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Category / Media and Culture

On Facebook Privacy…Again August 20, 2010 at 3:16 am

I’m not generally someone who’s really concerned about lots of information about myself floating around the Internet. But what does annoy me is when I DO what to keep something private (or at least think I’m keeping it private even if I don’t really care) and it turns out it’s not. Such is my entire problem with Facebook. When I first began using FB, it was mostly only college students and you had to have an account to even search for other people on the site and most, if not all, of my stuff was kept between just me and my friends and maybe my network. So I knew that whatever notes or status or wall posts I was writing, only my friends and people at my school could read it.

5 years later the service is completely different. Which is fine. They’re trying to grow and compete against the likes of the completely public Twitter. But the way they’ve treated me as a user and how I use my privacy…well, I don’t feel like I’ve been thought of at all, honestly. I know they did most things “right”, popping messages and notices with most major changes, but for me as a casual/minimal user the last few years, I feel like it would’ve been nice to get an e-mail or something telling me what was changing on my personal profile with each new major feature or privacy change. When I finally got myself to wade in and spend 20 minutes figuring out the (new, simple! …simple my ass) I think all my stuff was fairly locked down, but it would’ve been nice not to have had to worry about that for several weeks/months before I got around to figuring it out. (I’m a very infrequent user now, but in the past I used it quite a bit so I have a lot of back data that at the time was secure and I don’t feel like trying to even figure out if I care if it becomes un-private, it was private and I just want it to stay that way.) A simple customized e-mail would be great every time they make a change.

And then we come to Places. At least I had time to mentally prepare myself for the fact that FB was going to do another number on our privacy, but I wasn’t expecting the “check other people in” feature. It’s not a surprise given the tagging feature on photos (and for whatever reason that doesn’t bother me). So I was happy to hear that the first time someone gets checked in by a friend it sends you an e-mail asking for permission. But tonight TechCrunch brings us news, that, no, that’s not actually how it works. If you don’t actually opt-out of Places, your friends can check you in. Let me say that again: unless you actively disable it, Facebook has by default enabled your location to be shared. This is where I begin to care less about myself (honestly I don’t have very many FB friends and rarely hang out with them and I doubt any of them would ever check me in anyway) and more about all those people who don’t mind about status updates being published in Google search results, don’t mind any of the changes Facebook has been making, but who don’t ever want their location to be shared, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s to avoid being robbed. It doesn’t matter. What matters, is that Facebook has yet again by default enabled a state of “over-sharing” rather than a state of “under-sharing” because they know that millions of people won’t mind, millions of people will mind and will turn it off, but (and these is the group that I’m righteously anger on the behalf of) also that millions of people might very well care, but don’t know anything has changed.

In my mind it’s not as much about some sort of safety issues (I very much doubt anything really bad will happen because FB once again played loose with users’ privacy) as much as it’s about a disregard for users feelings. Nobody would be upset if Facebook had a habit of tight default privacy controls. But people ARE upset because Facebook has a habit of loose default privacy controls. It’s not a lose-lose situation in terms of happy users. If FB locked down privavy by default, nobody would be complaining. Except the finance department, I presume.

Just "because you can" is no reason to be a dick October 22, 2009 at 3:29 am

I don’t normally blog on other countries’ politics because I don’t want to seem like an arrogant American, but as a consumer of media and a user of the Internet, not to mention a computer scientist and a hopeful future content creator (and, well, because I’m bored right now), I gotta jump in to the debate raging across the pond in England in regards to music piracy and how to deal with it. The recent deal announced that will target illegal file-sharer’s Internet connections and reduce them “to a level which would render file-sharing of media files impractical while leaving basic email and web access functional” (after two warning letters) is such a stunning invasion of privacy and overreaction that I don’t even know where to begin.

First, let me say that I don’t pretend to think that just because it’s possible to very easily share media files over the Internet without compensating the original creators that it should be categorically allowed. As someone who hopes to create the type of content (films, in this case) that is daily massively shared around the Internet I see the problem. I do. For every torrent of Bones or whatever downloaded, that’s a few cents those awesome artists aren’t going to see. So, first point can be summarized thusly: just because you can download it for free is no reason to be a dick to the artists.

Secondly, show me the post offices where they open our mail and make sure we’re not sending illegal stuff or making illegal plans via letters and I’ll support this plan to track Internet users’ traffic and “shape” it. Show me the highways where there are roadblocks (outside of Iraq and the Mexican border, I mean) to check for people smuggling illegal goods and I’ll support this plan to cut off users who’ve paid for broadband service. Show me the phone company that taps our phones to make sure we’re not using the wires to do illegal things and I’ll support this plan to tap every broadband connection in England to listen for file-sharing traffic.

ISPs have one job: deliver us an Internet connection, and in return we pay them a ton of money. It’s a good agreement for both parties (usually) and in return both parties keep out of each others way for the most part. That means the ISP doesn’t tap my wires looking for “bad” traffic and I PAY THEM EVERY MONTH. If I want to game 24/7, that’s between me and Blizzard. If I want to download from iTunes all the time, that’s between me and Apple. If I want to illegally file-share, THAT’S BETWEEN ME AND THE RECORD COMPANIES. I can’t think what the ISPs involved in this deal are thinking. It’s got to be massively expensive (though less than opening all our mail, checking all our car trunks or listening to all our phone conversations), and for what in return? A big bag of money from the record companies? I suppose they’re hoping this will noticeably lessen the traffic on their networks, but the users are paying for that bandwidth. Plus, if they really succeed in cutting down the Internet connections of 7 MILLION PEOPLE, isn’t that gonna kinda make that 11% of the population really, really, really, really PISSED? I don’t know what over a tenth of the entire population of a country being pissed because they just lost their broadband looks like, but I can’t imagine it’d be pretty. So, second point in summary: just because it’s technically possible to track and attack people’s Internet connections is no reason to be a dick about it.

I don’t really have a lot of ideas for fixing the problem, but one thing I do know: the Internet has changed the game and nothing (NO THING) is going to stop people from sharing. What we need to do is redefine the model from one of paying for the actual content to one of paying for what’s around the content. This is already what happens on TV. TV viewers don’t pay money when watching on the TV, but they do pay (in time) for what’s AROUND the content: the 17 minutes every hour of advertising. The small field of web comics also embraces this model: the actual comic is free, but fans pay by looking at ads on the website, buying books, t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, posters, etc. and by making the occasional paypal donation. Only a handful of web cartoonists are able to live full-time off this model, but it’s an idea. The equally small field of web series’ is also actively creating a new way of making content free of charge. Most people who’re looking more than 5 or 10 years into the future understand that the current model is going to be dead and rotting very soon. The RIAA isn’t scaring enough people (and never will be able to) to reverse the ongoing evolution and (as Shakira puts it) “democratization” of the music and movie industries. I don’t pretend to have the answer, but I think at the most basic level it will involve the content creators getting closer to their fans and in a lot of cases the “middleman’s” role being drastically reduced if not completely eliminated. This is obviously what scares the RIAA and the like, but it’s really exciting to me as a fan (I’ve had personal interactions with some of my favorite cartoonists via Twitter) and as a hopefully future content creator. I think because this new model is going to be decentralized, it will take everyone each adding a piece to the puzzle to the BUILD the new systems of income for content creators. The world is full of awesome creative people. How long until someone who has not a lick of musical talent but who’s awesome at finding business models on the Internet teams up with a few budding musicians or bands and becomes their personal manager and helps them create a gainful income via a model that bittorrent won’t undermine?

It’s 3:30am and I’m getting really tired. I’m gonna leave this post here and apologize for all the typos (for which I know there are many, as I’ve fixed quite a few dozen already). I also apologize if this doesn’t make as much sense and/or flow as well as I think it does, because I’m pretty tired and might be reading it completely wrong.

‘k enough apologizing. Not gonna apologize for calling a ton of pirates dicks or for calling most British ISPs dicks. Both well deserved titles.

Cheers,
-j

Just say "no" to DDoS attacks August 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Do you remember what happened one year ago today?

Do remember what happened to Twitter, Facebook and LiveJournal over the last 36 hours?

Given the rumors that the DDoS attacks on these three social networks were carried out by Russian hackers/crackers I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to assume that the DDoS attacks were linked with the one year anniversary of the Georgia/Russia war (that would be the eastern-European ex-soviet country named Georgia, not the state in the USA). Especially given Facebook’s report that only one person was being targeted in all these attacks, a pro-Georiga blogger going by the name “Cyxymu” on all the targeted social networking sites.

Is it too much to assume that pro-Russian interests wanted to silence this blogger on the anniversary of a war that, while probably the fault of both parties involved, seemed to make most people more angry at Russia than at Georgia?

Not really sure what my point is (and I gotta run so I can’t flush it out anymore), but I think it might be this message to whomever thought it would be fun to disrupt multiple online services just to attack one person: fuck you.

-j

Connie Schultz and Craig Ferguson need to visit the mid-90s July 15, 2009 at 6:07 am

Remember the mid 1990s, when the World Wide Web was first hitting it big and we were all learning how it worked?

Apparently Craig skipped the section on search engines and how they work. Similarly, Connie seems to have missed the memo going around over the last few years that bloggers are not, in fact, out to get her and her job. (Although I think the New Media movement needs new terms for web publishers, because the term “blogger” can apply to everyone from emo kids with Live Journals to tmz.com writers to extremely knowledgeable college-dropouts to credited journalists writing online at newspapers or even on selfhosted sites. I fully admit that a large percentage of that group can not be taken seriously to report fact-based news. I also know for a fact that there are many people who proudly describe themselves as bloggers who do original research and news-gathering. To imply that that isn’t true is to admit a profound misunderstanding of Web 2.0 and New Media in general.)

Check out this interview from Monday night’s Late Late Show (the good stuff lasts no more than 2 minutes and starts about 1:15 in):

So much happens in those short minutes that Connie and Craig take to disparage bloggers and search engines that my head nearly exploded when I first saw it.

The thing that grates at me most is Craig’s bold and unilateral pronouncement that search engines are publishers and as such should be held accountable for any illegal activity on the pages they index and link to. While I suppose this is not an entirely unreasonable assumption for someone who’s never used the internet to make, it is very surprising coming from the likes of Craig Ferguson, someone who, while professing to not understand “The Tweety,” seems to know at least what the Internet and WWW is and also seems to have fairly good judgment about when to back off on a subject. This was obviously not one of those times. News flash, Mr. Ferguson: Google or Yahoo or Bing are not publishers by any stretch of the imagination. They are catalogs, analogous to a library card catalog: they simply tell the user where to find what he or she seeks, having no power over what that information is or who wrote it. The farthest (farthest) you could take your argument is that search engines should de-index a website that is illegal in some way. But to say that Google or Yahoo should be held accountable for the content of the pages they link to (content that can change at any time by no knowledge of the search engine until the search bot passes through the page again) shows such a stunning lack of understanding of the basic workings of the Web that I’m actually kinda sick.

And Ms. Schultz. “Bloggers…tend to take our work for free…” Let’s focus on that one quote for a moment. Could you be a little more specific? Who? What? When? The aforementioned emo kids are mostly blogging about their own lives, (something that could be considered original reporting, btw); the aforementioned tmz.com bloggers, well again, the paparazzi might be annoying to celebrates, but I’d have to go with “original reporting” for tmz-type blogs, too; college (or highschool, for that matter) dropouts, OK, that might be your crowd. But still, I’ve seen many an insightful post from such folks and rarely have I run across something that looks like stolen journalism to me.

OK. I should back up, admit that I’m being highly cynical here and admit that I understand (I think) what Ms. Schultz is saying: bloggers often “break” news stories on their blogs that newspaper journalists have already written and published, but to my mind, unless the blogger doesn’t cite/link to the original source (e.g. plagiarizes the article, such as it seems the company that Ms. Schultz references being in a court battle with the AP was doing) that is not “taking for free” it is simply spreading the news with proper citation. Further, my understanding of how most news bloggers operate (including myself) is that we pull in information from several different sources and present it in a (hopefully) unique way. If journalists want to take up the mantle of doing what unpaid (for a lot of us) people with laptops are doing, then be our guests. But I’m guessing there will never be enough journalists to do that, and there shouldn’t be. Journalists hold a certain place in our society, and I don’t for one moment wish less journalists in the world. What I do wish for is an understanding of the new ways of news gathering, analyzing and reporting. We still absolutely need news and information quality control, and that’s the next challenge of Web development, but especially in the new ways of news processing. Twitter, YouTube, Blogs. All are changing the way that we see and think of news, but a lot of it is not checked, and we absolutely need to find a model where all the news (or even most of the news) flowing around the web can be channeled through credible people, be it respected and trusted high-school dropout bloggers, or PhD’ed journalists. The old centralized news model of all reporters being AP certified and all news coming through the TV and newspapers is dying. Rather than lumping all bloggers with a company that was plagiarizing from the AP, journalists should be working with the blogging community to find the best way to help the news that is flowing around the new, seriously decentralized news model that is the Web, pass through credibly filters (the AP, trusted bloggers, etc.). But I think you will find, Ms. Schultz, that just lashing out at “bloggers” and talking gleefully about count wins over us is no way to win friends in the model that is the future. The way to change the way news is processed is not through court battles. It’s through cooperation and forward-looking thinking. Otherwish, the old journalist community is gonna be left in the dust, and the world will be a little worse off.

I’ve ranted for 1000 words now. I’ll quit now and go to bed. I hope my 6am post-Harry Potter watching rambles make sense.

Cheers,
-j

Bing! Your annoying ads are ready June 30, 2009 at 3:11 am

I have a problem. It has to do with Microsoft’s ads for Bing, the rebranding/relaunch of Microsoft Live Search. This problem might just be bigger than my problem with the Laptop Hunter ads, which is saying quite a lot.

One of the Bing ads:

Here’s my issue: Bing is being billed as a “decision engine” and that it will reduce “search overload” (see video above), but I’m just not seeing it. I’ve done a few side-by-side searches on Bing and Google and I really see no difference between the results (doing a search for “huntington, in weather” turns up a weather forecast and current conditions from both search engines, but the current temperature is a degree higher from Bing, with Google‘s closer to what my home weather station is reporting. (In Bing’s favor, it does return Huntington, Indiana as the first result, whereas Google returns Huntington Beach, California as the first result with my correct Indiana city as second)). I assume Bing is trying to cash in on the recent media about Wolfram|Alpha (the only “computational engine” currently in the Internet) with the “decision engine” definition, but in my opinion it just serves to confuse as the software doesn’t seem to “decide” any more than Google or Yahoo what the information that you’re looking for is, and to even imply that it’s relatively easy to build a “decision engine” (which I can only assume is a cross between a search engine like Google/Yahoo and a computational engine like Wolfram|Alpha) cheapens the concept and insults pretty much everyone in the field of Information Technology, whether they’re working on developing such technology or not.

And then there’s my even bigger beef: “search overload.” What the hell is that? The only way to get search overload is if you get the wrong information than what you were searching for, and no amount of software is going to change the fact that if you do a bad search, you don’t get the information you wanted and, I suppose, it could lead to information overload, but it’s really up to the end user to become a smart searcher and not try to rely on the computer to read their mind. Look, the user knows what the user is looking for, right? The computer is dumb. It’s dumber than dumb. It’s a freaking idiot. It does what it’s told. Google, Wolfram|Alpha, Yahoo and all the other engines on the web have a lot of programming going into them to try to return the results that are most likely to be what the user wants. But it’s still based on probability because the computer can’t read the users mind. It can’t. Maybe in the far future when we’re all dead computers will be able to read the user’s mind, but for now it’s not possible. So instead of trying to pretend the computer can do something it can’t (“decide”? A computer doesn’t decide, it does what it’s told. It gets a search query, it does what the search software tells it to do. There’s no room for deciding, because it’s a set software program. If search is “A” then do “B”. It’s all very logical and metal and binary. Deciding is an emotional process, obviously there’s logic involved as well, but it requires thought and prior knowledge and all the things that make human brains different from every other “brain” (animal or machine) on earth. Simply put, the search software can include a near infinite number of if statements and it will never really be “deciding” anything, it will simply be following the set software routine and it will return the same results to the user no matter if they wanted to know about the cloud type, the band, the movie or the tool when they typed in “anvil” and hit “Search”.

So instead of making “decision engines” we need to teach users better searching habits. I don’t care if the user wants to use Google, Bing, Yahoo, Woflram|Alpha or anything else. It’s nobodies business what engine the user uses, because if we all became a little less lazy and a little more savvy about how we search, the world would be a better place, because we could finally take these annoying “search overload” ads and shove them in a dark closet in Redmond.

And one last thing: Google doesn’t shove as much information at me as Bing does: Google has no annoying (albeit pretty) picture with hover boxes on the main search page and it pushes the “related searches” information to the bottom of the page, not right up top on the side. Little nitpicks, I know, but that extra clutter right at the beginning of my search experience just further justifies my “your ‘search overload’ assertion thing is crap” argument.

Maybe if I tried Bing some more I’d like it. But I doubt it, as every time I see one of those ads I hate Bing I little bit more.

Cheers!

-j

Colbert pwns NASA, NASA returns the favor April 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

This is beautiful:

A few months ago NASA held a contest to name the new wing of the International Space Station. They allowed anybody to submit whatever name they wanted, but said that they wouldn’t absolutely commit to naming it the winning name if they didn’t like it. So, Stephen Colbert, in typical fashion, called on all his fans to vote for his name in the contest. And he won. (Let nobody say that Stephen doesn’t have a load of very loyal fans!) This, as is well imaginably, created a little bit of a problem for NASA: the name won and it would be…unpopular for them to just ignore that fact, but always talking about “the Stephen Colbert” wing of the ISS does present some odd issues (is NASA endorsing a sudo-politic figure? Etc. Etc.).

So what did NASA end up doing? Well, they didn’t name the new ISS wing after him…but they did name a treadmill after him. Win! Literally. Everybody wins. Stephen and all his fans who voted for him get something on the ISS named after him, but NASA gets to call the new ISS node “Tranquility,” which is more in line with the names they give other space-faring vehicles, anyway. (Although I’m sure every Firefly fan out there is very disappointed that the #2 winning name, Serenity, didn’t get chosen by NASA either.)

And that, folks, is the story of how Colbert (and the Colbert Nation) pwned NASA, and how NASA pwned him (and them) right back.

I hope this made your day a little bit better like it did mine.

Cheers.

-j

Mac vs. Windows: my opinion April 3, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I’ll admit that I find the new “I’m a PC” ads from Microsoft annoying and all that, but what I find most annoying is the reactions that they’ve been inciting from people. Everyone from the people declaring that little “Kylie” was gonna make PC sales skyrocket (OK, don’t flame me: I know he didn’t actually say that in his post, but it felt like the subtext) (because everyone likes the idea of a 4-year-old being able to use a computer so well. [/sarcastic] I don’t know about anybody else, but I kinda find the prospect of a 4-year-old being that good with a digital camera and laptop to be quite scary) to the people who got so bent of of shape about the newest ad in the series featuring “Lauren” who says she’s “just not cool enough to be a Mac person” (reaction in my living room when that ad first came on: “huh?” from every direction) all the way to the people yelling about the people doing the yelling. (Isn’t the blogosphere grand?)

I should say that I am a Mac user (in case that wasn’t clear already). Having used Windows at home for nearly 12 years I finally went Mac last fall when it was time to upgrade my laptop (I’d been using Macs at school for digital media work for 2 years) and since then I’ve brought three more MacBooks into my house, as well as Time Capsule and several iPod Touches. I am very happy with my 13.3-inch MacBook and wouldn’t give it up for a PC if you paid me (OK, if you paid me a LOT of money I probably would, but I digress). My point is: I know computers, I’ve used and enjoyed Windows computers (although I will never remember fondly the 4.5 years I used Windows ME) and I’ve used and enjoyed Mac computers. I obviously prefer Mac as my primary computing environment right now, but I still use Windows XP on a daily basis at school and on my old laptop at home. I’ve only had the BSOD twice on my little Dell Inspiron 6000 and I’ve never had a major failure in the 3.5 years I’ve owned the machine. I’ve abused it so much I’m very surprised it is still running, so I don’t actually have a lot of bad to say about XP. I think it’s a wonderful (if not a little dated) OS.

So it’s this background that I’m coming from in saying: chill out, everyone. Seriously. Arguing about Mac vs. PC pricing might be fun (I’ve had the debate many a time) but it’s just stupid. When deciding between Mac and PC price is a consideration, yes, it may even be the primary consideration for most computer buyers (especially during a recession) but comparing Mac vs. PC on a price level or a spec-for-spec level or any kind of level is futile. It’s like comparing apples and oranges (hey! An unintended pun! Yay!): they’re both fruits (computers) and have a lot of the same properties (hardware components), but they taste different, act different, cost different, have different amounts of varieties and have different fan clubs. So Lauren has a very specific set of goals she wants in a computer. She doesn’t seem to care what OS she uses and she couldn’t find a 17-inch computer under $1000 from Apple. She found one at Best Buy with Windows on it so she bought it. So what? There’s no way to argue it around that she could have or should have gotten a Mac. She didn’t seem to need or want one. People who want a really powerful 17-inch laptop with screaming graphics and all the bells and whistles might very well end up with a MacBook or MacBook Pro but that doesn’t mean that just because Lauren wanted a 17-inch computer that she needed to buy a MacBook. She didn’t. People are yelling about how amazing the ad was because it showed somebody who “should” be a Mac Person buying a PC. Well, color me surprised that someone doesn’t fit into a random stereotype. News flash folks: PCs are still used by 88% of computer users, so I’ll bet you can find a LOT of people in that 88% of the population who “should” be using a Mac based on some arbitrary definition of “Mac users”. Do I think that some of those people might end up using Macs in the future as Mac OS gains market share? You bet! But that decision will be theirs personally based on price, hardware specs, the “coolness factor” and a host of other things. That doesn’t mean computer and OS makers shouldn’t advertise their stuff using whatever tactics they think necessary. It doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t continue to debate what computer they like and why, but I do think that people should cool it with the holier-than-thou “ye gads they used the PRICE argument” outrage. Face it folks: Windows computers, on average, are cheaper than Mac computers, and Microsoft is going to milk that for all its worth. Calm down Mac Loyalists: our OS is still gaining market share, despite the recession and the “I’m a PC” ads.

OK, climbing down from my high horse on top of my soap box now.

Cheers.

-j

My beef with Meghan McCain's writing March 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm

How exactly did Meghan McCain graduate from Columbia University and work for Newsweek without ever learning to write well?

I was actually really interested in reading her take on why Ann Coulter is bad for the world and/or the GOP, but I had to keep taking breaks from reading it because of her terrible writing.

I don’t by any means consider myself an expert on writing (I’m the king of run-on sentences), but I’ll [albeit somewhat jokingly] quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and say “I know it when I see it”. And that blog post is not it. Maybe she was just having an off day, but I would think someone of her fame would think twice about posting a major blog entry that could very well be quoted by CNN on an off day.

Huh. I’m somewhat confused.

Anyway, cheers!

-j

P.S. after a quick look at mccainblogette.com I’ve decided that she’s probably not an awful writer (how forgiving of me, right? *grin*) but just a simple writer. She doesn’t go out on a limb and use any complex sentences very often. That’s what I do most of the time, and even though I land on my ass on the ground a lot of the time, I much prefer that to simple writing. I still don’t think it’s very good writing, but I think I understand why she passed her writing classes at Columbia: I think she’s probably following most of the rules of writing (I don’t know jack about the rules of writing, any ability I have is purely natural and the product of two English-major parents) but in a completely uncreative way. Drives me crazy.

Jack Bauer 2.0? January 20, 2009 at 12:50 am

People who know me well (or have read this blog in the past week) might know about my great love of the TV show 24, still other (and probably more) people will know that I’m a feminist, and some other people (again, anyone who’s read this blog probably) might know of my love of analyzing things to death.

So it is that tonight these three loves of mine come together as I post [in what might very well become a weekly feature on this blog] my thoughts on the latest episode of 24 (12pm-1pm, aired January 19th). Obviously, a very large SPOILER ALERT applies to the below discussion.

(more…)

Irony is lost on Joe January 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm

So Joe the Plumber has landed himself a gig as a war reporter and is in Israel for 10 days “to cover Israel’s side of the” current massacre, sorry I mean “conflict”, in Gaza.

So far so good, aside from the part where he’s concerned that we poor Americans are getting cheated out of hearing the truth about this conflict that has killed nearly 1,000 Gazans and…13 Israelis, but that’s not my main point, my main point is that while in Israel on assignment as a war reporter he told a group of journalists, and I quote: “I think media should be abolished from, you know, reporting,” and “You know, war is hell. And if you’re gonna sit there and say, ‘well, look at this atrocity,’ well you don’t know the whole story behind it half the time, so I think the media should have no business in it.”

The irony of Joe landing a job as a war reporter and then telling the other reporters to go home is just too, too rich. The guy’s ego has no bounds, does it?

Before I end this post, I would just like to point out that while only 3 of the 13 dead Israelis have been civilians, fully one third (over 300) of the dead Gazans have been children. I don’t know exactly how many have been (adult) civilians, but the percentage of dead civilians in Gaza, to say nothing of the extremely lopsided Gazan-to-Israeli death ratio, is surely much higher than it is in Israel.

Glad to hear Joe’ll be bringing us all the important facts on those 3 dead Israeli civilians. I look forward to it with baited breath.

-j