Saturday, May 01, 2010

With a heavy heart...

Open letter to my friends...

Mark Zuckerburg is the CEO, founder, owner, and developer of Facebook.  When he developed the original FB concept he relied on two fundamental needs of human beings - friendship and belonging.  Mark's endeavor grew exponentially to the Facebook of today.  Today the two fundamental needs of human beings - friendship and belonging - are being used to coerce users into accepting greater and greater infringements on their personal privacy.

Writing for the Electronic Freedom Foundation Kurt Opsahl details Facebook's Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline.

Facebook Privacy Policy circa December 2009:

Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone, including Facebook-enhanced applications, and therefore do not have privacy settings. You can, however, limit the ability of others to find this information through search using your search privacy settings.

Current Facebook Privacy Policy, as of April 2010:

When you connect with an application or website it will have access to General Information about you. The term General Information includes your and your friends’ names, profile pictures, gender, user IDs, connections, and any content shared using the Everyone privacy setting. ... The default privacy setting for certain types of information you post on Facebook is set to “everyone.” ... Because it takes two to connect, your privacy settings only control who can see the connection on your profile page. If you are uncomfortable with the connection being publicly available, you should consider removing (or not making) the connection.

Viewed together, the successive policies tell a clear story. Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew larger and became more important, it could have chosen to maintain or improve those controls. Instead, it's slowly but surely helped itself — and its advertising and business partners — to more and more of its users' information, while limiting the users' options to control their own information.

... while limiting the users' options to control their own information.  AND, coercing with threats of loss of friendship and not belonging.  If you think I am being extreme try Deactivating your Facebook account.  Read and internalize the last screen of coercion that FB slaps you with.

AND after I did deactivate my FB account the I got the real surprise ... My account is not accessible to me, as I have deactivated it, but it is still accessible to everyone INSIDE the walled garden of Facebook.  So much for "deactivation". 

Sooooo, I have investigated Terminating my Facebook account.  First you have to log into Facebook (which among other things re-activates your account - if you have deactivated it - and displays a "Welcome back" message - more friendship and belonging coercion.)   Once back in you have to go to this link location:   Once there you must "Submit" ...then provide your password, again (like you weren't logged in in order to get to this place.)  THEN you have to answer the Captcha "What are these two words" requirement.  THEN you have to wait two weeks (without logging into Facebook - which would negate your "termination order".)  Can you say emotional and psychological manipulation?

Some of history's most despicable despots have used more humane methods of torturing their prisoners.

So, I love all of my friends and most of my enemies BUT I will no longer be held hostage by Facebook.

If you feel inclined to respond to any of this please send me an e-mail at wmeloney at gmail dot com as I will not be able to see anything that you post in FB.


- Bill

William "Papa" Meloney
Voice: 270-215-4275

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Corrupt Power and bright shiny things

Apple May Be Gunning for Open Source Codecs
from GigaOM by Ryan Lawler
The latest indication that Apple is trying to strong-arm publishers to adopt HTML5 and H.264 came today, as Steve Jobs reportedly claimed by email that a patent pool was being assembled to “go after” Ogg Theora and other open source codecs.

Sure, I would like a bright shiny new iPhone.  I am just as susceptible to materialistic desires as the next person.

I do not feel that Steve Jobs or Steve Ballmer or Mark Zuckerburg or the rest of the corrupt power brokers of the tech world should be so intent on oppressing Open Standard and Open Source endeavors.

We, the purchasing public, have empowered these Techno-dictators.  We have allowed ourselves to be dazzled by bright shiny things and in doing so have tacitly accepted their despotic behaviors.  

If - and it is a mighty big IF, Steve Jobs were to drop all the fabricated issues that he might have about Ogg Theora I can guarantee that sales of his "i" products would not change one wit.  My point is that Jobs stands to gain nothing from taking this Open battle to the courts.  Conversely, if Jobs (Apple, et al) doesn't continue to make better bright shiny things then people will look enviously at the next BST.

Steve, if you are going to play in the capitalist realm of profits please PAY ATTENTION to what is truly important.  (Stop pissing off discriminating and discerning customers.  Of course our number is tiny compared to the folks that simply want the next BST.) 

- Papa

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Thursday, April 29, 2010


Lin Zhao - 将这一滴向挚爱的自由献祭

Lin Zhao (林昭), a Peking University student, was arrested in 1960 during the Anti-Rightist Campaign launched by Mao Zedong in 1957 and sentenced to death on 29 of April (today) in 1968, 42 years ago at the age of 35. She could have exchanged for her freedom and life by a writing a political confession, instead, she chose to write in the prison with her blood.

Lin was once a devoted supporter of the Chinese Communist Party and participated in the Land Reform. When she was studying in the Peking University, she sided with CCP leader Peng Dehuai's camp criticizing Mao Zedong's extremism in the Great Leap Forward and People's Commune Movement and was then labelled as an anti-revoluntionary rightist.


One of the poems devoted to her prosecutor by Lin under the series “Roses devoted to the Prosecutor”:


Inject this drop of blood into my mother country's blood stream
This drop sacrificed my beloved freedom
Wipe it! Rub it! Clean it!
This is blood!
The blood of a Martyr
Who can wipe it away?

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Dawg fights, snarl, growl, maul

Big Business Starts Chewing on the Professional Class

Having starved the lower economic classes and decimated the middle classes, pushing them into the lower strata through a combination of rich-favoring tax policy, wage intimidation, off-shoring jobs, and outright theft, Big Business has begun to move its attention to ripping off the upper classes, starting with its own professionals.

When we measure our lives by the economic yard stick of "class" inevitably the 'Haves' will try to put the 'Have-less' in their place.  Luckily, in this dog fight, I have no class.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Facebork is giving your privacy away


Is giving your privacy away.  Go to this site and find out exactly what your privacy means to Facebork.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

End of an era...

Sony Killing Off Floppy Disk Production in 2011

1:00 PM - April 26, 2010 by Jane McEntegart - 

Sony Japan has said it will cease production of floppy disks next year.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Three Standard Laws

I, Standards Body
from Scripting News

On my drive east earlier this month I read a bunch of audio books, including Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. It's basically a collection of short stories built around the assumption that we create robots that obey three laws at their core.
. . . 
It struck me, thinking about how the W3C and IETF are controlled by the big tech companies, and how they serve their interests, often in conflict with the interests of users, that perhaps a new kind of standards body is needed. One which never takes money from tech companies, and has its own version of the three laws.
The restated laws:
1. A standard may not injure users or, through inaction, allow users to come to harm.
2. Standard-compliant software must obey any orders given to it by users, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A standard must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Dave Winer's next line really struck a harmonic chord with me, "Users are supreme. Tech companies are not even part of the charter of a human-serving standards body. They may use the standards, but we don't care one way or the other if they continue to profit, or even exist."

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So, there I was...

... ready to pounce when all of a sudden ... Granpa?  Are you listening?

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. . .