Malware on Reuters website?

According to Wikipedia, malware is “software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed consent.” Reuters.com is currently acting as a transmission vector for malware.

This just happened on two different websites on Reuters.com.

When loading a new page, my browser is hijacked and goes to a website caled antimalwarescanner.com A fake message then comes up, which reads:

Alert http://antimalwarescanner.com
Warning!!! Your computer contains various signs of viruses and malware programs presense.

Your system requires immediate anti viruses check! Antivirus 360 will perform a quick and free scanning of your PC for viruses and malicious programs.

A graphic then comes up, spoofing the windows “My Computer” layout. A fake “anti virus” runs, with this sort of scary output:

fake_antivirus_antimalwarescanner

The fake interface is a clever combination of Windows XP and Windows Vista elements.

This same company has hijacked ads on other webssites before, but it is disturbing that whatever method they are using, Reuters let it slip through.

Likewise, it is disturbing that modern browsers allow this sort of hijacking, though I realize that disabling the software features that this virus used would disable other useful features as well. (Microsoft browsers are open to even worse malware attacks, thanks to their poorly-thought-out ActiveX architecture.)

Putin requests a bailout

Wonderful news, on the road to driving Russia to default:

Vladimir Putin Wants Your Money – Forbes.com
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin came to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, it seems, to convince Western creditors to write off a portion of the debts Russian companies owe them. As of October 2008, the cumulative debt totaled $540 billion. The State of Russia owes $42.7 billion, while the private sector carries the rest of the burden. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the State of Russia paid foreign creditors a total of $80 billion, including $61 billion owed by the private sector.

We know that the Kremlin recently drew up a list of strategic enterprises belonging to Russian companies that owe money to Western banks. Stakes in these enterprises either cannot be sold to Western investors or are tightly controlled by Moscow for the lucky few allowed in. The Kremlin based its rescue plan for the Russian economy on this list, which consists primarily of monsters like Gazprom, Rusal, Rosneft and others.

But even if official Russian statistics on the state of the country’s gold and hard currency reserves are accurate–and they came to $386.9 billion as of Feb. 1–if prices for commodities and energy exports remain unchanged and capital flight stays at current levels, by December 2009 this figure could shrink to $150 billion. And don’t forget that over the last six months, Russia’s reserves fell by $210 billion.

After the default of Ecuador and now Venezuela’s late payments, this is very good news.

Let’s just hope that Obama does not add Putin to the stimulus!

The Oct Tot Mom

Whatever the origin of the Suleman octuplets, their mother is exhibiting classic low-SES behavior.  Mothers of low socio-economic status often espose a “gardening” view of parenting, asserting that children need love, good food, and a warm home.  High-SES mothers often take a “mission” view of parenting, focusing on some goal later in live they want their children to achieve (say, a college degree, a stable life, helping other people in a professional role, founding their own solid family, or some other goal).  Because low-SES children are often caught in a vicious cycle, we can expect similar views out of the 14 Suleman children when they reach reproductive age.

Suleman said she is a good mother.

“Im providing myself to my children. Im loving them unconditionally, accepting them unconditionally,” she told Curry. “Everything I do, Ill stop my life for them and be present with them. And hold them. And be with them. And how many parents do that? Im sure there are many that do, but many dont. And thats unfortunate. That is selfish.”

‘Phenomenal risk’

Suleman said she was fully aware of the risks of carrying eight fetuses. “Those are my children, and that’s what was available,” she said. “It’s a gamble.”

via Octuplet mom defends ‘unconventional’ choices – Parenting & Family – MSNBC.com.

However, the reaction of TV hosts indicates shock that Suleman’s pregnancy was not properly “regulated.”  This is a good thing. Large-scale eugenics and SES-improving programs will require the regulation of reproduction on the part of those whose traits we do not wish to perpetuate, at least until gene therapy and stem therapy comes online. The Oct Tot Mom presents a rare opportunity when an out-of-control human breeder creates outrage among the general population.  

I earlier thought that Obama will become the President most likely to cause a eugenics program in the United States , because national health care naturally makes health everyone’s responsibility.  However, Obama is a Democrat, and Democrat are more eager to regulate industry in resposne to outrages in any case.  It is possible that the Oct Tot Mom fallout causes Democrats to create some regulations which will start us down the role to shaping genotypes in the United States

When European governments say “climate change,” they mean “Russia”

Sweden is lifting her ban against nuclear power to help fight “climate change”

“I’m doing this for the sake of my children and grandchildren,” said Center party leader, Maud Olofsson. “I can live with the fact that nuclear power will be part of our electricity supply system in the foreseeable future.”

This follows a series of public opinion polls indicating a change in sentiment as the country becomes increasingly dependent on energy imports from Norway and climate change has become a matter of increasing concern.

Sweden’s 10 nuclear reactors at three plants – Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark – supply roughly half of the country’s electricity, while two other reactors at the Barseback site have been closed over the past decade. The country has been at the forefront of efforts to find ways of burying the highly toxic waste produced during the nuclear cycle.

The current generation of nuclear generating plants around the world came into operation between 1972 and 1985 but the industry fell into disrepute with the public following the Three Mile Island accident and the image of nuclear was further tarnished when there was a meltdown at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine seven years later.

But since then there have been no scares and climate change has risen up the global agenda. Nuclear power emits virtually no carbon although critics claim significant amounts of CO2 are released if one takes into account the mining of uranium and other aspects of any full-lifecycle programme.

In Europe, at least, “global warming” is a useful lie.

Russia’s Nord Stream may be quashed out of “environmental” concerns, as well.

Two-bite movies, Part II: “Throne of Blood” and “Ran”

I recently had the pleasure of watching two movies by Akira Kurosawa: “Throne of Blood,” which was made in 1957, and “Ran,” released in 1985. I’ve enjoyed many films by the director, including “Rashomon” (1950), “Seven Samurai” (1954), “Yojimbo” (1961), and “Dreams” (1990). What makes these films relate especially to each other, however, is that they are based on Shakespeare’s plays “MacBeth” and “King Lear,” respectively.

akira_kurosawa_throne_of_blood

akira_kurosawa_ran

Of course, Akira Kurosawa was a man of his own ideas (he famously was booted from the Japanese-American co-production, “Tora! Tora! Tora!) and the characters of “Thone of Blood” and “Ran” are strange reflections of the originals in “MacBeth” and “King Lear.” MacBeth is here a spineless weakling, manipulated by evil spirits and a wicked wife, a “>Montezuma II without the violence or the self-mutilation. King Lear recalls no character in film so much as the Adolf Hitler of “Downfall“.

I watched “Ran” before “Throne of Blood,” and I am glad that I did. Many elements of “Ran” appear to be re-imaginings of parts of “Throne of Blood.” The banners which hang in monochrome in the 1950s are now brilliant colors that themselves frame the shot; MacBeth’s wife bears a striking resemblance(in appearance, make-up, and personality) to King Lear’s daughter-in-law, and the sense of place that is so patiently explored in “Ran” gives context to the quick-pace of “Throne of Blood.”

Unlike “Goodfellas” and “My Blue Heaven,” which are films about nihilistic violence in the American context, “Throne of Blood” and “Ran” are actually worth watching. The holocaust of King Lear’s death, and the world that MacBeth unites against him, provides a depth and a context that escape many directors.