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Cake day: October 20th, 2023

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  • Gun nuts are some of the most obnoxiously entitled people on the planet. In large part because they define themselves by how much money they have given gun companies and feel like they have a constitutional amendment specifically for them. Any time something is taken away from them they cry harder than a toddler who was told they can’t have chicken nuggets for dinner.

    As for bump stocks specifically? A lot of the smaller gun companies were pushing for similar “loophole” devices and, thus, have been focusing a lot of sponsor money on gun youtubers to talk about how they aren’t covered by the assault weapon ban because it is very specifically about “multiple rounds from a single pull of the trigger”. So now they are “technically correct” on top of it.


  • Friendly reminder that bump stock bans and anything related to fire rate is, at best, performative and more often outright malicious compliance/legislature.

    The two most common types of ammunition used in mass shootings are 9mm pistol rounds and 5.56 nato/.223 rifle rounds. Neither of which overpenetrate soft tissue to any meaningful degree*. Once you are at the semi-automatic fire rate it is just wasting ammo as you pump a dozen rounds into one kid desperately trying to protect their Bluey doll from the hell that is the second amendment.

    This is a big chunk of why the only people in the military who are even “allowed” to fire in full auto are machine gunners. Anyone else is either in an incredibly specific situation or just wasting ammo. And its why so many militaries throughout the decades have outright disabled automatic fire on their infantry rifles.

    If we ACTUALLY care about half measures to protect people from mass shootings? Magazine capacity is the way to go. Because the lives saved by murderers needing to reload their emotional support assault rifles will be a lot higher than those saved by making it take a bit longer to dump a magazine into one innocent child.

    And, obviously, the real answer is actual gun control and firearm bans. Bare minimum is treating semiautomatics with the same restrictions as automatic weapons. If you want to hunt or target shoot you can use a revolver or bolt action.

    *: The 5.56 is a particularly evil round due to its tendency to tumble/yaw upon entering the human body. So you get tiny entrance wounds and massive exit wounds.



  • Not sure if google is particularly different but the way this works for the other services is basically low energy bluetooth scanning coupled with the phones providing their location*. So basically all the devices on that scanning/spy network periodically ping/listen for nearby devices/trackers. When it finds one, it sends a quick message to the servers with that phone’s location and the ID of the tracker. Get enough of those pings and you can triangulate the position of the tracker pretty precisely.

    Which… is why this fundamentally does not work with “hacker” solutions that allegedly emphasize privacy. Because you just don’t have enough devices listening. This was painfully obvious with tile back in the day and is still an issue with Samsung in some countries.

    *: Via a combination of gps, cell tower, and wifi network scanning. The less obvious part of that being wifi networks which is the majority of how interior positioning works.


  • If google “charged for it like other companies would” then youtube would not exist. The ONLY companies that can handle that volume of data are Google, Amazon, and Microsoft: The three big cloud service providers. And Microsoft noped the fuck out and Amazon have some strong purges on most streams.

    And… there were other sites that tried to compete with youtube. Those of us who are old enough will remember subscribing to Rooster Teeth or Giant Bomb but watching the videos on youtube because “the site player is shit”. Let alone all the general purpose video sites that either became dirtier than a truck stop lizard who barebacks constantly or became liveleak and was all about Faces of Death and revenge porn… and then went out of business.

    Videos is INCREDIBLY expensive. That is why the current rise of sites like Nebula and Gun Jesus’s site and Corridor Crew’s site all paywall watching anything. Because free video would cost way too much.

    If this shit is so expensive, and they want money, they can gate the content like every other streaming service, and then deal with the competition that would swell up.

    So… you actively dislike a model where you can choose to watch videos in exchange for watching an ad and instead insist upon paying to watch anything. AND still don’t want to pay to watch anything because Youtube Premium lets you do that anyway.



  • Actually speculation is that twitter and general poor decision making may be overextending him.

    He still has more “worth” than any of us can ever dream of. But he doesn’t have the liquidity to do anything with it. And considering the strong indications that it is the Saudis and possibly the Russians who bankrolled a lot of the twitter shit…

    A good way to think about it is this: Your friend from college who actually managed to buy a house a couple years back? They have more “money” than most people you know. But, unless they are willing to sell that house, they can’t do anything with it. So they are still living based on their paychecks and savings in the bank.





  • You still aren’t referencing a law. You are just saying you don’t like it.

    I ANAL and am not a lawyer but: There ARE laws about saying if a video contains paid advertisement. That is why basically every single video on youtube has the “contains sponsored content” tag.

    There is no law saying that the specific seconds of the video need to be tagged. Which makes sense. It has been a minute since I watched network TV but I don’t recall giant “AD” on my screen any time Hikaru Shida wasn’t.


  • The problem is that the patreon model inherently only supports the big creators. Many of whom only BECAME big because they had alternative funding sources for so long.

    For example: Giant Bomb more or less imploded a few years back. Nextlander (Alex, Brad, and Vinny), Remap (Formerly Waypoint but Patrick Klepek, Rob Zachny, Cado Contreras) , and Jeff Gerstmann (hmmm? I wonder who that could be) and even Giant Bomb (Fandom) are doing great. But people like Abby Russel or Renata Price very much immediately fell into that “Well, I like her but she is one person and I am already blowing 20 or 30 bucks a month on patreons…” hole.

    And we see that on youtube/twitch. Creators will mostly not care and then suddenly do a year long subathon because they understand… they are in that threshold where they make just enough off of ad and sponsor revenue that they can just keep their resume updated but are fucked if Youtube/twitch change ANYTHING. They need to get to that threshold where people will subscribe to a patreon.

    And the “Well, I will just subscribe to the creators I think are worth it” inherently fucks them over.


    I’ll add on that, for all his many flaws, Ludwig Ahlgren (?) has done a lot of good discussion on this topic. Because as twitch and youtube stop giving streamers giant signing bonuses, it gets harder and harder for the next crop of big streamers to come into existence. Because if there isn’t money to get people out of that O(100) concurrents mid-tier… yeah.



  • The problem is that user generated content still takes time. Which means money. Also, people don’t want vlogs with a drywall background anymore and the number of creators who can get away with simple prop free skits are double digit, at best. So making the videos also cost money.

    People make up this fantaasy land where art should be done with no compensation to be pure. Which ignores that the vast majority of art in human history was either made by the independently wealthy or as a “patron” system where… an independently wealthy person paid an artist to make them look good.

    And that even extends to the modern day. People get angry about “nepo babies” but… it takes a lot of time and money to refine your music to a meaningful degree. The garage bands that get discovered playing at a local bar are VERY much the exception and almost everyone universally considers their best albums to be the first couple after they got signed by a label and could drill down and refine it.

    Youtube and the like are basically the first time that “the everyperson” could make art for a living. Unfortunately… that means they need to get paid. Ads are of very questionable use. Youtube Premium is almost universally praised by any creator who is willing to talk about it. But we need some way of paying those mid tier creators who are popular enough to do it for a living but not popular enough to get 120 bucks a year from their fans to upload MAYBE one video (looking at you Michael Reeves).




  • I mean… bluetooth is literally broadcasting your position (sort of/it depends on the implementation). It is not at all a stretch that you should turn that off if you care about privacy. Same with not scanning for what wifi networks are available or even pinging GPS satellites (because that leaves a log). Hell… cell tower logs are a treat for cops/TLAs for a reason.

    Aside from that? Good for you. If you actually follow through on that I can respect it. My point is more that this particular solution seems like the worst of all worlds.

    Either you are demolishing your battery with regular phone homes to a server you hopefully control or you are relying on a push via SMS and the hope that you lose your phone somewhere you havea reception. And you still only have YOUR phone and YOUR network to track it which has significant drawbacks if you travel.


  • If people truly change their lives and focus on it, you can do a lot. But it does not take much, at all, to become compromised to one degree or another and people vastly underestimate the amount of redundancy. Or even the impact of a sibling or partner or even friend.

    Instead, the common case is people will tweak one small aspect and think that does anything other than inconvenience them. Or, worse, they’ll watch a youtube and decide to put EVERYTHING through their vpn which… defeats the purpose because they are still one easily collated set of profiles/cookies that can trivially reveal that “Fred Smith in Afghanistan” is really “Fred Smith in North Carolina”

    Which is why my approach is that there is data I very much want to protect and data I know I can’t. So I focus on understanding the former while doing what I can with the latter.

    And something like this? There are probably specific niche use cases for this. But it is a product/service that fundamentally requires aggregated data. And, depending on the implementation, it is going to fuck with your battery hard.



  • I guess. But it is really going to depend on where you live and just how frequently it does dial home.

    My personal use for these networks is luggage tags. But a friend lost her phone on a hike a few years back and the find my phone stuff was more or less useless due to poor reception and ever dwindling battery.

    The real benefit is the low energy bluetooth magic and OTHER devices to do the phoning home. Because maybe I have shit reception but someone hiking a hundred feet away has good reception and updates the ping.