Mr. Robot Will Scratch The Corporate Justice Problem in Your Brain

The pilot of Mr. Robot is the most interesting TV show I’ve seen all year. (Watch it free at USA’s site here)

It has the potential to become as enlightening (and predictive) about how our current computer-connected corporate power elite function as Person of Interest did when dealing with the ramification of widespread surveillance and the morality (or lack of) in our detection and execution of possible terrorists.

My recap has spoilers, some you could tell from watching the extended trailer. Here’s the marketing blurb.

In MR. ROBOT, Elliot, a cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, is recruited by a mysterious underground group to destroy the firm he’s paid to protect. Elliot must decide how far he’ll go to expose the forces he believes are running (and ruining) the world.

The opening scene takes place in a urban coffee shop. Elliot, the lead character, is describing to the shop’s owner why he ending up finding the 100 terabytes of child pornography the owner had that was serving 400,000 users. We don’t see a single computer screen or keyboard during this, just Elliot and the owner.

It all started because he liked the fast wi-fi in . . . → Read More: Mr. Robot Will Scratch The Corporate Justice Problem in Your Brain

Obama on Maron podcast. The Presidency is sort of middle management.

 

One of the things I love about radio and audio podcasts is that a good conversation or interview can be very enlightening.

President Obama on Marc Maron’s podcast. Photos by Pete Sousa

I recommend people listen to this Barack Obama interview by Marc Maron. Here is the link to listen or download.

I got a couple of things from the interview. First, was how Obama sees himself and his Presidency.  The second was his thinking and decision making process. Third was how he goes about trying to implement change.

The hot topic on Twitter about the interview is the use of the n-word by the President.  It was in context and about racism. I’m sure someone has already lost their mind over it, “Why is it okay for him to say it and not me!?” Yadda Yadda, bark bark, woof woof.   Please. Spare me your disingenuous hysterics.

The end of the interview gave me some hope for the last part of his Presidency, but based on the first part, I’m not expecting something wild, just “a bit better.”

The most interesting insight for me was Maron’s observation at 27:34 that Obama agreed with.  “There is an element of . . . → Read More: Obama on Maron podcast. The Presidency is sort of middle management.

Post-TPP action: Transparency Now!

All I know about lobbying I learned from the movie “The American President.” (During which I determined that Mrs. Spocko was more attractive than Annette Bening.)

The movie shows everything people think they know about lobbying: getting the vote count right, educating congress people, making deals, trade offs and pay offs with different groups in exchange for current or future votes, the unusual bed fellows (literally) and finally dealing with the expectations of, and exposure in, the media.

I saw that movie three times, so clearly I’m an expert on what the lobbyists will do next following this current vote on TPP.

Luckily I have some friends who actually were lobbyists and I talk and listen to them to see what really goes on. I wanted to know what they did after a failure and what they think the pro-TPP people will do next.

But first, what do WE do after success? One of my least favorite phrases after a victory or semi-victory is, “Now the hard work begins.” Screw you Negative Nelly! Bite me Pragmatic Patrick! Piss off Realist Rick!

I say, “Give the fighters a pat on the back!  Give ’em a raise.  Take a bow people . . . → Read More: Post-TPP action: Transparency Now!

TPP: The giant puking sound in your house

I’m sure you have all called or contacted your congress person about TPP. But if this passes and the hidden top secret crap that is included happens, it’s going to mean tens of thousands of Americans getting sick from imported seafood and beef. 100’s will die because of agreements to “harmonize” food safety rules.

But by then it will be too late.

We owe a great deal to the people who leaked some TPP text, but they never released the text about food safety changes. How insane is it that even our elected officials have to rely on Wikileaks to know what was in this twisted scheme? That’s messed up.

After I created the video above I made another one focusing on food safety, but didn’t use it because I couldn’t confirm what was in the text regarding food safety. And that is exactly what the the trade negotiators wanted.

Secrecy keeps the Mainstream Media from hammering on deal specifics. They say,”We can only quote from official sources.” meanwhile everything moves forward under cover of corporate darkness.

Early on I contacted someone at Politico covering the TPP to discuss the food safety part of this “trade” scheme. The ag . . . → Read More: TPP: The giant puking sound in your house

Only One Voter at Santorum Event. Not a Failure for the Billionaire Message

 

Today Politico ran a story “One voter shows up at Santorum event in Iowa”

It’s a sad story, if you look at it with the premise that a candidate is trying to get enough votes to be president.  But that’s so 2000 and late thinking.

If your goal is to talk about the GOP horse race, and who will eventually win, it can show how badly the campaign is run or how unpopular the candidate is.

But this GOP Presidential race is different. Last Friday Sam Seder and Charlie Pierce explained why. They talked about how every GOP candidate now has a “Pet Politician,” and because of that they will stay in the race for a lot longer than before.  (Link to Majority Report Audio)

Being the first in your yacht club to have a presidential candidate shows human votes are not as important as in the past. It’s about pushing the Billionaire Message. Some billionaires even have more than one PP! (“Collect all 12! Show ’em to your friends!)

Today it’s really about the candidate satisfying their lead billionaire.

So the question is, does this current story satisfy Foster Friess? He’s the billionaire paying for Sanatorum

(Aside, Friess . . . → Read More: Only One Voter at Santorum Event. Not a Failure for the Billionaire Message

Amazing data-visualization of WWII dead

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

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Marketplace Notices The Big Mo in Fight for $15 Movement

Good news everybody! The MSM have noticed the fight to raise the minimum wage and they think it’s working!

“I almost feel that the minimum wage movement is sort of where gay marriage was 8 months ago. There is just… there just feels to be this momentum.”  — –Leigh Gallagher, on . May 22, 2015  .  Link to full episode ) Link to minimum wage segment.

I have friends in the Fight for $15 movement. I know how hard they have worked on multiple fronts. So when the popular business media acknowledges its momentum–that deserves some serious kudos.

The acknowledgement of the Big Mo came not only on the super popular radio show Marketplace, which is:

“…the most widely heard program on business and the economy – radio or television, commercial or public broadcasting – in the country.”

The comment is also interesting because it came from a mainstream business magazine editor, Leigh Gallagher, who is assistant managing editor at Fortune.

 Lots of people made that momentum that she is seeing and feeling. Take a bow folks.

On the show the two guests were talking about the minimum wage. One guest, Sudeep Reddy, from the Wall Street Journal needed to bring up possible gloom and . . . → Read More: Marketplace Notices The Big Mo in Fight for $15 Movement

How to Snowboard with Kids

Looks like fun.

And, before you call child protection services, please note that during certain tricks they are using a doll.

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Espresso in Space Becomes Reality, Captain Janeway Will Be Pleased

“There’s coffee in that nebula”… ehm, I mean… in that #Dragon. pic.twitter.com/9MYrqIOXnI

— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) April 17, 2015

 

In season one of Star Trek Voyager Captain Janeway needed to conserve replicator power so couldn’t use it for real coffee.   They approach a nebula hoping to collect enough energy to use for luxuries necessities like coffee.

Captain Janeway: There’s coffee in that nebula.

In the photo Cristoforetti, the first Italian woman in space, is wearing Janeway’s uniform while waiting for the Dragon module to bring them a custom made espresso machine, dubbed the ISSpresso.

The company that made the machine, Argotec, explains the development process here. What I’m curious about is who came up with the idea for the photo. Lavazza, the coffee supplier? Argotec? The Italian Space Agency? Cristoforetti? Someone on the ISS social media team?

Cristoforetti already has an amazing resume, and starting this week she will officially be the first to have the job I’ve read about in science fiction for decades, space barista.   

 

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Indiegogo Removes All Fundraisers Supporting Officer Slager

Last week I wrote about the fund raisers that popped up for Officer Slager after shooting Scott Walker. 

Today I heard good news from my friends at Color Change. The fundraising platforms, Indiegogo, has taken down all the fundraisers in support of Michael Slager. (Disclosure, I’ve been an adviser of Color of Change.)

They, along with others, had already convinced Gofundme to remove this kind of fundraiser. Now Color of Change has asked the CEO of Indiegogo to change their policy, and to remove these kinds of fundraisers immediately.

Social media is great for informing business of how their products or services are being used or misused. (Here was a San Francisco Chronicle story Joe Garofoli wrote about how we used social media to inform advertisers of brand-damaging right wing talk, Rush Limbaugh ad fight shows power of social media.)

This CoC campaign is a smart use of social media power. It not only addressed the instant news issue, but extended thanks to the business after they acted and suggested they make policy changes so their tools can’t be used in this brand-damaging fashion in the future.

Most companies won’t come out and say they believe in racism. They will dance around . . . → Read More: Indiegogo Removes All Fundraisers Supporting Officer Slager