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Comment Anything Facebook is right out if privacy matters (Score 3, Informative) 95

The article is informative, but alas, hardly surprising. I read Facebook's TOS recently when considering an account to connect with friends, and was extremely put off by their insistence on knowing *everything* about me, to the point where, if news reports are to be believed, they will buy data on subscribers from private aggregators to fill in their dossier. It is explicitly clear from their TOS that they reserve the right to snoop all the files on my PC and portable devices. "Fuggeddabouddit."

Comment Re: Trump is already a uniter (Score 1) 637

Even the URL contains the word "purports", which casts doubts on the accuracy, which is highly questionable based on the source of the video. The content of the highly-questionable video even explicitly says it was not about the 2016 election.

Comment Dear Rural America: (Score 1) 2837

Dear Rural America,

OK, we heard you loud and clear; you're hurting. You feel left out, left behind, and disenfranchised. You're drowning in the rising tide that didn't lift all boats after all, but swamped yours instead. Manufacturing, gone away across the border. Mining, gone away entirely. Farming, just a mega-conglomerate's game.

So in your anger and your pain, you followed a voice that promised to bring it all back, promised to break the system, and it appears that you didn't much care what happened after that. You sure showed them all! Now you've gotten your wish, and elected someone who will truly break the system. Congratulations.

Only, be careful what you wish for. The genie you've summoned out of that lamp doesn't really care what you need or want, and never did care about anything but Number One. There's no point in expecting him to act any differently now than he always has. When he breaks every promise, and the only interest he serves is self-interest, do not be surprised; it's only what he's been doing all along, and it hasn't exactly been a secret. There were certainly voices to warn you.

So, when the budget deficit explodes and that golden age doesn't come back; and trade wars raise prices, start another recession, and even more of your jobs are lost; and the rich just keep on getting richer from those tax cuts instead of creating jobs for you, while you keep on getting poorer; and the allies we've abandoned leave us in time of crisis in return for deserting them; and Russia and China take advantage of our international isolation to snatch territory and power; and ISIS turns out not to be such a pushover after all; and that wall in front of Mexico turns out to be a pointless waste of money; and your schools, Social Security, Medicare, food assistance, and social programs are all slashed to ribbons because we need all the money we have left just to buy more guns; and you can no longer afford even what little health care you once had; and you discover that in the end you're even worse off than before; then, my dear, foolish, gullible fellow citizens, you will no longer be able to blame "the system" and "Washington insiders" for the terrible mess that you helped create. It will be on you, who could have chosen more wisely but instead chose to be easily led to act against your own interests.

But on reflection, no; you'll probably go on blaming all of the usual scapegoats just like before. Perhaps we really do get the government we deserve; it's a terrible shame for us to deserve this one.

Comment Re: In unrelated news... (Score 1) 203

I'm not sure if you read the summary, but protestors lit a number of construction vehicles on fire, causing $2.5 million in damage.

IMO, once you start setting things on fire and breaking shit, you should be referred to as a "rioter", not a "protester". I'm not sure where the line is on that one, but a lot of recent "protests" have crossed it and no one seems to say anything about it.

Comment Re:10K, 100K, does't matter (Score 1) 203

I am very skeptical of snopes' conclusions on this one.

They reached no conclusion: the page says "Unproven", not "False". If they want to know if a police force is using an unlikely resource, who else can they contact but that police force? It's improbable that there ARE any other reliable sources.

Comment These folks obviously don't get out much. (Score 1) 66

Every time I read an article to the effect that researchers have discovered that some non-human creature has a capability previously believed to be unique to humans, I ask myself (and usually those around me) if these researchers have ever had a dog or cat, or closely watched squirrels, crows, goats, or any of a hundred other animal species. There is so much evidence of nonhuman sentience right there in front of us that it very nearly takes a conscious effort not to see it.

I wouldn't call squirrels intellectual giants, but if you assume sentience in, say, every vertebrate unless there's evidence to the contrary, you'll be right more often than not. Of course, this raises an interesting ethical dilemma for those of us who are omnivores, but pretending it isn't there doesn't make it go away. (For my part, I consider this is an argument for humane livestock practices.)

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