Err, no Admiral

[2] Why does New Jersey have the most toxic waste dumps and California the most lawyers? California got first choice.

It’s because New Jersey got first choice.

Otherwise the piece is a very good explanation of olds*.

*Stuff that isn’t news via Sir Pterry.

An easy way to test this sorta stuff

Up to fifty per cent of five star reviews for some of the highest-ranking hotels on TripAdvisor are “suspicious”, a Which? investigation has found.

The consumer watchdog has criticised TripAdvisor for failing to stop luxury hotels being boosted by fake reviews which can mislead travellers and ruin holidays.

It’s not that difficult to find work writing reviews…..

Because it’s different honey

The head of the National Crime Agency (NCA) has challenged the social media giants to explain why they can develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) to target adverts at users but not create AI capable of protecting children from child abuse.

In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Lynne Owens said the failure of the social media firms to prevent paedophiles targeting children on the open web was distracting the NCA and police from hunting down the “worst offenders” who were operating on the dark web.

It’s a different problem with a different level of difficulty.

For example, false positives in advertising don’t matter very much. Indeed, they’re expected and allowed for. False positives in allegations of child grooming or paedophilia are quite an important thing.

I know we’ve some telecoms peeps here

So, just had fibreoptic installed at 100 Mbits.

Sometimes, the BBC asks for me to be on one of their radio shows. They don’t like using VOIP. Prefer – for a “big” show that I go to Faro to a studio where they have an arrangement to do ISDN from studio to studio.

Better sound that way apparently.

So, is there a way to get BBC quality ISDN-like over that 100 Mbits fibreoptic connection?

Skype, Google Voice (?) whatever don’t cut it. Is there something better than that?

And yes, it’s specifically to try to link up with the BBC.

Just an idle thought

So, Gutenberg and his printing press. Add that translation of the Bible into the vernacular. The Common Man no longer needed the intercession of the established Church to read God’s word. Which is why printed Bibles in the vernacular were burnt, along with their translators.

Social media allows the direct interaction of the unwashed. Without the intercession of the establishment power structure through the vertical media. No wonder they’re trying to regulate.

And who won first time around? And do we think the result was, after the burnings, a good one or not?

This entirely kills social media

Ministers are talking about redefining the role of social networks to hold them directly liable for the content that gets published on their platforms, in effect enshrining them as publishers in law.

It’s making BT responsible for the content of telephone calls.

Something entirely inconsistent with the basic model. Basically, either they can be publishers or we can have social media. It’s not possible to have both.

Regulator looking for expanded powers

Such a surprise that a bureaucracy looks for this, eh?

Twelve million people in Britain have been harmed by social media and the internet because online firms escape regulation, the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom will warn on Tuesday.

Sharon White, the regulator’s chief executive, will reveal research showing that one in five people in the UK have experienced harmful content or conduct ranging from bullying and harassment to fraud and violence.

“Harmful content” eh?

Alas, Woo is popular, as Jezza shows

Facebook is putting children’s lives at risk by reviving spurious MMR claims, the UK’s top health chiefs have said.

The anti-vaccination sites which promote the fake science that caused a surge in measles cases as well as conspiracy theories about other vaccines appear at the top of searches when parents use Facebook to find information about the MMR vaccine or other vaccinations.

Andrew Wakefield, the discredited doctor behind the fraudulent research linking the MMR vaccine to autism, features prominently on the sites with his film Vaxxed in which he accuses the US government’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of a cover-up over the risks.

Unlike Google, which filters out anti-vaccination sites to promote guidance from the NHS, government or World Health Organisation, Facebook’s searches appear to be based solely on their most popular and active sites irrespective of whether they are peddling false information. The biggest anti-vaccination sites have more than 100,000 followers.

The problem here is, well, who gets to decide what is Woo?

Proper examination of detailed claims would show that pretty much any economic plans to the left of Tony Blair are woo for example. Should that be filtered out of Facebook listings? One could go on with many other popular beliefs….

Not quite sure what to make of this

An initiative launched by Facebook and Snapchat to help children combat online bullying has resulted in no calls to a national helpline.

Facebook and Snapchat’s parent company Snap entered into a trial with the NSPCC last year to help young children on their sites who might be subjected to bullying.

Through this initiative, if someone reports that they are being bullied, they will see a message suggesting that they talk to Childline for support and advice. Choosing this option will launch more information and the option to speak to a counsellor.

No one wants to call childline? No one is being bullied? No one pays any attention to anything on Facebook or Snapchat?

Presumably the net step is to demand tax subsidy as it isn’t working.

Idiot damn stupidity

There is legitimate fear that GDPR will threaten the data-profiling gravy train. It’s a direct assault on the surveillance economy, enforced by government regulators and an army of class-action lawyers. “It will require such a rethinking of the way Facebook and Google work, I don’t know what they will do,” says Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast and Break Things, a book that’s critical of the platform economy. Companies could still serve ads, but they would not be able to use data to target someone’s specific preferences without their consent. “I saw a study that talked about the difference in value of an ad if platforms track information versus do not track,” says Reback. “If you just honor that, it would cut the value Google could charge for an ad by 80 percent.”

That is, the value to the advertiser is cut by 80%.

He’s arguing in favour of a reduction in economic efficiency……

No Telegraph, really, just no

Thousands of government websites have been hijacked by hackers to mine cryptocurrency, in a process known as “cryptojacking”, it has emerged.

The sites, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Scottish NHS helpline and the Student Loans company – along with hundreds of other central and local government sites – appear to have been running a power-pinching program that uses visitors’ computers to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

No, the websites aren’t hijacked. They’re infected. They’re not using the servers to mine, they’re using visitors’ computers.

Sigh. You’d think the young shavers would get this part of the world right, wouldn’t you?

Welcome to governance by the anal retentives

Facebook was yesterday accused of being in an ‘abusive relationship’ with its users, as MPs called for web giants to be regulated.

The culture, media and sport select committee told executives at Facebook, Twitter and Google that they have opened a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of social problems and have become so powerful, it is ‘time for rules’ to keep them in check.

Lots of people are doing something they like doing. Without being guided. By, you know, the Illuminati who ought to guide all. Therefore regulation.

There is nothing else here.

Try this thought experiment. If social media did not exist would these very same people be promoting its use – as properly conceived and managed by themselves – in order to something something?

Given they dropped however much it was on Lily Cole’s thing, yes, they would.

It’s about control by those who should righteously* control, nothing else.

*Definitions of righteously have been known to differ.

Isn’t this a surprise?

Silicon Valley billionaire Marc Benioff has compared the current crisis of trust facing the tech giants to the financial crisis of a decade ago, urging regulators to wake up to the threat from Google, Facebook, and the other dominant firms.

The outspoken entrepreneur accused some of the industry’s most influential bosses of “abdicating responsibility” and being ignorant to how powerful and sophisticated they had become. Regulators now had “have no choice” but to intervene, he said.

To translate: “Regulate my competitors, but not me.”

The call was backed by Sir Martin Sorrell, who said the “Seven Sisters” – Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and China’s Alibaba and Tencent – had become too big. Comparing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to a modern-day John D Rockafeller, the chief executive of WPP, said “we are now in a position where they need to be regulated”.

I buy my adspace from these people. Regulate them!