Craft beer since 1845

Dear Reader,

The headline is almost a verbatim copy, taken from a German family owned brewery. Their slogan: craft beer since 1862. I changed the numbers to fit an English brewery, Fullers. More about them later.

First, let’s get to craft beer, or the recent hype about it.

For many decades the brewery industry went through a phase of consolidation. On a global scale this is ongoing. The No. 1 brewing concern, Anheuser Bush InBev, itself a result of countless mergers and acquisitions, wants to merge with the No. 2, SAB Miller, again a conglomerate of many breweries. Together the two companies will have a market share of 30% globally.

In the late 20th century, enough people got upset with what some call TV beers. Those beers, heavily advertised on TV, had become tasteless. To appeal to the masses, the brewers dropped all character and taste. The running joke then was:

What does American beer have in common with having sex in a canoe?

Both is fucking close to water.

Today the jokes go like this:

Yet, even then you could find tasty beers in America. Avoiding the watery beverages pretending to be beer like Budwiser, Coors, Miller, etc.,  my favorites were Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Samuel Adams, and the imported Bass Ale. And in Europe you could find fine beers almost everywhere. Avoiding the TV beers like Carlsberg (Denmark), Heineken (The Netherlands), Kronenbourg (France), Warsteiner (Germany), there were hundreds if not thousands of great beers.

So in the late 90s people in significant numbers dropped those TV beers in favor of products from what was called micro breweries. And during the 2000s the trend went from micro breweries to craft beer. As a result you can now find thousands of beers. Many of those are really bad, a few are really excellent.

What people seem to have forgotten, many excellent beers have been around for centuries. Bass Ale, the oldest English trademark, is a prime example. There is no need to try all those craft beers, if you have proven beer champions.

And that brings me back to Fullers. On a recent trip I had the great pleasure of tasting their beers. The result: their London Pride is delicious. And their London Porter is brilliant.

Fullers has been around since 1845 and London Porter is the mother of all porters. And – to my surprise – it is the mother of all stouts, including world famous TV beer Guiness. If you like Guiness, I encourage you to try a London Porter. It is so much better.

London Porter is a very tasty beer, excellent in winter. And it goes extremely well with your steak, or game, or a any rich meal. Occasionally I now substitute red wine with a London Porter. It is that good.

Next time you want to try one of those fancy craft beers, why don’t you try one of those old, proven, classic, beers. Crafted since 1845. And many even longer.


Engine Room


Dear Reader,

First I thought, Philippa’s recent post here, was a satire. Unfortunately, it isn’t funny, not even remotely.

My next thought was, to ignore it. Because it is UKIP propaganda by a Russian wanna-be politician. Read the Wikipedia article on Bukovsky.

Unfortunately, the video wasn’t marked as UKIP propaganda, so I thought a comment would be appropriate.

But then, diablog is among other things about debate. And out of respect, here are some corrections of the most blatant lies in that video.

1. EU politicians are not “appointed by each other”. They are appointed by your elected national governments. If you have shmocks there, blame the government you elected, not the EU.

2. To gain EU membership, a country has to apply. By the way, the UK was rejected the first time through a veto from France. That isn’t “created by coercion”.

3. The EU does not want you to “give up your national identity” or “suppress your national feelings”. If such things exist at all. The UK isn’t a nation state, neither is France,  nor Spain, nor Italy, nor Germany. To mention just a few. The EU actually fosters diversity and protects minorities. Just ask the Belgians, Sorbs, Welsh, Scots, Basques, and other minorities within Europe. Feel free to educate yourself here. It seems needed.

Now let’s get to the most blatant lie.

The English voted on EEC (predecessor of the EU) membership in a referendum in 1975. Feel free to read about it here.

If Bukovsky did not know, you should, Philippa. I guess you were around then and maybe even allowed to vote.

Although not paying its full share, the UK has been a full member of the EU with full voting rights. If your elected (!) politicians send  incompetent and/or incapable people to Bruxelles, blame them or yourself, not the EU.

By the way, blaming the EU for everything that might be wrong in your country, has been the only European politics of the UK governments of late. For example, since the 1950s the UK regularly promotes immigration. And then blames the EU for problems with immigrants. What a bad joke that is. Almost as bad as blaming the European Constitution on Human Rights, which was written mostly be English legal experts and judges. That is beyond stupid.

I could not care less, whether or not the UK leaves the EU. But that video is way below the level of Trump, Berlusconi and other shmocks. Or as Glynsky calls them buffoons. It certainly is below the standard of diablog.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

Cracking party

Dear Reader,

Among the many parties happening around the world, there is a big one on cracking. Cracking passwords that is.

Do you have an account with The “business social network”?

If you do, I highly recommend you delete it. And if you used the password from there at any other website or internet service, please change that immediately.

LinkedIn got cracked in 2012. And they kept pretty silent about it. At the time they admitted only, some 6.5 million passwords had been taken. This week we learned here, it was more like 117 million passwords. Or precisely:

164,590,819 unique email addresses
177,500,189 unsalted SHA1 password hashes

And as of now > 90 % of the passwords have been cracked already. Just 14 million to go.

Why does that matter? It means, those passwords are not save anymore. And never will be again. The algorithms used for password cracking have been trained. And whoever uses one of those passwords anywhere, is wide open.

Granted, the most popular passwords at LinkedIn were the usual bad ones: 123456, linkedin, password, 123456789, 12345678, 111111 and qwerty. And those are easily cracked. But eventually well over 95% of those passwords will be cracked. It is just a matter of time and computing power.

LinkedIn is one of the more popular websites. According to WikiPedia.:

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 14, 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 2015, most of the site’s revenue came from selling access to information about its users to recruiters and sales professionals.
As of October 2015, LinkedIn reported more than 400 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.
LinkedIn filed for an initial public offering in January 2011 and traded its first shares on May 19, 2011, under the NYSE symbol “LNKD”.

So, here is a publicly traded company, not some small garage firm, that did not care about its users and their safety. All they care about is selling the user data. And in the process they made the internet less save for everybody.

The somewhat famous founder and current chairman Reid Hoffman, usually quite outspoken, has been very silent about the matter. Nothing on his website, nothing on his twitter account. For that he deserves our Idiot of the Day medal.

And that is why you should delete your account there. Unless we, the users, make those companies and the people feel pain, unless they lose money or go bust, security will not improve.

Stay safe,

Engine Room


My mind is made up – is yours?
Maybe a little insight from an experienced outsider might help you decide.

If not Brexit, then more of the same…

Get the party started

Dear Reader,

Glynsky left for Amsterdam, and as usual – no surprise – without me.

Granted, I was traveling already. Still, an invite would have been nice. But then, who cares about the staff in the engine room? Certainly not our hot shot from the bridge, steering this little vessel on the seas of the internet.

With both of us on the road, and Pete still no where to be seen, it got a bit calmer at diablog.

So, like Pink says, get the party started:

Stay tuned,

Engine Room