E-passports are "brain damaged".

Aug 4, 2006 | | 0 comments |

America's new "impenetrable" e-passports, the ones with RFID chips in them, have been hacked by a German technology guru who is going to show the world how to do it at the Black Hat conference this week.
This comment was priceless : "Either this guy is incredible or this technology is unbelievably stupid," says Gus Hosein, a visiting fellow in information systems at the London School of Economics and Political Science and senior fellow at Privacy International, a U.K.-based group that opposes the use of RFID chips in passports.

"Is this what the best and the brightest of the world could come up with? Or is this what happens when you do policy laundering and you get a bunch of bureaucrats making decisions about technologies they don't understand?"

Well duh! RFID in passports? Come on. Could you make them easier to forge? At least at the moment the forger has to have some skill to be able to make the passport look real. With RFID passports, all they need to do is remotely clone the chip and they're done.

But remember folks, Dubya tells us the world is a safer place because of things like this.

The original Wired article is here.

Basement passed the next step.

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Sweet. The building inspector came around again today to check out the new ceiling before mudding and taping, and passed it off. So we're on the final straight now. Nearly done!

Tornadic supercell!

Aug 1, 2006 | | 0 comments |

Jeebus! No wonder the storm this morning did so much damage. It turns out it was a tornadic supercell, the sort of thing you normally see in Texas or the boring flat states.
Jinkies.

Only in America

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The power has been on and off a bunch of times now and once it sort of settled down we went to get a couple of bits from the supermarket. What we witnessed was classic consumer-driven imperialism. The supermarket's backup power system and generators were running minimal lighting and all the tills, whilst all the fridges were off and the cold goods were being stored in refridgerated trailers in the parking lot. So the power to the tills was more important than the power to the fridges.
Classic.

Utah fucking power

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This is insane. We had God's own thunderstorm blow through the valley this morning, with 70mph winds, lashing rain, structural damage and torn-out trees, and the power stayed on without even so much as a glitch. Come 2pm this afternoon, sunny skies, no wind, no rain, temperate weather - power goes out. I thought we'd finished with this bollocks two years ago.
I suppose this is one of the benefits that goes along with the 10% rate hike that we're all being charged for the corporate rebranding to Rocky Mountain Power. Problem is it's still the same fuckwits at the helm.

Israel - environmental terrorists too.

Jul 31, 2006 | | 0 comments |

Not content with the carpet-bombing genocide they're wreaking on Lebanon's civilian population at the moment, (Qana, anyone?) Israel have turned to environmental terrorism too. Thanks to a well-planned bombing of a Lebanese power plant last week, the Mediterranean is threatened by its worst ever environmental disaster because thousands of tons of fuel oil are gushing into the sea. 15,000 tons by the latest count. In fact, enough to show up on satellite imagery.

What defies belief is the Israeli response to some questions about their tactics. Last week, some Israeli stuffed shirt was asked "do you think your response was disproportionate?" to which he replied "yes - it was too small. If you had been attacked like we were, you would have responded with far greater force."
What?
Israel wasn't attacked. Two soldiers were abducted - that's hardly an attack. And it certainly doesn't warrant the war-criminal-like retaliation they've used.
You know if I didn't know any better, I'd say this whole thing was planned by Bush and his cronies. I mean we've seen and heard bunker-buster bombs being dropped on Lebanon and nobody has yet commented in the media that (a) Israel doesn't have bunker-busters and (b) even if it did, it doesn't have any aircraft capable of delivering them. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that American war planes are flying Lebanese sorties from Saudi or Germany.