Sunday, December 28, 2014

usual suspects 2.0 : tip bots robbed

FYI, most bots running with this code (and its forks) have already been robbed

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CDC Confirms First Ebola Case Diagnosed In The US, In Dallas Hospital - Press Conference Live Feed

nobody reports it better

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bitcoin in the Philippines: A Perfect Cryptocurrency Storm

So how is it that the Philippines – a developing country with its share of geographical and economical problems – manages to be leaping to the front of the pack when it comes to bitcoin?

Some western entrepreneurs now regularly visit the country to check out the cryptocurrency scene’s progress, including Nick Sullivan from Silicon Valley-based ChangeTip.

There are two main ingredients that have brought about this state of affairs.

The first is remittances. The Philippines is the third largest recipient of money from its workers overseas, after China and India, with $22bn received in 2013.

Ron Hose, founder of bitcoin exchange, adds that “internal remittance, people in the Philippines sending money to family and friends in the country, probably adds $50bn to $70bn on top of that”.

Both flows of money can earn the legacy money-transmitting companies up to a 10% cut on average remittances of $200 – an industry that bitcoin companies could do very well in disrupting, lowering fees and still making good profit in the process.

The second ingredient is the incredible level of social interactions of the Filipinos. It’s not a myth to say that people are over-friendly and connecting the dots, making it both the selfie capital of the world and one of the most active social media nations.

Mobile penetration is already beyond the 100% milestone and, combined with the youngest population of South-East Asia and rapid growth, you have what some call the ‘perfect digital storm’.

Read more:

Produced for, this Bitcoin documentary looks at the history, the ideologies, and the conflict between the politics of the early-adopters and the VCs/entrepreneurs pushing to take Bitcoin mainstream. interviewed many of the leaders in the Bitcoin movement including Gavin Andresen, the former lead developer; Jeremy Liew, a venture capitalist; Erik Voorhees, one of the notable libertarians in the movement; Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of Coinbase; Peter Vessenes, head of the Bitcoin Foundation.

And by far the most out-of-this-world way to use bitcoin:

Richard Branson's commercial space company, Virgin Galactic, will accept Bitcoin in exchange for a ride into space. Yeehaw!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

UPDATE: Scotland Makes "Once in a Lifetime" Decision on Thursday... and they say... NAE

A West Highland terrier scampers past Scottish independence graffiti on a World War II defensive emplacement, near Pitternweem, on the east coast. Photo: by Kieran Dodds, Panos via National Geographic

A day to come seems longer than a year that's gone. -- Scottish proverb

SNP leader Alex Salmond has said the Scottish referendum is a "once in a generation opportunity".

Speaking to Andrew Marr he said that a simple majority, however close, would be accepted by both sides in the campaign and there would be a "generational" gap before another independence referendum.

The latest opinion polls ahead of the 18 September referendum have suggested the vote is too close to call.

10 questions on Scottish independence you were too afraid to ask

From passports to pandas, your questions answered about how an independent Scotland could change our lives.

The Simpsons' groundskeeper Willie has a few things to say prior to the Sept 18 Scottish elections.

Scotland the free: Remain part of Great Britain? Or should the Scots 'go it alone'?

Charles Wooley admits this story is personal.

You see, it's the story of his birthplace - Scotland - and the historic decision it must make in September.

Scots will vote on whether to remain part of Great Britain or to 'go it alone': to finally be free from the "Sasinacks", the English, who have lorded over them for centuries. There will be many whose knowledge of Scottish history extends only as far as Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart.

But for Charles, the argument over Scottish independence has been life-long and one that has his own family divided.

The Great Dictator Speech by David Hayman

Why Scotland voted "Nae"

The following post-referendum poll from Lord Ashcroft does a good summary of who voted how and why. However, the most telling distinction is the following:

Voters aged 16-17: YES: 71%; NO: 29%
Voters aged 65+: YES: 27%; NO: 73%

How will last night's vote look like in 5, 10 or 15 years when today's 17 year olds are Scotland's prime demographic?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Only Existing Photo of Einstein Blackboarding His E=MC2 Formula

At a public lecture Einstein gave in Pittsburgh in 1934, four hundred students were present when Einstein mathematically derived his famous mass-energy equivalence equation: E=mc2. This is thought to be the only surviving photo that shows Einstein working on that derivation, pulled from a halftone newspaper clipping by David Topper and Dwight Vincent of the University of Winnipeg, who discovered it in 2007.

If you look closely, you’ll see the mass-energy equivalence in the lower left hand corner of the blackboard on the right. You might notice that the famous equation says Δ E0=Δ m and E0=m instead of the expected E=mc2, Topper and Vincent explain in their paper: "It is the right blackboard that contains the equation. But its format may disappoint or confuse the average viewer, because from the start of the lecture Einstein employed the convention of setting the speed of light c to unity. Hence a close look at the lower left section of the right blackboard in [the picture] reveals the relation Δ E0=Δ m, and below it is E0=m. As far as we know, [this photo] is the only extant picture with Einstein and his famous equation."

h/t The Daily Galaxy via

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Farmed Humans

As an attempt to save millions of animal lives that are lost during laboratory testing, scientists are creating artificial micro humans that would replace these animals. Up to 90 million animal lives are lost each year due to experiments conducted on them.

The artificial human machines that are being developed will be as small as a microchip. Researchers also said that they would produce the same responses that humans would when exposed to certain substances, “either when inhaled, absorbed in the gut or circulated through the bloodstream.”

Uwe Marx, a tissue engineer from Technische Universität Berlin and founder of TissUse, a firm developing the technology said that if their system is approved by the regulators, then it would result in the shutting down of several animal testing laboratories in the country. The Times reported that within three years this machine would become a substitute for the animals.

Read More:

h/t: cryptogon

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Christine Lee Hanson

Christine Lee Hanson

She was flying to Disney World with her parents on United 175. Her father was on the phone with her grandfather, holding her in his arms as the plane impacted the World Trade Center.

She was 3.

Read More:

Connect the World?

Appropriately photographed under "WE TRUST" and at the end of Lincoln's nose. - c

A Stanford engineering team has built a radio the size of an ant, a device so energy efficient that it gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna – no batteries required.

Designed to compute, execute and relay commands, this tiny wireless chip costs pennies to fabricate – making it cheap enough to become the missing link between the Internet as we know it and the linked-together smart gadgets envisioned in the "Internet of Things."

"The next exponential growth in connectivity will be connecting objects together and giving us remote control through the web," said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering who recently demonstrated this ant-sized radio chip at the VLSI Technology and Circuits Symposium in Hawaii.

Much of the infrastructure needed to enable us to control sensors and devices remotely already exists: We have the Internet to carry commands around the globe, and computers and smartphones to issue the commands. What's missing is a wireless controller cheap enough to so that it can be installed on any gadget anywhere.

"How do you put a bi-directional wireless control system on every lightbulb?" Arbabian said. "By putting all the essential elements of a radio on a single chip that costs pennies to make."

Cost is critical because, as Arbabian observed, "We're ultimately talking about connecting trillions of devices."

Read More:

h/t: cryptogon

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Empires End

Image via Sodahead
by Jeff Thomas via Doug Casey's International Man blog
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson
Histories are generally written by academics. They, quite naturally, tend to focus on the main events: the wars and the struggles between leaders and their opponents (both external and internal). Whilst these are interesting stories to read, academics, by their very nature, often overlook the underlying causes for an empire’s decline.

Today, as in any era, most people are primarily interested in the “news”—the daily information regarding the world’s political leaders and their struggles with one another to obtain, retain, and expand their power. When the history is written about the era we are passing through, it will reflect, in large measure, a rehash of the news. As the media of the day tend to overlook the fact that present events are merely symptoms of an overall decline, so historians tend to focus on major events, rather than the “slow operations” that have been the underlying causes.

The Persian Empire

When, as a boy, I was “educated” about the decline and fall of the Persian Empire, I learned of the final takeover by Alexander the Great but was never told that, in its decline, Persian taxes became heavier and more oppressive, leading to economic depression and revolts, which, in turn led to even heavier taxes and increased repression. Increasingly, kings hoarded gold and silver, keeping it out of circulation from the community. This hamstrung the market, as monetary circulation was insufficient to conduct business. By the time Alexander came along, Persia, weakened by warfare and internal economic strife, was a shell of an empire and was relatively easy to defeat.

The Tang Dynasty

Back then, I also learned that the Tang Dynasty ended as a result of the increased power amongst the eunuchs, battles with fanzhen separatists, and finally, peasants’ revolts. True enough, but I was not taught that the dynasty’s expansion-based warfare demanded increases in taxation, which led to the revolts. Continued warfare necessitated increasing monetary and land extortion by the eunuchs, resulting in an abrupt decrease in food output and further taxes. Finally, as economic deterioration and oppression of the citizenry worsened, citizens left the area entirely for more promise elsewhere.

Is there a pattern here? Let’s have a more detailed look—at another empire.

The Spanish Empire

In 1556, Philip II of Spain inherited what was regarded as Europe’s most wealthy nation, with no apparent economic problems. Yet, by 1598, Spain was bankrupt. How was this possible?
Spain was doing well but sought to become a major power. To achieve this, Philip needed more tax dollars. Beginning in 1561, the existing servicio tax was regularised, and the crusada tax, the excusado tax, and the millones tax were all added by 1590.

Over a period of 39 years (between 1559 and 1598) taxes increased by 430%. Although the elite of the day were exempt from taxation (the elite of today are not officially exempt), the average citizen was taxed to the point that both business expansion and public purchasing diminished dramatically. Wages did not keep pace with the resultant inflation. The price of goods rose 400%, causing a price revolution and a tax revolution.
Although Spain enjoyed a flood of gold and silver from the Americas at this time, the increased wealth went straight into Philip’s war efforts. However, the 100,000 troops were soon failing to return sufficient spoils to
Philip to pay for their forays abroad.

In a final effort to float the doomed empire, Philip issued government bonds, which provided immediate cash but created tremendous debt that, presumably, would need to be repaid one day. (The debt grew to 8.8 times GDP.)

Spain declared bankruptcy. Trade slipped to other countries. The military, fighting on three fronts, went unpaid, and military aspirations collapsed.

It is important to note that, even as the empire was collapsing, Philip did not suspend warfare. He did not back off on taxation. Like leaders before and since, he instead stubbornly increased his autocracy as the empire slid into collapse.

Present-Day Empires

Again, the events above are not taught to schoolchildren as being of key importance in the decline of empires, even though they are remarkably consistent with the decline of other empires and what we are seeing today. The very same events occur, falling like dominoes, more or less in order, in any empire, in any age:
  1. The reach of government leaders habitually exceeds their grasp.
  1. Dramatic expansion (generally through warfare) is undertaken without a clear plan as to how that expansion is to be financed.
  1. The population is overtaxed as the bills for expansion become due, without consideration as to whether the population can afford increased taxation.
  1. Heavy taxation causes investment by the private sector to diminish, and the economy begins to decline.
  1. Costs of goods rise, without wages keeping pace.
  1. Tax revenue declines as the economy declines (due to excessive taxation). Taxes are increased again, in order to top up government revenues.
  1. In spite of all the above, government leaders personally hoard as much as they can, further limiting the circulation of wealth in the business community.
  1. Governments issue bonds and otherwise borrow to continue expansion, with no plan as to repayment.
  1. Dramatic authoritarian control is instituted to assure that the public continues to comply with demands, even if those demands cannot be met by the public.
  1. Economic and social collapse occurs, often marked by unrest and riots, the collapse of the economy, and the exit of those who are productive.
  1. In this final period, the empire turns on itself, treating its people as the enemy.
The above review suggests that if our schoolbooks stressed the underlying causes of empire collapse, rather than the names of famous generals and the dates of famous battles, we might be better educated and be less likely to repeat the same mistakes.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely. Chances are, future leaders will be just as uninterested in learning from history as past leaders. They will create empires, then destroy them.

Even the most informative histories of empire decline, such as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, will not be of interest to the leaders of empires. They will believe that they are above history and that they, uniquely, will succeed.

If there is any value in learning from the above, it is the understanding that leaders will not be dissuaded from their aspirations. They will continue to charge ahead, both literally and figuratively, regardless of objections and revolts from the citizenry.

Once an empire has reached stage eight above, it never reverses. It is a “dead empire walking” and only awaits the painful playing-out of the final three stages. At that point, it is foolhardy in the extreme to remain and “wait it out” in the hope that the decline will somehow reverse. At that point, the wiser choice might be to follow the cue of the Chinese, the Romans, and others, who instead chose to quietly exit for greener pastures elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately there’s little any individual can practically do to change the trajectory of this trend in motion. The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even profit from the situation.

This is what Doug Casey’s International Man is all about: helping you cut through the smoke and mirrors while making the most of your personal freedom and financial opportunities around the world. The free IM Communiqué is a great place to start.

# # #

[Yet, reading about the battles is so much sexier...]

In  480 BC at the battle of Thermopylae, the army of the city state of Sparta, held off the Persian army lead by Xerxes; said to possibly have as many as 2 million men. The Spartans only numbered 300.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Composting with Chickens

Once upon a time I used to try to keep the chickens out of the compost...

Read More:

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With a few simple steps and a couple of months time you can turn chicken manure into black gold for growing your vegetables and flowers in for nearly no cost at all. Composted chicken manure in high in nitrogen with generous amounts of phosphorous and potassium for plants overall health.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Money For Nothing - Dire Straits (and The Fed)

"Money for Nothing" is a song recorded by British group Dire Straits, which first appeared on their 1985 album Brothers in Arms and subsequently became an international hit when released as a single. It peaked at number one for three weeks in the United States, becoming their most successful single, and also peaked at number one for three weeks on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. In the band's native UK, the song peaked at number 4. The recording was notable for its controversial lyrics, groundbreaking music video and a cameo appearance by Sting singing the song's falsetto introduction and backing chorus, "I want my MTV". The video was also the first to be aired on MTV Europe when the network started on August 1, 1987.

~ ~ ~

"Money For Nothing"

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and chicks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's

See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he's a millionaire

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchens deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's

I shoulda learned to play the guitar
I shoulda learned to play them drums
Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
Man we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's, Lord

Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free
Money for nothin' and chicks for free
~ ~ ~

"Printed" Money For Nothing

World GDP growth expectations just hit their lowest in two years... and stocks didn't.

Read More:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ex-NSA Director, US Intelligence Veterans Write Open Letter To Merkel To Avoid All-Out Ukraine War

"Must, to prevent... contest... to prevent... war."

via Zero Hedge

Alarmed at the anti-Russian hysteria sweeping Washington, and the specter of a new Cold War, U.S. intelligence veterans one of whom is none other than William Binney, the former senior NSA crypto-mathematician who back in March 2012 blew the whistle on the NSA's spying programs more than a year before Edward Snowden, took the unusual step of sending the following memo dated August 30 to German Chancellor Merkel challenging the reliability of Ukrainian and U.S. media claims about a Russian "invasion."
Via AntiWar and ConsortiumNews, highlights ours

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift."

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on "intelligence" that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days. More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know."

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence. Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5, 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were "increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence" and told him flatly, "Powell’s presentation does not come close" to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to "widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic. Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can "shock and awe." In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the US have released represent the best available "proof" of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a February 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of "fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene." Burns gave his cable the unusual title, "NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES," and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that "Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO."

Just yesterday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev. "Yats is the guy," said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, "Fuck the EU."

Timing of the Russian "Invasion"

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

According to the "press service of the President of Ukraine" on August 18, Poroshenko called for a "regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives," said Poroshenko, adding, "we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances."

If the "new circumstances" meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to "regroup," to "rearrange" the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces. According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the "Russian invasion." That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that "the Russians are coming." (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the ragtag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
  •     William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
  •     David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
  •     Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
  •     Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
  •     Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)
  •     Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
  •     Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)


Kay: Arquillian battle rules, kid: first we get an ultimatum, then a warning shot, then we have a galactic standard week to respond.

Jay: A galactic standard week? How the hell long is that?

Kay: One hour.

Jay: One hour... then what?

[the message translation flashes across the screen: "MIB, DELIVER THE GALAXY OR EARTH WILL BE DESTROYED."]

Jay: Oh, now that's bullshit.

[the message adds, "SORRY." The countdown begins.]

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Electromagnetic Warfare Is Here

A briefcase-size radio weapon could wreak havoc in our networked world. It may seem strange that we should find ourselves in need of defending against electromagnetic generators, a kind of weapon most people have still never heard of. The reason is obvious: Not only is it getting easier to make these generators, but we are also becoming more dependent on the data networks those generators threaten.


Nikola Tesla: You're familiar with the phrase "man's reach exceeds his grasp"? It's a lie: man's grasp exceeds his nerve.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

India Imports Ebola

Hi, Readers!
I've been lurking about various news stories and none seem to have drawn my attention enough to take the time to share... except this frightening ditty. Heads up.



Airborne Ebola... coming to a flight near you.

via Mumbai Mirror

Seven flights carrying over 1,250 passengers - including 112 Indian expatriates - from Ebola-hit West African countries were to start landing in Mumbai starting 12.05 am on Tuesday. 

All 1250-odd passengers on these seven flights will be examined by doctors at the step ladder as they disembark.  

Passengers without any symptoms will be cleared and shifted to T2 in coaches for immigration and customs clearance. "Disinfection of the flights will be carried out once all passengers have de-planed," said the airport official. "Passengers for the next leg will be allowed to board these flights only after 30 minutes of the disinfection."

Flights under scanner

South African Airways flight SA 284 from Johannesburg to Mumbai -- 20 passengers. ETA: 12.05 am

Ethiopian Airlines flight No ET 610 from Adisa Ababa to Mumbai - 60 passengers. ETA: 4.40 am

Jet Airways flight 9W 302 Delhi to Mumbai -- 9 passengers. ETA: 12.05 pm

Jet Airways flight 9W 358 from Delhi to Mumbai -- 13 passengers. ETA: 12.35 pm

Emirates flight EK 506 from Dubai to Mumbai - 3 passengers. ETA: 2 pm

Etihad flight EY 7605 from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai - 2 passengers. ETA: 3.10 pm

Jet Airways flight 9W 362 from Delhi to Mumbai -- 5 passengers. ETA: 8.30 pm

~ ~ ~

and it just got worse...

Liberia: Dogs Feed On Ebola Victims - 

~ ~ ~

UPDATE: Six high-risk cases (suspect cases) of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were on Monday admitted to quarantine facility at the Delhi airport. ‘Six high-risk cases have been admitted on September 1, 2014 to quarantine facility at Delhi Airport. We are monitoring the situation closely and everything is in place to tackle any situation,’ said a senior health ministry official.  According to the union health ministry, ‘during past 24 hours, 181 passengers from the affected countries have arrived at the airports of Mumbai (71), Delhi (44), Chennai (22), Bangalore (26), Kochi (4), Trivandrum (7), Hyderabad (4) and Kolkata (3)’

 Read More:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Covertress Has Left The Dock

Vacation?  No, just paying some bills. I'll be back when I can. Thanks for reading. - c


Thank you.

Thank you, J.B.!
Thank you, S.S.!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jimmy Buffett - Son of a Son of a Sailor

Off the 1978 album of the same name.

As the son of a son of a sailor
I went out on the sea for adventure
Expanding the view of the captain and crew
Like a man just released from indenture

As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin' man
I have chalked up many a mile
Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks
And I learned much from both of their styles

Son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer

Now away in the near future
Southeast of disorder
You can shake the hand of the mango man
As he greats you at the border

And the lady she hails from Trinidad
Island of the spices
Salt for your meat, and cinnamon sweet
And the rum is for all your good vices

Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind
That our forefathers harnessed before us
Hear the bells ring as the tight rigging sings
Its a son of a gun of a chorus

Where it all ends I can't fathom my friends
If I knew I might toss out my anchor
So I cruise along always searchin' for songs
Not a lawyer a thief or a banker

But a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
Son of a gun, load the last ton
One step ahead of the jailer

I'm just a son of a son, son of a son
Son of a son of a sailor
The seas in my veins, my tradition remains
I'm just glad I don't live in a trailer

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Covertress Mid-Week - Weather, News, Entertainment

covertress, catching you up mid-week... source

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VR To - Stolen Nuclear Material Heading Into US

The US Strategic Command, the agency responsible for country's nuclear arsenal, will hold large-scale war games this week that will include 10 B-52 Stratofortresses and up to six B-2 Spirit bombers, along with other military and government agencies.


Russia Holds Drill To Repel Nuclear Strike

Russia Flew Near California In Upped Activity

Russian Air Carrier Sails Into English Channel

Russia Bans US From Using Space Station?!

Ukraine Army Warned To Leave Or Face War

WTF?!? Hunter Biden To Ukraine Gas Board?

FYI - US May Have A Terrorist 'Hands Off' List

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Self-styled revolutionary patriots plan to converge on Washington, D.C., this week to drive President Barack Obama and disloyal lawmakers out of office.

"We are calling for the removal of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Eric Holder as a start toward constitutional restoration," said retired Army Col. Harry Riley, leader of the Operation American Spring protest group. "They have all abandoned the US Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status."


Anyone Attending Please Read

Student Punished For Refusing To Stand

Tactical Firearms Sign Has People Talking

Texans Draw A Line In The Sand Over BLM

Utah Lawmaker Moves To Disarm BLM / IRS

Michelle Obama Goes Anti-Drone Campaign

Tenebroust Michelle Rant (Language Warning)

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Meanwhile, in Russia...

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Too Easy to End the World

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Five years ago the world was given a frightening glimpse into what will happen unless we reduce the number of redundant satellites in space when a working telecommunications satellite built by the US firm Iridium was struck by a defunct Russian Kosmos satellite. The computer models predicted the satellites would pass with half a kilometre of each other. Instead the collision, which took place at 26,000 miles per hour, created more 1,000 extra pieces of debris larger than 10cm – which are still causing problems to this day.

Given the carnage that can be unleashed by a collision, the array of redundant satellites provides an opportunity for malignant hackers looking to cause mayhem for strategic or anarchic reasons.
Mark Roberts, who pioneered the introduction of cyber elements into the war games that the MoD runs, hypothesised a scenario in which hackers take control of one or multiple redundant satellites and use them to crash into more vital ones.

"There are lots of satellites in orbit at the moment that have been taken off line," he explained. "They still have propulsion, they have the ability to be restarted. Somebody particularly nasty could hack one of these things and then start to manoeuvre it."

One Nasa scientist – Donald Kessler – even predicted a single large collision could produce enough debris to create a cascading effect where future collisions increase exponentially – making space travel and satellites impossible for a generation.

While the military has long prepared for the possibility of operating without GPS, emergency services are now beginning to consider having to do their jobs in such circumstances. Chief Superintendent Jim Hammond, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, warned that a 24-hour stoppage in GPS data within London would quickly have knock-on effects on transport, City trading as well as the emergency services' ability to communicate with or locate tagged criminals.

"The art of looking at a map is being forgotten," he said. "The rush hour might go from one to three hours."

Probably best not to throw away your A to Z maps just yet.

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Hacking Satellite
By Jim Geovedi and Raditya Iryandi of Bella Asia Pacific

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Real-Time Satellite Tracking

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When space is like a mousetrap:

...a single large collision could produce enough debris to create a cascading effect where future collisions increase exponentially...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Transmutation: Making Wastes Nonradioactive

Partitioning and Transmutation: Making Wastes Nonradioactive 

By Gordon E. Michaels, Chemical Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The word transmutation originates from the never-realized goal of ancient alchemists to transform, or transmute, the base metals into gold. Today scientists seek ways to transmute radioactive waste into nonradioactive elements, thereby eliminating the radiological hazards and waste disposal problems.

In accelerator transmutation of waste, an intense source of neutrons transmutes long-lived radioisotopes in less harmful waste.

An example of two radioactive isotopes that can be transmuted into less hazardous forms are technetium-99 and iodine-129. Both of these isotopes are very long-lived and require disposal strategies that will isolate them from the environment for long periods of time. Both iodine and technetium are considered difficult to isolate because they dissolve readily in groundwater and move easily throughout the ecosystem. Irradiation of the long-lived technetium-99 isotope by neutrons will cause it to absorb a neutron and become technetium-100, which undergoes complete radioactive decay into stable ruthenium within minutes. Similarly, the iodine-129 isotope can be transformed by neutron absorption into stable xenon isotopes.

Another class of radioactive wastes that can be transmuted into less hazardous forms are the actinide elements, particularly the isotopes of plutonium, neptunium, americium, and curium. When irradiated with neutrons in a nuclear reactor, these isotopes can be made to undergo nuclear fission, destroying the original actinide isotope and producing a spectrum of radioactive and nonradioactive fission products. Isotopes of plutonium and other actinides tend to be long-lived with half-lives of many thousands of years, whereas radioactive fission products tend to be shorter-lived (most with half-lives of 30 years or less). From a waste management viewpoint, transmutation of actinides eliminates a long-term radioactive hazard while producing a shorter-term radioactive hazard instead.

A challenging aspect of this waste management strategy is the required waste partitioning. Just as household wastes must be partitioned into categories, such as paper, glass, and aluminum, before they are recycled, radioactive waste must also be sorted before being recycled back into nuclear reactors.

One particularly challenging partitioning task involves the actinide and lanthanide (rare earth) elements. Actinide and lanthanide elements are chemically similar and, thus, very difficult to separate efficiently. Most lanthanide isotopes are nonradioactive, and the few radioactive lanthanide isotopes are long-lived, so there is little incentive to invest neutrons in transforming them into stable elements. However, lanthanide elements tend to absorb neutrons efficiently (they are so-called neutron poisons) and will prevent the efficient transmutation of americium and curium if they are intermixed. Improved methods of separating lanthanides from actinides are needed to reach the goal of actinide transmutation.

The largest program at ORNL focusing on partitioning and transmutation is investigating methods for accelerator transmutation of wastes (ATW). Conceived by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, ATW uses a linear accelerator system to produce neutrons for transmutation of excess weapons plutonium and other radioactive DOE wastes, such as technetium-99 and iodine-129. Activity at ORNL is centered on developing chemical separations technology, including processes for performing actinide-lanthanide separations, and on studying, designing, and ultimately testing the reactorlike flow loops in which the transmutation occurs.

A second program is developing technology for using a nuclear reactor to transmute the actinides in spent nuclear fuel from light-water reactors (LWRs). This program offers an alternative to direct disposal of LWR fuel in geological repositories. ORNL researchers are developing techniques for the front-end processing of LWR fuel to prepare it for introduction into the chemical partitioning system and are examining wasteform technologies for immobilizing some of the unique waste streams produced during the partitioning process. Additionally, we have performed several studies to characterize the benefits and disadvantages of recycling spent nuclear fuel.

Recently, interest at ORNL has turned inward to see whether partition-ing and transmutation offer any near-term advantages for management of some of our own radioactive wastes. Transmutation of highly radioactive europium isotope wastes (currently stored at ORNL solid waste area groups) into nonradioactive gadolinium isotopes appears to be practical and is being studied further. These europium wastes pose the dominant health risk to the public in certain environmental scenarios, and their elimination might be beneficial to the Laboratory. As proposed, the transmutation device would be the High Flux Isotope Reactor or the proposed Advanced Neutron Source. The physical and chemical partitioning of the radioactive europium from nonradioactive europium and gadolinium represents a key technology that must be developed for this task.

Ultimately, the potential of partitioning and transmutation to waste management is this: If a radioactive waste stream no longer exists, then it poses no radiological hazard. More than anything else, this simple fact has spurred the recent resurgence of interest in partitioning-transmutation technology.


Related Story: Accumulation Of Nuclear Waste Turning Into Atomic Time Bomb

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"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars." -- Carl Sagan

Related Story: The Nuclear Winter by Carl Sagan