Later On

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

Archive for December 21st, 2019

Tofu cubes baked in the oven

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I’m definitely going to make this, and I think I’ll use Savory Spice Blend for the seasoning. (I certainly don’t want to use salt!) Here are the ingredients:

  • Tofu: One block of tofu, either firm or extra-firm.  I also strongly recommend buying organic tofu, if it’s available.
  • Oil: Olive oil, or whatever your preferred cooking oil may be.
  • Cornstarch: This is the magic ingredient that helps make tofu (as well as many other foods) extra-crispy in the oven.
  • Seasonings: I typically just use a mixture of garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper to season my tofu.  (This mixture goes well with just about any recipe.)  But see below for other seasonings ideas.

Do look at the post — lots of ideas.

It will be a break from tempeh.

Update: Very tasty. After it was cooked, I did dust it with a small pinch of saalt and squeezed half a lime over it. Wonderful snack.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2019 at 5:39 pm

Your Every Move Is Being Tracked. Seriously.

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Kevin Drum comments on a recent report in the NY Times:

You know how apps are constantly asking you if they can track your location? This may seem perfectly ordinary for, say Google Maps, which has a genuine interest in improving their mapping software by finding out how people use it. But why do magazines need to know your location? Or Spotify? Or Facebook?

They don’t, really. But gigantic databases of people’s movements are valuable commodities in the era of information supremacy, and all that location data eventually ends up in the hands of companies who can sell it to the highest bidder. The New York Times recently got hold of one such database, which holds 50 billion pings of 12 million people, and they were pretty shocked by just how easily they could use it to follow anyone they put their minds to.

But wait. Isn’t all this data anonymized? It’s not like each ping includes your name and Social Security number. Think again:

In most cases, ascertaining a home location and an office location was enough to identify a person. Consider your daily commute: Would any other smartphone travel directly between your house and your office every day?…Yet companies continue to claim that the data are anonymous. In marketing materials and at trade conferences, anonymity is a major selling point — key to allaying concerns over such invasive monitoring.

To evaluate the companies’ claims, we turned most of our attention to identifying people in positions of power. With the help of publicly available information, like home addresses, we easily identified and then tracked scores of notables. We followed military officials with security clearances as they drove home at night. We tracked law enforcement officers as they took their kids to school. We watched high-powered lawyers (and their guests) as they traveled from private jets to vacation properties. We did not name any of the people we identified without their permission.

Large gatherings can produce treasure troves:

The inauguration weekend yielded a trove of personal stories and experiences: elite attendees at presidential ceremonies, religious observers at church services, supporters assembling across the National Mall — all surveilled and recorded permanently in rigorous detail….Protesters were tracked just as rigorously….We spotted a senior official at the Department of Defense walking through the Women’s March, beginning on the National Mall and moving past the Smithsonian National Museum of American History that afternoon. His wife was also on the mall that day, something we discovered after tracking him to his home in Virginia. Her phone was also beaming out location data, along with the phones of several neighbors.

The official’s data trail also led to a high school, homes of friends, a visit to Joint Base Andrews, workdays spent in the Pentagon and a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall with President Barack Obama in 2017 (nearly a dozen more phones were tracked there, too). Inauguration Day weekend was marked by other protests — and riots. Hundreds of protesters, some in black hoods and masks, gathered north of the National Mall that Friday, eventually setting fire to a limousine near Franklin Square. The data documented those rioters, too. Filtering the data to that precise time and location led us to the doorsteps of some who were there. Police were present as well, many with faces obscured by riot gear. The data led us to the homes of at least two police officers who had been at the scene.

And of course, this is just child’s play. The reporters aren’t experts in this stuff, and they had access to just one smallish database. In real life, information can be compared across databases to effectively de-anonymize the data. They know who you are, where you’ve been, what you buy, and what countries you visit on overseas trips. If the government did something like this, we’d all be outraged. But for some reason, when private companies do it we just shrug. But it can be used for more than just getting us to buy more stuff:

In one case, we observed a change in the regular movements of a Microsoft engineer. He made a visit one Tuesday afternoon to the main Seattle campus of a Microsoft competitor, Amazon. The following month, he started a new job at Amazon. It took minutes to identify him as Ben Broili, a manager now for Amazon Prime Air, a drone delivery service. “I can’t say I’m surprised,” Mr. Broili told us in early December. “But knowing that you all can get ahold of it and comb through and place me to see where I work and live — that’s weird.” That we could so easily discern that Mr. Broili was out on a job interview raises some obvious questions, like: Could the internal location surveillance of executives and employees become standard corporate practice?

Read the whole thing for more. And then consider just . ..

Continue reading.

Obviously the government can (and doubtless has) purchased those databases. The government has simply outsourced constant surveillance of every citizen with a smartphone.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2019 at 4:37 pm

I like it when cats show up in movies

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This was just a quick 3-second shot, but I like the kitty:

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2019 at 9:02 am

Posted in Cats, Movies & TV

GOP is overtly and explicitly destroying democracy through voter suppression

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The Republican party is opposed to American democracy. It’s that simple. Read this thread on Twitter that was prompted by this report:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One of President Donald Trump’s top reelection advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states, according to an audio recording of a private event obtained by The Associated Press. The adviser said later that his remarks referred to frequent and false accusations that Republicans employ such tactics.

Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s reelection campaign, made the remarks on Nov. 21 as part of a wide-ranging discussion about strategies in the 2020 campaign, including more aggressive use of Election Day monitoring of polling places.

“Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Clark said at the event. “Let’s start protecting our voters. We know where they are. … Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.” . . .

And Republicans are working at it even now:

234,000 purged from Wisconsin voter rolls

And sometimes it fails:

Texas Voting Chief Who Led Botched Voter Purge Resigns

But often it succeeds, with the result we observe: a government that is not of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Read that Twitter thread. One of the tweets:

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2019 at 8:06 am

Solstice, naturally, with Solar Flare and the Rockwell

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Solstice seems the obvious choice and it is welcome indeed, for now the days start to lengthen — thus the Solar Flare brush, which made a very fine lather (and fragrant — I love Solstice’s fragrance).

Three passes using the Rockwell 3R baseplate left a BBS result, to which I applied a splash of Solstice aftershave. I have to say that I’m looking forward to the longer days.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 December 2019 at 7:29 am

Posted in Shaving

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