What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Linkee-poo gets the worm

Dear GOP, there was only one path that led to success, getting a nominee through quickly and hoping everyone would forget. All other paths lead to failure. Also, thank you for reminding a lot of the progressive vote that this election matters very much. You just did more to turn out the progressive vote in 2016 than anything Hillary or Bernie could have done or said. Your knee-jerk reactions not only solidified liberal control of the White House and increased their chances of taking the Senate back, but you've put the House in play as well. Well done. See, there is no conservative silent majority. Conservatives are reliable voters, the ones that vote. They vote in every election, which is why the GOP makes big gains in the off-year polls. The big dependent factor is how many progressives get off their asses in the presidential year. You've just lit the fuse on those people who think it just doesn't matter.

Apple's letter to customers regarding the FBI request to break into an iPhone.

"In some ways, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center got very lucky, as it seems the hackers haven't taken over the firmware for things like CT scanners, etc, and bricked them." Ransomware attack on a hospital. Okay, maybe people will pay attention to this now. I know, I'm kidding myself. But yea, the modern hospital runs on software to do everything. For the PRN job I have to know (and have logins to) 5 different pieces of software just to do my job. And that doesn't include the software that runs the x-ray machines, or the IV pumps, or monitors, or… And an update, the hospital paid the ransom.

More on that story about US Marshals arresting a man for non-payment of student loans. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

The double standard. "Over the last three years, Sarah Eddy and Daniel Grunspan have asked over 1,700 biology undergraduates at the University of Washington to name classmates whom they thought were 'strong in their understanding of classroom material.' The results were worrying but predictable. The male students underestimated their female peers, over-nominating other men over better-performing women." (Grokked from Hannah Bowman)

One of the problems with modern medicine is how interconnected body systems are and how disconnected our research tends to look at them. So when we "fix" one thing, we can screw something else up. In this case, using proton-pump inhibitors used to treat heartburn and acid reflux is linked to increased risk of dementia. Bet you won't see that on the label. (Grokked from CC Findlay)

Who benefits from cheap knockoffs? Chinese banks. Also why Visa and MasterCard aren't doing much about it.

You know how natural gas is supposed to best much better for our environment because of reduced CO2 emissions? Hell, there's a whole ad campaign and website dedicated to it (I frequently lampoon the bastards on twitter for their promoted tweets). Turns out it's not so much of a deal because of the leaks of methane into the atmosphere. The paper doesn't point to anything in particular (I haven't read the whole thing), but it does say the increase is coming from the middle of the country (so unlikely permafrost thaw or oceanic methane releases). Also, say, what's going on in the middle of the country this past decade? Think about it. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

Why is coal losing? It's not because of rhetoric. Note that Pres. Obama's environmental program is stalled in the courts, but coal continues to lose to cheaper and more flexible alternatives.

"In addition to processing logged cellular phone call data (so-called 'DNR' or Dialled Number Recognition data, such as time, duration, who called whom, etc.), SKYNET also collects user location, allowing for the creation of detailed travel profiles. Turning off a mobile phone gets flagged as an attempt to evade mass surveillance. Users who swap SIM cards, naively believing this will prevent tracking, also get flagged (the ESN/MEID/IMEI burned into the handset makes the phone trackable across multiple SIM cards)." One, yes, we have a program named SKYNET. And it's used to target and kill people. But then they're using a learning machine to make these decisions (this isn't new for the NSA, just google ECHELON if you want to know how far back this goes). But they're using "big data" to process out whom is a terrorist and whom is not. So, how well does Amazon's recommendations work for you? They're probably more accurate than the NSA. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe flagging a reporter as a terrorist. (Grokked from Steven Brust)

Yes, the wingnuttery surrounding Antonin Scalia's death is in full flail mode. Fortunately, so are the humor sites.

No, Dr. Carson, you're not supposed to say these things. Like if the GOP controlled the White House they wouldn't be talking about stalling a SCOTUS nominee. Seriously, you gotta learn how to dog-whistle and say your own team is as pure as Ivory Soap.

I just love how conservatives view the past as some sort of Eden. No, Dr. Carson, the communities you're thinking of are the Amish and the other separatists, which were built on principles we would now label as socialism. In the past, a lot of people died. They starved to death. If a worker got injured on the job, they and their families were thrown out of the company owned towns. If the major worker on the farm was injured, the farm typically was run by the spouse or a child, who also then had to take care of their injured family and most likely would lose the farm. Also, our economy isn't agricultural any more. If I break my leg, nobody is going to go into work for me, I know this because it happened. The mind just boggles at the idiocy of these people. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

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