“Bring up the turnover blog on the big screen”

The first time I said those words on the US Pacific Fleet watchfloor, I got a weird look from my Intelligence Specialist, a Navy Sailor who only recently joined our team from his basic school.  “A blog?  Sir, we work in intelligence, not blogging.”

My watchfloor, a small group of 4 enlisted Sailors and one officer, maintained the intelligence plot for Commander, US Pacific Fleet (at first Admiral Harris, and later Admiral Swift).  We watched all of Pacific Fleet’s area, a huge swath of the world that covers everything from Pakistan to China, North Korea and Russia to Indonesia, and up to the west coast of the US.  When I came to the team, I learned how we partnered with a lot of other organizations and put together one neat picture for the Commander to make decisions.  It was (and still is) a really important job.  I watched our Commander use our information to make decisions that I would read about later in the news.

What I like to THINK I do, but in reality I point at a screen. A lot. Image from Wikipedia.

One of our biggest challenges was turnover.  When you turnover what is happening in about 50% of the world, it’s a daunting task, and it’s easy to miss something.  People before me had created turnover sheets that covered most things, but as the world got more complicated, it often fell short, especially for smaller countries.  Most importantly, it was a paper sheet.  Nobody outside our organization ever saw it.

I thought it was a weak spot, especially since many other organizations cued from us as to what was important in the world.  So I persuaded my team to start writing our turnovers using Intelink’s blogging service.  Intelink is a suite of sharing tools we have on our classified networks.  The government buys a license for a tool, puts it on the network, and everyone can use it.  The most well known is Intellipedia, which looks exactly like Wikipedia, except that you have to portion mark every paragraph with the proper classification.  We also have WordPress for blogging, Pintrest (called IntelPin), Twitter (called Chirp) and a few others.

The beauty of Intelink is that the services are reliable and make it really easy to share and discover.  If you tag your products on IntelPin or Intellipedia, suddenly others who are creating intelligence on the same issue can easily find them.  Too many people have this idea that everyone in intelligence is on the same page and somehow has access to all the information about a topic, but in reality the landscape is divided among the 16 Intelligence Communities, and someone in the CIA could be working on the same thing as me and have no idea what I’ve done.

“This is how I build the daily brief,” said no person in Intelligence ever.

So we started the Pacific Fleet Intelligence Blog.  It started as just my team, but soon it caught on to the other teams.  They liked that we could hyperlink products, add images, and that you could easily pull up previous turnovers.  It gave my boss and other organizations the ability to see what we were working on remotely.  Soon my Intelligence Specialists were blogging like professionals.

Intelink came under fire in a recent article on Wired, which said it mostly failed and may have been manipulated by the outgoing Obama administration to spread disinformation about Russia’s influence in the 2016 election.  Wired said that bureaucracy killed Intelink as a way to build a better National Intelligence Estimate, conjuring images of some creepy old guy in a suit holding folders of classified information yelling the spy equivalent of “Get off my lawn!” at some younger analyst.  But as Hanlon’s Razor teaches us, the truth is probably much simpler.

The reality is that most older analysts don’t know how to share.  They are very used to email.  I managed a group inbox on the watchfloor, and it was constantly deluged with intelligence reports from all over the world.  We would send out our brief, a 100 slide monstrosity, over email to customers.  I started posting our brief on a document sharing site (called IntelDocs) and sending out a link.  I swear, some people’s minds were completely blown that you could actually do that.

Yes, there are people like that in Intelligence.

When money is tight, the first thing to get cut in the military is training, and I think we’re seeing that now.  We have a lot of older analysts that we should be training on how to effectively use these tools, but we don’t.  They aren’t stupid, they simply need someone to show them how to use these tools.  But it’s not just the older folks.  My junior analysts are smart people, but they are third generation users of the internet.  Most never built a website from scratch on Geocities like so many of us did back in the day.  Their internet usage consists of Facebook, Snapchat, Google and Tindr.  We simply assume that Millenials have these skills, an assumption that I see proven false on a daily basis.

I think the future is bright for Intelink.  The Pacific Fleet Intelligence Blog continued after I left, a good sign that it wasn’t just my “good idea fairy.”  They also extensively use SharePoint, something I had helped setup with our network people in the last two months of my time there.  My boss, who had started his career building briefs on paper, was regularly surfing our sites and pulling information down by the time I left.

Change it would seem happens one person at a time, and even those in intelligence can learn to share.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, US Pacific Fleet, or any other government agency.  And please note that I use the word “spies” liberally, “intelligence professional” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Did you hit up Da Tip Jar yet?  Did you check out my blog?  Because what else are you doing on a Saturday?

My profile on Gab has increased dramatically lately that’s a good thing because stuff like the continuing exile of conservatives and the new censorship tools are leading to results like this:

Twitter shares sank Thursday after the social media company reported quarterly revenue that missed Wall Street’s expectations and issued guidance that fell far short of estimates.

Twitter posted fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents per share on revenue of $717 million.

Analysts expected earnings of 12 cents per share on much higher revenue of $740.1 million, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. In the previous year, the company posted 12 cents on revenue of $479 million.

Bloomberg story on the subject includes a visual that says it all

and a line I found interesting:

“Sales growth recovery for Twitter will be very challenging in 2017,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral. “Google and Facebook results show robust ad environment in the fourth quarter.” The lackluster sales growth at Twitter “is showing their strategies are not working.”

Now Google & Facebook don’t have a good history with conservatives but at least they’re not stupid enough to ban them.

If twitter keeps treating conservatives this way pretty soon I’ll reach the point where all my tweets on twitter originate from Gab or from blog post with the occasional reply to a tweet I see. Of course at this rate there mignot not be any twitter for me to ignore.

Perhaps other companies should take a lesson, it’s true liberals are a big niche market but do you want your company to be a liberal niche?

Closing FYI Incidentally, both mine and my youngest son’s favorite cereal is Kellogg’s product 19 & my wife loves Kellogg’s pop tarts.

Neither have been bought since Kellogg’s dissed conservatives values, nor will they until I see an apology.

In purely unrelated news:

Kellogg’s is shutting down 39 distribution centers across the country, the embattled cereal giant announced this week.

Good thing conservatives were never cereal eaters or they might have had something to worry about.

Update: I’m sure this is a coincidence too:

Gab was founded by Torba following Twitter’s suspensions of conservative and libertarian accounts and has attracted nearly 150,000 disenfranchised users, including Breitbart Senior Editor MILO.
Since the platform’s conception, Torba has been banned from a Silicon Valley startup group, suspended from Facebook, and had his Gab features copied by Twitter. Apple’s App Store have also banned the app twice . .

and this

And of Course Stacy McCain’s instalanche will just drive more traffic to the platform.

Prime Minister Jim Hacker:  I could tell that you were warning me that St, Georges Island might need our support.

Luke:  Oh yes… Well no actually, [in panic] only in one paragraph on page 107 [of 138].

Prime Minister Jim Hacker:  It was enough, I could take the hint.

Yes Prime Minister:  A victory for Democracy 1986

Apparently the big report about Russian “Hacking” of the election was not only a nothingburger in terms of hacking the actual election, but it was so thin that they dived into the public domain to pad it

Today’s report is, as noted, remarkably brief. The longest portion of the report, at seven pages, is Annex 1, titled “Russia — Kremlin’s TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US.” Annex 1 is devoted entirely to RT America TV, which the agencies deem a propaganda outlet of the Russian government. Given that this annex comprises the largest portion of the report, it is stunning to see this footnote:

This annex was originally published on 11 December 2012 by the Open Source Center, now the Open Source Enterprise.

So the CIA, FBI and NSA are so lacking in relevant, probative intelligence that the largest portion of today’s report is a recycling of four-year-old, public domain information on Russia Today.

In short, it is possible that the Russian government gained access to the DNC’s and Podesta’s email accounts by spearfishing, downloaded emails from those accounts, and provided them to Wikileaks. But we have to take the bureaucrats’ word for it.

Point of fact it’s highly believable that the Russians and anyone else who wanted them got Podesta’s emails and the data on Hillary’s server

I have no problem believing that the Russians did in fact get Podesta’s emails, and the DNC ones, and probably whatever was on Hillary Clinton’s server. The security of all of them seems to have been sufficiently lax that I expect multiple groups got in.

That laxness should itself be a major news story because it’s been apparent to anyone who actually pays attention to these things that state (sponsored) actors have been looking for vulnerable systems for the whole of the Obama administration, if not before.

But more interesting is that the report actually supported what we’ve said for decades, that if you cut open groups like Occupy wall street

Now let’s get specific. Occupy Wall Street was, evidently, a Russian front operation:

and the “green” movement, you find red inside

Russia has supported environmental groups to try to suppress fracking, which strikes at the heart of Russian economic strength:

RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.

It’s quite apparent that the tactic here was not so much to produce evidence of Russia hacking the election, but to help maintain the “Trump is illegitimate” meme that the MSM keeps running with by the very existence of a “report” regardless of what’s actually  in it.

This explains why Trump isn’t taking issue with the data, just the Obama admin’s conclusions but more significant is what all of this means about where the left is today:

Consider, four years ago on an open mic Barack Obama told the Russians he’d have more “flexibility” after his re-election

And the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev replied at the time:

“I understand your message,” Medvedev told Obama in Seoul. “I will transmit this information to” — no question of who was in control — “Vladimir.”

That “flexibility” cost not only cost tens of thousands of lives in Syria and Ukraine but made Russia the alpha dog internationally for the last few years

But Democrats in general and Obama in particular are now so neutered in power that they’re reduced to objecting to electoral college counts while the speaker laughs at them:

In short their flexibility is gone so in their last two weeks of power they are reduced to exposing both their allies of the occupy movement and the greens as Russian dupes in the vain hope that throwing them under the wheels of the Trump train will slow it down.

I suspect it will not.

Closing thought :  This also answers the question that White House Spokesman Josh Earnest could not. Namely why the 2015 hack of 21 million confidential records of US government employees, a hack that actually mattered

However, the OPM hack in particular was much more damaging, and was conducted directly against the government of the United States. The hack went on for over a year and exposed the background-check files of anyone who applied for a security clearance. That included the raw data from those checks, which means that China’s intel agencies have their hands on a lot of very sensitive information they can use to potentially blackmail people in highly sensitive positions. At the very least, they know who all of those people are and where they and their families live, which is a huge head start on forcing people into becoming moles and double agents.

…didn’t produce the pubic retaliation that Russian access to John Podesta’s emails did

You see the 2015 Chinese hack merely hurt the United States, it’s people and the security of the nation, the exposure of Podesta’s and the DNC emails were a direct threat to the power and influence of the Democrat party.  There’s the rub.


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This flashback post stands up well because there is a reason why warranties are the length they are.


What a difference a year makes

When mentioning my Inspirion 1150 in the past I’ve said it never gave me any trouble. My warranty ran out three weeks ago.

On Saturday I installed a friends copy of CIV IV to see if the graphics card of my laptop could handle it and sad to say the wife will NOT be getting me it for Christmas (and as we’ve established I’m too cheap to buy a new pc just for a game).

This morning I was coming into work early to cover for a friend, booted up my laptop and rushed to do something that was going to take 10 minutes. I figured no problem, by the time I was back it would be booted and ready to log in. Instead I found a highly interesting blue screen of death.

If the problem persists I might reinstall the system files from the cd or run a sfc scannow

I restarted the system and it came up but the timing reminded me of this Day-by-Daycartoon below.

day by day 10-23-2005.gif

Eric always buys extended warranties with laptops, I didn’t. We will soon see if he is right and I am toast.

Posted by Peter at November 14, 2005 09:18 AM

************

The Chris Muir Comment on that post is worth reprinting as well:

********

Peter, as a product designer who is well-versed with production methods, I can tell you for a fact that products today are very carefully engineered for a certain amount of time and no more.

I can recall the good ol’ MaBell phones that would take a tank round before they’d break. No more, it’s all crap from China.

I thought I’d type this out quick like as the warranty on this Mac I’m using sta

Posted by: chris Muir at November 14, 2005 12:22 PM

********

ah memories

Another old Lightfrog/Hiwired post with tech advice that stands up to the test of time:


Tis the season to choose wisely

An awful lot of money is going to be spent on new computers in the next 25 days or so.

My basic advice is simple:

Figure out what you want your system to do.Figure out what hardware is necessary to do it.

Splurge on the ram since it is the thing that will extend the useful life of the computer the most.

That’s basically it. For example all my next Desktop needs to be able to do is to:

Run the office suite (every one out there does)Play DVD’s (any DVD drive will do)

Play CIV IV with more than the min specs

Thats basically all I’m looking for so other than a good video card I’ll be easy to please.

If you want more detailed advice PC WORLD and CNET both have useful buying guides.

Posted by Peter at November 29, 2005 07:40 PMT

********************

Bit of Irony,  a new laptop is on my Christmas list and while the DVD drive is not as important (I’m thinking of using this one as a dedicated iTunes machine and importing my Big Finish Dr. Who CD’s here) however one of my requirements is a machine that can pay Civilization six beyond the min requirements.

Trust but verify

Ronald Reagan

When I read this response from Mark Zukerberg to Brent Bozell’s worries about Facebook labeling news as fake:

I expressed grave concern with this decision and the liberal ‘fact-checking’ organizations Facebook has chosen. Mr. Zuckerberg assured me that his express aim is to eliminate only patently false news stories from Facebook. He underscored he has instructed these organizations to focus only on truly fake news and nothing of a political nature.

and saw this tweet:

My mind instantly heard

This is the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe, but it is a demand on which I will not yield. I am thankful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his trouble and I assured him that the German people wants nothing but peace, but I also declared that I cannot go beyond the limits of our patience. I further assured him and I repeat here that if this problem is solved, there will be no further territorial problems in Europe for Germany.

I suspect it’s because of these multiple examples of facebook bias from this post,  Molly Hemingway’s excellent federalist piece

This is not to say that “fake news” doesn’t exist. Of course it exists. It always has and it always will. But the idea that it’s a major problem requiring limits on expression is crazy. Even the stories claiming it’s big news show that it’s not. Pew Charitable Trusts followed their progressive marching orders and did a poll on the matter. They spun it as dramatically as they could: “Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion.”

But it actually showed that 84 percent of Americans are confident that they can detect fake news when they come across it. Their concerns about fake news are really concerns about the spread of false information — something that just as well describes mainstream media as sites that more overtly craft fake news.

and this one at Breitbart

IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The Omidyar Network has partnered with the Open Society on numerous projects and it has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.  Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

All of this comes down to what a Galenian, whose birthday we are celebrating a week from tomorrow, once said

A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles.

Now while I understand that Mr. Bozell as a Gentleman took Mr. Zuckerberg at his word

I will accept in good faith his commitment  to address our concerns on this matter.

I trust he did so in the spirit of Churchill and not of Chamberlin and with the full knowledge that many below him in the Facebook hierarchy who will be actually making the decisions on what to flag and what not will take Mr. Zuckerberg’s statement to him with a wink and a nod.

As for me, my decision years ago not to join facebook, not even for the promotion of the site or radio show, is looking better & better.

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Mr. Scott: There’s an old old saying on earth: “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”
Mr Checkov: I know this saying. It was invented in Russia

Star Trek Friday’s Child 1967

They say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

So when I saw this story at Drudge:

Facebook is going to start fact-checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in its News Feed, the company said Thursday.

I remembered this:

Just after the Islamic Terror attack on the gay nightclub Pulse, Facebook, you know those guys who insist they are not censoring conservatives, decided to take strong action…against one of the most prominent opponents and a onetime target of Islamic terror Pam Geller

and this

Facebook doesn’t acknowledge a bias problem, the only see a “Trust” problem, thus they will hold “dialogues” in the hope of showing “progress” in the hopes that these visuals will cause conservatives to believe they are doing something.

Alas for facebook, not only is the bias problem real but as reported at The Lid , the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) was able to prove it by setting up a pair of “hate” sites one anti-jewish & one anti Palestinians gradually ramping up the rhetoric on both until they both called for the death of their targets. Then they reported each site to facebook.

Jeff Tells us what happened:

and this

and of course this:

Speaking at Facebook’s annual conference F8 last week, Zuckerberg launched into an attack on Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s policies. It’s not surprising that Zuckerberg, who has been a big fan of H-1B visas that critics say hold wages down for programmers and software engineers hired by companies such as Facebook, doesn’t think much of Trump’s plan to limit immigration. But so what? Lots of people are for open borders, even people who, unlike Zuckerberg, don’t stand to make billions off of them.

Somewhat more troubling was that a bunch of Facebook employees asked Zuckerberg whether there was anything they could do to stop a Trump presidency: “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?”

And then I think ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

After all of these recent examples of Facebook bias could any sane conservative seriously consider trusting facebook to not use “fact checking” as a weapon to censor conservatives while promoting a liberal agenda?

If you do then then shame on you, Cue Scotty:

If you’d like to help support independent non MSM journalism and opinion like from writers all over the nation like Baldilocks, RH, Fausta, JD Rucker Christopher Harper, Pat Austin, and John Ruberry plus seveal monthy & part time writers working here along with Julitee and want to help pay their monthly wages (and the Cartoonist I’m looking to hire, details here)please consider hitting DaTipJar.




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Back in 2005 when I worked for HiWired we started a tech blog that was unique at the time, providing some free tech advice to customers and non customers alike who needed it. Today I found myself looking at some old posts from the HiWired Blog and wondered how many of those posts stood the test of time. I think this one on trusting what you see on the net, particularly given the whole “fake news” debate, does, although some of the links are a tad dead.


Where are all the Moon Maidens?

For the fun of it I did a google search for “wireless network security” this is the result of the search.

You might notice that the #1 link is from a site called practically networked which is an excellent reference site, however when you read the article you will note that quite a few of the pieces of advice are contrary to things we’ve said before.

There was a time when this article would have been good advice but it’s old,that hasn’t stopped it from being #1 on the google list. If you hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button and followed the advice your system would be hackable in minutes.

If you are old enough you might remember the old Beverly Hillbillies episode where Jethro decides to go to the moon because it’s full of moon maidens. When Elly asks how he know this he says:

They wouldn’t print it in a comic book if it wasn’t true

Don’t be Jethro on the net.

Posted by Peter at August 15, 2005 04:51 PM

******************************************

I think I might repost more of these over time, I forgot just how much tech blogging I used to do when I wasn’t doing it for me.

Some of the most lucrative career paths that you can pursue are those found within the broader field of technology. Check out the short list of technology jobs below if you’re hoping to land a job that will allow you to enjoy the perks of a high salary.

Software Engineer

Software engineers play an integral role in the field of software design and software development, both of which are also lucrative career paths that you can take once you have your master of science in computer information systems or you’ve received your online computer information systems online degree from a school that has a solid reputation in the field of technology. You’ll work on developing the ways in which various pieces of software will function, and you’ll work closely with software designers, coders, and programmers in order to make the programs work as best as possible. Software engineers, software development managers, and software architects can make over $100,000 a year.

IT Director or Manager

The world of information technology (IT) is vast, so there are a host of opportunities that you can pursue, and they pay very well. Also, if you look through job openings in your local newspaper or on job board websites, you’ll quickly realize that there a lot of job openings that you can pursue because companies are constantly searching for the very best IT professionals to move their brands forward. IT directors will manage and direct all IT operations within a company, and they’ll also provide technical advice that will be used to lead various departments. They work on developing strategies that will deploy software and technology, and they test applications and hardware devices as well. This is yet another position within the realm of technology in which you can make over $100,000 a year.

Solutions Architect

As a solutions architect, you’ll have highly specialized skills, making you a very desirable candidate for the job openings that are available. Oftentimes, a solutions architect will work on helping with the design of various IT systems in order to meet an employer’s needs or a customer’s requirements if they run their own business. Like the positions that are listed above, you can expect to make over $100,000 a year, on average, in this position.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are also in very high demand today, so if you are struggling to figure out what you should study in college, consider this position, which also pays more than $100,000 per year, on average. Businesses of all sizes are seeking data scientists who will know how to collect and analyze data that can be used to improve profit margins and efficiency. As a data scientist, you will be in charge of running systems that are utilized for storing data and finding insights within that data. There are many other jobs that you can become qualified for when you attain the appropriate degree that will prepare you for a career in technology. These exciting career paths are not only lucrative, but also exciting and dynamic, as they are always evolving and improving.

Cybersecurity has definitely been in the headlines lately because both businesses and government agencies have been hacked and valuable data has been stolen about everyone from employees and politicians to consumers. But big businesses, in particular, are under a greater threat from cyber attacks, and with more people sharing a lot of information about themselves online and with the businesses that they make purchases from, companies need to do whatever they can to keep their information secure.

The Importance of Cybersecurity in the World of Business

Cybersecurity has always been an important topic for all types of businesses. This is why networks, such as an MPLS network, needs to have the right security in place. And this is why businesses make it a point to hire only the very best IT teams, such as Masergy, who know exactly how to set up and create a secure network. Without the right security products and protocols in place, hackers can more easily attack business networks and steal a lot of valuable information that can put both the business and its consumers at risk.

The New Cyber Threats That Businesses Are Facing

These days, the cyber threats seem to be more intense than ever, so businesses need to be more diligent when it comes to securing their data at all times. For example, companies of all sizes and from all industries now face threats that include machine-to-machine attacks, headless worms, the jailbreaking of cloud servers, two-faced malware, and ghostware that hackers can use to actually conceal their attacks so you don’t even see them coming.

Some of the Big Businesses That Have Been Affected

As of the early part of 2015, there were already several big businesses that had been the victims of cyber attacks. These companies were from a variety of industries, and they included Target, Michaels, Community Health Systems, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, Staples, Sony Pictures, Anthem, and Primera Blue Cross. When these cyber attacks happened, they made headlines because a lot of data was breached and a lot of consumers’ personal information was made vulnerable.

What You Can Do

Every business should have a cyber security strategy in place. This includes using high quality anti-virus software and educating employees on what they shouldn’t be clicking on when they use the Internet while working. Unknown links or suspicious attachments should never be clicked on and downloaded, even if they’re from someone you know. And make it a point to keep all software, operating systems, and apps up-to-date to have the latest patches and security measures.

If you own a business, you need to take steps to secure yourself from the threat of a variety of cyber attacks. The bigger you are and the more data that you have stored on your network, the more important it will be to protect yourself. Therefore, make it a point to learn not only about the threats that you have to watch out for, but also the steps that you can take to always remain in control and prevent attacks from happening in the first place.