In an immediate rebuttal from the manufacturer, they state that this is Not True. They do not offer anything in the way of concrete proof and the author of the article went on to explain, very slowly and comprehensively, for the manufacturer, his point again: that if you don't separate the entertainment system from the flight control system, some nefarious hacker might leap from one system to the other. While this is a very true and logical statement, I can't imagine a hacker getting control of an airplane and making it do anything harmful to the hacker.
- You're either giving or a giftee will be receiving an Internet of Things-enabled device. Either fail to give them one or strongly encourage them to secure the item. If they don't know how, ask a person significantly younger to help them with it. Also avoid those devices that listen to you, like the Echo or the dolls. No good can come of a device that hears and reports everything said in a household, or worse, everything a child says.
I don't know exactly what this new, Internet of Things washer downloads, but let's be positive for once: maybe it's porn! Washing just became FUN!
- This whole iDevice earpod thing is way out of hand. In a few years, plastic surgeons will get rich(er) due to Sagging Earlobe Syndrome.
I'm still working on the logistics of this idea, but a South Carolina legislator (I'll give you one guess from which party, and Democrat ain't it) wants to mandate porn-blocking on all new computers sold in the state. If you don't want porn blocked, there will be a twenty dollar fee, please. Of all the idiot-brained schemes, this may win the computer (and Freedom from Religion Foundation and ACLU and Electronic Freedom Foundation) award for Most Stupid and Impossible Scheme. The many unconstitutional bits of this, of which none can be implemented, are beyond belief. A final thought on this: it would make the NSA and FBI's jobs so much easier. Instead of spying from down the line somewhere, we have just invited them inside our own computers. What could possibly go wrong?
- In the You Knew It Was Coming department, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will be offering this bit of enlightened education: The Problem of Whiteness. Debate should be encouraged on campus, as in other places, but this looks a little skewed before the debate starts, if debate is even allowed in this class. While it is often stated that groups that come up with This Sort of Thing will eventually eat themselves from within, it can't come fast enough.
RIP Zsa Zsa Gabor (99). Cause of death: lack of ratings.
- If you're a Groupon user, there has been some sort of account fraud. Groupon claims there has been no breach; that the account information may have been purchased from external sites. Don't use your login and password for more than one site, ok?
Security site NakedSecurity has 12 Safety Tips of Christmas. Well done! Spoiler: there is nothing naked on the site.
- Vice has killed its online comments section, like several other major sites. Apparently their viewers are not a polite bunch. The article is quite an eye-opener.. it's not just the Vice viewers, though.. the online space is now the Wild West, with everything from polite, thoughtful comments to death threats, with the polite stuff being difficult to find, due to the death threats and General Abuse. What a lovely group we are. Put a windshield or a keyboard between us and others and we become Total Assholes.
A Virgin flight was delayed when someone changed their phone's wifi name to 'Samsung Galaxy Note 7'. After threatening to ground the plane, the trickster came forward. No charges were filed but at least we got a snicker out of it. No word on whether the jokester in question got the stuffing knocked out of him by the rest of the plane's passengers.
- In what had better be a joke, a three year old is getting a sex change.
Christmas with the ex-Jews
Some of you may remember our thirteen year struggle with a cat and a Christmas tree. Ren, from about six weeks old, made it his life's work to disembowel (internal) Christmas trees. We have a kinda scrawny fake tree, which we decorated with great fanfare, to become a less-scrawny, well appointed sight. Ren got right up there and destroyed the display, one section at a time. After he removed tinsel, he concentrated on a yearly Gravity Experiment, which consisted largely of making each and every ornament go straight to the ground. The really expensive and emotionally-valuable ones were particularly interesting to him, as if they somehow went to ground at a different pace.
One particularly bad year saw him disassembling the tree by knocking off the branches, one by one. Where does a cat learn to take apart a fake tree? Since we had him from six weeks, I can only conclude this information is genetic. As a final tribute to the Christmas Spirit, I took the top foot of the tree and hung it from the ceiling, so even he could not get it, unless he somehow schemed to get the dog to move the ladder over and open it for him. When I returned home from work, he had somehow managed to remove even the last nub from the ceiling. It's amazing he didn't get the hook too. I'm not even sure I want to know how he did it but the dog's not talking either.
Much to everyone's sadness, Ren passed this year. Marshall still hasn't gotten over losing his cat and is on medication (I'm not kidding). Even though our relationship was weird, to be polite, I'd rather have Ren than the tree.
So Certain Persons in the house decided we needed to have holiday decorations on the house. Considering the season, the mania surrounding multiple health issues, Normal Stuff, and our vast organizational skills, we have whittled decorations down to a two foot tree and a Seasons Greeting-type sign on the door. This is a large improvement over last year, when we were limited to a few cards over the door from previous years. My wife does this and to this day, I still don't understand why. The sign is delightfully understated (small and blends into the door) but it swings in the wind. So anyone in the house is treated to the sound of the sign BANGING against the door with the force of police knocking with five-cell flashlights.