Zoom is bad and you should feel bad

Apparently all of you are diving headlong into the nightmare that is video conferencing, and "Zoom" seems to be the poison of choice these days, so you should know that it's terrible:

Violet Blue:

If, like an overwhelming number of people right now, you're having to use Zoom while working remotely, you should know that the app is a privacy nightmare -- which makes the company pretty evil to be doing invasions and overreach (nonconsensual data grabs) during a horrible pandemic. For example, last year EPIC made an official complaint to the FTC about Zoom's egregious privacy invasions. The problems with this company are not new. ... just read what [Proton Mail wrote about Zoom's privacy and security dumpster fire].

Zoom's privacy page states: "Whether you have Zoom account or not, we may collect Personal Data from or about you when you use or otherwise interact with our Products." This includes, but is not limited to, your physical address, phone number, your job title, credit and debit card information, your Facebook account, your IP address, your OS and device details, and more."

Further, the app allows your boss to spy on you far beyond what's okay in an office setting. From EFF: [...] "Admins have the ability to join any call at any time on their organization's instance of Zoom, without in-the-moment consent or warning for the attendees of the call."

Zoom iOS App Sends Data to Facebook Even if You Don't Have a Facebook Account:

"That's shocking. There is nothing in the privacy policy that addresses that," Pat Walshe, an activist from Privacy Matters who has analyzed Zoom's privacy policy.

The Zoom app notifies Facebook when the user opens the app, details on the user's device such as the model, the time zone and city they are connecting from, which phone carrier they are using, and a unique advertiser identifier created by the user's device which companies can use to target a user with advertisements.

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HTTP proxies

Dear Lazyweb, do any free HTTP proxies exist any more? I mean $HTTP_PROXY, not a VPN.

The problem I'm trying to solve: I have scripts that do things like, probe all of the youtube videos I've blogged about to see if they've gone stale, as they so often do.

But recently Youtube has begun putting me on "429 Too Many Requests" probation, no matter how many delays I introduce into my scripts. I can't tell what their limits are and they don't say.

So I just want a simple $HTTP_PROXY that I can use from the command line without having to do ifconfig nonsense or some crazy-assed authentication dance. It does not have to be fast.

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SF Bar Owner to Yelp:

THIS asshole.
"Fuck All of These People Entirely"

Like many business owners across the country, Jamie Zawinski, the owner of SoMa nightclub DNA Lounge, was less than pleased to learn that a partnership between Yelp and GoFundMe meant that the Yelp listing for his business now had a fundraising button on it that he hadn't consented to. "What the fuck?" he said regarding the move in an email to Eater. "Seriously, what the fucking fuck?" [...]

As many of these businesses are down to skeleton crews that are working long hours to keep their life's work alive, its perhaps unsurprising that the first some heard of the program was an email sent by Yelp that told them that the company had launched a fundraiser on their behalf, and that the only way to shut it down would be to "claim" the fundraiser, then follow a set of instructions to close it down. [...]

"Yelp is fucking scum," a San Francisco restaurateur texted Eater SF regarding the GoFundMe move last night. "Do they honestly have time to fuck with this shit right now?" texted another.

When contacted by Eater, a Yelp spokesperson says "we have paused the automatic rollout of this feature," as "it has come to our attention that some businesses did not receive a notification with opt-out instructions."

However, Zawinski did indeed receive the notification -- and that didn't seem to be the issue for him, as much as the rollout without consent. "I don't really have a lot to say about this," Zawinski told Eater, except, "Fuck all of these people entirely... Really, get all the way right up in there and fuck them."

You may recall my 2012 long-form art project entitled, "I would like my business to not be listed on Yelp." Part 1, part 2.

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Viral images

(I see what you did there.)

Covert:

To give a little back and hopefully be of some use in education and infomation our team of brilliant designers created these images and short video sequences for you to use 100% free of charge. Forever.

Legal note; We're not scientists. Although we've tried to model Covid-19 as closely as possible using available references, these free assets should be used for illustrative purposes only. No licensing, royalties or any credit is required for their use. Please stay safe.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we have cocktails for delivery, and some upcoming webcasts.

Jared and Lisa have put together some pre-made cocktails in mason jars! Roughly three servings per jar, well, depending on how you drink. Currently on the menu are:

  • A Black Manhattan, using Slow and Low honey and orange infused rye, with a little Fernet to balance the sweetness.
  • A classic Sazerac (my personal favorite!)
  • A brown sugar margarita with a little orange in it.
  • A lavender lemonade gin cooler.

Get 'em now on Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash or Allset. And you can still get our DNA Lounge brand bottles of vodka, rum and gin, as well.

Also we have some more party-in-place webcast-only online events coming up!

  • Tomorrow, Fri, Mar 27: GGP Virtual Charity Party:

    A live-stream of DJs from GGP, the Gay Gaming Professionals party that, along with the Game Developer's Conference, was our first cancellation during this outbreak. They've also got some VR thing going on...

  • Sat, Mar 28: Turbo Drive:

    Devon, Danny Delorean and Meikee Magnetic will be spinning the finest in synthwave for you, live from the neon-styled DNA main stage.

  • Mon, Mar 30: Death Guild:

    Goth-in-place with live DJ sets from Decay, Bit, and the usual suspects. Don't forget to harass them on the Snark-a-Tron.

  • Next Fri, Apr 3: Hubba Hubba Revue presents Burlesquerpiece Theatre:

    A look back at some of the best Hubba Hubba Revue acts from the last few years. Sit by the fire, pour yourself a brandy, and take a sexy trip down memory lane with your host, Alistair Kingfish.

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Backups

How long should you keep your backups?

I wrote this with tar. Which stands for tape archiver. It's 1600 BPI. That's bytes per inch.

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Empty SF

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THE LINE IS PLEASED

edburmila:

"THE LINE IS PLEASED WITH THE TALK OF SACRIFICE" INTONES THE SHAMAN, AS MEDICINE MEN CHANT THE NAMES OF MUTUAL FUNDS AROUND THE CHART. "NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DISPLEASE IT! WITHOUT BLOOD THE LINE WILL FORSAKE US" HE WARNS, AS THE FIRST ELDER IS FED SINGING INTO THE WOOD CHIPPER.

"LO! THE LINE HAS SEEN YOUR LACK OF FAITH!" THE SHAMAN SAYS WITH A SCOWL, ACCOMPANIED BY ALAN GREENSPAN PLAYING "LOSING MY RELIGION" ON SATAN'S PAN FLUTE. "LET HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE LEAVE THIS LAND! LO, THE PEOPLE MUST BELIEVE WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS!" A PORTAL OPENS.

IN THE DISTANCE, A PEASANT POUNDS A RHYTHM ON HIS OWN SKELETAL, TUBERCULAR CHEST. "LINE....LINE...LINE..."

OTHERS JOIN IN, WHEEZING: THE LINE. THE LINE. THE LINE.

SOON, AS IF HYPNOTIZED, THE MASSES SHOUT AS ONE:

THE LINE
THE LINE
THE LINE

WE GIVE OURSELVES OVER TO THE LINE

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John Carpenter Announces Release Dates for "They Live" Sequels:

"They Laugh" and "They Love":

"Believe it or not 'They Live' was always my most spiritual film, and these long-awaited sequels will make that clear" the 72-year-old director said in a surprise Instagram Live video. "Yes, it's about learning to see the ideological distortions underpinning consumerism, but it's also about learning to giggle in the autumn breeze, to smell the moonlight on a midnight beach, to dance like nobody's watching you through your television."

"Obviously, none of this would be happening without Amazon Studios," Carpenter added. "Seriously. Like, it's literally impossible for mid-budget artists to tell stories to a mass audience without the involvement of companies like Amazon."

Picking up immediately after the 1988 film -- in which (spoiler!) Nada and Frank's high jinks revealed a race of elite alien overlords to humanity, "They Laugh" and "They Love" will follow a fresh cast of human characters as they compartmentalize the implications of their servitude and learn to live and grow alongside their extra-terrestrial masters.

"They Laugh" will follow Kumail Nanjiani as a milquetoast comedian competing on an alien talent show for a lucrative sponsorship deal, while "They Love" is planned to center around a plucky career alien's romantic entanglement with two working-class Franco brothers. Andy Serkis slated to play all of the aliens. [...]

Some high profile celebs have been freaking out about the announcement, including Chris Evens, Miley Cyrus, and Slovenian philosopher and pop culture analyst Slavoj Žižek: "These are the sequels for which I would have sold to a witch the left tit of my grandmother," said Žižek in an artfully shot black and white Patreon vlog. "To live, within ideology, is, I think, to be enslaved to the fetish of collective false consciousness, but to live, laugh, love? This, I think, reminds me of sandals at the beach, and of kissing in the rain, and so on."

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Great Moments in Taxonomy

Cory Doctorow:

I'd been suspended for having a list to which I add trolls called "colossal assholes." [...] Weirder: "Colossal assholes" got me suspended, but not its companion list, "Toe-faced shitweasels". [...]

In response to Twitter's sensitivity about "colossal assholes" as a listname, I've renamed and expanded my lists.

  • Potent emetics
  • Tissue-thin bad faith
  • Foolish timewasters
  • Beneath contempt
  • Odious nonsense-spewers
  • Confederate gravy-eaters
  • Toe-faced stenchweasels
  • Hilariously inept lackwits
  • Probably bots
  • Thick as two short planks
  • Raving conspiracists
  • Sociopath climate deniers
  • Dim bulb centrists
  • Inept MAGA trolls
  • Red scare bedwetters

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