Goodbye, WTPA.

Pennsylvania recently lost the last local radio station worth listening to, WTPA. It had too many ads, but when they played music they played good stuff: classic and recent hard rock and heavy metal.

I don’t listen to FM radio often, but when I did this was my go-to station. At least, it used to be. I found out that they’ve sold out to Educational Media Foundation, and have since switched to a “Christian adult contemporary” format.

As if there aren’t enough Christian stations on the air already. First all the classical music stations go offline, and now I can’t find a decent radio station for metalheads? It’s almost as if the world is daring me to get into pirate radio…

Well, no. I’ll be a good metalhead and get my FCC license. That way I can call my station WPRV: Privateer Radio (pirate radio with a license to thrill).

Business As Usual at the FBI

According to the Bezos Post (paywalled link)

A GOP memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI has been released, intensifying a fight between the White House and Republican lawmakers, on one side, and the nation’s top law enforcement agency over whether the origins of a probe into Russian interference in 2016 were tainted by political bias.

This is supposed to be news? We’re supposed to care that the FBI might have abused is authority to the detriment of the Republican regime currently in power?

Well, cry me a fucking river while I file this memo under NO SHIT, SHERLOCK. Do these ignorant shitfountains not remember J. Edgar Hoover? That guy had dossiers on just about everybody, and you can bet your ass it was politically motivated.

I guess Republicans are fine with shenanigans like COINTELPRO as long as the FBI is doing it to black people, leftists, queers, and poor people. Heaven forbid that Republicans also be subject to FBI scrutiny.

I’ve been saying for years that the FBI, CIA, and NSA need to be curbed. I still think so.

However, I don’t give a damn what the Republican memo claims. I don’t care if it contains evidence proving that the FBI offers human sacrifices to an idol in the likeness of J. Edgar Hoover every Saturday night before spending the rest of the weekend having orgies fueled by drugs stolen from DEA evidence lockers.

Why? Simple. The Republicans need to fuck off and die. They haven’t given this country a good President since Eisenhower. No wonder they’re nostalgic for the 1950s. It was the last decade being a Republican was somewhat respectable.

Once the Republicans have gone the way of the Whigs and Know-Nothings, the Democrats are next.

Tofugu on Japanese Web Design

Tofugu has an interesting article about Japanese Web Design and why it’s so different from US and European design. If you’ve ever been to a .co.jp site, you’ll recognize these elements of the Japanese web aesthetic.

  • Lots and lots of tightly packed text
  • Tiny images
  • Three-column layouts (making this not look like utter shit was the “holy grail” of web design before smartphones ruined the web)
  • poor or minimal use of whitespace and padding
  • links are usually blue
  • it’s a fucking mess

You’ll want to read the article to understand why. There are legitimate reasons.

Leaving the Cult; or, Getting Free of Toxic Tech Culture

Valerie Aurora’s post on leaving a toxic tech culture is absolutely brilliant, and everybody who works in tech should read it.

That’s right, everybody. Not just people working in Silicon Valley or for a startup. Everybody. I’ve worked for twenty years as a developer without ever setting foot in the Valley, but the attitudes Ms. Aurora decries are not local to SV.

They’re everywhere.

“Snowplow”, by Jon Methven

“Snowplow” by Jon Methven was an interesting short story. It’s timely, but the question will be whether it still holds up in five to ten years. The use of implanted microchips to monitor characters’ emotional states reminds me of Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day.

Tom Garland was with the company for six months when he volunteered to have the ESM chip implanted under his skin. Consenting to the minor procedure was a relief. It was the not consenting that drew the ire of colleagues, both male and female, who insisted employees refusing to be chipped were opposed to a safe work zone, or had something to hide.

Read the rest at The Awl.

1 in 8 new adults in Japan are not Japanese

I just saw a moderately interesting article in the Japan Times courtesy of @wintermute@cybre.space.

Reiji Yoshida reports that in Tokyo, 1 out of every 8 young women celebrating their coming of age in Japanese culture are not Japanese citizens. It must feel strange to work hard to fit into a given society and culture, but not be acknowledged as part of that society or culture or be counted as a citizen.

Not that the USA is consistently better in this regard, but we are long overdue for a national discussion on what it even means to be an American. It won’t be pretty.