July 18, 2017: 10:57 am: internet

When someone posts something on Twitter (or Facebook and others) there is a consistent category of the types of responses. Consider the post in question to be [Original post]. Here is a partial taxonomy of the most common responses.

Unfortunately [state opposite of original post]

[Statement about how humanity is too stupid to address topic of original post]

Except that [subject or person or company in original post] is the problem!

I talked about [original post] before! Read my [link]


Joke or pun about [original post]

The person who posted or is the subject of [original post] is [insult]

[Statement entirely misunderstanding original post]

[Other person] said/did/posted this better.

[Argument against point not made in original post]

First world problem.

Interesting, but you failed to address [exact topic of original post]

December 18, 2014: 1:26 pm: humour, internet, Technology

A: 132 divided by 26 is about 5.

B: How do you know.

A: Because that’s how division works.

B: Doesn’t make sense that you can just say that. I mean I think we should investigate all sides of the issue. Who benefits from 132 being divided into 26 parts? Why does it have to be 5?

A: But when you divide 132 by 26 that’s the answer you get.

B: OK OK. Explain to me like I’m 5.

A: We don’t teach division to 5-year-olds.

B: So you can’t explain it. :)

A: Fine. So in this case let’s say you want to separate 132 things into 26 groups.

B: What things?

A: Doesn’t matter.

B: I think it could but let’s see where you go with this.

A: The idea is to find out how many things would be in each group.

B: So gather 26 twist ties say. And I spread them out until I have 26 groups. But not every group will have the same number. That doesn’t give you one answer.

A: Well you can keep shifting the groups around until they all have the same amount but there’s an easier way if you know how to multiply. Which as a five year old you would’t.

B: So this is all sounding like a runaround. The simple truth is you don’t know what 132 divided by 26 really is. You can’t prove it to an average person.

A: Multiply 26 times 5. You can teach a five year old to use a calculator.

B: If you trust calculators. But OK, for the sake of argument. Hold on. 26 times 5 is 130 according to my caluclator NOT 132.

A: Right there’s a remainder.

B: WAIT. So you’re trying to convince me that 132 divided by 26 is 5 but when I use MY OWN CALCULATOR It shows that is demonstrabvly NOT the case.

A: I was rounding. It’s actually 5.08

B: (PAUSES) NO! 132.08

A: Well yeah there’s a decimal but we usually round that off.

B: So your “SCIENCE” isn’t so precise after all. If you can just round things off why can’t I round things off. Why can’t I say 132 divided by 26 os 6. I’m just rounding off!

A: You do that.

B: See? You can’t win a fair logical argument can you? WHY CAN”T YOU HANDLE THE SIMPLE TRUTH? Stop trying to ruin this country!

January 18, 2012: 2:41 pm: internet, Politics

To our representatives in Congress.

Please join your fellow representatives in opposing Representative Smith’s “Stop Online Piracy Act” and Senator Leahy’s “Protect IP Act”.

There is no credible evidence that this act is necessary. None. The Government Accountability Office has stated that it is “difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the net effect of counterfeiting and piracy on the economy as a whole.”

Recent studies have shown that the big content industries seem to be weathering the current recession better than other industries.

Copyright law is meant to encourage creativity. There is no evidence that creative output has declined, in fact with the freedom of the Internet, we see a flowering of creativity and access to publication never before witnessed. A survey study by Felix Oberholzer-Gee of the Harvard Business School found that “data on the supply of new works are consistent with the argument that file sharing did not discourage authors and publishers” from producing more works.

In addition SOPA and PIPA may in fact be unconstitutional.

Elrod v. Burns (1973) states: “If the State has open to it a less drastic way of satisfying its legitimate interests, it may not choose a legislative scheme that broadly stifles the exercise of fundamental personal liberties.”

SOPA and PIPA go far beyond being the least drastic way to limit copyright infringement.

I am a media creator. What I need from my Congress is protection against malware. I need a reduction of spam. I need support for better Internet infrastructure. These are important problems that I wish Congress would address. I do not need SOPA or PIPA.

Thank you for your time.


Tom Merritt
Citizen of California
District 6

December 3, 2008: 11:10 pm: internet

First, let’s be clear. I blame Len for this. He hit Veronica Belmont who in turn hit me.

I’m talking about something called the ‘Sixth Photo Meme’.

“It works like this: if you use Flickr, go to the sixth page of your photostream and pick the sixth picture there, then post it to your blog.”

So here you go. They asked for it.

Yep. A shot of the Strong Bad Email Netflix sleeve from when I was watching it back in April. Now that’s photography.

And now for the evil part. You are also, chain-letter style, supposed to hit six more people. Between Len and Veronica my blogger contact list runneth low. But not empty.

So Eileen Rivera, Kristin Rivera, Molly Wood, Jason Howell, Andrew Mager and … oh heck… Josh Lawrence. Consider yourselves memed. Fail to respond at your peril.

November 16, 2008: 9:32 pm: internet, podcast, Technology

Last week on CNET’s The Real Deal podcast, I realized that a lot of my favorite podcasts have no topic. In fact I do a podcast called East Meets West that intentionally has no stated topic. So I’ve decided, without their approval, to start a trade group for these podcasts called Podcasts without Portfolio. Here are the charter members, whether they like it or not.

You Look Nice Today
Had the idea for this trade group while listening to the latest episode. While ostensibly about emotional hygiene, it’s really about saying funny things.

No Agenda
Was this podcast with John Dvorak and the Podfather, Adam Curry cerated created as an homage to East Meets West? Only history can judge.

Tangential Convergence
Smart Canadians talk about smart things while usually drinking.

Jawbone Radio
I never knew that life living near Cleveland could uncover so many universal truths.

Honorary Membership: Extra Life Radio
It’s a gaming podcast, but really it’s much much more.

August 10, 2007: 4:02 pm: Commentary, DRM, internet, Technology, video

I purchased a Deep Space Nine video a long time ago as part of the Google Video store. Today I got this email stating that Google was ending its program and I would no longer be able to watch my video after August 15. Google was nice enough to give me a credit of $2 towards other stuff, but still. This is going to bring another round of people around to the understanding of why DRM is crap, and we need a better way.

Here’s the email:


As a valued Google user, we're contacting you with some important
information about the videos you've purchased or rented from Google Video.
In an effort to improve all Google services, we will no longer offer the
ability to buy or rent videos for download from Google Video, ending the
DTO/DTR (download-to-own/rent) program. This change will be effective
August 15, 2007.

To fully account for the video purchases you made before July 18, 2007, we
are providing you with a Google Checkout bonus for $2.00. Your bonus
expires in 60 days, and you can use it at the stores listed here: The minimum purchase
amount must be equal to or greater than your bonus amount, before shipping
and tax.

After August 15, 2007, you will no longer be able to view your purchased
or rented videos.

If you have further questions or requests, please do not hesitate to
contact us. Thank you for your continued support.


The Google Video Team

April 27, 2007: 6:46 pm: internet, Technology

AS I viewed a screen capture of the Twitter error message today I wondered where lolcats would sit in our history. Right now it is incredibly hip to have a lolcat error message. I imagine Twitter is one of only handful that do. But for how long wil lolcats reign?

They have already proven themselves to have more staying power than say, They are a meme with multiple derivatives and with the advent of I can has cheezburger, they have reached past Mahir status.

The question now stands whether they will reach towards emoticon status. Becoming an unremarkable but semi-permanent fixture on the Internet landscape. Or will they pass away to become merely an entry on a list of the top 10 fads of the Web 2.0 era.

One wonders if the lolcats wane, what will fill their place. will it be a short-lived opposite movement like JK-dogs? Or will we see a wholly new invention of image and caption sweep the little kitties into the cache of history. It’s what makes watching the INternet a fascinating game.