What are the grifters doing today?

It’s enlightening and amusing to see what the kooks are up to. They live in a world where every stupid idea that tumbles in the arid desert between their ears will find an audience.

  • The Qux. Some ex-Info-Wars reporter has figured out how to get rich: she has “invented” a mysterious electronic gadget called a Qux that she has crowdfunded to the tune of $170,000, and which she’ll sell for $150 a pop. Supposedly, it’s going to filter out the bad left-wing propaganda or vibrations or something from your TV set.

    Except that what it seems to be is some kind of cheap knock-off of a Roku box, and the port layout looks exactly like a generic Linux TV box that sells for $15-$30. It’s going to take you to the future, though!
    They do know their audience, though. They’ll buy it.
  • Purebloods. The super-geniuses of anti-vax are rebranding. They don’t want to be called “unvaccinated” anymore: instead, they are Purebloods. Yeah, they consciously stole it from the Harry Potter books, which, apparently, they didn’t read very closely because the Purebloods were the Nazi-like bad guys.
    Now, of course, they’re coming out with “Pureblood” merch, because it isn’t right-wing stupidity if you don’t make money off of it.

    Makes you wonder what JK Rowling would think of it. She might actually approve.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    Ah! It’s Millie “Rainbow Snatch*” Weaver! Evidently she’s hitting rock bottom after losing her InfoWars gig she embarrassed Alex Jones by bringing on a guest who implicated Jones’ bestest-buddy Roger Stone in an conspiracy against Dear Leader Trump.

    Hey, Millie? Is this thing compatible with the Freedom Phone?

    *Hey, that’s HER Twitter handle. I’m not dropping a gendered insult.

  2. gijoel says

    In the end the antivaxxers weren’t brought down by our guns or bombs, but the humblest of god’s creatures Covid 19.

    Actually a War of the world’s story where the Martians are destroyed by Infowars’ transmission and Q-anon shitposting would be kind of cool.

  3. says

    The same people who can’t use the lock out menu on their cable box to block channels they don’t like probably won’t have much better luck with Roku knockoff.

  4. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Sorry, if you want to block the “bad vibrations” getting to your TV, you need to go with an old-school ANALOG TV, not these new-fangled (((digital))) TVs that are remotely programmed by (((those people))).

    Of course, that means you’ll spend hours and hours having your brain get its input from a CRT.

  5. weylguy says

    influences, perhaps focusing on certain words, phrases or images. Or maybe it’s a kind of internal rosary designed to thwart Satan himself, who we all know the child-murdering, blood-drinking Democrats worship.

  6. submoron says

    @christoph # 4, Johnson catman @5. Thanks,

    Did you ever hear ‘On the Hour” on the BBC? It was a spoof news programme, where one episode featured an alarm to detect and deter ‘Liberals and Homosexuals’.

  7. skeptivet says

    If I remember a quote from George Carlin correctly: “Nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck will buy it from you.”

  8. says

    I hope the thing is infested to hell and back with Chinese Malware and everyone stupid enough to buy one gets their checking account cleaned out within a week.

  9. cheerfulcharlie says

    I suspect they do not like being called plague rats.

    The T-shirt I want.

    Refuse to be vaccinated?
    Refuse to wear a mask?
    Stay away from me!
    I have pepper spray.

  10. antigone10 says

    JK Rowling is a TERF. JK Rowling is not an anti-vaxxer. She also donated to “books for vaccines” to get global vaccines out.

    You can have a bad opinion without having all of the bad opinions.

  11. says

    Well, if she (or her backers) have any technical expertise, I would imagine that the box has at least one of the following “features”:

    Performs cryptocurrency mining on behalf of her company “in the background” while it does… whatever it is doing with the TV signal, so that the people who buy it pay for both the hardware and the electricity for her profit. Sad to say, the big mining farms have so much investment and so much custom tech behind them that this still wouldn’t be more than a tiny fraction of the world’s wasted effort on cryptocurrency, even if every Republican bought one, but it would be a source of income at other people’s unknowing expense, which is what you would expect given the source. Nobody dumb enough to buy the box in the first place would be smart enough to notice.
    A microphone and an Alexa-style voice recognition scheme to collect data on the customers. (They’ll already be logging which shows get watched, naturally, but being a licensed, 24-hour eavesdropper like Amazon to anybody dumb enough to buy one of their devices? Priceless.) The Republican Party has been a well-adapted parasite on a certain type of rube since the 70s, but the way Trump was able to sweep out all his competition in 2016 clearly came as a surprise to a lot of them so undoubtedly they’re on the lookout for better market data. Forget Bitcoin, this is potentially the real goldmine for this device — there are already huge fortunes founded on fleecing this particular batch of rubes.
    A system whereby it will frequently contact the manufacturer and install updates without asking for permission, so that if any further ways to leech off the buyers are thought up after the fact it can be done automatically. Again: nobody dumb enough to buy the box will be tech-savvy enough to notice.

    Of course, this assumes that she (or her associates) are both technically proficient enough to implement any of that and clever enough to be looking for more than just the initial profit from selling the boxes in the first place. Given that these are really obvious ideas, you’d expect them to include such things, but on the other hand there’s also a history of right-wing grifters who are entirely unsubtle and just in a hurry to get hold of cash.

  12. says

    Refuse to be vaccinated?
    Refuse to wear a mask?
    Stay away from me!
    I have pepper spray.

    Someone needs to turn that into haiku form. It’s already poetry though.

  13. Ed Seedhouse says

    “Purebloods” – lookin’ to be “Deadbloods”? From the non-existent COVID-19 of course.

  14. richardh says

    Vicar@ 20
    Of course, this assumes that she (or her associates) are both technically proficient enough to implement any of that and clever enough to be looking for more than just the initial profit from selling the boxes in the first place.
    Don’t worry about that. The hardware manufacturer will already have installed their own backdoors and, as they say, “the S in IoT stands for security”. This gadget won’t have any, so it will be wide open for any other malicious actor to pwn it and implement all the things she hasn’t done.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    This is a long-term plot by those cunning chinamen! When everyone is immune to covid (and the vaccine is no longer useful for injecting microchips), they will activate the 5G components in the box and upload the “Chairman Xi is the leader” algorithm straight into your brain.

  16. says

    @#25, richardh:

    But that doesn’t give her (and/or her team) any money, nor is it exploiting the Republicans particularly. I’m talking about the after-sales profits they’re expecting to turn, and whether they’re smart enough to have thought that far ahead.