I Think I Had That Job

Seems an Air Farce employee got a little too happy with his job.

Pentagon Investigating ‘Critical Compromise’ of Air Force Communications Systems
A Tennessee-based engineer is being investigated by the Pentagon for a “critical compromise” of communications across 17 Air Force facilities. The unnamed engineer, who hasn’t been formally charged, is alleged to have taken home more than $90,000 worth of government radio technologies and gained “unauthorized administrator access” to the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command (AETC).
In this new case, it was a civilian engineer working out of Arnold Air Force Base who apparently took advantage of lax security to walk off with an incredible amount of equipment and was able to access secure communications — including those of the FBI and the entire Arnold AFB communications system.

Just looking at what he had access to, I’d guess that he had the same job I held at Holloman AFB back in the ’80s: “Base Land Mobile Radio Systems Manager,” usually abbreviated to “LMR Manager,” or just radio manager. Other than the computer network access (which the Air Farce didn’t really have back then), his access sounds a lot like what I had.

Not just hardware, frequencies and crypto stuff either. Physical access. I could — and did — casually walk into the base command post and the base commander’s office, among others. And that was for official business.

I got a medal out of it. Sounds this guy’s going to get a long vacation in Club Fed.

Room Temperature Superconductivity?

That’s a big deal, if it’s real. But…

The First Room-Temperature Ambient-Pressure Superconductor
For the first time in the world, we succeeded in synthesizing the room-temperature superconductor (Tc≥400 K, 127∘C) working at ambient pressure with a modified lead-apatite (LK-99) structure. The superconductivity of LK-99 is proved with the Critical temperature (Tc), Zero-resistivity, Critical current (Ic), Critical magnetic field (Hc), and the Meissner effect.

… I’m going to hold off cheering until I see this reproduced by someone else. Which should be easy, since the synthesis sounds remarkably simple; with common, cheap materials.

But there’s an oddity about the paper’s three authors. I did a search of arXive.org. Between the three of them, I can only find two papers by any of them. One is this one on the discovery of LK-99, and other is a paper of the Meissner Effect levitation of LK-99.

Nothing else. And web searches on their names turns up nothing that isn’t related to this alleged discovery. Not much of a digital footprint.

I see that other people are also sceptical.

TZP Column: Another ATF Battle Over Forced Reset Looming

Hoffman Tactical has an interesting new design for an AR-pattern firearm part. It’s the Super Safety Active Trigger System.

Basically, it’s a 3D-printed crossbolt safety, instead of the familiar rotating lever. I actually kinda like crossbolt safeties, and might be interested in trying this on an AR just to see if I could get used to it (after forty plus years of M-16s and AR-pattern semiautos).

But that’s not really the truly fascinating part of the Super Safety; it’s the “active trigger system” aspect.

[Read more]

Sanctions? Someone should be sitting in jail for contempt of court (pending fraud charges).

Crackhead Biden was scheduled to have a hearing today in which he would enters his plea in that remarkable arrangement that takes all felonies off the table.

To make things interesting, a third party Republican attorney made an amicus filing to enter IRS whistleblower testimony into the court record, for the judge’s consideration.

But then it seems, that attorney’s office called the court clerk’s office, not once but twice, asking the clerks to withdraw the filing because it included personally identifying information about Crackhead. Seems odd, eh? (And wouldn’t the judge need to see that personal data, to confirm it’s Biden the filing talks about.)

Damned right, it was odd. That concerned caller was not from the office of the amicus-filing attorney.

She was actually from Biden’s defense team. Well, of course they wouldn’t want the judge to see all that whistleblower info, and potentially deny Crackhunter’s cushy, two misdemeanors plea deal.

Biden’s lawyers, when caught, deny any wrong doing.

Hunter Biden’s legal team denied Tuesday night that they lied to court officials to get filings from a senior Republican lawmaker removed from the public docket, blaming the dispute on an “unintentional miscommunication” on the eve of their client’s plea hearing.


That is, naturally, bull shit. If the defense legitimately wanted someone else’s amicus filing withdrawn or sealed, they should have filed a formal motion with the court asking the judge to do that.

Turn that around a bit, and imagine the fallout if someone from Trump’s defense team, in the Mar-a-Lago docs case, called the court clerk and “accidentally” gave the clerk the impression that she was from the prosecution team and needed prosecution evidence pulled from the docket, to Trump’s benefit.

[Update 2] I Think I Was Scammed

I ordered some gluten online, for making bread.

But on the reverse…

Gluten-free gluten???

Added: To clarify, I don’t actually think this is magical gluten-free gluten. It’s dumbfuckery; virtue-signalling marketing. Look at me! I’m non-GMO and vegan! Aren’t I wonderful? And so the idiots just randomly slap the various labels on stuff to cater to dipsticks…

Like when the producers started to label veggies “cholesterol-free,” and meats “gluten-free;” when –short of some remarkable genetic engineering — they’d damned well better be anyway.

But if I’m not even supposed to trust this “gluten-free” claim, why should vegans trust their “vegan” labels? Are their products really non-GMO, or the latest Frankensteinian product from Monsanto? If the labels are meaningless virtue signalling, why spend the extra money?

Update: I emailed the company to ask just what in the hell gluten-free gluten is. I got a reply.

Thanks for your inquiry!

Please send us a picture of the front and back of the bag so we can confirm.

My answer to that was:


You can also look at your own pictures in your own Amazon listing. And it looks like most of the product reviews left on the listing question why this is labeled gluten-free.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure I know exactly how this happened, but I thought I’d give you a chance to admit what you’d done and apologize.

Folks have been noting this “error” in product reviews for at least two months. Yet somehow the company was unaware of it until I emailed them? They can’t take a look at one of their own bags to see it?

Update 2: And all is explained!

It looks like there is a typo on this batch of bags


“Gletun” would be a typo. Ditto “glutem.”

At best “Batch Tested and Verified Gluten Free” is a copy/paste screw up. But I still thinks it semi-deliberate virtue signal marketing by someone with no clue.

Thanks for your generous discount offer, Anthony’s, but without knowing what other “typos” might be on your products, I’ll pass on repeat business.

The Loss Of Knowledge

I’m in an email group, and someone sent out a link about a company that tried to bring back Craftsman tool manufacturing to the States. It failed. TL;DR: they had to buy their equipment from overseas, and get new parts and tech support from overseas. No one left in the US that could do it.

That brought out other stories about the loss of knowledge in manufacturing. Apparently there are only a handful of people in the US who really know how to repair toilet paper manufacturing gear.

But it’s not just manufacturing. In my latter days in telecom, I — officially — worked broadband support; DSL and fiber Internet. But one day, the supervisor from another group came to me in a tizzy, wanting to know if I knew Frame Relay.

I doubt that it’s used much anymore, but back in the day, FR was much beloved by customers who didn’t want to shell out the bigger bucks for dedicated T1 or T3 service. The company still had quite a few legacy FR customers, and one was out of service. And no one in that other group knew how to troubleshoot FR anymore. Apparently some manager remembered seeing the words “Frame Relay” on my resume.

The supervisor gave me the circuit number, and I pulled it up. LMI Down. “Problem’s at customer prem. His equipment is down.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Cuz that’s what LMI Down means.” (Basically, it’s our FR switch saying, ‘I’m fine, but the customer’s equipment stopped talking to me.’)

“But how can you be sure?!”

-sigh- So I looped the smartjack, ran a clean BER test, dropped the loop, and LMI Down again. “We’re good. It’s the customer.” Then I had to explain why the test I ran proved that. In small words. To the allegedly experienced technical supervisor for a multi-state telecom company.

After that, I seemed to get every Frame Relay trouble ticket, and every time it was LMI down.

Another company: I had recently started in the Indy office. One day, the shit hit the fan when a phone customer called 911. And the call was answered in… Evansville, I think. The office was new, and someone had screwed up the switch routing tables, and previous tech I replaced had never tested it.

Imagine you’re having a heart attack and you’re trying to get an ambulance from the wrong end of the state because a tech didn’t know how to do his job.

That lack of knowledge can bite you in the ass at lower levels than your technicians. If janitors don’t know what they’re doing….

At yet another telecom company, a customer’s circuit (also Frame Relay, by coincidence) started going dead Friday nights at about the same time. After a few weeks of that, the customer finally admitted that 1) their FR equipment was powered from a switched electrical receptacle on the same circuit as the room lights, and 2) their janitor was turning off the lights (and their gear) when he was done cleaning. After that, their circuit only went dead about every other Friday night, as the janitor was told not to turn the lights out, but didn’t always remember.

That customer was a nationwide trucking company. The Frame Relay circuit was how they coordinated loads between facilities for movement across the country. If you recall the shipping fiascoes during peak “pandemic,” you can guess what havoc the janitor was causing. Didn’t get your live saving meds on time?

Same company: Youngish engineer knocked out an entire SONET ring. He was doing potentially service affecting work, and shorted out a DC bus. When asked why he was doing that in the middle of the day, He replied, “The manual said it wouldn’t be service affecting.” But it was, because he didn’t know how to do the work correctly, or know enough to take in account the possibility of an error. That one affected a lot of businesses, including hospitals. Way to go, Sparky.

Then there was the high school that had an OC-12 SONET system. I started dropping Monday mornings, and coming back up about 15 minutes later. Turned out the janitor, for lack of a more convenient outlet, was stupidly unplugging the OC-12, so he could plug in his floor buffer. (I’ve heard a hopefully-apocryphal story of a hospital janitor doing the same thing with patient equipment; specifically a ventilator keeping the person alive.)

I’ve got more stories about ignorance causing problems; from the manager killing an FAA T3 connecting Air Traffic Control centers for coordinating flights, to a hospital IT manager who — I kid you not — didn’t know that his electrically operated computer terminal needed electricity to operate (and wanted the phone company to tell him when the electricity would come back on).

We’re running out of people who still know how to keep our technological systems running, when everything doesn’t work as planned. And it’s going to be killing people.

Yeah, Try That

You may have heard about Jason Aldean’s new country song, “Try That In A Small Town.”

Well, try that in a small town
See how far ya make it down the road
Around here, we take care of our own
You cross that line, it won’t take long
For you to find out, I recommend you don’t
Try that in a small town

When I heard the song title, before I heard the song itself, or read the lyrics, I immediately thought of my own little small town’s almost-brush with BLM. Yep, some idiot came down here and announced he was going to hold a Black Lives Matter protest. I said then…

This will be either the politest, calmest, most peaceful BLM protest ever, or the shortest.

Said protest organizer had a meet with the police chief. He came out of the meeting and declared that plans changed; they do one speech, and then a short silent march. They chose wisely. Between the gators, pigs, coyotes, and other critters, their remains would never have been found, if they’d tried that big city violent shit here.

I’m Sure Anti-Government Bad Guys Find This Heartening

Security at the White is so freaking bad that the Secret Service can’t figure out who leaves packages inside at the door. Or even when.

Secret Service Unable To Find White House Cocaine Suspect
The Secret Service concluded its investigation into the cocaine found at the White House and agents were unable to find a suspect, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
The agents were also not able to identify what day the illicit substance was left in a West Wing cubby near the Situation room, CNN reported, and the leading theory is that the cocaine was left by a visitor.

The “leading theory” held by those who value job security over White House security, anyway.