Glacier-fed rivers are disappearing – of course.


Click to enlargeUniversity of Alberta

❝ A call for policy-makers to begin planning for the inevitable disappearance of glacier-fed rivers is one of the highlights of a no-holds-barred, University of Alberta-led accounting of the health of Canada’s mountains.

The 2018 State of the Mountains Report is a collection of expert summaries written to raise awareness about the ways a changing climate is transforming the alpine…

Mountains are sentinels for larger global change,” said U of A mountain historian Zac Robinson. “The change is alarming, but I’m optimistic because mountains are adored by people everywhere. That’s hopeful because people are paying attention to these types of things.”

Read it and weep for the mountains and rivers, my friends. Many of the most important moments in my life were spent within these landscapes and similar – around the globe. Replacements aren’t the same.

Praising yourself – to the dead who fought for this nation at war

ON TWITTER: Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 6:58 AM – May 28, 2018 “Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”

Our fake president, the liar-in-chief, displays his phony self to a public which still includes a parcel of self-deluded sycophants.

Protect free speech rights for bots?

❝ Do you have a right to know if you’re talking to a bot? How about the bot? Does it have the right to keep that information from you? Those questions have been stirring in the minds of many since well before Google demoed Duplex, a human-like AI that makes phone calls on a user’s behalf, earlier this month.

Bots — online accounts that appear to be controlled by a human, but are actually powered by AI — are now prevalent all across the internet, specifically on social media sites. While some people think legally forcing these bots to “out” themselves as non-human would be beneficial, others think doing so violates the bot’s right to free speech. Yes, they believe bots have the same First Amendment rights as humans in America.

RTFA. Standard copout piece pretty much avoiding rational science-based discussion of philosophical questions. I expect there are plenty of handy bots slipping through the fog of the Web already advancing petit bourgeois rationales for Bot Freedoms – generated by owners profiting from their bots. Or hoping to.

But, you might want to interfere with morning coffee [or tea] enough to – at a minimum – develop your own opinion on the topic.

Listen to the coppers – ignore the fake president – secure The Web

❝ The FBI is advising users of consumer-grade routers and network-attached storage devices to reboot them as soon as possible to counter Russian-engineered malware that has infected hundreds of thousands devices.

❝ Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware on Wednesday. The detailed report said the malware infected more than 500,000 devices made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command. The report said the malware was developed by hackers working for an advanced nation, possibly Russia, and advised users of affected router models to perform a factory reset, or at a minimum to reboot.

❝ Later in the day, The Daily Beast reported that VPNFilter was indeed developed by a Russian hacking group, one known by a variety of names, including Sofacy, Fancy Bear, APT 28, and Pawn Storm. The Daily Beast also said the FBI had seized an Internet domain VPNFilter used as a backup means to deliver later stages of the malware to devices that were already infected with the initial stage 1. The seizure meant that the primary and secondary means to deliver stages 2 and 3 had been dismantled, leaving only a third fallback, which relied on attackers sending special packets to each infected device.

RTFA. Follow the instructions. Unless the fake president is in charge of your Internet access. And your brain.

“Bird Hunting” – a profitable pastime


That’s right. We don’t suggest hunting your neighborhood feathered friends.

❝ Bird is a scooter-sharing company that launched in 2017 and has been dubbed the “Uber of scooters.” Its goal is to alleviate congestion and allow people an easy way to travel quickly for short distances of just a few miles. Riders can locate and unlock scooters using the company’s smartphone app, and after paying the $1 unlocking fee are charged 15 cents per minute during use.

Birds are available in a growing number of American cities including Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; Washington D.C.; and Atlanta. The scooters are all battery-powered and dockless, so they can be picked up or dropped off anywhere.

❝ But when night falls, what most riders don’t realize is that the scooters themselves are charged by a contract workforce. These people are known as “Bird hunters” or “chargers,” and they’re growing exponentially in number.

You don’t punch a time-card. Probably don’t need an alarm clock to tell you when to get to work. Not a bad gig.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia