Darrin Blankenship

My daughter says it’s still too early to know if it’s a queen or a regular xenomorph.

YouTube still has an ad problem

That YouTube “still” has an ad problem is not shocking. That there are channels promoting pedophilia is a much more WTF moment for me.


The First Female President

Adult nerd hood is being genuinely conflicted between a $700 vacuum cleaner and a $500 game console.

Time For Love - YouTube

“Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Goldman Sachs analysts ask - Ars Technica

Or, framed another way: should medicine be a market based business?

I would like some more detail.

Lujan: It’s been admitted by Facebook that you do collect data points on non-Facebook users. My question is, can someone who does not have a Facebook account opt out of Facebook’s involuntary data collection?

Zuckerberg: Anyone can turn off and opt out of any data collection for ads, whether they use our services or not but in order to prevent people from scraping public information … we need to know when someone is repeatedly trying to access our services.

Wait, wait, wait… opt out for non-users? How?

Mark Zuckerberg Denies Knowledge of Non-Consensual Shadow Profiles Facebook Has Been Building of Non-Users For Years - Slashdot

Check right now if Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data

Yeah… except you have to log in to Facebook to see. What about those of us who quit FB years ago? I understand that FB should have deleted my data but, come on, is it really that crazy to assume that they didn’t?

I’ve been making up outrageous answers…

for these questions for years because I was concerned that, under the modern surveillance state, it wasn’t hard to imagine a bad actor being able to find out the answer and succeed with a password reset. Never occurred to me that they might be another sneaky way to get my information.

Don’t Give Away Historic Details About Yourself — Krebs on Security

Just fucking great.

Four cents to deanonymize: Companies reverse hashed email addresses

This happens to me all the time: see interesting looking embedded YouTube video on website in my morning RSS trawl. Try to watch video. It loads verrrrrry slowwwwly, if at all. Stop video, click through to watch video on YouTube (or in the YouTube app), works just fine.

This happens too often, in too many different situations to seem like poor network conditions. Is this intentional fuckery from Google? At first glance I would think no. Embedded or not, the video is still being served by YouTube and YouTube can still do all the tracking and ad insertion they do on YouTube itself. But… there’s been a lot of talk lately about dark patterns and “engagement”.

It seems to me that, maybe, what’s going on here is that YouTube borks embedded video (it seems worse on sites that have interesting content that isn’t YouTube. For instance, I don’t even try to watch embedded video on BoingBoing) just because it knows you’re more likely to get grabbed by the next shiny thing they algorithmically surface if you’re on YouTube proper than on whatever site embedded the video that caught your eye.

Maybe I’m cynical or maybe this is known behavior or maybe I’m imagining motives for otherwise innocuous and explainable network behavior. But maybe it’s manipulative fuckery.

Wicked cool.

Mysterious sunstones in medieval Viking texts could really have worked-Ars Technica

My exit from Twitter will be long and conflicted but, ultimately, it will be because they still just don’t get it. Breaking third party apps is a shitty alternative to just making a better goddamned app yourself.


Micro.blog doesn’t like pipes in markdown links. Now I know this.

This is the bottom line: Facebook simply can’t be trusted.

Facebook’s disappearing message saga is the act of a company in turmoil - MIT Technology Review


Updated Sinclair Broadcast Group Anchor Script

This keeps appearing at the very top of my YouTube queue. I’ve reported it a couple of times now and it’s still there. Way to stay on top of things Google, can’t imagine why anyone would think you have a problem policing hateful shit on your platform.


Local TV forced to denounce ‘one-sided news’ by America’s largest media company

I’m old enough to remember radio before Clear Channel ruined it. I guess I’m old enough to remember local TV before Sinclair ruined that too.

Andrew Yang Wants You To Vote For A $1,000-A-Month Basic Income In 202

Cryptocurrencies are taking a beating these days but I think there still might be something there. Manna and Swift are two that have been conceived as a mechanism for a UBI. These will also probably fail because most things do. However, since neither of them actually require you to spend money you already have for money you might or might not get someday, my personal feeling is they carry little risk (Disclaimer: they both DO require some personal information from you, which, given our contemporary privacy shitstorm, is not something to take lightly).

If the idea of cryptocurrency and/or Universal Basic Income interests you, you can sign up for either (or both!) with the links below.

Take note: these are referral links. If you use them, I get a little of each for myself. If that bothers you, you can visit them manually in your own browser.

Mannabase Swift