Hackers can't be stopped, but some of their crimes can

Penn Jillette says you're helping enable hackers to commit crimes when you click on stolen material like the Jennifer Lawrence nude photos and Sony emails

+Uber has a social obligation to increase prices at times of high demand, including during tragedies. Yes, really. That's how they ensure that the people who need their service the most, are able to use it, by encouraging more supply and discouraging demand by customers who don't really need it.

By not increasing prices, the people who need the service the most are less likely to be able to get it.

Uber backtracks after jacking up prices during Sydney hostage crisis

Uber offers refunds after charging $100 minimum fare in a hostage crisis.

I have a black thumb. The thumb of death. G+

I've been using Mac OS X as my main OS for more than ten years.  I've been using the System Preferences probably on average about once a week, or more.  Yet, to this day, cannot quickly find what I am looking for in the app.

It took me about 5-10 seconds to find "Sharing" today.  I knew it was called "Sharing."  I knew it was in the middle of the window somewhere, but I just couldn't see it there.  And this happens to me regularly.

Maybe it's time for me to give up and use View -> Organize Alphabetically, because 10+ years of this futility is long enough. G+

Dear Internet,

Please stop treating Rolling Stone as though it engages in journalism.  It never has.  It unapologetically prints lies, and has for years.

This faked rape article is just another in a long line.  Remember RFK Jr.'s article in Rolling Stone about how the GOP stole Ohio in 2004?  Almost the entire article was based on lies, as was easily demonstrated by anyone who bothered to look up the cited sources with a remotely critical eye, but the mainstream media certainly never cared about being critical of those claims.  At least now, for c change, everyone is on board with recognizing Rolling Stone's lies.  But don't be fooled into thinking this is an exception.  Whether it's elections or rapes or any of numerous leftwing causes, Rolling Stone habitually ignores counterevidence and willfully prints dishonest articles in the hopes of manipulating their uncritical readers.

It's how they roll.

(Sorry.) G+

An odd story.  We don't know why the children were removed, exactly, but it seems likely that the fact of the home birth had nothing to do with it.

The intro to the story seems like nonsense, too: they claim the couple was using "homeopathic medicine," but no evidence of that is provided.  Perhaps the anchors meant "naturopathic medicine," but those are two very different things.

(Homeopathy is the belief that if a substance can cause symptoms in a healthy person, it can cure those symptoms in a sick person. Further, that substance is, in homeopathic remedies, usually *not even actually used, because it is diluted from the remedy to the point where it no longer exists in the remedy.  So when you see "homeopathy," think "a substance that causes sickness can cure it, as long as it isn't actually used."  It's literal nonsense.) G+

Couple fights for custody of children after home birth

A Bellingham couple is fighting the for their children, claiming CPS seized them after a home birth and natural remedies.

Finished watching about 20 hours of appendices for the first two Hobbit films.  I now know the names of each of the 13 dwarves.

I'll watch the extended edition of the first film this weekend, and the second film next weekend, followed by seeing the film on the 16th at a +Marchex company event.

It's a lot of Hobbit. G+

"... because so many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word 'God' in conjunction with profanity, in an abundance of caution our system is forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on [Disney] websites."

headdesk G+

Why did Disney block God?

It turns out you can give thanks for a lot of different folks on the Disney Channel website – but you can’t thank God.

"I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative...Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody." - +Chris Rock  G+

Chris Rock Stopped Performing for Students Because Everything Offends Them

There's plenty to dissect in Frank Rich's comprehensive interview with Chris Rock. The comedian covers everything from Bill Cosby (he hopes the allegations

Dear Internet,

It is impossible, without significant evidence, which we apparently do not have, to prove or disprove the allegations against Bill Cosby.

Therefore, it is irresponsible to even air the allegations, because he cannot defend against them.

Maybe he's guilty.  But maybe he's completely innocent.

I could not care less about your irrational rationalizations.  "Their stories are believable," "he's acting guilty," etc.  We simply, literally, do not know whether these things happened, and we do not have any available path to find out.  If it is possible that he is innocent -- and it is -- then it's completely unfair to him to even talk about whether he's guilty.

I am not criticizing the institutions that have cut ties with him; they have to worry about their bottom line, and no matter how unfair this is, the perception is all that matters for them.  This is the news media's fault more than anything, interviews and reporting on things that cannot be demonstrated true, nor defended against.  It's simply irresponsible, from top to bottom.

Yes, if he is guilty, it's terrible, and terrible for the people he allegedly harmed.  But that doesn't justify the inherent unfairness of the campaign against him.  We do not abandon reason and fairness and justice simply because they are hard.

Well, apparently, we do.  But we shouldn't.

I bought Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow, Right? a couple of weeks ago.  I loved listening to it growing up, and I won't let unsubstantiated allegations ruin my enjoyment of it.  I won't give in to the hysteria. G+

Someone just told me that the Republicans trying to defeat President Obama's policies isn't "governing."  Well ... yeah.  Only the executive governs.  Obama is the President.  He governs.  The GOP -- in the federal context -- has no executive power, and therefore does not govern.

Shouldn't everyone know this? G+

My favorite part of Obama's speech last night is where he said this:

"To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."

This argument can be read in the form of: "To people who say 'A' or 'B', I say: 'yo mama.'"  It's a complete non sequitur.  It has no power of reason or logic behind it.

But it's worse than that, in a way: because Obama is literally saying that it does not matter if he is violating the Constitution.  He is saying that if Congress doesn't act, then they somehow lose standing to assert that he can't break the law.

I don't think Obama is violating the Constitution -- and I agree that we should have some sort of comprehensive immigration reform, and I was disappointed that the House GOP didn't do that, just as I am disappointed that Obama and the Democrats didn't even attempt to do anything until last year -- but this is just another example of President Obama hating the rule of law.  Rule of law is not about what the law is, it's about your willingness to be bound by the law rather than doing whatever you want, and Obama is saying -- in no uncertain terms -- what I've been saying of him all along: that he does not care what the law requires of him, or prohibits to him.  The ends justify the means.

President Obama hates the rule of law, and loves the rule of man ... especially when he is The Man.  And for a Democratic Party that (mostly incorrectly) complained about Bush's "imperial presidency," it's startling to see them cheerlead Obama's massive expansion of Presidential overreach. G+

Obama, Daring Congress, Acts to Overhaul Immigration

President Obama displayed years of frustration with congressional gridlock as he asserted the powers of the Oval Office to reshape the nation’s immigration system.

Obama is asking illegal aliens to register, telling them they will not be deported, but that promise is only good for two years.  After he leaves office, the next President could deport everyone who registered.  They should think on it long and hard before they decide to open themselves up to deportation by registering. G+

My pet peeve: people pronouncing the "k" in "a.k.a." G+


Jonathan Gruber Embraced Misleading the Public About Obamacare Even While It Was Still Being Debated

In the week since video surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying that "lack of transparency" and "the stupidity of the American voter" were

Clearly, the Patriots should have caught this before posting it.  That's ridiculous.

But even more ridiculous is that The Independent put a "[sic]" after the word "apologize," implying that there is something incorrect about the spelling or use of the word.  British language fascists! G+

Patriots apologise after celebrating 1 million followers with racially offensive tweet

The New England Patriots have apologised after a gesture on Twitter to celebrate their 1,000,000th follower saw the NFL franchise create a shirt for a user with the Twitter handle ‘@IHATEN****RSS’.

This is great.  Too bad I didn't see it before the election; maybe it could've been used to convince people to vote against it.  Regardless, it shows what we've known all along: not only is I-594 very complex, but it criminalizes what almost everyone considers to be legitimate activity. G+

Here's what Shark Tank star Mark Cuban has to say about Net Neutrality and the push to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. G+

Mark Cuban on Net Neutrality: "The Government Will Fuck the Internet Up"

Entrepreneur, NBA team owner, and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban has this to say about Net Neutrality and the push to regulate the Internet under Title II

Chaparral is BACK!

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Chaparral is BACK! G+

GM Revives Chaparral Brand for Vision GT Project Car, Coming to Gran Turismo 6

One of the most famous names in motorsport returns to the track for the Vision Gran Turismo project.

PSA from Fred Armisen about Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil. G+


Our friend Fred shares some wise words and plays some cool chords.

"... call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass."

-- Jonathan Gruber, President Obama's architect of the Affordable Care Act G+

Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Explain Why "Lack of Transparency" Was Key to Passing the Health Care Law

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act,

Supporters of I-1351 are correct: its passage sends the signal WA needs better education. How else to explain passage of an initiative that will make education cost more, without improving it at all?

"The last pieces are finally falling into place. After years of design and implementation, 2015 will be the year that Perl 6 officially launches for production use.

"In this talk, [Larry Wall] the creator of Perl reflects on the history of the effort, how the team got some things right, and how it learned from its mistakes when it got them wrong. But mostly how a bunch of stubbornly fun-loving people outlasted the naysayers to accomplish the extraordinary task of implementing a language that was so ambitious, even its designers said it was impossible. Prepare to be delightfully surprised." G+

FOSDEM 2015 - Get ready to party!

In this talk, the creator of Perl reflects on the history of the effort, how the team got some things right, and how it learned from its mistakes when it got them wrong. But mostly how a bunch of stubbornly fun-loving people outlasted the naysayers to accomplish the extraordinary task of ...

Nate Silver's analysis misses a big point: just because the final polls were off from the final result doesn't mean the polls are wrong.

Polls are a snapshot in time, and things change between the final poll and the actual election.  Case in point is Virginia, where the final polls showed a big gap, but over the next few days, internal polling by the parties reported a significant closing of the gap.  It could very well be that the polls weren't wrong, but that people changed their minds in the closing days.

In elections that are big for (or against) a particular party, you tend to have lots of folks who are undecided go for that party, or even people who were decided for one party switch to that party, in the final days.  That may be part of why 538 reports the polls were skewed GOP in 1998, 2006, and 2012 (significant anti-GOP years), and skewed Dem in 1994, 2002, and 2014 (significant anti-Dem years): not because of "herding" but because of voting behavior.

The interesting thing to me is that all the biggest anti-party years are midterms, except 2012. G+

The Polls Were Skewed Toward Democrats

For much of this election cycle, Democrats complained the polls were biased against them. They said the polls were failing to represent enough minority voters and applying overly restrictive likely...

"... many of the possible high-energy physics experiments and astronomy observations relevant to cosmology are now in essence nearly complete. ... barring something very unforeseen, the possible tests of the very large and the very small are coming towards the limits of whatever will be possible." -- George Ellis G+

Physicist George Ellis Knocks Physicists for Knocking Philosophy, Falsification, Free Will | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake, whom I interviewed in my last post, wasn't the only fascinating scientist I hung out with recently at Howthelightgetsin, a festival hosted by ...

I bought this Yamaha 12-string in high school. It's not worth what it would cost to bring it into playing shape, so there's only one thing left to do. Music is "Trouble Coming" by Randy Stonehill.
From: pudgenet
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Time: 00:27 More in Music

Wow.  PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" in 2010 was not only true, but we knew it was true at the time.

They bemoan that "few in the press challenged their frequent assertion that under Obama, the government was going to take over the health care industry."  But that's what happened.  They say, "The phrase is simply not true."  But it was, and is, true.

Politifcat says the phrase "conjures up" a system of government ownership, and that's why it's "incorrect."  But while the phrase might mean that to some people, to me it just means control, and it's dishonest to say that something is "simply not true" based on subjective connotation rather than denotation.  The fact is that at some point, government control becomes great enough that there is no practical distinction to whether the government actually owns the thing being controlled, and in my view -- and the view of many -- that is largely what the ACA does.

My favorite part is where they quote a professor saying, "The label 'government takeover' has no basis in reality, but instead reflects a political dynamic where conservatives label any increase in government authority in health care as a 'takeover.'"

I want to know what world they live in where government taking over control of something is not a "government takeover" of that thing. G+

PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'A government takeover of health care'

In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama's ambitious plan to overhaul America's health insurance system. Frank Luntz, a consultant famous for his phraseology, urged GOP leaders to call it a

I am so into F1 that I will be watching the U.S. Grand Prix at 1:30 p.m. instead of the Patriots/Broncos game.  But as soon as Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line in first place, I'll start watching the game (on DVR delay). G+

2014 United States Grand Prix - Circuit of the Americas

Circuit of The Americas is a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and is home to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIXª while also hosting MotoGPª, V8 Supercarsª, GRAND-AM Road Racingª, American Le Mans and the World Endurance Championships.

In Mac OS X 10.9 and earlier, you could choose a more functional formatting for Messages/iChat.  In Yosemite, you cannot.  You only get these weird bubbles that do not scale well for large blocks of text, uses Helvetica, and is generally putrid on a desktop computer.

This fixes it.

https://github.com/pudge/pudgecode/blob/master/eg/balloons-modern.css G+


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Que? G+

10/30/14 - 1

One of the best comics I've read in awhile.  There's also a pretty good film of it on Netflix ... and I suspect that at some point, Marvel will turn it into a film. G+


The best Mac app ever.  A++++++ would install again. G+


lucidagrandeyosemite - An Automator/Apple-script to use 'Lucida Grande' as system font on OS X Yosemite

Is any American team name, ever, more un-American than "Royals"? G+

tl;dr: Matthew Shepard was a drug-addicted prostitue killed for his drug stash, and not out of gay hatred. Also, one of his killers was also a gay prostitue. G+

The truth behind America’s most famous gay-hate murder

Matthew Shepard’s horrific death at the hands of redneck homophobes shocked America and changed its laws. Now a different truth is emerging, but does it matter? Julie Bindel reports

"Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs." -- Hillary Clinton G+

Hillary: 'Don't Let Anybody Tell You' That 'Businesses Create Jobs'

Appearing at a Boston rally for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley on Friday, Hillary Clinton told the crowd gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel not to listen to anybody who says that “businesses create jobs.”

I wish Timothy Egan of the NY Times actually knew anything about Citizens United, before he started popping off about how we "lost our democracy" because of it.  He said a bunch of things that the C.U. decision did, but not a single one of them even remotely resembles reality.  He clearly is not even casually familiar with the case.

So to explain what C.U. does do, since you cannot tell from Egan's piece: it only says that government cannot ban independent election spending by corporations.  That's all.  Even without C.U., rich people could still spend money individually, as much as they want to.

His claims:

* "... the 2010 Citizens United case ... gave wealthy, secret donors unlimited power to manipulate American elections."

Nope.  CU has nothing to do with spending limits or reporting requirements.  Again, individuals already have no limits on independent expenditures, and a separate case -- SpeechNow vs. FEC -- is what dealt with reporting requirements.

Further, no one has "unlimited power".  And what power they do have, was not in any way modified by Citizens United.  This claim is literally entirely wrong.  

* "The decision legalized large-scale bribery — O.K., influence buying — and ensured that we would never know exactly who was purchasing certain politicians."

Nope.  In fact, bribery is still illegal, and C.U. did not make it harder to detect bribery (again, if anything, that was SpeechNow).

* "Kennedy wrote that 'independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.' That's the money quote — one of the great wish-projections in court history."

As far as I am concerned, it's true.  It's not expenditures alone that give rise to the appearance of corruption.

* "The big money headed for the shadows."

Not because of C.U., clearly.  It was already headed there, in the form of "SuperPACs," which also hid donor identities.

* "... the court handed control of elections over to dark money interests who answer to nobody."

Again, no, reporting/secrecy and limits are unaffected by C.U.

That's it.  Egan offers nothing else that Citizens United supposedly did, and literally everything he said it did, it didn't do.  Then Egan goes on to lie about Texas' voter ID law, repeating Justice Ginsburg's lies that the law is "purposefully discriminating" or "risks denying the right to vote to hundreds of thousands of eligible voters."  It literally does not risk denying the right to vote to any voters (at least, no one has offered an example of anyone potentially being so denied).

This is a ridiculously dishonest article, even for the NY Times opinion page.

The Disgust Election - NYTimes.com

Oligarchs hiding behind front groups — Citizens for Fluffy Pillows — are pulling the levers of the 2014 campaign. No wonder we feel revulsion.

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."