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The Most Important Truth You Will Ever Know

People can be persuaded to believe anything provided they understand that this is what they are expected to believe

 

That took years to formulate, but the comforting part is that very few of the mass will ever believe it.

 

German Crusader

 

Anyway, it can be tied into a Russian fable quoted later. In the mean time, the instability of server 'Amp' appears to have perhaps stopped, and Serene Falcon is back to it's previous quiet efficiency: however the sloth of page-opening is also part of that normal state, so sooner or later it will be moved to the fastest servers in the west, Teksapiens, whom I found on the faintest of hints from this source.

Still, however unlikely, the Internal Security Division of Serene Falcon had to look for any evidence of hacking; which was not found: to the easily awestruck 'hacking' appears like some rough magic by which the threatening deliver some arcane spell at a site like a videogame wizard easily manipulating all though a mysterious and unnameable exploit which vanishes when suspected. In prosaic real life traces are always left, and for php even the powerful c99madshell needs to have been uploaded via FTP or through allowed uploads for the attacker to work; simply doing a date search for the most recent files will show if any of those was compromised... Should one find evidence in Wordpress, there are the options of looking for backdoors and eliminating them or cleaning the install.

To some others, including alas, state authorities, hacking is childsplay. Literally.

A new survey has revealed that while 78 percent of them agree that it is wrong, a quarter of the kids asked admitted that hacking really is child's play.
The survey of more than 1000 children discovered that the boy hacker stereotype no longer holds true, with 47 percent of those who put their hands up to hacking activity being girls.
The most common scene of the crime would appear to be the relatively safe haven of the bedroom with 27 percent saying this was where they hacked from, while 22 percent were hacking in an Internet Cafe, 21 percent using the ICT suite at school and 19 percent a mate's machine.
...
Cumbria Constabulary’s Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde ACPO lead on E-Crime Prevention and President of the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB) says "what this survey starkly highlights is that hacking into personal online accounts whether email or Facebook can be child’s play if users do not protect their own passwords. It illustrates the importance of keeping your passwords strong, secure and changing them regularly to help protect your accounts from unscrupulous people of all ages. We live in a world where social networking, email and the internet are embedded into our every day lives from a far younger age so early education is essential to ensure young people know the devastating consequences this activity can have...."

Whilst offering some reluctant admiration for whoever came up with 'Policing of Cyberspace', and much less admiration for the feeble attempt to emphasize the tenuous reach for supposed feminist equality in the hackosphere, it is unnerving to realise that police consider breaking into a friend's Facebook account by guessing their password as expert hacking or cracking.

Over in Africa they are a little more sophisticated --- which is not something said very often, considering that in South Africa setting people on fire is a pastime and up in Somalia they drive a truckload of stones into a stadium to punish a 13-yr-old girl for reporting her rape ( a few of the 1000 strong spectators protested ): a touch of modernity was provided by having nurses discover whether she was dead yet, and finding this not so, reburying her for the next volley of stones. A touch of multiculturalism makes the whole world kin --- and if this is what may be expected from there, still more ingenious efforts will be forthcoming from Russia and China as they and we spiral downwards.

Imagine a network of virus-driven computers so infectious that it could bring down the world's top 10 leading economies with just a few strokes. It would require about 100 million computers working together as one, a "botnet" — the cybersecurity world's version of a WMD. But unlike its conventional weapons equivalent, this threat is the subject of no geopolitical row or diplomatic initiative. That's because no one sees it coming — straight out of Africa.
Cybercrime is growing at a faster rate in Africa than on any other continent in the world, according to statistics presented at a conference on the matter in Cote D'Ivoire in 2008. Cybersecurity experts estimate that 80 percent of PCs on the African continent are already infected with viruses and other malicious software. And while that may not have been too worrisome for the international economy a few years ago (just like the continuing war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not affect our daily lives), the arrival of broadband service to Africa means that is about to change. The new undersea broadband Internet cables being installed today will make Africa no further away from New York than, say, Boston, in the virtual world.
Broadband Internet access will allow Africa's virus and malware problems to go global. With more users able to access the Internet (and faster), larger amounts of data can be transferred both out and inward. More spam messages in your inbox from Africa's email fraudsters will be only the beginning.

Franz-Stefan Gady NPR

 

At least the admirable Dancho Danchev's Blog - Mind Streams of Information Security Knowledge helps maintain some record of current threats. But apart from the superstrikes of the future being far more intense, there are still more pressing dangers than common criminals or the purely spiteful.

 
From Dark Reading, Mr. Gadi Evron reports:

Today I'd like to introduce you to one of the main thinkers on information warfare, who most of you never heard of. S.P. Rastorguev (Расторгуев C.П.). He is a Russian strategist who unfortunately, as far as I can find, hasn't been translated.
He wrote several books, but the one I will be speaking of is called literally Information Warfare ( Informatsionnaya voina -- Информационная война ). In it, he discusses the human animal and how viruses of the mind can work just as well as viruses in computer systems, exploring many models of exploitation.
While he covers many concepts, the one I was introduced to originally is the story of the fox and the turtle.
Here is a slightly altered, and shortened, version ( full and accurate version below ):

A turtle walks through the forest, enjoying the view. She runs into a fox, who says: "Turtle, turtle, get out of your shell and you can fly."
The turtle stares skeptically at the fox, and keeps on walking.
Eventually, traveling through the forest the turtle comes across a television set. She watches as hundreds of turtles get out of their shells, and fly.
She gets out of her shell, and she flies.

I'm gonna say I found this as clear as crystal, as I suspect really did the writer, who goes on,

When I first heard this story, I was confused. What was the moral of the story ? Deception ? Perhaps strategy ?
A friend of mine explained it as Sergei Rastorguev did at the end of the story: "The turtle didn't know and never will, that information warfare --- it is the purposeful training of an enemy on how to remove its own shell."

...

The following translation of the fox and turtle story was done by Ilya Konstantinov, as a favor to me. As to why the fox is female, you better ask a Russian literary expert, as that's just how it is in Russian fables.

There used to be an ordinary turtle who constantly carried a heavy shell on its back. The shell pressed her to the ground and every step she took was hard effort for her. That's why her life, measured by the number of those uneasy steps, was also hard.

On the other hand, when a hungry fox came running from a nearby forest, the turtle hid her head inside the shell and patiently awaited until the danger was over. The fox kept hopping around, trying to bite at the shell, trying to turn her upside down; all in all, trying all the steps typical of an aggressor, and yet the turtle prevailed.

Once upon a time, the fox got a big wallet, brought in a lawyer and, sitting across the turtle, proposed a buyout offer for the shell. The turtle considered it throughly, but due to her limited imagination, she had to refuse. And yet again, the fox left with nothing.

Time passed, the world changed, new means of telecommunication have entered the forest. One day, coming out of her house, the turtle saw a TV screen hanging off a tree, showing films of flying turtles, shell-less. Breathless with excitement, the woodpecker-announcer spoke of their flight: "Such a lightness ! What a speed ! How beautiful ! Such an elegance !". The turtle watched the show that day, and the next day, and the day after...
And then a thought arose in her little mind, about how stupid she is to carry around that weight - the shell. Wouldn't she be better getting it off? Life would be much easier. Scarier ? Yeah, a bit scarier, but the news anchor-owl announced that the fox has turned to the Krishnas and became vegetarian.

The world is changing. The forest is also completely different; there are less and less trees and distinctive animals, and more and more indistinguishable stray dogs and jackals.
"And really, why shouldn't I fly ? The skies --- they're so big and wonderful!"
"If only I gave up the shell, and --- right away - - life would be easier !" --- thought the turtle
"If only she gave up the shell, and --- right away --- she'd be easier to eat" -- thought the fox, signing on the bill for yet another advertisement of flying turtles
And one beautiful morning, when the skies seemed larger than ever, the turtle has made her first and last step towards freedom of her protection system.

The turtle didn't know and never will, that information warfare -- it is the purposeful training of an enemy on how to remove its own shell.

 
Thanks to the useful idiots of liberalism --- which includes every ideology since the 17th century, the Decline of the West is assured.

 

 

Eve and Apple

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Chatfield, There Seems To Be Something Wrong With Our Bloody Ships Today

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at 4:20 pm (Computing, Self Writ)

 

Kitty News

 
We have some local difficulties.

Serene Falcon has not much traffic --- nor was designed to: without either modesty or superciliousness one may assume it to be caviare to the general --- so, running on a standard Wordpress install with a number of common plugins upon shared hosting, one should assume that it's customary slowness in rendering is due to the limitations of the last and the heavy image content. However, a new foe has arisen, and some posts opened as themselves show as 404s --- which is a considerable improvement over the position that began sometime after the last post when everything, including the administration, opened as 500s. Due to the lack of readers or previous issues I can't blame usage or resources being squandered by this blog.

Being in general unkeen on asking advice, unmeliorated by internet responses ranging from the unhelpful; the incapable of reading even cursorily; those who issue recommendations one should do what one specifically said one wished to avoid doing; the resentful 'Why don't you like xxx ?' when xxx is a product one prefers to avoid; the incomprehensible; the droning nerdspeaker who breathes endless code to be typed in to achieve a small result; and the unexpectedly angry --- how dare you not have implemented such and such --- as befell the misfortunate Mr. Scoble once he had been hacked, I can't really turn to any help other than that dispensed by the wholly inadequate Google.

 

Kitty News

 

A week or so before I had emplaced a new improved .htaccess, as described here and here, it worked well and seemed to increase speed --- so I'm absolutely certain this had nothing to do with the later problems. When on the 22nd I could not enter the site due to the 500 pages, I began flashing new trial .htaccess's in and out as if confetti and updating the settings on the Dreamhost Web Panel ( 'Edit Site', simply updating without altering settings ) which restored it to semi-normality; although I was getting Dreamhost 404s whenever the .htaccess was improper. I was then able to uninstall supercache in the recommended way, and for good measure through ftp deleted all recent plugins. This now came back to serene falcon-specific 404s. Which I still get if the browser is busy, yet if undelayed the admin panel shows. From here any linked page or url shown in that panel sometimes works, but usually resolves into a 404. Should I hit the Update Permalinks button -- which is mandated after any change --- the whole thing starts over and requires the previous Dreamhost Settings to be hit again.

 
Now, it might be a Pretty Permalinks issue, or recent upgrades, or plugins, but my inclination is that it's probably the server going mad. On the other hand the damage to the install may remain after. So apart from mind-glazing reading on .htaccesses and on permalinks and on Wordpress issues, I've not only considered moving it --- it alone : Dreamhost are good hosts, but have slow speeds --- but converting it from Wordpress to another system. Therefore reading and comparing Dragonfly, Symphony, Drupal, WolfCMS, Textpattern, ExpressionEngine, Elgg, Movable Type etc. etc., which are more CMS than blogging software. Some are not php-based, some seemed unupdated for two years and none seem promising as yet. Apart from the few plugins that are essential --- although a vast re-editing of all past posts referencing a plugin to adapt to a new system would be unwelcome --- the continuance of the theme seems the sticking point.

The trouble with servers and computing generally is that nothing just works. We had it instilled into us that all error is down to input or design, Garbage In : Garbage Out; yet it takes small experience to realise that small events have vast repercussions and that software just suddenly screws for no reason. A spade will work until it is worn out; a gun will simply work --- yes, it may misfire, jam or explode, but under the laws of physics if nothing is wrong then it will continue as made --- but with computing, weird things happen.

 

 

Strolling Girl

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How Small, Of All That Human Hearts Endure, That Part Which Laws Or Kings Can Cause Or Cure !

Recently, a terrifying and heart-rending plea manifested from some poor girl in the toils of the pop-up curse:

 

Firefox Girl

 
Please help me im crying my eys out plz i beg u ???

i went on to msn website and al these pop ups came up and started downloading stuff rght now and it donloaded smething called **** and *** his porn thing and my back ground ent red with this bull on it and i dont no wat to doit wont let me anything andit comes up windows virus thing is not up 2 date help me i am only 12 and my dad will kill me if he found out help me !! pz =::::::::(

 
Firefox Girl

 
This is actually quite sad, and it would be entirely inappropriate to feel a lack of appropriate emotion; particularly the presumed reaction of the noncomprehending pater familias --- which really... I mean, you'd think by now... I mean, she's just a girl; and also thus can scarcely be suspected of seeking sex sites. Which is actually serendipity on the modern day web, In Soviet Russia, Sex Sites Seek You ! Also, it's difficult to recall, how to a child things which are both minor, and always voided by time, assume gut-wrenching importance. However, hearts may cease their frantic struggle like little birds caught in the hideous traps of our forefathers, for this Yahoo Question [cache] is actually marked as resolved. And yet, and yet.... Surely there must be some solution to the repulsion of these --- strictly reeking of yesteryear, and in the time of the Clinton Administration --- weakling pop-ups and associated virii...

 

Firefox parrots

 
If only there were some clue.

 

Firefox Girl

 
If only we could guess what it might be.

 
Firefox Girl

 
Some powerful sword 'gainst which Pop-Up Hell itself shall not prevail.

 

Firefox Girl

 
Just one...

 

Firefox Girl

 
No matter how faint and delicately hued.

 
Mozilla Girls

 
 

[ I do wish people would adhere as near as damnit to spelling conventions... ]

 

Firefox Day Badge

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Cost Of Non-Vertical Integration

I was brought up on the comforting assumption that web-site lives were around for an average of 100 days. Time's arrow has shortened the average life to 44 ( at least upon these assumptions = it could be less ); this emphasises the necessity for pruning of lost links --- cutting dead-wood is always to be undertaken with enthusiasm --- and that to ensure one's own pages continue to offer what they are meant, that hot-linking even if agreed with a host site should be severely discouraged. All media: pictures, music and video should be stored on the same server; storage is cheap enough and will probably not get more expensive for non-critical applications. Obviously one's server will go down now and again/eventually, but if that means one's media is unobtainable, the main website is equally so.

The rapid loss is not to be regretted too much, except for people's personal works and studies of historical fact. Probably it doesn't matter if 95% of commercial and intellectual webpages are lost forever tomorrow: the amount of dross, and severely outdated information, clogs the internet; just as that it would not matter, except to the persons concerned, if 95% of people snuffed it. I am not advocating this, nor minimising tragedy; merely conflating Keynes' quote, 'In the long run, we are all dead' with the point that nobody except God truly cares even in the short run, and He is fully capable of dealing with all eventualities. [ I doubt that He Cares about the future of the Internet however. ]

 

Arthur Hughes - The Property Room<
Arthur Hughes --- The Property Room

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