Hardly Anyone Likes Them

April 18th, 2017

http://m.sfgate.com/news/article/Mountain-Lion-takes-small-dog-from-South-Bay-11078690.php

A mountain lion snatched a small dog from a Pescadero bedroom in the early morning hours Monday, after the residents reportedly left their French doors partially open for the dog to go outside, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office.

The dog, a 15-pound Portuguese Podengo, was at the foot of a bed near the dog’s owner and a child when it woke them up around 3 a.m. by “barking aggressively.”

The adult witness told authorities she saw the shadow of an animal come into the room through the French doors, grab the dog from the bed, and walk out. When she grabbed a flashlight, she saw “large wet paw prints” near the bedroom’s entrance, and called 911.

Fifteen pounds, eh? That’s Deathwalker at about 9 or 10 months old. He’s bigger now.

And as for the mountain lion? He got rid of an annoying yappy little rat, and had a snack in the bargain. Nice.

Berkeley Update

April 18th, 2017

Here’s an interesting little snippet from the Berkeley PD’s “Event Planning Checklist”:

https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/854132172172611584

The highlighted sections read:

• Would you like symbolic arrests?

• If so, where and when?

I guess that’s an example of the “serve” part of “Protect and Serve”. Of course, if you were to try to stage a pro-2A rally there, you’d be out of luck on that one. Then again, it’d never get that far, as the organizers would be arrested for inciting terrorism or some such.

I’m so glad that 1984 is just a novel and not a training manual.

Getting Closer

April 15th, 2017

There was a pro-Trump rally (billed as a free speech/tax day thing) today in Berkeley. Yeah, I know, IRL trolling, and it worked. Sure as the sunrise, the Antifa thugs showed up and employed pepper spray and fireworks against a Constitutionally protected activity.

So far, I haven’t seen any news articles on this, but this guy has an aggregation of videos:

http://theralphretort.com/brawl-berkeley-fight-breaks-antifa-launchs-pepper-spray-firework-trump-supporters-4016017/

Unlike previous incidents, people are fighting back against these thugs.

The coppers? Sure, right there to arrest at least one person defending himself (according to the link).

This is going to continue until it’s too painful for these thugs to do their shtick. By painful I mean gunshots, complete with bodies needing to be taken to the morgue. This, unfortunately, is a short-term solution. Yes, it’ll make Antifa scarce, but at the same time, it’ll bring the cold civil war we have now hot. And I’m pretty sure that would be a bad thing.

– Linuxblogging ™

Aside: embedded videos from Twitter play just fine in Ubuntu, instead of the normal “the media could not be played” message I generally get using IE. Looking better all the time, I’m tellin’ ya.

UPDATE 1930hrs, 16 April: There’s a lot more coverage out there now. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding out about this.

Ummm

April 14th, 2017

So today we have this:

http://nypost.com/2017/04/06/goldman-sachs-is-ready-to-crash-the-world-economy-through-space-mining/

The global investment bank Goldman Sachs has claimed mining asteroids for precious metals is a “realistic” goal.

It has released a report exploring the possibility of using an “asteroid-grabbing spacecraft” to extract platinum from space rocks.

“While the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower,” the report said, according to Business Insider.

My first impression is that removing a bloated Federal agency (NA$A) and replacing it with a gigantic bank is hardly the way our venture into space should go. On the other hand, given the start-up costs, there might not be any realistic way for private prospecting to get going other than to buy and use old and surplused equipment as it becomes available.

Possible lolcat reference, talking about the metal asteroid Psyche 16:

It is valued at $10,000 quadrillion, according to Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the lead scientist on the NASA mission.

$10,000 quadrillion? That sounds a lot like “$elebenty” doesn’t it?

Anyway:

It is believed an asteroid the size of a football field could be worth up to $50 billion.

However, bringing that much platinum back to Earth is likely to crash the precious metal market – and probably the rest of the economy with it.

That’s another reason to be deeply suspicious of this Giant Bank In Space thing. Not the “crashing the economy” part, but the focus on bringing back to Earth resources that will be needed to colonize the Solar System. The writer is undoubtedly a J-school graduate with as much knowledge of economics as you or I do, which is to say almost nothing, so I’d take this assertion with a grain of salt. But still, this is not the direction we need to be going in. It might be that Earthside economic exploitation is the only way to do this, but none of us has to like it. Then again, a revolt against a commercial entity won’t be as dangerous as trying to throw off the yoke of a nation-state.

Linux Blogging

April 13th, 2017

Some years back I got my sweaty mitts on an ASUS EeePC, a 1005HAB to be exact. It had XP Home on it, and for awhile it was a nice little machine. Nowadays, though, XP is old, slow, and creaky, and IE8 doesn’t play well with the current Internets, so it’s been just sitting there for the last couple of years.

I’ve been toying/thinking about some flavor of Linux for more than a decade, but hadn’t actually done anything about it. Well, kinda: I have the installation disks for Linux Mandrake around here someplace, but I have never used them.

So now we come to that giant ball of suck and fail known as Windows 10, plus that Windows 7 will stop being supported in 2020, and procrastinating is off the table.

Re-enter the Eee. There’s a flavor of Ubuntu known as Eeebuntu, which has all the proprietary drivers needed to make the Eee run properly. Now that was based on Ubuntu 8, and it had some problems. Then came the fix, which was based on U9, and that was much better, but still not perfect, so I sequentially updated Ubuntu (which is the proper way to do it) to 12, then 14, and now 16. These are all LTS, Long Term Support, and all the Eee thingies work just fine.

So all of today’s blogging is being done on the Eee, using Ubuntu.

What’s it like? Well, M$ has a small army of lawyers without enough to do, so the GUI is enough different to hold them at bay. What that means is that everything is the same, yet different. It took a lot of time at first to find things, but with some trigger time, that objection is rapidly fading away.

Actually, the “worst” part is the tiny keyboard on the Eee; the OS is just fine. A major plus is that unlike Windows, Ubuntu doesn’t fling things all over the HDD, so you don’t need to constantly defrag the disk. In fact, there’s no such thing as a defragging program available.

As the end-of-support for Win7 looms, I will be installing Linux, likely Mint as of this writing, and walking away from Microsoft and its datamining and big brotherism for good.

Linux is looking better all the time ™.

New Cat Videos

April 13th, 2017

Since we all know that it’s impossible to have too many cat videos on the internet, I’ve uploaded two new ones:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc_2zT5XLbVYvHWQVm9OA7Q

Well, Lookit That

April 13th, 2017

It’s a day ending in “y”, boys and girls, and you all know what that means!

Time to bash NA$A!

http://www.space.com/36447-apollo-mission-control-to-be-restored.html

Over the past 50 years, NASA’s Mission Control in Houston has undergone a number of upgrades, improving the technologies that support humans in space. The facility’s next renovation though, is notably focused on achieving the opposite — rolling back decades of changes to return its most famous room to how it looked when the first astronauts landed on the moon.

The Mission Operations Control Room, located on the third floor of the Christopher C. Kraft, Jr. Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Texas, is about to get a $5 million restoration to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and serve as an inspiration for the generations of visitors who come to see it on public tours.

$5,000,000.00? I wonder where that money is coming from? Trick question! Of course that money is tax dollars, what did you expect?

I understand the desire and even the need to preserve an important historical artifact such as Mission Control. But I look at the various ship museums around the country and note that the overwhelming majority were done with private donations and not funds that were stolen from us at (implied) gunpoint.

And again, this is for a museum. Just think what SpaceX could do with five million dollars.

It’s going to be a great day when NA$A is torched. I’m gonna bring hotdogs and s’mores.

Finally

April 13th, 2017

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/04/13/fast-and-furious-suspected-triggerman-in-border-agent-brian-terrys-murder-arrested/

It’s been seven long years, but the alleged triggerman suspected of shooting and killing Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010 with a U.S. government-supplied gun was apprehended in Mexico Wednesday.

BREAKING: Suspected triggerman in border agent’s murder which sparked Fast and Furious scandal arrested https://t.co/ernWTb7yEY #FOXNewsUS pic.twitter.com/3HOkQgX2g9
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 12, 2017

The suspect, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, allegedly used a gun from Operation Fast and Furious, the gun-running scheme set up under then-Attorney General Eric Holder. Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area gun shops with the purported intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

For those of you who rely/trust centrist or right-leaning news sites, here’s an example of why that’s a Bad Idea. “allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area gun shops with the purported intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.”

No, no, a thousand times NO. F&F was an attack on the Second Amendment, using the lie that “90% of the guns used in Mexican crime come from American gun shops and gun shows”.

I guess that it’s a good thing that the murderer is going to face the music. And then I remember that none of the people who thought up F&F, none of the people who implemented it, and none of the people who covered it up have faced any consequence whatsoever.

Another Hero In Blue

April 13th, 2017

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170401/21055337058/deputy-loses-immunity-battering-arrestee-tightly-handcuffing-him-three-hours-as-punishment.shtml

No excerpts, go and read the whole thing.

I’m going for a walk to calm down.

PS: Remember that this asshole is acting on our behalf and is being paid by us to act the way he did. (Jeez, now I’m PO’d all over again. Time for another walk.)

Maybe We Should Rethink This

April 13th, 2017

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/04/inmates-built-computers-hidden-in-ceiling-connected-them-to-prison-network/

Inmates at a medium-security Ohio prison secretly assembled two functioning computers, hid them in the ceiling, and connected them to the Marion Correctional Institution’s network. The hard drives were loaded with pornography, a Windows proxy server, VPN, VOIP and anti-virus software, the Tor browser, password hacking and e-mail spamming tools, and the open source packet analyzer Wireshark.

That’s according to a new report (PDF) from the Ohio Office of the Inspector General, which concluded that the geeky inmates obtained the parts from an onsite computer skills and electronics recycling program. The agency’s IT department, according to the report, initially was alerted to a connected device, using a contractor’s stolen credentials, that had “exceeded a daily Internet usage threshold.” The computers were operational for about four months. After a three-week search, they were discovered above a training room closet in an area off limits to unsupervised inmates. Ultimately, the authorities traced cable from a networking switch to find the devices that were assembled with discarded computers from an Ohio aircraft parts company and an Ohio school district.

First off, criminals are gonna crime, so I’m not all that surprised. Then there’s the part about the people you’re holding being more adept at some things than are the people who are keeping them locked up.

This leads me to my point: prisons are state-run Time Out centers for the misbehaving. And being Government run, we have a one-size-fits-all paradigm going on. I’m not saying that we should scrap the prison system, because there are any number of miscreants that need to be locked away from the rest of us. However, I think that some attention should be paid to the individual inmate and then he/she should be assigned some work or task that keeps them so busy that they don’t have the time to cook up a scheme like this.

Then again, this is Government I’m talking about, so it’ll never happen. Look to see a repeat of this story in some other prison.