21 November 2015

NSA continues spying on e-mail

New York Times is starting to get the idea: When the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of records about Americans’ emails came to light in 2013, the government conceded the program’s existence but said it had shut down the effort in December 2011 for “operational and resource reasons.” While that particular secret program stopped, newly disclosed documents show that the N.S.A. had found a way to create a functional equivalent. ... Read more

19 November 2015

Mrice E100 review

A couple of weeks ago I saw a WIRED article raving about the Mrice E300 earbuds, a pair of no-brand $15 Chinese-made earbuds. The review pointed me at some threads on Reddit and various headphone forums where people were posting about a different model, the E100 — again, from Chinese manufacturer Mrice. They’re also sold under the name Chintek. If you search, you can find reviews scattered across the web. ... Read more

14 November 2015

Bang bang

Mary Anne Franks, a law professor and expert in self defense, comments about gun ownership: What I said in my testimony and what every credible study on the subject has concluded is that in general, the potential benefit to anyone – man or woman, trained or untrained – of using a gun in self-defense is far outweighed by the established risks of increased injury and death correlated with increased gun access. ... Read more

13 November 2015

Fear of language

David Lynch projects a kind of 1950s niceness that people often assume must be fake. The biography he offers the press says simply “Eagle Scout, Missoula, Montana.” He diligently refuses to explain his works, and the movies themselves seem to try to avoid language. The movie director who had the most in common with Lynch was Stanley Kubrick. Like Lynch, Kubrick was obsessed with attempting to tell his stories visually, with a minimum of expository dialog (which is why “2001: A Space Odyssey” only has around 40 minutes of dialog in a 140 minute movie). ... Read more

20 October 2015

Free market consumer driven healthcare

“Consumer driven healthcare” plans were introduced in the USA in 2001. The idea was simple enough. Here’s how Republican Presidential hopeful Ben Carson described it: In order to right the ship, we need to return the responsibility for good health care to the patient and the health care provider. One of the best ways to do this is through health savings accounts, which patients can control. Republicans see this principle of patient responsibility as particularly important, because they mostly believe in an economic theory called moral hazard. ... Read more

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