Monday Morning: Feeling Rather Mussorgsky

It’s not even 7:00 a.m. here as I start to write this post, and the day is already frantic — like Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. I don’t expect a placid ending to the first day of this week, either.

Strap in, lock and load.

Volkswagen on a roll — downhill, fast

  • A former employee who worked at the Michigan-based Volkswagen Group of America’s data processing center filed suit for wrongful termination. The employee lost their job after warning against data deletion after the U.S. Department of Justice ordered VW to halt normal data deletion processes to preserve potential evidence. Michigan is an at-will state, meaning employees can be fired for any reason at any time if they do not have a contract. However, employers may not fire workers in retaliation for refusing to do illegal acts or for reporting violations of health and safety code. Not a sketchy situation at all…this case might be an opportunity for discovery.
  • VW cutting jobs back home in Germany, with administrative roles taking the biggest hit. At the same time, VW says it intends to hire more software and technology personnel as it shifts away from traditional automotive technology. Huh — not a move I would expect when VW clearly hasn’t a handle on electronic vehicle technology.
  • Car sales are up 6.3 percent in the EU, but VW-brand car sales are off 4 percent. Ford and GM’s Opel picked up what VW lost in terms of sales.

Asking oranges from Apple

  • USDOJ hint-hints with little subtlety it will demand Apple’s source code. By subtlety, I mean a footnote shaped like a cudgel in its response to #AppleVsFBI:

    The FBI cannot itself modify the software on Farook’s iPhone without access to the source code and Apple’s private electronic signature.

    The government did not seek to compel Apple to turn those over because it believed such a request would be less palatable to Apple. If Apple would prefer that course, however, that may provide an alternative that requires less labour by Apple programmers.

    You can read Marcy’s take on the USDOJ’s Lavabit gambit for more.

  • The mega-sized tech companies who support Apple are now doubling down on encryption. Couldn’t see that coming, huh?
  • Some speculate WhatsApp as a communications technology may be the next focus of law enforcement in wake of #AppleVsFBI.
  • John Oliver does a Deep Dive into #AppleVsFBI — amusing take, but Oliver and his writing team have far too simplistic a take on this case. It’s not just that FBI wants a ‘master key,’ or that the FBI relies on All Writs to make its demand on Apple. It’s about forcing a company to create something entirely new, and something that’s not intrinsically part of its product.

Another energy industry executive dead
Josh Comstock, CEO of C&J Energy Services in Houston, Texas, died unexpectedly on Friday. He passed away in his sleep at age 46. Comstock was a supporter of NHRA drag racing. His company, which provided hydraulic fracturing (fracking) services, lost considerable value over the last year with the sharp drop in oil prices and field development.

Oil dudes are under a lot of stress these days.

And it being a Monday, so are we. Relax when you can, gang. I’m clocking out.

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.
6 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    Night on Bald Mountain was also, of course, used in Disney’s 1940 masterpiece “Fantasia” (along with other great tunes) Here’s a clip. The sound is somewhat muddy, but the pix are neat – and remember, that was 75 years ago! What CGI movies of today will still be watched in the year 2090?
    .

    • martin says:

      quote”The sound is somewhat muddy, but the pix are neat – and remember, that was 75 years ago! What CGI movies of today will still be watched in the year 2090?”unquote

      Neat indeed. Analog animation is art. vs, digital bullshit. I can’t even stand to watch digital animation. Something about it makes me nauseous. As far as 2090, I’d submit digital files of today, will be destroyed by then. Either by a massive coronal ejection EMP or WWlll nuclear EMP. Or other. At least..the way things are going..I hope so. Maybe by being forced to return to an earlier form of existence, mankind will save itself from extinction. Then again..who knows. What I DO know though..is given the path that digital has allowed our current Surveillance State to manifest itself, imagine 20 yrs from now..let alone 75. For the sake of my great great grandchildren though, the best I can hope for is a massive societal reset before this nation becomes what Orwell saw. Otherwise…they’ll spit on our graves.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Yep, proof positive that fracking is a health risk. More so than even diesel emissions, it would seem.

  3. Kelly Canfield says:

    Hello there – seems this thread is prolly the appropriate place to post my apostate projection for tomorrow’s primary results:

    I Project Win For: 538 Chances: Primary State
    Clinton 99% – 1% FL
    Sanders 90% – 10% IL
    Sanders 55% – 45% MO
    Clinton 99% – 1% NC
    Sanders 96% – 4% OH

    Primary Total Delegates Clinton Sanders
    FL 214 117 90
    IL 156 50 100
    MO 71 20 48
    NC 107 54 49
    OH 143 49 90

  4. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (10:00) — Thanks for the link. I didn’t use Fantasia because it was too perky in appearance for a Monday — especially yesterday for me — and because Disney is a dick about copyright, could swoop in anytime to take down that video. Then I’d have to backfill a hole.

    Kelly Canfield (9:51) — Yup, this is the closest thing we have to an open thread every day. Thanks for the predictions. Funny how Sanders might do so well in northern Midwest.

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