Marco Arment, founder of Instapaper, analyzes why Google killed Google Reader: basically, they want you to share through Google+ (so far, a failure, especially relative to Facebook). It’s a microcosm of taking the web back from openness to proprietary and profitable. (H/T The Browser)
I don’t like it. Google and Facebook shove stuff at me, and it’s apparent that their algorithms really can’t figure out what interests me. Why in heck, for instance, would there be Zinio ads everywhere, with Zinio thinking I’m a likely Playboy subscriber? I’ve subscribed to two bike magazines at Zinio. That’s all.
(Don’t bother trying to click it, guys. It’s not a link.)
Will Google become the next corporate Too Big To Fail tyrant? I think I’m shifting my commentary back to (open) RSS.
Radley Balko reports on, er, excessive zeal. Subhead: SWAT teams raiding poker games and trying to stop underage drinking? Overwhelming paramilitary force is on the rise.
At least one part of it is showboating. One “SWAT team” raid included Shaquille O’Neal:
O’Neal, an aspiring lawman, had been made an “honorary deputy” with the department. Though he had no training as a SWAT officer, Shaq apparently had gone on several such raids with other police departments around the country. The thrill of bringing an untrained celebrity along apparently trumped the requirement that SWAT teams be staffed only with the most elite, most highly qualified and best-trained cops. According to Nuckols, O’Neal reached into Nuckols’s pickup, snatched up his (perfectly legal) rifle, and exclaimed, “We’ve got a gun!” O’Neal told Time that Nuckols’s description of the raid on his home was exaggerated. “It ain’t no story,” he said. “We did everything right, went to the judge, got a warrant. You know, they make it seem like we beat him up, and that never happened. We went in, talked to him, took some stuff, returned it—bada bam, bada bing.”
Our Masters may be overreaching. It’s one thing to do this to Branch Davidians. They were flat weird, after all. But poker players and “minors in possession”?! And gunning down chihuahuas?!
I’m starting to conclude our age hates real heros – at least Christian heros.
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)