Cat Scratch Fever

I was trying to give away four cats last night. By the time we were done, one cat was transferred successfully, three had escaped into the night, the back porch was trashed, and I had blood dripping from one hand. I’m going to need a better strategy than just “grab them and hand them to strangers.”

I used to wonder how items shipped from China on Ebay could be so cheap. Sometimes the item plus shipping is cheaper than shipping alone from a US location. You have to wait longer, but there’s a huge price difference. Turns out it was just another one of those “free trade” treaties our government signed that was screwing us, giving Chinese importers a direct advantage on shipping costs over American businesses.

Thanks in advance, Mr. President.

I’m no lawyer, but this sounds like straight-up fraud to me. Basically, Facebook lied to content producers and told them videos got about 9 times the views they actually get. Many web sites changed their whole model to shift from written articles to more videos, firing writers and expanding their video departments. Some even went to all-video.

When one of the sports news sites (Yahoo, I think) announced they were going all-video, sports radio guy Steve Czaban was skeptical. He figured, who wants to sit through a 15-second ad and watch a video to get the gist of last night’s game, when you can skim through a text article and get it in a few seconds? Turns out he was right, and it was all based on a scam.

Libertarians like to say just don’t use companies like Facebook if you don’t like how they do business. That’s not really an option if you want to provide content online, because they control the audience. Hell, even my stupid little blog gets five times the traffic for the posts I share to Facebook. That’s why when Facebook said “Jump,” all these companies said “How high?” You have to follow their rules even if you don’t use them.

I’ve been saying the Big Data companies are in trouble for anti-trust activities, and this isn’t even that. But this is very bad in itself. These companies really do think they’re above the law.

This is just a cool song and video. When the art kicks in at around 1:30, it puts me in mind of a cross between Heavy Metal and Meaning of Life.