Friday, January 24, 2014

Joe Nickell Says Bell Witch Contrived.

. . Joe Nickell, senior research fellow at Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, is the latest to examine the Bell Witch Legend and to conclude it most likely was invented by Marvin Ingram.  In  the January./February issue of Skeptical Inquirer he summarized his analysis in an article titled, "The 'Bell Witch' Poltergist."  His primary contribution was a grammatical comparison of the letter, "Our Family Trouble," purported to be from Richard Bell to the book authored by Ingram.  He found a high degree of compatibility suggesting that Ingram wrote both.
. . About a decade ago, we concluded after a thorough examination of all available documentation, that Ingram invented the Bell Witch.  That was based on the total absence of third party corroboration, even though circumstances would have assured its existence.  Our conclusion was also predicated on the bizarre content of Ingram's report, his absurd report of claimed witnesses, and his personal background for tabloid type publications. It was simply another case where extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  Absolutely nothing exists.
. . Nevertheless, the legend persists. It is just another example where people will choose to believe what they want, regardless, and no matter how irrational.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Target Exploit Give XP Legs

. . According to NCR 95% of the ATM terminals around the world still run Microsoft XP, which is soon to be abandoned by Microsoft (1).  It is quite possible that a good majority of the point of sale (POS) terminals have a similar platform.  It is reported that the recently publicized Target exploit was carried out on terminals with embedded Microsoft XP(2).  Target was hardly alone(3). 
. . Everyone needs to watch credit cards statement very closely and promptly.  Don’t assume that because you were not one of the 110 million in the Target heist that you’re safe. 
. . That may be one reason why Microsoft has changed its mind about abandoning XP and on January 15, 2014 decided to extend security support until July 14, 2015(4). It might also be due to pressure from the Chinese on Microsoft to extend support of XP (5).  They have little motivation to move off of XP. 
. . One might conclude that even with all the fear mongering about XP’s demise, this operating system is simply not going away anytime soon.