WTF Weekly

my thoughts on the week that was

31 Jul 2020

WTF Weekly for July 31st, 2020

It’s been almost a month since I’ve last WTF’d for you. I have been working on a lot of different projects and not managing to be especially productive on any of them. But I’m alive!! And I’m here now.

Looking at this site really makes me want to overhaul the look, by which I primarily mean the CSS and the one piece of artwork (using the term “art” very loosely). The colors are horrendous. I’m going to start a new feature branch and start fixing that problem. It may take me a while, but it will happen.

In the meantime, please ignore my previous sad life choices and read about other people’s current sad life choices.

Federal Agents Unleash Militarized Crackdown on Portland

It’s crazy in Portland. No one wants the feds here, probably not even a lot of the feds. But here they are. And they’re being jerks. And they’re making people even madder than they already were. It takes a special brand of people to say “let’s prove those idiots who say we just beat the shit out of everyone wrong by beating the shit out of everyone”, but the feds are just that brand.

The teams, which include 2,000 officials from Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard, are supporting the Federal Protective Service, an agency that already provides security at federal properties.

Thanks, guys!

Black in Japan: Shifting the Narrative

I found this to be a fascinating read, because way back when I lived in Japan, I thought the Japanese looked even more uneasily at the very few black people we ever saw there than they did us still rare (at the time) white foreigners. I’m genuinely encouraged to read that there are positive black experiences in Japan, or at least some attitudes towards them that are the same as attitudes towards all gaijin.

Police Are Buying Access to Hacked Website Data

If you’re law enforcement and you want information about people without having to wait for normal legal channels or face the possibility a specific warrant won’t be issued, what do you do? You pay the same hackers the bad guys do for stolen data, that’s what.

This, of course, is very similar to the problem that mass surveillance poses, which is that police using this method of data gathering will undoubtedly encounter a lot of data about people who aren’t criminals and who aren’t related to whatever case they’re supposedly working, which is the whole point of warrants and legal processes in the first place.

Law enforcement is always going to feel like they need access to all data, all the time, in order to fight crime, and sometimes they don’t care too much whether it’s all legal and ethical or not.

Google accused by developer of retaliation for cooperating with House antitrust investigation

Hey, Google, next time wait a week (or at least until Trump tweets something especially stupid) before retaliating against someone who complained about you to the government. Someone might notice. 😂

Speaking of noticing things:

Google has historically been more relaxed when it comes to approval of apps on its store. The company’s Android operating system also makes it easier to install apps without using the official app store.

Yeah… and let’s make sure not to mention that they’ve had huge problems with malware because of it, ok? Because they have.

Apple Q3 2020 results: Everything up

Tim Apple may have no problems making wildly inaccurate statements to Congress about App Store policies, but he did preside over a quarter in which Apple had record 3rd quarter earnings Y-o-Y despite the worldwide pandemic. So there is that.

Part of it is obvious: people are working from home and just generally staying home more, and their computing devices are indispensable. Still, it’s interesting that Mac and iPad did better in terms of sales increases than the iPhone did. Again, that’s in line with people upgrading or complementing work-from-home setups, but it’s still unusual for Apple.

Good job, Tim Apple! Enjoy being yourself while you can! I have a feeling the government is going to start meddling in your little App Store at some point.

Hit me up on Twitter to yell at me if you really think that will help.

You can find my thoughts on tech and other projects on my personal site at scottwillsey.com