Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘terrorism’ Category

Nothing to Like

leave a comment »

What a thing to wake up to on a Friday morning. 

I’m referring to the horrific shootings in New Zealand.

To not mention seems to ignore it. And yet as with so many of these mass shootings, it’s awfully enticing to want to not mention it (or the culprit) at all.

Largely because it plays into the shooter’s likely desired narrative.

Just as the April 1999 shooting in Columbine seemed to spawn a whole new generation of mass shootings, we’ve seen a next generation of shooters utilizing the power and reach of social media to try and amplify their impact.

The New Zealand shooting seems, based on what we know so far, to be a prime example. 

A New York Times’  opinion piece about the tragedy indicates that the shooting began with the shooter putting on a helmet camera before he drove to a mosque in Christchurch “and began shooting at anyone who came into his line of vision.”

Wrote the Times: “The act of mass terror was broadcast live for the world to watch on social media.”

Despite platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (and others) trying to take the recording down, along with an accompanying manifesto said to be from the gunman, “they [the social networks] were no match for the speed of their users,” and AI algorithms were also not enough to find and prevent the video’s spread. 

But the story also reminds us Christchurch isn’t a first of its kind, either, and likely won’t be its last. There was the live shooting of two reporters in 2015 in Roanoke, Virginia, the killing of Robert Godwin in 2017…it’s as if 1998’s “The Truman Show” has completely jumped the shark, gone off the rails, and headed straight into the dark circles of Cyber Hell.

The forecasted Andy Warholian 15 minutes of fame has morphed into 17 minutes of Facebook livestreamed shooting of innocent worshippers in Christchurch.

The only remedy I can think of is to stop watching these attackers.  

Stop giving them the attention they want, and perhaps they’ll start to second-guess their ill-fated attempts at “fame.”

Put the smartphone down. Turn off the YouTube video.

And whatever you do, don’t RT the name or the Tweet of the terrorist.

There’s really nothing to “like” about them at all.

Written by turbotodd

March 15, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Posted in 2019, facebook, terrorism

Tagged with , ,

Austin Bomber Bombed Out

leave a comment »

Good news!

The Austin bomber blew himself up in his own car last night after the Austin Police Department chased him down as he escaped a Red Roof Inn hotel.

So I guess we can say the Mini-Unabomber’s career was cut short by what can only be referred to as “foreseen” circumstances.

I tell you one damn true thing: The entire Austin metropolitan area took a long, deep breath when they woke up to the news this morning.

Like so many armchair sleuths were probably thinking, I would imagine when all was said and done, walking into those FedEx’s with only a baseball cap and stringy blond hair…yeah, that wasn’t one of your more brilliant moves, Einstein.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley indicated “there were several leads that led us to this person,” including, he said, the surveillance video.

Officials apparently haven’t ruled out that the 24-year old man could have had accomplices, nor do they have any insights into his motives. Apparently he wasn’t up for a chat before he took himself out.

Just to recap: The guy was responsible for at least six bombs that killed at least two people and wounded five others, and I would imagine, sent shivers through FedEx, UPS, and other distribution workers across the city.

Acting out of an abundance of caution, Austin Mayor Steve Adler has warned city residents to continue to watch out for suspicious packages that the bomber may have planted before his untimely demise. 

As for all those thoughts and prayers that came Austin’s way these past two weeks (and yes, a little bit of hate, too), they were much appreciated, as was the support from the FBI, ATF, and all the other three letter agencies that landed in Travis County ready to hunt this mother——— down. 

Not to sound too terribly bloodthirsty, but it was a proper and fitting end. When you play with matches…

Written by turbotodd

March 21, 2018 at 9:35 am

Posted in 2018, austin, terrorism

Now They’re Bombing FedEx

leave a comment »

Now bombs are going off and being found in FedEx facilities.

Early this morning, a bomb that was bound for Austin exploded at a FedEx facility in Schertz, Texas.  One person was injured by the “concussive” impact of the blast.

It happened just after midnight, according to a report from the Washington Post, but authorities provided few other details.

Then, later this morning, authorities responded to a call about a suspicious package at a FedEx facility near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Southeast Austin.

That is a developing story, and we Austinites are still waiting to hear what the Austin FedEx situation brings.

FedEx: When it positively, absolutely has to blow up near Austin overnight.

Hey, I can joke about this, I live here.

What is no joke is that authorities are being very tightlipped so as not to tip their hands re: the signature of the bomber, but because of this, and despite their being 500+ federal agents on the ground, the public knows jack and is getting antsy.

It’s one thing to pick up a strange package on your porch and have it blow up.  It’s another thing for it to be a package from FedEx.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Could this, in fact, be a Unabomber, Jr., one out to demonstrate how vulnerable our 21st century retail, e-commerce, and delivery chain really is?!

Written by turbotodd

March 20, 2018 at 10:28 am

Posted in 2018, austin, e-commerce, terrorism

Tagged with

Latest Austin Bomb Involved a Trip Wire

with one comment

So another bomb went off here in Austin last night.

This one was in the southwest side of Austin, probably about 4 miles due southwest of where I live just south of downtown.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said this morning that Sunday night’s bomb, which injured two men in their twenties, was triggered by a trip wire and thus "showing a different level of skill above what we were already concerned that this suspect or suspects may possess."

Investigators indicated the device was made to blend in with the surroundings.

They are still investigating whether the blast was a copy cat of the March 2 and March 12 bombings, or the same person. They will not be able to make that determination until they can more closely reveal the kind of shrapnel that was used in the explosive device, although initial reports last night suggested there were nails used in this latest bomb.

In this latest case, the two victims were Anglo males, according to Chief Manley, which, were the bomb made by the same perpetrator, could start to throw into question that these incidents are hate crimes.

If it is the same perp for this latest bomb, they’ve clearly upped the ante with the trip wire.

Now, don’t pick up strange packages whose provenance you don’t know off your front porch, AND watch out for trip wires.

Written by turbotodd

March 19, 2018 at 9:25 am

Posted in 2018, austin, terrorism

Tagged with ,

Taking Cyber Command

leave a comment »

Happy Friday.

Well, as happy as you can get about this week.

I’m still sending warm, fuzzy sangria and tapas thoughts out to all mi amigos in Barcelona. One of the world’s great cities, and if I could transport myself Star Trek style I’d be trekking down Las Ramblas in solidarity with my Spanish friends this very evening.

Instead, I’ll knock back an Estrella later and dream of Gaudi buildings.

In the meantime, the cyber world moves on, and Politico reported some interesting news earlier today out of the Trump Administration.

President Trump announced today that U.S. Cyber Command has now been elevated to a "Unified Combatant Command," putting it on equal footing with other organizations that oversee military ops in the Middle East, Europe, and the Pacific.

In a statement, the president said the following:

"This new Unified Combatant Command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our Nation’s defense. The elevation of United States Cyber Command demonstrates our increased resolve against cyberspace threats and will help reassure our allies and partners and deter our adversaries."

TechCrunch elaborated in its own coverage that "whatever happens" with this change, it will be "welcomed by many" and that "there is a sense that we are being outplayed by cyber operatives in countries and organizations all over the world, from Russia to IS."

Ya think??!

Written by turbotodd

August 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Thinking West

leave a comment »

Greetings from lovely White Plains, New York.

I’ve been up here a few days, having flown up to New York City on Monday for a series of meetings.

No sooner had I accompanied my colleague down to baggage claim at JFK than I saw the first reports emerging about the bombings in Boston.

Not long after we heard about the ricin letters.

And then this morning I woke up to the news about the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

It made me sick to my stomach, and my heart goes out to the folks in West.

I drove through there just last weekend on my to Lake Whitney just west of West to play some golf with my father.

Many of the people who live there are of Czech descent, and are known for both their hospitality to travelers and for their scrumptious kolaches.

So I wanted to pass along this “Things You Need to Know About West” list, for I and my colleagues are feeling a little homesick at the moment being up here in the Northeast while all this is going on back on our doorstep in central Texas.

Thankfully, I’ll be heading back home later this afternoon, which means I’ll likely be in a JFK queue instead of reporting on IBM earnings, as I’m normally wont to do on earnings day.

I’ll be sure to do an earnings post when I get back to Texas.

Written by turbotodd

April 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

9/11 Goodness

leave a comment »

I don’t have a lot to say on the anniversary of September 11th.

Or, I have so much to say, I’m not sure how to bring it all together and make some sense out of it.

Though I had already moved to Austin by the time of the attacks, the New York area was the only other place I had ever lived other than Texas. An attack on New York was like an attack on my person.

I was visiting New York on business just prior to the attacks, and remember sitting at Laguardia just two days prior, on 9/9.

It was a gorgeous day, another of those blue September skies, and I remember noticing the Twin Towers off in the distance, which was a revelation — I knew you could see them from Newark, but never from LaGuardia.

Two weeks later, I remember flying back up to NYC for another business trip, making that turn at the bottom of Manhattan, and seeing the still smoldering ashes and now ghost limb of a skyline.

As so many had said it would, things had changed during those two weeks.

The drumbeats of bloodlust and revenge were pounding. I landed at LaGuardia this time and it was a ghost town, like something out of a Stephen King novel. The only seeming inhabitants were the National Guard patrolling the gates with their assault rifles.

When I went down to the Ground Zero area, I remember passing by Canal Street and seeing the hundreds of missing persons postings, and crayon drawings of planes flying into buildings.

Once at Ground Zero, I remember the troops announcing that you could no longer take photographs, that this was a crime scene.

It was at that moment I knew we were headed for some slippery slope territory.

I was also impacted by all my New York friends’ stories — some who were in or around the Towers that day, some who were on their way there, one who had been scheduled for one of the ill fated flights and cancelled at the last minute, one who lost someone in one of the Towers.

There were too many close calls and coincidences than I cared to count.

On that day, my biggest priority was making sure all my friends and colleagues in the New York I had loved and left were okay.

And, thankfully, they were.

That is what I choose to remember about 9/11 on this, today, the 11th anniversary: The gestures, big and small, that were about reaching out in concern and caring for others.

Whether loved ones or strangers, there was a compassion and outreach expressed during those days and weeks after the Towers fell that revealed an inner kindness normally masked by our tough American exterior.

That was some of the goodness that emerged from the ashes, and that goodness is something I think we’d all like to see more of in our everyday lives.

Though it may have taken great tragedy to bring it about it, there’s no reason we have to wait for another such tragedy to reveal that goodness.

Perhaps the revelation of that potential for good is the one precious gift that rose through the horror and blackness of the ash and soot on that beautiful, blue September day.

Written by turbotodd

September 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

%d bloggers like this: