I don’t know much about itches, but I believe the conventional wisdom is wrong: from Google’s perspective, Google+ is not a social network meant to compete with Facebook. Rather, it’s an identity system that follows you everywhere.
Think about it: what is more valuable? Inane chatter, memes, and baby photos, or every single activity you do online (and increasingly offline)? Google+ is about unifying all of Google’s services under a single log-in which can be tracked across the Internet on every site that uses Google analytics, serves Google ads, or uses Google sign-in.
Every feature of Google+ – or of YouTube, or Maps, or any other service – is a flytrap meant to ensure you are logged in and being logged by Google at all times.
Google’s mission is ostensibly “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
That was once true, but a better formulation today is: “To organize user information and make it universally trackable and marketable.”
Make no mistake, Google+ has been a massive success; credit to Google for their willingness to be misunderstood and portrayed as a loser even as they mine information Mark Zuckerberg can’t even dream of.
“Hilary Mantel’s tremendous Wolf Hall is Game of Thrones if every chapter was told from Tyrion’s point of view.”
That was a line in a review I read and it was enough to hook me. It’s apt, too. The book’s star is Thomas Cromwell, who was adviser to King Henry VIII in the 1530’s. It’s historical fiction, all the persons and events were real, although the scenes and dialogue must be extrapolated.
I very much enjoyed this. The lack of a fifth star is due to two things, one of which isn’t the book’s fault: there were so many dramatis personae that I had trouble keeping them all straight at times. But since these were real people, I can’t really fault Mantel for including them. I did find her prose hard to follow at times. It’s third-person POV and at times I lost who was speaking. I tried to listen to part of this via audiobook and that exacerbated the problem.
These are small complaints. I only know the broad strokes of Sixteenth Century English History. I know Henry broke from the Catholic Church in order to divorce his wife and marry Anne Boleyn. This book is about how that (and other things) came to pass. Really enjoyed it.
I might be link-bating the wrong sort of internet searches, but this is pretty cool.
Kozar_The_Malignant writes “Students at the University of Iceland have written an Android app that helps you avoid dating your cousins. The app accesses the Icelandic national genealogical database that contains information on all living citizens and their ancestors going back 1,100 years. Tapping two phones together will bring up an alert if you share a common grandparent.” Just one of the consequences of having a population small enough and well documented enough to have a well-known genetic makeup.
Y: The Last Man and Saga writer Brian K. Vaughan is one of the main writers of the new CBS show Under the Dome, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. And last night, we got the first glimpse of some footage, and Vaughan talked about how he aims to take a 1,000-page novel and turn it into a TV show that could run for years.
Okay, this just popped to the top of my Must List. I had no idea that BKV was involved in this.
OMG, this. I have talked about this for a decade.
Although labeled a “Sky Patrol Recon Scout,” Altitude’s primary job was as an artist (he joined G.I. Joe after the “collapse of syndicated cartoon programming,” seriously). Basically, they’d let him parachute out of a plane, and then… he’d draw really fast. I’m not kidding. The file card specifically says the Joes use his sketches instead of photos because they’re so precise, which means he’s hand-drawing these things. Hey, you know what else can make totally accurate representations of battlefields and other areas? Satellites. Or cameras glued to the bottom of planes. Altitude was obsolete the minute he joined G.I. Joe, and no one seems to have had the heart to tell him.
Relatedly, I am still enjoying IDW’s G.I. Joe: Cobra series. I’m through the fourth volume and still going. This is great stuff. Adult crime drama, from the perspective of paranoid and scheming COBRA middle managers. Well-written and drawn. I’m about 10 issues from the end and that’s a shame.
This has been a topic of conversation for Adam and I for a week. We don’t disagree that the game has problems (the game, it’s fair to say, neither of us has played, this is all second-hand). At the very least, this was a poor launch, the game appears to have over-promised the complexity of its sim engine, and the always-online requirement isn’t critical as EA/Maxis would have us believe.