2x06: Cinderella Voltage

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, Jeremy Garcia, and special guest presenter Jeff Atwood present Bad Voltage, in which we all had baby hacker names, burner phones are probably not required, and:

Download the show now!

Additionally, https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads/authenticated is the “Ad interests” link Jeff referred to in the show.



The international bank of Stuart appreciates the tact shown in not saying that this was meant to be in the show notes :slight_smile:


Discourse on snappy Ubuntu was recently updated for jujucharms,
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) although the page hasn’t been updated.


@jonobacon said we don’t have a chat room. We do #badvoltage@irc.freenode.net though I have not seen anyone using it recently: mainly because IRC is not the most user friendly environment.

Chat rooms serve a useful purpose and I believe they should keep a log of what was said but only for a relatively short time, say a few days before the information is deleted. Much of what is said in chat is not well thought out as people are trying to clarify ideas in their own heads or tangential to the discussion, not relevant in hindsight.

For example I was recently in a discussion regarding a hardware project I am working on with others and it was decided a face to face meeting was required. In recording the results of this discussion in a company blog. The need for a face to face was relevant and included in my blog. The discussion of which bar we should hold it in and the best hotels for those travelling in was not. It is very difficult to see how the process of formally noting outcome of the meeting can be automated by some AI as @sil would like but the chat log was very useful for me when recording the ideas discussed and future actions agreed upon.

I thought I’d try and win the Dell laptop so i watched the live show on YouTube. Diligently listened and documented all fruits. Then found out that the competition was for US citizens only. :cry:

Still, great show, guys. Nice to hear from @codinghorror, too.

Don’t diss IRC! I met my wife on it! (yes, for real)

Seriously though. Those problems are easy to solve. You can use IRC bouncers or IRCCloud to store/replay the backlog (or the client logs).

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Not intentionally dissing IRC at all I use it my self but to get the most of its features there are several commands you need to learn such as ‘/join’ , ‘/nick’. ‘/msg’ etc. Not difficult but it puts the non technical user off.

Great show as always. @codinghorror was great, very insightful points throughout, would welcome listening to him more in the future.

Ads vs Recommendations:

@jonobacon mentioned that he enjoyed some of the recommendations. Being outside of the US, and being a little on the cautious side when Google asks me to turn on things, can you let me know what sort of recommendations you find useful.

The articles you mention are all a little off for me. They are always something that I’ve either already read about (the same sports story except on a different site, or similar with tech).

One thing that occurred to me when listening to this segment (which I really enjoyed by the way) was whether you could flip online advertisement on its head a little and determine a way that a user could broadcast to the ad platform what they are interested in (in a broad way, or perhaps in a configurable granularity) and this would choose what sort of ads you see.

There is obviously a lot of challenges with this, however, it would mean that it takes some of the control/your data out of the vendors hands and into yours.

The whole entire advertising industry is oriented around showing you things that you’re actually interested in but don’t know you’re interested in. And they’re not wrong in this – they’re not totally evil here :slight_smile: So there’ll be lots of resistance to this plan…

perhaps wish-adverts could be a thing, or is that just an anti-freemium model ?

guess its like amazon-wishlists but for fundraisers ,not sure.

Surely the real draw for the advertising industry is getting click through that ends in sales. This means they can charge more for their advertising space. I never click on advertising currently, its never been interesting to me. It chases me with things I’ve bought months ago. If there was a way for me to control the list of topics I’m interested in, I think there is higher chance I would pay attention. There is no reason this list needs to be static. It can be pulled from many sources, local and remote. E.g I opt into advertising in what I search on google. Opt into advertising based on the websites that I search.

I’m not convinced there is a business model for this, as it doesn’t come without setup which usually means it’s dead in the water. However it could be layered on top of the current advertising.

That’s what the link above is for – https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads/authenticated. It shows you what Google thinks you’re interested in, and lets you alter, subtract from, and add to that list. Give it a try and see if you start to pay more attention, and report back?

(this won’t affect all the advertising you see – Google isn’t yet an ad monopoly – but it’ll affect a lot.)

I gave it a try. It’s wildly inaccurate as mentioned.

This is different despite the output ( a list of preferences) being the same.

The key thing is how that list is generated. Currently it’s generated by Google analysing all your interactions when you use their services. When that list is generated client side, that’s no longer part of it, which adds a strong privacy component.

Ah, I was meaning something different. Certainly the list as derived from your visits is unlikely to be as good as it could be. What I meant was: if you manually set your list of preferences to be solely things you are definitely interested in, and then you browse the internet for a few weeks, do you find yourself paying more attention to ads? It’s a test of your statement “If there was a way for me to control the list of topics I’m interested in, I think there is higher chance I would pay attention”, which I think is a plausible theory but is just speculation, and I’d be interested in a report of whether it turns out to be the truth.

Forgive me, but I just see alot of osdisc.com adverts, going by since the change.

I played an MMO once where in-game chat was controlled by ‘circles’; you click on someone’s avatar and walk up to them, now the game draws a circle on the ground in between you. Now another player can click on that circle to walk up and join it, etc. Normal chat messages are limited to the players standing around that circle, approximating a real-life room of people where you choose what conversation you’d like to participate in.

Is there a general-purpose chat system today that puts lots of people in the same room but provides some mechanism for segmenting multiple simultaneous conversations? Turning the question inside-out, is there a way to participate directly in one or more specific conversations with a second-class awareness of ‘nearby’ or otherwise-related other discussion?

I think this is what Slack are trying to do with “threads” – if there’s a conversation about a specific topic, it gets segregated away into a “thread” which is not shown to others (although still accessible to them if they want it). I find it really annoying (because I never remember to look at the threads), but it’s one attempt at solving this I think.

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