Twitter Created a Dehumanization Policy and Wants your Feedback



Twitter has created a Dehumanization Policy in order to solve a problem. Sometimes, tweets that people consider to be abusive (and likely are) don’t actually break Twitter’s hateful conduct policy. The Dehumanization Policy is part of Twitter’s work to serve a healthy public conversation.

Twitter’s Dehumanization Policy states: You may not dehumanize anyone based on membership in an identifiable group, as this speech can lead to offline harm. The Definitions are:

Dehumanization: Language that treats others as less than human. Dehumanization can occur when others are denied of human qualities (animalistic dehumanization) or when others are denied human nature (mechanistic dehumanization). Examples can include comparing groups to animals and viruses (animalistic), or reducing groups to their genitalia (mechanistic).

Identifiable group: Any group of people that can be distinguished by their shared characteristics such as their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, serious disease, occupation, political beliefs, location, or social practices.

You can share your thoughts about Twitter’s Dehumanization Policy by filling out a short survey (located on the same page where the policy is described). The survey will be available until Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at 6:00am PST.

I have filled out the survey. In my opinion, this policy could potentially help clean up Twitter and make the entire platform a nicer, safer, place to visit.

My hope is that the survey will attract people who understand how to give constructive criticism and who also have good ideas to improve the policy. Or, the survey might get swarmed by nefarious people who just want to cause trouble. If that happens, I doubt Twitter will seek comments on whatever other policies they want to enact.

Twitter points out that Susan Benesch, (from the Dangerous Speech Project) has described dehumanizing language as a hallmark of dangerous speech, because it can make violence seem acceptable.

Twitter’s new Dehumanization Policy is designed to reduce (and, ideally, remove) dehumanizing language. The result might reduce violence that starts online and spreads to “the real world”

Image from Pixabay


Chrome 69 Privacy Issues #1315



chrome 69Chrome 69 opens up a quagmire of possible privacy issues without Google really explaining why they are logging users into the browser now by default. As one columnist said trust is not a renewable resource. Our online privacy continues to be whacked away little but little yet nothing is being done to protect consumers and we will soon reach if we have not already a tipping point. I continue to experiment with the new streaming setup and so far minus a few hiccups, the system seems to be doing pretty good.

I have some new support initiatives that I explain during the show Amazon Business, Amazon Offers and my health supplement recommendation page which will continue to expand and I will do some videos on how I use my supplements and in what order.

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Continue reading Chrome 69 Privacy Issues #1315


Walmart will Train Workers with Oculus Go



As someone who has spent several years working in retail environments, I know how boring and tedious training can be. Nobody wants to sit through videos, with awkward actors, who resolve customer service situations in ways that would never work in real life. Walmart might have found a way to make training less terrible for employees.

Walmart is providing Oculus Go virtual reality headsets to all of its stores in the United States. The headsets are part of a VR-based employee training program. Employees will use the headsets to access 45 activity-based modules created by STRIVR.

Walmart will send four headsets to every Walmart supercenter and two to every Neighborhood Market and discount store. More than 17,000 Oculus Go headsets will be in stores by the end of 2018.

The information on Walmart’s website states that every associate – including those on the floor who interact with customers the most – will have access to the same training that their managers and department managers do at the Academies.

One good thing about using a VR-based training is that employees can make mistakes in a virtual environment. I think that would be much less intimidating than having to make mistakes on the sales floor, with irate customers, while all of your coworkers watch you struggle.

Training videos make employees passively absorb information in a way that doesn’t match what happens on the sales floor. The Oculus Go VR activities are interactive, and can be done over and over again. That’s a much more interesting way to learn new skills and to perfect them.


Chrome 69 has a Forced Login Policy



There is something disturbing you should know about Chrome 69 before you update it. S. Bálint pointed out that starting with Chrome 69, logging into a Google Site is tied to logging into Chrome. Matthew Green describes the change as a “forced login policy”, which sounds pretty accurate to me.

The easiest to understand explanation I found about this change comes from S. Bálint’ blog post:

So what changed with Chrome 69? From that version, any time someone using Chrome logs into a Google service or site, they are also logged into Chrome-as-a-broswer with that user account. Any time someone logs out of a Google service, they are also logged out of the browser. Before Chrome 69, Chrome users could decline to be logged into Chrome entirely, skipping the Sync and other features that require a login and they could use Chrome in a logged-out state while still making use of Gmail for example.

I use a Mac, but was using Chrome for a few websites that didn’t work very well on Safari. I noticed that the photo I use on my Gmail account was appearing in the corner of the Chrome browser. I have since deleted Chrome from my computer and the Gmail app from my phone.

Personally, I’m not entirely clear on what, exactly, Chrome 69 wants to Sync from my Gmail account and the Chrome browser. It feels kind of grabby. The impression I got from the blogs I read (and linked above) is that even if Google says that it’s not automatically activating the Sync feature, that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t do that in the future.

Google started out with a code of conduct that started with the sentence: “Don’t be evil.” The changes coming to Chrome 69 might not technically be “evil”… but they certainly aren’t nice.


Amazon Made it Rain Alexa



Amazon made it Rain Alexa! They announced so many different offerings of the devices that if it was not evident before it’s now. Amazon is playing for keeps and they will flood the market with every conceivable Amazon Alexa device. No one knew and maybe I am still not convinced that I need an Amazon-powered wall clock.

The folks at Geek Wire have done one of the best comprehensive reviews of the new product lineup. But there are some direct shots at Apple and Google in this product line up. The Echo Plus and the Echo Sub, in my opinion, is targeting the Apple Home and then you have the whole refresh of the existing lineup of products plus over 70 new enhancements to Alexa.

So if you already have a few Amazon devices you’re going to be at a point soon where you are in lock-in. So the strategy that Amazon is employing is smart.  I say let is rain Alexa


Are Google’s American Values In Question?



Are Google’s American Values in Question? Likely most will never care. I do and so do a growing number of employees at Google. Call me old-fashioned I bleed Red, White & Blue and I get very irritated anytime I hear that companies that want or do business in Communist China are willing to let China walk over them when it comes to human rights.

Americans already put up with a great deal of privacy invasion but in China people live in fear of the government. Yet the US Government does not have open license to just spy on American citizens unless they are under investigation and a court has allowed specific surveillance. Granted in recent years the government has more power than they used to.

But in China, the government thrives on spying on their people. So now Google is now under greater criticism over the search engine they are building. The intercept is reporting that a Google engineer has disclosed that search engine being built codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

Well, that partner is obviously the government. The disclosure by the engineer in the form of a memo has leaked all over the place and Google is pissed. They are sending C&D emails with tracking codes to their own employees demanding that the delete the memo. But here we now have Google spying on their own people through tracking pixels.

Google got caught red-handed doing something here that brings Google’s American values in question. They have egg on their face and it’s a PR hot potato considering the current political environment. Google needs to understand here that they are on notice that most of the world does not condone actions that will result in Chinese citizens being arrested, locked up and sent off for re-education at some labor camp.

Google should come clean and say exactly what they are doing, how Chinese citizens will be spied upon, and provide full disclosure so that those that will be affected the most will decide on their own if they will use it. But my guess based on their reaction that it will be a cold day before they do that.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash


Anglepoise Goes Small with the 90 Mini Mini



Anglepoise lamps are classic, timeless designs, with a pedigree going back to the 1930’s. As any company with history, Anglepoise improves and updates the lamps, remaining faithful to its heritage. Last year, Anglepoise brought out a giant version of the Type 75, standing over 2 m tall.

This year, Anglepoise have gone the other way with a small edition of the Model 90, which was originally produced in the 1970’s. The 90 Mini Mini is less than 50 cm high, making it the perfect desktop companion. Even better, the 90 Mini Mini is USB-powered with an integrated dimmable LED that’s rated for 20,000 hours.

Anglepoise already have small versions of other lamps, including the Type 75 Mini and Original 1227 Mini.

The 90 Mini Mini is available in three colours: Steel Blue & Grey, Warm Silver & Blush and Carbon Black & Black. It’s priced at GB£95 and is available from the Anglepoise website.

Seems that they’re all sold out except for the Steel Blue & Grey one. Must be popular. I still want a Type 1228….