marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Timeline to dismissal; updates with ongoing Russian contratemps*, Flynn revelations that tie in, and other still-unfolding events


Disclaimer: I began this timeline on May 11th and keep it updated so I can process what's going on, which is why it's not formally constructed and lacks obvious chronological dates (but as far as I'm aware, it is in chronological order of when each event actually occurred). For more of what you might be looking for in timelines (though I can't guarantee they are or will ever be kept up-to-date) you can try this one by NPR or this Google search.


Yes, French, as also seen in the title. But things are getting so dire even French can't do this ongoing mess any justice.

Au revoir!

May. 20th, 2017 05:22 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

I've never seen anything as fucked as Cheetolini's stupid overseas trip - comprised mainly of him wandering aimlessly through the Middle East while indiscriminately firing off his mouth and cocking his POTUS Twitter account at folks like the loaded weapon it actually is in any angry and temperamental six-year old's hands.

Question, apropos of nothing: would you let your angry and temperamental six year old run a POTUS Twitter account for say, any normal POTUS? Would any sane or thinking person? No, of course not. Yet this six year old is not only running that account, he's running our entire fucking country because some Trumpists both in and outside of Russia thought they should let him. Thanks, y'all.

This trip is gonna go very badly. Why? Two things. There are many, many more things, but let's just focus on two.

  1. He's turned tail on Israel, giving their code-worded, "highly classified" info to the Russians while boasting he gets such "great intel". And now he's going to Israel, because of course he is. I mean, that won't be awkward or anything.
  2. He's supposed to give a speech in Saudi Arabia; guess who's writing it? That's right, smart people: "American Carnage" speechwriter and destroy us some MOOSElims broNazi Stephen Miller because who could do a better job of wording the words? I'm sure it'll go over just swell!

If I were the betting type (and oh, I am) I'd place wagers on which country does the thing first in which something something something will there be a White House procession with Clydesdales is this WWIII are we all fucked now. Obviously I'm a bit biased on how this might turn out, but not in the way you might think.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Dreamwidth was unintentionally DDosed by someone's homework a few weeks ago. And no, you can't make this stuff up: Tonight's intermittent 404's.

While I was busy being mostly unable to use the site (along with [personal profile] conuly, whom I was having a comment exchange on this DW with at the same moment said homework went on a rampage) I hit upon a few DW pages that thanks to our CDN (CloudFlare) had been converted on-the-fly into read-only, which lets us view the site without actually being able to use it.

Fascinated, I studied the read-onlyness of them while exchanging replies with someone on an Anti-AOL post about AOL shutting off their News comment sections, which occurred approximately eleventy bajillion years ago but somehow is still news. The person replying was in a pique that comments to that post were less than, shall we say, civil.

For her, this included comments from my commenters (who think my blog is officially sponsored and run by AOL, and who therefore address the blog owner - that is, me - as though I'm not only an AOL employee, but also like I'm The Reason Why They Can't Have Nice Things) and comments from me, because I don't enjoy people still thinking I work for AOL after telling them a thousand times a second that no, I don't.

After exchanging a few comments with her (she was actually rather nice, which I appreciated) I looked back at DW's Support page, which I was also trying to reach while it was set to read-only, so thanks specifically to DW's homework DDoS Anti-AOL is now (permanently) read-only, because while I was waiting for DW to get un-DDoSed I shut comments off, just like they did over at AOL News.

If you're a Wordpress.com blog owner who wants to completely disable comments, it's not that hard, just time-consuming. Step 1: Log in, go to WP admin and disable comments. Step 2: Screen all publicly visible comments - that's it. It took a while because WP.com's admin is 1983 dial-up slow and you can only screen one pageful of comments at a time.

The way I did it (I'm not sure if there's a sorting option or if having one might help) newest comments screen first, which gave me a nice, chill walk down memory lane back to when Anti-AOL was on LJ and nearly no one thought I worked for AOL and sometimes I miss the hell out of just being thought of as myself but oh well, the blog will be 12 years old this November and I stopped having anything constructive to say about AOL years ago.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

After logging back into DW tonight and having a look at my email and recalling what my last post was about I instantly had my "duh" moment..."duh" being why would I think I have to use a moving service like MultCloud or Mover when duh...*tears hair* you can just download any drive service at all (Google Drive or whatever) and fucking transfer the files yourself?

*vicariously takes a moment to smash things*

I mean Jesus Christ it's just copy/paste it's not that fucking hard

OK, I'm done destroying myself over my Captain Obvious moment. I don't always have one but when I do they're often actual fucking tragedies.

Now I wonder why third party services choose to get involved in transferring files from one drive (or cloud) service to another (besides the obvious goal of "money") when really, it's not that fucking hard - what are they looking to get from it? Usernames and passwords to various file storage services? The files being transferred? Both?

And I guess I wouldn't be so pissed - both at my lack of foresight and the mover services for existing when I don't trust their motives, especially if they offer as generous of a "free" service as MultCloud does - but in 24 hours MultCloud *still* hasn't finished moving files, so I just got done moving them myself, which was when I realized I could have done the entire move without them - just download the Google Drive software and let the copy/pasting begin....

Christ, my own burns burn me sometimes. Ouch? But yikes, this was just too obvious self-flagellation ftw

Also, Google has no Drive for my Win10 phone, so at best using it on my laptop will be a temporary solution. The one upside to OneDrive's rate limits is they apply only to new uploads; after re-reading the details on Microsoft's 2015 blog post and checking out the fine print on the current offer, it seems they won't delete previously uploaded files, nor deny access via downloading or sharing.

Then again, you have to trust Microsoft to not cut off your access at some point, which I don't trust them not to do, not at all.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Updated 5-20-17

So, back in 2015 when OneDrive decided their free, unlimited storage for Office365 was no longer free or unlimited, and that free storage for all other users was no longer capped at 15GB but was now just 5GB, I too was stuck with the prospect of losing several gigs of data if I didn't Do Something.

Most of those gigs were comprised of music (about five out of eight) so I just transferred the entire contents of my OneDrive to an external notebook, copied the music into an offline folder on my laptop and let Microsoft cut my storage down to the new, much lower 5GB limit. Yeah, we all went from having "free, unlimited storage" or "15GB free" to 5GB, how does that even happen?

Well, ostensibly because Microsoft was mad at people "abusing" it by keeping 75TB in the cloud, which makes no sense - which part of their own "unlimited" offer did they not understand? I'd have walked away from OneDrive at that point, but it's tied directly into Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows 10, and I've pretty much stepped up to each new OS as soon as the betas have come out, and having cloud storage integrated into my OS has been totally privacy-wrecking convenient, so I didn't want to give it up.

Luckily (if you could call it that) I broke another person's tablet around this time last year when it bounced off a table I was vacuuming under, which smashed up the screen (I really, really hate Asus tablets; the stupid, smashable screen is just one reason for that), which made me the unproud owner of said tablet (I never use it; I'll probably flip it, broken screen and all, on eBay someday) and forced me to buy another tablet to replace the one I broke.

When the other person got their replacement they offered me their license for Office365, which also gives you one free terabyte of OneDrive storage, so that undid my cloud storage limit until tonight, when I got the dreaded email saying the subscription expires soon.

Microsoft first offer was to keep my subscription going by "automatic renewal", which made me log into OneDrive and cancel right away (though Microsoft doesn't seem to have my bank info on file at the moment). With that fire out, I decided to see how much they want. Well, of course they want a lot, so their next offer was to renew at $69.99. Naaaaaah. The next was to renew at $99.99. Don'tcha love it when you reject their last offer so the price goes up? What for? Oh, for the "Premium" package, of course. Pfffffft.

So I checked what it would cost for just storage: $1.99 per month for 50GB; not bad, considering most cloud storage can cost a lot more. So I tried to sign up to see what the final cost looked like - if they'd be charging me for a year or more in advance, or if they'd actually be charging me by the month, only to be taken to this page telling me I currently have an Office365 subscription with 1TB of storage. I tried again and again, thinking maybe their system is just hiccuping, but no, Microsoft will not let me buy more storage. So there's no buying it in advance, I guess?

Being unable to see what the final price would be for more storage has ticked me off so much I'm moving everything to Google Drive as I type this. I'm using MultCloud to do the entire file transfer, which has made 41.27% progress copying files (out of 10.5GB of data) since I opened DW's editor to write this. I imagine it'll take a while, but I can wait.

The one thing that bugged me about moving to Google Drive is I don't want my OneDrive files tied to my main Google account (I do have one, but use it mostly to recover my main Outlook accounts when I change passwords; I use another to forward Dreamwidth email to Outlook, because Microsoft mostly just bounces it) but I got around that by just picking another Google account I never use, that might've once been tied to an Android phone of mine (or two) but no longer is.

The next thing is figure out how to get Google Drive to show up on my computer (I last used it years ago, long before it was an official app, and that version did have software for the computer side of things) so I won't have to go online to find and work with my files, but the phone side is where I might get screwed; I use an older Windows phone, and while it's running Win10 Preview (it's not supposed to, but it does) the Win10 app store is awful, so I'm unsure if there's a Google Drive app for it, or if there is, if it'll work (the camera in BoA's app, for example, doesn't, so I can't use it to snap pictures of checks, which was the whole point of having it, since I already get alerts and notifications by email).

But when I think of Microsoft charging $2 per month for something they used to offer 10GB more of for free, and realize they're holding all my intangible things hostage, that's all it takes to realize I don't care what a PITA Google Drive might turn out to be because it's the principle of the thing.

ETA, 5-20-2017: The Windows store doesn't have a Google drive app for Windows phones - there's a small chance I might be able to "sideload" the correct app, but if not, I'll either have to go without or find something else that syncs my phone with my laptop.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

The Republicans have washed their hands of this country.

I'm starting to think Trump could break out an Uzi on live TV at his next address to the joint chambers of Congress but as long as he only hits Democrats (the more the merrier, of course) there will be no recourse and no stopping him; no public outcry will change a damn thing, nor will it result in any charges or end up in any impeachment because the Republican's plans are set (and don't think Russia doesn't know and isn't taking advantage of this; they do and they are).

Republicans are handing the keys of US power over to the rich while giving the rich two huge tax cuts to help them take the reigns: one in the form of stripping viable and affordable health care away from the vast majority of Americans; the other in the form of simply giving them another huge tax cut, because why stop at just one tax cut when you can eventually convert the rich into tax-exempt status, two gigantic tax cuts at a time.

Meanwhile, Trump allowed Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov - and by extension, Putin and all of Russia - to flat-out troll us over Comey's firing even as Russia state news agencies published what were supposed to be unpublished pictures of this same meeting, which the US press was not even allowed to sit in on or photograph, all while opening us up to possible espionage in the form of the photographer's so-called "camera". Then Trump immediately handed Russian ambassador Kislyak state intel about ISIS for Russia to do whatever they want with, and all this just one day after he fired FBI Director Comey to obstruct the FBI investigation into his Russian dealings, clearly breaking US law and even more clearly trying to hide not just something, but likely a whole lot of things.

Against all this, including Russia's latest order (likely directed solely at the US) to not respond to North Korea's threats with anything but meek offers of negotiation, if the silence from the Republican faction of Congress was any more deafening my eardrums would split open and pop out of my head onto the floor, which is not nearly as disgusting of an image as what might happen next in this country.

If this is all the reaction Republicans will ever have then we're done, all so we can watch them hand this country over to the elite (which will suit Russia just fine, as oligarchies have always kinda been their thing).

Enjoy the show, folks.

marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

Is that most of the time, what you're seeing probably isn't one. While Matthew Inman's descriptions (including visual) of why one might feel uncomfortable around new-to-them facts rings true and sounds rather like a fact, a new study suggests the backfire effect may be "a very rare phenomenon" that's not impossible to overcome.

People entrench around factually wrong information for many reasons: personal or in-group bias, feeling an emotional or intellectual discordance, thinking their view of life or actual way of life is under threat, rhetorical or semantical differences, philosophical disagreements...whatever. Calling it a backfire effect - and explaining it by what goes on in your amygdala - does little justice to what disbelieving a fact actually involves. It has little to do with brain chemistry, which I'd say is more a part of the process of fact-disbelieving than its direct cause.

Let me change your mind: people can be convinced to change their minds through a process called "factual intervention".

Which reminds me: people can convince themselves they hate something. Anything. Matthew's image of a house with walls scrawled over with formative reasons for disbelieving facts, which bizarrely enough includes the phrase "hatred of cilantro"? Cilantro is probably on there because it's not something you hate - there are several genes that actually change the flavor of it for some of us. Judging by how I think soap cilantro tastes, I also have the little buggers.

While I'm on the topic of not accepting facts, and while I'm still on the topic of science in general (yes, starting this paragraph counts), science is never a settled question. Some of the latest food studies seem out to prove it by pronouncing butter bad for us again and salt better for us than we thought. It can even help people lose weight, but in doing so increases loss of both fat and muscle, so I'd take this news with a pretty large grain of, uh...