Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Archive for May, 2018

For over 25 years, people have relied on cryptography to protect themselves from more powerful snoops, such as governments. Some panicked tweets have gone out, that have done more to mislead than aid people. Here are the facts.

According to Sebastian Schnitzel, every major means of encrypting email is broken. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP, a cryptography core), GNU Privacy Guard (GPG, an open source clone of PGP), and S/MIME (a protocol for encrypting email) are implicated. He recommends that people stop using encrypted emails.

But there’s more to it than that. The GNU Privacy Guard team was not even notified. That is a clear indicator that PGP and GPG have nothing to do with the security hole in question. So we’re left with S/MIME. And guess what: the real problem is that email clients are loading external websites linked in emails, such as images.

The key line, buried way down in “EFAIL” website:

The EFAIL attacks abuse active content, mostly in the form of HTML images, styles, etc.

So stop using HTML email, and you’re fine. Relax, folks. It’s just bad clients doing bad things. Cryptography is secure. Just stop loading HTML.

The United States withdrew from the Paris agreement, but did you know we were still acting as the global police for the agreement? The Trump administration has ended that.

The United States was going around snooping on what other countries were doing, with respect to Carbon Dioxide emissions, even though we haven’t been a party to the major agreements in that area. We never ratified either treaty, neither Kyoto nor Paris. They were never binding on us, and the Presidents who ‘agreed’ to them never followed process to get there.

Constitutionally we were not participating, and yet NASA was active in them anyway. NASA had set up the Carbon Monitoring System in 2010, and had been operating this entire time as a global carbon cop. They were apparently relying on this too, which is odd:

The move jeopardizes plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords, says Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy in Medford, Massachusetts. “If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement,” she says. Canceling the CMS “is a grave mistake,” she adds.

But the Donald Trump administration has killed off the Carbon Monitoring System project. We’re going to let the Europeans do it themselves, instead of participating in them crippling their own economies.

No politics, just awe. Alexander Graham Bell recorded his voice for the ages at the Volta Laboratory, and after all these years, we can now hear it again.

At the Volta Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Bell as an inventor decided to compete directly with Thomas Edison’s invention of the phonograph. He wanted to make it better. What he came up with was the graphophone, and protecting that from a patent lawsuit meant gathering evidence.

What we have here is one of the recordings he made as evidence. This is the man’s actual voice, speaking to the ages.

I love this. This is living history in a way we rarely get to experience. This is a recording that is over 130 years old, of a time long ago.

What blows me away is the location as well. Based on the address, 1221 Connecticut Avenue, I believe that’s near Dupont Circle, across the street from the Shake Shack where I get lunch regularly. And this video connects me with what happened there over a century ago.

Challenging an incumbent Senator is hard, even for an incumbent Governor. But after months of bad polling, Rick Scott could win this.


On Wednesday, many websites are going to host a mailing list building form from a little known advocacy group. Here’s what you need to know about their Net Neutrality campaign.


Chinese manufacturer ZTE got caught violating Iran sanctions, and was slapped with a severe export ban as a result. China is lobbying the Trump team to ease up.


We all expect Donald Trump to get good poll results from Rasmussen Reports. They’ve been giving him good results even when everyone else was showing him far behind. But what if they’re not the only ones now?