Saturday, September 17, 2005

Should be interesting!

A friend has started a new blog - Renassiance Wench

At the age of 55 i will be doing a job of my dreams that i never got to do in my youth! image this old lady selling garlands at the renassiance fair...

Pictures will be added as the event gets rolling. - Be sure to drop by her site and give her encouragement. - Might want to stick her address in favorites/bookmarks to keep an eye on the little wench. -

Friday, September 16, 2005

What I'd like to see...

When FEMA hands out the checks to people, say for 2 grand or so, they should be waving a second check and saying, "You'll get this one when you've joined the clean up work crews and have put in a week..."

Of course I'm not suggesting that disabled or elderly be put to work although they might not mind pushing a broom or supervising a bit if able. What ticks me off is I've seen pictures of a lot of strong bodies just sitting around.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What About Fingerprints? has what I thought to be an interesting article. Some might even call it an arresting article. It is entitled, "How far should fingerprints be trusted?". I found this New Scientist page to be well worth a read. - It seems that fingerprinting has yet to be established as a reliable form of evidence.

- Quote - No one disputes that fingerprinting is a valuable and generally reliable police tool, but despite more than a century of use, fingerprinting has never been scientifically validated. This is significant because of the criteria governing the admission of scientific evidence in the US courts.

The so-called Daubert ruling introduced by the Supreme Court in 1993 set out five criteria for admitting expert testimony. One is that forensic techniques must have a known error rate, something that has never been established for fingerprinting. - End Quote -

The pressure is building to come up with some accurate numbers on the error rate of fingerprint experts. -

- Quote from article - The reliability of fingerprinting is at the center of an appeal which opened earlier this month at the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Boston. Defense lawyers acting for Terry Patterson, who was convicted of murdering an off-duty policeman in 1993, have launched a so-called "interlocutory" appeal midway through the case itself to test the admissibility of fingerprinting. Patterson's conviction relies heavily on prints found on a door of the vehicle in which the victim died. - End Quote -

A study was done by Stephen Meagher of the FBI's Latent Fingerprint Section in Quantico, Virginia in which 50,000 fingerprints were involved. It was shown that for any one of the prints to be mistaken for any other of the 49,999 prints would be 1 in 1097.

Critics said this was fine for nice clean images but the smeared and partial prints found in real life situations don't always match up neatly to archival prints of criminals. Meagher's reply, to New Scientist included the words, "This is not a study on error rate, or an effort to demonstrate what constitutes an identification,". This statement is now being used by critics to show that the '50k study' does not prove the infallibility of fingerprinting something the courts, the FBI and prosecution lawyers have claimed.

The New Scientist article also shows how some examiners were influenced to make wrong decisions concerning prints they themselves had testified about in court.


prying1 sez: I would suggest that if you are going to pull any shenagigans that you continue to wear gloves. Oh! And don't scratch your skin or drop any hairs or leave any footprints. Also watch out for hidden cameras and don't drive a getaway vehicle with a For Sale sign that has your phone number emblazoned on it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Will Gmail EVER make reporting with full headers easier?

This is an Open Letter to the powers that be at Gmail. - I have sent a copy via the process they provide to them and thought I'd share it with you, that is, whoever reads this post. - I have been using Gmail for quite a while now and am quite satisfied with their (free) service. Except for one area that I think Yahoo (another free service) has them beat. That is the ability it gives the user to forward emails with full headers.

The only times I wish to do this is when I receive spam, scams, and phishing emails. BUT! I report each and every one I get as soon as I find them. With Google's Gmail I must open another window to get the requisite full headers and I cannot just cut and paste the info into the forward but I have to adjust the email format to accept the paste. I'm not exactly stupid when it comes to some of this stuff but Why?, I ask, must Gmail make it so complicated?

Here is the recent letter I wrote to them regarding this matter.

Will Gmail EVER make reporting with full headers easier?

It seems that each time I get an email from a phisher or scamster I have to jump through hoops to forward it to the powers I wish to notify. Tonight I got an email from an obvious phisher and it seems that Gmail had dx'ed the link so I could not even see if the false site was still up. Had I wished to forward the headers (to eBay) Gmail had them all messed up with their own lines letting me know to be careful.

I gather Gmail is conducting a security course that has me left out of the loop of reporting phishers and scams which is fine by me IF they would say so at the top of the email. Instead I get:

- quote from email - Warning: This message may not be from whom it claims to be. Beware of following any links in it or of providing the sender with any personal information. - end quote -

MAY NOT BE??? The darn thing was obvious from the get-go! And what can I do about it?

I cannot report it to Ebay. I cannot click on the link to see if it is still active (I have the safety steps taken care of). I cannot get the full headers.

The message should have been - Quote - This email has been reported and treated as a scam or phishing message. Praise the Lord (or what ever divine entity you trust in) that Google/Gmail has your best interests at heart and will protect you from the dark side. - end quote -

Don't get me wrong. I love Google and have since the day I first heard of it. I would prefer if they would be up front with a touch of humor regarding steps like this.

P.S. Attn: anyone at Google. If you need a semi-literate humourist to write messages to your adoring public please inquire. I work cheap! - prying1 -

prying1 sez: - As a matter of full disclosure I did adjust a couple things in the message sent to Gmail due to spellcheck.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What to post?

Two things caught my attention today -

1:) Heard on Hugh Hewitt that the Brave Sir Nagin - mayor of New Orleans has bought a house in Texas. He apparently has registered his daughter for school there. Northern Alliance Wannabe - has written a post on it with links so I don't have to. I thought that was mighty nice of him.

2:) Fraud, Phishing and Financial Misdeeds has a post on 'How ISP's are profiting from spam'. This is a site that should be a regular stop for people that want to stay a step ahead of the internet crooks. Leave a comment! Put Ted's site in favorites!

Prying1 sez - Not much you can do about the mayor but check the list of ISP's through Ted's link to - If you see yours write to the president of the company and blog on his reply! (If no reply blog on that...)