Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Fry Gnocchi




Via BoingBoing





The End of DADT

Barbara Morrill from Daily Kos sums it up nicely:
The repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was passed on a final vote of 65-31. There are unverified reports that John McCain's (R-AZ) legs fell off.





DeNiro and Hoffman Deadpan Letterman Appearance

While granting that the Fokker franchise is a long way from "Taxi Driver" or "The Graduate", if they're going to agree to shill for their latest film on the talk show circuit, shouldn't DeNiro and Hoffman at least sit up straight in their chairs?

Watching Letterman read past movie glories from sheets of paper while his guests schlumped down in their seats was probably as painful to perform as it was to watch, but I'm not a professional TV watcher, while they are considered highly-regarded actors.

So act interested, will ya?

What an awkward segment.




Monday, December 13, 2010

If You Were Born Today

Low - If You Were Born Today (Song for Little Baby Jesus)






Monday, December 6, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We Need Wikileaks

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people....To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship. - Theodore Roosevelt


Bully. Bully.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nukes and Scrotums

Department of Energy agents can drive our nukes around while intoxicated, but the only way to keep America safe is for some TSA dude to fondle my nutsack before I catch a flight.

It all makes perfect sense now.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Proper Words for Democrats

I've been doing a slow burn since the election as the avalanche of excuses for why Dems lost the House and some key Senate seats has roared down the media mountain.

Thankfully, David Sirota has taken the time to summarize the issues at hand.

Go fuck yourself because all of your arguments are about what policies should be pursued to rescue Democratic politicians' electoral future, rather than about what policies are needed to rescue, say, the fucking country's future. Additionally, go fuck yourself because if you know so much about winning elections and if you are so sure conservadem-ism/Blue Dog-ism is the way to win said elections, how come it was the conservadems/Blue Dog candidates - not liberal candidates - who lost the most elections this year?


Also, go fuck yourself because the fact that you are even trying to create the same old bash-the-liberals debate exposes you not just as substantively wrong, but as professionally employed to despoil our culture with bullshit -- and specifically, with bullshit that you know is bullshit. That, really, everyone knows is bullshit.

David lays out all the reasons why Dems lost. You should give it a read.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Matt Taibbi on Olbermann Suspension

How Matt Taibbi is able to continually squeeze through the bullshit and come out crystal clear on the other side is beyond me, but his analysis of the Olbermann campaign contribution kerfuffle is spot-on.

We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney's hair and Tiger's text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined... and it's Keith Olbermann who should "pay the price" for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?


This is absurd even by GE's standards. There is no reason, not even a theoretical one, why any journalist should be prevented from having political opinions and participating in election campaigns in his spare time. The policy would be ridiculous even if we were talking about an evening news anchor -- because the only "ethical" question here is the issue of NBC wanting to preserve the appearance of impartiality and being unable to do so, because political contributions happen to be public record and impossible to hide from viewers.





Republican Priorities

"Republicans won big on election day. They say their two big priorities are cutting taxes and reducing the debt. Which is sort of like wanting to lose weight and win 'Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.'"

Jimmy Kimmel

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Krugman - Results, Not Process

I listened to part of Obama's post-election presser today, and I had to turn it off. I thought about what he was saying and knew I had a problem with it, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why.

Thankfully, there's Paul Krugman:

Nobody cares about this stuff — they care about results. Nobody really cares about earmarks; they’re just code for spending less (less on somebody else, of course, not me). Nobody cares about civility and bipartisanship, which in practice are code for Democrats giving in to Republican demands. Nobody cares about parliamentary maneuvers: we can argue about the role of health reform in the election, but I bet not one voter in 50 knows or cares that it was passed using reconciliation (as were the sacred Bush tax cuts we must, must retain).


If Obama had used fancy footwork and 2 AM sessions to pass a big public works program, and this program had brought unemployment down, Republicans would be screaming about the process — and Democrats would have comfortably held control of Congress. Remember the voter backlash against the way Medicare drug benefits were passed? Neither do I.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chamber of Whores

GRIT TV has put together a damning behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that details from where the money comes, and to what the money goes.

If you think the U.S. Chamber in any way aligns with the mission of your local Chamber of Commerce, prepare to be shocked.






Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eight False Things The Public "Knows" Prior to Election Day

Baffled as to why these misperceptions still exist.

Could someone please tell journalists to write 1000 words on reality. I realize this might be more difficult than simply cutting and pasting press releases from the GOP, and columnists might not get invited to the cool parties anymore, but for crying out loud.

On a positive note, I'll bet half of Americans can name eight contestants on Dancing With The Stars.


Flood of Opaque Funding Drowning Democracy

The Citizens United decision was terrible on several levels. We're already seeing the effects of torrential special interest money cascading through this election cycle. I just want to veg out and watch an hour of television, but that means sitting through a monsoon of campaign ads full of lies, half-truths, selective interpretations, and negativity. I can't do it.

Money rules politics and government. It always has, and it always will. The system is engineered to ensure that never changes. I get it.

Thankfully, there are still a couple of folks who believe in transparency. Will Tom Perriello win? No idea. But I'm glad he's fighting the good fight.





Wikileaks and War

It's really lousy that a lone, low-ranking military intelligence operative could violate his oath and our morality by leaking hundreds of thousands of electronic documents gathered during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That said, if the press corp was doing its job, and our government could tell the truth and maintain some sort of temerity to stick to American values and traditions, Wikileaks would be irrelevant.

We reap what we sow sometimes. Let the outrage begin.



Image via Wikimedia Commons




Stop - Vader Time








Friday, October 22, 2010

Creationary

I'm gonna put two hotels on that dinosaur, then sit back and watch the loaves and fishes roll in.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Six Steps to Suicide

This is a fascinating piece in Scientific American about the six primary steps in the escape theory that culminates in probable suicide when all the criteria are met.

In considering people’s motivations for killing themselves, it is essential to recognize that most suicides are driven by a flash flood of strong emotions, not rational, philosophical thoughts in which the pros and cons are evaluated critically. And, as I mentioned in last week’s column on the evolutionary biology of suicide, from a psychological science perspective, I don’t think any scholar ever captured the suicidal mind better than Florida State University psychologist Roy Baumeister in his 1990 Psychological Review article , “Suicide as Escape from the Self.” To reiterate, I see Baumeister’s cognitive rubric as the engine of emotions driving deCatanzaro’s biologically adaptive suicidal decision-making. There are certainly more recent theoretical models of suicide than Baumeister’s, but none in my opinion are an improvement. The author gives us a uniquely detailed glimpse into the intolerable and relentlessly egocentric tunnel vision that is experienced by a genuinely suicidal person.




James Harrison Has Sand In His Panties

Hey, James Harrison. The rules apply to you, too.

As much as I love Steelers football, either be a professional or retire already.







Image via Wikimedia Commons



Condom Bagpipe

Is this necessary?

On a side note, I practiced safe sax in high school. Alto.






Gays in Space






Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh Java, Why Do You Hate Us?

Brian Krebs, writing in his Krebs on Security blog, comments on reports from Microsoft that the number of attacks against Java vulnerabilities has overtaken attacks against Adobe products. Adobe is obviously breathing a sigh of relief.

Says Krebs:

My research shows the reason for the spike, and it precedes the 3rd quarter of 2010: Java exploits have been folded into a number of the top “exploit packs,” commercial crimeware kits sold in the hacker underground that make it simple to seed hacked or malicious sites with code that exploits a variety of browser flaws in a bid to install malware.

All automation, all the time. Point and click assaults on known threat vectors. If you install it, they will come.

I'm less concerned because I run Linux boxes, but I still exercise caution with the Java in my environment. Relying on Java's auto-update feature has proven woefully inadequate.

Krebs has previously recommended removing Java from your machine if possible, but it's so intertwined with browsers and third-party apps that successfully getting Java off and keeping it off is a Herculean task.



Obama Opera?






Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tea Bagger Welfare

Love Matt Taibbi:

But these Tea Partyers make themselves fair game with their preposterous absolutist stance on government. If you call Obamacare radical socialism and unemployment insurance a parasitic welfare state program—well, guess what, asshole, you’re going to get rung up when we find out you had your whole family living off state medical aid and farm subsidies.




Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Unemployment Musical Chairs

Gin and Tacos has a plaintive piece on the absolute futility of expecting either party to solve the unemployment dilemma via more magical "job retraining" programs:

The problem, of course, is that we can retrain people until the cows come home and it won't matter because the jobs aren't there. We keep adding more people to the game of musical chairs, and if the number of chairs doesn't increase it really doesn't matter how quick the players are. So when the White House announces the thousandth "job training initiative" of the last 20 years in response to the current levels of unemployment it is hard not to laugh. Retraining for what? The stated goal is to match the unemployed with the needs of the major companies behind the plans, including Gap and McDonald's. It's sad that people need to be retrained to reach the level of competence necessary to fold sweaters at Old Navy or supervise high schoolers at McDonald's. Anyone else wonder if the difficulty in filling those positions, if indeed there is any, has anything to do with the fact that an adult can't live off of the money they're paying? Can't quite "retrain" ourselves around that problem, can we.

No, we can't.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Age of Denial

I think Peter Daou is right:

America is in an Age of Denial, a time in which intolerable injustices are widely ignored, from preventable hunger, poverty and disease to irreversible environmental destruction to the global oppression of girls and women.

It is an age where wealth disparities are at record levels, where a war based on lies and deceptions that resulted in unimaginable carnage is heralded as a success, where the assault on basic rights and liberties is greeted with a yawn — if not a cheer.





Friday, September 24, 2010

ATM Keypad Shielding

If you're not shielding the ATM keypad before entering your PIN number, this video will demonstrate the error of your ways.



With the use of card skimming devices on the rise, and given the public's inability to determine if an ATM has been compromised, shielding the keypad is one of the only defenses available.

Via Gawker





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ask Not For Whom The Football Tolls

When did I become the guy who stays up past midnight to watch both halves of a Monday Night Football double-header, knowing my alarm goes off a 6?



Arrrrrrrr....



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wealth, Religion, and David Brooks

Matt Taibbi is poking at David Brooks again, but I happen to agree with this particular passage:

A few weeks before that I tried on a friend’s recommendation to get into Entourage and gave up after it struck me that it was the same show as Sex and the City – a drama about a foursome of impulsive yuppies with lots of disposable income who spend half of each show buying brand-name consumer products to make them feel better about having no brains/soul. And the plot of pretty much every reality show is the same: ordinary middle American Joes with poor taste meet silver-tongued, fake-boobed Hollywood/New York shopping expert, who tells them what a shitty house they’ve been living in and what ugly shoes they’re wearing, and hands them a bunch of cash so that they can shop themselves back to superficial respectability. The public seems to have a limitless appetite for this awful stuff, which makes me wonder if it’s possible to clinically diagnose an entire country with depression.




Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Critical Adobe Reader Flaw Virtually Ignored

If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Such is the conundrum faced by philosophers for generations.

What if a critical flaw in Adobe Reader was demonstrated before a group of security professionals at the Black Hat conference and none of them made a sound, either?

That's what Charlie Miller must be thinking. He's the security expert that presented the vulnerability at Black Hat. His lament?

"Adobe security is so bad that […] not a single person tweeted it. Sad."

Adobe has acknowledged the flaw and is said to be working on a fix. Whether the patch is released out of band or at Adobe's next scheduled quarterly security release remains to be seen. Also unclear is the list of versions impacted by the vulnerability. The only good news is that there are no reports of exploits in the wild.

Some question how many more security blows Adobe can endure before going down for the count. My response is to look at Microsoft's track record. Many years into their latest secure coding push, Redmond is scheduled to release 14 patches to close 34 vulnerabilities in their August 2010 Bulletin Release. This mandates a massive amount of testing and deployment for enterprise customers, yet Windows is still the dominant operating system and office suite. The cost of switching away is substantial due to user training, infrastructure, and application impacts that it's almost cheaper to stick with the ugliness you know.

The same holds true for Adobe. It's the PDF reader with the most saturation, and not just among corporate environments. Home users are virtually guaranteed to have Adobe Reader installed on their systems, even though fully functional alternatives exist. Many have found Reader installed as a bundled offering from another application. The home user is also more likely to have an unpatched operating system and outdated software offerings, making exploit trivial. Antivirus protection? Please.

Adobe's install base and numerous versions places the company in the same predicament as Microsoft. There's a lot of old, insecure stuff out there, and even offering an automatic update solution only partially solves the problem. If Adobe can get 80% of the vulnerable installs patched, that still leaves hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of ripe targets out there. And when the next critical Adobe flaw appears - and you know it's when, and not if - the hamster wheel spins again.

My advice is the same as always. Dump Adobe products for less target-rich alternatives. A simple Google search on PDF readers will return scores of options onto your screen. Be sure to completely uninstall any Adobe software currently on your machine, being wary of third-party apps that might have plunked down some version while you whistled through a boring install routine. If in doubt, use Task Manager to look for processes associated with Adobe products.

Otherwise, abandon hope all ye who enter Adobeville. Like another Scream sequel, this will not end well.





Sarah Palin Thinks Obama Is Over His Head

If there's one thing in which Sarah Palin does have some experience, it's being over her head. So there's that. Also.



Via Gawker


Dog(s) Days of August



It's almost too hot to pee. Almost.

Sofia Vergara Fights With Gordon Ramsay on Leno

I love Sofia Vergara. I do not love Gordon Ramsay. Evidence shows my logic is correct.



Rachel Maddow - Prop 8 Decision



XKCD: Atheists




XKCD




Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dick Pen

My penis is very ergonomic. I should know. I've been holding it for nearly fifty years.

I wouldn't mind having a BioErgonomic pen, even though I do a lot more typing that writing these days. Anything that's better for my body gets a thumbs-up.

But does it need to look like a johnson? And will the tip dry out if I don't put the cap back on?

Can I call it the Bic Dick?

Does it come with its own rollerballs?

Does the ink turn the paper yellowish over time?

I believe I will stop now.

Geekologie




Severe, Rampant Diarrhea Can't Be Good

I've started taking a super-powerful antibiotic that targets bacterial infections, and the warning label says that severe, rampant diarrhea may occur, sometimes weeks or months after treatment.

I guess killing the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal system while also knocking off bad bacteria elsewhere is something of a trade-off.

I hope I'm not in the middle of a long car ride if this kicks in. That would suck.

For everyone.





Beatles Flowchart







































GraphJam


Monday, August 2, 2010

Fox Gets A Front Row Seat

Various news agencies and bloggers are at different levels of Defcon over the White House Correspondents Association decision to move Fox to the front row in the White House briefing room.

No one outside of this infuriating clique cares unless the result is lower unemployment, exits from two wars, and no more hungry children.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wrightsville Beach Diner

Anyone have a favorite diner in Wrightsville Beach?

I'm talking about the kind where the hash browns are crispy-crunchy, the coffee is strong, and the staff is not your standard cast of tourist trap characters?





Drill, Baby, Drill: A Coke Talk Analysis

Dear Coke Talk goes all Professor Peabody when asked about the vacuous phrase, "Drill, baby, drill."

The etymology of the phrase “drill, baby, drill” is derived from the legendary words attributed to Bill Epton, a militant black activist who was jailed for uttering “burn, baby, burn” in response to the Harlem riots of 1964

And:

Once upon a time in America, a black man was convicted and imprisoned because the words “burn, baby, burn” were an incitement to violence. A few decades later, a black man was elevated to the chairmanship of the Republican Party because the words “drill, baby, drill” were an incitement to jingoistic fervor.

So how does she manage to translate the past to the present?

I know, you weren’t expecting me to go all college professor on you. You probably just asked about this because you wanted me to talk shit about Sarah Palin. After all, she’s the one who made the phrase popular.
That’s fine. I have no problem with that. Thing is, that empty headed cunt runs around parroting “drill, baby, drill” to her political base of half-retarded right wing nutballs, and I doubt she’s ever heard of Bill Epton. She wouldn’t have a clue as to the ironic etymology of the phrase. She’s too fucking dumb.

Smart, acerbic women are wonderful.

Image via geoffgresh's photostream on flickr



Meaty Spam in my Inbox

Judging by my spam folder, there's an audience for secretly capturing my hard meaty stick. Who are these people, anyway?



Friday, July 30, 2010

Angry Weiner

That's one hot Weiner. I relish these puns.



More of this, please.



US Broadband Speeds Slower Than Kyrgyzstan

Recent surveys detailed at TechDirt inform us that the US ranks about 27th in broadband download and upload speeds, behind such technological powerhouses as Kyrgyzstan.

I'm calling this the "Borat Effect," so you'll need to pay me if you use that. Real moneys, too.

We're falling behind is just about everything due to two factors: greed and cowardice. US broadband providers want to extract as much profit from their business as possible while providing the bare minimum to attract and retain customers, and our Congress and administration are more than happy to accept campaign contributions from broadband providers while ensuring that nothing improves.

Needed: Technical Learnings of Kyrgyzstan for Make Broadband Glorious Nation of America.

Image via Wikimedia Commons



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Louis C.K. on Being White



Microsoft's 'Community Watch' Approach to Security

Ars Technica reports:

At the Black Hat security conference today, Microsoft championed a new approach to addressing security issues. The new emphasis is on collaboration between software vendors and security researchers to ensure that customers are kept as safe as possible.

Microsoft likened its approach to Neighborhood Watch schemes—secure computing cannot be achieved with software vendors and researchers all working independently; the landscape is too complex and the attackers are too numerous for this approach to work. Instead, companies must set aside their differences and work together to safeguard customers.


I'm familiar with how neighborhood watches operate. Come with me while I take a jaunty trek through Mr. Ballmer's Neighborhood.

Hey Steve. You left your garage door open.
Yo. Steve-o. Your front door was ajar all night. Again.
Did you know all your Windows are cracked, Steve?
Nice siding and shutters you've got there, Steve. Plan on installing a roof?
Umm, not sure if you noticed, Steve, but Linus Torvald's house seems to have a cloak of invisibility.

Remember, we're all in this together.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ron Livingston Does Keyboard Cat



Times are tough for Captain Nixon. This is why you never turn down a fancy shirt from Carrie Bradshaw.