As a social media nerd (perhaps you know the type), I take note of the political ads in the sidebars and footers of the blogs and pages I follow. The unseen forces that affect ad-placing algorithms have figured out that I’m pro-life, and most of the political ads I see are for more-or-less pro-life candidates. A pro-Hillary ad like the one that crossed my social media feed today is jarring. (How did she find me?)
A pro-life physician whose blog I enjoy took Democratic VP candidate Tim Kaine to task recently for Kaine’s personally-opposed-but position on abortion. No surprises, until I got to the end of the post and saw a pro-Hillary ad at the bottom of the page.
The blogger sure didn’t place that one. The platform hosting his blog did. I took grim pleasure in thinking how few clicks the ad must have gotten from the blog’s usual audience.
This, I reminded myself, is why bloggers need to bite the bullet and pay for self-hosted sites. When we don’t, we’re at the mercy of the lovely and talented ad team at WordPress or Google or whatever. It’s just plain annoying to know that even in an ad rotation that’s largely non-political on a pro-life blog, something like the Clinton promo can slither in. Free social media isn’t altogether free, a fact I wish I could ignore. If we’re using space on someone else’s property, be it Facebook or Twitter or a blog that’s not self-hosted, the landlord gets to set terms.
This was a minor annoyance, but it was just pesky enough to annoy me. It was my lesson for the day, and I share it with you at no charge: blog your heart out, and own your platform if you can. Hillary is lurking for your readers.
A follow-up to my July 28 post, “Ethics and PP’s Campaign Cash”: A report in the New Hampshire Sunday News says that the New Hampshire Executive Branch Ethics Committee has dismissed the ethics complaint against Gov. Hassan and Councilor Van Ostern, who took Planned Parenthood campaign money and then supported state contracts with PP. Nothing to see here, folks.
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Just after the Islamic Terror attack on the gay nightclub Pulse Facebook, you know those guys who insist they are not censoring conservative, decided to take strong action…against one of the most prominent opponent and a onetime target of Islamic terror Pam Geller
Well apparently Facebook has discovered that such actions directed against a person targeted for assassination by Islamic Terrorists in response to her critique of the mass slaughter of Gays by an islamic terrorist not only tends to draw unfavorable press but really doesn’t play well with a large segment of the population.
You spoke — you wrote, emailed, called, and YOU succeeded in getting my page and my privileges back. THANK YOU and thank Breitbart for raising a ruckus. Communicating and sharing information is the key to building an army of Davids to defeat the enormous enemedia myths and lies. Each one of my readers is a one-man media organization educating those in your sphere of influence. This is a war on freedom of speech in the age of jihad and sharia. And Facebook is key.
Now this would be just another story about a company backing off after a bad decision but what really got my goat was this quote from Breitbart’s coverage of Facebook’s volte face of the email Facebook sent to Pam after the reinstatement of both groups.
“A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Facebook. This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for this error. We’re since restored the content and you should now be able to see it.”
I don’t know what bothers me more, the sheer mendacity of that statement or the insult to my intelligence required to expect me to believe it.
On the bright side it’s very nice of Facebook for doing their best to turn my decision not to join facebook into a positive virtue.
Have the conservatives who attended the @facebook summit commented on their banning & reinstatement of @PamelaGeller anyone Bueller Bueller?
Montgomery Scott:The Best Diplomat I know is a fully charged Phaser Bank
Star Trek A Taste of Armageddon (1967)
There was a famous exchange between Harry Truman and Soviet Foreign Affairs Minister Vyacheslav Molotov over the Soviets refusal to carry out their agreements concerning Polish Self Determination.
He then walks into the room with Molotov and has a very, very tough conversation in which he tells Molotov that the Soviets are not carrying out their agreements on Poland. And Molotov says, “We are.” And according to Truman’s record of this, “I then explain to him in words of one syllable,” Truman said, “exactly why they were not.” Molotov apparently said, “I have never been talked to like that in my life,” and Truman said, “Carry out your agreements and you won’t be talked to like that.”
That comes to mind when I hear about the aftermath of the “Dialogue” between Facebook/Zuckerberg and Conservatives:
Dana Perino, co-host of Fox News Channel’s “The Five,” says that Facebook recognizes that it has a ‘trust problem’ with conservatives following her meeting Wednesday with the social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Perino, former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, was among a group of leading conservatives invited to the meeting at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., following a Gizmodo report that stories about conservative topics were prevented from appearing in Facebook’s trending module. “FOX & Friends Weekend” co-host and Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson also attended the meeting.
“They acknowledged that they have a trust problem with a significant portion of their customer base and that they were trying to figure out a way, at least a first step, to open a dialogue so that they can try to fix it in the long run,” said Perino, speaking on “The Kelly File” following the meeting.
This perfectly illustrates why said “dialogue” is useless.
Facebook doesn’t acknowledge a bias problem, the only see a “Trust” problem, thus they will hold “dialogues” in the hope of showing “progress” in the hopes that these visuals will cause conservatives to believe they are doing something.
Alas for facebook, not only is the bias problem real but as reported at The Lid , the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) was able to prove it by setting up a pair of “hate” sites one anti-jewish & one anti Palestinians gradually ramping up the rhetoric on both until they both called for the death of their targets. Then they reported each site to facebook.
On the very same day as the complaints were lodged, Facebook closed the anti-Palestinian page emailing back to the “person” who complained: “We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it violates our Community Standards.”
The page inciting violence against Jews, which used the same hate terms as the anti-Palestinian one, was not closed by Facebook. This complained received a message stating that site calling for the death of Jews was not in violation of their rules.
The only thing less surprising than this is what happened next
Only after the Israel Law Center published the video below did Facebook change its mind. “As you may have noticed, we have now taken down both those pages as we made a mistake earlier,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in an email to the Law Center.
Oh it was a “mistake”, what was that mistake? Getting caught!
If facebook actually wanted to solve their “trust” problem the solution is actually pretty simple: Stop showing bias against conservatives and conservative sites.
However I submit that Facebook given the choice between abandoning their liberal bias, or continuing a “dialogue” in the hope that conservative journalists gullible enough to believe them, or greedy enough to play along will be appeased, they’ll go with “dialogue” every time while they continue to do stuff like this:
An Emmy award-winning actress on “The Middle” and formerly “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Heaton often uses her social media pages to speak out for unborn babies. Last week, Heaton shared her support of a Washington, D.C. pregnancy resource center’s work on her Twitter page:
The post was so popular that it became a trending news story on Facebook. However, the social media site didn’t use Heaton’s words; instead, it characterized her post this way, according to Hot Air: “Patricia Heaton: Actress Shares Anti-Abortion Message, Says ‘Support Life.’” “Is there anything in that message that is ‘anti-abortion’? Absolutely not,” O’Connor wrote. “She is celebrating and honoring an organization, the Northwest Center, which cares for pregnant women and their children after they are born. … That is political bias. That is what it looks like. This is what we are talking about.”
It’s worth noting that this was done three days AFTER the Gizmodo story with the blowback already taking place.
And I suggest that the Israel Law Center’s solution to the facebook bias problem is the best one:
They allege that social media, particularly postings by Palestinians on Facebook, “is spurring on the terrorist attacks against Israelis in the past month.”
The complaint says the plaintiffs “have been living in the crosshairs of a murderous terrorist rampage carried out by killers who attack people with knives, axes, screwdrivers, cars and Molotov cocktails for no reason other than that the attacker perceives the victims to be Jewish.”
In a wave of violence this past month, 10 Israelis have been killed in shooting and knifing attacks, and more than 50 Palestinians, more than half of them assailants, have been killed as well.
“Many of these murderers were motivated to commit their heinous crimes by incitement to murder they read on Facebook – demagogues and leaders exhorting their followers to ‘slaughter the Jews,’ and offering instruction as to the best manner to do so, including even “anatomical charts showing the best places to stab a human being.”
Israeli attorney, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Director of Shurat HaDin, said that “for every Israeli that is sitting now at home – there is something that can be done against terror. Join us now. This action is important in the same way as actions to increase security on the ground and its goal is to stop the terror. Today, Facebook has become a haven for terrorists: they publish their actions on their Facebook pages, garner support, receive instructions and direction to murder Jews – and all this under the sponsorship of a commercial company that has the power to stop it easily. At the time that Facebook suffices with words and tells us that it intends “to remove inciting pages” – the website is filling up more and more each moment with severe incitement and it is our task to do everything to stop this.”
This suit is going to do more to change things at Facebook than any amount of meetings and photo ops.
Conservatives — by which I mean the people at home — are not dumb. They know what the political priorities of your company are, and they want to see truth and transparency or they will simply leave the platform.
Remember their goal isn’t to solve a bias problem their goal is to solve a trust problem without touching their bias. If you aren’t there to lay down the law then Glenn Beck’s not withstanding you’re wasting your time.
Prime Minister Jim Hacker: Well say they were invited earlier but the NATO exercise got in the way now that they’re not needed they’re going anyway [listens on the phone] Alright nobody knows it’s not true, press statements aren’t given under oath.
Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986
This has been a bad week for the Facebook facade of even handedness.
Both the Guardian and Gizmodo have reported on the practice of promoting or demoting stories based on the lefty bias of the Facebook team and the response has not been kind.
I was contacted by Mark Zuckerberg’s office this morning about going out to see him in Menlo Park Wednesday.
They have had the same problem that many in media and Silicon Valley face: suppression of conservative voices and ideas.
Many voices and posts were deleted or insured to never trend according to a report. Ted Cruz, CPAC, The Blaze and I were specifically named.
Mark wanted to meet with 8 or ten of us to explain what happened and assure us that it won’t happen again.
How does a company who allowed voices to be heard in Iran and Egypt which sparked revolution silence voices of anyone here?
I am trying to rearrange my schedule to see if I can make it. It would be interesting to look him in the eye as he explains and a win for all voices if we can come to a place of real trust with this powerful tool.
Representatives at Facebook have already reached out to Breitbart News.
We have zero interest in a Facebook photo-op.
They instead want this
Here’s what we and our tens of millions of readers are interested in:
An interview between Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos and Mark Zuckerberg on the topic of free speech and Facebook’s suppression of conservative media. Milo will interview Zuckerberg anytime, anywhere—and we’ll agree to have it broadcast on your live video platform.
Facebook to immediately cease its active suppression of conservative media, as extensively reported by Gizmodo, The Guardian, and myriad other news outlets. Indeed, Facebook’s Trending News chief, Tom Stocky, is a maximum political donor to Hillary Clinton. So there’s no need to “discuss” anything. Facebook did it, Facebook got caught, and it must end.
Bottom line: be interviewed by Milo and stop screwing conservatives.
While meetings, denials and assurances that this stuff won’t happen again might be nice the question to me isn’t just: Are we catching this so facebook doesn’t try to fix “Fix” this election. The question I want answered is How many times has Facebook already used it’s power to “fix” an election?
For example is Facebook suppression of news the reason why fast and furious, Benghazi and other scandal haven’t broken out or that the White House or have their actions been responsible for the success or failures of ballot initiatives nationwide?
I think we need answers, I think those answers have to be truthful and I believe there is only one way we will get truthful answers.
We need to get facebook’s people under oath.
The GOP congress needs to subpoena Zuckerberg, his lieutenants and the people who made the decisions as to trending topics to determine
1. Was there a concerted effort to spike stories favorable to conservative and unfavorable to liberals while promoting stories favorable to liberals and unfavorable to conservatives.
2. When did said effort start, when did it, if ever end.
3. Were these efforts an “in kind” donation to candidates and causes and were any such actions in violation of current law or regulations?
These questions have to be asked and answered under oath. After all if these folks have been manipulating facts for years why would we expect them to tell us the truth if there is no consequence or penalty for lying?
I think somebody in the House needs to get on the ball and arrange hearings so we can see if Facebook is willing to backup their claims and make the same denials they have made in public under penalty of perjury. I think it will be even more interesting if they refuse to do so.
Because frankly Zuckerberg can have all the summits, and photo ops he likes, his company can issue all the statements he wants, but until their statements are make them under oath, no sane conservative will trust Facebook and it’s people.
Nor should they.
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Jack Tripper: Sir excuse me I have to get in there, that man is a psycho. Matre di: Ridiculous, That man is doctor Miller, the Psychiatrist. Jack Tripper: Oh come ON, Who are you going to believe, him or me? Anyone can tell you they’re a psychiatrist I just did.
Three’s Company Two flew over the cuckoo’s nest 1981
The story that Facebook has been playing games to suppress news stories favorable to conservatives while promoting liberal ones should surprise nobody who is paying attention.
Even if you believe that Facebook isn’t monkeying with the trending list or actively trying to swing the vote, the reports serve as timely reminders of the ever-increasing potential dangers of Facebook’s hold on the news. . . .
The question isn’t whether Facebook has outsize power to shape the world — of course it does, and of course you should worry about that power. If it wanted to, Facebook could try to sway elections, favor certain policies, or just make you feel a certain way about the world, as it once proved it could do in an experiment devised to measure how emotions spread online.
I’m sorry but does nobody get the irony of the NYT warning about Facebook trying to sway elections and favoring certain politics by manipulating people?
I’m half surprised that the piece didn’t end with, “Hey that’s our racket!”
Captain Kirk:According to him, there’s a creature of some sort down here, a humanoid. Mr. Spock: Lieutenant Uhura communicated that information. I ordered re-confirmation on our sensors. They indicate no living creature on this planet. I suggest, Captain, that you’ve been lied to. Lazarus:Captain, you yourself said there were no other explanations. Why do you give credence to this man? Mr. Spock: I fail to comprehend your indignation, sir. I’ve simply made the logical deduction that you are a liar.
I daresay there might be a few people around the country who will be hearing about #freestacy and Robert Stacy McCain for the first time today. That’s what happens when one of the top 70 websites in the country writes about it.
So congratulations to Twitter, Anita Sarkeesian and company. Your new Trust and Safety council continues to get more and more national and even international fame.
48 hours later just a few hours before my plans to take DaWife to Maine resulted not in me outside of Knight’s quilt shop in a rocking chair reading the collected CS Lewis as my wife shopped but at a rest stop full of syringes on the ground outside of Chelmsford watching assorted tractor trailers and waiting for AAA to tow us home the CEO of Twitter was gracing the today show saying this
The key exchange being this:
Matt Lauer: Let me ask you point blank, does twitter censor the comments of its users, does it hide what it would consider inflammatory comments whether they be social or political? Jack Dorsey:Absolutely not,
Given that the CEO has publicly said this on a national TV show I went back to tweetdeck to check on Robert Stacy McCain to see if his account has been restored.
It has not been.
Now I suppose one can try and parse that statement claiming that as Robert Stacy McCain has been suspended he technically is no longer a user so a “user” is no longer being censored.
But given the evidence I’m with Spock the logical deduction is he is a liar and not just a liar but a liar willing to lie to a national audience with a straight face.
I’m surprised he’s not running for office.
Update: A question for Matt Lauer. Jack Dorsey lied to your face and to your audience on national TV. What will you do about it?
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Firefox’s share of the browser market is declining rapidly, according to multiple measures. W3Counter says Firefox’s share has decreased from 21.3 percent of browser usage in November 2012 to 11.5 percent this month.
The Mozilla Corp. historically has made most of its money through a a contract making Google the default search engine on Firefox. But last year, instead of renewing that contract, Mozilla signed agreements with less popular search engines. Yahoo is now the default in the US, Yandex in Russia, and Baidu in China. Mozilla hasn’t revealed the terms of those deals and the report gives no indication of how much revenue the new contracts will generate, but there’s reason for concern.
While Mozilla spins the change as a way of being less dependent on a single company, it’s not clear whether Mozilla or Google pulled the plug.
Oddly enough while Wired mentioned the whole Brandon Eich thing it doesn’t connect the decision to tell half the population that they are bigots whose business they would rather not have to said customers decision to take them at their word and leave, particularly if they have plenty of alternatives to choose from.
I’ve not used Firefox since that day on any computer I own and I intend never to do so again. I suspect millions think the same and I’ll wager Google has noticed this.
11th Doctor: The security is absolute.
Clara: It’s never about the security, it’s about the people.
Doctor Who The Bells of St. John 2013
The plot final episode of the second season of the British series Sherlock revolves around James Moriarty’s determination to destroy Sherlock Holmes, who he refers to as “Sir Boast a Lot” in a fairy tale, however the preface to this plan involves his breaking into three of the most secure places in England, namely the Bank of England, the Tower of London and Pentonville Prison at the exact same time. This produces a subplot concerning the method he used to do so after he fails to take anything in the breakins and is furthermore acquitted in seven minutes :
Sherlock:You’ll never need to take anything ever again. Moriarty:JIM: Very good. Because …? Sherlock:Because nothing … nothing in the Bank of England, the Tower of London or Pentonville Prison could possibly match the value of the key that could get you into all three. Moriarty:I can open any door anywhere with a few tiny lines of computer code. No such thing as a private bank account now – they’re all mine. No such thing as secrecy – I own secrecy. Nuclear codes – I could blow up NATO in alphabetical order. In a world with locked rooms, the man with the key is king; and honey, you should see me in a crown. Sherlock:You were advertising all the way through the trial. You were showing the world what you can do. Moriarty:: And you were helping. Big client list: rogue governments, intelligence communities … terrorist cells. They all want me. Suddenly, I’m Mr Sex.
This is an excellent description of how the world views Anonymous who seemingly is able to hack governments, banks, newspapers, etc etc etc. Somehow this little band of genius have the world by the throat if they want it.
A jury has found former Tribune Media employee and social media news maven Matthew Keys guilty of three computer fraud felonies related to a 2010 defacement of the Los Angeles Times website by a member of the Anonymous hacking group.
On its second day of deliberation, a jury in U.S. District Court in Sacramento this afternoon found Keys guilty of all three counts levied by prosecutors, who first indicted Keys in 2013. He was fired from his position as deputy social media editor at Reuters shortly after his indictment.
Keys shared logon credentials of the Tribune company’s content management system, then also used by the L.A. Times, with an Anonymous hacker, along with the instruction to “go f— some s— up!”
and the lesson it teaches about the hacking group. A lesson that even Sherlock didn’t get to the frustration of Moriarty:
Moriarty:: No, no, no, no, no, this is too easy. This is too easy. There is no key, DOOFUS! Those digits are meaningless. They’re utterly meaningless. You don’t really think a couple of lines of computer code are gonna crash the world around our ears? I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in you, ordinary Sherlock. Sherlock:But the rhythm … Moriarty:: “Partita number one.” Thank you, Johann Sebastian Bach. Sherlock:But then how did ... Moriarty:: (speaking over him): Then how did I break into the Bank, to the Tower, to the Prison? Daylight robbery. All it takes is some willing participants. I knew you’d fall for it. That’s your weakness – you always want everything to be clever.
You see Anonymous WANTS you to think they are each Jim Moriarty with the intellect of a Steve Jobs thrown in when they don’t have to be. They’re just good at finding angry or careless idiots. All they need to hack someone are one of three things.
1. A person with a very weak password or a big mouth
2. Somebody pissed off enough to give the a login of a system
3. A system with a lazy administrator.
This puts an exclamation points on the #1 rule of security. DON’T GIVE YOUR PASSWORDS OUT OR GIVE ACCESS TO THEM OUT TO ANYONE!
Now because I don’t have my own server I’m dependent on Go Daddy to keep my logon password safe, but If I’m ever hacked it’s going to be because of some careless ass at GoDaddy or Twitter or Amazon, not because these hackers are a bunch of super villains.
All a woman needs if she want to cheat on her husband is to go to a bar and look at a man
At Gizmodo using data analysis discovered something that should have been obvious to any person familiar with human nature
Overall, the picture is grim indeed. Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created.
The men’s accounts tell a story of lively engagement with the site, with over 20 million men hopefully looking at their inboxes, and over 10 million of them initiating chats. The women’s accounts show so little activity that they might as well not be there.
The key was the data the user could not see.
Ashley Madison employees did a pretty decent job making their millions of women’s accounts look alive. They left the data in these inactive accounts visible to men, showing nicknames, pictures, sexy comments. But when it came to data that was only visible on to company admins, they got sloppy. The women’s personal email addresses and IP addresses showed marked signs of fakery. And as for the women’s user activity, the fundamental sign of life online? Ashley Madison employees didn’t even bother faking that at all.
This is something any person who has dated or tried to date knows instinctively but our TV culture tries to teach us otherwise:
An awful lot of advertising dollars are dependent on convincing men that buying a particular product or doing a particular show will get you in bed with the “hot girl.” Movie after movie is sold on the premise of a sex with a hot girl for the loser guy (Ted) the fat guy (The King of Queens) or the Nerd Guy (The Big Bang Theory) having Sex with the smoking hot girl.
Do this, watch this, act like this and you will have a lifestyle where you will be having sex with hot women.
Let me explain reality, it’s something most guys know, but deny:
Unless you are in incredible shape, have a lot of money, are famous, are powerful, or are in a position that allows you to confer money fame or power on someone odds are not going to have sex with the hot chick, you are not going to get a date with the hot chick and there is an excellent chance you will never ever be noticed by the hot chick unless the hot chick is dancing around a pole and you are sticking dollar bills in her g-string.
Now as I pointed out before the “hot girl” the 10 or the 9.99 who is on the far side of the bell curve on beauty might not be a 10 or a 9.99 on the “good wife” or “caring person” or “good companion” scale but any person on the Ashley Madison site was not looking for those things. They were looking for sex because for whatever reason the sex they were (or were not) having in their marriage was, in their minds insufficient for their needs.
They went to Ashley Madison because they actually fell for the cultural meme that sold them on the idea that there was, despite all their personal experience , a supply of women who were looking to cheat on their husbands and needed a web site to find a man to do it with.
That they fell for such an obvious falsehood displays the truth that Samuel Clements one stated:
Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse. He will go to any length for it-risk fortune, character, reputation, life itself
He left out one fact. Man will convince himself of anything if it justifies a course of action that they believe will lead to sex.
I have yet to be replaced by a Robot so the only way I can keep doing this full time is if my pay comes from you. My annual goal is Twenty Two grand which will give me a nominal living doing this.
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I’m called DaTechGuy. My major in college back in 1985 was computer science, my first job was in the computer field and my last pre-national blogging job was in the computer field. I use computers, I like computer I respect how computers have made life easier.
A new vulnerability in the Uconnect system gives attackers frightening remote powers over Chrysler vehicles, revealed in a Wired exclusive report. In a live demo, attackers used the vulnerability to cut out a Jeep Cherokee’s transmission and brakes and, when the car is in reverse, commandeer the steering wheel — all without physical access to the vehicle. “This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone,” said Charlie Miller, one of the researchers behind the exploit. The full vulnerability will be presented next month at Defcon,
Now given the modern lifestyle it’s not so odd that a car that you are paying tens of thousands of dollars for is going to have a computer with wi-fi access, but remember this.
Everything that is a computer on the internet is hackable.
Or lets put it another way, if I was a terrorist or someone at war with the US how much trouble can you make if you have guys hacking cars on US highways?
Or even worse how many bright kids who don’t know better might decide to crash a car because it’s cool?
Now if you want a car controlled by computer that’s your call, for myself I’d just as soon have a car that’s a car and a phone that’s a phone.
The intruders, who call themselves “The Impact Team,” claim to have completely compromised all of Ashley Madison’s records, stealing the information of 37 million affair-seeking subscribers.
I don’t like hacking but may I suggest that if you are someone who is giving your personal information to a company that’s sole purpose is to aid people in breaking their promises to their spouses then one doesn’t have a lot to complain about if said company isn’t all that efficient in keeping their promises of discretion to their customers.
A piece of scripture instantly come to mind:
You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down. 2 Samuel 12:12
Ford Prefect: We’re safe. Arthur Dent:Oh good. Ford Prefect:We’re in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet. Arthur Dent:Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word safe that I wasn’t previously aware of.
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
In an article published on the website Privacy Online News, Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party, makes the claim that Google is stealthily downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome. The software is able to transmit audio data back to Google, meaning that Google can eavesdrop on conversations in your bedroom when your computer is running Chrome. According to Falkvinge, Google is doing this without user consent.
Via Glenn. Apparently Google has apparently redefined “Evil” again.
But then again if society can redefine marriage for the sake of the narcissistic proclivities of a small minority than why can’t good redefine “privacy” & “evil” to suit their own purposes?
Welcome to the post Christian age where “Truth” is flexible. Expect to see as I said years ago individuals, companies and governments decide to redefine their problems away.
As I look at the Subpoenas from the Justice Department concerning Reason Magazine over the top commentators I can’t help but be reminded of Stacy McCain’s pieces on feminism and the lack of common sense of its defenders and stupidity all around.
Stupidity A: Silk Road’s founders idea that an extra governmental platform for international buying and selling would NOT become a haven for illegal and destructive activity. Human nature dictates this and it takes an awful lot of ignorance to not realize this (of course one will never go broke on betting on the ignorance of intellectuals when it comes to human nature).
Stupidity B: The Government life sentence. Given that there are millions to made in the drug trade no sentence was going to stop the next silk road which will be based in countries with less restrictive laws or law enforcement more easily purchased, but if the goal was to deter the next college genius from doing something stupid a 20 year sentence would more than do the trick without creating a cause celebre.
Stupidity C: Was the idiotic idea to go online and post stupid threats against a federal judge. Stupidity here exists on so many levels that it deserves its own section.
#1. Such behavior does not advance one’s argument, it just makes one, at best, sound like an ass.
#2 You are making such a threat in public and in writing, that makes any argument that it was just “temper” much weaker. e argument that the
when you go after an elected official, a cop or a judge, you are attacking the system of justice and the rule of law which keep us from falling into anarchy and oblivion. It’s a serious thing and law enforcement treats it as such.
#4 You are making such a threat in a time of war when the government is keeping an eye on this kind of thing. Jazz Shaw again:
Would we all be rushing to the defense of both the magazine and the rights of the commenters making the threats if they were implying that they were going to go chop off Pamela Geller’s head? Assuming the writer turned out to have no history of violence, is that just free speech? Or were they possibly on the cusp of having been turned to the dark side by jihadist web sites and videos? That’s a pretty tough call to make for the layman, but would you deny the DoJ the chance to figure out who they were and how serious there intents might be?
Yet the court found that the government had a “compelling interest” in investigating all threats, however ridiculous:
The government must take seriously all threats against a major presidential candidate such as Ms. Bachmann, unless and until it is satisfied that there is no likelihood that the threat was legitimate. Part of taking a threat seriously may include attempting to convince a grand jury to return an indictment. . . . .But it is for the Executive, not a court, to decide whether an investigation is even worth pursuing.
Would you want to be the official who decided this was no big deal if some idiot went after the judge who had been threatened?
#5 We are dealing with an administration that has gone after enemies before
But the final bit of this stupidity stupidity D: Is the Government issuing the subpoenas to Reason.
While one doesn’t have the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theatre the right to free speech & expression is sacred in America. Given the number of online sites and the number of actual threats it is the interest of the government to eschew non serious threats from internet blowhards and concentrate on threats that are more realistic. As Ilya Somin put it
To put it mildly, comments such as these are hardly valuable contributions to public discourse. But if federal prosecutors investigated every similar anonymous comment on the internet, we could probably devote the entire federal budget to hunting down these types of blogosphere trolls, and still not find them all.
Although frankly if our friends on the left could swell the federal payroll with their friends in a unionized ISA (“I” for “internet”) they’d do it in a heartbeat.
Furthermore they compounded this foolishness by trying to BS Ken White:
In other words, two days before he told me that he believed there was a gag order on the subpoena, Mr. Velamoor told Reason.com that it was not required to keep the subpoena secret.
A sober Government lawyer might have approached Reason Magazine about putting up a post saying something like:
We understand that people have strong opinions on the Silk Road case and the sentence that was given. We also understand that on occasion one’s passion on various issues can lead to hyperbole online beyond what one would normally say or what one actually means.
But we would remind people that physical threats against a federal judge or any federal official are a serious matter and that in an age when the internet postings of bad actors are a tool used by law enforcement to prevent or punish such event we would urge people to not cross the line between strong and principled 1st amendment objections that are the heart of a free society and physical threats which would oblige us to divert vital resources to investigate said threats from actual enemies whose goal is the destruction of the very rights that those making threats purport to be exercising.
It is our duty to protect the free speech of the citizens of the United States as well as the officials who work for them. We would urge people not to make these tasks more difficult via threats.
A post like that might not stop idiots but it would be a sober response unlikely to create a new cause celebre. Furthermore if someone choose to continue to make threats after such a warning, then the response of the government would be on them. Alas such a sober responsible response would not be in character for the Obama administration.
Stacy McCain has gotten a ton of flack from feminists from preaching common sense to people who do not want to hear it. I submit and suggest a bit of common sense at any of these stages listed above would have kept things from getting to the point they are.
I wonder reaction that statement of common sense will produce?
Hopefully you haven’t had to deal with this, but there has been a rather nasty set of malware that has been running through the PC world called “ransomware”. The original, and most virulent, versions encrypted the hard drive, and then displayed a lock screen purportedly from law enforcement that directs the user to make a digital-cash donation to some “third party” to regain access. Subsequent versions, which I’ve had to deal with on friends’ and family’s computers, thankfully dispensed with the encryption, but kept the lock screen.
The PC versions typically arrive via e-mail, though unsafe browsing can also introduce them. That brings me to the latest target – Android devices.
The first version of encrypting ransomware, called Simplocker, actually showed up back in June. However, that had a “flaw” – its encryption key was encoded in the malware, so once it was discovered by security experts, the encryption could be broken and the files recovered.
So, how does one get infected on an “uninfectable” device? Avast has the answer – trick the user to download and run the malware app. There is a reason why Android by default prevents apps from unofficial sources from being installed – they’re far more likely to be malware.
Specifically for the new version of Simplocker, it is to ostensibly download and install Flash Player, playing on the fact that Adobe used to make Flash Player for Android. The thing is, Adobe stopped making Flash Player available in August 2012, and never made it available for devices running Android 4.1 and newer.
The bad news with the new version of Simplocker is already stated above – once it’s allowed to run and encrypt the files, those files can’t be unlocked. The “good” news is removal of the malware app isn’t nearly as hard as it is on the PC.
“We are delighted to finally be able to offer Netflix to the people of Cuba, connecting them with stories they will love from all over the world,” said Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings. “Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience of over 57 million members.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Now imagine if you, gentle reader, had to pay 40% of your gross salary for the privilege. How great does that sound to you?
About five percent of residents have internet access, and the average monthly wage was just $20 in 2013. Additionally, Cuba’s internet infrastructure is growing, but it’s still a luxury for many residents. In January, the country’s state-owned telecom, ETECSA, launched the first public WiFi facility in Santiago de Cuba, charging $4.50 an hour — and that’s for those who already own WiFi-capable devices.
In practical terms, for anyone to access Netflix, they need
something to watch it on
(international) payment method that can be billed on a subscription basis
Who, in Cuba, has all four of those requirements? The ruling elite. The average Cuban on the other hand, has this:
So, if 98% of Cubans can’t afford Netflix or gain access to its services, why is this deal taking place and why are news services paying so much attention to it, even declaring it a “significant” move?
Because it “proves” that the “historic” thaw in U.S. -Cuba relations is real and that the foreign policy of the current occupant of the White House is a great success!
Smoke and mirrors. Illusion. This is how the Big Lie becomes The Truth.
As a new year dawns and I get a year older it amazes me how much things have changed
I’ve been a gamer for over Thirty Five years about the same length of time I’ve been a Doctor Who fan and like the time lord whose face has changed many times over that period the term “gamer” has dramatically changed from my youth.
When I was young a gamer was somebody me or Instapundit who likely played Avalon Hill games like 1776, Diplomacy or perhaps the newly released Squad Leader that took the hobby by storm or was into one of the many Sports Simulation Games APBA or Strat-O-Matic.
As the years passed gaming included people playing role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons and other such role players with settings from Middle Earth, to the Old West to Space.
With the dawn of the home computer Geek Gamers were suddenly able to play things like Kingmaker & D & D Modules like Pool of Radiance.
But just as we geeks were thanks to the computer age entering Nerdvarna a funny thing happened with the explosion of the speed of the internet & PC, plus their spread to the general public suddenly gaming was redefined. It was no longer something simply for geeks like myself & my pals, suddenly not only was gaming mainstream with online games such as City of Heroes and Call of Duty playable of gaming system as well as PC’s.
And with Smartphones in the hands of everyone suddenly the majority of the people online playing games are no longer folks like me, they’re people like my wife who might be playing Pogo online or perhaps going to the apple store and buying apps like Slotomania because there is a bigger audience for slots or other electronic versions of casino games than geeks playing Munchkin.
To be sure there is still room for people like me who might sign on to stream to play Civilization 5 with the same gaming crew I once sat at a table with were we were in college and every now and then I managed to get free for a board game like Ra, Seven Wonders or some of the old Classics like 1830.
But when it comes down to it we have gone from being the main target for writers of aps.
That is until the dawn of true virtual reality games, then we’ll rule the roots again, at least for a little while until those gamemakers create a virtual reality Vegas Casino with a simulated Robert De Niro keeping us honest.
I would not be surprised to see that in my lifetime.
Sheldon: Well, whether you see it or not is irrelevant. I can’t see subatomic particles, but nevertheless, they’re there.
The Big Bang Theory, The Zazzy Substitution 2010
I’ve been rather hard on my friends on the left concerning the murder of two New York City Police Officers this weekend, particularly in my ability to find members of the left willing to cheer in public concerning it, so in the interest of fair play I want to offer the following exculpatory facts in evidence for the record.
Fact #1 According to census bureau protection there are currently 313 Million people in America (I thought that was kinda low but we’ll go with it).
Fact #2 The vast majority of that population have access to the internet.
Fact #3 It is my theory that 1% of the population are “Crazy Uncles” (see this post). While these “crazy uncles” would be on the edge of the bell curve in a pool of 313 million they constitute 3.1 Million people.
Fact #4 If you made a bell curve of that pool of Crazy uncles you would doubtless fine 1% of said crazy uncles who are people so hateful that they would cheer the murder of police in public hateful people who would like to see the extermination of people they disagree. If compared with the general population they would be on the edge of the edge of the bell curve but because of the population of the US would still be 31 THOUSAND people .
Fact #5 If even half of those 31,000 extra hateful crazy uncles are on the net expressing said Crazy Uncledom any person who wants to should be able to find a bunch of them saying hateful crazy things. In fact it should actually be easy to find since by definition the vast majority of people either don’t think like that & the vast majority of cray uncles who do are likely too smart to do so in public so the remarks of the real loonies would stand out like a sore thumb.
Therefore it perhaps it’s not all that surprising that it’s so easy to find examples of members of the left cheering the murder of the police, given the number of crazy uncles out there.
Of course if would be nice if the left took the time to denounce said crazy uncles but that’s a post for a different day.
The Los Angeles Auto Show, one of America’s two major car exhibitions–the other is in Detroit–concludes today. This year’s edition has been packed with debut cars, as it always is. But one vehicle caught my attention, the Galpin-Fisker Rocket, a muscled-up version of a muscle car, the Ford Mustang.
The name Fisker may be familiar to you. Danish auto designer Henrik Fisker was the founder of Fisker Automotive, which produced one model, the Karma, a luxury hybrid electric car which had an MSRP of over $100,000. Fisker Automotive was the recipient of a $529 million stimulus loan, which was supposed to aid in the production of another Fisker model, the Atlantic, in the United States. The Karma was built in Finland. The Atlantic never hit the assembly line.
Despite his leadership of eponymous former company, Fisker’s background is mostly in performance cars such as the Aston Martin, although he created the initial design for another luxury electric car, the Tesla S.
The Galpin-Fisker Rocket is anything but green. This Mustang, which was created in a partnership with Galpin Auto Sports, can achieve 725 horsepower, USA Today reports. Clearly getting behind the wheel of Henrik’s pony will be a stimulating experience, albeit one without federal loan guarantees for the designer.
Fisker is 51–he should have many more years of car designing down the road. If the Dane avoids electric and hybrid cars, others should take heed–particularly the federal government.
Stop me if you heard this one before – the European Union, flush with soverign political power but essentially bankrupt in the technology world, targets a dominant American technology company to force it to “de-couple” a major part of its business model from the rest of the company’s business model. This is actually the third time the EU has at least threatened this, and while the first two times, it successfully targeted Microsoft, this time, they’re targeting Google. The opening paragraph of Forbes contributor Tim Worstall’s piece:
Or at least that’s what is being suggested in the European Parliament, that search engines should be forced to be divorced from other business activities. It’s also true that they don’t directly mention Google but that’s obviously who it is aimed at. Fortunately, as a matter of public policy this isn’t going to go very far. Because the European Parliament doesn’t actually have the right to propose either actions or legislation. Only the European Commission can actually propose something and then the Parliament gets to say yea or nay to it.
Before you laugh this threat away like Worstall does, I am compelled to point out that the EU not only got Microsoft to unbundle Windows Media Player and, later, Internet Explorer from the various versions of Windows sold in Europe, but that the EU enriched itself by nearly $2 billion from Microsoft’s coffers.
The interesting bit of the EU’s latest attack on American technology companies comes later in Worstall’s column. It seems the German press got miffed that Google News was “stealing” their articles by, get this, excerpting the articles and linking to the full versions, with the net effect of driving traffic to the German press’ websites. Their attempt to use the German Bundestag to show Google what’s what failed spectacularly when Google simply stopped linking to them instead of paying the suddenly-legalized extortion. They then got the German members of the EU bureaucracy involved, and here we are.
I’m sure there’s a lesson for the “establishment” press here. On a related note, do read Worstall’s piece for the explanation of why decoupling Google’s search engine from the rest of its business is “insane”.
I admit it’s been a few years since I did tech support and even longer since I did programing but there is one thing I know for sure. Avoid any changes that can bring down seemingly every product you make:
This morning a lot of people who own Belkin routers woke up to find they had no access to the internet. While their devices were connecting to their Wi-Fi networks and their modems were connecting to their ISPs, the router and modem seem to be suffering from communication breakdown. The problem is affecting at least Belkin router models in the U.S. and other regions or the world regardless of ISP.
The reason for the massive outages is currently unknown. Initial speculation was that Belkin pushed a buggy firmware update overnight, but on a reddit thread about the problem, even users who claim to have disabled automatic updates have found their Internet connectivity disrupted.
Others suggest that there is some kind of DNS problem at work. Although the routers are correctly picking up their DNS settings from DHCP, they’re apparently unable to resolve domain names correctly. Connecting to the Internet using IP addresses alone does, in fact, appear to work, but with most of us dependent on DNS, this is of little value.
The fun part about the Belkin problem was the update also messed up my comcast devices so when I bypassed the Belkin at first it was still failing, had to get to comcast 2nd degree support to reset my devices. The Comcast fellow said he had been flat out fielding calls. So I gave Belkin a call but was disconnected, according to twitter users that was not an uncommon action leading to this quip:
dear #belkin techs impressed at your bringing down net would like to hire you to do this for us benefits include 72 virgins Sincerely #isis
While they are denying firmware as this only affected Belkin routers odds are someone there did something unless they were hacked of course.
The Belkin site had the Regedit fix up by the afternoon but the fix didn’t apply to my machine so I went hardwired for a while.
According the Belkin site says they now have a permanent fix (I’m not home at the moment so I can’t test it) nevertheless if the reaction of my wife when she got home and could only play her games was any measure Belkin has a huge PR problem as of today and the memory of the failure will likely linger for the Christmas shopping season but here’s a sobering thought:
If this kind of damage can be done accidentally by a change how much damage can be done on purpose if a group decided to harness tech knowledgeable people to strike a blow.
Update: By the time I got home my youngest had installed his older brothers old Linksys and was reporting faster speeds so the vote in the house is the Linksys stays
I’ve been joking a bit about Celebgate because compared to Rotherham it’s almost not worth talking about however it certainly gets the attention of the low information voter (think Donna Noble before her time with the 10th Doctor).
Now except for the fact she is alive and not made of cloth I couldn’t tell Mary Winstead from a dead muppet but if this statement is correct and her nude photos/videos/whatever on 4chan were “long deleted ” that raises some interesting possibilities
1. The penetration of the iCloud servers have been ongoing for a long time even before she deleted these file and were only revealed when these photos & videos went up. That implies a larger data breach than you think.
2. The penetration of the iCloud servers backups (which would likely contain long deleted files that a person might want back, have been compromised. That would be a colossal data breach meaning all kinds of things you thought safely deleted are in thee guys hands.
3. The engineers at iCloud have been creating some unauthorized backups of files they enjoy such as nude photo/videos/whatever of their favorite celebs like Mary Winstead. That would be fairly easy both to do & to hide and if so the amount of such nude data out there likely dwarfs what’s already been released
4. The hackers download the entire iCloud server and took the time to rebuild said nude/sex photos/videos/whatever. That means that just about everything that has been on the cloud belongs to them
All of these except for #3 have serious implications for anyone who has ever uploaded any data on remote iCloud servers.
The assumption has been this is all about some geeks wanting to see people like Ms. Winstead, Upton et/al either naked or having sex and one should not underestimate the drive of a geek who desires such a thing.
But what if this is more about a wider data breach, and the leak of these photos was by some idiots in the gang not thinking. That would basically mean that any data you had on the cloud at any time doesn’t belong to you anymore.
So let me repeat my warning of yesterday concerning the security of your cloud data it’s only as secure as
A ratio of the most careless employee of the company(s) that maintains the network vs the willingness and ability of the smartest hacker trying to steal it
use it at your own risk.
Closing thought: If these guys are able to both hack systems & recover lost data like this I see why this Administration got the FBI on the job so quick. Can’t risk those Lois Lerner emails being found.
Was it only 30 days ago that I was complementing Kate Upton on her discretion and common sense for explaining why she doesn’t do nude shots?:
with social media and the internet and not-so-great blogs and the attention like that, I don’t think that my pictures would be received in the way that I’d want them to be received,” she continued. “That’s why I’ve stayed away from them. I really appreciate those photos and I think those women are beautiful, but I think social media and the Internet has prevented me from putting myself out there like that.
Ms. Upton’s advice on avoiding nudes shoots was spot on, alas her caution didn’t include selfies:
Kate Upton found fame from posing in sexy photos — but after being involved in a celebrity phone hack, there are new nude images the model does not want shared out there. Like Jennifer Lawrence, Upton’s phone was hacked and nude images have leaked, her attorney confirms to Us Weekly.
In fairness Ms. Upton’s error was not so much an error of discretion as it was of ignorance. She obviously doesn’t understand what “the cloud” actually is.
People talk about “the cloud” as if it was some mystical virtual space that doesn’t have a physical existence. For those of you suffering under this delusion, let me educate you.
All “the cloud” is, is a bunch of computers/servers. It’s called “The Cloud” because if you tried to sell someone on the idea of backing up phone and PC images to remote computers to save space on your device, questions naturally arise:
Who might have access to that data and how secure it is?
These questions might cause you to think twice about buying.
But if you tell somebody that your data is backed up to “The Cloud” you get the image of those beautiful puffy things in the sky, something that’s ephemeral. How do you hack a cloud?
It’s all marketing and Ms Upton and millions of others fall for it every day.
So for the sake of her and any others who didn’t understand it before let an old tech guy explain the facts of modern life.
#1. Any device from a phone to a car that
a. Acts like a computer
b. Is linked to a network
is for all intensive purposes a computer on a network.
#2. Any computer on a network connected to the internet is capable of being hacked
#3 The degree of security for data on any such network is governed by:
a. How secure your password is
b. The least careful person who you give access to your device
c. Equipment and/or software failure
d. A ratio of the most careless employee of the company(s) that maintains the network vs the willingness and ability of the smartest hacker trying to steal it
so act accordingly.
This is our modern integrated world of the internet and the cloud. You can rail against them but you ignore these truths at your own risk.
Finally let me give one final bit of non-technical advice:
The single most effective way to keep nude photos of yourself off the net is to not take nude photos of yourself.
No Charge, but hits to DaTipJar are gratefully accepted.
Update: the Lonely Conservative links and notes that this advice is too edgy for Ricky Gervais.
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At one stage or another we’ve all indulged in some sort of gaming, whether it be board games or video games. However, only a small portion of us would actually dub ourselves ‘gamers’. Surprisingly though, that hasn’t stopped a dramatic increase in the social gaming world. In fact, in the US alone companies can expect to generate a turnover of one million dollars just via mobile games.
Social gaming is now becoming such an intrinsic part of our lives that many are left wondering why this sudden influx in interest and demand has risen. Industries experts have a ranged viewpoint on the matter and this is reinforced by an article published by MVC which asked experts what their thoughts were on the social gaming movement.
The founder of GamesBrief, Nicholas Lovell, believes that it’s the accessibility and the ease of getting involved with social games that makes them so widely used. Furthermore, Lovell comments on how people don’t need to spend any money up front or do any hard-core research prior to playing social games, a somewhat barrier free entry into the world of gaming.
Following on from this, PopCap Senior Games Designer, David Bishop discussed how the social gaming space is a way of introducing non-gamers to the wonders of gaming. This is done in a friendly, familiar environment thanks to being able to play online with friends and family. Joining in on the debate, Head of Consumer PR at Ladbrokes, one of the leading online gaming websites, had this to say:
“The influence of women in this sphere can scarcely be over-estimated. They are engaging more in new forms of social gaming at a rapid rate and as providers of key betting and gaming products we are always on the look-out for innovative ways to appeal to the female audience. The numbers of women playing are exciting for a brand like ours and our challenge is now to develop the ways to monetise the female social gaming enthusiasm.”
The commentary on bonding and socialising, is what has made social games such as casino ones some of the most popular to get involved with and play. Reaffirming this, BusinessTech report on how casino games and virtual villages are the main contenders in the social gaming market, with thousands of players drawn to them each day. Moreover, the article continues by stating how, due to this enormous increase in demand, gaming companies and casino websites are adapting and tailoring their services to create games to fulfil gamers need.
Whatever it is we love about these games and that keeps us coming back for more, there’s no sign of it decreasing in the near future; for now we’ll remain an avid nation of social gamers
Update DTG: IMr Potter is not a regular here but this is on a subject I’m interested in and I have a few things to add.
As a long time gamer back in the days when it was all board games the real change here is generational, with a generation that has grown up with PC’s in their home and PC games as the norm this type of gaming has really changed.
Not only do you have more women as listed before but you’ll have friends of mixed sex actually gaming together with it not seeming odd, additionally with the popularity of shows like the Big Bang Theory these type of games have gone from “geek” to “chic” or perhaps it’s “geek chic”
While there will, in my opinion always been a primarily male component to gaming (basically as an outlet for behavior that is no longer allowed or approved) we will see the integration of these systems to expand the audience and the profitability of these companies.
As for me, well I’ll still be playing my semi weekly board games while my sons and their friends (male & female) enter 21st century gaming together.
Kazran: Are you really a babysitter? 11th Doctor: (shows psychic paper) I think you’ll find I’m universally recognised as a mature and responsible adult. Kazran:It’s just a lot of wavy lines. 11th Doctor (looking at the paper) Yeah, it’s shorted out. Finally, a lie too big.
Doctor Who A Christmas Carol 2010
It was just over three years ago , Anthony Weiner, one of the upcoming stars of the Democrat party, was brought down by a twitter scandal.
There were several key moments from the CNN interview to Andrew Breitbart’s impromptu press conference that hurt him, but what really did in the husband of Hillary Clinton’s closest aide was the ability of non-political twitter uses to understand he was lying:
Rep. Weiner is a man of national prominence, a rising star in the Democratic Party, frequently on TV, a past and likely future candidate for mayor. He knows and is known by thousands of movers, shakers, members of the press and politicians on the city, state and national levels.
Yet, as of yesterday, he was following fewer than 200 others — and, with all those famous folks to choose from, one of the few he followed was Cordova, a 21-year-old college student who lives nearly 3,000 miles away in Bellingham,Wash.
Run that though your head for a second and at the same time remember two important facts about Twitter:
1. If two people follow each other on Twitter, they can send private messages unseen by others.
2. The difference between a direct message, seen by only the recipient, and a public tweet, seen by the world, is a single character.
The biggest problem for Weiner and his defenders on the left is not bloggers from the right. It’s the details of “#weinergate” can be understood by millions of ordinary people in 140 characters or less.
You can’t have “plausible deniability” when even non-political people know your story is BS.
And as of today that’ where the IRS scandal story is.
When Lois Lerner pleaded the 5th before congress many of us assumed that it was to cover up for the administration however while this was a logical conclusion one could make the case that Ms. Lerner was only covering for herself, after all if he was violating law due to her own zeal it would be in her interest to avoid testifying.
However the IRS claims not only that her emails were lost but were not recoverable by professional change the equation.
30 years ago there were enough people who had not worked in a job that involved e-mail or in a college with an e-mail server or worked in a government job where regular backups were a fact of life, likewise recovery software was rare or nonexistent.
Today those jobs are common & recovery applications are downloadable free of charge on the net..
That means everyday ordinary people who have no interest in anything political can grasp that what the IRS is claiming is bogus even if they don’t read The Blaze’s piece by an IT pro explaining how this is simply not feasible
Six weeks after the scandal broke, I chastised House Republicans for cherry-picking evidence and jumping to conclusions. In the same column, I urged the president to be transparent: pave way for investigators to question witnesses under oath and subpoena the White House and his own re-election campaign for related emails and other documents.
If forced to guess, I would say that the IRS and its White House masters are guilty of gross incompetence, but not corruption. I based that only on my personal knowledge of – and respect for – Obama and his team. But I shouldn’t have to guess. More importantly, most Americans don’t have a professional relationship with Obama and his team. Many don’t respect or trust government. They deserve what Obama promised nearly six weeks ago – accountability. They need a thorough investigation conducted by somebody other than demagogic Republicans and White House allies.
Somebody like …. a special prosecutor. Those words are hard for me to type two decades after an innocent land deal I covered in Arkansas turned into the runaway Whitewater investigation.
Nothing has changed. The White House is stonewalling the IRS investigation. The most benign explanation is that Obama’s team is politically expedient and arrogant, which makes them desperate to change the subject, and convinced of their institutional innocence. That’s bad enough. But without a fiercely independent investigation, we shouldn’t assume the explanation is benign.
by Ron Fournier an MSNBC regular and this by GOP critic Doug Mataconis
The reaction strikes me as being fairly reasonable when taken in the context of the investigation. IRS officials from the Commissioner on down had previously told the committees investigating this matter that they had all of Lerner’s emails and that they would be produced as soon as they could be made available. Indeed, that’s an assurance that was made on several points over the course of the past year. A sudden announcement that some unknown portion of these communications have been mysteriously “lost” is obviously going to raise suspicion and even if those suspicions prove to be unfounded, they do raise several legitimate concerns. For example, Federal recordkeeping laws require government agencies such as the IRS to maintain copies of all communications, including electronic communications, for a certain person of time. One part of those laws prohibits official business from being conducted in a manner so as to avoid standard backup and storage systems, which would mean that Lerner should not have been communicating with outside groups about IRS business on her personal computer unless those communications were being backed up along with all other communications. Indeed, politicians at several levels of government and in both parties have gotten into trouble when it was discovered that their staff was using non-government email to communicate about government business. If that’s a common occurrence at the IRS, then it’s a problem that reaches beyond Lois Lerner because it makes it harder for Congress to conduct its necessary oversight functions.
These pieces are both on platforms read by the left and while Mataconis tries to play the incompetence card (not a hard one to play when discussing government) neither he nor Fournier is willing to pretend the IRS’ story doesn’t smell. It’s no surprise, there is only one way a liberal news outlet can deal with the problem of this story causing readers to conclude the IRS is lying, ignore it:
What about the missing emails? Nary a word on the front page. Or the next page. Or the next or the next. The editorial page has a stern piece about “The Soros Cycle of Endless Cash”—oh, wait, no, it’s not about the left-wing billionaire George Soros. My mistake. What he does with his money is his business. It’s about—can you guess?—yes! The Koch brothers, the men the Times just loves to hate. But about the missing emails in one of the most disgusting political scandals in recent times, the deployment of the IRS with its virtually unlimited powers, against political opponents of the administration? Nothing. Nada. Rien.
The NYT will wait to cover the reaction rather than the story in order to keep their tech savvy readers in the dark and prevent them from asking the obvious questions to the IRS like these from Sharyl Attkisson:
Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS’ disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.
Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why.
all this not withstanding Eric Holder is still Eric Holder & Barack Obama is still Barack Obama so it is unlikely that a special prosecutor will be named, at least not until the Democrats & media decide it is too costly to not name one, but the ability of apolitical people to understand the falsehood being advanced combined with the impossible position the IRS claim puts any liberal not trying to get a show on MSNBC in if asked about this means that like Anthony Weiner while it may take time, perhaps years to finish this investigation the outcome is not in doubt.
This blog exists as a full-time endeavor thanks to your support. The only check I draw to pay for this coverage and all that is done is what you choose to provide.
For a full month I ask a fixed amount $1465.
If you think this coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.
Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.
She was the Seattle Cartoonist who suggested ” Everybody draw Mohammad Day” to protest the restriction of speech.
It wasn’t long before a FATWA was put out on her, She apologized for her actions but it didn’t matter. As far as radical Islam was concerned she had blasphemed, she went into hiding for fear of her life and remains so to this day.
This came to mind when I heard about Brendan Eich who was just forced out as CEO of Mozilla
But those credentials were not good enough. You see six years ago he donated $1000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 which outlawed Gay Marriage in California or would have if a judge had not overturned it.
That donation when brought to the press brought a roar of media & activist generated uproar.
Mind you Mr. Eich’s position was not unique 7,001,084 voted to pass the law and at the time of his donation he had the same position on gay marriage as Barack Obama did.
But that didn’t matter so Mozilla today issued this statement on their blog:
Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality.
The irony of course being they are saying this while not allowing comments on the post where the announcement takes place.
Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.
Actually it’s not hard at all, you simply base your hiring decisions on qualifications nothing more.
the Prop 8 donor list has already been used as a blacklist to ruin other lives and careers. Vote the wrong way, and the brownshirts come for you, simple as that.
The only difference between the pair is the removal of Mr. Eich was done without threats of violence, but rest assured those days are not far away.
Count on it
Final thought: If I was a young ambitious lawyer looking for a big payday and publicity I’d find a few Christians in companies like this willing to sue for the creation of a “hostile work environment”. You will be amazed at how fast the worm will turn once companies realize they are susceptive to such suits from a pool of people who represents 77% of the population of the country.
“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.
“Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”
Yesterday, the Commerce Department announced that, effective October 2015, it would end its long-standing oversight contract with Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regarding the administration of the Internet Assisgned Numbers Authority (IANA).
A bit of explanation of what exactly the IANA entails is necessary before evaluating the consequences of the US giving up oversight of it. The biggest part is the administration of the root Domain Name System, which is a system of 13 mirrored servers which tells a computer where to find the authoritative name servers associated with the top-level domains, e.g. .com, .gov, .uk and .biz. That necessarily entails controlling what those top-level domains are.
It also entails controlling which regions of the world get what blocks of Internet Protocol addresses. Even though all of the IPv4 addresses have been allocated to the 5 Regional Internet Registries, there are still a lot of IPv6 addresses to dole out.
There are concerns this control would devolve to either the United Nations or an entity openly hostile to the United States, opening the door to a global Internet tax or an intentional shutdown of the Internet. Let’s take each of those in turn.
Even though this move is being sold as a continuation of a decades-long policy of “privatizing” the Internet, that does not pass the smell test. ICANN is already a private enterprise, and government types abhor a regulatory vacuum. With the US stepping out, the logical entity to step in is the United Nations. Indeed, ICANN is already looking at opening an office in Geneva, Switzerland, which hosts the second-largest UN presence behind only New York City and specifically the likely UN agency to absorb it, the International Telecommunication Union.
Similarly, ICANN does already get a cut of every domain, so in effect, it already has a tax on the Internet. The reason it isn’t a “tax” is ICANN is a private entity.
The shutdown threat is not merely a theoretical one. Back in the early 2000s, ICANN shut down Free Republic’s entry in the DNS for several days after someone discovered a single out-of-date entry in its WHOIS information, with no attempt by ICANN to contact the Robinsons, the owners of Free Republic via any of the other, valid, points of contact prior to shutdown.
I have a similar products to the previous ones which I want to check if you will also want have the opportunity to supply to us.
Could please CHECK HERE to see the newly developed items and let me know if you can also get them for us or do you also produce them?
I can payment ASAP if you can send us sample for 1 or 2 items. I have already discussed this items with my colleagues and we all believe you can get these. Please check the link to see the specifications and do let me have your best price and delivery time.
I will appreciate if delivery can be made before 24th of January 2014.
I’ve noticed I’ve been getting more of these type of e-mail scams lately since I’ve opened the business. Here are some of the basic clues that should give you warning.
1. Who it’s from: This is From “Sales” as generic as possible. This is in order to allow a single blast to hit a lot of people. If you see something that generic you should delete it right there.
2. The address: firstname.lastname@example.org Clue #2 again completely generic it just cries “blast e-mail to nail you”
3. Who it’s to: in this case email@example.com Clue #3 The e-mail is address to a person sohu.com is basically a Chinese yahoo that would not be the address a business mail is going to but even if you didn’t know that why would you be included on the email list.
4. The lede: Ah this is the hook. You’re a sales guy and the one thing you need is a lede. Here is a chance to get one thanks to this e-mail you were accidentally included on, if I just click that link maybe I can get in first or undercut this sucker. It sounds too good to be true
5. The Payment offer: This is the big gun:
I can payment ASAP if you can send us sample for 1 or 2 items.
Samples, they need samples? I’ve got samples, if I can just hurry them out we can score that sale!
6. “New product development link” This is the final clue. (no not that they spelt “development” although that is a clue, it’s that it’s “new product development” Nowhere is there any sign of the name of the company. A company e-mail is unlikely to miss something like this.
Like Joe Morgan and the pickoff play if you learn to spot one of these signs you will be able to spot the other and catch yourself before your click.
It’s interesting to note that while this e-mail made it through my jumk/spam filter, a similar one was caught.
We saw a similar product which we believe you may also have the opportunity to supply to us as per our customer’s demand. Could you please confirm to us if your company can make provision of the exact product for us.
Kindly CLICK HERE to visit our new product development page to view these new items and reconfirm to us with your quotation and best price lead for the items so we can release our PO to you.
Your soonest action to this will be highly appreciated.
Syntech Trading Co. Ltd.
Different e-mail address’ and names but the same old scam.
Odds are the avg person is not going to fall for this but it cost nothing for these guys to send out millions of these e-mail that your junk or spam filter might miss, but it will cost you dear if you choose to click on them.
Today is Thanksgiving Day and for the first in a very long time is also the first day of Hanukkah a lot of you reading this are likely spending the morning either cooking or preparing to eat a huge meal.
But later tonight a lot of you are going to be online and tomorrow even more are going to be out for Black Friday looking for deals many of you looking for computers and tablets, not only for yourselves but for older relatives.
Many people, particularly older ones are still fairly computer illiterate and many who have been using computers etc for a while know nothing about how the machines actually work.
More importantly as computes have progressed so has computer fraud. Every year the fraudsters have become smarter and smarter finding new and ingenious ways to separate people from their personal information and ultimately their money.
I’m not in that business anymore but the folks at Bernard PC are. The Bossman Bernie told me about a new threat that he’s been dealing with lately and was kind enough to write up this warning for DaTechGuy readers (I intermix my own comments within):
An overseas call center posing as Microsoft has been calling people at their homes, claiming to be Microsoft, and claiming to have knowledge of a virus in your computer.
These calls are a hoax.
As a general rule most spammers don’t expose themselves this way. It’s a clever move on their part, nobody is going to think the guy on the phone is a spammer. Bernie continues…
The caller makes it sound urgent, and tries to talk the victims into clicking through some screens that give them access to your computer.
As a person who used to do Tech Support this takes time and effort it’s exactly the type of thing a real tech support person might to. It lulls the mark into a false sense of security.
They then proceed to open event viewers and other system logs to search for even the most minor errors and then try to convince the victim that they have a serious virus that needs to be addressed immediately.
As soon as those folks who have never seen an event viewer or system lag see those red X’s, “!” points and yellow warning triangles they’ll be convinced that they’re in more trouble than a Thanksgiving Cook who realizes at 10 AM his oven doesn’t work.
It’s at this point, Dear Reader, where they ask for those coveted credit card digits. If these folks call you, we suggest saying “not interested” or nothing at all, and hanging up on them. This is a scam that preys on the lack of knowledge and a fear they help to create in order to con you out of about $100.
What’s the best kind of scam, the type of scam when the person involved doesn’t realize their scammed. As far as the mark is concerned that $100 to $150 charge is just payment for services rendered.
If you really have a virus, there is not a company in the world that is going to call you to tell you unless you have paid them in advance to monitor such an event. And, Microsoft is not in the antivirus business. Even companies like Symantec and McAfee aren’t going to call you to tell you that you have a virus, and antivirus is what they do.
But that’s not the worst of it. Not only do these fraudsters have your credit card info, info that they can sell or access at any time they wish, they get remote access to your system as they install their “fix” which may harvest all kinds of information from your license keys (that can be resold and mess you up when it becomes a duplicate) to contact lists (than can be used to mark new targets) and of course if you have your tax forms etc or bank info, they’ve hit the motherload! All of these things are things valuable commodities on the black market of internet crime.
And if they are REALLY smart then in 6 months or nine months or a year they will call you back, mention their previous call and say this is a follow up and lo and behold when they check that system, the virus were back and they’ll be happy to fix it again for you, for another $150 fee of course.
Think about it, even without selling all that other info with only two victims a day five days a week a scammer can make $75,000 a year with two weeks vacation and weekends off and if he or she has a friendly manor they might even get their victims to recommend them to their friends. That is the Pièce de résistance.
May I be so bold as to suggest that if you find yourself getting such a call or suspect that you might have your system infected you give my friends at Bernard PC a call at 774-322-6045 and they will take care of you.
But don’t do it on Thanksgiving day or Black Friday. Bernard PC is closed both days so those days can be enjoyed.
Some might thing this isn’t a proper post for thanksgiving but if being warned against a scam before it robs you isn’t cause to give thanks, what is?
Thanksgiving day is here I still need those 9 tip jar hitters at $25 or twelve at $20 means to make “payroll” & mortgage.
Henry Hill: Paulie hated phones. He wouldn’t have one in his house. He got all his calls second hand. Then you’d have to call the people back. There were guys, that’s all they did all day, was take care of Paulie’s calls.
For a guy who moved all day long Paulie didn’t talk to people. With union problems or a beef in the numbers only the top guys spoke with Paulie about the problem. Everything was one-on-one. Paulie hated conferences. He didn’t want anyone hearing what he said or anyone listening to what he was being told.
Good Fellas 1990
Col. Jessep:Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
A Few Good Men 1992
There are a lot of stories from my youth, one of the most dramatic of them involves my mother and a man in a silk suit.
When my parents opened their 1st business in the 50’s some of the locals informed them they didn’t like Sicilians but for a fee would tolerate them opening in the town. My parents being who they were, refused and during the long running conflict my father was laid up after being run over.
With four kids, my mother, a crack shot who lived in an era before Massachusetts disarmed its citizens, kept herself armed as she worked the business while dad was laid up and trusted no one.
One day a VERY Italian looking man approached her. He said he represented a group who disapproved of people bothering a Sicilian women with kids and offered assistance. She knowing the long-term price of such assistance declined saying she could take care of herself.
He smiled and wrote down an out-of-state address and gave it to her saying if there was ever a situation where her children were in danger and she had no other option send the name of the person threatening the to that address, thanked her and left.
My mother never had to use that address but kept it as a last resort. My dad eventually recovered and the danger passed but my mother memorized that address and took it unused to her grave 50 years later.
and that brings us to the Obama administration and phone and computer records
We’re at war with people who want to kill us and have wanted to for years. You can’t fight a war in the information age without mining data.
I don’t doubt for one minute that like the man giving the address to my mother, the congress that authorized these programs (assuming they were properly authorized) did so for the protection of the public. Nor do I doubt that a lot of the people going through this data are zealous about protecting this country.
The problem is trust.
If you have an administration who understand constitutional limits and respect them, then even such programs as these can, in time of war, be tolerated with suspicion and oversight.
But we have an administration that has already used the IRS as a weapon against political enemies great and strong. We’ve seen Susan Rice & Jay Carney sent out to mislead and deceive (knowing or unknowingly) the general public. We’ve seen the administration named reporters as co-conspirators to terror. We’ve seen IRS commissioners take the fifth, and the attorney general dissemble and dodge.
And we’ve seen all of this happen at a time when said administration is taking over control of the healthcare system while trying to disarm Americans INSISTING they will not keep a registry.
Some people can be trusted with these kinds of powers, some can’t. This administration has clearly demonstrated they can’t.
and perhaps it cements a basic rule, Don’t give a power to one administration that can’t be trusted to all of them.
It’s Friday and unlike the Obama Administration I’ve demonstrated that your e-mail address and information will not be misused as hitters of DaTipJar and subscribers can attest.
So if you’d like to get me closer to that $305 paycheck, still $247 away with just two days to go, without fear of your e-mail info being sold consider hitting DaTipJar below
Consider subscribing, with enough subscribers at $10 $20 or more a month DaTipJar can be reserved for special occasions.
Update: Forgot to mention catch me tomorrow at the Natural Discount Shop 614 N-Main Streetin Leominster Ma from 10 till 2. The Radio show Fireside/out with Joe will be broadcasting starting at 10 then at Noon join me and the Right Wing Granny for 2 hours of DaTechGuy on DaRadio.
Come have a cup of coffee & a bagel courtesy of the Daily Bagel and maybe win a prize or two.
Margaret Blaine:If I were to be arrested, then anyone capable of tracking me down would have considerable technology of their own. Therefore, they would be captivated by the extrapolator. Especially a magpie mind like yours, Doctor.
Doctor Who Boomtown 2005
To an identity thief, hacker or virus guy the news about the Doctor Who season finale would be the greatest opening to hack bank accounts, paypal accounts etc that I’ve ever seen.
A goldmine exists for them in five easy steps.
1. Step 1 Create an intrusive Hack that steals everything from a computer.
4. Sit back and wait for Doctor Who Fanatics to come and play.
5. Repeat daily till Friday.
To my fellow Dr. Who fans I say this: Guys unless you have less than 1 week to live, I’d wait till Saturday.
Update: This post is getting a ton of traffic from Reddit, this isn’t about trying to hack a Doctor Who fan’s PC it’s about advising Dr. Who fans to wait till Saturday for a show rather than searching for a torrent & getting hacked because they can’t wait a few days.
The Wall Street Journal on its front page on Wednesday contained one of the most useful stories I’ve seen in a while:
“Check out these kitties! :-)” read emails featuring the photo of a Turkish Angora cat with a purple mohawk, sent to nearly two million cubicle dwellers so far. It includes an attachment or link promising more feline photos. Those who click get a surprise: stern warnings from their tech departments.
The Dr. Zaius email is a simulated cyberattack. It is among the ploys companies are using to dupe employees into committing unsafe computing as a way to train them not to be so easily fooled.
With the amount of money involved on the net and the costs of You can’t get too many warnings about hackers and thieves online and his tactics and more companies and organizations are testing their employees in this way what’s really you have companies try to sneak in ala the old movie Sneakers:
PhishMe Inc., the Chantilly, Va., company that created the Dr. Zaius emails and other fake phishing attacks that companies can use for tests, says clients have used its services to teach a lesson to 3.8 million employees.
Ryan Jones, who leads a half-dozen ethical hackers for a Chicago digital-security company, Trustwave Holdings Inc., likes to drop thumb drives and CDs in the bathrooms, driveways and nearby coffee shops of companies that hire him. Often, he will attach the company’s logo, a competitor’s logo or a label that reads “confidential.”
Almost without fail, an employee will find one of the decoys and stick it in a computer. “It starts off as curiosity,” he says. “It is kind of the same reason people watch reality TV: They want to see what else is going on in people’s lives.”
The various tactics employed by the company are fascinating and should be required reading for anyone with a PC or Mac.
Bottom line, when dealing with a PC be as suspicious as a Sicilian.
6 hours left 4 tip jar hitters of $20 to go for a full paycheck can it be done?
Ground Controller:Please State your name and clearance code?
Ground Controller:Your names reality sucks? Ha Ha Ha Ha. One second Mr. Sucks
Red Dwarf 1999
I have made the argument over and over that the only reason to be a Christian in general and a Roman Catholic in particular is because it’s true. I’ve said if it wasn’t true then we’re just an elk’s club that meets on Sundays.
A person who lives according to beliefs not based in truth and reality is fooling him or her self. There are words for such belief sets.
Two are “Fantasy” if you want to be kind and “Delusion” if you don’t.
This came immediately to mind when I saw this story out of Japan.
Kozaki is one of hundreds of thousands of Japanese who have bought Love Plus, a game released on the Nintendo DS in 2009, which is intended to simulate the experience of high-school romance with one of three pre-programmed teen girl characters. For a sizable number of loyal male gamers, it has become something more: a relationship that, if not entirely like dating a real woman, comes close as a source of affection.
“I really do love her,” Kozaki explains, when he and two of his friends meet with me in a coffee shop in Akihabara, the Tokyo neighbourhood at the centre of Japan’s otaku culture. Kozaki fully expects the game to be a lifelong commitment. “If someone were to ask me to stop, I don’t think I could do it,” he says.
IN PERSON – IF INDEED PERSON IS THE RIGHT WORD – Geminoid F can appear strikingly beautiful in a way that doesn’t translate to photos or video. Her hair is smooth and glossy, and falls across her delicately translucent, pale silicone face. As she sits in the chair at Osaka University, she runs through an idling program of random motions. She blinks, fidgets and makes small, distracted movements with her lips. When she turns her head and looks at you with her plastic eyes, the effect is thrilling and unsettling. It feels as if you’re being stared at, a little too intently, by an attractive stranger.
This is cultural suicide on a grand scale. If you have people who are dealing with virtual women who are programed to be Stepford Wives and girlfriends They will have no idea of how to handle actual people with actual feelings and actual needs on their own. One can deny reality as long as you want but sooner or later reality is going to catch up.
Japan is dooming itself to demographic death and here in the US there are plenty of people also dealing with unreality that while not quite at the Japan point are going there.
The future belong to those who show up. At the rate Japan is going they won’t have to worry about being conquered by China, At this rate China will eventually just walk on into to an empty set of Islands.
“Be fruitful and multiply” is better advice they people know.
Well I’m back home after a morning of speaking on Behalf of WQPH Catholic Radio. It’s a new week which means it’s a new thermometer.
It’s a big week in two ways. As the final week of the month getting the paycheck guarantees the Mortgage payment in full, but more importantly if we get the 15 tip jar hitters @ $20 this week it means a full month of paychecks meaning that this system HAS worked.
Can this work to support a blogger? Well we have seven days to find out.
In my post on the subject yesterday I talked about the purpose the Pope on Twitter
Most twitter accounts are about the people or organization who have them, the purpose of my account is to promote me, keep me in touch and aid me in making my living. That’s not what the Pope is shooting for. His purpose is not for his own aggrandizement but to spread the good news of Christ for the salvation of any who hear it.
If you do a search of “Linda Binggeli” on the internet for the period of Jan 1, 2008 to Dec 1st of this year you will find 37 results the most interesting one being a story of an app for Eucharist Adoration for the iPhone. The woman in the picture resembles the photo above and the location is right so I assume the developer is her husband.
So Linda this ordinary wife and mother posed this question on twitter on December 6th:
#askpontifex Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?
Now that tweet got the attention of not just the news but people all over the world. The English Language version of it has been re-tweeted over 16,500 times.
That however isn’t the story. The story is a member of the faithful, an ordinary person, asked a question to the Pope and he answered.
This answer was not delivered by the Vatican, not by a Cardinal, an Archbishop, Bishop, Monseigneur, Priest or Deacon. It was delivered directly from the Pope.
It was not filtered by any media service, not the Vatican News Agency, CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, The New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, or even her local paper before the Pope stated it.
It was not dissected by Morning Joe, Made fun of by Maureen Dowd, scoffed at by Fr. Richard McBrein or Denounced by Richard Dawkins before the Pope expressed it.
This was the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, the direct Successor to St. Peter, the holder of the Keys who can bind and loose on earth and in heaven, speaking directly to the faithful and interested in general and to Linda Binggeli in particular.
It’s been my experience that the many of the objections to the church (particularly among Christians) are objections the a Church not as it is or as it teaches but what they think it is and teaches based on what they’ve been told it, perhaps from a minister, a secularist or perhaps even from a priest who has given poor catechesis.
In other words they object to or attack a Catholic Church that doesn’t actually exist.
But with the Pope now able to tweet directly to the masses, that is eliminated. There is absolutely no question that the message given is consistent with the authentic teaching of the Church.
That power and ability to bypass the media filter will only grow over time and that effect will be profound, The Anchoress again at the Washington Post:
I’m tempted to say there is a danger that the pope can be misconstrued, but it’s difficult to imagine how Benedict can be any MORE misconstrued than he usually is in most media stories about him — witness the silly headlines following the release of his latest book, suggesting that Benedict was naysaying the Christmas narratives. On the other hand, if His Holiness is misconstrued, setting the record straight is much faster and more efficient online. He won’t have to wait four days for a “clarification” (in section C, page 36) of the screaming headlines that had appeared front page, above the fold. In that sense, I guess you could say Rome has a shot at grabbing the wheel of the Barque of St. Peter from the hands of the media and being its own helmsman-of-perception.
It’s interesting to see folks indulge themselves like that; lashing out at an 85 year old man — or tweeting risque pictures to try to shock him — reveals a great deal about the people who do it, but if folks think they’re hurting the pope, they should think again. All they’re doing, when they try to shock, or vent, is opening the door to their own salvation. They’re only prompting Benedict to pray directly for the healing of their souls, as the Vicar of Christ encounters their need.
Seen in that way, it’s impossible to take offense at these tweets; easier to see them for what they are: cries from the shadows, by sheep in search of their shepherd but wounded, and cold — and so very afraid — that they do not know how to trust.
as Thomas McDonald put it:
When you tell the world to hope, pray, and look for Jesus in the faces of the needy, and they respond with “f*ck you you child molesting old queen,” that doesn’t say a thing about the pope or his message. It says volumes about the demonic forces unleashed in our world. It’s nice for Catholics to see a tweet from the pope, but it’s important for the haters to see one. emphasis mine
No matter if it’s a cry for help, demonic forces unleashed or a little of both, they will get the word of Christ and his Church directly from the Chair of Peter.
And that reality will not change no matter how they protest, but it might in the end change the world.
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
There was quite a bit of fuss when the Pope Benedict XVI got an actual twitter account where he would tweet directly to the faithful. Actually 7 accounts in languages from German to Arabic) with a low of 8070 followers in Arabic to 728083 in English, a combined on 1m124301 followers as of 7:41 AM EST on Wednesday.
Today the Holy Father sent out his first highly anticipated tweets in fact he sent three, here they are:
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.
Anti-Climax? It seemed to me as the vicar of Christ the Pope was delivering the basic message that he is charged with delivering: How to follow Christ. So I asked Mr. Faris what he expected and he answered:
Forgetting for a moment the confines of 140 characters per tweet. Mr. Faris objects to the simple message that “he could have written himself”. I ask: how often have you written it? How often have you thought about that simple message in terms of your own life?
There are a lot of people today who don’t understand faith, who don’t understand the Church and only see Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular through the secular progressive lens. Their only exposure to the Church is the NYT editorial page or from those who dissent from outside or from within.
To such people the concept that people might actually follow the Church and be Christian because they believe it to be true (which is the only reason to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular) is totally foreign to them. To them Christianity and the divinity of Christ is just a con, believers are rubes and the purpose of the Christianity is to keep them that way.
So to these enlightened elites, the concept of using a platform reaching over a million people instantly to reinforce the consistent message of Christ and the Gospel, love of God and love of your fellow man, is totally beyond their ken.
In reality helping people find Christ IS the primary job of the Pope and all Priests from the humblest friar to the most celebrated Cardinal. This is the message and purpose of the Church for 20 centuries.
The message of Christ, like the ten commandments, is simple, but because it is simple it’s very hard to follow, and needs to be reinforced whenever possible.
Most twitter accounts are about the people or organization who have them, the purpose of my account is to promote me, keep me in touch and aid me in making my living. That’s not what the Pope is shooting for. His purpose is not for his own aggrandizement but to spread the good news of Christ for the salvation of any who hear it.
I expect most of the Pope’s tweets to be along similar lines, and I also suspect they will produce the same confusion and disappointment among our secular media friends as this message did, I’d be surprised if it generates much else.
But I’m sure the Holy Father thinks and prays otherwise. His faith is much stronger than mine.
Doyle Lonnegan:You see that fella in the red sweather over there? His name’s Donnie McCoy. Works a few of the protection rackets for Cunnaro when he’s waiting for something better to happen. Donnie and I have known each other since we were six. Take a good look at that face, Floyd. Because if he ever finds out I can be beat by one lousy grifter, I’ll have to kill him and every other hood who wants to muscle in on my Chicago operation.
His initials are B.S., which is about all anyone would need to know about him, if he weren’t obsessively cyberstalking people, including my wife. But he has persisted — sending me more than 200 Twitter messages in a 48-hour period from Friday through Sunday afternoon — and his continuing career of harassment means that you’re likely to be hearing more about Bill Schmalfeldt in the near future.
One might question the wisdom of doing this. You have a veteran shoe leather reporter with decades of experience who dedicated an incredible amount of time and money covering the presidential election from Iowa to New Hampshire, from South Carolina to Florida (and that was during the primaries!) without the benefit of a major news organization picking up the tab. Such a person is clearly obsessive/compulsive when getting his hands on a story.
starting Nov. 7, I’ll have plenty of leisure to write about monstrous fools who vainly imagine they can distract me for more than a few minutes from my continuing coverage of this historic presidential campaign.
…said reporter would have plenty of extra time to concentrate on him.
Ever worse for the aforementioned Mr. Schmalfeldt, said reporter, having invested an inordinate amount of time effort covering a campaign that ended with a disappointing and demoralizing result, might find it cathartic to direct the resulting frustration of this result toward exposing and covering a person who has say; harassed or threatened to harass his wife and family for an extended period of time? Even if he wasn’t obsessive/compulsive when focusing on a story, this might generally be considered a bad thing if you are the focus of said attention.
To wit I give you the math:
According to Stacy McCain’s latest post, Mr. Schmalfeldt, a single person, sent Mr. McCain 200+ tweets in a 48 hour period. Assuming Mr. Schmalfeldt didn’t schedule said tweets this works out to a tweet every 14.4 minutes at Robert Stacy McCain over said period. This is an impressive number.
Unfortunately for Mr. Schmalfeldt the positive math for him ends there.
Let me throw two numbers out there that are part of this equation: 661 & 16,956.
Those are the relative number of twitter followers Mr. Schmalfeldt & Mr McCain have respectively as of 7 a.m. EST 11/26/12.
That means, for example, if Mr. McCain writes a post as he did last night ending with the phrase: “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar.” and chooses to tweet that out, it will have twenty-five times more views than all of Mr. Schmalfeldt’s tweets directed toward Mr. McCain in the course of over 5 of those aforementioned 48 hours. Additionally due to the volume of followers it is almost certainly true that more individual people will see a single tweet by Mr. McCain than all of the tweets Mr. Schmalfeldt produced in that same 48 hours.
And that’s not all. If even a small percentage of Mr. McCain’s followers say 4% choose to re-tweet the phrase: “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar“, that would equal the effect of every single person who follows Mr. Schmalfeldt retweeting him. This has the effect of moving the phrase: “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar” relentlessly up the Google, Yahoo, Bing etc etc ladder in search engines faster than the phrase: “Topless Miley Cyrus pics” adds hits to your web totals.
To put it bluntly as an FYI for Mr. Schmalfeldt: When a person with more than 25 times your twitter followers, and likely 100 times your readership, who is in the top 75k websites worldwide & top 12k nationally with over 2100 sites linking into it (according to Alexa) starts using the phrase: Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar.” on a regular basis it generally has a bad effect on your online reputation and searches containing your name.
This effect tends to be magnified when smaller sites such as The Lonely conservative, Hogewash, Lee Stranahan and even this one links to the post with the phrase: “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar”. While all of said sites are smaller than Mr. McCain’s in volume, these four sites alone add 2599 sites which link into them and an additional 37,045 twitter followers into the mix.
And that doesn’t even take into the account the effect when Mr. McCain is regularly picked up by a site that regularly ranks in the top 5000 worldwide and the top 1000 nationally (according to Alexa) with over 13k sites linking into it. It may in fact be the case that more people in the next 24 hours will see the phrase “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar” than read William Shakespeare phrase: “Can I compare thee to a summer’s day?” during his entire lifetime.
And this is only the 2nd of what will likely be a series of posts concerning Mr. Schmalfeldt that will likely contain the words: “Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar” subject to said web amplification. And that’s assuming Mr. McCain doesn’t attempt to augment said amplification by including a phrase such as: “Anne Hathaway nude pics” to bump up the hits a tactic Mr. McCain has not been shy about using in the past although in fairness he tends to get in front of such google bombs rather than tagging onto existing ones.
Bottom line we can expect the post titled: The Dishonesty of Bill Schmalfeldt and the phrase: Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar to relentlessly move up the search engine results for Mr. Schmalfeldt over the coming days and weeks.
If the end result of all of this attention is what I think it will be then Mr. Schmalfeldt will be able to take some small consolation in proving Mr. McCain’s phrase: “Being Notorious Is Not the Same as Being Famous, But It’s Better Than Being Anonymous.” incorrect.
Perhaps it can be named the “‘Bill Schmalfeldt is a liar’ multiplier”?
Update: Mr. Schmalfeldt takes offense at this post in comments. He asks why I did not contact for this story or my previous post. The answer is quite simple, this story as the one before it, is about the wisdom of tangling with Robert Stacy McCain given their relative voices on the internet. I am not a party to the dispute between him and Mr. McCain and it may interest him to know I did not contact Mr. McCain prior to writing of either story.
If Mr. Schmalfeldt takes exception to my analysis of the relative blog power of him v Stacy McCain in my post, and he certainly has the right to do so, he is more than welcome to express it at his blog, and then perhaps his friends and financial backers great and small will pick up said post and amplify his opinion as loudly as he sees fit. If he thinks I’m a “hack” he is certainly entitled to that opinion too. I trust the greater public can make any decision they wish to make based on said posts. Meanwhile I’ll simply thank him for the link with the hope that he and his had a pleasant thanksgiving and will have a Merry Christmas.
I used my first computer when Jimmy Carter was president.
They were the very first computers to come into my high school the school two Apple IIc’s. As there was not any kind of “official” computer class people who wanted to learn computers had to show up for an extra class before school.
My desire had been to teach history but the combination of these interesting machines, my love of math and prop 2 1/2 and all the teachers getting pink slips steered me toward computers until 2008 when shortly after the president’s election the company I worked for folded and I started on the path that led me here.
I tell you this not because I have any love for you guys at Anonymous beyond that is required by my Catholic faith but I tell that story to establish that I’m a computer guy and a geek (as my coming Dr. Who post will demonstrate) so as one geek to another this advice comes from the heart and echos the thought of my friend Robert Stacy McCain:
Are you Friggen NUTS? Making an enemy of the Mossad? The MOSSAD!?!?
Are these people insane? The United States government considers Hamas a terrorist organization. Not only is any U.S. resident participating in these criminal intrusions individually liable for those federal crimes, but Anonymous as an organization now must be considered a national security threat, giving aid to terrorists against a U.S. ally.
But his warnings about the Mossad are even more valid:
Read the rest. Excuse the blunt language, but if these Anonymous hackers think they can side with Hamas against Israel without consequence, they’ve got another think coming. Dude, if the FBI gets you, that’s one thing. If the Mossad ever gets you? Hey, accidents happen:
These are the guys who were blowing up Iranian scientists for years, These are the guys who successfully introduced a computer virus into the closed system of the Iranian nuclear program, these are the guys who took out Syria’s nuke stuff, and Iraq’s nuke stuff when the rest of the world didn’t know it was there.
These are the guys who have been successfully dealing with tens of millions of fanatics on all sides who want to kill them all their lives and you think for one moment they are afraid of YOU?
Think of it this way: One of the problems with dealing with Radical Islam is you have to cope with 14th century backward fanatics who will remember their enemies over generations to kill them.
Imagine that same dedication to kill you by 21st century men backed by a county that produces more Nobel prize winners than anyone else per capita and at the cutting edge of technological advancement.
You are setting yourselves up as the bad guys in the third movie in the Taken series fighting an entire nation of real life Bryan Mills’.
Or as fellow geeks, to put it in a way you can without a doubt understand, right now this is where you are:
Stacy McCain is playing the part of the Doctor and you are the Atraxi, and he is giving the best advice you will ever get in your entire lives.
Basically RUN! And hope they decide to let it pass, because if you don’t here is what the Mossad will do to you…