Apr/21
2011
I fail to see what the brouhaha is all about.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Privacy watchdogs are demanding answers from Apple Inc. about why iPhones and iPads are secretly collecting location data on users - records that cellular service providers routinely keep but require a court order to disgorge.[..] Tracking is a normal part of owning a cellphone. What's done with that data, though, is where the controversy lies. A central question in this controversy is whether a smartphone should act merely as a conduit of location data to service providers and approved applications - or as a more active participant by storing the data itself, to make location-based applications run more smoothly or help better target mobile ads or any number of other uses. [..] The data is "pretty well-protected on the phone," Miller, principal security analyst with Independent Security Evaluators, said in an interview. "On the phone, they take a lot of precautions." He said. "It's sort of frightening in the sense that it's there, and it's full of information about where you've been, but the good news is it's not easy to get to."[..] Allan said in an email to the AP that he and Warden haven't looked at how other smartphones behave in this regard, but added there's suspicion that phones that run Google Inc.'s Android software might behave in a similar way and is being investigated.
Phones these days, most of them, include GPS tracking. Note that people have activated the retrieval of this data to find their lost or stolen phones without any concern. But suddenly e-ignorant lawmakers want to make this an issue. Because they're stupid. And they don't understand the technology they (and others) willingly sign up for. Do you want Foursquare to work? Do you want wireless hotspot triangulation? Then recognize that the same technologies that empower your favorite apps, that allow your "fans" to follow your antics ALSO enable other uses for the same data. RETARDS! You can't fucking have your e-cake and eat it too. If you don't want to be tracked, then ditch your damned smart phone and roll back to the damned dark ages. Otherwise put up and shut up and stop alerting everyone to how un-tech-savvy you really are.
Apr/21
2011
MS wanted to cram 35 language pack updates down my e-throat. I prevented that (for now) by hiding those updates. One at a fucking time because there was no "grab-n-disable-all" feature that I could detect. No it was one at a fucking time from Arabic to Ukrainian. Was that really damned necessary? I mean ffs it's not like they DON'T know what area of the world I'm in from my IP. Stupid, annoying, arrogant. Oh wait, that's Microsoft...
Apr/20
2011
Some Chinese still regard dogs as food. But this story has a positive ending...
BEIJING (AP) -- After spotting a truck packed with hundreds of whimpering dogs on a Beijing highway, a man put out a call on a microblogging site, begging fellow animal lovers to help him force the driver to release the animals. Around 200 people responded, blockading the truck at a toll booth for 15 hours until they finally negotiated the dogs' release for $17,000, saving them from being slaughtered and served as food. Many of the animals were dehydrated, injured and suffering from a potentially deadly virus; at least 68 have been hospitalized.
I rarely, if ever, have anything positive to say about China but that's mostly because I'm blogging about the Chinese government. Technology stealing, people repressing, world stability undermining assholes that they are there's never anything good to say about the Chinese in charge of the country. But about the people? That's a different story altogether. Three cheers for the microblogger who broke the story. And another three for the animal rights activists and pet companies who put up the $17,000 to buy the dogs a new life. There's hope for China yet, although there is absolutely none for the current people in power.
Still, there was some criticism of the rescue. An editorial in the Legal Daily newspaper accused activists of breaking the law and putting animals' rights over people's.
So from WoS here's a huge FUCK YOU to the Legal Daily and the Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China that vomits out that rhetoric. I hope a dog bites every last one of you in the ass.
Apr/20
2011
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a pair of bills intended to further restrict abortion in Oklahoma. Fallin on Wednesday signed a bill that makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after a woman reaches 20 weeks of pregnancy. The "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" presumes a fetus can experience pain after 20 weeks. It includes an exemption for abortions performed when the life of the mother is at risk or if there is a risk of physical impairment of a "major bodily function."
It's getting tiresome blogging about the same old stupidity re-wrapped an re-packaged. The American Right wants nothing more than to return women to a position of disadvantage, tethered to poverty, unable to control their bodies, minds or future. It's sad that Judas Goats like Fallin are so willing to play along, trading the future of their daughters for 15 minutes of fame. America is sadly behind a good portion of the civilized world in women's rights and women's equality. This is something I blame on the idiotic Puritans that founded this nation. Why religious dogmatism has any say in national and legal affairs is beyond me. How it can have any influence in private medical decisions isn't even fathomable. Why should one person's beliefs affect another's life, liberty and freedoms remains to be explained to me because it doesn't align with the precepts of our nation. Oh yeah, and fuck you Mary Fallin, for not taking into consideration the pain-capabilities of pregnant women.
Apr/20
2011
Wow, talk about your nic addict. This guy clearly has issues beyond the typical smoker...
NEW YORK (AP) -- A New Jersey woman was stabbed in the face with a pen on a New York City subway train after she tried to stop a man from lighting a cigarette.[..] Witnesses told the Daily News and the New York Post that an argument quickly escalated when Evelyn Seeger asked the man not to smoke. The witnesses say two riders were trying to restrain the man when he pulled out a pen and slashed Seeger's face.
Ffs, all she did was ask you not to smoke asshole. Perhaps some prison time will help you kick the caffeine and nicotine addiction, you think?
Apr/20
2011
It was some stupid semi-tabloid (Us, People, Star) with some perfectly svelte, perfectly groomed, perfectly airbrushed starlette on the cover with the caption "How does this super-successful star mom manage her demanding career and three kids?" Gosh, gee willikers, could it be that she has a fuckload of money and can buy an entire pro-football coaching staff's worth of assistants to care for her brats? Really articles like boggle the mind. How could any suburban housewife, single mom, or urban X-yuppie mom possibly identify with someone who has a private plastic surgeon, dietitian, esthetician, masseuse, chef, maid, chauffeur, secretary, shopping assistant, butler, and a posse of other hangers-on willing to run errands or do any bidding that she wants? But reality doesn't make a good article. Plus the Stars in question want something too, for people to like them, not hate them for being filthy fucking rich and living a great life. So these magazines provide that service, a little positive PR in return for carefully scripted scenes of "Mommie's Hard Day." Barf. Celebrity Moms are about as real as Pam Anderson's boobs. They're not mom's in any sense. A mother is someone who is compelled to get up at 2am when they themselves feel sick, tired and dizzy to care for a kid that just vomited all over themselves, the sheets and the carpet. They're the ones that have to leave work in the middle of a meeting, grimly excusing themselves to the annoyed looks of their coworkers knowing that they'll be spending evenings and weekends to make up the work to pick up their child who missed the bus home after practice. They give up their meals, their blankets, their bed space, anything for their kid and willingly endure the discomfort of sleeping in a bed too small, eating someone else's left overs or just being displaced for the comfort of their child. Celebrity "Moms" know nothing about these things and being put out for even a second is beyond their comprehension. They have genetic offspring, but what they know about child rearing is nonexistent compared to the single mom trying to claw their way out of welfare. So please, the next time you see some magazine headline lamenting the "stressful" parenting ordeal of some famous and hideously wealthy actor, don't buy it. Neither the publisher nor the subject is worthy of your attention. Not even for the moment it takes to turn the page.
Apr/19
2011
Seriously, what's left?
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Maybe they're risky, but day camp games like tag, Red Rover and kickball are no longer at risk in New York after state health officials yanked a proposal that threatened the future of those mainstays of child's play. Towns, villages and other camp operators had begun revamping upcoming indoor summer programs after the Department of Health sent out a long list of familiar games and activities it said presented a "significant risk of injury" and needed to be regulated more closely.
I'm really glad that someone in NY woke up and smelled the stupidity, because this is a case of moronic adults at their very finest. No kickball because of potential injuries? Oh please. This is right in line with "everyone's a winner" idiocy. On the one hand we have wackjobs banning soda and bakesales from school, screaming about how kids these days are overweight. Now we have the same bullshit about exercise. Look people, get over your fucking selves ok? If you run and play you MAY GET HURT. Kids heal and trust me, it's a risk worth taking because they might get some exercise and have some fun.
Apr/19
2011
Maybe you like the taste of carcinogens in your food, but I've never been too thrilled with the "char-broiled" taste or the wider-soggier fries at Burger King. Now I have another reason to avoid them: the company was bought by foreign investors who are doing what they can to take the money out of the US of A.
MIAMI (AP) -- Burger King's new owners have a long to-do list as they try to remake the struggling hamburger chain. On Monday, they crossed off one chore: Making nice with disenfranchised franchisees. The company and its franchisees announced they would settle a legal battle they've been fighting since 2009, when the corporation told restaurant operators to sell the double cheeseburger for $1. [..] The settlement comes six months after Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital bought Burger King for $4 billion. Since then, 3G has shaken up management, laid off workers and trimmed other costs, and set plans in motion to expand in Asia and Latin America.
From the sounds of the lawsuit 3G has already pushed the limits of "good taste" through poor business decisions, the burden of which fell on American store owners. Now it seems as if they're going to exact further revenge by moving the heart of the business abroad while charging US franchises even more money. Fuck that. I'd rather buy American when I have 'a break today' because I sure as shit ain't gonna 'have it my way' if the money goes overseas.
Apr/19
2011
"Sir! Drop that Totes!" That's how I imagine the 'conflict' that happened at our local mall today ended. You see a security guard called in an alarm to the effect of "Person seen entering the mall with a guy..." note the pause, the pause here is key, "or maybe an umbrella." Yeah, see it's that last part, rather like a good punchline, that really matters. But not to the person who called in an major airport's worth of swat police. Before very long the parking lot was awash in black uniforms and helmets.
BURLINGTON -- Police responded in force today to a report of a man with a rifle at a mall, evacuating shoppers and calling in a SWAT team as worried workers locked themselves into stores. But it turned out that the man was only carrying an umbrella. Police said the umbrella, which had a samurai sword-style handle, did look like a rifle, and they didn't fault those at the Burlington Mall who had reported the man. “It was interpreted to be a gun by five different people,” said Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent. “We are always telling people to be vigilant. This is what we want.” “I’d do it all over again if this happened tomorrow,” said Kent, who said about 40 officers responded to the scene from his department, surrounding departments, the State Police and federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. (Boston.com)
While I'm happy that everything ended well, and the gentleman in question has retained possession of his sword-cum-rifle-cum-brolly it does highlight a very serious loophole in our security operations. Basically, all it takes to leave a major nerve center, like an airport or train station, unprotected is a guy at the mall with something that might resemble a gun. Yes, to me that's a problem. I won't say that anyone in this instance really did anything wrong, because they didn't, but was there a collective overreaction? Yes. Did it draw resources that could have left more critical locations unprotected? Yes. Was a serious crisis averted? Well, depends on your point of view, from mine there was no crisis to avert so no, nothing was accomplished other than the retail losses over the hours that the mall was blocked off. It's purely coincidence that this was the same mall that the movie "Mall Cop" was filmed at. But can you say "Part Deux?" I know I can...
Apr/18
2011

Wait Allergies? Me?

Wtf. I don't get this sniffly-sneezy shit. No. Never. But here I am with a wad of damp Kleenex and a horrible headache. My nose hurts, no wait my face hurts, no fuck that my head hurts. And I go from "huh, I feel fine what was that all about" to "pump-action sneeze-fest '11". I don't get it. I really don't. I mean shit ain't really even blooming but my sinuses have decided to perform their impression of Niagara Falls and the Hoover Dam all in one go. Ugh. Bud I don' haf alargeez! Reeddy! I Don!
Apr/18
2011
When you think of Japan you think of sushi, anime and robots. Neat robots. Ones that can imitate people. Robots that can walk and talk. Robots that can do really cool stuff. Fancy, neat, smooth, symmetrical creatures of the future. And yeah, they are cool n stuff, but when it comes to disaster response a pair of tinker-toys on steroids are what you really want. Simple little guys with a pair of treads, a couple of camera and maybe a single, old-school, gripper. No, not even as sophisticated as a Claptrap from Borderlands with its funky, singly-wheel, inverted pendulum type design. So who makes these simple but rugged, straight forward and practical machines? Well who else? The Americans. Yes the two companies who sent their 'bots over to explore the atomic catastrophe were iRobot of Bedford Mass., the maker of the Roomba (yes it can inspect, vacuum and scrub your leaky plant all in one go) and Foster-Miller (aka. Qinetiq North America) of Waltham Mass. Yes you got that two Massachusetts companies. Of course Qinetiq would like you to believe that the UK had a hand in this, since they bought out Foster-Miller four years ago, but no, the Talon robot is pure bred American mustang. Putting aside the irony that we're donating robots to help the Japanese after they ate our fucking robotics business alive (thanks in part to companies like Yaskawa Electric), it's important to understand that they did us a favor by forcing innovation in niche-specific markets. A market that is now turning the other cheek to help Japan in a time of need. I think that's so American of us. Somehow we always let bygones be bygones. Even when it turns around and bites us in the ass. I don't expect that to be the result here. Unless of course Fujitsu, Sony, Hitachi or Toyota suddenly decide to buy up iRobot or Qinetiq North America, which hopefully they won't do. It's American innovation, generosity and stubbornness to the rescue once again. And if no one else wants to recognize? Then let's do that for ourselves. Yay us!
Apr/17
2011
I took the family for haircuts today, mainly because more than one of us had begun to bear a strong resemblance to a breed of dog known as 'the old english sheepdog.' We were, in one word, shaggy. And something needed to be done about it. Now there are several places to get trimmed around these parts, from the classic striped-pole style barber to the high end fancy-pants boutique cutteries. We favor neither end, but rather go to a typical chain type place that does a reasonable job for a reasonable price. Not picky are we. Quietly we shuffled in, and being relatively early, all got seated simultaneously. It was a quick and efficient event, and as it neared the end something struck me as funny about the image of the man stuck near the bottom of the mirror for my attendant. "Take ten years of in ten minutes." The text showed an enlarged picture of a man grinning with a pepper and salt buzz and GI Joe style beard. Then it showed a smaller image of him frowning, with frosty white hair... and beard? Wait a second. People dye their beards? I put this question to my stylist. She responded with enthusiasm. "Oh you'd be surprised how vain men are these days. Yes they come in all the time for hair and beard dyeing. We do it in the way back, however, so no one will notice. It's quite popular. We do waxings for them too." WHAT? I was flabbergasted. Men? Wax? The only link between those two involve opening a bottle of decent quality wine, not hair removal. Stunned, I gaped into the mirror. What was the world coming to? My image of the rough-and-ready guy, tumbling out of bed for a brisk shower and towel drying their hair was gone, replaced with RuPaul-esque narcissists peering fearfully at their images, gasping at the appearance of either another gray sprout or (more likely) the receding tide of fuzz. Was this what the men of my generation had descended to? I thought we'd been raised well on Rambo, Chuck Norris and the A-Team. Apparently my concept of 'aging well like Patrick Stewart' was a mirage. The truth was more like T. J. Hooker. True, no one ever leaves the hairdresser feeling the same as when they went in, but my evaluation of myself and my peers changed radically over those 15 minutes. Does the fact that I choose not to conceal the way my appearance changes as I age make me better or worse than those around me? Frankly I'm not sure. But I do know one thing for certain, as Popeye put it so colloquially: "I yam what I yam and that's all I yam." No dyes, no fakes, and no foolin.
Apr/16
2011
I saw them drive up. It was interesting really, because the big, extra-large cab pickup truck drove past the neighbors and stopped directly in front of my driveway. That told me that they were deliberately targeting me, these two church ladies in their sharply dressed black coats and boots. They made their way cheerfully up the path to my door, bibles in hand. Later I would find out that this was an accurate assessment because they'd come last year and were allowed to vomit their rhetoric into the ear of a different family member. But they're not me and this time things would go very differently. "Hey get this, get this," I called to my family, "Bible Thumpers!" The kids scurried to the window with a chuckle to take a quick peek. "No one answer the door!" I yelled. I wanted to handle this one myself. Now my SO dislikes conflict. Immediately I was pleaded with to "be nice." Rofl. Yeah, nice. Hmmmm. In my world nice means 'not drawing blood'. Ok, sure. By that definition I'll be nice. The doorbell rang and I answered it. Now keep in mind at 10am on a weekend I might not be in my holiday finest. But the fact that I had on flannel sweats and a baggy polartech didn't deter them, or me for that matter, in the least. "Hi!" said the perky old bag with a bad dye-job, "we're here to talk to you about Jesus." The scrawny hag in the better dye job and shiny 3" heel boots attempted a friendly smile. I can see why most great apes consider the showing of teeth as a threat, because that was my reaction too. I squinted like Clint Eastwood, "Who are you?" I peered down at the elder proselytizer. "Why we're Jehovas..." No she never got to finish that sentence because I recoiled hissing like a vampire in the sun. "Get off my porch!" The intensity clearly took them by surprise, their waxed expressions frozen, "You're child molesters! We don't want your kind around here!" Granny didn't flinch but I saw the other one wince. Then I slammed the door. I feel it's justified. No one asked you to ring my bell, or wave your papers in my face. You took a chance and discovered that not everyone is willing to be held hostage by false civility. I'll admit that maybe I should have had a sign like my colleague, but I don't. And judging from the fact that his post on this same topic precedes mine I can guess that it wouldn't have mattered one bit if I did. The message here is that when you deal with self-serving, self-interested people who make it a practice of taking advantage of the social etiquette that prevents screaming in a strangers face it is completely and totally acceptable to do just that. They don't deserve the same respect as the rest of our peers who, like us, are simply people trying to live their life without imposing on anyone else.
Apr/15
2011

6T On Me

Ok the house passed a budget. Yay. But was it bipartisan and did it spread the pain evenly amongst all households? Nay. It’s woefully, woefully lopsided with the vast majority of the burden falling on people just like me. What it did demonstrate, however, is that lawmakers will pick on the less powerful, the less represented just like any old bully would. They carefully avoided the Boomers (the largest voting demographic) and the Filthy 1% (the most wealthy can who can afford to spend their money to make sure they keep their money) and, of course, big business. Who did that leave? It left all Americans under 55 years old and those who makes less than $500k per year. Which means most of us.
The GOP plan proposes a federal budget totaling $3.5 trillion next year, while promising more than $6 trillion in accumulated spending cuts over the next decade compared with the budget that President Barack Obama offered in February. It relies on stiff cuts to domestic agency accounts, food stamps and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. The GOP's solution to unsustainable deficits that presently require the government to borrow more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends is to relentlessly attack the spending side of the ledger while leaving Bush-era revenue levels intact. [..] It calls for transforming Medicare from a program in which the government directly pays medical bills into a voucher-like system that subsidizes purchases of private insurance plans. People 55 and over would remain in the current system, but younger workers would receive subsidies that would steadily lose value over time. (AP)
So there you have it. And for everyone under 55 who makes less than $500k is this what you wanted? Is this what you voted for? To pay the medical bills for the mass of geriatric baby boomers while you get less and less? To pay more than your fair share of taxes that allow the rich to keep on getting richer? Maybe that’s what the Tea Party was all about, I don’t know because I honestly didn’t listen. But if it was then could you please send me some money too since you’re quite happy to give the feds the shirt off your back because I never voted for that.
Apr/15
2011
Everyone knows that Madison from Sirus FM is one dumb twat, but this time she really managed to exceed herself. Her comment was so breathtakingly stupid that I actually paused in the middle of my workout to marvel at the level of moron-ness she’d achieved.
“I’m good with China owning the US, I mean they’ve always been good to Jewish people. They've got restaurants open on New Years! Isn’t that amazing?” (Madison, Sirus FM)
My jaw dropped. Now while that quote isn’t exact, word for word, it’s 98% correct and the first sentence is verbatim. Goddamn but you’re one stupid fucking biatch Madison. I understand you were just introducing a song called “China” but what you said is NOT ok. It’s not defensible. It’s a fucking insult and it shows a complete lack of any sort of awareness and respect. China is one of the most intolerant, repressive and malicious nations around. They regularly try to undermine us, while pretending to be open to dialog and cooperation. They tolerate no criticism, and engage in activities that include the theft of intellectual property as well as commercial and governmental sabotage. They openly abduct, imprison and murder their own citizens. I for one am NOT good with China owning us, but I’m just fine with them owning your sorry ass. So please, book yourself a one way ticket. It’ll be fun reading the papers after you find yourself in jail within the first few weeks. And after that? We’ll probably never have to hear from you again.
Apr/14
2011
You keep getting that "Windows Installer" dialog box. Over and over and over. You uninstall. Reinstall. Repair. But nothing makes it go away. In my case every dag-blasted time I got an email (YES JUST AN EMAIL) Visio would reconfigure. Wtf really? I think the cause may have been because the version I choose to use of Office is 2003, not 2007. With one notable exception. Visio. Anyway, if you have this problem then here's what you need to do. 1. open a command prompt 2. Cut, paste and enter these lines one at a time: reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1 reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options /v NoReReg /t REG_DWORD /d 1 David Overton who posted this solution on his blog said you might get the annoying dialog box one more time. I didn't. But even if you do that should be the last time it happens. Even though I saw this solution on other blogs and forums, this was the most concise of the lot (apparently Dave also works for the Evil Empire.) Regardless, thank you Dave, much appreciated.
Apr/14
2011
The US gets no respect these days. America-bashing is hideously popular all over the globe, even amongst our "allies". What I find amusing is that after all the bitching and moaning about the job we do and how we could do it better these Monday-morning quarterbacks now are failing miserably at the job they criticized us for doing. Yeah, running a war isn't quite as easy as you thought is it?
BERLIN (AP) -- NATO nations struggled Thursday to overcome deep differences over the military campaign in Libya, failing to find new ground-attack aircraft for the fight despite French and British calls for more intense airstrikes against Moammar Gadhafi's forces.[..] Britain and France have been calling for more strikes by their NATO allies, particularly the U.S., with its sophisticated surveillance and weapons systems. The U.S. says it sees no need to change what it calls a supporting role in the campaign - even though it has still been flying a third of the missions - and many other NATO nations have rules preventing them from striking Gadhafi's forces except in self-defense.
Yes we're good at what we do. We have good men, good equipment and know how to effectively apply both. But why should we be the ones to carry the burden of saving a civilian population yet again? Think we didn't learn from the last two wars we entered into (and are still fighting)? We did, thank you very much, now it's your turn. Oh and by the way, if you think you can displace an entrenched dictator by only firing your guns in "self-dense" then you're madder than he is. Just fyi of course.