How far will you go for Fantastic Delites? - Delite-o-matic (by TasteFantastic)

Posted Wednesday, July 11th, at 4:02 PM (∞).

The European Atrocity You Never Heard About

A discussion of the mass deportation of Germans from various European countries by the Allies, including the US and Great Britain, following World War II; I’d never really heard anything about this, but between 1945 and 1950, as many as 14 million German-speaking civilians were deported from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Romania, with as many as 500,000 of them dying in the process.

Posted Thursday, June 14th, at 9:58 AM (∞).

An Oral History of the 1992 US Olympic Basketball Dream Team on the 20th Anniversary: Profiles: GQ

Posted Wednesday, June 13th, at 8:49 AM (∞).

Trent Lott explains support for treaty he once opposed

Lott: “See, before, people we paying me a lot of money to say it was bad. And now, some different people are paying me a lot of money to say that it’s good.  Does that make sense?”

Posted Tuesday, May 22nd, at 8:37 AM (∞).

Sen. Inhofe to Planet Earth: DROP DEAD

Finally, a logical, well-reasoned attack on man-made climate change: “It ain’t so ‘cause the Bible, in a roundabout and not at all direct way, says so according to my interpretation.”

Thanks for advancing the debate, Senator.

Posted Tuesday, March 13th, at 9:03 AM (∞).

Southwest Airlines® - LUV Grants for Good

Take a minute out of your day to watch the video and vote for Nuci’s Space; they do great work here in Athens and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of support!

Posted Friday, March 9th, at 12:31 PM (∞).

Baconfest Atlanta, March 31, 2012 | Atlanta Restaurant Blog

This is relevant to my interests, although sadly it appears that the event is BYO-Eggs and Hasbrowns.

H

Posted Thursday, March 8th, at 12:41 PM (∞).

Denver Broncos' Knowshon Moreno hit with DUI charge

Unless you’re a teetotaler with a sense of humor (assuming such a thing exists) or a hot wing afficionado (which Knowshon might be), it would be awfully hard to come up with a worse idea for a vanity plate than one that reads “SAUCED”. 

Posted Tuesday, February 7th, at 9:38 AM (∞).

Plato: I have no beef with vegetarians.

Socrates: Nor do I, but I certainly wouldn't wanna pork one.

Plato: I just don't like when they tell me what to eat; they're not the Kielbasa me.

Socrates: While one cannot describe their diet as wholly fair, it's certainly not fowl.

Plato: Its, simply put, a bunch of bologna.

Socrates: Pescetarians have always seemed a bit fishy to me.

Plato: Meh, they can do what they want. Ain't mutton wrong wit' dat.

Socrates: This is getting cheesy; maybe vegan discuss it in person at a later date.

Posted Monday, January 30th, at 12:18 PM (∞).

ATLANTA TIME MACHINE

I found this site through this great picture of the Grady Curve, but there is a lot of cool information about the history of Atlanta and a bunch of great old pictures if the city. Check it out!

Posted Friday, January 20th, at 10:01 AM (∞).

Mama don't take my Kodachrome: Eastman Kodak files for bankruptcy protection

Posted Thursday, January 19th, at 3:48 PM (∞).
Posted Wednesday, January 18th, at 11:18 AM (∞). Available in higher resolution.

An understandable explanation of why SOPA and POPS are bad

SOPA and PIPA require that ISPS block access to infringing websites. Blocking access to websites on the internet, for an entire country worth of people, is damn near impossible. The bills suck because they address the problem in the wrong way; the right thing to do is target the infringing sites themselves (and their support, in the form of payment processors and advertising companies), rather than the end users. Media companies don’t like this because the US government hasn’t got any authority over a website hosted in Russia or Africa, and so they target instead the only thing they can - US citizens. If you’re curious about the technical parts of SOPA and PIPA, I’ll try. Both bills stipulate, as part of their language, that an ISP could be compelled by court order to ‘block access to’ a website accused of copyright infringement. There are many ways to block traffic on the internet: you can explicitly drop packets destined for the offending site’s IP address (firewall), or you can redirect the DNS for that site to some other server you control (for example, if www.piratestuffhere.com were accused of infringement, your ISP could be ordered to adjust its DNS such that www.piratestuffhere.com resolved to an IP address hosting a government web page saying ‘this site blocked’ or whatever). Both bills fundamentally require that ISPs (Internet Service Provider; the companies from whom you purchase internet service or the companies who own the physical cables and infrastructure services that drive the entire internet) comply to requests to ‘remove’ offending sites from the internet. In this context, the best an ISP can possibly do is conceal the site from unskilled users. For example, if my ISP is redirecting DNS requests for www.thepiratebay.com to some government site, all I have to do is find someone who knows the IP address(es) owned by the pirate bay, and I can point my web browser directly at that address and get to the ‘illegitimate’ site. This is why most experts agree that DNS blacklisting is an entirely ineffective way to combat piracy; all it does is prevent people who don’t know how to use IP addresses from getting to the blacklisted sites. Anyone who actually knows what he’s doing will simply bypass the DNS. For the curious among you, you can try this yourself without any trouble or danger. Open a command prompt and type the following: nslookup www.microsoft.com (nslookup stands for NameServerLookup, and is a simple command line tool to query your DNS) You’ll get back a bunch of stuff, including a line like this: Address: 65.55.12.249 That’s the IP address of the server hosting the microsoft.com webpage. Open a web browser and type in http://65.55.12.249; provided that address has not changed since I typed this post, you’ll end up on Microsoft’s home page. It doesn’t matter if you got there using ‘www.microsoft.com’ or ‘65.55.12.249’; the former is functionally identical to the latter when DNS is working normally. Furthermore, DNS redirection only works when you control all of the possible DNS servers your end users might want to use. For almost all home users, that’ll be the DNS server(s) of your ISP; but it doesn’t have to be. The internet allows you to query any DNS server you choose; if you want to use Google for your DNS, and provided that Google does not firewall its DNS servers off from the internet, you can configure your computer to use those instead. Your ISP would have to deliberately block DNS (TCP port 53) traffic from its entire network to any DNS server other than its own to stop this behavior, which compromises a layer of DNS called DNSSEC which is designed to make it harder for a nefarious hacker to compromise your computer’s ability to use DNS services. So let’s say instead that, since DNS redirection cannot possibly give ISPs the tools SOPA and PIPA would require they have to be in compliance, that your ISP instead decides to actually block requests to offending sites. So instead of playing DNS games with www.thepiratebay.org, your ISP looks up its IP address (currently, 194.71.107.15) and deliberately discards any packet from any computer destined to that IP address. This is literally firewalling offending sites; the act of dropping a packet to a specific IP address requires that you have a piece of software between your computer and the destination inspecting each packet, identifying the ones which are supposed to be sent to the ‘malicious’ web site, and choosinwww.piratestuffhere.com were accused of infringement, your ISP could be ordered to adjust its DNS such that www.piratestuffhere.com resolved to an IP address hosting a government web page saying ‘this site blocked’ or whatever). Both bills fundamentally require that ISPs (Internet Service Provider; the companies from whom you purchase internet service or the companies who own the physical cables and infrastructure services that drive the entire internet) comply to requests to ‘remove’ offending sites from the internet. In this context, the best an ISP can possibly do is conceal the site from unskilled users. For example, if my ISP is redirecting DNS requests for www.thepiratebay.com to some government site, all I have to do is find someone who knows the IP address(es) owned by the pirate bay, and I can point my web browser directly at that address and get to the ‘illegitimate’ site. This is why most experts agree that DNS blacklisting is an entirely ineffective way to combat piracy; all it does is prevent people who don’t know how to use IP addresses from getting to the blacklisted sites. Anyone who actually knows what he’s doing will simply bypass the DNS. For the curious among you, you can try this yourself without any trouble or danger. Open a command prompt and type the following: nslookup www.microsoft.com (nslookup stands for NameServerLookup, and is a simple command line tool to query your DNS) You’ll get back a bunch of stuff, including a line like this: Address: 65.55.12.249 That’s the IP address of the server hosting the microsoft.com webpage. Open a web browser and type in http://65.55.12.249; provided that address has not changed since I typed this post, you’ll end up on Microsoft’s home page. It doesn’t matter if you got there using ‘www.microsoft.com’ or ‘65.55.12.249’; the former is functionally identical to the latter when DNS is working normally. Furthermore, DNS redirection only works when you control all of the possible DNS servers your end users might want to use. For almost all home users, that’ll be the DNS server(s) of your ISP; but it doesn’t have to be. The internet allows you to query any DNS server you choose; if you want to use Google for your DNS, and provided that Google does not firewall its DNS servers off from the internet, you can configure your computer to use those instead. Your ISP would have to deliberately block DNS (TCP port 53) traffic from its entire network to any DNS server other than its own to stop this behavior, which compromises a layer of DNS called DNSSEC which is designed to make it harder for a nefarious hacker to compromise your computer’s ability to use DNS services. So let’s say instead that, since DNS redirection cannot possibly give ISPs the tools SOPA and PIPA would require they have to be in compliance, that your ISP instead decides to actually block requests to offending sites. So instead of playing DNS games with www.thepiratebay.org, your ISP looks up its IP address (currently, 194.71.107.15) and deliberately discards any packet from any computer destined to that IP address. This is literally firewalling offending sites; the act of dropping a packet to a specific IP address requires that you have a piece of software between your computer and the destination inspecting each packet, identifying the ones which are supposed to be sent to the ‘malicious’ web site, and choosing not to send them along. The problem is that the internet is fundamentally designed to make creating new websites easy. If one ISP gets blocked, pirating sites will just use another. And another. And another. Something like the Pirate Bay, given its vast following, would probably have access to hundreds or thousands of discrete addresses if necessary; and each one would require your ISP to deliberately block it if they really want to keep you from getting there. Multiply this by hundreds and thousands of websites that are guilty under SOPA and PIPA, and it’s clear that this is an entirely intractable technical hurdle for an ISP. For extra fun, imagine IPv6, when instead of millions of IP addresses to choose from, there will be uncountable trillions. Even trying specific IP-blocking in an IPv6 internet is unthinkable. So the moral of the story is, both SOPA and PIPA require ISPs to prevent their users from getting to sites accused of infringement - but to do that would require a massive firewalling effort that would affect the entire internet (if it could be done at all; look at China for an example of how a nationwide firewall doesn’t actually stop the bad guys in any way). The concern is, once you have that firewall in place to block ‘the bad guys’, you start redefining who the bad guys are. What if, in futureworld a year from now when PIPA has passed, the government decides that www.operationwallstreet.org is in ‘violation’ and blacklists it? How is the average consumer to deal with a nationwide systemic effort to make some websites inaccessible based on nothing more than an accusation of wrongdoing?

There you go, from a territory named “wildfyre010”. There may be some irony in the fact that I had to copy and paste this from a reddit comment instead of just providing a link (because reddit is down today in protest), but I’m not sure. The full thread is here: http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/ojcmy/eli5_what_is_pipa_and_how_is_it_different_from/

Posted Wednesday, January 18th, at 8:55 AM (∞).

Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Posted Tuesday, January 17th, at 12:05 PM (∞).

Lamar Smith, SOPA & Luke 6:41

Something about Lamar Smith, author of SOPA, not obeying existing copyright laws reminded me of this quotation, from the KJV: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Posted Thursday, January 12th, at 1:16 PM (∞).

Powered by Tumblr; themed by Adam Lloyd.