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Some guy from NZ with a strange desire to put random, useless, weird stuff on the intarwebs.

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Stephen

Mallard MUST go. Completely unacceptable

PM doesn't have the cojones to do it though

3 min read

I think it's about time the PM admitted that her little effort to try and get Mallard in line by giving him the Speaker position when even his own constituents didn't want him any more has failed. The man has been sucking of the teet of the public coffers since the early 1980s, and his behaviour has never been exemplary. But his behaviour in regards to the claims he made that a staffer was a rapist, proven to be false in court, are just too much. The fact that Mallard is now using the Privilege of the house to make the same accusations the tax payer has already had to pay restitution for, is beyond a joke. 

As the NZHerald describes it...

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given House Speaker Trevor Mallard a very public dressing down, saying his conduct in the House last night was "totally inappropriate".

But she stopped short of heeding National and Act's call to sack Mallard as she said resignations would not resolve the underlying issues which led to last night's debate.

She said the blame lay with everyone who participated in the session – "no one, last night, covered themselves in glory".

Last night, Mallard used the legal immunity of parliamentary privilege to claim that a worker – who he apologised to for falsely accused of rape – committed sexual assault.

His rape claim previously led to a defamation payout of more than $300,000 to the worker.

The scenes in the House last night were rare, as Mallard was acting in his capacity as Minister of Parliamentary Services, and he was not chairing the session.

Totally inappropriate? That's it? The man has a history of pushing the limits. He's already been put in front of a judge for making this same claim in the past. The tax payer had to fund his legal costs, and then had to pay out the damages that were awarded against him.

But this was only "inappropriate" and not worth sacking him or asking for his resignation.

Our Prime Minister has shown once again that she doesn't have any leadership qualities. The best she can offer is a hug and a tear. A sympathetic look as you give her your sob story. But when she has to actually front up and deal with real issues, she's completely lacking. Mallard should not only be sacked, he should be censured at the very least. He should be required to make a public withdrawal of his comments, and an apology to the man he has once again accused of sexual assault. An accusation a court has already found to be complete defamation.

Mallard was one of the Clark Government's attack dogs. He was openly and proudly the bully when in Opposition during the Key years. He relished the ability to make comments across the house without being held accountable for them. That has never changed. He has no ability to control his mouth. That much is clear.

This is enough. If the PM isn't willing to take a stand and fire this man, then she's completely failed as any sort of a leader. Hopefully the public finally see that and start to push back and make her hold her ministers accountable.

Stephen

Chauvin Guilty on ALL Counts

Justice, or fear of riots?

2 min read

So this morning the jury returned a Guilty verdict on all counts against Chauvin. I strongly believe that this is does not represent the truth, nor does it represent the actual evidence presented in this case.

There is no doubt the jury witnessed the riots after last week's latest shooting by a police officer. No doubt they were most keenly aware of the scrutiny and the threats of violence if the verdict was anything other than guilty. I have no doubt they were aware of the threats made against witnesses that testified on behalf of the Defense. They will have seen their city boarded up preparing for their verdict. They will have known the State declared a state of emergency.

So they decided that the safest course of action would be to provide a guilty verdict and walk away.

Chauvin has the right to appeal. I just hope he lives long enough to be able to see the appeal to it's conclusion.

If you're a police officer in the US, what incentive do you have left to continue working in that role? I fully expect we will see a lot more police officers quit or "retire." If an officer can be found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder in the course of doing his job, using the skills he was trained to use, then no officer is safe.

I hold the Media and the Democrats accountable for this. The media for whipping up a storm and actively encouraging the riots... Sorry, "peaceful protests." And the Democrats, especially Maxine Waters, for blatantly calling for more violence if they didn't get their way.

Stephen

NZ Government extends COVID powers for 2 more years

2 min read

So the Minister of Immigration has announced that the NZ Government will extend their "temporary" powers implemented due to the pandemic.

“Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and waive some application requirements across entire visa categories. These decisions have provided more flexibility and certainty to visa holders and employers in New Zealand, and made more migrants available for industries facing labour shortages in a time when New Zealand’s Covid-19 health response needed our borders to be closed,” said Kris Faafoi.

“We have been able to make these necessary changes under the Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Bill, which expires in May 2021.

“Today, I have introduced a Bill to maintain those powers until 2023.

“The Bill will go through a short Select Committee process and is expected to pass in May.”

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2104/S00008/covid-19-immigration-powers-to-be-extended.htm

What the minister is failing to point out is that these extended powers have allowed the government to force everyone entering the country to spend time in what essentially amounts to a prison. Unless you're a famous Australian performance group that creates content targetted to children about the same age as the Prime Ministers child.

Ok, that's cynical of me. But by the same token, it really feels like this Government is really loving having the powers they have and they're going to do everything they can to keep these "temporary" powers. Unfortunately, because the country put them in power at the last election, without the need for a coalition partner, they're able to do anything they like without any sort of checks and balances.

The government of any nation should ALWAYS be subservient to the people. But it seems like *every* government is using the pandemic as a means to take more power for themselves, and implement restrictions and limitations on the people they're supposed to be working FOR. The entire "Covid Passport" is a really good example of this.

Stephen

I agree with the Greens. NO! to US weapons satellites launched from NZ soil

2 min read

I never thought I'd say this, but I actually agree with the NZ Green Party about something related to science and technology.

“I want to stand in support of Mahia locals and peace advocates for speaking up about Mahia being used as a Launchpad by the US Military”, says Green Party spokesperson for Security and Intelligence Teanau Tuiono.

“We support the call to suspend the granting of licences for space-launch activities on behalf of US military agencies and to reverse the Gunsmoke-J permit which is scheduled to be part of the next Rocket Lab launch.

“Gunsmoke-J belongs to the US Army’s Space and Missile Defence Command (SMDC) and is designed to improve US missile targeting capabilities during combat.

“The Government has a moral responsibility to make sure technologies sent into orbit by New Zealand companies from New Zealand soil do not assist other countries' armies to wage war.

I agree. One of the things that has kept NZ relatively safe in the past few decades, is our committment to only peaceful missons. Our entire involvement in the Gulf Wars, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, was in engineering or peace keeping tasks. New Zealand is well known as a non-combative country. Kind of like the Switzerland of the Pacific. By allowing the US to use a New Zealand company to launch US military satellites from NZ soil, we endanger that.

I am fully aware of our Five Eyes commitments. However, I do not believe that our agreement to share intelligence also require us to let foreign military organisations put weapons satellites into orbit from our soveriegn territories.

Unfortunately the NZ population doesn't have any way to say no to this. The current Government is comprised of a party that can unilaterally make these kinds of decisions without needing the buy in from any other party. This is why no single party should EVER have an outright mandate and should always be in a position where they *must* be part of a coalition to form a government in NZ.

Stephen

Bye Mozilla. This is the end.

1 min read

Enough is enough. I'm done with the BS.

steve@malystryx:~$ sudo pacman -R firefox
[sudo] password for steve:
checking dependencies...

Packages (1) firefox-84.0.2-0.1
Total Removed Size:  221.52 MiB

:: Do you want to remove these packages? [Y/n] y
:: Processing package changes...
(1/1) removing firefox  [########################################] 100%

:: Running post-transaction hooks...
(1/3) Arming ConditionNeedsUpdate...
(2/3) Updating icon theme caches...
(3/3) Updating the desktop file MIME type cache...

steve@malystryx:~$

Mozilla has completely lost any trust I had in the company. I refuse to participate or engage with any company that promotes the disenfranchisement of any group of people simply because the group doesn't think or have political leanings the same as Mozilla's.

You're outta here. You have joined Facebook, Google, and a few others on my shitlist.

Stephen

Documenting BTC's attacks on BCH

2 min read

I think this is something that needs to be expressed much further. I have repeatedly said that Bitcoin Core is not for the masses. It's a scam to make a small percentage much richer while locking normal people out of the market. 

When things within the Bitcoin community came to a head 4 or so years ago, the community fractured. The groups split and Bitcoin Cash was born. 

Since then, there has been a very widespread and concerted effort to try and destroy the Bitcoin Cash project, the community, and even individual people within the community.

TLDR: Bitcoin Cash, the peer to peer electronic cash system, shifts the dynamics of power from the elites back to the people. This is a threat to the survivability of the banks and regimes seeking to control the masses through the financial system. And there are many direct and indirect evidence (outlined below) of such bad actors trying to sabotage the peer to peer cash revolution through various means. We need your help to stand up against such saboteurs. Unity is our strength when we have to make a righteous stand against the toxic bullies and shifts the power from the elites back into the people hands. Just by speaking up and spreading awareness on this, and refusing to stay silent about it, you’re making a difference, and for that, I thank you.

I think this post is well worth the read. For me it only cements my opinion that Bitcoin is nothing more than Digital Gold for the rich. It is about control, and absolutely does not live up to the promise Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned. Bitcoin Cash is the true peer to peer successor to Satoshi's dream. 

Stephen

You left NZ when it was good, now you want in coz it's safe? No!

3 min read

I am such a heartless person, but I think this is a major necessity at this time in the world's history. There are people in the world that want to return to NZ, solely because they're afraid of the pandemic. I reject their pleas for sympathy and empathy and think they should remain where they are until the pandemic is ended. If they wanted to live in NZ, they would have been living in NZ when the hell that is the pandemic started. They would have suffered through the life destroying lockdowns with us. 

The rapid spread of new Covid-19 strains in the UK has some New Zealanders pleading with the government for help to get home.

Meanwhile people here - including health experts - want the government to tighten the screws on its border controls.

One new highly infectious Covid-19 variant is spreading across Britain while another, imported from South Africa, is under investigation by experts.

A New Zealander in the UK, Ranko Berich, described the situation for fellow Kiwis as "hundreds of people in dire straits".

He has been trying to get home with his wife and two young children, having left his job and given notice on his flat, but they have found themselves in the thick of travel disruption.

I'm not an asshole, but why is it that when things are great, people want to leave New Zealand, and now that New Zealand is one of the few safe places in the world, suddenly we're supposed to welcome these people home with open arms? 

These people left New Zealand and made lives for themselves in other countries. They made their choice. I have no sympathy for them now. Those of us that have remained here have done the hard work. We've put ourselves through hell to ensure the safety of the people of this country. The moment we start opening up the borders again, all that work is destroyed. All those months of lockdown and destroyed businesses is for nothing.

While I do understand the desire to return home, it's safe here, I have no sympathy for those stuck in other countries. In fact, I think that if you were living overseas when the pandemic started, had jobs and homes and lives there, you should remain there until the pandemic is no longer a threat.

Why? Because you know that the moment the world opens up again and the threat is no longer an issue, these same people are going to pack up and leave NZ again. And as much as I understand the desire to be safe, I reject the insistence that I be sympathetic to their plight.

Stephen

The Ledger response to the hack is the concern

7 min read

While I am not personally affected by the Ledger hack, the response of the Ledger company itself is a massive red flag for me.

The hack has been known for a long time. The /r/ledgerwallet subreddit has been discussing it and trying to deal with it since June when the first reports of phishing spam started showing up. The fact these spam campaigns were happening on both email and SMS demonstrates that the hack was more than just a mailing list breach.

While the community has been dealing with these problems, Ledger themselves has been trying to downplay the issue. Initially they claimed only 9000 customers were affected. Then they said only some of the mailing list subscribers details got out. Now we know they lied in both cases. The personal details of nearly 300,000 customers, including full names, postal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, were stolen in the hack. To compound matters, over 1,000,000 email addresses of the mailing list were also hoovered up by the hacker(s).

Now, as someone that has worked in the ICT industry for most of my working life, and a significant part of that was as a security engineer, the first rule of any internet connected service is to assume it WILL be breached. Your job is to mitigate those possible ingress vectors and try to make it as difficult as possible. Strong data practices are neccessary. Such a stance is even more important when you are a company selling security devices, dealing with extremely sensitive information, and there is a chance your customers will be relying on your product to secure extremely valuable or important data.

In this case, you're a security company selling cryptographic devices used to store the cypher keys that protect a persons Cryptocurrency assets, can be used as a Second Factor Identification device, can be used to generate deterministic passwords and other security devices based on the cryptographic cypher keys the device is supposedly protecting.

You could argue that any and every device that has ever been sold by Ledger is not in any way compromised by this hack. That is absolutely true. But the $5 wrench attack became a whole lot more of a concern for anyone that bought from Ledger. In fact, we're seeing exactly those kinds of threats, and worse, being made to people who's details were in the hacked database.

 

• Posted by u/jurban84 23 hours ago

I just got a death threat

I was in one of the 270k people. I am Polish.

Normally, I would ignore it, but the email was written in perfect Polish, which google translate always struggles with, sender name is also correct Polish (unusual for phishing), it was sent from a Polish domain, and a Polish IP, play mobile network to be exact.

He says I need to transfer 1000 PLN or he'll kill me.

 

So thank you Ledger. For the first time I fear for my life.

 

EDIT: So I went to the police. Apparently, I was already a second person who came in today with this. At my local precinct. In Poland.

How the hell is it that Ledger still continues to down play this entire issue? Their response? To paraphrase their CEO, "Our devices are not compromised, so nothing to worry about." Sure... For Ledger itself... Ledger staff aren't at risk because they didn't buy devices from the company using the same web portal that the rest of the world went through. 

 

received phone call threatening kidnapping and murder over my ledger.

Earlier today I have received a phone call from a fake number (it appeared as the phone number of my local police station).

A male, Anglo-accent caller asked if I was <my full name> and claimed to be a drug addict, and gave me my full address, and said he knows I have a lot of bitcoins. When asked how, he said my information has been leaked on the dark web. I played dumb and he eventually says I purchased a ledger hardware wallet and “only loaded c*nts” buy them.

He told me a sob story about how he is addicted to meth, is about to run out, and needs monero to buy more. He demanded 10 XMR and said if it’s not sent by midnight, he will show up at my house, kidnap me, and “stab to death” any relatives living at my address. I was able to record this phone call as I put him on speaker phone.

I have went to the police and filed a police report. They are going to try and trace the caller and has sent a police car to wait outside which I am very grateful for. All of my doors etc are locked and I have the officer’s phone on speed dial.

I just want to warn everyone about the dangers of Ledger’s recklessness. If there is a class action lawsuit I will gladly join and submit this as evidence.

Just think about that for a moment. You've bought a device that is designed to make it impossible for someone online to steal your digital assets. You've bought it from a company in France, that is subject to the EU privacy laws including the GDPR. You've bought it from a company that asserts it is a security company building a security device. You would expect that such a company employs extremely smart people that are aware of best security practices when it comes to OpSec online. You give that company your money, AND your trust.

Then it turns out that not only are they retaining ALL their customer data, they make no effort at all to obfuscate it, and they're storing it in what I can only describe as being misconfigured or mismanaged servers... At the very least. 

Now you're getting kidnapping and death threats.

Lets load on a heap of conjecture. How can we as prospective customers, or existing customers, now trust their devices? The code that runs on these devices is closed source. They make the desktop and mobile apps source code available via GitHub, and provide a lot of example code for installing apps onto the devices, but they do not make the firmware of the devices open source. There is no way I can be certain that the code they compile into their firmware is secure. There is no way I can be absolutely sure that their source trees were not also compromised.

One need only look at what is happening in the fallout of the SolarWinds Orion hack to see just one example of why I do not support such a business model. Not when it comes to software that is managing or responsible for core assets. Whether that be your network infrastructure, or your crypto keys.

In light of all this, I cannot, and do not, endorse Ledger wallets or products. I believe they have lost any possible trust I (and possibly the community) had. At this point, my recommendation would be to use a Trezor device as an alternative. Trezor make their firmware code available as opensource, so you can build it and run it for yourself. You can even build your own version of a Trezor Wallet on a Raspberry Pi if you want. There are other brands of hardware wallets, but very few of them make their code open source.

If you are serious about Crypto Currencies, then you absolutely do need an offline hardware wallet or cold storage. Until now Ledger Nano devices have been the best available because of the feature set. But I don't think the feature set can outweigh the security risks of their closed source any longer. It's just not worth the risk.

Stephen

Murderer and Sexual Abuser's name finally revealed in NZ

3 min read

While his name has been a very widely known secret for a long time, international press were not concerned about, or refraining from publishing his name from the start, it is seriously about time this man's name was shared openly in NZ without fear of reprisal.

From the NZHerald -- British backpacker Grace Millane's murderer named as Jesse Kempson, sexual violence trials revealed

The man who murdered British backpacker Grace Millane can now legally be named in New Zealand.

He is Jesse Shane Kempson.

And it can now be revealed Kempson faced two further trials for violent sexual offending against two other women.

The 28-year-old Auckland man's identity was due to be revealed last Friday, but with just minutes before an 11am deadline, the Supreme Court decided to keep suppression in place until it could make a final determination.

Today, the top court ordered suppression to lapse.

The one thing that really bothers me in this, and something I wish we could change our laws to address, is that this animal is serving 3 sentences for 3 different crimes concurrently. Meaning, he really is only serving a single sentence for all 3 crimes. Worse, he only has to spend 17 years in gaol for murdering a woman, and brutally assaulting at least two others (that are known to the police.)

Suppression for the Aotea College alumnus was continued throughout last November's high-profile murder trial in the High Court at Auckland, the guilty verdict and sentencing - the reasons for which were also suppressed until today.

His name was suppressed to protect his fair trial rights, the courts ruled, because of two sexual violence trials.

He has already been convicted and sentenced for those crimes against both women after judge-alone High Court trials were held in October and November this year under a shroud of secrecy.

His additional prison sentences will be served at the same time, alongside his life term for murdering Millane, which includes a non-parole period of 17 years.

In situations such as this, where crimes of violence are all of a similar kind, the sentences should be required in New Zealand law to be served consequtively. He should have to pay a penalty for each crime he has been found guilty of. Otherwise, how is there any fairness and restitution for the women he brutally assaulted? They have to live with the repurcusions and memories of his assault for the rest of their lives. He gets to pretend there was no punishment at all for them, simply because he got caught and found guilty of a brutal murder.

Fairness would mean that he doesn't even start the sentence for the murder until the sentences for the lesser crimes have each been served individually. 

Stephen

In this river, all shall fade to black

In this river ain't no coming back

1 min read

I really feel like this song has kind of become an anthem for me lately. The meaning really does resound within me so clearly.