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Programming, Publishing, Politics and Popes



 



Robert Scoble Lies About One of His Accusers

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 15:27:45 -0400

Last week, the tech journalist Quinn Norton wrote a Medium essay accusing the well-known tech blogger Robert Scoble of grabbing her breast and butt without consent while drunk at Foo Camp several years ago.As Norton's account circulated on social media and other women made allegations against Scoble of abusive sexual behavior, Scoble gave an interview to USA Today in which he said he didn't remember the incident at Foo Camp but admitted non-specific wrongdoing:I did some things that are really, really hurtful to the women and I feel ashamed by that. I have taken many steps to try to get better because I knew some of this was potentially going to come out.Today, Scoble made an about face in a blog post that attacks several of his accusers and completely misleads people what Norton wrote about him, making it sound like an admission of wrongdoing against himself.I questioned Scoble about this on his Facebook account and he responded. Here's the exchange.Me: "Quinn Norton, by her own account, physically accosted me." This is false. Norton's account was that you grabbed her breast and butt without consent before she physically (and justifiably) defended herself. You were asked about this allegation directly by USA Today reporter Jessica Guynn.Two Foo Camp organizers, Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Winge, have corroborated Norton's allegation. O'Reilly said your actions that night resulted in your ban from future events and prompted the creation of a code of conduct for the event. Winge said Norton told her that night what you did.If you're not going to address the allegations directly and accurately, you shouldn't be discussing them at all.Scoble: By Quinn's account she attempted to pick a fight and got one. It would have been much more appropriate to get the conference staff involved in a drunken affair that might be damaging to one or more of the participants, or to the reputation of the conference itself. I wasn't removed from Foo Camp, and was a speaker at an event the next year, and Tim O'Reilly talked to me over the last year in preparation for his book, so I wonder why the difference in public and private behavior toward me.Me: Quinn Norton's account: "And then, without any more warning, Scoble was on me. I felt one hand on my breast and his arm reaching around and grabbing my butt. Scoble is considerably bigger than I am, and I realized quickly I wasn't going to be able to push him away." That's not a description of a woman picking a fight with you. That's a woman defending herself from sexual assault.Do you deny the breast- and butt-groping occurred or not? USA Today quotes you saying, "I did some things that are really, really hurtful to the women" and "I knew some of this was potentially going to come out." That made it sound like you caused her and others harm (or suspect you did in a drunken blackout) and wanted to apologize. But your response today is aggressive and non-contrite.Scoble: I'm sure Sarah Seitz felt hurt when I rejected her. I feel bad anytime I hurt somebody.Me: That's not a response to what I asked. If you don't know whether you groped Norton because you were extremely drunk that night, you shouldn't be accusing her of premeditated assault. It feels like an attempt to manipulate the public against someone you likely harmed.[...]



Enter the TV Deadpool Contest

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:50:05 -0400

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For the last 10 years I've been competing in the Ted Marshall Open, a contest to predict 10 shows on broadcast TV that will be cancelled during the coming season. Mike Burger began the game 17 years ago as the Alison La Placa Open, naming it after a great comedic actress who starred in the short-lived shows Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs, Duet, Open House, Stat, The Jackie Thomas Show and Tom.

When La Placa lost her sense of humor about the name in 2008 and sent a cease and desist letter, the contest was renamed Ted Marshall in possible tribute to fellow acting unfortunates Ted McGinley and Paula Marshall.

This year Burger decided not to run the contest. Because the fall season wouldn't be the same without the game, I've launched TVDeadpool.Com. The contest rules are the same: Pick 10 shows, rank them from 10 to 1 and receive points when they are cancelled. Guess a showcase showdown value on The Price is Right as a tiebreaker. There isn't much to look at yet, but there will be a leader board and a blog with renewal/cancellation updates.

We could use some more players as well as help getting the word out. The deadline to enter is this Sunday at 11:59:59 p.m.

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'The Founder' Portrays Ray Kroc as a Hamburglar

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:53:05 -0400

I love biopics. I completely believe them when I'm watching, then spend the next few days scouring the web for how much nonsense I accepted as fact.

After hearing that The Founder was on Netflix, last night I watched Michael Keaton portray Ray Kroc as he pried McDonald's away from the brothers who founded the original restaurant and invented its fast food techniques. The film portrays Kroc as a villain and the brothers as heroes.

Judging strictly by the film itself, and not the actual facts, I question the idea that Dick and Mac McDonald were horribly mistreated by Kroc, though Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch are fantastic as those brothers at eliciting sympathy. Don't read any further if you want to avoid spoilers.

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When Kroc comes into the picture, the McDonald brothers are shown running a highly successful local restaurant in San Bernardino, California, that they have tried and failed to launch as a franchise. While they continue to run that restaurant, we see Kroc crossing the country and working indefatigably to attract franchise owners. All the efforts to build the business and keep franchise owners in line are credited to Kroc. The McDonalds only show up to fight something Kroc wants to do or express worry that he's taking advantage of them.

Given that scenario as depicted, there's no reason to believe that McDonald's ever goes national without Kroc. The brothers are shown as good-natured, good-hearted and completely small time.

So when Kroc makes his move to take over, he's trying to wrest control of a business with hundreds of restaurants that he largely built on his own. It's hard to feel like he stole something that would never have existed without him.

At the end of the movie, Kroc does two things that make him look like a complete bastard. According to Lisa Napoli, the author of the biography Ray and Joan, one of these is true and the other false.

Photo of the oldest operating McDonald's in Downey, Califoria, taken by Ruth Hara available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

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You Should Be Reading Shelley Powers

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:23:04 -0400

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Shelley Powers has a lyrical blog post up on Burningbird called The Rule of Small Deer. I'd quote it but it should be appreciated in its entirety.

Powers is known as a techblogger and computer book author, but she's also an advocate for animal welfare who does some terrific original reporting on the subject. You can find recent posts in her blog's Critters category.

The way she ended one post on the unjust elimination of a wolf pack in Washington state serves as excellent general advice:

Don't accept this. Get in people's faces. Be mad. Be vocal. Be loud. And if being loud means to hell with respectful and civil discourse, so be it.

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We Have Always Been at War with Comment Spammers

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:31:13 -0400

This site continues to get 10-30 comment spams a day, along with the occasional comment to an old post that makes it worthwhile to continue offering the opportunity for reader feedback. I'm thinking about switching to a comment form in which the only way to add bold, italics and links is to use buttons that add the formatting in a markup scheme that nobody else on the planet uses. Comments that use HTML or Markdown would be rejected.

Coming up with oddball and ultimately futile anti-spam techniques is a long tradition around here. In 2006 I invented comment flak, a system of putting fake form components on a page and hiding them with CSS so that their use caught spammers. It did not work.

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Creator of cURL Denied Entry to U.S.

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:47:29 -0400

(image) Daniel Stenberg, a Mozilla senior network engineer and the creator of the cURL open source library, has been denied entry to the United States, he revealed early Tuesday morning in a tweet.

Stenberg was coming for business to All Hands, a twice-yearly Mozilla conference bringing together staff and volunteers that began Monday. An hour after tweeting, "On my way to San Francisco and Mozilla," he said this:

That took an unexpected turn. I'm denied entry by ESTA out of the blue. So ... no trip for me I suppose. Shocked really. What a disappointment. ... I can't think of a single good reason why they would do this.

ESTA is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which is used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Stenberg said that he was checking in at Arlanda Airport north of Stockholm when told he couldn't fly. "I couldn't check in online for unknown reasons so I approached the counter, where they informed me," he said. No reason was given for the refusal.

The cURL library is used by software to download data across websites and web services using HTTP, FTP and many other protocols. I've used it on many of my sites, often to get RSS feeds. The cURL site states, "It is also used in cars, television sets, routers, printers, audio equipment, mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, media players and is the internet transfer backbone for thousands of software applications affecting billions of humans daily." The project had its 20th anniversary earlier this year on April 8.

Update: Stenberg has blogged about the experience and the support he's received across the programming world. There's still no explanation for his exclusion.

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Fargo Reviewer on Refinery 29 Races to Conclusion

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:02:27 -0400

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I'm a huge fan of Noah Hawley's Fargo TV series, which just completed its third season on FX. This post contains spoilers, so bail out now if you're avoiding them. I enjoyed the season but thought it didn't live up to the greatness of the earlier ones. For most of the season, the villain V. M. Varga lacked a protagonist formidable enough to be a credible challenge. It wasn't until the final third when the bridge-playing parolee Nikki Swango brought up her game to put his evil scheme in genuine doubt.

Now that the no-spoiler readers are gone, I can share the reason I'm writing about the show today.

Refinery 29 writer Ariana Romero has declared the finale offensive on racial grounds:

In Fargo's last minutes, a black man and a heartbroken woman are killed as a white man walks away, not one hair out of place. We know this, because we see the police officer's blood-splattered face and shirt, pointing out exactly where he was fatally shot. The Fargo team makes sure we notice the gore, since the camera slowly pans over the man's body. We've seen enough real-life black men murdered in very similar traffic stops -- almost always on the other side of the law enforcement-driver equation -- why do we need to experience another one? Especially on a show with so few people of color in the first place? This hits too close to home, considering the actor who played Officer Crowley, Michael Brown, shares a name with the 18-year-old young man whose death prompted the Ferguson protests of 2014.

Complaining about bloody depictions of violence on Fargo is like being upset there's so much singing on Nashville. Anyone who watched the series knew the finale would show the bodies of one or more characters in sorrowful detail as Jeff Russo's magnificent Fargo theme played in the background.

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The heartbroken woman described so sympathetically by Romero carried out a gruesome murder-by-air-conditioner in the season's first episode. When a character commits a heinous crime on this show, it almost always balances the scales by the end. The inability of the evildoer to escape the fate they deserve is a major theme of every incarnation of Fargo.

As for the coincidence that the actor playing the cop in a single scene is named Michael Brown, if leaping to offense was an Olympic sport, Refinery 29 would be a favorite for the gold.

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Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:16:55 -0400

Since I began blogging again on Workbench, I've been kept company primarily by comment spammers. Every morning I weed them out. Some are bots, but others have a human who writes a few sentences in clumsy English that are incorporated into the spam. I figure they must do hundreds of these an hour.

Some of these spammers are targeting my eulogy for my dad. This one came in from Pakistan:

This is good to know that you deliver eulogy to your dad and give him credit with name. Mostly sons not do this for their parents but we care about them and always talk with peace http://example.com/ also provide you the good lessons on parents and child relation and you learn from here a lot.

I removed the link. It's a site selling term papers.(image)




Welcome, Readers of the Future

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 20:19:21 -0400

I'm working on the next edition of Sams' Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours. Java 9 has a new HTTP client package, jdk.incubator.http, that makes it a lot easier to GET and POST to web servers and other software that communicates over HTTP.

For a demo, I needed a simple server that could take POST requests and do something with them without requiring a user login. I was about to write one when I realized I already had. This blog takes comments submitted over POST.

When the book comes out, I'll be able to see from these comments that readers have reached Hour 22.

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The Adam West Series That Wasn't: Lookwell

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 19:52:52 -0400

Adam West died Friday at age 88. As a child of the '70s, I thought West was a giant of Hollywood. I watched the Batman TV movie and show as often as they came on.

When cable TV arrived and my parents let us watch movie channels with precious little oversight, it was quite a shock to see him in The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. Holy titillation, Batman!

West was underrated as a comic actor. His deadpan Batman performance was legendary, but he could do a lot more than that. Around 15 years ago a TV series called Brilliant But Cancelled showed the pilot Lookwell, created by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel with West in the lead. It aired once but wasn't made into a series.

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West was perfect for the role of a washed-up TV action hero who thinks being a celebrity deputy means he can solve crimes.

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Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:50:30 -0400

There's new energy in blogging these days with Manton Reese's Micro.blog and a new syndication format created by Reese and Brent Simmons, JSONFeed. This inspires me to put more of my efforts into my neglected blog instead of posting in silos like Twitter and Facebook.

I want to put content of all types here: tweet-like messages, photos, videos and full articles with headlines. There will be bugs. Now I'm going to hit Save and see how my homebrew software handles content without titles and tags.

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Eulogy for My Dad Roger Cadenhead

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 23:35:47 -0500

I delivered this eulogy for my dad Roger Cadenhead today at Prestonwood Baptist Church.On behalf of the family I'd like to thank everyone for coming out to honor dad. I'm his son Rogers, also known as Roger Jr., also known as Little Roger.There are some people you meet whose brains spin at a different RPM than anyone else's. He was one of them.My dad was 20 when I was born and my mom was 18. I am a happy accident.Dad had some unusual parenting techniques. Our apartment in Oak Cliff was so small my crib was in a closet. He would make a face and tell me, "I'm gonna break your plate and burn your sheet!" Southern expressions are weird. I was 30 before I figured out that all the people telling me "bless your heart" were not paying me a compliment. But this expression was the weirdest. All the time dad would say to me, "I'm gonna break your plate and burn your sheet!"One day we were moving to a new apartment, so Dad took my crib apart to pack it. When I saw this, I flipped out. I ran to mom and wailed, "HE'S BREAKING MY PLATE AND BURNING MY SHEET!"I learned several things as dad's first-born son.1. When a train crossing starts clanging and the arms come down, that means "hurry up and see if you can beat the train."2. If your dad leaves you on an elevator, stay on the elevator. He'll eventually figure out you're gone and find you.3. When your dad says "hold my beer while I try this," step back at least 10 feet for safety reasons.I had fun as an only child, but the real mayhem began when my parents thought they were having one baby but got a BOGO deal and brought home twins.Chad and Kelly, please stand for this part.The twins were three when they decided our home was clothing optional. They would at a moment's notice take off their clothes and run naked through the house. And the yard. And the neighborhood.One day they couldn't be found. Dad panicked. He ran through the house yelling "Chad and Kelly!" When he went into the front yard hollering their names, a neighbor pointed at our front window.Chad and Kelly were standing in between the curtain and the front window, waving at people, both naked as a jaybird.Chad and Kelly, you can sit down now.While I'm up here I want to thank my Other Mother, Sherry.Sherry was the love of dad's life and it means a lot to us that she took such good care of him.When you stand up and say you'll be with someone "in sickness and in health, for better or worse," that's easy during the wedding. You're young. Your outfit is on fleek. You're already thinking about the reception and the open bar.But when life tests you with a challenge like the struggle dad faced for over a decade, Ronnie Millsap had it right: That's 99 44/100ths percent pure love.When my dad liked a song, he listened to it over and over. Everyone in the house learned every line. Whether we wanted to or not.There's a limit to how many times a person should be forced to hear "Giddy up, a oom papa oom papa mow mow." But it wasn't all bad. I could listen all day to Janis Joplin asking the Lord for a Mercedes Benz.There was one song that dad in particular liked to sing along with. You could say it was his life philosophy.I think we should sing eight lines from it. I want to hear you in the back. I see you in the back, Kay. I know you came in late, and that's OK."Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble.When you're perfect in every way.I caint wait to look in the mirror.'Cause I get better lookin' each day.To know me is to love me.I must be a ---- of a man.Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble.But we're doing the best that we can."I love you, dad. After a 70-year life surrounded by love, you're the one on the elevator. Keep going, and as you made me understand when I was six, we will be together again. And I know it's fun, but please don't push all the buttons[...]



Remembering My Dad Roger Cadenhead

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 12:48:37 -0500

My dad Roger Cadenhead died yesterday after a long battle with Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome. He was 70. Dad was a microelectronic engineer, rock-ribbed Republican, ham radio operator K5PCS and one half of the June 1980 father-son championship at the Hulen Mall Putt-Putt. You could start a conversation with him on the weather and find yourself an hour later in a discourse on the root causes of World War I. He'll be taken back to Honey Grove, which he loved, to the mother and grandmother who raised him. His death means that someone else is now the No. 1 critic of Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.

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My dad and I, circa 1970(image)




Remembering Leslie Harpold 10 Years Later

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:45:11 -0500

Today's the 10th anniversary of the death of Leslie Harpold, a friend who died on Dec. 7, 2006, at age 40 in the middle of a brilliant run as one of the first and best web essayists. Before there were blogs and social media silos the web was full of personal sites, hand-coded in HTML by people who had no idea what we were doing -- because there were absolutely no rules or expectations. Leslie's creativity flourished on that vast undiscovered canvas.Most of Harpold's work is no longer online, but her legion of friends still pass around her words like they were contraband.I thought this would be a good day to share one of those essays, which was published on Hoopla 500, a project where she wrote to that word count. It was written when she was living in New York City.Leslie was good at making you sad, but for this occasion I wanted to show an example of how funny she was.08/30/2001 - "Unsaid"To the man who ordered three pounds of deli meats while I stood behind you waiting, pretending to be interested in the display of featured cheese selections:Your shirt looked so soft I wanted to touch it, especially since you reeked of fresh laundry. I wanted to lay my face on your back for a moment, then never see you or speak to you again. I just wanted that one moment.To the woman who leapt out in front of me on Houston Street and jumped into the cab I had hailed, looking over her shoulder at me, saying "Survival of the fittest, sorry!" as she climbed in:Fuck you. That was just rude.To the woman who was going on and on about her thighs in Prada:You're beautiful. Relax. Yes, they were extremely cute pants, but the truth is there are a lot of pants in this world and you are so pretty the only one worried about your pants is you. Most people are more interested inn what's inside your pants and I mean that with every conceivable dimension that phrase invokes.To the teenager who was trying to remember who wrote Paradise Lost after quoting the ending passage:It was Milton, and just knowing those ten lines puts you so far ahead in a game you may not even realize you're playing -- more than you know. I was blown away and inspired. Don't sweat your SAT scores, just keep reading and thinking and you'll be okay.To the guy who was talking to the bartender at Gaslight:That reminds me of a joke. The angry wife met her husband at the door. There was alcohol on his breath and lipstick on his collar. "I assume," she snarled, "there is a very good reason for you to come waltzing in here at six o'clock in the morning?" "There is," he replied. "Breakfast."To my downstairs neighbor who I discussed the building's water pressure with:Are you okay? I've been a little afraid of you since that time three years ago you were taken of of here in straitjacket. I didn't even know that actually happened, but it was a really disturbing image. I hope you're okay.To Annabelle, whom I ate lunch with:The worst part is -- I actually did think it was funny.To the guy at the table next to me in the restaurant who said "Who the fuck would want to go Michigan on vacation? What the fuck was he thinking?"I would, I just did. It's not as bad as you think, actually it's quite beautiful. Plus the people are nice. To be honest though, I bet half of them would say "Who the fuck wants to go to New York?" if you asked them.Today would be a good day for friends and readers of Leslie to share her words. If you do, let me know so I can link to it on this post.Jason Kottke shared Leslie's How to Write a Thank-You NoteLance Arthur and Heather Hesketh shared her Possible Scenarios for Heaven*Jason Joyce shared her Rock Show Attendee's CreedSteven Champeon shared a 1997 email from Leslie[...]



News Sites Try to Load Malware from Eclampsialemontree.net

Mon, 30 May 2016 09:01:37 -0400

For the last four days, my anti-virus software has been blocking a possible virus when I visit some popular news sites. The URL flagged as a virus is a subdomain of eclampsialemontree.net that has a long string of random characters and looks highly suspicious. A report on VirusTotal indicates two anti-virus providers are blacklisting that domain as a malware site.

The latest site where I encountered this virus alert was a story on Stars and Stripes. I'm not embedding a link for obvious reasons, but it has the headline "Veteran, one of 4,200 mistakenly declared dead by VA, feels 'resurrected.'"

In the Google Chrome developer console, I can see that when the story is read, the URL is being loaded in an XmlHttpRequest by this JavaScript code on the news page:


This code is provided by Press Plus, a company that manages newspaper subscription paywalls. I think the purpose of the script is to superimpose a box above the story that urges a reader to subscribe to the site.

The script does not have any reference to eclampsialemontree.net, so I don't know why it is attempting to make a connection to one of its subdomains.

I've encountered this 24 times on different news sites. I'd like to figure out why it's happening. I post a lot of links to news stories on the Drudge Retort and I can't link to a site I believe might have been compromised by a virus.

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