Kill Technology?

Hieronymus BoschFirst, the question:

Have you ever wanted to Kill Technology?

I mean, not just killing it, but throttling it unconscious, then pulling out your sturdiest baseball bat and beating it until every last electron has been pummeled mightily, thoroughly, and in a way that all of the involved electrons, its forebears and any future like electrons will never forget, then taking the vestigial cracked skeletons of said Technology and bagging it, throwing it under the tracks of a nearby idling D-9 Caterpillar and compressing until beyond recognizability then — further — dousing liberally with Torco 112 racing fuel and setting aflame with a flare?

Like that?

I have.  Today.  Just now.

Okay, here’s the picture:

I’m a fan of Michael Connelly books, whose main character is Hieronymus Bosch, Michael Connellyknown as Harry Bosch.  He’s a detective who works homicides for LAPD.  In the books, he’s a Vietnam veteran who worked a number of years for the department, once retired, but has come back as something of a retired annuitant, working more homicide cases.  Connelly has 21 books currently published featuring Detective Harry Bosch, with a 22nd due in November of this year.

Titus WelliverThen I heard that Connelly’s Bosch novels were being turned into a series featuring Titus Welliver, an underappreciated actor whom I happen to particularly enjoy.  When you see Mr Welliver, you’ll exclaim to yourself: “yes, I know that guyI’ve seen him before.”  You’ve also heard him in any number of voiceovers for various commercials.

A friend of mine at work had acquired the pilot episode for the series Bosch, which we watched on his tablet.  It should have been a clue but it wasn’t.  That said, however, I knew the series was going to be excellent and remarkably faithful to the work of Michael Connelly, since he was also helping to produce the series and co-wrote the pilot.

I thought: when the first season comes out, I’ve got to see it.  The pilot was vastly entertaining.

I failed to Grok, however, that the series was going to be released on Amazon Prime.

This past weekend I stated to my Wifely Wife: “we need to see the series Bosch,” as she is likewise a great fan of Connelly books.

In order to see the series, which we both committed to do this weekend, we had to figure out if the venues to which we already subscribed, Netflix, Apple’s iTV, Roku, blah blah blah, would enable us to pick up Bosch.

Of course it wouldn’t.  No fucking way.  Everything is going proprietary these days.  That would be way way way too simple.

We went to a Box Store.  “Sure,” the employees said, “you can get it on Amazon Prime.  That’s where it’s released.”  I already was a member of Amazon Prime.  Bingo.  I was In Like Flint.  So we can get that on Netflix, right?  “Of course not,” the employees responded.  “It’s on Amazon.”  We were both proffered the You’re Fucking Blockheads look.  As in: we clearly don’t deserve to draw further breath.

We asked: okay, maybe you can get it on Apple iTV?  The employee clandestinely spoke softy through her in-store comm system.  I’m fairly certain I heard the word “fucktard” used in a sentence.  While waiting, she assured us we could pick it up as an app in the Apple Store, no problem.  One minute later, frowning, she said “nope.  Apple won’t do it.”

About this point the Techno-Savvy amongst you are thinking: “you dolts.  Just hook up through your flatscreen at home.”  And yes, you would be right, my wife has a large, beautiful LG flatscreen I purchased for her a few years ago.  Read: a few years ago.  Unlike today’s flatscreens which hook up to everything but NORAD, hers did not. *** Hence our requiring a Roku box and Apple iTV.

Sufficiently confused yet?

Oboy, I’m just getting started.

“Look,” I whined, “all we want to do is watch the series ‘Bosch‘ this weekend.  That’s my only goal.”

She rolled her eyes.  “Why don’t you just buy ChromeCast?  That will do it.”

I asked, in my all-knowing best sly manner (because I wanted to sound like I actually had a semblance of a brain): “Isn’t that one of those devices that plug into the TV, like a USB?”

Again, more eye-rolling, a blatant You Fucking Blockhead look: “uh, no.  That’s an HDMI.”

One ChromeCast box purchase later, my tail between my legs, we went home.  And, after checking all sorts of thingies on YouTube, the Wifely Wife concluded: “we have to subscribe to a whole bunch of stuff.  That’s why it’s called a ChromeCAST.  It gets sent from your phone to the stick to the TV.”


I let her figure it out.  I was beyond facile.  My brain was completely used up at this point.  I barely had locomotor functions.

Yes.  In order to watch one stupid TV series on Amazon Prime, I had to subscribe.  Then your subscription has to be recognized on your Smart Device, like a smart phone or a tablet.  And you have to have wi-fi wired up in your house.  You have to download the app.  You have to download the Amazon Prime app.  Then the ChromeCast app.  Then it gets “cast” from your device to the HDMI device on the back of your TV and then to the flatscreen.

You’re no better than your wi-fi system.  And trust me, it’ll look better on your smart device than it will on your big flatscreen.  On the flatscreen it staggered and pixelated and buffered.

All I wanted to do is watch the TV series Bosch on an actual TV, and have it look good.

Fuck me.

Rabbit ears.


*** NOTE:

Ol’ BZ does not have a flatscreen TV at home.  Instead, he has a 36″ Toshiba CRT HDTV-capable unit purchased in 2004, which is roughly 3′ deep, weighs about 45,000 pounds and required a Grove TMS9000E crane truck to install.  You can now see that this one fact alone dissuades BZ from upgrading.


Last day to weigh in on “Net Neutrality” — i.e., government-controlled communications

Laptop ExplodingToday is the last day the FCC will allow you to express your opinion on so-called “net neutrality.”  You can go to the FCC website here.

A nice phrase, except that “net neutrality” isn’t.  Neutral, that is.

It is a ways and a means for the government to control and regulate something that doesn’t require controlling and regulating — all it requires is what it currently has: a free market.

When “net neutrality” exists, two things primarily occur: 1) rates go up and 2) innovation plummets.

The bulk of Western Europe has a version of NN and those precise things have occurred: rate hikes and a lack of entrepreneurship and cutting-edge technology.  Not to mention general overall lower internet connectivity speeds.

For the obvious reason that, in order to get anything accomplished, a new idea or upgrade has to be proposed to an entirely new and large bureaucracy that will do its best to sit on and table said idea or upgrade, simply to exhibit its power and “prove” its worth.

Public utilities are regulated because everyone needs water and power.  Those things aren’t merely “suggestions.”  They are mandatory for survival.  The internet, however, is not “mandatory” for survival.  It’s a “nice” thing to have but you won’t die due to its removal from your life.

So-called “net neutrality” is a specious solution for a problem that doesn’t even exist.  It gets our government into an area where it doesn’t belong.  And I go back to some of my foundational Libertarian bents here, which occasionally get the best of me:

When the government, any government, intrudes into the primary source of communications today — the internet — it can shut you down when you proffer speech that IT doesn’t care for.  Which is what Socialist and Communist countries do, and nations run by dictators.

Signing off on “net neutrality” will not only allow the government to have its hands upon the spigot, but will allow it to silence you and potentially prosecute you as well.  For speech that it does not approve — on the Left or on the Right.

Leftists in the government are already working to revamp the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights but, specifically, the First and Second Amendments.  Facts in evidence.

Note to self: continue to look around.



What does Free Speech protect?  It assures the worst of speech; it assures the most challenging of speech.  It does not exist for milktoast speech.  It embraces truth and emotion and change and shocking speech.  Sometimes older speech can be the most shocking, the most challenging, and the most warranted.


Journalist Wearing Google Glass Claims He Was Attacked; Device Smashed In SF Mission District


by Carlos E. Castañeda

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A man said he had his Google Glass snatched of his face and smashed to the ground in San Francisco’s Mission District Friday evening.

20-year-old journalist Kyle Russell, a reporter for Business Insider, said the attack happened as he was walking on the sidewalk with a colleague. A woman came up to him and yelled, “Glass!” and grabbed the device off his face and sprinted away, he said.

Russell said he chased the woman through traffic for a block before she stopped and flung the $1,500 device onto the ground, breaking it – then running away again.

Google Glass Tweet 1Let me make a statement, and let there be no mistake: good for her.  Good for the unknown woman who smashed this “man”s” privacy-invading device into the ground.

Because there has to be, there must be, consequences for the invasion of privacy of individuals in our society.

If not lawfully, then societally.

As a cop, I fully realize that anyone and everyone has a complete and full right to record whatever my actions may be in public as a result of my response to various calls.  And that I have no lawful ability to stop said persons from recording my reactions and my events.  That much is certain.

On the other hand, cops are now wearing body and eye cams, as well as implementing LPR technologies.

Fine.  Monitor me as I take a dump at work.  You want to see that, you are welcome to it.

But my off duty time is my off duty time.  And the first person that I see in a bar or in a restaurant or in line awaiting service for something/anything or recording “casually” my life on Google Glass will be rewarded with an unfortunate result.

My private life does not exist as an entertainment value for someone else, to be immured for infinity on a hard drive or the internet.  I do not exist for your “amusement” or for your pleasure or for your diversion.

Meaning: if I see you recording me in a private venue via Google Glass, things won’t go well.  For you, I mean.

And clearly I’m not alone.



Sunday Post

Obama, Syria, Assault WeaponsIt would seem there are still some unresolved conflicts between the loving Microsoft Windows 8, myself, and Mozilla Firefox.  I am writing this, lovingly, an hour after I wanted to send a loving Blu-82 through the ceiling of Microsoft corporate headquarters.

If anyone believes that, having worked in every other environment Microsoft has foisted on us, Windows 8 is in any way “intuitive,” that one would be a raving blastocyst.  More to come.  Lovingly, of course.