Technology Archive

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Beware Of Trolls

Newsflash, internet trolls are horrible people.  Found a link to this article on MDA, definitely worth a read.

loser trolls

internet trolls

Internet Trolls Really Are Horrible People

Narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic.

        By
 The Internet is sadists’ playground.

In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.

That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).

It is hard to overplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.

In the study, trolls were identified in a variety of ways. One was by simply asking survey participants what they “enjoyed doing most” when on online comment sites, offering five options: “debating issues that are important to you,” “chatting with others,” “making new friends,” “trolling others,” and “other.” Here’s how different responses about these Internet commenting preferences matched up with responses to questions designed to identify Dark Tetrad traits:

E.E. Buckels et al, "Trolls just want to have fun," Personality
E.E. Buckels et al, “Trolls just want to have fun,” Personality and Individual Differences, 2014.

To be sure, only 5.6 percent of survey respondents actually specified that they enjoyed “trolling.” By contrast, 41.3 percent of Internet users were “non-commenters,” meaning they didn’t like engaging online at all. So trolls are, as has often been suspected, a minority of online commenters, and an even smaller minority of overall Internet users.

Chris Mooney is the author of The Republican War on Science and, with Sheril Kirshenbaum, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.

Remainder of Article HERE.

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Transhumanism: Would You?

I just watched Eminem’s new video for his song “Rap God.”  The song is ok (I do like the album overall) but I actually liked the video a lot; it included various 80′s references (Max Headroom) and some comic references.  Here it is below for those interested.

max headroom

But then I watched a video by Mark Dice.  For those that don’t know, he does those videos where he asks the hoi polloi to sign fake petitions for things like post birth abortion and Vladimir Lenin to take over for Obama.  I applaud him for showing us how stupid and gullible the typical mouthbreather really is.  Sometimes he can’t even keep a straight face when dealing with the average American, i.e. moron.

He posted this video regarding “Rap God.”  He obviously doesn’t like Eminem’s music which is fair and then goes into the satanic/illuminati messages and ideas regarding technological singularity/transhumanism (the combining of the human body with technology).

Eminem is talking about being a “Rap God” and he is portrayed as doing this by being hooked up to hard drives and uploading everything to his brain.  I guess so he can have a better vocabulary to rhyme with.  To be the god of Rap doesn’t seem to be all that important in really, personally I would much rather roll like Poseidon and rule the Sea.

The human brain is not much different than a computer with a hard drive, processors etc.  How can the limitations of the human brain and body be exceeded?  We use computers and the internet on a daily basis (I am using it to write this right now) but that interaction has physical limitations.  What if we were directly connected to said machines?  One of the best way to look into the future regarding science and technology is to look at science fiction.  Much of what will become reality tomorrow was an idea that was fiction today.

I think of beings such as the “Observers” in Fringe who were actually humans who could experience time in a non-liner fashion due to their enhancements.  Even though they have god-like abilities, they still wreck their planet (a future Earth) and become tyrants in the present day/near future.  They travel back in the hopes of survival and building a new world in the past.  But they are cold, oppressive, murderous and bald (they have a lot in common with politicians) because their calculations/models tell them this is the way to survive.  One of the main characters, Peter, obtains a piece of their tech and has it implanted in himself.  His abilities increase but his humanity, morality and judgement start disappear.

peter bishop observer implant

observers

Are they wall street bankers, politicians or oppressive time-traveling techonoloically enhanced humans from the future?
Your guess is as good as mine…

There is also Robocop who is what many think of when picturing a cyborg.  A human consciousness within a robot.  Here the brain is enhanced and limited at the same time.  The enhancements include interfacing with computers directly and all the data they can provide along with the physical strength and speed of a robot.  The limits were to disregard the human’s morality and judgment so they could simply follow orders like a good Nazi soldier.  In the original the human part of the being must override the robotic part to overcome his government/criminal/corporate owners (doesn’t sound too far fetched IMO).

robocop old robocop new

Blade Runner, Terminator, Almost Human all deal with robots/androids that are self-aware and beg the question of what makes someone human.  Is it our bodies stuffed full of diet soda and McShits or is it our consciousness that makes us people?

fatties eating micky d's tears in the rain

All these examples play into the tug of war between technological enhancements vs our humanity.  An important limitation of machines is that they only know what they are told.  One thing that needs to be made clear would be that in regards to transhumanism one would not know everything, they would simply have access to all that is known.  The unknown would still be invisible until it is discovered.  The creative human mind is what allows the unknown to enter the realm of the known.

Would technological advancements actually require us to be less “human”?  I’m not so sure.

I pose the question, would you meld yourself with technology.  I can’t say definitively whether I would or wouldn’t if given the opportunity.
When I picture what it could be I want to envision a utopian possibility designed by Ray Kurzweil himself but instead I picture this as a more likely outcome…

everyone texting

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Tap It

nsa the only part that listens

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Tom Clancy

tom clancy

Tom Clancy died yesterday; a truly great writer of fiction and non-fiction has been lost. People my age have grown up not only reading his novels but we have also seen the movies made about them as well as some outstanding videogames based on a universe Tom Clancy created.

tom clancy's

I still remember playing Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell on my originial XBox and being blown away, it was a truly outstanding achievement of story telling, realism and technical prowess for its time.

splinter cellsam fisher

He understood the system better than most.

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.”
Tom Clancy

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Obama Says “No more locked phones!”

Every now and again we are all tempted by the dark side, and if there was ever a temptation for me this would be it. I am a tech guy through and through, and I work in the mobile industry. So I can’t say I would mind if every mobile carrier allowed us to both unlock and use unlocked devices on their networks, or even better so do it for us. After all, these devices are ours, we pay for them … over and over again.

But I am torn, as much as I’d like to believe that this is a “good idea”, I’m not convinced that this falls within the powers we have granted the government. While the device I am using is mine, the network is still owned by the carrier, and what they say goes … for now. But I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than further intrusion into private industry.

As nerds rejoice all over the interwebz, I have to point out that if you are currently with a provider that does not allow for unlocked phones on their network YOU CAN LEAVE! There are alternative providers out there that already allow for this, T-Mobile’s “Straight Talk” allows you to BYOD (bring your own device). As does Net10, Metro PCS, and many others. If people were really that upset, and wanted this option they would move to a carrier that allowed it. That’s kinda how the free market is supposed to work.

-LG

 

Phone unlocking to be ‘expeditious and transparent,’ while not affecting service contracts

The Obama administration, by way of the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), today officially petitioned the FCC to voice its opinion that carriers should be required unlock customer’s phones. The petition cuts right to the point, stating that US consumers should be able to request that their phone, tablet or other device be unlocked — and have it done free of charge and with no strings attached.

“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle.”

Said NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling, going further to say that the burden of handling unlocking should be put on the carrier, not the users, and that the process should be “expeditious and transparent.” A Library of Congress decision regarding the DMCA took the ability for consumers to legally unlock their phones last year, and this petition hopes to secure these rights outside of that act.

The NTIA claims that carriers have plenty of mechanisms for keeping customers on their networks and following their rules, regardless of ability to unlock a handset and take it to a competitor. And we can likely all agree that this is the case, as unlocking a phone doesn’t change the fact that you may still be in a service contract with that carrier.

Although this is a great step in the direction of consumers having control over their devices, it’s up to the FCC to create the framework for this to happen. The NTIA is hoping to get the ball rolling though, stating:

“The petition requests that the FCC immediately initiate the process of setting rules that protect Americans’ investments in mobile devices by allowing them to use their equipment with any compatible network.”

The Obama administration has seemed to stay on the side of consumers with previous statements on this matter, but we have to hope that the FCC can set a strong framework to make sure carriers not only are required to unlock phones but are also held accountable for following the laws. As we all know,carriers don’t always follow through on FCC requirements to be open with devices.

Source: Washington PostNTIA

Original Story Here

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Ultra HD Teevee

Kudos, awesome prank.

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NSA Copyright Infringement?

Ben Swann with an interesting story of how much govt hypocrisy is rampant.

Visit Ben Swann’s site HERE.

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Lego + Marvel = Awesome + Adorable

I think this game looks hilarious, fun and adorable at the same time.  I’ve played some of the Lego games before and they are typically simple but a pretty good time.

hulk smashlego deadpool

This one looks like it could be a lot of fun, especially if you can design your our team-ups with all the available characters.

And when watching the trailer below, be sure to watch to the very end.

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Combat Data Collection with Childishness

NSA, CIA, CVS, FB, HULU, and a whole host of other acronyms are dead set on collecting and selling information about your life. If you’re thinking right now, “wwhhhhaaaaat, the government doesn’t sell our info”, I won’t insult you, your mind may be too frail to take the abuse anyway.

 

Many people such as myself take issue with this, but I don’t intend to discuss the merits as to why or why not this is actually a problem. Rather I’d like to offer a few suggestions to those like minded individuals who abhor this type of behavior. Before I delve into my bullet pointed list (things look official when you use bullet points), there is one behavioral aspect you will need to be comfortable with before implementing any of them and that is childishness.

 

My reasoning for this is simple, acting in a childish manner makes you unpredictable. Unpredictability is good, mix with a little misdirection and you have the F you recipe for those who want to profit by collecting your info. Here are some examples:

 

  • Hulu – I personally pay for this service, which makes the collection of my personal usage data even more infuriating (yes, I know I agreed to the terms of service). If this bothers you as well here are a few things I do to at least make me feel like I am fighting back a little.

    • If you’ve watched anything on Hulu lately you may have noticed they now give you a choice as to which advertisement you would like to watch. When presented with this option I make a point to pick the things I am least likely to purchase or use. I tend to lean toward feminine products, cleaning supplies, and credit cards, none of which do I have any use for.

    • Watch shows you hate … well not really, you don’t have to watch them just start a show that you can’t stand, put your computer on mute and shut off the screen. I let it run until it times out, yay Hulu now thinks I love Ally McBeal … mission accomplished.

    • Never rate, share, or comment on anything unless you do so sarcastically. Don’t worry, your real friends will know you were just being cheeky when you made Duck Dynasty one of your favorites … but Hulu won’t.

  • Amazon – I like shopping on Amazon, I honestly do, but it really grinds my gears when I log in and it suggests products for me, asks me for reviews, or to take surveys.

    • Obviously surveys are easy enough to give crap answers to, but you need to be consistent. They love to ask the same question in different ways, so pay a little attention and provide consistently crappy info.

    • Create ridiculous “Wish Lists”, pick things you would never in a million years want, and put them in your wish list. A fifty pound bag of coarse sand to rub in Woodhouse’s eyes … sure why not, a segway? hell yeah they rock, any Apple product ever made? throw it in the wish list. Amazon now believes you actually want these things, well played playa.

    • One thing I do not screw around on are product and store reviews. Here I am completely 100% honest and tell it like it is. This is for two reasons, first my review (good or bad) may actually help another customer like me. Second, leaving a shitty review for a store or product which is disingenuous only hurts that retailer and I’m not out to screw with the little guy.

 

  • NSA – clearly this is a dangerous one, but this list wouldn’t be complete without a few simple suggestions on how to deal with being constantly monitored.

      • Conversations – Since you are being listened to anyway, start out every other conversation with the phrase “The NSA is listening, lets use code 12b”. Then continue to have a normal conversation. It makes me smirk every time I think about some NSA goon trying to decypher a cryptic code in my conversations when there is none. Kind of like “A Beautiful Mind”, oh crap don’t do this, you may give NSA agents schizophrenia.

      • Texting – every now and then I send a “coded” text message to a random number I pick out of a hat. It all means nothing, but like the new HTC commercial with Tony Sta … I mean Robert Downy Jr., when I send “MMA TMNT TBD” it could mean anything or it could mean “Meet Me At The Mall Next To The Big Dumpster”.

    • Find other ways to communicate – Not a novel idea by any means, but something to consider. I used to love playing on the CB radio as a child, and there are a plethora of “walky talky” apps out there for smart phones like Voxer. Just remember to do your research, look through the permissions the app needs when installing it to your device, and note if your messages are being stored in the cloud. I will do more research into this and give some “safe” examples in a future post.

 

  • SuperMarkets/Drug Stores – if you were not aware that most if not all stores who offer a “discount” card, record your purchases and sell that info, well now you are. Some people argue that it is just the price of using the card and saving money. I am not in that camp, and while I don’t have many of these discount cards the ones I do have have the following characteristics.

    • None are in my real name, or bear my real address. Cody Fakertin, and Dominic Nonamebro are some of my favorite aliases.

    • They are used rarely, I avoid these things so much I usually forget I have them.

    • When they are used, I will often pick up a few items I do not need, just to return them a few days later. Why? Just to skew the numbers a bit more, I will admit I do not do this often, but it makes me smile when I do.

  • FaceBook – just stop using it, there is no punchline here, seriously grow up.

In conclusion, is what I would say here if I was using this as a speech, which I will actually be doing next week at my friends wedding as his best man. I was told not to embarrass him with awkward stories of times long past, so I will embarrass him by putting no effort in, and just reading what I wrote for this article, and yes his wedding gift is going to be a CVS discount card under the name “R. U. EmbarrassedBro”. Remember at the beginning I said this would be childish, challenge completed.

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So I Am Not A “Journalist” Says Sen Feinstein

Per tw-unt bag Feinstein’s definition of “journalist”, your friendly neighborhood bloggers (the likes of me and many others) trying to spread truth don’t count and won’t be provided the “protections” granted by the guv-thugs to so-called real “journalists.” 

feinstein is evil mr burns

This is funny (tragic funny, not so much ‘ha-ha’ funny) for many reasons:

1. Because the 1st Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It doesnt’ say anything about being a “licensed” journalist or drawing a salary.

2. The protection needed for whistleblowers, journalists and truth-tellers is from the very cocksuckers trying to get this law passed.  It can’t get any more ironic!!!

I don’t consider myself a journalist but that is irrelevant; I am simply doing my part to help spread the truth about the evils of the state and it’s acts of corruption and agression; it is supposed to protect my right of free speech, not be the largest suppressor of it.  The truth is the guv-thugs want to be able to intimidate, threaten, violate, assault imprison and murder anyone that defies their decrees.  One way to do it is to only protect the rights of certain club members while only dispensing clubhouse keys to those who’ll play ball.

Here are some real journalists:

fux and friends morning smoe

Maybe I need to start an LLC called The Strangest Brew, create a board of directors (me, Locke and Less Grossman) that pays each of us $0.01 per year salary.  Does that satisfy the statists?

Hey Feinstein:

bitch kill yourself

 Do it for the good of the world.

Sen. Feinstein During ‘Shield’ Law Debate: ‘Real’ Journalists Draw Salaries

from the protection-based-on-exclusivity…-what-a-wonderful-idea dept

Legislators are still trying to put together a national “shield” law for journalists (this is the third such effort at a national level) and, as usual, are bogged down in a semantic debate about who should qualify for these protections. Despite “freedom of the press” being hardwired into the system and the fact that a government effort to protect journalists from its own actions (seeking to identify whistleblowers and sources in order to punish them or shut them up) lies somewhere between “ironic” and “disingenuous,” the pursuit of a credible “shield” law continues. The bill’s definition of “journalist” seems straightforward enough.

The bill defines a journalist as a person who has a “primary intent to investigate events and procure material” in order to inform the public by regularly gathering information through interviews and observations.

It also adds this stipulation, which is a bit more troublesome.

The person also must intend to report on the news at the start of obtaining any protected information and must plan to publish that news.

I can see this stipulation working against whoever the government feels is worthy of the title “journalist.” News develops. It seldom has a distinct starting point. Of course, if someone is a journalist, it stands to reason that they’re always “planning” to publish their findings. But that might be a lot harder to prove when the government starts slinging subpoenas. If someone sends a tip to a journalist, it may not be immediately evident that it is newsworthy. It might be some time before it’s determined to be important, newsworthy and its source in need of protection. It’s a strange stipulation and one that seems to poke some compromising holes in the “shield.” But onto the “who’s really a journalist” argument. Some elected officials feel the language in the bill isn’t specific enough. One in particular, Dianne Feinstein, repeated the stupid but inevitable phrase that always accompanies discussions related to shield laws:

Feinstein suggested that the definition comprise only journalists who make salaries, saying it should be applied just to “real reporters.”

This is nothing new for Feinstein, who’s (along with Sen. Dick Durbin) previously made the argument that acts of journalism can only be performed by major news agencies, cutting everyone else out of the protective loop. This is a protective move based partially on ignorance and partially on the reality that major news networks are easier to control, seeing as most aren’t willing to give up access to the Beltway by pissing off its residents. Sadly, this sort of reactionary ignorance isn’t limited solely to government representatives. This same sort of statement has been made by published authors to demean the self-published and by old school journalists to demean bloggers, serial Tweeters and pretty much everyone not associated with a sinking masthead. Whenever someone assumes they’re capable of determining who is or isn’t a real whatever, they’re usually speaking from a position of privilege, one that can only be maintained as long as the status remains quo. The same goes for government officials arguing over the definition of “journalist.” It’s someone who performs the act of journalism. It’s as simple as that. But if you accept this definition, then you put the government at a greater “risk” of not being able to pursue and punish those who expose its wrongdoing. Feinstein makes this governmental fear explicit in another comment.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wondered whether it could be used to provide protections to employees of WikiLeaks, an organization that allows anonymous sources to leak information to the public. “I’m concerned this would provide special privilege to those who are not reporters at all,” she said.

Two things to note: One, the government would hate to see people like Snowden or Manning go unpunished because someone at Wikileaks was able to deflect subpoenas and court orders with these protections. Second, this isn’t just a government push — the news industry itself has expressed a willingness to sacrifice Wikileaks in order to expedite passage of a shield law. It seems rather unlikely the government would extend this protection to entities like Wikileaks (especially not with major news agencies on board with selling out Wikileaks, etc.), but at least Sen. Schumer pointed out that Feinstein’s belief that “real” equals “drawing a salary” was a very ignorant take on the current reality.

“The world has changed. We’re very careful in this bill to distinguish journalists from those who shouldn’t be protected, WikiLeaks and all those, and we’ve ensured that,” Schumer said. “But there are people who write and do real journalism, in different ways than we’re used to. They should not be excluded from this bill.”

If this bill is ever going to provide real protection for journalists, it will first have to recognize that journalism isn’t defined by the journalist’s employer, paycheck or association with a large media company. It’s an act and it can be performed by nearly anyone. More importantly, the bill should be equally as concerned with building in strong consequences for government actions that undermine this protection. Without these, entities like the DOJ will hardly be dissuaded from using “unofficial channels” to seize phone records or trace email conversations in order to hunt down protected sources.

Original HERE.

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