As can be seen by looking at this site, there hasn’t really been much in the way of activity for some time. The reason why was life in and of itself. It happens. I won’t go into details, but I had to take a break from the site.
While I was thinking about finding ways to revive the site yet again, something occurred to me.
I wasn’t having fun with it. Combine that with the fact that we’re in a political environment in which we aren’t as willing to think outside the box, and we have what’s called a no win situation.
Then we have individuals who are Revolution for Sale®.
The funny thing is, there are plenty of things to hit a certain radio talk show host in the head with, yet people are going with things that are so weak that it makes me virtually face palm and head desk myself. There are legitimate things that can be used to expose this individual for the person he really is.
Case in point:
I can try to point these things out, but the audience may not be in the mood to listen, and who can blame them? We’re in an environment where we’ve been yelling at each other for so long that we can’t see the forest from the trees.
The perspective of there only being things that are Black and White is what has been hurting us more than anything, and I don’t want to be in that environment at the moment.
I want to have fun again, and give people something to smile about.
What better way to do that than to do something that is actually fun? That is why I started RetroX86. I have been looking at the history of personal computers for some time, and was excited for the first time for some time.
So this isn’t goodbye or see you later.
I’m just setting this site aside for the time being. You’ll still be able to access past content, including the podcasts and magazine issues. The part that said, “Entertain Yourself….” is something I take seriously.
If your heart isn’t in it, don’t do it. My heart is somewhere else at the moment, so I will be doing that.
Thank you for visiting, and please check out the new site.
Versailles, Missouri based radio talk show host Joyce Riley will no longer be able to host The Power Hour radio broadcast. According to their official Facebook Fan Page:
It is with the greatest of sadness that we deliver to you today the heartbreaking news of the death of our friend and fellow patriot Joyce Riley. Joyce died peacefully on June 25, 2017.
Sent with love and remembrance,
The Power Hour
With the so called “government shutdown” delayed until next week, the roller coaster of 2017 is still building momentum, which brings us this week’s Friday Roundup.
FOSS Force announced the improvement of their news wire. In addition to headlines and authors, excerpts are now included. DistroWatch Weekly has a review of Ubuntu 17.04, the final series that will use Unity for the desktop environment before switching back to GNOME in the next LTS release. Jesse Smith noted an issue with Snap packages in conjunction with DEB packages.
I think it is worth mentioning that to install Snaps from Ubuntu Software, we need to have an Ubuntu One account. Sometimes, when trying to install Snaps, I would encounter authentication errors with my Ubuntu One account and I found closing Ubuntu Software and then re-opening the software manager and trying to install the Snap again would work around the issue.
I also feel it worth pointing out that Ubuntu’s three software managers (Ubuntu Software, Snap and APT) each work with a subset of the available packages. Snaps, for example, cannot be managed using the APT utilities. Likewise, we cannot use Snap to manage traditional Deb packages. The Ubuntu Software application tries to bridge this gap and works with desktop applications provided by both Snaps and Deb packages. However, Ubuntu Software does not work with non-desktop software or some games, requiring a trip to the command line to manage those items. This situation may get better in the future and we may get an all-in-one software manager, but for now we need three different utilities to manage software on Ubuntu and that makes for an awkward situation.
The CEO of Thinkpenguin Inc was arrested for filming the police at a police checkpoint and may face up to a year in jail. Christopher Waid had this to say:
I was essentially arrested for filming a police checkpoint in Manchester, New Hampshire (police invoked non-existent law to interfere with recording, made multiple contradicting and confusing requests, and were quick to obstruct and damage video recording equipment). Papers please. I don’t think I’ll be posting this to the ThinkPenguin blog as its irrelevant to free software / the company / etc. However I thought people here might be interested in following the case. The entire trial will be highly publicized, recorded, etc. One of the officers humorously threatens me with a motor vehicle violation. To be clear I was not drinking, not driving, had no car nearby (got there via another driver which had his car parks two or three blocks away), and in no way under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The Debian Project is shutting down their public FTP service, though developers won’t be affected. According to SoftPedia:
This means that the upload queues for both the main (ftp://ftp.upload.debian.org) and security (ftp://security-master.debian.org) archives will be accessible to them. The rest of the world won’t be able to access ftp://ftp.debian.org, nor ftp://security.debian.org starting November 1, 2017.
Overlooked Pop Culture
Comic book fans may have a reason to rejoice with the upcoming Marvel Legacy one shot. It includes multiple characters telling a story of the glory days. The story will relate to future of the Marvel Universe going forward.
Podcast co-host Stephen Kelley has a review of the 2017 release of Ghost in the Shell. He does pose a warning to the Internet Outrage Machine before the review is underway:
Let’s get this first part out of the way:
If there is one thing I’m tired of in the realm of film and television, it’s pre-emptive complainers trying to de-rail everything before it even comes out. with any review of this live action American/Chinese Ghost in The Shell film, everyone has drawn battle lines in regards to the elephant in the room of “Hollywood whitewashing”; in fact, I would say you were almost expected to take a side, and if you took a side that many didn’t like you’d get lectured by the other. It’s annoying that folks are getting in fights and “unfriending” each-other because of opinions over a goofy sci-fi film, but that’s our modern society I guess. Some popular reviews from major sites didn’t even talk about the film, they just reviewed everything that was in some way perceived as racist to stoke the outrage fires, this honestly comes across like they never actually watched it.
I’m not going to dwell on this topic too much because I can see both sides and don’t think arguing over whether or not Scarlett Johanson should or should not be cast as The Major actually addresses the actual problem that Hollywood has with representation. The internet witch hunts and rage were nearly identical to what people attempted to do with both recent Star Wars films, and even last years re-boot of Ghostbusters, and I honestly don’t care anymore. I’d rather discuss a film based on an anime/manga property that I’ve loved for upwards of 20+ years, and how it turned out.
On a lighter note, Causecon has started today and will run through Sunday. All proceeds will go towards the local Women’s Resource Center in Beckley, West Virginia.
Political underground radio talk show host Jack Blood has made his return after a lengthy hiatus. He has a Patreon page for those who have followed him over the years and want to support him. On said page, he indicated the following:
At this time, the show is 100% commercial free! It will be up to you if it stays that way.
That ends this week’s Friday Roundup. We’ll be back next week.
Once again, they’re way off the mark, and this is part of the reason why so much trust has been lost regarding these established outlets.
The issue at hand is that he uses certain shock jock tactics which are really not that different from that of Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern. He has an audience to build and maintain. The sense of urgency that he has always displayed has been a part of his viral marketing.
There’s a reason he kept encouraging his followers to copy his films and give them away for free.
However extreme and paranoid and downright cartoonish his unending stream of alarm can be, Jones believes every word he says and can prove it with a personal stash of food big enough to last three years. And if they bothered to look without prejudice, these righteous leftists would see that Jones covers issues like the drug war, the growing security state, and Monsanto’s genetic modification of food exactly the way they do, just as many of his themes were echoed by the Occupy movement. –John H Richardson for Esquire Magazine
Jones has since changed tone since Trump was elected as President of the United States, but he did cover a lot of points of view that the anti-war crowd would have agreed with during George W Bush’s time in office. As for further evidence that Jones believes what he says, look no further than Joe Rogan.
This isn’t to say that I entirely agree with Jones or his tactics that are used. What I find irritating is the mindless group think that keeps echoing each other when a misleading headline comes across the eyes of the masses.
If people are to oppose Jones and those similar to him, they need to have all their facts straight and be able to back up what is being argued.
When one digs deeper, they find the story of an individual who doesn’t like competition and who may very well have sold out depending on the point of view. Those are points in which criticism would be valid as opposed to saying he doesn’t believe in what he’s selling.
This week has been an interesting one to say the least. Ubuntu continues to get noticed due to Canonical’s change in direction while other interesting developments in the land of make believe are on the horizon. Still, it’s time to get our nerd on.
Here’s this week’s Friday Roundup.
Canonical’s announcement of moving back to GNOME and no longer using Unity starting with the next LTS release has had some exploring their options. The conclusion of one blog post is that GNOME 3 can’t replace Unity and that there will definitely be a learning curve for those who aren’t used to it.
Luís de Sousa writes:
The take home message of this exercise is that Unity 7 and Gnome 3 are markedly different desktop environments, designed with different – sometimes almost antagonistic – goals. Gnome 3 is a low visual feedback environment, meant for a small number of workspaces and highly reliant on mouse input. In its turn, Unity 7 is far more open to keyboard interaction, embraces workspaces as a cornerstone of desktop interfacing and overall offers far more modes of interaction and features. Unity 7 comes across as a transparent environment, providing immediate visual feedback on what may be happening with each of the programmes it manages; by contrast Gnome 3 opts to hide many visual cues, preferring a clean desktop, focused entirely on the current foreground programme.
(Bolding added for emphasis)
With the switch to GNOME will come the obvious switch to Wayland as well. X11 is network oriented, while Wayland is focused on individual systems, thus cutting down on overhead and improving graphical performance.
Speaking of Ubuntu, System76 is now starting to move production and design in-house. Phase Three will be long term. Carl Richell writes:
We’re starting with desktops. There’s a lot to learn and the form factor is easiest to work with. Both design and CAD work are well along their way. We’re prototyping with acrylic and moving to metal soon. Our first in-house designed and manufactured desktops will ship next year. Laptops are more complex and will follow much later.
The past several weeks have seen accusations of media venues peddling fake news and that something has to be done about it. Believe it or not, major venues are not without sin in that category. Here are just three instances in which major media publications and networks got things wrong.
As Jon Schwarz of The Intercept points out, major media outlets are still getting this one wrong. The false premise of invading Iraq was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he was aiding Al Qaeda. In reality, both were bitter enemies.
As for the weapons that were found, they were the very same weapons that existed well before Dessert Storm and Shield. They were holdovers from the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980’s. Some of the weapons couldn’t be destroyed safely due to their very nature, and Hussein was not about to attempt to utilize them.
The world would have discovered it quickly.
The other weapons were ones that Hussein didn’t know about as his regime lost track of them. They weren’t the only military force to lose track of resources as the US Military has also done the same.
Numerous casualties and injuries would result from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Blair wasn’t the only one who played a part in misleading the public. Another individual was involved in pushing the talking points of George W Bush’s administration. Among said points includes the previously covered instance above.
Accusations of bias and being fake aren’t necessarily new nor are actual acts of either. Multiple mainstream venues have indeed made mistakes in terms of accuracy and are not without sin.
So the next time you hear somebody ask about fake news, you may want to ask them, “Remember Brian Williams?”
Update: Over a week later, they implemented SSL. They have a security certificate from Comodo.
In light of the election results and the accusations of venues acting as fake news outlets and/or propaganda arms to the Russian government, there has been concerns regarding free speech. There is legislation that is indeed concerning as it could potentially violate the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution.
With that said, the fourth and fifth amendments should also be valued as well. I am no fan of tearing down other venues, but there are times when criticism is warranted. When I saw Infowars ask for signatures for a petition, I became irritated.
It is a similar tactic used by Newsmax and other venues. I have no problem with petitioning or asking for people to signup for a newsletter. Where I take issue is when I see that the website doesn’t use SSL Encryption.
I had a similar issue with John McAfee himself when he announced he was running for President. He was requesting volunteers on his campaign site, but there was no SSL Encryption.
To be fair, after being called on it, a certificate was implemented, thus ensuring the privacy of those who signed up to volunteer.
Without encryption, any information submitted in an online form can be intercepted by a third party interloper. Other sites like The Intercept use SSL due to the revelations from Edward Snowden. Having a plan for OpSec, or Operational Security, is important and should not be overlooked.
This means protecting the information of visitors in any way possible on the entire site, not just a customer’s online shopping cart. This site is no exception.
This means any comments you submit will be encrypted and not intercepted by a third party. We value your privacy, which is why we don’t complain when ad blocking is used.
The idea is to earn money with the site, but without visitors, that won’t happen.
So the next time you see a call to action, double check and make sure the connection to the site is secure. In the meantime, you may want to e-mail Kurt Nimmo or Paul Joseph Watson and ask them why Infowars does not implement site wide SSL Encryption.
I have no doubt he either killed himself or has a new FBI ID…ROT in Hell asshole. –Jack Blood
I want to start by apologizing to everyone. I know it’s been a long time since I published anything here. The podcast is still going, but due to the election year, I haven’t put out a new episode in a while. Ironically, it’s with the subject matter at hand that jolted me back to life so to speak.
Last week, I saw the posts spreading on Facebook regarding the death of Victor Thorn, including from some popular fan pages. One of the primary links is from the American Free Press, a controversial alternative media site.
He died of a self inflicted gun shot wound.
Due to the fact that 2016 is a Presidential Election year and that Hillary Clinton is running for President, speculation was naturally going to occur. Thorn had written books and articles critical of the Democratic nominee, so this comes as no surprise.
I want to preface this next part by saying that I have no intention of speaking ill of the dead. Other than a minor rant on the YouTube channel, I haven’t publicly talked about it. I understand that there are family and friends who are grieving, and death is not known for being pleasant.
To Scott Makufka’s immediate family, you have my sincere condolences. The rest of this article is not aimed at any of you, for this is something that none of you were involved in. What I am about to say is not something I’m going to enjoy.
The truth must be told
Like with Steve Jobs of Apple, Thorn is already being given that mythic status, but reality must prevail. Before anybody places him on a pedestal, there’s some things you need to know.
Things like the fact that he is no martyr, let alone a hero.
In the beginning of my foray into the alternative media, I actually interviewed both him and Lisa Guliani on WING TV, an online television show that predates the existence of online streaming sites such as YouTube. Granted, the videos used RealMedia for encoding, but it was fairly cutting edge for the time.
Thorn and Guliani would have been what others referred to as conspiracy theorists. They questioned the official narrative of 9/11 and also viewed the state of politics in the early 2000’s with suspicion. That aspect of both of them was not the most controversial part of this duo.
They even did a satirical episode where they pulled Masonic symbols out of Art Bell’s ass. Keep that in mind for later.
One of the major figures they also criticized was Alex Jones of Infowars.com. They stopped doing so for a while until they went to Oklahoma City to talk about the Oklahoma City Bombing with others who questioned the government’s official narrative.
I actually spoke to Guliani, Thorn’s co-host, over the telephone on a regular basis. They both bragged about the results on Whalen’s show; threats were called in, a former associate of Jones cut off a micro-broadcasting station, and more.
Had I been more experienced back then, the fact that they were excited about those things would have raised a red flag.
They eventually made the claim that since GCN was renting satellite time from ABC, they were an affiliate of ABC’s. That’s like referring to me as an affiliate of Charter Communications because they happen to by my ISP at this time. In other words, confirmation bias is what caused them to look for anything proving that GCN, the very network that broadcasts The Alex Jones Show, was nothing more than a corporate sellout.
That was before I had a better understanding of the broadcasting world.
Enter Revere Radio Network. This was a network that both had initially supported until Sonny Crack, one of the show hosts who had an understanding of the broadcasting media world, called out Guliani for her inaccuracy (albeit in a not so diplomatic manner).
He would go on to create an adult themed satire aimed at her.
So what did two alternative media personalities based out of State College, Pennsylvania do about said satire recorded by a host who was based out of Tampa Bay, Florida?
More importantly, if two people claim that they are anti-establishment, what is the best course of action if they wanted to torpedo their own credibility?
Revere himself interviewed him, and eventually wound up realizing that I was no enemy of his. My thoughts at the time was that if he really cared about the news and the truth, he would pursue it. He did.
He decided to put me through a test as well and offered me a spot on his radio network. My initial plan was to torture them and even have the two co-hosts from WING TV on as guests, but both saw this as an act of betrayal.
The magic of Internet drama.
To top it off, I was informed that some things were going to go down in the future and that I wouldn’t be privy to them because of what I did. They would continue attacking and criticizing other alternative media personalities, thus creating more of a divide.
The two individuals were so polarizing that they eventually had a falling out with one another, resulting in Guliani leaving the show. Not long after that, WING TV would transform into a glorified online bookstore.
According to Bill Makufka, Scott Makufka was a complicated individual; Victor Thorn wasn’t just a pseudonym, but a separate identity.
He would tailor the conversation for each individual that he talked to, a description of a trait that sounds all too familiar, but that’s a story for another day.
What you need to know is that he along with his then-cohort did more criticizing than original content creation. They did some original work, such as protesting at Ground Zero on 9/11 a couple of times and Thorn/Makufka would put already existing material into an original format (9/11 On Trial), but they also built long list of people in their so called “Hall of Shame.”
When people are focused on more than ideas, there’s a problem. This holds true regardless of point of view. One can’t claim to be against “The Man” when they go to “The Man” to solve a perceived problem in the first place, especially when it’s a civil matter.
Scott “Victor Thorn” Makufka is no martyr, no hero, no deity. He was human, and in the past he along with a former co-host made a few mistakes (some more egregious than others) and ironically generated negativity, the very thing Makufka disdained.
So please don’t put him on top of a pedestal or argue that Hillary Clinton had anything to do with his death.