What Are You? A Mind Reader?

Here’s another one for the "creeps you out" file. These researchers in
Germany are working on a technology that will allow them to literally
read your mind. They have proved that it is possible for them to
determine what kind of decision you’re going to make even before you
make it.

I guess it’s really a good thing that this reasearch is still in it’s
early stages and that they need to use and MRI machine to do it… not
exactly portable. (yet).

Are You? A Mind Reader?

Well, in a manner of speaking, yes. Researchers use a brain scan
that lets them identify your intentions before you actually do
anything. By the Associated Press.

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Privacy Board OKs Eavesdropping

I have to disagree with this. All this snooping and tracking is indeed a
violation of civil liberties, people’s right to privacy and a whole lot
more. There is a time and place for it, but being overused the way it is
now is just plain flat out wrong.

Board OKs Eavesdropping

A secretive White House privacy board says two Bush surveillance
programs — electronic eavesdropping and financial tracking — do not
violate citizens’ civil liberties. By the Associated Press.

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The Next Battle In Microsoft Security War

What has become known as "Patch Tuesday" has come round again this week.
This time there are six ‘critical update’ patches for Windows. This
month’s event is highlighted as Microsoft’s newest pet, Vista, gets the
first of what I expect to be many, many such ‘critical update’ patches.

The update patch for Vista rates pretty high on the irony meter because
although it’s been billed as the most secure version of windows yet the
flaw was in it’s "malware protection engine", used by several Microsoft
security programs including the so-called "Windows Defender" to help
guard against online threats. According to Microsoft, it could let an
attacker "take complete control" of a computer.

As if that isn’t enough, Vista has already been reported to fall victim
to what has been termed a "remarkably low tech hack". You see, one of
Vista’s new features is a speech recognition system that allows commands
to be given by simply speaking into the computer’s microphone. The
problem is that it is possible for a website to be set up to play sound
files on the PC speaker when you load it. The sound files contain a
voice speaking commands and if speech recognition is turned on, the
microphone picks up the voice from the speakers and obediently executes
those commands no matter what they are.

Overall it seems that Vista is making a big splash and causing a lot of
oohs and aahs, but there is growing talk about weaknesses being
discovered as people explore Vista’s innards.

My personal recommendation is to stay away from Vista.  Instead you’d be
better off checking out Debian Linux, an
entirely free operating system
that has Microsoft beat all hollow
when it comes to security and has none of the DRM junk that is part of
content providers taking control of YOUR computer.

Fronts in Microsoft Security Battle

"Patch Tuesday," when Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) releases repairs for
problems in its software, came and went this week with six critical
fixes – including the first one that touches Vista, the new operating
system billed as the most secure Windows version yet.

The hole registers high on the irony scale: The flaw was in a
"malware protection engine" that helps several Microsoft security
products – including "Windows Defender" for Vista – guard against
online threats. The problem could let an outsider "take complete
control" of a victim’s computer, according to Microsoft’s security

Related links:

promises Vista security

page on Vista security


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A Review of www.easytobook.com

The city of Amsterdam, known as the "Venice of the north" because of the
canals that run through the center of the city, it is also considered by
many to be the cultural capitol of Holland. It continues to attract
travelers from all over the world.

The folks at http://www.easytobook.com/
would like to be part of arranging people’s travel plans. Their web site
looks reasonably friendly, with search feature to find the best
available deal. The site itself defaults to showing prices in Euros,
although the search function can also show prices in Dollars or Pounds.
The Advanced search
allows searching on more than just the arrival dates.

Just a quick look at the front page shows several example deals ranging
from one as low as 30 Euros for a double
room at HEM Hotel
to 139 Euros for a double room at NH
Grand Krasnapolsky

Where to go

With all the cold weather the last few weeks, you can’t help thinking
about warmer climates to the south, kicking back on the sun baked
beaches of a mexico
spot or perhaps some resort on one of the Caribbean islands.

I myself would probably rather head some place just a bit closer to home
and check out some places here in the good old US that I’ve never been
to like the Grand Canyon, Disney world or any of dozens of places.
Though I have heard that travel to places like mexico for vacations is
supposed to be a lot easier these days, I’d still prefer to keep my
travels within the US.

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