Friday Morning: F for Free and Favorite

Congratulations! You made it to another Friday! The end of the week means jazz here, until I run out of genres. This Friday I’m not covering a genre, though. I’m pointing you to one of the most surprising and utterly awesome gifts jazz lovers and historians could get.

1,000 hours of free jazz, ready to download.

Holy mackerel! I almost fainted when @OpenCulture tweeted last week about David W. Niven’s collection shared with the public at Archive.org. Just as amazing is Niven’s commentary, providing context we would never otherwise have about each piece.

I’ll embed some Louis Armstrong at the bottom of this post to get your weekend started. Mark this collection as one of my favorite things ever.

Malware discovered, targeting non-jailbroken Apple iOS devices in China
This is the second China-specific malware that researchers at Palo Alto Networks have found this year. Gee, why China?

UK’s Labour Party wankers want ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ because Snowden
Just the wankers, mind you, though it’s hard to tell which MPs were the wankers as Labour and SNP sat on their hands during the vote for the Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), not wanting to appear obstructive. Fondly called the ‘Snoopers’ Charter,’ the bill replaces Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) and passed in the House of Commons on its second reading. The bill allows the UK government to amass all Internet Connection Records (ICRs) for a year’s time, including telecommunications connections. Restrictions on which government entities have access to these records and for what purpose is muddy at best, and the cost of collecting and storing these records will be borne by the network service providers who in turn will need to raise their rates. Sane people understand the IPB as passed is atrocious. The bill would not have passed the second reading at all had all of Labour and the SNP voted against it, but a number of wankers argue Edward Snowden is reason enough to dragnet the entire UK’s internet activity — which makes no sense whatsoever, based on the bill’s current formulation. The ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ now enters the Committee Stage, where it’s hoped somebody catches a cluestick and puts the brakes on this current iteration of government panopticon.

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FBI warn about automobile hacking
Hmm. A little late to the party after at least four different vulnerabilities were revealed over the last year, but better late than never. Rather annoying the public needs to be on guard against automakers’ naiveté/stupidity/hubris.

Google’s parent Alphabet selling its robot division Boston Dynamics
Remember the creepy four-legged robot ‘Big Dog’? It and its developer are up for grabs. Google (before it became Alphabet) bought Boston Dynamics in 2013, but now finds the firm doesn’t fit its strategy. Worth noting differences in reaction to the news:

The tone of the MIT Review piece — technology’s coolness is sufficient rationale for its creation and existence — offers interesting insight, explaining how awful technology ends up commercialized in spite of its lack of fitness.

Let’s call it a week and get on with our weekend. Have a good one!

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.
28 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    “U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FBI warn about automobile hacking. Hmm. A little late to the party after at least four different vulnerabilities were revealed over the last year, but better late than never. Rather annoying the public needs to be on guard against automakers’ naiveté/stupidity/hubris.”
    .
    That reaction sounds good on its face, but upon consideration, it’s really a call for a nanny state. If we find it annoying that we the public need to be on guard versus the automakers, how would we avoid that? Do we want the government to warn about things as soon as they happen? If so, then we will need lots of government people (in all areas of oversight, not just the intersection of technology and transportation) sitting around with nothing to do, just waiting for something to happen that they can warn about. I don’t want that. Plus, the world would be a lot poorer (monetarily) if there were so many excess government workers. And imagine how that would play out in the private sector – all of us just sitting and waiting for work to come in the door (that’s called “layoffs time” where I work).
    .
    And if we want the government to actually warn of problems before the technology comes out, then we will need to have the government involved in and aware of all commercial developments before they occur, that is, bureaucrats sitting alongside the engineers as they work. I don’t want that, either.
    .
    No, I don’t want that much government regulation. Except for the big banks, of course – I would gladly pay to have financial regulators sitting at the bankers’ desks as they dream up new ways of fleecing us. (Just don’t ask me how I can justify the one and not the other !)

  2. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (9:55) — I’ve written before about future shock. You don’t like the nanny state, but unfortunately, you’re walking blindly into a near-term future where technology is unleashed on the public with little to no systemic thought, on a public trained to snap up the newest/coolest technology without question, and there’s no braking mechanism. What do you suggest instead, before you end up stuck in a driverless car, hacked with all the other driverless cars on the road, held hostage by ransomware until you cough up your life savings or a kidney?

    Because ransomware: check — already held a hospital hostage.
    Because hackable cars: check — four different companies (that we know of).
    Because driverless cars: check — already on the road, getting into accidents.
    It’s just a matter of time.

    • bloopie2 says:

      If we really want to avert this type of happening, then I suggest the nanny state. I see no other option. Alternatively, hold corporations and governments strictly liable for all bad things they have a hand it (which will never happen). What other option can you suggest?

  3. harpie says:

    I really love my very old car for many reasons. Not being vulnerable to being run off the road by remote control wasn’t among the safety features I considered at the time we bought it, though I’m very grateful for it now.

    • Peterr says:

      As my old driver’s ed teacher taught me, you wear your seat belt not only to protect yourself from your own mistakes, but also to protect yourself from all the other drivers out there and their mistakes.
      .
      Just because you don’t have a hackable car doesn’t mean that you aren’t vulnerable to being run off the road by someone else’s hackable car.

      • harpie says:

        True. And there’s no way an individual can protect themselves.
        Could the human race perhaps be insane?

  4. Bardi says:

    Rayne, The FBI “warns” the public some two years late, or more. Is it because they see an opportunity to snoop further?

    Yes, walking into a nanny state, because there is a significant lag between technology and malicious exploitations of that technology, we need someone to blame, the “free” market is not fast enough. After all, GM’s “OnStar” has been the subject of man in the middle attacks for many years and no one seems to want to do anything about it. I asked several GM IT techs about connecting the car only after an incident, crash, theft, whatever and they said because the company needed “continuous contact”, so I bought something without “OnStar”.

    Another good reason to keep one’s affairs private because as soon as the “intelligence” community gets the keys, the entire world seems to get dups quick enough.

  5. by the lakeshore says:

    10th fatality confirmed in Genesee County Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

    The latest case involves a patient from Shiawassee County. The patient wasn’t counted originally as part of the outbreak, because health officials didn’t know the patient had spent time in a Genesee County hospital.

    In all, 88 people contracted Legionnaires’ disease in Genesee County during the past two years.

    While a specific source is unclear, there are suspicions Flint’s tainted drinking water is the source.

    http://michiganradio.org/post/10th-fatality-confirmed-genesee-county-legionnaires-disease-outbreak

  6. by the lakeshore says:

    Flint burglary where water files stored ‘an inside job’

    Mystery still surrounds an unsolved December break-in at an executive office inside City Hall where Flint water files were kept.

    The city’s new police chief Tim Johnson says it’s too suspicious that there was a break-in where important documents were kept, just as investigations began heating up and decision makers were beginning to be held accountable.

    “It was somebody that had knowledge of those documents that really wanted to keep them out of the right hands, out of the hands of someone who was going to tell the real story of what’s going on with Flint water,” he said.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/03/break-in_where_water_files_sto.html#incart_river_home

    • harpie says:

      That’s very interesting! I remember that happening, but it had slipped my mind and I’m so glad someone didn’t drop the ball on that. And thanks for posting it here! :-)

  7. harpie says:

    Possible new entry:
    *
    2/25/15 [From the 2/26/15 email-Crooks to Busch:] “So, Steve, this goes back to what you and I were talking about yesterday. That different chemistry water is leaching out contaminants from the insides of the biofilms inside the pipes. I think Lead is a good indication that other contaminants are also present in the tap water, that obviously were not present in the compliance samples taken at the plant. […]

    [Rayne, you may want to read the rest of that e-mail-might have more there for the timeline, wrt: people, skin rashes and their further discussion on 2/25/15]

  8. harpie says:

    Timeline:
    X-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) Lee Anne Walters forwarded results of lead tests to EPA-Region 5 office.
    **
    New info:
    *
    2/26/15 9:08am Walters to Jennifer Crooks [EPA R-5]

  9. harpie says:

    Existing Timeline:
    XX-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) [EMAIL] EPA-Region 5 office forward Walters’ test results to MDEQ’s Stephen Busch and Mike Prysby. Subject: “HIGH LEAD: FLINT Water testing Results.”
    **
    New info:
    *
    2/26/15 10:53am From Jennifer Crooks [EPA R-5] to Busch, Prysby [DEQ] Cc: Poy, Deltoral [EPA R-5] [She’s been discussing this with Walters since January] [Mike Glasgow from water planthad e-mailed test results to Walters 2/26/15 7:55am] Crooks: ”Big worries here”

  10. harpie says:

    Existing TL:
    XX-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) [EMAIL] EPA-Region 5 Lead-in-Water expert Miguel Del Toral asked MDEQ via EPA employee Oconfirm identity): “Miguel was wondering if Flint is feeding Phosphates. Flint must have Optimal Corrosion Control Treatment-is it Phosphates?”
    **
    New info:
    *
    2/26/15 5:15pm Crooks back to Prysby; relates discussion with DelToral earlier in the day, about lead/iron. “Miguel was wondering if Flint is feeding phosphates” […more about water chemistry and Ph and figuring out how widespread the problem may be…]
    *
    2/27/15 12:48pm Busch [DEQ] to Crooks, Deltoral EPA R-5] Flint […] has Optimized Corrosion Control Program […talks about compliance sampling procedures] [Crooks responds offering assistance of expert Mike Schock.]

  11. harpie says:

    Existing TL:
    *
    X-FEB-2015 — (Confirm date) [EMAIL] EPA’S Del Toral responds to MDEQ, ““If I remember correctly, Detroit is feeding PO4 for the LCR, but since Flint is no longer part of that interconnection, I was wondering what their was. They are required to have in place which is why I was asking what they were using.
    **
    New info:
    *
    2/27/15 4:58pm From DelToral To Crooks, Prysby, Cc:Busch, Rosenthal, Poy, Schock, Porter [clarifying water chemistry/treatment issues] “If I remember correctly, Detroit is feeding PO4 for the LCR, but since Flint is no longer part of that interconnection, I was wondering what their OCCT was. They are required to have OCCT in place which is why I was asking what they were using.”

  12. harpie says:

    Existing TL:
    *
    XX-MAR-2015 — (confirm date) EPA-Region 5 forwarded Walters’ test results to MDEQ, asking, “Any thoughts on how to respond to her? I’m running out of ideas.”
    **
    New info:
    *
    3/8/15 11:38am
    *
    [The following is from the commentary at the above link, not the emails.]
    *
    [3/19/15 MDEQ response by voicemail to delToral: MDEQ had investigated and found Ms. Walter’s high lead was due to lead sources in her plumbing.]

  13. harpie says:

    Existing TL:
    XX-APR-2015 — [DATE TBD] MDEQ’S (confirm identity) replies to EPA’s Del Toral, acknowledging Flint had no corrosion control program.
    **
    New info:
    *
    4/23/15 DelToral emails MDEQ again, asked what corrosion control program Flint was using. It was only then that MDEQ finally acknowledged that there was NO program. According to DelToral’s 4/27/15 email, MDEQ’s Pat Cook confirmed this.]

  14. harpie says:

    Existing TL:
    27-APR-2015 — [EMAIL] EPA’s Del Toral emails EPA-Region 5: “Flint has not been operating any corrosion control treatment, which is very concerning given the likelihood of LSLs in the City.”
    **
    New info:
    *
    4/27/15 DelToral 6:53am sent this memo to Thomas Poy Cc: Andrea Porter, Rita Bair, Jennifer Crooks, Subject: Flint Sampling Update.
    On 6/2/15, at 8:28am Crooks forwards this email to MDEQ Busch, Prysby, Pat Cook, and Cc’d Richard Benzie, Kris Philip and Liane Sheckter Smith, with an apology for having overlooked it at the time DelToral wrote it.

  15. harpie says:

    Existing TL:
    XX-MAY-2015 — [DATE TBD] EPA’s Del Toral arrives at Walters’ home in Flint, arrives in time to find City of Flint replacing the service line to Walters’ home. The pipe, which Del Toral sampled, was pure lead.
    **
    New info:
    *
    In the MONDAY 4/27/15 email, DelToral says “I spoke with Mike Prysby on Friday and he said that the city was going to remove the LSL fully this Wednesday. I also brought a camera with me and will take some pictures while we are at Ms. Walter’s place as well.”

  16. harpie says:

    Thanks!!!! BMAZ, for this re-tweet this from Chris Savage! :

    “BREAKING: GOP Reps Walberg & Chaffetz lied at #FlintWaterCrisis hearing about meeting with EPA staffer Miguel Del… http://fb.me/69DrJY6mz
    ***
    Here’s the link to Rep. Cummings release of the email:
    *
    “New Email Undermines Republican Claims of Retaliation Against EPA Official in Flint Water Crisis Investigation”
    *
    http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/new-email-undermines-republican-claims-of-retaliation-against-epa-official-in

  17. harpie says:

    I’m just going to keep adding things here…
    *
    Existing TL:
    *
    XX-DEC-2012 — [DATE TBD] Michigan Treasury officials met with Flint city officials to discuss drinking water alternatives, including Flint River. Only two options — remaining on DWSD, or development/switch to new KWA — would be studied.
    ****
    New info:
    *
    From: City of Flint Water Supply Assessment, February 6, 2013 for submittal to State of Michigan, Department of Treasury; Tucker, Young, Jackson, Tull; Detroit
    *
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/131442949/City-of-Flint-Water-Supply-Assessment-Final-Report-February-6-2013
    *
    […] Additionally, an option for the Flint WTP to supply the City of Flint without being supplied from either DWSD of KWA was initially considered. The preliminary investigation evaluated the cost associated with the required improvements to the plant and to the Flint River dam system. Although it appeared that this was a viable option, Flint in a meeting on December 20, 2012 with the Treasury, stated that the City did not want to pursue the option and it is no longer being considered. […]
    ****
    NOTE: The meeting minutes in the Appendix of this report are NOT dated 12/20/12. They are dated as follows:
    *
    […] “A meeting was held at the City of Flint Municipal Center on November 20, 2012 to discuss the watersupply option being presented by the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) to the City of Flint.[pdf34/49]’ […]; includes list of attendees.
    ****
    Note: this pdf also includes minutes from a meeting with DWSD on 11/19/12, with a list of attendees. [pdf 26/49]

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