Nik Cubrilovic Blog – Logging out of Facebook is not enough

Dave Winer wrote a timely piece this morning about how Facebook is scaring him since the new API allows applications to post status items to your Facebook timeline without a users intervention. It is an extension of Facebook Instant and they call it frictionless sharing. The privacy concern here is that because you no longer have to explicitly opt-in to share an item, you may accidentally share a page or an event that you did not intend others to see.

The advice is to log out of Facebook. But logging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the web application, a number of cookies (including your account number) are still sent along to all requests to Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.

via Nik Cubrilovic Blog – Logging out of Facebook is not enough.

Are cosmic rays causing global warming?

Potholer54 on the latest GOP dunderheaded attack on science.


I know the blogs will tell you that that a correlation between cosmic rays and temperature has been shown, and once you believe this it may be hard to convince you of the science. However let’s have a go….

There are two supposed correlations:

Svensmark and Friis Kristensen wrote a paper on a correlation between sunspots and temperature during the 20th century, which they attributed to the varying intensity of cosmic rays with solar activity. However, this turned out to be the result of a mathematical error. Cosmic rays have been measured over the last 50 years and they vary with the 11-year solar cycle. There has been no increase at all, whereas average global temperatures have been increasing.

via Are cosmic rays causing global warming? – YouTube.

Effects of wars and epidemics on historical atmospheric CO2 content: Dr. Julia Pongratz

Dr. Julia Pongratz, postdoctoral research scientist at the Carnegie Institution Dept. of Global Ecology, discussing


J. Pongratz, K. Caldeira, C.H. Reick, and M. Claussen (2011) , Coupled climate-carbon simulations indicate minor global effects of wars and epidemics on atmospheric CO2 between AD 800 and 1850. The Holocene,

via Effects of wars and epidemics on historical atmospheric CO2 content: Dr. Julia Pongratz – YouTube.


Missouri GOP Wants To Raise Taxes On 100,000 Seniors And Disabled Citizens To Pay For Corporate Tax Break

Yesterday, Missouri lawmakers began a special session during which Republicans will try to pay for a business tax cut by eliminating a tax credit that benefits more than 100,000 senior citizens and disabled people.

Missouri Republicans are just the latest in a long list of state legislatures that are funding more corporate tax breaks on the backs of low- and middle-income residents. In this case, Republicans are targeting a property tax credit that helps offset higher rent for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens:

At stake is a tax credit that provides up to $750 for lower-income elderly and disabled people. Called the “Circuit Breaker,” it is designed to be an offset for the property taxes included in the rent paid by people with incomes of $27,500 or less. The tax credit costs $53 million annually. Repeal is part of a package that also would impose limits and sunset dates on credits targeted to developers. The Circuit Breaker tax credit is the only credit slated for repeal.

“The real issue is that many people with disabilities simply can’t own their own homes because they live on a subsistence income,” said Edward Duff of Joplin, a member of the Governor’s Council on Disability. “It really is a sort of parity to offer these renters this shelter.”

Once again, Republicans have shown they are not averse to raising taxes, as long as they are on the poor. The “circuit-breaker” tax credit is such an important aid for low-income residents that 29 other states offer property tax circuit-breakers or similar programs, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Killing the credit would raise taxes on groups including disabed vets and senior citizens by up to $750 a year.

via Missouri GOP Wants To Raise Taxes On 100,000 Seniors And Disabled Citizens To Pay For Corporate Tax Break | ThinkProgress.

Rescued from the Archives: My Wonderwall

Here’s a post I wrote a few years back, but it’s more relevant now that people can see the prices of large flat screen displays dropping. We really aren’t that far from a day when they are inexpensive enough to replace a section or two of 4′ X 8′ gypsum wall board in a room or three. Along with that we’ve achieved more miniaturization of computers and reductions in power consumption. So picture a world where you wear your computer, and you display on the nearest wall.

Wonderwall is a sappy, smarmy love tune by Oasis, a representative sample of the inane lyrics below:

And all the roads that lead to you were winding
And all the lights that light the way are blinding
There are many things that I would like to say to you
I don’t know how

I said maybe
You’re gonna be the one who saves me ?
And after all
You’re my wonderwall

The song was pretty popular a while back because the lyrics were reasonably well-sung, but what is a “Wonderwall” in reality?

My wonder-wall would embody things to come. Shortly deposition techniques and the new sciences advances will be perfected as companies race to create the cheapest, largest, flat panel HD screen.

A few years beyond that there will be “pixelized fabric” and the computer technology to use it. It will change billboards and movie screens, but after that it will be cheap enough to coat the walls of your home with. Maybe just one wonderful wall to start.

So what will you put on your wonder-wall? Mine will be a real-time stream from the Niagara falls internet channel (trust me someone will create this,) with a full-time close-up of the Falls along with booming bass falls-thunder-sound to match the wall.
Continue reading “Rescued from the Archives: My Wonderwall”