conuly: (Default)
'Internet of Things' seen as bonanza for Bay Area businesses

The gruesomeness of the drug trade rivals any atrocities in history.

Of course, things wouldn't be this bad if there were any legal ways to sell the stuff. Not that I particularly want people selling cocaine legally, but since they already are selling it *illegally*....

US the biggest threat to world peace in 2013 – poll

Well, all righty then.

Behind the credit chip curve, U.S. playing catch-up with Canada, rest of world on card security

Scientists harness the sun to help sharks

Genetically identical bacteria can behave in radically different ways

Why are we still fighting the drug war?

Clemency for Edward Snowden Would Not Set a Dangerous Precedent

The New York Times Shreds The Obama Administration As 'Pathetic' On NSA Spying

Redesigned Window Stops Sound But Not Air, Say Materials Scientists

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un says purge of uncle was ‘correct decision’

Ask Culture and Guess Culture
conuly: (Default)
Ex-NSA chief calls for Obama to reject recommendations

Would NSA surveillance have stopped 9/11 plot?

NSA targets foreigners, catches Americans: Column

Your USB cable, the spy: Inside the NSA’s catalog of surveillance magic
Latest batch of documents from Snowden shows NSA's power to pwn.

Feds admit start of NSA surveillance, still say it’s too secretive for court

Obama says Snowden’s actions have “done unnecessary damage”
President will spend winter holiday in Hawaii reflecting on surveillance policy.

The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.

NSA Uses Windows Error Messages To Spy On People

The NSA's elite hackers can hijack your Wi-Fi from 8 miles away

Report: NSA Intercepting Laptops Ordered Online, Installing Spyware

Also, it's got a creepy/snazzy octopus... logo... badge... thing?

U.S. Spy Rocket Has Octopus-Themed 'Nothing Is Beyond Our Reach' Logo. Seriously.

See? I couldn't make that up!

The U.S. National Security Agency has the ability to snoop on nearly every communication sent from an Apple iPhone, according to leaked documents shared by security researcher Jacob Appelbaum and German news magazine Der Spiegel.

Appelbaum: ‘Scary’ NSA will spy on you – every which way they can

U.S. to China: We Hacked Your Internet Gear We Told You Not to Hack

Good or not, change is coming to the NSA

Microsoft responds to report NSA snooped in Windows
conuly: (can't)
Well, she's my mom.

Interestingly, during the same talk it came up about a few months earlier when my high school had found out that I DO NOT say the Pledge of Allegiance. And they called my mom, and then basically told me that she's not backing me up, and we came up with this lame-ass compromise where I was just late to third period every day.

Apparently what actually happened is my mother told them they were stupid, said she had no interest in fixing a problem caused by THEIR ignorance of MY rights, and said they should deal with it. Which they did... by lying to me about what my mother said.

I had thought this was remarkably inconsistent with my family, but it never occurred to me that the dean would just lie to my face. (Then again, after I had the guy for health the next term it should've. I seriously disliked him. Fortunately, the feeling was mutual and I ended up doing independent study. Nice when things work out, right?) OMFG! I should've sued!

Man, I am NEVER compromising my principles again just because my mother doesn't back me up, especially when she actually does. (No, I don't know why I didn't discuss it with her later that day. Maybe because it didn't occur to me there was anything to discuss? Who knew I was lied to? OMG!)

I'm seriously tempted to write the school a note about this. That was SO not right.

Coincidentally, here is an article about a group wanting to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from their local schools. Contrary to what people say, this would NOT prevent small children who wish to say the Pledge from saying it. Really, there's nothing stopping you from making your children say whatever silly things you like at home.

But going through the comments, here's the thing that I just don't get. Every time any issue regarding free speech comes up that can even tangentially be connected to atheism, hordes of people come out of the woodwork to go "Well, what about money? LOL, do you not use money because of in god we trust? LOL!!!!"

Aside from the fact that they think they're clever when they're really not, I don't understand why "in God we trust" is okay with Christians! Isn't there some kind of commandment about taking the Lord's name in vain? Doesn't it sort of cheapen your religion to have cheesy signs up in stores saying "In God's name we trust, all others pay cash"? Isn't it wrong to (to borrow some religious phrasing here) yoke God and mammon together? Isn't there something about moneylenders and camels and needs which I am SURE can somehow be applied to putting God's name (more or less) on cash???

It just doesn't make sense. Forget about whether or not it offends atheists, am I missing something? Why doesn't this offend Christians? I just. Don't. Get it.
conuly: Picture of Darth Vader, with word "darkside" (darkside)
Firstly, somebody just yesterday said they really like the articles I post. :) This is prompting me to make my own confession - I really like the articles I find here. In fact, I rarely crosspost any of them because then I'd have to crosspost all of them and then I might as well just link to the entry itself and too much of that is a little weird.

Here's an article on the criminalization of gay marriage. I don't understand what happened to the whole state's rights concept. Isn't one of the rights of the states to be able to deal with marriages?

Scary wage data - and it is scary!

Some judges chastise banks over foreclosures. All the bank people quoted in the article are going "boo-hoo-hoo, this is very bad, very bad indeed, it's not good for judges to do this!" but if the issue at hand is that they didn't bother to do paperwork or do it correctly - or even if they did it fraudulently, whom do they have to blame but themselves?

So, this is scary. Some Muslims heading to Mecca had their passports seized by Customs for... who knows? They missed their flight, because, you know, Muslims making their pilgrimage is something you totally can't predict will happen *every year* and it's *scary*. Or something.

I had no idea the citizenship laws were so... arcane.

On Jewish vampires
And just FYI, vampires don't eat Hindus :)

Automation Insurance: Robots Are Replacing Middle Class Jobs

How much can you make collecting cans and bottles?
conuly: Quote from Veronica Mars - "Sometimes I'm even persnickety-ER" (persnickety)
Obama Tries to Calm Religious Tensions

Read more... )

Notice how he just kinda slides that mention of his deep Christian faith in there. I don't know why he bothers. The people who think he's secretly Satan-worshipping Muslim aren't going to believe him anyway - and the real problem is that these folks have this idiotic idea that it matters.

City Disavows Pastor’s Talk of Burning Koran

Read more... )

Chock Full o’Nuts Returns to Manhattan. But Is That Salmon on the Menu?

Chock Full o'Nuts is the <i>heavenly</i> coffee.... )

You know, the original words to that jingle said that "better coffee Rockefeller's money can't buy". My mother all of a sudden remembered that a few years ago, and talked about it for three days.
conuly: Good Omens quote: "Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous!" (armageddon)
This is one on how US schools are more segregated today than in the 1950s. This is no surprise, I think I've seen articles on this before.

And here's one on three citywide gifted programs in Manhattan, two of which are predominantly white, and one of which is largely black.

Now, to explain, the "citywide" gifted programs aren't zoned in any way. Other gifted programs are limited to children in a certain borough or district, or you have to get a variance to go there. (Going to a school out of district has some arcane rules I don't understand, and in all honesty schools don't always follow those rules. They didn't when I was a kid, and I doubt they really do now.)

As far as other schools sharing the building, in the past NYC public schools were huge affairs. Now the push is for smaller schools, but there isn't really any place to PUT these smaller schools, so many of these older school buildings have been divided up so that there's several smaller schools within them, each with their own principal and teachers... and uniforms, and teaching styles and so on. My understanding is that some of these schools, the different schools work together to share their building, thus enabling them to save money on certain resources, such as books or instruments. It's not impossible for two schools to share one music teacher or something like that, or to offer a shared afterschool program. And in others, they don't, for various reasons.

This should help clear up some of the background information there.

Read more... )
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
A report by Amnesty International on the shocking (!) rate of death in childbirth in the US.

Apparently more than two woman a day die of pregnancy related causes... if this information is even accurate, which it might not be.

And those two woman? Are probably black. Black woman are four times as likely to die from pregnancy related complications than white woman, even though they aren't any more likely to suffer from complications such as hemorrhage.

I'm not actually shocked or surprised by this, of course.

Here's an article about the fight in Ethiopia to eliminate bride abduction. It's fascinating. (Also, it gave me nightmares. This article gets its very own trigger warning for its descriptions of rape.

Oh, and I have two quick posts on Jewish literature, particularly fantasy:



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