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Ukraine Is Under Cyberattack

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:45 am
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

One week ago today, I shared Andy Greenberg's piece at Wired about how Ukraine had become Russia's test lab for Cyberwar. In Ukraine, Greenberg wrote, "the quintessential cyberwar scenario has come to life."

There had been two blackouts already, and they weren't isolated attacks, but "part of a digital blitzkrieg that has pummeled Ukraine for the past three years—a sustained cyber­assault unlike any the world has ever seen. A hacker army has systematically undermined practically every sector of Ukraine: media, finance, transportation, military, politics, energy. Wave after wave of intrusions have deleted data, destroyed computers, and in some cases paralyzed organizations' most basic functions."

Today, Ukraine is being hit with another huge wave of cyberattacks.


Via Andrea Chalupa, RFE/RL reports: "Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko said on Facebook on June 27 that every computer monitor in the cabinet of ministers was locked and displayed a message in English warning users that if they shut down their computers all of their data will be deleted."

There is no confirmation that Russia is behind today's cyberattack on Ukraine, but it would be extraordinary if that were not the case.

Meanwhile, as I have previously noted, Russian diplomats, presumed to be Russian intelligence agents, have been "waging a quiet effort to map the United States' telecommunications infrastructure, perhaps preparing for an opportunity to disrupt it," and Russia has developed "a cyberweapon that has the potential to be the most disruptive yet against electric systems that Americans depend on for daily life."

Trump is not taking these threats seriously, even as Ukraine is suffering the very cyberattacks that we should fear. To the absolute contrary, Trump seems keen to abet Russia's plotting against the U.S., by handing back to the Russians control of the compounds from which they are thought to have orchestrated the infrastructure mapping intel operations.

I don't know whether Trump is actively colluding with the Kremlin against the United States, or whether the combination of his enamourment of Putin and his own uninformed arrogance has led him to genuinely and unaccountably believe that the Russians are his pals. Either way, he clearly believes that Putin respects him, which is foolish in the extreme.

Putin is not Trump's ally. Trump is Putin's mark.

And what is happening in Ukraine today is a foreshadow of what is to come in the United States, because we have a president who doesn't believe it will ever happen here.

Playlist: Just Fruit

Jun. 27th, 2017 02:23 pm
[syndicated profile] autostraddle_feed

Posted by Raquel

An image of various fruit emoji, superimposed over a light rainbow backgroundA playlist because I don't know, I just like fruit. For each fruit, I picked up to 3 song(s) fitting some criteria, and here we are.
[syndicated profile] autostraddle_feed

Posted by Alaina

I can’t make every passage better. There are some passages that are still, even after months of study, hard to accept. But I try to remind myself that it’s okay to be critical of what’s written and that questions can help my faith grow.

Invisible 3 Release Day

Jun. 27th, 2017 02:49 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

Invisible 3 CoverINVISIBLE 3, a collection of 18 essays and poems about representation in SF/F, is out today! The ebook is edited by myself and Mary Anne Mohanraj, and is available at:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

As with the first two volumes in this series, all profits go to benefit Con or Bust.

Here’s the full table of contents:

  • Introduction by K. Tempest Bradford
  • Heroes and Monsters, by T. S. Bazelli
  • Notes from the Meat Cage, by Fran Wilde
  • What Color Are My Heroes? by Mari Kurisato
  • The Zeroth Law Of Sex in Science Fiction, by Jennifer Cross
  • Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities, by Alliah
  • Erasing Athena, Effacing Hestia, by Alex Conall
  • Not So Divergent After All, by Alyssa Hillary
  • Skins, by Chelsea Alejandro
  • The Doctor and I, by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  • My Family Isn’t Built By Blood, by Jaime O. Mayer
  • Lost in Space: A Messy Voyage Through Fictional Universes, by Carrie Sessarego
  • Decolonise The Future, by Brandon O’Brien
  • Natives in Space, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • I Would Fly With Dragons, by Sean Robinson
  • Adventures in Online Dating, by Jeremy Sim
  • Of Asian-Americans and Bellydancing Wookiees, by Dawn Xiana Moon
  • Shard of a Mirage, by MT O’Shaughnessy
  • Unseen, Unheard, by Jo Gerrard

Huge thanks to the contributors for sharing their stories and experiences. I’ve learned so much from earlier volumes in this series, and this one was no different.

If you’re a reviewer and would like a copy, please contact me and let me know your preferred format and where your reviews are published.

Does it Fit vs. Does it WORK

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:22 pm
[syndicated profile] alreadypretty_feed

Posted by Sally

  Below you see two outfits that never hit the blog. They’re both perfectly fine outfits, but their main players – the dress and the utility vest – have long since been donated. Because while they may have fit just fine, they...

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[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

Donald Trump's corruption is so vast and his lack of ethics so profound that it has caused a lurching shift in expectations of the United States President in only 159 days. It's easy to become inured to the erosion of our democratic norms, but we must resist the normalization of authoritarianism.

This is a big story, because this is what happens in authoritarian regimes: Coral Davenport at the New York Times reports that an E.P.A. Official Pressured Scientist on Congressional Testimony, Emails Show.
The Environmental Protection Agency's chief of staff pressured the top scientist on the agency's scientific review board to alter her congressional testimony and play down the dismissal of expert advisers, his emails show.

Deborah Swackhamer, an environmental chemist who leads the E.P.A.'s Board of Scientific Counselors, was to testify on May 23 before the House Science Committee on the role of states in environmental policy when Ryan Jackson, the E.P.A.'s chief of staff, asked her to stick to the agency's "talking points" on the dismissals of several members of the scientific board.

"I was stunned that he was pushing me to 'correct' something in my testimony," said Dr. Swackhamer, a retired University of Minnesota professor. "I was factual, and he was not. I felt bullied."

...James Thurber, the founder and former director of the Center for Congressional Studies at American University, said he had never heard of an administration pressuring a witness, particularly a scientist, to alter testimony already submitted for the official record.

"It's shocking and insulting to be told before you go in to alter your testimony to what the administration wants," he said. "This just shows a certain amount of amateurishness about how these hearings work. They're supposed to be places where you get objective views. You don't go around telling people what to say."
To call this "amateurish" behavior is to extend good faith to this administration, who has not earned any. It's not a matter of a failure of comprehension about hearings work; it's a matter of trying to avoid the appearance of subverting the role of academic science in environmental policy, while actually subverting the role of academic science in environmental policy.

This, as my friend Sarah Kendzior has noted, is part of the authoritarian's agenda (emphasis mine):
Shortly after Trump's inauguration, his administration reviewed the EPA's website and, during that time, instructed its employees not to communicate on its research to the public through press releases, blog posts, or social media. If citizens became ill due to environmental protection rollbacks, policies like this could lead to people would have less information to use to seek recourse.

That censorship of scientists and national parks workers — who reportedly went on to act as "rogue" employees posting statistics on climate change in anonymous Twitter accounts — furthers the administration's authoritarian ambitions: One cannot refute information one does not know.
No information, no recourse. No information, nothing to resist.

Dr. Swackhamer said she "felt bullied." No wonder. She found herself at the blunt end of an authoritarian order. Nothing about that is going to feel right.

And it should not sit right with us.

Prompt for 2017-06-27

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:22 pm
sashataakheru: (Default)
[personal profile] sashataakheru posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is 'cold'.

Build it and they will come?

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:54 pm
oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

I don't know if anyone else has been aware of the hoohah over the Chalke Valley History Festival, an event which has not been on my radar even though it has been going since 2011, though when I see that it is sponsored by A Certain Daily Rag of Which We Do Not Speak, unless we really have to, I would guess that it's NQOSD. Certainly no-one has come begging yr hedjog to address the crowds on ye syph in history (with or without my sidekick Sid, now available as a keyring), Dr Stopes, the inner meaning of the 1820s cartoons of Ladies Strachan and Warwick canoodling in a park or towsell-mowsell upon a sopha, wanking panic over the centuries etc etc.

But anyway, there has lately been a certain amount of OMG History of Dead White Males (and a few queens) and the fact that it is overwhelmingly DWM d'un certain age giving the fruits of their knowingz to the audience:
Historian pulls out of Chalke Valley festival over lack of diversity
(and, cynically, I wonder how many of the 32 women historians are Hott Young Thingz researching queens, aristo ladies, and so forth, though I may be doing them an injustice.)
The lack of women and non-white historians at this year’s Chalke Valley festival sends out a worrying message to Britain’s young

There have been defences made of the event by saying that you need to have Nazis and Tudors because that is what pulls in the punters, and maybe eventually get them onto something else not so overdone and ubiquitous.

However, only today there was a piece in The Guardian about the Bradford Literary Festival: Irna Qureshi and Syima Aslam have upended the traditional festival model to create a 10-day cultural jamboree that holds appeal across the city’s diverse communities

(Okay, does have the Brontes, and why not, but does not, alas, have ritual mud-wrestling by the Bronte Society...)

'They have upended the traditional literary festival model and attracted a demographic that is the dream of all forward-looking funders.'

So it can be done.

You Deserve Good Things

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:41 am
[syndicated profile] alreadypretty_feed

Posted by Sally

A few months ago, a dear friend and I were chatting about quality over quantity. We discovered that we’re both more likely to purchase six crappy-but-cheap items over one high-quality item. And while I believe that some women can utilize and...

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Music meme: day 10 of 30

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:43 pm
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
[personal profile] liv
A song that makes you sad. It's hard to find anything sadder than one of my friends who posted a video of a scratch orchestra playing the European anthem Ode to Joy the day after the UK voted to leave the EU. But the song most likely to make me cry, personally, is the aria Voi che sapete from Mozart's The marriage of Figaro.

break-up sadness, plus video )

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