Self Care – 5 Batman Gadgets that are Real! (YouTube Video)

Okay so… YouTube list videos are sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. Here’s one I thought I’d share with y’all, mainly because I absolutely love Batman, and the idea that his gadgets actually exist in the real world excites me. Admittedly, most of them will be used for war, which sucks, and also makes sense considering the fact that Batman is the inspiration. But despite that, these are still pretty cool…

Self Care – How Vinyl Records Are Made

This is a clip from the How It’s Made series… a series I used to love very much.

As for vinyl records; yup, I’m a fan. Initially it was for audiophile reasons. I very much used to believe that analog recordings were better overall than digital recordings. And I’m sure that was true back in the 80s when digital was new and in the 90s when it was upgrading and coming into its own.

Now, though?

Now even downloadable digital files can come in high enough quality that the claim “vinyl records sound better” can, at the very least, be challenged. I do still prefer lossless compression to lossy compression (though, of course, I still use MP3 to carry music with me on my phone), especially for unofficial recordings (like audience recordings of live shows). The reason is because the quality of the recording, especially of a recording of a live show done in the 60s and 70s, is iffy at best (and sometimes quite terrible), and so keeping the audio files as close to the master recording as possible is preferred, as a loss in musical data can easily make an already iffy recording sound utterly horrid. FLAC is the standard lossless format, and my favorite, as well.

That said, though, I do, indeed, listen to vinyl when I can, if for no other reason than I’m the type who likes to sit back and just listen to music, and, mostly for cultural reasons, vinyl is the preferred way of doing that.

So anyways…

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The FCC Is Destroying Net Neutrality

From the Washington Post

Tech companies and Internet providers are poised for another dramatic showdown as the head of the Federal Communications Commission revealed a plan Wednesday for rolling back his predecessor’s rules mandating an open Internet.

The proposal from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai marks the first step toward undoing a key decision of the Obama era, one that forced Internet providers to behave more like legacy telephone companies. The stricter rules for ISPs had made it illegal to block or slow down websites for consumers — and they paved the road for other policies, such as one governing online privacy, which was overturned in a separate controversial move by Congress and President Trump earlier this year.

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Nunes Won’t Divulge His Sources

From Reuters

U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said on Tuesday he will not divulge – even to other members of his panel – who gave him intelligence reports that indicated President Donald Trump and his associates may have been ensnared in incidental intelligence collection.

Asked by an ABC News reporter whether he would inform the other committee members about who gave him the reports he viewed on the White House grounds last week, Nunes said: “We will never reveal those sources and methods.”

This is a short-ass update from Reuters, so that’s the whole thing.

Normally I’m all about protecting sources’ anonymity, but in this case it honestly feels like yet another move to cover up the fact that the whole wiretap thing is either a lie, or it was a legitimate move that would make Agent Orange look absolutely horrible.

Either way, Circus-Peanut-in-Chief will not come out of this looking good.

Internet Privacy Regulations Are Gone

From NPR

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers’ permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

The measure is a victory for the ISPs, which have argued that the regulation would put them at a disadvantage compared with so-called edge providers, like Google and Facebook. Those companies are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and face less stringent requirements. Congress’ approval is a loss for privacy advocates, who fought for the regulation, passed in October of last year by the then-Democratic majority on the Federal Communications Commission.

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Well Now I’m Torn

I’ve always been one of those who’s hated that we didn’t take what happened with the moon landings further than we did. I’ve never understood why we didn’t build a base on the moon. I’ve never understood why people aren’t there today. I’ve never understood why we didn’t set a goal for putting humans on Mars back then, as well.

I mean… okay… I do understand. We went to the moon in the first place because of the Cold War. It could be argued that we wouldn’t even have a NASA today if not for the Cold War, so…

But that doesn’t make the fact that we didn’t continue that momentum after the Cold War any less annoying. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s really sad that the Cold War was our only motivation.

But now…

Now, NASA’s new budget has been slightly increased, and they’ve been given a goal of putting people on Mars.

should be excited by this. It’s something I support.

The problem?

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From Marcus Ranum: Fellow Travelers

So I recently made three posts about my disappointment in Wikileaks and it’s fans. I am still angry about how they have been acting over this most recent presidential election. As Marcus Ranum noted, what I’m experiencing is the realization that Wikileaks was never an organization for good, but a vanity project by Julian Assange to boost his own ego; and that it was Assange and another hacker, Adrian Lamo, who threw Chelsea Manning under the bus.

Marcus wrote an incredible post about all this, drawing from his own first-hand experience with such hackers. I’ll quote the bit about what happened to Chelsea Manning here. But please, go and read the entire thing. It’s a long read, yes, but it’s very good, and deserves your full attention.

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Alex Jones Would Have a Field Day With This

(Note: there are three Facebook videos here. I sincerely apologize if they auto-play. Hopefully they won’t, but if they do, let me know and I’ll replace the videos with links…)

So let me start out by reassuring everybody that I’m no conspiracy theorist.

I know that the Illuminati disappeared a couple centuries ago and that the New World Order was a heel wrestling outfit in the WCW in the 90’s led by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. I also am no fan of Alex Jones, who I think is possibly dangerous and certainly peddles basically nothing but bullshit.

So no, I’m not about to crow about some one-world shadow government planning to enslave of us all to some hivemind or whatever.

That said, though… I’m not very comfortable with this:

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