See You In The Hague

How ridiculous is this?

Six hundred million gamers could be war criminals, Red Cross says

THE Red Cross is investigating whether 600 million gamers are violating the Hague and Geneva conventions when they kill and blow stuff up for fun.

Delegates at the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Crescent raised the concerns over the potential “International Humanitarian Law” violations – which can constitute war crimes – during a workshop in Geneva.

“Exactly how video games influence individuals is a hotly debated topic, but for the first time, Movement partners discussed our role and responsibility to take action against violations of IHL in video games,” the Red Cross wrote in its daily bulletin.

See also:
Could Playing Videogames Be a War Crime?
Red Cross: 600m videogamers may be war criminals
War Crimes in Video Games Draw Red Cross Scrutiny
Are You a Video Game War Criminal?
Red Cross Investigating Virtual War Crimes
Red Cross Would Like Rules of War Applied to Video Games [Updated]
Red Cross: Violent video games violate international law
The Red Cross and Six Hundred Million Hague Convention Violations
Should the Geneva Conventions Be Applied to Video Games?
Should video games respect international war crimes law?
Red Cross vows not to prosecute video gamers for war crimes
Gamers are safe from war crimes prosecution
Red Cross: Gamers safe from war crimes prosecution

Whew, well, it’s good to know that the ICRC isn’t going to prosecute video gamers, so we dodged a bullet there. However, it’s incredibly troubling and well beyond insane that they’re even thinking about it. If you’re thinking about donating to the Red Cross this holiday season remember, there’s a huge difference between the American Red Cross and the International Red Cross.

/the former does good and important relief work, while the latter is just plain bat[expletive deleted] crazy

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Double The Record Bailout, Double The Criminality

Franklin Raines, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, and all the rest of these thieving Democrat criminals should be made to forfeit of every last penny’s worth of their personal property and then be thrown in Federal prison for the rest of their lives. They’ve done immeasurable damage to the U.S. economy, the U.S. taxpayers, and everyone who own a house or a retirement account. And it’s not over yet and it’s only going to get worse.

Fannie and Freddie support may reach $363 billion by 2013

Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could need as much as $363 billion in government payments by 2013, regulators said Thursday.

The Treasury Department has pumped $148 billion into the agencies since the government took them over in 2008.

The new projections by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, based on a series of assumptions about home prices, indicate that Fannie and Freddie will require an additional $73 billion to $215 billion before 2013.

Read the projections:

Projections of the Enterprises’ Financial Performance

See also:

Fannie, Freddie May Draw $363 Billion, FHFA Says
Fannie/Freddie Bailout Could Total $363 Billion
Fannie, Freddie May Need $215 Billion More in Aid
Fannie & Freddie ‘could cost US $363bn’
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac bailouts could hit $363 billion, report says
Fannie, Freddie bailout could hit $363 billion
US taxpayers warned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need $363bn bailouts
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac deep in the hole
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bailout Costs Could Soar
Fannie and Freddie May Need Infusion
Fannie, Freddie Rise Despite Giant Potential Tab With U.S Treasury

Yes folks, the Fannie and Freddie bailout is going to end up costing more than the AIG and Auto bailouts combined, by an order of magnitude, and the U.S. taxpayers are going to get stuck with the bill.

/why do the known criminals who obviously caused this 1/3 of a trillion dollar mess remain unpunished?

Keeping Up With The Bad Guys

I don’t see any problem with this at all. Law enforcement is still going to need a search warrant and if they have enough evidence to get a warrant, they should be able to listen in. Why should criminals and terrorists be given an advantage just because they’re smart enough to communicate using the internet?

U.S. seeks ways to wiretap the Internet

The Obama administration is planning to seek legislation that would require social networking companies and voice-over-Internet service providers to adapt their technology so law enforcement agents can monitor users’ communications during criminal and terrorism investigations.

The proposal arises out of a concern that technology and social customs have outpaced the law and that authorities lack the means to monitor new methods of communication, administration officials said. But the initiative has also revived a more than 15-year-old debate over the proper balance between national security and personal privacy as well as what industry can reasonably be asked to do without stifling innovation.

“This is about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said Valerie E. Caproni, FBI general counsel. “This is not about expanding authority, but about preserving the ability to carry out existing authorities in order to protect the national security and public safety.”

See also:
FBI Drive for Encryption Backdoors Is Déjà Vu for Security Experts
Report: Feds to push for Net encryption backdoors
Feds want backdoors built into VoIP and email
Obama Administration Internet Wiretap Plans Dredge Up Old Debate
White House, FBI Seek Legislation to Expedite Online Wiretapping
Internet Wiretapping: Snoop or Safety Tool?
U.S. Wants to Wiretap the Internet
Internet Privacy Advocates Concerned Over Wiretap Plans
US rights group concerned by Web wiretap plans
Wiretap Law & Internet Freedom

I think the best rule of thumb is to just assume that a government, U.S. or otherwise, is monitoring all your communications, across the technology spectrum, and behave accordingly.

/if you’re not engaged in anything illegal, you shouldn’t get into any trouble

If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Time To Patch Flash

If you watch YouTube videos or read PDF files, you’re gonna want to pay attention.

After attacks, Adobe fixes Flash bug

Less than a week after fielding reports that hackers were targeting a bug in its Flash Player software, Adobe Systems has rushed out a fix for the problem.

Adobe’s new 10.1 Flash update, released Thursday, fixed a bug that was first spotted via a small number of targeted attacks late last week.

According to Symantec, these Flash attacks are still not widespread, but users should update their Flash software as soon as possible. “We have been seeing a small but steady rise in detections of related malicious PDFs and we expect to continue to see these numbers increase over the coming hours and days,” the security vendor said in a statement.

Criminals have been exploiting the flaw using malicious Flash swf files, which are typically opened by the Web browser’s Flash Player plugin, or via PDFs that have maliciously encoded Flash components embedded inside them, Adobe said Thursday. Those malicious PDFs are typically opened by Reader or Acrobat, which include their own versions of Flash Player that have not yet been patched. That fix is due June 29.

Thursday’s update includes an unusually large number of security bug-fixes, 32 in all. “It’s a huge number of bugs fixed, something along the lines of what we’d expect of Apple,” said Andrew Storms, director of security operations with nCircle Network Security.

Adobe’s Flash and Reader software have emerged as prime hacking targets in the past year, and the company is toying with the idea of releasing more frequent security updates to keep pace.

See also:
Adobe Flash Player version 10.1
Exploit for new Flash vulnerability spreading fast
Adobe releases Flash 10.1 and patch bundle
Adobe Issues Massive Flash Security Update
Adobe plugs 32 security holes in ‘critical’ Flash Player patch
Adobe Issues Security Patch
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 released for Windows, Mac, Linux
Adobe debuts What Jobs Hates™ v10.1
Adobe Releases Flash Player 10.1, AIR 2
Adobe releases Flash Player 10.1 for Mac
Adobe Reader 9.3
Adobe Systems

Be careful, the Flash update tries to install Google Toolbar by default. So, unless you want Google Toolbar, make sure you uncheck the box for Google Toolbar before you hit the install button. If Google Toolbar gets mistakenly installed, you can always uninstall it using Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs.

/damn, I hate it when software vendors try and tack on unrelated, third party software by default to the software download you actually want to install

Department Of Homeland Firearms Insecurity

Brought to you by the people in charge of keeping us safe.

DHS officers lost guns in restrooms, bowling alleys, cars

In the first such accounting, Homeland Security officers lost nearly 200 weapons in bowling alleys, restrooms, unlocked cars and other unsecure areas from fall 2005 through 2008, USA TODAY’s Thomas Frank reports. At least 15 guns ended up in the hands of gang members, criminals, drug users and teenagers.

The report, by Inspector General Richard Skinner, said most weapons were never found. They included hand guns, shotguns and military rifles.

He documented 289 missing firearms, though some were lost after Hurricane Katrina and others were stolen from safes.

DHS has disciplined some offenders and beefed up training.

CNN writes that 179 guns — 74% of the total — were lost “because officers did not properly secure them,” the report said

Read the IG report:

DHS Controls Over Firearms

See also:
Homeland Security reports losing guns
Report: Officers lose 243 Homeland Security guns
Report tracks lost firearms at DHS
Homeland Security Lost Dozens of Guns, According to Internal Report
Homeland Security fails to secure its guns
Homeland Security Officers Lost Hundreds of Firearms
Homeland Security loses 243 guns, report says
Do DHS agents know where their guns are?
Homeland Security Agents Keep Losing Their Guns

Well hey, I feel safe, don’t you?

/don’t worry, the country is in the very best of hands