Saturday, April 20, 2019

Why is there no off switch?

Somebody finally asks. Larry Sanger, American internet project developer and co-founder of Wikipedia, wants to know why nothing has an OFF switch anymore.

It's almost as if the vendors of common, must-have devices want to make it possible to spy on us. An enterprising journalist should ask why they don't make such switches. They certainly have deliberately made it hard for us to stop being spied upon -- even though we're their customers. Think about that. We're their bread and butter, and we're increasingly and rightly concerned about our security. Yet they keep selling us these insecure devices. That's just weird, isn't it? What the hell is going on?

I remember a loooong time ago when I was in high school, my mother's office got an Apple computer. On an IBM PC, the off-switch was an OFF switch, it stopped the power to the motherboard. On the Apple, it was a suggestion. You pushed the "off" button, and eventually the machine would get around to shutting off. Unless it was hung, in which case it would just sit there, forever. Mom solved the problem by unplugging it at the end of the day.

But this is 2019, and now none of your shit even has a plug. The last phone I had that you could get at the battery was a Blackberry. Apple has had inaccessible batteries since the iPhone 1, I think.

Currently, as Mr. Sanger says, no hard-wired power-interruption switch is available on ANY portable electronic device I can think of off hand. And we know those devices can be turned on remotely. As Sanger says in the article, and as I've said elsewhere, people have been putting stickers or tape or bandaids over those laptop webcams since they started making them. We know that Facebook Messenger serves ads based on voice-only conversations.

For that matter the latest Big Marketing Push is for Amazon Alexa and the Google equivalent, which are always-on recording devices. With no off-switch.

Therefore, when you see an entire industry doing something bad, you must immediately follow the money. Clearly, there's money being made from spying on customers and selling the data. A great deal of money, probably. As well, there are probably government mandates buried deep in regulations that we don't know about.

What would it take to make them stop spying? That is the next question.

The answer is the same as it always is. Threat of bankruptcy. You spy, you die. That will take a social movement the size of the one currently being waged for #MeToo.

Update: Welcome Instapundit! In the comments, one person suggested an aluminum pot as a makeshift Faraday cage. Excellent thought!

Friday, April 19, 2019

On Good Friday, an admonition to virtue from a Capitalist Asshole.

This article is by Aaron Clary, owner of Asshole Consulting. Seen first at Small Dead Animals.

The House on Lake Minnetonka That Never Existed

Because of its proximity to the campus me and my friends would regularly bike and run around this lake.  Not only for the beauty of the lake, but the architecture of the houses that surrounded it.  And even though one would prefer to run around this lake during summer, one of my fonder memories of the Twin Cities was running around Lake of the Isles at night during winter.

Even though it may have been -5 outside, I still enjoyed running around Lake of the Isles because it gave me my goal, my inspiration, and my incentive to work hard and study hard in school.  I did not come from wealth, but at night (and not in a creepy, stalker type sense) many of the mansions would have their lights on allowing me to kind of peer into these homes and wonder about what life was like on the inside.

What was it like to have a nice warm home and not sleep in a basement?
What was it like to have so much wealth you didn't have to worry about student loans?
Is that a wall oven I see?  Is the wife of that home making dinner?  Gosh, a home cooked meal would be great.
And forget dinner, I bet those people have nothing to worry about. They're RICH.  They got it made.

Spoiler, they weren't rich and they didn't have it made. What they really were was miserable. Envy, greed and hate are the killers of life. Mr. Clary explains, in considerable detail.

Its a bit long, but on a Good Friday with all that's been going on the last few years, and with the Cathedral of Notre Dame burning the way it did, I found this post of Aaron's to be one of the best practical bits of advise on a virtuous life I have ever seen.

The Phantom

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

North Korea mean to animals! [sob!]

This is what I love about bunny-huggers, as a race. Of all the horrors in North Korea, from death by starvation to sex slavery, these assholes are upset about the bears in a circus.

Campaigning group Animal Defenders International (ADI) said circus animals like these had been tamed by a lifetime of suffering.

ADI president Jan Creamer said: "Forced to perform in circus style shows, these poor animals endure a lifetime of suffering and deprivation.

"Denied the normal, social and mental stimulation they would enjoy with their families in the wild, the compliance of these intelligent, feeling animals is achieved through violence, threats, and withdrawal of food, water and affection during training.

"The public can help end their suffering by avoiding animal shows and letting attractions know why they are taking their custom elsewhere."

Tell you what snowflake, those bears are better taken care of and better fed than most of the people watching them. Grow a brain cell.

The Phantom

Monday, April 15, 2019

Naked man with knife shot by armed McDonald's.

So it seems some guy got some bad drugs in Palmdale California. He stabbed an old man in McDonalds, then attacked the security guard, who killed him with a pistol.

It began when the suspect, described initially as a shirtless Latino man, crashed his car into into the wall of a Carl's Jr. restaurant, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He then got out and ran across the street to a nearby McDonald's, during which time he undressed completely.
Deputies said the man, now naked, entered the McDonald's and stabbed an 88-year-old man who was eating with his grandson.
As the suspect was coming out of the McDonald's, he was confronted by an armed security guard, the sheriff's department said. When he tried to assault the guard, the guard shot him at least once, hitting him in the upper torso, deputies said.
Both the suspect and the stabbed customer were taken to local hospitals. The suspect was pronounced dead, while the stabbing victim was listed in stable condition and was expected to survive, officials at the scene told CBS2.
The guard was unhurt.

Two things stand out here.

1) McDonald's has a fricking armed guard in Palmdale California. Are you kidding me? They have to have private security at the burger joint?!
2) McDonald's has an armed guard and a stark naked dude with a knife managed to get into the place, stab a guy and get out, before the armed guard got his shit together and did something about it.

What a shit hole. Way to go, California. Looks good on ya.

Update: Welcome Instapundit! Thanks, Sarah! ~:D

Friday, April 12, 2019

The End of women's sports if the Dems get their way.

Previously I've covered the throwing under the bus of radical lesbians, radical fruitbat-feminists (as distinct from equal-opportunity feminists)  and women's sports advocates by the Political Left. I've covered former Lefty lesbian heart throb Martina Navratilova getting ShirtStormed for saying trans-women playing women's sport is cheating. I've covered lesbians getting beat up at Pride Day last year by Antifa for not wanting "persons of penis" in their grrrrlz-only spaces. Like the change room, the showers, etc.

And I've covered all the reasons why a sex-change doesn't change a damn thing about the male performance advantage over women in speed, power and endurance.

Physics. Doesn't. Change. You fricking Lefties can cry all you want about how gender is a "social construction" and cry all day long about the feeeeelz, physics does not care.

Okay, so we got all that. For all that arguing, yelling and hitting, here's your results:

The Daily Caller reports that "Democrats' Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make 'sexual orientation and gender identity' protected characteristics under federal anti-discrimination law," and would force schools to accommodate "transgender" male athletes who identify as female by placing them on female-only sports teams.
Biological males competing as females have become a trend in high school sports (as well as some professional sports), and several biologically male athletes have earned top honors in state sporting competitions, beating out the women for whom the all-female contests were created.
...[some snippage]...
Activists who support "transgender rights" in sports contend that there are no innate physical differences between women and men, and that men who identify as female are "authentically women," and should be allowed to compete, even if they have a clear and undeniable statistical advantage.
The Human Rights Coalition even wrote a statement in support of the bill, claiming that opponents of the measure are denying science.
"Opponents of equality in athletics for transgender athletes have argued that girls who are transgender have unfair physiological advantages over cisgender girls and as a result, will dominate women's competitive sports," they wrote, adding that it is not "rooted in fact" that men are stronger and faster than women, according to the Caller.
Rep. Dan Lipinksi (D-IL), the last remaining pro-life Democrat, was the only member of the caucus to oppose the bill. Republican Reps. John Katko (R-NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) joined with Democrats to press the bill forward.

The entire DemocRat caucus, except one guy, signed on to this thing. They intend to legislate, cast into law, that there are no physical differences between men and women. You take a man, put him in a dress, and he's now a woman. By declaration alone.
This is a stunt, just like Alexandria Occasional-Cortex's Green New Deal which did not receive even one vote in the House. The "Equality Act" will pass through the House, all the good people will vote for it, all the bad people will vote against it, and it will vanish, never to be seen again.
But it does tell us a great deal about what kind of people these DemocRats are, and what their intentions are. They're quite happy to throw 150 years worth of gains made by the progressive women's movement out the window for a bit of momentary virtue signalling. If they get what they say they want, all the top women athletes in the United States will be men.
Full disclosure, I don't play sports, I don't have kids that play sports, and I don't watch sports. I detest sports.
As a large and grizzled old male, I don't care a good goddamm who else is using the bathroom at McDonald's. If some girl wants to stick on a mustache and pretend to pee standing up, that is her problem. I'm in no danger from mustache girl, she's a twig compared to me.
As a Conservative, I don't care that the women's movement is getting squashed. Women are supposed to be property, aren't they? Kept barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen to make me a sandwich. That's what Conservatives believe, right? Fer shur.
Y'all Lefties and lesbians have brought all this shit on yourselves. I'm sitting here with my popcorn and beer, laughing it up. I don't have a dog in this fight.
Oh, but wait. I do. I'm living next to a nation whose government is composed of thieves and liars. That probably won't turn out well for me. Eventually one of them will want to take -my- stuff. "First they came for the Lezzies, but I'm a dude so I said nothing..."
Dear Americans, please stop voting for these Leftist assholes. I'll see what I can do about the Liberals in October.

The Phantom

Update: Welcome Instapundit horde! Woohoo!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How the "armed civillian" thing works.

There's been some confusion about how this whole "armed civilian" concept works among Leftists and government officials in Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.

This is a video of a typical armed citizen encounter with violent assholes.

Pay particular attention to how nobody dies. Over 90% of self defense encounters, no shots are fired.

Also notice how, on a crowded street in Chicago, right in front of McDonald's, nobody comes to help the old man. They're ALL taking video with their fucking phones. If he didn't have that gun, those two would have beat him as much as they wanted to. Maybe to death.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Trans-athletes. If the facts are against you...

...argue the law.

As a performance scientist and someone who has worked in elite sport for over a decade, I am interested in the determinants of physical performance and how to manipulate and enhance these variables. Over my years working with athletes, I have become accustomed to observing the differences between the sexes and have extensively studied why these differences exist. It has therefore been baffling to me to see some of the discussions regarding why sex categories in sport exist and how to include trans-athletes. What we must understand is that there is currently a general lack of understanding regarding the potential consequences on elite sport due to ill-informed policy making and the pressures of activist groups.

He has a list of performance differences, they average out somewhere between ten and twenty percent. Women being on the low side of the ratio.

As a physical therapist, part of my schooling was the "determinants of physical performance" that the author, Andrew Langford, talks about. These determinants are myriad. Bone density, the physical size of tendons and ligaments, the size of muscle attachments to the bone, muscle cell twitch speed, the ratio between "fast twitch" and "slow twitch" muscle cells in the major skeletal muscle groups, the width of the pelvic girdle and distance between the hip joints, on and on it goes.

Men have bigger, denser bones. I'm not going to add the idiot boilerplate because its a lie. 80% or more of men have bigger denser bones than 80% of women. They have larger contact surfaces in every major joint. Their muscle attachments and ligaments are larger. Their narrower pelvic girdle provides a mechanical advantage in walking, running, jumping etc. None of this goes away when a man or woman "transitions." It all stays the same. To bad so sad, physics is physics.

But the law, thanks to Leftist activists, says "that's a woman now." Sports governing bodies are in the interesting position of being forced to let second or even third-string formerly-male athletes compete against the top women, and beat them. Nobody seems concerned about formerly-females competing against the men, even though that's wildly unfair in the reverse direction.

The law does have one problem though. There's this other pesky law called "free speech" that allows sporty transphobes to mention the above immutable facts. Physics, you know.

The quote goes: "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell."

That's when this type of thing starts happening:

In mid-March 2019, Farrow was investigated by the Surrey police at the behest of Susie Green, the founder of Mermaids Gender, a trans activist organization. Green reported tweets in which Farrow used male pronouns to address her MTF daughter, believing them to be a violation of the UK's Malicious Communications Act.

Green also noted a tweet from October of 2018 in which Farrow accused Green of facilitating the 'castration' of her underage trans daughter. This was related to claims that Green brought her trans daughter, then 16 years old, to Thailand to receive a sex-change as she was not of the legal age to do so in the UK. This was confirmed by Green herself in a 2012 BBC 3 Documentary. Green eventually dropped the complaint into Farrow, claiming she did not want to give Farrow a wider platform to spread "misinformation."

Since, Farrow and her family has been the target of rapidly escalating cyber-abuse.

In a development that shocks no one, the police who were after her with one phone call from Suzie Green have been remarkably useless at protecting Caroline Farrow and her family. This is in the same country where not one but two national retail chains have stopped selling kitchen knives to prevent "knife crime." One of the reasons violent crime is out of control is the use of police resources to harass people like Caroline Farrow.

The same wave of bullying has been turned on two famous sportswomen, Martina Navratilova and Sharon Davies. Lesbians, aka "TERFS", aka older ladies who don't like men and don't want them around, are getting beaten up at Gay Pride Day parades by "trans-allies" and ejected from Lefty venues for speeches etc. leaving them begging The Heritage Foundation for a safe place to talk. By which I do not mean a "Safe Space," I mean a place where they won't get their asses kicked by armed Antifa goons.

All this for a disorder that AT MOST affects 0.004% of the population, and affects perhaps 100 athletes in the whole of Britain. Which is clearly insane.

So why are they doing it, when young men are stabbing each other to death in London in record numbers?

They're doing it so they can have a Malicious Communications Act, that's why. They're doing it to justify seizing control over the entire internet and shutting it down.

Leftists in the West have been losing elections pretty steadily since the 1990's brought us the Internet. Thanks to outlets like the Drudge Report and the fact that some guy like me can publish whatever I want for free, from my phone if neccessary, Leftists have found their lies getting shot out of the water pretty much 100% of the time. They don't care about sports or trans-athletes or women at all. They care about making it illegal to publish anything they didn't say was okay. They want to get back to the days when the BBC ruled the airwaves and the newspapers all printed what they were bloody well told to print.

That's why.

Monday, April 08, 2019

More militants attacking farms.

More violent assholes attacking a farm, this one in Australia.

A family-owned cafe has been forced to close its doors and leave staff jobless after they were relentlessly abused by vegan animal activists for months on end.

The Gippy Goat Café in the small Victorian town of Yarragon, about 110km south-east of Melbourne, closed its doors for the final time on Sunday, claiming they could no longer stand the abuse.

Owners John and Penny Gommans said they have been targeted for months. 

They claim tensions have only gotten worse since activists broke into their farm and stole three goats last December.

That's at least break-and-enter plus theft and property damage. According to the Gommans, the authorities declined to prosecute said well organized, well funded violent assholes. Read the whole thing, its revolting.

Coming soon to a town near you in Canada, unless we vote out the Liberals.

British stores stop selling cutlery? Apparently yes.

Co-op stores and the Walmart owned Asda stores will no longer sell kitchen knives.

Britain's sixth largest supermarket operator Co-operative Group was the latest chain on Friday to say it had stopped selling single kitchen knives in response to a wave of fatal stabbings.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Murrells told reporters on a call after the company's annual results that it put a halt to the sale of knives about three weeks ago.

"We've launched our safer colleague, safer community campaign to support colleague safety and help identify the causes of community crime. This has seen us remove kitchen knives from sale in our stores," he said.

Because knives cause crime, you know.  No knives, no stabbings. The calculus is really very simple.

How long before the populace is preparing their dinner with a shiv made out of a melted toothbrush? My guess, 2025. 

United Kingdom Ministry of Truth.

Somewhere, no doubt somewhere unpleasant, Hitler is laughing.

The UK government is taking a hard line when it comes to online safety, moving to establish what it says is the world's first independent regulator to keep social media companies in check.

Companies that fail to live up to requirements will face huge fines, and senior directors who are proven to have been negligent will be held personally liable. They may also find access to their sites blocked.

The new measures, designed to make the internet a safer place, were announced jointly by the Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The introduction of the regulator is the central recommendation of a highly anticipated government white paper, titled Online Harms, published early Monday in the UK.

A brief listing of things which Must Not Be Allowed:

The regulator will be tasked with ensuring social media companies are tackling a range of online problems, including:
  • Inciting violence and spreading violent content (including terrorist content)
  • Encouraging self-harm or suicide
  • The spread of disinformation and fake news
  • Cyberbullying
  • Children accessing inappropriate material
  • Child exploitation and abuse content

As well as applying to the major social networks, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, the requirements will also have to be met by file-hosting sites, online forums, messaging services and search engines.

Meaning every time one kid texts "KYS" to another kid (or when The Phantom uses KYS as an example) the internet provider and the phone company pay a fine. Which they pass on to their customer base, meaning us.

This accomplishes two things. It institutes a new realm or tax and regulation which will be very profitable for government, and it makes cell phones and internet too expensive for the peasantry. Gasoline tax for the internet, essentially. The peasants shall walk, the lords shall ride.

This will end well, I'm sure.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Screen time does NOT rot teenaged brains.

Another moral panic bites the dust.

Data from more than 17,000 teenagers show little evidence of a relationship between screen time and well-being in adolescents. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, casts doubt on the widely accepted notion that spending time online, gaming, or watching TV, especially before bedtime, can damage young people's mental health.

Every new technology that comes out has this said about it. Comic books, television, pinball, arcade games, video games, the internet, and most recently "Screen Time" were all going to rot the brains of the younger generation. Every single time it turns out to be bullshit.

You'd think people would learn.

The Phantom

Friday, April 05, 2019

Even Microsoft can learn. Eventually.

Finally, the Windows 10 forced update retardation will cease.

Microsoft has announced that starting with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, which will hit general availability late next month, users will no longer be forced to install new Windows 10 feature updates as they become available.

Because, as everyone has been telling them since they started with this shit, it breaks everything whenever they send another update. Sometimes printer drivers, sometimes the network, sometimes the PC itself. I run three networks in separate locations, two are business. Every new update, stupid little stuff breaks and I have to scramble. I can't even imagine what the IT department at a company like Proctor and Gamble or Ford has to deal with.