Tuesday, May 11, 2021

About the ongoing Colonial Pipeline Shutdown

If you want to understand what the Government is doing about it, here's Beau on the subject  with a good explainer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTCx4t2EA8Q

If you want to know what the deal is with the control and information technology, here is an informative thread on Hacker News


Krystal and Saagar give a fairly balanced "news" view of things


They unfortunately call for Government intervention in terms of "crackdown", which would, in my opinion, just make this type of thing happen MORE often, as companies will be more strongly incentivized to HIDE incidents, and simply pay the ransom and hope for the best.  Years of construction and careful management can be undone in minutes if a malicious program opens and closes the valves in the right manner, as millions of pounds of fluid in motion can hammer its way out of anything if the valves aren't sequenced right, leading to years of repair, and environmental disaster.

The NSA (National Security Agency) is SUPPOSED to help secure our nation, but they seem to be far more interested in spying on everyone instead, and work to keep our systems vulnerable to support that covert goal.

There are devices that can prevent this from happening again, called data diodes, that allow information to flow between networks in ONLY one direction. All the SCADA systems which do the controlling of the pipeline have to be on their own network, and the only connection to the outside world should be through data diodes so that nothing outside can influence them.

Eventually the money will be spent, but until them, our nation, and in fact ALL of humanity is vulnerable.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

An Open Letter to Nebula aka WatchNebula

Dear Nebula

 I don't have a smart device, I watch your service via Chrome browser on Windows 10, this is unlikely to ever change.

Your service has lots of interesting content, but it completely SUCKS and I don't watch it because it's almost impossible to discover good content in any reliable way.

You NEED a new version of the interface for the web, there are far too many user interactions missing.

  • No subscriptions, so I can't reliably discover someone I like and keep up with all their new content
  • No comments, so feedback is squashed
  • No way to share videos I like, and build a social network around them (and help advertise your site)
  • No ratings, nor watch counts, so there's no reliable way to get any hint of how good something is other than the title or thumbnail, which I've been trained to ignore.
  • No externally usable URL of any kind, as far as I can see
  • No published date, extended description, etc.

I'd love to see your service take off, but your rush to become a TV service is removing all the ways to add value to otherwise random video streams that made social media and youtube so darned useful.

Please at least make some sort of API available for your authorized users so we can build our own far better interface.  I don't want to see your service die.

Mike Warot
May 4, 2021