Friday, August 04, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Remember those ultra-modern passports

that the US started requiring and caused such a flap around the rest of the world because of their cost? They had RFID chips and various other security-minded features. Well, apparently they're easily hackable and as easily copied as the old passports. Suhhweeet!

In a demonstration for Wired News, Grunwald placed his passport on top of an official passport-inspection RFID reader used for border control. He obtained the reader by ordering it from the maker -- Walluf, Germany-based ACG Identification Technologies -- but says someone could easily make their own for about $200 just by adding an antenna to a standard RFID reader. He then launched a program that border patrol stations use to read the passports -- called Golden Reader Tool and made by secunet Security Networks -- and within four seconds, the data from the passport chip appeared on screen in the Golden Reader template.

Grunwald then prepared a sample blank passport page embedded with an RFID tag by placing it on the reader -- which can also act as a writer -- and burning in the ICAO layout, so that the basic structure of the chip matched that of an official passport. As the final step, he used a program that he and a partner designed two years ago, called RFDump, to program the new chip with the copied information. The result was a blank document that looks, to electronic passport readers, like the original passport.

I'm just going to get under my desk and roll up into a little ball.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What the Fuck?

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

David Bernstein over at

always seems to protest too much. Especially as it relates to Juan Cole. He once claimed that Cole said that "Israel is the most dangerous regime to American interests in the Middle East." Not surprisingly, Prof. Bernstein had materially misquoted Prof. Cole. By contrast, Cole's quote, which was admittedly provacative, was that "Ariel Sharon's government was the regime that did the most damage to US interests." In the comments to his post, I argued that Bernstein's omission of the word regime altered the entire meaning of the quote.

Similarly, this Bernstein post over at the Volokh Conspiracy strains credibilty. First, he quotes Cole:
As for the Iraq War, puh-lease. Opinion polling shows that in spring of 2003, some 75 percent of Americans wanted to go to war against Saddam's regime. At the same time, only a little over 50 percent of American Jews supported the war. "Jews" did not cause the Iraq War. George W. Bush caused the Iraq War. He had Gentile advisers who wanted him to go for it. He had a handful of Jewish advisers who wanted him to go for it. But he is the president. It was his decision. And the American Jewish community was distinctly lukewarm about the whole idea, and very divided.
He then tries to contrast this statement with several Cole quotes assigning some blame for US mid-east policy to Likud, Ariel Sharon and their US allies (namely the neo-cons). Those quotes, Bernstein says, conflict with the passage above. Hmmm... indeed.

Would Bernstein really have us believe that Likud is the same as the international Jewish population? Hell, even Ariel Sharon moved out of Likud in the years after we invaded Iraq. I know a lot of jews (I also have black friends) and most of them were and are agaisn the Iraq war. But we're to believe that they're Likud party members or Ariel Sharon supporters?

I hate to go all ad hominem at this point, but I'm pretty happy I didn't have Prof. Bernstein for a law school teacher.