Category Archives: Cloud

Hmmmm: “Apple removes Fakespot from App Store after Amazon complains”

Like all social media with user generated content, Amazon’s reviews have tons of fake reviews:

Apple has removed Fakespot, a well-known app for detecting fake product reviews, from its App Store after Amazon complained the app provided misleading information and potential security risks.

Source: Apple removes Fakespot from App Store after Amazon complains

Fakespot and ReviewMeta help identify the degree of fakeness and misinformation in their reviews.

Apparently the FakeSpot app, however, basically superimposes itself over the Amazon web pages to insert app review information. Users make purchases via the FakeSpot app interface which passes the information through to the Amazon API. While Amazon says they dispute the “fake reviews” analysis, the grounds for their requesting the app be removed appears to be the potential for information security problems with an app acting as an interface to the Amazon services.

Windows 365 – cloud-based

Perhaps for those with genuine high speed, affordable network connections Windows 365-cloud-based computing has value.

For those lacking such connections, this may not add value.

I am not yet seeing significant value for myself.

The advantages to this approach include lower maintenance costs, higher resistance to cyberattacks and malware, faster provisioning, less downtime for PC failures, easier patching, less disruptive, updates and far easier shifts to and from work-from-home. Also, you should be better able to share content collaboratively because you can build that sharing more aggressively into apps.

Among the disadvantages: additional costs (yet to be determined), more dependency on the network, higher latency (whichc ould adversely impact some types of work), and more aggravation due to the use of dual-factor authentication. (The latter will be critical to securing Windows 365.)

Source: Windows 365: The version of Windows that will change the PC world | Computerworld

Rather than buying a PC and some software, you’ll be expected to buy some hardware and then pay a monthly subscription fee forever.

If you stop paying the monthly fee, do you lose access to your data?

Mandatory indoor masks for all likely to be re-instated


Agency recommendations should support local and state health officials who may need to impose mandates to fight the delta variant.

Source: Opinion | CDC guidance on masking needs to change — now – The Washington Post

And remember, Los Angeles mandates that even fully vaccinated persons wear “masks”.


As of this week, my state’s public health agency still says N95 masks should not be used by the public, but that N95 masks and “medical grade masks” should be reserved for use by health care workers.

They then say that the public should use “cloth face coverings”. They provide no standards. They provide no evaluation metrics. Any “cloth face covering” made of a random bit of random cloth suffices.


My state achieved an astounding 94% “compliance” on wearing cloth face coverings – and yet cases than grew by more than 10x per day afterward.

Rather than do what actually works – N95 masks – they will mandate the use of useless cloth face masks by the general public, again – and like before, daily case counts will rocket skywards. And like my state, they will Order the public NOT TO BE PROTECTED BY WEARING A PROVEN MASK SUCH AS AN N95 MASK.

Public health is so full of shit at this point that they are unable to see the contradictions in their own statements.

Update: Last July, and again in September, then CDC Director Robert Redfield said if everyone wore masks, this would all over with within weeks. He even said that masks were more effective than vaccines. Yes, he really said that.

Within 2-3 months, daily new cases had risen by ten times.

Now, they tell us that vaccines don’t work, and we should all go back to wearing random bits of cloth over our faces – because the rise in cases when we wore masks (10x!) proves that masks work. Or something.

Masks work better than vaccines even though cases increased by an order of magnitude – and now they imply vaccines don’t work and we should go back to wearing random bits of cloth.

As a brain injured idiot, I am unable to make any logical sense out of what public health says any more. Public health experts are truly full of shit.

More details on Google’s forced install of Covid-tracking app on phones in Massachusetts

Massachusetts launched a COVID tracking app, and uh, it was automatically installed?!

Source: Even creepier COVID tracking: Google silently pushed app to users’ phones | Ars Technica

Not only was it automatically installed, it does not appear with in the apps listed on your device. You can only see it if you go to the Google Play store, look up the app, and it shows as already installed on your device. You cannot uninstall the tracking app.

Update – yeah, it was stupid, creepy and tone deaf:

Elsewhere in the United States, uptake levels of contact-tracing apps have been “incredibly low,” said Sarah Kreps, director of the Cornell Tech Policy Lab, which studies the politics of emerging technologies. She called the launch of MassNotify at this stage in the pandemic “somewhat baffling.”

“It seems to show a lack of understanding about public behavior with respect to these apps, which is that people are more likely to use them if they think that this pandemic is still going on,” Kreps said.
Continue reading More details on Google’s forced install of Covid-tracking app on phones in Massachusetts

Google accused of forcing installation of Covid-19 tracking apps

Google is force-installing a Massachusetts COVID-19 tracking app on residents’ Android devices without an easy way to uninstall it.

For the past few days, users have reported that Google silently installed the Massachusetts ‘MassNotify’ app on their devices without the ability to open it or find it in the Google Play Store.

Source: Google force installs Massachusetts MassNotify Android COVID app

Federal government might de facto ban sale of most new gas powered cars as soon as 2026

The government is considering setting miles per gallon requirements so high that few gas vehicles could achieve those goals – and this could come as soon as 2026, just 5 years out.

While Regan did not mention any specific numbers, he did not rule out emissions limits that would force the phasing out of fossil-fuel vehicles. To achieve that, the number would probably be in the range of 60-70 miles per gallon combined, according to EPA methodology, which is what appears on new cars’ Monroney stickers. Today’s gas-powered cars struggle to crack 40 mpg combined, and hybrids have trouble getting more than 60 mpg combined. The least-efficient electric vehicle, on the other hand, the Porsche Taycan, gets the equivalent of 69 mpg.

Source: Biden admin could set emissions limits so high gas cars can’t meet them | Ars Technica

That would require a massive re-alignment of manufacturing and service sectors in a short period of time, and a phase out perhaps of many gas service stations.

Related: Yesterday I calculated the total electrical production of my solar PV system versus the power we use. As of the end of March, during the preceding 12 months, we produced almost 1.4 MWH of power we did not use. Since we are now in a sunnier part of the year, by the end of April, I suspect our excess power may be as much as 1.8 MWH.

Because we are intertied to the utility grid, that excess power production gets used elsewhere. Our power utility gifts the “Free power” (free to them) to charity. Our 12-month “production” counter is reset by the utility on May 1 and we then started banking power for the coming 12 months.

Our PV system is considered small – most homes, including the neighbor across the street, have PV systems 1.5 to 2x larger than ours. We are just very efficient with electricity consumption. The 1.8 MWH of excess power means we could charge an EV from the sun for our routine local driving (we do not own an EV at this time).

When was the last time the media hyped a “drone sighting”? I can’t even remember.

Reports to the FAA of “drone sightings”, used by Congress and the FAA to drive forth draconian remote identification and mandated national surveillance networks using drones, with the goal of pricing drone flying out of the public’s reach – were based on bad data and media hysterics, much of which was false reporting.

  • Remember the Aeromexico flight in late 2018 that had a collapsed nose cone? The media blamed that on a drone. Six months later the official investigation found it was due to a maintenance defect on the nose cone.
  • Remember the Gatwick Airport fiasco? The only confirmed drone sightings were of the fleet of surveillance drones operated by the Sussex Police over the airport.
  • Remember the temporary Newark Airport closure due to a “drone sighting”? That drone report was from 20 miles away from the airport and may not have even been a drone at all.

Take a look at this – drone sightings have magically disappeared: Drone Sightings: The Actual Non-Hyped Numbers Analyzed (Graphs, Trends, etc.)

After awhile, when the FAA isn’t stealing Youtube content, they seem to have been busy making up fake drone reports to justify a remote ID proposal that mandates all drones be connected to the Internet cloud, in real time, and used as part of a massive national surveillance program, collecting imagery and telemetry and potentially sending it to China. Brilliant. Not like any drones would so something like that.

The FAA’s primary goal is to make hobby flying of radio control model aircraft so expensive and cumbersome as to eliminate it entirely. The reason is to clear the low altitude airspace for AmazonGoogleUPS delivery drones. The FAA asserts that it and it alone owns the airspace in your front and backyards from the ground up. Literally, the airspace below your head when you stand outside is controlled by the FAA and they intend to use it for corporate delivery and surveillance networks. (See my comments to see how that works.)