Saturday March 23rd, 2019

Today's Fail

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So I follow basic security practices with my email, among other things I don't load images embedded in email. I just received the following from our city's economic development manager, with the subject line: "You're Invited - Help Set Our City Goals".

You don't want to miss this. Petaluma Economic Development | P.O. Box 61, Petaluma, CA 94953 Unsubscribe
Update Profile | About our service provider
Sent by [elided, but you know who it was] in collaboration with
Try it free today

Yep, the entire damned content of the message is in images. The only thing that isn't is this little snippet of text.

Now you can say "sure, Dan, but how many competent computer users actually care about mail from the city?", I mean, after all, most people aren't competent computer users and are just using Outlook or whatever with the default settings, but...

Also think about this from the perspective of someone who's disabled and needs to use, say, an assistive screen reader?

I don't know whether to lay this incompetence on Constant Contact, or on the person sending the email, but it is distinctly *not* a good look on city staff.

Endless - an SSH tarpit

This program opens a socket and pretends to be an SSH server. However, it actually just ties up SSH clients with false promises indefinitely — or at least until the client eventually gives up. ...

AT&T’s “5G E” is actually slower than Verizon and T-Mobile 4G, study finds

Such data now comes from an OpenSignal report that is scheduled to go live at this link today at 9am ET. After comparing user-initiated speed tests from more than 1 million devices, OpenSignal found that AT&T's "5G E" phones get average speeds of 28.8Mbps, which is less than T-Mobile's 29.4Mbps and Verizon's 29.9Mbps but higher than Sprint's 20.4Mbps. The AT&T average of 18.2Mbps on non-advanced LTE was also slightly behind T-Mobile and Verizon but ahead of Sprint:

Sharrow placement

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Because I know it's gonna come up in local discussions, and I've linked to various studies about sharrows killing cyclists before: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Chapter 9C on bicycle shared lane marking (sharrow) placement:

04     If used in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking, Shared Lane Markings should be placed so that the centers of the markings are at least 11 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.

05     If used on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel lane that is less than 14 feet wide, the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.

California's version of the MUTCD notes:

04     If used in a shared lane with on-street parallel parking, if the effective lane width is 14 feet or greater, Shared Lane Markings should be placed so that the centers of the markings are at least 11 13 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb. If the effective lane width is less than 14 feet, the marking should be centered within the effective lane width. See Figure 9C-108(CA).

05     If used on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel lane that is less than 14 feet wide, the centers of the Shared Lane Markings should be centered in the travel lane. If used on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel lane whose width is 14 feet or greater, the shared lane markings should be centered at least 4 feet from the face of the curb, or from the edge of the pavement where there is no curb.

Iron Age Death Cult

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Iron Age Death Cult

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‘Toxic’ Ash Wednesday crosses burn 73 pupils

As JWZ put it: "Iron-age death cult's botched ritual burns its logo into 73 children's faces"

San Francisco To Pay $13.1 Million To Man Framed By Police For Murder

He sued in January 2016. In April of last year, a jury in Oakland found that two police officers on the case, Maureen D'Amico and Michael Johnson, deliberately fabricated evidence and failed to disclose exculpatory material.

Friday March 22nd, 2019

Office of the Inspector General OIG-19-32: Management Alert – FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors’ Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (REDACTED)

During our ongoing audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, we determined that FEMA violated the Privacy Act of 19741 and Department of Homeland Security policy2 by releasing to ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ the PII and SPII of 2.3 million survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017.3 FEMA should only provide ⬛⬛ with limited information needed to verify disaster survivors’ eligibility for the TSA program. The privacy incident occurred because FEMA did not take steps to ensure it provided only required data elements to ⬛⬛ Without corrective action, the disaster survivors involved in the privacy incident are at increased risk of identity theft and fraud.

Programming in Cocoa

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Programming in Cocoa: Days of Googling "how do I turn off [visual effect]" because said visual effect is broken and shows up in horribly the wrong place and if Mac OSX would just stop trying to be helpful things would work better.

She's still only doing short sprints

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She's still only doing short sprints, and has figured out how to slow the wheel rather than get tossed of the back when she stops. Which is less hilarious...

Thursday March 21st, 2019

Why did I unsubscribe Because it's

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Why did I unsubscribe? Because it's "fewer", not "less".

God you're so lame!

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NFL on college football

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RT Robert Klemko @RobertKlemko

Was talking to an NFL exec for another story and he went off on this tremendous rant on college football and amateurism that I have to share.

"This whole thing stinks..."

Text of the attached image reads:

"This whole thing stinks. There's so much money at the college level, and if the good guys aren't gonna pay you , then the bad guys are. The college coaches are always on us about their kids leaving early, and I tell them, until you start paying them, they're leaving. You have these huge TV contracts and you can pay 10 coaches on the staff $1 million but you can't pay the players? It doesn't make sense. It's garbage. And everybody knows it's garbage. The NCAA, they're all crooks. It's extortion of these players, because they're all beat up. In April I see 360 physicals and listen to all the injuries and it's just brutal. They're 22-years-old and we can't draft him, or we knock 'em down the board and the doctor says we might be able to get one contract out of him. They're never more marketable than the our years there in college. Their stadiums are bigger than ours and everyone paid $100 bucks to get in and $50 to park and the conference has a TV contract and there's national TV and the players don't get a dime? How in the world is this legal? If you or I were real talented at singing or playing a guitar or rap, we could just go and make a bunch of money. It's not like we have to go to some music school and let them reap millions off of us first. We can go off on our own. These kids don't have that option. You throw in the fact that the average NFL career is three years, and it's just a travesty."

Because I've seen people posting the pictures as possibly real, and because I like having original sources around to point people too, super cute needle felted bat plushie.

Differential Damage

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Cable no more

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Using AOL email for Whitehouse business

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RT Violet Blue® @violetblue

The former deputy national security adviser used AOL email to discuss selling nuclear technology to the Saudis. I'm screaming, we're all screaming, it's like grandpa fell asleep smoking in bed.

Politico: Cummings demands docs on Kushner's alleged use of encrypted app for official business

RT Galen @gln

TIL that people still use AOL and they are de facto in charge of US foreign policy.🤦‍♂️

Indoor Air Quality

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Impaired Decision Making in Conference Rooms

However, the point of interest was something else entirely: three people quietly sitting in a mid-size conference room produced CO2 levels that within 60 minutes, reached concentrations high enough to impair their ability to make the right decisions. In a corporate world where Directors regularly pile into closed-door conference rooms for hours on end, making the most important planning decisions for their companies, this was a disturbing realization.

RT Sister Mary Clarence ‏ @emilyt804

Show us what 30 high school students in a classroom built for 20 does to the air.

Associations of Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation,and Volatile Organic CompoundExposures in Office Workers: AControlled Exposure Study of Greenand Conventional Office Environments

Methods: Twenty-four participants spent 6 full work days (0900–1700 hours) in an environ-mentally controlled office space, blinded to test conditions. On different days, they were exposed toIEQ conditions representative of Conventional [high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)] and Green (low concentrations of VOCs) office buildings in the United States. Additional conditions simulated a Green building with a high outdoor air ventilation rate (labeled Green+) and artificially elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels independent of ventilation.

Results: On average, cognitive scores were 61% higher on the Green building day and 101% higher on the two Green+ building days than on the Conventional building day (p<0.0001). VOCs and CO2 were independently associated with cognitive scores.

Full study cite is: Allen, Joseph G., Piers MacNaughton, Usha Satish, SureshSantanam, Jose Vallarino, and John D. Spengler. 2015. “Associationsof Cognitive Function Scores with Carbon Dioxide, Ventilation,and Volatile Organic Compound Exposures in Office Workers:A Controlled Exposure Study of Green and Conventional OfficeEnvironments.” Environmental Health Perspectives 124 (6): 805-812.doi:10.1289/ehp.1510037.

Bonus: Siloxanes Are the Most Abundant Volatile Organic Compound Emitted from Engineering Students in a Classroom. Or: yes, deodorants and body sprays and such are highly measurable in an indoor classroom environment.

Facebook Lite passwords in plain text

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If I could rewrite computer science curriculum, day 1 would be "don't ever store passwords in plain text, ever, and overwrite any memory in which they were stored as soon as possible".

Yes, I know many languages don't allow you to overwrite specific memory, and maybe we should look at why we write code that handles secure information in those languages...

But seriously: This practice apparently started in 2012, which means that this wasn't like some 1990s Matt's Script Archive boneheaded maneuver, this was a failure of process in a company that's allegedly hiring top people.

Krebs on Security: Facebook Stored Hundreds of Millions of User Passwords in Plain Text for Years

Protect and Swerve

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S-COP-LAWS, CONT’D: Police Personnel Drive a Lot Worse than Everyday People:

Coming on the heels of 12 days of intense coverage of police officers’ poor driving records, we decided to compare cops to the regular folk that they’re supposed to be protecting. We chose two random blocks — one in Park Slope, one in the West Village — and ran the plates of 100 residents’ parked cars through the Howsmydrivingny database and discovered that regular people drive far more safely than cops.

Wednesday March 20th, 2019

Outsmarting Conservative Gatekeepers

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Tuesday March 19th, 2019

Feminist Potential Of The Consensual Dick Pic

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Panic at the Discount

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It was within the past year or so that I first learned of Panic at the Disco!, and now we're here... Panic at the discount.

Adjunct instructor lecturer unpaid

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John Robb ‏@johnrobb:

Job posting at the University of Illinois for an Adjunct Instructor/Lecturer

"This is a 0% FTE, unpaid position. If considered to teach future courses, salary will be offered."

Reply from mark safranski @zenpundit:

“We are hiring unpaid labor to teach a body of undergrads increasingly composed of Chinese nationals and out of state nonresidents who pay full freight tuition. And relatives of Illinois politicians who enter on clout instead of meeting admissions standards but they attend free”

Taps on link

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Taps on link. Taps on "no, don't redirect me to the US version". Taps on "don't send me emails". Or notifications. Don't share my location. Close the popover ad. The other one. Sigh. Choose "Request desktop site". Do it all over again.

Monday March 18th, 2019

Pollution kills more than smoking

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Air pollution causes 8.8 million extra early deaths a year

The researchers found that air pollution caused an estimated 8.8 million extra deaths globally rather than the previously estimated 4.5 million. Co-author of the study, Professor Thomas Münzel, of the Department of Cardiology of the University Medical Centre Mainz in Mainz, Germany, said: "To put this into perspective, this means that air pollution causes more extra deaths a year than tobacco smoking, which the World Health Organization estimates was responsible for an extra 7.2 million deaths in 2015. Smoking is avoidable but air pollution is not.

European Heart Journal: Cardiovascular disease burden from ambient air pollution in Europe reassessed using novel hazard ratio functions


Via Shadow: Reddit /r/CrappyDesign: That's gonna be an easy ride. Yet another bike infrastructure attempt that discourages bikes.

A procedure that doesn't exist

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Marijuana & Orgasm

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Marijuana Use Before Sex Leads To More Satisfying Orgasms, Study Finds, at least in women.

After they adjusted for race, the authors found that women who said they used marijuana before their bedroom activities had 2.13 higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms during sexual activity than those who reported no marijuana use before sex.

Comprehensive sex ed

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How High School Sex Ed Can Help Prevent Rape In College<:

A team at Columbia University, lead by pediatrician and professor John Santelli, MD, reports that sexuality education in middle and high school may have protective effects that extend well past graduation. In the study, published in PLOS ONE, the researchers found that students who had comprehensive sexuality education classes, including specific refusal skills training (practice on “how to say no” to sex) before age 18, had a lower risk of experiencing sexual assault during college.

“We looked at factors before college that influence young people's risk of sexual assault—a lot of things were associated,” Santelli said. “One of the things that jumped out was that certain kinds of sex ed before age 18 had a protective effect. It looked like students who had education about refusing sex had a reduced risk of sexual assault. This difference was particularly true for young women—a reduction of about 50 percent.

(Emphasis mine)

Sunday March 17th, 2019

Sure, everybody says they love their cats... And their books (not yet installed)...

All I'm saying is that if you think I

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All I'm saying is that if you think I don't know how to find my way out of a labyrinth, get a clew.

Wait, wombats have cubic scat? This gives new meaning to "shitting bricks".

misspelling is just the icing on the

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The misspelling is just the icing on the bullshit. Also intrigued by some of the YouTube recommendations I've been seeing recently, makes me yearn for the days when ads were just trying to participate in capitalist consumerism.

Saturday March 16th, 2019

Waitsian Lyrics

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Topspin posted this on Facebook describing it as:

I'm not sure "Waitsian lyrics" is a term that I've seen before, but it applies here.

Will Kimbrough "I Like It Down Here"

Though Kimbrough has much smoother voice than Tom Waits...

Friday March 15th, 2019

Because I keep coming back to this: ASRS reports for the 737 Max 8. At least one friend has interpreted this as US pilots being much faster to disengage automatic systems.

Correlation != cause

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Scott Madin @ScottMadin:

this is wild to me. imagine:
"huh, psychological distress and major depression rose incredibly sharply in teens and young adults from 2005 to now"
*looks around at economic crises, increasing inequality, endless war, climate change, resurgent fascism*
"must be snapchat's fault"


A new study shows a rise in depression and stress among young people parallels the growth in smartphone and social media use.

Thursday March 14th, 2019

Study for the test

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Yet another example of "study for the test, but don't let that information keep you from learning the facts": RT @PwdRsch

Security+ certification study guide mentions that what the test expects you to know about password complexity doesn't necessarily match what the experts say.

SAT score differences

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Meanwhile: Florida high school student has dropped her fight to validate her SAT score

[Kamilah] Campbell and attorney Ben Crump held a news conference in early January, saying they believed test administrators were holding up one of her scores -- a 1230 -- because it was too high an improvement from her initial effort, a 900.

Makes an interesting contrast to the other SAT news of the week, I thought...

Weird Text Generator

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Abuse of Unicode for destruction of accessibility and short-term amusement: Weird Text Generator

𝔖𝔬𝔪𝔢 𝔴𝔢𝔦𝔯𝔡 𝔱𝔢𝔵𝔱 𝔤𝔬𝔢𝔰 𝔥𝔢𝔯𝔢

𝕾𝖔𝖒𝖊 𝖜𝖊𝖎𝖗𝖉 𝖙𝖊𝖝𝖙 𝖌𝖔𝖊𝖘 𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊

💗🐲 ѕ𝔬ᵐє 𝐰єĮ𝕣𝐝 𝓣𝒆𝐗Ť g𝕆ⓔѕ 𝕙𝔢𝓇𝔢 ♞👻

𝓢𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝔀𝓮𝓲𝓻𝓭 𝓽𝓮𝔁𝓽 𝓰𝓸𝓮𝓼 𝓱𝓮𝓻𝓮

𝒮𝑜𝓂𝑒 𝓌𝑒𝒾𝓇𝒹 𝓉𝑒𝓍𝓉 𝑔𝑜𝑒𝓈 𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒

𝕊𝕠𝕞𝕖 𝕨𝕖𝕚𝕣𝕕 𝕥𝕖𝕩𝕥 𝕘𝕠𝕖𝕤 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖

and so on and so forth...

When a vendor does a cutesy little

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When a vendor does a cutesy little "find the errors in this JavaScript" programming challenge, but it's quicker to just rewrite in Perl...

Canned Peas

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Careful with that canning, folks: CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Notes from the Field: Botulism Outbreak Associated with Home-Canned Peas — New York City, 2018

The patient who prepared the home-canned peas was a novice home canner. She used a peach preserves recipe with a boiling water technique, replacing the peaches with frozen vegetables. The patient was unaware that low-acid foods (e.g., vegetables) must be canned in a pressure canner rather than a boiling water canner to eliminate C. botulinum spores (1). After the jars cooled, the patient correctly checked for jar seal. One of the jars of peas was not sealed, so the patient covered and refrigerated it, and the family consumed the peas in the potato salad. The U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines state that “foods in single unsealed jars could be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within several days” (1). However, this recommendation applies only to cans that have been correctly processed. In the absence of a pressure-canning step, C. botulinum spores were not eliminated, and the closed jar created an anaerobic environment allowing spore germination and BoNT production.

Tech privilege

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Tech privilege: When you're irritated that the defaults for the new device you bought are set to Britain, or Shenzen, rather than California...

Offensive Adult Party Game

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Kickstarter: Offensive Adult Party Game by The Dragon's Tomb:

To begin the game, each player draws one white card. All white cards are identical and say "I lack creativity and enjoy the illusion of being funny."