The Like Button

Note: this blog post is “in the raw” as it’s written in a hurry, and its content may be edited later for corrections, additions, retractions or anything that fits the passing whims of the author.

Recently there have been words in the press about Facebook’s new and upcoming Unlike button, which differs greatly from earlier rumours of similar Unlike button solutions, many of them riddled with viruses and whatnot, in that this one is in fact confirmed by Zuckerberg himself (though it’s still unclear exactly how it’s going to be implemented). But what will that button mean for the average user? And come to think about it, what indeed does the already existing Like button mean? In my experience, that depends on the person you ask. What I do know is that if you ask me, it means something like this:
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Cookies Everywhere!

I mean, I walk into a website, and the website says “Hey! You know we use cookies, right? Cookies are good for you, and for us, but we need you to accept them before we can continue. Please click the appropriate whatsit to accept that we use cookies together!”.

And since I’m OK with that, I click the appropriate whatsit. And, what do you know, next time they ask me again. And again. Even if I check back just five minutes later, they ask me again.

You know, there’s one wonderful use for cookies, right? It’s to let the website remember stuff that I did on a previous visit. Like shopping sites remember which items I looked at previously, so it suggests those when I come back, which I think is good.

So why can’t they remember that I already answered YES, dammit! All it takes is a “Don’t ask again” checkmark box. Please. It’s getting tiring.

For the record: I know that not everyone is OK with the use of cookies, and with good reason as there are ways to misuse them that are intrusive and a threat to your privacy. I also don’t suggest you blankly OK cookies on every single site you’re on. That’s what your browser’s Incognito Mode or Private Mode is for, and this is why, on occasion, you may choose to delete browser cookies. Use your own sound judgement to protect your own privacy.

With apologies to Sesame Street.

You MUST Watch This Video!

Though only 15 minutes long, this video reveals some of the deepest secrets about life, the Universe and everything. Watching it will be a life-changing experience! Be advised, however: Due to the sensitive nature of the information herein, viewing of this video has been limited to certain regions only. For remember that knowledge is power, and with great power comes great responsibility.

No, seriously, this is how it feels when I try to watch a video that, for no good reason, has been restricted to “certain audiences” or “certain regions”, despite their insistence that it’s a Must Watch! that I really, really, really shouldn’t miss.

You’re annoying the hell out of people, guys!

(This video is a joke, but the sentiment is real. Thanks for listening.)

Don’t Be A Creepy Stalker — We Have NSA For That

Actually quite to the point, and quite important.

But wait, what? … There’s actually a website dedicated to “Women Who Eat On Tubes”? I guess after 17 years on the Internet I shouldn’t be at all surprised, but still … Apparently there’s a fetish for everyone.

[Link to article on thedailybeast.com]

Before you fall for the temptation to do as described in the article, consider for a moment, how would YOU feel if someone posted pictures of YOU on a website, for ridicule and mockery, public embarrassment, open disrespect and tasteless commentary?

[Link to follow-up article on independent.co.uk]

Or, in the unlikely event that you happen to be one of those few who doesn’t give a damn about such things for your own part, how would you feel if for example it happened to your own son or daughter, or other near and dear ones? If it still sounds like a good idea to you, then you may be in need of professional counselling. Or a reality check. Or both.

Plus people who post embarrassing pictures of others on the web without their consent pretty much revoke their own right to complain about what NSA is doing to their privacy. Go figure!

Remember — The Internet of You

The things, those weird and sometimes interesting things that occasionally drift across my computer screen on a cold, foggy Saturday afternoon of early spring …

This time, accompanying my late-breakfast-bordering-on-lunch, an inspirational and/or thought-provoking speech by Antoine Cartier-Wells¹ brought to life in the YouTube video “The Social Revolution – Remember Me” by Devin “devinsupertramp” Graham. The speech is captivating, touching upon the interaction of our eyes, brains and memories with the surrounding world, past and present, and perhaps … future?

“What makes us Human? Our sense of self and our ability to share who we are.”

Warning: Possible spoilers beyond this point!

The five minute speech/video does well enough to stand on its own feet, though as it ends it passes the torch of context to an interactive, mixed media science fiction novel in the shape of Antoine Cartier-Wells’ journal, beginning at his birth in 1984, weaving its way through his life project of understanding, storing, exchanging, sharing, analysing and perhaps even altering memories.

There’s more than a spoonful of William Gibson in these works, methinks; the dark cyberpunk atmosphere, and in some ways you may even see connections with what became the Matrix (the one in Gibson’s books, not the Wachowski Brothers’ Matrix movie trilogy). That said, I wouldn’t dare to assume that the two stories are chronologically connected.

As the interactive journey through the journal comes to its conclusion, it is revealed that this is in fact the back story for computer action game Remember Me. This does not detract from the fact that I quite enjoyed the storyline.

By the looks of the trailers, the game (which I have not yet tried for myself) does seem like something I’d enjoy to watch more than actually play, preferably as a movie, somewhat “Total Recall” style (the 2012 Colin Farrell version, not the 1990 Arnold Schwartzenegger one). It would make for a seriously psychedelic motion picture trip.

Footnotes:

  1. Antoine Cartier-Wells is a fictional character from the game “Remember Me”.

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