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DRAMA IN THE SKY: Russia Flies Long-Range Bombers Off The Coast Of Alaska! For Second Day In A Row (AP)

(snooze)

How is this news?  I thought news that which is new?

I first heard about the Russians and Chinese buzzing U.S. waters back in the mid-70’s, from a good friend who was a Marine stationed aboard the Glomar [name redacted] spy ship in the early 70’s!

Ended with the Cold War? (tsch!)

It was (and is) a standard tactic ‘testing the fences’ (think Jurassic Park velociraptors) from time immemorial.

They just want to check our reaction time and methods.

They play silly games, as do we…

I’m not worried.  Aren’t Trump and Putin bosom buds, now?

(I’m going back to watching my Fail Safe, Dr. Strangelove and War Games triple-header!)

 

Time Bomb Computer (A First-World Problem Story)

I own an HP Pavilion Touchscreen, with an AMD Athlon™ II X2 235e Processor 2.70 GHz 400 GB of RAM (3.75 GB usable) 64 bit operating system, x-64 based processor.  She has a 20″ flat, touch screen, with a cordless keyboard and mouse.

I purchased her on-line, refurbished (2011?)  And she has served me very well.

Last week, I received a message one of the software protection programs I purchased after-the-fact was in need of annual renewal.

And, frankly, with all that’s going on here (roomie surgery, less income, etc.), I don’t have the funds.  (This is NOT a bleg.)

The next day my computer gave me an error message:  HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT!  PLEASE BACKUP YOUR FILES (yadda, yadda, yadda).  I went back to using the computer, as I do not regularly back it up, and have no discs with which to back it up, anyway.

Besides, what if it was just some malware file from the software company, or elsewhere?

The computer has continued to function, as usual.

Yesterday, there was a blip in my Wi-Fi service (Cox, who knew?).  I reset the router (which is inconveniently downstairs).  Upon my return, there was the same message I had received a week ago.

I again accessed my computer, and downloaded a free hard drive analysis program.

The program confirmed my hard drive’s demise was imminent indeed!

Now what?

I have no funds or credit, so buying a new (or well-used) computer is out of the question.  Of course, getting it repaired also falls under these criteria.

I CAN check my email and blog from my smartphone or my cheap, Chinese tablet, with some difficulty.

Obviously, not my first choices.

What to do, what to do?

I will continue to blog, daily, changing the quote, cartoon, beauty and YouTube posting as I can.  Who knows – maybe she won’t fail until I somehow find a way to get another PC?  🙂

(I know, I’m an optimist!)

(FTC – HP, Athlon, and Cox have given me nothing, save years of good service (Cox, less so.).  I paid for the computer, and pay for Wi-Fi.)

Social Media Is NOT Your Friend!

fedbook-spying-social-mediaPrivacy mavens have been going on for some time regarding the complete lack of privacy on the Internet.  Coupled with private industry and public intelligence, license plate readers and facial recognition software, the NSA listening to our cellular telephone calls and reading our email, and cameras everywhere, from about 2002, lets face it…

We’re hosed. 

Now, another factor has entered the arena.

(from Peter)

“Militarizing” social media?

According to Motherboard, it’s a real threat.

A global conference of senior military and intelligence officials taking place in London this week reveals how governments increasingly view social media as “a new front in warfare” and a tool for the Armed Forces.

The overriding theme of the event is the need to exploit social media as a source of intelligence on civilian populations and enemies; as well as a propaganda medium to influence public opinion.

. . .

The event, the Sixth Annual Conference on Social Media Within the Defence and Military Sector, is sponsored by the Thales Group, the tenth largest defense company in the world, which is partially owned by the French government.

Participants in the conference—chaired by Steven Mehringer, Head of Communication Services at NATO—will include military and intelligence leaders from around the world, especially “social media experts from across the armed forces and defense industry.”

. . .

“Social Media is increasingly important to the portrayal of armed forces, at home and abroad on operations; raising awareness of institutional issues; and gaining support through successful recruitment campaigns,” said conference Chairman, NATO’s Steven Mehringer, in an invitation brochure for the event.

The military’s goal of using social media to influence the beliefs of populations to win wars is alluded to in the description of other panels. A proposed panel titled ‘NATO’s Digital Outreach: Creating a Global Conversation’, describes NATO’s aim of “cultivating a global audience through social media to support The Alliance.”

Another panel discussion makes direct reference to the role of social media in covert US military ‘psychological warfare’ operations—i.e. propaganda—as well as the use of social media to support mass surveillance.

There’s more at the link.

At first I assumed that the conference was about nothing more or less than the usual propaganda exercises employed by all sides in any conflict.  However, reading between the lines, it appears that they’re talking about more active – and more covert – interventions, such as ‘sock-puppeting‘ comments on or reactions to articles, blog posts, etc. that they don’t like.  In other words, they wouldn’t act openly, or say that this is the view of a particular party;  so one wouldn’t be able to exercise informed judgment on what they have to say.

I know some of the more totalitarian governments have been doing this for decades.  (The so-calledGreat Firewall of Chinais a good example, and it’s now morphing into acitizen scorefor every person, upon which will depend their ability to get good jobs, get loans, or even eat well.)  If Western nations are now starting to venture into the same territory, we’ll have to be on our guard.

To coin a phrase: Big Brother is not your friend.

Rolex Stories

I always wanted a Rolex™.

When I was newly married (and quite cash poor) I used to moon at the jeweler’s window in the Christown Mall, eying the Oyster Perpetual (in stainless or course, the lowest rung).  I think they wanted $350 for it!

Might as well have been 10 million!

Of course, this lust was because of my following of the tales of James Bond.  Since the 7th Grade.  Both the films and the books.  (Hint – the books are superior!)

When I became an adult, the lust continued.  And I never cobbled together enough funds to acquire one.

(I toyed with buying a knock-off on the Internet once, but it was Chinese, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it!)

Then I read a story.

Some guy was flying first class, and happened to be seated next to a well-appointed businessman.  They got to talking, and it turned out the business guy was the president of Rolex!

So, in the name of polite conversation, the other guy asked, “How’s the watch business?”

The response?  “I’ve no idea – I’m in the luxury business!” 

And, as a (somewhat) responsible adult, I always chuckled at the idea of a British intelligence agent either buying or being issued such an expensive timepiece.  Certainly not to keep undercover?

Then, Stormbringer gave me the answer!

(You have to click on the watch to see it!)

PETEs ROLEX

 

“Yuan A Piece Of Me?”

Brock Townsend posted the following:

IMF set to Declare Chinese Yuan Fairly Valued as De-Dollarization of the World Accelerates

Via Skynet

050315_CNY_USD_jgfla

While most of America is focused on a radical terrorist attack on Americans in Garland, TX, the bigger news came from the International Monetary Fund via the Wall Street Journal tonight which could only be equated to a 9.9 earthquake on the financial Richter scale:

IMF to Brighten View of China’s Yuan

Fund on verge of declaring China’s currency fairly valued for the first time in more than a decade

The story by Ian Talley of the WSJ seem innocuous enough. However some of the details should sett off major alarm bells for those who think that economic warfare or our future as the predominant world power shall continue:

More @ Shenandoah
Misdirection my friends.  There’s ALWAYS misdirection.
“Never let a crisis go to waste.”  –  Rahm Emanuel

#HASHTAG ARMY

The lovely (and brilliant) Tamara says it better than I EVER could!

I’m reminded of the joke that all the people running around with “Free Tibet!” stickers on their cars would have been horrified if  Dubya had woken up one morning and decided to send the 82nd Airborne to actually, you know, free Tibet. “I didn’t mean like that!

Exactly!

Hashtag, smashtag – it’s great to believe an injustice is being perpetrated, and that something needs to be done.  But just placing a bumper sticker or hashtagging something relevant on Twitter isn’t going to accomplish squat! (Mrs. Obama!)

ACTION is needed.

The Red Chinese aren’t going to give a hoot if some teens gather excitedly in Pittsburgh to hear Richard Gere wax eloquently regarding the poor Tibetans plight.

Frankly, I suspect even if every college student worldwide sent the Red Chinese government a letter no hoot would be given.  Because the PRC knows the truth –

Power grows out of the barrel of a gun – Mao Tse Tung

And, while we’re on the subject, it’s not a hashtag, number sign or even a pound sign.

It’s an octothorpe!

octothorpe

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…