Friday, February 17, 2017

Zuckerberg explains, "SHUT UP!!!"

At Slashdot today, it seems the Father of Facebook has some power user issues. He posted a large screed regarding the type of world he want to create using Farcebook, then edited something out of it. The idea that a software company can and should be deciding what kind of future we get is interesting in its own right, but the edit is even more interesting. Quoth the King of the Book of Faces:

The long term promise of AI is that in addition to identifying risks more quickly and accurately than would have already happened, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all — including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves, and other issues both local and global. It will take many years to develop these systems.


The original Mashable article notes that the revised version leaves out that bit about scanning private channels. Presumably because "private channels" are supposed to be, you know, private.

That Zuckerberg suggested AI could be used to monitor "private channels" in the same letter he used to praise WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption and the importance of protecting user privacy would seem to be at odds. There's a distinction between using AI to distinguish between propaganda and news coverage and using it to monitor private communication which, if taken at face value, would be counter to the CEO's stated desire in the letter to keep Facebook users safe without "compromising privacy."

My conclusion is that Marky has a major woody for centralized social control and top-down engineering. He's a Big Iron, time sharing, server side kinda guy. Make it nice on the surface for the stupid peasants, keep a big Ban Hammer handy for when the peasants get revolting.

Essentially, he wants Newspeak. You will not be able to express selected concepts on Farcebook. It will do what Twitter is doing: ban you for saying anything Marky decides you shouldn't be able to say.

No word on whether the system will also vector Predator gunships on your location, or plot a firing solution for FCC cruise missiles. That'll be version 2.0, probably.

The Retarded Phantom Retard. (That's sufficient to get me booted from Twitter right now.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Twitter explains, "SHUT UP!!!"

Good thing I never Twitter.

Twitter has launched a new way to punish users for bad behavior, temporarily "limiting" their account.

Some users are receiving notices their accounts are limited for 12 hours, meaning only people who follow them can see their tweets or receive notifications. When they are retweeted, people outside their network can't see those retweets.

Some speculate these limitations are automatic based on keywords, but there is no hard evidence.

This would be fine if this was used uniformly to clamp down on harassment, but it appears to be used on people, simply for using politically incorrect language.

Take for example the Twitter user @Drybones5 who got his account limited after using the word "retarded."

https://twitter.com/drybones5/status/831571001897017344?refsrc=email&s=11

He claims he got his account limited directly after saying retarded twice. The first time he called a Nintendo policy adding paid extra content to their new Zelda game retarded.


Yes, they are responding to the Rise of Trump by doubling down on their liberal/socialist behavior. They will do what didn't work before, twice as hard and twice as fast.

It is distressing to see this kind of behavior in tech companies, but not surprising. Techies don't run companies. MBAs do. MBAs listen to the Conventional Wisdom, as offered up in the Conventional Media. Twitter Inc. probably thinks this move will expand their user base and make their brand more valuable. Because they are -stupid- and do not understand how the world works.

Or, possibly somebody like Soros offered them a zillion dollars.

At time like these, I embrace the power of and. Evidence indicates they are venal AND stupid.

Needless to say, shortly there will be a company called Twitter Inc. for sale, cheap. Faster, please.

I fully expect the retarded retards at Google Blogspot and ArseBook to pull the same retarded maneuver. Good thing the Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it.

The Phantom

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SFF, SJWs and the circular firing squad.

The Stupid burns ever deeper in SJW Land, according to the Washigton Post.

These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as "dealing with terminal illness," "racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families" or "transgender issues."

These are people who read your book and tell you all the parts you weren't "woke" for, in the hope that the Social Media Swine will leave you alone.
Sensitivity readers have emerged in a climate — fueled in part by social media — in which writers are under increased scrutiny for their portrayals of people from marginalized groups, especially when the author is not a part of that group.
Last year, for instance, J.K. Rowling was strongly criticized by Native American readers and scholars for her portrayal of Navajo traditions in the 2016 story "History of Magic in North America." Young-adult author Keira Drake was forced to revise her fantasy novel "The Continent" after an online uproar over its portrayal of people of color and Native backgrounds. More recently, author Veronica Roth — of "Divergent" fame — came under fire for her new novel, "Carve the Mark." In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character.
In other words, its a protection racket. For suckers, because the only way to get the Perpetually Aggrieved to back of is... well actually, there is no way. If they don't find something to be offended by, they will make something up.

Personally, I consider it a sacred crusade to piss these cretins off. Some of y'all may know, I've been doing some writing. When my work finally hits print or ebook, if I don't get at least one bitter denunciation on Twitter from some pink haired sea mammal, all upset because of the sexy robot girlfriends, I will be quite disappointed. Yep, sexy robot girlfriends. With guns.

However, the next bit is even better.  Some lady named Jodi Meadows wrote a "young adult" fantasy book, and recently gave a teaser pic of the book cover. Well, apparently some people were upset because there was a black girl on the cover. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it is stupider than you think.
First, so many people have said so many nice things about the cover. Thank you! I'm happy you like it! I love it, too.
A few people have mentioned they see this as an important cover, because it has a Black girl in a dress. That's what I want to talk about. I didn't realize when the cover was being designed (that's my privilege), but this is the first time a big publisher has this kind of cover.
It shouldn't be the first time.
The first time a major publisher designed a YA cover with a Black model in a gown, it should have gone to a Black author.
Again, me not realizing that hadn't happened yet: that was my white privilege at work.
The fact that mine came first is a symptom of the problems in publishing, and who publishing is designed to work for. By the time I knew what was at stake with this cover and the timing, the model had already been hired and her photos taken. At that point, changing the cover would have meant telling a Black model that she couldn't be on my cover because she's Black.
Yes friends, the Perpetually Aggrieved were angry that a black girl appeared on the cover of a book by a white author. They flamed poor ol' Jodi, and she had to go back on her blog and apologize all over the place.

That is what I'd call a Blue on Blue circular firing squad event. And they missed the target too.

The Deplorable Phantom

Monday, February 13, 2017

Internet of Things DDOS attack danger.

Yes friends, those wifi capable lightbulbs may not be such a great idea.

A full-blown Skynet situation might be the thing of science fiction (we hope, anyway), but that doesn't mean bizarre things involving machines can't happen. As proof of this, Verizon teased an entry in its upcoming 2017 Data Breach Digest that describes a recent DDoS attack on an unnamed university involving vending machines, light bulbs, and 5,000 Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

As with many DDoS attacks involving IoT devices, this one is the result of system administrators being a little too lax with security on these seemingly benign devices. The university in question dismissed complaints from students across campus about slow or inaccessible network connectivity. When things took a turn for the worse, the university called in the cavalry—Verizon's RISK (Research, Investigations, Solutions, and Knowledge) team, in this case.

It is worth reading in its entirety, because the university very nearly had to -replace- 5000 some odd light bulbs, vending machines and other little IoT doodads. That would be a big bunch of money. All because of some script kiddie with a hack, and really bad network security.
Now, here's why this is even a thing. This chip right here: ESP8266. From the wikipedia article on it:
The ESP8266 is a low-cost Wi-Fi chip with full TCP/IP stack and MCU (Micro Controller Unit) capability produced by Shanghai-based Chinese manufacturer, Espressif Systems.[1]
The chip first came to the attention of western makers in August 2014 with the ESP-01 module, made by a third-party manufacturer, AI-Thinker. This small module allows micro-controllers to connect to a Wi-Fi network and make simple TCP/IP connections using Hayes-style commands. However, at the time there was almost no English-language documentation on the chip and the commands it accepted.[2] The very low price and the fact that there were very few external components on the module which suggests that it could eventually be very inexpensive in volume, attracted many hackers to explore the module, chip, and the software on it, as well as to translate the Chinese documentation.[3]
The ESP8285 is an ESP8266 with 1 MB of built-in flash, allowing for single-chip devices capable of connecting to Wi-Fi.[4]
This particular little devil is the size of a fingernail and costs ~$5US in bare-chip form at bulk prices. One-of is $7.00. Here it is at Adafruit, with a break-out board and power circuitry etc. for under ten bucks.

This unity allows WiFi connectivity to virtually anything, amazingly cheaply. There are other such chips on the market, some are a lot cheaper. That's why we have WiFi connected LED light bulbs on the market, suddenly.

This particular chip is not as powerful as a PC, but there are lots of implementations out there that are. There are others that have less capability but are smaller, they get down to rock salt grain sized.

You can WiFi chip anything. Kid's dolls, Hot Wheel cars, flying drones smaller than a pack of smokes. Or how about an extension cord, a USB or HDMI cable, a stapler, a watch, an eraser, a pencil... an Ethernet connector... You get the picture.

And when I say "you", I mean you, Mr./Ms./Whatsit Reader can most likely crank one of these things together and program it to do what you want. It is really not hard, if you have the determination or the driving need to do it.

What has not happened, is an industry standard method for SECURING these things. You have 5,000 PC-grade devices on a network, you need to password protect them. Unfortunately, most people have no experience doing that kind of thing. Hence a university having to hire Verizon to clean up their network for them.

Here's something from 2007 about that very issue. You don't have to be a genius, the tools are out there. But, you do have to pay attention and keep up with the jerks who crack these things.

Also the hardware, Qualcom announced 802.11ax today. Brand new ARM quad-core routers and brand new receivers, a whole new universe of hackery to guard against.

Just remember, if it doesn't HAVE WiFi they have to stick a wire into it to crack it. I'm all about the wires, these days.

The Deplorably Wired Phantom

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Transgressive!

Joy Villa's dress at the Grammies. Sweet!

Truth to power, baby! Looking good!

Oops! NOAA caught cheatin'.

It appears that the NOAA Climate Scientists have been fudging. Wow, didn't see that coming, right?

They were duped – and so were we. That was the conclusion of last week's damning revelation that world leaders signed the Paris Agreement on climate change under the sway of unverified and questionable data.
A landmark scientific paper –the one that caused a sensation by claiming there has been NO slowdown in global warming since 2000 – was critically flawed. And thanks to the bravery of a whistleblower, we now know that for a fact.
Really? Say on, good sir.
It turns out that when NOAA compiled what is known as the 'version 4' dataset, it took reliable readings from buoys but then 'adjusted' them upwards – using readings from seawater intakes on ships that act as weather stations.
They did this even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.
No kidding. They do that with the land based readings too. Here's an example, Furnace Creek and Badwater stations in Death Valley are deliberate set up to make new temperature records.

Can you say heat island?


But wait, there's even more:

Our revelations showed there was another problem with the Pausebuster paper – it used an untested experimental version of the dataset recording temperatures on land, which had not been properly archived and made accessible to other scientists.

Yeah, using data that nobody else is allowed to see in a no-no in science. Not so much in climate science though, apparently. They do this shit all the time.

You'd have to be an idiot or a DemocRat to take this stuff at face value anymore.

The Phantom

Update, just for Camestros Felpatron, Michael Mann is a political activist. Harder to delete mentions of Michael Mann here, eh?


Friday, February 10, 2017

Nothing is ever really gone from the Intenet.

Mr. Camestros Felpatron (clearly a nom de plume) has taken to deleting my comments at his blog. Him being a Leftist, this is not surprising behavior.

Me being me, I kept a copy of my comment. Here it is:

[In a previous comment, Camestros asks:] "Can you actually think for yourself."

This from the man who thinks sucker punching "Nazis" on the street is a legitimate political tactic.

But while we're on the subject of argle-bargle, I have yet to see any of y'all argue coherently against the posted link. Not one.

NOAA made a claim about Africa. Where did the NOAA Africa data come from? The link is to Tony Heller, who proposes that they pulled it out of their ass. He has supporting arguments, with supporting data.

I find his presentation reasonable, and consistent with the previously noted behavior of people like Michael Mann, the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, and others. Also consistent with a photo survey that found a large percentage of NOAA US data units sited in artificially hot environments. Famously, the Death Valley stations at Furnace Creek and Badwater are a particularly egregious example of the trend. Sited deliberately to create a new record high temperature.

You, rather than address Tony Heller, his arguments and his data, deleted my comments. That's not thinking. That's finding a "Nazi" and sucker punching him in the street, internet version.

That's why I try to resist posting links to logical arguments here, Camestros. It's a waste of time.

Now, if you have some -insight- into Tony Heller, his presentation and his conclusions, that might be interesting. And by insight, I mean something other than character assassination.
That's the sort of thing getting deleted by Camestros Felpatron these days. A bald admission that he has no argument, just poo flinging. Again, not a surprising state of affairs for an avowed Warmer and Lefty.

DC Comics races to the bottom, adds turbo and nitrous.

Snagglepus rebooted as gay southern playwright.

The eight-page story will debut this March in the Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1, before turning into a regular DC series this fall. "I envision him like a tragic Tennessee Williams figure," writer Marc Russell told HiLoBrow.com. "Huckleberry Hound is sort of a William Faulkner guy, they're in New York in the 1950s, Marlon Brando shows up, Dorothy Parker, these socialites of New York from that era come and go."

The sexual orientation was never affirmed in the Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but Russell, who has also done an updated take on The Flintstones for DC Comics, is making Snagglepuss' sexuality a key part of the story, in which the pink mountain lion is dragged before the Communist-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He's accused of being a pinko, get it?

Yeah, we get it. Next up, furry-shipping with Deputy Dawg and the Pink Panther.

We have four years of disgusting bullshit like this to look forward to, as DC Comics drags out and kills every character in their back catalogue. Eight years if Trump wins a second term.

The Deplorable Phantom

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Orange Pi, like Raspberry but less filling :)

Coming in over the transom today, Orange Pi. Yet another amazingly cheap single board PC.

Orange Pi is a family of Linux-powered, single board computers manufactured by Shenzhen Xunlong Software Co., Limited, and sold on AliExpress. As with anything sold on AliExpress, be patient and plan ahead for shipping times of two to four or more weeks, because the products are shipped directly from mainland China to locations around the world.

Unlike the Raspberry Pi, which has had a small but growing family of single board computers for different price points, form factors, and features, the number of Orange Pi boards is much larger. The good news is that you have a tremendous amount of choice in the application you want, but the bad news is that amount of choice could be overwhelming. In my case, I went with the Orange Pi Zero 512MB version, because it has the right balance of features and is priced for use in high school, academic environments.

To see a high-resolution image with all the specs, go to the Orange Pi Zero website.

Key point, the boards range in price from ~$48US to $12US, all of them quad core. The $48 one has HDMI with 4K output, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, WiFi, SATA2 for hard drives and a bunch of other goodies. Perfect little box to make a low-energy cloud server/NAS/router out of.

These little machines are getting very capable. At $12US, the Orange Pi is cheap enough to use as the brain for a wireless audio speaker. Or attach a camera and have a fully PC controlled security camera, able to identify and track objects in its visual field. It is very small and low power as well, good for semi-disposable uses. Like a Pirate Box, ferinstance.

These babies are only going to keep getting smaller, cheaper and more available. You have been warned.

The Phantom


Monday, February 06, 2017

Why Liberals are stupid. A rant.

Liberals are stupid, because their answer to everything is more/bigger/better government. The stupid part is that when the more/bigger/better government they wanted DOES something... they complain.

Case in point: NEXUS cards being revoked at the US border.

Nexus memberships have been revoked from all Canadian permanent residents with citizenship in any one of the seven majority-Muslim countries affected by the U.S. travel ban, the Canada Border Services Agency has confirmed to CBC Toronto.
Citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a CBSA spokesperson said in an email that FAST memberships have also been revoked from all such individuals. FAST is a program similar to Nexus that is meant to speed up commercial shipments across the border.
The email goes on to say that memberships of dual citizens have not been cancelled. But CBC Toronto has learned of multiple Canadian-born and dual citizens who have reportedly had their Nexus memberships revoked in the wake of a U.S. executive order barring entry to passport holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Toronto-based lawyer Cyndee Todgham Cherniak said she has been contacted by at least two Canadian-born citizens with Muslim-sounding names who received notices.
And five others — a mix of dual citizens and permanent residents with direct connection to the restricted countries — have also reportedly received revocations from U.S. CBP, she said.
The NEXUS and FAST programs are for getting across the border in an expedited fashion. Meaning, the Border Patrol assumes the holder of the card is pre-vetted, and -generally- chooses not to run them through the usual questioning and possible search when they enter the USA at an airport or a border point. Issuing a card like that to nationals from countries that the USA is currently AT WAR with seems, what's the word I'm looking for here, irresponsible? Rash? Retarded?

Additionally, these are not people with landed immigrant status in the USA. They are landed immigrants in -Canada-. Which is, let us recall, a foreign country. The USA ran those people through the same background check they would run me through. Which was designed to catch Canadians who have misbehaved in Canada. Not some guy who might or might not have a record in Syria, but has kept his nose clean in Canada.

Therefore, suspending expedited crossing for people from nations at war with the USA is only reasonable, and should have been done in the Bush administration. Suspending any crossing at all for people from those nations is also reasonable, with the exception of those who already have an arrangement with the USA through landed immigrant status, Green Card program or similar. Banning Green Card holders was a piece of stupidity arranged by political partisans in the INS, I'm sure. They hate Trump too, he's making them work for a living.

As for the business of random people having their NEXUS revoked because they have a Muslim sounding name? This is where my eyes are rolling, my friends. Oh, Holy Mother of Pearl.

What do you think is going to happen when you give that kind of power to the small minded, unionized public employee types who work for a government institution? They're going to throw their weight around, obviously. Have you never been to the DMV? Its the same assholes behind the counter, different shoulder patch. You want that guy to have power over you?

Graphical explanation of more government.
No, you really don't. Unless you are a Liberal. Then you do. Until you visit the DMV, or some other government  office. Or, heaven help you, an airport. Then the screaming starts.

That is why Liberals are stupid. /.rant./

The Deplorable Phantom

Thursday, February 02, 2017

AP publishes Trump phone call?

This is up on Drudge, and I'm sitting here stunned and amazed. Associated Press has published what it says is part of Trump's phone call to the President of Mexico.

President Donald Trump warned in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart that he was ready to send U.S. troops to stop "bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to control them, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpt of the call did not detail who exactly Trump considered "bad hombres," nor did it make clear the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's response. Mexico denies that Trump's remarks were threatening.

So the AP alleges that they managed to get the no-shit transcript of a phone call between the President of the USA and another head of state. I got a question: how does that happen?

If true, that's the biggest security fail since Hillary's email server. Wow.

If true, way to go Donald Trump for telling the President of Mexico to get his shit together. The border region of Mexico is in chaos, and Mexican drug smugglers are killing both Mexicans and Americans in the Arizona desert.

If not true... then that's a story also.

The Phantom

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

We need to talk about Judith Timson. I fear for her sanity.

This is some serious crazy right here:

We need to talk about this. We need to connect all the dots. Leitch has said, emboldened by surveys, that "70 per cent of Canadians agree" with her proposal to screen for values, which while she never says it out loud, seem at every turn to be referencing Muslims.

 snip
I am not blaming Leitch directly for the mosque killings. I am simply stating that all her words and proposals matter, and those words can help incite fear, hatred and violence.

snip

Leitch, however derivative — she has been called Trump Lite — and those like her should now be asked at every turn how their views differ from the ones that Alexandre Bissonnette admired. 

And the rest of us? We need to challenge ourselves, too on our own words and thoughts. We need to stand up not only to obvious demagogic bullies like Donald Trump — that's kind of the easy part — but to soft talking "otherizers" like Kellie Leitch. 

The lives of our fellow citizens and maybe even our own may depend on it.

Kelly Leitch is running for the Consevative Party of Canada leadership right now. She is now my new favorite Canadian politician.

Stagecraft in Quebec City: Talk Radio kills!

It has emerged that French language talk radio took up a gun and killed a bunch of people in Quebec City.

After a shooting rampage at a Quebec City mosque, the Canadian province's popular conservative talk radio hosts have come under fire for allegedly spreading intolerance and hate.

Critics say the talk shows fuel a divisive climate that allows extreme ideologies to take root and flourish -- a charge that has taken on heightened relevance after a gunman with far-right sympathies opened fire on Muslim worshippers, killing six and wounding eight more.

While not pointing a finger at any specific person or organization, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard emphasized Tuesday that "words do matter."

Residents of Quebec City tend to vote more conservatively than the rest of the province.

Some say that radio stations like local FM93 and Radio X -- which are respectively the region's second and third-most listened to, with a combined 30 percent market share -- simply reflect their audience's views.

But others say the shows stoke dangerous beliefs.

"These are right-wing talk radio stations with little substance but a lot of opinions," said Stephane Leman-Langlois, a criminologist at Laval University, where the alleged shooter studied.

These "trash radio" stations, as they have become known locally, "contribute to legitimize increasingly adversarial discourse against minorities in general and Muslims in particular," he told AFP.

Leman-Langlois said they tout "white supremacy, white victimology and repeat over and over that Quebec is in grave danger."

The Left and more chillingly the Premiere of Quebec are now arguing with each other. They're trying to decide if it was the guns that dragged the kid along for a massacre, or if it was the radio dragging him along.

Meanwhile, stagecraft continues. We still don't know what kind of gun was used, we still don't know any motive, we still don't know jack shit except what was on the kid's Facebook page. That page looks just like any other kid's page. At this point, Katy Perry could have made him do it.

Therefore, Canadians should expect a new legislation push in the next year. It will have two prongs. First will be a new gun registry, probably at the provincial level this time. Second will be a hate-speech law. That new law will make it a crime to say anything in criticism of multiculturalism. It will be called the Ernst Zundel* Memorial SHUT UP!!!! Law. I hereby prophesy this.

(*For boilerplate purposes, Ernst Zundel was and remains a psychotic liar about the Holocaust, and was one of the last 'Real Nazi' fanboys in Canada. He was also the canary in Canada's free-speech coal mine, and went toes-up in 1984. The irony of pursuing a man for speech under an unconstitutional law, in the year 1984, was apparently lost on the government of the time. I'm entirely happy with anything bad that might ever happen to Ernst Zundel, he is an evil man. I'm less happy with what his opponents did to Canada in their zeal.)

The Deplorable Phantom