The story is more important than the tool

I have a confession to make. Hollywood has always fascinated me. Not because of the larger-than-life stories they come up with. But because of the enormous machinery that churns out a movie. To the utter frustration of my family, I always stay back at the end of a movie, looking at all the credits which flash by - to see the rest of the iceberg under the tip. The thousands of people who made this movie happen, out of which only a fraction gets the world wide adulation, but all of them were needed to make it happen.


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Apple patents tech to allow Govt to block recording on mobile devices

A troubling development:

Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.”

In other words, these powers will have control over what can and cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event.

And while the company says the affected sites are to be mostly cinemas, theaters, concert grounds and similar locations, Apple Inc. also says “covert police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions.”


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A security vulnerability in the toilet

Who said the field of security cannot have humour! An Android app to control the commode in Japan (you know the land of fully programmable toilets, I kid you not) has announced a vulnerability because the bluetooth pairing code is hardcoded.


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Use of Tor will make you interesting to NSA

Just now read a rather disturbing article from Sophos security. The article describes the interpretation of the law by NSA and some of the internal policies that they use in surveillance. They also reveal that courts don’t always determine who’s targeted for surveillance because that discretion is practiced by the NSA’s own analysts, with only a percentage of decisions being reviewed by regular internal audits. To make those decisions, NSA analysts use information including IP addresses, potential targets’ statements, and public information and data collected by other agencies.

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apple-touch-icon 404 errors in logs

Curious about several peculiar Apple related 404 errors for images in my web server logs, I decided to find what is going on, and became knowledgeable about yet another nugget that I really didn’t want to know. (sigh)


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Law enforcement was not supposed to be easy

In this day and age of the surveillance state, a quotation worth remembering from the legendary Orson Welles over 50 years back. A policeman’s job is only easy in a police state. – Charlton Heston as Mike Vargas in the movie “Touch of Evil”(1958), Orson Welles (screenwriter and director) Curiously, a similar statement was made over a decade back, in fact a couple of years before 9⁄11, before the world changed, or actually before the United States’ war on terror changed the world.

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Use Btsync and Owncloud to create your own free personal storage cloud

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High Scalability had an interesting link today about a project that combines Raspberry PI, btsync and owncloud to create essentially a personal Dropbox replacement with none of the costs or the storage limitation. Also very importantly, keeping up with the hot topic nowadays, the peace of mind from knowing that you are not making it easy for intelligence agencies to go through your most important and personal data.


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Being 'Ramen Profitable'

Another “hey there is a term for it” moment today! Years ago when I was running a business of my own, my intention was never to be wildly successful. All I wanted to do was to make my ends meet, learn a lot of stuff, do a lot of work on stuff that really interested me, and work in a way that made sense. After giving this some time, and when I am somewhat self-sustaining, the next stage was to organically scale up with a set of productized services (as an Opensource focused company normally does) which will fund the next stage which was to come out with actual products which really rakes in the moolah.

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The full extent of Microsoft's Prism involvement exposed

In a sensational release yesterday, Guardian has revealed scary details of how Microsoft has been collaborating with NSA to give access to its customer data for PRISM purposes. The extent of privacy breach is shocking:

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Moving from Wordpress to Octopress

There is no doubt that Wordpress is a wonderful blogging system. But being a dynamically generated website, all the nightmares of scripting languages kick in. Patches come regularly to Wordpress and until you login and update, it keeps nagging you inside and ruins your happiness. There is an alternative - hosting on wordpress.com directly. But not only does it cost unnecessary money (I already have a shared hosting account), it is also severely limited by what you can run on it - no plugins or themes or custom javascript other than what is provided.

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