I saw this shy gallinule (aka moorhen) hiding out on the edge of a pond at a golf course a while back:
And here’s a snowy egret, spotted at a separate golf course:
I hear the popularity of golf is plummeting, though the courses hereabouts seem to do a brisk business. Perhaps the shitgibbon’s fondness for the game and copious promotion of his branded courses will hasten its slide.
If golf does become passé, the courses should be converted into bird sanctuaries — at least the ones in Florida (until it is swallowed by the ocean). We always see a ton of birds on the links around here.
PS: In the Boston area? Cole is organizing a meetup on Friday.
Omg! That top one looks alot like the orange spoon-billed bellyfisher!
I’d just as soon all the golf courses in the Valley of the Sun revert back to desert. Seriously, how many olds need to golf that much?
In other news, I egret to say we had two freaking days of cold weather this entire winter. Bullshit, that’s what that is!
Major Major Major Major
Very pretty chicken thing on the top.
“a fat-bellied stogie sucker! and them’s good eatin’!”
@schrodingers_cat: Pretty birds are pretty!
It is a great egret, not a snowy…..
snowy’s have black beaks
@Yutsano: Indeed they are! How have you been?
Its spring, so love is in the air.
Your moorhen reminds me of an oystercatcher – at least those are the birds around here (Alaska) that have bright red/orange beaks. Different body shape.
The only golf I’ve ever played was miniature – I once got a par+30 or so (it was the volcano – there was nobody waiting and I was determined to get it – the windmill was also hard)
Very nice photos, Betty! Both the birds are pretty. That red beak is s standout.
Tim Kaine has a long, thoughtful piece on why he’s opposing the Gorsuch nomination. There are a couple of very good points in it (not that I’m surprised).
Put Senator Kaine down as a no.
Reminder to non-Californians:
The right to privacy is a constitutional right in California per an overwhelming popular vote. The right to choose whether to have children or not is a constitutional right in California. The right to an abortion is a constitutional right in California. If you act to deprive other Californians of any of those rights, they will be felonies. You will go to prison. They may be trivialities in other states, but we take them really fucking seriously here.
Florida has great birds, and something has to eat all those bugs… Question for Betty C; do the local noseeum’s bother everyone or are some of us just extra tasty? Because seriously, every time I go to FL I cover myself in bug juice and I still get bitten.
I’m more impressed w/ the ‘gators y’all get on your courses.
@StringOnAStick: They really do seem to bother some folks more than others. They target you even when you’re wearing 25% DEET, e.g., Deep Woods Off?
@? Martin: Martin, do you think that privacy right extends to browser history and the sale thereof? I’d love it if it did, since CA is the big dog that swings the rest of the country.
we had about 500 people show up so far at my library for its 120th birthday.
the cake actually lasted until 2:15 pm (burp)
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!
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A documentarian went around interviewing folks who spend a lot of time arguing on the internet. Interesting.
You mean Gatorzilla?
Just let him play through, man.
@StringOnAStick: Ugh. Noseeums. I spent a miserable decade one week in July on Sanibel Island when I was a kid. Had to give up going outside because the noseeums were so bad. I was covered in red, itchy welts that lasted for days. I’ve been elsewhere on the coast in Florida, even in the summer, and never experienced anything like that.
@Betty Cracker: I try not to go that strong on the bug juice, but I think I’m out of options. Our first trip to FL involved arriving at the rental house and getting sloshed on the screened in porch, only to discover the next day that noseeum’s have no trouble getting through screens based on the hundreds of bites. My nest trip I tried a local concoction; no help, so I broke out the Picaridin-based stuff and it helped a little. Nasty little bugs for sure.
Iowa Old Lady
@PaulW: Sounds like a good party! Libraries and librarians are the best.
I really do enjoy your nature pics.
@Yarrow: Hmm, interesting. The “sloshed on the front porch” event was on Sanibel 2 years ago; it took over a month for the last bite mark to fade away. We had a blast though, tons of fun with another couple who are just great fun to be with. We rescued a fancy looking box turtle from the roadway while riding bikes home from town; coolest pattern on it’s shell that I have ever seen.
There were bunches of gangly white birds hanging around the food places at Disneyworld like they were pigeons — I assume they were some type of egret. I forgot to take any pictures, sorry!
@StringOnAStick: It would, however I would pretty much guarantee that the terms and conditions for that contract stipulate that you give them permission to do it.
And just to understand, there are already at least two entities that have the right to do that – the website you are visiting, and whichever advertising or analytics platform the website has invited on. This adds the ability for ISPs to do it, which gives them access to non-web content. It’s a marginally worse situation than users were already in, but the real loser here is the publishers (everyone from Cole to the NYT to Facebook). The data they got from their viewers had value to advertisers and now that data can be sourced for a lower price (and in more complete form) from the ISPs. And it’s not just your home ISP you need to think about – its your mobile carrier as well. They’re an ISP, and it’s unclear if you are making a call through a VOIP service like Vonage whether they can sell that metadata given that it is an internet service.
@PaulW: Happy birthday to your library!
As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod,
Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God:
I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen flies
In the freedom that fills all the space ’twixt the marsh and the skies:
By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends in the sod
I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God:
Oh, like to the greatness of God is the greatness within
The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn.
If there is ever reconciliation between the Korea’s the DMZ would be a spectacular game preserve.
@PaulW: That’s impressive! What liberal bastion is your library in, pray tell?
@? Martin: Hmm, interesting. So what used to be an income stream for small websites (and big too) will now be entirely payable to the ISP, and not to places like this blog. I can see how smaller websites are going to have to rely more on users paying something than on hoping ads will cover costs. How…..crappy for the little guy sites.
So, this actually is part of what I do for a living.
Whether a VoIP provider can use your data actually is quite clear – the FCC adopted rules on that years ago, and those rules are unaffected by the Congressional Review Act resolution, which applies only to the October privacy rules decision. The answer is that any information about usage, etc., can be shared with third parties only with your affirmative permission, which can be revoked at any time. (In fact, the October order changed the rules somewhat for voice services, and the CRA resolution eliminates all of those changes.)
Also, I’ve now said this in various places about 100 times, but the actual impact of the CRA resolution on the status quo is essentially nothing – the important elements of those rules never have gone into effect because the FCC stayed some rules on March 1 and the other important rules were stuck in limbo at the Office of Management and Budget. The result of those actions was that ISPs are subject to the privacy provisions of the Communications Act (for now) but not to specific rules implementing those provisions, and most ISPs have been following the telephone rules that are remaining in place to be safe. So the real purpose of the CRA vote was that it was intended mostly to be obnoxious, not to do anything.
The important action will come when the FCC revisits network neutrality. If, as expected, the FCC decides that the 2015 decision to treat broadband as a common carrier service was wrong, then the privacy parts of the Communications Act won’t apply, either. But that’s not what’s happening right now. (I personally think that reversing on that point is kind of risky for the FCC, as the courts might not agree, but that’s neither here nor there.)
@Yarrow: The biting gnats were so bad in the Georgia coast state parks last month that I looked it up. Check this site out:
Timy things, too. They get through window screens.
Betty, I love the bird photos you post, especially the ones from rivers/shores. That said, you seem to spend a lot of time on golf courses….
That gallinule is gorgeous. Nice shot!
@frosty: no-see-ums. You need Skinsosoft.
@PaulW: Happy anniversary! Surprised literacy has been a thing that long in Polk! ?
@StringOnAStick: I sometimes wonder if the combination of bug dope and sunscreen form an evil chemical that is responsible for the widespread craziness so frequently observed in FL. ?
@Mnemosyne: @Mnemosyne: If they had curved beaks, they may have been ibises. But they eat bugs, as do cattle egrets. Can think of a gangly white scavenger that looks like an egret.
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@StringOnAStick: @? Martin: @randy khan: I’m just waiting for Snowden and Greenwald to weigh in before I decide whether or not this bill is bad.
Three practical points on the idea that ISPs will suck up all of the money from metadata:
1. They weren’t doing it before. Granted, the tools to do it weren’t as well developed, but still they weren’t doing it before.
2. The relationship between the companies that place the ads and the companies that buy the ads might be difficult for ISPs to disrupt.
3. Very few of us use only one network. There are fewer ISPs than sites, obviously, but there will at least be some inertia because the sites all have relationships with the ad distributors already.
I know it will eventually happen but…
It will make the reunification of Germany look like a cake walk.
Agreed on the nature preserve. Once all the mines and other ordnance are removed.
@schrodingers_cat: Between filing season and family commitments, I’ve been mostly lurking about. I just got lucky in that I have a space of time in between appointments today.
Hope that golf remains popular, becuse if it doesn’t those accidental bird sanctuaries will be condo develoments before you can say “roseate spoonbill”. There is simply no way that land will remain open.
@StringOnAStick: Well, not entirely payable to the ISP, but they’re at least a competitor here. I don’t know how many ISPs will actually get their shit together on that, but you can bet Verizon will.
@randy khan: Senator Kaine’s explanation of why Gorsuch is a judicial activist (women’s health care is his white whale) is excellent, thanks for posting that link.
I like Adam’s golf course pet better.
Neither of the birds would bite Citron Shitweasel on the leg.
Altho’ the ‘gator would bite him once and never again, like with those really brightly colored tropical tree frogs.
Crowdfunding campaign seeks to purchase search history of lawmakers who killed internet privacy
@randy khan: All true. On the other hand, the ISP has more complete data than anyone else in that they can build the full interaction graph, where the publishers and ad networks only have a limited view of it. Consider how much user traffic has shifted in recent years from web to apps. On the web Google had a reasonably high likelihood to capture that interaction either through analytics or search, but in apps it’s much much harder for them to do so (even on an Android device). That’s the kind of traffic the ISPs will be able to put together and sell, and that wasn’t nearly as large a market to try and exploit a few years ago.
@randy khan: Thanks for explaining that. I also hope that when the FCC decides to kill Net neutrality (which looks probable from what I’ve seen) that the courts will have some say in this.
FCC Chairman Pai and Congresswoman Blackburn (chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee) have been doing a little dance on who will deal with net neutrality. If Congress does it, then probably whatever gets passed is safe from challenges, but the Dems have a veto point in the Senate and certainly would insist on something more robust than the Republicans would like. If the FCC does it, the new rules (which I expect will be branded as improved network neutrality, regardless of what the rules actually do) will be what the Republicans want them to be, but I think there’s more vulnerability to a court challenge. At a minimum, the FCC will have to explain why the facts it found compelling in 2015 had changed so radically in 2017, most likely to a court that agreed with the 2015 decision.
I expect the next big thing in home software utilities will be some kinds of anonymizers and/or data hashers.
@Major Major Major Major: I love you. Have I told you I love you lately? I do.
I think this is going to be the big one. I have always assumed that the reason web sites have the deals with ad companies isn’t because they’re the best place to collect data but because they’re the best place to insert the ads. People- both web site operators and readers- have gotten very angry in the past when ISPs have tried to insert ads without permission, and widespread adoption of SSL/TLS makes hard anyway. As long as that’s true, ad networks are going to have to continue working with websites to deliver the ads, so they’ll probably continue working with them for data collection, too.
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@RoonieRoo: Snowden is still tweeting about how Nunes’ revelations the Trump campaign was surveilled are a massive scandal, but I’m sure he’ll get around to this.
A few years back we had a Purple Gallinule somehow end up in a backyard pond in Northern Indiana.
What works for me is a antihistamine tablet (generic allergy pill). Works for noseeum, mosquito, and spider bites.
Might work for chiggers but I haven’t encountered any for the last 60 years.
That’s hard to do from within your home network when the goal is only traffic analysis, i.e. seeing who you’re connecting to. If you want to protect against traffic analysis, you need help from outside your local network. The idea is to establish an encrypted connection to one or more third parties and route your connections through them. You can either do this with a conventional VPN- and you’ll need to find one you can trust not to collect your data- or through a peer-to-peer network like TOR.
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@efgoldman: @Roger Moore: the last startup I worked at offered this service, but couldn’t get traction. It turns out the audience is very small and/or mostly pedophiles and terrorists.
@Roger Moore: Right. For starters, non-encrypted web sessions are soon going be extinct, so we can assume to a reasonable degree that the only thing the ISP can get is the address of what you are visiting (and redirects to ads, etc.) and the payload size. But most apps that talk to back-end services are doing so over web protocols and those are not necessarily encrypted and those are the juicy target, as they’re currently out of reach of existing players.
VPNs that have explicit terms and conditions to not resell your information should be sufficient. I wonder if Apple/Google (both being California companies) would jump into this space for their mobile platforms.
Yes, they can see everything you do while you’re connected to them. But most people move around and connect through multiple networks- home, work, coffee shop, random open networks they happen to pass by- and many of those networks aggregate traffic from multiple users. That gives ISPs a broader viewpoint, but they have much messier data to deal with. Web sites collect more limited data, but it’s much more specific; they can track individual logged-in users rather than just networks or individual devices.
Google is already offering a limited VPN service for Android users. My most recent phones (a Nexus 5x and Pixel) have an option to connect opportunistically to open networks Google considers to be high quality. To protect against snooping, those connections route traffic through a Google VPN. I would happily pay a small annual fee to be able to use that VPN all the time, provided Google promised not to snoop on my traffic.
We get the chiggers in Indiana and it can be miserable.
The treatment I use is to take the hottest fucking bath you can stand. Then put a dab of Neosporin on every bite, (this can be more than 100 I know)
The first night is still pretty rough but it speeds the healing dramatically.
I attended a seminar/conference in Hamburg before reunification, and a West German official briefed us on their expectation that it would cost something like five times the difference between the West German and East German per capita income, times the population of East Germany, to bring the East up to the West’s standards. I think they still are struggling to get to that point.
The difference between per capita incomes for North and South Korea is greater (about 1:20), and the population of NK is larger than East Germany.
It’s in the middle of Florida. It’s not a liberal bastion. :(
I would say we’re still struggling to bring the Confederacy up to the standard of living of the Union, but I think we’ve mostly given it up as hopeless.
@lococomment: ANd Snowy Egrets have yellow feet. Definitely a Great Egret. Nice shots!
Neosporin has a small amount of Pramoxine which serves to deaden the itching (or pain in the case of a wound).
An antihistamine should give longer lasting relief.
Mid-last century the ‘cure’ was to paint over the chigger with nail polish.
Thru the Looking Glass...
The magic touch of Donald Trump strikes again…
Here’s are a pair of recent reviews of VPN privacy policies: Which VPN Services Take Your Anonymity Seriously? (2016)
Which VPN Services Keep You Anonymous in 2017?
The second is similar but has blind links, FWIW.
I won’t say which if any of these that I use (too much information) but might be helpful.
(Am also using Privacy Badger, and NoScript. And also TrackMeNot (a fogger which generates search queries for selectable search engines) on a few machines for a while.)
Florida noseeums are vicious, without question. During my years there, they turned me into hamburger more than once.
But I’d trade three summers in the swampland just outside Tampa for any given summer in northern On-tar-i-o-i-o. I spent a few days, summer of 1999, in the boreal forests of Ontario. A black fly managed to get up UNDER my jeans leg and DOWN INSIDE my heavy thick tight hiking socks. I never felt their bite, but that evening back at the hotel I peeled my socks off and the one was soaked through, thick and stiff and brown with dried blood from their bites. They burrow into the flesh a good 1/4 inch or more. Eighteen years later, though the scars have faded, I can still (using a mirror) see them on the back of my left calf, and for more than a decade could feel the indentations they left behind. Horrid little beasts.
Link to “Little Black Fly” song.
VPNs are a pretty good start. With a VPN you also have the excuse of (semi-)legitimate usages relative to Tor.
See e.g. Tor and its Discontents – Problems with Tor usage as panacea for some negative (but not ironclad) arguments (technical and social), but consider that you can connect to Tor over a VPN.
(Anyway, truthfully I’m kinda a newbie at this stuff, though fairly and sometimes extremely paranoid.)
My main concern is that there will temptations to do public dumps of Congress personal browsing histories. Really don’t want that sort of attack to be normalized; better, if it has to be done, would be to supply the congress people who voted for this with copies of their browsing history along with assurances that there was no threat of leak/blackmail. There might also be other similar possibilities.