Win Or Die

It sucks to be a North Korean soccer coach or player. Hell, it sucks to be a North Korean period.

Failed N Korean World Cup coach fears for life

Kim Jong-hun might well be envious of Dunga and Maradona, the two South American coaches sacked for their teams’ “poor” performance in the recent FIFA world cup. Kim, the North Korean coach, has not just been sacked, he has suffered public humiliation and been made to work unpaid as a construction worker. News leaks from Pyongyang further say that Kim fears he might soon be executed.

According to unconfirmed reports, the entire North Korean squad, which lost all three of its World Cup games in South Africa, has been subjected to a humiliating dressing-down in public.

The hapless players spent six hours being lectured in public, on their failure and ‘betrayal’ of Kim Jong-un, son and heir of the great leader Kim Jong-il.

They were subjected to a session of harsh ideological criticism, a Chinese businessman told the South Korean media.

Under coercion, every player blamed the defeat on the coach who has reportedly been expelled from the governing Workers Party.

North Korea’s success in qualifying for the Cup had prompted the Party to organize countrywide celebratory lectures in recognition of Kim Jong-un’s accomplishment.

Ever since the team crashed out, experts on the hermit state have speculated that the players would surely be punished.

See also:
North Korea’s failed World Cup footballers undergo public mauling
North Korea soccer coach fears for his life
North Korean football team shamed in six-hour public inquiry over World Cup
North Korean soccer team forced into six-hour long public inquisition after losing at World Cup
North Korean Soccer Team Publicly Shamed For World Cup Failure
North Korean Soccer Team Punished for World Cup Failure
Sacked NKorean soccer coach fears for life
North Korea Soccer Team Reprimanded After World Cup, Radio Free Asia Says
North Korea’s World Cup Team Faces Government Wrath After World Cup Defeat
North Korean Soccer Coach Put Into Labor Camp After Disappointing World Cup
There Is No Joy in Pyongyang …
Welcome to the party, North Korean soccer team
Korea DPR national football team

Every day, more children are born in North Korea, facing a bleak, totalitarian future with no possible escape. Personally, I just can’t help but feel sorry for every last one of them.

/you know, ending the Korean War, once and for all, would eventually be viewed as the greatest humanitarian gesture in modern history

The Swamp Overflows

There’s another corrupt turd in the Congressional punchbowl and this one’s extra dumb and super socialist scary.

Maxine Waters faces ethics charges

A House panel is preparing to accuse Rep. Maxine Waters of at least one ethics violation in her efforts to help a bank with ties to her husband, and the longtime Los Angeles Democrat plans to fight the charges in a House trial, according to a source familiar with the case.

The allegations were presented Friday to Waters, the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is confidential.

Waters, an outspoken legislator who has held elective office in Sacramento or Washington for more than three decades, could not be reached Friday night.

The findings on the investigation into Waters by the Office of Congressional Ethics are expected to be made public on Monday.

That office, an independent watchdog created by Congress, referred the matter to the House Ethics Committee. The committee turned the matter over to a panel of two Democratic and two Republican lawmakers who have been conducting their own probe for months.

The allegations come as Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) faces a House trial on 13 ethics allegations, adding to the political troubles of Democrats confronted with a tough battle to hold onto their House majority in the November midterm election. Rangel, 80, and Waters, 71, are both high-profile, longtime members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

One of Los Angeles’ most enduring black politicians, Waters came under scrutiny last year after Massachusetts-based OneUnited Bank, one of the nation’s largest minority-owned institutions, received $12 million in bailout funds.

The funding came three months after Waters, a senior member of the committee that oversees banking, helped arrange a meeting between officials of the bank, other minority-owned financial institutions and Treasury Department representatives.

Waters’ husband, Sidney Williams, had owned stock in the bank and served on its board.

See also:
Maxin Waters accused of Ethics Violation
Maxine Waters in ethics trouble too
Rep. Waters chooses trial rather than accept ethics charges, reports say
Waters chooses ethics trial
Maxine Waters to be charged by Ethics Committee; Waters plans to fight
Rep. Maxine Waters will fight House ethics charges
Rep. Waters chooses trial rather than accept ethics charges, reports say
Obama Says Rangel at End of Career; Rep. Maxine Waters also Facing Ethics Woes
U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Maxine Waters
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct

Can you just imagine what sheer spectacle a public ethics trial of borderline psychotic Maxine Waters would be like? Talk about must see TV just in time for the November midterm elections.

/fight on Maxine, you go girl, take it to the mat, the Republicans will thank you later!

The M Star Mystery

What the hell happened here? Was it a collision, an explosion, a rogue wave, or something else? So far, your guess is as good as theirs.

Supertanker ‘was damaged by explosion or submarine’

A JAPANESE supertanker which sustained serious hull damage while sailing through the hyper-sensitive Straits of Hormuz was either hit by an explosion or in a collision with a submarine, officials in the United Arab Emirates said yesterday.

When the M Star supertanker reported it had been hit by an “explosion” late on Wednesday, officials in the UAE played down the claim, citing seismic activity and saying the vessel had been hit by “a freak wave”.

Yet yesterday, it was confirmed the crude carrier had been hit by an external force and a specialist on military attacks has been asked to help investigate damage to the 1,100-foot vessel laden with oil for Japan.

“What we know is some collision happened. We don’t know what it was,” said Captain Mousa Mourad, general manager at the UAE port of Fujairah.

See also:
Rogue Wave Is Suspected in Mideast Tanker Blast
Official: Wave not likely cause of Gulf ship blast
Plot thickens over tanker explosion
Cause of explosion on Japanese tanker in Hormuz remains unclear
Damaged oil tanker may have hit a mine
Mitsui O.S.K. Oil Tanker ‘Blasted From Outside’
Giant Supertanker Suffers Mystery Explosion
Japanese supertanker was in collision-official
Japanese tanker was damaged in collision, UAE official says
Japanese tanker may have hit submarine
Oil tanker ‘attacked’ off Oman
Mystery of Japanese tanker damage probed
Questions Swirl About Damaged Japanese Tanker
Oil Tanker Sails Back To Fujairah After Accident
Causes behind Oil Tanker, M. Star incident still mysterious
Japanese Supertanker Explosion Occurred Outside the Strait of Hormuz

A rogue wave sounds unlikely, at least to me. If it was an explosion, shouldn’t there be more discoloration and shrapnel marks or penetration, instead of just a big dent? And looking at the dent, if it was a collision with a submarine, the submarine would have had to be fully or at least partially surfaced. Why wouldn’t the M Star have seen it and where’s the damaged submarine?

/beats me, I have no idea

Let’s Play ATM Or Slot Machine?

Barnaby Jack is at it again.

Researcher Demonstrates ATM ‘Jackpotting’ at Black Hat Conference

In a city filled with slot machines spilling jackpots, it was a “jackpotted” ATM machine that got the most attention Wednesday at the Black Hat security conference, when researcher Barnaby Jack demonstrated two suave hacks against automated teller machines that allowed him to program them to spew out dozens of crisp bills.

The demonstration was greeted with hoots and applause.

In one of the attacks, Jack reprogrammed the ATM remotely over a network, without touching the machine; the second attack required he open the front panel and plug in a USB stick loaded with malware.

Jack, director of security research at IOActive Labs, focused his hack research on standalone and hole-in-the-wall ATMs — the kind installed in retail outlets and restaurants. He did not rule out that bank ATMs could have similar vulnerabilities, though he hasn’t yet examined them.

The two systems he hacked on stage were made by Triton and Tranax. The Tranax hack was conducted using an authentication bypass vulnerability that Jack found in the system’s remote monitoring feature, which can be accessed over the Internet or dial-up, depending on how the owner configured the machine.

Tranax’s remote monitoring system is turned on by default, but Jack said the company has since begun advising customers to protect themselves from the attack by disabling the remote system.

To conduct the remote hack, an attacker would need to know an ATM’s Internet IP address or phone number. Jack said he believes about 95 percent of retail ATMs are on dial-up; a hacker could war dial for ATMs connected to telephone modems, and identify them by the cash machine’s proprietary protocol.

The Triton attack was made possible by a security flaw that allowed unauthorized programs to execute on the system. The company distributed a patch last November so that only digitally signed code can run on them.

Both the Triton and Tranax ATMs run on Windows CE.

Using a remote attack tool, dubbed Dillinger, Jack was able to exploit the authentication bypass vulnerability in Tranax’s remote monitoring feature and upload software or overwrite the entire firmware on the system. With that capability, he installed a malicious program he wrote, called Scrooge.

Scrooge lurks on the ATM quietly in the background until someone wakes it up in person. It can be initiated in two ways — either through a touch-sequence entered on the ATM’s keypad or by inserting a special control card. Both methods activate a hidden menu that allows the attacker to spew out money from the machine or print receipts. Scrooge will also capture track data embedded in bank cards inserted into the ATM by other users.

To demonstrate, Jack punched the keys on the typed to call up the menu, then instructed the machine to spit out 50 bills from one of four cassettes. The screen lit up with the word “Jackpot!” as the bills came flying out the front.

To hack the Triton, he used a key to open the machine’s front panel, then connected a USB stick containing his malware. The ATM uses a uniform lock on all of its systems — the kind used on filing cabinets — that can opened with a $10 key available on the web. The same key opens every Triton ATM.

Two Triton representatives said at a press conference after the presentation that its customers preferred a single lock on systems so they could easily manage fleets of machines without requiring numerous keys. But they said Triton offers a lock upgrade kit to customers who request it — the upgraded lock is a Medeco pick-resistant, high-security lock.

. . .

Jack said that so far he’s examined ATMs made by four manufacturers and all of them have vulnerabilities. “Every ATM I’ve looked at allows that ‘game over.’ I’m four for four,” he said at the press conference. He wouldn’t discuss the vulnerabilities in the two ATMs not attacked on Wednesday because he said his previous employer, Juniper Networks, owns that research.

Jack said his aim in demonstrating the hacks is to get people to look more closely at the security of systems that are presumed to be locked down and impenetrable.

See also:
Bunker-busting ATM attacks show security holes
Hacker breaks into ATMs, dispenses cash remotely
Security researcher demonstrates ATM hacking
Black Hat: Hacker Tricks ATMs Into Raining Cash
Researcher shows how to hack ATMs with “Dillinger” tool
Armed with exploits, ATM hacker hits the jackpot
Powered By Microsoft Windows
IOActive Labs
Tranax Technologies
Triton Systems

All your ATMs are belong to Barnaby Jack!

/I’ll bet Barnaby is really well paid and gets plenty of job offers from the Black Hats as well as the White Hats

Drain The Swamp Watch

Will he stay or will he go? Charlie Rangel is the gift that keeps on giving . . . to the GOP.

Dems keep distance from Rangel

Several Democrats facing competitive elections began distancing themselves Tuesday from embattled New York Rep. Charles Rangel as a potentially damaging hearing on whether he violated House ethics rules drew near.

As Rangel’s lawyers tried to negotiate a settlement to avoid a public ethics trial — set to begin Thursday — Democrats attempted to shift focus away from vulnerable lawmakers under pressure from GOP challengers over the Rangel controversy.

“I think everyone would like to have it go away in the sense that this is not a pleasant process,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Hoyer was peppered with questions about Rangel at a news conference designed to detail the party’s message for the upcoming recess period in August.

An ethics subcommittee charged Rangel, a Democrat, with unspecified violations July 22 after an 18-month investigation into his fundraising, taxes and financial disclosure statements. The charges will be unveiled at the hearing — the first step in a process unfolding before the midterm elections.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House ethics committee, denied that lawmakers were working on a plea deal with Rangel to avoid a trial. She told the Associated Press that Rangel’s lawyers are negotiating with the committee’s non-partisan staff.

If the negotiations result in an agreement, the committee could vote to accept it at the meeting this week.

See also:
House Panel Charges Rangel With Ethics Violations
Panel hits N.Y.’s Rangel with ethics violations
Jim Traficant’s trying times of 2002 could be repeated for Rep. Charles Rangel
Rangel seeks plea agreement to avoid ethics trial
Rangel in a sleaze squeeze
Rangel Settlement Talks Continue
Rangel Scrambling to Make Deal on Ethics Charges
Dean: Ethics Charges Could Get Rangel ‘Thrown Out of Congress’
Rangel Maintains Innocence; Admits Controversy Has Taken Its Toll
Rangel: More Alleged Violations, Still Optimistic
Charles B. Rangel
Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Charles B. Rangel
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
United States House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct

Remember when Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain the swamp and run the most ethical Congress ever? Well, how’s that working out? Apparently the swamp doesn’t want to be drained. Fight on Charlie, fight on!

/big, huge bonus for Republicans if there’s a public Charlie Rangel ethics trail in the House this Fall, going into the midterm elections

Mahmoud Versus The Sea Creature

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took time out from his busy schedule of promising to destroy Israel to bad mouth Paul, the 100% accurate, World Cup match winner predicting octopus. Mahmoud must think that Paul the octopus is one of those dastardly Zionist sea creatures.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacks Octopus Paul

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian leader, says Paul the Octopus, the sea creature that correctly predicted the outcome of World Cup games, is a symbol of all that is wrong with the western world.

He claims that the octopus is a symbol of decadence and decay among “his enemies”.

Paul, who lives at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, in Germany, won the hearts of the Spanish by predicting their World Cup victory.

He became an international star after predicting the outcome of all seven German World Cup matches accurately.

However, the Iranian president accused the octopus of spreading “western propaganda and superstition.” Paul was mentioned by Mr Ahmadinejad on various occasions during a speech in Tehran at the weekend.

“Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values,” he said.

See also:
Iran’s newest state enemy: an octopus
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Newest Enemy: Octopus Paul
Iranian president Ahmadinejad denounces superstitious West over Paul the Octopus
Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Paul the Octopus reflects all that’s wrong with the western world
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Lashes Out Against the Psychic Octopus
Paul the octopus

Mahmoud is just jealous because the octopus is actually sane and smarter than he is.

/then again, Paul the octopus is smarter than Joe Biden too

Weekly Watch List

BIDU
LULU
MELI
NETL
SHOO
CTSH
AAPL
HLF
INFA
CPLA
CSTR
ISLN

Additions:
AAPL
CPLA
CSTR
INFA
ISLN

Subtractions:
EL
HSP
ISRG

Last week, all the major indexes gained ground. The Nasdaq advanced 4.1% for the week, the NYSE composite added 3.8%, the S&P 500 tacked on 3.5% and the Dow was up 3.2%. The IBD outlook remains at “market in confirmed uptrend”. You have a green light to buy quality stocks at proper buy points.

This week, three watch list stocks are potential buy candidates,BIDU, MELI, and CTSH. BIDU is trading at $78.87, just past a $78.69 buy point. MELI, trading at $62.77, has cleared a $62.24 buy point. CTSH, trading at $55.44, has cleared a buy point of $54.91. All three stocks are within buy range up to 5% past their buy points.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

Invincible Spirit

Let the games begin.

US, S. Korea Begin Large War Games Off Korean Coast

A large 4-day exercise involving U.S and South Korea forces is under way in the Sea of Japan.

It comes in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, four months ago. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo attack for the incident.

The war games off the east coast of the Korean peninsula were called to send a strong message of deterrence to Pyongyang.

The joint military exercise is known as “Invincible Spirit.” And while the forces of the United States and South Korea routinely conduct drills together, this war game is considered unprecedented in scope.

For the first time, the most advanced fighters of the U.S. Air Force are participating. They are the F-22 Raptors. U.S. officials say four of the stealth technology jets are taking part, along with nearly 200 other aircraft.

At sea is the strike group of the USS George Washington. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is accompanied by three destroyers.

U.S. and South Korean top military officials say the exercises are a significant show of force intended to deter North Korea from further aggression.

See also:
U.S., S. Korea aim to strike the right tone as exercise kicks off
Massive show of U.S.-South Korea military might
U.S., S Korea start military drills amid concerns of neighboring countries
US and South Korea begin military drills in the face of nuclear threat from North Korea
U.S., South Korea launch naval drill to warn North Korea
U.S.-South Korean War Drills Begin
On board USS George Washington in S Korea navy drill
Anti-sub warfare part of S. Korea exercise
US rattles sabre in the Sea of Japan
America’s Spirit Invincible; China’s Still Puzzling
US and South Korea set to confront North with show of naval force
North Korea threatens ‘nuclear war’ over troop exercises
US, S.Korea begin war games

We have a pack of F-22 Raptors roaming freely over the Korean peninsula? Let’s go for it and not waste the tax dollars on an “exercise”.

/remember, we’re still at war with North Korea, today is just as good as any other day to end it, while we’re here, with the gear

Friday Night Bad News Dump

Obama was hoping you wouldn’t notice the new record deficit he set. It’s more than three times as large as the deficit was when Bush left office.

White House predicts record $1.47 trillion deficit this year, 9 percent unemployment next year

New estimates from the White House on Friday predict the budget deficit will reach a record $1.47 trillion this year. The government is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar it spends.

That’s actually a little better than the administration predicted in February.

The new estimates paint a grim unemployment picture as the economy experiences a relatively jobless recovery. The unemployment rate, presently averaging 9.5 percent, would average 9 percent next year under the new estimates.

The Office of Management and Budget report has ominous news for President Barack Obama should he seek re-election in 2012 — a still-high unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. That would be well above normal, which is closer to a rate of 5.5 percent to 6 percent. Private economists don’t think the unemployment rate will drop to those levels until well into this decade.

“The U.S. economy still faces strong headwinds,” the OMB report said. They include tight credit markets, a high inventory of unsold housing and retrenchment by state governments bound by balanced budget mandates. The European debt crisis has also had an impact.

See also:
Mid-Session Review
Budget of the U.S. Government

Federal budget deficit to exceed $1.4 trillion in 2010 and 2011
Forecast for 2011 Deficit Is Raised to $1.4 Trillion
Obama Budget Office Forecasts $1.47 Trillion Deficit This Year
Obama’s budget deficit heading further up
US deficit heads toward record $1.47 trillion
Federal deficit expected to reach record high
OMB: Economic pain will linger
US predicts record budget deficit
U.S. economy faces strong headwinds: White House
U.S. Trims ’10 Deficit Forecast as Economy Faces Headwinds
Republicans pounce on new OMB deficit predictions
Budget 2011: Past Deficits vs. Obama’s Deficits in Pictures

And remember, these record deficit projections are based on rosy White House economic assumptions.

Real GDP is expected to rise by 3.1 percent during the four quarters of 2010 and to increase 4.0 percent in 2011. The growth rate is projected to rise to 4.3 percent in 2012 and 4.2 percent in 2013 as the economy returns closer to its potential output level. Beyond 2013, real GDP growth is projected to moderate, declining gradually to 2.5 percent per year in 2018-2020.

If the U.S. economy falls short of these GDP projections, the now record deficits will become even worse. And you don’t even want to think about what happens if interest rates rise significantly and it costs the U.S. Government even more to borrow these incredibly humongous amounts of money.

/there’s no way that Obama can legitimately blame Bush for this budget mess anymore, although that won’t stop him from trying to revise history

Strange Brew

Beer me!

Dead animal beer bottles at £500 each ‘perverse’

A beer served in bottles made from stuffed animals has been criticised as “perverse” and “pushing the boundaries of acceptability”.

The End of History, made by BrewDog of Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, is 55% and £500 a bottle.

The bottles have been made using seven dead stoats, four squirrels and a hare, said to have died of natural causes.

However, Advocates for Animals and Alcohol Focus Scotland both condemned the marketing.

BrewDog claims the beer is the world’s strongest and most expensive.

Its co-founder James Watt said: “We want to show people there is an alternative to monolithic corporate beers, introduce them to a completely new approach to beer and elevate the status of beer in our culture.”

See also:
Beer to be sold in dead animals
‘World’s strongest ale’ comes in eye-catching dead animal bottles
World’s strongest beer is 110 proof
Brewer finds use for dead animals
Animal rights group protests British brewer’s plans
Beer That Is 55% Alcohol by Volume and Wrapped in Dead Animals Is Finally a Reality
Dead animal beer bottles at £500 each ‘perverse’
Beer served in ‘perverse’ bottles made from dead animal carcasses costs $750+
Scottish brewer offers beer packed in roadkill
BrewDog marketing stunt faces wrath of animal lovers
BrewDog Brewery
BrewDog Beer – Award winning brewery
Buy BrewDog beer | BrewDog online shop

Much as I’d like to try a beer with 55% alcohol content, served in a squirrel, I think I’ll stick to Michelob Golden Draft.

/for the price of one of them dead animal beers, I could buy almost 40 cases of Michelob

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