Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - netfreak

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 20
Off Topic / Re: 226-316-1458 scammer
« on: September 05, 2017, 04:50:36 pm »
Another scammer caller at 226-828-9816

Off Topic / Re: 226-316-1458 scammer
« on: August 21, 2017, 08:45:19 pm »
More scammers at 647-491-2651

Off Topic / Re: ASMR social media
« on: August 08, 2017, 11:38:16 am »
A similar site is now up showcasing various ASMR content at

So I've got a no-name socket 7 Pentium board with the ID string 07/04/97-VXPro+-USB-Ultr-2A5LDH09C-00 and I needed to update the BIOS due to a 32mb limit per SDRAM slot. I still don't know the manufacturer of my exact board but it looks VERY close to the PC Chips M537 which has the same VXpro chipset. I think the only visible difference is some chips are in different spots on the board. I decided to take the risk of flashing the PC Chips M537 BIOS update onto my board, and so far it seems like everything still works plus I've got all my SDRAM showing up now. Here's how to do it:

1) Download which is the BIOS image I used.
2) Also download which includes the AWDFLASH.EXE utility plus a backup of the original board BIOS
3) Ensure your board jumper setting allows for flash update
4) Create a DOS boot floopy with the PC Chips M537 BIOS and AWDFLASH.EXE application. I just used a Win 98 boot disk and deleted the non-critical stuff to make enough space.
5) Boot and run the AWDFLASH.EXE application. Enter the new BIOS image from the PC Chips zip file when prompted. You can also make a backup if you want. You'll get an error about the BIOS ID strings not matching and this is expected since the board is not a PC Chips board. Assuming you're brave, continue with the flash. Reset when complete.
6) If the system seems to lock up during POST, reboot again and hit Del to get into the BIOS settings. Choose the option to set everything to BIOS default and save/reboot.
7) Assuming step 6 worked, go back into BIOS settings and enable everything you need.

I'm not sure specifically what setting the PC Chips BIOS didn't like, but I re-enabled all the options I recall being enabled on the original BIOS and haven't had any issues with lockups. The PC Chips M537 archive I link to is I believe a 1998 firmware image. I don't know the full change history but it does support my 256MB SDRAM and possibly large HDs (well, large for that era). Also I've heard even though the board has USB it won't work since the standard changed during manufacture. I set mine to disabled in the BIOS.

Off Topic / 226-316-1458 scammer
« on: July 18, 2017, 11:18:28 am »
Ignore calls from this loser. The guy on the voicemail sounds angry like he can't please his wife with his tiny package. Probably some 400lb sack of crap too.

Off Topic / DS 3501 Jack Northrop Ave scammers
« on: July 15, 2017, 10:34:10 am »
These scammers send you notices which appear to be domain registration expiration notices in an attempt to fool people. If you receive e-mail from these idiots, report their ISP for spam.

"By accepting this proposal, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this proposal. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DS 3501 Jack Northrop Ave. Suite #F9238 Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA, This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DS reply with Remove to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this letter is strictly prohibited."

Off Topic / Austin Strickland is today's piece of shit
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:26:54 pm »

Only in Florida I guess. Along with the witch hunt on Facebook spread by dumb ass fucktards, I'd say Austin Strickland is today's piece of shit. Congrats on making the rest of us want to completely ignore children in need of assistance. Maybe try being a better parent you goddamn loser.

Also note this was with Emulex firmware package 10.2.x on the adapters

Gaming & Entertainment / DukeEdit readme
« on: February 18, 2017, 04:45:14 pm »
Thanks for taking the time to evaluate DukeEdit, the only level editor for Duke Nukem 3DÂȘ currently available on the Macintosh (so far as I know).

System Requirements:
   System 7 or better.  It has been tested with Mac OS8 and works fine.
   68040 or better.  It has not been tested on anything lower than this.
   Power PC recommended.
   2 MB of RAM is the absolute bare minimum.  4 MB is suggested, 8 MB is recommended.
   256 Color graphics is recommended.
   It will run with fewer colors, but you probably won't like it.
   Takes less than 1/2 MB of hard disk space.
   Duke Nukem 3D must be installed on your system to use this product.
   In order to make your own maps, you will need the commercial version of DN3D.
   With the shareware version, this product can be used only as a map viewer.

DukeEdit was created on a Power Mac 7500 using CodeWarrior 12, AKA CodeWarrior Professional Release 1, and is available in both 68K and Power PC versions.  The Power PC version is native.  I am not convinced anyone is interested in a 'fat' version; i.e. a single version that supports both Power PC and 68K.  If you wish to receive a fat version, please contact the author at the e-mail address given below or write to him at the address used to register the product, also given below.

Software Contents:
The DukeEdit software package should include the application (either the PPC or the 68K version), this readme, a registration form, the software licensing agreement, and a tutorial.
Also included is a sample DukeMatch level I created using DukeEdit (JCI2001.MAP). If the package you downloaded was missing any of these items, please contact me and let me know so I can rectify the situation.

DukeEdit is a shareware product, although the unregistered version can be freely used for as long as you like; there is no time limit for evaluation.  The editor as provided is fully functional with one exception:  until registered, DukeEdit will only allow you to save maps containing fewer than 20 sectors.  This should be adequate for evaluation purposes.  If you wish to use this product as a map viewer only, there is no need to register it.  Use it with my blessing.

To register this product, please read the licensing agreement, then fill in and print out the registration form included in this package and send it along with a check for $20 (US currency) to:

John Inman
1042 N. Mountain Ave. #B298
Upland, CA, USA  91786-3631

I currently do not accept any credit cards, although this may change in the future.  Let me know if this is payment option is important to you.
Please note that I require that the payment be made in checks for US dollars only;  any checks sent to me in other monies will be returned uncashed.
Your check will also be returned uncashed if the completed registration form (or facsimile) is not included with your check.
If you do not have access to a printer so that you can print out the registration form, a handwritten copy with the same information will of course be happily accepted.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at the above address or e-mail me at jcinman @

Once payment has been received, I will mail or e-mail a registration name and a registration code to you.  You will use these to make your copy of DukeEdit fully functional using the 'Register DukeEdit' menu item in the 'Edit' menu.
The registration name and code work equivalently on either the PPC or the 68K version of DukeEdit, so if you upgrade your system you will not need to obtain a new registration code.

One last and rather obvious point:  please do not post your registration code on the 'net or publish it in any other form.  Keep it safe and secure.  There is nothing quite so discouraging as finding out that the product you worked so long and hard writing and debugging is being given away by those who don't own title to it.  This only causes shareware providers like me to think long and hard before creating another shareware offering. 

I am planning on a number of upgrades to DukeEdit over the coming months, and I have a simple upgrade policy:  upgrades are free for all registered users of DukeEdit.  You will not need to obtain another registration code; the original one I sent you will work for any published version of DukeEdit.  If you experience any problems in this regard, contact the author (me) and I will do whatever it takes to get you up and running.  A list of upgrades I would like to implement can be found at the bottom of this document.  It is a notional list only, and I am not making any promises, but nonetheless there it is.

I have provided a tutorial in this package.  I cannot stress strongly enough that you read through this documentation as you get started with DukeEdit.  It should save you some time.  It also contains examples of things you might try that won't work as you may expect them to.  The fault for these things are entirely mine; there are parts of the user interface that even I don't like and I intend to fix or improve in the future.

I also strongly suggest you obtain some documentation on Duke Nukem mapmaking.  There is some documentation that comes with the game itself, but for better and more complete documentation I recommend either of the following:

1. The Duke Nukem 3D Level Design Handbook, by Matt Tagliaferri, which is available in nearly every decent bookstore.  The only complaint I have about this book is that it has no index, so you have to search around a bit to find what you need. 

2. The Map Editing FAQ 1.3 available online at  In fact, this URL is a great place to find all kinds of information on Duke Nukem, including some great levels, and even some 'Total Conversions' where people have made completely new sounds, artwork and levels.  There is also a forum where you can post mapmaking questions.

There are no doubt other works of equal or better quality, but these two I can vouch for since I have used them myself.

Bear in mind, of course, that these references are meant to be companions to BUILD, the DOS-based program the 3D Realms people used to make their own levels, and will not be tailored to DukeEdit.  You will probably have to do some investigative work on your own to make things work, or if you want, you can drop me a line and I'll try to get back to you.  Be advised that answering technical questions might take a while, since some research may be involved.

Update info:

Version 1.10:
Added ability to launch Duke Nukem from within DukeEdit, using current map.  DukeEdit creates a temporary folder inside the application folder for this purpose.
Added Page Setup and Printing capability.
Added a feature to give the user the option 'print current stratum'.
Added a 'Full Size' dialog so that textures can be viewed full size within the 'Choose Texture' dialog
Added a 'Choose Sound' dialog box for Music&SFX sprites.
Fixed a bug that would permit saving changes made to locked files.
Added code to auto-scroll windows when dragging stuff.
Fixed a preferences bug:  in the case where user selected autosave and skip save warnings,
maps were not saved upon close or quit.  They are properly saved now.
Default x and y repeats are now calculated correctly for things like sides of boxes.
Cleaned up some button titles in the French version.
Made underlying windows redraw when 'Choose Texture' is dismissed after being called from the 'Wall Dialog'.
Fixed a bug that would cause bus errors when the command key is depressed in the choose map dialog.
Fixed sprite code so that cycler sprites automatically have angle set to 270 degrees.  Otherwise they won't work (a 'feature' of Duke Nukem 3D).
Fixed minor rounding error in angle edit box in sprite dialog.

Version 1.02:
Fixed a bug in the create child sector code which could cause spurious failures.
Detect null sectors when map is read.
Patched code to auto-delete null sectors on the fly.
Added an application palette to DukeEdit so colors always come out right.

Version 1.01:
Made all dialogs position themselves at alert position on the main screen.
Made main map windows, when created, size properly so the size box is accessible.
Distributed preferences over three dialogs to help out those with small monitors.
Changed the window titles on the Preferences windows.
Changed the look of the floating windows on System 7.5+ and on OS 8 systems.
Included an OS 8 style folder.
Fixed a bug in the sector creation code that caused problems when creating the ramp in the second tutorial.
Fixed a possible bug in the 'reset' code for the stratum window.

Good Luck,

John Inman, 12/5/97
[email protected]

Upgrades planned, *not* in order of importance, but in a randomly chosen order:

1. Support for third-party group files (i.e. Total Conversions).

2. More texture alignment helpers (graphical presentation of wall textures in relation to neighboring wall textures, for example).

3. Improved palette pop-ups for sprites, walls, sectors.

4. Some sort of help or guide (beyond info window).

5. More tool windows, patterned loosely after the sprite window, that let you drag and drop wall and sector prototypes onto the map (i.e. an existing wall would be changed to match the prototype wall you create in the wall window, similarly for sectors).

6. Save document-specific DukeEdit settings in map file resource fork.

7. Outer loop needn't be first loop in sector -- remove assumption from code.  If this makes no sense to you now, just ignore it.

8. Cut, Copy, Paste ability for sectors, along with requisite dragging and dropping of sectors.

9. Sprite histogram; i.e. a way to determine which sprites appear in a map and with what frequency.

10. Sizing sprites.  Currently the only way to make sprites larger or smaller is by using the xrepeat and yrepeat fields of the sprite window, which is quite non-intuitive.

11.  Implementation of a 'Check Map' feature.

None of these upgrades is guaranteed; I reserve the right to leave them unimplemented if I so desire.  Do not make purchasing decisions for this product (DukeEdit) based on planned upgrades.

The author, John Inman, is a 38 year old American mutt.  He graduated from UCLA with a BS and MS in Mathematics and has worked for 16 years as an engineer at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, California.  He lives with his wife and four kids in a nice, quiet neighborhood in Upland, California.  DukeEdit is his first shareware product.

Gaming & Entertainment / SNES PINOUTS & PROTOCOL
« on: February 18, 2017, 04:43:57 pm »
     * Chapter 1) About the Author
     * Chapter 2) Introduction
     * Chapter 3) SNES Multi-out cable connector pins.
     * Chapter 4) SNES Controller cable connector pins.
     * Chapter 5) SNES Controller Communication Protocol
     * Chapter 6) SNES Controller Button-to-Clock Pulse Assignment
   [Document Version: 1.01] [Last Updated: 3/26/96]
                         CHAPTER 1) ABOUT THE AUTHOR
   Author: Jim Christy
   Version: 1.01
   E-Mail: [email protected]
                           CHAPTER 2) INTRODUCTION
   For all you game hardware enthusiasts out there, I took the
   opportunity this weekend to put a scope on my Super Nintendo
   connectors and find out what is going on. Because the standard
   Multi-out cable connector only has internal contacts for the audio and
   video signals, I had to find some more push-in gold contacts at a
   local store to fully break out all the signals. It appears easier to
   do this than make your own connector.
   In short, I found that in addition to S-VHS, the multiout also
   supports RGB and sync. I also got the controller pinouts and protocol,
   which opens up some interesting possibilities. One could rather easily
   construct a "macro recorder" that records your exact button presses
   for a game sequence and allows you to play them back. They will be
   time-accurate by definition of the protocol, and depending on how
   random the game plays, you should be able to replay those sequences
   that get boring, and then take over control when you want.
   If all of this is already well known, then sorry for the waste of net
   These are numbered the way Nintendo did, and the view is looking back
   "into" the connector on the CABLE.

        1       3       5       7       9      11

        |       |       |       |       |       |
        |       |       |   _   |       |       |
       --------------------/ \--------------------
     /                                             \
    |                                               |
    |                                               |
     \                                             /
        |       |       |       |       |       |
        |       |       |       |       |       |

        2       4       6       8      10      12

        Pin     Description
        ===     ===========
        1       Red analog video out   (1v DC offset, 1vpp video into 75 ohms)
        2       Green analog video out (1v DC offset, 1vpp video into 75 ohms)
        3       Composite H/V sync out (1vpp into 75 ohms)
        4       Blue analog video out  (1v DC offset, 1vpp video into 75 ohms)
        5       Ground
        6       Ground
        7       Y (luminance) signal for S-VHS (1vpp into 75 ohms)
        8       C (chroma)    signal for S-VHS (1vpp into 75 ohms)
        9       NTSC composite video signal (1vpp into 75 ohms)
        10      +5v (Could be just a high logic signal)
        11      Left channel audio out
        12      Right channel audio out

   Additional Notes:
   As seen above, the SNES does have RGB capability. I was able to get a
   stable raster on my NEC MultiSync "classic" using the RGB and sync
   pins. However, the video levels are not RS-170 compatible. The DC
   offset needs to be filtered out with some large capacitors and the
   peak-to-peak video amplitude may need to be reduced to 0.7v by using a
   lower load impedance than 75 ohms. The Y/C (S-VHS) signals *appear* to
   be directly usable, but tests cannot be made until I find the pinouts
   for the S-VHS connector on my TV.
   I could not find a Nintendo numbering scheme, so I made one up. The
   view is looking back "into" the connector on the CABLE.

       ----------------------------- ---------------------
      |                             |                      \
      | (1)     (2)     (3)     (4) |   (5)     (6)     (7) |
      |                             |                      /
       ----------------------------- ---------------------

        Pin     Description             Color of wire in cable
        ===     ===========             ======================
        1       +5v                     White
        2       Data clock              Yellow
        3       Data latch              Orange
        4       Serial data             Red
        5       ?                       no wire
        6       ?                       no wire
        7       Ground                  Brown

   Additional notes:
   Pins 5 and 6 show a DC voltage of 5v on a DMM. I forgot to look at
   them on a scope so there may pulses too. However, they don't connect
   to anything at present.
   The controllers have a small circuit board with 2 surface mount 14-pin
   ICs, marked by Nintendo as IC-A and IC-B. Although rubber domes are
   used to provide the tactile response of the buttons, they are not
   capacitive technology as originally thought. Instead they use what
   appears to be carbon impregnated rubber on the underside which makes a
   resistive path (200 ohms) across 2 carbon coated PCB pads when
     * The red wire goes to pin 2 on IC-A.
     * The orange wire goes to pin 8 on both IC-A and IC-B.
     * The yellow wire goes to pin 9 on both IC-A and IC-B.
   IC-A and IC-B appear to be identical, with a 91 date code and have
   another (possible part number) of 545. These are most likely 2
   parallel load shift registers in series. Buttons on the controller
   pull the parallel load inputs to ground through the contact formed by
   pressing a button. IC-B serially feeds IC-A, which then drives the
   serial data line to the SNES CPU.
   Every 16.67ms (or about 60Hz), the SNES CPU sends out a 12us wide,
   positive going data latch pulse on pin 3. This instructs the ICs in
   the controller to latch the state of all buttons internally. Six
   microsenconds after the fall of the data latch pulse, the CPU sends
   out 16 data clock pulses on pin 2. These are 50% duty cycle with 12us
   per full cycle. The controllers serially shift the latched button
   states out pin 4 on every rising edge of the clock, and the CPU
   samples the data on every falling edge.
   Each button on the controller is assigned a specific id which
   corresponds to the clock cycle during which that button's state will
   be reported. The table in section 4.0 lists the ids for all buttons.
   Note that multiple buttons may be depressed at any given moment. Also
   note that a logic "high" on the serial data line means the button is
   NOT depressed.
   At the end of the 16 cycle sequence, the serial data line is driven
   low until the next data latch pulse. The only slight deviation from
   this protocol is apparent in the first clock cycle. Because the clock
   is normally high, the first transition it makes after latch signal is
   a high-to-low transition. Since data for the first button (B in this
   case) will be latched on this transition, it's data must actually be
   driven earlier. The SNES controllers drive data for the first button
   at the falling edge of latch. Data for all other buttons is driven at
   the rising edge of clock. Hopefully the following timing diagram will
   serve to illustrate this. Only 4 of the 16 clock cycles are shown for


                        -->|   |<--

                            ---                               ---
                           |   |                             |   |
        Data Latch      ---     -----------------/ /----------    --------...

        Data Clock      ----------   -   -   -  -/ /----------------   -  ...
                                  | | | | | | | |                   | | | |
                                   -   -   -   -                     -   -
                                   1   2   3   4                     1   2

        Serial Data         ----     ---     ----/ /           ---
                           |    |   |   |   |                 |
        (Buttons B      ---      ---     ---        ----------
        & Select        norm      B      SEL           norm
        pressed).       low                            low
                             -->|   |<--


        Clock Cycle     Button Reported
        ===========     ===============
        1               B
        2               Y
        3               Select
        4               Start
        5               Up on joypad
        6               Down on joypad
        7               Left on joypad
        8               Right on joypad
        9               A
        10              X
        11              L
        12              R
        13              none (always high)
        14              none (always high)
        15              none (always high)
        16              none (always high)

   Additional notes:
   Clock cycles 13-16 are essentially unused. It would be interesting to
   see how the SNES responds if we drive low button data during these
   cycles. Nintendo may use these for future controllers with more
   (From the Editor)
   NOTE: S-VHS is not means to mean Super-VHS. It stands for Super-Video
   (connector and output)
   #### Additional Info (From Kevin Horton)
   OK, the SNES uses the 65816 processor, which is basically a 16-bit
   version of the 6502. It runs at 3.579545 MHz (color-burst), and has an
   8-bit data bus. It can address up to 16MB.
   The carts are nothing more than ROM. To tell you how much data is one,
   take the number of 'MegaBits' and divide by 8 to get megabytes. That's
   how much data is really in the carts. So, an 8-mbit cart really is
   only 1 megabyte.

Gaming & Entertainment / Duping PlayStation and Saturn CDs
« on: February 18, 2017, 04:41:53 pm »
The Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn Backup FAQ (v1.1)
Duping PlayStation and Saturn CDs

Backing up disks for the Playstation and Saturn is no easy task, since
it requires plenty of software and in most cases, and some expensive hardware
to boot.  My hardware recommendations are

                486-100 or Pentium
                8MB + ram
                Fast SCSI controller (Adaptec 2842/2940)
                AV Hard drive (Quantum, Seagata Barracuda 4, Micropolis AV)
                Any CD-recordable drive
                Appropriate CD-rom drive
                Appropriate Software (EZ-CD pro, Electroson GEAR) and
                Miscellaneous utilities.

(1) A note on the format of Sony and Sega disks.

        It is a good idea to have some background on Sony and Sega disk formats.
The Sony disk is basically a CD-ROM XA mode 2 disk with audio tracks.  The
Sega disk is basically a CD-ROM mixed mode, mode 1 disk.  However, both systems
implement a copy protection technique.  The sony disk adds a special encoding
on a series of sectors near the beginning of the disk.  This special encoding
renders it unreadable on most cdrom drives and the playstation detects for its
presence on bootup.  On the sega, there is a special track on the far outside
rim of the cdrom.  This special track is probably uncopyable, because it appears
to have large areas of absolutely blank sections, with no sync information your
CD couldn't establish proper speed or even reach the correct location.  The
track is also at the far outside rim, leaving unformatted data between the data
track and special track.  The special track on the Sega appears to be identical
on both US and Japanese roms.  We note that Sony disks are more prone to damage
than Sega disks since their mode 2 format can preclude ECC bytes which reduces
error correction rates.  For those of you with japanese systems, it becomes
increasingly important to backup since your software is costing you ~$100 a
disk, it is worth spending a little bit more so that you don't damage your
disks by accident.

(2) Duplicated Disks

        A duplicated disk will never be exactly identical to the original.  I
doubt that anybody could actually copy the sega protection track, so we won't
even try.  I have some ideas about copying the sony track.  If the sony psx
determines the illegal track by detecting an error, there are ways you can
format a disk to create an error.  One example would be to write the entire
image using 2352 byte sectors, and purposefully screw up the 12 sync bytes,
the header, or using nonsense ECC bytes where the protection sectors are.  That
involves some special CDR software and determining the protection sectors can
be a long process using a CD-Rom drive sensitive to the protected sectors.
Instead, we will use one of the swapping methods to start these copies.

(3) Duplication

        I recommend that we do all the reading on a proper cdrom drive that
is capable of reading digital audio (DA) since many games have standard CD-DA
tracks.  Drives capable of doing this include


Reading the audio is best accomplished by using the CDDA utility included in
Corel Scsi 2.0 and up.  Notice that reading CD-DA is not a very trivial process.
Since DA is stored with no header data, you cannot guarantee that when you
seek to a certain sector, you will arrive on the proper spot.  Many times,
you can end up arriving within 1 or 2 bits of the proper target.  Some software
uses a trick called jitter reduction to improve accuracy using a two pass
technique, but it is very slow.  The moral of this story is reading DA does
not guarantee you a bit to bit accurate copy of the DA track.  The accuracy
varies from brand to brand.  NEC drives seem to have a higher rate of errors,
as do all IDE drives.  We highly recommend the use of SCSI drives for reading
DA regardless of your software.  Also, some drives only support reading of
DA at single speed, even if its data speed is double or quad (Toshiba). That
can greatly hinder your duplication.  I personally have no experience with
the Sony drives, but I have heard that they work.

After this, we can read the data tracks.  On the Sega, the data track is mode 1
and unprotected so any drive can read it.  On the Sony, however, the track
is mode-2 and it also has the protected sectors.  Drives capable of reading
these protected sectors include


I haven't had that much luck finding drives that can read these sectors, but
if you have a pioneer, you're set.  The Teac isn't on the DA-capable list, so
it's not a big help. However, if you already have a DA capable drive that
hangs while reading the data tracks, this drive is an inexpensive alternative.

To read the tracks, we need to make a note on orange book standards when using
CDRs.  At the end of each track, it is normal practive to add two sectors of
leadout.  This means that when you copy a track, make sure you read two fewer
sectors than the length of the track. This corresponds to 4096 bytes for sega,
and 4672 bytes for sony.  In addition, there is a 150 sector gap between tracks.
Some software seems to think that this is part of the previous track, and grab
that too.  When using CDDA to read audio, simply shorten the length of the read
by 2 frames.  When using the program CD Grab Professional, please shorten the
length by 152 sectors.  When using CDCP, version 1.1, the length is correct.
When using CDCP Version 1.2 and later, shorten the length by 152.  Some software
seems to give you control of wheter the data file includes the 2 orange book
sectors, and will not create a oversize track.  Note, on some software, the
track will be the minimum sector size.  In that case, it will become necc.
to shorten that track by 2 sectors.  Luckily, this would mean the track has
to be an audio track, and so the loss of 2/75 of a second is no big deal.

        During production, some companies use some shortcuts to speed up
production.  One good trick is to use direct sector access to audio tracks.
It allows quicker access to audio tracks, but requires that the exact sector be
provided.  Usually, the audio track appears immediately after the data track,
so the exact position of the audio track is unknown until after the data track
is finalized in production.  The shortcut is to place the audio tracks at a
predetermined location, say, at the 100 megabyte point and require that the
data track be 99 megs or less.  In this case, when the data track is finished,
there maybe a unformatted region between the actual end of the data track and
the audio track.  However, reading the table of contents will reveal an
improper length for the data track that spans all the way to the audio track,
including the unformatted region.  This will cause an error when you are
trying to read the data track; the cd will suddenly stop reading when it
reaches that point.  The solution is to pad the data track file with empty
sectors. For example, a 2048 byte file of zeros will do for sega, and 2336 byte
file for sony.  Pad the file until it is the same number of sectors as what the
software reports as the length of the data track.


        One report is that the highly regarded Corel CD Maker doesn't allow the
writing of disk images without a plugin.  What a crock!  Get EZ-CD pro instead,
it will be cheaper than Corel to get this working. EZ-CD is bundled with
Pinnacle and Ricoh CDRs, among others.  Corel does allow you to directly copy
audio tracks from a cdrom to a cd-r, while ez-cd allows you to directly copy
mode 1 tracks from a cdrom to a cd-r.  Note that direct copying means you
don't need a buffer file on the hard drive, and can save 50% off your copying

(4) Playing:

        To play the game, you have to use one of the swap techniques.  On the
PSX, you insert the original disk, and swap when you see the ps logo while
holding down the "drive closed" button.  If you don't trust this, go into
cd player. Insert original disk. press the drive close button, old, insert
copy, and go to exit (Still holding down the close button).  Note, that
doing it this way, the ps reads the table of contents from the original disk.
For games from Namco and Bandai, this information is used to determine the
length of audio tracks.  Always use the original disk to start the copy for
these games if you want properly working audio.  Of course, since you have
the original game, this would never be a problem, unless you are trying to play
a japanese game on a US system.  In that case, you're somewhat screwed.  To
play a japanese game on a US system, the original disk has to be a US disk,
but the copy disk can be any country.  In this situation, the track size on
the original determines the length of the track on the playback, and if you
use the US demo disk to start, say, ridge racer, the short audio tracks on the
demo disk will cause problems. Get a copy of Tekken for your US PSX if you
want a generally good start disk to play japanese games.

        On the saturn, however, things are easier in some ways, harder in
others.  To begin with, it requires a double swap technique.  First, you
insert the copy. start the machine, and it reads in the TOC. When you hear
it seek to the special track (And slow down), swap to the original.  When
it seeks back, pop back in the copy.  Of course, to do this, you will have
to trigger it so that it thinks the drive door is always closed.  To do this,
open up the saturn.  There is a wire that runs from the drive door to a plug
on the left side of the CD mechanism.  Unplug the plug, and short out the
two pins in the jack. You can do this by applying some solder to it, shoving a
screw in there and taping it down, or some other creative trick.   Because
it reads the TOC from the copy, you can insert any original disk (such as
the US saturn's sample disk) so you can keep your precious originals safe.

Additions to [email protected]

Corrections/suggestions to [email protected]

Off Topic / ASMR social media
« on: February 18, 2017, 03:16:50 pm »
A new ASMR social media type site is up in testing stages. ASMR Spot lets you create a profile and showcase ASMR content you've uploaded to YouTube. Fans can also register and follow your profile.

Conspiracy / The End of Zionism
« on: February 16, 2017, 09:05:53 pm »
From: [email protected] (Wayne McGuire)
To: talk.politics.mideast
Subject: The End of Zionism (Yet Another Failed Messianic Movement)
Organization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1993 21:17:49 GMT
Lines: 239

With all due humility and modesty I want to announce that the
post below is probably one of the most important posts you'll
ever read in talk.politics.mideast. There, that should take care
of the levity for the day.

It is a message I posted to someone on another network, and sums
up a whole lot of reading and thinking I've been doing about the
Mideast and Israel for a few years now. Previous discussions here
in TPM, particularly interactions with ardent pro-Israel
partisans, helped clarify my thoughts.

For a number of years now I've been noticing with increasing
attention the remarkable resemblances between Zionism and earlier
episodes of messianic (and always disastrous) outbursts in Jewish
history, but wasn't quite prepared to make the leap that Zionism
as a whole fit the model. I thought that the dangerous messianic
elements were mostly on the religious right, and could be safely
isolated. But the more I read, the more I realized that
messianism permeated the Israeli left as much as the Israeli
right, and that the entire Zionist enterprise is fundamentally
messianic in its outlook and foundations.

The collapse of Communism (the 20th century's premier secular
messianic movement), the failure of the Israeli kibbutz
movement, the rush to proclaim Menachem Schneerson the Messiah,
the rise of Kahanism, and an unceasing succession of blunders by
the Israeli government starting in the 1973 war and continuing
most recently in the Demjanjuk fiasco have all combined to lead
me to the conclusion that something is so seriously awry with the
Zionist experiment that it does in fact exhibit all the traits of
previous failed messianic movements in Jewish history.

What really confirmed me in this conviction was reading five
books one after the other, and digesting all the information
interactively and seeing all the implications:

Golan, Matti. With Friends Like You: What Israelis Really Think
About American Jews. New York: The Free Press, 1992. Translated
from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin.

Leibowitz, Yeshayahu. Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish
State. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Roth, Philip. Operation Shylock: A Confession. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1993.

Segev, Tom. The Seventh Million: The Israelis and The Holocaust.
New York: Hill and Wang, 1993.

Sicker, Martin. Judaism, Nationalism, and the Land of Israel.
Boulder, CO. Westview Press, 1992.

Earlier here I tried to stimulate, without success, some serious
discussion about four of the books. If you want to get an idea of
how I reached my conclusions, try reading them and do some
creative thinking about what you've read. Attached below the post
is a longer list of books which collectively provide an
articulate explanation of why Zionism's future is bleak indeed.

If you want the really short course, just read the Martin Sicker
book. Surveying thousands of years of failed messianism in a few
hundred pages is a real education, and puts mere decades of
Zionism into perspective.

I can imagine the howls of outrage or mirth the assertion that
Zionism is defunct will arouse, but that is entirely predictable
and not interesting. I am not particularly motivated to debate
the subject one way or the other, although I will read with
curiosity valuable insights, as opposed to polemics, anyone might
contribute to my, ahem, prophetic, shall we even say, messianic
pronouncement. For me, the essential debate is over. All the
angry back and forth that is going on here and elsewhere about
who is right and wrong concerning this and that incident between
Israel and its neighbors is just so much noise and is missing the
big picture. Trying to figure out what is going on in the Mideast
and the Israel-Arab conflict was for me an exercise in solving a
knotty and fascinating intellectual problem. Once the problem is
figured out, it no longer excites one's attention.


[Post to Mary Weiss]

I've radically changed my views about Israel and the Mideast
conflict since we last chatted. Back then I was advocating
positions, with my usual visionary foresight, that have been
adopted by the current Israeli government. I was slightly ahead
of my time. Now I believe--make that KNOW--that Zionism may well
prove to be the greatest calamity for Jews in world history to
date, and will most certainly fail as a movement and a physical
state. Israel may not even last out the decade. Jews will come to
regret the day that Israel was ever founded. It doesn't matter
what policies Israel adopts--left, right, center, whatever. Jews
will be weeping and gnashing their teeth over the fact that they
foolishly saddled themselves with the need to support and defend
a physical Jewish state in the middle of a region which hates
that state. All the old anti-Zionist arguments that Jews
themselves hashed over before the founding of Israel are going to
come to the surface again, and the original Jewish anti-Zionists
are going to look like prophets. Theodore Herzl will come to be
seen as notorious a failed prophet as Karl Marx.

The reason? Zionism is a false messianic movement, a well-known
phenomenon in Jewish history. It is built on air, fantasies, and
intoxication, not solid ground. These messianic splurges always
end up in catastrophes for Jews, and Zionism looks like it will
be the granddaddy of all these fiascos, for hundreds of reasons
which I could document for you at length. But you know the main
reason yourself if you examine your heart: ask yourself why you
don't live in Israel. Then you'll know why so many Jews want to
leave Israel.

Trust me, Marty, it is over. Sometime during the last year or
two, deep in the secret soul of Jews, of history, of the world,
Zionism died, expired. Zionists will continue to go through the
motions, engage in angry and self-destructive arguments with
fellow Americans and others who criticize Israel: you know the
whole drill. But at the core, the ball game is over. The more
that Jews get locked into the position of defending a state they
don't want to live in, and don't even believe in, the more pain
and difficulty they are going to cause themselves.

The best advice anyone could give to Jews who really cares about
them--not all of them, to be sure, but some of them--is to begin
to make preparations now for dissolving the state of Israel that
are maximally advantageous for Israelis and Jews in general. Once
that is accomplished, then sit down and figure out why you keep
getting suckered in by self-destructive messianic movements, and
then fix the problem through some form of cultural self-analysis
and psychotherapy. Then get on with doing what you do best in a
modern pluralistic society like the U.S.--make art, make science,
make products, make friends, be happy, be self-fulfilled, etc.,
and just generally get on with making productive lives free of
the need to pursue a collective or ethnocentric messianic mission
of any kind, divine or secular.

If this doesn't happen, it seems certain that Israel will be
heading for a mess that is beyond your wildest dreams. Those who
will be taking the deepest pleasure in Israel's continued
existence will be the world's most virulent anti-Semites.

I know you won't believe a word I am saying, and will react
defensively, but that's ok. I know what I know. And I only say
something like this with the utmost gravity and care, after a
tremendous amount of reading, thought, and conversation. I know
what I am talking about, and I came to these conclusions very
reluctantly, in fact resisted them with all my might, since they
are so disturbing. I mainly want to get this statement down on
the public record somewhere, in part for the ego gratification of
being recognized as one of the first people to figure this out.
Once you get a handle on the key features of false messianism, of
any messianism for that matter, and do a match against all the
developments that have been going on Israel virtually since it's
founding, the truth becomes crystal clear. The coming collapse is
visible in Israel's every action and word.

One important point to keep in mind is that people who have been
bitten by the messianic bug NEVER know when the house is about to
cave in: that is one of the key traits of messianism: it destroys
your ability to read objective reality clearly. The mind of the
messianist--whether that of one of the leaders of the revolt
against Rome, or one of Sabbatai Sevi's followers, or one of Karl
Marx's disciples, or Menachem Schneerson's, or David Koresh's, is
clouded by a kind of drug which is able to ignore or distort
every fact relevant to his or her true situation. All messianists
are essentially mad, at least for the duration of their fever.
After every messianic binge comes the vicious headache: what the
hell were we up to?

What is the essence of messianism? Eventually your bullshit
catches up with you.

It wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference, by the way, if
the Arabs in the region had welcomed the state of Israel with
open arms. In fact if that had been the case, Israel would have
gone under much sooner. The Mideast wars, with their effect in
uniting Israelis against a common external enemy, have served as
a distraction to keep Israelis from dealing with their underlying
internal problems, all of which revolve around the
self-destructive tendencies inherent in all forms of messianism.

At some point the leaders of world Jewry are going to sit down
and ask--if they haven't already--on the whole is the state of
Israel a net positive or a net negative for the world's Jews? Is
it improving our health, wealth, reputation, peace of mind,
physical security, and good relations with our neighbors, or is
it damaging them? If Israel has become a significant net
negative, and there is no realistic prospect of improving the
situation, is there any point in continuing to maintain it, or
like a business gone permanently bad, should we just put it to
rest and get on to more fruitful matters?

Zionism, just like Communism, and for much the same reasons, is
intellectually, morally, spiritually, psychologically,
ideologically, and economically bankrupt.

Zionism, like Communism, attempted to build a society in a
top-down fashion by imposing a rigid ideology and theory on an
unmalleable physical situation. Successful nations grow
organically from the bottom up, emerging naturally from and
cooperating with the facts on the ground.

All successful enterprises are fundamentally pragmatic and
bottom-up. All messianic movements in the world are doomed to
failure because they are top-down and over-ideological in their
essential nature. The curse of messianism is the curse of
ideology and theory on a megalomaniacal scale.

This ideology is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and
gone to meet its maker. This is a late ideology. It's a stiff.
Bereft of life, its rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to
the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the
curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-ideology.

In any case, enjoy the laugh--I can't guarantee I'll find the
time to participate in this conference at any length to provide
the long version of these insights. But after you laugh, give a
little serious thought to what I am saying. I just may be right.



Reading List

Avineri, Shlomo. Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism.
New York and London: New York University Press, 1985.

Friedman, Robert I. The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane: From
FBI Informant to Knesset Member. Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books,

Golan, Matti. With Friends Like You: What Israelis Really Think
About American Jews. New York: The Free Press, 1992. Translated
from the Hebrew by Hillel Halkin.

Harkabi, Yehoshafat. Israel's Fateful Hour. New York: Harper &
Row, 1988.

Leibowitz, Yeshayahu. Judaism, Human Values, and the Jewish
State. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.

Leshem, Moshe. Balaam's Curse: How Israel Lost Its Way, and How
It Can Find It Again. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.

Lustick, Ian S. For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism
in Israel. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1988.

Roth, Philip. Operation Shylock: A Confession. New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1993.

Scholem, Gershom. Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah. Princeton,
New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973. Translated by R. J.
Zwi Werblowsky.

Segev, Tom. The Seventh Million: The Israelis and The Holocaust.
New York: Hill and Wang, 1993.

Sicker, Martin. Judaism, Nationalism, and the Land of Israel.
Boulder, CO. Westview Press, 1992.

Conspiracy / Can Wiretaps Remain Cost-Effective?
« on: February 16, 2017, 09:04:16 pm »
Newsgroups: sci.crypt
From: [email protected] (Robin Hanson)
Subject: Can Wiretaps Remain Cost-Effective?
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Organization: NASA ARC/ Information Science Division
Date: Thu, 13 May 1993 02:01:42 GMT
Lines: 405

I feel somewhat guilty for posting three different versions of this
paper to this newsgroup, but I wanted to be both timely and thorough.
Previous drafts were timely; this "final" version is more thorough. :-)


                          by Robin Hanson
              [email protected] 510-651-7483 
               47164 Male Terrace, Fremont, CA 94539
                            May 12, 1993
                         Distribute Freely

  SUMMARY: Compared to an average monthly phone bill of seventy dollars,
  the option to wiretap the average phone line is probably worth less than
  twelve cents a month to police and spy agencies.  Claims that this
  option is worth over a dollar a month ignore the basic economics of
  law enforcement.  Thus recently proposed government policies to preserve
  wiretap abilities in the face of technological change must raise phone
  costs by less than one part in seven hundred to be cost-effective. 
  Why not let a market decide if wiretaps make sense? 


Until now, telephones have happened to allow the existence of "wiretaps",
cheap detectors which can pick up conversations on a phone line without the
consent of either party to the conversation.  And since 1968, U.S. police
have been allowed to request such wiretaps from judges, and must compensate
phone companies for expenses to assist a tap.  Since then, law enforcement
agencies have come to rely on this capability to aid in criminal

However, wiretaps have become more difficult as phone companies have
switched to digital technologies.  And powerful new encryption technologies
threaten to make truly private communication possible; a small chip in each
phone could soon make it virtually impossible to overhear a conversation
without a physical microphone at either end.  So the U.S. government has
begun to actively respond to these threats to police wiretap abilities.

Regarding digital phone issues, a "FBI Digital Telephone Bill" was
circulated early in 1992 [1], proposing to require all communication
services to support easy wiretaps, now without compensation from the
police.  Each tapped conversation would have to be followed smoothly as the
parties used call-forwarding or moved around with cellular phones.  The
data for that conversation would have to be separated out from other
conversations, translated to a "form representing the content of the
communication", and sent without detection or degradation to a remote
government monitoring facility, to be received as quickly as the parties to
the conversation hear themselves talk.  Congress has yet to pass this bill.

Regarding encryption issues, the White House announced on April 16, 1993
that 1) they had developed and begun manufacturing a special "wiretap" (or
"Clipper") chip to be placed in future phones, instead of the total privacy
chips which have been under private development, 2) they plan to require
this chip in most phones the government buys, and 3) they will request all
manufacturers of encrypted communications hardware to use this wiretap
chip.  The same day, AT&T announced it would use these chips "in all its
secure telephone products". 

The plan seems to be to, at the very least, create a defacto standard for
encryption chips, so that alternatives become prohibitively expensive for
ordinary phone users, and to intimidate through the threat of further
legislation.  Such legislation would be required to stop privacy fans and
dedicated criminals, who might be willing to pay much more to use an
alternative total privacy standard.

Both the specific wiretap chip design and the general algorithm are secret.
Each chip would be created under strict government supervision, where it
would be given a fixed indentifier and encryption key [2].  At some
unspecified frequency during each conversation, the chip would broadcast
its identifier and other info in a special "law enforcement field".  Law
enforcement officers with a court order could then obtain the key
corresponding to this indentifier from certain unspecified agencies, and
could thereby listen in on any future or previously recorded conversations
on that phone.

To date, most concerns voiced about the wiretap chip have been about its
security.  Encryption algorithms are usually published, to allow the
absence of public demonstrations of how to break the code to testify to the
strength of that code.  And it is not clear what government agency could be
trusted with the keys.  Many suspect the government will not limit its
access in the way it has claimed; the track records of previous
administrations [3], and of foreign governments [4], do not inspire
confidence on this point.

This paper, however, will neglect these concerns, and ask instead whether
this new wiretap chip, and other policies to preserve phone wiretaps, are
cost-effective tools for police investigation.  That is, which is a cheaper
way for society to investigate crime: force phone communications to support
wiretaps, or give police agencies more money to investigate crimes as they
see fit?  Or to put it another way, would police agencies still be willing
to pay for each wiretap, if each wiretapping agency were charged its share
of the full cost, to phone users, of forcing phones to support wiretaps?

A recent U.S. General Accounting Office report on the FBI bill stated [1]:

 "[N]either the FBI nor the telecommunications industry has
  systematically identified the alternatives, or evaluated their costs,
  benefits, or feasibility."

While this paper will not change this sad fact, it does aspire to improve
on the current confusion.  To begin to answer the above questions, we might
compare the current benefits wiretaps provide to law enforcement agencies
with projected costs of implementing the new wiretap chip and other wiretap


1990 is the latest year for which wiretap statistics are widely available
[5], though wiretap activity has been rather steady in recent years.
According to the Office of U.S. Courts, 872 wiretap installations were
requested by local, state, and federal police in 1990, and no requests were
denied.  2057 arrests resulted from wiretaps started the same year, 1486
arrests came from wiretaps in the previous ten years, and 55% of arrests
led to convictions.  About 40% of wiretaps were requested by federal
authorities, while several states, including California and Illinois, still
do not allow wiretaps.  About 60% of taps were regarding drug offenses, and
14% for gambling offenses.  Wiretaps are most useful for investigating
"victimless" crimes, since victims will often give police permission to
record their calls.

Each wiretap installation heard an average of 1487 calls, 22% of them
incriminating, among 131 people, and cost an average of $45,125, mostly for
labor (extrapolating from the 91% of installations reporting costs).  $1.6
million was also spent following up on wiretaps from previous years.  Thus
a total of about $41 million was spent on wiretaps, to obtain about 4000
arrests, at about $10,000 per arrest, or four times as much as the $2500
per arrest figure one gets by dividing the $28 billion spent by all police
nationally by the total 11 million non-traffic arrests [6].  Thus wiretaps
are a relatively expensive form of investigations.

76% of the wiretaps were for phone lines (vs pagers, email, etc.), and are
the focus of this paper.  The $31 million per year spent on phone taps
represents only one thousandth of the total police expenditures, and if we
divide this by the 138 million phone "access" lines in the country [6], we
get about 23 cents spent per year per phone line, or about two cents a
month.  Since 1978, our foreign intelligence agencies have also been
authorized to tap international phone calls.  No statistics are published
on these taps, so let us assume a similar number of "spy" wiretaps are
done, giving a total of ~$60 million annually, or four cents per month
spent on wiretaps per phone line.

Of course the amount police spend on wiretaps is not the same as the
benefits of wiretaps.  How can we estimate benefits?  Dorothy Denning, an
advocate of both the FBI bill and the wiretap chip, claims that "the
economic benefits [of wiretaps] alone are estimated to be billions of
dollars per year" [7], and then refers to amounts fined, recovered, and "$2
billion in prevented potential economic loss" by the FBI from 1985 to 1991.
Denning further relays fascinating FBI claims that through wiretaps "the
hierarchy of organized crime has been neutralized or destabilized", and
that "the war on drugs ... would be substantially ... lost" without them.

Two billion dollars per year of wiretap benefit would translate to a little
over a dollar a month per phone line.  Denning, however, offers no support
for her claims, and appears to be relaying internal FBI figures, which the
FBI itself has neither revealed nor explained to the public.  And the FBI
is hardly a neutral party on this subject.

Estimating the benefits of police investigations is not a simple as it
might seem, however, and certainly requires more than adding up amounts
fined or recovered.  Long and well-established results in the economics of
law enforcement [8] tell us to reject the notion that we should be willing
to spend up to one dollar on police, in order to collect another dollar in
fines or to prevent another dollar of theft.  So, for example, we rightly
reject IRS pleas for increased budget based solely on estimates of how many
more dollars can be collected in taxes for each dollar spent by the IRS.
In fact, a main reason given for using public police to investigate crime,
instead of private bounty hunters, is to avoid such police overspending.

In general, we deter a given class of criminals through a combination of
some perceived probability of being caught and convicted, and some expected
punishment level if convicted.  And some crime is directly prevented, rather
than deterred, through some level of police monitoring.  The optimum police
budget is a complex tradeoff between social costs due to the crimes
themselves, the punishment exacted, and police expenses.

How then can we estimate wiretap benefits?  Let us assume that about the
right total amount is being spent on police, and that police have about the
right incentives, to spend their budget to monitor where it would help the
most, and to get as many as possible of the right kinds of convictions.
(If police budgets are too low, then the answer is to increase them, rather
than trying to crudely subsidize any one of their expenses.)

In this case the social benefit of being able to wiretap is no more than
about the additional amount police would be willing to pay, beyond what
they now pay, to undertake the same wiretaps (assuming this remains a small
fraction of total police budgets).  The benefit of wiretaps is actually
less than this value, because were wiretaps to become more expensive, we
might prefer to get the same criminal deterrence by instead raising
punishment and lowering the probability of conviction, or perhaps we might
accept a lower deterrence level, or even decriminalize certain activities.
Police monitoring might be similarly adjusted.

How much police would be willing to pay for each wiretap would depend of
course on how what alternatives are available.  If unable to wiretap a
particular suspect's phone line, police might instead use hidden
microphones, informants, grant immunity to related suspects, or investigate
a suspect in other ways.

The law requires that police requesting a wiretap must convince a judge
that other approaches "reasonably appear to be unlikely to succeed if tried
or to be too dangerous".  But in practice judges don't often question
boilerplate claims to this effect in police requests [9], and
investigations often continue even after a wiretap has failed to aid an
investigation.  Experienced investigators advise wiretaps as a last resort,
but mainly because wiretaps are so expensive.

More importantly, police can also choose to focus on similar suspects who
are more easily investigated without wiretaps.  Most police cases are near
the borderline where it is not clear that they are worth pursuing, and will
be simply dropped should a more pressing case suddenly arise.  Many cases
reach the point where a wiretap might help, but are dropped because a
wiretap seems too costly.  And most cases now using wiretaps would probably
be abandoned if wiretaps became dramatically more expensive.

No doubt a few wiretaps are so valuable that it would have cost ten times
as much to obtain similar results through other means.  But on average, it
is hard to imagine that police would be willing to pay more than a few
times what they now pay for each wiretap.  If we assume that police would
on average be willing to pay twice as much for each tap, then the social
benefit of phone wiretaps is about equal to the current spending level of
four cents a month per phone line.  If we assume that police would on
average be willing to pay four times as much per wiretap, the option to
wiretap the average phone would be worth twelve cents a month.

A better estimate of wiretap values might come from randomly asking recent
wiretap requestors whether they would have still requested that wiretap had
they expected it to take twice as much labor to get the results they had
expected, or three times as much, etc.  The FBI will not allow such a
survey by ordinary citizens, but perhaps some state police would.  But
until such research is done, the twelve cent figure seems a reasonably
generous estimate, and the four cent figure may be closer to reality,

Of course the value of the option to tap any particular phone line
presumably varies a great deal from the average value.  But unless the
police can somehow pay only for the option to wiretap particular phone
lines of its choosing, it is the average value that matters for a
cost/benefit analysis.


Let us for the moment optimistically assume that the U.S. government
encryption scheme used in the wiretap chip is as secure as whatever private
enterprise would have offered instead, protecting our conversations from
the spying ears of neighbors, corporations, and governments, both foreign
and domestic.  Even so, the use of this chip, and of other policies to
support wiretaps, would create many additional costs to build and maintain
our communication system.

Some phone companies must have perceived a non-trivial cost in continuing
to support wiretaps while moving to digital phone transmissions, even when
compared to the widely recognized value of staying on the good side of the
police.  Otherwise the police would not have complained of "instances in
which court orders authorizing the interception of communications have not
been fulfilled because of technical limitations within particular
telecommunications networks" [1]. 

The wiretap chip requires extra law enforcement fields to be added to phone
transmissions, increasing traffic by some unknown percentage.  A special
secure process must be used to add encryption keys to chips, while securely
distributing these keys to special agencies, which must be funded and
monitored.  The chips themselves are manufactured through a special process
so that the chip becomes nearly impossible to take apart, and the pool of
those who can compete to design better implementations is severely limited.
Private encryption systems not supporting wiretaps would require none of
these extra costs.

Perhaps most important, government decree would at least partially replace
private marketplace evolution of standards for how voice is to be
represented, encrypted, and exchanged in our future phones.  It is widely
believed that governments are less efficient than private enterprise in
procuring products and standards, though they may perhaps perform a useful
brokering role when we choose between competing private standards.  How
much less efficient is a matter of debate, some say they pay twice as much,
while others might say they pay only 10% more.

This type of wiretap support also raises costs by preventing full use of a
global market for telephone systems.  It pushes certain domestic phone
standards, which foreign countries may not adopt, and requires the use of
encryption methods known only to our government, which foreign countries
are quite unlikely to adopt.

In 1990, 53 U.S. phone companies had total revenues of $117.7 billion for
domestic calls, $4.4 billion for overseas calls, and $4.5 billion for
cellular calls [6], for a total cost of $126.6 billion dollars to run the
phone system, and an average monthly phone bill of $76.45 per line.  If we
generously assume that police and spies would on average be willing to
pay four times as much as the ~$60 million they now spent on wiretaps
annually, we find that wiretaps are not cost effective if we must raise
phone costs by as much as one part in 700 to preserve wiretap abilities in
the face of technological change.  The twelve cents per line wiretap option
value must be compared with an average seventy dollar monthly phone bill.
(If we assume that police would only pay twice as much on average, then
this limit falls to one part in 2000!)

Dorothy Denning relays FBI claims that $300 million is the maximum
cumulative development cost "for a switch-based software solution" so that
phone companies can continue to support wiretaps [7].  Denning does not,
however, say how long this solution would be good for, nor what the
software maintenance and extra operating costs would be.  And again this is
a figure which the FBI itself has neither revealed nor explained to the
public.  If we use a standard estimate that software maintenance typically
costs twice as much as development [10], and accept this FBI estimate, then
this extra software cost would be by itself five times the above generous
estimate of annual wiretap benefits.

The current government contractor claims it will offer the wiretap chips
for about $26 each in lots of 10,000 [2], over twice the $10 each a
competing private developer claims it would charge [11] for a chip with
comparable functionality, minus wiretap support.  And the wiretap chip
price probably doesn't reflect the full cost of government funded NSA
research to develop it.  If only one phone (or answering machine) is
replaced per phone line every five years, the extra cost for these chips
alone comes out to over 27 cents extra a month per line, or by itself more
than two times a twelve cent estimated wiretap option value.  Of course
most phones wouldn't have encryption chips for a while, but the wiretap
benefit is per phone, so this argument still applies.


Given the dramatic difference between the total cost of running the phone
system and an estimated social value of wiretaps, we can justify only the
slightest modification of the phone system to accommodate wiretaps.  When
the only modification required was to allow investigators in to attach
clips to phone wires, wiretap support may have been reasonable.  But when
considering more substantial modification, the burden of proof is clearly
on those proposing such modification to show how the costs would really be
less than the benefits.  This is especially true if we consider the costs
neglected above, of invasions of the privacy of innocents, and the risk
that future administrations will not act in good faith [3].

If consensus cannot be obtained on the relative costs and benefits of
wiretaps, we might do better to focus on structuring incentives so that
people will want to make the right choices, whatever those might be.
Regarding phone company support for wiretaps, it seems clear that if
wiretaps are in fact cost-effective, there must be some price per wiretap
so that police would be willing to pay for wiretaps, and phone companies
would be willing to support them.  As long as the current law requiring
police to pay phone company "expenses" is interpreted liberally enough, the
market should provide wiretaps, if they are valuable.

Monopoly market power of phone companies, or of police, might be an issue,
but if we must legislate to deal with monopoly here, why not do so the same
way we deal with monopoly elsewhere, such as through price regulation?
Legislating the price to be zero, however, as the FBI bill seems to
propose, seems hard to justify.  And having each police agency pay for
wiretaps, rather than all phone companies, seems fairer to states, such as
California and Illinois, which do not allow wiretaps.

Regarding encryption chips, recall that without legislation outlawing
private encryption, serious criminals would not be affected.  In this case,
it does not seem unreasonable to allow phone companies to offer discounts
to their customers who buy phones supporting wiretaps, and thereby help
that phone company sell wiretaps to police.  Each phone user could then
decide if this discount was worth buying a more expensive phone chip, and
risking possible unlawful invasions of their privacy.  Adverse selection,
however, might make privacy lovers pay more than they would in an ideal

If outlawing private encryption is seriously considered, then we might do
better to instead just declare an extra punishment for crimes committed
with the aid of strong encryption, similar to current extra punishments for
using a gun, crossing state lines, or conspiring with several other people.
As in these other situations, a higher punishment compensates for lower
probabilities of convicting such crimes, and for higher enforcement costs,
while still allowing individual tradeoffs regarding wiretap support.

If, as seems quite possible, the stringent cost requirements described here
for preserving wiretap abilities cannot be met, then we should accept that
history has passed the economical wiretap by.  Police functioned before
1968, and would function again after wiretaps.

[1] ftp: /pub/EFF/legislation/new-fbi-wiretap-bill

[2] Clipper Chip Technology, ftp: /pub/nistnews/clip.txt

[3] Alexander Charns, Cloak and Gavel, FBI Wiretaps, Bugs, Informers, and
    the Supreme Court, Univ. Ill. Press, Chicago, 1992.

[4] Headrick, The Invisible Weapon, Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.

[5] Report on Applications for Orders Authorizing or Approving the
    Interception of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications, 1990,
    Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, Washington, DC 20544.

[6] Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1992.

[7] Dorothy Denning, "To Tap Or Not To Tap", Comm. of the ACM, March 1993.

[8] Richard Posner, Economic Analysis of Law, 4th Ed., 1992, Chapter 22.

[9] Report of the National Commission for the Review of Federal and State
    Laws Relating to Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance, Washington,

[10] Barry Boehm, Software Engineering Economics, Prentice Hall, 1981.

[11] conversation with Steven Bryen, representative of Secure
    Communications Technology, 301-588-2200, April 25, 1993.

Robin Hanson  [email protected]
415-604-3361  MS-269-2, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035
510-651-7483  47164 Male Terrace, Fremont, CA  94539-7921

« on: February 16, 2017, 09:02:33 pm »
Note: This message is awaiting approval by a moderator.
This file passed through Search-Net on Prowler's DOMAIN call now for more
(509) 327-8922  four line ring-down

                               THE RANDY WEAVER CASE
                                 Another Federal Fiasco!

                   BATF's entrapment of Randy Weaver led to
                   the violent deaths of three people.  Says his
                   defense attorney, Gerry Spence:  "What
                   happened to Randy Weaver can happen to
                   anybody in this country."
                                                             BY JIM OLIVER

   Seeing his dog, Striker, shot to death by masked intruders clad in
camouflage, Sammy Weaver, 14, fired back in fear for his life.  The
4 ft., 11"-tall youngster was hit in the arm, then shot in the back as
he turned to run for home.  He died instantly, killed by an agent of the
federal government.

  Cradling her 10-month-old daughter in her arms, Vicki Weaver stood
in the doorway of her home, mourning her slain son, unaware that she
herself had only seconds to live.  In an instant a bullet tore into Vicki
Weaver's face, blew through her jaw and severed her carotid artery.
The bullet was fired from 200 yds. away by an agent of the federal

  What had the Weaver family done to bring FBI snipers and submachine-
gun-toting U.S. marshals to the woods around their cabin on Ruby Ridge
in northern Idaho?  Why did the government act as though the Weavers
had forfeited the protections guaranteed all Americans by the United
States Constitution?  Who made the decisions that led to their
unjustified deaths and also to the death of deputy U.S. Marshall William

  For the six men working near Weaver's plywood cabin on Ruby Ridge,
Aug. 21, 1992, was another day on a job that had been going on more
than 16 months.  Their employer, the U.S. government, was spending
$13,000 a week, and there had been no end in sight to the work.

  The cabin--really a shack--was home to  44-year old former Green
Beret Randy Weaver and his family--wife, Vicki; son, Sammy; and
daughters, Sara, Rachel and Elisheba.  It was also home to their young
friend, Kevin Harris.  They were subsistence hunters, and tended a
garden, putting up vegetables.  A generator produced occasional
electricity.  They had no TV, no radio.

  This day there were some new men on the job site not far from the
cabin--one, 42-year-old William Degan, had been brought to northern
Idaho on special orders.  He was to help plan a successful conclusion
to the job.

  The men in the woods were dressed in their work clothes--camouflage
commando outfits complete with masks.  They carried the tools of
their trade--two-way radios rigged for quiet operation, night vision
equipment, semi-automatic handguns, fully automatic military rifles
and at least one silenced HK submachine gun.  One of the men was a
medic, prepared to care for any casualties.

  The weaver family had dogs.  Somebody threw a rock to test their
reaction.  A golden retriever barked near the cabin and came running
their way.  A mission somebody in the Marshal Service had dubbed
"Operation Northern Exposure" was about to end.

  The "op" had included use of jet reconnaissance overflights with
aerial photographic analysis by the Defense Mapping Agency, and
placement of high-resolution video equipment recording activity by
the Weaver family from sites 1 1/2 miles away--160 hours worth
of tape used.

  For nearly a year and a half, federal agents had roamed the area,
picking locations for surveillance and for snipers.  Degan, belonged
to the Special Operations Group, the Marshals' national SWAT team.
The six on-site this day were deputy U.S. Marshals.

  The target of all of this--and of a Federal law enforcement and
prosecution effort that would eventually total approximately $3
million--was Randy Weaver.  What kind of criminal was he to
demand this kind of attention?  Was he a major drug dealer?
Serial killer?  Was he a terrorist bomber?

  No.  On Oct. 24, 1989, Weaver sold two shotguns whose barrels
arguably measured 1/4 inch less than the 18 inch length determined
arbitrarily by Congress to be legal.  The H&R single-barrel 12-ga.
and Remington pump were sold to a good friend who instructed
Weaver to shorten the barrels.  The "good friend" was an undercover
informant working for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
(BATF), who later told reporters he was in it "mainly for the

  Eight months after he sold the shotguns, Weaver was approached
by two BATF agents with an offer--spy on the Aryan Nations, a
white supremacist hate group head-quartered in northern Idaho,
or go to jail.  Weaver refused to become a government informer,
and--six months later--he was indicted on the shotgun charge.

  On Jan. 17, 1991, as Weaver and his wife were driving to town
for supplies, they encountered a pickup truck-camper with its
hood up, a man and woman seeming to be in trouble.  The Weavers
stopped to offer their help.  A horde of federal agents piled out
of the camper.  A pistol was pressed against Weaver's neck.  Vicki
Weaver was thrown to the slushy ground.

  Weaver was arraigned before a federal magistrate, who later
admitted he cited the wrong law.  Out on bond, Weaver went back
to his cabin.  According to friends who testified in court, he and
his wife vowed not to have any more dealings with the courts of
the federal government.  They would just stay on their mountain.

  A hearing was set on the shotgun matter for Federal Court in
Moscow, Idaho.  The government notified Weaver by letter that
he was to appear March 20, 1991.  The actual hearing was held
February 20--one month earlier.  The error in dates was enough
to give rise to a memo within the Marshal Service saying the case
would be a washout.  (Weaver did not show for the wrong date,
either.)  U.S. Attorney Ron Howen went to the grand jury anyway,
and Weaver was indicted for failure to appear.

  But why had the BATF picked Randy Weaver to set up as an
informer?  He was a man devoted to family, a man with no criminal
record, a veteran who served his country with honor.  It was Weaver's
beliefs that made him an ideal target.  His unorthodox religious
and political views were far outside mainstream America.  He
was a white separatist.  And, Randy Weaver was little, a nobody.

  Over the next 16 months, the feds painted Weaver as racist, as
anti-semitic, as a criminal.  But they had to entrap him into his
only crime, altering two guns.  The media were unquestioning.  In
print and on TV and radio, Weaver's home--the plywood shack he
built himself--became a "mountain fortress," and then "a bunker,"
and a stronghold protected by a cache of 15 weapons and ammunition
capable of piercing armored personnel carriers."

  The common shotguns Weaver sold became the chosen "weapons of
drug dealers and terrorists" or "gangster weapons" that "have no
sporting use."  The media always added the universal out... "agents
said."  But there were no gangsters.  There were no terrorists or
drug dealers, just Weaver, the gun buyer and the government.

  It was all a lie.  Hate-hype.  People believed it, maybe even the
agents who planted the hate-hype began to believe it.  It all ceased
to matter on August 21, when Striker barked and sniffed out the
agents spying on the cabin--lives changed, lives ended.

  Nobody, except the people who were there, knows exactly what
happened next.  There were several versions of the story.  But some
facts jibe.  Randy Weaver's little boy, Sammy--a kid whose voice
hadn't yet changed--and Kevin Harris followed Striker.  Harris and
Weaver later said they thought the dog was chasing a deer.  Harris
carried a bolt-action hunting rifle.  The boy also had a gun.

  Without warning a federal agent fired a burst into Striker, killing
him.  (It came out in court later that there had been a plan to take
the dog "out of the equation.")  The boy, frightened, shot back, and
when one of the agents fired another burst, Sammy lay dead.

  Kevin Harris shot deputy William Degan in the chest.  He died a
few moments later.  The shooting ended relatively quickly.  The
agents would claim Harris fired first.  Harris claimed he fired after
the boy was shot.  Agents told the media their men had been pinned
down for eight hours.  It was a lie.

  The dog was dead.  The boy was dead.  Deputy Degan was dead.  Two
American families had tragically lost loved-ones.  During the night
hours, Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris brought the little boy's body
to a shed near the cabin and washed it.

  Deputy Degan's shooting brought in the FBI.  Soon, the Weaver
property was ringed by a huge force of FBI, BATF, U.S. Marshals,
Idaho state police and local law enforcement and Idaho National

  Among the federal law enforcement commanders was Richard
Rogers, the head of the FBI's hostage rescue team, which includes
its snipers.  On the flight out, he took an extraordinary step--he
decided to alter radically the prescribed rules of engagement of
FBI sharpshooters.

  Normally, agents can only shoot when they are facing death or
grievous harm.  But 11 snipers that were positioned around the
Weaver cabin were given new ordrs:

        "If any adult in the compound is observed with a weapon after
the surrender announcement is made, deadly force can and should
be employed to neutralize the individual."  This meant Randy Weaver's
wife would be fair game.  It went on:

  "If any adult male is observed with a weapon prior to the
announcement, deadly force can and should be employed if the shot
can be taken without endangering the children."

  Of words reminiscent of hollow justifications used in Waco, Texas,
federal spokesmen kept telling the media of their concern for the
children.  In fact, Gene Glenn, the agent in charge of the siege, told
The New York Times he considered the kids to be hostages.  Yet they'd
already killed one child.

  The negotiators were not in place, and no effort had been made to
contact the Weavers, when Randy Weaver, Kevin Harris--armed--
and 16-year-old Sara Weaver left the cabin and moved to the shed
where Sam's body lay.

  As the three reached the shed, an FBI sniper some 200 yds. away
aimed at Weaver.  He told the court he was aiming for the spine,
just below the neck.  He missed; shot Weaver in the back of the arm,
the bullet exiting through the armpit.

  Sara later told Spokesman Review staff writer Jess Walter in a
copyrighted story:

  "I ran up to my dad and tried to shield him and pushed him toward
the house.  If they were going to shoot someone, I was going to make
them shoot a kid."

  At the cabin, Vicki Weaver was waiting at the door, holding her
infant daughter, Elisheba.  The sniper fired again.  His bullet hit
Vicki Weaver.  She was dead before the baby hit the floor,
miraculously unhurt.  Harris was hit by bullet fragments and bone
from Vicki's skull.  He was bleeding badly.  Randy Weaver, daughters
Sara and 10-year-old Rachel all saw the violent death.

  Later, sniper Lon Horiuchi stated in court that killing Vicki Weaver
had been a mistake; that he was aiming for Kevin Harris.  Defense
attorney Spence asked him, "You wanted to kill him, didn't you?"
He answered, "Yes, sir."

  Sara Weaver recounted the night following her mother's death.
Again from reporter Jess Walter's story:

  "Elisheba cried during the night.  She was saying, 'Mama, mama,
mama.'...  Dad was crying and saying, 'I know baby.  I know baby.  Your
Mama's gone....'"

  She told Walters that on Sunday, they tried to yell at federal agents
and get their attention, to tell them that her mother was dead.  She
said they got no resopnse.  Instead they would her the FBI negotiators.

  "They'd come on real late at night and say, 'Come out and talk to us,
Mrs. Weaver.  How's the baby, Mrs. Weaver,' in a real smart-alecky
voice.  Or they'd say, 'Good morning, Randall.  How'd you sleep?  We're
having pancakes.  What are you having?"

  The FBI later claimed it had no idea that its sniper had shot Vicki
Weaver.  Yet a New York Times stringer quoted FBI sources as saying
they were "using a listening device that allow(ed) them to hear
conversations, and even the baby's cries in the cabin."  Another lie?

  On Thursday, August 27, radio newsman Paul Harvey used his noon
broadcast to reach the Weavers, who he'd learned were regular
listeners.  Urging Randy Weaver to surrender, Harvey said,
prophetically, "Randy, you'll have a much better chance with a jury
of understanding homefolks than you could ever have with any kind
of shoot-out with 200 frustrated lawmen."

  As part of their efforts to make contact with the Weavers, the FBI
sent a robot with a telephone to the cabin.  But the robot also had
a shotgun pointed at the door, so the Weavers feared that reaching
for the phone could result in death or injury.

  Somewhere in all of this, the FBI discovered the body of Sammy.
They told the news media they didn't know he'd been killed.

  The siege began to unravel six days after Vicki Weaver had been
killed.  Her body remained in the kitchen of the cabin all that time.
Sara crawled around her to get food and water for her family.  It
was during this time that Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris dictated
their version of their story to Sara.  In this letter, Weaver accused
his government of murdering his wife.

  The news media, based on information from the feds, repeatedly
reported that Vicki had been killed in "an exchange of fire" or in
a "gun battle."  More spin control.

  The only shots were two--from the government's sniper.

  Kevin Harris was the first person to come out.  Sunday, August 30,
badly wounded, he was rushed to a Spokane hospital where he was
treated and charged with murder.  A magistrate told him he was
facing the death penalty.

 The rest of the family came out on the next day.  The surrender was
negotiated--not by the FBI--but by Bo Gritz, former Green Beret hero.

  All the lies and federal spin control over the story were about to
end.  The case was going to court.

  The 36-day trial took place in the U.S. District Court in Boise,  with
Judge Edward Lodge presiding.  The jury of eight women and four men
heard the government put on 56 witnesses.  The defense rested
without calling a single witness, confident that the government had
destroyed its own case.  They were right.

  The jury deliberated for nearly three weeks, and found Harris not
guilty of murder or any other charges leveled against him.  They
found Weaver not guilty of eight federal felony counts.  The judge
had earlier thrown out two other counts.

  Weaver was found guilty of two counts: failing to appear in court
and violating his bail conditions.  He was declared not guilty of the
gun charge--the seed of all this misery.

  It was a bizarre trial, full of contradictions, with government
witnesses countering each other's stories as to the events of
August 21, and countering the events leading up to Vicki Weaver's
death the next day.

  The question of who fired first--Harris or the Marshals--was key
to the jury deciding on the murder charge against Harris.  In the end
they believed Kevin Harris acted in self-defense.  Earlier, the death
penalty had been ruled out.  The law the prosecution cited had been
struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court two decades before.

  The government spent days going over the Weavers' religious views,
trying to establish they were racist and demonstrated a long-lived
conspiracy to violently confront the government.  The jury didn't
believe it.

  Marshall service witnesses told about a series of pre-siege scenarios
to root Weaver out of his cabin.  But when pressed by the defense,
they said they never considered simply knocking on the door and
arresting him.

  During the trial, the government admitted that the FBI had tampered
with the evidence; that the crime scene photos given the defense
were phony reenactments.  Physical evidence had been removed and
replaced.  The prosecutor knew this and had failed to tell the defense.

  The prosecution also withheld documents that might have helped
the defense.  When ordered by the judge to produce them immediately,
the FBI sent the material from Washington, D.C., via Fourth Class mail,
which took two weeks to cross the country.  For prosecutorial
misconduct, the judge ordered the government to pay part of the
defense attorneys' fees, an action almost unheard of in a criminal
case.  Prosecutor Hoiwen also was forced to apologize in open court.
At the end of the trial, he collapsed in the middle of a statement,
telling the judge, "I can't go on."

  Gerry Spence told the jury, "This is a murder case, but the people
who committed the murder are not here in court."

  After the trial, Spence told The New York Times, "A jury today has
said that you can't kill somebody just because you wear badges,
then cover those homicides by prosecuting the innocent.

  What are we going to do now about the deaths of Vicki Weaver, a
mother who was killed with a baby in her arms, and Sammy Weaver,
a boy who was shot in the back?"

  Spence has asked the Boundary County, Idaho, prosecutor to bring
charges against various federal agents.  Should that happen, lingering
questions about the Weaver case finally may be answered.  Should
that happen another jury undoubtedly will serve notice to those
who have forgotten that the United States government is supposed to
serve its citizens, not entrap them, not defame them, not falsify
evidence against them and absolutely not kill their children.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 20