Smartphone malware hack goes largely unreported, wonder why

http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/telecom/security/cyber-espionage-malware-taps-smartphones-sends-chills

….Disassembling the infected code, Grange says, led security researchers to multiple conflicting conclusions about its authors. One piece of the infected Android app contained the Hindi character for “error.” Several of the infected blog profiles have set their location to Iran. Many infected home routers are in South Korea. Text strings in the Blackberry malware are in Arabic. Another contained the comment “God_Save_The_Queen.”….

They’re playing with you.

dean winchester supernatural evil smirk lol laughing amused

Britain unprepared for rolling blackouts

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11311725/Britain-unprepared-for-severe-blackouts-secret-Government-report-reveals.html Full;

Britain is unprepared for prolonged blackouts, with increased death rates, rising public disorder and high-risk criminals on the loose among the likely consequences if major energy networks are seriously damaged, a secret Government security assessment has found.

The UK’s contingency plans for severe power cuts are based on numerous flawed or untested assumptions and need to be revised, according to documents obtained by the Telegraph.

Transport networks would be paralysed and emergency services would struggle to cope, fuel to run backup generators may be inaccessible and the dead may not be buried, it found.

SHTF.
Ahahaha.
And you laughed at the preppers.

The assessment, which involved officials from all key departments and major industries, took place this summer following 12 months of preparation.

It was designed to ensure emergency power plans were “fit for purpose”.

Instead it “exposed the fact that, where contingency plans against power disruption exist, some of those plans are based on assumption rather than established fact”, according to a report of the exercise, distributed privately last month.

“Populations are far less resilient now than they once were,” it concluded. “There is likely to be a very rapid descent into public disorder unless Government can maintain [the] perception of security.”

Any central Government response to the crisis may be too slow, arriving “after the local emergency resources and critical utility contingency measures had already been consumed”. Departments needed to revise “critical facets” of their plans, it found.

“False assumptions & new considerations” were identified by all involved, a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) presentation on Exercise Hopkinson shows.

The impacts of a widespread electricity outage were now being reassessed and re-rated as “VERY HIGH”, it suggests.

One of the major problems identified by the exercise was that crucial fuel supplies, which would be “ever more vital in the absence of power, to run generators and emergency response vehicles”, may not be accessible because petrol stations and some fuel bunkers rely on electric pumps.

Isn’t green energy supposed to be better?

“The ‘simple’ solution of using generators is far more difficult to establish in reality,” the report warns.

Hinkley Point nuclear plant would trip off the system, automatically shutting down, when power went off but its ongoing safety would rely on backup generators and refuelling within 72 hours.

Although hospitals have emergency back-up power generators it was “unknown” how long they could last.

Nice.

There would be “increased mortality rates” which would put “pressure on the practicalities of movement, storage and disposal of the deceased”. “Aside from the environmental health problems there is the cultural and social issue of ensuring dignity in death,” it notes.

The area left without power in the Exercise Hopkinson scenario (source: DECC)

Transport systems would be paralysed as “signals failure on the rail network will shut down all movement in the region” while street lighting and road signals will fail, compounding congestion as people try to flee the area.

Mobile phone coverage would start to drop out after two hours and most landline phones would be unusable as they require power.

There is a “genuine risk that high risk offenders in the community would be able to disappear” as electronic tagging systems stop working alongside the mobile phone signal.

Fire and rescue services may struggle to cope after being inundated with automated alarm systems.

Current business contingency plans were based on the assumption that “a critical mass of staff remain available”. Yet just one third of staff may be able or willing to make it to work in the scenario as “people will look after themselves and their families before their workplace”.

Staffing of isolated rural prisons will be a particular problem and access to water in jails could run out in less than seven days. It may be necessary to consider “decanting prisons in order to stem likely rising disorder”, the report finds.

Some types of sewage treatment works could cease to work after six hours and sewage would have to be discharged into water courses. Milk collection from dairy farms would fail, triggering an “environmental emergency” as it had to be disposed of by spreading it over farms.

Panic buying and hoarding would be triggered, casting doubt on existing assumptions over food supplies.

Supermarkets don’t have any, we copied the Japanese with Just in Time.

Efforts to restore power would be hampered by “significant metal theft from ‘dead’ circuits” unless the military or emergency services patrolled power lines, while two other power plants in the region, which were not operating at the time of the power cut, do not have “black start” capability so would not be able to start themselves backup.

A spokesman for the DECC said: “The Government routinely carries out exercises like this to test response capabilities and ensure we are as prepared as possible for any very high impact emergency situation. The scenario tested here was and continues to be, unlikely to happen, but it is important we do these exercises and learn from them.”

An industry source told the Telegraph the findings were “genuinely worrying”. “The short synopsis is: we’re unprepared,” they said. “If they ran this every year you wouldn’t expect them so have identified so many gaps in their knowledge and preparation.

“It seems like a lot of emergency planning is based on articles of faith. These are incredibly unlikely scenarios but you want to trust the unseen hand of the state to sort things out if the worst does happen. It looks as though the manifestations of the state aren’t sure how they would respond.”

Correspondence seen by the Telegraph suggests that a fuller exercise was intended to be carried out beyond the workshop this summer where the assessment took place, but that this element of the Exercise Hopkinson was cancelled. The DECC declined to comment.

Study: Video games DON’T cause violence

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/ica-nlf102814.php

The first study looked at movie violence and homicide rates between 1920 and 2005. The second study looked at videogame violence consumption and its relationship to youth violence rates from 1996-2011. He found that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased violence rates in society.

I wonder if it's loaded IT Crowd gun suicide

China and Russia edge closer against petrodollar tomorrow

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-26/china-launch-yuan-swap-trading-russian-rubles-monday

So while the US continues to parade with “destroying” the Russian economy, even if it means crushing the shale industry, aka the only bright spot, and high-paying job-creating industry in the US economy over the past 5 years, Russia and China continue to be nudged by the west ever closer monetarily and strategically, until one day, as we have long predicted, China and Russia will announce a joint currency, one backed by both China’s “surprising” gold reserves and Russia’s commodity hoard. Then things will get interesting.

joker DC smile smirk evil grin lol haha

Video: Hipsters and cultural capital

It isn’t fashion. It’s ideological signalling with a fashion branch. Ever met a conservative hipster?
Some of my friends and I have been confused for hipsters and these were the given reasons;

  • against feminism/SJW bullying
  • no smartphone
  • no opinions on music, no favourite bands
  • skinny jeans, however well-made
  • avoid clubs
  • old-fashioned hobbies, even if raised with them
  • reading books, seriously, I’ll never understand that one
  • no tattoos or piercings apparently because they’re mainstream
  • classical art over abstract crap

Ironically, the people who called hipster were hipsters themselves. Hipsters cannot stand originality or discriminatory talent. Whatever they produce is low-quality. They’re like that one kid at school who only copied everybody cool and wondered why it never made them cool.

Geek – fictional. Nerd – factual. These have nothing to do with hipsters although some of their symbology is stolen. A hipster who “fucking loves science” couldn’t explain basic physics or hell, The Scientific Method, offhand. A hipster who “loves Pokémon” probably means cosplay, another outlet for attention-seeking and has no cogent reasoning e.g. the points system in the game. If they know the game exists.

It is ideological. The pastiche of cultures is a fashion signal of universalism/neoliberal multiculturalism “all cultures are equal”. They want to be mocked by the establishment, it makes them feel rebellious. However, they are unreal underachievers, their status seeking cannot take the established form, and they pretend to reject the whole system. There is nothing permanent or genuine about a hipster, their principles change with unending political correctness, hence their quest for authenticity is the ultimate irony. The study of thedes is useful to understand how they stand out by blending in to a little bit of everything.

Hipsters are bland, sociocultural parasites. They are narcissists who feel nothing, turncoats who derive their power from weakening everyone else. r-type in extremis

21st century Status Games

I recc. Affluenza for coverage of this sort of thing, although the book has a heavy universalist bias. It’s like Hunger Games if they hungered for attention.

Ironically, the hipsters who appeal to authenticity stole it (cultural, symbolic) from their lower class white kin (The South in America). The hipster has two weaknesses: the objective truth, which they object to for selfish reasons, and formality, which they are incapable of embracing. Nothing scares them as much as a man in a three-piece suit telling the unvarnished truth.

But by the turn of the millennium cool had ceased to be credible as a political stance, and we have since seen yet another shift, from conspicuous non-conformity to what we can call “conspicuous authenticity.” The trick now is to subtly demonstrate that while you may have a job, a family, and a house full of stuff, you are not spiritually connected to any of it. What matters now is not just buying things, it is taking time for you, to create a life focused on your unique needs and that reflects your particular taste and sensibility. (more)
A fashion of consumerist hypocrisy. All the benefits of capitalism and none of the, like, old evil white patriarchy.

What’s next?

Maybe no one you know will read the above, and you can safely ignore it. But if you start to learn that many people you know are starting to see conspicuous authenticity as just another way that posers vie for status, then of course your community will come to not accept that as giving real status. No, you’ll start to see some new kinds of behavior as the sort of thing that people do who don’t care about status, but are just being “real”.

The Millennial spoilt middle class age group trying the hipster lifestyle couldn’t be genuinely creative if their lives depended on it. They sound, walk, think alike. #### I blame Nathan Barley.

Then you’ll start to become aware that other people that you know agree with this new attitude of yours. You’ll get more comfortable with saying that you approve of these sorts of behavior in others, with hearing others say the same thing, and you’ll notice that you feel good when other people credit you with such behavior. You and your associates will all feel good about themselves, knowing they are all good people who deserve respect because they do these things, things that they all know are not about status seeking.

At which point these new behaviors will have become your new status game. You see, status-seeking behavior must be a respected behavior that isn’t seen as overtly status seeking. Because we all agree that we don’t respect behavior that is done mainly to gain status. Even though we do, we do, we very much do.

It’s like a hedeonic treadmill for class, you can see it in naming trends. The middle class are desperate to distinguish themselves by what they do, because they are not the upper class, who are still upper no matter what they do, they don’t care because they don’t have to. Inevitably, the middle class steals inspiration from the working class, who worked hard to obtain that identity, and when a habit becomes common [mainstream], it falls into disuse, a castoff for the lowly to adopt for a few years.