Microsoft Can’t Even Do Private Browsing Right

BetaNews summarizes privacy problems with Microsoft Edge’s privacy mode, which turns out to not be very private at all.

. . .it turns out that InPrivate mode is a privacy nightmare. It is possible to peak behind the curtain and see which sites have been visited when using a browsing mode that should mask this.

There are similar features found in other browser. Chrome has Incognito mode, Safari has Private Browsing, Firefox has… actually, Firefox has Private Browsing too. Whatever the name, what these browsing modes all have in common is that once the browser is closed, there is no record of which sites have been visited. That’s not to say that ISPs and law enforcement agencies wouldn’t be able to determine the browsing history, but from a local point of view it is as though no browsing has taken place.

But Edge is different.

Somewhat counterintuitively, Edge actually records browsing history in InPrivate mode. More than this, by examining the WebCache file it is a relatively simple task for someone to reconstruct full browsing history, regardless of whether surfing was performed in regular or InPrivate mode.

Lucha Libre AAA With English Commentary on YouTube

Ian Carey has been doing an awesome job of reposting Lucha Libre AAA shows on his YouTube channel and adding English-language commentary for those of us who don’t speak Spanish.

That would be cool enough, but Carey’s commentary is both interesting to listen to and, at times, hilarious. Most wrestling commentators seem to just yell loudly into their microphones. Moreoever, since they’re employees of the wrestling promotion, there’s rarely any commentary that comes close to highlighting the more absurd moment.

Carey doesn’t have such limitations and his commentary makes the presentation so much the better for it.

Is Ted Kaczynski Being Held In Arkham Asylum?

For the 20th anniversary of the arrest of Ted Kaczynski (AKA The Unabomber), Yahoo News is running a series based on Kaczynski’s prison letters and other writing. What is most interesting, however, is the friendships Kaczynski apparently made in prison,

But housed in neighboring cells on the same secluded wing at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colo., Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, struck up an odd friendship with two other notorious terrorists of the 1990s: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Ramzi Yousef, who planted a bomb in the World Trade Center in 1993 that killed six people, a precursor to the 9/11 attacks.

. . .

In his early months in prison, Kaczynski became close enough to McVeigh and Yousef that they shared books and talked religion and politics. He even came to know their birthdays, according to letters he wrote about them to others.

“You may be interested to know that your birthday, April 27, is the same as that of Ramzi Yousef, the alleged ‘mastermind’ of the World Trade Center bombing,” Kaczynski wrote to a pen pal in 1999, according to a letter on file at his archive of personal papers at the University of Michigan Library. “I mentioned this to Ramzi, and he wants me to tell you that since your birthday is the same as his, you and he must have similar personalities. … He may have some degree of belief in astrology.”

. . .

In July 1999, McVeigh was moved to federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind., and though prison rules blocked him from exchanging letters with Kaczynski, they kept up their friendship. Through a journalist at the Buffalo News, McVeigh sent Kaczynski a copy of “Into the Wild,” writer Jon Krakauer’s account of a young man’s hike into the Alaskan wilderness. (Kaczynski, who is particular about his books, liked it.) Meanwhile, the Unabomber asked his pen pals to send McVeigh magazines and articles, including a subscription to Green Anarchy magazine.

Every time I’ve read a Batman story arc involving Arkham Asylum, I’ve always questioned who would house a group of supervillains together in the same prison and let them associate. Apparently the Federal Bureau of Prisons would.

Qubes OS–Security Through Compartmentalization

Qubes OS is a Fedora-based Linux distro that relies on virtualization to minimize potential security risks.

Qubes takes an approach called security by compartmentalization, which allows you to compartmentalize the various parts of your digital life into securely isolated virtual machines (VMs). A VM is basically a simulated computer with its own OS which runs as software on your physical computer. You can think of a VM as a computer within a computer.

This approach allows you to keep the different things you do on your computer securely separated from each other in isolated VMs so that one VM getting compromised won’t affect the others. For example, you might have one VM for visiting untrusted websites and a different VM for doing online banking. This way, if your untrusted browsing VM gets compromised by a malware-laden website, your online banking activities won’t be at risk. Similarly, if you’re concerned about malicious email attachments, Qubes can make it so that every attachment gets opened in its own single-use, “disposable” VM. In this way, Qubes allows you to do everything on the same physical computer without having to worry about a single successful cyberattack taking down your entire digital life in one fell swoop.


Qubes OS Screenshot