Cassie and I took a 33-minute walk at lunchtime and we'll take another half-hour or so before dinner as the temperature grazes 14°C this afternoon. Tomorrow and each day following will cool off a bit until Wednesday, the first official day of winter, which will return to normal.
- As every lawyer who paid attention predicted, Justice Clarence Thomas's (R) opinion in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen last summer articulated a Republican policy platform while providing absolutely no useful guidance.
- Jamelle Bouie points to that particular justice, along with his brother-in-arms Samuel Alito (R), as great reasons to institute term limits on the Supreme Court.
- Looks like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), plans to take his 5-seat majority out for a spin come January. Can't wait. (Remember, the Republican Party wants you to think the US Government is a joke. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!)
- Robert Wright reminds everyone that Ukraine's interests differ from those of the EU, NATO, and the US, which puts Ukrainian president Zelensky's behavior regarding the accidental missile detonation in Poland in context.
- Julia Ioffe reminds everyone that the Pentagon's and White House's strategies also differ from one another.
- Now that I've moved, I need to update my drivers license, which means finally getting a Real ID. I mean, other than my passport or passport card. (Oooo, maybe I can get a CAC?)
- Toronto gave up a few dozen parking spaces to make room for sidewalk cafes, only to discover that the restaurants made 49 times more money than the parking spaces.
- The US faces a critical shortage of bomb-sniffing dogs.
- Thousands of cranes have migrated through Chicago in the last few days, and wow, are they loud.
Finally, Amazon's ads really have gotten to the point where it's "a tacky strip mall filled with neon signs pointing you in all the wrong directions."
And in just a few hours, I will tuck into this:
I may run out of mason jars though...
Josh Barro explains the FTX collapse in simple terms:
[T]his is not a technology story, because FTX was not a technology company. Sure, FTX’s business relied on technology, but so do most businesses. FTX has an app; so does Fidelity, and so does Chipotle, and that doesn’t make them tech companies. FTX was a brokerage, and there were two things that set them apart from a regular brokerage. One is that they dealt principally in nonsense financial products with no underlying economic value, and the other is that the owners either lost or stole the customers’ money and then lied about their resulting insolvency.
Because cryptocurrency assets have no fundamental economic value — unlike stocks and bonds, they do not reflect a claim on the cash flows of some business creating real value in the economy — there can be no such thing as fundamentals-based investing in them. When people invest in crypto, they out themselves as marks for scammers who might believe any nonsense about what something is worth. And therefore it’s the least surprising thing in the world that someone would open up a crypto exchange, offer implausible interest rate terms in order to hoover up billions in customer deposits from the gullible masses, and then misappropriate the proceeds.
He also provides some rules of thumb for dealing with cryptocurrencies, the first being, "any crypto-related business is a scam." Quite so.
I mean, why? Just why?
- The XPOTUS, as predicted, announced his run for the 2024 election, despite looking like a total loser in the 2022 election. But narcissists gonna narcise.
- The Illinois Worker Rights Amendment passed, and will now become part of the state constitution. I think this will have a bunch of unintended consequences not beneficial to workers, so I voted against it. We're stuck with it now.
- Boomer Kathleen Parker spends her column today tut-tutting Boomers for not understanding Millennial jobs, picking "influencer" as just one example. I'm an X-er who completely understands "influencer" (i.e., children monetizing their own narcissism) and "change manager" (i.e., operations flunky) just fine, and suggests that the problem lies not with the Boomer parents but with the Boomer executives. (Longer post, maybe?)
- Pushwoosh, a Russian software company that writes spyware has pretended to be an American company, for reasons left as an exercise to the reader. About 8,000 apps use their stuff. As Bruce Schneier has said, supply-chain security is "an insurmountably hard problem."
- Bloomberg laments that "the wrong Americans are buying electric cars."
- Julia Ioffe cautions that Ukraine's re-taking of Kherson could lead to dangerous overreach as the war goes on—and a difficult diplomatic situation for the US.
Finally, the Missouri Department of Transportation proudly announced the 50th anniversary of their engineers killing downtown Kansas City, and the Internet let them have it.
I've had two parallel tasks today, one of them involving feeding 72 people on Saturday. The other one involved finishing a major feature for work. Both seem successful right now but need testing with real users.
Meanwhile, outside my little world:
- The XPOTUS seems to have backed himself into a corner by lying about "declassifying" things psychically, after the Special Master that he asked for called bullshit. Greg Sargent has thoughts.
- Pro Publica reported on Colorado's halfway-house system that sends more people back to prison than it rehabilitates.
- The Navy has begun its court-martial of Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays, accused of lighting the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard in 2020.
Finally, Ian Bogost (and I) laments the disappearance of the manual transmission.
It happens every September in the mid-latitudes: one day you've got over 13 hours of daylight and sunsets around 7:30, and two weeks later you wake up in twilight and the sun sets before dinnertime. In fact, Chicago loses 50 minutes of evening daylight and an hour-twenty overall from the 1st to the 30th. We get it all back in March, though. Can't wait.
Speaking of waiting:
Finally, Fareed Zakaria visited Kyiv, Ukraine, to learn the secret of the country's success against Russia.
Writing as a guest of James Fallows, former defense official Jan Lodal outlines how subparagraph (d) of the Espionage Act should be a slam-dunk in prosecuting the XPOTUS:
This paragraph makes a straightforward action a crime: namely, failing to return classified documents if properly directed to give them back. No proof of the level of classification, or the intentions of the document holder, or the content of the documents, is required. Just a simple question, did he or she give them back or not.
This section of the Espionage Act does not require that prosecutors access or cite individual documents to prove the crime. It requires only that there were any classified documents in the boxes that Trump did not return. On that there is no doubt. It was settled by the release of the Department of Justice (DoJ) Affidavit authorizing the Mar-A-Lago document seizure.
Trump’s violation of this Subparagraph (d) of the Espionage Act could not be clearer. Unlike all other crimes being considered for prosecution, Subsection (d) requires no probing of intent or consequence. It defines as criminal a clear process violation—“failing to return” classified documents when properly asked to do so.
Given our politics and our jury system, keeping the legal actions against Trump simple is better for now. Prosecution for other offenses after getting an initial conviction will then be more likely to succeed. DOJ should take this path to reduce the risk that obfuscation and assertions of inapplicable rights and privileges by a former president could override the fragile rule of law in our constitutional democracy.
Having watched the DOJ build its case, and knowing that Attorney General Merrick Garland takes things slowly and deliberately, I expect to see this charge sooner rather than later. But I also suspect that the DOJ wants to build the most comprehensive case it can. We'll see.
The Washington Post Fact Checker digs deep into the allegations of mishandling classified material against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and finds, nah, she good:
The Justice Department investigation of classified documents found at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club has brought inevitable comparisons to the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s private email server that she used while secretary of state. The FBI investigation into her emails arguably tipped the close 2016 presidential election to Trump.
During the contest between Trump and Clinton, we wrote 16 fact checks on the email issue, frequently awarding Pinocchios to Clinton for legalistic parsing. But in light of the Trump investigation, Clinton is trying to draw a distinction between Trump’s current travails and the probe that targeted her.
As shown in an FBI photo of some of the documents seized from Trump, many have clear markings indicating they contained highly sensitive classified information. Clinton, in her tweet, suggests none of her emails were marked classified. That’s technically correct. Whether those emails contained classified information was a major focus of the investigation, but a review of the recent investigations, including new information obtained by the Fact Checker, shows Clinton has good reason for making a distinction with Trump.
In other words, [two] State Department probes under Trump knocked Clinton for maintaining a private server for State Department communications — but did not hold her responsible for mishandling classified information.
Of course, all the Benghazi and email server hearings that Clinton had to endure had nothing at all to do with their subject matters, because the current Republican Party doesn't care at all about substance. Everything they do is performance, for political points. And they've been at that so long, in fact, that many Republicans can't fathom that the probe of the XPOTUS's mishandling of classified material has nothing to do with political points and everything to do with the damage that he did to national security.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the British National Anthem has changed back to "God Save the King" for the third time in 185 years. In other news:
By the way, the UK has a vacancy for the post of Prince of Wales, in case anyone would care to apply. I think we can bet on nepotism, though.
Longtime Daily Parker readers know that I always want my software deployments to be as boring as possible. Push some code, watch the automated continuous delivery pipeline whirr for a bit, and boom! Dev/test deployment done. If any part of the deployment fails in the pipeline, the deployment stops. I've spent a lot of time making it vanishingly unlikely that a bad deployment will succeed.
Cryptocurrency start-up OptiFi apparently had not learned this lesson before they locked themselves out of their entire $661,000 holdings:
OptiFi, a derivatives defi project, accidentally and permanently shut down the project smart contract, irretrievably locking up $661,000—the project's entire fund. A developer had been trying to push an update to the project, and ran into issues related to Solana network congestion (a recurring issue). While trying to clean up from a partially-executed transaction, the developer accidentally ran a command that closed the project's primary smart contract.
Oopsi. I hope they take some of their cash and invest in good DevOps management in future.
From around now through the middle of October, the days get noticeably shorter, with the sun setting 2 minutes earlier each day around the equinox. Fall is almost here—less than 8 days away, in fact. But that also means cooler weather, lower electricity bills (because of the cooler weather), and lots of rehearsals and performances.
Before any of that happens, though, I'll read these:
Finally, some ace developers at Hyundai secured one model's in-vehicle infotainment system with an encryption key published in a programming example in many online tutorials of how to use that particular kind of encryption.