Whoever once had the address "mim@mcom.com" has a vast and extremely enthusiastic botnet trying to crack their password on mcom.com's (nonexistent) IMAP server, from 20,000+ unique IPs in the last 30 days.

Never give up hope, it might work some day!

Though I am impressed by the IP space they control, I guess.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:36:08 2022 Tags:

UK censorship: jail sentence for possessing a copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook.

Nazism is despicable, and the Anarchist's Cookbook explains how to make some explosives — but merely possessing a copy of a book must never be criminalized. That is just one small step away from thoughtcrime.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

*[Antibiotic-resistant bacteria] now a leading cause of death worldwide, study finds.*

Scientists have warned us for years that we need to put an end to overuse of antibiotics, or they will cease to work and that will kill lots of people. The reason we did not do so is that it would have reduced the profits of Big Ag. It's not the farmer workers that get more pay, nor the owners of small farms that sell their crops to Big Ag. It's the giant distributor/processors that get the money.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

*Woman sentenced to death in Pakistan over "blasphemous" WhatsApp activity.*

Unusually, the target this time is a Muslim who claims to be religious. But morally that makes no difference. It is vicious to punish anyone for "blasphemy" against any religion, and it demonstrates the danger of giving religion any more power than any other opinion.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

Teenagers in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, have responded to Republican book-banners by starting a book club for reading banned books.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

* More than a thousand crows roost in Sunnyvale every night, ruffling locals’ feathers with caws and droppings.* At least they do it with good caws.

Can Buffy slay crows?

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

*Supreme Court rejects [the bullshitter's] bid to shield [official government] documents from January 6 panel.*

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

*New York attorney general alleges Trump firm misled banks and tax officials.*

Questioning the wrecker himself for a civil suit might be a mistake, since it would require giving him immunity from prosecution, and that would be most unfortunate.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

* More than 100 members of the global super-rich called on Wednesday for governments around the world to "tax us now" to help pay for the pandemic response and tackle the gulf between rich and poor.*

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

A study from the MIT business school found that America's "toxic corporate culture" is one of the main factors that motivated many workers to quit their jobs last year.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:

US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Postal Service Reform Act.

Posted Fri Jan 21 18:05:25 2022 Tags:
The Castro Theatre is turning over control to Another Planet:

The 100-year-old theater, known throughout the world as one of the symbols of San Francisco's historic LGBTQ Castro neighborhood, will be renewed as a live events venue with music, comedy, film and more as Another Planet Entertainment takes over its programming.

The Berkeley independent [sic] concert promotion company -- which promotes hundreds of local concerts annually at venues like Berkeley's Greek Theatre, the Fox Theater in Oakland and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, as well as co-produces the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park -- has signed a long-term contract, with plans to [...] broaden the programming at the 1,400-capacity venue to include live music, comedy and community events. The Castro will still screen select films, but the changes are sure to be earthshaking for many Bay Area film organizations and movie fans who have been filling the Castro for decades.

"It's heartbreaking, devastating, and not surprising," said Marc Huestis, who has presented special events at the Castro Theatre for 40 years. [...] "Even before COVID, it was like repertory theater was kind of on its last legs," Huestis continued. "It makes me very emotional because it's just such an important cultural institution and the heartbeat of not only the neighborhood but of the city."

As a fan of both old movies and live music, one might expect me to feel conflicted about this. While losing another repertory movie theatre is awful, gaining another live music venue should be good, right? But, no, this is just another tragedy. Understandable, perhaps, but still tragic.

I don't understand how anyone gets away with calling Another Planet an "independent" company, unless your definition of "independent" is "not publicly traded". I guess NIVA defines "independent" as "anyone who is not Live Nation or AEG", but the reality is that Another Planet are the short leg of the corporate triad who monopolize the live music scene in the Bay Area and beyond.

It's true that APE is the smallest of the three, and they're "local", but they have the same business model as Live Nation and AEG: anti-competitive lock-in through vertical integration and festival radius clauses. They're still monopolists, they're just smaller.

And even though whatever kind of live music they end up doing at The Castro won't be the sort of thing that we do at DNA Lounge -- we're not a "1,400 capacity all-seated" kind of place -- this sort of corporate consolidation hurts all of us small businesses who are actually independent, because it increases APE's monopoly power.

As I explained in detail back in 2018, monopolies are bad. They are bad for consumer choice, they are bad for ticket pricing, they are bad for artists getting paid, they are bad for your local music scene, and they are bad for our culture as a whole.

But as with Slim's (RIP) and Mezzanine (RIP), it's hard to fault the Castro's owners for taking whatever Faustian bargain is offered. It's grim out there.

Posted Wed Jan 19 23:20:17 2022 Tags:
Now, Eternals was bad -- and I've already had some words about that -- but something I have not yet seen anyone bust on is the opening crawl.

Which is CLEARLY an, uh, homage to Blade Runner (violating the cardinal rule of cover songs, "never remind the audience of a better band they could be watching instead") but so ham-handed that it does not replicate (see what I did there?) the MOST RECOGNISABLE features of that crawl: its own bizarrely mismatched fonts!

If you're gonna goof on something, goof on it right!

It's like -- whichever intern got assigned the job of "hey pal, go fake-up a Blade Runner crawl" looked at it and was like, hmmmmm, it looks like whoever did this accidentally screwed up the fonts, while I am immitating this thing I had better correct their error."

Now you may recall that I have some Opinions about Blade Runner, but let me now turn the mic over to the eminently more qualified Typeset In The Future:

Blade Runner's opening crawl is distinctly un-futuristic in its choice of font. It uses Goudy Old Style -- designed by Frederic W. Goudy in 1915 -- as part of a veritable typographic cornucopia. Within five-and-a-bit paragraphs, we are treated to several inconsistently spaced examples of small caps), and five -- count them! -- examples of particularly chunky em dashes. (Thankfully, they do not follow the freaky American style of removing -- for no reason at all -- their surrounding spaces.)

My favorite aspects of this opening crawl, however, are the arbitrary examples of Mid-Sentence Capitalized Words, as popularized by A. A. Milne and P. L. Travers.

I mean. Gestures Wildly.

By the way, the Eternals Pitch Meeting is very good.

Posted Wed Jan 19 13:55:26 2022 Tags:
Today in Castle News:

The thing you need to understand about today's Zillow find is that it was built in 2010 in the United States of America. Two full years into the financial crisis, these people decided that what they needed was a MOAT.

It looks like the part of Disney you aren't supposed to see, like there should be dumpsters of half-consumed turkey legs and a Mickey Mouse holding his own head in his hands, chugging bottled water. [...]

It's called Chrismark Castle because... it's owned by Christopher Mark, the great-grandson of a Chicago steel tycoon. (Boostraps!)

It took seven years and $4.1 million to build, but went on sale for $45 million, now down to an affordable $35 million.

He had barely moved in w his wife and children when she filed for divorce. So he moved his pregnant girlfriend (oh) and her daughter in instead. Then SHE left him, and there was a big court case for more child support.

And here's our protagonist, eating dinner alone, too sad even to put food on his plate or light his candle.

He's been trying to sell the place since 2014. In that time, he's tried turning it into a modeling studio (uhhh), a wedding venue, and an exotic animal refuge.

During the lawsuit over child support for the girlfriend (he'd been paying $1k a month), both alleged that the other was responsible for the starvation death of a camel.

Anyway, I will leave you with the world's most uncomfortable hand chair, the fact that there is a navy fighter jet on the property, and yes there IS a dungeon (can't find pictures), and also nearby Hartford, CT has a poverty rate of over 30%.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sun Jan 16 00:03:07 2022 Tags:
Dear Lazyweb, why don't ICS feeds in Calendar.app ever update automatically any more? View / Refresh Calendars works, but only manually.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Fri Jan 14 19:54:41 2022 Tags:

source: Wikimedia.

My last blog was already two months ago. The reason for this was the log4j security risk. Since much of our software actually is written in Java, the question was indeed if the CDK (doi:10.1186/s13321-017-0220-4), BridgeDb (doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-5), Bacting (doi:10.21105/joss.02558), etc were affected. 

Basically, the toolkit is that old, that everyone jumped on in: it was just good. Now, practically, the problems were minor. The Chemistry Development Kit dependency was a build dependency: it still has support for log4j, but the user decides what logging platform to use. This was the result of an abstraction for Bioclipse, allowing CDK log messages to be passed to the Eclipse logger, instead of log4j. Still, you want even that build dependency to be updated. CDK 2.7.1 has been released now.

BridgeDb had a similar situation, tho some BridgeDb modules do have a runtime dependency which may have impact. However, the core did not, and the webservice did not. But the same applies here: even the build dependency should have the latest version. BridgeDb 3.0.13 has been released.

Now, if read up on the Blue Obelisk movement (maybe the 2011 update paper needs an update, doi:10.1186/1758-2946-3-37), then you know all the dependencies between projects. So, besides multiple releases for multiple projects, it also required updates on other packages and additional releases were made for the Blue Obelisk core projects Euclid and CMLXOM. Euclid 2.0 and CMLXOM 4.0 were released.

On the bright side, many Java software projects generally worked on library updates, Java 17 support, etc. It totally messed up my schedule and generally a really relaxed xmas holiday.

Who payed for this? Mostly myself. Yes, you're welcome.

Posted Fri Jan 14 07:17:00 2022 Tags:
Whether they realize it or not, about 200 million people in the United States now likely have access to a Covid-19 digital vaccine card.

The fact that the system exists in any form is a triumph for a loose coalition of technologists, nonprofit groups and mostly Democratic states that championed the development of a digital vaccine card even before the first coronavirus shots were administered. [...]

In California alone, 7 million individuals have downloaded their QR code, and he estimated that about 80 percent of the vaccinated U.S. population of 247 million people have access to a SMART Health Card if they want one through either their state health authority or the site where they were vaccinated, such as a pharmacy or a hospital. [...]

But people involved in the project said it may have gone more smoothly if President Joe Biden had agreed to coordinate it. [...] Anderson said other countries haven't always known whom to speak with in the U.S. to plan cross-border systems. "They're turning to the states, they're turning to VCI, and it's a challenge for a state to conduct foreign diplomacy," he said.

Oh hey that's me:

"We won't be safe until venues are able to require SMART Health QR codes and stop accepting paper cards, or photos of cards. And that won't happen until state or local governments mandate that," said Jamie Zawinski, a software developer who also owns a night club, DNA Lounge, in San Francisco. He requires customers to have the QR code or, for now, their paper CDC card.

DNA Lounge not only requires people to display the QR code, but it also scans the code using a smartphone app to verify that the codes are authentic -- making the club one of the few businesses anywhere in the U.S. to take that extra step.

The primary scanning app available, the SMART Health Card Verifier App, has been used about 750,000 times this month, and the trend line indicates usage is doubling month over month, Anderson said.

So... those 200,000,000 people with access to QR codes have scanned them 24,000 times per day. That's 0.012%. That's not a lot.

I mean, in the last 30 days, DNA Lounge alone accounted for around 0.23% of the total number of scans nationally. That's like 1 in 440.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Thu Jan 13 23:46:08 2022 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.