Day: November 21, 2016

Trump's DHS plan leaked by Kris Kobach, who thinks more about Sharia law than folders

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Kansas Secretary of State and noted xenophobe Kris Kobach, who is in line to run Trump’s DHS, was photographed by the AP yesterday at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse holding the secret 100-day plan for the Trump DHS. By blowing the photo up, we’re able to learn an awful lot about what’s in the cards.
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The Portable February grabs the reader like an LSD-dosed college professor who hijacked a tourist bus

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With 100 frames of incongruously playful observation connected only by authorship, wit, and uncanny brilliance, The Portable February is a Cliff’s Notes thesis on existence, told in line drawings and one-liners by author, poet, and musician David Berman. Randomly exposing the vaudevillian arc of history, Berman extracts the extraordinary from the ordinary. He brings a furied ennui to every moment, grabbing the reader like an LSD-dosed and recently-ousted college professor who hijacked a tourist bus, calmly calling out the sights and overlooked absurdities of American life armed with a keen wit, a soft spot for pop culture, and the occasional ax to grind.

Just flipping through this book, one might say, “This guy can’t even fucking draw,” but the crudeness of his visual accompaniment is intentional.

In this visual follow-up to his critically-acclaimed book of poetry, Actual Air, David Berman tasks himself with contemplating the missing socks in the laundry load of life. Able to portray human futility in one frame, as in “The Soul and its Shtick,” the book’s visual simplicity belies the complexity of thought, as in “Humbled by the Void,” while a casual humor defines another, like “Daytime Television.” In frames like “Irrational 15th Century Battle Scenes,” and “’We’ stands for ‘warn everybody,’” his playful love for humanity emerges, and in the sweet “All culture strives, folks,” you can take his beneficent observations to heart.

Berman’s inner and outer battles seep into the pages and the juxtaposition of impossibly insightful and wicked smart ideas hung on spare, but potent, frames is pure Berman. Whether intentional or not, the book’s seemingly simple title, The Portable February, reflects the author’s dual perspectives, as February is a seemingly benign but scathing month. With the ebullience of the holidays deflating like a wheezing balloon into the bleakness of the purgatory of winter, the mercifully short month brings a pointless patina to each of its 28 days. Valentine’s Day, February’s lone holiday, provides a pink and red glimmer of hope and distraction, yet it’s a day often spent alone, sad, disappointed, possibly suicidal, or, if coupled, hated by everyone else. It’s no coincidence it’s also when the highest rate of suicide occurs in the U.S. What February lacks in joy, it at least mercifully makes up for in brevity. Fittingly, The Portable February gives us a playful guide to the futility of existence in a format you can carry.

The author has spoken publicly about his own near-miss with suicide and the turnaround that came as a result, and his work has always defied categorization, rarely adhering to a recognizable niche in any medium. Though critically acclaimed in every field he endeavors, his output has been sparse since 2009, when he dissolved his band, The Silver Jews, to focus on opposing his Washington lobbyist father, Rick Berman, who 60 Minutes dubbed, “Dr. Evil.” In his announcement, Berman described his father as a “despicable man…a sort of human molester. An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historic motherfucking son of a bitch,” and vowed, “In …read more

Thuraya joins Internet of Things industry group

Dubai John Karwoski Cityscape

WASHINGTON — Mobile satellite services operator Thuraya announced Nov. 21 that it is joining an industry group that develops standards for the “Internet of Things” (IoT), a market that has the potential to generate significant demand for satellite services in the coming years.

The Dubai-based company has become the second satellite operator to join the LoRa Alliance, a nonprofit that creates IoT standards. It follows Inmarsat, which became a member in February this year, helping the organization factor in the capabilities of satellite technology when creating new standards.

IoT is a somewhat misunderstood term used to describe networks of connected sensors and devices. As a market, IoT devices have become a frequently cited new opportunity for both terrestrial and space-based telecommunications providers. Tellingly, communications company Ericsson reported in June that it now expects IoT devices to eclipse mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018. Satellite operators, many of which provide backhaul services for cellular data, are eyeing IoT as a potentially lucrative new source of revenue, though many are not yet sure how to enter this market.

The LoRa Alliance believes satellite telecommunications companies can provide backhaul services for IoT devices using the organization’s LoRaWAN standard for connecting low power wide area (LPWA) networks. These networks are frequently used in rural or isolated areas often outside the reach of mobile network operators, thus creating an opportunity for satellite operators to fill the connectivity gap.

Users of the LoRaWAN specification can now connect their devices over Thuraya’s network. “Standardization generates volume, and the methodology and approach of the LoRa Alliance will help us develop long-term opportunities on a significant scale,” said Thuraya product manager Marwan Joudeh in a Nov. 21 statement.

Thuraya’s decision to join the organization comes as it is planning its next-generation satellite system, known as Futura. Thuraya is currently raising capital for the geostationary orbit system and expects IoT demand to shape its development.

Since forming in March 2015, the LoRa Alliance has grown its ranks to more than 400 members. Aside from Thuraya and Inmarsat, other notable members that provide satellite services and technology include Swisscom, du, and Globalsat Worldcom Group.

The LoRa Alliance’s LoRaWAN is one of many standards competing for dominance in the IoT market. Others include random phase multiple access (RPMA), ultra narrow band (UNB), and Sigfox, who is a customer of Eutelsat. Sigfox, based in Labege, France, closed a 150 million euro ($160 million) Series E funding round on Nov. 18 to fast-track the expansion of its network to soon reach global coverage.

SpaceNews.com

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Uncategorized

Beginners set of watch repair tools

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I may not be able to fix a broken watch, but I do not blame this set of tools.

I have a dead self-winding Bulova I wanted to see if I could puzzle out, and fix on my own. That did not work out, but these tools are wonderful to have around. I can open cases of watches I previously had to take in for battery replacement, and changing, or resizing bands got a lot easier.

I find I use this set for a lot more than trying to fix a watch, too. Eye glasses repair and just about anything that needs tiny screwdrivers and picks will benefit from keeping this toolkit handy.

At least my Timex Mickey is running again.

Readaeer® Portable Watchmaker Watch Repair Tools Kit Set Back Case Opener Adjuster Remover via Amazon

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Cool animated opening for David Blaine's "Beyond Magic"

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https://vimeo.com/191998961

Buck, the director of this animated video, says, “David Blaine approached us to make an animated intro for his latest magic special, a palette cleanser to get people excited for a bumpy night ahead. Inspired by David’s mind-bending magic and the Paul Auster penned script which was voiced by Christopher Walken in the style of a side-show barker, we crafted a hero’s journey of sorts, a psychedelic trip into the spectacle of the real.”

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UK regulator rules joke about Queen having sex "breached rules"

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British regulators determined that a joke about Queen Elizabeth II having sex “breached” broadcasting rules.

The edition of the show, which aired in April this year, featured a panel of comedians who are given a subject which they have to prove is not funny. If the audience does laugh, the subject passes to the next contestant.

Panellist Russell Kane was asked to explain why there was nothing funny about why the Queen, who has four children, must have had sex at least four times in her life.

“Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty’s vulva,” said Kane to audience laughter.

Ofcom ruled that the quips, uttered on BBC Radio 4, were “not justified”. Moreover, “the potential for offence was increased by the fact that these remarks were broadcast on the Queen’s 90th birthday”.

The show, Don’t Make Me Laugh, was cancelled in the wake of the controversy, which led to a staggering 12 people writing in to complain.

I can’t immediately find a clip of the segment in question, so you’ll instead have to make do with some amusing media navelgazing over a previous instance of British lese majeste, wherein the line “I’m so old my pussy is haunted” was repeated in Streisand-esque fashion in a watchdog show.

No sanctions were reported other than Ofcom’s stern telling-off. But whatever you do, don’t talk about Queen Liz getting into bed with Donald Trump.

UPDATE: I believe this is the episode in question, but haven’t got a timestamp for you yet:

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UK regulator rules joke about Queen having sex “breached rules”

queen-elizabeth

British regulators determined that a joke about Queen Elizabeth II having sex “breached” broadcasting rules.

The edition of the show, which aired in April this year, featured a panel of comedians who are given a subject which they have to prove is not funny. If the audience does laugh, the subject passes to the next contestant.

Panellist Russell Kane was asked to explain why there was nothing funny about why the Queen, who has four children, must have had sex at least four times in her life.

“Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty’s vulva,” said Kane to audience laughter.

Ofcom ruled that the quips, uttered on BBC Radio 4, were “not justified”. Moreover, “the potential for offence was increased by the fact that these remarks were broadcast on the Queen’s 90th birthday”.

The show, Don’t Make Me Laugh, was cancelled in the wake of the controversy, which led to a staggering 12 people writing in to complain.

I can’t immediately find a clip of the segment in question, so you’ll instead have to make do with some amusing media navelgazing over a previous instance of British lese majeste, wherein the line “I’m so old my pussy is haunted” was repeated in Streisand-esque fashion in a watchdog show.

No sanctions were reported other than Ofcom’s stern telling-off. But whatever you do, don’t talk about Queen Liz getting into bed with Donald Trump.

UPDATE: I believe this is the episode in question, but haven’t got a timestamp for you yet:

…read more