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WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
A few weeks ago (because I just rememberd this) I had needed to pull cash.  So I find a Capital One ATM and try to use it.

Try being the operative word.  Unlike any other ATM which immediately asks you for your PIN, this one ate my M&T Bank debit card... and waited there.

And waited...

And waited...

And then asked if I wanted Debit or Credit.  WTF?!? I'm not at a grocery store.  I'm not buying some already obsolete technology from a Best Buy Kiosk.  Hell, I'm not getting snacks from a repurposed RedBox Grocery machine.  I want CASH. MONEY.  From MY ACCOUNT.  And this Capital One ATM has the AUDACITY to ask for debit or credit?!? What's next? Wrapped in paper or plastic?

I told it to eject my card, which it did, after another long pause to contemplate life.

Samuel L. Jackson can kiss my damn ass if he keeps asking "What's in my wallet?"  Because if they run that bank like they programmed that ATM, then the answer is "NOTHING FROM CAPITAL ONE!"

For reference, this was the ATM at 200 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
Recently, I've been interested enough to fill in some more details of the Canmephian universe, especially what happens on Canmeph 3.  While we've looked at the judicial system, what happens to criminals?

They go into the criminal correction system, which is an extremely regulated system.  It is one of the few that have this level of regulation due to constant abuse.

When a criminal is convicted for a single crime for the first time, the general assumption (unless ordered by the courts) is "Okay, you've made a mistake somewhere.  Lets have you fix that."  Any other time, ether a second or more offense, a massive crime spree, etc, the assumption goes to "What the !)@*#( is wrong with you in your brain?!?"

Ether way, you're going into solitary, which is a circular cell up-ended and gravity controlled so that you have to have rope and tools to get out.  You have one bed, one toilet, one chair, one desk with an embedded terminal in it, and a food elevator.  Your only interaction with anybody is with an A.I., who knows about your case.

The A.I. will by default let you access a book library, some basic office applications, and will tutor you in various courses in case you do not have a high-school diploma (and thus update your education records to boot).  If you behave yourself, you can have limited communications.

The A.I. is also a bit of a psychologist, medic and lawyer.  It can monitor and diagnose your health and mental status, call for full medical attention, and debate anything.  If you somehow prove to it that you were wrongly convicted, it can call for a reinvestigation by the SputWolfSkunks.

The latter is important because there are times where the A.I. has questioned why a person was in jail in the first place.  The A.I. knows how to tease information out of a person, and can find details (or lack there of), which could have been missed by the judicial system or investigators.

For instance:

  • A case like Ahmed Sayed would of had not only been appealed (numerous bits of data missing) but also had the judge, police, prosecutor, and a witness run through a few hearings themselves.

WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
12 March 2016 @ 04:02 pm
So a study of laws across the US and their effectiveness was made, and the results released.  While you can read the research, let me simplify it.  There are three laws that if applied nationally, would reduce gun shootings 90%:

  1. Background check for all firearm purchases at national level.

  2. Background check for all ammo purchases at national level.

  3. Requirement to identify all firearms (aka stamp serial number).

That's it.  Simple, right?

You still can get all the weapons, and all the ammo, if you can pass the background check.  Plus, it's a national check, which overcomes any work-arounds by traveling to another state, and firearms can be tracable.

This is interesting, and I'll have to check into it more.
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
26 December 2015 @ 09:01 pm
We got some notices from Rainfurrest on their site that after a hotel-canceling incident (involving a rather public showing by a babyfur) the convention is likely moving to Spokane, WA -- the incident and the reaction left a bad taste in Seattle's mouth.  There goes going to Seattle and tromp around Peganthyrus' stomping grounds.

But I have two questions, one I can easily answer.

The first is, will Rainfurrest adopt the Anthrocon standard for dealing with incidents like this?  The standard in short is, if someone causes an incident, they are immediately banned from the convention for life, and removed from the hotel.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  You're gone forever.  There is no word on if Rainfurrest will adopt that.

The second question is, how would a trip out there be?

That thankfully can be answered.  Lets assume that negotions take place and we finalize on the Spokane Convention Center.  Southwest flies out there, but not direct from Baltimore -- there will be one stop (Chicago most likely). But there, taking transit, you will need to take the #60 bus out to The Plaza and transfer to the #25.  From there, get off at the Division @ Spokane Falls Blvd. Cross Division, cross Browne, then cross Spokane Falls.  The hotel's a Courtyard by Hilton.  In short, not quite easy, but do-able.

Spokane could use some light rail transit, though...
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
06 December 2015 @ 11:51 pm
I got some feedback!  And I'm in a mindset to answer it.  Do note, I have shot .22 rifles before and was a young NRA member.

To summarize my suggestion:

  1. Scrap the entire mess and start over.

  2. Digitize all criminal, mental health, gun permit, sales, and ownership records.

  3. Classify all weapons.

  4. Require weapon registration.

  5. Starting at a set date, require gun buyers to have gun operation training.

  6. Also at the set date, require gun shops to require a reason for the purchase, and to immedately background check.

  7. At set intervals from purchase, require certified gun clubs to hold "clean and test" certifications.

  8. Regularly revisit and reset purchase limits.

  9. Arrested?  Suspended.  Convicted? Revoked and weapons seised. Still convicted? Melted.

With that, here's some feedback and answers, which I'll try to condense and keep brief:

  1. You want to scrap the 2nd Amendment as well?!? Actually, when I wrote that, it was with the understanding that this admendment cannot be removed (it's actually very difficult to do it, but it can be done). So for now, the 2nd Amendment stands.  You do have the right to bear arms.  But the courts have said that this right can be limited.

  2. Digitizing is going to take a long time. Yes, but it has to be done. I don't expect it to be done overnight.  It just has to be done.

  3. The act of classifying things is going to get very political very fast. Very valid concern.  Plus there's too much of a range... but it has to be done.

  4. Who do we trust with the registration info if we can't trust the government? That's a very sticky question, because if you try to give it to a non-governmental agency, you have to involve regulation smilar to PCI (banking) and HIPPA (medical record) regulations -- and frankly put, I'm trying to avoid too much regulation.  Plus, you can't really make it all public, because it makes it easy for all the radical anti-gun advocates to harrass people.  It has to be privately held, with adjustments to the Freedom of Information Act to create a class of information that requires a court order even for the government to see it.  As I said, it's sticky.

  5. Who's going to set the standards of certification and training? That's the thing.  I said have the NRA do it because the NRA is supposedly a "subject matter expert." If the NRA has dropped their earlier efforts and have become a pure lobbying association, then they ether need to pick it back up again or the military will be pressed into certifcation and training... and that will only piss off the NRA more.  If the NRA was truly intelegent, they'll be involved on this from day one, no questions asked.  They can't act like Democrats and just throw money at it anymore. (You might say this is my evil plan to get them to publicly do something other than lobbying).

  6. Who or what will determine is a "valid" reason to purchase a gun?  Appealing the decision is going to be costly. That's the thing, and you know it's hard to get any set of guidelines or regulations right over time (see the revisit section). But the other side to that is there's not much oversight on setting things... except in the courts.  It's going to get litigated, and you have to allow for that.

  7. Where are the gun clubs?  There's not many as you may think. A valid point. Several services held by the government will be needed (although some already exist, like Hap Baker Gun Range held by Carrol County, MD officers).  Both the clubs and services will need expansion... which will be expensive (but I didn't say these ideas were cheap ether).

  8. NO NOT ARBITRARY LIMITS!!! That's the thing I want work around, because the anti-gun advocates will want limits.  However, if you haven't gotten the idea, is that I want an practical limit set organically, which will place the "arbitrary" limits very very high.  Six rifles and four pistols to me, to go out on a Saturday and spend a good day at the range, is a two weekend job (spreading them out, of course).  If you're dedicated, you're already out there most weekends practicing! Too many would be when you can't shoot all of them over the span of time (in terms of years).  If you will allow me one arbitrary limit, that span would be five years.  Five years to clean, oil, and shoot all the firearms you have.  If you're that dedicated, go for it.  But if you can't do them all over five years, you got too many.  But that's still a limit! Which is why I want to require revisiting them because things change with time!

  9. But we can agree on melting the guns after all the appeals are done.

WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
03 December 2015 @ 09:35 am
So you know about the three shootings that happened just recently (two yesterday, one about a week back).  The NY Daily News sums up the nation's frustration: What the GOP is doing isn't working (which is, from looking all the way back at history, is praying that it just goes away).

Let's actually fix this.  But we can't have a simple solution.  The problem is really multiple problems that are complex:

  • Current federal regulation doesn't cover all weapons... and it's hamstrung because all background checks are to be done manually via checking paper, not computerized.

  • State regulation doesn't help ether as while they cover more, getting a gun permit is a harry mess.  For example, Maryland has you fill out a form and wait a week.  The form can be filled out by you or by the gun shop.  It then has to be sent to the police who tap it in and do a background check... which you see above, takes too long.

  • An untrained idiot can get a gun, as well as someone with undiagnozed mental health issues.

So?  Here's my comprehensive solution.

  1. Scrap the entire mess and start over.  Just yank it out.  It's not working, and no patching is going to fix this mess.

  2. Digitize all criminal, mental health, gun permit, sales, and ownership records. This will speed background checks and investigations.

  3. Classify all weapons. This includes anything that can be converted into military-grade hardware. This will allow you to properly set limits on ownership.

  4. Require weapon registration. When it's sold, there's a digital paper trail.

  5. Starting at a set date, require gun buyers to have gun operation training. Yes, you want to shoot a gun? You're going to bootcamp, get trained by the NRA, get certified, and THEN you can get your permit.  This proves you can be responsible.  Plus, if you got issues, this is the first line to get them detected and treated.  This means the NRA actually has to put money in to certify trainers! Who said they're not going to get involved? I'm going to drag them into this mess.  Existing owners can just test out, but this test must be done in person!

  6. Also at the set date, require gun shops to require a reason for the purchase, and to immedately background check. You got your certifications and permits?  Because everything from the federal down to state is in one central database, the gun shop can do the background check.  So make them.  The reason for the purchase is also put in, as well as your intended purchase.  If your check "bounces" (red flags), you're SOL and your problem has to be litigated.  If your check is conditional (yellow flaged), then you will be told what to do to get it green flagged.  A court order presented to the gun shop can be one way to clear a yellow flag.

  7. At set intervals from purchase, require certified gun clubs to hold "clean and test" certifications. This allows gun owners to reprove their responsiblity by cleaning and test firing their weapons.  Plus, if someone's mental stability is in question, it can be reported and investigated.

  8. Regularly revisit and reset purchase limits. The ATF can take on this role.  The goal is never to "fire and forget," because new weapons happen all the time.

  9. Arrested?  Suspended.  Convicted? Revoked and weapons seised. Still convicted? Melted. If you're arrested, your certifications get suspended (red flagged). If you're convicted, the red flag sticks until you serve your sentence and you retrain, or if you appeal and succeed (which then goes yellow for a set time).  All weapons that you have bought are seized. If you are still convicted after a year (or you run out of appeals), your weapons are melted down.

As you can see, I'm not for more regulation.  I'm for different regulation, because what we got ain't working!
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
28 November 2015 @ 06:03 pm
Every *!)@$*( time I go on DA and search for something, I'm pissed off because its NEVER relevant.

For instance, I know there's three breasted artwork on DA.  There's morphs and drawings.  But searching for it is CRAP.  Instead of "three breast" I get "three AND breast" which matches "three ladies from Bombay clad in wool on top of a Taj Ma Hal replica.  Each one points to various gargoyle creatures objecting to how they have an exposed breast."

In other words, how close the words are together is key, and DA ignores it.  I mean, how simple could it be to add that in?!?

Without any knowledge of DA's setup:

SELECT art_id, INSTR(desc, "three")-INSTR(desc,"breast") AS closeness FROM artwork WHERE desc LIKE "%three%" AND desc LIKE "%breast%" ORDER BY closeness;

...relatively easily, if you build a query on the fly.
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
09 October 2015 @ 09:17 pm
I think it's a good time to express some views on the Freddie Grey case.

Namely, it's high time a federal audit ocurred on the entire Baltimore City goverment.  It's that screwed up.
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
Okay, unlike some things, I'm not going to bore you with details.  This one's a doozy and if I was a security expert, I would of downloaded in my pants now.  It's that bad if you got way-old Intel hardware... or AMD hardware.

If you got Intel hardware, you need to see what chip archetecture it is:

  • On Windows, download the CPUID CPU-Z program. Install it and run it. If it says you're on AMD hardware, you're vunerable.  Otherwise, you're looking for the CPU's Code Name.  If it doesn't start with the following, you're likely vunerable:  Haswell, Skylake, Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Merrifield, Moorefield, Bay Trail, Avoton, Rangeley

  • On Linux, run "cat /proc/cpuinfo | less" on the command line.  If the "Model name" says AMD, you're vunerable.  Otherwise look for the CPU family  and model number.  If the CPU family is not 6, or the model number is below 42, you're vunerable.

  • On MacOS X, go Apple Menu >> About This Mac.  If your Mac is late 2011 to now, you're safe.

I repeat, if you're on AMD hardware, you're vunerable.

And if you're vunerable, right now the only cure is to migrate to the lastest (post 2013) Intel hardware.

The short end of it is, it's a flaw in how the CPU's were designed that allows a hacker to get into your PC without ANYTHING to stop it.  Intel fixed it in late 2011 in the Sandy Bridge archetecture, and is working on fixes at the microcode level to the older PCs... but AMD hasn't responded to any responsible disclosure.

The techies and programmers can get more details here: https://github.com/xoreaxeaxeax/sinkhole
WolfSkunk 'STriker' RedWolf
I've held back from all the controversy and the noise, mainly to get things shaken out, get all the details refined.  Now I feel this is the right time to make my statement.  I've come to the conclusion that one question must be asked:


Seriously.  The last time I saw 2 in concert was in 2010, and 2 was struggling. It was like he didn't have enough material and wasn't researched nor rehearsed properly. It was off the cuff... and it was starting to fall flat.  That method of delivery made me rethink going to 2's rants.

Fast forward to today, and I'm seeing allusions of 2 being Donald Trump... but not in a good way.  It was like 2 was being caught in a lie. He is stammering, flailing, trying to come up with not the best responce but one that will placate the masses.  And he is failing.  He may of tried to lay a trap for his critics, but they saw it a mile ahead, and instead used it on him.  Anything he's saying now only makes 2's problems worse.

This isn't the 2 of the aughts. Something changed, and not for the better.  I think 2 touched a third rail topic without taking precautions, and we're now seeing the aftermath.

Before I go on, let me define "third rail topic."  If you know about most subway lines, the subway train cars get their power from a high-voltage, high amperage third rail.  Touch it without depowering it, and you more than likely die.  Take a topic that is so highly charged, and just talk about it without doing your research, and kiss your talking/political carrer good-bye.  That is a third rail topic.

Rape is a third rail topic, for obvious reasons.  Mental issues, like depression and suicide, can safely be called a third rail topic now.  Other stand-up commedians have a difficult time handling those topics, so much that only a few have put in the research to do it properly (ie, getting the proper equipment to depower the third rail).

2 didn't do that, and is getting promptly fried.  From much of the aftermath, it sounds like 2's still holding on to the third rail. If he doesn't let go, he's going to turn into ash.

Thus, What the fuck is wrong with you, 2? Why are you still touching the third rail?