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Wednesday links

  • It should be no surprise to anyone hereabouts, but even as Microsoft pretends to have been converted to the privacy gospel, it steals your disk-encryption keys.
  • If you have v*ted in the last 15 years, you are screwed. (H/T MJR) You may think this absurd, insecure database of v*ters is no big deal, but the implications are pretty catastrophic. And nobody knows who compiled or owns this giant mess? Fedgov, anyone?
  • The war on Asian-American academic success.
  • Repeat violators of HIPAA privacy provisions pay little consequence. Which is totally unsurprising because HIPAA was always more of a privacy-violation enabler than a privacy protector. (H/T PT)
  • When are you really most sincerely dead?
  • Ancient Irish genome reveals mass migration from the east. (Irish myth has long hinted at a mystery something like this, and even my own mostly Celtic DNA confirms it.)
  • Dan Mitchell on the international war against cash. Part I. And part II. (Via Irons in the Fire) Seems funny in a way to defend fiat currency, but of course the state is in the process of coming up with something even worse. And it’s not so much fiat currency that needs defending.


  1. Bear
    Bear December 30, 2015 7:22 am

    Lots of groups collate voter registration records from all the states. DNC, RNC, PACs, marketing companies. Want to have fun, and see where this goes? Register to vote, party affiliation Republican; your mailbox will fill up with GOP crap. Then change your affiliation to Dem, and watch the change in junk mail. And notice the commercial mailings, too, especially the politically slanted magazines.

    The only surprise here is that someone left that valuable database unsecured, when they can sell the info to advertisers and political hacks.

  2. Claire
    Claire December 30, 2015 7:32 am

    Bear — Yeah, been there and done that as far as mail from the parties goes. Absolutely comical. These days I’m opted out of all junk mail and what a relief it is.

    The reason I suspect some branch of the fedgov as the owner of this list is that it’s completely unsecured. I’m guessing private interests would understand its value while the fedgov wouldn’t care about either commercial value or the security of American citizens.

  3. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 30, 2015 7:39 am

    I know some will disagree, but trading seems to be the oldest profession, and is naturally essential for human happiness and prosperity. I think that is why smuggling and the underground market are always the immediate and ongoing response to any involuntary government effort to control trade and deprive people of the profit and benefit of free trade.

    People who are interested in preserving that benefit and promoting independence and privacy will always find new ways to circumvent involuntary government efforts to control them and steal from them. And I don’t think it will be possible to stop that tendency.

    As with “gun control,” that ship sailed a long time ago.

  4. Pat
    Pat December 30, 2015 7:53 am

    I’ve voted twice in the past 15 years, for local issues, and registered Independent. Somehow I never received any political propaganda. Neither have I been called for jury duty.

  5. Laird
    Laird December 30, 2015 8:45 am

    In SC there is no registration by party; we have “open” primaries. But the information on which party’s primary you voted in for the last dozen or so years is easily available, as is the fact that you voted in the general elections. There’s nothing particularly sensitive in that data, and as has already been noted it’s all publicly available anyway. Frankly, I have far more important things to worry about than this.

    BTW, the link behind “really most sincerely dead” is bad (it seems to go to the wrong site).

  6. Claire
    Claire December 30, 2015 9:53 am

    Ack. Sorry about the bad link. Fixed now.

  7. jed
    jed December 30, 2015 11:33 am

    I can’t be the only one hearing “Bring out your dead … bring out your dead …” in my head. “This is an ex-parrot” comes to mind as well. Which reminds me of this I just read: Scurvy. TB. Scarlet fever: They’re all back.

    Also, conflicting reports on visibility, but there’s been another CME, so might be some nice Northern Lights visible, further south than usual, tonight.

  8. David
    David December 31, 2015 5:14 am

    “schools had to take a “holistic” approach. That’s the same euphemism Harvard uses to limit the number of Asians accepted and favor non-Asians.”

    Way to go! – if you want to see your school lose reputation and enrollments. And funding. Open the doors because of PC values to any slacker with no stomach for studying and your graduates will all be painted with the same reputation of a low-value degree. In 10 years Harvard will be going broke because the reputation will fail and nobody will pay the toll for the dos-respected degrees.

  9. David
    David December 31, 2015 5:21 am

    Sorry, that was supposed to be “DIS-respected
    degrees.” I have trouble proofreading on my phone.

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