Sony hack

December 20, 2014

We are led to believe this is a dastardly plot by North Korea, an Act of War.

Now have we not heard this before, an excuse for US to start a war? And the US has already threatened a reprisal attack.

Vietnam War, the carpet bombing of North Vietnam was triggered by an attack on a US fishing boat off the coast of North Vietnam. A fishing boat that just happened to be bristling with antenna.

Only there was no such attack.

9/11 justified attack on Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, Al Queda, Saddam Hussein were all rolled into one. Weapons of mass destruction, regime change.

The Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden if the US provided the evidence.

But who needs evidence when there is a country to attack and invade?

US already had the plans ready to roll to attack Iraq, all they wanted was a Pearl Harbour.

9/11 was their Pearl harbour.

Now they want their 9/ll.

Strange how 9/11 is used to justify pulling of The Interview. A film destined to be a flop even before it was released.

Hackers are not terrorists.

What were they going to do, send a code to detonate explosives in a cinema near you? Or maybe remotely hijack a plane. The latter is feasible, but not very probable.

And where were these hackers?

The source of a cyber attack is notoriously difficult to trace.

We have already world-renowned “cybersecurity expert” Newt Gingrich tell us US has has “lost its first cyberwar”. Scary huh? About as convincing as Nigel Lawson being wheeled out by the BBC as a “climate expert”.

I would rather heed security specialist Lauren Weinstein:

But boys and girls, my gut feeling is that we’re being seriously suckered.

First we’re told that the Sony hack was incredibly sophisticated and brilliant, of the sort that (supposedly) only a well-funded nation-state could muster.

Then we start to hear from researchers who have looked at this in more detail, and we learn that the actual exploit was relatively simplistic and run-of-the-mill, rather sloppy in fact.

So how could such a crude exploit do so much damage to Sony?

Well, we’ve also now learned that — reportedly — Sony’s computer security practices were well known within the company as being somewhere south of McMurdo Station — that is, really abysmally sloppy and inept.

So you apparently didn’t need a nation-state with vast cyberwar attack resources to pull this off. Perhaps a bored 18-year-old looking for “lulz” from his parents’ basement would be more than adequate to the task.

So where does the North Korean connection could from, other than a destined to be flop of the year crap movie from Sony?

So … which is going to play more effectively into these narratives — the 18-year-old in the basement lounge chair with a keyboard in their lap … or a nightmarish cyberattack conveniently pinned on the megalomaniac leader of a pariah nation?

Yes, I could be wrong. Maybe we’re actually getting the straight story on all this from our elected officials and their multitude of minions. Maybe this all really was a dastardly attack by North Korea on a mediocre Sony film.

The very existence of a cyber attack, will be used to usher in ever more Draconian powers to monitor every breath we take.

Could it not be, a publicity stunt from Sony that has gone badly wrong?

We see once again how copyright stifles creativity.

Annette Hanshaw, not heard of her? She was a very popular jazz and blues singer in the 1920s. Copyright is owned by corporations like Sony. They see no money to be made. Her music is not released. She vanishes into obscurity.

If Sony dare not release The Interview, then relinquish all copyright claims and put in the public domain.

Then watch as South Korea beams it onto North Korea.

Paulo Coelho offered $100,000 for the film rights and was willing to then stream from his blog. Sony had until midday Friday to respond. They failed to respond.

So why did Sony pull The Interview? They did so to distract from their embarrassing e-mails that had been leaked following the Sony hack.

Cold afternoon in Winchester

December 19, 2014

Once again a ruined afternoon trip to Winchester thanks to dysfunctional public transport.

I make the train to Alton with five minutes to spare. It is running two minutes late, miss bus from Alton as it is timed to leave at the same time as train arrives, so miss the bus, next bus fails to turn up, bus after that 5-10 minutes late. Over an hour wait in the freezing cold. Unable to see out of the bus as the windows are filthy. Bus is freezing cold, no heating. Arrive in Winchester well over an hour later than planned, now very cold.

Whilst waiting for the bus, I have a chat with the charming girl who works in the Station Cafe. I see Tuesday, they had a Christmas dinner. It was probably good, as their food is good. I give her a signed copy of Monsters as an early Christmas present. She is over the moon.

I was looking forward to a burger off New Forest Steak Burger stall. He has sold out and is packing up.

I am cold and hungry, chilled to the bone, so cold I am shivering with cold.

candle lit lunch by Jimmy Bean

candle lit lunch by Jimmy Bean

Candle lit lunch by Jimmy Bean, hotted up sausage roll, tomato and basil soup, followed by a cappuccino.

Jimmy Bean serves the soup in a recyclable, compostable paper cup with a lid. If he can do it, why not everyone? And not even from special suppliers, easily obtainable from catering suppliers. He said cup product of Compost Me.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

High Street packed. Loads of people heading towards Winchester Cathedral.

Jimmy Beans says Christmas market well worth a visit.

I head that way.

Christmas market

Christmas market

He is right, large sheds, lots of variety, and mainly not tat. An an ice ring.

A festival atmosphere. A cross between carnival in Puerto de la Cruz and a street market.

A pop up cafe. I have a hot dog. It is not a hot dog so why call it a hot dog? It is a sausage in a roll with onions. The sausage is disgusting, the onions disgusting.

I just make six o’clock bus. Windows filthy, impossible to see out. As going down, a new bus. Or should I say a newer new bus, as they are new double-deckers on this route, not the clapped-out, fit-for-scrapyard double-deckers Stagecoach run elsewhere. The main difference, is two seats at the front replacing the luggage rack. Luggage rack now a tiny space behind the two seats. Totally inadequate for a fold up buggy, if space has to be vacated for a wheelchair. The other difference is the lighting. Far too bright.

I deicide to read This Changes Everything on Nexus 7, but not ideal, feel travel sick. I find there is wifi, only does not connect to anything. This is common on Stagecoach buses with wifi. Does not connect to anything. Nothing to say bus has wifi.

At Aldershot, no bus, twenty minutes wait in the cold for the next bus.

Dysfunctional public transport

December 19, 2014

Would I make Aldershot Station in time to catch the train to Alton. Luckily yes, three buses in a convoy.

I make the station with five minutes to spare.

Train to Aldershot running two minutes late.

The No 64 bus from Alton Station to Winchester, the bus stop clearly marked as bus train interchange, is timed to leave at exactly the same time as the train is timed to arrive. The bus usually leaves as passengers are coming out of the station.

Now you have to been a completely brain-dead moron determined to piss off passengers, for a bus to leave as passengers are pouring out of the train station.

I know, to leap off the train, run out of the station, if I am lucky, I catch the bus, delaying my ticket in case others are hoping to catch the bus, if unlucky I see the bus leaving the bus stop.

Today I was unlucky. I knew I would miss the bus, unless it was running late.

Half an hour wait for the next bus.

A few minutes early a No 64 bus turns up, windows filthy. I leap on the bus. Luckily the bus driver asked where I wished to go. I said Winchester, he said wrong bus.

Now you have to been a completely brain-dead moron determined to piss off passengers, to design a timetable with two different bus routes with the same route number.

I am now joined by a lady who has come off the next train.

A further wait of half an hour, by now chilled to the bone.

A No 65 bus cones in. I ask, just in case it is displaying the wrong number.

No, it is going to Guildford. I ask the driver where is the No 64. He say due now. I say what about the one due half an hour ago. Pig ignorant driver extremely rude, says how does he know, he only drives this bus.

Finally a No 64 bus arrives, 5-10 minutes late. Over an hour wait in the cold. Now not even worth going down to Winchester. I ask driver what happened to previous bus. He expresses surprise that it failed to turn up.

The bus is freezing cold, no heating, though not as cold as outside. The windows are filthy. A freezing cold draught, though no idea where it is coming from, no windows open. Maybe a window open upstairs.

New double-decker buses running on this route, not the clapped-out double-decker buses Stagecoach usually run.

But this is a new new bus, different design. Instead of luggage rack up front, two seats, with a tiny totally inadequate luggage space behind the seat.

At Alresford, I see a doubled-decker in front. As we get near, I see it is a No 64. Where did that come from?

I usually get off and walk down the hill into Winchester, but today too late. I stay on until bus station. I would have gone into the office and created hell about their disgraceful service, but it is now 4-15pm, day wasted without wasting more of the day.

I would have arrived …. I arrive 1615.

Once again a day out ruined by Stagecoach.

On my return, bus then train to Aldershot. Bus I found has wifi, but does not connect to anything. At Aldershot, no bus, 20 minutes wait in the cold for next bus. Bus should have wifi, no wifi.

Train service is run by South West Trains. Bus service by Stagecoach. Stagecoach own South West Trains.

Stagecoach and Richard Branson have recently been handed the successful East Coast Mainline, successful because in public ownership. Are they fit and proper to run? No.

Stagecoach, has a live twitter feed, no mention of missed No 64 bus, explanation or apology.

Someone’s idea of a sick joke, when nearly every bus is not only leaving, but arriving more than ten minutes late.

At Alton, the buses must have an instruction to wait for passengers to alight from the train and catch the bus.

All drivers must wear name badges.

Buses must be equipped with gps, live updates at bus stops.

An app for smartphones and tablets, live updates, wifi at bus stops.

Late lunch at Caffe Macchiato

December 19, 2014

I was late, I decided to have pollo crema a fungi. Chicken breast with a mushroom sauce, chips and a side salad.

Pollo crema a fungi was excellent, highly recommended.

The chips were excellent too, though I would have preferred new potatoes or sauté potatoes, as they would have gone better with the dish.

The salad was very much like a Greek salad.

I added a Peroni.

It was Friday evening, Caffe Macchiato closes at six, but luckily there was a private dinner function that night. I stayed until half past seven.

An idiot has posted a fake review on TripAdvisor, claiming the staff are rude and miserable, the food is not good, not fresh, quality ingredients.

Nothing could be further from the truth, excellent freshly cooked food, fresh quality ingredients the staff always pleasant and helpful.

Newspapers to read, Times, Independent, Daily Mail, art on the wall by Emilia, free wifi.

Caffe Macchiato is the only decent place to eat in Aldershot.

Voice activated ATM

December 17, 2014

Unbelievably funny.

Guildford farmers market

December 16, 2014
Angel Inn

Angel Inn

Guildford farmers market is usually first Tuesday of the month, today was an additional market.

Better than last market, when it was a cold miserable day. Today cold, but at least not damp.

Bread off Celtic Baker, and a flapjack, very expensive cheese off one of the cheese stalls, apples off apple stall.

A new fish stall. Mainly fish cakes. No fresh fish crabs, lobsters. They would love to have, but not sure when other stalls have similar produce. I said yes, healthy competition and gives customers who support the market choice.

Very busy, some stalls impossible to get near.

Lots of stalls selling overpriced tat.

Three pitches with musicians today.

I had a chat with David Mwaniki. He was selling a CD for a tenner, Songs from the Garden. Far too high a price. A tenner people will think twice, a fiver they will not. I advised him to upload his music to bandcamp. For his current album Songs from the Garden not possible, as only three are his own songs and he would run into all sorts of copyright issues. Yet another example of copyright stifling creativity.

He thanked me and let me have a CD for a fiver.

Note: If you come across David Mwaniki, buy Songs from the Garden, pay a tenner, it is well worth a tenner.

lunch at Thai restaurant

lunch at Thai restaurant

Lunch at Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. So so, not up to their usual high standard. When the boss is not there, standards slip and staff unpleasant and surly.

Earlier, popped in Phyllis Tuckwell charity shop. Now relocated to Quarry Street. Why do they have to have moronic music and commercials for Phyllis Tuckwell playing all day? Unpleasant for customers and very unpleasant working conditions for the staff. Once again an example of someone at head office where their salary exceeds the number of brain cells, imposing crass stupidity on lower levels.

A coffee and cookie in Harris + Hoole.

There will be no farmers market in January. Normal service resumed in February, first Tuesday of the month in Guildford High Street.

Voice activated elevator

December 15, 2014

This is unbelievably funny.

Porcelain

December 15, 2014

Porcelain by Evi Vine, a track from her album Give Your Heart To The Hawks due for release January 2015.

I was invited to the book launch of Dark Mountain 6 at which Evi Vine played, but I was sadly not able to make it.

Nao Pare na Pista

December 15, 2014

Gives one a new appreciation for Paulo Coelho. — Elaine Street

A Melhor Historia de Paulo Coelho.

Biography of the life of Paulo Coelho.

I was invited to the premier in Cascais in Portugal, only I did not learn of this until later.

Community Shop

December 14, 2014
Community Shop

Community Shop

The UK is the most unequal western country. The rich during recession have seen their income double, the poor have seen their income stagnate or decline. Austerity is used as an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to welfare payments, the poor and the sick punished for the sins of the bankers. Those on benefits, apart from cuts, are being repeatedly sanctioned on a whim by sick bastards in Job Centres who take a sick pleasure in seeing others suffer.

ConDem government job creation consists of low paid, part time, temporary, de-skilled, zero hours McJobs. The working poor. Bad employers are being subsidised by the taxpayer.

Fuel and food inflation has risen faster than the rest of Europe.

No surprise then that Food Banks are the fastest growing sector of the economy.

Dating from Medieval times, maybe going back to Biblical times, gleaners would go in after a harvest and glean what was left from the fields.

Supermarkets, rather than bear the costs of surplus food when overstocked, reject food supplies on a whim. Cornish pasties rejected when delivery 17 minutes late, ten tonnes of tomatoes rejected wrong size. Produce often never leaves a field, the farmer then left to plough the crop back in or feed to animals, either a very expensive green manure or very expensive animal feed.

A bread shop in Farnham, end of the day, the bread is thrown away. Similarly with a bread shop cum café in Farnborough.

Coffee shop Harris + Hoole in Guildford at the end of the day throws its food away.

Supermarkets, what they cannot sell, goes in the skip.

Community Shop offers a better solution than Food Banks, it takes rejected food stock, otherwise quality food, and puts it on its shelves, sells at a third of market price to its members.

Community Shop is an example of the sharing gift economy, collaborative commons, the fastest growing sector of the economy, but in the main below the economic radar as does not contribute to GDP.

We need more local businesses like Community Shop, that work in the collaborative commons, that retain and recycle money within the local economy.

TechStart in Aldershot, takes in surplus computers, refurbishes, re-sells at low price, net café, computer repairs, training.

Skipchen in Bristol takes surplus food, turns into delicious meals on a pay-what-you-can-afford.

Transition Community Cafe in Fishguard takes in surplus food, turns into low-priced delicious meals.


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