Recall Warning: BlackDiamond PIEPS Beacon

Black Diamond is one of the best if not the best manufacturer of outdoor gear for extreme conditions. Their detailed recall notice is one of the best I’ve seen for any manufacturer of any equipment.

The detailed explanation of severity is this:

We’ve identified a specific issue with the Pieps Micro family beacons where the front foil containing the buttons could be damaged during the manufacturing process thereby affecting the electronics of the device. If this were to occur, it could result in the beacon not being able to switch into the SEARCH mode for the Button and Race models, and loss of the Mark function for the Sensor model.

And the likelihood is this:

  • PIEPS Powder BT, Pieps Pro BT, Pieps DSP Pro, Pieps DSP Sport, Pieps DSP Ice, Black Diamond Recon, Black Diamond Guide: As of April 28, 2022, 0.07% of all beacons sold globally have been reported with this issue. In North America the reported instances are lower, at 0.02%.
  • PIEPS Micro BT Button / Race / Sensor: As of April 28, 2022, 0.53% of all beacons sold globally have been reported with this issue. 0.22% reported in North America.

A complete recall for a safety device with a reported failure rate of 0.07% (or even 0.02%) is the right thing to do, to say the least. They’ve not only triaged the manufacturing flaw for units in the field and issued a recall with easy instructions, they blocked all shipment until resolution.

We have pulled all current inventory and are performing a thorough inspection, including testing every single unit before placing them into the marketplace.
We have worked with our manufacturer(s) to identify and correct the material handling / assembly issue and are confident that this issue has been resolved. […] We issued a Notice for Safety Check and urge you to follow the instructions to check if you have an affected unit. We are working to repair or replace all affected beacons as quickly as possible. If you do not feel comfortable checking your own beacon, send it in and we will check it for you.
All affected units sent in will be replaced or repaired free of charge.

Well done Black Diamond.

Yelp Reviews Predict Kansas City Bar Shooting

A Yelp review of Westport Alehouse in March (written originally in February) warns people that guns are present and a shooting is likely to happen, due to how security was being operated.

Source: Yelp

This was not the only warning. Multiple one star reviews comment on violence escalation by bar staff.

  • Brooke S. Fort Worth, TX 2/13/2022
    Security is so AGGRESSIVE for no reason. Want to yell and bully girls when not necessary. Very mean…
  • Taylor C. Kansas City, MO 2/13/2022
    This place is great but the management FUCKING SUCKS AND IS OVERLY AGGRESSIVE. They lowkey should have law suits with how violent their employees get when kicking people out/or correcting drunk behavior. You own a bar, you have to expect silly things to happen but they act like you are a psych ward patient. It’s a episode out of American horror story. Psycho and VIOLENT
  • Julian S. Topeka, KS 7/24/2021
    Your bouncers are a bunch of bitches, my friend did not disrespect anyone or anything and they dragged him out and shoved him into the street and cracked his head open. They think they’re so fucken cool and it’s so unnecessary. Fuck Ale house and all the guys who think they’re so cool and above the law. Bunch of pussies
  • Brittany J. Columbus Park, Kansas City, MO 3/7/2021
    The security team and front of house staff are a huge liability to the company and desperately need discrimination training! I repeat! It seems as though there’s no one here reinforcing professional and FAIR behavior. I’ve witnessed discriminatory behavior and practices take many forms here, which I’m almost shocked there aren’t more reviews here discussing the sour reputation of this bar and lack of fair accommodation.

One review by Megan R (Elite 2022) on February 24 even posted a photo with the caption “The oldest ‘bouncer’ in the house. Stay clear!”

Source; Yelp

Because it was my boyfriend’s birthday I wanted the DJ to do a shout out, so I made my way to the DJ booth but was stopped by a very aggressive “bouncer.” He hardly made eye contact with me and said that Ale House was too busy tonight to make any request.

And here’s an interesting tid-bit from that same review:

We were told to get down off the seat, but the party next to us did not get in trouble. I proceeded to ask a worker as to why they were allowed to do certain things but we were not. The response I received was “oh this person knows and hangs out with Travis Kelce.”

Travis Kelce? The football player who claims people hate him because he’s white?

Travis Kelce is possibly the most annoying player in the NFL. One of the words that immediately comes to mind when you think of Kelce is cringe. […] Kelce has his own reasons for why Patriots fans hate him. “…the Pats fans, for whatever reason, just hating me for being a white tight end wearing 87.” Well, I am confident race has nothing to do with it…

Travis Kelce? The football player who was big supporter of crimes in the White House“?

Travis Kelce says he CAN’T WAIT to celebrate… at the White House — telling TMZ Sports he WILL join his KC Chiefs teammates when they meet President Trump. “Oh, yeah! Always, man!” Kelce told us in NYC on Wednesday. “Crazy opportunity!”

Travis Kelce? The football player caught using drugs yet allowed to play?

In college, Travis Kelce was suspended from the football team after testing positive for marijuana.

Drugs and guns?

…authorities raided Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce’s home in Kansas city and found 5 pounds of marijuana and 10 ounces of cocaine. He has been charged by police with possession with intent to distribute as well as possession of an on illegal firearm.

All that makes for very interesting reading in preparation for tragedy now in the news.

One person is dead and five others are hurt following a shooting outside of the Westport Ale House at 41st and Broadway. […] Officers say a disturbance inside the building spilled outside and shots were fired. Three off-duty officers who were working at the Ale House returned fire.

Youtube has a video of security guards in action.

Cyber Yankee: U.S. Cyber Marines in Cyber Team Cyber War

Cyber War. It’s long been used to scare Americans into spending money. The military is again talking about protecting the country from disasters by training on cyber (information technology).

Who can forget, for example, the 2022 NYT opinion piece alarmingly titled:

I’ve Dealt With Foreign Cyberattacks. America Isn’t Ready for What’s Coming.

It’s been crickets since then, and rightfully so. In fact, Cyberattacks have been the exact opposite of such predictions with Russia losing badly and nobody really talking about it — a blog post for another day.

So let’s take a look one again at allocation of risk resources versus reality of disaster in America.

First, to properly set context, in a non-military operation to prevent fireworks on Independence Day (a widespread tradition, despite southern American states since losing the Civil War have considered 4th of July as a Black holiday), we see the Bay Area firefighters this year partnered with law enforcement to run “zero-tolerance” enforcement.

Last year, authorities promised to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks by issuing a “zero-tolerance policy” in counties where fireworks were already illegal, The Chronicle reported. This year, authorities were expected to do the same. [Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon] Heggie said Cal Fire departments were coordinating with local, state and federal agencies to create task forces intended to prevent the use of illegal fireworks. Anyone caught with illegal fireworks could be fined up to $50,000 and sent to jail for up to one year, according to Cal Fire.

It seems to have been a roaring success as I’ve found exactly zero fires reported due to fireworks. In fact, I’ve seen and heard almost zero fireworks.

Second, that’s in stark contrast to the regular news about fires.

I mean everyone surely knows how a privately-run power utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) in California has been very weakly regulated despite massive repeated disasters.

Starting fires all over the place for decades, seemingly all the time killing Americans, hasn’t been stopped by local authorities and the military certainly hasn’t been called in.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reported that investigators attributed more than 1,500 fires to PG&E power lines and hardware between June 2014 and December 2017. CAL FIRE attributed 12 fires that started in Northern California on October 8 and 9, 2017 to PG&E power equipment.

It’s unbelievably just how constant disaster has become, literally synonymous with critical infrastructure in the U.S. Is there an oil rig or tanker around. Expect a devastating spill. Did a power line run through some remote wilderness? Expect a devastating fire.

The biting analysis could go on for years, there’s so much evidence of critical infrastructure being a giant dumpster fire with little to no real safety.

Over 1,500 California fires in the past 6 years — including the deadliest ever — were caused by one company: PG&E. Here’s what it could have done but didn’t.

It has a real and present danger (including but not limited to wrongful death, personal injuries, property loss, and business losses), which is so very unlike cyber. Here’s a headline you WON’T see…

U.S. Marines Protecting California from critical infrastructure business management — threat to national security is coming from inside.

Third, in other words, it seems like on the 4th of July in the Bay Area you would need only to drive a big truck with PGE logos full of fireworks and you could launch all you want wherever you want. Just make sure you don’t put the word “cyber” on anything and it will be seen as business as usual for critical infrastructure.

In fact under the logos you could write “Go ahead and fine us again, we don’t care” as the motto of the privately-run power utility; nobody is going to call the Marines in to defend America from obvious and present disaster… unless of course you put the word “cyber” on anything.

Did I mention PGE is privately-run? The wealthy owners faced upwards of $30 billion in fines from its disasters over just three years (2015–2018) and all they did was declare bankruptcy for ONE YEAR.

This is like Cyber War destroying PG&E ability to distribute power (even killing people and destroying homes and businesses) and the company announcing it will simply pay some fines and declare bankruptcy for a year then declare everything back to normal. Who need a military to train for that?

How bad can any Cyber War really be compared to ongoing existing disasters, seriously?

Is it any wonder we hear about “22 mayors, including San Jose’s, pushing to make PG&E customer owned” so it can be less of a threat to security.

And so (fourth), now let’s dig in a bit more to a National Interest story at hand about the U.S. Marines gearing up to defend America from “disaster”.

During a conflict with the United States, an opponent could try to disrupt power and water supplies by knocking regional power supplies off-line or cutting off access to running water. In response to this challenge, the Marine Corps is working with National Guard units to prepare for this challenge. […] “They vary in levels of sophistication from a cyber-criminal or hacktivist that is doing nothing more than low risk access attempts that can be mitigated by very simple security controls and elevate all the way up to the most advanced threat act or using sophisticated means of initiating access with stealthy movement throughout the IT enclave and into the operational technology enclave where the critical infrastructure is located,” [cyberspace operations chief of the Marine Innovation Unit, M Sgt. Mike] McAllister continued.

Oh no, a hacktivist! Wonder if that includes a mayor who would be trying a hack to protect his city from PG&E-led dangers.

Can you image the U.S. Marines being called in on behalf of a morally and literally bankrupt privately-run utility, to stop citizens and their leaders from defending against national security risks posed by those utilities?

Sounds like Guatemala, or Hawaii for that matter.

This is a topic I’ve worked on for ages, even inside the world’s leading response teams, and I have seen the worst of it. That’s probably why I see cyber much like Eisenhower described things in the 1950s: a funding sinkhole (congressional-military-industrial complex) begging for massive cash and time allocations when other areas of safety and security are in far greater need.

When the president’s brother asked about the dropped reference to Congress, the president replied: “It was more than enough to take on the military and private industry. I couldn’t take on the Congress as well.”

If firefighters and police can completely shut down fireworks to protect the country from disaster, let them go after the utilities too. The military probably wouldn’t even have to be involved in Cyber (just like they aren’t involved in fires) if American civic action to stop harms from giant private companies like bulk energy was in any way effective.

Related: “Was Stuxnet the First?

Social media is the new era of old information warfare

Task and Purpose documents a rather obvious role of information for those whose profession is warfare.

Over the course of a week, @DogFaceSoldier seamlessly wove a pro-vaccination narrative through a relatable twitter diary of Americana references and images. @DogFaceSoldier’s 21,400 followers experienced the comfort of the American Midwest, the satisfaction of toughing out a workout, and the joy of finding a new restaurant, all while also consuming pro-vaccination messaging. @DogFaceSoldier is not an influencer or public affairs specialist by trade, but the content he produces and the routine interaction with followers presents a transparent and trustworthy image. This is particularly significant since @DogFaceSoldier is Gen. Robert Abrams, a retired four-star general in the United States Army.

As surely as President Andrew Jackson ordered his Postmaster General to inspect and destroy U.S. mail he disagreed with, and detain and torture Americans caught with books he didn’t like, this article goes on to conclude…

Capt. David Harrell accurately notes that “Social media is no longer a new and untested medium of war but is rapidly becoming a pillar in which insurgency groups, revolutions, or anti-government movements are built on.”

In related news Facebook has a problem, as usual.

Comments on the MyNavy HR page at times suggest fleet members have grown tired of a polished social media presentation coupled with a lack of substantive answers as they wait for payments, paperwork and other needs that can greatly disrupt their lives.

Thief arrested for stealing R2-D2 from Disney in botched attempt to “expose weakness”

This story is a painful story to read, as the bumbling thief tried to argue he was doing his target a favor:

He claimed he was not trying to steal the items; he was exposing weakness in resort safety and attempting to get a job with Disney security.

Exposing weaknesses? His own mistakes were just far too obvious for security to ignore…

…security spotted him wearing a high-visibility orange vest and pushing a cart down the street to the hotel… told deputies he worked at the nearby Yacht Club Resort. He led investigators to a staff locker room, where deputies said he walked around aimlessly searching for his locker for a while, and failed to open a locker… driver’s license showed a different name than the one he gave…

the poetry of information security