Not in Chicago anymore
Mundane life from rural Minnesota.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Saturday, March 12, 2016
A friend shared this video of a 1964 campaign ad via Facebook. If you haven't seen it, it's haunting. The speaker, smoking a cigarette, explains why Goldwater was a poor selection as the Republican presidential candidate because, among other things, he doesn't repudiate the support of the Ku Klux Klan.
But on a much lighter note . . . it reminded me of a funny story from that era.
I'm trying to figure how many people are still around that I could just tell this story with no background and they would understand. Not many. So here's your background:
- Barry Goldwater was a ham radio operator, callsign K7UGA.
- He was also a private pilot.
- Hams often use their radios in their cars, in which case they add the word "mobile" to their callsign.
- Occasionally hams use their radios in an airplane, in which case the designation is "aeronautical mobile". (If you're on a boat, you're "maritime mobile".)
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I have mentioned how much of the content I see on the web is repetitious, with and without attribution. I ran into this example today when Facebook suggested three related articles after I clicked on a link that a friend had posted.
ProPublica published an article on the Red Cross on December 15. It's here.
The three articles recommended were exactly the same text:
- At fusion.net, with no direct attribution
- At salon.com, with a clear and direct attribution
- At alternet.org, with an attribution reading "By Justin Elliott / Pro Publica
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Here is another reason to use ad blockers.
Ad blockers, for those who might not know, are browser extension that block online advertisements. You will generally see blank space on the page where the ad would have been.
I have wrestled with the decision on using an ad blocker. After all, the pages that I am seeing are there because of the revenue generated by the ads. Skipping them is a lot like using TIVO to skip ads on commercial TV. According to the ad agencies, the world will end if we do this. I think it's more likely that the world will change if we do this. But I am confident that since the vast majority of web users and TV viewers will not invest the effort to install ad blockers or use TIVO that it's a moot point.
A few weeks ago I had a conscience attack and turned off my ad blocker. I lasted about two minutes before turning it back on. I do a pretty good job of mentally filtering out ads, but today's web pages are pits of ads with a little content thrown in to string you along.
The article referenced above seals the deal for me. I had visited the site mentioned and encountered the "Turn off your ad blocker or go away" mandate . . . so I turned it off and was appalled at the number of ads and the low quality of the actual information on the site. I wonder if I was infected by something during the brief time I was there. It's bad enough that our eyes are assaulted; I don't need to fret about catching a virus.
I would be perfectly willing to pay for useful content that I access on the web. I doubt that the current ad-based structure will change because it's working so well and so few people can even conceive of an alternative.
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