Friday, March 11, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: Peeple Drops & Other Stories

What a week!  I hope you're happy now.

1. Michael Bloomberg Says He Won’t Run for President (NY Times)
The decision by Mr. Bloomberg, who served three terms as the mayor of New York, ends months of intensive preparation for a candidacy. Convinced that a restive electorate was crying out for nonpartisan, technocratic government, he instructed his closest aides to set up the machinery for a long-shot billion-dollar campaign that would have subjected his image to a scorching political test…
Mr. Bloomberg held extensive talks with Michael G. Mullen, the retired admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about forming an independent ticket. Lawyers for Mr. Bloomberg had completed the process of vetting Mr. Mullen, and all that remained was for Mr. Bloomberg to ask formally that Mr. Mullen serve as his running mate.
Torn between his aspiration and a mountain of data showing that the path for an independent campaign aimed at the political center was slim and narrowing, Mr. Bloomberg, 74, ultimately abandoned what would probably have been his last chance to run for the White House.
I personally looked forward to a Bloomberg run, but his candidacy is exactly what Americans don’t want.  A Bloomberg presidency would have brought technical competence, extensive executive experience in both government and private industry, and critical thinking on international affairs.  Americans have shown a decided aversion to all of these things, and here we are.

You get the government you deserve in a democracy.  Well, now we’re going to get it.
With the movie premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them still months away, J.K. Rowling has announced “a series of new writing” called Magic in North America.

This looks to me like writing done to support the new movie, giving it a bigger kick than if it just dropped out of nowhere.  That’s fine if you’re interested.  By now the time you read this, all of the pieces will have been published on Pottermore.Com.
The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday it's expanding the $1.5 billion phone subsidy program known as Lifeline to help low-income families pay for broadband Internet service by giving out a $9.25 per month subsidy…
More than 95 percent of US households with incomes over $150,000 have high-speed Internet at home, while just 48 percent of those earning less than $25,000 can afford such service
Created in 1985, Lifeline was initially designed to provide discounts on traditional phone service for qualifying low-income families. It was revised in 2005 to add prepaid wireless mobile plans to the mix. However, Lifeline has proven controversial as fraud and abuse of the program have been rampant throughout the years.
You have to be fucking kidding me with this, right?  We have people starving in this country, and half the kids in America can’t afford to go to college, AND every library in the country already has the free Internet access, but we’re gonna spend the nation’s money on subsidized high-speed Internet?
The Internet didn’t even exist until the mid-1990s, and yet here we all are, somehow the beneficiaries of generations of pre-Internet society.  How in Hell did we ever manage back in the day?
Peeple, the controversial people-rating application that lets its users rate and review anyone, is not a hoax or vaporware, as many suspected following the media backlash surrounding the unveiling of the company’s intentions last fall…
With the app’s debut, the company is trying to present itself as having a more positive aim and image, with gestures toward anti-bullying and settings for hiding unwanted recommendations. However, there are still valid concerns that the company is planning to profit by selling access to the hidden negative reviews left on its platform…
Called the “Truth License,” Peeple says that paying users would be able to read anything that has been written about a person, whether or not the person published the reviews on their profile.
Or, to sum up: Peeple’s plan is to profit by selling access to everyone’s negative reviews.
They call this thing “Yelp for people”, and what’s really interesting about it is that you can’t rate people anonymously.  You can say what you like, but at the end of the day, you have to sign your name to it.  
Well, you have to assign your comments to an account on Facebook, anyway.
You also can’t publish reviews of people who aren’t signed up, though you can write reviews of them, and they stay archived on Peeple’s servers forever.  When a new user signs up, she then has the option to publish whichever reviews she likes, save for the caveat that paying customers can see everything.
Or, to put it another way, "You cannot escape the nasty opinions of others."
Also, there’s this (from the Operating Agreement):
Once Content is published it may not be able to be removed…  [Y]ou hereby irrevocably grant to Peeple the continuous, non-exclusive, royalty-free right to use your Content for any purpose whatsoever and in any format. These rights shall be assignable, transferable, and licensable by Peeple.
Heh.  Of course you do.
5.  Army Sports Update
Men's Basketball lost to Holy Cross in the semi's, but as you can see, the Women are still going strong.  Hockey also looks good:

I'm really hoping to get to the Spring Game.  I would very much like to see how much of a quarterback competition Army is actually having and who's getting the upper hand.  I said at the end of last year that I think Army needs at least two guys who can play considering how brutal the offense is on their quarterbacks, but I still think most fans will be rooting for Chris Carter to seize the job outright, all things considered.

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