Technology didn’t kill RSS — regulatory capture did, says Cory Doctorow. “… thanks to generations of antitrust malpractice and financialization, we now live in an era of five massive services filled with screenshots from the other four.” Also, blaming feuding among RSS developers for its demise is “like blaming rhino conservationists’ internal disputes — rather than climate change — for the decline in rhinos’ numbers.” https://boingboing.net/2019/01/09/triplets-be-damned.html
I love RSS. I still use it every day, several times a day on workdays. I’m about to do another sweep in my chosen RSS reader, http://inoreader.com, now. It’s very disappointing that RSS never took off. People complained that it’s difficult to use and understand, but it’s easier than Facebook.
Japan — which was anti-immigration before being anti-immigration was cool — is opening its doors wide to foreigners as its population ages and birthrate declines. (Seamus Bellamy) https://boingboing.net/2019/01/01/japan-opens-its-doors-wide-to.html
Suicide is an impulsive act. Half of suicide survivors report planning their deaths for less than ten minutes. States like Connecticut that have passed background check laws for handguns have seen precipitous drops in firearm suicides, and states with more lax gun laws experience higher gun mortality of all types. States that have repealed background checks for handguns saw increases in firearm suicides.
The most gun-suicidal populations are older white men and veterans. Guns are only used in a small minority of suicide attempts, but half of all successful suicides are firearm suicides.
By Cory Doctorow at https://boingboing.net/2018/12/28/gun-deaths.html
A black guest of DoubleTree gets kicked out of the hotel for calling his mother in the lobby [Carla Sinclair] https://boingboing.net/2018/12/27/a-black-guest-of-doubletree-ge.html
An unidentified local news station celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of couple “Max and Geraldine Bailey” during a “Birthdays & Anniversaries” segment, except that they showed a picture of actor Mickey Rourke and Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose instead.
A Russian Santa Claus died of a heart attack while putting on a Christmas play for a room full of children at a Siberian school. (Seamus Bellamy) https://boingboing.net/2018/12/21/santa-claus-dies-of-a-heart-at.html
Writer/academic Jenny Odell has been looking into scammy businesses for years. “Now, Odell has stumbled into a much weirder, much scammier, much murkier world, when she started investigating the parents of one of her Stanford students were receiving a steady stream of mysterious packages addressed to ‘Returns Department, Valley Fountain LLC.’ The packages tie to thousands of Amazon stores selling overpriced of-brand gadgets, a network of fake bookstores that mostly sold more crappy gadgets, a religious cult that bought Newsweek – yes, that Newsweek – which was raided by police for financial hijinks revealed by its own reporters, a religious university and the International Business Times, and more than one criminal indictment.
I read Cory’s blog post and Odell’s original New York Times article and I still can’t make sense of it. Interesting story, nonetheless. As Cory notes: ” … someone is making a lot of money, somehow — giant Manahattan department stores don’t come cheap!”
Loads of fun at concerts and other theatrical events where applause occurs!
Jon Schwarz at The Intercept: “Every now and then, in the midst of his unending eruption of prevarication, Trump will blurt out the truth about the United States in a way that no normal politician ever has.”
Cory Doctorow: “Yes, Trump is a pathological liar, but he’s also the first US president to call Ted Cruz a liar, the first to admit that the Saudis were likely behind 9/11, the first to admit that the Saudi royals can kill a lot of journalists but that the US will still do business with them because they buy a lot of American bombs, that Nancy Pelosi blew a chance to impeach Bush, that pharma and defense contractors rip off the American public, that politicians are for sale to their political donors, that Vladimir Putin doesn’t have a monopoly on political assassination (and that the US is hardly innocent on this score), and that going into Iraq was a ‘big, fat mistake.’”
In 1971, “DB Cooper” hijacked a plane from Portland, Oregon and eventually parachuted into the Pacific Northwest wilderness with $200,000 strapped to his body. He was never seen again. The D.B. Cooper tale continues to thrive in popular culture while sparking a seemingly endless stream of theories about the mystery man’s identity. In fact, a new suspect was put forward just this week!
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith is a Mississipi GOP Senator is going into a runoff election against her Democratic opponent, a Black man named Mike Espy who might end up the first Black Mississipi Senator since 1883. She made headlines last week with a joke about attending a “public hanging.” She also made public comments in favor of voter suppression.
Google says they made the donation before they heard about her comments and they never would have donated had they known. However, she espoused hateful views before her recent comments, and Google isn’t asking for its money back.