Monday, February 29, 2016

George Kennedy

He joined the Army in 1943 and served 16 years, starting with combat in World War II.


He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Cool Hand Luke.

He had a long career, played some memorable roles

And now he's gone.

Winter tech support advice


Internet Of Things "Security" device wipes out your security

Oh, boy:
Imagine buying an internet-enabled surveillance camera, network attached storage device, or home automation gizmo, only to find that it secretly and constantly phones home to a vast peer-to-peer (P2P) network run by the Chinese manufacturer of the hardware. Now imagine that the geek gear you bought doesn’t actually let you block this P2P communication without some serious networking expertise or hardware surgery that few users would attempt.
The FI9286P, a Foscam camera that includes P2P communication by default.
The FI9286P, a Foscam camera that includes P2P communication by default.
This is the nightmare “Internet of Things” (IoT) scenario for any system administrator: The IP cameras that you bought to secure your physical space suddenly turn into a vast cloud network designed to share your pictures and videos far and wide. The best part? It’s all plug-and-play, no configuration necessary!
Well, well, well.  No doubt those "security" videos will be popular on the P2P network.  Social networking FTW.  Err, or something.
Turns out, this Focscam camera was one of several newer models the company makes that comes with peer-to-peer networking capabilities baked in. This fact is not exactly spelled out for the user (although some of the models listed do say “P2P” in the product name, others do not).
But the bigger issue with these P2P -based cameras is that while the user interface for the camera has a setting to disable P2P traffic (it is enabled by default), Foscam admits that disabling the P2P option doesn’t actually do anything to stop the device from seeking out other P2P hosts online (see screenshot below).
You need a patch to disable the stupid thing.  Here's the Double Plus Ungood part:
ThroughTek did not respond to requests for comment. A ThroughTek press release from October 2015 announced that the company’s P2P network — which it calls the Kalay Network — had grown to support more than seven million connected devices and 100 million “IoT connections.”
So your security cameras are chillaxin' with 100 million (!) other devices of some sort, all on some sort of peer-to-peer network that tunnels out through your firewall, and the only way to turn it off is to apply a patch to the "plug and play" cameras you dropped good dough on.

Other than that, it's awesome.

My advice:  Never buy a product made by Foscam, and block all outbound traffic from devices you have not explicitly authorized to go onto the 'net.

So, Who Are You Voting Against?

I have watched Hillary take the Democratic nomination with a certain amusement. Votes? Who believes in that anymore. It's all about tying up the delegate count.

My thought up to now has been that if when Hillary is the Democratic candidate I can quit thinking about the election because I would be voting for whoever the opposition nominated.

But now there's a rumor that Mittens is going to jump in and rescue the Republicans from The Donald. 

I will not vote for Mittens, either. I can't believe it, the Republicans found someone I trust less than Hillary. 

Socialism, explained

Bermie beat Hillary by 20 points in New Hampshire, but she got more delegates.  Here's how that works:


From here.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Seen in the Giant parking lot

60 degrees and sunny. Big rains (BIG rains) have washed the salt off the roads.

Man, it's good to ride again.


How to shoot down an F-35 with an SA-2

Great.

Sure glad we dropped so much cash into that piece of junk.  Crony Capitalism is alive and well in the halls of the Pentagon.

Growing room


Chiquinha Gonzaga - Gaúcho

Chiquinha Gonzaga  had a lot of firsts.  She was very likely the first successful female composer in Brazil.  She got the first legal divorce in Brazil, from her abusive husband.  Her music was popular because she took popular themes from "common" people - like her contemporaries Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Greig.

I'd never run across her before, but that's probably because I've never been to Carnival in Rio.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

I'm Sure Sorry I Missed This Sale

Must have been at the end of Air Force F-4 operations and I'm not sure any officer would risk making something like this now. Funny for anyone who remembers the era.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to keep your email account from being pwned

If you use Earthlink or an old ISP, it might be trivial for someone to get your email password.  Good article on how to tell at Errata Security.

The only I'd add is make sure you have a good password, too.

Why Trump will win the election

Seen in the comments at Althouse:
It's over. Trump is the nominee. For those Repubs who despair at this, consider: last night 75,000 Republicans voted in the Nevada caucus. That's up from 30,00 in 2012. More importantly, it's about 6 times as many as Democrats voted in last week's Democratic caucus. 13,000 Dems went to the polls in a hotly contested Sanders-Clinton race. 13,000 vs. 75,000.

This same turnout story has happened in all four primaries/caucuses.

Donald J. Trump is our next president. Deal with it, America. You too, world.
Six times the turnout.  Think about that, and you will feel the icy weight of inevitability.  And this is as a good an explanation for that turnout as I've heard, from a commenter who seems pretty liberal:
We're all tired of jackasses braying about their incredible intellects and telling us they deserve to rule us.

We've seen what rule by Goldman Sachs and Simpson Thatcher looks like. It looks like a lot of high IQ jackasses stealing everything they can get their hands on. While simultaneously lecturing us on our stupidity and racism.

Understand?
There is something primal that has been unleashed.  I have no idea whether Trump will make a good President, but it sure looks like we're fixin' to find out.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Protests planned today at FBI HQ over iPhone brouhaha

5:30PM will see protests all over the world, including outside the J. Edgar Hoover FBI GQ building in Washington, D.C.  Apple Fanbois are taking to the streets, in the manner of this protest from last week:


I love the sign that says "It's my I-Phone, not your FBI-Phone".  Details on the protests are at El Reg.

Bootnote: I think that this is the first time I've used the word "brouhaha" in a post title.

Honest notification from a government agency

From Australia, 'natch.:


No word if Uncle Jay was there on his travels.  Also no word on whether United Airlines runs the train ...

TOR web browser is a security nightmare

TOR is a network designed to let you access the Internet anonymously.  Torrents Time is a browser plugin that lets you download torrents and watch them directly in your browser.  It looks like it's a sucking chest wound of security fail:
Torrents Time is a new technology that allows users to instantly download and watch torrented material right inside their browser. Torrents Time benefits from a built-in VPN server and has seen a rise in popularity after The Pirate Bay (TPB) and Kickass Torrents (KAT), the Internet's biggest torrent portals, added live streaming buttons to their sites employing its technology.Users who want to use
...
Torrents Time fails to implement CORS, leaves users vulnerable to attack
According to Mr. Sampson, Torrents Time does not properly implement CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing), a crucial Web security mechanism that prevents resources from being loaded from different domains.
This means that an attacker could create a malicious Web page that mimics a regular page (popup) created by TBP or KAT, and add their own malicious code, which, because of an improper CORS implementation, would be allowed to execute.
Mr. Sampson discovered that he could open a Torrents Time video player inside this malicious page and serve the user the torrent files they wanted. This could let the user think they're accessing a trustworthy Torrents Time video player, when, in reality, the attacker could be delivering malicious code in the background while the user is watching a movie.
If you use this, forewarned is forearmed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

All you need to know to understand the FBI vs. Apple

This is an excellent summary of where we are:
Rather than a "Going Dark" problem, ours is one of "Going Light". We all now carry a GPS tracking device in our pocket that contains a microphone and video camera. We are quickly putting a microphone (and sometimes camera) in every room in our house, with devices like smart TVs and Amazon's Echo. License plate readers line the roads, and face recognition (as well as video cameras) are located everywhere crowds gather. All our credit card transactions are slurped up by the government, as are our phone metadata (even more so since the so-called USA FREEDOM ACT).

The question is whether the "warrant upon probable cause" is sufficient protection for the Going Light problem? Or do we need more limits?

... 

The War on Drugs and the War on Terror have made a police state out of America. We jail 10 times more people, per capita, than other free nations (more than virtually any other nation). Law enforcement steals more through "civil asset forfeiture" than burglars do. We can no longer travel without showing our papers at numerous checkpoints. We can no longer communicate nor use credit cards without a record going to a government controlled database.
Enough, already.

The Dawn of the Information Age

When America lead the world on the cutting edge of technology and imagining what we would do with transistors was still science fiction.



Also, when transistors were built in Pennsylvania.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I'm Sorry, Dave



Always read the ingredients label

Mystery meat:


The Light Fades

There are a finite number of days. Even fine days spent with good friends come out of that.

Here's a story from Tom Reed at Mouthful of Feathers about friendship and hunting and what may be the last hunt.
"On our first hunting adventure, he handed me his .35 Whelen and I laid across a carpet of aspen leaves and felled a large buck mule deer with one shot. My own rifle was back at home, left because we were packing out a cow elk I had shot the day before. No need to carry my rifle. But then we rounded the bend and the buck was there, broadside. Elk in panniers on the horses and my own rifle at home. “Take my rifle,” he whispered. “Thumb the safety forward when you’re ready to fire.” Two hundred and twenty one paces out." --Tom Reed

Linux Mint site hacked

If you have an account on the Linux Mint forums, don't click the link to download the "new distort" - it's backdoored by the Bad Guys:
A hack against Linux Mint over the weekend that meant surfers were invited to download a copy of the open source distro that came contaminated with a backdoor has also affected the organisation’s forums. 
As previously reported, hackers made a modified Linux Mint ISO before hacking its website with a link to the compromised code. 
The breach was quickly detected. It only affected those who downloaded Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon edition on Saturday, 20 February.
As is so often the case, the weakest link is the people.

Last Flight

Stephen emails to point out another who has reported for his last flight:
The Royal Navy's most decorated pilot, Capt Eric "Winkle" Brown, has died at the age of 97.
Capt Brown also held the world record for flying the greatest number of different types of aircraft - 487.
During World War Two, Capt Brown, who was born in Leith in 1919, flew fighter aircraft and witnessed the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
He holds the world record for the number of aircraft carrier landings, at 2,407 (!).  God speed, Captain.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Cat funerals

A day late for Caturday, but still funny.


Skills

Lost skills, mostly.

Here's one video. I subscribed to his channel to see what I can learn.

This is not a quick project or an emergency shelter. On his blog he has the timeline at 102 days to completion.

Timing is everything

Yesterday it was sunny and in the 70s here at Castle Borepatch.  And the battery of the Harley was run down.

Today the battery is charged but it's in the 50s and rainy.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

America's first WWII Ace

On this day in 1942, Edward O'Hare became the first American ace of World War II.  He was also the first Navy man to receive the Medal of Honor.  Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is named after him.

Image via El Wik

O'Hare died a year later.  The famously rugged Hellcat wasn't tough enough to save his life during a night mission against a flight of torpedo bombers.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ray Charles - Sweet Sixteen Bars

If there is more classic Blues, I sure don't know what it is.


About Apple being ordered to unlock an iPhone

A Federal Judge has ordered Apple to unlock the San Bernadino terrorist's iPhone for the FBI.  Apple is resisting.  A lot of people are (sensibly) concerned over another example of Silicon Valley possibly crawling in bed with The Man.  It seems that there's more to this than meets the eye.

First, it appears that Apple could do this because the iPhone is old.  There's an in-depth analysis of this at Errata Security, but this is the bottom line:
The upshot is this. It's an older phone. If the iOS version is old, and especially if it's been configured to "trust" a laptop/desktop, then there is a good chance Apple or the FBI could decrypt it. If the software is reasonably up-to-date, my understanding of how iPhone's work, it's impossible at the moment for Apple to decrypt the device, especially as suggested by the court order.
If you have a newer iPhone (iPhone 6) then there's a hardware security module that would prevent this.  The Bad Guy had an iPhone 5 version that didn't have this.

There's more at El Reg that delves into the technical (for those that care) but also speculates on Apple's motives to resist the court order:
OK, so why is Apple going to war with the federal government over this?
It's hard to know for certain, but some or all of the following points are likely good reasons:
  • As mentioned above, it doesn't want to admit that its phones can be updated even when locked, by simply connecting a USB cable to them. Sure, you're updating it with official Apple firmware – just in this case, the firmware is deliberately insecure.
  • Apple doesn't feel it can back down now that it has publicly stood up to law enforcement and politicians on matters of privacy and security.
  • It fears that agreeing to this request would set a dangerous precedent for future versions of iOS. You trust Apple with every update – and now Apple's being asked to demonstrate that it can quite easily create insecure versions of its software and release them.
  • It sees a strong defense of customer data as a key differentiator in the market.
  • It has been waiting for a test case and thinks it can win this one, possibly all the way up to the Supreme Court.
  • It is still angry about the Snowden revelations and wants to force the US government into the open over its surveillance of citizens.
As the Mythbusters would say, "plausible".

The New York Times thinks that Hillary is toast

Maureen Dowd has a column in the NYT: When Hillary Clinton killed feminism.  Given Hillary's "Vote for me - I have Lady Parts" campaign, this is enormously damaging to Clinton's position.

The NYT is famously left of center, so the question is what gives?  Michael Hiteshew at ChicagoBoyz examines the situation:
I’m stunned I read this call-out of the Clinton’s hypocrisy in the NYT of all places from none other than Maureen Dowd. This is tectonic and tells us the ground has just shifted on the left. That says a few things:
  1. The NYT in general and Maureen Dowd in particular no longer fear the Clinton’s power nor feel they will be punished for disloyalty by a Hillary Clinton administration. Because…
  2. The NYT in general and Maureen Dowd in particular no longer see a Hillary Clinton administration as a probability. They know the Hillary campaign is in flames and will only get worse.
I'd also add that the left has never really liked her.  Obama ran away with the nomination in 2008 in large part because of this.  Sure, the Clintons had a ton of money and that bought a certain loyalty, but Hillary wasn't liked in the same way that Bill was.  As soon as there was a viable alternative, the preference cascade began.

It looks like it's begun again, and even the NYT recognizes that.

The New York Times on nominating a moderate to the Supreme Court

Rick emails with this blast from the Gray Lady's past:
The President's supporters insist vehemently that, having won the 1984 election, he has every right to try to change the Court's direction. Yes, but the Democrats won the 1986 election, regaining control of the Senate, and they have every right to resist. This is not the same Senate that confirmed William Rehnquist as Chief Justice and Antonin Scalia as an associate justice last year.

The division of power thus makes moderates of both parties decisive. Against this change in political reality, for Mr. Reagan to nominate Robert Bork was to stick a thumb in moderates' eyes. The Senate need not and should not endorse views so alien to the Supreme Court's honored role as definer and defender of constitutional liberties.
People say that standards are slipping in the media.  Their double standard seems to be doing quite well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Well, this was asking for it


You must be at least 52" to hack the head of the CIA

Stephen emails to point out this bit of hilarity:
A British teenager is suspected of being a mystery hacker who infiltrated the personal email account of the director of the CIA and posting personal details online.

...

It is alleged that Cracka called US Internet provider Verizon posing as a technician and persuaded them to hand over personal details of Mr Brennan’s AOL email address.
He then allegedly called AOL and convinced a representative to reset the password, using the personal details he obtained from Verizon to get through security.
Yeah, OK, this is an old trick.  But the kid was 15 years old at the time.

Note: this was not his government email, it was his personal account on AOL.  Why the Director of the CIA is on AOL is perhaps the biggest cause for concern ...

The poison of "Social Justice"

Lawrence has a post about how the Open Source community is being slowly poisoned by Social Justice Warriors:
Now comes word that GitHub’s “Social Impact Team” has decided “We don’t want any of those stinking white people here.” “It is very hard to even interview people who are ‘white’ which makes things challenging.”
Eric S. Raymond blogged about this last year:
The hacker culture, and STEM in general, are under ideological attack. Recently I blogged a safety warning that according to a source I consider reliable, a “women in tech” pressure group has made multiple efforts to set Linus Torvalds up for a sexual assault accusation. I interpreted this as an attempt to beat the hacker culture into political pliability, and advised anyone in a leadership position to beware of similar attempts.

...

But, if you think you’re reading that ‘djangoconcardiff’ considers acceptance of pull requests putatively from “persons of color” to be politically mandatory, a look at the Contributor Covenant he/she advocates will do nothing to dissuade you. Paragraph 2 denounces the “pervasive cult of meritocracy”.
"Culture of Meritocracy"?  Can't have that.

In other news, enrolment in liberal arts is down and computer science is up.  I think that we're seeing the Death Throes of Progressivism as we have come to know it.  The University and the Media have been super-saturated with SJW thought as Progressives have come to entirely dominate both institutions.  But both institutions are financially very sick, and will look very different a decade hence.

What will come next?  Who can say?  We've seen progressivism morph into liberalism, then back to progressivism, and seemingly now to socialism.  But the engine that has driven this has been money.  That's changing.

Ted Cruz' political platform

In-depth analysis at ChicaghoBoyz:
Most impressive to me is his Five for Freedom plan. This from the first section:
Abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A Cruz Administration will appoint heads of each of those agencies whose sole charge will be to wind them down and determine whether any programs need to be preserved.
  1. Internal Revenue Services – end the political targeting, simplify the tax code, and abolish the IRS as we know it.
  2. Department of Education – return education to those who know our students best: parents, teachers, local communities, and states. And block-grant education funding to the states.
There are more.  The analysis and the comments are thought provoking.  And it made me think that I've been looking at this election wrong.

The problem is not breaking the political establishments.  The problem is the permanent governing class.  I wrote about that a couple years back, linking to some very interesting thinking at Isegoria:
The nature of the state
    • The state is established by citizens to serve their needs. Its actions are generally righteous.
    • The state is just another giant corporation. Its actions generally advance its own interests. Sometimes these interests coincide with ours, sometimes they don’t.
The power structure of the West
    • Power in the West is held by the people, who have to guard it closely against corrupt politicians and corporations.
    • Power in the West is held by the civil service, that is, the permanent employees of the state. In any struggle between the civil service and politicians or corporations, the civil service wins.
...

This is the first truly revolutionary philosophy that we've seen in a hundred years, and it is just now emergent. Whether you accept or reject its arguments, this is the intellectual structure that will battle Progressivism.
This may be a fool's errand, but Cruz' target selection is dead on.  The question is whether he can do it.  The key is whether we can get people to sign up for cabinet positions in his administration when all he wants to have them do is spin down the agency.  The press will do their best to ruin the reputation of anyone who does this.  I'd love to hear someone ask him how he can hire the right people to do this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Damn, he's good


I think this picture is in the dictionary under the entry for "hubris" ...

The liberal war on science

I need to read this book:
Jesse Singal left his copy of Galileo’s Middle Finger lying around the house when he went home for Thanksgiving, and his dad picked it up:
“That’s an amazing book so far,” I said. “It’s about the politicization of science.” “Oh,” my dad responded. “You mean like Republicans and climate change?”
Not exactly:
What she found, over and over, was that researchers whose conclusions didn’t line up with politically correct orthodoxies — whether the orthodoxy in question involved sexual abuse, transgender issues, or whatever else — often faced dire, career-threatening consequences simply for doing their jobs.

Two examples stand out as particularly egregious cases in which solid social science was attacked in the name of progressive causes.
Prsonally, when I'm feeling mischievious and some leftie brings up "anti-science Republicans" I like to wax poetic about evolutionary psychology and its implications for gender relations and world peace ...

Remember Romper Room?

I remember being skeeved out by the idea that the lady on TV could see her viewers.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Do not buy a Samsung Smart TV

It listens to your conversations and uploads them to the 'net:
In a troubling new development in the domestic consumer surveillance debate, an investigation into Samsung Smart TVs has revealed that user voice commands are recorded, stored, and transmitted to a third party. The company even warns customers not to discuss personal or sensitive information within earshot of the device.

...

The new Samsung controversy stems from the discovery of a single haunting statement in the company’s “privacy policy,” which states:
“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.” 
Samsung seems to be kind of sort of disputing what this means, but there's no doubt about what their privacy policy said.  And much of the discussion from them has a "we're really unhappy that we got caught" flavor.

My recommendation is to not buy one of these things.  Having a major product line get shut down because of this sort of thing is exactly what the industry needs to take privacy more seriously.

Do people ever pay attention?


Srlsy:


President's Day - who were the best and worst Presidents

[This has been an annual re-post since 2012, but in 4 years I haven't found the need to update it. - Borepatch]

It's not a real President's birthday (Lincoln was the 12th, Washington is the 22nd), but everyone wants a day off, so sorry Abe and George, but we're taking it today.  But in the spirit intended for the holiday, let me offer up Borepatch's bestest and worstest lists for Presidents.

Top Five:

#5: Calvin Coolidge

Nothing To Report is a fine epitaph for a President, in this day of unbridled expansion of Leviathan.

#4. Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson is perhaps the last (and first) President who exercised extra-Constitutional power in a manner that was unambiguously beneficial for the Republic (the Louisiana Purchase).  He repealed Adam's noxious Alien and Sedition Acts and pardoned those convicted under them.

#3. Grover Cleveland. 

He didn't like the pomp and circumstance of the office, and he hated the payoffs so common then and now.  He continually vetoed pork spending (including for veterans of the War Between the States), so much so that he was defeated for re-election, but unusually won a second term later.  This quote is priceless (would that Latter Day Presidents rise so high), on vetoing a farm relief bill: "Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character." 

#2. Ronald Reagan

He at least tried to slow down the growth of Leviathan, the first President to do so in over half a century (see entry #5, above).  He would have reduced it further, except that his opposition to the Soviet fascist state and determination to end it cost boatloads of cash.  It also caused outrage among the home grown fascists in the Media and Universities, but was wildly popular among the general population which was (and hopefully still remains) sane.

#1. George Washington

Could have been King.  Wasn't.  Q.E.D. 

Bottom Five:

#5. John Adams.

There's no way to read the Alien and Sedition Acts as anything other than a blatant violation of the First Amendment.  It's a sad statement that the first violation of a Presidential Oath of Office was with President #2. 

#4. Woodrow Wilson.

Not only did he revive the spirit of Adams' Sedition Acts, he caused a Presidential opponent to be imprisoned under the terms of his grotesque Sedition Act of 1918.  He was Progressivism incarnate: he lied us into war, he jailed the anti-war opposition, he instituted a draft, and he was entirely soft-headed when it came to foreign policy.  The fact that Progressives love him (and hate George W. Bush) says all you need to know about them.

#3 Lyndon Johnson.

An able legislator who was able to get bills passed without having any real idea what they would do once enacted, he is responsible for more Americans living in poverty and despair than any occupant of the White House, and that says a lot.

#2. Franklin Roosevelt.

America's Mussolini - ruling extra-Constitutionally fixing wages and prices, packing the Supreme Court, and transforming the country into a bunch of takers who would sell their votes for a trifle.  At least Mussolini met an honorable end.


#1. Abraham Lincoln.

There's no doubt that the Constitution never would have been ratified if the States hadn't thought they could leave if they needed to.  Lincoln saw to it that 10% of the military-age male population was killed or wounded preventing that in an extra-Constitutional debacle unequaled in the Republic's history.  Along the way, he suspended Habeas Corpus, instituted the first ever draft on these shores, and jailed political opponents as he saw fit.  Needless to say, Progressives adore him.

So happy President's Day.  Thankfully, the recent occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue haven't gotten this bad.  Yet.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pool table assembly

It's under way at Castle Borepatch.  This is actually the third time I've done this, and it's surprisingly easy to do.  Other than putting the slate on the frame, it's a one man job.*

The trick is levelling the frame before you put the slate on.  When I first bought the table, I watched the guys who set it up and learned their secret - playing cards.  You keep adding cards one or two at a time between the frame and the legs until the whole thing is level.  I have two mason's levels (extra long levels) plus a normal sized one, and so this really didn't take too long.  Then bolt everything together.

I was dumb when I took the table apart at Camp Borepatch, because I folded the felt up.  Yeah, they say to replace the felt when you move the table but this is because most pool tables get moved once in a blue moon.  I only set up the table around 18 months ago, and the felt was brand new.  So I ironed it to get the creases out and it looks fine.

But the design and engineering of a pool table is really straight forward.  All you need to put it together is a ratchet set for the bolts, a screwdriver for the side pieces (and screwing down the slate), and a staple gun to make sure that the felt is taught.

And I didn't need a dining room anyway - actually, both the Queen Of The World and I like having the pool table there instead.

* Needless to say, I did the slate by myself, too.  Not sure that I'll do that again.

Damn


The weather at Castle Borepatch: 18° with 20+ mph winds.  And single digits tonight: that means there are so few degrees that we're just about out of them.

I'm going through withdrawal for Georgia winters ...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Same song, different voices

The Grammy winning singer/songwriter Delbert McClinton:



The poet  Edna St. Vincent Millay (one of Mom's favorite poets):
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
My co-blogger ASM826:


When was the last time:...I read one of them a bedtime story...We all went to the beach together...One of them sat in my lap...One of them held my hand to cross the street...I helped one of them with his homework...and so on... I dunno. Those kinds of things fade away and you don't even notice.
The music of these three voices is ancient.  It is, in fact, the voice of every person who has ever lived.

When Was The Last Time...

I was looking at photos last night. It's harder now, but I have been culling, editing, scanning, and generally making a digital archive of the pictures I want to save for several months. I want see this project through. The alternative is throwing all of it away because if they aren't digitized no one will want them.

I came across the pictures from the Appalachian Trail thru-hike my sons made in 2005 and there are a few of them from the week of the 4th of July when I was hiking with them. The section of trail we were on in 2005 overlaps a bit with the section I hiked in October of last year. The turnaround point for me in 2005 was Little Rock Pond. We stopped there and went swimming.

Michael and I swam across the pond to the large white rock you can see behind me. Mike is still swimming back in that picture. When he got back and dressed, I hugged him and then watched as he and his friends hiked away north. I returned to the truck and drove home to North Carolina.


In October of 2015, I was solo hiking and took this picture of the same scene.


I was happy to be on the trail, and one of the thoughts I had was how much I wanted to talk to Mike about his hike, my little section hike, and all the camping memories I had. I had planned to show him the pictures when we got together at Christmas. That never got to happen.

While I was looking at the pictures last night it occurred to me that the time I joined them on the trail was the last time I went camping with Mike, the last time we hiked together, and the last time we went swimming together. Since we were Manchester Center on 4th of July, it would be the last time we went to see fireworks together, too. 

We mark the beginnings of things, but very often there is no way to mark the last times. 

When was the last time:
...I read one of them a bedtime story
...We all went to the beach together
...One of them sat in my lap
...One of them held my hand to cross the street
...I helped one of them with his homework
...and so on

I dunno. Those kinds of things fade away and you don't even notice.

I remember the first time we went camping after the twins were born, though. We went to Pettigrew State Park and stayed in campsite #2. We had a couple of ratty tents and some old military mummy bags I had bought at a yard sale. We cooked over a campfire and after it got dark I built up the fire and they toasted marshmallows.


They were so excited. It was a great weekend.


Things I did not know

Eric S. Raymond (computer guru and gun nut) has a Gun Nut web page.  There's an interesting collection of links there for gunnies.

There's quite a strong correlation between people who work in tech (and especially in computer/network security) and people who shoot.  I haven't seen data on this but it is quite striking.  My guess is that people in these fields are focused on assessing and managing risk, and are used to using tools to help manage those risks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How TOR users get busted

Here is a presentation from last year's DEFCON conference that contains a number of examples of TOR users who got de-anonymized.  The common theme?  Bad OPSEC.



If you're interested in anonymity on the 'net, this is useful information.

Over-reliance on spellcheck

Just because the word is spelled right doesn't mean it's the word you want.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How Venture Capital works in the Internet Security market

Interesting article over at Robert Graham's blog, using a recent startup flameout as an example of how the VC work works.  My track record has been sort of all over the map - at a successful IPO, at a successful acquisition, at a long, protracted zombie existence.  Robert lays it out the way it is.

If you're interested in how capital fuels Internet Security, this is a great article.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Lawdog Has Returned

Whatever else is wrong on the internet, the Lawdog is posting again.
"... Not being entirely gormless, my body (not currently admiring the shot that started this whole episode) spun, took two steps, and flung me at the lower limbs of the nearest mesquite tree ... about those two steps ahead of the enraged pig.

So.  There I am, hanging like a panicked sloth from the lower limbs by one ankle, one hand, and one wrist, while a Paleolithic-class hog stands below, loudly opining as to my ancestry and sexual proclivities, and daring me to come down..."
Go find how he got there and how it all worked out.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Truth


Apparently the Lord does not have favorites ....

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dave Mirra

Dave Mirra. BMX and X-Games star. 41 years old. Married with two daughters.

Here's a short video. It's not my sport, but what a talented guy.

 I opened the local newspaper this morning and he was on the front page. 

  I know I am hyperaware of this issue but this one is literally close to home.

Now that's a pie chart


550 Yards

Borepatch might recognize this field. His Enfield has been shot there. He got poison ivy cutting a load of firewood in those trees in the distance.

Last Sunday afternoon. 550 yards across the field. It was late and the light was fading. My shooting partner went first. He got his scope zeroed, took his shots, and then I had just a few minutes. I took 3 shots. They were all in the scoring rings on a 100 yard SR target. Not great. I think the rifle is capable of better. I think a 6 inch group is possible.

Now we are ordering some true 500 yard paper targets and an 18" steel plate. I want to try this range with my 1903A3 and iron sights.


If you open this image and start expanding it, you can see the target, it's at the edge of the treeline almost straight out from where the rifle is pointing.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Unrelenting Reality

You can pretend that vaccines are bad. Reality will eventually intrude. 
 A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunized against whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease. Tara Hills was stuck in isolation at her Ottawa home for more than a week with her sick children and her regrets about refusing to vaccinate them against the highly contagious respiratory disease. The Hills kids completed a course of antibiotics and were released from isolation Tuesday.
"I set out to prove that we were right," Hills said in an interview with the Washington Post, "and in the process found out how wrong we were."

An Officer and a Gentleman

This guy gave up his shot at the Hall Of Fame to serve his country:
Mitch Harris pitches for the St. Louis Cardinals. But he was in Boston last week to receive the Tony Conigliaro award, given by the Red Sox at the Boston baseball writers dinner to someone who exemplified the determination, grace and will with which Tony C. dealt with adversity in his all-too-short life. We think after you hear about Mitch Harris, you’ll be glad we shared his story, and you’ll perhaps understand why Richie Conigliaro, Tony’s brother, was in tears when he presented Harris with his award, and a banquet hall full of people were moved to rise to their feet. 
Unlike most recipients of the Tony C. award, Harris did not face a physical challenge he had to overcome. His test was of another sort, one that he elected to take on voluntarily, despite an awareness of the near-impossible odds he was facing. Mitch Harris burned with the desire to play big-league baseball, and had the talent to do so. But as a member of the Naval Academy, he had embraced another calling, one he renewed after his sophomore year. Midshipman Harris had the option after two years at the Academy to walk away. Instead, he signed a 2-7 commitment: two more years in the academy, five years of service as an office in the Navy.
Bravo Zulu.  This brings to mind what Ted Williams and Bob Feller did.

Hat tip: Chris Lynch, who also has a video of Archer as Magnum P.I.  Awesome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Careful who you put in charge of sales

Things seem kind of fishy here.


Climate Change as a political proxy measure

Rick emails to point out that the population simply isn't much interested in Climate Change:
A YouGov poll of 18,000 people in 17 countries found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern. Only Saudi Arabians were less concerned about global warming at 5.7 percent. The biggest concern for Americans was global terrorism — 28 percent of Americans polled listed this as their top issue.
Despite a big PR push by President Barack Obama to tout his administration’s global warming agenda, most Americans have been unconvinced it’s the country’s most pressing issue. A Fox News poll from November found only 3 percent of Americans list global warming as their top concern.
So why the intense focus by the political establishment?  Partly it's so that Democrats have an issue to run on this year that isn't their terrible track record of governance screw ups.  Partly it's about political donations from "Big Green" environmental movements.  Partly it's a desire (by both parties) for higher revenue from Carbon taxes and the like.

But the real message to take away from this is that it reflects the profound anti-democratic views of the entire governing class.  The concerns and desires of the governed are quite irrelevant - only the concerns and desires of the elite matter.

It's another example of the anarchy-tyranny in which we find ourselves: the anarchy (lack of effective approach to terrorism) is mixed in equal measure with tyranny (a continued push for Carbon Taxes, and damn the polls).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Heh

Well played, Netflix:


Monday, February 1, 2016

Dude. You had one job.


Did they blow the architecture, or the design?

But this is my new favoritist Twitter feed.  Via Chris Lynch, who finds the coolest stuff.

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Heh:



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