Update: Over a week later, they implemented SSL. They have a security certificate from Comodo.
In light of the election results and the accusations of venues acting as fake news outlets and/or propaganda arms to the Russian government, there has been concerns regarding free speech. There is legislation that is indeed concerning as it could potentially violate the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.
With that said, the fourth and fifth amendments should also be valued as well. I am no fan of tearing down other venues, but there are times when criticism is warranted. When I saw Infowars ask for signatures for a petition, I became irritated.
It is a similar tactic used by Newsmax and other venues. I have no problem with petitioning or asking for people to signup for a newsletter. Where I take issue is when I see that the website doesn’t use SSL Encryption.
I had a similar issue with John McAfee himself when he announced he was running for President. He was requesting volunteers on his campaign site, but there was no SSL Encryption.
To be fair, after being called on it, a certificate was implemented, thus ensuring the privacy of those who signed up to volunteer.
Without encryption, any information submitted in an online form can be intercepted by a third party interloper. Other sites like The Intercept use SSL due to the revelations from Edward Snowden. Having a plan for OpSec, or Operational Security, is important and should not be overlooked.
This means protecting the information of visitors in any way possible on the entire site, not just a customer’s online shopping cart. This site is no exception.
This means any comments you submit will be encrypted and not intercepted by a third party. We value your privacy, which is why we don’t complain when ad blocking is used.
The idea is to earn money with the site, but without visitors, that won’t happen.
So the next time you see a call to action, double check and make sure the connection to the site is secure. In the meantime, you may want to e-mail Kurt Nimmo or Paul Joseph Watson and ask them why Infowars does not implement site wide SSL Encryption.
I have no doubt he either killed himself or has a new FBI ID…ROT in Hell asshole. –Jack Blood
I want to start by apologizing to everyone. I know it’s been a long time since I published anything here. The podcast is still going, but due to the election year, I haven’t put out a new episode in a while. Ironically, it’s with the subject matter at hand that jolted me back to life so to speak.
Last week, I saw the posts spreading on Facebook regarding the death of Victor Thorn, including from some popular fan pages. One of the primary links is from the American Free Press, a controversial alternative media site.
He died of a self inflicted gun shot wound.
Due to the fact that 2016 is a Presidential Election year and that Hillary Clinton is running for President, speculation was naturally going to occur. Thorn had written books and articles critical of the Democratic nominee, so this comes as no surprise.
I want to preface this next part by saying that I have no intention of speaking ill of the dead. Other than a minor rant on the YouTube channel, I haven’t publicly talked about it. I understand that there are family and friends who are grieving, and death is not known for being pleasant.
To Scott Makufka’s immediate family, you have my sincere condolences. The rest of this article is not aimed at any of you, for this is something that none of you were involved in. What I am about to say is not something I’m going to enjoy.
The truth must be told
Like with Steve Jobs of Apple, Thorn is already being given that mythic status, but reality must prevail. Before anybody places him on a pedestal, there’s some things you need to know.
Things like the fact that he is no martyr, let alone a hero.
In the beginning of my foray into the alternative media, I actually interviewed both him and Lisa Guliani on WING TV, an online television show that predates the existence of online streaming sites such as YouTube. Granted, the videos used RealMedia for encoding, but it was fairly cutting edge for the time.
Thorn and Guliani would have been what others referred to as conspiracy theorists. They questioned the official narrative of 9/11 and also viewed the state of politics in the early 2000’s with suspicion. That aspect of both of them was not the most controversial part of this duo.
They even did a satirical episode where they pulled Masonic symbols out of Art Bell’s ass. Keep that in mind for later.
One of the major figures they also criticized was Alex Jones of Infowars.com. They stopped doing so for a while until they went to Oklahoma City to talk about the Oklahoma City Bombing with others who questioned the government’s official narrative.
I actually spoke to Guliani, Thorn’s co-host, over the telephone on a regular basis. They both bragged about the results on Whalen’s show; threats were called in, a former associate of Jones cut off a micro-broadcasting station, and more.
Had I been more experienced back then, the fact that they were excited about those things would have raised a red flag.
They eventually made the claim that since GCN was renting satellite time from ABC, they were an affiliate of ABC’s. That’s like referring to me as an affiliate of Charter Communications because they happen to by my ISP at this time. In other words, confirmation bias is what caused them to look for anything proving that GCN, the very network that broadcasts The Alex Jones Show, was nothing more than a corporate sellout.
That was before I had a better understanding of the broadcasting world.
Enter Revere Radio Network. This was a network that both had initially supported until Sonny Crack, one of the show hosts who had an understanding of the broadcasting media world, called out Guliani for her inaccuracy (albeit in a not so diplomatic manner).
He would go on to create an adult themed satire aimed at her.
So what did two alternative media personalities based out of State College, Pennsylvania do about said satire recorded by a host who was based out of Tampa Bay, Florida?
More importantly, if two people claim that they are anti-establishment, what is the best course of action if they wanted to torpedo their own credibility?
Revere himself interviewed him, and eventually wound up realizing that I was no enemy of his. My thoughts at the time was that if he really cared about the news and the truth, he would pursue it. He did.
He decided to put me through a test as well and offered me a spot on his radio network. My initial plan was to torture them and even have the two co-hosts from WING TV on as guests, but both saw this as an act of betrayal.
The magic of Internet drama.
To top it off, I was informed that some things were going to go down in the future and that I wouldn’t be privy to them because of what I did. They would continue attacking and criticizing other alternative media personalities, thus creating more of a divide.
The two individuals were so polarizing that they eventually had a falling out with one another, resulting in Guliani leaving the show. Not long after that, WING TV would transform into a glorified online bookstore.
According to Bill Makufka, Scott Makufka was a complicated individual; Victor Thorn wasn’t just a pseudonym, but a separate identity.
He would tailor the conversation for each individual that he talked to, a description of a trait that sounds all too familiar, but that’s a story for another day.
What you need to know is that he along with his then-cohort did more criticizing than original content creation. They did some original work, such as protesting at Ground Zero on 9/11 a couple of times and Thorn/Makufka would put already existing material into an original format (9/11 On Trial), but they also built long list of people in their so called “Hall of Shame.”
When people are focused on more than ideas, there’s a problem. This holds true regardless of point of view. One can’t claim to be against “The Man” when they go to “The Man” to solve a perceived problem in the first place, especially when it’s a civil matter.
Scott “Victor Thorn” Makufka is no martyr, no hero, no deity. He was human, and in the past he along with a former co-host made a few mistakes (some more egregious than others) and ironically generated negativity, the very thing Makufka disdained.
So please don’t put him on top of a pedestal or argue that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with his death.
January is almost over, and it’s already been an interesting ride this year. 2014 is turning out to be an interesting year.
New ideas are emerging as well as a changing geopolitical landscape. While this isn’t the change many were supposed to “believe in,” things are definitely not going to be stagnant.
Bridge Linux: Every now and then, a new Unix-like OS enters town. This distro uses Arch as its base and comes in a variety of desktop environments. There is a 32 and 64-bit edition. Dalton Miller, the founder of the project was recently interviewed by DistroWatch.
Bitcoin and TigerDirect: The online electronics retailer is now accepting Bitcoin as payment. As mention of the digital currency goes more mainstream, it will be interesting to see what happens next.
David Gerwitz recommends Chromebooks: Gerwitz of ZDNet has recently started recommending Chromebooks for everyday users. The big reasoning according to him is that, “For people who don’t need all that Windows has to offer, for those who live in their browsers, Gmail, Facebook, and such, for those who write simple documents and need simple spreadsheets or presentations, for those who just need to get something done quickly and easily, the Chromebook is an ideal choice.”
Overlooked Pop Culture
CNN US Edition Covers Bieber instead of Ukraine: During the unrest in the Ukraine, a Reddit user caught the front page of CNN’s website (U.S. Edition), where Justin Bieber was front and center. There seems to be a trend of people getting tired of celebrity “scandals.”
From the Fuck the Police Files: The Smoking Gun recently reported on a Pizza Hut Manger who spit on the food of a deputy who had busted her for riding in a car with someone who might have been drinking. In Tennessee, it’s an automatic DUI. She lost her job, and the cop probably lost some of his faith in fast food chains.
It isn’t too far into 2014, and we’re already experiencing some interesting turn of events. Thomas Holbrook II is now writing for Muktware once again. His focus will be on Chromebooks, Chrome OS, and other topics, such as civil liberties online.
Speaking of civil liberties, that is one topic that will see coverage in this week’s links. We have the usual developments in free and open source software, but also from a few other fronts as well.
Don’t Blindly Trust Open Source, verify it: Mozilla Calls for Protection from NSA Spying (Muktware.com): Swapnil Bhartiya, founder and editor of Muktware, writes about the NSA and how the availability of a project’s source code isn’t immune from tampering, especially if developers don’t pay enough attention.
ZaReason’s Zeto a Part of their Latest Offerings (ZaReason): Though the company has been criticized for their tablet, the California-based company keeps quietly releasing new products, such as the Zeto. It’s powered by the newest generation of Intel processors as well as powerful NVIDIA graphics.
Ars Technica on Verizon vs FCC (Ars Technica): The courts have invalidated most of the Net Neutrality rules put out by the FCC. ISP’s can’t be treated like phone companies. Only time will tell whether ISP’s will start to throttle traffic in order to prevent competition throughout various Internet-based industries.
Superbabies? (Mail Online): A Chinese firm is apparently trying to see if one can map the genes of those who are especially skilled in Math. Imagine picking out the smartest embryos and combining other good genes with them. Interesting indeed.
Daniel Bryan Has a Concussion? (24Wrestling.com): Though not seen on WWE’s website, it seems that Daniel Bryan suffered a concussion during the cage match from the last Monday Night Raw. Again, no official statement has been made on WWE.com.
Out with 2013, and in with 2014. No matter what this year brings, it won’t be boring. With that said, here’s some links for you to check out this week.
Getting Involved in FOSS (opensource.com): The Red Hat sponsored website has seven ways for people to get involved in various projects that share their source code and invite collaboration from others. For those who can’t code their way out of a paper bag, there’s always writing documentation and creating digital art for the various projects, because good instructions and pretty icons can go a long way in making an application more attractive.
Exciting Changes to 5.0 of the Phoronix Test Suite GUI (phoronix.com): Though it was initially written in GTK2, HTML 5 is being used instead. According to Michael Larabel, “This new GUI to Phoronix Test Suite 5.0 is being written as an HTML5 interface. This is being done for portability and network transparency with the Phoronix Test Suite commonly being used on embedded devices and servers where there is no connected devices — remote support for PTS 5.0 HTML5 GUI can be enabled, otherwise it’s only exposed locally.” Work on the interface is currently ongoing.
Now It’s Our Turn (Blog of helios): Ken “helios” Starks has been through quite a bit over the years. He decided to tell the story of how he is now able to give back to those who have helped him, starting with Randy Noseworthy. It looks like the Reglue Project will be able to help bridge the digital divide more than ever.
6502.org: The website that talks about the processor that was used by Apple and other companies in their computers and electronics. Their Google+ page circled ours after publishing the previous Throwback Thursday.
Oldcomputers.net: Hat tip to Stephen Mudd for bringing this link to our attention. This site explores older computers, the hardware specifications, and more. For historical reference as well as nostalgia, feel free to check it out.
Overlooked Pop Culture
Pepperoni is for idiots, according to Maddox: This one’s a bit older, but with Thanksgiving just around the corner, this is more than appropriate. Sometimes certain forms of food just aren’t satisfying. Maddox breaks down why pepperoni isn’t real food.
Deadline Live: Jack Blood is a radio talk show host who talks about a variety of topics that are not often mentioned in the mainstream.
Bulbagarden: For those PokéMon fans out there, this site’s encyclopedia is extensive. Detailed information on each PokéMon and characters from the video games, manga, and anime are all available.