facebook

The socials are a handy way to stay in touch with friends, find out about dancing events (if they’re ever allowed again) and to get information direct from experts. They’re also an unrelenting cesspool of trolls, bots and undesireables. What to do?

Facebook

FB Purity config page

On my PC, FB Purity lets me filter on keyboards (I’ve chosen “trump” and “brexit”, as you can see). It can hide various types of update from your feed. I hide stuff like “Fred commented on this thing” (as FB friends sometimes like to argue with the undesirables), as well as adverts. You can also force the feed into chronological order rather than relying on Facebook’s algorithm to show you what it thinks you should see.

On my phone, I use Friendly for Facebook, which isn’t quite as good but does have the keyword filtering (“commented on” works as a filter) and, if you give them a donation, will also filter the adverts.

Twitter

Tweak New Twitter default appearance

Tweak New Twitter gets rid of a lot of noise (like the “Trending” stuff and sponsored tweets). It can put retweets on separate page too. To use it on mobile, you’d need a mobile browser which lets you run extensions, Chrome on Android doesn’t.

Twitter has keyword filtering built in.

Secateur blocks people and optionally all their followers, unless you’re following them too. It’s adding to your Twitter blocklist, so once people are blocked, they’re blocked however you view Twitter. I guess there’s a risk that some decent people are following undesirables to keep an eye on them, but if it catches on, I can imagine people using separate accounts for that (of course, the undesirables can do the same trick, having one account for trolling and one for following, but they don’t seem to be yet). It wouldn’t be that hard to extend Tweak New Twitter to add a “Secateur” button to Twitter, either, I might look into that.

The next stage on from this, especially if the undesirables maintain accounts where they don’t follow other undesirables, would be the web of trust: only show replies from people you follow, people they follow, people the original tweeter follows, say.

Nitter is a free and open source alternative Twitter front-end focused on privacy. It’s an alternative website for which you don’t need Javascript enabled. It will also turn someone’s tweets into an RSS feed, useful if you just want to read them without signing up for Twitter.

Johnny Ryan on Twitter: “Facebook is confronting EU users a new “terms of service” dialogue that denies access until a user opt-ins to tracking for ad targeting, and various other data processing purposes…… https://t.co/Ymn0dvVTfO”
Facebook is breaking the GDPR: you can’t require people to consent to use of their personal data if it’s not required to perform whatever service you’re performing.
(tags: facebook gdpr privacy law)

Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down? – The Globe and Mail
We’re doomed! Interesting for this bit: “It takes office workers an average of 25 minutes to get back on task after an interruption, he notes, while workers who are habitually interrupted by e-mail become likelier to “self-interrupt” with little procrastination breaks”. That’s true of me: if I’m constantly getting interrupted I give up and procastinate in anticipation of the next interruption.
(tags: technology culture psychology smartphones facebook work)

C++Now 2017: Niko Matsakis “Rust: Hack Without Fear!” – YouTube
Rust for C++ people (of which I’m not actually one, but it might be interesting anyway).
(tags: rust language programming)
You Are the Product
John Lanchester reviews 3 books on Facebook and Google, and comes to the conclusion that Facebook does things because it can, without considering whether it should.
(tags: facebook advertising psychology Internet zuckerberg google)
The Three Waves of Discworld – An approximation of alertness
“So I’ve been thinking for a while about the Discworld books, and how they can be divided up into three rough thematic phases; not based around the focal characters, but rather what the story is about.”
(tags: discworld terry-pratchett books fantasy)

Who Will Command The Robot Armies?
Funny and worrying talk. Pinboard is always good for “Internet of shit” stories, but has a wider point here.
(tags: robots facebook twitter amazon work po politics surveillance technology automation iot)
Ur-Fascism | by Umberto Eco | The New York Review of Books
What are the common features of anything worth calling Fascism?
(tags: history politics fascism italy world-war-II)

“The Culture represents the place we might hope to get to” | MetaFilter
Mefi’s discussion of the (previously linked) recently published interview with Iain M Banks (RIP). It’s good.
(tags: metafilter iain-m-banks culture sci-fi sf science-fiction discussion)
GCHQ’s ‘jihad on tech firms’ can only fail | Technology | The Guardian
Blaming Facebook for Lee Rigby’s murder will only lead to a breakdown in the relationship between the police and tech companies, says Ross Anderson.
(tags: gchq facebook terrorism security lee-rigby ross-anderson)

The Open-Office Trap : The New Yorker
Open offices are horrible. Shame I work in one at the moment.
(tags: office productivity work space)
Goodnight. Sleep Clean. – NYTimes.com
Sleep is for your cerebral fluid to clear away the accumulated junk. Maybe.
(tags: sleep insomnia brain neuroscience)
What is frame?
“My best definition is that its a social convention for how we hold our bodies so our partner knows where we are in space.” I like 619shepard’s comment because it’s less about modelling people as springs and more about how there are conventions which are taught (some of which will involve behaving like a mass on a spring some of the time, to be sure).
(tags: frame dancing lindy lindyhop reddit swing)
Bill Nye tests the benefits of swing dancing – latimes.com
Bill Nye the Science Guy is a swing dancer. He extols the virtues of dancing in a short interview.
(tags: bill-nye science lindy lindyhop dancing swing fitness)
RDFRS: Secular VIP of the Week: God on Facebook
The man who plays God on Facebook. I’ve already Liked the page: it’s funny to see him responding to religious people who get offended, usually with much more grace than they show him.
(tags: god facebook funny comedy)

The nuclear deterrent and reasons for its replacement
Interesting discussion from UK armed forces people on Trident and whatnot. Found in a comment on the aforementioned Charles Stross blog post.
(tags: Vulcan nuclear Trident ICBM SSBN V-force war)
Free Speech on the Internet: Silicon Valley is Making the Rules | New Republic
Google, Twitter, Facebook and the new global battle over the future of free speech
(tags: law twitter speech google islam censorship facebook)

King Under The Mountain: Soundtrack and Adventure Log

Someone actually ran a Dungeons and Discourse game (see the Dresden Codak cartoon). This is what happened. “In the middle of the Cartesian Plain at the confluence of the rivers Ordinate and Abcissa stands the mightiest of all, the imperial city of Origin. At the very center of the city stands the infinitely tall Z-Axis Tower, on whose bottom floor lives the all-seeing Wizard of 0=Z.”
(tags: betrand-russell philosophy roleplaying dungeons-and-dragons funny)

Cow Clicker Founder: If You Can’t Ruin It, Destroy It : NPR

Bloke makes spoof Facebook game to mock the grinding required by Facebook games. Facebook users play it for real.
(tags: games zynga facebook cow psychology)

Embedded in Academia : Nine ways to break your systems code using volatile

“The volatile qualifier in C/C++ is a little bit like the C preprocessor: an ugly, blunt tool that is easy to misuse but that — in a very narrow set of circumstances — gets the job done. This article will first briefly explain volatile and its history and then, through a series of examples about how not to use it, explain how to most effectively create correct systems software using volatile. Although this article focuses on C, almost everything in it also applies to C++.” Relevant to my interests as compilers get cleverer about re-ordering.
(tags: volatile embedded programming C threads multicore memory-model)

Ask Chris #81: Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism – ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

“On Scooby-Doo, do you prefer the monsters to be real or people in costumes?”
(tags: scooby doo rationality)

The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin | Magazine

Whatever happened to Bitcoin? Via Andrewducker.
(tags: bitcoin currency money economics wired crypto cryptography)