SFG Media Group

Who are they?

A quick web search reveals: “SFG Media Group is a digital content creation and distribution company using data science to empower journalists, writers and filmmakers.”

But who are they REALLY?

Well if their former employees are any indication, they are terrible people. Here’s an excerpt from a GlassDoor review:

Poor management and no concern for employees.

I was hired with a 2 week training period for a writer position only to find out that it was actually a try out. The people who hired me knew that I was quitting my job to work there but didn’t warn me that they might not take me after the 2 weeks training period (they also asked me to work over the week-end with no notice).

And how about their outsourcing habits? Well I spotted an ad from them on the WordPress job boards, offering $5 per page to build landing pages. Even if you cut and paste the layout with no other changes you’re looking at 20 minutes per page, which means they were offering roughly $15 per hour. I wrote them to tell them they need to increase their offer to $50/hr or better, as their current offer was insulting to all professional developers. The E-mail responses I got in response were incredibly hostile, let’s look at a few of them.

This one was interesting because he accuses me of being rude, after an uncalled for assault of hostility.

If you are not interested, just fuck off.

We have enough people interested.

Some people asked for 500 others asked for 50 some are doing it for 5

So, why don’t you get your head out of your ass and get over your
superiority complex and go fuck yourself or do something useful instead of
wasting my time with your stupidity and rudeness.

Here his raging tantrum increases in intensity

why dont you idiot read the email you sent me first time and see your
insults and shove them down your throat.
I dont want people to work for me for free, I want them to work for an
agreed on rate.. you are too dumb to understand that maybe because of the
air you breathing in whatever shit hole you live in.
if you dont like my behavior, fuck off and stop sending me emails.
people who are interested in working with me, they are doing it, but again
because you are a fucking arrogant scumbag you think you are better than
them, despite that your website is so shitty, you wont even qualify for a
$5 gig.
if it is after midnight, go to sleep, go watch tv, go work on your site, go
learn something…and stop wasting my time.
I know it makes you feel important because your life is that worthless and
pathetic, but..it wont get you anywhere,..so go do something useful with
your time.

Here is the actual contents of my first E-mail, do you see any insults? I don’t.

You are trying to take advantage of people and you should be ashamed. I hope that you meet with failure until you are willing to pay a reasonable salary for the work you’re asking for. You need to start at $50 per hour.

If you think that’s unfair, do the work yourself.

This one is interesting, his response has escalated from attacking me personally, to attacking my deceased mother or my imaginary sister. I think we can all agree that this sort of behavior is completely unacceptable for a grown adult. Again he acts like the victim as well, saying that I insulted him, but that never took place.

You again? You are like a rabid dog who won’t leave.
You are not a man, you are an asshole.
You sent me an email insulting me and my business and everyone who applied
for the job.
That’s an adult behavior? But replying to your insults is not?
I hope I m not giving you the idea that I give a damn about what you think
of me or my business, I just tried to be polite and give you the benefit of
the doubt, but obviously there is no reasoning with you,and you are not
reading my email or understanding them…just want to reply and spew your
poisonous bullying because it make your pathetic life more meaningful.
Just get your head out of your ass or out of your moms ass or out of your
dogs ass and fuck off and do something useful with your worthless time and
existence.

You should change your nickname from lion to a donkey, a very dumb donkey.

I replied to your insults with reasoning, with insulting you, your mom, and
your sister…unless they are prostitutes..so if you have any shred of
dignity and self respect, you would have fucked off already.

This is my favorite one. In this rant he accuses me of being part of ISIS and helping to kill people and destroy their houses, and talks about “digital threats”.

I don’t care…you see in 2006 israeli apartheid regime and terrorists
threatened to kill us and destroy our houses, and despite their war crimes
where they killed over a 1000 women and men and 300 child…we survived, we
did to cave to their threats and their war criminals went out crying after
being crushed along with their elite army units.
Your friends at isis threatened us and attacked us and killed many of
us..but eventually they were crushed and soon to be eliminated … so
digital threats from a coward bully like you are meaningless as much as
your existence.
Post them anywhere..but why don’t you post them with your real name, phone
number and address , don’t be a coward.
And send me the links..I might have few more minutes to spend dealing with
your bullying and stupidity..

Now you might think “How can we believe this stuff? It seems too insane to be true”. You would be right to be cautious, so for the sake of verification, here is an archive of most of the emails, including everything quoted here, and their respective E-mail headers including cryptographic DKIM signatures which can be used to verify the authenticity of these E-mails. sfg-media-emails.tar.gz

Conclusion: SFG Media Group are “Bad People”

You should decide for yourself, but if you ask me the evidence is overwhelming, these people are not the kind of people that anyone should want to work for or do business with. The marketplace is filled with honest and hard working people who pay decent wages and provide decent services, and most of them are fine places to work. SFG Media Group puts on a good front, but when you peel back the layers what you find is a loathing toward their fellow man, and behavior which nobody would ever tolerate. I hope you find this useful.

System Adminsitrators: Disregard “Reputation” when fighting SPAM

Envelope with an @ symbol

Preface

A number of companies offer a service where they provide “reputation” scores for various domains and IP addresses based on reports of SPAM originating from those networks. These “reputations” are meaningless however, and E-mail Server Administrators should completely disregard them, for a number of reasons.

One: False Reporting

Probably the most significant issue is that the majority of E-mail reported as SPAM, does not actually fit the definition. SPAM is clearly defined as Unsolicited Bulk E-mail. The first requirement is it must be unsolicited. If you do business with a company, you sign up on their website or you order a thing or you just send feedback to an E-mail address of theirs, you have opted in to receive E-mail from that company. Under the rules of the CAN-SPAM act that company has to include in it’s marketing E-mails a link which allows you to easily unsubscribe from those newsletters, but because you initiated contact with that company it is by definition not “Unsolicited”.

The second requirement is that the E-mail has to be bulk E-mail. This means it has to be sent to a lot of people, and is not targeting specific individuals or businesses. If you post a comment on a website forum about gardening, and another reader of that forum builds a mailing list which includes your name and then sends you individual marketing information about his gardening products, that is not SPAM. It may be unsolicited, but it does not qualify as bulk, because he is targeting you as an individual.

Most users don’t understand these requirements. The average person in our society believes that SPAM is any E-mail they don’t explicitly want to receive. And they will often click the “SPAM” button in their E-mail clients when they should instead be clicking the “Unsubscribe” button in those E-mails. For this reason, the vast majority of SPAM reports, which “reputation scores” are based on, are false.

Two: Maintenance

It is practically impossible for the operators of reputation lists to maintain those lists with anything resembling accuracy. A lot of spammers will rent cheap servers from legitimate providers (those with a zero tolerance for abusive customers such as spammers), send millions of SPAM emails from their cheap server, and then when they get booted off they order a new server under a new identity. A lot of SPAM is also sent using servers which have been compromised because their owners are not keeping them secure. The result of this is that the IP addresses of those servers or even their parent networks get a lower reputation. Digital Ocean is a great example, they have a strict zero tolerance policy toward SPAM, but Outlook.com will often block entire subnets of the Digital Ocean IP range, because of the momentary behavior of a few unrelated servers on their network. The people selling these “reputation” lists are not checking up on individual IPs every week to see if the SPAM has stopped or if the operators of those IPs have been booted off the network. The information is almost always going to be outdated.

Three: It hurts legitimate businesses

One of the greatest things about The Internet is how it empowers any person to create small businesses from nothing. It’s extremely cheap to set up a website and start operating a business. It is extremely frustrating when you are a small business owner, to discover you can’t email one of your customers because they use Outlook.com for their E-mail, and you use a respectable hosting provider who just happens to be blocked by Outlook.com’s idiotic reputation list.

Four: There are better ways

There is an accepted “best practice” for E-mail Server Administrators to deal with the threat of SPAM. E-mail which is suspicious should be shuffled into a “Junk” folder in the recipient’s inbox, where it can still be reviewed. There are a number of tools available to help identify suspicious E-mail. A sender’s DNS information should include an SPF record, which tells recipients which IP addresses are authorized to send E-mail on behalf of that domain name. It should include a DKIM public key, which is used to verify the authenticity of each individual E-mail by comparing it against the DKIM signature which should be in the headers of all outgoing E-mails, and it should include a DMARC record which instructs recipients on precisely what steps should be taken when an E-mail fails either the SPF or DKIM tests. These methods are effective at identifying the majority of SPAM. For example any SPAM sent from hijacked servers is going to fail both the SPF and DKIM tests.

In addition to this, there are public “Blacklists”. Unlike “Reputation Lists”, the publically maintained domain blacklists are actually trusted. They contain lists of Domains which have contributed obscenely to the SPAM problem. Furthermore there are steps which can be taken to have a domain removed from a blacklist. It’s possible to check the status of your domain name and see if it is on any of the public blacklists, because they are not commercial services. Reputation Lists are commercial products and so a provider of those services is not necessarily going to let you see your own score unless you pay them, which makes it impossible for a domain owner to petition for changes. On top of this, some “Reputation Lists” are known to take bribes to “whitelist” your domain name. The public and trusted blacklists cannot be paid off.

Conclusion: Reputation Lists are garbage

So to summarize, if you are an E-mail Server Administrator, do not use “Reputation Scores” to identify SPAM. Use Blacklists, ensure that your server is performing tests against SPF and DKIM, and following recommended behavior in DMARC records. Configure your server to label suspicious E-mails as potential SPAM, and dump those into a “Junk” sub-folder of your users’ Inbox. Encourage your users to try the “Unsubscribe” link instead of reporting an E-mail as SPAM.

If you try SPAM filtering methods which are too aggressive, you are going to lose users. As an E-mail Server Administrator, your first priority is to ensure that 100% of legitimate E-mails sent to your users are reaching their destination. Everything else is secondary, and if you can’t provide that then your users are going to find someone else who will.

Google fires employee for controversial memo

small square painted on the sidewalk which reads "Designated free speech area"

Preface

Wow @Google’s decision to fire someone for expressing their opinion on the internet has backfired. The fallout has been mostly very negative. Journalists and Bloggers have accused @Google of breaking labor laws, anti-American behavior, and stifling free expression and free thought. I think this shows that whatever social idealogy @Google may once have had, it has been crushed under the weight of their corporate greed. They must have had board meetings where they weighed the financial risks of tolerating the employee’s behavior, or firing the employee. Ethical standards have nothing to do with decisions like these when a corporation of Google’s size is in the crosshairs, the only thing that matters to them is money and their continued stability in the marketplace.

My opinion

I happen to agree in a narrow sense that diversity of thought and diversity of culture is probably what we should all be striving for. I am of the opinion that people should be hired and promoted based on merit alone, and never gender, or race, or any other “book cover” trait. Some board room decision that “We need at least 40% to 60% women in our top roles” is not a good way to staff an organization of any size or role. It limits your options and opens the door for unexpected breakdowns in the team.

The human race is not divided into genetically isolated groups competing with each other for dominance. It’s not Women vs Men vs Latinos vs Blacks vs Gays. There are humans who choose to live that way or they think that’s how it works, but they are either ignorant or stupid. You can certainly organize your culture into that kind of competition, but it would not be best for the species and it would have no basis in science or knowledge or intellect. You might wish that the world could be divided up in such ways, but Planet Earth and The Human Race do not exist to grant your fucking wishes. Life is what it is, reality is what it is, regardless of whether any one person or persons chooses to accept it.

man with tape over his mouth which reads 'freedom'Some women would not make good engineers. That is true. That doesn’t mean all women make poor engineers. Some men would make terrible engineers too. People are individuals with unique experiences which define much of their capabilities and competencies, as well as genetic factors which are not group-based but individual-based. I would suggest that any genetic differences would be minor and have the least noticable effect on workplace capability, especially when placed against educational and cultural differences which have huge impacts.

So it’s not right to say one group of people is genetically inferior to another, it’s also not right to say they’re all equal to another. There is only one “Human Race” on Planet earth, and you humans need to stop trying to re-define yourself in various sub-groups. There is The Human Species, and then there are individual Humans, and that’s as good as it’s ever going to get. The whole reason we have anti-discrimination laws is because science has shown there are no correlations between biological capabilities including intelligence, and group categories like gender, skin color, religion, sexuality, and so on.

It’s not because anti-discrimination laws make us feel better. Seriously nobody in power cares how anything makes any of you feel. Anti-discrimination laws exist to efficiently provide guidance for hundreds of millions of people. It takes too long to sit every person down and ensure they’ve been properly educated on the subject, so we have laws instead which are basically the society saying to every hill billy in the nation “Listen, trust us, gender and skin color have nothing to do with competence. Don’t discriminate”. It’s definitely not to make anyone feel better. If there were scientific evidence showing that specific groups of people were less capable than other groups, discrimination would be legal, with complete disregard for your feelings. People who craft and lead nations are not interested in your feelings. They’re thinking on a larger scale and in longer terms than any one lifetime.

In summary

If I were Google I’m not sure I’d have made a different decision. To them it’s not about ethics, it’s about reducing fallout. They believed that firing the guy would have the least damaging effect on their business in the long term. Time will tell if they got it right or wrong. That said, they probably shouldn’t have fired him. Sure the guy said a lot of things that are wrong. So what? He also expressed some ideas that had a twinkle of inspiration behind them. It’s better to have a conversation about these subjects, than to freak the fuck out and hang the bastard. What did he actually do besides write his ideas down? If people can be fired for expressing ideas, they will become afraid to express themselves, and that future isn’t good for anyone.

Google’s “NoCaptcha ReCaptcha” product is slave labor.

US Flag - Distress

Google are Crooks.

Google has been in trouble over their ReCaptcha product in the past, and they are bound to face the fire again. Their “NoCaptcha” service advertises itself as being user friendly, by presenting users’ with a single check box they click to pass the test. However it very rarely works like this, especially if you use any sort of adblocker or privacy protecting addons in your web browser. Most of the time it presents the user with a photograph, or a series of photographs, in a 16 square grid. It then asks the users to click on each square which matches a specific description.

If you don’t answer the captcha to Google’s satisfaction, the challenge becomes more annoying. For example after clicking a square you might have to wait for that square to reload. The time it takes that square to reload is adjusted by Google, based on how much they “trust” you. So while some users might only have to click 3 squares, others might have to click 6, and wait for as many as 10 seconds for other squares to reload. And then when you perform the tasks they demand and you click ‘verify’, it will often start the entire process over again, for no explicable reason as you answered everything correctly.

What is really going on?

What is actually going on here? Is the system broken? No. What is happening is Google has a massive database of images, billions and billions of images, and they are using the unpaid labor of millions of computer users to add digital tags to those images. “This Image contains a Car” or “This Image contains a Mountain” and so on. The entire system is automated. On it’s rosy surface it would appear as if the labor of those users is being used to improve the captcha system, but that’s not what it’s for. It exists to force millions of users to do the work that Google is required by law to pay people to perform.

This is slavery.

This is slavery. We haven’t tolerated slavery in this nation in nearly 300 years, but Google thinks they can get away with anything they want because they think the world depends on them. It doesn’t. We don’t need their stupid search engine, there are a number of 100% equally useful search engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo, in fact some have found those engines provide better results for their searches. We don’t need their free E-mail service, as there are countless providers of that same type of service, none of whom use it to spy on their users the way Google has done for years. The truth is Google does not provide ANY valuable services to the world, and they are raping the information market in new and disgusting ways to make a quick profit.

Stop Google.

It’s time we put a stop to it. A class action lawsuit should be raised against Google again for their “NoCaptcha ReCaptcha” service, and the FTC needs to step in and force them to stop.

Choosing a webhost, why are they all lying to us?

Red circle with a line through it, crossing out the word "LIES"

Preface

If you have a website you have 3 options to put your site on the internet. You can self-host, you can rent hosting space from someone else, or you can use a free hosting service. Self-hosting is the best, if you can afford it. You need a computer and a reliable internet connection, typically not residential internet but that is changing thanks to services like Google Fiber. Free hosting services are great, if you don’t need a private domain name or special server side applications. For people who want “Mydomain.com” however, renting a hosting service is usually the best choice.

Nearly every hosting provider is lying

That seems straightforward enough, so this should be easy, you visit a few websites, compare some prices, and purchase your hosting. This shouldn’t demand more than an hour of your day, but it’s not that easy. Nearly every large hosting company is outright lying about the services they offer. There’s no regulation in the hosting market and the prices are as low as they can realistically get, so the companies have resorted to competing with lies instead.

The devaluation of the word “Managed”

For example, let’s look at the word “Managed”. Every hosting provider in the world offers “Managed Hosting” if their websites are to be believed, but what does that really mean? Well not much as it turns out. The word Managed starts with “Man” because it’s supposed to mean a human being is overseeing operations, but with large hosts that have 100,000 customers how is that even possible? It’s not, they are lying. They use completely automated systems and if you require any personal support it will come from underskilled phone-operators, or you’ll pay extra for it.

Unlimited is never unlimited

The other popular buzzword in the hosting industry is “Unlimited”. Nearly every hosting provider offers “Unlimited” service, but computer hardware has a finite amount of storage space, processing power, and memory, so how can they offer “Unlimited” service? They can’t. Every hosting package in the world is limited. What’s really happening is they’ve stopped being up front about the details of their service. This makes it especially difficult to compare the value of different services because most of the details are hidden from you.

Full Disclosure

I own a technology consulting business and one of the services I offer is webhosting. I’m not writing this article to advertise my business however. I was unaware of the problems in this marketplace until I entered it, and I am disgusted by how nearly all of my competitors operate. I say nearly all, because there are a good number of honest businesses who are up front about what service you receive and for what price.

What can we do about it?

The simple answer is stop supporting hosting services which behave in dishonest ways. If their sales page doesn’t provide full details of the service you’ll receive for the prices they advertise, or if they claim to offer “Unlimited” storage/memory/CPU, or if they hide extra costs and features on sub-pages of their website, shop elsewhere.

Israel is not *my* ally.

Protestors holding signs that read "No More Wars for Israel".

One of the things you will hear often from the mouths of American politicians is “Israel is one of our greatest allies.” What they really mean is “We’re not anti-semites and also they buy our weapons.” But why are they our “allies” really?

It’s not anti-semitic to say Israel is not our friend. They don’t care about us, they have never come to our aid in any significant way. Israel exists because our grandparents felt sympathetic for the jews following the atrocities of the holocaust, and our grandparents didn’t care about “sand niggers” at all, so they stole some land from the arabs and gave it to the jews, as if it was theirs to give.

Just speaking for me personally, I am two generations disconnected from the people who created Israel. I did not create it, and I would not have created it by stealing land from other people. It is unjust for our parents’ generation to expect and demand that we share in the foolish plans of our grandparents, who dropped nuclear bombs on populated tropical islands full of innocent people so that they could test the effects of radiation on the victims. Our grandparents were terrible people, regardless of how much they may have loved us.

Israel is a hostile xenophobic parasite in the middle east. They take whatever they want, they commit horrible crimes against humanity, and they justify it all by saying “But the holocaust!” You can’t use the crimes of long dead generations to justify the horrors you commit today.

It is time that America reconsider it’s relationship with Israel. Is it too much to ask that they adhere to their treaties and behave in an upstanding way to foster peace in their region? I believe that is a perfectly reasonable expectation of any nuclear power. The biggest kids on the playground should be setting positive examples for everyone else.

Why America Does Not Have a Popular Vote.

What is a “Union”

The United States of America. That is what we call ourselves. We often abbreviate this to USA, US. or America, for the sake of brevity in conversation. It is important to remember, however that we are the United States. America is a union of autonomous “States” (often referred to as nation-states, in other countries).

Each State has been granted authority under the constitution to make it’s own laws, which are not subject to the authority of the federal government. This affords us a really unique ability to have completely different life experiences simply by moving to different states.

A Popular Vote would disenfranchise 47 states.

According to election results from 2016, California had about 9 million participating voters. New York State had approximately 7 million. Texas had 9 million. Wyoming had 250,000.

Approximately 120 million people voted in the 2016 election. If America used the popular vote to determine it’s president, California and New York State and Texas would dominate every election. Between them they have 25 million votes, which is more than 1/6th of the entire nation’s votes.

That means if we were to use a popular vote, California, New York, and Texas would dominate every election and 95 million votes would be practically unheard.

But the Electoral College reduces the ‘value’ of certain votes

Yes, this is true. And before you think you’ve figured it all out, everyone over the age of 30 has figured it out before you. The thing is the electoral college does less harm than the popular vote. Yes, some votes mean less than others. Specifically, California’s votes. California is the only state really adversely effected by the Electoral College, and that is because California has too many people living there. California has the largest number of EC votes (55) of any state, but there is a ceiling because if the EC votes were directly proportionate to the population, then California would again be dominating the election.

Do you see a pattern yet? The point of the Electoral College is to prevent a single state from dominating every election. If you’re a selfish democrat living in California or New York you might think “So what?” Well we aren’t “The United States of California, Texas, and New York”, we’re the United States of America, and everyone deserves a voice at the table as much as you.

Why does this issue get raised every election

Because a lot of people are sore losers, they don’t care about being a United States, all they care about is getting their way, all the time.

One of the things that makes this country so great is the political balance. No single party dominates all the time, which prevents the most heinous of ideas from becoming laws. There is a filter known as “gridlock”, ideas go in, and most of the time what emerges are bills which everyone can agree on. This system has worked for almost 300 years.

Some are thinking “but sometimes one party controls the white-house and both houses of congress”. That is true, however that usually does not last more than 2 or 4 years, and typically the opposition party puts up a fierce battle during those times. Balance is found.

Isn’t there something better?

YES! We just haven’t discovered it yet. Seriously, if you are interested in this you should work on it. We are never, ever, ever going to have a popular vote. For our particular political system a popular vote is out of the question, it is off the table because it would be unfair and broken. If you want to see our elections improve, you have to be forward-thinking. The system to replace the Electoral College will be something new, that nobody has ever tried before.


This next part is dedicated to those poor souls who are either incapable of understanding, or unwilling to understand, the above text. Be warned, if you already “get it”, you might find the next part tiresome.

But but but… the popular vote!

People who, in spite of everything I have explained above, continue to insist that the popular vote is the only real vote, those people are idiots. They aren’t worth your time and there is not a fully developed adult in this country who will ever take their opinions seriously. If you’re one of those people, I urge you to let it go. Re-read what I’ve explained above. Read other people’s explanation. For your own good and understanding, you should.

So and so won the election, but lost the popular vote

Remember, there is no popular vote, so it is impossible for someone to win or lose it. In the same way that we do not have a monarchy, or a parliament, we do not have a popular vote. Yes, you can count numbers in a certain way, but that does not mean the way you counted has any relevance or bearing on the conversation ever. There is no such thing as a popular vote in America, and there never will be.

The only people who ever bring up the popular vote are the losers

We don’t have a popular vote in America. I know I keep repeating this, because certain individuals continue to use the phrase “Popular Vote” as if it were a thing which exists. It does not exist. There is no such thing as a “Popular Vote” in America. It does not exist. The thing you keep talking about does not exist. The numbers you quote are completely meaningless. And if you look back, the ONLY people who ever start this are the losers.

If you are tired of losing our elections, then maybe the problem is you’re trying to win the popular vote, which does not exist, instead of trying to win the Electoral College, which is how our elections actually work. You’re not appealing to the individuals of every state, you’re appealing to the states themselves. It is a pyramidal system and for now it is the best that we have. You either work within that system or you continue to lose and act like crybabies, wishing that the sky were some shade other than blue.

In conclusion

There is no popular vote. There is no popular vote. There is no popular vote. Say it in your head like a mantra every day. There is no popular vote. There is no popular vote. When you’ve matured enough to really understand that there is no such thing as a popular vote, then you will be better able to understand the rest of our political culture, and you will make more informed choices.

Comments?

I invite your comments. Comments which appear to be in support of “A popular vote” will be deleted, as I do not tolerate efforts to dumb down the population, especially not on my blog. Forward thinking is encouraged.

Election Chill Pill.

The Sky is Falling

The sky is not falling. The media has been telling you 1000 times per week that this election is “historic” and will have dramatic consequences. They say these things at every election. The result is that you have all lost your minds, and no matter who won the election, your reactions would be the same.

Each election presents it’s own blend of historic elements. After each election the country continues mostly as it had been doing before the election. New presidents almost never introduce radical changes. And even when they do, the citizens of our nation manage to survive “somehow”.

The Electoral College

The Electoral College was not invented to “screw” people. The United States is a large union of smaller states, each state is meant to be autonomous and ruled by the people who live in that state. Our national constitution protects the rights of states to govern themselves, as a result of that structure.

The social effect of this is that people who are unhappy in one state can move to a different state where the lifestyle better suits their particular tastes. This is one of the greatest features of living in the United States.

Because the population numbers of each state vary significantly, it’s impossible to hold a fair election based on the popular vote alone. If we were to only use the popular vote, California and New York would dominate every single election. The effect of this is that millions of citizens living in the 48 other states would feel disenfranchised.

The electoral college is not perfect, but unless someone can present a constructive alternative which is at least as fair as the electoral college, then there is no reason to suggest changing it. We will never have an election based on the popular vote alone.

Conclusion

In summary, you all need to take a chill pill. Seriously. Smoke some pot or drink some tea or do whatever you do to relax, because freaking out all day long is not healthy. America is young, but it is much older than you, and it has weathered these kinds of issues every 4 years for almost 300 years. Everything is going to be alright.

The “Internet of Things” must be stopped.

Preface

The Internet of Things is an idiotic idea dreamed up in a marketing lab at Apple and other corporations. Wide-eyed executives with no real grasp of technology saw an emerging market where they could capitalize and make billions of dollars, and they rushed to dive in without thought toward the consequences.

What is the Internet of Things?

The IoT or Internet of Things is the name given to a world filled with devices that have embedded operating systems which are internet-capable. On paper, in a fictional utopian paradise, it presents some pretty cool ideas. Sharing of data between apps, remote control, etc.

Where did the Internet of Things go wrong?

The IoT has been a complete fucking disaster. Because the devices are being rushed to market and made by the lowest bidders in chinese code-factories, the software is easily exploitable. The IoT has regressed internet security by 30 years in a handful of months.

What is the evidence for this disaster?

A recent DDoS attack, that is a “Distributed Denial of Service”, was launched using a botnet which is comprised at least in part by millions of “Internet of Things” devices. This was the largest recorded DDoS attack in the history of the internet and it won’t be the last. Think of this like a country testing a nuclear bomb. A black-hat hacker-for-hire group is displaying it’s capability. Next they will sell their service to anyone willing to pay.

What is the solution?

The Internet of Things needs to die, right now. Boycott all embedded devices which do not have robust security controls. Device owners need the ability to upgrade the software and install their own security controls which could be superior to the factory settings. This is absolutely required to bring embedded devices up to speed with the rest of the computerized world.

What if we do nothing?

Selling unstoppable DDoS attacks will become a common practice. With the IoT growing at a ridiculous rate, it will become trivial for anyone with some technical know-how to own networks of millions of bots. A huge black-market industry will emerge. There will be attacks on corporations, on non-profits, on news organizations, on government systems. Giant CDNs like Cloudflare will be destroyed by botnets. The internet will become a wasteland. The benefits we’ve seen in recent decades, improvements to human rights for example, will be lost.

Summary

This is a pivotal moment in human development. We have a choice to nudge our own technological evolution forward in a responsible manner, or push everyone off a cliff in a fool’s gold-rush lead by absolute idiots who are drunk on greed and have no idea how the technology works.