For the last little while, Christopher Soghoian has attempted to highlight the dangers of the zero-day exploit market. The basics are that some vulnerability researchers are selling exploits to make money, without vetting who the end user will be, and in some cases knowingly selling them to militaries (he phrases it as governments, but the implication is that they aren't using them for defence). Soghoian, as I read it, is trying to highlight this trade, and get some sort of legislation passed to regulate it. (A darker reading would make it seem that he has a more, aggressive agenda, but let's leave that aside for a moment.)
The worrying thing here is neatly summed up by Haroon:
The scariest thing about you, is how certain you are that you are right. Regulation is a scary instrument
Continue reading "0-Day Exploit Sales and Pushing for Legislation"
Continue reading "Orwell vs Huxley, Amusing Ourselves to Death"
Continue reading "Planet Fitness & Temporarily Legal Near-Extortion"
For the week of 7-14 April
2010, we undertake to talk about this country, its challenges, its
promise, its news, and to ignore Julius while doing so. Join us in this
initiative. If you blog, join the roll. If you Tweet, add the hashtag
#ignoreJulius to your daily output.
However you communicate, take a week off from Julius.
Continue reading "The Ignore Julius Initative"
Donn is being bullied by QVC for their Carlswald based marketing. He is being sued for defamation. Now I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure truth is a defence to defamation, as is it being in the public interest. If someone asked me whether to buy services from QVC, I would strongly recommend against it for the below reasons based on my experiences (and reiterated by a wealth of negative complaints on hellopeter, even with them diluted through their user of different company names, and several blogs).
P.S. The exact link between QVC and the marketing front is unclear, but based on their (now removed) documentation sent to Donn, and the information from commentators below, there definitely seems to be one. Given the years of bad press, QVC certainly can't claim they didn't know/endorse this. Either way, make up your own mind, don't take my stuff as gospel.
Continue reading "Why I think the Quality Vacation Club is a Dubious Organisation"
I was interested to see if my political leanings (as described by the Political Compass test) had shifted since having left University, gotten a job, started paying taxes, converted to Catholicism and having grown older.
It is interesting to note that my results are very similar to what they were in 2004, and less libertarian and economically right wing than they were in 2006. Me and Nelson Mandela are still home boys though.
Economic Left/Right: -7.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.13
Continue reading "Political Compass 2008"
Satire: Blending criticism and humor to expose a fault or problem; often used ironically.
David Bullard, a noted South African columnist specialising in satire, had a dig at bloggers. There has been a major sense of humour failure , and there is a full on multi-blog, distributed flame war going on against the guy. I guess this is why satirists aim for the holy cows: the response is so much fun.
 Personally, I rarely find Bullard's satire funny.
Definately worth a read for those of you that think Ubuntu is a linux distribution.
Continue reading "Why Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and TRIPS+ are harmful to libraries"
The competition to the bloated bureaucracy, Telkom, was launched on the 1st of September. Ladies and gentlemen, Neotel.
They currently aren't offering consumer services but plan to by April 2007. They have a fairly comprehensive FAQ available. Currently they are only offering wholesale broadband which should result in lower broadband prices from ISPs soonish. They have also done a good job of selling international carrier throuput to the cellular providers and claim we will soon have international CLI as a fringe benefit.
While it is a pity our government has chosen not to pursue a policy of full deregulation of this market (gosh, did I just say that), I welcome any competition to our evil monopoly Telkom.
The iSummit starts today in Rio. Daniela has been hard at work for the past couple of weeks organising it. I had a listen to the summit CD, there are some great tracks, I was particularly proud of South Africa's contribution. The DVD is more, um... bizarre, the documentary on Chinese body-builders is a hoot.
The iSummit page hasn't gone live as yet, but I have some inside info, you can check out two SAffies (Vhata's word for South Africans) profiles (daniela, colin), both ex-Rhodes students. Despite his picture, Colin is actually a nice guy.
Recently the ANC Youth League claimed that the fact that Jacob Zuma was found not guilty proves that the rape allegation was a set up whose purpose was to discredit Zuma and his political aspirations.
This has a very dangerous presupposition that I have seen trotted out in far too many articles and quotations on the matter.
Continue reading "Jacob Zuma and the ANCYL Conspiracy"
Daniela has recently started her work for Creative Commons South Africa. It seems they are in charge of the iCommons, an organisation trying to extend the reach of the Creative Commons into other free culture areas. Lessig explains it better. Daniela has been hard at work and already regularly writing for the iCommons blog. Check it out.
Continue reading "iCommons"