Monthly Archives: April 2005

Swift Justice

Justice can be swift, and very funny: Hacker deletes own hard drive:

A CHAT CHANNEL spat ended when a wannabe hacker was duped into deleting his own hard drive.

The 26 year-old German claimed he was the baddest hacker in town and threatened to attack a moderator on #stopHipHop's RC Channel because he thought he'd been thrown out.

He demanded the moderator cough up his IP address and prepare to be hacked.

So the moderator said that his IP number was (which is IP for “self”). Then he leaned back and waited.

Finally the hacker declared success.”I can see your E: drive disappearing, he gloated, “D: is down 45 percent!” he cried, before disappearing into the ether.

But he hasn't been heard from since…

Translated transcript of the IRC session

Posted in Internet | 3 Comments

People Unclear on the Concept

A law firm's sexual harassment case: An inside story Holland & Knight's Tampa office was, it seems, a hostile environment for women. And no one in the partnership, it seems, had the guts to publicly stand up and tell off a powerful partner even as he boored around at parties.

While the boorishness and severity of the problem at H&K's Tampa office sounds extreme (see the link above), my own experience suggests that inter-partner timidity may be more routine.

In the summer after my second third [corrected] year in law school, I worked in a very nice boutique law firm, a highly intellectual place, one that you might even think was somewhat progressive. [It did, however, have some notable Republican partners, including one whom I hypothesized — from a distance, as I never worked with him, just saw him at social occasions — might be the dumbest partner in the firm. He later got a major national-security-related government appointment, which was somewhat troubling.]

That summer, I overheard one of the partners remark to a group of male partners that he was still in charge of hiring receptionists, and that he made no apologies for ensuring that they were always beautiful (women, of course, that went without saying) as they were an part of the firm's image to anyone who came in the door. That was not, I thought, a BFOQ, but no one in earshot (including me, who didn't want to admit to eavesdropping) said a thing.

On the other hand, the firm I actually ended up working at, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (as it then was), had a culture in which receptionists were picked for their competence, and even associates could call sexism. The English partner for whom I worked in their London office found it quaint that I objected to client meetings in his (then) men-only club, The Athenaeum, even though it was reasonably priced, close to the office, and very exclusive. But he took it in good grace, Americans being notoriously funny about those things.

Posted in Law: Ethics | 8 Comments

From the ‘Security Theater’ Files

[IP] More Baggage Taboos, but Little Security Enhancement:

Everybody has a favorite story from what I think of as the T.S.A. Follies. Here's mine. A uniformed pilot waits impatiently at a checkpoint for 10 minutes while two screeners from the Transportation Security Administration scrutinize every item in his carry-on bag. After he was allowed to go on his way, he explained why it took so long. “They told me they had to make sure I wasn't carrying anything that would allow me to take over an airplane,” he said, rolling his eyes

Posted in National Security | Comments Off on From the ‘Security Theater’ Files

The State of Man in Nature

Someone named David Scott Banghart has started a new blog called Seminole Heights in which he plans to blog about things relevant to his neighborhood in Tampa Florida, a place that sounds as if it's a transitional neighborhood. Here's how Mr. Banghart describes his community,

This is an interesting urban neighborhood, full of life and character. Many homes are bungalows that date from the 1920's, but all styles and can be found including the mini New Tampa style of the New Millenium homes. There is a strong diversity in race, culture, sexual orientation and political opinion. The three subneighborhoods (Old Seminole Heights, South Seminole Heights, and Southeast Seminole Heights) have very strong civic associations and the residents are known city wide for civic activism. Southeast Seminole Heights was named as 2003 National Neighborhood of the Year. This neighborhood is home to to community radio station WMNF 88.5, well known for its dedication to activism and progressive causes. City council member Kevin White resides here and council member Rose Ferlita works here. Several strong neighborhood watch groups exist, working closely with police in reducing crime.

At first glance, Seminole Heights looks like an exemplary neighborhood blog.

One post in particular caught my eye. In Stolen Bike Mr. Banghart tells a story about one of his neighbors that reminds you how much goodness and decency there is out there:

Recently my one of my neighbors came home after a day trip to find their children’s scooters and a bicycle missing from their porch. With the help of some neighbor children, 4 days later they were able to find the stolen items. Apparently two young children were with an older cousin. The cousin just walked on the porch took the bike and then gave the scooters to these two children. My neighbor found out where the two children lived and spoke to them and their mother. The children’s mother indicated she would take care of it. The items were supposedly all at the cousin’s house. The items were returned with most of the stickers, decals, and handler bar streamers removed, obviously done in an attempt to disguise to whom the items belonged to. My neighbors are good people who chose to deal with the issue in a positive manner, inviting the children to come and play at their house where the children could use the bike and scooters. Their hope is that they can develop a positive relationship with these children and be a good role model for them.

These neighbors are doing a good thing. They have a safe supervised child friendly house that has drawn out many of the neighboring children from the isolation of their houses to play with their own children, helping building a sense of community for those children and their families. My neighbors try to establish relationship with the parents just as their children establish relationships with the other children. They hold events such as Easter Egg hunts, Halloween parties and Christmas Parties open to these children and their parents. In a small but significant way they are also helping rebuild and revitalize this neighborhood.

I really have to wonder if I have that sort of goodness and fortitude to forgive someone who stole from my children, and then invite them into my house. I suppose a lot depends on just how young the kids are—if they kindergardeners it's one thing, but even fourth graders should know better…

Posted in Florida | Comments Off on The State of Man in Nature

You Could Sell Tickets to This One

The Carpetbagger Report asks wistfully, Maybe we could temporarily suspend the 22nd Amendment for just one cycle…:

The Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne Jr. had a fine column today about moderates and self-identified independents abandoning the GOP, using the latest Democracy Corps poll for data, but there was one tidbit that jumped out at me.

[I]n an amusing but
revealing question, the pollsters asked how Americans would vote in a contest between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush if the Constitution were changed to allow them to run in 2008. Clinton beat Bush, 53 percent to 43 percent — a rather decisive judgment on our two most recent political legacies.

Go ahead, try and deny how much you’d love to watch that race. I dare you. If they put the debates on pay-per-view, it’d be worth millions.

Posted in Politics: US | 5 Comments

A Publicly Displayable Level of Venom

Scrivener's Error has had a little redesign and now is a little easier on the eye than it used to be; the content remains great. Today's is especially worth your while, so I'm going to take the liberty of quoting it in full:

Phil Carter, over at Intel Dump, has penned a remarkably even-tempered (if ultimately condemning) response to the whitewash over command responsibility at Abu Gh'raib. In his first update, he concludes:

Despite these generals' findings, none of the officers responsible for facilitating these abuses will face criminal charges. Or, put another way, the Army IG has wholly disregarded the record evidence before him to arrive at an arbitrary and capricious decision that the senior Army leaders involved should face no legal consequences for their actions. What kind of message does that send to our junior military leaders? What kind of message does that send to the world?

This is a lot more generous than I would have been. It's taken me three days to keep the venom in this message to a publicly displayable level.

Continue reading

Posted in Torture | 1 Comment