image credit: planetpalmbeach
I’m not prone to conspiracy theories, but some things are just a bit too much even for me. Cisco recently released an advisory about a new piece of DNS poisoning malware which can install a Tor client on a user’s machine. Their suggestion? “Enterprises should consider blocking Tor traffic on their networks.”
This, just days after a massive chunk of Tor sites were compromised under the guise of fighting child pornography. It seemed like a safe thing to do, after all; nobody wants to defend child porn. BUT, privacy advocates everywhere are literally and physically reeling from the crackdown on the Tor network, seen in recent weeks. “Tor” stands for “The Onion Router” and is a service that can anonymize traffic on the web, by allowing multiple shared entry and exit points. Your traffic goes in to “The Onion Router” network, through several layers and bouncing off of several other routers and peers in the network, then gets spit out on of a random exit point, along with all of the other traffic routed out the same exit. In the end, it is virtually impossible to trace back to any one user, without more identifiable markers on their machine (which is what the malware planted in Tor-based sites is doing). We have even seen sites like Silent Circle, and Lavabit shut down their services and Hushmail fold to the feds.
With a sudden attack on Tor and privacy and anonymity protection software is executed by the government, then a well known and major security and networking company advises that most enterprises should start blocking Tor based traffic on their networks… it just feels a bit too “coincidental.” In a time when the discussion has never been larger, the NSA and other federal agencies ordering these crackdowns have NEVER been so brazen. Where most private companies would be experiencing a panic and a PR nightmare, these organizations appear to be moving forward with the cavalier attitude of Don Quixote, oblivious (or unconcerned) to the rubber band-like reaction that lies ahead. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m not even a privacy advocate, but someone out there has forgotten what it means to be subtle when trampling the little people.
A Knight’s Tale is one of those movies that you see on TV, and it’s just different enough that you’ll go ahead and watch it. It is also my best friend’s first DVD he ever owned, which made it one we watched many times over, over the years. Heath Ledger’s acting is good, and Alan Tudyk and Mark Addy have many great lines throughout the movie. But one of the reasons I love this movie is Paul Bettany’s portrayal of “Geoff” Chaucer.
Geoffrey Chaucer: the father of English literature. Chaucer is the fourteenth century author most famous for The Canterbury Tales is portrayed in A Knight’s Tale as fairly care free, and free-wheeling. Despite living well into his fifties, Geoffry Chaucer never finished The Canterburty Tales, but this movie plays on that concept by giving a re-telling or perhaps an alternate telling of The Knight’s Tale in the Canterbury Tales. Through the movie, “Geoff” is not the main character, but is rather just someone the main ensemble encounters, and he stays with their group and gains inspiration from them. You are to believe that these events unfolded in his younger life and inspired him to write The Canterbury Tales.
It’s fun, it mashes up modern and middle-ages in a way that is simply enjoyable. There aren’t the kinds of plot twists that make you think hard, there aren’t multiple simultaneous story lines, there isn’t even complex character development. It’s a very “what you see is what you get” kind of movie that moves quite linearly and doesn’t pretend to be anything than a funny adventure with a side of romance and a guaranteed happy ending. The characters are likeable, the soundtrack brings in that modern flare, and the visuals really are quite appealing to the eye.
All in all A Knight’s Tale is easy to watch, passes the time quickly, and is always good for a few laughs. It’s a good movie for a Sunday afternoon when there’s little else to do, but because of my long history with it, and having seen it so many times, I thought it deserved a nice mention here as one of those movies you should see if you haven’t.
Good news! If you sign in to the Xbox One using your same Microsoft Account (formerly called “Live ID”) then, yes! All of your gamerscore and achievements will be there waiting for you on your new Xbox One, and you can conitnue to earn more and more Gamerscore on Xbox One games!
Major Nelson has officially unveiled and unboxed an Xbox One console. Enjoy the experience. Can you feel launch day getting closer and closer?