Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 7th 2014 Contents A29
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Computer code that can turn any almost
any device that connects via USB into a
cyber-attack platform has been shared on-
line.Computer security researchers wrote the
code following the discovery of the USB
flaw earlier this year.
The pair made the code public in an at-
tempt to force electronics firms to improve
defences against attack by USB.
One of the experts who found the flaw
said the release was a "stark reminder" of its
Details of the BadUSB flaw were released
at the Black Hat computer security confer-
ence in August by Karsten Nohl and Jakob
Lell. Their work revealed how to exploit
flaws in the software that helps devices con-
nect to computers via USB. The biggest
problem they discovered lurks in the on-
board software, known as firmware, found
on these devices.
Among other things the firmware tells a
computer what kind of a device is being
plugged into a USB socket but the two cy-
bersecurity researchers found a way to sub-
vert this and install attack code. At Black
Hat, the BBC saw demonstrations using a
smartphone and a USB stick that could steal
data when plugged into target machines. Mr
Nohl said he and his colleague did not re-
lease code in order to give firms making
USB-controlling firmware time to work out
how to combat the problem. (BBC)
Attack code for USB flaw released
T&T s Geoffrey Holder, a Tony
Award-winning director, actor,
painter, dancer and choreogra-
pher, died on Sunday at the age
of 84 of complications of pneu-
monia at Mt Sinai St Luke s Hos-
pital in New York.
Holder was the brother of
famous artist Boscoe Holder and
brother of Marjorie Boothman,
both of whom predeceased him.
He is survived by his wife, the
dancer Carmen de Lavallade, and
their son, Leo.
On Monday, de Lavallade posted
this note written by her son Leo
on Facebook, about Holder s final
hours. It describes a man who
was at peace with himself and
dancing to the last moments of
A little more than a week after developing
pneumonia, Geoffrey Holder made a decision.
He was calling the shots as always. He was
done. Two attempts at removing the breath-
ing tube didn t show promising results. In
his truest moment of clarity since being
rolled into ICU, he said he was good.
Mouthing the words "No, I am not afraid,"
without a trace of negativity, sadness or bit-
terness, he sincerely was good with it.
He had lived the fullest life he could possibly
live, a 70-plus year career in multiple art
forms, and was still creating. Still painting, a
bag of gold (of course) fabric and embellish-
ments in his room for a new dress for my
mother, sculptures made out of rope, baseball
caps and wire hangers. New ideas every second,
always restlessly chasing his too fertile mind.
A week of breathing tubes and restrained
hands had forced him to communicate with
only cryptic clues which I was fortunate
enough to be able to decipher at best 40 per
cent of the time. The fact that we all struggled
to understand him enraged him to the point
that he could sometimes pull tantrums taking
up to four people to restrain him from pulling
out the wires.
He was headstrong (understatement), but
he was also physically strong. Iron hand grip
that no illness could weaken.
Nine days of mouthing words that, because
of the tubes, produced no sound forcing him
to use his eyes to try to accentuate the point
he was trying to make. But this didn t mean
he wasn t still Geoffrey Holder. This didn t
mean an end to taking over, holding court as
he always did. Directing and ordering people
around. Choreographing. Getting his way.
We still understood that part, and the sight
of his closest friends and extended family
brought out the best in him.
Broad smiles in spite of the tubes, nodding
approval of anything that met his standard
(which was very high), and exuding pride and
joy in all those in whom he saw a spark of
magic and encouraged to blossom. The week
saw a parade of friends from all over the world
checking in to see him, hold is hand, rub his
head, and give him the latest gossip. But he
was still trying to tell me something, and
although I was still the best at deciphering
what he was saying, I still wasn t getting it.
Saturday night, I had a breakthrough. After
a good day for him---including a visit by Rev
Dr Forbes, senior minister emeritus of Riverside
Church who offered prayer and described
Geoffrey s choreography as prayer itself, which
made him beam---I brought in some music.
Bill Evans with Symphony Orchestra, one
of his all-time favorites. He had once chore-
ographed a piece to one of the cuts on the
album... a throwaway ballet to fill out the pro-
gram, but the music inspired him. From his
bed, he started to, at first sway with the music,
then the arms went up, and Geoffrey started
to dance again. In his bed. Purest of spirits.
Still Geoffrey Holder.
Then he summoned me to take his hands,
and this most unique dancer/choreographer
pulled himself up from his bed as if to reach
the sky. It was then I broke the code: he was
telling me he was going to dance his way out.
Still a Geoffrey Holder production.
If it had been up to him, this evening s solo
would have been it.
The higher he pulled himself up, the higher
he wanted to fly. I had to let him down. Not
yet. There are friends and family coming in
from out of town. He resignedly shrugged his
shoulders, closed his eyes and went to sleep.
I got it. Really, I got it. I walked out of the
hospital elated. Ate a full meal for the first
time in days, slept like a baby after. The next
day would be his last. I was not sad. It wasn t
stressful for me to deal with him in this state.
It was an honour and a privilege to tend to
anything he needed. This impromptu dance
was his dress rehearsal.
Next morning, I show up early. Possible
second thoughts? Should we wait? What if
he changes his mind? Did he understand what
we were talking about here? Thoroughly. Mind
as clear as crystal.
"You still game for our dance tonight?" A
nod, a smile, and a wink, with tubes still down
his throat. CONTINUES ON PAGE A30
to the end
Carmen de Lavallade posted this photo of herself and Geoffrey Holder on her Facebook page in
June, on their 59th wedding anniversary. She said, "I met Geoffrey during the Philadelphia run
of House of Flowers. Alvin Ailey and I had just joined the cast. Three days after Geoffrey and I
met, he proposed to me. Four months later I said yes. And it's been a fabulous adventure ever
since. Happy Anniversary to us!"
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