaded. Extending the addiction to the monetary crack cocaine of cheap credit beyond the financial dealing rooms of London, New York and Frankfurt and to the economy’s productive heartland is not going to solve anything, at least not in the long run, and that is a timescale that may still matter to some people, at least outside of the financial industry. Spain needs nothing less than a new artificially propped up real estate boom. The aforementioned Spanish youth would only swap today’s dependency on state hand-outs for dependency on never-ending cheap-credit policies from the ECB and ongoing asset-boosting price manipulations. This has nothing whatsoever to do with sustainable growth, lasting and productive employment and real wealth creation.

    The fact that trained economists today seriously contemplate these policies and are willing to dress them up as ‘solutions’ only goes to show how far the new ’entitlement culture’ on Wall Street and in the City of London, where everybody now feels entitled to cheap credit and ongoing asset-boosting policy programs as the universal cure-all, has affected economic thinking. The speculating classes are beginning to feel generous: “Hey, this free cash is great. Let’s extend it to everybody.”

    Would a deflationary correction be better?

    Back to our cost-benefit analysis. The defenders of the present policy will argue that without it GDP in the major economies would have dropped more, that asset prices and lending would be more depressed, and that we might even be in the middle of some dreadful debt deflation. Maybe so. But to the extent that the present GDP readings are the result of central bank pump priming and not the result of renewed growth momentum, they are simply artificial and thus ultimately unsustainable. In fact, the mere suspicion that this might be so must undoubtedly depress optimism and thus the willingness to engage in the economy and put capital at risk. Nobody knows any longer what the real state of the economy is.

    While the unemployed Spanish youth may not benefit – or only very marginally so – from record high German stock prices and their own government’s renewed ability to borrow yet more and yet more cheaply – they may in fact ultimately benefit from a deflationary clear-out that would cause prices on many everyday items to drop. Deflation is not such a bad thing if you have to live on your savings or a modest, nominally fixed payment stream. Additionally, reshuffling the economy’s deck of cards could also offer opportunities. Tearing down the old structures and allowing the market to price things honestly again, according to real risks and truly available savings, may at first cause some shock but ultimately bring new possibilities. The present monetary policy is inherently conservative. It bails out those who got it wrong in the recent crisis at the expense of those who didn’t even participate in the last boom. Some Schumpeterian creative destruction is urgently needed.

    I am not advocating deflation or economic cleansing for the sake of deflation and contraction, or out of some sense of economic sadism, or even out of moral considerations of any kind. However, it strikes me that what ails the economy is not a lack of money or lack of a powerful ‘kick-starting’ stimulant, and it may not suffer from unduly high borrowing costs either. Wherever borrowing costs are still high in this environment of ‘all-in’ central bank accommodation they may be high for a reason, maybe even a good one. What ails the economy are the structural impediments that are well established and that had been long in the making, such as inflexible labor markets with their permanently enshrined high unit labor costs and excessive regulation that have always protected current job-holders at the expense of those out of work or entering the labor market. Overbearing welfare systems, high tax rates and outsized public sectors have long held back major economies. Easy money that, for some time, enabled high public sector borrowing and spending, and facilitated local property booms, helped cover up these structural rigidities. Now these issues simply come to the fore again. New rounds of easy money will not make these problems disappear but only create a new illusion of sustainability.

    I haven’t even touched upon the growing risk that never-ending monetary accommodation will end in inflation and monetary chaos but it is apparent already that this policy has no convincing claim on rationality. Nevertheless, it is almost certain that it will be continued.

    This will end badly.
    1450  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 06, 2013, 05:41:25 PM
    Paperless future (video clip): http://www.flixxy.com/the...paperless-future-emma.htm
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