Social Media Hijack Vulnerabilities

I know that some of you still use Facebook; that’s your business. The problem is that Facebook is like the Borg in wanting to take over your virtual life. Stop and think about all the different services you know about that can be linked so conveniently to your Facebook account. Each one represents an entry point for someone to hijack your accounts — all of them. The more links you have to some free online service (and some paid services), the more ways there are to hijack that account.

Here’s a story that describes a hijacking method using the interlinking “convenience” between such accounts. And here’s another involving cellphone text messages. These work with having to use any manipulation with phishing emails (that’s how hackers got into John Podesta’s email account), where you are enticed to click on a link that allows someone else to take over your accounts or even your computer.

Now I realize that whenever a weakness gets posted like that, it often results in some kind of code fix or procedural change, but there are new exploits every week. Meanwhile, some of these things will never be fixed because big companies just don’t give a rat’s butt about their users. That business of cross-linking accounts makes them money and fixing the security flaws costs them money. It has to be a problem big enough to garner serious bad press before they change.

This morning my wife got a notice of someone asking for a password reset on her Facebook account; that’s a primary means to grabbing control. Fortunately, she already had her account settings pretty secure and it asked her permission first using her Gmail account. However, you need to understand that some one or more people have been trying to hijack her Gmail account already. Indeed, she’s plagued with sensitive messages about accounting and payment information from at least a couple of businesses where some person(s) unknown used her email address. Not all of this stuff is just accidental; at least once it was obvious someone was doing that in a ham-fisted effort to work the system to hijack the email account. Apparently her Gmail address is in demand.

However, I sense that the attempted Facebook hijack is likely due to her insufficient enthusiasm for some mainstream political candidate. It’s not that she says much, but having said anything at all critical of this candidate makes anyone a target, particularly if their Facebook friends include rabid activists. There was a time when political debate was routine, even if it usually amounts to soundbites of no significant depth, but this Presidential election seems to have taken on some very sinister tones previously not seen. The times, they are a-changing.

I would never suggest we take a scorched-earth approach to dumping all our social media accounts. How else would we get out our message here? Now, I dumped Facebook because it was entirely too time consuming with people trying to engage me on everything except my mission. Meanwhile, the response to my outreach was virtually nil. It was work that bore no fruit. That was my experience; you have your own worries. However, I am still utterly convinced that somewhere down the road, my resistance to Zionism will garner way more attention than I want. That’s because Zionists are breeding some very ugly plans to crush dissent. For much the same reason our political battles here in the US have reached a new level of nastiness, the same social and political combativeness will spread to agendas yet waiting the wings.

Politics have always been ugly, but as each generation gains new ways to communicate, and new social trends in what constitutes “communication,” we see fresh levels of naked hostility. As a part of the coming right-wing backlash here, the Zionists are hoping to hitch their wagon to the same power. This means we will have to stay on top of our primary means of communicating our message of mercy and love. It’s our very lack of activist enthusiasm for worldly concerns that can get us into trouble, and I’ve already run into that, though often with a certain restraint up to now. But that restraint is breaking down quickly. Don’t just surrender your ground and flee, but be as savvy as possible about the tactics involved. Count the costs; Jesus did that and still faced the Cross.

Posted in computers | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Cycling: Urban Frustration

01olddairystandAs always, click on any image to see it full-sized. CTRL-click will open the image in a separate browser tab.

Actually, today’s ride was a little nostalgia, a major miracle, along with a whole lot of frustration.02previoushome The nostalgia was seeing the old milk bottle atop the tiny triangular building (even has a Wikipedia entry). I seem to recall it once advertised for Townley’s dairy, that burned out husk I visited on one occasion. However, Braum’s Dairy Stores has their HQ just a few miles from this little piece of OKC history. On the left is some personal history; we lived in that house back around 1962. I burned down the garage out back the one time I played hooky from school. It’s a silly tale of two stupid boys playing with fire, quite literally, and it spread from burning little pieces of string to a full conflagration.

The miracle is that, as I rode north on Classen Boulevard and approached the street on which that house sits, I was forced to make a quick left turn across three lanes of traffic or wait quite a few minutes for the next break. I had planned to jump the low curb on the center meridian, but I hit it at the wrong angle. So my tire squibbed and rolled along the edge of the curb as I prepared to crash. At the last instant, it jumped the curb and I was suddenly on the grass as a car whizzed by. So instead of bashing to ground, I got a shock to my wrists from the sudden jolt. Whew! I was really not liking the idea of risking the camera in a fanny pack on my right hip.

belleislelakeI was hoping to get a few pictures of what was once Belle Isle Lake. This old aerial shot is from the east back in the 1930s, and someone took the time to add labels approximating current landmarks. 03belleislelakeToday the lake is mostly filled in and the massive power plant is gone. On the left is a shot of what’s left, behind a huge shopping plaza.

SrcDeepForkIt struck me that since this lake is on the Deep Fork River course through northern OKC, maybe I could get a few shots of the river eastbound. Keep in mind that upstream is nothing but solid concrete culvert, all the way back up to its source. On the right here is the shot I took of the source back in February — that storm drain on the right. It runs for several miles through suburban and urban development before it hits the flood control basin that was once Belle Isle Lake. But just across the street from that remnant, it was all fenced in with another slender remnant of Belle Isle Lake, and totally occluded by thick trees. And for all my efforts wandering around parking lots and back streets, I could never get close enough to see anything natural.

05canyonparkAt one point I road about a half-mile alongside some railroad tracks, and for all my effort I got a dismal shot of what was once Canyon Park (image left). All the freeway construction cut off the access, so the city Parks and Recreation Department don’t maintain it any more. 06toppingparkBut I kept riding and poking around a lot of dead ends and found myself atop a massive earth berm on what was once an exit ramp. Below is where Topping Park used to be, sort of a gateway to Canyon Park (image right), with the canyon in the background hidden in the trees. I suppose the only way I could have gotten to it at all was to ride on the freeway — not illegal, but risky due to heavy high-speed traffic.

07convertedgarageSeveral times I caught glimpses of steep canyon walls over the next few miles east, but the view was always blocked by heavy foliage or fences. As you can imagine, I got quite a workout that way. I spotted this old garage converted into some other kind of business atop one of the many very high ridges I climbed on NW 50th. Eventually I worked my way back to the Katy Bike Trail and headed home.

I decided to stop taking the beta-blocker, so today was a test ride. The stuff was making me fatigued, dozing off several times daily, and I gained weight keeping the same diet that once lost me a few pounds. And then I find out it’s no longer recommended therapy for tachycardia, so when the prescription ran out, I just set aside the last few pills for emergencies. I found I was already stronger, consistently riding in a higher gear all the way today. I got within a couple of miles from home and finally had to stop to catch my breath, but I’m feeling a lot better.

Posted in cycling | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Hearty Defense

I don’t care about influencing voters and politicians; it won’t change anything that matters. I’d rather seek God’s influence on my thinking. I want His favor so that I can ask for things He is likely to do. That’s how to make real changes in this world.

The difference between debate and comparing notes is obvious to anyone. Debaters would prefer to change your mind by reason and logic; failing that, they are exceedingly quick to pour on the condemnation. The unspoken objective is to demonstrate their superiority, despite all the blather about appealing to reason. The siren call of reason is to build up your fallen self; it’s taken for granted that there’s nothing wrong with pride of that sort. Humility can, at best, be only a put-on with debaters.

Have you ever noticed how reason militates against moral conviction? That’s because reason stops at the boundary line of this fallen realm of existence. Moral conviction comes down from God’s hand and dispels the shadows of this world. In that sense, conviction is one way. You cannot rewrite convictions by reason; that simply shuts down your mind against conviction. We aren’t militant, but genuine mysticism is far more powerful than human reason that stands on its own. We seek to have reason serve ultimate moral truth.

It’s fine for someone to mask their identity online. There are so very many predators out there on the Net. However, when people come to you seeking to discuss faith and there is no plausible reason for them to wear a virtual mask — when it seems they are protecting themselves from you — don’t take them too seriously. Their mission is dirty. You may still be able to help them, but be wary. Sincere seekers will always try to divulge some sense of who they are; they’ll be eager to fellowship and hear back from you.

In the end, we cannot even trust ourselves completely, because our own fallen nature will betray us. A certain amount of cynicism about the face in the mirror will help you offer a more righteous cynicism to everyone else.

If you doubt that we will come under attack, you are fooling yourself. It’s not necessary to run around life with a persecution chip on your shoulder, but our Enemy is a prowling lion, says the Scripture (1 Peter 1:5-11). It’s a lion tactic for the old male to flush out the game for the young. He’s toothless, but his roar can shatter your confidence in God’s truth. He won’t do anything to you that you don’t allow. Your safe boundaries are not any self-will, but the revealed Law of God. But the attacks will come, and not just to me on this blog, but each of you who leave a link via comments and likes are subject to some kind of attack. Maybe not today, but sometime down the road.

I honestly believe the biggest threat vector to us as a virtual parish is also our biggest strength. It’s the one thing we all share: our virtual presence on the Net. If you don’t think you can handle it, keep a low profile. I won’t blame you for being reticent; I’ve faced a lot of crap myself online. If you find that this forum is important to you, then start taking steps to learn and protect your virtual presence. Use good technology and practices. I’ll do what I can to assist, but I don’t know everything. Take your own path and build your own hedges. We are just now starting to see the potential for virtual destruction through the use of cyber warfare.

But in the end, if God wants you online, listen to Him and trust Him to guide your choices to His glory. He is God of the network, too.

Finally, let me reiterate once more that you cannot give much attention to the mainstream media, online or through some other form of communication. Don’t let the mainstream steer your thoughts. They do it as much by teaching you to ignore things that would surprise you as they do by promoting a false idea. They seek to steer our thinking in paths they approve. Their mythology will destroy faith by constructing a frame of reference that blocks your mind from hearing the truth from your heart.

Posted in eldercraft | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Kiln blog: Psalm 119 — He 33-40

(Reposted in full due to brevity; original post.)

Here we have a prayer for conviction. The psalmist cries out for God to build a desire and sense of divine necessity. The initial mention here of teaching uses a Hebrew word that paints a picture of pouring out something, to make an obvious splash that changes the color of the ground. The psalmist asks that God make things more obvious to him. For his part, the writer promises that the last thing anyone will see of him will be walking that path. Indeed, he commits himself to investing his whole being in making certain that at least this one person shall consistently demonstrate what God says He wants for us.

Indeed, the heart-led life is such a delight that the psalmist asks he never get lost and wander from it. He prays that his inclinations are bent toward the divine revelation of what life is supposed to be like on this earth, and not to get lost in any desire for plundering from others.

How much better is life when we find it painful to look on things that drain the moral fullness of the heart! Let us fully experience the joy of walking God’s path for us. We should long for that living truth to grow up and consume our being so that we lack nothing in our commitment to serving Him.

If there is one thing the psalmist rightly fears, it is moral disgrace. He begs for the Lord to evaluate his commitment and reveal the weaknesses, because correction from God is better than reward from any other source. Indeed, he longs passionately for a clear grasp on reality as God defines it. The breath of life is the revelation of the moral character of God.

Posted in bible | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Apocalypse Not Yet

This is your chance to write me off as a complete nut-case.

I want to show you the logic behind my political analysis. You should already know that I hold Western Civilization in contempt, and that I do not at all support the American political system. I tolerate it because that’s what the Bible teaches we should do. I’ll play along and try to avoid making trouble, choosing the path of political least resistance. It’s not as if I can do anything about this system; I’m convinced my God is in control of things. We do not qualify in any way as a covenant nation, but He controls things like a rancher herding cattle. The power elite here don’t have a clue, believing themselves free to choose, never discerning the nature of how they are constrained. And the US is the worst about ignoring God’s revealed will.

America ignores revelation in the sense that she refuses to understand it on His terms. The US was born of the Enlightenment; she is the quintessence of Enlightenment philosophy, a mixture of pagan influences pretending to give God due credit. Meanwhile, her behavior and noise constitutes a flat rejection of what God said about the social and political structure of which He approves. Because He’s been very patient, the US is completely clueless about the coming wrath. You can embrace His covenant or you can find yourself thrashed by that covenant, but the covenant stands (the Covenant of Noah, in this case).

Noah requires a tribal social structure and eastern feudal government. There’s no getting around that; you cannot obey God’s Laws for this earth without that system. It’s a prerequisite. The covenant makes no sense without it.

So while I might consider certain particular choices somewhat benign, nothing in our culture and government is good. It’s all inherently evil. God runs the system by His divine wisdom and for His inscrutable purposes. We respect our leaders like we would ornery longhorn bulls — they are not wise and not chosen, just powerful and dangerous. They are just a part of the ecosystem of the herd; you can’t have a herd without them. We should shape our expectations for them accordingly. The goofiest thing I face from church folks is a bogus assumption that prissy Victorian morals are from the Bible, and their pretense of holding our leaders to those standards.

Indeed, the single most important trait in any leader is not any kind of moral goodness by any definition, but only that they be somewhat honest and open with us, and boldly anti-Victorian. That doesn’t make them good leaders, but it does make them tolerable in a non-covenant nation. If God gives us someone who boldly speaks without heavy doses of cover-up and deception, we should expect things to move forward without our world just coming apart. It means God is giving our nation a little breathing room.

Again, I remind you that I am utterly convinced that God changed His plans for America sometime in the recent past. I won’t pretend I could pin it down to some specific time, but I gained a dawning awareness over the past year. Some of you have said you experienced something similar independently. Whereas we all knew of a certainty that the US was about to fall very hard and be destroyed, now that has been put off a while longer. Our national apocalypse has been delayed. Instead, we now have no particular need to prepare for the worst. There will be some bad stuff, but nothing like it would have been before the shift.

Nor can I pretend to explain why I have zero worries about the economy, but I do have some concerns about the banking system. They aren’t the same thing; with sufficient moxie and understanding, we could let the banking system collapse and still keep the economy running. I’m convinced God is going to let it happen that way. I’m also convinced that the US will remain intact in the sense of the union of states. I’m pretty sure there will be bloodshed, but it won’t destroy the union (at last not this time around). We’ll also suffer some harsh natural disasters and some other bad stuff I can’t guess, but it won’t be sufficient to end the national identity. Instead, there will some measure of radical change in our national culture and political system.

And while I still believe the Networked Civilization is coming, I believe we’ll see a Networked Society first. We are a long way down that path already, but we aren’t there yet. Us old-timers will cling to our PCs and Macs, but the world is headed to mandatory cellphone ownership, though the devices will probably keep changing shape. This is not a benign change; it’s simply inevitable. It’s like anything else on this plane of existence: We seek to find ways to exploit the situation for His glory. Somehow we who serve the Lord will find a way to capitalize on the changes.

Up to now, what I’ve said could be witnessed by the convictions in your heart. If what I wrote strikes you as somehow the truth of things, we still have to coordinate through our brains how to use this. Here’s my point: If the globalists and/or imperialists retain their control over the government system and mainstream media, those things can’t happen. Can you see that with your intellect? Only if the nation’s government is dominated by a nationalist can it be possible. And it will require a very strong nationalist leader who can somehow convince the citizens that we will all suffer immensely if we don’t let him/her bring some big changes. So you tell me which candidate is most like a nationalist?

Keep in mind that I’m not too happy with where this is going. I know how to handle it, but this is going to be painful in some ways, painful for a lot of innocent folks. We have come to place where, no matter what direction we go, a lot innocent blood will be shed. There’s no way to back out of this thing now.

So whatever your personal political sympathies, I cannot imagine a globalist/imperialist president would keep us out of a devastating WWIII. That may not mean a nuclear exchange, but it will mean an apocalypse beyond imagining. Unless I’m totally off my rocker, God says in my heart that the apocalypse has been pushed aside for now. That can only mean we are going to have a leadership that turns away from war and invests more resources in something else.

I realize things seem too close to call, but God is able to things we cannot imagine.

Posted in prophecy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Photography: Lake Overholser

01crystallakeAs always, click on any image to see it full-sized. CTRL-click will open the image in a separate browser tab.

02overholserdam-aI’m whipped, well and truly. Today was my first 40-miler after the collision. Yes, I know it’s rather nutty to do that on a mountain bike, but it’s all I have now. So while I’m not hurting in the wrong way, I’m still sore in a lot of places I haven’t felt in months. The route was along the Oklahoma River to Meridian Boulevard, then over to the West River Trail.03overholserdam-b The latter ends just about a mile from Lake Overholser. Our first image is Crystal Lake, a sand extraction lake on the West River Trail.

04overholserdiviebermComing around from that direction, the dam is the first thing you see of the lake. As with my last visit, I walked my bike up the steps onto the dam, but this time I dropped down the back stairs onto that two-mile long berm that separates the river channel from the lake. It was very quiet and peaceful, but kinda bumpy.05overholserpark The park itself on the east shore is pretty well kept.

About halfway down the length of this thing is a bridge across the river channel so vehicles can access the berm.06schlegeltoolstop There’s a boat ramp that drops into a protected cove. However, all around the bridge are several types of recreation facilities. For example, Schlegel Bicycles (where a good measure of my money has gone over the years) has a tool stand along the bike path at the bridge. 07recreationridesThat black stand in the center of the image has tools sprouting from the top attached by cables, and it’s hard to imagine you could do any work out there that isn’t covered by those tools. There’s also a slide-for-life tower across the water and boats you can rent. Not shown is the kayak and kiddie boat rental.

08unusualhouseFrom that bridge crossing I decided to head back across the Metro starting via NW 30th. As you might expect, the lake shore is dotted with expensive mansions, but this municipality (Bethany) has been here a fairly long time, and there was a surprising array of really nice old houses that weren’t so ostentatious. 09curvystreetsNW 30th was a nice straight route for a couple of miles without much traffic. At MacArthur Boulevard, I dropped south to NW 19th because 30th ended in a park. This took me outside the Bethany city limits and through a somewhat rougher area. However, just another mile east, NW 19th picks up the old routes laid out for the old electric trolley system we once had long ago.10nowayacross These are nice, swooping curves with a divider in the center (image above right). This series of connecting swoops are now all marked as official bicycle routes, a quiet and peaceful way to get downtown.

However it was blocked at Interstate 44 with construction (above left). And the service road was one-way south. The next overpass south was also ripped up the same way. So I did something I hate and rode north against the traffic (there was virtually none) to the main thoroughfare at NW 23rd, crossed through some slightly less obstructive construction and then came back around on the backside of this because it made for a better picture from that angle.11oldapts Once past the obstacle, it was a pleasant and fairly quiet ride. Most of the housing was decent, but multifamily. This old block of apartments is under renovation, but I think it’s just one guy working with a helper, likely the new owner. They were boarded up for some years.

12old-n-newAs I progressed eastward, the route drifted continually southward by increments. By the time I hit downtown, I’m on NW 5th. I can recall driving a taxi 20 years ago and seeing some pretty rough housing out on the Classen strip. But in this image (left) you can see those days are gone. This trendy thing on the right used to look far worse than the old Town House hotel on the left, which is under renovation now. Back when I was driving a cab, the Town House is where guys went to find cheap hookers. But those yuppie loft places are spreading like cancer all around the periphery of the downtown district. 13yuppyloftsThis last shot shows NW 4th just north of Bricktown. I had stopped to rest on the side of the historic Irwin Building (currently up for lease) because a nice shade tree called my name and I was very tired. All these yuppie lofts were built new and run for blocks around the area.

After a quarter-hour on the cool grass I was feeling better and made the rest of the way home on 4th Street. I’m thinking of trying to get some tires with a less aggressive tread after this winter, because what I have now offers a little too much roll resistance.

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Anatomy of Lightning Creek, Part 2

01oliverparkAs always, click on any image to see it full-sized. CTRL-click will open the image in a separate browser tab.

Where Lightning Creek crosses Grand Boulevard, it’s called Oliver Park. At this point, once you get below the stagnant stretch coming into this park, there is typically at least a trickle year round.02catchmentbasin-c Just across Grand Boulevard and the bike trail is Catchment Basin C. This one the city has worked on recently, expanding it considerably. Here in the basin is another deeper section forming a much longer stagnant pool. You can’t see it easily in this image, but if you look left beyond those two small trees, the basin extends back a ways off-camera so that it has a high point running out in the middle. The creek comes in along the east side, and then wanders slowly across to the west side.

03lighteningcrkse29th It departs the basin under SW 29th Street. This is where it floods every time the city gets a heavy rain. As you come off the bridge to the right, the street level drops a good bit and this section of street is where the flood water sits for at least a few hours. However, the basin expansion came since the last big flooding rain, so that may be a thing of the past. This hasn’t been a particularly dry summer, but the rain hasn’t been heavy since early last spring.

From this point, the creek wanders through the eastern half of Capitol Hill. At some time before WWII, this was the ritzy part of Oklahoma City. Now it’s pretty rough, with some ratty little houses nestled on the banks and against Shields Boulevard. The creek disappears at an angle under Shields and a double railroad track parallel to the street, and reappears in another section of the same rough neighborhood. It has been a high crime area in the past, and I believe you can still spend your money on some vice action, but it’s otherwise rather sedate. I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures, though, and rode through trying to keep an eye on the creek. While it remains a wide concrete culvert, it’s most invisible in this area.

04lighteningcrkse17thI caught up with it again at SE 17th Street. In the background stands a rather odd structure with a sign that reads, “Future Home of Harvest Rain Grace Fellowship.” It’s been like that for years and nothing has changed. So the bike path runs on the far side of this dome and off to the right of the image.05mouthlighteningcreek Out on the bike path it’s just a short ride up under SE 15th. The last bridge over the creek is the bike path itself right at the mouth. I have no idea what the fat pipe carries, but it’s got a dressing that catches all the flotsam coming downstream.

For quite some distance upstream, this is the permanent minimum water level for the simple reason that the river water level is kept that high. This is part of the recreational area of the lower Oklahoma River rowing lake. 06ncanne4thJust around the bend is the big race course, and the middle dam is quite some ways upstream. I rode down to the Lincoln Avenue bridge and hooked around; coming up over the river, I stayed on Lincoln northward until I got to NE 4th. That was my last leg toward home, but I stopped to catch his shot of the North Canadian below that last Oklahoma River dam. We are about due for a good rain.

Over the years, Lightning Creek has given us lots of drama every time it rains hard because it picks up such a huge number of tributaries. Further, over its whole course is plentiful pavement to contribute a heavy rain runoff. With three very large catchment basins now completed, we’ll just have to see whether it makes any difference.

Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment