Archive for the ‘Linkage’ category

Major vulnerability in Adobe Flash

April 19th, 2008

A rather nasty bug has been found in Flash which allows a malicious website to run arbitrary code– for all intents and purposes what this means is the site owner can take complete control over your computer. I won’t explain botnets here, but typically computer taken over in this fashion function normally to the person using them but are also twisted to send out massive amounts of spam to both email hosts and to comment forms on sites like this one, host web sites used in online fraud (phishing), run hacking operations, and run extortion rings based on distributed attacks which can take down pretty much any website. This is done without the computer owner’s consent or knowledge. Pretty much every piece of spam you get is from one of these compromised systems. And we all hate spam, don’t we?

If you’re a responsible computer owner, you should make sure your browser and operating system are patched up, but usually the Flash player is neglected in these upgrades. (Flash is used to display videos on YouTube, ad content on websites, and interactive stuff like online games.) You can check here if your Flash player is up to date, and if the version is less than what’s listed on the chart you should download and install the latest version immediately.

You’ll not find a better Buddha

February 27th, 2008

A friend showed this to me the other day. It’s a deaf dance troupe performing; they’ve practiced for ten years together. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

Fingerprinting foreigners starts tomorrow

November 19th, 2007

Thinking about visiting Japan? You might want to think twice. Starting tomorrow, they’re going to start fingerprinting foreigners again at immigrations. By foreigners I mean tourists, students and business workers with valid visas, and even permanent residents. It’s expected that the lines at immigration will now take at least an hour, whereas those with visas and permanent residence could previously bypass the long and understaffed “foreigners” line. If this isn’t egregious enough, the fingerprints get stored in a database for an “unspecified time” (read: forever) and are available to every local police station and foreign government that requests them. Framing someone for a crime has never been easier!

Apparently they used to do this awhile back until the human rights groups (like Amnesty International) made a stink, and the law was repealed in 2000. But someone dropped the word “terrorism” and everyone’s brains magically turned off. It doesn’t matter that Japan has never been the target of a foreign terrorist attack. Remember the sarin nerve gas attack on the subway? Japanese radicals. Japanese Red Army attacks back in the 70’s? Oh, that’s right, those were attacks BY Japanese terrorists on foreign soil. Oops. Maybe I’m just dense, but I simply cannot see the connection between foreigners in Japan and terrorism.

Previous proposed legislation to fingerprint all Japanese citizens has been met with outrage. So why do they think it’s any more acceptable to do it to a smaller group of law-abiding people? I’m not a criminal. If Japan is going to treat me like one, it’s tempting to just not come back.

Edit: (I should make a note that Slashdot also posted my submission about this, so you can read the comments there as well.)

major soldering complete

May 1st, 2007

I’ve finished soldering the majority of my project, but not without some mental repercussions.

cooking with lava

March 5th, 2007

I had no idea you could cook with lava, but apparently it’s possible.

Giant Pets!

February 6th, 2007

Since I love you all, and since I am as busy as a honeybee on speed, I’m going to give you something to tide you over until I can update again. I give you Giant Pets Invasion.

Kintaro Walks Japan

December 5th, 2006

Here’s something I found today.  It’s the story of a guy from California who travels to Japan and walks the whole distance on foot, from the southernmost point to the northernmost point.  It’s a long video, slightly over an hour long, but it’s worth watching if you’re interested in seeing what Japan is really like.  I think it shows more of Japan than all the Tokyo and Kyoto blogs with their photos of capsule hotels and temples and palaces.

This work by Jeff Hiner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.