Does It Come With Guys in Black Suburbans?


Atomic lighter. Do we need to discuss this further?

It occurs to me that a “flameless lighter” might be one that simply does nothing. Or, perhaps it is a thin iron needle: it oxidizes a bit slowly, for a lighter, but it’s flameless and it produces a little bit of heat and doesn’t need refueling for a long time.

By the way: isn’t it nice of thunderbird to block remote content in these messages? A few times I’ve looked at the source code for some of these messages, and felt like I needed to soak my keyboard in bleach.

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Lately I have been pondering a question, which is “is spam a security threat?” Naturally, I think it is and furthermore I think that the only person who would argue otherwise is probably a spammer or a first amendment extremist. I am generalizing; not all spam is a security threat, but there is a percentage of it (like the previous chunk of spam I posted) where they try to get you going and coming: if you click the ‘unsubscribe’ option it takes you to a malware drive-by download.

I remember the heady days when the internet became “a big thing” (I was on the internet in 1980 and I have witnessed most of the trajectory so far) and people were going around saying it was going to change the world for the better. Perhaps it has – if our problem was ma1e enhanc3ment – but mostly I feel that it has turned into a swamp full of rotting tires, empty beer cans, used condoms, and industrial waste. Welcome to the future!

Comments

  1. bmiller says

    and yet…the Internet also allows me to (more easily) read your always fascinating and often illuminating ruminations on “the way things are” :)

  2. kestrel says

    Your idea that it does close to nothing appears to be very near to the truth. I found it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Lighter-BulbHead-Fuel-free-Rechargeable/dp/B073RR2D8Y?th=1

    Scroll down and read the reviews. The first top four reviews are titled: “If flunks. Deep disappointment!”, “Did not work”, “One star” and “Not recommended”.

    But boy, check out the guy they have marketing it! Doesn’t he look bad-ass? And he was formerly other things!

  3. says

    I remember the heady days when the internet became “a big thing” (I was on the internet in 1980 and I have witnessed most of the trajectory so far) and people were going around saying it was going to change the world for the better. Perhaps it has – if our problem was ma1e enhanc3ment – but mostly I feel that it has turned into a swamp full of rotting tires, empty beer cans, used condoms, and industrial waste.

    Said the privileged person who can remain blissfully oblivious about the fact that for countless people who are living in other countries Internet is the only decent option for education and income. Thanks to the Internet, what a person can do is no longer so severely limited by where they live.

    Latvian libraries suck. Sure, they have the Latvian translation of “Twilight,” but they don’t carry books that are actually worth reading. Latvian bookstores suck even more. Without Internet, I couldn’t even buy books on Amazon. Everything I know about art I have learned online. Most of what I know about many other topics I have learned thanks to the Internet.

    Internet is also essential for me to earn my income, because I sell my artworks online. Artists who live in the right cities and in the right countries have been able to sell their art without the help of Internet for hundreds of years. But this is definitely not the case for people who live in the rest of the world. You once wrote that you have bought some custom clothes from Chinese seamstresses. If they couldn’t sell their stuff online directly to the customer, what other employment options would they have?

  4. komarov says

    From the amazon link I see the lighter is made from “tough grade” metal. Is that better or worse than “military grade”? I’m also disappointed to learn that it needs to be recharged, i.e. it is electrical. When I purchase a fuel-free something-or-other I expect it to keep going until the universe grows cold.* Everything else is just false advertising. Now I wonder if soon we’ll see ads for the first ‘fuel-free’ cars, which, on the face of it, would be much more enticing than a fuel-free lighter.

    I’ll also have to second Ieva Skrebele on the usefulness of the internet. While I don’t depend on it – at least not in any concious way I appreciate – it is at the very least a marvellous convenience. Since I haven’t (so far) been robbed blind by malware, hackers and megacorporations I remain cautiously optimistic vaguely positive** about its uses, despite evil Russian propagandists reportedly hiding in every server.

    *Or the warranty expires. I won’t be accused of having unrealistic standards.
    **Nor will I be accused of optimism.

  5. jimmf says

    I like how it says “To protecy your privacy…”. I would much rather Thunderbird provide me tools to write good, effective filters and really accept mail as text only (without going back to the sender to get images).

  6. says

    Ieva Skrebele@#3:
    Said the privileged person who can remain blissfully oblivious about the fact that for countless people who are living in other countries Internet is the only decent option for education and income. Thanks to the Internet, what a person can do is no longer so severely limited by where they live.

    I didn’t say it wasn’t good or useful; what I said is that humans have also brought with them their usual ugliness and it has become ugly to me.

    There was a time when people were saying things about how we were building the new library of Alexandria, etc. Well, actually, that’s probably about right when you look at what happened to the library of Alexandria.

  7. says

    humans have also brought with them their usual ugliness and it has become ugly to me

    All human inventions can be used either for good or bad purposes. For example, a knife can be used either to cook a meal or to slice somebody’s throat. Inventions are just tools, it’s what we do with them that matters. And there always will be some individuals who will do something nasty with whatever tool they have at their disposal.

    There was a time when people were saying things about how we were building the new library of Alexandria

    I’d say that’s sort of true. Many books written by authors who have died over 70 years ago are digitalized and available online for free.
    Then there are also all those amazing databases that can be accessed for free when you go to a library and use a computer there: scientific journals and collections of books scanned by librarians all over the world.
    And then there’s also the illegal pirate library. There availability of books depends on the language. For example, German pirates seem to be pretty unmotivated, very few German books are available from the usual pirate sites. It’s exactly opposite with Russian books—Russian speaking pirates seem to be extremely hardworking in their attempts to make Russian books available online for free.

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