It Took Them Long Enough

Remember roughly a year ago when Apple announced the iPhone 4 and that it would come in both black and white? Well Apple has finally released the white model. Yeah it took them almost a year to figure out how to take a black phone and turn is white. I guess that old phrase, “Once you go black you never go back.” holds some truth here.

I’m still waiting for people to buy this, Apple to announce the iPhone 42, and then those people who just bought the white iPhone 4 to whine that they got ripped off.

More Tacticool Old West Guns

Yesterday I posted about a tacticool lever action rifle and it seems the trend of turning old western guns into mall ninja gear is going to continue. The Firearm Blog reports that LaserLyte has released a quad rail attachment for double barrel shotguns. This will allow buyers to turn their boring old double barrel into an elite mall patrolling companion just like the Stoeger Double Defense.

I’ll be honest this trend of tacticooling up old firearms is amusing me and I hope the trend continues. I’d love to see somebody mall ninja up an old muzzle loader.

Bias Survey Finds Biased Results

Need a complete non-shocker for today? Apparently the Violence Policy Center have released a definitive survey which shows gun ownership rates are down:

Almost one-third of U.S. households report having any guns in the home — the lowest level ever since the survey began in the 1970s, a survey indicates.

The report by the Violence Policy Center is an analysis of data from the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The report says household gun ownership peaked in 1977, with 54 percent of households reported having any guns.

What this actually means is the rate of people willing to tell those idiots at the Violence Policy Center that they own firearms has gone down. A good chunk of gun owners are very private people and we’ve become more private about what we own as politicians have been trying to take those possessions away from us. If somebody contacts me and asks if I own firearms I don’t even respond but simply hang up. What I own is my business and the business of those whom I’m willing to inform.

I’m sure the National Rifle Association (NRA) could do a similar survey and get completely opposite results. Surveys are just quick methods of getting whatever results you desire, nothing more. In order to create an authoritative piece of research you need to be able to verify your results with something more than what somebody answered on a questionnaire.

What is even more interesting is the fact that the rate of National Instant Criminal Background Checks (NICS) have been quite high leading to the fact that the number of people buying firearms from federally licensed dealers has been increasing.

Firefox 4 for PowerPC Macs

Although I have many complaints about Firefox 4 it is still my main browser because I can’t remain sane, online, and not have NoScript. Two weeks ago I tried running Chrome as my main browser again thinking I would give it a fair shake only to rediscover all the full page advertisements, popups, flash advertisements, and other annoying things that I forgot existed thanks to the wonderful little plugin that prevents all but authorized domains from running scripts.

I also have an old PowerBook that I still use once in a while and Firefox 4 doesn’t support it. It’s not the end of the world yet as Firefox 3.x is still being supported on the platform and with security updates but that will end some day. Thankfully somebody has seen my blight and has started a project to bring Firefox 4 to PowerPC Macintosh computers via the TenFourFox project. This is one huge advantage to open source software, when a vendor drops support for a platform others can swoop in and do the support themselves.

The group behind TenFourFox is also claiming that they’re making CPU specific optimizations which is pretty awesome. I’ll have to test this on my old PowerBook G4 and let you know how it runs.

Why I Don’t Run an Open WiFi Network

There are two things I’d like to do but don’t because some jackass taking advantage of my kindness could lead me to legal trouble. The first is run a Tor exit node. I love Tor and believe the benefits of having an anonymity network are great, especially in countries where the government works very hard to suppress free speech. Number two on my list of things I’d like to do but don’t is run an open WiFi access point. I would be more than happy to provide an access point for anybody to use if they need Internet access, especially if the people in need can’t afford Internet access themselves (my connection is a corporate account so my terms of service would easily allow me to do something like this). Sadly as Bruce Schneier points out the consequence of being a good Samaritan are often incredibly high:

The three stories all fall along the same theme: a Buffalo man, Sarasota man, and Syracuse man all found themselves being raided by the FBI or police after their wireless networks were allegedly used to download child pornography. “You’re a creep… just admit it,” one FBI agent was quoted saying to the accused party. In all three cases, the accused ended up getting off the hook after their files were examined and neighbors were found to be responsible for downloading child porn via unsecured WiFi networks.

Any traffic going through an open WiFi network or a Tor exit node traces back to the IP address of the person operating them. Thus if somebody uses them to do something illegal the ISP will see it as you doing that illegal act and you’ll have the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) storming through your door and probably shooting your kenneled dog.

Can We Drop This Now

The White House has released Obama’s birth certificate so can we drop this now? If we’re going to criticize the Obamessiah let’s actually point out legitimate failures on his behalf such as not closing Gitmo as promised, not getting us out of Iraq as promises, renewing FISA against his promise, and basically everything else he’s done since taking office.

So How’s That Budget Going

Remember all those Minnesota “representatives” who were going on about how they were going to fix the budget lickety-split? That and promoting job creation was going to be job one. I’m glad to see those guys are moving to make both of these promises come true working to push a consittutional amendment banning gay marriage… wait what?

Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate announced a bill Tuesday that would put the issue on the statewide ballot in 2012 as a proposed constitutional amendment.

The proposed amendment would define marriage as between one man and one woman. Republicans have tried unsuccessfully in the past to get a similar measure on the ballot, but now they have majorities in the House and Senate. Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said a constitutional amendment will let voters decide the issue.

Three questions come to mind. First, how is this going to fix the budget? Second, how is this going to promote job creation? Third, why the fuck is government still involved in the concept of marriage? I think the third question is the one of most importance. As the debate about allowing gay marriage rages across the country I’ve been listening to both sides and have come to the conclusion that the only proper action that can be taken is to get government out of the whole institution of marriage. Marriage is really a religious and contractual issue and should be dealt with between the two individuals who wish to join together.

Government should have no more say in marriage than they have in what socks I wear… I take that back they shouldn’t have any say in marriage and through cotton regulations I’m sure they have some say in what socks I wear.

The Market for IPv4

In other not at all shocking news there is a scarcity of IPv4 addresses which has head to the development of a market:

The IPv4 address space resale market is evolving in light of Nortel’s recent sale of 666,624 IPv4 addresses to Microsoft for $7.5 million, or $11.25 per address.

Maybe investing in IPv4 addresses is a good idea at the moment.

Mexico is Suing American Gun Manufacturers

It appears as though Mexico hasn’t gotten the memo about the United States government smuggling guns into their country and instead opting to attempt lawsuits against American gun manufacturers. That probably makes a little bit of sense since the United States government isn’t going to allow itself to get sued but as the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) points out Mexico still doesn’t have a case:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, respects the work of President Calderon to willingly take on his country’s powerful drug cartels; however, we are disappointed that he would seek to hold law-abiding American companies responsible for crime in Mexico. This is especially troubling given investigative reports that show more than 80 percent of the firearms recovered in Mexico do not come from the United States. The most recent of these reports, from the independent research group STRATFOR, determined that less than 12 percent of the guns Mexico seized in 2008 came from the United States.

Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), firearms traced in Mexico were originally sold at retail not recently, but, on average, 14 years earlier. This is completely inconsistent with any notion that a flood of newly purchased firearms are being illegally smuggled over the border. And let’s not forget that no retail firearm sale can be made in the U.S. until after an FBI criminal background check of the purchaser has been completed.

Have fun wasting money you don’t have Mexico. Maybe you should spend that money on fixing your failing state instead. Then again Mexico probably has just as likely a chance of accomplishing that as successfully suing American gun manufacturers so the point is really moot.