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Preview: Disqus - Latest Comments for Itafroma

Disqus - Latest Comments for Itafroma





Last Build Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2013 06:05:58 -0000

 



Re: Drupal 8 isn't Scary, Pt. 1: Introduction & Creating a Hello World Module

Sat, 21 Sep 2013 06:05:58 -0000

The output of the HelloController::helloWorld() method is a render array, a Drupalism for creating alterable output that was introduced in Drupal 7. You can find more information about render arrays in the Drupal Handbook.

The render array for the controller method doesn't strictly need to be in a keyed array: you should be able to just do:


return array(
'#markup' => 'Hello world!',
);

But providing a key allows it to be easily referenced elsewhere should the render array need to be altered later in the page rendering.




Re: My Social Media Circle Just Got Smaller

Sat, 07 May 2011 23:18:16 -0000

The only reason I stuck with FriendFeed for so long was that it was really easy to filter out the noise and follow about a dozen people I cared about (including you). But there's not much left there, and I'm finally getting used to Facebook and Twitter's user experiences. Oh well: FriendFeed had a good run.




Re: It’s Not Me, It’s You, FriendFeed

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 01:56:59 -0000

My subscriber count has slowly dwindled from a high of 500 to currently about 100 because of the issues you talk about here. Every once in a while I'll check out what people are bringing in via friend-of-a-friend, and it's pretty insipid and vile.

If you're not careful about who you follow, you can easily walk into the Mad Max of social networks: a post-apocalyptic dystopia ruled by a mob who is more interested in perpetuating its chaotic existence than solving its problems.

There's still pockets of goodness left in FriendFeed, and because of that, it's still one of my destination sites. It's unfortunate that it requires abandoning the notion that it's a functioning community at large and narrowly focusing on who is really valuable and important.

Red-rum.




Re: What's wrong with Google Buzz. (Scripting News)

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:23:06 -0000

For what it's worth, DeWitt Clinton responded on why there is no Twitter API support here: http://www.google.com/buzz/... It seems it's a question of licensing, since the Twitter API is not an open standard.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:41:36 -0000

My argument centers around the lists showing up on my profile without my consent, not that people are talking about me without my consent. Remove the lists from being attached to me (via my profile), and there is not much of an issue: @replies and blog lists are attached to the people who created them, not the person they're about. My profile, on any service, should be my domain alone.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 17:23:33 -0000

My argument distinguishes between saying things in your own space, that is, if you wanted to call me a jerk on your own Twitter profile, I have no problem with it. The difference between that use case and lists is that the lists show up on my profile, meaning it crossed from your name being attached to the comment about me (and you taking all the responsibility for saying it) to your comment being attached to my name, largely anonymously, without my consent.

I don't deny that there are other services that act largely in the same way, and I'd say that any time that happens, without proper controls like the ones I outlined, it's wrong.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 17:18:36 -0000

Indeed. The sex industry (and other repugnant types, as you call it) is the use case that sparked me to think more on this and eventually write this post. Let's say there's a person who buys some porn online or something like that. They've already given up their email address in that transaction, which is then used to find that person on Twitter. So far, it's no different than what's occurring now: they get followed by a sex peddler bot, and that's that. Who's following a person doesn't really matter. Now, with lists, that bot can classify that person as (likes-sex-act-that-really-shouldnt-be-made-public, or bought-this-porno-were-trying-to-get-other-people-to-buy) and thus what was once private becomes embarrassingly public.

That level of transparency may be great for public figures, but seems wrong for private people. Then there's also libel and irrelevant spam, as I talked about in my post. My main point is that Twitter is allowing others to modify your profile and how your profile talks about you (that is, it's allowing others to classify you publicly) without your consent. That's something it didn't allow before, and it's something that should be thought about before diving head first in.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 17:10:14 -0000

Well that didn't take long, did it?




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 17:09:44 -0000

That's a great point, Christopher. You've given me a lot to think about with your comments, I really appreciate it.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 17:07:23 -0000

From the hundreds of retweets and comments I've received, and from the largely positive feedback I've gotten, this is obviously a conversation a large group of Twitter users want to have. To throw this back at you, you worry so much about this blog post that my blog might not be the best place for you. And I say that with not a trace of sarcasm, judgement or bitchiness, I say that with sincerity and hope to help.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sat, 31 Oct 2009 18:59:07 -0000

I tried to respond about the spam issue in my other comment, but that's a good point about #FollowFriday, and thinking about it, lists and FollowFriday both point to a behavior that I'm not sure is welcome or necessary in the natural evolution of communication. That is, there's a minority of people who have an idea that everyone, whether they consent to it or not, ought to be part of a global conversation, and these tools allow us to prod and push them into the conversation regardless of their consent.

It's probably the Burkean conservative in me, but I think it's something that we ought to step back from and decide, as a whole, whether those people are right. I'm not convinced that they are, and would hope Twitter and other social media companies would try to capture how most people want to communicate (or as you put it, if enough people speak out about it, Twitter will behave we want). Facebook, for all its apparent faults, I think got that concept, much to the dismay of a lot of people.

As I said in the other comment, maybe these are two philosophies that are irreconcilable, but I would hope that they're not, as that smart companies like Twitter can take the time to find how to satisfy both rather than implement a feature that alienates one.

Regarding one-way communication of Twitter, I'm not sure I buy that either. The standard use has always been two way, and I don't see how lists change that at all: you can't broadcast to lists.

Finally, there's something appealing about the democratization of lists, but as an outsider to a particular field, let's say if I was an outsider to technology, I have no idea what list, of the thousands of "tech people" and variant lists out there, I'm supposed to follow. Maybe that's functional: to force people to rely on a separate, third party source to identify the best list, but I go back to my wish that Twitter had and has an opportunity to progress this concept and they didn't.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Sat, 31 Oct 2009 18:45:51 -0000

Hey Christopher, thanks a lot for your comments, it gave me a lot to think about. One of the things email spam did was force people to change their email behaviors in how they categorize or store email messages: you couldn't just get all messages sent to an email address, you had to do some sort of filtering to make sure the unwanted stuff didn't come to you. I'm sure that's generally "the way it is" for most people, but to me, that's broken.

The spam problem on Twitter reflects that fall from grace: I can't use Twitter the way I want to not because of a technical problem, but because unscrupulous people have (or in the case of Twitter Lists, I argue will) use it in a way that forces me to use it in a way that protects me from spamming. You mention that @ replies aren't that big of a deal because they go into a separate mentions folder, but that's one way people handle mentions. For example, I get @ mentions via iPhone push notifications and via growl messages: they come to me and alert me so I make sure I respond to legitimate people who are trying to get ahold of me via Twtter.

With the rise of @ mention spam, I can't do that anymore, or if I do, I'm a sucker because of all the @ mention spam and who want to sift through spam? I have to change my behavior, or someone has to come out with essentially a spam filter for Twitter.

There's an argument to be made, and I think most people have accepted it, that technology is just a series of behavior modifications: you're always going to have to change how you think and how you act in order to use the latest technology. To me, that's a fundamentally broken concept: technology works for us, not the other way around. I believe Twitter has the opportunity to improve upon this facet of communication, and the way they did it implements it more or less the same way it's been implemented for the better part of a century.

I do like the idea of @ replies only getting to you if you've subscribed to a person: other companies have been floating that around for asynchronous connections (FriendFeed, a while back, was thinking of allowing an option to prevent people commenting on your feed unless they were subscribed to you), but Twitter doing that would be a really great thing.

Obviously, putting those sorts of barriers up flies directly in the face of a free and open internet where anyone can say anything to anyone else, or find information freely (like you being able to find and interact with other security workers freely). I'm not sure how to reconcile the two seemingly incompatible philosophies of creating a world based on trust and creating a world where everything is Free.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 21:28:19 -0000

Twitter doesn't exist in a bubble, and spammers don't use just Twitter to spam people. Lists are analogous to concepts that exist in other communication media that have been exploited by spammers to great success. When trying to make a cold sale, the most important part is to close quickly so you can move onto the next prospect: one way to do that is to play the law of large numbers, and spam tons of people indiscriminately in hopes that there's a certain percentage that convert. You can increase that conversion ratio by knowing more about the prospect, but finding information to create a buy-in takes time.

With lists, that information becomes trivial to obtain: that's true not just for Twitter lists, but for email lists, phone lists, and professional lists. The danger with any targeted list is that it's inconvenient to unrealistic to get your name removed from them. Twitter had (and still has) an opportunity to improve upon this heinous sales tool and provide convenient and non-drastic ways for people on those lists to get out of it, but it didn't. That sucks, it's misguided, and should give anyone who hates the crap they've gone through with communication media before Twitter cause for concern.

The method by which someone spams you isn't interesting to what I'm arguing. All unsolicited messages are bad, whether they're DMs, @replies, or other means.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:46:02 -0000

The second point you made, that lists are attached to a person's profile is not true, is just mistaken. You've repeated the point about blocking to opt-out of lists, without considering or acknowledging that I know that it is a possibility and that I have provided reasons why i think it's not the solution. I'm more than happy to discuss factually accurate points, or points that have considered and address the entire conversation that's already taken place.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:36:25 -0000

I don't discriminate between unsolicited pitches or messages that are irrelevant to my interests and unsolicited pitches or messages that happen to intersect with my interests (or at least my interests as defined by someone else). Both are unwelcome forms of spam, and Twitter lists do nothing to help alleviate that problem, and actually make it easier for more people to do it.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:23:29 -0000

It's more lucrative, and provides a lower barrier to entry, if the lists are targeted: which is why email and phone lists are so valuable. With lists of things that are attached to a demographic, someone who wouldn't normally be apt to regular spammer techniques (like, say, a pitchman or a salesman) can come in and produce essentially the same result for the recipient. It's like the keyword following that's rampant on Twitter now, but now, you have people telling you exactly who to target.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:18:27 -0000

I've responded with what I think about blocking being the only action I can take within Twitter to opt-out, but to your point about making a list private: I can't, as a member of a list, make that list private. Only the list creator can.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 20:10:55 -0000

The lists take the leg work out for spammers: instead of having to figure out what a person's interests are, or spamming everyone indiscriminately, they just need to look at a high authority figure's categorization scheme. Let's say Robert Scoble has an "influencers of tech" list: a spammer (or heck, a guy looking to make cold pitches for whatever thing he's peddling) just got a great list for free and without having to do anything. The people on that list don't have an option other than ask Scoble to remove them and hope he does it in a timely manner, or block Scoble. Both are not the most ideal situation. It's akin to people selling email or phone lists: it was wrong then, and it's still wrong now.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 19:56:14 -0000

1. I can't control which lists, public or private, I've been placed on. The public ones affect me.
2. I suggest you check again. Every profile has a link to the lists that person has been placed on.
3. Please read my update, and the discussions I linked to. I discussed, in detail, how boneheaded blocking a person is to solve this problem.

Before making accusations of things being off base, I suggest you do some fact checking.




Re: Twitter Lists Make Twitter Dangerous to Use | Mark.

Thu, 29 Oct 2009 15:59:26 -0000

I think simple measures like that could fix lists and bring Twitter back to the same risk level it was before they were rolled out: I don't understand why basic countermeasures like that weren't put into place, or how it got past so many intelligent people.




Re: Internet Superstars to TV Reference

Tue, 13 Oct 2009 18:48:31 -0000

I thought the way they incorporated it was something only the Office could've pulled off: it's passé now, but Michael Scott and Jim's brothers doing it is exactly who they are on the show, so it worked well.

Another YouTube to Network TV adaptation recently was the appearance of Kate "Oates" Micucci (of Garfunkel and Oates) on Scrubs with the song F**k You.

Garfunkel and Oates: http://www.youtube.com/watc...
Scrubs: http://www.youtube.com/watc...




Re: The Dirty Little Google Voice Secret | Mark.

Mon, 12 Oct 2009 19:54:02 -0000

My contention is that, if you're using Google Voice and a calling circle, you don't need to pay the added expense of an unlimited plan or tons of minutes and can downgrade to a much cheaper plan. The difference for most wireless plans between a plan with only a few hundred minutes and the unlimited plan is substantial: for example, on AT&T, the unlimited plan is $99.99/month, whereas the smallest A-List plan is only $59.99/month, saving $40/month. On other carriers, the cost savings between the unlimited plan and the lowest voice package is as high as $70/month.




Re: OAuth for Dummies | Mark.

Thu, 17 Sep 2009 21:15:39 -0000

Thanks, Benjamin. That's a really cool tool, I wish I knew about that a few days ago! I can see it preventing a lot of headaches.




Re: No, Seriously. Where are the Trophies?

Tue, 01 Sep 2009 22:39:22 -0000

They're adding trophies all the time (check out Joystiq's guide for details: http://playstation.joystiq...., but it's disappointing to see a lot of Blu-ray titles not have trophies. Most of the trophy work seems to be for PSN titles.




Re: http://blog.louisgray.com/2009/08/whos-to-blame-for-snow-leopard.html

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 22:14:33 -0000

I'm an IT manager for a Mac shop: never had that happened. If something happens to the license, you can just eradicate the install and reinstall. The worst thing that occurs is having to call Adobe in certain cases to assure them you own the software so they can reset the activation count. One of the things Adobe allows is dual installations: you are allowed to install it at home and at work, for example (http://www.adobe.com/uk/support/service/workath...). Assuming Louis has only installed it once, he shouldn't even need to call Adobe.