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Life, Y'Know? Linkin' Log News Politics Science

‘These new vaccine mutants are extremely disappointing,’ by Magneto

From Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post:

Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopath, testified in Ohio that, “I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick.” When I heard this, I was more excited than I have been in years. People who could control metal! Magnetic people! I felt full of hope for mutantkind. These new mutants were appearing in state legislature after state legislature, testifying to the development of these new powers, and I said to myself, “Finally everything is coming up Magneto!” I was so excited. […]

[L]et me tell you, I was pretty let down.

I spent more time cackling while reading this than I care to admit.

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Linkin' Log News Politics

Katie Porter’s Whiteboard

When you woke up this morning and put on your bland suit in preparation for your hearing, I bet you looked yourself in the mirror and thought: Today’s the day. Katie Porter’s not going to get me.

Well, I’m Representative Katie Porter’s whiteboard, and I’ve got a message scrawled upon my glistening façade: We’re about to kick your ass.

The exchange between Rep. Katie Porter of California and an official from the CDC during a hearing yesterday was awesome. This monologue from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency is an equally-awesome companion piece.

If you haven’t seen Rep. Porter mopping the floor with the officials from the CDC yet, you should 100% watch the video below before you read the piece on McSweeney’s. It’s worth your time, I promise.

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Entertainment News

Last Week Tonight: SLAPP Suits

After spending two years engaged in a legal battle with a coal executive who was less-than-enthused with a giant squirrel telling him to “eat shit”, John Oliver finally shares the details of what happened, explains SLAPP lawsuits, and ends the segment in a way that ensured that I’d have to post it.

I had no choice, people.

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Linkin' Log News Technology

Apple Announces Release Date for PowerBeats Pro in Navy, Other Colors I Don’t Care About

At this point I was kinda figuring Apple wouldn’t announce the release date of the PowerBeats Pro in navy before my next work trip, but I was mercifully wrong!

So far, the excellent Beats Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds have only been available in black, but the other colors announced several months ago — ivory (off-white), moss (green), and navy — are arriving by the end of this month. They’ll also cost $249.95. 

Apple tells me you’ll be able to order them online beginning on August 22nd at 12:01AM PT / 3:01AM ET. All three new Powerbeats Pro colors will start shipping on August 30th and should be in Apple’s retail stores on that day as well.

Jeff purchased the PowerBeats Pro earlier in black, and kept telling me how great they are, so I’m glad the version that will match my weird “must have navy/midnight blue for all the things” is coming out so I can finally get on his level.

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News Technology

A Stolen NSA Tool Being Used by Cybercriminals. Whoopsie.

Well this is awkward:

For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services.

But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case.

This is obviously an isolated incident and definitely shouldn’t be used as evidence that maybe giving the FBI a back-door through encryption could be a bad idea.

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News

ABC 7 NY News: Bags of undelivered mail found in postal worker’s backyard shed on Long Island

Turns out my home town has a bit of a problem with the mail:

Postal inspectors are at a house in Nassau County Tuesday after they found loads of undelivered mail.

The USPS Inspector General’s Office confirms they are investigating, and neighbors said upwards of 60 kitchen-sized bags of undelivered mail were removed.

It’s pretty common for mail to be delivered to the wrong house where I am, anyway, so this really didn’t hurt your chances of missing an important piece of mail by all that much, honestly.

On the plus side, I now have something concrete I can point to the next time I tell my insurance company that there’s a reason I don’t get my prescriptions from a mail-order pharmacy. Woo-hoo/par-tay, etc.

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News Politics

The Morning Call: Stoning could be last ditch defense against school shooters, Blue Mountain official says

The Morning Call has news of a plan to help curb school shootings: rocks.

“If an armed intruder attempts to gain entrance to any of our classrooms, they will face a classroom full of students armed with rocks and they will be stoned,” Superintendent David Helsel said to the House Education Committee in Harrisburg.

I swear, we live in the dumbest of all future dystopian society timelines.

Source: Daring Fireball

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Entertainment News Politics Technology

Nearly Coherent 037: The Kimmy Gibbler of Worlds

This episode is proof-positive we’re in the Darkest Timeline. Sorry!


Trump v. Sportsball

No one is more upset than I am at Trump’s feud with the NFL and Stephan Curry, both because I’m a hard-line supporter of the First Amendment and because now I know things about sports, which is the last thing in the world I wanted.

In case you missed it because you’re the luckiest son of a bitch on Earth, here’s a good explainer of Trump versus the NFL, and here’s what’s what with Trump versus the NBA, both from Vox.com.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go find a not-ugly Golden State Warriors hat.

It's me.

The Apple Watch’s Heart Rate Tracking

The Apple Watch got a whole bunch of great updates with watchOS 4, including showing resting heart rate, walking heart rate, recovery rate, and will even give you a head’s up when your heartbeat is spiking for no reason whatsoever. However, these features only work on the Series 1, Series 2, and new Series 3 Watches… the Series 0, which is the original Apple Watch, doesn’t have the hardware capable of handling that.

This isn’t really a big deal — you can always expect pretty big leaps in technical capabilities between the first generation of a device and the second or third, and you can especially expect it when the device is made by Apple. The people who might be a little annoyed by this, though, are the people who bought the first generation solid gold Apple Watch Edition, which started at $18,000. They might have expected a little more longevity out of their purchase.

Then again, they were dumb enough to buy an $18,000+ Apple Watch, so they’re kinda getting what they deserve, honestly.

A $350 Jean Jacket

Jean jackets are back, much to my dismay, and Levi’s released their new Commuter Trucker denim jacket yesterday, which retails $350. Admittedly, it’s a jacket with a li’l technological trick up its sleeve… by swiping or tapping the fabrics on the left cuff, you can control your smartphone via Bluetooth. It’s also made in partnership with Google, so you don’t have to worry about the technical know-how of the fine folks at Levi’s in the hopes that the thing will work, which is nice.

That said, for $350, you can also buy an Apple Watch and not look like a time traveler from 1997, which might be a better look all-around, if you ask me. But hey, it’s your money, spend it how you want, weirdo!


There’s plenty more in the episode to entertain and probably horrify you, so visit Nearly Coherent or wherever you get your podcast fix to give it a listen.

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Linkin' Log News Politics

The Arizona Republic: How do we respond to threats after our endorsement? This is how.

After endorsing a Democrat for president for the first time in their 126-year publication history, The Arizona Republic has gotten a number of threats against their staff, from the reporters who know that this sort of thing comes with the territory to the kids who are selling subscriptions door-to-door who shouldn’t be dragged into editorial matters unless you’re a freakin’ monster. Mi-Ai Parrish, the president of the paper, responds to these threats in this editorial with a reminder that the First Amendment is kinda crazy-important.

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News Politics Science Technology

WIRED: Google’s Clever Plan to Stop Aspiring ISIS Recruits

Jigsaw, Google’s think-tank, has used Google’s search advertising algorithms to help dissuade people searching for information on joining ISIS to, y’know, not join.

The program, which Jigsaw calls the Redirect Method and plans to launch in a new phase this month, places advertising alongside results for any keywords and phrases that Jigsaw has determined people attracted to ISIS commonly search for. Those ads link to Arabic- and English-language YouTube channels that pull together preexisting videos Jigsaw believes can effectively undo ISIS’s brainwashing—clips like testimonials from former extremists, imams denouncing ISIS’s corruption of Islam, and surreptitiously filmed clips inside the group’s dysfunctional caliphate in Northern Syria and Iraq.

That’s brilliant and an actual display of courage. Google deserves all the high-fives.

Source: Wired.com