Three Things: Killing Oil, Too Money, Kaspersky’s World

Too much going on here today but the existing threads are getting too deep and a couple are drifting off-topic. Here’s three quick things to chew on and an open thread.

~ 3 ~

The marketplace will bring death to oil long before the government. (Bloomberg). But will governments — US and oil-producing countries alike — get in the way of alternative energy in spite of the market demanding more alternatives to fossil fuels? With this trend away from combustion engines pressing on them, fossil fuel producers are shifting toward increased LNG for use in electricity production; this only shifts CO2 creation from vehicles to power plants. Will the market put an end to that, too?

~ 2 ~

There’s too much money out there if Delta can order multiple planes configured for all-first class service. I just spoke with a friend earlier today about round-trip fares from a major Midwest airport to major cities in Europe; they were quite high even with a departure date more than a month out, and higher than they had seen in a while. Fuel prices haven’t increased that much over the last year; low oil prices are threatening pipelines as financing construction costs more than the return on oil. Somewhere between slack fuel prices, firm fares and demand, Delta’s making enough money to build these let-them-eat-cake planes.

One could argue that if buyers have the money they can have whatever they want — except that taxpayers finance the infrastructure including essential safety regulatory system which will now protect the few and not the many while increasing congestion. Too money — somebody needs to pay more taxes to support the infrastructure they’re using.

~ 1 ~

Kaspersky Labs is releasing around the globe a free version of their antivirus software (Reuters). It won’t replace the paid version of their AV software, providing only very basic protection. I’m not using it, though, for two reasons: if it’s like Kaspersky’s existing free tool, it will send messages back to the parent company about infections it finds — and possibly more. Congress and the U.S. intelligence community may have concerns about Kaspersky Lab’s vulnerability to the Russian government; I’m more concerned about Kaspersky Lab having been breached at least once in 2015, compromising data in their systems. Your mileage may vary; use under advisement.

~ 0 ~

That’s it for now. This is an open thread. Behave.

P.S. The fight against attacks on the health care system isn’t over. Call your senator at (202) 224-3121. Other tools for your use in this post.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.

32 replies
    • Rayne says:

      Yesterday was just kabuki. Big gestures, probably staged to make Old Man Yelling at Clouds McCain feel better at the end of his career while manipulating public sentiment.

      The thank-you to Pence for his performance was today’s arbitrarily announced policy change banning transgender individuals in military service.

  1. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Regulatory Capture, Revolving Door

    https://gizmodo.com/fcc-sued-over-failure-to-comply-with-transparency-law-a-1797264463

    The FCC has now delayed the release of the net neutrality records for several months. It recently extended the disclosure deadline to August 24, though nothing would prevent it from stalling again—except, perhaps, a court order. “They failed to reply to our FOIA requests within the time period required by the law, so we are suing to ask a court to order the FCC to comply,” said Clark Pettig, spokesman for American Oversight.

    “The FCC has made it clear that they’re ignoring feedback from the general public,” the group’s executive director, Austin Evers, told Gizmodo. “So we’re going to court to find out who they’re actually listening to about Net Neutrality. If the Trump administration is going to let industry lobbyists rewrite the rules of the Internet for millions of Americans, we’re going to make them do it in full view of the public.”

  2. Rugger9 says:

    The Senate legislative sausage has limits, because of the reconciliation rules allowing 50 + 1 to pass. Note also that Pence’s vote along with all of the other GOP (Hi, Capito!) even the ones given cover this time will be hung around their necks in the next election. When people who had insurance lose it they will be PISSED.

    On Delta’s all first class planes, I find it hard to square with the airfare wars currently in progress (at least according to “On the Go” this last weekend on KGO radio) because of empty planes. Could it be that people are tired of bad service and TSA abuse?

    Kaspersky is an interesting case, in that the Kim Komando tech show plugs it pretty relentlessly. What I’ve had to deal with from Kaspersky in days of yore is an interface issue from time to time and haven’t used them for years.

    • harpie says:

      Could it be that people are tired of bad service and TSA abuse?

      I KNOW I am. I’d be thrilled if the planes are empty and this were the reason!

    • Rayne says:

      I wonder if Delta realized there was a gap between the price-sensitive flyers and the crowd which isn’t quite willing to book a dedicated plane. US-Japan route seems like an odd first market to target, though…are they jumping on smaller flights to Macau from Tokyo?

  3. Cold N. Holefield says:

    I think they will continue to extract Fossil Fuels even after EROI goes Less Than Zero. That means they will subsidize the Extraction At A Loss with debt that will ultimately be the responsibility of the Taxpayers to pay back. Remember, The Rich are Too Big To Fail and their Gravy Train will perpetuate so long as they can Work Their Magic of Manufactured Consent.

    • Rayne says:

      Tell me how that works. Seriously. What regulations/laws pay oil producers to continue to pump product, especially when the strategic national reserve is full and there’s no other place to put oil?

      • Cold N. Holefield says:

        Because there is no other Scaled Alternative so THEY keep doing what they’re doing until it all comes tumbling down. We’re already below 10 on EROI and still pumping away like there is no tomorrow, so they’ll keep pumping until there quite literally, rather than figuratively, is no tomorrow. The Economists, Accountants & Lawyers will find ways to rationalize it & justify it as they always do and have always done.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Oh, there is a model that will scale.
          But the old model is what TPTB know,
          and can not change their M.O.

          The old model (fossil) is ultimately derived from the new model (Solar), which is really the older model that ‘just works’.

          But the old fossilheads want to stick with the old model, because that is where their stock lies.

    • Rayne says:

      P.S. Use italics to emphasize foreign or rarely used words; italicize the titles of media like books, magazines, programs. When used to excess, italics make comments more difficult to read on small displays. They also lose their punch as tools for emphasis.

  4. harpie says:

    Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops Politico
    “A congressional fight over sex reassignment surgery threatened funding for his border wall.”
    *
    Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), is the original author of the House’s transgender proposal not to pay for surgery/healthcare. After Trump’s twitter announcement, she said:

    I’m glad the president will be changing this costly and damaging policy. Military service is a privilege, not a right. We must ensure all our precious defense dollars are used to strengthen our national defense.

    “Military service is a privilege” is a formulation I’ve never heard before.
    *
    And then, Trump’s announcement went further than the amendment called for. “One senior House Republican aide” said:

    This is like someone told the White House to light a candle on the table and the WH set the whole table on fire.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Having served myself (and doubting whether Hartzler did) “privilege” is not usually a word used about the service.  Gung-ho, maybe, or the attitude from this well-known acronym (not FTN, you heathens, that will get you a trip to mast in a heartbeat):

      NAVY: Never Again Volunteer Yourself.

      The reason is that with a privilege there is a benefit not otherwise available attached to it.  For example, the driver’s license in CA is a privilege, not a right.  In the case of the military, those who are gung ho describe it more as a calling and even they usually aren’t fooled by the propaganda du jour.  We’re quite cynical but are willing to put up with the BS to serve our country, hoping that our country would appreciate our service which after a long period starting from Vietnam is finally more where it should be.

      I’ll be impressed when Uday and Qusay Trump join the service, then you could call it a privilege.

       

      I was amused by what the SEAL had to say to Donald.  I’ll also note that it has been a long time since Hannity offered to be waterboarded for charity and Maher took him up on the offer, so Hannity CHICKENED OUT.

       

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Trump seems to conduct himself, albeit woefully out of time and out of tune, based on lines from a few movies. The cruel and destructive turnaround on transgender members of the military, for example. It comes from the Ten Commandments, where Ramses says, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Pity Donald didn’t watch the rest of the movie to see how well that worked out for Pharaoh.

    Despite Trump’s claims to the contrary, his announcement surprised the Pentagon. It doesn’t want to change a policy it spent years developing, nor would it want to devote the no doubt substantial resources to revise current practice and come up with a new one, then go back to the original policy after Lord Donald succeeds to his dukedom. Then there’s the rights and interests of every member of the armed services, morale, recruitment, and so on.

    Donald doesn’t give a shit. Creating chaos is what serves him best. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  6. BadBisco says:

    Curious if anyone has thoughts on DWS’s IT guy being arrested on the way to Quatar and hiring a Clinton attorney…

    • lefty665 says:

      SLF and I were talking about it over in Rayne’s “sword swallowing or something” thread. She was kind enough to open this thread and to send us over here. Thank you Rayne.

      Didn’t know he’d hired a Clinton attorney. Everybody deserves legal representation, and he can be sure a Clinton lawyer is well versed in corruption and criminal issues.

      The Paks look like they made out like bandits, $4 million from the Dems for IT work. The wife and kids got out of town earlier in the year. Would not be surprised to find the guy figures out how to skip bail.

      Sure makes a lot of pieces fall into place. Their access to Wasserman-Schultz gets them into the DNC. My bet is they used her iPad to download the stuff that Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks released. It also shows the CloudStrike crap and refusal to let the FBI look at the DNC servers for exactly what it was, all lies in an attempt to distract attention, blame the Ruskies and take the heat off DWS. It also plausibly confirms Binney et al’s longstanding opinion that it was an inside job, and that we haven’t had confirmation from NSA that the Ruskies did it because they’ve got no web trail for exfiltration of the data. Binney is sure they would have had it and we would have heard about it if it happened over the web. His opinion is about as informed as they come.

      So, if it ain’t all THE RUSSIANS all the time, will the hysterical Dems get over their tantrums and get back to trying to be a party that stands for something and actually wins some elections at the national, state and local levels? Schumer and Pelosi made a pretty good stab at changing directions Monday with the launch of their new party mantra “A better deal: better jobs, better wages, a better future”. Schumer also hit it pretty solidly on the nose over the weekend with “When you lose to someone who has a 40% approval rating you don’t blame it on Comey or the Russians”. Funny, the MSM has not picked up on the Dem return to their New Deal working class roots.

      • harpie says:

        That “new party mantra” is cribbed directly from Clinton’s June 2015 campaign launch speech:

        But, here’s the good news: There are allies for change everywhere who know we can’t stand by while inequality increases, wages stagnate, and the promise of America dims. We should welcome the support of all Americans who want to go forward together with us.
        There are public officials who know Americans need a better deal.

         

         

        • lefty665 says:

          Hahahaha, You’re so funny, but in a way Hillary was right, Americans saw they needed a better deal than her and they took what was available, a jerk with a 40% approval rating.

          Actually, it started as a Tim Kaine line, but it had an elite neolib prologue “Better skills, better jobs etc”.  That gets back to the change the Dems made in ’72 from working Americans to professionals. They shifted from workers deserve a decent share of the fruits of their labor to if you haven’t got your piece of the pie, you’re unskilled, in the wrong place, or otherwise defective. In Hillary’s insulting and ultimately losing formulation “deplorables”.

          Schumer et al are bright enough to ditch that massively dumb approach to voters, plus Hillary’s equally dumb slogans like “It’s my turn” or “I’m with her”. They’re getting back to their New Deal base with “A better deal: better jobs, better wages, a better future”. Schumer actually wants to win some elections, and has 25 Senate seats to defend in ’18 to the Repubs 9. Turnout is the trick in off year elections. Addressing voters concerns instead insulting them or pandering to elites with high paid speeches to Goldman-Sachs are better bets when you are defending Senate seats in half the country, or running for president for that matter. But we’ve learned that already, or at least some of us have.

           

          • harpie says:

            They’re getting back to their New Deal base with “A better deal: better jobs, better wages, a better future”.

             
            Oh, good. Then they can use the first several paragraphs of her speech as well.

            • lefty665 says:

              Too funny, glad you’ve got a sense of humor. But that won’t put a shine on that corrupt, greedy, blindly ambitious, neolib, neocon, lying turd. Once a Goldwater Girl, always a Goldwater Girl. She declared early and often.

              Shumer’s trying to move on and find life after 25 years of the “New Dem” Clinton debacles. That’s healthy. Be nice to lend him a hand instead of trying to hang an albatross around his neck.

              • harpie says:

                lefty,

                I totally disagree with everything you have to say about Hillary. We don’t have to hash this out on Rayne’s thread, but every time you say something like that, I’ll be disagreeing with you. Let’s leave it at that.

                Cheers,

                harpie

                • lefty665 says:

                  Time to move on. Regardless of what either of us thinks about Hillary there is an election next year. The Dems are up the creek without a paddle if they don’t figure out how to appeal to the 90% of voters they with Hillary as their candidate dumped on last year. If you think that’s just my opinion ask the electoral college or check the phone book to see who is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

                  Never thought I’d be giving atta boys to Schumer, but he apparently wants to be part of a real political party, not a maudlin ghost of election losses past crying in its wine and railing at the injustice of it all.

                  For Dems to give the country an alternative to the Repubs people need to work for a Better deal, better jobs, better wages, a better future through better candidates. Time’s a wastin’. 2018 is coming at us fast.

                  Cheers back atchya, Lefty

    • greengiant says:

      The brothers have been on the oligarchs’ propaganda channels since at least February.  Been tied to the DNC in those channels.  In a previous go around the oligarchs had captured wikipedia.  Guessing someone else owns that channel now or it is too obvious a hack to use or is being used as a false flag to be discredited at a later date,  or …  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Seth_Rich.  The oligarchs’ people never seem to talk about how the Podesta emails were hacked.  Seems like a “what about this” distraction.

      imho the Dems IT folk is an example of  a US problem of hubris in the establishments of delegating key jobs to people with bankruptcies or sex addict husbands, or anyone who walks in off the street, out of the FBI, or out of GS.

      Lefty,  I got some respect for Drake and Binney and share their disgust with the 80 billion a year money laundering operation that is the US IC.   I have not heard anything from those two about the oligarchs’ corruption nor about the silence of the IC during the financial crisis,  ( unless you count the Panama papers and the B.V.I USB dump ).   Whether the DNC data dump passed through the net at one point or only existed on thumb drives is a “what about this”  distraction from Trump, the DNC being attacked and the Obama IT lame attempt at dropping clues on them.  The oligarchs are not all one ethnology,  and they don’t hire or blackmail only one ethnology.

      • lefty665 says:

        Hubris is about as polite a way as possible to frame it, but I surely agree.

        We share that respect, I’d call mine profound. Those guys have been pretty focused in their comments so I appreciate them not clouding what they do say by straying to other topics.  I do disagree that the question of leak vs hack is a distraction. It is fundamental to the hysteria about Trump and the Russians. If that proves false, and it seems likely the Paks will prove it false when we learn more, a lot of the rest falls away. Trump will still be an unstable jerk, but hopefully we’ll cease having nonsense like Kaine muttering about treason.

        Here’s another thought for you.  Hillary immediately put Wasserman-Schultz and her pwnd iPad right in the middle of her campaign after she was fired from the DNC. What do you suppose was exposed with that access?

        The Pak IT story has lots of legs. We’ve only got inklings so far.  How deep into Congressional systems did they get? Where did those links go?  Have all the holes been closed? The DNC may be small potatoes. Why were the Dems such chumps?

         

        • lefty665 says:

          Oh, and now that we know that the DNC was penetrated from right there in D.C. does that add a wrinkle to the unsolved murder of the DNC data guy? Did he stumble onto what was happening? If so, would Wasserman-Schultz’s attempts to obstruct examination of computers make her an accessory?

  7. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Russia Passes Bill Banning Proxies, Tor, and VPNs

    [Will Putin sign?]

    [Yes, just more Kabuki. If politicians believe that internet traffic can always be eavesdropped on, they are smoking some really good stuff. I am not just talking about secret backdoors. The only way to prevent secret internet comms is to shut down the internet. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not technical]

    [Most proxy, tor, vpn use is by ‘LE/IC’]

    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/government/russia-passes-bill-banning-proxies-tor-and-vpns/

    A bill that bans the use of proxies, Tor, and VPNs passed the Russian government’s two legislative bodies and has now reached the desk of President Vladimir Putin, who can now sign it into law just by a stroke of his quill.

    The Russian Parliament (Duma) approved the proposed bill last week, while yesterday, the bill moved through the Russian Federation Council.

    The bill passed despite street protests in Moscow over the weekend. Thousands showed up to protest the bill and support a free Internet. The turnout varies from source to source, ranging from 800 to 10,000 protesters.

    [Still think RSA is secure?]

    [Or, looking at the Great Firewall of Russia?]

  8. harpie says:

    Maggie Haberman‏Verified account @maggieNYT

    Mooch isn’t a comms professional. But his messaging is smooth and and level-headed.

    11:34 AM – 21 Jul 2017

    According to Ryan Lizza, Anthony Scaramucci said the following:

    “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. 

    And he says there are tapes.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mooch is smooth.  About as smooth as Donald, about as crude and paranoic, as determined to destroy competitors and those who might be, but much brighter.  He’s aiming a lot higher than communications chief, but he’s a race car with one wheel missing being towed by a sterile hybrid.

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