Archive for the 'Tools' Category

Who Sampled

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Who Sampled is a fascinating site; when they start documenting the ‘DNA’ of House Music and all its decedents, it will be…just incredible!

http://www.whosampled.com/

Sites like this are under threat from the Intellectual Monopolists. This tool, if applied to all music could eventually show us where every musical idea came from…its just BRILLIANT!

And while we are at it, take a look at this heart squeezing comparison. Here is the instrumental.

It is sweet perfection.

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Preventing an attack on Iran: Real solutions

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

In order to prevent an attack on Iran, the american people must be made to understand that the Iranian people are ‘just like them’. They have to come to the realization that Iranians are not inhuman monsters, but that they are gentle, intelligent and perfectly normal human beings, living in a beautiful country, doing for the most part, the things that everyone else in the world does.

To make this happen, americans and Iranians need to talk to each other on a peer to peer basis, without any interference or filtering. They have to discover the humanity of each other, through a transparent medium that has no preconditions and no agenda other than to connect people so that they can get to know each other.

How can we do this?

Firstly cities and towns in america must twin with cities in Iran. Twinning of cities and towns has been done before, and it is a good idea, but we need to go further. The families in each town and city must also twin, and enter into regular communication.

When each ‘side’ sees that there are actually pleasant human beings on the other side of the globe, and not monsters, it becomes impossible for normal people to say that they must be bombed, or killed or made in any way to suffer. In effect, we will be de-demonizing and re-humanizing these populations.

It will be much harder for the american air force to bomb Esfahān when there are literally millions of americans intimately connected to the 3,430,353 people who live there. Not only will the americans feel total outrage that their friends are being murdered, but for the first time, many americans will know exactly where the bombs are falling and what the place looks like. They will be able to equate these places and people directly to their own places and people, and they, as decent moral folk, will not stand for it.

Now that we have the internetz, we can take this idea up to 11, organizing and fostering fine grained twinning down to the level of the family through a richly featured matching website, where each town and its residents can find people in the twinned town to connect with.

Think of it as ‘Peace 2.0’.

The unrepresentative and destructive Psychopaths that run the american government must have their plans for war short circuited. When americans feel, not by force, but by simple human contact, the pain of seeing their friends and acquaintances murdered, the insane pre-emption doctrine will implode. The vast majority of americans are completely decent, moral, generous and good people. They have been brutally mislead and tricked into a vicious cycle of hate by a small number of very bad people. But you know this.

There is nothing we can do about the myriad crimes that have been committed in the past; what we can do, is put a permanent stop to this headlong rush to endless war, and in particular, the war that is being planned right now against Iran.

Now, where can we find a Rails developer to build it?

. . . . . . .

>>>>>>> UPDATE!! <<<<<<<

Someone has their thinking hat on:

Call Iran/Call America: People to People Diplomacy to Prevent War

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2007-10-08 07:29.

It is time that the people of America and Iran let our leaders know: we’re ready to talk, and if they won’t take that first step, we will take it for them.

The Enough Fear campaign seeks to link people across borders to halt the march to war between the US and Iran. By creating connections between people, we will demonstrate our common commitment to a negotiated settlement to the current crisis and show that dialogue between Iranians and Americans is possible.

To facilitate people-to-people diplomacy, we have designed an action that will link Americans and Iranians who otherwise would never have the opportunity to talk with each other.

You can find out more about our past events in Boston and New York, and read press coverage of this campaign.

How it works:

A phone bank, made up of 4-5 old-style red desk phones (like the ones used for direct emergency talks during the Cold War), is set up in a public space in the US. A phone call from each phone in the US is placed to a volunteer in Iran. The phone calls run continuously for 2 hours, and during that time, we invite passers-by in DC to have a 5-minute chat with someone in Iran. Iranian volunteers are welcome to invite friends and family to join them so they can pass their phone around as well. Each phone in the US has a second line to be used by a translator. Iranians and Americans are welcome to talk about anything they like – the only requirement is that people be respectful.

Needed: volunteers in the US and Iran

If you’re in the US, you can help us set up and volunteer at the events (and we especially need people who can translate between Persian and English on the calls). If you’re in Iran, you can volunteer to participate in one of our calls. To volunteer, or if you have any questions, please email contact@enoughfear.org.

For information on upcoming phone events, please sign up for our email list.

Photo by James Felder/SnapshotArtifact.org

We want to thank The Lee + Gund Foundation for their financial support. And thank you to everyone who made donations to make this event possible.

[…]

http://enoughfear.org/en/call

More lies about the eternal enemy

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

This article smells very bad. Lets take a sniff…

Al-Qaeda group’s encryption software stronger, security firm confirms

By Ellen Messmer
Network World
02/01/08

Shame on you for propagating this nonsense.

Al-Qaeda support group Al-Ekhlaas has improved the encryption software it now provides to its online members, according to one security researcher who examined the software, known as “Mujahideen Secrets 2.”

Al-Qaeda support group, also known as ‘NSA’.

Anyone who is smart enough to know how to write an encryption algorithm and a package to deliver its functionality, and who is responsible for keeping people secure, knows that it is far better to use an off the shelf set of tools rather than build your own application and algorithm from scratch.

If ‘Al-Qaeda’ was real, and someone in their group knew about encryption, all they would need to do is settle on standard tools to keep their communications secure; they would never risk, or waste time trying to create from scratch, using their own proprietary system.

Mujahideen Secrets 2 has added the ability to encrypt chat communications, which the first version lacked, says Paul Henry, vice president of technology evangelism at Secure Computing. Henry says he got the software through a contact in the intelligence community.

OH REALLY??!?!? a contact in the ‘intelligence community’???!!!!

It is OBVIOUS to even the most casual observer that the way to infiltrate a group like this, that is paranoid about security, would be to infiltrate them and then provide them with a ‘secure’ way of chatting that logs all of their communications. You could do this even if the clients were secure; all you would need to do is control the chat server.

I assure you that all of the people, even those that are casually interested in cryptography understand this. They would immediately recommend open source publicly available tools to do this job. For example, if you want to have one to one encrypted chat, you use Adium. If you want encrypted email, you use GNU Privacy Guard. If you want to shred files, manage keys, recipient keys, encrypt attachments and files there is no better tool than Enigmail. Any tool that is not peer reviewed cannot be trusted. This tool, by its very nature, is untrustworthy; this whole story doesn’t sound right.

The home-grown Mujahideen Secrets 2 encryption software, based on open source RSA code, can encrypt binary files so they can be posted on ASCII-text-based bulletin boards and Web sites.

‘Pics or it didn’t happen’. Without looking at the source of this programme, it is impossible to say how good this software is, and once again, there are other, better more secure tools to do this.

Lets think about the sentence above. If you are going to post an encrypted binary on an ascii bulletin board, you need to encrypt it to the members of that board, using the private key of each member. If you cannot control who is on your board, i.e. you have a single infiltrator, your enemy will have access to the file and the list of recipients. The whole point of posting files on a board is to distribute them widely, and so you do not want to encrypt them in this way; if you want to send encrypted binaries to multiple people, you send the file by email, encrypting the file for each recipient individually. Once they get on your board in the scenario provided by this ‘journalist’, your enemy can get a hold of the file, at any time after it was posted, and then list the keys needed to decrypt the file, giving a list of all the nicknames of the recipients of the file. Sending

“They have improved the operation of the graphical user interface and it will now encrypt chat communications,” says Henry, who adds that the Arabic translation suggests the software is encouraged for use by Al-Ekhlaas members to evade U.S. government efforts at surveillance.

This sentence is the exact OPPOSITE of what the truth is; it is software encouraged by U.S. government to aid its efforts at surveillance of Al-Ekhlaas.

Tampa-based ISP NOC4Hosts and Rochester, Minn.,-based SiteGenesis in January found out their operations were being used to host the Al-Ekhlaas Web sites where Mujahideen Secrets 2 can be found. Both hosting firms pulled the plug on the Web sites after receiving specific technical information about the content.

From whom?

This week another Web hosting company, CrystalTech Web Hosting in Phoenix, shut down sites linked to the Al Qaeda-link support group.

Once again, these people could, if they were real, host their websites anywhere in the world. They would not host thier sites in Minnesota or Pheonix. This is just utter nonsense of the first order, and those sites were most probably ‘honey pots’ set up to get this Back Orifice ‘Jihad Edition’ into the hands of dweebs that want to help the CIA operaton ‘Al-Qaeda’ who they will then use as patsies to carry out false flag attacks, all under the guise of ‘Radical Islamo Facscism’.

“As soon as we found out, we brought the IP sites down,” says Bob Cichon, president of CrystalTech Web hosting, who blamed a reseller for it happening. “We’re a very large host and it’s hard to track everything.”

Its not your fault Bob.

In its analysis of Mujahideen Secrets 2, Secure Computing has noticed that the software appears to violate copyright law.

“Typically with open source, they still require a copyright notification,” Henry says. “There’s no copyright notification whatsoever here.”

So, the latest supercrime of Radical Islamo Facscists is not blowing up buildings and making them fall in defiance of the laws of physics, NO, we can prosecute them for violating the GPL.

Another notable thing is that the public-key signature in Mujahideen Secrets 2 leaves a tell-tale sign that the Al-Ekhlaas home-rolled software produced it. The encryption itself is strong at up to a 2,048-bit key length, and like the previous version, provides e-mail and file encryption using public-key certificates.

All contents copyright 1995-2008 Network World, Inc

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/020108-al-qaeda-encryption.html

Once again, if any of this is even true, there are only a handful of people who are capable of understanding how to best fulfill the requirements of encrypting chat and instant messaging, and then the subset of people who can actually pull this off in a software client is even smaller. No one in their right mind would do this in a ‘home-rolled’ package…unless your home is the NSA.

Everything that this journalist claims could be done with off the shelf packages, and in fact, it would be safer to do it with off the shelf packages.

Lets say that the above report is true, and these packages are out there. The only way you can know that the package has not been tampered with is if you can check the signature against it. GPG does this so that you know that you are getting an un-tampered with binary or source. Publicly available tools give you a high level of confidence that your communications will not be susceptible to a ‘man in the middle attack‘. By settling on those tools, rather than rolling your own, you get a higher level of trust. And everyone who understands how this works knows that.

Rolling out your own tools, from whatever angle you look at it, is insane. It is clear that this whole story is a glimpse into some secret operation to recruit patsie jihadies. In that respect, it is fascinating.

What will be even more interesting is to read a report from a trusted peer, who would, amongst other things, run a packet sniffer to see if and where this sneaky piece of infiltration-ware phones home.

Is this a warm up article for another attempt to crack down on freely available encryption tools?