DEFCON 23 notes: August 10, 2015.

August 10th, 2015

More when I have it; possibly tonight or tomorrow.

Obit watch: August 10, 2015.

August 10th, 2015

I was too young to remember Frank Gifford‘s playing days, but I do have fond memories of him from Monday Night Football in the 1970’s.

Interesting bit of trivia:

While at U.S.C., he developed a persona, however modest, beyond the football field, gaining Hollywood bit parts. In the 1951 Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis football movie “That’s My Boy,” it was Gifford who kicked the winning field goal as the stand-in for Lewis. A handsome campus hero, Gifford made his mark in contemporary literature as well, serving as the glittering object of envy for one of his classmates, Frederick Exley, whose 1968 memoir, “A Fan’s Notes,” is a staple of the genre (although the author freely acknowledged that some of it was fiction).

DEFCON 23 notes: August 7, 2015.

August 7th, 2015

I kind of skipped over yesterday, because Thursday is traditionally slow. And it is a little early for stuff to be up today, plus many of the good presentations are scheduled for tomorrow.

But! BlackHat 2015! Not everything from BlackHat gets duplicated at DEFCON, and vice versa, but there’s always some overlap. Some things that are already up:

There are a couple of other overlaps I’ve found (specifically the Josh Drake presentation on Stagefright and the Valasek/Miller car exploit) but those don’t have any slides or other material attached yet.

More links and stuff as and when I find it and am able to post.

Edited to add: Just noticed this on the DEFCON 23 site. Download the conference CD optical disc here. Woo hoo woo hoo hoo. (The .rar file is 419 MB. Good thing I work for a networking company.)

You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#23 in a series)

August 6th, 2015

In great haste, because I’m near the end of my lunch hour and wanted to get this up:

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the state’s top prosecutor, was criminally charged Thursday in a scheme to leak grand jury material and later cover it up – a stunning blow to a political career that was once on a steep ascent.

By my count, the first mention of her party affiliation occurs 15 paragraphs into the story.

Also charged was Patrick Reese, a member of Kane’s security detail and her driver, who stands accused of aiding the attorney general in the alleged cover-up by sneaking into grand jury files.

(Hattip on this to Mike the Musicologist, who has been doing a better job of watching the Kane mutiny than I have.)

Obit watch: August 6, 2015.

August 6th, 2015

I’ve seen some mentions of this elsewhere, but I wanted to go ahead and link to the NYT obit for John Leslie Munro, last of the Dambusters.

I also kind of want to see “The Dam Busters” now. I’m pretty sure it was on TV when I was a kid, but somehow I never caught it. And it doesn’t look like Amazon has it on instant video…

For hysterical raisins: reprinted LAT obit for Marilyn Monroe.

Paul Fussell’s “Thank God For the Atom Bomb”.

Your Samantha Dean update: August 5, 2015.

August 5th, 2015

Our old friend, ex-APD officer VonTrey Clark (previously) is in custody in Indonesia.

Yes, I know: I quoted the news reports as stating that Indonesia does not have an extradition treaty with the US. But, according to the reports I’ve seen, Clark is currently being held by Indonesian authorities because his visa isn’t in order.

And in spite of the fact that there is no formal extradition treaty, Indonesia apparently is planning to return Clark to the United States.

“He was arrested last Friday by investigators in Bali,” the secretary of Interpol’s national central bureau for Indonesia, Brigadier-General Amhar Azeth, told AFP.
“He is wanted for murder.”

Flames, hyenas, chow: August 5, 2015.

August 5th, 2015

I got dragged into something literally the moment I hit the door at work this morning. Not that I’m bitter or anything. But it did mean that my blogging time was cut short.

This, in turn, meant that Lawrence beat me to the latest developments in the Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow case. Really, I was going to blog that. But, to summarize:

…federal authorities shielded San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee from prosecution despite evidence from the FBI that he had taken bribes, funneled through two members of the city’s Human Rights Commission.

More:

Lee “took over $20,000 from federal agents in his first four months in office,” Briggs said. He said the government “successfully engaged both (state Sen. Leland) Yee and Mayor Ed Lee in bribery scandals, yet only indicted Yee,” who had run unsuccessfully against Lee for mayor in 2011.

I suppose it could be selective prosecution. Then again, it could be: if you have a choice between indicting the guy who took bribes, and the guy who took bribes and engaged in gun running, who are you going to pick?

Also possibly of interest:

…state Assemblyman David Chiu wore a wire for the FBI as part of a years-long investigation of the alleged Chinatown gang leader.

Chiu and Chow were involved in a dispute: Chiu pulled funding for the Night Market after finding out Chow was involved with it.

As we reported at the time, Chow wasn’t happy and took out an ad in the Chinese press likening Chiu to “a corpse eating a vegetarian dinner.” Chow’s attorney wrote a letter to the supervisor threatening legal action for having disparaged his client.

“a corpse eating a vegetarian dinner”? Perhaps that makes more sense in the original Klingon.

Obit watch: August 5, 2015.

August 5th, 2015

Noted historian and author Robert Conquest has passed away at 98.

The scope of Stalin’s purges was laid out: seven million people arrested in the peak years, 1937 and 1938; one million executed; two million dead in the concentration camps. Mr. Conquest estimated the death toll for the Stalin era at no less than 20 million.
“His historical intuition was astonishing,” said Norman M. Naimark, a professor of Eastern European history at Stanford University. “He saw things clearly without having access to archives or internal information from the Soviet government. We had a whole industry of Soviet historians who were exposed to a lot of the same material but did not come up with the same conclusions. This was groundbreaking, pioneering work.”

I expect Lawrence will have more to say later, but I do want to tell my favorite Conquest story. When his publisher was going to issue a new edition of The Great Terror: A Reassessment, they asked Conquest if he wanted to change the title. Conquest supposedly suggested a new title of I Told You So, You Fucking Fools.

Edited to add: Lawrence’s obit is now up.

DEFCON 23: -2 day notes

August 4th, 2015

DEFCON 23 starts Thursday. Black Hat USA 2015 starts tomorrow.

Once again, it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it out to Vegas. Once again, I’m going to try to cover things from 1,500 miles away. It isn’t completely clear to me that anyone other than me is getting any benefit from this, but I’ve been doing this for long enough that I have a hard time stopping now.

Here’s the schedule. There are several presentations that are already getting media attention:

So what would I go see if I was there? What sounds interesting to me?

Read the rest of this entry »

You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#22 in a series)

August 4th, 2015

For those who were wondering when I was going to put up Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, here you go. Not even paywalled, as of this writing.

(I probably should have put this up yesterday, but the workday was frantically busy, and I came home and collapsed after dinner. Sorry.)

According to the indictments, Paxton failed to tell stock buyers — including state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, and Florida businessman Joel Hochberg, who each purchased more than $100,000 in Servergy stock and were listed as complainants on the fraud charges — that he had been compensated with 100,000 shares of Servergy. Paxton also said he was an investor in Servergy when he had not invested his own money in the company, the charges indicated.

Of course, these are just charges, he’s entitled to the presumption of innocence, yadda yadda yadda.

Obit watch: August 4, 2015.

August 4th, 2015

Vincent Marotta Sr., a great American.

Mr. Marotta was one of the inventors of the Mr. Coffee machine.

Smoke, smoke…

July 31st, 2015

I thought the barbecue wars were over. Or, at least, we were at the point where the Treaty of Franklin’s was being negotiated.

Nope.

A group of 15 Austin residents have filed a lawsuit against Terry Black’s Barbecue for negligence and nuisance stemming from the smoke the barbecue restaurant emits to cook its meats.

(I think this link will bypass the paywall. If not, Austin Eater’s story is here.)