Westinghouse down but not out

Forbes
James Conca , | Contributor

Westinghouse Bankruptcy Shakes The Nuclear World

On Wednesday, Westinghouse Electric Company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in New York to restructure itself as a result of costly problems at the AP1000 power plants it’s building in Georgia and South Carolina.

Westinghouse has obtained $800 million in debtor-in-possession financing from a third-party lender to help fund and protect its core businesses during this reorganization.

Its Japanese parent company, Toshiba, declared that its nuclear power business has already lost $6 billion, which could go up to $10 billion, and is seeking ways to limit its liability. Toshiba shares have lost over $7 billion in market value this fiscal year.

Westinghouse selected the Shaw Group, led by James Bernhard Jr., to spearhead construction. Bernhard, a wheeler and dealer, ../

In the meantime, Westinghouse turned to a real nuclear construction contractor, Fluor Corporation, to get the nuclear plants back on track, but it is too early to tell how successful they will be. Even with the cost overruns and delays, these reactors should get completed and they should still have lower life-cycle costs than renewables or new coal.

More: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/03/31/westinghouse-bankruptcy-shakes-the-nuclear-world/#10d7370f2688

It’s unclear to this simple laymen why they originally would have gone with the nuke-upstart Shaw Group? A big company like Westinghouse and Toshiba…like shouldn’t they have seen this coming? On the other hand Fluor — a company even I worked under a short time — is an old standard, and dependable.

Why did it take them so long, and make it so costly, to turn to them? Just seems they were out to cut corners(costs) from the beginning and got burned. What else explains it? Plus some inner-industry ego rivalry. Now they’ll pay for their errors.

But then the way media were starting to report the story as if Westinghouse was finished. And likely it will be spun into an anti-nuclear power story, which it is not if you read this report. In fact, nuclear energy should be enjoying a resurgence. Thanks Westinghouse-Toshiba [sarcasm], you didn’t do the sector any favors.

Tech libs restless in Silicon Valley

Report: Silicon Valley ‘Wants to Fix This Election’

by Joel B. Pollak26 Sep 2016 | Breitbart

The popular tech blog TechCrunch reported Monday that Silicon Valley giants are so worried about the rising prospects of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that they are scrambling to find and fund ways to encourage more people to register to vote — presumably for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

In a story titled “Tech really wants to fix this election,” TechCrunch reporter Kate Conger reports that “tech companies from Google all the way down to small startups like Sam Altman’s VotePlz, which launched a million dollar registration sweepstakes today, are trying to” boost registration.

Moreover, “although most claim to be nonpartisan,” Conger notes, “it’s clear that Donald Trump’s unusual campaign has ignited investors and pushed them to act.” She adds:

More http://www.breitbart.com/california/2016/09/26/silicon-valley-report-tech-wants-fix-election/

I wonder if that also goes for other creative ways to affect the results of the election? I’m sure Google et al are on board now, doing whatever they can. How far will they go?

Real time results on elections?

A new organization wants to call the progress of elections, the winning or losing in chosen areas, in real time as it happens.

Depending on your preference for more information, you may disagree or agree with what they are doing. I don’t happen to like it. Much of it is based on modeling etc.

New York Times: Real-Time Election Day Projections – By Nick Corasaniti

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Now, a group of data scientists, journalists and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is seeking to upend that reporting tradition, providing detailed projections of who is winning at any given time on Election Day in key swing states, and updating the information in real time from dawn to dusk.

The plan is likely to cause a stir among those involved in reporting election results and in political circles, who worry about both accuracy and an adverse effect on how people vote. [More]

The spokesman has been promoting their system as an announcer of a ball game. That sounds quaint, doesn’t it?

The problem I have is he wants us to think of it as just calling the “play by play” without accepting any responsibility for its influence on results.

He claimed it is still up to press or media to call the final result. Yes, but in a way that is what he is doing all along. People can then be influenced or react based on their coverage. And we already see enough media involvement with the elections.

Ford’s Focus on Mexico

Ford to build huge plant in Mexico despite outrage

Trump blasts Ford over plans for new Mexico plant
Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press | April 5, 2016 | USA Today

Ford Motor (F) said Tuesday it will invest $1.6 billion to build a new plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico to build small cars, making it the latest automaker to expand its presence there.

Ford’s investment in Mexico will create more than 2,800 jobs by 2020, delivering a blow to the UAW, which pushed for higher wages in its contract talks with the automaker last year. The announcement also comes amid a presidential election where the the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, has publicly pressured Ford to drop its plans to expand in Mexico.

Ford said Tuesday it remains committed to investing in the U.S. and adding jobs in America even as it expands its presence in Mexico.

More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/04/05/ford-mexico-jobs-new-plant/82649768/

Ford is building plants in Mexico and the US is building a future in denial.

Government marginalized the church

The Breitbart Interview With Franklin Graham: The Government ‘Has Marginalized the Church’

Breitbart | Jan 6, 2016

Franklin Graham, CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tells Breitbart News the government in the United States: federal, state and local, “has marginalized the church.”

The Breitbart News interview with Graham comes one day after he launched his 50 state “Decision America 2016” tour on the steps of the State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa. Graham’s goal is to encourage Christians to participate in the political process this election cycle by voting for candidates who support Biblical values and by considering their own run for office.

“We have removed God from the political process,” Graham tells Breitbart News.

“One hundred years ago, pastors were the political leaders in the community,” Graham says.

More: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/06/breitbart-interview-franklin-graham-government-marginalized-church/

He is right. But then I know what this article will spawn. All those who jump on the anti-Christian bandwagon. Theocracy will be the buzzword. Never mind how this ‘slander the Christians’ campaign is working out, over the years. But now there is a new band leader with Obama out front chastising Chrisitians every chance he gets.

 

 

Blimp goes AWOL

So its run came to an end after causing real damage.

There were no injuries reported. NORAD said a military recovery team was on the way to the area. Moreland Township is about 20 miles east of Williamsport, and about 120 miles northwest of the proving ground. At one point the blimp climbed to 16,000 feet, NORAD said.

The blimp had a tether of approximately 6,700 feet — more than a mile — attached when it broke free, Aberdeen Proving Ground said.

The dragging cable knocked out power to around 30,000 people in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said in a statement. By Wednesday night power was restored to most customers, with 311 without electricity as of 11 p.m., power company PPL Electric said.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fighter-jets-track-military-blimp-drifting-over-pennsylvania-n453106

But then you gotta love the claim number to call if you had damage from the blimp, which caused mass power outages. Yep, just another day in government work!

Tracking ISIS and Terrorists

News on security tools for terrorism

Eric Rush’s blog reports:

Russian Computer Geeks Create Program That Locates ISIS Recruiters’ Social Media Accounts

(RT.com) – A group of Russian computer specialists has teamed up with Muslim scholars to create a computer program that automatically detects social media and other online accounts used by Islamic State terrorists to lure new members into their group.

The project was started by the non-commercial Center for Research of Legitimacy and Political Protest. Its director Yevgeny Venediktov told Izvestia daily that the search for terrorist recruiters will use a program called “Laplace’s Demon” that was developed by the center’s IT specialists in the spring.

Read more at http://instigatornews.com/russian-computer-geeks-create-program-that-locates-isis-recruiters-social-media-accounts/

Well, someone is doing something.

Original source

Does medium matter to success?

The internet itself is a giant blank page to write on so why not just take that literal approach on a blog? Sometimes I start writing and don’t know where it is going to go. Just let the spontaneity roll down the edges of at least this post.

So I was looking at one of those writer sites, I’ll leave nameless. They were debating about fame and winning an award in writing in print and elsewhere verses — note they set up the juxtaposition — writing on Internet like blogs, FB, comments etc. Someone compared the Internet to a sandbox. That’s why I called it a blank sheet of paper.

The idea is that they are different venues and, one supposes, different talents too. The conclusion is that one must move on from this giant sandbox to a more serious medium to have or show great talent. That has me wondering. Getting fame or recognition in print or other, possibly winning some award, is a more meaningful measure of success? Maybe there are different views on that.

The Internet can be more casual or comfortable, if not seductive and addictive, than stiffer media. I’ll buy that they have their differences. Though the idea is a person must use other means to achieve success than the web. I might be reading more into it than they said, but that is the idea. The Internet is ‘a sandbox but one must build elsewhere,’ as one put it.

A lot to chew on for subject matter. I know there are many aspiring writers on the Internet. It suggests one must move on to other media. Need one give up the web — one or the other? I’m not sure. I wonder what others think?

There is a more freestyle movement on the web that is for sure.

“In the arts, a medium is a material used by an artist or designer to create a work.”- Wikipedia

As Hillary turns… the latest

(With a little splash of satire and sarcasm)
Grab a cup of coffee and sit down, man do I have a far-fetched story to tell you. No, they haven’t landed on Mars….yet anyhow.

But you remember that Hillary Clinton, who was running for president in ’08, and all the flack she got about her records? Or do you remember her when Bill was president, how there were all those document problems? Heck, I still don’t know if they found them all. Wasn’t there a closet, basement, law office files and lots of boxes — here and there?

Well, you know how she was Secretary of State and high profile for years running the State Department? Well, it turns out she set up all her email addresses outside the official State Department. Why do you suppose she’d ever thinnk of doing that? An old hand at record chases and archives ought to have something to do with it. But the best part is she set up the servers for it at her house in Chappaqua. Did you ever hear anything so weird?

Now you and me both know the Clintons are no perfect politicians but this takes the cake, after all the troubles she had over her records — or lack thereof — before. Then you know Bubba runs the Clinton Global Initiative.”The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative is to turn ideas into action.” Sure he’s busy running that and money is flowing, like it always does with the Clintons. Well, except when they are dead broke – which must be often.

Anyways, all this has me thinking what the hell is wrong with her? I mean she knows you can’t just do that and opt out of the governmental system of things. Doesn’t she know her boss, Barry, is the only one who can truly hide his records and get away with it, without people making it a big deal? But Hillary now, she has some ‘splaining to do.

Still, even the record obfuscator, Barry would be aware she was doing that. I mean the guy spent half of his first campaign chasing down Hillary’s records to attack her. Now she must have had some reasons to do that, obviously. She didn’t want the public prying into the records. Maybe she didn’t want her boss looking over her shoulder keeping tabs on her? Never know, but that is the point, why? I hear she never much trusted him, and I don’t think he did her either. Nor was Bubba happy with team Obama after that deal in South Carolina labeling him a racist. Then Bill said ‘this whole thing is the biggest fairytale I’ve ever seen.’ Talk about fair tales. I suppose he might be over that by now.

So why do you suppose she would go to all that trouble to keep her emails out of the loop? And since she quit State she’s been pretty quiet what with working with Bill in the Foundation and all, and busy raising money for her campaign I mean the foundation, or something like that. See if all those emails and stuff was sitting there in servers in the house, it would be in the same place as Bill and the foundation’s business. It’s all sort of confusing, isn’t it? I mean I can’t figure this out. Bill was the one we used to call slick Willy. You suppose he had access to all that information of State too? Does that conflict with what he is working on?

“The White house guidance is,” according to Josh Earnest….oh never mind, what difference at this point does it make anyway?

Get this, then she went around the State Dep. lecturing her own people to not use private email accounts. I guess no one there asked her about hers. Funny. What could be going on there? It’s only water-cooler talk now, you know how people do when something new goes around. At least two key people knew it all along, Obama and Hillary. Three with Bubba. So if most everything was sent to her that would be a huge amount of data, wouldn’t it? I mean they’d have to be industrial sized servers these days with the amounts of email, especially as the Sec of State.

The thing that gets me is the big Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation that Hillary’s been helping out with. I bet many of the same places and people are overlapped in both the Foundation and State. Seems like it would be a giant web, oops that’s the wrong word.

The cover story is an inference from State that the issue is broader than Hillary:

On Tuesday, Harf said, “We reached out to all of the former secretaries of state to ask them to provide any records they had. Secretary Clinton sent back 55,000 pages of documents to the State Department very shortly after we sent the letter to her. She was the only former secretary of state who sent documents back in to this request. These 55,000 pages covered her time, the breadth of her time at the State Department.”

It just gets curiouser and curiouser with those Clintons, doesn’t it? There always seems to be large amounts of money involved too, no? I can’t wrap my head around how all this fits together. There’s former president Bill, and Hillary sets up servers directing all her State Department info there. He’s sitting there beside it saying what is she working on, I wonder? Then she is set to run for president unchallenged. Tricky Dick had nothing on Hypocrite Hillary. She crossed that bar long ago.

Hillary, you’ve got mail!

RightRing | Bullright

Death of a price point

Now with the death of Saudi King Abdullah, the flurries of questions began. What about the oil market, prices in particular, and what effect new leadership will mean for oil?

Well, complex answers don’t stop reporters from asking, except maybe in the case of Obama. The go to man is apparently Prince Alwaleed. He gave a robust defense of supply and demand, then shocked probably even OPEC countries by declaring we will never see triple digit oil again. In fact, he said we will never see hundred-dollar oil prices again.

See CNBC for video and article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102363511

“I can assure you that Saudi Arabia is not using the oil price right now to impact the fracking industry in the United States,” he said, adding that “there’s an oversupply and demand is not so high.”

He insists there will be little change on current oil policy from a King Salaman government. He does have a grasp of understanding about the subject. It’s obviously true the current prices do hurt the Kingdom. It also hurts other oil-dependent countries. But his point was if they cut production that “gap” would only be filled by some other country. And it would. So it seems their production level alone is not running the market. The dynamics indeed have shifted since the US began producing more.

Now there’s one voice on the record publicly declaring the death of triple digit oil. That in itself should be a big deal. So stick a fork in hundred-dollar oil?

Oil illusions and/or delusions

(Part 1 of 2)
I posted a piece on the current oil price decline. I could be wrong on my interpretation. Now that I think more about it, I just don’t know.

There are many different angles and factors in the issue. I decided to list some of the variables in an attempt to put the pieces on the table to get a full view, not to prove one view or another. I just thought it would be interesting to see the components.

Basically there is a view catching wide reporting that the decline in prices have hurt the domestic oil industry, and in particular Texas. Some reports describe it as a Saudi war on Texas. The narrative is that Saudis are flooding the market with oil with the intent to hurt our production, namely shale and fracking businesses, which are more cost intensive than cheaper Saudi oil.

A lot of people believe that and follow that line of reasoning. I’m not so sure. I wrote the previous piece off the cuff in reaction to a couple reports I saw getting widely spread. A few days later and I see more reports from economists with the same perspective. It has me wondering am I the lone person who questions that? Did I miss something or am I making a mistake, as sometimes happens? Am I too quick to jump to conclusions or is my bias getting in the way? There can be different opinions.

By nature some reports are kind of hard to understand and complicated anyway. But then I am no economist, and many of these people are degreed academics. I generally have some healthy skepticism and especially when I see piling on a theme. In the end, maybe there is no correct view, and maybe it cannot be seen in just one way.

Supply and demand. This is the talking point that we have heard most in the last 6 or so years. They claim it is market forces driving the high consumer prices we have seen, and actually come to accept as the new normal. This explanation is so institutionalized that we had countless investigations on higher oil prices only to be told it is just supply and demand. Those investigations don’t reveal any gimmickry, so we’re told, and no market manipulation. In fact, reports are no one can manipulate the industry. The very idea would be absurd.

There are investors and traders and hedge funds, oh my. We hear they are the ones to blame for prices. They call them speculators. They bid the prices up to higher levels. There is an awful lot of trading going on.

Cheap oil flooding the market. In the latest analysis the Saudis are leveraging their low cost oil by flooding the market in an attempt to lower costs, making higher cost production less profitable, if at all. This will stop the investment in these processes and stop the industry in its tracks. This is the point of the current reports.

Consumer demand. We will buy something at a marketable price. But in theory the higher the price is the less you will buy, or the less you want to buy it. As prices moderate or come down, you sell more of it. So even in a down economy people will buy just what is necessary, sometimes taking from other expenses. Especially at rising, or higher prices, other goods are affected because they have less money to spend. So people cut back in discretionary spending or luxury areas to offset the higher prices at the pump. Plus they cut use of the product in any ways they can. But other areas of the economy have to be affected because a bigger chunk of the money is going to a particular necessity. For instance less for clothes, food, and less disposable income.

Subsidized economies. Some countries subsidize certain areas of the economy. Many oil rich countries have lower consumer prices due to government subsidies. Some governments own or control the resources and depend on those resources for revenue to fund their government.They make budgets and decisions based on price projections.

Taxes. the money paid to gov’t on refined goods. Higher prices bring higher taxes.

OPEC, a group of oil rich nations allying to make adjustments en masse on production etc.They meet frequently to discuss their issues and concerns. (That I compare them to the Genovese crime family is neither here nor there — they are what they are) They can move or function as a bloc. They have a union concept working for them.

Oil companies, international or domestic, that produce and explore for resources. (Or if you are a card carrying leftist, the bad guys) Private companies in this country making decisions based on a bottom line profit margin, which employ many people. They are involved in production, transportation, refining, storage etc.

Government, involved in regulating, making regulation, protecting resources and assets. Also dispenses permits and approvals, and has oversight capability. It also collects revenues on the business models, as well as on consumer goods, such as refined products.

Retail businesses: Stores that sell finished goods directly to the public consumers.

Fracking and shale oil newer and higher cost drilling operations.

Cost – benefit analysis study of the benefits derived from the cost of materials and production, and projections or decisions based on those factors.

Industry and bulk users corporations and industry that use a particular commodity as basic in their business models. Airlines, freight, energy companies.

Speculators or investors and put hedge funds in this bracket. People or companies investing in oil based on its price fluctuation or performance over a period of time. People buying futures as in any other market, who hope to make a profit. (Such as Hilary’s pork belly futures)

Now, the idea is not to make some grand conclusion by these factors. Just say these are some relevant tangents in the overall picture.

RightRing | Bullright

Spies like them

Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer

By Kyle Smith and Bruce Golding | NY Post

October 27, 2014

A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.

She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.” […/]

More NY Post

For someone they wanted to fire, she seemed to be very popular.

PS: I repeat my line, at least Nixon resigned.

Par for Obama’s course

Even some MSNBC hosts were having a laugh over IRS explanations.

John Koskinen told a hearing that:
“We are not going to dribble out the information and have it played out in the press.”

Don’t accuse the IRS of dribbling!

The IRS, Koskinen had told them earlier, hasn’t even had the funds to move all its employees from Windows XP, which is no longer generally supported by Microsoft, to Windows 7.

The IRS said in a statement that it has gone to great lengths cooperating with congressional investigations, spending nearly $10 million to produce more than 750,000 documents.

Famous quote

I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington…. alright? That’s par for the course.” – Obama

Who’s doing the “whipping up” here?

RightRing | Bullright

Alternative energy meets alternative reality

That’s right, another electric car company pulls the plug on manufacturing in the US, as its cash dwindles. And guess what? It’s another stimulated company.

Sure pick on those green car companies again — but can we substitute another color because they aren’t profitable?

They got ’09 stimulus funds to a tune of a 29 million dollar grant to produce 510 electric vehicles. Since then to 2013 they produced 439 vehicles for municipal use.

Now the company CEO Bryan Hansel said:

“We didn’t see value in continuing to build a small number of vehicles at the price point we were,” said Hansel, who noted that despite federal support the company was manufacturing vehicles at a loss. Smith has been struggling for some time. It reported annual losses in the millions after receiving DOE funds.

You think you’re operating at a loss?? But they didn’t mind producing them at a loss with our money. Better still, Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, is eager to restart the stalled program and crank up subsidies to companies, with 16 billion still in the program.

The DOE news comes on the heels of two other companies going belly up in the program. This one just packed up the US plant and will continue overseas operations.

But the DOE secretary said:

Moniz expressed confidence that the electric vehicle market has improved since those high-profile failures.

“The U.S. auto industry has evolved since the ATVM Program was established and today we are presented with an opportunity to hit the accelerator on U.S. auto manufacturing growth.”

“Hit the accelerator” after another company slammed on the brakes. Its evolved all right, into a spiral and they are running out of the country.

Now this is not an alternative energy agenda, this is an alternative reality agenda.

See article Taxpayer-Backed Electric Car Company Closes U.S. Factory
Government watchdog recommends DOE wind down controversial program

RightRing | Bullright

Thoughts: Experts

 

THOUGHTS
by
JUST GENE
about
EXPERTS

light bulb photo: light bulb utilitylight.jpg

”The Bomb will never go off; I speak as an expert in explosives.”
– – Admiral William Leahy , US Atomic Bomb Project

“There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”
— Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923 

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”
— Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949 


“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” 

— Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

“I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people,
and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” 
— 
The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957


“But what is it good for?” 

— Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968,
commenting on the microchip.


“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
— Bill Gates, 1981 

This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as
a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us”   
— Western Union internal memo, 1876. 


“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value.
Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”
— David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, 
but in order
to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible”
— A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing
reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.) 


“I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s
falling on his face and not Gary Cooper” 
— 
Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in
“Gone With The Wind.”


“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out”
— Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. 

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” 

— Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895. 


“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment.
The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this”  
– – Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads 


“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the
ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy” 
— Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.
“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” 
– – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University , 1929. 


“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value” 

— Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre , France .


“Everything that can be invented has been invented”
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899.   

“The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows
over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required.” 
— Professor of Electrical Engineering, New York University 


“I don’t know what use any one could find for a machine that would make
copies of documents. It certainly couldn’t be a feasible business by itself.” 
— the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox.
“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut
from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon,” 
— Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873.

And last but not least… 


“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” 

— Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

For your eyes only….hardly

What happens when the spy genie gets out of the bottle?

John | March 4, 2014 | Tavern Keepers

A former British spy is warning about the dangers of techniques used by intelligence agencies falling into the hands of organized crime or other nefarious groups. These procedures used to spy or otherwise gather personal information is controversial enough when its used by the government, but what if criminals obtain them? Andrew France was the deputy director of the UK’s version of the NSA called the GCHQ. He is now the chief executive of security startup Darktrace. He recently spoke at RSA in San Francisco, the annual conference that is the world’s largest cyber security gathering. He stated that it was a big worry that the techniques will spread to hackers and other criminals.

This is a very real concern, For instance, it was recently revealed that GCHQ has been intercepting webcam streams from Yahoo and that they even considered spying on people using Microsoft Kinect. In the UK alone 1.8 million users were spied on, in the program known as Optic Nerve. It was also reported that up to 11 percent of intercepted videos involved nudity or sexual content. A criminal could use the same abilities to facilitate identity theft or even blackmail, depending on the salaciousness of the webcam video. That doesn’t even get into the issues of these pictures being on a government server somewhere that could also be hacked.

Source Tavern Keepers

Related note

Stuxnet infected the International Space Station, Russian nuclear facility

John | November 11, 2013 | Tavern Keepers

Stuxnet is a major virus, supposedly created as a joint project by the governments of the United States and Israel. Its purpose was to deal a blow to the Iranian nuclear program and it did so by altering the activity of centrifuges in Iranian facilities. However, the virus then was released into the “wild” and has caused unintentional damage. Eugene Kaspersky, head of the Kaspersky anti-virus and cyber protection firm, has recently stated that the virus managed to infect a Russian nuclear facility and even the International Space Station. In the case of the ISS, a Russian Cosmonaut carried a flash drive onto the space station that had been infected with the virus. Kaspersky stated that he had been told the station faces “virus epidemics” from time to time.
The infections show the damage that can be caused by viruses such as Stuxnet when combined with human interaction. Both the nuclear facility and the ISS are closed systems, meaning that the “public” Internet cannot be accessed. So, the only way the virus was introduced into either installation was through an infected medium, such as the flash drive carried onboard the ISS. Ultimately, Kaspersky warned that viruses like Stuxnet cannot be controlled.
“There are no borders” in cyberspace, and no one should be surprised at any reports of a virus attack, no matter how ostensibly secure the facility, he said.

Source: http://www.timesofisrael.com/stuxnet-gone-rogue-hit-russian-nuke-plant-space-station/

Two wrongs don’t make O’Reilly right

How many ways is O’Reilly wrong? Start with a few obvious and recent ways. Last week he went hard after the Internet (or technology encompassing it). The old adage that money is the root of all evil has been revised by O’Reilly: the Internet is now the source of all evil. He went on a rant at how it was not structured in a way that benefits people, but that people create an alternative reality on the web and are increasingly drawn into it.

All the good flow of information at one’s fingertips is lost on O’Reilly. He sees it as bad. Maybe it needs government control to assure people use it correctly? Mary Katherine Ham tried to enlighten him, to no avail. He just blurted on how it was bad for people, namely kids. (urchins as he calls them) He even brought her back to argue the point.

WaPost reported Erik Wemple | February 18 :
Fox News star host Bill O’Reilly last night went after his fellow Americans. They’re too uninformed, he said.
To establish the point, O’Reilly relied on data, citing a 2011 Newsweek study showing that U.S. citizens who take the citizenship test given to foreigners perform miserably. How many couldn’t name the sitting vice president of the United States? Twenty-nine percent. A good 44 percent couldn’t define the Bill of Rights. After running through the numbers, O’Reilly said, ”That’s a disaster.”
To explain the point, O’Reilly didn’t rely on data. He merely argued that the main culprit for American’s poor level of informedness was the public schools. Then: “Number two, the Internet has created a generation of self-absorbed, addicted, distracted and ignorant people. The powerful machines, hand-held many of them, are diverting a lot of Americans away from real life. You can now create your own world on the net devoid of reality, and millions of Americans are doing that. The result is that a very few shrewd people are now wielding enormous power.”

Its the “Machines”, stupid! Sounds sci-fi-ish. Is there a book in it, “Killing the Internet”? As WaPo reported, they seem as dumb as before it. I want to blame the Internet for electing the DIC, but can’t. There may be a case to make on “information overload”… not so much for information overlord. Ease up on Newsweek – causes indigestion.

A second error is when he decided, based on logic known only to Bill, that Obama would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. He’s peddled that one a few times. First off, Obama is not really logical. He’s an ideological creature, as in ideologue. What would it benefit his ideology to approve it? Why would he spend so much political capital opposing it? He put it in the safe hands of John Kerry. I bet Kerry is telling him to approve it. The XL pipeline could benefit the same industry he is at war with – energy.

Obama has dragged his feet for 5 years but Bill assumes he’ll come to his senses and approve the Keystone pipeline.(possibly this year) I don’t get the rationale for that optimistic prediction. Maybe it is romantic wishful thinking. Whatever, he has yet to reveal the basis for his bold prediction. The folks and their machines might have a better handle on that than O’Reilly.


Or is auditioning as Carnac the Magnificent?

RightRing | Bullright