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Rain Delay

Friday Cat Blogging and other activities have been delayed by rain.

If I get a chance I will be responding to comments, but this has been a very ‘interesting day’ in Real Life, so my access isn’t assured.

April 18, 2014   No Comments

In Other News

It has been fours years since the Deepwater Horizon had its lethal blowout in the Gulf of Mexico that led to three months of crude oil gushing into the water.

CBS reports on Dr. Joye’s visit to the site of the blowout to check on the condition of the Gulf. Dr. Joye has proven to be the only credible source for information on the condition of the Gulf.

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While Australians may quietly resign when they get caught, one Canadian mayor can’t take the hint: Rob Ford launches re-election bid. The mayor of Toronto apparently doesn’t think his involvement with illegal drugs or his alcoholism are any reason not to be mayor of a large city. Who knows, the voters might agree with him.

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Now we’ll see if I’m any good as a political pundit because Chelsea Clinton has announced that she is pregnant. I’m on record as saying that I couldn’t visualize Hillary Clinton running for President if this happened, so now we’ll find out.

April 17, 2014   6 Comments

The World Continues To Suck

About the best thing I’ve seen is that a Federal judge has told North Dakota that its new Abortion law is unconstitutional. I fully expect the state to throw away tax dollars to appeal the ruling.

It is probable that hundreds have died in a ferry disaster is Korea.

There have been knife attacks at schools in the US and Canada.

People are claiming that new satellite photos off of the west coast of Australia are showing aircraft debris, despite the fact that none of this debris has been recovered. Given the amount of time that has elapsed since the crash, the location of this debris will do nothing but confirm that the aircraft crashed in the ocean.

The premier of New South Wales in Australia apparently forgot he received a $3000 bottle of wine – which would have been more believable if he hadn’t sent the donor a thank you note. Mr. O’Farrell did have the common sense to resign.

April 16, 2014   3 Comments

Tax Day

It has been seven years since Excise and Property showed up on a Tax Day past, and I no longer have to file.

It was a staple of the local news to show the lines at the main post office of people waiting until the last minute to file, generally because they owed money.

I’ve convinced the cats that this song is really their personal version of “Happy Birthday”.

April 15, 2014   5 Comments

Parasites

Badtux has been covering the the Bundy case in Nevada [post 2 and post 2], so that’s where to look for the background on this rip-off of US taxpayers. Basically Bundy thinks he has the right to graze his cattle on Federal land without paying for the privilege, and he has been freeloading for 20 years.

A number of my relatives were/are dairy farmers. If they wanted to expand their herds and needed more grazing land, they had to lease it from private landowners at commercial rates. The grazing fees on Federal land in the West are a pittance compared to what a dairy farmer in the Northeast has to pay. The grazing fees are effectively a subsidy of Western ranchers by the taxpayers.

Bundy is a moocher, making money off of Federal resources, and that has to stop. He is stealing from the ranchers who pay their fees, and from all of the taxpayers. It may be time to reintroduce mountain lions and wolves on Federal lands in Clark County, Nevada.

April 14, 2014   5 Comments

Here And There

Vladimir Putin doesn’t think that Ukraine should over-react to the seizure of government buildings in the eastern Ukraine. We all know of the peaceful policies of the Russian government in similar situations, and the number of troops sent in to restore order. There is going to be battle given by the Ukrainians this time.

The Australians have decided that the batteries on the data recorders of the Malaysian airliner have run down and are going to deploy the autonomous submersible to continue the search.

Ita has returned to the ocean, but the rains continue as power crews work to restore power in Queensland. As with Yasi the banana farms suffered severe damage.

April 13, 2014   9 Comments

No Good Answer

The BBC report, Heartbleed bug denial by NSA and White House, is a bit of a problem.

NSA has a two-part mission: protecting our secrets and finding out the secrets of other people. After 9/11 they have forgotten almost totally that they ae supposed to be securing US communications. Under Alexander the Geek NSA is all offense. This statement says that the government agency primarily responsible for secure communications didn’t discover a major problem with Internet security. That is incompetence or nonfeasance.

NSA missed the Boston Marathon Bombing and now didn’t see a major security flaw with supposedly secure communications over the Internet. There is no real proof that they are making anyone more secure, and a lot of proof that they are using a lot of resources that could be used for better purposes – things that actually improve the General Welfare.

April 12, 2014   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

The Sentinel

Friday Cat Blogging

Something do something…

[Editor: CC is looking for trouble without any luck.]

Friday Ark

April 11, 2014   6 Comments

Cyclone Ita

The ABC updated reporting:

Cyclone Ita, a destructive category-five storm, is on a collision course with far north Queensland.

The weather bureau says Ita has slowed down as it heads towards the coast and should make landfall near Cape Flattery, about 70 kilometres north of Cooktown, late tonight.

The dangerous system will generate storm surges, high tides and very destructive winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour [186mph].

Parts of the coast could receive up to 300 millimetres [a foot] of rain every six hours for several days after Ita hits.

I added the conversions in brackets.

This is going to be as bad as Yasi was. The storm is slowing, so it won’t be a quick transit, and it will have more time to build the storm surge.

April 10, 2014   4 Comments

This And That

They have picked up more signals off the coast of Perth, Australia consistent with the data recorders on the missing aircraft, but they seem to be fading. The batteries are at the end of their useful life. The new captures are reducing the size of the search area.

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‘Heartbleed’ is causing heartburn at a lot of major sites. You have to fix the server software first, and then get a new Certificate. Until that happens having users change their passwords accomplishes nothing effective. This problem has existed since the first release of OpenSSL, so it has been around for a while.

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Also Downunder, the northeast coast is about to get smacked by Cyclone Ita, which is at category 4 and expected to be that strong at landfall. It is due to arrive Friday evening with the high tide, which will increase the storm surge. Been there, done that – I wish them well.

April 9, 2014   4 Comments

More Fun

CBS is reporting the problem with a misleading headline: “Heartbleed” bug in Web security exposes passwords to hackers

The bug afflicts version 1.0.1 and 1.0.2-beta releases of OpenSSL, server software that ships with many versions of Linux and is used in popular Web servers, according to the OpenSSL project’s advisory on Monday night. OpenSSL has released version 1.0.1g to fix the bug, but many Web site operators will have to scramble to update the software. In addition, they’ll have to revoke security certificates that now might be compromised.

This is definitely a ‘bad thing’, but the reporting waits a long time to get to the ‘how’ it affects you. Among the more common uses of OpenSSL is preparing the keys for you to submit to a Certifying Authority to be granted the certificate used for encrypted data, like passwords, to be exchanged between users and a server. If you can capture the keys to the server, you can set up a listening post on the line and capture information like passwords and account names.

The real problem is getting people to update their software. There are a lot of problems that are still hanging around because too many people don’t update often enough, with a few who have never updated.

April 8, 2014   29 Comments

The View From Down-Under

It looks like the Chinese were on to something with their report. The BBC reports that:

An Australian vessel searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has detected signals consistent with those from “black box” flight recorders.

The Ocean Shield ship picked up the signal twice, once for more than two hours, said Angus Houston, a retired air chief marshal leading the search.

The batteries on the location devices are reaching their limited lifetime, so they may not be of help much longer, but they have indicated an area to search with the other tools available. The area is consistent with other data that has been calculated regarding flight path and possible impact point, and the signals were received for an extended period, indicating that the origin was closer than the Chinese vessel.

The ABC has coverage of the Australian-Japan ‘free trade agreement’, which shows that many in Abbott’s own party are not happy with the deal that was struck.

The agreement has its own limited definition of ‘free trade’ that doesn’t include many segments of the agricultural sector. These are important supporters of the Prime Minister’s ruling coalition, and they are openly expressing displeasure with the deal.

These deals can’t please everyone, but politicians usually work to please their own supporters.

April 7, 2014   No Comments

Slowwww News Day

About the only thing of interest was the latest report on the Malaysian airliner. A Chinese vessel reported hearing two pings on the locator frequency used by aircraft data recorders. A specialized naval vessel was sent to the area to search with high tech sensors.

Signals can travel long distances in the water, and if the recorders were really close, there should have been a more constant signal, but if the specialized vessel can pick up a ping, it can back track it.

The Chinese vessel was in an area that is considered a high probability search zone.

April 6, 2014   5 Comments

What A Wonderful Day

My day started at 3:30AM with a knock on my door from a neighbor telling me the power was out. He was playing computer games after getting off work, so he was awake. As I woke up I noticed the beeping from the UPSs confirming the problem, and walking outside showed it to be widespread. The neighbor knows about my Mother’s oxygen system, so he felt I should be told.

I went to my Mother’s house and hauled out a large tank of O2 and swapped the necessary connections to restart the flow. Then I called the power company’s outage line to get an estimate of the duration of the outage. They said that the power would be restored at 4:30AM, so I sat down to wait.

When the power wasn’t back at a quarter to 5, I checked again, and they said 7:30AM. That was too long, so I decided to bring the generator on-line to power the oxygen concentrator and some other equipment.

It had been a while since the generator had been used, so I checked with our lawn guy who had two gallons of fresh gas, and then went over to prepare the generator while he went after the gas. Amazingly the generator started right up the second time the starter rope was pulled, and we began running cable.

As I came around the corner, I saw the outside light by the kitchen door burning brightly, so I went back to the generator and shut it down.

Given the time this happened I would assume someone given the choice of 7 lanes to drive in, decided to drive in lane eight, where the utility poles rise.

April 5, 2014   11 Comments