Ad networks: completely legit and not even a little disturbing.

For most ads you see on web browsers and mobile devices, there is an auction among various programmatic advertising firms for the chance to show you an ad. We are one of those buyers, and we are sent a variety of anonymous data, including what kind of phone you have, what app you are using, what operating system version you're running, and sometimes -- crucially for this study -- your latitude and longitude (lat/long).

We identified the caucusing locations prior [to] the Iowa caucus and told our system to be on the lookout for devices that report a lat/long at those locations during the caucus. [...]

To build out that rich information set that you are referring to (we call them 'Crafted Audiences'), we need to see a device several times across many different sites. We then use some pretty sophisticated machine learning techniques to extrapolate behaviors. We can only do this because we see such a broad view of digital behavior. In other words we know that seeing you on sites A, B and C mean that you are likely a New Mom, but seeing you on A, D and E mean that you are Health Conscious.

Previously, previously.

Posted Sat Feb 13 01:34:34 2016 Tags:

Biodiversity Loss and the Doomsday Clock: An Invisible Disaster Almost No One is Talking About.

Posted Sat Feb 13 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Google will omit search results based on the "right to be forgotten from searches" for any access from a machine believed to be in Europe.

Posted Sat Feb 13 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Two prominent US blacks, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander, have announced support for Sanders.

Here's the article by Michelle Alexander.

Posted Sat Feb 13 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

The UK government has quietly erased the policy that ministers have an "overarching duty" to carry out international agreements.

I agree with this campaign as regards human rights. Ministers must respect them. However, I think there are some international agreements that every minister has a duty to stuff in the toilet -- the business supremacy agreements.

Posted Sat Feb 13 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

I am looking for people to help webmasters make simple but substantial changes in their web sites — for instance, to use the GNU Project's recommended terminology.

Posted Sat Feb 13 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Wisconsin's corrupt supreme court has issued several arbitrary orders to block prosecutors from appealing its decision to the US Supreme Court.

The decision they intend to appeal was to shut down a criminal investigation that might inculpate plutocratist Governor Walker.

Posted Sat Feb 13 00:00:00 2016 Tags:
DNA Lounge update, wherein our bathroom sign rides eternal, shiny and chrome.
Posted Fri Feb 12 19:59:39 2016 Tags:

50 countries have citizenship laws that discriminate against women. In some countries, female citizens have children who can't get citizenship in any country.

Posted Fri Feb 12 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Sanders won a landslide victory in New Hampshire, beating Clinton by 22 percent.

Sanders' conclusive victory demonstrates Clinton's electability problem.

Posted Fri Feb 12 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

US citizens: call on Obama to use emergency powers to stop oil exports for one year.

Posted Fri Feb 12 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

US citizens: call on Obama to use emergency powers to stop oil exports for one year.

Posted Fri Feb 12 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

The SCCS back end to SRC doesn’t support named symbolic references to numbered revisions, because SCCS masters don’t include a symbol table. This is one of the things RCS added.

Goddess help me, I’ve figured out how to shoehorn in this feature. And probably should not do it.

A nearly forgotten feature of both SCCS and RCS masters is the “descriptive text” field, one per master. When this was used it was normally set at master creation time to convey the purpose of the file for which the master is keeping history. But it can be modified after master-creation time.

The trick: swipe this field. if empty, and use it as an attribute-value dictionary encoded as a JSON object. If it’s nonempty, and doesn’t begin with a ‘{‘, exit with a warning rather than stepping on legacy data.

Now, in the SCCS back end, one attribute (initially the only one) can be a symbol table. Voila!

I shouldn’t do this. The odds of anyone wanting to use the SCCS back for production in 2016 are minimal. But I am tempted by a mad completist urge…

Posted Thu Feb 11 06:47:28 2016 Tags:

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 163.

Posted Thu Feb 11 04:36:53 2016 Tags:

I just released version 1.7 of SRC, Simple Revision Control.

For those of you late to the party, SRC is a simple version control system for directories full of small standalone files like FAQs, scripts in your ~/bin, dotfiles, and so forth – cases where you don’t want multi-file changesets. It’s actually a Python wrapper around RCS (or, optionally, SCCS) but gives you integer sequential version numbers, lockless operation, and a modern low-friction UI modeled on Subversion’s.

With 1.7, I think it’s finished – the last two user-visible features I had planned were SCCS support and DOT visualization, and those are done now.

I believe SRC is now feature-complete for its functional niche. Am I mistaken? Is anything missing? Did I do anything that seems wrong?

I know SRC has had real users since about 0.3. If you are an SRC user, please check in in the comments. Most importantly, tell me if you need any feature it doesn’t have. I’m also curious if the actual use cases are any different than I expected, and I am all agog to know if anyone actually has a use for the SCCS support.

Posted Wed Feb 10 13:21:13 2016 Tags:
SF Supervisor Demands NFL Reimbursement For Super Bowl 50 Expenses

Supervisor Jane Kim is fighting to get the National Football League, not San Francisco taxpayers, to foot the nearly $5 million bill for the costs associated with upcoming Super Bowl 50 events. [...]

"City departments have been requested by the Mayor's Office to identify $4,375,765 of surplus in their General Fund allocations and/or redirect staff time and other resources from planned projects to support this extraordinary special event," the analysis states.


Posted Tue Feb 9 01:44:59 2016 Tags:
Arduino-Based Curtain Automation, Mk 2:

Come for the not-quite-competent hardware hacking, stay for the snark about the Arduino Ethernet library!

Previously, previously.

Posted Mon Feb 8 22:53:04 2016 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.