Elvis Aaron Presley[a] (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer, musician and actor. One of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "the King".
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and at the age of 13, he moved with his family toMemphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he started to work withSam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassistBill Black, Presley was an early popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion ofcountry music and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged byColonel Tom Parker, who was to manage the singer for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", released in January 1956, was a number-one hit in the US. He became the leading figure of rock and roll after a series of network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines that coincided with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, made him enormously popular—and controversial.
In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. In 1958 he was drafted into military service: He resumed his recording career two years later, producing some of his most commercially successful work before devoting much of the 1960s to making Hollywood movies and their accompanying soundtrack albums, most of which were critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed televised comeback special, Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours. In 1973, Presley was featured in the first globally broadcast concert via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii. Several years of prescription drug abuse severely deteriorated his health, and he died in 1977 at the age of 42.
Presley is one of the most celebrated musicians of 20th-century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, blues and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He was nominated for 14 Grammys and won three, receiving theGrammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple musichalls of fame.
Between 1977 and 1981, six posthumously released singles by Presley were top ten country hits. Graceland was opened to the public in 1982. Attracting over half a million visitors annually, it is the second most-visited home in the United States, after the White House. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
Presley has been inducted into four music halls of fame: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986), the Country Music Hall of Fame (1998), theGospel Music Hall of Fame (2001), and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame (2007). In 1984, he received the W. C. Handy Award from the Blues Foundation and the Academy of Country Music's first Golden Hat Award. In 1987, he received the American Music Awards' Award of Merit.
Bambi Note: Elvis has been gone for 36 years but the impact on the music industry is still felt to some degree. I loved the quote about Elvis in Men In Black (MIB) in 1997 - 20 years after Elvis' death:
[K drives a jet-propelled car, while J hangs on screaming]
Kay: You know, you're much too tense. You're a young man. You need to relax, learn to take some joy in your work. Do you like music?
[plays Elvis Presley's "The Promised Land" on the radio]
Kay: That's better.
[mouths along with Elvis, and drives onto the roof of a tunnel]
Jay: Aw shit! Aw damn! K! K!
[K avoids a traffic light and brings the car back to ground level]
Jay: You do know Elvis is dead, right?
Kay: No, Elvis is not dead. He just went home.
The saga of Lavabit founder Ladar Levison is getting even more ridiculous, as he explains that the government has threatened him with criminal charges for his decision to shut down the business, rather than agree to some mysterious court order. The feds are apparently arguing that the act of shutting down the business, itself, was a violation of the order:
... a source familiar with the matter told NBC News that James Trump, a senior litigation counsel in the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va., sent an email to Levison's lawyer last Thursday – the day Lavabit was shuttered -- stating that Levison may have "violated the court order," a statement that was interpreted as a possible threat to charge Levison with contempt of court.
Instead, the suggestion now is that the government was seeking a tap on all accounts:
Levison stressed that he has complied with "upwards of two dozen court orders" for information in the past that were targeted at "specific users" and that "I never had a problem with that." But without disclosing details, he suggested that the order he received more recently was markedly different, requiring him to cooperate in broadly based surveillance that would scoop up information about all the users of his service. He likened the demands to a requirement to install a tap on his telephone.
Bambi Note: This was just posted yesterday at TechDirt. And there is more at the NBCNews link and in the TechDirt article. This is getting nuts!
The inventor of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, had never testified in court before last year. In February 2012, he left Cambridge to fly down to Tyler, an East Texas city of about 100,000, to testify at a patent trial. It was the culmination of a bold campaign by a man named Michael Doyle to levy a vast patent tax on the modern web.
Berners-Lee was one of several web pioneers who came through the court during the course of a four-day trial, which ultimately convinced a jury to invalidate two patents owned by Eolas, the tiny patent-holding company that Doyle and his lawyers transformed into one of the most fearsome "patent trolls" of all time.
Now Eolas appears to be gone for good. The company mounted a lengthy appeal, but it was all for naught; this morning, a three-judge appeals panel affirmed the jury's verdict without comment.
Bambi Note: In case you may not remember what this Eolas patent nightmare was all about then read further in the article. Between Doyle's Eolas two patents, just about every dynamic website was under threats of being sued but thankfully prior art prevailed as it should have from the beginning of this fiasco.
At the same time, the University of California, and the Berkeley campus in particular, was a key institution in creating early web technology. While UC lawyers cooperated with the plaintiffs, two UC Berkeley-trained computer scientists were key witnesses in the effort to demolish the Eolas patents.
Pei-Yuan Wei created the pioneering Viola browser, a key piece of prior art, while he was a student at UC-Berkeley in the early 1990s. Scott Silvey, another UC-Berkeley student at that time, testified about a program he made called VPlot, which allowed users to rotate an image of an airplane using Wei's browser. VPlot and Viola were demonstrated to Sun Microsystems in May 1993, months before Doyle claimed to have conceived of his invention.
Bambi Note: On August 14, 2013, the New York Times website NYTimes.com went off the reservation for quite a few hours. Their Twitter account said they were experiencing technical difficulties - internal problem they said. I am dubious about that. But I guess it could happen. Many claim it was only down for a couple hours, but based on isitdownrightnow.com, it was down at 8:09am. They didn't show another timeframe when it was back up, so it made it look like it was down since 8:09am. (NOTE: NYTimes.com has been up for 2 days 15 hours 54 mins as of 10:34AM today).
Reuters reported, "New York Times Co spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said the company thinks the cause of the outage was related to a scheduled maintenance update, which occurred within seconds of the website going down. "We have no reason to believe that this was the result of a cyber-attack," she said."
That sounds quite plausible. That can easily happen. Let's hope that was indeed the problem and that now it is fixed.
NYTimes was not the only one having issues on the 14th. Dropbox had an outage, Outlook.com/Hotmail/MSN had a prolonged 7 hour outage.
Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their emails are confidential, Google has said in a court filing.
Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy group that uncovered the filing, called the revelation a “stunning admission.” It comes as Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.
“Google has finally admitted they don’t respect privacy,” said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director. “People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy, don’t use Gmail.”
As tensions worsen among privacy-focused email users amid the escalating scandal surrounding government surveillance, a brief filed by attorneys for Google has surfaced showing that Gmail users should never expect their communications to be kept secret.
Consumer Watchdog has unearthed a July 13, 2013 motion filed by Google’s attorneys with regards to ongoing litigation challenging how the Silicon Valley giant operates its highly popular free email service.
The motion, penned in hopes of having the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismiss a class action complaint against the company, says Gmail users should assume that any electronic correspondence that’s passed through Google’s servers can be accessed and used for an array of options, such as selling ads to customers.
“Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use Web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery,” the motion reads in part. “Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’”
Bambi Note: Google, et al can say what they want, but they are all dead wrong about privacy. And this type of statement only makes matters worse.
Google developers have confirmed a cryptographic vulnerability in the Android operating system that researchers say could generate serious security glitches on hundreds of thousands of end-user apps, many of them used to make Bitcoin transactions.
This weakness in Android's Java Cryptography Architecture is the root cause of a Bitcoin transaction that reportedly was exploited to pilfer about $5,720 worth of bitcoins out of a digital wallet last week. The disclosure, included in a blog post published Wednesday by Google security engineer Alex Klyubin, was the first official confirmation of the Android vulnerability since Ars and others reported the incident last weekend. Klyubin warned that other apps might also be compromised unless developers change the way they access so-called PRNGs, short for pseudo random number generators.
"We have now determined that applications which use the Java Cryptography Architecture (JCA) for key generation, signing, or random number generation may not receive cryptographically strong values on Android devices due to improper initialization of the underlying PRNG," he wrote. "Applications that directly invoke the system-provided OpenSSL PRNG without explicit initialization on Android are also affected." Apps that establish encrypted connections using the HttpClient and java.net classes aren't vulnerable.
The confirmation came a few hours after researchers from security firm Symantec warned that hundreds of thousands of Android apps may be affected by the vulnerability. By Symantec's count, as many as 360,000 programs rely on the SecureRandom, which is one of the programming services for generating random numbers provided by the JCA. Contrary to many earlier reports, the flaw affects all versions of Android, not just 4.2 and earlier, Android Security Engineer Adrian Ludwig told Ars.
A hacker took over a baby monitor in a home in the US city of Houston, Texas, to spy on a 2-year-old girl, to broadcast obscenities at the child, to swivel the camera so as to watch her shocked parents as they came in, and to then call the parents insulting names.
According to ABC News, Marc Gilbert and his wife, Lauren, heard the voice of a strange man with a British or European accent coming from the bedroom of their daughter, Allyson, on 10 August.
Bambi Note: this has been a known issue with Baby Monitors for a long time as noted in the article. Even audio only baby monitors could be eavesdropped on. A man sued over leaky baby monitor in 2009. 2011: 5 things you probably didn’t know could be hacked - Yahoo News
The BabyCenter website suggests the following security measures:
Security: Look for monitors that use DECT technology (that's digitally enhanced cordless telecommunications) to encrypt the audio signals between the transmitter and the receiver. For video monitors, digital models offer better security. Some models have a "digital lock" to encrypt the images.
Frequency: The most basic models use 49 megahertz. The next step up is 900 megahertz, which delivers longer range but also might be subject to interference from older cordless phones that use the same frequency. To address this, many baby monitors have shifted to 2.4 gigahertz. Newer cordless phones have adopted the same frequency, however, and wi-fi systems also use 2.4 GHz, so interference can still pose a problem. The 1.9 gigahertz band offers the best security because it's the only one that supports DECT technology.
Bambi's Note: Tragic story of how a child was not given the opportunity to make use of Marijuana to stop her seizures for years. The story is a must read. The road to getting beyond the suffering takes some unexpected twists. Must read article.
While smartphones have been heralded as the coming of the next generation of communication and collaboration, they are a step backwards when it comes to personal security, anonymity and privacy. The Guardian Project aims to create easy to use apps, open-source software libraries and operating system modifications, and customized mobile devices that can be used and deployed around the world, by any person looking to protect their communications and personal data from unjust intrusion and monitoring.
New to Guardian? Watch this short video walkthrough of setting up two of our most popular apps,Orbot and Orweb on any standard Android device, and then view our full list of apps.
Bambi Note: One of their apps is GIBBERBOT: FREE SECURE CHAT - "Free unlimited messaging with your friends over Facebook Chat, Google Chat & more! Works with Android, iPhone, Mac, Linux or PC." It was also named in PC Mag's “100 Best Android Apps of 2013.”
Bambi Note: Something to seriously think about.
From the NBCNews article:
A newly declassified CIA history from 20 years ago spills the story about Nevada's Area 51 and its secret mission — which was not to study UFOs, but to test the U-2 and other spy planes.
The CIA's story about the legendary test site is contained in "The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: the U-2 and Oxcart Programs." The document was approved for release in June, with just a few remaining redactions, in response to a Freedom of Information request filed by George Washington University's National Security Archive back in 2005.
Much of the material was already known to Area 51 aficionados. "Nearly all of the newly released information is already in my books," British author Chris Pocock said in a commentary distributed by the National Security Archive. But the fact that Area 51 is explicitly mentioned in a publicly available document is nevertheless notable.
From The Atlantic article:
Newly declassified documents, obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive, appear to for the first time acknowledge the existence of Area 51. Hundreds of pages describe the genesis of the Nevada site that was home to the government's spy plane program for decades. The documents do not, however, mention aliens.
The project started humbly. In the pre-drone era about a decade after the end of World War II, President Eisenhower signed off on a project aimed at building a high-altitude, long-range, manned aircraft that could photograph remote targets. Working together, the Air Force and Lockheed developed a craft that could hold the high-resolution cameras required for the images, a craft that became the U-2. Why "U-2"?
Bambi Note: Why "U-2"? That and many other items are covered with quotes from the declassified documents and The Atlantic article even points to the pages in the documents to find the quotes. Of course both these articles only touch the surface of the "The Ranch"/Area 51 declassified documents. The NBCNews article also has many quotes, and notes, including the correlation between the U-2 testing and increased number of UFO sightings reported.
The declassified document has 355 pages.
Bambi Note: Adblock Plus - Now available for Internet Explorer too!
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Cyber criminals will bank their Windows XP zero-day vulnerabilities until after Microsoft stops patching the aged operating system next April, a security expert argued today.
Jason Fossen, a trainer for SANS since 1998 and an expert on Microsoft security, said it's simply economics at work.
"The average price on the black market for a Windows XP exploit is $50,000 to $150,000, a relatively low price that reflects Microsoft's response," said Fossen. When a new vulnerability -- dubbed a "zero-day" -- is spotted in the wild, Microsoft investigates, pulls together a patch and releases it to XP users.
If the bug is critical and being widely used by hackers, Microsoft will go "out-of-cycle," meaning it will issue a security update outside its usual monthly Patch Tuesday schedule.
But after April 8, 2014, Microsoft has said it will retire Windows XP and stop serving security updates. The only exceptions: Companies and other organizations, such as government agencies, that pay exorbitant fees for custom support, which provides critical security updates for an operating system that's officially been declared dead.
In its efforts to take down as much infringing content as it can, Microsoft has started to censor legitimate links to competing software. Hoping to remove pirated versions of Microsoft Office from the Internet, the software company has sent several DMCA takedowns to Google, listing copies of its open source competitor Open Office as copyright infringements. An honest mistake perhaps, but also a terrible one.
Every week copyright holders send millions of DMCA takedown notices to Google in the hope of making pirated content harder to find.
Microsoft has been one of the most active senders and over the past month alone has asked Google to remove more than a million infringing URLsfrom its indexes. In addition the software giant also strips infringing links from its own search engine Bing.
While most of the submitted URLs do indeed link to infringing content, not all requests sent by Microsoft and other copyright holders are correct. Their often automated anti-piracy systems regularly trigger notices that include links to perfectly legitimate content, sometimes from direct competitors.
The latter happened with several recent DMCA takedown requests sent to Google on behalf of Microsoft. The notices, which contain references to unauthorized copies of Microsoft Office, also list many links with Apache’s open source office suite OpenOffice in the title.
The law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd has filed a class-action suit against Microsoft over what it claims was misleading information on the company's Surface RT sales.
Neowin.net posted about the suit on August 13, noting that it names as defendants Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, former Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein, Corporate Vice President Frank Brod and Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller.
Microsoft designed Windows RT to get its newest OS on tablets using the popular ARM processor. It did this well, but in the process crippled it, making it a no-go for the consumer.
The case was filed in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of purchasers of Microsoft stock between April 18, 2013 and July 18, 2013 (the “Class Period”).
Bambi Note: PDF copy of the complaint
Microsoft is making available firmware and driver updates for its Surface RT and Surface Pro devices as part of its August Patch Tuesday bundle.
Bambi's Note: And updates to Windows 8.1 Preview as well included in the August Patch Tuesday bundle.
A Microsoft executive has confirmed that, contrary to earlier reports from the company, the upcoming Xbox One console will not require the Kinect sensor to be activated at all times after all. This change comes after a widespread backlash from gamers concerned about the privacy implications of an always-on camera pointed from the television back at the couch.
Microsoft's original announcement of the Kinect requirement came at an awkward time, as its privacy practices have been receiving a lot of attention over the past few months. The company was in the midst of an advertising campaign that used the tagline "Your privacy is our priority" when the Guardianpublished information connecting Microsoft and its product Skype with the NSA's PRISM program. Just days later, Bloomberg published a report that the company provides U.S. intelligence agencies like the NSA with advance information about its products' security vulnerabilities, which could in theory be used to get backdoor access to a person's computer.
Against that backdrop, users expressed concerns that an always-on Kinect camera could be co-opted for surveillance. Some referred to the product as "the future of PRISM." Two Congressmembers even introduced a bill called the "We Are Watching You Act" aimed at Kinect and similar devices.
Microsoft had previously responded to those concerns in June with more information about the privacy protections built in to Kinect, but this week's interview makes it clear they have made additional changes, such that the device could be de-activated all together.
Some of the privacy issues with Kinect are real and substantial, so it is encouraging to see Microsoft respond to feedback. Despite the timing of the NSA revelations, the company has endeavored to compete publicly on its privacy practices. It also joined EFF and other tech companies in calling on the U.S. government to lift unnecessary restrictions on what sorts of government data requests they can publicly report.
If we hope to see more companies push back on NSA surveillance of their users, we must first recognize where that's happening. Removing the requirement for an always-on Kinect may be a minor change, but a step in the right direction.
This change isn't the first time Microsoft has responded to Xbox One criticisms with a real policy adjustment. Earlier this summer, Microsoft made a separate announcement in response to concerns about its plans for an expansive built-in DRM scheme that would have required a constant Internet connection—even to play offline—and restricted the way users could sell and trade games. After coming under heavy criticism from its competitor Sony and the gaming community at large, it lifted many of those restrictions completely.
Microsoft is preparing to update Windows to version 8.1 and is offering us the chance to preview the changes before it is officially released.
This fact sheet will be continually updated with the latest details as we learn more about Windows 8.1 Preview. You can check back anytime and refresh this article to get the latest updates. Updated information Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 will be released as free update on the Windows Store to all Windows 8 and Windows RT users on October 18, 2013.
What we know
- Prevalent caveat: Microsoft makes a point of offering this warning before you install Windows 8.1: This preview is mainly for experienced PC users, so if you're not sure whether it’s right for you, read the FAQ.
- Noteworthy caveat: You are required to have a personal Windows Live account or the enterprise equivalent in order to finish the installation.
- Availability: You can download and install the Windows 8.1 Preview from the Windows Store for free. There is also a Windows 8.1 Preview for the Enterprise available for download.
Bambi Note: There are a bunch more 'what we know' items in the article.
Windows 8 has a new File History backup system that replaces Windows 7′s backup tools. However, Windows 8 still contains the Windows 7 backup tools. They’re particularly useful for creating full system image backups.
These tools are considered deprecated and probably won’t be there in future versions of Windows. Microsoft would prefer you use the File History and Refresh features instead.
Accessing the Windows 7 Backup Tools
The Windows 7 backup tools are hidden and won’t appear in searches for “backup” or similar phrases.
To access them, press the Windows key and search for backup. Select the Settings category and open the Save backup copies of your files with File History window.
Bambi Note: However, if you want to use Windows 8 File History backup system, Windows 8 also has a commandline recovery image creator that I read about in Fred Langa's WindowsSecrets.com article, A ‘no-reformat reinstall’ for Windows 8. Must read article. It's a great walk! Thanks Fred!
But the one thing that really caught my attention in the article was something Fred will be talk about during a follow up article. It was how to create a recovery image on the same hard drive or an external drive (or both) from the commandline using Recimg.exe, built-in to Windows 8, that can be used just as easily as any other recovery media you might have, or install discs for the 'no-reformat reinstall' of Windows 8. And like the Windows 7 System Image, it is a snapshot in time of EVERYTHING on the computer that is a great way to do that 'no-reformat reinstall', I would think.
Here's the skinny on that from the Microsoft article:
This article describes how to create a custom system image that is used to refresh a Windows 8 PC.
"Refresh your PC" is a new feature in Windows 8. By default, desktop apps are removed when you refresh a Windows 8-based computer, unless you create a custom image. After you create a custom system image, the image is used as the refresh image. This means that any existing image or OEM restore image is not used when you refresh your computer. We recommend that only experienced Windows 8 users who understand the consequences of this behavior create a custom system image.
The space that is required to create a custom image depends on the number of apps that are installed on the computer and may exceed 5.0 GB. In addition, the custom image creation process may take a long time, during which you should not restart the computer. A percentage indicator lets you monitor the progress of the process.
To create a custom image, use the Recimg.exe command-line tool that is included in Windows 8. To do this, follow these steps:
- Create a destination folder for the custom image. For example, create a folder named "Refreshimage" on drive C.
- Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, follow these steps:
- On the Start page, type cmd, press and hold or right-click Command Prompt, and then tap or click Run as administrator.
- Type the following command, and then press Enter:
recimg -CreateImage drive:\folder
For example, if you create "C:\Refreshimage" in step 1, run the following command:
recimg -CreateImage C:\Refreshimage
Note The Recimg command registers the custom image that is used to refresh the Windows 8 PC. Known issue
After you refresh a Windows 8-based computer by using a custom image, a printer might no longer function. When this issue occurs, the printer still appears in the Devices and Printer item in Control Panel. However, you experience one of the following symptoms:
- You cannot use the printer.
- When you try to set the printer as the default printer, an error occurs.
- When you try to open the Printer Properties dialog box, an error occurs.
This issue occurs because some printer settings are out of sync.
To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
- Open the Devices and Printers item in Control Panel.
- Right-click the printer that has the issues, and then click Remove device.
- Click Add a printer to reinstall the printer.
Developer Albert Vaka has a very interesting GSoC project. In the wake of Ubuntu’s ‘convergance story‘, the prospect of integrating your phone with your computer–or even using your phone as a desktop–has become a very hot topic. Albert, not interested in seeing KDE users left out in the cold, has taken the very first steps necessary to get KDE talking with Android. And no, this has nothing to do with Dolphin’s MTP support. Vaka’s app currently does the following...