Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's Called a Two-Fer

"The ability of the Stuxnet cyberattack to physically impact equipment has made cybersecurity significantly more important for U.S. domestic security strategy..."

"Until now, the primary worry of the U.S. government's counterterrorism groups has been stated by CBRN, which listed threats in order of likelihood: chemical, bacteriological, radiological, and nuclear. [...] Since Stuxnet, terrorism concerns have morphed into "KBC: kinetic, bacteriological and cyber," said Cofer Black, vice president for global operations for threat analysis firm Blackbird Technologies, and a 30-year veteran of the CIA's counterterrorism efforts.

First, one (almost certainly American) alphabet agency uses Stuxnet to break Iranian centrifuges.

Now, the existence of Stuxnet allows other alphabet agencies to sound the alarm saying cyberweapons are real and can be used to break American things.

Someone is certainly getting their money's worth.

In related news:

Dateline Beijing ~1044 CE - Today Zeng Gongliang and Yang Weide presented their paper,
Wujing Zongyao - Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques, to the Chinese Emperor Renzong.  At a press conference following their audience with His Excellency the authors spoke briefly.

Gongliang said, "The invention of gunpowder will allow the Chinese people to destroy our  enemies with greater ease and efficiency.  Of course, the invention of gunpowder will allow our enemies to attack the Chinese people with greater ease and efficiency as well.  We recommend that measures be taken to protect the Chinese people from this new gunpowder threat."

Weide added, "Not since the creation of the first stone hand axe on the continent of Africa more than 1 million years ago has a weapon offered so many advantages to friend and foe alike.  This glorious achievement is also a deeply troubling development.  May you live in interesting times." 

You Have My Complete Attention

NASA Announces News Briefing on Mars Orbiter Science Finding 08.03.11...

The Press Release:

WASHINGTON - NASA will host a news briefing on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) about a significant new Mars science finding. The briefing will be held at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The new finding is based on observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since 2006. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The briefing panelists are:

- Philip Christensen, geophysicist, Arizona State University
- Colin Dundas, research geologist, U.S. Geological Survey
- Alfred McEwen, planetary geologist, University of Arizona
- Michael Meyer, Mars Exploration Program lead scientist, NASA
- Lisa Pratt, biogeochemist, Indiana University

The news briefing will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:  The event will also be carried live, with a live chat box available, at

My Commentary:

This announcement is being made at NASA instead of the Whitehouse.  Good.

President Obama will not be making the announcement.  Good (or bad, if you're a SETI fan).

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not making the announcement.  Very good.

There is no flurry of urgent activity at Cape Canaveral, Air Force bases, Navy submarine yards, or nuclear missile silos.  Really good!

There are going to be a bunch of government scientists there.  That's not necessarily bad, unless one of them is that misguided scientist who is intent on ruining things for the human race.

In a little over an hour we'll know...

An Update:

Streams of muddy salt water.  Not streams of muddy salt water inundating an abandoned space port.  Not tharks body-surfing on streams of muddy salt water.  Just streams of muddy salt water, flowing down a hill.  Then they dried up.