The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

On fashion

| February 11, 2011

Liz and I were watching Buffy, and we were remarking as to how short the skirts were in the ’90’s.

This brings up the question – why did we stop? Is it because all the girls got old and got jobs, where short skirts like that are not allowed?

Liz’s theory is that 9/11 sucked a bunch of joy out of our lives, and forced us to take things more seriously.

Any thoughts?

Wow.. this is a new one…

| February 11, 2011

[http://www.testmyisp.com/ TestMyISP]. Supposedly something done by the FCC in partnership with [http://www.samknows.com/ SamKnows]. The idea is that you replace *your* router with *their* router.

Are you f-ing kidding me?

I mean, sure, your upstream ISP can see all your traffic, so that’s why you encrypt everything. However, this can see everything going through it – wired, wireless, etc, even if it never leaves your house.

Talk about a good way to p0wn a bunch of people, especially given how few people actually use proper encryption. Just look at Facebook.

I sent them the following feedback:

How gullible do you think people are?

Replace my router with one I’ve agreed to not reverse engineer, yet is known to be using modified firmware, and therefore can be monitoring all of my traffic? You must be insane.

That said, given the general public’s awareness of computer security, you’ll probably have lots of people signing up.

Good luck with that.

On war, wikileaks, and politics

| February 10, 2011

So, I’ve been listening to old episodes of Dan Carlin, (playing catch up), and he was talking about the Collateral Murder video released by WikiLeaks. I watched this version.

To summarize the content:
* Two AH-64 gunships are doing close air support and attack some insurgents.
* Two reporters were in the group.
* A mechanized infantry group is moving through the city towards where the Apache shot the insurgents.
* A van pulls up and they start collecting bodies and weapons. They ask for authorization, get it, and shoot the van too.
* Later, the infantry finds that the van also contained two children. They are turned over to Iraqi police and taken to a hospital.

Now, I missed this when it first came up, but to hear Dan tell it, folks were outraged. WikiLeaks expected people to be outraged by the idea that a couple reporters got killed in the attack. Apparently, however, people were outraged at the reality of the war.

Don’t get me wrong – I feel bad for kids when parents are stupid enough to go driving them around in a war zone, and I feel bad for the families of those killed, but what do people expect? This is war. It’s not pretty. However, given the choice of seeing an Apache shooting 30mm into a group of guys carrying AK’s and RPGs, or seeing my countrymen come home in bodybags, I’ll take the former every day of the week. This is what technology buys you. Air support blows the crap out of targets, infantry moves in and mops up in relative safety.

As far as the reporters – hanging around with a bunch of soldiers in an active combat area is inherently dangerous. Be careful you don’t get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I just don’t understand why people are so shocked by this. How can they be so naive?

Podcasts

| February 10, 2011

If you’re not listening to Dan Carlin, you should be.

Snow day

| February 2, 2011

The snow is falling pretty thick out there, and work is closed. IFC is running Lords of Dogtown which I had not seen but is pretty decent. Then again, I like historical movies and documentaries, and this was written by one of the guys in the movie. The soundtrack isn’t bad either.

When I watch movies like this, I can’t help but wonder if life was easier back then (in this case, the ’70’s). In reality, I doubt it. I mean, stuff was more expensive (no Amazon), it took longer to do things (no internet). On the flip side, you had more “free” time, because there wasn’t all this stuff to distract you – my childhood in the ’80s was like that. Then again, I had more free time in the ’80’s because I was a kid – I spent about 3 hours less a day out of the house (school is shorter than work, and I didn’t have a 45 minute drive each way – the bus ride was much shorter). I didn’t have to go grocery shopping, someone else made the meals – I just needed to do my homework, chores, and then I could do as I wished. So, it’s probably all a wash anyway.

Aaanyway, today I’m finishing up my Karchev battlegroup (will post pictures at some point), cleaning up the house a bit, and will likely bust up some pallets I got from work for firewood, play fetch with dog, dig out of the snow, and otherwise bum around the house.