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Independence Day

By Mahons On July 4th, 2020 at 7:04 pm

Today I’m celebrating our Independence Day. Not withe some boastful claim that a Utopia was created when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, but with the knowledge that a unique and historical step forward advancing the ideals of man was undertaken. In the chaos of history no ideals can themselves absolve us of the struggle for equality, freedom and justice. It is work, and not just the work of one generation. Sucess is never total, and failure often rides along with progress. But advancement and the framework for advancing forward was set forth on that day, 244 years ago. A great experiment was lauched and a great journey undertaken. At its core a dream that all men are created equal, a dream held through nightmares of inequality during times when some people even gave their lives in the hope that the dream would be fulfilled. A dream that still is a dream, but one that has come closer to reality, and not because people pretend it is so, but because people have fought to make it so. A nation where the best have always led the way to reconcile the dream with reality. And where they have called upon the people to continue to strive to embrace those ideals.

When the next virus comes along, we might not be so lucky.

By Patrick Van Roy On July 4th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

Guest post by Dave

 

Sometime during the late 2000’s a new virus was spreading at an alarming rate. But masks and social distancing wouldn’t save you from infection. This virus was first identified in Belarus. Within just a few days it infected computers in almost every country in the world.

Most computer viruses usually have one, maybe two methods of transmission. But this new virus had seven methods it could use to infect other devices. This is unprecedented. Whilst it could be spread by usual methods, such as Email, file sharing and over the local network, even wireless networks, it could, without any user interaction, also replicate via any USB connection. The instant a USB dongle or computer was attached to the infected device, it was also infected. Another unusual thing about this virus was took advantage of something called a zero-day exploit. A zero-day is a security flaw in a piece of software or firmware that is unknown to the people created it. So when the virus exploits the security flaw, the programmer has spent zero days attempting to fix it. Zero-day exploits are incredibly rare. Amazingly, this virus contained four of them. Experts called this the greatest malware ever created.

For such an advanced virus however, this one wasn’t causing harm to almost all of the systems it was infecting. It was specifically looking for certain computers in a specific country, attached to specialist hardware, and by design the vast majority of computers infected by this virus, were in Iran. The goal of this virus was to infect a very specific piece of hardware called a Siemens PLC unit. This device controls and monitors centrifuges used in the enrichment of uranium. Whoever developed the logic for this virus had to know exactly how these incredibly complex control units and centrifuges worked. This is akin to rocket science.

Once this virus eventually found its way onto the intended target systems, it wasted no time getting to work. It started analysing and copying the logs that every centrifuge produced. After thirteen days of quietly doing this it started the second phase of its goal, it began to increase the spin speed of all the centrifuges, way beyond their safe limits for fifteen minutes at a time. It then quickly slowed down the centrifuges to just a few revolutions, for another fifteen minutes. This variance stressed the finely tuned machines far beyond their operational limits, cracks and fractures started to form in these sensitive aluminium devices. But this wasn’t the end of the virus’s deviousness. Like the plot straight out of a James Bond film, the virus took the log data it had recorded for the last two weeks and played it back over the real log data, to make it look like everything was working normally. This virus would repeat this procedure every twenty-seven days so as not to arouse suspicion in the engineers for as long as possible.

Whilst the amount of damage and time lost to Iran’s nuclear program is difficult to ascertain, there’s no doubt that this virus caused significant cost and delay to their nuclear program.

This virus, codenamed Olympic Games by the NSA was a multi-million dollar joint effort between the NSA, GCHQ in the UK and Unit 8200 in Israel.

Iran didn’t take this attack by a superpower, (and its allies) lying down. They hit back with concentrated cyber-attacks on Saudi oil refineries, American banks and big businesses and other western interests.

So what happened in 2010 was probably the world’s first small scale cyber war.

Can covert technological warfare cause as much damage as guns and bombs? Oh yes. By targeting critical infrastructure, enemy nations can cause massive disruption to our livers through no more than lines of computer code. And the potential for damage and disruption, is only going to get worse. We are seeing a world more reliant on, and using technology than ever before, with critical infrastructure everywhere. The vast majority of manufacturing facilities, finance and businesses are connected and reliant on it. With robots and self-driving vehicles, including commercial aircraft, as well as hundreds of millions of remotely controllable, connected devices, from smart devices in the home to complex industrial production lines becoming more commonplace, surly it’s only a matter of time before a malicious virus causes incredible damage and brings a country, or indeed, the world to a standstill. Or worse.

Stuxnet was just the beginning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet

Words of Wisdom

By Patrick Van Roy On July 4th, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Happy 4th of July

By Patrick Van Roy On July 4th, 2020 at 2:42 pm

A Good Speech

By Patrick Van Roy On July 4th, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Saturday is New Times Day

By Mike Cunningham On July 4th, 2020 at 1:41 pm

Adjust my diet

I have been trying to reduce the big roll of fat for about three weeks. I stopped the sensible dietary regime about four-odd months back, and my weight has ballooned because I have eaten lots more of all the wrong foods. So I decided, somewhat reluctantly to go back onto the regime which, for me, works. I won’t bore you with the details, as that which works for one old man would probably bring problems to another, who is possibly different in either metabolism, general health or need to reduce that same fat.

But, as we all know, things change; and I have decided to introduce, immediately, a new item to my diet. It will be either the oil, water or flesh of coconuts. But from only one specific country will my chosen coconut products be from; and that of course will be Thailand. Why Thai coconuts: you may well ask? Well, because some do-gooder alerted Carrie Symonds, our Prime Minister’s latest child’s mother; to the discovery that in that Country, enterprising Thai farmers have trained pigtailed Macaque monkeys to climb coconut trees and knock down the nuts to the waiting farmers below. As monkeys can knock ten times as much as humans can, this is good for both the farmers, and for those who would be waiting to enjoy the by-products of their work. If she succeeds, and more supermarkets ban these products, I will go online and buy the oils, flesh and water. I won’t be told by some bloody busybody what to eat, or not to eat, just because she thinks its terrible for the Bloody Monkeys!

Become a Morris Dancer / Man Read the rest of this entry »

Ahh a glorious weekend….

By Patrick Van Roy On July 3rd, 2020 at 9:52 pm

Time to whip up a few raw facts, some ole Negro wisdom light a fine Dominican cigar and lay out the tale.

244 years ago 13 became one force.  A small nation of heavily armed shithoarders and individualists with one underlying philosophy….. anyone can get rich because we’re all going to play by the same rules. Over the next 244 years it’s been pretty much the same.

Make your money anyway you can as long as you’re not hurting anyone or exploiting anyone. Well the second one has been the problem, and always will be. First Law of Ferengi Business was stolen from America. Rule #1 Exploitation begins at Home.  The country went to war with itself over exploitation. Slavery is it’s ultimate form, but we fight exploitation everyday it’s human nature. The Strong prey on the weak.

People say we are living in harsh times. In the decade from 1963 to 1973 there were over 250,000 riots in the United States, In April of 1968 110 cities burned for 4 days when King was murdered. The violence taking place now is nowhere near disaster levels. They are mild if anything.

They locked everyone in their homes for 4 months, it was only a matter of time before it got violent. This is pressure and steam barely even being vented. The more people get back to work the less of this nonsense there will be, it will still happen. One or two cities go insane with riots every summer, it’s expected.

Come 6 months from now there won’t be a single riot, everyone will be back to work and enjoying a bountiful Christmas, because that is who we are and who we will always be.

We are the Greatest Nation to be founded in the Planets History where even a poor half black half white kid with an absent Daddy can grow up to be President elected by a majority of white people…… twice. There is no racism in America, but we do have the fatherless among us that were taught that their problems stemmed from the shade of their skin rather than their lack of a Father, a HighSchool Diploma, lack of morality, and lack of a job……

I’m tired of the race bating. I grew up in Philly and ran into just as many black racists as white racists What I have never seen in 60yrs is race stop anyone from achieving anything they were willing to work for.

We’ve only just begun……

ATW FRIDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX

By Pete Moore On July 3rd, 2020 at 7:26 pm

Because Friday night is Music Night

Another week done at the coalface of capitalism, which means that tomorrow is our Independence Day. The pubs can re-open, which all people of sound mind will welcome. The Left doesn’t welcome it. No surprise there. The Labour Party grew out of the temperance movement and they’ve been petrified ever since that someone, somewhere, might be having a good time. Here’s an idea: if you like a drink and want a drink in a pub, go to the pub. If not, don’t go to the pub. I know, I’m such a proper liberal.

Have fun whatever you’re up to this weekend. I might drop by the local. The pub is very important in my village. I’m not itching to get back in there but I think we should spend a few quid on good businesses which we need to survive. As always, feel to share your top sounds down below –

#DumpTheJunk

By Mike Cunningham On July 3rd, 2020 at 7:16 pm

One of the many things which remain to me a complete mystery is why many supporters of all major Football Clubs buy, at some considerable cost, ‘Replica Shirts’ featuring  their ‘heroes’ so that; presumably, they can imagine they are their real-life heroes. Or at least their kids, whose slim frames are those who will wear the ‘Replica’ image of their heroes. I say ‘the kids’, because the idea of the average Brit. football fan being the owner of the same athletic,  agile, super-fit frame and muscled body of one of those ‘heroes’ is, to put not a too fine a point on it: pushing reality a bit. They also buy the programmes, the scarves, the mugs (porcelain, naturally) and the rest of the garbage put out by the Marketing Departments, of all those clubs; especially for all the mugs (thats right, the clubs all look upon those who buy the tickets and the assorted garbage as ‘MUGS’) and fans to buy. It is exactly the same as the vast majority of airline staff look upon the passengers who used to climb the stairs, or tramp the endless yards towards the aircraft loading gates, and describe them as ‘Self-loading Cargo’.

As I have maybe stated before, I neither know, nor indeed care, about most sports,  and in particular Football. But I hear, through the world-wide grapevine that some football fans have decided that they are not going to be taken for ‘MUGS’ any longer.

Most football fans will have heard reported, or indeed seen, the video of a small aircraft towing a banner over Burnley football stadium; and the banner reading “White Lives Matter Burnley”’. The banner was flown at nearly the same time as the footballers were all ‘taking the knee’, in the stadium, in presumed support of the Marxist ‘blacklivesmatter’ bunch of anarchists. Faster than a speeding bullet, the Police investigated if there had been a breach of some Law or other, and, frustratingly to some; the answer came that ‘No apparent infringement of any Law had been detected. Detected! Lancashire police said that after assessing all the information available surrounding the incident, the force had concluded “that there are no criminal offences that have been disclosed at this time”.  Read the rest of this entry »

WHAT’S RACIST TODAY?

By Pete Moore On July 3rd, 2020 at 7:03 pm

Wine and The Little Mermaid are racist today.

Carry on.