The Internetest safety video on the Internet

 

The Internetest safety video on the Internet
By Delta Air Lines
May 20 2015

 

We see you’re on the Internet. That’s great, because we made a safety video starring the Internet. Now, there’s a lot of Internet out there, and, as such, you might not be familiar with every character in our film. That’s why we’ve included the list below to help you figure out what’s what.

0:03 Keyboard Cat
0:18 Double Rainbow Guy
0:26 Annoying Orange
0:30 Roomba Cat
0:45 Rahat’s Prank
1:05 Evolution of Dance
1:25 Slow Mo Guy
1:43 Harlem Shake
1:51 Deltalina
1:52 Screaming Goat
2:02 Internet Browser
2:23 Peanut Butter Jelly Time
2:31 Dramatic Chipmunk
2:48 Charlie Bit My Finger
3:23 Clicking Finger
3:51 Overly Attached Girlfriend
4:02 Ice Bucket Challenge
4:09 Dancing Baby (Dancing Baby Animation provided courtesy of Autodesk, Inc. © 1999)
4:15 Hamsters Eating Burritos
4:25 Nyan Cat
4:32 Doge
4:48 Mentos & Coke

[snip]

Video: 6:07 min

The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally.

[Note: This item comes from friend Ed DeWath. DLH]

The GOP Is Dying Off. Literally.
By DANIEL J. MCGRAW
May 17 2015
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/the-gop-is-dying-off-literally-118035.html

It turns out that one of the Grand Old Party’s biggest—and least discussed—challenges going into 2016 is lying in plain sight, written right into the party’s own nickname. The Republican Party voter is old—and getting older, and as the adage goes, there are two certainties in life: Death and taxes. Right now, both are enemies of the GOP and they might want to worry more about the former than the latter.

There’s been much written about how millennials are becoming a reliable voting bloc for Democrats, but there’s been much less attention paid to one of the biggest get-out-the-vote challenges for the Republican Party heading into the next presidential election: Hundreds of thousands of their traditional core supporters won’t be able to turn out to vote at all.

The party’s core is dying off by the day.

Since the average Republican is significantly older than the average Democrat, far more Republicans than Democrats have died since the 2012 elections. To make matters worse, the GOP is attracting fewer first-time voters. Unless the party is able to make inroads with new voters, or discover a fountain of youth, the GOP’s slow demographic slide will continue election to election. Actuarial tables make that part clear, but just how much of a problem for the GOP is this?

Since it appears that no political data geek keeps track of voters who die between elections, I took it upon myself to do some basic math. And that quick back-of-the-napkin math shows that the trend could have a real effect in certain states, and make a battleground states like Florida and Ohio even harder for the Republican Party to capture.

By combining presidential election exit polls with mortality rates per age group from the U.S. Census Bureau, I calculated that, of the 61 million who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, about 2.75 million will be dead by the 2016 election. President Barack Obama’s voters, of course, will have died too—about 2.3 million of the 66 million who voted for the president won’t make it to 2016 either. That leaves a big gap in between, a difference of roughly 453,000 in favor of the Democrats.

Here is the methodology, using one age group as an example: According to exit polls, 5,488,091 voters aged 60 to 64 years old supported Romney in 2012. The mortality rate for that age group is 1,047.3 deaths per 100,000, which means that 57,475 of those voters died by the end of 2013. Multiply that number by four, and you get 229,900 Romney voters aged 60-to-64 who will be deceased by Election Day 2016. Doing the same calculation across the range of demographic slices pulled from exit polls and census numbers allows one to calculate the total voter deaths. It’s a rough calculation, to be sure, and there are perhaps ways to move the numbers a few thousand this way or that, but by and large, this methodology at least establishes the rough scale of the problem for the Republicans—a problem measured in the mid-hundreds of thousands of lost voters by November 2016. To the best of my knowledge, no one has calculated or published better voter death data before.

“I’ve never seen anyone doing any studies on how many dead people can’t vote,” laughs William Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who specializes in demographic studies. “I’ve seen studies on how many dead people do vote. The old Daley Administration in Chicago was very good at that.”

[snip]

Read This Before You Take Pictures on a Plane

Read This Before You Take Pictures on a Plane
By Christopher Elliott
May 17 2015
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-elliott/read-this-before-you-take_b_7300830.html

Next time you’re tempted to take a snapshot of an interesting cloud formation or your seatmate sprawling into your personal space on a plane, remember Arash Shirazi and Steven Leslie.

Both of them are law-abiding citizens and air travelers. And both recently ran afoul of the airline industry’s confusing photography rules.

With only days before the busy summer travel season unleashes millions of shutterbugs on America’s airports, it’s helpful to know about the airline industry’s little problem with cameras so that your own camera doesn’t become hung up on it.

Shirazi, a music agent, was recently waiting in the Reagan National terminal for a flight from Washington to Los Angeles when he decided to take a picture of an American Airlines aircraft with his smartphone. He wanted to share it with his friends on social media.

A gate agent saw him snapping photos, stopped Shirazi and “demanded to know why I was taking a picture of airport equipment,” he remembers. “I showed her the picture and offered to delete it, but she became even more combative, accusing me of being a security threat. She made it a point to tell me that she was going to document this security breach in my travel record.”

Shirazi said he apologized, adding that even as a frequent flier he was unaware of any prohibitions against taking photos of planes. “But she was curt and told me to either get on the plane or take the next one,” he recalls.

He’s right. American Airlines doesn’t publish any prohibitions against taking photos of its aircraft. But late last year it updated its internal policies to allow employees at the airport, including ticket counters, gates, cargo, baggage, and onboard, to stop passengers from taking pictures.

“The policy is in place to protect employees and customers,” says Andrea Huguely, an American Airlines spokeswoman.

Steven Leslie faced a similar reaction from an airline employee when he started filming a passenger boarding a JetBlue flight. Leslie, a soft-spoken pharmacist flying from Albuquerque to New York, noticed a family with a sick child. The crew looked worried about the boy’s health. His family said he had cancer and had been medically cleared to fly.

The incident occurred only a few days after another cancer patient was expelled from an Alaska Airlines flight under similar circumstances, and Leslie decided to tape the conversation on his phone.

“It was my original intent to record this uncomfortable situation because I felt it was wrong,” he says.

Apparently, JetBlue felt something was wrong, too. After the family was removed from the aircraft, an airline employee ordered that Leslie delete the video. He politely refused, and then he, too, was escorted from the aircraft.

The reason? A crew member told him he didn’t “feel safe” being recorded.

[snip]

LTE can mooch off of Wi-Fi spectrum with new Qualcomm chipset

LTE can mooch off of Wi-Fi spectrum with new Qualcomm chipset
By Stephen Lawson
Feb 26 2015
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2889792/lte-can-mooch-off-of-wifi-spectrum-with-new-qualcomm-chipset.html

A chipset Qualcomm is introducing at Mobile World Congress next week is likely to make mobile operators happy and some Wi-Fi fans nervous.

Amid a scramble for spectrum among cellular carriers, Qualcomm will demonstrate a chipset that lets LTE cells operate in a radio band used by Wi-Fi networks. The new silicon could double the amount of spectrum subscribers can use in certain areas, and it’s just the first in a family of chipsets that may eventually tap into five times as much.

The FSM 99xx chipset for small cells, along with a matching transceiver that will go into mobile devices, are among the first products coming for so-called Licensed Assisted Access. LAA, sometimes called LTE-Unlicensed, is one of several emerging techniques to take advantage of the large amount of spectrum available in unlicensed bands used by Wi-Fi. Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and SK Telecom all have shown interest in using LAA. Combining unlicensed spectrum with traditional carrier frequencies will be a major trend on display at MWC.

The benefit of unlicensed spectrum is that it’s free for anyone to use, so carriers can tap into it without paying billions in an auction or going through a long licensing process. But that’s also what makes it risky, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. The industry group fears that without the right safeguards, LTE networks could hurt Wi-Fi performance. It’s working with the 3GPP cellular standards group on future rules to prevent interference.

‘Good neighbor’

Qualcomm says its product is ready to be a good neighbor. Tests at Qualcomm showed that putting up a cellular base station built with the new chipset won’t affect nearby Wi-Fi users any more than adding another Wi-Fi access point would, said Mazen Chmaytelli, senior director of business development at Qualcomm. It plans to offer products with future safeguards once they’re finished but says they aren’t needed to keep Wi-Fi safe.

LAA uses the 5GHz band, the biggest one for Wi-Fi. The system won’t let carriers set up LTE networks that just use unlicensed spectrum. It’s designed to add some spectrum to a regular licensed network where necessary, and only for downstream traffic. All the data going out to the Internet from the phone still goes over LTE.

Qualcomm says LAA a better alternative to the Wi-Fi hotspots that many carriers install to offload traffic in busy areas. For one thing, Qualcomm tests have shown it’s at least twice as efficient, said Mazen Chmaytelli, senior director of business development at Qualcomm. LTE can carry more data with the same amount of spectrum than Wi-Fi can, so it can give users a bigger performance boost. Also, subscribers stay on the cellular network while they use LAA, so they don’t have to go through a handoff to a different network, Chmaytelli said.

[snip]

Muskular Magic

Muskular Magic
By James Howard Kunstler
May 11 2015
http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/muskular-magic/

Elon Musk, Silicon Valley’s poster-boy genius replacement for the late Steve Jobs, rolled out his PowerWall battery last week with Star Wars style fanfare, doing his bit to promote and support the delusional thinking that grips a nation unable to escape the toils of techno-grandiosity. The main delusion: that we can “solve” the problems of techno-industrial society with more and better technology.

The South African born-and-raised Musk is surely better known for founding Tesla Motors, maker of the snazzy all-electric car. The denizens of Silicon Valley are crazy about the Tesla. There is no greater status trinket in Northern California, where the fog of delusion cloaks the road to the future. They believe, as Musk himself often avers, that Tesla cars “don’t burn hydrocarbons.” That statement is absurd, of course, and Musk, who holds a degree in physics from Penn, must blush when he says that. After all, you have to plug it in and charge somewhere from the US electric grid.

Only 6 percent of US electric power comes from “clean” hydro generation. Another 20 percent is nuclear. The rest is coal (48 percent) and natural gas (21 percent) with the remaining sliver coming from “renewables” and oil. (The quote marks on “renewables” are there to remind you that they probably can’t be manufactured without the support of a fossil fuel economy). Anyway, my point is that the bulk of US electricity comes from burning hydrocarbons, and then there is the nuclear part which is glossed over because the techno-geniuses and politicians of America have no idea how they are going to de-commission our aging plants, and no idea how to safely dispose of the spent fuel rod inventory simply lying around in collection pools. This stuff is capable of poisoning the entire planet and we know it.

The PowerWall roll out highlighted the “affordability” of the sleek lithium battery at $3,500 per unit. The average cluck watching Musk’s TED-like performance on the web was supposed to think he could power his home with it. Musk left out a few things. Such as: you need the rooftop solar array to feed the battery. Figure another $25,000 to $40,000 for that, depending on whether they are made in China (poor quality) or Germany, or in the USA (and installation is both laborious and expensive). Also consider that you need a charge controller and inverter to manage the electric flow and convert direct current (DC) from the sun into usable alternating current (AC) for your house — another $3,500. So, the cost of hanging a solar electric system on your house with all its parts is more like fifty grand.

What happens when the solar panels, battery, etc., reach the end of their useful lives, say 25 years or so, when there is no more fossil fuel (or an industry capable of providing it economically). How will you fabricate the replacement parts? By then the techno-wizards will have supposedly “come up with” a magic energy rescue remedy. Stand by on that, and consider the possibility that you will be disappointed with how it works out.

What gets me about Tesla’s various products and activities is that, when all is said and done, they are meant to extend the fatal rackets of contemporary life, especially car dependency and the suburban development pattern. Car dependency can and probably will fail on the financial basis, not on the question of how you run the car. The main economic problem we face is the end of growth of the kind we’re used to, the kind that generates real capital and enables bank lending. It is already happening and has led to fewer loans for fewer qualified borrowers. It will also lead to the end of government’s ability to pay for fixing the elaborate hierarchy of paved highways, roads, and streets that the cars have to run on. Imagine the psychic pain of the Silicon Valley billionaire driving his $87,000 Tesla P85D down a freeway that the State of California hasn’t been able to repair in five years.

Boston had four times as much snow as Anchorage this winter

[Note: This item comes from friend Bob Frankston. Bob’s comment:’OK, this doesn’t prove climate change but still …’. DLH]

Boston had four times as much snow as Anchorage this winter
By Rebecca Fiore
May 15 2015
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/05/15/boston-had-more-than-four-times-much-snow-anchorage-this-winter/S1hPrN3GREppKoUl1ZsNJK/story.html

How bad was the snow? Boston had more snow than Anchorage this past winter — more than four times as much, in fact.

A recordbreaking 110.6 inches of snow was tallied in Boston, while Alaska’s largest city had a mere 25.1 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

“It was kind of a combination of factors,” William Ludwig, a weather service meteorologist in Anchorage, said.

“During most of the winter the flow was from the south, and that’s not a good direction to get snow from, so we didn’t get much,” he said.

Typically, Anchorage records 74.5 inches of snow per winter, Ludwig said. Boston has an average of 43.8 inches, according to the weather service.

The winter of 2013-2014 was also a below-average year for snow, with 64.7 inches of snow in Anchorage. But in the 2011-12 season, 134.5 inches fell, a new record.

Re: NSA Whistleblower William Binney: Seeking Blackmail Power, U.S. Officials Enabled 9/11

[Note: This comment comes from friend David Rosenthal. DLH]

From: “David S. H. Rosenthal” <dshr@abitare.org>
Subject: Re: [Dewayne-Net] NSA Whistleblower William Binney: Seeking Blackmail Power, U.S. Officials Enabled 9/11
Date: May 16, 2015 at 23:18:00 EDT
To: dewayne@warpspeed.com

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: Seeking Blackmail Power, U.S. Officials Enabled 9/11
By Alexander Reed Kelly
May 15 2015
http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/nsa_whistleblower_william_binney_seeking_the_power_to_blackmail_20150515

See also:

https://www.emptywheel.net/2015/05/14/some-thoughts-on-usa-f-redux/

Even more troublesome is the extension of Material Support maximum sentences from 15 to 20 years. Remember, under Holder v. HLP, a person can be convicted of material support for First Amendment protected activities. Thus, USA F-ReDux effectively embraces a 20 year sentence for what could be (though isn’t always) thought crimes. And no one has explained why it is necessary! I suspect this is an effort to use harsh sentences to coerce people to turn informant. If so, then this is an effort to recruit fodder for infiltrators into ISIS. But if all that’s correct, it parallels similar efforts under the Drug War to use excessive sentences to recruit informants, who — it turns out in practice — often lead to false convictions and more corruption. In other words, at a moment when there is bipartisan support for sentencing reform for non-violent crimes (for which many cases of Material Support qualify), USA F-ReDux goes in the opposite direction for terrorism, all at a time when the government claims it should be putting more emphasis on countering extremism, including diversion.