Continuing with our “clearing out of the links”, here’s a collection about older technology that is still going strong, in some way, shape or another:
Another in the continuing series of clearing off the pre-vacation and vacation links.This collection all has to do with thing or concepts that are either abandoned, or should be abandoned:
- Women Want To Have Extramarital Affairs. If the Ashley Madison hack demonstrated anything, it demonstrated we must abandon the fantasy that women want to have affairs with handsome married men. The New York Post actually said it best:
The Ashley Madison hack proves men are dogs. But the Ashley Madison service itself proves men are suckers.Not simply because millions of men who were trying to hide from their wives decided to use their real names and email addresses in signing up for an adultery website — though that wasn’t exactly the mark of genius. It’s because they thought that there were millions of halfway attractive, married women out there just waiting for a hot proposition from a married man so they could be unfaithful.
There aren’t. And chances are there won’t ever be. It’s hard to know how many users of the site are real (it sounds as if some were signed up by friends or enemies as practical jokes). But even taking the numbers at face value, the ratio is abysmal. There were about 28 million men and 5 million women in the account list, while the credit-card information belongs almost entirely to men.
Ashley Madison confirms what we already know about infidelity. Men are much more likely to engage in it than women. And men are much more interested in casual sex than women.
To suggest otherwise is either a male fantasy or a feminist one.
Or, as LA Observed put it:
But the bigger story is that Ashley Madison isn’t actually a website where men pay to have hot affairs with women then have their names and personal info hacked. It’s a site where men pay and try to have affairs, then have their info hacked. A real distinction.
The LA Observed article goes on with a whole bunch of statistics about the “women” on the site, including the fact that “Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created.”. In other words, Ashley Madison was a huge self satisfaction site for men. Now think about the fact that we’re pillorying people for being on it, even thought it is highly likely they were actually unfaithful. In fact, given they didn’t validate email addresses, it is highly likely that all the people who are on the list were really on the site.* Perhaps what we should abandon is the notion that society knows how to do critical thinking and reasoning.
- Suitcases. From the 1910s through the 1960s, many patients at the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane left suitcases behind when they passed away, with nobody to claim them. Upon the center’s closure in 1995, employees found hundreds of these time capsules stored in a locked attic. Mental Floss has a fascinating article about the contents of those suitcases, and what it says about the lives and hopes of the patients.
- Handwriting. Those of us in the computer generation may be of the belief that it was the computer and text message that led to the death of handwriting. Atlantic Magazine has a different opinion: they opine that it was the ballpoint pen that killed handwriting. This was because the pen used different ink that required more pressure and made writing harder. As a regular fountain pen using, I can believe it. A good fountain pen is head and shoulders above a ballpoint.
*: On Facebook, about a week ago, I wrote the following: “Re: 2nd Ashley Madison Data Dump. Perhaps it is just the way my mind works, but what is to prevent anyone with a grudge from taking any past data dump (say any Target breech), doctoring with additional information, and then dumping it as Ashley Madison data? Certainly not the reaction of the victims: they are tainted if they admit, and not believed if they deny.”
Now for the rest of the news chum, which seems to fit into the theme of doubles and singles — that is, we have a bunch of groupa-twos and a few singlets:
- Family History and Judaism, Intertwined. Two articles present some interesting stories of the juxtaposition of Judaism and families escaping the Holocaust: the first is the retirement of the original owners of Bel Air Camera, a long time institution in Westwood. I’ve known the store for ages; never knew the backstory. The second is the Jewish Community of Seattle, which is dealing with the question of whether to accept Spanish citizenship. The Seattle community was derived from the Spanish Jewish Community, and there’s a long tradition of Ladino there.
- Drought Impacts. First, have you ever through about the impact of letting lawns go gold on the gardners, mowers, and composters? Every winner has its losers. Second, even stronger shower head restrictions are about to go into effect.
- The Times They Are A’Changin’. Virtual car dealers are growing in popularity, while Columbia House files for bankruptcy.
- News Businesses of Interest. Cream opens in Northridge; Nudie’s granddaughter opens a coffeehouse in Newhall; O opens a shop on Etsy with neat stuff at the intersection of wine, wood, and candles; and JT is about to open a kilt store in Pasadena.
- Privilege. Why do men kill their families, as well as torture them in the divorce process. It’s another legacy of male privilege. All of this implied privilege is at the heart of so many societal problems. We’re all aware about the Ferguson case, but a recent This American Life looked at a different aspect. I disgree with the answer: it isn’t integration: it is the white and wealthy privilege that permits the schools in the white neighborhoods to have more, and to have more parental involvement.
- And Lastly: Bagels. Why you should cut your bagel the mathematically correct way.
In my continuing quest to work down the saved links, here are a collection of links associated by the fact that (a) they are related to technology (and perhaps cybersecurity), and (b) they were interesting to me. Note also that I’ve added some links to my post on Windows 10.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite operating system, Android. Here are some Android related articles:
Let’s now look at Windows and other software:
- Evernote. Evernote is a wonderful note-keeping software than runs on your phone and your PC. Here’s how to make it more secure.
- Libre Office. I think in the battle of Free Office Suites, LibreOffice has won. Here’s an interesting article from a LibreOffice developer on the lesson’s learned from its success. [ETA: And if you still use OpenOffice, here’s why you should ditch it and move to LibreOffice]
- Firefox. Although Firefox has improved greatly, it still sneaks in stuff. In this case, it is prefetching (or at least, pre-building the TCP connection) when you hover over links. Here’s how to stop the behavior.
- Thunderbird. No article here, just some shared experience. We recently switched over to Office 365 and Exchange 365 at work. In the Lotus Notes era, I was lucky enough to have a Notes IMAP server, and happily used Thunderbird. It was a pain for calendar entries, however, saving the ical file and reloading it into Google Calendar. Here are some things that make my life easier — perhaps they will help yours. First, install the Exquilla Plug In. It is $10 a year, and allows Thunderbird to talk Microsoft Exchange. You’ll need the Outlook Web Address, and you’ll need to make the change in the URL they show. Next, at least temporarily, install the Manually Sort Folders extension. This allows you to move your Exchange account to the top and set it as the default. You can disable it when done. You should be prompted to turn on the Lighting calendar. After you have done so, add the addon Provider for Google Calendar. You can now add a new calendar and link it it to your Google Calendar. Remember to synchronize whenever you start up Thunderbird. Although you can’t accept events directly into the Google Calendar, you can accept them into your local calendar, and then drag them to Google. [EDITED TO ADD: An Update: Nevermind. This seemed to be working at work… until it wasn’t. There appears to be an interaction between Lightning and Thunderbird that causes it to (a) keep losing the folder pane, and then (b) keep crashing on startup. I had to disable Lightning and the Google Calendar Provider. Sigh.]
One last useful article: What to do when a CD or DVD is stuck in the drive.
This is a busy busy time, and the chum is accumulating. To whittle it down a little, here are some articles related to things that fly:
It’s Saturday, and it’s been a busy couple of weeks. Time to clean out the accumulated links. Before I do, however, here’s a reminder link: If you are a Windows user and comtemplating upgrading to Windows 10, you should read my summary post about why I’m waiting, and what I want to remember when I finally do. On to the stew:
- Theatre Etiquette. Every since Patti LuPone went into the audience and grabbed a cell phone, how to behave in the theatre has been in the news. In fact, Ms. LuPone has posted an interesting article on her five rules of theatre etiquette — all of which I agree with. There’s also been an interesting article on the prevalence of smart phones in the theatre, which raises the question of why you come to the theatre anyway. The debate goes on and on. Lastly, and I don’t have an article on this one, there’s been a growing discussion on whether Ms. LuPone was right or wrong in what she did: that is, should an actor confront a patron who is using a cell phone? A growing number of people are pointing out that doing that is not the job of the actor — it is the job of the house manager or management-on-site. The actor should pass the word to management to get the situation corrected. I agree with this. P.S.: Just remember this: you are much safer going to live theatre than you are going to a movie (unless you’re an actor). The last time there was an active shooter in a live theatre was 1865. What? Too soon?
- Let The Sun Shine In. Back in the 1980s, when I saw Ain’t Misbehavin’, I saw it at the Aquarius Theatre. The building, now Nicolodeon Studios, has a truly fascinating history.
- A Birthday Song. You’ve probably wondered about my “list of birthday songs“. That started because I got tired of the traditional “Happy Birthday to You”. Additionally, there was always the question of copyright. It appears the battle is still going on, and it is starting to look like it may not be copyrighted after all. Then again, the copyright might still be there. It’s up to a judge to decide now.
- Psychology and the Drought. The drought in California has brought to light some interesting psychology. For the longest times, utilities out here have offered rebates to switch to low-flow toilets and to rip out lawns. The former hasn’t been successful, but recently, the latter has been overly successful. The why is what is interesting: Ripping out your lawn is visible, and we like to keep up with the Joneses. In other words: even though ripping out a lawn saves less water than replacing your toilet, it is a visible advertisement to your neighbors that you are doing something about the drought. They don’t see your toilet or your washing machine. Appearance is everything.
- Fat Heads / Fat on the Mind. A few fat related articles. First, have you ever wondered what “fat” taste likes. No, get your mind out of the gutter, I mean the food fat. It turns out fat is a sixth basic taste, up there with sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. In fact, humans may be programmed to like fats and dislike fatty acids. Next are two articles related to which fat is the best to cook with. The answer is: it depends on what you’re doing with the fat. Speaking of sweet fat, here’s a list of 14 LA area ice cream parlors everyone should try.
- Nigerian Spammers. We’re working on getting the program together for ACSAC, and I’m pleased to announce that our conference dinner will feature a performance of The Nigerian Spam Scam Scam. But Nigerian spammers are doing things much worse. In particular, they are buying exploit kits to defraud Asian businesses. To carry out the scam, the group often uses the Microsoft Word Intruder exploit kit. The kit can be used to create malicious Word documents that are then sent over email. If opened, the victim’s computer will be infected with a keylogger.The group buys the tools from experienced malicious software coders, paying for remote access tools, keyloggers and exploit kits.
- Android Attacks. If you have an Android phone, hopefully by now you’ve heard of Stagefright, an attack on Android phones that involved sending a crafted MMS text message that can trigger remote code execution. You don’t even have to open the message; the attack occurs as part of downloading the message. Until a fix comes across, you should go into your text application and disable automatic downloading of MMS messages. Oh, and Motorola has announced the new Moto X and Moto G phones.
- Science Podcasts. Lastly, here’s an article with a list of good science podcasts, although they did leave off my favorite, Quirks and Quarks from the CBC. Some of them look interesting, but I’m getting pretty backed up on podcasts. Certainly Radiolab and Gastropod sound good, but there’s only so much commuting I can do.