Urgency.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please take 20 minutes and watch President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. Many of the speeches brought me to tears, especially Gabby Gifford’s speech near the beginning of the night’s lineup. It was good to hear a President speech coherently, with complete sentences, and cohesive thoughts. In many ways it boggles my mind how we went for President Obama to the idiot we have in the White House today.

Destruction.

As a Gen-Xer I was brought up to believe The Bomb would detonate and wipe all life from this planet.

Honestly, I think they should be advancing the Doomsday Clock based on the damage social media is doing.

Enough.

When my husband tunes in a news conference with the Orange One during the workday, I have to shut my office door and put on noise canceling headphones. It’s not that my husband is watching a news conference, and I use that phrase loosely, and I wish to tune out the news of the day, but rather it’s the awful voice of the Orange One that makes me want to crawl up a wall and stick my head in the spinning ceiling fan.

The man will never be known for his oration skills.

Now, I know His Idiocy can’t pronounce Yosemite. After all, he’s just mastered “person, man, woman, tv, camera”, we can’t expect him to go to bigger words containing more syllables in only a week. We should give him credit; he sounded it out and after doing so the world thought he was tremendous.

Actually, they didn’t find him tremendous, but he uses the word tremendous so frequently and so inappropriately, I’m beginning to think ‘tremendous’ is the Boomer version of the Millennials’ ‘literally’.

I literally never want to hear the word tremendous again.

I’m disappointed that the “journalists” (and I use that word very loosely) continue to attend these “briefings” (and I use that word very loosely) when we know they’re going to be jammed packed with a tremendous number of lies. If I had a drink for every promise that was to come to fruition “in two weeks” I’d be more drunk than I am right now and quite frankly I’m in a position at the moment where I’m doing my best Tallulah impersonation and calling everyone darling.

Actually, I’m not drunk. Not tremendously so. But it makes for good writing and hopefully it meets my objective of entertaining the reader.

I wouldn’t waste one drop of fine alcohol in an effort to forget the Orange One.

Hacked.

So Twitter was hacked today. As of this evening there has been no group or individual identified with the coordinated attack, however, numerous prominent accounts were compromised. These accounts were then used to urge users to deposit money into a Bitcoin account. At last tally about $118K in Bitcoin was deposited.

Twitter is being very tight-lipped as to what happened with the service. As I navigated the site on and off today I noticed that it was often unresponsive. Once word broke that accounts were being compromised I found myself unable to tweet. I figured because it was I had tweeted the “Fail Whale” graphic from the early days of Twitter over and over again. I’m a smart ass like that.

After being locked out of the service I’ve checked in a couple of times but haven’t tried to tweet. News services are talking about the global crisis this created; apparently people are relying on tweets from the National Weather Service to be notified of things like Tornado Warnings.

Sorry, but I find that rather idiotic.

Important events, alerts, and the like should be sent via more traditional means instead of by tweet. I know the City of Chicago likes to send messages to every cell phone, much like a notification from the Emergency Alert System. Having events like a tornado warning dependent on a social media site is just foolish, especially a service that is privately owned and not regulated in anyway.

Tweet about that.

There Is Hope.

I totally didn’t see this coming: “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation”.

The vote was 6-3.

There is hope for 2020. Click the screen cap for the link to the NPR coverage.

Courtesy of NPR.

Alternate Universe.

We’ve been watching the documentary “Hillary” on Hulu. The documentary blends events from Hillary Clinton’s past with recorded events from her 2016 presidential election run. There are few restrictions around the direction of discussion or the comments made on any of the events shared.

At times it’s hard for me to watch.

I fully believe Secretary Clinton was the best choice for president in 2016, the majority of American voters felt the same way. I loathe to go through the 2020 election cycle because I have absolutely no faith in the American people doing the right thing. Trump is a disaster in every sense of the word. No self-respecting, intelligent centrist can honestly say with a straight face that he’s doing a great job.

We could have been in a better place today, right now, with Hillary Clinton in the White House. Unfortunately the electorate opted to take us into the dark, alternate reality.

Tired.

2020 is exhausting. I’m very tired. And I really don’t need to see another picture of a coronavirus or whatever it is. Gross.

Coverage.

I’m not a fan of CNN. I liked CNN back in the days of Bobbie Battista but something went off the rails as time went on and CNN now feels like a big ball of hysteria.

But they do like their gadgets.

I’m fascinated with the touchscreen thing they use during Election Nights. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the board crash during a broadcast but I’m sure it has. I’m not that glued to the tube on Election Night. I’m too busy throwing out commentary on Twitter.

And speaking of which, you know what doesn’t change the world? Throwing out commentary on Twitter. Who know what can change the world? Getting out of your home and voting at each and every opportunity you have to vote. When Illinois’ Primary comes up in a couple of weeks I’ll be voting. Up until last weekend I knew who I was voting for. I am now reassessing my options. I know I’m not thrilled with the idea of another old white guy in the Oval Office. But at the very least I hope it’s someone I feel comfortable calling president.

So I read up on CNN’s Magic Board and from what I can figure out, it’s running Microsoft Surface “like” software and was originally designed for the military.

It’s better than the failed hologram experiment CNN carried out a few presidential elections ago.

Cord Cutting.

I’m not impressed with the choices for “traditional” streaming services available for the American public. Instead of paying for cable TV, which is peppered with hundreds of channels we have no interest in watching, I went searching for a streaming package that would get us some news during this political season.

As an aside, every day has felt like political season since 2016.

Anyway, it would be nice if we could go to a CNN or MSNBC app and buy a stream of just that news. But it’s not possible. The only way one can get CNN (or another news service) is to get in as part of some sort of package. Luckily, AT&T offers AT&T Watch for $15 per month. There’s no contract, no minimum subscription required, so we are giving this a try.

AT&T Watch has quite a few Food Network like channels, a smattering of news, and a bunch of other “secondary” cable channels. I can rationalize $15 a month in the budget, especially since we decided to ditch CBS All Access when “Star Trek: Picard” turned out to be not our cup of tea.

I told my husband we’d probably keep AT&T Watch through the November elections. We can enjoy coverage of the end of the world through the presidential election, the end of the world through the Coronavirus, or the end of the world through an asteroid hit.

Stay tuned.

News.

One of my goals in this New Year is to eliminate much of the cruft that is nipping at my personal bandwidth. The vast majority of this extra noise is of my own doing; I willingly use apps like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook to feed my need for information.

The thing is, it isn’t always good information.

I’ve always fallen back on the stance that I maintain a Facebook account to keep up with what’s happening with friends and family back East. I chat with other pilots, read about a geeky things in geeky groups, and follow people I don’t know but would like to meet in person someday. I’m intelligent enough to discard all the political misinformation and the like, but discarding the “keep scrolling!” hooks takes bandwidth and quite frankly, my bandwidth is more valuable than that.

I’ve been delving deeper into Apple News. I’m finding that I can keep tabs with what’s happening in the world through this fairly simple to use app and I’m noticing Siri’s AI is making things better on a daily basis. After consistently using Apple News for the past couple of weeks and providing the app feedback, what I like, what I don’t like, etc., I’m finding it’s giving me news I’m looking for. I will say News is not validating my viewpoint, there were a few articles highlighted today that wanted to make my blood pressure go up, but that’s a good thing. There’s too much tendency for apps to reinforce silos and narrow viewpoints. Apple News doesn’t feel like it’s doing that.

One of the best thing about using Apple News is that it doesn’t automatically show comments to articles. If you’ve ever dealt into the comments section on The Washington Post or New York Times, you know that it’s a dismal and hopefully inaccurate view on where society it is today. There’s no way of telling whether the author of a comment is a citizen, a human, a bad actor, or a bot. And as long as the engagement keeps ticking up the ad revenue for these outlets, we’re never going to know this. So I find it’s best just to stay away from the Peanut Gallery Commentary. That’s what Twitter is for.

If you haven’t given Apple News a try I suggest giving it a whirl. Try it out for a week or two, give it valid feedback with what stories you like and what stories you’re not interested in.

You might enjoy what you read.