Fasten seat belts

Dear Reader,

By now you know, the headline means we are going through an update. In this case it is the server. There is another nasty security hole in need of closing. If things go well, we will be back in five.

Bear with us,

Engine Room

Update: And we’re back. I love linux!

Not so small talk

Dear Reader,

One of the main ideas of diablog is to provide you with “stuff” for water cooler talk. Sometimes we get side tracked, or more accurately, I take you off that track. One of the reasons, I suck at small talk.

The weather? It is what it is, and all scientists cannot predict what it will be tomorrow. See the recent “Blizzard Juno”, what a joke that prediction was. It is winter, we got some snow, what a surprise!

Sports? I could not care less. Who is playing the Superbowl this Sunday? I have no clue. This Sunday I will be at some party/event, not watching the game. Instead I will indulge in food and drinks and conversations.

If you are like me, when it comes to small talk, the All Souls College at Oxford University provides some help. Their entrance exam has a few questions, which make for an interesting (party) conversation, or if you want to get to know somebody. Here are a few examples from the archive.

From 2013:

Continue reading “Not so small talk”

my wife doesn’t understand me Part2…

Dear diablog,

I know, I know – this is not quite the response to the original that you were expecting, but then what is?

I felt, however, that a quick shot of humour after Engine Room’s latest rant was in order and, even though the original post title has changed slightly, this may help any girl/boy nascent relationships out there in diablogland.

There is a hysterical (in all senses) follow up to the original which I shall post in the future – but this is a good warm up!



She’s a real cutie – and congrats on the slick production.

Yours, diablog, still looking for clues


Surveillance as crime prevention is like homeopathy when seriously ill

Dear Reader,

Before I return to the good things in life, let me quickly tear apart Glynsky’s comments here. The man wrote:

Lets drop the whole idea of prevention – medical, crime, terrorism etc. Grand. Your favourite (as with Pete) is also, who needs soldiers.
Right, so I don’t try to stop anything. When inevitable shit happens, I have no one to investigate it, chase them or try them. Fine.
Don’t try to prevent crime – OK, will immediately take all the locks off everything and invite anyone passing to help themselves.
The only balls to be taken off are yours – reason has obviously already been lobotomised.
‘Communist states’ – this tripe leaves room for a million more comments/articles/views and this is probably not the place.

Clearly, I have nothing against medical prevention, or any other, if it works. Hear that Glynsky? IF IT WORKS!

So, how well does terrorist prevention work? Not at all. Here is a nice post by Bruce Schneier (quote):

Remember back in 2013 when the then-director of the NSA Keith Alexander claimed that Section 215 bulk telephone metadata surveillance stopped “fifty-four different terrorist-related activities”?

Remember when that number was backtracked several times, until all that was left was a single Somali taxi driver who was convicted of sending some money back home? This is the story of Basaaly Moalin.

And The New Yorker, linked above, starts with (quote, emphasis mine):

Almost every major terrorist attack on Western soil in the past fifteen years has been committed by people who were already known to law enforcement.

One of the gunmen in the attack on Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, had been sent to prison for recruiting jihadist fighters. The other had reportedly studied in Yemen with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, who was arrested and interrogated by the F.B.I. in 2009.

The leader of the 7/7 London suicide bombings, in 2005, had been observed by British intelligence meeting with a suspected terrorist, though MI5 later said that the bombers were “not on our radar.”

The men who planned the Mumbai attacks, in 2008, were under electronic surveillance by the United States, the United Kingdom, and India, and one had been an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

One of the brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon was the subject of an F.B.I. threat assessment and a warning from Russian intelligence.

The so-called terrorists, including the ones from 9/11, had been under surveillance, on no-fly lists and what not. And that did not prevent anything. Zip, nada, nothing. For the simple minded, let me spell it out:

Surveillance does not prevent crime or terrorism!

It is PROVEN to NOT work. Got it, Glynsky?

Surveillance as crime or terrorism prevention is as helpful as homeopathic treatments. They might make you feel better. But they do not have any impact. Except in your wallet, which will be empty.

Stay healthy and sane,

Engine Room

love for sale…

Dear diablog,

I have no idea (nor do I care) what the rest of the world may think of me – but some bonkers Italian obviously thinks I am totally deluded!

A couple of days ago I received an email from a friend (?) offering me 14, yes 14, cars which ‘may appeal to you – let me know and they are yours’!

Mme. would be ecstatic – I think – and so I shall share a few with you, dear reader, as I become suddenly ‘cash poor’ –


A Lancia – any time.


Alfas – those too!


A Triumph Mayflower – who? me? do I seem old and boring/bored enuff to even remember this crap!!! What does he think of me for Gawd’s sake.

But, now guv, you are really talkin’


Continue reading “love for sale…”