Gone To Since 1984

And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.

George Carlin

  • May 28, 2014 5:04 pm

    It's on: Apple cranks up the Beats for $3 billion

    By welcoming Beats into his portfolio, Apple CEO Cook is acknowledging a shift away from its pioneering iTunes pay-per-song model and toward streaming audio. He also is side-stepping founder Jobs’ insistence that all Apple hits be crafted in-house.

    I guess we’re not counting iTunes (which started life as SoundJam MP until Apple bought, re-skinned, and renamed it) and of course iPod, which was Apple industrial design around the PortalPlayer reference platform and Pixo software. So, yes, excepting those two massive omissions in the most directly comparable field to that which you are writing about, Jobs insisted on only Apple crafted hits.

    Additionally worth noting that Jobs apparently outsourced Apple misses. Looking at you, Cube.

  • January 13, 2013 11:39 am

    Any Reasonable Definition

    Dear media, please read and understand every word of this before your next utterance re: Aaron Swartz:

    MIT operates an extraordinarily open network. Very few campus networks offer you a routable public IP address via unauthenticated DHCP and then lack even basic controls to prevent abuse. Very few captured portals on wired networks allow registration by any vistor, nor can they be easily bypassed by just assigning yourself an IP address. In fact, in my 12 years of professional security work I have never seen a network this open.

    In the spirit of the MIT ethos, the Institute runs this open, unmonitored and unrestricted network on purpose. Their head of network security admitted as much in an interview Aaron’s attorneys and I conducted in December. MIT is aware of the controls they could put in place to prevent what they consider abuse, such as downloading too many PDFs from one website or utilizing too much bandwidth, but they choose not too.
    MIT also chooses not to prompt users of their wireless network with terms of use or a definition of abusive practices.

    At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network. The JSTOR application lacked even the most basic controls to prevent what they might consider abusive behavior, such as CAPTCHAs triggered on multiple downloads, requiring accounts for bulk downloads, or even the ability to pop a box and warn a repeat downloader. Aaron did not “hack” the JSTOR website for all reasonable definitions of “hack”. Aaron wrote a handful of basic python scripts that first discovered the URLs of journal articles and then used curl to request them. Aaron did not use parameter tampering, break a CAPTCHA, or do anything more complicated than call a basic command line tool that downloads a file in the same manner as right-clicking and choosing “Save As” from your favorite browser.

    Aaron did nothing to cover his tracks or hide his activity, as evidenced by his very verbose .bash_history, his uncleared browser history and lack of any encryption of the laptop he used to download these files. Changing one’s MAC address (which the government inaccurately identified as equivalent to a car’s VIN number) or putting a mailinator email address into a captured portal are not crimes. If they were, you could arrest half of the people who have ever used airport wifi. The government provided no evidence that these downloads caused a negative effect on JSTOR or MIT, except due to silly overreactions such as turning off all of MIT’s JSTOR access due to downloads from a pretty easily identified user agent.

    I cannot speak as to the criminal implications of accessing an unlocked closet on an open campus, one which was also used to store personal effects by a homeless man. I would note that trespassing charges were dropped against Aaron and were not part of the Federal case.

    These facts are just not that complicated. Do us and yourselves a favor and look into them. Understand them. Then report.

  • June 11, 2012 12:34 pm

    "If you try to imagine the Republican consensus after a potential losing election, it will look like this. It will recognize that its harsh partisan rhetoric turned off voters, and will urgently want to woo Latinos, while holding on to as much as possible of the party’s domestic policy agenda. And oh, by the way, the party will be casting about for somebody to lead it."

    Jonathan Chait, getting almost everything completely wrong. In the wake of a 2012 Presidential defeat, the GOP will immediately declare that the loss was really due to voter fraud, white voter intimidation, “massive” negative spending by The Democrat and Unions, and a generalized malaise caused by Romney not having been “conservative enough.” The only answer: go more conservative. This is quite consistently how they react to all electoral setbacks; a pattern they’ve been following for these past two decades or more. Narrow electoral victories for the GOP are massive mandates; losses are the result stolen elections or otherwise non-binding outcomes that were exacerbated by a lack of true-believer conservatives in whatever positions were at stake. Why suddenly stop now? What has changed? What possible political or strategic upside do they see in “playing along”? Why would they even know how to legislate from compromise and whatever passes for centrism? Seriously, I’m asking; they who hold these offices and will (largely) hold them post-2012 have likely never worked in this way in their careers. But somewhere around lunchtime on January 20, 2013 they are suddenly getting their opposing number on the horn to talk real business? Seriously, we are meant to believe this, Jonathan (and, for that matter, Obama)?

    A loss at the top of the ticket in 2012 will not be a moment for reflection, or a “centrist move” that’s been likened to the fever breaking. It will, instead, be an occasion to take it even further right. Impeachments will become a daily affair. Nothing will move. Default will be used as the default hostage for everything. And etc… Basically just like it is now, but about 100x worse. Based on recent and not-so-recent history, nothing could possibly be more clear to everyone outside the DC commentariat: if Obama wins, we will be counting our lucky stars that gridlock happens to result in long-term positive policy outcomes over the next 9 months or so. Because nothing else will be happening other than weekly or even daily Constitutional Crises.

    But, as I said, Chait does get one thing right: they’ll be looking for a leader. And but also it won’t be Jeb Bush. Think more along the lines of Bachmann but even more crazy. That’s who will emerge. Basically whatever lunatic gets the most play out of the most popular impeachment movement. Maybe that’s Santorum, but I suspect he will seem rather retrograde and far too Liberal to play in 2016. We may look back at him wistfully by then as the far-right GOP candidate who was pretty palatable by comparison. Because one of them is going to win sooner or later.

  • March 4, 2011 4:35 pm

    If it's Jobs Friday, It's John Boehner

      Boehner, January 7th, 2011:  Any signs of job growth are encouraging, but 9.4 percent unemployment and a $14 trillion debt are by no means adequate to get our economy growing. Hard work lies ahead to reduce uncertainty, start creating jobs again, and restore confidence in our economy. It isn’t new faces Americans are looking for – it’s new policies that will cut spending and grow our economy. These are the priorities of the new House majority. We have already implemented reforms to make it easier to cut spending, and cut our own budget to demonstrate our commitment to making real cuts and tough choices. Today, we will take the first steps towards repealing the job-killing health care law, so we can replace it with reforms that will lower costs and protect jobs. Our economy will ultimately recover, but it will do so because of hard work and entrepreneurship, not more wasteful Washington spending.
      Boehner, February 4th, 2011:  The president's spending binge is hurting job creation, eroding confidence, draining funds away from private investment, and spreading uncertainty among job creators
      Boehner, March 4th, 2011:  The improvement seen in this report is a credit to the hard work of the American people and their success in stopping the tax hikes that were due to hit our economy on January 1. Removing the uncertainty caused by those looming tax hikes provided much-needed relief for private-sector job creators in America.
      Lemkin:  So, to review, jobs numbers were up in January because of generalized excitement around forthcoming and fantastical GOP policies, down in February because of "Obama's spending binge" that somehow managed to overshadow those still forthcoming and fantastical GOP policies, and then up in March because of non-tax hikes that didn't take place in the future. Makes perfect sense to me.
  • February 8, 2011 11:15 am
    And I’ve been wanting to learn more about nothing! Preferably through the liberal application of carefully disguised bromides.

(courtesy of the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator) View high resolution

    And I’ve been wanting to learn more about nothing! Preferably through the liberal application of carefully disguised bromides.

    (courtesy of the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator)

  • August 18, 2010 3:10 pm

    "As Robert Altman once told me, “If you never gave me a bad review, what would a good review mean?” He was a great man. He thought over what he had said, and added: “But all your bad reviews of my films have been wrong.”"

    Roger Ebert in “Ebert’s Little Rule Book” on reviews, integrity, and Robert Altman

  • July 8, 2010 9:44 am

    Jackass knowledge


    Metafilter with well over 500 responses on wrongness:

    What in life did it take you a surprisingly long time to realize you’ve been doing wrong all along?

    I once cooked expertly with my rangetop stove, when I moved to the city of Kobe, something I frankly knew nothing about. The device was waiting for me in my village apartment when I arrived, so I did to it with food what it seemed wont to do, interpreting its icons as called for. Toast in one area, fish in another, mochi, and so on. I had it all worked out. I spoke of this phenomenon with pride until, abruptly, a Japanese friend pointed out I had juryrigged it beyond recognition. I was doing it all wrong. And badly.

    Since 1995 — when it was sort of coined by an episode of This American Life (00:00-04:01) — it’s been fun to call out “Jackass Knowledge.” There’s a point in conversation, a point at which information begins to thin, to stretch, to bend, and you take that shred of information you read online, in the Times, or heard from a friend, and you stretch it beyond where it truly belongs. It often comes in the form of talks we get into on subjects like partially hydrogenated oil, the frontal cortex, sustainable coffee bean suppliers, and the pythagorean theorem. The trouble is when you have a little information, you can go to far. And then, you’re well, you know.

    Interesting. One of the quotes that jumped out at me:

    That weird Arby’s logo is stylized drawing of a cowboy hat. I thought it was a fish jumping out of a loaf of bread until I actually went to one and discovered that there was a real dearth of fish on the menu.

    I guess if I look hard, squint, and pretend I’ve never seen a cowboy hat and consider various species of whales to be fish, then I get it. Still don’t see the loaf of bread…maybe the whale done smushed it. The mind is a mysterious place.
    Jesus, however, is definitely in the HEB sign.