Hacker vs Cracker. What’s The Difference?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the late 60’s – early 70’s, the internet had not evolved much into anything more than a few military installations communicating with each other in a rudimentary way. Not having been a military man, I wouldn’t be able to say much as to how rudimentary these communications were, along with the fact that I wouldn’t want the FBI knocking on my door asking questions about that information despite it being decades old, with most of it now being in the public domain.

I am ask the question a lot, as of late, I have been ask the question more than normal. “What’s the difference between a Hacker and Cracker?”

The explanation is simple really. One is good and the reason that technology – everything from tubes to transistors – has progressed to the point that it has and the other one, not so much. As a matter of fact, the cracker is the one that continues to terrorize the internet as we know it today, not helping in the progress for good, but determined to destroy as much as possible of a internet that 90% of people world wide have to rely on as a way of life.

You see. In the 60’s through 90’s – and somewhat in today’s world – technology was “new”, “fresh”, “exciting”. Everybody wanted to play with it, touch it, poke it with a stick, everybody wanted to know what made it tick; what all can it do, referring to a single integrated circuit, resistor or transistor.

Thousands of geeks completely enthralled with this new thing called technology, they set out to didactically dissect these new things to find out what made them tic and how can they make them do things that they were not designed to do in hopes of maybe getting the manufacturers to revise these devices, produce new ones and then they would build a newer, better project. Think Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. They, like most of us were tinkerer’s playing with new ideas and technology and we see were that led to the progression of technology today.

The sad reality in today’s world is that, like mentioned above, 90% of everything is reliant on the internet functioning with what I could only guess just about as many people not giving a rats butt about what makes it all work.

Enter the “cracker”. This is a person(s) that doesn’t have a care about all the individual parts and pieces that make it all work, they are more concerned about how can they get into someone’s computer, IOT device or network. Like a hacker, they do serve to enhance a security industry that was born out of necessity.

The unfortunate part of all of this is that crackers have proliferated to the point that they have automated systems – bots and C2 servers – with the sole propose of propagating everything from spam to complete destruction of an entire network.

On a almost daily basis, it only takes turning on the TV, Radio – or internet to see that there has been another data breach or a complete city held hostage by a ransomware attack.

While today’s technology has evolved to a mature state, it is nothing of what I thought it would be like as a child dreaming of all things technology.

I can only imagine that in the coming decades, there will be an all-out cyber war that carries on to point of individual violence that the world is not ready for or to see.

The Old French Word Loial Which Means Something Like “Legal”

Reading Time: 6 minutes

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I like to write and hence, there are often times that I am ask about a specific word or what would be my definition of a word be.

When this happens, my first thought is “this is some of test, right?” or “can we play a game of mental hopscotch?.”

Today, I was ask what I thought the definition of the word “Loyal” would mean.

I realized after our conversation, that I had categorized the word to fit one persons question and not the world as a whole, which led me to think about it some more and here we are discussing what a single word might mean to the masses.

After debating with myself for a time, I came to the conclusion that each word is going to mean something different to each person and each person might assign a weight and/or a value to that word. Almost like a points system. For example, someone might say “I’m loyal to a point”. Indicating that the person has assigned a point value to the word. On a scale of 1 to 10, that person’s interpretation might lead the word to have a point value of 5.

This gave me more thinking to do and as one might expect, I wanted to see what other people might have to say about the word “loyal or loyalty”.

Inquisitively, I jump on the phone to ask others what they thought the word loyal meant to them to see if my thoughts might have touched onto something worth writing about, I was not disappointed in the conversations that I had.

It turned out that indeed – at least to the people that I spoke with – people do assign a point/weight system to each word that they think of.

This of course led to the internet to come up with the following definitions.

If you are faithful and devoted to someone or something, you’re loyal. If you refuse to buy milk from anyone other than Farmer Jones, then you’re a very loyal customer.

Someone who is loyal is reliable and always true, like your trusty dog. Loyal comes from the Old French word loial which means something like “legal,” but if someone is only loyal to you because the law requires him to be, that’s not true loyalty, which should come from the heart, not a contract. A loyal friend supports you all the time, no matter what. You can also be loyal to an idea, like the People’s Revolution, or girl-power.

Loyalty is an essential quality in any close relationship. When your person is loyal, it’s a strong assurance of another person. Whether it be in work, business, family, friendship or a relationship, loyalty builds from specific characteristics.

Just because someone is a family member, neighbor or friend does not mean that they will be loyal. Ideally, we wish that were true (and hopefully someday it is), but for now loyalty must be earned.

Much like steps on a ladder, there are specific qualities that you can see in a person to know if they are truly loyal. We call this the “Loyalty Ladder“.

A truly loyal person will be loyal because they want to. Loyalty through obligation can be dangerous. But, sometimes it’s hard to detect. People can be deceiving due to their own personal agendas and show this subtly through their words and actions.

A loyal person will reach out to you when you need them. They care enough to stay aware, and take action when they know you need a pick-me-up, or just a little reminder to stay on track.

If someone talks about someone else to you behind their back, who do you think they’ll talk about when you’re not around? A loyal person will be respectful of you away from your presence. They will decline the opportunity to spread gossip, and may even deliver a serious message, sharing their opinion of gossiping with the people doing it.

A loyal person will share their honest opinion (even if it’s not always what you want to hear). Sometimes, they want to share their experience with you, hoping that it will give you insight and help you follow your best path.

In a relationship, a loyal person loves you (and only you) fully and completely.

A truly loyal person is always sincere. They show very subtle, yet powerful signs that they care. You’ll find that they are faithful in a way that they show up during the good times and the bad times. Loyal people are supportive (even loving) for no other reason than that they care.
Practice random acts of kindness.

When one does what is right by their own personal values and morals, and is also supported by societal norms, that’s integrity. They are kind. They properly care for themselves and others around them. And, they respect boundaries. In fact, they are known for it.

Personal loyalty is displayed through love, devotion, dedication and commitment to the well being of another.

It’s important to keep in mind that we are all a work in progress. We can strive to be better in all of these areas. It’s not up to us to judge or be harsh to those that aren’t – there’s a good chance that deep down inside of themselves, a desire to be loyal and have loyalty shown to them resides.

The Politically Incorrect Guide To Climate Change

Reading Time: 6 minutes

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University dumps professor who found polar bears thriving despite climate change.

Nobody has done more to sink the claim that climate change is endangering polar bears than zoologist Susan Crockford – and she may have paid for it with her job.

After 15 years as an adjunct assistant professor, Ms. Crockford said the University of Victoria rejected without explanation in May her renewal application, despite her high profile as a speaker and author stemming from her widely cited research on polar bears and dog domestication.

Ms. Crockford accused officials at the Canadian university of bowing to “outside pressure,” the result of her research showing that polar bear populations are stable and even thriving, not plummeting as a result of shrinking Arctic sea ice, defying claims of the climate change movement.

Her dismissal, which she announced Wednesday in a post on her Polar Bear Science blog, has spurred alarm over the implications for academic freedom and the rise of the “cancel culture” for professors and scientists who challenge climate catastrophe predictions.

“When push came to shove, UVic threw me under the bus rather than stand up for my academic freedom,” said Ms. Crockford, who earned a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies, specifically biology and anthropology, in 2004.

Ms. Crockford cited numerous instances of the university promoting her interviews and work, including her participation in a 2007 PBS “Nature” documentary about dog domestication and evolution, as well as her appearances at K-12 schools and adult groups for 10 years through the University of Victoria Speakers Bureau.

That supportive climate changed two years ago. In May 2017, her lectures were shut down after the speakers bureau received a complaint about her “lack of balance,” which “I believe poisoned support I might have expected from colleagues in the department,” she said.

“The speakers’ bureau incident made it clear the administration had no intention of protecting my academic freedom against complaints from outside the university,” Ms. Crockford said in an email to The Washington Times.

UVic Associate Vice President Michele Parkin responded with a letter challenging the assertion that Ms. Crockford was let go for “telling school kids politically incorrect facts about polar bears.” She was referring to a recent headline in the National Post of Toronto.

“There is no evidence to suggest that Dr. Crockford’s adjunct appointment was not renewed for ‘telling school kids politically incorrect facts about polar bears,’” said Ms. Parkin. “The University of Victoria, in both word and deed, supports academic freedom and free debate on academic issues.”

The statement fell short of denying that Ms. Crockford’s dismissal was linked to her polar bear scholarship, which almost single-handedly blew up the climate change movement’s promotion of the bears as iconic victims of anthropogenic global warming.

Her books include “The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened,” published in February, in which she said the bears are not threatened. She noted that the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s 2015 Red List of Threatened Species puts polar bear numbers at 22,000 to 31,000 despite a widespread belief that the population has dropped to a few thousand.

‘Cancel culture’ and academic freedom

Marc Morano, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” said situations like Ms. Crockford’s have become “all too common in the climate debate.”

He cited examples of prominent scientists who “came out” as skeptics only after retiring.

“Professor after professor has been hounded, silenced, censured or fired for speaking out against the approved man-made climate crisis narrative,” Mr. Morano said. “The message to any climate dissenters in academia is once again reinforced: Stay silent with your skepticism or risk endangering your career.”

University of Victoria economics professor Cornelis van Kooten warned of the threat to free speech on campus. “I think the climate change movement has done extreme harm to academic freedom,” he said, and the movement isn’t alone.

“Put it this way: religion, race, evolution, gender, indigenous peoples, nuclear power, polar bears, deforestation. … Any views on these topics that don’t fall in line with the ‘consensus’ are taboo,” Mr. van Kooten said in an email. “Think the extent to which free speech has been banned from campuses across much of the West in the name of political correctness.”

In her letter, UVic’s Ms. Parkin noted that adjunct professors are unpaid, meaning “Dr. Susan Crockford’s work can carry on without this appointment,” but Ms. Crockford said losing the university position will harm her ability to secure grant funding.

“No one suggested funds were involved,” she said. “The point is that I will not be able to apply for research grants and in most cases will be unable to collaborate with colleagues on their research projects without a university affiliation.”

Ms. Crockford has drawn the ire of environmental activists and scientists with whose views she disagrees, based in part on her associations with climate skeptical organizations such as The Heartland Institute and the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Her Polar Bear Science blog came under fire in a 2017 study in the journal BioScience by 14 academics, including Penn State climatologist Michael E. Mann, decrying the influence of “denier blogs,” which Georgia Tech professor emeritus Judith Curry blasted as “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.”

Heartland spokesman Jim Lakely slammed Ms. Crockford’s dismissal as “outrageous, an affront to academic freedom, and a new, troubling step in modern #cancelculture,” adding that “all honest scientists should take up her cause.”

“The people who oppose her, and those who dismissed her, are not interested in science, but pushing political dogma,” Mr. Lakely said in an email. “This is a sad day for academic freedom and science, not dogma, ruling our public discourse.”

Now on a European speaking tour, Ms. Crockford, a co-founder of Pacific Identifications, said her critics should know that her loss of adjunct status will primarily discourage her work on “speciation and domestication mechanisms in evolution,” not polar bears.

“What a lack of academic affiliation has not done — and cannot do — is stop me from investigating and commenting on the failures and inconsistencies of science that I see in published polar bear research papers and reflected in public statements made by polar bear specialists,” she said. “I am still a former adjunct professor and I will not be silenced.”