Flipping Back to 2010 With Flipboard

  • Flipboard embraces Mastodon: subhead "The news reading app is going all in on the Fediverse." so I don't have to say "don't forget fediverse"!

Wow. Early days of the iPad, Flipboard was the best news-reading app for a while. My 2010-11-11 review:

Perhaps the best app isn't a newspaper at all, though. Flipboard is an aggregator for items from Twitter accounts and lists, your own or various public ones. Since many blog writers now tweet about every new entry, they all show up in Flipboard. Navigation is trivially easy and obvious, and little space is wasted on anything but information.
I'm not entirely pleased by how it shows articles, though: You see the first few paragraphs, then a link to the original site, so they can collect their ad revenue. While I sympathize with the need for ads, I just want everything collected. However, it does have a "Read Later" action which sends an article to Instapaper, the ONLY one of these newspaper apps which does.
Still, I think this is pretty close to the ideal for a newspaper. If it had RSS support, and a clearer separation of old from new content, I'd be happy to junk all of the "newspapers" and RSS readers I use.

It did later get RSS, and for years it replaced newspapers. They kind of bit-rotted, and my use of social media changed, so I lost touch with them.

So today's announcement's a "OH YEAH, THOSE GUYS". They still had my old login but my password's gone, recovered & set a real password, and I'm back in. Looks just like it always did. Remove some junk sources, and it's a pretty normal newspaper again.

… There's an option to connect my Mastodon account, but right now it fails at Authorize! So far Mastodon doesn't show up in hashtag searches and such. They have their own Masto server at flipboard.social but I don't need that.

So this is interesting, but not quite useful yet.

Worst Year Ever?

  • 2016: Worst Year Ever? Ha ha no. slate
  • 2017: Worst Year Ever? Maybe. thetylt
  • 2018: Not as bad as 1968, according to Vietnam vet: usatoday But said vet could put himself thru school and buy a house and car on a middle-class job, so his comfortable sanctimony reads like Republican marketing bullshit now.
  • 2019: For once, nobody seriously suggests it's the worst year, except Brexit/Remain people. Everyone else in the world laughs at the English self-destructing.
  • 2020: Strong opening with a plague that may kill 119M+ people (7e9*0.5*0.034) because many governments are unwilling or incapable of testing and quarantining people, but let's see where this party goes. It's not even the Ides of March yet.

Coal in Infogrames/Not-Atari's Stockings

  • Atari VCS Chief Operating Officer Michael Arzt: interviews himself with a sock-puppet:
    • Sock-Puppet: "You are very handsome and are shipping on time!"
    • COO: "These are both true, and you are entirely alive and questioning me, not just a filthy sock on my left hand."
    • Sock-Puppet: "Please don't put me on your cock again I don't want to get pregnant/sticky."
    • COO: "No promises."
  • Previously in Not-Atari News

Takeaway is that the new VCS box is delayed until Spring 2020, maybe later, with a number of excuses, and some more case photos but no working demos anywhere. The cases do have connectors inside now, which is very exciting if you're completely gullible, but there's zero evidence from Infogrames that anything can be powered on and do something.

There's a bunch more lies, such as that most Unity games will work on it; while it's true you can recompile many Unity games for Linux, it often requires specific hardware and software configs, like the SteamOS, and the odds that Infogrames' contractors who are building this have matched those configs is vanishingly small.

The "original software" they tout is a $100/year subscription to play classic Atari games, which you can get a bundle of for far less, existing consoles for $20-40, or "free" (pirated, but it's been 40 years; meh) with MAME.

The actual reason they used IndieGogo is that IndieGogo doesn't require shipping a product, you're throwing money into someone's pockets with no guarantees. I've been waiting since 2013-10-17 for the LotFP Hardcover Referee Book, Raggi says (posting a weekly update a month ago…) he's still working on it, and I believe him because he's an honest 6-years-late fuckup. I wouldn't believe the Infogrames people if they said "le ciel est bleu".

Pandos Go Extinct

I was as surprised as anyone to hear Pando was still in business, I figured by now Sarah Lacy would've egged Paul Carr on to punch someone and the both of them go to prison. And now they've sold their site to, no shit, "BuySellAds". The "we run on investment and vapor like a tech company", no, "we run a LOT of ads but paywalls are evil!", no, "we run a LOT of ads AND a paywall!" business models never supported them becoming big.

Say what you want about Michael Arrington and Techcrunc, the business model worked. Just as hated, still kind of a shitty site, but they pay their bills and provide consistent mediocre tech industry news coverage.

Examine why everyone hated them. First, they bit the hand that feeds; you can't run FuckedCompany 2.0 and also schmooze with the companies you openly fuck over. Second, their site was awful even before the paywall, and after, you had to search around for someone with a sharing link or find a bugmenot login, complete pain in the ass; I never gave them a penny and read anything I wanted, back when I cared about the "Tech Industry". Third, they thought they were the smartest gal/guy in the room, when generally they were unaware of basic technology and business principles.

Take the site Pandering Dozily continuously compared itself to, despite a vast difference in scale and ambitions: The NY Times, with 100x more staff (?). NYT has shitty tech coverage, too, but nobody feels anything but mild contempt for them, because they don't try to suck up to Silicon Valley; and fundamentally everyone hates New Yorkers including New Yorkers, so it's just urine off a rat's back to them. NYT has a big solid base of not-tech-news to support this dangerous hobby of insulting every tech company they report on, despite half of them having universal surveillance systems, AI killer drones, and whatever else in the labs. Nobody expects New Yorkers to know anything except shitty pizza, Wall Street nonsense, and Broadway, so their tech gaffes are ignorable. Pandilly had no such backup base.

Oh, don't worry about them. Paul can fall back on writing midlist quasi-self-help books, Sarah's trying to teach women how to be mothers because clearly they need her help.

Not-Atari Still Has No VCS

"Atari SA", formerly Infogrames who bought the name, are still not shipping their fantasy "modern VCS", to everyone's total lack of surprise.

This is just about physically painful as these useless parasites take peoples' money (not mine) for a grift, based on love of what a different company named Atari was like 30-50 years ago.

Now they're so shitty, their con so obvious, they've been removed from moderation of the subreddit about them.

Code Mystics' Atari Greatest Hits collection is unrelated, and a fantastic emulation on iOS and DS.

Free Software Foundation Becomes Slightly Less Offensive

Which focuses on his sexual creepiness, and not his toe jam eating, horrific political views, conspiracy theories, and the lasting damage he's done to computer science with his aggressively anti-freedom "public license", and the promotion of emacs, which is most accurately classified as a mental disorder or an invasive fungus. If you want to edit text, use ed or vi or any nice editor, not a bad LISP interpreter with half an editor bolted on. And seriously, if you want to share your software, put it under actually-free BSD or MIT license and stop being a stallman.

Going back to 2001, there was his hostile takeover of glibc:

  • glibc 2.2.4: page down to "And now for some not so nice things."

And more recently a long-standing offensive joke in glibc being removed and then "restored" by the petty tyrant:

He demonized Miguel de Icaza of the Mono project (not my favorite software, but hardly objectionable):

Miguel de Icaza “is basically a traitor to the Free Software community” This was in response to my question about the new Microsoft “Open Source” labs. He went on to say that Miguel’s involvement in the project doesn’t give much confidence as he is a Microsoft apologist. The project looks to be concerned with permitting “Open Source” programs to work on the Windows platform and thus divert valuable developer time away from free platforms such as Gnu/Linux.
Mono framework is not so much of a problem, but C# shouldn’t be used in core apps as legal problems would be hard to work around. Recommends uninstalling any apps using C#.
— http://doctormo.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/software-freedom-day-in-boston/

So now he's finally reaped some personal consequences, after decades of this shit:

It's not unfortunate, it's 40 years overdue. The correct epithet is "the infamous Richard Stallman", just like "the infamous Unabomber Ted Kaczynski".

Twilight of the Media Lab

The lack of product from things like the Media Lab, or AOL's "digital prophet Shingy", or whatever the fuck happened to billions of dollars at Yahoo! (see Peanut Butter Manifesto ), or any other singing, dancing, cargo cult imitation of an actual technology lab, should not be surprising to anyone. These are not how you make new technical products; there's no customer, there's no use case, just a slideshow or demo at most. Real artists ship, as Steve Jobs said.

I told him that it's merely a matter of understanding our sponsor's needs. Our sponsors are represented by middle-aged middle-managers who need three things: Booze, good hotels, and hookers. Keep 'em busy with free trips and the slick dog and pony shows, provide them with pre-written notes for their upper-managment, and the money will keep rolling in.

Oh, hmn. Eerily prescient.

@Jack is Hacked? Or is he Wack?

  • @jack is hacked: Is Twitter bullshit news or entertainment? I've seen worse movies.

Yeah, sure. The posts are deniable, Discord's able to secure their services far faster than Twitter. But is it real?

Was there anything posted that Jack wouldn't? Maybe it was a trial balloon to see if his open swerve right would be OK. That's why it took so long, they needed response metrics.

In either case, the claim that he only works on his iPhone, and rejects a laptop because it's too heavy, is maybe the douchiest thing about this incident.