in post

4 June 2021


I have to use Facebook for our organization, but it's always a nightmare trying to do things that ought to be fairly simple. The day before yesterday, attempting to open the organization's Page, produced a blank whiteness, in two out of the three browsers I tried. Today, a linked story showed a featured image (or whatever FB calls that) in the preview, but not in the published version. And then I was unable to edit or delete the post in order to replace it. It's so much easier to use anything other than Facebook. I have no idea why they remain popular.

Google Drive

We have the Education Fundamentals version of Google Workplace, which is quite a generous package in terms of storage caps. I still dread that they will suddenly change something, break everything, or make it inadvisable to use their free version in some other way. But till now, I have no complaints. In a recent staff meeting, I was explaining some things about Google Drive and the file hierarchy, and decided to implement Shared Folders for the first time - it's a feature they have improved on in recent months. Today I spent a long time moving files around. I also decided to use shortcuts more extensively, in order to resolve the dilemmas about whether certain kinds of documents deserve to live in one place or another. That part actually went fairly quickly. I admire the unique methods that they came up with for operations like moving files around. Just as Facebook seems to be doing everything to make simple operations difficult, Google seems to look at making complicated functions easier. The decisions to occasionally scrap great services, like Google Reader, Google Plus, two or three other social networks, Picasa... are probably taken at a different corporate level, but at the level of software development, they have great people who are doing exactly what they are paid to do.

Of course, there's still no Linux version of Google Drive, despite years of promises, but I eventually found ways of using it that work for me. I use Insync, but very lightly, synchronizing only active projects, then scooting them back into the cloud, when they are done with. I have learned not to trust Insync for anything heavier. It once messed up our filing system completely, injecting personal files into staff folders, and all kinds of mischief.

Negative thinking

My link choices seem to follow a pattern of negativity. Maybe I should brighten up a little. But I haven't even bothered including pessimistic studies of climate change, for example, lately. Their conclusions seem so obvious that it's hardly worth mentioning them. They speak more and more of "tipping points" being reached and past, and an article yesterday said that that "tipping points" were likely to cascade, and reinforce one-another in unpredictable ways.


Ai Weiwei accuses curators of rejecting artwork over Julian Assange content - The Guardian

Ai Weiwei has accused the organisers of a large UK art exhibition of rejecting his artwork for the show because the piece addressed the imprisonment of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

PayPal Shuts Down Long-Time Tor Supporter With No Recourse - Slashdot

Larry Brandt, a long-time supporter of internet freedom, used his nearly 20-year-old PayPal account to put his money where his mouth is. His primary use of the payment system was to fund servers to run Tor nodes, routing internet traffic in order to safeguard privacy and avoid country-level censorship. Now Brandt's PayPal account has been shut down, leaving many questions unanswered and showing how financial censorship can hurt the cause of internet freedom around the world.

Paypal is a shoddy, opaque company and often isn't the best option. We recently worked out that on a donation that was less than €4,000 they would be taking about €130 in commission and currency conversion levies.

Alibaba's Huge Browser Business Is Harvesting The 'Private' Web Activity Of Millions Of Android And iPhone Users - Forbes

Microsoft Irish subsidiary paid zero corporate tax on £220bn profit last year - The Guardian

An Irish subsidiary of Microsoft made a profit of $315bn (£222bn) last year but paid no corporation tax, as it is “resident” for tax purposes in Bermuda.

Why Israeli progressives have started to talk about ‘apartheid’ - The Guardian

When I first heard this argument from Palestinians 20 years ago, I rejected it. But the evidence is mounting before our eyes

He takes a leap and lost me in the last paragraph; I don't see how the analysis leads to any such optimistic conclusion. But the main purport of the article has been obvious to those who do not have a positive take on the reality.