Three Kinds of Crazy

Ok, here's a fluff piece, but it's interesting stuff from a security perspective... and, really, it's not all fluff. :)

1) From Slashdot today, False Fact On Wikipedia Proves Itself. This is an amusing little story of circular logic where someone erroneously updated Wikipedia, which was then used as the basis of multiple stories, which were in turn used to prove the validity of the erroneous Wikipedia entry. This isn't the first time this has happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Still, it poses an interesting challenge and dilemma.

2) According to The Bruce, Congress wants digital cameras to always click. Apparently they think that this absurd little rule would stop voyeurism. Apparently they're unfamiliar with the concept of "moving picture shows" and the advanced alien technology contained within the "camcorder" that makes voyeurism and exploitation just as possible without any clicking. This is what happens when luddites rules the world. Thank goodness our President is more technologically savvy...

3) The MN Supreme Court apparently isn't being heeded. Steve Bellovin has an in-depth article up about getting access to breathalyzer source code. The MN SC ruled a while back that defendants should be allowed access to the code - which, incidentally, is owned by the State - to aid in their defense. It turns out that breathalyzers use a rough average for calculating what's considered an ok level for a person, not taking into account numerous variables. If you blow a .08 (the legal limit), then depending on your body make-up, this may actually be a high score, meaning it's inaccurate. Rather than codify a +/- tolerance in the readings, they're taken at face value. As such, it's worthwhile to see the source code to determine what assumptions were made and to see if they impact the defendant favorably or unfavorably. This just highlights where an approximation is treated as an absolute measurement, leading to the potential for the unfair prosecution of people.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ben Tomhave published on February 11, 2009 9:57 AM.

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