Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

Bookstore
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

More
 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM


Link to BHM

Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Claire Wolfe

The stars aligning

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Um … some of you have noticed my email going haywire in the last 24 hours. Sorry ’bout that. But this bad thing is actually a good thing.

It signals that, behind the scenes, where the geeks and gremlins dwell, I (and more importantly, my expert helper, who may prefer to be known as He Who Fakes It Well) am moving toward having a dedicated website for the Living Freedom blog and eventually other features.

Do not ask me about technical details of what’s gone wrong. Not if you value your own sanity or mine. Just know that the Internet stars are in motion and once they’ve realigned we may not have the idyllic Age of Aquarius, but we should have functioning email.

We already have the beginnings of a blog. Not enough to show you yet. But enough for He Who Fakes It Well to show me, and I’m duly impressed.

I hadn’t intended to tackle the new site until my home wifi returns late next month. But there were suddenly good reasons to get going. Until now, having access a few hours a week at the library has been no problem. But trust me, you don’t want to be working on a new website without lots of Internet time.

Even if somebody else is doing most of the work. I still have to research, approve, advise, consent, and think. And you know, that last part is hard on the brain.

Anyhow, be of good cheer. The stars will eventually shine in their appointed places.

And for those who’ve asked, the blog won’t change a lot. It’ll still range from serious to silly, from political to personal, and still be called Living Freedom. It’ll be in a different location (though perhaps with dual posting here and there for some time) and have a new look. But still the same blog. Those of you who’ve been vexed by technical glitches or denial of access here should find the new site more friendly, too.

—–

On a related subject … I was thinking the blog-foundation fundraiser might be prematurely slowing down. But nope! Three big donations came swooping in in the last 24 hours. Whoof! We’re well on our way to a year of blog time! I’m hopeful we’ll make it two.

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
  • Well, at least you might have some recourse if Microsoft sneak-upgrades your computer to its Windows 10 malware.
  • This one’s for you who live within the New Madrid fault zone — or anybody who’s a follower of megaquakes and their lore.
  • Britain is a part of Europe and will remain so, says Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, prominent figure of the “Leave” campaign, and possible successor to David Cameron.
  • One of the few relatively dispassionate looks at key issues behind the Brexit. It wasn’t all just “hate!” and “racism!” on one side and “we know what’s good for you” on the other.
  • Sheesh. And here’s one more good reason to avoid political entanglements with the EU.
  • The most gorgeous art deco buildings in Los Angeles. (H/T TSO)
  • Emotions you never knew you had.
  • OUCH! Ranking the pain of stinging insects. Rather colorfully, too.
Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

I owe hat tips for several of these items, but I’ve fogotton to whomm I owe them all, so please accept much general hat tipping.

  • Preferring to avoid negative campaigning is one thing. Libertarian candidates sucking up to Hillary on media demand is another.
  • Don’t care about the Brexit that’s consuming the world’s media right now? Well, how ’bout a Texit — a Texas exit? (I’m amused at those “constitutional scholars” who say a U.S. state can’t secede from the union. The constitution neither said nor implied that; only overwhelming military force said that. Doesn’t take any scholar to see 600,000 dead people.)
  • Following up on Friday’s Irish rebellion references, here are 50 things you didn’t know about the 1916 Easter Rising. With photos.
  • Your computer. In your home. has no Fourth Amendment protection if feddies choose to hack it. Dumb decision!
  • And biometrics march on.
  • The lefties claim demographics will be on their side in the future. But what if the whole “blue model” of urban living is doomed by telecommuters?
  • Wait. Brent Spiner and his Dr. Brackish Okun will be back in the remake of Independence Day? But didn’t we see him squished to death by an Evil Alien? No, it seems we saw no such thing.
  • Humans are funny. It seems people want their driverless cars programmed to kill others, but paradoxically, not kill themselves in exactly the same situations.
  • No-fly/no-buy equals no freedom, says Judge Napolitano.
  • Another amazing sci-med story: surgeons save a baby whose brain was growing far outside his head
  • This is your dog. This is your dog on magic mushrooms. Any questions?
Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
  • “Why Linkedin will make you hate Microsoft.” Wait. What? You don’t already hate Microsoft? But seriously, if they really do what this NYT article says they’re planning, we’re talking whole new levels.
  • Wow. Beer can, mama bear, and don’t-forget-the-dog save a woman during a long ordeal. But note what she really wishes she hadn’t left at home.
  • Have you ever sensed that Snopes.com, the great All-Powerful Fact-Checker of the Intertubz, sometimes needs fact-checking itself — particularly on political issues? Turns our you’re quite right. Look who’s providing those political “facts”. Makes me sad. Snopes has been a valuable resource and this is slowly destroying their credibility. (H/T OdS)
  • Oh, the poo, poo widdle antigun politician. And of course he merely joins the ranks of fellow hypocrites. (That second article is actually about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Clintons turning the White House into “a brothel.” Quite gross, really. It mentions Hillary’s fondness for firearms only in passing.)
  • And speaking of non-hypocrites: history’s top-10 snipers. (H/T DA)
  • And Nicki gives it good and hard to an antigun ignoramus.
  • Registering women for the draft? Sigh. I suppose it was only a matter of time. But if we must have the sort of bogus “equality” that puts women into combat, could we at least do away with the kind of bogus inequality that makes any young people, let alone all of them, slaves eligible for government disposal?
  • Wendy McElroy’s new book on ending rape-culture hysteria is finally out in print. Was only an ebook until now.
  • I know these rainbow #shootback posters (Gadsden style!) are old news now in Internet time since Shel put them into comments last week. But they are sooooo beautiful. And so much wiser and more honest than the O-admin’s craven claim that censoring 911 transcripts from the latest murder-for-Mohammed was done “for the victims”.
Claire Wolfe

Sunday-Monday links

Sunday, June 12th, 2016
  • Yet another way cynical, opportunistic cops (and governments in general) quash our desires to be kind to our fellow man. Foul parasites. And apparently Canadian sneaks are no better than U.S. sneaks. (H/T JB)
  • Ohhhhh gawwwwwwd. Not agaiiiiiin. First Sudafed goes behind the counter and gets your name into a police registry. Now over-the-counter diahhrea meds — yes, Immodium, of all things — get targeted as part of Dreaded Scourge of Opiod Abuse.
  • It’s one thing to carry your heart on your sleeve. Entirely another to carry your heart on your back for over a year.
  • Well, I wouldn’t v*te for Trump if somebody put a gun to my head. But even so, being a gay, Hispanic Trump supporter doesn’t merit having your nose broken by leftist thugs.
  • People have called Windows 10 malware. But I figured that was figurative. Turns out that, given its recent, extremely deceptive sneak-install behavior, it actually is malware, by Microsoft’s own definition. MS’s vile sneakery has been confirmed by knowledgeable sources. Beware any pop-ups from MS!
  • Fascinating. The FDA and Interpol want to abolish 4,402 international websites selling prescription drugs. This is based on confiscation of 797 parcels in a brief recent period. Think on it. What does that number tell you about the number of parcels that have gotten quietly and safely to customers all this time — customers who are apparently happy with their confidential, and money-saving purchases. People who will want to make similar purchases in the future. Um … good luck with that, bureaucops.
  • And speaking of confidentiality (or lack thereof) in prescription drug purchasing … the DEA now wants warrantless access to your legal drug records. AND might hassle or arrest you for perfectly legal activity. (H/T to everybody who sent me this link; I already had it, which just goes to show you this is one to pay real serious attention to, even if you blow off everything else you see here today.)
  • Remember the story in our last links post about cops having a new device to let them steal more money during traffic stops? Thought you might be interested in the Department of (Achtung!) Homeland Security’s more favorable take on it. (And what is it they say about the differences between theory and reality again …?) Alas, the courts, as usual, take the pro-gov line in such matters.
  • I’m sorry that today’s links have contained so many downers and nothing in the area of nooz you can use. At least we can end on a note of good cheer, courtesy of MJR. Here’s another of those optimistic post-TSHTF flash stories: “Hills” by Joe Miles.
Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, June 10th, 2016
  • Cops have a new machine that lets them grab money off your prepaid cards right at roadside. But it’s not about the money. Really it isn’t. Of course not! It’s about … um … erm, identity theft! Yeah, that’s what it’s really about. The cops aren’t just getting more bold and efficient about stealing from you. They’re protecting you! (H/T Fred in comments)
  • Oopsie. Looks as if that gun “documentary” wasn’t the only one Couric and pals artfully edited to make their opponents look like dumbasses.
  • Great news for people who love both the Web and privacy: WWW creator, Tim Berners-Lee, has joined an effort to reinvent the online world. (H/T JG)
  • What is it that Yellowstone tourists don’t understand about “boiling water will reduce you to bones — real quick”? Not the first young guy who’s died this way.
  • Unions have joined the effort to end mass incarceration and its hope-killing (and employment-killing) after-effects.
  • Speaking of after-effects and just in case anyone needs to be reminded of what a dangerous person and what a whiny, lying, arrogant biotch Hillary has always been
  • Oh no. I knew that fellow gunblogger Northwest Freethinker (aka GayCynic) was very ill. But didn’t know he was gone. He saw to it that he departed in style, though.
  • Speaking of style: Former sportswriter chronicles his own Alzheimers journey.
  • Coming our way courtesy of central bankers: the next Lehman Brothers moment.
  • Why cops shoot dogs. Do we even need to ask? (via Wendy and Brad’s place)
  • And in bittersweet dog news: the last 911 search dog dies — but after a good, long life. (Tip o’ hat to LA)
Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, May 27th, 2016
  • Jim Bovard writes in Reason on the high price of security theater. Then he went on C-Span to talk about it, too.
  • Which takes us to Richard Rahn’s “Kill the regulatory parasite.”
  • Oh, Katie, Katie, Katie. You went the full Rather. You should never go the full Rather. And at least he didn’t make phony-baloney excuses.
  • A recent study says that the threshhold-based blood tests used by states to determine whether legal pot users are impaired or not aren’t based in sound science. This wild-and-crazy pro-pot-user claim comes from those mad radicals at … the American Automobile Association. AAA.
  • John Tamny: if we love the big banks (“we” meaning not you and me, necessarily), we must love them enough to let them fail.
  • Obama, foreign aid, promises, and corruption in high places.
  • Speaking of smartphones (as we were earlier this week), reader F. sends this cheery word that F*c*b**k’s admission that it’s listening to you via your phone’s microphone while you’re using its app may be only part of the even creepier, much creepier, truth.
  • How much creepier can things get? Advanced tech is not the only thing we have to worry about. How about nuclear capability coordinated by eight-inch floppies??? For you young things, eight-inch floppies were already obsolete when I got my first computer in 1982. (H/T MtK)

I normally like to end links posts on a cheery, or at least a “lite” note. But there seems to be no joy in Mudville or anyplace else today. I need to go look for some cute dog videos or somesuch.

ADDED: Well, wait. I didn’t have time to look for any cute dog videos. But since today’s theme seems to be “creepy as all get out,” I remembered this story about … um, men who live as dogs. Yes, not cute. But the best I could do today, sorry. I suppose we’ll soon be hearing these “pups” demand special restroom privileges. (And a big thanks to Cat for turning my stomach.)

UPDATE #2: Is this our future? (Stolen from Never Yet Melted.)

4chan+genders_3c465d_5877233

Oh! But wait! That chart doesn’t include self-identified canines who have sex with any of the other 31 “genders.” Racism! Specisism! Haters! Privilege!

Claire Wolfe

TracFone. That went well …

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

So … after last week’s discussion about TracFone and whatever URGENT ACTION item it was doing such a lousy job explaining … problem solved.

Recap: All they were saying, without actually saying it, was that my 2G phones are about to become obsolete. The fact that they weren’t actually saying it, and the fact that any contact with TracFone other than buying and adding airtime is always painful threw me a bit.

But by Sunday, I had a nice little touchscreen 3G phone — $7! — that did everything my old phone did, but could also send and receive photos and had a virtual qwerty keyboard for texting. (This is why I turned down two kind offers for free phones; I really wanted that qwerty keyboard.) All set, thank you!

Not only that, but the process of transferring the old phone’s activation and minutes to the new was quick and easy. Five minutes on an automated call (no conversations with anybody in Mumbai). Two hours later … done.

Interestingly, I was also given the weekend’s use of a somewhat elderly Android smartphone: “Use it, play with it, break it if you like.” I’ve made calls and viewed photos on friends’ smartphones, but never cared to own one myself because they are such major wreckers of privacy.

But avoidance of smartphones puts me behind the curve when it comes to writing intelligently about them. So I was glad to mess around with one freely for a few days.

I hated a couple of major things, but loved a lot more.

Hated: The fact that Android — the “superior” phone OS that lives on something like four out of every five smartphones — is an even more naked Google Evil (TM) than I’d imagined. Fully half the phone’s functions seem designed to force the user onto Google, be identified, and give away any concept of personal privacy.

Appalling. First thing I did was hunt around and turn off geolocation and all the “helpful” report-to-Google functions. But I could see that without setting up a Google account and downloading apps, a person would be losing many of the advantages of having a smartphone.

Yet, oh my, the price of some of those supposed advantages! Even if there are workarounds. Who wants to spend their life engineering workarounds — and still never knowing how many other Google-designed or Google-approved data leaks you’re carrying around in your pocket?

Loved: The fact that, with a TracFone smartphone, airtime cards not only give “triple minutes” (as that 3G phone does), but in addition give triple number of texts and triple MBs of data. Wow. On my old 2G (double minutes) phone and the 3G phone, all texts and browser time come out of the “minutes” budget. So this is huge.

And there I sit with a backup phone that has well over 2,200 minutes on it … which would become 2,200 minutes, plus 2,200 texts, plus 2,200 MB of data if I picked up a $30 smartphone.

Oooooh, that’s gonna be hard to resist …

Claire Wolfe

Weekend miscellany

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Just past the halfway mark of my six months without home Internet. Not too painful so far, right?

Its original purpose of lowering monthly payments to clear last year’s home-improvement debts kind of went kablooey when Dave quit paying for the blog. At that point, I emptied savings to clear nearly all that debt, figuring any unnecessary monthly payments would not be a good idea right now.

Kept a small emergency fund, of course. Always keep a small emergency fund unless you’re living in your car and eating out of Dumpsters.

My latest foundling

Meet my latest forest foundling …

« Read the rest of this entry »

Claire Wolfe

Wednesday links

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
  • Wow whotta way to go! And what a perfect song to be performing at the time. (H/T L.A.)
  • Twelve ways to increase your anonymity and security online. Very geeky and hardcore, but very good. (H/T Shel in comments) And for the non-geeks: is there a path forward for those who want online security but quail at the thought of TOR or an offshore VPN?
  • You ’60s and ’70s people — you Illuminatus! fans — want a blast from the past? This was obviously written a long time ago when Robert Anton Wilson was still alive, but the crazy life of Kerry Thornley is always worth a re-visit.
  • Is F*c*b**k controlling the news its users see? Are there reporters naive enough to be thinking otherwise? This becomes more and more of a problem as billions turn to a narrower range of online sources for everything. FB: the new MSM.
  • Of course, it could be worse. It could be Google.
  • Ninth Circuit court — the previously infamous 9th Circuit — says there’s a Second Amendment right for gun stores, too. (Or rather, an individual right to be able to acquire guns.) And the WaPo, the always infamous WaPo, prints the recaps of both Eugene Volokh and David Kopel. Oh, the times they are a’ changin’ …
  • So. Do you think the whole Obama in the girls’ bathroom thing will hold up in the courts? And isn’t it downright embarrassing, as well as tyrannical, that a president is involving himself in this (you’ll pardon the expression) sh*t?
  • Historian asks if the myth of the Constitution could be made real.
  • Gosh, it’s a good thing all the big issues like terrorism and border security have been solved. Otherwise, this would just be a wildly nutty act of mission creep by the DHS.
Claire Wolfe

Friday links

Friday, May 13th, 2016
  • Be patient, citizens! That is an order! Your government is hard at work protecting you. (I do rather wonder what those TSA lines snaking up and down escalators look like. Or worse, feel like to stand in, especially if you’re stuck at the top or bottom where the stairs disappear. But not enough to want to go to an airport to see for myself.)
  • Speaking of gummint “protection,” be glad you didn’t run into this employee of the Federal Protective Service.
  • Whoo. gutsy woman!
  • Militias going mainstream? So sez The Guardian with a surprising minimum of tsking about it.
  • But not to worry. Plenty of tsking is still to be had in government schools. This time over a rather creative paper gun.
  • We are shocked. Simply shocked. Facing minimum-wage hikes, Wendys is adding self-serve kiosks, with McDonalds not far behind. Yeah, kids; that minimum-wage that nobody thinks you’re worth is a real benefit, isn’t it?
  • What? You mean Google Streetview spycars aren’t always tools of the gummint?
  • I’m sure you’ll be shocked at this news about Hillary Clinton’s emails, too.
  • But howzabout this news on those Hillary emails? Seems the Kremlin has a gigantic trove of them, grabbed off those insecure servers …
  • After constantly squeaking through the courts, Obamacare has received the hoped-for blow … from a judge who immediately suspended her own ruling pending an inevitable administration review. Sigh.
  • Kewl. Ten life hacks using carabiners. (And evertbody’s got carabiners around, right? They’re right up there with WD40, duct tape, hose clamps, and Goof Off for usefulness.) (H/T TSO)
  • Weekend read: the Ukrainian hacker who became the FBI’s greatest asset — and biggest problem.
Claire Wolfe

Two months

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Today it’s been exactly two months since I had home Internet. Four months to go and I confess that when Comcast comes back on August 20, I plan to binge my little heart out streaming Amazon shows, forum browsing, and even indulging in a whole bunch of disgusting news reading. I’ll surf until my brain turns soggy. When November comes, I’ll follow 16 live blogs of every dismal, depressing election result and love every second of it.

That said, I generally haven’t missed connectedness that much and am looking forward to a summer of getting lots of small things done on the house (no big projects this year) because I’m not chained to my computer.

There’ve been some inconvenient moments and a few minor aggravations, but mostly it’s simply been no big deal. And those house debts I need to pay down are getting paid just that much faster without that extra $40 going to Comcast every month.

The few PITAs have been unexpected ones. Last week when I was sick, I blogged less because I didn’t have the oomph to drag myself to the library and didn’t want to pollute the other patrons. If I’d had home ‘Net, I’d likely have blogged much more than usual because I’d be drowning my sorrows in cyberspace.

The library itself has sometimes been … interesting. On one of the four days its open, it hosts thundering herds of children. Not exactly an aid to concentration. And there are a few grownups whose company I could do without. There’s one man — he just left a moment ago as I write this, so the memory of him is vivid — who must pour a full bottle of cheap cologne over himself every morning. Now, I am not somebody who has scent allergies or even a particularly sensitive sense of smell. I rarely even notice people’s perfumes. But when this man is 20 feet away from me, as he was just now browsing a shelf, I’m not only assaulted by the reek of him, but can literally taste his chemicals with every breath I take. Worse, he likes to use the library computer terminal that sits just over the wall of my carrel. The one-and-only carrel for plugging in a laptop.

I swear, whatever he’s putting on himself must be outlawed by treaties against chemical warfare. Thank heaven I only encounter him about once a week.

Still, it’s mostly pleasant here in my little corner of the library. The librarians are nice when they talk with me and even nicer for leaving me alone. This is a good time.

But it’ll be nice as summer fades and fall darkness closes in, to warm myself with home Internet again. And enjoy the quiet and the aroma of wet dog and hot tea.

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.