My first engineering job was with Burroughs in the 1980s. We were making 100MB disk drives that weighed 70 lbs. A few years later I worked for Fujitsu on a 100MB 2.5-inch drive that weighed about 6 ounces. I can't remember how much either drive cost but it was probably over $1000. Earlier this week I was in Albuquerque and I saw an ancient 5MB disk drive the size of a washing machine. How many of these dime-sized 32GB flash drives ($23.61) would fit inside that 5MB drive's case?
Australo-Prussian tugs in LEO scuttled to avoid capture by Hardee's exoatmospheric weapons & chicken division. Zürcher calfskin watchbands?— Authentic Wm. Gibson (@AuthenticWmGibs) November 3, 2012
@AuthenticWmGibs is a funny fake William Gibson Twitter account, which tweets plausible-sounding precis of imaginary Gibson novels (or, as the Twitter bio has it, "Synopses for William Gibson novels that are definitely 100% real, but only in a timeline with greater authenticity than this one.")
Unknown weirdo creates pastiche of iconic SF author, constructing textual Cornell boxes, filled with snippets of cyberpunk microplots...— Authentic Wm. Gibson (@AuthenticWmGibs) November 12, 2012
...internet dorks disappointed that it's not a whirring, molybdenum-cased Markov robot pecking the keys of a 1892 Blickensderfer typewriter.— Authentic Wm. Gibson (@AuthenticWmGibs) November 12, 2012
On Friday, CIA chief and retired general David Petraeus, 60, resigned after an FBI probe stumbled on evidence of an extramarital affair, and hinted at possible security violations. The other woman was soon identified as Paula Broadwell, 40, his protegé, biographer, and paramour. The FBI encountered news of their liasons, the narrative went, after a woman who'd received threatening and harrassing emails from Broadwell complained to the FBI.
On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal identified that "other other woman" as being based in Florida, and specified that she was neither a government employee nor a member of Petraeus' family. Some of the defense/intelligence journalists I spoke to over the weekend theorized that Florida might mean Tampa, where the US military's Central Command and Special Operations Command is based, and that the as-yet-unidentified "other other woman" might be either a member of the press, or someone who works in a non-official capacity with CENTCOM, and may or may not have had any romantic connection with Petraeus.
They were right.
An excellent long read on the growing phenomenon of prescription drug overdoses in Southern California, which a Los Angeles Times investigative team reports "now claim more lives than heroin and cocaine combined, fueling a doubling of drug-related deaths in the United States over the last decade."
Health and law enforcement officials seeking to curb the epidemic have focused on how OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and other potent pain and anxiety medications are obtained illegally, such as through pharmacy robberies or when teenagers raid their parents' medicine cabinets. Authorities have failed to recognize how often people overdose on medications prescribed for them by their doctors.
A Los Angeles Times investigation has found that in nearly half of the accidental deaths from prescription drugs in four Southern California counties, the deceased had a doctor's prescription for at least one drug that caused or contributed to the death. Reporters identified a total of 3,733 deaths from prescription drugs from 2006 through 2011 in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties.
Not one of them was from marijuana, which remains a schedule 1 narcotic and is responsible for zero overdose deaths because one cannot die from a marijuana overdose.
Read the rest. Reporting by Scott Glover, Lisa Girion, with photos and video by Liz Baylen.
Like many in the press, nearly every national politician, and lots of members of Petraeus’ brain trust over the years, I played a role in the creation of the legend around David Petraeus. Yes, Paula Broadwell wrote the ultimate Petraeus hagiography, the now-unfortunately titled All In. But she was hardly alone. (Except maybe for the sleeping-with-Petraeus part.) The biggest irony surrounding Petraeus’ unexpected downfall is that he became a casualty of the very publicity machine he cultivated to portray him as superhuman. I have some insight into how that machine worked.Read the rest. Report: FBI probe into CIA chief's email "started with 2 women Petraeus outed by Gmail CIA chief Petraeus steps down, having failed to keep drone in pants. An interesting letter, which may or may not relate to Petraeus ... Read the rest
Intel has informed the Boy Scouts of America that they will no longer be eligible for donations through Intel's charitable donation matching program, unless the BSA abandons its policy of discrimination against gay people. The BSA is the recipient of hundreds of thousands of dollars in Intel donations: $180,000 in 2010 alone. Here's Mike Rogoway in The Oregonian:
It's not that Intel has a particular affinity for Scouting; its employees do. By volunteering as scoutmasters and in other roles, they trigger a $10 corporate donation for each hour spent helping a troop.
"...At the end of the year, to get their grants, we're going to require them to send a letter that they are in compliance with our nondiscrimination policies," Mulloy said.
"We feel strongly about the underlying values that are Intel, very strongly that we have a nondiscrimination policy on a wide variety of issues," he said. "And if you aren't complying, you shouldn't be asking us for money."
In a statement, the national Boy Scouts said it respects Intel's decision. But the organization isn't changing its policies.
"Be positive. Everyone likes to be around people who exude energy. Find a way to give energy and encouragement. It is amazing how the right attitude and the ability to make others feel good about themselves can be a magnet for new friends and colleagues! A book that captures this phenomenon is Celestine Prophesy."—Petraeus biographer and alleged email harasser and paramour Paula Broadwell, interviewed for a lady leadership series. More about the Petraeus/Broadwell affair in this previous Boing Boing post. (via Robert Caruso) Read the rest
"An important sign of quackery is the depiction of the doctor as a lone genius fighting against special interests trying to suppress crusading work," writes Blaskiewicz— but Burzynski's associates appear to be engaging in suppression, themselves. Blaskiewicz writes about the "thuggery of some of his supporters (which included the creation of a website at the same IP as burzynskipatientgroup.org that defamed numerous skeptics, myself included, as pederasts)" to distract from Burzynski's decades-long failure to produce "a single convincing study" about his treatment's efficacy.
While Burzynski fails to liberate his patients from cancer, he has a remarkable talent for liberating them from their money.
TSA "officers" have a new deal: awesome new clothes to wear while they touch your genitals.
Under their new collective bargaining agreement, Transportation Security Administration officers get to spend more taxpayer money on their uniforms every year than a United States Marine Corps lieutenant can spend in a lifetime.
“TSA employees will see their uniform allowances nearly double to $446 per year,” the House Transportation Committee noted in a press release on the TSA’s new collective bargaining agreement. “By comparison, a combat Marine Lieutenant receives a one-time uniform allowance of $400. The cost of the increase in TSA uniform allowance is an estimated $9.63 million annually.”
TSA uniform perks more expensive than Marine Corps (Thanks, Marilyn!)