Category Archives: Background information

Men of brains and brawns of women

Men of BREina

Men of brains! Let us not be led astray by our low-hanging grapes.

Women of fruit, we can’t say by how much.

When, as so-and-so is said to have said, the abomination stands in the holy place, and all the decimation points of consumer capitalism no longer fit the human concussion, then keep calm and carrion.

When the psychopath of the cycle path sets his sights on the city on the hill, then shoulder the salt, and pass the pepper.

And dos be donny, my furry friend, just this once and for all.

10 things to do before your random number generator crashes

Make sure she can't recant, said Spacehawk

All the twitter is all about all the rash of reports of random number generators crashing — in at least one case setting a woman’s hair on fire, during her passage through the rites of border security. She was positively identified by process of elimination, and by a tooth found in the ashes. We reached a robot at Homeland Incorporated who says that the incident is still under investigation, but that, knock on wood and thank the good lord, no government personnel were harmed during the filming.

Could it happen to you? The odds are not in your favor. When it happens to you, will you be ready?

Here’s the low down on upping your chances of living out this bug until the next core update:

  • Jump-start the diesel generator in accordance with the least square law.
  • Top up all superfluids in the rear end of the cosmic ray scintillator.
  • Throw salt over your shoulder when you sneeze at the table.

White House fails to make case that Russian hackers tampered with election

The US government’s much-anticipated analysis of Russian-sponsored hacking operations provides almost none of the promised evidence linking them to breaches that the Obama administration claims were orchestrated in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers’ “tradecraft and techniques” and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups.

The sloppiness included the report’s conflation of Russian hacking groups APT28 and APT29—also known as CozyBear, Sandworm, Sednit, and Sofacy, among others—with malware names such as BlackEnergy and Havex, and even hacking capabilities such as “Powershell Backdoor.”

One of the signatures detects the presence of “PAS TOOL WEB KIT,” a tool that’s widely used by literally hundreds, and possibly thousands, of hackers in Russia and Ukraine, most of whom are otherwise unaffiliated and have no connection to the Russian government. Proponents of this theory, including the CrowdStrike researchers who analyzed the Democratic National Committee’s hacked network, argue that the pattern strongly implicates Russia because no other actor would have the combined motivation and resources to hack the same targets. But as Carr pointed out, the full source code for the X-Agent implant that has long been associated with APT28 was independently obtained by researchers from antivirus provider Eset.

Thursday’s Joint Analysis Report provides almost no new evidence to support the Obama Administration’s claims Russia attempted to interfere with the US electoral process.

Weaver god

listening-horns

The weaver-god, he weaves; and by that weaving is he deafened, that he hears no mortal voice; and by that humming, we, too, who look on the loom are deafened; and only when we escape it shall we hear the thousand voices that speak through it. For even so it is in all material factories. The spoken words that are inaudible among the flying spindles; those same words are plainly heard without the walls, bursting from the opened casements. Thereby have villainies been detected. Ah, mortal! then, be heedful; for so, in all this din of the great world’s loom, thy subtlest thinkings may be overheard afar.

An immobile and senseless shape

Here, then, Abba Paul had made such progress in purity of heart in the stillness and silence of the desert that he did not even permit himself to look at a woman’s clothing, much less on a woman’s face. For when a woman from nearby chanced to meet him on his way to the cell of a certain elder, along with Abba Archebius who was from the same desert, he, distressed at encountering her, ran back to his own monastery in greater haste than a person would use to flee from a lion or an immense dragon, forgoing the duty of the pious visit that he had set out upon. The situation was such that he was not even prevailed upon by the shouts and pleas of the aforesaid Abba Archebius, who was calling him back so that they might stay on the road that they had started out on in order to ask the elder what they had planned.

Although this was done with zeal for chastity and ardor for purity, nonetheless because it was not done according to knowledge and because the observance of discipline and the measure of appropriate strictness were excessive (for he believed that not merely familiarity with women, which really is harmful, but even the very form of that sex was to be abominated) he immediately suffered such a seizure that his whole body was paralyzed and none of its members could perform any of their functions. For not only his feet and hands but even the mechanism of his tongue, by which speech is formed, were affected, and his very ears lost their sense of hearing. The result was that nothing remained of his humanity apart from an immobile and senseless shape.

To such a state was he reduced that men’s care was in no way sufficient to minister to his sickness, and only womanly attention was of use to him. For when he was brought to a cenobium of holy virgins, food and drink, which he was unable even to beckon for, was produced for him with feminine graciousness, all his needs of nature were satisfied, and this same care was at his disposal for nearly four years—that is, until the end of his life.