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US Slaps Sanctions On North Korea After Sony Cyberattack

Eternal Vigilance Remember this event when listening to any US claim (231 comments)

This level of evidentiary "certainty" is what's used all the time by the U.S. to justify killing thousands with drones, or millions in war. It's merely easier in this case to recognize the claims as being laughably - or perhaps disturbingly - false.

What's even more frightening than the idea the U.S. would conduct an act of war just to save a large corporation from some bad PR is the realization the people doing this are either too clueless to know how obvious is their charade or they're too deranged or too honey badger to care.

I suppose one could go for the clueless deranged honey badger (with WMD) trifecta.

But as long as lies distract people from talking about CIA torture, Wall St. crimes and economic collapse, and anything else meaningful, and direct Americans' desire for accountability and punishment away from powerful people and onto shadowy phantoms...then the lies have worked.

about three weeks ago

Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

Eternal Vigilance The NK story was cover to protect Sony (and NSA) (282 comments)

Of course North Korea didn't attack Sony. Asking "Did North Korea really attack Sony?" is like asking "Does NORAD really track Santa?"

The North Korea story was spin to save Sony from the devastating bad publicity about the depths of their business and technological incompetence. (The politicians who defended them will get repaid for this favor during the next election cycle. My previous comment about this from last week: They may even start using this to try to rescue that disaster of a movie. "You have to see 'The Interview'! To support free speech and America!")

The Dear Leader Of The Free World announcing "don't blame poor Sony, they were helpless victims of the evil North Koreans" totally changed the media story, saving Sony huge $$$ in both public perception and future lawsuits.

But just how America's President and trillion-dollar national security state could get things so wrong - but should always be trusted when saying who's bad and deserves to be killed, like some kind of psycho-Santa delivering death from his sleigh filled with drones - will never be questioned.

Businesses and politicians will never stop lying when it works this well.

Merry Christmas.

about a month ago

North Korea Denies Responsibility for Sony Attack, Warns Against Retaliation

Eternal Vigilance The bogus NK claim protects Sony (and NSA) (236 comments)

The Sony hack is just a simple case of incompetent corporate management and the lengths to which big-money donors and their political friends will go to protect themselves and advance their own ends.

By claiming this is all North Korea (the best Korea!)'s doing, what was initially lose-lose (Sony burns their multi-billion-dollar business to the ground, and the NSA gets exposed for not having any ability to stop it or even give warning) is now suddenly win-win (Sony gets to portray itself as a helpless victim and thus no liability, and NSA gets to argue for even more spying).

Sure makes it easier to avoid bad press and expensive lawsuits when the President himself comes out and tells the world "It wasn't Sony's fault."

(I bet that will be worth a lot come campaign contribution time. Sort of the Hollywood version of how Obama sold all Americans to the health businesses, in exchange for their support and donations to D's.)

And the Rahm Emanuel playbook - "Never let a good crisis go to waste" - is still clearly in use in D.C. Instead of people demanding to know "why didn't the outrageously expensive and unconstitutional NSA surveillance of every American (and the whole world) protect anyone against this?" the political spin can now be "see, this is why we need restrictions on everyone's use of the Internet."

(As an amusing political side note, even though the Republicans are well aware North Korea had nothing to do with this, and are seething at how the Democrats will be able to use Obama's move for huge amounts of Hollywood support in 2016, the R's can't say a damn thing - because if they do they end up looking like they're defending North Korea!)

But it is impressive the level of influence some people have. "Tell Obama we need him to hold a press conference and say our negligence and malfeasance that destroyed our company wasn't our fault."

They may even start using this to try to rescue that disaster of a movie. "You have to see 'The Interview'! To support free speech and America!"

Who knows, maybe someone will even dig up from the Archives that patriotic old WWII song "Good Old Sony."

about a month ago

Congress Passes Bill Allowing Warrantless Forfeiture of Private Communications

Eternal Vigilance Re:So much for curbing NSA surveillance, motherfuc (379 comments)

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

OK...so I should believe everything I read on the Internet?

ominous Star Trek music begins to play

about a month and a half ago

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

Eternal Vigilance A lesson with perhaps unintended consequences (644 comments)

Never ejaculate anywhere near America.

At least, not without your lawyer present. ;-)

To be safe, your lawyer and all parties involved should probably be male.

(I wonder if this court recognizes their attempt to defend heterosexual reproduction is also indirectly championing gay sex? I guess it's a reproductive politics version of the "dropping a cat with an open-face peanut butter sandwich on its back" paradox.)

"Kansas Welcomes You And Reminds You Of The Severe Consequences Of Non-Homosexual Sex"

1 year,1 day

Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

Eternal Vigilance Hardware vs. software implementation...of slavery (464 comments)

You see, the easiest slave to control is one who doesn't realize he's a slave.

"Totalitarian" governments control their populations physically, with chains, clubs, physical restriction. "Democracies" control their populations mentally, with imagery, thoughts, mental restriction.

They're both the same process - one implemented in hardware, the other in software.

about a year ago

Reuters: RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA

Eternal Vigilance Land of the Free Range (464 comments)

Well said. History is just the cognitive version of those hagiographic paintings rulers like to put up in the palace.

And as far as "Land of the Free," there's free as in speech, free as in beer, and free as in range. Americans are "free" in that final sense: "Land of the Free Range."

Hey, at least we're waking up.

"When we said 'We the People,' we didn't mean you."

about a year ago

Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper

Eternal Vigilance Re:Google's first try got the age algorithm wrong (157 comments)

Nope, stopped reading reddit long ago after discovering the mods' penchant for silently censoring comments and entire story threads they didn't like.

That the original Doodle might have accurately depicted poor-but-industry-accepted COBOL coding practices (i.e., approving and committing code where the program logic is wrong but the result of the calculation may still appear correct if an invisible dependency on a separate section of the program happens to work out in the programmer's favor) is either deeply nuanced, deeply disturbing, or both. ;-)

(Showing enough COBOL to correctly calculate age-in-years would make for a verrrry long Doodle.)

about a year ago

Google Doodle Remembers Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper

Eternal Vigilance Google's first try got the age algorithm wrong (!) (157 comments)

The first version of this Doodle got the algorithm to compute age wrong (!). The original version of the Doodle used the COBOL expression

SUBTRACT CurrentYear FROM BirthYear GIVING Age

which actually computes the negative of the age (for most people born after Christ, anyway).

I wondered whether this might be a nod to her pioneering work in software debugging, as also referenced in the flying moth at the end of the animation, but since Google has since corrected the bug, it seems even the mighty Google still sometimes commits the simplest of programming errors. (Right on their main page and logo, too. Oooops. I suppose there's also the view that the code was wrong because it was a woman doing the coding. You misogynist Google bastards.)

Whatever the reason, happy birthday and many thanks to Amazing Grace.

(full disclosure: I submitted this as a story overnight, but since it didn't get picked up, it seemed too funny to let it completely slip into the ether.)

about a year ago

Cricket Reactor Inventor Says $1mil Prize Winners Stole His Work

Eternal Vigilance Well, the prize *is* for "business ethics" (131 comments)

"The mandate of the competition," Dzamba notes, "is to instill business ethics among college and university students..."

Hmm, steal the winning idea, take the prize money, threaten to sue the original inventor...I'd say the competition succeeded.

about a year ago

San Francisco Fire Chief Bans Helmet-Mounted Cameras For Firefighters

Eternal Vigilance Make Hayes-White the new DNI (209 comments)

"There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount" - Joanne Hayes-White

Joanne Hayes-White and James Clapper should trade jobs.

about a year and a half ago

Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

Eternal Vigilance From Microsoft - the masters of great UI (338 comments)

Given how shoddy Microsoft's interface to computing has been over the decades, I'm nauseated by the idea of the same people creating - and if this patent is granted, controlling - an interface to (some subset of) reality.

Though it's ironic that people who used to insist text was the only interface the world needed and anyone who wanted more was mentally feeble are now basing a patent application on their ground-breaking insight that text is sometimes limiting.

I do look forward to all the hilarious ways this latest variation of the intelligent PDA will screw up.

"It looks like you're trying to murder your father and marry your mother. Would you like help?"

p.s. The appropriate solution to students finding textbooks boring is better textbooks and a society that demands quality education for its people. What Gates and Myhrvold are attempting to provide is the educational equivalent of an energy drink - instead of true health and fitness.

p.p.s. Knowing how difficult the process is Gates and Myhrvold are attempting to claim they can implement, I'm surprised TFA didn't include


[0011] FIG. 1 and then a miracle occurs.

about a year and a half ago

Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?

Eternal Vigilance C'mon, show some real imagination (772 comments)

If the BBC truly wanted to do something different, they'd make the next Doctor Who a Dalek.

about a year and a half ago

Half of Tor Sites Compromised, Including TORMail

Eternal Vigilance FISA: Where nothing could possibly go worng (583 comments)

No no no, you don't understand. That 100% rate just proves how good and trustworthy the whole secret system is!

about a year and a half ago

Twitter Wants To Hire 88 Engineers, IPO Signs Grow

Eternal Vigilance #ipo #overvalued #buyanyway (32 comments)

I wonder if the Twitter red herring will fit in 140 chars? "1. ad tweets 2. ??? 3: #PROFIT"

about a year and a half ago

Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

Eternal Vigilance Because Congress' goal is to privatize the USPS (867 comments)

Why don't we just let the price of stamps rise to where it makes sense, instead?

Because that would allow the USPS to continue operating smoothly, and is thus illegal.

The goal of both parties of Congress is to sell off the lucrative USPS to private interests. In order to do that Congress and its owners must trick the public into believing their valuable USPS is a failing, worthless business.

The USPS cannot - by law - raise the price of stamps by anything more than the "rate of inflation" the government announces. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a politically-motivated number, since higher rates of inflation reflect badly on politicians and cost the government money in payments keyed to CPI. So the USPS is legally prohibited from raising prices to reflect its costs, and even the amount it is allowed to increase is artificially low.

The USPS is prevented from doing what every other business is allowed to do - change its prices to reflect changes in its costs - and then the results of this Congressional restriction are used in Congress as an example of how the USPS is inept and inefficient and must be privatized!

This legal constraint on the revenue side is matched by a legal requirement for the USPS to wildly increase its expenses. The same law restricting increases in USPS revenue requires the USPS pre-fund 75 years worth of retiree health benefits - while private businesses are being allowed to completely renege on even existing pension agreements.

(There's also a little backstory here about Congress mandating these huge front-loaded payments. The USPS had been overpaying into its pension fund and was actually going to be able to reduce the amount it needed to pay, but because of unified federal budgeting, USPS payments into its pension fund counted as revenue to the entire government. Congress required these huge payments from the USPS to make sure Congress didn't have to reduce its own spending. But that's a detail, like robbing a person already being murdered for their bodily organs.)

The goal of this simultaneous restriction on revenue and increase in costs is to force the USPS into bankruptcy and paint the USPS as an expensive failure so the public will accept having another valuable public resource sold off at fire sale prices to private interests.

Said a shorter way, what "makes sense" from the standpoint of the public makes no sense at all from the viewpoint of those who feed off the public.

about a year and a half ago

Doug Engelbart Passes Away

Eternal Vigilance Thanks, Doug. You were a good guy. I'll miss you. (124 comments)

You not only changed our world for the better, you were a good human being. Even with all your success you always remained thoughtful, generous, and kind. That touched my life even more than all the technological innovation. How you were with people was even more important than what you did for them.

Thanks for everything, and most of all thanks for being such a role model for me, Doug.

I'll miss you.

about a year and a half ago

Plate Readers Abound in DC Area, With Little Regard For Privacy

Eternal Vigilance Excuses "beyond what anyone had imagined" (268 comments)

But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.

Ahh, the Washington Post/MSM and their standard excuse of "no one could have imagined" when finally forced to report the consequences of the sociopathic behaviors of the ruling class (consequences that were not only warned against at the time of the original behaviors but that they themselves were part of insisting were impossible).

"No one could have imagined America's war in Viet Nam would have such disastrous consequences."

"No one could have imagined rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas would devastate the economy."

"No one could have imagined attacking other people's countries would create anti-American sentiment."

"No one could have imagined repealing Glass-Steagall would lead to such rampant speculation by Wall Street."

"No one could have imagined misleading our readers would have them stop reading our newspaper."

more than 3 years ago



Google Doodle Honoring Grace Hopper Has A Real Code Bug

Eternal Vigilance Eternal Vigilance writes  |  about a year ago

Eternal Vigilance (573501) writes "Today's Google Doodle honoring the 107th birthday of computer pioneer Grace Hopper has a bug (no, it's a feature!) in the COBOL algorithm to calculate age. The animated gif uses the expression "SUBTRACT CurrentYear FROM BirthYear GIVING Age" — but since CurrentYear >= BirthYear that actually calculates the negative of the person's age. Whether this bug is truly a bug, or a subtle reference in code to go along with the animated bug at the end of the doodle celebrating Hopper's popularizing of the word that is both the bane and job security of the world's programmers, the doodle doesn't calculate. Perhaps this is as close as we get in COBOL to a joke (there's your setup, +5 Funny people)."
Link to Original Source

Is this historic Apollo X image of Earth flipped?

Eternal Vigilance Eternal Vigilance writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Eternal Vigilance writes "I was looking at some of the classic images from the LIFE photo archive and I noticed this famous picture of Earth as taken from Apollo X. I'd seen it many times before, but reading the caption ("View of earth taken fr. Apollo 10 space ship, w. peninsula of Baja, CA seen through swirling cloud cover.") had me look more closely. The geographic feature visible is definitely the Baja peninsula, but I struggled to recognize it — until I realized this historic picture is flipped L-R!

Has humanity seen this image for 40 years and not noticed we had our view of ourselves backwards?"

Link to Original Source

Eternal Vigilance Eternal Vigilance writes  |  about 8 years ago

Eternal Vigilance (573501) writes "ESPN's front page story follows up on Genarlow Wilson, who as a promising 17-year-old Georgia high school student in 2005 was convicted of aggravated child molestation for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl. His sentence? 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Because of the negative publicity, the state of Georgia has re-written the law used to convict Wilson, making Wilson's behavior a misdemeanor and not a felony. But they chose to not make the law retroactive, which means that even though his act is a simple misdemeanor today, Wilson will still stay in prison for 8 more years. The Georgia Supreme Court heard his appeal, but last month voted 4-3 (4 white justices to 3 black) to keep him in prison.

The District Attorney's office has the power to reduce his sentence, even release him tomorrow, if it wishes. But they have a condition — they apparently want Wilson to "take his medicine" and admit to being a child molester before they set him free."


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