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Fact Check: Malcolm Gladwell’s Mythic South

As I’ve been reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers over the last few days, I’ve been accumulating a sense of hokum as Gladwell tells stories and spins out anecdotes. My B.S. detector finally hit the limit with this claim (p. 169):

The triumph of a culture of honor helps to explain why the pattern of criminality [...]

Trackers and Sneaky Bots In WordPress, Moving Foward

This weekend, as we were preparing for a nice Mother’s Day weekend, we came upon a nasty shock. A reader informed us that Irregular Times was exposing people to a piece of software called SkimLinks.

SkimLinks is a plugin that transforms simple html links into money-making engines for SkimLinks clients. The links include code [...]

Bernie Sanders / Bank Of America 2016 Big Data Running Mates For The White House

Bernard Sanders is a frequent critic of Bank of America. So, the senator’s own Twitter feed, as well as Twitter feeds of his supporters, often include the phrase “Bank of America”. Twitter’s predictive system is too stupid, however, to notice that Sanders and his fans are describing Bank of America as heartless, corrupt, abusive, and vile. [...]

Are Automattic and WordPress Purposefully Sneaking Skimlinks Trackers Into Jetpack For Self-Hosted Users?

Trust that relies on concealing the truth about what’s really going on is not trust at all. That’s why we urge Wordpress to distance their Jetpack software from the likes of SkimLinks, and honestly explain how the two became entangled in the first place. [...]

TechCrunch Celebrates Freedom From Tracking Software While Using Tracking Software

“DuckDuckGo aims to offer up the simplicity and functionality of the big search engines, minus all the creepy tracking stuff. The company outlines everything they do/don’t store right here, but most importantly: it doesn’t use tracking cookies, and it doesn’t save a record of your IP.”

So reads a positive review of DuckDuckGo, a search [...]

Step One for Bacon Buyers…

A Guide for Bacon Buyers.

Buy bacon. Then cook it. Then eat it.

Who Will Disprove Betteridge’s Law?

Ian Betteridge has proposed a law, humbly named Betteridge’s Law: “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no’.”

Let’s test that with news headlines ripped hot off the press just now:

BTN Live: How Many Teams Should Make the Playoffs?

No!

CNET: How Much Would Jabba the Hutt’s [...]

What Kind Of Plants Map Has No Map?

Update: Plants Map has now added mapping to its web site, and it makes a huge change. The site, which is really a budding social network for gardeners, suddenly makes a great deal of sense. I’m making my account active, and I’m hoping to see the site grow in the future.

It’s almost May. It’s [...]

Dark Data And Cash

This morning, I decided to bake crescent rolls, out of a tube, for breakfast. It’s a simple, easy pleasure I indulge in every now and then, but I like to keep it to myself.

So, instead of getting in a car with satellite navigation that could transmit a record of my journey to corporate headquarters [...]

Portrait Of The Internet

I had a heartbleed this morning, and had to go to the pharmacist for a treatment. When I got there, I discovered this latest update of the Internet’s infrastructure, waiting for me outside.

Conservative Christian Group Alerts America to… a Practicing Homosexual and Dangerous Negroes???

Why does conservative Christianity get so much negative press in America?

News item (via American Family Association’s One News Now)

“President Obama has submitted a list of five nominees for federal judge posts, and a constitutional law expert suggests America will pay a price. Among the nominees are four African Americans, one of them homosexual, [...]