Friday, October 10, 2008

Huge intrusion at the world bank

Some recent news from
Slashdot led me to this story about a massive intrusion into the systems at the World Bank.

Some horrifying highlights:
  • The FBI were the ones who alerted them to this in the Summer of 2007
  • There have been several intrusions from the same IP block in China
  • The most recent known intrusion was a month ago
  • The World Bank admit that EVERYTHING they have is compromised - financial information from countries and companies all over the globe
  • Spyware and keystroke logging programs were apparently installed by consultants from an Indian company, Satyam - apparently a very large, prestigious IT consulting firm.

  • Thursday, October 9, 2008

    Most viewed

    It is interesting that the most viewed photograph that I have on Flickr (over 1000 views) is one that is linked from search engines for which "Salem Witch Trials" is the search term.

    The image is of the memorial stone for Suzannah Martin who was one of the girls who was hanged in those months where the hysteria was running rampant in Salem.

    The actual site of the trials was not the Salem that we know today but further North West near Danvers.

    The judge in those trials had a mansion that later became the infamous instane asylum "Danvers State" where lobotomies were performed after having been first tried in New York. The asylum was the setting for a horror movie called "Session 5" and has now been turned into condos.

    The text on the doll reads:

    Hatred and prejudice now banished
    Let love reside
    Across the veil of time our ancestors call
    We are still wise ones through it all

    Tundra on Bigelow

    There are only a few places in Maine where this vegetation grows. It is tundra and the signs on Bigelow say that some of these small trees are 150 years old, but exposed as they are to extreme cold, they take a long time to grow.

    When we got up there, I was surprised to see ice on the bushes. Perhaps from a fog or some rain from the night before. We were quite warm from hiking but the air was crisp and the wind, biting.

    Horn Pond from Avery

    The second day of the hike was extremely challenging for me. My pack
    was heavier than it should have been and I should have been in better

    The views, however, were breathtaking. This photograph was
    taken at one of the lookouts on the the Horns - just East of Stratton,

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Hiking in Maine, a taste of the Appalacians

    This past weekend I hiked a piece of the Appalachian trail with friends.

    We started near Stratton, ME after leaving our car about 17 miles
    South on the trail (at the 2000mi mark of the Appalachian trail) and
    hiked up the Bigelow range, stopping at Horn Pond on the first night
    and then at the Bigelow shelter on the second night.

    The first day's hike was around 5.6mi and we enjoyed spectacular views
    of some of the distant fall foliage in Maine. This part of the
    Appalachian trail is at the bottom end of what is known as the 100
    mile wilderness.

    The second day was almost 11mi and I had made the mistake of taking my big 100-400mm lens, 1.4x teleconverter and my monopod along with us. Their combined weight must have been around 7lbs. The truth is that hiking for photography has to be geared around very leisurely walking and long stops at places where wildlife might be found. A regular hike is more geared towards getting from one milestone to the other and given that I was hiking with people who have knocked off all the 4000 footers in New Hampshire and one of whom had hike the Appalachian, their notion of leisurely and mine are quite different.

    I found myself struggling to keep up with them for most of the time and eventually, on the second day, more or less gave up trying. So next time I'll leave the camera gear behind if the objective is hike.

    We finished off with a 3mile walk, some of which was along a lake to the north of the Bigelow Range. We did two of the Maine 4000 footers in the process (West Peak and Avery Peak in the Bigelows).