Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hackers Erase Orlando

Anonymous declared war on the city of Orlando, promising to remove the city's web site from the internet today from 10am to 6pm. I just tried to go to the site and it looks like they've manage to slow the site to inutility, although with some patience, it does sort of come up. Of course the rest of the internet feels like someone poured glue into the tubes, but it has felt that way for several weeks. It's intermittent and hasn't seriously effected us above the level of minor annoyance. And then I remember what it was like on a dial-up connection and stop being annoyed.

Of more concern is that the power companies will stop regulating the frequency of the electricity they deliver. So when stuff plugged into the wall stops working or dies prematurely, be sure to thank the power company for running an uncontrolled experiment at your expense. But I'm sure their stock will go up.

There is a commercial running on TV that just cracks me up. The basic message is that America doesn't have to worry about oil because of all that tar sand up in Alberta, which as everyone knows is part of the 51st state of The United States, although it looks like the locals didn't get the memo:

William Cohen, who was secretary of defense in the Clinton administration, said any Chinese-Canadian oil partnership must be done "with some diplomacy and care," in a way that isn't "a threat to the United States."

Canada can do whatever it wants, but "Canada knows it has a very close and vital relationship with the United States. I'm sure there will be discussions," he said in Toronto after a public debate about whether China will dominate the 21st century.

Eddie Goldenberg, chief of staff to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, said in an interview that Canada should care less if some American officials are leery about Canada selling oil to China.

"We're not the 51st state. It's not the business of the United States to decide where Canada sells its resources," he said.

So we have a former member of the US military establishment making thinly-veiled threats, and a member of the Canadian government telling him to fold it until it's all points and shove it on a slant. All of which ignores the bigger questions of net energy and environmental damage from trying to wring heavy, sour crude oil out of naturally-occurring asphalt.

I have other things I'm supposed to be doing, but I can't get my brain in gear. I've been bike-less since my Friday morning ride. I had some annoying noises that, as it turns out, were fairly minor to fix but will require a week-long wait for parts. I should have my bike back by Friday at the latest, but not being able to ride has put me in a bit of a funk. So instead of doing all the stuff that I need to get done, I'm posting random stuff on the internet.

Coming to a taco stand near you: lab grown meat. The take-away quotes:

Even if the initial results do not taste quite the same as proper meat, scientists are convinced the public will soon get used to it, especially if they do not have a choice.

A colleague of Professor Post said: ‘When we are eating a hamburger we don’t think, “I’m eating a dead cow”. And when people are already far from what they eat, it’s not too hard to see them accepting cultured meat.’

(Emphasis mine) So it's OK that it tastes like crap (and is likely a nutritional nightmare) because you won't have a choice and nobody really knows what they're shoving in their pie hole anyway.

State taxes will have to be raised $1,400 per household per year for the next 30 years to pay out government pensions. Given that most households don't gross $42,000/year not alone have that much in disposable income, I'm not real sure where this money is supposed to come from. Growth, I suppose. Now if we only had some....

Another flash mob hit a Walgreens on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. Again, it was only petty theft (drinks and sandwiches) against a pretty insignificant target, which means either Chicago is lucky these people have no imagination, or these are training sessions. Note out of a mob of 50, police managed to grab three. I grew up with a lot of people that would take those odds even if all they got was a hoagie and a Coke. How long before they grab some oxycotine?

Matt Taibbi on Michele Bachmann. Maybe we won't. Maybe. But then there is that whole history thing.

James Kunstler on cities. It's a bit long, but worth the effort. Maybe we'll smarten up and avoid the worst of what is likely to be coming our way over the next couple centuries, but given that we can't plan further ahead than the next paycheck (and that's being generous), I wouldn't bet on it.

Another list of essays from James Altucher. I've probably linked to some of these before, but it can't hurt to hit them again.

How to Deal with Crappy People
The Crappy FAQ: All Questions Answered about Crappy People
10 Things You Need to Do if You Were FIRED Yesterday
Suicide, and 13 Other Ways to Deal with Failure
How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps

OK, I really got to get something done today other than blogging.

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