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[#] Tue Sep 19 2017 20:27:41 EDT from zooer

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I found it in the /etc directory of my Ubuntu 12.4 partition.  This doesn't block it at the router but at least the computer is safe.  This list belongs in the room's info file.

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

# Block Facebook

#somebody please think of the children.


[#] Wed Sep 20 2017 07:48:16 EDT from Haven

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I don't use adblock.  I have been using the EFF's Privacy Badger, which seems to block the most annoying ads.   I pair that with Ghostry.   Between the two I don't see too many ads.  

[#] Wed Sep 20 2017 09:34:57 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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I found that Adblock Plus even stops the commercials from playing on Pandora.
I felt guilty and turned it off. If I could financially harm the record companies instead of Pandora, I'd definitely keep it on.

[#] Mon Oct 30 2017 20:02:17 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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This week's featured Bottom Feeders are a motley gang of scammers, hucksters, and paranoid lunatics who think that smart meters are harmful, or want to make people think that smart meters are harmful, some of whom are selling cute little "shields" for US$100 or more.

Evidently I now work for the power company, or so I've been told, because I had the audacity to point out that the RF emitted by a smart meter is miniscule compared to the mobile devices and wifi devices they keep close to their rapidly disintegrating brains every day.

One particular mendicant even swore to "bury" me. I know he was serious because he posted in all-boldface and all-caps. One does not post in that way unless one is absolutely serious.

[#] Tue Oct 31 2017 11:16:51 EDT from LoanShark

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The guy probably carries his cell phone in a front pocket... right next to his junk...

But, did he a bang a shoe on his desk?!?

[#] Tue Oct 31 2017 11:49:00 EDT from wizard of aahz

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Didn't we used to have a mendicant running around here?

[#] Tue Oct 31 2017 13:57:38 EDT from fleeb

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+10 for Khrushchev reference

[#] Wed Nov 01 2017 11:00:54 EDT from LoanShark

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Didn't we used to have a mendicant running around here?

It was eaten by a grue.

[#] Wed Nov 01 2017 13:06:56 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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All I know is that if I really do work for the power company as this idiot keeps suggesting, the power company ought to be paying me.

Now I'm going to have to buy a field strength meter and photoshop a certification or two so I can make a video refuting these scammers.

[#] Thu Nov 16 2017 10:44:42 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: How can I help?

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When unwanted chat windows appear on random web sites, I *always* chat with them.



Dr_Aroara, Doctor
86 Satisfied Customers
MD; Medicine: br -7. MB; BS. Bombay, King Edward Memorial Hospital, mumbai 12
Pearl Wilson, Doctor's Assistant
Welcome! How can I help with your medical question?
I fell down the stairs and there are bones protruding from my skin ... should I go to the hospital?
Pearl Wilson, Doctor's Assistant
How long have you been dealing with the skin issue? Have you noticed any major changes in your overall skin or nails recently?
yes, after a recent bath in hydrochloric acid, my skin all fell off
Pearl Wilson, Doctor's Assistant
Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
I have been smoking crack for decades
Pearl Wilson, Doctor's Assistant
OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Doctor about your situation and then connect you two. Continue >>

[#] Fri Nov 17 2017 16:38:14 EST from Ladyhawke

Subject: Re: How can I help?

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IGgy, that was fantastic - completely made my day!

[#] Fri Nov 17 2017 16:57:33 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: Re: How can I help?

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Yeah, it's great when questionable "doctors" are using ELIZA to triage their inpatients.

[#] Sat Nov 18 2017 10:05:31 EST from zooer

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Pearl can handle every problem.



[#] Wed Nov 29 2017 23:07:35 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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So I heard that Facebook now auto-detects when it thinks you are suicidal, and takes "appropriate measures."

Perhaps today it only encourages you to talk to your friends about it, but for a company that does everything it can to slurp as much of your life as possible, and who are known to employ psychologists to tune the experience to make you want to keep coming back to see "what he/she said" next... This is totally a slippery slope.

Knowing that someone is suicidal and not doing anything about it is, potentially, criminally negligent. Facebook just made itself the de-facto arbiter of everyone's psychological well being. Considering that there are people who want, for example, to tie mandatory psychological evaluation to things like gun ownership, this seems like a high speed trip into very dangerous territory.

This is not funny. People should not kill themselves; they should kill Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.

[#] Thu Nov 30 2017 09:48:08 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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Speaking of bottom feeders...

BuzzFeed is laying off about a hundred people, having missed its revenue targets.

So, all together now:

"BuzzFeed fires 100 of its own staffers. You won't believe what happens next!"

[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 06:45:33 EST from fleeb

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This is not funny. People should not kill themselves; they should
kill Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.

But Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg shouldn't kill themselves, as it might deprive others of such an opportunity?

[#] Mon Dec 11 2017 15:50:08 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: Former Facebook exec says Facebook is ripping apart society

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Excerpted from an article in The Verge.  Read the full article here.


Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from Facebook.

Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed squarely at Facebook. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “likes” rather than “civil discourse, cooperation”; a culture of misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem.”

He went on to describe an incident in India where hoax messages about kidnappings led to the lynching of seven innocent people. “That’s what we’re dealing with,” said Palihapitiya. “And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.” He says he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.” He later adds, though, that he believes the company “overwhelmingly does good in the world.”

Palihapitiya’s remarks follow similar statements of contrition from others who helped build Facebook into the powerful corporation it is today. In November, early investor Sean Parker said he has become a “conscientious objector” to Facebook, and that Facebook had succeeded by “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” A former product manager at the company, Antonio Garcia-Martinez, has said Facebook lies about its ability to influence individuals based on the data it collects on them, and wrote a book, "Chaos Monkeys", about his work at the firm.

In his talk, Palihapitiya criticized Facebook and its Silicon Valley system of venture capital funding. He said that investors pump money into “shitty, useless, idiotic companies,” rather than addressing real problems. Palihapitiya currently runs his own VC firm, Social Capital, which focuses on funding companies in sectors like healthcare and education.

Palihapitiya also notes that although tech investors seem almighty, they’ve achieved their power more through luck than skill. “Everybody’s bullshitting,” he said. “If you’re in a seat, and you have good deal flow, and you have precious capital, and there’s a massive tailwind of technological change ... Over time you get one of the 20 [companies that become successful] and you look like a genius. And nobody wants to admit that but that’s the fucking truth.”

[#] Tue Dec 12 2017 11:41:33 EST from fleeb

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Heh... I believe it's luck, yes.

Similarly, you see musicians of far less competence than the ones making a lot of money. One of these described my background in music as being for losers. Such an arrogant prick, from a band I never really listened to, anyway, as I thought their music was too trite.

But, yeah, same thing in tech. You can be an amazing software engineer, but if you can't work on a product that starts to get any grip, you aren't going to shine in any recognizable way.

[#] Mon Jan 29 2018 21:13:11 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I've discovered something delightful.

If you block *all* of Facebook's domains in your computer's hosts file, and also install DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, the vast majority of the annoying ads go away, even on sites which don't normally work unless you disable your ad blocker.

One obvious side effect, of course, is that Facebook itself doesn't work, but "that's not a bug, it's a feature."

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