Freedom… Thy Kingdom Come on earth

Freeeedom… as it is heaven, I pray for thy rule on earth. Still I hope the days are coming and thy rule will be done on earth.

Software Freedom Day

Freedom… Thy Kingdom Come on earth.

For svg file, click here

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Hand of thief

Hand of Thief

OK. Many security experts now say that there is a real Linux Trojan is on market and it started its activity on web. It’s called Hand Of Thief (HOT). It is a commercial malware, comes with its own logo and command & control panel interfaces. Zdnet describes it as a semi-successful Linux Trojan. But still I don’t think it is a fully-functional malware that affects a Linux system which is automatically installed, it may need a basic user permission.

Basically HOT is affected on the web browsers of major popular distributions. Mozilla FireFox, Iceweasel, Epiphany, Chromium browsers are affected. But my concern is this – how this happened. I think it is not Linux vulnerable – but my computer habits are. Wonder why we add such fancy and complicated yet less useful features to the operating system. Doing so, it gets more fatty and thus weaker in the matter of security. A rule of thumb is: the more we make it fancy the less it become secure!

As an additional security, never use any in-built applications in a browser, be it Iceweasel, or Midori or whatever. Instead you open a PDF document in a PDF viewer installed inside your system. Likewise, open an mp4 file in Totem or VLC stand alone application. Please care to update security patches always.

Mobile Looting / Shame on you Tata Docomo

Mobile companies are looting its customers by trapping them to choose their junk (unwanted) services. Most of the victims are prepaid customers. Its actually a clever trap. A kind of USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) message comes to your mobile phone with an “OK” and “Cancel” options.

Here is the message

PICK of the DAY!Click OK to ACTIVATE or press exit to CANCEL.Rs30/month

PickOfTheDay

There is no confirmation questions. If you press the OK button by mistake, there is no recalls. Your money is lost.

Most probably you may not get any voice indications when such a message comes. I still don’t know what kind of messages are these. Are they USSD / Push or something other? God knows! After a while, when you take your phone and unlock the keypad, without knowing the trap, you may have accidentally okay-ed to that message. You will get a notification message just as follows:

Hi! You will now receive Live Astrology on your phone. You have been charged Rs. 30 for next 30 days. To Stop alerts, SMS STOP LA to 54321

So Rs. 30/- has already been debited from your account. Hundreds of thousands of customers are looted  daily in this way. Just drop into a Tata Docomo Store, you’ll see that majority of the customers come to the store only to raise such complaints. In many other occasions, even without an accidental key press, you may lose money for such unsolicited services.

Yesterday (Sunday, 25 August 2013) I got such an experience in one of my prepaid mobile phones. The name of the unsolicited service was Dus Bahane. I got the following message.:

Hi! You will now receive Dus Bahane alerts on your phone. You have been charged Rs. 10 for next 7 days. To Stop alerts, SMS STOP DB to 54321

Dus Bahane

Dus Bahane alert is nothing but a collection of  damn ‘deprecated’ jokes.

I called to the Tata Docomo customer care from a post paid phone. It was their reply that they cannot fix the complaints for Prepaid customers. Instead I have to call another toll free number – 18602665555. Well, I called that number instantly, the customer care executive lady received the call and after I presented my complaint, the line was hung up without any notification. I tried at least 12 times after that, but all those customer care dudes were too busy attending other calls. So I decided to complaint through email.

Here is the mail

Sub: Please remove the unwanted service and return money.
Ref: Mobile number : 1234567890

Dear Sir,

I have been debited Rs. 10/- today for an alert service named “Dus Banana Alert” which I have not requested by any means. Hence I request you to credit back Rs. 10 and deactivate the so called service as earliest as possible. I do not want any such junk services hereafter. Please deactivate such service offers in my mobile to prevent such instances in future.

My name.
Alternate Number : 9876543210

I Send the mail to the following mail ids:
listen@tatadocomo.com, appellate.kerala@tatadocomo.com

I haven’t got any email replies from them; instead I got their SMS after one hour at last, stating that :

Hi! Thanks for sharing your balance related concern with us. An amount of Rs. 10 has credited to your account.

BalanceRelatedConcern

I am pretty sure there weren’t any intervention has been done from my side in this case. So I got the money back. If I pressed the OK button anyway, damn sure I wont get my money back..

Anyone can get back the lost money by calling the customer care by demanding our money back. Or if customer care is not accessible, send an email to the customer care and appellate cell. But many customers won’t take much efforts to get back their money. These robbers loot the money of poor customers in a large scale. Imagine how much money can they loot @ Rs. 10 from a one-hundred-thousand people?

However the unsolicited service is not still terminated. I will raise another complaint to stop that service. Wondering why TRAI ignores such day light robbery done by the mobile companies.

Tail piece

Its 10th October 2013 today.

At least one and a half months after this post has been published, today I read a news in some leading news portals that finally TRAI has pushed a new regulation to control against this day light robbery. Now subscribers can complaint against the unwanted services. Here is the news:

TRAI launched, or rather forced operators to introduce a common number which works across different networks, and which can be used to stop unwanted services. Mobile users can now dial 155223 from anywhere in India to deactivate. We tried this service using phone numbers from different operators in Bangalore and Mumbai, and consistently found that the IVR was prompt. – See more at: http://www.techtree.com/content/news/2915/deactivate-unwanted-mobile-services-calling-155223.html#sthash.86q0W63p.dpuf

Now that’s a real good move. Please copy the number in your mobile right now – 155223. But still there is no action has been done against the trapping nature of the messages sent by the company. Either the subscriber get the option to reject all such messages (not DND, if someone activated it, he losses many online services right now) or there must be a confirmation option should be included if the subscriber accidentally clicked OK button.

New T-shirt

Yet another T-shirt design. With an oxymoron slogan – I’M GNU/LINUX EVANGELIST. SLAVE OF FREEDOM.

I have planned to create such a T-shirt for so long. I know it is not a great one, may be ridiculous. When using the acrylic paint with fabric medium, the print gets some unwanted strokes and all. Then I tried painting without the fabric medium. The yellow portion in the design is done without it.

Stop this cruelty

Granted. India has the highest number of human rabies deaths in the world. It is estimated at 35,000 rabies deaths / year. But is it the way to control rabies? Today morning, I witnessed such a cruelty in my neighborhood. A team of killers captured lots of stray dogs with a hook and then injected poison. It includes semi-owned and pregnant animals also. There were lots of residents gathered there to witness this dog massacre. It seems that all of them enjoyed it well. I wonder, are we a civilized society? Is there no other ways to control the stray dog population?

These animals were denied the protection of the laws implemented by the Government of India. Yes, there are proper laws for these animals.

  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Rules enacted under Section 38 of the said Act, particularly, the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001
  • Indian Penal Code, Sections 428 & 429
  • Article 51A (g) of The Constitution of India

Even a stray dog has its rights to walk through the streets. An animal welfare organization – The Animal Welfare Board of India – has established in India in 1960 to prevent human cruelty against animals.

Maybe nobody even heard about such rules. These laws are widely violated under the supervision of all Panchayats in many of the states among India. Kerala is one of the leading violator of this law.

On 26th of May 2012, a conference had been taken place at Bangalore, initiated by  VoSD (Voice of Stray Dogs). VoSD presented a paper under the title of “Basic law and rights for Stray Dogs in India: Prevention of Cruelties to Animals Act, Dog Rules 2001, Indian Penal Code & Court action” by Anjali Sharma at VoSD Conference on Catalyzing Activism for Stray Dogs. It is to be appreciated that there is a few isolated groups are raising their sound of protest.

Just watch these videos

For more read

‘Anonymous’ crashed child pornography sites offline

Hats off! Hallelujah. That’s the social responsibility. Anonymous taken down more than 40 websites containing child pornographic content. Here is the extract from their pastebin press note.

Remove all child pornography content from your servers. Refuse to provide hosting services to any website dealing with child pornography. This statement is not just aimed at Freedom Hosting, but everyone on the internet. It does not matter who you are, if we find you to be hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography, you will become a target. Read More

Stop child porn

Many of us still have no idea on what ANONYMOUS does for the society. They stand for some good motives. They are hackers. They hack for good.

Read more news

Some Unix / Linux / GNU cartoons

I have seen some interesting cartoons on based on Unix / Linux / GNU. Had lol’ed reading it. Shared to many. Now just want to collect them and trying to share it. There may be a lot of other interesting stuff, which I may missed.