Disqust

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Disqust

I just discovered that Disqus started running adverts on my blog without permission. It's probably been going on for a little while and I should have paid more attention, sorry.

By 'without permission' I mean that I'm sure I clicked though and didn't read a terms of service document that said they could do what the fuck they like to my site. And reading other accounts of this issue I'm sure I filed without reading the email they sent out that mentioned this new 'feature' in passing. So in a legal sense they probably had all the permission they needed. In a moral sense they're switch-and-bait scum of the highest order. 

They should have made this feature opt-in and then sent out an email explaining it in detail. Some sites don't want to run ads. You could have non-commercial Creative Commons content on a site that is suddenly a commercial concern. 

It's a free service and at some point they need to make money, fine. If this had been presented as an option I might have considered it. If they wanted to charge for the service I'd probably have paid for it.

Instead I've disabled Disqus and hastily hacked in Facebook Comments which should be coming online as I write this post. 

A side effect of this is that all the existing comments are currently unavailable. I have an archive and will try to get them resurrected soon.

Reviews and Links for March 2013

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Land of Later on by Anthony Weller

The Land of Later on by Anthony Weller

4/5

Probably not what happens when you die... but you never know.

 

Even Faster Web Sites by Steve Souders

Even Faster Web Sites by Steve Souders

4/5

Plenty of solid advice backed up by data and sample code. I picked up a few new optimizations to try and a couple to revisit from reading this book. Well recommended if you want to make a site faster.

 

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (The Hunger Games, #1-3) by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (The Hunger Games, #1-3) by Suzanne Collins

3/5

The first book is very well done, but in the genre of forcing kids to kill each other I have to say I prefer Battle Royale. Battle Royale is more of a horror story, The Hunger Games has this element but it's also a fantasy about escaping poverty to makeovers and banquets as well. The second book sags a little and then the third book really picks up the pace and ends very strongly. Quick and worthwhile read.

 

Chiroopractoor

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chiroopractoor

Google's use crime of a new compose window is going to become compulsory soon.

I suspect this is because it will soon be revealed that Google is rolling out a chain of high street Chiropractic facilities to treat the crick in everyone's neck from composing email in the bottom right hand corner of one's screen.

Either that or it's a bid for mobile dominance by forcing PC users to work in mobile screen sized portions of their screen until you just give up and use your phone.

bye, bye, Miss Deprecated API

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

bye, bye, Miss Deprecated API

After my horrible experience with Cleat last year I'm finally pulling the plug on my remaining Twitter API projects. Twitter is switching off their v1 API soon and I'm still so sick of it that I'm not even going to upgrade existing products. If you used Follower then I'm sorry. If you liked my Twitter public timeline screensaver then you're odd, but I'm still sorry. I'll still tweet, I'm just staying clear of the API.

(Image is Fail Whale Pale Ale by Brian Cook.)

Great Billboard Hack

Updated on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Great Billboard Hack

Bernal Bug

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bernal Bug

Drones and Gun Control

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Drones and Gun Control

A quick question for the two thirds of Americans who see gun rights as being protection from tyranny. Your government has just refused to rule out killing you by drone in the US without due process (never mind that US citizens outside the country are already fair game). If not now, then when?

You realize that by the time ATF has seized your weapons and you're all locked up in internment camps for gun enthusiasts it will be too late, right?

If the Attorney General deciding that under circumstances he won't reveal it's OK to kill you without a trial doesn't cross the line then what does? Seems like the dictionary definition of tyranny to me. 

I've got to admit that I wouldn't like to try taking down the government via violence. They've got drones. Not to mention aircraft carriers, nukes, F-35s and whatever it is that's festering on Plum Island. Personally I'll stick with voting and blogging. 

So if you're not actually going to overthrow the government can we drop this ridiculous 'need' for guns and move on?

NailMathAndScienceFirst.org

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

NailMathAndScienceFirst.org

Code.org wants every student in every school to learn how to code. The have an inspirational video of software luminaries saying how easy it is to do and then somewhat contradicting themselves by saying they can't hire enough engineers. If addition, subtraction and ten minutes on a web tutorial was enough then Facebook and Microsoft could hire just anyone. The project comes off as being just a little bit self serving. Sure, we need more skilled software engineers but we also hardware engineers and biohackers and makers not to mention doctors and lawyers and accountants.

Rather than getting everyone to code, how about just stopping Oklahoma from banning science teachers from failing students who fail to learn science: “but no student in any public school or institution shall be penalized in any way because the student may subscribe to a particular position on scientific theories,”.

I'm not in any way against learning to code. But you can't code without a reasonable grasp of mathematics. And you're not going to be successful as a professional developer if you can't communicate. And when your code inevitably goes horribly wrong then debugging is the very essence of the scientific method. Maths, literacy and science come first, are relevant to many careers and the US isn't doing a particularly great job of delivering the goods. 

Get the basics right and plenty of students will become developers. 

Instead of punishing bankers why not disrupt them?

Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Instead of punishing bankers why not disrupt them?

I'm not the biggest fan of banks. Not content with crashing the world economy my own bank took the time to personally defraud me. The EU is currently planning to cap banker bonuses and this is just nuts.

It feels like an attack on the UK, where the lions share of our economy is banking and people coming to see the Queen. 

It feels anti-capitalist - why bankers? Why not footballers or movie stars or orthodontists? 

But mostly it feels like the wrong form of revenge, too easy to circumvent and ultimately likely to be toothless. Banks may say they have to pay outlandish bonuses to attract the best talent, but really it means the industry is ripe for innovation. Regulators should figure out and then remove barriers to entry (and throw up barriers to unfair competition, and hold competitions to encourage innovation) so that startups and software can eat the financial services sector.

Too big to fail all at once, but not too big to be disrupted into irrelevance. 

Reviews and Links for February 2013

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017

Shift Omnibus Edition (Wool, #6-8) by Hugh Howey

3/5

I read this straight after the Wool series. The Shift trilogy fills in the back story of how the silos were created and then starts to overlap with the events from Wool. Shift didn't have quite the same tension as Wool and I didn't care about the characters as much. Still hooked though and can't wait for Dust later this year...

 

Wool Omnibus (Wool, #1-5) by Hugh Howey

Wool Omnibus (Wool, #1-5) by Hugh Howey

4/5

Collection of five novellas set in a mysterious silo. A little more is revealed with each chapter and the series gets more compelling and ambiguous as we learn more about what's really going on. Didn't know what to expect (got this as a Christmas Present) but very enjoyable and I've gone straight on to the next omnibus with a final tranche due later this year.