CYBERLIGHTS

traffic-lights-643304_960_720

It is reported that Russia may be able to hack Britain’s traffic lights and cause chaos on the roads. Have they no ambition? They could try something a bit more challenging!

Remember traffic lights on red,
Mean do not go or you’ll be dead,
Whereas if they have turned to green,
Proceed with caution’s what they mean,

That’s just the basic kind of light,
Which isn’t really all that bright,
But some exponents of the art,
Are frequently described as smart.

These smart lights are quite good, all told,
And by some centre are controlled,
So that they change throughout the day,
In order then to speed your way.

A problem, though, has come to light,
For when he’s spoiling for a fight,
The Russian leader might decide,
To try to make our cars collide.

It’s pretty simple, it would seem:
The lights would all be turned to green,
And then a lot would likely crash,
And be turned into so much trash.

It’s like a version of fake news,
Designed to normal folk confuse,
With red and green, I think you’ll find,
A sort of extreme colourblind.

Then on TV in Russian bars,
They could all watch these dodgem cars,
Because to keep his fans on track,
He also might the cameras hack.

ROBOT GARDENERS

Robot lawn-mower-634603_960_720

It is reported that robot gardeners that automatically plant, weed, hoe and water are being developed.

A garden is a pleasant place,
Where one can sit with perfect grace,
With sandwiches, a glass of wine –
A lovely way to pass the time.

But backstage hard work is afoot,
With lawns and bushes to be cut;
Plants to be planted, weeds to pull –
A gardener’s life is never dull.

Not dull but it could be improved,
If major tasks could be removed,
For friendly robots to take on,
So that the worst of it is gone.

As luck would have it there will soon,
Be in the shops a gardener’s boon:
A robot which can plant and weed,
So gardeners can from such be freed.

I’ll vote for that, it sounds quite good,
Will do the leg work as it should,
And I will then have much more time,
To stuff my face and drink more wine!

CHINESE WHISPERS

Alexa

It is reported that researchers have devised a way of hacking Amazon’s Alexa thingy by giving it secret, high-pitched, whispered commands which are inaudible to the human ear over general noise levels.

“Alexa, your hearing is good,
And so you hear all that you should,
Which makes it easy then for me,
To give commands you will agree.

But some now say it is too good,
And you might hear more than you should,
Then if a hacker talks to you,
You might do what he tells you to.

He’ll talk in whispers, mainly shrill,
(You’ll think it’s me and that I’m ill),
And you might then do something rash,
Like giving him a load of cash.”

Now Amazon (Alexa’s dad),
Says, “Things like this are very bad.
We do all things to make quite sure,
Alexa here will be secure.”

“I do not want to be a pest,
But my question you’ve not addressed;
How will you now prevent these hacks,
Or is security too lax?”

“In truth, we really don’t yet know,
So maybe now we ought to go,
And so we can complete this task,
Perhaps we should our daughter ask!”

Image – methodshop.com

VORSPRUNG DURCH TECHNIK? MAYBE NOT

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It is reported that the German Air Force has only four fully serviceable Eurofighter aircraft. Unfortunately it is not 1939 any more.

These days we’re getting lots of talk,
About rich countries which won’t fork
Out as much as they really ought,
For NATO – some are close to nought.

And there within this list we see,
Is very wealthy Germany,
Which does its best now to defend,
Its pretty paltry rate of spend.

So it should come as no surprise,
To learn, though the Luftwaffe tries,
That it with problems is beset,
And only has four fighter jets,
That it could any day produce,
And suitable for combat use.

In decades past that would be fine,
Like back in 1939,
But most things have moved on since then,
And should there be a war again,
Though something that one can’t abide,
The Germans should be on our side.

So they should pull their finger out,
And with their economic clout,
Increase their spending so that they,
Have more planes working from today.

With that done they can take their share,
Defending Europe in the air,
And that then should be their intent,
Once rid of this embarrassment.

TICKED OFF

Clock

It is reported that schools are finding that some teenagers have difficulty telling the time with a traditional clock and so they are putting digital clocks in examination rooms so as not to disadvantage the thickies.

I thought most folk could tell the time,
Though most clocks work in prose, not rhyme,
But some teenagers in the land,
Find it quite hard to understand,
The analogue type of clock face,
Which, at their age, is a disgrace.

You see clocks like this all around,
Some silent, others make a sound,
But I suppose you have to do,
Some urgent sums if you want to,
See what, in minutes, it is past,
The hour the hand was showing last.

So one means five and two means ten,
This carries on till thirty when,
The time switches from ‘past’ to ‘to’,
Which makes the sum more hard to do.

So maybe this the problem is,
And why the teens get in a tizz,
As sitting there they start to clam,
In middle of a maths exam.

But Latin scholars get ahead,
Because, as I have not yet said,
A lot of clocks have Is and Vs,
Which most of them can read with ease.

But even Latin speakers will,
Not get it right because they still,
Although they mostly are not dumb,
Have problems with that simple sum.

So what to do? Should we re-train,
Teenagers to improve the brain?
Or is it only we old crocs,
Who don’t need digits on the clocks?

FACEBOOK FREE (and always will be)

Facebook crossed out

It is reported that the number of people searching ‘How to delete Facebook’ has soared in the wake of recent data loss scandals.

So maybe we can say at last,
That people are now learning fast,
And, latterly, are not so keen,
On those things that Facebook has been,
Doing with data which is theirs,
As if they really have no cares.

We’ve talked about all this before,
So everybody knows the score,
And so in this, my blog today,
We will just talk about the way,
That people can their Facebook leave,
And henceforth their concerns relieve.

It should be easy, you would think,
And maybe they were on the blink,
But when I tried to close mine down,
My face became a worried frown.

I wasn’t sure how to proceed,
Could not find buttons I would need,
And when I thought I’d progress made,
They said closing would be delayed,
In case I owed them any cash,
Which really is just balderdash.

And this would take, they said, some time,
Though they would not confirm in rhyme,
And though the wait might be a pain,
Then I might like to try again.

I did and it seemed to have worked,
When I found where the buttons lurked,
But it will still take several weeks,
Because their systems are not sleek.

And I have found that in that time,
They still send me in prose, not rhyme,
Emails which if I click the link,
Then asks of me if I still think,
I really, truly want to leave,
’Cos they do not want me to grieve.

This pestering makes me annoyed,
It’s clear they’re trying to avoid,
People deserting them en masse,
Because their systems are so crass.

They may try tricks of any kind,
But I will never change my mind;
So now you know and as for me,
I’m happy, happy, Facebook free!
(And always will be!)

POOR FACEBOOK

Mark_Zuckerberg_1984_Berlin_Graffiti

It is reported that during his testimony to the United States Congress concerning the loss of 87 million people’s personal data, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, seemed to suggest that the real culprit was somebody else and Facebook was really the victims the affair.

Mark Zuckerberg had to concede,
While not departing from his screed,
That Facebook’s systems are so bad,
That all the data they have had,
About their members might have been,
Sold off repeatedly, unseen.

The latest one to come to light,
(He said, of course, it wasn’t right)
Was Facebook had just been deceived,
And data hadn’t been retrieved.

The culprit was, alas alack,
That Cambridge man they had let ‘hack’,
The data, knowing not that he,
Would sell it on but not for free.

And now they’ve found in Cambridge, there
Are researchers with time to spare,
Whose research on Facebook they feel,
Means that they might more data steal.

At this Facebook is quite upset,
Don’t know if it is widespread yet,
But if it is, then it might sue,
The venerable Cambridge U.

But Cambridge says, “We are surprised.
In fact, cannot believe our eyes.
We’ve lots of people who now search,
This Facebook data for research.

Results are published in the press,
So Mr Zuckerberg, we’d guess,
Is well aware of what we do,
And some of them are authored too,
By Facebook staff who are quite bright,
And still remember how to write.

This accusation is fake news,
And represents no person’s views,
But since on this he failed to act,
He mentions it now to distract.

Distractions of this sort aren’t new,
The Russians like to do them too,
And as we’ve seen in recent days,
It’s fast becoming now a craze.

The real culprits – Facebook here –
Try very hard the pitch to queer,
So, though it right now sounds bizarre,
It will seem they the victim are.”

We don’t know what will happen now,
Though Facebook made a solemn vow,
That it would better methods use,
But would not risk its revenues.

But one amusing footnote here,
Is when the man went to appear,
Before Congress in suit so neat,
They put a cushion on his seat.

The suit looked new, folk gasped in awe,
He’s not been seen in one before,
And at five-seven overall,
He really isn’t all that tall!