Thursday, 30 December 2010
The following article is a collection of musings based on this article by Roger Nichols and this piece by John Vestman.
With all due respect guys, for the most part this is complete bullshit.
First, let's take a look at Vestman's piece. Leaving jitter issues aside for a moment, this guy seems to genuinely believe that 1-to-1 perfect copy of the file is somehow not identical to the source? Moreover, i would say that in the digital domain there is no such thing as "original file" and "a copy" - they are identical! They are both original! They can't be different because it is the same file, they are effectively the same data, down to the last fucking bit!
I can understand why this shit even comes to their heads. These guys are audio engineers. They are used to analog, they are used to physical, they are used to how things work in real world. They are used to the fact that two pieces of the same hardware can be different, they are used to the fact that two copies of vinyl are not necessarily identical, hell, they are even used to the fact that digital copy from a digital tape might not be the same as the source.
However, guess what, these things, while they might be operating in the digital domain, in fact are analog. The digital tape is analog media, modified to hold digital data. CD's are not analog media. Hard drives are not analog media. They are digital media. And while it is possible for digital copy of analog tape to be different from the original, it is not possible for digital copy of digital media being different from the original. The copy is either identical, or it is not a copy. This is what audio engineers usually don't know, and this is exactly what we, programmers, do know. We programmed the thing, goddammit, we know it is perfect, because in binary world it is either perfect or it does not work.
I might agree that playing the same data from different source (IDE harddrive, FW harddrive, CD) could sound different, but this has nothing to do with the media. It might have something to do with the noise of CD player, or different head position during listening (comb filtering effect), or maybe speakers picking up different noises from wires, but it is certainly not the media itself. No CDR's can have "
Thursday, 23 December 2010
While these policies pursue a noble goal of giving everyone an equal chance for a job, education or whatever, the truth is that it is complete bullshit and is actually all the same racism, sexism etc. only in different words.
A simple question - if people are equal, why would anyone ask for that kind of information in the first place? If they truly treated people equally, they just wouldn't care if it's man or woman, black or white, young or old, these things just wouldn't matter. But no, they do, and this is exactly why these "policies" are racist, sexist etc.
Now i'm not sure if it has its place in the Western world, but in some former USSR Asian countries there are policies on how many people of which race should be working for any given business. Again, the idea was to give everyone an opportunity to have a good job and try to eliminate racism or ethnic chauvinism. I assume a variant of these policies is more or less present everywhere - in Europe, in USA, in Australia etc.
Now, for the sake of argument, consider the following - imagine i have a private business. Let's say i am racist and i don't like certain race, for example, black. Let's say, i have a vacancy open, and i look at two candidates - one is a hard working black man, another is a white raging alcoholic and generally a dumb fuck. Who do i choose? Probably white man, because i don't want blacks working for me. No matter how dumb the white guy is, no matter how bright and hard working a black guy is, i would choose white. Is it right? Of course not. However, if i have reached my quota for white people, the policies of the government on equality wouldn't allow me to do that, and i will be forced to do the right thing and offer black man a job. So far so good.
Let's try it the other way around. Let's say i don't have all the racial prejudices. Let's say i have an open vacancy, and i look at two candidates - one is a hard-working white man, another is a black raging alcoholic and generally a dumb fuck. Who do i choose? Probably white man, because i don't want dumb fucks working for me, i want to succeed in my business. However, if i have reached my quota for white people, the policies of the government on equality wouldn't allow me to do that, and i will be forced to offer black man a job. And no matter how dumb is that black man, no matter how bright and hard working is the white man, i am forced to give a job to a dumb alcoholic just because the right guy for the job happens to be white. Which is - ta-da! - racism in its purest form.
The bottom line is - all these policies are just different kind of racism, sexism and all the other "-isms". Moreover, they deprive me of my freedom. How is that? Well, you see, it's my business, and i should decide who is working for me, and who isn't. It's up to me to decide who faces my customers and who represents my company, not some ass-clown in the government who thinks only white can be racist. However, right now government would make me differentiate between black, white, male, female, straight, gay, bisexual, transsexual, overweight, dyslexic - in other words, this policy actually forces me to be racist, sexist and all that. And it doesn't occur to people that i wouldn't care, and i wouldn't want to care about these things, i would just want people to do the job!
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Now, lemme tell ya somethin' bout the government. Well, not exactly about the government, but about all of these issues i've mentioned in the first sentence. You see, people keep confusing privacy with secrecy. Privacy is what i do in my backyard, what porn i jack off to, what music i like - this is privacy. If i killed somebody and didn't tell anyone and no-one found out - that's secrecy, not privacy. This is not my private matter, for fucks sake, i killed a man (or a woman)!
Now, does WikiLeaks need secrecy? Of course it does. It is a media outlet. It needs to protect its sources if they wish to remain anonymous, so that the government (or anyone else) couldn't take action against them. Does Julian Assange need privacy? Of course he does - just as i do, you do and everyone else does. But do not confuse privacy with secrecy.
When you are on duty, there's no such thing as privacy. You have your corporate email, CCTV's on site, strict code of conduct, timetable and everything is being monitored from up above - and that's how it's supposed to be. Because you are at work. You're not at home - home is a private place, work isn't.
When someone in the government is on duty - they fall exactly under the same category of "work". They are serving people, and they have to be held accountable for what they do. Everything needs to be transparent. They have no right for privacy while they are on duty. They have their right of privacy when they come back home after a long day and fuck their wives or jack off to horse porn - i have no problem with that, but why people keep confusing privacy and secrecy is beyond me.
The difference between corporations and government though is in case of corporations, there is management and all these people who run the show. They can be held accountable for what the corporation does, or can punish their employees for violating corporate rules or doing something illegal. In case of government, the "management" is me, you and any other voter who chose them. The government must be held accountable by us, and people doing shady stuff should be punished by government on our behalf. When corporations (or government) are doing shady stuff in a coordinated fashion - this is called conspiracy.
Diplomatic cables are like corporate email. It is sort of a private conversation, but when the need arises, it can be made public. No one should use corporate email for private stuff, that's why we have private email addresses. If your corporate email exposes some stuff you shouldn't have said or done - well, it's not my problem. You're supposed to do your job, not fucking little boys dressed in girl's clothes. If these cables revealed guys just doing their jobs - no one would ever say a word and i would be all for prosecuting Assange for sharing private information without the need for it.
Now, do we need secrecy? Of course we need some secrets. Some things are meant to be kept secret for a while. The primary point of secrecy is to gain strategic advantage, so your enemies are not aware of what you are up to. So when you did gain it, when all is said and done - why secrecy? No one would be afraid of declassifying secret or top secret information if there was nothing to hide.
The problem is that there is. The mechanism of secrecy is long since being abused to cover up fuck-ups and shady stuff the government does. That is why the government is so outraged at WikiLeaks - because it can expose something that shouldn't have been a secret but been under criminal investigation. Tortures, spying, bribing one government and putting pressure on another, covertly transporting prisoners - the list goes on and on. This has nothing to do with privacy and confidentiality, this is criminal activity hidden by the cloak of secrecy. Do we need that kind of secrecy? I doubt it.
Now, the curious case of WikiLeaks. Some may argue that WikiLeaks got the documents as a result of criminal activity (sharing confidential and top secret government information with third parties). What did WikiLeaks do? Buy this information? No. Sell it to someone? No. What they did was send the data to newspapers and let them do the job they are meant to do. There's certainly nothing criminal in WikiLeaks action.
Some may argue that sharing top secret information is still a crime. OK, valid point, but there must be common sense applied to that. First of all, WikiLeaks' cables and documents disclose information that shouldn't have been secret in the first place. Tell me one reason why people should not know when government is spying on them. Tell me one reason why people should not know that USA is pressuring Germany not to bring a criminal case against CIA agents. Tell me one reason why people should not know that their government killed 15'000 more civilians in Iraq. Are these legitimate secrets? You decide.
Second, whistle blowing is a noble activity. It is OK not to share corporate information with third parties, but what if your corporation (e.g. government) does something it shouldn't do and gets away with it? If you expose this information, who should be prosecuted - you or the government? For me, the answer is obvious.
This brings up a curious question - who is supposed to decide what is good and what isn't? Well, don't we have laws for that? Isn't murder illegal? Isn't bribery illegal? Isn't influencing justice system of a foreign country illegal? Not wrong, but illegal. So why exposing illegal activities is illegal?
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Now that i look at it, the whole rape story isn't even about the USA. The rape case itself wasn't political, and it hardly is now. What happened is that two feminazis got to know that they had sex with the same man. Both had high hopes, both were trying to get attention by being with him, both got dumped. I'm not saying this was a right thing to do for Assange (i do not condone promiscuity), but nevertheless, these ladies had to understand that he is not that kind of guy. With US agents on his tail, constantly on the move - did they think he will actually make an exception for them?
Anyway, they got to know each other and oh my God, he wasn't using a condom! Not all the time of course, but who cares (mass media for one doesn't). First these were just urges for Assange to take STD test. I'm no doctor, but i assume if he had any and there was a chance that they got them too - won't these STD's be revealed if they take tests themselves? The charges were dropped almost as soon as they were filed.
Only to be later filed again with a "better" lawyer and a "better" prosecutor (an interesting insight here). Feminazis don't stop, ever. This is getting more and more ridiculous, and i cannot understand why UK court doesn't dismiss all charges without giving the option for Swedes to appeal and doesn't tell Swedes to get the fuck out with its "sex by surprise" charges where all the evidence that the girls made it up is there.
Now, nobody even cares - did the rape take place, did they get pregnant, did they get STD... This whole thing is now purely about three feminazis and one asshole trying to destroy a man with character. I sort of understand that perverted need of using the law against common sense to destroy a man "just because they can". This is a conspiracy, yes, but on a much smaller level than one that includes CIA involvement. This just a case of revenge and has hardly anything to do with USA.
For now, only handful of folks expressed their support for Assange (compared to overwhelming negative reaction of politicians), and - expectedly - among them is Michael Moore. Finally, i was beginning to worry that fat bastard is afraid. Come on, guys! Fox news is broadcasting people that suggest to kill Assange, hello?! Turns out the great hypocrisy of USA is not only in their government, but also in their people and in their freedom fighters as well.
Monday, 13 December 2010
Now, some of his points are valid in the way that WikiLeaks really didn't produce anything on certain selected topics. But come on, let's use some common sense. Imagine you are a whistle-blowing organization. Where do you get information from? Anonymous sources. Come on, it's not like Julian hacks US military servers himself (although, given his bio, he possibly could)! What do you do about the information you didn't recieve? Nothing. You can't publish anything on said topic because there is nothing to publish, you have no documents, no proof and no evidence. Nobody cared to provide this information. Strangely, the simple fact that WikiLeaks can't have all information in the world escapes that man.
Another simple point the guy is missing - yes, WikiLeaks published war logs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course these documents couldn't contain all the information there is (we have Wikipedia for that). WikiLeaks are now in the process of publishing 250'000 diplomatic cables. How many of them are there? 250'000. How many did they publish so far? IIRC, about a thousand. That's less than 1% of information. Can you make reasonable conclusions based on 1% of information you are about to receive? Gordon certainly doesn't have a problem with it.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
The diplomatic cables are continuing to be published, Julian is arrested without any charges, world's crimes are being exposed, Anonymous are still carrying out attacks - everything is pretty normal, considering the current state of things. Right now Julian is in the hands of UK.
Be mistaken not - i do not condone DDoS attacks Anonymous are carrying out. I do believe that some things are meant to be kept secret - such as a list of stategic objects and/or people that are of strategic importance. However, this whole situation is not about WikiLeaks. It is not about DDoS attacks (bear in mind that it wasn't Anonymous who were first to carry out a DDoS attack - WikiLeaks was DDoS'ed, cut out of funding and kicked out of hosting providers before any of those Anonymous attacks took place). It's not about whether Julian Assange has raped anyone.
This situation is about freedom of speech and transparency. While i do not believe that free speech should be limitless (Nazi propaganda is a fine example), i still believe that spreading lies and telling the truth are not the same thing. An aforementioned example of Nazi propaganda is built on lies - it is not honest and thus should not be in the "allowed" list simply because it is misleading and not doing any good. The revelations made by WikiLeaks, however, are true - no one ever denied that. No one ever said that these leaks were fabricated - this is a factual information we have here. And it deserves being there simply because it tells the real story, not some pretty lies.
Those things shouldn't have been done. There were many unnecessary killings in Iraq and Afghanistan wars. There were many unlawful orders from US government, such as the case with Hillary Clinton i keep mentioning over and over. There is an obvious corruption of country leaders ($52 mil in cash? Come on! It's not like Afghan Vice President earned it). The war in Yemen US government kept denying it was a part of. These are the real crimes. These should be known to public - not because it is a leftist, communist or any other -ist propaganda - but because these are facts. I could care less what US intelligence thinks of Berlusconi, but the fact that foreign contractors in Afghanistan hired "dancing boys" deserves to be known.
A common saying comes to mind - selective application of law is anarchy. How come MPAA (or RIAA, don't remember) are allowed to hire a private company to DDoS certain P2P sites, and it is illegal for anyone to strike back with the same kind of attacks? Don't get me wrong - there are legitimate DDoS attacks (stress-testing), but this was clearly not the case. These attacks weren't any more legitimate than attacks are being carried out by Anonymous right now.
P. S. an insightful comment on the Guardian website:
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Thursday, 9 December 2010
What does this have to do with USA, you might ask? Well, apparently nothing, you might say, because the Interpol's "red notice" was about sex crimes and is coming from Sweden, not USA. Sweden has nothing against Assange's WikiLeaks activities, hasn't it? And it is surely a coincidence that Assange's rape charges appeared after the publications of diplomatic cables. After all, the charges were dropped. And it is surely a coincidence that charges have reappeared again on a much larger scale, eventually making Assange on Interpol's "most wanted" list (as if he's some kind of terrorist), after Assange mentioned he has financial documents of one of USA's largest banks. Of course this has nothing to do with USA and WikiLeaks, this is "only" about rape. Not to mention he's only wanted as a witness, and only for questioning. Do you know of any other people who made it to the "most wanted" list without actually being charged with anything? Not to mention that technically, why does he have to be present on a questioning? Didn't video conferencing make it into Swedish police?
Actually, this reminds me of long ago, when USA was fighting real criminals. Remember Al Capone? Everyone knew he was a bad guy, but no one had anything on him. And when they did - they jailed him right away.
Everyone in this world knows that USA is doing some shady shit with Afghanistan, with Iraq, with Iran, with Vietnam, with Yugoslavia and a lot of other places, but the official position is - everything is fine, everything is legal, everything is how it's supposed to be, it is a war on terrorism, it is a war against evil. Now, turns out that it's not. It's not fine, it's not how it's supposed to be, it isn't a war on terrorism, it isn't a war against evil. It is a very selfish war to make really big money. As for illegal - we now have a document that clearly states that Hillary Clinton ordered US diplomates to spy on UN officials. Now this actually violates international laws. As with Al Capone thing, the whole world now has evidence that USA actually is doing some shady and illegal shit - and yet who is jailed? Hillary Clinton? Of course not. Because.
Not to mention the whole thing of labeling WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization is a bit funny. Of course, it is perfectly legal and right to kill innocent people in the Middle East, start wars for no apparent reason other than "democracy", "oppressive regimes", "freedom", "human rights" and other typical American bullshit (when what they really want is oil). It is not a terrorist thing to do, because it is the US way of doing things! However, it is illegal to disclose this information to the public, and if you are telling the truth - you are a terrorist!
USA is really happy about slapping the "terrorism" label on everything they don't agree with or see as a threat to their interest. If you are a country with a lot of oil in it and a leader, who cares about his own interests more than about interests of USA - you must be a terrorist and you certainly have a nuclear bomb in your closet. If you do something the way american people don't, if you think the way american people don't - you're a terrorist, a communist, a pirate, a thief, a criminal - you are root of all evil.
And here is where the mighty Internet comes into play. The USA government is afraid of Internet. Hell, even a lot of ordinary people are afraid of Internet because of the propaganda they have been fed. RIAA, Hollywood and many other people try to make it look like Internet is some kind of anarchist's wet dream, where you can get everything for free and it is somehow illegal. Because giving something away for free is not how capitalism is supposed to work, and they are afraid of that idea.
But there is another thing about the Internet that makes them very nervous. We can say "fuck you" and get away with it. We can say, and we will say. People can do stuff, and people will do stuff - because we who use and understand the power of the Internet don't want anyone to take it away from us. Because on the Internet, there is a chance to gain credibility and respect (and, eventually, PROFIT!!!!!) for what you are and what you do. If you are a hypocrite - you can't get away with it. Internet hates hypocricy. This is why the laws we have in real world don't work on the Internet.
P.S. what in the name of God is that?! Ah yeah, freedom of journalism. Yada-yada. Oh, and they've also took down the ED page for Operation: Payback. What's so just about US Department of Justice?
Thursday, 2 December 2010
People do shady stuff and cover it up with bullshit (at best, usually it's just kept secret). Guys uncover the truth. The rest of the world, instead of thanking WikiLeaks for opening up their eyes and showing them how badly they get screwed, condemn WikiLeaks. What the fuck is wrong with this world?! And why telling the truth is now equals to terrorism? Moreover, they got kicked out of Amazon hosting. Actually, this part of the article is especially funny:
"The quote represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the first amendment, which is perhaps understandable given that the Wikileaks folks by and large aren't from the U.S. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the government from infringing on your free speech, but it's perfectly legal in the U.S. for businesses to kick you out and deny you access to their property if they don't like what your saying.
According to The Seattle Times, Amazon was contacted by a Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee official who pressured the company to dump the site. Much as it might have agreed to ditch an Al Qaeda site, Amazon agreed to dump Wikileaks, a site whose primary focus over the last several years has been against the U.S. government."
Of course it represents misunderstanding of the first amendment! Of course it's perfectly not valid for government to infringe on free speech, and of course it's perfectly valid for government to infringe on free speech by pressuring Amazon! Not to mention the "accidental" mention of the magic word "Al Qaeda" in the context of article about WikiLeaks, and of course revealing the truth about dirty business of US is not something that should be done but is anti-US! Of course it's anti-US, it intereferes with the US business of screwing over everyone else, and interfering with US's business is not nice and a very terrorist thing to do! What a load of crap.
They keep bragging about how they shouldn't have posted this information and how it harms the international diplomacy and puts people in danger. Oh yes, of course, it's WikiLeaks' fault that you are losing the war and it's WikiLeaks fault that the Saudi king asks USA to bomb Iran - perfectly reasonable logic, bravo, fuck you! You shouldn't have done it in the first place, so WikiLeaks would have nothing to publish! I am eagerly waiting for the information they have on banks, but i really would prefer some information on the Wall Street guys - something that would get at least some of them in jail for fucking up the world i live in.
Now, don't get me wrong - i don't want revolution, i don't want everyone get jailed and be replaced with a much worse type of scumbags. No, i want these people to be an example for everyone. When you have freedom of information and anonimity - you have power to punish people for what they've done. When someone has power to kick your ass without you even knowing who it was - it fills people with fear. They will fear to do wrong things because they know that their dirty deeds might be uncovered and they will be in deep shit.
On a side note... Now that i think of it, those diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks has published... That was fucking great trolling! Bravo!
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Everyone's whining for the whole fucking week about this website and how it exposes embarassing stuff about different people. I've looked around on different websites (including everlying Wikipedia) and found out that the guys behind the website are actually doing a very cool thing! As a guy having one of his interests lying in computing field, i am truly amazed what these guys are doing - they are actually using the very power of the Internet, which lies in its anonimity and decentralization.
On my highway to this knowledge i've found out about numerous other things, including Freenet, cyberpunk, cypherpunk and loads of other cool stuff. I have been using PGP encryption keys for quite some time now (to conceal some of the data on my hard drive) but this stuff is golden. These guys are literally making cypherpunk dream come true - they are beating the System with the use of global network! I might seem like a wannabe revolutionist who read all this cool stuff and thought that it was cool and decided to be like these people (which i haven't), but i hereby declare my full support and endorsement for the Freenet project (i have installed and now run a Freenet node with 5GB space), and i declare my full support and endorsement of actions of WikiLeaks and its creators. And that guy, Julian Assange, he not only is cool as hell in terms of what he's doing, he actually looks like an albino cyborg!
Now as i said, i have been using cryptographic tools for some time (i even have several of my public keys uploaded to pool.sks-keyservers.net, most of which are revoked or outdated). I used them mainly to encrypt some files like private photos, private letters, password lists, some sensitive stuff that has a potential of getting me some problems. I've also used free (as in freedom) software for quite some time and am going to start a couple of projects myself and i recognize the value of freedom to read, modify and run any code i wish and for whatever purpose i want. But now, as i've found out what lengths people go to conceal the truth from the general public, and what lengths do they go to get rid of people that are actually revealing these secrets (Assange has just got an Interpol arrest warrant), coupled with the fact that we keep losing our privacy and being told that this is for our own good, coupled with the laws in some countries that require people to surrender their encryption keys and passwords to the officials or else face prosecution, coupled with the fact that the mass media is always under control of the government and corporations, i say - fuck you. Yes, that's right, i said that - FUCK YOU.
This brings us to the online privacy issues. I will write a bigger rant some time later on the subject, but for now i'll just say that i value my freedom and my privacy. I am not going to surrender my rights just because someone thinks someone else will use the technology for doing dodgy things. They don't forbid cars because of drunk drivers, they don't forbid guns because of bank robbers - why do i have to surrender my right to communicate without anyone looking through my mail? I watch porn - everybody does, but i don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry know what kind of porn i watch and how often i watch it. Not even every Tom, Dick and Harry - i don't want any Tom, Dick and Harry to look through the stuff i am jacking off to - unless i want to explicitly inform them about this.
Moreover, i want to be able to tell Tom, Dick and Harry about stuff my managers do without getting jailed and without any interference from the management, even if my manager happens to be Steve Ballmer and the information i am about to tell is going to expose his dirty little secrets. Now i don't care which porn Ballmer jacks off - he might as well watch bestiality porn, i for one don't care not a little tiny bit. But if he is robbing his employees, or if he is corrupt, or if he uses unfair business tactics like aforementioned corruption, malicious marketing or uses his financial power to undermine competition - i feel obligated to tell the world about that regardless of whether his children will be in danger. He should've thought about his children before he started to act like an asshole.
The same applies to the stuff WikiLeaks exposes - i admit i don't care about the contents of Sarah Palin's mailbox (although there was some interesting stuff inside the mailbox that wasn't exactly ethical) but if Hillary Clinton orders people to spy on UN officials and gather their DNA samples - that's another fucking story, this is against the law! She should get jailed for that! And what do we get? Is she jailed? Is she prosecuted? Is she under investigation? Was she even questioned about the events?