Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some small crumb of privacy

There’s something about this quote I don’t like.

“The FBI has a sworn duty to keep every American safe from crime and terrorism, and technology has become the tool of choice for some very dangerous people,” Comey said in the speech at the Brookings Institution.

I don’t quite know what it is, but it just doesn’t sound right.  Something about keeping safe rather than investigating crimes. Anyway, the FBI is still upset that Apple can’t unencrypt phones at the FBIs whim and probably won’t rest until they have access to everything you own.

A 1994 law, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, forces telephone companies to build surveillance technologies into their networks to allow law enforcement to install wiretaps. But the law hasn’t been updated and doesn’t cover new networks and devices.

Comey called for Congress to revise the law to create a “level playing field” so that Google, Apple, and Facebook have the same obligation as AT&T and Verizon to help police.

I think they should level the playing field by un-obligating AT&T and Verizon from spying on us.

The poor 4th Amendment

Here’s a shocker. Sneak and peek warrants designed to be used to fight terrorism are being used for anything but that. Who could have seen that coming? Oh wait… everyone saw that coming. I’m pretty sure it was considered a feature.

Can we repeal the Patriot Act, get rid of the TSA and dismantle the Department of Homeland Security yet?


Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t be prepared for an Ebola outbreak (or hurricane or earthquake or other disaster).  There are reasonable steps to take, like not going near ebola-infected people or countries.  Not touching dead or sick people. For those of us that aren’t medical professionals, it shouldn’t be too hard to stay safe. This is not the same thing as panicking.

Also, I notice how two of the three people in the US that have ebola have acted contrary to public interest. Now, there are plenty of other people in America that were in West Africa and haven’t been incredibly stupid. But so far, they don’t have ebola. I don’t like saying it, but the government needs to implement some sort of control over the movements of those that have a reasonable chance of being infected.


It’s true

This recent social justice  wave makes women look weak and in need of protection from the men of society.  I’m looking at you gamergate, #yesallwomen and the whole scifi/fantasy writing community. Thank you for your patronizing concern that I don’t get my feelings hurt and that representatives of my voice are heard. No doubt it comes from a genuine concern for equality, which is commendable.  But if books like Ancillary Justice, with, granted, good writing, but massive plot holes left undisturbed* to make sure that your anvilicious point gets through are your answer to equality issues, you’re doing it wrong. Anne McCaffery wrote a far more coherent story 50 years ago.

I didn’t know I was underrepresented in books and games until some man came along and told me I was (so thanks for that), mostly because there are so many games with playable female characters and books with female protagonists. And, don’t tell anyone, but I don’t mind if main characters are different genders, races, or creeds from me. I might accidentally learn something about that gender, race or creed from playing/reading them.

And Tumblr and their whole trigger-warning, cis, check your privilege thing is so ridiculous that they cannot be taken seriously.

Anyway, here’s the article that set that rant off.

Add this all up and you have today’s “thought leaders” telling women they need to be spoken to gently, need the government to guard them from harsh words and uncomfortable topics, that their setbacks are always someone else’s fault and that they aren’t in control of their own lives.


*Brain the size of a planet, can’t make judgement calls about gender 3-year olds manage every day. Doesn’t manage to learn these things despite hundreds of years outside its own culture. What kind of crap sensor system can’t detect estrogen levels? I am all about the suspension of disbelief, I will just roll with so many ridiculous things if you’re telling me a good story, if I can’t grant you this, it’s not good.

A baby volcano

The shockwave hitting is very cool.