Bruce Schneier and Jason Sigger, usually sensible sources, both mock a study by some thinktank or other which raises the supposed possibility of hackers “using the Internet to start a nuclear war”. As they both point out, the possibility of anyone getting access to the actual command and control firing chain with metasploit is so…Read More police and thieves
Resistance – The Essence of the Islamist Revolution is Alistair Crooke’s survey of modern Islamist thought. It would be clearer to say it is a couple of books occupying the same space; one would be a history of Islamist thought since the origins of the Iranian Revolution, with a polemic for greater understanding of such…Read More Review: Alistair Crooke, “Resistance: the essence of the Islamist revolution”
This BBC Radio 4 documentary about the British nuclear deterrent and the people who operate it is absolutely cracking. Not surprisingly, the man behind it is none other than Professor Peter Hennessy (can we call him Henn-dawg yet?). One of the things that stands out is the amount of desperate psychological coping going on. The…Read More mentalities, bunker, and otherwise
25 years ago today I was a three year old boy, living in a village in the Yorkshire Dales, from where you could see the golfball aerials at the NSA’s Menwith Hill base. Later, people I knew well would protest it for ages, and a man who was supposedly an engineer for LockMart there lived…Read More Petrov Day
“Sir” Ian Blair addresses the troops: “Our approach will be one of humility. On 22nd July 2005, we confidently believed that our systems of command, of surveillance and of firearms intervention were among the best in the world. However, they failed in response to a previously unforeseen circumstance, suicide bombers on the run.” Well, it’s…Read More Sir Ian Blair, Sir Ian Blair! The Lord save me from Sir Ian Blair!
OK, so I was wanting to know about that Hezbollah WiMAX net. The original source of the story appears to be this Time report: Although Hizballah is known for its massive Iran-funded social welfare system that provides everything from soup to education, construction materials and matchmaking services for Lebanon’s Shi’ite underclass, cell-phone service is not…Read More It’s good to talk
So we had the world’s first military coup motivated by a 3G network licence, in Thailand; we had the shootout between the Chalabi Boys and Orascom security men in Baghdad. Now, there’s the Hezbollah/Amal coup de force (or de folie as Robert Fisk preferred), motivated in part by the Lebanese government’s desire to control their…Read More scaleydelic!
Martin Kettle can fuck off with this: The bright Tory shadow Cabinet Office minister Greg Clark asked recently why politicians are so ready to discuss antisocial behaviour but so poor at discussing its pro-social equivalent. Bright? Christ, we’re in a bad way. The first thing that needs discussing here is that “pro-social behaviour” is a…Read More Blog de frappe tous azimuts
In comments, Teresa argues that Rumsfeld’s incompetence can be traced to his time as a fighter pilot. Over at Yglesias’s, “Ajay” makes the same point with regard to John McCain, with impressive brevity: Good grief. Aviators. I admit the cocky buggers are handy to have around if you want a plane flown somewhere, but they…Read More Sources of stupidity
J.D> Henderson chez Intel Dump writes that General Abizaid should be relieved of his command. But first, he says, he respects Abizaid for the courage he showed in his past career. Fair enough. But there is some historical evidence that extremely brave generals are a bad idea. Consider the British experience – we brought several…Read More Bravery doesn’t exclude stupidity