Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

iKon Shavecraft #102 back in stock

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They’re back—for now. Get one while you can. It’s the razor I always seem to pick when I can have only one razor (as on a trip).

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2015 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Shaving

Verizon Has Quietly Made Its Tracking ‘Supercookies’ a Lot More Powerful

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Jason Koebler reports at Motherboard:

Verizon, fresh off its acquisition of AOL, is using a controversial technology to combine the power of three major advertising networks using three different types of data mining to follow you around the internet more closely.

Earlier this year, Verizon was roundly criticized and sued for using “super cookies” that tracked its customers around the internet for advertising purposes regardless of whether or not they had deleted standard tracking cookies. So, naturally, it’s making the trackers stronger and more persistent than ever.

Traditional web tracking uses cookies—small files stored on your computer—to monitor your behavior around the web. Recently, however, Verizon and other carriers have started using something known as tracking headers to follow you around the web. These trackers inject a special script into the connection of every one of its customers and can’t be manually deleted or opted out of without contacting the provider directly. The trackers allowed Verizon and, until recently, AT&T (which stopped using the technology after widespread public outrage) to follow you around the web to target you with ads.

Verizon, however, still uses tracking headers, and its network is about to get a lot more powerful. The company has just quietly announced that tracking headers would play more of a role in its overall advertising strategy moving forward.

Earlier this year, Verizon paid $4.4 billion for AOL and all the companies it owns, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget. That takeover was incredibly important because AOL does most of its business these days as an advertising company.

AOL’s advertising network serves ads on roughly 40 percent of the web, according to ProPublica. Verizon knows its customers’ home addresses, the type of cell phones they own, the number of people on a given phone plan, and customer financial information. That information can be used by AOL and Verizon to target you much more carefully, which equals better (more expensive) ads.

Here’s how Verizon pitches the move: . . .

Continue reading.

I think the federal government needs to nip this in the bud.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2015 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Business, Technology

Women legislators in Ohio introduce bill that provides the same thoughtful oversight of men’s reproductive health as male legislators provide for women

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Meteor Blades writes for Daily Kos:

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D) isn’t happy with bills that seek to control women’s access to contraception and abortion. She has joined a trend across the nation by introducing a bill thatwould require men seeking a prescription for erectile dysfunction drugs to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test and “get a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming impotency.” Sex therapists would be required to present the option of “celibacy as a viable lifestyle choice.”

“The men in our lives, including members of the General Assembly, generously devote time to fundamental female reproductive issues—the least we can do is return the favor,” Senator Turner said. “It is crucial that we take the appropriate steps to shelter vulnerable men from the potential side effects of these drugs.

“When a man makes a crucial decision about his health and his body, he should be fully aware of the alternative options and the lifetime repercussions of that decision,” Senator Turner said today. Men will be more easily guided through the process of obtaining treatment for impotence so they can better understand and more effectively address their condition.

Sen. Turner isn’t the only legislator to introduce a “Viagra bill” or amendments in response to what mostly male legislators have been proposing around the nation.In Illinois, for instance, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2015 at 11:07 am

Posted in Government, Daily life, Law

The Sleeping Giant of Prosecutorial Ethics Violations

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In covering the issue of prosecutorial accountability no issue arises more frequently than the failure by the state to properly disclose exculpatory evidence. These failures, whether proven or merely alleged, are analyzed by courts and discussed by journalists via reference to the Brady line of cases, which establish the constitutional duty of prosecutors to turn over any “material” evidence favorable to the defense.

Brady and its progeny are what set out the legal test in litigating compliance with the rules of criminal discovery, post-conviction. A finding of a “material” Brady violation can lead to new trials for defendants or new sentencing hearings. But even a legal finding of a failure to disclose has no formal impact on the prosecutor him or herself.

Given the Supreme Court’s decisions in Imbler v. Pachtman and Connick v. Thompson,which set a virtually impossible bar for plaintiffs to meet in order to win civil damages against even the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct, one of the few remaining means of formal redress is through the filing of bar complaints against individual prosecutors for the violation of their ethical as opposed to constitutional duties.

For a variety of reasons–the reluctance of defense attorneys, as repeat players in the system, to file complaints against opposing counsel, and the slowness, inefficacy, and prosecutorial capture of many state bar associations–bar complaints against prosecutors have historically been rare, and any resulting punishment rare to the point of vanishing.

It is perhaps because of this very infrequency of bar complaints against prosecutors, much less successful ones, that has allowed a sleeping giant of prosecutorial ethics violations to remain hidden in plain sight.

That hidden giant is the fact that in many states and, as discussed below, arguably in the vast majority of states, a prosecutor’s ethical obligation to disclose favorable evidence is far broader than their legal obligation, and it has no “materiality” requirement attached to it. Meaning, in effect, that what we have come to accept as the standard practice of criminal prosecution in America is itself an ethical violation in much of the country.

Ethical vs. Legal Standards for Disclosure

In May we wrote about a little-noted opinion by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. In Re Andrew J. Kline held that a prosecutor’s ethical duty to disclose exculpatory evidence was broader than his or her legal duty under the Brady line of cases.

The court specifically found that the prosecutor was required to disclose exculpatory evidence, “regardless of whether that information would meet the materiality requirements of Bagley, Kyles, and their progeny.”

It therefore held that a federal prosecutor, who had failed to turn over a witness statement, had violated the District of Columbia’s Rule 3.8(e), modeled on the ABA’s Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.8(d).

In a “Formal Opinion,” entitled Prosecutor’s Duty to Disclose Evidence and Information Favorable to the Defense (2009), the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility wrote: . . .

Continue reading.

The site looks very interesting—check out the home page, which currently includes a link to this post:
Prosecutor Appears to Threaten Witnesses Claiming Richard Glossip is Innocent.”

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2015 at 9:58 am

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement

Workflowy is really nice

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The more I use Workflowy, the more I like it. It runs in a pinned tab in my default browser, and I add notes and reminders as needed. If I mark something as “completed” it is grayed out with a strikethrough, and it’s easy to drag items here and there (so I can have a “Completed” item and drag completed things underneath it as sub-items, plus there’s a toggle to hide/unhide completed items.

Altogether worth exploring. And the help system is particularly nice, consisting in large part of brief demo videos.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2015 at 9:12 am

Posted in Daily life, Software

Gillette Rocket and Maggard Lilac, comparing RazoRock and Plisson angel-hair synthetics

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SOTD 6 Oct 2015

Sometime last week I said I’d do a side-by-side comparison of RazoRock’s new angel-hair synthetic and the Plisson angel-hair synthetic.

The soap today is Maggard Razors Lilac, which has a wonderful fragrance and makes a fine lather but is sold in containers that are half empty (or, if you’re an optimist, half full). Though some like having empty space in the container, I prefer to get containers that are full (like Martin de Candre’s shaving soaps, to name one example).

Be that as it may, I loaded both brushes easily—the Maggard soaps are quite good and easy to lather—and lathered my beard using the brushes alternately. I don’t think I would notice any significant difference between the two if I used them separately, but when juxtaposed in the same shave, the differences were evident.

As you can see in the photo, the RazoRock knot (the brush on the left) is somewhat larger: the knot a slightly greater diameter than the Plisson’s, though the lofts seem to be the same. I thus expected it to feel larger on my face. However, the brushes felt much the same size and, if anything, the Plisson felt a tad larger—and certainly felt softer. (I think the Plisson’s greater softness is what made it feel larger.)

As I say, I doubt that I would notice the difference had I used the brushes separately, on different days, but using them side by side, the Plisson’s greater softness was obvious. On the whole, the Plisson felt better, but note that the RazoRock will sell for $15 when it is again available and that Plisson costs €34.80 ($39.20), more than twice as much—in fact, more than 2.5 times as much. So it’s no surprise that the quality is somewhat greater.

That said, the RazoRock is quite good, and at $15 is a great bargain. Since I now have both, though, I myself prefer the feel of the Plisson. Both brushes perform admirably in terms of creating lather, so there’s no difference there.

Once lathered, I shaved, using the British equivalent of the Super Speed, the Gillette Rocket, an altogether more skookum razor. Here’s the Super Speed and the Rocket side by side, with the Super Speed in front, and you can see the difference. In terms of weight, the Super Speed shown is 55g and the Rocket is 72g.Rocket and Super Speed

Three passes to a BBS result with no problems encountered. Altogether a fine shave. I finished with a final splash of Esbjerg Sensitive aftershave gel, and again I really like the fragrance, feel, and effect of this aftershave. I may have to get a bottle.

I should note that my preference for the feel of the Plisson is just that: a personal preference. I can readily imagine that some will probably prefer the RazoRock’s feel, and talk about how it has more “backbone,” a characteristic not important (or impressive) to me: I like invertebrate brushes because I like a brush that feels soft on my face. That’s part of the YMMV of shaving. And no matter how much we talk about YMMV, some will always believe that their own experience is the “true” experience, and any experience that differs is some sort of error.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 October 2015 at 9:03 am

Posted in Shaving

Teaching ignorance

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From McGraw-Hill’s World Geography textbook:

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 9.54.08 PM

Yanan Wang reports in the Washington Post:

Mothers of teenagers are used to getting frustrating text messages, but the one that Roni Dean-Burren received from her 15-year-old son last week wasn’t about alcohol, dating or money for the movies.

It was about history.

Her son, Coby, had sent her a photo of a colorful page in his ninth-grade McGraw-Hill World Geography textbook. In a section titled “Patterns of Immigration,” a speech bubble pointing to a U.S. map read: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.”

“We was real hard workers wasn’t we,” Coby retorted in a subsequent text.

The image alarmed Dean-Burren, who was an English teacher for 11 years at the Pearland, Tex., public high school that her son attends. Now a doctoral candidate in the University of Houston’s Language Arts program, she has spent much of her life thinking about the power and dangers of nuanced language. The motive behind the textbook’s choice of words seemed clear.

“This is erasure,” Dean-Burren said in an interview with The Washington Post. “This is revisionist history — retelling the story however the winners would like it told.”

In calling slaves “workers” and their move to the United States “immigration,” she noted in viral Facebook posts Wednesday and Thursday, the textbook suggests not only that her African American ancestors arrived on the continent willingly, but also that they were compensated for their labor.

McGraw-Hill Education sought to redress these implied untruths in aFacebook announcement Friday. While the geography program “meets the learning objectives of the course,” the publishing company’s statement said, a close review of the content revealed that “our language in that caption did not adequately convey that Africans were both forced into migration and to labor against their will as slaves.”

“We believe we can do better,” it continues. “To communicate these facts more clearly, we will update this caption to describe the arrival of African slaves in the U.S. as a forced migration and emphasize that their work was done as slave labor.”

The changes will be made in the textbook’s digital version and included in its next run.

While McGraw-Hill’s action came swiftly, it was after tens of thousands of people had already expressed their outrage on social media. By the time Dean-Burren received news of the company’s response, her video contemplating the textbook’s impact had garnered half a million views.

Dean-Burren has mixed feelings about the outcome. “On a surface level, ‘yay,’” she said. “I understand that McGraw-Hill is a textbook giant, so thumbs up for listening.”

On the other hand, few students use the digital version, and as her son’s textbook is brand new (copyright year 2016), another print version likely won’t come out for another ten years, Dean-Burren said.

She called on McGraw-Hill to rise to its own professed standard: “I know they can do better. They can send out a supplement. They can recall those books. Regardless of whether you’re left-leaning or right-leaning, you know that’s not really the story of slavery.”

Referencing her use of #BlackLivesMatter on Facebook, Dean-Burren added, “Minimizing slavery in any way is a way of saying those black lives, those black bodies, that black pain didn’t matter enough to give it a full description.”

The educational publisher has been criticized for its Texas materials before. McGraw-Hill was one of a handful of textbook providers that came under fire after the Texas State Board of Education adopted new standards for its social studies curriculum in 2010 — a policy that educators derided for interfering with accurate history instruction. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 October 2015 at 9:57 pm

Posted in Books, Education


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