Friday, December 24, 2010

Tron Is Smarter Than You Think #tron

Tron Is Smarter Than You Think

No, really; it is. Grade: B+

20090726_tron_legacy_concept_art_04_large

Brainy blockbusters are rare. For every Inception there is a Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The most we hope for in our big-budget spectacles is some decent writing and a couple of big bangs. Usually, we don't even get that.

Critics have put Tron Legacy in the Sorcerer’s camp. Both Disney films have been branded “empty,” “cheesy” and “silly” by various writers.  But I’m here to defend Tron: it’s smarter than it seems.

First, the basics. The story about a young boy, Sam, whose father, Kevin, disappeared when he was a child, Tron Legacy follows Sam’s story as he reenters his father’s game of the same name to find him and save the network from a fascist program, Clu, hell-bent on control and perfection. In the real world, Kevin’s company, Encom, has turned into Microsoft, a monopolizing behemoth releasing secure operating systems in the style of Windows.

What’s so special about this film? Like most blockbusters, there’s a whole lot of non-special aspects: the storyline’s a pastiche of other ones (Fifth Element, Pocahontas, and The Matrix, for starters); the plot is all over the place, but vaguely about fathers and sons and corporations versus the people; and of course our lead is a boy who needs to find his purpose, a conceit seen in every other big budget feature made in Hollywood. Yes, the visuals are amazing (I’m telling you, it’s gorgeous!) but there’s a lot of retreading in Tron.

But Tron sharpens the social critique of the first installment: more so than many other dystopic sci-fi thrillers, Tron is a clear cautionary tale of the state of the current digital economy. Our current debates over net neutrality, Facebook, Apple and the continued diversity of the web are all wrapped up in Tron’s allegories.

The first Tron was one among a long line of seventies and eighties films about fears over technology, fascism and government and corporate control over society and media (Videodrome, Brazil, Blade Runner, V, 1984, War Games, Network, etc.). Steeped in rather ridiculous concerns about the loss of the “real” and the end of the Cold War, these films are great but feel a bit dated today, a bit too “postmodern.” Their critique of society was soft.

With the growth of the web, however, some of these fears started to seem justified: corporations really do have access to vast stores of information about people and they are cementing their power (by lobbying, for instance, against net neutrality). While the first Tron had vague concerns about the “user” and master control, when Tron Legacy’s Tron yells at the end “I fight for the user!” it means something more.

How does the new Tron participate in these debates over the future of the digital?

Tron Legacy’s script was probably written about four to five years ago, back when the big rivalry in tech circles was Google versus Microsoft. Google championed openness, allowing the user some degree of control. Google was releasing its “Docs” for free as a challenge to monopolistic, controlling Microsoft, charging ridiculous fees for Windows and Office.

The opening scenes of Tron mimic this debate. Sam, who owns Encom (read: Microsoft) but doesn’t control it, hacks into the company’s mainframe and releases their OS for free on the web. The company was releasing its twelfth version of the system, charging more money for essentially the same program (read: Windows).

Then, Tron Legacy takes the debate to fantasy land, inside the game, where Clu (played by a CGI’ed Jeff Birdges), a program meant to create a utopian virtual world, has turned into a controlling fascist, wiping out communities and creating an army to control society. Clu is the virtual Encom. Sam is the user, the hacker, the idealist whose job it is create diversity, embodied in Quorra (Olivia Wilde), a digital mutation unwelcome in Clu’s dream of monopolized perfection.

Tron Legacy’s dark aesthetics (we only see the sun in the end) reflects growing concerns over the death of the digital utopia. We see the same concerns in this year’s Social Network, a similarly cynical and dim feature about the fading promise of the digital revolution, its retreat into the same corporate monopolies of the 20th century.

Why is this smart? Tron Legacy plays the cards right. Bringing back the aging hippie in Jeff Bridges reminds us the first digital prophets of the sixties and seventies were counterculture idealists who believed in openness and freedom. Bridges’ Kevin in the film is zen pacifist, a caricature but a true one. The counterculture ideology has always been at the heart of digital culture (see the book From Counterculture to Cyberculture) but it’s one that’s dying, perhaps already dead.

The leading tech companies today are led by huge cultural figures, many of whom have spoken, at one point or another, about the democratic potentials of new media: Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google).

Like the CEO of Tron’s Encom, though, the now-billionaires have realized idealism isn’t too profitable. Apple is essentially a closed network (Clu’s virtual world). Facebook controls how profiles are made and, at times, what information gets shared. Scholars are writing how Google actually facilitates inequalities online (see the book, The Myth of the Digital Democracy), and of course caused a stir this year by seeming to waffle on its net neutrality promises. We all know about Microsoft.

Tron tells us these companies aren’t “evil,” they’re just companies. It offers no solutions except to start fresh, which isn’t possible, of course. Yet it also offers the fantasy of a younger generation who’ll attempt to keep the digital as open, non-hierarchical, diverse and user-friendly as possible.

Other glowingly reviewed blockbusters, chief among them Avatar and Inception, were so lost in their own hall of Freudian mirrors they completely bailed on their corporate intrigue plotlines (which wereactually really interesting!); and Avatar’s environmentalist theme was about as inventive as the one in The Day the Earth Stood Still, perhaps less so.

Is Tron Legacy a work of genius? No way. But it is a rare example of a big budget feature intimately in conversation with cultural, political and technological history.

© Splice Today, LLC

People say the story is shallow, but I totally disagreed. But that's because people don't understand the message, or don't take it seriously - at least some people do.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Monday, December 20, 2010

Make a DIY No-Kill Mousetrap with a Toilet Paper Roll

I came up with a variation of this randomly when I found out a mouse was eating out of a box of lazagna. I didn't think it'd work, but it totally did. It scared the shit out of me when it happened. I wasn't sure if he was in the box, but when I picked it up, he was still in it.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Saturday, December 18, 2010

HOW-TO: DONATING TO #WIKILEAKS? #imwikileaks

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Apparently Bank of America has been refusing transactions to wikileaks
[http://wlcentral.org/node/652]! Being a BofA customer, I just had to
try it.

If you follow the wikileak's official donation page
[http://wikileaks.ch/Support.html] the only way non-Europeans can
donate is through a bank transfer. I tried setting it up, and it was a
pain. From no email address, to the funny characters that Icelanders
use - it was a pain. If you want to give it try, use the following
information that finally worked. But there was a $45 international
transfer fee! Eff that. If you want to do this route, this is the
information that worked:

Business name: Sunshine Press Productions ehf
Nickname: wikileaks
Email: wikileaks@wikileaks.info
Street address: Skulagytu 19
City: Reykjavik
Country: ICELAND
Postal code: 101
Notes: No one can tell me how to spend my money.

Bank name: NBI hf
BANK/SWIFT: NBIIISRE
IBAN: IS970111266110106110100280

You can't use PayPal
[http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/paypal_announces_it_will_no_longer_handl...].
They're not taking Visa or MC [http://www.datacell.com/news.php].

The best things I could find was donating through xipwire.com
[https://xipwire.com/give/wl] or using flattr
[http://flattr.com/profile/WikiLeaks]. There isn't much information on
xipwire, but a blog mentioned that they're donating 100% of the funds
to the cause [http://sporkinthedrawer.typepad.com/blog/2010/12/donating-to-wikileaks.html].
Their fee schedule is reasonable (free until 2011.) I just wish there
was some sort of endorsement from wikileaks, so right now can only
take xipwire.com's word that they're sending the funs. While flattr
has takes a 10% cut, flattr is founded by none-other than the founder
of thepiratebay.org, I support them too so I may go that route.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (MingW32)

iQEcBAEBAgAGBQJNDT6xAAoJEIfSWNXIBUDIeSEH/RBV5/0exyx4PAvNvWUyfbRP
6vcSxkA6hCtXHLAgDl0qI6Sii4v04NE3T5UDYMS2OrKTpZMX1wg12hFCNJLdre+W
kKB8b6gsk7UP/1RouP7KqBNt9N5YCB+f4+YM3BF3AQzSltg2bPV0B+s97e9BVk8Z
l9fvoSIYx9IgQLJWn23K/N8zdjATJCb2F0biU1A2pD5TDkRFi/YdDe5ZrVaKPVoy
BbobzBkP7KybFri5YQ4hHmKqIkpc8B/42j5XVJnzy3tLW3mMPUuoxtq6Qo0RQWKd
XF8VRZ44QtmumqjPWqfaNxy6Gr0cOJ/qP5DsGglyHRVFfCq3jDyMR377EOYemqE=
=soRB
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Top 5 Myths & Lies from Wikileaks’ Opponents #imwikileaks

anon_operation_payback_wikileaks

The full weight of the U.S. government is being brought down upon Wikileaks, and mainstream media outlets have predictably been repeating the misinformation campaigns of those in power.

Here are the top 5 myths and lies we’re being told:

“Wikileaks is recklessly publishing documents without thinking of the consequences.”

This is a flat-out lie. Wikileaks displays quite clearly on its website that only about 1,000 of the 250,000 diplomatic cables in its possession have been released. Nearly all of those 1,000 documents were first released to mainstream news organizations, and Wikileaks published the ones the news outlets requested. On top of that, the documents were redacted as journalists deemed appropriate. If you want to blame Wikileaks for “recklessly” releasing government secrets, blame the news organizations for “recklessly” deeming them newsworthy.

“Wikileaks is a criminal organization.”

Wikileaks has not been charged with any crime. Not one. There has been tough talk from politicians calling Wikileaks a terrorist organization, and urging prosecution under the Espionage Act, but it has been only talk. In fact, a report by the Congressional Research Service, the independent investigative arm of Congress, has said that such prosecution would legally and politically unwise.

Instead, Wikileaks is being “prosecuted” outside of the courts, outside of the law, by public relations smear campaigns.

“This is not about freedom of the press. Wikileaks is not journalism.”

In addition to publishing documents supplied by whistleblowers, the staff of Wikileaks also reviews this information, provides commentary, and facilitates the flow of this information to news organizations. Wikileaks is not a conventional, old-guard media outlet. But that doesn’t matter. It is applying the methodology and spirit of journalism to a digital age. Wikileaks is providing checks and balances on government power.

“Full transparency as envisioned by Wikileaks would jeopardize government operations and make all of us less safe.”

There are a lot of lies and half-truths built into this line of reasoning. First among them is the notion that 1) Wikileaks exists to make all government secrets public and 2) that Wikileaks CAN make all government secrets public. The fact is that the Obama administration has trumpeted “transparency” while the government has grown more secretive than ever before. Even if Wikileakers had the desire (which there has been no indication that they do), it is simple not possible to republish and analyze all of these documents. This is not about “full-transparency,” it is not about us monitoring every single thing that every single government official does. It is about the freedom of news organizations to decide which of these documents are of the public interest.

“Wikileaks is sabotaging diplomatic relations and making it harder for governments to do their jobs.”

This final theme is not so much a myth as it is a total bastardization of the purpose of journalism. Yes, news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton authorized UN spying has probably made it harder for her to maintain positive relationships with some countries. Yes, news that U.S. contractors hired young boys to entertain Afghan police put another black mark on the image of the U.S. But you know what? It should.

Journalists should make it harder for politicians to do their jobs. This is about checks and balances on government power. Journalists who say the organization has “gone too far” are operating from a tepid notion of the craft: that journalists should speak truth to power only up until the point that truth doesn’t make people in power look too bad.

To be clear, Wikileaks is not a perfect organization. It has flaws. Plenty of them. And so do the people involved. However, it is putting forward a radical new model of journalism. And the attacks on Wikileaks have prompted a proportionate response. A group of hackers, or “hacktivists,” calling themselves “Anonymous” have launched an attack against those who threaten freedoms of the press. They started by taking down Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. Now, as the image above indicates, they’re calling for a new, more radical tactic: journalism.

They are encouraging people to review the Wikileaks documents, find news of corruption, write about it, and inform others. Appropriately, “Anonymous” has used Orwell as its rallying cry:

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

Tags: , , ,

PLEASE SHARE AND SPREAD.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How-to: Crypto Quick Guide. #imwikileaks

Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

Julian Assante and Wikileaks released a file, "insurance.aes256", just before all the attacks. He knew he had something big. What was in that file? No one knows. If someone does, they ain't tellin'. Some people have poked around the file and have tried some passwords, such as ROUTER and ONION, to no effect. Some say that it's just random data. I ran a quick head command. Typically the first characters would identify the file type, but this file read Salted! 

I'm not remotely an expert in cryptography, but I wonder if the original encrypted file is wrapped with some salt? I have no clue.

Here's a Cheap and Easy way to encrypt a file or folder with 7-zip File Manager.

  1. Install 7-zip.
  2. Collect your files and folders into a single folder.
  3. Right-Click the folder, Select 7-zip > Add to Archive or drag the folder into a 7-zip File Manager window.
  4. Change the Archive name .7z extension to something less obvious (I used .aes256 for fun.) 
  5. Enter a passphrase (Passwords are too easy.)
  6. Check Encrypt file names
  7. AES256 is selected by default.
  8. Click OK, it should be done.

You too can share secrets in an encrypted file, distribute it, and create a timebomb that will release the passphrase if something happens to you. If someone figures out to open the archive in 7zip, it will ask for the pass-phrase.

If you're serious about encryption, you should install an OpenPGP application, and learn how to use it. You can encrypt any file and it's particularly useful for sending encrypted messages. I won't get into the technical details or the history of PGP, because plenty of information can be found on the net. Look up PGP, Phil Zimmerman and Digital Signatures.

These are the basics of PGP, and email encryption:

  1. You need an OpenPGP package, such as GnuPGP, FileCrypt or PGP. (They're available free, on all platforms, and compatible with each other. I use GnuGP and Cryptophane.)
  2. Generate a PRIVATE or SECRET KEY (Use a really strong pass-phrase, never share or even hint to what this is.) 
  3. Use your SECRET KEY to create a PUBLIC KEY (This will be shared to everyone.)
  4. Create a REVOCATION CERTIFICATE (In-case your secret key gets compromised, this will invalidate it.)
  5. Collect the public keys from everyone that you expect to recieve and send messages.
  6. Manage all these keys in your KEYRING. (Different OpenPGP packages may call them managers or UIs for GnuPG.)

You can now use PGP to sign and/or encrypt messages. You can sign any message, and those with your public key will be able to VERIFY your messages as authentic. You can also send encrypted messages to any individuals that you have on your keyring. You should distribute your PUBLIC KEY far and wide by posting the plain text block on your site, or sharing the .pgp .asc or .txt file. You can also upload your public key to various keyservers

This is mine, if you want to share: 

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (MingW32)  mQENBERkz0kBCADRaQMJ2ahkGzqkbU2zakafA2CgW5zLkXc84jDRKlQ3lffS24X5 cPCpE4s3uGlEYcN6dzE6uJVZCuQGSvk9TMYdkg1zc6dk6LG85/l7tl0kLBeUcVa0 YLhgRnusmK+7oqmoIZCjTne3FKNtuuu6Yhk0kfIRQap5SpX4N5nb9sAZO1a7Oo12 leU7coe0QMT1R8V99gXtWLxQ2PU4mCnli/xsQb/VsQEA4DVlVOpcmaiJpqCVsn+/ 9hOWKzBDUyMmcdD2b0SRFW6P4NmaN6BqI9zVvCRgwLq0Y8hqoZ1tmbA+g4HAp9tL m3m15fu3pKiEiK2bgozvnglOnTyPSrnPeM2fABEBAAG0JkRhayBKLiBVbHRpbWFr IDxkYWsudWx0aW1ha0BnbWFpbC5jb20+iQGHBBABAgBxBQJEalVbMBSAAAAAACAA B3ByZWZlcnJlZC1lbWFpbC1lbmNvZGluZ0BwZ3AuY29tcGdwbWltZQcLCQgHAwIK AhkBGRhsZGFwOi8va2V5c2VydmVyLnBncC5jb20FGwMAAAADFgIBBR4BAAAABBUI CQoACgkQh9JY1cgFQMj4qwgAunNO9eZEgfreK+qI3CWBL8cQFShd6qaqhGEAAPn+ 617rugKykID5g1udeVZh2Xm5YVlJUxzM5BeqnhVsl4vbYMneYBgnV/ZWkFlGqA32 8IMrEjG051drCDZQJBcvbTQI+Guedd+dCDUTkDVBK1IAKqenfb9xmLT0QIzr0iKa No3pGvhlZPjlfD8/gUFcMWL9b+JHi1eg9Qg9yrN15wsBC7rOFUY2Brcwx+OXXm9K V+gIxy8TzYZP9HgWvDBJYOp+gA73J/BSoCNfII0QnRiUvOwjnUBmjVDM5H+TEKUf dfxU1lV2JCX2/uWsZ9vcXWI6+iCABRsDV6O2iYS8cKi/4IkBIgQQAQIADAUCRGp6 IQUDABJ1AAAKCRCXELibyletfFt5CACVO6D6LAdu/c8Hiyt3vocq6YI2jSSktO2i O7297NMuhm6QWSSgiNgS28YwPfAp84iFqiRY9OpAR9XgnOeYvwm2IqpLrmR1j2Iw 8pG2Q68A7HTj4GtOZ0PntLtN7RWwmZ+z/+nBpOlsw9nX8ZI++jyjrfd5/dazPRxv ftimxME5odflKI7XetVSXGWTkL34MLTLJ4Edw0rQhdeD1+sOsV7/4T4c5FwIsYQZ 4J01aPieCpBVQj+TEYzhj3ofxIzqoXLFGpEn+8gg6urLe9v+aAVOu74SAcy+dsyf dC1haqyX7BQ/3Ka0LObTyYTCmGUjF1hlCtsFSw75Rsv+gwpusexRtC1EYWsgSi4g VWx0aW1hayA8ZGFrLnVsdGltYWtAc3RyYXljb3VjaGVzLmNvbT6JAYQEEAECAG4F AkRqVVswFIAAAAAAIAAHcHJlZmVycmVkLWVtYWlsLWVuY29kaW5nQHBncC5jb21w Z3BtaW1lBwsJCAcDAgoZGGxkYXA6Ly9rZXlzZXJ2ZXIucGdwLmNvbQUbAwAAAAMW AgEFHgEAAAAEFQgJCgAKCRCH0ljVyAVAyEmrB/9BFTatJywEpFjIUYcpwoc0UMI1 Be1n4OsrITAqXYDdCKwhPpJKFxs2oAi0McA1WrlfW2g4cMUfRsz/vqUWkGyt+i1b 1vnGgTsAVEauyt6J+JJLcH7P/Ex0iZaAj3jzmXQDifBtLI5Xo+iBXD9aiHFveGK/ x7Hc+1Bue4hutKkQhGR1V2+3l4AoMCZiCZTgSkg07kvABp3yx46/xuj7oWB+ApdU 1dkpcjjyNMEdS9JS0XwBil1xoy8QT7/Kzm3R8aX5Jqw/xKITCHZ7HHXNODvRf/9E 2FYY14dv5lfYZk799Ir69hxIl3K0zfIDI17wMpemd8od0KqxUI9BCRggZDDmiQEi BBABAgAMBQJEanohBQMAEnUAAAoJEJcQuJvKV618RbsH/0BWkbeseVzpDbuWxkES v1XNHUem5pgM+WjJIhIAc+AeMNK0Xl6xwIpM9aIKdiBQ3K6jKKx0eU/UINkR3mS5 1JAx0WrRJOxPLrbTSzcgMGvpTQYBr812aDcCXSl6ZvsMIIn0Zcgwkd17w+RbYxGc vx0FU6a0Jk85CvZ8Q9Uukk0f+E3c2gqthEOWrPUayUcebBH2J+JY9JChTnPyFCaH HtKALpnTP2BVLR9TsfM4NfupWJuO9GSdhObtxLaBdlVHlLeG4WHPCxCy9wgUCW20 7WxVD4nRcyorMAE11x/X1aMs3LflzeQwrVXC5ApYW/3aSKcpqkk88p3r4ia87oWj WcG0JURhayBKLiBVbHRpbWFrIDxkYWtAc3RyYXljb3VjaGVzLmNvbT6JAYQEEAEC AG4FAkRqdRMwFIAAAAAAIAAHcHJlZmVycmVkLWVtYWlsLWVuY29kaW5nQHBncC5j b21wZ3BtaW1lBwsJCAcDAgoZGGxkYXA6Ly9rZXlzZXJ2ZXIucGdwLmNvbQUbAwAA AAMWAgEFHgEAAAAEFQgJCgAKCRCH0ljVyAVAyHdfCACQOLbRNwgL7tCpnyfJQAEV KN/2Y8FCgtuckVKWc2lOsU9T6hqxBMBCTcqFpbccN2SoSMmZaw3jN08pU31Ww98A FlncVGYxUYTQb84L8BeNsSE51VjptWaRg4Q6q3/lSca5QVc1zyII7CCLEC+KRuwq GAVQLZJGnlYAdToYhG3Ci5KkPbXsCFpvk2MK0o7C0SUDGpQ8+TLv2ok7d4Lo8Oir UJHZtMRsT7F1h97KWc0rFZgfpBS/NFuK0DgBiUFfBRMzJOW5sFx6xeraLlyqTY5W ubMBRo+ejRnNr02YiiQus2HpGMmNTzUZVGDAwWKYR1QlJcnqZ+ie87Lr/gl0l3Uk iQEiBBABAgAMBQJEanohBQMAEnUAAAoJEJcQuJvKV618LCkH/3WneC3VXRsD/04T Rwal4eiHJcjj7x/roFocrw5rPW+/zlPTvIigzJwRlIvLbRDJk3GnLXCQ3wGp0lnT knkhOzfViij7QleOUSpaDHsC/5M8TzCzz0iQmW9kSRuAgCTC8t0BiwnVK+T/k9jF o/RMBrExW30dPUvSdtrygbWEXJxWqow+mfv/1BSSboTBVLYhTUxP1sk3jGoqBft4 4ewbuyZYqQ+FWl6KW6hmBcgALQw/A8zqxkMrkZhyEJMJGg7yZtsb4xJrdPqg1qtv tOnWczYJZdQ7d6nIUmju0HuozQTLZ3UN9rFOuAIQ1A8Fp6E/d1aTCM4grMgLku3g 5fTg0gu5AQ0ERGTPSQEIAM0aSAHktoqQ4HejzYMnKkdRZlVsLrz5jYOyWAIbg2S3 0B99oab9vTNUscauL9fPh/aJSgrdikYZLJpPQTa8aKetVl01n2JD28tubyPJ9RhL 2o9QKyQGLtFbvKJRogM/8lbYRNpcNJM5F/lCHpp1ISDqDmIYu8qGUSqNgMI6nWew l6V1B2fneNH4KZD3iisqxRlbb3aSxWhNbFWqLxL0AezP8pcmDEEsb2JrLiutJ5nq Wak525fMrcbwPgsiNxM5KIxFCNnelDcE4G5ExkWYvdbT+0qrnHuT7PLcg4josfL5 i629QaO1B3SvCu1q5FR7OfEapj+nr/tTukO/lfxd6YsAEQEAAYkBIgQYAQIADAUC RGTPSQUbDAAAAAAKCRCH0ljVyAVAyN4VCACOw7pO2dbeqxZ3tADUoha+yKp2yBum Smlj29V7u7R6FleM4qMz3TbParvq8NY53jP9wqkll4UmTkeZTnPQTFE01XbEoHSo jKXhEKf5kyIDsn2hof5csTeURhzW/KrINKahjrDkBaBIUJ7B4NdJ9VTgNn1leOgE oGWKWrbCEkgQY0WkUhJEUj3WD1l08S3B+Kmd2h+uS5CGPQIDtveZgUwHDJjEa74u EkCCGA/TjsVFz5M9bKCOlk3DhSXgqSqznGZtdWD/fFScdt7ZUxc7C1/u2y0Qa0Mm GqJkEDcwtp/6//h1AsmrVD2PR+J7uwV1Tv6SWvDVQPGbT78DyY0X+8PK =Sboc -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

Encrypting and decrypting email varies depending on the utility you use. Some email programs, such as Thunderbird or Outlook, have plug-ins that make it as simple as clicking a button and entering your pass-phrase. I use Cryptophane, which is also my keyring manager. 

To encrypt or sign a message using Cryptophane (your milage may vary, but the steps will be similar:)

  1. Using a text editor or your email program, draft your message. 
  2. COPY/CUT the message into your clipboard.
  3. OPEN Cryptophane, Click on FILE > Message
  4. PASTE the message into the window. Click OK.
  5. Select the public keys of any recipients or, if public, Encrypt with shared pass-phrase. Click Process.
  6. Enter your pass-phrase if it isn't cached, enter a new shared pass-phrase.

Paste this into your email or blog entry. Only those with the proper credentials will be able to read it.

To read messages sent to you, some can click Decrypt/Verify in your email program. Or COPY/PASTE the complete block of text, and enter it into the same Message window in Cryptophane. You will be asked for either your passphrase or the shared pass-phrase.

Now, if you are afraid of getting down and dirty with OpenPGP, the quickest and simplest way to encrypt and decrypt email is to get a hushmail account. It will do all the work for you. You will have to create new, but secured, email account and you will still have to export your PUBLIC KEY and distribute it. Note, with free accounts, if your account goes idle for too long it will get deleted.

Have fun!

 

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Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is all this wikileaks business? #imwikileaks


Imagine if you were a journalist and you recieved an anonymous package that contained documents outlining incriminating, and somewhat embarrasing, information about a large organization. What if that information would change the perspective of customers, clients, fans, friends and family of that organization? What if that information was also confirmed to be authentic. Would you publish it? Some would say it is the duty of a journalist to report and share that information.

Well that is exactly what a team of independant journalists, led by Julian Assange, did when they recieved over 250,000 leaked US embassy cables. They analysed and shared the documents. Which allowed anybody, including journalists, to read and report the information they found. 

When they released the report their website, wikileaks, immediately went under attack from hackers. When the hackers failed, they pressured wikileaks's service providers, such as easyDNS, Paypal and Amazon into cancelling their services. But now the internet community is striking back, by mirroring wilileaks, creating alternative URLs and attacks and boycotts of their own.


Why is this important? 

In the words of JP Barlow (Co-founder of the EFF) "The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops." There is a battle over privacy, freedom of speech and information access happening RIGHT NOW on the Internet. On the government side, countries like the US and China are trying to control what you can read or see on the internet. On the private side, service and content providers are trying to prevent you from, or charge you a premium to, access certain sites on the Internet. Both sides want to define "Network Neutrality", when neither of them are correct. Network Neutrality means if it's on the Internet, and you are connected to it, you have access to it. They, the Government and Big Business, want to tell you otherwise. It's happening all across the board. The confusing Hulu/Comcast/Time Warner/Browser thing. ESPN is blocking you if you're not on an "affiliated" ISP. 

In this particular instant, it is a matter of FREE SPEECH. The governments of US and France want to keep you from reading certain incriminating documents. Whether the files were "obtained illegally", is irrelevent. The information is embarrassing to international diplomats because the information shows that they're not there for diplomacy, but are underhandedly controlling information, making backroom deals and some of the activities being reported are considered illegal. They're creating crime, and accusing the whistle-blower of being a rapist and a terrorist as revenge. Assange and wikileaks are not the only victims here. PFC Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst, has been arrested and charged with the "unauthorized use and disclosure of" [this] "U.S. classified information." Information and support for Manning can be found here: <a href="http://www.bradleymanning.org/" >http://www.bradleymanning.org/</a>

Do it yourself!

You too can create an alternative URL by creating a subdomain, i.e. wikileaks.straycouches.com, and pointing it to 88.80.13.160. (The effectiveness of this is mostly symbolic.) But even better, become a full mirror: <a href="http://wikileaks.ch/mass-mirror.html" >http://wikileaks.ch/mass-mirror.html</a>

Boycott Paypal, Amazon and EasyDNS by cancelling your accounts with them, it helps letting them know why; "I can't be a customer of a company that supports and enables Government Censorship."

Spread the news and help people understand that Government Censorship is what is happening. 

Use #imwikileaks hash-tags and get the word out.

Keep up-to-date at <a href="http://wlcentral.org/" >http://wlcentral.org/</a> and following wikileaks on twitter.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Friday, December 3, 2010

BORFO BIRTHDAY SPECIAL, Rev Show at 2PM, http://killradio.org

DONG FORGET! 

http://www.revolt-losangeles.com/ for HOT VIDEO CHAT!@!!

BORFO BIRTHDAY SPECIAL, FEATURING CREEP. and his favorite album MELLOW GOLD

and possibly BOUNCEHAUSEN:

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post

Buy Nothing Day + Carnivalesque Rebellion | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters

Buy Nothing Christmas

Dreading the holiday season? The frantic rush and stress? The to-do lists and sales hype? The spiritless hours trapped in malls?

This year, why not gather together your loved ones and decide to do things differently? With the simplest of plans you can create a new rhythm, purpose and meaning for the holidays. Why not take the spirit of Buy Nothing Day and morph it into Buy Nothing Christmas?

With catastrophic climate change looming, we the rich one billion people on the planet have to consume less! And if that's too extreme for grandma and the kids, try for a Buy Less Christmas. And maybe a buy local, buy fairer, buy indie Christmas. Whatever you decide, 'tis the season to reclaim our year-end celebrations and make them our own again.

Buy Nothing Xmas Actions

If you want to go one step further off the consumer treadmill, consider one of these actions from previous holiday seasons:

Been buying Nothin' on Chismas for several years now.

p.s. don't get me nothin' either.

Posted via email from Th' Reverend Dak Post