I am on record as saying that I think there was a lot that was sus about the 2020 election, but that it probably wasn't stolen. Furthermore, even in the event that it WAS, there's no way to prove it, because the more lurid claims about software issues are, INHERENTLY unprovable in the absence of an opening up of the voting machines code. And the more lurid claims frankly are pretty retarded....no way in hell China was running the voting machines for instance.
The best that could be done is to adopt paper ballots and strict ID requirements in the future so that concerns, wether they come from Stacey Abrams, Al Gore, Or Donald Trump can be swiftly put to rest one way or another.
This has been my position since about February. While the second paragraph is still solidly my position, my faith in the wisdom of the first turns out to be at odds with one of the most important rules of political discourse in current year.
So.... the polling firm Rasmussen, has produced this twitter thread, which was linked to by Ed Driscoll over at Instapundit the other day, and I've just been walking in circles pulling what's left of my hair out for the last few hours because this thread and the stories it links to are, frankly, crazy-cakes.
Thing is, Republicans have been pretending that Democratic election 'victories' were fair and binding for a very long time.
It takes careful tapdancing to go with the current popular historical narrative on the evils of the confederacy and of Jim Crow, and to then fail to draw certain conclusions about whether Wilson, FDR, JFK, etc., were really necessarily legitimately elected.
Thing is, Americans in general could at least trust that JFK was not a communist, and would not be carrying out a mass murder. Rape sisters, wives, and daughters, sure, but they didn't know about that, and such is much easier to conceal than plans for mass murder.
Biden and Biden's backers should have taken the L instead of compromising confidence in election outcomes when it was so apparently likely that the communists would be pushing for complete control and mass murder.
The blatantness of consistently insisting that electronic voting machines can be and must be secure in the current environment is the most reliable grounds for an inference of fraud, that anyone can study to be point of being confident of. But, there are only 300k electrical engineers employed in the US, and most of those are not security people, so the specifics of the a) hardware security matter in combination with b) the PRC being a hostile state and c) politicians warning us that hostile states may be meddling in US elections may be not be obvious to a general audience. PRC has hardware fabs, and the lawyers prevented us from being able to have any confidence from physical security that local collaborators had not temporarily replaced the hardware internals with PRC gimmicked hardware.
My first reason to infer that the PRC and Democrats were working together was 2016-2020, the breadth of the accusations made against Trump, and the noticeable absence of accusations that he was a PRC crony. He sells real estate to rich people, and the PRC has/had a lot of rich people hedging risks with real estate outside of the PRC.
One answer is that the DNC, or at least Pelosi's California faction of Democrats, was a subsidiary of the PRC. Another answer is that the Democrats calculated that it would be safe to annoy Putin, and it would not be safe to annoy the PRC.
I am fairly resolved that treating elections as illegitimate until we get a comprehensively secure election process can potentially be done by peaceful means. Screw the claim that future presidents will have any obligation to respect the legacy of Biden, or any other similarly apparently fraudulent 'presidents'.
Posted by: Pat Buckman at Tue Oct 25 08:07:32 2022 (r9O5h)
Seven percent of the 80,000-square-foot Van Drunen Farms freeze-drying facility in Momence, Illinois was burned and declared a "total loss.â€ This MAY be one reason freeze dried 'survival food' has gone up so much in the last few months, though it had been skyroketing before that.
An explosion destroyed a potato/corn processing plant. Other reports I've seen noted correctly that this plant was responsible for supplying most of the western U.S. However, all omitted the little detail that what this plant supplied the western U.S. with was potato chips and nachos. This is not as big a catastrophe as some might suppose.
The largest Soy-processing plant in the U.S. caught fire. It appears to be a fire in a filter used to de-dust the air and prevent fuel air explosions, but I'm not sure. The article mentions concerns about this disrupting soy production in the U.S....um....
This one has been widely reported and it was a serious fire that caused injuries. the plant will be down for 18 months. However it made snack chips and cookies....so this is not exactly vital infrastructure.
A fire at the Nutrien Ag Solution facility (fertilizer plant?) in Sunnyside, Washington may have been a near-run-thing since an evacuation order was issued for a half-mile radius of the facility. The fire burned through 1.7 million pounds of sulfur used for fertilizer. No one was injured in the fire, but there's even less fertilizer now.
This was a consequential fire. A 1.2-million-square-foot Walmart grocery distribution center burned for multiple days in Avon, Indianaâ€”350 fire fighters and 30 fire agencies fought the blaze, which consumed massive stocks of food bound for locations all over the country. This has reportedly put a strain on Wal-Mart's supply chain. Note that the BATFE is still investigating the fireâ€™s cause, 3 months later.
This looks to have been quite serious, the loss of more meat-packing capacity is most unwelcome now, though there will likely be plenty to spare by fall. I like how the report mentions that the cattle were "rescued". As they were at an abattoir, I suspect their reprieve will be short.
A plane crashed into a potato processing plant. This is tragic, but did not disrupt the plant in any way. It does not seem suspicious, but this was the incident that seems to have gotten people talking about food plant terrorism last month.
Organic food distributor Azure Standard lost its headquarters to a fire on April 19. This was offices, not a production facility and it is unlikely that a serious effort to disrupt food supplies would waste resources on something as niche as organic foods.
The facility has the word "Azure" in its name. This gives the sad lonely weebs who run this blog a dubious but sufficient rationale to post a pic of Zara, from Azure Lane that is appropriate to the season, but not the workplace.
This one is interesting because the were able to go into their file and use a 'stock photo of a Nutient AG Solutions plant burning'. (see photo in article #9 above, this is the second from the same company on this list)
OH MY GOD!1!! Another plane crash! Why are planes kamikazeing in to our food processing plants!?
Actually, a plane crashed near a FPP, on property owned by the plant where plant equipment was stored. The plane was also carrying passengers. The article mentions two passengers killed but does not mention the pilot. Like the other plane crash above, this does not seem to be suspicious, but it's one of the ones that really got people talking about this matter.
A fire at a soy processing facility [political/cultural joke goes here]. As it happens, this is only about a 45 minute drive from Brickmuppetburg. Minimum impact, no one killed. Included for completeness.
Train derailments seem to be up this year, probably due to cascade effects of the supply chain chaos. While it TECHNICALLY involves food infrastructure it's not really evidence of targeting food production. But, hey, it got us to 25.
200,00 chickens killed on an egg farm in a massive fire. Honestly they frequently kill more chickens right now culling for chicken flu (which is very much a thing now). A fire in one of these chicken farms can start because of dust/dander and they are terribly fast when they do. This would not be worth mentioning but for all the rest.
Not much is known about this one, but it seems to have been minor due to the quick response.
25 of these incidents seems like a lot and a few few of the fires are suspicious, but that doesn't indicate a conspiracy.
The two plane crashes that have caused so much worry among some don't appear to have anything to do with any plot to incite famine.
What I suspect is happening (in most instances) is that we are seeing the results of the hysterical COVID response. People are overworked because of personnel issues due to the disease and they are making mistakes. Also, maintenance has been perfunctory at best everywhere for over two years (this is also because of COVID) so I'd guess that contributes to why things are breaking. That certainly sounds plausible in the case of the plant where the dust filters caught fire. Note however that I am not a mechanic, nor an engineer. I have a degree in history so my opining on this phenomenon is just a layman spitballing.
I expect things are going to get worse before they get better.
While I can't speak to more critical infrastructure like all these mills, processing, and packing plants, I can certainly attest that property maintenance in general took a big hit. As my company is starting to re-open offices, there has been a ton of back and forth with property management companies about things like air filter replacement, fire alarm tests, fire extinguisher replacement, even things like annual elevator inspections, that hasn't been getting done the last couple years while the buildings have been mostly empty.
Posted by: David at Tue Jun 14 01:36:59 2022 (D6Mju)
Despite the hysteria, this decision (that is theoretical and hasn't even been handed down yet) does not outlaw abortion, but puts the question where it belongs, in the state legislatures. I fear a good dead of blood and treasure will be lost in a hysterical overreaction and in an attempt to intimidate the court.
UPDATE: I don't usually spell 'decision' d-e-c-i-o-s-i-o-n. But when I do, I'm generally blogging. Fixed.
Moskva's Last Patrol
A Journalist on Twitter, Sotiri Dimpinoudis posted these pics last night and they are making the rounds today.
We still don't know a lot, but there are reports that the Cruiser was hit by two Neptune missiles. Damage control/Damage assessment are not my forte' but the pics look consistent with those reports. I've seen people protest that there are no obvious blast holes like was apparent on U.S.S. Stark when hit by an Iraqi exocet. Moskva was a very substantial vessel, MUCH larger than a frigates and the missiles are small things. Also note this footage of HMS Sheffield before she sank due to another exocet hit.
HMS Sheffield was a smaller ship than Stark yet there is not the same spectacular obvious blast damage. There is certainly damage but its much closer to what we see on Moskva. Note too that in the case of both Stark and Sheffield the most serious damage was caused by the fire started by the rocket motor.
I don't have any idea what happened and am not technically qualified to speculate on damage control matters, but I don't think it is wise to dismiss the Ukrainian claims of a hit with their new missiles out of hand.
I suggest you go read this rather sober piece by Cdr Salamander who notes that the life-rafts on Moskva did deploy. He also notes the difficulties that a ship faces in range of enemy missiles. The Russians have not covered themselves in glory during this abominable campaign, but it is foolish to assume that every setback they face is a result of incompetence. The Moskva was old but VERY well equipped and as flagship she would have had a crackerjack crew. We would do well to draw lessons from her loss rather than engage in mockery.
We should save the mockery for those in our educated class who despite layers of fact-checker posted this picture claiming it represented the incident being discussed.
The examples of USS STARK and HMS Sheffield is pertinent because each has an element in their incident that could have gone into Moskva's loss.
STARK had, by all accounts, a competent crew but a lack of attention at a critical point and the lack of promptness in servicing equipment resulted in the frigate getting nailed by Exocet missiles. While the crew loss was horrible, the STARK lucked-out because she avoided a a true 'kill shot' hit.
HMS Sheffield, on the other hand, had a competent crew and was materially prepared for war, but a lack of attention (Made worse by past alerts of attacks that failed to materialize.) resulting in a blase attitude toward the danger, and equipment interference allowed a successful Exocet attack. Despite that, it still required an enormous amount (Or lack of.) luck for the damage to be as severe as it was - IIRC, one Brit poster on the old sci.military.naval USENET group quipped that the hit was a classic Golden BB shot, because you could not have placed the warhead any better even if you did it by hand.
Right now, we still do not know enough from the Moskva to draw anything other than a few basic conclusions. Her loss might have matched the case of the STARK, the case of the Sheffield, a mix of the two, or something entirely different. We do not know enough at this time and even what is probably true is still in dispute. One of the few things that can be confidently predicted is that Moskva will not be the last ship lost in the war, and that Moskva might not be the worse loss at sea in the war.
Posted by: cxt217 at Mon Apr 18 19:39:45 2022 (MuaLM)
In two separate incidents, NATO and Russian ships have been noted doing very provocative acts... the Russians sending a warship to Denmark in a gross overreaction to the seizure of a Russian merchant vessel and a U.K. and Dutch ship practically sailing into Sevastopol uninvited.
In both cases the incidents never happened, but there was some alarm at the time as the international AIS database showed them happening in real time.
Thoughts on China
Rudyard looks at some trends in Chinese History and their implications for the present.
I agree that the current dynamic is essentially a return to Legalism, but I think he underestimates how much communism has broken the trio of Chinese schools of thought by virtually eliminating the religious side of their life.
Thousands of years of Chinese history of massive bureaucratic states suffering organizational rot until setting everything on fire, metaphorically, is the only way to retire the previous understanding of what lies to tell to whom.
Because distance and number of bureaucrats in a reporting chain are both time, empires at that scale have certain characteristics.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Sat Oct 9 12:31:02 2021 (r9O5h)
Iodized salt loses its iodine content over time (~5 years), and according to Morton, the anti-caking agents in many commercial salts become less effective over time; still safe, but harder to get out of the container.
Posted by: J Greely at Thu Aug 19 23:52:50 2021 (ZlYZd)
For the same reason bottled water does... packaging failure.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Aug 20 14:49:58 2021 (4TJz+)
A Few Questions About the Freedom Phone
There was a big stink last week about a new phone being marketed.
The Freedom Phone is advertised as prioritizing privacy and security. It comes loaded with several free-speech-oriented applications (and Gab) and has several privacy features including something called 'Trusty' which is advertised as a secure phone operating system.
Now there have been numerous criticisms of this endeavor...rather an awful lot, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and, here. That's a small fraction of the stories.
The phone itself appears to be a cheap Chinese model (Umidigi's A9-Pro) purchased in bulk from Ali-Baba for about $119 U.S.. Given the 500 dollar price of the Freedom Phone, this seems to approach the iPhone in mark up.
However, while it is noted that the same result could be had by jailbreaking, stripping out and reprograming an A9-Pro with Trusty and all the other free speech apps (and Gab) that skillset is beyond those who are not tech hobbyists.
For my part, I am a....I am a Mac user. Thus, the only thing I know about computers is that they require good industrial design to keep the magic smoke in the machines, enabling the sorcery to activate the magic mirror that sees through the tubes that interface with the ley lines.
That is, perhaps, an extreme example, but jaibreaking phones and selecting apps that enable privacy is beyond the ken of those for whom smartphones are essentially black box technology. An excellent argument can be made that people should have a basic understanding of the kit we use, but that is not the reality of the present for a great many people, which leads to my first question for the tech literate amongst my readership: Is 300 dollars reasonable to charge for jailbreaking a phone, stripping it of its data and OS and installing a secure OS and apps (as well as Gab) ?
Perhaps more importantly, are Trusty and the other apps really able to be considered in any way secure? I thought that passage through the ley lines was managed by the mighty warlocks, like AT&T or Verizon, meaning that one's data is passing through those that will sift through it.
I'm also curious how much HARDWARE vulnerability is inherent in a phone designed and built in China, as I understand it, for the domestic market. I understand that there is no capacity for domestic production of smartphones in the U.S. but the PRC is not the only place with that capacity, finland, India and Taiwan come to mind.
The notion that someone associated with 'Conservative Inc.' might be a squalid grifter is not beyond the scope of believability.
The idea that this might be a grift is a very believable one...and yet....
There is an AWFUL lot of what appears to be concern trolling on this matter. Tim Pool suggested that the people doing Freedom Phone are taking fire because they are over target, and the media fusillade against the project is reactionary. However, he has not examined one of these things.
I don't know enough to make a decision, so I ask you gentle readers, (well the tech savvy amongst you) what do you think of this thing are there any prticular red flags not mentioned in the numerous reports on it or can a Chinese phone (or any phone) be made so it will protect the user's data via software modifications.
And if that is the case, are there any horses left in that barn?
I don't know that anyone has actually proven that the hardware encryption available to that phone, and others that use various Chinese domestic chips, has backdoors or the like, but I also don't know anyone who truly believes they don't. At the very minimum, the level of encryption provided, even if not explicitly back-doored, is insufficient to stand against any determined attack.
As for as what your network provider can get, you can generally assume that the encrypted content of what you send is safe, but that what kind of data you're sending, and to whom, is not. The protocols to support hiding even who you're talking to are gaining encryption support, but it's not there in usable terms yet.
My thinking on where we are vis a vis the whole encryption vs government and big tech spying, at least here in the US, is that you can't effectively keep Amazon, Google, etc from knowing way more about you than you'd like, in terms of who you talk to, where you go, what you read, your source of news, etc. The govt simultaneously knows both more and less, but has huge problems knowing who and what to actually look at, so unless you do something that raises red flags, it's more a concern in principle than in actual fact. And of course, "trying to encrypt everything you do while displaying thought to the right of Mao" is a very large red flag.
Posted by: David Eastman at Tue Jul 20 14:09:36 2021 (t/97R)
No such thing as absolute security. It is always a test against what people are willing to put into breaking in. If you are not carefully considering physical security, hardware, software, etc., you are overlooking a vulnerability. Media fire is because the PRC cannot afford to have it realized that they can and will dick around with the hardware they supply, even though they are known to be doing so. Smartphones are basically a bad idea. Assume anything on them is compromised, and put nothing important on them.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Tue Jul 20 15:40:27 2021 (6y7dz)
I'm curious about this phone and like the idea of it. Even if it is a generic smart phone, I don't mind the kind of markup discussed - it would be worth it to me since I lack the time & knowledge to 'jailbreak' a phone on my own. I don't mind letting a capitalist make extra money from me. The deal-breaker for me is 'made in China'. We know they mess with the hardware. I'd be willing to pay more for a phone made in a less adversarial country (assuming the chips aren't imported from China).
Love your blog. I've probably been reading over 10 years now.
Posted by: Steve S at Wed Jul 21 18:37:35 2021 (wcJ16)
That amazing bit of Babbagery has to have the capability of typing a MINIMUM of 1945 characters. I wonder if some of those keys are just radicals and there's a function similar to capital and lower case for putting together select words. Anybody used one of these?
Anyway, with the development of the integrated circuit and word processors the procedure today is much simpler allowing a larger pool of typists.
Apparently it had a total of 1,172 characters, including kana, alphabet, digits, and punctuation, so it was limited to specific kinds of correspondence. I imagine they had variants for specific industries (military and banking were prominently mentioned in several sites that turned up in a quick search).
Posted by: J Greely at Sun May 9 10:58:16 2021 (ZlYZd)
related: I recall reading in a 1970s Guinness BoWR that the record for fastest typist in Chinese (Mandarin, I assume?) was 11 words per minute.
No, that wasn't a typo. How did they publish newspapers?
Posted by: Ubu at Thu May 13 16:52:56 2021 (UlsdO)
Well, I had INTENDED to get Through this Sinister Day Without Encountering any News
Today Congressional Territorial Delegate San Nicolas decided to celebrate the Ides of March by ordering the Guam National Guard to march on the offices of Representative Marjorie Tailor Green (Q, GA). It seems that Green, as part of her general policy of saying shameful, retarded shit, had inquired as to why there were foreign soldiers from someplace called "Guam" in the U.S. Capitol. The Delegate from Guam was justifiably offended...and, being a Democrat, decided to fight ignorance with a horrifying affront to civics and military discipline.
The Guam National Guard Troops The Retarded MTG asked about are activated and stationed in the Capitol because Xo Bai Din is returning everything to totes normal.
Congress, whether they be Delegates, Representative or Senators are TOTALLY outside the chain of command. They do not give orders to troops.
Using the military to intimidate a congressional representative of the opposite party is about as junta-like as one can get.
Participating in a political action in uniform is a major UCMJ violation. When I was in, we could have faced discipline for this...given the added context of following unlawful orders from outside the chain of command might have resulted in a tour of duty at Leavenworth.
The GNG troops were either ignorant of the rules and basic military civics or did not care to follow either. Whatever the reason, this speaks to frighteningly poor training.
The same goes for the Delegate, who used the troops to make a political statement illegally, though I doubt that ignorance was a factor with him.
Like everything nowadays this has become polarized. I've had conversations with and read missives by people, including a few friends who are convinced the Redditards are in the wrong, and are the only bad actor here. Some have made it plain that to disagree with them on this point is to reveal oneself as a bad person.
Here is where I take off the mask and reveal myself to have been secretly working for the forces of darkness all along.
I think the Redditards are probably assholes. They likely are vulgar, blunt and rude people, who don't engage in the insincere social niceties so necessary for polite upper middle class society. Hell, they're probably just jerks and I don't think they'd be fun to hang out with.
I do NOT think they did anything wrong here.
I think the hedgefund shortsellers in the affair are probably well-spoken affable individuals, articulate and fun to be around.
I think that shorting struggling companies 140 percent is and this being a common practice, is troubling. I think that the ability of a few firms to do this in such a way it affects the whole market is scary. And I think that the stink of corruption in the firms with fiduciary responsibilities to the hedge funds ; the ones that stopped trading, but not selling, on the very stocks that the hedge funds desperately wanted people to sell...is suss to say the least. I think that lying about one's liquidity to investors and customers is not a best practice.
Finally, I think that struggling companies that might have turned the corner, not being crushed like grapes before they have the chance to maybe save the livelihoods of their owners, investors and at least some of their employees...well that's not bad per se.
As for a bunch of assholes making money because they saw a legal opportunity and took it? Well, more power to them.
Did some people get hurt in this? Yes, those with retirement funds...like mine have gotten burned. But they got hurt, not because some asshole on Reddit NOTICED that hedge funds were manipulating the market, but because the hedge funds pursued a short squeeze in the first place.
So there, your milage may vary, but now you all know.
The vast depth and breadth of my evil is laid out before you. Get your affairs in order, I'll be crossing the Rivr Isen on Midsummer Eve...and I'll be wearing black.
(Or something...June 21st is in the middle of my vacation this year but COVID makes it hard to plan. )
Today was the first day in 2 weeks I've worked more than an hour and a half. There's been an astonishing drop in volume at my work over the last 2 weeks. There always is a severe drop after Christmas, but before Christmas we had Christmas level volume because of the COVID restrictions...which have gotten much more onerous during that time.. Now I'm not laid off, I have sufficient seniority that when they lay people off I can volunteer to be one of them and I've had errands, family issues and doctors appointments so I've taken advantage of that several days, but we're still very short of volume. Even in slack years, even in January, we did not finish unloading packages after an hour and a half on a nominally 4-5 hour shift.
Given the increasing intensity of he lockdowns and the volume of vaccines that we were getting before this week, one would expect a heavier than normal January. Indeed the first two weeks of the month (which in my 28 years of experience are usually dead) were remarkably heavy.
In general the end of January and beginning of February are a bit heavier than most of the post-Christmas winter since stores are restocking their inventory. However, this is the very time that we're seeing volume DROP.
One shipping center is not representative of the company, let alone the economy. In fact it's a ridiculously inadequate data point, but it is concerning, and the lack of pay is of some personal concern.
U.S. economic numbers lag a fair bit in relation to the current time, so I checked out the Baltic Dry Index, which is a current measure of the cost of international shipping. It is an imperfect metric, particularly now as COVID restrictions have likely added considerable overhead to shipping costs, but in general it is a leading indicator of how robust world trade is, the lower the cost the less trade is happening.
The sudden, unexpected drop in volume from its aberrant and bonecrushing highs to lay-offs where I am may be a localized phenomenon and should not be a cause for undue concern.
A focus group of one is a woefully inadequate data set.
However, in my 28 years of experience our volume trends quite closely with the overall economic health of the nation, so I'm very curious if anyone else here has noted any drop-offs in economic activity.
This is not just around Moscow either. There are currently protests in 109 cities across the largest country on Earth and I've heard reference to Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk in some of the video coverage. Also; according to the NYT article above, these protests are taking place in temperatures as low as minus 68 degrees Fahrenheit which would seem to indicate a certain level of passion and motivation on the part of the protestors. Over 3,000 people had been reported arrested as of 23:05 GMT.
Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in hundreds cities in the largest country on the planet, which controls a large percentage of the worlds oil reserves and which has the largest nuclear arsenal on Earth....
This seems seems like it ought to be getting rather more coverage than it is here in the U.S.A.
I do not know anything about Nalvany or how, in what is presented to us as a country with fairly strong social media control, he got such a following, but I'm very interested in finding out. Anyone who, you know, speaks Russian or has insights into this situation...feel free to sound off in the comments.
This is one of those times when I wished World Affairs Journal had not completely vaporized. They had good commentators who could explain issues like Nalvany situation.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sun Jan 24 13:04:56 2021 (4i7w0)
Navalnyi is a piece of poop. But it's not a reason enough to poison him. BTW, when Putin ordered a hit of a retired terrorist living a good life in Germany, his contractor used a gun (Glock 26). So it's not always and exclusively poisonings.
My familiarity with Navalnyi goes back some 20 years to the days when he was a blogger. Or, actually, he started as a fairly typical small-time entrepreneur of dubious repute. However, he somehow managed to turn his poor luck at shady dealings into a conflict with the corrupt politicians. He very soon realized that it was more lucrative and the rest is history.
A friend of mine, being dissatisfied with the brutal and corrupt regime of Putin, tried to make me read Navalnyi's posts. It was a complete garbage. But it worked great on people in thrall of his charisma.
I didn't want to bring all this up because it was a long time ago and my memory is often faulty. However, two days ago a court ordered Navalnyi to prison for violations of the terms of his parole. It was an absolute circus like you would not believe it. Navalnyi was raving like a lunatic, screeching in disbelief that they can apply laws to his esteemed persona.
Back in 2013, when his corruption seemingly caught up with Navalnyi, he was sentenced to 5 years. But he didn't serve any time, because laws are for the little people. This sentence was commuted to parole. While on parole, he managed to get into some other trouble with the law, and yet again he didn't do the time. This time it went like this:
JUDGE: Mr. Navalnyi, please explain why you neglected to meet your parole officer in 2019.
NAVALNYI: He dared to ask me to come on Monday but I'm an adult, I have my own life! Thursday was more convenient for me!
JUDGE: So, you realized that you're violating the rules of parole and continued to do so, is that correct?
NAVALNYI (yelling): I don't give shit about your rules or you parole!
It was just absurd. Navalnyi's entitlement can rival that of Pelosi, but he was in front of a judge for crying out loud.
Interestingly enough, they didn't throw a book at him even now. He only got 2 years and 8 months, and will appeal yet again, I'm sure.
Navalnyi's crazy antics come in stark contrast with the late N. Nemtsov. Instead of spewing poorly sourced, poorly produced propaganda, the latter compiled an investigative report on Putin's ill-gotten wealth. I thought it was a more significant attack on the regime than mad ravings, but perhaps I was wrong. What's interesting, Nemtsov was supposedly killed by outraged Chechens, who were offended by the way Nemtsov mocked Ramzan Kadyrov, a brutal warlord who kept Chechnya in line for Putin. Kadyrov acolytes were known for such behavior, for example attacking some Swedish critic with hammers a few years ago. Moscow office of criminal prosecutor managed to find the killers, but of course rumors circulated that Putin architected the assassination through his friend Kadyrov.
He is a heroic reformer, by the logic of the events. Imagine being idolized this much. It's not like he's got a choice.
In addition, here's a Russian joke:
Guy A: It's unbelievable how corrupt politicians are these days. I'm going to run for office?
Guy B: Do you want to end corruption?
Guy A: No way, I want to take part in it!
I'm not a fan of the YouTuber, but whatever one thinks of him, having a stalker is a dreadful thing, and having them show up at your house is absolutely terrifying, beyond the pale and not acceptable. Deadly force is authorized. However, Boogie's response was...sub-optimal. I've seen a lot of hot takes on this bit of drama over the last week but this one is notable for not being stupid.
Flash Gordon and the Ministry of Truth
Actually it's just Flash and the Ministry of Truth.
And to be honest any resemblance to the MoT is pure speculation on my part.
So were going to blame* Pixy for the stupid post title because he used a Flash Gordon pun when he linked to this post over at the Google Dev blog boasting about how they are going to put Flash (the animation program, not the planet hopping baseball player) to bed. For some reason the anonymous Hangul-proficient blogger is smug about it.
IT and cybersecurity are not at all in my wheelhouse, but I understand that there are some security issues with Macromedia Flash, so there might be some technical justification for this decision. However no such reason is mentioned anywhere in this announcement. There is this though...
Flash was the answer to the boring static web, with rich animations, media, and actions. It was a prolific technology that inspired many new content creators on the web. It was everywhere. The Flash runtime, which plays Flash content, was installed 500 million times in the second half of 2013. I still remember my son playing endless number of Flash games until my wife yelled at him. It's time to go to bed, son. Hey Flash, it's your turn to go to bed.
It goes on to mention that anything using flash will no longer be visible via Google Search and they seem inordinately pleased with themselves about this loss of functionality, so much so that it got me to thinking about "chocolate rations" and since NO technical reason was given I find myself focusing on what they did say seems to make little sense. Let's review: "Flash YAY! Wonderful tool Yay!" We're cancelling it! Yaaaay! Oh, and we're totally your momma." Or further contexualized and simplified..."Derp!"
So now we've got to read between the lines, which is always fraught.
We see them note that Flash opened up the web and was intimately associated with an era of intense creativity, However, sifting through the white pixels we note that what is not said is that this growth was driven by amateurs and people who came from the outside who were generally un-credentialed but talented and brought about a vast and disruptive age of change that Google is now trying to tamp down on.
There are a lot of Flash games and a lot of sites still use flash, some of them quite worthy ones. These will soon be lost, at least to those who don't maintain specific browsers. However, the Flash games are not done by the big companies, and the use of flash is a hallmark of an earlier era, one characterized above all by irreverence and freedom that Google/Alphabet would very much like to close the door on. The sorts of sites that use Flash, and the sorts of ideas presented in many of those animations are the sorts of knowledge that Google and their ilk would just as soon purge, if they make those sites unsearchable, they will have done so.
Now. It is important to appreciate, or at least assume that people one disagrees with do not, as a rule, share their motivations with Snidely Whiplash, or some Captain Planet villain sitting in their headquarters cackling that "Today..I will be EEEEVIL!" However, I find it hard nowadays, at least with with Google, to not ascribe their actions to malice.
There are IT people who frequent this site.
Please explain in small words to this Bachelor of History why Google's decision is a solid one from an IT perspective and does not actually serve to erase a big swath of knowledge and history from the 'net. For bonus points explain why what appeared to be sadistic and patronizing glee is justified and appropriate.
*Note: This does not constitute any actual evidence of causation or responsibility on the part of Pixy Misa. Pixy is merely being blamed.
This list of identified security vulnerabilities in Flash goes to 22 pages. And it was very much a case where patching one vulnerability created two more. Flash by it's very nature was never going to be secure, it provided a level of execution that requires lots of security attention, and it was written before people gave security more than a passing thought.
Flash games were so prolific because they weren't terribly hard to write, and you could practically guarantee that the flash player would be installed on your potential user's machine. But the target environment is much more fragmented now with the various mobile platforms, and it's not honestly much harder to write a trivial flash-level game HTML5. But the much juicier fruit of a full ios/android game is just one small step up, so many of the people who might have churned out a dozen simple flash apps in the past now go work on a single mobile game instead.
But of course the apple store and google store won't publish a lot of the stuff that got distributed as a simple flash file in the past.
Posted by: David at Mon Nov 4 16:48:15 2019 (A/T0R)
The carnage of old flashes is sad, but it's nothing compared to old apps (remember Barcode Kanojo)? And frankly no price is too high for getting rid of Flash.
I told Steven about it when he used Flash for the banner rotation at Chizumatic. Now we're just going to differ in opinion about it, forever.
1) Flash is disabled by default in Chrome (and pretty much everywhere else these days; much like Java web apps, for most people it simply doesn't work any more).
2) Web pages containing Flash content will continue to be indexed, but the contents of the Flash files will not.
3) Direct links to Flash SWF files will not be indexed at all. (so if a site is Flash-only with no fallback to HTML, it will effectively disappear)
Putting that together, it looks like online archives containing Flash content will continue to work and be indexed based on what's in the HTML, so you'll still be able to find and play Nanaca Crash, for instance. What's missing from the blog post is the actual impact, X sites and Y SWF files, searched for by N people (with Z instances of malware available); that's information someone plugged into Google could easily have presented, as a trend over time, but left out because it likely doesn't support the claim that this change is useful and meaningful.
Posted by: J Greely at Mon Nov 4 17:21:35 2019 (ZlYZd)
There's a ton of flash animation content on DeviantArt that will die.
Posted by: Mauser at Mon Nov 4 22:48:01 2019 (Ix1l6)
Another Question For You, Gentle Readers
I know that there are people here who do research into events that were recently current, so, I've got a question.
Is anybody else finding it REALLY hard to find old news articles online?
One example. I can't find a lot involving the American response to the Russian movement into the Donbass back in 2009-10 2014 and particularly the fact that at that time there were actual Nazis (not neo-, not alt-right, I'm talking Jew Hating socialists sporting a Crooked Buddhist Sunwheel) in the Ukranian parliament.
I'm not a particular fan of Milo, but I recently tried to look up info on the hit job against him. I found plenty on the false accusations, but I had to use the mee.nu search engine to find one of my own posts with 6 links debunking them, none of which were searchable without EXACT wording.
BTW, RWBY season 7 starts Nov 2nd. And they've greenlit seasons 8 and 9.
Posted by: Mauser at Sat Oct 5 14:23:28 2019 (Ix1l6)
Russians in Donbass in 2009? That sounds a little off. The "revolution of dignity" occurred in the winter of 2013-2014. Russia annexed Crimea in February 2014. The cleansing and genocide of ethnic Russians in Donbass was carried out in spring, which prompted the rebellion by summer. Russian help started arriving by August, which is when I think it's plausible to talk about Russians into Donbass. But hardly in 2009-2010.
I think I know what this is. It's DARPA, so it's a research program, not a practical one.
They want to know how information spreads across the internet (and other mechanisms), to learn, for example, whether it's better to directly respond to Russian disinformation accounts on Twitter, to simply ignore them, to run counter-programs of verified facts, and so on. And beyond that, whether you can pull information out of online posts to spot possible disease outbreaks before they can be identified through the usual channels.
They tried to launch a similar program in 2013, but then the whole Snowden thing happened and government overview of social media became far too hot a potato.