Monthly Archives: May 2019

Firefox Borks Almost all Extensions, Fix Coming

Late yesterday something happened to Firefox that disabled almost all extensions. According to Mozilla, it was something about the certificate they used to sign extensions, they know about it and are fixing it:

Late on Friday May 3rd, we became aware of an issue with Firefox that prevented existing and new add-ons from running or being installed. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to people who use Firefox.

Our team has identified and rolled-out a fix for all Firefox Desktop users on Release, Beta and Nightly. The fix will be automatically applied in the background within the next few hours. No active steps need to be taken to make add-ons work again. In particular, please do not delete and/or re-install any add-ons as an attempt to fix the issue. Deleting an add-on removes any data associated with it, where disabling and re-enabling does not.

Please note: The fix does not apply to Firefox ESR or Firefox for Android. We’re working on releasing a fix for both, and will provide updates here and on social media.

They also describe a way to get the fix faster, but I tried it and it has yet to work for me….

Update: 5/5/19 – the fix, using the “studies” option is working for me today.

Posted in Software | 1 Comment

Miami is #1!

…. in fraud. And according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission last year Florida was home to 18 of the country’s top 50 cities for consumer fraud.

This is both unsurprising and misleading.  It’s unsurprising because something about the Florida lifestyle seems to attract smooth-talking grifters (the less smoothing-talking ones go into local politics).  But it’s misleading because it only measures garden variety consumer fraud; to do fraud on an epic scale requires a bank.  Places like California (Wells Fargo) and New York (Wall St.) surely have us beat six ways from Sunday in that department. Unless of course the FTC counts those by victims too in which case we could well be #1 after all…

Posted in Law: Criminal Law | Comments Off on Miami is #1!

In Which I Take Google’s New “Poemportraits” for a Spin

Google has a new toy, created by Es Devlin called the PoemPortrait. Google, unpretentiously, calls it

An experiment at the boundaries of AI and human collaboration.

We are all invited to

Donate a word to become part of an ever evolving collective poem and create your own POEMPORTRAIT.

So I went to try it. It starts by asking you to “donate” a word. At that point, philistine that I am, all I could think of was Groucho Marx on the old game show ‘You Bet Your Life’, which always began with Groucho telling contestants that “Say the secret word and a duck will come down and give you 100 dollars.” (Shockingly, there seems to be no ringtone online with Grouch saying that. So here’s a video clip instead:)

Anyway, back to Google. I gave it my word (“Discourse” of course) and it announced that “An algorithm trained on over 20 million words of 19th century poetry is generating your unique POEMPORTRAIT.” I declined the offer to have my picture taken, and…voilà:

The poem was

That discourse of the word,
Spellbind the corn, sighing and streaming.

It offered me a chance to save the ‘portrait’ so I did.  But this is how it came out:

I’m reassured to see that AI’s too can be dyslexic.

Posted in Internet, Kultcha | 1 Comment

Astounding Recusal Order

Judge Robert Scola, Jr. (S.D. Fla) issued this Order of Recusal the day before yesterday. Must reading. Note the fourth and fifth paragraphs.

Spotted via “Immoral and barbaric” at SDFLA Blog.

Update: Lest there be doubt, I mean astounding in a good way. Although I do worry a little about the ability of other local judges to try the case in a manner that would be immune to a claim that their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. Maybe a change of venue is pending?

Posted in Law: Ethics | Comments Off on Astounding Recusal Order