Please panic now about everything and do as we say

It starts:

U.S. officials believe Canadian arrests over the weekend and three recent domestic incidents in the United States are evidence the U.S. will soon be hit again by a terrorist attack. Privately, they say, they’d be surprised if it didn’t come by the end of the year, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart in a CBS News exclusive.

Then they go on to say that terrorists are committing robberies in order to finance terror attacks, and list a couple of incidents in which various bad guys had what seemed to be political terrorism objectives.

The fun is all in the last sentence, though:

The next attack here, officials predict, will bear no resemblance to Sept. 11. The casualty toll will not be that high, the target probably not that big. We may not even recognize it for what it is at first, they say. But it’s coming — of that they seem certain.

Okay. So, they’re now reserving the option of pulling out any Very Bad Day that might have some tenuous connection to Islamic extremists and calling it a terrorist incident. If some career criminals who got Muslim names in prison rob a store in a mall and there’s a big ugly shootout, or if some mentally unstable loser with a connection to Islam runs over a lot of people on a sidewalk, or if any number of medium-spectacular crimes occur that they can tie to “terror” in any way, it will be more evidence that we should be afraid and that we should give up yet more liberty.

And the news calls this an “exclusive” and runs it unchallenged. Bleah!

computers are hard and the government spies on me from the air vent

flata points out that some people lost their heads because the all-knowing government spy agency, the NSA, put cookies on people’s computers.

A “privacy advocate” named Daniel Brandt is upset about this, and has previously been upset about the CIA using persistent cookies on their public website.

I feel sorry for the web monkey who put those in for whatever boring typical reason people use persistent cookies, because that person is in big trouble. I also think that a “no persistent cookies” policy for websites of this kind is a fine idea, almost entirely because it reduces this kind of pointless paranoia. But let’s get real, here. You can turn off cookies, and anyone who’s serious about privacy does. There’s no way the NSA is using persistent cookies to track individual website visitors; that’s inane.

Danny boy, the NSA has shit you don’t even know about, probably archiving the entire Internet way better than Alexa and analyzing it and putting it in databases and crunching it up to find Al-Qaeda and screw the Chinese. They don’t need “cookies”, okay? Oh, and by the way, you keep mispelling “rendez-vous” in your emails to your mistress, the one in Dayton. Get that shit straight, okay?

This was almost as “good” as the podjacking idiot.

general warning about LJ phishing email

I got a pretty good-looking “LJ Support” email claiming my password had been changed and that my new one was attached. Since it was an obvious phish I went through the headers. They appear to have managed to bounce it off LJ’s mail server somehow, although it originates at someone’s cable modem.

In any case the “attachment” is the usual trojan horse in a zip file that will no doubt do something ugly to your Windows machine.

Don’t touch it; it’s evil.