Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled

Keith Collins at Quartz:

Many people realize that smartphones track their locations. But what if you actively turn off location services, haven’t used any apps, and haven’t even inserted a carrier SIM card?

Even if you take all of those precautions, phones running Android software gather data about your location and send it back to Google when they’re connected to the internet, a Quartz investigation has revealed.

There’s just no two-ways about it: That sucks.

WATCH series 3 battery is amazing

Wow. Just wow. I’ve been wearing an original WATCH Sport (series 0?) since May of 2015 and have been quite pleased with it all this time, but having recently upgraded to an WATCH series 3 GPS + Cellular, I’m just blown away at how much better the battery life is. I’ve gone from “topping off” the battery twice a day to only having to charge my WATCH once a day—and I sleep with mine on so as to track my sleep. I seriously get 24 hours of use with plenty of battery remaining! Wow.

Vintage EPA photos reveal what America looked like before pollution was regulated


The Trump administration plans to kill the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s main initiative to fight climate change by lowering emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, said Monday.


Pruitt has reportedly spent much of his term meeting with executives and lobbyists from companies and industries regulated by the EPA. Many reports also suggest that Pruitt’s primary aim is to eliminate environmental protections and dismantle much of the regulatory agency.


If Pruitt succeeds in rolling back a significant portion of the rules meant to protect air and water quality, we’d return to the state the US was in before these things were regulated.


These photos are startling—take a look.  And this wasn’t that many years ago, after all, the EPA was only founded in 1970…


Steve Jobs knew what the fuck he was doing…

Six years ago today, The Onion:

CUPERTINO, CA—Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Computers and the only American in the country who had any clue what the fuck he was doing, died Wednesday at the age of 56.

Usually people say, “it doesn’t seem like __x__ years,” but in this case, I have to say that it seems like forever since Steve Jobs was on stage at an Apple Keynote, or even being interviewed by the press.  For me, at least, it seems like it’s been a lot longer than 6 years…

Speaking of collusion (and treason)…

The Vietnam War, Episode 7: The Veneer of Civilization (June 1968 – May 1969) at 51:55-55:42, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017):

NARRATOR: But on October 31st [1968], just five days before the election, the president himself made a surprise announcement.  He was stopping all bombing of North Vietnam.  There had been real progress in Paris, he said.  Hanoi had agreed for the first time to talk with Saigon, and the United States had agreed to include the Viet Cong.  It suddenly looked as if peace were possible.

Humphrey was jubilant.  His poll number rose overnight.  He was confident he would now be able to overtake Nixon.

But then, on November 2nd, with just three days to go until Americans went to the polls, President Thieu suddenly announced that the South Vietnamese government would not attend the proposed talks after all.  A representative of the Nixon campaign, at the candidate’s personal direction, had secretly contacted the Saigon government, urging Thieu to stay away from the talks, promising that once Nixon was elected, he would drive a harder bargain with Hanoi than Humphrey would.

Thanks to a CIA bug planted in Thieu’s Saigon office and an FBI wiretap on the South Vietnamese embassy in Washington, [Lyndon] Johnson got wind of what had happened and called his friend Everett Dirksen, the Republican Senate minority leader, to warn him that the Nixon people were committing treason.


[via LBJ tape recordings]

LBJ: I’m reading their hand, Everett.  I don’t want to get this in the campaign.

DIRKSEN: That’s right.

LBJ: And they oughtn’t to be doing this.  This is treason.

DIRKSEN: I know.

LBJ: And I think it would shock America if a principal candidate was playing with a source like this on a matter this important.


LBJ: I know this—that they’re contacting a foreign power in the middle of a war.

DIRKSEN: That’s a mistake.

LBJ: And its a damn bad mistake.

[end of phone conversation]


[via LBJ tape recordings]

NIXON: Uh, Mr. President?

LBJ: Yes.

NIXON: This is Dick Nixon.

LBJ: Yes Dick.

NIXON: I, uh, just went on Meet the Press and said that, uh, I had given you my personal assurance that, uh, I would do everything possible to cooperate both before the election and if elected, after the election.  I just wanted you to know that, uh, I feel very, very strongly about this and, uh, any, uh, rumblings around about, uh, somebody, uh, trying to, uh, sabotage the Saigon government’s attitude certainly has no, absolutely no credibility as far as I’m concerned.

LBJ: That’s, that’s—I’m very happy to hear that Dick because that is taking place.

NIXON: My God, I would never do anything to encourage Saigon not to come to the table because basically, that was what you got.

LBJ: Well that’s good Dick.

NIXON: We’ve got to get this goddamned war off the plate, the quicker the better, and the hell with the political credit.  Believe me.

LBJ: Thank you Dick.

[end of phone conversation]


NARRATOR: Nixon was lying and Johnson knew it.  But to go public with the information, the president would have to reveal the methods by which he had learned of the Republican candidate’s duplicity.  He was unwilling to do so.  Nixon’s secret was safe.  The American public was never told that the regime for which 35,000 Americans had died, had been willing to boycott peace talks to help elect Richard Nixon or that he had been willing to delay an end to the bloodshed in order to get elected.

News photographer shot by cop


An Ohio newspaper photojournalist was shot by a police officer last night after the cop mistook the camera and tripod the photographer was holding for a rifle.

Wait—that tripod isn’t loaded, is it?


I wouldn’t exactly call this a part of the never-ending war on photography, but I do think that this shows that ANYTHING—literally fucking anything—can be “mistaken” by the police for a “weapon.”

Donald Trump: The “I” of any storm

Dave Pell nails it at NextDraft:

President Trump doesn’t get to be graded on a curve. The Texas visit was a complete failure. No mention of the victims. No empathy for the survivors. More silly asides about crowd size and cable-TV fame. Once again, Trump proved that he will always be the “I” of the storm. Houston and Texas (and NextDraft readers in the path of the storm) deserved better remarks from their president. So I wrote them myself: A Real President Addresses Texas.

David Axlerod at also nails it, “It’s Not Always About You Mr. President”:

Startlingly, he did not utter one syllable about those who have lost their lives, their homes or businesses in the floods that are still swelling over southeast Texas, overwhelming the heroic first responders and volunteers who are straining to meet its demands. He had no solace for the tens of thousands of evacuees, some of whom were separated from their families in the storm and are now warehoused in arenas, left to wonder what comes next.

Donald Trump swept into Corpus Christi on Air Force One. Never missing an opportunity to sell, he alighted with his trademarked USA cap atop his thatched dome. It was clear he had come to take a bow, not to offer sympathy for the victims or hope to the dispossessed.

Trump is such a fucking narcissist: “Well, enough about me—let’s talk about you.  What do you think about me?”

Twitter also had this to say, and this.

And, if that weren’t enough, an avalanche of conservatives attempting to engage in their go-to move, moral equivalence, apparently just forgot that Obama wasn’t President during Katrina, like this and this.

Are we “great” again yet?

Absent warrant standard, police could monitor anyone via location data

ARS Technica:

This case, Carpenter v. United States, asks a simple question: is it OK for police to seize and search 127 days of cell-site location information (CSLI) without a warrant?

Previously, lower courts have said that such practices are compatible with current law. But the fact that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case suggests that at least four justices feel that perhaps the law should be changed.


This is not a trivial distinction. A so-called “d-order” can be circumspect with how information is obtained by authorities. It does not, as the Fourth Amendment demands, require as much particularity. A warrant, unlike a d-order application, also mandates a signed and sworn affidavit (“on oath or affirmation”), as the Constitution requires, which describes the “places to be searched and the things to be seized.”


NASA Unleashes Two Vintage Warplanes to Chase the Eclipse


WHILE MILLIONS OF astronomy enthusiasts chase the moon’s shadow on the ground during the August 21 total solar eclipse, four NASA personnel are going to have front row seats. Two pilots and two technicians will race the big black spot at 50,000 feet, well above any cloud cover. And at 400 mph, they’ll be able to stretch their time in the shadow to three minutes, compared to two on the ground.

They’re not just up there for the view. The aircraft, two 1960s vintage WB-57F jets that NASA frequently dispatches for high-altitude research, will carry instruments to help scientists study the solar atmosphere. At cruising altitude, the sky will be 20 to 30 times darker than on the ground, enhancing the details in the sun’s atmosphere—and allowing for pictures in the greatest detail yet.

Genetic evidence suggests the Canaanites weren’t destroyed after all

Annalee Newitz, writing at ARSTechnica:

The Canaanites are famous as the bad guys of the Book of Joshua in the Tanakh, or the Hebrew Bible. First, God orders the Hebrews to destroy the Canaanites along with several other groups, and later we hear that the Canaanites have actually been wiped out. Among archaeologists, however, the Canaanites are a cultural group whose rise and fall has remained a mystery. Now, a group of archaeologists and geneticists has discovered strong evidence that the Canaanites were not wiped out. They are, in fact, the ancestors of modern Lebanese people.