Sat. April 28, 2018 – GDPR Compliance

I’m getting an early start today. I’ve got one daughter at a special Girls run downtown, and the other has her normal softball game early this am. Currently 59F and damp, but due to get warm and dry later.

RickH, our site admin and all around go to guy has prepared the following about the changes driven by the European privacy act. Much like the ROHS directives, no force of law in the US, but companies are complying anyway as a way to sell into the EU, and because it’s easier to do one version of a product. No one wants to be the test case, so we surrender a bit more of our sovereignty one regulation at a time. Privacy is a good thing, but like most regulations, I expect the unexpected consequences of this rule will be very different from what was desired. In any case, here is Rick’s take on the subject and what it means for us here…. nick

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It’s sunny/cloudy/rainy this morning in my little corner of the Olympic Peninsula across from “Mutiny Bay”. (It depends on when Nick publishes this post. I just wanted to start, as per custom, by a weather report).

I’ve put this in a comment Thursday evening (25 Apr 2018), but thought I would put it here so it is visible to all…and to allow comments.

There is a new ‘data privacy’ law from the ‘nice’ folks in EU, called GDPR, that will apply to everyone on this site. It requires web sites to notify you if any potentially personal information (like your name/email in comments, or for analytics, or cookies) are stored on the site. Compliance is required by 28 May 2018, and has hefty fines that can be levied.

GDPR applies to any site that collects info, even if hosted in non-EU countries. Since this site uses analytics, and collects your name/email if you comment, the site has to comply with the policy. And we do have visitors (and commenters) from EU countries.

So, you might see some changes come up as I try various ways to comply with the policy. There may be a ‘ok’ box before you see (any) content, and the comment and contact forms will have an additional checkbox to acknowledge that it is OK to store your personal information. You’ve probably seen them on other sites; the ‘we use cookies, okie dokie?’ messages.

In addition, there must be a way to allow people to ‘un-allow’ their personal information. Still figuring this out – there’s all sorts of advice on the googles, and some of it is wrong. I think there will be a process to allow you to remove your user profile, and then that will delete your personal information. But you will still need to consent to the use of cookies, since we use those for analytics. And you will have to re-enter user/email on comment forms.

So, changes afoot here. But we have to comply, even though we are not EU-based. We have EU commenters here. And I suspect that there will be “GDPR Trolls’ that will be looking for (and suing) sites that are not compliant.

I’m testing the tools on one of my test sites, but will also be installing the tools here….and on all the other sites I manage. Enabling all required aspects of GDPR compliance will protect the owners (Barbara) – and admins (Nick and me) – of this site  from massive fines and legal issues.

This needs to be done if you have any web site, especially if you allow comments, or gather ‘analytics’ data, or send visitor data to a third party (like Google Analytics). Even if your site and hosting is US-based. Any visit by a EU

You are welcome to add your comments below, as always. But thought I would alert you to why the changes are being done.

I wrote something on my “SecurityDawg” blog about it here, including how I will be implementing it in a way that will be easy to install on all the sites I own/manage/admin.

Author: Rick Hellewell

Old web geek. Sometimes writer. Somewhere opposite Mutiny Bay, WA.

53 thoughts on “Sat. April 28, 2018 – GDPR Compliance”

  1. YUUUP! Create an off shore company, like in Venezuela, and then sell this site to them.

    Any problem that EU has, EU can take it up with Maduro.

  2. I have the ability to log in to this site now (bottom of all the stuff on the right, Meta) so how hard would it be to make this a “membership” site so we only have to accept the “rules”, and confirm when changes are made to the rules. Also provide a member profile where we could provide as much or little about ourselves as we wish.

    Very windy last night, gusts pegged my two anemometers. It blew a big branch from the neighbor’s maple tree into our yard, fortunately no damage to the fence from the wind or the tree branch (now where did I put that chainsaw?). NWS said 50mph gusts. Got 0.25-inches of rain in a hour around midnight.

    Currently 51°F with a NWS projected high of 63°F. Yesterday we got up to 88°F. More rain in the forecast and and winds will stay above 15mph.

  3. Since running noscript, I see what some of the more mainstream sites are doing. There might be 10 or more third party scripts, and then when you allow those, they load even MORE scripts. I had no idea that most webpages had so much crap on them.

    n

  4. Spending the day with WIABE (Wisconsin Association of Bi-Lingual Educators) peeps at the Kalahari Resort in Baraboo, WI. The resort is pretty cool since it is a theme park and water park. We got one day passes for all, but won’t have anytime to enjoy them since MrsAtoz has a workshop and a keynote. I noted a socio-emotional learning workshop on the schedule. Hmm, maybe I’ll attend and become WOKE.

  5. It is hi-larious that the left and the right both use WOKE to mean woken up to their [diametrically opposed] worldview…..

    Should lead to some really awkward conversations between vegans SJWs and skinhead white nationalists 🙂

    n

  6. Since running noscript, I see what some of the more mainstream sites are doing. There might be 10 or more third party scripts, and then when you allow those, they load even MORE scripts. I had no idea that most webpages had so much crap on them.

    The main browsers now support WebAssembly. The bloat will get worse.

    I worked with developers who make it a point of pride that they don’t do objects. Most of them still have 10-15 years of career left, and C compilers targeting WebAssembly will allow them to continue inflicting their belief system on the web.

  7. Absolutely gorgeous day. Gentle breeze, clear sky, sunny and 90F. Less than 40% RH.

    Picture perfect! Lots of yard sales today too, including a couple church and school ones. Already got a machinists hold down set for $5 and some storage containers.

    It’s also big trash this week.. I grabbed a Portacool out of the pile. $1500-$1900 new, I’ll have <$3oo in refurbing it. I've been looking for a long time, but they go for serious money in the auctions, and then need repair anyway. Should make it safer for me to work outdoors this summer. I've already ordered the parts I need to buy, and will hit the scrap pile for some other bits and pieces. Score! (and once again the advantage of older gear, the pump was on closeout at Grainger for $40 off, the pad is on ebay for 31% off, with free shipping (and that's one quarter of buying from portacool.) Now I'm gonna get some seeds in the ground, and head over to the rent house for an hour too. Oh, and frame for the generator concrete pad. n

  8. Picture perfect! Lots of yard sales today too, including a couple church and school ones. Already got a machinists hold down set for $5 and some storage containers.

    It’s also big trash this week..

    Memorial Day is a big house selling weekend in the Austin suburbs. Dunno about Houston.

    The only negative local economic news for the 2018 silly season: Dell is pulling back on H1B renewals, ahead of a rumored scheme to go public again through the 20% of VMware that is still traded on the NYSE. I doubt that will have much of an impact on resales, however, since most of those families buy new with family money from overseas.

  9. @Rick — A big thanks for all your work on the backend. I’ve pretty much given up on the Internetz except as a news source (which gets more biased and ‘personalized’ by the hour) and a quick reference source which I take with a healthy grain of salt. Q.v. Wikipedia…

    BTW, I have a guy in India who can host if the Privacy Patrol ever gets out of hand. And whatever happened to the principles laid down by Jacob Neilson? All the scripts and sh1t make it look like the 90s all over again. /blink

    Speaking of scores, Nick, I got a practically unused pair of high-end rollerblades in the apt building’s discard pile. 20 years old, but who cares? Just my size. Spent yesterday tuning them up and will give them a test run (or hobble) today in the fickle (fuckle?) weather in my corner of the Olympic Peninsula.

  10. do what is needed, as usual, the regulations bothers the small people, my 2 cents

  11. Speaking of scores, Nick, I got a practically unused pair of high-end rollerblades in the apt building’s discard pile. 20 years old, but who cares? Just my size. Spent yesterday tuning them up and will give them a test run (or hobble) today in the fickle (fuckle?) weather in my corner of the Olympic Peninsula.

    Careful, I went for a nice bike ride a few years ago, and my bicycle has never been the same. I think it’s jealous because I now have more titanium parts than it does.

  12. @DadCooks – even if this site was ‘member-only’, there would be a requirement to have GDPR. It applies to anyone in EU+Switzerland that might access the site. If someone from there accessed the site, and there wasn’t any GDPR on the site, then the site (and it’s owner – Barbara) would be violating GDPR.

    The only way you *might* be able to not need GDPR is if you restricted access to non-GDPR sites – you would have to block them entirely. But what if a EU+Switzerland person accessed your site from a non-EU+Switzerland location? In that case, the site would need to have GDPR.

    So, gotta have it one way or another.

  13. @rick, since I’m not the one doing the work, I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but … what is the enforcement action? Under what law can some clerk in the EU fine a US person or business? Unless the US congress passes a law that would enforce it HERE, what real risk is there?

    We adopted RoHS (which for all sorts of technical reasons we shouldn’t have, just like we still use imperial measure screws, bolts, and a variety of other things.) There were ENGINEERING reasons to put lead in solder, and there are engineering reasons for the threadforms we use in manufacturing. The regs acknowledge that when they made exceptions for military, space, medical devices, etc. Since we wanted to export to those countries we voluntarily adopted some or all of the dozens of different RoHS standards.

    In this case, we aren’t exporting web sites, if their citizens visit us they are essentially taking a trip abroad. The EU can’t enforce drinking age in Mexico, pharmaceutical standards in India, etc. What makes them think they can enforce this thing here?

    n

  14. @RickH – not trying to avoid GDPR, just avoiding having to do multiple clicks just to view this site everytime and even more to post.

  15. 40º and cloudy now. It was raining at the race this morning but should clear for the rest of the weekend. Only 3 more races and I get to take a break. Race season is just getting started – what a way to start.

    I’m seeing a lot of sites with an entry warning that they are using cookies. I suppose it’s GDPR related. I’m more than a little annoyed by the very idea. We were born free.

  16. @DadCooks – only one click is required to ‘accept’ the cookie statement. That stores a cookie on your computer that expires in one year, so you don’t have to do it again until a year from now, unless you clear cookies from this site in your browser.

    As for enforcement of GDPR against US-based companies (or entities), this link was among the ones I found (note, IANAL) : https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2007530-how-the-eu-can-fine-us-companies-for-violating-gdpr . Or this link , or this link .

    The EU and US have good enforcement ‘relations’, so it could happen.

    Not sure if there will need to be an extra checkbox on this comment form to acknowledge the retention of personal information. I think that since there will be a once-a-year banner (unless you clear your cookies), the extra checkbox on comment forms is not required.

    Perhaps not a potential problem for this place.

    But, consider the appearance of “GDPR Trolls” that will attempt to extract fees (extortion) against sites that don’t comply with GDPR. (Think of those “ADA Trolls” that go against businesses that are not ADA compliant.) That could be a lucrative ‘profession’.

    Consider someone building a ‘GDPR-bot’ that trolls the interwebs, looking at a site, and seeing if GDPR is enabled. Then an automated letter to the site owner threatening legal action if no compliance, and “BTW, I can help you be compliant (for a nominal fee)”. Or just trolling whois records and sending out letters.

    Again, perhaps not a problem for small sites – except maybe the trolls. But not a big effort to enable GDPR compliance – especially with automated solutions (such as the one that I am building and will use on this and other sites I manage/own).

  17. SO… if the EU considers an IP address PII, then everything on the internet is potentially subject to their rules, since in order for the internet to work, you have to ‘collect’ the IP addy of whoever connects to a web server or any other service in order to return whatever they asked for. Talk about massive over-reach….

    And good luck to them collecting from my blogger site or my godaddy webpage…. if someone in the US tries to enforce this shite on a web site that doesn’t have a physical presence or “engage in business” in the EU, it’ll be tied up in court for decades.

    If I were google, I’d just block every EU address, and serve them a page that says, “sorry, until you get control of your unelected clerks in Brussels, we can’t show you any cat videos…”

    If ONE SINGLE person manages to get thru, and they DO try to fine google, it’s like a comic super villain, one BILLION dollars please……

    Rick, do as you feel best, I’ll be getting popcorn and moxie….

    n

    and I’m off to the rent house.

  18. But, consider the appearance of “GDPR Trolls” that will attempt to extract fees (extortion) against sites that don’t comply with GDPR

    To display song verses on the overhead screens at church requires a license from CCLI, cost based on the size of the church, renewable yearly. Not terribly expensive.

    There are people from some of the organizations licensed through CCLI that will randomly visit churches and look for displayed music lyrics. If the first page of a song displayed does not have the church’s CCLI license number, or the number is not valid, the copyright cops are called. The church gets a nasty letter, a fine the needs to be paid or the licensing organization will press copyright charges.

    My church also has to be very careful when a copyrighted video is displayed to the sanctuary. The video is licensed to be displayed in that manner but cannot be sent out on the broadcast. The church has the capability to rebroadcast what is displayed on the screens. My church got their fingers burnt one time and since that time when they show a video on the screen that is copyrighted I just have a camera on the sanctuary and cut the audio. Screens are too far away to be seen clearly when the focus is close up on the back rows of the sanctuary.

  19. Talk about massive over-reach

    Silly you. Wait until the EU tries to start taxing websites that reach the EU.

  20. Speaking of scores, Nick, I got a practically unused pair of high-end rollerblades in the apt building’s discard pile. 20 years old, but who cares? Just my size. Spent yesterday tuning them up and will give them a test run (or hobble) today in the fickle (fuckle?) weather in my corner of the Olympic Peninsula.

    If you’ve never used Rollerblades, they are much faster than conventional skates, especially if they have five wheels. Three wheels used to be beginner.

    Wear all the padding and the bike helmet like you used to see in the 90s ads for the skates.

  21. If you back up a few days, Dogbert is talking about his new cryogenic brain storage business.

    There is a different process for arresting rich people.

    My former co-worker, son of an IBM Fellow, just skated on another arrest for dealing meth near Ybor City (think Austin-6th Street) in Tampa. Treatment and community service.

    At one point a few years ago, the Sheriff raided his house and found $30,000 worth of meth, 10 years under FL’s minimum sentencing guidelines. Probation.

    The FL Governor, friend of the family, wears the handcuffs whenever that guy is arrested.

  22. @DadCooks – only one click is required to ‘accept’ the cookie statement. That stores a cookie on your computer that expires in one year, so you don’t have to do it again until a year from now, unless you clear cookies from this site in your browser.

    I clear cookies each time I shut down my browser. Which, happens daily at a minimum.

  23. I clear cookies each time I shut down my browser. Which, happens daily at a minimum.

    Ditto. What with (some of, at least) the comics sites now requiring you to click to see the full version of that day’s strip, it just means that my mouse will wear out all that much faster. But what the heck, it’s “free” content, right?

    GDPR Kills the American Internet: Long Live the Internet!

  24. @lynn said and @mediumwave concurred:
    I clear cookies each time I shut down my browser. Which, happens daily at a minimum.

    So add me to the cookie clearing list, and then some. There are several flavors of cookies, IIRC one is called persistent and then there are a couple or three more.

    To get rid of all the cookies and crumbs requires more than what is provided in a browser. I use CCleaner Pro and iObit Advanced System Care Pro. I have paid for the “Pro” versions because I found the free versions worked well so they earned my support.

    BTW, the USofA gave away control of the internet when in 2016 obuttwad turned over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to a “so-called” Californication Corporation that is actually a foreign owned entity. That was the beginning of the end. And to think that AlGore (who served in Vietnam BTW) would allow such a thing.

  25. To get rid of all the cookies and crumbs requires more than what is provided in a browser.

    Tor, baby, Tor.

  26. I’m guessing RBT would have told the EU to screw.

    In a heartbeat.

    IIRC, RBT blocked all those with email addresses from some Eastern European countries from the HardwareGuys site. jim?

    Also, IdoRC that the EU was joining in with Clinton to sue MSFT on the grounds that IE, being free, was illegally wiping out Netscape Navigator to become a monopoly. WDC swampers withdrew the action when AlGore lost election.

    Do not recollect the outcome of the EU suit.

  27. BTW, the USofA gave away control of the internet when in 2016 obuttwad turned over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to a “so-called” Californication Corporation that is actually a foreign owned entity. That was the beginning of the end. And to think that AlGore (who served in Vietnam BTW) would allow such a thing.

    I suspect that the USA will end up taking back ICANN eventually. Before then, I fully expect to have to buy back my domain names that I have owned since 1996 from the UN some day when they sell them to the highest bidder. I am fairly sure that the UN will ignore USA trademarks laws.

    In fact, I would not be surprised to see the USA cut the international internet ties some day. The amount of thievery over the intertubes from Russia and China is simply amazing.

    And hey ! Algore works hard for the money ! It takes lots of money to support five mansions and a bevy of girlfriends.

  28. I block 3rd party cookies. The rest, with a couple of exceptions are deleted when I close Firefox. Flash is set to “ask”.

    I have AdBlockPlus and there is a filter list called “I don’t care about cookies” that makes the blah blah noise about “this site uses cookies for some random reason” stuff go away.

  29. I do not really host that much on the web, and nothing targeted at people in the Eueopean Union. If it weren’t so cumbersome, I would be tempted to block the ranges of European IPs from my sites. There is more than one way to comply with GDPR.

  30. Oh yeah, coming back to me. There was a lot of SPAM and other trash coming from sites named “xyaz@abc.ru”. Consequently, they were not allowed in.

    Also, as a Super Administrator back then, I could edit or delete and post that I thought was inappropriate. Additionally, I could block any email address that was also a problem.

  31. Weeelllll, got the floor work at the rent house done, for this stage.

    Got my Expedition washed. I park under a pine tree, so this was moving up the priority list.

    Got some other stuff done.

    Didn’t get some stuff done.

    Busy day.

    Tomorrow is another day.

    n

  32. @Slim — You and Ron may have blocked more addresses at Hardwareguys2 than I did, because I don’t recall exercising much control. Might have been the guy in India doing some of it, too. The guy is really good, and damn! I need to send him a check. I didn’t know PayPal was so interdenominational, but might try that. Thanks for the tip, whoever it was.

    Never got out with the new Rollerblades today; they need a drop of oil here and there and besides, the weather sucked. I’m an old hand at Rollerblades, but it’s been a few years… Golden Gate Park in San Francisco was wonderful. I still miss the City, but got my ass out of Mexifornia, or Kalifornia before the sh1t really hit the fan. The crowning moment was when the police began charging me for HAVING a burglar alarm at my shop. Hello? I installed it to make their job easier.

  33. The whole GPDR thing is well-intentioned, just like the cookie-regulation was. As usual, however, it will have lots of unintended consequences. Which will takes years to get fixed, if they ever do.

    AFAIK the requirement to warn people about cookies is supposed to be dropped. Dunno when. The privacy regulations, meanwhile, are already being abused/misused. I just received the privacy update from Sonos (you know, just speakers to play music). They state that they want and require all sorts of information, for example, they will collect info on any and all of your social media accounts. You can opt out (as required), however your products will stop working. Someone will take them to court over it, but that will take years. Idiots.

    Someone recommended Vox Day’s site. I read him regularly as well. A lot of what he says makes sense. However, I find his support for a lot of conspiracy theories to be nutty (Pizzagate, for example). It’s not clear if he actually believes them himself, or if this is just his way of whipping up his more fanatical supporters. Also, he doesn’t take criticism well. When someone offers criticism of his views, he often resorts to ad hominem attacks. If you call him out on that, he denies it – by insulting you for being so stupid as to accuse him of such a thing. Nonetheless, he serves a very useful role, by providing a rallying point of resistance to PC nuttiness.

  34. Also, he doesn’t take criticism well. When someone offers criticism of his views, he often resorts to ad hominem attacks. If you call him out on that, he denies it – by insulting you for being so stupid as to accuse him of such a thing.

    That, and site bans. Fuck Vox Day.

  35. Also, IdoRC that the EU was joining in with Clinton to sue MSFT on the grounds that IE, being free, was illegally wiping out Netscape Navigator to become a monopoly. WDC swampers withdrew the action when AlGore lost election.

    Microsoft lost the case and was prepping Campus 2.0 in the Issaquah Highlands to comply with the judge’s split up order when Bush won the 2000 election. After the appeals court overturned the verdict in Feb. 2001, the Ashcroft Justice Dept. opted to drop the suit and settle.

    When I lived in the Highlands briefly in 2013, the land set aside for the campus was, surprisingly, still vacant, platted but not developed. Microsoft only recently sold the last of their holdings on the plateau to focus on rebuilding Redmond.

  36. 89F and 50%RH. I thought I could work in the shade and mixed sun without my cool vest. I was wrong. So I’m inside cooling off my brain. One thing about wearing earplugs (I’m cutting stuff with a circular saw) when your heart starts beating harder and faster because you are too hot, you can HEAR it.

    I did get some beans planted, and some of the beds watered. I also planted acorn squash in the bed that will soon be shaded by my pecan tree. This is a first for me.

    Oh, and the beans I planted last week are up, about 2″! Hooray.

    Kids are at swim team. I need to get finished with this project so I can take it over to my volunteer slot at the pool at 2pm. Not difficult, but it is HOT out and taking breaks slows me down…

    n

  37. Looks like Fred Reed got himself published on Unz, and linked by WRSA.

    I could fisk his whole article, which, as usual, if filled with out of date information, stereotypes, self hate, and “it’s the joooozzzzz!” which I expect in the zerohedge comments section more than in an article.

    I think Fred often has something useful to say about race or other social issues that are constant or long standing, but his current awareness is lacking, and his prejudices are many.

    His [probably intended ironically] bio description actually manages to capture his character succinctly– “Fred Reed is a retired news weasel and part-time sociopath living in Mexico with his wife and three useless but agreeable street dogs.”

    “Pilots bombing Iraq or Syria know they are killing civilians. They do not care.” — Wow, maybe projection? I’d bet they certainly DO care. They may carry out their orders anyway, but apathetic sociopaths? Psychotic killers? Fuck you Fred, there’d be a lot fewer suicides and PTSD if that were true.

    “If ordered to bomb Switzerland, they would do it. ” — SERIOUSLY?

    A couple paragraphs follow wherein he details all the 100’s of thousands of people he’d put out of work and destroy their lives by closing down the military. (we saw the “peace dividend” in Cali in the 80s and 90s. It ain’t pretty.)

    Not to mention the unacknowledged assumptions… among them that there is NO civilian benefit to military research (f#cker is using the INTERNET to complain FFS); that our enemies are weak and only want peace (which is of course why China spends so much on all those islands they’ve been building, and all the new warships and planes, and missiles); and that it’s the business of .gov to spend money on the people rather than the military (which is composed of PEOPLE, and WTF? why not argue to NOT SPEND or COLLECT the tax money in the first place?)

    He says “You can spend years in Washington or New York and never meet a colonel. ” but it’s been decades since HE spent any time in those places so WTF does he know?

    I assume he means “cultured” and not “cultivated” when talking about NYC and DC elites, but perhaps it’s a Freudian slip….

    Then there are howlers like this- “Russia presents no danger to America or anyone else.” Probably ought to ask the people in Ukraine and Crimea about that….

    Oops, missed the call for socialized medicine…. but there he is, like clockwork.

    He complains about how ignorant the average American is, but not a word about how that was engineered by the Soviets and other progressives in the Long March by destroying our educational system and moral values.

    Oh, a paragraph where he cites all the same areas we are engaged in but this time, not as the pet wars of the “Complex” kept going simply to fill the coffers of the “Complex”, but as REAL THREATS to the “complex.” This looks like prog cognitive dissonance to me, two conflicting beliefs at the same time…

    And then the final paragraph seems to make the point for HAVING a huge military and industrial complex…

    Fred, put down the tequila, quit thinking your experience in the 60’s is all you need to know about this country and this century, and maybe read something current that mentions the “Deep State” to see what others with better and more current sources might be saying about this whole issue.

    n

    Oh, and so what if it’s the jjjooooooozzzzz? FFS, what difference would it even make in your life if it is/ or was? Someone needs to be the bankers, doctors, movie producers– unless you are locked out of one of those jobs, get over it. Doesn’t matter. Someone will always be calling the shots. Better someone with a knowledge of history, generally high IQ, and a focus on the long game vs. a 15 sec sound bite.

    n

  38. Why is this being announced on a Sunday? Hoping the Regulators won’t see it?

    T-Mobile and Sprint agree to merge, creating $146B rival to AT&T and Verizon, based in Seattle area

    And so T-Mobile grows closer to a monopoly. I have my doubts that this will really benefit the consumer. While I consider T-Mobile to be the best of the worst they may be getting too big. (We dumped AT&T about 10-years ago and have generally received good service and unbeatable rates from T-Mobile, with one major exception that is a long story in and of itself.) It will be interesting to see what AT&T and Verizon do.

  39. Nick, you could have saved your time and blood pressure by simply not reading Fred. He was reliably a worthwhile read, once upon a time. That time is years past.

  40. A couple paragraphs follow wherein he details all the 100’s of thousands of people he’d put out of work and destroy their lives by closing down the military. (we saw the “peace dividend” in Cali in the 80s and 90s. It ain’t pretty.)

    I think MacDill needs to close, but I’ve said that many times in this space before based on my experience as a Tampa near-native and, until 2010, a neighbor of the pervy, drunk REMFs who staff the freak show commands HQ-ed there.

    Keep the runway open for the hurricane reconnaissance missions but do so as part of an intermodal shipping hub linking rail, sea, and air.

  41. I don’t understand the whole (((evil joozes))) thing. Anyone have a link?

    I haven’t read much of Fred for a couple of years. Repetitious.

    The last dealing I had with Sprint was in the day of bag phones and $1/minute for roaming. I’d have to take the phone into town and sit it on the roof to make a call. But it was half the price of the previous company.
    Then we had Ericsson phones (pre-flip), one on Cingular and one on AT&T. Cingular just worked. All the way to Dallas and even in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. AT&T had a long dead spot on I-35 in the Carl’s Corner area.

  42. IIRC T-mobile, which is Deutche Telecom, doesn’t own any hardware but rides on ATT’s network. Sprint was a trunked radio company that evolved into a cellular telephone company, got a sweetheart spectrum deal to swap their original spectrum (which was right next to public service spectrum, since they were a radio service), and then fairly recently did some sort of deal with someone that raised my eyebrows….

    Cingular WAS att. IIRC McGraw Cellular became GTE became something else, rented the ATT name for a while, then re-branded as Cingular, then eventually did a deal and re-branded as ATT Wireless, which is what they are now… Which BTW bought DirecTV.

    BTW, anyone remember the guy who bought a railroad at a bankruptcy sale, formed Qwest Communications, and proceeded to push fiber in a big loop around the USA along the railroad right of ways? That was out of the box thinking.

    n

    added- the history of Qwest is very interesting.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qwest

    They were a baby bell, owned DirecTV, and were tangled up in the Enron scandal….

  43. IIRC T-mobile, which is Deutche Telecom, doesn’t own any hardware but rides on ATT’s network.

    Perhaps so. I don’t know about their hardware.
    I do know that AT&T here is sketchy. At HEB you get lost phones at the Business Center. I had more than one T-Mobile phone without a password showing 5 bars and not being able to make a call. A couple of them had e-mail addresses to folks like “Mom” in the Contacts. So, turn on wi-fi, connect to HEB’s public network and send “Mom” an e-mail. 🙂

  44. BTW, please excuse me for starting this discussion on Saturday instead of Sunday where I Meant it, brain and finger fart.

    The reason we dumped AT&T was because their service was very spotty throughout the whole Tri-Cities (and never better than 3 bars) and traveling to Seattle or Spokane there were huge holes of no reception. T-Mobile was night and day better, 5 bars throughout the Tri-Cities and never less than 3 bars to Seattle or Spokane. When T-Mobile improved to 4G LTE reception and data speed were even better.

    I can only go by anecdotal evidence and what my several cell service apps tell me, AT&T controls less than 10% of the towers around here followed by 20% Verizon and 50%+ T-Mobile. I talked to some guys putting up a new cell tower awhile back, a private company that just puts up cell towers and infrastructure for all the carriers. He said most of what they put up is contracted by T-Mobile and T-Mobile specifies the best equipment and backup.

    The past manager (he left a couple of years ago to go into insurance) at the Costco Cell Phone Kiosk was a big proponent of T-Mobile and did his best to discourage people from AT&T and Verizon, even though they gave them a bigger up front commission their spotty reception and really poor customer service was not worth it. T-Mobile’s commission was okay to start, but the best part for the sellers was the continuing follow-on commission that they got every year for people who kept their T-Mobile Contract.

  45. Around here Verizon is solid. Yeah, the folks at the store can be sort of shirty with an attitude.
    Then again, StraightTalk is nothing but ESL folks. But I replaced my Galaxy s2 on AT&T’s network with an LG on Verizon and it’s like night and day.
    I can actually use my banks phone apps.

  46. I’ve had the same cell number since ’92, and only two carriers in that time, GTE and all the flavors of ATT. In fact, until they got rid of TDMA, I was on a plan so old it looked like an employee only plan when I called customer support. I was a ‘Five Star’ customer, for whatever that was worth. I used to carry a Sprint phone for areas that didn’t have good ATT coverage, and a skytel pager for backup. No need anymore.

    Your handset (phone) does matter for your service though. Many don’t have coverage on all the frequencies that ATT actually uses, so you can get a tower that doesn’t support your phone and have to connect to a more distant tower, or lower speed…. I’ve never not had service, if ANY was available, for years.

    In other unrelated news, just got home from urgent care. Littlest girl fell on the playground and hurt her arm. Turns out it’s a ‘buckle fracture of the distal radius’ which is the most common break for young kids. Poor thing isn’t gonna finish the softball season and will miss all of swim team. $120 co pay, in advance, and a quick and relatively painless visit to Urgent Care. We’ll see what the bill for the splint and the xray come to later. Very little swelling, and redness, but she was in pain with limited movement. Grid down, I’d probably just have iced it and supported it with wrapping. I’m glad we went in, seeing as I didn’t know it’s the most common fracture, and it’s very easy to diagnose, even without the xray but the xray (digital) confirms the diagnosis in minutes.

    Treatment is a splint for 3-6 weeks, no activity that could injure it further. Then limited activity for another few weeks. OTC pain meds for the first week, or as needed.

    Once the ibuprofen kicked in and we got dinner, she was in good spirits. And then to bed.

    n

  47. In other unrelated news, just got home from urgent care. Littlest girl fell on the playground and hurt her arm. Turns out it’s a ‘buckle fracture of the distal radius’ which is the most common break for young kids.

    Ouch ! Good to hear that she will be better with time. Sorry that she has to go through the process of healing, but sounds like she is ambulatory. I fell at 5 and broke my upper right arm. I got traction for 4 or 6 weeks (the parents remember different times).

  48. Fred, well, I actually kinda feel sorry for the guy. He used to keep current, but iirc a few years ago he had a disaster of an eye operation, and is now nearly blind. He continues to write, but it’s probably no longer possible for him to stay current. Hence, we get columns that are noticeably out of touch with current reality.

    There’s other evidence of the problem: his newer columns have lots of typos, whereas his older columns never did. Also, I’ve noticed that his newer columns are often written as if he were still living in the US. Maybe that’s a deliberate POV to appeal to his audience, but I wonder if it isn’t a sign of mental aging, possibly driven by his vision problems. I.e., maybe he’s no longer quite sure where – and when – he is?

    I’d felt much the same the last few years of Jerry Pournelle’s life. In his last years, his columns turned inward, dealt largely with personal problems, or were placed firmly in the past. It will happen to all of us, of course, if we live long enough…

  49. @Nick, best wishes for your littlest one. The hardest part for her is missing all the activities she does. So make some lemonade out of this and teach her computer programming (just kidding).

    I am well aware that the capabilities of a cell phone determine how it will perform. That is why I always buy international unlocked versions of phones, ability to use all frequencies. Too bad the slick sales persons in the cell phone stores/kiosks sell the sizzle (pretty, screen resolution, apps) and the steak (hardware). We all have Moto X Pure Plus bought directly from Motorola. Even they are approaching 4-years old Motorola has kept the firmware and OS up-to-date so our phones have the capabilities that really matter.

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