Updates-a-plenty: Windows 10 Creators Update plus test beta macOS 10.12.4, iOS 10.3 and tvOS 10.2

It appears that the Windows 10 Creators Update is now feature frozen and will be receiving no more features – all bug fixes and from then on out but so far it appears that part of the update has no only been about adding new features but making the whole ‘software as a service’ model work a whole lot smoother when compared to the anniversary update. The biggest problem, as I’ve noted in the past, is the fact that although the idea of ‘software as a service’ (aka ‘rolling release’) is a great idea because it allows features to be rolled out once they’re ready rather than meeting an arbitrary release date the downside is that Windows is a spaghetti code clusterfuck that is a kin to the family tree of the royal families of Europe.

If Windows was a clean layered design then it would be possible to upgrade things in a piecemeal fashion without being concerned that all hell was going to break loose but alas we’ve seen no attempt to fix the mess up before going down this road with the net resulting in an update followed by a flurry of updates in quick succession to address the numerous things that were broken along the way. What Microsoft really do need to do is basically do what they’re doing when it comes to Windows Nano Server and make it clear that things are going to be broken along the way and have a long term transition plan like how Apple did with the movement from ‘Mac OS Classic’ to ‘Mac OS X’ through the use of Classic, Carbon and Cocoa. What would the Window would be like: Virtualisation for exact backwards compatibility, a reformed/cleaned up Win32 for traditional applications that’ll require some tweaking and then UWP for modern applications going forward.

macOS 10.12.4 is at its sixth beta which is quite a record which makes many wonder whether the rumours of a hardware release, as noted on Mac Rumors, could be coming as early as next next week but keeping in mind that no invites have been sent out so I doubt they’ll spring on at the last minute. There has been a rumour that there will be an iPad even in April as reported on 9to5mac which sounds more plausible given that by that stage the new ‘space ship’ Apple headquarters would have been complete which might double as a big unveiling of a new vision for Apple going forward which includes a refreshed iPad and possible Mac product line.

iOS, tvOS and watchOS are all developing nicely with the transition to the APFS appearing to go smoothly with no evidence seen that they’ll be reversing course in terms of case sensitivity so don’t be surprised if we end up seeing as part of the 10.13 announcement a big declaration as to the importance of testing software on the new file system.

They hated Obama more than they cared about their own health

I was watching this Vox Media video regarding ObamaCare/Affordable Care Act in Whitley County (Kentucky) which heavily voted for Trump but keeping in mind that historically the county was a strong hold for Republican support even when it is against their own self interest as seen in the video below: 

Reading through the comment section there as a to and fro debate between multiple parties over the fact that this county had overwhelmingly supported Trump and that Trump was going to take away their healthcare yet people still voted for Trump anyway:

Feel sympathy for them. I do. Not all of us had the money or opportunity to go to college. You want to say they are just stupid? Then by the same lodgic you must say that those born handicapped are just born that way and shouldn’t be helped. We can’t exclude people because they lack education or smarts. Are their lives not as valuable as anyone else’s. Of course they are. Do they not deserve food and shelter and a decent standard of living? How can anyone demand equality for minority races, the handicapped, for different religions and leave out people because they weren’t born smart enough? They might have been misguided in voting for Trump but no one else was listening, no one else seemed to care. These people felt so forgotten that they took a chance, a long shot, but that’s the only odds they were given. Obama could have fixed a lot by not throwing it back to congress to improve Obamacare but to just sign one more executive order to help these desperately poor people that everyone seems to have forgotten.

The first thing that needs to be noted is the fact the county was heavily leaning Republican so in reality it is the age old joke of it being a place that you could put a wheel barrow up with a red rosette affixed to the aforementioned gardening utensil and the locals would still vote for them no matter how much they’re getting fucked over by the Republican Party. This isn’t solely and America phenomenon given that there are parts of New Zealand that are politically tribal – farmers who will keep voting National Party through thick and thin and parts of the urban centres that’ll keep voting Labour even when the fail to deliver over and over again. So at the end of the day I don’t think there was a dogs balls chance in hell of that county ever flipping the county from Republican to Democratic given how ingrained the idea of being Republican is to that particular area 

I’m sure someone will claim that “You want to say they are just stupid?” But the reality is that they are stupid because they never asked the follow question, “what do you mean, something great?” and as we’ve seen today it appears that Trump has admitted that maybe healthcare is a lot more complicated than getting up and making a blustering speech at the podium during one of his rallies. By the way, these people aren’t idiots – if I said to them, “buy this truck, it is great” do you really think they would turn around and just go and buy it? of course not! they would ask, “why do you say it is great” and then demand the specifications, whether it has any endorsements from professional organisations, along with other information relevant to the decision to buy or not to buy. So yes, these people do have the nous to make a big purchasing decision that they’ll have to live with for years but they weren’t smart enough to see through the slick sales tricks by Trump? Maybe the answer is simpler than may in the media try to make it out to be – that those who voted for Trump hated Obama (Hillary seen as the ‘heir’ to Obama’s legacy) more than they care about their own health. Then again, it isn’t the first time that hate has blinded people into making a stupid decision in life.

What happens when mainstream political parties fail

I look at the rise of the far right wing in Europe and around the world – particularly when one considers the rise of the ‘alt-right’ in the United States and how the media has decided to cover this along with how mainstream political parties have decided to response to an unorthodox rag tag group of conflicting alliances that are hell bent on ‘raging against the machine’. What has been frustrating is the mainstream media’s response particularly when the likes of CNN attempt to blame someone like Milo for ‘bringing it up on themselves’ when a group of mouth breathing morons go out to protest and riot – destroying public property all whilst claiming it is all done in the name of ‘freedom of speech’. Here is an interview with Milo after the riot at the UC Berkeley campus and sit there as you watch the video and reflect on how an ordinary person with little or no knowledge of political trends will interpret what took place:

What we see is the media, rather than reporting on the fact that there are violent rioters who consciously decided to violently riot, what ended up occurring is CNN playing the game of claiming that the rioters were ‘forced’ into behaving violently merely by virtue of Milo’s presence – that apparently these rioters have no self control over what they do, they’re just automatons that blindly react to stimuli and as a result they had no choice but to behave violently when Milo appeared. Really, is that the level of analysis that CNN is now engaging in where a speaker is now held responsible for the actions of some idiots who cannot exercise self control and protest peacefully? What is the term we call for such behaviour that CNN displayed? That’s right – victim blaming.

What makes the situation even worse is, as Milo notes, there were people who went along to the talk just to find out what all the hubbub was all about. Thanks to the violent protesters from the far left and the lack of any serious condemnation by the mainstream left for such behaviour by fellow travellers there is a high likelihood that those who were once on the fence are now a lot more open to what Milo has to say. The net result of the far left’s violent stupidity has been the pushing of people who would have otherwise been centrist to the right.

Back to the previous paragraph, what frustrates me about the reporting is the deliberate distortion because it reminds me of what I experienced down in Christchurch when I was interviewed by ‘The Press’ where, out of an hour conversation the author made the elaborate connection between me, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Chaney, Neo-Conservatism and the war in Iraq all on the basis that I have some criticism of Islam and I have read some Leo Strauss writings. Oh, and the best one was the claim that I supported polygamy because I believe marriage should be turned into a civil contract then I flippantly said if people wanted have multiple wives or multiple husband I wouldn’t care either way. Yeah, reminds me of what Hamza Yusuf said regarding the news – it isn’t until you hear about yourself in a newspaper when you realise how much of what is reported on is inaccurate or just flat out deliberate lies.

What angers me after all of what has happened with Trump and the rise of the alt- right that there has been no structured reply from the left or mainstream right in response to this other than to call people whom you disagree as being racist, xenophobic or that well quoted Clintonism ‘basket of deplorables’. The reason why the alt-right has risen is because of the chronic failure the mainstream right and the left to address their respective  sides failures. The left has turned into an autocratic movement hell bent on tarring and feathering anyone who dares say or do the wrong thing. Bill Maher on his own show encapsulated that wonderfully in a few of his more recent monologues:

White working class, and I’d say working class folks in general, look at the left and think, “why the fuck would I want to associate myself with them? They don’t see my issues as real, I’m mocked and ridiculed, and then I’m told to shut up when I want to voice an opinion that the coastal elite consider triggering and mansplaining”. They’ve moved the political discussion into the realm of ‘freaks and weirdos’ to the point that the important issues such as health, education, social welfare, infrastructure, national defence and so on are no longer discussed in any great detail but rather the political rallies revolve around feelings and vacuous statements that leave the audience knowing less than when they originally came in.

When Hillary Clinton said, “but we’re already great” – what is that telling the worker who just lost their job at the local coal mine or steel mill? A complete disconnection from the day to day reality that many Americans face was the message that she sent. When Hillary was harping on about how it was ‘her turn now’ sent the message that by virtue of being a women she should be given the job. Hillary also claimed not to be part of the establishment and yet had the WHOLE establishment apparatus behind her – from the head of the DNC through to pop culture icons and the media outlets willing to give her mountains of free coverage then how can one really claim to be anti-establishment?

The right on the other hand believe that they’ve got something that’ll keep them in power but they ignore the fact that most of what Trump talks about goes completely against Republican orthodoxy – he is against multilateral free-trade agreements but in the past Republicans were always for them, he has shown little or no concern regarding the size of the deficit and said in an interview that deficits don’t matter because we control our currency hence ‘we won’t end up like Greece’, and that doesn’t touch on the larger issue of Roe vs. Wade where the latest Supreme Court pick seems a lot more moderate than Antonin Scalia so at best if the religious right were looking for the ruling to be overturned then they’re going to be disappointed – expect nothing more than the status quo being upheld. So is the future of the Republican Party an ‘American first’ nationalist populist party with little regard for the kinds of conservative values that have sat at the heart of the establishment Republican world view? Are the Republican Party willing to throw ideology under the bus for the sake of holding onto power or will they quickly realise that power without the ability to actually change the country in the direction they want is ultimately just as bad as being in opposition.

The failure of the right and the left to address the concerns of ‘ordinary people’ in a meaningful way has resulted in the rise of Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and so on because neither side offered a compelling set of solutions other than the same reheated ideas that have failed in the past plus the lack of candidates who could actually speak to the genuine concerns of the average working class Joe and Jane Sixpack who simply want a good job, a home, good school for the kids to go to, infrastructure that is reliable, a safety net in case the worse case scenario occurs and a superannuation/pension to support when they retire. The problem is that the party that is supposed to be advocating on behalf of Joe and Jane Sixpack has been off in left field with the social justice warriors and other cranks instead of actually advocating for ordinary people which has left an opening for Trump. The result has been that Trump has has come in and firstly communicated to Joe and Jane Sixpack that he understands and empathises with them (as seen in the speech at the RNC and the swearing in ceremony) and then secondly picks at a few key issues which all ties together the narrative that America is weak because of weak leadership which has resulted in out of control immigration (both legal and illegal) as well as shonky trade deals that don’t benefit the American worker – whether it is right or wrong, to the average Joe and Jane Sixpack they see someone who is decisive in identifying the problems without the layers of political correctness drizzled on top.

In conclusion, the election of Donald Trump has been the result of both the right and the left failing to the concerns of ordinary people seriously and the rise of charismatic populist leaders to tap into that unhappiness. For someone like me, who looks into the US political arena, I don’t expect the right to come up with a solution but I do expect the Democratic Party to at the very least be able to answer the grievances of the working class with more than just re-heated politically correct rhetoric and demonising those who don’t happen to 100% line with with every single social issue right off the bat. Bernie Sanders realised the need to build alliances when he walked into the ‘belly of the beast’ when he gave the presentation at Liberty University where he appealed across the isle to at least work on those common ground issues such as healthcare reform to provide a sustainable and affordable healthcare system for all. So whilst Hillary was patting herself on the back you had Bernie Sanders building the bridges just as he is building them today – in other words doing the hard yards rather than just turning up and hoping some buzzwords will get the folks out to vote. The net result? He lost the primary because too many Democrats convinced themselves that ‘Hillary was more electable’ but when you look at the polling regarding her against Trump you’d see that she was neck for neck with Trump where as Bernie Sanders was comfortably beating Trump even once you take into account the margin of error.

On a good side there is a movement developing that is addressing the short comings of the Democratic Party but it appears that the establishment aka ‘Third Way Democrats’ are fighting tooth and nail through it’s media backers. The big question is whether, rather than resorting to identity politics, the resurgence social democrats within the Democratic Party bring back the party to its working class roots. On the right there are also forces at work but it is less public such as the displeasure being voiced by Lindsey Graham and John McCain but the rumour has it that many of those who are unhappy are buying their time. The reason for this buying their time is when Trump fails and fails hard there won’t be the ability for Trump and his backers to claim that his presidency was sabotaged. If the Trump presidency fails the last thing those on the right want his Trump claiming a conspiracy occurred against him and that his ideas were perfect if it weren’t for the rebellious senators/congressmen so instead many are standing back and allowing the train wreck to occur and then when it does occur that collective sanity is restored. It reminds me of Al Franken where he said that ‘impeachment is months and months and months away’, the fact that he didn’t outright reject the proposition tells me that for any sort of impeachment to occur it would require the co-operation of Republican members as well so it appears that Trump’s detractors are buying their time – a game of chess where one has to think 2-3 or 4 move ahead.

All in all I’m hoping for the best but I’m preparing for the worst because ultimately it requires American’s taking ownership of the problem and dealing with it because unfortunately if it isn’t dealt with then the rest of the world have to deal with the fall out.

Inconsistent Republicans: One rule for Democrats but another set of rules for Republicans

I always find it funny how when Sean Spicer tells the public service to do their jobs:

They didn’t take the same position when Kim Davis threw a temper tantrum in the name of ‘taking a moral stance’ and the Republican Party couldn’t help but rally around her as if she was some sort of modern day martyr sticking up for ‘traditional values’ and ‘morality’.

Then there is the firing of acting US Attorney General Yates for following the constitution. Funny how the Trump supports were screaming about how Obama was an ‘imperial presidency’ and how he ‘trampled over the constitution’ yet as soon as Trump appears in the Whitehouse all that concern about the constitution suddenly disappears because ‘our guy is there’ is a lot more important than what he is actually going to do now that he is in the hot seat.

Building on from that there was the screaming and howling by the Trump supporters along with the ‘tea baggers’ whining about Obama’s overuse of executive action all whilst ignoring the fact that Obama has issued fewer executive orders than previous presidents! Just to drive the point home further – where is the protest over Trump and his ‘executive overreach’ and ‘bypassing congress’ and ‘imperial presidency’? Is it only of a great concern when the other guy does it but when your guy does it then the ends justify the means so therefore he can do what ever he likes because he is on your team?

Side Note: I’ve uploaded a podcast today so check it out on the left hand side of the page under the title “THE MATISYAHU SHOW” if you want an eclectic mixture of politics, philosophy and technology.

Another week, another podcast

I’ve uploaded a new podcast outlining what I think will occur under Trump and the relationship he’ll have with Russia/Putin going forward. I’m under no illusion regarding Russia/Putin or Trump but what I do cover is what could happen based on the assumption that each party is guided by some sort of rational self interest aka ‘whats in it for me’ to explain their behaviour.

I’m currently working on an article that debunks the claims regarding the iPhone and AppStore – specifically the fact that to get applications on your phone you need to use the AppStore.

There has been another build for the 10.12.3 update which seems to be taking a good amount of time to get done so it makes me wonder whether we’ve got developers jumping between macOS 10.12 and 10.13 so that it is all ready by the time WWDC rolls around in June for the unveiling. When it comes to 10.13 it’ll be interesting to see what is announced now that the iOS and macOS teams have now merged – hopefully it’ll mean a harmonisation of frameworks so when one platform moves forward that all platforms end up benefiting from the improvements rather than having to wait for it to be ported across.

One possible reason for why Hillary lost

After the election it appeared that the age old past time of bitching and whining about the millennial generation came to ahead with such comedic rants like the following:

This gives an overview of how many of my generation think in contrast to what Bill Maher claims:

Hillary lost because was all style and no-substance and more importantly the corner stone of her campaign and what he sycophants who surrounded her constantly chanted – “It’s her turn” as if the presidential election isn’t a campaign of ideas but people having turns. Anyone remember when Scott Brown and the Republicans referred to the senate seat for Massachusetts that Scott Brown resigned from as being ‘our seat’? Anyone remember the noise that Hillary made saying that it was the ‘peoples seat’? Funny how she is concerned about democracy and the position being at the behest of the voters but when it came to the presidential election it was all about ‘her turn’. As noted in the second video – using “It’s my turn” is the best way to turn off millennial voters when your justification for the position isn’t based on what you can bring to the table but some sense of entitlement that it is your turn now. Either we live in a meritocracy where your ideas compete in the marketplaces of ideas with the best rising the top or it is just simply a merry go round between privileged elites akin to an aristocracy but without the pomp and circumstance.

What was more nauseating was the complaining by Bill Maher about people complaining about Hillary Clinton’s lack of ‘authenticity’ but ignores what people were actually getting at – what does Hillary Clinton actually believe in? What was her guiding philosophy? She only just started to adopt Bernie’s platform after he lost and a huge amount of pressure put on but even then it was very watered down at best but more importantly did she actually have the backbone to fight for it once in power? It is all very nice to say, “yeah, I support this” but when push comes to shove and when she is in the White House then is she really going to grab the Republicans and Democrats in the house by the balls and tell them to tow the line or will she just crumple like a cheap styrofoam container on the slightest feeling of pressure from her donor class or those in the congress/senate when they try to push back? There is nothing in her past behaviour that fills people with confidence that she won’t back peddle and go back to the old Hillary Clinton – there wasn’t a free trade agreement she didn’t like, a source of donations that wasn’t beyond the pale (donations from Saudi Arabia whilst claiming to advocate for women’s rights) if ultimately the ends justified the means in her own eyes.

Keeping in mind that when I write this it isn’t a justification for why people voted for Trump or whether Trump will do things better than Hillary but rather why many either voted for Trump or decided to stay at home. The reductionist approach that Bill Maher makes on his show might make certain people feel happy because it absolves them of their responsibility in the loss but it does not ultimately change reality which is that Hillary ran in an election which assured of a win if she got her act together given how flawed the alternative was. Until there is ownership of what happened rather than resorting to the conspiracy theories then things won’t change and as one commentator put it, the Democratic Party will become a costal party which has little to no relevance in politics for the foreseeable future.

On the matter of Robert Bork

Watching this interview of Robert Bork from around 20 years ago:

1) I have sympathy for the arguments that conservatives have regarding a strict reading of the constitution when you consider that as a piece of text you have to ask whether it is something look into it like some self re-enforcing device that re-enforces what you already hold be true. The argument that a conservative might make is that if you believe that text is infinitely malleable then you open it up to judges playing linguistic gymnastics that not only can expand the scope of freedom but also be used conversely to restrict freedom. Take the Chinese constitution where article 35 guarantees “citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration” but we all know what happens in reality. The value of the constitution has as much to to do with what is written down as those doing the interpretation and the enforcement of that interpretation with the question being how flexible can an interpretation be whilst still being true to the original source (the ‘spirit of the document’) whilst accepting that society does move forward and thus our understanding evolves on social matters.

2) He conflates being a libertine an liberalism or more correctly conflate the ‘lonny left’ aka ‘destroy the system’ crazies with normal people on the right and the left who don’t want the whole system overturned but rather tweaked around the edge so that it ‘sucks a little less’. Although on many occasions I may speak like a radical the reality is that I’d sooner preserve the status quo with measured improvements going forward rather than radically overturning the system resulting in something that discards both the good and the bad in this naive view that a clean and fresh start will enable something automatically better. That being said through there is a time for radical rethinking when something is a horrible compromise from the outset with the best example of that being the healthcare system with the Untied States and the compromise that exists today in the form of the ‘Affordable Care Act’ but when it comes to ‘same sex marriage’ you have most people ‘lets expand it’ rather than the radicals who wanted to get rid of marriage completely.

Going back to the original point regarding libertine and liberalism, he conflates the lack of government imposing of social morays as some sort of example of liberalism failing her as a conservative who would argue for a smaller state he contradicts himself with the claim that the government should be small but at the same time have the largess to regulate the private lives of its citizens. Long story short he makes the claim through his bemoaning of ‘kids these days’ is that the solution needs to be top down rather than a call to individual responsibility and communities at the ground level ensuring that certain behaviours are no tolerates through a shared set of values that the community enforce at home as the first port of education for young people. I would argue that a hallmark of a civilised society is one where the individuals are raised to be self regulated where by their self regulated is born out of reason and rationalism rather than because of some behemoth of a state is imposing ‘the good’ upon the people via various ordinances be it central or local government.

It is important at this point to remember that there is a difference between being conservative versus being a reactionary. A conservative does one progress forward but at a measured and considered pace – nothing radical, nothing that disrupts the system but rather retaining the good aspects of what exists but fine tuning to deal with the negative aspects. The problem is that there is conflation of someone being a reactionary to being conservative or mores specifically the best example being the South Park use of the ‘member berries’ – romanticising the past and believing that a better society exists in a child like view of the world as understood through your youthful eyes when in reality it ignores in large part what actually made that time great. It is like when I hear social conservatives talk about the good old days but they never talk about the high taxes, the large involvement of government in the economy, the expansionist welfare state, the regulation of industry and banking to ensure that things didn’t go belly up every 7 years etc. all of that is ignored unfortunately in favour of this make believe time that never actually existed in reality.