Just some food for thought…

JROppenheimer LosAlamos

I wasn’t planning on another piece about Apple v. The FBI. But here goes…

For all those pundits, wags, celebrities, politicians, and now Rabbis speaking out and telling Apple that they should decrypt the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, I submit this.

Apple is apparently applying the thought Robert Oppenheimer had after he helped create the atomic bomb.

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.
– J. Robert Oppenheimer

I believe this quote is often paraphrased to;

Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD do a thing.

I’ve lived my life using that paraphrase as a test for certain actions. I look at it as a cautionary signpost for all scientists and researchers.

Project t virus by linkin368 d3gt57g

Just because you can modify the DNA of influenza to deliver a genetic update to all the people of the world… should you? What about murphy’s law? Can you really limit the unintended consequences? 

OR is it simply better to recognize that never creating the technology is the best course of action?

Thumb01m

All these people saying Apple should crack the phone, have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s not an easy task, even for Apple. Cracking encryption isn’t what you see in the movies. 

You don’t just plug a widget into a port, have some dialog about how cool you are and then hear a beep as the NSA computers start spilling all their information onto your impossibly small storage device.

At this point it’s unclear if the iPhone in question is using something as simple as a 4 digit code. It’s likely, but depending on the IOS version being used, the phone could be locked using a phrase.

If there’s a passphrase the odds of success hacking it with a brute force attack drop precipitously with each character added to the passphrase length.

James comey fbi

The brute force attack that the FBI is describing is crude and there is no guarantee that if they win in court, forcing Apple to be their bitch, that when they finally get into the phone there won’t be a nasty little application that has encrypted all the files the FBI wants using an entirely different algorithm, from another manufacturer.  If that’s the case, is the FBI going to get another court order? Probably not, because this is about the FBI making an example. Apple just happens to be the biggest target. 

It’s just as likely, this Jihadi fucker was using a messaging application that wiped the messages 5 minutes after they were read.

Federal and state fbi agent

If the guy was at all concerned about security, He probably turned off all the Apple Tracking software, I know I did right after Edward Snowden blew the whistle.

I’m not a criminal, but I value my privacy and am willing to forego my phone being able to tell me where the nearest Häagen-Dazs is, to maintain my privacy.

This means that Apple providing a custom operating system to disables the automatic wipe on the phone and allow unlimited access to the phone’s password system is likely not going to get the FBI anything more than they already have based on cell tower records.

By the way, because of the number of towers in the San Bernardino area, cell tower data can pinpoint the movements of this Jihadi asshole to within a couple hundred feet or less.

The NSA Actually Has A Program Called SKYNET

So the FBI is lying right from the get-go, when they say they want access to the phone so they can figure out where this Jihadi and his diseased rancid whore of a wife, were before, during the shooting, and after. 

The cell tower records would already provide that information and if the guy turned off his phone while visiting some nefarious underworld figure. Or dropped it in a Faraday bag or cage…

LOKSAK SHIELDSAK Flexible Fabric Faraday Cage Anti RF Protective Bag RF Fortress Radio Frequency Camouflage NDIA SOFIC 2014 David Crane DefenseReview com DR 10

Then the FBI would still get nothing from the phone because at that point the phone would have been cut off from the cell tower or any GPS information and likewise wouldn’t have been able to transmit any of that information.

But we know that the FBI has nine OTHER phones they want to force Apple to help them unlock. 

Apple icon apple

The problem here is that Apple has never created the software to unlock or hack their devices.

Why should they?

Apple tells you, “don’t lose your password, we cant help you if you do.”

So they have a secure device, and they can insure the device’s security because they’ve never created any software to undo their encryption or their locking mechanism.

Just because you CAN do a thing, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD do a thing.

Achmed

Dear Apple customer… “If you loose your password, you can wipe the phone and start over. We strongly recommend you have the data backed up. Apple provides the iCloud service for this purpose.“

It’s recently come to light, that the FBI ordered the San Bernardino County IT department to change the password on the iCloud account and therefore broke a link that could, with Apple’s help, have gained access to the phone.

Now the FBI wants to use a court order to force Apple to UNFUCK their fuckup. But that’s not the end game.

The end game is that the FBI wants to force manufacturers to build government backdoors into all devices. 

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The FBI is using “terrifying terrorists” and criminals, to spook congress and the courts into passing legislation that mandates government access be built into all machines. They and their supporters are using the time honored B.S. line;

For the safety and security of the public…” or that old favorite “We do this for THE CHILDREN

I’m not sure I believe in the slippery slope argument but I do think it’s a very short walk to losing rights that we’ll never get back.

That walk begins with statements that start out, “It’s worth losing a little privacy, or freedom, or changing the laws, or, or, or,  for safety.” see; The Patriot Act

 When I see our government behaving this way, and I hear people saying, “it’s just a little invasion,” I can’t help but think of the poem The Hangman.


I could see a time in the future when it’s illegal for you not to have your phone on your person.

After all, the government would only want to keep track of your movements and communications to insure your safety… Right?

Back doors in our devices are, I think just a stepping stone to full surveillance.

You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide.

I was watching the evening news and thought I was having a stroke

BenShapiro

In hindsight, perhaps a stroke would have been better.

I’ve been searching for a job for a number of reasons.

Among those reasons; I want to go back to school.

The goal is to get a degree that will make me more marketable in the workplace, feed my sense of personal accomplishment, and perhaps provide me with another career should the bottom fall out of whatever I end up doing between now and that as yet, undetermined future.

I think I may have waited too long to execute this educational goal. Here’s one of the reasons I’m concerned.

Ben Shapiro, an attorney, conservative, Orthodox Jew, author, journalist, & millennial, was scheduled to speak at CSULA

Author Ben Shapiro was invited to speak this afternoon at Cal State LA by the Young Americans for Freedom, which is a registered student organization. The event, “When Diversity Becomes a Problem,” was funded by the Associated Students, Inc., the student government.

problemwithdiversity

Leading up to the event, there were a number of emails and social media posts that caused concern for the campus community. Given threats and expressions of fear, President William A. Covino proposed a rescheduled event that would be civil and inclusive, and in which Mr. Shapiro and speakers with other viewpoints could offer their perspectives in an organized forum.

“My decision was made in the interest of safety and security,” Covino said. “I am disappointed that Mr. Shapiro has not accepted my invitation to speak in such a forum. He has indicated that he will come to Cal State LA to speak today at the University-Student Union Theatre, where he was originally scheduled to deliver his talk,” Covino told the University community Thursday morning.

Covino added: “I strongly disagree with Mr. Shapiro’s views. But if Mr. Shapiro does appear, the University will allow him to speak. We will make every effort to ensure a climate of safety and security.”

A reporter filming the BLM crowd’s protest of Ben Shapiro was assaulted outside the venue. Attendees of Shapiro’s talk were forced to enter the venue via a back door because the school’s police wouldn’t clear the protestors from the main entrance.

Shapiro and the Attendees were forced to wait in the building until a police cordon could be established that allowed them to exit safely.


BLM CSULA Protest

I can no longer clearly determine which is worse, Daesh (ISIS), The Taliban, Al Queada, Fundamentalist Christians, or Black Lives Matter.

I think I missed the opportunity to obtain higher education without becoming embroiled in some harebrained Social Justice Warrior bullshit.

If I’m going to pay for an education, I’m not interested in having to put up with a bunch of leftist crap. I wouldn’t mind IF both sides of an argument were explored with a purely academic objectiveness.

Click

That is what I always thought education was supposed to do. I’ve believed that education presented you with the facts, and you were supposed to evaluate the merits of each side of an issue then make a decision based on your upbringing, personal beliefs, and personal philosophies.

I believed that as you learned more, and gained experience, that you could and would change your mind, and positions.

I never expected in my lifetime to see higher education perverted into an SJW exercise where the people on the side of “Right” would demand freedom as an oppressed group and at the same time prevent people with differing opinions from expressing those opinions.

freespeech

I never in a million years expected to see in this country, MY Country, people accepting, even tacitly condoning the suppression of other people’s rights.

I expected to see us marching into a Star Trek like, egalitarian future.

Clearly I’m an idiot!

Now I’m considering really strange things. Do I want higher education? If I do, now I have to choose a school not only based on it’s academic qualities, but also on it’s political leanings. Should I try to determine if a school’s reputation for the antics of the SJW crowd will taint any degree I may graduate with?

The antics at CSULA last night were absolutely beyond belief. They’ve made me think that perhaps I’m right in considering questions other than the simple academic standing of a particular school. 

Legitiamately, I’m asking if I would even be physically safe on a college campus because my opinions do not line up with the SJW or BLM crowd.

Participation in classes, particularly those dealing with the Humanities would potentially expose my beliefs and therefore potentially compromise my personal safety leaving classes or being on a campus.

I suppose I can attend classes on-line.

Even then, would my grades be adversely affected by expressing dissenting opinions? Would I get a fair shake based strictly on the merit of my work?

Warp drive starship

I should have done the whole school thing a long time ago.

Yet again, this is one of those times when I wonder where the hell I am.

Maybe I did have a stroke, and I’m really in a coma.

Perhaps my area of study should be Physics.

With luck, I might be able to build the means to get off this planet of psychotic apes.

Obviously I’m missing something.

La me ln apple san bernardino security 2016021 001

The FBI went to a judge and apparently whined they couldn’t access the data in one of the San Bernardino Terrorist’s phones. 

A Judge ordered Apple to assist the FBI.

Apple responded that the programming doesn’t exist (by design) which would allow even them (Apple) to break into the phone.

Then Trump gets in on the action and says we need to get the information on that phone.

To which I say;

NO WE DON’T

I’d like to tell Trump to be quiet and let the adults talk.

Just because the information happens to exist on a phone, doesn’t mean that we have to access it. If the data were written on paper that had been burned, the FBI wouldn’t have access to it would they? Data locked on a phone is essentially the same.

The FBI does have other phones belonging to the San Bernardino Terrorists. They have access to all the bills and phone records of calls made to and from each of the phones in question.

Along with that information the FBI no doubt has access to all the text messages, or at least the source and destination phone numbers associated with those text messages. Just as I have that information for SMS messages printed on my cell phone bill every month.

What the FBI doesn’t have is information that may have been sent from that iPhone 5C to other iPhones, iPads, or Macs. This is because the information was sent via data channels instead of via SMS.

To quote another famous phrase, “What does it matter at this point anyway?

The FBI has the terrorist’s computers, the odds are damn high that any communications carried out on the phone were replicated on the computers.  These terrorists are dead on the pavement, they’ve been disavowed by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban. 

This strikes me as nothing more than an end run around the issues of encryption by the FBI. 

Apple doesn’t have the software to break into the phone, because creation of that software would eventually mean that the software would get out. After all we all know how secure Data at the Office of Personnel Management was. How about the IRS data? Or the Healthcare.GOV data? Or, Or, Or…

Once a program capable of cracking the encryption on an iPhone or Samsung phone is out in the world, no-one has privacy.

This is the fundamental argument Tim Cook of Apple has been making all along.

Apple is very explicit in their encryption warnings on their computers. If you loose this password and you don’t have a recovery key we can’t help you. My computer’s drive is encrypted, I have the key stored and I know the password. But I don’t expect Apple to be able to decrypt my drive, or my iPhone, or my iPad. Even if I was stupid enough to loose or forget the passwords…

I don’t want Apple to be able to decrypt my stuff ever!

Beyond that is this point.

MIT recently reported there were something like 586 different encryption programs freely available from a variety of sources. So even if Apple compromises it’s principals (I hope to God they don’t) Criminals will simply choose an alternative encryption technique.

When that happens, what’s the FBI going to do? Bitch, piss, and moan their way into making a manufacturer in Switzerland, for example build them a backdoor?  If that day comes I’d be curious to see the response the FBI gets.

According to the LA Times article Farook disabled the icloud backup 6 weeks prior to the attack. It’s entirely likely that Farook disabled the GPS function and deleted messages as well. So even if the FBI gains access, it’s questionable if there will be any useful data recovered.

Regardless, the damage done to American privacy will be done.

OH for the love of God! It’s a crime to be male and famous.

You have to be kidding me.

18 years later, asshole femnazis called UltraViolet are demanding Peyton Manning’s hide for an incident while he was a college kid.

By the way ladies, I think you’re guilty of copyright infringement. UltraViolet is the trade name of a streaming video service. Uh oh, you’re diluting their brand, and I can’t wait to see you whine when they slap an injunction on you.

Peyton Manning nfl

The issue was settled in 1997 for 300K cash and everyone apparently went their separate ways.

More about that case is available here

Apparently things were mostly quiet until Peyton became a target for the rabid SJW crowd.

I hope Peyton sues the ever living SHIT out of the women’s groups and his sponsors if they terminate his contracts.

What are we going to have next?

Will the SJW crowd go back to men’s kindergarten classes and then fuck up our lives because we showed a girl our pee pee when we were five?

This shit has to stop.

If I can’t sue my former employers for sexual harassment visited upon me by women, because the statute of limitations has run out… SJWs shouldn’t be allowed to screw someone over and destroy their livelihood for something they did almost 20 years ago. 

The thing that really sucks about all of this is that Peyton and Eli Manning’s philanthropic foundations are threatened too.

If the SJW’s manage to take Peyton down, they’ll probably indirectly harm all the disadvantaged kids that the foundation helps.

So thanks a lot ladies and fuck you all.

Yeah, I’m sick of the whole SJW thing.

I must be Bored!

I just posted my first yelp review.

CartmanYelp

NO! I’m not becoming a “yelper” like those depected in South Park!

The episode “You’re not Yelping” cracks me up every time I see it.

OH Crap! Now I’ve got the boogers & cum song stuck in my head!

LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA !

Damn! Maybe some Nine Inch Nails will flush that all too catchy South Park tune out of my head.

Anyway, my very first yelp was about a recruiting firm.

Basically, I just lambasted them for their unprofessional behavior and muddying the waters for people like me that are genuinely searching for a new job.

ConfusedRecruiters

I was going to contact the management of the recruiting firm but trying to find out who even owns the place is nigh impossible. And don’t even try to reach a manager or supervisor. It’s all double and triple dead ends designed to obfuscate. Which means that essentially no-one is responsible for anything at the place.

It’s my fault for believing in ANY recruiter.

I got suckered by an email that described exactly what I’m looking for. I want a job that is in my field and that is close so I’m not spending my life on the freeway.

After the woman at the recruiting firm milked me for all kinds of information she said she was going to send my information on to her client. Then she went all radio silent and isn’t responding to emails or anything else.

A few days later I ran across an ad for the exact same position that appeared to have been posted by the hiring company on a public jobs board. So now I can’t apply because I don’t know if the recruiter submitted my resume or not. I also don’t know what is going on because the recruiter is not responding to any of my entreaties.

(Cool word, you just don’t get enough opportunities to use cool words these days.)

Since I have no mechanism to bring this recruiters unprofessionalism, to the attention of her superiors, I was left with adding my review to the chorus of reviews of her agency on Yelp.

Not my first choice, by a long shot, but hopefully it will help some other poor schmuck not waste his or her time.

Is it just me?

Images

Or have corporate web sites become more obtuse?

We’ve all heard the message on hold. “Most of your questions can be answered by going to our website www.blahdeblahblahblah.com” 

Some of us fume, (I’m one of the fumers) I hear that message and think, “If I had found what I was looking for on your daffy website, I wouldn’t have dug up your freakin phone number from your website to call you.”

The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy

I’m reminded of the passage in Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy between Arthur Dent and the Foreman of the construction crew ready to destroy Arthur’s house.

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” 
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Indeed websites appear to bury the lead more frequently now than in the past. 


Design and Stylistic Rant

I632hexq l’ve decided that the next website I build I’m going to put all the contact information, frequently asked questions, phone numbers, mailing addresses, and any other useful information behind an image of a disused lavatory door with a sign that says “Beware of the Leopard” (That’s my web design idea, call it copyrighted). Optionally, I may add another layer of annoyance by forcing the intrepid web user to open a filing cabinet then simulate flickering of light to make reading the information (displayed as either yellow on grey or red on grey characters) stored in the filing cabinet, a much more challenging thing to do before your first cup of coffee. 

With all these designers with their media/ design/ art school diplomas in web design, you’d think that at some point some professor would have discussed that a significant portion of the population exhibit some level of red-green or blue-yellow colorblindness and a larger portion of the population are shade blind as well. 

Which means that putting a 10 point HelveticaNarrow font in white on a light grey page, is going to look to a lot of folks like a blank page.

I’m not shade or color blind, and stuff like that is annoying as hell to me. All it takes is an allergy day, a cold, or dry eyes and now my lovelies, your web page is useless to pretty much everyone. 

I shouldn’t have to open your page in an HTML editor to be able to see what’s on it.

Just Sayin…


Anyhow.

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My finger is hovering over a schedule time button on the Apple webpage.

I’ve spent 10 minutes thrashing through pages intended to answer every question and provide every service EXCEPT something that must take place in the physical world.

Why not make it simple? How about putting a button Front and Center that says SCHEDULE a visit with an Apple Genius? How about putting that right at the bottom of the opening page?

<sigh> It’s the age of obfuscation.

I’m finally on the page, I think, that will allow me to complete the task that I thought would be simple and only take a minute.

Hovering over the button, I ask myself why is it that I can ONLY schedule on a single day a week out? Why can’t I schedule an appointment on any of the other days that week? Why can’t I schedule an appointment 2 weeks out?

Why is Apple dictating essentially that I’ll have to make a special trip to their store and not be able to combine that trip with other things I might already have on my agenda?

My finger is still hovering. the first appointment is 2:15 in the afternoon, I’d really like a morning appointment, I don’t like being in Apple stores in the afternoon or evening.

Flightline

Then it hits me;

I DON’T LIKE BEING IN APPLE STORES AT ALL!

But the morning is always preferable to afternoon.

I slowly come to realize that while I like Apple products, I can’t stand the noise, crowding, confusion, and general disarray that every single Apple store has become. I’ve actually been to shooting ranges that were quieter than most Apple Stores.

It’s like being in an ‘80s disco bar.

Everyone is yelling to be heard, there’s continuous BOOMING driving base coming from the PA system and at least half a dozen different sound sources all around the room. People are shoving to get to whatever bright and shiny, they want to play with, and they’re rude about it.

4246303 683742 cocktail a mix of various drinks sometimes alcoholic drinks

At least in a bar, I’d have a drink that would be acting as an anesthetic. 

Alas, Apple stores, for all their other bar-like similarities are lacking the one critical component that would allow me to justify shouting over music which is indistinguishable from being on the flight line of a aircraft carrier during a fighter scramble. 

Whiskey!

The only bar I’ve ever enjoyed with noise as loud as the Apple store, was a place where you could get a drink and a BLOW-JOB at the same time.

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The volume of the music was to hide the grunts, shouts and “Rebel Yells” of various guys blowing their loads down willing throats. In other words, the pain in my ears was offset by alcohol and nasty pleasure.

I’m spending premium dollars in an Apple Store. I don’t need Vivaldi but I would like to conduct business at some decibel level below 200. I’d like to literally be able to hear myself think.

The 2:15 appointment has vanished. 2:45 is available.

My finger still hovers over the button.

Nah… I’ll wait.