- Man now living in the house of the lawyer who ripped him off. Sweet revenge.
- Boeing makes smart phones??? Who knew? Apparently this one self-destructs if tampered with.
- I’m not a sports person and I never heard of Dean Smith. But this is a touching tribute for a good man.
- Do seven people really control the security of the Internet? (H/T JB)
- Antimatter beams. Ho hum. So commonplace. (H/T JB)
- The most expensive eviction in NYC history. It involved the Mayflower Hotel, a cranky old hermit, and a room with a view. Quite a tale.
Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category
- So you still don’t think Google Glass is creepy? Well how ’bout when New York City cops are testing it? (H/T MJR)
- “The repentant informant.” This article on liberty’s former friend Stacy Litz was published last year. The reporter (whose name really, truly is Jason Nark) interviewed me but forgot to tell me when the story hit, which is why I’m late with the news. I’m not quoted, but he does reference the booklet the Commentariat collaborated on: Rats! So pat yourselves on the back. You’re famous. :-)
- Cops do the usual no-knock dawn raid. On the usual word of a lying informant. Resident, believing he and his pregnant girlfriend are in danger, shoots and kills a deputy. Cops find pot. A grand jury refuses to indict. Even a blogger cop says it’s the right decision. And you thought there were no such things as miracles.
- Unfortunately, the usual *&^%$ still goes on. But you know … credit card fraud was involved. And somebody in the house had a concealed carry permit. So of course any amount of coppish violence is totally, absolutely justified. If you don’t think so you must be a domestic terrorist or something.
- Uh oh. Tricksy, buggy Adobe Flash now carries malware that can infect even Linux machines and Macs. Guess the good old days are truly over.
- Here’s more on Freespeechme.org from MWD. For nerdstuff, this is pretty lucid. And he very kindly tells me he’s snagged me a clairewolfe.bit domain name just in case.
- And never forget, no matter how weird the world gets, we can always enjoy the puppies. So here, via MLS, are big dogs who don’t realize they are.
- Ten reasons to quit working so hard.
- Does the new CBO report put the final nail in the Obamacare coffin? That might be a tad optimistic. But the report just ain’t pretty, no matter how Big O’s flappers try to spin it.
- MWD, who sent this development thinks it’s a world-altering change. Welllll … In any case, it’s a hopeful sign for privacy.
- “I am sending a bag of these to every member of Congress to show my deepest gratitude.” (Hilariously scatological reviews from Amazon customers on a product that may just be slightly defective. Courtesy of MamaLiberty.)
- Also from Amazon: Just what every survival shelter and humble hermit home should have. (Tks, A.) (Yeah, and I put one of my Amazon links on it, even though you’ll buy one shortly after you open that ice cream stand in Hades. But hey, it does have free shipping!) (P.S. Don’t miss the reviews on this one, either!)
- Why do “progressives” favor gun control? (Well, because they’re control-freaking authoritarians, that’s why. Still, it’s a pretty interesting article.)
- Why does any place on earth want to host an Olympics? And if that place is Sochi, why would anyone want to go? Whoof. What photos.
- Speaking of the Olympics … Oh, so that’s where the term “white elephant” comes from!
- Priceless. Crook busts cop for going 140 mph. (Via MArooned)
A few days ago, a friend sent me this article: “You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat-space data race.”
It’s by “data scientist” John Foreman (I put that in quotes only because I’m not sure what all “data science” might encompass), who says a) that the most egregious electronic privacy violations will be in our off-line lives and b) We’re going to cooperate happily and fully. Not going to cooperate. But are cooperating. Privacy — right now! — is as “over” as bustles and moustache wax.
Although Foreman recognizes the creepiness of omni-tracking, he embraces it with cheer — heading off to Disney World with his family, every member sporting an RFID bracelet that will know everywhere they’ve been, everything they’ve bought, every food item they’ve ordered — and even how long they’ll spend on one of Mickey’s toilets if something they ate gives them diarrhea.
My friend said he just couldn’t wait for the great blog I’d make of this. And he asked me to send his regards to Katherine Albrecht. A few years ago when Katherine and her associate Liz McIntyre wrote their book Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID, my friend scoffed at their predictions.
Now? Not so much scoffing going on.
- So, do you think Phil Zimmerman’s Blackphone will become the smartphone of smart people? Or …?
- It could become a crime in Washington state to help the NSA. Government contractors or workers providing electricity or water to an agency violating the Fourth Amendment would be criminals. (They ought to do this in Utah, where that hellish data center gobbles millions of gallons of precious dry-state water.) H/T PT
- Another of the many ways in which Obamacare is helping.
- Clever or creepy? Yeah, depends on who (or which alphabet soupers) get their hands on these snake, worm, and otherwise creepy-crawly robots. (H/T O)
- One might wish that the charming soul who monkeywrenched the ATF booth at last week’s SHOT Show had a better command of spelling. But his (her?) heart was certainly in the right place. View one. View two. (H/T JB)
- Another Officer Friendly. Yes, another Beloved Hero in Blue, protecting and serving in the style that’s become so reliable lately. Why this creep isn’t a) in prison and b) on the sex-offender registry for the rest of its days is a wonder to me. Oh, but she was “disciplined.” I guess that makes it okay. (Corrected: There were two officers, both female, and both apparently “corrections officers,” not cops. Both were involved, though apparently only one did the worst deed. Personally, I’m still going with “Officer Friendly” because IMHO, there’s a distinction, but not much of a difference, between cops and COs. Thanks, G. for the heads up.)
- Did hackers recently perform the first malicious act utilizing the “Internet of things”? That is, did they turn everything from “smart” refrigerators and home camera systems into a bot net? So said many reports. Borepatch doubts it.
There are five finalists in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” ad contest. “Cowboy Kid” is the clear winner. If any of the other four beat it, I’m suspecting bribery, collusion, and all manner of other evil. This may be one case where v*ting is okay. As long as you vote my way, of course. ;-)
… because of your commitment to privacy? Or because you reject mainstream tech-enabled culture to follow your own path?
I’ve never feared technology and was for a long time an “early adopter.” I knew the moment I laid eyes on a PC that I had to have one. I was online years before the WWW was a thing. I met my former Significant Sweetie on a Fidonet bulletin board (gun-rights site) when meeting a partner online was unheard of.
These days, however, I shun most new tech. Even some of my granny-aged friends tote their smartphones everywhere they go, but I won’t have one; carrying an omni-surveillance device in my pocket is obvious folly. Yet that also means that quite an amazing array of useful apps — and even the operating systems they work on — are like a foreign language to me. It’s as if half the U.S. has suddenly started speaking Swedish and I’m still stubbornly insisting on talking “old-fashioned ‘Murrican.”
I quit TV 20 years ago (December 27, 1994) and my life is better for it. But there’s a whole range of common cultural experience I’m now distant from. And that’s true even now that anybody can catch Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad online.
I don’t regret my choices. If I did, I’d un-choose them. But the disconnect does worry me. As I get older I sometimes ask myself, “Is this still a matter of principle or are you just becoming a stuck-in-the-mud fogey, resisting change?”
Google’s just-announced acquisition of Nest got me mulling on this again. I love the idea of a household thermostat that learns my habits and adapts its settings to my activities. I loathe the notion of Google (and its bosom buddy the NSA) monitoring the transaction. Not only has Google become an information-gobbling monster; but I see no reason why such cool technologies can’t be made essentially private. They would be better private. Even if Google had good intentions (which it doesn’t), it’s obvious to me that inserting any third party between us and things we want to do is an ordinary, everyday, garden-variety hindrance, as well as a danger.
Or is that fogey talk?
I know a lot of you reject certain tech because it’s privacy-invasive or otherwise obnoxious. Do you sometimes worry, though, that these choices are carrying you farther and farther away from the culture you live in? Do you worry that maybe you’re just getting crotchety and stubborn?
OTOH, I know some of you embrace “smart” tech. If so, how do you manage to be comfortable with it, even knowing it’s inherently surveillance tech?
As soon as I post this, I’m going to make Thursday’s “bad” post public again. If clever people and hobby-horse riders want to make the comment section All About Them, that’s on their heads, not mine.
Your encouragement, good cheer, and wisdom delivered via email and via comments on yesterday’s apology post helped me get over myself.
(The irony was not lost on me that I squealed like a little girl over comments on a post titled “Live Boldly.” It was amazingly nice of y’all not to mention that. :-) )
I’m still going to take a week off. I need it. Whether I’ll resume with “Live Boldly, Part II” or not, I can’t say. Slidemansailor was astute when he noted that sometimes the moment for something just passes. However, I’d like to take up that topic again if I can find the proper footing to begin.
Meanwhile, here are some links for you, along with my thanks:
- Roscoe Bartlett. He’s much more interesting as an off-grid hermit than he ever was as a congressthing.
- We’re finally reaching the long-dreaded day when the fedgov plays a dominant role in who “wins” and who loses in U.S. economic life. The trend’s been going on since the (not-so) Great Society. When it reaches fruition … there will be only losers outside the political nomenklatura.
- It didn’t require aliens. Just (it appears) a mind as brilliant as Archimedes’ to give us the mystery of the Antikythera mechanism. And more billiant minds, aided by computers, to solve that mystery. Awesome story.
- Another amazing (though terribly sad) story made possible by brilliant minds, computers, and caring people. (And one worthless thug; may he never have another moment’s peace.) (H/T PT)
- Can hardly believe this came from a big-city police chief. Those guys are usually mega-control freaks. And from Detroit, yet!
- The 40 most awkward dogs of 2013. (H/T MLS)
Now that I’ve cleared those tabs, cleared my head, and given you my inadequate thanks … some time off.
- “Eh … they’re just people.” Drug warriors and cancer patients. (H/T Anon.)
- Not a big threat at this point, but a new virus targets “the Internet of things.” Which also means it’s targeting Linux. (H/T H)
- Quick! Somebody appoint Jim Rogers to head the Fed! (H/T JB)
- Wealth and inequality. No matter what your politics (or lack thereof), these charts are alarming. This is not what a healthy country looks like. The comparisons of perception-ideal-reality are fascinating, though.
- Protecting us against depressed paraplegic Canadians. And doing it in the creepiest possible way.
- “The congregation was besides themselves.” Ungrammatical but quite pointed in this allegedly charitable season. Carl Bussjaeger, who pointed me to the article, adds a story of his own.
- Ah, but if you think churchfolk can be uncharitable, you ain’t seen nothin’ until you encounter a city ordinance.