Because Being A Good Parent Might Mean Shooting People…



[NOTE: Citizens’ Defense Research’s next class in Alliance, Ohio is the weekend of April 1-2. They’re currently running a “BOGO” (buy one seat in the class, get the next seat free) offer from now until Monday at 11:59PM EST. If you’re within driving distance, I’d suggest going for the reason’s below. Make sure you select the $450 option]

Thanks to my job, I get to do a lot of very cool firearms training classes and media events sponsored by manufacturers. From aerial target interdictions to storming a prison cell block full of terrorist robots while wearing night vision gear in the dead of night, to shooting machine guns and $25,000 precision rifles, I’ve had a blast. Literally.

It’s all very cool, and I’ll jump at my next training opportunity or media event and I’ll love every second of it, but I also know that while these experiences are both fun and educational, they don’t provide a lot of knowledge that can easily translate well to my everyday life. After all, I can’t just call up a Little Bird and start blazing away with a suppressed AR-15 if I’m with my oldest daughter and we’re approached by an apparent mugger when at the local Walmart…

Bob Owens Little Bird

… as cool as that may be.

That’s why Citizen Defense Research‘s Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian is probably the most relatable class I can recommend to the readers of Bearing Arms. We’re simply not tooling around in plate carriers with an AR-15 in our hands and a pistol on a drop-leg rig in our daily lives, but we do run to the grocery store with our husbands and wives, dinner at a restaurant with our spouse and kids, and run errands with a gaggle of rug rats in tow, often several times a week.

Colloquially called “TAP/G” by graduates, the class is the first I’ve taken that has taken the real-world context of being the armed defender of our families out in public, typically with a concealed handgun.

melody lauer, john johnston, tamara Keel, bob owens aprmed parent/guadian

That’s the normal, daily context of our lives that most shooting schools simply haven’t fully addressed, and what “TAP/G” is specifically designed to provide:

A fast-paced course designed around the thought, “What if my children are with me when I get into a shooting?” Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian discusses with students the hard/soft skills necessary to solve the commonly observed shooting problems associated with fighting with our children present. Are some of the most commonly held best practices for if we are attacked when we are alone actually going to put our loved ones at risk when they are present? Students will be shown WHY the context we find ourselves in as a parent can change our tactics. This skill-intensive two-day course covers application of practical handgun skills in a family environment. Topics include, but are not limited to; types of attacks, avoidance skills, handgun terminal ballistics and the importance of accuracy, one-handed access/shooting skills, shooting past/around no-shoots, clearing family members from lines of fire, best practices for dealing with a close-range assault while loading/unloading children from the vehicle, malfunction clearances and more with the end result being students better capable of delivering fast, accurate, fight-ending fire on demand.

My review of the “alpha” class (the very first one they taught, full of new shooters, and highly skilled instructors, and advanced hobbyists) was absolutely glowing, and with good reason. I’m the doting father of two girls, and the husband of a loving wife. While I’ve trained to fight on my own or with other highly-skilled individuals, The Armed Parent/Guardian is the very first class that focused entirely on how to defend my family. But as good as I thought that first class was last year, instructors Melody Lauer and John Johnston have done a lot of work to refine and enhance the focus of the course, and those who have taken it recently have posted their own reviews, suggesting this class—designed for us, not SWAT teams or pipe hitters—is only getting better.


I’d strongly suggest that if you carry a concealed handgun and have a family, and you’re thinking about taking a training class that focuses on the way you live your life, that you take a look at the Citizens’ Defense Research web site and see if they’re offering a course in your area.

The post Because Being A Good Parent Might Mean Shooting People… appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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Because Being A Good Parent Might Mean Shooting People…

Amalek, Haman and a Bucket of Chum

I know, I know Purim has passed and it’s not yet Pesach, but if you’ll indulge me just a little I’ll explain. First we need a bit of background.

When the Hebrews left Egypt, HaShem, the G-d of Israel had just delivered the enslaving nation of Egypt ten, count ‘em, ten devastating plagues, split the sea and drowned the Egyptians as they pursued the now freed Hebrews. NO sane nation wanted to mess with them. The qualifier, did you catch it? Sane. From, and I’m going to be quoting quite a bit from this one article.

Remember what Amalek did to you as you were leaving Egypt. He happened upon you, and struck the weakest people trailing behind, when you were exhausted. And he did not fear G-d. (Deut. 25:17-18)

G-d said to Moses: Write this remembrance in the book… that I will surely erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. (Exodus 17:14)

To understand, we have to go back to the time of Jacob our forefather. Jacob had a twin brother Esav, who was a lifelong rival ― so much so that Esav sought to kill Jacob (see Genesis 27:41).

The Midrash says that when Esav was getting old, he called in his grandson Amalek and said: “I tried to kill Jacob but was unable. Now I am entrusting you and your descendents with the important mission of annihilating Jacob’s descendents ― the Jewish people. Carry out this deed for me. Be relentless and do not show mercy.”

True to his mission, Amalek has historically tried to destroy the Jews. For example, in Exodus 17:8, Amalek attacked the Jews out of pure hatred ― Amalek lived in a distant land and was under no imminent threat.

So what does Amalek have to do with Purim? The Scroll of Esther (3:1) identifies Haman as the descendent of Agag, King of Amalek. Haman’s desire to wipe out the Jewish people was an expression of his long-standing national tradition.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the vehicular and stabbing attacks. It’s been all over the new, right?

A young Falestinian woman carried out a vehicular attack at the Gush Etzion Junction. She veered out of her lane, drove at great speed towards the bus stop at the junction and tried to run over soldiers standing there. The soldiers guarding the location shot at the car and wounded her. A solider received minor injuries. Although with that lot, it could mean she ran over his leg a couple times. Their idea of minor injuries and all.

Gush Etzion Car used in ramming attack

The stabbing attack? A Falestinian named Bucket O’ Chum 1, from Beit Fajjar, and a friend, carried out a stabbing attack at the Ariel Junction; both were killed.

This is life in Israel, the media finds it of no interest that cars are used as weapons of mass destruction against Jews on a regular basis. A knife attack against a group of Jews? Cnn (fake news): Ho hum. Did the Kardashians get new sunglasses? Isn’t it odd how these stories never seem to make the mainstream media?

But there was another attack too wasn’t there? This one in London. A Bucket of Chum that had converted to the religion of pieces got a car and drove over Westminster bridge and mowed people down, just like the pieceful Falestinian girl that barry ridiculed Americans for wanting to vet the women and children. Damn skippy. Bucket O’ Chum 2 has killed I think it’s 4 people, injured more than 40 people. Just like the pieceful Muslim in Ohio. And just like that one he jumped out of his car with two knives and begin to stab.

Photo of Some Asshole

Bucket O’ Chum’s stabbing victim was a much admired Police officer, husband and father, Keith Palmer. In America this might raise many eyebrows as we would be wondering why didn’t Officer Palmer shoot Bucket O’ Chum. But this is gun free utopia England. Officer Palmer was defenseless, you read that right. He was unarmed. He had to wait for other officers who were armed to shoot his attacker, and despite the fact that they were very close, it was still too late. Seconds really do count, and Officer Palmer didn’t have them. Want to know who shot Chum #2? A close protection officer for Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. Because you see, politicians are important, other people? Meh. Would you like to know what Defense Secretary Mr. Michael Fallon said about the incident?

“’They did not get into Parliament. They only got as far as the gate. They did not breach the security of the House of Commons and he gave his life to protect the security of our democracy.”

BULL FEATHERS!!! He died for no d*mn good reason! He died for political correctness, he died because the foolish people of Britain confuse the teeth. They can’t discern the protective teeth of an armed citizen or Police Officer from the teeth of the wolves that have come to tear them to shreds. For that matter, if there had been ONE, just ONE armed citizen on that bridge, is it possible Bucket O’ Chum wouldn’t have ever made it to Parliament? We will never know, but it sure might have changed the odds. For that matter, did they do a “universal background check” before the car was rented?

Bucket O’ Chum’s rented car

Oh but there is more ticked off to go:

Former Met firearms officer Roger Gay said Britain may need to move away from the idea of ‘traditional’ unarmed policeman in important locations.

He told Sky News today: ‘In my opinion, I would have all of them in that location, I think, should be armed. What you have there, and I hate to use the term, is perhaps a sacrificial pawn.

No, you idiot. He was a Police Officer, husband and father made defenseless by your idiotic policies. But at least this guy thinks they should consider arming all of the officers, at Parliament. Because, hey, they’re important.

In raids across Britain today they have picked up 8 people for “suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts,”.

And it will not end. As “Mad Mommies” virulently spill their insane bile against schools considering changing some of their policies to make their students at least a tiny bit harder to kill, remember it will not end. There will be other targets, in any country and because kids are taught in school to fear an inanimate object as being evil and to embrace a culture that part of it’s people say they want to kill Jews and Christians in many places, it will continue unopposed.

While Jacob believes that G-d runs the world and there is an absolute standard of morality, Esav believes that life is random ― and morality is therefore subjective. Esav’s hatred for the message of morality actually forms the basis of all anti-Semitism. Just as the Jews stand for the principle of caring for the vulnerable and weak, Amalek is the opposite ― “attacking the weakest people trailing behind” (Deut. 25:18).


So why do we have to stomp out Haman? Because we must recognize our enemies and fight them. Not because we enjoy war, but because part of being a “good person” is to actively seek the destruction of evil.

There are evil people actively working to eliminate G-d consciousness from the world. Know your enemy and fight against it. “Erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens” (Exodus 17:14).

It really, really is about good vs. evil. And we are to fight evil, we are to oppose it. And political correctness is evil. It keeps people from discussing issues that can endanger their lives, and from considering solutions that could save it. Please, Abba, no more defenseless victims, please let people begin to discern good from evil and act accordingly.

עם ישראל חי
Am Yisrael Chai

via The Zelman Partisans
Amalek, Haman and a Bucket of Chum

Get an Even Better Look at the Justice League Ahead of the New Trailer (Updated)

Image: Warner Bros via Geeks of Color

This weekend, DC and Warner Bros. will reveal the next trailer for Justice League—and they’re going to spend the next two days reminding you of that with a ton of new posters and little snippets of footage. Here’s the first batch, focusing intensively on Atlantis’ king, Aquaman himself, followed by Batman and the Flash.

The new footage is very brief, but features new shots of Jason Momoa in action as Arthur Curry (including getting his giant trident—is it really a trident with all those extra prongs on it though? A quindent?—tossed to him by Batman). It’s short, but appropriately epic for the film’s larger-than-life take on the character.

There’s also two new posters—one generic one of the Justice League emblem, and another of Aquaman clad in armor.

The armor’s not new—he wore it in the first picture of the team shown at San Diego Comic-Con last year. But it’s probably our best look at it yet, considering since then we’ve mainly seen Aquaman running around topless, as the King of the Oceans is wont to do. It’s a bit too green compared to Arthur’s traditional look, but still, suitably scaly and whatnot.

We’ll update this post with more snippets as Warner Bros. doles them out, ahead of the latest Justice League trailer dropping this Saturday, March 25.

Updated 3:09: We were treated to another teaser for the trailer, this time featuring Batman. Who just loves to perch on meaningful, high statues.

And here’s the poster.

Update 7:40 pm: Now, The Flash is in the mix with his own poster and teaser.

We’ll add more as they come out.

via Gizmodo
Get an Even Better Look at the Justice League Ahead of the New Trailer (Updated)

Burglar Flees For His Life When Momma Breaks Out Her Shotgun!


A home invader in Miami Gardens (FL) experienced a sudden change of heart yesterday after kicking in the door of the home, only to find a mother insider with a pump-action shotgun in hand, protecting her children.

A Miami Gardens woman possibly saved her children’s life earlier this month after an intruder broke into their home.

Surveillance video obtained Tuesday by Local 10 News shows a man entering the home March 4 while the mother of two was inside with her 10-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.

The mother didn’t hesitate to grab her shotgun.

“I will do anything to protect my family,” the woman, who does not want to be identified, said.

The woman, who did not fire her gun, said she is still shaken up and frightened about the ordeal.

“All of the sudden I hear some banging noise. I thought it was my dreams or something,” she said.

The woman said her instincts kicked in.

As her security cameras captured the man attempting to break into her home, she quickly rushed into her bedroom and grabbed her shotgun to protect her children.

“They were screaming and crying hysterically, because they were afraid of anything happening,” she said.

The burglar quickly realized that he was in serious trouble after making it inside the home.

“He was running for his life and kept looking back, making sure I wasn’t going to shoot him in the back,” the woman said.

The only thing that kept the man alive during the home invasion was the fact that she didn’t want to kill him in front of her ten and three-year-old children.

I rather strongly doubt he’ll be back.

The post Burglar Flees For His Life When Momma Breaks Out Her Shotgun! appeared first on Bearing Arms.

via Bearing Arms
Burglar Flees For His Life When Momma Breaks Out Her Shotgun!

MantisX Firearms Training System ~ Smart Shooting With Your Smartphone

By Tom McHale
The MantisX Firearms Training System , it’s like having your own professional competitive shooting coach, even when you’re shooting alone.

MantisX Firearms Training System Controller : About the same size as a laser, the MantisX Training System mounts to the front rail.
MantisX Firearms Training System Controller : About the same size as a laser, the MantisX Training System mounts to the front rail.
Tom McHale headshot low-res square
Tom McHale

USA –-( Can we all agree that dry fire practice is the best way to rapidly improve one’s shooting skills? Can we also agree that most of us do it about as often as Colin Kaepernick earns doctoral degrees in political science?

I think most of us take the attitude that whatever we lack in training and skills we can make up for in sheer desperation.

Structured dry fire practice is arguably the best way to improve your shooting skills rapidly. Without all that explosion stuff going on in front of your face, you can focus on developing a perfect trigger press. More importantly, you can easily see if your gun moves and your sights some off target as you press the trigger. When shooting real ammo, you can certainly see the results of your shot on target, but with all the commotion, you have no way to know exactly what went wrong and when – until now. Hold that thought for a second.

Over the past year, I’ve been experimenting with some different ways to improve my handgun skills safely from the comfort of my home. One such solution has been the LaserLyte Quick Tyme target set and LaserLyte Trainer Cartridges. The cartridges fit in your regular handgun and fires a laser beam at the reactive Quick Tyme targets every time you press the trigger. It’s a neat system that gives you instant feedback on hits and misses. It’s also fun, so you tend to practice more frequently. It’s a great system that tells you the absolute basic results – hits and misses.

Technology marches on, however, and this year at the annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show I stumbled across a new, and very promising, training tool – the MantisX Training System. It goes far beyond hit and miss tracking. Let’s take a look.

MantisX Firearms Training System

The MantisX unit syncs with iPhones and Androids via Bluetooth.
The MantisX unit syncs with iPhones and Androids via Bluetooth.

The MantisX Firearms Training System takes a radically different skills improvement approach to the simple measurement of hits and misses. Instead, it’s designed to analyze your (for lack of a better word) micro-movements just before, during, and just after you press the trigger. The system will tell you how much you moved, and in what directions, with precision far beyond what the human eye of even a seasoned coach can see.

The idea is to monitor a series of shots and give you instant feedback on all those details.

Here’s how Mantis-X works. The MantisX Training System is a high-tech electronic coach. It’s a small and lightweight device that mounts on the front rail of most any pistol or rifle. Inside are some fancy sensors and electronics that detect the movement of your gun milliseconds before, during, and right after your trigger press. These movements are recorded and beamed to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth. Fancy software analyses that data and shows you different graphical post-mortems of your shot, in excruciating detail. You’ll clearly see exactly what you did for each shot in a string and the aggregate “quality” of all your shots.

MantisX Firearms Training System : The primary score view shows your tendencies on a target representation and offers advice based on what the system sees.
MantisX Firearms Training System : The primary score view shows your tendencies on a target representation and offers advice based on what the system sees.

The best way to explain how this works is to walk through the process. The MantisX Training System rechargeable using the included USB cable. When you turn it on, it’ll want to connect with the smartphone app that you download for free. Once the connection is established in a second or so, you can configure settings in the app to tell the system what kind of gun you have, whether you shoot right or left-handed, whether the unit is mounted on a bottom, side, or top rail. Yes, that means you can stick it on a rifle too.

There’s one setting that warrants extra special attention. You can tell the MantisX unit whether you’re dry firing, live firing, or using a CO2 pistol. Yes, you got that right. This system is not just a dry fire tool; you can use it at the range to help fine tune your actual shooting performance. The CO2 option is pretty nifty too as you can use an air pistol charged with gas (and pellets or no pellets) to practice at home with a bit of recoil sensation.

MantisX Firearms Training System The second view screen shows the score of each shot (top) and the relative movement of the gun before and during trigger press (bottom).
MantisX Firearms Training System : The second view screen shows the score of each shot (top) and the relative movement of the gun before and during trigger press (bottom).

I’ve been using this system in all three modes. It works. It’s addictive. It appeals to your inner competitive nature. When this thing scores you, your first natural reaction is denial, but that’s quickly followed by a desire to do it again and improve.

When you begin a firing session, MantisX will record the movement of your gun off target and assign numerical scores based on how far off you drifted before, during, and after your shot. This data is represented several different ways in the app. You’ll get a raw numerical score, which is the quick and dirty indicator. You’ll also see charts that show you direction and frequency of movement relative to the bullseye. You’ll also see a different representation of hold movement versus trigger press movement. That helps you identify and fix shot anticipation issues. Last, there’s a view that shows a graphical track of muzzle movement before, during, and after the shot. All of this info is captured and stored so you can monitor performance over time to see how you’re improving and identify chronic problem areas.

The app even offers advice and suggestion based on the analyzed results.

MantisX Firearms Training System : The trace view shows the movement before trigger press (green), during trigger press (yellow) and after the shot (red). Here are two different shots down side by side. You can see how I pulled ever so slightly on the right hand chart.
MantisX Firearms Training System : The trace view shows the movement before trigger press (green), during trigger press (yellow) and after the shot (red). Here are two different shots down side by side. You can see how I pulled ever so slightly on the right hand chart.

The dry fire function worked really well. The device had no trouble detecting trigger press and capturing data on every shot. Sure, when I practice dry fire, I can easily game the system, so to speak, and execute a pretty good trigger press with minimal gun movement. Those charts in the MantisX app look (relatively) flat and scores are high. However, the real value in this system was in seeing what I really do when I’m not thinking about it. Having the MantisX system track me while drawing and firing, executing multiple double-action shots, and other dry fire drills was an enlightening and somewhat humbling experience.

Where the MantisX Firearms Training System really shines is at the range.

With all the speed and commotion of live fire, it’s very difficult for the shooter or observer to identify minor mistakes. No worries, the MantisX unit measures and records everything you do, no matter how fast and furious your shooting routine. For example, if you’re trying to clear a steel plate rack in record time, you’ll get a detailed analysis of what you did right and wrong after you’re done. While you may still hit the target, if your technique is off, you’re going to miss that one periodically. The system will help you spot those technique issues that result in “just barely” hits.

The system comes packaged in a nifty little Pelican 1010 Micro Case so you can toss the whole thing in your range bag and not worry about knocks and bumps or gun oil leaks. Assuming you’re serious about skills improvement, it’s also affordable with an MSRP of $149.99. That’s not many boxes of ammo when you think about the upside of years of “free” skills improvement.

This sensible use of technology is one of the most useful training tools I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s like having your own professional coach, even when you’re shooting alone.


Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

This post MantisX Firearms Training System ~ Smart Shooting With Your Smartphone appeared first on Shooting Sports News .

via Shooting Sports News
MantisX Firearms Training System ~ Smart Shooting With Your Smartphone

Make Your Ringtone Awesome With Retro Video Game Sounds

Is your text notification the same generic sound that came as the default on your phone? Do you hear iPhone ringtones in public and wonder if it’s yours?

If you’re a video game fan, you can fix this problem in style. Video game music

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makes for awesome ringtones and notification sounds. Plus, nobody else will have the same tones as you. Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, we’ll show you the best places to download retro video game music and sound effects. Once you’ve chosen some tracks, we’ll review setting them up on your phone.

Game Music and Sounds

Ringtones are obviously intended to alert you when you get a phone call (if you still receive those), but they work great as alarm sounds, too. Notification sounds are perfect for incoming text messages, emails, or any other quick pings.

To download a track from these sites, right-click on it, then choose Save Link As… and save it to a folder on your computer. We’ll highlight a few recommendations from each franchise if you’re not familiar with them.


The Mario series is one of the most iconic and important franchises of all time

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. Super Mario Bros. on NES made a name for Nintendo and marked the dawn of the platformer. And the series hasn’t slowed down since. Its variety of music makes for great ringtones.

For ringtones, check out Mario Mayhem’s soundtracks page. It contains links to MP3 collections of many Mario games, like Super Mario Bros., Super Mario 64, and Super Mario Sunshine. Mario Mayhem also includes plenty of Mario sounds, but we recommend visiting The Mushroom Kingdom for your notification needs. It has a better collection of sound effects, plus it divides them by subject.

A few Mario highlights:

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is second only to Mario when it comes to prolific Nintendo franchises. The incredible action-adventure series blends epic fantasy stories with challenging puzzles and tight combat. Whether you still love Ocarina of Time or just fell in love with Breath of the Wild, there’s a piece of Zelda music waiting for your phone.

You’ll find all the Zelda sounds you need at Dayjo. It covers all the main series games, as well as spin-offs like Hyrule Warriors and Link’s Crossbow Training. For Zelda‘s legendary music, check out Zelda Dungeon’s music page. It even includes some official remixes and Japan-only tracks.

Nobody can go wrong with these Zelda tunes:


Pokemon got a strong start with the original Red and Blue titles on the Game Boy. Since then, it’s seen many successful sequels (including the recent Sun and Moon), TV shows, movies, a trading card game, and more. Its mobile iteration, Pokemon Go, was a smash hit

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in the summer of 2016.

KHInsider holds a ridiculous amount of Pokemon music. Choose the game you’re interested in and you’ll find its complete soundtrack. For sounds, you’re a bit more limited. There’s a collection from KHInsider, but it only includes cries for the 151 original Pokemon. For some reason, they all have several seconds of Japanese speech after them. If you want a specific sound not found here, you’re better off grabbing it from YouTube manually

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Any Pokemon fan should enjoy these tracks:


Sega created the blue blur to challenge Mario, and the hedgehog with an attitude gave the plumber a stir back in the 90s. Those days are long gone, as Sonic games now appear on Nintendo systems. Most modern Sonic titles don’t match up to the classics, but you can relive the glory days with some awesome Genesis music.

Sonic HQ is our destination for Sonic‘s fantastic music library. Choose a game from the hedgehog’s catalog and you’ll find all its tunes ready for download. SoaH CITY is another good choice if you need an alternative, though the music comes in

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ZIP files there. For sounds, a user on the SonicRetro forums provided zipped files with all the sounds from many early Sonic games. But they’re not named properly, which makes finding the right one a chore. A YouTube download is probably faster.

Some of our favorite Sonic sounds and tracks are:

Donkey Kong Country

The big ape got his start as the antagonist in 1982’s Donkey Kong arcade game, but he didn’t receive a starring role until Donkey Kong Country in 1994. This masterful platforming experience created by legendary developer Rareware used (then) cutting-edge pre-rendered graphics for a more realistic look. Even better, it had an incredible soundtrack

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to match.

We’ll visit KHInsider again, this time on its Donkey Kong page. The three original Country games are the highlight here. For notifications, DKC Atlas has collected almost all the DK Country sound effects in one ZIP.

Get your gorilla groove on with these highlights:

Crash Bandicoot

The Crash trilogy was one of the best platformers on the original PlayStation. While the bandicoot didn’t see too many great games after his PS1 days, a remaster of those games is coming to the PS4 later in 2017

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. We can celebrate this with some Crash ringtones.

KHInsider once again provides the soundtracks. YouTuber Dom Gilburt’s playlist collects major Crash sound effects.

Try these on for size:


Some video game music doesn’t belong to any of the series above, but it’s so awesome that we had to mention it. Here are a few bonus tracks we recommend adding to your ringtone and notification collection:

Getting These on Your Phone

Now that you’ve downloaded some awesome ringtones and notification sounds, it’s time to get them on your device. To keep everything straight, separate ringtone and notification clips before transferring them. If you want to adjust the volume of any sound or shorten it, you can easily make those adjustments in Audacity

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The easiest way to send these to your Android phone

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, but you can also use cloud storage like Dropbox. If neither option appeals to you, there are two other choices. You’ll have to do all the downloading on your phone or connect your phone to your PC with a cable.

On Android, you’ll need to place the audio files into the appropriate folders so the system recognizes them as ringtones and notifications. Use a file manager app

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to move them from their current location (probably Downloads) to the Ringtones or Notifications folder in your phone’s storage. Then, go to Settings > Sound and tap Phone ringtone or Default notification ringtone to change them. The new audio effects show up when you pick a notification sound for a particular app, too. Check out how to randomize your text tone

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You probably have custom sound effects on your Android phone, but did you know that you can randomize them for every new message or call?
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if you’d like to cycle all your new sounds automatically.

For iPhone users, this is a more difficult task. There’s no way to browse the file system locally like Android, so you’ll have to perform some trickery with iTunes on your computer to convert a track into a ringtone. Check out our guide on making your own iPhone ringtones

How to Create or Import Free iPhone Ringtones with iTunes

How to Create or Import Free iPhone Ringtones with iTunes

You can buy ringtones via iTunes, or you can create or import your own alerts for free with this guide.
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for instructions.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of downloading and moving files over, check out the free Zedge app for Android and iOS. It lets you browse hundreds of ringtones and notification sounds that you can download right to your device. Note that users upload Zedge’s content, so tracks might have confusing labels or suffer from poor quality. There’s lots of video game audio on Zedge, so it’s a great place to check.

Enjoy Your Awesome Ringtones!

Now you have everything you need to remove your boring stock ringtones and replace them with classic video game sounds and music. There are dozens of other games with excellent sounds, so feel free to substitute any of the music above with your favorites. Check out GilvaSunner’s YouTube channel for lots of high-quality game music if you need some more inspiration.

It should only take you a few minutes to collect several new tracks — and don’t forget about Zedge if you’d rather bypass all the manual work!

Want to listen to game music while you work? Video game music radio makes the perfect background noise

Video Game Music Radio: The Perfect Background Noise for Geeks

Video Game Music Radio: The Perfect Background Noise for Geeks

There’s something about video game music that earns it a special place in gamers’ hearts. The seven stations stream all the video game music you could want!
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Which video game sounds will you use for your ringtone and notification sounds? Share your favorite classic game music and sounds with everyone in the comments!

Image Credit: Syda Productions via

Make Your Ringtone Awesome With Retro Video Game Sounds

How to Secure MySQL/MariaDB Servers

After attacks on MongoDB databases, we have recently also seen that MySQL servers are being targeted by ransomware. This should not come as a surprise, given the increasing adoption of public and private clouds. Running a poorly configured database in the cloud can become a major liability.

In this blog post, we’ll share with you a number of tips on how to protect and secure your MySQL or MariaDB servers.

Understanding the Attack Vector

Quoting SCMagazine:
The attack starts with brute-forcing the root password for the MySQL database. Once logged in, the MySQL databases and tables are fetched. The attacker then creates a new table called ‘WARNING’ that includes a contact email address, a bitcoin address and a payment demand.

Based on the article, the attack vector starts by guessing the MySQL root password via brute-force method. Brute-force attack consists of an attacker trying many passwords or passphrases with the hope of eventually guessing correctly. This means short passwords can usually be discovered quite quickly, but longer passwords may take days or months.

Brute-force is a common attack that would happen to any service. Unfortunately for MySQL (and many other DBMS), there is no out-of-the-box feature that detects and blocks brute-force attacks from specific addresses during user authentication. MySQL does capture authentication failures in the error log though.

Review your Password Policy

Reviewing the MySQL password policy is always the first step to protect your server. MySQL root password should be strong enough with combination of alphabets, numbers and symbols (which makes it harder to remember) and stored in a safe place. Change the password regularly, at least every calendar quarter. Based on the attack vector, this is the weakest point that hackers target. If you value your data, don’t overlook this part.

MySQL deployments performed by ClusterControl will always follow the vendor’s security best practices, for example there will be no wildcard host defined during GRANT and sensitive login credentials stored in the configuration file is permissible only to OS’s root user. We strongly recommend our users to specify a strong password during the deployment stage.

Single Console for Your Entire Database Infrastructure
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Isolate the MySQL Server

In a standard production environment, database servers are usually located in a lower level tier. This layer should be protected and only accessible from the upper tier, such as application or load balancer. If the database is co-located with the application, you can even lockdown against non-local addresses and use MySQL socket file instead (less overhead and more secure).

Configuring the "bind-address" parameter is vital here. Take note that MySQL binding is limited to either none, one or all IP addresses ( on the server. If you have no choice and need MySQL to listen to all network interfaces, restrict the access to the MySQL service from known good sources. Use a firewall application or security group to whitelist access only from hosts that need to access the database directly.

Sometimes, the MySQL server has to be exposed to a public network for integration purposes (e.g, monitoring, auditing, backup etc). That’s fine as long as you draw a border around it. Don’t let unwanted sources to “see” the MySQL server. You can bet how many people in the world know 3306 is the default port for MySQL service, and by simply performing a port scan against a network address, an attacker can create a list of exposed MySQL servers in the subnet in less than a minute. Advisedly, use a custom MySQL port by configuring the "port" parameter in the MySQL configuration file to minimize the exposure risk.

Review the User Policy

Limit certain users to hold the critical administration rights, especially GRANT, SUPER and PROCESS. You can also enable super_read_only if the server is a slave, only available on MySQL 5.7.8 and Percona Server 5.6.21 and later (sadly not with MariaDB). When enabled, the server will not allow any updates, beside updating the replication repositories if slave status logs are tables, even for the users that have SUPER privilege. Remove the default test database and any users with empty passwords to narrow the scope of penetration. This is one of the security checks performed by ClusterControl, implemented as a database advisor.

It’s also a good idea to restrict the number of connections permitted to a single account. You can do so by setting the max_user_connections variable in mysqld (default is 0, equal to unlimited) or use the resource control options in GRANT/CREATE USER/ALTER USER statements. The GRANT statement supports limiting the number of simultaneous connections to the server by an account, for example:

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON db.* TO 'db_user'@'localhost' WITH MAX_USER_CONNECTIONS 2;
Create MySQL account with MAX_USER_CONNECTIONS resource control option using ClusterControl

Create MySQL account with MAX_USER_CONNECTIONS resource control option using ClusterControl

The default administrator username on the MySQL server is “root”. Hackers often attempt to gain access to its permissions. To make this task much harder, rename “root” to something else. MySQL user names can be up to 32 characters long (16 characters before MySQL 5.7.8). It is possible to use a longer username for the super admin user by using the RENAME statement as shown below:

mysql> RENAME USER root TO new_super_administrator_username;

A side note for ClusterControl users, ClusterControl needs to know the MySQL root user and password to automate and manage the database server for you. By default, it will look for ‘root’. If you rename the root user to something else, specify “monitored_mysql_root_user={new_user}” inside cmon_X.cnf (where X is the cluster ID) and restart CMON service to apply the change.

Backup Policy

Even though the hackers stated that you would get your data back once the ransom is paid, this was usually not the case. Increasing the backup frequency would increase the possibility to restore your deleted data. For example, instead of a full backup once a week with daily incremental backup, you can schedule a full backup once a day with hourly incremental backup. You can do this easily with ClusterControl’s backup management feature, and restore your data if something goes wrong.

If you have binary logs (binlogs) enabled, that’s even better. You can create a full backup every day and backup the binary logs. Binlogs are important for point-in-time recovery and should be backed up regularly as part of your backup procedure. DBAs tend to miss this simple method, which is worth every cent. In case if you got hacked, you can always recover to the last point before it happened, provided the hackers did not purge the binary logs. Take note that binary logs purging is only possible when the attacker has SUPER privilege.

One more important thing is that the backup files must be restorable. Verify the backups every now and then, and avoid bad surprises when you need to restore.

Safeguard your Web/Application Server

Well, if you have isolated your MySQL servers, there are still chances for the attackers to access them via web or application server. By injecting a malicious script (e.g, Cross-Site Scripting, SQL injection) against the target website, one can get into the application directory, and have the ability to read the application files. These might contain sensitive information, for instance, the database login credentials. By looking at this, an attacker can simply log into the database, delete all tables and leave a “ransom” table inside. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a MySQL root user to ransom a victim.

There are thousands of ways to compromise a web server and you can’t really close the inbound port 80 or 443 for this purpose. Another layer of protection is required to safeguard your web server from HTTP-based injections. You can use Web Application Firewall (WAF) like Apache ModSecurity, NAXSI (WAF for nginx), WebKnight (WAF for IIS) or simply running your web servers in a secure Content Delivery Network (CDN) like CloudFlare, Akamai or Amazon CloudFront.

Always Keep Up-to-date

You have probably heard about the critical zero-day MySQL exploit, where a non-privileged user can escalate itself to super user? It sounds scary. Luckily, all known vendors has updated their repository to include a bug fix for this issue.

For production use, it’s highly recommended for you to install the MySQL/MariaDB packages from the vendor’s repository. Don’t rely on the default operating system repository, where the packages are usually outdated. If you are running in a cluster environment like Galera Cluster, or even MySQL Replication, you always have the choice to patch the system with minimal downtime. Make this into a routine and try to automate the upgrade procedure as much as possible.

ClusterControl supports minor version rolling upgrade (one node at a time) for MySQL/MariaDB with a single click. Major versions upgrade (e.g, from MySQL 5.6 to MySQL 5.7) commonly requires uninstallation of the existing packages and it is a risky task to automate. Careful planning and testing is necessary for such kind of upgrade.


Ransomware is an easy-money gold pot. We will probably see more security breaches in the future, and it is better to take action before something happens. Hackers are targeting many vulnerable servers out there, and very likely this attack will spread to other database technologies as well. Protecting your data is a constant challenge for database administrators. The real enemy is not the offender, but our attitude towards protecting our critical assets.

via Planet MySQL
How to Secure MySQL/MariaDB Servers

The end of Rogue One + the beginning of Star Wars

The ending of Rogue One — spoilers! — shows an unconvincing CG clone of Princess Leia receiving the plans for the Death Star just before her ship jumps into hyperspace. The beginning of Star Wars takes place just a few minutes (or hours?) after the final scene in Rogue One. Vader’s ship has caught the Rebel ship. He boards it and captures Leia, but not before she hands off the plans to R2-D2, who escapes to Tatooine with C-3PO. Watching them cut together like this, the whole narrative makes a lot more sense. BTW, on March 24, you’ll be able to watch both movies back-to-back in the comfort of your home when Rogue One is available for digital download.

Tags: Rogue One   Star Wars   movies   remix   video
The end of Rogue One + the beginning of Star Wars

Multi-Source Replication

A basic MySQL or MariaDB replication arrangement uses a simple method to perform replication. Any changes to schema or data on the master are recorded in its binary log. The slave regularly asks the master for any new entries to its binary log, based on position numbers in that log. The slave will record any new entries the master sends it in a relay log and then execute them on its copy of the databases. This system works well with a straightforward master-slave configuration, when there is only one master and one or more slaves.

With recent releases of MySQL and MariaDB, a slave can have multiple sources for replication. This may seem absurd at first until you consider one of the inherent points of replication: load balancing. Slaves are typically used for Read load balancing—to spread traffic related to SELECT statements among several servers. With multi-source replication, Writes can also be load balanced. For a large organization with plenty of clients writing data to their databases, including scripts that load regularly and somewhat continuously large amounts of data, spreading the write load among several servers will greatly improve performance.

Incidentally, multi-source replication shouldn’t be confused with MySQL multi-master replication, which is a scenario in which each node in a cluster is both a master and a slave, making for circular or point-to-point replication. That arrangement doesn’t necessarily separate Write loads from Read loads and it’s more fragile to maintain.

Preparing for Multiple Sources

In order for the slaves not to be confused, some configuration and new features were needed to be able to give a slave the connection information about each master. These improvements were added starting with version 5.7.6 of MySQL and version 10.0 of MariaDB. For MySQL, in addition to some new system variables, the CHANGE MASTER statement was modified to allow for information on multiple masters to be entered—so it won’t overwrite information on another master entered previously. To do this, a FOR CHANNEL clause was added at the end for specifying an alias for the master. For MariaDB, you give an alias for the master near the start: CHANGE MASTER 'alias' TO ...

These aliases will then allow you to set variables for each source by specifying which channel (‘Connection’ in MariaDB) with the SET or other statements. For example, on MySQL you could execute START SLAVE FOR CHANNEL 'channel1' and on MariaDB you could execute something like, SHOW SLAVE 'master1' STATUS.

Better Identification for Transactions

Each transaction in the master’s binary log includes an identification number for the server based on the server_id variable, which can be set to any number (e.g., 1). To help users better configure servers related to recording transactions, Global Transaction Identifier (GTID) – which was launched in an earlier version of MySQL – provided a more detailed and simpler method of labeling transactions. Basically, transactions are recorded with a unique identification number for the master (i.e., it’s UUID), with a sequential, incremental transaction identification number (i.e., 1, 2, 3). So you get something like this for the first transaction: 32db96db-0da9-11e7-bbff-069099162383:51. The new server identification number is unambiguous and the transaction number located after the colon—51 in this example—is simpler. If a slave received already transactions 1 through 50 from a master with that UUID number, the next one it should request from that master is 51 and any subsequent entries. It’s as simple as that.

Incidentally, the slave keeps track of these various masters UUIDs and transaction entry numbers in a table, not in text files as it did previously. You’ll have to set to two variables to a value of TABLE at start-up: --master-info-repository and --relay-log-info-repository.

There is another bit of potential confusion for the slave: two masters send it transactions on the same database and table. Are the transactions redundant, overlapping, or what? Fortunately, the slave can resolve these conflicts with transactions it receives from the masters, before executing them on the databases. It will decide which goes first and if it should merge some transactions. It’s very slick.

Monitoring Channels

As amazing as all of this may sound, monitoring and maintaining such a voracious replication setup can be daunting: Think about it: multiple servers designated to handle Write traffic, as well as multiple servers taking in transactions from multiple sources, then sorting through them, while at the same time handling Read traffic. You’re going to need some good tools to monitor traffic and coordinate these servers‐and a dependable reporting and alert system to make sure you don’t end up with a mess across the replication setup.

In the upcoming release of Monyog, version 7.1, a new Monitor Group called, Multi-Source Replication has been added. With it you can monitor all channels available, including channels for which the slave is not running, those for which the Slave I/O threads and the Slave SQL threads are not running. It also captures the errors provided by SHOW SLAVE STATUS, as well as the seconds behind the masters, but for each source. Monyog will then put this all together to be able to track activities over time. You can even set up alerts to let you know when things go wrong or start to exceed parameters that you set. Basically, running a cluster with multiple sources is no big deal with Monyog. You just need to update to the new release on March 27, 2017.

The post Multi-Source Replication appeared first on Webyog Blog.

via Planet MySQL
Multi-Source Replication