Tuesday, April 18, 2006

truth in advertising

My work email address gets phenomenal amounts of spam each day, usually concerned with touting cheap viagra or pirate software. Occasionally I also get stock tip emails - you know, chinese company X is just about to conclude a profitable merger which will see its stock price soar in the next couple of days, etc. Usually I ignore these emails, but today one caught my eye, or at least the disclaimer at the bottom did. Emphasis is added:
Information within this report contains forward looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the SEC Act of 1934. Statements that involve discussions with respect to projections of future events are not statements of historical fact and may be forward looking statements. Don't rely on them to make decisions. The Company is not a reporting company registered under the Exchange Act of 1934. We have received one million two hundred thousand free trading shares from a third party not an officer, director or affiliate shareholder. We intend to sell all our shares now, which could cause the price to go down, resulting in losses to you. This company has: a reliance on loans from officers and directors to pay expenses. It is an operating company. The company is going to need financing to continue as a going concern ... A failure to finance could cause the company to go out of business. This report shall not be construed as any kind of investment advice or solicitation. You can lose all your money by investing in this stock.
So now not only are they going to scam you but they're also going to give you fair warning in advance?

The utter bastards.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

a handshake of carbon monoxide

Now isn't this an interesting thing ... BNZ, one of the banks whose ATMs fell foul of the card skimmer recently, is replacing the machines it thinks are most at risk. The maker of those risky machines? Diebold, inc.

Diebold has a subsidery called Diebold Election Systems; DES came to prominence a few years when Bev Harris, researching the links between Republicans and electronic voting machine manufacturers, same across the source code to DES's machines on an unprotected website. Analysis of that source code revealed that the software was easily hackable and lacked robust auditing functionality (something that would be quite handy if you wanted to double-check whether anyone has stolen your election). It seems that any 3-toed moron could fiddle the vote tally, which means that Republicans and
Democrats could be behind the conspiracy ...

Of course Diebold isn't the only electronic voting company with potentially twitchy software ... but I'm not terribly surprised that their ATMs have also been fingered as security risks.

More links -
Corpwatch: November Surprise
Seattle Weekly: Black Box Backlash