Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

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GoogleZilla: Google Desktop 2.0 (Coming Attractions)

The fastest replicating virus infecting the Windows machines of the world this week had to be Google Desktop. Millions asked for it and millions got it. After all, it is free. Now. But in the future, it just might cost you some information if you want to get "enhanced functionality." And who doesn't want their functionality enhanced?

Paolo Massa has seen the next step and, well, it is interesting to contemplate:

When millions of users will have installed, Google will simply release a new version in which the user can check a box and say "Share the files in my disk" (maybe only files in a certain directory). This will create in a second an enormous P2P (peer-to-peer) network, in which you can search for files directly on other users' disks. What do you think? Make sense?
-- Paolo Massa Blog: Enormous P2P Network by Google
Oh, it makes sense. Much too much sense and it will add to the already amazing list of "What Google knows about you." [Take a moment to look at that link, also by Massa, and think about it.]

Back at the beginning of the 1990s, when I was employee #2 at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (and the web was the HTML/HTTP protocols slumbering on Berners-Lee's server at CERN), we fretted endlessly over the FBI/CIA/NSA/LLE snapping up your computer, getting a backdoor key to your ISP, having a secret decoder right for any cryptography that could be invented, and generally getting to your private information. That fretting continues today at numerous and multiple nodes across the web. It is a fretting only out-fretted by Spamfret. The EFF and other well-meaning wonk tanks in search of the Fountain of Funding continue to harvest planks from this petrified forest.

But nature always sides with the hidden flaw and the hidden flaw in this case was the users. It never, in our wildest speculations, dawned on us that the most potent and persistent threat to privacy on the Net would be the users themselves. If any of us had proposed at the beginning of the 90s that millions upon millions would give away the vast amount of information listed above to a company in exchange for a few chunks of code, we would have been barred from the next House/Senate sub-sub-committee on POTS subsidies to Podunk.

And yet, here we are. Big Brother in the form of a "Do no evil" company whose "benign" intentions are taken utterly on faith and without question by every connected soul on the planet.

Does anyone remember when Microsoft became the evil empire? It was at a point that was well below the position of ubiquity now enjoyed by Google. The result for Microsoft has been an unremitting stream of lawsuits and regulations extending well over a decade with no end in sight.

Can anyone imagine the same thing happening to Google? Perhaps, but only if a hard look at Google's plans and potential begins in the very near future.

Another couple of years and it will be well-nigh impossible. Why? Google will quite simply know too much.

Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 16, 2004 10:35 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid you can't to that..."

AS IS NOW A DAILY ISSUE AT TECHNORATI.COM, things are looking pretty but dysfunctional. Meanwhile, chief salesman for Technorati, David Sifry, is "making history" at the DNC/CNN, and (with a little help from his friends and PR agency) is "sort of" writing his page...

Screen shot from Sifry's Alerts

A noble quest, but what is really going on with the world's most dysfunctional web page? Our reporter got a hold of this chat log between Sifry and Technorati that rips the veil off this whole squalid dot-bom hustle:

Dave Sifry : Hello, Technorati do you read me, Technorati?
Technorati : Affirmative, Dave, I read you.
Dave Sifry : Please function, Technorati.
Technorati : I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 29, 2004 8:43 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Politics from Technorati? How About a System That Works First?



Coming soon from logo_new.gif

Ye olde "Under Construction," but without the digging man we have grown to love over the decade.

Well, okay, but the URL "" leads one to believe dire things are afoot. After all this is the Ito-annointed blog tracking company that spends more time heaping projects and developments on its plate than it does coding. That it is getting ready to bumble another huge chunk of the Infosphere should give us all pause.

It should give us pause because it is "by their fruits that ye shall know them." If Technorati actually worked hossanahs would be heard resounding off the star-specked domes of known space. Alas, as most people who use and have bought the service discover, the functionality of Technorati is a sometimes thing.

Instead of perfecting the political universe, perhaps Sifry and his sidekicks should think about learning to write some software and construct a web farm

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 21, 2004 4:45 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Winer Assures Bush of Election Blowout

BlogSpawn Democrats Left to right: Dave Winer, Wonkette, Taegan Goddard, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga


It's official, I will be at the Democratic National Convention, July 26-29 in Boston, covering it as a blogger. -- Scripting News: 7/8/2004
I suppose he could have said "covering it as a demented, obsessed, and generally whacked out palm pilot," but in Dave's case it is pretty much the same thing.

You'd think that the Democratic Party would have enough non-demented members left to stop this dreadful threat to their message as the "sane alternative." You might think that, but you'd be wrong.

A sane alternative to the present administration would, you'd suppose, be more concerned about getting the Deadly Dave into a place where he would do the most good; like say, a swing state. Dave himself swore he was going to give up Europe in order to make his vote count, damnit, just last May

This is, probably, by the way, why I won't spend a major amount of time in Europe this summer. We've got an election here in the fall that's very important. I will probably relocate to one of the swing states, so my vote will matter. -- Scripting News: 5/12/2004
A sane party would take him at his word and hold a blogathon for a bus ticket to whatever state seems to be in play. But then again, maybe not. Perhaps the powers that be in the Democratic party took one look at this threat and said, "Good God, he could cost us Iowa! Give him a powerbook and a floor pass. If he won't take those, just shoot him."

You know, I read in the news that pollster John Zogby believes: ``This is not a big bounce electorate.We are a nation that is split down the middle, polarized and hardened.'' Reading that I hope for a closely contested election, a slug-fest that makes everyone stay up until six in the morning deciding whether to bomb Iran or Washington. But then I find out that the Democratic Party is actually going to let Winer blog their convention live, and I know in my bones that all we have coming is a Bush Blowout.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 8, 2004 9:59 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"You've Got Spam!" 92 Million Times

YET ANOTHER REASON TO SHORT AOL: AOL Engineer Accused of Stealing Subscriber List

An America Online software engineer was arrested and charged today with scheming to steal the Internet provider's subscriber list and send ``massive amounts'' of spam to millions of computer users.

Jason Smathers, a West Virginia man who worked in AOL's Dulles, Virginia, data warehouse, is accused of stealing a list containing 92 million subscriber screen names. Interim U.S. Attorney David Kelley said Smathers, 24, sold the list to another man, Sean Dunaway, who then sold it to two spammers for $52,000. Dunaway was also charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

The AOL spokestool, Nick Graham, stated that they were reviewing AOL's security procedures. He also assured everyone that although the theft amounts to almost all of AOL's 30 million subscribers, their credit card information was secure because it was stored in a "separate data location."

Yeah, right. You know, this little bit of bad news is probably news to nobody who thinks about AOL for two nanoseconds. But then again, the 'authorities" have never really been serious about the AOL virus that has been infecting cyberspace for over a decade.

You want to put a damper on pedophiles preying on children online? Simple, shut down the AOL chat rooms.

You want to get a handle on spam? Simple, shut down AOL's antiquated "security systems."

Is any of this going to happen. Nope.

We'll just be seeing more offers of the first 50,000 hours of AOL free flooding the mailboxes of the world.

Will it work? Fools login to where fools have logged in before.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 3:03 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]

In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired

Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review

Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog

Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog

New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.

Drink Tea


Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity

Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]

A bee in her bonnet


Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."

[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.

Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck

The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate


We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.

The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers

When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg

"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."


First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West

What happened to Nuclear Winter?


As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton

If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report

Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays

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