Godwin’s Law in politics

If you haven’t read it in a forecast yet, you’ll read it in an analysis next week: The “Nazis” are back in Germany, with a good likelihood of coming in on third place in the German elections next Sunday. Soon the Germans will wear brown shirts again, grow mustaches, and roll their tanks all over Europe. Really? What sounds like a big story in a newspaper headline in reality is far more harmless. It is more a problem of Godwin’s law in politics, where the likelihood of a politician calling another politician or party anywhere to the right of himself a “Nazi” approaches 100% towards election day.

The German elections this weekend are boring. The two parties that govern today together, the center-left SPD and the center-right CDU together will have well more than 50% of the votes. The CDU has about 35%, the SPD 22%, and there is no chance of the SPD overtaking the CDU. 4 smaller parties each have around 10%, with the AfD, which is to the right of the center-right CDU probably getting something like 12% of the vote. So, is that a sign of a growing Nazi resurgence in Germany, or is there a simpler explanation?

The reason why the AfD has more votes than usual is that they are the only party with a strong anti-immigrant position (not counting the regionally limited CSU). The center-right CDU in Germany is well to the left of conservative parties elsewhere, like UK conservatives or US Republicans. Citing Christian values the CDU has welcomed a large number of refugees to Germany, Syrian and other, in previous years. This large influx of immigrants wasn’t unopposed. And so it isn’t really surprising that 12% of voters end up supporting a party that is anti-immigrant, the AfD being their only option in this case. Compare that to other countries, where anti-immigrant parties and policies are in the majority. The news is 88% of voters voting for pro-immigrant parties, not 12% voting for anti-immigrant parties. What you see is an anti-immigrant protest vote, by people who wouldn’t necessarily vote for the AfD if they had any chance at all to actually come to power.

Personally, I have been an immigrant for the last 20 years, and so of course I am pro-immigration. But I do believe that liberals have done a lousy job to explain the advantages of immigration, and to address the various fears of voters regarding immigration, from job competition to crime. I do think that an anti-immigration party has to exist in a democratic society. And we should stop calling people “Nazis” just because they are anti-immigration.

Combat optional

One of the comments on my previous post on Zelda about combat feeling optional got me thinking. Role-playing games evolved from war games: The full name of TSR, the company that first made Dungeons & Dragons, was “Tactical Studies Rules”; and the game evolved out of a squad-based war game with heroes fighting monsters. Since then combat against monsters has been very much at the heart of role-playing games of all sorts. Frequently you gained experience points, and thus levels, and thus power, by killing monsters. In MMORPGs that even led to players thinking about monsters as being a resource, with other players being a nuisance for “killstealing” or otherwise taking that monster resource away from you.

In Zelda – Breath of the Wild the monster is back where it belongs: In the role of an obstacle. There are no xp to gain, killing monsters doesn’t increase your power. Yes, you might earn a nice weapon in a treasure, but you could also break your weapon while killing the monsters and then find a worse replacement in their treasure chest. Monsters drop monster parts, which can be combined with stuff like insects to cook elixirs (which sell for much more than the monster parts). There is even a special trader in the game that allows you to trade monster parts for another currency with which you can buy special items like monster disguises. But in the long run, killing monsters frequently just isn’t worth it. When exploring in the mountains and getting attacked by a monster, I’d try to punt it over a ledge and got rid of it, even if that meant I wouldn’t loot it.

Combat isn’t completely optional however. At the very least you will need to kill 5 different incarnations of Ganon, the big evil guy, before reaching the closing credits. If you want to do all shrines, about 10% of them consist of a combat trial, and some others have lesser guardian monsters mixed with puzzles. You might also want at some point in time farm certain monster parts to upgrade armor with. But what I like is that you can wander the landscape and decide to circumvent a monster camp if you don’t feel like attacking it. Because you don’t have to fight everything.

Former CIA Official Suggests Trump Campaign Team May Have ‘Welcomed’ Russian Election Interference

No one bothered to report an obviously relevant Trump Tower meeting.

Former CIA and U.S. Defense Department official Jeremy Bash told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace that President Donald Trump’s actions after being cautioned by the FBI about Russia raise serious red flags.

Bash specifically noted that the Trump team’s disinterest in informing the FBI about a Trump Tower meeting with Russians following the bureau’s alert is suspicious.

“I think the fact that the campaign, the candidate was warned and that the candidate and the campaign did not then go back to the FBI after the Trump Tower meeting is a huge red flag that, not only were they unconcerned with this Russian overture,  but they welcomed it and in some ways want to conceal it,” he said. 

“To have warned the FBI would have been to expose their own conduct, the campaign’s own conduct, and that is something that Bob Mueller will be very, very interested in.”

Watch the segment below.

 

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  • Intelligence Analyst Malcolm Nance Compares Fox News Rhetoric to ‘Psychological Warfare’

CES 2018: Here’s what to expect

What is CES? CES an annual trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association. It’s one of the biggest tech trade shows in the world with over 170,000 people in attendance. Companies big and small attend the trade show every year, showing off the latest and greatest products they have to offer.

When is CES? CES will take place between Tuesday, January 9 and Friday, January 12, 2018.

Where is CES? Like every year, CES 2018 will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What can we expect from CES 2018? This year, we can expect to see devices shown off from just about every segment of the technology world, including drones, audio, IoT/smart home, AR/VR, vehicles, and more. We don’t usually see too many smartphones being shown off at CES, at least compared to MWC and IFA.

Most of the major companies we cover here at Android Authority will be in attendance, including Samsung, LG, ASUS, Sony, Huawei, and others. Not many companies have shared which products they plan on revealing at the trade show, though we have heard many rumors that give us a good idea of what to expect. We can also make educated guesses based on what was announced at CES 2017.

So, which products are expected to make their debut at the trade show? Let’s take a look.

Samsung

At CES this year, Samsung will show off its new selfie-focused mid-rangers, the Galaxy A8 (2018) and Galaxy A8 Plus (2018). Announced in December, the Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus sport dual front-facing 16 and 8 MP cameras with f/1.9 aperture lenses. This means you’ll be able to take portrait mode selfies, and blur the background before and after the phone is taken, just like on the Galaxy Note 8.

Related

A few other things worth mentioning about the Galaxy A8 lineup. The A8 features a 5.6-inch 18.5:9 Full HD+ display, while the A8 Plus comes with a 6.0-inch panel with the same resolution. The both come with a 16 MP camera on the back with an f/1.7 aperture, an octa-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, USB Type-C, and support for Samsung Pay. They’ll both go on sale in January, though we don’t have pricing information yet.

According to a recent report from VentureBeat, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are “scheduled to make their first public appearance” at CES. This doesn’t necessarily mean the handsets will be announced at the show— Samsung might just show them off in a teaser video. The official unveiling isn’t slated until February 2018. Though, it wouldn’t surprise us if Samsung used CES to announce an official reveal date for the devices. What we’re saying is, don’t expect to learn a lot about the S9 at CES this year.

Samsung might announce an upgraded version of the Chromebook Pro in Las Vegas.

Samsung could also announce an upgraded version of the Chromebook Pro, which launched at CES 2017. The device, which might take on the Google Pixelbook, is rumored to come with an Intel Core m7 processor and 16 GB of RAM.

LG

LG’s press conference will take place on January 8, a day before CES kicks off. According to a report from BusinessKorea, LG will reveal the G7 at the trade show — but we don’t agree. The flagship will likely make its debut at MWC in Barcelona, same as its predecessor.

But that doesn’t mean LG won’t reveal any new handsets. LG is expected to show off a new device in its K series, just like it did last year. We’ll likely see the LG K10 (2018) at the trade show, which is rumored to come with a 5.3-inch 1080p display, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, plus FM radio. This handset could also be LG’s first mid-to-low-end device to feature its recent mobile payments system, LG Pay.

In addition to a few new mid-range smartphones, LG is also expected to announce new TVs and a number of smart appliances.

Huawei

Huawei isn’t expected to launch new smartphones at CES this year, but we will hear some details about the Mate 10 Pro coming to the United States. In a recent interview, Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirmed that Huawei will sell one of its Mate 10 devices (likely the Mate 10 Pro) through wireless carriers in 2018. More details will be revealed at CES.

Read: Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro review: All about promises

Rumor has it that the Mate 10 Pro will be sold exclusively by AT&T. There’s no word on how much it will cost or when it will be released, but based on the US release date of the Mate 9, the handset could go on sale a few days after Huawei launches it.

Honor

Editor’s Pick

Honor likely won’t reveal new smartphones at CES. The company has recently launched the 7X and View 10 in the US, Europe, and a few other markets.

The 7X is already available stateside for $200, while the View 10 will go on sale starting January 8. However, Honor hasn’t announced US pricing yet.

That makes us think it could share this info with the public in Las Vegas. A move like this makes sense, as it would allow Honor to put the spotlight on the device right before it goes on sale.

Google

As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, CES 2018 will be the first time Google will be present at the show with a big, standalone booth. Not only that, the company has also reserved eight hospitality suites.

It looks like Google is preparing something big for CES 2018.

So it looks like Google is preparing something big. What exactly? Rumors suggest it could reveal a few new Chromebooks that will join the Pixelbook, which made its debut in October. It’s possible we could see a few other products, although there’s no word on what they might be.

Additionally, Google might use the event to offer consumers a close-up look at its lineup of products. These include the Pixel 2 smartphones, Daydream View VR headset, and smart speakers like the Home Mini, among others.

Nothing has been confirmed yet, so we’ll have to wait until January to find out what Google’s plans are.

ASUS

Rumors suggest that ASUS is working on an upgraded version of its C302CA Chromebook that will go head to head with Google’s Pixelbook. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but there’s a chance we’ll see it at CES.

Editor’s Pick

The device is said to come with the Core m7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, same as the upgraded version of the Chromebook Pro Samsung is reportedly working on.

It’s also possible that ASUS will reveal a new smartphone or two in Las Vegas. The company took the wraps off the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom at CES 2017, so it’s possible we could see followup devices at the trade show.


Many other companies including HTC, Sony, ZTE, and Lenovo will be present at CES 2018, though there are no specific details on which products they might show off. We’ll likely hear more rumors about the products that could make their debut at the show over the next month. When that happens, we’ll update this post to keep you up to speed.

Which product do you think will attract the most attention at CES? Let us know in the comments.

If Trump Fires Mueller, Is a Watergate Rerun Coming?

Firing special prosecutor Archibald Cox was a massive blunder for Richard Nixon. But yes, it could happen again.

For some reason I had a yearning to curl up on the couch and binge-watch Watergate documentaries this weekend. I can’t imagine why. Just because every TV talking head was breathlessly talking about the right-wing crusade against special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, and rumors were flying that Jared Kushner is shopping around for a crisis management firm, that’s no reason to think that the scandal may be headed for a new phase. But when news broke on Saturday that a Trump transition lawyer had sent a letter to Congress complaining that Mueller had allegedly obtained transition officials’ emails illegally, it sure felt as if something was going to break.

Trump returned from Camp David on Sunday night and told the press that he isn’t considering firing Mueller. Since he cannot tell a lie, that’s obviously the end of that. The Kushner business, on the other hand, may be true, in light of the news about the emails that the Trump team didn’t know were in the hands of prosecutors until after they had all testified, opening up the possibility that someone may have lied. As Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos can attest, that’s a big no-no.

Trump’s transition lawyer, who doesn’t seem to have any experience in these matters, said that the way the prosecutors obtained the emails is illegal — but also said that Congress should make it illegal. So the nature of Team Trump’s specific complaints is a bit confusing. Evidently they had placed their own man in the General Services Administration, who assured them that emails they sent on government devices with the .gov address would be secured and wouldn’t be turned over without their knowledge.

Unfortunately, their man got sick and died, and the people beneath him were not told about this promise, and when the prosecutors came looking for the emails they were handed over, as would happen in any criminal investigation. Since all such emails are government property and everyone is informed before they are issued the email addresses that they have no expectation of privacy, there’s nothing unusual in any of it. But as we’ve seen before, the Trump team doesn’t really listen or pay attention to the normal rules and regulations. They apparently thought they had this all dialed in. As usual, they didn’t.

Mueller’s office made a rare public comment right after midnight on Sunday morning: “When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process.” Apparently, they had reason to believe something criminal was going on in the Trump transition.

Lawyers from both parties weighed in on Sunday and explained that there’s nothing illegal about a government investigation obtaining emails from a government agency. The Trump attorney referred to “possible” executive privilege and attorney-client privilege, but didn’t really make the claim, mainly because executive privilege doesn’t exist for a president until he takes office, and if there were attorney communications that might be privileged, all it means is that prosecutors couldn’t use those to build their case. Needless to say, if the Trump team wants to argue this, the appropriate venue is a courtroom — which is exactly what the House Oversight Committee chair Trey Gowdy told them.

As I mentioned, Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller, but then, he isn’t literally the one who would fire him, is he? That job would fall to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the special counsel investigation since Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case. Trump could direct Rosenstein to fire Mueller; if Rosenstein refuses, the president can fire him and demand that the next person in line do the deed. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before.

Looking back at the Saturday Night Massacre in the fall of 1973, at the height of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon was furious that special prosecutor Archibald Cox had gone beyond what Nixon thought should be his mandate. When the president found out that Cox was looking into the financing of his West Coast White House in San Clemente, California, he went ballistic. Nixon probably had a lot less to hide in this regard than Donald Trump does.

But what finally precipitated Cox’s firing was the battle over the tapes of Nixon’s conversations in the White House, which had been described in detail by former White House counsel John Dean when testifying about the cover-up of the Watergate break-in. After the existence of the tapes had been exposed, Nixon refused to turn them over. Cox took him to court, and the court had ruled against the president. Nixon refused. His lawyers came up with a cockamamie plan to have one elderly conservative senator listen to the tapes and attest to the accuracy of White House-prepared transcripts of certain conversations under subpoena. Cox said no — that was in defiance of the court. He planned to take the case back before a judge and would abide by his ruling.

That’s when Nixon called up the Attorney General Elliot Richardson and told him to fire Cox. The president said to Richardson when he refused, “I’m sorry you choose to put your purely personal commitments ahead of the public interest.” To which Richardson replied, “Mr. President, it would appear that you and I have a different perception of the public interest.” Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus also resigned, and then Solicitor General Robert Bork finally did the deed.

What happened next was interesting. Nixon wanted to shut down the office altogether and sent the FBI to lock the place down. But prosecutors wouldn’t leave and were giving press conferences. The public was all up in arms, and the media backlash was furious.

Nixon ended up having to appoint another special prosecutor and picked a conservative Republican, Leon Jaworski, who was predisposed to give the president the benefit of the doubt. But after refusing to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, Nixon finally gave up the tapes. When Jaworski heard him talking to John Dean, he said, “can you believe the president of the United States coaching a witness on how to evade the truth?”

That’s when the prosecutors got their indictments of the presidents’ men and delivered their case to the House committee considering impeachment.

Watching Trump and knowing how often he lies, it seems inevitable that there have been more than a few such moments for Mueller in reading some of those emails and listening to testimony from people around the president. The difference is that Nixon had an understanding of the necessity of maintaining stability in the system, even as he abused it terribly. Trump doesn’t even know what the system is and his lawyers don’t seem to have much of a grasp of it either. So far, Republicans in Congress are completely unwilling to do their duty.

Trump might follow the Nixon playbook and fire Mueller, but after that, the whole thing could go off the rails. As strange as this is to say, Nixon knew there were limits to his power. Trump doesn’t. Who knows what he might do?

 

 

 

Related Stories

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  • The One Scenario in Which Trump Would Risk Impeachment and Fire Robert Mueller
  • Donald Trump Jr. and Ted Cruz Mock Barack Obama with Bizarre Cookie

Nintendo Switch game pricing

I haven’t played anything on my Nintendo Switch yet, as I technically only get it for Christmas. That hasn’t kept me from looking what games there are for the console. Apart from the two “system seller” games Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey there are quite a number of Nintendo and third party games on offer. So the choice is quite good. What is not so good is the pricing.

Prime example: Skyrim. I can overlook the fact that the game is 6 years old. I can overlook the fact that it doesn’t look as pretty on a TV screen as it looks on a PC screen. I can overlook the fact that playing it handheld means you run out of battery after a few hours. But why does this game which is sold on Steam for €14.99 cost €59.99 on the Nintendo Switch? Unless you really, really want to play Skyrim on a handheld tablet (unlikely), or don’t have a PC able to run a 6 year old game (even less likely), why would you want to pay 4 times more for the same game? But yet sales are quite good.

For me as a PC gamer the era of €60 games looks like ancient history. I haven’t bought a €60 game on Steam for years. Most full price games on Steam are cheaper than that, and I don’t usually buy full price games; I have enough games in reserve to be able to wait until I get the same game for half price or less. If Bethesda can sell Skyrim for €60, I imagine there must be a lot of console gamers out there who aren’t as price sensitive as the PC gamers. For me that just doesn’t look like good value for money.

Deal: Misfit Vapor gets a $60 price cut on Amazon to $140

The Misfit Vapor finally went on sale in late October, after the Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch was supposed to launch sometime in the late summer of 2017. The price for the smartwatch was $199.99, but now Amazon has cut the price down for the Vapor to just $139.59. That’s over $60 off for a product that first launched less than two months ago.

Editor’s Pick

That may be a clue that sales of the Vapor may not be doing as well as Misfit thought, or it could just be a holiday sales promotion. In any case, getting such a big price cut for this smartwatch makes it more attractive. It has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display, a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 4 GB of internal storage, a 44 mm satin-finished stainless steel casing, and a touch-enabled bezel that lets you access the UI without using the touchscreen.

Unfortunately, the Misfit Vapor does not have a dedicated GPS chip inside, which was something the company said would originally be included with this smartwatch. It also lacks an NFC chip, so you can’t use it to buy stuff in stores via Android Pay without a phone. However, it does have an optical heart rate sensor and a water resistance rating of up to 50 meters, which means you can use it while swimming. Android Wear 2.0 support means you also get access to Google Assistant, along with customizable watch faces and access to all the new Google Fit features.

Get it at Amazon

SQLite Overview with Installation_pRoCess and self-start examples:SQL – Where all to UsE ?

sqlite image


SQLite is embedded relational database management system. It is self-contained, serverless, zero configuration and transactional SQL database engine. SQLite is free to use for any purpose commercial or private. In other words, “SQLite is an open source, zero-configuration, self-contained, stand alone, transaction relational database engine designed to be embedded into an application”.

SQLite is different from other SQL databases because unlike most other SQL databases, SQLite does not have a separate server process. It reads and writes directly to ordinary disk files. A complete SQL database with multiple tables, indices, triggers, and views, is contained in a single disk file. SQLite was designed by D. Richard Hipp for the purpose of no administration required for operating a program in 2000.

SQLite Features

Following is a list of features which makes SQLite popular among other lightweight databases:

  • SQLite is open-source. License is not required to work with it.
  • SQLite doesn’t require a different server process or system to operate.
  • It facilitates you to work on multiple databases on the same session on the same time.
  • SQLite doesn’t require configuration. No setup or administration required.
  • SQLite is a cross-platform DBMS.
  • The length of the columns is variable and is not fixed. It facilitates you to allocate only the space a field needs.
  • Provide large number of API’s: SQLite provides API for a large range of programming languages.
  • SQLite is written in ANSI-C and provides simple and easy-to-use API.

SQLite Limitations

There are few unsupported features of SQLite which are listed below:-
  • Right Outer Join and Full Outer Join is not Supported.
  • The RENAME TABLE and ADD COLUMN variants of the ALTER TABLE command are supported. The DROP COLUMN, ALTER COLUMN, ADD CONSTRAINT are not supported.
  • FOR EACH ROW triggers are supported but not FOR EACH STATEMENT triggers.
  • VIEWs in SQLite are read-only. You may not execute a DELETE, INSERT, or UPDATE statement on a view.
  • The only access permissions that can be applied are the normal file access permissions of the underlying operating system.

SQLite Installation

SQLite doesn’t require configuration. No setup or administration required. Lets see how to install SQLite on different Systems such as Windows, Linux.

Install SQLite on Windows

Step 1: Go to SQLite official website download page http://www.sqlite.org/download.html And download precompiled binaries from Windows section.
Step 2: Download the sqlite-dll and sqlite-shell zip file. Or sqlite-tools-win32-x86-3170000.zip file.
Step 3: Create a folder C:>sqlite and unzip above two zipped files in this folder, which will give you sqlite3.def, sqlite3.dll and sqlite3.exe files.
Step 4: Add C:>sqlite in your PATH environment variable and finally go to the command prompt and issue sqlite3 command, which should display the following result.
sqlite shell

Install SQLite on Linux

Today, almost all the Linux OS are being shipped with SQLite. So you just issue the following command to check if you already have SQLite installed on your machine.
$sqlite3
SQLite version 3.7.15.2 2013-01-09 11:53:05
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"
sqlite>
If you do not see the above result, then it means you do not have SQLite installed on your Linux machine. Follow following Steps
Step 1: Go to SQLite download page and download sqlite-autoconf-*.tar.gz from source code section.
Step 2: Run the following command :
$tar xvfz sqlite-autoconf-3071502.tar.gz
$cd sqlite-autoconf-3071502
$./configure --prefix = /usr/local
$make
$make install
The above command will install SQLite on Linux.

SQLite Commands

SQLite commands are similar to SQL commands. There are three types of SQLite commands:
DDL: Data Definition Language
  • CREATE: Creates a new table, a view of a table, or other object in database.
  • ALTER: It is used to modify an existing database object like a table.
  • DROP: Deletes an entire table, a view of a table or other object in the database.
DML: Data Manipulation Language
  • INSERT: This command is used to create a record.
  • UPDATE: It is used to modify the records.
  • DELETE: It is used to delete records.
DQL: Data Query Language
  • SELECT: This command is used to retrieve certain records from one or more table.

SQLite Create Table Command

In SQLite, CREATE TABLE statement is used to create a new table. While creating the table, we name that table and define its column and data types of each column.
Syntax:
CREATE TABLE database_name.table_name(  
column1 datatype PRIMARY KEY(one or more columns),
column2 datatype,
column3 datatype,
.....
columnN datatype,
);
Example
CREATE TABLE SCTPL(  
ID int PRIMARY KEY not null,
NAME TEXT,
Address TEXT,
);
You can view the tables created in SQLite using .table command and .schema command is used to view the table details.

sqlite create table command

SQLite Insert Query

In SQLite, INSERT INTO statement is used to add new rows of data into a table. After creating the table, this command is used to insert data into the table.
There are two types of basic syntaxes for INSERT INTO statement:
Syntax-1:
INSERT INTO TABLE_NAME (column1, column2, column3,...columnN)    
VALUES (value1, value2, value3,...valueN);
Here, column1, column2, column3,…columnN specifies the name of the columns in the table into which you have to insert data.

You don’t need to specify the columns name in the SQlite query if you are adding values to all the columns in the table. But you should make sure that the order of the values is in the same order of the columns in the table.
Then the syntax will be like this:
Syntax-2:
INSERT INTO TABLE_NAME VALUES (value1,value2,value3,...valueN);
Example
Inserting values by first method:
INSERT INTO SCTPL (id, name,address)   
VALUES (101, Suven Consultants,Chembur);



Inserting values by second method:
INSERT INTO SCTPL VALUES (102,Suven Consultants,Thane);



SQLite SELECT Query

In SQLite database, SELECT statement is used to fetch data from a table. When we create a table and insert some data into that, we have to fetch the data whenever we require. That’s why select query is used.
Syntax:
SELECT column1, column2, columnN FROM table_name;
OR
SELECT * FROM table_name;
Example
SELECT * FROM SCTPL;

Do you want to learn Database Programming?