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Category: Politik

Understanding Energiewende

Arne Jungjohann has been speaking about the German Energiewende at a Clean Energy Discussion in Ottawa last week.

Jungjohann offered “lessons” from the German clean energy story, also called the Energiewende. It’s the German word for the country’s clean energy transition, and Jungjohann co-wrote a book about it: Energy Democracy — Germany’s Energiewende to Renewables. […]

It’s a technical transition from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy, he explained, but it’s also a political and cultural transition; it’s a transition from centralized, corporation-dominated energy, to a smaller, decentralized power grid.

 

 

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WSJ on Government Backdoors, intentional and unintentional

The episode underscores the folly of the U.S. law enforcement demand that tech companies install backdoors into their devices and services.

the WSJ comments. This time the leak is an unintentional backdoor the NSA used to get onto devices. The NSA used the Vulnerabilities Equities Process to determine that ETERNALBLUE is burnt and informed Microsoft, which then promptly generated an urgent critical patch, which did not make it out to systems in the field fast enough.

There is little difference according to the WSJ between flaws being used as government backdoors, and intentional government backdoors, which may be detected and abused, or leaked. So this whole Wannacry(pt) thing is a very good example of what will happen with Government mandated backdoors in systems.

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Handling Wannacrypt – a few words about technical debt

So Microsoft had a bug in their systems. Many of their sytems. For many years. That happens. People write code. These people write bugs

Microsoft over the years has become decently good with fixing bugs and rolling out upgrades, quickly. That’s apparently important, because we all are not good enough at not writing bugs. So if we cannot prevent them, we need to be able to fix them and then bring these fixes to the people. All of them.

The NSA found a bug. They called it ETERNALBLUE and they have been using it for many years to compromise systems.

In order to be able to continue doing that they kept the bug secret. That did not work. The bug is now MS17-010 or a whole list of CVE-entries.

The NSA told MS about the bug when they learned that it had leaked, but not before. Microsoft patched the bug in March 2017, even for systems as old as Windows XP (which lost all support in 2014), but many people did not install the patch.

The result is “the largest cyberattack in the world”.

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Entering the US on Visa

The US of A have clarified what exactly they need from you to get a Visum: It’s approximately everything except your passwords. The Register has a list: »

  • Travel history during the past fifteen years, including source of funding for travel.
  • Address history during the past fifteen years.
  • Employment history during the past fifteen years.
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by the applicant.
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings.
  • Name and dates of birth for all children.
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners.
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the past five years.
  • Phone numbers and email addresses used during the past five years.«

People are already reacting to that in completely expected ways.

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Let’s use all that hospital DNA for law enforcement

Jeroen pointed me at this article in Nederlands.

Nederlands just voted and the current cabinet is on the way out. It’s not supposed to do big or controversial things. But it can try, and it just did.

So Minister Schippers (Health) “wil dat gegevens over afgenomen lichaamsmateriaal in de zorg beschikbaar komen voor politie en justitie” (“wants to use DNA collected for diagnostic or other health purposes for police and law enforcement use”).

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Militant capitalist attacked german soccer bus

The bomb attack on the bus of the german soccer club BVB has been solved. The attacker was not an islamist extremist, as the fake letters found on site suggested. They also weren’t Neo-Nazis, as the fake letters to two german newspapers claimed. The perpetrator was instead a militant capitalist who tried to influence BVB stock in order, after he purchased 15k put options on BVB stock.

An english language article with background can be found at the BBC.

It is unclear if German legislation will now call on a ban on radical capitalist education camps in german universities, or what kind of extreme vetting will be instituted in order to handle the problem.

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US travel ban total desaster, sad

The Washington Post reports on the amount of damage the travel bans in the US are doing to travel as a whole, not just the six/seven countries primarily targeted:

The result was a wave of withdrawals. “Getting those cancellations all at once, that was startling,” said Russ Hedge, chief executive of HIU, which oversees 52 hostels across the country. “We’ve never seen something like that.”

and

Fifteen miles from the White House, the Sheraton Tysons Hotel is now offering a free Apple Watch to anybody who books a meeting. “We’re doing everything we can to get through this storm,” said Chris Zindash, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

 

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Brexit

Washington Post on “Brexit and Britain’s delusions of empire“: The article goes through the former British colonies and checks how much they need the British and their trade to succeed. TL;DR: They don’t.

The Guardian on “Up to 100,000 UK jobs at risk as Merkel and Juncker ally warns on euro clearing“:

“EU citizens decide on their own money,” Weber said during a press conference in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “When the UK is leaving the European Union it is not thinkable that at the end the whole euro business is managed in London. This is an external place, this is not an EU place any more. The euro business should be managed on EU soil.” […]

Clearing houses are independent parties that sit between the two parties in a trade and are tasked with managing the risk if one side defaults on payment. London clears around three-quarters of all euro-denominated trades.

And German Die Zeit has an article titled simply “Vergesst Großbritannien!” (“Forget Britain!”), an interview with Labour-Politician and EU Trade Commissar Perer Mandelson.

 

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