Your infrequent reminder, Facebook is evil

They figured out how do you tweak people’s vanities and their passions and their susceptibilities and their desires in order to keep them on the site.

Source: The Central Question Behind Facebook: ‘What Does Mark Zuckerberg Believe In?’ : NPR

If you have not heard it, the above NPR Fresh Air interview by Dave Davies with Evan Osnos, a New Yorker Staff writer is well worth the listen.

Since that interview, we’ve had two more announcements of significance from Facebook.

October 11th, the evil empire announced that they’d disabled some 66 accounts or what Facebook described as:

dozens of accounts and profiles belonging to Russian database provider SocialDataHub

SocialDataHub provides analytical services to the Russian government. Facebook said SocialDataHub were “scraping” peoples information. Who knows how much information, how they used it, or who they sold it too. Facebook don’t. It looks live another 50-million accounts at least. [Check here if your account was compromised.]

The October 8th, Facebook announced their “Portal”, basically a tablet and web cam that allows you to make video calls to other Portal-users, and follows you around the room. Facebook of course says Privacy is

‘Very, Very, Very Important’

But let’s be honest, are you really willing to stay on facebook? Who in their right mind would allow facebook to live video them and not screw up the privacy, and even if they don’t, they’ll be analysing the Sh*t out of everything in every frame to identify things to sell to advertisers about you.

Can facebook do this securely and respecting your privacy? You bet your life not.

#DELETEFACEBOOK Start doing it now. #DELETFACEBOOK, and the women you will wow. (With apologies to Cole Porter).

My other facebook posts.

Planned parenthood, arbortion et al

Rarely little more than a bunch of privileged white guys hectoring the President of Planned Parenthood. I watched some of it live, and read a number of reports afterwards, it seems to have achieved nothing, and garnered no new information.

This weeks Congressional hearing on Planned Parenthood was pretty sloppy. Rarely little more than a bunch of privileged old white guys hectoring the President of Planned Parenthood. I watched some of it live, and read a number of reports afterwards, it seems to have achieved nothing, and garnered no new information.

I just saw this clip from Late Night with Seth Myers has the best summary.

War, what is it good for?

as we head towards the American 2016 Presidential Primaries, and given the continuing falling apart of the manufactured countries in the middle east, there will again be the inevitable warmongering hawks who’ll claim that we should bomb this, bomb that, or that we should have never pulled the troops out.

Yesterdays staggering revelations by Tim Weiner on Fresh Air, about American President Nixon, and Nixons utter contempt for the American public, and the total waste of lives among those who fought, and suffered Nixons war, contrasted magnificently with a docu-drama about London in the 2nd World War that I caught on TV Sunday afternoon while surfing channels.

Before you think I’m about to get all holly and sanctimonious about the British, I’m not. The documentary, available in 2-parts on YouTube(see below). It’s not significant because it’s about the British, or London, or anything related to my ancestry. It’s significant because as you listen and watch

“My feeling was one of anger, this is my city, whats happening out there, how dare they? It was ones’ own history burning, and who has any right to do this? How would you feel if you’d watched it? Your own home city burning. Put yourself in the shoes of the people that were watching that night” – Jessica Jacob

“The more we were hit, the more we had this spirit. I think they thought they could actually bomb us into submission, but it did the opposite. The more that was done to us, the more we responded by OK, we can take it, get on it with it, we are not going to submit.” – George Wheeler

“If someone came to your house and said I’m going to destroy it, and you’ve got a wife and children, you are going to fight like fury to save it, and thats what happened here. I’m not going to forget it, I don’t want to forget it.” – Richard Holsgrove

It is not about Britain, not even about America, watching the documentary about the London firestorm it is easy to imagine bombers bombing Iraq; the British bombers over Dresden; anonymous, invisible drones over Afghanistan; Japanese fighters flying into Pearl Harbor; the words of Jacob, Wheeler and Holsgrove would ring true from any human.

War, what is it good for?

npr embed

‘Born and raised’ Texans forced to prove identities under new voter ID law |

There are so many things wrong with this, it is hard to know where start. Yep, it’s a law that solves a problem, which for the most part doesn’t exist.

The fact it takes Eric Keniie 3-buses to get to a vital Texas state service, just shows how broken our transport system is in Austin. Here is a man, which, if as reported, seems a reasonable grasp on life, and a good approach, who makes living as a scrapper, foraging in other peoples garbage and when feeling flush, handout food to neighbors.

So much for the Texas miracle.

‘Born and raised’ Texans forced to prove identities under new voter ID law | US news |

The slobs

Don’t mess with Texas

Funny how things work, it’s not the hill in front of you the wears you down,  but the grain of sand in your shoe.


Living “downtown” has its perks,  and with all the things going on,  it’s sometimes hard to keep track.  This one wasn’t though,  when I went out to run this morning there was a red VW bug parked across the street  when I came back they’d dumped the remains of a soda and gum package on the street.

The other night,  after racing  Lisa and I went to Chipotle for dinner and while walking and talking afterwards,  I started picking up trash and putting it in the abundant trash cans. Soon  Lisa was doing it too.

I just don’t understand who people think clears up this crap,  especially downtown.  It’s magic? Your taxes do,  otherwise it doesn’t. Why are people such slobs,  how much trouble is it to take it home and throw it away,  really?

Gun for sale?

License Some rights reserved by Mike Licht,
License Some rights reserved by Mike Licht,

Friday up the road in Georgetown Texas a man in dressed in camouflage clothes walked through a neighborhood and was openly carrying a rifle. He was duly arrested without incident according to this report in the Austin American Statesmans Blotter blog.

There isn’t much detail, but in the rush to publish, along with lack of likely follow-up, since there was no incident, the Statesman and the other mass media outlets are missing a useful opportunity to inform people about the gun control debate.

I think what would be really useful for gun arrests/incidents now would be the answer to the following questions when it is reported or in follow-up.

1. Was there a license/permit for the weapon?
2. When was the permit obtained ?
3. When was the gun obtained?
4. Where was the gun obtained?
5. Was their a background check?

If the weapons are all obtained legally by people who underwent background checks, obtained permits and bought the weapon at Wal-Mart we have a number of problems that need to be addressed.

If the guns were all illegal, the owner had no permit, and the weapon was bought black market, we have a different set of problems. Any variation of either and the problem is the same, but the solution becomes easier.

HDMI Cables, won’t get fooled again

A while back I needed a USB Printer cable, all the regular shops were charging $29.99 and up, there was even one priced “monsterously” for $59.95. Please, USB and HDMI cables carry a digital signal, along with a few other things, for USB, that includes power. They are binary, they either work or they don’t.

With black friday coming this week, no doubt many people will be tempted to be thankful on Thursday, then on Friday they’ll head online or to the stores to buy more stuff, so they have something to be thankful for next year. If you are considering a new TV, and are tempted to buy a bunch of new cables, don’t get fooled and buy those really expensive HDMI cables. Read this link. I get all my cables from Discount Electronics and rarely pay more than $19.99 and sometimes as little as $5.

If you need exceptionally long cables, 50ft or longer then there are some issues; for example, 1080p goes 32ft without a repeater, but shorter than that, if you are having problems its the sending device rather than the cable.

Also, sound cables that go from an older TV to a hifi(home theater) system essentially carry a non-digital signal and are subject to some interference, and so you might benefit from more expensive, shielded cables, but try what you’ve got, or cheap ones first.