* Posts by Marko Alat

18 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jul 2007

Russian push into Georgia could knock Nasa off ISS

Marko Alat

@James Monnet

> I'll grant the USSR occupied a large portion of the German army during WW2 -----

> ONLY after Hitler invaded the USSR, until that point the USSR was PERFECTLY

> content to let Germany roll over everyone else.

Following the October Revolution, Britain and France, along with most of Europe and the US openly supported the White Russian side in the Russian civil war with weapons and expeditionary forces. The US alone sent 13,000 troops into the Russian far east. The Royal Navy and the RAF blockaded and bombed the Bolshevik navy in the Baltic. 50,000 Chechoslovakians fought their way along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Over 20,000 Greek troops invaded the Crimea... and following eventual Bolshevik victory, the Soviet Union was subject to trade embargoes, sanctions etc...

How sorry were the Soviets supposed to feel for the rest of Europe when the Germans started handing their arse to them in the early years of World War II?

American auto dealer offers free handguns

Marko Alat

@AC Re: Which is why

You did sed:

> I seem to remember that while the number of "Gun Crimes" went down, the overall violent crime numbers went up.

You'd do well to get your facts from somewhere other than NRA panhandling videos... I still can't believe the Australian government didn't sue the arse out of them for lost tourism revenue over that one.

Just to remove any ambiguity, yes, that means that violent crime in Australia, much like anywhere else in the developed world, is either flat-lining, or is in a very slow decline, regardless of what the tabloid press shriek about from their front pages.

Marko Alat

@ Greg Re: The Britons turning out in full force

> we loaned y'all a lot of firearms back in the early 40's, just in case Hitler decided to cross the Channel, because, surprise, surprise, nobody being allowed to own guns= unarmed citizenry in time of need.

Yes, because civilians with double-barrel shotguns and revolvers would've done a hell of a lot of good against tanks and artillery, wouldn't they?

Thanks, however, for reinforcing the idea of gunsturbators as fantasists who subscribe to the idea that governments, both their own and foreign, factor civilian gun ownership into their decision-making and go, "Oh, they have guns. We better not push them around too much or they'll snap and we'll have a guerilla war on our hands." For an illustration of how a hostile civilian populace with pervasive small-arms ownership is treated by a government with a conventional modern army, see Gaza and the impunity with which Israel takes out AK-waving beardos using UAV's and whatnot.

Stungun shootout in Colorado leaves slowest man standing

Marko Alat

Re: Hype and nonsense to replace research

Quoth StopThePropaganda:


Ban effective Tasers, ban guns, ban anything that allows the man on the street to defend himself-because if enough hype can be generated about "BAD SCARY" tasers, soon noone but Hollywood elite, the bodyguards of same, and law enforcement will be able to posess them.


You're not thinking far enough. Take the faken things off the cops and security guards first, so if they want to shove someone around, let them have to do it in a way that leaves bruises and lesions for a subsequent lawsuit and disciplinary action.

If a cop without a Taser wants to move someone along, they either have to reason them out of it or crack them over the head with a baton; the former requires that the cop have some interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills, the latter that he better be pretty damn sure of himself if he wants to keep his job. With a Taser, that just becomes "Move or I'll zap you and make you shit your pants."

If all the security guards in the incident at hand had were radios, and all the aggrieved car-clampee had were those bolt-cutters, what were their options; move in and take out a guy armed with a fairly useful blunt-force weapon, and move in and try to take out two men singlehandedly. That would've made both sides think, but because they all had stun weapons, which made confrontation easy, it turned into High-Voltage at the OK Corral.

French won Waterloo, says Italian telecoms chief

Marko Alat

@ N1AK

> > "How could he possibly have got this wrong..!!!

> > everyone knows the French have never won anything... well except maybe ........"


> The World Cup in the last four decades?

In a comments thread where the Frog-bashing is being carried out by Britons, this, surely, means check and mate...

...or should that be the coup-de-grace?

Apple lags MS in security response

Marko Alat

@ Doug Petrosky re: OK, I'll step in to be branded a fanbbbboiiii

Doug did sed:

> the bottom line is the less anyone knows about specific security flaws in an operating system the better!

What you refer to goes by the stage-name of "security through obscurity", and it's

1.) Been discredited since long before the first time someone who hid their house keys under their doormat came home to find they've been burgled, and

2.) As realistic as belief in the healing power of crystals when it comes to OS security.

If Apple want people to develop software for their platform, they can't keep the inner workings of their OS secret. They have to let non-Apple people know how they map memory, how they prioritise the stack, how they write to the pattern buffer and assorted other garble. This is the information on which exploits are built, and it's out there for anyone with enough of an aversion to sunlight to use to haXOR an Apple box (crate?), and boast about it afterwards. As soon as one person knows, everyone knows.

Time was, IBM and M$ would respond to reports of exploits with cease-and-desist orders from their legal departments, and their customers would learn about the discovered hack when they got pwned months later. They largely learned their lesson. It's Apple's turn now.

US airforce looks to buy Californian garbage jet fuel

Marko Alat


The Prevaricator did sed:

> Is this the same Dr Santilli who came up with the wonder that is "HHO gas"?

Yes, yes he is.

HIlariously, the contact page on the fairly slick-looking website of the Magnegas Corporation lists the company president(?!?) as having a Los Angeles phone number, while the CFO's number is in central Florida... at least their quoted email addresses have something in common... they end in "@gmail.com".

Scratching a bit deeper at the Solena technology, it seems to be pretty much the same crock of fuel-from-shite as what Santilli's, Brown and other crank-handles have been peddling since day dot... take random organic materials, blast with sufficient heat in sufficent absence of oxygen to dissociate the complex hydrocarbons into atomic carbon and hydrogen (plus trace elements), draw products away so the hydrogen recombines into molecular hydrogen gas, which is then quickly relabelled as a miracle new never-before-seen wonder-fuel and burned even quicker, before anybody, hopefully, notices how much of a crackhead you're being in making your claims.

If this was serious, the article in Flight International would've carried statements from USAF spokespeople rather than just the head of a hole-in-the-wall outfit which has been going for (according to its own website) over a decade and has nothing to show for it.

Penguin, because global warming threatens their ice-floe habitats, and because they're cute.

Map paints gloomy picture of world's oceans

Marko Alat
Dead Vulture

The Fucktardery in this place is off the limiter...

Wade Burchette:

"I know the oceans are over fished. I know the oceans are too polluted in many places. But I also know it is not as bad as the money-loving scientist want you to believe."

You *know*, eh? Pray tell, where does that certainty come from?

AC #437:

"Now that the global warming frenzy is coming under serious (public) criticism the human-hating eco-freaks have to find another target quickly. Not saying that 'Shakje' is one of these but the article Shakje quotes sounds like a harbinger of things to come."

You're picking a bone (hey, the original article does have something to do with fish) with someone quoting a tube-rag newspaper article which, in turn, quoted a researcher commenting on their work... no doubt the gist of what the researcher reported in their publication made it through *completely* unaltered.

Folks, how irritating is it to sit in a meeting or around a lunch room table and have non-tech coworkers slag off IT or otherwise show off how pigshit-ignorant they are of anything to with computers? Unless your knowledge of environmental science comes from first-hand study or at least some in-depth knowledge of physical sciences and marine biology, could you please consider the notion that finding something personally threatening *does*not* qualify you to offer a definitive opinion on the matter, and when you say something like "the hippies want us all wearing sandals and eating tofu" or "the scientists are just in it for the money", you might just be coming across as an ignorant fucktard. In other words, unless you know *exactly* what you're talking about, STFU, seriously.

Japanese whalers lash protesters to mast

Marko Alat

I feel a dance coming on...

@ User...

1. WTF are those three sentences, taken together, supposed to mean?

The distinction I make between wild and farm-raised creatures, as outlined in my previous post is

"...if humans raise an animal in captivity, feed it and keep it healthy, it can plausibly be argued that it's within humans' right to do with the animal as they please, including eating it..."

That doesn't happen with a wild creature; the only exertion humans put themselves through there is when they make the trip out to shoot it, spear it, scoop it up in a net or bonk it over the head with a bat, then drag the carcass back with them... and, aforementioned bat notwithstanding, that's not cricket. We have the option of growing our own food without inconveniencing to the rest of the Earth's biosphere beyond usurpation of resources by our fields, farms and fish ponds.

Unlike other living creatures, humans take much more from the Earth than they give back; a good portion of us don't even rot and feed the worms when we die... now, you can argue that our big brains and opposable thumbs give us the right to do as we please and that cows would eat us if they had the chance, but if you're going to do that, explain to me why, at 6'4", 105kg and considerable knowledge of martial arts, I shouldn't just assert myself, kick the shit out of random strangers on the street who happen to be scrawnier than me, and live off the cash I find in their wallets?

Marko Alat

Yay! Someone called me a name! It's working...

Jim did sed:

> So, you are all for eating farm raised tigers, eh?

If someone was prepared to go through the arseache of breeding tigers for human consumption, they'd, frankly, deserve every penny of the $200 per kilo wholesale price they'd be able to charge for tiger steak... then they'd just have to find the other $200 they'd need to break even.

Once more, for the cheap seats... the objections to whaling as opposed to farming animals like cattle and poultry for food are:

1. Whales are wild creatures; cattle and poultry are bred in captivity.

2. Whales are scarce and under population pressure; cattle and poultry are abundant and thriving.

3. Whales are finicky breeders (goes with being top of the food chain); cattle and poultry reproduce at a high rate (a consequence of being chomped by predators all the time).

4. Whales take many years to mature; cattle and poultry mature in a matter of weeks or months.

5. Whales are killed by cruel, slow methods; cattle and poultry are kiled quickly.

Your farming-tigers example would eliminate objections 1 and 5; if humans raise an animal in captivity, feed it and keep it healthy, it can plausibly be argued that it's within humans' right to do with the animal as they please, including eating it, and if an animal is to be eaten, it would follow from it being captive that it can be killed with minimal distress.

Now you just have to figure out what to do about tigers' finicky reproductive habits and the sweet time they take growing to a size where they can make any kind of decent eating, or breed, so they can make more steak-tigers.

Keeping the pirate theme going...

Marko Alat

Idiot Stampede.

For example,

> Why the hell shouldn't the Japanese eat whales, we eat pigs, sheep, cows,

> goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals.

Whales are rare, wild animals with fidgety reproductive habits who go about their business... until and unless a whaling ship impales them with a hundred pounds of steel harpoon or so, inflicting traumatic injuries which lead to eventual death from blood loss, organ failure, drowning or - if they're reeled onto the processing ship quick enough - vivisection... a process which takes anything from minutes to hours.

Pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks and pheasants are farm animals with fecund reproductive habits, cultivated by human beings for the express purpose of becoming food. They are fed, kept (relatively) healthy and warm, and eventually despatched by methods designed to be (relatively) quick.

The Japanese like to use the non sequitur about Australians beong hypocrites about whaling because they eat kangaroo meat (and emu; the other animal on the only fully edible national coat of arms on Earth). Funny how that narrative stops short of mentioning that the kangaroo meat on sale in Australia comes from *farmed* 'roos (too high a risk of parasites in meat from wild 'roos, apparently), or that kangaroos can reproduce at a rate of four to six young per female per year.

If people can't see the difference between the protracted kiling of rare wild animals and the (relatively) clinical killing of abundant farmed animals, then they're too pigshit-stupid for me to really try to change their mind...

> We keep dairy cows in a perpetualy pregnent state for milk and cheese.

Well, there you go... see why people turn vego?

US Marines: Osprey tiltrotor doing OK in Iraq

Marko Alat

@Mike Powers

> We had autogyro designs (AH-56) in the 1960s that beat the V-22's performance


An autogyro uses an unpowered main rotor spun by the slipstream to generate lift. This means autogyros are fundamentally incapable of hover or vertical take-off or landing. How is an autogyro, then, supposed to be able to exceed the performance of a tilt-rotor when it can't match it for flight regimes.

Further, the YAH-56 wasn't an autogyro; it was a compound helicopter, with a driven main rotor, and lift and thrust augmentation in forward flight from a set of stub fixed wings and a tail-mounted pusher propeller, respectively.

Finally, the YAH-56 was a two-seat attack helicopter, the V-22 is a heavy assault transport. Would you also argue that a Boeing 747 is a shit design because it can't outperform fighter jets? Even then, though...

Maximum Speed: YAH-56 = 244mph, V-22 = 316mph

Cruising Speed: YAH-56 = 225mph, V-22 = 246mph

Ceiling: YAH-56 = 20,000ft, V-22 = 26,000ft

Rate of climb: YAH-56 = 3,000ft/min, V-22 = 2320ft/min

> Although one of the things that did for the AH-56 was a minor malfunction in the

> weapons system that accidentally shot an anti-tank missile at a reviewing stand

> full of VIP's. Whoops.

Did you make that one up yourself, are are you merely repeating a whopper you picked up elsewhere?

Pentagon: Electromagnetic pulse bombs from 2012

Marko Alat


Quoth Anonymous Coward:


WTF? Is Australia expecting to be attacked by a gigantic modern air force? What potential enemies could they have who wouldn't be easy pickings for an F-18? For that matter, what possible enemies could they have that wouldn't be easy pickings for a P-51, for that matter? Russia isn't going to mess with you, China certainly isn't, so it's not like there will be squads of MiG-21s circling Sydney. And, really, if there were, I'm fairly certain that the fifteen or twenty AEGIS-equipped cruisers and carriers in the Pacific might be inclined to stop them before they got there.....


Your last presumption is your biggest; that the US would honour its obligations under the ANZUS treaty to jump in should Australia find itself in a regional ruck... the precedent, as established during the Malaya insurgency crisis and the standoff with Indonesia over Irian Jaya (aka West Papua, at a time when the eastern half of New Guinea was effectively an Australian colony), would indicate that they'd point to the fine print, argue that Australian territorial integrity wasn't under threat, and stay on the sidelines, issuing statements to the press about the need for sanctions to be imposed and whatnot.

Beyond that, and setting aside that the regional militaries in southern and eastern Asia have been spending up big on the most capable military tech Russian manufacturers are prepared to sell, it's a basic principle of strategy to insist that any conflict you fight be as one-sided as possible; the enemy should not just be edged out, but routed with minimal to negligible losses to one's own side. It's much cheaper that way.

Watson suspended by research lab after race row

Marko Alat

A clue shop could clean up in here...

Quoth Anonymous Ignoramus:

"Long after the Arabs looked at the astronomy and other sciences, long after the Europeans travelled the world and established trade and social links with other continents and long after the Chinese built the great wall of china, what were the inhabitants of the African continent doing? Building the aqueducts? Government? Sciences? Medicine? Buildings....

You cannot argue with history! No amount of PC bull will cover this up, though, it is continently never mentioned in “race” arguments.

I would like to see someone try to argue this point, and say that I am racist..."

Dunno about racist, but you sure appear to be pretty fucking ignorant... otherwise you'd have enough awareness of what cultures like the Mali Empire, Greater Zimbabwe, the Ethiopian Empire, the Numidians and so on left behind to realise that arguing an absence of imposing African ruins as evidence that the natives never managed to progress beyond the straw hut and the loincloth on their own doesn't quite work...

Microsoft-loving (former) security czar calls for closed internet

Marko Alat

There's security and there's security...

Moral of this story is to stick to what you know, or risk appearing foolish.

I've seen Richard Clarke interviewed and I've read transcripts of a number of talks he's given on his actual area of expertise, counter-terrorism, and the guy's no dummy. However, his having once had subordinates who'd use teh intarwebz to track terrorist activity does not make him an authority on the nuts and bolts of data security that he's commenting on here. Pity he didn't acknowledge that in himself... although, the man gotta eat, I suppose... if someone came up and went, "Here, come deliver a lecture on Mesopotamian mythology and we'll give you $20 G's," what's my response going to be except, "Hell, yeah."

Bigwigs haven't a clue on IT asset values

Marko Alat

IT Asset Expenditure

>100 desktop PC's @ £500 when new - two years ago.

>Net worth now (after depreciation etc) . . . . probably a lot less than 100 quid each!

>Now let’s remove all of them from use for about 48 hours . . . .

>NOW tell me how much they are worth!!!

Absolutely, unswervingly correct. Since a sizable company with a few hundred staff, and which does $500million in business per year would only spend, maybe, $5million per year on on its IT infrastructure, it's hardly worth tracking, isn't it?

New equipment purchases...

Cost of decommissioning of equipment that's reached end-of-lease...

Internal relocations...

Cabling, patching...

Hotswap stockpiles...

Rackspace rental at offsite data centre...

...all *peanuts*. Spend more on coffee for the staff kitchenettes, you would...

The importance of 'whole journey' email encryption

Marko Alat

What a bunch of crap...

...talking about internal intruders snooping on plaintext email discussing promotions, pay raises, redundancies and whatnot.

To do this without leaving a trace would require that the intruder compromise the network's email, so they can read the juicy traffic, and activity logging systems, so they can cover their tracks. If someone's got that far, chances are the admin credentials they've compromised also grant access to the PKI infrastructure, meaning they'll also be able to get around and encryption that's been put into place.

The scenario the article describes requires that the target organisation, essentially, employs a blackhat and gives them God-level access to the network... if that's the case, the organisation doesn't have a problem with its IT infrastructure, but its HR department.

I second what Charlie Clark has already said... the name Bloor Research should come with a set of quotes or a question mark. They publish half-thought-out, squealing-fanboi hyperbole and generalisations. Frankly, they come across as never having sat at a workstation running any security application more elaborate than home-user AV.

The return of the ransom-ware Trojan

Marko Alat

Re:Identity theft is not just for mobsters

Tony did sed:

> @Andy

>> I feel more comfortable with Russian mobsters knowing my name than I do with the American government obtaining my credit card reports without a warrant

> The recently deceased Alexander Litvinenko might disagree with you if he were able.

Litvinenko was killed by the Russian secret service, not the Russian mafia, dude.