The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for the ‘Laugh It Off’ Category

Poll: 48% of Alabama residents don’t know what “conservative” means.

Posted by ALmod on August 19, 2009

Okay, well not quite, but I had to take a little dig.  Ron Paul is a conservative, and 48% of the state didn’t support Ron Paul.  In fact, they canned him for being against the Iraq War.  I did get a small kick from this quote:

“There’s no doubt the Republican Party is the conservative party, so I think it’s got to be good news for Republicans in Alabama,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman Mike Hubbard.

Yeah…  Sure you are…  Because  spending that STILL makes Obama’s look like a drop in the bucket by comparison (as long as it’s not a Democrat doing it) is a conservative principle?  Starting wars for no good reason is a conservative principle?  Government agencies spying on the citizenry is a conservative principle?  Throwing out the first ammendment for “free speech zones” is a conservative principle?  Throwing out habeas corpus is a conservative principle?  Big government is a conservative principle?

Good grief, Hubbard!  At least the Democrats are honest about being liberals!

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Posted in Alabama Government, Elections, Federal Government, Laugh It Off | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Poll: 48% of Alabama residents don’t know what “conservative” means.

On Privacy

Posted by ALmod on August 12, 2009

I have to give a tip of the hat to Joe Windish over at The Moderate Voice for finding this.  I needed a good laugh.

As he points out, you should go back and watch the news ticker at the bottom.  There is an absolutely side-splitting headline.

Those darn EULAs.

Posted in Laugh It Off | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on On Privacy

Utter FAIL in the Attempt to Argue Against Government Health Care

Posted by ALmod on August 11, 2009

This made me giggle more than just a little bit.

In a nutshell…  A conservative editorial decided to criticize the British health care system in an attempt to argue how us having such a system would be oh-so-horrible and of course went straight to the rationed health care and euthanasia scare tactics.  Of course, their point would be moot anyway, since the proposed reform would be nothing like that in the U.K. or Canada.  They have since corrected themselves, but before the edit, they wrote the following:

“People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”

Anyone notice a small problem with that argument?

Stephen Hawking has indeed defied the odds when it comes to surviving ALS.  Most die a little over a year after they’ve been diagnosed.  Some might argue that it’s partially due to exceptional health care.  There’s only one small problem with the above argument.  Stephen Hawking is British.

That would be the sound of the British laughing at our right-wing friends right about now.

Now the fun part will be seeing who ends up repeating the editorial in question.

Posted in Federal Government, Health and Wellness, Laugh It Off | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Utter FAIL in the Attempt to Argue Against Government Health Care

Glenn Beck has never heard of cookies or EULA statements?

Posted by ALmod on August 8, 2009

Here’s a clip I found amusing:

The line Beck is so worked up about is basically an agreement for the owner of the program/site (in this case, that would be the U.S. government) to monitor you while you use it.  There are a number of reasons for this and a number of ways to do it, but it’s done by virtually every site out there– including this one and Fox New’s own website.

Now before you accuse me of doing something dreadfully horrible, hear me out.  Most sites install what is called a “cookie” on your system for various reasons.  Perhaps you want to stay logged into that site when you return to it the next day.  The cookie keeps that information so that it’s possible to do that.  It also helps keep track of other personalized site features.  For me and other bloggers, it gives us nonpersonal information like the amount of site traffic we’ve had and where that traffic was referred from.  I’m not exactly getting your bank account information or name or home address.  But I can tell you what Google search words sent you here.  I can also tell things like what type of browser you were using.  That helps me to improve my site and get more traffic.

It also helps sites that are supported through advertisements to better assess which ads to place and so forth.  Government sites want to make sure that you’re not doing anything illegal with their site– like creatively modifying it to send out a virus or datamining it for the personal information of other people who have used it.

This is nothing new.  In fact, it’s been going on for years.  If you own a computer, chances are that you’ve already agreed to these terms with Microsoft (or whoever else owns the operating system you’re using) and the owners of any other software you have.  Back when the RIAA was first freaking out about pirating, it became increasingly popular to monitor and make sure you weren’t using any stolen software.  And yes, the process would have allowed them to see other things as well.  In fact, the first thing I thought of when I saw the agreement that Beck is ranting on was the End User Liscence Agreement (EULA) that I have to agree to everytime Blizzard releases a new patch for World of Warcraft.

Check out #17, in particular:

“A. WHEN RUNNING, THE GAME MAY MONITOR YOUR COMPUTER’S RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY (RAM) AND/OR CPU PROCESSES FOR UNAUTHORIZED THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS RUNNING CONCURRENTLY WITH WORLD OF WARCRAFT…

B. WHEN THE GAME IS RUNNING, BLIZZARD MAY OBTAIN CERTAIN IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR COMPUTER AND ITS OPERATING SYSTEM, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION YOUR HARD DRIVES, CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT, IP ADDRESS(ES) AND OPERATING SYSTEM(S), FOR PURPOSES OF IMPROVING THE GAME AND/OR THE SERVICE, AND TO POLICE AND ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND THE EULA.

C. Blizzard may, with or without notice to you, disclose your Internet Protocol (IP) address(es), personal information, Chat logs, and other information about you and your activities: (a) in response to a request by law enforcement, a court order or other legal process; or (b) if Blizzard believes that doing so may protect your safety or the safety of others.

D. BLIZZARD MAY MONITOR, RECORD, REVIEW, MODIFY AND/OR DISCLOSE YOUR CHAT SESSIONS, WHETHER VOICE OR TEXT, WITHOUT NOTICE TO YOU, AND YOU HEREBY CONSENT TO SUCH MONITORING, RECORDING, REVIEW, MODIFICATION AND/OR DISCLOSURE. Additionally, you acknowledge that Blizzard is under no obligation to monitor Chat, and you engage in Chat at your own risk.”

And be sure to check out the Fox News website’s Privacy Policy to read all about how they collect and use your Personally Identifiable Information (“PII”).  In my humble opinion, they actually do a fairly good job of clarifying and simplifying everything– much better than the website that Beck is harping on.  But it’s still pretty much the same thing.  In fact, just for fun, pull out some software manuals (if you kept any of them) and start reading the privacy policy.  Even my web browser collects a certain amount of information.

And if you use satelite or cable television?  Well, that’s being monitored, too.  For similar purposes.  Ain’t “privacy” grand?

EDIT: After taking another look at the video, I realized that the highlighted exceprt Beck is going on about is specifically targeted at hackers who might be using the site to “mine” personal data.  Considering that this is a government site that asks people to log in with personal information, it could potentially be a dream come true for those with nefarious purposes.  And so, it would make sense for them to monitor the use of the site.  If they noticed anything suspicious, they could notify a third party government authority (foreign or domestic) should they suspect an attack of that nature.  Now, being a video gamer, I probably see it a lot more than some people because it’s very prominent in the video game industry.  But the Chinese industry for this sort of thing is HUGE.

EDIT: FactCheck.org has weighed in, and they actually caught something I didn’t.  The site in question is for dealers and not every day citizens/car buyers, as Beck seems to be implying.  (And he did imply well, as I thought he was referring to a site for participating consumers and not dealers.)  Regardless, the assessment is the same — nothing nefarious or unusual is going on here, and these two are overreacting.  In fact, the EFF says pretty much the same thing I said, which is that the language is meant to alert the user that the site is working to keep personal information secure.

Posted in Corporate Craziness, Entertainment, Federal Government, Laugh It Off, Mainstream Media, Republicans, Video Games | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Origins of the Kenyan Birth Certificate Revealed

Posted by ALmod on August 7, 2009

They got Punk’d.

More info here.

And here.

Of course, most people could tell the obvious forgery within a few minutes from various things (like the fact that E. F. Lavendar is a soap).  Still, it was only a matter of time before someone punk’d the birthers if only to show that they’d cling to ANYTHING to support their beliefs– even if it didn’t meet the same standards they held for the real thing.

And now, let the crazy and predictable comments from birthes commense!

Posted in Laugh It Off | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Origins of the Kenyan Birth Certificate Revealed

Alabama AG Troy King, Defender of Justice

Posted by ALmod on August 4, 2009

He needs a cape and some tights.  Lorretta Nall has noted that the AG is “tweeting”.  I’ll be adding the feed to my blog.  The comment she featured had me in stitches, as it made me think of a politician/comic book superhero combo.

Where on earth is J. D. Crowe and his cartoons when I need him?

Posted in Alabama Government, Laugh It Off | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Alabama AG Troy King, Defender of Justice

I’ll let you insert the watch pun here.

Posted by ALmod on August 4, 2009

I came up with roughly 30 in the last five minutes (including the one I used last time) or so and I couldn’t decide on one, so you’re welcome to take your pick for the title of this entry.

I didn’t exactly have enough time to dedicate to a full entry last night, so I’ll elaborate a bit this morning on particularly why I found the watch propaganda interesting.

  1. Time is running out for Langford.  (I couldn’t help myself.)
  2. Langford is supposedly so poor that he’s unable to cover his legal fees, or so he tried to argue to get his trial pushed back.  So I’m going to go out on a limb and say he didn’t pay for it.  So that leads me to #3…
  3. Birmingham taxpayers just paid in some form (either from the council or the mayor’s discretionary fund, both taxpayer dollars) for their mayor to tell them just how “wonderful” he is.
  4. I’ll let the reader be the judge as to whether or not the mayor deserves credit for most of what the flyer touts as being his work– including projects that haven’t happened yet and at least a couple that, if I remember correctly, are not fully funded for the future.  (It’s hard to keep up with Langford budgets and spending plans.)

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Laugh It Off, Local Government, Scandal | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on I’ll let you insert the watch pun here.

You can almost feel the trial drawing near…

Posted by ALmod on August 3, 2009

If the propaganda littering Birmingham City Hall is any indication, Larry Langford REALLY needs you to like him right now.  Yes, YOU could be a juror.

EDIT: Now with pictures!

Posted in Alabama Government, Jefferson County, Laugh It Off, Local Government, Scandal | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Question for LaLa

Posted by ALmod on July 16, 2009

How do you have a groundbreaking for construction of a domed stadium when no plan or design has been approved?

Posted in Jefferson County, Laugh It Off, Local Government | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on A Question for LaLa

Universal gets movie rights to a video game…

Posted by ALmod on July 3, 2009

…and it’s Asteroids.  Really?!  As in…  Asteroids?!

The best comment on this came from Woody over at GU Comics:

“Set in the deepest reaches of space, you are the pilot of a sophisticated starship beset by alien vessels and massive rock structures. Your only saving grave is a high tech phaser array. Okay, enough of that snarky bullshit. There was no backstory. There was not plot at all. You were a triangle, shooting dots at jagged, roughly circular polygons that would break up into smaller, jagged, roughly circular polygons.

“I don’t know what shocks me more. The fact that Universal would buy the movie rights to Asteroids or the fact that they had to beat out 3 other studios to get them.”

I think this is how you know that the Hollywood trend of making movies from video games has probably gotten a little out of hand.

Posted in Corporate Craziness, Entertainment, Laugh It Off, Video Games | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Universal gets movie rights to a video game…