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Posted on April 16th, 2024

Dave!The company "Humane" dropped their little AI Pin gadget, and the reviews have not been kind. It would seem that on top of all the things I questioned about the device, there were scores of other problems as well. This doesn't surprise me, because the thing just didn't make any sense to me. The real surprise would have been if it had been a smash hit and truly revolutionary device.

One of the people who chimed in on the fiasco was my favorite tech reviewer, Marques Brownlee...

And can you guess what's happening now?

Stories are running about how Marques is killing Humane with his review. Business Insider, for example, had this headline: Humane's AI Pin got trashed by a YouTuber, and it sparked a firestorm over whether that's fair.

“Is it fair?!?” Are you fucking kidding me? Humane releases a shit product. Marques Brownlee, one of the most respected and fair tech reviewers on the planet, tells people it’s a shit product... and he's the bad guy in this scenario? It’s his fault the company is in the dumpster? Bullshit. This is 100% on Humane.

Marques was then put in the weird position of having to explain what his job is to a bunch of people who already know what his job is...

This in turn got him another round of criticism (some, for exmaple, were saying that he's a Tesla fanboy who gushes over their faults because he wants to be pals with Elon Musk, or whatever) at which point you have to wonder if people understand that there are going to be people who like the things you don't like, and Marques has precious little to gain by releasing positive reviews of anything out of Tesla.

He was also called out for having sponsorships on his channel, and then got dragged because of some of the companies he's partnered with. But this rings hollow as well. If I had to pick a brand that Marques is most closely aligned to when it comes to sponsorships, it would be dbrand. But fairly recently MKHD shined a light on dbrand when they made a racist remark to a customer who had a complaint...

Won't be working with dbrand until that original tweet is deleted, at least. You're allowed to make shitty jokes, but the internet has made it pretty clear what it think about this one, and the harm from it is unnecessary

So, yeah, it's not like Marques puts doing what's right below the money he gets from sponsorship deals. He was ready to walk away from one of his most lucrative sponsorship partners than be associated with something shitty they did.

And speaking of shitty...

Don't want bad reviews? Don't release shitty products.



Posted on April 12th, 2024

Dave!Most all digital ads (certainly from those who sell ads as a business model like Facebook and Google) are using targeted ads exclusively now-a-days.

Which is to say that companies like Google and Facebook are tracking every site you visit and noting every link you click on across the entire internet. That way they can track your interests and needs and serve ads to you which have a better chance of triggering engagement. Companies pay them more money when people click on their ads, so it's a powerful motivator to make sure that every ad is as relevant as possible.

There are times that it most definitely backfires though.

Yesterday morning Facebook started serving up ads for Botox. Yes, Botox. That expensive stuff that causes temporary paralysis that people shoot into wrinkles and stuff in order to diminish them for a few months...

Good-looking dude needs Botox BAD!

I have never in my life considered getting botulism injected into my face, so I was at a complete loss to understand why I was seeing these ads. Is it just because I'm now at an age where people start getting Botox? Did I click on something that convinced Facebook that I would be interested in getting Botox? Is Facebook watching me?!? Is the Facebook algorithm in the room with me right now looking at my face and thinking "Yeah, it's time for Botox now. Serve 'em up!"

The only thing I can think of is that I did click on two news stories warning people about home-brew "Botox" causing a botulism symptoms: Back Alley Botox a Bad Idea, Officials Warn... and Sketchy Botox Shots Spark Multistate Outbreak of Botulism-Like Condition. I guess that was enough for Facebook to think "Oh yeah. My guy is definitely wanting to get Botoxed! He clicked on two links with "Botox" in the headline, so what else could it be?"

After I ignored the ads, Facebook started getting serious. Because last night they started shoving ads at me that offered $50 OFF a treatment...


And then, when I started hiding ads for Botox, I started getting ads for the competition. Like this one from Juvéderm (which, thanks to the accent on the "e" there must be pronounced "Joo-Vay-Derm," not "Joo-Veh-Derm" as I would have thought, since it's clearly a riff on the word "rejuvenate" and stuff?)...


Interesting to note that these ads are definitely targeting me. Every ad I see with a person in it has a man. No women. As if to say "We know you want Botox, buddy, and it's totally a thing that men do... just look at the dudes in these ads!"

But the really interesting thing is that none of these dudes actually need Botox. They're all young, handsome, and flawless. But why? I guess it's a smart marketing tool. It's like "Holy shit! If these god-like men need Botox... then you must *really* need it, right?? DO IT! DO IT NOW! MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY TO HAVE OUR SHIT INJECTED IN YOUR MANLY FACE AND SAVE $50! — IT'S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO TO SAVE SOCIETY FROM HAVING TO LOOK AT YOUR HEINOUS MUG! — PLUS... THE LADIES WILL TOTALLY LOVE THE NEW BOTOX YOU, SO IF YOU TAKE AWAY ONE THING FROM THIS AD, LET IT BE THIS: BOTOX=PUSSY!"

Sadly, no amount of Botox will save my face, even if I could afford it.

I actually would like a nice case of botulism though. You get to stay home from work for that, right?


Cheer Up Gang!

Posted on March 1st, 2024

Dave!Every once in a while I find a comic that I didn't write that I share here. It's rare, but if somebody has made me really laugh, then promoting their work is the absolute least I can do.

This particular strip is from Prolific Pen (Instagram: ProlificPenComics) by Yanni Davros, who says "My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer but instead they got a cartoonist." This one's absolute gold...

The Flat Earth Society Wins a Free Trip to Space!


The rocket leaving earth... OK MISSION CONTROL, WE GET IT. YOU CAN FLY US DOWN NOW...

The rocket flying into deep space... MISSION CONTROL?

IF. ONLY. Though there are plenty of other groups I'd love to give a one-way-ticket to deep space, flerfers are certainly on that list.


A Battle That You Know Nothing About

Posted on February 6th, 2024

Dave!There's a quote that I often see attributed to legendary comedian Robin Williams, but it was only popularized by him. It originated elsewhere... "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always." I may have even attributed the quote to him wrongly in the past, because when I first fell in love with it, that's how I found it.

But one day I read a story about how it was most likely coined by U.S. Army Spc. Douglas Green, who sadly died two weeks after sending it in a letter to his loved ones. Here's an excerpt, which should be required reading by humans everywhere...

"If I could leave you with any words of wisdom it would be two things that I have always tried to live my life by.
Make sure you always put yourself in the position of anyone you ever have contact with. You will never truly know a man or woman until you try to see things from their perspective.
Secondly, never pass judgment or put anger on someone too quickly or harshly, because I guarantee you that person is fighting a battle that you know nothing about."

He's not wrong.

The problem is that not enough people agree with me on that.

People do not give a fuck about seeing things from other people's perspective. And they absolutely don't give a fuck about caring whether or not somebody is struggling.

But that doesn't stop them from sharing a misattributed quote to convince themselves that they do.

Categories: Internets 2024Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  


Hoppy Hump Day

Posted on December 20th, 2023

Dave!Last Monday I ran across an Instagram video from The Kangaroo Sanctuary with an adorable baby roo hopping into a makeshift "pouch." Since then the algorithm has determined that my feed should be flooded by all kinds of baby animals. And a lot of those are other videos from The Kangaroo Sanctuary.

Like this one of last week's little girl, Pippa, learning how to hop...

And this one of baby kangaroos at feeding time...

I really wish I had known about this sanctuary when I was at Uluru. Though I did visit a Koala sancturary in Brisbane where they had all kinds of animals. Including kangaroos...

Feeding a Kangaroo!
Feeding a kangaroo. They're amazingly polite about it.

Momma Kangaroo and Joey in the Pocket
A momma kangaroo with a joey in the pocket!

Baby Joey in the Pocket!
Joey on the lookout.

Feeding a HUNGRY Kangaroo!

And that's enough kangaroos for the morning since I need to head into the office. Another exciting day at work awaits!


You’re in American Now!

Posted on November 7th, 2023

Dave!I really don't want to be on the internet today.

I got a pretty good night's sleep. Woke up to answer my emails then feed my cats. Then climbed on social media until I had a video chat scheduled. Almost immediately I saw racist comments on a video that was not in English complaining about how the content creator should be "speaking English if she wants an audience"... and I was done.

The woman in the video actually speaks English very well. But she is more comfortable in her native language, so 3/4 of her videos are in Spanish. And it's not like YouTube doesn't have the ability to automatically display translated subtitles into whatever language you want, so what does it even matter? I guess reading subtitles is just too much for people.

Especially those who think that everybody everywhere should be speaking English all the time.

Which reminded me of when I was on one of the first cruises with my mom. One of the waiters at our table had a nametage saying he was from the Phillipines. I had a very, very rudimentary grasp of some phrases in Tagalog and, as he was clearing my dinner plate, I said "Maraming salamat," or "Thank you very much."

The waiter froze.

My first thought was that I mangled it so badly that I had accidentally said something deeply offensive. So I immediately apologized and said I didn't know much Tagalog.

That's when he told me "You said it very well. I am just not used to hearing Filipino* above deck." At which point he told me that employees are only allowed to speak English in front of passengers because otherwise they get complaints that the workers are "talking about them" and "being rude."

And, it's like... I get it. Despite the fact that the USA doesn't have a "national language" there are numerous examples of foreign language speakers being told "Speak American... you're in American now!" **

But no, actually I don't really get it at all. ***

Americans travel abroad expecting everybody to speak English and not bothering to learn even a few niceties in the language of the country they're visiting, but of course that's perfectly okay. — But anyway... if the workers aren't talking to you, why the fuck shouldn't they be able to talk to each other in whatever language is comfortable to them?

Because Americans might conjure up some imagined slight?

Yeah, that's 1000% on-brand for us.

Something which was reaffirmed on a video I watched this morning.

*Tagalog being the root language of standardized Filipino.

**Yes, I just quoted a line from the Bette Midler & Lily Tomlin comedy Big Business.

***One of my dream scnearios has always been somebody telling me to "Speak American" when I'm speaking some other language so I can say "Fuck off, asshole! Is that American enough for you?


The Way Yes Used To Be Again

Posted on November 6th, 2023

Dave!I think I've written a few times about my love for the Yes Theory YouTube channel.

I can't remember where I first heard of it. In all likelihood somebody via the internet... probably even a total stranger... who contacted me through this blog. They see that I loved traveling the world and meeting new people and discovering new things and said something like "You should really check out Yes Theory on YouTube". And so I did. This was many years ago, and I've watched everything they've ever released.

And the members of Yes Theory have meant the world to me. Because they don't just want you to watch, they invite you into their lives and you get to experience everything with them. It hasn't always been an easy road, and there have been many changes over the years.

The original Yes Theory Posse reunited now.

Which is why this reunion video is so incredibly special to me...

The way Yes Theory looks at the world is how I want the world to be.

I cannot wait to see what happens next.

And if you're looking for a massive dose of positivity in your life, I highly recommend checking out their channel. But be forewarned... if you are remotely human, those videos are addictive. You cannot watch just one.


You Cannot Deny My Goth Hotness

Posted on October 26th, 2023

Dave!Oh boy.

Every October for years I've changed my Facebook profile picture to my goth look for Halloween. It's kinda a tradition and nobody is hurt by me looking awesome for a month. OR SO I THOUGHT! But more on that in a minute.

Here is the photo...

It's me! As a goth! With black eyes, lips, and everything!

Long time Blogography readers might recognize this as a still from a video I made fifteen years ago for a video edition of "Bullet Sunday"...

But anyway...

I've started increasingly commenting on posts that are racist, bigoted, antisemitic, hateful, or stupid. The reaction is mostly what you'd expect. And I'm used to the hate... this is not my first time on the internet. But now the comments are all about my profile pic, not my comment. I have been called absolutely every name you can imagine. Because I'm wearing black makeup. For Halloween.

This is weird to me because I don't think much about my appearance (which should be obvious to anybody who meets me). The idea of having perfectly matching clothes or dressing in the latest style or looking "cool" or whatever just doesn't interest me. Except when it comes to Halloween, apparently.

I'm fascinated how people don't bother to make an actual argument about what I've said now. They don't like what I'm saying and how I look in my profile pic, but it's how I look that's what they choose to comment on. Which just reinforces the fact that ignorant assholes are ultimately bullies above everything else. Hating people for how they look or how they choose to dress is their priority.

I am trying to be unshocked, but this is not remotely surprising. It's the easiest shot to take, because forming an argument in support of your opinion is hard. And the easy shot is all they know.

Not that I really care. Goth Dave is the hottest Dave.


Bullet Sunday 827

Posted on October 22nd, 2023

Dave!The world has gone mad again, but it's still not worse than reading this blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Dr. Nick! The world is so small. I'm watching a fascinating series from NatGeo on Disney+ called Superstructures: Engineering Marvels. One of the episodes is about a massive semi-submersible cargo ship. And one of the experts speaking is Nick Bradbeer, who is billed as a naval architect...

Dr. Nick Bradbeer on National Geographic Television

My brain immediately does a flip-flop because the name sounds so familiar. Bradbeer? Where have I heard that name? So I search my computer and come across a slideshow from a talk I downloaded called Spaceship Design Considerations for Writers written by Dr. Nick Bradbeer. And then I remember... I tried to contact him years ago to see if he knew of a video recording of his talk because I'd very much like to see it. Same guy. Yes, he's a naval engineer teaching at University College London... but he's also a massive gaming geek who applies his career speciality to designing games. And when I Google him, I find him on Mastodon where he's engaging his naval engineering students to play games he wrote! What an amazingly cool guy! Still wish I could find a video of his talk on spaceship design, because I'd very much like to see that. If anybody knows anything that could help me track that down I'd appreciate it.

• Spherical! A lot of footage is being released of the concert experience at "The Sphere" Las Vegas (featuring the U2 residency). It looks insane. And absolutely everybody I've heard talk about it says the same thing... "It's incredible." What's really amazing is that video from a cameraphone cannot possibly capture what you see and hear, but it still looks absolutely amazing. This is a pretty good look right here...

The structure is mind-boggling...

Image from MEGA/The Daily Mail - Capacity actually 20,000 including standing room

It sounded intriguing enough that I actually considered going to see it. I'm not a big U2 fan, but it seems like the spectacle of it all might be worth it. Until I found out what it actually is. This is not U2 playing all their greatest hits. It's U2 playing the entirety of their album Actung, Baby... plus some other songs (namely off Rattle and Hum). And as if that weren't enough of a buzzkill, apparently the massive video screen isn't actually used to fullest effect on all the songs. So it's like... what's the point? Not a ton of acts could fill 20,000 seats night after night (though Taylor Swift could do that easily for a year or more). But how many acts could do that without playing all their hits? As a one-off, no problem. But as a residency in a single city? Taylor, Pink, Madonna, The Stones, Elton John, Coldplay, Celine Dion... maybe? And given how expensive the visuals must cost to produce, you really need a residency to have it pay off. Odds are that the best shows for this would be multi-act shows... or reunions of major names. One Direction, The Spice Girls, etc. So I dunno. I'd still like to experience The Sphere, I just don't know for who.

• QUAID! Every once in a while I run across something from years ago that I never even knew existed. This time it's a Funny or Die clip featuring ennis Quaid from eight years ago that is ridiculously funny...

I love it when celebrities are such good sports and willing to particpate in things like this. And now I need to re-watch Undercover Blues for the hundredth time. A movie so good that I remain despondent that it wasn't a massively huge hit so we could have gotten a sequel.

• Ho Ho Ho! Hallmark Channel's annual "Countdown to Christmas" started on Friday... and it started with one of the best Christmas movies I've seen in a minute: Checkin' It Twice...

The story is great... but the actors take it to the next level. Charming and funny. Could it be that my favorite Hallmark Christmas movie of 2023 is the first Hallmark Christmas movie of 2023? Maybe.

• Left Bloody and Broken! How big of an idiot do you have to be to pick a fight with Disney, a company famous for employing countless bloodthirsty, vicious, soulless lawyers? Can you believe that dumbass Ron DeSantis was actually a contender for the presidency before everybody woke up to what a fucking disaster he is? All he did with his war against Disney was galvanize people against his worthless, bigoted, meatball ass... all in the name of being “anti-woke”... and the hilarious story of how it happened is right here, courtesy of the Legal Eagle...

Now if only people would wake up to the total tidalwave of idiots either in office or running for office and send them packing, that would be great.

• Way To Go! So awesome! People aren't considered freaks anymore based on their weight, their body hair, or their tattoos! I never thought we'd get here as a society, but this bigoted fucking cartoon says it's true, so it must be true!

A bearded lady, tattoed man, and an overweight man being told they're out of a job at the circus because they're no longer considered freaks.

Congratulations everybody on embracing humanity instead of persecution!

Ugh. If only.

• Drought? Oh joy. This precipitation forecast for Winter 2023/2024 might lead to less snow in the mountains where I live this Winter, which means the possibility of another drought Summer 2024 (at least on my side of the mountains)...

Precipitation forecast Winter 2023/2024

But as bad as this might be for us, it's looking disastrous for poor Hawaii. Can't catch a break.

And now to return you to the madness of life on earth. At least until next week.


Xeet: The Fall of the House of Twitter

Posted on October 12th, 2023

Dave!I can't really comment on "The Fall of Twitter" because I've rarely ever used that platform. On the contrary, I've actively avoided it when at all possible. Finding a way to condense my thoughts into 280 characters or less was a hassle that was rarely rewarded with any meaningful dialogue (but I did get plenty of public hate, whether from my content or the misunderstanding of truncated content). Eventually Twitter allowed you to become "verified" by paying for it, and those users were allowed to blow past 280 characters to 1,000 or 2,500 or some more respectable number. I never wanted to pay for the privilege, so I took a hard pass. Again. Regardless of my personal experience (or lack thereof) using Twitter, I've been reading an increasing number of articles which have proclaimed it dead. Or, in the case of The New Yorker, "no longer fun."

What I can comment on is the disastrous rebranding of one of the most valuable brands in the known universe. Elon Musk renamed "Twitter" to "X" which was a bizarre strategy that could only be dreamed up by a billionaire who doesn't give a shit about the irreplaceable power of brand recognition. "Tweets" have been embedded into world culture (and the world's lexicons) in a way that companies fantasize about. But Musk has an obsession over the name "X" for some reason, so now instead of tweets we have xeets or what-the-fuck-ever. Musk does a lot of crazy shit (but likely no more crazy than the things I would do if I were a billionaire) but this one takes the absolute cake. The guy paid FORTY-FOUR BILLION DOLLARS for something he proceeded to utterly decimate.

And don't think that I am just making an observation over something I refuse to investigate. I read numerous stories and watched interviews where Elon Musk attempted to explain it all. And it goes something like this...

“The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world. The Twitter name does not make sense in that context, so we must bid adieu to the bird.”

On the surface, this is not at all illogical. Chinese society runs on an app called WeChat (微信).

If you are unaware of the sheer insanity of just how critical WeChat has become to the Chinese people, I've got a mindblowing video for you. It's quite a long video because they address a number of controversies surrounding the app, but it's a fascinating watch...

Now, if you didn't watch the above video (and who could blame you), this is a frame from it that's the critical bit...

The many apps that make up WeChat.

WeChat combines the shopping of Amazon, the videos of YouTube, the dating of Tinder, the music of Spotify, the search of Google, the financial transactions of PayPal, the social media of Facebook, the telephone connectivity of WhatsApp, the movie studio of Netflix, the ride-sharing of Über, the reviews of Yelp, the videoconferencing of Zoom, and the food delivery of Deliveroo (the American equivalent being InstaCart and ÜberEats)... all in one app!

And this is what Elon Musk is wanting for his "X" platform (a concept he tried once before but never got off the ground). It is, apparently, the main reason behind him wanting to buy Twitter in the first place (along with his ego, I'm sure).

Now, I have serious doubts that a WeChat-type service conglomerate could ever emerge in the USA. We have anti-monopoly laws, sure, but they get ignored or enforced seemingly at random, so that's not my reasoning. My thinking is that there is no unifying government mandate which encourages this to happen. Of course there are politicians who want to keep us from having access to things they don't like (or, more accurately, things that they are fucking PAID to not like, such as TikTok), but apparently nobody has paid them to work on app consolidation yet. Somebody should just tell Musk that he needs to start buying off politicians to make it happen! Heaven only knows that there are enough of them up for sale, so it's really only a matter of money. Of which Musk has plenty.

But anyway...

I am watching the fall of Twitter, er, "X"... with disinterest. Why would I care that a platform is either "dying" or "no fun" when I don't use it?

Okay... I'm watching with a little bit of interest since Twitter is part of the reason that blogging died (ah, those were the days!).

Ultimately to me this is just like the death of FAX machines and pagers. It seems to actually be happening, but we won't know for sure until it's really gone. I take no joy in it, especially because of those who rely on it, but don't expect me to care. And if Twitter weathers the storm and roars back as the "X Everything App" that Musk always dreamed of? Well... I wouldn't want all the apps I use to be consolidated under Elon Musk any more than I would a government... so I wouldn't be thrilled about it (that's why my primary "social media platform" is Blogography!), but I guess I'd have little choice but to install it.

It's either that or retreat to a cave and commune with nature.

Something that is getting more appealing by the day.


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