Random Impertinent Questions

Did Wayne Eagleson become personally involved in the Sky City convention centre negotiations?

How many times did he fly to Auckland to meet Sky City executives when the deal was being put together?

Did the taxpayer pay for the flights? Or someone else?

While we are at it on random impertinent questions… ¬†¬† Read more »

Is hacking just a bit of a lark, or should we take it more seriously?

Having been at the wrong end of a number of people who hacked and stole my data, I’m clearly not someone who thinks hacking is just a bit of a lark. ¬†In fact, when used against companies and governments, these attempts to disrupt are classified as cyber terrorism and cyber war.

Unknown hackers have inflicted ‚Äėserious damage‚Äô to a German steel mill this year by breaking into internal networks and accessing the main controls of the factory, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) revealed in its annual report.

The report says that the intrusion into the mainframe system caused significant damage to a blast furnace as the attackers managed to manipulate the internal systems and industrial components, causing outages that disrupted the controlled manner of operation.

The BSI‚Äôs didn‚Äôt mention which plant was targeted nor gave any reference to the time of the attack. The Office did note the ‚Äúvery advanced‚ÄĚ capabilities of the hackers.

To penetrate the security, the intruders used a ‚Äúsophisticated spear phishing‚ÄĚ method to gain access to the core networks of the plant. Using this method, which involves targeting specific individuals within an organization, the attackers first penetrated the office network of the factory. From there, they managed their way into the production networks.

The bottom line is that if there is a sophisticated and sustained attack to get into a system, there is no way it can be kept truly safe. ¬† There are small elements of luck, but more of then than not, access is achieved eventually. Read more »

NZ has a rape culture? Nah…this is a rape culture

The Green party in particular made a big deal this year of promoting the fact that New Zealand has a rape culture and David Cunliffe was sorry for being a man.

I countered many times that NZ doesn’t have a rape culture…but now we have the number one example of what a real rape culture looks like.

The rape culture of ISIS and hard core Islamists.

People in Mosul — the Iraqi city now under control of the group calling itself the Islamic State — got these and other messages loud and clear after sunset prayers Friday, when armed men handed out a color-printed pamphlet “Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom,” three residents told CNN.

“People started gathering in small groups chattering about this (document),” said one of the men, whom CNN didn’t name for security reasons. “Most are shocked, but (we) cannot do much about it.”

The document was first printed in October or November, then later posted on an ISIS website. It has gotten more publicity recently because of the Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent Washington-based nonprofit whose advisory board includes former National Security Agency Director Michael V. Hayden, onetime CIA Director James Woolsey and ex-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The idea that ISIS is kidnapping, selling and raping women and children is hardly surprising. Many such accounts have surfaced since the group began its often brutal run through Syria and Iraq, including chilling stories from members of the Yazidi religious minority. And these are on top of other horrific allegations, such as the killings and mistreatment of innocent civilians simply because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’ extreme take on Sharia law.

How’s about that sharia law then?

ISIS at least has put it writing…modern Islamic slavery, authorised by the¬†Quran.

Even then, it is rare to see its rationale laid out as plainly as in “Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom.”

In the document, for instance, it is explained that capturing women is permissible if they are “nonbelievers.” It adds, “Female slaves are the women that Muslims took from their enemies.

Much of the pamphlet talks about ISIS’ policy on having sexual intercourse with a female slave, something that the group cites the Quran to justify. ¬† Read more »

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Are bars simply non-viable businesses now?

Video killed the Radio Star and now Grindr has killed the Gay Bar.  Or has it?

Social media apps are killing the gay bar scene, claiming as their latest victim New Zealand’s longest-running gay venue.

Urge in Auckland is the ninth gay bar to shut down in New Zealand over the past two years because of dwindling patronage, echoing the closures of international gay hotspots in New York, San Francisco and Sydney.

Sociologist Michael Stevens blames the internet, as apps such as Grindr, and social change, render such venues redundant.

“In the past you had to go to a venue to meet other LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] people, today you don’t.”

Now people can just grab a phone, swipe left or right according to preference – at work, in bed or in a meeting.

Must be a tough realisation that few¬†actually came to your bar because you were running a place people want to have a drink. ¬† Read more »

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Whaleoil General Debate

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Face of the day

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The Western Bay’s Volunteer of the Year Sara Hillier-Jones of Pyes Pa. Photo / John Borren

A wonderful article from my childhood home of the sunny Bay of Plenty, that reminds us all, that giving can give us as much satisfaction as getting.

Volunteering for the IHC has given Sara Hillier-Jones a purpose in life that she lost when crippling migraine headaches forced her out of the workforce.

The 49-year-old Pyes Pa occupational therapist was declared Western Bay’s Volunteer of the Year at a special champagne breakfast. ¬† Read more »

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21

12 The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; He will bring disaster on them.

Sunday nightCap

Vegans need not apply: beat that meat

A different way to cook a steak.

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Today’s Trivia

via tumblr.com

via tumblr.com

 

Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can you figure it out tonight?

 

Jay Z, Busta Rhymes, DMX, and The Notorious B.I.G. all went to the same high school. (source)

 

Read more »