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friendly_iconoclast

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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 13,850

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If you have not yet seen 'Arrival', I urge you to do so ASAP

Science fiction that makes you think past the usual thud and blunder.
Takes every thing you've seen from in the usual "OMG, extraterrestrials are here"
onscreen treatments and bins them- think "Solaris" or the original
"The Day The Earth Stood Still".

Added on edit: Amy Adams is the heart and soul of this movie, and I will be
sorely disappointed if she doesn't win an Academy Award for this.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Nov 16, 2016, 07:30 PM (1 replies)

The Liberal Gun Club opposes Washington’s initiative 1491

http://www.theliberalgunclub.com/2016/11/04/the-liberal-gun-club-opposes-washingtons-initiative-1491/

The Liberal Gun Club opposes Washington’s initiative 1491
Eric M

The Liberal Gun Club strongly opposes Washington state’s ballot initiative 1491. Like the ACLU, we see this as a dangerous precedent to constitutionally protected due process law, putting not just this issue, but other due process proceedings at risk for violation.

Much like the no fly list and legislation that other states have been pursuing in recent years, these laws serve as a template to bypass our fellow citizens constitutional rights to due process with little oversight or forethought as to the unintended consequences.

As a matter of support, we find it was best put by the Washington State ACLU here:

https://ballotpedia.org/Washington_Individual_Gun_Access_Prevention_by_Court_Order,_Initiative_1491_(2016)#cite_note-11

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington has not taken an official position on Initiative 1491. However, the group does not support the initiative. In an e-mail from the ACLU to initiative sponsor David Combs, the organization stated:

“... While keeping guns out of the hands of people who pose serious risks to safety is a reasonable public safety measure, the ACLU’s role is to evaluate such measures by their impact on civil liberties, and we have concerns that the initiative has inadequate due process procedures. Further, these deficient due process procedures could set a bad precedent for other criminal justice processes.

The initiative allows a broad and vaguely defined group of people (family, household member, police) to seek the protection order. A protection order can be issued based on vague criteria (“significant danger”) that a person is an “extreme risk.” The protection order can be obtained from a judge ex parte – without notice to the person being accused. This severely limits the ability of a person to challenge an order once it is entered.

The initiative puts the burden of proof on the accused to show, after 12 months, that the order should be lifted. It is unclear how persons would prove their lack of danger. The concerns are compounded because of problems we’ve seen with other kinds of protection orders in WA: Although they are initially temporary, after a period of time, there are efforts to expand the scope of the orders to make them permanent, or to further abridge the due process provisions.

The initiative requires recording the order in court databases, which are open to the public. A record showing that a person had gun rights taken away based on being an “extreme risk” may well haunt an individual for the rest of their life – regardless of rehabilitation – erecting barriers for them when they undergo a background check for employment, housing, etc.”


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Nov 4, 2016, 10:11 PM (10 replies)

Documents show AT&T secretly sells customer data to law enforcement

Reposted from LBN: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141607262


http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/25/att-secretly-sells-customer-data-law-enforcement-hemisphere

Telecommunications giant AT&T is selling access to customer data to local law enforcement in secret, new documents released on Monday reveal.

The program, called Hemisphere, was previously known only as a “partnership” between the company and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the purposes of counter-narcotics operations.

But according to internal company documents revealed Monday by the Daily Beast, Hemisphere is being sold to local police departments and used to investigate everything from murder to Medicaid fraud, costing US taxpayers millions of dollars every year even while riding roughshod over privacy concerns.

It accesses the trove of telephone metadata available to AT&T, who control a large proportion of America’s landline and cellphone infrastructure. Unlike other providers, who delete their stored metadata after a certain time, AT&T keeps information like call time, duration, and even location data on file for years, with records dating back to 2008.





The original Daily Beast article can be found at:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/25/at-t-is-spying-on-americans-for-profit.html

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 26, 2016, 01:02 AM (2 replies)

Documents show AT&T secretly sells customer data to law enforcement

Source: Guardian

Telecommunications giant AT&T is selling access to customer data to local law enforcement in secret, new documents released on Monday reveal.

The program, called Hemisphere, was previously known only as a “partnership” between the company and the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the purposes of counter-narcotics operations.

It accesses the trove of telephone metadata available to AT&T, who control a large proportion of America’s landline and cellphone infrastructure. Unlike other providers, who delete their stored metadata after a certain time, AT&T keeps information like call time, duration, and even location data on file for years, with records dating back to 2008.

But according to internal company documents revealed Monday by the Daily Beast, Hemisphere is being sold to local police departments and used to investigate everything from murder to Medicaid fraud, costing US taxpayers millions of dollars every year even while riding roughshod over privacy concerns.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/25/att-secretly-sells-customer-data-law-enforcement-hemisphere



The original Daily Beast article can be found at:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/25/at-t-is-spying-on-americans-for-profit.html
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Oct 26, 2016, 01:00 AM (5 replies)

Shale gas—not EPA rules—has pushed decline in coal-generated electricity, study confirms

http://phys.org/news/2016-10-shale-gasnot-epa-ruleshas-decline.html


Cheap shale gas produced by fracking has driven the decline in coal production in the United States during the last decade, researchers at the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University have found.

Power plants, which use 93 percent of the coal produced nationally, have been operating under the same EPA regulations signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Proposed new rules since then have all been challenged in court and not implemented until June 2016, when the EPA's restrictions on mercury and other toxic emissions were approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Consumption of coal continued to grow under those 1990-era EPA rules until 2008, and then went into steady decline, dropping by 23 percent from 2008 thru 2015.

The data show the drop in those years to be correlated with the shale revolution, as natural gas production increased by a factor of more than 10 and its price dropped in half, the researchers say. And, due to the continuing—and in some cases accelerating—technological and economic advantages of gas over coal, the decline in coal is expected to continue at least decades into the future.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Oct 7, 2016, 09:09 PM (2 replies)

Yahoo’s Government Email Scanner Was Actually a Secret Hacking Tool

X-posted from Good Reads: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016168160


https://motherboard.vice.com/read/yahoo-government-email-scanner-was-actually-a-secret-hacking-tool

The spy tool that the US government ordered Yahoo to install on its systems last year at the behest of the NSA or the FBI was a “poorly designed” and “buggy” piece of malware, according to two sources closely familiar with the matter

Last year, the US government served Yahoo with a secret order, asking the company to search within its users’ emails for some targeted information, as first reported by Reuters this week. It’s still unclear what was the information sought, but The New York Times, citing an anonymous official source, later reported that the government was looking for a specific digital “signature” of a “communications method used by a state-sponsored, foreign terrorist organization.” ...

...But two sources familiar with the matter told Motherboard that this description is wrong, and that the tool was actually more like a “rootkit,” a powerful type of malware that lives deep inside an infected system and gives hackers essentially unfettered access. The rootkit-like tool was found by Yahoo’s internal security testing team during one of their checkups, according to a source.

“They assumed it was a rootkit installed by hackers,” an ex-Yahoo employee, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive issues, told Motherboard. “If it was just a slight modification to the spam and child pornography filters, the security team wouldn't have noticed and freaked out.”



Tl;dr version: The Feds demand Yahoo management install rootkit (my guess is to look for posts using steganography), Yahoo management obliges- but does not tell Yahoo corporate security.

Yahoo security finds poorly-written malware, tells management. Management says
"National security letter, STFU or do time". Head of security resigns as a result.

Presumably someone at Yahoo remains pissed off, leaks details to Motherboard.
(or if your are of conspiratorial bent, malware was/is actually good and reports of
it being poorly written are attempts to make NSA look more inept than they
really are...)

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Oct 7, 2016, 07:03 PM (1 replies)

Yahoo’s Government Email Scanner Was Actually a Secret Hacking Tool

https://motherboard.vice.com/read/yahoo-government-email-scanner-was-actually-a-secret-hacking-tool

The spy tool that the US government ordered Yahoo to install on its systems last year at the behest of the NSA or the FBI was a “poorly designed” and “buggy” piece of malware, according to two sources closely familiar with the matter

Last year, the US government served Yahoo with a secret order, asking the company to search within its users’ emails for some targeted information, as first reported by Reuters this week. It’s still unclear what was the information sought, but The New York Times, citing an anonymous official source, later reported that the government was looking for a specific digital “signature” of a “communications method used by a state-sponsored, foreign terrorist organization.” ...

...But two sources familiar with the matter told Motherboard that this description is wrong, and that the tool was actually more like a “rootkit,” a powerful type of malware that lives deep inside an infected system and gives hackers essentially unfettered access. The rootkit-like tool was found by Yahoo’s internal security testing team during one of their checkups, according to a source.

“They assumed it was a rootkit installed by hackers,” an ex-Yahoo employee, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive issues, told Motherboard. “If it was just a slight modification to the spam and child pornography filters, the security team wouldn't have noticed and freaked out.”



Tl;dr version: The Feds demand Yahoo management install rootkit (my guess is to look for posts using steganography), Yahoo management obliges- but does not tell Yahoo corporate security.

Yahoo security finds poorly-written malware, tells management. Management says
"National security letter, STFU or do time". Head of security resigns as a result.

Presumably someone at Yahoo remains pissed off, leaks details to Motherboard.
(or if your are of conspiratorial bent, malware was/is actually good and reports of
it being poorly written are attempts to make NSA look more inept than they
really are...)

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Oct 7, 2016, 07:01 PM (0 replies)

Trump Supporters Spent The Debate Tweeting At Jon Lester Because They Thought He Was Lester Holt

https://deadspin.com/trump-supporters-spent-the-debate-tweeting-at-jon-leste-1787351028

Jon Lester is expected to be the Cubs’ Game 1 starter when the NLDS kicks off at Wrigley on Friday against either the Mets or Giants. That’s Jon Lester. Not NBC anchor Lester Holt, who is old and who scouts say has 55 command at best, barely fourth-starter potential. Just so we’re clear.

We’re late on this (we never would have known about it if Randall J. Sanders hadn’t noticed) but I think it’s worth the wait. Last week, presidential debate moderator Holt drew the ire of some Trump supporters by asking questions of Donald Trump about his insane statements and policies, and by attempting to keep him on track. The next morning those Trumplings ran to Twitter and tweeted at the first “Lester” they could find...

...For next Sunday night’s debate, forget the fact-checking. Make sure your second screen is a search for Jon Lester’s mentions.


Best comment from Deadspin:

"Check out the feeds for those twitter users, holy shit. A couple straight up white power, and a bunch of just raging ignorance."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Oct 3, 2016, 02:30 PM (10 replies)

Gun control advocacy attracts bullshit artists, like all prohibitionism. DU is not exempt

They come in several varieties. All are (according to them) the smartest, most concerned/caring
person in the room and purport to "know" what others do and do not "need"

Some are of more than one type:

*The Royalist Gun Owner- "*My* firearms are just fine- it's *those people* (and/or
their guns) that are the problem!"

*The Veteran- "I was (Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines) and (carried/served on) (Weapon
System X). Nobody needs an assault rifle/weapon!"

*The Fudd- Inevitably mentions that they do not own any firearm with post-19th Century
technology and declares that no one needs a gun designed after 1900. If pressed, may grudgingly
accept M-1 Garands.

*The Expert- Knows far more about guns than you ignorant sociopathic racist peasants do,
and is not a bit shy about letting you know that.

If confronted by evidence that they in fact do *not* know what they are talking about
(or are simply flat-out wrong) they press on as if they never saw it, a la Donald Trump.


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Oct 2, 2016, 03:09 PM (0 replies)

Rahm Emanuel Concerned Gun Violence Could Spread To Parts Of City He Gives Shit About

http://www.theonion.com/article/rahm-emanuel-concerned-gun-violence-could-spread-p-54016

CHICAGO— Speaking with members of his staff in private Monday after receiving the most recent municipal crime statistics, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is said to have expressed his concern that the metropolitan area’s gun violence problem might soon spread to the parts of the city he actually gives a shit about, sources reported. “Listen, we’re at 3,000 shootings this year and counting—it’s only a matter of time before this violence migrates from the areas of the city I don’t give a fuck about into the areas that actually matter in my eyes,” the second-term mayor reportedly said, adding that it would be devastating to see such senseless shootings affect residents outside of the large swaths of Chicago he has written off entirely. “If we don’t do something soon to keep guns off the streets of those particular neighborhoods that I consider worthwhile, things could really spiral out of control. Enough is enough when it comes to the parts of this city that I choose to serve.” At press time, Emanuel was breathing a sigh of relief after learning that six Chicagoans killed overnight were shot dead in neighborhoods he couldn’t care less about.



The best satire always contains a grain of truth...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Sep 29, 2016, 07:56 PM (2 replies)
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