Choosing to live as far from cities as I can, as often as I can, I spend a lot of time on the cusp of sanity trying to do my online job, keep up with the news, and keep in touch with the people I care about over a cellular connection that stays attached to my carrier’s network by a thread. On rainy days, or the frequent times when the gods have had enough of my bullshit, I can’t connect at all, forcing me to put my life on hold. It’s a part of choosing to live in the country! As mad as I’ve gotten at my lousy connection speeds in the past, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to connect to YouTube badly enough that I was willing to dig 15 miles of trenches to make it happen — but that’s exactly what the residents of a small village in Wales did.
Michaelston-y-Fedw, located between Cardiff and Newport in the United Kingdom, has a population of around 300 people. They were all putting up with shitty internet, with speeds as slow as 4Mbps. It was possible to pay for high-speed broadband service in Michaelston-y-Fedw — someone is always willing to take your money — but the infrastructure to pipe the bandwidth into the village didn’t exist. Sick of their internet connectivity being caught in the late 1990s, some of the villagers got to drinking, which led to talking and, after a bit more drinking, resulted in a plan: They’d sort the mess out themselves.
From The Guardian:
A community interest company was set up and grants secured from the Welsh government but to keep the costs to householders down it was decided that as much work as possible would be done by villagers themselves.
Local farm workers have been hired to help dig, but villagers have done much of the work, including excavating trenches from the boundaries of their properties to the external wall where the fibre enters their homes.
Thanks to the villagers’ efforts, 90% of their community will be able to enjoy broadband connection speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps by the fall.
The project is a wonderful example of how even just a few individuals getting together for a common cause can change the world for the better.
I’m building out the sort of “plan-in-a-can” that I’d mass produce for liberal non-profits, like the People’s Climate March of 2015. I know it’s a bad idea to show a fool a job half-done, but with the clock ticking, I’m throwing up what I’ve got started and hope that if it gets traction, it won’t get the inevitable stupid commentary i’ve come to expect #onhere.
Nonetheless, comments are allowed for now, so pórtense bien (behave).
Inside you’ll find:
- some background on why Google should be booted from pride and how they’re complicit in fascism
- some goals to increase pressure on Google and its partners
- what success of these goals could look like
- a link to more thorough contact info for staff and board members of SF Pride, including LinkedIns, Instagrams, personal websites, Twitters, even a more direct email
Some things I’m adding later on:
- email/message templates customized for the various contacts. it’s useless to just pop off at them without some coordinated messaging, and if some of us decide to just pop off and pop off too aggressively, they’ll start shutting down their accounts so again, be f*cking careful
- additional contacts from the board of SF Pride (they all work for private/other companies and I’d bet google/alphabet is in there somewhere)
- contacts for other SF/Bay Area orgs that are participating in pride (SF LGBT Center, for ex., has a google employee in their board)
- contacts for grand marshals and other prominent participants
Botnik Strategies, LLC is not actually an LLC, but it is committed to offering all the services of a boutique PR firm to The People… or at least those services that one committed but unpaid and otherwise unemployed volunteer could possibly provide.
America is the world’s largest terrorist state.
Up to 200 children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border are being held in this tent city outside Tornillo, Texas:
just in case anyone doesn’t already know what it looked like, this is the aerial view of auschwitz I:
feel free to compare that to the pictures above.
oh hey guys remember that time i and almost every other jewish person i know was like “trump is literally going to make concentration camps” and all the white christian people were like
“it’ll be fine”
“That’s what Checks and Balances™️ are for :))))”
“It can’t happen here this is AMERICA”
”We just need to survive the four years until Kamala Harris”
Like….not to be r u d e but 1) you were wrong and 2) there are mass protests on June 30th and if you actually care about this country your ass had better be there.
More info on locations here: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/
Pretty sure white Christian people were saying those things in Germany back in the 1930s, too.
Oh. They did.
GrubHub is buying up thousands of restaurant web addresses, and “also appears to publish shadow pages without owners’ consent—sometimes in direct competition with real websites,” reports The New Food Economy.
Why would the app-based restaurant delivery service do such a crazy thing?
It looks like the reason may be – shocking, I know! – predatory greed.
Frustrated, Shivane started exploring other options. She says she thought about bulking up her restaurant’s web presence and offering orders on her own site through a different service, one that offered a flat monthly rate and no commission fee.
There was just one problem: Someone already owned the web domain that matched her restaurant’s name. She looked up the buyer. It was GrubHub.
The New Food Economy has found that GrubHub owns more than 23,000 web domains. Its subsidiary, Seamless, owns thousands. We’ve published the full list here. Most of them appear to correlate with the names of real restaurants. The company’s most recent purchase was in May of this year.
Grubhub purchased three different domains containing versions of Shivane’s restaurant’s name—in 2012, 2013, and 2014. “I never gave them permission to do that,” she says.
Shivane believes GrubHub purchased her restaurant’s web domain to prevent her from building her own online presence. She also believes the company may have had a special interest in owning her name because she processes a high volume of orders. She rattles off a list of names of local restaurants that she suspects may be in the same predicament. I find versions of about half those names on the list of GrubHub-owned domains.
Additionally, it appears GrubHub has set up several generic, templated pages that look like real restaurant websites but in fact link only to GrubHub. These pages also display phone numbers that GrubHub controls. The calls are forwarded to the restaurant, but the platform records each one and charges the restaurant a commission fee for every order, according to testimony from GrubHub executives at a hearing at New York City Hall on Thursday. This happens on the GrubHub platform itself, too. The phone numbers you see displayed in the app typically aren’t a restaurant’s actual phone number, they’re the numbers that GrubHub uses to make sure it’s getting its commission. […]
In a hearing at New York’s City Hall on Thursday, company executives estimated that GrubHub made about $30 million in phone commissions last year. And those commissions are under increasing scrutiny of late. The company uses an algorithm to determine whether or not a phone call has resulted in an order, a system that results in mistakes. GrubHub has said it expects restaurants to log into its back end and listen to all phone recordings to make sure they aren’t being charged for calls that didn’t yield orders. A Philadelphia restaurant recently sued the company over its practices. (More here.) Shivane says she just learned about this, and estimates she’s owed about $30,000 in overcharges from the company.
I always thought that Google’s informal motto being “don’t be evil” was about as comforting as a coworker having a sign at his cubicle reminding him not to snap and murder everyone in the building.
As it turns out, watching the coworker remove the sign is even more ominous.
Add in the recent story about Far Right Google employees doxxing LGBT+ employees using company directory screenshots, and it becomes understandable that “don’t be evil” was only ever just window-dressing