Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tuesday links

  • In the schadenfreude department: Melissa Click, the social-justice pecksniff who shoved one reporter and called for “muscle” to remove another from a public demonstration, has been charged with assault.
  • Despite using annoying “gun violence” language, this CNN article brings the good news that mental health professionals aren’t likely to sit still for Obama administration attempts to label every mentally ill person as too dangerous to own a firearm. With statistics, even!
  • From Microsoft: useful, creepy, or both?
  • If this is accurate in describing how classified material “escapes” from secure servers and ends up on private ones, then Hillary and several of her staffers should already be sitting in jail awaiting trial.
  • Everybody was so busy panicking over the recent snowpocalypse that they forgot what billions of little kids have known since prehistory: snow can be fun. (Tip o’ hat to PT)
  • In your cheery dog news for the day: Alabama bloodhound decides on her own to enter a half-marathon; wins ribbon. (H/T ML)
  • And Brigid writes a dogtionary.


  1. MJR
    MJR January 26, 2016 12:13 pm

    Microsoft… I will admit to using windows 10, yes I know the issues but I just can’t for the life of me get Linux to work properly so I have given up on it.

    I find Cortana, like Seri, very creepy. I have a wife who reminds me of things very well. I don’t use the AI nor do I avail myself of any other “enhancements” windows 10 has because I find them intrusive and creepy. I wish that Mr Gates and company would stop putting all this crap into operating systems and simply let the user use the damn personal confuser.

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 26, 2016 12:26 pm

    The “mental health” study cited is not available to the public in full, but I saw no indication of method for this “study.” Most are seriously flawed, and usually have badly inadequate numbers of subjects. Many are simply rehash and combinations of previous flawed studies – and therefore gibberish.

    I’ll try to find access to the full study. In the meantime, a few points are valid. Nobody knows who, among the population are prone to violence, so that the violence could be prevented. It’s something that simply can’t be measured, especially since people can and do change constantly. Guns are not the only thing people hurt others with, obviously, so a study built around one segment of the population, the mentally ill, harming others with guns can’t help but be less than relevant. Same for alcoholics and just about everyone else. Not that it stops these people from conducting bogus “studies,” of course.

    The thing to remember is that MOST mental health professionals probably already understand this very well. Very few of them are screaming for more “gun control.”

    The gold standard of science, of any research, is a clearly articulated hypothesis, an experiment set up to test the theory, and a conclusion based on other scientists being able to replicate the results claimed – using the same hypothesis and methods. There is absolutely nothing involved in these “studies” that meets that standard.

  3. Bear
    Bear January 26, 2016 12:45 pm

    MJR, what Linux were you trying and what couldn’t you get to work?

    (Personally, I’m still keeping a Win7 machine for some of my graphics work because I’ve yet to find a Linux graphics program that properly supports CMYK. Eveything else is on my Mint machine.)

  4. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 26, 2016 1:03 pm

    Looking at more of the linked articles and studies in the CNN piece, I see a lot of promise there. is an especially good one.

    And yes, they can’t actually refute the growing understanding that prior restraint is not going to solve the problems.

  5. Pat
    Pat January 26, 2016 2:07 pm

    “(Personally, I’m still keeping a Win7 machine for some of my graphics work because I’ve yet to find a Linux graphics program that properly supports CMYK. …)”

    Same here. And my Win7 never goes online.

    I don’t like LibreOffice either; I prefer book mode proofing rather than computer proofing, and LibreOffice falls far short for books. I use Mint only for online work and contacts (which under-uses it, I realize), but until LibreOffice takes books/writing seriously, I will write with MS Word, and transfer any .docx, .odt, or .pdf files via flash drive to the Net.
    That dogtionary was pretty clever. The author surely is into the minds of her animals.

  6. jed
    jed January 26, 2016 4:20 pm

    My linky contribution: Man arrested, jailed for filming cop settles lawsuit and gets $72,500

    Four months after Thompson’s arrest, a federal appeals court said the public had the First Amendment right to film cops in public. The decision is but one in a string of decisions that have generally overturned laws nationwide barring the outright recording of police as they perform their duties.

  7. LarryA
    LarryA January 26, 2016 4:36 pm

    Besides her disregard for Freedom of the Press, is Click, a “Communications” prof, really so clueless that she doesn’t know that (1) You stage demonstrations to get publicity, (2) Student journalists are probably going to be on the students’ side and give them good publicity, and (3) If you block student journalists mainstream journalists are going to be on their side and give you bad publicity? IOW, Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    In contrast, Missouri repealed a law in 2007 that required people to apply with the local police for permission to buy a gun. The gun-related suicide rate in Missouri was 16% higher from 2007 to 2011 than researchers predict it would have been, based on the rates in the comparable states of North Carolina and Nebraska.
    I don’t know about North Carolina, but, having lived in both, there isn’t much that’s “comparable” between Missouri and Nebraska. When researchers start predicting what a state’s suicide rate “would have been” if not for a law they like, they’re pretty far out on a limb.
    And of course only “gun suicides” got counted.
    I read articles somewhere taking apart the Connecticut and D.C. studies as well. OTOH:
    But to make background checks work, criteria for inclusion on the database should be based on other indicators of risk besides mental health history, such as pending charges or convictions for violent assault, domestic violence restraining orders or multiple DUIs.
    Perhaps. But that should also mean taking many more people with nonviolent offenses off the prohibited list.

  8. jed
    jed January 26, 2016 4:45 pm

    @Pat: Don’t know your particular needs, but I wouldn’t try to use any word processor for writing books. All the current ones have too much goop in them. So I don’t recommend them for anything at all.

    I’m scratching my head trying to remember the name of the programs(s). Scrivener? There’s a public beta for Linux, but that isn’t the one.
    * FocusWriter?
    * yWriter?
    * Writer’s Cafe? (non-Free)
    * StoryBook?
    * Celtx?

  9. Pat
    Pat January 26, 2016 5:16 pm

    jed – Thanks for the response. I think one program you’re looking for is Scribus (which I have on my Mint OS, BTW).

    I’m not trying to write books, but was just referring to the formats between the Write programs. I just happen not to like LibreOffice; I think open source could do a better job for a word processor, and if it wants to “compete” with MS and Apple, it should be trying harder to cover a more professional writing format.

  10. jed
    jed January 26, 2016 7:05 pm

    I have Scribus. I mostly like it, but it isn’t a writing tool, so much as a publishing tool. I’ve used it for business cards and flyers.

    JMHO, and I suppose many will disagree with me, but I think the biggest problem with Open- and LibreOffice is that they are trying to compete with MS Office.

  11. TXCOMT
    TXCOMT January 26, 2016 7:31 pm

    Assuming you’ve heard the latest re: Bundy’s arrest and the shooting death in Oregon, CW?


  12. david
    david January 27, 2016 9:17 am

    Two comments –
    Cortana is both useless and creepy. First, I may be lying about getting a report to Joe by COB, so why would I want to be reminded. It’s filling a need that most of the time isn’t there. And second, it’s MICROSOFT, the most widespread virus program on earth. I don’t believe for a minute that the tool won’t use logs to track my ‘promises’ and create reminders. And those logs will have to have the person’s name, which they will of course get from the email itself, so capturing metadata at the very least. Also, metadata about the calendar item, like if I marked it complete or just closed or deleted it. Lastly, I wonder who will configure this thing to identify a promise unless the word ‘promise’ is used? Will it consider ‘I wish he would just drop dead’ as a promise? What about ‘maybe we should ‘? IMO, this is a snake in your back pocket just waiting to bite you – no, actually, TRYING to bite you. Not to mention that it’s another way to tell the feds what you’re doing or planning, because we all know Microsoft just loves to share everything it finds out with them.

    Getting classified information from classified servers to private ones apparently requires SO MANY steps, all of which are legal violations that have to be committed intentionally, over and over to get thru the process, that no sane person would possibly claim it was an accident. Even someone who thinks they are too smart to be caught out wouldn’t try that lame excuse. In which case Ms. Clinton must simply think she’s untouchable. I hope when she’s convicted, she goes to a real prison, and not just to the Allentown Country Club where Nixon’s Plumbers went.

  13. David Haywood Young
    David Haywood Young January 30, 2016 10:51 am

    Minor addition to the discussion about Windows: I use it too. In a virtual machine with no network access. Host is Linux Mint. A kinda-sorta air gap, there. I also have TinyWall installed, blocking network access for Windows just in case I later re-allow network access for some specific reason. Don’t know why I would, but I like TinyWall and it doesn’t hurt to have it there.

    I give Windows access to the “Downloads” folder in the Host OS, so I can do stuff with graphics (most InDesign for paperbacks) and audio files (mostly Dragon NaturallySpeaking) with very little hassle. I just use Firefox under Linux to do the downloading. I also wouldn’t choose to let either Adobe’s InDesign or Nuance’s Dragon stuff phone home to their creators. Which they both try to do.

Leave a Reply