The Unread Blog

13 Oct 2018

"There are two kinds of autumn – harvest autumns, and autumns spent lost in thought..."

19 Sep 2018

My favorite romantic comedy ever: Gamers! This has more hilarious twists and turns than anything I've ever watched. I'm sad that they couldn't have arranged for the odd-girl-out to find somebody, but I'm even more sad that I can't find more series like this, although Tsuredure Children looks promising.

02 Aug 2018

Conservative politicians are still doing their best to remove conservation laws that keep fossil fuel companies from wiping out endangered species.

29 Jul 2018

Our lovely conservative, insular leadership (for the last two decades) has resulted in Daniel Stenberg, author of curl and libcurl, being denied a visa to attend a conference in the US. Most technical conferences (not to mention anything involving human rights) are having to go to other nations, where people are a bit more welcoming.

28 Jul 2018

118 all-time heat records have been broken this month thanks largely to global warming. Heat, drought, and extreme weather are becoming more and more common, and will continue to do so for the rest of your life.

07 Jul 2018

Earth's getting hotter.

03 Jul 2018

The problem with genetically engineered plants and animals is that you cannot contain them. Bacteria can be designed to live only in specially controlled environments and die in the wild. When you grow plants in the open, that degree of control is impossible, and this sort of thing happens. Any minor mistake, and the people who live on the land, not the company responsible, have to deal with the effects forever after. GMO products are only a good deal for the people who own the companies.

09 Jun 2018

It's hard to believe how organized and methodical the religious extremists are in this country (despite the fact that our vice president is one).

30 May 2018

17 May 2018

Trumping Democracy is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand the future of democracy on our planet. The first two sections are just pointing out what a jerk Trump is – great fun, but I've seen it before.

Toward the end though, they talk about how companies like SCL (the company our government goes to when planning how to control entire populaces with maximum efficiency) are using data science to pick out the key individuals that can swing an election so they can be targeted with propaganda specifically designed for them. One of the data sets kept on each person (including you) is neuroticism – yes, they openly boast about using your psychological weaknesses against you. That's how Trump got the electoral vote but not the popular vote. The process is frighteningly precise and effective.

SCL's American branch is Cambridge Analytica, by the way... yes, that Cambridge Analytica.

12 May 2018

11 May 2018

10 May 2018

08 May 2018

25 Apr 2018

21 Apr 2018

05 Apr 2018

25 Mar 2018

24 Mar 2018

20 Mar 2018

15 Mar 2018

27 Feb 2018

07 Feb 2018

03 Feb 2018

20 Jan 2018

15 Jan 2018

11 Jan 2018

09 Jan 2018

02 Jan 2018

01 Jan 2018

30 Dec 2017

21 Dec 2017

17 Dec 2017

14 Dec 2017

09 Dec 2017

03 Dec 2017

02 Dec 2017

20 Nov 2017

18 Nov 2017

13 Nov 2017

06 Nov 2017

05 Nov 2017

04 Nov 2017

Pirate streaming has taken over as the main form of video piracy. Note the link to a spreadsheet of pirate vendors. If someone offers you a "legal" streaming service, it might not hurt to check whether they really are legitimate. It won't make any difference to you – no one's likely to prosecute you for watching a stream since there's no money in it – but eventually the pirate servers get shut down, leaving you without tv.

31 Oct 2017

WikiTribune is out, and looking good. Of course the right is already screaming "bias!", because it's not Faux News. The "culture of persecution" they've created will never believe that anything new is not a threat. Sadly for them, reality tends to be liberal.

Edit: For a news site, they don't seem to carry much news, and it's hard to find it when they do. They're still "in beta" though.

30 Oct 2017

The white house is trying to push some more doublethink on us in the form of "responsible encryption", which means we're responsible to give up our freedom and privacy to make it easier for someone to prosecute us.

29 Oct 2017

If you really want to hear where Faux News is getting their "scoop" about a retired grandmother's involvement with Russia – the one they're desperately hoping will distract from Trump's involvement – read this. Even if any of it were true, who cares? She's not in the white house. Worrying about the last guy who robbed your house while there's still a burgler in your living room is idiotic.

29 Oct 2017

Our republican congress has decided we have too many opportunities to sue Wells Fargo and Equifax for the damage they've done, so they've changed some of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules which allowed that.

26 Oct 2017

We're already in a second gilded age. Remember how stark the contrast was between all those poor folk in Titanic vs the wealthy? That's today.

26 Oct 2017

I never had much interest in the boy scouts, but after reading this, I like them even less. Interesting that the girl scouts have accepted atheists and homosexuals for some time, and the boy scouts still don't.

21 Oct 2017

Although this seems very reasonable, any step toward looser enforcement of the GPL worries me.

17 Oct 2017

16 Oct 2017

A severe security flaw has been found in ALL WIFI devices. If any of your hardware connects to a wireless network, you need to update it soon. If you don't, a hacker within a few tens of meters of your device can inject malware into any data you receive via WIFI. So, for example, your browser will download dangerous software along with the perfectly trustworthy web site you wanted.

Security updates will be available soon for most devices. However, older android devices will probably never be updated, and a hacker can exploit them to attack updated devices on your network. Unless all devices are updated, and that includes TVs, games, and anything else with wireless access, you are still vulnerable.

In all likelihood, someone will use this vulnerability to create chains of malware running along overlapping wifi networks in neighborhoods and businesses. This could happen within days or weeks, and when it does, the hacker won't need to be close to you.

15 Oct 2017

AT&T is not making quite as much money as they want due to people getting sick of their bullshit and kicking them to the curb. Color me unconcerned. Hollywood, professional sports, and television in general can dry up and blow away as far as I'm concerned.

14 Oct 2017

Equifax and Transunion are both serving malware on their websites, though neither admits responsibility.

08 Oct 2017

Is Internet business the latest force driving down inflation? Remember that inflation has largely been controlled by governments for a century or more, and is one of the major factors that traditionally prevented the wealthy from acculmulating ever more wealth.

04 Oct 2017

28 Sep 2017

A new species of rat was discovered in the Solomon islands. They're cute, but already highly endangered.

25 Sep 2017

Will websites turn to cryptocurrency mining instead of advertising? It still requires javascript, so they still won't get anything from me.

23 Sep 2017

21 Sep 2017

Turkish teachers are teaching evolution for the last time. Any guess as to how quickly this country will follow their example?

02 Sep 2017

17 Jun 2017

08 Apr 2017

If I were a suspicious person, and we all know that I'm not, I'd imagine a scenario such as this...

T paces nervously around his lushly appointed office at a Florida resort. He runs a hand through his bizarre shock of blond(ish) hair, then seemingly resolved, sits behind the desk and picks up a telephone.

T: I need some help, P. These fake news stories about my ties with Russia just won't let up. They're driving me up the wall.

There's a brief pause before P answers.

P: But my friend, the answer is so simple! You need only wait for some atrocity to be committed in any of the countries we are occupying. Such things happen every day.

T: An atrocity, right... but how does that help me?

P: Then you send in a strike against some low-rent target, da? I will react with suitable outrage. The media will see that we are not friends, but bitter rivals. Problem solved.

T: Yes, but don't you have world-class air defense systems in all those countries?

P: Do not worry, my friend. We have been conveniently ignoring Israeli strikes in Syria for some time now. We can surely do the same for you.

T: Great! I think that traitor, F, is going to testify against me. I'll try to time it for right after they make the announcement. Now, about the Siberian oil drilling...