Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - The Craic Show - Beggar Man

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - The Craic Show - Beggar Man

The Craic Show performs 'The Beggar Man' at the 2016 Space Coast Nerd Fest in Melbourne, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQr1CRP7sfQ

Game Players – Issue Number 50 – March 1995

Game Players – Issue Number 50 – March 1995







Brevard Renaissance Faire 2016 - The Craic Show (part 1) (2016-02-06)

Brevard Renaissance Faire 2016 - The Craic Show (part 1) (2016-02-06)

The Craic Show performing at the inaugural Brevard Renaissance Fair in Melbourne, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KTw5haqUr8

The U.S. Nuclear Program Still Uses Eight-Inch Floppy Disks

The U.S. Nuclear Program Still Uses Eight-Inch Floppy Disks

Where does the United States store data for its nuclear systems? If the question brings to mind visions of high-tech storage centers, cloud computing or solid-state drives, think again—as Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar reports for the Associated Press, the U.S. Department of Defense still uses floppy disks for its Strategic Automated Command and Control System.

The system, which serves as the primary means for transmitting emergency messages to the country’s nuclear missile forces and other worldwide offensive and defensive systems, still relies on eight-inch floppy disks that hold 80 kilobytes of data. According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, the program relies on an IBM Series I computer from the 1970s.

“The system remains in use because, in short, it still works,” a Pentagon spokesperson told the Agence France Presse. She added that by 2017, the disks will be replaced by “secure digital devices” and that, by 2020, the Pentagon will fully replace the command system.

And at this point, floppy disks offer something else to the defense industry: security. Since the technology is so old and few modern machines can handle them, floppy disks are strangely secure. In 2014, General Jack Weinstein told 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl that DOD “cyber engineers” had determined that “the system is extremely safe and extremely secure the way it’s developed.” At the time, Smithsonian.com tracked the growth of the nuclear stockpile, much of which is as old as the disks themselves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Millennials Reject Capitalism in Name – but Socialism in Fact

Millennials Reject Capitalism in Name – but Socialism in Fact

“In an apparent rejection of the basic principles of the US economy,” writes Max Ehrenfreund at the Washington Post, “a new poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism.”

Notice the intimation that capitalism is the system we already have — not, as pro-capitalist philosopher Ayn Rand called it, the “unknown ideal.” But Ehrenfreund takes a half step back from the implication: “Capitalism can mean different things to different people.” Nevertheless, he concludes, “the newest generation of voters is frustrated with the status quo, broadly speaking.”

So we’re not entirely sure what “capitalism” means to those surveyed, but we think it has something to do with the system we currently live in. Young dissatisfaction with the status quo is probably a good thing, but the labels used in simplistic survey questions — and in headlines — just add ever more confusion to discussions of economic freedom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - The Craic Show - Barentanz

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - The Craic Show - Barentanz

The Craic show performing 'Barentanz' at the 2016 Space Coast Nerd Fest in Melbourne, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR-WbE_dvM4

Computer Gaming World – Issue Number 72 – June 1990

Computer Gaming World – Issue Number 72 – June 1990







Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - Empty Hats - Galway Girl

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - Empty Hats - Galway Girl

Empty Hats performs 'Galway Girl' at the closing pub sing of the opening day of the 2016 Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c6mFKTAfKc

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - The Craic Show - Intro

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - The Craic Show - Intro

The Craic Show at the 2016 Space Coast Nerd Fest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruJqHdXrq7M

Air Fortress (NES)

Air Fortress (NES)






Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - Sahnobar Dancers

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - Sahnobar Dancers

The Sahnobar Dancers perform at the closing pub sing of the opening day of the 2016 Hoggetowne Medieval Faire.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5tiOWCvmb4

Saturday, May 21, 2016

DA Is Dead Wrong on Encryption

DA Is Dead Wrong on Encryption

The last person San Diego should trust with their computers and smartphones is District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Last week, Dumanis joined district attorneys in Los Angeles and Manhattan in supporting a fundamentally flawed Senate proposal they’re trying to brand as the National Technology Bill. If anything, the legislation sponsored by Sens. Richard M. Burr and Dianne Feinstein is an anti-technology bill, since it would require tech companies to weaken the security of their products and break encryption meant to protect their customers.

Dumanis and her colleagues argue that this bill would assist law enforcement, but they fail to mention the cost: the safety of all Americans’ data.

One needs only look at Dumanis’ track record on technology to understand that the district attorney is not credible on this issue.

In 2012, Dumanis spent $25,000 in public money on 5,000 copies of a piece of “parental monitoring” software called ComputerCop. This CD-ROM, which was distributed to families throughout the county for free, included a video from Dumanis promoting the program as the “first step” in protecting your children online.

This first step, however, involved parents installing keylogger software on their home computers. This type of technology is a favorite tool of malicious hackers, since it captures everything a user types, including personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers. Not only did ComputerCop store keylogs in an unencrypted file on the person’s computer, but it also transmitted some of that information over unsecured connections to a mysterious third-party server. If your child was sitting at a coffee shop, connecting a laptop with ComputerCop to an open Wi-Fi network, any two-bit hacker, identity thief or cyber-bully could snatch what your child typed right out of the air.

In other words, Dumanis was promoting software that installed faulty backdoors into home computers. The software did the opposite of its intent: Rather than protecting families, it actually made families less safe.



Dumanis and her cohorts want Congress to force tech companies to create backdoors into your computers and devices or to simply remove basic security protections on the devices and software we all use every day.

Computer scientists and security researchers around the country have slammed the proposals, asserting that there is no way whatsoever to create a backdoor that can’t be exploited by malicious hackers or even foreign governments.

Trump’s War on Amazon.com Explained

Trump’s War on Amazon.com Explained

On February 2016, Donald Trump began a public relations war against one of America’s most successful companies. He directly threatened Amazon.com and its founder Jeff Bezos with political reprisal should he become president.

Why? It seems like every consumer loves Amazon. What gives?

“I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence, and I gotta tell you, we have a different country than we used to have,” Trump said. “He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”

Problems? This is pretty dark. What kind of problems? He didn’t say. Regardless, Bezos is right that this is “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.”

This week, Trump filled in some detail. He thinks that Bezos bought theWashington Post to stop D.C. from taxing Amazon. “The politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed,” he said. They have to be taxed because right now “they are getting away with murder taxwise.”

It’s not only taxes. He also thinks Amazon is too big, too controlling. “I would go after him for anti-trust because he has a huge anti-trust problem.”

A Brutal and Baseless Attack

These serious claims are all wrong on their face. Amazon customers once benefited from the lack of a sales tax when shipping out of state. But once Amazon established distribution centers in state after state, its goods are taxed like any other — thus taking away a pricing advantage for customers. It is fast service and variety that are driving Amazon to new heights.

As for antitrust, it is hard to imagine what he is referring to. Not gouging. Not controlling (anyone can list on Amazon’s platform). Not even market share, since producers see its marketplace as an alternative venue to  their own main sites. In fact, the old antitrust laws don’t seem to have any application in the complex, multilayered, ineffable world that digital commerce has become.

And by the way, if Bezos did buy the Post in order to editorialize against higher taxes on internet commerce, that would be absolutely fine, even praiseworthy. It certainly shouldn’t be condemned. The Post has historically served as a mouthpiece for state growth. That has noticeably changed since Bezos took charge, and the results have been a blessed relief.

For his part, Trump says he is burned up at Bezos, the Post, and Amazon, because journalists have been digging around for dirt on him. Threatening journalists would be bad enough. This is straight out of the 1790s when the Alien and Sedition Acts led to the arrest of editors who criticized President John Adams. Such attacks on free speech nearly smashed the union. Certainly it led to the triumph of Thomas Jefferson in the upset election of 1800.

Trump Isn’t the First Politician to Threaten Newspapers

Trump Isn’t the First Politician to Threaten Newspapers

Donald Trump isn’t happy with the Washington Post, which has steadfastly opposed his presidential campaign on its editorial pages and now has assigned a reporter team to write a book about him. And he has repeatedly responded in Trump fashion: by threatening the business interests of the newspaper and its owner Jeff Bezos.

Trump cited the Post by name in his February comments about how he wants to “open up” libel law so that “when the Washington Post… writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.” And he said then of Amazon, of which Bezos is CEO, “If I become president, oh do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”

He has claimed for months that Bezos was using the newspaper as either itself a tax dodge or as a tool of influence to prevent Amazon from having to pay “fair taxes,” a theory hard to square with the institutional arrangements involved (Bezos owns the Post separately from his Amazon stake; the Post editors credibly deny that Bezos has interfered, and as it happens Amazon itself supports the idea of an internet sales tax.)

More recently Trump has opened up a second front, arguing last week on the Sean Hannity show that Bezos employs the paper “as a political instrument to try and stop antitrust,” and implying that he, Trump, would hit Amazon with antitrust charges.

As you might expect, many critics are crying foul. “He’s basically giving us a preview of how he will abuse his power as president. … He is clearly trying to intimidate Bezos and in turn The Washington Post from running negative stories about him,” writes Boston Globe columnist Michael A. Cohen.

“Mr. Trump knows U.S. political culture well enough to know that gleefully, uninhibitedly threatening to use government’s law-enforcement powers to attack news reporters and political opponents just isn’t done. Maybe he thinks he can get away with it,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - Geekapella - Medley

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - Geekapella - Medley

Medley including Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more performed by Geekapella at the 2016 Space Coast Nerd Fest in Melbourne, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y-urmCDf5Q

Commodore Magazine, December 1988

Commodore Magazine, December 1988






Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - Just Desserts

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - Just Desserts

Just Desserts performing at the closing Pub Sing at the end of the first day of the Hoggetown Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28bkofdSaCA

Thursday, May 19, 2016

‘The X-Files’ Season 11 News: Fox Boss Teases Return Of David Duchovny And Gillian Anderson

‘The X-Files’ Season 11 News: Fox Boss Teases Return Of David Duchovny And Gillian Anderson

It has been several months since the Fox series “The X-Files” closed off its season 10 chapter. News of the show’s return to the small screens has been sparse. However, Fox has recently announced that they are planning a season 11 addition to the David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson starer series.

Fox’s Dana Walden made the revelation during a recent conference call with reporters to discuss the line-up of shows for its 2016 to 2017 schedule, Cinema Blend reported. The Fox executive mentioned that they are looking to add a slew of new “The X-Files” episodes to its series pipeline in the coming TV season.

Rand Paul’s Fall and Rise

Rand Paul’s Fall and Rise

Rand Paul’s campaign for the White House ended with a fifth-place finish in Iowa. But Senator Paul has a more important job than running for president, and the conclusion of his presidential bid lets him get back to it. He does, of course, represent the people of Kentucky in the United States Senate. But he represents something else as well: the best foreign-policy traditions of the Republican Party.

However ill-starred his presidential effort, he remains the country’s most widely recognized conservative realist. And before he or anyone like him can become president, Rand Paul will have to help his party reform.

That task will not be easy. But a look at the record shows that it is far from impossible—even as it also illustrates why 2016 was not to be Paul’s year.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.

Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it.

There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.
Magnificent, eerie, utterly compelling, these stories comprise one of King’s finest gifts to his constant reader—“I made them especially for you,” says King. “Feel free to examine them, but please be careful. The best of them have teeth.”

http://amzn.to/1rUJV0L

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - Geekapella - Bohemian Rhapsody

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - Geekapella - Bohemian Rhapsody

Ha Ha Ha... very funny...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34S5vgjvgE8

Hardcore Gamer – Issue Number 1 – June 2005

Hardcore Gamer – Issue Number 1 – June 2005




Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - The Rat Catcher

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2016 - Pub Sing - The Rat Catcher

The Rat Catcher at the closing pub sing at the end of the first day of the 2016 Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEKU7kD3uKo

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

California’s Legislature Wants to Copyright All Government Works

California’s Legislature Wants to Copyright All Government Works



The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary recently approved a bill (AB 2880) to grant local and state governments’ copyright authority along with other intellectual property rights. At its core, the bill grants state and local government the authority to create, hold, and exert copyrights, including in materials created by the government. For background, the federal Copyright Act prohibits the federal government from claiming copyright in the materials it creates, but is silent on state governments. As a result, states have taken various approaches to copyright law with some granting themselves vast powers and others (such as California) forgoing virtually all copyright authority at least until now.


Friday, May 13, 2016

YouTube’s Copyright Robots Help Sony Shake Down Bluegrass Educators

YouTube’s Copyright Robots Help Sony Shake Down Bluegrass Educators

A series of bluegrass history lectures has become the latest victim of the bullying that is enabled by content filtering systems like YouTube’s Content ID.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbors protect websites like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and many others against runaway copyright lawsuits. They also protect people’s fair use rights when they post their own creations online, by ensuring that online platforms don’t have to assume the risk of a user’s fair use case going the wrong way. But automated filtering and takedown systems on platforms like YouTube—systems that the DMCA doesn’t require—flag obvious fair uses as potential infringement, including educational work around the history of music itself. That’s why it’s alarming that major entertainment companies want Congress to scrap the DMCA’s safe harbor and make automatic filtering the law.

Libertarians: Team Cap or Team Stark?

Libertarians: Team Cap or Team Stark?



The liberty movement must decide now, once and for all, where our allegiance truly lies: Team Cap or Team Stark. We are talking, of course, about the new summer blockbuster Captain America: Civil War, and the epic showdown between Captain America and Iron Man. Warning: here be (some) spoilers.

The film starts in the aftermath of the previous Avengers movies — briefly summarized: very destructive battles between good and evil, in which the Avengers heroically save the day, but unfortunately, in their efforts, a large number of innocent people are killed. In its opening scene, Civil War shows us the danger the Avengers pose to bystanders, when Scarlet Witch and Captain America accidentally cause the deaths of seven civilians in Nigeria.

In response to this international incident, world leaders design the “Sokovia Accords” (named after the site of a previous Avengers’ battle) to regulate the superheroes. Secretary of State Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross tells the Avengers the treaty is “approved by one hundred and seventeen countries. It states that the Avengers shall no longer be a private organization. Instead, they’ll operate under the supervision of a United Nations panel, only when and if that panel deems it necessary.”

Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) insists that the Avengers need the Accords to provide accountability and oversight. Citing their history of deadly collateral damage, he argues, “We need to be put in check! Whatever form that takes, I’m game. If we can’t accept limitations… We’re no better than the bad guys.”

But Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America) warns against the dangers of government control. The UN, says Rogers, “is run by people with agendas, and agendas change. … If we sign this, we surrender our right to choose. What if this panel sends us somewhere we don’t think we should go? What if there’s somewhere we need to go, and they don’t let us? … The safest hands are still our own.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

In Hearing on Internet Surveillance, Nobody Knows How Many Americans Impacted in Data Collection

In Hearing on Internet Surveillance, Nobody Knows How Many Americans Impacted in Data Collection


The Senate Judiciary Committee held an open hearing today on the FISA Amendments Act, the law that ostensibly authorizes the digital surveillance of hundreds of millions of people both in the United States and around the world. Section 702 of the law, scheduled to expire next year, is designed to allow U.S. intelligence services to collect signals intelligence on foreign targets related to our national security interests. However—thanks to the leaks of many whistleblowers including Edward Snowden, the work of investigative journalists, and statements by public officials—we now know that the FISA Amendments Act has been used to sweep up data on hundreds of millions of people who have no connection to a terrorist investigation, including countless Americans.

What do we mean by “countless”? As became increasingly clear in the hearing today, the exact number of Americans impacted by this surveillance is unknown

Trump’s Economic Plan: Higher Taxes, Higher Inflation, and Higher Minimum Wage

Trump’s Economic Plan: Higher Taxes, Higher Inflation, and Higher Minimum Wage





That didn’t take long.

It was only days after Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination that the mask (such as it was) came off. Suddenly he was telling multiple interviewers that he could be talked into raising taxes, boosting the minimum wage, and printing enough money to pay the national debt in cheap dollars.


Friday, May 6, 2016

How the TSA Ruins Lives

How the TSA Ruins Lives


Have you missed a flight recently due to a long security line? I have. So have tens of thousands of others. It used to be that you could get to the airport an hour before your flight. That might still work. Or maybe not. Maybe security itself will take an hour or two. You never know.

We stand in line and watch in shock and awe. There are six security stations. Only one is open. The lines snake around the airport and even into the street. No one in charge seems to care.

You ask why the long lines. It’s a holiday. The TSA apparently forgot to put it on their calendar. So there aren’t enough employees. And they apparently lack the ability to call in more when necessary.

Right now, warnings are pouring out to be careful this summer. The lines could be one or two hours in waiting. Or maybe not, and then you will have time to shop and drink, to hunt for an outlet for your cellphone, or sleep in an uncomfortable chair. But you dare not take the risk. You will miss your flight. No one will reimburse you. Your sick mother, your daughter’s wedding, a crucial business trip, they will all just have to wait.

The TSA runs the show, holding hundreds of thousands of lives in the balance. Do they care? Maybe the individual employees feel bad about it. But management is in charge. And even they don’t determine policies. It’s the Department of Homeland Security that does that, under the authority of the US Congress. If you don’t like it, start a lobbying organization.

The trouble is that the TSA is not the private owner of anything. It has no stake in the profitability of the airlines. It gets funding either way. As for your convenience, forget it. One agent might be nice and fast, another might be mean and slow. It’s entirely up to the individual in question. There is no institutional reason to boost one temperament over another.

What about the labor miscalculations? I’ve been at airports where dozens of agents stand around doing nothing. There is no line. Security takes minutes. In other airports, understaffing is obvious and egregious. There is nothing anyone can do. It’s an island of socialism in a sea of markets, and socialism doesn’t work.

Ask any restaurant owner about staffing issues. They know they need extra servers and cooks on Friday night. You don’t bring in that same load on Monday because it would be a waste of resources. It’s a major challenge to anticipate consumer demand before it happens, but that’s the life of private enterprise. Making money is hard.

The TSA faces a completely different incentive structure. It’s all about compliance and rules, even when the stupidity is obvious. TSA employees know that it is idiotic to confiscate hair gel, wooden toy guns, and water bottles. Why am I taking my laptop out of my bag and leaving my iPad in? They know it makes no sense. It’s embarrassing. But there is nothing they can do.

As for security, The New York Times notes in passing that an “audit found that agents had failed to spot weapons and explosives in 95 percent of the undercover tests.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Star Wars Celebration to return to Orlando

Star Wars Celebration to return to Orlando



It has been announced that Star Wars Celebration 2017 is going to be held in Orlando, Florida. It will take place at the Orange County Convention Center on April 13-16, 2017. Tickets for the four-day event will go on sale May 25. This will not be the first time that Orlando has hosted the fan event. Celebration V and Celebration VI both took place in the City Beautiful.

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - Geekapella - Avatar

Space Coast Nerd Fest 2016 - Geekapella - Avatar


Geekapella's Avatar song at the 2016 Space Coast Nerd Fest in Melbourne, Florida.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4ccWm4O9D8


Fighting Force (PS1)

Fighting Force (PS1)




Tuesday, May 3, 2016