Damned Liberal | You do not have to be a Democrat to be a liberal. You do not have to be a Republican to be a conservative. Our two-party system is corrupt and uses propaganda to manipulate you. We need viable third parties.

American Internet Access – We’re Getting Shafted

The boyz (and gurls) who provide internet access have, in most places, an effective monopoly. There is no incentive for them to provide faster speeds or cheaper pricing. For them, it’s about maximizing revenue (a.k.a. screwing the consumer).

Downloading a high-definition movie takes about seven seconds in Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich, Bucharest and Paris, and people pay as little as $30 a month for that connection. In Los Angeles, New York and Washington, downloading the same movie takes 1.4 minutes for people with the fastest Internet available, and they pay $300 a month for the privilege, according to The Cost of Connectivity, a report published Thursday by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute.

NY Times

This is how capitalism works in the United States: Maximize profit, screw the consumer.

Big Business, Capitalism, Technology, The Internet Leave a comment

The “War On Terror” Creates More “Terrorists”

Imagine that a foreign country bombed the United States, then sent in military troops and weaponry to kill hundreds of thousands of people and destroy cities.

We would be pretty angry, right?

And we would probably fight back, right?

Replace “United States” with “Iraq” or “Syria” or “Afghanistan” and ask yourself why the reaction should be any different.

The “War on Terror” is a misnomer.
We should call it “The Campaign To Create Hatred Toward the United States”.

UN Report: New US War in Iraq and Syria Attracting Jihadists in Droves

Only the ignorant should be surprised.

Afghanistan, International, Iraq, Syria Leave a comment

TOR: No Guaranty of Security

If you use TOR for privacy, be aware that it is possible your computer’s security could be compromised:

Users of the Tor network now have one more reason to be cautious when using the service to browse the Internet or to download executable code anonymously.

A security researcher last week uncovered a malicious Tor exit node in Russia being used by unknown attackers to insert malicious code into files being downloaded by Tor users. Tor administrators have since flagged the node as a BadExit, meaning that Tor clients now know to avoid using the server.


Technology, The Internet Leave a comment

The Red Cross: More Concerned About Its Image Then Its Mission?

ProPublica reports on fumbles, poor coordination, poor delivery of assistance.

It’s reported the Red Cross had some of its vehicles driving around empty, just to make it appear it had numerous trucks delivering aid.

This is a pretty sad testament for the Red Cross

Pro Publica

Batshit Crazy, Social Programs, Society Leave a comment

Airport Crowd Takes Down Homophobe

I’m generally disappointed in humanity.
But there are occasional bright spots.
This one, for example, when a homophobe attacked a man in a Texas airport.
Whereupon the people around the homophobe took him down.
Sometimes I think there’s hope.

LGBT, Society Leave a comment

Philadelphia Charter School Abruptly Closes

This is what happens when you entrust important services such as education to the private sector:

Students at a troubled charter school in Philadelphia got a surprise Monday morning – they found the high school portion of it closed.

Some say they received a robo call last night telling them not to come to class. Others say they showed up ready for school only to be turned away.

The story

The moral: Capitalism is not about children, or people. It’s about money. Period.

Miscellany Leave a comment

Will Ferguson Erupt On or About November 10?

Anonymous has posted information at pastebin stating two anonymous informants have said neither the county grand jury or the feds will pursue charges against Darren Wilson, the cop who shot and killed Mike Brown.

Read the anonymous statement

Police State, Society Leave a comment

Content Moderation For Facebook Done In The Philippines For Low Wages

Facebook hires people to keep stuff like dick pics of of facebook.

This work is increasingly done in the Philippines. A former US colony, the Philippines has maintained close cultural ties to the United States, which content moderation companies say helps Filipinos determine what Americans find offensive. And moderators in the Philippines can be hired for a fraction of American wages. Ryan Cardeno, a former contractor for Microsoft in the Philippines, told me that he made $500 per month by the end of his three-and-a-half-year tenure with outsourcing firm Sykes. Last year, Cardeno was offered $312 per month by another firm to moderate content for Facebook, paltry even by industry standards.


facebook sucks Leave a comment

A Couple of Tech Links

Using Verizon to access the web?
You may wish to switch carriers.

Verizon is adding a tracking i.d. to its users accessing the web.

In short, Verizon is packaging and selling subscriber information, acting as a data broker on real-time advertising exchanges. Questionable. By default, the information appears to consist of demographic and geographic segments.2 If a user has opted into “Verizon Selects,” then Verizon also shares behavioral profiles built by deep packet inspection.

Whatever the merits of Verizon’s new business model, the technical design has two substantial shortcomings. First, the X-UIDH header functions as a temporary supercookie.3 Any website can easily track a user, regardless of cookie blocking and other privacy protections.4 No relationship with Verizon is required.

Second, while Verizon offers privacy settings, they don’t prevent sending the X-UIDH header.5 All they do, seemingly, is prevent Verizon from selling information about a user.

Buying an iPad Air 2 or a Retina iPad mini3?
You may wish to avoid buying one from AT&T

AT&T locks you in.

Apple’s new Apple SIM card in the iPad Air 2 and the Retina iPad mini 3 is designed to be universal, usable across a variety of wireless carriers in the US and UK, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and UK’s EE.

According to user reports in the MacRumors forums and on Twitter, however, AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan.

Technology Leave a comment

Right-Wing Money-Grubbing Thieves

If you want to make money, perhaps the best place to be is in the right wing, peddling hate.

Rush Limbaugh, for example, has a multi-million-dollar mansion. Glenn Beck has raked in a pile of money. Palin’s pack rakes in the dough but has doled out only 5% to Republican politicians.

Then there are the money-grubbing teabaggers. Here’s a prime example:

When the Tea Party Patriots threw its support last month behind Matt Bevin, the underdog conservative challenger trying to unseat top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, President Jenny Beth Martin vowed the group would be “putting our money where our mouth is.”

So far, its super PAC has mustered just $56,000 worth of mailers in Kentucky on Bevin’s behalf — less than half the amount it has paid Martin in consulting fees since July.

Washington Post

“Free enterprise”, “for-profit” and “capitalism”, indeed!

Right wingnuts, Teabaggers Leave a comment

A Couple of Links (10/13/2014)

TED presentation by Glenn Greenwald regarding “Why Privacy Matters”

The New Yorker offers a closer look at Laura Poitras (documentary producer involved with Snowden disclosures and of the just-completed CitizenFour websiteCitizenFour trailer)

Miscellany Leave a comment

Citizen Four

Soon available: A documentary by Laura Poitras about her initial meetings with Edward Snowden.

Citizen Four website

Activism Leave a comment

Another Shooting In St. Louis – White Cop Shoots Black Teen

It’s reported the cop was off-duty and going to a second job as a security guard, and he attempted a “pedestrian check” when, according to the cop, an 18-year-old, Vonderrick Myers, ran away. Reportedly, the copy said the teen shot at him and fired 16 or 17 shots at the teen, killing him. Others say the teen was armed only with a sandwich.


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Activism, Police State Leave a comment

Justice Dept.: It’s Okay For Government To Establish A Fake Facebook Account & Use Your Pictures

From the “This Is Unbelievable” file:

The Justice Department is claiming, in a little-noticed court filing, that a federal agent had the right to impersonate a young woman online by creating a Facebook page in her name without her knowledge. Government lawyers also are defending the agent’s right to scour the woman’s seized cell phone and to post photographs — including racy pictures of her and even one of her young son and niece — to the phony social media account, which the agent was using to communicate with suspected criminals.


Government, Privacy, Technology Leave a comment

1 In 3 Jobs Will Be Performed By Robots Or Software By 2025

An IT company, Gartner, has said that by 2025, one in three jobs will be performed by robots or software.

Smart machines are an emerging “super class” of technologies that perform a wide variety of work, both the physical and the intellectual kind, said Sondergaard. Machines, for instance, have been grading multiple choice for years, but now they are grading essays and unstructured text.

This cognitive capability in software will extend to other areas, including financial analysis, medical diagnostics and data analytic jobs of all sorts, says Gartner

Computer World

Economy, Technology Leave a comment

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