Internet Of Things Open Thread

Is this the kind of world you want to live in?


For yes or for no, discuss.


I'll get the ball rolling with this: After 20 years in tech, I'm feeling itchy to get myself an old rotary dial phone and throw all the silicon junk away. This crap is not what I had in mind.



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Since I trash Obama all the time


let me say I appreciate his decision not to have the DoJ challenge state MJ laws. 


He would've been well w/in legal bounds to enforce federal drug laws had he so chosen, so I appreciate the policy.

Putin is ridiculous.

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

If I Was A Russian Entrepreneur. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I'd be trying to corner the polonium market right now with the knowledge that I'd always have a steady client as long as Putin is in public life. The man is vindictive enough to make Khan look like a wimpy version of Jesus.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Of Course, Putin So Far is Just Correct....


...I am still waiting to see some proof...I'm an easy guy, but so far all I've seen is...McCain and Graham and Kerry want to start killing people in Syria...which is Okay, I like war as much as the next person, but show me why....I mean I'm still not there.


As are not the Russians:


MOSCOW -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of applying a double standard in its approach to Syria and said its evidence that President Bashar Assad's regime used chemical weapons is unconvincing.

“It is very odd to hear … my good friend, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry, claiming that the U.S. side presented Russians with irrefutable evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria,” Lavrov told students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Monday. “We were shown some data which contained nothing concrete: neither geographical coordinates, nor names nor proof that the probes were taken by professionals.”



So you can make all the fun of Putin you want...but so far he seems to be the smartest man in the room. If you have better proof, put up, or....well we know how the phrase goes.


Best Wishes, Traveller



Putin doesn't look bad in the slip,  but Medvedev needs to shave if he wants to pose in lingerie.

OT of War...buying my Brother a Birthday Card: Morning Streets


Fmr. Sen. George Mitchell and The Minnesota Orchestra


The MN Orchestra Board, basically run by a couple of bankers at Wells Fargo and US Bank, have decided to ignore mediator George Mitchell, who the board itself selected to mediate the musician lockout.

Hey, does everyone know what a katydid is?


I've got one of those maddening bast##ds less than a foot from my head as I type. Made me have thoughts about the environment as I was pouring anti-freeze in the paving joints in my driveway. Seriously, has anyone ever installed a cistern or any other sort of rainwater catchment? If so, have you found it to be worthwhile and do you have any suggestions. I've got the worst of both worlds. I am in the city so I pay for water. My property line is the city limit and the grade of my property means all runoff ends up in forested land and ultimately the Cape Fear River. Has anyone found rainwater catchments to be financially worthwhile and environmentally worthwhile?>

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

The US economy is picking up


I'm happy to have been likely wrong on the pessimistic side about growth this year. 


Q2 growth was revised up to 2.5%, in large part for one of the best reasons possible: increased exports (amid decreased imports).


And growth may be picking up further.


We're still in disappointing trend growth territory, given that the US should be well above trend growth after a deep recession -- Dean Baker notes that at the Q2 growth rate it would take about 40 years to close the output gap from the last recession.


On the other hand, if the fall improves on the summer we should start seeing some decent monthly job reports.

As you know, Bob, first-time


unemployment claims are down to where they were in 2007. That seems to me to indicate that job numbers should be more robust in the fall--and I suspect that the Spring numbers that were revised down for July will probably be revised up again in the near future.


Given that after ARRA money ran out it's more or less been up to monetary tools from the Fed (and the Banks of England and Japan), what recovery that we have is impressive.

I Was in Trial Today (straight blog entry)


...and matters went very well; I could remember my evidence code objections and supporting cites and, more importantly, the reasoning.  Introduction of evidence went well and smoothly also....


Well enough that we settled during a break.


I worry about being foggy, as do my Doctors, from my brain meds. I layered on top a sleeping pill last night, (I had to sleep...not doing many trials lately...understandably pretty anxious), and then layered on a Xanax this morning.


It was good I could think at


I am already not very good at this stuff anyhow....I am a terrific lawyer, just not the best technical or most adept at the complexities of the law...but I am good at right and wrong and equity.


Still, I am very happy to have this off my head, out of my mind.


Another one down, just a few to go.


Best Wishes, Traveller

A few to go?


Are you going to retire?

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

MA, Sorry I Haven't Answered...But, Often I Just Knock Out...



...I am gone for a bunch of hours, asleep on my living room floor this time.


When this started on October 12, 2012, I swore and promised that I would kill myself if I weren't better in a year. My anniversary is coming up but I'm not killing myself.


After 3 months in bed on ineffective anti-virals, 8 months in pain re-hab, a couple of month worry at the City of Hope Cancer Center because my my WBC was just through the roof, but I am better, vastly better, though I remain on high doses anti-convulsives that put my brain down fairly badly. (there is nothing like sitting in the City of Hope waiting to go over your most recent blood draw with your oncologist...the greatest people in the world are at City of Hope...I am fine but humbled by the work they do).


I have been closing the practice as quickly as I can, but most of my clients are too poor, their problems too intractable for any self respecting attorney to accept. I couldn't abandon them even if it killed me; but things are winding down.


What am I going to do? I think another 6 months, maybe a year, I will be functional. Currently I can't go out to dinner, but I can see a movie once a month or so. I can't travel, but eventually I will be able to.


What am I going to do?


It is a catholic concept, but a man earns his way in this world though good works, or, at least good efforts.


But thirty plus years of flogging myself for the poor, the confused, the helpless into finally a complete physical breakdown, a vanished immune system, am I going to continue this after I slowly recover some strength?


Do I want to devote myself to making money? What for? Just pleasure myself and do what I want?


I may not believe in God, but God will not be happy if I do that.


So I don't know what I am going to do...not a clue.


Sorry, I wish I had a better answer.


Best Wishes, Traveller



The Best Of Luck To You


When you recover some strength, you will know what to do. No point in thinking about that now. But it's a big world. I'm sure you'll come up with something.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Trav, I'm sorry to hear this.


You've long been one of my favorite commenters here and I've always looked forward to hearing your life stories and your take on this mess we find ourselves in.

Here's wishing for the best.

Thanks, Interestingly, (Oddly), there is Substantial Good...


...truly, I appreciate every good moment...really, food, friendship, everything is precious. I may have been a little contemptuous of my very good fortune in life...complaining about this or that minor, in retrospect, misfortune.


In re-hab, I clearly see how very damned fortunate I am right now. Pifft, I can work, more or less, I have friends, a home, some money....I mean, really, I am lucky beyond even good luck.


As my re-hab Doc commented recently, " can sleep in a bed now, you can can put a blanket over your body, (one of the great weirdness of this has been that I have had to sleep naked and on a specially constructed couch so I don't move or shift to my right side when I sleep; over time this has made me feel very vulnerable, no blanket, just exposed), you haven't been with me even a year, your Neurontin med is non-narcotic, you can take it the rest of your life. You tell me you are less foggy, and this is important for your work, I understand, I have people that have been with me for years...Nerve damage is very long term. You are doing well."


I would not even be mentioning this if I were not seriously on the mend...I Am doing well. I am happy...


These are no small gifts.


Thanks for the good thoughts for me.


Best Wishes, Traveller

Best of luck, Trav


Sometimes muddling through is enough.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Dumbest op-ed of the week, maybe the month

Bird Dog's picture

You're a bad person if you send your kids to private school. An example of the "you're not just wrong, you're evil!!!" liberal left-wing malady, not to mention generous helpings of incoherence and logical shortcomings.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Month? IIRC, Nope (I think it was about a week ago)

brutusettu's picture

WSJ pretended once again passively pretended that the Federal Income Tax was the only tax levied by any government entity in the US and the WSJ built their fantasy argument around that premise.

By Her Logic. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .we should all share dirty needles until we catch AIDS, to properly motivate us to seek a cure. As with the crowd who advocates the gradual natural extinction of the human race via failure to breed, my response is: "You go ahead and do that--we'll follow after you in due course. Honest."

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Tracking emotions isn't much


compared to what these guys are doing.  

"There’s no possible way the technology that we have could be used on a person unknowingly or without their willing participation."

They're moving someone's hands involuntarily using a second person's brain,  connected using skullcaps and the Internet. 

The Few And The Many

M Scott Eiland's picture

Some few great MLB pitching prospects overcome early injury issues, and become legends. Far more fail to pass this early test, and fade into obscurity to the sound of sad murmuring about what might have been. Time will tell what path Matt Harvey will follow.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Nyoos, a link and video for you


swr0d pr0n


I lasted until the fuller got hammered then I just had to have a cigarette.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Skip to 8:05, NSFW or Anything, Our Allies killing Truck Drivers


....on the road to Damascus.


This is who we want to arm?


I'm sorry, I hate everybody that guns down unarmed is a general rule of mine.


Sometimes I wonder if the United States isn't just the Cat's Paw of Saudi Arabia....just always doing their bidding.



Best Wishes, Traveller

That Video Raises Many Questions


I wish I knew Arabic.


Oh man, it's been removed by YouTube on violence grounds! That's insane. The sanitized Internet.


Anyway, the video is odd in many ways. Here is what it shows, in high quality, tack sharp, daylight images.


  • A convoy of rebels on 4x4 pickup trucks is seen assembling and heading for a location, in broad daylight. The land is flat to slightly rolling. They would be trivial targets to aircraft of any kind.
  • They reach a four lane highway on totally flat land, and set up a roadblock / checkpoint. It appears to be morning (shadows become shorter as the video progresses). The highway is in excellent shape, with road markings, etc. There is an overpass nearby.
  • They wave three trucks to a stop, tell the drivers to get off. The drivers are assembled on the side of one truck. All the trucks have flatbed trailers with no cargo, and look fairly new.
  • The truck drivers are early middle age, and though not clean shaven they have no beards.
  • The main questioner has a large dark beard and traditional dress. He has an assault rifle and a combat vest with ammo and so on. The beard tells me he is almost certainly very religious.
  • He talks to the truckers for quite some time. The truckers gesture as if explaining what they are doing there. They seem to believe they will be let go after a while. They show documents. They are not relaxed but not worried for their lives.
  • They are told to sit next to the truck.
  • Time passes (fades in the video edit indicate this, and the shadow next to the truck gets noticeably smaller after each cut).
  • More chatting happens, back and forth. Possibly an hour has gone by since they were stopped, or more.
  • At some point the bearded man tells them to go to the median. Some others gather around. The three drivers are told to sit with their backs to the gunman. They are now being treated poorly, and one man tries to turn but is grabbed by his clothing and set back into place.
  • The bearded man shoots them in the back at close range on full auto and then again to the head of each when they are dying on the ground. This is shown from two cameras, one far and one near, with multiple cuts between them.
  • The truck cabs are set fire, the rebels leave. A final shot shows the convoy heading back to wherever it came from. The video closes with an image of a black flag with Arabic lettering, waving in the wind on some hill.


  • What is this?
  • Is this supposed to be a propaganda film for the rebels?
  • Do they believe that they will get support or recruit people by showing how they shoot unarmed civilians in the back and vandalize trucks? The only thing less heroic than that is to kill people using drones.
  • Is such a belief warranted? Are they proud of this? Really?
  • Why can they operate for hours in broad daylight on a well-maintained highway, at a road crossing no less? Does Syria have no air power left? Do they not patrol main roads, even by air?

I honestly don't get this. It's so damning you'd think it's an psyop misinformation video. Yet it looks totally real. There is nothing overacted. No truck drivers pleading for mercy. If this is representative of rebel mindset, I'd want to bomb them, not the government forces.


Like I said, I wish I knew Arabic. What I do know is that I know nothing about Syria. And I certainly know nothing that would lead me to support military intervention.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I Was In touch With an Arabic Speaker On This Video...


...but only briefly.


It is what you describe so cleanly. The Arabic speaker confirmed this to me...(assuming he was telling the truth).


Chillingly, his argument was that the truck drivers were Kifer (sp?) unbelievers, apostates, though I argued they were Muslim and he seemed to agree.


They were eventually killed because their answers to religious questions were wrong (!?!), espc the guy in the yellow (ish) shirt. And because they had delivered war materials to Asad, though the truck drivers argued no...(machine parts?).


In any case, my Arabic speaker thought the killing entirely justified.


Best Wishes, Traveller

I E-mailed both my congressman and the WH


this weekend to say that intervening on behalf of al Nusra is a terrible idea. No, they probably won't get read by humans, but even if the algorithms show an uptick in e-mails saying not to get involved in Syria that'll be something.

This article


"Israel estimates US will attack in Syria" has me worried,  although Israeli newspapers do tend to jump the gun sometimes.

One of Obama's bigger mistakes was announcing that chemical weapons were an automatic redline that would trigger US intervention.  Now rebel groups,  each operating independently,  have a strong incentive to make it look like chemicals were used.  Since they're fighting among themselves, if one faction uses them against another, they can get rid of some rivals and bring in the US against Assad at the same time.

My Answer is: No!


That was my immediate response on seeing your question "Is this the kind of world you want to live in?" before hovering over the link to see the particular thing you were asking about.

The thing old fashioned rotary phone and the technological changes between say, 1980 and 1995 is that what we got were improved tools that we were in charge of. But with the ubiquitous cell phones, laptops, etc., around people and with people constantly, we are finding ourselves being in a constantly batter to establish and maintain control of our own lives. Now Google wants a window into our emotions. Lovely.

The 24/7 world of constant engagement and intrustions not good for people. The supposedly cool, totally plugged-in world and totally plugged-in persona that many people like to present as their real selves to the outside world. We were not meant for it. It reduces and robs us of many things that contrbute to making a person mentally, physically and spiritually balanced and healthy.

Boundaries are a necessary for us to function as as individuals and for all of us individuals to function and contribute within our circle of friends and family members. Our communities and our nation won't thrive if most of us are overworked, harried and too stuck to our gizmos to maintain human relationships.

As for Google's attempts to track our emotions, I'd say they are pretty far along the road leading to backlash. They'd better retrace their steps, as should all the other people thinking along the same lines.

What seems like fun on a screen or in a work of fiction is sometime quite the opposite in real life.

Now having said all that, notice that I am up at 4:25A and typing away on a computer screen.

There is no elimination of technology. There can be and must be containment of its take over of our lives, and how people in power (bosses, companies) use it to force people to hand over their time and privacy to them.

Too many of us are in danger of learning to prefer things over people.

Sacramento Mountains


in southern New Mexico.   There's a huge region w/o cell phone coverage.  Not a complete wilderness, either, there are towns with stores, post offices, etc but no one using a cell phone.


We try to spend 2 weeks a year there.  Of course two people in a cabin with no outside contact has some well-known problems also.

Interesting remark


by Thoreau at Unqualified Offerings:

....Gitmo detainees on hunger strike were only force-fed between sunset and sunrise during Ramadan, to comply with religious restrictions.  You know, it’s great to be sensitive to a prisoner’s religious views, but maybe the more important issue is that these guys are in a gulag without any hope of a trial or release.  We live in this strange era where we have found a way to reconcile certain forms of cultural liberalism with a fairly brutal system.

“Yeah, we’ve got a gulag, but the force-feedings are only done at night during religious holidays!  And the liquid diet is halal!”

“Yeah, we bail out banks and let them get away with fraud, but their HR departments are very serious about diversity in recruiting!”

“Yeah, we locked up a whistleblower, but we’ll campaign to make sure she gets hormone therapy in prison!”

“Yeah, we do drone strikes, but we allow gay servicemen and servicewomen to pilot those drones!”

It’s progress, of some sort, but it nonetheless feels like a type of co-option.

Eeyn, have you seen Balko's latest on HuffPo?


Nofurther comment except to say further comment.



In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Had to stop reading The Agitator


several months ago.   Seriously.  I was getting unreasonably angry to the point of hearing my own pulse in my ears and decided that in the 50's that's not a good idea.   Actually,  maybe uselessly angry is the right word,  I think it wasn't unreasonable.

That's a shame that you stopped reading The Agitator


but if it's for your health then I support your decision.  IMHO, Balko is the best representation for libertarianism that I've come across.  He's simply on the money firstest, bestest with the mostest than anyone else I've read.  If you have better suggested reading then I would hear of this and perhaps visitate their site.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"One of every 13 adults in America is a war veteran"

mmghosh's picture

this is from the comments.


That is just...amazing.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I saw that comment, Mmgosh


That would mean that the US has 22 million combat veterans.  I think that's a bit high.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Probably meant served in the forces, not necessarily combat

mmghosh's picture

veterans.  But that would mean support services, and there are probably many more than 22 million.  Factor in manufacturing, logistics etc, and that would mean many more people are at handshaking distance from veterans.


What I find amazing is that a people can still not be counted as successful unless they are good at military stuff.  All successful nations still have to be good at the military stuff, or can afford to buy it in.


This is also partly in response to SQBs America without Guns post - not remotely possible.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Haven't we kind of done this sort of thing for a bit?


No triangle-blade bayonets or dum-dum bullets in war time. 16 inch naval rifles? Yeah sure, and bombs are ok too.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Resume Viewing... Resume Viewing... Resume Viewing


This technology and its potential (mis-)uses reminds me of an episode of Black Mirror, 15 Million Merits.

Basically, in a dystopian future reality, we are confined in tiny living quarters and constantly bombarded with media. If you have enough merits, you may skip certain adverts. If not, you have to watch them (and they know if you close your eyes).  Here is a clip from it (but it might contain spoilers).


(Also, just a general hello to everybody. I'm a long time lurker from the tacitus days. I really enjoy this site and find many of the discussions insightful. Thanks!)

I'll echo MA. Welcome...


...there's a keg in the back but you have to pay at the bar. You're not supposed to smoke in here but just do it near the bathroom and nobody will care.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 



Even though you've been lurking, let me welcome you to our little piece of the Internet that doesn't track and slice and dice our behavior.


And if you think your Black Mirror episode is fiction, they want to do this in the brick and mortar world too! Honestly I have to wonder if, beyond the desire to make money, the people who come up with these ideas don't suffer from significant mental health issues. You really do need to be a creep to dream some of this stuff up.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Seeking My Place in the Universe in August


The Mountain Road


Master Design Detail




...I went up to the observatory at Mt. Wilson August 12 & 13, 2013, (5,712ft) at see the meteor shower, to try again at this astro photography having read my manual and a book again today, but the real specialness was laying on a warm rock trying to figure out my place in this universe...and since I was there, I took some pictures for people to understand that even in Los Angeles Proper...there are wild venues still close and settle back in the warm dark and try to sort things out.


And a Looking Back....(Caution, May be Offensive)


The Arena


Moment of Truth


Best Wishes, Traveller


Very Nice


The Mountain Road is very good. Amazingly sharp and well exposed.


I am assuming you are right in front of a bend in the road, right? I hope you don't do long exposures in the middle of a lane...

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

MA, Yes a Curve in The Road But That Was a Tow Truck...!


...there is actually normally very little traffic...which is exactly why you can get away with a 30 second exposure.


This was a large, well lit tow truck on his way up the mountain, 20 miles, to help someone start their car atop Mt. Wilson...kind of amazing actually.


I was in the middle of the road but moved to the left side seeing him come up the mountain. He stopped, we chatted a bit, I got him to shut everything down so that he could see a meteor trail...he just left the big rig in the middle of the road....and we wandered to the side to look up and we saw a good one....we both got a wish.


Then I pushed the shutter for a 30 second shot of him leaving.


Not much traffic at 4:30am.


Life can be good.


(and from tonight...The Dinner {in the style of Impressionism})


Best Wishes, Traveller

"Go home and play Madden"

brutusettu's picture

Xbox One Capable Of Controlling Users With Simple Voice Commands  (The Onion has foresight)



-NRA fundraising guy was talking about the risk to gun owners of there being a government registry of gun owners, for one of the reasons because the info might get stolen, good thing the NRA registry isn't a government one.  The NRA has been tracking people that they think might buy a gun.