Confessions of an aging homo devil

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:11 am
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
One of the less toxic stereotypes ascribed to gay men is an intense fear of getting old...

...So a few years ago when I mentioned in blog post that it was my birthday and my age ... some random person I didn’t know commented about how broken-hearted I must be, since everyone knows that fags are all obsessed with being young. I typed a reply to the effect that no, I actually considered myself quite lucky. But then I decided that rather than argue with a troll the better thing to do was to simple delete the troll’s comment and move on.

(The rest of this birthday post is at FontFolly.Net)

Brilliant retweet from John Kovalic:

Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:06 am
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
Originated by: Oktoberfest Hero @Palle_Hoffstein

A whole lot of folks on here believe society doesn't owe anyone a job or health care but somehow believe women owe them a date.

Sep 22, 2017

I know I couldn't have said it better meownself.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's the fourth Friday in September. The last Friday that I will be my current age. September, that blesséd month, which brings us extraordinary babies.

I'm not sure whether we haven't quite recovered from last week's illnesses, or if all the rain has made plants go extra crazy with the pollen and just making my hay fever worse, but we have both been a bit out of it all week.

Anyway, here are the links I gathered this week, sorted into categories as accurately as I could.

Links of the Week



Jimmy Kimmel vs. Graham-Cassidy, Lying Liars, and the "Death to America" Crowd (That Would Be Today's GOP. And Yesterday's GOP. And Tomorrow's GOP.).

MY YEAR INSIDE THE INTERNATIONAL ALT-RIGHT.

This Teenager Saved Numerous People During Hurricane Harvey Using An Air Mattress.

The Week in Bisexual Awareness



7 Ridiculous Things NOT to Say to Bisexual Folks.

Science!



Celebrating and Mourning Cassini in Its Finale at Saturn.

Cassini’s own discoveries were its demise.

Glowing Red Eye: Cosmic Bubble Surrounds Odd 'Carbon Star'.

Archaeologists Discover Something Truly Bizarre in an Isolated Medieval Graveyard.

Hubble discovers a unique type of object in the Solar System.

Glowing slinky-like 'creature' is actually a mass of eggs.

This Extinct Frog Probably Ate Crocodiles and Dinosaurs.

Narcissistic Parents Are Literally Incapable Of Loving Their Children.

Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses .

This Week in Natural Disaster



Mexico Earthquake: More Than 200 Dead as Buildings Collapse.

Nancy Reagan Visited Mexico After the Earthquake of 1985, and She Brought a Check.

Puerto Rico entirely without power as Hurricane Maria hammers island with force not seen in ‘modern history’.

Death toll climbs as volunteers join search for Mexico earthquake survivors.

Maria kills 15 in Dominica, leaves Puerto Rico dark for months.

Hurricane Maria leaves Puerto Rico powerless, at least 15 dead on Dominica.

This week in awful news



Male entitlement in action: Why the Texas shooting is a gender issue: Our culture still teaches men that women owe them affection — and that can have deadly consequences.

This week in awful people



White Campus Security Guard Shoots Himself, Then Blames Black Man Who Doesn’t Exist to Cover It Up.

News for queers and our allies:



Students Stage Mass Protest After High School Fails to Punish Transphobic Football Players.

This week in Writing



A Writing Punch List Can Keep You Focused as You Edit Your Manuscript.

This Week in Tech



World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus, standardizes DRM with 58.4% support, EFF resigns.

YouTube has “no idea” why queer gaming videos are being barred from monetisation.

Culture war news:



Episode of an Animated Children's Show Gets Pulled From Netflix For Dick Drawing.

This week in the Resistance:



Pepe the Frog’s Creator Goes Legally Nuclear Against the Alt-Right.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



Angry Right-Wingers Turn On Trump, Burn Their ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats.

Still no charity money from leftover Trump inaugural funds.

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Trump wants crude anti-LGBTQ activist as pick for federal judge.

News about the Fascist Regime:



Border Patrol Arrests Near Safe Zones Worry Immigrant Advocates.

This week in Politics:



Republican Leaders Defy Bipartisan Opposition to Health Law Repeal.

Republicans' new repeal bill would probably leave millions more uninsured, new analyses suggest.

Democrats' Unsolvable Media Problem.

This Week in Racists, White Nationalists, and other deplorables:



Undercover With the Alt-Right.

‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money.

Milo Yiannopoulos’ “censored” Berkeley event smells like a massive troll .

KUOW Interviewed That Nazi Who Got Punched and People Hate It.

This Week in Foreign Enemies



Facebook’s Heading Toward a Bruising Run-In With the Russia Probe.

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’: After being contacted by ProPublica, Facebook removed several anti-Semitic ad categories and promised to improve monitoring.

Facebook to Share 3,000+ Russian-linked Ads with Congress.

Farewells:



The Tao of Harry Dean Stanton: Alcohol, Cigarettes, and Knowing “You’re Nothing”.

Harry Dean Stanton, ‘Big Love,’ ‘Twin Peaks’ Star, Dies at 91.

Bernie Casey (1939 – 2017), artist, actor, and athlete.

Boxing Legend Jake LaMotta, Real-Life ‘Raging Bull,’ Dead At 95.

Things I wrote:



Weekend Update 9/17/2017: Juggalos, Hillary book signing both outnumber Trump “mother of all rallies”.

A writer writes!

Angry men on buses — not all violence is equal.

Don’t try to obscure hate and violence with your false equivalence.

Defining one’s self vs being defined — adventures in dictionaries.

Videos!



Wonder Woman - Etta Candy Reminisces About Diana:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

White Wedding (metal cover by Leo Moracchioli):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Toto - Africa (metal cover by Leo Moracchioli feat. Rabea & Hannah):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Sam Smith - Too Good At Goodbyes (Official Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It is Bisexual Visibility Week, but this post shouldn’t be about me. Because I’m not bisexual. But I happen to be married to a bisexual man and our social circle includes a lot of bisexual people. Bi-erasure is a real thing that I am at least adjacent to (and sometimes find myself really irritated about). But it is also something which I am guilty of contributing to...

(The rest of the Bi Visibility Week post is at FontFolly.Net.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Since I wrote about the Nazi getting punched yesterday, I thought I was through, but a lot of people have been sharing a tweet that says, “I want to live in a world where people wearing Nazi symbols and people wearing rainbows can do so without being attacked.” And oh, I have so many responses to this. The first is that this is the mother of all false equivalents. When queer people and their allies where rainbows, they are saying “everyone deserves to live free of unfair discrimination no matter their sexual orientation and gender identity.” That is it. When a person wears a swastika...

(The rest of this post is at FontFolly.Net.)

More on the iOS 11 update

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:26 am
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
I learned last night that apparently my iPad can take the update, so apparently it is an iPad Mini 2. So that's cool. And I may go ahead and risk upgrading my phone. I'm pushing my departure back to Thursday from Wednesday: I didn't get everything done that I needed to do, including reviewing five long boxes of comics in case there's anything that I want to keep (possible but not very likely), and the difficulty of loading my car since I recovered four banker boxes of comics from my storage unit yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure if it's all of my comics, I know there's three or more long boxes at my parent's that I'll deal with when I get there, but that'll be a vast bulk of them and a lot of space recovered.

On top of that, only 3 hours of sleep last night. AND one of the nose pads fell out of my reading glasses. Found the nose pad, fortunately I have a spare screw from a previous broken set of reading glasses.

I forgot to mention a new feature of iOS 11 that should be interesting: you have a Do Not Disturb mode for driving: anyone texting you receives an autoreply saying that you're driving and will get back to them later. I like that. Definitely appealing when you're about to set out on a 500 mile drive. I'm doing a different outbound route that a friend says is much more picturesque, so we'll see. It's also rather cellular dead, which causes me a slight amount of apprehension. Just need to fuel up and hit the restroom before hitting that 200 mile stretch.
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
Maybe that was midnight Cupertino time, I don't know. Regardless, both of our iPads are too old, as is my wife's iPhone 4S. That leaves my iPhone 6 as the only device that can run it, and since I'm about to head for Phoenix and I won't have my iMac with me for a system restore should something glitch, I think I'll hold off a bit. For that matter, the new MacOS is supposed to drop in a couple of days, and I won't be upgrading to that until I get back from Phoenix, so I'll probably just do a device upgrade frenzy when I get back.

Some of the features in iOS 11 are pretty cool. I like the 'press the power key 5 times to disable the fingerprint reader', definitely cool. It doesn't materially affect me as I don't use the fingerprint reader to unlock my phone, but that's OK. And they've apparently made the reverse video mode more intelligent for not reversing images, which is good. I really wish they had an override for web pages and such so you could force white letters on black background, for example. That's what I love about Ars Technica and hate about most others, I find white on black to be much easier on my eyes.

But I DO NOT like updating my phone apps over WiFi (as I wrote about last week), I thought loading apps through iTunes was easy and one-stop syncing. They've just increased the hassle and it's likely to increase the time between me doing updates from daily to weekly or monthly or whenever. Which increases potential security vulnerabilities, which ticks me off. iTunes should be a framework that supports plug-ins, then all they'd have to do is write a plug-in that reads the app store for just iPhone/iPad/Watch apps, and re-casts them in to the iTunes framework. It's still just one app store, it just looks like two.

Twits.

GET OFF MY LAWN! Kids these days.

(In a totally unrelated incident, I got "Sir'd" last week! I was sitting in a barber shop waiting for my guy to finish with his current client, and the other guys started talking about horror movies. I'm not a big horror movie fan, so I didn't participate until later. Now, this barber shop is an actual barber shop, not a hair salon, run by 30-somethings with tattoos up to their necks and possibly beyond, smoking their e-cigs and playing that reissued Nintendo Classic that came out last year when they're slow. I don't really care. So what if they're young. I piped up about some movie, I don't remember what, throwing in my $0.002 worth, and this one barber later comes over and apologizes, saying that he didn't know that he had an older gentleman in the shop and they wouldn't have been talking like that if they'd known! Yes, dude, I'm 55, and some day you'll be there, too, if you're lucky. Maybe I'm moving towards the far side of middle-age, but trust me, though I am growing older I definitely have not remotely grown up. In my headspace I'm still a 30-something, though my body constantly reminds me that I am not. I laughed at him, reassured him that I was not offended, then told them a pretty grizzly story about a quietly spectacular suicide that happened while I was working for the police department. The crime lab was in the basement as was computer services, and the car that this guy offed himself in was so pungent that finally I told my boss that I'm taking off for the day. The fire department later used that car as burn practice.

I'll go in to no further details, unless people want it, in which case I'll put it in a new post under a cut.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Several years ago I witnessed an altercation on the bus. When I first got on, I noticed one guy with blond hair that was combed just so and his mustache was freshly trimmed, and he was dressed in what looked like a new suit and tie. He was sitting up super-straight, as if he had an iron rod up his backside. Everything about him radiated attitude. His smile was particularly smug.

I had already seen that one of my favorite seats near the back was open, so I headed back there and turned my attention back to the news radio I was listening to on my headphones...

(The rest of this post relating a personal anecdote from some time back to a news incident this week is at FontFolly.Net.)

A writer writes!

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:18 am
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
In the old days, when reading usually meant you were holding a physical book or magazine or manuscript in your hand, if something you read so infuriated you or was simply awfully written, you could literally throw it against the wall (or into the trashcan) in disgust. On Sunday this last weekend I really, really wanted to do that after reading a particular blog post. I’m not going to link to it or identify the author, because that would just be harassment—even though the author of the blog post is a professional who uses their blog to give advice and has (self) published books offering advice on writing. Instead, I need to follow the advice I give all the time: if you want more good things in the world for people to read, don’t complain about what’s out there, make something yourself.

Over the years I’ve had many conversations with aspiring writers...

(The rest of this post about writing and gatekeeping is at: FontFolly.Net.)
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
Apparently. In March they brought in the company that is investigating the May-July breech. These seem to be the same intruders.

From Slashdot:
Equifax Suffered a Hack Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed (bloomberg.com)
Posted by BeauHD on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:20PM from the earlier-than-expected dept.
Bloomberg is reporting that Equifax, the credit reporting company that recently reported a cybersecurity incident impacting roughly 143 million U.S. consumers, learned about a breach of its computer systems in March -- almost five months before the date it has publicly disclosed. The company said the March breach was unrelated to the recent hack involving millions of U.S. consumers, but one of the people familiar with the situation said the breaches involve the same intruders. From the report:

Equifax hired the security firm Mandiant on both occasions and may have believed it had the initial breach under control, only to have to bring the investigators back when it detected suspicious activity again on July 29, two of the people said. Equifax's hiring of Mandiant the first time was unrelated to the July 29 incident, the company spokesperson said. The revelation of a March breach will complicate the company's efforts to explain a series of unusual stock sales by Equifax executives. If it's shown that those executives did so with the knowledge that either or both breaches could damage the company, they could be vulnerable to charges of insider trading. The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the stock sales, according to people familiar with the probe.

In early March, they said, Equifax began notifying a small number of outsiders and banking customers that it had suffered a breach and was bringing in a security firm to help investigate. The company's outside counsel, Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding, first engaged Mandiant at about that time. While it's not clear how long the Mandiant and Equifax security teams conducted that probe, one person said there are indications it began to wrap up in May. Equifax has yet to disclose that March breach to the public.


https://it.slashdot.org/story/17/09/18/230234/equifax-suffered-a-hack-almost-five-months-earlier-than-the-date-it-disclosed

The Bloomberg original story has auto-start videos.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-18/equifax-is-said-to-suffer-a-hack-earlier-than-the-date-disclosed
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
A proof of concept of this was revealed some months ago when a Burger King TV commercial said "Siri, tell me about the Whopper". Maybe it was Hey Google, I don't remember. Anyway, it was rapidly blocked, then BK came out with another commercial and they had a little war back and forth. And BBC apparently tries it with "Hey Siri, remind me to watch Doctor Who on BBC America." I was particularly amused at "Hey Siri, remind me to watch Broadchurch on BBC America" during the final episode of the series. I burst out laughing when that ad aired and had to explain it to the spousal unit. And as Sam Clemens said, or is alleged to have said, 'Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog: you can do it, but the frog isn't good for much afterwards.'

Well, the Chinese have found another way: pitch the audio above the range of human hearing. The microphones can still catch it, and the command works. Now, I don't have voice-activated Siri on my iPhone, I have to hold down the button because I find that, for me, for the most part Siri is garbage. I don't think it's my enunciation, but maybe it is.

Makes me wonder if they'll put in a filter to cap mic input to 18-20 kHz or so to prevent this sort of abuse.

I read about this last week, perhaps on the day that I went down to help out that medical practice with their ransomware attack. The clinic was handling their last patients of the day, and the office manager was running the front desk, and was using his iPhone with Siri voice commands. He looked a little shocked when I told him about this attack.

https://apple.slashdot.org/story/17/09/06/2026247/hackers-can-take-control-of-siri-and-alexa-by-whispering-to-them-in-frequencies-humans-cant-hear

Here's the Slashdot summary:

Chinese researchers have discovered a vulnerability in voice assistants from Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, and Huawei. It affects every iPhone and Macbook running Siri, any Galaxy phone, any PC running Windows 10, and even Amazon's Alexa assistant. From a report:

Using a technique called the DolphinAttack, a team from Zhejiang University translated typical vocal commands into ultrasonic frequencies that are too high for the human ear to hear, but perfectly decipherable by the microphones and software powering our always-on voice assistants. This relatively simple translation process lets them take control of gadgets with just a few words uttered in frequencies none of us can hear. The researchers didn't just activate basic commands like "Hey Siri" or "Okay Google," though. They could also tell an iPhone to "call 1234567890" or tell an iPad to FaceTime the number. They could force a Macbook or a Nexus 7 to open a malicious website. They could order an Amazon Echo to "open the backdoor." Even an Audi Q3 could have its navigation system redirected to a new location. "Inaudible voice commands question the common design assumption that adversaries may at most try to manipulate a [voice assistant] vocally and can be detected by an alert user," the research team writes in a paper just accepted to the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
and apparently did not have an IT background. Her LinkedIn profile has been deleted, and apparently an effort is being made to purge her from the internet. It won't be entirely successful, but it'll slow information retrieval down. The article mentions that she spent 14 years in industry, we don't know in what industry, which means she could have picked up a fair amount of IT knowledge, but not as much as if she'd studied IT and gotten a degree and a CISSP cert.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/equifax-ceo-hired-a-music-major-as-the-companys-chief-security-officer-2017-09-15

https://it.slashdot.org/story/17/09/16/0244211/equifax-cso-retires-known-bug-was-left-unpatched-for-nearly-five-months


Also, scammers are calling people at random, claiming to be Equifax, wanting to verify your information. Obviously Equifax has better things to do right now than call you. Just hang up, don't give them your name or the time of day.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/09/ftc-opens-equifax-investigation-says-beware-of-equifax-calling-scams/


ETA:Apparently the Internet Archive Wayback Machine never cached her LinkedIn page, more's the pity. It says it has a page from September 9, but nothing is retrieved when you click on it.

Let's talk about the Equifax hack

Sep. 15th, 2017 04:37 pm
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
It is indeed a doozy, perhaps the largest data privacy leak in history. Equifax has been collecting information on people for decades, and they do it without our express permission. But at the same time, they are used for credit scores and to generate bank decisions for our getting loans and such. Yet I never signed a contract with Equifax allowing them to collect information on me.

And they have, through zero fault of my own, personally screwed me over.

A couple of years ago my wife and I decided to shop car insurance. Our current insurer was doing some corporate shenanigans that we didn't care for, and it should have been possible to shave some bucks off our premiums, and it never hurts to shop. I called the car club AAA, we ran through my information, and they told me that they couldn't take me because I had three accidents on my record. I'm accident-free. Equifax had taken three accidents OF MY FATHER, whose name is Andrew Donald, and put them on my record, where my name is Donald Wayne. We lived at the same address some years back, but I was living in New Mexico at the time of the accidents and have never owned a Buick. As it happens, we were born in the same month, but not on the day and clearly not in the same year. No two digits in our birth date or year are the same. There's no reason to conflate us and put the accidents on to my record, except for pure sloppy processes.

So I have a pretty poor opinion of these credit bureaus.

What happened to Equifax is pretty simple. They built their data framework on an open source software package called Apache Struts. Like virtually all software packages, bugs are found and patches are issued. A particularly big problem with Struts was first patched in March, but the intruders were in Equifax's system from mid-March through July - approx 2.5 months. Thus it is perfectly reasonable for Equifax to blame open source software for its breach. [sarcasm off] Struts is a framework for Java programs to run either on servers or web browsers, and after updating the framework you have to recompile literally hundreds of programs, and doing that would be a tremendous PITA, but it MUST be done, otherwise shit like this happens. Apparently some management at Equifax didn't like to pay overtime, and now they have to cope with a tremendous amount of shit.

In some late-breaking news from this afternoon, Equifax's Chief Information Officer and Chief Security Officer are both "retiring", proving that for once, shit started at the top. In "there is occasionally some justice, or perhaps there will be" news, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the breech. It will be interesting to find out what they learn, assuming they ever issue a report. I wonder if Congress will hold public hearings. The breech is being compared by some news agencies to Enron. According to the Reuter's story, "Shares of Equifax fell 2.4 percent on Thursday and trading volume hit a record high. The shares have lost 32 percent since the company disclosed the hack on Sept. 7.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer compared Equifax to Enron, the U.S. energy company that filed for bankruptcy in 2001 after revelations of a widespread accounting fraud."


But you see, this is not just a problem for people in the USA. Equifax holds information for people in Canada and Mexico. And Argentine, and possibly other Latin American countries. And the BBC is reporting that 400,000 UKians have information that was compromised in the theft, but their information exposure was minimal and should not lead to identity theft. Well, we'll see about that! In Argentine, apparently Equifax's software used the highly-[in]secure account/password combination of admin/admin.

This is one of my favorite stories, and it may be behind a paywall since it's from the Wall Street Journal. Here's the Slashdot summary:

Equifax was lobbying lawmakers and federal agencies to ease up on regulation of credit-reporting companies in the months before its massive data breach. Equifax spent at least $500,000 on lobbying Congress and federal regulators in the first half of 2017, according to its congressional lobbying-disclosure reports. Among the issues on which it lobbied was limiting the legal liability of credit-reporting companies. That issue is the subject of a bill that a panel of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the industry, discussed the same day Equifax disclosed the cyberattack that exposed personal financial data of as many as 143 million Americans. Equifax has also lobbied Congress and regulatory agencies on issues around "data security and breach notification" and "cybersecurity threat information sharing," according to its lobbying disclosures. The amount Equifax spent in the first half of this year appears to be in line with previous spending. In 2016 and 2015, the company's reports show it spent $1.1 million and $1.02 million, respectively, on lobbying activities. While the company had broadly similar lobbying issues in those years, the liability matter was new in 2017.

The title of the story is "Equifax Lobbied for Easier Regulation Before Data Breach", it's by Michael Rapoport and AnnaMaria Andriotis. f you do a little searching, you might be able to find a copy.

Now, the breech itself is extremely bad. If you were compromised, and there's a very good chance that you were, then the information that was stolen includes: your full name, social security number, previous addresses, list of jobs, all sorts of amazing things. Information about you that never changes. Information about you that you use to apply for credit cards, loans, mortgages, JOBS. The best thing you can do is to approach all four credit bureaus and put a FREEZE, not monitor, but FREEZE your credit. That means that no credit can be taken out in your name without postal correspondence going back and forth with your house. No credit reports can be pulled. It's about the best that you can do. Brian Krebs has an excellent post that he has to pull out a few times every year to discuss this. Definitely worth a read. Me? I'm unemployed. Banks would have to be idiots to issue credit under my information, still, I plan on freezing my accounts.

But that's not the worst.

For reasons unknown, Equifax had credit card transaction information, 200,000 transactions worth dating back to last November, sitting on their servers, apparently unencrypted. Massive violation of PCI compliance rules.

And who knows, there may be more yet to come.

I won't bother providing links to the stories about your surrendering your right to sue if you signed up for their monitoring service, that's been rescinded. There were at least two class-action law suits in development, along with a couple of States Attorneys General beginning investigation.

One more thing to mention: an op ed piece by Bruce Schneier, a very well-known and respected expert on encryption and privacy. He has some facts wrong, I think he wasn't as well-versed on the scope of the breech as perhaps he should have been when he wrote it. But at the beginning of the piece he talks about how the public are not customers of Equifax, we are what is being sold, and we have no say in the matter. And there are THOUSANDS of data brokers out there that we can't come close to naming all of them.

Equifax's feet will be in the fire for some time, I imagine.
jazzy_dave: (bookish)
[personal profile] jazzy_dave
Iain Banks "The Wasp Factory (Abacus)




Do not really know what to think of this book. It is very creative, but I somehow felt that it lacked something driving the story forward and I did not get drawn into the action, despite all the good things I have heard about it. Maybe another time.

Frank lives with his father on a small island in Scotland. He mounts animal skulls on poles, embeds wasps in candle wax, hunts rabbits with a flame thrower and keeps the skull of his enemy, Old Saul, in a bunker. The island is his domain and he rules it like a god. Now his brother, Eric, who sets dogs on fire, has escaped from his asylum and is on his way home.

Frank's a monster, a fledgling serial killer who capriciously decided on a different career track after his first three victims. His rituals and his ceremonies and his totemic objects make sense of the world and make sense of his own mind. His voice is sane, articulate, witty and intelligent. He uses it to describe his odd activities, makes them seem strange, unhealthy, perhaps, but essentially harmless. Then he seamlessly uses that same voice to describe catapulting small animals into river mud, the murder of his brother and two cousins or his attitude to women. One clings to the voice as a sign of potential redemption, but redemption is something you do, not something you are, and Frank is utterly aware of what he is and of what he has done. Or so he thinks.


The writing was very good, and the atmosphere was very engaging. I loved the way the suspense built as the story unfolded. I liked the descriptions of ceremony and obsession. It was intense at times and I found much of it to be disturbing. But the way the story fell apart at the end made it seem a little like a cheap slasher film. At first I was turned off by what I felt was shock tactics. Then I was convinced that it was justified, being part of a bigger meaning. By the end I'm not sure if it was just violence porn or not,much like I felt about "American Psycho".

I found the ending to be really unsatisfying. Mostly I thought "And?..." I understand what he was trying to do, and can somewhat appreciate it, but I would have liked it a lot more if it had been executed less clumsily. It almost felt like someone else had come in to finish the last part of the book and didn't really know how the story went. It's a weird combination of not tying up all the loose ends and over-explaining the thoughts and rationale of the main character that seemed out of step with the rest of the book.

So, in my final estimation, not a great read at all, and hence i will try and stick to his science fiction in the future.



Cabbage News Network Week #34

Sep. 15th, 2017 10:14 am
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy)
[personal profile] kmusser
Monday 9/11
  • DJT approves disaster declaration for Florida (source).
  • Reince Priebus and White House counsel Don McGahn lawyer up (source).
  • Last months Opioid emergency declaration has yet to translate into any action (source).

Tuesday 9/12
  • 2016 set a new high for U.S. median household income (source).
  • Hope Hicks named new WH communications director (source).
  • House adds amendment rolling back Sessions' civil forfeiture expansion to Defense appropriations bill (source).
  • Congress unanimously passes resolution denouncing hate groups (source).

Wednesday 9/13
  • U.S. stops issuing visas to Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone because those countries aren't accepting their deportees (source).
  • Dept of Homeland Security sued over phone and laptop searches at the border (source).
  • U.S. bans Kaspersky software over espionage fears (source).
  • New House strategy for attacking ObamaCare, devolve everything to the states (source).
  • McCain opens up Defense appropriations bill to amendments. Amendment requiring a new Authorization of Military Force for current wars in the Mideast fails. Expected amendments include one on transgender rights in the military and more sanctions on North Korea (source)

Thursday 9/14
  • DJT attempting to make deal with Democrats on DACA (source).
  • U.S. sticking by Iran deal for now (source).
  • House passes a flurry of spending bills (source).
  • FTC launching investigation of Equifax breach (source).

Friday 9/15
  • DJT to seek extension of his travel ban which expires at the end of the month (source).
  • Vote on DoD appropriations expected Monday (source).
  • CIA seeking permission to conduct its own drone strikes independent of DoD (source).


Elsewhere in the world
  • Genocide in progress in Myanmar (source).


Also


Legislative action this week

typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's Friday, the third Friday in September. I should be more happy about that than I am.

This week, my husband came down sick early in the week, and I have followed. So it hasn't been a fabulous week for us. And you may notice that this week's collection of links is a bit shorter, as once again I haven't had as much time to read the news.

Anyway, here are the links I gathered this week, sorted into categories as accurately as I could.

Links of the Week



I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy.

One of the most common questions in American small talk is seen as rude in much of the world.

Study: Atheists behave more fairly toward Christians than Christians behave toward atheists.

Science!



Uranus is a 'nightmare' with a lopsided, tumbling magnetic shield that opens and closes every day like a light switch.

The Sun’s Energy Doesn’t Come From Fusing Hydrogen Into Helium (Mostly).

Climate-change deniers are the new Marlboro Men.

What We Know about the Climate Change–Hurricane Connection: Some links are indisputable; others are more subtle, but the science is improving all the time.

Is climate change wreaking weather havoc? Evolving science seeks answers.

Why Extreme Deadly Hurricanes, Heat Waves and Wildfires Are Here to Stay.

The weather report is climate science, too.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



Inspiration via meme.

Harrison Ford on ‘Star Wars’, ‘Blade Runner’, and Punching Ryan Gosling in the Face.

This Week in the Economy



Amazon Is Not Your Newly Cheating Lover, Seattle. It's a Massive Business With a Low-Tax Agenda.

This Week in Difficult to Classify



Freelancers Sue Historic Black Magazine for $70,000 in Unpaid Invoices.

Bloodstained ice axe used to kill Trotsky emerges after decades in the shadows.

This week in awful news



Multiple victims in shooting at Freeman High School; one student dead; suspect detained.

This week in awful people who only have themselves to blame



The 'Handbook For Mortals' Saga Continues As Lani Sarem Goes On The No Apologies Tour.

Liberal Celebrities Who Helped Elect Trump, Kindly STFU About DACA - You already proved that your ideology matters more than our safety.

News for queers and our allies:



Six Actors We Lost Prematurely To AIDS Who Are Worth Remembering.

This week in Writing



Let Me Tell You.

This Week in Tech



Study finds Reddit’s controversial ban of its most toxic subreddits actually worked.

An old link, but worth repeating: Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists.

Where Do We Go from Here?



Guest Editorial: Enough About 9/11, Already.

This Week in Inclusion



I Was Made to Believe There’s Something Wrong With Me: Why #BlackLivesMatter in YA Lit.

This Week in Police Problems



The Detective Who Pulled a Gun on a Motorcyclist Had a History of Road Rage Complaints.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



“Oh hi Ivanka”: Finally, we know the least essential White House employee’s real role.

What it took for Republicans finally to feel betrayed by Trump.

This week in Politics:



Mayor Ed Murray Resigns After Fifth Man Accuses Him of Child Sex Abuse.

What You Need to Know About the Seattle Mayoral Succession.

“Prophetess” Opal Covey Comes in Last Place in Toledo Mayoral Race (Again).

This Week in Racists, White Nationalists, and other deplorables:



Good Christian Boys: Jesus Worse Than Hitler.“We executed Nazis after World War 2 for engaging in collective punishment and ordering reprisal killings—rounding up and shooting innocent villagers after resistance fighters staged attacks. Kevin would have us believe that Jesus—the Prince of Peace, the Friend of the Poor, the Lamb of God, etc.—will happily drown little old straight ladies in nursing homes because He’s angry at gay men cavorting in bars on the other side of town.”

Study: A Picture of a Black Person Can Anger Trump Supporters and Change Their Politics.

Vox Day thinks lying is great “persuasion.” Unless people are lying about him..

This Week in Foreign Enemies



Pro-Russian Bots Sharpen Online Attacks for 2018 U.S. Vote.

North Korea fires second ballistic missile over Japan.

China is getting tougher on North Korea—to stop the US from getting tougher on it.

This Week in Sexism



Amber Tamblyn Pens Open Letter to James Woods.

Emma, J.Law, and Scarlett’s Older-Man Problem.

Farewells:



Edith Windsor, Lesbian Trailblazer Who Changed Your Life, Has Died.

Edith Windsor, gay rights pioneer, dies at 88.

Postscript: Edith Windsor, 1929-2017.

How Edith Windsor Became a 'Matriarch of the Gay-Rights Movement'.

Jerry Pournellle (1933-2017).

Things I wrote:



Sunday Funnies, part 25.

Confessions of a writing tool addict—good intentions paving the way.

Worry about you and other revelations for a Wednesday.

How people use a word can tell you more about them than they wish — more adventures in dictionaries.

Videos!



Alfie Arcuri - If They Only Knew:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Propellerheads feat: Miss Shirley Bassey - History Repeating:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

The Hound - Can't Let You Go (Official Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I can’t count the number of times, as a child, that some adult (relatives, teachers, or people from church) would take me aside to suggest or insist that if I would just be more obedient or behave the way my dad expected, he wouldn’t have to be so strict with me. I know my younger siblings got similar admonishments: Dad wouldn’t be forced to use such strict punishments on us if only we could placate his moods. They never referred to his behavior as “abuse,” it was always said that he was “strict” and that he “had a temper.” And while they often implied that they thought his punishment was harsher than necessary, they never acknowledged that his behavior had crossed a line into being unacceptable or uncalled for. Which is quite amazing if I explain some of the specifics.

Content Warning: the following essay (which will also touch on dangerous misperceptions and myths about sexual orientation) includes some specifics about physical abuse of children and worse. Only click when you’re ready …

(The rest of this post about meanings, definitions, perceptions, and more is at FontFolly.Net.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Apple announced more than one new phone yesterday, and like most years, a certain percentage of current iPhone owners are debating which one to upgrade to as our older iPhones are now more than two years old. More than one person I know is still hanging onto the same iPhone they’ve owned for three years and not sure that they will upgrade this year or wait a bit. But Apple haters all act as if all of us blindly rush out to buy the newest one every year. We don’t, but hey, if your life is so hollow that you need to make fun of other people’s choices of what goods and services to use, I guess that’s what you have to do.

But the really funny thing for me is how many of the haters are making fun of the cost of the high end Apply phone (not the shiny new iPhone 8 that the vast majority of us will buy, but the premium model that literally most of us can’t—not just because of the price, but because of manufacturing limits, but I’ll come back to that) are also comparing it to a particular Samsung Galaxy, about which others were asking just last month: Why does Samsung think you’d be willing to spend nearly $1,000 on a Galaxy Note 8?. Seriously, you can’t complain about price by comparing it to a phone that is just as expensive...

(The rest of this post about technology, posting, and other things is at FontFolly.Net.)
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
[ETA: probably applies if you use Windows also, I just don't know how iTunes and iPhone/iPad apps update on that platform]


Well, you can if you want, but you need to be aware of what it means.

The update is is intended for iOS 11, which is due later this month when the new iPhones release, so you don't need it right now, and it REALLY changes one thing that's really important to me: app updates. In the brave new world, you will now have to open the App Store app on your device, click on Updates, then update individually or click on Update All. Personally I think this will greatly reduce the rate at which people update their apps.

Myself, I don't like this. I use iTunes every morning to refresh podcasts and update apps, then I resync my phone. All done. Now I still have to go through the iTunes process, but now I have to go through an additional process on my phone and iPad? And where is the phone/iPad backup stored in case I need to restore it from scratch, admittedly a rare procedure. I DO NOT want to store an iPhone backup in the cloud as that is something that could be made available to government, I want that backup on my personal computer.

I hope there's enough caterwauling that Apple backs off on this and re-integrates app updates in to iTunes. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. I'm definitely not happy with their decision.

Just be aware that the App page is no longer present in the new version of iTunes. Now I have to decide if I want to do a backup reversion on my laptop to get the old version of iTunes back.

Profile

murakozi: (Default)
murakozi

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20 212223242526
2728293031  

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 10:19 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios