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Ah, the media is after people now!  But only in support of Muslims!

Note carefully that nobody is raising hell about someone making an issue of "Are you Catholic or are you French?"

Yet it's the same thing, really, and yet the premise being put forward is in fact correct.  It is, in the reality, a function of where a society places its values and the correct place is not where the diktat of your religion comes first.

If that's what you demand then your position is at odds, and in fact incompatible with, civil and secular society and it does not matter which religion is at issue.

I'm sure the media didn't try to frame the issue accurately, but they did -- by accident.

Secular society is incompatible with religious absolutes.

Think not?  Well let's see..... Galileo anyone?

No, it's not just musloid absolutes.  It's also christian absolutes, or any-other-gila-monster-worshiping absolutes.  The reason in all cases is the same; such religious diktat-based absolutes are utterly incompatible with the truth, specifically, the two disciplines that are truth: Mathematics and physics.

Civil society is incompatible with magical thinking, particularly when that magical thinking conflicts with physical fact.  Superstition isn't anything new and in most cases it's also not particularly harmful, but the exception comes about when that superstition comes in conflict with reality and forces public policy in a direction that conflicts with said physical fact.

Indeed or current economic policies, predicated on a mathematical claim that cannot be sustained (infinite exponential expansion) is in fact traceable to certain religious superstitions, is it not?

Better think about that this Monday...... because our lily pad is getting a bit overcast from up above.

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"A dispute" eh?

A dispute between two groups of people in a New Orleans park Sunday escalated into a shooting that injured at least 16 people, police said late Sunday.

The shooting took place at around 6 p.m. local time after approximately 500 people had gathered at Bunny Friend Playground in the city's 9th Ward to film a music video, the New Orleans Police Department said in a statement. Ambulances took 10 victims to area hospitals, and police later learned that another six victims had been taken to the hospital in private vehicles.

So..... two "groups" decided to film a music video and it turned into a gang bang.

And, of course, there's the obligatory BS "reporting":

The paper reported that multiple witnesses saw a man with a silver machine gun fleeing the scene, but noted that the shooting continued as the man ran away.

A machine gun eh?  Now that would be impressive (particularly given that it would be something like the first civilian-powered machine-gun assault recorded), but it's also a near-certainty that this line was simply inserted to rile up the "gun control" folks and try to score political points.

Let me take a guess on the ethnicity of the people involved..... seeing as it wasn't reported, of course...

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So roughly two weeks into owning the Priv now, what do I think of it?

In short, it's a keeper.

Android has its fair share of annoyances, especially coming from BB10.  Really, once you've gotten used to how BB10 works and organizes things there really isn't much you'd ask for other than wider app compatibility.  But that was not to be had, and without it consumers wouldn't buy the phones, so there you go -- efficiency and intuitive design be damned.

So let's look at the annoyances first, and I'll identify those that are Android (and thus unlikely to ever go away completely, although they might be mitigated over time by BlackBerry) and those that are actual Priv problems (and thus subject to much-more-rapid mitigation though software updates.)

First and foremost is the picture password thing I mentioned earlier: It's incompatible with credential storage.  What this means to you is that if you need to load either a Private CA certificate (somewhat uncommon) or a machine certificate (quite common in the corporate environment for VPN access and similar) you cannot use Picture Password.  BlackBerry badly needs to fix this, particularly given that most people will not choose to use a high-quality (and pain in the ass) alphanumeric password when faced with this option - they will opt for a 4-digit PIN which is not secure (at all.)

Second, the phone does not permit SD card encryption.  This looks like an Android bug, but it's a relatively serious one because there are a number of enterprise environments where Exchange policies (used for email, calendar and similar) require everything on the device to be encrypted -- including external storage.  No encryption, no enrollment, which means that for those users an SD card cannot currently be used in the phone.  This needs immediate attention; Lollipop can support this but it's optional in the build.  There are, incidentally, very real problems with encrypting SD cards, not the least of which is that any glitch in the card in a FDE environment renders the entire device unrecoverable, but policies are what they are.  I personally prefer to run with the SD card not encrypted (so I can access it while removed on other devices) and choose not to store anything sensitive on it, but in the corporate world that relies on individual intelligence rather than policy -- and thus doesn't fly.

Next up is S/MIME.  You can use Ciphermail (from the Play Store) and it works, but there are two issues with this -- first, it's outside code (and of unknown provenance) and second, and probably more-importantly, to bypass the picture password problem you have to let it use its own credential store instead of the phone's internal one.  That adds (unacceptable) risk to the equation.  BlackBerry is the "secure communications company" so where is the built-in S/MIME support?

I've run into a few annoying bugs -- chief among them is that the (excellent, by the way) on-device speech recognition occasionally goes into a mode where it claims that it's not available in the present context.  The only way out of this is to reboot the device when it happens.  This looks to be an Android bug, but it's annoying, especially considering how well the on-device speech recognition functions.  This is a fairly-major enhancement over BB10, which required server assistance.

The Hub is interesting and I like it, but it needs a few things added and changed.  Chief among the annoyance factors is that the hub doesn't clear the system notification related to what you look at when you enter a category and act on it.  So, for instance, if you look at a Twitter feed in the Hub, the system notification for new Twitter posts is still present.  I find myself just clearing the system notifications "en-masse", which is fast and easy from the swipe-down shade, but the Hub should clear the related notification on its own.

Second, custom notifications for the Hub badly need to be added; this would centralize where all custom notifications can be set (e.g. LED colors, vibrate, etc).  This might be difficult to accomplish but it would be a huge win and I hope BlackBerry is working on it -- and if they are, it has to be universal (not just for email accounts) to maximize usefulness.  What would be an excellent enhancement would be an option for the Hub to pick up a notification and immediately clear it on the system level, then manage the LED, sound, vibration and such itself; that way you could have fully custom, centralized notification across every sort of account and feature that the Hub can "see."  This would be a very unique feature for BlackBerry.

There are reports on CrackBerry of problems with email syncing in the Hub.  I've had zero trouble with this or anything similar.  It just works, and really, really well -- which is a credit to BlackBerry as this is one of the areas where for (non-Gmail) email access Android is usually lacking.

There is an Android bug with the SD card that needs to be addressed; copying to it from something like the ES File Explorer will fail.  It appears that the root of the card is not recognized.  BlackBerry is aware of this and known to be working on it.

I remain quite annoyed by the music player.  I have a large collection on SD, and the included Google Play Music app just plain sucks.  Neutron is buggier than a roach motel (and I refuse to buy something that has bugs in the free trial version) and the other free alternatives aren't very good either.  The biggest problem is that the app has twice blown up my playlists (imported from my Passport), either refusing to recognize that the music is present or scrambling the order of the songs.  Here, again, BlackBerry could perform some "value add" by putting together something that works -- sorry Google, your sad version of Pandora (or Spotify) just doesn't cut it.

DTEK remains extremely useful.  The number of apps that simply refuse to close even when you attempt to do so is frightening -- and so is their data collection.  It appears that the most-common scheme is to grab your location every five minutes even when you're not using the app and you backed all the way out of it.  This is outrageous behavior and it's utterly pervasive.  Most apps can be forced-closed from DTEK (even if backing out of them or Xing them from the task manager doesn't stop them) and they'll cease that until you use them again, but not all.  Nonetheless no app should be doing this as a matter of course and it's utterly outrageous that huge numbers of "useful" apps (like WalMart's) do.  There ought to be a widespread consumer revolt or even legal action against this sort of thing as there is no way for you to know or control who is getting that location data after it's collected and what it is being used for.

Battery life remains pretty impressive.  I'm getting between 6 and 7 hours of screen-on time, which is very good for an OLED display.  Quick Charge works extremely well; if you can find 20 minutes with a plug in the event you manage to drain the battery you're good.

I utterly love the screen -- both resolution and responsiveness.  Build quality continues to impress me and the phone is extremely comfortable in the hand, and while in use.  The curved screen adds materially to this and the "grip" of the phone while in your hand; BlackBerry has really hit it out of the park in that regard.  RF performance is solid, exceeding my Passport, which I have run side-by-side for quite some time now not only locally but also on a middling-length (~700 mile) road trip.

As noted above, contact, calendar and email sync has been flawless.  I run my own Exchange style server to handle contacts, calendars, tasks and of course email, and have had zero trouble with any of it on the Priv.

The keyboard is interesting.  I find myself using it not only as a keyboard but also as a trackpad.  Sliding it open when there's an input field that would otherwise obscure a third of the screen (for the virtual keyboard) instantly restores the full view of the page you're looking at, and this is extremely useful when trying to fill in a form or similar.  I'm still adapting to the difference in the keyboard from my Passport, with the biggest differences being the symbols and numerics -- the Passport does not have an "Alt" key at all.

The front speaker won't win any awards but it's adequate.  On the other hand audio quality from the DAC whether to headphones or otherwise is simply outstanding.

Performance overall remains impressive; I've had no problems with lag or other misbehavior in that regard.  Just like a flagship device should be.

The Priv is not an inexpensive device by any means but it acquits itself well in essentially all respects.

I'm keeping it and if you're in the market for a flagship-class device running Android the Priv is definitely worthy of your consideration.

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Who believes that the cops follow the rules? Still?

More than three dozen legal experts and ex-prosecutors on Wednesday called for a federal investigation into allegations that Orange County prosecutors and sheriff’s officials improperly used jailhouse informants and withheld evidence from defense attorneys.

The group, including former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti and former Chief Assistant United States Attorney Richard Drooyan, penned a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling attention to a “crisis” in the county’s justice system.

“Compelling evidence of pervasive police and prosecutorial misconduct in Orange County ... has caused us grave concern,” they wrote in the 25-page letter. (You can read the letter here.)

The list of lawless behavior is long and pervasive.  It includes illegally attempting to obtain confessions via jailhouse informants supplied by the cops against persons being detained that had counsel, failing to turn over evidence that might exonerate defendants to their counsel and more.

Our system of justice rests on the rules being followed.  Not only does this sort of crap undermine the justice system it has a horrifyingly perverse impact on public safety because those defendants who discover this misbehavior are likely to have their cases (properly) dismissed even when they're guilty of hideous crimes.

The worst aspect of this charade, which appears to have been going on for a long time, is that it's very unlikely to result in any sort of criminal sanction against anyone involved in it.  At worst people will lose their jobs -- which is wholly insufficient.

These cops and prosecutors need to do hard prison time, particularly considering that their acts, if proved, have led to guilty people being let go.

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United Health has announced they might be leaving the Obamacare insurance market; it seems that what I and others have said is happening...

That is, the people coming into the exchange aren't paying enough (even though the rates are exorbitant) and they're sicker.

It gets better; for those with the cheaper plans it's basically no insurance at all due to the deductibles.

So what we have here is (1) a tax, that (2) doesn't cover the cost of the alleged "benefits" to be doled out.

This means that (1) the tax will rise (a lot) and (2) the "benefits" will disappear.


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