Showing posts with label information. Show all posts
Showing posts with label information. Show all posts

Sunday, December 21, 2014

From Around The Web

Turns out EZ Pass's are being used to keep track of speeding ....and (I suspect) probably other record keeping/ surveillance functions.

T Blog found a pic post on The Equipment of Vietnam MACV/ SOG soldiers. Interesting stuff.

I'm having trouble focusing on what I am supposed to be scared of. A pretty interesting article. I think a sense of balance between being informed about world events and getting worked up into an information overload panic.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Edward Snowdens "Doomsday Cache"

Honestly I am pretty ambivalent about Edward Snowden. The Wikileaks crowd are over enthusiastic about him as most of the stuff he's leaked could be put together open source (and has been) by anybody willing to dig a little and read a lot. At the same time the .gov folks probably overexaggerated also. This is proof I'll click on any article that says "Doomsday Cache" in the headline.

Anyway if you are going to piss off (or be a danger to) really powerful groups an insurance policy along the lines of "this stuff you do not want shared will become public if I don't die peacefully in bed at a ripe old age" is a sound move. Well played Mr Snowden.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Survival Blog Down

JWR sent me an email about Survival Blog being down. Below is the pertinent info.

This weekend, our server in Sweden was put under a "ping flood" Denial of Service (DOS) attack that resulted in 65% packet loss for a few hours.

This attack was most likely orchestrated by the man in Texas who last week anonymously sent me a racist rant and threats against both my blog site and my books. (His e-mail began: "You ni**er lover you have five days to take all links and any [sic] metion for [sic] links below off your site. If you [sic] dont [sic] do it I will post [sic] everyone [sic] of [sic] you [sic] cr***y books on [sic] prirate [sic] sites and kiss your ni**er loving income from them good [sic] by [sic] .")

The attack was timed for a three-day holiday weekend, because the miscreants expected that the staff at our ISP would be unavailable to help up reconfigure.

OBTW, the attack did not initially include our dotted quad backup address: (Which is explained here.)

At least this provided a good test for our Continuity of Web Services (COWS) defenses. Obviously, we are now going to need multiple mirror sites as well as an adaptive cloud server that can handle any future DOS onslaught.

The other lesson this teaches is the importance of having a backup. We provide an offline archive of the past six years of SurvivalBlog posts, available for a modest price.

~Jim Rawles~

TOR here: I tried to go to the site this morning and couldn't get there. I figured it was just one of those internet things that just happen. You know the kind where a little something is off on one side or another and you just can't get to a site, happens all the time. Apparantly it wasn't. Obviously this is lame. Hopefully it will get figured out sooner instead of later.

I guess this is a good lesson about relying on online information or resources. Between Survival Blog, stuff I have in the cloud and various sites I go to for this or that I am guilty of this. In the immediate future I will look to pull some stuff off the web. In particular I  will be ordering the Survival Blog archive and copying stuff out from other places.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bad Information

History is full of epic failures caused by people making reasonable decisions which turn out to be very wrong based upon the underlying information being inaccurate or just plain wrong. Today I want to talk about a couple way’s we can run into problems with receiving information.

The first is called confirmation bias. Simply put people can have an inherent tendency to be biased in favor of people/ ideas/ information that confirms what we already believe.  Sort of like an internal “yes man”. This is bad because we seek out information or guidance to improve, increase or expand the amount of information or successful techniques we have at our disposal.  Also it tends to lean people away from more balanced approaches in favor of extreme measures, usually to their long term detriment.

Here is how confirmation bias could become an issue. Let us say that you are a person trying to figure out what to do with your money today. You have some inherent concerns about our economy and lean towards preparedness. If you only seek out and consider valid articles of gloom and doom, some of which are the delusional ramblings of a mentally ill 40 year old living in his mother’s basement you might make some questionable decisions.

The next topic is called circular reporting. Here is how circular reporting works with a real life (non opsec applicable) example: I hear a rumor about something and tell one person, that person also hears about the same rumor from 4 or 5 other people independently so he thinks it is in fact very likely true. What actually happened is that we all heard the same rumor floating around and mentioned it to this person. The info came from the same source and can be confused for the coveted multiple source intel that is generally pretty accurate.

Lastly when reading about circular reporting to confirm my informal definitions I heard about something called “the echo chamber” where something gets repeated and repeated and it gets louder and louder when in fact it is just the first thing. I think the conservative media, fox news, talk radio and political blogs definitely do this.
How does one counteract these phenomena?  When it comes to confirmation bias the first step is recognizing the problem.  I think keeping an open mind and not letting yourself get carried away is also a big part.
As for circular reporting I think taking things, particularly from certain sources, with a grain of salt is essential. Have a good perspective of how much you are willing to invest (time/ energy/ belief)in news or info from certain sources. Almost weekly I get an email with a link to something on the net that has some extreme crazy story, typically I read them just for amusement. I also see 5 people take it as gospel. You have to decide for yourself what to believe but personally if UN Shock troops invaded New Jersey under the orders of the Trilateral Commission I would probably not be getting the first news of it from Jimbo’s blog o’ paranoia.  Also Ted’s NOW watch forum does not count as a second independent source, at least to me.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Random Thoughts: Tunisia, Egypt, Revolutions and Stuff

There is sure some interesting stuff going on in Tunesia, Egypt and Yemen (and the broader Arab world) right now. Not really suprising. All those despotic dictatorships with lots of young unemployed or marginally employed teens and 20 something who are growingly educated or at least exposed to the outside world via technology are a recipe for disaster. Hopefully if they are successful they will be able to break the 'One man, one vote, one time' and military dictatorship back and forth that have rules the Arab world since it became free from it's colonial rulers 60 years or so ago.

In Thailand not so long ago some folks really tried to get a revolution going. They succeeded in shutting down the capital for awhile but were eventually foiled. Some said it was because they were not armed which has some merit. If security forces crack down you can't do much to resist without guns. However I would say that: A) while they had a vocal minority there was not sufficient backing among the population and B) the willingness of the security forces to put down a rebellion are more important than a few dozen or even hundred guns. We saw this with Eastern Europe. The combination of the desire for regime change reaching critical mass AND the refusal of tactical level Army and police units to crush the protesters is essential for this sort of grass roots reasonably peaceful revolution/ regime change under the model of the fall of the USSR and more recently Tunisia. If you have even a fairly big protest and the security apparatus is still down with the regime you get the massacres of the USSR in the 50's and 60's (there were a couple I can't recall of the top of my head and don't feel like looking up) or Tiannamen Square. A government that doesn't pull any punches or care what the international community thinks can crush a pretty determined uprising and use the secret/ political police to keep it crushed. Anyway onto other stuff.

I have had a heck of a week. My schedule was early, late and generally erratic. So ready for the weekend. No real big plans here. Just going to try to rest and relax, do some packing and take care of a few little things. Got a bunch of new gear which I will write more about soon. Also there are a few other interesting things floating in my head.

Anyway I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And The Winner Is

Bro Brandon B is the winner of our recent give away. To be fair I used Send me your address and we will get the DVD on the way to you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Privacy and Data Mining

There has been some weird stuff going on lately. I have heard the words written by bloggers read on the news while their pictures are shown and their area of residence is mentioned. Privacy, open source information and data mining are becoming concerns for me.  I have no delusion that somebody with a super computer or just the cooperation of a big company or two could track me down on a coffee break.

I am not particularly worried. Long ago I decided not to say anything on here that I would not want read back to me in a court of law. However this has gotten me thinking about what companies I choose to deal with. I got a new email for the blog. It should pop up if you try to email me but for those who would just open an old email to write me I want you to be advised. Please contact me in the future at I will be checking my google email for awhile during what I imagine to be a couple month transition.

I deleted the blogs various social networking pages. I only regularly talked to two people on there anyway and I made sure to get their emails so we could keep up. It was a nice idea but didn't really blossom. I have a busy life and it was just another thing to do anyway. Also I have been taking a look at my personal social networking stuff. Balancing privacy concerns versus having a fulfilling life and keeping up with friends/ family around the world leads to some compromise on both sides.

I have also been thinking about the various internet personalities and sites I choose to associate with. In the last year or so the world has been pretty crazy and it seems to me like the blogosphere is really radicalizing. I am not saying it is right or wrong or justified or not justified. Just that I have found myself becoming less and less comfortable with some things I have been floating around. This is a shame because I can really enjoy 80% of what is on a given site and the rest makes me want to disassociate myself.

Quite frankly this whole thing sucks. I don't like it much at all. I am reacting in ways I see as reasonable to the world I live in. Maybe this wouldn't be a concern if I was an insurance adjuster in Omaha or an auto mechanic in Missoula but I am not.

Looking for the clouds silver lining I see two good parts to this whole thing. First I am not going away. I have had a couple of moments where I seriously considered it recently but after reflection this path seems to make more sense. I derive a lot of happiness from writing and reading the writing of others. There would be a real hole in my life without it. Secondly and more significantly this whole unpleasant thing has lead to serious reconsideration about what this blog is and where it is going. By ditching unproductive spin offs the blog is leaner and meaner. My available time will be more focused on the core mission instead of sifting through announcements about somebody's frickin Mafia Wars or Farmville. My core mission here is that I want to chronicle and otherwise talk about getting into better shape, becoming more financially secure and all around better prepared. I would like you guys to do the same thing with me so we are all more prepared for a very uncertain future.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Work was pretty nuts for me but that is life sometimes. Monday I dehydrated some apple slices for Wifey. Stashed some Euro's because instead of going out for dinner we just grabbed a pizza and stayed home on Saturday. Had some fun with the shortwave radio last night. I cleaned out the paperwork cabinet getting rid of unnecessary or outdated stuff and excessive copies. While doing that I took all the real essential stuff which isn't in our wallets and put it into one of those plastic paperwork envelope things. Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, car title and an extra checkbook. The stuff we would really want if leaving in a hurry and packing light. I had been meaning to do that for awhile. We picked up some extra ketchup at the store today because it was on a good sale.

All things being equal it was a pretty productive week. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Note From Our Advertisers

Our friends World Info CD wanted to remind you that using the promo code  "TSLR15" gives a 15% off discount on their products.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Check Out World Info CD, Our Newest Advertiser

Our newest advertiser World Info CD sells disaster survival & emergency preparedness information products - such as CD's and computer DVD's. The DVD's are menu driven so you just place them in your DVD drive in your computer and then point and click scrolling through the information. All information is printable so you can stash important stuff in preparedness binders as grid down references. Best of all our readers get 15% off if they enter the code on the ad.
Check out their site and blog.  Even if you really aren't in the market for anything there is lots of interesting stuff at no cost and the free downloads section has some gem's. I am really enjoying the Survival, Evasion,and Recovery (SERE) Military Manual 21-76-1.
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