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lauren

@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org

< Tech Systems & Policy Analysis: Internet, Privacy, plus his other sundry topics >
Los Angeles - lauren.vortex.com

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lauren, to Youtube
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

My solution for ads on is to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which I've been doing since it was launched (and I subscribed to its predecessor YouTube Red as well). It's by far the best streaming value of all the streaming services I've ever had, and the one I'd most miss if it vanished.

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

Open Source Security (OpenSSF) and OpenJS Foundations Issue Alert for Social Engineering Takeovers of Open Source Projects - https://openjsf.org/blog/openssf-openjs-alert-social-engineering-takeovers

eff, to random
@eff@mastodon.social avatar

"I have a hard time believing that YouTube would be unable to keep business afloat without the revenue generated by behavioral-tracking advertisements,” EFF’s Daly Barnett told @theregister. “It’s a lazy and deliberately malicious move on their part."
https://www.theregister.com/2024/04/16/youtube_ad_blocking/

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@karlauerbach @eff @theregister How many views do they get? You KNOW there are minimums for monetization. Irrespective of that, I pay for Premium and have for many years, and YouTube Red before that. Because that's the right thing to do if you don't want to watch the ads.

lauren, to random
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I'm really enjoying the horrible echoing acoustics in the courtroom hallway whenever Trump comes out to Rant rant rant ran ra r ...

lauren, to random
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BREAKING: A third (six) of the required 12 jurors + 6 alternates have been sworn in at Trump's trial.

lauren, to random
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Boiled down to its essential components, the continuing plot line of the "Resident Alien" TV series is that the planet Earth is saved from destruction at the hands of extraterrestrials by ... pizza. Works for me.

lauren,
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@EvilKiru Hard to think about that without feeling sad.

lauren, (edited ) to random
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BREAKING: At Trump trial, judge warns Trump lawyer that he will not permit prospective jurors to be intimidated, after Trump speaks loudly enough to be heard by nearby prospective jurors.

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

During a small meeting during the production of the first Trek film ("Star Trek: The Motion Picture" - 1979 - ST:TMP), an executive asked for examples of special effects that we thought were inappropriate. I named a famous sci-fi film and noted some effects from it that I always thought were silly. As I said this, the gentleman seated to my immediate right started squirming -- a well known special effects guru. Finally he couldn't take it anymore - "I did those!" he blurted out. Everybody had a nervous laugh, and I was reminded of the importance of staying up to date with coworkers' filmographies.

lauren, to random
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BREAKING: Truth Social announces video streaming of content that "is being suppressed elsewhere". Stock immediately tanks even further.

dmandl, to random
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Feeling down? There's always this.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@dmandl "Feeling down." No pun intended, right?

cstross, to random
@cstross@wandering.shop avatar

So of course it is in my headcanon that Dr. Phibes' muse Vulnavia writes Fantômas fanfic in her spare time between murdering their enemies by sneaking rabid weasels into their underpants drawer. Right?

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@cstross One of my favorite short scenes in any film is when Price exits after draining all of Terry-Thomas' blood. He walks past a garish nude painting which the camera locks down on for several seconds. Then Price reenters, looks at the painting, looks at Thomas, and looks disgusted. Then he exits again.

Knowing that Price was an art connoisseur makes this so delightful.

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

This is the script from my 4/15/24 national radio commentary on Ukraine's use of Chinese drones instead of U.S.-made drones, and the implications for U.S. technology and our relationship with China. There were some very minor wording changes that I made on-the-fly as I gave this report, related to how the piece was introduced, etc.

= = =

So this is a great example of how complicated relationships with China are and why some of the supposedly simple solutions like technology bans often aren't practical in the real world.

As we know, in Ukraine's battles against Russia's invasion, Ukraine has been using a lot of drones. And many of these are actually apparently off the shelf Chinese drones mostly from DJI. I've mentioned DJI before and they by far are the most used drones here in the U.S., for law enforcement, other public safety organizations, agriculture, utility inspections, all kinds of things including recreational flyers of course. And it's DJI drones that the U.S. government has pushed to prevent government agencies from buying, and there are other legislative attempts to ban them entirely including from recreational users.

And these bans seem to usually be predicated on claims that DJI drones are a security risk because they're from China, even though there appear to be no confirmed instances demonstrating that DJI drones are stealing data, and in fact DJI has done quite a bit of work to store data locally in the U.S. and provide ways to turn off telemetry reporting, and other quite reasonable steps.

So there are suspicions in some quarters that these bans are more about how successful DJI has been in a competitive sense with this technology and the support structure they've built for it, compared with U.S.-made drones that aren't as popular.

And this brings us back around to Ukraine. And it turns out there have been efforts to send U.S.-made drones to the front lines of Ukraine, and many have been, but they reportedly just don't perform as well compared with Chinese drones like DJI. Reportedly there are problems like being vulnerable to Russian control jamming and GPS jamming, problems with how far they could fly and what payloads they could carry, and so on. And this apparently is pretty disturbing to the Pentagon too, because they need lots of drones, and if they're going to ban the Chinese ones that work best, this puts them in a pretty untenable situation.

Obviously any military force that is going to use drones wants the best drones they can get at the best prices they can get. The Pentagon of course wants to buy American but if you can't get what you need from American manufacturers, that can present quite a dilemma.

So while we know that there's a lot of serious issues regarding China with which we need to be very concerned, the fact that in certain sectors their tech is considered to be superior doesn't seem to be their problem, it looks more like our problem in terms of how we choose to invest public and private funds into technology R&D and manufacturing.

Because if you aren't going to build the technology yourself that in this case military operations in, for example Ukraine can rely on, those countries and even our own country will have no choice but to use technology designed and manufactured elsewhere, and in some cases that's probably going to be China.

And if we don't like that situation, we need to be rethinking how we're going to help U.S. industries including high tech so that the superior products are being made right here at home. Ultimately, it's up to us!

= = =

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

In about one hour on my usual Monday evening national network radio tech segment, I'll be discussing how Ukraine has been using off the shelf Chinese (mostly DJI) drones in their battles against Russia, because U.S. drones they have tried have reportedly been inferior on the battlefield.

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

Musk plans to force new users to wait 3 months to post, or pay a fee to post sooner.

Give Musk your payment method? UH, NO WAY.

https://techcrunch.com/2024/04/15/elon-musk-plans-to-charge-new-x-users-to-enable-posting/

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@jonahstein There are no viable ID proving mechanisms that cannot be subverted into systems to track users across sites in enormously abusive ways, including by governments. The entire bipartisan "protect the children" legislative push is actually about enabling such tracking tied to government IDs.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@jonahstein While you could build a system that didn't hold PII, the ulterior motive in all of these demands is to link users across the Net to their government IDs, and anyone who tried to build a system that didn't do this would find themselves the target of courts and other government entities demanding they do so, at least in secret.

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

Sling TV has begun throwing up static ads after an interval of a program being paused. The ad page noted that it can be disabled in settings, but it's still a bad sign.

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that I'm really looking forward to Trump's criminal trial starting in NYC tomorrow morning. I've followed a LOT of trials over the decades, and while this one won't be televised it will be covered extensively in real-time by reporters on the scene. It will, I predict, be like nothing anyone on this planet has ever experienced before, a true spectacle.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@phaedral I didn't say anything about guilt or innocence. I said it would be a spectacle. And it will be.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@kflanagan All that matter are independents and getting out the vote efforts. The MAGA cohorts are irrelevant in this context.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@kflanagan No, there will be no effect on their "energy" level at all. All of this is relatively de minimis to them in their world view.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@kflanagan Nothing will discourage it. They are irrelevant in this respect, baked-in so to speak. All efforts need to be focused beyond that cohort.

lemay, to random
@lemay@mastodon.social avatar

@cstross I dreamed last night that you and I got together to save the world by trapping an angry elder god in an old NeXT machine. You thought the NeXT machine was too expensive but I volunteered to pay for it given the whole saving the world thing.

We thought we had trapped the elder god and all was well but then it turned out said elder god freed itself by oozing out in the spaces between the strands of the ethernet cable.

You died messily as I ran away. Sorry about that.

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@lemay @cstross I saw that film on Tubi this morning.

dangillmor, (edited ) to random
@dangillmor@mastodon.social avatar

I'm wondering if there's a precedent for one country deliberately bombing another country's embassy (killing a senior government official) in a third country?

Anyone know?

lauren,
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

@LALegault @dangillmor You're not supposed to use embassies or consulates for military purposes.

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