Technology

Andrew Sullivan on the toll of blogging

Andrew Sullivan has written a TL;DR explanation of what it was that drove him from blogging.

There is much in his article that resonates with me.

I was sitting in a large meditation hall in a converted novitiate in central Massachusetts when I reached into my pocket for my iPhone. A woman in the front of the room gamely held a basket in front of her, beaming beneficently, like a priest with a collection plate. I duly surrendered my little device, only to feel a sudden pang of panic on my way back to my seat. If it hadn’t been for everyone staring at me, I might have turned around immediately and asked for it back. But I didn’t. I knew why I’d come here.

A year before, like many addicts, I had sensed a personal crash coming. For a decade and a half, I’d been a web obsessive, publishing blog posts multiple times a day, seven days a week, and ultimately corralling a team that curated the web every 20 minutes during peak hours. Each morning began with a full immersion in the stream of internet consciousness and news, jumping from site to site, tweet to tweet, breaking news story to hottest take, scanning countless images and videos, catching up with multiple memes. Throughout the day, I’d cough up an insight or an argument or a joke about what had just occurred or what was happening right now. And at times, as events took over, I’d spend weeks manically grabbing every tiny scrap of a developing story in order to fuse them into a narrative in real time. I was in an unending dialogue with readers who were caviling, praising, booing, correcting. My brain had never been so occupied so insistently by so many different subjects and in so public a way for so long.   Read more »

Is anyone else done with Dunne?

I’m over Peter Dunne, the man is a grandstanding bouffant tosspot.

Now he is whining about snooping on MPs when there was none.

An MP who had fallen victim to Parliamentary Service’s snooping before was “shocked” by revelations it was up to its old tricks.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne had his email conversations with then-Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance wrongly handed over to a ministerial inquiry by Parliamentary Service in 2013.

The then-head of Parliamentary Service, Geoff Thorn, resigned amid the fallout.

Dunne had already quit as a minister prior to the ministerial inquiry after refusing to hand over his emails for an investigation into the leaking of a Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) report.

Dunne said he was “shocked” and “outraged” to hear Parliamentary Service was defending its computer security that is screening and blocking MPs emails if they contain words like “sensitive” or “classified”.

The Privileges Committee made “very clear statements about the privacy of MPs communications” at the time of the ministerial inquiry into why Dunne’s emails were handed over, he said.

“They appear to have fallen on deaf ears as far as the Parliamentary Service is concerned.”

Peter Dunne wasn’t a victim, he fell for the glad eye of Andrea Vance. He let his little head do his thinking.  Read more »

Is Facebook taking your phone contacts?

There have been a few changes to Facebook’s privacy policy recently which means that you need to check these three privacy settings right now.

You may be uploading your phone contacts to Facebook without realizing it.

Take a look at contacts you may be uploading to Facebook without realizing it.

Facebook could be using contact information, including names, phone numbers, and email addresses, that’s stored in your phone to make friend recommendations to others. This can be problematic when your contacts are confidential sources or patients.

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Heaven forbid that they focus on the real danger

I must be missing something because I haven’t seen in the mainstream media any articles involving American far right extremists cutting off people’s heads, stabbing people with knives, inciting violence in other countries and raping children.  Why on earth Googles Jigsaw has decided to target the so-called American far right eludes me? Have they made them a strawman to take away attention from ISIS and Islamic terrorism?

Google’s Jigsaw will target the American far-right in the same manner it has been targeting Islamic extremists.

“We’re partnering with the Gen Next foundation in order to have a North American focused second phase of this project. Which focuses not just on jihadism but also on far-right extremism,” Ross Frennett, co-founder of Moonshot CVE, said at a Brookings Institute event Wednesday.

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Gab of the week

While Twitter is still the biggest social Media platform  it is far from the best when it comes to respecting conservative and right-wing viewpoints.  Instead of Tweet of the week here is my Gab of the week from a new social media platform where conservative viewpoints are welcome and the only censorship is self-censorship.

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Political censorship on Twitter

twitter-jail-AP

A source inside Twitter has confirmed that Twitter is shadow banning users on the basis of their politics. This confirms what a lot of us have already noticed; that Twitter is a hostile place for non-left-wing  and non-PC voices. It also helps explain why so many conservative and libertarian writers have appeared on Gab since it went live three weeks ago. Cam is now on Gab @Whaleoil and so am I @Spanishbride. It is very popular and there is a waiting list so you will need to be patient.

Judging by all the  comments on Gab people are thrilled and relieved to find a place where political and moral viewpoints aren’t censored by their social media platform.

Today the news broke that Twitter who banned conservative libertarian, Milo Yiannopoulos’s personal account have now banned his podcast account even though it has not violated any of Twitter’s terms of service. Their attack on conservative voices could not be more obvious.

 

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Facebook banned her for criticising Islamists but she got the last laugh

 

Censorship  and bans on social media continue to be an issue for  conservative and libertarian’s writers.It is one of the reasons why I have left Twitter and moved to Gab.  Shireen Qudosi is a writer based in California and is a Muslim activist against Islamism.When facebook banned her for showing screenshots of a private conversation she had with editor Javed Ali she fought back. She had shown it to illustrate the abuse she was receiving from him  but Facebook banned her anyway.

My Facebook silencing was temporary. I had the ability to fight back, but many people don’t.

You don’t wake up one day and decide you’re going to take on a 1400-year-old religion.

If no one in their right mind would ever want to earn their living as a writer, being a Muslim activist against Islamism is an even less desirable lifestyle choice. This isn’t something you do for fame or fortune. This is a calling, an acknowledgement that your conscience doesn’t allow you to do something else.

Critique of Islamic doctrine is easy; it’s all there in black-and-white. Helpfully, authorized translations of Islamic texts on Sharia law are widely available in English. The most apologists and clueless ideologues can do is pretend they don’t exist.

Arguing with Islamists and their fellow-travellers, however, is a lot tougher. Islamists work within the open societies of the West to create a more favorable climate for Islamic ideology. Now, they work comfortably alongside a new generation of Muslim Americans who are more stridently leftists.

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Twitter purged conservatives and its user rank dropped from 3 to 9

Undoubtedly Twitter is Goliath and Gab is David, but Twitter’s 14-month purge of conservative voices  has had a negative financial effect.  It is going to take a long time before the trickle of conservatives from Twitter to Gab becomes a flood but in the meantime Twitter despite its size is  still not profitable.

After plunging to an all-time-low in June, Twitter’s rise to $19 per share on rumors of a buy-out picked up credibility this week when its co-founder said the wilting social network company must ponder options, such as a buy-out.

…Williams was asked on Bloomberg TV whether Twitter was a takeover target.

At first Williams tried to avoid the topic, but then went on to acknowledge that the company must ponder alternatives, which would include a merger or acquisition.

…Breitbart News reported in June 2015 that the termination of Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who won high praise for not knuckling under to Leftists’ social networking “thought police,” would be a disaster, especially with the company on the verge of profitability.

But then Obama campaign cash bundler Chris Sacca led a Board of Directors coup d’état to fire Costolo, who “proudly worked on President Barack Obama’s campaign as a Telecommunications, Media, and Technology advisor, a speaking surrogate, a field office volunteer, and as Co-Chair of Finance and a Trustee of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.”

Twitter began a purge of conservatives that muzzled free speech. Despite enjoying a lift from Republican Donald Trump, who has been using the social media platform as his political firehouse, Twitter monthly average user growth died. Over the last 14 months Twitter’s social media user rank dropped from number three to number nine.

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Israeli technology that will give the Greens sticky knickers

homebiogasteaserok

Imagine being able to use gas made from your own food waste to cook your dinner. Homebiogas is an Israeli company that has developed an eco-friendly “digester” that turns organic matter into biogas that can be installed in just a few hours.

Imagine a future where your waste disposal unit can be plumbed directly into one of these so that you won’t even have the hassle of carrying your bucket of scraps to the unit.  In summer we barbecue a lot and have to refill our gas bottle at the service station. We already have a compost heap  so with one of these units our compost heap could provide all the gas required for our summer barbecues  as well as our indoor cooking.

If you live on a lifestyle block  you could use all your animal waste as well as your food waste to create enough gas for both heating and cooking.  Realistically  it won’t be long before we can use our human waste from our toilets to  create clean gas as well.  Imagine a household that uses all its own waste including toilet waste to provide all its heating and cooking.No more need for complex sewage systems and we will have turned a negative ( smelly sewage ) into a positive ( clean, green, free gas. )

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Time to apply the same logic at our national borders as company recruiters

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Image-businessnewsdaily.com

Nothing is quite so annoying as a person who says, ” do as I say, not as I do.”  In this article we look at Silicon Valley companies that are opposed to strong borders to protect a country’s culture but are ruthless when it comes to the protection of their individual company culture.

Ask a startup CEO what the most important thing at his company is, and you’re likely to hear something about the “company culture” — a unique blend of values and workplace norms that give startups their unique vibe.

It’s something that tech companies are very proud of, particularly in Silicon Valley

….Valley startups understand the importance of culture to an organisation’s success. Indeed, tech companies take company cultures so far that they turn into borderline cults.

Some would argue that a company’s culture is even more important than the skills and experience of senior hires. Indeed, it’s now accepted practice for potential employees to be rejected because hiring managers don’t think they’d be a “good fit” in the company’s atmosphere.

Which of course makes sense. Different companies work differently and no one culture is the perfect fit for every startup.

…Every startup CEO knows this and takes pride in his company’s distinctiveness. Many believe that it is precisely their company culture that affords them a competitive edge.

CEOs often hire a small percentage of “bad fits” on purpose, in order to avoid groupthink in long-established teams — say, 2.5 to 5 per cent. But any more than that starts tearing the company apart, causing it to lose its edge and flavour.

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