From Pine View Farm

November, 2015 archive

Dialectic 0

The EFF points out the inherent contradictions in governments’ efforts to weaken encryption (in this case, the United States FBI, but the same thing has been happening in the UK and other countries which call themselves “democratic”).

A snippet (emphasis in the original):

What if, in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, or cybersecurity attacks on companies and government agencies, the FBI had come to the American people and said: In order to keep you safe, we need you to remove all the locks on your doors and windows and replace them with weaker ones. It’s because, if you were a terrorist and we needed to get to your house, your locks might slow us down or block us entirely. So Americans, remove your locks! And American companies: stop making good locks!

In related news, Italy decides to eavesdrop on gamers.

You may worry about the gamers’ privacy. I used to hear Second Son chat with other gamers while playing on his XBox Three. I worry about the eavesdroppers’ sanity.


Both Sides Not 0

The Booman takes down Kathleen Parker’s latest foray into both-siderism.


How Stuff Works, Equal Justice under the Law Dept. 0

Image of policeman saying,

Via Job’s Anger.


Baby Elephant Walk 0

Frankenstein's Monster labeled


No Republican will ever admit that the Republican Party created the conditions from whence sprang Donald Trump. But it did.

Via Michael in Norfolk.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Don’t waffle on politeness.

An enraged Waffle House customer shot and killed a waitress early Friday who asked him not to smoke.



Joe E. Lewis:

You only live once – but if you work it right, once is enough.


Facebook Frolics 0

The farcical War on Christmas goes international.


No Place To Hide 0

Computer security is always an afterthought when there’s money to be made.

Mattel’s latest Wi-Fi enabled Barbie doll can easily be hacked to turn it into a surveillance device for spying on children and listening into conversations without the owner’s knowledge.


. . . US security researcher Matt Jakubowski discovered that when connected to Wi-Fi the doll was vulnerable to hacking, allowing him easy access to the doll’s system information, account information, stored audio files and direct access to the microphone.

Play it safe. Give your kid a Raggedy-Ann, not a Mata Hari Barbie.

Details at the link.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Guns and safety go together.

Police say the woman and her 15-year-old son where sitting in their vehicle when the teen removed a gun from under a seat.

According to police, the teen pulled the trigger thinking the gun had an external safety that would prevent the gun from firing. However, the gun had a trigger assembly safety and went off when the he pulled the trigger.

EPD says the woman was shot in the back.

If the lady had also had a gun, no doubt this would not have happened.



I have a new podcast at Hacker Public Radio about Qmmp, the Qt-based MultiMedia Player.

Editing audio in audacity

Qmmp was inspired by Winamp, the venerable but now defunct Windows player, and XMMS, a similarly venerable and defunct Linux media player. It runs on Linux, BSD, and Windows; I’ve tested it on all three.

If you are an old Winamp and XMMS user, as I am, you can use your legacy Winamp and XMMS skins with it. You can also easily make your own skins with skinamp for Windows.


Qmmp is a nice job of work; I use it daily to listen to streaming audio and OTR (though it can be quirky with URLs that have unusual characters, such as parentheses, in them).

If you’re a Linux or BSD user, it’s in your repos, and, if you are a Slackware user, there’s a Slackbuild. If you’re a Windows user, you can get the install program at the Qmmp website.

You too can podcast at HPR; all are welcome. Contribute a show and join the community.


Hours and the Wage 0


“Pay Up of Die” 0

The Pharma Bro continues to hold sick persons hostage in his quest for even more money.

After weeks of criticism from patients, doctors and other drugmakers for hiking a life-saving medicine’s price more than fifty-fold, Turing Pharmaceuticals is reneging on its pledge to cut the $750-per-pill price.

Instead, the small biotech company is reducing what it charges hospitals, by up to 50 percent, for its parasitic infection treatment, Daraprim. Most patients’ copayments will be capped at $10 or less a month. But insurers will be stuck with the bulk of the $750 tab. That drives up future treatment and insurance costs.


The Big Deal 0

Woman with full cart at Buy-Mart:  30% off irregular tube socks.  This is way better than spending time with family!


Freedom from Fear, at Last* 0

Meet the people that Republicans demonize and remind yourself that a refugee is one who seeks refuge.


*Then, again.



Raymond Arroyo:

‘No’ is the second shortest word in the English language, but one of the hardest to say.


Reprieve 0

SS United States
See the full-sized image

More here.


The Islander 0

Title:  Famous Islands.  Image:  pictures of Maui, Bali, Fuji, and Fantasy, where Donald Trump stands spewing his nonsense.

Click for a larger image.


Unquestioning Loyalty 0

At Above the Law, Elie Mystal muses on why cops get away with killing black people for being. A snippet (emphasis added):

I don’t think most cops think their job is to shoot unarmed black people to death. But I do think most cops think their job is to protect other cops — including the ones who shoot unarmed black people to death. Black people die not just because there are a few racist cops, but because there are many, many more cops who refuse to do anything about the violent racists in their ranks.


The best spin I can put on the pro-police faction in this country is that they kind of can’t BELIEVE that the cops are as racist and as violent as black people know they are.

Read it.


“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Let nothing take a back seat to politeness.

A 19-year-old woman was found shot in the back while sitting in the front passenger seat of a Toyota Camry at the restaurant at 2363 College Drive, Coppola said.

Detectives believe the shooting happened in the 5000 block of Florida Street as the teenage boy, who was sitting in the rear seat of the Camry, accidently fired the handgun.


“No Religious Test” 0

Oh, wait. Funny or Die has gotten hold of the Republican Party’s proposed religious test for immigrants.

Follow the link to find out whether you would pass.