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Wednesday links

  • Seems pot may not warp teenagers’ brains or bodies after all. Now, high school on the other hand …
  • Two good ones via Irons in the Fire: 14-year-old girl blows away a popular, agenda-driven distortion of history. And OMG, those pot-munching California cops who raided that dispensary and indulged in its product are now claiming that the video of them chowing down shouldn’t be used in the investigation — because they had an “expectation of privacy” after thinking they’d disabled all the shop’s cameras. (Pigs in more senses than one.)
  • It’s a familiar old song around here. But with recent changes in M******ts privacy policy, Paul Rosenberg reminds us why it’s really, really time to purge Bill Gates from our computers.
  • There’s been a lot of media yakkety-yak lately about patterns of speech that are supposedly making women sound weak and losing them credibility in the big, hard, tough workplace. Alexandra Petri has an answer to those who want women to change how they talk: “13 Tips on How to Speak While Female.” Or not. 🙂
  • People share the first and last photos of their pets. Get your hankie ready.


  1. MJR
    MJR August 5, 2015 7:59 am

    Cops right to privacy violated? First let me say my views come from the way Canadian law is written and my experience using hidden cameras during theft investigations (not as a cop, as a PI). The police officer’s defense is a big crock of…
    Seems pot may not warp teenagers’ brains or bodies after all… This doesn’t surprise me at all. I know it’s a matter of opinion but I turned out OK from my misspent youth.

    I don’t know how it is in the States but up here there are only two places where one cannot use hidden CCTV video evidence. They are in a change room and in a washroom this is because under Canadian law these are the only two places where there is a reasonable expatiation of privacy. Anywhere else the video evidence can be used in court. I hope these guys get their heads handed to them first for being thieves and second for being stupid.

  2. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2015 8:14 am

    Appreciate your investigator POV, MJR.

    Indeed the cops trying to claim “expectation of privacy” after having tried to hide their crimes is like the proverbial guy who murdered his parents then asked the court for mercy because he’s an orphan.

  3. Laird
    Laird August 5, 2015 9:13 am

    You have to give those cops credit for chutzpah.

    Great article on that 8th grade girl doing actual (gasp!) research before writing academic articles. This was a real educational experience for her (probably more than she’ll receive in the next 4 years of high school). I wish her well.

    Microsoft is even worse than I had thought. Does anyone here know, if you switch to Linux, Firefox, etc., do you have to actually delete Windows from the computer? That is, if you just leave it there, taking up space but not actually running, does it still suck up all your information and personal data?

  4. Alan
    Alan August 5, 2015 9:42 am

    Re Ms: I’ve recently set up more than one Linux box for people, usually with a windows virtual machine for very specific programs that don’t have a Linux-native substitute or can’t run in wine. Quickbooks and recent versions of Photoshop are some examples. Mostly for the Malware resistance but I think people are finally beginning to see it as a viable alternative.

  5. Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger August 5, 2015 9:59 am

    Laird: “do you have to actually delete Windows from the computer? That is, if you just leave it there, taking up space but not actually running, does it still suck up all your information and personal data?”

    You can install Linux (I use Mint) as a dual boot. When you’re running Linux, Windows isn’t running at all. There are some virtual machine setups that would require Windows to be running,but that’s something you’d really only do while test driving (and a Live CD boot from CD or thumb drive is easier and more stable anyway).

    That said, because of some legacy Windows programs I have to use, I do keep one dedicated Windows machine, booted only when I have to get serious with the graphics. (And before anyone says it, there are things that GIMP does not do yet, and Wine almost works for those apps… but “almost” just happens to involve some functions I absolutely need to use for work going to a printer. C’est la vie.)

    Even before this spyware/adware stuff came out re:Win10, I knew I would not “upgrade” to it.

  6. MJR
    MJR August 5, 2015 10:14 am

    Claire when I was a kid I thought police could do no wrong. When I entered the security/investigations world boy did I get a rude awakening. The second serious investigation I ever did ended up with several police officers getting their knuckles rapped for fraud.

    This link should give you an idea on how bad it is. The police are just a guilty of theft and fraud as anyone else in any other organization.

    The big problem with the police is Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)

  7. Pat
    Pat August 5, 2015 11:23 am

    From personal experience, I would not advise a dual boot – especially with anything newer than XP.

    I had a dual boot (one partition did NOT affect the other, BTW), but in transferring out of Windows and booting up Linux, the HD crashed, losing my Linux OS completely. I reinstalled Windows, but have always had trouble handling Linux myself, so didn’t attempt to re-install it. I’ve ended up having to buy a completely new computer just for Linux, and will install Linux Mint within the next month. (Am not high on Ubuntu – it’s become a bumbling, overgrown idiot trying to keep up.)

    Granted I’m no computer expert, and may even have done something to cause the crash, though cannot figure out what. It acted as though Windows was trying to recognize the Linux partition, and then simply overrode it. Maybe Laird can install them together OK, but no more dual boot for me. Once burned, twice learned…

  8. Karen
    Karen August 5, 2015 11:38 am

    The article about how women should talk was hilarious. I’d have sworn it was from the onion or a SNL skit.

  9. Steve Ramsey
    Steve Ramsey August 5, 2015 12:36 pm

    Not so fast on teens and pot.

    Google : brain imagery marijuana teens

    I wouldn’t consider the matter entirely settled.

  10. Tom
    Tom August 5, 2015 12:38 pm

    Dual boot is possible, but annoying to set up especially if you’re not a geek. I’ve found the easiest setup is to wipe out Windows and run only Linux. If you need something to run under Windows, install VirtualBox and run a virtual machine.

    It is generally easier and you don’t have to worry about Windows accidentally overwriting your Linux partition.

  11. jans
    jans August 5, 2015 1:30 pm

    In aikido, I was trained to operate with mind and body together (shin-shin-toitsu). Vocal fry happens when you are not speaking with support from your diaphragm — mind and body are not operating together. I think this is why people feel like a person speaking with vocal fry is not fully engaged.

  12. RW
    RW August 5, 2015 2:11 pm

    Been running MInt for a year or so, easy to install, recognized all hardware including usb wireless, no problems, no regrets, no loss in ability to do anything I need. Not a geek, had extreme apprehension about the install, but had a computer that had to have a drive replaced so I went ahead, did all by myself, got the download online from Mint, booted from the dvd, a couple of clicks and put in the wireless code, and done. Firefox is included so added the usual ad ons including ublock and noscript and was off and running. Have a couple of other windoze units that are only turned on every couple of months to update. Boots up in a fraction of the time and uses a fraction of the memory and capacity of the computer. Their site says that Mint 17 mate is the easiest so that’s what I did and recommend, especially with this new info.

  13. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 5, 2015 2:42 pm

    Thanks about that article of “no Irish need apply”. One of the tools of the ruling class is flushing inconvenient information down the memory hole. In our case it is an Anglo-friendly ruling class…

    That article about woman-speak was pretty funny. Probably made some sense too. I hadn’t really noticed the vocal fry thing, but now that I’ve been warned I will no doubt become extremely annoyed with it. 🙂

    As to various ways to try out linux or to try to get linux and windows to play with each other, the VERY FIRST THING you should do when making such experiments is to back up your entire hard drive. That has saved my ass more than once. What with cheap terabyte USB 3.0 drives out there, there is no excuse to not do it.

    I like Puppy Linux for initial experimentation because it is a live CD that requires NO writing on your windows drive, yet unlike almost every live CD out there it loads entirely into ram so it is blinding fast even on old computers you pull out of a dumpster. The downside is a quirky environment and limited applications, but I will still boot up using Puppy now and then when I need something like “dd” for copies or full drive backups.

    Probably the easiest thing is to just have two computers. The linux one can be a hand-me-down because you don’t have to hobble it with virus checkers and so forth. Use the linux one for most of your everyday work, and the windows one whenever there is some application that requires it. Eventually you will use windows less and less until you get to where you never boot it.

  14. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 5, 2015 2:49 pm

    It’s weird, now that article is titled, “13 Tips on How To Speak While Female”. No “White”. Must have been an editing goof…

  15. Claire
    Claire August 5, 2015 5:10 pm

    I’ve just adjusted the post accordingly.

  16. jed
    jed August 5, 2015 6:40 pm

    Interesting bit of commentary from Jonathan, claiming to be a Microsoft Engineer. I don’t agree with much of what he says, but I do recognize the points being made. We all talk about using our computers and the net wisely, and safeguarding our privacy as best we can. Few people out there accomplish it. In fact, most people are oblivious.

  17. Dana
    Dana August 5, 2015 8:26 pm

    While Rebecca Fried is to be commended for her efforts, she’s no typical rising ninth-grader.

    In fact, she’s a student at Sidwell Friends School located in Mordor on the Potomac, which is, shall we say, not a typical government school. (Be sure to click the link about the school to read about her classmates and their parents.)

    For a little more background, consider The Underground History of American Education, where John Taylor Gatto cites (p.241 in my edition) Preparing For Power: America’s Elite Boarding Schools to discuss “the difference between a public [government] school and an elite private school.”

    For yet more, be sure to read Charles Burris on power elite analysis.

    When Laird (in the comments) says that “This was a real educational experience for her (probably more than she’ll receive in the next 4 years of high school)” he’d be right — if she was a typical rising ninth-grader in a typical government school. But my entire point is that she’s not. That doesn’t mean she didn’t do a fine piece of work (she did) but I think it’s important to get the narrative straight. In fact, it’s probably (for her) a typical educational experience and a representative sample of exactly what she’s going to get in the next 4 years — after which I’ll bet anyone here even money she waltzes into the Ivy League college of her choice.

  18. Claire
    Claire August 6, 2015 6:30 am

    Dana — Good info! Sidwell Friends … Oh yeah, a classmate of the Obama girls! I still say good for young Ms Fried, who not only uncovered an academic deception but handled herself well in the exchange with its creator, but thank you for keeping the narrative straght. (And for creating Amazon links. 🙂 )

  19. KiA
    KiA August 6, 2015 9:01 am

    the female article read unnecessarily long.
    i would edit it as follows:

    2 Old Fashioned Tips on How to Speak While Female

    1) Most of the time, make no sound at all. Just look pretty.

    2) If not easy on the eye, learn how to cook & do laundry.

    ha! i kill me.

  20. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau August 6, 2015 9:10 am

    Dana, thanks for tying Gatto’s book into this (a book I highly recommend to all). The horror of Gatto’s observations on this is that the ruling class INTENTIONALLY puts other children in a stultifying experience in school, INTENTIONALLY damages them so they can hardly think. That was the innovation of Prussian “education”, adopted in America starting in the 1840’s. Of course previous to that the ruling class simply withheld educational materials from the peons (a job that became much more difficult after Gutenberg).

    What I don’t get is how Quakers in the ruling class resolve their nonviolent beliefs with the typical ruling class activities of war and conquest and occupation. Probably most ruling class went to schools that were teaching something other than Quaker non-violence.

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