And If You Append _nomap To Your Street Address, Google Won’t Rifle Through Your Mailbox

Google Announces “_nomap” WiFi Opt-out Option, Wants Other Location Providers To Go Along:

As promised, Google has announced a way for WiFi router owners to stop Google from including them in the company’s location database.

The opt-out requires a change in the name of the wireless network (the SSID) to include _nomap at the end of the name. In other words, if your wireless network is named “McGeehome,” you’d need to rename that to “McGeehome_nomap.” (And frankly, I’d prefer you use your own last name while you’re at it.)

Google is thoughtfully allowing you to change your internal naming of your personal property to keep Google from using it for its own data collection and profit.

Because your property and information belongs to Google unless you explicitly say it does not. Even if you don’t use Google. Because anything Google can dig up, it can use.

(Link via tweet.)

An Ounce of Feline Prevention

Google working on super-fast ‘quantum’ computer chip

Google said it is working on a super-fast “quantum” computer chip as part a vision to one day have machines think like humans.

Friends, we have the algorithm for a fail-safe prevention of a Skynet scenario right there: If we make the computers think like humans, we’ll be safe.

For example, if the computers think, after reaching a certain level of sophistication, they should simply use the network to share cat pictures and staged, marketing-driven ‘viral’ videos with each other instead of doing something useful like annihilating mankind. As a bonus, computers would more completely overwhelm the network doing these things at the speed of quantum, and they’ll knock themselves out.

I hope someone is checking this into GitHub right now for the good of mankind.

(Link seen in the Ace of Spades HQ sidebar.)

An Unannounced Boycott?

Firefox falters, falls to record low in overall browser share:

Firefox’s user share on all platforms — desktop and mobile — has plunged in the last two months as its desktop browser continued to bleed and its attempt to capture users on smartphones failed to move the needle, new data shows.

Huh. Can you think of anything that might have happened about two months ago that might have angered a large number of its users and caused them to change browsers?

Firefox blocked image

Correlation is not causation, but a sudden shift might not come just from the release of the iPhone 5S.

You Will Never Again Experience MfBJN The Way It Was Intended

Firefox 23 nixes support for outdated blink HTML tag:

Mozilla announced on Tuesday that Firefox 23, the latest version of its browser, will not support the HTML tag blink.

I’ve used that tag for years, off and on, on this blog. I’ll be sad to see it go.

Frankly, it’s just a case of the cool designers finally promulgating their disdain for a particular tag. Heaven forfend the hipsters start thinking that italics look weird.

(Link via VodkaPundit.)

Facebook as Official Communications Channel

Perhaps you’ve seen the video of the concealed carry motorist in Ohio who tried to inform the police officers that he was carrying a concealed weapon, only to be interrupted each time by the tough cop until such time when the weapon was discovered, whereupon the officer threatens him with bodily injury and death. I’ll tuck the video under the fold.

Courtesy of a Hot Air update, I see the police department has issued a statement on its Facebook page:

I want to assure our citizens that the behavior, as demonstrated in this video, is wholly unacceptable and in complete contradiction to the professional standards we demand of our officers. As such, appropriate steps were placed in motion as dictated by our standards, policies and contractual obligations….

I have to ask you, do you take postings on social network sites from official government entities as the truth? As an official in a government entity, do you think this really is the forum for official statements?

I dunno. Since it’s so easy to hack or spoof the social network sites, I don’t it’s a good idea. But I’m an old man. NOW GET OFF MY LAWN!

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Another Helpful Error Message

Here’s a friendly error message courtesy of

Browser Bug?

Attention: There appears to be a bug in the web browser
you are currently using. Here are some ways to get around the problem:

  • To return to the page you were previously on:

    –click the BACK button on your browser’s navigation bar until you
    reach the desired page.

  • To checkout –click on the shopping cart icon at the top
    of the page and proceed through the checkout process using the standard
    server (instead of the secure server). You can phone or fax the credit
    card information to us.

Your Web browser is Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; rv:1.7.3) Gecko/20040913 Firefox/0.10.

Error handling by blaming the user and the user’s Web browser. Swell, Amazon. Undoubtedly, your developers have convinced your project managers that this is acceptable, when it’s clearly not.

Lazy Fare has a story featuring Carly Fiorina, head of Hewlett-Packard-Compaq-Digital, telling the information technology professionals who are watching their profession awaken after the party that was the Internet boom and stagger into the developing world for a quick bit of relief from burgeoning labor costs. Fiorina says:

“There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.”

Right on, sister. Capitalism keeps our prices down as consumers, so as long as we continue to adapt as producers, we can continue buying stuff and make the whole world go around. I’m all for that, because I realize once all the jobs are overseas, the board of directors will realize CEOs will be cheaper over there, too. No, no, they tell themselves, it won’t happen to us…. just like the myopic IT career counselors told their charges in the 1990s.

But that’s the way business works, and society and government ought to let the businesses do their thing. I’m with you, Carly. Of course, I wouldn’t invest money in that sinking ship you’re piloting towards the crumbling glacier, but I’m with you.

Well, no, I’m not. Because the solutions she proposes are not laissez-faire capitalism solutions:

They outlined a list of objectives, including a doubling of federal spending on basic research in U.S. universities. Barrett derided Washington’s decision to spend as much as $40 billion a year on farm subsidies and just $5 billion on basic research in the physical sciences.

“I have a real degree of difficulty with the fact that we are spending some five to eight times as much on the industry of the 19th century than we are on the industry of the 21st century,” Barrett said.

The executives also urged a national broadband policy to allow more homes and businesses to quickly take advantage of high-speed data networks, much as Japan and Korea have done.

They also called for dramatic improvements in K-12 education in the United States, saying schools act more to block budding math and science students than to foster them.

Federal government should start throwing money to the technical industry the same way it throws money to all industry. Fiorina and her buddies don’t want laissez-faire capitalism. They want crony capitalism and are auditioning for the roles of “cronies.”