Sep 28, 2014

"What are you prepared to do?"

Flashpoint Ferguson. The saga so far:
  • An 18 year old black teenager, unarmed, is shot down by a police officer.
  • The teenager dies, his body left in the spot for hours.
  • The officer's report contains no details.
  • The police chief refuses to reveal the officer's name for days, and when he does, includes an unrelated bonus reel of the teenager allegedly stealing and scuffling with a store clerk. Clarifies that the officer had no knowledge of this incident at the time of the shooting.
  • Many, especially blacks, are outraged; FOX News digs deeper into the teenager's past; protests and vigils are held till some in the crowd start looting; followed and preceded by an alarming display of police force with intimidation of the press and protesters alike.
  • The DA does not indict or arrest, instead convenes a grand jury and proceeds to present unknown evidence, leaving it to them to decide what charges.
  • The jury has till early January 2015 to decide.
  • Meanwhile fundraising efforts are underway, the one for the officer take in more donations than the family of the dead teenager. The fundraising organizer is a noted political bigwig, and a prominent member of the governor's circle.
  • Independent witnesses reports are remarkably consistent: the teenager was fleeing when the officer opened gunfire and was surrendering with his hands up when he is shot dead.
  • Numerous journalists and social media activists dissect the events, with stories about alleged cover-ups, incompetence, and purported holes in the police stories.
  • All through this, the purported civil-rights leaders appeal for peace while demanding justice.
I have no idea what justice is supposed to look like; I suspect it is one that involves an indictment, conviction and some time in prison. Preferably on first-degree murder charges.

Sep 26, 2014

Security In Media: Scorpion - S1E1 - Pilot


Scorpion is a new show on CBS about a group of genius misfits who are geniuses. That may sound redundant, but it's far less repetitious than how this show beats you over the head with how genius these genius-level geniuses are. If every letter in the word "genius" was a genius, then the level of genius-ness of one of these geniuses would be some large number instances of the word "genius." A number so large I can't even think of it because I'm not a genius. Of course, since they are geniuses and this is Hollywood, they are also socially inept criminals. Because, you know, the idea of a group of geniuses successfully and cooperatively working for the government is just too bizarre for people to handle.

But, this is not about the dissection of cliche TV tropes. It's about Information Security in Media. While it doesn't appear that this show will solely be about things IT related, they chose that as their plot for the premiere episode. The premise is this: communication software for the LAX airport control tower was just updated. That update contained a bug that crashed the software, severing communication between the control tower and incoming planes. While they were able to redirect some of the planes destined for LAX, there are others that are too close to LAX and too far away from other locations to be contacted. They need to get the software up or those planes will run out of fuel and crash.

Spoilers and foul language ahead

Dunford and his (not) $3 million casa (not) for sale.

There are several things one cannot say about Andrew. No, if I knew what they were, I'd be yodeling them now, wouldn't I? But there is ONE thing one can say about Andrew. He knows his cricket. Again no,
I have no idea why this image is here
not the gryllidae family, but the allegedly soporific sport. Other than that, he is a Kiwi-Brit. For those in the civilized world that treats nachos as a delicacy, that's the ecclesiastical ephemeral equivalent of a Puerto Rican Yankee. 

Because New Zealand is Australia's Canada. Just as Lake Forest is Mission Viejo's Mexico.

There is an ancient Spanish proverb, or at least there should be 
"Un yak embarazada en el maletero es mejor que dos en el asiento delantero." 
That seems so spectacularly inapplicable here that I'm forced to mention it, because no one else will dare dream of doing so. As Google and the UN translator on standby loosely translates it (Beta version, accept at your own risk, or your neighbor's, I don't give a damn anymore) 
"A pregnant yak in the trunk is worth two in the front seat."
Now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, they say.  Hey pal, you look where you want to, and I'll look where I damn well please, OK? Besides, what do they know?

Damn Luddites!

Anyhoo, as I was not saying, this Dunford dude ("bloke" for the Polynesians and Yezidis) has a house for sale. Location, location, location. No, I haven't a clue as to where it is located, or why I wasted that clever alliterative figure of speech, but that's all Andrew would divulge. I think it has something to do with the 140 character limit on Twitter, but I suspect an ulterior motive. Something more sinister. Macabre, almost. No, not Stephen King macabre, more like Edgar-Allan-Poe-write-only-bot who-has-been-trying-to-follow-me-on-Twitter-macabre. To which I say: Back off pal, do mosquitoes sucking on mummies ring a bell?

It is almost as if the Scotland Independence vote didn't go his way. I suspect that he was rooting for a draw, because they just do not have enough of those in Test Cricket (sp?) these days.

Recently (BIG SPOILER ALERT AHEAD), he took to Twitter to whine about (that be "whinge" in Antipodea I and II), get this, giraffes. Now, if this were the Deep South, the preceding sentence would have started with "Y'all not gonna believe this, but the fake pommie wants to gab about giraffes." Sensitive as I am to overcoming other people's xenophobia, I suggest that Andrew register himself with this premier site: G.D.B.P.W.S.N.B.D.G. That's right, he's probably awful at drawing 'em giraffes. There, I said it, somebody HAD TO!

Sometimes, I wonder.  

Sep 12, 2014

The Art of Thinking out Loud(er): The Loudening

Like a bad penny, <— note clever pun here Penny, I'm back! Admittedly, this may not be as highly awaited a sequel as Sharknado 2, but that's only because I didn't bring any tornadoes with me. Or sharks. Since this is an election year, the right way to settle whether or not mine is a welcome return is through a totally scientific poll.

Are you furrit?
First let me get a root canal
online poll creator