Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

Blog of the real Xenophilius Lovegood, a slightly mad scientist

Archive for December 3rd, 2010

Wikileaks Cablegate File (how to) + Plot to lock up the Internet?

Posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2010

The Wikileaks site is down at the moment, and now it is clear that there may be an additional motivation for the court injunction against Limewire and then the government seizure of P2P file sharing web sites.

I say this because it is possible to get the Cablegate 2.11 MB file using file sharing software like Frostwire. It worked for me once, then stopped working. (Thepiratebay.org, which currently has the torrent file listed, says the text version of the download is 5.37MB.) Frostwire searches work, but it gets stuck on “Locating sources…” for any found files. So, try uTorrent instead. That still works. Only took me a few seconds to get it after installing uTorrent… which is much smaller than Frostwire, by the way.) At this point only about 660 of the 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables cables have been released to the public, but all have been given to the media.

TOOLS: If you have Windows, you’ll also want to get some free open source software to expand zipped files, for example, 7-zip. Also, a program like Notepad++ can make reading and searching the downloaded text files easier. The “Find in Files” option under the Search menu can search text in all the files in a directory without having to open each file.

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Is Wikileaks a false operation to justify take over of the Internet? Probably not, but consider everything. (Interesting that my iPhone started dropping all calls even though I have full bars minutes after posting this…)

PROOF OF CONCEPT 1, ZIP as MP3:. A song can be shared that is not really a song, it is a zip file with any information you like.  Box.net can be used to share .zip files that are renamed to .mp3.  Download the mp3 and change the extension to .zip and you just shared whatever kind of file it was.

PROOF OF CONCEPT 2, STEGNOGRAPHY: An MP3 can hide a file and still play on Box.net.  Try this for yourself:  Get the free mp3stegz from sourceforge. (Hint: Open source software is free and is also pretty safe from things like spyware! ) Next, download my mp3 file (you’ll need flash to see it, so no iPhones), and use mp3stegz to look at it.

For the password use the word “wiki” without the quotes.

You have to put it in twice. Then hit the [Reveal!] button and a file that was hidden in the MP3 will be saved in the same directory as the MP3. That file will have the hidden information. So far both a .GIF image and a .TXT file work.

What is interesting is that the file size with and without hiding info (such as a password or a web site) is the same:

Before: 7.25 MB (7,602,176 bytes)
After: 7.25 MB (7,602,176 bytes)

There is a size limit as far as the size of the file you can hide with this program, however. So you are going to get a small file out, a text file with link or  password, etc.  The MP3 as zip could be used to pass large files, but then the song would not play, so, uTorrent or other P2P software is the current best way to get the cablegate files. (If all the wikileaks mirrors are down, that is.)

The more than 250,000 cables from the State Department were given to journalists from five major international publications a few weeks ago, and are being release to the public in stages over the coming weeks by Weakileaks. …

“The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the United Nations; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deal with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them. This document release reveals the contradiction between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors-and show that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what is going on behind the scenes,” says Wikileaks Cable Gate page.

- njp

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments »

Africa ‘can feed itself in a generation’

Posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2010

A woman preparing food in UgandaA new book claims Africa could feed itself within a generation, and become a major agricultural exporter.

The book, The New Harvest, by Harvard University professor Calestous Juma, calls on African leaders to make agricultural expansion central to all decision-making.

Improvements in infrastructure, mechanisation and GM crops could vastly increase production, he claims.

The findings are being presented to African leaders in Tanzania today.

The presidents of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are holding an informal summit to discuss African food security and climate change.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of the meeting, Professor Juma said African leaders had to recognise that “agriculture and economy for Africa are one and the same”.

“It is the responsibility of an African president to modernise the economy and that means essentially starting with the modernisation of agriculture,” he said. …

via BBC News – Africa ‘can feed itself in a generation’.

Posted in Food, Survival | Leave a Comment »

US-Japan naval drills start as N Korea tensions rise

Posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2010

USS George Washington (24 November 2010)Japan and the United States have begun their biggest ever joint military exercises, amid growing tension in the region between North and South Korea.

More than 44,000 Japanese and American military personnel are taking part in the drill off Japan’s southern islands.

Forty Japanese and 20 US warships are also involved, as are hundreds of military aircraft.

The exercises come 10 days after North Korea shelled a South Korean island, killing four people.

South Korean observers are present for the first time. …

The joint military exercises – codenamed Keen Sword – are being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the US-Japan alliance.

They are intended to be a show of solidarity between the Pacific allies at a time of heightened tension in the region, says the BBC’s Roland Buerk in Tokyo.

The drills were planned well before North Korea shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong last month, killing two marines and two civilians.

But they come just days after the United States and South Korea carried out their own joint military exercises, putting on a show of force in the Yellow Sea.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said North Korea remained “an immediate threat to the region around it, particularly to South Korea and Japan”.

North Korea also posed “a medium-term threat, should it collapse, to China”, she said.

Beijing has criticised the manoeuvres and called for more talks with Pyongyang, saying it is better to negotiate than “brandish weapons”.

Japan’s government has been on high alert since North Korea shelled the island of Yeonpyeong on 23 November, killing at least four South Koreans. …

via BBC News – US-Japan naval drills start as N Korea tensions rise.

Posted in War | Leave a Comment »

Save Apps from iPhone to iTunes (How to)

Posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2010

I don’t want iTunes on my computer, but Apple pretty much demands it if you have an iPhone and want to back it up, upgrade your firmware, etc.

So, here’s what I do. Set up my system without iTunes. Make a disk image with Clonezilla (free), then install iTunes to do a back up once a month. When I want to get rid of iTunes (which adds 740 MB to my system after I back up my iPhone)  I just restore the image of my computer without the iTunes junk back to my system.

Anyway, backing up a bit, after I install iTunes for the first time,  when I plug in my iPhone, the sync does not include my apps. If I try to sync, a prompt tells my I’m about to wipe out all my data in my apps.

Here’s how to do it right:

- Open iTunes.
- On the menu bar, across the top left, click on Edit.
- Go to the bottom of the list and click on Preferences.
- In the pop-up box, click on the Devices tab.
- Check the box beside the words: Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.
- Connect the iPhone to the computer.
- Once the iPhone appears on the left panel of iTunes, right click.
- Click on Transfer Purchases.
Anything on the iPhone that was downloaded from iTunes should be transferring to your computer.
- Now to sync your iPhone, bring it up in iTunes and click sync at the bottom right of the screen, or go back into Preferences and turn back on automatic syncing.


PS. In case you don’t realize how cool Clonezilla (free) is, you can spend weeks getting your system set up just the way you want, all the software, all the settings, all the plug-ins, fonts, anti-virus, firewall, then get rid of excess Windows files and other junk (be careful), and then … make an image of your perfectly tuned system.

To make the image, you have to get the Clonezilla ISO file, burn it to a CD, boot your system to the CD, follow the prompts, plug in your USB drive, answer some more prompts and then save the image of your computer HD to your USB drive. It takes about 10 minutes for me.

Now you can try experimental software. If you get a virus or suspect spyware,  you can get your entire system back fresh with a Clonezilla restore in a few minutes … usually half the time it takes you to make the image. You can even do this starting from a completely blank hard drive if your drive dies. This is a 100 times faster than re-installing Windows and setting everything up again just right.

If you just want a good uninstaller for Windows that is free and removes all traces of software you install from your system, try Revo Uninstaller (free).

I got my entire speedy little Windows XP set up down to one 3.3 GB image – That’s all of my music, pdf book library, software, etc… and it all fits on a Kingston USB DataTraveler G3 drive ($6.95). Another tip: On that one image, you can also have encrypted files with your financial information using a program like TrueCrypt.

Perhaps no one can win the privacy battle, but you can at least go down  fighting.

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Race Is On to ‘Fingerprint’ Phones, PCs

Posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2010

WTKARMSDavid Norris wants to collect the digital equivalent of fingerprints from every computer, cellphone and TV set-top box in the world.

He’s off to a good start. So far, Mr. Norris’s start-up company, BlueCava Inc., has identified 200 million devices. By the end of next year, BlueCava says it expects to have cataloged one billion of the world’s estimated 10 billion devices.

Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads. They want to buy access to specific people. So, Mr. Norris is building a “credit bureau for devices” in which every computer or cellphone will have a “reputation” based on its user’s online behavior, shopping habits and demographics. He plans to sell this information to advertisers willing to pay top dollar for granular data about people’s interests and activities.

Device fingerprinting is a powerful emerging tool in this trade. It’s “the next generation of online advertising,” Mr. Norris says.

It might seem that one computer is pretty much like any other. Far from it: Each has a different clock setting, different fonts, different software and many other characteristics that make it unique. Every time a typical computer goes online, it broadcasts hundreds of such details as a calling card to other computers it communicates with. Tracking companies can use this data to uniquely identify computers, cellphones and other devices, and then build profiles of the people who use them. …

via Race Is On to ‘Fingerprint’ Phones, PCs – WSJ.com.

Forget cookies–even the ultrasneaky, Flash-based “super cookies.” A new type of tracking may identify you far more accurately than any cookie–and you may never know it was there.

The method pulls together innocuous data about your browser, such as plug-ins, system fonts, and your operating system. Alone, they don’t identify you. Together, they’re a digital fingerprint.

It’s like describing a person. Just saying “brown hair” won’t identify anyone. But add in “5 feet, 10 inches tall,” “chipped right front tooth,” “size 12 shoes,” and so on, and soon you have enough information to pull someone out of a crowd, even without their name, Social Security number, or any other of the usual identifiers.

Test your browser for unique identifiers without the risk: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy group, has set up an interesting online experiment at Panopticlick.eff.org. Panopticlick gathers little de­­tails about your browser and computer, mostly using Javascript. In my case, the information it gathered about my browser was enough to uniquely identify my surfing software out of more than 650,000 visitors.

via PC World

So, your browser is reporting: fonts you have installed, in what order they were installed, your clock setting down to the millisecond, your browser plug-ins, type of web browser, MAC address … you can mess with most of this stuff with privacy software and running plane jane configurations.

Firefox test: No privacy browsing: “only one in 641,436 browsers have the same fingerprint as yours.”

Firefox’s Privacy browsing: …

Posted in Technology | Leave a Comment »

Julian Assange, Wanted Whistleblower

Posted by Anonymous on December 3, 2010

wow1202A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about alleged wrongdoing occurring in an organization or body of people. … Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

Whistleblowers frequently face reprisal, sometimes at the hands of the organization or group which they have accused, sometimes from related organizations, and sometimes under law. …

…in the United States, most whistleblower protection laws provide for limited “make whole” remedies or damages for employment losses if whistleblower retaliation is proven. However, many whistleblowers report there exists a widespread “shoot the messenger” mentality by corporations or government agencies accused of misconduct and in some cases whistleblowers have been subjected to criminal prosecution in reprisal for reporting wrongdoing. …

via Whistleblower – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


I’ve been saying for years that the Government wants to make it a crime to know about their crimes. That, being able to rob people and get away with it,  is the main reason politicians  want control of the Internet, a kill switch for the Internet, warrant-less searches, and the ability to spy on everyone.

If not for Wikileaks, we would not know that the U.S. has been secretly bombing Yemen.

If Wikileaks gets this stuff, I don’t see why they don’t just go through the information carefully and just release the most damning parts and require investigations into crimes revealed. Perhaps they tried that and it didn’t work, so they took it up to the next level.

Assange doesn’t seem to be doing this just to disrupt things. I don’t see him as an anarchist or a terrorist. He is a zealot of information freedom, but his interest in disclosing wrongdoing seems very clear. In the long run, I think that may be what we need right now.  Make democracy more than a buzzword.

If they take Assange out, a thousand more could take his place in protest. Even if they don’t, the information already released will reverberate for decades.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: Has US already indicted him?

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Tells TIME: Hillary Clinton ‘Should Resign’

Julian Assange’s Next WikiLeak Will Reportedly Expose Wall Street

How the US media is dumping on WikiLeaks – and censoring the cable disclosures

Posted in Politics, Technology | 1 Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 862 other followers