Tuesday Morning: Don’t Drive Angry

Okay, campers, rise and shine! It’s Groundhog Day! Like that genius film Groundhog Day we are stuck in an unending, repeating hell — like the dark circus that is our general election cycle in the U.S.

The lesson: it’s hell by choice. Let’s choose better. What’ll we choose today?

BPS, replacement for plastic additive BPA, not so safe after all
Here’s a questionable choice we could examine: using BPS in “BPA-free” plastics. A study by Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that BPS negatively affects reproductive organs and increased the likelihood of “premature birth” in zebrafish, accelerating development of the embryos. Relatively small amounts and short exposures produced effects.

As disturbing as this finding may be, the FDA’s approach to BPA is worrisome. Unchanged since 2014 in spite of the many studies on BPA, the FDA’s website says BPA is safe. Wonder how long it will be before the FDA’s site says BPS is likewise safe?

Exoskeleton assists paraplegic for only $40,000
Adjustable to its wearer’s body, SuitX’s exoskeleton helps paraplegic users to walk, though crutches are still needed. It’s not a perfect answer to mobility given the amount of time it takes to put on the gear, but it could help paraplegics avoid injuries due to sitting for too long in wheelchairs. It’s much less expensive than a competing exoskeleton at $70K; the price is expected to fall over time.

SuitX received an NSF grant of $750,000 last April for its exoskeleton work. Seems like a ridiculous bargain considering how much we’ve already invested in DARPA and other MIC-development of exoskeletons with nothing commercial to show for it. Perhaps we should choose to fund more NSF grants instead of DOD research?

Patches and more patches — Cisco, Android, Microsoft

Dudes behaving badly

  • Former Secret Service agent involved in the Silk Road investigation and later charged with theft of $800K in Bitcoins has been arrested just one day before he was to begin serving his sentence for theft. This Silk Road stuff is a movie or cable series waiting to happen.
  • Massachusett’s Rep. Katherine Clark, who proposed the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act last November, was swatted this weekend. Fortunately, the local police used a low-key approach to the hoax call. Way to make the case for the bill‘s passage, swatters, let alone increased law enforcement surveillance.

I know I’ve missed something I meant to post, but I’ll choose to post it tomorrow and crawl back into my nest this morning to avoid my shadow. In the meantime, don’t drive angry!

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.
10 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Groundhog Day remake 2016: Bernie and Hillary fight to a draw in Iowa over and over and over while Trump loses again and again and again. Bernie’s folks eventually get it right by calling “tails” to the coin flip that decides odd delegates in tied precincts and split 3-3 with Hillary rather than 0-6.

  2. haarmeyer says:

    Unless and until Microsoft creates a version of Windows 10 that will actually run on my computer, and won’t break my installed software, they need to remain a stupid little icon on the bottom right corner of the screen. They have no driver for my video card, they require more memory than my computer has to spare, and even just the latest upgrades to Win7 broke my Rosetta Stone.

    Elsewhere, Google opened and read and displayed one of my emails that neither originated nor was read in a gmail account to me on somebody else’s machine on Friday, while I was not logged in to any Google account there, as it’s idea of a pertinent and personalized response to my search term. It was the first search I had done on that machine in over a week. That being only about 1/2 day after I had specifically logged in on such a non-mobile device to read a confidential email that Google should be banned by law from reading, I went and actually read every last bit of Google’s latest privacy agreement and what options they give for opting out.

    Turns out they grant themselves the right to read all your email, all your transactions, and all your device states and devices if you “use a Google service”. They won’t give away your GPS information to anyone, and only authorized people are allowed to look at your stuff, which probably includes the guys working on the project to hack everybody on the street’s wi-fi while supposedly gathering data for google maps. “Using a Google service” apparently includes visiting websites that use Google services, using services of companies that use Google services, or having any android device turned on, even if it’s not the same device, same MAC address, same IP address or anything else than the device they’ve decided to surveil.

    Why bother with all the worrying over NSA collection schemes when the NSA could and probably do requisition far more detailed information than they’re capable of collecting themselves from the worlds most highly valued company instead? There is literally nothing whatsoever you could possibly do with a device that contains some kind of CPU and internet connection, or even just a GPS chip, that Google couldn’t justify watching and you couldn’t opt out of under their privacy agreement.

  3. orion ATL says:

    the revolution has been postponed.

    please call back in 2020.

    thank you for your interest.

    media manipulation mavens for bernie, inc.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    Massachusetts’ Rep. Katherine Clark, who proposed the Interstate Swatting Act last November, was swatted this weekend. Fortunately, the local police used a low-key approach. Way to make the case for the bill‘s passage, swatters, let alone increased law enforcement surveillance.
    .
    For God’s sake, they’re now watching parents spank their children? This has gone too far. Stop the train, I want to get off.

  5. martin says:

    quote”For God’s sake, they’re now watching parents spank their children? This has gone too far. Stop the train, I want to get off.”quote

    Yeah, well if that’s enough to stop the train, this one is enough to make you jump while it’s moving…

    http://observer.com/2016/02/the-fbi-and-nypd-interrogated-me-for-reading-an-article-about-isis/

    You don’t even have to be using a net connected device. Simply being observed reading something in a magazine, by one of Murica’s”see something, say something” herd of paranoid morons, who then alerts the surveillance state Stazi whereby you now become a possible “terrahist”.

    Stop the train indeed, because we have arrived. Make no mistake. The only difference between the Gestapo and our surveillance state Stazi is a fucking Swastika.

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