Hard News by Russell Brown

Paris Hilton too!

Why didn't they think to fit a kill-switch to the Brash droid before they sent it in? Now that the droid has gone rogue and is eating the electoral support of its designers, Mad Doctor Prebble has been forced to try and hack the system so that the Brashbot's hosts turn on it and the carnage ends.

Well, that's one explanation for Richard Prebble's pointed speculation about a "coup" in the Parliamentary National Party in The Letter yesterday: having yanked the National Party to the right, the mad scientists at Act have realised that what they really want is the room that would be created by shoving National back towards the centre. D'oh!

The stuff about Murray McCully not turning up to parliament or even to caucus meetings is interesting, though. Was the Katherine Rich business part of a plan by National centrists to isolate Brash so they can reclaim the party after he loses the election this year? And if so, who would they be lining up to lead them? It can't be Bill English again. Can it?

Whatever, it seems a funny time to be giving the One News team an unlikely angle (although not as unlikely, it must be said, as the slightly mad beat-up of the Jim Bolger story, which virtually gave the impression that our former PM had been personally laundering money for Augusto Pinochet).

Assuming that it isn't an elaborate publicity stunt - or even if it is - the T-Mobile phone service can expect to be sued out of existence as a result of Paris Hilton's phone being hacked. Actually, it wasn't her phone per se, so far as I can tell, but the T-Mobile website, via which the hackers have been able to get a whole bunch of stuff, including a slew of celebrity phone numbers (yo! Eminem!) and pictures of Paris snogging a Playboy model.

The cracking strongly suggests that T-Mobile has done little to shore up its Microsoft-based network since it was hacked to pieces more than a year ago by a man who was able to use flaws in the system to snoop on secret service agents who were already investigating him. And the "niggaz" who did the deed probably picked up their chops from this blog posting by security expert Jack Koziol.

NB: Sigh ... It now appears that hardcore content (stills from the young lady's porn film) have turned up on most of the links I provided in yesterday's post - they weren't there at the time of posting. I removed the first one yesterday because I didn't really start this blog to be a porn referrer - that's a different business altogether. I've now removed the other dodgy links. Feel free to find them yourself.

The upshot is that the private life of Paris is more public than ever. The phone booty is [[Link removed due the recent appearance of hardcore content I don't really want to be pointing to.] (PA readers in corporate and ministry offices should bear in mind that Paris's naked breasts appear on the page). Or you can jump straight to her notes to herself, her address book (two phone numbers and an email addy for Mark Philipoussis?) or the low-bandwidth text-only version of the address book. This blog has a thread of speculation on the significance of various notes and numbers, and whether the whole thing is indeed a publicity stunt (if it is, she's presumably got some mighty angry friends right now).

Anyone care to speculate on what kind of stuff of ours a successful hacker might be able to fish out from the Vodafone or Telecom networks?

Further on the theme of celebrity stuff that wasn't supposed to get out, The Smoking Gun has now posted the entire 2000-page transcript of the proceedings of the grand jury that indicted Michael Jackson 10 months ago. It's placed in context with an array of stories explaining the prosecution case. What I don't understand is, with all this leaking, how they can avoid this prosecution being declared unsafe.

GayWatch and GayNZ.com have received an interesting response from the BSA to their complaint about the handling of a phone poll on civil unions on Close Up @ 7 late last year. To paraphrase, it says: "Surely everyone knows these polls are nonsense?" Nice to get that in writing …

And it's getting a little scary being a secular young professional woman in the new Iraq, according to Riverbend. Recent posts here and here: "There was hope of a secular Iraq, even after the occupation. That hope is fading fast."

Finally, it seems - logically, actually - that Stuff's peering problems are having an impact on the branch offices. Staff at Fairfax papers outside Wellington are having the same trouble reaching their own website as the rest of us, it seems. And Robert Harvey highlighted a hitherto, er, unhighlighted implication of Xtra's refusal to peer at the Wellington Internet Exchange: "as I understand it, Telecom's contract to supply telecommunications services to the New Zealand government mandates that no inter-governmental traffic shall go outside NZ. Don't know exact terms, definitions, conditions, etc, but it seems to me something of a problem." Comments?