Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dangerous Time To Be Based at Minot, Apparently

Well.... things sure are gettin' innerestin!

We're still on that (runaway) train of thought about the nuclear "accident" involving one B-52 bomber, two USAF bases and six armed cruise missiles. You must remember the one (scroll down, if you don't). A B-52 bomber carrying six cruise missiles took a rather uneventful flight from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana.

Apparently, somebody - oops! - slipped up and those missiles were carrying live nuclear warheads (five or six of them, depending on what you read and who you believe). The official explanation is that it was a screw up and people are being punished, as well as investigations being carried out.

I'll bet. Even in the military, where SNAFU is an old acronym and where huge, deadly bungles are written off as almost routine, someone would have to try very hard to screw this up.

Most of the existing stock of these weapons is kept in storage in Nevada and New Mexico. Barksdale AFB is the step-off point for operations in the Middle East. There are some very basic questions that need to be asked.

  1. If you wanted to decommission some of them, wouldn't you decommission units you already have in storage, not those stockpiled on a base?
  2. Why would you mount missiles with dummy warheads on a B-52 for transport? Why not instead use, um, a transport?
  3. Why fly them from North Dakota to Lousiana, AWAY from Nevada and New Mexico?

I know, I know. I have no idea how these things operate and there are perfectly reasonable explanations for all of this.

What about this stuff?

Minot Air Force Base Airman Died While on Leave briefly discusses the death of Airman 1st Class Todd Blue. According to the Minot Air Force Base website, "Airman 1st Class Todd Blue, 20, was a response force member assigned to the 5th Security Forces Squadron." Reports indicate he was assigned to the unit providing security for the bomber wing.

Minot Airman dies in motorcycle accident is the offical news report about the death July 17th of B-52 pilot, First Lt. Weston Kissel.

Authorities identify Minot airman killed in crash provides details about the accident that resulted in the death of Adam Barrs. In a spooky example of something I like to call "ghosts of the internet", his MySpace profile plays the song Beautiful Girls in which Sean Kingston sings, "...You'll have me suicidal, suicidal...."

Now, I wouldn't ordinarily be interested in something as mundane or dare I say it, "normal" (which, let's face it, in the USA, it rather unfortunately is), as "Langley airman charged in hotel balcony toss" except for the fact that 21 year-old Airman 1st Class William Donahue is assigned to the 1st Communications Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, where, it just so happens, another William Donahue, Lt. Gen. USAF (retired), was based while he was one of the heads and architects of USAF communications and information management.He now sites on the boards of companies like Robbins-Goia

Now I wouldn't normally even be so interesting in THAT were it not for the fact that while Googling Lt. Gen. William J. Donahue, USAF (retired) and 1st Class William Donahue of the 1st Communications Squadron, Langley AFB, I kept coming across stories about cyberattacks on US military systems.

So my furry little ears definitely pricked up when I tripped over this piece at RumorMillNews that attempts to link together the whole Barksdale nukes fiasco and cyberwar.

Where it REALLY gets interesting is this theory about how the reported disappearance of Steve Fossett is connected.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, that flurry of deaths involving US military personnel based at Minot.

Another to fall prey to the "Minot jinx", John Frueh died in July. Was he a B-52 pilot? Was he a Captain? Was he a "combat weatherman"? Officialy, he was a Major-Select and was assigned to Special Operations Command. Some are writing that he was part of the security detail for nuclear bombers. He was apparently, "...last seen April 29th (28 hours before his last phone call) heading out for a walk with a GPS, camera and camcorder." He apparently shot himself dead near his rental car.

So let me get this right. He flew all the way across the USA to attend the wedding of a friend. He went out for a walk with a GPS, camera and camcorder. He then decided to kill himself?

People better at this game than I have their own takes.
Looks like Chuck Simpson of The Geronimo Manifesto is paying close attention, too.

What worries me is that I have long understood that were a nuclear device to detonate in the USA, technology would allow other nations and NGOs to determine whose device it actually was, making it nearly impossible for the kind of false-flag operation being bandied about by conspiracy theorists to be a reality. Apparently, I was wrong and it would not necessarily be possible to know whose nuke went off.

There's one thing that's still bugging me, though. Would somebody PLEASE tell me how the death of Congressman Paul Gillmor fits into all of this?

Alan Greenspan: O.I.L was all about OIL

No shilshl, Shylock.....
Do you think anybody noticed?

Talk about selling your soul to the devil.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Return of the Doomsday Machine?

Sticking with our recent theme of nuclear bombs, Slate is running an outstanding (and chilling) article by Ron Rosenbaum about semi-automated nuclear weapon fail-deadly launch systems, including the Soviet-era "Doomsday Machine", Peremitr AKA Dead Hand.

The article results from the publication of the book Doomsday Men, which has spawned a worthwhile reading in Wired Blogs and the Times Online. We've also found some nuggets here and here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Has a US Nuke Just Been Stolen (For Use in the USA?)

Decide for yourself. Remember news reports of a terrible "blunder" in which nuclear-armed cruise missiles were mistakenly loaded on a B-52 bomber and flown across the continental United States of America? Did you think it was just another example of the ineptitude that plagues the world today? Or did it sound a bit far-fetched?

Well Chuck Simpson over at the Geronimo Manifesto might be able to shed a bit of light on some rather salient points for consideration in piece in which he gives some history, explains what stinks about the official explanations, what the media have apparently overlooked, what might really be going on and why.

The comments on AboveTopSecret are also worth reading, as are some of the things on Arctic Beacon.

Simpson's conclusion?

"Someone, operating under a special chain of command within the United States Air Force, just stole a nuclear weapon."

But don't take our word for it. See for yourself what leads Simpson to come to this chilling (but, honestly, not surprising) conclusion.

How curious the Americans should choose now to return a large amount of materials recovered from Soviet missile boat K-129. If ever you needed proof that, even in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, American-developed nuclear failsafe technologies and systems work as designed and cannot easily be defeated, that was it.

iPhone Unlock in 7 Easy Steps

The Most Eminent Dudes over at macapper have not only unlocked their iPhones but they've put up what may well be the world's first completely eejit-proof, comprehensive, step-by-step (with screenshots) guide to unlocking your iPhone from AT&T. Even if you don't have an iPhone, you have to admit this is some sweet hackery and I really have to give my props to Miles Evans for really giving something back to the community on this one.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another LAME, I mean AWESOME video.

Finland's very own Gregorious does the Suomosexual bop to NMKY, his cover of the Village People's YMCA. This has GOT to be top pick for "Where are they now?"

Saturday, September 08, 2007

BioShock looks INCREDIBLE

You just know that any game carrying warnings like "Game Rating: M (Mature) - Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language" is gonna be worth checking out but this is something else. The atmosphere is incredible.

You have to see this video of actual gameplay from BioShock, a Games for Windows and Xbox 360 title. I've created a collection of basic data and, more importantly, wicked videos, so you don't have to waste time scouring the net.

I highly recommend going to and watching this maximized. Turn out the lights and turn UP the volume!

Once you've done that, go see the first trailer.

According to Wikipedia,

BioShock is a first-person shooter video game by 2K Boston/2K Australia (previously Irrational Games[5])

Set in 1960, the player assumes the role of a plane crash survivor named Jack, who must explore the dystopian underwater city of Rapture and survive the mutated beings and mechanical drones within it. The game incorporates elements found in role-playing and survival horror games, and is described by the developers as a "spiritual successor" to their previous title System Shock 2.[7]

Just imagine: people sitting in their basements with video projectors, BIG screen TVs or video glasses and serious surround-sound systems, playing a video game in which mutated, blood-sucking kids have to be destroyed, while ordering pizza and beer online.

You can go to for screenshots and trailers or download the awesome TV trailer, courtesy of IGN:

(Flash video) 480 x 270 (18 MB)
(Flash video) 640 x 360 (18 MB)
(Windows Media) 1280 x 720 (50 MB)

If you have an Xbox 360, you can grab the demo here.

Games for Windows users can get the demo here. But be warned: you'll need some fairly hefty hardware to enjoy this thing, especially on a BIG monitor, and there has been a lot of chatter about this thing installing a rootkit.

What could possibly go wrong when you cram junk food, alcohol, isolationism and immersive imagery involving wasting kids into a generation of loners?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Yet Another Spiffing Music Video! Nick the Chopper - Baris Manco

Liked that incredible 80s rappers' riot throwdown yesterday, did you? Well, fans of the grotesque need look no further than today's sweet little number - Nick the Chopper, by Turkey's geat entry into the Hall of Hair - Baris Manco. I'm fairly sure this is 80s, too, though it's described as 70s. If it IS 70s, then it's got to be from about 1979.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Awesome Clip of Crap 80s Rap in Crap 80s Movie

Oh yeah, this is totally awesome. How could we forget Teen Witch when it gave us such an incredible battle of rhyme?

"Look at how funky he is," indeed. Top that!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cannot open all sites in Firefox on Sabayon (Ubuntu) Linux

AKA the case of the missing access to the internet under Sabayon and Ubuntu Linux.

One of the first problems, if not THE first problem Sabayon Linux newbies will encounter is some weird problem accessing the internet, be it the Wobbly Wide Web (gotta LOVE that Beryl) or just trying to update packages using Kuroo.

The first thing you should do with a fresh OS install, OBVIOUSLY, is update it. But of course, with Sabayon and (I presume) other Ubuntu based distros, you may not be able to update your packages because of problems with IPv6 service running.

First of all, the Gnome browser is nice, but it doesn't always work with many of today's AJAX/whatever sites (like Gmail, sometimes) so you might want to get Firefox up and running.

The immediate fix for Firefox is to disable IPv6 by enabling network.dns.disableIPv6 A double-negative. In code, no less. Beautiful!

1.Type "about:config" in the address field.
2.Type "ipv6" in the "filter: field" that replaced the address field.
3 There should be only one entry remaining in the listing. If there is more than one, look for "network.dns.disableIPv6". The value of this entry should be "false". Double-click it. The value should now read "true".
4. Restart Firefox.

Enjoy the results until the internet collapses under the weight of its IPv4 success.

The above steps will apparently also speed up browsing with Firefox. Until, as I already pointed out is coming, the death of the internet.

Meanwhile, if you want to do anything else useful on your Linux installation that requires the internet, you'll probably want to disable IPv6 system-wide because it tends to prevent or slow down Los Intartubez.

This is a slightly more involved process and much depends on the flava o'nix yall's runnin' so for Sabayon users, have a look on Ye Olde Google

All y'all users of them othra Linices can check this out, yo.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Armed and Disingenuous" - the USA Enjoys 90 Guns per 100 People.

If it were a Hollywood action film, a low, menacing voice would warn, "Be afraid..... be very... afraid...."

"301 million people. 270 million guns. One big mistake..."

A report by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies found the USA to be the most heavily-armed population on earth.

According to the Reuters article, "The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said."

1. And their point is?
2. Well, doh!
3. We needed a study to discover this?

I wonder how many guns they had in New Orleans?

Order your copy of Small Arms Survey 2007 from Cambridge University Press.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Inside the Countrywide Lending Spree

The New York Times is going into detail about the kinds of dodgy business practices that both made Countrywide Financial Corporation the biggest home financier in the USA and ultimately led to everything from credit concerns and market corrections to personal ruin and unpalatable amounts of stress for people around the world.

You know what? This is BORING. How many times have we seen the same thing play out, again and again and again and again? That's right - BORING. In just my own life, I've seen the same basic scenario played out at least five or six times. If you bother to do a bit of research, you can read up on how large-scale deception, manipulation and theft from customers through to entire markets has a glorious tradition going back hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Though such practices have always been a mark of human endeavour, they did not really mushroom into the size, scale and breadth of which we tend to take much note until commodities markets came into existence.

Hence, perhaps the first major scams, I mean bubbles, of which you might want to read, are the tulip bubble and the South Sea Bubble.

Take a walk through Picadilly some time and marvel at the glorious buildings that became what are now some of the major landmarks of the area. All built by such luminaries of their age. All financed by scamming markets and individual investors. All but a few of them once owned by people left virtually unscathed - financially or politically - by the terrible toll they exacted on the economies and investors of their time.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Gmail's Mystery Missing Mails?

Keep a sharp eye on your Gmail. I recently grew suspicious that an email had mysteriously disappeared from my Gmail. I tried everything to find it - searches, All Mail, Spam, Trash. Nope. It was gone. At the time, I put it down to my own tired, hurried, inadvertant use of keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, or just accidentally deleting a message thread.

However, this morning, a colleague of mine, without prompting from me, said that he too recently had an email disappear from his Gmail - an email he never would have trashed.

Remember kids:

Data YOU don't back up is data YOU don't want.

Don't depend on major organizations to do it for you. Do it yourself.

So now, I'll have to do a series on the best ways to download all that Google Mail mail and keep future mails backed up. And the contact list. And everything else online.

I have yet to find any online questions or comments about the problem and the Google Blog seems to be quiet on the subject but, well, just wait.....

We can't depend on Google to keep our email safe. We can't depend on Google to keep our contacts totally safe. And, apparently, we can't depend on Google to keep their search results totally reliable.....

Monday, August 13, 2007

Warners to remake 'Enter the Dragon'

Oh how the fanbase will be jumping for joy to hear this - NOT.

Warner Brothers is going to remake Enter the Dragon.

Yeah. Sure. Talk about a no-win situation.

The reaction from Bruce Lee fans and the wider audience for martial arts cinema is likely to be less than warm and embracing.

It's a bit like saying you're going to "update" the Mona Lisa, rebuild the Great Wall of China using "good, sturdy modern materials and engineering," or put a properly reliable Japanese engine in a Ferrari. It doesn't matter if it IS somehow better, updated or even just plain remade.

Why mess with an original?

Bruce Lee wasn't the best actor in history. He wasn't even the best in martial arts cinema. His films weren't paragons of plotline, uber-alles actioneers or even particularly skillfully-made.

But they broke boundaries, set at least one major trend, and established, for the first time in the eyes of Hollywood audiences, an Asian man in a leading role.

You can't repeat the first ever conquering of Everest. You can't be the first man to walk on the moon, again.

And you can't Enter the Dragon Again.

“Not enough server storage is available to process this command.”

Here's an annoying little glitch in Windows networking, courtesy of those mavens of SCREWING THE HELL OUT OF YOUR WINDOWS - Symantec/Norton.

I first encountered a problem after creating a VPN between two Windows machines (using the awesome LogMeIn Hamachi) but the problem is independent of VPNs.


You are logged into a Windows network. You can see shared folders on another machine but when you try to open one, you get an error message that includes the line,

“Not enough server storage is available to process this command.”

Typically, the full error message will be something like,

"\\XXXXXX is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the adminsitrator of this server to find out if you have access.

Not enough server storage is available to process this command."

where XXXXXX is the full network pathname of the resource (folder, for example) you are trying to open.


The problem is caused by a range of Symantec/Norton products and is on the server (the computer on which the shared folder sits) not on the client machine that is getting the error shown above.

The problem can be confirmed by checking the EventViewer on the server.

There is a simple guide to fixing the problem here.

You can read a bunch more by Googling the error message.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Password Managers

I'm convinced scientists will one day discover that the human brain has evolved a completely new area devoted to remembering PINs, user ids, passwords and all the other assorted digital data that is fast overwhelming our daily lives.

There have been corporate moves to rationalize the situation by introducing unified-login systems - like Microsoft .NET/Passport/Live ID - but well, look, that's already been rebranded at least once and do YOU use it more than strictly necessary? Read Why Does Microsoft Passport Suck?

Google is another example of how not manage logins. I love Google. I love what they've done for the web and the net. However, I'm concerned because they've become a corporate behemoth. History shows that it is pretty damn hard to stop massize growth in size and reach from having a weakening and corrupting influence. There simply aren't enough good people to go around, and managing things that big, with the humans available, is nigh on impossible. That's what limits both the size and effectiveness of good kibbutzes (PDF), and the success of communism. Just! Ask! Yahoo!

Not that I know a better way for Google to do it. But it's not easy. It's a pretty sobering thought that today's capitalism, despite all its drawbacks, may, given the humans we have to play with, in fact be the best option available.

Indeed, management can be such a challenge that I've gone a bit off-track. What was my point? Oh yeah - managing passwords.

In a series of articles, I'm going to detail my experiences trying to rationalize my own online user ids, passwords and any other online crap I need to organize.

It won't be easy. To return briefly to the Google and Yahoo! situation, if you use services like Gmail, Google AdSense, Google Analytics, Blogspot/Blogger, Yahoo! Mail, flickr, YouTube, etc., you will already be well-acquainted with the mess you can get into trying to stay conveniently logged-in to, or just trying to return to, some or all of those accounts on a regular basis. Throw in the short-comings of browser cookies, and it's a real headache.

Oh, and did I mention that, with advancing age, keeping those details in memory becomes ever more difficult/impossible?

If you're trying to develop even a basic online business based on blogging/advertising and/or other websites, you'll no doubt already have the following:

1. webmail accounts - at least a few (it's foolhardy to depend on just one)
2. blogging accounts - at least one with a major service
3. PayPal account
4. Google accounts - for Gmail, Ad Sense, Analytics, Blogger
5. eBay? - c'mon, who hasn't at least tried?
6. Amazon (all those little revenue shares add up)
7. Statsaholic - simpler and easier than Google Analytics (which does have its uses)
8. web hosting - perhaps more than one
9. DNS/domain registrar - usually more than one
10. logins for all the password protected directories you might have
11. logins for cPanel or similar for each web hosting account
12. PHPadmin logins for each hosting account

If you're even more experienced/into it, you'll no doubt have separate local and remote development servers, each one requiring multiple logins.

Oh yeah, and what about that great legacy of logins for all those services with which you've dabbled in the past and maybe still use about once every six months. Even if you don't still use them, you never know when they'll come in handy.

Lycos, Netscape, excite, financial data sites, product support/registration....

Then, there is all the online content/functionality that really needs logging in:

Digg, Slashdot, Metacafe, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Fark, b3ta....

The list goes on and on.

What we need is a password manager. One of the best-known is RoboForm/RoboPass. But to get all the functionality you need from RoboForm costs MONEY. And last time I checked, it didn't support Linux,

which adds the final requirement to the mix:

Can we get an open-source password manager that works, is as secure as we need, is portable and works on all the platforms we need?

In this series, I will detail my own experience researching, testing and using open-source password managers. I have already identified three candidates: KeePass, Oubliette and Password Gorilla.

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment.

and stay tuned....

Friday, August 10, 2007

People in the News Given a Voice by Google

Google is testing a new technology that will allow the people and organizations featured in news stories to comment on the stories.

Sounds interesting. Also sounds very simple, but effective. Google has already revolutionized publishing and news reporting, playing a major role in the new foundations and structure of democratization through technology.

I'm really interested to find out how Google will ensure people and organizations are who they claim to be when they submit their comments but if this works, it certainly looks set to make reporting even more interesting.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

30+ Tools to Turn Wordpress into a Personal Hub

Mashable has a list of more than thirty tools you can use with Wordpress to turn your blog into a personal hub for social networking. I thought it was tough staying on top of the information autobahn a few years ago but it's getting ridiculous these days. Way back in about 1993, when I first started surfing the net with any great regularity, I knew pretty well every single website out there.

Now, I feel like I've woken with a serious hangover, having lost my memory and found myself in the middle of a busy freeway, completely bewildered about my surroundings and struggling to focus on anything, while trying to dodge oncoming trucks.

Think you gotta handle on things? Check out

Monday, August 06, 2007 Offering Service It Can't Provide?

ZayHi has spent many months recently flogging its discount calling card around Bangkok, Thailand.

They offer what appear to be attractive calling rates to various destinations around the world. There's just one slight problem, however.

In our experience, the calling quality is so poor, we had basically just thrown away money. It doesn't seem to matter if you're calling landlines or mobile phones, the experience is the same: noisy lines, poor volume, interrupted calls.

Calling their customer no-service line is little better. They don't answer. Not, I suppose, that we should be staggered by that - customer service hours are not stated on the card.

Sometimes, we call the landline number to connect to the operator, the line goes dead!

So ZayBye to ZayHi. As far as we can telephone, they're a total sham.