American politics went batshit crazy starting with Newt Gingrich

I ignored American politics until 2004 when — inexplicably — George W. Bush was elected for a second term after being unbelievably bad in his first term.

What the Hell was going on?

Jim VandeHei explains why the USA has such extreme politics in 2017: Newt GingrichFox News (1996), MSNBC, CNN, Facebook and later Twitter, Sarah Palin and finally Trump.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert documented the idiocy.

It’s easy to say Americans deserve the politicians they have.

My fear is that other nations will evolve in the direction of the American way. 😦

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Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter should be regulated

Great article.

Al Franken:

Last week’s hearings demonstrated that these companies may not be up to the challenge that they’ve created for themselves. In some instances, it seems that they’ve failed to take commonsense precautions to prevent the spread of propaganda, misinformation, and hate speech. …

… we can’t trust the companies to get it right …

… as has become alarmingly clear in recent months, these companies have unprecedented power to guide Americans’ access to information and potentially shape the future of journalism. It should go without saying that such power comes with great responsibility. …

ProPublica recently revealed that up until two months ago, Facebook allowed advertisers using the company’s self-service ad-buying platform to target more than 2,000 people who expressed interest in the topic of quote “Jew hater” and other antisemitic themes. …

As it stands now, Google and Facebook control 75% of all internet news traffic referrals …

Currently, Amazon controls over 83% of e-book sales, nearly 90% of online print sales, and almost 99% of digital audio sales.

Amazon has since used its unprecedented monopsony power to force publishers to agree to contract terms and conditions that the publishers say have stalled price competition …

… how do we ensure transparency and accountability from them going forward?

We must not let big tech threaten our security, freedoms and democracy

the future of the NEWS

What will the most popular news sources of the future look like?

I’m hopeful for the soon to be launched Wikitribune.

Evidence-based journalism

People today mostly get their news from TV (not bad) and social media (terrible).

My favourite news source right now is Axios, just 6 months old.

Smart brevity.

Axios covers 7 areas: politics, tech, media trends, health, science, energy, and future of work (AI, robotics, etc.).

They want to deliver the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trust-worthy experience for readers and advertisers alike.

It was founded by Mike Allen, former chief political reporter for Politico. I like Politico too, founded in 2007. And  Jim VandeHei.

John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei left The Washington Post to become The Politicos editor-in-chief and executive editor, respectively.

So … Washington Post begat Politico begat Axios.

If interested, start by signing up for any of the Axios email newsletters.

 

 

STOP Facebook videos from playing automatically

One of my rules of good web design is that nothing should happen on the page unless I ask it to happen.

This is a BIG improvement to my experience on Facebook.

A simple extension called Disable HTML5 Autoplay for Chrome and Opera — and coming soon to Firefox — stops those videos from playing automatically. They will still appear in your Facebook News Feed, but they won’t start unless you click on them.

Cult of Mac

disable-html5-autoplay

I’m unfollowing Trump supporters on Facebook, Twitter

Only 1 in 4 Americans voted against Donald Trump. I blame 75% of Americans for letting that psychopath get elected.

Depressing. 😦

I’ve stopped following American politics. And don’t want to hear from anyone telling me he’s not as bad as you think. He is.

As always, I encourage you to unfriend me if you don’t like my point of view. That’s freedom from speech.

Click PLAY or watch Hillary sing Hallelujah on YouTube.

AdBlock or Adblock Plus?

I hate 99% of advertisements. All businesses that rely on advertising dread me.

Google and Facebook hate guys like me. Apple and Amazon don’t much care.

All companies should evolve to be less reliant on advertising. Micropayment are the best alternatives still, I think.

My online life is greatly enhanced with extensions that block advertising. Right now I have AdBlock installed on Safari. Adblock Plus installed in Chrome.

AdBlock vs. Adblock Plus: The Ultimate Comparison With Pros & Cons

AdBlock-vs-Adblock-Plus

I don’t really have much of a preference between the two.