May 29, 2023

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Short Takes – 3-31-23

Do You Really Need Remote Access? blog
. Pull quote: “This is why, if you must use remote access, you have to
convey strict policies and technical measures to ensure that there is some
coordination. If there are operators on duty, you must call them and discuss
what you’re going to do before and after you access the system. If anything doesn’t
go as expected, STOP and then call them to coordinate. The operator on duty is
responsible for everything that happens. Did you let the operator know that
you’re there? Did you discuss what you were going to do and ensure that nothing
you were going to do would cause excessive problems if it doesn’t go according
to plan? Probably not.”

Contracts Identify Cyber Operations Projects from Russian
Company NTC Vulkan
. article.
Interesting, but limited, behind the scenes look at Russian state level hacking
enterprise. Pull quote: “NTC Vulkan is a Russian IT contractor based in Moscow,
which publicly advertises working on contracts with large companies and
government agencies within Russia. The company’s website cites compliance with
Russian government standards but does not publicly state working with Russian
state contractors, such as research institutes or Russian intelligence
services. Based on our analysis of the leaked documentation, NTC Vulkan has
held contracts with Russian intelligence services on projects to enable cyber
and IO operations, potentially in tandem with cyber operations against OT

Egad! 7 key British PCs of the 1980s Americans might have
. article.
I owned one of the Timex Sinclair machines. Pull quote: “In 1982, after a brief
stint under its original name in the ‘States, the ZX81 re-emerged in the US as
the Timex-Sinclair 1000, which the company marketed as “the first personal
computer under $100.””

20-Years of S&T.
. Pull quote: “The White House appoints Dr. Penrose (Parney)
C. Albright to help develop the founding legislation for the Department and
establish the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Dr. Albright and a
cadre of scientists set up shop at the Transition Planning Office for the
Department of Homeland Security at 8th & G Streets in Washington, DC, to
stand up S&T with support from the Office of Management & Budget.”

‘Hurry Up and Get It Done’: Norfolk Southern Set Railcar
Safety Checks at One Minute
. article.
An unusually pro-labor slant. Pull quote: “Whether PSR [precision-scheduled
railroading] was a factor in the Ohio derailment hasn’t been determined.
Current and former employees say that the changes haven’t improved safety and
in some cases have been harmful. Broadly, industry executives and employees are
divided on whether PSR contributes to accidents.”

Antarctic ocean currents heading for collapse – report. article.
Pull quote: “”The other larger implication that it could have is a
feedback on how much of Antarctica melts in the future. It opens a pathway for
warmer waters which could cause increased melt, which would be a further
feedback, putting more meltwater into the ocean and slowing down circulation
even more,” she [Dr Adele Morrison] added.”

A president has faced arrest before Trump — for carriage
speeding, 150 years ago
. article.
Pull quote: “Grant was released on a $20 bond, which equates to just under $500
in 2023. He didn’t contest the fine or arrest and expressed respect for West’s
decision to arrest him. The Memorial Fund reported that former MPD Chief Cathy
Lanier said Grant had been issued three citations for speeding in his carriage
during his time as president.”

Republicans want to cut $1 trillion in spending — and
instead of introducing 1 bill, they’ve introduced 500 to do just that
. article. Should read “Republican extremists….” Pull quote:
“The bill names included in the drop encompass everything from limiting funding
for wildland fire management to the Kennedy Center. One bill says it would put
a “limitation on availability of funds for Independent Agencies, Office of
Government Ethics,” while another similarly limits funds for
“Allowances and Office Staff for Former Presidents.” Similarly, yet
another bill seems poised to limit funds for the “Supreme Court, Salaries
and Expenses.” Still no text on any of the bills.