Google Caught Spying On Users Of Chrome & Chromium

The company, who at one point used the slogan; “Don’t be evil”, has become the most egregious violators of privacy rights the world has ever known, making their one time slogan an utterly meaningless and empty phrase, full of bluster and fury, signifying nothing.

The latest slap in the face to privacy advocates is the discovery that Google has included code to stealthily activate the microphone on your computers and mobile devices.

Privacy campaigners and open source developers are up in arms over the secret installing of Google software which is capable of listening in on conversations held in front of a computer.

First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser – the open source basis for Google’s Chrome – began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users. more..

Many privacy advocates abandoned Google long ago. I, for one, no longer use their search engine or any of their products, including the bastardized version of Linux they call “Android”, which stripped the best parts of Linux and wrapped it around privacy invading, proprietary Google code.

If this latest example of Google’s evil actions doesn’t change your opinion of them, privacy is truly dead, because we allowed it to die.

Facebook Continues To Violate American’s Free Speech Rights

Facebook’s assault on the first amendment continues with the censoring of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s post criticizing King Obama’s backdoor illegal alien amnesty decree. Facebook has since apologized, characterizing the censorship as a “mistake”, but this is just latest example in a long list of similar actions by Facebook.

Sarah Palin was censored in a similar manner last year, when she made a post criticizing the decision to build a mosque near ground zero. Facebook once again apologized. Sarah Palin and Jan Brewer gets an apology, but what about the average Facebook poster? Do you think they get an apology and are allowed to repost their previously censored opinions? Certainly not.

The following is just a small list of Fascistbook’s trampling of the first amendment by censoring opinion.

It would appear that nothing short of a lawsuit will clean things up at Facebook

Facebook blocks mentions of Google+

Political and religious censorship and harassment by Facebook

Facebook’s hypocritical policies

Proof That Facebook is Censoring You

Facebook to Tea Party: No more organizing

Facebook – self appointed arbiter of “free speech” – tells Tea Party no more organizing

A cursory web search reveals the problem of censorship at Facebook is widespread and far reaching. In many cases, the censorship appears to be ideologically driven or based on a political agenda.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Facebook arrogantly suggested..

“We are occasionally held in uncomfortable positions because now we’re allowing too much, maybe, free speech in countries that haven’t experienced it before,”

Is this Facebook’s position on the free speech controversy? Facebook is “allowing” too much free speech and what is needed is more censorship?

Perhaps it’s time for Americans to censor Facebook from our computers and turn away from a social networking platform that seems to have little or no concern for citizen’s free speech rights under the constitution.

Laptop Confiscation: Just Another Case Of Constitution Shredding By DHS

The Constitution Project, an organization whose stated goal is to “promote liberty” and “safeguard America’s founding charter”, released a report critical of searches without reasonable suspicion, which has become standard operating procedure by the Department of Homeland Security.

TCP notes the long held exception to the 4th amendment during border searches…

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution establishes the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and dictates that a warrant must be substantiated by probable cause. There are few exceptions to this constitutional requirement for a warrant. One is for searches at the order or the functional equivalent of the border, where routine searches without probable cause have been permitted. Relying on this longstanding exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, federal statutes authorize customs and immigration officials to routinely search packages, baggage, merchandise, and even travelers themselves as they cross the border into the United States.

Such border searches can be conducted pursuant to these statutes without a warrant, without probable cause, and without suspicion of wrongdoing. However, these searches increasingly have been expanded beyond the original intent of the border search exception to intercept contraband, and are now used to capture volumes of private and personal information carried across the border in computers and other electronic devices.

Having the need to search your bag for contraband or bombs is one thing but seizing and searching your laptop and other electronic devices is a vast overreach by DHS.


Intel Discovers Major Flaw In 6-Series Chipsets

Intel has confirmed a major glitch in their “Cougar Point” chips, support chips which are included on main-boards and embedded devices. The flaw severely degrades the performance of connected hard drives and other SATA connected devices.

An Intel spokesman stated that the company has no plans to formally recall the affected chips, which could cost the company over $1 billion dollars

The glitch in Cougar Point, a support chip used in conjunction with its latest “Sandy Bridge” microprocessors and 6-series chipsets, was discovered Monday, when Intel halted shipments of the chip. Cougar Point was found to have a structural flaw inside of it that degraded the performance of SATA-linked devices such as hard-disk drives. The Sandy Bridge processor itself was not affected. link

The website has a detailed explanation of the flaw that affects these chips.

Intel Confirms HDTV/BluRay Encryption Has Been Cracked

According to a recent report on Fox News, it has been confirmed that the encryption which protects High Definition digital content has been cracked.

This does no bode well for the supporters of DRM (Digital Rights Management) but it will allow consumers to backup their high definition digital media, with many consumers asserting it is their right to do so.

Intel confirmed Thursday to that the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) — the digital rights management software that governs every device that plays high-def content — had in fact been compromised.

“It does appear to be a master key,” said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for Intel, which developed and oversees the HDCP technology.

Well, that didn’t take long.

Experts claim the decryption must be chip based at present so we wouldn’t expect a software solution to be quickly forthcoming. However, it would not be surprising to see HD/BluRay recorders with an embedded decryption chip appear for sale on the Internet in the near future.

Fedora Linux Releases Version 14

Fedora releases a new version of its popular Linux distribution, codenamed: Laughlin. It is ready for download via the Fedora Project website.

Fedora is a fast, stable, and powerful operating system for everyday use built by a worldwide community of friends. It’s completely free to use, study, and share.

For more information and to see what’s new in the latest version, see the Fedora 14 announcement thread.

Early reports suggest there are a few issues with Fedora’s support of ATI & nVidia proprietary video drivers but the FOSS video drivers are improving. ATI’s proprietary drivers are bug riddled and practically unusable, while there is only a minor install issue with the nVidia drivers.

If you’re using a fairly modern PC, using generic video drivers is like putting a 4 cylinder engine in a Ferrari. Your performance will suffer greatly, especially in the area of video playback and 3D graphics support. The FOSS drivers are still a year or two away from catching up with the proprietary drivers, if they ever do.