Shared posts

30 Sep 01:07

Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones Settle; Terms Undisclosed

by John Gruber

Here’s to hoping this worked out fairly for everyone involved.

29 Sep 19:54

Native Kitchen and Kombucha Bar opens tonight with ‘healing intent’ dishes

by Carey Sweet

I give this restaurant 4/5 voms!

Kombucha my lord, kombucha... at the new Native Kitchen

Kombucha my lord, kombucha… at the new Native Kitchen

There are chefs who specialize in certain cuisines.

And then there is Jasmine Dravis, a self-titled “Plant-Based Chef” who is in charge of the kitchen of the newly opened Native Kitchen and Kombucha Bar in downtown Petaluma.

How new is new? The eatery has been in beta mode for the last week, and the very first supper takes place tonight, with doors opening promptly at 5 p.m.

Occupying the former Viva Cocolat just north of Western Avenue on Petaluma Boulevard North, the eatery, bar and all-natural spa products store focuses on organic foods through breakfast, lunch and dinner, with vegetarian, vegan and gluten/nut free options.

(Viva Cocolat closed this June after six years in business, when owner Lynn Wong decided she wanted to spend more time with her family.)

native kitchenexteriorDravis has put together a menu of what she calls all local, organic and biodynamic health foods, for “healing intent” dishes like jalapeño cornbread with local honey and housemade pepper jam ($5), a kale and pumpkin seed salad or wrap with dried cranberries and orange dressing ($10), and skillet-cooked macrobiotic quinoa with roasted vegetables, marinated kale and tahini ($11).

“Healing intent describes our consideration for all vegan and gluten-free diets or allergies,” Dravis explains. (It’s basically the opposite of So Restaurant in San Francisco, which famously shuns all of those things.)

But there is still meat and dairy to be had, such as A Taste of Petaluma Poultry, bringing herb roasted chicken with vegetable and kale salad ($11), Thistle Meat’s grilled steak negimaki thinly sliced and rolled around vegetables ($12), and the Sonoma Cheese Board in a trio of raw, aged and locally crafted goat cheeses with jam and honey ($12).

Beverages are designed as soda replacement, notes Dravis, including a Mt. Shasta kombucha of muddled lavender, orange juice, rose sugar and rosebud powder ($7). They’re also cocktails, featuring alcohol-spiked options like Nature’s Nectar of Cocchi Americano, chamomile and honey with a bee pollen rim ($9).

And should anyone want to try the lifestyle at home, the apothecary side of the store stocks housemade shrubs sold retail, along with handmade facial and body products, plus a packaged food-to-go case.

Details: 110 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma; (707) 787-8073 or Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

29 Sep 20:22

Defining Britishness


A++ for this student.

Being British means striving to be of better class or marry into it. It was about who could be the best liar.

29 Sep 21:10

Literary Lions Unite in Protest Over Amazon’s E-Book Tactics

by John Gruber

David Streitfeld, reporting for the NYT:

Now, hundreds of other writers, including some of the world’s most distinguished, are joining the coalition. Few if any are published by Hachette. And they have goals far broader than freeing up the Hachette titles. They want the Justice Department to investigate Amazon for illegal monopoly tactics.

They also want to highlight the issue being debated endlessly and furiously on writers’ blogs: What are the rights and responsibilities of a company that sells half the books in America and controls the dominant e-book platform?

Andrew Wylie, whose client roster of heavyweights in literature is probably longer than that of any other literary agent, said he was asking all his writers whether they wanted to join the group, Authors United. Among those who have said yes, Mr. Wylie said in a phone interview from Paris, are Philip Roth, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, V. S. Naipaul and Milan Kundera.

So glad the Department of Justice set all this straight by taking Apple to court.

29 Sep 21:46


by John Gruber

Huge news for users of Omni products.

Big news from my friend (and still, colleague) Brent Simmons:

I start my new job as a developer at the Omni Group today. You already know them and their wonderful products, and I’ve expressed my admiration for them here on my blog many times.

They’re assembling a Cocoa all-star team up there. There’s probably more concentrated Cocoa talent at Omni than anywhere other than Apple itself.

29 Sep 01:43

Film Studies

Films, aka movies, are an important part of film culture in America.

27 Sep 16:33

Charlie Whitehurst says he's ready to start for Titans

by Patra, Kevin

Every time I read about Charlie Whitehurst, I think back to that 2013 game between the Bears and the Chargers, when Chris Berman said, “he’s the guy on the sideline who looks like a French painter.”

Charlie Whitehurst says getting reps in practice this week helped prepare him if Jake Locker can't play vs. the Colts. "Clipboard Jesus" could get his first start since 2011.
27 Sep 19:27

FBI and Police Departments Endorse Apple’s Full Device Encryption

by John Gruber

The Washington Post:

FBI Director James B. Comey sharply criticized Apple and Google on Thursday for developing forms of smartphone encryption so secure that law enforcement officials cannot easily gain access to information stored on the devices — even when they have valid search warrants.

I can’t think of a better endorsement of Apple and iOS.

“Apple will become the phone of choice for the pedophile,” said John J. Escalante, chief of detectives for Chicago’s police department. “The average pedophile at this point is probably thinking, I’ve got to get an Apple phone.”

Well, that didn’t take long. An even stronger endorsement. The pedophile card is pretty much the last resort for these law enforcement types who feel entitled to the content of our digital devices. Fear mongering with bogeymen and an appeal to base emotions.

26 Sep 16:48

Wine has nothing to fear but beer itself

by Jon Bonné


Fear the beer? (Photos: Craig Lee/The Chronicle and Sarah Rice/Special to The Chronicle)

Fear the beer? (Photos: Craig Lee/The Chronicle and Sarah Rice/Special to The Chronicle)

The Wine Industry Financial Symposium took place this week in Napa. It’s the event that reveals how the industry actually works, and what caught my eye was a presentation by Robert Smiley: “What Wine Industry Leaders Think Is Important For the Future.” (You can see a version here.)

Among the things Smiley, the director of wine industry programs at UC Davis and the former dean of Davis’ Graduate School of Management, revealed: Craft beer and cocktails have become serious competition for wine, and wine types are thinking a lot about how to compete. Craft beer is, in one respondent’s words, “taking some of the occasion of wine.”

No biggie, except that the people who Smiley queried are some of the industry’s top executives — the CEOs of Gallo, the Wine Group, Kendall-Jackson and so on. The responses, which weren’t attributed to any individual, are enlightening.

Wine bigwigs are, like everyone else, worried about millennials, who are gravitating to high-quality beer and liquor, particularly over supermarket wine brands. This isn’t necessarily bad. While one respondent said that “[s]pirits are going to intrude onto the dining room table,” another suggested that “craft beer actually expands the market for us,” because the same interest in artisanship and production that has spurred the craft beer industry (one assumes this means the small craft industry, not Big Beer’s clunky stomping into that arena) will ultimately translate back to wine.

They will all be fighting for what industry types are now calling “share of mouth.” (As one of Smiley’s respondents noted, legal marijuana likely will evolve that concept into “share of buzz.”) Booze with a real backstory, as compared to the manifest fabricated ones, has a leg up.

Starting earlier
Logic being: Younger drinkers seek out beers made on a small scale and with an authentic story, and they will embrace those values when they start drinking more wine. Also, they’re starting that path earlier; Boomers who got interested in the individuality of fine wines probably began in their 30s or 40s. That trajectory is now happening a decade or more earlier.

“Wine folks think that millennials … are a particularly prime group to move into wine,” Smiley told me when I called him for a bit more detail. “They are finding out about terroir and specialized tastings, and other things that if they weren’t drinking wine early they wouldn’t get.”

The link between craft beer and wine is particularly interesting — in fact, it’s the topic of my column this weekend — because it puts drinkers on a very different trajectory than in the past. The belief in authentic production sticks around when a drinker switches from beer to wine, or starts drinking both.

And it’s likely to sweep in so many of the industry’s sub rosa battles — ingredient labeling, organics, industrial techniques. They all are relevant to that belief.

As Smiley put it: “If we’re talking about a millennial drinking craft beer … You’re more likely to move into another brew pub or into an artisanal wine, not a K-J or Gallo, but you’re likely to move into a smaller boutique-y wine.”

Should this worry the folks who are making big supermarket brands? Probably. They’re concerned enough that one suggested: “In the wine industry there is no brand loyalty. It’s very different from beer, where if you’re a Coors drinker, you’re a Coors drinker.”

Wait for it … vodka Chardonnay
If last year’s survey responses are any indication, Big Wine’s planned response isn’t exactly going to leave craft brewers shaking in their rubber boots, although Willy Wonka is probably smiling somewhere: flavored wines, “lighter products,” lightly carbonated fizzy wines, “vodka Chardonnay.”

The little guys, however, stand to gain a lot. While mixing vodka and Chardonnay might be so stupid it’s brilliant, there’s no reason that winemaking, and wine styles, can’t get more freestyle, not unlike how craft beer has sought out a world beyond IPAs. (That’s the thrust of my column.)

Which is to say: Keep making jokes about pet-nat (naturally sparkling wine of particular interest to hipsters). Watch what happens when you serve one to a beer fan.

Plenty of other shiny tidbits in there, including the fact that about 37 percent of respondents see both more digital influence in how people choose the wines they buy, and less influence from traditional ratings — dual trends that Smiley attributed to a split between consumers under and over 50. (See chart below for more on that.)

It also seems, as he put it, that “the pre-dinner routine is changing somewhat”: beer or cocktails before dinner, and wine still on the dinner table. Fifty years ago, wine tried to move Americans away from “Mad Men” cocktail mode toward table wines. Today, it seems, we’re moving in the other direction — and the captains of the wine industry know it.

A slide from the presentation. (Robert Smiley/UC Davis)

A slide from the presentation. (Robert Smiley/UC Davis)

26 Sep 17:31

We have nothing to fail but fail itself

We fail because there is failure and due to it’s existance we can fail.

25 Sep 23:00

Apple, Google default cell-phone encryption “concerns” FBI director

by David Kravets

James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, said Thursday he was "concerned" over Apple and Google marketing smart phones that can't be searched by law enforcement.

"What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law," Comey told reporters. He said the bureau has reached out to Apple and Google "to understand what they're thinking and why they think it makes sense."

The move to encryption is among the latest aftershocks in the wake of NSA leaker Edward Snowden's revelations about massive US government surveillance.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

25 Sep 20:54

‘Stacking Silly Pundit Tricks to Burn for Warmth’

by John Gruber

The Macalope:

Look, all you need to do is get an Android phone from HTC for build quality. Then get an Android phone from Sony because their cameras are so good. Then get a Galaxy Note from Samsung for the largest screen. Then get a Nexus from Google to get a decent software experience. Finally, get a phone from Hauwei because they’re cheap. Then mash them all together and you’ve got one phone that’s better than the iPhone!

25 Sep 20:50

My two cents on Ello

This post appeared originally on Facebook.

They don't have feeds in or out. That means whatever you put in there, starting right now, is theirs. They won't even share your stuff with you. That's not a good deal. You shouldn't accept that.

So Ello isn't answering any question I can think of.

If they were open, then I would be interested. Because that means I could use my tools with it. At least with Facebook, there's a lot of openness, I'm writing this using my software, and if I weren't I could easily get it out (though honestly I haven't tested that yet). Here's a screen shot.

This is the same problem I have with people pouring love into Medium. I don't care if they pay you to write there, then it's just like Vox or Huffington Post or Quartz, Buzzfeed or any of a thousand other sites that employ writers. But if you do it thinking this is some cool way to publish, it's the most uncool way! Really seriously wrong that people do this thinking they might be doing themselves some good. It's the bad bargain tech companies always try to make with users. And users still fall for it.

Anyway, I'll watch it, but I won't invest in it. At least not yet. If you guys make them the new boss, then I guess I'll have to. I hope you all get wise, instead. ;-)

25 Sep 06:07

All the words of knowledge

Malcolm X used a dictionary to convey words of knowledge into his brain.

23 Sep 02:15

Tibetan eText Repository

by Jeff Wallman

Introducing TBRC’s Tibetan eText Repository

We are thrilled to announce the release of our Tibetan eText Repository on   The eText repository is a collaborative effort between TBRC and many publishers, authors and institutions to archive and make available through search, a large corpus of searchable Tibetan texts.

The Power of a Tibetan eText Repository

Imagine being able to search a place name, a person’s name, a topic, a title, a term inside texts, across many collections,in many different traditions, in different points in time.  You would discover connections that otherwise might be impossible to imagine.  The power of the Tibetan eText repository is discovery.  As one of TBRC’s lineage patriarchs His Holiness Drigung Chetsang Rinpoche said “this will end sectarianism.”

Impact on Scholarship

The impact of this type of resource is best expressed from scholars in the field.

“As Tibetan Studies specialists increasingly move to using searchable digital text, the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center is once again at the forefront of the discipline, anticipating the needs of scholars and making freely available a body of literature that is unprecedented in its scope and accuracy. These cutting-edge technological innovations will revolutionize the way we do research, and the way that Tibetan Buddhism is studied and taught in universities… A tremendous contribution to the field.”   Jose I. Cabezon, University of California, Santa Barbara

“This wonderful tool is going to transform the way Tibetan studies can be done. Previously, searching for how a specific term was used in different texts required a tremendous amount of work, asking colleagues for references, guessing at where it might be used and painstakingly searching for the term. Moreover, thanks to this tool, we may also soon have a proper Tibetan dictionary, with dated examples of the use of specific terms.” Gray Tuttle, Columbia University.

“In philological research, and particularly in translation, progress can be brought to a halt over the meaning of a single term (e.g. la bzla’ ba).  A large body of e-texts produced by OCR, coupled with search tools, enables the novice to have the same broad context of literature that hitherto only belonged to the greatest scholars.” Professor Kurt Keutzer, University of California, Berkeley.

“Anyone accessing the TBRC website will immediately realize that its new design is a major achievement in terms of its visual appeal and its user-friendliness. The enormous number of  e-text resources that are now prominently on display and available for research will no doubt change the way in which most, if not all, of us do their research. This is a major event in the history of Tibetan Studies and an amazing tool for Tibetan philology.  Jeff Wallman and his team are to be warmly congratulated and surely deserve the gratitude of anyone working in this field.”  Leonard W.J. van der Kuijp, Harvard University

“Large corpora of Buddhist texts have recently become available in digital format thanks to TBRC. This enables the implementation of powerful search functions and corpus-linguistic methods. A methodological approach based on searching inside large collections of texts in a systematic way opens new horizons for Indo-Tibetan research. We are in a position to ‘mine content’ faster than ever. Therefore we can better understand complex linguistic, philological, anthropological, philosophical, and cultural phenomena in their own textual context. To illustrate this point, we can now for example carry out a research program consisting of a corpus-based discourse analysis of specific Buddhist systems of thought, which would be impossible without tools such as those developed by TBRC. This is the approach I followed for my own research on ’Ju Mi pham rnam rgyal rgya mtsho’s interpretation of the two truths. Searching key terms, collocates, synonyms, definitions, and clusters of technical terms inside the 15,000 folios of Mipham’s gsum ‘bum would be fastidious without such powerful searching tools. Due to the sheer size of some Buddhist corpora of texts and the complexity of the research topics at hand, drawing inferences on the basis of specific or isolated occurrences of some technical terms without fully understanding their usage in their own textual context could be methodologically unsound. Search functions as well as corpus-linguistic methods provide a solution to this quandary and represent an extremely promising approach to better understanding Buddhist philosophy and practices. ” Gregory Forgues, University of Vienna

“Over the past decade, the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center has revolutionized the study of Tibetan literature with its extensive library of digitized texts.  Now with their latest offering– a repository of searchable e-texts—they promise to do it again.  The ramifications are hard to imagine; certainly, they will be far-reaching!” Jake Dalton, University of California, Berkeley 

“The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center’s release of an extended database of searchable Tibetan e-texts represents a paradigm shift in the kinds of research that are now possible. This collection opens up the Tibetan literary world to data-driven quantitative and qualitative analysis of technical vocabulary, place and personal names, literary topics and genres, etc. It’s impact will continue to grow as the corpus of machine-readable texts expands and as more advanced and complex forms of searching become possible. This is certainly one  of the most exciting developments in recent history for the study of Tibetan literature and textual production.” Andrew Quintman, Yale University

“Ever since its inception, TBRC has been the premier online destination for translators and scholars of Tibetan writings. Now, with this vast repository of e-texts, we have something like our very own Hubble telescope, a powerful tool for exploring the rich universe of Tibetan literature, allowing us to chart the evolution of terms and ideas, and discover previously unobserved intertextual connections—thereby radically transforming the way we work.” Adam Pearcey (Lotsawa House)

“A huge leap forward for Tibetan studies! Searching electronically through multiple texts for terms and topics will uncover a rich treasure of associations and new contexts for our knowledge of Tibetan religion, culture, and history.  The possibilities are endless.” Janet Gyatso, Harvard University

What are eTexts?

eText is short for electronic text (as opposed to physical text).  When we scan a text we create an image of a text.  A scanned text is not an eText.  An eText is a digital document whose content is readily accessible to the user.  An eText is said to be “born digital” meaning it was created first in electronic format.

A Short History of TBRC’s Interest in eTexts

Actually TBRC’s interest in eTexts started with the formation of TBRC, as Gene Smith foresaw the extraordinary power of searching inside texts.  In the formation documents, Gene Smith states:

“Many Tibetan text publication projects utilize computer input only to obtain the printed output and then lack the capability to preserve this input. In order to preserve texts that have already been input electronically, TBRC will advocate appropriate levels of technology, description, and storage for the preservation and archiving of these digital documents being produced worldwide. The Center will assist owners of electronic text input and digital images of Tibetan materials by offering advisory services, and will create a Digital Text Databank to serve as a repository and a link to these files.”

We have done exactly that.

Gene’s early efforts at gathering input centered around special genres of literature he was interested in – mostly historical texts and biographies.  At the time, these documents were in fonts specifically created to print texts, and not amenable to digital storage and retrieval.  With the adoption of Tibetan Unicode however, digital storage and retrieval has become a reality.  Toward the end of his life, Gene embarked on gathering input for what we called at the time – the Dharmacloud.  And since then we have built the necessary framework to carry out Gene’s vision.

Sources of eTexts

There are two main sources of eTexts

  1. Lineage Masters (input eTexts)
  2. Optical Character Recognition (OCR eTexts)

Lineage Masters

We are indebted to our lineage masters and the noble monasteries that work tirelessly to print Tibetan works.  Tibetan book culture is an extraordinary activity and these institutions create enormous volumes of born digital texts.  In many cases, these efforts are aimed at producing print editions.  We hope, however, with the release of a robust Tibetan eText Repository, we can assist these projects in digital storage, archiving and use of the input eTexts beyond the printed form – just as Gene Smith envisioned.

We have been entrusted to care for the following collections:

  1. Karma Lekshey Ling
  2. Drikung Chetsang Rinpoche
  3. Vajra Vidya – Thrangu Rinpoche
  4. Palri Parkhang
  5.  Karma Delek
  6. Guru Lama
  7.  Shechen Monastery
  8.  Tulku Sangag Rinpoche
  9. Larun Gar
  10. Various institutions

These texts come in a variety of document formats and fonts. Therefore, we have created a suite of tools to normalize and convert these documents into Tibetan Unicode so that they can be properly stored and searched.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

In 2009, I began to work with the Russian team at the Rime Center, Moscow.  With a grant from the Trace Foundation, we were able to scan and optically recognize the Kanjur and Tenjur dpe sdur ma.  This effort was primarily experimental and much of the OCR technology the Rime Center  built, is still being developed and is being used by them to produce large amounts of eTexts.

In 2013, we began to build a partnership with the University of California, Berkeley to build a stable platform to produce eTexts from our scanned archive. Under the direction of TBRC Board member Professor Kurt Keutzer, Research and Development Engineer Zach Rowinski created a Tibetan OCR engine called Namsel OCR.  Through this program TBRC scans are being converted into OCR eTexts at an enormous rate and we hope to have 25% of the TBRC Library completely searchable within one year.  Already a large collection has been OCR’ed and with this release of our new search application on, is now fully searchable within TBRC.

Discovery – Deep Search & Deep Context

TBRC’s primary focus for the Tibetan eText Repository is two-fold:

  1. Deep Search
  2. Deep Context

We are building the necessary technology to allow readers to search inside eTexts.  This core technology includes Tibetan analyzers for the Lucene search engine, eXist database extensions for Tibetan sorting and keyword matching and query routines that allow us to handle text search from the online library at When a reader searches an eText they find matches in the texts themselves.  But these matches are then contextualized. That is they are identified by the classification system within TBRC. Within the deep context of the TBRC Library metadata, readers can then match the text they found with scanned sources – searching in this framework allows readers to make concordance with bibliographic information and scanned sources.Window-1


Lastly, at the encouragement of Professors David Germano and Marcus Bingenheimer, we have selected TEI-XML as the data format for the eTexts.  This will allow greater interoperability between collections, as well as corpus-wide connectivity to other projects in different languages, such as Chinese.

 Related Posts


Jeff Wallman
Executive Director
Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center
Cambridge, Mass.
September 23, 2014

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."

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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.

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