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March 06, 2010

"Advertising is devastating to my well-being"

briancarper.net :: Advertising is devastating to my well-being This is one of those pieces that jumps out and grabs the zeitgeist. I've seen a lot of forum posts and comments lately that imply (or directly state!) that it is my responsibility as an adult on the internet to watch ads, click on ads, and do everything I can to reinforce the ad-server model of page monetization. Which of course is bullshit. I have no moral responsibility to support a corporation or view advertising.
There's an interesting article on Ars Technica about how blocking ads is somehow unethical, and "devastating to the sites you love". The idea that I have a moral obligation to stare at an advertisment, the thought I have an ethical obligation to voluntarily annoy myself for the sake of a company's profits... it would be hilarious if it wasn't so repugnant. Let's talk about ethics. How about some ethics for businesses? 1. Stop making the world a garish and hideous place to live by flooding it with ads. 2. Stop trying to grab my attention, evoke emotional responses in me, manipulate my mind, and trick me into spending money on crap I don't need. This is what advertisement is. Stop disrespecting me and insulting my intelligence. Stop viewing me as an anonymous, money-spending piece of cattle. 3. Stop trying to track my every move online. How many people understand tracking cookies? How many companies make it clear that every click is being recorded and data-mined? How is this ethical? Here's the state of the world today: I can't drive down the street without seeing billboards everywhere. The radio is literally 25 to 50% ads, which is why I don't listen to the radio. Television is what, 20 minutes of commercials per hour? Which is why I haven't had television in 6 years. Newspapers and magazines are saturated with ads, and of course I don't read them either. Even then, ads are nearly unavoidable. . . .

Victoria's Secret caught selling used underwear

Bloomingdales, the Gap, and others are also caught. Retailers Selling Used Lingerie

February 28, 2010

Dear Mr. President, thanks for shitting all over civil liberties

Obama signs one-year extension of Patriot Act
President Barack Obama has signed a one-year extension of several provisions in the nation's main counterterrorism law, the Patriot Act. Provisions in the measure would have expired on Sunday without Obama's signature Saturday. The act, which was adopted in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, expands the government's ability to monitor Americans in the name of national security.

February 26, 2010

GOP to unemployed: "Tough shit."

In the months to come, as more than a million...

February 24, 2010

Italian court rules that hosting services are responsible for what users upload

Official Google Blog: Serious threat to the web in Italy This is stupid. An Italian court convicted four employees of Google Video because some dumbass kids in Italy uploaded a video the kids made while bullying some other kid.
In late 2006, students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. We also worked with the local police to help identify the person responsible for uploading it and she was subsequently sentenced to 10 months community service by a court in Turin, as were several other classmates who were also involved. In these rare but unpleasant cases, that's where our involvement would normally end. But in this instance, a public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees —David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes (who left the company in 2008). The charges brought against them were criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video's existence until after it was removed. Nevertheless, a judge in Milan today convicted 3 of the 4 defendants — David Drummond, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes — for failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. All 4 were found not guilty of criminal defamation. In essence this ruling means that employees of hosting platforms like Google Video are criminally responsible for content that users upload. We will appeal this astonishing decision because the Google employees on trial had nothing to do with the video in question. Throughout this long process, they have displayed admirable grace and fortitude. It is outrageous that they have been subjected to a trial at all.

February 23, 2010

There is a company that will sell you genital lice to get revenge on someone

Revenge Crabs brand Pubic lice -- Pubic Lice Is What We Do This has to be a joke, right?