Can Microsoft buy Facebook

At $39.23 Billion , Facebook is now cheaper than what Steve Ballmer was prepared to pay for Yahoo (when Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang famously turned him down). Can Microsoft buy Facebook? or Can Apple buy Facebook?

Both would be okay from an anti trust perspective- and both have the cash. Note you need only to buy 51% of shares for controlling and Mark Zuckerberg seems a bit down (never mind Sean Parker’s voting arrangement).

Can Google plunk 20% of FB for 8 billion – less than they paid for Motorola, so they can sell Ads there while FB concentrates on thee social aspects.

FB has innovated with good UI, apps, cassandra,the like button, the FB connect network, and of course socially targeted ads. I dont think it’s stock price deserves to be dog with fleas.

See http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=FB

Where is a good leveraged buy out (LBO) or hedge fund when you need one?

But, Seriously.

 

 

 

 

April Fool's Day- Catblock!

Since Anonymous didnt disrupt the internet on April Fools Day by overloading the DNS Servers! , the best April Fool’s day imho goes to Adblock- that  nifty extension that allows you to block ads.

Well for today- it replaced ads with funny cats- and you can even buy the cats for ads extension  permanently. That’s right cats take over the Internet!

Only 2% of Chrome and Firefox users block ads! so what are you waiting for- this is how the NYTimes looks for me!!

 

Replace ads with cats-

for chrome here-

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gighmmpiobklfepjocnamgkkbiglidom

for firefox here-

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/

read more on catblock here-

http://adblockforchrome.blogspot.in/2012/03/inturdusing-catblock.html

but if you want to buy catblock—

see this

https://chromeadblock.com/pay/?source=catblock

 

Self Driving Cars , Geo Coded Ads, End of Privacy

Imagine a world in which your car tracks everywhere you go. Over a period of time, it builds up a database of your driving habits, how long you stay at particular kinds of dining places, entertainment places (ahem!) , and the days, and times you do it.  You can no longer go to massage parlours without your data being checked by your car software admin (read – your home admin)

And that data is mined using machine learning algols to give you better ads for pizzas, or a reminder for food after every 3 hours , or an ad for beer every Thursday after 8 pm .

Welcome Brave New World!

How to learn to be a hacker easily

1) Are you sure. It is tough to be a hacker. And football players get all the attention.

2) Really? Read on

3) Read Hacker’s Code

http://muq.org/~cynbe/hackers-code.html

The Hacker’s Code

“A hacker of the Old Code.”

  • Hackers come and go, but a great hack is forever.
  • Public goods belong to the public.*
  • Software hoarding is evil.
    Software does the greatest good given to the greatest number.
  • Don’t be evil.
  • Sourceless software sucks.
  • People have rights.
    Organizations live on sufferance.
  • Governments are organizations.
  • If it is wrong when citizens do it,
    it is wrong when governments do it.
  • Information wants to be free.
    Information deserves to be free.
  • Being legal doesn’t make it right.
  • Being illegal doesn’t make it wrong.
  • Subverting tyranny is the highest duty.
  • Trust your technolust!

4) Read How to be a hacker by

Eric Steven Raymond

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

or just get the Hacker Attitude

The Hacker Attitude

1. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved.
2. No problem should ever have to be solved twice.
3. Boredom and drudgery are evil.
4. Freedom is good.
5. Attitude is no substitute for competence.
5) If you are tired of reading English, maybe I should move on to technical stuff
6) Create your hacking space, a virtual disk on your machine.
You will need to learn a bit of Linux. If you are a Windows user, I recommend creating a VMWare partition with Ubuntu
If you like Mac, I recommend the more aesthetic Linux Mint.
How to create your virtual disk-
read here-
Download VM Player here
http://www.vmware.com/support/product-support/player/
Down iso image of operating system here
http://ubuntu.com
Downloading is the longest thing in this exercise
Now just do what is written here
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vmware_player40.pdf
or if you want to try and experiment with other ways to use Windows and Linux just read this
http://www.decisionstats.com/ways-to-use-both-windows-and-linux-together/
Moving data back and forth between your new virtual disk and your old real disk
http://www.decisionstats.com/moving-data-between-windows-and-ubuntu-vmware-partition/
7) Get Tor to hide your IP address when on internet
https://www.torproject.org/docs/tor-doc-windows.html.en
8a ) Block Ads using Ad-block plugin when surfing the internet (like 14.95 million other users)
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/
 8b) and use Mafiafire to get elusive websites
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mafiaafire-redirector/
9) Get a  Bit Torrent Client at http://www.utorrent.com/
This will help you download stuff
10) Hacker Culture Alert-
This instruction is purely for sharing the culture but not the techie work of being a hacker
The website Pirate bay acts like a search engine for Bit torrents 
http://thepiratebay.se/
Visiting it is considered bad since you can get lots of music, videos, movies etc for free, without paying copyright fees.
The website 4chan is considered a meeting place to meet other hackers. The site can be visually shocking
http://boards.4chan.org/b/
You need to do atleast set up these systems, read the websites and come back in N month time for second part in this series on how to learn to be a hacker. That will be the coding part.
END OF PART  1
Updated – sorry been a bit delayed on next part. Will post soon.

Note on Internet Privacy (Updated)and a note on DNSCrypt

I noticed the brouaha on Google’s privacy policy. I am afraid that social networks capture much more private information than search engines (even if they integrate my browser history, my social network, my emails, my search engine keywords) – I am still okay. All they are going to do is sell me better ads (maybe than just flood me with ads hoping to get a click). Of course Microsoft should take it one step forward and capture data from my desktop as well for better ads, that would really complete the curve. In any case , with the Patriot Act, most information is available to the Government anyway.

But it does make sense to have an easier to understand privacy policy, and one of my disappointments is the complete lack of visual appeal in such notices. Make things simple as possible, but no simpler, as Al-E said.

 

Privacy activists forget that ads run on models built on AGGREGATED data, and most models are scored automatically. Unless you do something really weird and fake like, chances are the data pertaining to you gets automatically collected, algorithmic-ally aggregated, then modeled and scored, and a corresponding ad to your score, or segment is shown to you. Probably no human eyes see raw data (but big G can clarify that)

 

( I also noticed Google gets a lot of free advice from bloggers. hey, if you were really good at giving advice to Google- they WILL hire you !)

on to another tool based (than legalese based approach to privacy)

I noticed tools like DNSCrypt increase internet security, so that all my integrated data goes straight to people I am okay with having it (ad sellers not governments!)

Unfortunately it is Mac Only, and I will wait for Windows or X based tools for a better review. I noticed some lag in updating these tools , so I can only guess that the boys of Baltimore have been there, so it is best used for home users alone.

 

Maybe they can find a chrome extension for DNS dummies.

http://www.opendns.com/technology/dnscrypt/

Why DNSCrypt is so significant

In the same way the SSL turns HTTP web traffic into HTTPS encrypted Web traffic, DNSCrypt turns regular DNS traffic into encrypted DNS traffic that is secure from eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.  It doesn’t require any changes to domain names or how they work, it simply provides a method for securely encrypting communication between our customers and our DNS servers in our data centers.  We know that claims alone don’t work in the security world, however, so we’ve opened up the source to our DNSCrypt code base and it’s available onGitHub.

DNSCrypt has the potential to be the most impactful advancement in Internet security since SSL, significantly improving every single Internet user’s online security and privacy.

and

http://dnscurve.org/crypto.html

The DNSCurve project adds link-level public-key protection to DNS packets. This page discusses the cryptographic tools used in DNSCurve.

Elliptic-curve cryptography

DNSCurve uses elliptic-curve cryptography, not RSA.

RSA is somewhat older than elliptic-curve cryptography: RSA was introduced in 1977, while elliptic-curve cryptography was introduced in 1985. However, RSA has shown many more weaknesses than elliptic-curve cryptography. RSA’s effective security level was dramatically reduced by the linear sieve in the late 1970s, by the quadratic sieve and ECM in the 1980s, and by the number-field sieve in the 1990s. For comparison, a few attacks have been developed against some rare elliptic curves having special algebraic structures, and the amount of computer power available to attackers has predictably increased, but typical elliptic curves require just as much computer power to break today as they required twenty years ago.

IEEE P1363 standardized elliptic-curve cryptography in the late 1990s, including a stringent list of security criteria for elliptic curves. NIST used the IEEE P1363 criteria to select fifteen specific elliptic curves at five different security levels. In 2005, NSA issued a new “Suite B” standard, recommending the NIST elliptic curves (at two specific security levels) for all public-key cryptography and withdrawing previous recommendations of RSA.

Some specific types of elliptic-curve cryptography are patented, but DNSCurve does not use any of those types of elliptic-curve cryptography.

 

Opera Unite- the future of cloud computing browsers

The boys (and ladies) at opera have been busy writing code , while the rest of the coders on the cloud were issuing press releases, attending meetings or just sky diving from the cloud. Judging by the language of apps and extensions, it seems that the  engineers de Vikings et Slavs were busy coding while the Anglo Saxons were busy preparing for IPOs.

I really like the complete anonymity offered by Opera and especially Opera Unite

1) The Adblock option blocks all ads (same as other extensions)

2) The lovely Opera Unite has incredible apps for peer to peer sharing. You can create your own spotify, host your own chat application, transfer files, remote manage your computer. C’est magnifique!

Some really awesome apps on Opera Unite

All these apps can make your own desktop into a remotely managed website- so SOPA is irrelevant even if passed without any protest or non violent protests

(SOPA- an acronym for STOP OBAMA or STOP A (?) , since OBAMA is the one the internet really supports , and he is dependent on that goodwill for fundraising or A is the acronym of a legendary media myth of an imaginary web based organization (imaginary as in iota)

QUOTE

I think it would be a good idea.

 Mahatma Gandhiwhen asked what he thought of Western civilization

Some Ways Anonymous Could Disrupt the Internet if SOPA is passed

This is a piece of science fiction. I wrote while reading Isaac Assimov’s advice to writers in GOLD, while on a beach in Anjuna.

1) Identify senators, lobbyists, senior executives of companies advocating for SOPA. Go for selective targeting of these people than massive Denial of Service Attacks.

This could also include election fund raising websites in the United States.

2) Create hacking tools with simple interfaces to probe commonly known software errors, to enable wider audience including the Occupy Movement students to participate in hacking. thus making hacking more democratic. What are the top 25 errors as per  http://cwe.mitre.org/cwss/

http://www.decisionstats.com/top-25-most-dangerous-software-errors/ ?

 

Easy interface tools to check vulnerabilities would be the next generation to flooding tools like HOIC, LOIC – Massive DDOS atttacks make good press coverage but not so good technically

3) Disrupt digital payment mechanisms for selected targets (in step1) using tools developed in Step 2, and introduce random noise errors in payment transfers.

4) Help create a better secure internet by embedding Tor within Chromium with all tools for anonymity embedded for easy usage – a more secure peer to peer browser (like a mashup of Opera , tor and chromium).

or maybe embed bit torrents within a browser.

5) Disrupt media companies and cloud computing based companies like iTunes, Spotify or Google Music, just like virus, ant i viruses disrupted the desktop model of computing. After that offer solutions to the problems like companies of anti virus software did for decades.

6) Hacking websites is fine fun, but hacking internet databases and massively parallel data scrapers can help disrupt some of the status quo.

This applies to databases that offer data for sale, like credit bureaus etc. Making this kind of data public will eliminate data middlemen.

7) Use cross border, cross country regulatory arbitrage for better risk control of hacker attacks.

8) recruiting among universities using easy to use hacking tools to expand the pool of dedicated hacker armies.

9) using operations like those targeting child pornography to increase political acceptability of the hacker sub culture. Refrain from overtly negative and unimaginative bad Press Relations

10) If you cant convince  them to pass SOPA, confuse them 😉 Use bots for random clicks on ads to confuse internet commerce.