personal cyber-milestones

1. My last tweet was one year ago today. I'm keeping the account as a backup way to be "notified" of stuff.

2. Last week I upgraded Linux Mint from 17.2 (end of life Apr 2019) to 19.1. Compared to a Microsoft upgrade, where all your proprietary programs are lost after a clean install and have to be laboriously re-added (with passwords, licenses, dongles, etc), Linux was a snap. The backup tool creates a list of all the software you have on the system, and after your drive is wiped, it goes to the package repositories and finds all those programs and reinstalls them.
Many Linux users still have to hold their noses and use Windows occasionally for certain proprietary programs. In this post, political commenter The Saker asks if his blog followers will donate a Windows 10 laptop to him because he doesn't want to buy from Microsoft. That's hardcore. In the comments, users nevertheless remind him of the horrors of the new, post-privacy Windows environment.

a dependable voice

New York Times writer William J. Broad in 2003:


New York Times writer William J. Broad this week:


hat tip rene abythe

Another "greatest hit" from Mr. Broad, an article co-written with a disgraced colleague (hat tip R.A. again):


Update 2:
Wireless "5G" is a new technology employing microwave towers to transmit greater amounts of data to smartphones than is currently available. To maintain full signal strength, 5G has a shorter "reach," so implementing it will require building networks of closely spaced transmitters in urban areas. Promoters tout it as "safe," but it's yet another large scale public health experiment (with Americans as lab rats). Everyone should be skeptical of this energy bombardment even if there is no presently known smoking raygun linking it to illness. We won't know if it's dangerous until the system is installed and by then it will be too costly to abandon.

Broad's hit piece attempts pre-emptively to discredit American critics of 5G by claiming that these health concerns are yet another Rachel Maddow-like Russian plot. (Paranoids in the '60s claimed Russia lay behind newfangled schemes such as fluoridating water; the nouveau-paranoids accuse them of "sowing" skepticism). But who is dispensing fake news here? Near the end of his article Broad lets drop that "In January, The Times announced a joint venture with Verizon to build a 5G journalism lab." Thus his employer has a financial interest in seeing 5G rolled out, and no one should take Broad any more seriously than when he was crying wolf over Iraqi WMDs.