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9.02.06

The Year of the MacOSX exploit

There is this easy going among mac users that we are invulnarible against worms, viruses and hacker attacks. I personally can attest this - in my whole life I had only a few boot sector viruses on my Amiga system back in 1991 - since then and especially since I am a Mac User (ca. 1994) I am absolutely virus free - I have never had a security breach nor did any of the worms touch my system - and I like everyone else I know in the mac community becomes reckless. I have no virusscanner running - partly because the mac virus scanners made the system unstable and in the light of no virus entering my machines I deinstalled them all . like many others have done. Yet the market share of the Mac grows steadily and with that growth the threat matures that we become a target of a virus, a worm or evil hackers or governmental attacks - and such a thing would be devestating - to Apples reputation - its market share and for its users. If I where Apple I would snap up a virus developer, make the software water tight and stable and put it into the kernel forcing autoupdates everytime the user connects to the net to stall such a threat before it becomes reality. A security expert got his system already hacked by some unknown entity without any trace how this hack was done.

Living the Virtual Live and earning Money

This Second Life thing is really beyond my comprehension. When I first reported about it here I thought it might be a big joke when someone shells out $25.000 for a virtual island. Then someone paid $150.000 for a virtual clubby spaceship and now the Second Life currency can officially converted between real and virtual dollars. And more. There are people "living there" that earn their real life money only virtually. Yes a cloth designer quited her day job to design with low polygons. Land owners rent out their bought land. Medicine people train inside the virtual island and making a person who creates low poly medical equipment a fortune. Other "artists" sell low poly sculptures, furniture, homes and and and... the economy in The Second Life is booming - some people making $150.000 real life dollars that is per year. Now is real life so bad that people are creating that alter ego and living it - yet even spending money there? Is this the first step to transhumans? I am going for a walk into the real woods with real snow and frosty cold air blowing into my face for the moment - thank you.

Inspired by the Wired article

Sweden to be first Oil Free Country?

Besides all the bad news that everyone hears about each and every day good news are rare - very rare. So it came in as quite a surprise when I read an article on telepolis (german) about Swedens plan to be the first oil free country. The goal is to reduce the energy generated through oil and other fossil fuel to zero in 14 years. Sweden to this day already is one of the least oil and fossil fuel dependend countries. With only 34.2% oil is still the largest energy producer but renewable energies are not far behind with about 26% and a 33.5% coming from nuclear energy. Swedisch automobile producers are working together with the government to develop Ethanol and Bio fuel cars until the country turns off the oil tap.
Now if Bush is invading Sweden for a loss of profit and fear that the first interesting proposal of a western country in more then a century is spreading through the world will remain to be seen.

8.02.06

Ex-UN Inspector - Speech for an Attack on Iran already written

The blatancy of the US administration is scary - they seem to have so much power and so little resistence that they fear nothing. Ex - UN Weapons Inspector Ritter says Iran does not have the bomb nor is it close to a bomb - Washington does not want to hear that and is in full attack mode. He is even telling us how this goes through in an article on the information clearinghouse:

He predicted the matter will wind up before the U.N. Security Council, which will determine there is no evidence of a weapons program. Then, he said, John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, "will deliver a speech that has already been written. It says America cannot allow Iran to threaten the United States and we must unilaterally defend ourselves."

"How do I know this? I've talked to Bolton's speechwriter," Ritter said.

So yes NeoCon Bolton is holding a speech that is already written (and probably was already written a year ago). Everything you see from now until March is an escalation without return. Ritter even predicts that the US will drop one or two A-Bombs on Iran to make it end quickly - leaving 20 Million people at risk of dying and a whole nation with a contaminated country. Hitler and Göbbels could not have done better. One can only hope that after an A-Bomb is dropped the world suddenly wakes up - drags the president out of his ranch and ties him to a horse and let the horse run from coast to coast.
BTW - there is absolutely nothing anyone can do. There is no "stopping" power in the US representative system other then lengthy probes that take six month or longer and only if both parties agree on them. There are enough "anti-terror-laws" that give the president the right to push the red button and there is enough distraction on American TV to entertain the nation through the war - probably portraying the A-Bomb as new technological masterpiece that "US citizens need to be proud of or they are unpatriotic". History repeats itself - again and again and each time it gets worse.

7.02.06

Lab officials excited by new H-bomb project

is the title of an Oakland Tribune article - and no its not something they reprinted from the cold war 70s - its a modern day article citing a "war" between laboratory officials of two different american labs that work on "next generation nuclear bombs" that are easier to maintain and bigger better stronger. So if the 5700 active and 4800 backup nukes are not enough to destroy the earth completely 500 times and more then there will be an easier to build armada of new nukes be flashed out - that all in addition to the new "tactical" nukes with the exploding power of 6 times the hiroshima bomb - I have the scary feeling that I see a nuke deployed by the US in my livetime ahead and I really canīt describe the feeling I have with this thought in mind. What the fuck happened - all was being ok after the end of the cold war - everyone was in a peace mood and things where going nicely wars were getting less people cleared up mine fields all over the world. Now the only superpower left threatens to nuke "rouge states" which it has become one itself - ignoring bans on anti-person mines and laying new minefields throughout the middle east and in addition creating new H-Bombs - while they already have so many that its beyond being ridiculous. I hope this world will wake up and puts modern day politicians of all coloure into Guantanamo and starts over with a people revolution for peacefull life.

FON vs. Freifunk - the p2p revolution goes network hardware

fonblog.gifI was recently ranting about the google empire and showed off a p2p websearch engine that is since then gaining some steam - yAcY. Right on the heels come the p2pification of the internet in general with an announcemt by fon - a spanish startup - that they secured venture capital by evil google and skype to make an p2p network happen with existing hotspots in peoples home. You sign up with fon get their $25 router or flash your linksys router beauty with a new firmware and then share your internet connection with the outside world - for free to anyone who is also offering a fon based hotspot and for pay for everyone else wanting to use your network connection. The catch is that willing ISPs get part of the cake (income) if they participate with the fon service. A very sound concept with a good bussiness stragedy behind - it makes people money if they offer the fon service and encourages fon use among other users - the backing by google and skype will help with mass adoption.
Yet in the light of this there is a shortage of reporting about other hotspot endeavors. The most prominent in Germany is freifunk.net - let us create mesh networks that are free throughout the country is the motto - taking the ISP out of the equation completely by creating a world wide mesh network - for free to use by anyone and everyone interconnected to the roots. So no financial backing - only volunteer service - a overdesigned website without any "maps that show me where freifunk is available" no press department that spreads the message to the masses will ultimately lead to failure of this and every other free wireless mesh networks - as sad as it is - bussiness world you only survive if you play by the rules - Yet in Berlin there is a recognizable freifunk scene and in some prominent spaces mostly in the east you can already get free netz with freifunk for a while - so I found the service lacking speed and reliability every time I tried it. Generally this is the project to support - but I do give FON the upperhand on worlddomination of hotspots if they survive the technical difficulties of the startup phase.

Mini RFID - Swallow your trackers

rfid.jpgAs if RFID is not scary enough already Hitachy makes it so ultra small that it is almost invisible. 0.4mm x 0.4mm in size it could be served for lunch and you would not notice it. Then with the right amount of secret trackers someone can plot your waypoints during the day until you go to the toilette - Oh wait they can already track you through your cellphone - well then "they" (as in the evil empire) can track things you carry - like seeing you money end up with large electronic drug dealer (as in MP3s or DVDs) or the such. Well I just canīt see a legitimate use that is not scary - some tech would likely need to be put on a list of "bad technology advancements" or the such and that list would go to the UN as an addition to the "bad weapons" list they have.

4.02.06

Tracking your girlfriend

or anyone who leaves his phone out of sight for five minutes

Since yesterday more and more stories appear on the net on cellphone tracking services - mostly in the UK. One particularly scaring such service in the UK lets a user automatically plot a map over a day of some ones cellphone location - basically letting a couple track each other without each others consent - or a robber track your movement to clean out your house while you are away, or a government agency picking you when you are on the way to a antigovernment possible terroristic demonstration or a terrorist tracking someone for best placement of bombs along the way or... well the possibilities are endless and most are scary thoughts. Read the story how a journalist tracks his girlfriend over at The Guardian.

blowverbod

blowerbod.jpgblowing the green is vorboden.

When Geeks make Fashion

MITMediaLabFashioniPoddisplay.pngMITMediaLabFashionHead.pngthe outcome is neither wearable nor very inspiring nor very futurist nor groundbreaking - even if the show is put on by the MIT Media Lab.
An huge LED display that must weight a kilogramm to display what you are listening on your 10 gramm iPod Nano. A helmet to protect you from sound and head injuries that had to be hold in place by the model otherwise it would fall off her head causing her neck to break.
The coolest and best functioning piece is a midi jacket - originally developed in the 1970s - the 2.0 version displayed at the show had a malfunction allowing only the armslider to work...
The FM radio jewelry looks like a FM radio headset with lots of wires coming from the jewelry - didnīt really get the point on this one - an iPod nano with a FM headset would have been more invisible then this stuff...
What seems a little gross is the living jewelry - you stick a piece of clear plastic on your skin and then an ornament grows out of it.
The bag with a lightcode that shows if the wearer likes other people fashion, the shoes that fold out the faster you walk or the number pattern scarf are all very uneventfull and wonīt advance civilization a lot.
Clothing as interface between body and environment sounds cool - the accompanion piece looks like a windfan worn on a body or a scarf with a build in gasmask that makes the wearer blind, or a ghettoblaster fitted into an expensive woman suitecase or a weddingdress with a built in iPod - why how or what - I have no idea...
What gives - do not let geeks near designing clothing - it just ainīt work - let them develop next generation materials for real designers to use - but designing those geeks canīt sorry. And yes the lighting setup in the MIT lunchroom is worth mentioning - because its really really bad - great sponsor they have no need to give them five minutes of airtime thanking them. Please MIT use your geniuses to advance civilzation on a technical level and leave the designing and putting on a show to those who are capable of it. Very obscure.
Have a look yourself if you have pesky RealPlayer.

3.02.06

How to build your own multistage payload rockets 70s style

rocketdesignmanual.pngJust in case you ever go into the underground and need to defend yourself from evil governments there is nothing like launching a satellite into space orbit. For that you need a rocket capable carrying a payload - how to build just that is explained in a 1971 manual about rocketbuilding. I would think papers like that will be worth quite much as soon as the "democratic governments" of the world consider the net a world threat and censor it out of existence - so grab it while its hot - you never know if you might need to launch that precious satellite into orbit for the survival of sane mankind.

Filmmaker by Day - By night she fought for fair use

0974155314.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgIn the tradition of "Understanding Comics" and with a look akin to Crypt Keeper and Mad Magazin The Duke Center For Public Domain is releasing a comic book to explain the copyleft movement, problems with intellectual property laws in todays world with its effect on the arts all revolving around a case study of a filmmaker. The comic will be released under a Creative Common License and sold through amazon for about $6 - no word on if it will be available for free pdf download.

A documentary is being filmed. A cell phone rings, playing the Rocky theme tune. The filmmaker is told she must pay $10,000 to clear the rights to the song. Can this be true? "Eyes on the Prize", the great civil rights documentary, was pulled from circulation because the filmmakers’ rights to music and footage had expired. What’s going on here? It’s the collision of documentary filmmaking and intellectual property law, and it’s the subject of – yes – a new comic book. Follow its heroine Akiko as she films her documentary, and navigates the twists and turns of intellectual property. Find out more about the law, and decide what kind of rules you think would be best for the arts.

via boingboing

2.02.06

Gaming Tech to help in Previsualisation

themovies4sm.jpgMachinima goes Hollywood - well not quite. In a development that could be a first step of big Hollywood studios implementing gaming technology to actually "render" their films (and that WILL happen soon) a lot of smaller studios contracted for PreViz - which is like making a live action storyboard that looks like the final film just without great acting, perfect lighting, texturing etc - more to see camera angles, needed props and tax the films cost - are start using game engines to make those previz films. Up to know they have build "simple" 3d sets and puppet actors in 3D applications and then animated them there and rendered out the result without much texture lightning fuzz - mostly using the almost realtime OpenGL implementations of certain 3D programs. As it looks right now Game Engines are not exactly up to snuff in accuracy of camera positioning but this is about to change soon.
What would happen if Game Engine Tech catches on in Hollywood is that we would probably finally get a real realtime Movie Creation Tool which is still nowhere to be seen (some people use "The Movie" a game about movie making to make their Machinimas - problem is all copyright to the final movie goes to Activision - the maker of the game). What I personally would like in such a tool?

1) Import of own 3D models for the environment
2) Set of digital Nature Creation Tool (Trees Grass etc)
3) Almost unlimeted possibilties of creating humans through blending various sets of human models (sex, size, weight, color etc etc) as seen in some newer roleplaying games
4) customized clothing through self mode clothing designs (as seen in some role playing games as well)
5) extensible scripting of character
6) ability to import own characters (multi legged etc) and at least basic rigging possibilities
7) kick ass physics engine with newton laws, shattering objects and at least basic natural phenomenon (fire, water, smoke, fog)
8) 100% control over camera movement.
9) ability to nonrealtime "render" the final product with state of the art render algorythms... only the creation needs to be realtime - I have no problem if the final product needs a week to render if I know it will rock.
10) a very good implementation of 1-9 with an interface that makes sense.

Filed under "very very soon we are set free".

Google between God and Death

An interesting article on CNNMoney that is talking about the future of the Search Engine Emperor that we all have that addiction to when it comes to expanding our mind with more or less usefull information from THE net. They interview Ray Kurzweil and a couple of other researchers, futurists and bankers to foresee the future of google. And it goes like this: Either its becoming the evil Media Mogul, or it becomes the Emporer of the Internet, or it will become God once we are ready to upload our soul into the GoogleCollectiveBrain, or it will simply die under its own weight. I would say after seeing the recent discussions on how they do in China and how they would bow down to any government other then their own the active netizens are already becoming aware of the Google gatekeepers power and only one small solution somewhere that would rival the search engine - which is still the core of Google - would take them out immediately leaving shareholders running away as fast as possible leading to a total crash. My bet is here on the distributed search engines like YaCy taking the google crown - especially in the fascist american reality.

Affordable Table 3D Scanner

3DScanner.pngEngadget reports that the company Next Engine is now selling a 3D scanner for the semi rich hobbyists or the small 3d company. The Scanner comes with a turntable and a scan unit apparently harboring a lamp to light up the object, eight 10 mW solid state lasers to get the 3d data of the object and two 3 Megapixel Cameras to get the textures. The unit is connected to your PC through USB 2 and resells for around US$2500. Very lovely.... now i just have to rob that bank...

1.02.06

I am not Germany

21909_1.jpgRegardless of what insane PR people want to tell - I am NOT germany. I can not relate to the politics of our country, I can not see a bright happy future for my generation and I will not change my mind just because some Yuppis from Hamburg together with their champagne drinking and coke sniffing friends want to make me believe through one of the worst public identity campaign ever - the government should use the tens of thousands of Euros to invest into future energy, the arts or free thinking.
You do not know what I am talking about? Donīt worry you missed nothing important and it has - after 100 horrible days - finally come to an end.

Bush the puppet

21908_2.jpg

found at telepolis. No further comment...

Irans smoking gun and a tame US president

When I wrote in November that US spies had confiscated a Notebook with the blueprint for an atomic weapon and that it would be the "smoking gun" for a war with Iran I didnīt really believe that such a bold move would really be successful in the civilized western world. Yet The emergency meeting of security counsel foreign ministers I was talking about yesterday was revolving around exactly this smoking gun - this is what I wrote here:

Apperently it has come to the netizens attention that the Iran "smoking gun" was delivered to Americas traditional allies last year - in form of a "found" notebook from some "unnamed source" inside the Iranian government. On the notebook the american intelligence (we remember those are the once who called the Yellow Cake Report truthful) found the complete blueprints of the Iranian Nuclear Bomb Project - everything they had researched from 2001 until 2004. In fact that report is still classified - maybe they are fearful the "public" might find it forged again before they could make the case for their new war.

Now two month later everyone sees the issue as urgent and says that Iran might even already have Nuclear Weapons. What now they are in the planning stages? They have them already? Who knows - but in a different development the al Sadr with his army that successfully fought off American forces in Iraqs south two years ago for three month is pledging military support for Iran should the US attack - exactly what everyone is saying - and there comes the US president and says things like "the US should end their addiction to oil" coincidence? Hardly - it seems reality is settling even in the most hardcore circles of the US administration - a war with Iran is a loosing game and maybe the hawks are feeling that as well - time will tell I guess.