- Verizon makes a sadly hilarious response to the FCC’s “Throwback Thursday” decision to apply steam-engine-and-telegraph standards to the Internet. Get another laugh by clicking on the translation.
- Prove your identity to Microsoft or they won’t “allow” you to use their products that you’ve paid for? (H/T cat) The author’s claims about U.S. tech losses thanks to snoopery are right on. Will now be interesting to see how U.S. residents and companies route around the new FCC regulations.
- Beware of being neighborly without a permit.
- Nice infographics show what’s allowed and what’s not in the four places that have now legalized recreational cannabis.
- Jim Bovard’s tribute to Mike McNulty includes full-length versions of Mike’s most important (and heartbreaking) videos. I know nothing so far about how Mike died, but Joseph Baltar, who worked with him, left this comment.
Archive for the ‘Privacy and self ownership’ Category
So if you haven’t heard by now (and there’s been surprisingly little coverage), the FCC is about to v*te to regulate the Internet. ‘Cause, you know, the ‘Net is just precisely like the telephone system in the 1930s and now there are all these terrible, terrible unfair things going on like
people not being allowed to express their opinions big traditional media companies triumphing over blogs and social media … well, like something. Whatever it is, the fedgov MUST save us from it!
Not only that, but tomorrow’s big v*te will be on a 300+-page secret plan that you and I (e.g. the alleged beneficiaries of regulation) aren’t even allowed to see.
Despite three of the five FCC v*ters (ah, the magic of democracy!) being Dems, the plan may yet choke. One of the Dems is reportedly just a teensy bit restless about the whole matter. And even if the Big Five v*te themselves the authority, court challenges could drag out for years. But as usual We the Peasants have no say in the situation, one way or the other. (Did I mention ah, democracy!)
Even one of the big forces supposedly looking out for “our” side has gone over to the other side.
And (ah, justice!) they’re already regretting it, despite not quite understanding why. MtK, who sent me the link in that last paragraph noted that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has become the NRA of ‘Net freedom.
You ask for federal regulation? You support federal regulation? Then you’re shocked, simply shocked! when you get federal regulation — and it turns out it benefits the feds more than you? Oh, you pooo widdle baby! Such a surprise! Who could possibly have predicted that?
Oh wait … anybody who’s been standing on the outside watching could have predicted that. Heck, we could have predicted it even before there was such a thing as the Internet to regulate. Because that’s just the way it works.
How is it that only those who so desperately cherish their “seats at the table” during fed dealmaking (and incidentally, we’re talking to you, Mr. Gottlieb, with your notorious seat-at-the-table on Manchin-Toomey, as well as the formerly principled folks at the EFF) are somehow the only ones who can’t see the inevitable result of playing footsie under that table with the fedgov?
SIDENOTE: How is it, also, that the big gov faction always comes up with the good memes? I mean “net neutrality” and “open internet” — what kind of villain could possibly be opposed to those? Being against neutrality and openness would be like hating kittens. Never mind that “neutrality” and “openness” are just verbal Halloween costumes disguising government control. And this has been going on for a long time, clear back to when the noble slogan “one man, one v*te” was used to shift all political power from rural areas to urban centers. How come freedom never gets the good memes?
Young woman takes to YouTube to bemoan her total lack of government ID and ask for aid from the public. She says her parents will not help her get the government docs that will enable her to work, fly, bank, file taxes, etc..
Her F*c*b**k page, with updates.
Parents deny her assertions about them. But much moon-battery and creepitude appears to be involved.
The family seems amazingly messed up, which means a sideshow becomes the main attraction.
The real question, of course, is why anyone requires such lifelong “official” recognition from government merely to function in everyday life. That’s the gigantic, trumpeting woolly mammoth in the room that everyone’s managing to ignore.
Good luck to Alecia Faith and her family. Good luck to us all.
(H/T to D.A.)
- Oh yeah, let’s “fix” I-594 by making exceptions for only ones. ‘Cause you know, only us peasants (e.g. we who don’t work for the state or its cronies) ever commit crimes.
- The day long feared has arrived. Samsung warns customers to be careful what they say in the vicinity of their “smart” TVs. And we’re just supposed to lie back and enjoy it now that the loss of privacy is “inevitable.”
- “Impaired Self Defense.” Good observations by MamaLiberty.
- The SunSaluter. Interestingly simple concept from one of Peter Thiel’s young Fellows. A solar tracker/water filter. Looks like it would be most effective only in the tropics where the sun always arcs high in the sky. Any comment from you physics guys?
- Speaking of physics guys … you may recall my impressively failed experiments with flower pot candle heaters. Engineers predicted the failures ’cause (to put it in kindergarden terms) you can’t get more energy out of a candle than is in the candle in the first place. What you can get out of it, though, is a bunch of money. Provided you give your version of it an “eco” name. (Via S., who notes, “Unless paraffin tea candles have energy density approaching that of highly enriched uranium, it is flat-out impossible to do any meaningful heating with an ounce or three of wax.”)
- I suspect that the first thing that’ll happen when you register with NoFlyZone.org to declare your home a no-go for drones … is that various governments will wonder what you have to hide and will target you for drone flights bearing various cams and eventually weapons.
A bit over two years ago, I blogged about the wonderful project made possible by two readers of Living Freedom: Mark’s (Greylocke’s) files of survival info installed onto a bootable Knoppix thumb drive by Scott (The Fat Man).
The device gives portable access to a wealth of preparedness info. It can be carried in a bug-out bag and the files accessed from whatever USB port is handy. (It will be bootable only on devices capable of booting from a USB drive, but that’s pretty common these days.)
Mark describes the contents:
The Knoppix Thumb Drive Project … contains a full reference library with the Third World Technology Files know as CD3WD and some extra files of many US Military Manuals on things ranging from Survival, Medical, Water purification and Sanitation to Construction.
Unfortunately, Scott was being treated for cancer at that time, and though he was expected to make it … he didn’t. Mark told me this week about Scott’s death; we both learned belatedly, to our shock and sorrow.
The ready-to-go drives haven’t been available for a while.
Now, for a limited time, you can send Mark an unopened 32 GB thumb drive and a self-addressed stamped return envelope (see details here) and he’ll send you back your own KTD with the survival files.
This service is FREE. Given that each drive takes a couple of hours to process, it would be nice it you sent Mark a few bucks, but that’s not required. He’s not doing this to make money; only to get the information out there. Just follow the “details” like above to find out more.
This could be an essential resource in a time and place where you have no Internet. I highly recommend it.
Mark’s also hoping someone else would like to take over the project and says he’ll help get things started.
- Surprise, surprise. Yet another fedgov agency is operating a vast, covert, random surveillance program. Hm. Do they still sell those anti-cam sprays and films for our license plates?
- Gottlieb’s CCRKBA endorses Matt Shea’s bill to repeal I-594. And note the ringing anti-background check language! (She says, rolling her eyes.)
- I’m not linking to this CNN op-ed because it’s brilliant. On the contrary, it’s an astonishingly logic-free defense of Obamacare. I’m linking to it because it may contain one of the single most bizarre
justifications of tyrannyoxymorons ever to occupy the mind of a human being. To wit: “The ACA does not allow government to interfere in our lives; it compels government to keep us as safe and healthy as possible.” Admit it, the ability to hold both those thoughts in the same brain is an admirable feat.
- Speaking of admirable, scientists say they’ve figured out how to uncook an egg.
- Data point: not all surrender monkeys are cheese eaters.
- Sweet firearms training story: “Save a life or sneer at an idiot — your choice.” (Actually, though, I don’t know of too many people who would sneer at the woman in this tale. Lots would probably sneer at her firearm, though.)
- “Dear random, shirtless partygoer.” You know those things you always think of saying only after the fact? The ‘Net lets you say them so well.
Deadlining the next couple of days. Entertain each other; you’re very good at that. :-)
- Seems that Joel and the rest of the gunblogosphere aren’t the only ones who think Liam Neeson is even worse than the usual Hollywood anti-gun hypocrite. A company that supplied weapons for his films has a thing or three to say about it.
- Ding-dong, Google Glass is dead. Well deadish, anyhow.
- A simple explanation of what Swiss bankers just did. And a slightly more complicated one. I’m sure some of our resident money gurus will have views of their own. If you haven’t been watching, Switzerland threw the entire world into a financial tizzy yesterday. (Though IMHO, their real screwup was when they pegged their franc to the euro, not when they suddenly pulled the peg.)
- “That Tree.” To help himself recover after an injury and to meet a friend’s challenge, professional photographer Mark Hirsh found 365 different ways to shoot photos of a single tree — with an iPhone — over the course of a year.
- Finally, your awwwwww story for the day: cat saves abandoned baby from freezing to death.
… has the Commentariat been a tad testy lately?
Maybe it’s just that we began the year with the hot-button subjects of religion and terrorism. But it seems as if people are more-than-usually ready to take offense, air grievances, pick at details, and generally carp about things.
Oh, it’s all civilized and a lot of interesting information has emerged, so I’m not complaining. Just … noticing. And asking.
I’ve been sitting on one more controversial topic (a book that’s likely to offend the other side of the room than the side that took umbrage over Vin’s new novel). I’d planned to review it a week ago, but given the current mood, I’m not ready to stir things up again. OTOH, I guess you could say at least it hasn’t been boring.
And speaking of non-boring, you may (or decidedly may not) be gratified to know that your friendly corporate marketer, and no doubt a world full of governments wants to know how you feel about things.
In the 90s and into the early 2000s, I sometimes wrote about ways to avoid using social security numbers. Going without an ssn (as many of you know from having tried it, as I did for many years) was always challenging. It also put the un-numbered in the position of being an outsider in society. Still, back in the day, you could do quite a few common things without using a universal government ID number.
Since 9-11 that challenge has become much harder, well-nigh impossible for anyone desiring to live a semi-normal 21st century life. Some succeed. Joel’s a perfect example. But he’s also an example of the extreme sacrifice and creativity it requires. Joel’s existence is as precarious as it is gratifying, and can’t in any way be called even “semi-normal.”
Me? As I got older, I eventually found being numberless more than I wanted to live with.
Several times a year I get messages from people who are trying to live numberless or, even more laudable, trying to keep their children unnumbered. They want my advice on how to overcome this problem or that. I got one of those messages the other day. This is my reply and will be the only reply I ever again make to such requests.
- “I carry a gun every day.” This is great! (H/T LA)
- Wordlessly ending the hassle at a checkpoint. (Tip o hat to jed)
- Publicola is back! And he comes out swinging at the Neville Chamberlains of gun rights.
- Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids reviews the top 10 nanny-state fails of 2014.
- Amazing. Wonder. Beauty. Creation. Destruction. Science!
- And speaking of “science,” a prominent meteorologist explains why the NorthWET has been so very darned wet this year. :-)
- Groom calls off wedding. Bride, family, and friends have some liberating fun.
… for the long, idle post-celebration hours ahead.
In The Atlantic James Fallows writes about “The Tragedy of the American Military”. How we can reflexively say, “Thank you for your service” and claim that all soldiers are heroes — precisely because most of us are so removed from the realities of their lives, their missions, and the management of military matters.
The German ‘zine Spiegel Online goes inside the NSA for an educated guess about what types of encryption the NSA has broken, which it’s working on, and which are so far safe from its prying eyes.
Both articles are longish but very worth a read.
- The latest Twitter hashtag: #IMBLOCKEDBYSHANNONWATTS. Go get ‘er, Nicki!
- So sadly believable. In the last century +, western nations have cut their average work weeks by 30 hours. Guess what people are doing with all that glorious free time?
- Was Santa good to you? Better doublecheck. Those Christmas presents may be spying on you.
- Not sure why this didn’t get more coverage a few weeks back: Woman abused and jailed for taking perfectly legal photos from a perfectly legal spot finally gets a little justice.
- Um … healthier ways to be lazy.