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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

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. 

 

Stephen

Government considering anti-Hate Speech laws after Royal Commission of Inquiry report

2 min read

I'm sorry, but this is just ludicrous. You cannot legislate against hate speech without also removing the intrinsic right of freedom of expression and free speech. Making laws against so called "hate speech" is really the government using force to tell you what you're allowed to say. Or not allowed to say. That doesn't stop people thinking that way, doesn't stop people talking about those things in private. What it does do is create an underground where bad ideas grow and fester in darkness because they aren't ever exposed to scrutiny or opposing views until after they have blown over into something tragic. Such as what happened at the Mosque shooting in Christchurch.

So this idea from the Government, to even consider hate speech law changes, is just absolutely dangerous.

Government to take hate speech laws to the public after March 15 inquiry

The Government has accepted recommendations from the royal commission of inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack to amend hate speech laws and create new hate-motivated offences.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said no changes would be made without consultation with the public and other political parties.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques on March 15, 2019, on Tuesday made public its 44 recommendations, including the need to make sure legislation relating to hate speech and crime is fit for purpose.

The commission found the current laws “neither appropriately capture the culpability of hate-motivated offending, nor provide workable mechanisms to deal with hate speech”.

You deal with hate speech by exposing it. You counter it. You explain why it is wrong. You teach people and allow them to learn and understand. But you do not make it illegal to hold an opinion. I cannot believe this is a thing. Did people learn nothing from history?

Stephen

Cancel Culture comes to NZ

Author's book removed from store for expressing opinion on social media

1 min read

I'm a realist. I know it happens, but I'd not seen it so blatantly before. This scares the ever-loving HELL out of me. I will NOT be buying anything through Mighty Ape again in the future.

Author Olivia Pierson has had her book removed from MightyApe because she dared voice an opinion about a politician that the woke leftist brigade doesn't like and deems to be racist.

This is now New Zealand. This is what has been enabled and emboldened by Labour's absolute electoral victory in our General Election in October.

Twitter thread in which Olivia Pierson has her book removed from Mighty Ape for expression an opinion on social media that the left deems racist.

This is not acceptable, New Zealand. Shame on you!

Stephen

Taibbi Gets It Correct

Why doesn't the rest of the media?

2 min read

Matt Taibbi gets it correct when he excoriates the Liberal Media in the US for failing to do their job and at least investigate and report on the Hunter Biden emails. It's not even about the contents of the laptop any more. The actions of Social Media, and the mainstream liberal media are the actual issue now. The fact that Matt Taibbi had to post this on a private blog says a lot. This is an award winning journalist that has been lauded and praised for his work. But he had to resort to publishing this OpEd on what is essentially a personal blog. Why is that?

With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is a Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story

Unprecedented efforts to squelch information about a New York Post story may prove to be more dangerous corruption than whatever Hunter Biden did with a crooked Ukrainian energy company

I really think the fact the media has gone to such efforts to try and squash the story is a major wake up call for everyone. It finally exposes what a lot of people have been saying for a long time. The mainstream media is NOT about journalism. It is about putting the story they want in front of everyone, no matter the cost to the public.

Glen Greenwald (the man that helped break the Snowden files) has a very good and succinct thread about it on his twitter feed. Well worth the read. It also includes the main points of the Taibbi post for those that don't have direct access to it.

Stephen

Where this division leads to eventually

What Antifa (and it's apologists) are pushing for

5 min read

So this morning a friend and I had an interesting discussion on Discord. One that I thought was worth sharing with those outside my discord server.

Things in the US are very tense right now. With the virus terrifying most people, and then the riots and violence on top, things are completely out of control. A LOT of people are very concerned with the way things have been this year, and what might happen next year.

 

[09:18] Friend: My question in all this is why is Twitter getting all the heat?  Shouldn’t Facebook get as much heat, if not more heat for this?  I think they are for more egregious in the blocking of information that makes the radical left look bad.

[09:19] Me: Because Facebook is not outright blocking the shares, they're just not letting it show in the feeds. You got to go to someones page to see it. On the other hand, Twitter is active blocking anyone sharing the "bad" stuff about Biden, including via DM, and even banning people till they remove the offending tweets.

[09:20] Friend: Nice

[09:20] Me: I wasn't banned from FB because FB was banning the news, I was banned because a bunch of people mass flagged me

[09:20] Friend: Fair enough then.  Twitter should get shamed then.

[09:20] Friend: Even better

[09:20] Friend: I can’t stand politics.  Making idiots out of everyone.

[09:21] Friend: Actually, it’s the media and social networks making idiots out of everyone haha

[09:22] Me: Yeah, I think Social Media and the MSM are absolutely the cause of the vast majority of the problems being faced at the moment.

[09:24] Me: The problem is that social media has allowed the creation of self confirming bubbles of ideology. Groups where everyone thinks and believes the same things and is never exposed to the views of others. So these start a feedback loop and these people, over time, radicalise themselves. You get people that will actively argue that "free speech" is the same thing as "white nationalism" because it was an idea created by the white patriarchy.

[09:25] Me: Then the mainstream media is guilty of fueling that fire, then using it to source it's own news and spread it further. Look at CNN as a perfect example. Or Vox, or Buzzfeed, or many of these organisations. They pander to the people in their bubbles on Twitter first. Which is an echo chamber. And outside views are actively squashed.

[09:28] Me: How much of the news from the NYTimes about Trump has been from "unnamed sources" rather than from cited people? The whole Tax leaks thing was completely unsourced. But that was permissible because it was against Trump.

The NYPost, an even older news organisation, comes out with cited and sourced material that can be traced back to the Bidens, and has since been confirmed by MULTIPLE people, but that is being actively blocked and squashed with the vast majority of those on the left saying "it's not a verified source."

Is like ... bish... Really? The NYTimes did a piece with no sources at all, but that's true and valid? But a cited and sourced piece from the NYPost is purely Russian disinformation?

[09:35] Me: I mean, it gets worse. Consider ...

Twitter is actively banning anyone and everyone that is arguably right of the "twitter" line. So those people go to somewhere like Parler or Gab or others.

Banks are bowing down to the Antifa hate mobs and actively removing people and blocking services to them if they're considered "hateful" by the mob. For example, the Proud Boys have been banned from nearly ever banking institution, with the list growing daily.

Shops are bowing down to the mob rule. Sainsbury's in the UK now actively discriminates based on race for things like hiring and promotions. But it's couched in the language of "diversity" and critical race theory. Discrimination isn't racist if it's against white people.

So what happens? Society splinters. New infrastructure for those removed from the general services starts to grow. New banking services get started, or people just move to crypto currency. New shops pop up servicing those that have been "cancelled" by the mob. Eventually, the 2 factions no longer interact at all.

[09:36] Me: Now you have 2 sides that are completely separated in society except for the places they live. But they don't talk online, the don't interact in shops, they don't bank together, they don't do anything except move past each other on the street.

[09:36] Me: Where does that lead?

[09:36] Friend: It's like the early 1800's upside down.

[09:37] Me: Yeah. It's a powder keg just waiting for a spark.

[09:44] Me: For me, that's kind of why November's election is so important. It will genuinely be a defining moment in history. I don't think there is any way to avoid violence. The "leftists" of Antifa and their apologists have been very clear on that. But this time I think the "right" are not going to just stand back passively. I think they will respond if attacked. It will make Portland look like an oasis of peace.

I think that sums up my thoughts on the situation at the moment kind of nicely. What do you think?