Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

How was Syria able to shut down the internet?

In Nerds only, Polytricks on November 30, 2012 at 11:31 am

Its day 2 of internet blackout in Syria.  I was curious about how the government was able to do it in 3 minutes!  There are three submarine cable and one overland cable from Turkey providing the ‘pipe’ to the internet in Syria.  The speed of the shut-down suggests that they weren’t cut.  What probably happened is that  the state-run Syrian Telecommunications Establishment shut-down  BGP sessions with the worldwide internet.  This was easy to do since the internet is a state monopoly in Syria.

My feeling is that the regime is getting desperate in Syria.  The same stunt was tried and failed in Libya and Egypt.  Internet freedom activists have already set up dial up servers to service Syria.  So how easy is it to turn off the internet?  Renesys has produced a map showing which countries in the world are vulnerable to having their internet arbitrarily shut-down by the government.  Turns out its as simple as having less than ten internet service providers in the country.





The Hippies were right..

In Polytricks on November 29, 2012 at 7:31 am

I think its important to take a look back at what the Hippies were trying to do nearly 50 years ago now.  They were laughed at as naive fools, derided as spaced-out pollyannas, ridiculed as crypto-communists.  But lets face it, history has proved them right.  They were right about destroying the environment, right about the war, right about corporations, right about the media, right about the government.. I could go on and on.. but facts are facts.. the reactionary swine have ruined the planet and our future.

In the last 50 years corporations have managed to corrupt and co-opt the public discourse and public funds.  Corporate ‘Think Tanks’ have undermined and overwhelmed real academic research.  In fact corporate money has completely co-opted research period.  The ‘public airwaves’ endless bleat corporate propaganda to hide the simple fact that its capitalism for us and socialism for them.  Big Oil and car corporations have successfully put Climate Change on the back burner, guaranteeing the destruction of our planet within our lifetimes.  And of course the Military-Industrial Elite have kept wallowing in public loot by starting endless resource wars.. pfffttt!!.. The Hippies were right goddamn it!

They are still cleaning up Chernobyl?

In Polytricks on November 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

News that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is spending $2 billion to fund a huge dome over Chernobyl nuclear plant caught my eye.  So I guess the present cement sarcophagus is still leaking dangerous amounts of radiation and the capital of Ukraine, Kiev is only 60 miles down the road.  This new “new safe confinement” structure was supposed to put in place 9 years ago.  Now its due to be completed in 3 years time.

After the 1986 explosion at reactor four, the remaining three reactors at the power plant continued to operate. In 1991, reactor two suffered a major fire, and was subsequently decommissioned! (never heard about that), then  in 1996, reactor one was shut down, followed by reactor three in 2000.  How could they safely operate their nuclear reactors inside the 2,400 sq km Chernobyl Exclusion Zone?

To me this just shows that the costs and risks of nuclear energy are just way to high.  Its clear that all the assurances given by governments and the nuclear industry are just hot air.  Mikhail Gorbachev  said that Russia spent $18 billion on containment and decontamination.  I notice that ‘foreign donors’ are funding the latest push to cap the leaking radiation.  I would say that they need to build a lot of these domes at Fukushima, how long is that gonna take?  A 2007 Russian study published by the New York Academy of Sciences claimed 985,000 ‘premature’ deaths due to Chernobyl disaster….

Prosecution of hacktavists in stark contrast to US war crimes

In Polytricks on November 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

Interesting article by Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian the other day.  In it Greenwald contrasts the relentless and unlawful attacks on WikiLeaks by the USG and contrasts it with relentless hounding of the hactavist collective known as Anonymous.  I think its important to remember why the USG is so angry at WikiLeaks.

Remember the video of the appalling murder of journalists in downtown Baghdad?  Even the people who came to help the injured were butchered, children were amongst the casualties.  That happened five years ago. Has the USG prosecuted any of those cowboys for murdering civilians?… Nope,  but they sure hate WikiLeaks for blowing the whistle on their war crimes.

Anonymous has repeatedly launched DDOS protests against PayPal, Amazon, Master Charge and Visa to protest their role in unlawfully freezing funds for WikiLeaks.  The USG has caught up with some of these guys and thrown the book at them.  The damage done by these hactavists in defence of the best whistle-blowing web site in the world pales in contrast to the vile war crimes committed by the USG in Iraq as the above video shows.  Hypocrites!!

I think its important to remember what a DDOS attack really is.  It has been called digital graffiti, a digital sit-in.  A temporary protest.  But hactavists are treated like terrorists??.. pfffttt!!.. Here is a WikiLeaks, Master Card parody… ;o)

Egypt president sacks top judge

In Polytricks, Uncategorized on November 26, 2012 at 8:52 am

President Morsi sacking of the country’s top judge has set off a fire-storm of protest.  I find it ironic that protesters who brought down the Mubarak regime are now rioting in support of the Mubarak-appointed judges that refused to charge anyone for the murder of almost thousand demonstrators during the Egyptian revolution.  I was amazed when Morsi fired the top Mubarak general Tantawi.  That took real guts.  It also takes guts to fire judges that are so clearly still in the pocket of the discredited Mubarak regime.

Its important to remember that this judge was part of the group that disolved the new Egyptian parliament three short months ago.  What did they expect the president to do?  He has to rule by decree since they have undermined every democratic parliamentary move.  There must be many who are alarmed by a Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt, namely Israel and the USG.

This is their worst nightmare come true, their corrupt puppet (Mubarak) is in jail and the anger and resentment of the Egyptian people against the manipulation from Israel and the USG is plain to be seen.  In fact I wonder out loud if the vicious and unlawful attack on Gaza would still be going on without a revolution in Egypt.  Here is a pimer on Islamophobia for Dummies…





Did Karl Rove try and throw the election (again)?

In Nerds only, Polytricks on November 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

Startling article about Anonymous putting a firewall around Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s unapproved ‘software patch’ on election night.  The Ohio vote counting machines went down while Karl Rove was ranting and raving that the numbers out of Ohio were wrong.  The ‘software patch’ was supposed to throw the state to Romney but Anonymous got there first.  Rove was left gob-smacked, realizing that his ‘fix’ had been circumvented.  .

Here is the second part of the above video where the nuts and bolts of election machine hacking is explained.  The election machine hardware and software are all owned by the Republicans, then the software is programmed to give the ‘right’ vote-count.  There is no paper-trail no way to audit these machines, the software is proprietary.. riiight!..

Karl Rove has been called the most powerful unelected official in the US.  He has also been affectionately called ‘Turd Blossom’ by the man he unlawfully put in the White House, George Bush.  I call him an unindicted felon, a poster-boy for all that is wrong and corrupt with the US election system.  Here is Thom Hartmann’s very interesting, unknown election history of  skulduggery from Nixon to Bush.  Well worth watching.

Thom Hartmann continues with how Reagan cut a deal with Iran to release the hostages on his election day.  It just shows how far these criminals will go to win the presidency.

Craig Unger has written a book called “Boss Rove” where he details how Karl Rove fixed the election results in Ohio in 2004.  He obviously was expecting to pull off the same scam in Ohio in 2012, but he didn’t factor in Anonymous.  Turns out the Republican machine wasn’t running so smoothly on election night, the much ballyhooed “Orca” program totally collapsed.  But somehow Mitt forgot to write a concession speech.  What did he know that gave him that kinda confidence?  Here is Turd Blossom himself, huffing and puffing about Obama taking Ohio… but… but…. what about my fix??..ha..ha.ha…

Turd Blossom?  I dunno.  That is kinda an insult to all flowers growing out of a turd.  Rove is more like a turd’s turd.  A turd that grows out of a turd,  a perfect allegory for the mind-blowing corruption of the US election system.

Ottawa trying to shut down independent salmon testing

In BC Polytricks on November 24, 2012 at 8:30 am

The dirty salmon war on the BC coast just got a whole lot dirtier yesterday with the continuing witch-hunt of Dr. Fred Kibenge.  Even since he blew the whistle on the connection between corporate salmon farms wiping out wild salmon stocks, Dr. Kibenge has had his laboratory repeatedly raided and inspected.  His world renowned lab in Prince Edward Island is one of only two labs testing for salmon disease in the world.  The other lab is in Norway.  Norway controls 92% of BC’s highly unpopular salmon farms.  Its not hard to see who is behind trying to shut down his lab.  But it is sickening how the Harpercrites in Ottawa are running interference on behalf of foreign agri-business.

I’m a big fan of Alexandra Morton.  She has tirelessly fought against salmon farms on the BC coast.  Almost single-handedly she has publicized the dangers and destruction of Norway’s salmon agri-business on the coast.  But she is up against government and corporate corruption of staggering scale.  Dr Kibenge has confirmed what she has been campaigning against for decades.  Friends of the Earth are calling a spade a spade and have written an open letter protesting the gagging of yet another Canadian scientist to further the corporate agenda.

The Norwegian Fish Farming industry has endlessly hidden unpleasant facts and attacked its critics.  The Federal government has endlessly stalled, lied and tried to bullshit the people.  Here is Alexandra Morton succinctly explaining corporate feeding habits… ;o)


New Sailboat speed record

In Boats on November 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

Sailrocket 2 has recorded the 100 km/h (54 knots) sustained speed in Walvis Bay, Namibia.  This beats the previous record by the trimaran Hydroptere of 95 km/hr (51 knots).   Sailrocket 2 looks more like a proa to me and I have never seen a multi-hull with that kinda beam (40 foot length, 40 foot beam).

Its pretty mind-boggling that these guys were able to squeeze peak speed of 60 knots out of a 25 knot wind.  Just proves again for me a theory of mine that the ancient Melanesians were the greatest boat-builders of all time, basically millenniums ahead of everyone else.  Here is my favourite proa video of some guys smoking across the lagoon in the Marshall Islands.  I got a kick out of the coconut crabs tied to the outrigger.  These guys look so relaxed but you can see how fast they are going by the dark rocks whippin’ underneath them… ;o)

Big Brother never stops trying to control internet

In Nerds only on November 22, 2012 at 7:37 am

In an unprecedented move Google has initiated an online petition against the UN’s ITU conference in Dubai next month.  The conference is designed to give ITU members a ‘kill-switch’ to shut down internet content that they don’t agree with.  The whole conference is a train-wreck.  There is nothing good that possibly can come out of giving the likes of China or Russia  the right to change content on the internet.  Yet again we have a secret deal, written behind closed doors which we are supposed to just accept because a bunch of fascists with acronyms behind them want it?

Google has been joined by other internet heavies like AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, CISCO etc.  These companies never had a problem allowing government backdoors to their internet services.  So how bad is this deal that they are protesting now?.. ;o)

So for me this is rather like closing the barn door long after the horse has bolted.  These backdoors operate in ‘real time’ and have been installed on all PC’s since the 1990’s.  I guess the USG doesn’t want Russia and China to have the same illegal access to its citizens.  The invasion of our privacy online is totally out of control.  And for what?  So some creepy spook can unlawfully run some ‘minority report’ style ‘pre-crime’ software that makes us all criminals for thinking for ourselves???.. pfffttt!!!




Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, warns agency

In Weather on November 21, 2012 at 4:56 pm

The European Environment Agency has today warned that climate change is impacting all regions in Europe.  the last decade (2002-2011) being the warmest on record, with land temperatures 1.3°C warmer than the pre-industrial average.  The data shows that rainfall is increasing in Northern Europe and falling in Southern Europe.  Of course these climatic changes not only affect health but also the economy of Europe.  This has investor groups alarmed that the economy will be slowly but steadily destroyed by the rising costs of climate change. Here is a prescient video warning from Climate Scientist Stephen Schneider in 1979.

So its not like we haven’t had plenty of warning about what is going on.  The unprecedented weather events of the last few short years have chastened many deniers.  But like the cigarette lobby fighting to keep their cancer-sticks in the marketplace, we have the nauseating spectacle of the climate change denier industry buying enough political muscle to stop even talk of another Kyoto Deal… pfffttt!!.. Here is Bill Maher’s take on the climate change deniers.

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