AltSciFi.Zine: Issue Zero

+ World Will Not End Next Month, NASA Says

An Internet rumor that a large space rock is going to slam into Earth next month gained enough traction that NASA on Wednesday put out a statement denying that the world is about to end.

As the apocalypse story has it, the asteroid impact would occur between Sept. 15 and Sept. 28 near Puerto Rico. […]

+ Dismaland: inside Banksy’s dystopian playground. Clandestine street artist Banksy opens a theme park like no other. Inside a derelict lido in Weston-super-Mare, Dismaland features migrant boats, a dead princess and Banksy’s trademark dark humour. [5m 50s]

+ Why decriminalising sex work is a good idea

ON AUGUST 11th Amnesty International, a human rights charity, announced its support for decriminalising prostitution between consenting adults. Laws over prostitution differ by country: in Britain the sale of sex is legal, but pimping and brothels are not, while in America it is illegal in all states but Nevada.

Increasingly, however, human rights campaigners are calling for it to be decriminalised, as it is in several European countries. Amnesty’s recommendation follows on from similar ones made by the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS. Is decriminalising sex work a good idea or not? […]

+Frankly, I’m surprised we haven’t seen a whitewashed, liberal version of NWA’s Fuck tha Police called “Fix the Police.”

+Fix the police, comin’ straight from the Senate house, Legislature’s gonna bring brutality down Pass some laws, so police know…

+ Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed, says 140 years of data. Study of census results in England and Wales since 1871 finds rise of machines has been a job creator rather than making working humans obsolete. […]

+ Temporary and part-time jobs surge promotes inequality, says OECD. In the UK, non-standard work including zero-hours contracts accounted for all net jobs growth since 1995. […]


+ A Beginners Guide to Docker and Containers

This guide is designed to get you up to speed on Docker. It is going to cover a lot of ground. We will show you how to build your own containers and a whole stack from scratch. This is the best way for users to understand how Docker works.

Containers depend on namespaces in the Linux kernel. Container managers like LXC, Docker and Nspawn combine namespaces with chroots to provide end user containers. We have a short guide on How Linux Containers Work here.

The idea behind Docker is to reduce the container as much as possible to a single process and then manage all these single app containers with Docker. […]

+ Russia And China Have A Cyber Nonaggression Pact

The treaty, which some have dubbed a “nonaggression pact” for cyberspace, details cooperative measures both governments pledge to undertake, including exchange of information and increased scientific and academic cooperation. With this, Russia and China continue to advance their vision of “information security,” a view of security concerns in cyberspace that is markedly different from Western approaches of “cybersecurity.” […]

+ Oviposters: There’s A Sex Toy That Deposits Alien Eggs Inside Your Body… If You’re Into That. If you’ve ever dreamt of hatching an alien egg made of gelatin from one of your body’s orifices, worry not, friend. You’re (actually) not alone. […]

+ World’s Biggest Data Breaches

Ashley Madison hack just one in a series of terrible data breaches this year. Selected losses greater than 30,000 records:

+ Engaging Newbies In Email Encryption and Network Privacy

All six parts of my series introducing beginners to PGP encryption and network privacy are now freely available. I hope it’s useful for Slashdot readers to share with their less-technical acquaintances. There’s an introduction to PGP, a guide to email encryption on the desktop, smartphone and in the browser, an introduction to the emerging key sharing and authentication startup,, and an intro to VPNs. There’s a lot more work for us to do in the ease of use of communications privacy but this helps people get started more with what’s available today. […]

+ #bombsoverstl
+ Now is always a good time for new passwords.


+ Update: Other people’s sex lives still none of your business.

+ A light-weight forensic analysis of the AshleyMadison Hack

Ashley Madison(AM) got hacked, it was first announced about a month ago and the attackers claimed they’d drop the full monty of user data if the AM website did not cease operations. The AM parent company Avid Life Media(ALM) did not cease business operations for the site and true to their word it seems the attackers have leaked everything they promised on August 18th 2015. […]



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+ The End of the Internet Dream

In the next 20 years, we will see amazing advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Software programs are going to be deciding whether a car runs people over, or drives off a bridge. Software programs are going to decide who gets a loan, and who gets a job. If intellectual property law will protect these programs from serious study, then the public will have no idea how these decisions are being made. Professor Frank Pasquale has called this the Black Box Society. Take secrecy and the profit motive, add a billion pieces of data, and shake.

In a Black Box Society, how can we ensure that the outcome is in the public interest? […]

+ 九龍城寨「Kowloon Walled City」reborn in 川崎市「Kawasaki (Japan)」.
+ Mars is Not Just a Red Planet

If there’s one thing about space that anyone is likely to know, it is that Mars is red. Redness, in fact, is the defining quality of the fourth planet from the sun. Glimpsed from afar, through the telescopes of the 19th century or the Hubble Space Telescope, Mars looks red.

But what about on the ground? If you, a human, were to stand on Mars and kick a toe into the soil, what would the dust around your ankles look like? […]

+ Top Secret Rosies (2010). When “computers” wore high heels, in 1942: mathematicians who helped win WWII. [32m 30s]

+ HORNET: A Better, Faster TOR

TOR, the Onion Router, is the choice of dissidents and journalists alike. It anonymizes Web traffic by obfuscating the source and the destination through a mesh of intermediaries.

Unfortunately, anonymity comes at a high computational price. TOR is slow.

Created in 2004 by the US Navy Research Lab, Tor was designed among other reasons to help people in oppressive countries gain access to the Internet.

Recently, it has been speculated that law enforcement have found ways to decrypt routing information regarding source and destinations of TOR requests. This includes controlling some of the nodes. […]

+ When they finally descend
from pale starlight repose in the sky
who will be the playful winged ones

if not angels here to save us?

+ They came hard against the wind
Screaming down to Earth
Wicked machines who knew
our greatest weakness.

+ Data-Crunching Is Coming to Help Your Boss Manage Your Time

The programs foster connections and sometimes increase productivity among employees who are geographically dispersed and often working from home. But as work force management becomes a factor in offices everywhere, questions are piling up. How much can bosses increase intensity? How does data, which bestows new powers of vision and understanding, redefine who is valuable? And with half of salaried workers saying they work 50 or more hours a week, when does working very hard become working way too much? […]

+ How Hackers Steal Data From Websites

With millions of Americans’ personal information becoming compromised by recent high-profile data breaches, many people are wondering just how anonymous hackers target and infiltrate these supposedly secure systems. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how your data can be stolen. […]

+ From Carbon to Silicon

The next step is to take this model to its logical conclusion: Move these tasks from humans to machines and dramatically improve speed, correctness, transparency and cost of work.

As software systems continue to cannibalise human tasks, we will need to find more meaningful tasks for the human workforce in the software industry. […]

+ Welcome to our newer, brighter future. Welcome to hypercapitalism. Now, run.

+ Any time someone resorts to pseudo-Darwinistic “evolutionary” ideas to rationalize a predatory socioeconomic system, skepticism is necessary.

+ Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions. […]

+ P.S. More amazing was a chorus of monstrous cheers by those who empower the dystopia that Bezos himself later disavowed.

+ Minimum-wage offensive could speed arrival of robot-powered restaurants

Many chains are already at work looking for ingenious ways to take humans out of the picture, threatening workers in an industry that employs 2.4 million wait staffers, nearly 3 million cooks and food preparers and many of the nation’s 3.3 million cashiers. […]

+ Geometric Tattoos by Dr. Woo.
The @rad1obadge from #cccamp15
+ Robots to attend school in Australia

MEBOURNE: Children in two South Australian schools will soon have new clasroom companions – robots.

For the first time in Australia, research is being conducted into how robots can be effectively implemented into primary and secondary school curriculums to improve classroom learning. […]

The Future, as Foretold in the Past
+ Good science communication means never calling them “retard” – even if you’re Nassim Taleb

…even when they agree with you, if you’ve turned the conversation into a battle you’re going to attract people who want to fight rather than think. Science communication should be about starting conversations and answering questions, not battlefield tactics for shutting down the opposition. […]

+ Pentesting an Active Directory infrastructure

We will see in this post some steps of a pentest against an ADDS domain. This pentest focuses only on the Microsoft System and does not take into account Antivirus, Firewall, IDS and IPS protections. The parts we describe in detail are scanning, exploitation and maintaining access. The pentest is performed with BackTrack 5 R3, you can download it here. The tools we use are Nmap, Nessus, Metasploit (the hacker’s framework, exploits are written in ruby), John the Ripper and Powershell. The pentest’s goal is to retrieve domain administrator credentials and maintain the access on the ADDS domain discretly. […]

+ Persistent AppCache Injections

Make plain-HTTP MiTM attacks persistent by leveraging the HTML5 AppCache offline functionality. Result: Persistent JavaScript running on the target browser whenever he visits previously injected websites, will not be cleared by reload. Can also be used as an intrusion-less persistent Strategic Web Compromise (SWC) to facilitate reconnaisance and exploitation of selected targets over time. The actual attack does not rely on caching and is described in attack. […]

+ I Know Everything About You! The Rise of the Intelligent Personal Assistant

Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) — Siri, Cortana, Google Now — send a recording of what you’ve said to a data center where the application actually resides. IPAs have complete access to your electronic life and an ability to undertake tasks autonomously; these abilities are not within your immediate control. […]

+ Predator: Dark Ages (2015), by James Bushe. Starring Adrian Bouchet, Amed Hashimi, and Sabine Crossen. [27m 18s]

+ I find it fascinating that many people who are outraged by WalMart’s practices, and mock those who shop there, are in love with Amazon.

+ If “All Lives Matter,” then why don’t we have Universal Healthcare? And why are prisons privatized? And why are there still homeless people?

+ And why is the concept of basic income still squarely situated in the realm of utopian science fiction?

+ When Curtains Block Justice

Between October and June, bedrooms of over 5000 crime victims lacked even minimal video surveillance — despite judicial warrants to turn over any video surveillance.

Curtains significantly limit our capacity to investigate these crimes and severely undermines our efficiency in the fight against terrorism. Why should we permit criminal activity to thrive behind drawn curtains, unavailable to law enforcement? To investigate these cases without bedroom video surveillance is to proceed with one hand tied behind our backs. […]

+ Rudy Lewis, born 1939. Self portrait reflected in shop window, Nevada, USA, 1980. […]
+ Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The face of Anonymous. By Gabriella Coleman. + And a friendly reminder you can download a copy here (click here).

+ Naming a job title for crypto engineers “Paranoid Cryptography Engineer” is like recruiting “Flamboyant Fashion Designers” to make clothes.

+ Block these on your edge router to prevent Win10 from phoning home your data.

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