Hear that sound? Like so many sighs of resignation? Yup, it’s the first Monday of the new year, and with it, a plethora of shiny resolutions slowly breached and broken like WiFi-enabled toys.
One of my 2016 resolutions (which I hope will last more than a week) is a morning update here at emptywheel. Won’t be hot-urgent-newsy, just stuff worth scanning while you have a cup of joe. Let’s see if I can stick it out five days — then I’ll try another benchmark.
Did you get or give a drone as a gift this holiday season? Better make sure it’s registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Twitter to bring back Politwoops
Among the stupid moves Twitter made last year was the decision to shut out Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops platform. The tool archived politicians’ embarrassing tweets even if the tweets had been deleted. With the general election season now in full swing, voters need more accountability of candidates and elected officials, not less. Sunlight Foundation and the Open State Foundation negotiated with Twitter to restore the tool. Let’s hope it’s up and running well before the first caucuses — and let’s hope Twitter gets a grip on its business model, pronto.
You’d think by now Twitter would have figured out politicians’ tweeted gaffes are gasoline to their social media platform growth…
Microsoft spreads FUD about…Microsoft?
If you’re an oldster IT person like me, you recall the Halloween memo scandal of 1998, documenting Microsoft’s practice of promulgating fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about competing operating systems in order to gain and control Windows market share. For more than a decade, Microsoft relied on FUD to ensure near-ubiquity of Windows and Word software products. Now Microsoft is using FUD not to prevent customers from using other products, but to encourage migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10, to reduce possible state-sponsored attacks on Win 7 systems.
Personally, I think Microsoft has already been ridiculously ham-handed in its push for Win 10 upgrades before this latest FUD. If you are a Win 7 or Win 8 user, you’ve already seen attempts to migrate users embedded in recent security patches (read: crapware). I’ve had enough FUD for a lifetime — I’m already running open source operating systems Linux and Android on most of my devices. I would kill for an Android desktop or laptop (yoohoo, hint-hint, Android developers…).
And don’t even start with the “Buy Apple” routine. Given the large number of vulnerabilities, it’s only a matter of time before Mac OS and iOS attract the same level of attention from hackers as Windows. I’ll hold my AAPL stock as long as you insist on “Buy Apple,” however.
Consumer Electronics Show 2016 — now with biometric brassieres
CES 2016 opens this week in Las Vegas, and all I can think is: Are you fucking kidding me with this fresh Internet of Things stupidity? A biometric bra? What idiot dreamed this up?
Why not biometric jockstraps? I can only imagine the first response to biometric jockstraps: “No EMF radiation near my ‘nads!” Yeah, well the same thing applies to breasts. Didn’t anybody get the memo last year that 217 scientists have expressed concerns about EMF’s potential impact on human health, based on +2,000 peer-reviewed articles?
Or are businesses ignoring this science the same way petrochemical businesses have ignored climate change science?
Phew. There it is, the first checkmark of my 2016 resolutions. Happy first Monday to you. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Do tell.