The cartoonist and author behind Hyperbole and a Half has returned with a new book, which I should receive tomorrow. This news offsets pretty much all the other news from today:
I'm sure there's more, but I'm done for the day.
With 58 days until the election, the noise keeps increasing. Here's some of it:
Finally, The Smithsonian describes how Greg Priore managed to steal priceless documents from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, because he was in charge of security for those items.
I'm taking a day off, so I'm choosing not to read all the articles that have piled up on my desktop:
- Tropical Storm Josephine has formed east of the windward islands, becoming the earliest 10th named storm on record. The National Hurricane Center promises an "extremely active" season.
- By tracking excess deaths in addition to reported Covid-19 deaths, the New York Times has concluded we've already surpassed 200,000 and could hit half a million by the end of the year.
- The General Accounting Office, a non-partisan Congressional watchdog, says Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli are not legally qualified for their current positions, throwing into doubt all DHS actions under their leadership.
- CityLab sees parallels between Chicago's response to looting in the past few months and its response to the Lager Beer Riot of 1855.
- Has the European Central Bank "found a way around the lower bound on interest rates?"
- John Scalzi declaims, "Fuck you, I'm voting." ("You," in this case, means the Trump Administration, in case there was any doubt.)
- A former Google security engineer earned $50,000 for helping "a guy" get $300,000 in Bitcoin out of an old Zip file, thanks to advances in computing power and a flaw in the Zip implementation.
Finally, a "mania" set Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to Teletubbies footage, and it's horrifying.
This is my 55th post this month, and the fifth month in a row in which I've posted over 50 times. That brings my 12-month total to 581, the third record in a row and the fifth record this year. I guess Covid-19 has been good for something.
Here's what I'm reading today:
I'm excited to add a notch on the Brews and Choos project in a few hours. Check back tomorrow.
I'll get to the final head-to-head comparison between my Garmin Venu and Fitbit Ionic later today. Meanwhile:
And finally, because our Covid-19 numbers have started creeping up, indoor bar service will halt on Friday.
Happy tax day! And now, we're off to the races:
Finally, Bloomberg takes a backward glance at the rise and fall of the Segway.
As I take a minute from banging away on C# code to savor my BBQ pork on rice from the local Chinese takeout, I have these to read:
And today's fortune cookie says: "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst in bed."
My inbox does not respect the fact that I had meetings between my debugging sessions all day. So this all piled up:
Finally, conferencing app Zoom will roll out true end-to-end encryption in July.
Last weekend's tsunami continues to ripple:
- Ultra-right-wing US Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), writing in the New York Times to great opprobrium, recommends sending in the troops.
- Former general and Defense Secretary James Mattis publicly rebuked President Trump in a 3-page letter published in the Atlantic, a move that Josh Marshall supports while adding that the letter also "its own form of militarization of society." Former Joint Chiefs Chair Mike Mullen also criticized the president earlier this week.
- In Washington, law enforcement officers from unknown parts of the government have refused to identify themselves or their agencies to reporters, adding to the chaos.
- Nationwide, last weekend's protests already seem to have caused an increase in Covid-19 cases, with many more expected over the next two weeks.
- Kevin Drum says the Republican Party must not just be defeated in November; it must be routed.
- Radley Balko says the raid that killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., was illegal—but there is almost no way to stop the police from doing something like that again.
- Architecture critic Bryan Lee Jr believes "America's cities were designed to oppress."
- In Columbus, Ohio, employees at a local taco chain quit when directed to fill orders for local police.
- In Chicago, local liquor store chain Binny's sustained damage at 11 of its 42 locations, but vows to reopen. Also, yesterday Governor Pritzker approved legislation allowing takeout cocktails from licensed restaurants.
- April 2020 saw the largest number of job losses of any month since 1939, and May will come in second.
- Finally, Bruce Schneier takes Zoom CEO Eric Yuan to task for the firm's latest security misstep.
Just another quiet week in 2020...
The most powerful man in the world threw a hissy fit yesterday when Twitter finally—finally!—slapped a misinformation warning on one of his lies:
President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened social media companies with new regulation or even shuttering a day after Twitter added fact checks to two of his tweets.
The president can’t unilaterally regulate or close the companies, which would require action by Congress or the Federal Communications Commission. But that didn't stop Trump from angrily issuing a strong warning.
Claiming tech giants “silence conservative voices,” Trump tweeted, “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.”
Trump and his campaign angrily lashed out Tuesday after Twitter added a warning phrase to two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted that “mail boxes will be robbed,” among other things. Under the tweets, there is now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a Twitter “moments” page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.
Trump replied on Twitter, accusing the platform of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election” and insisting that “as president, I will not allow this to happen.” His 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said Twitter’s “clear political bias” had led the campaign to pull “all our advertising from Twitter months ago.” Twitter has banned all political advertising since last November.
Since the only response that people of any intelligence should give this malarkey is laughter, I present to you the president's own words as lip-synced by comedian Sarah Cooper: