Saturday, January 11, 2014

Beware of covert advertising

Penny auctions explained: Is it really possible to save up to 95% on RRP?, article, no, advertisement.

It took me a while to realize that I was not reading an actual article, but a disguised advertisement.
And probably an ad for a false service. Not even a desperate junkie is dumb enough to sell brand new consumer goods for more than 90% off. Well, OK, a really desperate junkie might, but not somebody who is running a business.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Nina Hagen - I'm a Believer

I love when avant-garde rockers covers pop songs!
This one is different from what I would have expected from the diva of punk.

More poppy yet!?

Is that Nina? So pretty under the Munster make-up*? What a waste she hid that.

And Nina with a symphony orchestra backup!

*Seems to be, here's a pic of her with less extreme make-up. Clearly the same features.

Again: what a shame. I wonder if she was afraid of not being taken seriously if she looked like just another pretty pop doll?
Or if she, like many, felt she had to take on a mask, to become somebody else, in order to let the extreme creations flow freely?

thanks to A: Nina at 19, now for something entirely different!  Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen
Aw, so cute. 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet, by Steven Levy

Now that is one bitchin' poster.
How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet, article by Steven Levy
During the conversation, the officials could barely contain the frustration they feel about how the world—and their fellow Americans—views them post-Snowden. They have read Brandon Downey’s heartbroken lament about his own government breaking into his beloved data center. They understand that journalism conferences routinely host sessions on protecting information from government snoops, as if we were living in some Soviet society. And they are aware that multiple security specialists in the nation’s top tech corporations now consider the US government their prime adversary.

But they do not see any of those points as a reason to stop gathering data. They chalk all of that negativity up to monumental misunderstandings triggered by a lone leaker and a hostile press. NSA employees see themselves as dealing with genuine deadly threats to the nation, and it makes them crazy when people assume that spooks at Fort Meade are intent on stealing their privacy.

“It’s almost delusional,” Ledgett says. “I wish I could get to the high mountaintop to scream, ‘You’re not a target!’”
Another quote:
President Obama weighed in. While implicitly confirming the program (and condemning the leak), he said, “With respect to the Internet and emails, this does not apply to US citizens and does not apply to people living in the United States.”

Ah, it is all right then. It is perfectly ethical and legal to spy on everybody, so long as they are not citizens of one's own country! Who cares about the rights of "forriners"?

And now for a bit of satire: 
In October of 2017, a breakthrough on the war on terrorism was finally made, the so-called total-openness-era. 
133 of the biggest nations on Earth made a deal with the USA: recognizing that the people who were the hardest to spy upon were those smart enough to not use the Internet at all, these nations promised to help the USA implement an extensive spy network: Every piece of mail would be x-rayed and the image sent to NSA. Every room of every single building in a country would be set up with microphones and spy cameras, and the sound and images sent to NSA. 
Negotiations are still going on as to what the NSA/US gov. would do in return. When talked to, they are slightly confused. "Why would we have to give you guys anything in return?" they say, "we are the good guys. Don't we always come and protect you guys?"
Then they wink and whisper: "Anyhow, don't worry, we have things well set up here. After all, everybody in USA basically is a foreigner or descendant of one...

Monday, January 06, 2014

A comment from the side lines

Under the Resolutions post, "Anonymous" commented:

Are you still pretending to be interested in photography? Face it, you're a poseur. You like buying cameras, but you don't care about photography or photographers.

Grave error?

Thanks to Mikko Hypponen ‏@mikko
When you buy an iPad from Apple's web store, you get a free engraving. You get two lines with any text you want. 

Talking about LED light...

I've bought a small flashlight, a LED Lenser P5. But just like with so many other things, these days "small" is not synonymous with "weak".

I love quality tools of all kinds. Quality just gives its own pleasure, no matter the purpose. The P5 is not "Walmart priced", but to me it's easily worth it.

This flashlight, believe it or not, only takes a single AA battery. That lasts for about 3 hours. It seemingly only has one LED, but man, can that put out the light. I remember a big flashlight I had many years ago. It used three batteries, of the big, fat ones. When the lights were on, that one could just give a rather weak lighter spot on the wall. But this one makes a big, very even, bright area of light.

Lookkit this tiny thing. It comes with a strong nylon holster, which can sit on a belt for example, and it has one of those closed metal hooks mountaineers use. 

These are taken with the light zoomed out, and zoomed in. The light from this small flashlight is so good that in the pictures it looks like the room lights were off, but they were not! I was 5-6 feet from the wall.

They say this puts out "105 Lumens". LED Lenser has many models, the biggest, X21R is huge, costs over $400, and puts out... 1600 Lumens!! Wow, I'd like to try that one. That must be for searching for lost people in the woods and such.