El naufragio insular


@misscorti

Tras el paso por Puerto Rico de dos huracanes, el último devastador, el pasado mes de septiembre, se ha remarcado la revestida pobreza, la patética situación política y, sobre todo, el alarmante retraso cultural de este país que llegó a figurar como la «vitrina de la democracia». Hecho añicos los cristales de ese escaparate, el actual gobierno ha hecho gala de una inusitada imbecilidad en estrecha colaboración con la perversidad de los que se lucran del desastre y al amparo pusilánime de los que se dejan gobernar creyéndose las más pedestres mentiras.

¿Qué más tiene que pasar, luego de los huracanes, la visita de los más altos dignatarios imperiales, el notorio servilismo de sus súbditos insulares’, la crasa incapacidad de los administradores de turno, empezando por la fétida AEE, para que los puertorriqueños entiendan, y no solamente sientan, se lamenten, o resientan, el profundo e histórico desprecio de los EE.UU. para con esta isla? Una isla, caribeña e iberoamericana, que invadieron en 1898, doblegaron con la imposición de su ciudadanía hace justo cien años; y han logrado someter con sus anacrónicas leyes (Foraker, Jones, Promesa), el poder del dinero y un exitoso experimento de ingeniería social. Se ha llegado al punto culminante de la destitución jurídico-política de la propia fórmula que se idearon para sofocar el deseo de independencia de un pueblo digno. ¿No es alarmante que todavía, a pesar de todo, se hable de ‘democracia’? ¿No es un descaro y una puesta en evidencia de la corrupción estructural del capitalismo los salarios de los miembros de la Junta de Supervisión Fiscal nombrada e impuesta por el Congreso1 ¿No lo es también la lluvia de contratos millonarios para supuestamente ayudar a la recuperación? ¿No es una muestra clara de estupidez creer, o de hacer creer aunque no se lo crean, que con la ayuda multimillonaria de fondos federales se honra la supuesta ‘igualdad’ de los ciudadanos estadounidense de ‘acá’ como si esta isla no fuese más que un reguero de gente, una pordiosera jurisdicción yankee?

¿Qué tiene que pasar para que este pueblo se de cuenta de cuán falaz ha sido lo que en nombre del progreso se ha ganado y en nombre de una falso sentido de la libertad se ha perdido? ¿No habría que identificar y denunciar a viva voz a quienes han sido históricamente responsables, tanto en Puerto Rico como en Estados Unidos, de sostener y promover el auto-engaño de los puertorriqueños, impidiendo que aflore y perviva la generosidad de su carácter, el refinamiento de su inteligencia, la alegría de su fuerza? ¿Por qué el abandono de la formación cultural de este pueblo; de la agricultura y de la posibilidad de una industria pesquera en una tierra tan fértil, con el mar por todas partes? El retraso cultural alude también a una desagradable ostentación de opulencia – pintura y capota –, y al desfalco y despilfarro que no cesan, a pesar de la ‘crisis económica’, y con todo descaro e impudicia.

¿Se quiere mayor muestra de atraso e incultura que escuchar las banales sesiones de preguntas y respuestas de periodistas y funcionarios del gobierno, luego del huracán, durante dos o tres largas y semanas? («Evolucionamos según avanzamos en el desastre», llegó a decir el director de FEMA, refiriéndose a las tareas de recuperación.) ¿O que oír (porque ahí no hay nada que escuchar) al gobernador hablar, tan mal en inglés como en español, con el automatismo de un cerebro sin pensamientos (air head)? ¿O que oír, aunque fuera de refilón, a su esposa decir que Cien años de soledad fue escrita por Paolo Coelho, para más tarde rectificar de paso, sin ganas y como si nada? ¿O que oír las incoherencias y sandeces de no pocos alcaldes, jefes de agencias y legisladores?

Las camarillas que han gobernado esta isla, al menos en los últimos cuarenta años, no han hecho mucho más que dejar en el limbo la infraestructura que sostiene las condiciones básicas de vida en cualquier sociedad moderna, aún en las menos desarrolladas: la electricidad, el sistema de acueductos, las telecomunicaciones. La respuesta generalizada ante las preguntas más acuciantes ha sido sólo una: Falta de mantenimiento. Y la actitud más sobresaliente, una sola también, por más que se piense y no se diga (o que si diga sin pensar): Que se joda.

El enorme reguero de cables y postes eléctricos por el paisaje insular expresa claramente una corrosiva desarticulación del cuerpo social en la que nadie se hace responsable de nada, cada uno culpabiliza al otro, sin que se logren coordinar de manera eficaz los esfuerzos de recuperación y aliviar en lo posible la carga de sufrimiento que se ha tenido que soportar a lo largo de, por ahora, dos meses debido, en buena parte, a una sórdida e infantil dejadez. En lugar de pensar, luego del desastre, unas formas de vida sanas e inteligentes; o al menos proceder con el más mínimo sentido de responsabilidad, incluso para con los protocolos disponibles, se ha querido deslumbrar con la militarización y la masiva presencia de funcionarios y trabajadores de los EE.UU. (Si no es por la brigadas de ConEdison, la compañía de electricidad de la ciudad de Nueva York, la luz llega al viejo San Juan.) Todo sucede como si se hubiese querido construir una gran cadena de viento sostenida con los gestos y suspiros de las buenas intenciones (como las de la actual Secretaria de Educación, por ejemplo).

La desarticulación (disgregación, atomización) social impide una acción política que permita cuestionar  consecuentemente los abusos de poder, el saqueo de las arcas y la ineficacia de los más elementales servicios públicos. En este contexto, vale preguntar: ¿acaso no ha sido una muestra de lo anterior la ausencia de estrategias políticas integradoras, como lo demostró la huelga estudiantil en la UPR que precedió al huracán, que como fuego de petate, no ha conseguido otra cosa que poner a la disposición del más débil pensamiento universitario nuestra honrosa e histórica institución? (Recuérdese, de paso, que el actual presidente de la Universidad comparó su misión educativa con la del personaje Rambo, interpretado, nada casualmente, por uno de los peores actores de la ya más que degenerada industria fílmica de Hollywood.) ¿No funcionó relativamente la Universidad, sin presidente ni junta de gobierno, con un cuerpo de rectores y decanos? ¿No es posible concebir una manera más noble y eficiente de dirigir la educación superior, en la que estudiantes y profesores (en particular esa mayoría que se ven obligados a trabajar con unos raquíticos acuerdos y contratos), que son y hacen la universidad, sean tratados dignamente por aquellos que la administran?2

Una sangría de paisanos hacia los EE.UU. (la muy mal llamada ‘diáspora’), entre ellos muchos jóvenes, bien educados, atraídos en parte por las migajas filantrópicas, rasgo característico del capitalismo estadounidense. ¿Por qué no se han tenido ni siquiera en cuenta los ofrecimientos de los electricistas, ingenieros, tecnólogos de la información, tanto de la isla como de Cuba, República Dominicana, México, Venezuela que muy bien pudieron haberse sumado a las de EE.UU. o, en el mejor de los casos, haber substituido a las lucrativas compañías de ese país, como la desgraciada Whitefish? Prevalece una atmósfera tóxica, en el más amplio sentido de la palabra, que hace cada vez más difícil vivir, más allá del vulgar afán de sobrevivencia. (Una vecina preguntaba, cuando se hicieron públicas las primeras cifras (¡falsas!) de los fallecidos a causa del huracán: «¿Por qué esconden a los muertos?» Se me ocurrió responderle con un verso de Fernando Pessoa: «Porque los que gobiernan son cadáveres postergados que se procrean.» Aunque, pensándolo bien, quizá sean estos uno versos demasiado finos para tan poca cosa.)

La fuerza indómita del huracán ha hecho colapsar el ya más que endeble marco institucional del  ELA. Pocas veces coinciden los designios históricos con la violenta irrupción de las fuerzas naturales. El contraste no puede ser mayor entre la instantánea regeneración de la naturaleza y la lenta recuperación del ánimo. Puerto Rico es una nave a la deriva, decapitada, sin ningún sentido de dirección. La embarcación se ha quedado sin pilotaje, por más pretencioso que sea el discurso gobernante y por más cibernético que sea su sucesión de montajes (lo cual es una cínica paradoja, pues el vocablo ‘cibernético’ no significa otra cosa que ‘conducir una nave’).

Durante un breve pero intenso tiempo se ha vivido una especie de anarquía involuntaria que ha permitido, al menos, hacer ver que la gente de esta isla, si se lo propone, puede gobernarse a sí misma, al margen de los poderes, prácticamente ausentes del estado (ya ni libre ni asociado) y la puesta en suspenso de lógica del capital. Son innumerables los casos de arrojo y valentía del ciudadano de a pie en medio de la devastación. Pero resulta que, hasta ahora, los puertorriqueños no quieren saber de lo que pueden hacer. Es decir: no quieren saber de su potencia. Son demasiadas décadas haciendo de la impotencia una virtud; arrimados a las órdenes de un supuesto «imperio bobo» que tiene, sin embargo, la potestad de disponer de este territorio y posesión suya como le venga en gana. Como, por ejemplo, hacer de Puerto Rico, el Hong Kong del Caribe, como recientemente ha declarado un congresista republicano. Es decir: una simpática isla de la Fantasía para mayor gloria del Capital3.

La impotencia que se nutre de la patológica dependencia se ha convertido, más que nunca, en el estandarte de este miserable gobierno de turno, a la manera de una vil caricatura, y no ya sólo retrato, del colonizado. Si sigue este siendo el curso, entonces los próximos gobernantes serán todavía peores, más imbéciles y más miserables (incluyendo al doble del actual que igual resulta ser reelegido), para no decir nada de los que, una y otra vez, se dejan gobernar en nombre de tanta cariñosa hipocresía y de una inigualable vocación de servidumbre a la que llaman ‘libertad’. Si algo improbable sucede, entonces quizá se pueda llegar a decir esta antigua máxima estoica: Naufragium fecit cum bene navegavit («Habiendo hecho el naufragio, fue buena la navegación»).

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Digital Mission NYC 2014 – Company Lookbook



Digital Mission to New York 2014, organised by international tech trade experts Chinwag, ran 17-21 Feb 2014 to coincide with Social Media Week New York.

It was organised in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment New York and featured 15 of the UK's top tech startups and agencies taking part in a week-long programme of meetings, briefings, networking and pitch events.

Digital Mission trips are designed specifically for tech startups to understand the opportunities and challenges of entering or expanding into a new market and builds on over eight years of trips.

For more information see: http://digital-mission.org
Want some help planning a trade mission, drop a line to: help@chinwag.com

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How about that US isle wrecked by a hurricane, no power, comms… yes, we mean Puerto Rico


FCC commish wants more than one-page updates on recovery

How do you solve a problem like Hurricane Maria (pictured)

Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the commissioners at America’s broadband watchdog the FCC, has reiterated her call for hearings into what is happening with communications on the hurricane-stricken island of Puerto Rico.

In late September, Hurricane Maria smashed into the strangely neglected US territory, leaving it mostly without power and cellphone coverage amid a row over its energy supply contract.

“[It’s been] 54 days since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico,” she tweeted this morning. “Forty per cent of the cell sites remain out of service. This is an unprecedented loss of communications. It deserves an unprecedented response from the FCC. But to date no hearings, no report, no date by which service will be fully restored.”

The tweets follows similar messages she has sent each week for the past month, frequently pointing out that the federal regulator held hearings and issued a report with findings following other major hurricanes that hit the US including Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2012.

On November 6, she tweeted: “Let’s remember: Nearly 7 weeks since Maria hit Puerto Rico. Nearly half of island’s cell sites still out of service. This is unacceptable.”

And the same day she noted that while FCC staff and its chairman Ajit Pai had visited the island, it wasn’t enough: “FCC in Puerto Rico surveying Maria impact on communications. But time to do more: hold hearings, issue report like after Katrina, Sandy.”

She has also put out two formal statements on the issue, criticizing [PDF] the slow speed in which the FCC is acting to improve wireless emergency alerts on November 2, and issued a rebuke of the FCC’s efforts – and in particular Pai as FCC chair – in a statement [PDF] in September in which she noted, pointedly: “I know from my experience you learn more out on the ground than you do sitting on this dais. I hope this agency has the guts to do this. “

Impact

Rosenworcel is having an impact: soon after she started slamming her own agency for not doing enough, the FCC has been issuing daily status reports on Hurricane Maria, the most recent of which notes that 38.4 per cent of cell sites remain out of service and that 37 of Puerto Rico’s 78 counties have more than 50 per cent of their cell sites out of service.

FCC Puerto Rico

Extrapolating from FCC figures: Puerto Rico won’t be full online until nearly the end of the year.

The situation is improving steadily – but slowly – at a rate of roughly one per cent a day: something that points to it taking until 18 December for the island to be back to 100 per cent capacity (see our spreadsheet compiled using FCC data).

Despite the extremely slow recovery, so far the FCC and its chair Pai have resisted the calls for hearings.

It’s not entirely clear why but part of it may be that Puerto Rico has increasingly become the center of a political storm, particularly over the provision of contracts in which seemingly unqualified US companies have won huge deals for getting the infrastructure back up and working and have been criticized for charging far above even emergency rates for their services.

Meanwhile, US House reps Frank Pallone Jr (D-NJ) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have demanded a probe into Pai. ®

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heiligenleven : Eucherius van Lyon


 

 

 Welkom op mijn blog met informatie over de

Orthodoxie. Teksten, bezinningen, theologie

Foto’s……….

 

Gezangen uitgevoerd door het koor van de orthodoxe kerk van Gent

 olv. Paul Morreel

 

 

 

 

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80-year-old cyclist killed in collision with Tesla Model S


An 80-year-old man has died in County Durham after being struck by a Tesla Model S.

The incident happened on the A177 near High Shincliffe, when the car collided with the unnamed man, who was cycling at the time.

After being struck by the Tesla at around 9.20am on November 10, the man was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough where he died, according to Durham Constabulary.

The A177 runs between Shincliffe and Bowburn and is predominantly a straight road with gentle inclines.

High Shincliffe, roughly three miles southeast of Durham. Click to enlarge or here for the Google Maps view

The Tesla Model S 90D, the model involved in the accident, was sold until earlier this year and cost around £70,000. It has since been superseded by the Model S 100D.

Tesla’s Autopilot suite of self-driving features includes automatic braking and collision warnings as standard, and can be upgraded to automatically change lanes, maintain speed and park.

It is unknown at this time if the Tesla driver was using any self-driving technology when the incident occurred.

We have asked Tesla for comment. ®

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You, Google. Get in here and explain all this personal data slurping – Missouri AG subpoena


Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on Monday said his office is investigating Google’s business practices, adding fuel to the long smouldering antitrust fire that the Chocolate factory has been unable to extinguish.

The ad biz has been trying to smother the flames for almost a decade now, fanned at first by Microsoft’s unsuccessful efforts to block the DoubleClick acquisition in 2007 and Google’s now-defunct search deal with Yahoo! in 2008.

After a complaint by price comparison website Foundem in 2010, monopoly watchdogs started paying attention.

Google settled with America’s trade watchdog the FTC in 2013, and almost settled with European Union antitrust regulators regarding its search business in 2014, only to see Margrethe Vestager take over as EU competition chief and derail that deal. In June, Europe whacked a €2.42bn ($2.8bn) fine on Google’s parent company Alphabet, which has appealed the penalty, for abusing its dominant position in search and ads.

“There is strong reason to believe that Google has not been acting with the best interest of Missourians in mind,” the US state’s Attorney General said in a statement. “My office will not stand by and let private consumer information be jeopardized by industry giants, especially to pad their profits.”

In 2010, Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General at the time, initiated a similar inquiry into Google’s business practices that has yet to amount to anything. In 2017, amid lawmakers’ withering criticism for Google and Facebook over the plague of misinformation spread through unvetted social media ads, the risks look greater for Google.

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

READ MORE

Hawley said his office is looking into whether Google has violated Missouri consumer protection and antitrust laws, pointing to the EU fine and a complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center in July with the FTC over Google’s online tracking of consumers.

Via Twitter, Hawley elaborated on the investigation. “No entity in the history of the world has collected as much information about you as Google,” he said. “My office wants to know what Google is doing with this information.”

Hawley claims there may be evidence that Google manipulates its search results to favor Google-affiliated websites over competitors’ websites. And if there is, he said, that may qualify as illegal anticompetitive behavior. For example, Google has a habit of bunging things like restaurant reviews and copies of song lyrics at the top of relevant search results, pushing out of the way links to rivals reviews and lyrics websites. Given the virtual monopoly Google holds in mobile search, and an 80 per cent market share on desktop, actions like this look a little anticompetitive in some people’s eyes.

Toward that end, Hawley’s office has issued an investigative subpoena to find out more.

“We have not yet received the subpoena, however, we have strong privacy protections in place for our users and continue to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic environment,” said Google spokesperson Patrick Lenihan in a statement provided to The Register. ®

PS: Billionaire VC Peter Thiel has donated about a third of a million bucks to Hawley over the past couple of years. Incidentally, Thiel, a right-leaning supporter of Donald Trump and an early investor in Google-rival Facebook, has a right bee in his bonnet with liberal-slanted Google. Essentially, Google’s monopoly on search, as Thiel describes it, threatens to crimp his own investments, it appears.

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profeet Jeremias


 

 

 Welkom op mijn blog met informatie over de

Orthodoxie. Teksten, bezinningen, theologie

Foto’s……….

 

Gezangen uitgevoerd door het koor van de orthodoxe kerk van Gent

 olv. Paul Morreel

 

 

 

 

  De teksten van  de gezangen kunnen teruggevonden worden in de rechter kolom 

start nummer één en ga dan naar de tekst in de rechterkolom.

 

INHOUD VAN MIJN BLOG   (klik)

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 De ,blog is zoveel mogelijk op punt gesteld. Niet meer werkende URL’s verwijderd (zoveel mogelijk)

Nederlandstalige artikels zijn zoveel mogelijk hersteld.

In de rubriek ‘Nederlandstalige orthodoxe artikels’ is een item bijgevoegd : de belangrijkste teksten over orthodoxe filosofen of westerse filosofen die erbij aanleunen  zijn van nu af daar te raadplegen (kijk onder letter F van filosofie) Daar zitten wel enkele anderstalige tussen

Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands


‘Dream Chaser’ is signed up for ISS re-supply six missions

The Dream Chaser touches down at Edwards Air Force Base. Image: NASA

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s “Dream Chaser” automated spaceplane has successfully flown and landed.

The vehicle looks a lot like NASA’s Space Shuttle and like that vehicle can land on a runway. It’s rather smaller, however, and at just nine metres long is designed to fit atop lots of launch vehicles and to carry crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), then back again.

Dream Chaser is a “lifting body” spaceplane, which means its body creates lift. That’s a useful quality for a craft like the Dream Chaser that is expected to survive fifteen or more re-entries, because if it can generate lift without needing large wings the resulting design is simpler and more robust.

The design also means that the Dream Chaser can return to terra firma while encountering just 1.5 times Earth gravity. That gentle ride, compared to other vehicles, mean that craft is a candidate for return of sensitive payloads like fragile experiments or injured crew.

The Register understands that the craft was released at 10,000 feet and Sierra Nevada promises more data about the flight on Monday, US time.

Sierra Nevada has a contract to fly half a dozen missions to and from the ISS before the year 2024, but the Dream Chaser hasn’t flown a test for four years. Hence the importance of Sunday’s drop from a helicopter and subsequent glide and landing.

NASA says the flight met “expected models for a future return from the International Space Station.” The Dream Chaser is therefore felt to be on track for a 2020 launch. ®

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Road Trip: Chiricahua National Monument



Hoodoos, columns, pinnacles and more

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel with Trina on a Sedona Camera Club outing to Chiricahua National Monument.   We both needed a break between setting up our winter home studio and teaching workshops, so this was the perfect adventure.  I went as “key grip” to help with camera equipment, but I packed along my new Travel Painter Art Box as well.

Sunset

Waning moon over the rocks

We arrived Friday afternoon in Willcox, Arizona, and then hurried off to the park to shoot the sunset, followed by a little astrophotography.  Saturday morning, we met at 4:45 am — no hotel breakfast for us! — and went off to shoot the sunrise.  Next we worked the cramps out of our legs by taking a long hike, followed by daytime photography and then a second sunset shoot to round out the day.  Sunday, we had to forego the sunrise shoot to head back to New Mexico to pack for a workshop I’m teaching in Sedona this week and then one for the Tucson Pastel Society next weekend.  Whew!

The Travel Painter Art Box in action

I was happy to see how well the new paint box worked, and how handy it was to carry on the trails.  I only had time for a couple of quick sketches, but it was worth it.  The first sketch I made in a wash in the noontime shade of alligator junipers; the second, toward sunset up on Masai Point.  These sketches will become reference material for a future studio painting.

Six Years After the Fire 6×8 oil sketch

Hoodoo 6×8 oil sketch
(Palette for both of these was yellow ochre,
transparent earth red and Prussian blue, all Gamblin paints)

By the way, this was our second trip to Chiricahua.  Our first trip was about 15 years ago, and I remember being very impressed with the green lushness of the park.  But in 2011, a major fire swept through, charring much of the landscape.  Now, six years later, the grasses have returned, but so many of the hills and canyon sides are filled with broken, charred stumps.  This explains the title of my first sketch.  The amazingly strange rocks, of course, are untouched and just as weird as ever.




Michael Chesley Johnson, AIS PSA MPAC PSNM
www.MChesleyJohnson.com

Decolonize the Caribbean


Utuado, Puerto Rico, en octubre de 2017. Foto por U.S. Coast Guard Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall.

María and Irma, 2017’s two most destructive hurricanes in the Caribbean basin, have exposed the trappings and inequalities of colonialism in the region. The hurricanes have blown away decades of legal and international maneuvers and ruses, local constitutions, and moves towards autonomy and integration and administrative reclassifications—leaving exposed a simple colonial truth.

Such reclassifications have deemed these islands everything from overseas territories (such as the United Kingdom’s British Virgin Islands) to unincorporated territories (like the United States’ Puerto Rico and American Virgin Islands) to overseas “departments” (like France’s Guadéloupe and Martinique) to overseas “collectivities” (like France’s Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy) to overseas “municipalities” (The Netherlands’ Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba). Yet the hurricanes have shown that the Caribbean islands, regardless of title, as all colonies throughout history, exist to serve the colonial masters, and not the other way around. Even sovereign island nations, like Dominica, seem to float in the same colonial stew of dependency and underdevelopment that paved the way to the destruction of human habitation in some of these islands after the hurricanes.

The hurricanes, most agree, are man-made catastrophes. Global warming has fueled super hurricanes that are more frequent and destructive than ever. Global warming is man-made. But so too is the fragile infrastructure of the islands, its energy, food, agricultural, tourism, land-tenure, finance, and debt regimes. All presented the perfect background to what we saw in the last two weeks of September of 2017.

Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis set the conditions for the degree of destruction Maria wrought. Much has been written about the vulture funds’ grip on the island’s economy, the billions owed in a national debt that decision-makers in Washington, D.C. have refused to audit, the unelected fiscal control board set up in the capital to extract money owed to Wall Street interests. That’s not to mention the austerity measures: the proposed cuts to the minimum wage and pension funds, the closing of schools, the neglected infrastructure. This neoliberal nightmare scenario meant the infrastructure and disaster preparedness necessary to mitigate a disaster like Maria were completely neglected.

Beyond recovery efforts, how do we think about this situation in ways that are not only theoretically relevant, but that allow the residents of Puerto Rico to develop a more secure, just, and equitable future? In short, how do we decolonize the Caribbean?

The truth is that talk of independence is a non-starter for many of the residents of the region. More than 500 years of European colonialism is a heavy tradition not easily disposed of. Scholar Yarimar Bonilla has wisely and skillfully avoided the at-times unproductive debate about independence for French overseas departments. Also, not even national independence or official post-colonial statuses helped island-nations escape fully their colonial grip—see Haiti, Dominica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and more. But post-coloniality and decolonization are two different things, and I argue we must achieve the latter.

Decolonize Sovereignty

We must decolonize the Caribbean. This requires us to envision a “non-sovereign” future, as Bonilla refers to it, requiring us to hack our understanding of what sovereignty means. Our understanding of the idea of sovereignty stems mostly from the French political theorist Jean Bodin, who in the late 1500s established that sovereign power is both indivisible and non-alienable. Under this understanding, talk about more than one sovereign in a single territory would be nonsensical. But we must hack our understanding of sovereignty. Instead of sovereignty, to decolonize the Caribbean, we must speak and write about sovereigntiesThe Caribbean is in need of food sovereignty, energy sovereignty, and land sovereignty. As it is today, decision-making about each of these key elements of life and livelihood has been determined from without.

Food sovereignty concerns establishing autonomy and equitable shares of food regimes, from agriculture to farming to fishing to imports and exports, that determine how and what we eat, and to whose benefit. A rapid glance at the diet of the average Puerto Rican, at the agricultural and food regime changes in Puerto Rico from Spanish to American colonial times, shows that basic decisions about food—what to grow, who to sell to, at what price, and what people eat—are not organic decisions, but planned regimes that must be critically assessed.

In Puerto Rico, the absolute and unquestionable submersion of the island and its people within the financial control of the United States has created consumption habits and lifestyles that have not only fostered dependence but are also unsustainable. The same can be said of other islands in the region. That is why Puerto Rico and other islands must establish energy sovereignty, and rethink the energy regimes that determine how the islands power electric island-wide grids, dependence on fossil-fuel, the export and import regimes associated with it, and the development of renewable sources of energy.

Finally, the Caribbean must establish land sovereignty. This concerns the regimes that determine how we use and develop land, who owns the land, the possibilities of communal ownership, the decision-making processes related to land, and associated tax regimes. One central idea is to move beyond the current view, which holds that land must either be private or public. Instead, we must explore different alternative land-tenure and land-management regimes such as community land trusts, mutual housing associations, land cooperatives, land banks, intentional communities, conservation land trusts, among others. Land sovereignty is at the center of debates in the island of Barbuda, for example; but in Puerto Rico struggles for land sovereignty have questioned land policy around beaches as it relates to the tourism industry.

In the case of Puerto Rico —and other islands— we must also think and act towards trade sovereignty, meaning sovereignty over the commerce, finance, and cultural exchange regimes that determine trade conditions and who they benefit. Of course, the United States is particularly possessive of its exclusive prerogatives over trade. But, in the case of Puerto Rico, do they have a right to this monopolistic prerogative when their guarantee of color-blind citizenship and the right to determine economic bankruptcy are inoperative or arbitrarily denied?

Decolonize the Diaspora

Diasporas have a fundamental role to play in these processes. Our barrios and neighborhoods in the United States, and in New York City specifically have for years suffered the kinds of devastating consequences that we are likely to see now in Puerto Rico and other islands in the region. Communities of color, in particular Puerto Rican, Dominican and African-American, are the most affected by environmental injustices in New York City. Diasporas have for decades dealt with dynamics similar to those that the hurricanes now render so clear: second-class citizenship, the politics of neglect, conquest, displacement, vulnerability to vulture-developers, weak democratic representation, and lack of transparency.

There are important examples in the island of working-class communities organizing to fight against environmental injustice, gentrification, and displacement, among them the barrios of El Caño Martín Peña. All of these island-based and diaspora-based knowledges need to be leveraged and elevated.

The few success stories of neighborhood protection and resistance to environmental racism that we know about have been possible only through the intra-diasporic horizontal networks of solidarity and concern that the diverse diasporas have developed between each other. These horizontal networks of support, solidarity, and activism need to be replicated in the Caribbean. Our fragmentation is not accidental, and neither will we come together by accident. This is a political process that needs to be coordinated from the grassroots, with transparency, accountability, and democratic participation.

Decolonization will not be easy, but the diasporas here in the United States, and in every imperial metropolis (France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom) can and will play an important role. Conversely, a decolonization drive in the Caribbean will only heighten the possibilities of decolonization in our own exile communities. This struggle, the push towards achieving multiple sovereignties, is of the utmost urgency—the future of our communities, our neighborhoods, and our ancestral homelands lies in the balance.

*Publicado originalmente en NACLA y reproducido aquí con el permiso del autor.

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Parity's $280m Ethereum wallet freeze was no accident: It was a HACK, claims angry upstart


A crypto-currency collector who was locked out of his $1m Ethereum multi-signature wallet this week by a catastrophic bug in Parity’s software has claimed the blunder not an accident – it was “deliberate and fraudulent.”

On Tuesday, Parity confessed all of its multi-signature Ethereum wallets – which each require multiple people to sign-off transactions – created since July 20 were “accidentally” frozen, quite possibly permanently locking folks out of their cyber-cash collections. The digital money stores contained an estimated $280m of Ethereum; 1 ETH coin is worth about $304 right now. The wallet developer blamed a single user who, apparently, inadvertently triggered a software flaw that brought the shutters down on roughly 70 crypto-purses worldwide.

That user, known as devops199 on GitHub although has since deleted their account, claimed they created a buggy wallet and tried to delete it. Thanks to a programming blunder in Parity’s code, that act locked down all wallets created after July 20, when Parity updated the multi-signature wallet software following a $30m robbery.

Parity calamity! Wallet code bug destroys $280 MEEELLION in Ethereum

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One of those now-frozen Ethereum wallets belongs to Cappasity, a startup an online marketplace for AR and VR 3D models. It says it had 3,264 ETH in the knackered Parity money store, worth about $1m at current prices, and isn’t likely to get the funds back any time soon. Cappasity amassed the Ethereum from punters buying ARtokens, which can be exchanged for designs when the souk launches later this year. The biz still has access to the Bitcoins it received for ARtokens.

Now Cappasity has alleged the wallet freeze was no accident: someone deliberately triggered the mass lock down, we’re told, and there’s evidence to prove it. By studying devops199’s attempts to extract and change ownership of ARToken’s and Polkadot’s smart contracts, it appears the user was maliciously poking around, eventually triggering the catastrophic bug in Parity’s software

“Our internal investigation has demonstrated that the actions on the part of devops199 were deliberate,” said Cappasity’s founder Kosta Popov in a statement this week.

“When you are tracking all their transactions, you realize that they were deliberate… Therefore, we tend to think that it was not an accident. We suppose that this was a deliberate hacking. We believe that if the situation is not successfully resolved in the nearest future, contacting law enforcement agencies may be the right next step.”

This rather gives a lie to the idea that this was a one-off accident. Instead it looks as though devops199 was deliberately trying to break the multi-sig system and took a number of tries to do so.

While the Ethereum in the wallets is untouched, the Bitcoin alternative is not accessible. Parity has yet to issue an update on its progress to recover the currency, and did not reply to requests for comment today. That’s not making customers like Cappasity very happy. If someone calls the cops on this, quite how the police would handle the case is unclear, given the current levels of tech cluelessness displayed by law enforcement on matters technical. So don’t hold your breath on a speedy resolution. ®

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Health benefits of using Bitter Melon


Bitter melon as a Vegetable | Bitter melon as a Medicine | Bitter melon
excellent for Diabetic Patients | Bitter melon as Skin Toner | Bitter melon as a Conditioner

Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd or ‘karela’ in Hindi, is a
vegetable found commonly in Asian countries. As the name suggests, it is
bitter in taste but serves a best remedy for diabetic patients. It burns
the fat present in the body thereby helps in weight loss. Few most common
health benefits of bitter melon are mentioned below:

  • Bitter melon improves the blood circulation in the body, prevents
    clotting and helps in healing the wound very quickly. 
  • It is helpful in treating many skin infections such as eczema,
    psoriasis and fungal infections like ringworm etc.
  • It has anti aging properties and helps to prevent wrinkles.
  • Regular consumption of bitter melon helps to purify blood and thus
    prevents acnes. It frees the skin from blemishes and keeps it glowing.
  • It is a very good remedy for many heart diseases and diabetes. It
    lowers the level of blood cholesterol in the body thereby reducing the
    risk of heart attack.
  • It keeps the liver and bladder healthy thus helping in curing kidney
    stone.
  • It is rich in fibre therefore it keeps the digestive system healthy and
    removes the toxins from the body.
  • It contains insulin like chemical which is helpful in reducing the
    blood sugar level. Bitter melon juice serves a homemade medicine for
    diabetic patients.
  • Fresh pods of bitter melon serve an excellent remedy for various
    respiratory disorders such as asthma, cough, cold etc.
  • Mix 3 teaspoons of bitter melon leaves in 1 glass buttermilk and
    consume this mixture every morning empty stomach. It is a good remedy
    for piles
    .
  • It contains an antioxidant named beta carotene which is helpful in
    improving vision.
  • In case of minor intestine infection, take two teaspoon juice of bitter melon leaves with two teaspoon white onion juice and one teaspoon lime
    juice regularly.
  • Mix 1 cup of fresh bitter melon juice with yoghurt and apply on your
    hair. Leave it for some time and then rinse with water. It serves a
    natural conditioner for your hair.
  • Prepare a hair pack by mixing bitter melon juice and cumin seeds and
    apply it to the scalp. It serves a good remedy for dandruff.
  • Applying fresh bitter melon juice in hair helps to remove split ends.
  • Mix bitter melon juice with a pinch of sugar and apply it on the hair.
    It serves a natural remedy for hair loss.
  • Applying bitter melon juice on hair is also helpful in preventing grey
    hair.

Caution:

Excessive consumption of bitter melon may lead to mild abdominal pain or
diarrhea. Therefore one should not consume more than 2 melons in a day.
Also pregnant women should avoid excessive use of bitter melon as it may
lead to premature labor.

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23e zondag na Pasen


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Schilderij  marteldood van St.Lieven – st Baafs Gent

 

 

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Het voornaamste gebod


 

 

 Welkom op mijn blog met informatie over de

Orthodoxie. Teksten, bezinningen, theologie

Foto’s……….

 

Gezangen uitgevoerd door het koor van de orthodoxe kerk van Gent

 olv. Paul Morreel

 

 

 

 

  De teksten van  de gezangen kunnen teruggevonden worden in de rechter kolom 

start nummer één en ga dan naar de tekst in de rechterkolom.

 

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Basilios de Grote God roept ons voortdurend om ons te bekeren:


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Ik weet volkomen zeker wat deze valse bisschop leert; ik weet het niet van horen-zeggen, maar doordat ik het met mijn eigen oren heb gehoord. Omdat onze diocesen aan elkaar grenzen, heb ik vaak met hem gedisputeerd wanneer hij de Godheid van Jezus Christus loochende. Dat heb ik gedaan, zowel onder vier ogen als in het openbaar, in de aanwezigheid van Athanasios, bisschop van Alexandrië. Mij advies luidt: hij mag niet langer een christen bisschop zijn, en zij die in gemeenschap met hem blijven, kunnen niet langer als christenen beschouwd worden.
Servatius had de heilige Athanasios tijdens diens ballingschap met grote eer ontvangen, en zich volledig achter hem gesteld. Hij had hem ook vergezeld tijdens diens ballingschap in Trier van 336 tot 338, Ook op het concilie van Sardica in 347, en dat van Rimini in 359, was Servatius een der voornaamste bestrijders van de Arianen. Toen Tongeren door de duitse Hunnen werd bedreigd, bracht Servatius de bisschopszetel over naar de vesting Maastricht, waar hij op deze dag, Pinkstermaandag, gestorven is in 384.

www.dagelijksevangelie.org

 

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Basilios de Grote God roept ons voortdurend om ons te bekeren


 

 

 Welkom op mijn blog met informatie over de

Orthodoxie. Teksten, bezinningen, theologie

Foto’s……….

 

Gezangen uitgevoerd door het koor van de orthodoxe kerk van Gent

 olv. Paul Morreel

 

 

 

 

  De teksten van  de gezangen kunnen teruggevonden worden in de rechter kolom 

start nummer één en ga dan naar de tekst in de rechterkolom.

 

INHOUD VAN MIJN BLOG   (klik)

Om gemakkelijk te vinden wat je zoekt !!

 

Scientists think they've found primordial goop whence life first sprang


It also makes for great fertiliser

Early life on Earth, like these single-cell bacteria, would have developed from diamidophosphate, or so a team of scientists believes

A speculative new study suggests that nucleic acids, proteins and cell membranes – precursors to life Earth – first grew from a single kickstarting molecule named diamidophosphate.

Its previous claim to fame was a 2008 barley fertilisiation experiment, published in Biologia Plantarum, which found ammonium diamidophosphate compounds had “nutritive value for plants”.

Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, an origins-of-life scientist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, told The Register: “On a philosophical level, if we understand how we became, and where we came from, it may provide solutions to how we should move forward and where we can go.”

Scientists say there’s no way to really find out the precise chemistry of day zero, but they’ve been testing ideas in the lab all the same. The new study, appearing this week in Nature Chemistry, found that diamidophosphate in aqueous solution soups could simultaneously catalyse the growth of important biological building blocks called purine-nucleotides, phospholipids and oligopeptides.

Purine-nucleotides are found in DNA and RNA, phospholipids in cell membranes and oligopeptides are made of amino acids.

Researchers have brewed old-school nucleotides in desert-like conditions using a cocktail of phosphate (without carbon) and four other molecules. They’ve also created oligopeptides via dehydration in chemical reactions or phospholipids via acids and alcohols.

Krishnamurthy, who was senior author on the work led by Clémentine Gibard, said his group showed you could “do it all in the same locale (like what you find within a cell)” while “using the same type of chemistry”.

He said this would let different classes of molecule exist at the same time and hence evolve together.

However, the wider scientific community isn’t one to accept such studies as read.

“The ‘simplest’ ideas are typically the most desirably as they suggest pathways to life that are more plausible,” said Brian Cafferty, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He described the study as “highly appealing” although wanted to know how the reactions fared in complex mixtures of amino acids, nucleosides and fatty acids.

Henderson Cleaves, a researcher at Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, said it is “hard to say how stable” the molecule is.

Takeshi Kakegawa, of Tokohu University in Sendai City, Japan, said diamidophosphate “is not perfect for origin of life” because it can’t make “structured” and “functioned” molecules such as double-helix RNA.

“Their experimental products are still far from life except cell-like structures,” he added.

“The biggest question is how to prepare [diamidophosphate] on the early Earth with enough quantity.” He doubts that meteoritic minerals, as the authors suggest as a possibility, could have done so.

Matthew Pasek, a researcher at University of South Florida in Tampa, said the diamidophosphate theory “is a good answer” to the grand origin question. Even if there might not be a way to prove it, some ideas “might end up to be more likely than others”.

“I think there’s a good route to making this out there, and that it will be shown that this compound can be made on the early Earth, but it hasn’t been shown yet.”

Krishnamurthy said the lab is hunting for the sources of diamidophosphate and similar molecules on early Earth, examining “the scope” of this chemistry and whether it will all work in a primitive cell-like structure. ®

Bootnote

The paper authors used the same acronym for diamidophosphate (N2H4PO2H) – DAP – as the common fertiliser, diammonium phosphate ((NH4)2HPO4). However, although diamidophosphate contains nitrogen atoms chemically bonded to phosphorous, the common fertiliser does not. So even though diamidophosphate has been investigated previously as a possible fertiliser, to avoid confusion we did not use the acronym.

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Apache OpenOffice: We're OK with not being super cool… PS: Watch out for that Mac bug


Interview Apache OpenOffice 4.1.4 finally shipped on October 19, five months later than intended, but the software is still a bit buggy.

The resource-starved open-source project had been looking to release the update around Apache Con in mid-May, but missed the target, not altogether surprising given persistent concerns about a lack of community enthusiasm and resources for the productivity suite.

Among those working on the project, there’s awareness things could be better. “I believe the 4.1.4 shows us, that we have to do a better job in QA,” observed AOO contributor Raphael Bircher in a developer mailing list post.

A followup comment by Patricia Shanahan touches on the scarcity of development talent available to the project. “I don’t like the idea of changes going out to millions of users having only been seriously examined by one programmer – even if I’m that programmer,” Shanahan wrote, adding that more active programmers are needed on the security team.

Version 4.1.4 did fix four security vulnerabilities, and that’s one less than the five that appear to be outstanding for the software, based on two reported in the November 2016 minutes of Apache Foundation Board of Directors’ meeting and three reported in the April 2017 minutes.

However, the math adds up once you remove one reported issue that turned out not to be a problem.

“Those numbers represent the total number of reports (valid and invalid) received for each project,” said Mark Thomas, a member of the Apache Software Foundation security team, in an email to The Register. “Not all reports are valid so it is expected that the number of issues announced is lower.”

The four fixes, published a week after the release announcement, were:

  • CVE-2017-3157: Arbitrary file disclosure in Calc and Writer
  • CVE-2017-9806: Out-of-Bounds Write in Writer’s WW8Fonts Constructor
  • CVE-2017-12607: Out-of-Bounds Write in Impress’ PPT Filter
  • CVE-2017-12608: Out-of-Bounds Write in Writer’s ImportOldFormatStyles

Asked whether the AOO has enough people looking at its code to keep it secure, Thomas said there’s nothing about the project that causes him grave concern.

“Open source projects always want more resources,” said Thomas during a phone interview. “They never have enough. From a board point of view, the criteria we look at are whether there are three or more active PMC [Project Management Committee] members, because that’s the minimum number to vote a release out the door.”

Thomas said that while AOO is not the most active Apache Software Foundation project, neither is it the least active. And he observed that the project has been recruiting more contributors. He considers the 4.1.4 release to be a sign that AOO can still deliver.

Despite being the subject of a deathwatch – perhaps mainly by fans of rival LibreOffice – AOO appears to be rather popular, with the 4.1.4 update racking up at least 1.6 million downloads.

But that also means a significant number of people – 77,000-plus, according to SourceForge stats – have downloaded the macOS version which contains a significant bug: if Apache OpenOffice is used to create a diagram in a Calc spreadsheet, the file becomes corrupted when saved.

The project developers have been discussing how to handle the issue for the past two weeks.

Concerns about the state of AOO appear to be what in August prompted Brett Porter, Apache Software Foundation chairman at the time, to ask whether it would be an option in a planned statement about the state of AOO to “discourage downloads”?

That’s not generally a goal among software developers unless things are very bad indeed.

Naysayers

Yet, according to Jim Jagielski, a member of the Apache OpenOffice Project Management Committee, things are better than naysayers suggest.

“There is renewed interest and involvement in the project,” he said in an email to The Register. “To be honest, part of the issue has been that many involved with the project have had to spend a lot of time and resources ‘fighting’ the ongoing FUD related to AOO, which meant limited time in doing development. As you can see, we are pushing 4.1.4 and are working on test builds of 4.2.0 for Linux, Windows and macOS.”

Jagielski said those working on the project hope to maintain support for older platform versions that have been abandoned by other office suites. “Of course, this also means maintaining older build systems and platforms,” he said. “But we think it is worth it.”

Beyond releasing 4.1.4, Jagielski said the project team is documenting its build environment and streamlining its release cycle.

Is it time to unplug frail OpenOffice’s life support? Apache Project asked to mull it over

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As for the macOS bug, it’s proving to be a challenge to fix.

“Unfortunately, the build-fix that addresses this regression caused another,” Jagielski explained. “Again, this is due to AOO trying to maintain backwards compatibility with very old versions of OS X (10.7!) and sometimes small variations in libraries can cause some weird interactions.”

While AOO and the ASF formulate a formal statement of direction for the project, Jagielski said more or less that all’s well.

“AOO is not, and isn’t designed to be, the ‘super coolest open source office suite with all the latest bells and whistles,'” Jagielski continued. “Our research shows that a ‘basic,’ functional office suite, which is streamlined with a ‘simple’ and uncluttered, uncomplicated UI, serves an incredible under-represented community.

“Other office suites are focusing on the ‘power user’ which is a valuable market, for sure, but the real power and range for an open-source office suite alternative is the vast majority which is the ‘rest of us. Sometimes we all forget how empowering open source is to the entire world.” ®

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Imagine the candles on its birthday cake: Astro-eggheads detect galaxy born in universe's first billion years


Earth-based ‘scope clocks one of this simulation’s first wonders

The Large Millimetre Telescope … Image Credit: UMass Amherst

A large international team of astronomers has detected one of the oldest galaxies in the universe we’ve seen to date – born within a billion years after the Big Bang.

That would make it one of the very first things to form in our fledgling universe.

The now-elderly galaxy, codenamed G09 83808, was first glimpsed during a scan of the heavens by the orbiting Herschel Space Observatory, and appeared as a blurry blob, making it difficult to analyze.

Now, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the US, and the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica in Mexico, have taken a closer look at the timeworn wonder using the Earth-based Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) and studied it in more detail. Their findings were published in a Nature paper on Monday. The executive summary: G09 83808 was formed roughly 12.8 billion years ago.

Min Yun, coauthor of the paper and a professor at Amherst, said: “The Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago, and now we are seeing this galaxy from 12.8 billion years ago, so it was forming within the first billion years after the Big Bang.

“Seeing an object within the first billion years is remarkable because the universe was fully ionized, that is, it was too hot and too uniform to form anything for the first 400 million years. So our best guess is that the first stars and galaxies and black holes all formed within the first half a billion to one billion years. This new object is very close to being one of the first galaxies ever to form.”

Scientists use redshift to measure the distance of such faraway objects. The higher the value of redshift, the further away it is. G09 83808 is a rare find with a redshift of 6.027. Only two galaxies have been found with a redshift of more than 6 so far. The most far flung galaxy, SPT0311−58, was first reported in June with a redshift of 6.9, and the second most distant one has a redshift of 6.34.

Yun calls these high redshift, very distant objects “mythical beasts in astrophysics.” “We always knew there were some out there that are enormously large and bright, but they are invisible in visible light spectrum because they are so obscured by the thick dust clouds that surround their young stars,” he said.

Ancient

It’s difficult to study these bright ancient galaxies using optical telescopes like Hubble Space Telescope or the far infrared and sub-millimetre Herschel Space Observatory, because even though they are flying through the seemingly pure obsidian void, they can be shrouded by clouds of thick cosmic dust used to form new stars.

The LMT, meanwhile, is our planet’s largest single-dish radio telescope located at the top of Volcán Sierra Negra, an extinct volcano in Puebla, Mexico. It can trace carbon monoxide spectral lines used to calculate redshift.

The research team also used gravitational lensing, a phenomena that magnifies the light coming from distant galaxies as it closely passes massive objects, to make G09 83808 look about ten times brighter and closer than it is, making it easier to study.

The LMT is expected to be operate at a higher resolution and sensitivity in the next few months, which could help the eggheads find even more ancient galaxies.

“Now, it could be that there are a whole bunch of them out there and we haven’t been able to see them, but with the LMT we have the power to see them. Maybe they’ll start popping out,” Yun said.

“We are in the discovery field. Every time I reduce one of these data sets I’m full of anticipation. I’m always hoping that these things will pop out. You have to be a hopeless optimist to be doing this kind of work, and this time it absolutely paid off.” ®

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It's 2017 and you can still pwn Android gear with Wi-Fi packets – so get patching now


A security researcher has turned up new ways to silently hijack and infect Android devices via malicious Wi-Fi packets over the air.

Scotty Bauer, a Linux kernel developer, described in detail on Monday how he found a bunch of exploitable programming blunders in the qcacld Wi-Fi driver that supports Qualcomm Atheros chipsets. These chips and their associated driver are used in a number of Android phones, tablets, router, and other gizmos, including some Pixel and Nexus 5 handhelds, for wireless network access.

In an effort similar to Gal Beniamini’s work scrutinizing Broadcom’s insecure wireless technology, Bauer went looking for low-level remote-code-execution vulnerabilities in Google-powered gadgets, found them, and reported them so they can be addressed.

The result of that effort is some juicy security fixes that were released on Monday by Google. These need installing on vulnerable Android devices to protect them from attacks leveraging the bugs. Essentially, vulnerable gizmos can be secretly commandeered by hackers via Wi-Fi due to flaws in the aforementioned wireless driver code, originally developed by Qualcomm Atheros. So check for updates from Google, and install this month’s Android security updates as soon as they are available for your devices.

Over a million Android users fooled by fake WhatsApp app in official Google Play Store

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Bauer explained that since Qualcomm uses a partial SoftMAC – that is, at least some of the MAC layer is implemented in software – “the source code for handling any sort of 802.11 management frames must be in the driver and is thus available to look at.” In other words, it is possible to study the code and figure out the right management frames to send to a nearby victim’s device to trigger the execution of malicious code, leading to crashes or the installation of spyware.

Bauer’s “first and best” bug in the mammoth driver – which is 691,000 lines of code – is in the dotllf.c file “tasked with parsing over-the-wire packets to a C-style structure.” This flaw, labeled CVE-2017-11013, is a classic buffer overrun, and a potential remote-code execution hole. It was fixed on Monday by Google.

Next on Bauer’s list of bugs is a pair of programming cockups that can cause the code to get stuck in an infinite loop, one of which hasn’t been publicly identified yet because there was an error in the patch for it, and “a new fix is in the works” to fully correct it. The other denial-of-service flaw that has been publicly disclosed, CVE-2017-9714, does have a patch available to correct it: it was released in October.

Another bug discovered by Bauer and fixed on Monday this week, CVE-2017-11014, is a cockup in how an access point’s neighbor identification broadcast packets are processed. It’s another buffer overrun: an attacker sending malicious APChannel data to a target can push 100 bytes into a buffer provisioned for eight bytes, triggering a crash or a potential execution of malicious code.

The last of Bauer’s disclosures this week, CVE-2017-11015, similarly lets an attacker gain remote code execution by exploiting a mistake in a vulnerable Android phone’s portable access point capability. Even if the user is smart and refuses to use WEP, the attacker can still push a challenge packet to the phone and the driver will parse it. A crafted packet can push 253 bytes into a challenge text memory space that’s just 128 bytes long. Again, a patch for this was released on Monday by Google.

Bauer promises another bunch of bug discoveries in December on his website, linked above. He’s also asked that the flaws he finds not be named or branded with a logo. ®

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Product Review: Travel Painter Art Box



The Travel Painter Art Box


I always enjoy reviewing new products for the outdoor painter.  It’s an opportunity to try something new, perhaps help the maker improve the product—and get out in the field to paint!  This time around, I’m reviewing a new paint box from Russia.

Good hardware all around!

Finely crafted box interior

Palette is slid out, showing contents of box interior. 
I’ve removed the two dividers that would partition the interior into three sections.

The Travel Painter Art Box is advertised as a tripod-free paintbox.  It’s a slim, lightweight pochade box beautifully constructed that can be used either on the lap or while standing.  To stand, a comfortable cloth belt attaches to the box so it hangs from your neck and is steadied by your chest or belly.   For left-handed painters, the maker has a clever way of changing how the strap attaches.  Three adjustable compartments inside the box allow for several paint tubes, short-handled brushes and short turps jar.  The lid can hold two 6×8 or 8×8 panels.  Two wingnuts on the lid allow for easy angle adjustments of the lid for painting.  All in all, it’s a very simple but well-crafted box and a good value at $89 US.


I took it out on a couple of trial runs to see how it works.  Overall, I was very pleased with the lightness and ease of use.  I hiked in over a mile and back with it on a woodland trail, and I didn’t feel the weight more than I would a DSLR camera.  It took just a moment for me to open it up and start painting.  It’s a box I’ll carry on my next road trip, which will involve hiking to painting spots—and certainly overseas to Scotland and Italy next year!

Here you can see how the strap is positioned for a right-handed artist.


Here are some observations:

Panel Size.  The maker notes that the box is made for panels that are 20mm wide.  He recommends using boards cut to the metric standard rather than to an avoirdupois standard; 8 inches is a little larger than 20 mm, and sometimes a 6×8 board is a little smaller or bigger than what’s advertised.   Fortunately, I found that a 6×8-inch Ampersand Gessobord fits exactly with just enough room to slide the panel in and out easily.  But I also learned that a no-name brand of 6×8 panel I also use is too big; I had to trim off a fraction with a utility knife for it to fit. 

Brushes.  I use mostly Grand Prix flats from Silver Brush.  These are too long to fit diagonally in the box.  I took three and trimmed off about a half-inch so they would fit.  Other brands or models may require no trimming or more.  But I wanted to fit everything in this box, as I didn’t like carrying an extra bag.  Also,  I didn’t want to deal with a brush holder.  When  painting, I just slid the palette open a bit so I could shove the handles into the box to secure them. 

OMS container.  Again, I wanted everything to fit inside this box.  I’d lost my tiny Guerrilla Painter turps jar, but I had found a small metal screw-cap medium cup.  It doesn’t hold much in the way of OMS.  Then I remembered that Gamblin’s Solvent-Free Gel can be used as both a medium and a brush cleaner!  I packed in a tube of this instead.  Perfect solution to the messy, welded-on-lid problem with medium cups. 

Paper Towels.  I use paper towels when painting.  I figured that for two 6×8 paintings, I wouldn’t need very many.  So I ripped a few sheets off the roll, cut them into squares, and used a bulldog clip to hold them together.  This packet fit neatly in the box.  When I painted, I just clipped it to the lid for easy access.  As the paper towels got soiled and unusable, I just stuffed them back into the box for disposal later. 

Palette.  The palette is 20x20mm, just like the box lid that hold the panels.  I always like to have my palette at least as big as my painting surface.  This is polyurethaned plywood, the same as the rest of the box, and nicely finished.  It slides easily in its groove—a little too easily, actually.  While painting, I was worried that the palette might slide out entirely.  This didn’t happen, but I recommend that the maker add some sort of “stop” or lock for the palette to avoid this.  (When closed, the hinges of the box lock the palette in place.) 

Comfort.  As I mentioned earlier, you can either paint with the box standing or sitting.  I chose to stand during my first session.  I was a little puzzled at first with how to position the box against my tummy and to get comfortable with the strap.  (The photos show you how it’s done.  You’ll note that I have the strap positioned a little differently from the way it is on the website for the box; I found what worked for me.)  But once I was over that minor hurdle, using the box was a piece of cake.  With my left hand I steadied the box and hold a paper towel, and I then painted with my right.  In my second session, I sat with the box in my lap.  This was, of course, even easier.

I highly recommend this box for anyone who needs to travel super-light.  It’s the kind of thing you might throw over your shoulder and take on a daily hike or bike ride just in case you run across something that needs painting.  It’s also great for study-to-studio work and gathering reference sketches. And it’s definitely what you’d take on a trip where weight and space are at a premium.

You can find out more about the Travel Painter Art Box and purchase it at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TravelPainterArtBox for $89 US.  By the way, it didn’t take it very long to get from Russia to New Mexico, only two weeks.  You can probably get one in time for Christmas!

Here are the two paintings I made with the Travel Painter Art Box:

Lake Study I – 6×8 Oil – Available

Lake Study 2 – 6×8 Oil – Available


Michael Chesley Johnson, AIS PSA MPAC PSNM
www.MChesleyJohnson.com

Paint the Grand Canyon with Me! October 24-27, 2018



Mohave Point Morning, 18×12 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Private Collection

Have you ever perched on the edge of the Grand Canyon to gaze at its unfathomable vastness and wondered how you might paint it?  No doubt you were overwhelmed by that awesome expanse of beauty.  Clouds sail over the maze of buttes within its walls, casting blue shadows that shift to violet and green.  Here and there, the Colorado River peeks out, a long mile below, far enough away that you can’t hear its tumultuous rapids.  Closer at hand, sunlit cliffs drop into shadow.  A flying raven, a mere mote floating against the cliffs, tells you that the walls are, surprisingly, more remote than you thought.  Shadow and light confound your perception of depth and distance.

Your Instructor

Well, have no fear!  In this special plein air painting workshop, I’ll lead you on path that will have you painting the Canyon like a pro.  I’ll show you how to select a scene and block it in with a “best guess” of value and color, and then how to make adjustments to color temperature to capture the moment accurately—all without sacrificing the magic.  I feel confident I can help you have an enjoyable, productive time at the Canyon, as I’ve been an invited artist to the Grand Canyon Association’s “Celebration of Art” plein air painting event four times, as well as painting there on my own for years.

Canyon Trails, 12×24 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Available

This workshop, sponsored by the Grand Canyon Field Institute, is approved by the National Park Service.  What’s more, the workshop includes the entry fee to the Park as well as complimentary camping at Mather Campground, located right in the Park on the South  Rim.  (Other lodging is available by reservation at your cost.)  There’s nothing quite like waking up on the rim and taking a morning stroll with your coffee to enjoy the sunrise.

Registration for Grand Canyon Association members begins tomorrow, November 6; for non-members, registration opens up November 12.  Cost:  $550 for GCA members; $575, non-members.  You can find full details and register on the GCA website at this link.

I hope you’ll join me!  Grand Canyon is a spectacularly special place, and I’m eager to share it with you.  Here are a few more painting I’ve made over the years of Grand Canyon.

Afternoon Shadows, 6×8 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Private Collection

Outpost, 6×6 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Private Collection

Morning Light, 6×6 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Private Collection


Michael Chesley Johnson, AIS PSA MPAC PSNM
www.MChesleyJohnson.com