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Topics - heganboy

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General discussion / Assange & wikileaks
« on: April 11, 2019, 02:22:23 PM »
With the arrest this morning all of the hysterical right vs left hysteria will dominate the news.

In the US there is an ongoing debate as to whether the publication of the Revelations of the US spying on emails and electronic communications was public interest or treason. Very strong opinions on both sides.

Speculation ongoing as to whether Assange extradition is to silence him or to flip him regarding the 2016 presidential election.

General discussion / The official Premier League 2018/19 Thread
« on: July 03, 2018, 12:03:54 AM »

Step right up folks, place your bets now! Smarting from last year?
Bit of swagger?

As the teams come back to training with the world cup players out, here's how Get Powers little brother Pat sees the action playing out with the big 6 still a way ahead of the rest...
Man City 8/13
Liverpool 9/2
Man Utd 6/1
Chelsea 11/1
Tottenham 11/1
Arsenal 20/1

Everton next at 100/1

And how it should set your world view.

Thread should not contain facts.

Thread should not contain logic.

Alternatives will not be tolerated.

Hell, or at the very best Purgatory awaits.

The old white man with the beard in the sky is watching you...

General discussion / Premier League 2017/18
« on: July 19, 2017, 04:00:44 PM »
Step right up folks, place your bets now!
Who is feeling cocky, and who is afraid?

the top 6 are really pulling away from the rest according to the bookies- See below the pricing from Ger Power's big brother Pat.

Man City 15/8 
Man Utd 10/3 
Chelsea 7/2 
Tottenham 9/1 
Liverpool 11/1 
Arsenal 11/1 
Everton 70/1
Leicester 250/1
Southampton 250/1
Stoke 500/1
Newcastle 500/1
Crystal Palace 500/1
West Ham 500/1
West Brom 750/1
Brighton 750/1
Bournemouth 750/1
Swansea 750/1
Burnley 1000/1
Watford 1000/1
Huddersfield 2500/1

General discussion / next Taoiseach?
« on: February 21, 2017, 07:15:28 PM »
not much chat about this one, seems to be end of march that either Leo Varadkar or Simon Coveneny with Leo the slight favorite.
Any thoughts on that? And do we see another election coming?

General discussion / Best Concert ever
« on: September 14, 2016, 06:42:37 AM »
I'm looking for big hits:  the best gigs (who and where)
and the big misses: and the acts you with you'd got to but never did.

Miss for me was Queen, by all accounts spectacular.
Also never got to see his royal grumpiness Van Morrison

Big Hits:
Luka Bloom Mandela Hall QUB 93 maybe
Simple Minds in the RDS August '89 (texas opened remember Charleen Spiteri?)
U2 that concert in Botanic Gardens- more the occasion than the performance
the 4 of Us in small session in Belfast at the Black Box about 5/6 years ago
Bruce Springsteen Giant stadium NJ '09
Coldplay giant stadium 06 (no hating, Richard Ashcroft opened)
The Verve- Slane
Christy at the Point March 17th '94
Oasis in Cork '96

notable mentions which were great at the time, but have somewhat diminished with age

bryan adams at dundonald ice bowl '91
Bon Jovi in the Ulster hall maybe '90

2 useless facts for you - the ulster hall was where led zeppelin played stairway to heaven for the first time, and Handel's messiah was first played in fishamble in Dublin

by the way the worst thing I ever paid money for was to watch the wolfe tones in an Irish bar in New jersey. An embarrassment for all concerned

There was a thread for 1st real concert which was great - here

General discussion / Panama Papers
« on: April 04, 2016, 07:31:50 PM »
how the rich get richer: the shadowy world of tax havens.

The rich and famous, the 0.001percenters. All mentioned, all legally documented, signatures everywhere...

From Putin to Messi, from UK Conservative party donors to South American generals. Damning evidence.

They haven't even come close to trawling through most of it, and apparently the leaker says "there's more to come"

General discussion / the new west brits
« on: March 04, 2016, 09:57:46 PM »
It appears as i the possibility of a Brexit has a lot of UK residents applying for their Irish passports to remain as EU citizens just in case. 6 million are eligible...


Last weekend, shortly before he sat down to watch Ireland play England in the rugby Six Nations championship, Kevin Warnes posted the application form to renew his Irish passport. Though Warnes was born and has always lived in England and considers himself “completely English”, his mother is originally from Ireland, which allowed him to obtain dual citizenship as a young man in the 1980s when he was doing a lot of travelling in Europe.

A teacher from Shipley in West Yorkshire, he had allowed his Irish passport to lapse. But the prospect of Britain potentially voting to leave the EU in June “propelled me into action”, he says.

“I have two children and I want them to retain their EU citizenship. I want them to be able to travel, live and work freely in a Europe of open borders, to explore their near world with as much liberty as possible.” As soon as he gets his own passport back, Warnes will apply for Irish citizenship for his teenage daughters as well. “I certainly wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for Brexit.”

Figures obtained by the Guardian suggest he is far from alone. According to Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, the number of British-born people applying for Irish passports on the basis of their ancestry has risen sharply in the past year, just as the debate over the UK’s potential withdrawal from the EU has intensified before June’s referendum.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of adults born in England, Scotland or Wales applying for their first Irish passport on the basis of having an Irish-born grandparent increased by more than 33%, from 379 to 507. Applications from those with one or more Irish parent rose by 11% in the same period, from 3,376 to 3,736. In the previous year, the total applying in both categories fell slightly.

Ireland offers automatic citizenship to anyone with an Irish parent, regardless of where they were born, while the grandchildren of citizens are also entitled to claim a passport once their births have been recorded in the country’s foreign births register. Great-grandchildren may also be eligible if their parents had registered by the time of their birth. It has been estimated that as many as six million Britons can claim an Irish-born grandparent.

Northern Ireland is a special case, with anyone born north of the border having the same rights to claim Irish citizenship as elsewhere in the island. There, too, first-time adult applications for Irish passports rose by 14% from 10,672 to 12,159 between 2014 and 2015. Both Britain and Ireland allow citizens to hold dual citizenship.

An Irish government spokeswoman said applicants were not asked their reasons for applying for a passport and so the rise could not be attributed to a single cause.

But anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of a British leave vote has been a decisive factor for many. Ireland is one of the most pro-European countries in the EU and would be highly unlikely to vote to leave, despite harsh austerity conditions imposed by Brussels as part of a multibillion-euro bailout in 2010.

Siobhan Mooney from London has never even been to Ireland but told the Guardian she decided to apply for citizenship through her Irish-born grandfather because she was getting “quite panicky” at the prospect of a British withdrawal. “I thought, well, if I get my Irish passport then at least if the UK is kicked out I’ve got some legal protection if I want to go and enjoy free movement in Europe.” She said she knew at least two other people who were considering doing the same thing.

Analysis Ireland gets nervous at prospect of 'Brexit' as election nears
Rarely has a UK election been of greater interest to Ireland: a Tory win could be catastrophic for the Irish economy if it triggered Britain’s exit from the EU
 Read more
Glen O’Hara, a professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University, said he hadn’t absolutely decided to claim citizenship through his Northern Irish-born grandfather “but it’s nice to know that there’s a fallback position in case Britons really do prove willing to give up their rights as European Union citizens”.

He said he was less concerned with the practicalities of free moment after a potential Brexit – “I should think we’ll join the EEA [European Economic Area] and there’ll be few if any more border controls anyway” – but with the principle of “maintaining my European-ness”.

“I am a European Union citizen as things stand, I regard myself as a European and I don’t see why anyone else has the right to drag me out of that. So I’m thinking of taking a relatively painless joint citizenship route to ensure that I can keep my EU identity and rights, whatever other UK citizens decide.”

General discussion / The house of Lords- well played m'luds and m'ladies
« on: October 27, 2015, 01:19:38 AM »
I find myself in the rather unusual position today in supporting the actions of the house of Lords, there's a phrase I didn't expect to type...
The House of Lords has been in place in one form or another for about 750 years. Mr Cameron has decided he would like to change their remit, because quite frankly up until now they had more or less behaved as the rich people of England, and then the UK had hoped. However it turns out that the dismantling of the tax credit system in the UK will have such an enormously detrimental effect on the poorest inhabitants of the Union, the the wise old rich folks of the House of Lords actually said- and I'm paraphrasing here "you know what Osborne this is the last straw- this is a f**king disgrace- you can't put that in place until you have at least put a compensation scheme in place for the lowest paid"

How bad does the Conservative party in the UK's budget have to be for the House of Lords to step in and say Nope?

Fair play to you (mostly) Lads and Lasses.

General discussion / Arlene Foster going to be the new First Minister?
« on: September 23, 2015, 02:22:16 PM »

Bryson makes his claims today to the Inquiry that Robinson was paid on the Nama deal to an Isle of Man account.

If that is proved to be correct, Robinson would not be in a position to continue as FM, and would likely face legal proceedings. Also the one and only Arlene Foster would likely be the new FM...

General discussion / SAS and IRA
« on: March 04, 2015, 02:29:23 PM »

General discussion / yanks visiting Ireland- ideas please
« on: February 26, 2015, 02:43:50 PM »
Dearest GAAboarders, I need help!

I have a crew of 8 25-35 year olds from the US trying to put together a good itinerary for an Ireland trip for a 1 week visit. They would be flying from New York into Dublin and probably September/October. They'd be fond of a pint and up for a bit of craic. Some of the usual touristy stuff, but also anything a bit less obvious would be great.

Any advice and suggestions welcome.


General discussion / the official soccer transfer rumour thread
« on: January 08, 2015, 03:53:59 PM »
Its that time of year again and the silly season has kicked off.
Websites printing money by posting any auld nonsense in order to drive clicks and page impressions.

The Messi to Chelsea story for 200M and 500k a week seems to be gaining a lot of traction- how the fair play rules work for that God only knows.

Inter have picked up the Liverpool target Shaqiri. Any other good stuff out there?

General discussion / just when you thought you were safe
« on: January 16, 2014, 05:23:13 AM »

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.

While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.

The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.

The radio frequency technology has helped solve one of the biggest problems facing American intelligence agencies for years: getting into computers that adversaries, and some American partners, have tried to make impervious to spying or cyberattack. In most cases, the radio frequency hardware must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user.

The N.S.A. calls its efforts more an act of “active defense” against foreign cyberattacks than a tool to go on the offensive. But when Chinese attackers place similar software on the computer systems of American companies or government agencies, American officials have protested, often at the presidential level.

Among the most frequent targets of the N.S.A. and its Pentagon partner, United States Cyber Command, have been units of the Chinese Army, which the United States has accused of launching regular digital probes and attacks on American industrial and military targets, usually to steal secrets or intellectual property. But the program, code-named Quantum, has also been successful in inserting software into Russian military networks and systems used by the Mexican police and drug cartels, trade institutions inside the European Union, and sometime partners against terrorism like Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan, according to officials and an N.S.A. map that indicates sites of what the agency calls “computer network exploitation.”

“What’s new here is the scale and the sophistication of the intelligence agency’s ability to get into computers and networks to which no one has ever had access before,” said James Andrew Lewis, the cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “Some of these capabilities have been around for a while, but the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the U.S. a window it’s never had before.”

How the N.S.A. Uses Radio Frequencies to Penetrate Computers
The N.S.A. and the Pentagon’s Cyber Command have implanted nearly 100,000 “computer network exploits” around the world, but the hardest problem is getting inside machines isolated from outside communications.

Transmission distance of up to eight miles

1. Tiny transceivers are built into USB plugs and inserted into target computers. Small circuit boards may be placed in the computers themselves.
2. The transceivers communicate with a briefcase- size N.S.A. field station, or hidden relay station, up to eight miles away.
3. The field station communicates back to the N.S.A.’s Remote Operations Center.
4. It can also transmit malware, including the kind used in attacks against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
No Domestic Use Seen

There is no evidence that the N.S.A. has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States. While refusing to comment on the scope of the Quantum program, the N.S.A. said its actions were not comparable to China’s.

“N.S.A.'s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”

Over the past two months, parts of the program have been disclosed in documents from the trove leaked by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. A Dutch newspaper published the map of areas where the United States has inserted spy software, sometimes in cooperation with local authorities, often covertly. Der Spiegel, a German newsmagazine, published the N.S.A.'s catalog of hardware products that can secretly transmit and receive digital signals from computers, a program called ANT. The New York Times withheld some of those details, at the request of American intelligence officials, when it reported, in the summer of 2012, on American cyberattacks on Iran.

President Obama is scheduled to announce on Friday what recommendations he is accepting from an advisory panel on changing N.S.A. practices. The panel agreed with Silicon Valley executives that some of the techniques developed by the agency to find flaws in computer systems undermine global confidence in a range of American-made information products like laptop computers and cloud services.

Embracing Silicon Valley’s critique of the N.S.A., the panel has recommended banning, except in extreme cases, the N.S.A. practice of exploiting flaws in common software to aid in American surveillance and cyberattacks. It also called for an end to government efforts to weaken publicly available encryption systems, and said the government should never develop secret ways into computer systems to exploit them, which sometimes include software implants.

Richard A. Clarke, an official in the Clinton and Bush administrations who served as one of the five members of the advisory panel, explained the group’s reasoning in an email last week, saying that “it is more important that we defend ourselves than that we attack others.”

“Holes in encryption software would be more of a risk to us than a benefit,” he said, adding: “If we can find the vulnerability, so can others. It’s more important that we protect our power grid than that we get into China’s.”

From the earliest days of the Internet, the N.S.A. had little trouble monitoring traffic because a vast majority of messages and searches were moved through servers on American soil. As the Internet expanded, so did the N.S.A.'s efforts to understand its geography. A program named Treasure Map tried to identify nearly every node and corner of the web, so that any computer or mobile device that touched it could be located.

A 2008 map, part of the Snowden trove, notes 20 programs to gain access to big fiber-optic cables — it calls them “covert, clandestine or cooperative large accesses” — not only in the United States but also in places like Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Middle East. The same map indicates that the United States had already conducted “more than 50,000 worldwide implants,” and a more recent budget document said that by the end of last year that figure would rise to about 85,000. A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the actual figure was most likely closer to 100,000.

That map suggests how the United States was able to speed ahead with implanting malicious software on the computers around the world that it most wanted to monitor — or disable before they could be used to launch a cyberattack.

A Focus on Defense

In interviews, officials and experts said that a vast majority of such implants are intended only for surveillance and serve as an early warning system for cyberattacks directed at the United States.

“How do you ensure that Cyber Command people” are able to look at “those that are attacking us?” a senior official, who compared it to submarine warfare, asked in an interview several months ago.

“That is what the submarines do all the time,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe policy. “They track the adversary submarines.” In cyberspace, he said, the United States tries “to silently track the adversaries while they’re trying to silently track you.”

If tracking subs was a Cold War cat-and-mouse game with the Soviets, tracking malware is a pursuit played most aggressively with the Chinese.

The United States has targeted Unit 61398, the Shanghai-based Chinese Army unit believed to be responsible for many of the biggest cyberattacks on the United States, in an effort to see attacks being prepared. With Australia’s help, one N.S.A. document suggests, the United States has also focused on another specific Chinese Army unit.

Documents obtained by Mr. Snowden indicate that the United States has set up two data centers in China — perhaps through front companies — from which it can insert malware into computers. When the Chinese place surveillance software on American computer systems — and they have, on systems like those at the Pentagon and at The Times — the United States usually regards it as a potentially hostile act, a possible prelude to an attack. Mr. Obama laid out America’s complaints about those practices to President Xi Jinping of China in a long session at a summit meeting in California last June.

At that session, Mr. Obama tried to differentiate between conducting surveillance for national security — which the United States argues is legitimate — and conducting it to steal intellectual property.

“The argument is not working,” said Peter W. Singer of the Brookings Institution, a co-author of a new book called “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar.” “To the Chinese, gaining economic advantage is part of national security. And the Snowden revelations have taken a lot of the pressure off” the Chinese. Still, the United States has banned the sale of computer servers from a major Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, for fear that they could contain technology to penetrate American networks.

An Old Technology

The N.S.A.'s efforts to reach computers unconnected to a network have relied on a century-old technology updated for modern times: radio transmissions.

In a catalog produced by the agency that was part of the Snowden documents released in Europe, there are page after page of devices using technology that would have brought a smile to Q, James Bond’s technology supplier.

One, called Cottonmouth I, looks like a normal USB plug but has a tiny transceiver buried in it. According to the catalog, it transmits information swept from the computer “through a covert channel” that allows “data infiltration and exfiltration.” Another variant of the technology involves tiny circuit boards that can be inserted in a laptop computer — either in the field or when they are shipped from manufacturers — so that the computer is broadcasting to the N.S.A. even while the computer’s user enjoys the false confidence that being walled off from the Internet constitutes real protection.

The relay station it communicates with, called Nightstand, fits in an oversize briefcase, and the system can attack a computer “from as far away as eight miles under ideal environmental conditions.” It can also insert packets of data in milliseconds, meaning that a false message or piece of programming can outrace a real one to a target computer. Similar stations create a link between the target computers and the N.S.A., even if the machines are isolated from the Internet.

Computers are not the only targets. Dropoutjeep attacks iPhones. Other hardware and software are designed to infect large network servers, including those made by the Chinese.

Most of those code names and products are now at least five years old, and they have been updated, some experts say, to make the United States less dependent on physically getting hardware into adversaries’ computer systems.

The N.S.A. refused to talk about the documents that contained these descriptions, even after they were published in Europe.

“Continuous and selective publication of specific techniques and tools used by N.S.A. to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the security of the United States and our allies,” Ms. Vines, the N.S.A. spokeswoman, said.

But the Iranians and others discovered some of those techniques years ago. The hardware in the N.S.A.'s catalog was crucial in the cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities, code-named Olympic Games, that began around 2008 and proceeded through the summer of 2010, when a technical error revealed the attack software, later called Stuxnet. That was the first major test of the technology.

One feature of the Stuxnet attack was that the technology the United States slipped into Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz was able to map how it operated, then “phone home” the details. Later, that equipment was used to insert malware that blew up nearly 1,000 centrifuges, and temporarily set back Iran’s program.

But the Stuxnet strike does not appear to be the last time the technology was used in Iran. In 2012, a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps moved a rock near the country’s underground Fordo nuclear enrichment plant. The rock exploded and spewed broken circuit boards that the Iranian news media described as “the remains of a device capable of intercepting data from computers at the plant.” The origins of that device have never been determined.

On Sunday, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency, Iran’s Oil Ministry issued another warning about possible cyberattacks, describing a series of defenses it was erecting — and making no mention of what are suspected of being its own attacks on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil producer.

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