Monday, January 23, 2017

Where's That #**#@ Phone???

Marshall the Wonder Cocker is on way too much medicine. One of them evolved nicely to something that looks like a Rolo, which is beef-flavored so the dog will eat it. Except my dog, who won't have anything to do with it. Perhaps if it were cat food flavored.  The medicine issue was quickly solved with cold cuts, specifically turkey. He ate it right up. Right up until the point when he stopped. We switched to ham, which he really loved. This worked for damn near two weeks; a record. Then he stopped liking the ham. This week it's cheese. He loves him some cheese.  In fact, when he follows me into the kitchen and the refrigerator door opens, he gets all excited. He snarfed up his meds, wrapped in cheese, for damn near a week. Damn near. Evolving, his new trick is to take the cheese/pill bundle, chew to see if there's anything that doesn't belong, and spits it on the floor. If there's something he'd rather not eat, it stays on the floor, while the cheese gets consumed. To make matters more interesting, he has ear drops. He now recognizes the bottle and goes running the moment he sees it. It's a bitch when your pet is smarter than you.

UPDATE: not sure if I should feel better about this, but my very smart child is now laying outside, in the rain, on the steps, sleeping.


Encrypted messaging app WhatsApp has at least one very serious security flaw. that will let a third party listen to your FB voice messages. I mention this because I don't use it, but someone who reads this might. The flaw will allow WhatsApp, or more likely, the government, to eavesdrop on your messages. Your secure messages. Security Guru Bruce Schneier says it's not technically a flaw so much as a design decision. Regardless of which you consider this, I'd drop the app and move to Signal. And drop FB, of course.

  • Censorship of media, in the Old Days, came from the right, frequently the religious right. These days censorship comes from the left, frequently from the Social Justice Warriors, demanding things be thrown out because someone is or might be offended. This is unacceptable in either case. I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will fight for your right to say it. Please watch for it and keep the above words in mind. No one likes when the KKK marches but to not allow them to march is to not allow your child's sports team to march.

So hey, how about the Ukraine power grid problem? What problem? It got hacked. Then it got hacked again, both times cutting power to the area (the Pivichna substation). Officials believe the hacks were performed by the same entity. Most, if not all of us, do not live in Ukraine, but utility hacking is getting more prevalent and more successful. This is partially due to the utilities being hooked to the net in the first place. This is a no-no. It is also due to ancient technology hooking it up. There have been all sorts of hacks and alerts across the US. Recently, there were a number of tests across California. I can't tell you what's happening to combat hacking, but it had better be fast and it had better be effective.  You know what will happen, though....

  • A US judge just ruled that because Sony 'monitors' you on the PS3, you have a reduced expectation of privacy on info stored on the PS3. Not only do some of these devices monitor you via mic and/or camera, the data they store is open to the court system (or anyone else who can get at it, of course).  It's a fine time to own a gaming console (that's hooked up to your smart tv, which also watches you, then transmits the data up the line). 1984 all over again.

A United Airlines passenger has been arrested for a bomb threat. The budding Einstein tells the flight crew he found a note in the bathroom, saying not to land or the plane will blow up. When the crew asked him to write an account, they noticed that his handwriting looked awfully similar to the bomb note. The plane did land and failed to explode. The passenger will upgrade his living facilities for ten years to the federal pen and pay a fine of up to $250,000. That's some expensive practical joke there. Maybe he can send a note to the warden that the prison will explode if it doesn't let the inmates out. In his own handwriting, of course.

  • The NYPD has said that if Trump enacts any legislation targeting Muslims, they will ignore it. Furthermore, the NYPD has a chaplain. Read that again. Why does a police department require a chaplain? Next thing you know they'll be in DMV offices and churches.

Talentless donut-licker and BDSM sexpot who complains about being objectified, Ariana Grande, has done it again: she has proclaimed herself the hardest working 23 year old girl in the world. Factory slaves in third-world countries, working for 25 cents a day disagree, for some unknown reason. I have never been interested in Ms. Grande, but it looks like she has some real comedic potential.

  • Musicians with iDevices - update Garage Band. There has been an update that includes a security fix. Not that any of us here use iDevices...

I've mentioned my problem with my wife's phone before. In truth, it's my problem, as my wife has absolutely no problem with it.  The phone rings at a volume roughly equivalent to a Who concert, which is the loudest concert on record; slightly above the roar of an airplane's jet engine. One of the reasons this is not my wife's problem is that the phone is always near me when it goes off, resulting in me finding myself hanging upside down from the ceiling, like a cat who just got spooked. This would be hilarious to anyone present, but my wife is never present when the phone erupts like Mt Vesuvius.

Phone Eruptions are almost as amusing when someone is sleeping and doesn't hear it because it's on a different floor. So the phone rings, I wind up on the ceiling, and Wife sleeps right through it. Because why interrupt your snoozing when you can have your phone remotely annoy (and terrify) your spouse? Much as I've complained about it, and I have complained about it much, the ringer volume and location do not change, almost as if on purpose. This may or may not have something to do with Marital Dynamics.

In a nod to compromise, she sometimes takes the phone with her but puts it in Airplane Mode, which essentially shuts the phone off. Now she won't be disturbed and I won't leave claw marks in the ceiling, as it should be. Of course this strategy fails 100% of the time when I'm out of the house and need to get in touch with her. Fortunately I barely leave the couch. Currently I'm going for my Agorophobic Certificate. So I tell Wife to just shut off the ringer and allow certain numbers through.

Because she has very little continuity, my wife puts stuff down and immediately forgets where it is. This is usually a Guy Thing, but not in this case. Putting things down invariably will involve searching for things later. Frequently it's the phone. This used to involve tearing up areas in which we think the phone may be located. Getting smart, we used the landline. It is said that house phones are only used to locate cell phones these days. It is correct.

The other day I notice that Wife has the house phone in hand, calling her cell phone to locate it. I ask where she thinks it is because we don't hear it ringing. It turns out my wife outsmarted herself by turning off the ringer so it wouldn't disturb her, just like I said. It also will not ring when she calls it with the house phone. Why? Because I said to turn the ringer off and because she didn't hear me say to allow some numbers through (like the house phone).

It's not that I don't love my small, special little family - I do. But....

Johnny, what do you make of this?

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