The Manchurian Linkidate

I found all three of these articles in a span of about five minutes.  News of one shooting is bad enough, but seeing three separate events at almost the same time is just creepy.  What the hell makes people snap and just go start shooting people?

Two California students hurt when man opens fire – via – This asshole decided to shoot at 6 and 7 year old kids.  Luckily he’s not as good a shot as the kid with the pellet gun in the next article.

Boy, 12, charged with assault after pair hit with pellet gun – via – I think this kid and his parents have some issues.  A 12 year old shouldn’t even have access to a pellet gun if not supervised.  Considering he scored head shots on both of the old folks in the story they’re lucky he didn’t have an actual firearm.

Cop arrested in 2-state shooting spree – via – Typically the anti-gun crowd tries to use these kinds of things as proof that ordinary people shouldn’t have access to firearms.  Considering the shooter here was a cop it might not work out in their favour this time around.


With secret work on self-driving cars, is Google = Cyberdyne?

Google is a frickin’ amazing company.  It seems they’re working on a little bit of everything.  Today the project of note is work on self-driving cars capable of functioning in traffic.  Currently they still need a human inside for safety reasons, but this is just plain cool.

What we’re driving at – via the Official Google Blog

Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic – via

The one legitimate caveat that I see with this technology is the same as with so many others.  What happens when people develop a dependence on this tech and it fails?  The closest current example I can think of is something that I am guilty of, myself – reliance on in-car GPS navigation.  How screwed would you be if you were in an unfamiliar location, your GPS unit stopped working and you didn’t know how to read a map?  That assumes, of course, that you even have a map.
When people get used to technology they take it for granted.  Don’t believe me?  Try to leave your cell phone off and not use the internet for a week.  Unplug your land line (if you even still have one) and forget about the TV and the radio, too.  One of two things will happen.  Either you’ll realize you don’t need these things or you’ll go batty from the isolation and inconvenience inside of a day or two.

For those unaware – In the Terminator movie franchise, Cyberdyne is the company that created the artificial intelligence that eventually triggered a nuclear war.  Everybody knows that if it’s not zombies, it will be sentient robots that take over the world.  Make sure your kill switch is hardwired, Google.

Hot Air Balloon

A woman in a hot air balloon, realizing she was lost, reduced altitude and spotted a man below.  She descended further and shouted to the man, “Excuse me, can you help me?  I promised a friend I would meet her an hour ago but I don’t know where I am.”
The man below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground.  You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.”
“You must be in IT,” said the woman.
“Actually I am, how did you know?” replied the man.
“Well,” said the balloonist, “everything you have told me is technically correct but I’ve no idea what to make of your information and the fact is I’m still lost.  Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all.  If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.”
The man below responded, “You must be in management.”
“I am,” she replied, “but how did you know?”
“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going.  You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.  You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems.  The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fucking fault.”

You link a little under the weather…

New Class of Malware Will Steal Behavioral Patterns – via – Great.  Not only are there assholes out there trying to steal your credit card and bank account numbers, but now they’re trying mine your activities online to create a model of your behavior.  This is data that could be useful for all sorts of things, and changing your behavior isn’t exactly as easy as cancelling a credit card.  Just another reason to be careful how much data you put out there…

Why Your Company Needs Paid Sick Days – via – I’ve argued this point with every employer I’ve had since high school.  The only problems are the inconsiderate fucks who use up all their sick days playing golf then still come to work when they’re sick.  If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere that gives you paid time off when you’re sick and somebody still comes to work spewing phlegm everywhere you should be allowed to put them out of their misery…with the cleansing beauty of fire.

I came here to post links and chew bubble gum…and I’m all outta gum.

If you do this in an email, I hate you. – via – Read this.  If any of them apply to you, die.  Except you, Mom.  Keep sending me those funny cat pictures and email hoaxes that have been circulating since the 90’s.

Why Comcast can (but probably won’t) read your e-mails, IMs – via – This could also be titled “Another reason why lawyers suck.” or “If you’re THAT worried, use encryption!”.  The end of the article sums it up perfectly – “…take comfort in the fact that your activities are (probably) boring enough that they will never bother to [read your email]”.  Think about how many billions of emails are sent daily.  Are yours so important that anybody will give a shit what they say?  Doubtful.  If you are that important (or that paranoid) then there are commercial encryption solutions available to safeguard your email.  Just get it before the U.S. government legislates their way in the back door.  What difference does it really make, anyway?  Everybody knows the tech support guy has been reading your email for years.
Clive Thompson on the Power of Visual Thinking – via – Although it boils down to “A picture is worth a thousand words” this is still an interesting article.  The comments underneath it are also becoming a decent debate.

Duke Nukem Forever Demoed – via – Duke Nukem 3D was released in January of 1996.  The sequel, Duke Nukem Forever, has been rumoured and promised since April of 1997.  It has been vaporware for so long that it’s actually been retired from some lists.  I’m still expecting this to all be part of an elaborate scam for the publisher to rake in millions of dollars in pre-orders, then disappear.

Google TV may finally get TV right in the online video age – via – If Google pulls this off, expect big changes in how people use their computers AND their TVs.  The evolution of on-demand content is getting very interesting.  I wonder how internet service providers who also provide cable TV will treat this new technology and lost ad revenue.

Toshiba to Launch Glasses-Free 3D TVs Later this Year – via – I can’t wait to see this technology in action.  Too bad it’s tiny screens and huge price tags.  Must have patience.

Anti-Government Sovereign Citizen Movement Makes a Comeback – via – I’m really not sure what I think of this one.  On one hand, I agree with the idea that the government should stay out of the lives of private citizens.  On the other hand, if you want to be part of a society, you have to live by its rules.  I do admire the way they stick to their principles, though, because I don’t care how many guns you have, the government has more.

The Office Worker’s 101 Guide to a USB Thumb Drive – via – This article has some handy tips.

And The Bonus!
Oral and Anal Sex Are Becoming More Popular – via – Several interesting statistics.  I found a certain inequality to be of particular interest.  According to this study, “85 percent of men claim they gave their partner an orgasm during their latest sexual event, whereas only 64 percent of women said they achieved orgasm during their most recent sexual encounter.”  Congratulations, ladies.  21 percent of you are very good actors!  Well played.