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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 29, 2013/ 20 Sivan 5773

Mr. President, save us from Xbox One

By John Kass

John Kass


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Though he's vowed to cut back on those drone attacks of his, President Barack Obama needs to launch the mother of drone attacks: Against Xbox One.

It must be destroyed soon, before it's too late.

Americans are fools for shiny technology, and the Xbox One from Microsoft is the coolest, shiniest TV entertainment system in the history of man.

The console, which could cost upward of $350, is being advertised as the perfect thing for watching live TV, movies and streaming video and playing video games.

But there's one thing. It spies on you.

"That's what really freaks me out," said my colleague Old School. "It'll be spying on me, in the dark, when I'm sitting there."

That's why Xbox One must die. All the glitzy stuff aside, the danger of Xbox One is that in the hands of an evil genius — or an IRS agent — it could be a spy system.

Why?

It has a camera and a microphone.

The camera will look at you when you enter a room, recognize your face and greet you. The microphone will pick up your voice, if you dare speak your thoughts out loud in your own home and transmit it into voice recognition software.

Oh, and you can't turn the microphone off.

The high-powered processor is triggered by keywords. It will learn your video preferences and offer you movies and other entertainment choices based on those preferences.

To recap: It watches you, it greets you, it knows you. It listens to you, it never stops listening. It anticipates your needs.

And Americans will invite it into their homes. They'll love it. They'll play with it, perhaps even design covers and other modified accessories for its cold black skin.

It will become part of our households. Just another black box you can't do without.

You don't have to be an expert in The Chicago Way to see the possibilities of this demonic object. Knowledge is power. The pursuit of power is the province of ruthless people. Need I say more?

Naturally, Microsoft insists that it won't watch you if you don't want it to watch you.

"If you want privacy, we'll give you modes that ensure your privacy," Jeff Henshaw, a Microsoft grand poobah, said this week.

"'If" you want privacy? Modes?"

Such passive language has long been the moist, shadowy ground where the cobra waits for the mouse.

"It's not the case where you'll be able to remove the camera altogether," Henshaw admitted. "But you'll be able to put the system in modes where you can be completely secure about the fact that the camera is off and can't see you."

Isn't that the kind of thing that techies always say? And then they laugh. Mirthlessly.

This is the part of the movie where the scientist shows you the cute little dinosaur babies.

"This adorable miniature Velociraptor will never grow and never attack its human masters. You can be completely secure," says the kind scientist.

And you know what happens to him.

Old School doesn't just go around demanding presidential drone strikes on Xbox One because he feels like it.

He's spent years professionally studying game consoles, reviewing and analyzing video games for a great metropolitan newspaper. And on weekdays, he helps out with the column. So Old School doesn't merely think that the Xbox One is evil. He knows it's evil.

"Because it spies on you," he said.

This week, the fancy game console was revealed to much fanfare over the Internet.

Gamers and people who just have to have the latest technology in their homes (to make the rest of us feel stupid) were squealing with delight and glee.

It has superior technology making video gaming even more addictive than that of older models. It also has a Blu-ray player, the better to show extreme detail. And serious video game players are expected to love all the features.

"It's supposed to be great for gamers," said a young bearded fellow with hipster glasses and skinny mustard-colored pants. "But what I don't like about the Xbox One is that I'll have to buy all new games."

Games?

As a dignified journalist and talk show host with immense gravitas on all matters, I don't know doodly squat about video games.

And this ignorance makes me extremely vulnerable to snipers on the Turbine map in Yemen.

But this really isn't about games. This is about a concept Americans have forgotten. We used to call it freedom.

What if I told you that years ago, a man named George would write a book about a futuristic society with cameras everywhere. In the land of Oceania, the news media edited out offensive phrases that would trouble the citizens.

The government could follow you everywhere on the street with cameras (George didn't think of the iPhone). Cameras even watched the people in their own homes. And microphones picked up everything.

Who'd ever write a book like that?

"It's not important to us," a high school junior told me the other day when I lectured at Lake Park High School in Roselle. "We don't care about the cameras."

She might not even care years from now, when her children are born and the nice bureaucrat offers to put a chip in her kid's head, to keep it safe from harm.

Eventually, Xbox One will be followed by another game system. I've already got the perfect name for it.

"Rat Cage on the Face in Room 101."

Now that's entertainment.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.



Previously:



05/23/13 Tornadoes sound like eerie silence --- then evil
05/15/13 How the unassimilated are transformed into terrorists
05/07/13 Lives lost mean 'Benghazi' should be more than a political buzzword
04/30/13 American football industry is on its deathbed
04/25/13 Boston terror can't be packaged neatly for American audiences
04/18/13 In the world of acts, the urge to help overwhelms
03/11/13 Senate battle between a libertarian whippersnapper, crotchety establishment
02/25/13 If only Jesse Jr. would have read his own book
02/11/13 Secret drone strikes simplify Obama Doctrine
01/29/13 Making a pet project out of Neanderthals
01/17/13 Spielberg stops 'Robopocalypse,' perhaps on orders of evil master robot
01/07/13 Reality TV, how deep can it sink?
11/08/12 Thanks, voters, for caring enough to argue
11/05/12 It's Romney by a head
11/01/12 Sandy swoops in to save Obama. Should it be allowed to?
10/18/12 The other side of the emergency room curtain
10/15/12 Droopy Chia candidates get a do-over
10/04/12 :Schoolchildren's stomachs rumble; drama queens grumble
10/01/12 : Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney: May the best greenfro win
09/25/12 : With bitter campaign in full swing, you need to watch some movies
08/02/12 : Toasting culture's absurdities
04/24/12: Why do you have to sell your privacy to win?
10/13/11: Stupid things men say to pregnant women
09/26/11: Desk zero: ‘Contagion’ lurks just outside office bathroom
09/08/11: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
08/31/11: It was only a paper moon , but a legendary hoax
05/27/11: For 2012, it's Obama vs. the smoothies
05/05/11: Is it time to de-friend Pakistan?
04/12/11: China stretches the bounds of decency with cow-human-breast milk
03/23/11: No you're not in control; get over it
02/28/11: Chicago wanted a strongman, and it got one
01/26/11: Oh, c'mon, c'mon, Rahm-bo a victim? That's a stretch
12/13/10: WikiLeaks and Assange pretend there are no consequences
12/09/10: Trendy toys don't stand up to playthings of yore
10/11/10: Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
09/14/10: Obama gets a little bossy with tacit endorsement of Emanuel
08/18/10: Dead Meat walking, but heat to be applied again
07/28/10: No verdict, but Blagojevich trial still has its winners, losers
07/26/10: Obama's fall guy in Shirley Sherrod case is Vilsack the Pooh
07/21/10: Loathing of Steinbrenner softens after his death
07/19/10: Summertime, and the race cards are easy
06/28/10: Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no
12/17/09: Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam
09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2012, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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