Q. Who polishes the Apple?

El Reg reports

. . . according to watchdog group China Labor Watch . . . the Cupertino giant has asked the companies that assemble its products to cut their own costs, and those demands have led them to cut back on worker pay and factory conditions.


“Currently, Apple’s profits are declining, and the effects of this decline have been passed on to suppliers. To mitigate the impact, Pegatron has taken some covert measures to exploit workers.”

Follow the link for the complete story.


If you use Windows, you should read what the Electronic Freedom Foundation has to say about Windows 10 and privacy (more accurately, perhaps, Windows 10 or privacy). Here’s a tidbit:

The trouble with Windows 10 doesn’t end with forcing users to download the operating system. Windows 10 sends an unprecedented amount of usage data back to Microsoft, particularly if users opt in to “personalize” the software using the OS assistant called Cortana. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of data sent back: location data, text input, voice input, touch input, webpages you visit, and telemetry data regarding your general usage of your computer, including which programs you run and for how long.


Microsoft has tried to explain this lack of choice by saying that Windows Update won’t function properly on copies of the operating system with telemetry reporting turned to its lowest level. In other words, Microsoft is claiming that giving ordinary users more privacy by letting them turn telemetry reporting down to its lowest level would risk their security since they would no longer get security updates1. (Notably, this is not something many articles about Windows 10 have touched on.)

But this is a false choice that is entirely of Microsoft’s own creation.

Follow the link for the complete article. Click the EFF link on the sidebar to learn more about the EFF.


Danae:  Hey, Lars, can we talk to you about this God particle thing?  Lars:  No, and stop calling it that!  Danae:  Sorry.  Boy:  It's the Higgs-Boson, Danae.  Danae:  Why is it such a big deal?  Lars (appearing as alien in little flying saucer):  It is too dangerous.  Every time we give you something good, you've made it into something destructive.  Danae:  This is going to be another rant about the internet, isn't it?  Lars:  It was supposed the make you smarter!

Click for the original image.


The Origins Issue.


She pulled over to check that she had not forgotten her prescription and she got shared.

. . . she heard the car door behind her open.

A young woman was already seating herself in the back of Sue Ellen’s sedan and a young man was about to open the rear door on the passenger side.

“I think you have the wrong car,” she said – pleasantly, I’m sure. That’s the kind of person Sue Ellen is.

“Oh, then you’re not our Uber driver?” the young woman asked.

We are a society of stupid.


/dev/null is your friend.

This screenshot captures part of my .procmailrc file showing how I send spam and other unwanted email to the bit bucket. The .procmailrc file is in the right pane of the Terminator window; the left pane is my Mutt inbox. (The music player is qmmp, currently streaming KCEA.)

All the “From” addresses listed in the right pane go to /dev/null, and that’s a small portion of those so designated. Since I refined my .procmailrc file to filter the junk before it lands in Maildir, Mutt has been ever so much more responsive.

Peeking out from the back is Ktorrent, which is seeding downloads for the recently-released Slackware 14.2 so as to take some of the load off other Slackware mirrors.


The window manager is, natch, Fluxbox.

Oh, yeah. You can’t do this on Windows.


Privacy schmivacy.

18 August 2016 · Comments Off on Once More into the Breach · Categories: Geek Stuff, Political Theatre

If you want a sane discussion of the DNC email leaks and similar hacks by persons who

  • know how email and networks work,
  • are not grinding political axes, and
  • can explain stuff good,

listen to the latest episode of The Sunday Morning Linux Review.

16 August 2016 · Comments Off on The Snaring Economy · Categories: Geek Stuff, Too Venal for Words

Invasion of the Body Snarers.

15 August 2016 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Geek Stuff, Give Me a Break

All the news that isn’t.

15 August 2016 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: Geek Stuff, Too Stupid for Words

Don’t even think about it.

14 August 2016 · Comments Off on German Engineering · Categories: Geek Stuff, Titans of Industry

It’s a thing.


In the rush to market shiny new computerized things, marketing trumps computer security every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

14 August 2016 · Comments Off on Twits Trolls on Twitter · Categories: Geek Stuff

13 August 2016 · Comments Off on Facebook Frolics · Categories: Geek Stuff, Mammon

The ad-blocker wars escalate.

13 August 2016 · Comments Off on Pokemon Go and the Pixels of Power · Categories: Geek Stuff, Too Stupid for Words

At Psychology Today Blogs, Liraz Margalit explores the fascination of a fantasy world.

. . . playing Pokémon Go can fulfill an everlasting fantasy. Walking through the streets fighting monsters that pop up unexpectedly out of nowhere can easily drive our imagination to assume the masterful role of superhero or warrior, fulfilling a fantasy and giving our senses and emotions an otherworldly experience. Such games boost adrenaline levels and awaken strong feelings of power—as well as frustration, gratification and enjoyment.

She left out the part about the stupid.