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dangillmor

@dangillmor@mastodon.social

Bio and disclosures: dangillmor.com/about/ Boosts mean I think you should see this -- usually but not always an endorsement.

California, Nara, Arizona etc. · dangillmor.com

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dangillmor , to Random stuff
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Our corrupt Supreme Court is an arm of the Republican Party, and democracy is the victim. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/23/supreme-court-ruling-south-carolina-voting-map-gerrymander/

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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Great news in pro-competition policy as Biden administration moves to breakup Ticketmaster monopoly. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/05/us-sues-ticketmaster-and-owner-live-nation-seeks-breakup-of-monopoly/

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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@hiltzikm is one of the consistently best business commentators in daily journalism. Here, he pulls apart the corporate sleaze -- and gross mismanagement -- that pushed Red Lobster into bankruptcy.

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2024-05-21/column-it-wasnt-just-the-endless-shrimp-red-lobsters-corporate-owners-drove-it-into-bankruptcy?utm_source=press.coop

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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A reminder that less than two weeks ago, it was revealed that Trump solicited a $1 billion bribe from the energy industry, offering in return the gutting of environmental regulations.

A week ago, Big Journalism had already consigned this epic scandal to the memory bin.

Had Biden done anything remotely like that, I guarantee that it would still be among the top stories of the day -- and Congress, including Democrats, would be moving toward impeachment.

dangillmor OP ,
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@FerritinJim search Trump $1 billion oil

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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"In the last week, OpenAI has repeatedly lied about a voice product, dissolved its AI safety team, and had two major players in the company resign — one of whom tried to oust Sam Altman late last year, and the other who clearly despises the direction of the company."

-- from "Sam Altman is Full of Shit," by Ed Zitron.

https://www.wheresyoured.at/sam-altman-is-full-of-shit/?ref=ed-zitrons-wheres-your-ed-at-newsletter

dangillmor , (edited ) to Random stuff
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As a huge admirer of (and financial contributor to) @ProPublica I was disappointed to see an unnecessary "critics say" in a headline -- because the article makes an overwhelming case that Kristi Noem's record on "babies, moms, and families" is atrocious,

"Critics say..." is timid journalism.

Read the article:

https://www.propublica.org/article/kristi-noem-south-dakota-parents-children-pregnancy-abortion

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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Blog post: Come on, Ubuntu, please add a mono output audio setting

https://dangillmor.com/2024/05/21/come-on-ubuntu-please-add-a-mono-output-audio-setting/

dangillmor OP ,
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@puppygirlhornypost I'm also going to hold off on further experimentation until I'm on 24.04 since it'll use Pipewire...

dangillmor OP ,
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@fencepost Hardware isn't the issue -- this is (or should be) something that can be readily done in software, and it's about output, not input in this case.

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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Congressional Democrats -- particularly senators -- are pathetic.

That's the only word for their beyond-weak non-response to the news that Alito -- the enormously powerful Supreme Court justice -- was a backer of the Jan. 6 insurrection. (His obvious lie, blaming his wife, is also the definition of pathetic, but in a different way.)

The Democrats, in their typical weak-kneed manner, are going to let it all go.

They make me sick.

Read this from Josh Marshall:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/low-energy-part-2/sharetoken/GqTtixfpJuqz

dangillmor OP ,
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@lauren Josh Marshall has a compelling argument to the contrary.

dangillmor , to Random stuff
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Meet the "private equity" people who did so much to drive Red Lobster into the ground -- the top executives at Golden Gate Capital.

https://goldengatecap.com/team/?_sft_function=operating-executives

They sold off the restaurant real estate to help pay for the buyout, and leased it back at what the bankruptcy filing describes as "priced above market rates."

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  • dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Journalism is always seeking a daddy, and it looks like Apple News is the latest one.

    https://www.semafor.com/article/05/19/2024/as-clicks-dry-up-for-news-sites-could-apples-news-app-be-a-lifeline

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    For purely political reasons, North Carolina's right-wing Republican legislature is ensuring more sickness and death. This is repellent, and totally on brand. https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2024/05/20/doctors-call-public-mask-ban-unconscionable-political-point-making/

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @waldoj One more reason to avoid NC

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    ...and, still aboard the Big Tech sleazeball express: "Open"AI used Scarlett Johansson's voice even after being told not to do that. https://www.npr.org/2024/05/20/1252495087/openai-pulls-ai-voice-that-was-compared-to-scarlett-johansson-in-the-movie-her

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Today is a nonstop torrent of abusive acts by Big Tech.

    In this one, it looks like Google effectively paid off the feds to avoid a jury trial in the antitrust case. https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/google-cuts-mystery-check-us-bid-sidestep-jury-trial-2024-05-20/

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    So you deleted those iPhone photos years ago, because you wanted them gone forever?

    Apple obviously kept them around anyway.

    And you trust Apple? Give that some thought...

    https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/20/24161152/apple-ios-17-photo-bug

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @jgordon Hardly benign...

    dangillmor , (edited ) to Random stuff
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    Microsoft Windows is turning into the ultimate spy-on-the-user system. "...it includes logging things you do in apps, tracking communications in live meetings, remembering all websites you’ve visited for research, and more."

    And you're supposed to be thrilled at the capabilities?

    https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/20/24159258/microsoft-recall-ai-explorer-windows-11-surface-event

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @geoffduncan Posted an update, gave wrong impression in the original...thanks.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Social media disappointments:

    1. Journalists are still actively participating at exTwitter, thereby actively supporting Musk, who is helping extremists bring down democracy and, by extension, a free press.

    2. Reddit got away with stomping its volunteer moderators and users, and its execs are cashing in on an IPO that in a more just world would have flopped.

    3. Writers I respect decided to stick with Substack despite arrogant, extremist-friendly investors and leadership.

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @KevinMarks It could work fine here, but they can't be bothered to take even modest steps to be independent of those centralized services.

    Journalism is always, always looking for a daddy.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Palantir is an evil company, and its CEO showed at a conference that he is a supremely evil person.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/article/2024/may/17/ai-weapons-palantir-war-technology

    (Also, right on brand that a New York Times commentator moderated the panel and helped Karp avoid serious questions from one of only two reporters who bothered to attend.)

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    If you're interested in space, one must-follow account here is @sundogplanets -- Prof. Sam Lawler. She's been on a campaign to help people understand how the basically unregulated communications satellite race is causing havoc for astronomy, and is potentially creating the conditions for a space-travel - and basic communications ---catastrophe.

    She just posted this jaw-dropping thread on how bad this is getting:

    https://mastodon.social/@sundogplanets/112456699856194393

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    More than almost any other site I check frequently, @niemanlab embeds tweets in its stories. This means -- since I refuse to support Musk's anti-democracy and anti-journalism company -- I miss much of the content, since I allow Privacy Badger to block Twitter content.

    There are ways to show the tweet content -- paste in screenshots, for example -- that don't support the deadbird site. It's a shame that Nieman Lab won't take that minimum step.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Nabiha Syed is the Mozilla Foundation's new executive director. She is brilliant, and motivated in the best directions, a great choice for this post.

    https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/mozilla-foundation-welcomes-nabiha-syed-as-executive-director/

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @glennf Why thanks!

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Such moral cowards running New York University -- ordering student protestors to write phony apologies.

    This is right out of the authoritarian playbook -- and it craps on every notion of freedom of expression.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/17/nyregion/nyu-protests-apology-letters.html

    You don't have to agree with the protestors' politics. But you should damn well understand that America is in wave of McCarthyism right now.

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @Jonathanglick good concepts can be misused...

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    As warned, Reddit has taken a bundle of money from "Open"AI and will use it to further monetize what you -- and the volunteers who moderate it all -- contributed for free.

    It's the norm now, and particularly slimy in this case.

    https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/16/24158529/reddit-openai-chatgpt-api-access-advertising

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Read the latest from Josh Marshall on polls, debates, and (as nearly always) wretched NY Times political coverage. https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/a-quick-survey-of-numbers-vibes-and-the-inner-lives-of-campaigns/sharetoken/GxZzy8WqefbD

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Democrats ask America's most corrupt Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas, if he would be kind enough, pretty please, to explain more about his corruption...

    He is, of course, not explaining anything -- and daring anyone to do something about it.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/181627/clarence-thomas-rv-loan-democrats-letter

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    I was honored to meet Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko, aka @Gargron, yesterday afternoon in San Francisco. He's the real deal: committed to doing something good for the world and boasting serious technical skills. He also has genuine humility, a welcome trait in the tech world.

    The occasion was a meet-and-greet put together by Flipboard's @mike, whose company has enbraced the fediverse in a big way.

    I hope to do more to help make the fediverse succeed.

    You're helping, by participating.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    As CNN documents, it was outsiders who caused the violence at UCLA, not the students. And it's vital to keep in mind that the police "stood by for hours" -- watching (obviously indifferent if not pleased) as the outsiders beat up protestors and journalists -- and thereby became collaborators with the violent intruders into a peaceful protest.

    https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/16/us/ucla-student-protests-counterprotesters-invs/index.html

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Dairy farmers get vast subsidies from taxpayers -- ridiculously high subsidies in some cases (though they have nothing on weapons contractors).You would imagine that would persuade them to do their civic duty in reporting possible bird flu cases. Nope.

    https://www.notus.org/healthcare/farmer-bird-flu-cases-hide-cows-federal-government

    If bird flu breaks out widely in humans, it will be beyond catastrophic.

    dangillmor OP ,
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    (I should say that I support farm subsidies -- for genuine family farms, not the industrial-scale behemoths that rake in almost all of the taxpayer cash.)

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    If you care about voters being genuinely informed on key issues, the absolute worst thing about presidential so-called debates is live audiences filled with partisans.

    But for media corporations, it's all about money -- and they love these events because they generate ratings.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    It should be astonishing that after Trump publicly solicited a $1 billion bribe from Big Energy, Big Journalism just shrugged and moved on.

    It is not astonishing.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Big Journalism has been remarkably incurious about who's funding Christopher Rufo, notorious purveyor of bad-faith right-wing slime. At his Important Context newsletter, @walkerbragman has the story.

    https://www.importantcontext.news/p/the-big-money-behind-chris-rufos

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    Play-by-play Trump trial coverage, with so-called analysis of whether the prosecution or the defense has "scored points" -- the staple of Big Journalism right now -- is the equivalent of horse-race political coverage.

    All it takes are stenographic skills and the ability to make confident-sounding guesses. It's clickbait and ratings bait, and it does nothing good for public understanding.

    dangillmor OP ,
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    BTW I don't object at all to straightforward reporting of witness testimony. It's useful since there are no cameras in the courtroom.

    What makes me grind my teeth is having to sift through (seems to me) poorly informed commentary just to get to the meat of what the witnesses actually said.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    More than any other election year I can remember, the New York Times is obsessed with polling.

    Then again, the organization's top editor has said explicitly that polls are driving the coverage.

    dangillmor , to Random stuff
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    The solar storm is interfering with some tractors' GPS capabilities. https://www.404media.co/r/15913771?m=ea6b4c29-f97b-4025-aaeb-1d01a70b3b30

    dangillmor , (edited ) to Random stuff
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    EDITED: One of journalism's consistent flaws is ignoring relevant context.

    Case in point is this NY Times story about a judge tossing out a new federal regulation limiting extortionate credit card late fees.

    Here's the context the Times didn't care to include: The financial companies went forum shopping, and landed one of their favorite Trump-appointed judges, who (to his credit) objected to the process, but then predictably ruled against the administration.

    Journalistic malpractice, IMO.

    dangillmor OP ,
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    @kurtseifried Sorry, the New York Times is a highly profitable operation with a massive newsroom. There is no excuse for sloppy stuff like that story.

    And: They could have gone back later and fixed it, if they cared. They didn't.

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