Saturday, August 30, 2008

Terror Watchlist "Crippled By Technical Flaws"

shoulda asked me

Terror Watchlist "Crippled By Technical Flaws": "I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes 'The database used by the government to generate lists like the No-Fly List is 'crippled by technical flaws,' according to the chairman of a House technology oversight subcommittee. And the upgrade may be worse than the original. Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) says that 'if actually deployed, [the upgrade] will leave our country more vulnerable than the existing yet flawed system in operation today.' It seems that the current database doesn't have any easy way to do plain-text matching, forcing users to enter SQL queries. That might not sound so bad until you learn that the database contains 463 poorly indexed tables. How long until there's a terrorist named Robert'); DROP DATABASE; —?'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


(Via Slashdot.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

NASA admits computer viruses have made it into space

Alert star base 1

NASA admits computer viruses have made it into space: "

NASA has admitted that a computer virus was taken to the ISS in July. And it's not the first time!

The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth.

The laptops carried by astronauts reportedly do not have any anti-virus software on them to prevent infection.

Once it has scooped up passwords and login names the Gammima.AG worm virus tries to send them back to a central server. It targets a total of 10 games most of which are popular in the Far East such as Maple Story, HuangYi Online and Talesweaver.

Nasa is working with partners on the ISS to find out how the virus got on to the laptop in the first place.

That's certainly rather benign, but perhaps it's time to start thinking of Norton, NASA. Although come to think of it, Norton could bring down the Space Station by itself.

Computer viruses make it to orbit


(Via Clippings.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photographing the science museum

Photographing the science museum: " 118 268204813 B280043824

Photographer Meera Sethi has written a nice essay about taking photos in science museums. Sethi is part of Utata, a collective of photographers who met via Flickr. Indeed, be sure to check out Sethi's 'Muse' science museum photo set on Flickr. (Seen here, 'Together Forever,' taken at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.) From 'Photographing the Science Museum':

Is there anyone who doesn't feel a certain frisson of excitement when they see something organic preserved in a glass jar? I don't know exactly what it is, but I suspect it might have something to do with certain cultural associations we all carry around in our heads, some strange common currency that comes from years of watching mad scientist movies late at night.That might be me in there, I find myself thinking. If some other intellectually curious species with opposable thumbs and access to the secrets of chemistry had come to dominate the planet instead of my own, that might be my shriveled body all scrunched up in there—my brain at whose familiar whorls some creature with a purple exoskeleton would now be leering through the glass, wondering how on earth it could be so very...grey.

Mostly, though, what I love about standing in front of these heavy jars is how much easier they make it to observe the world I love so much, in close detail. Time pauses, temporarily. The barriers between me and the mysteries of this earth fall, temporarily. Nothing else matters except looking, and everything about the place where I am is designed to make it easier to look—and to see. I see that this barnacle has claws like a dragon's. I see that these spiders have legs like sharp needles. I see that this frog has approximately six times as many organs inside its torso as I would have thought it had room for. I try to look as much as I can, and when I have looked until I have seen, I take out my camera.
Photographing the Science Museum (Utata, via Eastern Blot)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Salamanca's magnificent photo iillustrations

Salamanca's magnificent photo iillustrations: "Legobldngggg

Richard Salamanca is a master of Photoshop illustration. His work varies from dark and disturbing to cinematic and witty. Salamagica (Thanks, Mark Dery!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Han Solo in Cake-onite

Han Solo in Cake-onite: "

Confectionary Delights of Dallas offers this delightful Han Solo Frozen in Cake-onite cake -- tragic and delicious!

Han Solo frozen in Carbonite

(Thanks, Catherine!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Alfred E Misfit tee

wht me whiree

Alfred E Misfit tee: "Alfred E Misfit tee, NYC, NY"

(Via Boing Boing.)

Klingon knife scares the crap out of dumb British scandal-sheet

where's the pain stick

Klingon knife scares the crap out of dumb British scandal-sheet: "Piss-poor scandal-sheet The Daily Mail has a hilariously breathless account of a giant stainless steel Klingon fighting-knife received by police during a knife-amnesty; to hear them tell of it hooded thugs are roaming the streets with Klingon duelling swords looking for little old ladies to terrorise.

A spokesman for police in Gloucester, where it was surrendered, said: 'It is a particularly nasty weapon that can, literally, take someone's head off. We are very glad it is off the streets and we want more weapons handed in.'

The blade is believed to be a stainless-steel copy of a Klingon weapon used in the science fiction series Star Trek. 'It's an extremely dangerous weapon,' said a martial arts expert last night.

Lethal Star Trek blade seized in knives amnesty

(via JWZ)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith: "'My Father taught me how to be a man ? and not by instilling in me a sense of machismo or an agenda of dominance. He taught me that a real man doesn?t take, he gives; he doesn?t use force, he uses logic; doesn?t play the role of trouble-maker, but rather, trouble-shooter; and most importantly, a real man is defined by what?s in his heart, not his pants.'"

(Via Clippings.)

Carl Jung

carl is mah man

Carl Jung: "'The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.'


(Via Clippings.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Marvellous magazine ads of 1904

yeah baby

Marvellous magazine ads of 1904: "

JD sez, 'While reading through a couple of old magazines I bought at a garage sale, I fell in love with the ads. The art and the ad copy are wonderful. Because I run a personal finance site, that's the focus of my post, but really these are fun for just about anyone. Special fun: the 1904 magazine features ads for horse carriages, but by 1909 the ads are for automobiles.'

Marvelous Magazine Ads from 1904

(Thanks, JD!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Claymation zombie film

Claymation zombie film: "

Chainsaw Maid is a creepy, extremely gory, and well-made claymation zombie movie.

If you enjoyed it, here's more. (Thanks, Johnny Ryan!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Clown-cigarette umbrella

Clown-cigarette umbrella: "Here's a striking image from the Aug, 1931 issue of Modern Mechanix; an elaborate cigarette umbrella that keeps a clown's smoke safe from seltzer attacks.

MANY are the inventions devised to insure a dry smoke, but it has remained for a clown appearing with a circus in England to solve the problem. An umbrella over the smoke keeps off water and a spigot drains off excess moisture.

No More Rain-Soaked Cigarettes! (Aug, 1931)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Cat with four ears

Cat with four ears: "Yoda is a Chicago cat with four ears. Valerie and Ted Rock found him in a local pub being 'passed round by curious drinkers,' hopefully not like that scene in Lynch's The Elephant Man. From the Daily Mail:

Yoda's extra 'flaps' are separate to the base of his skull, with one placed slightly behind the other.
'The vet had never seen anything like it before,' explains Valerie. 'He immediately went to the internet and found the four-eared cat in Germany...

'We have spoken with other vets in our acquaintance, and they likewise had never encountered anything like this.
Yet despite his unusual looks, Valerie is sure Yoda's behaviour - and hearing - are quite normal.

'Yoda's hearing is normal as far as we know,' says Valerie. 'People do a double take when they see him or his picture. It is great fun showing him off.

Cat with four ears (Daily Mail, thanks Shawn Connally!)


(Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith: "'My Father taught me how to be a man ? and not by instilling in me a sense of machismo or an agenda of dominance. He taught me that a real man doesn?t take, he gives; he doesn?t use force, he uses logic; doesn?t play the role of trouble-maker, but rather, trouble-shooter; and most importantly, a real man is defined by what?s in his heart, not his pants.'"

(Via Clippings.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ridiculous $550,000 crystal Earth-pustule watch (want)

Syndactly rocks

Ridiculous $550,000 crystal Earth-pustule watch (want): "

I am such a watch overdrive sucker that I'm even jonesing for this monster, the Colosso, which features what Watchismo calls a 'crystal pustule filled with a dimensional earth rotating for local or GMT time.' A mere $550,000 (€3,21).

On Top of the World with the Hysek COLOSSO


(Via Boing Boing.)