BMEWS
 
When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Sunday - March 13, 2011

I’ve got the updating blues…

Yes, I finally decided to update to MacOS 10.6 Snow Leopard. (who names these things? Why the cat fetish?) As expected, some of my favorite third-party apps either no longer work at all, or are crippled. Sapiens is crippled. The ‘search’ function no longer works. Sticky Windows is completely busted. I expect I’ll have to buy the new version when available.

Meanwhile, to make up for the lack of Sticky Windows, I’ve increased my use of Spaces, an included function of MacOS.

Yeah, I know, Macker is laughing at me. Or with me. He may have had the same problems.

Which brings me to BMEWS. I had problems posting for the last two days. I normally use FireFox as my browser. I normally preview my posts. Three times I tried to preview a post in FireFox, it took me back to the Expression Engine page. Drew and peiper will know what I’m talking about. The post that I’d lovingly spent so much time on was lost.

I suspect I need to upgrade FireFox. Until then, I’ve found that Safari does the job.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 03/13/2011 at 12:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceEditorials •  
Comments (6) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - February 26, 2011

Firefox Tips for avoiding blacklist punishment

Have you ever lost a great comment here because the blacklist filter spit out your post? You can’t post certain links here, but you can avoid the punishment of losing your whole comment if this occurs. This happened to me this morning, so I found out several ways to work around it.

Firefox users can go into about:config and set dom.disable_window_open_feature.toolbar to TRUE, which will override any Java window.open setting a blog engine might use. That way you ALWAYS get the toolbar in a new popup window, even if the blog is set to not give it to you.

Another way is to learn the Firefox keyboard shortcut, Alt-Left Arrow, which will take you to the previous screen. So it works the same way, but without anything visible. Blacklist message? Alt-Left, then edit your comment and resubmit. You do have to remember the shortcut though.

A third way is for me to change to the parameters of the popup comment window so that it always has the browser toolbar visible. This is easy to do, now that I know how and where to do it. It makes the comment window load a tiny tiny bit slower. I tried it, it works, but I went back to having it set to ‘off’ for the time being. If folks would prefer to have it on, sing out in numbers, and I can do that.

A fourth way is to set your browser to force all popup windows to open as a new tab. That gets you the back button by default because the new tab is still within your original browser window. It should be a tick or two faster to open a new tab instead of a whole new browser window as well. In Firefox this is done in about:config by setting the value for browser.link.open_newwindow.restriction to 1. See http://www.techzilo.com/firefox-power-optimization-tips-shortcuts/

Fifth way: when in doubt, try the obvious. D’OH!!! Using the backspace button will take you from the blacklist message back to the comment editor. It will not take you from a properly submitted comment back to the editor though.

The blacklist filter is usually quite useful, but sometimes it is a real pain. And I hate losing a big essay of a comment because of it. I’m sure you do as well. So know you know. Other browsers ought to have similar kinds of adjustments, so do a bit of research if you have to.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/26/2011 at 06:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffComputers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 16, 2011

Today’s Face Palms

image



1

Stuxnet Worm Code Hacked and Released

The group of anonymous “hacktivists” that made headlines for online cyberattacks in December just released a bombshell online: a decrypted version of the same cyberworm that crippled Iran’s nuclear power program.

The ones and zeroes that make up the code called the Stuxnet worm—described as the most sophisticated cyberweapon ever created—were reportedly found when the faceless group hacked into the computers of HBGary, a U.S. security company that the anonymous collective viewed as an enemy. And the security experts FoxNews.com spoke with said the leaked code was serious cause for concern.

“There is the real potential that others will build on what is being released,” Michael Gregg, chief operating officer of cybersecurity firm Superior Solutions, told FoxNews.com. Gregg was quick to clarify that the group hasn’t released the Stuxnet worm itself, but rather a decrypted version of it HBGary had been studying—which could act almost like a building block for cybercrooks.

Stuxnet was designed specifically to take over those control systems and evade detection, and it apparently was very successful. But Dave Aitel, CEO of Immunity Inc., painted a firm line between the version of the worm that destroyed Iran’s nuclear plant and the code released by Anonymous.

“What they’ve released is essentially incomprehensible,” he told FoxNews.com, saying that what the group found was far removed from the raw worm that has been “travelling around Iran destroying nuclear things.”

“This is essentially just a translation. HBGary took the worm in the wild and translated it into a slightly easier to read format,” Aitel said. He notes that Stuxnet is still a threat, however, and the more dangerous raw version of the worm—or the “binary” version—is still easily accessible for those wishing to use it maliciously.

The Anonymous group released the Stuxnet code on February 13, after finding it in a database of e-mails it stole from HBGary. “First public Stuxnet decompile is to be found here,” one representative of the group wrote over Twitter.

Horry clap. The most powerful computer worm ever written, one custom design to wreak mayhem on industrial systems, and Dan Dipshit and his team at HBGary are sending the code around the office on an email. And it’s a cyber security firm. Do they know NOTHING about actual digital security? This is like putting a hydrogen bomb on the front seat of your car, then leaving the door open and the motor running while you run into the store for a quick plate of falafel in Gaza. Gosh, who would ever think the car would get stolen? You study computer viruses on completely isolated networks. No internet connections, no email servers, no floppy disks, no flash drive ports. No connections to anything outside that network whatsoever. IDIOTS. Oh, but don’t worry, this is just a decrypted version of the decompiled source code. Yeah, because nobody out there knows how to write Assembler anymore. And there is no such thing as decompilers that can take executable code and give you back Java, C, or whatever source language you want it in. We are utterly fucked.



2

Scandal at DOJ: smuggling to pad statistics on U.S. guns in Mexico

A brewing scandal at the Department of Justice involving an illegal scheme to pad statistics on U.S. guns in Mexico threatens to erupt as U.S. Senator Charles Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee begins an investigation.  ATF agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives--a DOJ agency--allegedly smuggled U.S. guns into Mexico in order to bolster the Department’s disputed contention that Mexican drug cartels are armed primarily with U.S. guns.  Whistleblowers within the ATF contend that one of the these guns was used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry in December of 2010. News of the murder and the underlying scandal that prompted it was first reported on December 28, 2010.

Rather than launch an internal investigation into the murder and the illegal scheme, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder, according to ATF whistleblowers, instead attempted a coverup.

The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee wants Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to explain why Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents allowed suspected gun smugglers to purchase and keep assault rifles that later may have been used in the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

In a letter, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa said ATF agents told his staff the agency allowed the sale to “known and suspected straw purchasers for an illegal trafficking ring near the Southwest border” and two of those weapons reportedly were recovered at the site of the Dec. 14 shootout that killed Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry.

Mr. Grassley said the ATF had been tracking Avila‘s firearms purchases since November 2009 and while at least one Arizona gun dealer wanted to stop participating in sales “like those to Avila,” the ATF encouraged the dealer to continue selling to suspected traffickers and asked the dealer to forward information about the sales to the ATF.

He said the dealer who sold the weapons believed recovered at the scene of Terry‘s death met with both the ATF and federal prosecutors in December 2009 to “discuss his role as a FFL (federal firearms licensee) during this investigation.”

It has long been known that the ATF/BATFE is even more out of a loose cannon than the IRS. But this is just insanity. There’s a war going on across the border, and the meme the left puts out is that it’s all America’s fault because of a) our demand for drugs, so let’s legalize them, and b) if we weren’t selling them the guns there wouldn’t be much of a war. ( I guess the cartel boys would just have to cut each other with knives, like proper Mexicans ). So to prove their hypothesis, BATFE orders gun dealers to sell lots of guns to aliens and known straw purchasers, using the “reason” that this will let ATF know who these purchasers are and then put them on a list. And they’ll know where the guns are going. As if “south of the border to be used by the cartels in their ongoing drug war” isn’t 10,000% bloody obvious!

And Holder and his rats immediately deny the whole thing, and claim it’s all a political witch hunt. Sure it is.

Maybe I should have found a triple face palm graphic, because this story just keeps on giving. After using this guy Avila to make all these gun purchases, which the ATF enabled by twisting the gun dealer’s arms, they go and bust him and his ring, but only manage to collect 103 guns. The other 666 are missing!

the ATF allegedly encouraged the dealer to continue selling to suspected traffickers and asked the dealer to forward information about the sale to the Bureau . . .

In addition to these specific weapons, the indictment of Avila and others references approximately 769 firearms.  Of those, the indictment refers to the recovery of only about 103 weapons.  So, where are the other approximately 666 weapons referenced in the indictment?

There is lots more to this story. Google up “operation gunwalker” and follow as many links as you need to, to try and understand the situation. Hey, let’s not forget that half billion in special foreign aid Hillary just laid on Mexico to fight crime. Maybe that’s more like a “keep this on the down-low” payoff? Is it truly the US foreign policy to solve the cartel war down there by arming up both sides so that they’ll kill each other off faster? Isn’t that the same crap idea we used back when Iraq and Iran were poison gassing each other in the swamps? How’d that one work out for us in the long run? I forget. But this new twist, of using that arming as a political lever to push for taking away rights from our own citizens, is a first. Scumbags.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/16/2011 at 02:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsGovernmentGuns and Gun ControlStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Sunday - November 14, 2010

PC brought back to life

Ok, it took a day or so of messing about, but I’ve got the machine up and running again. After 11 years of daily use, 6-15 hours a day, my hard drive final developed a single bad spot. About 40,000 hours I think. Wouldn’t you know it, it was right on the boot information area. So I had to do the full rigamarole to make it better. Boot from a disk - ha, what’s a disk? Took me 2 hours just to find them! - run the diagnostics, move the files, mark the sector, clean out the trash, toss extra files, uninstall junk programs I never use, compress and defrag the HD, et cetera et al. I have a whole slew of digital computer tools that almost never get used, but when things go all topsy-turvy, I’m glad they’re there. That is, if I can get the machine up and running in Safe Mode to get to them.

So anyway, crisis avoided, Window put back in, service packs and a quarter million security updates reinstalled, blah blah blah ... and it’s a computer once again. And it even boots a bit faster, now that I’ve once again trimmed down all the myriad background processes that Windows wants to run.

Hey Peiper, nice cartoon with the bears there. Looks awfully familiar somehow! LOL Thanks again!!

Meanwhile, I’m spending today ... cleaning grout!  Did you know that there are actual blogs devoted exclusively to cleaning grout? Wow. And you thought BMEWS was dull and boring sometimes. Ha! But when you really need to learn what works, those grout blogs are priceless. Baking soda and lemon juice not doing the job? Worried about using Clorox? Should I scrub down the grout lines or across them? Grout blogs have the answers!

Allow me to save you time: Go buy a couple pounds of pure, unencapsulated sodium percarbonate. Put a double handful in a gallon of hot water, and mix it with a wooden stick for 3 minutes. Mop it out on the tiles, let it sit for about half an hour, then scrub it a bit. Then mop it up and then rinse things off a couple times. Ta da, done. Better than in your wildest grout cleaning dreams. [ and if you are dreaming of cleaning grout, you really, really, really need to get laid!!! ] Sodium percarbonate is the stuff that puts the Oxy in OxyClean. Except that OxyClean is only about 50% percarbonate, the other 50% being sodium carbonate - also known as washing soda and soda ash; ie, regular detergent. The pure stuff is about 4 times more effective than OxyClean, but you should wear rubber gloves and eye goggles. And you have to rinse things. Who cares? This stuff will clean everything, from wooden decks to shingles to concrete to dentures to yellowed curtains to killing the algae in your little pond to cleaning carpet to dishes, laundry, and you can even use it to sterilize your wort pot and your carboys if you are a home brewer or winemaker. For as big a revolution as Billy Mays started, he was really only selling you the mild version of the chemical. The only thing is does poorly is soften up soap scum in the bathtub.

But Google up the grout blogs and pay them a visit anyway. Those folks have put in a lot of effort, so they deserve some readership.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/14/2010 at 07:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceDaily Life •  
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calendar   Friday - November 12, 2010

PC issues of the other kind

PC almost kills the Gingerbread Man? Unreal.

Meanwhile, my PC is having problems here. Nothing fatal I hope, but after 10 years of all day use, you never know. I’ve got to run some diagnostics and so forth, and see what I can do to clean this old puppy up and find some space on it’s whacking great 25Gb hard drive. I think I can do that safely. I think I can, I think I can.  It will take a few hours though. Posting later I hope.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/12/2010 at 04:40 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - September 30, 2010

Cyber Warfare

"We” seem to be winning this one. Not that anyone is admitting to making the attack, although “everyone knows” and has known for weeks now that it was that little nation on the east end of the Med ...

http://debka.com/article/9050/

Poor, poor Iran. Can’t run their nuclear plant without computers, can’t run their air defense system without computers, can’t target their missiles, can’t properly monitor their oil industry without computers. Probably screwing with the power grid at this point. And it seems that all their computers have caught a nasty germ and have called in sick. “Stux” to be them!

Kewl. This is better than a plague of locusts stink bugs ( a war we are losing ).




So now they are asking foreigners for help? Wonder who will answer the call? Russians? Chicoms? NorKs? Sure as heck better not be anyone from US, EU, or India.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/30/2010 at 12:50 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 19, 2005

For The Geeks

Just for the computer geeks out there, what does this code do? Here is the “Morse Source” (in the key of C, of course) ....


#define DIT (
#define DAH )
#define __DAH ++
#define DITDAH *
#define DAHDIT for
#define DIT_DAH malloc
#define DAH_DIT gets
#define _DAHDIT char
_DAHDIT _DAH_[]="ETIANMSURWDKGOHVFaLaPJBXCYZQb54a3d2f16g7c8a90l?e’b.s;i,d:"
;main DIT DAH{_DAHDIT
DITDAH _DIT,DITDAH DAH_,DITDAH DIT_,
DITDAH _DIT_,DITDAH DIT_DAH DIT
DAH,DITDAH DAH_DIT DIT DAH;DAHDIT
DIT _DIT=DIT_DAH DIT 81 DAH,DIT_=_DIT
__DAH;_DIT==DAH_DIT DIT _DIT DAH;__DIT
DIT’\n’DAH DAH DAHDIT DIT DAH_=_DIT;DITDAH
DAH_;__DIT DIT DITDAH
_DIT_?_DAH DIT DITDAH DIT_ DAH:’?’DAH,__DIT
DIT’ ‘DAH,DAH_ __DAH DAH DAHDIT DIT
DITDAH DIT_=2,_DIT_=_DAH_; DITDAH _DIT_&&DIT
DITDAH _DIT_!=DIT DITDAH DAH_>=’a’? DITDAH
DAH_&223:DITDAH DAH_ DAH DAH; DIT
DITDAH DIT_ DAH __DAH,_DIT_ __DAH DAH
DITDAH DIT_+= DIT DITDAH _DIT_>=’a’? DITDAH _DIT_-’a’:0
DAH;}_DAH DIT DIT_ DAH{ __DIT DIT
DIT_>3?_DAH DIT DIT_>>1 DAH:’\0’DAH;return
DIT_&1?’-’:’.’;}__DIT DIT DIT_ DAH _DAHDIT
DIT_;{DIT void DAH write DIT 1,&DIT_,1 DAH;}

For the answer, click “Continue Reading” ....

See More Below The Fold



Posted by    United States  on 04/19/2005 at 06:10 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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