September 11, 2018

Zuckerberg admits Facebook’s ban of Alex Jones was prompted by Apple’s decisions

From The New Yorker by way of 9to5Mac in the context of removing Alex Jones from the Facebook platform altogether:

“The initial questions were around misinformation.” He added, “We don’t take it down and ban people unless it’s directly inciting violence.” He told me that, after Jones was reduced, more complaints about him flooded in, alerting Facebook to older posts, and that the company was debating what to do when Apple announced its ban.

Zuckerberg said, “When they moved, it was, like, O.K., we shouldn’t just be sitting on this content and these enforcement decisions. We should move on what we know violates the policy. We need to make a decision now.”

All I can do is sigh. Way to act independently and on your own. The fact that Facebook knew the content was in violation but opted to not make a big deal of it until someone else (Apple) made a big deal of it is quite unsurprising.

I recommend taking a look at the rest of The New Yorker profile on Zuck. 9to5Mac says he as “quirks.” In reality, he’s just a terrible person.


Tom Cotter’s Best Barn-Find Collector Car Tales

When I came across this book, I knew right away it would be epic. Tom Cotter covers a plethora of vehicular categories, including two-wheeled find, muscle cars and classic Americana, race cars, oddities and one-offs, and more. It’s running for about $23 on Amazon right now and is worth every penny. Go check it out. 

September 10, 2018

Apple Event Rumors Piling Up

Using their heavily-watermarked Apple Watch Series 4 hero image, 9to5Mac has a semi-fresh list of speculations, including the notion that the next iPad will use USB-C and the middle-cheaper iPhone will be called the iPhone Xr. This runs contrary to another rumor (based on Chinese carrier slides) that say it’ll be called the iPhone Xc. 

We’ll find out on Wednesday.

September 9, 2018

Verizon Discovers Consumers Care About Privacy, Not Perks

In tonight’s edition of “no brainer”:

Instead of mining user information at every opportunity, Verizon asked its wireless customers to volunteer their Web browsing history and location information in exchange for certain freebies, such as Uber rides and concert tickets. The behavioral data is regarded as extremely lucrative because it gives Verizon the ability to target advertising more accurately and to charge marketers more.

Given the choice, most of Verizon’s 116.5 million wireless subscribers decided not to take the deal. Just 10 million of them have opted into the data-sharing program, known as Verizon Selects, according to the Journal.

Even some of those who opted in may have done so inadvertently or were unaware they had a choice. On social media, Verizon customers have advised one another on how to belatedly revoke their data-sharing consent.

Verizon gets a couple points for at least giving folks the option. They then lose the points for making the perks terrible. It speaks volumes when one’s browsing history is equated to the value of a couple free Uber trips.

Today’s lesson: cheap bulk advertising is hard when you don’t know anything about your target audience. If only there was a way to advertise to people things that are actually useful or maybe ask for voluntary info on the kinds of things people like. (Carte blanche access to browsing history is the cheating way to collect all that information). If I knew I’d only be given ads for stuff I actually had interest in, I’d be open to volunteering a few select categories.

Even then, I can’t imagine most would bother. Sorry, Verizon. Turns out being an ISP and an ad company that doesn’t entirely and completely spy on its customers at the same time is hard. Who knew?


At U.S. Open, Power of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka is Overshadowed by an Umpire’s Power Play

Sally Jenkins writing for The Washington Post:

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos managed to rob not one but two players in the women’s U.S. Open final. Nobody has ever seen anything like it: An umpire so wrecked a big occasion that both players, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams alike, wound up distraught with tears streaming down their faces during the trophy presentation and an incensed crowd screamed boos at the court. Ramos took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn’t take a woman speaking sharply to him.

Can’t be said any better.

Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
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