Friday, March 31, 2017

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US Senate votes to let ISPs sell your browsing data
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The 2016 Guitarist of the Year | The Outstanding Tina S

Tina S has such astounding speed ... it's just impossible.  We must be getting a view into the other dimension where everyone is beautiful, incredibly-talented, and, why not, they live forever.

She is one wildly-amazing and hugely-determined female and she's just seventeen so she will be coming to the stage of bands soon.  There won't be anything she can't play.

Tina S is one of a billion reasons the Rockhouse doesn't like the inordinate focus on solo singers since the band is frequently relegated to a state of being faceless sidemen.  The Reader's Digest version of the thinking is music requires synergy and only a band can deliver it from enough different perspectives to go to new worlds of sound.

How does it look when Tina S connects with musicians who bring similar skills.  Behold the joy.

When CIA Said Russians Did It, That Was Their Code #WikiLeaks #Vault7

The CIA developed code to cover up the tracks of whatever malware they left behind so it wouldn't be possible tell they did it.  That was revealed in the latest release from WikiLeaks.  (RT:  #Vault7: WikiLeaks reveals ‘Marble’ tool could mask CIA hacks with Russian, Chinese, Arabic)

WikiLeaks’ latest batch of documents, named ‘Marble’, details CIA hacking tactics and how they can hamper forensic investigators from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the spy agency . The tool was in use as recently as 2016.

The third release, which contains 676 source code files for the agency’s secret anti-forensics framework, is part of the CIA’s Core Library of malware, according to a statement from WikiLeaks.

- RT

As to how WikiLeaks got this, it's important to understand there isn't a boat in Washington or near it which does not have a hole in the bottom so large that it leaks fast enough to send the Titanic to the bottom in a doublequick hurry.

When there are leaks from the Oval Office which should have the most unimpeachable cadre in the country, it shouldn't be such a wild surprise to see the CIA leaks as much or more.

We could retire simply from a dime for every time the CIA charged hacking to Bulgarians in the past but they got tired of that and they stick to blaming Russians now.  There isn't a tiny reason to believe any of it but we do admire how they have elevated electronic false flags to a new dimension of lunacy.

Oh, you think that's exaggeration?

WikiLeaks said Marble hides fragments of texts that would allow for the author of the malware to be identified, meaning the agency allows another party to be blamed for the hack.

A Marble framework document reveals it supports the ability to “add foreign languages” to malware. “Now comes the fun stuff,” it reads, listing Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi in example code, indicating the potential for the CIA to divert attention to international actors.

- RT

Polly Boiko gives a clear explanation of what they were doing and it's at least as insidious as you may imagine.  It's worth listening to the video on the link for the full spiel.

Maybe the charge from the Statists is this is bollocks because WikiLeaks is part of a conspiracy to spoof the Left with false information and thereby contribute to the destruction of democracy and probably life as we know it.

The above could be true but it assumes exceptional incompetence from some exceptionally bright people.

Watson:  or it's just another diversion by the Statists?

Roger that

Remember Dark Matter? Well, Forget About That - Science

Enigmatic dark energy, thought to make up 68% of the universe, may not exist at all, according to a Hungarian-American team. The researchers believe that standard models of the universe fail to take account of its changing structure, but that once this is done the need for dark energy disappears.  (Science Daily:  Explaining the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy)

This announcement comes from the Royal Astronomical Society and those royal societies have some big smokes.

Ed:  it's a real weeper losing something no-one could see and no-one could detect

It surely is.  This is an astronomical loss.  The Yin of the Universe lots its Yang.  Tragedy.

This is a frame from an animation that shows the expansion of the universe in the standard 'Lambda Cold Dark Matter' cosmology, which includes dark energy (top left panel red), the new Avera model, that considers the structure of the universe and eliminates the need for dark energy (top middle panel, blue), and the Einstein-de Sitter cosmology, the original model without dark energy (top right, green). 

The panel at the bottom shows the increase of the 'scale factor' (an indication of the size) as a function of time, where 1Gya is 1 billion years. The growth of structure can also be seen in the top panels. One dot roughly represents an entire galaxy cluster. Units of scale are in Megaparsecs (Mpc), where 1 Mpc is around 3 million million million km.

Credit: István Csabai et al.

You got all that, right?

Ed:  did you?

Not a sausage.

We will skip straight to the punchline but the interested student is invited ... the article has a discussion on why any of this matters.  We just want to know what they found and see below.

We will just take their word for it since they have a cool graph.

Dr Dobos adds: "The theory of general relativity is fundamental in understanding the way the universe evolves.  We do not question its validity; we question the validity of the approximate solutions.  Our findings rely on a mathematical conjecture which permits the differential expansion of space, consistent with general relativity, and they show how the formation of complex structures of matter affects the expansion.  These issues were previously swept under the rug but taking them into account can explain the acceleration without the need for dark energy."

- SD

Watson:  dark energy just poofed

That it did, Watson; it's never to be seen again.

Watson:  we can't see it now

Fair enough

Some Major Cancer Killing without Using Nanobots - Science

You have likely heard of smart bombs which weren't all that smart but these cancer-killing 'microcarriers' are brilliant bombs since they pack a three-way payload.  Nanobots will guide themselves to the tumor but these microcarriers are steered by an operator.  That's probably a cumbersome procedure but when it drops the payload it will be dead center on the tumor for maximum cancer killing with minimum damage to healthy tissue.  (Science Daily:  Triple-threat cancer-fighting polymer capsules for guided drug delivery)

This guided drug delivery system targets solid tumors

Credit: UAB

The three-way effect isn't entirely clear from the graphic so here's some explanation.

These multilayer capsules show three traits that have been difficult to achieve in a single entity. They have good imaging contrast that allows detection with low-power ultrasound, they can stably and efficiently encapsulate the cancer drug doxorubicin, and both a low- and higher-power dose of ultrasound can trigger the release of that cargo.

These three features create a guided drug delivery system to target solid tumors. Therapeutic efficacy can be further improved through surface modifications to boost targeting capabilities. Diagnostic low-power ultrasound then could visualize the nanocapsules as they concentrated in a tumor, and therapeutic higher-dose ultrasound would release the drug at ground zero, sparing the rest of the body from dose-limiting toxicity.

- SD

They may it sound like a B-17 bombing run in WWII only this would be vastly more accurate.  This delivery system means the payload can carry more cancer kill power and deliver it better than alternative approaches so this one is looking highly damn good to the Rockhouse.

The full article is linked for the edification of the interested student but we have more of a point than the mechanics of how this remarkable medicine will work.

Some tell us and quite loudly that this or that aspect of cancer doesn't get enough attention but the research I see on a constant flow is one approach after the other of finding better ways to wipe out cancer.  Scientists are swarming the matter and that's based on the number of papers plus the differences between them.

When the research varies from the type of solution in this presentation to others which present autonomous nanobots which do essentially the same thing, I believe that validates the point of aggressively different approaches to solving the problem.  Cancer is, in fact, getting enormous attention.

Do take caution that it's too early to ask your doctor about these treatments.  They're not likely to benefit us or at least not Boomers but they will benefit our kids.

Ed:  you don't have any damn kids!

Nope but it doesn't make any difference.  If any kid gets this cure, it's a win.

Ed:  what about any kid who needs it?

That will show we have found our humanity again.

What's Hot on the Blog 3/31


Debbie - "On one thing men and women can agree.  Neither trusts Debbie Wasserman Schultz." - Mark Twain

Finding - Craftsman tools won't evaporate when SEARS poofs but their future may not be what you think

Marriage - the science is introduced at the top and slashed at the bottom

The Only - the picture of Bush goes to worlds of absurdity Vonnegut would appreciate the most

The Nescience - that Norbert, he's one destructive cuss

Facebook - maybe you saw what came with Facebook Live since that got dirty fast and now there's a way to make a buck on it

In the Court - Greg Lake puts a somewhat different twist on this and "21st Century Schizoid Man"

When Nothing - SpaceX gave us some real news and it's real history since no-one ever managed a launch with a used booster before.  America can take some due pride in that one since nowhere else can do it.

Washington - this Russian hacking rot gets more tedious with each day but it stays comical because some of you believe it

Maybe - the terror fish must have been too terrifying even though it's only two inches long so the irony failed but this one has some goofy pictures

A Party in the Midwest Chemo Room

There are some things you may not know and hopefully never will.  One of them is a party in the Chemo Room and that happens when someone graduates from the program.  Happiness bounces around that room like sunbeams on a Slinky; it's everywhere.  I have never experienced anything like it and it was indirect since I did not know the people but it's huge encouragement since Yevette's day will come too.

On graduation, the patient may be in remission and won't be back for years, if ever.  We know the other paths such situations may take but there's no reason to consider such altrnative paths in the current circumstance.

Ordinarily the Prince handles Tactical support since I'm more wobbly than Yevette but he could not cover this one so off we went.  As you see from the top, it was a remarkable experience from the first step inside the Chemo Room.

Everything goes around down here.  Yevette owed the Prince some money and he used that to buy a concert ticket.  He couldn't see the show unless I covered him for Tactical just now so off he went.

This trip is brimming with more Socialism than you can possibly stand but it's tremendously important in getting through this.  We don't need to segue into a dissertation on Marxian Economics since sharing tells it already without getting poofy technical about it.

At first I was chasing people off due to the thinking if someone is not experienced then that person may turn this into a peanut gallery and I won't have Ithaka disrespecting Yevette in that way.  That approach was probably too strong since there are things to be learned from this and I know that because it teaches me things as we go along.

One of the things it taught me was about the graduation party in the Chemo Room since I saw the genuine joy in the nurses and I realized this moment is the payoff for them.  They may very well have brought this patient as close as possible to a cure and happiness radiates from everywhere.

Sometimes you hear about gezellig which has no corresponding word in English but it's a situation which is so good everyone knows it and nothing needs to be said.  People just look at each other and smile because they know the other person already knows the reason for it.  This is how it went at the graduation party.  Gemütlichkeit has a similar meaning in German but purists may insist it's not quite the same.

Whether it's Gezellig, Gemütlichkeit, or both doesn't matter much; it's just a pure pleasure seeing humans so genuinely happy about the welfare of another when those humans don't stand to gain a single thing from it.

Don't read this as getting Pollyanna with the situation since the parts of the circumstance which suck really suck bad.  There's no need to belabor side effects since you likely know of them already but you may not know of this graduation party.

Yevette has logged a week of this now so she's now eaten a significant chunk of the time toward her own graduation party.  One week out of eight may not sound like so much but it counts huge in this exercise.

Inch by inch ...

Mystery Lady:  it's a cinch!

I didn't forget either and I remember it was Robert Schuller who said it.  He was a kindly ol' buzzard.

Ed:  you quoting a preacher?

That I did.  Sue me (larfs).

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Weaponized Drones for Domestic Police and Who Will Say That's a Bad Idea

North Dakota has already legalized weapons on drones but those ones are tasers.  The ones they are about to legalize in Connecticut have kill capability and who will deny cops that ability when they have been showing such responsibility with deadly force already.  (RT:  Connecticut bill calls for weaponized police drones)

Connecticut is taking steps to become the first state to allow law enforcement to use drones capable of deadly force, following the release of viral videos that featured weaponized UAVs.
Legislation regulating drone use in Connecticut breezed through the state House Judiciary Committee this week and now heads to the entire House of Representatives for a future vote.

If passed and signed by the state’s governor, House Bill 7260 would make Connecticut a leading example for states attempting to arm law enforcement with drones capable of utilizing deadly force. Only North Dakota currently allows armed drones for its law enforcement agencies, but the state requires “less than lethal” weaponry such as a stun gun.

- RT

Watson:  they have lost control of these things, haven't they?


In Iraq they have been attaching grenades and such to drones to create makeshift drone weapons.  Unknown how well that works but there's no possible way of controlling it now.  The more weapons so-called good guys make, the faster so-called bad guys adopt them.

People don't seem to be particularly concerned but the state is terrified since they know they have lost control and there's nothing they can do about it because the Establishment is turgid and cerebrosclerotic but dissidents and malcontents are fast.

Ed:  cerebrosclerotic?

Hardening of the brain.  It's similar to arteriosclerosis which hardens arteries and reduces their functioning.

The fastest non-military drone can do about 500 kph which is significantly faster than many full-size aircraft can fly and those are not scale miles per hour; that's real.  Some guy just built that in his basement because he thought it would be a cool thing to do.

The situation is not only uncontrollable, it's not likely there's any way to ever control until Raytheon starts rolling out mini Patriot systems cop units can use to defend their territories against aggressor drones.

I can write anything I like on the matter since, no matter how ludicrous I may get, these crazy fuckers will do it.  If flying cop drones with guns isn't a dream come true in the Land of the Free then, prithee, tell me what dream is better than that.

Making the Big Bucks on Hyping Fear of Russia

Poland is about to close a deal for almost eight billion in Patriot missile systems from Raytheon.  (RT:  Patriot games: Poland expects to close $7.6bn missile systems deal by year-end)

Maybe you saw the Patriot systems in Saudi Arabia when Iraq was throwing crumby SCUD missiles at them because, well, everyone except America hates the Saudis.  The response from the Patriot missiles was marginal at best.  At a billion per, you'd think people would expect better performance but apparently that's not the case.

The beauty part is each missile system costs about the same as a nuclear submarine at about a billion dollars so Raytheon, in effect, sold Poland eight of them and come in Christmas for Raytheon, huh.  Thank you Uncle Barack and Uncle Donald.

Even better for military systems which don't work is the perennial whipping boy for Pentagon incompetence, the F-35.  Apparently it's stealth systems aren't too stealthy.  (RT:  F-35 report finds ‘only thing stealthy’ to be ‘the price tag’)

The easy fix for this one is for the Pentagon to buy their kit from the Russians; at least those systems work.

The advisory regarding the F-35 failings comes from POGO and the acronym is an ever-so-sly reference to the character created by Walt Kelly who saw Washington as clearly as anyone ever did.

We already know nothing the Pentagon is telling us about the F-35 has been true but that doesn't mean latching onto the first alternative will suddenly yield truth either.  The Rockhouse view is the POGO story is more credible but make of it what you will.

"In The Court Of The Crimson King" Live 2005 | Greg Lake

Don't expect a note-for-note rendition but it wouldn't have any purpose if it were.  You're supposed to take the music somewhere else Junger Musiker and not just copy it.

"In the Court of the Crimson King" is likely the common piece to any freak thread and going way back.  Lake follows it with "21st Century Schizoid Man" and that was another required component of freakdom.

Just as krautrock was, in large part, a response to guitar-heavy American rock bands, King Crimson had to have been driven at least in part by lyrics such as 'she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.'  They just weren't having any of that.

Wave that freak flag high.  Things were only kind of crazy back then but madness is running in the streets now.

Ed:  in a million psychedelic colors

Yah, groovy, isn't it.  We did a fine job, my brothers and sisters.

Ed:  we didn't do it!

I know but it's fun to pretend.  Heya, freaks, we wrecked the world.  Yep, it was us.  Take a bow, my beloved brothers and sisters.

Loren Does an Excellent Job of Not Man'splainin' the SpaceX Launch

Loren Grush gives an exceptionally lucid explanation of the things SpaceX is trying to accomplish.  If you don't grok the science, this is a good one since she doesn't patronize.  Besides, she's a redhead.

Stay with it until the actual launch since this one gives a good taste of the thunder.  Watching her behold it is deeply magical since she looks really awestruck.  I only had the luck to get to one Shuttle launch but the thunder at launch time is something you really need to experience for yourself sometime.  It's more raw power than may you ever experience except from a volcano but this Vesuvius is under control.

Ed:  until it's not!

Yah, yah, Skeptical Man.  SpaceX has a better launch record than NASA in its early days since NASA was exploding one rocket after the other before the Mercury program started.

Ed:  do you even know what man'splainin' means?


Ed:  do you care?


Yesterday, SpaceX demonstrated an important capability of its Falcon 9 rocket fleet: the vehicles are capable of launching to space multiple times and then landing again. From Cape Canaveral, Florida, the company relaunched a used Falcon 9 rocket that had already launched to the space station in April of last year. For more details, check out Loren's post: The Verge


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- YouTube

Here's another one, also from Loren:

Unlike other videos of yesterday's launch, this one shows us what it looked like.

SpaceX has finally landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea, after launching the vehicle into space this afternoon. It's the first time the company has been able to pull off an ocean landing, after four previous attempts ended in failure. Today's success is a crucial milestone for SpaceX, as it shows the company can land its rockets both on solid ground and ocean.

- YouTube

Maybe the Terror Fish Article Overdid It

There was an article I wrote earlier, The Terror of Meiacanthus grammistes and the Venom It Uses - Science, as I also posted a picture of this creature's skull and this is one seriously terrifying marine organism.  It really does also carry poisonous venom so it seems it should be deadly ... except for the fact it's only 5-10 cm | 2-4 in in size.  It probably couldn't bite you even if it tried.

The Rockhouse irony might have slipped off the beam just a tad with that one.

Perhaps this does a little better.

We really don't know what it is but we're sure it bites

There's no need to worry about Meiacanthus grammistes but you ought to keep a look out for this one.  As you can see from his skin, there's a strong chance he's one of the undead.

Ed:  why do you think that's a man?

Why do you think I care?  Ha.

We see pundits constantly playing at being fortune tellers but there are so many mystics out of work.  Just ask Mama Katerina.

Tip:  get a crystal ball on eBay for about twelve bucks and you too can see the future.  I love the hat and the robe is spectacular.  The Rockhouse approves.

In case you think smart cars are anything new.  Those rolling death traps have been around for at least sixty years.  They've become more and more function-challenged over the years to the point at which they're now just glorified golf carts.

Now here's a vehicle from when cars ruled the road:

This car looks like the one Mister Toad drove in his wild ride.

Note:  "The Wind in the Willows" remains required reading for Ithaka where we like science but we love Mister Toad.

Marriage Makes No Difference for Happiness - Science

Mama mia, how can this be true ... but that's what the study reveals.  People who are monogamous are no happier than those who are screwing everyone in town.  (RT:  People in open relationships as happy as those in monogamous ones – study)

Ed:  that sure worked out well for Charlie Sheen, didn't it!

The lifestyle is not without risks but I'm sure he had a whale of a lot of fun and was happy while he was doing it.  He might have done better to consider, however, when you're sucking up cocaine the way most people consume oxygen then you will probably make some mistakes.

© Ilya Pitalev / Sputnik

There's a young swain now and he's trying the How Do You Like My iPad gambit which means he won't get laid tonight but that also means the comely lass in the picture will then be available.  Get busy, mates.

Note:  she's Russian so you will need to bring your best game which is specifically not Pokemon Go.

Most people in relationships tend to stick with one partner but not all are happy and seek more than one partner; that’s among the findings of new research published in the US.

In the hope of discovering the level of happiness of people in monogamous and open relationships, researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed 2,124 people to find out which relationship type yielded the highest levels of satisfaction.

The sample group consisted of 1,507 individuals in monogamous (one partner) relationships and 617 in open or polyamorous (more than one partner) relationships.

- RT

That looks like a fairly respectable sample size so, unless the survey questions are rubbish, the science they get from this should be good, right?

Note:  the Rockhouse loves that term 'polyamory' as one of the more twee expressions of the New Age Just Like the Old Age since when you're bangin' every Barbie in town, love don't got nothin' to do with it.

Participants were polled on a number of factors relating to their love life – including satisfaction, commitment, trust, jealousy and passionate love, the intense love feeling often described in new relationships.

After tallying the results, researchers found that there was very little difference in happiness between the two camps.

Overall, the outcomes for monogamous and consensual non-monogamous participants were the same – indicating no net benefit of one relationship style over another,” Terri Conley, lead author of the study said in a press release.

- RT

If you're buying this without wanting to see the questions the researchers asked, you may prefer to stick with politics since that won't work here.  Surveys of this nature can be stilted effortlessly through clever manipulation of the questions and validation of their efficacy for purpose is critical to determining whether the study had any value.

Ed:  were any of the people who ran the study actually married?

No idea on that one, Watson, but my guess is none of them were.  You've got to be more careful about believing everything you read because Uncle Silas won't always be here to help you sort it.