Links for 2014-01-22

  • Ukrainian government targeting protesters using threatening SMS messages

    The government’s opponents said three recent actions had been intended to incite the more radical protesters and sow doubt in the minds of moderates: the passing of laws last week circumscribing the right of public assembly, the blocking of a protest march past the Parliament building on Sunday, and the sending of cellphone messages on Tuesday to people standing in the vicinity of the fighting that said, “Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.” [….] The phrasing of the message, about participating in a “mass disturbance,” echoed language in a new law making it a crime to participate in a protest deemed violent. The law took effect on Tuesday. And protesters were concerned that the government seemed to be using cutting-edge technology from the advertising industry to pinpoint people for political profiling. Three cellphone companies in Ukraine — Kyivstar, MTS and Life — denied that they had provided the location data to the government or had sent the text messages, the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda reported. Kyivstar suggested that it was instead the work of a “pirate” cellphone tower set up in the area.

    (tags: targeting mobile-phones sms text-messaging via:tjmcintyre geotargeting protest ukraine privacy surveillance tech 1984)

  • UK porn filter blocks game update that contained ‘sex’ in URL

    Staggeringly inept. The UK national porn filter blocks based on a regexp match of the URL against /.*sex.*/i — the good old “Scunthorpe problem”. Better, it returns a 404 response. This is also a good demonstration of how web filtering has unintended side effects, breaking third-party software updates with its false positives.

    The update to online strategy game League of Legends was disrupted by the internet filter because the software attempted to access files that accidentally include the word “sex” in the middle of their file names. The block resulted in the update failing with “file not found” errors, which are usually created by missing files or broken updates on the part of the developers.

    (tags: uk porn filtering guardian regular-expressions false-positives scunthorpe http web league-of-legends sex)

  • Register article on Amazon’s attitude to open source

    This article is frequently on target; this secrecy (both around open source and publishing papers) was one of the reasons I left Amazon.

    Of the sources with whom we spoke, many indicated that Amazon’s lack of participation was a key reason for why people left the company – or never joined at all. This is why Amazon’s strategy of maintaining secrecy may derail the e-retailer’s future if it struggles to hire the best talent. […] “In many cases in the big companies and all the small startups, your Github profile is your resume,” explained another former Amazonian. “When I look at developers that’s what I’m looking for, [but] they go to Amazon and that resume stops … It absolutely affects the quality of their hires.” “You had no portfolio you could share with the world,” said another insider on life after working at Amazon. “The argument this was necessary to attract talent and to retain talent completely fell on deaf ears.”

    (tags: amazon recruitment secrecy open-source hiring work research conferences)

  • Chinese Internet Traffic Redirected to Small Wyoming House

    ‘That address — which is home to some 2,000 companies on paper — was the subject of a lengthy 2011 Reuters investigation that found that among the entities registered to the address were a shell company controlled by a jailed former Ukraine prime minister; the owner of a company charged with helping online poker operators evade an Internet gambling ban; and one entity that was banned from government contracts after selling counterfeit truck parts to the Pentagon.’

    (tags: china internet great-firewall dns wyoming attacks security not-the-onion)

  • James Friend | PCE.js – Classic Mac OS in the Browser

    This is a demo of PCE’s classic Macintosh emulation, running System 7.0.1 with MacPaint, MacDraw, and Kid Pix. If you want to try out more apps and games see this demo.
    Incredible. I remember using this version of MacPaint!

    (tags: javascript browser emulation mac macos macpaint macdraw claris kid-pix history desktop pce)

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