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First or Second Amendment Protection, Take Your Pick

An article in today’s NY Times reported on violence at a recent Donald Trump rally, with clashes between Trump supporters and protestors. When I first glanced at this picture, I thought these guys were holding cans of pepper spray, or tasers. But closer inspection shows no less than 6 cellphones, all locked and loaded. Cellphones … Continue reading

We Are All PIN-Heads, If You Believe The Bankers

After a series of ever more serious data breaches, and millions of identities stolen, the banking industry promised to introduce credit cards with advanced security features this year. Just Another Fantasy. Turns out that instead of introducing ‘Chip and PIN’, they are going with ‘Chip and Signature’. Which may sound equally secure, but is in fact, a real meh. As reported … Continue reading

Are You Facebook’s Bitch?

No. This blog post is not about the recent revelation that Facebook tweeked news feeds to see if that would change user emotions. Compared to what we read about in the real world every day, that would have about as much impact as peeing in the ocean. Rather, we are here to discuss another ‘experiment’ brought … Continue reading

AARP Offers An Early Renewal Option, Sort Of…

It’s one thing to be scammed by an organization you don’t know. It’s another thing when an organization to which you belong (and pay dues to no less), decides to increase their cash flow at your expense. I’ve been a happy member of AARP since I was, wait for it, 55. I got an invitation to join … Continue reading

DIY Snooping, You Don’t Need The NSA For This Trick.

Thanks to a common ‘security hole’ in on-line images, we don’t need the NSA for some simple snooping. Just a few years ago most of us didn’t have high-speed internet connections, so publications would compress their photos to keep our browsers from slowing to a crawl. With the right compression the pictures would still look … Continue reading

Reaching Out With Superpowers

For once I hope I’m wrong, but there seems to be a new meme out there that is gaining traction, known as the Superpower. Now traditionally the term Superpower is reserved for countries having (lots of) nuclear weapons, or for a comic book character that can leap tall buildings. But in its current incarnation Superpower merely refers to … Continue reading

Life Hack: Blow Don’t Suck

I’ve been brainwashed for the past 40 years, but today the lights came on and the world is a happier place. If you look at the picture below you’ll see my Shop Vac and my Leaf Blower. Being a simple person, my assumption was that the former was to be used in the shop and … Continue reading

Kitchen Confidential

It all started simply enough, with a little yellow sticker offering a 2X Money Back Guarantee. I only noticed the sticker while putting away a bottle of dish washing liquid under my kitchen counter. The storage space was dark but the label beamed brightly at me with a wide smile. There it sat, like a … Continue reading

This Is Much Better, It’s Like I’m Not Here

Great news this week about the Royal Baby, who has been named George Alexander Louis. Henceforth he will be formally known by his full title: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. A big name for a little guy. But what about his Mum, who is officially the Duchess of Cambridge. The enduring story about Kate was/is … Continue reading

Real Men Don’t “Reach Out”

It’s getting harder and harder to maintain my hermit status. Everyone is Reaching Out to me. And it’s not just people. Even organizations that should know better think that reaching out to me makes them my new best friend. Banks, airlines, websites. Really? And it’s not just me. Everywhere I turn it seems people and organizations are … Continue reading

MetaData For Dummies; Or How Isaac Grokked The Cloud

Main-stream media sites lit up this week with the disclosure that the NSA has tapped into private databases in order to subvert terrorist plots. And surprisingly enough, there are actually some interesting sidebars to the original story. A fascinating article in the NY Times explains how recent advances in the analysis of Big Data are being … Continue reading

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