Airlines

The Plane Truth

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The plain (plane?) truth is that commercuial airlines face a growing risk of cyber attacks. It is a frightening prospect. Airline safety has never been better from an aeronautics perspective. Yet more pilots are switching to iPads to access airport information including runway approaches. No more need for heavy paper flight maps. Cockpits are digital. Air to ground links open up vulnerabilities which could allow nefarious actors to place an aircraft at the wrong height, even if the display tells otherwise.

Think of how politicians or high value targets could be assassinated this way. Hackers could dump the fuel, while sending normal consumption data to the pilots. The black box would record all the conflicting data. Who needs to take a bomb onboard? It could be made to look like an accident. The cockpit voice recorder could be switched off by remote leaving the investigators precious little to go on. The Israeli National Cyber Directive views this as a growing risk.

After a week of visiting Israel’s best cyber companies, many staffed with former members and leaders of the elite military cyber unit 8200, solutions will be found but the game is growing riskier by the day. The lack of adequate protection is evident. The live hacks (from low level amateurs to state sponsored) we were witness to show just how naked so many businesses and government agencies are. The access points to hack are also exposed by the fact less than 1% of people have security on the hand held devices they make so many decisions from.

Japan’s Defense White Paper 2017 – Chinese military jet incursions up 30-fold in 10 years

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Should Japan just close its eyes? The Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) has had to scramble jets almost 3x a day to intercept Chinese PLAAN aircraft flirting with Japan’s sovereign borders according to the 2017 Defense White Paper. Since 2007, the JSADF has seen an almost 30-fold jump in activity. With respect to the disputed Senkaku Islands, the PLAAN and PLAAF have been operating drones “inside” Japanese sovereign territory. While Japan can take some comfort with the US Forces stationed throughout the country, China’s increasing belligerence in the region is obvious.

With respect to China, the JMoD wrote,

China is believed to be making efforts to strengthen its asymmetrical military capabilities to prevent military activities by other countries in the region, denying access and deployment of foreign militaries to its surrounding areas (“Anti-Access/Area-Denial” [“A2/AD”] capabilities), and recently, pursuing large-scale military reforms designed to build its joint operations structure with actual combat in mind. In addition, China is rapidly expanding and intensifying its activities both in quality and quantity in the maritime and aerial domains in the region, including in the East and South China Seas.

In particular, China has continued to take assertive actions with regard to issues of conflicts of interest in the maritime domain, as exemplified by its attempts to change the status quo by coercion, and has signaled its position to realize its unilateral assertions without making any compromises. As for the seas and airspace around Japan, Chinese government ships have routinely and repeatedly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters, and China has engaged in dangerous activities that could cause unintended consequences, such as its naval vessel’s direction of fire control radar at a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyer, the flight of fighters abnormally close to SDF aircraft, and its announcement of establishing the “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)” based on its own assertion, thereby infringing the freedom of overflight.

In the South China Sea, China has continued to take unilateral actions that change the status quo and heighten tension, including large-scale and rapid reclamation of multiple features, establishment of outposts there, and their use for military purposes, based on China’s unique assertions which are incompatible with the existing international order, and has made steady efforts to create a fait accompli. In addition, a Chinese fighter is alleged to have flown abnormally close to and conducted an intercept of a U.S. Forces aircraft. These Chinese activities represent serious security concerns of the region encompassing Japan, and of the international community.

For this reason, China is urged to further increase transparency regarding its military and enhance its compliance with international norms. It is a key task to further strengthen mutual understanding and trust by promoting dialogue and exchanges with China, and make further progress on measures to build trust, such as measures to avoid and prevent unintended consequences in the maritime domain.”

Sadly Japan is unlikely to get the answers it wants to hear. So as trivial as submitting to Chinese pressure to change an in flight magazine map might seem to many, the bigger picture is what is happening on the security front. As Churchill once said, “you cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth!

 

Qantas gets a taste of its own medicine

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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has had a taste of his own medicine. Forever a boss ramming social activism at shareholders’ expense down the throats of passengers and staff, China is demanding that the airline remove “Taiwan” off its maps and the airline is likely to comply. True colours. While happy to pontificate to others, Joyce falls into line when real dictators bark orders. So much for the social justice of Taiwanese clientele. Sold down the river without a fight.

Why didn’t Qantas engage the Dept of Foreign Affairs to officially complain about such a ridiculous request? Even if it is odds on that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would chicken out of such an opportunity, it is a precursor at how China is happy to bully its neighbors around even on trivial things such as in-flight magazines. Then again why wouldn’t the Chinese do this if they know how quickly and easy they can get compliance?

Tyrannies don’t do diplomacy. And too many democracies don’t defend it.

Calling Ivanka a c*nt

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In what world do liberals live where they can openly make and celebrate insults about the President’s daughter or anyone for that matter in this way? Do they not get that these are the very things that help the very man they want out of the office to stay in the role for 7 more years? Didn’t Samantha Bee or Sally Field hear Michelle Obama’s  “when they go low, we go high” speech?

Even if you were to accept and acknowledge the jaundiced liberal view of her father for all of his shortcomings, how amazing that she has turned out so well mannered, measured and intelligent! What a slur to suggest she is weak, dishonest, ugly and neglectful. Perhaps even worse some tried to defend Field claiming she didn’t call her a c*nt. In fact there can be no doubt she thinks Ivanka is worse than that.

Celebrate Roseanne Barr’s axed program for her inappropriate tweets but why not defend poor behaviour period, not just when it your own side? Why does the ABC sponsor The View with Joy Behar’s insults of The VP having a mental illness?

Ivanka tweeted a picture of a loving mother and her child and copped a belting for being insensitive to illegal immigrant children when they overlook the facts about decades-long standing legal procedures. How soon the liberals forget how composed Ivanka was on a JetBlue flight with her kids in economy when someone launched a full blown tirade at her. How embarrassing that she didn’t live up to the left’s distorted picture of her? What fool would rant at anyone when their kids were present? These are the people we should take lessons from in terms of values?

Apart from the hypocrisy that courses the veins of Hollywood, it is sad to see society descend to such low levels as to discard any level of common decency. The Flying Nun has crash landed.

Butterfly Island

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38,000ft somewhere over the Pacific Ocean today.

Add Sydney Airport security to Death & Taxes

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Any aspirations working for organizations that support mayhem and chaos are off the list. Sydney Airport must be telling me I have no chance for that line of vocation. A 100% ETD screening record at Sydney Airport in the last 20 trips. I am constantly told it is random but if I could score 100% on every other ‘indiscriminate’ event – investments, love or lottery tickets – wouldn’t life be simple? I do note that I had the option to decline. When he offered an explanation of how I was selected I thought, “why not, I’ll hear him out?” – “Sir, we are trained extensively to profile people at random” That settles it then. Since when did ‘profiling’ and ‘random’ become mutually inclusive? Or do I just need to face the fact that I must look shady? It is 6am afterall.