Microsoft Hearts Big Brother

Microsoft has developed a USB plug-in device that cops can use to quickly extract "forensic data" from computers--running Windows, of course. (hat tip B.)

Seattle Times:

Via email, a Microsoft spokeswoman said COFEE is a compilation of publicly available forensics tools, such as "password security auditing technologies" used to access information "on a live Windows system." She cited rainbow tables as an example of other such tools, and "was NOT confirming that COFEE includes Rainbow Tables." [meaning it does]

It "does not circumvent Windows Vista BitLocker encryption or undermine any protections in Windows through secret 'backdoors' or other undocumented means." [ri-i-ight]

Further, she reiterated that the tool is intended for use "by law enforcement only with proper legal authority." [ri-i-ght]

Moronically Obvious Social Observation in the Service of Sucking Up to Government Award of the year (so far) goes to Microsoft's General Counsel Brad Smith:

Smith compared the Internet of today to London and other Industrial Revolution cities in the early 1800s. As people flocked from small communities where everyone knew each other, an anonymity emerged in the cities and a rise in crime followed.

sideshow as main event

The Chicago reverend and "how the candidate deals with it" is a manufactured controversy. If the US media focused on the Bush administrations's machinations for the upcoming attack on Iran with the same laser intensity it has focused on the Chicago reverend non-issue a bloody debacle might be preventable. The US media has already decided who it wants for a next president--a warped 71 year old warmonger white dude married to a woman worth $100 million. The Chicago reverend is the firing shot. It's not important in and of itself. If everyone spent the same amount of brain cells concentrating on Juan Cole's blog and the reality of what's happening in the Middle East right now that they are spending on "having an opinion" on the Chicago reverend and the all important "character" issue of "how the candidate deals with it" there might be hope for the US. As it is the media still sets the agenda and everyone, including the blogosphere, follows it.