Shared posts

19 Sep 21:49

Android Browser Flaw a ‘Privacy Disaster’ for Half of Android Users

by John Gruber

Peter Bright, writing for Ars Technica:

A bug quietly reported on September 1 appears to have grave implications for Android users. Android Browser, the open source, WebKit-based browser that used to be part of the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP), has a flaw that enables malicious sites to inject JavaScript into other sites. Those malicious JavaScripts can in turn read cookies and password fields, submit forms, grab keyboard input, or do practically anything else. […]

Google’s own numbers paint an even worse picture. According to the online advertising giant, only 24.5 percent of Android users are using version 4.4. The majority of Android users are using versions that include the broken component, and many of these users are using 4.1.x or below, so they’re not even using versions of Android that use Chrome as the default browser. […]

Just how this fix will be made useful is unclear. While Chrome is updated through the Play Store, the AOSP Browser is generally updated only through operating system updates. Timely availability of Android updates remains a sticking point for the operating system, so even if Google develops a fix, it may well be unavailable to those who actually need it.

It’ll all work out in five or six years when most Android users are running 4.4 or higher.

21 Sep 21:57

Unsupported arguments


A+ to student for honesty.

My favorite forum of writing is social media because I do not have to worry about my lack of evidence while arguing a point.

21 Sep 06:48

Super sad to the max extreme

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was super sad to the max extreme. 

18 Sep 22:45

California program asks citizens to trade violent games for ice cream

by Kyle Orland

So very Marin County.

While many jurisdictions have tried (and failed) to put legal barriers in place to prevent children from buying or playing violent video games, Calfornia's Marin County is taking a different tack, asking families to voluntarily trade in their violent video games for ice cream and raffle tickets.

The Marin Independent Journal has a report on the county's efforts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which include weekly opportunities to trade in violent video games or toy guns. Participants will be provided with ice cream from the local Ben & Jerry's affiliate, according to the report, and parents of those participating will be entered in a raffle for further prizes.

The toy and game drive is being spearheaded by District Attorney Ed Berberian and the Center for Domestic Peace, who teamed up to host a firearm buyback program that took in over 850 weapons two years ago. Why move from collecting real guns to collecting fake guns and games that feature fake guns?

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

18 Sep 18:20

Occupy Wall Street activists sue over Twitter account

by Cyrus Farivar

On Wednesday, three years to the day since the beginning of Occupy Wall Street, one of its former leaders has sued another leader over a disputed Twitter account.

@OccupyWallStNYC has 177,000 followers, and it's apparently controlled by Justin Wedes, a self-identified "educator and activist based in Detroit, Michigan" and a "founding member" of the New York City General Assembly. Wedes did not respond to Ars’ requests for comment.

According to the suit, which was filed by the OWS Media Group in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Wedes "hijacked" the account in early August 2014, "making himself the sole person in control of the Twitter Account."

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17 Sep 21:38

Deep like the ocean is deep

When I read the line about the Brian being bigger than the sea, it allowed me to think deeper in depth, because we use our brain to think about things.

18 Sep 04:57

Apple expands data encryption under iOS 8, making handover to cops moot

by Cyrus Farivar
Tim Cook unveils iOS 8 at WWDC 2014.
Megan Geuss

Apple has updated its privacy policy as part of the rollout of iOS 8, announcing that devices with the latest version of the operating system installed can no longer be accessed by the company itself.

Previously, as we reported in May 2014, if law enforcement came to Apple with a seized device and a valid warrant, it was able to access a substantial portion of the data already on an iPad or iPhone. But under the latest version of iOS, even that will be impossible.

"On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode," the company wrote on its website Wednesday evening. "Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

Read 20 remaining paragraphs | Comments

18 Sep 03:33

Tim Cook on Apple and Privacy

by John Gruber

Tim Cook:

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple. […]

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

That Tim Cook and Steve Jobs are very different people has been a common refrain for three years, and it came up again this week in his interview with Charlie Rose. But one trait they share is the ability to write in simple, straightforward words. I say clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Tim Cook and the rest of Apple’s leadership are serious about this — both as a moral issue and as a competitive advantage to tout over Google. They should have called this “Thoughts on Privacy”, because it reads an awful lot like Jobs’s “Thoughts on Music” and “Thoughts on Flash”.

17 Sep 22:20

Berkeley warned of rampant Godzilla across the bay

by Tracey Taylor
godzilla sign fred werner

Photo: Fred Werner

Drivers and pedestrians on Panoramic Way in Berkeley did a double take a few days ago when a large mobile LED sign, usually reserved for imparting traffic alerts, instead informed them: “Godzilla rampant in SF.”

Fred Werner spotted the sign and shared a photograph of it with Berkeleyside. “Commuters beware!” he wrote. “This warning sign on Panoramic Way heralds danger across the Bay today.”

We posted the pic on our Facebook page on Sept. 11 where it found an appreciative audience. “Love it. Berkeley ROCKS,” wrote Fred Weissman. “Reference to Big Soda?” cracked David Weisz.(...)

Read the rest of Berkeley warned of rampant Godzilla across the bay (180 words)

By Tracey Taylor. | Permalink | 7 comments |
Post tags: Godzilla

07 Sep 05:19

Excuse for doing of many people

It is so common for people now-a-days to use skin color as an excuse for actions and doing of many people.

16 Sep 18:50

Comstock Saloon rebuilds, looks to reopen Thursday

by Paolo Lucchesi

Comstock Saloon car crash

car0916_ph2 CAR0916230.JPG car0916_ph1 CAR0916323.JPG CAR0916048.JPG car0916_ph3 CAR0916144.JPG Barbite24_comstock_ph3

In the wake of yesterday’s dramatic car crash, Comstock Saloon‘s owners and staffers are picking up the pieces to the back bar and dining room.

The good news is that Comstock Saloon is currently scheduled to reopen its front room and saloon area on Thursday evening at 4pm. The full dinner menu will be served, along with the usual selection of standout cocktails. Lunch will return the following day, Friday.

The damaged room, dubbed the Monkey Bar, will be boarded up and remain closed, probably about a month or so. It’s a tough break for Comstock Saloon, which just painstakingly remodeled the back room last winter. Now, owners Jonny Raglin and Jeff Hollinger will have to rebuild it. The return date is largely dependent on when they can procure the right materials and the contractors’ timeline, says Raglin.

Fortunately, Raglin says that insurance will cover most of the damage, but one customer did end up in the hospital for an extended visit with a fractured knee and lacerations. As it happens, that person is a fellow bartender, visiting from Rhode Island. Comstock was his first stop on his three-day trip.

Raglin contacted him this morning, and along with some other local bartenders, is helping to organize a casual fundraiser for their injured comrade at 15 Romolo tonight (9/16) tomorrow night (9/17) from 9pm to closing. Here’s hoping he’ll be able to make a return trip to San Francisco, and perhaps indulge in some less eventful libations.

· Previously: Car crashes into North Beach bar – 3 injured [San Francisco Chronicle]

Comstock Saloon: 155 Columbus Ave. (at Kearny Street) San Francisco. (415) 617-0071 or

16 Sep 16:28

Tesla wins right to sell directly to consumers in Massachusetts

by Cyrus Farivar
Steven Michael

Massachusetts’ highest court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers’ Association against Tesla Motors. The ruling paves the way for direct-to-consumer Tesla sales in the Bay State.

The Supreme Judicial Court decision, which was handed down on Monday and upheld a lower court’s ruling, found that existing car dealers lacked standing. The plaintiffs had claimed that Tesla was in violation of state law that prevents a car manufacturer from also owning a car dealership—so because Tesla could sell directly, it had an unfair advantage. But that law was intended to protect dealerships from abuse by their own brand manufacturers and distributors, not unrelated manufacturers.

"Contrary to the plaintiff’s assertion, however, the type of competitive injury they describe between unaffiliated entities is not within the statute’s area of concern," Justice Margot Botsford wrote in the unanimous decision.

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16 Sep 02:21

Obama, a communist

It just totally upsets me that Obama, a communist, made ObamaCare instead of making the Affordable Care Act.  That was a better idea.  He should have done that.  

11 Sep 00:00

Dalai Lama says he might not be born again

13 Sep 13:00

Justice Sotomayor says technology could lead to “Orwellian world”

by David Kravets

She’s right, as usual.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor visits Rosa Parks Elementary School in Berkeley, Calif. in 2011.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says that without proper privacy safeguards, the advancement of technology could lead to a world like the one portrayed in "1984" by George Orwell.

Speaking to Oklahoma City University faculty and students, the justice said Thursday that technology has allowed devices to "listen to your conversations from miles away and through your walls." She added: "We are in that brave new world, and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too."

The President Obama appointee also discussed the lack of privacy standards concerning drones.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

15 Sep 04:28

Gold Dust

by Jeff Sharlet

“I love God,” she said shortly after we met. Su-lynn was my student minder for the American Writers Festival in Singapore. I’d read a story about a church, so she told me about her church. She told me about spiritual war, about being slain in the spirit, about demons and deliverance ministries -- aka exorcism -- and about everyday miracles, the gifts of the spirit. 

“Tongues?” I asked. 




“Serpents?” A stupid joke; that’s an American thing. 

She thought it puzzling. “No snakes,” she said. “Gold dust.” 

“Gold dust?” I asked. 

She showed me her hands. They looked like hands. “God’s manifestation,” she said. “Can you see the sparkles?” I couldn’t, but I lack faith. “Gold dust,” she said again. “It’s on me all the time, God is all around me. Some people get gold teeth. Some receive gems. I’ve never seen one.” 

It’s not the prosperity gospel, it’s not about getting rich. She loves shopping, the national pastime, but to her the material promise of the “air-conditioned nation” is not enough. She believes in the kingdom, greater than any nation. She studies miracle videos from American churches. She searches for grace. 

“I did get an angel feather once. I brushed it off! I thought, ‘just a bird.’ But my friend told me it was an angel. They are worshipping among us all the time.” 

Over two days she tried to find light in which I could photograph the gold dust on her hands, but although I did see a few shiny specks -- she swears it’s not glitter -- I couldn’t get it to show up in a picture. So she suggested I photograph her tattoo. It’s a laminin cell, a crucial binding protein, shaped like a cross. Gold dust outside, the cross within. 

Su-lynn slipped her strap off her shoulder, her classmates at Singapore Management University milling around her. “Can you see?” she asked.

I felt awkward, but she did not; she was showing me God, scientific and divine.

Read more at Instagram.

10 Sep 16:55

CREAM ice cream sandwiches (and possibly Philz Coffee) headed for Rockridge

by Ethan Fletcher

CREAM custom ice cream sandwiches

icecreamXX icecreamXX icecreamXX icecreamXX icecreamXX icecreamXX icecream13_PH2

CREAM is coming to Oakland. The family-run Bay Area company, popular for letting customers mix and match different flavors of ice cream and cookies to make custom ice cream sandwiches, is opening another store on College Avenue in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood.

The new store will fill one of the ground floor spaces created by the new Safeway project currently under construction at College and Claremont avenues, according to co-owner Gus Shamieh. Exactly when it will be ready to start scooping is still up in the air, although a representative from the Rockridge District Associations said the new Safeway could be open as early as this November.

Since debuting its first location on Telegraph Avenue near the Cal Berkeley campus in 2010, CREAM (ahem, which stands for “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me”) has expanded quickly, opening seven new franchise and corporate locations around the Bay Area, most recently in San Francisco’s Mission district.

CREAM could also be joined by another popular Bay Area chain, Philz Coffee, which Shamieh said was exploring going into an adjacent space on College Avenue.

11 Sep 21:58

US gov’t threatened Yahoo with $250K daily fine if it didn’t use PRISM

by Joe Mullin

Yahoo reports that it is on the verge of releasing 1,500 pages of documents related to a long court battle over its participation in the PRISM program, a National Security Agency program revealed last summer as part of the Snowden leaks.

A leaked top-secret slide about PRISM shows that Yahoo was one of the first participants, having begun contributing to the database in March of 2008. It did so under severe duress. Company executives believed the government's demand for data was "unconstitutional and overbroad" and fought it in court.

"Our challenge, and a later appeal in the case, did not succeed," explained Yahoo General Counsel Ron Bell in a blog post published today. "The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)... ordered us to give the U.S. Government the user data it sought in the matter."

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08 Sep 18:47


LOL at this line: “Once the format is in play, the extent to which theorists will want to debate it is almost boundless. By the time it's over, Markdown will be Lisp, or RDF. ”

Scripting News: So I'm siding with Gruber.

08 Sep 18:58

Chart Party: Exploring 'scoragami,' the art of inventing new final scores -

by overbey
This is Carroll's fifth year in Seattle. Exactly once per season, he's produced a work of scoragami. 2010: Seahawks 36, Cardinals 18 2011: Seahawks 36, Giants 25 2012: Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0 2013: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 (Super Bowl XLVIII) 2014: Seahawks 36, Packers 16 None of those final scores had ever happened before. To produce even one work of scoragami in one's career would be quite an achievement. To do it five times in as many years is sorcery.
05 Sep 17:00

Bites: Alcohol-free bar set for Berkeley (say what?)

by Berkeleyside Editors

so. very. berkeley. ……

Kava. Photo: Emilie Raguso

MeloMelo Kava Bar, an “alcohol-alternative” bar, is slated to open at this spot on University Avenue in Berkeley. Photo: Google Maps

Openings, closings…

The kava plant. Photo: Vilseskogen

The kava plant. Photo: Vilseskogen

BERKELEY’S FIRST ALCOHOL-FREE BAR? Nosh has the scoop about a business that hopes to be Berkeley’s “first and only alcohol-alternative bar.” It’s called MeloMelo Kava Bar and is aiming to open on University Avenue at McGee. The owner is Berkeley resident Nicolas Rivard, according to a permit application posted on the city of Berkeley website. Rivard says in the application that “We will be serving Kava, tea, and kombucha in a relaxed, yet enticing, setting.” For those not in the know, kava is a Polynesian plant, the roots of which are “used to produce a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties,” says Wikipedia. The business is seeking a parking waiver for two spots, given its proximity to transit, bike-friendly features (vertical wall-mounted bike racks), and an employee bus pass program. Writes Rivard, “Although we anticipate this to be a wild success, being the first and only Kava bar location in the Bay Area, we will ensure that the impact on the convenience for the community will be kept to a minimum.” The business does not plan to serve food “or any coffee bean related products.” MeloMelo has asked for operating hours of noon to midnight seven days a week, has proposed seating for 27 in the 1,200-square-foot space, and expects to have three employees. According to a brief business profile on, Andrew Procyk is a co-owner, and Anneliese Valery is the manager. The trio says MeloMelo will “provide an alternative to coffee houses and alcohol bars. We aspire to nothing less than changing the way Americans work — and how they spend their leisure hours in more productive and healthy ways.” MeloMelo Kava Bar hopes to open at 1701 University Ave. in Berkeley.(...)

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By Berkeleyside Editors. | Permalink | 6 comments |
Post tags: Alexeis Filipello, B-Dama, Bar Dogwood, Bay Grape Wine Shop, Bettina Limaco, Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, Capone's Speakeasy, Creekwood, Erin Scott, Green11, Lemat Ethiopian Restaurant and Café, MeloMelo Kava Bar, Oakland's Very Own Tavern & Eatery, Ovo Tavern & Eatery, Ramen Shop, Smoke's Poutinerie, Stag's Lunchette, Swan's Marketplace, The Lodge, The Rare Barrel, Trueburger, Whole Foods Ashby, Whole Foods Berkeley, Whole Foods Gilman, Yummy Supper

04 Sep 19:42

Two More Down

by David Kurtz

Download the PDF. It’s a great read.

In an opinion written by Judge Richard Posner, a three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns bans on same sex marriage in Wisconsin and Indiana. You can read the opinion here.

02 Sep 19:00

Nosh on the town: Townie in Berkeley

by Emilie Raguso

Hate the name so much.

Townie in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Townie in Berkeley has the potential to become a new neighborhood favorite with a great atmosphere, a fantastic bar program and a menu that’s small but features one hit after another. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Diners have a cool, new option in Berkeley with the opening last month of Townie, at 1799 University Ave., in what was for decades Caffe Venezia until it closed last year. The interior has gotten a major overhaul and Chef Dana Ryan is at the helm of this small plates New American restaurant at Grant Street, not far from downtown Berkeley.

The menu is small, but features one hit after another, using seasonal ingredients and what the owners describe as “the highest quality meats and seafood.” Potato croquettes, the garlic cheese toast and the mussels with chorizo and white wine were some of the favorites during a recent meal.(...)

Read the rest of Nosh on the town: Townie in Berkeley (611 words)

By emilie. | Permalink | 23 comments |
Post tags: Berkeley dining, Chef Dana Ryan, Downtown Berkeley, East Bay drinking, Frank/Architects, Missouri Lounge, Nima Shokat, Nosh on the town, Townie, University Avenue, Where to drink in Berkeley

02 Sep 18:17

Grover Norquist Goes to Burning Man -- NYMag

by overbey

Article is pure 100% win.

“Burning Man is a bunch of people who think the government doesn’t need to be here,” he says. “Nobody told anybody to do this stuff. I mean, talk about Hayekian spontaneous order — this is, like, exhibit A.” Harvey, the Burning Man co-founder, agrees — while the festival is officially nonpartisan, he told the Washington Post in 2012 that ”if you’re talking about old-fashioned, Main Street Republicanism, we could be the poster child.”
02 Sep 18:05

All Islam is Vernacular Islam

by tompepinsky

I happened to come across this announcement for a Mellon Visiting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Vanderbilt, carrying the title “When the Fringe Dwarfs the Center: Vernacular Islam beyond the Arab World.” It looks like a fantastic opportunity, but it highlights a continuing problem in both academic and popular discussions of Islam.

That problem is the perceived asymmetry between “central” and “fringe” Islam. The Mellon program is to be commended for encouraging us to remember that about 80% of the world’s Muslims are not Arabs. But even in making this point, it commits the standard mistake of opposing the Great Tradition of Arab Islam with the Little Traditions found in Istanbul, Tashkent, Lahore, Bamako, Dakar, Mogadishu, Dhaka, and Jakarta (to say nothing of Manchester, Marseilles, or Minneapolis). The term “vernacular” probably stems from a linguistic perspective, referring to those who speak a “vernacular” language, i.e., something other than Arabic. But as written in the program description, it reflects more than just that, implying a kind of purity or refinement of one particular form of Islam. It also implies a position for that form of Islam: at the center or core, versus the edges or fringes or peripheries.

One way to clarify my objection is to ask what is the opposite of vernacular Islam? What is it called? Who practices it? What does it entail? If you find yourself uncomfortable answering that question—and nearly everyone who has thought hard about Islam will—then you should also be uncomfortable with the very idea of a fringe.

So, say it together with me: All Islam is vernacular Islam. All of it. Wahhabis and Salafis in the Arab Middle East are just as much products of particular historical moments and sociopolitical contexts as are other Sunni Muslims who don’t happen to speak a form of Arabic as their native language (to say nothing of Ibadis, Ismailis, Alevis, etc.). The same imperative to gaze outward from the Arab Middle East must be complemented with a hard gaze inward among scholars of Islam in the Arab Middle East. Perhaps that is what the program leaders mean when they write

as most Muslims live in the “fringes,” we need to problematize the notions of center and periphery, the relationship of the symbolic core to its ever-expanding outlying majority, and the latter’s creative adaptations of Islam.

But even this implies that it is the fringes where we look for the “creative adaptations of Islam,” not the center. So long as scholars continue to write as if the Islam of the Arab Middle East is somehow unproblematic, they will continue to perpetuate the myth of a non-vernacular Islam.

01 Sep 17:22

David Lowery: Here’s how Pandora is destroying musicians -

by overbey
The Internet has become cargo cult. People worship the Internet like a cargo cult. It’s this thing that they have that brings them free stuff, and they think it’s magic. It’s beyond rational thought and reason, right? And they have no sense that behind all that free stuff are the drowned ships and sailors. They don’t want to hear that behind the way you get this free stuff, some really actually fucked-up things have happened to individuals and their individual rights.
28 Aug 16:50

Heartbleed is the gift that keeps on giving as servers remain unpatched

by Robert Lemos

Within four days of the first public reports of a major flaw in OpenSSL's software for securing communications on the Internet, mass attacks searched for and targeted vulnerable servers.

In a report released this week, IBM found that while the attacks have died down, approximately half of the original 500,000 potentially vulnerable servers remain unpatched, leaving businesses at continuing risk of the Heartbleed flaw. On average, the company currently sees 7,000 daily attacks against its customers, down from a high of 300,000 attacks in a single 24-hour period in April, according to the report based on data from the company's Managed Security Services division.

"Despite the initial rush to patch systems, approximately 50 percent of potentially vulnerable servers have been left unpatched—making Heartbleed an ongoing, critical threat," the report stated.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

14 Aug 16:03

T-Mobile to throttle P2P traffic and excessive tethering, leaked memo shows

by Jon Brodkin

An internal T-Mobile memo published by TmoNews says the company will begin enforcing rules against peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and unauthorized tethering from August 17 onward.

The terms and conditions of T-Mobile US have contained restrictions on P2P and tethering since 2008, but enforcement appears to be new. The memo says that "only customers with Unlimited High-Speed Data" will be affected, and they will be given warnings before their data speeds are reduced.

“T-mobile has identified customers who are heavy data users and are engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing, and tethering outside of T-Mobile’s Terms and Conditions (T&C)," the leaked memo states. "This results in a negative data network experience for T-Mobile customers. Beginning August 17, T-Mobile will begin to address customers who are conducting activities outside of T-Mobile’s T&Cs.”

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28 Aug 14:43

This Ain't Paint Ball

by David Kurtz

I think I was around 9 or 10 when I first shot an Uzi. Same month I learned how to drive. Ah, Texas.

A good piece linking that awful Uzi accident involving a 9-year old girl and what is called "gun tourism." It includes a bit more about where that incident happened: "The dusty outdoor range calls itself the Bullets and Burgers Adventure and touts its "Desert Storm atmosphere." You get the idea.

28 Aug 04:47

Elements of fear

The carbon particles move the fastest because they’re afraid of dying.