Category Archives: Randomness

Visa Will Not Suffer Fools

Gruber was right to focus on this quote:

“I don’t know that it will, and I don’t care. As long as Visa suffers.

There’s something that these Cabal-MXC companies need to figure out really quickly, because, just like Apple with every version of iTunes, Visa has Terms of Service that these merchants agree to, and that Visa can change at any time. If you think for a moment that Visa isn’t looking at this and fuming, you’ve never read those documents that Visa sends out to merchants and banks. Banks have teams of lawyers pouring over these TOS’s all day, every day, and there’s nothing they don’t know about them, but they still get dinged when they aren’t doing something exactly the way that Visa wants.

Visa wants people using more secure systems – like Apple Pay and the other NFC systems developed that use tokenization. Visa can easily make it a contract point that NFC systems be in place. Why they haven’t is beyond me, but they could.

Much more likely, tho, and something they’ve done in the past, is what I like to describe as “Don’t Even Fucking Try to Make Us The Bad Guy” clause.

Some of you may remember getting gas in the 80’s and seeing “Save 5¢ per gallon with cash” signs on the pumps. You know why those went away? Because Visa and the rest of the credit card cabal[1] saw that and freaked out and put in a clause that says, basically, that you can’t offer products and services at two different prices in an attempt to mitigate our fees. Up until that clause existed, many businesses were doing just that.

I fully expect to see a clause in there that says that anyone pulling this MXC crap, or even just using older non-NFC systems, will incur the highest transaction fees until they also accept secure payments via NFC. To keep it from being anti-competitive all they have to do is put in what I’ll call a “We Fucking Hate Fraud And You, You Pricks” clause that basically makes people accept NFC systems or get hit by the highest transaction fees possible even if the card is present because giving out the card number to merchants is insecure and costly for Visa – and they absolutely hate to lose money.

 

Mysterious Other

Many people have had problems updating their iOS device to iOS 8 because they don’t have enough space. The weird thing is that many of us have plenty of space, except there’s a mysterious padding of yellow marked “Other” that is, well, unknown.

This has been going on for quite a while, and after some prodding from Wave and Gruber, I figured it was time to do some research. So, in pictures, here’s what I found. I started out by attaching my iPad mini to my Macbook and resetting it to basic settings. This wiped everything out of it, and updated the software to 8.1, which was dandy. It also meant that I had nothing much at all on the machine. Here’s what you see (and I did full screenshots so you can see the date and times of this, as the experiment lasted overnight).

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 4.24.11 PM

That bar along the bottom is the thing. I had the apps that come installed with the OS and nothing else on this, except for a few photos and such.  Here’s what my iPad showed for usage, both summary and itemized:

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Everything seems fine. Now, to figure out what is filling the space, I did what I like to do when my TV is busy doing other things, and I want to watch a movie, maybe a TV show, from iTunes – I stream it to my iPad. So for this, I chose X-Men: Days of Future Past, and watched that, which took a couple hours. Here’s what I get after:

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In the first screen shot, I’ve gone from having 10.0 GB available to having only 5.5 GB available. And if we look at the size of the movie file from iTunes, guess how big it is. Yep, 4.5 GB. But notice that the second screenshot, which was taken at the same time, doesn’t show any change. In fact, Movies aren’t listed at all, still, even tho I watched one.

So I decided to watch another. Time for “V for Vendetta” because who doesn’t love that? I know, everyone loves it. So after a few hours, I thoroughly remember the 5th of November, but I still wonder about that mysterious other. So again, into the usage and here’s what I found:

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Now I’m down to a gig and nothing has changed on my itemized list. Well damn. Let’s watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier next because I enjoy the film and it’s getting late. So I fired that up.

Right about the time I get to the scene where Cap is taking on the terrorist on the boat, I get this notification:

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We all knew this was coming. Cap definitely weighs in at more than a gig, and that’s all the free space we had. But this is just a warning. The video still plays a bit more.

“You have three.”

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The video is done. Nothing more will play. At this point in the movie, which if I hadn’t seen it before I would have been livid that it stopped there, the action is just heating up, but I can’t play it. It’s failing. Stuttering and then just playing a bit of audio, then stopping completely.

So here’s where it gets interesting. I checked the usage again:

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Now down to a measly 208 MB, but the itemized usage hasn’t changed. Not good.

I go back to the video and try to watch it again. I get a few minutes farther, to this point:

IMG_0082

“Wanna see my lease?”

No, but I’d really like to know why video is becoming “other” and why I can’t delete it. That’s the only explanation. And with only 207 MB left, the iPad is not working well. But I decide to try to install a couple apps to see if I can get anything working. So I look for Facebook, and I can’t find it, but I install Facebook Messenger:

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And here’s the screenshots of my two springboard pages:

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Again, not much there. But let’s see if we can install anything.

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Huh, it seems it’s going to install. That’s cool. But what the hell, where’s the actual Facebook App? I go into Settings to see:

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I have no idea, and solving that problem is beyond the scope of this article, but something is weird there. Anyway, it’s not the only weird thing. Now that I’ve installed an app, check out the Usage stats:

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Wait, what? I have free space again? I install a random app, and finally the OS deletes some mysterious other to be able to install stuff? This is new. So I decide to watch Captain America again, because I want to know if I’ll get all the way through it – and I did!

But wait, what’s the usage at now?

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And other than the new app being in place, the itemized screen really hasn’t changed. So I came to my desk and got another screenshot:

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.22.51 AM

Now, full disclosure, I knew this was the problem with what creates the mysterious other in the OS, and is causing so many issues. Now, I used to have a developer account I could access to see the names of the files that made up any particular category, and that’s how I knew what was causing this issue. The only new thing was that installing an app apparently deleted some of the other, but not all of it. And it’s very simple to fill it back up. It’s a bug, and easily reproducible, so I’m hoping that Apple fix it.

Going bald

No, I’m not suffering like several of my cousins, but will instead be voluntarily shedding my locks for the unmitigated joy of playing Uncle Fester in Grandstreet Theatre’s upcoming production of Addams’ Family Musical. I hope you will come see it!

Oh Rick, you’ve missed again

From Rick Hill on Facebook:

Rick Hill
Rick Hill

One of my liberal Facebook friends asked the other day what it is that conservatives are trying to “conserve?”

The answer is that conservatives are seeking to conserve traditional views about faith and family. We seek to conserve property rights including the right to benefit from one’s labor. We seek to conserve the traditional advocacy for smaller and less intrusive government. We seek to conserve traditional views of individual rights and liberties such as free speech, free assembly, right to petition, religious freedom, right to bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, equal protection, states rights and representative government.

All under attack from the left.

Oh please.  – Let’s break it down:

The answer is that conservatives are seeking to conserve traditional views about faith and family. – Which are discriminatory towards me, so no, you don’t get to keep being a bigot. Get over it, grow up, and be a decent human being. Jesus never said anything against the gays, lesbians, trans or bis. Your evangelical narcissists do, but they are bigots, and if you follow them, so are you.

We seek to conserve property rights including the right to benefit from one’s labor.  – But not at a fair wage if you’re not already a millionaire.

We seek to conserve the traditional advocacy for smaller and less intrusive government. – Except if you’re a woman, because then you want to stand between her and her doctor to tell exactly what she can and cannot do with her body and her health.

We seek to conserve traditional views of individual rights and liberties such as free speech, free assembly, right to petition, religious freedom, right to bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, equal protection, states rights and representative government.  – Whooo boy. Free speech – we’re having that right here, and while I want you to learn, to be smarter, and not say stupid things, it’s your right to do speak on anything, regardless of your understanding of it. It is our right to judge you on your ignorance, that’s part of the deal.

Free assembly – oh, you mean like the Occupy movement? Or maybe the crowds gathering in Ferguson? Oh, not those, eh?

Right to petition – no one is stopping you from doing this. No one. Find me some example of this, please.

Religious Freedom – your religious freedom is as sacrosanct as mine. A good way to think about this, tho, is that your religion is similar to your penis – you can have one, you can even be proud of it, but don’t wave it in public and don’t shove it down anyone’s throat.

Right to bear arms – go for it. I have no issue with responsible gun owners. I do think we should have background checks when people buy them, because we’ve so much proof that even just that dramatically decreases the gun violence we’ve been subjected to recently.

Now, this next part gets me. I know what you meant to put, but the order you put it in, Rick, is ambiguous and entertaining.

Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure – yep, nothing new here, although you should be complaining about the militarization of police forces, but I don’t see you speaking up on that at all.

Equal protection – you want to be free from equal protection? Because you don’t think that everyone should be treated equally under the law? What the hell, Rick? Oh, this is your poor writing skills at work, eh? You want to have equal protection? Well, so do the liberals of the world. In fact, only the liberals do, because the conservatives act like they’d rather keep the patriarchy of the Old White Guys in place.

Freedom from states’ rights? Heh.

As for what you meant to say; that you’re conserving states’ rights, yes, as are we. We believe even in city and county rights, that they enact things first to see if they work or if they suck, and so we can have some experimentation and get it right before we take it nation-wide. But eventually, when we figure something out and realize it should be that way for everyone, we are going to take it nation-wide. Heck, your side does that, too, just not as often because it does require good ideas that can be proven to work.

Representative government – we have this. Like it or not, this is what we have. We vote, and the people we vote for do things that sometimes we like and sometimes we don’t and we have some issues with money adversely affecting the process, but overall, we have a representative government. Where we lack this is in keeping people out of power when they aren’t elected, but that requires we change how things work when people lose elections. And if I remember right, that would have directly affected you, so I’m guessing you really don’t go for that.

So thank you for spouting the platitudes, but you aren’t actually fighting for a one of them. You, and your party, are actively trying to destroy them all.

I’m not letting it go.

Our government is by us, for us, and we willingly pass it off as ‘just another annoyance’. To be forgotten. To just fucking let it go.

Well, I’m not letting it go. I’m not letting the naysayers and evildoers of the world continue to abuse and destroy our country. I’m not going to let the rich own the world and let nothing be left for the rest of us. I’m not going to let the hawks cry for war, sending the sons and daughters of the people to fight for their oil and money, and then bring those sons and daughters back, in body bags, in ruins, in tattered minds and shattered souls, to be tossed on the streets and forgotten. I’m not letting it go.

votenoI’m not letting the owners of companies continue to act like it’s ok that they make millions while the people doing the actual work of their business get paid less than is necessary to live. The front line workers should be thriving, because they are most important parts of your business, not some throw-away cog in a machine that you don’t even understand, and I’m not letting it go.

I’m not letting the crooks off because they are too big to fail. They’ve bought and paid for the representation that they currently enjoy, but they need to hire lawyers and a defense team and stand in a court of law and pay for the misdeeds they committed, and be held accountable for the damage they inflicted on the world’s economy. I’m not letting it go.

I’m not letting our science and math skills fail because we put pressure on teachers to produce a product instead of teaching a person. We’ve forgotten that everyone learns slightly differently and we’ve decided that we’re too damn busy to figure out a real way to test if a child is learning and teacher is teaching, and instead insist on giving crap tests with number 2 pencils that a computer can read but that no one can understand. I’m not letting it go.

I’m not letting our manufacturing prowess continue to rot in the cities abandoned by companies that strived to make things cheaper on the backs of the workers instead of investing in new technologies and keeping C-level paychecks in line with the realities of the world. It’s not acceptable to move the manufacturing to reduce the labor costs when the end product doesn’t cost less, you’re just padding the paychecks of the executives. I’m not letting it go.

I’m not letting our space program die on the vine. When I was a kid we talked about terraforming Mars and faster-than-light travel, but now we don’t even have shuttles, let alone spaceships, and while we haven’t returned to the moon since before I was born, China has. With most of the modern conveniences coming from research into space and space travel, this is beyond stupid, it’s dangerous. And I’m not letting it go.

I’m not letting you forget your civic duty to vote. I refuse. You voice matters, and your only voice, your only chance to make a difference is to vote. So yeah, you’re going to see a lot of political posts from me. But I care about where we, as a nation, are headed, and I’m not letting it go.

Neither should you.

On Insults and Travesties

Oh, I actually have met jhwygirl and like her, but I disagree with her thoughts and her premise on this. It’s not that she can’t have her opinion, trust me, I’d much rather have her opinion than not, she’s extremely sharp, and I read her article because it touches on a thought I’d had before.

First off, let’s back up a bit tho – Amanda is who I’m supporting. Dave is about as interesting as wet paint, and while many have heard of him, of the 35 or so that I asked about him couldn’t put that he was in politics. They’d heard of him, but not of anything he’d done. When asked about Amanda, most of them knew her, in some form, some from her music, some from production work on TV, and some from the legislature. I only met one that hadn’t heard of her, but after giving a bit, even they’d seen her videos last session. Chalk this up to being in Helena, where politics is fed to us in the water. We’re a tad weird.

As for Amanda not running, that was her being polite. Butte lost a seat and the other incumbents had seniority, and, honestly, she did as she was asked even tho she didn’t like it. That’s just being a good person, really, so she shouldn’t be faulted for that, especially now, when if she had been running, she’d have to give up the seat, and that would create problems because in the last race she ran uncontested in the general election, which triggers odd things because I’m not sure an uncontested race can be replaced? It’s something to think on.

We’ll be 79 days from the election when the Dems have decided on who is replacing Walsh, and it’s going to be tough. But as I’ve posited before, the only person who can make the media stand up and shine is Amanda.

The focus of the national press has turned towards Montana and especially this party, as we face a unique moment. In a race that has been flagged as wasted, lost, and unimportant, the amount of ink, pixels and video thrown at it the last week, on a national level, is almost unprecedented – in fact, the last time we had this was the last presidential election, and the spotlight was used by the GOP to create the monster that is Sarah Palin. It’s an amazing amount of focus, and can, obviously be used for evil. The media is hungry for a story that will make the mid-term elections interesting, and it started with Senator Walsh’s paper. They are focused on Montana right now, and we can feed that focus and keep them here if we have a candidate that is compelling, interesting, intelligent, and connected. And We have that candidate.

We have a chance to really try something new. To find a leader from our ranks who represents the values we hold, without being a beholden subject of the whims of outsiders and special interests. We have a chance to grab that spotlight and shine it on a candidate that can represent all of Montana. A candidate whose life, whose story, whose strength and whose character, are exactly the stories that the press is starving to tell, will continue to hold that focus on this race and her candidacy for the next 100 days.

We are at a precipice, and when we jump, we can jump with anyone and hope for a soft landing – that’s exactly what everyone expects. The people expect it, the press expects it, and honestly, most of us expect it. Or we can do something daring, unexpected, and completely interesting, and jump, with a chance to fly.

Let me tell you some of the highlights from the story of this candidate. She grew up in Billings, but found her heart in Butte. The daughter of a member of the Laborers union, who only had access to dental and healthcare because of the union. A graduate of Montana Tech, and currently, she’s finishing up her master’s at the University of Montana. She’s taught math in both Helena and Butte, and she’s served a term as a representative in the state house.

We have the chance to take that media focus, that amazing media frenzy, and illuminate a candidate that the camera loves, and who can answer questions about foreign policy, education, energy, land use, healthcare, social security, and just about any other topic you can think of, without missing a beat.

Of the people floated, I like them all, and know they are good people. Putting your support behind someone means making a decision, and I hope that my friends are still my friends after I’ve published this, because I do like them. Dirk has great ideas, and while I disagree with some of his positions, I don’t agree with Amanda on all of them. I know his best chance at winning is running a full campaign again, because he needs time to get his message out. His messages are compelling, and his ability to lead seems legit, but I think he needs a bit more gumption and a bit less politics to get there – but he certainly will.

Bohlinger is awesome. How can you not like the guy? He’s shown his ability to lead time and again, and his compassion and grace are beyond reproach. He served in the military, he’s own a successful business, and he’s grown as a person and politician and his growth lead him to switch parties because his understanding of the facts compelled him to. That’s a great thing. If he were to get the nom, I’d certainly work my tail off to support him, that’s for sure.

Dave isn’t really known. He’s one of those legislators that doesn’t stand out, and while seems to be right on many issues, hasn’t really lead anything. Hell, Bryce Bennett has been more vocal than Dave, and has a better story to catch the media’s attention.

The list of amazing women in the Dem ranks is astounding, but they’ve all declined already. Amanda hasn’t, and she’s amazing. I’ve known her since I moved back, and after eight years, I can’t think of anyone better for this race. She has the energy, drive, passion, compassion, grace, smarts, training and background that we really want, and frankly, she hasn’t been poisoned by our political system.

You make think it’s a gimmick to choose her, but it’s not. Amanda is ready for this race and will be an awesome senator, so don’t think for a moment that it’s not about winning now, because it very much is.

Otherwise, we’d all just be supporting a white man. Same old story. Same old song. Same lost seat.