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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Youtube Kids spammers rack up billions of views on disturbing, violent, seemingly algorithmic videos.

Sickening :(.

Maybe it’s time we just took all these computers out into the streets and burned them all. Sigh.

This is why we can’t have nice things. Whenever someone invents something that could be nice, some ratbastard takes it and does evil shit with it. Always. :(.

– Badtux the Gruntled Penguin

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As some of you know, Roger Stone, a close advisor to Donald Trump, got kicked off of Twitter for tweets cursing out and threatening CNN reporters. So how does Roger Stone react to this? Does he laugh and say “well, I disagree with their actions, but they’re a private business and can choose to do business with whomever they please”? Is that how he reacted?

Well, no. First he raised a hissy fit, threatening Twitter via right wing media. Twitter took notice and then made his 3 day suspension into a permanent ban — deleting his entire Twitter account, tweets included. (Actually, Twitter accounts are never physically deleted, they’re kept around in case law enforcement needs to look at them, but effectively it’s gone). Because as a private business, they decided they don’t want Roger Stone as a customer anymore. So they exercised their freedom of association by choosing not to associate with him.

So what did Roger Stone do then? Did he apologize to Twitter in hopes of getting his account back?

Well, of course not. That would require some level of self-introspection. Instead: Roger Stone says that he will sue Twitter.

Will sue.

A private business.

For exercising its freedom of association.

For exercising a right guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the right of freedom of association — or non-association, in this case.

So, Roger Stone: In the past, you supported the right of the Boy Scouts to exercise their freedom of association in order to not associate with homosexuals. So at one time, you apparently believed private organizations had freedom of association. When did you convert to Communism — the notion that private property and private organizations shouldn’t exist? Why do you believe Twitter is or should be public property with no right of freedom of association as guaranteed by the Constitution for private entities?

Curious penguins are… curious!

– Badtux the “Hypocrisy, much?” Penguin

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Daw, isn’t James Damore just an adorable special little snowflake tech bro? For a definition of “adorable” that rhymes with “giant flaming douche”, I mean?

This adorable special little techbro snowflake, and others like him, are whining that equality of sexes has gone too far. Why, women are getting uppity and even reporting them to HR when they grab a woman’s ass or tits. Gasp! The horror! Women expecting to be treated as equals in the workplace rather than as eye candy or sperm receptacles! And you know, she was wearing yoga leggings, so she was just asking for it, anyhow!

And hey, what about this douchebag, James Altizer, who whines that there’s a “witchhunt” against men who treat women like shit? Wow, what a stud!

These are the same douchebags who inhabit Reddit troll forums devoted to “incels” that refer to women with derogatory names and whine inconsolably that men are entitled to women’s bodies and yada yada yada. They’re self-entitled jerks with no self-awareness of just how dickish they seem to anybody who isn’t just like them.

And they wonder why they have trouble working with female co-workers? Dudes need to be looking at themselves for the answer to that problem, ’cause I’ve worked with female coworkers plenty of times and never had a problem working with them. But then, I treat them like coworkers, not like a sperm receptacle or eye candy. Maybe, y’know, if you have trouble working with your coworkers, don’t be a dick? Ya think?!

– Badtux the Silicon Valley Penguin Penguin

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I’ve spent probably four hours over the past two days explaining to people that no, it is *not* possible to hack a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and cause it to run into an oil tanker. There are two separate hydraulic systems controlling the rudder, one of which is entirely mechanical (no electronics at all) and the other is attached to an *analog* “autopilot” that just keeps the ship going in a specified compass direction. Neither of these can be hacked, nor can the gas turbine controls, which are basically the same as the controls in a commercial jet airliner (yes, jet airliners are driven by gas turbines, albeit their gas turbines are driving fans to shove air out the back of the engine rather than driving propeller shafts). Yep, Arleigh Burke class destroyers are basically driven by a shaft-driving version of the CF6 jet engine that powers the 747 jet airliner! The gas turbine controls are digital now, but they’re still potted boxes not connected to any external network — i.e., you aren’t going to hack them without physical access, and they are *triple* redundant so you’d have to hack *three* of them.

In short: Nope, none of this is hackable. And yes, you can hack GPS, but all that an Arleigh Burke uses GPS for is for general location-finding. Collision avoidance is via radar and the Mark II Eyeball, and depends upon a) the ship’s rudder not jamming due to hydraulic system failures, and b) a crew that isn’t so tired and bleary-eyed from lack of sleep that they can remember how to kick in the backup rudder control system, or how to hit the collision alarm, or how to jam the engine controls to full speed ahead to outrun an oncoming oil tanker.

Oh yeah, the other stupid conspiracy theory is that the tanker was hacked to run into the destroyer. Puh-LEEZE. It takes around 15 miles for a tanker to go from its normal cruising speed of around 16 knots to a full stop. When they’re coming in to port, they start slowing down *six hours* before docking. These suckers (and their giant diesel engines) have a *lot* of momentum, they don’t speed up or slow down very quickly, they aren’t going to suddenly speed up and hit a destroyer. And changing course is similarly lethargic, taking miles to change course. An oil tanker doesn’t suddenly veer into a destroyer. These things give new definition to the word “lumbering”. The largest supertankers are almost 1/4th of a mile long, longer than the Empire State Building is tall, and weigh more than the Empire State Building too. Changing course takes miles. Basically, the only way a tanker can run into a destroyer is if the destroyer places itself in front of the tanker, whether due to mechanical failure, lack of training on the part of the crew, lack of sleep on the part of the crew, whatever. Because a tanker in a shipping lane is the closest thing to an immovable object that you’ll find afloat, it’s going where it’s going at the speed it’s going, and that’s pretty much that.

Finally: The admiral in charge of the 7th Fleet is being relieved of command. Shit may flow downhill. But when four ships under his command get wrecked in embarrassing accidents, the buck stops at the Admiral’s desk. My guess is that many, many of his underlings are also very, very nervous right now…

– Badtux the Hacker Penguin

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The State Department is eliminating its Cybersecurity coordination office. Because we’re apparently secure. Despite all those ransomware outbreaks recently.

Oh joy. We’re gonna get more scammers, more spammers, more break-ins, more of everything annoying on the Internet. It’s like they’re *trying* to destroy the Internet. Like they think the Internet threatens their control, or something.

Oh wait….

– Badtux the Paranoid Penguin

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According to their website, the robot has Advanced Anomaly Detection, Forensic Capabilities and Gun Detection. Water detection, however, apparently is still pending.

Either that, or this is a case of a Baptist baptism gone bad. “By the blood of Christ I baptise thee!” Bzzzzt SPARK! ZAP! “Wait, you aren’t waterproof?!”

SNRK.

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Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.

— — Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks at the Dartmouth College Commencement Exercises, Hanover, New Hampshire. June 14, 1953

That was back when Republicans (at least some of them) were defenders of liberty. Today, the most fervent defenders of the Republican administration are also today’s most fervent book-burners.

Today’s book burners don’t use matches. They use false reports of “violations of community standards” to Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. Whether it is Jim Wright that the book burners are going after on Facebook, or haters maliciously flagging entire Youtube channels that have content that offends their political sensibilities or simply mention them in the context of false flagging, book burners today are more active than they ever were in the supposed bad old days of Joe McCarthy’s America, the days in which President Eisenhower was speaking above to college students.

What’s different today is that book burners can bring together entire electronic lynch mobs via platforms like 4chan or Reddit or the Daily Mail to burn people’s electronic books. And unlike in the past, where stalwart librarians were fierce in defense of the authors of the books in their libraries, Google (or Facebook) doesn’t care, because they don’t have to. It would cost money to defend content creators, so they won’t.

And that, my friends, is the problem with the fact that we’ve privatized our “libraries”. When book burners show up, what do Google or Facebook do? They just let the book burners burn books. Because there’s no profit in stopping them by putting a human in the way of letting the book burners burn books, indeed, it costs money. They have no stern librarians with horn-rimmed glasses saying “you will burn books in my library over my dead body.” They just shrug and say “the machine did it, not me.” And don’t lift a finger.

And what kind of society we will have, when we can have any book burned at the whim of practically any special interest book?

Not much of one. As we’re seeing now, I suspect…

– Badtux the Apocalyptic Penguin

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