John Vranesevich’s huge, almost encyclopedic Web site AntiOnline
is pithy with special reports, archived
information, and vital resources on hackers and computer security.
Here’s where you can find breaking news stories on the exploits of
hacking groups like Milw0rm (notorious for successfully breaking into an
Indian nuclear research facility — you can view the hacked page here) — complete
with Vranesevich’s own brief but chilling IRC interview with members of
these groups and a
description of how Milw0rm accomplished its feat, pointing out the
vulnerabilities and stratagems that made it possible.
CNN, Reuters, ABC, CBS, and the BBC are among those who come to
Vranesevich for hacking news and information — and the hackers
themselves contact him when they want to publicize their exploits.
Vranesevich also recently spoke on NPR with FBI and White House
infrastructure protection specialists.
AntiOnline is THE indispensable resource on hacking and information
security — not only at the macrocosmic or national-defense level, but
for the individual as well. Part of what AntiOnline does is find, fix,
and publicize bugs and problems with software that create security
holes, thus protecting end users like you and me from dangerous
information leaks and tampering. Our ability to trust our own
communications software and to make all the online transactions we ever
make is protected by guys like this — people who work independently
from the software manufacturers and the government.
Unfortunately, AntiOnline and the few organizations resembling it are
currently threatened by the pernicious, recently Senate-passed “World
Intellectual Property Organization Treaty.” If it is successful, they
will not be allowed to continue functioning. To find out more and to
learn how you can help protect AntiOnline from government interference,
click here. I repeat and emphasize:
every concerned WorldNetDaily reader who sees these words should click
on this link.
Bioethics: Theory and practice
“Ethics & Genetics: A Global Conversation”
is a University of
Pennsylvania-sponsored forum for live online discussion of genetic
engineering, gene therapy, genetic enhancement, genetic testing, and
similar issues. It’s run under the auspices of the Center for Bioethics, which concerns itself with (and
offers many resources regarding) wider bioethical issues including
assisted suicide, cloning, and so forth.
Regarding assisted suicide, incidentally: I don’t recommend it. The
nonprofit Choice In Dying can help you find
better options. Unlike the pro-assisted-suicide Compassion In Dying,
Choice In Dying doesn’t advocate the Kevorkian solution; instead, it
pushes improved access to hospice care, more and better pain management,
and more and better communication among health care providers, patients,
and families about end-of-life issues. You can even download a living
will form that’s legal in your state (that’s the document you sign to
make clear your wishes about what sort of end-of-life treatment you want
to receive or to avoid, in case you’re unable to make or communicate
important decisions at that time): click here.
Satellite photos R us
I’ve had a request or two for a decent online source of aerial and
satellite photographs. Microsoft’s new atlas database, TerraServer, is just such a resource. “Find
any spot on Earth” — okay, not absolutely every spot is available just
yet, though they promise they’re working on it: the server struck out on
the Scottish isle of Iona, one of my personal favorite places on the
planet, but then I suppose the Hebrides aren’t very high on the priority
list (sigh). View for free, download for a fee.
Stemming the tide of relativism
Character Counts!, a values-teaching support network, seeks to enable consensus,
coordination and communication among adults concerned with teaching
basic, universal (thou-shalt-not-kill-type) ethics and values to the
young. Offerings include training seminars, tips and guides for parents,
teachers, and employers, curriculum materials, transcripts of Michael
Josephson’s values-education commentaries on CBS radio (Southern
California’s KNX-1070), and more.
Recent Chinese discoveries of feathered dinosaur fossils support
paleontologists’ theories that birds are very closely related to
dinosaurs — indeed, some have begun to make the blunter claim that
birds are dinosaurs. As Dr Ji Qiang puts it, “I believe that anything
with wings and flight feathers is a bird.” For a closer look, point your
(Hey, it’s nice to see some news regarding China that’s not a major
embarrassment for the United States.)
The unimaginatively named, but delightful-to-the-ear, Piano Education
Page is a terrific resource
for piano teachers, piano students, parents of budding piano players,
piano owners, piano shoppers (a group which includes those shopping for
the instruments themselves, for the music, for recommendations of
helpful software, or even for a good teacher), you name it. Over 300
music and sound effect files are available for downloading or just
listening. As the site cheerfully suggests on its front page, just think
of your mouse as a tiny piano keyboard and yourself as Rachmaninoff.