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kleinbl00's profile

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kleinbl00  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Man Who May Challenge Putin for Power

I stopped wondering after Judith Miller and after Hugh Wilford's book? There was no question.

The NYT has been the CIA's lapdog since before Watergate.

I was talking in general, actually, so I welcome both perspectives. It seems I'm not wrong about my understanding of New Zealand, which is always pleasant to discover. It is a part of my personal cosmology that unfucking your elections in 1992 has led to governance that more closely matches the makeup of the country than does our United States.

I will say this: there was a girl in my Humanities class in high school who was one of the three of us graduating on the half-year. Me and this other girl piled up classes to graduate a semester early, the girl in my Humanities class was graduating a semester late. I didn't know why at the time but when I ended up dating her for a while, fifteen hundred miles away and six years later, she told me that Christchurch Grade 13 did not meet the graduation requirements for 49th-in-the-nation New Mexico Public Schools standards thus she was basically required to repeat everything. That would have been 1991, in the opinion of some of the worst schools in the world, and I think says more about different approaches to education than it does about educational rigor. After all, we also made these sons and daughters of Nobel-winning scientists take a four-hour course on the history of Conquistador New Mexico, including the future president of Croatia.

kleinbl00  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Man Who May Challenge Putin for Power

Nature abhors a vacuum and there are questions about leadership in the invasion of Ukraine. If you look like you're in charge, you may end up being in charge. The only problem if someone not in charge doesn't want you in charge, they'll Rasputin your ass. Raise your hands if you think Kadyrov likes taking orders from Prizoghin.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski:January 25, 2023

Have a cold. Whole family has a cold. Kid's been sick since Friday.

Battery died on Sunday. Had to borrow the wife's car to go grocery shopping. Decided to buy a battery while I was out. Pull the battery. Close the trunk because it's outside and looks like it's likely to rain.

- The battery is in the trunk.

- Which is electrically-actuated.

- If the battery is dead, you can attach a jumper cable to a little pull-out thingy in the fuse box, which is down by the driver's left knee.

- If the battery is removed, no circuit is formed.

HAVE NO FEAR THOUGH! There's a manual release cable!

- First you get your lug nut key out of the trunk.

- Then you get your jack and jack handle out of the trunk.

- Then you jack up the front of the car and remove the right front tire.

- Then you pull four grommet nuts and four T20 torx screws.

- Then you pull the fender well out of the way.

- Then you go fishing.

Or, you know, you do complicated shit with your arm and shoulder because duh that wheel ain't comin' off bro hope you like contortion.

So great. You tugged and you tugged and despite the fact that the fine folx at Rennlist insist you need to use a bent coat hanger, you got it open. And you got the battery in. And you went with an H8 because an H7 has made the thing start like it's half a battery down since new, and although you've got holes for H5 H6 H7 and H8, the H8 one doesn't have a nut welded to the back because of course it doesn't, so you zip-tie the hold-down for the moment.

And now's where you discover that the trunk release cable, which hasn't been pulled on since the car was factory new, is just as happy to stick in trunk OPEN as it is in trunk CLOSED so now you need to take the front fascia out so you can reset the emergency latch mechanism to the point where you can actually close your goddamn trunk.

If I were of sounder mind I would have left a post-it note under the battery that says "if you can read this WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T CLOSE THE TRUNK" but after three hours in the growing dark with a head cold?

Good thing I need to take it back out again to put in a 10mm nut I don't own yet.

Clever, clever Hans and his magic trunx

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Smarter Way to Reduce Gun Deaths

Lol Nick Kristof with the "what about regulation argument"

    What can be done to break the political stalemate on gun policy so that we can save lives?

Fucking put Wayne LaPierre in prison.

Once upon a time the NRA was a hunters' organization. They were running out of money and needed to do some outreach. So they went with the Republican Crazies. Amusingly enough, the exact same year the Republican Crazies were trying other things to stay relevant in the culture war:

Fundamentally? Republicans wouldn't care about abortion or guns if they hadn't manufactured a phony culture war to take sides on, but with guns at least there's an obvious criminal enterprise led by one man who has been the direct and proximate cause of every dumb thing that's happened since 1991.

Raise your hands if you remember 1991. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Okay, I do. That was the year we got sick enough of politicized gun deaths to fucking talk about fixing things. it took three years and what we ended up with was legislation so pusillanimous that Aaron Sorkin made it the center of his whole fucking movie about the presidency the next year but it also gave the NRA something to run on for the next gajillion years to the point where when it sundowned? Nobody even really talked about it.

It isn't Republicans that want guns. Republicans want votes. And since 1977, the NRA has been telling them to vote guns or get murdered. You want guns to go away? go after the NRA. Full stop. The entire posturing "I'm not a man unless I have seven AR-15s" attitude is entirely manufactured entirely to provide a wedge issue to entirely define conservatives as different from normal humans. But that'll never happen, right Nick?

    Harm reduction for guns would start by acknowledging the blunt reality that we’re not going to eliminate guns any more than we have eliminated vehicles or tobacco, not in a country that already has more guns than people.

You feckless, mewling mutherfucker. THERE WAS A CIGARETTE MACHINE ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HIGH SCHOOL. Out the front door, over the overpass, 50 feet across the parking lot, buck fifty a pack, quarters only. HALF my class smoked. A quarter of them dipped. Fast forward 25 years and I'm at two different community colleges - one full of running-start grunt grunt gun-types and one full of sensitive ponytail safe spaces art students. Of the 30 kids in the machining class? 5 vaped, zero smoked. Of the 40 kids in the art class? zero vaped, zero smoked.

Sure, do go on about NFA weapons but let's recognize the problem for what it is: A leading NYTimes columnist wrote an article about gun violence that includes the sentence

    Consider that American women age 50 or older commit fewer than 100 gun homicides in a typical year. In contrast, men 49 or younger typically kill more than 500 people each year just with their fists and feet; with guns, they kill more than 7,000 each year.

...and yet doesn't mention the NRA even once.

kleinbl00  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: We tried to run a social media site and it was awful

lol I have three different spam filters that block that, as it turns out. Which I found out today because I'd never heard of it.

I'm curious as to your take - my understanding was that New Zealand had a lot more socialist tendencies than Australia or England already and the 1996 election reforms pushed things even further left. By way of contrast, the United States has been pushing aggressively to the right since the Nixon Shock or before and things like "paying for teachers" have been severely deprecated ever since the first 'boomer got to vote.

I think there's "professors" and there's "professors." My mother taught at a handful of scattered community colleges and alternative medicine schools. She probably spent 3-4 hours a day on the road during the bad times. Even with my dad's cushy gig at the national lab there were always money fights.

On the other hand, my brother in law is a tenured professor at a big NW college. Their house is substantially larger than mine. I mean yeah it's in the middle of nowhere but still.

kleinbl00  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: China’s Global Mega-Projects Are Falling Apart

So there's a couple things going on here that the article doesn't really get into.

1) All their example countries have been dealing with massive domestic corruption and upheaval, generally because their leaders were shady AF. Raphael Correa has an Interpol red notice out. Nawaz Sharif doesn't yet but that's probably only because his opposition is just as shady. Angola? Please. Argentina? Again.

2) Xi is a "true believer" the way Gorbachev was a true believer - Gorbachev's solution to the Soviet Union's woes was to purge the corruption and rely on communism. Xi's solutions to China's woes so far have been to add more Stalin. The Soviets were notoriously chauvinist against their client states but they didn't have 20 years of "maybe if we treat them like capitalists they'll become capitalists" to bank on.

So yeah - the world is full of crappy corrupt tofu-dregs sold to corrupt savages at loanshark prices. The Guardian is more explicit than the WSJ.

Hey let's check in on the Airport to Nowhere shall we?

    During COVID 19 pandemic, The airport had been handling ship crew changes and repatriation flights, In June and July 2020, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport had handled more than 50 flights involving 2,188 passengers.


    The passenger terminal covers 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq ft) and can handle 1 million passengers per year.


kleinbl00  ·  10 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Is Everything So Ugly?

Before we had "influencers" we had the Demimondaine, who weren't prostitutes, weren't geisha, but were basically Paris Hilton hanging out with Jho Low when wives were too busy being put on pedestals to have any fun.

You earned favor with Demimondes by covering them in jewels. They returned the favor by being cool enough that hanging out with them gave you social status. Which means their entire existence was social status and jewelry.

There was a famous fight between La Castiglione and Lola Montez where they were gonna like have a jewelry showdown at Maxim's or some shit and La Castiglione put on all her shit and tooled up like crazy and Lola Montez walked in 20 minutes late in a white smock... with her handmaid wearing all her shit.

Now you know why Steve Jobs wore only black turtlenecks and jeans - and why Karl Lagerfeld dressed like a goddamn priest most of the time.

    The actress Sarah Bernhardt was the illegitimate child of a courtesan; in her day all actresses were generally considered demimondaines. Her many lovers and extravagant lifestyle fit the type, though her genuine successes as an artist and innovator eventually gained her a kind of public esteem most demimondaines never achieved.

kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Authenticating without a password is something we should talk about

You can compare a data point to another datapoint, you mean.

Android fingerprint readers don't hash your fingerprint. they upload your fucking fingerprint to Amazon. So when a fraudster uses your fingerprint, and you say "nope, that's not my fingerprint, this is my fingerprint", the banks go "same fingerprint d00d." So now your fingerprint is FOREVER out there and you can't use it to validate ever again because it's a stolen credit card number.

So maybe someone grabs Goobster's fingerprint data and the first thing he does is go "huh I'll bet I can use this to score some identities." He goes around with a forged birth certificate and heads to the DMV and says "I need a driver's license, oh by the way my fingerprints were stolen." So now they WON'T USE HIS FINGERPRINT to verify his identity, they'll fall back on their ancient bullshit. Meanwhile, all the speed he's encountering in using your identity to steal your life is slowing you up because while neither one of you can be trusted? He's used to this.

You know what's cool about credentials? They can be revoked. You know what sucks about biometrics? They can't. Mistakes are made, accidental and deliberate, and expecting a company that shows absolutely no interest in protecting your revocable credentials to treat you irrevocable credentials any differently is naive in the extreme.

Meanwhile you've just created a situation where in order to rent a car I now need to get Theranos involved or some shit which, frankly, no thanks.

Nexus passes between the US and Canada have iris scans for Canadians. They don't for Americans, in no small part because customs and border protection in the US didn't want to be responsible for a bunch of indelible biometric data. They know "information wants to be free." I'm sure they'll change their mind eventually - Dipshits have been pushing for this since before Sony rootkitted their compact discs.

But that doesn't make it a good idea.

Shitty passwords are a design choice. They are the outcome of a bad system imposing unrealistic demands on its users. The solution is not to make the users try harder, it's to make the system better. If you need more security than I can provide easily, you can fuck right off. There's nothing you're doing for me that can't be done with less.

Prove me wrong.

kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Authenticating without a password is something we should talk about

I'ma go get a new driver's license. You go get new fingerprints. We'll circle back and compare our tasks, deal?

"Aha!" you're tempted to say. "But I can always prove who I am because I have the original fingerprints!" Sure. But you're going to verify your fingerprints by going "look this is my birth certificate I'm really me and THESE are my fingerprints" and so is the guy who is stealing your fingerprints and because he's aware he's doing it and you're still catching up, lo and behold, you are no longer you.

In a normal situation when you've been subjected to identity fraud, you erase the defrauded shit and start over. In a situation where the fraud involves biometrics, there will forever be an asterisk next to your data. You're going to take longer to get on a plane, you're going to be held up by medical insurance, your bank loans are going to be subject to additional scrutiny, all of it. It'll be the same as the credit bureaus do to you NOW except they'll say "we use biometrics we're perfect" and it'll be ten years of brown people bitching about how that is very much not the case before a single white person gives a shit.

kleinbl00  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Is Everything So Ugly?

Amusingly enough, "why is everything so ugly" was a gripe in The Death and Life of Great American Cities and Silent Spring.

You know what I love about jewelry design and jewelry history? Perspective. Van Cleef & Arpels did a bloody seminar on the history of fairies in jewelry design yesterday, going back to the frickin' Minoans. You are now aware that whenever you see Art Nouveau jewelry in Green White and Violet it's suffragette ("Give Women the Vote").

I bring this up because the jewelers have perspective. They know trends shift every 30 years. Gold is out, platinum is in. Platinum is out, gold is in. In between there's a 2-3 year period where gold and silver go together but these periods are then immediately cast into the dustbin of history and hated forever as times of horrible design in which everything is wrong.

oh shit fam

$42k of you'll-never-get-to-wear-it-again-in-your-lifetime, vintage 2021.

I bring this up because the jewelers will point out that the ornamentation is always somewhere. Art Nouveau was the logical extension of the Arts and Crafts movement, which came about because the ugly rise of industrialization sucked all the art out of everything (fuck you now and forever, steampunk). but more than that, Art Nouveau in jewelry came about because at the time, personal ornamentation was white satin with platinum and pearls.

It's deeper than that, though, which the jewelers will tell you. The more flamboyant the people, the more spare the ornamentation around them. While people lived the roaring '20s, Art Deco sprung up all around them and Art Deco is nothing if not monochrome. While Jane Jacobs and all her friends were busy bitching about how much architecture sucks, kids were busy deciding they didn't want to go to Vietnam in as flamboyant a fashion as possible. It's no accident that Brutalism and Hippies coincide in space/time. The one compliments the other. Eventually, something sets off the culture and everything shifts.

That's a Lapponia, by the way. It's from the late '60s but the culture clearly wasn't ready for it in the late '60s. Naah... there was some silvergold to get through in the mid '70s first.

So look. Architecture is ugly AF right now because your kid's 3rd grade teacher has blue hair. Cars are monochromatic nothingboxes because we're talking about pronouns. The louder the culture, the quieter the culture's environment. Going back to the Romans - we see spare white marble not just because all the paint wore off but because Beau Brummell hadn't quite killed fashion yet and the Edwardians needed the monochrome.

The principle difference between Brutalism and neobrutalism is Brutalism didn't have LEED (you get bonus points for environmentalism) and neobrutalism doesn't have Nazis. There's a big part of modern architectural regulation and trend that requires outdated structures to sink into the sand without leaving a superfund site. It's curtain wall construction without the glass, because "glass" is '80s and fuck that we're innovating here.

You know what the color palette is today? It's '60s kitchen.

You know what people were making in '60s kitchens?

You know what people were wearing in '60s kitchens?

THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Except for the heirloom stuff. It's built to last.

kleinbl00  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Authenticating without a password is something we should talk about

At some point, we're going to need legislation that says "no, Facebook, fuck off, you are NOT entitled to know that much about me." I'm pessimistically certain it will be after some bullshit "move fast and break things" tech company with a fuckton of VC money behind it builds a security stack out of eggo waffles and karo syrup and gets plundered by Russian hackers to the tune of a million fingerprints.

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Authenticating without a password is something we should talk about

Ethereum solved this problem the minute Metamask built their first browser extension.

Not mentioned in the article, or any of the linked articles, or any of the linked articles' friends, is the essential business need to silo the shit out of everything and keep it locked away so that you can only use it within their ecosystem. That was the whole push behind "sign in with Facebook" and, therefore, 'sign in with Google" - keep you locked away from the open web and inside a containerized, monetized channel where everything is safe and everything is beautiful. It's Apple's walled garden but stupid.

This is why i use 1password and why I pay for everyone in the office to do the same - it's 128-bit encrypted with the secret key entirely in your possession. Take away the passwords and leave the extension and you're pretty much what you can do with blockchain.

    From today, Bitwarden has launched a new beta service called Passwordless.dev by Bitwarden, which allows any third-party developer to embed biometric sign-in technology such as Touch ID, Face ID and Windows Hello into their apps.

No. Fuck off. Eat shit and die. The amount of leaky biometric bullshit we're already dealing with is horrific - Android Marketplace in particular gives no fux if an app that doesn't need it totally grabs the fingerprint sensor.

The whole problem is I should need one password but every website and every app disagrees as to how I should give it to them. Blockchain fixes this and has done since browser wallets.

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Untold Story of the Insular Texas Family That Invaded the U.S. Capitol

I could see it going this way:

1) Actual prosecutions and convictions against Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Enrique Tarrio (who is probably an informant, and likely already has a deal), Alex Jones, Roger Stone and anyone else with a front-row seat to insurrection followed by

2) Amnesty and a nominal period of probation in exchange for a guilty plea of misdemeanor trespassing subject to revocation in the event of future felonies.

Yes, the country needs to heal. But our neoliberal white globalist koom bay ya protestant upbringing is the only one in the world that truly believes there should never be retribution, vengeance or retaliation for violent acts.

The dumb wandering fucks need to be tagged if not bagged, if for no other reason than to sniff their assholes as they wander around buying freedom frog penis pills from each other. Are they a proximate threat to democracy? No, but they sure do adulate those who are. Letting that sort of sentiment skate has never ended well.

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2023

I think you are grossly overestimating Marjorie Taylor Green's ability to pay attention. You're talking about a person whose days were fully occupied with pilates for the better part of fifteen years. Thee or me? We'd sit there gobsmacked from dawn to dusk over all the stuff behind the green door but then, we're curious. You don't become Marjorie Taylor Greene without being far more committed to your beliefs about the world than you are to your observations.

There's a Venn diagram of "clown show" / "witch hunt" / "sop throwing" / "actual governance" that the Republican House of Representatives will fill in for the next two years. Before Matt Goetz it was lookin' pretty witch hunty. Now? Now my money's on clown show.

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Inside Elon Musk's "extremely hardcore" Twitter

It's not to destabilize the USA, though, it's to increase surveillance over domestic dissent. People forget: Khashoggi wasn't even a particularly fierce critic of MBS. He professed enthusiasm for the man with regularity. But he disagreed... and he prrrrrrrrobably belonged to the CIA so... MBS reshuffled the deck.

I think MBS regards the USA the way a rodeo clown regards a bull. The bull is the entire reason he's in the ring, is predictable but not entirely, and is largely busy with someone else's crap, but every now and then you have to dance in front of it so you can keep on keepin' on.

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Inside Elon Musk's "extremely hardcore" Twitter

    Why is it so hard to imagine extending that into the realm of the internet? Only because we are living through an era of hypercapitalist privatization.

I think we're on the tail end. If I can come up with a decentralized blockchain-based social media infrastructure, anybody can come up with a decentralized blockchain-based social media infrastructure. The whole issue is that the market has grossly mispriced social media companies until very recently because the market has grossly mispriced online advertising until very recently. Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Twitter) are demonstrating the gap between prices charged and value realized and as soon as the air comes out of that balloon, there will be space for actual community-subsidized, micropayments-driven online commons to emerge.

The shit's too important to leave up to entitled rich sociopaths, but in general capitalist systems require a crash before they can rebuild into something more sensible.

kleinbl00  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Inside Elon Musk's "extremely hardcore" Twitter

Imperial Germany funded Lenin. They funded insurgencies in India and Ireland and also tried to bring Mexico into the war but the US and England weren't weak like Russia. So Lenin rode to Moscow on an official German train with official German marks. The goal wasn't to make Russia German, the goal was to fuck Russia up severely enough that the Eastern Front would cease to be a problem and allow Germany to bring their full might to bear on Western Europe.

Lenin was a shitty politician. He was a legit criminal. But because he was extremely driven and extremely ruthless, and because Russia was extremely weak, he managed to replace the Tsar and consolidate power in himself, replacing every functionary and diplomat with loyalists. The end result was extremely shitty for Russia in general and the world as a whole, but f'n great for Lenin and a spectacular payoff for the Kaiser.

The most important social network in Saudi Arabia is Twitter. The guy who ran point on Khashoggi started out as a ham-handed hacker with money and then became "lord of the Flies" as MBS' social media manager. al-Qahtani hired moles inside Twitter in order to unmask and prosecute dissidents.

MBS consolidated power by locking up everyone with money and influence and then blackmailing them to get out. This includes Al Waleed bin Talal.

Does Musk think he's carrying MBS' water? of course not. Look how edgy he is.

No, no. He owes his entire self-esteem to the Saudis, Qatar, Larry Ellison, A26Z (of course), Sequoia (of course) and the money changers. It helps him make independent decisions.

Twitter matters to journalists, and only to journalists. Musk hates journalists. Musk also thinks he knows everything because he surrounds himself with people who tell him he knows everything. M Night Shamalyan wrote The Sixth Sense seven times before he figured out Bruce Willis was dead, and from that point forth he was surrounded by people who told him he knows everything so he comes up with movies about evil trees now.

Musk has also never truly faced consequences. Paypal was de-facto illegal but also useful, so the laws changed. Self-driving cars are de-facto illegal but also useful, so the laws are changing. He is a man who has built a career on unearned charisma and he has staked his future on a platform where charisma goes to die.

The VCs? of course they'll go for that shit. They're fucktards and it's other peoples' money. The banks? Of course they'll go for that shit. They're making interest on it and the amount they make it he succeeds is only slightly more than they make if he fails. Binance? Crypto lives on twitter.

    What they get: As part of the deal, anyone who invested $250 million or more gets special access to confidential company information. But giving that privilege to foreign investors is raising flags with Biden and U.S. officials. Of particular interest is whether that includes access to personal data about Twitter’s users since several of the entities are entwined with governments that have a history of cracking down on dissidents on Twitter and other online platforms.

What MBS gets? I mean fuck. It isn't even his money.