Monthly Archive for September, 2005

How to steal millions, legally

Lucent Technologies must be feeling pretty good about themselves stealing an invention from the people who invented it.

Lucent Technologies licensed a use of a patented technology from its inventors for use in a classified Government project. Once it became apparent that the technology worked better than competing technologies and that the Government was interested in using it, Lucent Technologies informed the inventors they’re not paying a dime for the use of the technology. Pretty cool.

It seems Lucent Technologies knew how to abuse the state secrets privilege that allows Government officials to intervene in civil suits to prevent subpoenaing documents to support the civil case. They knew that the privilege would be used, if the inventors would sue Lucent Technologies for the royalties. They knew they could steal the invention without ever getting into legal trouble for it.

Since the Government project is classified, although it’s suspected to have something to do with wiretapping underwater fiberoptic cables, it’s impossible to know how much the US Government is paying Lucent Technologies to work for them. The inventors were asking for roughly $500K for the use of their patented technology. I have to believe that would’ve been pocket money for Lucent Technologies.

Pretty sad for a company which roots are in the famous Bell Labs research center, full of inventors like the ones they chose to steal from.


Up Yours, spammer scum – pt, erm, whatever

Robert Braver, an owner of a small ISP in Ohio, has made a hobby of suing spammers in violation of the Ohio state anti-spamming laws.

This time he hit the jackpot, and managed to not only get a $10M judgment against a career spammer Robert Soloway, who runs Newport Internet Marketing, but also get an injuction barring this spamming scum from spamming, anywhere, again. Robert Soloway is currently at #9 of the Top 10 Spammers at Spamhaus. It looks like his ranking is about to drop a few notches soon.

Robert Soloway is one of those career criminals, who habitually break the law whenever it suits his needs. He’s done every dirty spammer trick in the book, and then some. There probably isn’t a computer crime in the books he hasn’t violated. Enforcement being what it is he hasn’t unfortunately been a frequent visitor to the jails in this country. Let’s hope the situation changes when he violates the injuction (and he will, no question).

Nice work Mr. Braver! Now go get every single penny and trinket this criminal owns!


Osama pwns the London Underground

The Guardian reports on an incredible chain of events that led to an overnight arrest of a suspected “terrorist” in the London underground.

It seems like checking voicemail while waiting for the train is making you look like a terrorist these days.

Way to go Osama Bin Laden, your plan is working perfectly!


The people of Mari being systematically persecuted by Russians

The Finnish belong to an ethnic group of FinnoUgrian people. All the FinnoUgrian people have a similar language and share the same ethnic origins. The cultures are more common than different as well.

The largest groups of FinnoUgrian people live in Hungary, Finland and Estonia, but there are smaller groups of people with their own languages and cultures living in various parts of Eastern Europe. A lot of these ethnic groups have already dissappeared as younger generations adopt Russian language and culture instead of maintaining their own cultural identity.

The Mari people are among the largest of these smaller groups and live in a region in central Russia called Mari El at a bend of the Volga river. There’s about 700K people living in Mari El. 43% are Mari, 47% Russian.

In 2000 a national populist pro-Russian Leonid Markelov became the president of Mari El with the backing of Moscow. In 2004 he was re-elected in elections widely considered to have been rigged.

Since his election Markelov has systematically tried to undermine the human rights of the Mari people in Mari El. Teachers teaching Mari language or voting for Mari candidates have been fired from their jobs, Mari people are economically oppressed, Mari activists and journalists are routinely beaten, severely, by people who somehow never get convicted, people are getting arrested for no cause and they sometimes do not come back, FSB (the Federal Security Service, roughly equivalent to the FBI) is following foreign journalists writing about the situation. It’s basically just like in Soviet Union, straight out of Stalin’s playbook of oppressing minorities.

One would expect some two-bit wannabe communist tyrant in a remote area of Russia to behave in this manner, but what’s really surprising is that Markelov appears to have a full backing of Vladimir Putin and his government. They’ve released statements accusing the ethnic Maris of plotting, with the Finns, Hungarians and Estonians, to form a new FinnoUgrian state and actively undermining the economic development of Russia to achieve this goal.

They’re stopping one step short of accusing the Maris (and Finns assisting them) of being terrorists. Everyone knows what happens to terrorists these days. The Maris are not terrorists. They’re being systematically eradicated by a Russian ethnic majority.

An “interesting” timeline of brutality against prominent Mari people was published by Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples. None of the murders or assaults have resulted in convictions or even arrests:

Uninvestigated crimes against journalists and opposition leaders during the presidency in the autonomous Republic of Mari El of Leonid Markelov, a man openly contemptuous of democratic processes

November 21, 2001: Aleksandr Babaykin, assistant chief editor of the opposition newspaper The Good Neighbors, was brutally killed in the centre of Yoshkar-Ola, the capital city of Mari El.

November 2001: Leonid Plotnikov, assistant chief of department of the publishing house Periodika Mari El, was killed.

November 2001: Aleksei Bakhtin, journalist of a regional newspaper, was killed.

March 12, 2002: Vladimir Maltsev, chief editor of the newspaper The Good Neighbors, was attacked in the evening and caused severe bodily injuries.

March 14, 2002: The door of the Vladimir Maltsev’s apartment was poured over with fuel and put on fire by unknown persons.

April 16, 2002: Viktor Nikolayev, Member of Consultative Committee of Finno-Ugric Peoples and Chairman of the all-Russia movement Mer Kanash, was attacked and brutally beaten in front of his house. Nikolayev had just called the 6th extraordinary Mari Congress due to be held on 26 April.

August 14, 2004: a pogrom was made in the apartment of Valentin Matveyev, a public figure and author of critical articles in The Good Neighbors.

October 4, 2004: masked bandits, armed with weapons and acting in the name of the Department of Criminal Investigations, attacked the apartment of an employee of the human rights organization Citizen And Law.

October 2004: unknown persons attacked journalist Vitaliy Igitov. Earlier, in personal conversations, President of Mari El Leonid Markelov called Igitov the man who had insulted him most.

January 7, 2005: correspondent of the Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe Yelena Rogacheva was attacked.

February 7, 2005: Vladimir Kozlov, chief editor of the international Finno-Ugric newspaper Kudo+Kodu, Member of the Consultative Committee of the World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples and leader of the all-Russian movement of Mari people Mer Kanash, was attacked and severely beaten.

May 27, 2005: ethnic Mari artists and musicians, among them prominent cultural figures, were attacked by a group of Russian skinheads after a concert in the Culture Hall in Yoshkar-Ola. No one responsible was found. In their conversations with local residents, skinheads said that the incident was arranged at the orders of the chief of the fascist group who was instructed by Dmitry Frolov, Head of the Presidential Administration of the Mari Republic. The latter had promised that a plot of land would be allotted to the group to build its base as an award for the action.

July 6, 2005: Yuri Anduganov, prominent Finno-Ugric scholar and President of the 10th International Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies, was killed in a car crash in the Republic of Marii-El. His widow described the circumstances of the collision as suspicious because the truck in front of the car braked extremely unexpectedly and rapidly.

August 27, 2005: Vasli Petrov, Chairman of the Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples, was attacked and beaten in Ismentsa village where he lives.

More information about the situation in various languages at:


When you gotta go, you gotta go

Rick Wilking captures George W. Bush scribbling an important note to Condoleezza Rice during the U.N. Summit.