A Waste of Money and Time

Security professional Bruce Schneier on what really makes plane travel safer, and the difference between theater and reality:

Of course not. Airport security is the last line of defense, and it’s not a very good one. What works is investigation and intelligence: security that works regardless of the terrorist tactic or target. Yes, the target matters too; all this airport security is only effective if the terrorists target airports. If they decide to bomb crowded shopping malls instead, we’ve wasted our money.

Cargo Collective’s 4th Amendment Wear

The 4th Amendment printed in metallic ink on shirts, underwear, and socks, to make your TSA encounters more interesting. Just to refresh your memory, the full text of the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Can you imagine a modern government writing down anything even remotely like this? THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE doesn’t seem to be a phrase modern politicians understand.

Aspyr Thinks This Is A Totally Reasonable Way To Treat Paying Customers

Aspyr, who are publishing the Mac OS X port of Civilization 5, have a page linked in their primary navigation for their store entitled “About DRM”. The contents are remarkable for how not-a-big-deal it is written:

Customers may download the game up to 10 times. This includes if you mess up and “re-download.” If you run through those 10 downloads, call our customer service folks (support.aspyr.com/ 512.708.8100) and they’ll help you out. Impatience and a poor network connection could lead to using up more than a few.

They admit that the odds are high their YOU ARE A CRIMINAL lockout system will kick-in for no good reason at all, and they’re pretty ok with this, so why aren’t you?

BlackSheep, the Firesheep countermeasure tool

Like the thing it acts against, it is a Firefox plugin. Were Firesheep a serious malicious tool, the race between BlackSheep countermeasures and Firesheep countercountermeasures would be endless, and Firesheep would always “win”. You can’t develop countermeasures until an attack has been successful. This was and is the message of Firesheep to begin with: The only solution to this kind of attack is to use HTTPS.

“Copyright Infringement and Me”

The Editor of the magazine Cooks Source prints the entirety of an author’s article without clearing it with her. The author asks why this happened, and the editor tells her that she should be glad it got printed at all. The editor’s response is batshit, and actually contains this sentence:

But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it!

Cooks Source, predictably, has a Facebook page. Let them know how you feel about this.