Peeling Apple for the CIA

March 11, 2015

Unhappy Mac

Oopsie. I guess this means the Geniuses at the local Apple Store will be taking turns pouring Coca-Cola, honey and kiddie porn into my iMac this morning.

[The Intercept] said it based its story on “top-secret” documents received directly from whistleblower Edward Snowden. It alleges Sandia researchers tried to find security flaws in Apple devices to open “backdoors” for surveillance of any device.

Thanks a lot, fellas. Now instead of a daily crash or three I’m gonna have to listen to this. And Dave’s not even here, man.

• Editor’s note: Hat tip to Steve O’ for flagging this first, in comments.

• Today’s Gratuitous Apple Joke: Early adopters, take note. If you like the Apple Watch, you’re going to love the Apple CockRing. It grabs you by the nuts and squeezes until you sign over your 401(k) & IRA to Cupertino.

Dear Iran. …

March 10, 2015
Otto would've made a great GOP senator, if Wanda had only stuck around to manage his media opportunities: "Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up. "

Otto would’ve made a great GOP senator, if Wanda had only stuck around to manage his media opportunities: “Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not ‘Every man for himself.’ And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up. “

I wonder how the GOP would have reacted if Harry Reid’s Senate had tried to sabotage sensitive negotiations with a hostile foreign power during the administration of Alfred E. “Worry” Bush.

I’m sure they’d have been OK with it. Right? Right.

Rotten Apple

March 9, 2015
Pardon the poor Photoshop job. I wasn't using it. Apple's Preview app works fine for basic photo editing, but not for extensive copyright violation in the name of cheap humor.

Pardon the poor Photoshop job. I wasn’t using it. Apple’s Preview app works fine for basic photo editing, but not for extensive copyright violation in the name of cheap humor.

You’ll excuse me if I’m not too excited about the Apple Watch and the latest, greatest MacBook.

The old iMac has been acting up the better part of quite some lately — a function, I believe, of the Mavericks “upgrade” I performed last year — and last week, after yet another spate of inexplicable freezes that I could not resolve via Safe Boot, Apple Hardware Test, Disk Utility, DiskWarrior, disconnecting external drives and/or monitors, and finally the deployment of chicken blood, rattles and incantations, I waved the white flag and dragged the doddering iBeast down to the local Apple Store for a chat with a Genius.

The Genius advised a “nuke and pave,” erasing the drive and installing a fresh copy of the OS. I had my doubts, having done way too much looking around online to believe that a solution would be so simple.

Still, I thought, I’m backed up all to be-damn, from Time Machine to SuperDuper!, two copies of each. Want to try Yosemite? Sure, why not? How much worse could it be? Let ‘er buck, cowboy.

So I dragged the iBeast back home with a nuked and paved HDD and a brand-new copy of Yosemite, and then let it sit overnight, to cure, or rest, or whatever. The next day, I booted it up and set about the onerous chore of configuring what amounted to a brand-new, 6-year-old computer.

Installing a new OS did not include fresh copies of the iWork and iLife suites. I didn’t want to drag over old files and applications from my backups, reasoning that if they had bugs, I’d be giving my New World Order a case of Old World pants rabbits. So I decided I’d use those drives as storage for now — sort of a Waste Isolation Pilot Project of bits and bytes — and downloaded fresh copies of Pages and iMovie for starters, plus a smallish OS update.

Word and Photoshop? Nah. Fuggem, I thought. Let’s keep this thing all Apple for now, see what transpires.

What transpired? Freezes. Just like before. One on Saturday, a second on Sunday and a third today.

Bloody exasperating, that is. Especially when you open Console to see a grinning octupus-dragon-man-thing wearing a “Think Different” T-shirt laughing at you and gibbering, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

So, no, thanks, I don’t need a skinny, $1,299 laptop with a shite camera and one oddball port that will require a backpack full of adapters. And I really don’t need a Dick Tracy watch, especially if it makes me look like a Dick Head.

I already know what time it is. It’s time to retire this iBox. And I’m not buying another one.

 

 

Meow mix

March 7, 2015
I think we're gonna need a bigger tower.

I think we’re gonna need a bigger tower.

‘Anywhere in the galaxy this is a nightmare’

March 5, 2015
"If you do not speak English I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues. Including TeaBaggese."

“If you do not speak English I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues. Including TeaBaggese.”

Now that The Hillinator has her own email server, can it be long before she teams up with AI for some tidily programmed press coverage?

Nah. She’s still got MeatBots for that. And it’s not like the coverage isn’t already robotic, on both sides of the political divide.

Those playing the butt-trumpet the most vigorously are on the right side of that chasm, natcho. Just wait until they find Zombie Vince Foster hosting a backup mail server code-named “Whitewater” in Benghazi!™

Laws a mercy!

March 4, 2015
The renowned political analyst Mister Boo tries to sniff out the sense of it all.

The renowned political analyst Mister Boo tries to sniff out the sense of it all.

I don’t envy the folks who have to make sense of today’s politics for the rest of us.

Maybe I’m just suffering a bit of tummy upset after having sipped from this poisoned well for way too many years, but I’m really getting sick of watching our “leaders” flail and squeal like over-sugared kindergartners who aren’t getting their way right this second.

When was the last time you saw a speaker of the House invite a foreign official to call the president a deluded pussy, for his own political purposes, before that august deliberative body?

When will the Clintonsand the Bushes — learn they’re not royalty, or even poor imitations of the Kennedys, and they don’t get to hide the family skeletons in an ermine closet in the Black Tower?

When will faux-populist, cash-hoovering whores like America Rising and Correct the Record be fed into shredders, or better yet, to the IRS, instead of being treated as authoritative sources and quoted in The New York Times? Incidentally, I notice that The Times’ love for false equivalency does not extend to mentioning that the Bush administration hid its emails too. Though they did get around to mentioning Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

When should intent trump ambiguity? Stop preening for the cameras, bozos, and give the bill another critical read before passing it. And don’t I wish the Second Amendment had enjoyed the tender attentions of a copy editor. We would have fewer, poorer lawyers.

It’s gonna be a long haul to 2016, folks. And you already know what the roads are like. So buckle up.

Snow more

March 1, 2015
Yeah, we don't got no more snow. Why do you ask?

Yeah, we don’t got no more snow. Why do you ask?

Snow fun

February 28, 2015
Yeah, we got a little snow. Why do you ask?

Yeah, we got a little snow. Why do you ask?

R.I.P., Leonard Nimoy

February 27, 2015
Mr. Spock, everyone's favorite green-blooded, pointy-eared freak.

Mr. Spock, everyone’s favorite green-blooded, pointy-eared freak.

Mr. Spock has beamed up for the final time.

My favorite quote so far comes from The Los Angeles Times: “My folks came to the U.S. as immigrants,” he said in a 2012 speech at Boston University. “They were aliens, and then became citizens. I was born in Boston a citizen, and then I went to Hollywood and became an alien.”

I don’t know about you, but I watched me a shitload of “Star Trek,” mostly in college, when I was supposed to have been getting one a them, whatchamacallit, edjimications.

Here's a little LLAP dance for you.

Here’s a little LLAP dance for you.

I could Name That Episode about a nanosecond into any one of them, which made me a hair slower than Ed the Beard, a total sci-fi geekazoid who christened his beater Step van “The Hawkwind.” We used it to deliver appliances rather than Michael Moorcock-inspired space rock.

Spock almost always had the snarkiest lines, which may be why I liked the character so much. Scotty and Bones were too excitable, and Kirk was a dickhead authority figure, so yeah, Spock.

When Edith Keeler asked what he was building, Spock replied, “I am endeavoring, ma’am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.”

Chatting about Tribbles with McCoy, who said they were “nice, they’re soft and they’re furry, and they make a pleasant sound,” Spock replied, “So would an ermine violin, Doctor, but I see no advantage in having one.”

Discussing Harcourt Fenton Mudd’s having skipped appointments with Bones, Spock noted: “It’s not at all surprising, Doctor. He’s probably terrified of your beads and rattles.”

Well, now he’s boldly gone where all men (and women) must go. We’ll miss him. Live long and prosper, the rest of yis.

Freedom!

February 27, 2015
The Sandias are barely visible this morning, which means the yeti can move about with impunity.

The Sandias are barely visible this morning, which means the yeti can move about with impunity.

We finally got a little snow here in Duke City — nothing like they’re getting back in Bibleburg, mind you, but still, it helps keep the cacti looking sharp.

Meanwhile, net neutrality, yay. Here’s a look at how digital liberty is working out for the Dutch. I’ll take that cellphone/broadband plan, Hans, but you can keep the Steven Seagal, thanks all the same.

And finally, The Boo took a dump this morning that looked just like Bill O’Reilly. Upon emerging, the turd signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Fox News based on an inspirational tale about how it had to fight its way out of a commie dog’s butt, in a snowstorm, to freedom.


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