Sunday, 30 December 2012

Gun Control in the United States

The world is really starting to worry me, well America specifically along with all the other inhumanities going on in the world, such as Syria. What with the shootings in America in that primary school, and then the idiotic statements made by NRA representatives stating that schools should have armed guards !!!!.... I read some very interesting statistics on gun crime here in the UK we had 55 gun related deaths in a year, in the United States they had approximately 88 per DAY !!! which translates to 32 THOUSAND gun related deaths in the USA per year ......EVEN if you scaled up the population of the UK to that of the United States we would only have 255 gun related deaths a year.....of course any sane person would realise that it's all to do with how many guns they have and how freely available they are and their love affair with anything that can kill......and of course their precious 2nd Amendment, which has been twisted beyond recognition to support their "right" to carry arms......

I cannot understand how the pro gun people in the United States have such a narrow view on gun control, and why would anybody want a semi automatic assault rifle ? vermin control ? how many rounds do you need to put in a rat ? ....The bushmaster rifle used in the Sandy Hook massacre fires a .223 round which is practically identical to the NATO 5.56mm round

Why would you need a semi automatic rifle which can empty its entire magazine in seconds with the same muzzle velocity as a British Army SA80 ? Don't be fooled by the idiotic posturings of the NRA, nobody needs an assault rifle for protection unless you're a soldier in a war-zone. I find the whole argument that the NRA and pro gun people of America totally ridiculous and without substance or valid point. You only have to see the backlash Piers Morgan (whom I can't stand let it be known) got when he confronted pro gun people on his show.... DEPORT HIM !!!! HERESY !!! BURN HIM !!!! .....utterly ridiculous.... They are morons. 

Its seems the argument revolves around protection, a sort of mini cold war but on an individual basis, somebody comes at you with a .38 revolver and you whip out an assault rifle....and gun them down.... result....and a yippie ki-yay ....sad

But that isn't the point is it, an air rifle can kill a person, it really doesn't matter if it's a .22 or a .303 or a .223 or a 7.62mm death is about the only certainty you can count on.

How many more horrific deaths will America have to put up with before these idiotic gun freaks realise that the more available firearms are the more likely it will be that some psychotic nut job will use them to kill people..

University of Texas Clock Tower Shootings
18 killed | 31 injured | Charles Whitman

Virginia Tech
32 killed, many more injured | Seung-Hui Cho

Red Lake High School massacre
10 killed | 12 injured | Jeff Weise

Columbine High School Massacre
15 died | 24 injured | Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut
26 died | 6 Adults | 20 Children aged 6 - 7 |  Adam Lanza

I cannot imagine what it is like for the parents of the children whose senseless killing have just taken place in the United States....

What I do know is that somebody is going to have to grow a set of balls and stand up to this powerful gun lobby and put them in their place...... 2nd Amendment or not 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

April Jones Abduction

I really do despair sometimes at how low another person can stoop, I suppose the abduction of April Jones has struck a chord with me in that I have a 4 year old daughter called Freya who will be 5 on the 23rd October.... I simply cannot understand the mentality of the people who inflict this kind of mental torture on parents.... I personally would be beside myself if Freya was taken like April has been. I sincerely hope this ends well and she is returned to her parents, who must be frantic with worry and at the same time horror as to what may have become of her. I know my mind would be racing.... I suppose its because it goes against everything you stand for as a parent, you're there to love and protect your children, and when they are abducted like this you're completely helpless, unable to protect your children from harm. It is so hard to understand behaviour like this , it's totally alien.

I do know that I could quite happily and with no remorse or feelings of guilt kill anybody that harmed my daughter(s), I know most parents would say that and if it came to the crunch wouldn't..... but I know that in  my case I wouldn't hesitate given the would be one of the few crimes I'd gladly go to prison for...... and yes that protectiveness and sense of justice extends to my step family as well........does that make me worse or the same as the perpetrator ? I do think that some people should be removed from the planet for certain crimes, because they are of no  intrinsic value to humanity......

My thoughts go out to April's parents tonight... I really do hope this ends with good news.......

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Music and it's ability to dredge up memories

Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of Chances before
But I ain't gonna give anymore
Don't ask me
That's how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you're thinkin'

Don't say words you're gonna regret
Don't let the fire rush to your head
I've heard the accusation before
And I ain't gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your Eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind

Don't leave false illusions behind
Don't Cry cause I ain't changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain't gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while all of the Signs are deceiving

In 1982 this rang so bitterly true....

Now 30 years later in 2012 I couldn't actually be any happier

Funny the memories songs bring back......even if they are bad

Still like the song though..... but for different reasons now....

Monday, 10 September 2012

Mithra vs Jesus

Identical Life Experiences

(1)  Mithra was born on December 25th as an offspring of the Sun. Next to the gods Ormuzd and Ahrimanes, Mithra held the highest rank among the gods of ancient Persia. He was represented as a beautiful youth and a Mediator. Reverend J. W. Lake states: "Mithras is spiritual light contending with spiritual darkness, and through his labors the kingdom of darkness shall be lit with heaven's own light; the Eternal will receive all things back into his favour, the world will be redeemed to God. The impure are to be purified, and the evil made good, through the mediation of Mithras, the reconciler of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Mithras is the Good, his name is Love. In relation to the Eternal he is the source of grace, in relation to man he is the life-giver and mediator" (Plato, Philo, and Paul, p. 15).

(2) He was considered a great traveling teacher and masters. He had twelve companions as Jesus had twelve disciples. Mithras also performed miracles.

(3) Mithra was called "the good shepherd, "the way, the truth and the light, redeemer, savior, Messiah." He was identified with both the lion and the lamb.

(4) The International Encyclopedia states: "Mithras seems to have owed his prominence to the belief that he was the source of life, and could also redeem the souls of the dead into the better world ... The ceremonies included a sort of baptism to remove sins, anointing, and a sacred meal of bread and water, while a consecrated wine, believed to possess wonderful power, played a prominent part."

(5) Chambers Encyclopedia says: "The most important of his many festivals was his birthday, celebrated on the 25th of December, the day subsequently fixed -- against all evidence -- as the birthday of Christ. The worship of Mithras early found its way into Rome, and the mysteries of Mithras, which fell in the spring equinox, were famous even among the many Roman festivals. The ceremonies observed in the initiation to these mysteries -- symbolical of the struggle between Ahriman and Ormuzd (the Good and the Evil) -- were of the most extraordinary and to a certain degree even dangerous character. Baptism and the partaking of a mystical liquid, consisting of flour and water, to be drunk with the utterance of sacred formulas, were among the inauguration acts."

(6) Prof. Franz Cumont, of the University of Ghent, writes as follows concerning the religion of Mithra and the religion of Christ: "The sectaries of the Persian god, like the Christians', purified themselves by baptism, received by a species of confirmation the power necessary to combat the spirit of evil; and expected from a Lord's supper salvation of body and soul. Like the latter, they also held Sunday sacred, and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December.... They both preached a categorical system of ethics, regarded asceticism as meritorious and counted among their principal virtues abstinence and continence, renunciation and self-control. Their conceptions of the world and of the destiny of man were similar. They both admitted the existence of a Heaven inhabited by beatified ones, situated in the upper regions, and of a Hell, peopled by demons, situated in the bowels of the Earth. They both placed a flood at the beginning of history; they both assigned as the source of their condition, a primitive revelation; they both, finally, believed in the immortality of the soul, in a last judgment, and in a resurrection of the dead, consequent upon a final conflagration of the universe" (The Mysteries of Mithras, pp. 190, 191).

(7) Reverend Charles Biggs stated: "The disciples of Mithra formed an organized church, with a developed hierarchy. They possessed the ideas of Mediation, Atonement, and a Savior, who is human and yet divine, and not only the idea, but a doctrine of the future life. They had a Eucharist, and a Baptism, and other curious analogies might be pointed out between their system and the church of Christ (The Christian Platonists, p. 240).

(8) In the catacombs at Rome was preserved a relic of the old Mithraic worship. It was a picture of the infant Mithra seated in the lap of his virgin mother, while on their knees before him were Persian Magi adoring him and offering gifts.

(9) He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. His resurrection was celebrated every year.

(10) McClintock and Strong wrote: "In modern times Christian writers have been induced to look favorably upon the assertion that some of our ecclesiastical usages (e.g., the institution of the Christmas festival) originated in the cult of Mithraism. Some writers who refuse to accept the Christian religion as of supernatural origin, have even gone so far as to institute a close comparison with the founder of Christianity; and Dupuis and others, going even beyond this, have not hesitated to pronounce the Gospel simply a branch of Mithraism" (Art. "Mithra").

(11) Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter, at which time he was resurrected. His sacred day was Sunday, "the Lord's Day." The Mithra religion had a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper."

(12) The Christian Father Manes, founder of the heretical sect known as Manicheans, believed that Christ and Mithra were one. His teaching, according to Mosheim, was as follows: "Christ is that glorious intelligence which the Persians called Mithras ... His residence is in the sun" (Ecclesiastical History, 3rd century, Part 2, ch. 5).

"I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths." - Mithraic saying"I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star." - Jesus, (Rev. 22:16)

The Mithraic religion is estimated to have started some 600 years before Jesus was supposed to have been born....

There are other problems as well..... Paul who appeared in the 40 years after Jesus's death and basically (allegedly)  founded the early Christian church, makes NO MENTION in his letters or writings of any of the things Jesus did in his life, such as turn water into wine (this harks back to an older story about Bacchus or Dionysus who has similar parallels with Jesus and his life by the way) or walking on water, trashing the temple, Pontius Pilate etc....NOTHING... that all starts with Mark some 70 or 80 years after Jesus's supposed death..... and the four gospels after Mark which are quite obviously based on Mark's writings..... There have been many "Dying Gods" in the past.... it's all very formulaic, they couldn't even be original..... 

I'd also look up Emperor Constantines involvement in the early Christian church,  
and the Pagan philosopher Sopater who really hacked off Constantine saying there was no forgiveness from Mithra for what he'd done to his family (boiling his wife in her bath, poisoning his eldest son etc)..... So Constantine had Sopater put to death ..... The Christian Church jumped at this chance opportunity and told Constantine that it didn't matter what he'd done he'd be forgiven by their Christian god ...... He was a believer in both Mithra and Jesus to his dying day but hedged his bets and only got baptised in the Christian faith a few days before he died......During his reign he also stopped the church from being taxed..... Kerchingggggggg !!!!!!

More shocking is the history of Sakka the "son of god" (devaputra), which is simply an expression that means "born among devas" (demigods, deities, "gods," extraterrestrials who are more like angels in JudeoChristian conception)..... is said to have cast out the "fallen angels" (Asuras) (ring any bells ?) from Tavatimsa heaven. But an avatar ("incarnation of God" reborn on Earth in human form to help humans) is an age old Hindu concept in Brahmanism and Indian philosophy, which pre-dates Christian religion by thousands of years....

You see if you actually "think" about the Christian (in fact ANY) religion nothing very much of it makes sense..... and that is the problem to be a Christian you have to give up thinking and just believe.....They don't want you to "think" .....In much the same way as a child you're told about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy....until you think about it ........

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sense at last

A US father who found his five-year-old daughter being raped, then beat the attacker to death will not be charged, prosecutors have said.

Good !! 

I don't think any father would disagree with what this man had done to the attacker of his five year old daughter..... He obviously didn't mean to kill the man because of his 911 call after the attack.... personally I couldn't give a toss that the rapist died as a result of his injuries...

I've been reading through some of the liberal wishy washy comments on the BBC news website about it, and quite frankly either these people don't have children or think it's perfectly ok for somebody to rape anyone, let alone a defenceless child. ..... such as .....



I think you're all missing the point. This father took the law into his own hands. He savagely beat a man to death and then phoned the police. What right had he to beat anyone in such a way? The police are there for these things and then justice must prevail. If police had beaten the deceased man, would you all be saying the same thing?"

lets pick this statement apart ..... "I think you're all missing the point" .... erm I think not ......"This father took the law into his own hands. he savagely beat a man to death and then phoned the police" .... Well yes and the problem with that is ? what was he supposed to do tap the man on shoulder mid rape and ask him for ID ? or just call the police and stand there waiting for them to turn up while the rapist continued ?
Some people need their heads examining !!!
Anyway brilliant result for the father, as for his daughter lets hope she's too young to remember what happened in later years and lets hope the father can put behind him what he's done.... I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over slotting him ......

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

To save heartache with a Garmin Forerunner 205/305 on Debian

As you will have discovered Garmin have NO support for Linux so their Windoze only plugin doesn't work with Linux at all (even under Wine.... don't bother.... you'll never get that portion of your life back)

No....I'm afraid the only way to weld a Garmin Forerunner 205/305 (and others probably) into your lovely shiny Debian Linux is to do the following :-

( I apologise for laying it out "idiot's guide" style but you have to appreciate not everybody is an old code monkey)

go to this gentleman's website here and download either the Debian 386 or AMD64 bit deb file depending on your particular flavour and install it (Lucid is about the closest to Debian Squeeze)..... right click on the deb file and install with gdebi (it's quick and dirty and works)

Then once you've done that you'll need to do some semi scary stuff..... open a terminal as root or sudo/su once you're in the terminal and type or copy and paste :-

(red for filenames blue for content of files)

nano /etc/udev/rules.d/51-garmin.rules

once the file comes up cut and paste this into its first line

SYSFS{idVendor}=="091e", SYSFS{idProduct}=="0003", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"

(this has been deprecated so it "may" suddenly stop working on an update)

(also add yourself to the "plugdev" group later)

saved it by pressing "Ctrl O then Ctrl X" and you should drop back to terminal prompt

cut and paste this into the terminal 

nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

enter at the bottom of that file (or new line if nothing is in the file) the following 

# prevent garmin_gps from being loaded 
blacklist garmin_gps

save it (see above)

shutdown & reboot, plug in garmin forerunner 205/305 

go here and test it works or here

Sunday, 17 June 2012

1979 Praktica L2 Camera & Déjà vu

There I was doing my monthly internet stalking of my two daughters Emma and Rhiannon, To see if I can pick up things about what they are doing with themselves..... Rhiannon is a bit of a Ninja stealth daughter, I have never really found much out about Rhiannon, she is obviously less prolific on the internet or simply hides better.

 They both have facebook and various other accounts which I've found but I'd never intrude.... it's up to them if they want to contact me...... I'm slightly easier than oxygen to find ......

Emma is getting much easier to find and I was trawling through twitter when I came across this Twitpic ......Ironic isn't it that my daughter Emma is now a photographer (and a very good one by all accounts)  and here she is posting a picture of my old Praktica L2 (center) and my trusty old (Russian made) light meter....(far right) Which I might add was bought in 1979 in Caernarvon directly after my passing out parade from the Royal Signals in Ouston on the way home on leave...(I loved that camera and light meter).... 

It was about a year before I met her mother.... happy days .... If I remember rightly the light meter has a little chip out of the wheel and the L2 has a bit of a dodgy shutter mechanism when you wind it on (age I guess... but still works...or did....).... like most things nothing lasts forever.... 

Well I'm glad they are getting some use even if it is in a glass cabinet displaying photography relics of used to have a case as well bought at the same time a faux leather shiny effort.... but I took it off because it just got in the way and it also made the camera much heavier to use......that camera and light meter cost me a months wages back in 1979 !!! 

I'd always wondered where I'd put my old camera.... now I know.....mind you I left practically everything behind when I left my then wife.... I had very little desire to be reminded about anything to do with her..(except the kids of course...but hey ho) ...I hope she is happy now, I certainly am..... :)
I think I've even got some undeveloped black and white film rolls taken around that time with it somewhere.... they probably won't come out now it's been a few years since they were shot.... nice camera, trusty, dependable and it gave very good photographs in its time....even though it only had a 50mm lens....:) 

the Déjà vu bit was Stewarts passing out parade on the 15th June (amazingly close to my own passing out parade back in 1979) but then there have been other similarities such as Stewarts rifle butt number was 133 and mine was 132.....(bizarre).... 
He did extremely well on his passing out and the training beforehand overall he's thoroughly enjoyed it, he's off for 9 days leave now then back to do phase two training or Trade Training as it used to be called back in the Cold War Days...... 
Well we are eagerly anticipating the summer, but thus far it's just been a damp squib and from what the weather forecast says it's not going to be a scorcher anyway, now there is a shock.....

Well that about covers the news from our end......I will update when something exciting happens....... (sigh)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

1984 is here

(Shamelessly stolen from the BBC News website to comment on it)

Details of internet use in the UK will have to be stored for a year to allow police and intelligence services to access it, under government plans.
Records will include people's activity on social network sites, webmail, internet phone calls and online gaming.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the change was needed to keep up with how criminals were using new technology.
But senior Tory David Davis said it was "incredibly intrusive" and would only "catch the innocent and incompetent". (At last a politician with a bit of sense)
The Communications Bill is to be published in draft form on Thursday - but the government faces a battle to get it through Parliament intact, with Lib Dem MPs and Conservatives such as Mr Davis calling for it to be watered down or abandoned altogether.
Local authorities are likely to be stripped of their current powers to access phone call data in an effort to win over critics but the proposals have still been branded a "snooper's charter" by civil liberties campaigners.
Rachel Robinson, policy officer for Liberty, said: "It's good that local councils won't be able to watch the entire population but even law enforcement should be targeting suspects - not all citizens.
"Just like the internet, any private home can be a crime scene, but should we install hidden cameras and microphones in every bedroom in the land?"
'Stopping terrorists' (Bullshit.....)
Under current legislation, communications companies must keep phone records and information about messages sent via their own email services for 12 months.
The new proposals would require UK communications companies to keep details of a much wider range of data including use of social network sites, webmail, voice calls over the internet, and gaming. Websites visited could be recorded, although pages within sites would not be. (yeah and my name is Boris Yeltsin and I can fly like superman)
Mrs May told BBC Breakfast: "It's not about the content, it's not about reading people's emails or listening to their telephone calls. (YES IT IS, We aren't all morons you know)
"This is purely about the who, when and where made these communications and it's about ensuring we catch criminals and stop terrorists." (What a load of tosh...... so all they will be gathering is who they talked to when they talked to and where they talked to.... all of which they will need to view the entire communication to get that information)
The police and security services are concerned that criminals and terrorists are increasingly evading detection by using social media and online gaming sites to communicate with each other.
Officers would still need to obtain a warrant to gain access to the content of the online communication.
But the government would be able to request any service provider to keep data about internet usage, although initially it will involve about a dozen firms including BT, Virgin and Sky.
'Total war'
The previous government was forced to abandon plans to store every citizen's internet data on a single, giant database following protests - and Mrs May says she has no plan to resurrect this idea.The proposals will be subject to scrutiny by a joint parliamentary committee before the legislative process begins in earnest. (lets hope it falls at the first fence)
Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, writing in the Times, said having greater powers to access data was essential in waging a "total war on crime" - and he warned that police risked losing the fight against crime unless MPs passed a law enabling them to collect more communications data. (So I guess the data protection act doesn't apply should this go through ?)
He wrote: "Put simply, the police need access to this information to keep up with the criminals who bring so much harm to victims and our society." 
Tory backbencher David Davis, a former shadow home secretary who fought a by-election in the last Parliament on the issue of civil liberties, described the proposals as "incredibly intrusive".
He said the ban on local authority officials accessing data was "important but minor".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If they really want to do things like this - and we all accept they use data to catch criminals - get a warrant. Get a judge to sign a warrant, not the guy at the next desk, not somebody else in the same organisation.
"The only people who will avoid this are the actual criminals, because there are ways around this - you use an internet cafe, you hack into somebody's wi-fi, you use what's called proxy servers, and they are just the easy ways."

Thursday, 31 May 2012

How amazing is this ?

As most of you know my wife Andrea is a keen runner, she's done quite a few marathons since she started three years ago or so.... and I'm very proud of her achievements.... but her latest run has knocked the rest of her "marathons" into a cocked hat

She recently completed the Cardiff 50 Ultra... which as you will have guessed by now is a 50 mile ultra marathon basically running from Brecon to Cardiff along the Taff Trail, she came 96th out of 131... so far from last 

96 14 ANDREA BRABROOK F 01:31:03 03:35:47 05:41:47 08:22:47 10:56:12

in a very respectable 10 hours and 56 Minutes or to put it another way 12th overall female competing out of a field of 22 females ..... (she also beat 19 male participants).... 

which is no mean feat when you consider that her training for the event amounted to practically nothing.... there are not many people that can get up in the morning and run 50 miles before tea time......

Immensely proud of her :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

OpenSSH and Proxy drilling

For those you behind a very restrictive firewall where the only ports open to you are the local proxy port, port 80 and the SSL port 443... there is a way to drill a hole through and access your network/PC at home....

I won't go deeply into details of how to get the packages I'll leave that to you, if you can't use the apt-get install or synaptic yet.... then you probably shouldn't be even contemplating this......

This walk through is aimed at linux users .....

For the server side (your home PC) 

1. An OpenSSH server on your Linux box where the default port listening port of 22 has been changed to port 443....

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

once installed open up a nano/gedit session and load the following which can be found in /etc/.ssh/sshd_config

look down the config file until you see Port 22 and replace with Port 443 (there is nothing to stop you keeping both ports open if you so desire, but remember the more ports you have open especially default ports the more vulnerable you are)

# What ports, IPs and protocols we listen for
Port 443

save the file

restart your SSH server (reboot if you don't know how to restart it) to pick up the new listening port, then check you can SSH into your SSH server locally on that port.......

If all goes well and it should you then need to configure your router for port forwarding on port 443 to your internal IP address (obviously you will have to manually configure your PC's IP address and not use DHCP on your local LAN so it remains constant ), obviously this is router dependant and beyond the scope of this walk through....

That's it for your OpenSSH server side.

For your client side you will need to install 


once installed you will need to configure it and that can me done with the ~/.ssh/config file is an example of a typical corkscrew configuration in the ssh config file, it's actually my config file but with personal stuff changed

(find/create that in ~/.ssh/  .... it's simply called "config" ) 

## Inside the firewall, with HTTPS proxy
Host home
ProxyCommand /usr/bin/corkscrew XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX 8080 %h 443 ~/.ssh/pass
ControlMaster auto
ControlPath ~/.ssh/master-%r@%h:%p
ServerAliveInterval 30

XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX can be either a hostname or the IP address of the proxy server (at work)

The %h parameter replaces itself with your hostname or alias in this case "home" and lastly the ~/.ssh/passs simply parses the password file to the proxy server. Otherwise you will get Error 407 proxy Authentication required......

Obviously you need to replace "" with your own hostname (or IP address if it's a fixed IP address)  and if your proxy at work requires a password then you will need to create a separate password file (called pass or whatever) in the ~/.ssh directory in the format of username:password.... the first line in the config file is simply an alias for the full hostname you enter.

once that is done all you have to do to connect to your home PC is to drop to a terminal prompt and type the following

ssh username@home 

and corkscrew will do the rest for you... if all goes well you should be prompted to accept the keys from your home server and then be presented with a shell prompt.

If you want to use remote desktop such as Remmina, you will have to configure your home server to accept remote desktop requests and to NOT prompt you to accept (otherwise you'll be waiting all day)... you will also have to do some port mapping with SSH ... fortunately that is quite easy.... by entering the following you will be able to see your remote desktop at work   

ssh -C -c blowfish-cbc -L 5900: username@home (<-- @home picked up from ~/.ssh/config file)

(obviously put your own usual username in front of the @home)

all this line of gibberish does is :-

invoke ssh -C (with compression) -c blowfish (encryption type) -L (maps port 5900 on your remote PC to port 5900 on on your local machine) 5900: username@home (invokes the corkscrew script and reads the config file in ~/.ssh 

All being well should drop you back to a shell prompt on your remote PC with everything remapped and ready to go.

Fire up Remmina (or A.N.Other VNC client) and point it to (not localhost !!) on your PC at work and it should prompt you for your password which you will have previously set on your remote PC (you did do that right ?) 

Caveat lector ..... there are a few most of which are easily solvable please feel free to leave a question and I'll do my best to answer it for you :) 

Monday, 30 April 2012

Dishwasher Blues

Well our trusty Miele G572 dishwasher packed up the other day, it's an old mechanical one in that it has the tick tick ticking of the rotary dial which times all the events....

The first thing we noticed was that we put a load in the dishwasher and four hours later it was still on the same portion of the clean cycle... stuck forever..... endlessly rinsing....which wasn't really a problem because all we had to do was come in and click it over after about 15 minutes and it carried on....However......

Then we noticed that the element blew quite silently and it no longer heated the water.... so we gracefully retired it, the cost of parts exceeded what it was worth...... sadly.

We then proceeded to wash manually in the sink again.... we soon lost interest

I had a look at the timer unit in a last ditch attempt to bring it back to life.... but it is a completely sealed unit,  in that I'd have to destroy the case to get into it, because of the pop rivets holding it together .....I did the usual drenched it in circuit cleaner but I think it's work was done and having washed dishes since 1988 until 2012 which is 24 years .....  it had shuffled off to the retro dishwasher showroom of the sky when it was shiny and new and full of promise.......24 years really  isn't bad going for a dish washer......

So we've splashed out on a new one, well new ish.... I refuse to pay for brand new, it simply isn't worth it.... So we have Ebay'ed a rather nice Indesit model which is only a year or two old and looks to be in extremely good nick......and a bargain for £40 !!! we will run that one into the ground....Although I doubt it will last 24 years.... they don't make them like that any more I'm afraid......

either way a result !!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Ubuntu vs Debian

I've deserted the Ubuntu flavoured fold of Linux for Debian.... Now as you may know Ubuntu is based on Debian, so the learning curve for me is a very shallow one, and it's true that Debian is less friendly than Ubuntu... But I simply didn't like the direction Ubuntu was taking their distro... I'm not a fan of the Unity desktop, it's too simplistic and for me isn't customisable enough to make the transition. Neither do I like Gnome 3......Call me a stick in the mud but I happen to like Gnome 2.xx I can make it do what I want it to with very little effort.... I understand the changes Ubuntu are making, they want to tap into the mobile market, but for me it's a step too far....

So I have installed Debian 6.0.4 (Squeeze) and I'm very happy with it, it does have its quirks but fortunately I've been using Linux for so long now the fixes are minor and easy to implement, the end result is a desktop which is very similar to Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) but with all the bells and whistles of Compiz.....So I'm a happy bunny again :)

But that is the beauty of Linux, if a distribution brings out an "upgrade/release" you don't like, you can stick to your old version until they stop supporting it, then jump ship..... Like I have..... I tried Mint but it's nowhere near as polished as Ubuntu or Debian....

Of course as development continues I will eventually be forced out of Gnome 2.xx but I'd like to put that moment off for as long as possible :) 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Big Brother is a reality

The NSA (National Security Agency) in the United States are currently building a massive data centre in Utah.... it's going under the bland name of "The Utah Datacentre"  it will be opened  and ready for business in 2013

Here's a few facts about the place.

  • it's going to need 65 Megawatts to run it
  • It has the capability to run for 3 days without power on it's own generators
  • it also has 60,000 tons of cooling equipment to keep the servers cool
  • Four 25,000-square-foot facilities house rows and rows of servers.
  • Water storage and pumping able to pump 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day
  • Video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other protection will cost more than $10 million.

Just to give you an idea 25,000 square foot of floor space is a building 2322 Sq/metres and there will be four of these huge buildings just for the storage of racks and racks of servers, overall the entire data centre will occupy one million square feet OR that is 22 football pitches (English pitches).

I quote from Wired  

"Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate"

It will be able to store a Yottabyte of data . To put that in context a Yottabyte is equal to one septillion (one long scale quadrillion or 1024) bytes (one quadrillion gigabytes). and if that number is too big to get your head around according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) basically a massive amount of data.

So it's no mere coincidence that "The Utah Datacentre" will have the ability to store a Yottabyte it will need that as a buffer to catch everything then sift the interesting stuff.....

It's a massive task and the NSA not happy with tapping into where the big fat fibre optic pipes hit their shorelines from "the rest of the world"  and listening in to all the many satellites that provided data and voice circuits over America.... No that would only give them international traffic coming into the United States....They went one step further and have tapped into the switches that sit in every city giving them access to ALL internal homeland communications. They have even hinted that they are able to break strong encryption.....the program goes under the name of Stellar Wind

I suppose the only way you could prove that is if you sent a PGP encrypted email to an American friend stating that you were going to bomb such and such a place on such and such a day, then turn up at the airport in the United States and see if you're arrested.... However that acid test might not be understood by the US courts system and you "could" spend a lot of time in jail, So I don't recommend it...... but at least you'd know if they could break PGP ..... In fact it wouldn't surprise me if this blog has been flagged for inspection considering I've uttered the words America and bomb on the same domain/blog....

The level of paranoia in America is almost tangible, whilst I admire good security and countermeasures to keep the baddies at bay, tapping into the entire internet and listening in to whatever they like is taking things a bit far in my book.

The story was broken a few years ago but now this "well known" secret program has been sort of "legalised" and they can openly tap every single person who uses a phone / computer. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network Mr Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.

Still think you're having a private conversation ?

Paranoia gone mad.........

Friday, 23 March 2012

Humax DVR 9150-T

Well our Sagem 250GB DVR died recently with a massive hard disk failure, sadly Sagem use the hard disk for loading the firmware that runs the DVR.... so if your hard drive goes down, you become the owner of a very expensive brick

Temporarily I borrowed my parents spare digibox so that we could at least watch TV .....but to be cast back in time by HAVING to watch TV programmes when they were actually showing them was a major bind, especially when you've been spoiled with recording TV for later consumption and more importantly the pause button so that we can pause the broadcast to explain to the sullen one what is going on every 9 minutes.... (to be fair she isn't that bad these days)

Anyway I shopped around, compared specifications, initially it was a toss up between the Humax range and the  Topfield range..... I eventually settled on Humax and mainly because Humax were clearing stock levels and instead of the usual £180 we got ours for £86 plus delivery not bad at all :) 

Three words "it is brilliant" simple to operate does exactly what it says on the tin and compared to our old DVR from Sagem it is beyond comparison..... 

Advertisement break skip !!! (how did we manage without this before ?)

accurate recording AS the programme starts and the second or less

but the thing that sold it to me was the fact that you can put a bigger hard disk in ANY time you want and you can format it from the menu..... So at the moment we've got a 160GB SATA II drive in there, which gives us "about" 100 hours recording  which will be replaced for probably a 500GB drive at some point giving us over 300 hours of recorded bliss :) 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

George Osborne is a [expletive of choice]

Well there we have it, the budget is done and dusted, the richer are richer and the poorer are poorer and meanwhile the middle gets squeezed.

No change there then.

Fuel duty is set to rise in August 2012 by a whopping 16p per gallon, it's not enough that the government already cream off more in tax than the product is worth, and if you think back the excuses for raising the tax on fuel have been varied.... but the bottom line is "they'll pay it because they have to" but I can see quite a bit of unrest on the horizon. This has gone too far now for a lot of people.

but what makes it particularly hard to swallow is the following :-

Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy and is heir to the Osborne baronetcy  

This is from a man who in October 2008, Osborne's school and university friend the financier Nathaniel Rothschild stated that George Osborne had tried to solicit a £50,000 donation from the Russian aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska, which would have been a violation of the law against political donations by foreign citizens....

(surely he knew that at the time ????)

This is the man who In 2009,  received criticism for the way he had handled his expenses, after he was found to have "flipped" his second home

(surely he knew that ?????)

He has an estimated personal fortune of around £4 million, as the beneficiary of a trust fund that owns a 15-per-cent stake in Osborne & Little, the wallpaper-and-fabrics company co-founded by his father.

So lets sum up, this completely honest man who is in charge of the UK's government financial systems got a  second class honours, upper division (2:1) at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford in Modern History and he runs the UK's exchequer ??? You'd think you'd need some kind of degree in mathematics or fiscal policy or  even Business Studies or absolutely ANYTHING other than a degree in Modern History !!!

That's like giving a cocaine addled public schoolboy the controls to a Boeing 787 airliner and telling him to fly the passengers to New York and land safely..... lets face it, it isn't going to end well.....

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Toulouse school killer

7-year-old Miriam Monsonego, daughter of school headmaster
 Rabbi Yaacov Monsonego
who was killed in a shooting attack at the Ozar Hatorah School
 in Toulouse, France
I am absolutely sickened by this man(I use the term loosely) in France killing those children outside their school, what sort of person does it take to execute innocent children like that ? it's beyond comprehension.... mine at least.

I'm usually not a supporter of the death penalty but this man should be found and summarily executed without trial in my opinion. There is NO excuse on this Earth or valid political motive for killing children, and neither do we need to find out what motivated him. He just needs his DNA completely removing from society, as do all child killers. Why waste tax payers money on them keeping them or treating them for their delusions. If they live by the sword then they can die by it. 

I probably have this one exemption on the death penalty because I have children, and like many other parents am utterly repulsed by his actions. 

I hope they track him down and they have to kill him rather than capture him.... he is utter vermin.

The dead were Jonathan Sandler, a 30-year-old rabbi and teacher of religion originally from Jerusalem, and his two sons, aged four and five.

The fourth person killed was a seven-year-old girl, Miriam Monsonego, daughter of the head teacher. She died in her father's arms.

How sad and heartbreaking .......

Since writing this thankfully they have tracked down the low life..... 

All I can hope for is that it ends really suddenly and badly for him......not an ounce of sympathy for the scumbag

(and so it came to pass)