VnutZ's Articles, Page 2 of 73

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18 Dec 14
Newspaper

Sony Caves to North Korea

The motivation behind the massive hack against Sony Pictures became more clear in the past few days. Seth Rogen’s and James Franco’s new film The Interview is at the heart of the attacks from North Korea for its portrayal of a comedic assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. Following the cyber-attack were many messages posted to pastebin from the alleged hackers included one presumably threatening violence to movie-goers that simply stated, “We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places ‘The Interview’ be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Remember the 11th of September 2001.” At first, Sony pictures remained defensive but on Wednesday night the media giant caved to North Korea’s threats after five major chains dropped the movie.

12 Dec 14
Cup

Science Fiction and the Speed of Gravity

If you haven’t seen the new Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar, I’m about to ruin parts of it for you. The movie touches on time travel in a scientific way using General Relativity but then makes a huge leap into an ability to influence the past via gravitational waves and wormholes. Personally, I thought that brought back the whole notion whether time travel actually implied fate (in this case yes) or could a traveler actually alter the timeline.

Anyway, if for no other reason, the movie made me go back and look at the notion of the speed of gravity. The question comes up with how gravity can influence objects over vast distances and whether if an object were to suddenly disappear whether the affects of its vanishing mass (to energy) would outrun the light. So for example, an object is orbiting a black hole at distance of several light years and that black hole suddenly exploded. Would the object continue to orbit even though there is no longer a gravitational attraction or suddenly split off into space even though the information (light) from the explosion is not yet “visible” (hence gravity effects are faster than light speed). The explanations behind warped space indicate the orbit will continue even without the mass because the warping does not instantaneously cease – like it does in classical Newtonian physics. Of course, none of those models talk about what a wave would do through a wormhole …

12 Dec 14
Newspaper

CIA Torture Report

The bad press for the CIA is old news, everyone already knew about the waterboarding and the torture allegations at secret sites around the world. However, everything has come back into the limelight with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s release of a scathing report on the CIAs’ detention and interrogation programs. Originally, the document was a highly classified 6000 page report that after heavy redactions, resulted in a few hundred pages available to the public. The public version seems highly damning with regards to the methods and techniques not working effectively, but it really makes one wonder what is hidden in the other 5500~ish pages? The CIA leadership are not denying the methods but are adamant the methods were effective and continue to insist they were instrumental in located the Hide-n-Seek World Champion Osama bin Laden. Regardless of how the politicians spin the fingerpointing, the government is already bracing for reprisal attacks from the terrorist cells that can now read about what happened to their captured brethren.

06 Dec 14
Newspaper

NASA's Orion Success

NASA pushed itself forward again with a “successful Orion launch and orbital flight”http://www.nasa.gov/orion/. This launch utilized the powerful Delta IV booster, capable of putting 23 tons into space. Once in low Earth orbit, the second stage pushed the Orion capsule out to 3600 miles where it orbited 15x further out than the ISS. NASA notes this as remarkable because no craft designed for humans has been out that far since the lunar missions in the 70s. It’s planned to be an entire system of equipment with an even larger booster set to push manned spaceflight back outside of Earth’s orbit for deep space missions.

06 Dec 14
Newspaper

North Koreans Hacking Sony Pictures

The great hack against Sony Pictures has gotten a lot of press lately as one of the largest hacks of all time. Not only was the breach itself large, but the hackers posted an incredible amount of information to the public including unreleased movies, internal memos, salary information, and personal information about employees (medical, etc). The current belief is the group responsible for the attack is actually a state sponsored effort from North Korea. It’s still unclear how the initial intrusion took place, but the security researchers are attributing the North Koreans based on similar tradecraft and tools found in forensics to include those tools containing Korean language strings. The upcoming movie, The Interview has been suggested as the motive behind North Korea leveraging its cyber force against Sony Pictures.

29 Nov 14
Question

Global War On Terrorism Deserters

America has fought the Global War on Terror for thirteen years now. As a result of various reasons – conscientious objectors, political disagreement, cowardice, and others – a large number of Americans have deserted the military. Their stories vary, but many are hidden away in Canada facing deportation back to the United States where they face UCMJ (though allegedly only 1,866 of 35,598 deserters have been prosecuted in twelve years). Officially, Article 85, subjects deserters found guilty to death, “c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.”

29 Nov 14
Question

Star Wars - The Force Awakens

The first trailer for JJ Abrams reboot of the Star Wars saga, Episode VII, is out in the wild. There’s a quick synopsis of reveals at the Huffington Post regarding the actors and fanboy speculation. Nerds around the world have another year to wait until the actual movie is released, though.

What do you think?

28 Nov 14
Newspaper

Value of Being Published

Having one’s work published in a trade journal, periodical, or even book is still often considered a mark of bona fides. But why? Especially now that anybody can spin up a publication mechanism or one with minimal barriers to publication. Another scam was uncovered in the peer review chains where authors were forging reviews to make their content stand out as superb. Even more glaring are the publishing mills that do not even check content which was recently exposed by the article “Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List” published by a notional journal. The article was nothing but a profanity laced sentence repeated over and over.

24 Nov 14
Newspaper

Ferguson ... America?

Ferguson, Missouri … how representative of the United States is this place? The city dealt with a series of riots and unrest after Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown. And now, a grand jury has opted to not indict the police officer which has already resulted in fresh violence. The situation is clearly bad when the President of the United States has to pre-emptively make a statement telling citizens NOT to exhibit violence in the wake of the decision.

30 Oct 14
Question

Ebola Quarantines

Short and sweet – Should a nation state be permitted to quarantine good Samaritans against their will to prevent a viral outbreak?

The case example is Kaci Hickox who returned from Sierra Leone after helping combat Ebola. She is presently quarantined to her home by the state of Maine and protests, “I am not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.”

02 Oct 14
Newspaper

Possible DPRK Tunnels in Seoul

The tunnels Kim il-Sung commissioned from North Korea to South Korea are generally forgotten by most people. Presently, there are only four that are known of a suspected 22. However, a recent discovery hints that a new tunnel has just been discovered reaching as far as Seoul. The idea of reaching Seoul is that DPRK soldiers immediately engage critical targets – embassies, C2, bases, and the homes of leadership – within moments of North Korea deciding to engage in open hostility.

01 Oct 14
Newspaper

Personal CNC Lower Receiver Mill

Not too long ago, the gun control advocates were going a little ape-shit over the ability of 3D printers to make AR-15 lower receivers. Although the printers were able to produce some lower receivers of moderate quality capable of firing several hundred rounds, they were still plagued by stress fractures and eventual damage. Not anymore, the Defense Distributed group has announced the availability of a personal, in-home, CNC mill designed to mill an AR-15 lower receiver from metal for the low cost of $1200. Federal law permits citizens to construct their own weapons for personal use without licenses as long as they do not sell them which means people can 3D print a receiver and then mail order the remaining parts. Voila! For about $2000, anyone can have an unregistered, untraceable “ghost” AR-15. This isn’t the first 3D printed metal weapon, there are already 3D models and printers capable of producing a complete 1911 .45 as well.

01 Oct 14
Newspaper

Ebola in the United States

There have been Ebola patients in the United States already, typically known evacuations from stricken locations in Africa for controlled treatment. Presently, an unidentified individual from Dallas, TX is the first confirmed, walk-in patient with Ebola in America. He apparently returned from Liberia and was visiting with family members and a few other contacts within the week since his return. The CDC has a few basic bullets about how the virus really infects:

* blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola

27 Sep 14
Newspaper

Boots on the Ground in Iraq

Only a few months ago, President Obama assured the American public there would be no boots on the ground in Iraq, only some advisers. Despite the adviser (stomp stomp – Special Forces) teams doing their work quietly behind the scenes, the ISIS problem has continued to spiral out of control. Not too long ago, airstrikes also began against ISIS targets using the long awaited F22 Raptor. But now the big reversal in policy is that troops from the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division, will be deploying to Iraq. These … are regular … American … soldiers … BOOTS ON THE GROUND.

24 Sep 14
Newspaper

F22 Debuts in Combat

The F22 has been sitting in the American inventory for nearly a decade, first rolling out officially in 2005. It has certainly been a rough decade as well with the aircraft facing the axe numerous times and getting grounded for a myriad of issues. But after all the engineering, air shows and dust collecting, the Raptor finally took to the skies to drop some pain onto bad guys. The aircraft was involved in its first combat sorties over Syria to bomb ISIS/ISIL targets. Each subsequent mission should reduce the vehicle’s ROI by 1/2 … but at $67B, those ISIS targets were pretty expensive. On a positive note, Syria is known for having a robust air defense system meaning the vehicle’s radar suppressive signatures and design functioned as designed.

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