Recently

Ajit Pai says he’s fixed giant FCC error that exaggerated broadband growth

ArsTechinca

Pai didn’t release the full Broadband Deployment Report

No kidding. 🙄 But wait, with a little digging you wouldn’t believe what the results are!

Despite the limited information available, advocacy group Free Press was able to discover a huge error that showed broadband progress under Pai’s leadership was less impressive than he claimed.

So there was a big error, they fixed it, and then continue to lie about the results of their unsuccessful program. Ok. Got it.

May 2019

Story with legs

Previously I’d given my thoughts on a Propublic article on a bill currently making it’s way through the Senate to ban the IRS from making a free online tool for filing. Turns out if you dig a little deeper you’ll find more of the good work from Propublic showing Intuit actively burying their free version making it as difficult to nearly impossible for regular people to find it.


To effectively bury its free filing service, TurboTax included a snippet of code in the page’s robots.txt file instructing search engines not to index it. 


Instead of pointing users toward its free file tool, TurboTax funnels the vast majority of users toward its paid and premium services, whether they qualify for free filing or not.


TurboTax and H&R Block hide their free tax filing tools from Google on purpose

Wow. I mean just wow. I really struggle to see how anyone can argue that this is in the best interest of the general public.

April 2019

Intel puts 8 cores, 16 threads, and a 5GHz turbo option in a laptop processor

Ars Technica

This is a 45W processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of cache, with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz and a turbo speed of 5GHz. The “K” on the name also indicates that the chip is overclockable: for those truly monstrous gaming laptops with high-powered cooling systems, you’ll be able to go beyond the default speeds.

Yeah, I read these specs and all I can think is, “oh boy those MacBook Pro’s just keep getting hotter and hotter.

At the top end is the i9-9900: eight cores, 16 threads, a base of 3.1GHz, and a peak of 5.0GHz. The big difference between this and the already-shipping 9900K and 9900KF is the power use: it’s a 65W chip, whereas the other two are 95W, and it’s not overclockable

Power, speed, heat. I feel like at this point Intel’s chips have passed the point of diminishing returns. I’m all for more cores and power. But that isn’t really what I need on a day to day basis. I am sure there are those that do, and for them the more cores the better, the tradeoff in heat and mobility is a welcomed compromise. For me, I don’t hit bottlenecks in my workflow with the CPU, haven’t in a very, very long time. Network, memory, possibly, and even then the times I’m waiting on my machine to preform a task is not even relative on the overall time spend in front of these things.

I’d rather have smaller chips, with longer battery lives, consuming less energy, for roughly the same amount of processing power. The idea of ARM based laptops is very exciting in this regard.

April 2019

Facebook now says its password leak affected ‘millions’ of Instagram users

TechCrunch

Facebook has confirmed its password-related security incident last month now affects “millions” of Instagram users, not “tens of thousands” as first thought

How many times is this sort of thing going to happen? I mean it as an honest question? What is it that is so intrinsic and addictive that the average person is willing to blatantly ignore how damaging to the general public, social safety, and personal data?!?

April 2019

Jack Dorsey says it’s time to rethink the fundamental dynamics of Twitter

TechCrunch

He also argued that while Twitter could “do a bunch of superficial things to address the things you’re talking about,” that isn’t the real solution.

“We want the changes to last, and that means going really, really deep,” Dorsey said.

Maybe they could throw in a few of those “superficial” systems just for kicks. A real solution would be face the problem head on, and stop fairly loose terms like “changes to last” and “go really, really deep”

More specifically, Rodgers asked about the frequent criticism that Twitter hasn’t found a way to consistently ban Nazis from the service.

“We have a situation right now where that term is used fairly loosely,” Dorsey said. “We just cannot take any one mention of that word accusing someone else as a factual indication of whether someone can be removed from the platform.”

That term is used to apply describe, um, Nazis and their behavior ?!?

April 2019

Samsung Galaxy Fold pre-orders open tomorrow

There are early adopters, and then there are early adopters. Anyone who bites the bullet and picks up Samsung’s $1,980 and up Galaxy Fold falls into the former category. And then there are those who’ll be the first to Samsung’s site when the company opens up pre-orders on its inaugural foldable tomorrow.

TechCrunch

The question is when will you actually see one in the wild?

April 2019

Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.

In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry’s profits.

ProPublic

Having just done my taxes, and paying Intuit a hundred bucks every year to e-file my federal and state taxes, this story makes me even more wound up than usual. And yes, I could manually do them myself, but I’d rather spend that time doing other things I deem more important.

It just grinds my gears when private companies push and lobby to keep the status quo, keeping entities state, federal, or local from progressing and providing appropriate help for the public. This law only benefits share holders of companies that provide tax software. It in no way can be contorted to be “in the best interest of the public good”.

🤬

April 2019

Lawsuit: AT&T’s DirecTV Now is a flop and AT&T lied to investors about it


AT&T lied to investors in order to hide the failure of its DirecTV Now streaming TV service, a proposed class action alleges.
AT&T told investors that DirecTV Now was succeeding even as its subscriber base fell due to price increases and the discontinuance of promotional discounts, said the complaint filed Monday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint accuses AT&T and executives including CEO Randall Stephenson of violating the US Securities Act by “knowingly or recklessly” making false statements to investors and failing to disclose problems that were affecting DirecTV Now sales.

ars Technica

Big corporations can totally monitor and self police their behavior, uh huh, sure. 🙄

April 2019

Judge to SEC and Elon Musk: Put your ‘reasonableness pants on and work this out’

Tech Crunch

The title of this article alone could only exist in 2019.

April 2019

Talk Time

Giving my first conference talk today at Github headquarters for Reactathon. It’s gonna be a blast, tune in live. And follow along at home if you’d like, slides. A huge thanks to my wife and family for all their support and feedback, it really does take a village. ☺️

March 2019