Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Twitter shows us why the public needs flamethrowers - What I am reading 8/25/2015

Ars Technica - Facing possible ban, more Americans are buying new—and legal—$900 flamethrowers -
"Why make/build/sell this? It’s awesome," Byars added. "It’s revolutionary in its design in contrast to previous flamethrowers throughout the years due to its portability and instant-action on the fly functionality. I wanted one, personally, back in 2007, so I began developing plans to create one. Years went by with slow development, and then a spark hit and I decided this was the year to make it happen. I used the resources I gained as an engineer in the auto industry to learn how to make this a reality."
And come the revolution it will strike fear into the heart of the bourgeoisie

NY Times - Stock Markets Rebound Despite Continued Sell-Off in China -

After a three-day rout that erased nearly $3 trillion in value from stocks globally, markets other than China’s on Tuesday showed signs that selling pressures were easing.
...
Stocks in Europe opened higher and kept climbing. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose about 2 percent at the open, and the Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 300 points, or more than 2 percent.
It is too soon to know whether the rebound will last, but there were signs on Tuesday that many analysts might have been right in saying that the recent global sell-off of stocks and commodities was an overreaction to China’s specific economic and financial market problems.
I don't really know enough about this to intelligently comment but here goes.  To me this seemed like an overreaction.  Yes China is a huge economy but they try so hard to stand apart it seemed like their stock market issues really shouldn't matter much to us.  That however won't stop me from trying to take advantage if the market keeps dropping.

The Verge - Twitter's decision to ban archiving of politicians' deleted tweets is a mistake -
Twitter is either incapable of making essential distinctions, or becoming submissive to powerful users — and either scenario should damage everyone’s trust in the platform. The question of who is a public figure is murky, but the idea that politicians and people in positions of state power are public figures is uncontroversial. That they should be held accountable by having their publicly-stated words stored as a matter of record is well-established and fundamental to concepts of democracy: elected officials form a bright line, not a slippery slope. Twitter's decision is especially flabbergasting when you consider that the company originally blessed the idea of preserving the deleted tweets of politicians, only to suddenly have a change of heart three years later.
And this shows why we the public need flamethrowers - to overcome the powerful entrenched interests of the twitter-politico complex.

The Register - Court rules FTC can prosecute companies over lax online security -
The Third Circuit US Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission does have the right to prosecute firms who mishandle their customers' data.
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The FTC's case hinges on what would be considered a "reasonable" amount of computer security, and it told the courts that Wyndham, which uses a centralized computer system for all its properties, didn't take reasonable precautions at all.
The suit cites the fact that the company was storing credit card numbers on its servers in plain text, had easily guessable administrator passwords, little or no firewalls, and didn't check what operating systems its subsidiaries were using. In one case, a hotel was using an outdated operating system that hadn't been patched for three years.
Another good use for flamethrowers.  In fact the more I think about it the more I realize that there is not a single problem that cannot be solved with the proper application of a stream of flame from your own personal flamethrower.







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