TagFacebook

Defriended

I have been off Facebook for a few months now. I have thought about it for a long time. I am friends with a lot of people on the site. There are a few people who I 1) care enough about to follow their lives and 2) can only connect with them through Facebook.

Some people have blogs. Others I can keep up with on Twitter or Instagram. For the rest, I do miss keeping up with them and their hijinks with their kids.

And I haven’t found a good solution for them.

I want to reopen my Facebook account so connect with those few people. If I do, I am going to go through my list and unfriend most of the people there. (Unfriend is such a harsh word. And they use it purposely.) We are not Facebook Friends™.

My biggest problem with Facebook is the endless striving for more! More people, more connections, MORE FRIENDS!

When I deactivated my account, its first solution was to suggest that I connect with more people. As if that was the problem… Not enough friends.

If I reactivate my account, I am going to pair the list down to those few people. I know Facebook will continue to show me friends of friends and people they think I might like. And people who commented on a post they made one time.

I don’t care about their family members.
I don’t care about their friends.
I don’t care about their co-workers.
I don’t care about…

I care about the people I care about enough to friend. The End.

And that’s the problem with Facebook. There’s no money in it for them for me to keep my social network small. And that’s where we disagree.

Facebook is not important enough for me to fight that fight. It’s not worth my time to keep fighting Facebook’s interests.

Most importantly, I haven’t missed it. I haven’t opened the browser or downloaded the Android app since I deleted it back in October. It’s not a part of life I find missing.

Do I want to reopen that door?

Facebook discovers telepresence?

Facebook is testing a feature that would allow the camera to automatically scan for people in its range and lock onto them, one of the people said. For example, the camera could zoom onto a painting that a child brought home from school to show to a parent away on a business trip. Facebook has also been developing a 360 degree camera for the device, but people familiar with the matter say it’s unlikely to be ready in time for the initial launch.

Source: Facebook Is Working on a Video Chat Device – Bloomberg

This is nothing new in the telepresence space. Cisco and Polycom have similar technologies available. The technology is impressive and useful in conference rooms to tell who is speaking.

Bringing this technology into the home was an obvious step. If (and I say if because anything speculative doesn’t exist yet) this device exists with the facial tracking software will be useful for chatting at home.

Facebook is behind it so people are going to scream about that. And they’re not wrong. Google and Facebook are advertising companies. They thrive on personal information so they can sell that information to companies who want to sell us stuff. (And doing a poor job from the looks of ads I’m being served.)

There is a big world of data yet to be exploited and Facebook will do their best to exploit it.

Dispatch from the Trenches #15

Dear Mark. I am writing this to inform you that I shall not comply with your requirement to remove this picture. – Aftenposten

I follow you on Facebook, but you don’t know me. I am editor-in-chief of the Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten. I am writing this letter to inform you that I shall not comply with your requirement to remove a documentary photography from the Vietnam war made by Nick Ut.

Facebook is the world’s largest media outlet. And they’re ill-equipped to handle this responsibility.

Facebook has responded.

“While we recognize that this photo is iconic, it’s difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others,” a spokesman for Facebook said in response to queries from the Guardian.

What they mean is “it’s hard for a computer to understand this.” A human could. Facebook fired its human editors and a fake news story started trending Not everything is solvable with software.


An Amish Approach to Technology

Upgrading to the SE would mean a change of phone plans and additional cost. You see, when the carriers dropped the subsidized payment model — where you got the phone for “free” with contract — it actually allowed them to raise the price. Now, you either buy the phone outright or make monthly no-interest payments but you still pay the same monthly price for most plans as you used to when you got the phone for free. I’ve priced this out and, basically, what it means for me and my family if we take the monthly no-interest payments route is we will me paying about $40 more per month if both my wife and I upgrade. Kind of a big hike.

My last upgrade was from an iPhone 6+ to a Google Nexus 5x on Project Fi. The phone cost a quarter of a new iPhone and my monthly phone bill is less than half.


The Black Queen

Found from Rob Sheridan’s post about the opening to Altered States, Stranger Things and the opening of one of their videos that Rob directed, Ice to Never


D.C. will hide once-banned books throughout the city this month

The D.C. public library system is hiding several hundred copies of books — which were once banned or challenged — in private businesses throughout all eight wards to celebrate Banned Books Week. The “UNCENSORED banned books” scavenger hunt kicked off Sept. 6 and will run through the month.
Each book is wrapped in a cover that explains why that book was banned or challenged. For example, J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” will say “Anti-White” because in 1963, parents of high school students in Columbus, Ohio, asked the school board to ban the novel for being “anti-white.”

What a fun idea! I wish I still worked downtown.


Understanding how Hillary Clinton would govern

“Hillary Clinton’s gift is to shut up and not talk and really listen to you.”

This 15 minutes is enlightening to how someone who has been attacked by the media so many times, she’s stopped listening to them. She wants to make policy and improve people’s lives. Not provide the media sound bites.


Humans of New York

If you’re not familiar with Humans of New York it’s an amazing series of vignettes on the lives of all kinds of people. Recently, they’re posted two posts with Hillary Clinton.

In the first, she addresses controlling her emotions as a requirement for women.

But I had to learn as a young woman to control my emotions. And that’s a hard path to walk. Because you need to protect yourself, you need to keep steady, but at the same time you don’t want to seem ‘walled off.’ And sometimes I think I come across more in the ‘walled off’ arena. And if I create that perception, then I take responsibility. I don’t view myself as cold or unemotional. And neither do my friends. And neither does my family. But if that sometimes is the perception I create, then I can’t blame people for thinking that.”

This is not something limited to her. I’ve seen and heard this from woman of different backgrounds. It’s a requirement for a woman, especially one under scrutiny of the public eye to wall off to a degree.

In the second, she addresses the double-standard of speaking styles.

Women are seen through a different lens. It’s not bad. It’s just a fact. It’s really quite funny. I’ll go to these events and there will be men speaking before me, and they’ll be pounding the message, and screaming about how we need to win the election. And people will love it. And I want to do the same thing. Because I care about this stuff. But I’ve learned that I can’t be quite so passionate in my presentation. I love to wave my arms, but apparently that’s a little bit scary to people. And I can’t yell too much. It comes across as ‘too loud’ or ‘too shrill’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that.’ Which is funny, because I’m always convinced that the people in the front row are loving it.”

What’s OK for a man is not OK for a woman.

Adblock is good for more than blocking ads

Adblock works by removing parts of web sites. It has a built-in list of ad companies it can block. But it can also block defined parts of web pages.

I decided to put it to good use this morning. I don’t like trending topics. I don’t need them and I do my best to avoid them. Their either vapid Celebrity Y said X about Celebrity Z nonsense or Clickbaity Headline.

I avoid them on Twitter easily enough but on Facebook their ever-present.

Until today.
Removing trending topics with Adblock.

I used adblock to remove part of the page where Facebook puts the Trending Topics, suggested friends and other ads. It worked after a reload of the site. Hopefully it will stick until they change the page design next time.

Here’s what the filter looks like in Adblock.
Facebook filter screenshot
The filter is: www.facebook.com##[id=”u_0_0″]

This has made using Facebook on the web more pleasant for me. Hopefully it will help you too.

Dispatch from the Trenches #12

Not the Twitter We Want, but it’s the Twitter we Deserve

As the social survivors of “Web 2.0” gorge themselves on gifted youth they start to move further away from being things people enjoy. They become business-degree-managed sameness.

Sit back, grab your icy beverage and get comfortable. Joe makes a lot of really great points here in his dissertation on Twitter. I appreciate his dive into the world of Tent/Cupcake as well. I played with Tent a bit and realized I do not possess a Linux Beard.


Love, Grampa and Grandmaster Flash

Facebook loves to be helpful. It will auto-complete anyone you tag. Anyone. This has led to some hilarious mistaggings of Grandma to Grandmaster Flash turning the rapper into possibly the most caring, lovable rapper of all time.

Grandmaster Flash 1

Grandmaster Flash 2


Brown M&Ms

The story of Van Halen’s Brown M&M line in the contract rider was not a sign of rock star excess. The Brown M&Ms were there as a quick way to check if the promoter had read the contract rider.

It’s an interesting story because it’s legend has grown for so long and made sense in the context of huge rock stars touring the country. It was a brilliant move to combat unsafe conditions and as an early warning that the setup of the shows would take much longer and cost more.