May 30


All I have to say about this post claiming that firewalls won’t matter in a few years is an aleph-null string of LOLs filling the multiverse.

I first heard this, what, in about 1999 or so? I am sure this assertion was made before then but that is just when I started really paying attention to the professional IT world.

Most companies have enough problems just securing their firewalls much less securing their entire application stack, exploit-ridden third-party software, nearly criminally-negligent employees and random vendors who install crap on the network.

Are firewalls a panacea? No. Do they sometimes encourage in-network negligence? Of course.

Is having no firewall at the enterprise level likely even in 50 years time?

Hell to the fucking no.

As IPv6 finally gains traction, firewalls are only going to become more important. Why? IPv6 (stupidly) does not support NAT which means for security-conscious and audit-driven companies having a central point of traffic control and monitoring is going to be even more important.

And what is that central point of traffic control called?

Oh yeah, a firewall.

Some people’s speaking fees for contrarian ideas are more important than what is actually likely to occur.

Sweet gig if you can get it, but don’t confuse it with the truth.

May 28


Why Is the Upgrade Often Less Satisfactory than Your Current Program?

A combination of factors. Catering to mobile and tablets, and aiming at low-IQ users are the main reasons.

In the early days of the web and of computing in general, most users were from universities or had been in tech already for a long while. Having to think for a few seconds to understand an interface was not a burden if it delivered more power in the end.

Alas most people simply cannot think for a few seconds, and it is at these minimally-competent masses that most technology is now squarely aimed.

Removal of features that would possibly confuse anyone — even a recent brain trauma victim — is the modus operandi these days.

Those of us who lived through a period when software really improved with each release (roughly 1980-2009, with some regressions along the way) find it nearly unbelievable how much dread is now involved in each “upgrade.”

The only benefit is that if people like us can manage to find something more like older software, we can be vastly more productive in the workplace and make those who can only type on a phone screen and only comprehend an interface built for preschool children look very bad by comparison.

May 27

The next step

The next step of the neobliberal project will be destroying examples of democratic socialism’s success in other countries — such as the already-underway shattering of the UK’s NHS.

The examples of success are extremely threatening, and obliterating them must be a high priority.

Expect much of the current infrastructure of social support in Europe and Canada to disappear in the next 10-20 years.

It is inevitable.

May 27


Part of the American Way is to harm yourself as long you harm someone else, too. Preferably worse, but it doesn’t really matter as long as someone else you don’t like gets damaged as well. Expressing your antipathy is what’s important no matter the consequences.

An example of this is that a neighborhood around here petitioned the city to close off one of the entrances/exits to the main road to prevent people from driving through it.

Not that many people drove through it as it was.

However what it now means is that at least half and maybe many more of the people who live there will now be forced to experience a much longer commute, some likely increasing their driving time by 10-20 minutes.

All so they can harm the few who drove through “their” neighborhood.

This is a minor example. But it’s very emblematic. Enough of the neighborhood is content to harm itself with a much worse commute to prevent a few people from transiting through.

May 22

Her voice

This is not the type of music I usually like, but it’s Kate Miller-Heidke. Her voice. Damn.

At the end that she can sing so damn loud with such enunciation on such high notes. Amazing.

May 20

Why I am not friends with men

Listening to men talk — just how dismissive of and derisive towards women they are — reminds me of why I don’t really have any male friends.

Women have some idea of course. They receive the harassment. They overhear the cloistered conversations, sometimes.

But I’m betting that women mostly have no idea just how they are talked about when they aren’t present, just how much hatred and venom is directed their way by everyday “average” men. Just how much their every effort is dismissed, their every action and thought minimized, denigrated and trivialized.

I know it’s not all men. But it’s the majority. It’s impossible to say for sure, but I’d say that about 95% of men are irredeemably sexist.

So women, if you hate men: you should.

May 20

Reasons for being

One of the reasons I wanted to join the army and became a paratrooper is that I wasn’t sure that I could do it.

And conversely one of the reasons I haven’t cared about graduating from fancy schools or getting other credentials is that I knew that I could, easily, though it would waste vast amount of time and resources.

Why do something that wastes my time and is easy? What fun is that?

Sometimes getting credentials is unavoidable. I have loads of tech certifications, for instance.

But I’ve always been attracted to those things that I wasn’t sure I could do. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I don’t.

But I’m just not built to waste time doing things I already know that I can do.

May 18


All I see lately is people complaining about the violence on Game of Thrones, how it’s not “realistic.”

Well, dumbasses, the books and TV series are loosely based on the Wars of the Roses which were extremely violent. So violent that 28,000 people died in one battle alone.

If anything the violence on the show is somewhat understated.

Check this out. As mentioned 28,000 people died in one day in one battle alone in the Wars of the Roses. This was one percent of the entire English population in 1461. Did I mention this was in one battle?

This is the equivalent of 3,200,000 people in the US dying in one day.

Or if everyone in Chicago and Minneapolis dropped dead right this instant.

So tell me again how horribly, unrealistically violent Game of Thrones is? So, yeah, what do you say?

I get so frustrated with how clueless Americans are about basic history. Just can people really be this moronic? How is this possible?

May 18

Intelligence is a superpower

Hell yeah, someone who is not a fucking moron writing about Supergirl.

The whole piece is great so it’s hard to pull a quote. Just read it. But this part is an easy pull for me because I tend to appreciate someone who actually knows the history of anything. That is very, very rare.

The point to remember is that riffing on existing tropes isn’t inherently bad. It’s the combination of teenage-girl high school tropes and superhero action that helped make Buffy The Vampire Slayer the glorious piece of genre television that it is. I’m not saying Supergirl will definitely be the next Buffy, but the potential is definitely there. It isn’t automatically bad that it looks familiar.

And the thing about superheroes is that romance is baked into their DNA. Hardcore comics nerds will know that when superheroes became popular in the 60s, it was off the back of writers and artists who had been working in the romance genre for years beforehand. Pick almost any 60s Marvel book off the shelf – Daredevil, Spider-Man, X-Men, Thor, Iron Man – and you’ll probably find a romance subplot inside. After creating Captain America in the 1940s, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby literally invented the Romance comic genre with 1947’s Young Romance #1, and that visibly fed back into Kirby’s Marvel work in the 60s – and you’ll struggle to find a Marvel Studios movie that doesn’t in some way rest on Kirby’s work.

And this.

The problem with this complaint is that the phrase “strong female character” has been misapplied so long to mean “physically and mentally without weakness” rather than “well-defined” (as it briefly, originally meant), that sometimes people hoping for a strong female lead get disappointed if a woman has personality traits that might be seen as in any way weak or frivolous.

Most feminist complaints seemed to amount to, “She’s not being a badass every single second of her waking life. She has doubts and fears and sometimes feels weak or unsure. Therefore the show is a failure!”

What a ridiculous grievance. I don’t even have words for how worthless that sort of criticism is, or how terrible and un-fun watching that sort of character usually is.

The show might end up being terrible. I don’t know. But most of the criticism about the trailer and the show seems to be some of the most clueless and unintelligent that I’ve read about anything.