Is this not a reasonable form of ID?

Back in June 2022, Facebook decided that my (vestigial) personal Facebook account would no longer be permitted to admin the DNA Lounge page unless I uploaded a photo of my ID. So I sent them this:

Things started working again about a month after that, but today -- nine months later -- they rejected it:

Do you think it's because the edges aren't clearly visible? Or do you think it's because, in the intervening nine months, the license has expired?

I understand that Facebook got some bad news today, and gosh, I'm all broken up over it.

In I-think-unrelated news, Instagram has suspended the DNA Lounge account again, and I again have no idea why. They're asking for yet another kidnapping-victim proof-of-life selfie.

Devon sent another one. He wore pants this time. Last time it took a week for them to get around to looking at it.

Note that our account "doesn't follow our Community Guidelines", but that our account can be brought back into compliance not with a change of behavior, but with a sexy selfie whose hand has the right number of fingers on it. For the second time in three weeks.

Sure, that makes all kinds of sense. Just give us a lock of your hair and we're good, all is forgiven, carry on.

Incidentally, do you know of a supplier of "novelty" IDs who won't sell my credit card to a Moldovan bot farm? Asking for a friend, pictured above.

Update: Well that was faster. Last time it took 5 days, but this time took only 2. And in an unexpectedly forthright display, they actually admitted fault --

Still passive voice, of course. "Mistakes were made." And still no indication of what led to these "mistakes" or how to avoid them in the future, or why the same "mistake" was made twice in three weeks, or even any way to ask. (They say "please let us know" but do so from a "no-reply' email address, as is traditional.)

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DNA Lounge: Wherein DNA Pizza is Twelve!

Today is DNA Pizza's twelfth anniversary! We make some really good pizzas, you guys. Come get some:

Even if you're not local, you can still follow DNA Pizza on the social media for a daily dose of pizza porn. Follow us on Mastodon, or, if you must, on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or (ugh) Twitter.



Today is the 40th anniversary of Blue Monday, the canonical synthpop song: the Platinum-Iridium reference 12" single, stored in a vault in Manchester,* against which all other 12" singles are measured.

    * Under what is now a parking lot and upscale condominiums.

In addition to being just a perfect song, it was also a glorious physical artifact. I still remember the first time I saw it: the three die-cut holes, revealing not the usual white paper inner sleeve, but weirdly-textured flat black plastic that looked exactly like the surface of a floppy disk. The two little notches at the bottom. No text at all. And the mysterious color code down the right edge. Perfect. No notes.

I have been "borrowing" from the designs of Peter Saville, Factory Records and The Haçienda for the last couple of decades, but this is where it all started.

It remains the best-selling 12" single of all time, and the production costs on the die cut sleeve were so high that it was being sold at a loss, which is just the most Peter Saville / Tony Wilson thing ever.

Here's a good article in The Guardian with some well-chosen musical selections: Who inspired it and who it inspired - they spliced Donna Summer with Ennio Morricone to make a futurist dance smash.

I have listened to Blue Monday at least a dozen times while composing this post and you should too. Sadly, the only official music video of the song is from the far inferior 1988 Quincy Jones remix. (It's a great video, but a terrible remix.)

Might I also recommend:

Extremely relevant Previouslies:

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Current Music: As noted

lp0 on fire, retry

This morning's antics actually synched up well with the music that was playing at the time...

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Mr. Incognito

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Remote updates of iPads

Dear Lazyweb, what's the cheapest and easiest way to push out changes to dozens of iPads over the air?

Correct answers begin with "I have done this thing, and here's how", using small words.

Currently we do this by configuring one, then bringing another within Bluetooth range and cloning it, but that is tedious. It sounds like Apple Configurator is how you do this, but I am lost in a twisty maze of product names, all alike. WTF are Apple Business Manager and Apple Business Essentials? Do I need a Mobile Device Manager? Is ABM an MDM? Or is it really the case that the only way to update a fleet of iPads over the air is to pay rent to some 3rd party interloper who is not Apple?

Yes, I have read dozens of Apple documents about these things, and I still don't understand. Don't just google it for me, please.


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March Fourth. Fourth March.

The date is now Saturday, March 1,099th, 2020. The fourth March of the ongoing pandemic that is still killing more than 11,000 people a month in the US alone, and permanently disabling so many more. And still you assholes won't even consider masking.

If you choose to stand around inside a crowded room without wearing a mask -- I think you're a fucking idiot.

Turns out, nearly every person I know is a fucking idiot.

    Sat Mar 1099 11:37:19 PST 2020

Here's what our calendar looked like in that first March, as we shut down for fourteen months.

And that March marches on.

Included amongst the aforementioned fucking idiots is a good friend who just contracted COVID for the THIRD time, who never wears a mask, ever. "What difference does it make?" she says. Then I cite studies showing what difference it makes. She shrugs it off with, "I can't keep living in fear".

To her, and to so many others, going to movie theatres and crowded nightclubs, but hanging a thin piece of plastic on their face while doing it, constitutes "living in fear".

No, we must pretend that the world has not changed in any material way since 2019. Those Eden-like pastoral days of 2019, before any of you had experienced "sadness" or "fear".

It would be bad enough if these people came upon their self-destructive and asinine positions naturally, but as with all the horrors of the modern world, this was not a choice, it was done to them by billionaires:

Lucky Tran:

These disinformation tactics are successfully quashing public health policies. Policymakers are susceptible to bad faith arguments about masks because they are beholden to short-term corporate interests. Masks are a visible symbol that the pandemic is ongoing, and politicians fear that these reminders stop people from consuming. It's easy to lie to those who want to believe.

An immunocompromised friend recently attended a funeral, and was repeatedly told by other maskless attendees how "brave" they were for masking. Brave?

"I don't really have a choice," they said.

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AI Is Magic

*I posted this on Mastodon a couple weeks ago and I'm not sure why I did that instead of posting it here. So here it is.

The best description I've ever heard of AI is the following. I heard this in the 80s, and it has held up since:

AI is magic.

  1. You see a magic trick. You are amazed by the magic.
  2. You are shown how the trick works. You are impressed by the technique.
  3. You learn how to perform the trick. Now it's not magic, it's sleight-of-hand, or mirrors, or misdirection.

This is why "AI" is always bullshit: once you understand it, it's not AI any more, it's something else.

Some things that used to be AI but aren't any more:

  • production systems
  • expert systems
  • semantic networks
  • theorem provers
  • Bayesian inference
  • putting parentheses around data and calling it "knowledge"
  • computational linguistics
  • genetic algorithms
  • machine translation

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Vaping is for TEENS, Ms. Lane. TEENS.There is so much that is awful about Picard, but one of the things that irritates me most is that everyone smokes now. What is this, a Netflix show? Am I again seeing the Invisible Hand of Philip Morris? (Slogan -- and I am not making this up -- "delivering a smoke-free future")

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This week in Zuckerhell

Let's get this out of the way first:
  • I am telling a story, not asking for your advice.
  • If you choose to offer advice anyway, it had better be goddamned spectacular.

So after Instagram demanded a lock of my hair before they would un-delete our account, it has stayed up for almost two weeks. But it has now gone into a repeated cycle where they have "Detected Unusual Activity" and I have to re-log-in once or twice a day and nothing will post until I have done that.

Presumably this is because of my vintage-2016 hacked, reverse-engineered way of posting to Instagram, possibly because I have been unable to MITM Instagram to extract a more modern app key since 2019. And searching Github for "const SIG_KEY_VERSION = '5'" turns up nothing.

So it turns out that sometime in 2021, Facebook finally made public an API that lets you post to Instagram. Previously it was only available to spam-factory "partners" like Later dot com. It only works if the Instagram account is attached to a Facebook Business page (not a user account) and it can only post to the feed, not stories. Because I guess Instagram thinks stories aren't important now, instead of being the only thing that matters? I can't keep up.

Anyway, because of the Instagram fuckery, I thought, "Ok, let's try the official API for feed posts at least, and just use the hacked API for stories. Maybe that will cut the fuckery by half." So I implemented the official Instagram API in my Facebook uploader. And that worked for a few days.

But now, Facebook has suspended the "DNA Lounge Facebook App" (that is, the API key I use to scriptably post anything) because it is "Creating A Negative Experience On Facebook".

As far as I can tell from the cut-and-paste bullshit they keep sending me, their complaint is that there is not a Privacy Policy explaining how users can request deletion of the data collected by the DNA Lounge Facebook App, which is never installed by an end user, and collects no information, as all that it does is post photos to our page. No matter how many words I use they steadfastly refuse to understand that there is no way for me to delete all none of the data that this app does not collect. Turnaround time on each of these email exchanges is 3-5 days.

This has happened before. It used to happen about once a year, and I'd have to spend a month swearing at them while we were unable to post, until it got escalated to someone else in the call center sweatshop who probably makes a penny more a week than the front line copy-pasters. But the frequency of this denial-of-service has increased.

Leaving us with our current "organic" social media presence being Mastodon, Space Karen, and... Tumblr.

("Organic" is what the VCs and private equity firms call a thing that they showed to your customers without you paying them for it and why the fuck would they do that??)

I don't particularly have any evidence that these "organic" posts (as opposed to paid ads) are actually being shown to anyone, let alone translating into ticket sales, so maybe it will be no great loss if they just stop entirely. But it's all just so fucking annoying.

Imagine an intrusive pop-up here groveling for you to subscribe to our weekly calendar mailing.

And finally, to reiterate:

  • I am not asking for your advice.
  • If you already deleted your account, and you think that everyone else should too, that's great and I am happy for you but feel free to continue not telling me about it.

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