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Powerful piece.

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adblockplus    How I experience the internet is vastly different depending on whether I am at work, or at home.  At work, wherever I go, I experience pop-ups, obtrusive ads, and auto-play movies/noise.  Let me assure you, that while teaching, having all the distracting advertising going on in the background does not help the learning experience.   But meanwhile, at home I can browse the web unencumbered by any of the annoyances listed above.  Pages load quickly and are appealing to read with little clutter to distract the eye and the mind.  This peaceful repose is achieved primarily through the use of two program plugins that are available to the Firefox browser – Ad Block Plus and Ghostery.   Ad block screens out most of the ads and Ghostery stops websites from tracking your movements and preferences as you browse on the internet (oh, and duck duck go is a nice start to increase your privacy while browsing as well).  The powers that be though, are not amused by individuals taking control of their internet experience.

“Global ad spending is expected to reach $600 billion US by the end of next year, according to eMarketer, and grow at an annual rate of about five per cent until the end of the decade. Much of that growth is being fuelled by digital advertising, particularly on mobile devices. 

But there was one session in Cannes where some very dark clouds managed to intrude on the sunny forecast. It was a panel devoted to the current scourge of the digital advertising industry — ad blocking.

According to a report by PageFair and Adobe, more than 200 million people worldwide have downloaded software that can block virtually all online advertising.

The number of people blocking ads increased by more than 40 per cent last year, and it is estimated that blocking cost cash-starved publishers more than $22 billion last year.”

Oh my goodness.  People not wanting advertising to be part of every facet of their life, not a choice, but a scourge.

“Almost everyone in the ad industry acknowledges that most of the wounds that have led to the rise in ad blocking are self-inflicted.

Advertisers got greedy by assaulting users with too many low quality, untargeted ads, too many auto play videos, too much click bait.

Last fall, the IAB launched an initiative called L.E.A.N. Ads (light, encrypted, ad choice supported, non-invasive).

The IAB hopes that by following the L.E.A.N. guidelines, advertisers will create ads that consumers will be happy to see.”

Hmm, so we alienate people to the point where ad blocking is necessary to have a good browsing experience and then complain that ad-blocking is ‘killing’ the internet.  Other entities have decided that they won’t let the user in, if ad-blocking is enabled.

“Sites like Forbes and GQ won’t allow access to their content unless users turn them off. At Cannes, Mark Thompson, the president and CEO of the New York Times, announced that his newspaper would soon be offering an ad-free edition to subscribers at a premium price.

Other publishers are appealing to their readers’ sense of fairness and justice, asking them to turn off their blockers and reminding them they are a critical part of the ecosystem that has powered the internet for the past 20 years. Without ads, there would be no free content online.”

Well, GQ and Forbes you can go frack yourself sideways as the content you produce will be reproduced elsewhere on the web without your restrictions. :)  The counterpoint to this though is the insidious beast known as ‘native advertising’.

“So-called “native advertising” has been growing in popularity over the past several years. Also known as “sponsored content,” it looks and feels like editorial content, but it comes from advertisers rather than journalists.

Native advertisements can often pass through ad blocking filters because the filters don’t recognize it as advertising. Many readers seem to prefer this kind of content over traditional advertising, provided it’s properly labelled, although there’s no consensus on what constitutes proper labelling.”

Watch your daily paper, there is more this native advertising junk in there everyday.  If there is a scourge to be named, it should be that of the advertising editorial or advertorial.

“But the real victims of the ad blocking surge may not be advertisers and publishers, but the “free” web itself.

The money to pay for content has to come from somewhere, and if you take advertising revenue out of the equation, readers will have to pick up the slack themselves, something they have historically been reluctant to do. Without ads, the web may be a poorer and less interesting place.”

Breaking news: The sky is indeed falling.  Also:  A-Booga-Booga-Booga!  The heart of the very internet itself will crumble if ad-blocking continues!

The advertising industry may piss-off right the frack off with their hyperbole; starting yesterday.  If the amount of stultifying drek available on the interweebs is halved tomorrow, not a soul would notice.  So I say bring on the next internet apocalypse.

[Source: cbc.ca]

 

 

 

 

 

malewritersI’ve entertained the thought of writing as more than a hobby, apparently there are a few pitfalls, as illustrated by the following lightbulb jokes, along the way one should be cognisant of. :)

 

“Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: The terrible sex had made him feel deeply interesting, like a murder victim.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: The beast, which had represented his feelings, was dead. “I think I’ll do a pushup,” he announced to the sea. The sea respected him for it.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: [4000 words from the narrator about his feelings on his childhood circumcision]

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: War is hell.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: He straightened his tie. He had lost, but in a romantic way, which meant that he had won. “I’m going to do a pushup,” he announced to his tie. His tie respected him for it, and secretly wished that it could have sex with him.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: You wouldn’t understand.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: He swore curses at his coworkers. He was making a lot of money. Fuck.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: This neighborhood in New York City was very different from the other neighborhood in New York City he’d just been in.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: He lit a cigarette. His glass of whiskey lit a cigarette too. “I can only truly love my best friend,” he said, “but not in a gay way. Women wouldn’t understand it. They’re too gay.” Both of the cigarettes agreed.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: [4000 words about an isolated encounter with a service worker that borders on racist and goes nowhere]

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: “The cocaine isn’t the point. The cocaine is a metaphor,” he explained wearily over the pile of cocaine. She folded her arms. She didn’t understand his cocaine. “Didn’t you read my manifesto?” The prostitute had read his manifesto. Why couldn’t she?

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: This lightbulb is inauthentic.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: “It’s only the institution I have a problem with,” he explained to the empty bar.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: The time had come for him to go to war, and also find himself, and also reject the rules of your society.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: His alcoholism was different, because someday he was going to die.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: [Nothing happens for 450 pages; receives fourteen awards]”

-By Mallory Ortberg Found on The Toast.

school   “I don’t want to see penis when I go to the washroom; he just stands there with the stall open and it makes me uncomfortable.“.

That was the quotable bit from a conversation I had with a female student I happened to be teaching at an elementary school this week.  We were walking in from recess and Jaina brought this to my attention.  I couldn’t detect any hate or malice in her statement, as she had just been playing convivially with Dakota (Male to Trans) minutes before.  I told her that she had every right to feel uncomfortable as the situation she described was not appropriate in terms of what was happening in the bathroom…   Jaina was surprised that a teacher agreed with her and her feelings of discomfort.  I was going to suggest that she remind Dakota to shut the door but the conversation ended as we entered the school.

I hope that by listening to Jaina and supporting her statement she will talk with her teacher and her Dakota to sort that issue out.

The conversation caught me by surprise (as with most occurrences while teaching behaviour classes) and in the moment I had to negotiate between the child’s feelings and the official school board policy on gender and washrooms.

Review of the policy in question came down to these points –

Indicators of this best practice in action (pg.9)

• Students are able to access washrooms that are congruent with their gender identity.

• A student who objects to sharing a washroom or change-room with a student who is trans or gender-diverse is offered an alternative facility (this scenario also applies when a parent or other caregiver objects to shared washroom or change-room facilities on behalf of their child).

I certainly hope that Jaina’s concerns are heard and action is taken as traditionally the concerns of girls, and females in general, are all to often thrown under the bus.

 

Gregory1

Book burning snake oil salesmen extraordinaire.  But pious though…very damn pious!

Guncontrol   Something might be slightly askew with the American political process.

The Largo and Presto movements from Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in F Major for Recorder and Strings, RV 433, with soloist Hanneke van Proosdij, recorder, and the San Francisco Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music.

Such a far cry from the elementary music classes that feature the recorder.

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