And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Linkee-poo, come and make me holy again

"It's a collection of short stories, with varied subjects: a World War II veteran on Christmas Eve in 1953, a California surfer kid who makes an unsettling discovery. There's time travel. In every story, Hanks sneaks in the machine he's so obsessed with — the typewriter."

Bank makes error, charges customer fees, admits error, doesn't refund fees. Why, it almost seems intentional. Like banks are making more money in fees than they are by making loans and investments.

"While maneuvering in Rhode Island's Newport Harbor, the tall ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry lost power late Sunday, colliding with nearby boats before running aground." Well fuck. If I had less of a brain I'd make a parking break joke here (which is why I'm not running some high-power ad agency).

"A penguin colony in Antarctica has suffered a massive breeding failure, with only two chicks surviving the disaster." Considering the same colony suffered another mass death of chicks four years ago, this is not good.

"A drone crashed into a commercial airplane in Canada, the first time such an incident has occurred in the country, the government said Sunday." Okay, just going to mention the frozen chicken tests here and thinking that a drone probably isn't as tough as a chicken, but whatever.

Apparently public/private key encryption is hosed. "The flaw resides in the Infineon-developed RSA Library version v1.02.013, specifically within an algorithm it implements for RSA primes generation. The library allows people to generate keys with smartcards rather than with general-purpose computers, which are easier to infect with malware and hence aren't suitable for high-security uses. The library runs on hardware Infineon sells to a wide range of manufacturers using Infineon smartcard chips and TPMs. The manufacturers, in turn, sell the wares to other device makers or end users. The flaw affects only RSA encryption keys, and then only when they were generated on a smartcard or other embedded device that uses the Infineon library." So far, it looks like it's isolated to just that software and hardware, but I wouldn't be so sure (prime numbers are hard).

And also in security news, "An air of unease set into the security circles on Sunday as they prepared for the disclosure of high-severity vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II protocol that make it possible for attackers to eavesdrop Wi-Fi traffic passing between computers and access points." Bye-bye open Wi-Fi. (Grokked from Dan)

In the opioid "crisis" the pharmaceutical companies are just innocently supplying the product and it's up to doctors and pharmacists to regulate… "The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns." Yeah, not so much. Here's the corrupt influence of industry lobbyists who sometimes (okay, a lot of times) write the legislation themselves. This is what corporate control of civilian government looks like.

And speaking of corporate control of government, yes, the Koch brothers are still driving conservative politics.

Why are mercenaries a bad idea, and why was their a prohibition on hiring (and at one time being one) in the US? "Though Puerto Rican law prohibits ownership and bearing of most long-guns and especially semiautomatic weapons, the streets of the stricken US colony now throng with mercenaries in tactical gear bearing such arms, their faces masked. They wear no insignia or nametags and won't say who they work for, apart from vague statements in broken Spanish: 'We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico.'" Dear un-identified mercenary, failure to wear insignia or identify yourselves is a violation of Geneva and UN conventions (and a violation of US Law). IANAL, but you might want to rethink that outlaw culture because the converse of the situation is you are outside the protection of the law.

About that whole, "Let the ATF regulate bump stocks" red-herring. "And while the NRA and some lawmakers are calling on the ATF to review the classification of bump stocks, former ATF officials and gun control advocates say that's a difficult hill to climb for several reasons… For one, the bureau's hands are tied by current law, said Kristen Rand, the legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, which advocates for gun control." Yes, the NRA knows this. It's their "enforce existing laws" stance (which isn't adequate) for deflecting any chance of actual gun control regulation. Also note that bump-stocks are not the only device for converting a semi-automatic to give rates of fire similar to an automatic.

"The death toll from two truck bombs in Somalia’s capital reached 300 on Monday, as the deadliest attack in the country’s decade-long war with Islamist extremists signaled that the insurgency is far from defeated, despite years of U.S. counterterrorism operations." The thing you didn't hear about over the weekend.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, "Hours after moving to reclaim control of the northern city of Kirkuk, Iraqi government forces said Monday that they had reached the outskirts of the city, seizing oil fields and other important sites from Kurdish forces that had held the territory since 2014."

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