Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

The revolution will be app’d

Written By: Bob - Feb• 25•14

Something, something, and communicate:

Founded in Austin in 2011, Zello allows individuals to communicate to one another walkie-talkie style via a simple broadband connection. The app interface looks a like button on your phone. You press it to speak to people on a particular channel. The channels can be as small as two people or as big as hundreds of thousands. The largest in Venezuela is about 450,000, but only 600 can be active on a channel at one time, Moore said. The feel of the app is similar to the now defunct Nextel push-to-talk service, which was shut down last summer. Zello is free for individuals but companies can purchase a plan to allow more users on a single channel for $10 a month.

Zello has been downloaded some 50 million times. In addition to playing a big role in the recent Ukraine protests, it was also extremely popular during last year’s unrest in Turkey.

Moore never imagined that what he was making could become a politically destabilizing force. He knew only that he wanted to make a social network around the idea of Internet-based radio. “The human voice carries so much more information than typing. We knew that was the basis of something great. If you listen to these channels you realize that it’s a way for people to make friends. The surprise was that that it exploded in Turkey almost a year ago to become the number one app in Turkey around the issues that they had, and then in Venezuela.”

Any nation with a halfway competent digital army can of course hijack such an app for disinformation and to even lead protesters into ambushes as apparently has been done in Venezuela. This story of a simple little app turned into a protest organizing tool by end users is still quite neat.

Idiots: Everyone knows you use Instagram to plot domestic terrorism.

Written By: Bob - Feb• 22•14

These moron think that “op-sec” is a couple of aisles over from the Jim Beam:

Three Georgia men were charged in federal court this week with plotting an attack against the government designed to trigger martial law and encourage other militias to join their violent uprising.

Brian Edward Cannon, Cory Robert Williamson and Terry Eugene Peace participated in online chats last month about an operation they were planning against the government in February, according to federal prosecutors. Their discussions were reported to the FBI, which had two cooperating witnesses in the case.

Cannon told an FBI cooperating source on Feb. 8 that the group was planning to “start a fight” with the government by attacking power grids, transfer stations and water treatment facilities, which they hoped would trigger martial law, according to prosecutors. Cannon said he would invite the FBI’s source to a private Facebook group, where plans were being made, according to the government.

It’s a damn shame, really. These guys would have been great at minefield EOD with pogo sticks.


LOL. I was just “fired” by Infolinks.

Written By: Bob - Feb• 20•14

I just got this via email from Infolinks, a company that posted advertising here for over two years:

…upon a scheduled review of your website our Quality Assurance Team found that there are multiple gun-related posts under . I’m afraid that since we cannot approve such content to our network we were forced to close your account accordingly.

Be assured that all earnings accumulated during January and until today will be issued to you by April 15th, with accordance to our Terms of Service.

We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


The Infolinks Team

It’s certainly their right to refuse to do business with the 1/3 of Americans who own firearms and respect the entire Bill of Rights. I don’t see such an attitude as recipe for long term success, however.

Any advice on a custom kydex holster maker?

Written By: Bob - Feb• 19•14


I have a Walther PPQ M2 (5″ barrel version) coming in soon that I hope to run in a number of courses.

I’m looking for a Kydex OWB holster with the options of running detachable belt loops for a conventional pistol course, which can be swapped out for some sort of MOLLE attachment system, so that I can run it on a warbelt OR off a drop-leg platform off the warbelt for a carbine operator’s course. I’ll also need 1 and perhaps 2 dual magazine pouches for it as well, with the same flexibility of belt loops and MOLLE attachment.

Oh, and the maker needs to be able to do a relatively quick turn-around (4-6 weeks), and if they can work for an honest product review on a large and fast-growing shooting site, instead of cash, that would be awesome.

Also, I want a pony.


I swear, you write one little post on how to bring down the electrical grid and you never hear the end of it…

Written By: Bob - Feb• 05•14

More than a year ago I wrote Shock the System, a brief description of the inherent fragility of the electrical grid. I thought nothing about it at the time, as the information I’d posted was common knowledge to anyone who had ever worked even on the fringes of public utilities, and attacking these systems has been part of military strategy dating back at least until the Second World War.

Nonetheless, I was immediately made aware of it when someone (or someones) in California decided to put some of those theories to the test in California some three months later in April of 2013.

For whatever reason, the story is in the news again today, which by my estimate, is at least the third time the story a been brought up since the attack took place. This time, they’re revealing a little more detail:

The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.

The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

A blackout was avoided thanks to quick-thinking utility workers, who rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But the substation was knocked out for a month.

The FBI says it doesn’t believe a terrorist organization caused the attack but that it continues to investigate the incident.

Smith and colleague Tom McGinty assembled a detailed chronology of the attack that includes some amazing details, including more than 100 fingerprint-free shell casings similar to ones used by AK-47s that were found at the site and small piles of rocks that appeared to have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.

A U.S. Navy investigation ordered by Wellinghoff determined “it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack,” he said.

Personally, I’m underwhelmed.

It sounds to me like authorities are fishing, dribbling out tidbits of information, perhaps hoping to track down who reads all the media coverage, hoping to narrow down a list of suspects… perhaps by taking an existing list of suspects and seeing which ones pour over the news stories of the attack to see if they’ve been compromised.


Nah. Couldn’t be.