Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are you SURE you want an iPhone?

Jobs and company just keep making it harder and harder for me to want to buy their shit. New feature, undisclosed third parties can cripple your five hundred dollar iPhone at whim.

The leading computer company [Apple] plans to build a system that will sense when people are trying to video live events — and turn off their cameras.

A patent application filed by Apple revealed how the technology would work.

If an iPhone were held up and used to film during a concert infra-red sensors would detect it.

These sensors would then contact the iPhone and automatically disable its camera function.

People would still be able to send text messages and make calls.

The new technology is seen as an attempt to protect the interests of event organisers and broadcasters who have exclusive rights to concerts.

Because mere Apple -customers- have no interests or rights that need protecting, of course.

And of course the only place the special infra-red sensor/iPhone video shutter-offer thingie would ever be used is at a concert, right?  Mean people would never be able to buy/steal one, right?  And nobody would never be able to hack this concept to just shut the whole phone off, right? Or make it do something they want it to do but you don't?  And no basement genius would be able to make one out of a TV remote, right?


Are these Apple guys deliberately trying to get us all to buy Blackberries?  I know RIM is hard up and all, but geeze.

The non-iPhone Owning Phantom

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sneaky new ways to keep the Net up.

H/T to wifi LunchboxGuy for this NY Slimes story, seems Uncle Sam has been spending some money on creating sneaky ways to keep the Internet up and available for people in places like Egypt and Syria when the government shuts it down.

The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, as well as one operation out of a spy novel in a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype "Internet in a suitcase."

Financed with a $2 million State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communication over a wide area with a link to the global Internet.

The American effort, revealed in dozens of interviews, planning documents and classified diplomatic cables obtained by The New York Times, ranges in scale, cost and sophistication.

Some projects involve technology that the United States is developing; others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers in a so-called liberation-technology movement sweeping the globe.

The State Department, for example, is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.

Sadly the Times article is seriously low on details, I guess they don't want the "secrets" to get out.

The Phantom

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Death is life? Life is death? I'm so confused...

New idea, Australia has a plan to save the planet by killing camels.  No, this is not the Onion.  But it could be.

Killing a camel to earn a carbon credit may seem a curious way to tackle climate change, but one country is poised to allow investors to do precisely that.

The camel culling plan is one of the first to arise under the Australian government's new "carbon farming initiative", a scheme that lets farmers or investors claim carbon credits if they can show they have cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Hatari! ?  Not so much, sadly.

All "removals" will be humane, the company says, with shooting done by "animal welfare trained and accredited marksmen".

Yes, they promise to make sure nobody has any fun with this.  Not the hunters, not the camels, and not the "investors". But its all in a good cause!

Dr Moore said one camel emitted about one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, measured as 45kg of methane, plus they consume about one tonne of vegetation eaten.

He says each camel's death will result in an "emissions avoidance benefit" of about 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Imagine how much carbon you could save by killing every frickin' camel in the whole frickin' WORLD!  Lets get right on that!

The Phantom Camel Destroyer

Should we be more worried? UPDATE, YES!!!

Anybody out there remember back in March 2010 there was a little news story about the US Department of Education buying shotguns?  I noted this in a blog post at the time.  My take was, WTF does the Dept of Education need shotguns and body armor for?

Well, I just found out.  They have their very own SWAT team.  Yes friends, the US Department of Education has a SWAT team.  For f-ing real.  Dig it:

STOCKTON, CA - A federal education official Wednesday morning offered little information as to why federal agents raided a Stockton man's home Tuesday morning.

The resident, Kenneth Wright, does not have a criminal record and he had no reason to believe why what he thought was a S.W.A.T team would be breaking down his door at 6 in the morning.

Seems they were rather badly behaved as well.  The jackboots, that is.

According to Wright, officers also woke his three young children, ages 3, 7, and 11, and put them in a Stockton police patrol car with him. Officers then searched his house.

"They put me in handcuffs in that hot patrol car for six hours, traumatizing my kids," Wright said.

As it turned out, the person law enforcement was looking for - Wright's estranged wife - was not there.

Wright said he later went to Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston and Stockton Police Department, but learned the city of Stockton had nothing to do with the search warrant.

Federal warrant for a person who did not live at the address in the warrant.  Genius.  But it gets better!

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton confirmed for News10 Wednesday morning federal agents with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), not local S.W.A.T., served the search warrant. Hamilton would not say specifically why the raid took place except that it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Hamilton said the search was not related to student loans in default as reported in the local media. 

OIG is a semi-independent branch of the education department that executes warrants for criminal offenses such as student aid fraud, embezzlement of federal aid and bribery, according to Hamilton. The agency serves 30 to 35 search warrants a year. 

The Dept. of Ed maintains its very own police force/special weapons attack squad to serve thirty five (35) search warrants annually.  That is completely insane from almost any angle you look at it. Duplication of effort much? 
Plus, a no-knock raid such as the one described is supposed to be a last resort, reserved for armed and dangerous subjects with a high likelihood of injuring police and/or bystanders. Because they are DANGEROUS, and people get killed in these things all-the-time. Fraud, embezzlement and bribery do not fall into that category. Overkill much? Completely f-ing mental much?
Tea Party time, my friends.  Very definitely Tea Party Time.

The Phantom

Monday, June 06, 2011

Just by reading this blog YOU'RE KILLING THE PLANET!!!

Could I make that up?  No way.

It's Saturday night, and you want to catch the latest summer blockbuster. You do a quick Google search to find the venue and right time, and off you go to enjoy some mindless fun.

Meanwhile, your Internet search has just helped kill the planet. Depending on how long you took and what sites you visited, your search caused the emission of one to 10 grams of carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

Sure, it's not a lot on its own — but add up all of the more than one billion daily Google searches, throw in 60 million Facebook status updates each day, 50 million daily tweets and 250 billion emails per day, and you're making a serious dent in some Greenland glaciers.

Yes friends, if all you inconsiderate jerks don't put down that mouse and go live in a mud hut, Greenland might actually be green!  Oh, the humanity!
Say, if its all ice up there why do they call it Greenland again?  Oh yeah, because when the Vikings discovered it the climate there was like DENMARK.

Every day in every way, the watermelons just keep getting dumber and dumber.

The Phantom Planet Killer

P.S.  I'm going to go use a welder now.  Wonder how many Death Points I get for that?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Didn't I see this in a movie?

Can't quite place this tattoo thing...

Surely it's time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.

Not necessarily on the forehead; I'm a reasonable man. Just something along their arm or across their chest so their grandchildren could say, ''Really? You were one of the ones who tried to stop the world doing something? And why exactly was that, granddad?''

Oh, Schindler's List.  That's it, I remember now.

As Kate says at SDA, "The Left, our moral and intellectual superiors."