Cruz in heated exchange with Twitter’s Dorsey: ‘Who the hell elected you?’ | TheHill

Dorsey noted that every person or organization that signs up to have an account on Twitter agrees to its terms and services.

Source: Cruz in heated exchange with Twitter’s Dorsey: ‘Who the hell elected you?’ | TheHill

In a world of weasel words, said about so many things, this one has to be in the running for taking the cake.

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Breach at Dickey’s BBQ Smokes 3M Cards

One of the digital underground’s most popular stores for peddling stolen credit card information began selling a batch of more than three million new card records this week. KrebsOnSecurity has learned the payment card data was stolen in a two-year-long data breach at more than 100 Dickey’s Barbeque Restaurant locations around the country.

Source: Breach at Dickey’s BBQ Smokes 3M Cards

The article says the card data only came from Dickey’s, but I don’t know. I can’t recall ever having eaten at one of these joints, but this happened too coincidently, and I’ve been watching for an announcement exactly like this since. I expect there’s more than just the one source in the dump.

Visa and MasterCard instituted new rules in October 2015 that put retailers on the hook for all of the losses associated with counterfeit card fraud tied to breaches if they haven’t implemented chip-based card readers and enforced the dipping of the chip when a customer presents a chip-based card.

Also, pretty interesting stuff about mag stripes still being so prevalent. I appreciate the card companies making it the retailer’s problem. However, fraud related to security breaches at retailers should always be their problem, regardless of technology used.

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Analog vs. Digital

The popular recording of “Love is a Battlefield,” by Pat Benetar, is almost mono. There’s very little stereo separation or spatialization. When CD’s came out, there was a marketing effort to make digital recording a differentiator to boost sales. I think Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album was the first one to brag that it was a “DDD” album: digitally recorded, mastered, and finalized. The recording, of course, was the last big holdout. But I couldn’t hear any real difference between that album and others released around the same time which were “just” “ADD”. I guess, because at the time of transition, analog tech was mature, and digital was still brand new, and we were comparing the best of a limited technology versus the first production-ready version of the future. I wonder if you could hear any difference now? I’ve noticed several songs lately which have intentional saturation noise in them. Crazy that people are intentionally reinserting analog limitations back into digital recordings. It’s like putting polaroid filters in snapchat. 

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A San Francisco ‘Co-Living’ Startup Suddenly Shut Down, Leaving Tenants In Limbo

San Francisco-based “co-living platform” HubHaus has collapsed, saying it has no funds, leaving people using its platform to rent rooms in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, in limbo.

Source: A San Francisco ‘Co-Living’ Startup Suddenly Shut Down, Leaving Tenants In Limbo

Oh, look. A scammy “Web 2.0” app company reselling real estate in a ridiculous housing market has failed to understand either part of that equation.

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Apple Removing SD Card Slots

A couple of friends installed flush-sized SD memory cards in their MacBook Air’s, which are used as hard drives by the OS, because they were running out of room on the internal drive. It occurs to me, well after the fact, that a non-trivial reason Apple removed those slots was to prevent this scenario, as upgrading to a larger hard drive is a primary reason to upgrade your laptop.

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Oracle founder donated $250,000 to Graham PAC in final days of TikTok deal – The Verge

FEC documents show that Ellison made the $250,000 donation to the Security is Strength PAC on September 14th. The Security is Strength PAC has bought ads exclusively in support of Graham’s political ambitions, including his 2015 presidential campaign and his current reelection bid for the US Senate.

Source: Oracle founder donated $250,000 to Graham PAC in final days of TikTok deal – The Verge

Larry Ellison is one of the richest people in the world. $250K is lunch money for a guy like this. The truly sad thing about our American democracy isn’t that it can be bought; it’s that it can be bought so cheaply. It’s nauseating.

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I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book – Mother Jones

Pivar, 90 years old, is an art collector, scientist, and a founder (alongside Andy Warhol) of the New York Academy of Art. He ended up speaking with me for over an hour about his “very, very sick” friend in a conversation we wound up publishing in its entirety. Stuart told me—over and over again—that Epstein suffered from “satyriasis,” which he described as the male version of nymphomania, and that he used his money and power to “make an industry” out of having sex with underage girls. This apparently entailed Epstein having sex with “three girls a day” and “hundreds and hundreds” in total. He said he never knew Epstein was having sex with children until Maria Farmer, a student at the academy and an acquaintance of Pivar, had told him she had been assaulted and held hostage by Epstein. He also claimed that Epstein had never invited him to what he called “The Isle of Babes,” a reference to Epstein’s private island where much of the child sex trafficking allegedly occurred.

Source: I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book – Mother Jones

This admission, from one of Epstein’s supposedly closest friends, sort of puts the nail in the coffin of this particular kerfluffle. Not only did ESR’s denouncement of using the word “pedophile” to describe Epstein miss the mark ethically and morally, it also missed the mark factually. Here, someone very close to him admits that he was a straight-up pedo. I’m sure this was all documented in the early days of these revelations, but I hadn’t wanted to read about it that closely. Given the broad outlines of what could be reported in polite circles, I was quite certain that the line had been crossed so completely that the line no longer existed, and this proves it. It doesn’t take a genius’ genius to figure that one out.

The whole article is a gift that keeps on giving, but this hook is what made me read the whole thing:

After Epstein’s arrest in 2019, a media narrative coalesced around the question of his strange place in the global elite: Epstein the master salesman, a man who had skillfully conned his way into the world’s most powerful circles, fooling everyone in the process. But after my travels through the book, after hearing more of the petty gossip and childish drama of the people who rule our world, I realized this was obviously incorrect. Built into the premise of Epstein the mastermind scammer is the notion that some kind of legitimate path to a legitimate global aristocracy exists. To call Epstein a grifter is to assume he circumvented some genuine meritocratic world order, where the “real” virtuosos dutifully climb the “real” ranks into the oligarchy, powered by nothing but their native talents.

The truth is that the elite world that Epstein ascended into, the one I tapped into by way of the black book, is populated with hordes of loathsome, boring, untalented people living their bumbling, idiotic lives while just so happening to wield some share of the preposterous global bounty that he and the rest were after. For all the mystery surrounding Epstein’s fortune, its existence is hardly more inscrutable than the wealth of any of his other billionaire peers. He earned it the same way they all did, which is to say precisely not at all.

This wasn’t some masterful hack into the global aristocracy. It’s what everyone does. It’s what the whole thing is. There is no scam here. It’s grifters grifting grifters all the way down.

But the final analysis — that Epstein was a tool in the employ of the CIA — was both novel to me, and is pretty convincing. It fits the facts pretty well.

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Politics Dominates as Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Hearings Begin in Senate – WSJ

Senate Republicans will be pushing full force for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee at the start of hearings to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, while Democrats will try to make Republicans pay a political price for speeding toward her confirmation before Election Day and in the midst of a pandemic.

Politics Dominates as Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Hearings Begin in Senate – WSJ

I don’t have anything to say about Amy Coney, or about the confirmation hearing circus. I just wanted to say that I’ve officially hit my limit on the number of times I can see “in the midst of a pandemic” in a news article.  I don’t want to even debate the semantics of what it might mean, even if it were being used in good faith, in this particular instance. It’s just a dash of despair and paranoia that journalists just sprinkle on everything now, so it has come to mean nothing any more.

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Some Video Gaming Company Got Hacked

Yesterday evening, I got over a dozen notifications that my Apple Credit Card got hit with fraudulent charges, and their automated detection missed a few. Except for a couple of pizza places, several hundred miles from where I live, the charges were all from video gaming-related sites. So I’m guessing that one of the gaming companies got hacked. I can only think of 2 that have this card: Steam and Sony. I’m going to be watching for an announcement from Brian Krebs. It’s sorely tempting to reactivate my Twitter account to check the traffic on this…

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Alas Imgur

I killed my Twitter account for the umpteenth time a couple days ago, so I tried looking at Imgur for amusement purposes. I didn’t get far. It seemed like a solid chunk of the top posts were screenshots of tweets that perfectly encapsulated the utter insanity that drove me away from the site. I guess there is no escaping it on any sort of social media. War Games had it right, 35 years ago: “The only winning move is… not to play.”

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