(from my friend Borepatch)
I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
I often rant about poor security in products and how “security wasn’t an afterthought, it wasn’t thought of at all.” Mostly it’s about something that is unlikely to effect most of all y’all. This time is different – here are some toys that can endanger children, and I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT buy these as gifts this holiday season.
My Friend Cayla is a doll with embedded voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri, that can interact with children. It not only listens to what the child says but can respond appropriately.
While it’s somewhat concerning that the doll “phones home” over the Internet for the voice recognition to work, the issue isn’t that it’s listening in on your kid. Mind you, I find this more than a little creepy, but I remember when there were only 3 TV channels.
The danger is that the doll is Bluetooth enabled, and the Bluetooth is completely unprotected. What this means is that anyone within Bluetooth range (which at 100 yards is actually further than many think) can connect to the doll and start talking to your child as she plays.
Let me say that again – Joe Shmoe in the park across from your house can connect to your little Princess’ doll and have a chat.There’s a video of this, although they’re wrong to call it a “hack”. It’s simply use of the functionality as it was designed.
Also using the exact same technology with exactly the same flaw is the i-Que robot: this isn’t just a threat to little girls.
Unconfirmed reports also include the Barbie Hello Dream House. I don’t know whether this is vulnerable to remote Bluetooth access, and it’s almost certain that nothing definitive will be published on this before the holidays. Given that I recommend that you don’t buy this, either.
This seems to me to be bordering on criminal negligence by the companies involved (certainly My Friend Cayla and i-Que; possibly Mattel). The idea that a child’s toy could be released that would allow someone to remotely talk with your child his his or her own bedroom is mind bogglingly stupid.
To reiterate, I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
Anyone remember “My name is Talky Tina” from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone? These toys take that to a whole new level.
I’ve an addictive personality. I come by this honestly, as both my parents were also afflicted. It killed them both.
Before you get all worried, I’m not addicted to tobacco, as my Mother was. My Father liked his cigars and his alcohol.
And his excess food.
The S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) – too many refined carbs, too much protein, too much white sugar.
I, too, like food. Sometimes to excess. Including sugar.
And, I’ve been diabetic since 2002.
The Good Rev. Paul posted recently regarding Krispy Kreme Donuts. Now, I
like LOVES me a good doughnut! The problem is unlike normal folks, stopping at one, for me, can be difficult. And here in college/commuter town USA, we are surrounded by doughnut shops! The ubiquitous Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and many local emporia.
SO…I must make the choice. And sometimes I partake.
Fortunately, it’s not too often, and not a dozen-at-a-time.
I’m reminded of a cartoon, long ago in Playboy. (Buck Brown? Gahan Wilson? Which I was unable to locate it on the ‘Net)
An older couple in their rocking chairs, on their front porch. Both are quite obese. And they are chowing-down. Between them is a large bucket of fried chicken. Just visible, to the side of the house, is a square, striped building(!?)
And one says to the other, “Sometimes, I wish they hadn’t moved in next door…”
Today, give me strength.
Thankfully, the nearest are at least a mile away, and I’ve no funds. And, it’s ‘cold’ out (40° – sorry, Rev. Paul!)
(As posted on The Grey Enigma)
Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor – All That Is Interesting
Children from the village of Hanuabada play cricket in the streets on February 24, 2012 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Most everyone knows that the islands of the South Pacific are some of the most remote and unique places on Earth, but a new study reveals just how unique they really are.According to a report from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, researchers have found traces of a previously unknown extinct hominid species in the DNA of the Melanesians, a group living in an area northeast of Australia that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islands.A computer analysis suggests that the unidentified ancestral hominid species found in Melanesian DNA is unlikely to be either Neanderthal or Denisovan, the two known predecessors of humankind to this point.
Source: Some Pacific Islanders Have DNA Not Linked To Any Known Human Ancestor – All That Is Interesting
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An addendum to that whole ‘the science is settled’ thing.
We thought we knew about the origins of mankind.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (link)
This act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. This document was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
Here we are, in our ultra-modern, colorblind society, 52 years later…
USC ‘Segregated’ Dorms?
Columbia University to host no-whites-allowed student leadership retreat
What’s good for thee, but not for me?
This BLM nonsense (and it’s additional illegitimate spawn) have ’empowered’ persons of color to take back the power they somehow missed, and do their own thing.
I see this as an extension of the street wisdom of ‘whitey don’t know anything – we must find our own way’, complete with no basic understanding of language, history or culture. (Ebonics, the 3/5 compromise, etc.) Making well-meaning but ignorant folks easily manipulated (Lenin’s Useful Idiots, again).
Just as the Fabians, the communists, Saul Alinsky and many others planned!
And they have their willing accomplices in the media and government fueling the fires! And approving illegal, segregated activity.
It’s back-of-the-bus for YOU, whitey!
Hasn’t anyone learned anything?
I ran across this posting on Free North Carolina. I don’t know if I’m smart enough to do the requisite research needed to confirm or deny the premise. But, it IS interesting!
I seem to remember a similar postulate made regarding the Sixteenth Amendment (Income Tax).
Wouldn’t it be interesting to find these premises to be true?
David Lawrence, editor of the US News and World Report, argued in late September 1957 that the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was never ratified by the requisite number of States, and is therefore null and void. This amendment-by-duress has been used since 1865 as the basis for federal intervention into the constitutionally-specified authority of the individual States, both North and South.Bernhard Thuersam, http://www.Circa1865.com The Great American Political Divide
The Fourteenth Amendment a Disgrace to Free Government
“A mistaken belief — that there is a valid article in the Constitution known as the “Fourteenth Amendment” — is responsible for the Supreme Court decision of 1954 and the ensuing controversy over desegregation in the public schools of America
No such amendment was ever legally ratified by three-fourths of the States of the union as required by the Constitution itself. The so-called “Fourteenth Amendment” was dubiously proclaimed by the Secretary of State on July 20, 1868. The President shared that doubt. There were 37 States in the union at that time, so ratification by at least 28 was necessary to make the amendment an integral part of the Constitution. Actually, only 21 States legally ratified it.
So it failed ratification. The undisputed record, attested by official journals and the unanimous writings of historians, establishes these events as occurring in 1867 and 1868:
1. Outside the South, six States — New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, California, Delaware and Maryland — failed to ratify the proposed amendment.
2. In the South, ten States — Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana — by formal action of their legislatures, rejected it under the normal processes of civil law.
3. A total of 16 legislatures out of 37 failed legally to ratify the “Fourteenth Amendment”. (…)
HERE’S A LINK TO THE ENTIRE POST, INCLUDING THE REMAINING SIX POINTS OF EVIDENCE.
And, as a side note, U.S. News and World Report used to be a middle-of-the-road, well-reasoned magazine, when David Lawrence was at the helm.
He passed in 1973.
from Bayou Renaissance Man
Yesterday I wrote about the impossible conundrum facing police. They’re literally in a no-win situation. If they enforce and uphold the laws, they’re accused of racism, abuse of authority, and everything else one can imagine. If they don’t, the law-abiding citizens they’re sworn to protect and serve will pay the price in the anything-goes free-for-all that will result.
A graphic example of how this plays out every day on the streets of some of our rougher neighborhoods was given in Chicago a few days ago. The video below is profane, graphic and very disturbing. I can only commend the police involved for not giving in to what must, at times, have been the overwhelming temptation to deal with the interlopers as their conduct deserved.
LANGUAGE ALERT: Profanity is frequent and very graphic. If you’d like to read what happened, and watch the video with the sound turned off, you’ll find the details here.
Now ask yourself, dear readers: if you find yourself on the streets of a city or suburb like that (say, after a traffic accident, while you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive), and you get heckled like that . . . what are you going to do about it? You probably won’t have sufficient legal justification to open fire on the mob. If you produce a gun and try to threaten them, their reactions will be just as they are above. They’ll dare you to use it, knowing that if you do, the law will basically side with them, no matter how provocative and threatening their conduct might have been. What’s more, some of them will probably have guns too. If you use yours, they’ll likely shoot back – and your family and anyone else with you will be in the line of fire. You might be well advised to leave the area as quickly as possible, by any means necessary (including hitching a ride with passing motorists), and abandon your vehicle. If it gets stripped or stolen, that’s still a lot less trouble than what might happen if you stay with it.
John Farnam’s advice (which we’ve repeated on several occasions in these pages) still holds good. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.
Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.
“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”
Words to live by more than ever, in these troubled times. Kudos to those cops for keeping their cool under very trying circumstances. I doubt I’d have done as well.
Obviously, it’s a matter of degree and circumstance. A couple of kids talking smack to sound tough, or a violent street gang just looking for an excuse – any excuse. Sometimes, as proposed in the essay, we find ourselves in a bad geographical area. Wrong turn off the freeway, followed by car trouble…
Massad Ayoob famously stated if you feel the need to carry into a bar, perhaps you need to consider a different watering hole. Perhaps. Watering hole choice is usually voluntary. (I see this as ‘not using the seat belt; not getting into an accident’ thinking. Just because it’s not a dive bar doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. – Guffaw)
This all goes back to basics – situational awareness and mindset. We don’t always have control, and may have to wait for others to act for us to respond – morally and legally.
And THAT’S the hell of it…
(hee hee!) Bet you thought this post was about THIS guy! Nope.
(From Free North Carolina)
Defense: What the president calls “my military” is being cleansed of any officer suspected of disloyalty to or disagreement with the administration on matters of policy or force structure, leaving the compliant and fearful.
We recognize President Obama is the commander-in-chief and that throughout history presidents from Lincoln to Truman have seen fit to remove military commanders they view as inadequate or insubordinate. Turnover in the military ranks is normal, and in these times of sequestration and budget cuts the numbers are expected to tick up as force levels shrink and missions change.
Yet what has happened to our officer corps since President Obama took office is viewed in many quarters as unprecedented, baffling and even harmful to our national security posture. We have commented on some of the higher profile cases, such as Gen. Carter Ham. He was relieved as head of U.S. Africa Command after only a year and a half because he disagreed with orders not to mount a rescue mission in response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi.
I found this particularly of interest, as it wasn’t some screed from WND or Alex Jones, but from IBD!
While I’m philosophically libertarian (small L), I’m not certain the current national Libertarian Party embodies my personal views. Or that of the party I first registered for in 1976…
But, I get Laura’s point.
I’d an email exchange with a democratic socialist (who is a dear friend and reads this blog) following Gov. Johnson’s faux pas, who said she had been considering voting for him, but, now was forced to consider Secretary Clinton.
Jokingly, I responded it was too bad she was choosing the lesser of three weevils.
Her response was Vote for Cthulhu! Why pick the lesser evil?
I fear she is doing precisely that!
(In a World where many elected officials take an oath, but have no idea what The Constitution even means (or are committing perjury), and won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem (their right, of course…) )
(Of course, there is always the Chicago Cubs’ manager – on my sidebar (bumper sticker sales for charity!)
(As posted by Brock Townsend)
Via comment by Quartermain on Clinton’s Censorship Tactics Aren’t Working Agains…
Barbro Sörman, a feminist politician said rapes aren’t that bad when non-Western men do them
In yet another strange twisting of logic, Swedish feminists say they would rather be raped by migrants and refugees rather than saved from rape by local men. They also say rape is worse when Swedish men do it rather than when the immigrants they love so much do it. What a strange, socially engineered world we have entered in the 21st century.
Earlier this year, when around 200 Swedish White Knights attacked rape-fugees to defend Swedish women, these girls spun up a really neat collective hamster rationalization and attacked the men who were defending their honor instead of rapists. Here’s what they did:
Feminists created the hashtag #inteerkvinna (translated as #notyourwoman) where they spewed their hatred over racism, fascism, white men and many other things that can be loosely tied to the events with some cognitive dissonance. In short, they made a collective tantrum on social media over the fact that white European men are standing up to the rape-fugees.
It has been said women invite, men invade. Call it a societal shit test in which women have evolved psychological and sociological behaviors that test to see which group of men has the stronger seed, the invaders or the locals. So far, the invaders are winning and will be the ones women increasingly support and breed with, as they continue to select for brutes instead of nice boys.
The feminists even went so far as to say “It’s YOU I’m afraid of” to Swedish men, the same men who are unbelievably the descendants of Vikings now completely de-balled by their own government. A Swedish feminist politician named Barbro Sörman said it’s “worse” when Swedish men rape than when the wonderful refugees do it:
I think inclusion and political correctness have finally reached critical mass. Sexual assault by someone using their religion as motivation is preferable to being saved from said assault by your own countrymen.
Say WHAT Now?!
I lived in my parent’s house after high school, and into college. The University was about a mile-and-a-half North, and an easy walk. Things became ‘complicated’ when I dropped-out after a year, and was on academic probation. (long-time readers will remember Joe Cool?). My parents then required rent and employment (I had been working the entire time), and two years later (age 20) I moved out simultaneously with starting at a community college.
I thought I was a failure.
Ultimately, I completed community college (3.615 GPA,with high distinction, don’t ya know!), got my Associates Degree (Administration of Justice), and entered life. It’s amazing how the realities of financial obligation and low paying jobs motivate! During the recession (1975). No decent jobs.
BUT, somehow I survived. I paid my own way through college (no loans, no parent money), worked then entire time (mostly in private security) and paid rent – sometimes even on time! 😛
The idea of moving back into my parent’s home was anathema to me. My father’s passing in 1977 further reinforced the concept (I didn’t have a good relationship with my stepmother).
For the first time in modern history the most common living arrangement for young adults is living in their parents’ homes. (18 to 34)
I wonder how this happened? Poor employment opportunities? Low pay? Bad economy? I suspect the liberals will blame it on the debt based on Bush’s wars. And the banks.
And the conservatives will blame the race-baiting, anti-colonialist communist administration currently in residence in the White House.
But I blame government. ALL of it. Between inflation, costly inefficient government programs and the cost of education requiring student loans. And Fabian socialists forging dishistory and uneducated youth since the early 1900’s. They work glacially.
It’s who I am.
h/t Theo Spark