Tag: Google

Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!

Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!

“I’m the air you breathe, food you eat, friends your greet in the sullen street,” from The Changeling, written by Jim Morrison.

If you’re a regular reader of Brainiac On Banjo, you might be aware of my affection for the computing products sold by Apple. Those buggers brought ease of use, intuition, logic, and a common interface to personal computing, advertising their stuff as “for the rest of us.”

On Super Bowl XVIII Sunday, 1984, Apple advertised their new Macintosh computers with a Ridley Scott commercial they paid to run only once, although the spot received a great deal of free play in news items and on talk shows. The theme was copped from George Orwell’s novel 1984, but it was a response to 1984 with an athlete destroying the soul-sucking machinery that was controlling the masses. Back then, computers did not control our lives the way they do now.

That was then.

Sadly, “artificial intelligence” is not as dangerous as the artificially intelligent. Programmers seem to be associating only with other programmers, creating things they can brag about over a beer. For a decade now Apple, the people who made computing personal and who coined that phrase have produced a growing amount of crappy whiz-bang and dysfunctional hoohah, both in its hardware and its software.

Apple upgrades their operating systems about every 10 weeks, but I no longer approach computing wide-eyed and eager to try the new stuff they’re giving me. Now my first thought is “what did these assholes break this time?” Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: The Worm Turns!”

As Is: The Crack of the Whip

As Is: The Crack of the Whip

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes, the blossom embraces the bee. But, soon, says a whisper “Arise, arise! Tomorrow belongs to me.” – German folk song “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” adapted by John Kander.

From what I perceive, TikTok is not an app intended for me. The younger we are, the more juvenile we act, which is also known as “duh…” To me, TikTok is the home-game version of Jackass.

And if you get that joke, you, too, are too old for TikTok. It appears the members of the legislature of the state of Montana also are too old for TikTok. They just banned the use of the app throughout the state.

OK, a lot of state legislatures have done far worse stuff over the past, oh, two weeks. Are you listening, you bigoted Tennessee crackers? Probably not. However, there are understandable reasons for wanting to ban this product. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company named ByteDance, which calls Red China its home. Technically, it exists at the government’s pleasure. TikTok strip-mines personal information so effectively you’d think they were owned by Google or Facebook. That makes TikTok as great a security risk as, well, Google and Facebook, and that is not good. Continue reading “As Is: The Crack of the Whip”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind  #090: Tweedledumbass

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #090: Tweedledumbass

Lies, dripping off your mouth like dirt / Lies, lie in every step you walk / Lies, whispered sweetly in my ear / Lies, how do I get out of here / Why, why you have to be so cruel / Lies, lies, lies, I ain’t such a fool — “Lies,” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, 1978

We all have said things that are later proven to be mistaken, and I’m mouse enough to admit that on March 21st 2006 I fubared one right out of the park. Watching a CNET piece about Twitter, I proclaimed “who the hell wants to know what you’re having for lunch, and why it’s being served to you on such crappy plates?”

Of course, I was wrong to the tune of about sixty-five million American daily active users. One of those daily active users happens to be the President of the United States. He’s got 80 million followers worldwide, but that includes the media, other politicians, the curious and those hard up for light entertainment. Trumpsy loves Twitter because he has 100% control over his message… or at least he did until Tuesday. The Orange Fool repeated his completely baseless lie that mail-in ballots lead to vote fraud and forgeries. Twitter attached a warning to this and a couple other presidential fabrications suggesting readers fact check his claims.

Twitter did not say “This dipshit is lying again!” They didn’t even call bullshit on his bullshit claims. They just suggested people check it out, which they should be doing anyway… certainly by now.

Turns out, Twitter’s tweet hurt Li’l Donnie’s feelings. He tweeted “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen… Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

Four exclamation points!!!! I guess he means it. He repeated his threats to regulate or shut down social media companies for trying to silence “conservative” expression. In so doing, Trumpsy betrays his lack of faith in capitalism: such conservative voices, no matter how few, possess on average nearly two eyeballs each and internet content providers cover their nut with the number of eyeballs they attract.

Therefore, if you are a “general interest” content provider, you don’t want to chase away any noticeable group of followers. Even Trumpsters buy stuff… like, say, Clorox and hydroxychloroquine.

According to Reuters, after Orangey made his threat shares of Twitter and Facebook dropped – temporarily. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #090: Tweedledumbass”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #029: Is Bigger Worser?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #029: Is Bigger Worser?

Last Friday Senator Elizabeth Warren called for the breaking up of the larger tech/innovation companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. She made this argument at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference, citing anti-trust as her major concern.

It’s amusing to see Sen. Warren side with Donald Trump on anything. You may recall that Trump wanted to kill the AT&T / Time Warner merger. The standard reason of “limiting competition” was offered, and I agree with her in concept: limiting competition is bad, and monopolies suck. Ask anybody who subscribes to cable television.

A couple years ago Warren promised to break up the big banks. These few institutions are quite rich, extremely powerful, are paying their top executives in eight or nine and are doing much, much better now than they did before they forced us into our worst recession since the Great Depression. At that time, the government said they could not break up these institutions who had put a death grip on our economy, cost millions of mom-and-pop investors much of their life savings, and allowed them to gobble up hundreds of smaller, local banks. They were, as we were told, “too big to fail.” Which is the same as “too big to follow the law.”

Warren cried bullshit onto that, and she was right. But if she did anything meaningful about it except bray, she’s succeeded in keeping that to herself. So, instead, she’s shifted her attention to much lower-hanging fruit. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #029: Is Bigger Worser?”