Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Joe Philipps
Just another curmudgeon wandering the Internet
Just another curmudgeon wandering the Internet


Post is pinned.
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.

I wonder how effective a "science content creators' strike" would be for CodyDon Reeder, the "Cody" in "Cody's Lab". Imagine if Dr. Derek "Veritasium" Muller, Destin "Smarter Every Day" Sandlin, Brady "too many science channels to list concisely here" Haran, Hank "SciShow" Green, Paul "Curious Droid" Shillito, Amy "Vintage Space" Shira Teitel, and any others who would like to join in decided not to upload any new content until Mr. Reeder's channel is unlocked and restored. How much in ad revenue would Alphabet lose? This is likely the only thing (loss of ad revenue) which will likely fast track any YouTube policy decisions w/r/t Cody.

The thing is, what incentive(s) is/are there for Bitcoin miners these days? As I understand it, Bitcoin depends on some folks calculating hashes to ensure the transactions in the blockchain are correct (dunno, maybe a bad assumption). But the reward, Bitcoin(s), takes more in resources costs (like electricity) than the Bitcoins are worth. Really, what incentive does anyone at this point have to mine Bitcoin if it costs more to mine them than will be paid for mining them?

Andy Cuomo is whining about the DJT tax proposal, that NY would be "unfairly" impacted because we have some of the highest local taxes in the US. Gee, Andy...don't you think the counter to that might be lowering our taxes? No, we couldn't POSSIBLY do that. No, instead, complain about how those mean, ole federal people are picking on New Yorkers, that it reduces our competitiveness. Yeah, yeah...I know, you just MIGHT have to reduce spending as well, but you can't bring yourself to admit it might be worth it to do so?

Oh, we go again...Glenn Beck is back on the bandwagon of "you're going to need a (n FCC) license to publish/get on the Internet." And he added something to the effect of, if you don't think this is going to happen, you're a fool. This is primarily in response to the Tweet from DJT:

With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!

...which is unfortunate to see from the US President for at least two reasons. Sorry, DJT, that's a fairly clear Amendment I violation for government (the FCC) to start yanking licenses for content. It's also unfortunate to see the US President writing that way; in modern times, we don't randomly capitalize words just for the heck of it. Is "Fake News" a brand name or something?'s kind-of "a thing" now, maybe that makes a little sense. How about "Networks?" The US Constitution may have been written like that (for example), but we're in the 2010s, not the 1780s. In modern times, capitalization is supposed to carry meaning, usually that nouns are proper (and not common).

All right, I call shenanigans. Right now, Rush Limbaugh is doing a live read for iDrive, and he's claiming that iDrive will preserve data for programs that do not automatically save their data periodically. Very, very, very slim chance that's correct.

Dang it. Old habits die hard. I'm still drifting towards the bottom left of a post to plus one something. Gotta go right these days. Hopefully my brain will retrain soon.

Post has shared content
"Discovery" arrives at a time when the US is more divided than ever. From the tragic protests last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, to claims by a Google engineer that women aren't suited to work in technology, the nation is wrestling with racism, sexism and questions about its identity.

(thanks to Nick for sharing; here's a direct link to the CNet story: )

This proves that Cheng didn't get (oh, the memo. Mr. Damore said nothing of the sort. Mr. Damore explained why there is a disproportionate number of men in tech, not that women are unsuited. In other words, the memo discusses why they don't, not why they can't. There's a big difference.

Hey, Google have made some visual updates to G+ today. They seem to have gotten rid of the less-than-useful idea that to comment on a post, you need to click on it first to show an area to begin a comment. That's a plus.

They moved the plus one button from the left of the post to the right. Annoying, but at least it's something that's fairly easy to get used to over not too much time.

It looks like maybe some of the buttons for posting have been improved some. For example, when I was ready to post, the "Post" button has a blue background to it, making it visually better to me.

It looks like the plus one for comments on a post have been moved around a little and improved visually.

Unfortunately, they're still rife with the stupid notion that some things should only be visible on pointer hover.

Geesh...for a change, they've improved more than they've mangled.

I find it a bit troubling that although DNSSEC in many ways seems to be the way forward (if not for other things, it enables sidestepping PKI CAs with DANE, and virtually eliminating DNS cache poisoning) it is still not deployed on some major, major sites. Yet there are many, many reasons NOT to deploy it. For example, get it wrong and all the sudden your DNS doesn't work right, and DNS is your lifeblood, really. Many of the Internet's greatest proponents and leaders, such as Google and its push for IPv6, do NOT have DNSSEC enabled! Sure, the ISC has it (because of its really popular BIND), VeriSlime^H^H^H^Hign has it...but at the moment, queries for Oracle/Dyn's DNSKEY RRs for returns SERVFAIL.

It makes me wonder if I should turn off verification in my BIND, if it's so tough to implement properly that the "big guns" like Google don't implment it.
Wait while more posts are being loaded