Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Cambridge Analytica Uncovered" on UK Channel 4

Cambridge Analytica Uncovered: Election Filming Reveals Election Tricks” from UK Channel 4 (20 minutes)

This looks like a spy caper.  The film focuses not so much on the use of social media data, but instead on setting up politicians, to throw elections all over the world.
And all these men in business suits meeting in London pubs enjoy their lives so much.
By Aurelien Guichard from London, United Kingdom - 30 St Mary Axe, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg appears on CNN AC360 and offers to testify before Congress, accept more regulation

Mark Zuckerberg reappeared and was interviewed by CNN’s Laurie Segall on AC360 tonight from Facebook’s headquarters.
Here is the CNN link

The interview as conducted in two parts. Zuckerberg said he favored federal regulation of Internet ads similar to what is done for TV, inasmuch as those who paid for ads should be made public and transparent.'

Theoretically, similar regulation of content itself could follow (as we know from the scurry on 2005 over McCain-Feingdol).

Most CNN commentators gave Zuckerberg for at least starting the conversation.

Zuckerberg said he would be willing to testify before Congress. He admitted that bad actors were likely to be trying to swing the 2018 midterm elections but that Facebook had a handle on it.

He also said that when he invented Facebook in his dorm room in February 2004, he had no idea that he could manipulate elections, wars, and international propaganda in fourteen years -- primarily because the "masses" don't have the cognitive ability to recognize tribalistic fallacies.  Zuckerberg would have been aware of my own site (doaskdotell) on gays in the military when a freshman in 2003, because it became a major controversy at Harvard and my site at the time got lots of hits all the time because of its unusual setup.  I had "reach" then, which is not quite the same as "influence" but leads to it. 

Internet companies will face real problems in the sustainability of their business models. Facebook, the product was the “user” and this seems no longer as acceptable, so it puts free user-generated content at risk at a conceptual level, as being gratuitous or of nuisance value if others don’t pay for it. That's why this about more than just who pays for the ads. Who pays for the news stories if they "divide people" and inspire crime (like Comet Ping Pong). 

The idea that Facebook is a neutral platform is a hostile foreign power can target it with fake accounts to overwhelm a certain less literate and propaganda-susceptible "peoples". 

Today Congress passed the "Backpage bill" that would erode CDA Section 230 protections; this is distantly related to Facebook's problems and could complicate things. 

On PBS, Frontline offered a disturbing interview with a former Facebook executive. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"For the People" offers novel legal cases in NYC

I took a look at ABC’s “For the People” , created by Paul William Davies.  Tonight’s episode was called “Rahowa”. 
On the “Mother Court” in the southern District of New York (federal), controversial cases are assigned to prosecutors and public defenders.
In one case, a young male prosecutor reluctantly agrees to go harder after doctors running opioid mills.
But the more interesting storyline concerns a young defense attorney played by Wesam Keesh, who defends a skinhead with nazi-tattoos on a bald head, accused of a shooting.  He talks about the abstraction of free speech with body art and objectionable idea, and then says there is no actual evidence that the defendant used a weapon.
The defendant doesn’t like the attorney. The actor is the same person whom I believe plays the teenager in an accident forgiveness ad for auto insurance.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Shaun blurts out a question about attractiveness for marriage in newest episode of "The Good Doctor"

The Good Doctor” resumed new episodes on Monday March 12 with “Pain”.
Shaun treats another man from his past, who has become paralyzed in an accident that broke a neck vertebra.  Recent pain may suggest a tumor. But ironically the nerves may reheal and the man may walk again.
Shaun asks, in front of other doctors, why a woman would want to marry a man already paralyzed, with the girl friend present.  OK I’ve had those thoughts but wouldn’t blurt it out now.
At then end of the episode Shaun is playing video games with a friend (perhaps gay) at the apartment.

There are two more new episodes this season, and the series resumes with a second season fall 2018.  When will Shaun's cat return?  

Monday, March 12, 2018

CNN series: "Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History"

Sunday night, CNN premiered its new series: “Pope: The MostPowerful Man in History”. 

The one hour pilot present Pope Frances as having to soften the absolutism of Catholic doctrine in the past.

It also gave a history of late Rome, as the empire split into pieces with a Greek Orthodox church several hundred years after Christ, after the promotion of Christianity by Constantine the Great. The standard of living in Rome itself declined.
The documentary also depicts the Crusades, where Muslim communities in Jerusalem and the middle East were sacked, often with multiple home invasions, helping set up a motive for radical Islam today.  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"The Kennedy's" in CNN's "American Dynasties"

The Kennedy's” as part of the “American Dynasties” series on CNN premiered Sunday night.
Jack Kennedy’s heroism in the PT109 is questioned;  he was quite weak physically, and may  have mishandled the battle, and was thought left.

Joseph Kennedy was at one time though of as a “fascist” by FDR.

JFK’s younger sister Rosemary was permanently disabled by a barbaric lobotomy in the 1940s;  the operation was to continue until she stopped singing.  
Earlier Sunday night, the Van Jones show hosted "candidate" Oprah Winfrey. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

NBC interviews Vladimir Putin on Dateline

In an NBC New Special, Megyn Kelly sits down with Russian president Vladimir Putin for an interview, with translation.  Here is the link.

Putin denies directing any hacks against American social media and any attempt to throw the election to Donald Trump. However Putin notes that private individuals and private companies could have decided to do so (which contradicts his own control of the media).

Putin faces re-election very soon.

The spirited Russian national anthem played at least once.  

And Putin, shirtless with a hairless body, on horseback, appears.  Frankly, he looks like he is starting transition.

And yet, the broadcast recalls the idea of a KGB agent tough guy.

Picture: The Philadelphia Orchestra recently performed the Shostakovich Symphony #7, the “Leningrad”, at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Adam Rippon looks sharp hosting the Today show this week

Openly gay Olympic skater Adam Rippon helped host the Today Show on NBC Thursday, March 8. 
Rippon discussed his trip to the Oscars and buying a tuxedo (like “The Good Doctor” in a recent episode).  Rippon is said to be one of the older skating finalists, although he looks younger than 28.  (Well, Will Ripley on CNN looks younger than 37.)

Rippon would obviously be credible as an anchor for a daytime network lifestyle or broadcast show. 
He also has said that now could be a good time to meet with Vice President Mike Pence and make amends for past squabbles over homophobia.  This would also look good now since President Trump will soon meet with Kim Jong Un.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

SNL taps into the talent of Leslie Jones, without Milo's permission

Leslie Jones (or her doppleganger) appeared on SNL last night. (You may need to turn off https to make the embed work.) 

She made fun of the winter Olympics, and especially of the fact that the Koreans are physically short.  That reminded me of Will Ripley’s encounter on the beach on CNN.

I could imagine someone making a doppleganger of Milo Yiannopoulos for SNL, and pitting the double against Leslie with Ghostbusters in the background.

Of course, the North Korean nuclear crisis is nothing to make fun of.  But they could do a caricature of Kim Jong Un and his deliberate weight gain to look like a god king. Let Milo’s double do the fat-shaming.
Why is it that that SNL always presents Sean Spicer as trans? Trump would have banned Spicer from the military.  Spicer is in the Naval Reserve.