…are we there yet? [DOT 18/12/20]

bring on the weekend...

…thankfully it’s almost the weekend…& I don’t mean to take the shine off that friday feeling



…but I guess we should maybe spare a thought for the folks who don’t get days off at the moment

Nurses Are Anxious and Angry in 2nd Wave: ‘We’re Not Prepared’ [NYT]

…prepared is good


Moderna’s vaccine has the advantage of being distributed more widely because it can be stored at normal freezer temperatures and, unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, does not require ultracold storage.

F.D.A. Panel Endorses Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine [NYT]

…& not just for cub scouts…

States report confusion as feds alter vaccine shipments, and Pfizer says it has ‘millions’ of unclaimed doses [WaPo]

…surprises…not always good

The Vaccines Are Supposed to Be Free. Surprise Bills Could Happen Anyway. [NYT]


…so it’s nice that they’re finally getting around to some relief


…because…it’s about the people that need relief, right?

White House aides talked Trump out of last-minute demand for stimulus checks as big as $2,000 [WaPo]

…same shit…different day(s)?


…guess maybe it’s time to ask ourselves who we trust, maybe


More than 30 states added to Google’s mushrooming legal woes on Thursday, accusing the Silicon Valley titan of illegally arranging its search results to push out smaller rivals.

…speaking of tech & trust


…it’s funny who seems to be keeping quiet about this stuff

Federal officials issued an urgent warning on Thursday that hackers who were working for a foreign government and penetrated deep into government systems had used a wider variety of techniques in their cyberoffensive — and they warned that the hacking was “a grave risk to the federal government.”

The discovery vastly complicates the challenge for federal investigators as they search through computer networks used by the Treasury, Defense and Commerce Departments, as well as nuclear laboratories, trying to assess the damage and understand what the Russian actors had stolen. Although the government warning made no specific reference to the origin of the hacking, intelligence agencies have told Congress that they believe it was carried out by an elite Russian intelligence agency.

Minutes after the statement from the cybersecurity arm of the Department of Homeland Security, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first comments on the broadening cyberattack, warned that his administration would impose “substantial costs” on those responsible.

“A good defense isn’t enough; we need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyberattacks in the first place,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “I will not stand idly by in the face of cyberassaults on our nation.”

President Trump has said nothing about the attacks since they were first revealed on Sunday.

More Hacking Attacks Found as Officials Warn of ‘Grave Risk’ to U.S. Government [NYT]

…well…I say funny…but I’m not laughing…& neither is this guy

According to SolarWinds S.E.C. filings, the malware was on the software from March to June. The number of organizations that downloaded the corrupted update could be as many as 18,000, which includes most federal government unclassified networks and more than 425 Fortune 500 companies.

The magnitude of this ongoing attack is hard to overstate.

The Russians have had access to a considerable number of important and sensitive networks for six to nine months. The Russian S.V.R. will surely have used its access to further exploit and gain administrative control over the networks it considered priority targets. For those targets, the hackers will have long ago moved past their entry point, covered their tracks and gained what experts call “persistent access,” meaning the ability to infiltrate and control networks in a way that is hard to detect or remove.

While the Russians did not have the time to gain complete control over every network they hacked, they most certainly did gain it over hundreds of them. It will take years to know for certain which networks the Russians control and which ones they just occupy.

The logical conclusion is that we must act as if the Russian government has control of all the networks it has penetrated. But it is unclear what the Russians intend to do next. The access the Russians now enjoy could be used for far more than simply spying.

The actual and perceived control of so many important networks could easily be used to undermine public and consumer trust in data, written communications and services. In the networks that the Russians control, they have the power to destroy or alter data, and impersonate legitimate people. Domestic and geopolitical tensions could escalate quite easily if they use their access for malign influence and misinformation — both hallmarks of Russian behavior.

I Was the Homeland Security Adviser to Trump. We’re Being Hacked.

…guess old man baby has his hands full…too busy getting people killed, for a start

The Man I Saw Them Kill

…or doing…whatever the fuck you call this?

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he plans to follow through on his threat to veto the annual defense policy bill that passed with veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate last week.


…because apparently that goes down well with…a certain sort?

…or maybe trying to get his AG to un-resign?

Barr Plans to Finish Term Despite Wanting to Leave Early

Mr. Barr had been weighing whether to leave this month. But President Trump — already angry with the attorney general’s refusal to help overturn the election — was said to be irritated with Mr. Barr’s contemplation of an early departure, according to the person.
Mr. Barr was wary of the tensions and problems that could pop up when one administration handed off to the next, the people said. As attorney general in the final months of the George Bush administration, Mr. Barr confronted several contentious issues tied to pardons and an independent counsel’s investigation.


The president’s claim of comprehensive electoral fraud has been distinguished by a complete lack of supportive evidence. Legal representation by swaggering, bungling windbags has done little to advance the president’s cause. And Trump’s diversion into deranged conspiracy thinking while national challenges mount is a fitting end to this sad, shabby chapter in the American story. One imagines the other 43 presidents in Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents pointing and laughing at their most embarrassing successor.


Hating Facebook was one of the few issues that united the political parties this year.


…& while we’re not forgetting things…let’s not forget that a certain lame duck is officially not entitled to camp out in his chosen refuge

A Glitch in Trump’s Plan to Live at Mar-a-Lago: A Pact He Signed Says He Can’t [NYT]

…& according to the dutch courts…he really did use “maga2020!” for his twitter password while in office…because this excuse for an administration is absolutely as shit at everything as they seem




  1. All tech giants are fucking bastards.
    I hated MS during its era of domination.  Cheered on Google and Apple.  Now?  Not so much (actually none at all.)  One thing I have learned is that tech power corrupts absolutely.
    I like individual things from tech companies.  MS Minesweeper.  Apple MacBooks.  Gmail.  Android.  But the corporate structures?  Fuck’em.
    The saddest will always be the fanboys/fangirls whose obsession with the products blinds them to the rapacious shitbags running the companies in question.  Don’t be evil, my ass.

    • …pretty much…way back when I used to be a fan of apple & not at all of microsoft since my experience was that even running windows caused less headaches if done as a virtual machine on a mac…the system was more stable & the performance was better even when the windows-pc supposedly had better specs on paper

      …then they invented the iphone/ipad…& apparently lost all respect for their users…since then they’ve tried to make the OS resemble the diet version from  the mobile devices even though it’s still capable of so much more…which is irksome…but what lost me was the part where they increasingly force users to do things apple’s way even though they’ve spent thousands on hardware that absolutely could do the things those users might like…& seem to try to charge those users for more & more overlapping subscriptions to access content they don’t get to actually own onncevices they can’t repair or upgrade but have to pay a steep premium for

      …& google…they’re like the poster child for how even the less fucked up side of “big data” isn’t that great for the users…if not for facebook representing the more fucked up side of things consistently enough to take the heat off them I strongly suspect a lot of us would be madder at that lot than we tend to be

      …& given that the gates foundation seems to be too well-funded to be just a tax -dodging kind of philanthropy…it kind of seems like the least worst corporation might be the one I always loathed the most back in the day…it’s kind of confusing, to be honest

      • Call me a heathen, but post-the Apple IIe or so, I’ve LOATHED the Apple interface…. I only understood the IIe, because they were pretty rudimentary, and that was what our computers at school were, back in the 80’s (one in our K-12 even had a *COLOR* monitor–it was… not as cool as it SEEMED back then!😉😆😂🤣), but by the time we had a “Mac Lab” when I was in high school, I was OVER Apple’s “you need to be an insider to use our tools!” shtick… 
        From the lack of a 2-button mouse, to the little dot/scroll ball(that usually DIDN’T scroll!) thingy on top of the mouse, to having to just know all the f-key/command-key functions, or fumble onto them accidentally….
        I COMPLETELY  understood,, and frankly LOVED he aesthetic/design aspect, and can appreciate the beauty of the machines that the Jobs-Ives pairing was able to create… they’re GORGEOUS!
        BUT, if you were only a casual user, they were SO NOT intuitive OR in any way user-friendly…
        Unlike ALL OTHER COMPUTERS, which were basically set up under “universal design” ideas/aesthetics, which YES makes them clunkier/uglier….
        But at least made it, so that you COULD be someone who only had sporadic access, yet could still function on them, when you DID have access again…
        A huge & important thing, when you grow up poor & in a rural area where dial-up is STILL used today.🤨

    • “Don’t be evil, my ass.”
      Although, it could be argued that, “Move fast and break things” is pretty damn accurate…
      Too bad most of the old fogeys in Congress don’t understand, is that what they’ve been doing is breaking the Constitution… since MOST of those old Congresscritters DON’T use the web on a daily basis (or if they DO, they aren’t the ones accessing it themselves–they have their staffersset it up, and they just attend their Zoom/etc. session…)

      • …the disconnect between the actual tech & the people ultimately responsible for legislation relating to it is the stuff of nightmare

        …in some cases literally for some people…as this hack russia are denying in typically slavic fashion is busily demonstrating

        …not to mention the apparently boundless appetite some folks have for lapping up disinformation as fast as it can be delivered to their screens

        …sometimes optimism is hard

    • Yes, fuck them all indeed.  I use Duck Duck go now but back in the day was an Alta Vista fan though Dogpile & Hotbot were good too.  When I worked at MS (contractor, not employee) I saw up close the stupid shit they did.  My office was in the Office group & I literally watched these people hide all day from doing any work.  One lady I swear played ping pong all day, I thought she was going for the Olympics or something.  I also walked in on meetings w/ Bill Gates & Ballmer.  Gates I thought had Aspergers as he would just sit and rock in his chair while the nerds gave presentations.  Then he would lash out and yell, “What the fuck are you talking about!”  Freaking out the poor nerds.  Then go back to just rocking back and forth.  Ballmer was just an asshole that would scream like a wild man.  My friend was setting up his laptop for an event & it wasn’t projecting, he told him, “you have 5 seconds to get this working or you are fired”.  Luckily it worked in time but what a douche!  If your software worked right all the time it would have easily projected you fucking ass!

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