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Once again, this issue is horribly late. You may blame my telephone lines, which have been doing their best to keep me from accomplishing a single useful thing lately. My average speed is 30K when I dialup. Frequently it is lower than that. It disconnects at random. It gives me hell when I want to reconnect.
For the last two days, because of the rain where I live, I've had all sorts of trouble getting online and staying there. The best speed I could manage at one point was 21K. Believe me, I tried to force it to do better. I sat here for over an hour dialing, connecting, disconnecting in disgust, and redialing trying to force the speed up. I tried every imaginable INIT string and nothing helped.
Even when it does connect at a good speed, I have to share the phone line with others. For all of the morning, most of the afternoon, and all evening I have to keep this line free. So that leaves me the middle of the night to work with, and quite frankly I'm tired of it. I have reached the limit of what I can do down this creaky, unstable phone line. I need an always on connection that doesn't tie up the phone line, which means broadband.
I can't get cable here because I'm too far away from the city for that. I can't even get decent dialup, so DSL would be out of the question even if it were offered here (which it isn't). My only option for broadband is DIRECWAY satellite service, and that is so expensive that I've never paid it much attention before. But, I've decided that if I am going to keep this site current, I need to be able to work on it during reasonable hours rather than killing myself by staying up all night doing the little that I do manage to do. So, I am absolutely determined that I am going to have satellite installed, no matter how ugly the monthly bill is.
You may have noticed updates to just about everything on the site slowing down lately. No new articles for a while, updates to existing articles have been slow, the Spyware Weekly is more like the Spyware Monthly, additions to the news page are few and far between, I've stopped participating at most message boards, and I'm not even contributing very much at my own forums lately. This is mostly due to the fact that I can't be online working on it when I have the time, and when I can be online, I have other things to do. Catch-22.
I'm going to be doing some things to bring in the money I need to have that satellite service installed. One of which is starting a small web hosting business (contact me if you're interested in being hosted by me), I'm writing a Lockergnome gnometome, with perhaps a book after that (although that's a ways off), and I'm going to redo the way I present the ads for software that I have established affiliate accounts for. A new feature service pertaining to those products will be coming soon and my readers will be receiving a significant discount. Stay tuned for that... it will happen in just a few weeks.
If any of you want to use PayPal to help out with the "Get Mike Broadband" project, I certainly won't turn down any donations.
An ill wind is blowing through the halls of power in Washington. Every terrifying prediction made by George Orwell of a government gone mad with power is about to come true right here in "the land of the free". There is an effort underway to gather a vast, far-reaching database of information on American citizens by our own military. Every known piece of information about our citizens is to be entered, collected, organized, and cross-referenced. This database will be managed by a convicted criminal, a man who has sneered at the idea of personal freedom and citizen oversight of government for his entire political career.
Read the following articles in full, then contact your senators, your representative, and the president himself with your objections, assuming you do object to the earliest power grabs of a nascent tyranny. Send emails, send registered letters, send faxes, and send phone calls. Encourage everyone who will listen to do the same.
Thirteen years ago I watched as the Berlin Wall came down and oppression died in Germany. Now would-be oppressors are trying to erect a similar wall, but on American soil this time. Don't let this happen.
Contact info to find your Senator and Representatives
Appeals panel rejects secret court's limits on terrorist wiretaps
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has broad authority to use wiretaps and other surveillance techniques to hunt for suspected terrorists, a federal appeals court panel ruled Monday.
In a 56-page opinion overturning a May decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the three-judge panel said the expanded wiretap guidelines sought by Attorney General John Ashcroft under the new USA Patriot Act law do not violate the Constitution.
The ruling by the special panel from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia gives broad surveillance authority to counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism investigators to track individuals considered potential national security threats.
US gov's "ultimate database" run by a felon
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 14/11/2002 at 20:22 GMT
We all know that truth is stranger than fiction, and here we have an apparently real item straight from the realm of Tom Clancy. Imagine a huge, absolutely huge, central database containing both the official and commercial data of every single citizen, run by the US military ostensibly for anti-terror and Homeland Security purposes, and all of it under the direction of a convicted felon.
Well the database is in development and coming soon, according to the New York Times; and the felon who will run it is disgraced Reagan administration liar, dirty-trickster and cover-uper Admiral John M. Poindexter, who Dubya has taken out of mothballs to keep us all safe from dreadful evildoers.
Now he's in charge of the newly-invented Information Awareness Office, a part of that mixed bag of good and bad, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and he's got his eye on basically every scrap of data about every single citizen. The system Poindy is preparing to unleash on us "will provide intelligence analysts and law enforcement officials with instant access to information from Internet mail and calling records to credit card and banking transactions and travel documents, without a search warrant," the NYT article says.
A supersnoop's dream
By Audrey Hudson
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Language tucked inside the Homeland Security bill will allow the federal government to track the e-mail, Internet use, travel, credit-card purchases, phone and bank records of foreigners and U.S. citizens in its hunt for terrorists.
In what one critic has called "a supersnoop's dream," the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness program would be authorized to collect every type of available public and private data in what the Pentagon describes as one "centralized grand database."
In a blistering op-ed piece in yesterday's New York Times titled "You Are A Suspect," columnist William Safire compared the database to George Orwell's Big Brother government in the novel "1984."
"To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you - passport application, driver's license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbors to the FBI, your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance - and you have the supersnoop's dream: a 'Total Information Awareness' about every U.S. citizen," Mr. Safire wrote.
ACLU Calls on President Bush to Disavow New Cyber-Spying Scheme That Seeks to Put Every American Under Scrutiny
November 14, 2002
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today called on President Bush to disavow a new system being developed at the Pentagon that would be able to track every American's activities.
"Smile, you're on virtual candid camera," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's Washington National Office. "If the Pentagon has its way, every American - from the Nebraskan farmer to the Wall Street banker - will find themselves under the accusatory cyber-stare of an all-powerful national security apparatus."
The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing the system, which it has dubbed "Total Information Awareness," in its Information Awareness Office. That office is directed by former Reagan Administration official John Poindexter, who once said that it was his duty as the national security advisor to withhold information from Congress.
The Total Information Awareness program will be -- by Poindexter's own public admission -- the infrastructure for what the government hopes will be the most extensive electronic surveillance system in history. That vision is encapsulated in the logo for Poindexter's office: the all-seeing eye and pyramid (prominent also on the one dollar bill) spying from above on the entire world. The office's motto is Scientia Est Potentia, Latin for "Knowledge is Power."
From John (aka Luv2BSecure)
Hello All !!!!!!!!!
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh won't give up. We have to watch this carefully. In my eyes, there is no "privacy software" more important than encryption software - period.
His argument is built on straw because there are so many encryption programs without backdoors already out there. they're everywhere! What does he want to do in the USA - a confiscation program? No....what he wants is all products manufactured from this point on to have a government back door. He also testified to the Senate last week that we should have a law similar to the UK "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act" that would mean jail if you don't cough up your passphrase.
With all due respect to my friends in the UK, -- much time has passed -- independence in 1776 and all the blood that was shed was to free ourselves and build a nation based on freedom of the individual. The Constitution of the United States - on paper - is a beautiful document of freedom of the individual. We have never seen such a quick erosion of constitutional rights than we have seen since the Bush administration. Freeh now wants to look to the very country we won our independence from and enact their anti-privacy laws that take away our personal privacy (read:freedoms). I think even my friends in the UK would agree and say "don't let it happen there too!"
This is not updated but has invaluable information:
We MUST preserve encryption software and the freedom to use it! Those of you in the U.S. - write the Congress and Senate and continue to make the pressure unbearable as we have done so far. With Freeh's testimony - he's stirred up the issue again.
Privacy = Freedom.
Tip courtesy of the
Windows Guide Network
Clear Download Accelerator History (All Versions of Windows)
Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) is a program used by many to retrieve files from Internet servers. It stores a history of the files downloaded and URLs visited. Some spyware removal software target DAP as spyware for this reason. To increase privacy and security this tweak allows you to clear the history.
Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SpeedBit\Download Accelerator\FileList].
Delete the sub-keys under the key to clear the download history.
Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SpeedBit\Download Accelerator\HistoryCombo].
Delete the data in the value called "URLHistory" to clear the URL combobox history.
Registry Settings User Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SpeedBit\Download Accelerator\HistoryCombo]
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SpeedBit\Download Accelerator\FileList]
Value Name: URLHistory
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
X-Setup Power Toy
Latest Version: 6.2
Platform: Windows 9x, ME, NT 4.0, 2K, XP
Size: 4,560 KB
This is by far my favorite system tweaking program. X-Setup is the ultimate power user's power toy. If there is something you want to do/undo in Windows, chances are X-Setup will have the plug-in to do it.
Soon it will also include a plugin inspired by one of the articles on my web site. The Comdlg32 article discusses a registry key that I discovered by accident one day while playing around in Regedit (something not recommended for computer newbies). This is apparently where the registry stores the most recently used filenames for "open" and "save" dialog boxes.
I consider myself to be a computer geek. To have an X-Setup plugin made based on something on my site is just awesome. I think I get an extra notch on my geek license now.