Archive for September, 2008

Justice by Embarassment

Posted in opinion with tags , , , , , , on 2008 September 23 by KLP

If only that Tennessee undergrad, David Kernell, had actually discovered something interesting in Governor Palin’s inbox, he wouldn’t look like as much of a loser right now. Governor Palin and her backwards ways could use a good shaming, but not by someone trying to be 1337 and accessing her inbox. A sort of pathetic, electronic Hail Mary, Kernell’s attempt enjoyed no more than a moose’s chance in Palin’s back yard. I don’t know how his efforts, or lack thereof, make him a hacker, but if he ever wanted the title he now has the mainsteam media to thank.

For the most part, I’ve heard two stories regarding what happened: one, that some hacker hacked poor Governor Palin, and two, that Yahoo!’s web-mail security sucks. Both lack the proper relevance. The first story screams hyperbole and the second, in addition to inadequately assessing free web-mail security, simply isn’t news. I want to hear the story about state officials conducting state business over an insecure medium, why they do it, and how are they allowed to do it.

Some folks, who I assume to agree with me, at least in part, decided to drive the point home to Bill O’Reilly. As I understand it, his website has some features and content only available to paying subscribers. As such, the site keeps information on the subscribers, but not securely. Now the subscriber information resides, in part, on Wikileaks.

I’m sure the prank will compel O’Reilly to find a secure web host, but I doubt that he’ll put his foot in his mouth out of embarrassment. For that, or any other sufficiently big target, only a big enough prank will do.

So now I’ll just come right out and say it: I want to see more of what happened in The Usual Suspects where the police escort service gets exposed. For the uninitiated, here’s a little synopsis of the scene at hand. In it, the New York City police arrest and generally harass some gangsters for apparently no reason. Afterwards, the gangsters get their revenge by spectacularly exposing the corruption within the department. And it’s awesome.

As a matter of definition, the gangsters carry out their revenge vindictively, but they do so in a big way that really messes things up for the corrupt police department. Also, no one really gets hurt. I’d love to see more pranks of this caliber as a matter of avenging the public and generally embarrassing people who deserve it. I think the folks responsible for going after O’Reilly had the right idea, but I hope that they and anyone else so inclined step it up next time.

My Lightsaber is Bigger than Yours.

Posted in opinion with tags , , , , on 2008 September 17 by KLP

"He's cool, let him in."

So far, I’ve only been through two bosses and the subsequent training sessions for each in The Force Unleashed for the Wii. My first impression is mostly good. Two issues immediately annoyed me, however. Those would be the game’s default brightness level and the controls. The first issue can be solved by taking some time to play with the game settings and the television’s settings. The levels tend to be dark and shadowy, so getting the settings right will allow for proper enjoyment of the scenery and you lightsaber skills. The controls are tricky at first but a little practice is all it takes to graduate from intuitive slicing motions with the remote.

Speaking of which the only characters I’ve actually been able to slice were some innocently bystanding droids. Unlike in the Star Wars films, I have yet to see any flying limbs or rolling heads. Hopefully there’s a cheat available to up the gore. To conclude this gripe session, there’s no online multiplayer support, as far as I can tell.

As for the good stuff, I’m enjoying the story and the characters. I’m having fun killing storm troopers and other goons. The single player experience genuinly entertains me. The first two levels appear to follow the same formula. I haven’t encountered any real puzzles yet. I hope The Force Unleashed adopts some Metal Gear Solid gameplay elements in later levels.

‘Cause I’m a huge dork.

 

(And, I love Kat for buying me this game for my birfday!)

I love the future!

Posted in miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on 2008 September 2 by KLP

 

Guilty.

"Guilty."

Today I deposited some checks at a Bank of America ATM. The machine instructed me not to use an envelope. All I had to do was feed it the endorsed checks one at a time. Then, it read the value of the checks without me having to type anything in. Maybe these new ATMs aren’t new to anyone except for me, but seriously: holy crap.

Also, I’m trying out Chrome. Not too shabby.

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Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

@dmytri

Venture Communist. Miscommunications Technologist. Telekommunisten Polemicist. ThoughtWorks Analyst.