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Not many answers but lots and lots of questions!!!

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Global Investigative Journalism Conference

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Free e-mail with built-in spam 

The press release makes no mention of the ads built in to your 'free' e-mail messages: while detailing some of the capabilities;

Search: Built on Google search technology, Gmail enables people to quickly search every email they've ever sent or received. Using keywords or advanced search features, Gmail users can find what they need, when they need it.


Storage: Google believes people should be able to hold onto their mail forever. That's why Gmail comes with 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of free storage � more than 100 times what most other free webmail services offer.


Speed: Gmail makes using email faster and more efficient by eliminating the need to file messages into folders, and by automatically organizing individual emails into meaningful 'conversations' that show messages in the context of all the replies sent in response to them. And it turns annoying spam e-mail messages into the equivalent of canned meat. "

You have to read the FAQ: "On this page: About Gmail | Frequently asked questions | Interested in an account?"


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What are the chances for democracy in Iraq? 

It depends on who you ask but there are some good points on either side of the discussion.

The author of 'How to Build a Democratic Iraq' think they are fair.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute says history favours a democratic federation in Iraq.

Retired journalist Anthony Westell disagrees


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Whatever happened to Saddam Hussein? 

The Americans have disappeared Saddam. There has been a virtual nnews blackout on him since the 'arrest' except for news of another Saddam being found.

I have questions.

Saddam was rumoured to have run off into the desert with truckloads (literally) of Iraqi and U.S. cash. Now, since nobody has mentioned find a stash in that hidey-hole they pulled him out of, where is it?

How were all his palaces disposed of?

How will he be disposed of?


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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Sender Policy Framework (SPF): anti-spam technique gains adherents 

SMTP+SPF: Executive Summary


Feb 29 2004

How SMTP+SPF Helps

You ask SPF: "I have someone coming from a certain IP address. They claim to be a certain sender. Are they for real?"

SPF will tell you one of four things:

The sender is good, the sender has previously announced that they do send mail from that IP address.
The sender is bad, the purported sender has published a list of IP addresses they send mail from, and the client IP isn't one of them.
The sender may be good or bad: the sender domain is in a transitional phase; it is methodically converting its users to be SPF compliant, so we should go easy on any violations for the present.
SPF doesn't know: the sender has not published any IP addresses, so the message could be legit, or it could not.

SMTP without SPF cannot do that.

For SPF to answer the question, domain owners have to designate which IP addresses send mail for their domains.

For example, hotmail.com would publish a SPF list that includes 65.54.247.109, 216.33.241.106, and 207.68.163.86, which are all servers which you could reasonably expect to see a hotmail message coming from. But if someone connects from 80.34.201.194 and claims to be a hotmail sender, you would know better than to believe them, because that IP address isn't on the list.


SPF protects brand equity.

The present SMTP standard for email allows anyone to forge anyone else's email address. This means I could send anyone a message claiming to be from you, and only an email expert would be able to tell the difference. Today, most spammers invent email addresses out of thin air when they send their spams. But there's nothing to stop them from using your name. This is called Joe-Jobbing and it is beginning to happen more often. Already many people block mail from Hotmail and AOL simply because a lot of spam is forged from those addresses. SPF prevents sender forgery and protects you from trademark dilution.

SPF reduces inbound spam.

SPF allows your mail servers to easily distinguish forgeries from real mail. Importantly, SPF works before the message body is transmitted, saving the bandwidth cost of downloading the message and the CPU cost of filtering it.

SPF is not patent-encumbered.

Challenge-response schemes are inconvenient and subject to legal liability.

Are people really going to use this?

The SPF concept was born in early June 2003. A draft RFC has been written and submitted to the IETF for review. SPF has been covered by CNN, CNET, the Washington Post, and others.

Already, many large ISPs have published SPF records, and others are waiting to see who else will do it

SpamAssassin will use SPF in version 2.70.

Antispam companies that support SPF include Sophos, Symantec, Declude Junkmail, Brightmail, IronPort, Ciphertrust, MailArmory, MailFrontier, and others.

DynDNS has altered the TXT configuration for its Custom DNS service to allow people to publish SPF records if they want to. If they don't want to, they don't have to.

PairNIC, eNom, ZoneEdit, and EasyDNS are some of the DNS service providers who support SPF.

Some well-known names protected by SPF today include:

AOL.com
Altavista.com
DynDNS.org
eOnline.com
Google.com
GNU.org
LiveJournal.com
MotleyFool.com
OReilly.com
Oxford.ac.uk
PairNIC.com
Perl.org
PhilZimmermann.com
SAP.com
Spamhaus.org
Symantec.com
Ticketmaster.com
w3.org


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International Journalists Network 

"The International Journalists' Network (IJNet): is an online service for journalists, media managers, media assistance professionals, journalism trainers and educators and anyone else with an interest in the state of the media around the world. IJNet is meant to connect journalists and media assistance professionals around the world by sharing information."

"IJNet can help you:

track media assistance efforts in many parts of the globe
identify media outlets in more than 100 countries
retrieve background information on freedom of the press in many countries
find statistics and general data on 100+ countries
locate fellowship and training opportunities through IJNet's calendar of events
avoid the duplication of training efforts"


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Keeping tabs on media ownership 

Your Media: Preserve Freedom, Diversity, Independence: "The authoritative web site on cross-media ownership, convergence and integration"


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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

totse.com  

PB - The Temple Of The Screaming Electron: is a great site that details all kinds of fun activities. I especially like the bad ideas section:

Bad Ideas for Bad People.

Guns & Weapons
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Irresponsible Activities
How to be a real pain in the ass.

KA-FUCKING-BOOM!
Bombs, rockets, and things that go BOOM!

Locks and Security
Various methods of locking and securing things -- and ways around them.

Scams and Rip-offs
The best way to avoid being scammed is to know how to scam.



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