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Toward no longer running naked through the digital world

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We live in two worlds now: the natural one where we have bodies that obey the laws of gravity and space/time, and the virtual one where there is no gravity or distance (though there is time).

GDPR will pop the adtech bubble

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In The Big Short , investor Michael Burry says “One hallmark of mania is the rapid rise in the incidence and complexity of fraud.” ” (Burry shorted the mania- and fraud-filled subprime mortgage market and made a mint in the process.).

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing

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Let’s start with Facebook’s Surveillance Machine , by Zeynep Tufekci in last Monday’s New York Times.

What’s wrong with bots is they’re not ours

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In Chatbots were the next big thing: what happened? Justin Lee ( @justinleejw ) nicely unpacks how chatbots were overhyped to begin with and continue to fail their Turing tests , especially since humans in nearly all cases would rather talk to humans than to mechanical substitutes.

Wanted: Online Pubs Doing Real (and therefore GDPR-compliant) Advertising

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This is what greets me when I go to the Washington Post site from here in Germany: So you can see it too, wherever you are, here’s the URL I’m redirected to on Chrome , on Firefox , on Safari and on Brave. All look the same except for Brave, which shows a blank page.

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Please let’s finally kill logins and passwords

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How would you feel if you had been told in the early days of the Web that in the year 2018 you would still need logins and passwords for damned near everything. Your faith in the tech world would be deeply shaken, no?

The real problem is Decoy News (and decoy content of all kinds)—and the platforms can’t fix it

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The term “ fake news ” was a casual phrase until it became clear to news media that a flood of it had been deployed during last year’s presidential election in the U.S.

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Making sense of what happened to Montecito

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Note the date on this map : That was more than a month before huge rains revised to red the colors in the mountains above Montecito. The LA Times also ran a story a week before last, warning about debris flows , which are like mud slides, but with lots of rocks.

Geology answers for Montecito and Santa Barbara

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A miracle of flight

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That was the view to the south over center of Greenland a few hours ago: a late afternoon aurora over a blue dusk. I departed London about four hours before taking this shot, and am writing this in Santa Barbara.

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A dark review for United’s Boeing 787

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I’ve been wanting to fly on the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” ever since I missed a chance to go on an inaugural junket aboard one before Boeing began delivery to the airlines. But three days ago I finally got my chance, aboard United Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles.

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Fake ad sources on Facebook

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Nearly all the ads I see on Facebook are ones like these two, next to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest post : Besides being false and misleading clickbait, they are not from espn.com. They’re from [link] , and bait for a topic switch:to pitching a diet supplement called Alpha Fuel.

Let’s get some things straight about publishing and advertising

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[Because it’s too @#$% hard to edit a long piece in WordPress (especially when one’s vision has not fully recovered from recent surgery), the latest edits of this are over here in Medium. Thanks.].

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How True Advertising Can Save Journalism From Drowning in a Sea of Content

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Journalism is in a world of hurt because it has been marginalized by a new business model that requires maximizing “content” instead. That model is calle d adtech. We can see adtech’s effects in The New York Times ’ In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs Are Left , by David Chen.

We can do better than selling our data

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If personal data is actually a commodity, can you buy some from another person, as if that person were a fruit stand? Would you want to? Well, no. Nor is there much if any evidence that businesses will want to buy personal data from individuals, on a per-person basis, especially when they can still get it for free. GDPR withstanding , alas.).

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On presuming competence

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A few weeks ago, while our car honked its way through dense traffic in Delhi, I imagined an Onion headline: American Visitor Seeks To Explain What He’ll Never Understand About India.

The problem for people isn’t advertising, and the problem for advertising isn’t blocking. The problem for both is tracking.

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In Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking , @JuliaAngwin and @ProPublica unpack what the subhead says well enough: “Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user’s names.”

A helpful approach to personal data protection regulation

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When a thunderstorm appears right on top of an airport

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This is the situation at Newark Airport right now: Those blobs are thunderstorms. The little racetrack in upstate New York is an inbound flight from Lisbon in a holding pattern. Follow the link under that screen shot.

For privacy we need tech more than policy

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Nature and the Internet both came without privacy. The difference is that we’ve invented privacy tech in the natural world, starting with clothing and shelter, and we haven’t yet done the same in the digital world.

How the personal data extraction industry ends

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Who Owns the Internet? What Big Tech’s Monopoly Powers Mean for our Culture is Elizabeth Kolbert ‘s review in The New Yorker of several books, one of which I’ve read: Jonathan Taplin ’s Move Fast and Break Things—How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.

On cryptocurrencies, blockchain and all that

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Take a look at this chart : CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations. As Neo said , Whoa. To help me get my head fully around all that’s going on behind that surge, or mania, or whatever it is, I’ve composed a lexicon-in-process that I’m publishing here so I can find it again.

Some new ways to look at infrastructure

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Nothing challenges our understanding of infrastructure better than a crisis, and we have a big one now in Houston. We do with every giant storm, of course. New York is still recovering from Sandy and New Orleans from Katrina.

Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff

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Advertising used to be simple. You knew what it was, and where it came from. Whether it was an ad you heard on the radio, saw in a magazine or spotted on a billboard, you knew it came straight from the advertiser through that medium.

A Qualified Fail

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Power of the People is a great grabber of a headline, at least for me.

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Requiem for a great magazine

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Linux Journal is folding. Carlie Fairchild , who has run the magazine almost since it started in 1994, posted Linux Journal Ceases Publication today on the website. So far all of the comments have been positive, which they should be.

Brands need to fire adtech

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Two days ago, the New York Times said AT&T and Johnson & Johnson are pulling their ads from YouTube. They’re concerned that “Google is not doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material, like hate speech.” ” Yesterday, Business Insider said “more than 250” advertisers were bailing as well.

Saving High Mountain

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I’ve long thought that the most consequential thing I’ve ever done was write a newspaper editorial that helped stop development atop the highest wooded hilltop overlooking the New York metro.

Remembering Bob Kauffman

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When the Los Angeles Clippers open their first game at home this season, I want them to pause and celebrate their first franchise player: Bob Kauffman , the team’s all-star center for its first three seasons, when they were the Buffalo Braves. Bob died on July 27 at age 69.

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Have we passed peak phone?

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I should start by admitting I shot this picture with my phone. Also that on my rectangle with the rest of these people through most of this very typical subway trip yesterday. I don’t know what they were doing, though it’s not hard to guess.

Mics Matter

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Sometimes you get what you pay for. In this case, a good microphone in a bluetooth headset. Specifically, the Bose Soundsport Wireless : I’ve had these a day so far, and I love them. But not just because they sound good. Lots of earphones do that.

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Without enforcement, the GDPR is a fail

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And the same goes for California’s AB-375 privacy bill. The GDPR has been in force since May 25th, and it has done almost nothing to stop websites that make money from tracking-based-advertising stop participating in the tracking of readers. Instead almost all we’ve seen so far are requests for from websites to keep doing what they’re doing. Only worse.

Geology questions for Montecito and Santa Barbara

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This post continues the inquiry I started with Making sense of what happened to Montecito. That post got a record number of reads for this blog, and 57 comments as well.

What are the lessons people most often learn too late in life?

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That’s the question asked by Quora here. I’ve camped on our planet for awhile now, so I wrote a few answers. Here they are: I doubt people learn the following lessons “most often” or “too late,” but I still hope they help. The purpose of life is death.

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The passive usefulness of public photography

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While I’m recovering more slowly than I’d like from some minor eye surgery, reading is too much of a chore; but searching for stuff isn’t.

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Why the strange uploads to @Flickr?

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I’ve got 58,765 photos on Flickr , so far. These have 8,618,102 views, so far, running about 5,000 a day. The top count this last week was 11,766. Not that I’m into stats. I just want to make clear how deeply I’m kinda vested in it, as a photographer.

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Snow on the Water

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I’ve been intrigued b y Fotopedia since it showed up in ’09, especially since I do a shitload of travel photography. But I never posted anything there, because I was afraid it would die. And now, says here , it will. In seven days.

Still no serious coverage of pirate radio

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Here’s what I wrote about pirate radio in New York , back in 2013. I hoped to bait major media attention with that. Got zip. Then I wrote this in 2015 (when I also took the screen shot, above, of a local pirate’s ID on my kitchen radio).

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A milepost in an increasingly exclusive demographic club

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Because I’m busy today, I’ll re-post what I wrote about my birthday five years ago. Here goes… I worked in retailing, wholesaling, journalism and radio when I was 18-24. I co-founded an advertising agency when I was 25-34. Among the things I studied while working in that age bracket were Nielsen and Arbitron ratings for radio and TV. Everything those companies had to say was fractioned into age brackets.

Is the online advertising bubble finally starting to pop?

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I started calling online advertising a bubble in 2008. I made “ The Advertising Bubble” a chapter in The Intention Economy in 2012. I’ve been unpacking what I figure ought to be obvious (but isn’t) in 52 posts and articles (so far) in the Adblock War Series.

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Dear Adobe, Please buy Flickr

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This photo of Utah is the dozens of thousands I’ve put on Flickr. it might be collateral damage if Yahoo dies or fails unload the service to a worthy buyer. Flickr is far from perfect, but it is also by far the best online service for serious photographers.

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Being human vs. rating people

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I’ve hated rating people ever since I first encountered the practice. That was where everybody else does too: in school. Because rating people is what schools do, with tests and teachers’ evaluations. They do it because they need to sort students into castes.

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#ThomasFire live

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MODIS fire data , plotted on Google Earth, current at 3:45pm today. You can see the Thomas Fire advancing through the back country,westward toward Santa Barbara, and already encroaching on Carpinteria: Those are fire detections. Radiative power data is also at that first link.

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