Daily Archives: 2020-08-20

Democrats say Mike Bloomberg ‘stiffed’ the party after pledge to spend big on the general election

Source: The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts

Article note: No shit. Simple how-not-to-fuck-it-up for the DNC, that I expect they will do the opposite of: Distance from scummy patrician would-be oligarchs. Distance from gun control. That's all they need to move a VAST body of the electorate who are not usually Democratic voters but are dissatisfied with Trump onboard.

Michael Bloomberg promised to spend big to beat President Trump this fall. Many Democrats say he hasn't lived up to that promise.

The former New York City mayor spent nearly $1 billion on his moderate bid for the Democratic nomination, but hasn't given a single dollar directly to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign. Yet he still managed to secure a speaking slot in the final night of the Democratic National Convention, and it has some Democrats questioning why, The New York Times reports.

Bloomberg's dollars bought him nothing but a miserable defeat in the Democratic primaries. He dropped out after a dismal Super Tuesday and threw his support behind Biden, leading some Democrats to believe he'd spend another billion on the former vice president's campaign, especially after it became clear Biden would be the nominee. He did transfer $18 million from his campaign to the Democratic party and said he'd spend another $50 million to help House Democrats. He also said he would pay his campaign staffers through Election Day so they could work in support of Biden.

But Bloomberg hasn't given to Biden's actual campaign, and he reneged on the pledge to his staffers. This led progressive activist Amy Siskind to ask the question:

He stiffed our party and all the monthly workers he promised to keep on through November. Why is Bloomberg speaking? https://t.co/eWoYipqfxn

— Amy Siskind ️‍ (@Amy_Siskind) August 13, 2020

Bloomberg's former national political chair Thomas Nutter told the Times that Democrats could expect "the re-emergence of the political Mike Bloomberg" come Thursday's DNC. He also said Bloomberg is "usually a later supporter," though University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Eleanor Neff Powell noted this year's emphasis on early voting means that may not be helpful. Read more at The New York Times.

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College contact-tracing app readily leaked personal data, report finds

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: This is right at the nexus of a whole slate of things that attract bad behaviors: - Ed-tech carpetbaggers selling bullshit to universities - Paternalistic behavior by schools - COVID-19 Scams - Intrusive software siphoning data for purposes that don't benefit the owner - Software where purchaser != user being absolute shit I was afraid UK was going to try some shit like this and I'd have had to go to bat, but fortunately they just bought some salesforce bullshit that sends a vapid self-reporting survey every morning.
A surveillance camera mounted on a wall on a sunny day.

Enlarge / A surveillance camera mounted on a wall on a sunny day. (credit: Thomas Winz / Getty)

In an attempt to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, one Michigan college is requiring all students to install an app that will track their live locations at all times. Unfortunately, researchers have already found two major vulnerabilities in the app that can expose students' personal and health data.

Albion College informed students two weeks before the start of the fall term that they would be required to install and run the contact tracing app, called Aura.

Exposure notification apps being deployed by states, based on the iOS and Android framework that Apple and Google announced earlier this year, are designed to minimize harms to privacy. That framework basically uses a phone's Bluetooth capabilities as a proximity sensor, to see if the phone it's installed on has been near a phone of someone who reports having tested positive for COVID-19.

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Coherent: Unix variant for DOS compatible PCs (1994) [pdf]

Source: Hacker News

Article note: On one hand, Coherent was one of a spate of interchangeably doomed commercial UNIXes of its era, and not a particularly early one. On the other hand, there's a bunch that's interesting about it. They had excellent, exaustive, user-respecting documentation of a kind that just doesn't exist anymore. The fact that there were a bunch of serious operating systems in the late 80s and early 90s, and essentially none since tells us something (horrible) about the hockey-stick graph on platform complexity. It's fascinating that there were a ton of UNIX-likes and no other platform has had that kind of profusion. Did the UNIX folks really hit that good a local maxima? Can we characterize that?
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