Archive for August 11, 2008

Where Was the CIA and NSA in the Build Up to the Georgia Invasion?

Seems to me that somebody that should have been keeping an eye on Russia wasn’t.

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New Natural Gas Pipeline to Florida

Three years ago, “fuel diversity” was the buzzword in Florida’s electric industry. It’s been drowned out by the clamor to cut emissions that cause smog and acid rain, and reduce the carbon dioxide emissions believed to cause global warming.

Gov. Charlie Crist accelerated the shift to gas when he declared his opposition to new coal plants. Plans for at least three coal plants were canceled last year.

Eliminating coal narrowed the options. Nuclear plants have price tags of $17-billion, out of reach for small utilities. The utilities able to make that investment, like Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy, are a decade from producing electricity from new nuclear. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar can’t fill the void as quickly and cheaply as natural gas.

“You’re in a situation where you see growing demand,” said Robert Ineson, a natural gas expert at Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “If you think about how long it takes to build things, your other choices just are not as good, particularly if coal-fired generation is off the table.”

• • •

Florida is vulnerable to disruption in two ways: if supply is shut down in the Gulf of Mexico, or if a pipeline fails.

“There is a vulnerability,” Ineson said. “The U.S. gets just over 10 percent of its production from the Gulf of Mexico. If a hurricane comes in and takes that offline, it’s going to be painful across the board.”

Read the rest of the sad story at

We aren’t ever going to have a strong hurricane season again, are we?

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Mothers Prevented From Nursing Infants at Jacksonville Children’s Park

JACKSONVILLE, FL — Holly Howe said she was discreetly nursing her baby under a blanket when a manager at the Kid’s Kampus approached her.

“He said I couldn’t breast feed because breast milk is a bodily fluid and I could contaminate the park and he would have to shut the park down,” said Howe.

As an educated mom who had already nursed two other babies, Howe was incredulous. She tried to explain that Florida law gives women the right to breast feed in public places, but the manager, she claimed, would have none of it. Read the rest at

I do hope they either fire him or reassign him into some job where he will have no contact with the public. He sounds like a real nut case.

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Woman Intentionally Runs Into Bicylist, Stripped and Ran Around Crash Scene, Then Stole Somebody Else’s Vehicle

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Holly Highfield faces DUI and several other charges after witnesses said she intentionally struck a bicyclist, took off her clothes and ran around the crash scene, then drove off the road while attempting to leave the scene in someone else’s vehicle.

Police said the incident occurred Sunday evening while Highfield, 34, was driving three children, ages 10 to 14. See News4Jax for rest of the story.

I’d guess she’s going to be charged with attempted homicide and assaulting a police officer (she kicked a female officer attempting to put a sheet over her, then urinated in the patrol car) if she doesn’t become a prolonged patient in the psychiatric ward.

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Naval Postgraduate School Wins Defcon Capture the Flag Competition

From Dark Reading:

The key to understanding the game is that these are not ordinary servers running off-the-shelf network services. The services that must be hacked are custom-written by Kenshoto specifically for CTF and include things like a Web server, text-based messaging system, and a network-based optical character recognition (OCR) system that converted the uploaded graphics to text. Not all of the services are straightforward and part of the challenge is to simply figure out what they do.

This year, several of the teams were from other countries, including Spain and Korea. The teams earn their way into CTF by participating in the qualifiers held in June, where the top seven teams go on to compete against the previous year’s winner, which has been my team, 1@stplace, led by @tlas. The key to our successes in the past two wins boiled down to the friendship and fellowship that the nine of us share as a team, and our ability to know what each other is good at, and doing those things well during the competition.

While we continued to do what we do best this past weekend, we were beaten because the sk3wl of r00t from the Naval Postgraduate School had stepped up their game. They had come in second place the past two years, and always had been the team to beat when it came to reverse engineering, exploiting, and patching services. We had previously been able to edge them out because we could reverse any of their exploits and automate the exploitation and submission of stolen tokens for scoring. This year, they came fully prepared with a 26-member team, a readiness to automate their attacks, and a tool that several of their members wrote that allowed them to do collaborative reverse engineering. And they did an amazing job.

Considering the Russian cyber attack on Georgia prior to their invasion of the country as well as the ongoing DOS, I’m happy that the military are no slouches in the hacking department.

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