3x33: Eternal Bronze Medallists

Stuart Langridge and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which Jono is away, you too are not an astronaut, and:

Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!

Download from https://badvoltage.org

News music: Long Live Blind Joe by Robbero, used with attribution.

Thank you to Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for being our audio producers!

Random thoughts…

I briefly had Timex’s clone (I think it was Timex) of the Sinclair machine. In the United States, it was similar to the later OLPC laptops, designed to be cheap (and actually cheap, unlike the later project), thought about mostly for education yet never bought in bulk, and got eclipsed by more commercial-ready products that were coming down in price. The fact that it was probably the more “industrial” product for using the Z80 instead of the Motorola 6502 never sunk in, anywhere, until IBM made the 8088 relevant and people looked into that lineage. (I assume, by the way, that the big problem in collecting 8-bit PCs is that nobody wants to lug around a CRT television, something that e-sports competitors will buy for more money, because there’s apparently less latency.)

I’m one of “the other” remaining Firefox users, and while the continued decline is annoying and I really don’t want to deal with another stretch where everyone just develops for one browser, it’s not unexpected, since journalists and podcasters seem to have mostly settled on resigning their fate to Google, and will spend significant word count regularly justifying it to everyone. Honestly, I expected the tech press to spend this week delighting in their nightmare over the weekend, when the Firefox Container add-on—which everybody should generally use, obviously—started flagging all e-mail entry fields except theirs as “possibly leaking data to Facebook” to advertise their Relay service that…runs on an Amazon service. It was fixed by Monday, but so many vocal people seem to hate Mozilla to a degree that I assumed those couple of days were going to be central to the narrative going forward, like the time Ubuntu put Amazon on the desktop is still thrown into some articles that mention Canonical.

My guess on the Facebook thing is that, like most Facebook things, it’s less a project that they want to develop and more a shiny thing to distract everybody from the FTC going after them for shutting down their misinformation research team while booting the Ad Observatory team off of Facebook…oh, and the whistleblower story. They’re also running an ad campaign about how Big Tech needs regulation that keeps up with changing realities, so they’re also probably also rushing to get ahead of some bill and would rather journalists look somewhere else.

What amazes me about the Disney story is that every Hollywood creative seems to have been blindsided by new technology since the earliest home media. The studios have been, too, which is often why different releases of TV shows and movies might have different music; the rights weren’t negotiated for “syndication on an Internet-based television network” or “you have X years to pay me this amount,” or whatever. So the fact that the contracts still aren’t (as Stuart implied) simply “I skim a percentage off the top of every transaction involving my work, until the heat death of the universe” is incomprehensible. I can’t think of any other industry where workers would consider making their terms of payment contingent on an enumerated list of possible uses. I mean, if someone said “we don’t need to pay you for your photograph (or code), because your terms of employment doesn’t mention printing your work on t-shirts,” the employer wouldn’t be taken seriously…but that’s how the entertainment industry works, somehow.

As for Netflix, I wasn’t watching anything, so I decided to cancel until the shows I’ve been waiting for came back. But now, I’m hooked on their thoroughly inept “please come back” e-mails, which show an almost complete disinterest in me—as in, not using the extensive data that they have on my viewing habits, or even my watch-list—while also acting entitled to my business, and weirdly having an emotional breakdown. With a little work, it could be a fun idea for an AR game, but mostly, I’m just waiting to see if they ever threaten to key Bezos’s car (or the Blue Origin phallic-overcompensation rocket) or actually learn to send decent e-mails before I come back for a month to save my viewing history. That’s all to say that (a) anybody who isn’t watching much on Netflix should absolutely cancel for a few months, and (b) I won’t be paying them for games…

There’s a good bit of retro computing stuff going on in North America too, as far as I can tell.


On one of the other topics: I might be tempted to use Firefox just to try to (presumably pointlessly) avoid a complete browser monoculture, but in fact I end up using Firefox simply because it’s a better browser than Chrome&friends.

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