Category Archives: Enraged Owlbear

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Security? Where we’re going, we don’t need security!

Security? Where we’re going, we don’t need security!

This article has been edited to reflect the facts of the San Bernadino shooter case

Have you heard about the latest governmental overreach into our rights and privacy? If not, read this article from Ars Technica. It sums things up nicely. Earlier today I was speaking with a friend online about this issue and he said something that inspired me to write a rather lengthy response. I tried to keep it somewhat succinct while speaking with him, but I feel like I have more to say, so I thought I’d post it here. It think it’s an important topic and I also think that a lot of people don’t understand it or even give it much thought. While this site sees only a tiny bit of traffic even on a great day, I hope that by writing this and putting it out there, it may be seen by at least a few people and get them thinking. The more people that are knowledgeable about security in this digital age, the better off we all are.

So here’s what was said that got me thinking and writing:

I have mixed feelings about this FBI Apple case. On one hand it is creating a backdoor loophole that they can’t control such privacy. Then on on the other hand this is something that had this been used in other cases, this could have prevented numerous deaths in different scenarios. It’s a catch 22. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. There needs to be another way to catch criminals but we all know criminals are using their cellphones to communicate or other wireless devices.

There’s several things that strike me about what he said. I think a lot of people feel the way he does, so let’s take things line by line.

Then on on the other hand this is something that had this been used in other cases, this could have prevented numerous deaths in different scenarios.

That other hand that’s talked about is how the government has been able to systematically strip away our rights and freedoms for the past 15 years. They prey on people’s fears that something might happen and that by giving up your day to day freedoms and rights (including your right to privacy!), you’ll somehow prevent some catastrophe or save lives. Meanwhile, there’s been no evidence that this has ever been the case. We’re not any safer now than we were before our government started hardcore spying on us. Not only that, but I can’t think of any example where the government has drastically expanded its power and reach and has only used it for “just this one case,” or with a narrow and targeted scope as they always claim. These things always wind up being abused and it usually happens pretty quick.

It’s a catch 22. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Its really not a catch 22, though. That’s the problem here. Too many people believe that the only effective way to catch criminals is to give up your rights. Ask yourself this: Since the NSA has started logging all of our phone calls and spying on the entire fucking country, how much has crime dropped? How many trials have actually gotten convictions due to the invasive spying of the NSA? How many criminal plots have been foiled? The answer is that it hasn’t done shit. It hasn’t made you any safer. It hasn’t stopped anyone from doing bad things. It has in fact put you more at risk because the government’s cyber security is laughably bad and there have been multiple foreign intrusions into the government’s infrastructure, putting your data at risk.

There needs to be another way to catch criminals but we all know criminals are using their cellphones to communicate or other wireless devices.

There is another way to catch criminals. It’s called proper detective work that follows the laws and established procedures of our justice system. If the laws need to be updated, then we as a society, as an empowered citizenry, need to come together to have a conversation with our elected officials to modify the law or add new ones that are better suited for the current times. This does not involve giving three letter agencies a way to compromise your digital security. These people can’t even keep the personal information for their own employees safe from Chinese and Russian hackers, and you want to give them the keys to all iDevices? Fuck that noise! And if we go back to the specific case in question here, how absurdly weak must the case be against the shooter that all the incriminating evidence is on the guy’s phone? They don’t have any other physical evidence of the crime? And if they do, why not get a court order compelling the suspect to unlock the device by providing his password, instead of going nuclear and demanding a way to unlock all iDevices? Overreach like this doesn’t make anyone safer and doesn’t prevent crime. To believe otherwise is folly and its exactly what the agencies that want to expand their power want you to believe. Where does it stop?

Let’s really think about this case… The shooters were killed in a firefight with the police. Who are they trying to convict? There’s no case here. They don’t need a master key to bypass the encryption on the iPhone. Given that they have no evidence of ongoing criminal activity they can point to and there’s no active case pending prosecution that they need evidence for, it really weakens their position. This is exactly how the Patriot Act and its ilk got passed. They want you so scared that something MIGHT be happening that you’ll just hand over the keys to the kingdom. Hell, the FBI director has even gone on record as saying that the shooters are not part of a larger terrorist organization and didn’t receive direction from any outside group. So again, who’s being investigated here?

This is yet another example of the ever growing invasiveness of various government agencies. These are people who are supposed to protect us, so why are they doing things to harm us? There’s at least one lawmaker who understands this and isn’t afraid to speak out against it. I can only hope more people sit up and take notice. As a law abiding American citizen, I shouldn’t have to fear the various agencies of my government. I shouldn’t have to worry about them spying on my phone calls and all my online actions. There’s no excuse in the world that can reasonably justify their behavior and the fact that they want to continue to expand their power is beyond disturbing. Weakening encryption will solve nothing and if back doors exist to strong encryption, like that on the iPhone, its only a matter of time before people with even less integrity than the agencies tasked to protect us gain access to it. What happens then? What else will we have to give up to be protected from this new threat?

Please take the time to educate yourself on this topic. Read the articles I’ve linked to, especially the comments of Congressman Lieu. There are so many resources that you can use to educate yourself. The only way to truly protect yourself is to fully understand the issues at hand and what’s at stake. Act from a position of knowledge, not from ignorance and blind belief in the infallibility of authority.

Walking Dead? More Like Whining Dead Amirite?

Walking Dead? More Like Whining Dead Amirite?

No, I don’t hate The Walking Dead. Yes, I thought this Sunday’s midseason premiere was awesome. So why the title? Its because of this article. I hesitate to even link it because I don’t want to give that garbage site any more traffic, but to understand my response, you’ve got to read the article. Its a recap written by one of the io9 staff about the latest Walking Dead episode. Its one of many TV show recaps they do. io9 seems to be a the science and sci fi part of Gizmodo… I think. I can’t really be sure if that’s their guiding theme, because they also have articles about Kanye West and piracy, which doesn’t really fit. In any event, they wrote an article about the recent Walking Dead episode and it was so balls to the wall ridiculous, that for the first time in I don’t know how long, I felt compelled to actually comment on a website. But before I get to that, I have a question…

Is there really a market for this? Paying people to write recaps of shows they could have just watched themselves? If you’re a fan of the show, why not watch it? If you’re not a fan of the show, why do you give a shit? This makes no sense to me and just falls into the category of “Let’s watch other people play video games on YouTube or Twitch!” to me. If you’re completely awful at games, I can understand wanting to watch a game you’re bad at to see how it is beyond the part you’re good at. I don’t really see much of a reason to do so otherwise, but at least that’s something. Reading about someone else watching a TV show you like? I just don’t understand this. Is this some millennial garbage? “I like this form of entertainment, but instead of simply enjoying and experiencing it, I’ll turn to another form of entertainment to watch another person enjoy and experience it! Because that’s the same or even better, right?” If its not some millennial garbage, then what is it? Where does this come from? How does a site survive doing shit like this? I’m old and angry and confused and yelling at a cloud! But goddammit, its a stupid cloud!

Old Man Yells at Cloud

Get off my lawn!

You might be wondering how I even came across the recap, given how I feel about that sort of thing. Its because I saw that an episode of The Walking Dead had recorded on my DVR, and not trusting my garbage DVR to know what’s a new episode or not, I googled to see if the show had returned from its break. This was the first result. While the title didn’t spoil anything, it did confirm that the show was back. The title also stuck out in my mind, so I thought I’d go back and read it after I watched the episode and had formed my own opinion to see how it compared to theirs. Anyway, go back and read the recap. I’ll wait.

If you’re a fan of the show, I imagine you’re somewhat confused as to how this clown could have possibly seen the same episode you and I saw. Honestly, it sounds to me that he’s either a parent, or has a close relationship with another child about the age of the kid who got snuffed from the show and his projecting that relationship onto this kid. Having done that, he’s not able to actually watch the rest of the episode without being horribly traumatized by this thing that didn’t happen to him or his loved one. As I mentioned earlier, I felt the need to comment on it, and I did… only to find my comment was “pending approval.” I thought about what might have caused an instant hold on the comment, and I realized I used the word “fucking” near the end of my comment. Now this is a very naughty thing to do, especially since the extremely sensitive people who are watching (or maybe just reading about?) a show about the zombie apocalypse clearly would be far to sensitive to be exposed to such a word. I edited the comment to remove that word, but as of the writing of this article here, it still sits in pending approval hell. From what I gather from reading the other comments, its unlikely to ever be allowed past the filters. I find this hilarious because I used the word in response to the closing section of the recap, where the asshole hack of a writer (who by the way has no grasp of the definition of a TV trope) preemptively insults and acts demeaning towards any reader of his verbal diarrhea. That’s allowed, but I can’t use adult language in the comments section of a recap that attacks its readers of a show that is all about adult situations.


OK io9, whatever you say!

I decided to save the text of my comment and post it here. You can’t censor me, io9! I may have zero audience, but people find my site by accident through search engines occasionally, so someone is bound to read it and know of the lack of integrity of your site and the poor quality of the recap writers you hire! Without further ado, my response:

Before I begin, I want to make clear that of course you’re entitled to your opinion and yeah, of course not everyone agrees with everything everyone says. But just like you’re entitled to your opinion on the episode, I and others are entitled to ours on both it, and your article that you are paid to write for a public audience.

Last I checked, this was The Walking Dead, not My Little Pony: Nothing Bad Happens to Kids Because Kids are Magic. The fact that you use the phrase “child murder” over and over again shows that it was really that one scene that colored your perception of the whole episode. If a rabid dog mauls someone, the dog didn’t murder that person. Pretty sure the same would apply to a zombie killing someone, child or not, because the zombie has no real agency. Honestly, this really comes off as you imagined your hypothetical child or child aged relative in the scene and lost your mind about the episode. I think this was a really good episode. There were parts that were for sure tough to watch, but to claim EVERYTHING was wrong with this episode, then spend a good portion of the article crying about the on screen death of a kid (who are apparently magic and no harm can ever come to) is pretty ridiculous. You do understand for the world to end up the way it did at this point 6 seasons in, millions of kids had to die? Just because you didn’t see it on screen doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. There are a lot of other quality, safe, family friendly shows you can be watching instead of TWD if this is the sort of thing that bothers you.

Honestly, the rest of this article sounds like lashing out at nothing because you’re cranky at the idiot kid getting himself killed. (By the way, you missed the part where Rick was NOT paralyzed by the death of the idiot kid’s mom as you claimed, but in fact took action to save his son.) This line in particular had me laughing: “This comes at the end of the episode’s best scene, where Rick talks to Carl about the fight, and not because it was absurd, but because he saw their group and the Alexandrians work together for the joint cause of saving Alexandria.”
Really? This was the best scene? You realize this wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t all gone out to fight the zombie horde, something several paragraphs are spent bitching about.

It looks like you’ve had it out for this episode since your advanced screening, though. I followed the link about Andrew Lincoln’s visceral disgust, and found that when you read the actual quote, he wasn’t viscerally disgusted! He was upset and disturbed, but since you don’t know what about (something you do admit in the other article), you’re really reaching when you decide to make it about how Lincoln has no problem killing kids on screen so that must mean the finale will be horrific and the show is terrible now.

One final thing. I did read the whole article because I was interested to see what else you thought was wrong when you said “Everything,” but it seems that “Everything” was quite an exaggeration. When you start your bullet points by insulting and being condescending towards anyone who disagrees with what you thought of the episode, you can’t really be surprised when you get comments that disagree with what you thought about the episode. However I bet it makes you feel very self satisfied when you do get dissenting comments. Because hey, we couldn’t be bothered to read that far and thought you spat on our mothers or some nonsense. Most of your other assorted musings don’t really stand up to logic. Abraham and co. came out of nowhere? You mean they didn’t come out of the truck they’ve been driving to Alexandria for hours? I could go on, but why? You likely won’t ever read this and if you did, you won’t be able to get past the child murder to discuss this rationally.

And yeah, I’m pretty sure everyone commenting, whether they agree with your opinion on the show or not, know how fucking jobs work. What a ridiculous and needlessly inflammatory thing to say. But hey, I bet anyone who didn’t agree with me didn’t read this far and is a big fat poopy head. That’s a valid way to close a comment, right?

Google+ Profile Suspension

Google+ Profile Suspension

So Google suspended my Google+ profile because they didn’t think that Daljit of NORN, the name I’ve gone by online for some 13-15 years, wasn’t real or some such garbage. I had to fill out a form with links to “reputable” websites online where I go by this name to prove that I’m not a spammer or business entity or whatever. Hey Google+, how about you look at the Gmail service I’ve been using since you launched it? I’ve been Daljit of NORN on there for always. And yes, Daljit is my real first name. In fact, I’ve even been called Daljit of NORN by my friends on many occasions! In a hilariously ironic twist, I gathered the list of links to reputable sites by… wait for it… doing a Google search for “Daljit of NORN.” Yeah. Nice job, Google+ account clowns. I wanted to include links to my PS3 and X360 user profiles, cause guess what name i use there…

Daljit of NORN!

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to share that info via a link. Oh well. I hope Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, my personal website, and a wiki that dates my use of the name back to the late 90s are enough.

There isn’t a roll eyes graphic big enough. I am so disgusted right now. And this from a company that I’ve come to look to for doing the right thing. I guess we’ll see what happens once they review my petition.

Update 1: Oh, I almost forgot! On the form I had to submit, there was no text entry field where I could write a well reasoned few lines to state my case. I had a choice, submit links or a photo ID. Great. I really hope they do the right thing, because to have a company tell me that the name I’ve used online since before they existed is a bit ludicrous.

Update 2: Hmmmm… you know, the internet is a pretty cool place. Using the Wayback Machine (I think it’s called the Internet Archive Project now?) and (irony!) Google Groups, I’m trying to track my first use of the name. It looks like it was either late 97 or early 98, but I’m trying to pin it down more precisely.

Update 3: From what I can tell, it looks like the first time I used the name was November 9th, 1997 on Embarrassingly enough, I’m using it in an exchange of… I don’t even know what to call it. Me and another poster were having an argument (but not really, no one was actually angry, we were just being silly) and instead of yelling at each other in context, we wrote sort of stories of what our imaginary army of computer game artificial life organisms were doing to each other, and (now here’s the really embarrassing part!) in it I refer to myself in the third person. Ugh. Apparently I was too cool for school. Ah, the indiscretions of youth! 😉

The Perils of Music Download Subscriptions

The Perils of Music Download Subscriptions

So I just remembered that I had to download my tracks for eMusic for the month. I go to the site and as I do, I realize that I’ve got the dates wrong. Today’s the 20th, not the 19th! Crap, they expire today and the account refreshes for the new month! Now the exact time the account resets is different every month. It used to be a set time, but they’ve (deliberately, in my opinion) changed things so that the exact time is seemingly random. My reset time used to be around 4 PM back in the day, but its become pretty erratic the last several months. What this means is that when I went to the site today, I found that my account had resetband I was out my 50 downloads. Not the worst thing in the world, I suppose, but still annoying, as they’ve moved from a customer friendly to a customer hostile policy. Curse you, eMusic! You and your opaque policies! I’m really not a fan of customer disservice, you know?

I have a pretty good track record with them, though. I’ve only missed 2 months in 4-5 years, both for major events. The first was when I was in the middle of my move to MT. The second was now, while I’m being consumed by the World Cup. I have like 6 cards good for 100 downloads each that I got back before they halved the number of downloads you get for your monthly fee. I’m going to enjoy using those and sticking it to the man. 😉

My site is naked!

My site is naked!

OK, so I don’t know what the hell just happened, but I hit to login to post an update and I see that the theme that I’ve been using for quite some time is gone. Its just the default WordPress theme and it’s acting like my Dark City theme was never there. This causes me a certain amount of… RAGEFACE!

I don’t even remember what I was logging in to post.

Excuse me while I address this tomfoolery.




So I’ve been waiting for a particular domain to propagate through the net’s DNS servers. I thought to myself “Man, this is taking a while. You know, this may be taking a bit too long.” So I thought, let me try switching to a DNS server other than the one my ISP uses. I tried Google’s Public DNS ( and in case you’re interested) and it didn’t resolve there either. Curiouser and curiouser. Did a name server lookup (in windows command prompt: nslookup -debug and found that oh look, the DNS records are actually point to Dreamhost like they’re supposed to. So what gives? What’s going on? I think something curled up and died on Dreamhost’s end when I tried to set up the full hosting for the domain. I’m going to park the domain, and then set it back to full hosting to see if I can’t get it unstuck. Surely my cunning plan cannot fail!

If it does fail, I’ll just e-mail tech support because I don’t know if I’ll be able to kick start things at my end. Curse you server errors! You’ve cost me valuable time in which I could have been hilarious!

Someone needs to cast cleanse on me

Someone needs to cast cleanse on me

Srsly. I’ve been diseased since like Christmas. It needs to stop. I slept like forever today. Isn’t that supposed to cure disease? Rest? I’m sure I heard that somewhere once.

At work, they reset your sick and personal time each year in December. They pay out any unused time and start the counter over. You get all your personal time at once, but your sick time trickles in a few hrs each month. Since I went home early on Saturday, I have like 3 hrs left. If I’m still running a fever tomorrow, I’m going to have to call out and use my personal time which really kind of sucks. Especially with the whole starting a new position and all. Oh, and the being in training bit, which ends this week. I hate being sick. I hate goofy company policies even more, though. Who the hell resets sick time in the middle of COLD AND FLU SEASON. Truly an inspired decision.

I’d rather not call out, but I guess it all depends on how I feel in the morning. I’ll end by quoting myself from a previous post where I quoted the Despair newsletter: “Rock out with your frock out!”

That still makes me laugh. Isn’t laughter supposed to cure disease? Laughter? I’m sure I heard that somewhere once.

An Abusive Relationship

An Abusive Relationship

So Sharon just found a place where you can send the Google team comments about their photo organizer software Picasa. I would say that I have used Picasa, but that would not be accurate. More correctly, Picasa has used me. When I first got Picasa, I was bright eyed and full of hope. It looked like it would be really good! I had been searching for just the right software to handle my pictures for some time, and Picasa was like Princess Hotness riding to the rescue. I downloaded it and installed it, and that’s when things went wrong. I am considering sending the comments below to Google, so that maybe they can get some help for Picasa. I would hate to see others abused as I have been.

The web form asks: “Share how Picasa has changed the way you edit and share your photos. Send us your story.”

My proposed reply:
“How has Picasa changed the way I edit and share my photos? Simply put sirs, it has stopped me from partaking of either of those activities. I find that when I wish to organize photographs, being kicked in the Mean Bean Machine™ is a strong disincentive to do it again! Also, the prejudicial behavior shown by Picasa towards certain, seemingly random photos, taken with my various digital cameras which cause the program to either crash to the desktop or hang makes me drink to excess, which is clearly playing into Picasa’s hands, as now i am just as drunk as she is and wont mind the beatings so much. And the willful misreading of date stamps? The less said about that, the better. But I am strong. I am not an object to be abused. I have left Picasa, and now live in the shadowy underbelly of the world of digital photos. Sure, I still take new photos, but i keep them in simple directories (My Photos/[Name of Event]) on a hard drive that Picasa does not scan, safe from her prying eyes. I rarely share them, lest her sister, Google Talk, tell her of my infidelities. I most certainly refrain from editing them for that would certainly bring Picasa’s heavy, booze fueled backhand to fly across my face. In closing, i have been deeply psychologically impacted by Picasa and will never share and edit digital photos again. I hope you’re happy.”

“From the depths of my parents’ basement, I stab at thee, science jobs!”

“From the depths of my parents’ basement, I stab at thee, science jobs!”

Grad school is a bust (for now anyway), so I’m looking for a science type job so I can move the fuck out of the Black Hole of Despair I currently live in. There seems to be a slight problem with this, however. My current ass-tastic job, which consists of MAKING STACKS OF PAPER pays me $16.45/hr. For making stacks of paper. I cannot stress this enough: That is truly my job. There is no exaggeration at all. Assuming I can even find a science type job that doesn’t want 3-7 years of experience (and at this point I don’t even care what the job actually is, as long as it makes some kind of use of my BS in Bio), they pay, at most $12/hr. That’s a pretty hefty pay cut. Doing a little quick math tells me that $12/hr is not going to allow me to afford even a tiny ass studio here. My current salary actually is enough to get me either a large (hah!) studio or a small 1 bedroom apartment in the local area. But, my job is pretty lame. BUT, I hate living at home with the white hot fire of 1000 suns. I definitely want to stab something in the face and the way things are going it might just be my own face that I stab. So, I can either stay here and work at a job related to my education for several years until I get enough experience to get another job in my field that will actually pay me a livable wage, or I can embark on a wonderful career in corporate hell launched from my current paper stacking job and be able to move the fuck out. Choices are truly what makes life worth living!

I didn’t forget!

I didn’t forget!

Sort of. I totally meant to write something up. But my closet broke and I spent a bunch of the day trying to sort that out. Then I watched The Dead Zone and 4400. Then I forgot what I was going to write about. I think it might have been something funny, but it’s equally likely that the only person who thought it was funny was me. But I guess we’ll never know now cause I can’t remember shit about what I was going to write.

Some substitute ramblings:
I hate the Sci-fi channel for canceling Stargate SG-1. Those guys are a bunch of fuckers. I hope everyone involved in that decision suffers from STDs, knowledge of which gets leaked out and causes them to be fired for embarrassing the company. Whatever disease they get, I hope it burns every time they pee. EVERY TIME. And itches too. Or they could just contract Ebola. That would be cool too. Buncha goat-bastids.

I’m hungry. But I’m also feeling kinda lazy (like that’s news). I tried Wendy’s new sandwich called the BACONATOR last night. That was… something. Two (or three?) 1/4 lb slabs of beef with 2 slices of cheese and 2-4 strips of bacon on top of each. Ketchup. Mayo. Bun. That’s it. I ate the whole village thing. I eating that monstrosity shortened my lifespan. By like 50 years. I’ll probably drop dead of a heart attack next week or something. But you know what? I REGRET NOTHING! I’d do it again. Except I’d tell them to keep their nasty ketchup. That just didn’t go well with the BACONATOR. Surprisingly, my hunger is what made me think of the BACONATOR, not the other way around as is so often the case. I wanna go get some Taco Bell, but… meh. I’m just not up to moving right now. Let no one ever claim that I don’t know why I’m a giant fatass.

As of last Thursday, I am now the proud owner of The Definitive Twilight Zone Complete Series Edition Box Set of DOOM. Or something. All the episodes and a bunch of commentaries and lectures and interviews by Rod Serling and some of the actors. I am no longer tied to the Sci-Fi Channel’s marathon at New Year’s! I can stage my own! I think this Thanksgiving, I will lock myself in my living space with infinite food and watch Twilight Zone episodes until I end up in a coma brought on by a cessation of beta wave brain activity and the rising of alpha wave activity to such levels that would drive most neurologists to drink were they to consider it.

I leave you with this, for no reason other than I found myself thinking of this suddenly:
“We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. We study the mysteries of laser and circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ, and we know many things. Fourteen words to make someone fall in love with you forever, seven words to make them go without pain, how to say goodbye to a friend who is dying, how to be poor, how to be rich, how to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you.” – Elric the Technomage