Monday, August 31, 2020

Tesla vehicles 100% hacked.

It develops that in 2017 an enterprising hacker managed to hack his way so far into Tesla's server system that he gained control over -all- Teslas everywhere.

A new Electrek story details the saga of Jason Hughes, a whitehat hacker who says he managed to gain a flabbergasting level of access to Tesla's internal servers — managing to seize control of the company's entire fleet of electric vehicles.
The alleged hack took place back in March 2017, and Hughes immediately alerted Tesla's security team, which quickly patched the security hole. Still, it's a fascinating glimpse at the perils of connected vehicles.

The Jewel in the Crown hack. Mr. Hughes managed to activate the "Summon" command of individual Tesla cars. When used the car comes to your location from where it is parked, by itself. Meaning he could steal any Tesla in the world without even being there.

Let us consider a few things.

1. This is proof that the Tesla company has remote control over your Tesla vehicle. And by remote control I mean they can make it start up and drive away from where you left it. Not a conjecture anymore. Proof.

2. Possibly the Tesla company could make your Tesla vehicle go where they want, with you in it. It depends how they wrote the software. There might be a "police" function that ignores input from the steering, brakes and accelerator. I would not be amazed to find such a thing was written and downloaded to every car, but not implemented. That's how Silicon Valley thinks.

3. Tesla's security is about average. If random hacker Jason Hughes can get in, guys with ulterior motives can get in. Also, people who work for the company are potentially corruptible. You wave some money (or other things) in front of people, one of them may take it.

Now, the cherry on top. This situation applies to ANY VEHICLE that can accept wireless computer updates. Any Ford, GM, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, Mercedes can be hacked in this manner. If it has a self-driving feature like some electric cars do, it can be instructed to drive away. Not just Tesla. All of them.

Just thought you ought to know.

Friday, August 21, 2020

SFF Fandom: Let's erase the past!

More pointless SFF fandom bullshit, notable only in that we called this one ages ago. Even the regular voters think WorldCon is getting hijacked by the Woke. And they don't like it.

When in doubt, rub it out.

From the WorldCon, home of the idiots who decided they needed to erase John W. Campbell's name from the eponymous award and substitute "Amazing!" Instead, we find the 2023 bid from Memphis to host the Worldcon wants to drop the Retro-Hugo awards.

The easiest question to answer is whether or not we intend to run Retro Hugo Awards: No, we do not. While we understand that some family members very much appreciate getting Hugos for the work their parents (or grandparents) did, the reaction to the Retros has been increasingly mixed. On balance, we therefore believe it is time to move on from these, at least for the time being.

Why, one asks, would they want to drop the "looking back ~50 years award" that reminds people of what has gone before them?

Because -this- year, the first year since Campbell's name was purged from the Campbell Award and replaced with an adjective, Mr. Campbell won the award for best editor. As well, HP Lovecraft won the "best series" award. Lovecraft is famous lately for having his likeness removed from the World Fantasy Award in 2015.

On the one hand, we saw the Wokesters flip out because the WorldCon voters had DARED to vote Campbell and Lovecraft a Hugo this year, 2020, in the midst of #BLM and Antifa in their ascendancy.

On the other hand, there was nobody to blame this time. No Sad Puppies to point at and scream "RAAAAACISTS!!!!11!" Just those oh-so-purehearted WorldCon voters who went to such great lengths to make sure that evil people like... me, I guess, couldn't pollute the Holy Award with our dire and horrible prolish Conservatism.

Last year the Inner Party voted to erase Mr. Campbell. This year the Outer Party told them to shove it in no uncertain terms. What to do? Double down, of course! " On balance, we therefore believe it is time to move on from these, at least for the time being."

Translation: if you voters can't do what you're told, we'll just cancel the fucking thing.

Ugh, we're talking about the "canon" of science fiction literature, again, for reasons (most imminently the recent Hugo award ceremony and its fallout), and whether, basically, newer writers and readers should and must slog through a bunch of books in the genre that are now half a century old at least, from a bunch of mostly male, mostly white, mostly straight writers who are, shall we say, not necessarily speaking to the moment.

Scalzi is many things, most of them unpleasant, but no one can say he doesn't have his finger on the pulse and his eye on the main chance. He's quite in favor of cancelling those " mostly male, mostly white, mostly straight writers" who are so 1947, y'know? Real oldsville, man. Antique! Not hip and with it, like Scalzi.

Yes, Mr. Scalzi is down with the cool kidz's, for shore. He's old, male, white, and straight and knows his position in SF mainstream publishing is precarious. One wrong move and ZIP, that's all she wrote brother. He's outta there.

It also doesn't hurt him if nobody reads all those old white guys whose work Scalzi mines for gold. If you've never read "Starship Troopers", then "Old Man's War" looks really fresh and new. There's also the -really- subversive shit that they never mention in case somebody might read it. Like The Weapons Shops of Isher.

That's a general problem in SFF these days. People who read older work come to the recently published stuff with fresh eyes. Eyes which see things like SJW themes crammed into stories to the point where the Wokeness takes the place of plot, characterization and world building.

I read all of it back in the day. Most of that stuff from the 1940s on is pretty fun. Adventure stories, light on the bullshit politics. Just what SJWs hate the most.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

SFF fandom in a nutshell.

Normally I don't write about this stuff, because normally I don't care anymore. Science Fiction and Fantasy awards have been rewarding objectionable, unreadable socialistic crap for a very long time. Twenty years at least, by my count, the Hugos and Nebulas etc. have been 100% political. Nothing that doesn't hit the Red Underwear socialist political checklist will be nominated by WorldCon.

Once upon a time Larry Correia got angry about that, and organized the Campaign to Reduce Puppy Related Sadness. It was fabulously effective in its clearly stated goal: reveal the political nature of the Hugo nominations. Rub their noses in it. The WorldCon weenies went the extra mile and changed the way votes are collected to preserve their status quo in 2016.

In Canada we have the Aurora Award given by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. Here's more of the same WorldCon attitude in a column by Robert J. Sawyer.

Yesterday, I attended the annual general meeting of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, which was held by Zoom, due to the COVID pandemic.

The first issue the chair raised was what he considered to be a precipitous drop in the number of voters over the years. Years ago, he said, the number was in the mid-two-hundreds and he cited year-by-year figures showing a steady decline down to the current tally of 140 or so. Much discussion ensued about how to beef up the number.

My feeling is two-fold. First, it's NOT an Aurora-specific issue, and, second, it's NOT even a problem.

Okay, so the "national" award given for SFF in Canada is down to 140 voters, and Mr. Sawyer is good with that.  It isn't a problem, according to him.

How is that not a problem in a country with 30 million people? Your genre award has 140 voters! Nobody cares what you're doing! That's bad, isn't it?

Well, apparently not:

When people talk about bringing in vast new swaths of fans to beef up Aurora voting numbers, they usually mean finding a way to get young fans involved. But young fans, by and large, AREN'T SF&F readers, and have their own fandom traditions -- they expect, for instance, their events to be high-cost and run to professional standards (even if mostly staffed by volunteers).

These are the fine folk who enjoy the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo; Fan Expo in Toronto; Anime North, also in Toronto; OtakuThon in Montreal; and so-called "comic-cons" across the country. They want to see actors and comic-book artists. Politely, they don't need us -- AND WE DON'T NEED THEM.

There's a reason those kids have turned to Anime and comics, Mr. Sawyer, but I'll let him finish his thought first.

In the past, we've seen huge numbers of votes of dubious pedigree: people who have no known connection to fandom but a personal connection to one of the nominees nominating and voting en masse, propelling questionable works onto the ballot and sometimes shamefully even winning the award.

Thankfully, those days of hustling seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Yes, because nobody cares about the Aurora award, or more likely has ever heard of it. To Sawyer that's a good thing.

What we have now is a committed, intelligent, and honest pool of nominators and voters who receive a comprehensive "voter's packet" of nominated works so that they can make informed decisions. The result? The awards are doing precisely what they were meant to do when founded forty years ago: honour the best.

Where "the best" is decided by Mr. Sawyer and his 139 friends. Same as the Hugos really, just with an order of magnitude fewer people. They probably have on the loose order of 1,500 voters, now that the rest of us proved our point in 2016.

Now, I wouldn't really care a damn about what Sawyer and his 139 friends have to say about what the "best" science fiction of the year is, except that A) they're very wrong and B) all the publishers listen to them.

Which gets us back to why Fan Expo, Comic Con and OtakuThon etc. are huge events and "regular" fan events are ten old fat guys like Sawyer drinking in a hotel bar wearing Star Trek uniforms.

Kids and young adults aren't skipping "traditional" SFF because they don't read.. They're skipping modern SF because it sucks. It has sucked for years. It sucks so bad that life-long SF reader The Phantom stopped reading it in 2014 and started writing instead.

I'm not going to pretend my book should win an award. I can say for sure that you won't feel like you need a shower after you read it. 

Looking at the list of Aurora 2020 nominees, a shower and a quart of brain bleach might be indicated in some cases. Or it's just stupid, and you can't be bothered with it. I'll stack my first book "Unfair Advantage" against "This is How You Lose the Time War" in a contest judged by those Fan Expo kids any time.

As an author, who do I want to appeal to? The BIG CROWD. Do I care what 140 people think? Generally no. But those 140 people who pick "This is How You Lose the Time War"for an award are calling the shots for an entire industry.

Full disclosure:
I used to be a big Marvel Comics and DC Comics fan. I used to buy -all- the comics every week. I stopped buying in 1993 when Marvel and DC went hard Woke.
I used to read four or five SF/F books a week. I stopped around 2010 when all the publishers went hard Woke.
I used to go to the movies pretty much every week. Any adventure flick or SF I'd go to see. I stopped about 2005 when the movies went hard Woke. About the only things I've seen since were the Marvel Comics movies, not-coincidentally the ONLY franchise out there that didn't go hard Woke.
I used to watch TV. Series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer were my faves. But now there's really nothing like that on TV. (Don't give me all the recommendations, please. I know quite well what's out there, I just don't watch it.)

I don't read SF. I write instead. I don't watch Hollywood or TV at all. I watch Korean soaps, anime and Chinese kung fu movies/soaps. I'm a bit crusty about the whole thing, but I'm only an outlier of a general trend.

That's the reason why anime and manga are so popular in North America with kids, and why their conventions are so big. Those kids, like me, are tired of the Same Old Shit wrapped up in fresh newspaper and sold by the pound.

Yale illegally discriminates against... Whites and Asians

The US Department of Justice can see lightning and hear thunder, apparently.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department investigation has found Yale University is illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, officials said Thursday.

Yale denied the allegation, calling it "meritless" and "hasty."

The findings detailed in a letter to the college's attorneys Thursday mark the latest action by the Trump administration aimed at rooting out discrimination in the college application process, following complaints from students about the application process at some Ivy League colleges. The Justice Department had previously filed court papers siding with Asian American groups who had levied similar allegations against Harvard University.

The two-year investigation concluded that Yale "rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit," the Justice Department said. The investigation stemmed from a 2016 complaint against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.

 Gee, somebody finally admitted that reverse racism is still racist.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Farming now punishable by police.

Previously we saw how cosplay has become a life-threatening pursuit in Canada. You show up on the street, you gonna feel the heat.

Now farming is a life threatening pursuit.

Jeremia's sister, Maria Leussink, posted a long version of Jeremia's side of the story on a GoFundMe page to help pay for the legal fees he and brother Dominic now face after being charged with several criminal offences, including resisting arrest and failing to providing a breath sample. More than $35,000 has already been raised toward the brothers' legal fees.
They have hired hotshot criminal defence lawyer Tonii Roulston, who successfully defended Eddie Maurice — the Okotoks farmer and father of two young children who was criminally charged after firing a warning shot into the ground to scare away two thieves on his rural property in the middle of the night.

They dragged him out of the tractor and beat him, is what they did, then charged him with a bunch of bullshit to cover their sorry asses. And this is being supported by the local police department because this is what they train their people to do. Anyone who does not instantly obey their commands, no matter how conflicting or stupid, gets dragged out and beat. That's the standard.

Luckily there is plenty of video of the dragging, the beating and the rest of it, so the kid may actually have a chance in court.

But for every case like this where the video speaks for itself, there are 100 cases where we never hear about it. The kid gets dragged, beat and charged, convicted, and it doesn't make the news.

So, an important safety tip for Canadians, the hot setup when pulled over is to fall out of the car, lie in the road with your hands over your head, and hope for the best. And don't for fuck sakes call them yourself if there's a problem.

Friday, August 07, 2020

Self defense now illegal in Canada? Almost...

This is not Sparta. In Canada, you better let them take it.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal in the case of Peter Khill, a Hamilton-area homeowner who was acquitted after shooting and killing an Indigenous man in his driveway.
Khill's lawyers filed an application to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that overturned their client's not-guilty verdict in the death of Jon Styres based on self-defence and ordered a new trial.

So first of all, we have the Ontario Court of Appeal overturning a jury verdict. The point of having a jury is that the citizens decide what is murder and what is self defense. This man was found innocent of murder by a jury. That's supposed to be the end of it.

Dirty little secret about Canada for all you foreigners out there, if this truck thief who got killed had been a white guy, this verdict would have stood. But because he was an Indian truck thief, aka "an Indigenous man" per the CBC, a jury is not smart enough for this case. No, we need the super-powerful minds of Appeals Court judges on this job.

Michael Lacy and Jeff Manishen argued that the Appeal Court's decision "fundamentally" changed self-defence in Canada and leaves homeowners with little option but to call police and cower until they arrive.

Which is absolutely true. If you injure or kill a home invader, rapist, car thief, or so much as point a weapon at a guy who is trying to burn your fucking house down with a molotov coctail, you are screwed. The cops will arrest you, throw your ass in jail, confiscate all your property, and you will be very fortunate to regain your freedom after spending about half a million dollars on lawyers.

If your house and contents are worth less than a million bucks, it will be cheaper and more survivable for you to run away barefoot in your underwear and let them burn it. Some guy is stealing your truck? Let him take it.

Okay? I've been saying this for quite a while now as an assumption based on my observation of police behavior here in Canada, but now the Ontario Court of Appeal has made it official. You BETTER NOT defend yourself or your property, slaves.

Update: Welcome all you Small Dead Animals and flying monkeys from Kate's zoo.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Oh look, Hydroxychloroquine is working.

Another day, another study showing that the federal government is composed of liars willing to see you die if they can get even a tiny push out of it.

In late June, the group filed its motion for a preliminary injunction with court to compel release to the public of hydroxychloroquine by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), in AAPS v. HHS, No. 1:20-cv-00493-RJJ-SJB (W.D. Mich.).

As part of the filing with the court, AAPS also includes a chart showing how countries that encourage HCQ use, such as South Korea, India, Turkey, Russia, and Israel, have been far more successful in combatting COVID-19 than countries that have banned or discouraged early HCQ use, as the FDA has.

And how funny, the social media companies are run by... liars willing to see you die if they can get even a tiny push out of it.

Dr. Simone Gold, a board certified emergency physician who appeared in the hydroxychloroquine viral video, has now lost her job. She said she was fired from her job because of the media slander. Dr. Simone Gold, the founder of  the newly created group called America's Frontline Doctors, lost her job after her employer found out about the viral video where she promoted hydroxychloroquine.

The hydroxychloroquine viral video, which features members of America's Frontline Doctors at a press conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., was taken down on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The video got more than 14 million views on Facebook alone, according to CNN, which cited CrowdTangle data, has since been taken down from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter — including removing tweets that the president shared.

Yep. #OrangeManBad, so life saving medicine bad. You boys just keep right on with that shit, and we shall see where it gets you.