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

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Priest, first shrive thyself.

Offered for the irony alone, this missive about a Catholic seminary.

DUBLIN: The head of Ireland's biggest Catholic diocese said Tuesday he had moved trainee priests from the country's leading seminary over allegations of homosexual activity among students and staff, including the use of the Grindr dating app.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the "poisonous" atmosphere caused by the claims at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth – also known as the National Seminary for Ireland – had led him to transfer students to the Irish College in Rome.

Poisonous atmosphere caused by claims of homosexuality between students and staff? Wait, what?

An anonymous letter emerged in May, alleging homosexual activity among some students and teachers. Authorities issued a statement promising to "thoroughly deal" with such behavior.

So what's the "such behavior" that's the problem here? Teachers rogering students? Nope.

 "A culture of anonymous letters is poisonous and until that is cleared up I would be happier to send my students elsewhere," the archbishop told RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster.

Yeah. Priests and would-be priests hooking up on Grindr is not a problem. Some spoilsport squealing on them, that's a problem.

Way to go, Archbishop Martin.