This week's Stupid: Nov 16, 2014

Kind of had a mellow week this week so the rage meter is definitely on the left side of the scale.  Chronic bronchitis tends to keep you mellow when you're focused  most of the time on not expectorating your lungs.  Yeah, I know... big word.  Look it up.

Rant 1 - Facebook

Facebook (fb) put it out on front-street this week that, well, you're just shit-out-of-luck when it comes to the privacy of your posts.  If you post it, they can see it.  And, if they can see it, they will processes, analyze, revise and sell it.

(And, for the record, I consider "posts" to be wall-posts, messages, private messages, and pretty much anything you add to their system using a keyboard.)

Generally, fb is pretty up-front by telling you that your data is their commodity and it's primary use is for advertising.  However, in none of their policies published to they offer, infer, or claim to provide you, the user, with anything resembling privacy regarding your posts.

Most damning was this tidbit (emphasis added):

"With most online services, there's an understanding that when you use those services to share information, you're also sharing information with the company providing the service," said Matt Scutari, manager of privacy and public policy at Facebook.

"For users who are truly concerned with sharing their information with a particular platform, honestly, you might not want to share information with that platform," he said, speaking during a conference on digital privacy in Palo Alto, California, on Friday.

FB's own exec is telling you, straight-up, that if you're concerned about privacy issues on the FB platform, then you shouldn't use Facebook.

If you've been following me on Twitter, and most of you don't, a few minutes back-tracking through previous posts will reveal several tweets regarding FB and the sanctity of your data.  In short, and we've all heard this before, if the service you're using is free, then you're the product.

So, FB users, as long as you use the platform, you no longer have any excuse for how your data is treated (disrespectfully) with respect to data.  I mean, it's bad enough that they filter what you see from your own circle of intimates, right?

In other words, when you get bitch-slapped and treated like the little, street-walking whore you are, don't come complaining to me.  Not when your own pimp is telling you how they're going to sell your hard-working ass out there on the street;  you've got no one to blame but yourselves.

Rant 2 - Net Neutrality

Lot's of news this week about Net Neutrality and, to no one's surprise to President Obama's announcement on same, Comcast and AT&T plaid their first-round dick cards in response.

For the record, and greatly distilled, there's an ongoing fight concerning internet regulation, which is collectively referred to as "Net Neutrality".  Most of the peeps associate Net-Neutrality with the concept of what the press has dubbed "Internet fast lanes" -- where some services (Netflix) is willing to pay more money to ISP providers (like Comcast) to ensure that their data isn't throttled - e.g.: fast-laned.

For those of you without ComSci backgrounds, there is no such thing as an internet "fast lane".  Speeds are all pretty much controlled by the hardware architecture upon which they lay with fiber currently being the "fastest" and WiFi the slowest.  

What pricks like Comcast are doing is telling services, like Netflix, that if most of our available bandwidth is going to be used for your data packets, then you are going to pay us extra to keep us from throttling (slowing-down) delivery of your data, requested by our customers, in case our customers request something else, we'll have the bandwidth to deliver it.  Which doesn't mean shit if they're willing to NOT throttle the data if the premium is paid.

The real debate which is Net Neutrality is over how the internet is governed and regulated.  Should the internet be considered a necessity or a luxury?

Of course Republicans, being the tech-savvy bourgeoisie of our age -- you know, the ones that are baffled by the seemingly magical properties of a point-of-sale scanner? -- have come out against Net-Neutrality because "...regulation is heavy-handed and could kill online investment and innovation".

Oh, really?

Because the U.S. hasn't exactly been spear-heading the drive into Internet innovation, in case you've not noticed.  For a "developed" country, we rank damn near the bottom in terms of internet availability, reliability, and connection speeds.  And, because we're Americans, we also pay more for the shitty service we get than pretty much any other country.

We don't need to innovate - we need to catch-up to the rest of the world.   Then we can worry about innovating.

AT&T's version of the dick card was to announce that they would have to delay the roll-out of a fiber-optic network to 10 US cities.  (Never mind that both AT&T and Comcast are absolutely terrified over what Google is doing with broadband fiber!) The FCC called AT&T's bluff and asked them to produce, and explain exactly, what plans would be delayed.

Personally, I think the Government should take control of the internet - charge us accordingly, provide us with the same levels of service and speeds at a cost that, oh say, South Korea, enjoys.   

Why not?

The Government already has their data-fingers so far up our data-asses that we can't tweet, email, or post without something appearing in an NSA file, so why the hell not?

Penalize the corporate dicks with a severe loss of revenue and reduce our tax obligations as a result.  Use the resulting revenue to fix our infrastructure and re-implement desperately needed social programs.

Or does that make too much sense?

Bonus Rant - Skype

Microsoft announced a platform change for Office-365 - they will replace Lync (a truly heinous piece-of-shit software) with Skype and redub it as Skype for Business.

Because, inter-office communication software should be proprietary, right?  Closed-protocols not withstanding, what this means is that you have to use Skype to talk to another Skype user.

And we all know what a great piece of software Skype is, yah?  Endless solicitations from  off-continent hookers, Skype has become the wasteland breeding-ground of endless spam.  And Microsoft, despite countless complaints, refuses to throttle requests from people outside of your network.  (Literally, you have zero privacy.)

And Skype itself isn't considered to be that robust of a piece of software.  I filed a bug report with Microsoft last year - showing how I could crash Skype on-demand, on my linux platform.  That I am aware of, said bug has yet to be fixed.  

The Mac and Linux versions of Skype are archaic next to the Window's version.  

Typical Microsoft hubris thinking that we're all windows users.

But wait!

There's Skype now, for the browser!  

I guess that was Microsoft's reaction to the bazillion Chromebooks out there knocking PCs off their pedestal.

It's like no one at Microsoft has used Google's Hangouts which is, in my opinion, in every single measurable way, better than Skype.