Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

From the Phantom Southern Command, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

The Phantom

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Soylent Green, now almost a thing.

Cheesy SF movie buffs will remember the movie Soylent Green, wherein megacorporation Soylent Inc. grinds up captured humans and turns them into food for the cities. Spoiler, Soylent Green is people.

Well, as usual, somebody took that as an instruction manual, not a warning.

Start-ups are trying to revolutionise the food industry and have received hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from venture capitalists to do so.

Many are motivated by a desire to wean humanity off meat and other foods that have big environmental and social impacts, whether in the methane emissions and land use of cattle herds or additives in typical processed food.

"The traditional food system is broken in every way," says Seth Bannon, founding partner at Fifty Years, an early stage venture fund in San Francisco that has invested in food technology companies. "It's terrible for the environment, it's economically unfavourable and it's not great for human health."

The best-known of these would-be disrupters is also the most extreme in its approach. Soylent was founded in 2013 by a group of Silicon Valley engineers trying to cut the time and money they spent buying and preparing food. The company has expanded from producing a powder that was mixed with water to ready-made drinks and nutritional "food bar" snacks. 

Yeah, those damn farmers are fragging the ecosystem with their amazing production and low cost. The bastards. We better fix that! By marketing shit that is really and truly called "Soylent."

Here's another better way, food from slime.

Insects, blood and faeces may not sound particularly appetitising, but they are among the produce we should consider eating if we want our food to be sustainable and healthy, according to a team of chefs and scientists in Denmark.

The Nordic Food Lab was set up on a boat in the Danish capital of Copenhagen in 2008 by Michelin-starred Noma head chef RenĂ© Redzepi and culinary entrepreneur Claus Mayer to better understand the flavours and the gastronomic potential of Scandinavia. 

But in almost a decade – and now based at a laboratory at the University of Copenhagen – its researchers are travelling the world to piece together a holistic approach to eating. Scientists, artists chefs, designers and specialists in education are all rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in to the cause.

A reminder my friends. This year these people are fricking looneytune nutjobs on the fringe of the fringe. In ten years, given the slavish following of the media to yet another Good Cause, you will be seeing this shit on the school lunch program. And I do mean shit, note above that the Nordic Food Lab is talking about processing and including animal poo in their offerings.

The Lefties lost the Gun war, they're in the process of losing the Global Warming war and the Race war, and they need another war. Next up, the Food War.

The Delicious Phantom (Excellent with a nice dry merlot.)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Obligatory Hillary Clinton post.

Hillary Clinton's robot pantsuit fights on, even though Hillary herself is a zombie jazzed into life with drugs and possibly a remote control unit.

In news that surprises no one, the Clinton campaign is contesting the election, despite losing by a wide margin. Because it is always about the Clintons, fuck the nation.

All those who booed when Trump said he wouldn't accept defeat because of possible DemocRat cheating will now shut up in embarrassment. (I don't really expect that from such baying mongrel dogs, but if they had the decency of a goat, they would.)

Phantom Prediction: On Monday the stock market will fall off its new all-time high, as uncertainty mars a US election, and the nation spends millions on waste motion.

Clinton: The Thing That Couldn't Die.

The Deplorable Phantom

Obligatory Fidel Castro post.

Fidel is dead. Liberals hardest hit.

The Phantom

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New hack turns headphones into a microphone.

Just when you thought you knew all the ways your PC can spy on you:

Security researchers at Israel's Ben Gurion University have created a proof-of-concept exploit that lets them turn headphones into microphones to secretly record conversations. The PoC, called "Speake(a)r," first turned headphones connected to a PC into microphones and then tested the quality of sound recorded by a microphone vs. headphones on a target PC. In short, the headphones were nearly as good as an unpowered microphone at picking up audio in a room.

I will add that there is no reason at all that -speakers- can't be made to do this. They don't have to be headphones.

"Most of today's built-in sound cards are to some degree retaskable, which means that they can be used for more than one thing. …the kernel exposes an interface that makes it possible to retask your jacks, but almost no one seems to use it, or even know about it," wrote Linux sound engineer David Henningsson. That's exactly the exploit Speak(a)r uses.

This isn't a driver fix, either. The embedded chip does not allow users to properly prevent this hack which means your earbuds or nice cans could start picking up conversations instantly. In fact, even if you disable your microphone, a computer with a RealTek chip could still be hacked and exploited without your knowledge.

Perhaps its just my tinfoil hat is a little tight, but when I see experts in a field say "no one uses this or even knows about it," my radar starts to ping and I begin thinking about back doors and three letter agencies in the USA.

Maybe might be good to put a physical "off" switch between your PC and the speakers/headphones.

Just thought y'oughta know.

The Tinfoil Phantom

Friday, November 18, 2016

Best article yet on the US election polling failure

This is a great article.

Now that the initial dust has settled from the historically surprising 2016 election, we all have one question: What went wrong with the polls and predictions? They showed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, sometimes handily. Just about everyone blew the call.

Well, not everyone: There were some people who got it right. Whether by a quirk of their polling, a model that relied more on history or by sheer accident, a handful of predictors bucked the crowd and told us something else was going on.

In a move unheard of in the mainstream press, this author went and talked to some pollsters who called it right.


The "shy voter," those being people who did not want anyone around them to know they were voting Trump.

The "lapsed voter," people who hadn't voted in many years but came out for Trump. That's a major notion right there. He inspired people that had given up.

The "herding effect," where the polling companies didn't want to be too far off the accepted norms in the polling industry. Go-along-to-get-along.

The "bubble effect," media people and Blue Staters not having anyone in their social circle saying anything good about Trump.

Very good read, I recommend it.

The Recommended Phantom

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Left moves to shut everyone up.

Twitter has just suspended a large number of accounts for political purposes.

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter suspended a number of accounts associated with the alt-right movement, the same day the social media service said it would crack down on hate speech.

Among those suspended was Richard Spencer, who runs an alt-right think tank and had a verified account on Twitter.

Well now, that's interesting. Who decided what accounts were "Alt-Right?"

Heidi Beirich, spokeswoman for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told USA TODAY that the center had asked Twitter to remove more than 100 accounts of white supremacists who violated Twitter's terms of service. She also pointed to two alt-right accounts that had been verified by Twitter, including Spencer's.

The article does -not- say that the SPLC made the decision and Twitter implemented it. However, the article does say the following:

 The alt-right used social media to spread its cause of white supremacy, operating largely unchecked by social media giants Twitter and Facebook.

So, the author approves of this decision, and is part of the pol;itical spectrum who no doubt lobbied for it. Probably thinks the SPLC is a noble cause.
Now, I've not been paying attention to Milo Yiannopoulos  who was suspended by Twitter back in August, and I don't know who Richard Spencer is or what his "think tank" says.

If they really were George Wallace-KKK-style White Supremacists then I'm sure I'd at least have heard. Richard Spencer is the white Louis Farrakhan? Who knew? So I find it unlikely, given the frantic scramble on the Left to label everyone and everything RAAAAACIST!!!1! that I wouldn't have heard of a -real- racist.

Important to note here, and this is my entire point, Noam Chomsky and the e-zine "EcoWatch" both are not on the Twitter suspended list. Noamy can come out and say:

"On Nov. 8, the most powerful country in world history, which will set its stamp on what comes next, had an election. The outcome placed total control of the government—executive, Congress, the Supreme Court—in the hands of the Republican Party, which has become the most dangerous organization in world history.

False news. A lie. A heinous lie, in fact.

But allowed, because it is a lie that works for the Left. Lies that work for the Right (assuming for the sake of argument that everything the SPLC says is true) will not be allowed.

Some animals are more equal than others. How long before The Phantom Soapbox gets banned?

The Phantom

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hyper stupidity: Mansplaining hotline.

Today in the latest witch burning news, a Swedish labor union has started a telephone hotline for women to call when men explain things to them. I hope this is a joke, but I'm afraid it isn't.

Unionen, Sweden's largest union, is encouraging members to call up when male colleagues give them unsolicited lectures on things they already understand. 

The organisation, which represents 600,000 private sector workers, launched the advice line on Monday and said it will be open from 10am to 4pm everyday for a week as part of a campaign to highlight and stamp out the insidious and damaging practice.

For those who might not be familiar with the modern portmanteau, the union defined mansplaining as when "a man explains something to a woman without being asked, particularly something which she might already know more about than the man".

Unionen said the commonplace practice diminishes women, by making them appear less competent than they are.

No word on when the men's "anti-Harpy" hotline goes live.

I have a prediction. After a brief and disastrous flirtation with all-female workplaces, profitable companies will segregate their employees. Men and women will not work together in the same office. There will be the Boys section and the Girls section. This will happen because the men will simply stop interacting with the women.

If every time you talk to a co-worker you get a phone call from Mansplaining Central, you will most definitely stop speaking to the female staff. You will in fact shun them at all costs. Simple self defense.

Another prediction, the Girls section will get smaller and smaller over time until it disappears. I'm not saying that's a good thing, I'm saying that is what will happen. This is how businesses used to run, and they will go that way again.

The Phantom

Chinese Android phones home. To China.

I keep having this argument with tech heads. Android is LESS secure than Apple.

Apple of course is famous for storing your location data and sending it to an Apple server every ten minutes whether the phone is in use or not. It sends the data to Apple servers in the USA.  Android sends stuff to Google, also in the USA. Unless you bought an off-shore phone.

Kryptowire, the security firm that discovered the vulnerability, said the Adups software transmitted the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information and other data to a Chinese server. The code comes preinstalled on phones and the surveillance is not disclosed to users, said Tom Karygiannis, a vice president of Kryptowire, which is based in Fairfax, Va. "Even if you wanted to, you wouldn't have known about it," he said.

Security experts frequently discover vulnerabilities in consumer electronics, but this case is exceptional. It was not a bug. Rather, Adups intentionally designed the software to help a Chinese phone manufacturer monitor user behavior, according to a document that Adups provided to explain the problem to BLU executives. That version of the software was not intended for American phones, the company said.

Sure. "...was not intended for American phones..." Uh huh. If you believe that, I can get you a deal on this nice bridge in Brooklyn NY.

In case you were wondering why some phones are so amazingly cheap, wonder no more. They collect and sell your data for more than the phone is worth.

My approach is to buy my phone from somebody I can sue if they rip me off. You can't sue Random Chinese Company, they're completely unreachable. But you can sue Apple, Motorola, Blackberry, etc. My other line of defense is to never put anything on a phone I don't want my worst enemy to know. Because they will know.

The Phantom

Monday, November 14, 2016

Media: We weren't wrong! Shut up!

Doubling down:

One big complaint about the latest U.S. election is that "the polls were wrong." It reveals a complete misunderstanding of what polls -- and statistical forecasts in general -- are supposed to do.

This article explains to the gentle reader that it is all far too complicated for your feeble minds to comprehend, math is hard, and we should leave these difficult decisions to our betters.


The Phantom, who took statistics in graduate school, thanks all the same,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cellphone hack: wifi can read your keystrokes.

This is getting very interesting. In a new paper, some guy has used wifi signals like radar to track finger movements on a cellphone screen.

Because the user's finger moves across the smartphone when he types text, his hand alters CSI properties for the phone's outgoing WiFi signals, which the attacker can collect and log on the rogue access point... By performing basic signal analysis and signal processing, an attacker can separate desired portions of the CSI signal and guess with an average accuracy of 68.3% the characters a user has typed... but it can be improved the more the user types and the more data the attacker collects.

Research paper here.

That's getting pretty good as imaging goes. You can use that level of resolution for a really cheap radar set. Spot squirrels in the back yard, maybe?

The Phantom

p.s. Your phone is insecure as shit. Don't do -anything- involving money, banking or cheating on your girlfriend with a phone in the same room. Stick the damn thing in a steel box.

Update! Reader Secret Sam writes:

" ...this is a hidden secret, you can do this (if close enough to a person) on any electrical device by intercepting the IF frequency most common channels depending what band the phone runs on."

From the Wiki link: 

In communications and electronic engineering, an intermediate frequency (IF) is a frequency to which a carrier wave is shifted as an intermediate step in transmission or reception.[1] The intermediate frequency is created by mixing the carrier signal with a local oscillator signal in a process called heterodyning, resulting in a signal at the difference or beat frequency. Intermediate frequencies are used in superheterodyne radio receivers, in which an incoming signal is shifted to an IF for amplification before final detection is done.
Conversion to an intermediate frequency is useful for several reasons. When several stages of filters are used, they can all be set to a fixed frequency, which makes them easier to build and to tune. Lower frequency transistors generally have higher gains so fewer stages are required. It's easier to make sharply selective filters at lower fixed frequencies.
That password on your phone is mostly cosmetic, my friends.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Twitter-pocalypse: death threats!

It would seem many special snowflakes are upset.

But that message of inclusion was apparently lost in social media circles, particularly Twitter, where a simple search can reveal dozens and dozens of calls to gun down the next leader of the free world. Some posts called for both Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to be assassinated, and there's even an #AssassinateTrump hashtag.

Never forget my friends, Lefties are sore losers.

As for those eeeeevile Republicans who are going to do all manner of horrid things... I don't recall there being a #assassinate tag for Barry back in 2008 and 2012.

So really, liberals, we can see you. I hope the US Secret Service is kept very busy hunting down and charging all these assholes over the next couple of years.

The Phantom

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why did nobody say they were voting for Trump, anyway?

This might have something to do with it.

The CEO of Grubhub, an online food delivery service, sent a company wide email Wednesday suggesting employees who agree with President-elect Donald Trump's behaviors and his campaign rhetoric should resign.

"If you do not agree with this statement then please reply to this email with your resignation because you have no place here," wrote Matt Maloney, Co-Founder of Grubhub. "We do not tolerate hateful attitudes on our team."

Mr. Maloney was moron enough to expose his company to lawsuits by stating his policy in writing.  A hell of a lot more tech companies are probably doing exactly the same thing, just more quietly.

So if you were the guy with the "Make America Great Again" hat on your desk at work, you should probably be getting your resume together. But Mr. Trump Supporter would have been told that months before. It would come as no surprise.

That's why Hillary lost. Because in a free country, people do not take kindly to being told who to vote for by their boss.

Incidentally, this would be a great reason to NEVER do business with Grubhub. Clearly they don't want my filthy Trump-stained money, and I'm happy to oblige them.

The Unemployable Phantom

SciFi SJWs: "Hit back twice as hard!"

Response to the win by Trump yesterday in the US election, by greater than the margin of fraud, has been decidedly mixed.

Conservatives such as myself are delighted that Hillary Clinton lost. Less enthusiastic that Trump won, but on the whole reasonably content. Making fun of people on the Internet is as malicious as we get.

Liberals are checking to see how hard it is to move to Canada (very hard, don't bother, we don't want you anyway), they are having emergency counseling sessions with their shrinks, and in several cities they are breaking windows, burning shit, and beating white people up.

So, the usual. Damn conservative fascists!

In the tiny world of science fiction, the head of TOR publishing appears to have learned nothing from the four year old Sad Puppies Campaign, learned nothing from two complete meltdowns of the Hugo Awards, and nothing from the massive repudiation of his party, the DemocRats.

Last night, I found myself very grateful that I work in science fiction.

Science fiction came into being in response to a new thing in human history: the understanding that not only was the world changing, but also that the rate of change was speeding up. That in a normal lifetime, you could expect to experience multiple episodes of rapid, disorienting change. Science fiction at its best has always been about examining and inhabiting those experiences when the world passes through a one-way door.

In short: if you're a Conservative, or you're writing a story that doesn't tick the right SJW checkboxes, you should probably not bother submitting to TOR Books or its parent company Macmillan. If you're a reader with a Conservative turn of mind, probably you're not going to find anything you like very much with the TOR imprint on it.

In other words, TOR is doubling down. Again. Clearly the beatings will have to continue. All the more for Amazon, it seems.

Sad Puppies Five! Let slip the dogs of war!

The Ex-deplorable Phantom

H. Sapiens got it on with Neanderthals.

Some more DNA evidence that Great to the Nth Grandad and Grandma used to hang out with the Neanderthals and git it on. Woohoo!

The researchers conducted thorough searches for outsiders' DNA in four groups: Europeans, East Asians, South Asians and Melanesians. They estimate each group boasts 10 to 20 stretches of beneficial DNA from close human relatives. Many of those DNA stretches influence either the immune system or the coloration of body parts such as skin, the researchers found.

Previous experiments identified bits of DNA from other species that helped Homo sapiens get ahead — for example, a Denisovan gene that enhances modern Tibetans' ability to cope with high altitudes. But the new research provides welcome confirmation of the kinds of genetic benefits that humans reaped from their relatives, Janet Kelso of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who has collaborated with Akey on previous research, says.

So the next time some atrocious Leftist trots out that old turkey about us Humans killing off the poor helpless Neanderthals, let him/her/it know that they are SO Twentieth Century, and they need to get with the program.

Then smack them one for me, just because. ~:D

The No Longer Deplorable Phantom

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump wins, snowflakes riot.

I feel pretty good this morning. The rodeo clown won, which at least demonstrates the USA hasn't descended into complete barbarism yet. I'll take that as a good sign.

Better sign, the Republicans now have both the House and the Senate federally, and they picked up a bunch of governorships and state houses along the way. That's an even better sign.

Best of all, all the right people are having a really bad day today.

Burn on, you special snowflakes.

The Deplorable Phantom

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election day condolences, America.

Well here we are, November already and my American friends are stuck choosing between the evil overlord Robot Pantsuit and  the rodeo clown with a cat on his head. Proven criminal and insane socialist Hillary Clinton vs. limousine liberal with the stench of New York City corruption lingering on his coat, Donald Trump. Either way, you boys and girls are pretty screwed.

Two things to bear in mind.

First, apart from anything else, Hillary Clinton is so ill she couldn't drive down to the supermarket and bring home a sixpack by herself, much less drink any of it. You might want to consider that in your calculations.

Second, if this election proves anything, it is that government can't be relied upon to keep you safe, fed and happy.

If it was me, I'd take a deep breath and vote Republican across the board. They at least say they want smaller government, even though for the most part they lie.

Good luck, America! Vote early, vote often!

The Deplorable Phantom

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

AT&T copies NSA, sells your data.

Quick heads-up, AT&T data-mines its call and billing logs, and sells the info to the FBI. American taxpayers are paying the phone copmpany to spy on them with their own telephones.

Just thought y'oughta know.

The Deplorable Phantom

Monday, October 24, 2016

The new bullies: women.

This is somewhat terrifying. Some guy writes a letter to the editor of some newspaper in the states, says he doesn't like to see fat, middle aged women in yoga pants. This is like a letter complaining about death and taxes, right? Nobody likes that, not even other fat, middle aged women. You can see them rolling their eyes at the yoga panted hippos every day.

But then the Perpetually Offended crowd got involved.

The saga began Wednesday with a letter to the editor in a local Rhode Island newspaper criticizing women over 20 who wear yoga pants in public. Quickly, it snowballed into a "Yoga Pants Parade" Sunday afternoon with hundreds of people walking past the letter writer's house — and a few death threats, according to the author, who said he had only intended satire.

"To all yoga pant wearers, I struggle with my own physicality as I age," wrote Alan Sorrentino, 63, in the letter published by the Barrington Times last week. "I don't want to struggle with yours."

It's a funny letter. The guy ended up with a parade in fron of his house, hundreds of women telling him to shut the fuck up. They pretended it was "peaceful," but I think he got the message.

Sorrentino disagreed as the walkers passed his Knapton Street home, where he had put up a sign bearing the words "FREE SPEECH."

Barrington police officers stood on the edge of the property while some people in the street paused to take photos of the home.

Sorrentino said he received death threats, which he reported to the police. Someone wrote in chalk on the street outside his house that morning, identifying him as the resident.

All this from a random letter in a small newspaper? Yep.

But Sorrentino said that even if the letter was offensive to some, the event was an "improper reaction."

"This is bullying," he said.

He asked whether a woman would feel comfortable with a similar crowd walking by her home after death threats.

Burke said Sorrentino had "impolitely declined" her invitation to participate in the parade. Sorrentino said her invitation to wear yoga pants and join in the parade was "humiliating."

And people wonder why I comment as The Phanton instead of Real Me.
It was the shaming and the policing of women's bodies that struck a chord with the attendees, said organizer Jamie Burke, who lives in Barrington and called the parade a "positive response to casual sexism."
Here's what I'd like to see: a parade of fat old men like me in front of Ms. Jamie Burke's house in Barrington RI. Maybe we could all wear Speedos and carry "Don't Tread On Me!" signs. Bet that would make her feel all safe and comfy, right?

The Casually Sexist Phantom

Monday, October 17, 2016

Today's burning outrage: pets.

I have maintained for some years now that it is fundamentally impossible to lampoon the Left anymore. If you mock an idea they espouse with hyperbole, you need only wait a season or two, and they will propose something even more maliciously insane than your wildest imagining. I bring you now, in support of this thesis an essay:

The Case Against Pets.

We live with six rescued dogs. With the exception of one, who was born in a rescue for pregnant dogs, they all came from very sad situations, including circumstances of severe abuse. These dogs are non-human refugees with whom we share our home. Although we love them very much, we strongly believe that they should not have existed in the first place.

We oppose domestication and pet ownership because these violate the fundamental rights of animals.

The term 'animal rights' has become largely meaningless. Anyone who thinks that we should give battery hens a small increase in cage space, or that veal calves should be housed in social units rather than in isolation before they are dragged off and slaughtered, is articulating what is generally regarded as an 'animal rights' position. This is attributable in large part to Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation (1975), who is widely considered the 'father of the animal rights movement'.

The problem with this attribution of paternity is that Singer is a utilitarian who rejects moral rights altogether, and supports any measure that he thinks will reduce suffering. In other words, the 'father of the animal rights movement' rejects animal rights altogether and has given his blessing to cage-free eggs, crate-free pork, and just about every 'happy exploitation' measure promoted by almost every large animal welfare charity. Singer does not promote animal rights; he promotes animal welfare. He does not reject the use of animals by humans per se. He focuses only on their suffering. In an interview with The Vegan magazine in 2006, he said, for example, that he could 'imagine a world in which people mostly eat plant foods, but occasionally treat themselves to the luxury of free-range eggs, or possibly even meat from animals who live good lives under conditions natural for their species, and are then humanely killed on the farm'.

We use the term 'animal rights' in a different way, similar to the way that 'human rights' is used when the fundamental interests of our own species are concerned. For example, if we say that a human has a right to her life, we mean that her fundamental interest in continuing to live will be protected even if using her as a non-consenting organ donor would result in saving the lives of 10 other humans. A right is a way of protecting an interest; it protects interests irrespective of consequences. The protection is not absolute; it may be forfeited under certain circumstances. But the protection cannot be abrogated for consequential reasons alone.

This essay is a collection of ideas so insane as to not pass the giggle test, but I guarantee there are myriads of tiny-minded bunny huggers and "animal rescuers" out there right now having seizures of pure delight over it.

Humans have had a symbiotic relationship with dogs for over 30,000 years, estimated by molecular biology. That's when the dogs were different enough from wolves to change their very DNA. How long humans and wolves had to hang out together for that to happen, no one seems to be hazarding a guess. Probably quite a while.

Against that reality, the authors of this piece say:

Non-human animals have a moral right not to be used exclusively as human resources, irrespective of whether the treatment is 'humane', and even if humans would enjoy desirable consequences if they treated non-humans exclusively as replaceable resources.
When we talk about animal rights, we are talking primarily about one right: the right not to be property. The reason for this is that if animals matter morally – if animals are not just things – they cannot be property. If they are property, they can only be things.

These people advocate the abolition of all animal husbandry, all pet ownership, all wildlife management. They cannot be mocked or lampooned, at this point. They can only be defeated. The best weapon for that is MONEY.

Rutgers University, my friends. Send them a letter explaining why your kid will never go there.

The Phantom

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Scott Addams gets shadow banned by Twitter

Twitter is now going after big fish, not just little minnows. As seen at Small Dead Animals, author of the Dilbert Cartoons Scott Addams started drawing some fire from the Big Hillary Machine.

This weekend I got "shadowbanned" on Twitter. It lasted until my followers noticed and protested. Shadowbanning prevents my followers from seeing my tweets and replies, but in a way that is not obvious until you do some digging.

Why did I get shadowbanned?

Beats me.

But it was probably because I asked people to tweet me examples of Clinton supporters being violent against peaceful Trump supporters in public. I got a lot of them. It was chilling.

Since Mr. Addams mentions it, this is a big deal that's been going unreported in the major media. Being a Trump supporter, having a Trump sign on your lawn, a Trump bumper sticker, that is getting people beat up and harrassed in some places in the USA right now. Posting "Blue Lives Matter" on Farcebook got one kid put in a coma the other day, some Social Justice Warriors broke his skull for him in three places.

Apparently the Hillary campaign is deathly afraid of that.

Good to know. ~>:D

The Deplorable Phantom

Toldja: Yahoo scans ALL emails for NSA.

Finally it is admitted out loud, Yahoo scans ALL email on its servers for the NSA.

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency's request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

And if you think its only Yahoo doing this, you're dreaming.

Experts said it was likely that the NSA or FBI had approached other Internet companies with the same demand, since they evidently did not know what email accounts were being used by the target. The NSA usually makes requests for domestic surveillance through the FBI, so it is hard to know which agency is seeking the information.

In the above quote "approached other Internet companies with the same demand" we can take as understood the assumption that the NSA and FBI kicked their front door down, stuck a gun in their face and threatened them all with jail. Google and Microsoft are talking tough, saying they would NEVER!!!, no way! But I'm sure the FBI with the gun and stuff, in the face, the geek squad folded like origami.

So welcome to Post Freedom America, where Uncle Sam read your mail while he eats your lunch.

The Deplorable Phantom

Monday, October 03, 2016

17 months of record gun sales.

Another month, another record:

Gun sales hit the 17th consecutive monthly record in September according to FBI data released on Monday, and overall sales are up 27 percent compared to the same period last year.

A total of 1,992,219 background checks were processed through the bureau's National Instant Criminal Background Check System for the month of September, higher than the 1,795,102 conducted in September 2015.

You want to know how people feel, you look at what they spend their money on. Nearly two million Americans bought guns in September. That's a lot of guns.

The Deplorable Phantom

Who is considered dangerous these days?

This is rather revealing, I must say. It's a little window into the minds of Federal Law Enforcement in the USA these days, an indication of where they are spending their money and time.

They're tracking gun show customers.

Federal agents have persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor constitutionally protected activity.

Emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers—devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars—at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, not far from the Mexican border.

Agents then compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation.

Now, I have to say that as bullshit goes, this is pretty weak. Gun smugglers from Mexico would not have much luck at a gun show. All dealers have to fill out the same paperwork at the show and observe the same waiting periods etc.they do at a storefront. Contrary to popular belief, there are not thousands of armed men wandering the tents hawking full-auto AK-47s to any teenage puke with a hundred bucks in his pocket. More like five or six geezers walking around with a clapped out hunting rifle on their back, hoping to sell it to some other old geezer.

And don't forget, in 2010 the border was in the same state its in now. Wide open. Smugglers come and go pretty much at will.

Just so you know.

The Phantom

Monday, September 26, 2016

Apple is deleting music off your hard drives, my friends.

Not content with simply phoning home with a list of every piece of music you own, Apple is now taking stuff off your drives and deleting the ones they don't like.

...through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users' computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize—which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.

The best part of the above revelation is that you agreed to it. The long, unreadable, universally ignored ULA that everyone just clicks "agree" so they can use the program? Yeah, that says you agree to let them delete stuff off your PC/Mac/phone whatever. Not up at the top in big letters either, be it noted.

I don't have this problem at the moment, because in a paranoid reflex I automatically revoke permission for software to do anything at all regarding uploading "usage" data, automatic updates, any of it. My chief complaint with Windows 10 is forced updates. I do not want a company forcing files on my computer when they see fit.

But the author mentions a much larger issue that most people still seem unaware of. The very nature of the transaction you agree to when you buy something is changing, and not to your benefit.

For about ten years, I've been warning people, "hang onto your media. One day, you won't buy a movie. You'll buy the right to watch a movie, and that movie will be served to you. If the companies serving the movie don't want you to see it, or they want to change something, they will have the power to do so. They can alter history, and they can make you keep paying for things that you formerly could have bought. Information will be a utility rather than a possession. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to access."

When giving the above warning, however, even in my most Orwellian paranoia I never could have dreamed that the content holders, like Apple, would also reach into your computer and take away what you already owned. If Taxi Driver is on Netflix, Netflix doesn't come to your house and steal your Taxi Driver DVD. But that's where we're headed. When it comes to music, Apple is already there.

Yes they are, and so is Google and a few more. Microsoft and other large companies have gone to a "subscriber" model for their software, such as Office 365, and Adobe has a subscription-only model for Photoshop etc. This puts users of their software at their mercy. If you have a large body of work recorded in Photoshop file format, you are pretty well stuck with continuing your subscription. That's a problem, in my eyes.

Thus I offer as a public service the following: if you don't have to use a walled-garden product like iTunes, Photoshop, Office 365, iPhone/iPod/iPad, and so forth, don't do it. I switched back to Blackberry for this reason. Its a Canadian company that owns its own NON-AMERICAN server backbone, and it doesn't (at the moment) offer "services" that invade my hardware on their own. Whatever they do in Cupertino or Washington DC, Blackberry has its own stuff that won't be affected.

I use MS Word for convenience. But I also have software on hand that can convert those saved files to a variety of different formats, and I have two open-source alternatives to edit my files. LibreOffice and OpenOffice. I have ebooks on a Kindle sure enough, but I also have Calibre software to store and re-format those ebook files. I don't have to count on Amazon to remember what I bought from them. I've got a copy right here on my own drives.

I also have backups. I have backups of my backups. I have DVDs, thumb drives, and hard drives. I have hard drives sitting in dusty boxes in the basement. I'm pretty sure there's a box of tapes around here somewhere from the old days. I have an off- site server too. Slow and crappy thing I bought outright from some company that offers them dirt cheap.

Why bother with all that paranoid shit? Because what Apple is doing now, -everybody- is going to be doing presently. Having your own storage is going to be outlaw territory, like having a car with a carburetor is now. I like to be prepared for that kind of thing.

The Deplorable Yet Prepared Phantom

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tesla hacked, door locks to brakes, from 12 miles.

This is getting to be a Regular Thing these days, there's no security in cars.

First, while the car was parked, the researchers used a laptop to remotely open its sunroof, activate the steering light, reposition the driver's seat, take over the dashboard and central display and unlock the car.
In a second demonstration, they turned on the windshield wipers while the car was being driven at low speed in a parking lot for demonstration purposes. They also showed that they can open the trunk and fold the side-view mirror when the driver is trying to change lanes. While these operations can be distracting to the driver in certain situations, causing a safety risk, the most dangerous thing they were able to do was to engage the car's breaking from 12 miles away.
Note the idiot journalist's misuse of "breaking" for braking.

Original blog post with video here.

This makes me really look forward to the self driving car, which will be able to steer as well as brake by computer control. Or more particularly, the self-driving delivery truck. When they start having a security guard in the trucks instead of a driver, you'll know that Peak Stupid has been reached in Silicon Valley.

The Deplorable Phantom

Update: Welcome Small Deplorable Animals! Thanks for the linkage Kate!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ford moving production to Mexico. Not Canada.

With Detroit falling apart the last 40 years, it is no surprise Ford moved a lot of their production.

With the USA going full-SJW at the regulatory level, it is no surprise that Ford moved their production off-shore. In many states there is literally no way a big company can build a new factory on a green field. Not economically, and not legally. Can't be done.

    The news sparked a fresh round of criticism of Ford from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was campaigning in Flint on Wednesday.

    "We shouldn't allow it to happen. They'll make their cars, they'll employ thousands of people, not from this country, and they'll sell their car across the border," Trump said during his visit. "When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we're also sending our tax base."

I love how "tax cut" guy Donald Trump is so worried about his tax base. I love how Hillary Clinton probably doesn't even know about it, and couldn't care less if she did know.

But that's not what I want to say here. We know why Ford is moving out of the USA, they can't make a buck. The autoworker's union has managed to make a five-year-old, half billion dollar Focus plant in Michigan a loser. Ford is planing on spending over a billion and a half dollars on a new factory for the Ford Focus.

In Mexico.

That would be the same Mexico that has drug gangs controlling whole swaths of territory. The Mexico that Mexicans are fleeing to become illegals with no rights in the USA. The Mexico where they're hanging rows of people off of road bridges, shooting them, knifing them, chopping off heads, burning them alive, and so forth. The Mexico where the cops are the Army, and the Army is more crooked than the damn drug lords.

That Mexico.

But that's not what I want to say either.

Here's my question: Why isn't Ford building its new Focus plant in Canada?

Nobody is getting shot/knifed/burned/chopped here. There's no drug overlords running Ontario or Quebec. Canadians are not fleeing the nation to hide in the USA and cut other people's grass. Why not here?

That's a question I know I'm never going to see any fracking news-norbert ask Prime Minister P'tit Ptat. That is a question that nobody is going to corner frigging Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne at a news conference and demand an answer for. Nobody is going to grab Quebec Premiere Philippe Couillard by his lapels and scream that in his ridiculous face, like they should.

Because it's a stupid question. We all know why Ford is not building a new plant here in Canada.

They would have to be fricking crazy to build here. The Canadian government is already bleeding them white, it would be suicidal for them to build here.

But it is a question we'd better start asking ourselves, or we'll all be stony broke really soon.

The Deplorable Phantom

Update: Hi, Kathy! :) Welcome, 5 feet of Fury readers!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Gays told to get back on the Dem plantation.

Pink Pistols are finding out that its only okay to be gay when you do what your overseer tells you.

Gwendolyn Patton, the national spokeswoman for the Pink Pistols, has spent the summer trying to keep up with the all inquiries about the group and how to start new chapters. 

"People don't like to feel helpless," said Patton, a lesbian who lives outside Philadelphia.

The Pink Pistols has received a mostly negative response from the broader LGBT community, she said. Some LGBT centers, she said, have even specifically banned the Pink Pistols from using their facilities.

I keep saying this, and I keep getting called names for it but I'm going to say it again anyway: If you are gay, the Left does not care a damn about you.

If you are gay, and you decide to go against the teachings of the Left, like high taxes, gun control, what have you, your protected status will vanish like the morning dew, and you will be under the bus with white male rednecks so fast it will curl your hair.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Phantom

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Youtube goes full-SJW.

It is official, Google/YouTube has gone full-SJW with it's new content policy.

A new "advertiser friendly" policy introduced by YouTube will punish those who express politically incorrect opinions or dare to offend viewers by de-monetizing their content.

The new rules have sparked an outcry from the YouTube community because they are so incredibly restrictive.

YouTube will now retain the right to demonetize any videos that contain, "Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown."

"Inappropriate language, including harassment, profanity and vulgar language," is also being demonetized.

As usual, Matt Drudge has the flawless take on the issue:

As Matt Drudge warned about when he appeared on the Alex Jones Show nearly a year ago, creators allowing their content to be swallowed up by social media ghettos was always going to lead to this outcome.

"I don't know why they've been successful in pushing everybody into these little ghettos, these Facebooks, these Tweets, these Instagrams," Drudge told Jones. "This is ghetto, this is corporate; they're taking your energy and you're getting nothing in return."

I guess we'll be looking at Pewdie Pie on his own non-Youtube channel pretty soon. It isn't like the guy is going to stop swearing, right?

Robot -Tractor-, finally.

At long last, a practical use for all that self-driving car tech: self-driving tractor. And a badass looking one at that.

That is one burly tractor.

Case IH, the agricultural-machinery unit of CNH Industrial NV, this week unveiled a sleek, aggressive-looking red-and-black machine at the annual Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.

This tractor -- CNH calls it the Autonomous Concept Vehicle -- has one obvious difference compared with more conventional models: there's no cab for a driver. Instead, it comes equipped with cameras, radar and GPS, allowing a farmer to remotely monitor planting and harvesting via an app on a tablet computer, the company's Brand President Andreas Klauser said in an interview Wednesday as crowds gathered around the machine to snap photographs.

One of the best things I can think of for a machine like this to be doing is gang-planting the idiotically large fields out west. Picture five of these things in echelon formation, playing follow-the-leader like a bunch of Roomba vacuum cleaners, except they're all pulling 40 ft wide no-till seed drills. That's some economy of scale right there. Do the same thing with sprayers and combine harvesters, you've got a one-man show.

The Phantom

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

About that culture war... Facebook!

It's a one way street, my friends.

Facebook's trending news section, which was accused of censoring conservative news, was managed by a staff full of liberal employees.

The social media company has fired the 15-18 employees who worked on trending news, in an attempt to replace any possibility of bias with an algorithm. Gizmodo reported in May that Facebook "news curators" buried conservative stories. This caused Republican South Dakota Sen. John Thune to send a letter to Facebook inquiring about its trending news section. "Any attempt by a neutral and inclusive social media platform to censor or manipulate political discussion is an abuse of trust and inconsistent with the values of an open Internet," Thune wrote.

There are plenty of people out there who would vehemently deny that Facebook was anything but 100% honest, and nothing you can ever say would dissuade them. By firing his entire team and replacing them with a machine, Mr. Zuckerberg has admitted it was true, they were biased and less than honest.

Liberal True Believers won't care, but that's why we call them True Believers. Reality can run them over with a bus and with their last breath they'll deny it.

The Phantom

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Things you don't want to see.

This is the left engine of a Southwest Airlines 737, flight 3472 from New Orleans.

This is what it is supposed to look like.

The pilots got SW-3472 down on the runway at Pensecola Florida in one piece, no injuries. 'Nuff said.

The actual cost of the Obama immigration plan.

Lots of times I get called a racist for criticizing the Obama immigration non-plan. We're supposed to be all loving and caring if we support an "open" border, where people can sneak across out in the bush. Turns out, crossing the border through the bush is a lot harder than most people think.

Big fan of the Obama Plan.

Here's my main objection:

The bodies of as many as 850 illegal alien men, women and children who died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully now lie frozen and unidentified in a morgue in Tucson, Ariz., according to an Arizona medical examiner.
CBP explained in a press release published this week:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a testimonial video of [Dr. Gregory Hess Pima], a forensic expert in charge of identifying hundreds of anonymous migrant's human remains found in the Arizona desert near the United States/Mexico border.
"Our focus at the Medical Examiner's Office is identifying remains of people that we have found. We still have about 800 to 850 that are unidentified," says the doctor who analyzes bodies and remains in varying stages of decomposition.
In the refrigerated facility the remains are stacked on industrial shelves inside plastic body bags with John or Jane Doe written on white tags.
"Most of the remains that we call undetermined are likely people that have died from exposure…who may not have water available to use," says Dr. Hess. "So if something goes wrong, with whatever plan he may have had… then the problems may result on their death. It's risky… most people think it is not going to happen to them."
Many of the bodies found in the Arizona desert were people who were abandoned by their human smugglers and became lost, eventually dying of dehydration or heat stroke, Pima said.

So really, I think I'll just be a damn racist about it, and y'all can cram it.

The Phantom

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

SAS legend let out of jail early. Wait, what?

This is really quite astounding.

SAS hero Albert 'Pat' Patterson was jailed for 15 months in April over his Falklands war trophy pistol.

The Argentine weapon — along with 177 rounds of ammo, four Enfield pistols and a rifle component — had been kept safely in the basement of Pat's Hereford home for over 30 years until discovered in 2014.

The tough sentence sparked outrage and within days The Sun had launched a online petition demanding his release.

Former top brass, fellow ex-SAS heroes and Sun readers joined the fight.

Our petition was signed by more than 161,000 people by the end of April and delivered to 10 Downing Street by Pat's daughter Cheri, 25.

Top barrister Peter Glenser and solicitor Issy Hogg put in hours of their own time and took Pat's case to the Court of Appeal, but it was rejected, despite the court admitting he had "no criminal purpose".

The pressure paid off and he has been released at the earliest opportunity after just four months – three months before his expected parole date.

Gun control, working as intended.

The Phantom

Robot criminals! Run away!

Today, from the Annals Of Complete And Utter Stupidity:

Robots set to become CRIMINALS and cops will be powerless to stop them

Robots will quickly learn to break the law and humans won't be able to stop their slide towards the dark side, experts have warned.

Researchers said machines equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) would inevitably discover that honesty doesn't always pay, based on the knowledge they pick up throughout their life.

In the future, robots will be able to learn from their experiences, potentially leaving them vulnerable to breaking the law.

If they do decide to become criminals, it will nigh on impossible to decide who to charge for the crimes they commit.

The stupid. It burns.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

More progressive pants-wetting: replica guns at conventions.

This is just too unicorns and rainbows to let slip by:

Why the Hell Was There a Gun Seller at a Wizard World?

Yeah, you heard right. There was a freaking gun retailer at a comic convention. But, it didn't last long.
DS Arms, a gun manufacturer with a Chicago-area factory showroom, had its gun replica booth shut down at Wizard World Chicago on Thursday, less than two hours after setting up. According to the Chicago Tribune, people were complaining that it was wrong for a real gun maker to have a booth—even if it was only selling fake guns.
While, yes, the guns were replicas and DS Arms says it makes props for Hollywood, this booth didn't appear to be just about giving Commander Shepard cosplayers suitable weaponry. According to the Tribune, the booth was also promoting gun and safety classes, and DS Arms owner Dave Selvaggio himself said it was also about giving attendees information about real guns.

Yeah! Because "giving attendees information about real guns," man, that is just too much! I can't even!

Meanwhile, half the booths at the show sell swords, maces, hatchets, knives, and fake guns. But pretend fake guns, not REAL fake guns, holy crap!

And you little hipster tools wonder why we piss in your cornflakes every chance we get. Seriously, fuck off boys.

The Phantom

Update! A face and a name to the previously unknown "people were complaining" horse shit.

Matt Santori-Griffith., the editor of Comicosity and "feminist beardo".
Quoted from his twitter feed: "I’m an exceptionally proud queer, Jewish, anti-gun, feminist, anti-racist, social justice warrior."

I'd agree with that, Matt. But you forgot a word at the end. That should read: " proud queer, Jewish, anti-gun, feminist, anti-racist, social justice warrior, asshole."

Looking down his Twitter feed, it seems Mr. Santori-Griffith suffers from an affliction common among New Puritan SJWs. The crippling fear that someone, somewhere, is enjoying himself.

Hugo Awards: Politics wins!

The Hugo Awards were given last night, and this morning there is much rejoicing among the cognoscenti: they beat the Puppies! Noah Ward is happy today.

Not that awesome books were read, not that the award went to the most awesome thing, not how great was that thing that dude put in that story. Nope. They Beat The Puppies. They managed a shutout. They all got together and closed ranks, excluding the odious interlopers.

That's what the Hugo Awards are all about now. Beating the Puppies. AKA Exclusion.

Oh, and grimdark torture fic. The Fifth Season is officially "The finest in SF/F for 2015." An attack on the moral corpus of the reader, a hideous brainfuck of a book, a socialist meme attack masquerading as art, and something I would never willingly subject myself to. As usual.

Congratulations on your victory, WorldCon voters.

The Phantom

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The recent terror attack in Strathroy Ontario.

I like to wait a little while before I comment on bombings, shootings and what have you. Initial accounts are always wrong, and there are always things that the media leave out. Like this:

No officer tried to stop him heading to the home of suspected terrorist Aaron Driver, seen on a video threatening to kill Canadians that very day, Duffield said.
For the five minutes he sat in the driveway waiting for Driver, no officer stepped out to signal him or warn him.
As Driver walked out of the house, across the front of the cab and down its passenger side to the back seat, no police officer took a shot or apparently shouted at the man to stop.
Only when he started backing out the driveway did police swoop in, Duffield said.
"As I leaned over to grab the cigarettes, Boom!, there goes the bomb," Duffield said.
"If I hadn't leaned over to grab that pack of cigarettes, I probably wouldn't be talking to you today. It was that seat and those cigarettes that saved my ass, no cop."

There's a picture of the back seat of the car, I got it at Blazing Cat Fur. I very much doubt there was any need to shoot that Aaron Driver kid.

 He was lunchmeat after that device went off, but they aired him out anyway, just to be sure. Very fucking heroic, right?

But this is my very favorite part right here:

A victim of a terrorism attack, Duffield said he had to find his own way from the scene.
He got a ride from his boss's son to the cab office to get his own car and drove home, Duffield said.

The guy has just been in a high-energy enclosed explosion, and no ambulance? Not even a fucking ride home in a cop car? Really?

But apparently there is somebody, somewhere in the RCMP, who has a brain:

Later that evening, two police officers came to his door and told him the bomb squad advised he go to the hospital to check for internal injuries because of the explosion.
Police took him to hospital, stayed with him and brought him back home with no apparent internal injuries.

Somebody, most likely a lawyer, realized if the cab driver bled out from a puncture that night it would look really bad for the RCMP, especially after they got the guy blown up in the first place.

The cherry on top is that the RCMP only knew about little Aaron Driver and his plan to blow shit up because they got a call from the FBI. You know, in America. Another country, like.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Nope. Call 911 and die, people. Now shut up and get back to paying your taxes, assholes.
The Phantom

"Shut up!" explained Time Magazine.

This is so precious.

But trolling has become the main tool of the alt-right, an Internet-grown reactionary movement that works for men's rights and against immigration and may have used the computer from Weird Science to fabricate Donald Trump. Not only does Trump share their attitudes, but he's got mad trolling skills: he doxxed Republican primary opponent Senator Lindsey Graham by giving out his cell-phone number on TV and indirectly got his Twitter followers to attack GOP political strategist Cheri Jacobus so severely that her lawyers sent him a cease-and-desist order.

The alt-right's favorite insult is to call men who don't hate feminism "cucks," as in "cuckold." Republicans who don't like Trump are "cuckservatives." Men who don't see how feminists are secretly controlling them haven't "taken the red pill," a reference to the truth-revealing drug in The Matrix. They derisively call their adversaries "social-justice warriors" and believe that liberal interest groups purposely exploit their weakness to gain pity, which allows them to control the levers of power. Trolling is the alt-right's version of political activism, and its ranks view any attempt to take it away as a denial of democracy.

That's right friends, if you don't believe in all the same stuff tells you to in TIME Magazine, you are a troll. Oh, and a racist.

Now, I'll be first in like to applaud an American company for sticking up for their own country. If what's been done here is to cut off all the ISIS-affiliated assholes in the world. I'm all for that. But I expect we will start seeing lots more cases like Milo the Mad Faggot, who got booted off Twitter for making fun of a Left-leaning actress who starred in the (allegedly) underwhelming Ghost Busters reboot film. Because Twitter is 100% in the tank for Hillary, and this is an election year.

The Phantom

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finally, a name for our misery: Soros.

Here at The Soapbox I often wish I had a name to put to the dumbass policy proposal of the moment.

Latest examples:

Who thought is would be a good idea to import millions of Muslims from war zones into uber sophisitcated, rigidly controlled, ultra liberal Germany? A place where old ladies will yell at you on the street car for putting your feet up on the seats.

Who thought it would be a good idea to basically take down the -southern- border of the USA... but not the northern one? (Admittedly, we Canadians are wacky, but still.) Seriously, how is that not racism?

Who thought it would be a good idea to lionize the PLO? Men who rain down rockets on civilian targets in Israel and fire them from schools and hospitals. Seems stupid, right?

How did these spectacularly stupid ideas get so popular? Grass roots push from The People? Everybody voted for this, because we all really wanted it? I don't remember that election.

But notwithstanding these are policies nobody voted for and nobody wants, all one ever hears in the vast Echo Chamber of Leftwing politics is these types of asinine policies. How does something like that happen? Who did that?

George Soros did it. That's who. Cracked, hacked and put on display for all to see.

So how did Shiny Pony win in Canada? Funny money from lots of places. One of those places, possibly GS. Given the evidence revealed today, it is not much of a stretch to assume it.

There you have it Canada, a communication from your European and American betters. Communication reads: "Shut up and get back to work, you've got taxes to pay."

Unplug your TV, shut off your radio, cancel the newspapers, and don't send your kids to university unless they're strong enough to withstand the propaganda tsunami.

The Phantom

Friday, August 12, 2016

Yes, your iPhone is anti-Trump.

Not content to surveil everything you do and record every place you go, Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook and etc. have decided you need to be told what to think.

I began looking into how strong the bias and censorship runs in these forums after I did an interview on the pro-Trump podcast, MAGA. The show's host, Mark Hammond, was disappointed Apple wouldn't run his show without an "explicit" warning. Hammond's podcast didn't contain content that would be deemed explicit under Apple's policy, and most other shows in the News & Politics category aren't labeled as such.

On June 18, Hammond talked to Sandra, a representative from Apple. She explained that, since the description of his show is pro-Trump, his show is explicit in nature—because the subject matter is Donald Trump. So, an Apple employee concluded the Republican presidential candidate is explicit.

As usual, this is a litany of 'small stuff'. A podcast labeled "explicit" when it isn't. A game not released for 15 months. An inappropriate picture on a web search. Questionable rankings of news stories. Stuff like that.

But, and this is the thing, it is a -long- litany. A constant drip of chicken-shittery that ends up working like sand in the gears. It just slows everything down, pisses people off, and makes life harder for one side. One candiate gets the greased slide, the other one gets sand.

Spend your dollars accordingly.

The Phantom

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The most important thing in an author is...


Throughout the Sad and Rabid Puppies saga, in which some readers protested progressive themes in sci-fi, Jemisin has been an outspoken voice advocating for diversity in science fiction. (Read her musings on "reactionary assholes" in the interview she did with the WIRED Book Club for more on that.) But too often, she has also found herself unwillingly cast in another role: the token non-white writer.
Ever since a report from magazine Fireside Fiction called out a lack of diversity in sci-fi on July 26, Jemisin has received six invitations to contribute to anthologies or magazines—and she's leery of being one of the few go-to names when panicked editors scramble to be more inclusive. And in a tweetstorm this afternoon (below), Jemisin placed the onus on the markets, not aspiring authors, to make writers of color welcome. "The front gates are still shut, see," she wrote. "You're just letting a few more exceptions in the side door." Jemisin may have broken into the world of science fiction, but for other writers to do the same, those gatekeepers need to open those doors wide.

Yeah, see, the Sad Puppies are the bad ones here, but I note that NK Jemsin's complaint is the same one: GATE KEEPERS.

Dear racist Leftists who think authors should not be judged by the content of their books but rather by the details of their urinary plumbing and surface albedo:


The Phantom

Update: Somebody linked this on Twitter, so welcome, all you Twits! ~:)

Your Volkswagen is not locked either.

Update, Volkswagen wireless entry keyfobs are now vulnerable to remote hackery.

In 2013, when University of Birmingham computer scientist Flavio Garcia and a team of researchers were preparing to reveal a vulnerability that allowed them to start the ignition of millions of Volkswagen cars and drive them off without a key, they were hit with a lawsuit that delayed the publication of their research for two years. But that experience doesn't seem to have deterred Garcia and his colleagues from probing more of VW's flaws: Now, a year after that hack was finally publicized, Garcia and a new team of researchers are back with another paper that shows how Volkswagen left not only its ignition vulnerable but the keyless entry system that unlocks the vehicle's doors, too. And this time, they say, the flaw applies to practically every car Volkswagen has sold since 1995.

Might be time to consider taking the side cutters to that keyless entry module in your ride. At least figure out where the fuse for it it. Things don't work when you pull out the fuse.

The Phantom

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Your car is not locked.

Why not? Wireless signal amplifier. It makes your car think you are right next to it. Car thieves finally entered the digital age, my friends.

The only defense against such seemingly simple trickery is to construct something called "Faraday cage" – you know it as the proverbial tin foil hat every dime-store Hollywood director scripts into their "conspiracy theory" blockbuster – or keep your keyfob in something impervious to radio transmission like, say, the icebox in your refrigerator.
I know, I know. You're thinking this is a joke. So did I when I first penned that exact same recommendation some three months ago in Top 10 ways to avoid getting your car hacked. Who could seriously recommend you start wrapping up your car keys in Reynolds Wrap or hide it under the Swanson's TV Dinner as a serious deterrent to auto theft?
Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V or ADAC, the German equivalent to the AAA, that's who. In a recent public announcement, they put together a video depicting exactly the scenario described above to illustrate how easy it is to steal a modern car. Car theft never looked so easy – or so comfortable. Even more telling, however, was some actual footage showing two reprobates stealing a new BMW 3 Series Touring in less time than it takes the owner – you have to fumble in your pockets for the keyfob, after all – to get in and start his own vehicle.

Ah yes, the venerable Faraday Cage, otherwise known as the tinfoil hat of conspiracy theory fame. Seems like I've been talking about this shit for ages, but every time there's another news item, everyone seems so surprised!

Yes. Wrap your radio transmitting car key in tinfoil, and the signal can't get out. Same goes for your credit cards, by the way. With a decent antenna, a snooper in a car can read every chip card in your wallet. With you in another car, driving the opposite direction.

Oh, by the way. Your Jeep? It's not locked at all. They don't even need a signal amplifier for that one.

Using a 'stolen database,' probably a standard set provided to dealers, the thieves read the VIN number of the Jeep (that loooong ass number you can read in the windshield? Yeah, that one.) Using the VIN, the database coughs up the codes to program a new key fob. They don't need to do that though, they just use a laptop to broadcast the appropriate code, and away they go.

Now, the important question is, what are the car companies doing about this? Nothing. Not a single thing. They do not care.

Might be time to invest in a steering wheel lock, eh? Just like the good old days.

The Phantom

Update: Welcome Small Dead Animals and flying monkeys!

Zeppelin LIVES!

Calling Capt. Bob Southunder, your aircraft is ready!

Four years after the US Army deemed it too expensive, the hybrid airship – a carbon-composite cross between a zeppelin, a helicopter and an aeroplane - was gently piloted into the open in a delicate five-minute operation.

It was towed 30 minutes to its resting point at a primary mast site, one of two specially prepared on the same airfield at Cardington, Bedfordshire, where in 1919 British engineers embarked on their own failed attempts to challenge Germany's fated Zeppelin programme.

It can go 90mph and carry ten metric tonnes of payload, according to the article. Best of all, it is made of Heavy Metal:

It derives 60pc of its lift aerostatically (by being lighter-than-air), and 40pc aerodynamically (by being wing-shaped), and was helped into being by a £250,000 donation from Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson.

Very, very cool.

The Phantom