How scary-capable deepfakes have become

This video of Tom Cruise is a computer-generated fake.

In a series of tweets, Rachel Tobac, the CEO of SocialProof Security, warns that deepfakes like @deeptomcruise threaten to further erode public trust in a world where media literacy is poor and people already can’t agree on what’s true or false. Like the black and gold dress, where one person might notice giveaways that the Tom Cruise videos are synthesized, another might not know the signs of a fake and swear up and down that they’re real…

“Just because you feel you can personally tell the difference between synthetic & authentic media, it doesn’t mean we’re good to go,” she says. “It matters what the general public believes.”

Like most longtimey geeks, I recognize the many corrupt uses to which this class of software will be dedicated. Guaranteed. But, I count on…

1. Equally talented geeks coming up with software which will detect and label the criminal and political productions waiting in the wings.

2. Responsible types will publicize the fakes as such…and identify and expose the creepier flavor of geeks out there willing to participate in criminal abuse of advances in technology.

Still – use at your own risk!

Last October, security researchers warned that the Qiui Cellmate Chastity Cage had a serious security flaw that could allow hackers to turn a chastity device into a dick jail. Now, the device’s European distributors are saying the problem’s been fixed and your dicks are safe.

In an email to Gizmodo, a spokesperson from Dusedo—Cellmate’s distributor—wrote that our initial coverage caused consumers to be wary of the device and that such concern was unfounded as it “wrongly created the image that our product could be hacked, after which the genitals of the wearer would be permanently locked up.” The spokesperson went on to elaborate that the problem was with the Qiui app, which had an API security flaw, and not the device itself, but that “because one is inextricably linked to the other, we have, in collaboration with Qiui, made every effort to solve the security issue as quickly as possible.” A nearly word-for-word statement was also sent to Motherboard.

A few folks – no one really knows how many – have paid extortionist geeks to have these devices removed. Paying to have this hardware removed from their “software”. Scary stuff!

Just drinking in the park

Bruce Springsteen pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he imbibed alcohol at New Jersey’s Sandy Hook National Recreation Area, despite knowing it was prohibited…

The plea came after federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges that Springsteen was operating a vehicle under the influence and driving recklessly, charges Assistant US Attorney Adam Baker said the government would not be able to prove.

“The evidence we reviewed indicates that after the defendant’s arrest, he submitted to a breath test at the ranger station, and his BAC reading was .02, which as the court is aware is well under the legal limit of .08,” Baker said.

…The prohibition on alcoholic drinks at Sandy Hook was two years old, and noting Springsteen’s otherwise clean criminal record, Judge Anthony Mautone sentenced The Boss to pay a $500 fine plus $40 in court fees.

Over-ambitious copper. Folks running the court had more sense.

“Clarice” is a mediocre TV spinoff from a great movie

I admit I didn’t take enough time looking for reviews of “Clarice”. After trying to watch episode 1, tonight, I probably should have looked beyond USAToday. Generally, reliable. But, more sophisticated, intricate, might have kept me from wasting a half-hour in front of the TV, tonight.

Yes, the episode is longer than that. I just couldn’t stay with a season opener that could have been something more than crap. Here’s the link to the USAToday review.

In one sentence, I blame the producer/director combo who evidently “guided” the writing into something trite, predictable, and pissed me off enough that I couldn’t find it in me to watch all the way through.

The writing was competent, well-crafted, un-windy. Story line a mediocrity.

Which conspiracy theory do you think is the truth?

Everyone believes at least one conspiracy theory,” says Asbjørn Dyrendal, a professor in NTNU’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies who specializes in conspiracy theories.

The more conspiracy theories you bring up, the more people answer yes to one of them.

That fact leads American conspiracy researcher Joseph Uscinski at the University of Miami to posit that all people believe in at least one conspiracy theory. Dyrendal basically agrees, but he modifies Uscinski’s statement slightly, saying all people believe some conspiracy theory “a little.”

As they do in many belief systems, degrees of belief can add up and sooner or later a generalized accumulation of quantitative beliefs topples over into a qualitative change. You’re now convinced.

It’s a conspiracy.

Only White Jail Guards Allowed Near the Cop Who Killed George Floyd

When George Floyd’s alleged killer arrived at a Minnesota detention center last June, the superintendent ordered that only white guards were allowed to interact with the disgraced cop. Now, eight correctional officers who worked at the jail where Derek Chauvin was being held have filed suit against the local county, alleging they were barred from doing their jobs because of their race.

The plaintiffs, who identify as Black, Hispanic, mixed-race, and Pacific Islander, are suing Ramsey County in Minnesota state court Tuesday, saying that Superintendent Steven Lydon, who oversees the county Adult Detention Center excused them and other correctional officers of color from interacting with Chauvin, and reassigned them away from their normal duties…

“Plaintiffs went to work expecting to do their jobs just as they had every day before that,” the complaint reads. “However, Defendant’s Superintendent, Steve Lydon, ordered that all correctional officers of color, including Plaintiffs, were prohibited from interacting with or guarding Chauvin, or going anywhere on the 5th floor, where Chauvin was held.”

RTFA. Some truly convoluted lies from the miserable hack in charge.

Remains, ruins of Trump’s half-built, half-assed wall


John Darwin Kurc

All along the US-Mexico border, the machines are silent. On January 20, President Joe Biden gave workers seven days to wind down construction on President Donald Trump’s signature project, the border wall…That work has paused while the Biden administration reviews all contracts and the costs of “terminating or repurposing” them…

Toward the end of Trump’s term, contractors rushed to tackle arduous terrain, carving access roads and blasting staging areas into areas that campaigners said would never actually be completed…

Massive staging areas and rough access roads — built to service the vehicles and construction workers in what had been pristine wilderness — are empty or are parking lots for machinery…

Oh…here’s a completed segment of the wall…a leftover parking lot…and while the photographer set-up to take this drone shot, 4 migrants easily climbed over the wall and proceeded on their way into the U.S. along the road thoughtfully provided by Trump.

Chemical Weapon the United States dropped on the people of VietNam maims and kills, decades later


NY Times

A French court will…hear a case against more than a dozen multinationals, accused by a French-Vietnamese woman of causing grievous harm to her and others by selling the Agent Orange defoliant to the US government which used it to devastating effect in the Vietnam War.

Tran To Nga, born in 1942 in what was then French Indochina, worked as a journalist and activist in Vietnam in her 20s.

She filed the lawsuit in 2014 against 14 firms that made or sold the highly toxic chemical, including Monsanto, now owned by German giant Bayer, and Dow Chemical…

So far, only military veterans — from the US, Australia and Korea — have won compensation for the after-effects of the chemical whose toxic properties…were “absolutely phenomenal” at around 13 times the toxicity of herbicides in civilian use such as glyphosate.

Four million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were exposed to Agent Orange, according to NGOs, over a decade when the US military sprayed an estimated 76 million litres (20 million gallons) of the herbicide and defoliant chemical to halt the advances of communist North Vietnamese troops and deprive enemy combatants of food sources.

“Conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure” (Delaware Gazette 2/11/21) https://www.delgazette.com/opinion/columns/88753/conditions-linked-to-agent-orange-exposure Part 3 of a four part series on agent orange see https://muckrack.com/harold-b-wolford/articles
“Agent Orange Wasn’t the Only Deadly Chemical Used In Vietnam : The “Rainbow Herbicides” left a lethal legacy.” https://www.history.com/news/agent-orange-wasnt-the-only-deadly-chemical-used-in-vietnam

If Nazi Germany had done this in World War 2, chemical war on civilian populations would likely be a leading war crime remembered for centuries. When the GOUSA does it…when most of us still study history books written by English-speaking apologists for crimes like this…it takes decades just to find a court that will listen to the complaints of civilians and the survivors of those maimed and murdered by our war criminals.