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Gavin Panella
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Today, Donald Trump marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with an order against refugees, and a statement that pointedly didn't mention Jews. It talks about horror inflicted on "innocent people;" it makes no reference to how those people were chosen, or why.

And given the executive order of the day, that omission seems far clearer of a message. Among other things, it bans all refugees for the next 90 days (at which point it may be renewed); bans all Syrian refugees indefinitely; and most significantly, bars all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, regardless of their visa status, for the next 90 days – the time required for the DHS to make a longer-term decision about this.

To clarify what this means, it means that anyone from one of those countries who is living in the US legally, even as a permanent resident, who was outside the country today cannot return for an as-yet indefinite period. (It may also apply to dual citizens, or to US citizens who were born in those countries; the text of the order is very unclear) I am personally aware of a few hundred people who are directly affected by this, at this stage: people who were out of town for one reason or another and are now separated from their homes and families. From some back-of-the-envelope guessing, I would say that there are at least 5,000 people who were affected today, possibly much more.

Rather impressively, even Dick Cheney described this as "[going] against everything we stand for and believe in."

On the radio today, they were talking about how Muslim communities are concerned about possible "civil rights issues" going forward, but they were rather limited in the concerns they raised. Korematsu is still the law of the land; never overturned, it held that the Japanese internment camps of the 1940's were legitimate exercises of executive power. Those won't happen tomorrow, because there's no extra PR vim in it, and it's still too soon; many people would remember and object. But two years from now, or three, when elections are starting to come up? Internment of nationals of various countries doesn't seem so far-fetched.

After all, Wednesday's orders around building a wall between us and Mexico included provisions to build and staff large detention centers next to them.

And both today's order and Wednesday's instruct the DHS to publish regular reports of crimes committed by immigrants, to remind us all of what we're being protected from. If you haven't read a report like this before, and your German is OK, look up back issues of "Der Jude Kriminell;" I added a scan of one below, although it's grainy.


Oh, the other picture? Those are eyeglasses. You can still see some of that pile at Auschwitz-Birkenau; they didn't keep all of it, they didn't have room. It's next to the giant pile of human hair, and the giant pile of baby shoes.

I just want you to remember what this day remembers.

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1/28/17
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- Open Chrome, logged into my Google profile.

- Languages set to:

1. English (United Kingdom)
2. English (United States)
3. English

- Search for "google pixel" via the address bar.

- End up on https://google.lu/ — okay, since I'm in Luxembourg.

- First result looks good: "Pixel, Phone by Google – Made by Google".

- URL is https://madeby.google.com/phone/

- Click "BUY NOW".

- Options are:

- Verizon
- Google Store
- Project Fi
- Best Buy

Mmm, this looks US-centric.

- Click "Google Store".

- End up at https://store.google.com/. Language displayed is German, but prices are in UK Pounds.

- Back up to https://madeby.google.com/phone/, scroll all the way to the end (it's a long page) and switch to "English (United Kingdom)".

- URL is now https://madeby.google.com/intl/en_uk/phone/.

- Click "BUY NOW".

- Options are:

- Google Store
- Carphone Warehouse
- EE

Ah, looks familiar to this British ex-pat.

- Click "Google Store" and end up on the German-with-Pounds page.

- Buy an iPhone [1].


[1] Not really. As if.


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Didn't like this on first listen: too discordant. Yeah, there's no logic to me. But it's a sonic Ceti eel larva. It has entered my brain, appropriated me as a disciple, and made me pony up real money for a copy.

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Bandcamp just told me about Saor's new album. Highland metal, bloody wonderful.

Egregious Web UX Error Made By People Who Should Know Better: Changing the language based on my physical location.

In the future I will download the local language as I glide through the docking tube from my spaceplane to the terminal, but it's 2016 and that kind of fancifulness is premature.

"... because of the way BBC iPlayer is funded, only users with registered UK IP addresses can access our programmes."

Funded by the TV Licence, which I have despite being outside of the UK. On the surface this seems frivolous. I mean, it's just TV? No, it's also culture. The BBC especially is part of the environment I grew up in. It's my heritage.

I am annoyed that there's a team with the task to prevent me and others from accessing the BBC while abroad. They say "Sorry, it’s due to rights issues" — and my rights as a paying customer are implicitly worthless.

I have funded the BBC for years and I would fund it more if I could use it.

There are other websites I cannot use outside the UK.

Netflix has a different, smaller, catalogue, though I'm still paying for a UK subscription with money held in a UK bank.

More seriously, Noddle.co.uk allows me to keep track of my credit rating but does not work outside of the UK. This was confirmed as deliberate policy by their help team, though you can access it from the US for some reason. As a Brit abroad it's legitimate that I want to keep track of my credit rating, but not via the Internet it would seem.

Companies are learning how to restrict their services geographically and are going to lengths to detect VPNs, proxies, and other workarounds. This ends up hurting a lot of people doing legitimate things. There are just a handful of organisations doing this but the number will inevitably grow, and the technology will be further misused and abused.

It's not unreasonable to imagine that this will lead to virtual gerrymandering and more censorship. We criticise China for its Great Firewall but we're slowly, insidiously putting our own together. For now it's at the behest of Rights Holders — that is, not you and me — but once the technology is in place it will be coopted by governments.

Geographic restrictions have no place on the Internet.

Last Thursday Hermes picked up a parcel from a residential address in the UK for shipping to me in Luxembourg. I have followed its progress closely. Until Sunday morning it was "Collected" but not yet "In Transit" strongly suggesting that the driver stayed in his van at the collection address for nearly three days. This seems like a needless delay. Since Sunday it has been "In Transit" at an average speed of about 6mph or 10km/h. My guess is that it's being moved by a relay of donkeys or mules. One wonders why they use these outmoded methods at the same time as applauding their environmental credentials which reflect positively on me as a customer. The parcel is due for delivery by the 5th October which is fine as it means they're letting the animals rest. I'm very interested in animal welfare. They could treat their collection drivers better though.

RescueTime rates Adobe Acrobat Reader as "productive" by default but it is actually a bottomless time vortex.

Great to be back in the UK... the train's running late and Abellio's WiFi is trying to intercept secure connections.

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