Author Archives: cleek

The Beautiful Signs

A beautiful new sinkhole appeared on the White House lawn yesterday. It’s a small hole, but the symbolism is the best: so huge, so nice.

What makes the symbolism even more huge and even more nice is that a sinkhole appeared in front of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort on May 22, 2017 – in other words: exactly one year before this latest hole appeared.

Jump in, Trump. Your master has summoned you.

eFail!

This is kindof hilarious…

That brings us back to last week, and the release of Efail. The hack is simple and brilliant: It uses the fact that your email client thinks it’s a web browser. An attacker sending mail can steal the content of secret messages you may have sent or received. It works like this: An email client running OpenPGP (the current standard of PGP) or S/MIME decrypts messages when it receives them, and since the clients are also web browsers, they fetch things from the web for displaying them to you in the email you open at the same time. So what if you happened to open an email, which decrypts whatever message it may have inside, even a hidden one, while the same email also tells your email client to fetch an image off the web whose name is now the entire contents of a message it just decrypted? It would just do it, invisibly, sending the now easily readable message anywhere on the net without you ever knowing it happened. Sure, an image named “Meet me at the park on Sunday at 3 a.m. and we’ll make plans from there come alone.jpg” would never load on your screen, but you’ll have invisibly asked for it, and that ask will now be recorded in whatever computer out there the person who sent the mail wanted it recorded on. And that mail could have just as easily said it was from your spouse or boss as God or Santa Claus.

EMail is fundamentally broken.

Alas. I like email.

Source: Email Hackers Are Winning – The Atlantic

Sea And Cake

Sea and Cake played a club in Durham, last night. And I was there!

I realized, while waiting for them to take a break from playing new songs and get to my favorites, that I consider ‘new’ S&C songs to be any songs released in the last 15 years.

I’m old.

They were good, though. Even those ‘new’ songs are fun, live. The old songs (I think there were three) were great.

The opener, James Elkington, was amazing. He’s an brilliant old-style English folk guitar player. The kind of player that makes me hate that I even own guitars.

James Elkington – "Make It Up" (Official Video)

I bought his CD.

Domestic Terrorism

[Las Vegas shooter] Paddock reportedly said, “Somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves,” when the two met less than a month before the Oct. 1 shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds. “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made,” he added.

Paddock also ranted about “camps” the Federal Emergency Management Agency set up after Hurricane Katrina, which he claimed were a “dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and … confiscating guns.”

USA PATRIOT 802 (c):

`(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--

    `(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal 
           laws of the United States or of any State;

    `(B) appear to be intended--

        `(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

        `(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

        `(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, 
          assassination, or kidnapping; and

   `(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'.

Listening To…

New music time!

  • Sea And Cake – Any Day. Feels like I could just reuse the same review I’ve given their last five records. I don’t hate it, but I want them to mix things up a bit!

    Cover the Mountain

  • Belly – DOVE. I didn’t expect to see a new Belly record last weekend, but there it was on the iTunes front page. I had to squint to make sure that was the 90s indie rock Belly logo on the thumbnail pic, and it wasn’t from the rapper who goes by “Belly”. It’s OK, and grows on me a bit each time I hear it. But I wish it had a bit more of that slightly off-kilter weirdness that made the first Belly records so much fun.

    Belly – Shiny One

  • Wye Oak – The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs. Pulls in more of that electronica that singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner used in her groovy side project, Flock Of Dimes. They’ve been moving in this direction for several albums now, and I’m liking it more and more each time.

    Wye Oak – It Was Not Natural (Official Music Video)

  • The Breeders – All Nerve. Full of all that awesome, raw Breeders strangeness. I like it a bit better than some of their other recent records.

    The Breeders – Wait in the Car (Official Video)

  • Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead. OK, not new. But new to me! A college roommate had this one, so I got to hear it a lot back in the day. Then I went 25 years without hearing anything from it except “Uncle John’s Band” and “Casey Jones”. I’d convinced myself that the rest it was just filler between those two songs. Then XM played “Black Peter” last week and I decided I had to buy the album immediately. It’s great!

    Grateful Dead – Black Peter (Studio Version)

  • King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. This is an earlier record and is a bit more lo-fi and much less produced than his latest (“The OOZ”). It’s good, but I like the sound on the new one better.

    King Krule – Easy Easy (Official Video)

  • Doc Watson – Live At Club 47. This is actually a new release, even though it was recorded Feb 1963, in Cambridge MA. It’s just Doc and his guitar on 21 of the 26 tracks, and of course the playing is amazing.

    Doc Watson – "Train That Carried My Girl From Town"

You?

Brandies

We first saw Brandi Carlisle in 2006, at a club in Raleigh. Just her and her guitar, and her army jacket. She opened for Shawn Colvin, and I remember it being very sparsely attended – like maybe 100 people. But, I wrote, at the time:

She’ll be big someday. She should be big already.

Then we saw her again in 2009, at a small theater in Carborro – maybe 300 people. She’d added two guys as her backing band (tall, bald, twins). They’d been part of her band and songwriting team from the beginning, but that time they got to tour with her too.

This time, we saw her at the largest theater in Raleigh. It’s about 200 yards from the place we first saw her, but it has more than 2,200 seats. And she (very nearly) sold it out. So, she’s big now. And deservedly so.

Her – “their”, actually; she said it’s more like a band called “Brandi Carlisle”) – their, new record is a bit different than their earlier records. There are fewer simple folky acoustic tunes, and a lot more muscle: big loud anthems and clap-along stadium-pleasers. For me, the bigger songs all worked much better on stage than the recorded versions do. I suspected they might; since they seem designed to be played live.

They played the entire new record, nothing from the first record, and just two songs from the second.

She had a seven piece band behind her, including the twins, a string trio, a drummer and a keyboard/horn player. There was a light show, and an Elton John cover. And the opener, the always-great Brandy Clarke, came out to do a duet of “Stand By Your Man”. So, it was a full production. And it was a very good one. Good for her / them!