Atom Wave: May 2008

Atom Wave

Monday, May 26, 2008

City of Ads

You ever see these commercials on television, advertising drugs or insurance or some damn thing? What the hell is going on here? Some smuck wants me to believe that I have high cholesterol and that I may be only moments away from my death. Or what about those insurance ads that claim that they will unbiasly sell me the best value for my policy?
Grow up people! Who buys this shit?
You know the worst part of all this is that I can’t get any rest. Watch some television, ads. Listen to the radio, some more ads. Surf the web; a few more ads float across the screen. It’s insulting the level of stupidity that they will sink to to sell me something that I don’t want.
Now I try not to get too involved with these ads, because I think that they degrade the people who are involved with them. Honestly, if you want to sell me something than don’t treat me like a child. This drug is clinically proven. Sure, by who? Some sleazy lab in China. Ask your doctor about this drug. Why, so you can sell me some drug that I probably don’t need?
What is wrong with people that they actually buy this crap?
Talk to you later.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rage Against The Democrats

The democrats have been seriously pissing me off lately. Ever since (and before) they gained a marginal lead in the Presidential race they have been behaving like the usual laws of Democracy don’t apply to them.

Can you believe that the Democrats, lost in the haze of their egotistical clerical rules, are still refusing to count the votes of the voters in Florida and Michigan? After the gangster party in the 2000 Florida election, you’d think that they would have learned their lesson. No, they still insist on shafting the people who voted in good faith.

Then there are the super delegates, fascists really. All they do is decide which candidate to vote for and they are accountable to no one, not even the voters from their own state. They also control one-fifth of the delegates for the coming convention. Fuck them, our democracy can do better than that.

Obama has no trouble with this clusterfuck, and Clinton does not have the clout to undo it. I might just stay home this coming November.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Digital Eyes In The Phony Box

The spies lurking in all the dark areas of the world have acquired a new weapon, and espionage will never be the same again. Where once all you needed to worry about was remote sensing aircraft and satellites, and the occasional Bond in the office. This new weapon is the computer network itself.

Counterfeit routers and switches are the new rage, and these new products are virtual copies of the originals. In the aftermath of a two-year operation, the F.B.I recently announced 15 criminal cases stemming from the discovery of $3.5 million dollars in phony Cisco hardware. This hardware had been destine for military systems and their contractors, and nobody can really say how deep the problem goes. It is still unknown if those accused did it for profit or espionage, but in the end it is irrelevant.

The threat was proven last April when a team from the University of Illinois presented a paper in San Francisco demonstrating how they made a minor modification to a Sun Microsystems SPARC microprocessor used in automated assembly equipment. All that was required was an adjustment to a data file on the chip and they had their own stealth program, useful for logging in and stealing passwords.

Anyone who knows anything about microprocessors knows that they have millions or billions of unique circuits in their construction. If you want to add a kill switch or a back door, all you need to do is modify a few of them. Needless to say these adjustments are exceedingly difficult to detect.

It is already suspected that these tricks have been used in warfare. In the last Iraq war it is believed that the United States and its allies used Trojan horses to remotely disable Iraqi surface to air missile sites prior to the bombings.

There is a simple but inconvenient partial solution to this torture. Computers are universal devices; anyone can accomplish any task with the right software and time. Computing clusters (basically the internet itself) are very robust to sabotage. Build your network to run on two or more unique systems and should the shit hit the fan, chances are at least one of them will be good if some rectal wart decides to shut you down.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Return To The Moon

Every few years a once in a lifetime opportunity comes along. NASA is looking for people to join them for its return to the Moon. Astronauts? You wish. No, NASA will be launching the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter before the end of the year, and they need names for a small microchip that will be riding aboard.
The liftoff is planned for no earlier then October of this year. Also riding along on the Atlas 5 rocket will be a lunar impacter known as the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite. Either way the mission will be a blast; this satellite will get smashed into the Moon to study its internal composition. It is actually the Centaur upper stage of the rocket with a ring of attached instruments. If no one screws up, the Centaur will hit the moon and vaporize any hidden frozen ice ten minutes before the ring instruments collide.
Once the games are over, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will enter into its orbit and begin its observations in advance of astronauts returning in the next decade. The probe is slated to spend 1 year mapping potential landing sites, monitoring radiation, identifying resources, and testing new technology.