All I Want For Christmas

is a nice easy to remember password that works for every site I visit, and for all the internet places I go to everyday. One would think this is an easy request, but it seems to be damn near impossible to achieve. Among the worst password requesters are Google, and Apple. Both companies demand using passwords, and that they be changed often. In the process they drive users nuts. Probably even worse than Apple is Norton password manager which requires it’s own password to enter before you can access your passwords.

Being memory challenged makes this particularly difficult to navigate. Just try reading the instructions offered by Google. They might as well be in Egyptian hieroglyphics as far as I am concerned. I am an Apple person, but if a simpler system becomes available I’ll dump everything Apple in favor of simplicity. I have an Apple user-id, but it seems that Apple can not recognize that id in any of it’s many discrete applications like iCloud, Apple Store, iTunes, iPhotos, iMovies, etc. Compound that with devices like iMac, iPad, iPhone, iWatch, and many more. I would think a simple droplet of blood applied to a device would solve the problem. I may go anemic or worse yet die because of a lack of blood, but it might be easier to use the devices.

Last week my internet service took a crap, and stopped working. In order to get it up and running I decided to reset the system by shutting everything down. I went too far, and shut off my iMac as well. That was a tragic error on my part. The most tragic was trying to re-enter my own computer after a shut down. It has been three years since the machine has been shut off, and that time gap caused me to forget the Apple id, and password for the machine. It took a full four hours of watching, and listening to Youtube videos made by two different guys from India who spoke a mile a minute with a strong Hindi accent, and tons of trial and error efforts using their recovery steps to finally get into this Mac which sits on my desk unused by anyone but myself. Success was finally achieved and unlike the woman who gives birth and forgets the pain immediately upon seeing her child my pain continues. Now, for whatever reason, in the great wisdom of Apple the Mac acts just like my iPhone. If it is unattended for a few seconds it requires, you guessed it, a password to enter again. I am positive that this useless feature can be turned off, but I may not live long enough to learn where the switch is. I will sleep easier now that I am protected from my wife getting into my computer when I’m away.

Man typing on the keyboard trying to log into his computer forgot password

In trying to understand why all this is necessary, I vision the workplace where every colleague takes over your keyboard when you turn your back, or go to the john. I would sooner booby trap that individual and spray him with indigo blue ink than have to reenter the password every time.

Throughout all this I keep hearing about how smart artificial intelligence has become, but in my opinion this problem is beyond the capabilities of AI. Maybe in another hundred years after electric cars rule the planet, and the air is thick with the smoke of hydrocarbon fueled electric power stations, AI will be smart enough to solve the password problem. However, there is no incentive for Apple, Google, Norton, and the others to solve it because they are making too much money selling updates to newer machines that need more passwords. Like I said above, I’ll reward the company who solves the pw problem permanently with my cash. In the meantime, I’ll keep asking Santa for a solution. His elves suffer from the same malady and may be able to make the miracle happen.

Be Careful What You Search For

I am sharing this article written by Daniel Greenfield.


 Daniel Greenfield  October 24, 2022

Forget Big Brother, Big MUM is Google’s new tool for suppressing conservatives.

MUM or Multitask Unified Model was hyped last year as the company’s new machine learning algorithm. MUM had been initially described as an innovative way to allow Google’s dying search service to answer natural language questions by drawing on multiple sources.

While MUM’s applications initially appeared to be apolitical, that quickly changed.

Google first unleashed MUM to fight what it considered COVID “misinformation” by making sure that everyone saw “high quality and timely information from trusted health authorities like the World Health Organization”. By reducing the number of sources to only those that agree with its agenda, Google is able to deliver fast results while getting rid of different points of view.

A Forbes article described how MUM would “check information across multiple reliable sources” to allow “the system to come to a general consensus”. Google had once built its search around the vast diversity of a bygone internet, but it has spent the last decade draining the diversity and depth of the pool and replacing it with the shallow manufactured consensus of its agenda.

Google long ago ceased being a way to find different answers and its search results are deliberately repetitive. Search is an illusion. The user thinks that he’s browsing the internet when he’s actually spinning his wheels in Google’s walled garden. This is most obvious in shopping and in politics: two areas where Google has strong interests and tries to manipulate users into believing that they are exploring options when they’re being hand fed variations on a theme.

Or as Pandu Nayak, VP of search at Google, wrote in a recent post, “By using our latest AI model, Multitask Unified Model (MUM), our systems can now understand the notion of consensus, which is when multiple high-quality sources on the web all agree on the same fact.”

The last thing the world needs is another centralized computer system enforcing a consensus.

Google disagrees with many of its users about what “reliable sources” or “high-quality sources” entail. MUM helps the Big Tech search monopoly manufacture a consensus, on what it claims is a universal fact, and to promote snippets on its own site that promote that consensus.

The monopoly doesn’t see its search service as a way to rank sites. The Big Tech monopoly, like its counterparts, doesn’t want users actually leaving its sites, and wants to force a “consensus” answer on them in its search engine. MUM is another tool for keeping users on its digital plantation. The underlying notion behind MUM is a continuing redefinition of search, not as browsing an array of sources, but as a way of delivering a single instantaneous answer.

Googlers have long been obsessed with the idea of replicating Star Trek’s fictional computer which would offer the answer to any question in a robotic female voice.

MUM is the next step in this Big Sister quest.

“The Star Trek computer is not just a metaphor that we use to explain to others what we’re building. It is the ideal that we’re aiming to build—the ideal version done realistically,” Amit Singhal, then the head of Google’s search rankings team, boasted.

Singhal was later forced to leave the company over sexual harassment allegations.

“It was the perfect search engine,” he gushed about the Star Trek computer. “You could ask it a question and it would tell you exactly the right answer, one right answer—and sometimes it would tell you things you needed to know in advance, before you could ask it.”

In 2022, Google’s search is hopelessly broken because the company no longer has any interest in providing the search service that made it a monopoly, giving a ranked list of diverse results, but wants everyone to speak into their phones and receive a single answer. The consensus.

Google’s snippets and knowledge panels displace links to actual sites and provide what the monopoly claims is the definitive answer. Its search assistant is similarly set up to provide a single answer. Google doesn’t want you to compare answers, but to listen to MUM.

And sometimes Google wants to give you the information before you ask it.

If you own an advanced Android phone, you may find that Google Assistant will interrupt conversations to offer its own “insights”. Google is also pursuing “prebunking” of what it considers “misinformation” with preemptive propaganda campaigns.

Jigsaw, the company’s most explicitly political arm, is researching what it calls “prebunking” or attacking views it opposes before they can even gain traction. Prebunking is currently being experimentally tested by Google’s Jigsaw to fight “misinformation” in Poland and other Eastern European countries against Ukrainian migrants. This is only a test and Jigsaw expects there to be much wider application for the information techniques that its “researchers” are developing.

Google’s YouTube already has a broad set of bans covering everything from questioning global warming, contradicting medical experts, and debating 2020 election results. These are a window into the company’s political agendas and how it seeks to enforce political conformity.

While it seeks to narrow the sphere of acceptable information in its platforms, Google is working with the leftist Poynter Institute, one of the most notoriously biased fact check spammers, to develop “media literacy.”. The company claims to have spent $75 million on efforts to fight “misinformation.” And who determines what misinformation is? He who controls the algorithms.

As the midterm elections approach, YouTube spokeswoman, Ivy Choi, promised that the video site’s recommendations are “continuously and prominently surfacing midterms-related content from authoritative news sources and limiting the spread of harmful midterms-related misinformation.” The technical term for this is mass propaganda. That’s what Big Tech does.

The internet was revolutionary because it upended the central systems of mass propaganda which allowed a government and a handful of men to enforce their consensus on a helpless public through the mass media of newspapers, radio stations, movie theaters and television sets. Big Tech’s Web 2.0 killed the revolution and restored the oligarchy. Its monopolists see the internet as only a faster way to deliver more immersive propaganda to the masses.

The Big Tech monopolies took off by taming the web, shrinking its vast promise and diversity of content into smaller walled gardens that they could dominate and monetize. Facebook inhaled most of the social interactions on the internet and locked it up in its private platform. Google is determined to do the same thing to the bewildering parade of ideas of the entire internet.

When Google’s senior VP Prabhakar Raghavan first introduced MUM, he suggested that the goal was to “develop not only a better understanding of information on the Web, but a better understanding of the world.” What happens on the internet doesn’t stay on the internet.

Conservatives are one of the cultural barriers because their existence is a marked reminder that Big Tech does not control everything. While its executives and employees are socially insulated wokes operating in major urban centers, they manage systems that extend around the country and the world. When they encounter different points of view, they seek to wipe them out.

MUM is yet another tool for enforcing a totalitarian conformity on the diversity of the internet.

Google doesn’t want you to think differently or to think for yourself. What it wants users to do is to shut up and listen to Big MUM.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


Today I read a short headline proclaiming that Chinese mega phone company Hua Wei is becoming the world’s leader in artificial intelligence infrastructure. Evidently, the Chinese want to know everything about you before you do. I only wish they would place particular emphasis on designing hearing aids for me that can differentiate between the noise of a crowded restaurant and the person sitting opposite me. If ever there was a need for artificial intelligence that would do it for me.

I am on my third set of Siemens hearing aids (eight years) and although I will admit they have made some progress in reliability, and in sound quality, hearing aids are still in the stone age. Siemens is the European version of General Electric, known for its advanced quality in all things electronic. When I bought my last set they changed the name of the hearing aid division from Siemens to Signia. A good move I thought, why tarnish your entire company by one poor division. Give it a new name and we dupes of the world will believe the product is better.

Ask anyone who uses hearing aids what they like about them and they will say, “I can hear.” Ask what they hate about them and they say, “I can’t hear.” The “I can’t” has to be qualified with I can’t hear in noisy environments. When I got my last set the audiologist sold me on the many wonderful ways the devices can be programmed. For instance, I have a setting for noisy environments which dulls the sound I hear. The only problem is that the AI required to separate noise from voice is still lost in China. The second setting is a super sound deadening for when I am running noisy machines in my shop. This setting is almost as good as removing the aids from my ears. A third setting trains my brain to forget I have tinitus or ringing in the ears. Basically the device plays one of six different alternate noises that are more pleasant over the top of the ringing (a form of noise cancelling). I used this setting every chance I got until I realized that the chances of killing the ringing is slim since my ears have been ringing for forty years. A few minutes of sound training a day is probably not going to shut that off.

There are a couple of things these aids do that I really like. I get the sound from the TV piped right into my ears. I like this so much that I have the TV on mute because it is easier to hear through the aids. I can also listen to the radio the same way. I need a smart phone and a radio app, but the bluetooth feature will send the sound right into my ears. This is useful for when I am mindlessly surfing the net, I can also listen to my favorite program. Because I have bluetooth, I am also able to control loudness from my phone or the bluetooth pendant I have hanging around my neck. The TV requires a special sending unit and the radio requires the phone. It only took me one year to learn how to control these connections because it was not obvious that when I want to watch TV I have to “pair” the TV sending unit to my pendant which then directs the sound into my ear. All of that should be totally automatic with no need for human intervention, training, and frustration. The pairing and the electronics should all be integrated in the hearing unit. If AI and the automated pairing were part of the package then I might believe the money I paid was worth it.

I am sure the next generation of hearing device that I buy will no doubt work on a network which means it will require user names and passwords to access anything. I can visualize it now. You ask me something and I say, “hold on while I input my user name and twenty character password.” After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to hack my hearing aids to hi-jack my brain.

Maybe if I live to be a hundred and eighty I’ll see some real progress in artificial intelligence come to fruition. In the meantime AI is just another acronym that people will try to impress us with.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Is It Something To Be Afraid Of?

Today, I got a good dose of artificial intelligence, and I am afraid. All we have been hearing of late is that AI will do this and AI will do that with the implication that humans will be no longer be needed. Don’t believe it. That might happen in a hundred years, but it is not ready today. That is why I am afraid. The AI promoters are the same ones who have been drilling man-made global warming on us for the past forty years. When I was still a productive citizen meaning I was still working I was sold on the BS that computer salesman pushed. That was in the 1980’s when the PC was still kind of young. Oh the miracles these devices would perform for us! It has been thirty-some years since then and I’m still waiting for the miracles to happen. I must admit that PC’s have gotten better and the memory required to do good stuff has grown and some of the pitches are being realized. I was also reading about AI back in the eighties. I’m glad I’m not hanging by my thumbs while waiting for that to happen.

A month ago I got the urge to sell some of the stuff I have laying around the house. I was a big fan of eBay and had well over fifty sales under my belt. It took me a long time to learn how to use the service productively. Naturally, I tried to log in under my old user name and password and failed, and failed, and failed. Nothing I did would get me into my account. In desperation I opened a new account to quit wasting time. I wasted hours trying to get on with a new secure password. Everything I tried failed. Miraculously one of the tries worked and I got on to sell.

I selected two items which I thought would be easy; a Toy train set, and a lift for transferring a person from a bed to a wheelchair. A friend sold a lift just six months ago and clued me in how to ship it. (no shipping only local pickup) Both sales blew up on me. I thought the toy train would be an easy one, and it was, except for shipping. I knew the train would require some special handling because of the size of the box. I made the mistake of holding off specifying the mode of shipment. In their infinite wisdom the AI program picked free shipping because that is what the algorithm directed it to do. I didn’t learn who the buyer was until the auction ended; the buyer is in England. Now I had to undo the damage the program did by messaging the buyer to accept shipping charges. He did. UPS quoted $760, and the post office came in at $136. I went with the post office. The buyer tipped me off that I should inform eBay of our dealings or we would both lose our sell rights. I did. This morning I checked and the buyer had deposited the amount we agreed on. The program then prompted me to save eight bucks by shipping with an eBay label. Of course being a mercenary I pushed that button. It failed. I tried and tried but it kept failing. Finally I said to myself, find a human who can help. I pushed a phone icon to speak to someone. Success, But only after my screen shows me a code. My phone rings and an automaton voice asks for the code. I pump it in and get transferred to another voice. “How may I help you” said the voice. I answered, “I need help printing a label.”

It took repeated tries and three phone calls to finally get the voice to understand something I said. The voice answered “oh shipping, I can’t help you with that please go to the shipping page.”

“Bull shit” I responded, but the voice had already hung up. I really wanted this to work for me, but eBay and its AI wizards can only respond to customers who are also automatons. “Joe” I said to myself. “put a label on the box and take the box to the post office. I did, it worked. I don’t care if eBay gives me a poor rating it won’t be as low as the rating I gave them.

The second item, the lift. This thing is five feet tall, four feet wide and five feet deep and weighs seventy-five pounds. In order to box it I would have to take it apart. I specified local pick up for a reason. You want it, come and get it. Again, I didn’t specify how I would ship it because I didn’t intend to ship it. The eBay algorithm chose USPS and tagged it with a $8.35 shipping cost. I sent the buyer who is from Louisiana an eMail specifying I would return his money because the shipping was not possible for me. He replied “I paid, ship the item.” I responded by saying that if he wanted to drive up to Illinois to pick it up I would be happy to give it to him for the low price he bid. “His response to me ” I can get a brand new one for $150 shipped to my house, fuck you.”

I replied, “I think you should buy the new one. Thanks for the message, and by the way, the drive from Louisiana to Illinois is lovely this time of the year.”

I have sworn off eBay forever, and if they insist on this path using AI to communicate with sellers and buyers there will be many more people like me who will swear off. They are only interested in major sellers, and the onesy-twosy people who made them rich are being dumped.

At my age I can’t be wasting my life learning how to use new technology that is not ready to work. I would have been much better off putting both items at the curb with a sign stating “FREE”.

In between all of this I was communicating, or at least I was trying to communicate, with PayPal. I’ll save that story for another day.

Now does it make sense that I am afraid of artificial intelligence? The whole world is headed this way.

Artificial Intelligence vs Common Sense


It has been several years since my last cartoon. I took a rest from drawing political opinion cartoons. I actually had a cartoonist block. The pictures didn’t come to me, but this morning I got a message and had to go to work.

The debate which is no longer a debate about building a wall has broken my block. I can’t stand it any longer Nancy has to be taken out via cartoons. Her Senate husband Chuckie Schumer is her sidekick. They are as easy a target as Obama and Hillary were.  The sad part of this plan is that Nancy and Chuck are too dense to understand how stupid they are. Stupid is as Communists Do. Their vision for America is to make it like Socialist.

There is an interesting rumor floating on the internet that past Mexican President Pena Nieto took a $100 million dollar bribe from a drug cartel. This part of the rumor is pretty solid, but attached to it is secondary rumor that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer also took bribes from the cartels and this is the reason for their obstinacy to deny money to build a wall. It makes some sense to me, but I am a sucker for a good conspiracy theory.

What ever Nancy and Chuck’s motives are they are dug in will not do what is right for the country. They are so self-centered that only their own personal lives are important to them. This attitude should be grounds for impeaching them.

The democrats are solidly pushing the use of technology to keep border jumping to a minimum. Since Nancy lives in the San Francisco area which is close to Silicone Valley it occurs to me that collusion may be in play. Democrats will call it lobbying. The only technology that I can think of that they would want get government funding for is Artificial Intelligence. Why spend stock holder money to test your latest toy when Uncle is salivating for a new hole into which he can pour money? Any combination of technology is easily beatable by people with an average brain and some common sense. Americans love technology as a way to solve every problem. We have the 911 system to save us from all kinds of harm. Having a heart attack?  Call 911, someone is breaking down you door and he has a gun, dial 911. When my wife had her heart attack, and I finally dialed 911 it took them five minutes to arrive at my door, and I lived four miles from the firehouse. When ICE gets a 911 call from a drone or a sensor in the desert, how long will the response time be? When you have a heart attack the responders can expect to find you at the address you give them. Will it be the same in the desert when the call comes in? Will the illegals stay put to wait for ICE to show up? Oh, but with artificial intelligence the system will find and track the culprits as they continue to their next rendezvous. This smacks of an “all-seeing, all-knowing” entity which Sister Flora  taught me is God. This fits right into the Democrat scheme to spend an infinite amount of money on a system that is infinite in scope. Maybe it is my naïvety but common sense tells me the wall is a better deal.