Monday, February 13, 2017

Don't Be An iHole

Yes, Virginia, there is a MacBook-scented candle. It smells like Smug, costs three times more than other candles, and you have to wait in a long line for it.

  • the Open Observatory of Network Interference has release an app to let you test internet surveillance and network performance. It's available for android and the iThing and tells you if a site is blocked by a number of techniques. It will also measure the speed and performance of your network, testing for possible throttling. Peruse the article and install the app. I am.

Mayor Jim Kenney, of the Great Hole of Philadelphia, home of the Sanctuary City, is delighting in Trump's court battle over immigration, saying that he isn't above the courts. This is the same mayor who refuses to change the city's status of Sanctuary City, thus flouting the law. I wonder if the good mayor would defend residents if they didn't pay taxes.. would they have sanctuary?

  • It appears that the White House's Chief Information Security Officer, an Obama appointee, no longer has that position. No further information is available. In a completely unbiased article, Gizmodo said "It's also unclear if President Trump knows what that job title means."

In a rare good move, Google has given the apps in their store til March to post a privacy policy or be pushed toward the bottom of the listings or purged entirely. It doesn't have to be a good privacy policy but it has to be a privacy policy.

  • My mother (see the Dementia section above) is having trouble with her words sometimes, which is referred to as speech aphasia. For a few years, we've noticed that the objects of our own sentences have started to disappear. Maybe it's age...I don't know... I've never been this age before.
  • I'll think of Hendrix, then start to say something about him.. "Yeah, I really like.... umm...." and in that second, Hendrix has completely left my mind and it will take a while to bring him back or I'll give up completely. I'm not saying it's a clinical diagnosis, but it's frustrating as hell and my brothers do it too.
  • I just found out my mom hates rosemary. Now I know where I got it from.

Know what I hate?
Today the thing that really bothers me is that it's still getting dark too early, in addition to the omnipresent gray. This is my day of rest, I've only been awake for a few hours, and the sun is going down. The natural conclusion would be to stop sleeping til noon, then walking downstairs and realizing I need a nap. It's weird, but some people have told me it's not normal to get going by 3pm on weekends.

  • Hey, remember how those CDs you purchased starting in the 80s, that would last forever? Guess what - they don't. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we now have a new term to bandy about: Disc Rot. Some of this was discovered in batches. There was a hotline for one bad batch that was open for years. In essence, you're screwed. Look for obvious 'rotlike' discolorations, white spots, or bronzing. This also applies to software. One fella opened unplayed manufacturer game discs to find them rotting. In some cases, it won't affect the material, but regardless, I'd get them copied off to something else NOW. Recordables are more susceptible. 

A new app has become popular in Washington, DC: it's called Confide. Like Signal (which we should all be using for encrypted text and voice) in its encryption, Confide only shows a line when you 'wipe across' and deletes the message when you tell it or after ten minutes.  Neat app, right? Aside from my Security Spider Sense, which tells me someone will discover the messages aren't exactly deleted securely (or at all), we have politicians communicating secretly. Stop and think about that.

  • Everybody's favorite Real Imitation Roast Beef fast food joint, Arby's, suffered a payment card breach, affecting up to 1,100 locations. Up to 355,000 cards were affected. Arby's has declined to state whether is has notified customers but said customers should look for unauthorized activity on their payment cards. Sweet of them, don't you think?

A lot of websites are powered by WordPress software. Fortunately this blog isn't because I wouldn't wish WordPress on an enemy. The patches flow frequently, and this is because the software has more holes than Internet Explorer. Well, almost. While updates can be automatic, some folks don't use this option. Because of this, over one million WordPress sites were defaced.

  • Here's a short page on why privacy is important - even though you have nothing to hide.


I make no secret of the fact that I don't like sports, but always forget that there is one sport I enjoy the hell out of: Los Angeles Police Chases. Police chases are weeks away from being designated the Official Sport of California. This is not at all strange, coming from a state that gives drivers licenses to illegal aliens. There's a station out of Phoenix that usually carries the races live, complete with helicopters vying for the best angle. Part of the fun is watching the spectators vying for the best camera angle and waving madly. Even getting hit by the suspect's car would be a golden opportunity for them, death aside.  Today's adventure was made even more amusing by the suspect messing with the police. He'd stop in the middle of the street, when police in four cars jumped out, guns pointed, squatting behind their car doors. Thirty seconds later, he'd take off. It was amusing each of the four times he did it.

I think, with a few small improvements, California could have a World Class Sport and eventually be admitted to the Olympics. Perhaps they could define a route and put up barriers, so bystanders don't get hurt (or perhaps bystanders getting hurt would add to the merriment). Extra points would be awarded for creative routing outside of the course. Cameras could be installed for better angles as well as views into the car itself. If people are anticipating leading a car chase, they can install a car camera so everyone in the audience can watch their expressions as they try to evade the police (which no one ever does, even in California).

In these days of ridiculous spending causing ridiculous deficits, this can be another source of revenue. Proceeds could go to the LAPD Children's Fund. There's absolutely no downside to this brilliant idea of mine. I will only take a small fee, per chase, for the idea.

note: updates to the Dementia page have been made

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