Thursday, September 29, 2016

I Debate Your Position(s)

Reminder to change your Yahoo password. If you haven't, everybody else has it now.

  • See that debate? Me either.  Useless pageantry. I can't stand the sound of two people lying. IIRC, Kennedy beat Nixon due to smoothness.
  • There is a lot of arguing about who won the debate. Know who lost? The American people.

A very discrete, classy man was caught banging his girlfriend on a Greyhound bus. This is kind of the sort of thing one would expect from Greyhound, in addition to riding next to people who think they're Jesus or some other Major Religious Figure. Don't ask how I know. From the article, it's difficult to figure out whether the perceived offense is that he's having boom boom on a bus or that he didn't bother to pull her panties down. If the latter, I would argue that this is a much handier solution for a quickie on a public accommodation (or in someone's house where you shouldn't be). Of course this is all hearsay... I haven't been in this position. In fact, I haven't been in many positions, especially lately.

  • The Bill Clinton Correlation: If it moves, nail it. If it doesn't move, nail it. And leave a stain to prove dominance.

Austrian customs officials found human intestines in a woman's luggage. She probably didn't know there were any laws against this sort of thing.

  • In what must be a very important study, it was discovered that ants prefer morphine over sugar. As you'd expect, I'd go for sugar every time, as would the wife and dog.

If you us the Opera browser, the latest version includes a VPN.  This is a handy little security feature that will disguise your real IP address and location, as well as block tracking cookies. It can also allow you to get around some of the location-based blocking, such as the BBC allowing only UK to connect.

FINE PRINT: as the article explains, this is a VPN for the browser only. Anything else (email) you send through your connection will not go through the VPN. There's also the little matter of your data going through Opera's servers. I haven't been able to find anything on privacy policy or what/if they're examining anything. I did try it the other day and it works. Just don't go using it thinking you can hack away or Do Dirty Deeds while you're 'hidden'.

FINER PRINT: many browsers these days are based on Chrome (Iron, Chromium, Opera, and something new that begins with V). Chrome has a privacy issue, as it's Google code and it 'phones home'. Most people don't care, but naturally I do. Opera (and I believe the rest) are incredible memory hogs. They start ok then tend to suck up huge amounts of RAM over time. Ymmv but it IS a speedy little browser that accepts all Chrome extensions. I keep Firefox locked down and use Opera in a more open configuration.

  • Here are 5 tools to help defend yourself online in terms of privacy. I use some different extensions but this is a great starting point. The EFF is a great resource.

Somehow reproductive scientists made a three-parent baby. What's next - group babies? Four parents and a dog? Giraffe babies bred specifically for basketball?

  • Elon Musk, famous for being rich and having a very strange name and accent, announced that he wants to get humans to Mars, evenutally on a six month schedule. Mr Musk, I applaud you and have some suggestions on who to send.

Dancing with the Stars Live! is coming to a venue near me. I hope they have ambulances on hand to get help for the people slitting their own wrists.

  • Dubai grounded all flights for half an hour because of unauthorized drone activity. Because it takes a special kind of idiot to fly a drone over an airport. I wonder if the special kind of idiot was us....

An Australian man using a portable toilet on a building site was bitten by a venemous spider on his penis. For the second time. This dude might want to give up construction. Or Australia.

  • A British conservationist is making a 4,500 mile paramotor flight following migrating swans. Apparently she has absolutely no life. Or she's married.

I have an adverse relationship with mornings.

  • Once again, those wacky far-seeing fiscally responsible folks in Congress passed a spending bill. This last minute effort, as usual, will keep the government 'operating' until December. This is a new low, even for Congress. And, of course, another increase in spending up the debt.

Non-partisan political observation: the democrats are incredibly nervous about Trump and libertarians. They're bringing out the Big Guns - tv 'news', tv, newspapers, and even Mr+Mrs President. My theory is that this is good for the dems but in reality, it's being run by the Powers That Be, who are terrified of a candidate they don't own. Also, when they have to go after libertarians, things must be pretty bad for them. It's also interesting to note that things are roughly tied at this point: the 'standard' candidates can't pull off a lead. People must really be PISSED for this to happen. Regardless of candidates, this situation is good for America. People are waking up.

  • Our friends over at Samsung are having a really bad year: as if exploding phones weren't bad enough, there is now a lawsuit over exploding washing machines. Perhaps all of their products should come with a fire extinguisher.

The gay pride rainbow flag has been launched into space 'to spread peace' (perhaps because it has done such a great job on the ground). Perhaps we'd be better served by launching ISIS into space.

  • The latest threat facing our country is..... clowns. I am not kidding. Reports of threatening clowns are coming in from all over the country. They're getting arrested by the police. Clownphobics (coulrophobia) rejoice! I'm surprised the politicians aren't getting Tough On Clowns.

if we just change the date, it's Congress!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Recording Lately

This post is mostly relevant to musicians. Read at your own risk.

I spent a recent evening in a commercial recording studio.
This was a really interesting experience for a number of reasons... I used to own a very small, private studio where my group used to record for sales at shows and radio play. It was a nice change not to have to be the musician and run everything at the same time. Plus scream at the equipment when it refused to do its job, which it did frequently.

So it's been forever (15 yrs?) since I've been near recording equipment. This is forever in Equipment Time. Here's the main difference: there is no more tape! Everything is recorded to computers these days, using a program called Pro Tools. Unfortunately this takes place using Macs. I did warn the studio guys to keep them away from me, lest my skin burn or the Macs start to do Weird Stuff.  True to form, one of the machines refused to work for a while at first. Proximity? Who knows.

Then there are the digital mixing boards with what appears to be way fewer channels than needed. And the large-ish displays, where all the action happens. Oh yeah, and those weird Mac chiclet keyboards with the odd mice or normal trackballs. So the recording, metering, mixing and editing all happen onscreen.

In the Old Days, you had to literally slice tape to make certain edits. Today, you just perform simple computery actions onscreen - copy, paste, drag, etc. There's a pretty steep learning curve but there's a lot of power there. In the beginning, there was mono recording - everything went to a cylinder (ancient), directly to a record, or to a reel to reel tape machine. You had to perform as a solid unit (band) with the mics just right because there were no second chances. Eventually there were two track machines for stereo. If you had more than one, you could 'bounce' the two tracks to the other machine, giving you a third track to overdub. Next were the 4 track machines, 8 track, 16 track and 24 track. The tape got wider too, up to two inches on a 24 track deck. This was industry standard for many years, plus you could sync up two 24 track machines if you needed more. (A Stupid History of Recording)

With digital recording there is no tape (duh) and the number of tracks is limited only by the computer, RAM, and hard drive space. This is obviously a huge leap over tape.

Then there are effects. You used to see huge racks of Very Expensive Boxes, which were effects (reverb, delay, etc). This is mostly done now by Pro Tools plugins(!), plus a few external, high quality or specific function rack gear. The plugins are a great piece of technology, ranging from basic reverb to all sorts of plugins designed to emulate one specific effect box from the past. This is all brought to us by faster processors and well-written software.

When you do a take, it shows up onscreen on a graph with squiggly lines, representing the input. You can then record an alternate take instead of the first one, record an additional take (or six) or leave it. After you're reasonably satisfied with the performance, you listen. If you have more than one take, you can use parts of any numbers of takes to make a 'perfect' track, without destroying any of the previous performances. It's all done with copy/paste. Here's another great capability: you can also MOVE things, down to individual notes, in time. If your rhythm is off, you can move it to where it's exactly on. This comes in handy when you're rhythm-impaired (like someone I know whose name rhymes with meftystrat). It's too cool. It can be done manually or automatically (I think).  I didn't see any serious correcting but I believe you can change pitch and all sorts of stuff when needed (Miley). Most of this would be done externally or would be downright impossible with tape. Most of the rest that I observed was your Standard Stuff for Studios, like mics, mic placement, the correct amps/tone and performance.

ASIDE: there is a tremendous amount of power and choice available with this equipment. You can even get a smaller version of it for an iPad. This is available to almost everyone, wherein lies the problem. ANYONE can use it to put out great stuff (or Product). This means any idiot can put anything down. The other side of power is way too many choices and Analysis Paralysis, where you get stuck deciding which performance or edit is the best and how you want it to fit together. You can turn one track into days of assembly.

I was privileged to be called in on this session because my best friend and I wrote the song and wanted to update our crappy original recording of it. I couldn't believe how good it sounded. Plus there were some improvements instrumentally and vocally.

The studio had a really large, interesting array of guitars and amps. The guitars were all backwards but I brought my #1 Strat anyway. We spent a while getting the right amps for the right tones. The song is Beatle-esque so we went with what they used - a Vox AC30 (recent, with master volume). There were two tracks here: a basic rhythm, bluesy track and a one-hit (chinky) rhythm. Both came out really well with the AC30 and different Strat pickups/settings.

For the lead track, I messed with the Vox but it wasn't giving my what I wanted (even though I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted). The Studio Dudes were talking up their Orange 50w Rockoverb (or something like that). I was hoping for a low-powered older Fender but what the hell - why not try things? I plugged in and the amplifier immediately started to put out this horrendous noise (which wasn't my playing). We examined all sorts of potential issues but decided that wasn't the solution. I tried a pretty cool boutique stereo Swart amp. Very simple controls and it would have worked nicely for the rhythm tracks but not for the lead. After a bit of thought, he hauled out the big weapon: 100 watts of solid Marshall power. Since I have a Marshall (and the dog called Marshall), I had some familiarity with the beast. I tried not to use a lot of grind because the track didn't call for it. After a few takes, he suggested we turn up the grind, The beauty of almost unlimited tracks is you can do many many takes of a part, using different tones, to decide what you like best. We like the dirty version. Because, you know... I like it dirty.

So here comes the fun part,,, I worked out a pretty cool, melodic solo and started playing it. After a few takes, I noticed a funny look on my friend's face, like he ate some bad fruit or something.. not quite a lemon but close. He asked could I get it closer to the original we recorded 15 years ago. Alrighty then. I have NO IDEA what I did 15 years ago. He said he emailed the older version. The only problem was that I never received it. So he played it on his phone and I had to 'learn' it in the studio. Since I'm a quick study, it fortunately went well.  In the end we had quite a few takes and assembled the best whole solo from two or three individual takes. You couldn't do this with tape unless you were incredibly good (and somewhat out of your tiny little mind). All with cut and paste.

So I left with a rough mix, which sounded pretty cool.

What did we learn?
We learned that all sorts of interesting things can be done with this new-fangled digital recording.
We also learned that someone has a slight timing problem that can be partially fixed onscreen. I don't think all that highly of my own playing, so this was a bit of a blow. However, I was invited back, so that works nicely.

I also saw this little lunchbox in person, called a Kemper profiling amplifier. Even though I'm a hardcore technology buff, I can't figure out how this works. You play the desired amplifier into it and it profiles it, making it available to you as a preset. So you can emulate your expensive vintage amp and not have to use it again. Obviously it won't be EXACT but I hear great things about it. I'll try one eventually.

All in all it was quite an experience. I look forward to more.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Let's Play the Loot

Black Lives Matter is protesting a black policewoman shooting a black man by looting a CVS, Walmart, and local businesses. They certainly showed those businesses, which will never shoot a black man again. Also featured in the protest was assault on a member of the press and a shooting. Is this what they call a mixed message?

  • It's now Fall. I'm so happy I could just slit my wrists. Well, not exactly my wrists, but somebody's wrists. The good news is that it's going to be 84 today.

As you've probably heard, Yahoo was hacked to the tune of 500 million accounts. If you have a Yahoo account, get over there NOW and change your password. Not that anyone reading this blog would use a password for more than one site, but if you did, it's time to change that password to a unique one for each site. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

The suspicion is that Yahoo was hacked by 'state-sponsored' hackers. In english, this probably means Russia, because the NSA is already in there.

  • The good news is that our government is taking notice of voting machine security. One of the critters wants to make voting machines 'critical infrastructure,' meaning that they would be Serious Shit and protected by the Department of Homeland Security. That is Bad News. If DHS 'protected' our voting machines, people would be carrying complete hacking kits into the booth, along with weapons, liquids over 3 ounces, and porn.

Sad news... Terry Jones, of Monty Python, has been diagnosed with dementia. He can no longer perform or give interviews due to speech difficulties.

  • 'We', meaning Me, are testing a new feature, called Followers. You can find it on the top right of the page, with a lovely blue button. Please push the button to see what happens (because I sure as hell don't know)

Security researcher Brian Krebs' site has been the target of the largest DOS (Denial of Service) attack ever; twice the size of the most recent largest attack. Brian writes about hacking and hacker groups and tends to raise the ire of said groups, sometimes resulting in SWAT teams sent to his house or packages of drugs delivered to him.  The attack was so bad that his attack-protection service (Akamai) had to drop him. Good Guy Google stepped in to help, with its service designed to protect free speech. Both services were offered free to Mr. Krebs. 

How do these attacks happen? Very poorly protected devices (internet-connected cameras, baby monitors, thermostats, refrigerators) are hacked and grouped into huge attack robots, pointed at one address, like Mr. Krebs'. So much traffic is generated that few, if any, can get through to the site. This is one reason the Internet of Things is going to be a problem. Remember: the first big IoT device, the Nest thermostat, was hacked almost immediately. THINK before you put anything on the internet.

  • Archaeology students at a leading London university have been given permission to walk out of classes if they find dealing with some topics too traumatic. Can you imagine walking out of one of your college classes because you were triggered?  We are raising a generation of Snowflakes, unable and unwilling to deal with any sort of conflict or even unpleasant opinions/facts belonging to others. This is starting to become pervasive, leading me to wonder from where it's coming.

Holy Smoking Phone, Batman: a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 caught fire in an overhead airplane bin, terrorizing a flight to India.  This is technically referred to as a 'lithium battery suffering a thermal runaway'. Or 'it flipping blew up'. Here's the story, complete with juicy pictures.

  • Forbes magazine came out with a list of the best cities to live in the US. Number 41 is Levittown, PA., the only PA city to make the list. Levittown is a mirror of Levittown, NY, which was a planned community by William Levitt.  I can allow for change but I spent a bit of time in Levittown when I was younger, via playing in their clubs and a girlfriend or two.  While there are many cities in PA that should win an award, Levittown is not one. The phrase Blue Collar Hell comes immediately to mind (as distinguished from Blue Collar).

Apparently there is NO pumpkin in a can of 100% Pumpkin. The USDA is a wonderful thing.

  • Tonight is the first debate. I can tell you two things I won't be watching: the debate and football. Still not sure what I am doing. You?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pressure Cooking

Today's hottest  gift: Schroedinger's Pressure Cooker. It's a pressure cooker that's sealed, so there could be very unpleasant material inside or not.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Hell) has called for sensible pressure cooker legislation. Also a waiting period for the purchase of pressure cookers.

  • Remember the exploding Samsung phone battery that allegedly set some guy's car on fire?  Firefighters determined that the phone was not the cause of the fire, although they're not sure what was the cause of the fire. It's kinda like pressure cooker bombs: when they explode, no one knows what they are, but they're sure it's not terrorism.

Our good friends and "protectors" at DHS let hundreds of illegal immigrants from dangerous countries become citizens because they neglected to check their fingerprints. Two of them got jobs at secure areas of airports.  Do you feel protected yet?  Once again, Security Theater.

  • Kellogg has recalled around 10,000 cases of Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles in 25 states including New York that could be tainted with the bacteria listeria. The recall will affect no one, because who the hell would eat whole wheat waffles?

We've been hearing about the many benefits of turmeric lately, from depression to cancer. Someone actually did a study on it. Very interesting results..

  • The Kaepernick protest is spreading to high schools, where students are refusing to stand for the national anthem. The NFL previously decreed that, in order to avoid conflict, their players will do The Wave during the anthem. Unfortunately, some sat out the Wave. Some 'took a knee,' which was stopped when the atheists poured Gatorade on them. Reportedly, next week, Kaepernick will nail himself to a cross during the anthem, on national tv. Not to be ignored, the cheerleaders of both teams will come together in a rare show of unity and launch fireworks out of their buttocks.
  • I think the only true way to handle this, aside from sitting down and shutting up, is for both teams to blow themselves up. This way we won't have to deal with football any longer, the fans get a great fireworks show, and the problem takes care of itself.
  • Your mileage may vary. Any recovered body parts are property of the NFL and may not be used without its expressed written permission.
  • BREAKING NEWS: Kaepernick is now dead, replaced by the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie divorce. This will mask any real issues for weeks at very least!

Hackers have taken over a Tesla while it was moving. They got into the car's web browser (because all cars need a web browser) and obtained control of the car. Now let's face it, owning a Tesla will not be a problem for most people reading this blog, but don't think this kind of control isn't coming to Normal Cars soon.

  • A Muslim refugee boat captain threw six Christians to their death because he blamed them for the rough seas. History has seen Christians do some pretty unsavory things but I'd hazard a guess that if they're on a refugee boat, they in fact have very little control over the weather. Even if they're not on a refugee boat. But let's not blame the Muslim- it's his culture.

"It's on because I'm waiting for my program to come on in a few minutes," which was my wife's excuse for the appearance of Dancing with the Stars on our tv. Since I don't have a DWTS filter for the tv, it proceeded to interrupt my surfing (laptop and couch-sitting). It's even worse than I thought. 

  • Hell Update: work has mandated the use of iDevices. It was delivered the other day and, as I thought, it burned my skin. The advice from everyone up the chain was to leave it in its box. Since I require one feature of the device, this is not possible. We switched from Crappy Old Phones because iDevices could perform some feat not available in the Crappy Old Phones. The iDevice features this feat, but fails on one other, very important, area.
  • To its credit, it started right up. And that's about it.
  • Perhaps knowing how I feel about it, I can get no further with the alleged phone. In fact, nobody on two helpdesks or even Live Humans can make the thing work.
  • I went Right To The Top, to the email administrator of the Whole Shebang. He's out for the week, perhaps the month.
  • Some genius Up Top one day decided we need to use these infernal devices. No testing, no documentation, no training, no luck. Just GET IT DONE. As you'd imagine, everybody under this genius, which would be everybody in the entire company, is suffering for it. And did I mention that it has to be done within the next three days?
  • So aside from the fact that my phone doesn't work and I can't get email, the job is looking up. The interesting part of all of this is that nothing is out of the norm.
  • BUT WAIT!!! It gets better... in order to make my Work Phone work, I have to enter my Personal Credit Card. This is not Work-this is Apple. F-ing ridiculous. The Stupid - It Hurts....
  • If Apple is trying to recruit me or even just get me to use its products, it's not doing a wonderful job. I'd rather have a Samsung and take my chances with it spontaneously combusting.

I have a very useful pair of bluetooth headphones with a mic. They actually take a while to power up - I suspect they have tiny little tubes inside them, which need to warm up before the bluetooth is ready.

  • In case you're keeping score, like me, at work: I can't get email at my desk, my phone doesn't work, and no one can install any programs remotely, least of all me. Aside from that, it's a great place to work.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, charged with the New York and New Jersey bombings was found to have jihad videos on his YouTube account, as well as Judge Judy videos. I'd string him up for the Judge Judy videos alone.

Please, nooooooooo!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Concrete Windows

According to Reuters, the US military aid to Israel will be at least $38 billion. That's billion, with a B.
This needs to be stopped. Stop the money flowing to any country. Lower taxes. You wanna send aid? Go ahead and contribute voluntarily.

  • Two US bombers flew over South Korea in a show of force. No one told them it was North Korea which fired off a nuclear bomb.

Is the transgender bathroom brouhaha a distraction or a significant need? How many transgendered people would this impact? Can they use current washrooms? One of my disabled buddies was against making every concrete corner into a ramp.  I have no position as yet: you tell me.

  • Bradley/Chelsea Manning has been approved for a sex change. Tell me, why is it easier for a psychiatrist to order a sex change than to get his patient out of solitary confinement?

In the Ultimate Irony Department: Hillary will be featured on the cover of Womens Health magazine.

  • Good news for iDevices: iOS 10 is rolling out. Bad news for iDevices: iSO 10 is rolling out. There are reports that the 'upgrade' is bricking phones. As with any upgrade/update, wait for the bugs to be worked out (not that any of us here use iDevices)

Basic Security: do NOT plug a found USB drive into your computer. At best, it'll be harmless. At worst, it will literally fry your computer. It could have a less harmful virus. In any case, Just Don't Do It.

  • are you a user? 43 million passwords 'leaked'.  Change your password NOW.

Yeah, I'm late to the party, but my advice is solid: if your phone supports wireless charging, invest in a charger. 

  • An Indian media company has launched a Spanish-language Bollywood film channel. In the US. Because demand has been outta site. There's too much here to come up with the appropriate slur.

Top US military and national security officials stated that climate change is a 'significant and direct' threat to the US military. Unfortunately, they can't find a country to invade over it.

  • An old guy shot three people at a senior citizens complex in Cheyenne, Wyoming. This proves we need common sense legislation around septuagenarians with guns

The tank made its debut 100 years ago. About the only good thing it did was to allow Joe Walsh to ride down Hollywood Boulevard with one. I'd like one for my lawn but my locality has a specific ordinance against tanks on lawns, hurriedly enacted just after I moved there.

  • Hopefully this won't (or will) be helpful: if your older relative goes nuts, it might be something as simple as a urinary tract infection. It's easy to diagnose and easier to treat. A UTI can look like dementia.

Many people may not realise the beer in their pint glass contains isinglass, a gelatin derived from the swim bladders of fish. Drink up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pneumonia, Parkinsons, Pexhaustion, Pwatever

Friends: thanks for reading. Although this blog is the 'best kept secret' on Google, I appreciate you loyal folks.

ING's data center in Bucharest, Romania, was knocked offline over the weekend during a fire extinguising test. Are you ready for this? It was caused by inert gas. No so much the gas itself, but the noise of the escaping gas. It got to the heads on the hard drives, ruining them. The site went offline and the company relied on its backup data center, seriously inconveniencing its customers. Good to know: noise will not affect solid state drives. So don't fart too loudly in front of your computer.

Can you believe I get paid for this shit?
Just kidding.

  • Apparently the version of android tracks you even if you uninstall Google Maps. Lovely. The only way to avoid this is to disable GPS and only activate it if/when you need it. I saved myself by disabling GPS when I got the phone. You might also want to do this.

Seagate, the hard drive manufacturer, is in trouble. Their H/R department fell for a phishing scam, released all sorts of W-2 data, and now the employees are suing.  Does phishing rhyme with fishing?

  • If Hillary Clinton had a heart attack outside her ambluance and fell on the ground, her supporters would say "she just needed a nap - why are you picking on her?"
  • Speaking of Hillary supporters, they're lining up to meet her and catch her pneumonia as a remembrance.

BREAKING: three people killed, tripping over adapters needed to use headphones with new iPhones. See Airpod samples.

  • Elon Musk says pending Tesla updates could have prevented fatal crash. Oopsie.

A woman is suing the manufacturer of her (phone-connected) dildo because it knows too much about her. Folks, if you buy a FitBit, a VagBit or anything else phone-connected, the data will flow upstream from your phone. Rest assured it will be used for marketing, at very least. If you can deny internet permission for the app, do so. Otherwise, firewall it or just Don't Use It.

Again, I use No Root Firewall on my phone. As the title indicates, you don't need to root your (android) phone to use it. The moment I installed it, I saw a frightening amount of data leaving my phone. Why do my file manager, internet radio and others so desperately want to contact Faceyspaces? Why do apps need to go to the internet when I'm not using them (or at all). No Root Firewall is not for everybody - you have to have a real interest in privacy and a few moments here and there to decide what YOU want to let contact some address outside of your phone. Allowing one app might allow all sorts of addresses you don't need to contact, so you have to go with granular permissions (yes, it may contact the addresses it needs to do its job but not Faceyspaces or ad networks).

  • Today is International Chocolate Day. What 'they' are not telling you is that EVERY DAY is International Chocolate Day. Don't be fooled.

A man using stolen wifi from a neighbor's unlocked system downloaded and distributed child porn. Whose house do you think the authorities raided? That's right.  Secure your wireless.

  • As we know, I'm no Trumpian, but I find the charges of racism to be manufactured. If he said to deport illegal aliens, that's not racism- it's the law.
  • Come on with the Hillary Health Hoo-Ha. The woman is sick; all that remains is a correct diagnosis. First it was dehydration, then is was pneumonia, per her own campaign. Then the press that she owns said she tripped. Lie upon lie, although her supporters say this is all Trumped up. The Kool Aid is unbelievable.
  • Meanwhile the Great Unwashed are most concerned with Various Activities performed by millionaire football players during the national anthem. Can you say diversion?

Happy 70th to Freddie Mercury. Rock on.

  • Got a Samsung 7? I'd do something with it before it does something to you. They're catching fire and exploding. Using one is now discouraged on airplanes. Discouraged? Ban the damn things. Those hoverboard things were banned... do you want one of these on a plane? Btw, this is not the only phone with this problem.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hack Hack Hacking a Lung

A UK woman, for some reason a model, wants to be so fat she can't move. No, really. He boyfriend, a feeder, is feeding her obsession. She currently weighs 50 stone, which, according to an online converter, is 700 pounds. Regardless of conversion accuracy, she's a flipping disaster. Her plan is to reach 1000 pounds. This is a sexual fantasy, people.  I figure she must have some interesting life insurance and the boyfriend is gonna get his jollies then she's going to die in short order. Apparently nobody told them it's dangerous to be to fat.

Oh yeah.. don't say anything bad or you'll be fat-shaming.

  • Apparently fax machines can be radicalized. Yes, binLaden figured out a way to turn your machine against you. If you still have one, keep an eye on it. You never know what it will get up to. The real problem is not the fax machine - the real problem is that the government is getting involved to help us. (article is from 2015)

There is now a petition on to End Discrimination of Young Women by the Boy Scouts of America. I don't know where these miniature Einsteins come up with this stuff, but it looks like they're serious. It also looks like they're not aware of the Girl Scouts and Brownies. Until the Girl Scouts are petitioned to end discrimination against young men, I'm not signing. The good news is that gays can now join Boy Scouts but atheists are still persona non grata.

  • Senate democrats are holding up a Zika funding bill over language inserted by republicans relating to Planned Parenthood. This sounds like a perfect time to enact my One Topic Rule: all legislation will be restricted to one topic only. No inserts or backdoors. One topic.

Amy Schumer says that anyone who isn't a feminist is insane. Amy is a Subject Matter Expert (SME).

  • A potential entry for Best Headline: Fish Fraud is Absolutely Rampant. In a recent study, one in five samples was mislabeled. Next time your order flounder, remember that in reality, you could be eating the bumper of a 1975 Pinto.

In a very alarming trend, HSBC bank has become the latest financial institution to allow selfies as a form of identification. This must certainly be the final horseman of the apocalypse.

  • Londoners were urged to look out for and report brothels so the government could watch for sexual exploitation. It's for the children. In other news, the IRS has urged Americans to report businesses and people not charging income tax, so the government coud look out for sexual exploitation. Tax cheating is the gateway drug to sex-trafficking.

According to just-released research, over half of 18-24 year old female students experience sexual harassment. one in seven males too. Just short of half 18-24 year old female students and six in seven male students are protesting for the right to be harassed too.

  • My best friend got dragged to a Springsteen concert. It was only fair - he drags his wife to his concerts (although his concerts are naturally lots better).  This morning he sent me a link to an article noting that Bruce just broke the record for longest concert held at that venue. It's like being 'volunteered' for the Afghani army. The torture never stops.

My company has done a tremendously safe thing and outlawed Firefox from its desktops. In fact, the system is so safe that even its own administrators cannot install Firefox to the desktops, despite incredibly expensive software and systems designed for just this purpose. Although I require Firefox to perform my duties and have Supervisor Permission, nobody in the entire corporation can install the program.  Just between us, I installed Firefox when I first arrived. The other day I was using it and POOF, it completely disappeared. Uninstalled by itself, by the same system that cannot install it. The institutional incompetence is mind-boggling.

  • A woman has been accused of setting fire to a blanket and a control panel on a jetBlue flight. We're sure glad the TSA has protected us against this sort of thing. Good thing she didn't have a box cutter, eh?  Did we have this level of Crazy before 9-11, which went unreported?

In another bold move for equality, Brown University will be making tampons available in men's restrooms. No word yet on where men are going to put them...

  • Mark the date: September 8th is National Ampersand Day. Because we've run out of all other days. Well.. maybe National Twig Day. National Belly Lint Day. National Termite Day. National Mother-In-Law Day (although that's going too far).

I know you're asking yourself how to generate a good, safe password. While you're waiting for an answer, here are the top 40 passwords - please don't use any of these:

Think it can't happen to you?
I strongly urge you, if you haven't already, to get your affairs in order. Life insurance for those who will be left behind, will, power of attorney, advanced directive, burial wishes and payment, disposition of your Stuff, etc. Please do this before it's needed. Save those left behind a lot of additional grief and assure your wishes are enforced.

Happy 15th Anniversary