B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Trump panic on the right

Face in a Crowd
Face in a Crowd…

Expanding on the point I made yesterday, Digby writes:1

It seems odd that after an overwhelming litany of crude, demagogic insults over the course of the last year, Republican leaders have suddenly recognized that Donald Trump is a racist whose reckless rhetoric is likely to destroy the Republican Party. Evidently, the “Mexicans are rapists” comments in his announcement speech a year ago didn’t ring any alarm bells. But better late than never. Party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan both decided they needed to denounce his blatant bigotry although they made clear it wasn’t a deal breaker. Better an unfit, racist, authoritarian megalomaniac than a Democrat in the White House. You go to Hades with the devil you have not the devil you wished you have.

There have been a few prominent Republicans who have publicly withdrawn their endorsements.  Senator Mark Kirk said he could no longer support Trump because he doesn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. This has also been obvious for the last 12 months but again, it’s to his credit that he’s belatedly decided that it’s a disqualifying characteristic. He’s decided to write-in the name of General David Petraeus which he may want to re-think considering the news this week that Petraeus was not only found guilty of “mishandling” classified information by sharing it with his mistress, he also shared Top Secret information with reporters. It’s really tough finding a decent Republican to vote for these days.

(click here to continue reading Trump panic on the right: They’ve created this monster — and some are getting more desperate to find a way out – Salon.com.)

No Alien is Illegal
No Alien is Illegal

The GOP were fine with Trump up until very recently, and if you examine their various statements, very few are going as far as saying Trump shouldn’t be the GOP standard-bearer, they just want him to tone down his language a bit so as to not rile up the rubes and television bloviators. Not his ideas, not his actions, just his language describing GOP shibboleths like we must be very, very afraid of undocumented Mexicans pouring over the border by the millions, and other fact-free positions.

Or else what?

The problem with this scenario is that these elite Republicans are failing to take something very important into consideration: their voters. It’s certainly possible that they are in danger of losing some faction of the party over Trump’s repugnant behavior. But there is little reason to believe it’s a majority. This week, millions of them went to the polls and voted for him even though he had already won the nomination. Granted, he’s not the electoral juggernaut he pretends to be, but he is the legitimate winner of the Republican nomination and his voters will not take kindly to having their wishes ignored.

Moreover, the Republican rank and file doesn’t agree with the premise that Trump is out of bounds in the first place. This YouGov survey done after Trump made his bigoted comments about the judge show 81% of Democrats and 44% of independents believe they were racist. But only only 22% of Republicans agree. In other words, 78% of GOP voters are just fine with Trump and seem to agree with his statement that  “people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine.”

(click here to continue reading Trump panic on the right: They’ve created this monster — and some are getting more desperate to find a way out – Salon.com.)

Footnotes:
  1. and I’m in no way claiming she reads this blog, because why would she? Simply that we had the same reaction to recent political news []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 9th, 2016 at 9:01 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

MCMXXVIII was uploaded to Flickr

The Civic Opera House, 1928

(note for the photography purists: I removed a bit of another building in the lower right corner using Photoshop’s “content aware fill”. In other words, this photo is not photojournalism)

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/H33zQA

I took MCMXXVIII on March 31, 2012 at 01:03PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 08, 2016 at 10:47AM

Written by eggplant

June 8th, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Trump Is The GOP

http://i0.wp.com/farm8.static.flickr.com/7374/26796617234_e4a55d0b94.jpg?ssl=1

Amusing, in an odd way, how many Republican leaders decry Trump’s blatant racism, sexism, nativism, whatever-ism, yet make sure to mention that Hillary is somehow worse, without explaining why. Profiles in courage, 2016 edition. I may be unenthusiastic about Ms. Clinton, but she isn’t a racist bully with tiny hands and a tiny brain. The truth is Donald Trump is only saying what the rest of the GOP says and thinks, only louder, and with less big words. The Combover Caligula is the GOP.1

Some Republicans, including Ryan, employed the “Trump is still better than Hillary Clinton” defense. Several asserted that Trump “isn’t racist in his heart” line or variations on that theme. Still others refused to comment or grew angry when pressed to comment on the GOP presidential hopeful.

McConnell was asked every which way about Trump’s comments at his weekly Q&A with reporters, as his leadership team tried in vain to talk about national security and a defense bill pending on the Senate floor. The Kentucky Republican faced not a single question about his plans to pass annual spending bills or to overhaul the Senate and make it a better-functioning body.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) went on CNN to discuss Trump and ended up calling President Barack Obama a racist. “You can easily argue the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and rhetoric,” Zeldin claimed. Zeldin later added that “my purpose here isn’t to just go through the list and call everyone a racist.”

When asked later for details on Obama’s allegedy racist policies or rhetoric, Zeldin apologized to Obama.

“I abhor racism in any form and it has no place in our country,” Zeldin said in a statement. “I was disappointed and disagree with Donald Trump’s statement.”

Zeldin added: “With that being said, I apologize to anyone who interpreted my comments as calling the president a racist. I am not calling the president a racist.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an unabashed Trump critic, said the issue isn’t so much Trump as the future of the GOP. Backing Trump just because he’s the Republican nominee doesn’t cut it, Graham said.

“There are a lot of people who want to be loyal to the Republican Party, including me,” Graham told MSNBC. “But there’ll come a point in time where we’re gonna have to understand that it’s not just about the 2016 race, it’s about the future of the party. And I would like to support our nominee; I just can’t.”

(click here to continue reading Trump ‘racism’ frenzy engulfs Hill Republicans – POLITICO.)

The one-term Senator from Illinois, Mark Kirk couldn’t quite square the circle, at the moment anyway. Come November, I’m sure he’ll be sure to support the GOP’s nominee:

Republican Sen. Mark Kirk said Tuesday that Donald Trump “does not have the temperament” to hold the job of president, saying he “cannot and will not support” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

It was sharp criticism from an incumbent who had previously insisted he would support the GOP nominee. The Illinois Republican, who faces a tough challenge this November from Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, tweeted Tuesday that based on his background in the military, he does not have faith in Trump to lead. “Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal,” Kirk wrote. Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal.

— Mark Kirk (@MarkKirk) June 7, 2016 Kirk, who told CNN that he would write in former CIA director David Petraeus this fall, followed up with a statement saying he objects to Trump’s recent comments about a federal judge’s Mexican heritage.

(click here to continue reading GOP Sen. Mark Kirk: I cannot support Donald Trump – CNNPolitics.com.)

Yeah, David Petraeus, the narcissist who couldn’t keep from telling his mistress national secrets, that guy is apparently the sort of GOP leader Senator Kirk endorses. Slightly better than Trump, sure, but not by much.

http://i0.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7005/27010093932_b84ee2a0ba_z.jpg?resize=640%2C486&ssl=1
 Frank Rich writes:

I doubt we’ll see much more than tiny pockets of Clinton support among the powers that be in the GOP. It has been astonishing to watch one Republican leader after another call out Trump’s racism this week and yet say they still support him because they hate Hillary more. Keep in mind that these are some of the same so-called leaders — typified by Paul Ryan — who were in a tizzy months ago when Trump didn’t immediately disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. They are the same leaders who had to wait several days to see which way the political winds were blowing before they called for the Confederate flag to come down in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. You have to wonder: Do Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, et al, have even a single testicle among them? It doesn’t seem that way. McConnell’s cowardly strategy for criticizing Trump, for instance, was to demand that he “get on message.” What the hell does that mean? Trump is on message: It’s the nativist, birther message that the GOP has embraced throughout the Obama era, and that John McCain (who also continues to endorse Trump) legitimized by putting Sarah Palin on his ticket eight years ago. Trump’s misogyny is also consistent with a party whose favored Establishment candidate this year, Rubio, opposed abortions for victims of rape and incest. It may be only a matter of days before Trump declares that his idea of an impartial judge is Aaron Persky, who presided over the Brock Turner rape case.

But we are beginning to see a few signs of panic, if not courage, among GOP elites this week. They are starting to remember history. The Republican Party lost African-American voters in seeming perpetuity from the moment it nominated an opponent of the Civil Rights Act, Barry Goldwater, for the presidency in 1964. In the 1990s, the GOP lost California — once Ronald Reagan’s secure domain — after the Republican governor Pete Wilson unleashed the forces of bigotry on Hispanics by campaigning for Proposition 187, a punitive strike against undocumented immigrants. It’s finally beginning to dawn on the party elites that, yes, Trump could drive away America’s fastest-growing demographic group for as many decades as Goldwater drove away black people. Trump could turn red states blue just as Wilson did in California.

(click here to continue reading Hillary’s Anti-Trump Strategy Comes Into View — NYMag.)

The Sooner You Can Leave
The Sooner You Can Leave

and Charles Pierces adds:

The gang over at Tiger Beat On The Potomac has put together a helpful list of the most perfect political cowards in the United States Senate—that is, those Distinguished Gentlemen From Wherever who deplore what He, Trump has been saying about the nation’s judges in general, and Judge Gonzalo Curiel in particular, but who likely will support the presumptive Republican nominee anyway

It is here where we point out that Republicans have been holding up Zika funding in the Congress because the Republicans in the House of Representatives are completely insane, and beyond anyone’s control, and perfectly representative of the forces that produced the presidential nominee who makes Burr and Cornyn and the rest of them so uncomfortable.

For their part, of course, these same jamokes in the upper chamber are keeping the Supreme Court playing shorthanded because they don’t like the twice-elected president of the United States and are content to hold one seat on the bench open to be filled by the guy about whom they’d rather not talk.

Incoherence as a strategy does not seem like a plan.

(click here to continue reading Republicans in Congress Outraged by Trump, Will Vote for Him.)

Footnotes:
  1. BTW, I didn’t come up with that term, but forget where I first read it []

Written by Seth Anderson

June 8th, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Brain Volume Sorta Low

Volume
Volume

Some days the volume is low and there is no way to crank it up to ten.

((Editor’s note: even my website was low-energy yesterday, as this post failed, and my entire site also went down))

Written by Seth Anderson

June 7th, 2016 at 8:16 am

Posted in Music

Tagged with

Jesus is π was uploaded to Flickr

or whatever that says.

Of course, in the Old Testament, Pi=3, as Isaac Asimov points out:

"The exact function of the “molten sea” is not stated, though it seems most likely that it was a container for water used in the various rituals. The interesting point is that its upper rim seems to be circular in shape with a diameter of ten cubits and a circumference of thirty cubits. This is impossible, for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter (a ratio called “pi” by mathematicians) is given here as 30/10=3, whereas the real value of pi is an unending decimal which begins 3.14159… If the molten sea were really ten cubits in diameter it would have to be just under thirty-one and a half cubits in circumference.

The explanation is, of course, that the Biblical writers were not mathematicians or even interested in mathematics and were merely giving approximate figures. Still, to those who are obsessed with the notion that every word in the Bible is infallible (and who know a little mathematics) it is bound to come as a shock to be told that the Bible says that the value of pi is 3. “
via
Asimov’s Guide to the Bible

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/GUMdmA

I took Jesus is π on May 28, 2016 at 09:04AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 04, 2016 at 02:18PM

Written by eggplant

June 4th, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Photography

Tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

Shady accounting underpins Donald Trump’s wealth

Make Sidewalks Great Again
Make Sidewalks Great Again

The forensic accountants digging into Trump’s alleged wealth is an intriguing 2016 story-line, I’m assuming Hillary Clinton’s people are working full time on the project.

Donald Trump claims a net worth of more than $10 billion and an income of $557 million. But he appears to get there only by overvaluing properties and ignoring his expenses.

POLITICO spoke with more than a dozen financial experts and Trump’s fellow multimillionaires about the presumptive Republican nominee’s latest financial statement. Their conclusion: The real estate magnate’s bottom line — what he actually puts in his own pocket — could be much lower than he suggests. Some financial analysts said this, and a very low tax rate, is why Trump won’t release his tax returns.

 

(click here to continue reading Shady accounting underpins Donald Trump’s wealth – POLITICO.)

Cash For Gold
Cash For Gold

An interesting subtext is how often anonymous quotes are used because even these Masters of the Universe types realize Trump has a thin skin, and a need to sue everyone who ever blinks at Trump wrong. Such as these courageous high-net worth individuals…

“I know Donald; I’ve known him a long time, and it gets under his skin if you start writing about the reasons he won’t disclose his returns,” said one prominent hedge fund manager who declined to be identified by name so as not to draw Trump’s ire. “You would see that he doesn’t have the money that he claims to have and he’s not paying much of anything in taxes.”

“If he is swimming in so much cash for all his holdings, why is he selling this stuff to raise cash?” asked another ultra-high-net-worth individual who also reviewed the filings and declined to be identified by name to avoid Trump’s wrath.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 4th, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Remembering Your Infinite Course was uploaded to Flickr

W. Grand Ave

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/HFDbpJ

I took Remembering Your Infinite Course on May 28, 2016 at 09:12AM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 04, 2016 at 11:56AM

Written by eggplant

June 4th, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Tribune gets Troncked

Tribune Tower
Tribune Tower

World class editor’s note: from the Nieman Journalism Lab’s Ken Doctor

In a move that, even amid all the nastiness of the Tribune/Gannett war, we would still have to consider stunning, Tribune Publishing has renamed itself — to tronc. In a memo to Tribune staff this afternoon, CEO Justin Dearborn wrote:

Today, I am pleased to announce another important step in our transformation — the renaming of our Company to tronc, or tribune online content. At our core, we remain a content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content across all channels. This rebranding acknowledges our important evolution as a company and captures the essence of our vision for the future.

Editor’s note: Because we do not hate our readers, Nieman Lab style from here on out will be a capitalized Tronc, no matter what the company insists — just as we have long killed the exclamation point in Yahoo and refused to render “Politico” in all caps, and just as we sliced out the old slash in Recode before that company came around to the same idea.

In a war of corporate naming, it’s apparently a race to the bottom. Tronc joins the two-year-old ex-Gannett broadcast company Tegna [or TEGNA! —Ed.] in the pantheon of odd corporate naming. Fast followers of the Tribune Publishing saga will recall that a month ago Tribune chairman Michael Ferro and his hand-picked CEO Justin Dearborn had outlined Tribune’s latest turnaround strategy around a Tronc “content monetization engine.” Now Tronc — a logo and an idea on a whiteboard — has swallowed Tribune itself. Tribunites become Troncites.

(click here to continue reading Tribune gets Troncked: A reader’s guide to the Tribune/Gannett war » Nieman Journalism Lab.)

Tronc is probably the most ridiculous name I’ve encountered in a while. I’m guessing Michael Ferro came up with it in a fever dream, but I could be wrong. Maybe they focus-grouped Tronc for 6 weeks, and this is the best the Tribune brain trust could come up with.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 3rd, 2016 at 8:57 am

Posted in Business

Tagged with , ,

Thursday Leftovers – Plate 6

Browser scraps your humble blogger was too damn lazy to make an entire blog post out of. Refund checks are in the mail, promise…

 

Drink Beer Like An Egyptian
Drink Beer Like An Egyptian

I saw the traveling King Tut exhibit in Toronto as a kid, still remember how awed I was. 

King Tut was buried with a dagger made of an iron that literally came from space, says a new study into the composition of the iron blade from the sarcophagus of the boy king.

Using non-invasive, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers confirmed that the iron of the dagger placed on the right thigh of King Tut’s mummified body a has meteoric origin.

The team, which include researchers from Milan Polytechnic, Pisa University and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, detailed their results in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

(click here to continue reading King Tut’s Blade Made of Meteorite.)

Your Confidence Might Be Shattered
Your Confidence Might Be Shattered

Not at all surprised to find municipalities hiding their hands in the wet sand:

At least 33 cities across 17 US states have used water testing “cheats” that potentially conceal dangerous levels of lead, a Guardian investigation launched in the wake of the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has found.

Chicago residents take action to be rid of lead pipes as fear of toxic water grows Read more Of these cities, 21 used the same water testing methods that prompted criminal charges against three government employees in Flint over their role in one of the worst public health disasters in US history.

The crisis that gripped Flint is an extreme case where a cost-cutting decision to divert the city’s water supply to a polluted river was compounded by a poor testing regime and delays by environmental officials to respond to the health emergency.

The Guardian’s investigation demonstrates that similar testing regimes were in place in cities including Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee.

(click here to continue reading At least 33 US cities used water testing ‘cheats’ over lead concerns | Environment | The Guardian.)

Clown Runs For Prez (Trump)
Clown Runs For Prez (Trump)

Some Donald Trump supporters on 4chan–that time-honored bastion of gentility, courtesy, and sensibility– hatched a plan on the forum to use sockpuppet Twitter accounts to pit Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters against one other. The plan had a slogan: “Let’s troll Bernie and Hillary supporters systematically.”

Their scheme didn’t really work, and has been removed from 4chan. But something like this could be effective in the future–and who knows, another instance of this same political game may be working elsewhere, undetected, right now.

(click here to continue reading “Let’s troll Bernie and Hillary supporters systematically,” said Trump fans on 4chan / Boing Boing.)

The Twelfth Player in Every Football Game
The Twelfth Player in Every Football Game

If there was a hell, Ken Starr should be burning in it soon

Today it was Ken Starr—yes, that Ken Starr—taking his turn with his version of the truth. On Thursday, the regents said they were keeping him on as chancellor and as a tenured professor at the law school. That news, like so much else of what Baylor has said, got the Baptist university bad press. Today, Starr told ESPN’s Joe Schad that he has decided to step down as chancellor but stay on at the law school. Starr said the move was “a matter of conscience.” (He didn’t point out that June 1 also has in the past been a key date for his contract.)

 …

At this point, Starr has decided he doesn’t even agree with the findings of fact released by the regents, which he can do because the finding of fact contained no facts.

Starr also has insisted that he had no idea there was a problem at Baylor until 2015, even though former Baylor football player Tevin Elliot was convicted of two counts of sexual assault in 2014. Several of his victims have spoken openly about how they reported their rapes to Baylor only to be met with indifference.

(click here to continue reading Baylor’s Ken Starr Is Full Of Shit.)

The Troubled Harpo Studios
The Troubled Harpo Studios

Oh, boy…

One of the world’s largest fast food chains, McDonald’s, is making plans to move to the former Harpo Studios campus in the West Loop, according to a report. 

According to Crain’s Chicago, McDonald’s is in advanced negotiations with West Loop-based developer Sterling Bay to move its headquarters to a more-than 300,000-square-foot building the developer plans to build on Randolph Street at the former Harpo Studios in Fulton Market.

McDonald’s corporate employees are now located at a campus in suburban Oak Brook. The company was poised to take over 350,000-square-feet at One Prudential Plaza downtown last year before backing out of the deal, according to Crain’s Chicago, and also has office space in River North.

 

(click here to continue reading McDonald’s Plans To Move Headquarters To Old Harpo Studios Lot: Report – West Loop – DNAinfo Chicago.)

Oh Narcissism - Up Yours
Oh Narcissism – Up Yours

Trump As Joker
Trump As Joker

Suckers are born every moment, and anyone who votes for Trump is one. The world hopes there aren’t enough suckers to put Trump in the White House.

Before Donald Trump was the Republican nomination for president, he charged thousands of dollars for an education at “Trump University,” promising to share the secrets of his real estate investing success.

The only problem: Trump University wasn’t anything close to a university. It was a multilevel marketing scheme.

Students were lured in with a free 90-minute seminar. Trump University promised that the real insider knowledge, and even access to Trump himself, could be theirs if they could just commit to the next level of classes.

Representatives urged prospective students to charge the fees to their credit cards if they needed to, according to court documents — and promised that a few more thousand dollars would change their lives.

Instead, those students sued, saying Trump and his eponymous university defrauded them. The case has its final pretrial conference in May. When it goes to trial, Trump will almost certainly have to testify.

(click here to continue reading Trump University, explained – Vox.)

Starbucks Elevators
Starbucks Elevators

Not only are bookings at Trump Hotels way down, but there are also petitions for businesses to break ties with Trump. Like Starbucks:

Starbucks has suddenly found itself on the unfamiliar side of social activism: A petition is circulating online that demands the coffee chain, arguably among America’s most overtly political corporations, terminate any and all leases it holds on properties owned by Donald Trump. It’s racked up 7,000 supporters in less than a day and, at last glance, had already stretched that goal to 8,000.

On the page for the petition, posted to activist-networking site Care2, creator Kyle Brooks tries to clue CEO Howard Schultz and the rest of the company in to the paradox he sees:

Starbucks is a bold company that values belonging, inclusion, and diversity. They have continuously stood beside the LGBT community, African-Americans, and other minority communities. Unfortunately, Starbucks still has a business partner with a man who has called Mexicans rapists, stereotyped the Muslim community as terrorists, and disgraces women.

(click here to continue reading Petition Demands Starbucks Leave Trump Buildings — Grub Street.)

More Trumpyness:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has taken out 16 loans from 11 different lenders, totaling at least $335 million, according to a Mother Jones analysis of Trump’s financial disclosure form.

His favorite lender, according to the forms, was Deutsche Bank, a major German institution with American subsidiaries that attempted to dodge new regulations instituted by the Dodd-Frank Act.

Deutsche Bank lent Trump at least $295 million between two major projects of his, Trump National Doral golf course and Trump’s hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. Trump also has two outstanding loans worth at least $50 million from the German bank.

While this country has had wealthy presidents, none have been so deeply in debt as Trump. How much pressure could an institution like Deutsche Bank, upon which a sizable portion of Trump’s wealth is dependent, pile on the Republican nominee should he become president?

“They weren’t in a situation where someone could put pressure on them to do what they want,” said Richard Painter, who was the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, to Mother Jones. “Whereas having a president who owes a lot of money to banks, particularly when it’s on negotiable terms—it puts them at the mercy of the banks and the banks are at the mercy of regulators.”

(click here to continue reading Trump Owes At Least $100 Million To Bank That Tried To Skirt Dodd-Frank.)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 2nd, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Links

Tagged with , ,

Lorem fucking ipsum: A Good Fucking Design Advice Service

words at the Seattle Public Library
random words at the Seattle Public Library.

Sometimes standard Lorem ipsum is not the right choice. Lorem fucking ipsum might be.

Here is 156 words worth:

You are not your fucking work. Respect your fucking craft. Creativity is a fucking work-ethic. Don’t worry about what other people fucking think. You won’t get good at anything by doing it a lot fucking aimlessly. Practice won’t get you anywhere if you mindlessly fucking practice the same thing. Change only occurs when you work deliberately with purpose toward a goal. Paul Rand once said, “The public is more familiar with bad fucking design than good design. It is, in effect, conditioned to prefer bad design, because that is what it lives with. The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring.” When you sit down to work, external critics aren’t the enemy. It’s you who you must to fight against to do great fucking work. You must overcome yourself. To go partway is easy, but mastering anything requires hard fucking work. Form follows fucking function. Intuition is fucking important. Why are you fucking reading all of this?

(click here to continue reading Lorem fucking ipsum: A Good Fucking Design Advice Service..)

Create your own

Written by Seth Anderson

June 2nd, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Posted in humor,Links

Tagged with ,

Sneakers That Vibrate to Lead You Around Cities You’re Visiting

Barefoot and Raptured
Barefoot and Raptured

Hmmm. What’s the privacy implication? But I’d be moderately interested in trying version 3 or 4 of this concept…

Imagine if you could explore Europe’s greatest cities without having to constantly look down at your phone to make sure you’re on course to your next destination. U.K.-based regional airline easyJet is trying to solve that problem, at least in theory, with a new pair of internet-connected sneakers that signal to wearers when to turn left or right by vibrating underneath the respective foot. This way, sightseers’ heads can stay up, taking in the surroundings while they walk, without losing their way.  The shoes buzz twice to indicate a wrong turn, thanks to a connection to Google Maps via Bluetooth, and easyJet’s proprietary app. They also adjust to provide a new route if a user veers intentionally off course. Upon arriving at the destination, both sneakers will buzz. 

(click here to continue reading An Airline Made Sneakers That Vibrate to Lead You Around Cities You’re Visiting | Adweek.)

Shoe Sine Up=In
Shoe Sine Up=In

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with , ,

Clinging to Bibles and Guns

Never Seems To Smile
Never Seems To Smile

Yowsa. I think we need to seriously consider banning churches – too much violence, too many religious-minded people are murderers. 

Braxton, a member of the church, was sitting in a back overflow area when another congregant tapped him on the shoulder and told him he had taken an already-occupied seat.

Ushers and others chose to clear the area and let Braxton cool down. But Storms, who is a church member but has no official role at Keystone Fellowship, approached him.

Storms asked Braxton to step outside with him, and Braxton punched him in the face.

Storms told police he was “trying to stop him because I was afraid he was going to hurt me and other people,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in the case.

But firing a gun in a crowded church is “unreasonable,” Steele said Thursday, as is the suggestion that Storms acted in self-defense.

“This is a situation where a gun is introduced into a fistfight,” he said.

The arrest affidavit filed in the case noted that Braxton came to church “only armed with his Bible.”

(click here to continue reading Montco man charged in church-service killing – philly-archives.)

via

First Stop Guns
First Stop Guns

And on a serious note, Trump, and the rest of the NRA/GOP want to remove gun free zones from nearly everywhere, except in the halls of Congress and other similarly creepy places.

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Posted in religion

Tagged with , , ,

Retirement Life For People Should Be So Good

Marino Marini's Angel of the Citadel
 

When humans retire, life is different, but not as much as a racing horse’s life:

American Pharoah is living the good life in retirement and earning big money in doing so. The four-year old thoroughbred and Triple Crown champion has traded racing for reproduction at Coolmore Farms in Versailles, Kentucky.

…Pharoah, who made history as the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it in 1978, is living a life most  could only dream about. “He could breed 2-3 times per day during breeding season,” said Scott Calder, who works in sales & marketing at Coolmore Farms America.

When Pharoah isn’t breeding, he spends his time in the fields eating grass, getting groomed and visiting with tour groups that have stopped by the farm. The 1,340-pound horse has gained about 170 pounds since retiring.

“He’s proven to be very professional in the breeding shed. He’s breeding very well and so far it’s been smooth sailing.”

Now considered a “stud,” Pharoah has bred with more than 100 mares so far. By the time breeding season is over in late June, it’s expected he will have bred with 175.

(click here to continue reading American Pharoah retires to stud job in Kentucky.)

Not a bad year…

Getting fat, screwing twice a day…

I've Done Everything You Asked

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 11:16 am

Posted in News-esque

Tagged with

NYTimes Correction of the Day

http://i2.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/26734383483_b6b79f84fb_z.jpg?resize=455%2C640&ssl=1
 Ok, maybe from a few days ago, but still funny…

Because of an editing error, an article on Monday about a theological battle being fought by Muslim imams and scholars in the West against the Islamic State misstated the Snapchat handle used by Suhaib Webb, one of the Muslim leaders speaking out. It is imamsuhaibwebb, not Pimpin4Paradise786.

(click here to continue reading Corrections: May 10, 2016 – NYTimes.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

June 1st, 2016 at 10:58 am

Posted in News-esque

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US Spend Billions To Run Ancient Technology

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Modernization of technology is not always the most urgent task: sometimes the newest innovations are more trouble than they are worth. But as time passes, older technologies become harder to maintain and find parts for. I speak from experience, as my office has an older computer kept around just to run legacy software that has been defunct for about ten years. Not ideal, but I realize eventually, I won’t be able to rebuild the old computer without learning how to solder and program. 

The US government has a much greater budget than my humble office, yet doesn’t seem concerned that the nuclear arsenal is controlled by floppy-disk era computers, and even more ancient COBOL routines.

The government is squandering its technology budget maintaining museum-ready computer systems in critical areas from nuclear weapons to Social Security. They’re still using floppy disks at the Pentagon. In a report released Wednesday, nonpartisan congressional investigators found that about three-fourths of the $80 billion budget goes to keep aging technology running, and the increasing cost is shortchanging modernization.

GAO says its estimate of at least $80 billion spent on information technology in 2015 is probably low. Not counted were certain Pentagon systems, as well as those run by independent agencies, among them the CIA. Major systems are known as “IT investments” in government jargon.

 …

The White House has been pushing to replace workhorse systems that date back more than 50 years in some cases. But the government is expected to spend $7 billion less on modernization in 2017 than in 2010, said the Government Accountability Office.

“Clearly, there are billions wasted,” GAO information technology expert David Powner told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing.

Although lawmakers of both parties say they are frustrated, it’s unclear whether Congress will act.

(click here to continue reading Report: Feds Spend Billions To Run Ancient Technology – Tech Trends on CIO Today.)

Unclear. Right, meaning, Congress has no intention of doing anything between now and election time, other than demagogue and raise money.

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Computer Repair LED

America’s nuclear arsenal depends on a surprising relic of the 1970s that few of us may recall: the humble floppy disk.

It’s hard to believe these magnetic, 8-inch data storage devices are what’s propping up the most fearsome weapons humanity has ever created. But the Department of Defense is still relying on this technology to coordinate key strategic forces such as nuclear bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to a new government report.

The floppy disks help run what’s known as the Strategic Automated Command and Control System, an important communications network that the Pentagon uses to issue launch orders to commanders and to share intelligence. And in order to use the floppy disks, the military must also maintain a collection of IBM Series/1 computers that to most people would look more at home in a museum than in a missile silo.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the military’s reliance on seemingly archaic tech: back in 2014, the U.S. Air Force showed CBS’s “60 Minutes” one of the top-secret floppy disks that helps it store and transmit sensitive information across dozens of communications sites. So to hear from the Government Accountability Office that the Pentagon has still not phased out the technology – and doesn’t plan to until the end of fiscal year 2017 – is remarkable.

(click here to continue reading The real reason America controls its nukes with ancient floppy disks – Chicago Tribune.)

Computer Consultants
Computer Consultants

For the record, here are some of the systems we are spending $80,000,000,000 a year on:

Among the vintage computing platforms highlighted in the report:

— The Defense Department’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System, which is used to send and receive emergency action messages to U.S. nuclear forces. The system is running on a 1970s IBM computing platform, and still uses 8-inch floppy disks to store data. “Replacement parts for the system are difficult to find because they are now obsolete,” GAO said. The Pentagon told GAO it is initiating a full replacement and the floppy disks should be gone by the end of next year. The entire upgrade will take longer.

— Treasury’s individual and business master files, the authoritative data sources for taxpayer information. The systems are about 56 years old and use an outdated computer language that is difficult to write and maintain. Treasury plans to replace the systems but has no firm dates.

— Social Security systems that are used to determine eligibility and estimate benefits, about 31 years old. Some use a programming language called COBOL, dating to the late 1950s and early 1960s. “Most of the employees who developed these systems are ready to retire and the agency will lose their collective knowledge,” the report said. “Training new employees to maintain the older systems takes a lot of time.” Social Security has no plans to replace the entire system but is eliminating and upgrading older and costlier components. It is also rehiring retirees who know the technology.

— Medicare’s Appeals System, which is only 11 years old, faces challenges keeping up with a growing number of appeals, as well as questions from congressional offices following up on constituent concerns. The report says the agency has general plans to keep updating the system, depending on the availability of funds.

— The Transportation Department’s Hazardous Materials Information System, used to track incidents and keep information regulators rely on. The system is about 41 years old, and vendors no longer support some of its software, which can create security risks. The department plans to complete its modernization program in 2018.

(click here to continue reading Report: Feds Spend Billions To Run Ancient Technology – Tech Trends on CIO Today.)

Nothing important to see here, move along sheeple, there are Benghazi hearings to attend…

Written by Seth Anderson

May 31st, 2016 at 10:57 am

Posted in government

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