Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling

I wonder why Trump would want to block effective election meddling by hostile foreign powers. But isn’t that what he’s accused of using to get elected? Doesn’t look good. Bob Mueller? You paying attention?

‘It’s very curious why the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election,’ one Homeland Security official tells The Daily Beast.

Source: Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling

The complicated truth about China’s social credit system | WIRED UK

First of all, I apologize for linking to a pay-walled site. Sorry. But the topic of a nationalized citizen scoring system is quite timely, I think. Quite a few people in government want the US Homeland Security division to produce exactly such a thing for everyone in America, to become the basis of things like government inspections, such as TSA searches at airports and train stations, businesses during job applications, and any law enforcement incident, including immigration control and traffic stops.

If you are in the system, and have a reasonably good score, maybe you get a warning instead of a ticket. You also won’t get strip searched or asked embarrassing questions. If you are anonymous, or have a less than stallar score, maybe you get examined a little more closely. It all sounds like yet another creepy Black Mirror episode, if you ask me.

I also wonder how many individual metrics they could come up with to judge our behaviour by. No doubt that list would change over time, but even just a starting list. Financial reliability, financial health, respect for authority, respect for family, respect for laws, respect for others, respect for safety, respect for health, etc. What else?

China’s social credit system isn’t a world first but when it’s complete it will be unique. The system isn’t just as simple as everyone being given a score though

Source: The complicated truth about China’s social credit system | WIRED UK

Your GPS Devices May Stop Working On April 6 If You Don’t Or Can’t Update Firmware – Slashdot

Do you still use a legacy GPS device, like a standalone Garmin GPS tracker? It may totally stop working in a couple months, unless you can update it’s software.

I’m wondering about my Ford’s GPS. I’ve considered spending $150 to get the onboard GPS updated (the car and all the maps on it are almost 7 years old now), but I guess I prefer to use Google Maps anyway.

Source: Your GPS Devices May Stop Working On April 6 If You Don’t Or Can’t Update Firmware – Slashdot

Internet speeds in these here parts

I ran a few speedtest.net tests on my iMac over AT&T fiber tonight. Bear in mind, my ISP offers me gigabit symmetrical service, speeds of which are verifiable on my downstairs hardwired gigabit ethernet server, but I don’t currently have hardwired gigabit ethernet cables leading from downstairs to the upstairs office, so I rely on a pair of Ethernet over Power adapters. Still, I’m rather impressed with 140 Mbps up/down. Not bad.

Postal (2007) – IMDb

A friend convinced me to watch it last night, and I admit, I laughed more than a few times. It’s dark, let me tell you. So dark, that without explaining the situation leading up to it, you will laugh as multiple children under 16 are gunned down in mass murder. Hopefully you will cringe while you laugh, but it has comic purpose. If I tell you it’s in the middle of a scene that is a gigantic comment about America’s obsession with gun ownership, with everybody on the street packing heat, and
firing on everyone else at random, would that make any difference?

The opening scene is in the cockpit of a jet airliner, with two arab terrorists discussing how many virgins they’ll get when they kill themselves, while people pound on the cockpit door and swear at them. The one guy says 99, the other 100. One calls Osama (did I mention this movie is from 2007, when GWB was president, and before OBL was killed)? If you can handle the outrageous violence in the name of comedy, this movie is actually quite funny. I particularly liked Dave Foley’s deal.

Directed by Uwe Boll. With Zack Ward, Dave Foley, Verne Troyer, Chris Coppola. In the ironically named city of Paradise, a recently laid-off loser teams up with his cult-leading uncle to steal a peculiar bounty of riches from their local amusement park; somehow, the recently arrived Taliban have a similar focus, but a far more sinister intent.

Source: Postal (2007) – IMDb

Insects are dying at record rates — a sign of a 6th mass extinction

“In the past, mass extinctions have been caused by the emergence of ice ages or asteroid collisions. This mass extinction, however, is driven by human activities – namely deforestation, mining, and carbon-dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.” Don’t forget farming and cattle/sheep ranches.

The way I see it, the human race is screwed. All life on this planet will end, one way or another, and we’ll pass on nothing to the future. Once the bugs are gone, crops will fail, there will be mass panic, it will be a quick, catastrophic end. Maybe a tiny few people will survive, but for how long?

I have no doubt some form of life will survive, somehow. I doubt we’ll be successful at wiping out all life, unless maybe Trump gets angry after seeing Putin high fiving some other dictator and does something monumentally stupid.

Forty-one percent of the world’s insects are in decline as part of the sixth mass extinction. If the decline continues, Earth could be devoid of insects in 100 years.

Source: Insects are dying at record rates — a sign of a 6th mass extinction