21 November 2014

The Silicon Valley startup as Ponzi scheme

Scientific American’s June issue included an article talking about Ponzi schemes, and how our economy is rife with them. One example they gave was the Silicon Valley startup: A simplified example illustrates how this process works—and how it can take on the attributes of a Ponzi. A start-up offers workers a low wage, less, in fact, than the dollar value of what a worker produces. Hence, with each worker, the firm generates some profit. ... Read more

19 November 2014

The “Open Web Alliance”

“OWA develops requirements for an open service optimization proxy to meet the service needs of all stakeholders in the web ecosystem while supporting the goals of encryption and privacy.” Sounds good, right? But when you start to read the news articles they link to, the true agenda begins to become apparent. Network operators are having trouble with SPDY-based web traffic because of the way the proxy encapsulates multiple traffic flows into a single encrypted tunnel, making all of that traffic invisible to the network, and in essence, disabling network-based services including firewalls, parental controls, policy management, traffic-shaping, and more. ... Read more

30 October 2014

Microloans 2: Electric Boogaloo

Back in 2005, Kiva was launched. It was the first microloan organization to get mass publicity, and many people signed up and participated ­— including me. Unfortunately, in 2009 it emerged that Kiva was being dishonest — while they encouraged lenders to browse the site, pick businesses and allocate funds, none of that made any difference at all. All the lending was already carried out before the businesses in question ever appeared on the site. ... Read more

25 October 2014

On countries lost

“I think that what happens to people is that if you are out of the country long enough, your native country ceases to exist. When things change sufficiently, the country that you are truly a native of is gone.” — William Gibson

24 October 2014

GamerGate’s origin story

As the list of people supporting #GamerGate gets shorter and shorter, some are still suggesting that it was a legitimate movement for ethics in journalism that only got corrupted by misogyny later on. I’m sure that there are people who genuinely believe this. Unfortunately, it’s not true. GamerGate started out as slut-shaming and revenge, so here’s the history with dates and links to the sources. ⁂ On 2014-08-12, Eron Gjoni posted The Zoe Post on WordPress. ... Read more

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