Creative Problem Solver. Programmer. Bodysurfing. Sometime Comics.
Blogger since 2001.

own yr www rn! #IndieWeb

Surf Sucks: Time For Misc

Ugh.

Surf report for south San Diego is dismal this morning:

It’s a total mess out there this morning as potent storm front continues to blow through the area. A new and strong WNW swell has moved into our areas and is overriding what ever swell activity is out there. Shoulder to overhead sets are the norm with top open areas seeing more solid well overhead waves. Strong rain pockets with a nasty onshore WNW wind means dirty waters and badly blown out conditions. Continued strong High to Low tidal swings just add to todays woes.

So what’s up? I updated my tilde.club page the other day.


I added code the other day to add minimal og:image tag to my site today. I was tired of posting links to my website on LinkedIn, Mastodon, Facebook and other external sites and having it not make great choices about a feature image. All it takes is a single image to be added.

So a preview, here’s one from yesterday, looks like this:

This happens behind the scenes, as long as I set a featured image for the post in WordPress.


Apparently a lot of folks claiming little green men and alien contact were lying. Unsurprising.


On the 60th anniversary of The Incredible Mr. Limpet — a movie I always loved as a kid. That integration of animation and live action was always a favorite thing.


One of the things that is continual bother to me is the extent to which Instagram shapes what we see there. Demoted, Deleted, and Denied: There’s More Than Just Shadowbanning on Instagram from February. This past week saw several people point out there’s a new setting in the app which is defaulted to Limit and that setting is for showing political content.

Political content Political content is likely to mention governments, elections, or social topics that affect a group of people and/or society at large. Limit You might see less political or social topics in your suggested content. Don't limit You might see more political or social topics in your suggested content. This affects suggestions in Explore, Reels, Feed Recommendations and Suggested Users. It does not affect the content from accounts you follow. This setting also applies to Threads.

This change rolled out in February: Continuing our Approach to Political Content on Instagram and Threads which says:

If you decide to follow accounts that post political content, we don’t want to get between you and their posts, but we also don’t want to proactively recommend political content from accounts you don’t follow.

Frustratingly, it’s not easy to tell whether posts from accounts I have followed have been suppressed. Instagram remains opaque in terms of what we see. I know that in those rare occasions I mention something political the tendency seems to be for those posts to get less comments and likes. There’s a good deal of perfectly plausible deniability by parent company Meta about shadow banning posts in that way.

This is why I prefer to get things from websites people own, and their own RSS feeds. That way, I can see what they post and there’s no mystery.


Yes I’ll read anything Anil Dash writes about Prince. And Letterman too? Oh heck yes: Prince, Letterman and Insufferability. A response to this video:


Google’s mistake with Gemini from Cathy O’Neil, writing on the Google LLM tool that output non-white World War II Nazis with diverse genders and skin tones:

In reality equity and fairness are narrowly defined, contextual notions. When we decide it’s fair to use a FICO score in order to determine an interest rate on a loan, that’s very different from using a FICO score to decide how many weeks of unemployment insurance you should receive after breaking your leg. You cannot decide that “FICO scores are legitimate discriminators” as a universal rule, just as “diverse skin tones and genders” is not a universal good, especially when “diverse” is not even a well-defined notion unless you specify a geographic area or culture.

This mistake that Google made was not a coincidence, by the way. It’s a result of a combination of laziness (as in, they just didn’t think very hard about this) and capitalism (as in, it would be expensive to do this right).

That aspect of technology companies to want to spend as little as possible to do work is the most insidious. That lesson from all five seasons about the truth of human institutions: they want to do more with less, and for many things, you can’t do more with less.


I mentioned my Broadcast Studio Operations class in my post Misc Loquacious Linquacious Cascade:

The class “Broadcast Studio Operations” taught all the skills in a tv studio. We learned to all the parts of directing a tv show, and part of the formal process was to direct camera operators to move to the person talking. To do that the director had to be aware of not just the technical staff but the conversation happening on a “talk show.” With a 2 camera set up you had to listen and be ready for an answer. If Camera 1 was on the interviewer and Camera 2 was on the guest, you listened to the interviewer setting up a question and over the audio channel for the team I would say “Camera 2 go to a closeup on the guest” and then the technical director to “Ready Camera 2” and then to “Take Camera 2.” And when just one person is dominating conversation there’s nothing to do. If the show is a conversation there ought to be a give and take, at least in a show like that. This very technical aspect of making what we called “television” (is it still that?) actually let me hear the flow in a conversation and made me (a bit) less likely to dominate conversation.

I have a photo from that class! Low light. No flash. Mediocre photographer (me):

I had taken a B&W Photography class and dropped it. But I had that Tri-X film and took photos. Years later I had the negatives scanned.


Air Canada must honor refund policy invented by airline’s chatbot. Chatbots are a great idea and a great cost savings unless they aren’t.

Speaking of Chatbots, remember Microsoft Agent from 1997? I tweeted an image December 6, 2019.

Microsoft Agent. 1997. A helluva thing.

And this, December 6, 2019:

None of it much better than ELIZA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA I do like ELIZAs that will hit the edge of their usefulness and handoff to a human.

What was Agent? Introduction:

Microsoft Agent enables software developers and Web authors to incorporate a new form of user interaction, known as conversational interfaces, that leverages natural aspects of human social communication. In addition to mouse and keyboard input, Microsoft Agent includes optional support for speech recognition so applications can respond to voice commands. Characters can respond using synthesized speech, recorded audio, or text in a cartoon word balloon.
The conversational interface approach facilitated by the Microsoft Agent services does not replace conventional graphical user interface (GUI) design. Instead, character interaction can be easily blended with the conventional interface components such as windows, menus, and controls to extend and enhance your application’s interface.

Conversational interfaces keep happening. Will they ever be big wins? Well, surely eventually, maybe. Or not.

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