Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Internet. Show all posts

Thursday, December 17, 2020


The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is aware of compromises of U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and private sector organizations by an advanced persistent threat (APT) actor beginning in at least March 2020.  This APT actor has demonstrated patience, operational security, and complex tradecraft in these intrusions.  CISA expects that removing this threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging for organizations.

CISA has determined that this threat poses a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.  CISA advises stakeholders to read this Alert and review the enclosed indicators.

-- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Alert (AA20-352A) Advanced Persistent Threat Compromise of Government Agencies, Critical Infrastructure, and Private Sector Organizations, 17 December 2020

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Hidden Treasure

It sounds like a plot lifted straight from Hollywood.  A decade ago, a New Mexico art collector named Forrest Fenn buried treasure in the Rocky Mountains and self-published a book challenging people to find it.  According to Fenn, the chest -- filled with gold, gems and artifacts -- is worth around $2 million.  Over the weekend, he said, someone found it.

"I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot," Fenn wrote on his website.  He created the treasure hunt after recovering from kidney cancer.

At least two people died trying to find the treasure, and Fenn still refused to retrieve the chest.  "If someone drowns in the swimming pool we shouldn’t drain the pool," he said in 2017.  "We should teach people to swim."

-- Tidbit from the New York Times, 9 June 2020

Tuesday, May 05, 2020


Today's date can be made with only four 9-segment displays and a mirror

-- u/repsaj99, posting in r/mildlyinteresting, on Reddit

I'll note that today is also my birthday.  I took the day off of work to stay home, make chili, and read a book.  In the afternoon the kids and grandkids came by and decorated the outside of the house with posters and balloons.  And in the evening we gathered on Zoom for the singing of Happy Birthday.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Advice To Young People

I have previously shared with you Balk's Law ("Everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people") and Balk's Second Law ("The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything").  Here I will impart to you Balk's Third Law: "If you think The Internet is terrible now, just wait a while."  The moment you were just in was as good as it got. ...  [T]he Internet is going to keep getting worse and there will be no chance for escape.  It's a massive torrent of sewage blasted at you at all hours and you pay handsomely for the privilege of having a hand-held cannon you carry with you at all times to spray more shit-sludge at yourself whenever you're bored or anxious.  Some of you sleep with it right next to your head in case you wake in the middle of the night and need to deliver another turgid shot to your wide-open mouth.

-- Alex Balk, blog post at "The Awl", "My Advice To Young People", 10 February 2015

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Propaganda Machine

Today around the world, demagogues appeal to our worst instincts.  Conspiracy theories once confined to the fringe are going mainstream.  It's as if the Age of Reason -- the era of evidential argument -- is ending, and now knowledge is delegitimized and scientific consensus is dismissed.  Democracy, which depends on shared truths, is in retreat, and autocracy, which depends on shared lies, is on the march.  Hate crimes are surging, as are murderous attacks on religious and ethnic minorities.

What do all these dangerous trends have in common?  I'm just a comedian and an actor, not a scholar.  But one thing is pretty clear to me.  All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history.

The greatest propaganda machine in history.

-- Sacha Baron Cohen in his Keynote Address ascribing antisocial behaviors to Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others, at the Anti-Defamation League's 2019 Never Is Now Summit on Anti-Semitism and Hate, 21 November 2019

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Favorite Hobby

Not everyone enjoys baseball or even fishing, but every person is obsessed with himself.  You're your own favorite hobby.

-- Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk (1962 -), American satirical novelist and freelance journalist, Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey (2007)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Basic Equipment

Thing is: the internet's made of IP addresses, opinions, and assholes.  It's what's there.  That's the basic equipment.

-- Merlin Dean Mann III (26 November 1966 -), author, speaker, and productivity consultant, "kung fu grippe" blog post, ~2010

Monday, August 05, 2019

What's Hard

Cloudflare's mission is to help build a better Internet. At some level firing 8chan as a customer is easy. They are uniquely lawless and that lawlessness has contributed to multiple horrific tragedies. Enough is enough.

What's hard is defining the policy that we can enforce transparently and consistently going forward. We, and other technology companies like us that enable the great parts of the Internet, have an obligation to help propose solutions to deal with the parts we're not proud of. That's our obligation and we're committed to it.

Unfortunately the action we take today won't fix hate online. It will almost certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet. But it is the right thing to do. Hate online is a real issue.

Our whole Cloudflare team's thoughts are with the families grieving in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this evening.

-- Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post explaining Cloudflare's taking message board 8chan off the Internet in response to that site's popularity among domestic terrorists, including the shit-bag who on Saturday posted an anti-immigrant screed to 8chan, then murdered 22 in El Paso, 5 August 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

A Desk For My Trophy

All I want is a new desk, and maybe a desk for my trophy.

-- 16-year-old Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, after winning the $3m top prize in the $30m Fortnite World Cup, the largest e-sports payout in history, 28 July 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019


Today's meta-trvth, from a response I wrote to a "trvth" note on cyber1, after I mentioned that I had 3050 Trvth's published here at

pad/cyber1 7/22/19  9:40pm don appleman/cerl/cyber1

According to my records, there were about 4700 published
Trvth notes in the archives that I saved the day NovaNET 
was decommissioned.  Of those, 2300 were published at, so about 2400 were present on NovaNET prior to

So, 3050 + 2400, around 5450 ish published?

There were also about 2400 unpublished potential-trvth's
on the NovaNET system which are also archived, and not
counted in the above totals.

It takes 20 years to get 5000 weekdays, but this journey
started in 1981.

Extreme Heat

Folks.  Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday.  It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there.  Conducting criminal activity, in this extreme heat is next level henchmen status, and also very dangerous.

Stay home, blast the AC, binge Stranger Things season 3, play with the face app, practice karate in your basement.  We will all meet again on Monday when it's cooler.

The PoPo

PS: please no spoiler alerts. We're just finishing season 2

-- The Braintree, Massachusetts Police Department, in a posting on Facebook referring to this weekend's heat wave, 19 July 2019

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Let's See Them Aliens

[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.  The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.

-- Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews, regarding a tongue-in-cheek September 20th Facebook event called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us", now with 1.4M listed as Going; McAndrews added that she could not elaborate on specific plans or security procedures at the base. Washington Post, 12 July 2019

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

More Speech

The irony in all of this is that we write at a time in the history of this nation when the conduct of our government and its officials is subject to wide‐open, robust debate.  This debate encompasses an extraordinarily broad range of ideas and viewpoints and generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen.  This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing.  In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.

The judgment of the District Court is AFFIRMED.

-- Judge Barrington D. Parker, for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, ruling that President Trump cannot block users on Twitter because he tweets in an official capacity, 9 July 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

No Elephants

Power is mostly the illusion of power.  The Pentagon demanded we destroy our publications.  We kept publishing.  Clinton denounced us and said we were an attack on the entire "international community".  We kept publishing.  I was put in prison and under house arrest.  We kept publishing.  We went head to head with the NSA getting Edward Snowden out of Hong Kong, we won and got him asylum.  Clinton tried to destroy us and was herself destroyed.  Elephants, it seems, can be brought down with string.  Perhaps there are no elephants.

-- Julian Paul Assange (1971 -), Australian computer programmer, he founded WikiLeaks in 2006, and came to international attention in 2010, when WikiLeaks published a series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning.  He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London until his arrest by British police on 11 April 2019, interview, 23 December 2016

Thursday, March 21, 2019


Consider this: A parody account pretending to be an imaginary cow owned by Representative Devin Nunes, the California Republican, is more popular on Twitter than the congressman, a day after he sued the account (and Twitter) for $250 million.

This is how politics and humor now play out in the strange world of social media.

The parody account @DevinCow had only 1,204 followers on Monday, but it ended Wednesday afternoon with 467,000 [now 610K], surpassing Mr. Nunes's account with its 395,000 followers.

-- Laura M. Holson, "After Devin Nunes Sues @DevinCow, the Twitter Parody Gains a Half-Million Followers", New York Times, 20 March 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Changed For The Better

And while the web has created opportunity, given marginalised groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scammers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit.

Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it's understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good.  But given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can't be changed for the better in the next 30.  If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web.

-- Tim Berners-Lee, in an open letter about his vision for the future of the Internet, on the 30th anniversary of the Internet,, 12 March 2019

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Outrage Is A Brand

But today, too often, genuine disagreement quickly gives way to intense distrust.  We spend far more time trying to convict one another than we do developing our own convictions.

Being against someone has more currency than being for anything.  Each of us has found ourselves operating on the wrong side of this equation from time to time.

All of this gets amplified by technology, with an incentive structure that preys on people's fears, and algorithms that play on anger.  Outrage is a brand.

And, as with anything that gets marketed, it gets scaled up.

It becomes more industrialized, more cold, and more unfeeling.

-- Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), in his farewell address, 19 December 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Working At Scale

This is working at scale, and we don't manually intervene on any particular search result.

-- Google CEO Sundar Pichai in testimony before Congress, in response to Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who asked "Right now, if you google the word 'idiot' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up.  I just did that.  How would that happen?"

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Takeaway

My takeaway on this is there are a lot of idiots on the internet who come to conclusions over no factual evidence.

-- Reddit user Ravenchamps, after his account was incorrectly identified by far-right websites, including Infowars and Gateway Pundit, as belonging to the Jacksonville, FL video game tournament shooter who sometimes used the handle Ravens2012champs, NBC News, 28 August 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Every 10 Seconds

Pay-television subscriptions are down to 93.7 million from just shy of 101 million in 2011.  About 6 Americans cancel their paid television every single minute.

-- Gerry Smith, Bloomberg, via Walt Hickey's NumLock News, 10 August 2018