I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I Loved Facebook. But I Can’t Stay Silent About What’s Happening.

‘In the world of growth hacking, users are a metric, not people. Every action a user took gave Facebook a better understanding of that user–and of that user’s friends–enabling the company to make tiny “improvements” in the user experience every day, which is to say it got better at manipulating the attention of users. Any advertiser could buy access to that attention. The Russians took full advantage.

Source: I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I Loved Facebook. But I Can’t Stay Silent About What’s Happening.

The Monopolization of America

The federal government, under presidents of both parties, has largely surrendered to monopoly power. “The ‘anti’ in ‘antitrust’ has been discarded,” as the legal scholar Tim Wu puts it in his new book, “The Curse of Bigness.” Washington allows most megamergers to proceed either straight up or with only fig-leaf changes. The government has also done nothing to prevent the emergence of dominant new technology companies that mimic the old AT&T monopoly.

Source: Opinion | The Monopolization of America – The New York Times

A note about www.digitaltrends.com

Editorial Note:  This is the first time I had to deal with something like this.  Linking to a site is not against the law nor can anyone demand it be removed.  Here are two emails supposedly from www.digitaltrends.com.  The email lists three urls from bucktownbell.com, this site, but none of them reference the link he complained about.   Thus, this could be a bot email and Rob Wolfe at dtlinkoutreach@gmail.com could be spam or some kind of spear phishing attack on me.

So I took the post that linked to https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/china-floating-solar-power-plant/  down.  No big deal.    After the emails are links to other sites about China’s new solar power plant.  I found the story interesting.  This site is about articles I find interesting.

Now bugger off Rob Wolfe whoever you are!

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 18:55:53 +0000
From: Rob Wolfe <dtlinkoutreach@gmail.com>
To: Mark Anderson <mea@brandylion.com>
Subject: quick question
   1   OK     25 lines  Text
   2 Shown    26 lines  Text

Just a quick question Mark

- did you get my last e-mail?

I really need you to remove the link on


going to my site at


Can you please remove it ASAP?

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know

Rob Wolfe

------------- latest email -----------------
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2018 18:26:58 +0000
From: rob Wolfe <dtlinkoutreach2@gmail.com>
To: Mark Anderson <mea@brandylion.com>
Subject: Mark please respond
   1   OK     29 lines  Text
   2 Shown    33 lines  Text

Hey Mark

I really really need you to act on this.

You are linking to my site at


from here


I am very sure that this link is hurting my site in Google!

This means, retaining that link would hurt the reputation of your site as well, if we
need to include it in our link disavow request to Google.

So please remove that link ASAP and I'll make sure to not bother you again!

Thanks in advance!

Rob Wolfe
 Here are some better articles on this subject anyway.  Enjoy!

China Turns On the World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm

So why build solar plants on top of lakes and reservoirs? Fiona Harvey at The Guardian explains that building on bodies of water, especially manmade lakes that are not ecologically sensitive, helps protect agricultural land and terrestrial ecosystems from being developed for energy use. The water also cools the electronics in the solar panels, helping them to work more efficiently, reports Alistair Boyle for The Telegraph. For similar reasons Britain built a 23,000-panel floating solar farm on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir near Heathrow airport in 2016 to help power the Thames Water treatment plant.
Another blurb from an actual tree hugger site of all places:  World’s largest floating solar farm, now online in China
When I wrote about China and India being years ahead of their climate pledges, some commenters expressed skepticism. But whatever your views on how well we can trust official government statistics, one thing is pretty much undeniable at this point:

Renewable energy and clean tech are very big business in China and India right now.

And here and here and here and here ….


Why I Hate Frameworks

“Well, the problem with hammers is that there are so many different kinds. Sledge hammers, claw hammers, ball-peen hammers. What if you bought one kind of hammer and then realized that you needed a different kind of hammer later? You’d have to buy a separate hammer for your next task. As it turns out, most people really want a single hammer that can handle all of the different kinds of hammering tasks you might encounter in your life.”

Source: The Joel on Software Discussion Group (CLOSED) – Why I Hate Frameworks

HTTP/2.0 – The IETF is Phoning It In

The reason HTTP/2.0 does not improve privacy is that the big corporate backers have built their business model on top of the lack of privacy. They are very upset about NSA spying on just about everybody in the entire world, but they do not want to do anything that prevents them from doing the same thing. The proponents of HTTP/2.0 are also trying to use it as a lever for the “SSL anywhere” agenda, despite the fact that many HTTP applications have no need for, no desire for, or may even be legally banned from using encryption.

via HTTP/2.0 – The IETF is Phoning It In – ACM Queue.

History has shown overwhelmingly that if you want to change the world for the better, you should deliver good tools for making it better, not policies for making it better. I recommend that anybody with a voice in this matter turn their thumbs down on the HTTP/2.0 draft standard: It is not a good protocol and it is not even good politics.

Anthropomorphism Gone Wrong: Poor Motivating Example for OOP

I’d like to show an example of anthropomorphism gone wrong. It was given to me as a classic justification of why so called “Object Oriented Programming” is better than procedural programming. You may have learned it in your first lesson about OOP.

(Note: I’m not disparaging OOP here, just the example. For genuine OOP bashing, see here.)

via Anthropomorphism Gone Wrong: Poor Motivating Example for OOP.

From slashdot comments that I found funny:

Lets say you’re a traveling auto salesman, and you would like to sell your cars to different stores around the state. You could either drive each car, one at a time, to each assigned destination and hitchhike back to your starting point (always with a towel). Or you could come up with an algorithm for taking all the cars, putting them into a truck, and finding the shortest path that visits each auto store, saving gas and giving you the street credibility to comment on the appropriateness of OOP vs procedural languages. Then, after having spent a more fulfilling life than most people by being so efficient, you can watch as people invoke your name, and come up with a poor analogy which doesn’t really explain OOP vs procedural languages that shows up on Slashdot.

Why the above was funny?  See this wiki article on Dijkstra’s algorithm which the first quoted editorial used as a source:

Dijkstra’s algorithm, conceived by computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra in 1956 and published in 1959,[1][2] is a graph search algorithm that solves the single-source shortest path problem for a graph with non-negative edge path costs, producing a shortest path tree. This algorithm is often used in routing and as a subroutine in other graph algorithms.

How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm

Code always has flaws, and those flaws are easy for bad guys to find. But if your computer has deliberately been designed with a blind spot, the bad guys will use it to evade detection by you and your antivirus software. That’s why a 3-D printer with anti-gun-printing code isn’t a 3-D printer that won’t print guns—the bad guys will quickly find a way around that. It’s a 3-D printer that is vulnerable to hacking by malware creeps who can use your printer’s “security” against you: from bricking your printer to screwing up your prints to introducing subtle structural flaws to simply hijacking the operating system and using it to stage attacks on your whole network.

via How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm | WIRED.

This amounts to a criminal sanction for telling people about vulnerabilities in their own computers. And because today your computer lives in your pocket and has a camera and a microphone and knows all the places you go; and because tomorrow that speeding car/computer probably won’t even sport a handbrake, let alone a steering wheel—the need to know about any mode that could be exploited by malicious hackers will only get more urgent. There can be no “lawful interception” capacity for a self-driving car, allowing police to order it to pull over, that wouldn’t also let a carjacker compromise your car and drive it to a convenient place to rob, rape, and/or kill you.

Things You Should Never Do, Part I – Joel on Software

There’s a subtle reason that programmers always want to throw away the code and start over. The reason is that they think the old code is a mess. And here is the interesting observation: they are probably wrong. The reason that they think the old code is a mess is because of a cardinal, fundamental law of programming:

It’s harder to read code than to write it.

via Things You Should Never Do, Part I – Joel on Software.

Each of these bugs took weeks of real-world usage before they were found. The programmer might have spent a couple of days reproducing the bug in the lab and fixing it. If it’s like a lot of bugs, the fix might be one line of code, or it might even be a couple of characters, but a lot of work and time went into those two characters.

When you throw away code and start from scratch, you are throwing away all that knowledge. All those collected bug fixes. Years of programming work.

Robot Arm Will Install New Earth-Facing Cameras On The Space Station

TORONTO, CANADA – Canada’s robotic Canadarm2 will install the next two Urthecast cameras on the International Space Station, removing the need for astronauts to go outside to do the work themselves, the company announced today (Sept. 30).

Urthecast plans to place two Earth-facing cameras on the United States side of the station (on Node 3) to add to the two they already have on the Russian Zvezda module. Technical problems with the cameras forced the Russians to do an extra spacewalk to complete the work earlier this year.

via Robot Arm Will Install New Earth-Facing Cameras On The Space Station.

Gaining experience by doing and then figuring out how to automate that in space is the main reason for having a space station.   This station is a valuable resource for all of mankind.