Something fans of irony can appreciate

After spending the last couple of weeks twisting foreign and corporate arms (successfully) to take down Julian Assange, the United States takes a break in order to celebrate “World Press Freedom Day”. Clearly the US State Department would be unable to detect irony even if “irony” was a baseball bat that was used to repeatedly smash the limbs and skulls of whistleblowers.

Clearly this is double-plus-ungood. Really, Americans, do you think anyone’s taking you seriously on that one?

The worth of a man

So, let’s say that, hypothetically, you’re an oil executive getting paid so much you practically crap money already, and under your watch the world has seen the biggest environmental disaster in US history and one which is set to cost your company over $30 billion. A non-exec would be fired and SOL; but this is an executive we’re talking about. For BP’s Tony Hayward, that situation has meant getting a full year’s pay (a million quid) and a 10 million pound pension. I’m in the wrong business, clearly.

Shockingly, would-be terrorists aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer

Months after warning of violence against South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for their depiction of Islam prophet Mohammed, Abu Tallah Al-Amrikee (né Zachary Adam Chesser of New York, a.k.a. “Revolution Muslim”) was arrested trying to board a plane that was due to take him to Uganda (via a bunch of other places) so that he could then join Somali terror aficionados al-Shabaab. Chesser added a touch of genuine class to the attempt by taking his newborn son with him “so he would look less suspicious”.

So, how did the Feds get onto him? Basically they developed an interest in his blog postings and Youtube activities, then put Chesser/Al-Amrikee under tighter surveillance, which led them to uncover the not-exactly-brilliant-in-the-first-place plot. His plan for entering Somalia from Kenya involved bribing border guards with a $20 bill — so essentially the Feds saved the moron from getting kidnapped and held for ransom.

From the “dead to me” file — Technorati

I was wondering about the relative dearth of traffic recently, and had a look at this site with my adblock turned off. As it turns out this was causing the page to apparently not load; what was really happening was that the page did load, entirely, but then there was a sneaky call to a web site called b.scorecardresearch.com which never loaded, so every non-adblocked call to this site resulted in blank pages and hung browsers. At least on Firefox it’s obvious that there’s a delayed call to a third-party site; with Google Chrome I just ended up with a blank page.

On doing a bit more research I found that this “scorecardresearch.com” site is an advertising beacon, which is annoying enough, but then I found out that the call is made from a script that comes with the technorati widget that was on the wordpress template of my site. As of now this has been removed, and it will not be coming back. To put it plainly, fuck Technorati, for tracking users and screwing up my site. And don’t give me any of this “it’s not our fault” crap, it is your fault. You included this third-party script call into your script, it’s up to you to make sure it works and replace it if it doesn’t. And why exactly are you tracking user activity by IP in the first place anyway?

So, Technorati, you’re dead to me.

There’s low, and then there’s *low*

There are many, many questions regarding the police handling of the G20 summit that took place in Toronto recently, but this one takes the cake — a 57-year-old leg amputee had his artificial leg forcibly removed by Toronto police because “it could be used as a weapon”, and when he asked for it back he was told to hop. Since when is this in any way acceptable behavior for any human being? Also, when you consider that 700 people were arrested and released without charge, doesn’t that mean that there was little to no consideration of whether arrests were made with cause?

Oh sure, just don’t let that stop the shrill hysteria!

In the UK a drug nicknamed “meow” was outlawed following what appeared to be the death of two users (imagine if alcohol had been outlawed after a mere two drinkers had died of it!). The ban came swiftly amid much public outrage; however it turns out that neither of the “victims” had taken the drug at all.

Well, that’s just his answer to everything.

South Korea has officially blamed North Korea for the sinking of the warship Cheonan, and now North Korea is mobilizing for war. So what would John Bolton do about it? WWJBD?

  1. Demand an aggressive restart to the six-party regional talks
  2. Bomb North Korea
  3. Bomb Iran
  4. Option 3 again.

This is of course a trick question as both 3 and 4 are correct. John Bolton would deal with North Korea by bombing Iran… or did he just dredge up an old Word doc and lazily change all mentions of “Iran” to “North Korea” except for that last one? It’s one thing to bomb another country out of malice or incompetence, and another to do so because you’re too lazy to double-check your own documents. Sometimes it seems to me that the only thing standing between John Bolton and an ICC tribunal for crimes against humanity is access to power. Good thing no one’s dumb enough to give this batshit-insane psycho any.

Online banking FAIL

TFSAs are supposed to be easy to open, but as I found out today it seems terribly easy to screw the pooch. So to ING Direct — fix your registration software because it doesn’t work. There is nothing wrong with my social insurance number — I have used it to register as an employee, to files my taxes, and to open a few bank accounts already and it’s never been a problem before. Hell, I used it to open an RRSP using the ING web site before, yet now my application is rejected because of a problem validating my S.I.N., which hasn’t changed recently. Yeah, I could call and spend half an hour on the phone registering the account, but frankly do I really want to put some of my money into a bank that has no branches AND doesn’t do full QA on their own web software? I don’t think so. So, no linky for you.