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Archive for August 2012

API No Go. Twitter Makes The Right Move.

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Third Party Apps Be Gone.

LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram are likely to be the first of many to be cut off from some aspects of Twitter’s API. There will be more, and contrary to what many are saying it’s a good thing too.

Twitter has decided that in order to become financially more responsible it has to stop being part a wider social media ecosystem and forge a path as a distinct ecosystem in itself.

This may be the beginning of a wider trend. After a few years of open streams and cross platform sharing we may be entering a phase where each platform has its own distinct group of users. You can be a part of as many as you want, but they’ll no longer be connected to all via one.

This is what is generally known as competition. And in the media marketplace, competition is good – unless you’re a third-party app developer looking to cash in on free content that’s no longer going to be quite so free.

When the platforms established ground rules for colonizing the internet, they formed what essentially became a cartel enabling each to connect to the others so that could more successfully colonize every known web page in the universe. Those days are over. The job is done. Every page has share buttons for every platform, which leaves the platforms in a bind. What makes one distinct from the other other than a few key quirks ( like the 140 character rule), branding elements and UX gizmos.

The answer is how they make money.

Facebook has been the most efficient of the colonizers. It’s “like” functionality feeds right into its money-making potential by making its advertising that much more efficient. Google is catching up fast with “+1” which feeds right into their search and advertising dominance. The irony is that Facebook and Twitter can live on the same planet when it comes to colonizing the Internet.  But there’s one player that can’t.

Twitter. Twitter is different. Twitter is an anomaly.

What does tweeting a page link do for them? Nothing at all. It just clogs up the stream so people leave Twitter and don’t click on sponsored tweets or other money-making ventures. If you’re Twitter, this is not good, so you need to make sure you can separate and define yourself, to make people stay on your platform and click on your crap. Which accounts for the new-found muscularity of the company as it makes its play for more control.

One can understand how upset developers are that Twitter is putting up walls after so cleverly leaving them down for so long to attract users. Just about every aspect of the company’s success was created by users, from the hashtag to the retweet downwards. And how does the company reward its users.

By making them use Twitter’s own free functionality to Tweet. Not a big deal.

It’s a little nefarious, but nowhere near as seedy as any of Facebook’s shenanigans, and in order for Twitter to survive, and maybe even thrive, it has to move down this line. The truth is, that social media companies have to sucker us into helping them grow. They have to rely on our narcissistic, competitive urges to make money. And the developers who have earned a pretty penny working on third-party apps shouldn’t feel too bad. After all, this is just another form of creative destruction, and they’re sure to be in favor of that.


Written by coolrebel

August 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Assange To Become Knightsbridge Tourist Attraction

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My ego is hurting my head.

In the year 2037, a school tour group from Louisville, Kentucky will take a detour after their shopping trip at Harrods to a street not far away. They’ll know they’ve arrived at the right building because of the other tourists using their iPhone 23’s to catch an infra-red glimpse of the reason they’re there.

For in that year, Julian Assange will have been in the Ecuadorean Embassy for twenty-five years, his long white beard the clear giveaway if the tourists happen to focus on the right human form inside the embassy.

In 2037 the United States, Great Britain, Western Europe, Canada, and Australia, and a few other enlightened states will be holding the line against the rampant internal and external despotism of Russia, China, and other tin-pot dictatorships, who will have shut themselves down even more to “meddling” from the West. We’ll be in a new cold war, not defined by nuclear weapons so much as corruption and statism.

And people will look back to Assange’s quixotic crusade for more transparency among the world’s most transparent nations, and think to themselves that this oddball old man went after the good guys to glorify himself, while the bad guys continued their repression, delighted to have Julian providing them with the moral equivalency they so badly needed for propaganda purposes.

The irony of Ecuador’s own violations of human rights was raised by one of the students in the Louisville tour group. His fellow students nodded.

Written by coolrebel

August 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Posted in Assange, Ecuador, UK

Christian Pro-Lifers Who Allow Abortion After Rape Are Hypocrities

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Note: Excludes Babies conceived by rape.

There’s a creepy “See we do care about people” quality about the medieval, almost papal, dispensation granted by mainstream religiously-driven pro-lifers that if a woman was made pregnant as a result of rape that she should be entitled to a legal abortion.

Now there are those who believe in the sanctity of life for non-religious reasons, but the vast majority of pro-lifers would identify themselves as Christians, mostly Evangelicals, and Catholics. Indeed, they see it as their religious duty to support a pro-life position. But it’s the conflating of the God with a pro-life position that weakens it on logical and moral grounds, once the logic of the rape exception is questioned.

But this act of apparent “fairness” is actually the heart of the lie of the religious pro-life position, and is an act of profound self-indictment.

You see, when a man rapes a woman and impregnates her, it isn’t the baby’s fault. From the moment of conception, the fetus that resulted has as much a right to life as any other baby in the eyes of God. By suggesting that the means by which that fetus came into being should result in the killing of the fetus completely destroys the pro-life argument. If rape, and also incest can be exceptions, why not poverty, or other life circumstances, or shame, or any of the other reasons women have abortions?

The logic is simple and straightforward. Holding religious pro-lifers to their own standards demands that rape should  not be a reason to grant a legal exception to the (assumed to be) otherwise illegal act of abortion.

So why do most religious pro-lifers go along with this utterly illogical exception which shatters their case? Again, the answer is simple. They are prepared to abandon consistency for a semblance of acceptability. They know that if they maintained their absurd logic their “pro-life” position would be regarded as brutal, medieval, inhumane and unacceptable. They are prepared to sacrifice their Godly principles about the sanctity of life to expediency

Unfortunately, if they don’t remain consistent, they’re proving they don’t care about the unborn at all.

They only really care about themselves.

Written by coolrebel

August 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Abortion, rape, Roe v Wade

Ecuador To The Rescue: Assange To Be Busted Out of Britain

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The New Duke of the Puffins.

The plan is blissfully simple. 

The elite Ecuadorean Parachute Brigade ( ten guys who can skydive ) drops a perimeter (of steel) around the Embassy in Knightsbridge, creates a diversionary attack in the haberdashery department at Harrods, and whisks ASSange into Ecuador’s Air Force ( its one old rickety Chopper) and flies him (hopefully) to Sark, where he’ll be met by an the Ecuadorean Navy ( an ancient WW2 Liberty Ship with an Uzi mounted on the bridge ). The steamer will zig zag the ocean for the duration of the secret eighteen-week seasickness-addled trip to the Galapagos, which has already elected ASSange Lord of the Iguanas.

Ecuador is hush-hush about the timing of the ASSange asylum bid, but they did not deny it may have something to do with the exorbitant bills for the specialty game and wine Mr ASSange is demanding his hosts buy from Harrods Food Hall. Since Julian has been holed up in the spare room at the embassy, half of Ecuador’s diplomatic budget has been spent on Pheasant, Venison, and some rather impressive Chateau Laffite ’64 to wash it down. The Embassy cook had a nervous breakdown after ASSange insisted the the Foie Gras was “lackluster”. This may have triggered a “red phone” call to President Correa which resulted in the new Ecuadorean break-out plan, codenamed “Quick Silver” in order to preserve the sanity of everyone at the Embassy. We’ll continue to update you with news as we hear it.

Written by coolrebel

August 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Washington

The New Blue Fascism of Facebook.

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They used to say that Fascism in America would be wrapped in a flag and bearing a cross.

Add weird Facebook blue cameras to the mix, ostensibly to help you buy more crap you don’t need. If ever there was a metaphor for the rise of the Nerd Nazis then this is it.

It’s certainly a shame that the chief practitioner of the new techno-fascism is a Jew. But fascism is full of such ironies. The portly, distinctly non-Aryan Corporal, and the strutting stupidity of Benito Mussolini to name but two.

Mark Zuckerberg once told his ghostwriter “I’m not sure I can trust you anymore”. She promptly shipped out ( taking her stock stash with her ) and moved to rural Texas. But its the language that stands out. “Trust” and terror are not distant cousins in certain circles where power is as potent and uncompromising as it is in Fascism. When there is no longer trust, someone usually pays the price. In the past that meant death.

Now it can mean social media purdah. But maybe the Nerd Nazis will ultimately create some newly minted amoral twenty-somethings as their own private Stasi.

Written by coolrebel

August 16, 2012 at 7:33 am

Posted in Facebook, Zuckerberg

American Foreign Policy Has One Priority: No Nukes For Bad Guys

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There’s no such thing as a good nuke.

Militants attacked a Pakistani Nuclear base today, which is enough to give you a warm, cozy feeling inside, isn’t it? It’s also a very good reminder of the single most important goal of US foreign policy; stopping the bad guys from getting nukes. Next to that everything pales into insignificance.

Probably the number one priority is making sure that Pakistan’s militants don’t get a hand on them, probably as a result of an inside-job transfer of weaponry and the expertise needed to use them. If necessary, the US should have no hesitation about using Special Forces to make sure the bad guys don’t get the bomb. Pakistani sovereignty should be ignored in those circumstances.

Then there’s Iran, which has to be stopped at all costs from getting the bomb they so badly want. We need to make sure the Russians don’t trade their stuff either, or that it leeches out to the Chechens or other party-people looking for Armageddon. We need to cordon off North Korea and watch it like a hawk. We need to check ships of all nations with nuclear weapons or ambitions, and make all this priority number one for all US intelligence and military assets.

The United States is still the world’s policeman, still the ultimate guarantor of peace, and stopping nuclear proliferation is the centerpiece of how we preserve that peace.

Written by coolrebel

August 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Arrest Assange And Send Him To Sweden

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Oops. Wrong Picture. Or is it?

Britain has had enough of Assange.

And rightly so. I don’t usually agree with the Coalition Government but I have to say that sometimes they get it right, most usually on Foreign Policy. This is one of those moments.

Julian Assange is the worst kind of hypocrite, essentially suggesting that he should be above the law. In his twisted little, self-centered, proto-fascist world, everything is a conspiracy against his greater glory, including the accusations of rape that triggered his extradition to Sweden. One can only suppose his crusade for freedom and transparency is null and void when it comes to sexual assault on two women.

Maybe women don’t count in Assange’s asshat world of wonder.

Put aside the damage he did to America’s ability to conduct diplomacy, and to the responsible role for secrecy in government. Put aside the fact he goes after low hanging fruit while that the real enemies of accountability like China and Russia haven’t been dented by his websites, whereas the free nations of the world are made to look like villains. The fact is that he delights in being a rock star magnet for deluded activists, and opportunistic nations everywhere.

Ecuador’s pathetic attempt to shield this guy is outrageous. It completely contravenes International Law to harbor an indicted fugitive and Britain is well within its rights to flush him out. Sadly, they don’t want the bleating barrage that will go on for months as a result, probably including some insane self-immolation for no good reason, so they’ll wait this guy out for as long as it takes.

Hopefully the Police will go in and drag this guy’s ass out, but I doubt it. More probably Assange’ll get to rot  in Knightsbridge luxury, and eat take-out from Harrods Food Hall for the next few months or years, but at least he’ll be out of our hair.

Written by coolrebel

August 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm