These Are Not The Gaddafis You Seek

Remember boys and girls, Obama specifically said we are absolutely NOT targeting Moammer Gaddafi. But hey, Obama never said anything about not blowing up his children and grandchildren.

Gadhafi’s youngest son killed in NATO airstrike

A NATO airstrike Saturday night killed the youngest son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and three of his grandsons at his son’s home in Tripoli, the Libyan government said.

NATO hadn’t confirmed late Saturday that it carried out the airstrike that killed Seif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29. Regime officials said that Moammar Gadhafi and his wife were visiting the home when it was struck, but both were unharmed.

See also:
One of Gadhafi’s sons killed in NATO airstrike, Libyan official says
Gaddafi’s Son ‘Killed In Nato Air Strike’
Saif al-Arab Gaddafi Killed in NATO Air Strike
Libya says Gadhafi survives NATO missile strike
Gadhafi’s youngest son killed in NATO airstrike
Was Gadhafi the real target of strike that killed his son?
NATO confirms strike but not Gadhafi’s son’s death
NATO confirms Tripoli raids but not Gaddafi son’s death
NATO denies targeting Gadhafi family in Tripoli airstrike

NATO denies targeting Gadhafi family in Tripoli airstrike, really? Oh, I sse, it must have just been an incredible coincidence that the Gadhafi family just happened to be where NATO called in an airstrike. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the U.N. resolution authorize a no fly zone to protect innocent civilians against airstrikes? Did I miss the part where it authorized NATO to blow up Gadhafi’s grandchildren, in their own home?

I’m sure this incident will really bolster our image across the Muslim world. and Russia was already pissed off about the previous NATO airstrikes targeting Gadhafi.

/as for me, the stench of impending blowback is making me queasy

Springtime For Taliban

Here we go again.

Taliban declares ‘spring offensive’

The Taliban has announced the launch of a spring offensive against foreign troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces and government officials.

Saturday’s declaration comes a day after high-ranking US military officers predicted such a move from the group.

Dubbed the “Badar” offensive, the fresh onslaught “will target foreign forces, high-ranking officials of President Hamid Karzai’s government, members of the cabinet and lawmakers, as well as the heads of foreign and local companies working for the NATO-led coalition,” the Taliban said in a statement.

See also:
Taliban warns of spring offensive
Afghanistan: Taliban announce spring offensive
Taliban declares start to spring offensive in Afghanistan
Afghan Taliban: Surge to Begin Sunday
Taliban militants declare new offensive
Taliban announce spring offensive in Afghanistan
Taliban announce beginning of its ‘spring offensive’
NATO dismisses Taliban offensive as propaganda
Afghan Taliban declare start to spring offensive
Taliban declare start of spring offensive
Taliban announce beginning of spring offensive; NATO downplays it

Let’s hope that our troops have rules of engagement that allow them to actually engage and kill the enemy or at least be allowed to carry loaded weapons to defend themselves.

/what a hellhole, is it still even worth being there?

Whose Side Is NATO On?

With friends like NATO . . .

NATO airstrike mistakenly kills 12 Libyan rebels

A NATO airstrike in the besieged rebel-held city of Misurata mistakenly killed 12 Libyan rebels, an official with the transitional government confirmed Thursday, while new fighting was reported on Libya’s western border with Tunisia.

The strike Wednesday was at least the third reported friendly fire incident since North Atlantic Treaty Organization fighter jets began pounding forces loyal to Moammar Kadafi more than five weeks ago in a mission to protect Libyan civilians.

See also:
Libya: Nato strike ‘kills rebels’ in Misrata
NATO airstrike in Misrata killed 12 rebels, claims doctor in besieged Libyan city
NATO Airstrike Kills Libyan Rebels In Misrata
NATO Air Strike Kills 12 Rebels In Misurata
Nato ‘friendly fire’ kills 12 Libyan rebels
Strike Kills 12 Rebels In “Friendly Fire” Incident; Fighting Intensifies Throughout Libya
NATO bomb attack on Libya kills Misrata “rebel” fighters
Report: NATO Friendly Fire Kills 12 Anti-Gadhafi Rebels

Once again I ask, what the [expletive deleted] are we doing in Libya? Is there some type of coherent plan, a discernible objective perhaps? Because, so far, all we’re doing is prolonging a civil war and maximizing casualties on both sides.

/welcome to the quagmire, have a seat, it’s going to be a while

E.T. No Phone Home

Now space aliens can call Earth all they want, no one’s listening anymore.

SETI Shutters Search For Alien Life

Diminished funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the state of California has shut down the SETI Institute’s search for extraterrestrial life.

The institute has taken its Allen Telescope Array (ATA) offline while it seeks other sources of funding, it said in a letter to donors last week. In operation since 2007, the 42-radio antenna array–housed at the University of California Berkeley Hat Creek Radio Observatory–scans space for signs of extraterrestrial life.

See also:
SETI Institute suspends search for alien signals
SETI Institute to shut down alien-seeking radio dishes
Search for extraterrestrial life faces setback with SETI telescope ‘hibernation’
SETI shelves search for intelligent life
SETI puts E.T. on hold
Budget Cuts Shutter SETI’s Search for Aliens
SETI hunt for alien life put on hold
Alien finding institute Seti runs out of cash to operate telescope
SETI Search Halted as Allen Telescope Array Lacks Funding
Budget Cuts Shutdown SETI’s Alien-Seeking Telescopes
SETI Institute to shut down alien-seeking radio dishes
SETI Institute
SETI Institute

SETI Institute has been in existence for over 25 years and, so far, haven’t found any evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. California has enough of a gigantic budget shortfall without having to spend money on, arguably, frivolous programs like SETI. If private donors want to pay for it, fine, more power to them, just leave the taxpayers’ public teat out of the funding equation.

/let’s hope E.T. doesn’t now suddenly decide to phone home and then get pissed off at us when there’s no answer

Do You Own A Sony HackStation?

You’ve probably already noticed that your Sony PlayStation won’t connect to the online network, but do you know that hackers probably stole all your personal data, including your credit card number, too?

User data stolen in Sony PlayStation Network hack attack

Sony is warning its millions of PlayStation Network users to watch out for identity-theft scams after hackers breached its security and plundered the user names, passwords, addresses, birth dates, and other information used to register accounts.

The stolen information may also include payment-card data, purchase history, billing addresses, and security answers used to change passwords, Sony said on Tuesday. The company plans to keep the hacked system offline for the time being, and to restore services gradually. The advisory also applies to users of Sony’s related Qriocity network.

See also:
Sony Warns Online Hacker May Have Stolen Credit Card Data
Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity hacked
77million PlayStation accounts hacked
Breach at Sony may include profiles
Massive data breach suspected in Sony PlayStation hacker attack
Sony: Card details may be compromised
Millions of PlayStation user’s information hacked
PlayStation Network hacked, data stolen: how badly is Sony hurt?
Sony’s PlayStation Network Hacked, User Data Stolen
Sony Explains Delayed Response to Hacked PSN Accounts
Sony’s PlayStation Network Is Hacked

With 77 million potential victims, this could wind up being the largest data theft in history. If you own a PlaySyation, make sure you keep an eye on your credit card account for any unusual activity and change your passwords and probably as much other PlayStation Network account information as you can as soon as the system goes back online.

/and watch out for phishing attacks, if Sony contacts you, make damn sure it’s actually Sony

They Got Fooled Again

Much like the United States, Iran seems to have a real problem protecting its computer networks. Someone seems to be obsessed with sabotaging their nuclear program. I wonder who that might be?

Second computer virus infiltrates Iran’s computer systems

Iran has discovered a second computer virus designed to damage government computer systems.

The discovery of the virus, called Stars, was announced Monday by a senior Iranian official, Gholam-Reza Jalali, head of an Iranian cyberdefense agency, according to reports.

Jalali said in a statement that the damage from the virus, which looks like a regular government computer file, has been minimal and that Iranian scientists are currently studying the virus.

The virus was aimed at nuclear facilities, according to the Washington Post, and seems to suggest “a broader campaign by foreign saboteurs to undermine Iran’s atomic energy program.”

See also:
New Computer Strike Could Target Iranian Atomic Sites
Fresh Virus Outbreak Affects Iran’s Computer Systems
Iran discovers 2nd virus attack
New cyber attack targets Iran
Iran Claims Stars Virus a Second Cyber-Attack
Iranian official: New computer worm discovered
Iran investigates Stars virus
Iran Says It Was Targeted With Second Worm, Stars
As the Worm Turns: Iran Sees Stars
Iran says is uncovers second cyber attack
Iran Under Fresh Malware Attack
Security experts can’t verify Iran’s claims of new worm
Is the Stars Worm Just a Hoax?

Well, I certainly hope the Stars virus attack on Iran’s nuclear program isn’t a hoax and does as much damage as the Stuxnet worm, which was apparently wildly more effective than Iran is admitting to.

/you’ll note that Iran still hasn’t managed to power up the Bushehr reactor, which is as good a yardstick as any that their nuclear program has been ground to a halt

Weekly Watch List

ARUN
FOSL
SINA
AGP
BIDU
NFLX
HS
INFA
PRGO
ILMN
CTSH
JOYG
ORCL

Additions:
None

Subtractions:
CXO

Last week, the major indices moved higher. The Nasdaq vaulted 2.0%, the S&P 500 and the Dow each added 1.3%, and the NYSE composite tacked on 1.2%. Wednesday’s positive action was enough to change the IBD outlook, once again, to “confirmed uptrend”. For the time being at least, it’s safe to make new stock purchases.

This week, four watch list stocks, ARUN, HS, ILMN, and ORCL are potential buy candidates. ARUN, trading at $34.23, found support at its ten week line and is in buy range up to $36.61. HS, trading at $40.15, is still within 5% of a $38.85 buy point. ILMN, trading at $69.80, has formed a cup with handle base with a buy point of $71.15. ORCL, trading at $34.75, has broken out of a cup with high handle base and is still within 5% of a $34.53 buy point.

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

Easter, Chinese Commie Style

Just a reminder, China is not a free country.

China seizes Christians in Easter raid

Dozens of Chinese Christians were arrested on Sunday when police prevented an evangelical Protestant church from holding its Easter Sunday service, as the state continued its attack on protests against one-party rule.

Security forces clashed with followers of a growing underground Protestant movement that was blocked from moving into a new meeting hall near Beijing, leading to three weeks of confrontation with the communist authorities.

Worshippers from the Shouwang, or “watch tower”, church were taken away in buses, some defiantly singing hymns. Church leaders had issued a “fire and brimstone” cry for the congregation to worship outside the building even if it meant arrest and prosecution.

See also:
China detains Protestant Shouwang devotees
China Cracks Down on Would-be Easter Congregants
Chinese police detain dozens at site of banned Easter service
China Overreaches in Crackdown on Christians
Chinese Christians face tense Easter in Beijing
China Detains Christians and Blocks Easter Service
Freedom to celebrate Easter
Chinese Christians held at Easter service: church
Cops foil Beijing church’s Easter plans
China -Shouwang devotees Arrested for Planned Easter Service
Chinese police detain Christians on Easter

Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of basic human rights.

/the Chinese communist totalitarian bastards are not our friends

When The Cloud Bursts

This is why I keep my own local backups and don’t trust my important data storage to some remote server I can’t see, run by someone I don’t know.

Amazon’s trouble raises cloud computing doubts

The black out at Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing) data centre has cast a shadow over cloud computing, which has been hailed as a sturdy, reliable and inexpensive storage and network solution, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that cannot afford their own large servers.

On the early morning of April 21 (Pacific Day Time), Amazon’s EC2 data centre in Virginia crashed, taking down with it several popular websites and small businesses that depend on it. These included favoured social networking destinations like Evite, Quora, Reddit and Foursquare, among others. Now, the question is being asked: if an Amazonian cloud giant can crash so badly, what about the rest? Is cloud computing as reliable as we thought?

See also:
Amazon cloud service outage crashes numerous sites
Amazon EC2 Outage Shows Risks of Cloud
Amazon AWS downtime shakes faith in the cloud
Investigation on after Amazon’s cloud nightmare
Amazon gets ‘F’ for communication amidst cloud outage
Seven lessons to learn from Amazon’s outage
Mitigating the Risk of Cloud Services Failure
Lessons From a Cloud Failure: It’s Not Amazon, It’s You
The Amazon Cloud Failure Redux
2nd UPDATE: Amazon Says ‘Majority’ Of Cloud Problems Resolved

Online banking and web file storage is all well and good until, of course, it crashes and the data disappears.

/I sleep better knowing I have paper records and physical backup drives

These Are Not The Drones You Seek

Mission creep, what mission creep? Who are you going to believe, Robert Gates and Obama or your own lying eyes? Why, exactly, are we in Libya again?

U.S. will deploy Predators in Libya

President Barack Obama has given U.S. forces the go-ahead to use armed Predator drones in Libya after forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi changed their tactics in the fighting there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday.

“It’s an evolving situation. We saw an opportunity here and recommended it to the president. He took it,” Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

However, Gates said the use of the drones did not indicate that the U.S. was being sucked back into a military campaign that Obama has promised will be handled chiefly by other NATO countries and allied forces.

“This is a very limited addition on our part, but it does provide some additional capabilities to NATO,” Gates said. “I don’t think there’s mission creep at all….The primary strike role has been turned over to our allies, our friends.”

Now remember boys and girls, providing “additional capabilities to NATO” is not, I repeat, IS NOT mission creep. Um, it’s been at least a couple months now, whatever happened to “days, not weeks”?

See also:
U.S. begins using Predator drones in Libya
U.S. Launches Drone Strikes in Libya
Obama authorizes Predator drone strikes in Libya
US deploys armed drones over Libya
Obama Approves Use of Predator Drones in Libya
U.S. Sends Predators to Strike Qaddafi Troops Fighting Rebels
Libya: US sends armed drones to shield rebels
Pentagon: Robot War Over Libya Begins in 3, 2, 1 …
US begins using armed drones in Libya
U.S. introduces armed Predator drones in Libya

Of course, the U.N. resolution we’re operating under only authorizes humanitarian efforts, so I’m sure these armed Predator drones will only be used to deliver food to civilians and stuff like that.

The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

In that connection, the Council specified that the flight ban would not apply to flights that had as their sole purpose humanitarian aid, the evacuation of foreign nationals, enforcing the ban or other purposes “deemed necessary for the benefit of the Libyan people”.

I don’t know, what supposedly started out as a limited “kinetic military action” sure as hell seems to have blossomed over the weeks into the United States and NATO openly taking sides in a Libyan civil war.

/how is that not mission creep?

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