News Roundup – Sony hacked, Cuba and Colbert

 

So, as I understand it, North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because of the new movie called the Interview. This movie looks very, very stupid with Seth Rogen who specializes in movies that suck IQ points out of your head. Sony has decided not to release the picture.  Sony is basically buckling to threats from North Korea. George Clooney has it right, “The truth is, it’s all new territory and nobody knows how to handle it. I don’t think anyone was prepared for it. So now we’ll be prepared for it, hopefully. Everybody was doing their jobs, but somehow, we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane.”

Obama announced that we would change our policy toward Cuba.  The purpose of sanctions was to force the collapse of the Castro government. After 50 years, the Castro government still stands. Would another 50 years of sanctions do the trick? I doubt it. Yep, I know that many in the GOP are outraged.  Is anyone surprised? Unfortunately, to normalize relations with Cuba, both houses of Congress will have to approve this measure. This is highly unlikely to happen. Maybe Cuban Americans can pressure Congress into action?

From WaPo (I should have some video later):

“If all we achieved over the last nine years was to come into your home each night and help you make a difficult day a little better — man, what a waste,” Colbert said, but offered this: “Nation I want you to know, if i had to do it all again, if I could do it with you, I would do it the same.” The Colbert Report reminds me of the David Letterman Show when it first started. The Letterman Show was described as the world’s biggest inside joke. For those who got the joke, Letterman was funny as hell. Those who didn’t were lost. The same with Colbert. There were jokes on so many levels. Basically, you have Stephen Colbert playing an ultra-conservative talk show host. He constantly pointed out the stupid craziness of Fox News and other conservatives thru this character.  His interview with Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) was classic. Westmoreland was pushing to have the 10 Commandments placed on/in court houses. Stephen asked if there was anywhere more appropriate for the commandments to be posted. Westmoreland responded nope. Of course, the right answer would be in a church or temple. The combination of Colbert’s seriousness and Westmoreland’s cluelessness was priceless. Making liberal points while playing a conservative news anchor: how novel. I’ll miss the Colbert Report.

I’ll add some links later.

Correcting an Old Wrong – George Stinney

Every now and then you can hear something that is so foul, so stomach turning that it almost makes you physically sick. This is what happened when I heard the story of George Stinney, Jr. I don’t remember when I first heard the story, but it was several years ago. Basically, this 14-year-old boy was lynched for talking to two white girls. The young black male had been seen talking to the sisters and sometime later they were both found brutally murdered. Yesterday, a South Carolina judge said that the 1944 convention was wrong and that George Stinney was not given due process.

(Let me just say something about the victims. As far as I can tell, their interests were never served. There appears to have been no attempt to actually find who killed these poor little girls. Instead, this was a horrific event which caused outrage throughout the community and was swept under the rug. The police found somebody whose cries of innocence would fall on deaf ears. This whole case is ridiculously sad.)
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Which Fitness Tracker is best?

Nice review of the confusing world of fitness trackers.

From WSJ (subscription):

$50 to $100 for the Basics
Here’s the biggest secret of buying a fitness tracker right now: You don’t need to spend more than $50 on one that does the basics, counting steps and estimating calories burned. In fact, that’s exactly what I suggest you do if you are a first-time buyer.

You won’t get a screen on many of the options in this range—or at least not a nice screen—but they all sync with your phone via Bluetooth so you can check your stats in their corresponding apps.

Both Misfit and Jawbone sell $50 plastic trackers that you can clip to your pants or wear on a wrist. After wearing them side by side for two weeks, I prefer the Jawbone Up Move. It is a bit chunkier and harder to put in its small clip than the Misfit Flash, but it consistently synced the data to my phone faster.

$100 to $150 for Better Design
If a sleeker band and a better screen are important to you, you’ll want to venture into the $100-to-$150 range, but you won’t get better data. You often get the same exact apps and features here as you get in that lower range.

Of the many I tested—including the Nike FuelBand SE, the Withings Pulse, the LG LifeBand and the Samsung Gear Fit—the one that worked best was FitBit’s new $130 Charge. (more…)