Online sources for those seeking a firearm

With the current shortage of firearms for sale, caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the panic buying it’s sparked, I know some people really need a firearm, but can’t find one at a price they can afford. There are two major online sources I’ve used in the past, that aren’t seeking to profiteer from the current panic, and ask fair and reasonable prices for their goods (at least, they do at the time of writing).  They are, in alphabetical order: Buds Gun Shop   CDNN Sports There are many more online vendors, of course, but I happen to know these

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Will the pandemic pop the higher education bubble?

College Fix thinks it may. … when large universities shift their course offerings online during a global pandemic, it might get students wondering – why would they continue to pay exorbitant fees for dorms, meal plans, and parking, when they can get the same instruction sitting at home in front of their computers? Once a large university proves it can provide a reasonable facsimile of its course offerings without the enormous expense, students may start to demand they do so. College affordability and student debt are two of the most pressing issues to young Americans today – they would no

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Conspiracy theorists are making money out of the Wuhan coronavirus

I’m sick and tired of conspiracy theorists in general, and American capitalist ones in particular (those who use any and every crisis to stir up fear and uncertainty, usually in order to make money out of the gullible).  Alex Jones and his Infowars Web site are prime examples, but there are many more out there. Vice reports that they’re making hay while the Wuhan coronavirus shines, if one can put it that way. Conspiracy peddlers make their money and retain their audiences by selling panic, and they’ve leaped onto this new epidemic with glee … The claims are multiplying by the day. The

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Online, you have no privacy

It’s hard to emphasize how little privacy – effectively, none – we have online in this digital age.  The risks to our personal, confidential information are enormous.  For most of us, they don’t amount to more than the danger of credit card fraud, or something like that;  but for others, particularly those active in any sphere of public debate or opinion-forming, they may be targeted by those opposed to their positions.  Such targeting may even become physical, rather than merely electronic.  (Consider, for example, the union activists who blockaded [on private property] the families of politicians with whose policies they

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Everything you wanted to know about the Internet and sex toys (but were afraid to ask)

Fear not:  your curiosity has been satisfied.  CNET has published an analysis of the state of play (you should pardon the expression) in the “connected” sex toy market.  I’m not going to go into details here (for obvious reasons, on a family-friendly blog), but I must admit to being mind-boggled by some of the things out there.  Note, too, the names of some of the companies and Web sites involved.  Weird, yes, but funny too!  Not so funny is the news that such devices may be spying on you, and reporting back to their manufacturers on how, and how often, you use

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If you allow “smart” devices to listen to you non-stop, you’re crazy

Yet again, we’ve been reminded that all these “smart” devices like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Homepod, and Google Home are a security threat to our privacy, and potentially even worse. … a quarter of Americans have bought “smart speaker” devices such as the Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. (A relative few have even bought Facebook’s Portal, an adjacent smart video screen.) Amazon is winning the sales battle so far, reporting that more than 100 million Alexa devices have been purchased. But now a war is playing out between the world’s biggest companies to weave Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Alphabet’s Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Facebook’s equivalent service

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Beating the far-left extremists like a rented mule

Frankly, I’m astonished that the far left hasn’t yet caught on to how well they’ve been played by the Internet underground.  Take, for example, Antifa.  This is one of their propaganda pieces (clickit to biggit): If you’re wondering how those symbols came to be associated with the far right, here’s a clue. Members of the notorious internet forum 4chan have proposed a new troll campaign aimed at converting the hashtag into a white supremacist symbol. In a post, on the /pol/ or “politically incorrect” message board, an anonymous user calls on his fellow forum frequenters to begin creating propaganda that incorporates the

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Heh – horseback edition

I was doing some research for a novel that’s in progress, and wanted to double-check something:  so I went online and looked around.  I found a thread asking, “What’s considered ‘a day’s ride’ for folks on a horse with average load over average terrain (relatively flat, even)? Not necessarily flat-out, but at a pace that won’t wear out the horse?” There were the usual thoughtful, considered answers, like “Anywhere from 15 to 30 miles is a realistic number to work with”, or “Everything I’ve read indicates a good days travel on horseback is around 30 miles, more or less”.  However, this answer

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What Google/Amazon/Facebook/ know about you – and what to do about it

Axios has a very interesting series of articles illustrating what major online service providers know about you.  They include the following, so far: What Amazon knows about you What Facebook knows about you What Google knows about you What the internet knows about you What Tesla knows about you Here’s a brief excerpt from the first article, to whet your appetite. Depending on how much you shop, watch and read with Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth may know more about you than any other company on earth. The big picture: Naturally, they know what you’ve browsed or bought on their main service. They

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