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NoIEWhat can I say:

The Department of Homeland Security is telling people not to use Internet Explorer. A security breach in the Internet browser can leave your computer at the mercy of a hacker. This flaw affects more than half of all PC users.

Engineers at FireEye discovered this security problem with Internet Explorer on Friday. They immediately alerted Microsoft, but so far, there’s no fix.

Zheng Bu helped uncover the flaw that impacts Internet Explorer versions six through 11. A hacker can gain access if you click on a bad link and have control of your computer. Hard drive, key strokes, Internet history, everything can be exposed.

“The security firm that discovered the flaw says the problem is really targeted at defense industry and financial industries, so chances are Mom and Pop aren’t going to be targets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be exploited,” said Seth Rosenblatt, CNET’s senior news writer.

That’s one hell of a bug. Anyway, if you’re still using Internet Explorer, take heed and just a friendly reminder: it’s not 1996 anymore.

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I totally understand why lots of traditionalist Catholics aggressively defend their church despite the endemic corruption and horrific recent history: humans are tribal and if your tribe is getting attacked, you defend it. And unlike evangelical churches who just raise money to continually build more (boring) buildings, Catholics do take charity and good works seriously, so I’ll agree there’s something worth defending. But isn’t making John Paul II into a Saint kind of the “Kissinger getting the Nobel Peace Prize” of our time?

Just seems like a mistake to me.

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A little bit of schadenfreude about the racist statements of famous scofflaw Cliven Bundy is inevitable (and warranted), but I am also interested in the episode because it confirms my theory about the decline of the conservative media. I’ve explained this before but briefly put: demand for conservative media has peaked and will soon enter into heavy decline. It’s inevitable given the numbers. The top dogs in this sphere will then be forced to compete ruthlessly with each other for the privilege of continuing to work. Just as the first half of the decade saw a huge boom in conservative media, given the cyclical nature of markets it’s not hard to imagine the latter half having a corresponding bust, as the bubble bursts and the Obama Administration inevitably ends. As this occurs, conservative media personalities will be compelled to push the envelope further and further in attempts to retain their consumers, which will create a vicious cycle in which ever-increasing levels of inaccuracy and ugliness marginalize conservative media even further. It won’t all go away, but within ten years, it will be unrecognizable.

Bundy’s story might well be an inflection point along this arc. Conservatives ran with his story of resistance to the federal government because it hit a couple of right-wing nerves. But from their perspective it wasn’t a very good cause to champion: conservatism loses any sort of appeal when it’s linked to anarchy and lawlessness, as safety and stability are its key selling points. Historically, the biggest conservative victories have been won by men promising boring old stability during times of anxiety and chaos: Harding, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan. Who obviously did not have the same views on all subjects, but all represented the mainstream of conservative opinion during their respective times. On the other hand, Barry Goldwater’s radical campaign and epic defeat suggests the public has little interest in reckless, purist conservatism. A second thought would have told these folks that this might not be the best icon for them, even absent the knowledge of his racial views, but that second thought was never thought. The end result is a massive, earned humiliation on conservative pundits and politicians desperate to find new sources of furious anger to keep their base engaged, one that puts attention exactly where they do not want it, and it proves to an even greater degree that top Republicans don’t really understand the selling points of their own philosophy. Bundy’s story is a cautionary tale but I don’t expect the people who championed it to learn any lessons from it. And onto the next one.

insertpaperI know people who like New Jersey but I can’t say I’ve ever heard any of them hold the state up as a sparkling land of modesty and temperance.  But there’s always Gov. Chris Krispy:

For the people who are enamored with the idea with the income, the tax revenue from [legalized marijuana], go to Colorado and see if you want to live there. See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.

Somehow this reminds me of a joke from Miss Congeniality:

Vic: Why is New Jersey called “The Garden State”?

Gracie: Because “Oil and Petrochemical Refinery State” wouldn’t fit on a license plate?


I agree entirely with DougJ. I just think that Gregory is the wrong kind of boring, whereas Bob Schieffer is the right kind of boring. Schieffer is a decent newsman who simply lacks much in the way of dynamism (i.e. the right kind of boring for that audience), while Gregory lacks dynamism and journalistic skill. It’s impossible to even pretend you’ve been informed after watching him talk about politics, so why would you bother? Also, the Times article notes that under Gregory the show has “modernized” by shortening segments and making them discrete, while it fails to mention is basically how all cable news is structured, so this “modernization” managed to eliminate the show’s major distinguishing feature: long-form interviews. Hell, all of cable news has handsome hosts and panel discussions. Groupthink is not a strategy.

Doug also brings in the late Tim Russert, and while I never cared one way or the other for the guy when he was alive, I do kind of realize why people made a thing about him back then. Losing him meant losing one of the only famous MSM personalities who actually enjoyed confronting powerful people and was reasonably good at it. And he was willing to stay with a single person for a while. I could really go for a smarter version of Russert’s show with more diverse guests, but there I go again, dreaming.

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You never know with these things, but I do think that Michael Bloomberg’s plans to spend $50 million to build an NRA-killer gun control organization could only but have a positive impact. What we saw last year was that there are plenty of people who passionately want gun control, but absent an effective political organization the NRA was able to defeat their push. That kind of money can build an effective organization, and there is certainly a demand for it. The Times article oddly quotes a bunch of people who are skeptical about the idea, but I really don’t see a downside here. At this point the fight is like the U.S. Army versus Grenada. There are open questions as to whether Bloomberg is the person to build a grassroots organization that can go toe-to-toe with one of the most evil organizations in America and whether his political strategy is perfectly sound, but at this point fighting back against the NRA requires serious resources and organization and this pushes it in the right direction.

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What are the hardest languages to learn?

hardest language

Source here.