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Phil Stracchino
Culture Special Circumstances
Culture Special Circumstances


Hey guys, looks like the download for twrp-3.2.1-0-hltetmo.img is bad (7201 bytes). twrp-3.2.1-0-hltetmo.img.tar appears to be good.

This SHOULD be, and used to be, a simple task but apparently isn't any more:

How do you unfollow or uncircle a deleted account? The normal circle management methods don't work — you can't select a deleted account and go to the circles it's a member of because it's deleted. So I have three er, four wait, FIVE deleted accounts¹ in my circles identified only as '(Unnamed)', and two of them don't have userpics so I can't even tell who they used to be...

The fundamental problem here, I think, is that as far as I can tell you cannot edit the CIRCLES themselves any more. Only the people. And when the person's account doesn't exist any more, there is no way I can find to uncircle or unfollow an account that doesn't exist, because you can't modify your settings for a nonexistent user, and you can't directly edit the circles any more. (Or if you still can, the functionality has been hidden so well I can't find it.)

¹ "And a fanatical devotion to the Pope! ...I'm sorry. We'll come in again."

Recently I've been encountering a bug in which the Dock'n'Drive app can launch Google Maps, and I can give it a destination, but it then cannot open a data connection to actually plan the route. I discovered today that this seems to affect more than just navigation. I attempted to open a jabber chat connection using Xabber (latest version) while Dock'n'Drive (latest version) was running, on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 running Android 5.0, and I was unable to connect to the jabber server until I quit Xabber, quit Dock'n'Drive, and then relaunched Xabber.

So, it appears the current release of Dock'n'Drive is generally interfering with data connections by multiple applications.

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An astounding piece of ice sculpture.  I'm speechless.

h/t +Sandy B 
"Blue Ring Octopus " ice sculpture
by Junichi Nakamura and Heather Brice
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The importance of what Samsung Heavy Industries is building as Shell Prelude is not that it is the largest floating vessel ever constructed (almost half a kilometer long, and scheduled to displace 600,000 tons).  It is that it represents a sea change (Ha!) in marine natural-gas production and refining:  Instead of building a long underwater pipeline and piping the gas from the field to a refinery, take the refinery to the gas field.  If the field runs dry, the refinery can simply be moved to another gas field (though Shell expects it to remain in place on the Prelude field, a hundred miles off northwest Australia, for 25 years).

Also, not explicitly called out in this article, I'll bet Shell has realized that with a mobile refinery, they need no accommodations, cooperation or agreements with foreign governments in order to exploit gas fields in international waters, as would be necessary if they needed to construct an on-shore refinery.
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Anyone who knows me at all well knows I am no fan of the Taliban.  They are religious fundamentalists who wish to return their part of the world culturally to the Dark Ages, and they have destroyed unique works of art in the course of their belief.

Nevertheless, give credit where it is due.  The Afghani Taliban is reported today as having condemned the massacre committed yesterday at a school in Peshawar by Pakistan's Tehrik-i-Taliban.

For that, I give the Afghan Taliban a measure of respect.  Unlike many other Islamist groups, they seem to actually honor the Quran's prohibition against slaughtering innocents.  Which, from Afghans, shouldn't really come as a great surprise.
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Nothing to add to this.  Semper fi, Major Caudill.

“The Gun Is Civilization” by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.

If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.

Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.
Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.
These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a armed mugger to do his job.
That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury.
This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst.
The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.
It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.

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I don't know about you, but this sounds to me like a REALLY SERIOUSLY BAD IDEA.  And not just because of the temptation for the police officer who pulls you over for a moving violation to say "Y'know, as long as I've got this phone right here..."
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In which the United States Air Force Band brings six minutes of awesome to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.  Just because.
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More information coming out about the latest cyberattack against Sony.  Sony got burned HARD and deep.  This wasn't just about stealing a few unreleased movies; somebody with a lot of skills and a lot of resources wanted to really, really hurt Sony.  And they probably succeeded.  They even took the trouble to thumb their noses at Sony's cybersecurity department.

I can't help but wonder whether any part of the motivation behind this attack has anything to do with Sony being one of the major industry forces pushing DRM encryption of digital media (which, truth to tell, hurts honest consumers more than it inconveniences pirates) and having been twice caught distributing rootkits on digital media.  Sony had a lot of goodwill, once.  But Sony burned that goodwill and pissed on the ashes.
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