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News is bad for you

News is one of the most consumed categories of information on the web. News is information about events. According to Rolf Dobelli in a post on the Guardian Website, news is bad for you in a number of ways.

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether

He makes an interesting set of arguments regarding the toxic nature of news.
He says,

“News is irrelevant. Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business.”

Personally I find some news highly relevant and it does directly affect my life.

By his own admission he has been news free for over 4 years, and this article is his latest exposition of his creative thinking. The rest of the article outlines the many ways that reading news makes us passive, wastes our time, causes toxic reactions in our bodies, promotes irrationality and makes us stupid.
Interestingly his website’s front page is a advertisement for his book.
His Media page are links to articles and interviews he has done online. Guess what? The Majority are News Sites

If you replace the word ‘news’ with the word ‘advertising’ this essay reads much better. But then it may just be my muddled thinking.

Welcome to Our Social Network!

What You thought You were Getting

What You Thought

What You Thought You Were Getting

What You Got

Welcome to Our Social Network! Now SHUT THE FUCK UP and BUY!!!

Welcome to Our Social Network!
Now SHUT THE FUCK UP and BUY!!!


Welcome to Your OUR Social Network!

the cloud The Cloud THE CLOUD

the cloud The Cloud THE CLOUD!

Remember Fantasy Island? The Magical Place with umbrella drinks and a staff who sorted out the problems you didn’t know you had while you were on vacation?

Yep Boys and Girls, The CLOUD!!, the latest nonsense from the freaks and geeks inhabiting the basements of Software Marketers, Social Media and their red headed stepchildren, the Internet Identity folks.

In a nutshell cloud computing means having files located on a computer somewhere else and making them available to you wherever, and whenever you are connected to the Internet.

The theory is that having your files located in the cloud, your company can be more productive, folks can work from anywhere, and hand over the hassle of managing your companies data, applications, and business information, both public and private to a third party who promises to make them secure, lower the cost of ownership, and have rainbows shooting out of your ass at the next shareholders meeting.

Microsoft has a strong vested interest in getting companies into the cloud as they are trying to move the core office applications to the internet like Office 365, moving everyone they can to Outlook.com in an attempt to keep the revenue up as personal computing sales have dropped, Windows 8 can be characterized as either Vista2, or BOB 3,(BOB 2 being Windows Me) depending on how far back your memory goes. Subscriptions are the new green at Microsoft. They are not alone. Google, Amazon, and others are offering you the cloud also.

Think about having your companies data on a computer located outside of your control, on the internet, which has a nasty habit getting broadcast far outside your network. Can you say Wikileaks?

Doc Searls who I know and love, has spent probably longer on the web than I have, whose work on Digital Identity and VRM is second to none, recently introduced the concept of the Personal Cloud.

Doc’s perspective on Digital Identity and VRM Vendor Relationship Management is filtered by his earlier life owning and running an Advertising Agency. He views the Internet as a place where we should be in charge of our Digital Identity and through that mechanism also Manage Relationships with Vendors aks companies that want to sell us stuff. We just disagree on how to manage those relationships.

My response to VRM is ARM aka Advertiser Rights Management [1] [2]. Block them all and find what you are looking for yourownself.

Doc and I agree that our digital identity has to be under our control. Establishing a Bombproof Digital Identity is an enormously thorny problem, technically. The best and brightest are working on it.

The Cloud are your files located somewhere else addressable across the internet. Sort of like this website. More on that in a minute.

Which brings us to The Personal Cloud.

Let me see…..
files stored on a computer somewhere else, Check!
available across the internet Check!
tied to someone Check!
secured under many layers of encryption Not so Much.

Holy Crap Pixel Man!
Welcome to the head lemurs personal cloud.
This is also my digital identity.

See! we already have personal clouds. Mine probably isn’t as fluffy as most, but hey its mine.

A Mickey Mouse PR Stunt

The interwebs are reporting that the Walt Disney Company is pulling production of its toys and clothing out of factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Hard to move stuff if the factory burns down. Doesn’t help if the workers are killed either.
Over at Deadline.com a site concerned with the movie biz was this gem:

The company said its decision was based on a World Bank report that assesses how countries are governed. Metrics used in the report included accountability, corruption and violence;
Source: Deadline.com

So until the World Bank tells you that some places are incredibly fucked up and no amount of capitalism will overcome greed or worker safety, its okay.

According to a CNN report is this nugget:

“After much thought and discussion we felt this was the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with our supply chain,” said Bob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products.
Source: CNN

Whew! I am so glad that they have their supply chain in hand. Atta boy BOB!! Really! Getting yer funky ass out in front of this supply chain noose. Names like Nike or Adidas ring a bell? Seems like they got dinged for using foreign factories for their supply chains. Years Ago….

So remember folks, the next time you want to pick up some merchandise, be sure to look for the label that says:

NO WORKERS WERE STARVED,BEATEN, OR KILLED MAKING THIS PRODUCT!

Microsoft’s Brain Farts and the Ugly Smell of Desperation

Make no mistake, Microsoft has kept me off the unemployment rolls for years, building and servicing computers running Windows, Actually it goes back to DOS, but most folks probably don’t remember that far back in time. (Programming escape sequences for printers made you a god)

Microsoft is a software company. They own most of the market. But they are doing just about everything possible to shoot themselves in the head.

Some recent news

Windows 8, the latest OS software out of Redmond has any number detractors for a multitude of reasons, my favorite being the removal of the start button…(you know, the button you have to click to turn your computer off). Just think years of folks trained in backwards thinking suddenly confronted with a linear process. Having to think different? Wait isn’t that an old Apple slogan?
Moving on….

Windows 8 upgrades to be cheaper than ever says the headline of an article over at Ars Technica.
[You will see this again]

Microsoft’s Brain Farts

After introducing the Touch tablet, pissing off all of their hardware ‘partners’ after spending years saying that they would never get into the hardware market. But then they said that they would not compete in the accounting software market either but as soon as Great Plains was ported to windows, they gobbled it up and rolled into their product line. (I was working for a company that used great plains and moved to quicken when Microsoft moved in.They are much happier and spent a boatload less money.)

The early announcement that Internet Explorer 10 would have privacy features on by default pissing off every ad server and data mining company on the planet. Also note that IE9 is only available if you are running Windows 7. You know the OS that removed Outlook Express the default email client in an attempt to up-sell you on Outlook or hand your ass to Hotmail. The same operating system that requires an internet connection to form simple networks, that updates itself automatically while you are trying to shut it down.

Writing off 6.2 Billion bucks for an advertising product that just didn’t work.

Windows Phone? WTF?

This is Facebook thinking for sure. Toss shit at your customers and see how much you can get to stick.

the Ugly Smell of Desperation

Windows 8 upgrades to be cheaper than ever
According to the Ars Technica article :

“Microsoft has announced that, for a limited time only, Windows 8 Pro upgrades will cost just $39.99 via download, or $69.99 for a boxed DVD from retail outlets. Download customers will be able to buy a backup DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling.

Between its launch—whenever that will be—and January 1st, 2013, users of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 will be able to buy the cheap upgrades to Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 Pro is the higher of the two mainstream Windows 8 SKUs, and it includes features such as BitLocker, Hyper-V, and the ability to join Windows domains.”
Source Peter Bright Ars Technica

But Wait! There’s More! This upgrade does not include the Media Center, the big brother of the windows media player, the application used for video and audio files. Wait for it… UP SELL!!! But hey, its not like that there aren’t open source alternatives that are smaller, better and faster.

Before you get a woodie thinking that you can leapfrog over Vista and Win 7 into the next generation, remember that your XP hardware will probably not run Win 7. Don’t believe me test it your ownself, which means that you now will have an expensive drink coaster or set.

Your free AOL CD’s have got to be getting pretty shabby looking by now.

OH Wait! Microsoft could buy AOL, send out Windows 8 for free, sell your ass a dial up account for product validation, and use the Huffington Post as the PR Agency of Record. That way if you have decorated around the AOL Logo you won’t have to redecorate so soon.

Facebook is Not the Internet

Facebook’s latest assault on the online world is the introduction of wait for it…
Facebook Social Inbox: Always-On Messaging With People You Care About
Back before Mark Zuckerberg had pubic hair, AOL had the dubious distinction of being the web. You know how well that worked out.

Just think, an @facebook.com email address.
we are sorry that username has been taken, perhaps you would like fred987123?

If you think that Facebook is the Internet just bend over, turn around and press your cheeks to the screen. Advertisers are standing by!!

Facebook Follies – The back to skool edition

Ahhh Facebook! The Pet Rock of the 21st century. Something everybody has to have, get tired of, and toss in the trash after the hangover stops.

Facebook has been called “The Social Network”. Hell they even made a movie. But at the end of the day, the Facebook buzz can be attributed to advertisers, Social Media Guru’s, tech writers having a slow news day, or formerly famous personalities trying to reinvent themselves.

Facebook claims 500 million users. B U L L S H I T !!! 500 million accounts Seriously? I don’t think so. They may have a few million active users, say anybody who has used their account in the last 6 months, which is being charitable as the ‘social network game’ depends on fresh blood more than starving vampires. And out of those few million how many are Social Media PR dogs, company flack accounts, and links to the latest meme?

500 million users. B U L L S H I T !!!This is Internet Accounting 101
(Internet Accounting 101: You add all your users and report that number while ignoring folks who quit. You don’t want your site to look like a wall street stock chart. Bad for investors and IPO Cash outs.)

Facebook’s Valuation
There is a lot of speculation regarding the value of Facebook. 12, 24, 33, 50 billion or more. This is hyperbole writ large. Valuation is like wishing in one hand and shitting in the other. You know which will fill up first. The best way to gauge a company’s worth is to see what they have for income, and what you might get for the parts when you break it up.

7 months ago Facebook’s income was pegged between 700 million to 1.1. billion, primarily from advertising revenue and selling data. But even these figures are wild assed guesses. Since the only sharing Facebook does is your personal and public information, making this at best a Wild Assed Guess as well. Even using the stock market game of income multiples, which values stock share price at a multiple of earnings, at 10 times, a relatively conservative figure, the valuation would be around 10 billion on a good day.

Facebook has a bunch of computers and some office space. Used computers bring even less money that used restaurant equipment. They own little if any real estate so there is no money there. Good Will? nah, the S&L failures took that nugget off balance sheets. Not much here once you cut the crap away.

Zucks 100 million for Education
100 million in stock. As noted above this gift has a dubious value. Until you find some sucker to pay cash money for this, you can’t buy books, fix buildings or pay teachers. Makes a great sound byte, but will not make kids smarter anytime soon. Not that this is not a nice gesture, but the pool of suckers has been drained by ponzi schemers, mortgage bankers, and toxic asset bundlers.

Social Networks and Privacy is an Oxymoron
Privacy and Facebook is such an oxymoron that you are probably throwing up in your mouth a little bit.
There is no Privacy in Social Networks.
Social Networks are not about privacy. They are Social as in Pregnancy. There is no ‘a little bit pregnant’. This is why I laugh my ass off when I read postings like ‘Facebook’s Privacy Move Violates Contract With Users’

What bullshit! As I mentioned above, you have no privacy, nor do you have any control over the shifting sands of this weeks privacy rights to the material that you post there. The author goes on about the dangers of this network and makes a leap that there is some contract about your use of their service giving you any privacy. Privacy settings are a Virtual Figleaf so you are not Socially Nude. And only show up in your browser, while in the back room, all your data is being collated, strained, prioritized, and shoveled into the sweaty hands of advertisers. Facebook makes no money by keeping things private.
Facebook, like the rest of the Social Networks are using Advertisers who should have more sense, building the Internet version of magazines. Having the ability to corral ‘users’ into smaller and smaller boxes to shoot ads at, is the electronic Midway Carnival, and you are all rubes.

Regardless of what sort of pixie dust you are snorting, Eric Schmidt of Google is right in telling you, If you want to keep things private, keep them off the internet.

Michael Arrington—The New Voice of You’ve Got Mail!!

AOL buys TechCrunch.
Yep I can hear it now, Michael Arrington saying “You’ve Got Mail!”
He probably hasn’t got the memo yet, but it’s coming.
Three Years of Kissing Tim Armstrong’s ass.

Maybe they will start sending out CD’s again with Mikes smiling face and a cartoon balloon saying, TechCrunch Approved! Not Available in Stores!!

Twitter and HTML

In the latest adventure on the web, Twitter the texting darling application that supposes that all the worlds news and intelligence can be explained in 140 characters, has been compromised by none other than exploiting and using JavaScript. Shelley has the goods here.

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, which at one time was about getting text on the screen with the odd image. The Hyper stood for the transport protocol. Not anymore especially among the AJAX fools and Flashturbators, whose idea of a good time is to plant code on your computer, track you across the web and sell that information to anybody with a checkbook who will hire some dumb young designer to create ‘ads’ that target you for shit you can probably do without.

Using JavaScript to plant more shit on your machine and follow you around even more. (If your browser is slow, don’t blame your connection, but rather the sites you are surfing and all of the connections they are making with webbugs, cookies, flash cookies, IFrames, that load in the background and foreground before you actually see the text that originally brought you to a site. I mentioned this 10 years ago.

You want VRM? This is where you start.

Keep you money in your pocket until these folks figure out that spying and pickpocketing you is not acceptable.

What is not happening is calling out the sites that use the ‘not responsible for third party behavior’ crap.
Sites that want to count shit have log files to look at, which have been used and generated since the first webserver went online.  I am not buying the ad supported web. If folks have stuff to sell they can be upfront about it, and not get sucked into the ‘other peoples money’ game’ . This is what is fucking  journalism on the web now and is not gonna get any better before the heat death of the universe.

 

More JavaScript madness. But before you go all VRM or NoScript, stop a moment and bitchslap the Browser Makers who include JavaScript engines in their browsers.

The largest enabler in this game are the browser makers including javascript engines in their browsers allowing the whole tracking game to be played. Scripting is how the majority of tracking cookies get set.
Flash cookies are a whole different game.

Second up is the <iframe> html tag allowing a webpage to send truckloads of privacy invaders into your machines.

The privacy settings in browsers you see are so much bullshit. If they were serious about your privacy, they would have an automatic cookie decoder to let you know what they are trying to get, and the ability to slam the door on them.

Until the browser makers slam the door and web designers get back to emphasizing the Text and kicking the Hyper in the balls, you will not see any improvement in honest presentation or representation of goods and services.

Any Privacy you want is out the window.

 

 

iPhone 4 Solution- Condoms!!

Covers? Covers?

That’s the problem with a DESIGN Solution.

Cheaper than a recall, dumber than a box of rocks.

Better Yet… Send Condoms!! Un-lubricated with a reservoir tip. Unrolling them from the top will help you to remember which end is up.

Since condoms are made thin, you will be able to use your phone like normal without suffering premature disconnection.

Hell ya can even get them in colors to accent your wardrobe, although how you can accent yourself with your hand stuck to your ear is a question for fashionistas.