Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'm not sure if this is a New Year's resolution or not


Has a better seat and a removable trunk.  14k miles.  It's a lot more expensive than what I've been looking at, and it's a lot more bike to handle.  But it's more or less where I want to end up for long range riding.  The Rebel is awesome for scooting around town, and it doesn't seem like there's anything I'm interested in for the in betweens. Bikers feel free to leave their advice.

Rode it around the block - it's big, but I didn't drop it.  Winning!  So maybe I'll just STFU and do it.  Suck it up, cupcake, eh?

Happy 2014, everyone. 

A retrospective, and a look forward

There's no easy way to get your most widely read posts out of Blogger.  Well, actually there is, but only for daily, monthly, or all time - there's no way to say "show me the 10 most popular posts of 2013".  And so I can't, even though it's been an interesting year.

This has also been an odd year, and next year is looking to be even more "interesting".  I'm now at the point where I'll choose "happy" over "interesting" anytime, but that will likely take a while.  And so here's looking forward to 2014, with its good and bad.  Google stats tell me I'll probably get a million page views this year - I'm reliably running 80k+ a month for a while.

On the down side, I expect that #1 Son will leave the nest this year.  He may not be the only one.

But I'll have a new motorcycle come spring, or there'll be hell to pay when Uncle Jay comes by.  And there's a lesson in that - Janus looks both directions, to the past and the future.  Looking to the past comes naturally to a student of history (and a sentimental old fool) like me; looking towards the future oft times comes from your friends.

That actually makes my head hurt a bit.  And so from all of us to all of you, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

And if you're out tonight be sensible (or get a taxi, which is sensible).  I'd like to see you back here tomorrow. 

My post of the year was yesterday

Go, watch.  Yes, it's 60 minutes long.  This is what's happening, right now.  And that "TS/SI" you see on a bunch of the slides?  That's the real NSA deal, that's all I'll say.  When the hair on the back of your neck stands up, that's when you will understand that you understand.



How did this happen?  Who's to blame?  If the crimes of this Government remain unknown to you, I would suggest you allow the New Year to pass unmarked.  But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek then I would ask you to stand beside me.  I do not yet choose to turn my face to the desert.

Or pop the cork of the champagne and wash down the blue pill.  All is well, Citizen.  All is for the best, in the best of all possible Republics.  The circus is entertaining, and the bread is free.


St. Zeno the Hermit and the last days of the American Republic

(via)
The Battle of Adrinople was the beginning of the end of the Western Roman Empire.  A vast army of barbarians - an entire people, really - had entered the Eastern Roman Empire.  The Emperor Valens decided to exterminate them, in the finest Roman tradition.  He is, after all, called The Last True Roman.

But his army was not the army of Scipio, or Augustus Caesar, or Trajan.  The Goths had those new-fangled stirrups for their cavalry and rode the Emeror's army (and the Emeror himself) down.  The Goths tossed a coin - assault the impregnable Constantinople, or set their sights on Rome itself and a helpless Italia?  It actually was the easiest decision that a barbarian horde ever had to make.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

St. Zeno the Hermit was an aide de camp to the Emperor Valens, and survived the catastrophe.  The ruins of the Empire's political system caused him to turn his face to the desert, and so he went into the wilderness to live a solitary life of asceticism, meditation, and prayer.  He, like many in the end days of the Roman Empire, chose to unplug.

We are seeing that today, in what sometimes seem to be the end days of the American Experiment.  Clark from Popehat say to burn the Eternal City to the ground.  The Internet Security community says burn the Tech Companies to the ground.  Joel says that Zeno had it right, and turns his face from the Last Days to face the desert in silence:
Really, whose fault is it that I’m doing that? It’s not George Bush’s fault. It’s not Nancy Pelosi’s fault. They don’t know me from Adam and wouldn’t care if they did. The only person who is actively doing destructive things to me is me, and I’m welcome to stop. Hating on the great omnipotent “they” – and calling that a struggle for freedom – has never gotten me anywhere. It’s like bitching about the weather: Great fun, but not as useful as fixing my own roof and insulating my own walls. The weather itself won’t change just to suit me.

While passively waiting for the world to change, I’d been ignoring the one person who could have a positive effect on my life.

And so I dropped back out. To the extent possible I live as though the State doesn’t exist. It’s a greater extent than some other people might manage, because I’m happily willing to accept personal limitations that would drive normal people completely over the wall. I have the luxury of living completely alone, and thus free of compromise, and I have friends who get a kick out of being enablers. Some of them read this blog. I also have finally made a virtue of the fact that I am genuinely a maladjusted, antisocial hermit type person who has never done well in groups. If you needed somebody to climb into a space capsule and make a solo trip to the moons of Saturn with some expectation of arriving there sane, I could do that. Silence and solitude do not bother me in the slightest way. People actually pay me to be out here by myself, so I can watch their stuff.

But while hermitage is a common fantasy, it really isn’t a particularly healthy lifestyle for most people and that’s why I never proselytize. This is my kind of freedom. You go find your own***.
We see two reactions to this End Of Days: Heros and Saints.  Neither of those is easy, and so most people check out.  Better the panem et circenses than the hard, lonely slog.

But Joel is right.  Each must find his or her own freedom, even if it is as with the Knights of the troubador epics: entering the dark forest where no path leads, and where no man has made a trail.
You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else's path.

You are not on your own path. 
- Joseph Campbell
 Or opt for the circus.  The bread is free.

Monday, December 30, 2013

"I'll be available until I'm assassinated to answer questions."

Another security guru comes out against the NSA.  Der Spiegal journalist (and cryptographer/coder on the TOR project) Jacob Applebaum gave a talk at the 30th annual Chaos Computer Club* conference in which he detailed all of the systems that NSA can hack.  Cliff's Notes version: basically everything:
The best-selling servers of Dell are among a swathe of IT products released by US companies that have been compromised by the National Security Agency, information security enthusiasts were told at a conference overnight.

...

Applebaum, a cryptography expert, was yesterday named as an author of an explosive article in Der Spiegel listing the names and details of several NSA exploits. The Germany magazine published NSA documents that boasted of the agency's ability to use zero-day exploits to spy on communications passing through the switches and routers of the world’s largest networking vendors, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Huawei, among others.

Today, he detailed previously unreported exploits targeting the most popular lines of servers manufactured by Dell and HP, as well as smartphones of Apple and Samsung.

Applebaum made no apologies for naming the companies in his presentation.

“F### them for collaborating, and for leaving us vulnerable,” he said.
Ah, trust.  It's basically gone now, and this may be a Very Good Thing.  Everyone now knows that they have to check everything for themselves.  Tech companies are increasingly realizing that cooperating with the NSA is the express lane to lower earnings per share.

Markets in everything FTW!



"Free Software: free as in freedom."

The toothpaste isn't going back into that tube.

* The CCC is completely above boards, and has been around for so long that it can only be termed "venerable".  These are teh Good Guys sitting in the audience.

I never went winter camping like that


I'd go winter camping in Maine when I was in Boy Scouts, which was great fun.  This, I'm not sure about.  As I was once told by an (ex) submariner, why would anyone who didn't have to go onto a submarine?

Careful when you send naughty selfies via Snapchat*

The Snapchat app is pwned:
Four months ago Gibson Security, a group of freelance vulnerability researchers, notified Snapchat that it had found serious flaws in the image-flinging service's security and privacy systems.

Having heard nothing back, the group has now released the details and some exploit code to back up its claims.
Always nice to see the vendor's security team jump right on things.
It appears photos sent via Snapchat are encrypted using AES and a key hardwired into the application's code, allowing anyone to decrypt and view intercepted images.
A hard coded encryption key?  This sort of thing makes the Bad Guys feel funny in their pants (err, in a h4x0R sort of way) ...
Snapchat's application allows its predominantly young users base to send up to ten second views of pictures before they are permanently deleted. Given the current fad for sexting, and the ensuing moral panic it has inspired, the service has a significant following among those who wish to send titillating titbits to a paramour.
Now my suspicion is that my readership skews a bit more to the established demographic, but if you have any younger family/friends, you might want to pass this on to them.  Err, and have them read this from the early days of this blog, too.  I've been warning about this for quite some time.

* Not that you would ever do this, of course.  Speaking hypothetically here.

Robert Bork and F. A. Hayek on so-called "Intellectuals"


Sunday, December 29, 2013

I haz an annoyed

And so I will just shut my pie hole.


Glenn Crytzer and his Syncopators - New Year Blues

No school like the old school.


Epic irony is epic

LOL:




So if the Universities are all leftist, what sort of leftists are they?

This is a very good analysis, exposing the hypocrisy of the Academic Institutions:
I’ve been talking about the adjunct crisis (in which part-time professors at our colleges and universities are exploited) ever since I began blogging. As the title of this post indicates, I talk about it because it is such a momentous episode in leftism. It is as momentous as the exploitation of factory workers back in the Industrial Revolution of two hundred years ago. This isn't because the numbers of exploited are comparable, but because of where it is happening: in that bastion of leftism, academia. Academic leftists are inadvertently participating in the refutation of so much of what they and other leftists have been trying to promote for so many years. Let me enumerate the ways in which they are destroying themselves, at least as far as economic policy is concerned.
Read the whole beautiful thing.  This should be response #1 to any leftie (particularly from a University) who tries to claim "moral high ground".  And the summing up pretty much nails it:
What, then, is left for the left? Oh, I know perfectly well that phrases like “people before profits” and disparaging comments on “corporate interests” may be around for decades. But for anyone who has half a brain, the adjunct crisis, and more specifically the left’s failure to respond to it, represent the death of leftism insofar as it is concerned with the poor. What’s left? Identity politics and environmentalism.
And the interesting point there is that there's nothing in either of these for the Middle Class.  On the contrary, in fact.  If the GOP weren't the Stupid Party, they'd get some traction with this.

Anonymous - "In Rama sonat gemitus" Medieval Music

On this day in 1170, the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was murdered at the altar by knights of King Henry II.  It was the culmination of a long running power struggle between these two once fast friends become adversaries.

The King had exiled Becket in 1164, and Becket had waged a PR war against the King the entire time.  Henry lost that, and came under increasing pressure to allow Becket to return.  Only a few months after that return, Henry's temper got the better of him, and the story played to its bloody end.

This song is part of Becket's PR campaign.  The title translates to "the sound of weeping is heard in Rama", it was a veiled allusion to his exile.  This places it between 1154 and 1170, an unusually precise dating for such an early piece of music.


Man, I'm getting *so* old

I went to the local pub tonight for an evening tipple (Fulles's ESB on tap, thanks for asking).  I ended up having a wonderful chat with two lovely girls, 21 and 22.  As the line from the movie goes, they were as fresh and full of promise as a martini in the moonlight. They took a "selfie" of them and me, no doubt to appear somewhere on the 'net.  No, we weren't doing anything untowards - I think I was their "Dad equivalent" for the evening.

And I may have got a date for Mrs. Borepatch to take one of them, along with #1 Son, to the shooting range.  All women should be dangerous, I've convinced them of this truth (from a starting point of "Guns, eww!").  Go team me!

But when did I get so damn old, that when sitting with two lovely young women I start thinking "these could make fine daughters in law"?  Bah.  As Doc Holiday said, "I'm in my prime" ...


Saturday, December 28, 2013

B. B. King - Merry Christmas Baby


Hittin' the "Publish" button, yo

'cause that's how I roll.


Important security notice

If you have used your debit/ATM card at Target, change your PIN:
Target Corp. said Friday that PIN data of its customers' bank ATM cards were stolen as part of the massive data breach at the third-largest U.S. retailer, but it was confident that the information was "safe and secure."

The stolen PIN data was "strongly encrypted" when it was removed from Target's systems, and the "key" necessary to decrypt data is not within its system and could not have been taken during the breach, spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement. "We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure."
I can't for the life of me figure out why they would store the PIN (as opposed to the card number - there are all sorts of legitimate reasons to do this).  As to strong encryption, I think that's almost certainly true.  However, I'm not so confident that someone couldn't crack this.  It would take some pretty intense knowledge of cryptography, but I wouldn't rule it out as impossible.  I also think that more information will continue to come out about this over the next week or two.  There could very well be another shoe about to drop.

If you've used your debit card at Target, change your PIN.

Allison Krauss & Jerry Douglas - Carolina On My Mind

Love me some Carolina, and while I don't know this is Country, I don't know that it isn't.  I do know that this is the only version that beats James T - but then it's Allison Krauss and Jerry Douglas: it beats everyone.  That's the rule.  And a nice shot of the man himself applauding them at the very beginning of the video.  Bravo, James.



Carolina In My Mind (Songwriter: James Taylor)
In my mind I'm going to Carolina.
Can't you see the sunshine, can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind?
Yes, I'm going to Carolina in my mind.

Karen she's the silver sun, you best walk her way and watch it shine,
watch her watch the morning come.
A silver tear appearing now I'm crying, ain't I?
I'm going to Carolina in my mind.

There ain't no doubt in no ones mind that loves the finest thing around,
whisper something soft and kind.
And hey, babe, the sky's on fire, I'm dying, ain't I? I'm going to Carolina in my mind.

In my mind I'm going to Carolina.
Can't you see the sunshine, can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind?
Yes, I'm going to Carolina in my mind.

Dark and silent late last night, I think I might have heard the highway calling.
Geese in flight and dogs that bite.
And signs that might be omens say I'm going,
going I'm gone to Carolina in my mind.

Now with a holy host of others standing round me,
still I'm on the dark side of the moon.
And it seems like it goes on like this forever,
you must forgive me
if I'm up and gone to Carolina in my mind.

In my mind I'm going to Carolina.
Can't you see the sunshine, can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind?
Yes, I'm gone to Carolina in my mind.

Gotta make it back home again soon,
gotta make it back on home again soon,
gotta make it back to Carolina soon, c
ain't hang around, no babe, gotta make it back home again,
gotta make it back to Carolina soon...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Willie Nelson & Alison Krauss - No Mas Amor

Just because love is eternal, except when it isn't.


Run Run Rudolph

30,000 lights to rockin' Christmas music.  This is the spirit showing how we beat the Commies ...


And the problem would be what?


Image of the year for 2013

Offered without comment on l'affair Snowden, as it needs none.


Other than pointing out that Snowden is on the run, and General Clapper (who perjured himself before Congress) is still invited to the Right Sort of parties.

#burnittotheground

Via some dudes in Germany, who understand what the Stasi was.

Whatwhatwhat???!?

New Orleans Cop convicted of burning body after Hurricane Katrina Requests Sentencing Delay.

[blink] [blink]

This statement on the health of the American Res Publica is brought to you by the current Class Warfare being rammed down everyone's throats.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

So why did Uncle Jay go to Oz for Christmas?

I think I'm starting to figure it out.



UPDATE: see comments for link.  And CBS News' "New Media" folks are clearly incompetent in getting their content out to new media.

Mikhail Kalashnikov's funeral plans

They're going to bury him in mud for a week, then dig him up and put him back to work.

From Andrew via email.

UPDATE 12/16/2013 22:31: Tango comments and points us to the original source, the excellent Duffel Blog where there's a whole story that is entirely hilarious.  Thanks, Tango.

Welcome to the United States of America, Jay

Glad to have you with us.

Advice bleg: all you 18th level Biker-fu masters

The Big Guy has gotten tired of my whining about not getting the next size up motorcycle and has given me a much needed prodding.  So let me ask the collective wisdom of our little corner of teh Intarwebz for any thoughts on some specific choices.

Top Priorities:
Highway worthy heavy and fast enough to be comfortable

Decent seat with sissy bar for riding 2 up

Low enough to be comfortably flat footed at a stop

Inexpensive enough that there's no reason for me to say no

Will probably only put on 5k miles a year, at least for a bit

Ideally light weight within these parameters
Looking around Cycletrader, there are two offers that seem to fit this list:

1. 2004 Yamaha V Star Classic 650, 32k miles

2. 2001 Honda Shadow Spirit 1100, 16k miles (this one has small bags that would be handy for day trips)

Anyone have any experience with either of these?  What's the reputation of the bikes.  My Honda Rebel seems pretty much indestructible, but I've only ridden it a thousand miles or so since I got it in August.

UPDATE: This Kawasaki Vulcan 750 looks pretty nice, but is about 50% more expensive (still not too expensive, though).  Any thoughts?

Quote of the day

This will not play out well:
Those high-paying jobs requiring average IQs are now gone. What’s left for these people? Jobs paying minimum-wage or slightly above. Either that, or welfare. Or crime (the average IQ of those in prison is 93).

The United States is stratifying itself by IQ. We’re going to end up without much of a blue-collar middle-class since their jobs are being outsourced. We’re going to end up with a poorly-paid lower-class partly supported by marginal welfare payments and a highly-paid upper class with higher IQs, who are partly supporting the lower classes through transfer payments. While they hide in their gated, armed communities.

...

One of the things that the financial “elites” do is what to flood the country with low-IQ illegal immigrants. Why? To drive down wages, which means more money for the elites. The fact that many “libertarians” are too blind and ignorant to realize that by supporting open borders they are cutting their own throats – and that of the nation – would be amusing if it wasn’t so tragic.
Yup. This will not play out well.

I hope this isn't correct

But I fear that it might be:
I could keep myself up all night and into tomorrow by listing different groups of royalty and the ways they scam the system.

…except "scam the system" is a misnomer. I am not listing defects in a perfectable system. I am describing the system.

It is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt. From Ted Kennedy who killed a woman and yet is toasted as a "lion of liberalism", to George Bush who did his share of party drugs (and my share, and your share, and your share…) while young yet let other youngsters rot in jail for the exact same excesses instead of waving his royal wand of pardoning, to thousand of well-paid NSA employees who put the Stasi to shame in their ruthless destruction of our rights, to the Silicon Valley CEOs who buy vacation houses with the money they make forging and selling chains to Fort Meade, to every single bastard at RSA who had a hand in taking the thirty pieces of silver, to the three star generals who routinely screw subordinates and get away with it (even as sergeants are given dishonorable discharges for the same thing), to the MIT cops and Massachusetts prosecutor who drove Aaron Swartz to suicide, to every drug court judge who sends 22 year olds to jail for pot…while high on Quaalude and vodka because she's got some fucking personal tragedy and no one understands her pain, to every cop who's anally raped a citizen under color of law, to every other cop who's intentionally triggered a "drug" dog because the guy looked guilty, to every politician who goes on moral crusades while barebacking prostitutes and money laundering the payments, to every teacher who retired at age 60 on 80% salary, to every cop who has 50 state concealed carry even while the serfs are disarmed, to every politician, judge, or editorial-writer who has ever used the phrase "first amendment zone" non-ironically: this is how the system is designed to work.

The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else.
Happy holidays, everyone.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jose Feliciano - Feliz Navidad

Love this song.


A Christmas oopsie

Nintendo's new game console is the Wii U, and this holiday shopping season they've been pushing a deal of a console that comes with a Legend Of Zelda game (Yes, I spoil my kids rotten, but it keeps me in hugs).  The game doesn't come on a disk, but is downloaded from the Nintendo servers.  Which have been down all day.

It seems that lots of people got these consoles for their kids and everyone hit the servers at the same time.  And so the servers are doing an excellent impression of the Healthcare.gov exchange.

Fail.

What I got for Christmas

The kids were so happy this morning that they both gave me big bear hugs.  Spontaneously.  They're 18 and 21, so this hasn't happened in some time.

It was just what I wanted for Christmas.  I hope yours is equally happy.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — Wells Cathedral Choir



Wells is a lovely, tiny city (said to be England's smallest city) in the south west of that Scepter'd Isle.  If you're ever fortunate enough to visit Blighty, you can do much worse than making a trip there - being near Stonehenge, Bath, and Cheddar (yes, it's an actual place and I have driven through its famous gorge) it's well worth your time.

This recording is one that I quite like as it's from the Cathedral choir.  Since there are only 10,000 or so souls in this smallest city of the Realm, it's a reflection on the amateur talent that a good choir master and a Cathedral can attract.

And Wells trivia that is suddenly au courant: Wells was the home to Harry Patch, the last "Fighting Tommy" (veteran of the trenches in the War to End All Wars).

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Carry on, Santa

It's Christmas day.  All is secure.

A Soldier's Night Before Christmas has embedding disabled so I can't post it here.  But click through for something that will make you realize that there's some dust in the air.
It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protester the freedom he abuses to burn the flag.

- Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, Sergeant, US Marine Corps

There are a lot of men and women tonight who cannot be home with their little ones tonight because they stand guard on the wall.  Remember them.

99 years ago, something amazing happened

Amid the trenches and shell craters of the Western Front, human decency broke out.



To all my readers, remember our own military men and women far from home and hearth.  May their (and your) Christmas be filled with love and human decency.

Christmas In The Trenches (Songwriter: John McCutcheon)
My name is Francis Tolliver. I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

It was Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen field of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lyin' with my mess-mates on the cold and rocky ground
when across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I "Now listen up me boys", each soldier strained to hear
as one young German voice sang out so clear.

"He's singin' bloddy well you know", my partner says to me.
Soon one by one each German voice joined in in harmony.
The cannons rested silent. The gas cloud rolled no more
as Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished a reverent pause was spent.
'God rest ye merry, gentlemen' struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was 'Stille Nacht". "Tis 'Silent Night'" says I
and in two toungues one song filled up that sky.

"There's someone commin' towards us" the front-line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright
as he bravely strode, unarmed, into the night.

Then one by one on either side walked into no-mans-land
with neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well
and in a flare-lit soccer game we gave 'em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes and photographs from home
these sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeeze box and they had a violin
this curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night
"whose family have I fixed within my sights?"

It was Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they'd kept between us to exact the work of war
had been crumbled and were gone for ever more.

My name is Francis Tolliver. In Liverpool I dwell.
Each Christmas come since World War One
I've learned it's lessons well.
That the ones who call the shots won't be among the dead and lame
and on each end of the rifle we're the same.

A very Harley Christmas

The Big Guy himself emails from Down Under (I think - it's hard to keep up with his location without a GPS tracking device.  No doubt your Mandarin is working on that ...) with this bit of Yuletide awesomtude.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad,
There was nada happenin’, now that’s pretty bad;
The woodstove was hung up in that stocking routing,
In hopes that the Fat Boy would soon make the scene.

With our stomachs packed with tacos and beer,
My girl and I crashed on the couch for some cheer;
When out in the yard there arose such a racket,
I ran for the door and pulled on my jacket.

I saw a large bro’ on a ’56 Pan 
Wearin’ black leathers, a cap, and boots (cool biker, man);
He hauled up the bars on that bikeful of sacks,
And that Pan hit the roof like it was running on tracks.

I couldn’t help gawking, the old guy had class,
But I had to go in – I was freezing my ass;
Down through the stovepipe he fell with a crash,
And out of the stove he came dragging his stash.

With a smile and some glee he passed out the loot,
A new jacket for her and some parts for my scoot;
He patted her fanny and shook my right hand,
Spun on his heel and up the stovepipe he ran.

From up on the roof came a great deal of thunder,
As that massive V-twin ripped the silence asunder;
With beard in the wind, he roared off in the night,
Shouting, “Have a cool Yule, and to all a good ride!”

More Santas on bikes here.  Have a cool Yule, y'all. (and travel safe, Jay!)

Tech community strikes back at the NSA

The IETF  is the Internet Engineering Task Force, the ones who work on and publish all the technical specifications for Internet communications.  It's been around forever and has enormous respect from pretty much everyone in the tech community.

A request has just been made to the IETF to remove an NSA employee as co-chair of one of the groups:
Dear IRTF Chair, IAB, and CFRG:

I'd like to request the removal of Kevin Igoe from CFRG co-chair.

The Crypto Forum Research Group is chartered to provide crypto advice
to IETF Working Groups.  As CFRG co-chair for the last 2 years, Kevin
has shaped CFRG discussion and provided CFRG opinion to WGs.

Kevin's handling of the "Dragonfly" protocol raises doubts that he is
performing these duties competently.  Additionally, Kevin's employment
with the National Security Agency raises conflict-of-interest
concerns.

...

While much is unknown about these activities, the NSA is known to have
placed a "back door" in a NIST standard for random number generation
[ECDRBG].  A recent report from the President's Review Group
recommends that the NSA:
 - "fully support and not undermine efforts to create encryption standards"
 - "not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken, or make vulnerable
generally available commercial software" [PRESIDENTS]

This suggests the NSA is currently behaving contrary to the recommendations.
The whole email is worth reading.  It presents multiple examples of NSA attempting to weaken the standard.  And the conclusion (while polite) is nuclear:
While that's of course speculation, it remains baffling that an
experienced cryptographer would champion such a shoddy protocol.  The
CFRG chairs have been silent for months, and haven't responded to
attempts to clarify this.


Conclusion
----
The position of CFRG chair (or co-chair) is a role of crucial
importance to the IETF community.  The IETF is in desperate need of
trustworthy crypto guidance from parties who are above suspicion.  I
encourage the IAB and IRTF to replace Kevin Igoe with someone who can
provide this.
The Internet community is starting to interpret the NSA as the adversary, and is starting to route around it.

The Duck Dynasty affair is a disaster for the Gay Rights movement

The more I think about this, the more it seems that the Gay Rights movement has damaged itself very badly here.  The success they've had over the last two decades has been to convince people that gays aren't "coming to get them", that they don't want special rights, that really they only want what everyone should be able to get - the right to choose their own soul mate.  The success of the movement has been in its ability to reach out and connect with Americans' sense of fairness.

I think that has taken a big hit with the suspension of Duck Dynasty's Robinson.  It looks very much like gays are indeed coming to "get him" (and by implication, people like him - which is a pretty big portion of the population).  It looks very much like they do indeed want special rights (the right to never be offended, a right that they absolutely do not grant to Christian rednecks in Fly Over country).  It looks very much like they reject that same sense of fairness that has led to the success of their movement, at least when fairness is called upon from them.

Of course I'm talking about the movement and its leaders, not individuals.  But the damage has been done and will likely take some time for us to understand just how much of an impact it had.

Goober left a comment to yesterday's post that really sums things us:
It is one of three things, as far as I can see:

1.) The worst case of narcissism I've ever seen - literally being totally unable to accept the fact that anyone could possibly ever disagree with you, and seeing it as a personal attack and an affront if they do;

2.) The worst case of low self-esteem I've ever seen - a self-loathing so full and complete that the person possessing it is literally incapable of dealing with any disagreement or criticism without melting down into a steaming pile;

3.) A supremacist movement - a group of people that think that they are better than everyone else, and should have the right to crush or destroy any dissent to their message, whatsoever.

My guess is that in a group so broad and varied as the homosexual community, it is some of all three, adding up to create the most childish and silly backlash against the opinions of a public figure ever. If I were gay, I'd be ashamed of this, and work to distance myself from it as much as possible.

Alec Baldwin, however, continues to get a pass, it seems, for actually, you know, spouting hateful rhetoric (because he is a coastal elite, and therefore part of the "in" crowd) while Phil Robertson gets assaulted for stating his opinion in a non-hateful manner, qualified to make sure no one mistook what he said as being hate, and also qualified to ensure that everyone knew it was just his opinion.

I would note that there is a large segment of the homosexual population that sees this in the same way I do, and are angry that they're being dragged along into this childish tantrum.
Those gays who are angry at the leadership of the movement have a responsibility to take some sort of action to protest.  If not, the rest of the country will see that lack of action as choosing which side to support.  That's very unfortunate, but is unavoidable.

Monday, December 23, 2013

So I went to the doctor today

When I had my annual checkup, the Doc suggested that I go to a dermatologist to have my bumps and protrusions and various (ahem) blemishes looked at.  So I did today.

It appears that I'm entirely non-malignant.  This will no doubt come as a surprise to some.

Even better, the Doc was a no nonsense, tell it like it is sort.  I was out in 10 minutes, along with a "come back in 2 or 3 years" sort of message.  I wonder if there were more of these sorts that the cost of health care would be lower.

Harry Connick Jr. - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

He's the modern day Frank Sinatra.  The Chairman would think that this was swell.


I need to go to Germany


The Unbearable Lightness of Being Duck Dynasty

One of the most interesting films from the 1980s was The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a story from behind the then still standing Iron Curtain.  The protagonist is repeatedly pressured by the Authorities to inform on his family and friends.  He repeatedly refuses, choosing to be true to his own self and his moral code.  The Authorities punish him - he is a doctor, but they make him into a common laborer in retaliation for his refusal to "play ball".  It's not a happy film, but it's an important one in the way it highlighted the soul crushing totalitarianism suffered by the populations of the Soviet Bloc.  Such a film could never be made today.

The reason is that the film and entertainment industry has essentially become the Soviet Bloc.  The entire industry is notoriously liberal, and has used its monopoly power to push a set of ideas and values on a (mostly) unwilling society.  What l'affair Duck Dynasty underlines in red (of course, in red) is that the same sort of totalitarian world view is enforced as well.  Just as the Authorities in the Warsaw Pact were happy to make a doctor into a laborer so that everyone saw the cost of disobedience, so the A&E network is happy to put the most popular show in the history of cable TV at risk - so that everyone else can see the cost of disobedience.

It's quite an astonishing display, because it's being done so nakedly.  There's not even a pretense here, just insistence that all kneel before the altar of their ideology.  Fascists shown clearly, unashamed of the glare of the klieg lights.

I'd think that just like Fox achieved enormous success by having a non-leftwards (more accurately, a less-leftwards slanted) news program, someone could make a lot of money with a network focused on more traditional American values.

The reason that we beat totalitarianism back then is that we had competition on our side, and they didn't.  That lesson remains fresh today.

Did RSA take $10M from the NSA to weaken crypto?

Over the weekend a story broke saying that venerable security company RSA took $10M from the NSA to weaken the crypto in their widely used software toolkit, bsafe.  This is probably the most widely used commercial encryption library, and so weakening it would be of enormous use to the NSA's monitoring capabilities.  It would also effectively destroy RSA's reputation.

RSA has issued a response in which they categorically deny being the NSA's stooge:
Recent press coverage has asserted that RSA entered into a “secret contract” with the NSA to incorporate a known flawed random number generator into its BSAFE encryption libraries.  We categorically deny this allegation.

We have worked with the NSA, both as a vendor and an active member of the security community. We have never kept this relationship a secret and in fact have openly publicized it. Our explicit goal has always been to strengthen commercial and government security.
Key points about our use of Dual EC DRBG in BSAFE are as follows:
  • We made the decision to use Dual EC DRBG as the default in BSAFE toolkits in 2004, in the context of an industry-wide effort to develop newer, stronger methods of encryption. At that time, the NSA had a trusted role in the community-wide effort to strengthen, not weaken, encryption.
  • This algorithm is only one of multiple choices available within BSAFE toolkits, and users have always been free to choose whichever one best suits their needs.
  • We continued using the algorithm as an option within BSAFE toolkits as it gained acceptance as a NIST standard and because of its value in FIPS compliance. When concern surfaced around the algorithm in 2007, we continued to rely upon NIST as the arbiter of that discussion.
  • When NIST issued new guidance recommending no further use of this algorithm in September 2013, we adhered to that guidance, communicated that recommendation to customers and discussed the change openly in the media.
RSA, as a security company, never divulges details of customer engagements, but we also categorically state that we have never entered into any contract or engaged in any project with the intention of weakening RSA’s products, or introducing potential ‘backdoors’ into our products for anyone’s use.
Highlighting by me.  The two highlighted items really get to the heart of why the security industry is so angry about what the NSA has been doing.  They spent years establishing a relationship of trust with the industry and researchers.  Then they exploited that trust for personal gain at the expense of everyone else.

While I don't at all want to minimize the horrific crime of child abuse, that will give you a bit of the flavor of how the security industry looks at Ft. Meade now.  It was a rape, a rape of those who had trusted them as teacher and protector.

This is going to cause enormous problems for NSA.  I simply don't see how anyone will ever want to cooperate with them outside a public forum.  Nobody who values their reputation will be willing to be accused of slipping an NSA mickey into a crypto library.

And nobody on a standards body will ever again listen to NSA recommendations for changes to algorithms.  As a matter of fact, those recommendations will make the hair on the back of people's necks stand up, and lots of people will start to reverse engineer the NSA's math to see what games they're playing.

Bottom line, it's now no longer possible for NSA to help secure the nation, at least from an encryption point of view.  May as well shut down the National Computer Security Center.

This is a crying shame, brought about by unbelievably incompetent management.  I remember when the NSA were the Good Guys, back before they raped the community.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rainy Sunday afternoon.

Walking the friend's dogs.




April likes the rain. April showers, I guess. Kobe is a devil hog (but not a Devil Dog).



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A Christmas gift idea for your special lady friend

Hair care tools by Snap On.  Heh.

Rockelbel - Canon in D

This is Classical music inside baseball, but what absolutely delightful (although very SWPL) inside baseball it is.  Well played.  So very well played.



Very funny, in a classical-music-meats-Mr.-Bean sort of way.  It gives me hope for Classical music that this Youtube video has nearly seven million views.  The Piano Guys have taken an old stuffy classic, stripped off the Symphony Hall trappings, and made it fresh for a new age.  And Youtube viewers get that, and respond to it.  Well played, indeed.

And since friend and frequent commenter libertyman is likely to head off to Amazon to buy this (excellent) album, you can find it here.

And for my original (and quite SWPL and straight, other than the field artillery - srlsy) presentation of Mr. Pachelbel and his most excellent Canon, see here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters- Mele Kalikimaka

I'm told that Dean Martin has the best version of this, but it's not to be found on Youtune.  So you're stuck with Bing and the Andrews Sisters.


Elitist bemoans declining popularity of elitism

The title is perhaps a bit inflammatory, but does pretty well capture the gist.  Highlights:
Schindler has a particular problem, in that he’s taken a strong stand on the Snowden/Greenwald
treason fiasco, a cause near and dear to the hearts of the young. This is a problem because young people are the most ruthlessly opposed to any notion of expertise, largely because they are the segment of the population least likely to have any. These young free-thinkers have made clear to Dr. Schindler that his references to his advanced education and to his many years of experience actually working inside the NSA are just arrogant diversions, because he just doesn’t get it. 
Some of John’s debate partners, of course, are intelligent and well-intentioned people. But some of them are just insecure — and sometimes paranoid — scolds who feel the need to lecture Schindler on how the NSA and the intelligence community really works — that world “really” pops up a lot — and to point him to things he needs to read.

...

Sometimes, all we are left with is to ask people to take our word on it, a request we’ve earned through experience, research, publication, service, etc. When people ask me why I think Russia has an aggressive foreign policy because, gosh, they don’t see that at all — well, there just isn’t the time or energy to take the questioner through the years of education and experience that I have and they don’t.

...


Part of this dismissal of expertise is the positive hostility to advanced degrees, an emotion almost entirely centered among people who do not have them. So, sure, some of it is envy, but some of it is based in ignorance about what a PhD means. Too many people, including the hapless folks who foolishly embarked on grad programs they can never finish, think a PhD is just several more years of college. It’s not.
I could go on, but by now you've noticed the Learned Expert's habit of setting up straw men.  No, anger at the NSA's spying program isn't founded in a feeling that it's unconstitutional and damaging to America's economy and security, it's because we disrespect Mr. Schindler's advanced education.  No, we do not question Expert Foreign Policy opinions on Russia because of spectacular failures of past Russian Policy Experts (c.f. the CIA's assessment that the USSR was the world's 3rd largest economy in 1988), it's because we don't appreciate his PhD.  No, we don't question the research from the current Academic Establishment because it has produced oddball policy recommendations regarding Global Warming and Keynesian Economics - it's because we don't even understand what a PhD means.

Oooooh kaaaaaay.

My take is that Tom Nichols is a very smart guy who needs to get out more often.  In particular, he needs to hear more people voicing (legitimate) complaints about the Elite's lack of transparency, accountability, and propensity to game the system in pursuit of tenure and grant funding.

Fiduciary Responsibility

Here's something that I don't understand: why haven't shareholders filed suit against A&E Television Networks, LLC for breach of fiduciary duty in getting rid of the Duck Dynasty guy?  The rest of the clan say they won't do the show without him - go after one of them, go after all of them.  No doubt the company would claim that its management best knows how to maximize advertising revenue (and therefore return to shareholders).  The problem with this is that Duck Dynasty is by far the most viewed program on all of the A&E networks:
An hour-long Christmas special premiered on December 5, 2012 as the season two finale and became (at the time) the most-watched A&E episode in the network's history.[37]

The February 27, 2013, the season three premiere tallied 8.6 million viewers, including five million in the adults 25–54 demographic and five million in adults 18–49 demographic, making the premiere (at the time) the most watched telecast in network history, beating the season two finale.[38] The one-hour season three finale (shown on April 24, 2013) tallied 9.6 million viewers, with 5.6 million in the Adults 25–54 demographic and 5.5 million in the Adults 18–49 demographic, making it the highest rated telecast in A&E history.[39]

On August 14, 2013, the season four premiere drew a total of 11.8 million viewers, an increase of 37% vs. the season three premiere, drawing 6.3 million viewers in the Adults 25–54 demographic, making it the most watched nonfiction series telecast in cable television history.[3]
Actually, you can change my comment to "the most viewed program in the history of cable television".

And so to what seems to be the problem for A&E (and also Hearst and Disney who formed A&E as a joint venture).  They would have to claim that they are maximizing shareholder return on their cable network by getting rid of the most watched program in the history of cable television.  That's a cunning plan, right there.

Now, I am not a lawyer, but there's a legal principle that seems to apply here.  Res ipsa loquitur:
In the common law of negligence, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur (Latin for "the thing itself speaks") states that the elements of duty of care and breach can be sometimes inferred from the very nature of an accident or other outcome, even without direct evidence of how any defendant behaved.
Canceling the most popular cable tv show (or even putting it at risk) simply cannot lead to maximized shareholder value.  The thing speaks for itself.

Yeah, I know this is a lot of Wikiscaping.  Sue me.

Condition Orange

Isegoria has a fabulous post about situational awareness.

Man bites dog?

It looks like the rubber-stamp panel reviewing the NSA "In God we trust, all others we monitor" program may not be such a rubber stamp after all:
WASHINGTON - US legal and intelligence experts ordered by President Barack Obama to review National Security Agency practices on Wednesday called for a sweeping overhaul of US surveillance programs while preserving "robust" intelligence capabilities.

The five-member panel of advisers also urged reforms at a secret national security court and an end to bulk retention of telephone "metadata" by the spy agency, by keeping those records in private hands subject to specific queries from the NSA or law enforcement.

The 308-report also called for "significant steps" to be taken "to protect the privacy of non-US persons," and urged more cooperation with allies to avoid the diplomatic fallout from revelations of US intelligence gathering.
It looks like we're in danger of common sense breaking out in Washington.
"In our view, the current storage by the government of bulk metadata creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty," the report said.
Why, it looks like common sense is the forecast for today.  Add in the recent court ruling that said that the government hadn't shown that metadata collection was actually useful for stopping terror attacks, and maybe there's a groundswell for change.

Maybe.

Friday, December 20, 2013

I've had bad luck with my children

We've had bad luck with children; they've all grown up.
- Christopher Morley
#2 Son is 18 years old today.  My bad luck is that I still see him as this:


That's as fresh and filled with promise as moonlight on a Martini, or something.  Now he wants to get his motorcycle license.  Can't really blame him.  But damn, I feel old for a moment here.


Well, at least I can send him on errands to the store ...

The aching growing of the Progressive Left

When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.
- John Steinbeck, East Of Eden


Thursday, December 19, 2013

SheDaisy - Twist of Magi

If you've been married a while, this may be the funniest Christmas song ever written.



Yes it has Rascal Flatts.  Sue me.

Ahem

Can I just say that sometimes having to be a responsible grown up is a royal pain in the tail end.


It's only two days until the Winter Solstice

Get ready.


IMPORTANT SECURITY ALERT

Target stores have been hacked, and 40 Million credit card accounts have been compromised.  Even worse, it seems that Debit cards may have also been compromised, and that it's possible that PIN codes were recorded as well.

If you have used your Debit card at a Target store since Thanksgiving, you need to change your PIN immediately.  While the credit card companies will cover losses on compromised credit cards, if the Bad Guys can clone your Debit card and use your PIN then they can clean out your bank account.  The bank may or may not cover this.

Mrs Borepatch and I are in the process of changing our PINs.  I strongly recommend you do the same, immediately.

Information is still sketchy on the details, but this is potentially so bad that I'm putting up an alert.  In five and a half years of blogging on security issues I've never done this before.  That's how serious this is.

UPDATE 19 December 2013 11:11: Reports are that this has been going on since Black Thursday.  My guess (and that's all it is) is that this could have been going on much longer.  If you've been using a Debit card at Target for the last 6 months or so, change your PIN.

Things I did not know

I did not know that President Obama's pajama boy has an imaginary Canadian girlfriend.  Snerk.

Of course, there's a Hello Kitty tie in.  I see this as the hand of your Gormogons in action. I mean, a lot of Obamacare is pretty well explained if you posit a time traveling robot, a blood soaked Autocrat, and a orbiting sun control satellite controlled by Confucius.  I mean, it all suddenly makes sense now, doesn't it?

The War on Drugs is stupid

But you can see where the instinct to try to stop drug abuse comes from.  Al Fin has an emotionless, unsentimental, and unflinching view of what these drugs do to the people who use them.  It's not an easy read - psychologically speaking - but you'll end up smarter when you're done.

But it's Al Fin, so of course you'll end up smarter.  I still don't think that the benefits outweigh the costs of the War On Drugs, but this is important reading for libertarian types.  This about sums it up:
Drug legalisation would solve some of the wider problems caused by the violent addiction industry by removing most of the criminal profits involved, and thus much of the violence. Large problems would remain after legalisation, of course, just as the US still has a lot of problems from alcohol abuse long after the repeal of prohibition. But we should not expect perfection or utopia from our policy choices, only a form of dynamic and realistic optimisation.
You pay your money and make your choice.  And then you live with what that choice entails.  RTWT.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town

Turn up your speakers.


Microsoft's online dating site for techies

As described by XKCD.

Bad news for Android antivirus users

Your expectations are probably not being met:
Android users expecting Windows levels of performance from Android-specific antivirus packages are likely to be disappointed because only Google can automatically delete dodgy apps on Android devices, say malware experts.

Anti-malware bods agree that antivirus programs on Android can’t remove viruses automatically, meaning that the process needs to be carried out manually by the user in each and every case.

"Android antimalware applications can block URLs, scan downloads and identify malware that the user may have installed, but they cannot remove malicious applications that are installed by the user," explained Simon Edwards, technical director at Dennis Technology Labs, an experienced antivirus tester and chairman of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization.

"They have to alert the user and hope that the user is able to uninstall them manually, using the usual Android uninstall routine."
It seems that this isn't an oversight, but rather an architectural decision by Google.  An unfortunate one given the massive Android botnets that are wreaking havoc.
We invited Google to explain the design rationale for this treatment of malicious apps on Android devices but are yet to hear back from them.
Given the very poor screening for malware in Google Play, this seems rather unfortunate.  My recommendation is to be very judicious in which Android apps you install.

I'm told that it works whether you believe it or not***

There's been a great debate in the comments here on Libertarians: crazy or not, and on Obamacare: can the Democrats cheat their way out of this disaster.  The comments by all y'all have been precisely what you'd expect - passionate, packed full o'smart, and (mostly) respectful to other commenters.

I feel like such a salonnier*.

Having (mostly) stayed out of the fray, my thoughts are that people have rather the most (political) power now that they will have in these debates.  Consider the civil war currently in full frontal bayonet charge within the Republican party.  There's nary a Republican Congressman who is not daily briefed on the polls here.  And Republican Senators up for re-election are briefed twice a day.

And so this is your OTE - Opportunity To Excel.  Call, write, or email your congress critter or Senator.  Explain that you are a small government type, and ask what his platform is to reduce the size of government.  State that you prefer a written response, and that if it's canned you will take that as a sign that he's a Big Government sort of guy (and a particularly dim sort at that) and that you'll seek out his primary opponent to help during this race.

Why should you do this?  Well, Google tells me that traffic here at Borepatch Central Command is, while not "sell the joint and retire to Central America", such that even a 2% rate of people sending these messages in will result in maybe a thousand letters a month.  Discount that by half for repeat visitors, and think on the power of our little Salon being able to send 500 unwanted, polite but plausibly threatening letters to the Washington D. C. ramoras.  I expect that if this were to be replicated across our little corner of the Blogosphere (Tam, Unc, etc) that this would be 20 times bigger volume.

And here's the kicker - it doesn't really matter whether all y'all will actually stand on street corners with clipboards gathering signatures for R0nP4uL! - it just matters whether your elected Ramora thinks that you might be.

Bonus points for putting the following in your letter to your elected Ramora: "Christine O'Donnell was a useful test case in that she showed that the majority of the Republican electorate was willing to vote for a masturbating Witch rather than for the Republican Establishment.  So which are you?"**

The beauty is that if each Ramora only gets a handful of these sort of messages in the next 3-4 months, it will focus their minds greatly on the issues they will have to vote on in 2014.  The prospect of being hanged in a fortnight will encourage les autres, and all that.  At least you'll contribute to indigestion on Capital Hill.

* Yeah, I know - I need to shaddup.

* Bootnote: I do believe that this post is the first time that we've seen the term "masturbating witch" here.  I only use the term forensically, of course, and shudder to think what sort of Internet Rule 34 google searches will bring people here ....

*** The title of the post refers to the story of when Lord Rutherford - a paragon of the Victorian Scientific Establishment - invited a Member of the House of Commons to his laboratory (please pronounce this with five, and not four, syllables).  His friend remarked on the horse shoe nailed over the doorway (pointing up to catch all the luck raining down from Heaven, 'natch). 

"I say, you don't believe in all this superstitious rot, what?"

Rutherford is said to have replied, "Of course not.  However, I am assured that it works whether I believe it or not."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Flash mob christmas

650 volunteer choiristas and the world's largest pipe organ.



Go big or go home. 

Why do you need an AR?

Because Ho, Ho, Ho.


And because the EPA shut down the coal industry.  Santa need's a credible deterrent.

NSA isn't scary

It's cute and fluffy.


With teeth and claws.  And a litter box that really, really needs some Congressional oversight.

The NSA's damage to America continues

Here's some damage that can be calculated in dollars and cents.  $15 Billion and counting:
An IBM shareholder is suing Big Blue, accusing it of hiding the fact that its ties to the NSA spying scandal cost it business in China – and wiped billions off its market value.

The Louisiana Sheriffs' Pensions and Relief Fund has filed the suit in New York, claiming that Big Blue "misrepresented and concealed" that its association with the NSA caused Chinese companies and the Chinese government to abruptly stop doing business with it, according to the shareholder's lawyers.

"When the company ultimately revealed the truth regarding the collapse of its business in China, the price of IBM stock fell almost $12 per share," the legal team said in a statement, while inviting other shareholders to join the suit.

...

In the following days, IBM shares dropped 7.4 per cent to $172.86, wiping $15bn from its market capitalisation.
This isn't the first time this has happened.  Remember Cisco's big earnings miss?  This isn't the last we've heard of this sort of thing.

NSA has lost the security geeks in Silicon Valley.  They look like they're fixin' to lose the big money types there as well.  Neither of these events will help them, but they seem not to be smart enough to figure out that this is happening.  But we'll know that it's having its impact when Senator Feinstein starts publicly complaining about the NSA.  So far she's been on their side, but it shouldn't take too many of the big tech firms telling her that they're going to donate to someone else's campaign to get a different song played.  The Congress is, if nothing else, coin operated.

And it's all for nothing.  Literally, nothing has come out of this program in terms of stopping terror attacks (unless you believe NSA Director Alexander, which I don't).  And in fact, nothing can come out of it:
Perhaps the NSA’s tests are more accurate than I have assumed. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that the NSA’s tests have astronomically high accuracy, with sensitivity and specificity of 98 percent. Then the NSA would be justified in spying if more than 65,300—think Portland, Maine or Lynchburg, Virginia—Americans were terrorists.

Don’t forget that the TSA is only at 40 percent. The TSA also has an easier job screening passengers and their bags. The NSA has a more difficult job with snatching electronic snippets out of the ether. If the NSA’s tests are merely as accurate as the TSA’s, the NSA would only be justified in spying if more than 4.7 million Americans—the population of South Carolina—were terrorists.
He has math and everything.  You have to posit an absurdly large number of terrorists for this program to have any chance at all of catching them.  The program does in fact seem to be effective in catching large Congressional appropriations, but that will be cold comfort to Senator Feinstein and her cohorts when all the Silicon Valley filthy lucre starts to dry up during campaign season.

The guys with the coins are mad enough to go to court.  This will not end well for Ft. Meade.