Tuesday October 3rd, 2017 16:10 From the higher perch: a note on reactions

(Click to embiggen)
Heaven-Can-Wait

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday October 3rd, 2017 16:09 From the high perch: comparison and contrast

Let me introduce you to two men.

Charles Whitman

This is Charles Whitman.

In 1966, he killed 15 people and injured 31 others over the course of 96 minutes. He was 25 years old and a highly trained sharpshooter, having served in the Marines. He committed his murders using a variety of weapons, including bolt-action and semi-automatic riles.

171002113439-01-stephen-paddock-file-medium-plus-169

This is Stephen Paddock.

In 2017, he killed (at present count) 59 people and injured more than 500 others. According to witnesses, this happened over the course of 10-15 minutes. He was a 64-year-old retiree and professional gambler. There is no current indication he had any formal weapons training (his brother says he did not). There is currently no reliable information about what weapons he used (there are a few new photos, though), but anyone that’s ever fired a gun before can listen to the audio and determine that the shots came faster than one can feasibly pull a trigger, strongly suggesting that he used at least one automatic weapon. Given the distance, speed and lethality of those shots, an assault rifle is extremely likely.

This Average Joe out-murdered a Marine sharpshooter – by a factor of four – in less than 1/6 of the time.

To anyone who is still against reasonable gun control or a ban on assault weapons:

Do I need to draw you a fucking diagram?

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Wednesday August 23rd, 2017 11:14 15-year-old TV show on the NYC subway system

This morning, it took me about 90 minutes to get to work.

I used to have a relatively long commute growing up, so I know that doesn’t sound too awful in the ears of a lot of people. But you might change your tune upon learning that this was how long it took for me to get four miles. 3.25 as the crow flies.

This means that, in a city with one of the largest and supposedly best transit systems in the world, I would have arrived roughly 30 minutes earlier if I had gotten out and walked.

In my state of frustration, I went looking for a gif of my favorite line from Black Books, in which Bernard screams “Lies! Subterfuge! Seething Corruption!” This was in response to the fact that mta.info specifically said the 7 was borked due to mechanical problems with a train at 33rd Street – the exact train I was sitting on, with a conductor telling us we weren’t moving because of smoke in the tunnel.

This was followed by a transfer to the N, which I was immediately informed was also not running, due to both a sick passenger and a power failure. This forced me to exit the station entirely, walk to another one, and catch an E, which did run, but with infuriatingly vague ‘train traffic’ delays.

I could not find the gif in question and had not the patience remaining to make it myself.

Yet, paging through the images that did exist, it became clear that the modern MTA has a lot in common with a show about a surly, filthy, alcoholic shopkeeper. Allow me to illuminate.

The all-purpose comment:

nope_train

Everyone off, please. This train has suddenly forgotten how to train:

time_wasting_bastards

No matter what time I get up or leave the house, there is some nonsense that will make me late to work:

betrayal

Just about anything that ever gets said over the intercom, even on those magical occasions when you can actually understand the words being said:

what_what

The entire city, for the last decade or so:

up_with_this

Come to think of it, we’d all be a lot happier if they just gave us a damn sausage before boarding.

That idea right there is free. You’re welcome, MTA.

In: News, OtherNo Comments

Tuesday May 30th, 2017 15:54 Your things belong to you now (some of them, at least)

Big news, via the EFF.

Finally, a court has stepped up to knock down the notion of companies owning not only patents but consumers’ decisions over what to do with their own property.

trebek

In this instance, we are only talking about the right to refill printer cartridges. But the breadth of the ruling is sure to seep into other aspects of technology bemired in the overreach that is a company daring to tell me what I can and can’t do with something I already paid them for.

It’s the government’s job to pointlessly flail about trying to do that.

In: Computers, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Monday March 13th, 2017 10:13 Worst Buy case update

Regarding the news from a couple months ago

told_you_so

It’s official now. Best Buy’s Dupe Squad was actively collaborating with the FBI to spy on anyone and everyone foolish enough to trust them to fix a computer.

In: Computers, NewsNo Comments

Friday January 20th, 2017 13:35 So it begins, so it ends

Obama_Captain_America
stolen from Driftglass

Sir, you shall be missed.

drumpf
Absolutely loving Mitch McConnell’s ‘OMFG what have I done?’ face

In keeping with the superhero theme, Drumpf just set himself up as Spidey, with the “American carnage” reference. Two thoughts for him:

1. Spiderman is the best superhero ever. So, basically, fuck you.
2. Spot on setting yourself as a 15-year-old boy suddenly imbued with powers he doesn’t understand or know how to use. Though, we’re probably going to end up with a Joe Wade-style Scarlet Spider here. Sad!

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday January 10th, 2017 16:06 Trust, confidence and getting what you pay for

Doubtless, many people hear phrases like “I’ll just take it to Best Buy/the Apple store/etc.” all the time.

Me, not so much, given that I’m usually the repair point they’re taking ‘it’ to.

know_more_than_you

No matter how badly I’ve wanted any given person to take any given device anywhere else, not once have I let such words pass without at least a bit of snark – e.g. “Yes, and since I’m hungry, I’m going to go lick the bottom of a McDonald’s fry trough. Same as any other food, right?”

Listen up, people:

This is an actual ad for an ‘advanced’ Geek Squad tech. Having an A+ cert is ‘preferred.’

For those unaware, an A+ is the toilet paper of the cert world. Most certs are crap in general, and completely unnecessary for someone with a decent resume, but that one just comes right out and says ‘You will have no serious responsibilities or challenges, not the least bit owing to the fact that the supervisor who will be conducting your interview barely knows the difference between CMOS and ATMOS.’

The Apple ‘geniuses’ have an even lower bar.

But why should anyone give a damn, so long as the computer comes back fixed?

Well, besides it costing a whole lot more money and taking an absolutely absurd amount of time, Best Buy, specifically, is full of thin-skulled twits that are all too happy to rifle through your computer or phone in order to fulfill the childish fantasy of playing Junior G-Man in the service of unscrupulous FBI agents.

It’s kind of funny to a tech person that the world is just now finding out that the Bureau has been paying Geek Squad nitwits to spy on customers. Especially since the case in question has had that as an open question for nearly a year now.

The thing is that we’ve always known they were doing that. This is just the first time there may be court-recognized proof.

Think of it this way:

If you’re sending off a computer to be repaired, it stands to reason that you don’t know much about computers. Odds are, you don’t know much about – to revisit my earlier example – making fast food either.

So why do you trust one group to handle a device full of personal correspondence, photos, and videos as if they are beyond reproach, but check the bag to make sure you got your fries while the other is still in the window, watching you insult their capabilities?

Literally the only thing that the Best Buy employee has on the McDonald’s employee is having done a similar job for one year. This qualifies them for ‘advanced’ work.

So is it hard to imagine that (probably) young, barely-skilled retail employees jump right in at the movie-script-esque prospect of spying for the FBI?

About as easy to imagine as a pimple-faced teenager intentionally dropping your burger on the floor?

There’s little chance that anyone not doing anything wrong will end up in such dire straits as Dr. Rettenmaier. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And it doesn’t mean that the government gets to employ entry-level retail employees as de facto federal agents and send them off to rifle through your data just because a USB port broke on your laptop.

In: Computers, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Thursday May 12th, 2016 15:42 SEVERE GEEKGASM ALERT

Click to embiggen:

IMG_20160512_153146

Thing is more powerful than all the office desktops (which are twice as powerful as the average office desktop).

In: Computers, NewsNo Comments

Thursday August 21st, 2014 02:10 I will say one thing about Michael Brown

I have heard a number of Very Serious People and seen innumerable internet bloviators repeat a particular thing about the Michael Brown case that really deserves a response. It’s all some derivation of:

‘I’ll bet that, when all the facts come in, we’ll see a much different picture of what happened than what the [insert racist code word or direct epithet, depending on commentator’s current forum (also accepted: Librul Media)] say happened.’

98929-oh-well-allow-me-to-retort-gif-jLE0

I’ll take your wager if you take mine: that when all the facts are presented, they will show that a police officer shot and killed an unarmed person.

Double or nothing that another cop will do the same thing, somewhere in this country, within a week of that incident.

I understand if you won’t accept the second part because, in fairness, I already won: Andrew Gaynier, August 10; Dillon Taylor, August 11; John Winkler, August 11; Ezell Ford, August 11; Armand Bennet, August 11 (technically, he didn’t die, but he was shot in the head, so A for effort).

Double or nothing again if you can resist the urge to comment on race and stick to the fact that it took me 2 minutes on Google to find the names of 5 unarmed people that were shot dead by the police in a matter of 48 hours, and perhaps we should be focusing on the systemic problem of cops using disproportionate deadly force – not the details of what happened minutes before the latest body dropped.

In: News, Other, PoliticsNo Comments

Whois

IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org