Reinstalling Debian woes

This is a geeky post which is unlikely to be interesting or even understandable to anyone other than those familiar with Debian Linux or similar systems.

I managed to trash my Debian system just recently. The /root partition was too small. I used gparted to increase it but made the mistake of gparted’ing the / EFI partition while increasing the size of the /root partition. My Debian system has been great for years and I’m out of practice installing Linux. My excuse – as poor as it is – is that / is traditionally the root partition. The Linux filesystem has changed and now there’s a /root partition and / is the /boot partition.

I tried to the repair the / EFI partition without success. The reEFI tools wouldn’t work for me. I reinstalled Debian many times while keeping my /home partition. I was using Debian install in expert mode.

I found that xfce4 was virtually useless after the Debian install. I suppose that it may be because I’m keeping my /home partition upsetting the settings. [2/11/16 I’ll try getting rid of anything relevant. [2/11 later. It was the previous config messing it up))  All applications are obscuring the start menu and the minimise, maximise, close window **adornments** are missing. Audio is simply not working after a Debian 8 install – what’s that about? It should just work, I tried fixing it but I shouldn’t have to. Debian used to install so well. It’s a 2011 A64 system [2/11/16 Amd64) , mainstream now and really should be no problem.

Years ago (95-05) gnome was fine if a bit heavy and slow. I can’t stand it now even in classic mode. The default gnome is unbearable. KDE is so slow and a real pain to achieve anything. Audio still not working. [2/11/16  soundcard not recognised appears to be a problem with Deb8 install. I tried to get hold of Deb7 install because it upgrades fine … )

[ed: After reinstalling Debian on one occasion apt was warning that installations were unverified. apt’s verification system was compromised.)

I then tried to netinstall Debian. I suppose this is the real reason of this post. Fetching a netinstall image from Debian.org I noticed that I was downloading from another not Debian.org site. I do anyway check integrity and the netinstall image sha256sum was wrong. I found it difficult to find the sha256sum on the Debian site which was a bit of a pain.

[ed: Were the spooks onto me?)

I’m likely to install OpenBSD as a desktop.

Simple security suggestions: Check integrity of install images, use long passwords, use a firewall, check what services are visible using nmap.

[4/11/16 Looks like audio was fine and not working due to a silly mistake by me.]

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I need to do a series on Israel and Palestine because that is so important in contemporary politics

An iron fist hides the shining star

The gun’s dark black shadow over Bethlehem

The shadow over the streets of Palestine are so dark

They build walls and shut roads

Despite this evil

There are those that know that the message is more that words

that from the darkness the lightness of the Dawn comes

that justice will bring the evil dark walls down

the hour will come for me to sing Halleluliah

There are people who see clearly, see the truth

 

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Computer Security: Why Yahoo email surveillance is a big deal

Reuters reported yesterday that Yahoo had actioned a secret dictate by a US security agency to search all it’s customers’ incoming emails.

A small excerpt of Reuters report

“…

Yahoo in 2007 had fought a FISA demand that it conduct searches on specific email accounts without a court-approved warrant. Details of the case remain sealed, but a partially redacted published opinion showed Yahoo’s challenge was unsuccessful.

Some Yahoo employees were upset about the decision not to contest the more recent edict and thought the company could have prevailed, the sources said.

They were also upset that Mayer and Yahoo General Counsel Ron Bell did not involve the company’s security team in the process, instead asking Yahoo’s email engineers to write a program to siphon off messages containing the character string the spies sought and store them for remote retrieval, according to the sources.

The sources said the program was discovered by Yahoo’s security team in May 2015, within weeks of its installation. The security team initially thought hackers had broken in.

When Stamos found out that Mayer had authorized the program, he resigned as chief information security officer and told his subordinates that he had been left out of a decision that hurt users’ security, the sources said. Due to a programming flaw, he told them hackers could have accessed the stored emails.

…”

A program was written to search emails “for character strings”.

Yahoo facilitated remote retrieval.

Yahoo’s security team were excluded from the process.

Yahoo’s security team discovered the program in May 2015.

“within weeks of it’s installation”.

Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos resigns claiming that he was excluded from a decision that hurts client security.

Stamos says that hackers could have accessed the stored emails due to a programming flaw.

Why it’s a big deal

I’m not at all surprised that Stamos was pissed off. His security team would have their systems watching their networks for the slightest hint that anyone was thinking about hacking them. They would be watching which processes were running and be continually confirming the integrity of their programs. And then his boss allowed the government to root (rootkit) his systems.

In simple terms, the backdoor (remote retrieval) and it’s traffic was hidden, the running process was hidden and file system integrity checking was bypassed to hide the new program. That’s serious shit needing changes to the running system. It needs a rootkit to make a system hide all those things and behave as normal while hiding the rootkit itself. It was Stamos’s job to prevent some evil hackers from installing rootkits and therefore owning his systems and his boss has gone and installed one behind his back – and it may have been an insecure one at that.

There is a problem that the security team can’t really know how long they were pwned once the system is controlled by a rootkit. A competent rootkiter would certainly be able to fix the security archive as it was written to hide it’s existence and activity. This raises further questions: How long were they owned? Was the earlier security breach of late 2014 related in some way? The earlier security breach is attributed to state-sponsored actors.

[Even more: Take for example file integrity checking. The classic example is tripwire. At intervals it will check the integrity of system files. It’s basically enumerating system files checking that there are not more or less without reason and checking the integrity of important files e.g. program that run, to make sure that they haven’t changed.

To list files on Unix, the command ‘ls’ is used. ‘ls -al’ also shows hidden files and their lengths. The action of the ‘ls’ and similar commands are changed so that rootkit files and the new spying program is hidden – everything needs to appear normal and unchanged. The new program and the rootkit hides from everything by altering the running system.]

6/10/16 8am update:

Later reports suggest that the spying / scanning program was integrated with a pre-existing programme scanning for child pornography, malware and spam. This presents a reasonable explanation so that the new program changes and consequent process (running programme) were part of normal development / evolution of systems.

It still leaves the issue of the backdoor (remote access). It appears that a choice is presented: either there is a rootkit hiding the backdoor and it’s traffic or the string being searched for is the security agency’s string allowing remote access. It’s difficult to hide that backdoor and overall I’d go with a rootkit.

A rootkit tends to support Yahoo’s useless security over the past few years and the fact that it took so long to realise i.e. their systems were owned.

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The Nonsense of Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

Dr. Ian Fairlie

The Nonsense of Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

Many readers will have seen the interesting Panorama programme on the poor safety
record at Sellafield broadcast on BBC 1 on September 5
The BBC press release stated this was a special investigation into the shocking state of
Britain’s most hazardous nuclear plant…” and it certainly was. Perhaps the most important
of several whistleblower revelations was that the previous US managers had been shocked
at the state of the plant when they took over its running in 2008.
Although the programme producers are to be congratulated for tackling the subject, it was
only 30 minutes long and tells only a small part of the whole sorry story.
This article tries to give more background information, and importantly, more analysis and
explanation. The full story would require several books and would be painful reading.

What is reprocessing?

Reprocessing is the name given to the physico-chemical treatment of spent nuclear fuel
carried on at Sellafield in Cumbria since the 1950s. This involves the stripping of metal
cladding from spent nuclear fuel assemblies, dissolving the inner uranium fuel in boiling
concentrated nitric acid, chemically separating out the uranium and plutonium isotopes and
storing the remaining dissolved fission products in large storage tanks.
It is a dirty, dangerous, unhealthy, polluting, expensive process which results high radiation
doses to the ~9,000 workers employed at Sellafield.

Environmental consequences

The Sellafield plant is host to several hundred radioactive waste streams and processes
which result in large discharges of radioactive liquids to sea and emissions of radioactive
gases and aerosols to the atmosphere. Raised levels of childhood leukemias in some villages
nearby are considered to be linked to the inhalation and ingestion of these radionuclides.
Sellafield, and a similar plant in La Hague France, continue to be, by some margin, the
largest sources of radioactive pollution in the world. For example, the Irish Sea is the most
radioactively polluted sea in the world with about half a tonne of plutonium sitting on its
seabed from reprocessing.
The collective doses to the world’s population from the long-lived gaseous nuclides C-14,
and I-129, and from medium-lived Kr-85 and H-3 (tritium) emitted at Sellafield are huge and
are estimated by radiation biologists to cause tens of thousands of early deaths throughout
the world.
Another result is the 140 tonnes of unneeded, highly radiotoxic, plutonium (Pu) stored on
site at a cost of £50 million a year. Pu is fissile and, in the wrong hands, this amount could
be made into ~20,000 warheads, ie it is a serious nuclear proliferation danger.

The Liquid Waste Tanks

Shitty open-air pond at Sellafield nuclear waste dump containing spent nuclear fuel rods.

Shitty open-air pond at Sellafield nuclear waste dump containing spent nuclear fuel rods.

Not discussed in the BBC programme, but perhaps most serious of all, are the ~20 large
holding tanks at Sellafield containing thousands of litres of extremely radiotoxic fission
products, including long-lived Cs-137and Sr-90. Discussing these tanks, the previous
management consortium Nuclear Management Partners stated in 2012 “there is a mass of
very hazardous (nuclear) waste onsite in storage conditions that are extraordinarily
vulnerable, and in facilities that are well past their designated life”.
The National Audit Office (NAO) stated these tanks pose “significant risks to people and the
environment”. One official review concluded that, at worst, an explosive release from the
tanks could kill two million Britons and require the evacuation of an area reaching from
Glasgow to Liverpool. These dangerous tanks have also been the subject of complaints from
Ireland and Norway who fear their countries could be contaminated if explosions or fires
were to occur.

 

Lets not mince words, the practice of reprocessing at Sellafield has been and remains a
monumental national disgrace.
Another seabird in one of Sellafield nuclear dump's open-air ponds.

Another seabird in one of Sellafield nuclear dump’s open-air ponds.

The shocking state of the Sellafield nuclear shitehole

Posted in environment, nuclear, nuclear filth, nuclear waste, politics, Sellafield | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I am not a member of the Labour Party or the Momentum organisation. I am an independent blogger and that’s it.

Complaints of anti-Corbynism are accepted in the comments.

 

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Wales can object to Hinkley Point C because they were not adequately consulted. All and everyone who can should object to HP3.

I encourage any and everyone and anyone with a legitimate objection to Hinley Point C to pursue that objection.

Posted in environment, Hinkley Point C, Hinkley shit, HP3, HP£, nuclear, nuclear filth, nuclear waste, politics, Sellafield | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I watched that Panorama program about Sellafield last night :: This is draft

I got the impression that the people supposedly in charge were far too relaxed and too fast to excuse anything and everything, that the people in charge of Sellafield were not taking it all seriously.

Isn’t that the impression you got? Oh radioactive half life of Plutonium Pu-239 of 24,100 years. We’ll just put it in this pond here, forget and ignore it and let seagulls

I got the impression that they had no idea about anything – that they were totally inept. they were treating it like it was nothing. Oh yes, no need to worry that we have got this serious radioactive waste which we have ignored for the past 60 years. There’s no need to worry about that we put it in water in these concrete ponds that are falling to bits.

ed: Sellafield is a nuclear waste shithole

ed:

Sellafield needs urgent inspections. Please get in there urgently. International, EU inspectors?

ed: I intend to do an article on the Radioactive Pollution of Irish Sea which is largely due to Sellafield.

16/9/16: it has been announced that Theresa May’s Conservative government are going for Sellafield C in partnership with EDF and China.

I intend to further investigate and publish on Sellafield’s irrsponsible and fantastically negligent actions of pollution of the Irish Sea and their ridiculous shite pools.

Posted in environment, nuclear, nuclear filth, nuclear waste, politics, ridiculously irresponsible attitude to nuclear waste, Sellafield | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The shocking state of the Sellafield nuclear shitehole

Sellafield – originally called Windscale but the name was changed as a PR stunt after the 1957 Windscale fire – was built initially as a plant producing plutonium to build the UK’s first nuclear bombs. Political pressures dictated that the plutonium was produced quickly … so that the UK would have nuclear bombs sooner. Everything was secondary to producing the plutonium quickly. There’s also the issue that there was very little experience or expertise in running nuclear reactors – it had only been done in the States at that time. UK and USSR were desperate to catch up.

The Sellafield site is a huge sprawling mess of past endeavours. It is now a nuclear shitehole having accumulated foreign as well as UK’s nuclear waste extremely poorly stored and mismanaged. Sellafield is a filthy nuclear waste site that dumps thousands of litres of radioactive waste into the Irish Sea daily.

Central to Sellafield’s crap storage of nuclear waste are vast open-air storage ponds 5 or 6 metres deep. There is nothing high-tech about these ponds – they are simply rotting concrete ponds dating from the 50s containing water and highly radioactive waste open to the elements. There are accounts of flocks of seagulls, sparrows and other birds spreading this radioactivity since there is no way of preventing them.

Since Sellafield’s workers sign the Official Secrets Act, we rely on whistle-blowers for inside information. A whistle-blower leaked photos of the shocking ponds to the Ecologist magazine in 2014. [These photos are actually taken from the Guardian].

Shitty open-air pond at Sellafield nuclear waste dump containing spent nuclear fuel rods. Notice the seabird on the surface getting a dose of radiation to spread far and wide.

Shitty open-air pond at Sellafield nuclear waste dump containing spent nuclear fuel rods. Notice the seabird on the surface getting a dose of radiation to spread far and wide.

Weeds growing around derelict machinery at Sellafield nuclear waste dump.

Weeds growing around derelict machinery at Sellafield nuclear waste dump.

Another seabird in one of Sellafield nuclear dump's open-air ponds.

Another seabird in one of Sellafield nuclear dump’s open-air ponds.

The Ecologist says

The images … from an anonymous source, show the state of spent nuclear fuel storage ponds that were commissioned in 1952, and used until the mid-1970’s as short term storage for spent fuel until it could be re-processed, producing plutonium for military use. However they were completely abandoned in the mid-1970s and have been left derelict for almost 40 years.

NOTE: The full set of original leaked photos is now placed in the public domain, available here.

The photographs show cracked concrete tanks holding water contaminated with high levels of radiation, seagulls bathing on the water, broken equipment, a dangerous mess of discarded items on elevated walkways, and weeds growing around the tanks.

The fuel storage ponds, the largest measuring 20m wide, 150m long and 6m deep, are now completely packed with spent fuel in disastrously poor condition.

If the ponds drain, the spent fuel may spontaneously ignite

The ponds are now undergoing decommissioning in order to restore them to safe condition. But the process is fraught with danger – and nuclear expert John Large warns that massive and uncontrolled radioactive releases to the environment could occur.

“This pond is build above ground”, he said. “It’s like an concrete dock full of water. But the concrete is in dreadful condition, degraded and fractured, and if the ponds drain, the Magnox fuel will ignite and that would lead to a massive release of radioactive material.

“Looking at the photos I am very disturbed at the degraded and run down condition of the structures and support services. In my opinion there is a significant risk that the system could fail.”

“If you got a breach of the wall by accident or by terrorist attack, the Magnox fuel would burn. I would say there’s many hundreds of tonnes in there. It could give rise to a very big radioactive release. It’s not for me to make comparisons with Chernobyl or Fukushima, but it could certainly cause serious contamination over a wide area and for a very long time.”

New Scientist: Shocking state of world’s riskiest nuclear waste site

URGENT clean-up of two of the world’s most dangerous radioactive waste stores will be delayed by at least five years, despite growing safety fears.

The waste is stored at the UK’s Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site, which holds radioactive waste dating back to the dawn of the nuclear age. An accident at the derelict site could release radioactive materials into the air over the UK and beyond.

Last week, the UK government sacked the private consortium running the £80-billion-programme to clean up Sellafield, and gave the job back to its own agency, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The clean-up operation, scheduled to end by 2120, costs the government £1.9 billion a year.

The private consortium, Nuclear Management Partners, was meant to “bring in world-class expertise” and allow the government to “get to grips with the legacy after decades of inaction”, according to a 2008 statement by Mike O’Brien, energy minister at the time. But six years on, the privatisation experiment has been abandoned.

The surprise renationalisation comes after delays at two of the four waste stores prioritised for clean-up. The four ponds and silos contain hundreds of tonnes of highly radioactive material from more than 60 years of operations. The decaying structures are cracking, leaking waste into the soil, and are at risk of explosions from gases created by corrosion.

 

 

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Coming soon: filthy nuclear

I intend to bring a series about filthy nuclear soon.

It seems that the real issue is and always has been nuclear waste.

I am very disappointed by so-called pro-nuclear environmentalists e.g. Monbiot. I sincerely hope that they reconsider their positions/perspectives. I find it very strange that such people are so concerned by farmyard shit pollution of streams while being indifferent to plutonium shit pollution of the Irish Sea.

I’ve been researching this lately. It is clear the Windscale / Sellafield is a total nuclear shithhole. They have vast open-air radioactive ponds there. Pigeons and seagulls have landed in these serious radioactive ponds to spread radioactivity far and wide.

The Windscale Fire in 1957 was hugely covered up. Radioactivity spread to South-East England and to Europe while Windscale workers were told to work as normal and not tell anyone. UK children have plutonium in their teeth, more according to how close to Sellafield they are. UK authorities have succeeded in conspiring that their childhood leukaemias are not caused by Windscale/Sellafield.

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Some hard real reality here on Climate Change

Ridiculous unnecessary transport is a huge contributor to climate change.

Commuting by jet planes is causing climate change. Get a job closer to home you US climate vandals.

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Dumping Radiactive Waste UK & Europe

by National Geographic

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KLF

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C’mon. All aboard, All Adoard: Calling all disenfranchised Socialists

All Aboard, All Aboard. Disenfranchised Socialists.

Disenfranchised Socialists.

You are disenfranchised because you have nobody to vote for.

It’s not my place to say this – you are so totally aware of it.

All aboard. All Aboard.

Together we are strong.

1.50AM EDIT: We are strong.

2amish Whatever happens, we are stronger and we are progressing.

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Philip Greed, BHS and Lionheart

Philip Green actually owns three yachts – the new Lionheart at 90 metres, the 63 metre previous Lionheart renamed Lionheart V and a 33 meter fast sports yacht called Lionchase.

Tax evader [ed: avoider. Oops, sorry so easy to make that mistake] Green was appointed by previous Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to advise on austerity.

Sir Philip Green to examine government spending

[H]is appointment was criticised by Paul Kenny, head of the GMB union, who pointed out that Sir Philip’s wife – the named owner of Arcadia – lives in the tax haven of Monaco.

He said: “If we were seeking advice about marketing or selling clothes he is someone you might ask. This is about the health, education and care of millions of our fellow citizens – not about importing cheap clothing.”

And the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents civil servants, said: “It’s not that surprising that the millionaires in the cabinet have appointed a billionaire to say that their cuts, which will devastate communities in the UK, are ‘fair’.”

But Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude defended Sir Philip’s appointment, saying he had a “sharp eye for detail” and could guide the government on contracts and leases signed up to in future.

“He’s shown how he can turn around big complex businesses. Government is a huge complex organisation, and while it’s not the same as a business, a lot of the same disciplines are needed,” he added.

Was he advising Osborne?

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Jeremy Corbyn vs Richard Branson, corporate media & many chickencoup MPs

Don’t forget to holiday at Necker Island

sourced

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Hinkley Point C

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn should be commended in opposing and Prime Minister Theresa May should be commended in showing caution and wisdom in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. There are so many causes for concern in these proposals. Hinkley Point C should not proceed at any cost and there should be thorough, clear and sober assessment.

The proposed Hinkley Point C reactors (2 of them) are a new and unproven design of reactor, the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR). EPRs are a form of Pressurised Water Reactor.

The four EPRs already being built have all experienced construction problems and are all uncompleted, over-budget and delayed by years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_(nuclear_reactor)

Four EPR units are under construction. The first two, in Finland and France, are both facing costly construction delays (to at least 2018). Construction commenced on two Chinese units in 2009 and 2010.[1] The Chinese units were to start operation in 2014 and 2015,[2] but are now expected to come online in 2017.[3]

Olkiluoto 3 in Finland was scheduled to go online in 2009. It is currently expected to start operation in 2018. source It is hugely over-budget. source

Flamanville 3 in France was due to start operation in 2012. It is currently delayed until late 2018. source

These dates of 2018 should be regarded as optimistic spin likely to be superseded with later dates.

Flamanville‘s lid and base to the reactor vessel are flawed and below the required standard, weakened by excessive carbon content in the steel. There are suggestions that the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) may require that the vessel is replaced or even that the project is abandoned.

Areva aware ‘as early as 2006’ of serious fault in nuclear reactor destined for UK

UPDATE 2-French regulator delays decision on EDF Flamanville reactor to end-2016

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Hey Russell Brand, watching your movie

and really enjoying it.

I think it’s great. Only about 1/3 way through yet.

Up yer bum

ed: Still going. Enjoying it

ed: Good fillum mate. She just died

ed: The end was crap but then you can’t please anyone ;)

ed:

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Jeremy Corbyn seems to be doing fine …

My analysis is that the disenfranchised – through being denied the ability to vote for anybody that represented their interests – are no longer disenfranchised. I suggest that the claims that a Corbyn government is unelectable is very seriously challenged. (I’m being polite ;)

 

Corbyn:”It’s not about me. It’s about what we have to do together”

“We’re all going to have to work hard together”

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It’s not anti-Semitic …

to recognise that Israel subjects Palestinian children to cruel and degrading treatment

 

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