User Tracking is Unethical

I saw a discussion about the Facebook tracking pixel recently. The crux of the discussion is that Facebook’s tracking is good because it helps small businesses. Now, I work at an advertising methics company. Most of our customers are small businesses. I agree, small business are good. But cross site user tracking is unethical. It’s unclear if personalized ads directly lead to sales in many cases. Facebook might be invading user privacy for nothing.
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Writing Untrusted Software

When I look for new piece of software, I have a set of criteria that extends beyond, “does this perform the function I need.” I’ll err towards open source software. I like getting it from a source that wouldn’t knowingly distribute malware, like a distro repository or (gasp) an App Store. And I like using software that is small and efficient, runs on multiple platforms and allows exporting my data in a standard format.
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Software of the Collapsing Empire

Sci-fi is a fun genre because it lets you explore real world ideas without the baggage of real world problems. The novel The Collapsing Empire explores what would happen if all the wormholes holding a space-age interplanetary empire together started to collapse. Let’s roll with that a bit closer to home. What would happen if the wormholes connecting the USA planet to the rest of the country planets collapsed? We’re a software powerhouse.
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COVID-19 Mob Manipulation

There is mounting evidence that someone is using social media to manipulate the public. The concept isn’t new, especially to state actors. But multiple sources report that bots are posting a concerning amount of misinformation about COVID-19. Inauthentic accounts are amplifying disinformation and inaccurate statistics and sharing false information as a reason to reopen the country,” Bouzy says. “Many of these accounts are also spreading bizarre conspiracy theories…” Business Insider, 2020-04-24
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The Redemption of Ben Solo

The Rise of Skywalker is divisive. People have voiced numerous opinions, but the one specific complaint sticks with me. It’s about how Kylo Ren is shown mercy and repents. He dies hours later, having reclaimed his true identity of Ben Solo – yet having done little to deserve his conversion. I’ve heard the opinion that the movie would have been better if the moral was that some people can’t change!
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