Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The New Wave: Symbolic Protest

The Yale Graduate Student Union is holding a symbolic hunger strike. What's a symbolic hunger strike? Students can leave and get food when they're hungry.  This is likely to take off into a worldwide phenomenon. Personally I'm going to hold a symbolic sleepless protest, where I can go to bed when I'm tired.

  • Hacking has taken on a whole new meaning. Somebody got hold of ten episodes of 'Orange is the New Black' and demanded a ransom from Netflix. Netflix refused and the hacker leaked the episodes. Before you ask, I do not have the location.

Australia is the land of animals you never want to see, no handguns, and privacy erosions the likes of which you also never want to see. They have a thrilling and incredibly sad legal framework in which they can get at least the metadata of all phone use, including VPN or encrypted information. Same in the US, actually. Metadata does not reveal what's in the message; it reveals FROM, TO, TIME, which comes in handy in investigations. Happy Day to all.

  • Let's talk stats: 
  • the majority of traffic came from the US and France
  • the top browsers used were Chrome and Firefox
  • the top operating systems were Windows and linux
  • number of visits.... well... let's say that I appreciate you coming by

Speaking of brain cells, here are four hacks to grow your brain cells.  I'm particularly fond of number four, except where it says it improves cognitive functions in dementia. I'm not going to suggest this to my mother.

  • Twas a good day to stay out of Texas today
  • Dallas: EMT shot, manhunt happening
  • Austin: UT-Austin, 4 stabbed, 1 dead, suspect in custody
  • Sensitive College Student: I felt very unsafe when Campus Carry passed. Oops, this was a knife.

Our good friends at Faceyspaces used algorithms to collect data on 6.4 million Australian children under the age of 14, based upon their emotional state for targeted advertising. Leaping to accept responsibility, Faceyspaces says the use of the algorithm was an 'oversight'. There is a reason I refer to FB as the Front Page of the NSA. They got caught here... what else do you think is going on? What other data harvested? Who else marketed to? Please don't make me say I told you so.

  • The NSA is ending its controversial warrantless surveillance program. This is spying - I mean surveillance on any communication that references a target outside the country. You believe them, right? They wouldn't lie to us, would they? They're completely above board, aren't they?

The Trump crowd is boycotting Starbucks due to the owner's actions. I boycott Starbucks because it sucks (Peet's for me). Last night we wanted to leave the domicile, as we are wont to do once a month. Barnes&Noble was the decision and they have a Starbucks in house. Since we do enjoy a frappucino now and then and since we went from 50 to 80+ degrees in a few days, this seemed like a good idea.

Well, right up til we sat down.

Almost immediately after we sat in the uncomfortable seats, I heard loud, urgent talking, which morphed into loud, urgent, constant whining. A child of tweenish age was complaining to some adult about her parents not letting her do anything. They sat down and it continued in its loud, urgent tone. At one point the adult told her to lower her voice, bless her, but it went right back up to the Kill Level. It seemed like she had some sort of psych issue and wasn't dealing well with limitations imposed by it. 

I'm trying to read a magazine to glean some information but had great difficulty due to the volume of her aural assault. My first thought was to take the Ironic Approach and go to her table to explain that my A.D.D. prevents me from reading when there is loud noise. Once in a while I manage to moderate myself, yearly, and I'm proud to say this was my effort for 2017. 

I didn't have much time until The Loud Couple appeared at a closer table and had a loud discussion about what kind of drinks were available, loudly questioning some of the flavors. Her loudness was the major irritant but it served to make his volume, and irritant level, that much louder.

Fortunately this calmed down, so Loud Child could become the Lone Irritant.

But not for long.

I heard very loud breathing next to me, as an older fellow, possibly missing a lung, and/or a heavy smoker, started rearranging the table. He pulled it out six inches from its original location, and started placing Stuff and napkins about the table. The breathing was very loud, and went breath, awhhhhhhh, breath, awhhhhh.

Meanwhile the child continued, with brief interruptions from the Loud Couple.
And in back of me, two loud students were flummoxed by the tables not being large enough, using their student brains to come up with pushing two tables together. They must have been engineering students. Mind you, there were two of them, plus a laptop, so with tables for four, I was unable to see an issue. Fortunately the debate raged no further.

I remember wondering if these people were raised in barns, by wolves.  I was taught to be considerate by a considerate mom, so when I go to places like this, I don't use my booming voice. Apparently I'm the only one. The only surprise was why a spontaneous basketball game or small heavy metal concert didn't break out while I was finishing my drink.

I had some killer pictures to upload, just to bring a smile or a frown. Unfortunately, something changed and I can no longer upload graphics or sometimes even log in, from about six browsers. Thanks guys!

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