Posts tagged ‘Facebook’

September 2, 2011

Typing In Tongues

by Vince


August 26, 2011

Hurricane Whining of the Day

by Vince

Also, check out the slideshow White Whine put together.

August 26, 2011

Privileged Tweet of the Day

by Vince

Thanks to White Wine, I will begin a new series dedicated to tweets, Facebook statuses, and other gripes by the priviledged few. Enjoy!

Got to love it.

July 10, 2011

A Web of One

by Vince

I finished last week Eli Pariser’s book The Internet Bubble. His above TED talk is captioned as follows:

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

His TED talk essentially captures the main points found in his 250 page book. What he doesn’t cover in those 9 minutes of talking is some background on the engineers and technological goliaths currently taking the internet by storm. He delves into their dreams for the internet (Google hopes to one day not even have a search bar but have an algorithm so good that it knows what we want to search for) and how this new era of internet and social networking is guissed as transparently democratic but is mostly shadowed by ever changing privacy settings and our data (info we share, links we click on, et al.) sold to creepy third party entities.

Pariser’s caveat regarding personalization as contrary to creative, serendipitous living (as well as democracy) is half truth and half inflated out of fear. While our Facebook newsfeeds are taylored by algorithisms that direct us towards things we “may” be interested in (based on what we click on or search for), personalization is personalized for each of us. What I mean is this: if you use Yahoo news as a daily source for news or even Facebook (which believe it or not is rising rather quickly as a place where plethora of people find out the news), you most likely will receive some skewed results. However, if you are similar to me in that I find my news via blogs (all set up through Google Reader), my personalization will be different from yours. Seventy percent (give or take) of the blogs or news sources I check can be classified as left of center. That itself lends towards a personalized experience that differs from a daily intake of The Blaze, The New York Post, and Fox News. With blogs, I choose which to read based on what I like and the quality. These blogs I check do not (yet) personalize what they present to me and the rest of their viewers. You have no choice in that matter, according to Pariser, when you look for the day’s news on Google or Facebook.

One other note: I experimented with another computer (both logged in to our Google accounts) in Google searching the following terms: BP, Barack Obama, dogs, and horses. Each of our results had the same front page results as well as total number of results. This doesn’t conclusively refute Pariser’s argument that everyone has a different Google search experience but goes to show that this whole Brave New World-type internet bubble is not as scary as he may crack it up to be.

June 23, 2011

The Energy Expenditure of Internet Usage

by Vince

This is an interesting short video titled “How Green Is Your Internet?”


Hungry Beast‘s Dan Ilic explores the facts and figures behind the oft ignored energy expenditure of Internet usage.

May 26, 2011

Facebook May Allow Under 13s

by Vince

This of course would increase the value of Facebook, but in reality you can create a Facebook account and lie about your age.

May 18, 2011

Facebook Poetry

by Vince

H/T: Sherman Alexie

May 16, 2011

Algorithms Shaping Out Internet Experiences

by Vince

This is a pretty interesting video:

The Filter Bubble author Eli Pariser gives an illuminating TED talk on the dangers of online personalization algorithms that limit our worldview by attempting to predict our interests.

May 14, 2011

Social Networks IRL

by Vince

A funny clip exposing how open some people are (or are not) to sharing their personal information in real life.

March 26, 2011


by Vince

A reader responded via Facebook to the question(s) of the weekend:

It always seems like they like to take some industry currently heavily restricted by government regulation, find some way that it’s flawed, and mark it off as a failure of the free market, and evidence that the industry needs more government intervention. Postal Service, Education, Hospitals, Banks, Automobiles, Health Insurance. These are things that started out private, and became crippled by regulation. Then they swooped in and said “oh look, it’s not functioning. The free market could never provide that functionality, so let’s have the gov’t provide it” usually shortly accompanied by entirely outlawing private industry in that sector.

March 11, 2011

Our Obsession With Facebook

by Vince

The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.

March 3, 2011

An Unplugged Lent

by Vince

I just was chatting with a colleague and the upcoming religious holidays were brought up. I said I wanted to give up coffee for lent but she said now that I am teaching I really need it (ha!). Giving up Facebook now comes to mind:

However, this experiment taught me about the need to be in touch with what’s happening offline, so that my reporting can reflect what’s actually happening on the ground. In a virtual world like Facebook, some self-appointed authors and speakers strut their spiritual stuff as though they are the ultimate faith fashionistas. Hence, one can easily get the false impression that these holy hipsters have a far greater sphere of influence than they really do in the real world.

In Jesus Died for This? I reflected on the need for us to connect with each other, not only virtually, but also face-to-face. The televangelists might claim that they can cure for cash through the TV, but all throughout his ministry, Jesus healed people one touch at a time (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 9:41-56). No matter how plugged-in we get, I can’t hug my laptop. And the ritual partaking of the Last Supper entails that we feed each other actual bread and wine.

January 7, 2011

Spokeo Has Us Captured

by Vince

A friend of MJ’s and I had a Facebook status warning others about Here is the message:

There’s a site called that’s a new online USA phone book with your personal info. Everything from pics you’ve posted on Facebook or web, your credit score, home value and pix, income, age, children,etc. Remove yourself by searching for your name, copy the URL of your page, then go to the bottom of the page, click the Privacy button to remove yourself.

I used a secondary email of mine to remove MJ and I. This is beyond creepy.

(thanks E)

November 24, 2010

Facebook Quote of the Day

by Vince

“I know I can read a book, but then I’m up and checking Facebook,” he says, adding: “Facebook is amazing because it feels like you’re doing something and you’re not doing anything. It’s the absence of doing something, but you feel gratified anyway.”

-NY Times article

November 15, 2010

Facebook Disconnect

by Vince

Google Chrome now offers an extension that disallows you from clicking ‘like” at the bottom of any article or item on the internet. This option at the bottom of over 1 million websites notifies Facebook when you go to a certain website. It basically has in a type of connection between Facebook and say a New York Times article. Use Google Chrome and stop those connections with this extension.

October 22, 2010

Social Networking Abuse

by Vince

Hat tip: TDW

October 11, 2010

Nail In The Coffin

by Vince

Big ups to Michael Drane for posting this on his Facebook. Tim Wise ends the Tea Party:

In evaluating the Tea Party phenomenon, those of us who insist white racial resentment is at the heart of the movement are often attacked for besmirching the high minded, non-racial motivations of those who identify with this insurgency. So, for instance, we are told that the real concerns of the TP are: deficit spending and big government. Prejudice and bigotry have no part in their efforts, or so we’re told.

And yet, if this were true, the conservatives in the Tea Party would have been screaming at George W. Bush when he was president (and certainly wouldn’t have voted for his re-election, since he eliminated the government surplus that had been created in the Clinton years). They would have called for the resignation of Dick Cheney for saying, famously, that “deficits don’t matter.” They would have supported Al Gore in 2000, since he was a member of the surplus-creating Clinton Administration. They would detest, rather than revere, the legacy of the Reagan years, which boosted the deficit and debt to before-then unheard of proportions.

Wise, in his very short treatise, demolishes each and every pillar of the TP. This is an accessible, worthwhile read. Give it a shot, even if you are a TP backer and read it in full. Shoot me a rebuttal – vgiordano at gmail dot com. I am willing to tango.

September 28, 2010

“It’s About The Children”

by Vince

So says Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, Mayor of Newark Cory Booker and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. This is an alliance, funded by a $100 million start up grant from Zuck, to tackle Jersey’s education woes (1 in 2 students in Newark do not graduate from high school) and should be a lodestar for “this generations civil rights issue”: education.

H/T: The Corner

September 25, 2010

The GOP’s “Pledge to America”

by Vince

The Grand Old Party is anticipating itself controlling the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. In that case, they have a list of demands. I wish I could download it. It sent me through some scam Facebook application. If someone can get a direct link to download this .pdf, shoot me a copy via email.

There are no details of who wrote this document. It is rather short (21 pages), but that is the practicalness of the GOP; they hated that the Dems had 1,000+ page documents that they and their three lawyers still couldn’t fully read or “understand”.

After reading it, I believe that it has the same tone as the rest of the Tea Party / fringe conservatives. I will fas forward to the National Security page (pg 19 and on). Lets begin with noting their tone:

And we will never apologize for advancing the cause of freedom and democracy around the world, nor will we abandon our historic role in lifting up those who struggle to receive the blessings of liberty.

American Exceptionalism at any cost, no matter what. The Dems have their larger government and the GOP has their larger military. The latter seems to forget that.

Here are their promises:

Pass Clean Troop Funding Bills: When asked to provide our troops with the resources they need, we will do so without delay. That means no more troop funding bills held up by unrelated policy changes, or extraneous domestic spending and pork-barrel projects.

Is that really really possible? To me, it sounds of the chant, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war.” The military gets anything they want, even if there is question of whether we can execute and “win” a war, find WMDs, or repeating the quagmire in Vietnam.

Demand an Overarching Detention Policy: Foreign terrorists do not have the same rights as American citizens, nor do they have more rights than U.S. military personnel.We will work to ensure foreign terrorists, such as the 9/11 conspirators, are tried in military, not civilian, court.We will oppose all efforts
to force our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel operating overseas to extend “Miranda Rights” to foreign terrorists.

Rich right wing hubris is dripping from the above paragraph. Lets try them in military courts that have convicted far far far fewer terrorists than civilian courts. Where is the love that Jesus talked about in this document?

The next were proposed for Congress:

We will fight to ensure transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout government.

You didn’t do this with the torturing of enemy combattents in Gitmo, nor were you transparent with the growth of the security state.

We will continue to fight the growth of government and oppose new stimulus spending that only puts our nation further into debt.

Under George W. Bush, your party began the stimulus bail out that you so loath.

We will fight efforts to fund the costly new health care law.

Between 1995 and 2007, the GOP had control of two houses. Where was your plan then?

We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain.

Iraq war, oil, and the Bush family?

Now for more of their proposed spending cuts.

With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt. We will also establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending from this point forward. We will launch a sustained effort to stem the relentless growth in government that has occurred over the past decade.By cutting Congress’ budget, imposing a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees, and reviewing every current government program to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs, we can curb Washington’s irresponsible spending habits and reduce the size of government, while still fulfilling our necessary obligations.

As Andrew Sullivan notes, “without tackling entitlements, none of this matters a jot.” Here are some final reactions that sum up my thoughts and others on this document:


Given the gravity of the debt crisis, this is the most fiscally irresponsible document ever offered by the GOP. It is to the far right of Reagan, who raised taxes and eventually cut defense, and helped reform social security to ensure its longterm viability. It is an act of vandalism against the fiscal balance of the US, and in this global economic climate, a recipe for a double-dip recession and default. It is the opposite of responsible conservatism.

Nick Gillespie:

1. For much of, oh, the past decade, the GOP has been staggeringly incompetent in defining themselves as the party of small government. Their standard-bearer, George W. Bush, managed to jack up total federal outlays 104 percent over his predecessor in eight short years, and he either signed off on or strong-armed all sorts of big-government projects through both Republican and Democratic majorities (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Prescription Drugs, McCain-Feingold, Sarbanes-Oxley, endless war supplemental spending bills, TARP, auto bailouts, etc.).

Outside the Beltway:

Adhering to the Constitution: This is another one that’s popular among the Tea Party crowd, but which is also pretty much meaningless. A rule requiring Congress to cite the Constitutional authority for an specific bill isn’t going to stop Congress from acting. For most legislation, all they’ll have to do it cite to the Commerce Clause, the General Welfare Clause, or theNecessary and Proper Clause and their job is done. Thanks to a century or more of  Supreme Court jurisprudence, there is very little that the Congress wants to do that it can’t do under the Constitution as that document is currently interpreted.

Erik Erickson:

Yes, yes, it is full of mom tested, kid approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity. But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high. It is dreck — dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter… Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten.

Jonathan Bernstein:

[W]hat really struck me as I went through it the first time was the foreign policy section, which is…how should I say this…amateurish and pathetic.  What’s the current Republican foreign policy?  Stripping out the immigration stuff from that section of the document, what remains is (1) Gitmo; (2) Missile defense; and (3) threatening Iran.  That’s it.  Iraq and Afghanistan are referred to once, in passing.  There’s nothing at all about what the United States should do in those nations.  Nothing about Pakistan.  Nothing about Russia, or China (China at least gets one mention, in the context of the deficit).  Nothing about Europe. The rest of the world?  Obviously not.

Kevin Sullivan:

[W]ith all of the huffing and puffing we have heard – and indeed continue to hear – from conservatives about Obama’s “appeasement” of Iran, are these same critics thus satisfied by a short and simple pledge to enforce “tough sanctions against Iran”? I believe this demonstrates just how easy it is to be one of the two main political party on the outs in the United States. Ideological rigidity, or, in the specific case of Iran, radical statements about preparing for a regime change, make for good soundbites and exchanges on the Sunday morning shows, but they don’t resemble, as far as I can tell, the actual Republican plan for governance regarding the Islamic Republic – and that’s a good thing. All this could change, of course, in 2012 …

Adam Serwer:

There’s one bright spot in the GOP’s “pledge.” No where are their any promises, euphemistic or otherwise, to ensure that torturous “enhanced interrogation techniques” are used again. Although having attacked Obama for months over ending torture, it begs the question of why, if torture is so important to national security, Republicans haven’t put it in their policy platform. It’s almost as if they were willing to lionize torture just to make the administration look bad.

Steven Taylor:

To be honest, this document is designed to make GOP base voters happy, which is fine as far as that goes.  It is, after all, a campaign pamphlet (granted, a long one).  It is not, however, a real blueprint for policy.  Instead it amounts to pledges for themes popular with the base:   tax cuts, vague spending cuts, repeal of health care reform, and symbolic (not to mention bogus) promises to read bills and ensure their constitutionality.

Plus more here and here, first on health care and second on fiscal responsibility.

September 23, 2010

Facebook and the Internet: Circa 100+ years ago

by Vince

This was one of the best chain e-mails I have ever received.