B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

I Heard You Sigh was uploaded to Flickr

Rain, Chicago at night

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I took I Heard You Sigh on October 13, 2014 at 08:49PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 23, 2014 at 08:46PM

Written by eggplant

October 23rd, 2014 at 5:06 pm

JPMorgan Chase Seeks Corporate Welfare to Build New HQ in Manhattan

Where all hopes sank
Where all hopes sank

I’ve heard of food deserts, perhaps New York City has a bank desert here? Why else would taxpayers fund real estate for one of the biggest, wealthiest banks on the planet? Well, other than the obvious reason, corruption. Sweet, sweet corporate welfare, it’s what makes the business world go ‘round…

City and state officials are negotiating with JPMorgan Chase over a potential deal in which the nation’s largest bank would build a vast $6.5 billion corporate campus with two high-rise towers in the new commercial district on the Far West Side of Manhattan.

The talks, which involve one of the largest real estate complexes for a single company in New York City history and a large package of incentives for Chase, have reached a feverish state after nearly falling apart this week.

The negotiations are so delicate that few people are willing to discuss them publicly for fear of alienating one side or another.

But a deal with the bank poses political risks for both the state and the city. Chase had initially sought, by one account, more than $1 billion in concessions from the city and the state while it continues to pare its payroll in the city. According to executives and officials, Chase wants to build the two towers — whose total space would be the equivalent of about two Empire State Buildings — at Hudson Yards on the north side of 33rd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. They would become home to 16,000 employees.

(click here to continue reading JPMorgan Chase Seeks Incentives to Build New Headquarters in Manhattan – NYTimes.com.)

JP Morgan Chase Blues
JP Morgan Chase Blues

and additional evidence that Chase must have explicit photos of Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in compromising positions, possibly with each other,  on a bed of lobbyist dollars while Jamie Dimon watches:

As is often the case in these kinds of deals, the bank drew up a lengthy list of possible concessions. Chase wanted to cut the mortgage recording tax, the transfer tax and sales taxes on construction materials. It also sought job-training grants, low-cost power from the state, an underground passageway between the two buildings that would require alterations to the newly built No. 7 subway station and financial help with reinforcing the foundation.

The neighborhood, formerly part of Hell’s Kitchen, was rezoned eight years ago for high-rise development by then-Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The rezoning included tax breaks and other incentives intended to encourage new construction.

City officials, who estimated that there are already $600 million in tax breaks and other incentives associated with the two sites, have been reluctant to sweeten the deal for Chase.

The Bloomberg administration issued $3 billion in bonds to pay for parks, a new tree-lined boulevard and an extension of the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to the spot where Chase wants to build the new towers.

Officials at the time had assured skeptics that development fees and payments in lieu of taxes from new towers would cover the debt payments. But development has been slower than anticipated, prompting the city to take more than $130 million from the city budget to make the annual debt payments.

Chase has been eager to reduce its costs in New York and move technical and operational employees to lower-cost locations in Delaware, New Jersey and elsewhere.

Austerity for thee, not for me…

How about instead of giving JPMorgan Chase the $600,000,000 -$1,000,000,000 it is asking for, instead New York gives Chase employees an equal amount in tax credits? Sales tax relief, income tax relief, whatever, but only for the employees who make less than $100,000 a year? Sure they’d all have to file 1040 returns, but seems like a better boost to New York’s economy than doling out government cheese to a filthy rich bank.

Written by Seth Anderson

October 17th, 2014 at 8:55 am

F.B.I. Director James Comey Continues His Obfuscation Tour Re Encrypted Phones

Old US Post Office building Toned
Old US Post Office building – used in Dark Knight

FBI Director James Comey continues his public obfuscation tour, blaming the upcoming Joker and Riddler crime spree in Gotham on the fairly new ability of consumers to encrypt data on their own phones against unwilling intrusions by governments and other entities.

The director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, said on Thursday that the “post-Snowden pendulum” that has driven Apple and Google to offer fully encrypted cellphones had “gone too far.” He hinted that as a result, the administration might seek regulations and laws forcing companies to create a way for the government to unlock the photos, emails and contacts stored on the phones.

But Mr. Comey appeared to have few answers for critics who have argued that any portal created for the F.B.I. and the police could be exploited by the National Security Agency, or even Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies or criminals. And his position seemed to put him at odds with a White House advisory committee that recommended against any effort to weaken commercial encryption.

Apple and Google have announced new software that would automatically encrypt the contents of cellphones, using codes that even the companies could not crack. Their announcement followed a year of disclosures from Edward J. Snowden, the former government contractor who revealed many government programs that collect electronic data, including information on Americans.

The new encryption would hinder investigations involving phones taken from suspects, recovered at crime scenes or discovered on battlefields. But it would not affect information obtained by real-time wiretaps, such as phone conversations, emails or text messages. And the government could still get information that is stored elsewhere, including emails, call logs and, in some cases, old text messages.

(click here to continue reading James Comey, F.B.I. Director, Hints at Action as Cellphone Data Is Locked – NYTimes.com.)

Warrant - Not Found

You know what isn’t mentioned in this long article? Warrants. I wonder why that is? Could it be that most criminal masterminds do not store their plans to rob Gotham National Bank solely upon their encrypted cellphones, leaving law enforcement completely in the dark? Possibly The Joker leaves other traces of his plan elsewhere? Or discusses his machinations with co-conspirators? According to Mr. Comey, without the government retaining the ability to tap into each and every one of our cellphones at any time, The Joker will win. He’ll win! He’ll win, Batman!

or as Marcy Wheeler rightfully notes, this seems to really be about warrantless searching, especially at the US border:

Encrypting iPhones might have the biggest impact on law enforcement searches that don’t involve warrants, contrary to law enforcement claims this is about warranted searches. As early as 2010, Customs and Border Patrol was searching around 4,600 devices a year and seizing up to 300 using what is called a “border exception.” That is when CBP takes and searches devices from people it is questioning at the border. Just searching such devices does not even require probable cause (though seizing them requires some rationale). These searches increasingly involve smart phones like the iPhone.

These numbers suggest border searches of iPhones may be as common as warranted searches of the devices. Apple provided account content to U.S. law enforcement 155 times last year. It responded to 3,431 device requests, but the “vast majority” of those device requests involved customers seeking help with a lost or stolen phone, not law enforcement trying to get contents off a cell phone (Consumer Reports estimates that 3.1 million Americans will have their smart phones stolen this year). Given that Apple has by far the largest share of the smart phone market in the U.S., a significant number of border device searches involving a smart phone will be an iPhone. Apple’s default encryption will make it far harder for the government to do such searches without obtaining a warrant, which they often don’t have evidence to get.

If law enforcement wants to retain this access, they should be honest about what they might lose and why every iPhone user should be asked to carry a phone that is susceptible to criminal targeting as a result. Trading default encryption for a limited law enforcement purpose is just that — a trade-off — and officials should be prepared to discuss it as such. And, as forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski explains, there’s a mountain of other data still available to help law enforcement solve crimes. “There is such a mount of peripheral evidence out there that only a small handful of cases are even likely to have the iPhone be the sole smoking gun to begin with,” he explained. “Cops have iCloud data, iCloud backups, call records, voicemail records, text messages from the carrier (if obtained within a certain retention period), gmail, email, web logs, trap and trace, proxy logs, not to mention copies of data from other people involved or from the victims themselves, desktop backups (if available), sometimes even a desktop (as many criminals don’t use encryption at all). Add to that they’re eavesdropping on the whole damn Internet.”

(click here to continue reading America’s huge iPhone lie: Why Apple is being accused of coddling child molesters – Salon.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

October 17th, 2014 at 8:29 am

Posted in Apple,government

Tagged with , , , ,

iPhone Other Data Suckage

For the third time in the last 2 months, I’ve had to restore my iPhone to factory settings – a long, laborious process – because a sync failed, and left “Other” data behind. This “Other” data is music, but the iOS cannot make sense of it, and just ignores it, except I cannot ever sync the iPhone again because there isn’t enough room. There is no way to get at the file system to delete this crud, other than resetting the iPhone back to as if I just opened it from its box.

A real PITA, in other words, that takes several hours from start to finish. 

IPhone Data Other
iPhone Data Other.PNG

See, the Other Data is so large, that the iPhone sync process fails. Grrr…

 

First, Backup the iPhone. Turn Sync Music Off (click the toggle button), rsync. I’ve found that subsequently turning on use iTunes Match helps make this process actually work without failing. Backup again. Restore iPhone to Factory Setting, wait the 90 minutes or so before this finishes. Enable Location Services, log in to iCloud, etc., Sync. Wait until all the apps and photos,  books, etc. sync. Restore Hipstamatic lens/film combos. Toggle Sync Music back on. Sync again, hopefully for the last time. All told, I started around 4:30 PM, and now it is nearly 11 PM, and the final sync isn’t completed yet (though I had dinner, drank some wine, watched a little television, and so forth, these times might have been slightly less had I sat in front of my computer all night waiting for the various processes to finish) – it has only synced about 10% of my music so far. At least there is an end in sight.1

Lovely.

Oh, and also recreating the TouchID fingerprint scan, another few minutes of time – time that was interesting to do the first time, not that cumbersome the second time, but now, the third time in 60 days? Not ideal…

Footnotes:
  1. 12:33 AM when the phone is finally usable again. Sheesh []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 16th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Posted in Apple

Tagged with , , ,

Harmlessly Passing Your Time was uploaded to Flickr

Rain, Lake Street.

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I took Harmlessly Passing Your Time on October 13, 2014 at 10:10PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 15, 2014 at 06:02AM

Written by eggplant

October 15th, 2014 at 8:19 am

King’s Noodle Restaurant was uploaded to Flickr

Spadina, Toronto, after a rain.

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I took King’s Noodle Restaurant on September 20, 2014 at 11:08PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 11, 2014 at 04:09PM

Written by eggplant

October 11th, 2014 at 9:57 am

King’s Noodle Restaurant – Contrasty BW was uploaded to Flickr

Spadina, Toronto, after a rain.

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http://flic.kr/p/pkE7ma

I took King’s Noodle Restaurant – Contrasty BW on September 20, 2014 at 11:08PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 11, 2014 at 04:09PM

Written by eggplant

October 11th, 2014 at 9:57 am

Bill Davies Folly was uploaded to Flickr

Well, maybe folly too strong a word. But he’s owned the Old Chicago Main Post Office on Van Buren for five years, and it can’t be cheap to maintain, pay taxes on, etc.

Latest news is that Sterling Bay has withdrawn from the development.

http://ift.tt/1sk3JIX…

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I took Bill Davies Folly on April 25, 2014 at 07:29PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 10, 2014 at 02:33AM

Randy’s House Remains was uploaded to Flickr

Frostpocket.

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I took Randy’s House Remains on September 13, 2014 at 10:37AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 09, 2014 at 03:32PM

Written by eggplant

October 9th, 2014 at 8:43 am

Too Intrinsic For Renown was uploaded to Flickr

Frostpocket Lane

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I took Too Intrinsic For Renown on September 13, 2014 at 10:34AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 09, 2014 at 01:25PM

Written by eggplant

October 9th, 2014 at 6:57 am

Early Morning, Cold El animated GIF

An animated GIF created in Photoshop CS6, with photographs from Hipstamatic’s new “burst” option.1

Early Morning El
Early-Morning-El.gif

Footnotes:
  1. apologies to The Who’s Early Morning, Cold Taxi []

Written by Seth Anderson

October 8th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Arts,Film

Tagged with , , , ,

A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens was uploaded to Flickr

Fungi unknown.

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I took A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens on September 12, 2014 at 05:16PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 07, 2014 at 06:54PM

Written by eggplant

October 7th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

In The Midst Of It was uploaded to Flickr

West Loop

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I took In The Midst Of It on October 06, 2014 at 10:06AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 06, 2014 at 03:41PM

Written by eggplant

October 6th, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Watch Without Speaking was uploaded to Flickr

stream, Frostpocket

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I took Watch Without Speaking on September 13, 2014 at 10:36AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 05, 2014 at 03:30PM

Written by eggplant

October 5th, 2014 at 8:40 am

What I Need I Just Don’t Have was uploaded to Flickr

Frostpocket Lane

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http://flic.kr/p/peKK4e

I took What I Need I Just Don’t Have on September 13, 2014 at 10:34AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 04, 2014 at 05:44PM

Written by eggplant

October 4th, 2014 at 10:49 am