ShmooCon 2013, Last Carnival Update and Dorner’s Death


Yesterday I told you guys that I was going to attempt to get into ShmooCon 2013 after work, even though I didn’t have a ticket. I am happy to report that it was a huge success. Not only was I able to buy one, but I was able to resell it at the end of the night to someone that planned to go for the whole weekend. I also had the opportunity to talk with some really great guys that I have followed on Twitter due to their expertise in the information security field. This was my first security convention, and I found it very entertaining to see fellow geeks come together and attempt to be socialites. Overall, it was a blast and I saw some neat vendors, great talks, and outstanding people. I want to thank everyone who organized and participated in the event. If you were not able to go and would like to watch the presentations live, visit http://www.shmoocon.org/news-shmoo_streaming.

We all know that the story about the Carnival cruise ship Triumph is over, but we all also know that the media is going to drag it on as long as they can to maximize their advertisement profit potential. When I came into work today, I noticed on the “tube” that a news anchor was interviewing a woman whose health was at risk during the episode because she needs dialysis multiple times per week. At first I felt sorry for her, but then I actually started thinking with my own mind, instead of feeling the way that the interview was supposed to make me feel. Why was she on a two-day cruise if she needs dialysis three times a week? I was so curious about this that I did a bit of research and found out that there are many cruise lines out there that run special “dialysis cruises” for those that require the procedure. Now I know that this woman was not a victim of bad luck or neglect, but rather a victim of poor choices and irresponsibility. I can’t even say that this is all Carnival’s fault, even though I have a deep bias against the company (no, I will not elaborate). Things happen. They reacted in a satisfactory way, in my opinion. The company had food delivered, distributed a means of dealing with human waste, and offered compensation for the inconvenience. I am tired of seeing people complain about the cucumber and onion sandwiches. Boo hoo, you didn’t die from starvation. The lines were long? It was a good thing you didn’t decide to go to Disney Land. To compare this story to a similar situation, do you think there would be this much “hoopla” over some people trapped in a hotel elevator for a few days? We certainly don’t see this type of coverage about trapped miners, even though the situation is far more serious. Am I being dramatic, or are you guys sick of the media dragging this one out as well? Let me know in the comments.

Many of you already know about the Christopher Dorner news, so I will keep this short. Investigators confirmed yesterday that the body found in the cabin was that of the manhunt subject and today the coroner said that he died from a single shot to the head. There were many witnesses that said they thought he took his own life, and it is certainly looking that way. As I said in my video, he got what he wanted with the reopened case that got him fired five years ago, so I have no doubt that he knew the story would eventually end in his own death. Witnesses who had contact with Dorner over the last few days of the manhunt stated that he assured them that he would not kill them and treated them fairly, given the situation. I am still in shock about the police scanner recordings, where you can clearly hear the police saying to “burn the gas” and “burn it down”. Obviously they intended to write their own ending to the drama. I can understand their intentions, even if I absolutely do not agree with them. On a side note, I noticed the media isn’t using all three of Dorner’s names anymore. Apparently they no longer consider him a serial killer, since they can get continued ratings from LAPD corruption drama by making him look “less scary”.
That’s all I have for this post, so thank you for reading and feel free to utilize the comments section. I am usually pretty quick to reply to anything posted there.

Triumph? Blade Runner and ShmooCon 2013

Great news everyone! The Carnival cruise ship “Triumph”, which has been stuck out at sea with a full passenger load for five days has made it to port in Mobile, Alabama. The ship had about 4200 passengers on board and lost power in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire on Sunday. Reportedly, there was a food shortage and water/human waste soaked the floors of many cabins and hallways. I really don’t understand why the human waste was an issue, since they were sitting in the middle of the ocean, but I am glad that they all made it back home. Some are worried about negative health effects from being exposed to the heat and waste for so long, but experts doubt there will be any lasting issues. Apparently the passengers are receiving a refund for their trip, $500, and free hotel and travel fare for the trip back home. Is that enough? Tell me what you guys think.

Oscar Pistorius was something of a hero during the most recent Olympic games not only because he is a world class athlete, but because he was able to compete as a double amputee. Nicknamed the “Blade Runner”, Pistorius is a sprinter and received his name by the style of prosthetic legs he used during the games. Now the great story that is the “Blade Runner” has come to a tragic end due to murder charges against Pistorius. His side of the story is that he mistook his girlfriend, Russian model Reeva Steenkamp, as an intruder in the middle of the night and shot her in the arm and head. During the trial today, he broke down into tears when the charge of pre-meditated murder was announced. Even though the bail hearing has been postponed, many believe that bail will be denied because the suspect has a history of running. Get it?

Now moving on, today I will be attempting to get into ShmooCon 2013 in Washington, D.C. I don’t have a ticket, but I know some people who do and I am planning to meet up with them. Hopefully I will be able to make some magic happen and sneak in. The chances are pretty slim, but if nothing else I will get to meet some pretty influential people in the offensive security community. In either case, wish me luck!

Edit: I also wanted to say something about the meteor shower in Russia. It looks like there was a bright flash and quite a few people were injured. There are a ton of videos out there, since (as everyone who watches YouTube knows) just about everyone who drives in Russia has a dash camera. Someone has made quite a bit of money in the video recording industry and they stand to make even more if they change their slogan to “DashCam: Good for Incompetent Drivers AND Interplanetary Debris!” We should likely see some new conspiracy theories about the whole thing in a few day. I don’t know about you guys, but I find the imaginations of those silly people highly entertaining.