08 July 2018

Link round-up for 8 July 2018

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

Australians write e-mails to trees.

Do you know how to behave in an elevator?

This is confusing.

You show 'em, little fella!

There were giants in the Earth in those days.

See tweets from the "second civil war" at Hackwhackers and Mock Paper Scissors.

Churches resort to rock-concert-style gimmickry to draw crowds.

I'm guessing this guy won't get hired for many more funerals.

Dr. Theda does Independence Day his way.

Here's a spectacular time-lapse sky video.

There are some good people out there.  And here are some very good people (found via Frances Langum).

Sixth-graders see through an effort to manipulate them.

Three little facts tell you all you need to know about Amazon.

Trumpanzees rage at a subversive document (found via Hackwhackers).

Join a herd, and feel superior without having to accomplish anything.

It's amazing what incels worry about.

Fundies push public piety on us all.

There's plenty of other content out there to read.

A Christian writer frets that we've noticed there's no good reason for religious taboos.

Respect the pig.

I think this is a call for theocracy, but with all the gobbledygook it's hard to be sure.

Here are some sources of toxic masculinity.

Sometimes, acknowledging who you are is just too dangerous.

If you have a Tumblr blog, read this.

Baptists appear to be targeting detained migrant kids for proselytization.

HuffPost gets a whole lot of right-wing civility.

A former pastor explains why the King James Bible can't be inerrant.

In certain ways, American independence was a mistake.

See what really goes on in those phony "crisis pregnancy centers".

Holy $#!^, is Windows 10 really this bad?

Donald Trump Jr. is having trouble finding a publisher.

If we make people eat their crackers properly, maybe more people will want one.

Evangelical Christianity is full of hypocrisy.

President Carter made the best use of his pardon power.

There is no "war on coal".

Some patriotic movies don't age well (found via Miss Cellania).

Here is one source of the flaming-batshit conspiratardia circulating on some wingnut blogs.  Yes, there are people who believe this stuff.

Christians who oppose Trump are blinded by "demonic deception" (but he also says it's God who is sending the deception???).

You retweet it, you own it.

This foreigner was deemed undesirable and deported.

Check out a few items of religious news (found via Arkenaten).

Hobby Lobby's Independence Day ad merits a little research.

67% of Americans don't want Roe to be reversed (scroll down a bit).  Brett Kavanaugh isn't wingnutty enough for the enemy's tastes.

Sometimes activism is being manipulated (found via Miss Cellania).  I think this essay overstates its case, but it does make some interesting points.

On healthcare, we spend too much and get too little -- but there's a solution.  Here's how our system looks to foreigners.

Workers in the US get a crappy deal compared to other developed countries.

Parrots have brain structures similar to those which enable high intelligence in primates.

The axolotl genome is slowly giving us the secrets of severed-limb regeneration.

Beware the electric flying spiders.

Limitations of artificial intelligence are emerging in facial recognition and self-driving cars.

Trump is escalating his belligerence toward Canada.

The enemy doesn't like Mexico's new President very much.

Here's what actually happens where abortion is banned.

Turkey's increasingly-religious government uses force to suppress Istanbul's once-thriving gay pride parade.

Hong Kong takes a small step toward recognizing gay relationships.

Mother Teresa's "charity" is accused of child trafficking.

The Chinese regime goes all out to censor the internet.  You can bet the fundies, Trumplings, porn haters, campus "speech code" supporters, and other crypto-fascist trash in the West are watching carefully and drawing inspiration.  In Pakistan, WordPress does the control-freaks' work for them.

A church had a message for Manila's gay pride parade.

It's the language of the world's fourth-most-populous country, but hardly anyone speaks it.

On immigration, Trump doesn't practice what he preaches.

No, the Democratic radical left is not like the Tea Party.  But we need different kinds of Democrats to win in different parts of the country.  TPM assesses the debate.  Don't repeat the mistakes of the past (found via Scottie).  Immigration is the top issue with voters, and also the most divisive.

Will the Trumpanzees rebel when trade wars destroy their jobs?  If the business world suffers, it's reaping what it sowed.

No matter how much civility we show, the enemy will always find things to be outraged about -- we must not be tricked into normalizing atrocities (both found via Mike the Mad Biologist).

Here's a full list of all the Trumplings who've quit or been fired so far (found via Shaw Kenawe, who commemorates the departure of Scott Pruitt).  The new EPA head makes a small concession to reality.

Jennifer Lewis is taking a big gamble, and the outcome will tell us a lot.

Trump babbles incoherently in Montana.

There's an exodus of prominent Republicans from the party.

Shower Cap blog reviews the latest week of Trumpian madness.

For more link round-ups, see Perfect Number, Mike the Mad Biologist, and Fair and Unbalanced.

[535 days down, 927 days to go until the inauguration of a real President!]


Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

Another fine Sunday meal to go through (apologies; just had breakfast...:) ).

Not sure if you've seen this article, but it is worth reading: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/07/the-man-who-created-the-world-wide-web-has-some-regrets

And finally--yes, Democrats cannot run a "one size fits all) Democrat in every race in every area. Doug Jones and Conor Lamb won in their races because they were best suited for their areas. A Democrat similar to Bernie Sanders would not have won in Alabama and PA-18. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's win in her primary in New York is good, but she has not won her general election yet and seeing the media (and some on the far Left) run to her and claim that she's going to save us all is....stretching things to infinity. She's the best for that area, but she is NOT the best for areas in Ohio or West Virginia.

Yes, the Democratic radical Left is not like the Tea Party, but they also share the political blindness of the Tea Party. And yet, for all the screaming that they're doing about "Bernie's 'revolution'", these more radical elements have not been winning the special elections or the regular elections.

Just my 2-cents....

08 July, 2018 07:09  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I've heard good and bad things about Windows 10. I bought a new laptop 4 years ago and decided to get Windows 7 because I like it and am used to it. So far I've had no problems. I don't like change. lol

If spiders weren't already scary enough...now they fly.

08 July, 2018 09:01  
Blogger Martha said...

A very interesting round today!

I imagine HuffPost gets a lot of 'right-wing civility' on a regular basis!

Conversion therapy. Can you believe that I learned about it only a few years ago? How could I not know? I feel like I've been asleep all my life. When I did find out, I was horrified. How cruel and barbaric.

08 July, 2018 14:37  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

I was just in and out browsing some of this stuff you compiled. Interesting though was how the Washington Post paints unemployment/ employment in the U.S. ... I actually feel the same way. I mean, the figures that are on MSM daily about this 3.8% or whatever, to me is all showcased stuff. At the same time, I know some folks that are doing fairly well, as far as income, careers, etc ... but there is a large portion of our society/ workers, that are feeling nothing of the sort. In fact, so much has declined for workers in this country, but too much to get into here ... I see alot in my own community. I was talking to my step grandson, Jeremy, the other night (he just got his civil engineering bachelors, working for a masters he sayz) explaining to him, how the bang for the buck was, say in the early 70's compared to today ... because he's young, and all he knows is that we made real low wages in those days ... but there is so much to consider ... I lived it, and you can bet, with the prices, I got much more for my buck back then compared to today ... plus, it is so popular now to squeeze every dollar they can. Service is declining as well, and the consumer is being asked to do more than they should have to as a consumer, just so much I could write about here, but I'll let it go. But also workers are being squeezed for more free hours, less rights, so many new mediocre jobs wont hire usually more than about 32 hours a week even, my neighbours wife (Bill) worx 3 part time jobs. They are trying to make all workers contractors, using this bullshit, saying that it makes them independent, free form government control, bureaucracy, painting it as freedom or this and that (you know the twisted shit they come up with), be your own boss, etc ... LLC's are fly by night contractors, and so many agencies, or temps to supply jobs for a good percentage of workers pay ... it is so much bullshit guy ... you know?

But a good straight piece as far as medicare for all saving American health care in "The Week" piece, that's straight up. The sad thing is, so many American's know this, and see our health care system is not what it looks like, or being painting as through MSM ... folks can see it, because they are feeling the pinch. I mean, sure, guy ... we have some great specialists, etc (more money you have the better care you have) ... but our health care system is totally f*cked, looking at the bigger picture. I have actually caught service providers calling for things, like tests that were unnecessary and over charging out the ass, having to question some of the coding, etc. I was talking to my sister in law, Margie, the other night via my daughters video communications set up over at her house (not sure what they call it). Margie worked for 3 decades as our equivalent to an RN for the national health care in Toronto. She was questioning some of the out of pocket (my wife didnt understand it) for my wife who had some extensive medical care needs. Margie being in the health care industry was actually confused. But I was explaining to her, in network, out network, co- pays, out of pocket and all this other shit. Bottom line, I told Margie, they have more wayz from here to sundown on how to squeeze a few more bucks out of you here. She asked about our insurance (which is actually buy our standards one of the better ones in the U.S.) and what they pay, what they dont,etc. I told Margie, the bottom line, is ... they sell you these inferior plans at premium prices, with bookoo limits and fine print, etc. I told Margie, I call it inferior, because ... they are selling you plans, that you have to buy other plans just to supplement the plan they sell you. Put it this was guy, I'm a street kid, I know when I'm getting f*cked. Just a couple comments I wanted to make in between reads.

08 July, 2018 18:24  
Anonymous PsiCop said...

Re: Windows 10:

I'm an IT guy by vocation. Bloatware is not new, by any means! It's been a problem since the mid 90s when manufacturers started including things like virus protection and games that nagged at users at varying times.

For Microsoft specifically, it did get worse with Windows 8 and the so-called "Metro apps" along with MS's desire to get people to login to their computers using online accounts so they could upsell users on "cloud" stuff.

Also since Win 8's arrival, the Start menu has been a riot of blazing colors and random crap (as seen in the screenshot in the article). Win 10 is an improvement, in that it doesn't take over the entire screen, which by itself is a big plus. But there's an easy way to tame that, a very-free app called Classic Shell (aka Classic Start). Get it, install it, and be done with those stinking "tiles": http://www.classicshell.net/ Full disclosure: I automatically install this on every Win 8.1/10 PC I come across in my business life.

As for the nags that pop up ... as I said, that's not new. That it's getting more frequent and more of a nuisance is just a natural progression of how the business of computing works. Not that I approve ... I don't, neither I nor my users need these ridiculous distractions ... but the trend is an old one (ancient, in terms of computer history).

If there's any good news to be had, it's that it's possible to buy computers that have less of it than others. I've found that it's more of a plague in consumer systems than in business ones (particularly with "Home" operating systems as opposed to "Pro" or, better yet, "Enterprise" versions). In fact, "Enterprise" Windows typically has none of that, and what might come up (mostly introduced by manufacturers rather than MS) can be configured away).

That said, Win 10 is a good OS.

Yes, it is. Really!

Aside from annoyances like the bloat and the (fixable) Start menu, it's the best OS MS ever released. It's leaner than any of its predecessors, to start with, and more fault-tolerant (i.e. it's less likely that dire errors like blue-screens will happen). It offers performance improvements which, in some cases, are noticeable.

For example, I had an older AMD-processor laptop which came with Win 7, which was so slow that it almost didn't work at all. When MS offered the Win 10 upgrade for free a couple years ago, I figured, "Why not? This thing can't get any worse," so I upgraded it. And guess what? The thing worked ... actually quite well. I actually still use it as a "standby" laptop now (for tasks like setting up firewalls and other devices).

There are things I don't like about Win 10, though, which make it a little harder to support, e.g. the phasing out of "service packs" in favor of 6-month-interval "release updates," which confusingly are not the same kind of thing as — and are more dramatic than — the monthly waves of "Windows updates" that MS routinely releases. Overall, though, this IT guy will take it.

09 July, 2018 08:10  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Marc: That's an interesting link. I don't have enough technical know-how to understand very well how what he's proposing would work, but decentralization has to be a good thing. Some of these corporate colossi are becoming far too large and powerful.

Democrats have to stand together, and it has to come from both sides. This is a total disgrace.

Mary: My computer is Windows 7 too. It's pretty old but I intend to keep fixing it rather than replacing it as long as I can. Moving all the stuff I've got on it to a new machine would probably be a huge hassle.

Martha: More and more countries have been banning "conversion therapy", at least for minors. It can be terribly damaging. Needless to say, the religious wingnuts are outraged.

Ranch: Wages have been stagnant for around 30 years now -- the benefits of increased productivity get creamed off by the top 1%. And I'm not surprised benefits are under attack. One more way in which the US is falling behind.

If the insurance companies keep screwing with people, eventually public opinion will reach a tipping point and the pressure for real universal coverage and a public option will grow to strong to resist. Then the insurance companies will have screwed themselves.

PsiCop: Thanks for the informed comment. My spare computer (laptop) has Windows 8, and I don't use it much because the interface is confusing. Maybe I'll give that Classic Shell a try.

On Windows 10, what about the privacy issue? My biggest concern is that it supposedly relays information about what you're doing back to the manufacturer.

09 July, 2018 08:32  
Anonymous PsiCop said...

Re: Privacy in Win 10, there are ways to disable a lot of the "phoning-home" that goes on under the hood, if one wishes. (See e.g. this article: https://www.pcworld.com/article/2971725/windows/how-to-reclaim-your-privacy-in-windows-10-piece-by-piece.html) I routinely disable "relevant ads," WifiSense, Cortana, and other stuff on business PCs.

As for whether or not that stuff goes to the manufacturer rather than only to MS, I can't say. There might be some sharing going on, but then, maybe MS wants to keep that data in its own tight fist and not let it trickle out to the mfgs. I just don't know. The mfgs have their own utilities that can "phone home," such as tech-support apps (like SupportAssist on Dell and Support Assistant on HP). Those can easily be uninstalled if desired, and for some of my users, I've done that (a couple years ago I found HP's assistant app occasionally goes into "runaway" mode and vacuums up CPU cycles like mad, bringing the whole PC almost to a halt).

BTW you DEFINITELY need Classic Shell! Also, if your Win 8 PC is really 8.0 and not 8.1, you need to bring it up, as Win 8.0 is no longer supported and hasn't been in a while; go to: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15356/windows-8-install-update-kb-2919355

09 July, 2018 11:42  

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