Thursday, August 27, 2015

If We Could Talk To Ponies

Came in over the transom.


Quote Of The Day: ISIS edition

This is impossible to excerpt, but exposes the complete bankruptcy of our miserable pseudo-intellectual ruling class.

As TJIC once said on his late, lamented blog, this post is simply unimprovable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An Ashley Madison Analysis

This would be funnier if I didn't see just how sad and lonely it is.
  
Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site

 "What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots."

Repeat after me, "There are no women that want to meet men on the internet.."

Laptop computer deal alert

I just got a new laptop: Lenovo B50 laptop for $199:


I'm posting from it now (well, queueing the post last night. Work with me).  Loading Linux on it today.

UPDATE 26 August 2015 09:26: The price has gone up a little since yesterday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Want

Not a Gatling gun, a Gardner Gun. A brass, crank driven rifle chambered in 45.70. Click the link for pictures. Want. Almost enough to think about building one.

Donald Trump: Ha, Ha, only serious

Computer programming culture (called "hacker" culture in the days before the term got co-opted by Black Hats; these were the original guys who figured out how to code supercomputers, the computers that landed Our Guys on the Moon, and who created the Internet) had a bunch of puns and plays on words.  This isn't surprising when you consider that most of these hackers were exceptionally bright and thought in ways very different from the mainstream.

You can find a huge collection of these in the Jargon File (highly recommended reading, but you are warned that you will lose hours reading through this).  Looking at the Donald Trump phenomenon, one of these sayings came to mind:


ha ha only serious
[from SF fandom, orig. as mutation of HHOK, ‘Ha Ha Only Kidding’] A phrase (often seen abbreviated as HHOS) that aptly captures the flavor of much hacker discourse. Applied especially to parodies, absurdities, and ironic jokes that are both intended and perceived to contain a possibly disquieting amount of truth, or truths that are constructed on in-joke and self-parody. This lexicon contains many examples of ha-ha-only-serious in both form and content. Indeed, the entirety of hacker culture is often perceived as ha-ha-only-serious by hackers themselves; to take it either too lightly or too seriously marks a person as an outsider, a wannabee, or in larval stage. For further enlightenment on this subject, consult any Zen master. See also hacker humor, and koan.
I think that Trump entered the campaign in a ha-ha-only-serious way: an ironic joke with a hard core of disquieting truth.  He was the only one on the stage who would say what the Political Class refused to say but what a large part of the Republic believed in their heart of hearts - but were not permitted to say in "polite society" because shut up, hater.

And every time he opens his mouth and emits what the Political Class deems to be a "gaffe", his poll numbers go up.  I don't think that anyone understands this, including Trump.  However, half of having luck is getting yourself in a position where you can be lucky, and my opinion is that Trump is almost certainly too opportunistic to let an opportunity like this pass.

I'm not the only one who seems to think this way.  Heartiste (WARNING!!! Site is extremely non politically correct and many people - including perhaps all of my Lady Readers - are very likely to be offended by other posts there.  This post is entirely safe except for Democrats) posts an email tip that he received from someone claiming insider knowledge about Trumps campaign:
I just got told by a friend that Trump hired the former lawfirm of the RNC.
Why does this matter?
Word on the street in Chattanooga (where Trump has and retains many high end connections) is that Trump went into the campaign with two intentions.
One was to ‘shake things up’.

The second was to raise his profile with Chinese investors for fund raising for a new casino.


He really didn’t intend to get big numbers in the US and didn’t intend to actually ‘go for the goal.’ Which was why he came in with no primary ground game. He didn’t intend to even get 5%.


With the recent success the question was ‘what now?’ Go for closing the deal or back out? Some of his more inflammatory comments were tests to see if he could flame out. And his poll numbers just rise.


If he has retained a political lawfirm it can only be to create a ground game.
There's a lot more about how this is very, very different from the way that the GOP Establishment runs campaigns.  If true, it may be game changing - it would certainly be very difficult for the Political Class to combat this.  Heartiste comments:
I don’t doubt Trump entered this race thinking he couldn’t win, and that his initial motivation was partly narcissistic (in fact all politicians are narcissists to a degree), partly self-aggrandizement. But then he saw that he could win, and that he had tapped a deep well of dissatisfaction among people by simply speaking his mind the way he likes to speak (i.e., not like a weeping p***y).
The level of dissatisfaction with the Political Class in this country is at epidemic proportions.  The Political Class has assumed that if they offer the populace no real choice, that they can continue with their binge of crony capitalism and keep getting away with their lies.  And now someone has tapped into that dissatisfaction in a way that they may not be able to thwart.

Is this a good thing?  Beats me - he seems a bit Caesarish for my taste.  But the screams of the Political Class (including the media, but I repeat myself) are deafening.  Remember, it's the kicked dog that yelps, and I have precisely zero sympathy for any of them.

The Dinosaurs sniff a change on the breeze and roar their defiance.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

That's some impressive Detective work, Chief

Oops:
Firefighters who responded to a hotel blaze stumbled upon a blood-spattered hotel room littered with bottles of alcohol and even a piece of a scalp.

Police Chief J.R. Blyth, who was called in to investigate, described the discovery at the George Washington Hotel in Pittsburgh as 'the most grisly murder scene in his 35 years in law enforcement'.

Detectives had spent eight hours of overtime on the investigation before Chief Blyth realised the blood wasn’t real and that the murder scene was in fact the leftover set of a horror movie filmed two years ago with Corey Haim.
I guess that the Pittsburgh PD don't have many officers who are fans of B-grade horror flicks.

Real History : Japanese Defensive Plans for the U.S. Invasions

From the now declassified documents collected after the war, the link is a detailed post of just what the Japanese had kept in reserve and how far they were going to go to defend their home islands. The link has our plans and the Japanese plans, I am going to copy a larger section than I normally would as a quote* about the Japanese defenses. This is my answer to all the people who look back without any historical data and say we should not have used the nukes. 
What the military leaders did not know was that by the end of July the Japanese had been saving all aircraft, fuel, and pilots in reserve, and had been feverishly building new planes for the decisive battle for their homeland. As part of Ketsu-Go, the name for the plan to defend Japan — the Japanese were building 20 suicide takeoff strips in southern Kyushu with underground hangars. They also had 35 camouflaged airfields and nine seaplane bases.
On the night before the expected invasion, 50 Japanese seaplane bombers, 100 former carrier aircraft and 50 land based army planes were to be launched in a suicide attack on the fleet. The Japanese had 58 more airfields in Korea, western Honshu and Shikoku, which also were to be used for massive suicide attacks.
Allied intelligence had established that the Japanese had no more than 2,500 aircraft of which they guessed 300 would be deployed in suicide attacks. In August 1945, however, unknown to Allied intelligence, the Japanese still had 5,651 army and 7,074 navy aircraft, for a total of 12,725 planes of all types. Every village had some type of aircraft manufacturing activity. Hidden in mines, railway tunnels, under viaducts and in basements of department stores, work was being done to construct new planes.
Additionally, the Japanese were building newer and more effective models of the Okka, a rocket propelled bomb much like the German V-1, but flown by a suicide pilot. When the invasion became imminent, Ketsu-Go called for a fourfold aerial plan of attack to destroy up to 800 Allied ships. While Allied ships were approaching Japan, but still in the open seas, an initial force of 2,000 army and navy fighters were to fight to the death to control the skies over Kyushu. A second force of 330 navy combat pilots were to attack the main body of the task force to keep it from using its fire support and air cover to protect the troop carrying transports.While these two forces were engaged, a third force of 825 suicide planes was to hit the American transports.
As the invasion convoys approached their anchorages, another 2,000 suicide planes were to be launched in waves of 200 to 300 , to be used in hour by hour attacks. By mid-morning of the first day of the invasion, most of the American land-based aircraft would be forced to return to their bases, leaving the defense against the suicide planes to the carrier pilots and the shipboard gunners.
Carrier pilots crippled by fatigue would have to land time and time again to rearm and refuel. Guns would malfunction from the heat of continuous firing and ammunition would become scarce. Gun crews would be exhausted by nightfall, but still the waves of kamikaze would continue. With the fleet hovering off the beaches, all remaining Japanese aircraft would be committed to nonstop suicide attacks, which the Japanese hoped could be sustained for 10 days. The Japanese planned to coordinate their air strikes with attacks from the 40 remaining submarines from the Imperial Navy — some armed with Long Lance torpedoes with a range of 20 miles — when the invasion fleet was 180 miles off Kyushu.
The Imperial Navy had 23 destroyers and two cruisers which were operational. These ships were to be used to counterattack the American invasion. A number of the destroyers were to be beached at the last minute to be used as anti-invasion gun platforms. Once offshore, the invasion fleet would be forced to defend not only against the attacks from the air, but would also be confronted with suicide attacks from sea. Japan had established a suicide naval attack unit of midget submarines, human torpedoes and exploding motorboats.
The goal of the Japanese was to shatter the invasion before the landing. The Japanese were convinced the Americans would back off or become so demoralized that they would then accept a less-than-unconditional surrender and a more honorable and face-saving end for the Japanese. But as horrible as the battle of Japan would be off the beaches, it would be on Japanese soil that the American forces would face the most rugged and fanatical defense encountered during the war.
Throughout the island-hopping Pacific campaign, Allied troops had always out numbered the Japanese by 2 to 1 and sometimes 3 to 1. In Japan it would be different. By virtue of a combination of cunning, guesswork, and brilliant military reasoning, a number of Japan’s top military leaders were able to deduce, not only when, but where, the United States would land its first invasion forces.
Facing the 14 American divisions landing at Kyushu would be 14 Japanese divisions, 7 independent mixed brigades, 3 tank brigades and thousands of naval troops. On Kyushu the odds would be 3 to 2 in favor of the Japanese, with 790,000 enemy defenders against 550,000 Americans. This time the bulk of the Japanese defenders would not be the poorly trained and ill-equipped labor battalions that the Americans had faced in the earlier campaigns.
The Japanese defenders would be the hard core of the home army. These troops were well-fed and well equipped. They were familiar with the terrain, had stockpiles of arms and ammunition, and had developed an effective system of transportation and supply almost invisible from the air. Many of these Japanese troops were the elite of the army, and they were swollen with a fanatical fighting spirit. Japan’s network of beach defenses consisted of offshore mines, thousands of suicide scuba divers attacking landing craft, and mines planted on the beaches. Coming ashore, the American Eastern amphibious assault forces at Miyazaki would face three Japanese divisions, and two others poised for counter attack. Awaiting the Southeastern attack force at Ariake Bay was an entire division and at least one mixed infantry brigade.
On the western shores of Kyushu, the Marines would face the most brutal opposition. Along the invasion beaches would be the three Japanese divisions, a tank brigade, a mixed infantry brigade and an artillery command. Components of two divisions would also be poised to launch counterattacks. If not needed to reinforce the primary landing beaches, the American Reserve Force would be landed at the base of Kagoshima Bay November 4, where they would be confronted by two mixed infantry brigades, parts of two infantry divisions and thousands of naval troops.
All along the invasion beaches, American troops would face coastal batteries, anti-landing obstacles and a network of heavily fortified pillboxes, bunkers, and underground fortresses. As Americans waded ashore, they would face intense artillery and mortar fire as they worked their way through concrete rubble and barbed-wire entanglements arranged to funnel them into the muzzles of these Japanese guns.
On the beaches and beyond would be hundreds of Japanese machine gun positions, beach mines, booby traps, trip-wire mines and sniper units. Suicide units concealed in “spider holes” would engage the troops as they passed nearby. In the heat of battle, Japanese infiltration units would be sent to reap havoc in the American lines by cutting phone and communication lines. Some of the Japanese troops would be in American uniform, English-speaking Japanese officers were assigned to break in on American radio traffic to call off artillery fire, to order retreats and to further confuse troops.
Other infiltration with demolition charges strapped on their chests or backs would attempt to blow up American tanks, artillery pieces and ammunition stores as they were unloaded ashore.
Beyond the beaches were large artillery pieces situated to bring down a curtain of fire on the beach. Some of these large guns were mounted on railroad tracks running in and out of caves protected by concrete and steel. The battle for Japan would be won by what Simon Bolivar Buckner, a lieutenant general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, had called “Prairie Dog Warfare.” This type of fighting was almost unknown to the ground troops in Europe and the Mediterranean. It was peculiar only to the soldiers and Marines who fought the Japanese on islands all over the Pacific — at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Prairie Dog Warfare was a battle for yards, feet and sometimes inches. It was brutal, deadly and dangerous form of combat aimed at an underground, heavily fortified, non-retreating enemy. In the mountains behind the Japanese beaches were underground networks of caves, bunkers, command posts and hospitals connected by miles of tunnels with dozens of entrances and exits. Some of these complexes could hold up to 1,000 troops. In addition to the use of poison gas and bacteriological warfare (which the Japanese had experimented with), Japan mobilized its citizenry.
Had Olympic come about, the Japanese civilian population, inflamed by a national slogan – “One Hundred Million Will Die for the Emperor and Nation” – were prepared to fight to the death. Twenty Eight Million Japanese had become a part of the National Volunteer Combat Force. They were armed with ancient rifles, lunge mines, satchel charges, Molotov cocktails and one-shot black powder mortars. Others were armed with swords, long bows, axes and bamboo spears. The civilian units were to be used in nighttime attacks, hit and run maneuvers, delaying actions and massive suicide charges at the weaker American positions. At the early stage of the invasion, 1,000 Japanese and American soldiers would be dying every hour.

*To the owners of the original post: I tried to register on your site and ask permission for using such an expansive quote. I do not know what the problem was, but I was unsuccessful. If you find this and have a issue with it, please contact me and I will take it down.

True dat


I get a wave when I'm on the motorcycle (from other bikers).  I get a wave when I'm in the Jeep (from other Wrangler drivers).  It's kind of cool.

Quote of the Day: Terrorists on Trains

Word:
One thing seems perfectly clear, though. We’ve been instructed for years that our patriotic duty is to fear and hate these invariably incompetent people, to live in terror lest they attack us, and to accept that it’s in our sheeplike interest to give up a little convenience – in the form of all our liberty and privacy – so that our beloved government may provide us the security of a well-run prison. But every time one of these would-be tragedies actually happens – as opposed to being something feds set up some kid to do – but becomes a feel-good story instead, it’s because somebody who hasn’t been spying on you or shooting your dog sees what’s going down, puts on his big-boy pants, and thumps the bad guy soundly his own unauthorized self.
There's more, including a hilarious picture.  RTWT.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Corrections on the Identities I Previously Posted

UPDATE: It was not Marines as had originally been reported. The post has been edited to reflect the correct identities.

Three Americans, childhood friends, on a train in France took down a terrorist armed with an AK-47. There aren't a lot of details yet, but apparently they heard the distinctive sound of the rifle being loaded. When the guy came out of the toilet, they were already responding.

It wasn't Marines, it was post 9/11 Americans, an Air Force Airman, a National Guardsman, and a civilian. Armed with just their bodies and the will to resist.

Remember. There will be more of this and some of it will be here.
Sadler told The Associated Press that they saw a train employee sprint down the aisle followed by a gunman with an automatic rifle. As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, 'Spencer, go!' And Spencer runs down the aisle, Sadler said. "Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a boxcutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious."

This is SO wrong ...

But I'm doing it anyway.


Hat tip: Rick, via email.

How to reduce School shootings

Seen at a school in Arkansas:


Remember that Jeep computer hack?

Surprise!  It's not just Jeep:
Now, according to a report in Wired, that a host of similar systems used by other car manufacturers are vulnerable to similar attacks:
Over the last week, Kamkar has analyzed the iOS apps of BMW’s Remote, Mercedes-Benz mbrace, Chrysler Uconnect, and the alarm system Viper’s Smartstart, and found that all of those internet-connected vehicle services are vulnerable to the attack he used to hack GM’s OnStar RemoteLink app.

"If you’re using any of these four apps, I can automatically get all of your log-in information and then indefinitely authenticate as you," says Kamkar. "These apps give me different levels of control of your car. But they all give me some amount of control."
And $100 says it's not just Jeep, BMW, and Mercedes ...

DEEZ NUTS

A 15 year old high school student is polling 9% of the vote. He's running under the name DEEZ NUTS. Makes him the most successful 3rd part candidate in 20 years.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

On this day in 1938

Lou Gehrig his his 23rd career grand slam.  That record was to stand for 75 years until it was broken by Alex Rodriguez.  There is no record as to whether Gehrig also used performance enhancing drugs.  And since we're talking about A-Rod, here is a musical homage to his career:


About that Ashley Madison "Cheating" website hack

It appears that the data that is being leaked is for real.  Not that you'd do that, of course.

It also seems that there was no verification done on email addressed used in site signup.  This means that anyone could create an account for, say, jeb.bush@state.fl.us and it would be in the database that was just released.  There's an interesting attack that security guys call "Information Poisoning", where the attack is intended to create distrust in a community or data set.  If you can inject enough distrust, then you can render the resource worthless.

Given the recent OPM hack, I'm starting to wonder if this is the wave of the future - injection of embarrassing data into sites like this and then a subsequent hack to expose said data.  Certainly the capability exists to do this sort of thing.

Ah, working from home

I must say that I love my commute, and since everything here uses videoconferencing over the Internet, I love the (mostly) not traveling.  Err, until the Internet goes down.

Like it did yesterday.  In the middle of a big presentation to the Air Force.  Of course, I was the presenter.  Fortunately, the Help Desk at AT&T was completely helpful:


The heart is just exactly the right touch for people all p***ed off about the network going down.  Way to go, Brittany. 

Old fart

As I clean up and sort through the lower reaches of Camp Borepatch, I find long lost wonders.  One was some Kodak slide carousels.  A couple were slides taken by my late Father-in-Law; the ex will be wanting these, no doubt.  One was slides taken by me no doubt on a vacation around 1990 or so - I posted some of these here, and these are very likely of the same vintage.

But one was slides.  As in, Presentation Slides.  On Network Security.  Circa 1994-1995.

[blink] [blink]

I'm trying to remember when I had these made and for which venue, but two decades are somewhat thwarting  my memory.

To add to the feeling of "old fartness", it seems that the crazy hipsters use the term "slidemanship" for something out of Mario Kart.  Back In The Day it was the process of establishing dominance over your audience by first establishing dominance over your projectionist.  Somewhere I have a hilarious writeup about that, which involves backwards slides, slides that are two pieces of film stuck together with wax that slide apart and de-focus when the heat of the lamp melts it, obscure references in Cyrillic typefonts ("Russian?  No, no - Bulgarian, old chap!").

Mario Cart, indeed.  Get offa my lawn, punks.