Henry Blackstone lost to the heathens

Chandler Henry Blackstone, known to his compatriots as Freddy Barbarossa, was the crowned king of magicians. He  controlled spooks in he night, and was burned at the cross by a sinister crew of bandits, lashed by stout hempen cables.

That his last words were “Get that camel off my back” is a groundless assertion.

Blackstone’s father served the King in the capacity of sub-altern twice removed, and his son Grant inherited that position.


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.

The Gauls they lick their fingers

Thudd! No…! Ban

The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh; when they meet together they converse with few words and in riddles, hinting darkly at things for the most part and using one word when they mean another; and they like to talk in superlatives, to the end that they may extol themselves and depreciate all other men. They are also boasters and threateners and are fond of pompous language, and yet they have sharp wits and are not without cleverness at learning.

Entrail Roaster

A household slave, a favourite of Pericles, first citizen of Athens, when engaged in building the temple on the Acropolis, crawled on the top of the high roof and fell. He is said to have been cured by Perdicium or parthenium, which in a dream was prescribed to Pericles by Minerva; therefore it began to be called parthenium, and was consecrated to that goddess.

This is the slave whose portrait was cast in bronze, the famous Entrail Roaster or Man Cooking Tripe, by Styppax, representing the slave roasting innards and puffing out his cheeks as he kindles the fire with his breath.

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.