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  • Apr 14, 2023 @ 04:40pm

    It's been a Nazi bar for a while

    They’ve spent at least two years, maybe longer, ensuring that people who spread harmful misinformation about viruses and transphobia have a home. I have one paid subscription and will be seeing if i can convince the newsletter person to either take my money directly or migrate…

  • Apr 14, 2023 @ 04:35pm


    I know every social network goes through this, but I recall when Jack Conte had a free-speech maximalist position for Patreon, so all the Nazis, men's rights, and other sketchy people engaging in what was obviously hate speech, misinformation, and bigotry glommed onto Patreon. It's possible credit-card companies forced the issue, but it was maybe 12 to 18 months after Conte double down that they kicked all the bozos off and had a real trust and safety team. At one point, that team had grown to a significant percentage of all staff (but I don't know that they've disclosed the size in the last few years). Amazing that nobody wants to learn from that, ever.

  • Dec 21, 2022 @ 02:21pm


    "you either had clunk email from your ISP" I assume this is some kind of Utica phrase.

  • Dec 14, 2022 @ 02:07pm


    I'm always going to love any story that has the vig in it.

  • Feb 11, 2022 @ 03:18pm

    Internet Archive is lending a digital copy of a physical book

    They are trying out new doctrine that hasn't been tested in court. Mike, it sounds like you are 100% behind believing their doctrine will survive challenges?

  • Feb 11, 2022 @ 03:18pm

    Internet Archive is lending a digital copy of a physical book

  • Dec 06, 2021 @ 04:50pm

    new CEO

    Every new CEO (or manager at any level) has to pee on the turf they took over to show their dominance. And the result was just like a stream of urine.

  • Nov 23, 2021 @ 04:29pm

    Debt, too

    There’s so much bad news about NSO Group, that you didn’t even mention the Commerce Department ruling a few weeks ago blacklisting them from American technology following Commerce barring any American firm from exporting tech to companies that sell intrusion software; Apple’s lawsuit today; NSO Group’s loss of its almost-CEO; and its apparent nearness to default.

    The company has $500 million in loans that it may default on and Moody’s has lowered its debt rating to “poor quality and very high credit risk.” Its co-president, Isaac Benbenisti, resigned after the Commerce Department announcement; he was picked to be the next CEO.

  • Oct 10, 2021 @ 04:29pm

    Re: Re:

    I so appreciate this—all along, people who want to engage in alternate reality consumption and LARPing focus on the death statistic. As if that isn't horrifying enough. No sensible person would say "a 1% death rate for something we have no natural immunity for is fine." But from the very beginning, it was obvious that there's a blast radius: death at the center, lifelong disabilities (both physical and cognitive) one measure out, long-term health effects one further measure out, significant short-term (weeks to months) one more, and then significant very short-term (several days to a few weeks of recovery, as from the worst flu). Yes, the good news is that many people don't even get figurative radiation burns—asymptomatic cases don't seem to result in long-haul COVID, and many people didn't even get a runny nose. Awesome! Amazing! But writing off about 1% death and ~5%-15% of people contracting it having significant short term to lifelong effects? People wear their empathy when they talk about disease.

  • Jul 08, 2020 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Blech

    Right, my question here is: what is the relief "blech" poster wants? If you want to have freedom to speak without freedom of career-related consequences, that is not a thing in the U.S., and it nearly always affects liberal and progressive people who are fired by conservative or right-wing employers or publications, or adjunct professors let go or not renewed by universities, which are typically very conservative (not politically, but organizationally) in nature. So if the statement is: you shouldn't lose your job if you say something that is antithetical to you continuing it in the eyes of your employer (or, your book shouldn't be canceled because your publisher disliked something you said in private or public), what is the policy proposal? New law that prevents any firing for anything outside of work that meets a first amendment test, thus extending the first amendment's freedom of speech protections to override commercial judgments? Sort of like a tenured professor at a state college cannot typically be fired for even extreme, but legal/constitutionally defensible speech? Or is it just more speech: telling employers to NOT fire someone or re-hire them? In which case, isn't more speech the answer here?

  • Jul 08, 2020 @ 10:51am

    Harper’s fired its editor over speech among other issues

    I agree almost entirely with what you wrote, Mike, and I've tweeted far too excessively about it.

    But two points worth adding.

    First, many of the people who have signed this letter (a letter to whom, by the way?) have engaged in actual chilling speech, punching down people less powerful, including trying to get freelancers fired from gigs, staff writers removed, and professors censured or fired or contracts not renewed. I am hoping someone creates a definitive list, because it's rather long, and particularly among people who are centrist or right-of-center against liberal and progressive speakers, as well as in particular against anyone who speaks in favor of Palestinians or an independent Palestinian state.

    Second, Harper’s fired James Marcus in 2018 for what he alleges (and, having known James years ago and heard stuff around the edges of this, I believe) is being fired when he objected to the assignment of a story effectively trying to cancel “cancel culture” to Katie Roiphe, which ultimately ran in the publication. It was assigned over his protests and then he was fired. There's a lot more detail about the story, the author (long a contrarian/problematic one of the David Brooks/Bari Weiss school), and the fallout.

    One other point on amplification. Mike notes:

    Then comes the list of examples -- none linked, none with details.

    This is one of the key problems with the essay. Read quickly, it's rather bland, not well written, and has an unclear audience. Who should take action? It's a pretty anodyne poor expression of urging more free speech, but not really, as Mike analyzed. At least two signers have already said they regret signing or that they didn't sign what was published (Boylan this morning).

    However, if you analyze the short list provided, each corresponds to specific well-known incidents, or sometimes covers multiple ones. Buruma and Bennet, for instance, are both editors who were fired—because of their job performance, even though Buruma made it out to be a political hit job. (He ran a cover story that was a non-fact-checked essay by Jian Ghomeshi, who faced several credible accusations of sexual assault over decades, some of which were not upheld in court.) But the owners of the publication, the New York Review of Books, reportedly fired him because of how he managed assigning and running the story over staff objections, and he admitted to Isaac Chotiner later that he really didn't know much about Ghomeshi at all, confirming the judgment. Bennet was fired because he didn't do his job: he reportedly told the NYT publisher he hadn't read (at least the final version) of the Tom Cotton Op-Ed, even as he publicly defended it as if he had.

    The inclusion of transphobic writers who have faced public backlash, with the notable top of marquee billionaire JK Rowling, also muddies what precisely is the speech that they want no consequences for.

    I'd argue if the letter included specific examples, a majority of signers wouldn't have signed it. Malcolm Gladwell very glibly tweeted today that he signed because he disagreed with the opinions of many other signatories. Great reasoning, dude.

  • Nov 15, 2019 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re:

    I got better.

  • May 17, 2019 @ 02:02pm

    Re: I was saving something for a moment like this.

    Stephen, that first paragraph is a very fair accounting. I don't know what happened later in his life, but it's a shame that his pursuit of credit for something he didn't invent outstripped that early accomplishment and later work that he could have built out of it. Now, I wrote a hypertext browser from scratch for a screen-based terminal in 1988, and it worked, but you don't hear me claiming I invented the Web. (I didn't think anybody would be interested in such a thing, so I deleted the code at the end of my C programming class! Ahhh!)

  • Aug 04, 2009 @ 08:29pm

    Let's not be specious here

    The model for fee versus free is largely unchanged since 2001, when networks of hotspots started to be built.

    AT&T runs about 20,000 of them now, with all being for-fee except now the 700-odd that are B&N locations. There are notable free chains (Panera), and thousands of cafes that offer free service.

    Nonetheless, the single biggest operator is a for-fee service. AT&T has made that sorta free by offering no-fee access to tens of millions of its landline and smartphone customers. But it's still oriented as an authenticated, paid network.

    Business traveler venues are also still largely for-fee. Hotels, airports, convention centers. Hotels are starting to change, and some already tied free Internet access to affinity clubs that provide more loyalty.

    The airport move, sorry to say, is pretty slow. Airports typically don't have the ability to forego millions in revenue and take on hundreds of thousands to millions in expense. Boingo Wireless has eaten the majority of North American airports, so we'll probably see defections in places where free Wi-Fi becomes an amenity to attract travelers, but why would an airport otherwise go free?

  • Feb 11, 2009 @ 09:49am

    Who is in charge and tech details

    I agree with most of Derek's points, but calling this a BART Wi-Fi system is simply incorrect. This is a system that Wi-Fi Rail has courted BART to allow them to install for years. It took many months from the BART board's go-ahead to get a contract signed. This is Wi-Fi Rail's baby to sink or swim, and BART will make use of it.

    When you orient this around BART has or can do this or that, you're making a mistake because Wi-Fi Rail has specifically defined contractual obligations and rights. I haven't seen the contract yet (I assume most or all will be public), so some of the details Derek writes about may not be encompassed by the current agreement.

    As for the tech side, where @1 and others ask how this compares or suggest that it's available in other systems, Wi-Fi Rail's approach is entirely different than all, yes all, current train-based Wi-Fi.

    With current systems, radios on trains communicate with, typically, existing 3G cellular networks and rely Wi-Fi through onboard gateways in each car. With Wi-Fi Rail, they will use lengths of existing leaky coax (purposely uninsulated wire) that runs alongside existing track underground. These wires serve as antennas for the Wi-Fi signals, allowing them to offer speeds that are typically (in their estimation, not mine, as I haven't been on a test run yet) 10 times higher than cellular: 15 Mbps versus maybe 1 to 2 Mbps for most 3G cell systems. And that's 15 Mbps symmetrical, not a small amount up and large amount down.

    As far as usage, I polled friends who ride BART (I live in Seattle), and most said there's no way they could use a laptop on their trains during their commutes. However, with mobile devices and 15 Mbps bandwidth, people could be using iPhones, BlackBerrys, and personal video players that stream video, check email, etc. It's a lot of bandwidth, far more than you'd get at a hotspot or airport.

  • Jan 19, 2009 @ 03:55pm

    Nobody knows?

    'seems to be "nobody really knows yet"'

    I'd have to disagree. All of the large, longitudinal studies that should be able to show some causation have not done so. Earlier studies, especially ones conducted on animals subjected to high doses of sometimes different EMF exposure, have not predicted effects born out with studies involving lots of people and lots of information.

    I am not sanguine that there is zero risk to one's health from constant use of cellular phones, but I also don't believe the jury is still out. The pattern is clear, and more studies continue to be performed.

    The real question is whether when looking at people who have used cell phones extensively for, say, 20 years, a point that soon will be easy to find, will there be a causative, significant pattern that emerges? The studies so far would indicate no, but some problems only show up along very long time frames.

    I also disagree that contradictory studies keep coming out. Smaller studies and one's that don't pass methodological muster have shown some correlation after slicing and dicing data. Very large studies with good methodology are not showing effects.

    Separately, studies examining electrosensitivity have been repeated and performed in better and better manners without finding any connection between those who self-identify as electrosensitive and their ability to sense the existence or non-existence of signals of the type that, outside the lab, they claim to be able to tell whether are present or not.

  • May 14, 2008 @ 10:07am

    Without knowing bylaws, deal, you're just wrong

    Mike, usually a fan of your views, but you're just being contrary here.

    If eBay engaged in the behavior that Craig's List accuses them of in the suit, then Craig's List had a number of tools at their disposal, and we don't know precisely what those are, except that in the event of eBay engaging in direct competition there were rules that could be invoked.

    Likely, CL didn't address that in its suit because its non-germane. You don't file a countersuit with answers to the suit; rather, you file on unrelated issues, or the same issues reversed if that's possible (which it isn't here).

    So eBay's suit will be answered by CL in court; CL's by eBay. The two suits might result in a settlement to avoid ebay or CL or both being revealed in all their naked litigatory behavior.

  • May 12, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Old article

    This article ran on the AP wire in Dec. 2007; was just picked up in Kansas City last week.

  • Jan 07, 2008 @ 11:38am

    What CH said: We don't really know the details

    CH is completely right.

    It's likely the systems, like all aircraft systems, will be hardened and separate in a variety of ways, and we only know the barest sliver of information.

    Using one analyst's opinion and a typical FAA document as the basis of worries about onboard systems security is simply over the top.

  • Dec 06, 2007 @ 10:48am

    "How does this protect any children, anywhere? By fining Starbucks because someone sent a picture from MS Paint of a stick man with a weiner, and Starbucks failed to intercept it and save it into their records?"

    It would have to be a stick figure of a child with a weiner...then you're in trouble. In fact, if you think about what I just wrote, I'll have to report you.

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