Who wants a Ride with Ted, the Airforce doesn't

Good old "Pork barrel" spending, this time on the Dems;

The Engine No One Wants — Except Congress
The Government Is Spending $100 Million In Tax Dollars On A Jet Engine Deemed Unnecessary By The Military

The supersonic F-35 Lightning II is the military's next-generation strike fighter. It flies so fast that the speed is classified.

Pratt & Whitney has the government contract to make the jet's high-performance engine. But your tax dollars are also paying for GE to develop a spare engine — and it has cost you $1.6 billion so far.

The idea is that if GE and Pratt & Whitney compete, they'll build better engines that cost less and end up saving money. But here's where it really gets interesting: The military doesn't want the alternate engine. The Air Force and two independent panels have concluded it's "not necessary and not affordable" and that the supposed savings from competition "will never be achieved."

So why did Sen. Ted Kennedy personally earmark $100 million tax dollars for the project this year alone? He wouldn't agree to an interview, but part of the answer has to do with where it could be built: at GE's Massachusetts plant in Kennedy's home state — where it would bring jobs.

Kennedy is not the only one who wants to spend your tax money on the project. So does Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.

Read more at CBS News


Talk about cryptic errors...

I get this little guy everytime I try to empty my Recycle Bin in XP.
You have to love the descriptive information provided.
NO I am not trying to delete the desktop before anyone chimes in with that...


Reuters has had a little trouble covering the letour

These poor guys at Reuters!

Burning Renault

‘Allo Paris, we have a problem…..
July 23rd, 2007, filed by mal.langsdon

I have just returned from a trip to Toulouse in southern France. The main reason for the trip was to drive down from Paris with a replacement people carrier for our 7-man Reuters pictures team covering the month-long Tour de France cycle race. I was also somewhat concerned about the state of the team’s morale after the latest in a series of setbacks that has plagued our crew since the Tour’s unusual departure from London.

Read the entire story here


Ask.com's "Anti-Google" tool

This is a step in the right direction that all major search engines should impliment.
With Google's(aka SkyNet - Cozmik) privacy rating slipping and their quest for global domination in full swing it might be time to "switch"

Ask.com unveils anti-Google tool
By Cade Metz in San Francisco
'Hey! We care about privacy'

As Google plays games with its cookies, semi-rival Ask.com is actually getting serious about privacy. The web's fourth-leading search engine is giving web users a brand new tool that ensures their search results will not be retained by the company - at all. As the company points out, that's a first among major search engines.

Known as AskEraser, the tool isn't slated to arrive until later in the year, but Ask went ahead and announced the thing yesterday. No doubt, the company sees this as an opportune moment, with Google fighting off an ever-growing number of questions about its affect on end user privacy. At the end of May, after various privacy groups complained about Google's proposed $3.1bn acquisition of online ad firm DoubleClick, the Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation, and in a recent ranking of web privacy practices, watchdog Privacy International put the search giant at the very bottom of the list.

Read more at:


Geek squad thieves

I have been following the Geek Squad "issues" since they had a run in with Sysinternals, now a Microsoft buyout.
But this is worse than a huge corperation using known pirated software.
Your personal information is at risk, have a look at the following links:

Consumerist Story #1
Consumerist's follow-up, one of many
CRN's coverage

This is an awful abuse of a "help desk" service and needs everyones attention, I for one have never used the service but when I do happen to go to a Bluebox the "service desk" is always busy with the poor saps trusting all their personal information to under paid computer geeks with nothing but time on their hands. A recipe for disaster.

Please pass this information along, maybe if enough users complain there will be an investigation into these abuses.


Mainstream Ransomware news..

The story I posted about yesterday in regards to "Cyber blackmail" has been gaining more attention today with a Reuters story hitting the street this morning.
Nice to see they are letting the world know a day late!

More links of interest:
Washington post copy of the Reuters story
Brian Krebs Blog @ Washington Post
My post yesterday
Write-up from McAfee


Booz, Allen and Hamilton hit by cyber blackmail

Those of you who know what Booz, Allen and Hamilton do may be a little disturbed at this occurence;

According to PrevX atleast three IP adresses belonging to Booz Allen in the Washington DC area are affected by Virus.Win32.Gpcode.ai

a wonderful(sarc.) little piece of malware that encrypts your data(not with RSA-4096 though) and supposedly uploads it to the authors server.

Hello, your files are encrypted with RSA-4096 algorithm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA).

You will need at least few years to decrypt these files without our software. All your private information for last 3 months were collected and sent to us.

To decrypt your files you need to buy our software. The price is $300.

To buy our software please contact us at: tristanniglam@gmail.com and provide us your personal code -1755024102. After successful purchase we will send your decrypting tool, and your private information will be deleted from our system.

If you will not contact us until 07/15/2007 your private information will be shared and you will lost all your data.

Glamorous team

There is a removal tool available from PrevX but that is not the main issue, the fact is that with Booz Allen's fingers being in every pot in DC who knows what information will get out...

Some related links of interest:
Ransomware... Holding Corporate America Ransom! - PrevX
Blackmailer – the return of Gpcode - Kaspersky
Users comments @ NetworkWorld


Washinton Capitals Firefox theme

Well this was a surprise to me, but it's nice to see someone going after the Hockey loving geeks.

(Note: I haven't installed it as it is only for 2.0+, and I still have issues with Ff 2 mainly I hate the fact that my up and down arrow keys stop working intermittently and I have to keep checking and unchecking autoscroll. What a PIA!)


Linux -

Ok I have always been a supporter of Microsoft and at the same time a big critic also. But with my new position I deal with Linux 24/7 we are transitioning from Windows to Linux (Fedora 6 Stateless) so I am learning a lot about it. I have to say as you can see from my post earlier today, I don't much care for Fedora 7. BUT CentOS is my new flavor! I suggest you give it a shot if you are looking for a stable, reliable distro. FYI CentOS is RHEL with all the trademarks removed and no support from RH themselves. Who cares this is a rock solid performer!


So apparently only Windows crashes?

Here is a screenshot of Fedora 7 crashing on my pc.
Wait, lets recompile my kernel to make it work right!!


Independence Day Storm Worm

Be on the lookout for a new Storm Worm variant in your email inbox this 4th of July, the original message follows;

From: "mypostcards.com"
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 17:31:12 +0530
Subject: Celebrate Your Independence
Hi. School friend has sent you a greeting ecard.
See your card as often as you wish during the next 15 days.


If your email software creates links to Web pages, click on your
card's direct www address below while you are connected to the Internet:


Or copy and paste it into your browser's "Location" box (where Internet
addresses go).

mypostcards.com honors your privacy. Our home page and Card Pick Up have links to our
Privacy Policy.

By accessing your card you agree we have no liability.
If you don't know the person sending the card or don't wish to see the card,
please disregard this Announcement.

We hope you enjoy your awesome card.

Wishing you the best,

Scan results form VirusTotal