Congress Still Wants to Make Your Phone Insecure

Over a million dollars of tax money later, the Feds found somebody to crack one iPhone. And what did they find? As predicted, nothing of value.

That isn’t stopping the Feds from trying to make you less secure (not that you are terribly secure now). After all, the location of a ticking time bomb might someday be in somebody’s phone! The bill on the table has been called “technically illiterate,” “unworkable,” and “a firing offense.” You might want to take a minute to remind your Senators and Representatives that you vote.

In other news, a meddling judge said that the FBI can’t get around the need for an actual warrant by just hacking suspected perps. Let’s hear it for meddling judges.

Just a reminder, folks: uawsw

In Closing: a mighty suspicious coincidence; power shopping; the piano; and a double dose of Prince.

Not Really Music Monday: Pi Day

It’s 3.14. Also, 3.1416. Perhaps celebrate with some pie?

In Closing: still fake; still bad for real Americans who like to have jobs; sounds like a wild goose chase to me; not having money is not actually a crime; and just maybe the FBI misjudged this and people have figured out that 24 was a TV show.

10 Shortiesfield Lane

Hi everyone. Sorry there was no music yesterday. Hopefully I can make it up to you with some delicious shorties.


On Phone Security: Do you like being able do to things like buy things or pay bills using your phone? Government insistence on back doors and custom hacking software will make your phone vulnerable to Bad Guys who can rob you blind through your phone. Oh, and the cops don’t even think there’s any information to get off that phone in San Bernardino. It’s just a fishing expedition designed to make you less secure.

Some random food items so I don’t lose track of them: eating relatively healthy at a fast food place; healthy eating at chain restaurants; and cheap but healthy cooking.

Unequal Returns: Poor kids who go to college don’t get nearly the income boost that middle and upper class kids get with a college education.

DWB: Or, cell phone cameras continue to throw light on misconduct.

Just because it’s Super Tuesday: One Hillary link and one Trump link.

Oh, and one more thing: If you want to actually fix the immigration system — rather than slapping some patches on it — you have to address the fact that by law, there is an annual ceiling of 675,000 legal immigrants. There are roughly 12,000,000 undocumented  (or unlawful, if you prefer) immigrants. Even if all of them were legal immigrants, it would take over 17 years to get them all normalized status under the current law. People coming to this nation — legally, as refugees, whatever — now are taking years to get to court at all. That’s part of the reason there are undocumented immigrants in the first place. Telling them to go to the back of the line is a joke, because the line would be over 17 years long. Any immigration “reform” that doesn’t address the ceiling and doesn’t address employers who exploit cheap labor from undocumented workers (who will often gladly work for illegally low wages in unsafe environments because it’s still better than where they came from) is nothing more than window dressing.


Happy Tuesday.

10 Observations on the New Star Wars Movie, No Spoilers

Image from IMDB, so please visit them. Yes, I actually paid money to see it. In 3D no less. So in no particular order, my observations:

  1. Dear Directors of 3D Films and Trailers: If you could please stop making it appear that things are aimed right at my head, I’d appreciate it! — Thanks!
  2. It turns out that nurses “long ago in a galaxy far away” use pretty much the same therapeutic communication that nurses use here on this planet.
  3. There is nothing in The Force Awakens that suggests the Zahn Trilogy didn’t happen. However, the Extended Universe might no longer be canon.
  4. There are details of the soundtrack that I am distinctly unhappy about. Williams uses a 19th century technique that pairs characters and/or events with thematic material. I was ok with “Luke’s Theme” becoming “the Skywalker Theme,” but now it’s just the “Rebels doing cool stuff theme.” Best moments of the soundtrack were the strategic usage of “Leia’s Theme” and “Kenobi’s Theme” (also known as the “crazy old powerful Jedi wizard theme”).
  5. All those things you suspect? Yeah, probably true.
  6. I would love to be wrong about this one, but it sure looked to me like the right corner of Harrison Ford’s mouth droops a little bit.
  7. J.J. Abrams knows how to play up a scene for maximum suspense, before doing the obvious thing.
  8. Of course there’s a trash compactor!
  9. Droids are good at comic relief. And it’s amazing how small an astromech can be these days!
  10. Nice set up for the sequel. Hope they don’t screw it up.

In Closing: TPP is still not good; Department of Homeland Stasiliars; obvious; sandwiches. I hope to put together something soon about the current proposal to make the No-Fly List into a No-Gun-Buy List — a proposal that only got traction after a mass shooting happened to be perpetrated by a Muslim instead of an angry and/or crazy white man.

Tilting at Windmills

Today’s 2016 Election news — and remember, despite the clown car of candidates, the actual election is still over a year away — is perhaps the only time that Jim Webb will be the top story. He’s dropping out of the race. The next part is just bizarre. Reuters put this best:

Former U.S. Senator Jim Webb said on Tuesday he will drop his long-shot bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and explore an independent run for the White House.

Yeah. Low in the polls, but he claims that’s because Anderson Cooper is a big meanie who let Hillary talk twice as long as him. So even though by his own admission independents don’t win, he thinks he’s got a shot.

Maybe he should invest in lottery tickets instead. They’re a better bet.

In Closing: Love this guy’s art; it’s in the stars; Bronies are now apparently a subject of scholarly research; at the very least, taxpayers should not be funding unsafe activities for children; I still think PreCheck is a bad idea if the TSA is really trying to stop terrorists (and a brilliant one if they are really trying to control the masses); on the economy; oops! and pizza alternatives — most can be made vegetarian, a few can probably be done vegan, some can be done gluten free.

Is that the best you can do?

Today I came upon this image:

I agree that the news media often choose not to report things that are important in favor of things that get ratings. However, the list of “what you should know about” is focused on environmental issues and barely gives lip service to other important things the media isn’t covering. Here’s a few things you should know about that might not make your evening news:

  • The TPP isn’t dead yet; if it gets ratified, you will have fewer rights and corporations will be more powerful. Heck, you might not even know the TPP was a thing if you relied on the evening news.
  • The cops can use devices that force your cell phone to tell them where you are — unless a judge catches them.
  • You aren’t imagining. You are working harder for less.
  • Those politicians out there trying to earn votes for an election over a year from now are mostly bought and paid for by special interests.
  • There’s probably a kid that died in your metropolitan area, too.
  • There are multiple humanitarian crises going on in the world right now.
  • Over 40,000 Americans commit suicide each year. That works out to one every 13 minutes, and one a day in my city. You might be able to do something about that.
  • Since the list was a bit food centric, here’s a food item: Congress doesn’t think you need to know where your meat was raised.

And that’s just a short list.

In Closing: Liverpool; ramen; resume; then she should find a job that doesn’t require her to do things that conflict with her religion (oh, you thought I was talking about that marriage license thing?); not having the desired effect on his image;

A Couple More Random Things I Learned

I’ll keep it short but sweet.

So, I go to a Jewish school: I only recently learned that for purposes of kosher cuisine, fish is not considered meat. I should have figured this out when I was 3 and learned the joys of bagels, lox, and cream cheese. However, I grew up in the kind of household where kishka might well be served with pork roast.

On Diversity: Your eyes don’t look like mine. My hands don’t look like yours. That’s pretty obvious, right? What might not be obvious is that our other parts probably don’t look the same either. Most students learning anatomy use drawings and models that are somewhat idealized. Sometimes what you see in reality isn’t what you saw in your textbook. Not everyone realizes this until they are confronted by it.