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Here it comes...

On September 24, all eyes will be on BlackBerry as we host exclusive, invite-only events in Toronto, London and Dubai to show off… well I guess you’ll have to wait and see.

That would be the Passport, the expected 10.3 software-driven "phablet" style phone with a monster screen, keyboard, insanely-large battery (full-day++ life under heavy use) and large improvements in specs across the board (e.g. 12mp camera, quad-core processor, etc.)

If you want to know how large it is grab your passport.  That also will tell you how it will fit in various places, like your pocket (yes, it will.)

I already have 10.3 on my Z10 and it's awesome.  Add to that the additional memory, battery size, keyboard, much larger and higher-resolution screen and ridiculously-faster processor -- along with the expected release of Blend, the software (which is in 10.3) that will provide a "virtual terminal" into your phone from your desktop and you wind up with an integrated messaging and information system that works when you're in front of your laptop or desktop on a seamless basis and when not, it's in your pocket and goes with you.

Oh, and it's not full of either Apple's or Google's spyware.

Shut up and take my money!

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Gee, you think?

People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.

The findings are unlikely to be the final salvo in what has been a long and often contentious debate about what foods are best to eat for weight loss and overall health. The notion that dietary fat is harmful, particularly saturated fat, arose decades ago from comparisons of disease rates among large national populations.

Actually that "notion" arose from a so-called 'study' that featured cherry-picked data; when the original data set was analyzed without selecting for a desired outcome first the alleged "benefit" disappeared.

Here's the real 900lb Gorilla that came from this study, and one that ought to wake your ass up -- those eating low-fat lost more lean muscle mass than fat.

That's very bad.  It's bad not only from the perspective of athletic performance but also from the perspective of overall health.  You want to lose the fat, not the muscle -- muscle is good for you, not bad.

Oh, and for those who say that if you eat this way your metabolic markers will go the wrong way?  Nope:

In the end, people in the low-carbohydrate group saw markers of inflammation and triglycerides — a type of fat that circulates in the blood — plunge. Their HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, rose more sharply than it did for people in the low-fat group.

Inflammation on a systemic basis is very bad.  It is a necessary and proper response to injury by the body, but when it becomes a systemic issue you're in trouble.  It takes years or even decades before it gets you, but get you it will -- via heart attacks and strokes.

Oh, and about Ms. Obama's war on healthy school kids with her damnable drive to move school lunches away from fats (bad!) and toward more carbohydrates (really bad!) I have one question: Can we charge her with attempted murder?


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So getting your selfies (nude) hacked and posted won't be enough.

It appears, if the morning news stream is accurate, that Apple intends to put a wallet on your phone.

That's nice.  It also means that if it's not secure you're going to find your "wallet" pick-pocketed and you won't have jack and crap you can do about it.

Oh sure, if it's your credit card that gets stolen you're "not responsible" -- well, theoretically anyway.  That is cold comfort when you're traveling and the card turns into a piece of burnt plastic while you're on the road, leaving you with no funds and no immediate replacement either.  If that's a debit card?  Well, sucks to be you.

I suspect the iSheeple will "embrace" this, right up until they start losing their money, anyway.  Then we might finally see people wake up.


PS: I'll bet it wasn't just nude selfies that were stolen.  Think videos, tax information and all sorts of other interesting corporate data that people were dumb enough to put into the "cloud" -- and the best part of it is that I bet that particular stupidity among American consumers and businesses continues too.

Update 9/2 15:21 CT: Apple claims there was no "hack" per-se and the accounts were "individually" compromised.  If so, how did old, deleted images get retrieved?  This of course is a testable hypothesis, never mind that the so-called "hammer attack" sort (where a hacker hammers an authentication service to try to discover credentials that work) is something that should never be functional in today's world -- when someone tries that the system should lock the account out; either entirely or on an exponential-back-off basis (so each "miss" doubles the time before a valid credential can be submitted.)  The latter removes the need for a "hard lock" that has to be reset but makes attack attempts pointless since even with a correct set of credentials you learn nothing until the timer expires.  (Most sites that choose that approach also have a reset function available because otherwise a denial of service attack is rather easy to implement against someone you don't like.)

But - there's also this article, which claims otherwise and points out that irrespective of any of that it's tough crap -- you stuck the data there, even if they didn't protect against a hammer attack (and it appears they did not) and even if you never let your password out into the wild it doesn't matter -- it's your fault.  And by the way, Apple isn't alone in this -- Google does the same thing as does Amazon.

The bottom line: NONE of these companies will EVER accept responsibility for the security of data you place on these "cloud" services.  If you are in a regulated industry and thus must care, or simply do care even though there is no legal requirement to do so, these services are incompatible with your alleged needs.

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So now with 10k on the clock since I first purchased and put into service my Mazda 6, how do I like it?

In a word: Lots.

First, fuel.  Real-world economy varies from about 30mpg (at its worst) to very close to 40mpg (at its best.)  The "worst" figure sounds rather more-awful than it is; it includes significant periods in the 95F heat we have right now where I use the car as a mobile air conditioning and cool-down source after long runs, where I sit in the thing with the A/C blasting and the engine idling.  Needless to say the mpg during such a period of time is zero.

The Jetta got zero during those times too, and I recorded several 30ish mpg tanks over my years with her in exactly this fashion (often during soccer season when my kid would be practicing and I'd be sitting with the AC going on the laptop during same) -- same deal there, consuming fuel but going nowhere.

It is what it is.

Over a long trip I clocked several 37+ mpg full tanks, and none of them featured material time with the car doing less than 65mph.  I'm reasonably sure that I could break the 40mpg barrier quite easily (and probably by quite a bit) if I locked the cruise at 60 as I've run several decade-miles-long stretches with the MFI showing a 4-handle @ 60mph in construction zones and similar.  However, I'm not willing to do that on a long trip any more than I was with the Jetta, so again it is what it is.  The folks over on TdiForum that would boast of low and even mid-50mpg tanks were amusing to me; I know full well how to get such economy in the Jetta, but is your time really worth that little to you for the additional incremental fuel economy?

In terms of interior refinement (read: nice, quiet ride and excellent road comfort) the Mazda continues to impress.  Long trips do not leave me looking for a chiropractor or cursing as I exit the car.  I have no complaints about handling to note, although I've yet to find that nice twisty road section with no cars or cops (read: where I can sequentially push harder and harder until I find out where the line actually is) to really wring it out.  I don't expect to be disappointed.  The steering balance is one of the major high points on the vehicle; I liked my Jetta in that regard, but I love the Mazda.  It's lighter and yet remains precise and "planted", a very rare combination.  One note for anyone thinking of stiffening the rear swaybar -- make damn sure you drive the car to its limit first.  Unlike most modern FWD vehicles the stock setup is quite well-balanced and you might loosen the rear end up enough doing that to get an unwelcome surprise!

The stereo upgrade I put in is arguably the best money I've spent on any vehicle in my lifetime to date.  It's a real joy that can only be fully appreciated when you either are alone or the other person(s) also like both your music and the volume at which you want to play it, and doesn't want to converse.  It really has to be heard to be appreciated; to have a real no-bull**** soundstage in a car is amazingly rare.  I should have done this a decade ago or more to my other vehicles.

I have nothing of note in terms of problems or complaints; routine maintenance has been simply two oil changes.  Oil consumption has dropped to very close to zero over the second interval; no make-up required.

I've adapted to the transmission's quirks (specifically the wide 1-2 ratio followed by the much-narrower and even gear ratios from 2-6) along with the very light (comparatively again) clutch; it's a joy and even in heavy traffic doesn't***** me off.  Of note is that when coming down in speed on entry to a corner the close-ratio gearbox ought to be driven much more like you would a track car, downshifting sequentially and often.  That's the right way to shift any stick but with wider ratios and fewer gears it's easy to get lazy while maintaining smoothness in ordinary day-to-day driving; not so here.  One note for Mazda -- unlike the newer common-rail diesels that will shut down if you drag them a bit below idle speed on a launch the Skyactiv engine will try to hang on -- and fail to do so, getting very rough in the process.  Having that happen is driver error of course but IMHO it's the wrong choice for the ECU software to make; just kill the fuel delivery if it happens and let the driver hit the START button again.  It's the only mar I've found on what is otherwise an extremely well-refined drivetrain beyond the ability of someone who is "tuned in" to note when the engine changes over from its hybrid Atkinson to Otto cycle as you come off very light throttle to a bit more-spirited use of the loud pedal; there's a bit of a rough edge to the drive train in that operating regime  It's very minor but if you Zen with your car you'll notice it.

Yes, I'd still like tires with less road noise although I have nothing terrible to say about their wet traction, and dry traction and ride comfort are fine.  That will be a "when they wear out" thing and is a while in the future.

My kid thinks the car needs a more "masculine" sound.  There are aftermarket axle-back exhausts now available (two I'm aware of) that would do that, but I sort of like the "stealth" aspect of not having an exhaust note intrude into the cabin at all during normal driving, and as things are from the factory that's what you get.  I'm going to leave it alone, at least for the time being.

Would I buy the "6" again with the miles now under its belt?

Oh hell yeah.

I'll post another update in another 10k miles or thereabouts, or if something happens that changes my mind.  

I don't expect it to.

PS: If you like the option of replacing the stereo system you better buy one before the 2016s come out early next year.  Mazda is apparently going to the "3" style infotainment system with the display on top of the dash instead of in it, which will make replacement impossible.  This, above all else, was why I didn't buy a "3"; I refuse to wind up hating and getting rid of a car because the stereo either sucks or breaks long before the rest of the vehicle does.  I note that the stock "premium" sound systems in the "6" do, in my opinion suck for varying reasons -- but that was perfectly ok from my perspective because I could both avoid buying it and could rip the stock unit out and replace it at a reasonable cost.

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If you didn't have enough reasons before now you got another one.

Let’s be clear about one thing: right now we don’t yet know whether the nude celebrity photos hacking scandal can be blamed on security vulnerabilities in Apple AAPL +0.24% iCloud. Certainly this is being widely circulated and it was my first thought on Twitter TWTR +0.65% last night, but there is no proof.

Well, sure.  You could just believe it'll be ok -- especially if the issue isn't simply whether people have pictures of your hoo-hoo (or dong.)

There are those who claim these photos are "faked", but then there's this:

"To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves," she tweeted. "Knowing those photos were deleted long ago, I can only imagine the creepy effort that went into this. Feeling for everyone who got hacked."

That sounds like an admission that they're real to me.

There's a huge problem here, if this is indeed a hack into cloud services, specifically, iCloud.  That's because deleting files from said cloud often doesn't really delete them.

It's kind of like a roach motel -- you can check out any time you'd like but you can never actually leave.

I have always found it hilariously stupid that people "trust" companies with this sort of thing, and that's just when you're talking about nudies.  When it comes to critical business data, or worse, customer data that could wind up being extremely damaging (e.g. medical or financial records and similar) it's even worse.

The common mantra today is that businesses should put data in the "cloud" because it's accessible everywhere and is "secure."  Oh really?  Secure eh?  Says who?  And who eats the liability when they're wrong?

That's the bigger problem, you see.  If someone breaks into my private infrastructure and steals something, the bad is on me; I know where the blame is, and I know where the liability lies.  It's mine, and since they're both in the same place I have a decent incentive to make sure that doesn't happen.

Now look at the case here; the liability is still yours as the business that put the data there but you have no control over it nor can you do anything about it before or after the fact!

Still comfortable with that allocation of risk, are you?  

Exactly how stupid are you if you're a CIO or CEO and have put your data anywhere other than on your own infrastructure where you can control it?

Answer: Very.

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