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Joe Philipps
Just another curmudgeon wandering the Internet
Just another curmudgeon wandering the Internet


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Ever since G+ had the ability to pin a post to the top of the list of posts displayed when somebody views my profile, I've been meaning to consolidate some ideas from various places about how I use G+, to explain some things.  I have finally decided to take a stab at it.

First, I'd like to say that I will try to use the most appropriate medium for posting.  I really like the style of +Eric Raymond , where for longer form stuff, he posts some introductory thoughts on G+ and then links to his blog post.  So for some fuzzy idea of what constitutes a post "too long for G+" I will instead post over to and "cross link them" (a post here links to Blogspot, and the end of the Blogspot post links back to the G+ post).  Since Google doesn't have an easy way to do this (that I know of), there will usually be some time when one isn't linked to the other, most likely because I'm in the process of editing one or the other (can't get a link to the G+ post until a G+ post is made, so then I have to go back to the blog post and edit the embedded URI).

This post in particular is an exception to the general rule that I use.  It's longer than I'd like for a G+ post, but here is where it belongs.

Please keep in mind, a plus-one can mean a lot of things.  The Google folks even made a post about that when G+ was just getting started, and they listed (I think) 50 things.  As an example of something where I think that can be easily misunderstood, I have Fox News in my Circles, and I plus-one a lot of their posts.  It doesn't necessarily mean I agree with the subject matter of the post, in many cases for them specifically, it means, "Thank you for reporting on that."  As a hypothetical example, if they report, "ISIL beheads more Christians," I don't want ISIL to kill Christians just for being Christians, but I'm am glad Fox News reported that.

I extremely rarely delete posts/comments.  For example, there was one case that the person about whom I posted did not like that I brought up an issue which had been vexing them for over a year.  I mistakenly irritatied them by posting some suggested solutions, not seeing the year part of the posting date, and they expressed some annoyance at me.  I asked them if they'd prefer I deleted the whole thread, they said "yes," so I did out of respect for them and because I intended no harm or irritation whatsoever.

Similarly, it is very rare indeed, but there have been comments made on some of my posts which have no relevance to the post's topic.  Believe me, in one example, I like the commenting person just fine, it's just that I didn't want anything not really related to that post in the comments, so I deleted the off-topic comment.  So if you commented on something I put up there only to find later your comment deleted, I probably couldn't find any direct or possibly even indirect relevance, and I'm sorry if this annoys you or something, but if it doesn't seem to serve any direct purpose, I will likely delete it.  Really, even though I am not any government entity, I believe in the principles stated in US Constitution Amendment I, and very rarely see the need for what amounts to censorship, and if what I argue can't stand up to a little debated scrutiny, maybe I'd better rethink my position.

Almost everything I post is to "Public," and I do not think I have any settings which inhibit anything (reshares, comments, etc.).  But every once in a GREAT while, I see no futher productive discussion happening, and I will disable comments for some posts, and perhaps even delete some.  Again, I admit that's kind of a weak thing to  do, instead of seeking ways to strengthen my argument, but every once in a long while, I see nothing particularly productive going on and shut it down.  If anyone sees a need to comment further, I don't think I've ever disabled a reshare (which is kind of just a convenience thing anyway, it's not particularly tough to post while copying the text of another post or a link to it), so they can put in their $0.02 that way on whatever topic.  I do that all the time with one particular person in my Circles who apparently restricts commenting on their posts (I'll just say they're one of the higher profile early Internet people).  Hey, that's their prerogative, and why the setting's there, even though I wish they wouldn't do that.

Disabling comments happens to apply to this specific post.  Its sole intent is a broadcast for anyone to read, it is not meant as a conversation starter.

I know Google probably want to focus only on the positive, hence there is only a plus-one button on G+, but I sure wish sometimes there were a minus 1, like there is on YouTube (well, it's a thumbs down there).  As an example, of particular utility for that  is when Fox News posts about some feature of some product (usualy vehicles) and mentions exactly what product it is.  It looks more like they're passing off an ad as a news article, and I always wonder if they get paid to do that by the company getting "reported on."  Ditto with curt posts with a link only to  I don't want to wade through minutes of my time watching a video to get at the heart of the story, I just want to get a quick idea of what the story is about, and be able to skim a Web page.

I'm also terribly sorry if you Circle me and my response is to block you.  Every now and again, I see folks, usually Pages (specific G+ meaning, not generic meaning), which Circle me.  A number of times in the past, not too, too long after I saw the message about so-and-so has Circled you, I would receive a message which is in essence spam.  I would guess that a lot of these folks Circle me with the expectation of me Circling them back.  I get enough posts in my Stream without Circling every random person back, it's already a bit overwhelming.  And Google do not do me any favors by showing me "so and so plus-one'd this here post."  I haven't yet been irritated enough by the latter to write I have written some Stylish and Greasemonkey* so I never have to see those (although I have written Scriptish for the stupid "you may know" or "trending" or other similar useless-to-me blocks in my Stream).  So I guess that's a long way of saying, if you deduce that I've blocked someone, I just really didn't see the point in the act of Circling, and as a preemptive/proactive move of not receiving spam posts, I applied a block.  For example,  I just don't see any point of "Boomer Benefits" or "Indian Arts" following what I have to say, and I really would rather not receive posts from them.

Don't get me wrong, I would regret if I block somebody for such arbitrary reasons, and they really had something to say that I would find interesting, but alas, dems da breaks.  I also do have some folks blocked who seem to have no valid point whatsoever and are objectionable to me for one reason or another (they write in all caps all the time, their English is just incomprehensible to me, or all they can seem to do is troll).  Life is just a whole lot simpler when I am pretty much blissfully unaware that these folks have written/said anything.  And as one DSLReports user says in his .sig block (paraphrasing), keep things simple, they'll get complicated all on their own.

Oh, well...I think that's about enough for now, I'll edit/add on to this if I think of any more relevant stuff.

* Scriptish (for Firefox) unfortuantely went "splat" and does not really work with the latest FF releases.  So I had to revert to Greasemonkey, which isn't as convenient.  A lot of the pages I want to fix are JavaScript abominations, and the things I want to fix are constructed with JS.  Scriptish has a script mode which delays execution until the page is idle, whereas I have to add an onload event listener to do that myself in Greasemonkey.
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I don't know what the answer is, but being libertarian, I hope it's not more regulation. It's possibly the only answer however.
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Oh, great. Now YouTube doesn't seem to work in Firefox. I'm sort-of forced to use Chrome.
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Tops Markets is so stupid with their Web site. I search for "eggs" wondering what their price may be. The top search items are recipes. In fact, anything I search for on their site yields "recipes" as their top item.
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So...we just had a "deep freeze" last week. And now we're predicted to have more bone-chilling cold.

-- ObDoesn't-seem-like-AGW-to-me comment
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If the predictions of the NWS come true, I'll already be at my job at Amazon BUF5 by the time the snow intensifies (about 17:00 ET), and thinking it'll be pretty much all over and the roads thoroughly plowed by the time I get out at about half past midnight.
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Perhaps more Garrison Keillor fallout: Apparently, the show which airs from 1800 hrs Eastern Time on Saturdays is no longer called "A Prairie Home Companion", but it seems it's now "The Show With Chris Thile." And the show today didn't open with "Tishomingo Blues" like usual.
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I'll do a joke for only one person...even if it's me

-- +Nick Francesco
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Funny that the American Community Survey will harrass you until you respond, but none of their materials seem to state any deadlines. think the quality of the data are going to be good if you use such heavy-handed tactics such as pointing to sections of the law that state I must complete this survey? I'm sick of seeing this stuff in the USPS mail, so I filled it out. It's up to you folks to decide how much of it is accurate. I really don't care. Anyone who does care should find some other way of collecting the data, and not use my taxpayer dollars to collect it. It is far beyond the Constitutional mandate of the census.
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Once again, Rush Limbaugh today praised Ajit Pai's leadership to remove Title II classification from ISPs. He gave several half-truth examples, such as Amazon shipping, being able to pay for overnight, two-day, ground, or whatever shipping, according to your preferences. Except shipping bits is very dissimilar from shipping packages, especially when it comes to the cost basis for each (AFAIK). He even had a caller who runs a small ISP, and although I was not able at the time to hear him clearly, his main concern was varying regulatory conditions which would have him need to add fees to his subscribers' bills (which the customers will protest of course). But it's all fear. Title II contains within it the ability/authority to set rates and such, but Wheeler explicitly said that forebearance would be used by the Commission not to use those parts of Title II. That's all it is, a fear that their cost bases are going to change. While it's certainly possible for the Commission to do that, at least Wheeler has stated he would not use that aspect of the Title. His only aim was to give ISPs common carrier status, and therefore regulate what they're allowed (or more likely not allowed) to do. There's no reason Pai could not continue that forebearance, and clearly publish his regulatory intentions. Pai's stated reason for stripping Title II, reduced investment in broadband infrastructure, has absolutely no basis in fact that I can tell.

And when another caller tried to steer Rush into the true(r) intent, he was having nothing of it, really. He keeps on ad hominem smearing 'Net Neutrality as an Obama/liberal/Democrat thing, when in fact I think there is a lot of conservative support too (libertarians, not so sure).

What he and other Pai supporters seem to miss over and over is that Internet access is a LOT like utilities. It is delivered over public rights-of-way, so therefore there are VERY limited choices, VERY OFTEN only two access provider choices, and in some cases, only one. Satellite ISPs are most decidedly NOT a replacement for terrestrial broadband ISPs. The service is just simply not technically comparable, especially w/r/t RTT. Its pricing structure and fair access policies also weaken any favorable comparison. At least with current practice, cellular is also not a replacement, in that after only a few tens of gigabytes transferred, your service is severely degraded (despite the plans being called "unlimited"). Having 4 carriers (AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, and Sprint) was barely enough to disrupt the industry (mostly T-Mobile USA's doing) to where we have "unlimited" service, and Pai thinks having only 2 choices is going to foster enough competition? Give me a freaking break. Tell that to all the people in markets which have usage caps and overage fees, which DSLReports has constantly reported over and over does extremely little to mitigate the stated reason for imposing them: congestion control, to hold accountable the small number of heavy users. The only markets which get these caps/overage fees are those that are uncompetetive, and it's a "because we can" fee--very much like South Park's "Informative Murder Porn."
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