Monday, April 16, 2012

On Google, Mashable, and click-bait

Another fantastic case of reporting by Mashable. /sarc

Lately the "blogosphere" has been abuzz with click-bait articles about the FCC's fine of Google, releasing horrific articles that are chock full of dastardly implications about Google's intetions, and Mashable is no different, releasing this gem today.

According to the New York Times article that Mashable cites "Google had not...even looked at [the personal data]". This doesn't stop Mashable from saying "It's not clear exactly how Google used this information or if it even looked at it."

Additionally, Mashable talks about how Google impeded the FCC's investigation without ever saying how they impeded that investigation. If you again go back to their source article (the NYT) you find that "investigation...was left unresolved because a critical participant...cited his Fifth Amendment right and declined to talk".

So the FCC's definition of "impeding an investigation" was that one of the participants exercised his constitutional rights.

I think the most important thing to come out of this was that the FCC decided that what Google did was 1) unintentional, 2) completely legal, and 3) that Google had never looked at or used the data.

But this doesn't stop Mashable from implying that Google was doing it willfully, might possibly have abused this data, and won't be impeded from doing it again because the fine was so low - despite all of this being contradicted by the FCC.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Circadian almost ready to launch!

The frontend for Circadian is completely done. You can see at an example at and the code is available on GitHub.

Circadian is entirely driven by "scratching your own itch", as they say. I wanted my online presence to aggregate my blog posts and my Twitter updates in one combined activity feed, and I couldn't find any good way to do that. So, over my winter break, I took a few days and I wrote my own. I had a few days free this week and I went back and added in all the little tweaks I didn't get to or thought of in the intervening weeks to reach the current iteration.

There's basically two minor things left, and then I'm ready to release it as a service:

  1. Add in an administration panel
    1. Right now all the data (Twitter handle, blog ID, etc. is hard-coded)
  2. Change the resource sheme to support multiple users
I'm not sure if other people will find it as useful as I have (my guess is not) but as long as it's free to host, I might as well throw it out there and see if people like it.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've almost got Blogger integration complete in my aggregate online profile service, Circadian! After that, it's almost ready to launch. Stay tuned for more info...