Friday November 27th, 2020

Hell is in Poland

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Meaning of Thanksgiving

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Americans revive spirit of first Thanksgiving by carrying disease to new areas

“We wanted to keep alive the customs these settlers helped start,” explained one family that was traveling hundreds of miles to spread disease to people they didn’t know because they thought the trip would be best for their family. “We just want to do the same thing they did, but in a way that includes a dish that somehow incorporates both marshmallows and sweet potatoes.”

Wednesday November 25th, 2020

Two COVID-19 studies

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Two studies that I haven't read, just want to hang a place to search for them:

A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine for Prevention of Covid-19 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2021801

No significant differences were observed in clinical status or overall mortality between patients treated with convalescent plasma and those who received placebo. (PlasmAr number, NCT04383535.)

Postexposure therapy with hydroxychloroquine did not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection or symptomatic Covid-19 in healthy persons exposed to a PCR-positive case patient. (Funded by the crowdfunding campaign YoMeCorono and others; BCN-PEP-CoV2 number, NCT04304053.)

A Randomized Trial of Convalescent Plasma in Covid-19 Severe Pneumonia DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2031304

Parler's on Fyre

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Kevin Abosch @kevinabosch

I've seen what looks like legit proof of 5000 compromised Parler accounts including DM's of some well-known figures. Hackers decompiled the app, zero day exploit etc.. I wish I could unsee what I've seen.

Walter Shaub @waltshaub Replying to @kevinabosch:

Parler’s on Fyre?

Tuesday November 24th, 2020

Apple, Santa Clara County Sheriff, & bribery

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Apple’s head of global security indicted on bribery charges

Thomas Moyer, who has run Apple’s security department since 2013, according to his LinkedIn page, had applied for concealed-weapons permits, according to the release. The sheriff’s office held up the application, the news release alleges, until Moyer agreed to get Apple to donate $70,000 worth of iPads.

Indictment at

Via Violet Blue's Patreon post

picture was posted to a Facebook group

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This picture was posted to a Facebook group this morning, for laughs, and reading the treble line broke my brain, so of course I had to try to record it. I'm not much on reading the bass clef, so I hope I got it... uh.... right?

Monday November 23rd, 2020

STIs and 45+

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This link courtesy of a very sexually active friend of mine who passed it along with a discussion about having to have a talk with his Mom's physician about STD testing and her nursing home behavior. Talk about it and use barriers, kids: People over 45 are at greater risk of STIs, new study finds

Experts associated with the SHIFT sexual health initiative surveyed 800 adults across the south coast of England and northern regions of Belgium and the Netherlands -- with some 200 respondents identified as facing socioeconomic disadvantage.

Almost 80% of respondents in the general population group were aged between 45 and 65, while 58% of those considered socioeconomically disadvantaged were aged 45-54.

Researchers said "major changes" in sexual behavior in recent decades have seen rising numbers of sexually active older people -- but many barely consider the possibility of STIs.

Iowa defunds Planned Parenthood, abortions rise by 25%

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The results of defunding Planned Parenthood: Number of Iowa abortions climb after plummeting for decades

Is this a date?

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Also via Shadow: RT slate @PleaseBeGneiss

excel: is that a date?

me: 57.39 is very much not a date

excel: strong date vibes to me

me: h-how

excel: fixed it

me: 57/39/2020?

excel: you’re welcome

Average IT dept

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From Shadow: "An average IT department" (Reddit video), and, yeah, the featured franken-bike is kinda bizarre, but that back-to-back tandem actually looks like it might be kinda fun!

A very Thingy Christmas

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RT Zack Budryk @BudrykZack

"The Thing," a movie about a group of people who don't even really like each other stuck together in a single, snowbound location trying to figure out who has a terrifying infection, counts as a Christmas movie this year.

entrails of the last pastor from the Universal Church

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Time to Streisand effect the shit out of these awful people: Brazilians will only be free when the last Bolsonaro is strangled with the entrails of the last pastor from the Universal Church.

A Brazilian Writer Saw a Tweet as Tame Satire. Then Came the Lawsuits.

The writer J.P. Cuenca calls it “Kafka in the tropics.” Evangelical pastors have filed at least 130 suits against him over a tweet, part of an increasingly common strategy against critics.

Thursday November 19th, 2020

Google Reader & destruction of civilization

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Aspects of this theory are compelling: RT Vinay Gupta @leashless

Was Google's decision to kill Google Reader actually the key turning point in the destruction of western civilization?

Kills the decentralized web, gives rise to Twitter and Facebook becoming the algorithmic overlords. Maybe @dsearls @davewiner @disappearinjon @rezendi @miniver

The plot to kidnap Whitmer

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Disturbing new details in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

New filings claim there was a Plan B the militiamen had drawn up, that involved a takeover of the Michigan capitol building by 200 combatants who would stage a week-long series of televised executions of public officials.

And, according to government documents now on file in lower Michigan court, there was also a Plan C -- burning down the state house, leaving no survivors.


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Programming: 1% algorithms, 9% trying to describe how the requirements have logical inconsistencies, 90% trying to keep up with how to tell the OS security settings "no, really, the app needs to do this".

betting pool on employee infection

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Lawsuit: Tyson managers bet money on how many workers would contract COVID-19

In mid-April, around the time Black Hawk County Sherriff Tony Thompson visited the plant and reported the working conditions there “shook [him] to the core,” plant manager Tom Hart organized a cash-buy-in, winner-take-all, betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many plant employees would test positive for COVID-19.

4 Seasons in VRChat

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Meet the Cat Who Turned Four Seasons Total Landscaping into a Virtual Reality Hangout for Furries. I thought I linked to another article about VRChat and Four seasons Total Landscaping, but I can't find it right now.

However, if you take your VRChat account, hook up the OSR-2 articulated AR Fleshlight holder to your VRChat and go pound a virtual furry Rudy Giuliani during a press conference... well, your kink is not my kink, but that's okay.

Who is the mainstream media

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Wednesday November 18th, 2020

I wear a mask to protect others

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I wear a mask to protect others, but Amy from Medical Services is making me wonder about the wisdom of that.

Burning the place down before you move out

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Trump team looks to box in Biden on foreign policy by lighting too many fires to put out

The Trump team has prepared legally required transition memos describing policy challenges, but there are no discussions about actions they could take or pause. Instead, the White House is barreling ahead. A second official tells CNN their goal is to set so many fires that it will be hard for the Biden administration to put them all out.

Photoshop your name onto the paper

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Science Integrity Digest: Researcher photoshops his name onto a Nature Communications paper. Dude changes PDF and posts it to his own site.

Twitter user Abolfazl Madani, who works in Neuroscience / Quantum Machine Learning, pinned a tweet [archived] in which he shared his “last publication in #Nature” (sic). The link in the July 2020 tweet leads to a Nature Communications paper, not on the journal’s website, but on a WordPress page [archived].

Tuesday November 17th, 2020

Downloading the Big Sur update

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Downloading the Big Sur update, 12.18GB, gonna take close to 15 minutes to download. Apple's servers are slow. Sonic Fiber rocks.

Monday November 16th, 2020

Why Joe Biden must sideline Fox

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Crooked: Why Joe Biden must sideline Fox

What happened in between? Well, we lost our nerve. We were bullied by the Washington axis of media elites (the ones forever spotted in Playbook attending a never-ending book party circle jerk) who play along with Fox’s ridiculous “Fair and Balanced” lie. For example, in 2009, when the Treasury Department made the watchdog who oversaw the 2008 Wall Street bailout available to every network except Fox News, the Washington bureau chiefs of the five TV networks got together and boycotted the interview unless we included Fox, too. Boycotted! The press corps didn’t muster this same principle when Trump singled out news networks for disloyalty, or privileged Fox over all other outlets, or stopped conducting White House press briefings, or called journalists the “enemy of the people.” But when Obama was in office, the DC press corps beat its chest with righteous indignation (from Both Sides, of course) until we agreed to treat Fox as a legitimate news organization.

Voter Suppression & Indigenous Communities

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Despite record voter turnout, Indigenous communities face different kinds of voter suppression

"We still have tribes where you're forced to vote inside of a police station. That's your only polling place and they run your plates while you're there. Some of this is really egregious, outrageous, 1940s-style voter suppression. I wish people knew more about that," Landreth said.

I know a couple of people who've had some troubles with the law, who loaned their cars to family members, and said family members were surprised at how after not being pulled over for years, they suddenly had two or three traffic stops in the course of 50 miles.

Economics and Presidential Politics

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It's kind of a weird way to tranche up the results, although the whole electoral system does that anyway, but: Brookings: Biden-voting counties equal 70% of America’s economy. What does this mean for the nation’s political-economic divide?

Exchanging texts and misdelivered

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Exchanging texts and misdelivered packages with neighbors; apparently the delivery service has every address in this neighborhood shifted, just after we all had our curb numbers re-painted. Huh.

Apologizing for ancestors

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A little feel-good story for the day: A German man's Nazi grandfather took over a Jewish man's store. He tracked down his descendants to apologize

Edelmann sent a letter to Ehrenreich in English though MyHeritage -- unaware that she actually grew up speaking German.

He wrote: "I believe that if my family supported the injustice your grandparents experienced, it is our duty to take this into account and take over responsibility at least in getting in touch with you to listen and learn. As I am part of the Edelmann family I want to take the first step and listen to you.

"I do understand that you might not see any benefit for yourself personally in talking to me. But with me understanding and being able to teach my children and possibly other family members about the impact of particular historical decisions, this might help them to make better decisions in their lives," Edelmann continued.

"Currently, the political climate in our country is poisoned. There is a new antisemitism upcoming. I want to make sure that at least my family will never again be responsible for injustice experienced by others, but stand up to take part for the weak," he wrote.

90k sex abuse claims in Boy Scouts bankruptcy

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Sunday November 15th, 2020

The Trump rally

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At least they're engaging experts. Republican convicted of election fraud helps lead Trump rally baselessly claiming election fraud

And, of course, the fact-checkers have been having to work overtime from all of the alleged pictures of attendees at the Few Thousand MAGA March, including attempting to pass off pictures of the 2017 Women's March, a 2006 immigration rights march, and a Cleveland Cavaliers victory parade

Android Bandwidth Tax

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New lawsuit: Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they're not even in use?

To support the allegations, the plaintiff's counsel tested a new Samsung Galaxy S7 phone running Android, with a signed-in Google Account and default setting, and found that when left idle, without a Wi-Fi connection, the phone "sent and received 8.88 MB/day of data, with 94 per cent of those communications occurring between Google and the device."

The device, stationary, with all apps closed, transferred data to Google about 16 times an hour, or about 389 times in 24 hours. Assuming even half of that data is outgoing, Google would receive about 4.4MB per day or 130MB per month in this manner per device subject to the same test conditions.

The complaint:

An iPhone device (again, without the Android operating system or Google’s applications) in comparable active use communicated with Apple far less frequently than Android devices communicated with Google’s servers. (Id. at 24.) (The two devices did have a comparable number of contacts with Google’s advertising domains, as was expected in light of the similar usage on both devices of third party websites and apps which provide information to Google.

Non-alcoholic drinks

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Twitter thread of non-alcoholic drinks. I'm not opposed to alcohol, I've got a Mason jar of rum and coffee cold-brewing right now in an effort to make a Kahlua analogue, but especially since I've got the carbonation capacity to do all sorts of seltzer, I'm on the lookout for ideas...

Friday November 13th, 2020

Personal COVID-19 status

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Last night Charlene and I were talking about what, if anything, we wanted to do for Thanksgiving. We got married on Thanksgiving eve, so we kind-of celebrate it as an anniversary, and often go somewhere to get-away. We were thinking about where that might be, what we could see, and we started digging into COVID-19 data. And we decided that we're not going anywhere.

It looks like Sonoma County is running 70-100 new cases per day, population 500k, so I dunno, that's somewhere between 100 and 140 new cases per hundred thousand per 7 days? CDC is claiming California is running 17/100k/7 days, so we're way over that, North Dakota is almost 170/100k/7 days. So Sonoma County's reluctance to actually take this seriously (see our Sheriff's deliberate undermining of efforts, for instance) is not helping our case rate at all.

And then, of course, that led to looking at international data and strategies, and the US is at 10M acknowledged cases and about .25k deaths, so either we've got a lot of shadow cases, or the US's death rate sucks relative to developed nations. I suspect a combination of the two.

It's kind-of astounding. And we're gonna be hunkering down here at home for quite a while longer.