I guess #gamergate is still going on?

Preface: I love women in general, and my wife in particular. I believe my wife and I to be equal partners in our marriage and life. My hiring practices as an employer show that I routinely put women in positions of authority in my organizations. I believe women to be just as capable as men in anything they endeavor to be. I do not favor misogyny or stereotyping against women. I believe that there is still progress to be made in society in creating a better world for women. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve neither paid attention to nor do I care about one whit either side in what is/was (is it still going on?) the #gamergate crap. That said, inspired by a #tbt tweet from Cory Doctorow… I present you three permalinks and excerpts from Boing Boing that illustrate a bit of absurdity around the continuing wave of feminism as applied to video games: Exhibit One (published  Sep 1, 2014): Comprehensively addressing the stupid, intellectually dishonest critique of Anita Sarkeesian by Cory Doctorow Whenever the feminist games-critic and survivor of countless outraged misogynist stalkers Anita Sarkeesian’s name is invoked, there follows a flood of men who want to explain that she brought it on herself, that she isn’t a gamer, that she isn’t a good critic, and assorted related rubbish. Indeed, if you mention that Sarkeesian’s critics haven’t got two coherent arguments to rub together and are obviously motived by sexism and denial that their favored pastime is riddled with casual violence and sexual violence against women, you, too, are accused of being part of the Sarkeesian cabal, or a dupe...

End of an Era: Conjunctured Shuttered by September

Via their blog today: Conjunctured, Austin’s first coworking space and one of the original coworking spaces in the world, will be closing its doors at the end of August. Conjunctured first pioneered the coworking movement in Austin six years ago, when coworking was a brand new concept. I was privileged to have debuted Conjectured on Mashable when I was Associate Editor over there. They weren’t the very first coworking spaces in Texas, but they were one of the most active in evangelizing social media, new media and the startup ethos in Austin. I’ve got mixed feelings about them shutting their doors, but it seems like they’ll be carrying on the tradition of evangelizing coworking, only this time worldwide, rather than statewide. Because Conjunctured was the first to introduce me to coworking as a concept (and then through me to the rest of the audience at Mashable), this is most certainly a big part of their DNA and legacy. I’ll be interested in following the next chapters of their...

RTFA: Did you know the Supreme Court writes this stuff down?

One of my biggest pet peeves: Idiots who refuse to listen to the oral arguments or read the written decisions of the Supreme Court, but are somehow legal experts and pundits. Yes, I’m probably talking about you… many of you reading this status message have posted completely asinine analysis of the recent raft of Supreme Court decisions and clearly haven’t read them but still feel compelled to share out that Mother Jones article or that awesome analysis you found at a guest post on Mashable. There’s almost no reason to read analysis of Supreme Court decisions anymore (certainly not the hamfisted chaff passed off as analysis at most pubs these days), since the horse’s mouth is literally available the instant the decision is public. You can listen to and read the oral arguments, free, no paywall. You can read the entire decision, majority opinion and minority opinion (if any). In fact, I suggest you do so rather than read the tripe you think is good. Most of the time, you’ll find that it to be a refreshing experience, devoid of the polemics of debate you see in Facebookland, but still accessible and written plainly. Or, you can carry on in your ignorance and earn my derision. Either way is fine – just don’t be surprised when your “clever analysis” where you refer to the SCOTUS as the SCROTUM makes all your friends universally regard you as a...

The ACA Is Not Tenable

And insurance executives already are warning about double- or triple-digit hikes for next year. “I do think it’s likely premium-rate shocks are coming,” said Chet Burrell, CEO of Care First BlueCross BlueShield. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, one of the first to raise the alarm, said increases “could go as high as 100 percent.” I just did my taxes last night. I spent in excess of 15% of my income on health insurance premiums last year. Assuming I don’t get a raise when these predicted hikes come along, I’ll spend almost a third of my income in insurance premiums, if these quotes are correct. The screams of the ideologues of the left still echo in my head from during the ACA debates. Many of them are reading this post right now… I know them, and some of you know them. They screamed at people like me who raised the concern that this law was untenable, saying things like: “I have kids with pre-existing conditions that you obviously want to die.” I don’t know what I want to say to these people now. I do know that if a third of my income gets taxed to the insurance companies, I’m faced with the choice of paying the fine or giving up the mortgage payment. This system isn’t...

Foreigners’ Acts of Love and Other Scary Things

Even though I’m loathe to vote for another Bush for office (there are many other fully qualified candidates out there with less statist tendencies, and no one is looking for Bush v. Clinton II: The Reckoning), this full on attack on the “acts of love” quote is un-American and borderline racist. According to a 2007 CBO study, while illegal immigrants are a net deficit to the economy, legal citizens at the same income levels as the average illegal immigrant cost about $40,000 more per year per person. How is this possible? Well, according to studies, most undocumented workers pay taxes (income and SS), but do not collect the benefits of their retirement programs and unemployment benefits. “But,” you say… “But the jobs!!!11!one” A 2006 study by the Texas State Comptroller estimated that the 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas alone added almost $18 billion to the state’s economic output, and more than paid for the $1.2 billion in state services they used by generating $1.6 billion in new state revenues. Research by Harvard University’s George Borjas found that the influx of immigrants (both legal and illegal) from Mexico and Central America from 1980 to 2000 accounted for a 3.7% wage loss for American workers (4.5% for black Americans and 5% for Hispanic Americans). Conversely, a study by Economist Giovanni Peri concluded that between 1990 and 2004, immigrant workers raised the wages of native born workers in general by 4%. So can we please stop demonizing immigrants? I know that this appeals to the jingoistic, tribal tendencies that live in the deep dark recesses of all of us, but it’s...

Has the US Government become an outdated relic?

How many people (experts, if you will) do you think you’d have to gather into a room to understand the totality of federally enforceable American law? Let’s make this simpler… How many people (again, trained experts in the law, so we can somewhat reduce the number) do you think would be required to understand the totality of federally enforceable American law that was passed for 2013? Ignorance of the law excuses no man, as the axiom goes. I wonder if you can say that still truly applies when the number of experts required to know the totality of the law is hard to imagine, even for those with large...

Bad Production is Painful

Good: Everyone is doing live streaming now at their events. Bad: In far too many cases, they’re doing it poorly. If you need help with live streaming, give us a call at SiliconANGLE. We’ve been doing this for five years. We’ve figured out a few things. We want to help you. On a not at all related note, the transcript and partial video from the SxSWi Snowden keynote is...

Jacob Li Hopkins’ Newcomer’s Guide to Dr. Who.

This is less of a guide to Dr. Who for Newcomers, and more of a guide to Dr. Who *by* a newcomer. Every time my son Jacob and I go to the comic store, he wants a Dr. Who toy. Jacob, who is six, has never watched an episode in his life. So we were there at the store the other day, and again he asks for a Dr. Who toy, again. In response, I say to him “You can’t even tell me anything about Dr. Who. You don’t watch it.” And then he proceeds to tell me all about Dr. Who. Apparently, he has researched it on the Internet. Knowing my son, he probably remembered from the last time I’d told him that at the comic store, and had been sitting on the information for months, just waiting for me to bring it up again. After we left the store, we went to Denny’s where I had him re-tell to me most of what he had told me in the store. It was just as good the second time around as the first. Note, this is published “Creative Commons, Attribution.” If you want to remix it, just link back to the...

Luddites

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. – Eric Hoffer If you’re a business today that’s actively saying no to Bitcoin, you’re just like: A brick-and-mortar business that said no to a web site in 1998 A newspaper in 2001 that said no to blogging. A radio station in 2003 that said no to streaming radio and podcasting. A video content creator in 2005 that said no to YouTube and streaming video. A blogger or marketer in 2007 that said no to Twitter. A developer in 2008 that said no to smartphones. Nothing frustrates me more than seeing smart businesses unwilling to take necessary risks to avoid...

You know what we do with retards in Texas, right?

Instapundit. I know there’s a blog by that name in the Pajamas Media network, but it’s the most accurate descriptor for the modern age of political punditry. Scan your news feed. Scan your cable channels. What are all these folks’ qualifications for pontificating? They use words like “unprecedented behavior by House Republicans,” and “not following due process,” and “holding the nation hostage.” These are people who not only don’t understand history, but can’t be bothered to go to Wikipedia to see the long storied history of government shutdowns and US politics. The second government shutdown was in 1977. You know what it was over? Use of Medicare funds to pay for abortions. House Democrats didn’t want to pay for abortions at all. Senate Democrats said it was OK, as long as it was from a rape or situation of incest. In fact, in 15 of the 18 shutdowns, either the House, the Senate, or both, were Democratically controlled. Forget the Senate; in fact, in 15 of the 18 shutdowns, the House was Democratically controlled, regardless of Senate control. If you wake up from a 50-year cryogenic sleep, and the government is shut down, you don’t need to pick up a newspaper to find out who controls the House – odds are, it’s the Democrats. To hear the President and his sycophants tell the story, the House is always responsible for holding the country hostage in a government shut down. I actually read, earlier tonight, that “Democrats have never been guilty of holding the country hostage over a trivial issue.” A cursory glance at history tells you otherwise. In the...

PayPal is impressed with Braintree. I’m not.

First of all: congratulations to Accel Partners, NEA and the other investors that did well with Braintree’s exit to PayPal. Secondly: I haven’t talked to John or the other editors at SiliconANGLE to see what their thoughts are on Braintree, so I might be out on a limb in my analysis.. and speak only for myself. That said, I’m not nearly as impressed with Braintree as PayPal is for one simple reason: Bitcoin. We interviewed Bill Ready, the CEO of Braintree on ‪#‎theCube‬ back in May at the Accel Partners Symposium, and prior to coming on the air, I asked him a couple of questions to gauge his feelings on the crypto-currency that at the time was dominating the news cycle. His direct reply to me was, with a slight smirk, “I think Bitcoin is a volatile currency best for countries with depressed economies. I don’t see it as relevant.” He went on to explain that Braintree had “no plans for the crypto-currency.” David Marcus, the President of PayPal said today in a blog post: “I admire Braintree because they were one of the very first companies to understand the power of real mobile-first experiences. I’m not talking about traditional e-commerce ported to your mobile device. I’m talking about groundbreaking experiences offered by companies like Airbnb, OpenTable, Uber, and TaskRabbit. Light, powerful, massively disruptive, and thoroughly delightful, they are all powered by Braintree.” Braintree offers some interesting advantages in mobile first technologies, but based on what I’ve seen of their attitudes towards mobile, they’ve got an eye more towards increased efficiencies and good marketing, not disruption. Braintree is doing...

If you use Mt Gox to trade Bitcoin, you may be getting phished this morning.

I got an email purporting to be from Mt Gox this morning, excitedly telling me about a new feature at Gox: a standalone trading client. It seemed too good to be true; it was. Don’t trust it. It’s a phishing attempt. Below is a conversation with Gox support I had this morning. Linda Support has joined the room Linda Support: Welcome to Mt.Gox Live Chat Support Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins: I think there’s possible phishing attempt going on right now. looking to verify. Linda Support: Hello. Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins": Hello Linda Support: How may I help you today? Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins: i got an email that purported to be from you guys this morning. Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins": it was entitled "Trading platform launch." Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins: and had a linked exe file. is it legit or a phishing attempt? Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins: email text: Hello, We have a good news. We’ve been developing a software that will enhance your experience at Mt.Gox to the next level. This newly designed software is our premiere, feature-rich, downloadable trading platform that will be launched soon. Currently, the software is in beta stage and we need your support. We are looking for beta testers who will help us get things better. There will be 200 licenses available so if you are interested, please sign up after installing the software. http://hivelocity.dl.sourceforge.net/project/mtgox/mtgox-1.0.1c.exe Best regards, The Mt.Gox Team https://mtgox.com/ Linda Support: Thank you for the information. Linda Support: Mtgox do not send email linked with .exe file. Linda Support: It is a phishing website. Please do not access the link provided. Mark "Rizzn" Hopkins: OK, thanks Linda...

Breeching the gulf of space and time …

What you’re looking at is a picture of my great-great-great-great paternal grandfather Edward Hopkin’s tombstone, located near Neath or Margam, Glamorganshire in Wales. Based on my research so far, he and his wife lived in the area their entire lives, never venturing outside the area, during the first half of the 19th century. Written at the bottom of their tombstone are the words: "ni cheir hi er aur periag ni ellir fwyso fi cwerth hi o arian." I’ve very recently become enthralled with looking into the past, specifically through the lens of the genealogy of my family. It is, perhaps, an interesting hobby to take up for someone who is professionally obsessed with the future, and perhaps even doubly interesting for someone who is adopted, and thus not genetically tied to their known ancestors (as perhaps most genealogical researchers are). I’ll leave aside the very interesting technological discussions one could have about the nature of big data and what it is that the digital archiving seeks to do in the modern age (and trust me, there’s a very interesting structured v. unstructured data exposition to be had there). I’ll save that for another time. What is particularly fascinating to me, at least at this moment, is the wormhole in time that technology has allowed me to hear the last words of one of my ancestors (mind you an ancestor of no great particular historical import, in the grand scheme of things): "The value of my wife cannot be measured in riches nor gold." It’s not what most would call the most earth-shattering sentiment ever expressed by an individual, but...

How Big is Big Data? IDC Says Only $24B. I Say “Close, But No Cigar.”

Derrick Harris posted about IDC, who finally released a Big Data market sizing report. The headline from the post is “IDC says big data will be $24B market in 2016; I say it’s bigger.” Research firm IDC is predicting a big data market that will grow revenue at 31.7 percent a year until it hits the $23.8 billion mark in 2016. That’s a big number for a relatively new market, but it only tells part of the story of where big data technology will make money. Defining “big data” isn’t always an easy task, and breaking it out into a group of separate technologies might not be either. While this report appears to subsume a May 2012 report from IDC predicting an $813 million Hadoop market, it certainly doesn’t include the market for analytics software. In July, IDC predicted that market — which is a critical piece of the overall big data picture — would hit $51 billion by 2016. (Heck, IBM’s Steve Mills said he expects IBM to do $15 billion in analytics revenue itself by 2015.) I generally like Derrick work, but he’s totally ignoring (or nicking?) the good work that Jeff Kelly did earlier in 2012 on the Big Data market sizing report. Originally published in Februrary, and updated in November of last year, it put the Big Data market at $53.4 in 2016. From Jeff’s report: As of early 2012, the Big Data market stands at just over $5 billion based on related software, hardware, and services revenue. Increased interest in and awareness of the power of Big Data and related analytic capabilities to gain...

Gee willakers. It must be obvious day on Camp Stupid. [Happy Birthday!]

Mike, our engineer at SiliconANGLE and #theCube, alerted me this morning that the Free Music Archive is having a contest to replace the Happy Birthday song. The Free Music Archive wants to wish Creative Commons a Happy Birthday with a song. But there’s a problem. Although "Happy Birthday To You" is the most recognized song in the English language and its origins can be traced back to 1893, it remains under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. It can cost independent filmmakers $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and this is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. A panel of judges that doesn’t include Geddy Lee or Zach Wylde (but does include Lawrence Lessig) will determine which entrant will win some sort of funky distribution agreement that includes recipients at “Jai Alai squads and bowling alleys.” I’m not making any of this...