Monday, February 12, 2024

Short Takes – 2-11-24

The Government’s Former UFO Hunter Found Something More Concerning than Aliens. article. Pull quote: “So most of my time [was] spent trying to figure out how to investigate conspiracy, and you can’t prove a negative, right? So now you’re faced with laying out as much evidence as you can, but you find that the policy makers have this belief that is completely unfounded and irrational....  I’ve had senior leaders sit in my office and accuse me of being part of the cover-up for the last 40 years. I’m not that old. So, you know, this is just not rational.”

Rethinking the Screaming Eagles’ Deadliest Day. article. Pull quote: “None of this means that Tehran, or any terrorists, took down Flight 1285. The majority assessment is still the most persuasive explanation of why 248 American soldiers died on their way home for Christmas. All the same, the IRGC and its proxies have enormous amounts of blood on their hands, all over the world, going back over four decades. Tehran’s terrorists are capable of executing sophisticated attacks globally. Was the “IJO” Beirut call claiming responsibility for Gander just a crank or a head-fake? Quite possibly. Yet nobody who understands the IRGC and its well-honed modus operandi should be too quick to dismiss the possibility that Gander was no accident.”

Juniper Support Portal Exposed Customer Device Info. article.  Pull quote: ““If you don’t have a support contract you don’t get updates, it’s as simple as that,” George said. “Using serial numbers, I could see which products aren’t under support contracts. And then I could narrow down where each device was sent through their serial number tracking system, and potentially see all of what was sent to the same location. A lot of companies don’t update their switches very often, and knowing what they use allows someone to know what attack vectors are possible.””

Behind the Lines: Inside the Resistance Sabotaging Putin’s Plans for Ukraine. article. Certainly some level of propaganda. Pull quote: “There are now about 1,800 informants, agents and activists working for Atesh. They include a civil force, made up of people not ready to carry out direct action, alongside agents who engage in more radical and risky tasks, such as sabotage and operating inside enemy forces and organizations.”

CENTCOM Hosts Counter-UAS Hackathon. article. Short article. Pull quote: “Fifteen coders from across the Department of Defense participated in data and software challenges related to countering enemy drones in the region and built prototypes to enhance the accuracy and speed of counter-UAS processes, CENTCOM said Friday.”

Glow way! Bioluminescent houseplant hits US market for first time. article. Pull quote: ““If you treat the plant really well, if it gets enough sunlight and it’s healthy, it will glow brighter,” Sarkisyan says. But he wants to manage people’s expectations: it’s not bright enough to keep you awake at night. It’s a gentle green glow similar to the light of the full Moon.”

Why giving roses on Valentine’s Day — or any day — is really a bad idea. commentary. Contrarian opinion. Pull quote: “Airliners filled with flowers zip around the globe every day. Chrysanthemums from Colombia dash to Japan; roses from Kenya end up in Britain; carnations from Ecuador jet to Russia. Nearly all imported cut flowers go through the same emissions-intensive journey — climate-controlled greenhouses, refrigerated trucks and a long, chilled flight. Fresh flowers are a $34 billion global industry with a massive carbon footprint.”

Police kill female shooter at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church; 5-year-old injured. article. Pull quote: “Lifeway Research, owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, did a survey of Protestant pastors last year. It found that by far the most popular security plans pastors have are an “intentional plan for an active shooter” and armed congregants. Fifty-four percent of the pastors polled said they have a plan involving armed churchgoers. Three years earlier, that number was 45 percent, Lifeway said.”

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