2010 in review

January 26, 2011

The helpful monkeys at WordPress.com sent me a statistical breakdown of how many visitors read my blog, where they came from, what they were interested in… all that juicy kinda goodness that can help me make my blog even better this year!

But of course this was generated by virtual monkeys pounding away on virtual typewriters. What I’d find more useful is feedback from real people (or monkeys) – ie. you!

So how about it? Click on the Contact link at the top of the page and tell me what you liked on the blog, what you didn’t like, what you’d like to see more of, or what you’d like to see that I haven’t covered. I know I’m a rather erratic blogger – sometimes real life stuff keeps me away for ages. And sometimes I write rather controversial stuff. But that’s what I’m like. What do you think? Let me kno; contact me!

In the meantime, here’s the 2010 report from WordPress.com. Happy reading – and, of course, let me know what you think through Comments. Help me make I HATE HATE!!! the most fantastic site on the interwebz!

I HATE HATE!! – 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 55 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 166 posts. There were 12 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 9th with 191 views. The most popular post that day was 4chan’s “Anonymous” group and “Operation Payback” DDOS Mastercard, PayPal, Assange’s Swiss bank… screw ’em, I say!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were ubuntuforums.org, ubuntuguide.org, facebook.com, google.com, and google.co.in.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for get_iplayer, how to make pepper spray, hitler, bush, and nytol.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

4chan’s “Anonymous” group and “Operation Payback” DDOS Mastercard, PayPal, Assange’s Swiss bank… screw ’em, I say! December 2010
1 comment

2

How to download & save streaming video from the internet, using Linux March 2009
22 comments

3

Linux Tutorial: How to create a password-protected folder August 2008
14 comments

4

get_iplayer: the c00l way to download BBC shows July 2009

5

Linux Tutorial: How to use a cellphone as a modem February 2008
22 comments


How to survive a riot…

January 26, 2011

With anti-government demos set to continue today, I figured maybe a little guide to surviving demos/riots would be useful. So here I am reproducing some stuff I found on the internet. A lot of it is written from the viewpoint of helping journalists survive such a situation, but there’s plenty there that any demonstrator might find useful. Also, this was written with the post-election demos in Iran in mind; but it’ll still be useful. Especially interesting is the material by “skip” on how to mitigate the effects of tear gas (CS gas). If you can get hold of baking soda or sodium metabisulphate (often sold as “Campden tablets” to sterilize home winemaking equipment), then make up a bottle of 5% baking soda in water, and another bottle of sodium metabisulphate/water solution). I have no personal experience of this, but it seems these solutions can help when you’ve been tear-gassed.

Egyptian demonstrators amassed in central Cairo last night, with reports suggesting many are preparing to return to the streets today.

Okay, so here is my guide to surviving a demo/riot. Please note, I am not encouraging anyone to go out and do bad stuff. But if you’re planning to go out anyway… check out the guide.

RIOT SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR JOURNALISTS

Many advices for Journalist get public how to survive in a War zone how to dress and move not to get in too dangerous situations when working as a Journalist in war zones. Our aim is to limit risk and to take responsibility for anyone working on our behalf in war zones.
As the Iran civil war and street getting somehow more dangerous than a war field and the classical TV Journalist get banned from government to stay in there hotels or leave the country.
The public Journalist report with there mobile YouTube and twitter from the streets. Most of these people have no experience in moving in areas where gunshot snipers from the roof and other crowd weapons are used like tear gas.
In Civil war zones you cant see who is enemy and who is friend many secret agents can be hiden in the crowd. As seen on some pix from iran some Basiji are dressed like civilian demonstrators to eleminate target peoepel.
Sierra Leone Yugoslavia Afghanistan was a similar situation like in iran .

The following is a re-post of a insider from the other side if you have to protest like in Iran it could help you not to get injured by any force.

This is a document that a Iranian-American police officer has put together. He is the member of the SWAT team and he’s an expert on anti riot tactics. he has been watching and studying the videos and the tactics that basij has been using and he put the document together. It would be great to spread this document and pass it on to the kids in Iran. It might save their lives. – SB
Here are some simple ways of defending yourself when attacked by Basij or Security forces.

Anti riot attacks
Once caught by security forces, the best way to break free is by swinging relentlessly in all directions. Keep in mind that security forces have to hold on to you, which means they only can use one hand to deflect the blows. Brass Knuckle is extremely effective when trying to break loose from the grip of security forces. Wooden brass knuckle is strong and simple to make. The image above is a sample of a basic wooden brass knuckle that can be made with a piece of wood, a cutter and a drill. It should not take more than 30 minutes to make a wooden brass knuckle. Wooden brass knuckle is extremely strong, light weight and versatile. Make sure that the top edges are sharp and round.

Motorcycle attacks

Iranian Basij motorcycle units use attack and retrieve tactics which is meant to create fear more than anything else. The same tactic was used by US police forces on horsebacks when confronting the civil right protestors. The advantage of utilizing motorcycles in urban environment is obvious: motorcycles can go places that cars can’t. However, motorcycles have disadvantages which can handicap the force that uses them.

The most effective way of disabling motorcycles is using tire spikes. Though made of carbon cratnor material, the Basij motorcycle tires cannot withstand multiple punctures. The easiest way to spike Basiji’s tires is by using a simple tire spike system called Iron Caltrop. This simple device can be made in a matter of minutes by wrapping two pieces of nail together in a 65 degree angle. By dropping a handful of Iron Caltrop on the ground, you can deflate the tires of Basijis’ motorcycles in a matter of minutes. If you ride, you know how difficult it is to steer a motorcycle with two flat tires.

Tear gas
A fabric socked in vinegar can very well protect you against tear gas. Cover your nose and mouth with the fabric and keep plenty of water around to wash your eyes if you come in direct contact with tear gas. Urban Legend: burning tires will reduce the effect of tear gas. Not true, it actually increases the effect and it smells bad too.
Additional with some swimming glasses you can protect your eyes and sight.
——–
Addition:
Dealing with CS Gas (Tear Gas)
Contributed by skip on July 5th, 2002
(yeah I know it’s a bit old, but it’s just as applicable now as it was back then.)

# Gas mask- only use current military or police designs. Don’t try any old ones you may come across in markets or army surplus stores as many used asbestos in the filters!
# Mask/hood- offer limited protection. Also useful for disguise
# Goggles- for eye protection.
# Neutralizer #1- Carry a bottle of solution made up from water with 5% Baking Soda.
# Neutralizer #2- Carry a bottle of solution made up from water and sodium metabisulphate (sold as Campden tablets used in home brewing). Note, this needs to be made fresh and doesn’t work if over a day old.
# If you are asthmatic tell the people around you before the action starts, so that if when sprayed you have a bad reaction they’ll be able to act appropriately by giving you your medication or getting a doctor.
What to do when sprayed
If you are in the line of spray move backwards out of range rather than sideways where the spray may still be able to reach you. If you are in a building move outside. Your eyesight may become blurred and it is easy to lose awareness of what is going on. Do not run blindly into the arms of the police, or worse still, into traffic. Act calmly and stay aware of your surroundings whilst moving to a safe area.

If possible stand upwind of where the spraying happened and expose the affected part of your body to the wind. This will help disperse the gas quickly.

Flush the affected area of the body with the solution mentioned earlier or just water if this is not available. Do not touch it as you will spread the chemical around and rub it into your pores. It may be possible hat you can rejoin the action right away, as small amounts should only affect you for a few minutes.

ASAP, have a cold shower for 3-5 minutes (hot water opens the pores and allows gas particles in), then proceed with normal showering. Showers flush the chemical away whilst a bath will just re-distribute it.

For gross contamination, wash with Neutralizer as mentioned above.

After the action you should hang your clothes up in a well ventilated area to disperse the last remnants of the gas. When they have hung for a day or so wash them twice- first in cold and then in hot water-and they’ll be okay to wear again.

CS Gas is fat soluble so never coat your skin in petroleum jelly or similar substances for protection as some people have tried. When sprayed do not treat the area with any cream, jelly or ointment, unless advised to by someone who knows what they are talking about. The best treatments are air, cold water and time.
—–
References
Do or Die Editorial Collective. “Do or Die No. 7 Voices from Earth First!”

Headquarters, Department of the Army. Nov. 1985. “FM 19-15 Civil Disturbances”

Hoffman, Abbie. 1996. “steal this book”. Four Walls Eight Windows
——–
Batons
Riot police is trained to use batons. They understand that it’s easy to hit a stationary target and much easier to hit a target that is running away. Hitting somebody with baton is a matter of timing. The worst thing you can do is to run away from baton whirling security guards because it allows them to time the strike perfectly. The most effective way to counter a security guard with baton is to throw off his timing by going directly at him. That’s right. Run away and turn and go directly at him. When you go directly at the guard and close the distance, you completely screw up his timing. A boxer cannot hit a person that is standing 2 inches away from his face. That’s why boxer bounce around. A baton whirling guard is just like a boxer, he needs to time his strikes. By going directly at the guard and closing distance you mess-up his timing and might even be able to take him down.

Riot formation
Basij and police security guardsmen perform best when crowd disperses and becomes separated. The worst scenario for the riot police is when the crowd is together and inseparable. South Korean labor protestors in the 90s were the best organized units in history of rioting. Thousands of them held on to each other (locked arms) and no matter what, they did not let go. It made it impossible for the riot police to disperse them.

Oh, one other thing: you can see this guide is written in English. This will make it utterly useless to the folk out there who don’t know how to read English. So if you can, please translate this into appropriate languages and get your translation out there on the internet. This may be the beginning of the end for US-sponsored dictators like Mubarak.

(If you have any comments or criticisms of this guide, please use Comments to share your thoughts. I very rarely delete Comments, so long as they’re not spam or don’t launch ad hominem (personal) attacks on myself or other blog readers gratuitously. I believe in freedom of speech. Unfortunately, WordPress.com do not believe in freedom expression. So please keep Comments sort of polite and cut down on the profanity. Cheers! ~Martin X)

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


Is a Middle East popular uprising starting?

January 25, 2011

Well, it’s all kicking off in the Middle East isn’t it? It seems the turmoil in Tunisia has inspired protests against anti-authoritarian governments all over the region. There have been public protests in Cairo, Alexandria and other spots in Egypt, and also reports of similar in Lebanon.

Jack Schenker wrote in the Guardian:

Central Cairo was the scene of violent clashes tonight, as the biggest anti-government demonstrations in a generation swept across Egypt, bringing tens of thousands onto the streets.

Shouting “down with the regime” and “Mubarak, your plane is waiting,” protesters demanded the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year dictatorship and said they were fighting back against decades of poverty, oppression and police torture. The protests had been declared illegal by the authorities and were met with a fierce police response, as tear gas and water cannon were fired into the crowd and rocks were hurled into the air by both demonstrators and security forces.

“We have never seen anything like this before – it is the first day of the Egyptian revolution,” said Karim Rizk, one of those who joined multiple rallies in the capital. Apparently taken by surprise at the size of protests, police initially stood back and allowed demonstrators to occupy public squares and march through the streets, an unprecedented move in a country where political gatherings are strictly outlawed and demonstrations are normally quickly shut down by security forces. “We have taken back our streets today from the regime and they won’t recover from the blow,” claimed Rizk.

Today’s protests were called by a coalition of online activists, who had declared 25 January a “day of revolt” against the ruling elite and encouraged Egyptians to follow in the footsteps of Tunisia, where mass demonstrations forced President Ben Ali to flee earlier this month. As evening fell thousands of protesters from separate demonstrations converged on Tahrir Square, Cairo’s central plaza, and begun an occupation that continued into the night. Demonstrators waved Egyptian and Tunisian flags, hauled down a billboard for the ruling NDP party and chanted “depart Mubarak” at the 82-year-old leader, who will face presidential elections later this year.

I hope the right thing happens. Of course, what I call “the right thing” may not be the same as what you think is “right”. What do you think?

PS: “The revolution will be online” ~some wise geezer somewhere.

PPS: The lovely Guardian newspaper has provided a little compendium of quotes, by the “great” and the “small”, concerning Egypt, its government and people. A couple of examples:

“We support the fundamental right of expression and assembly for all people and we urge that all parties exercise restraint and refrain from violence. Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” ~Hilary Clinton, praising Egyptian president Mubarak (who has been in power for 30 years! – no true democracy would put up with a government like that for so long).

“In my book, if you get a tenth of the 80,000 people or so who support the initiative online, it will be a success.” ~Issandr el Amrani, blogging on Arabist.net. I saw on the BBC that the Egyptian government estimates the numbers of demonstrators as about 15,000 – nearly twice the number Issandr reckons will ensure success.

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


Take it easy, ok? Brilliant…

January 20, 2011

Checkout this video and tell me it isn’t great:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cHsNnDfmDs&fmt=18

Go on, tell me it ain’t great, you big stinking liar you!

[I originally came across it thanks to a link in 4chan.org. I’m not telling you this inorder to suggest that 4chan is good… I’m not saying 4chan is bad, either… 4chan just is, y’know? And your or my opinion of that site is totally beside the point. What matters is the video. It’s kewl, y’know, considering it is what it is.


Call for ACPO to be stripped of its power to run undercover cops… but why has a private company got that power anyway?

January 19, 2011

The ongoing controversy of the Mark Kennedy/”Mark Stone” case where the undercover cop infiltrated environmental activist groups in a 7 year, multi-million pound operation and allegedly slept with female activists to get information, has led to calls that ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers, be stripped of its powers to hire undercover officers. But for me, this raises a more fundamental question: why has ACPO got those powers in the first place.

I think it should be made clear here: ACPO is a private company, set up by chief constables and other senior officers to look after their own interests. In other words, it’s like a trade union, except it isn’t covered by trade union legislation, but is a commercial operation. It is a private company.

It’s perfectly understandable that private companies sometimes hire private investigators to carry out investigations to protect the company’s interests. But ACPO goes much further than that – it employs full-time police officers to work undercover; and of course, these full-time officers are paid from public funds as they carry out these private investigations. It’s like Tesco being able to task undercover operations against Sainsburys and Morrissons funded by the taxpayers. It’s a ridiculous situation, and we deserve to be told why and how this state of affairs ever came to be.

ACPO now say they welcome independent regulation of these investigations. But of course they say that, now the “Mark Stone” affair has hit the headlines. A more fundamental question is: why on earth should police officers carry out these investigations at all? If ACPO want private investigations, they should hire private investigations. If ACPO think undercover operations are necessary to fight crime, these operations should be properly carried out by police forces, not officers working for a private company but paid by the public. The seven-year, multi-million pound operation revealed by the Kennedy/”Stone” case was clearly wrong. And what’s worse, there’s reason to believe that other operations of this type are still going on.

The official line has always been that the police work for us, the public. Now we know that’s not the case. The question is: what are we going to do about it?


Happy Birthday Wikipedia!

January 15, 2011

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is 10 years old today. And to mark the event, there’s a nice little article on the Guardian’s website which tells us about its origins. Check it out, it’s an interesting read.

_gos=’c4.gostats.com’;_goa=354450;
_got=2;_goi=2;_goz=0;_gol=’Free hit counter’;_GoStatsRun();
Free hit counter
Free hit counter


%d bloggers like this: