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Tim Howell
Foodie, Writer, Technonaut.
Foodie, Writer, Technonaut.

Tim's posts

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My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it.

So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences.

It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

- Noam Chomsky

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Koncerning Klout

My most recent blog has been published on the Make Me Social blog here: Watch as I manipulate my fans into giving me the credibility of +Mark Zuckerberg .

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The United States is literally becoming a police state, in which a single organization has been given absolute authority with zero jurisdiction. The TSA now has authority over highways, buses, and taxis, despite "no specific threat." We are literally paying this organization to terrorize, humiliate, and steal from American citizens.

This is no longer funny. This isn't a joke. This is blatant totalitarian domination, and your government and tax money supports it.

You know G+ is turning into Facebook when a post about honesty at work turns into a heated religious debate within 10 posts.

The worst part about "trending topics" is the flood of "So, **** is trending..." posts. Followed shortly by the, "Why is *** trending?" posts.

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This is an infographic you should read, if you have flown in or out of the United States since 2001.

Why So Much Hate for Change?

I think I'm going to have to start a new blog series, just under the topic of "Why so much hate..." I end up writing these things at least once a month.

So, let's get down to it: Why are you pissed about the G+ GUI change?

Here are a few responses I've seen already, and my thoughts on them:

1. Gray-on-Gray is unreadable.

It's a bold stylistic choice, and I can understand where you're coming from, but this is more an issue of form vs function than anything else. For whatever reason, Google decided to eschew their familiar black-on-white minimalism for this grayscale look. In some places -- like the sidebar -- it works really well, and creates a less distracting interface. In others -- like the comments field -- it's simply confusing. Grayed-out text, for computer-savvy folks, reads as "unclickable," or "not selected." Making all text gray makes the whole page read as inactive.

2. Sidebar icons get shoved into a drop-down menu.

I can't believe this is a complaint. Since when was "less clutter" a bad thing? It seems that a lot of the negative commentary on this feature centers around which icons get moved off-screen, and people not realizing that they can move them around as they wish. Is it possible that someone would need easy access to every feature of G+ within one click? Maybe, but these are probably the same people that can't see their desktop past the 300 files and shortcuts on it.

3. Too much wasted space.

The whole right half of the screen is basically empty. This is a problem. I like efficient design -- especially online -- and I'm sure you do as well. However, I'm willing to bet that Google isn't planning on letting this go to waste. I predict that we will soon see all sorts of stuff over there. Imagine hi-resolution photos (which is supposedly a cornerstone of this new design), and videos popping out of your stream so you can watch them while scrolling down through older posts.

4. It looks too much like Facebook.

If you are a business, and your main competition is pulling in billions of dollars off of a signature design, you would be a complete idiot to not copy it. G+ is getting left in the dust, and they don't know why. As far as Google can tell, the only thing Facebook has that G+ doesn't is a recognizable design.

So, tell us, ladies and gentlemen, what's wrong with G+? Do you love it? Hate it? Think it's too early to tell? Leave your comments!

Really liking the #newgoogleplus layout. Looks a bit cleaner, and a lot less cobbled-together. New profiles are particularly sharp; looking forward to tooling around with it after work.

Do You Love, or Hate, Klout?

As I've mentioned on here a few times, I'm writing a piece about Klout, and its successes and failures. Admittedly, I'm somewhat biased against the service, so I'm looking for outside opinions. If you love Klout, hate it, or have never heard of it, leave a comment and let me know!

I'd really appreciate your opinions, and of course, I'll give credit to any contributors in the article.

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I'm writing a little piece about Klout, namely how awful and inaccurate it is. In order to prove how easy it is to game the system, I'd like you all to help me game the system. Please head to ( and follow these steps ( to bump up my Klout score sometime this week. I'd like to see how high 700 followers can bump a score.
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