Sara writes, "It has been a few years since The Hobbit has its theatrical release and some fans have been toiling since then on the perfect edit. Joblit has posted links to his latest versions.They include the personal favourite Theatrical Edition (runtime 2:42), a somewhat indulgent Extended Edition (runtime 3:45), and a brisk Ludicrous Edition (runtime 2:10). He notes to keep in mind that the credits are 13 minutes long, so playback is considerably shorter. If you're a fan of the films and also like an early night then these film edits are for you." (more…)
Fingal’s Cave, located on the uninhabited island of Staffa, Scotland, is formed from basalt columns within a paleocene lava flow, similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Due to the large size and arched roof, the cave gives off an extremely creepy sound caused by the echoes of the waves.
Someone recommended watching the video at the top to refresh my github skills. The talk demonstrated how git works with tinker toys. Why do tech people have the best tinker toys? Do you know where I can find tinker toys without plastic bits? The talk was decent, but I have an issue with titling talks like "Git for Ages 4 and Up." If you label your talks this way and someone does not get it, you are essentially telling them that they are dumber than a 4-year-old child. If you label your talk this way, it also shows that you lack any understanding of 4-year-old children. No 4-year-old child is going to pay attention to an hour and a half of anything. Your intermediate tech talk is not targeting 4-year-old children very well.
Today, I learned that if you go into any commit and type ".patch" at the end, you can see the contact information including email address of the person who made that commit. In this case, I went to the repository of awesome, and I looked at one of the recent commits. I appended ".patch" to the end of the commit and saw the following:
|.patch appended to the end of a commit|
The user who made this commit knows that his or her data can be exposed and changed the email address. Here is a link that shows you how not to display your email address to the whole world.
I added some new toy options to my local toy store
The box is Government.
LG Factory Reset instructions: Plug in; press settings + CH Dwn together, release; Select "wipe data," then "Yes." Wait for "complete;" Power cycle.
Credit for the idea for today’s comic goes to Amy, my beautiful and amazing wife.
I’ve been doing lots of comics all over the internet. Check ’em out:
Dave Kellett’s DRIVE
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I hope you enjoy all these comics!
💾 tonight’s comic is dedicated to you, my cyber chums
and these CYBER SOCKS are dedicated to your CYBER FEETS
HOLY $#!&: Watchdog Discovers Toy Dolls Are Recording Your Conversations and Uploading Them to Police
Editor’s Note: Google applied for a patent for a similar spy toy not that long ago, only that one included video as well… Makes you wonder how many objects in your house are, indeed, spying on you and your children.
By Claire Bernish
When giving gifts this holiday season, be strongly advised certain toys will upload your child’s unique voice and personal information — to the same military and law enforcement database which helps authorities identify criminals.
Indeed, these toys — which could record any conversation occurring nearby, and also fish for specific information from unwitting children — constitute the latest in surveillance by home appliances and gadgets known collectively as the Internet of Things. And this insidious, extraneous spying has several watchdog groups sounding alarm bells in a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission.
Genesis Toys’ My Friend Cayla doll (see pic above) and i-Que robot — Internet-connected toys using voice recognition technology to interact with children — can answer questions by converting speech to text and retrieving information from Google, Wikipedia, and Weather Underground, CNN reports.
But what has the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Consumers Union on edge is that the “toys subject young children to ongoing surveillance,” in violation of privacy and consumer protection laws — and, worse, the nature of the company Genesis Toys employs for that purpose.
“Nuance Communications,” the aforementioned groups state in a complaint to the FTC, “represents itself as a leader in voice technology, including speech recognition software and voice biometric solutions that allow a search of the company’s 60 million enrolled voiceprints for a voice match from recorded conversations to be performed within minutes. Nuance markets its technology to private and public entities and delivers its voice biometric technology to military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies.”
“Both Genesis Toys and Nuance Communications unfairly and deceptively collect, use, and disclose audio files of children’s voices without providing adequate notice or obtaining verified parental consent,” the complaint continues.
Cayla and i-Que have slightly differing companion applications, but Genesis collects users’ IP addresses and both require downloading and connection to the user’s mobile device via Bluetooth technology. As the complaint explains:
“The companion application for My Friend Cayla requests permission to access the hardware, storage, microphone, Wi-Fi connections, and Bluetooth on users’ devices, but fails to disclose to the user the significance of obtaining this permission. The i-Que companion application also requests access to the device camera, which is not necessary to the toy’s functions and is not explained or justified.”
That Richard Mack, Nuance vice president of corporate marketing and communications, reassured the public the uploaded information is not sold or used for advertising or marketing purposes should be of little comfort to consumers wary of the perfidious surveillance state. Even so, Cayla comes equipped with pro-Disney marketing propaganda in references to Disney movies and Disney theme parks — the doll says her favorite movie is Disney’s The Little Mermaid, for example — which children cannot distinguish as advertising.
Perhaps most notably, not to mention nefariously, CNN reports, “The Cayla doll also has a mobile phone app that asks children to provide personal information, like their name and their parents’ names, their favorite TV show, their favorite meal, where they go to school, their favorite toy and where they live.”
EPIC and the other watchdogs have requested an investigation into Genesis Toys and Nuance Communications by the FTC and to have Cayla and i-Que pulled from store shelves.
“The FTC should issue a recall on the dolls and halt further sales pending the resolution of the privacy and safety risks identified in the complaint,” asserted Claire Gartland, director of EPIC’s Consumer Privacy Project. “This is already happening in the European Union, where Dutch stores have pulled the toys from their shelves.”
EPIC also notes this complaint is one facet of a concerted effort to ban such privacy-invasive and surveillance-laden toys from the marketplace. Last year, Senator Edward Markey and Rep. Joe Barton were joined by Rep. Mark Kirk and Sen. Bobby Rush in introducing the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2015 (H.R. 2734) to update existing children’s online privacy law to include greater protections for kids.
Markey penned letters to Genesis and Nuance demanding immediate compliance with strictures delineated in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The Internet of Things has long been a cause for concern for privacy advocates and delight for surveillance hawks, as predictions the surveillance state will be willingly welcomed into people’s homes through the convenience of interconnectedness prove true time and again.
However, while it might be one thing for hapless adults to dismissively toss privacy concerns to the wayside, to have the voiceprints and information of children as young as three-years-old uploaded and likely stored by a company with military and law enforcement ties is a whole other animal.
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In Paris, 1888, the city prepares for the Exposition Universelle and the new Eiffel Tower swiftly rises on the bank of the Seine. One August morning, the sunrise reveals the embellished corpse of a young man suspended between the columns of the Pantheon, resembling a grotesque Icarus and marking the first in a macabre series of murders linked to Paris monuments. In the Latin Quarter, occult…
Satanists: consistently amusing
I see what you did there.
For the humor-impaired: Here’s my take on the “War on Christmas”.