deere

What did Trump and Putin chat about on latest phone call?

Your guesses in the BBS, please. Read the rest

Fox News confused a Monty Python sketch with the Seattle CHAZ activists

To be fair, it would not be wholly inaccurate to describe the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone as an autonomous anarcho-syndicalist collective. But sadly, strange women in lakes and handing out swords might in fact be a better system of government than the one we tend to see promoted on Fox News. Read the rest

Trump spoke with Russia's Putin today, wonder what advice Vladimir gave Donald

Impeached U.S. President Donald Trump spoke today with Russian crimelord Vladimir Putin today, ostensibly to mark the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, but one wonders what other information may have been exchanged, don't one. Read the rest

Facebook accuses Israel's NSO Group of exploiting U.S. servers to infect 100s of devices via WhatsApp

Israeli spy-tech firm used WhatsApp accounts to hack, Facebook claims

State governors are taking to smuggling PPE to get around the feds

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is technically a Republican, in as much as calling himself a "Republican" helped him to garner votes in the western part of the state, which is less Deep Blue than the Metro Boston Area. But as far as I've ever been able to tell, Baker has never demonstrated any capacity for principles or beliefs beyond "being governor." I often like to say that he makes Mitt Romney look like he has a spine. In perhaps the most painfully Boston sentence of my life, I once met him at a Dropkick Murphys fundraiser while he shared a bucket of Coronitas with Mike Napoli from the Red Sox, and trust me — he's terrible.

So imagine my surprise when I learned that Baker had recruited Patriots' President Robert Kraft — a frequent Trump ally who was recently connected to a sex trafficking scandal in Florida —  and essentially commandeered the football team's private jet to fly to China in order to obtain the vitally necessary PPE (including N95 masks) that was otherwise being denied to the state by the spiteful federal government.

From The Boston Globe:

The journey began, in the governor’s telling, roughly two weeks ago, when the federal government confiscated a shipment of more than 3 million N95 masks at the Port of New York and New Jersey that Massachusetts had arranged to buy.

"I just started reaching out to anybody and everybody I knew, trying to find some other path,” Baker recounted in an interview.

Read the rest

Public radio station in Washington state says it won't air Trump briefings because of 'false or misleading information'

KUOW, a public radio station in Washington state announced on Twitter that it will no longer air live Trump briefings because the gentleman in the oval office is a prevaricator:

"KUOW is monitoring White House briefings for the latest news on the coronavirus — and we will continue to share all news relevant to Washington State with our listeners. However, we will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time."

A member of Trump's loyalty cult demonstrated his blind fealty to the liar-in-chief by telling The Hill:

“It’s not surprising, but also a failure of their duty to the American people, that some media outlets would choose to block their audiences from receiving accurate, up-to-date information on President Trump’s whole-of-government approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesperson, told The Hill.

He added that “no other Administration has been as transparent and as accessible as this one, and we will continue to make sure this Nation hears from its leaders and top health experts during this global pandemic.”

Read the rest

New demand for very old farm tractors specifically because they're low tech

Farmers are increasingly sick of high-tech tractors that are expensive to buy and usually impossible to fix yourself due to their integrated digital technology. According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, "Tractors manufactured in the late 1970s and 1980s are some of the hottest items in farm auctions across the Midwest these days." To be sure, the farmers buying these old machines aren't luddites. In fact, they often customize and retrofit them with contemporary tech like GPS for automatic steering. From the Star Tribune:

“The newer machines, any time something breaks, you’ve got to have a computer to fix it,” (BigIron owner Mark) Stock said.

There are some good things about the software in newer machines, said Peterson. The dealer will get a warning if something is about to break and can contact the farmer ahead of time to nip the problem in the bud. But if something does break, the farmer is powerless, stuck in the field waiting for a service truck from the dealership to come out to their farm and charge up to $150 per hour for labor. “That goes against the pride of ownership, plus your lifetime of skills you’ve built up being able to fix things,” (Machinery Pete founder Greg) Peterson said...

The cheaper repairs for an older tractor mean their life cycle can be extended. A new motor or transmission may cost $10,000 to $15,000, and then a tractor could be good for another 10 or 15 years.

Folland has two Versatile 875s manufactured in the early 1980s in Winnipeg and bought a John Deere 4440 last year with 9,000 hours on it, expecting to get another 5,000 hours out of it before he has to make a major repair.

Read the rest

Without right to repair, the military can't fix its own battlefield equipment

Captain Elle Ekman is a US Marine Corps logistics officer; in a New York Times op-ed, she describes how the onerous conditions imposed by manufacturers on the US armed forces mean that overseas troops are not permitted to fix their own mission-critical gear, leaving them stranded and disadvantaged. Read the rest

T-Mobile: because we have a (stupid) trademark on one magenta shade, no one can use pink in their logos

T-Mobile has a trademark on RAL 4010, a shade of magenta. Trademarks on colors (see also: UPS, John Deere) are a dangerous trend, robbing us of the spectrum one shade at a time, but T-Mobile's views on its trademark made this bad situation much worse. Read the rest

America's rotten ISPs object to encrypted DNS, argue that losing the ability to spy on your traffic puts them at a competitive disadvantage

I'm 100% in favor of pro-competitive regulation of Big Tech, and that is because I'm 100% in favor of pro-competitive regulation of all our hyper-concentrated, monopolistic industries. Read the rest

Interoperability: Fix the internet, not the tech companies

Everyone in the tech world claims to love interoperability—the technical ability to plug one product or service into another product or service—but interoperability covers a lot of territory, and depending on what's meant by interoperability, it can do a lot, a little, or nothing at all to protect users, innovation and fairness.

Let's start with a taxonomy of interoperability: Read the rest

Only jerks are invited to Trump social media summit

Trump says Google wants to rig the 2020 election.

Americans believe that they should own the mountains of data produced by their cars, but they don't

Your car is basically a smartphone with wheels, and it gathers up to 25gb/hour worth of data on you and your driving habits -- everything from where you're going to how much you weigh. Cars gather your financial data, data on the number of kids in the back seat, and, once they're connected to your phone, data on who you call and text. Read the rest

DRM and terms-of-service have ended true ownership, turning us into "tenants of our own devices"

Writing in Wired, Zeynep Tufekci (previously) echoes something I've been saying for years: that the use of Digital Rights Management technologies, along with other systems of control like Terms of Service, are effectively ending the right of individuals to own private property (in the sense of exercising "sole and despotic dominion" over something), and instead relegating us to mere tenancy, constrained to use the things we buy in ways that are beneficial to the manufacturer's shareholders, even when that is at the cost of our own best interests. Read the rest

Securepairs.org will send debullshitifying security researchers to Right to Repair hearings to fight industry FUD

Dozens of Right to Repair bills were introduced across the USA last year, only to be defeated by hardcore lobbying led by Apple and backed by a rogue's gallery of giant manufacturers of every description; one of the most effective anti-repair tactics is to spread FUD about the supposed security risks of independent repairs. Read the rest

America's best mobile carrier is also the first phone company to back Right to Repair legislation

As I've mentioned every Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren's latest campaign plank is a national Right-to-Repair law for farm equipment

Senator Elizabeth Warren is hoping to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020; she distinguishes herself from other left-wing Democrats like Bernie Sanders in her belief that capitalism is a force for good, but must be reformed and subjected to democratic control, while Sanders and the DSA are skeptical of capitalism and its long-term future (Disclosure: I donated to both the Sanders and Warren 2020 campaigns). Read the rest

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