Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Defense Podcasts, MH17 Background, JSF Break-In, JSON Parsing, and More

- if you're interested in defense, intelligence, or geo-politics in general these soundcasts may be of interest to you. Obviously, they're US/Allied focused but they cover a wide range of affairs that face these areas. I may go through other countries at another time...
http://sofrep.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sofrep-radio/
http://blogs.reuters.com/war-college/
https://soundcloud.com/war_college
http://www.defenceiq.com/podcasts/
https://player.fm/featured/us-military
http://www.usa.gov.edgesuite-staging.net/Topics/Reference-Shelf/Libraries/Podcasts/Defense.shtml
http://dodnews.defense.gov/Podcasts.aspx
http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/media-centre/podcasts
http://www.cnas.org/media/list?field_media_type_tid[]=817
https://defensesystems.com/podcasts/list/podcast-list.aspx
http://www.biometrics.dod.mil/PublicAffairs/podcast.aspx
http://anarchadia.com/podcasts/
http://www.militaryspot.com/media/military_podcast/
http://www.army.mil/rss/podcasts/
http://www.edwards.af.mil/news/podcast.asp
http://www.maxwell.af.mil/news/podcasts/

- if you've been watching the media lately you'll have realised that Russian seperatists seemed to have been implicated in the MH17 downing. If you actually go through all of the evidence (especially the hard evidence that is hard to fake. If you listen to any one side you can easily get caught up in their perspective and miss a few things) though things don't seem that clear cut and there are a lot of people who seem to be withholding (often crucial such as RADAR records, ability to access the crash site, debris/fragments from the site, etc...) evidence for some strange reason (or just missing some things which should be obvious?). Moreover, all parties involved have had a history of fabricating evidence (I wouldn't put it past Ukrainian or Russian forces planting evidence on the crash site) so I wouldn't necessarily believe whatever is finally said. Some theories have included: it could have been a 'false flag' operation to aide Russian justification for invasion of Ukraine, it could have been a 'false flag' operation to aide Ukraine justification for action against Russia, Ukraine air force operation which went extremely bad but actually does a good explanation of why the debris has such variability with regards to damage, it was a plain accident (with a lot of silliness involved all round), possible targeted assisination of Putin himself as his plane was in area at the time (about 100-200 km) and since his plane has similar markings it MH17 which could have meant it was mis-identified. Either way, if you go through the history of all parties you'll realise that all have a credibility problem...
Dutch Safety Board MH17 final report (FULL VIDEO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TdWUTHC49U
Dutch Safety Board simulates MH17 being hit by BUK missile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJkW_uLjVO8
Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern on Who Shot Down Flight MH17 And Iran Nuclear Deal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAAQ1cDav3w
'MH17 crash' test simulation video: Il-86 plane cockpit hit with BUK missile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DmraSOdTYk
MH-17 - The Untold Story
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuoIw3jBV4g
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mh17http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2697068/How-MH17-obliterated-just-12-seconds-BUK-missile-carrying-150lbs-explosives-fired-doomed-Malaysian-flight-95-accuracy.html
http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Talk:Crash_of_Malaysia_Airlines_flight_MH17/Forensics
http://theconversation.com/mh17-justice-takes-several-forms-none-simple-49221
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/22/pawn_storm_hackers_targeted_mh17/
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2015/10/23/mh17-a-russian-false-flag-operation.html
http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/mh17-report-2015-how-malaysia-hindered-the-investigation-into-the-plane-crash/story-fnizu68q-1227572043309
http://www.globalresearch.ca/german-pilot-speaks-out-shocking-analysis-of-the-shooting-down-of-malaysian-mh17/5394111
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air-to-air_missile
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface-to-air_missile
http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/east-ukraine-airspace-was-closed-up-to-26-000-feet-at-june-6-dsb-preliminary-report-does-not-mention-this-notam/
http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/category/reconstruction/
http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/ 
Flight MH17: Russia and its changing story
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34538142
- the Russians state that type of missile isn't used by Russian forces, the pattern on the fuesalage doesn't completely replciate the same one as one that was later tested in one of the videos above (though some of this can be put down to the difference between a static and moving aircraft). Moreover, there while there was a supposed siting of a BUK SAM system in the area in question I'm wondering whether there haven't been more people who have come forward of evidence of before and after videos of it launching a rocket at MH17? Surely, with such a massive contrail heaps more people would have come forward with evidence indicating what was happening. Not ruling out the possibility some elements of government may have gotten involved here though to hush people up or that others were paid to tell a 'version of the truth'...
Flight MH17: searching for the truth
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcq7qJTTZ28
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mh17+witnesses+launch+buk
- either way, I doubt that we'll ever know the 'complete truth'. There will be some form of cover up because it feels like they either know what happened (and the truth is ugly) or they don't know and those who are guilty are with holding evidence. The problem is that everyone seems to be doing this to some extent so it is possible that 'a deal' may have been reached behind the scenes. My guess is that a lot of people simply stuffed up and they're partly trying to figure out the best way of apportioning blame...

- if you follow the defense/intelligence space you'll have noticed some strange happenings with regards to the JSF project. Apparently, they said that 50TB was stolen a while back but later they've said it was just ALIS and that it was just non-classified information (if you think that US intelligence/security is generally better think again. Look through enough background and you'll find that they are subject to the same limitations, problems, etc... that are faced by every other organisation. There have been some bizarre penetrations of even 'classified networks'...). Either way, I'd be very interested to know how much technology they've stolen, purchased, bribed from certain officials (based on what I've heard 'incentives' have been between 4-7 figures for information regarding stealth technologies and they've been able to procure quite a lot including information about RAM coatings, AESA RADAR, EOTS, DAS, avionics, engine design, etc...)(even with the downing of and purchase of some aircraft I'm guessing they've gained access to at least some AESA RADAR, EOTS, RAM coating, and engine technology?) and how much they've reverse engineered or is entirely native? Look at the design of some of their new stealth aircraft and some aspects seem incredibly crude... The other thing I'm curious about is if it was 50TB of genuine design material how much would Western design efforts of the JSF going to be thrown off?  Would they have to re-design or is the core system good enough? This is much like the question of security of obscurity (closed versus open source security) if you know anything about cybersecurity. Even if the stolen material was honeypot/honeynet material it has to be convincing enough to throw Chinese research off... which means it's still decent (possibly old?)...
http://www.lockheedmartin.com.au/us/products/ALIS.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-pakistan-let-china-inspect-stealth-copter/
https://www.fbi.gov/newhaven/press-releases/2015/former-connecticut-resident-sentenced-to-more-than-eight-years-in-prison-for-attempting-to-send-u.s.-military-technology-to-iran
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_intelligence_operations_in_the_United_States
http://www.matthewaid.com/post/107210185936/the-spies-from-beijing-more-on-chinese-theft-of
http://defensetech.org/2011/06/29/report-china-may-have-5th-gen-engine-tech-by-2021/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noshir_Gowadia
https://medium.com/war-is-boring/half-of-what-the-soviets-knew-about-u-s-stealth-tech-they-got-from-one-reporter-cf1b00d754d7
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93U.S._RQ-170_incident
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_RQ-170_Sentinel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_combat_losses_of_United_States_military_aircraft_since_the_Vietnam_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aviation_shootdowns_and_accidents_during_the_Iraq_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aviation_accidents_and_incidents_in_the_war_in_Afghanistan 
http://sputniknews.com/military/20151029/1029254803/us-china-spying-drone-jet-engine.html 
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/counterfeit-chinese-electronics-inside-american-defense-equipment-05103/
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/10/us-china-military-espionage-idUSKBN0M60ZY20150310
http://www.dailypress.com/news/newport-news/dp-nws-ford-carrier-espionage-20150620-story.html
http://thediplomat.com/2015/02/the-truth-about-chinas-aircraft-carriers/
http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/chinese-admirals-spill-the-beans-on-new-aircraft-carrier/
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/10/us-usa-china-weapons-idUSBREA291UK20140310
http://defensetech.org/2015/09/29/lawmaker-chinese-j-31-j-20-mirror-american-f-35-f-22/
http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/beware-chinas-basing-strategy-former-us-navy-chief/
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/09/28/chinas-ability-to-make-quality-jet-engines/
http://old.seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2002754224_boeingitar22.html
http://defensetech.org/2011/01/24/chinese-spies-may-have-taken-f-117-wreckage/
http://breakingdefense.com/2014/05/chinese-air-chief-tells-lockheed-i-love-the-f-35/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_F-117A_shootdown
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_government_security_breaches
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1365330/Did-China-develop-deadly-stealth-fighter-using-parts-downed-U-S-bomber.html
http://www.smh.com.au/national/china-stole-plans-for-a-new-fighter-plane-spy-documents-have-revealed-20150118-12sp1o.html
http://www.centralctcommunications.com/bristolpress/article_9c4378be-785c-11e5-81a3-fb1f0bb9644f.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ge-all-in-on-aviation-deal-with-china/2011/07/17/gIQAgPmTXJ_story.html
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/new-snowden-docs-indicate-scope-of-nsa-preparations-for-cyber-battle-a-1013409.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Melbourne_%28R21%29
China’s new counter-stealth radar JY-26

http://www.asiawind.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3716
How China Steals U.S. Military Secrets
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/a746/3319656/ 
Next Big Thing: China’s Aviation to Develop Long-Range Strike Bomber
http://sputniknews.com/military/20150713/1024568534.html
Military Marvel: China Ready to Test Asia’s Largest Warship
http://sputniknews.com/military/20150605/1022987451.html#ixzz3peTtrwHM
http://www.smh.com.au/national/china-stole-plans-for-a-new-fighter-plane-spy-documents-have-revealed-20150118-12sp1o.html
http://freebeacon.com/national-security/nsa-details-chinese-cyber-theft-of-f-35-military-secrets/
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/get-ready-israel-china-sell-iran-advanced-fighter-jets-13498
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/13/f-35-secrets-now-showing-chinas-stealth-fighter/?page=all
http://engineeringevil.com/2012/10/23/this-might-be-chinas-third-j-20-stealth-fighter/
http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/threads/the-best-critical-analysis-of-j20-fighter.24874/
http://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/21081/advantages-of-square-over-circular-engine-nozzle
http://sputniknews.com/military/20151025/1029093355/us-against-technology-leakage-russia-uzbekistan.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenyang_J-31
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengdu_J-20

- if you have to program regularly, you you have to read some pretty 'human unreadable' stuff at times. Some links regarding possible JSON parsers
echo '{"test":1,"test2":2}' | python -mjson.tool
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5243885/json-command-line-formatter-tool-for-linux
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/352098/how-can-i-pretty-print-json
https://packages.debian.org/jessie/jshon
https://packages.debian.org/nodejs

Pandas are actually quite funny and peculiar animals if you read up about them...
http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/11/why-giant-pandas-are-endangered/
Cute Alert!Clingy pandas don’t want to take their medicine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7LQS84IL4U
Clingy panda do not let zookeeper go
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuVFwgzkaI0
So Cute! Panda asks for hug to get down from tree!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVywPAjtppg
Cute alert! Four baby pandas playing with zookeeper
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imluwMOJ32I
Pandas addicted to hugging
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLVre3pWuqI
Cute pandas playing on the slide
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGF6bOi1NfA

Some interesting quotes in the recent media:
-“We’ve tried intervention and putting  down troops in Iraq,” he said. “We’ve tried invention without putting in troops in Libya. And we’ve tried no intervention at all but demanding regime change in Syria. It’s not clear to me that even if our policy did not work, subsequent policies have worked better.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/26/tony-blair-elements-of-truth-to-argument-iraq-invasion-led-to-islamic-state/
-“Whenever I’m asked this, I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,” Blair said. “Because even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people, against others, the program in the form that we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought. So I can apologize for that. I can also apologize, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/26/tony-blair-elements-of-truth-to-argument-iraq-invasion-led-to-islamic-state/
-"Since 9/11, a near doubling of the Pentagon’s modernization accounts — more than $700 billion over 10 years in new spending on procurement, research and development — has resulted in relatively modest gains in actual military capability,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in an address last week.
http://www.truth-out.org/article/item/1348:five-eyeopening-facts-about-our-bloated-post911-defense-spending
- The United States remains the most powerful nation on earth. Yet from the immediate aftermath of the heady days of 1991 to the present, nations great and small have shown themselves unimpressed by or impervious to U.S. might. To the astonishment of many Americans, the United States, for all its power and its good intentions, has frequently failed in its efforts to lead the world, enforce its preferences or impose its will.

International relations scholars have long understood the fallacy of assuming that power routinely if not automatically provides the wherewithal to get others to do as one wishes. And yet there remains, among statesmen, politicians, policy analysts and the broader public—to say nothing of presidential candidates—an easy assumption of a correlation between a country’s overall power and its ability to persuade, entice, bribe or compel other countries to do its bidding, if not all the time, then at least when the stakes for the powerful country are sufficiently high.
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/thinking-about-american-power-primer-the-candidates-14166
- Atmar warns, "The symbiotic network of terrorists that we are confronted with is going to be a threat to every country in this region and by extension the whole world."

Obama has for years boasted of rendering al-Qaida toothless, but Atmar points out the U.S. withdrawal has reinvigorated the group founded by Osama bin Laden.

He also noted IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's new role in choosing Taliban leaders, with the new caliphate in Iraq and Syria "commanding and controlling," "financing" and even providing the Taliban with a new strategy. "We have no doubt about that," Atmar said.

Facing an existential threat, you turn to those on whom you can depend. Right now, sadly, Putin is a better bet for Afghans than America.
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102615-777476-afghanistan-asks-for-russian-help-against-taliban.htm
- It’s all a lot to take in, and makes one wonder what G.D.P. really stands for: Generally Disorienting Predictions? Guesses Done Poorly?

“G.D.P. is accounting science built to supply a need to understand an economy’s direction,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research. “Is there more art than science? In terms of filling in all the numbers where the answers are imputed rather than measured, the answer is yes.”

And imputed values, he added, are becoming more important as the service sector grows, while in developing nations, accurate measurement is more difficult for a variety of reasons.

Pro tip: “Whenever doing cross country G.D.P. comparisons, I have always used I.M.F. data,” Mr. Blitz said. “They scrub the data and reset so concepts are the same from country to country.” Point taken.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/upshot/sex-drugs-and-gdp.html?_r=0
- In 1999, Saudi Prince Nayef bin Sultan bin Fawwaz Al Shaalan allegedly smuggled two tons of cocaine from Venezuela to France. Now believed to be living under legal shelter in Saudi Arabia, Prince Nayef was accused by France of using his diplomatic status to sneak the drugs onto a jet belonging to the Saudi royal family. He managed to escape his sentencing and was convicted in absentia in 2007. The United States also indicted him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. 

In 2010, a leaked WikiLeaks cable described a royal underground party scene in Jeddah that was “thriving and throbbing” because Saudi officials looked the other way. The dispatch described a Halloween party, funded in part by a prince from the Al Thunayan family, where more than 150 young men and women dressed in costumes and slogged expensive alcohol, which is sold only on the black market in Saudi Arabia. “Though not witnessed directly at this event, cocaine and hashish use is common in these social circles,” the cable read.

The harsh punishments for violations of Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of sharia law tend not to apply to the some 15,000 princes and princesses who belong to the royal House of Saud. But that hasn’t stopped Riyadh from pursuing executions of foreigners and non-royal citizens accused of less egregious violations of the country’s drug laws.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/26/saudi-arabias-royal-drug-problem/
- "What happens in Afghanistan really does have an impact on what happens over here," Sopko says. "Heroin use is on the rise in the U.S., and although the DEA says that most of the heroin here originates from South America, some still comes from Afghanistan. Our European allies have told me time and again their concerns about the amount of Afghan heroin reaching Europe. Heroin use is a problem in Canada, and 90 percent of Canada's heroin comes from Afghanistan."
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/10/27/state-department-still-without-new-plan-to-fight-drugs-in-afghanistan
- The Iraqi government has become increasingly suspicious of the US’ lack of real commitment in fighting ISIS. On the other hand, Russian strikes have thus far been so effective against ISIS that the Iraqi government has asked Russia to take on a bigger role against ISIS, than the US.

Russia has in turn signaled that it may start bombing ISIS in Iraq as well as Syria, with the permission of the Iraqi government. Unlike the US, Russia has not broken international law and has sought permission to enter Iraq and Syria from each respective state’s legitimate government.

With these actions Russia has called the US’s bluff on fighting ISIS, and is effectively forcing the US to do a better job of convincing the Iraqi government that it is truly fighting ISIS. If Russia does enter Iraqi airspace, it will more easily cross into Syrian airspace to provide supplies to the Syrian government, since the US has bullied many countries in the region to close their airspace to Russian aircrafts. Furthermore, if Iraq asks Russia to intervene it is a scenario that would reverse any of the influence the US had gained in Iraq, throughout its lengthy occupation of the country since 2003.

The US has been backed into a corner and in doing so, has exposed itself and its allies as the source of terrorism, not champions truly fighting it. Terrorism has always been a means by which the US has sought to deconstruct Russian spheres of influences. Ironically over the last decade it has also simultaneously perpetuated the myth that it is actually fighting a war against terror. However as its allied states grow increasingly tired of this game, how long can the US continue to juggle this duplicity, before the entire deck of cards crumbles?
http://journal-neo.org/2015/10/20/why-russia-is-serious-about-fighting-terrorism-and-the-us-isn-t/
- Financially, the war economy has largely replaced formal economic life. Incomes are increasingly conflict-dependent, whether it is through smuggling, selling weapons, kidnapping, even distributing aid. You can buy or rent a checkpoint for the day or for an hour. Hezbollah, for one, profits through control of checkpoints. Border control by armed groups is hugely lucrative. Fruitful earnings are made from forged documents such as passports and ID cards. The Syrian regime benefits from and encourages this trade, especially if it means opponents can flee abroad.
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-conflict-we-must-stop-the-country-s-economy-being-dependent-on-war-a6707651.html
- “Iran’s nuclear problem has been solved. From Iran, there is no threat and there never had been,” Mr. Putin said. “The only reason that was used by U.S.—to start building the Missile Defense Shield—disappeared. We [Russia] might have expected that a system of MDS development to be halted.”

Mr. Putin believes the United States lied to Russia and the world on the threat of nuclear danger coming from Iran.

“Some days ago, the first tests of USA’s MDS were conducted in Europe. What does that mean? It means that when we were arguing with our American partners we were right. Russia was right from the beginning that the American Missile Defense Shield program was being developed with the goal to destroy strategic balance and to have a way to dictate her power to everyone. They were trying to deceive us, and the whole world, once again. And, to put it simply, we were lied to.”
http://observer.com/2015/10/vladimir-putin-says-america-is-lying/
- To the notion of America helping the “moderate opposition” in Syria, Mr. Putin responded that the division of “moderate” and “non-moderate” leads to the empowerment of Islamic terrorists.

“We shouldn’t play with words here and divide the terrorists into moderate and non-moderate,” Mr. Putin said. “The difference, according to the ‘specialists’ [a jab to the Obama advisors], seems to be that ‘moderate’ bandits behead people softly.”
http://observer.com/2015/10/vladimir-putin-says-america-is-lying/
- A trio of young Muslim women have been conning ISIS by setting up fake social media accounts and getting the terror group to send them money to travel to Syria to become jihadi brides, according to police.

Once the terror group wired funds to the con artists, from Chechnya, they allegedly deleted the accounts and pocketed the money.

ISIS uses social media to encourage men and women to travel to the lands controlled by ISIS to become fighters and jihadi brides. The Republic of Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia and mainly Muslim.

Now the trio have been detained by Chechen e-crime police for the scam, which has so far netted them more than £2,000, Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported.

“I don’t recall any precedent like this one in Chechnya, probably because nobody digs deep enough in that direction,” officer Valery Zolotaryov told the newspaper.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/isis-terrorists-ripped-girls-who-6158725

YouTube News Downloader Script, Music Composition for Lazy IT People, and More

YouTube News Downloader: - if you're on a Not Really Broadband Network (NRBN) you somehow need to deal with networking/buffering issu...