I just noticed that I mentioned an "update" without actually explaining what I was referring to. It's the update to my latest Tumblr post: collectedoverspread.tumblr.com

Maybe you can appreciate why I'd like to give it some more separation.

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US (California) politics 

One thing I'm curious about is service charges specifically for large parties, which some reporting (e.g. latimes.com/food/story/2024-02 ) suggests would also need to be included in the advertised price.

I actually feel like this should be considered a fee for an optional service (in the words of the AG's guidance), that is, the service of waiting on/serving a large group of customers. Consider this: If you were a glutton and ordered ten dishes for yourself, in theory you wouldn't have to pay that charge, whereas a group of ten who ordered the same dishes would have to.

If the exemption doesn't pass, I'd like to see more specific guidance from the AG on this.

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US (California) politics 

"California lawmakers fast-track restaurant exemption to hidden fees law" by Dan Walters (@DanCALmatters@twitter.com) in CalMatters calmatters.org/commentary/2024

I've been following the developments around since restaurants started complaining about the AG's guidance FAQ from May, and I truly do not understand why they believe they deserve this special treatment. (Okay, I know why they're *advocating* for this treatment, but the arguments themselves don't make a lot of sense.) Yes, we know restaurants have thin margins and high labor costs, but the way to respond to increased costs is to raise prices (gasp!), just like virtually every other business does.

Is it just me or has totally nerfed the HTML support in posts? I can get over forcing <em> and <strong> into <i> and <b> (I think this has been a thing for a long time, and everyone gets it wrong anyway)...

But now I can't even add a sublist under a list item (it just gets flatted down to one big list), or even a second paragraph within an item! The update is just so awkwardly placed now.

@eff I think this shows, once again, that the problem with is less that it's automated systems aren't perfect than that it's appeals processes are ineffective. It seems like sometimes the only effective appeal is to make a big enough stink on social media, which not everyone can do.

"I don't know any YouTube creator who's happy with the way Content ID works," EFF’s @ktrendacosta told @arstechnica — but she "can't think of a way to build the match technology" to improve it, because "machines cannot tell context."

Sorry to say, archive.org is under a ddos attack. The data is not affected, but most services are unavailable.

We are working on it & will post updates in comments.

"If you shoot back a twelve-page rebuttal / With an indexed list of their lies / They'll laugh like demented hyenas / As engagement metrics rise / If you even admit their existence / Then you're falling for their trick / Let them rot in their lair as you starve them of air / It's bad on purpose to make you click."


Interesting thing I found out about : If you try to search the for an archived post on the bsky.app site, you'll get what looks like a blank page. However, the text and the author are still in the source code.

(Similarly, if you search for a more recent archive of one of their blog posts, the main content appears to be missing, but it's in the source code. But here for some reason the content shows up if you click somewhere on the page.)

Today, we filed our final brief in Hachette v. Internet Archive, the publishers’ lawsuit against our library. For four years we've been fighting for library rights—what our founder, @brewsterkahle, calls “a battle for the soul of libraries in the digital age.” blog.archive.org/2024/04/19/in

This whole Twitter thread illustrates the problem with the common practice of copying things on the Internet. More people need to learn about licenses, so they can, if they so choose, give explicit permission for others to share and reuse their work, rather than rely on inconsistent and uncertain social norms.


SXSW’s claim that the Austin for Palestine Coalition infringed its trademark fails because the graphics at issue are constitutionally-protected, non-commercial political parody that won’t create consumer confusion, EFF’s Cara Gagliano said. The Austin Chronicle has the story:

"But morality and social norms are supposed to be a different thing from law. In some spheres, it's more important to have hard-and-fast rules enforced by the government in a supposedly unbiased way; in others, it's more important to let communities make judgments using their own vague social norms."

"How Should We Think About Race And 'Lived Experience'?" by Scott Alexander in Astral Codex Ten astralcodexten.com/p/how-shoul

It's worth considering the specific case being examined here, but I wanted to highlight this broader point. I think it's similar to something I wrote about a few years ago collectedoverspread.tumblr.com

I've started calling this sort of thing "legalistic thinking," where people apply the strict standards found in law to discussions about morality.

A big loophole and a lack of audits “makes it much harder for someone to challenge when a deployer is saying that the AI system is exempt from the law,” EFF’s Hayley Tsukayama told The Record of Workday’s model legislation. therecord.media/human-resource

I'm not sure how often checks this Mastodon account so I've sent them an e-mail about this.

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US politics, Oklahoma "furry bill" 

"...while elements of the bill, such as getting animal control involved, appear intentionally provocative, banning student expression in this manner is no joke and presents serious constitutional concerns."

"Fursona non grata: Oklahoma lawmaker moves to ban 'furryism' in public schools" by Greg Gonzalez for FIRE thefire.org/news/fursona-non-g

I appreciate FIRE's dedication to responding to threats to free speech, but at the same time I'm sorry they had to take time to write this. I guess it's good to know that the stupid litter-box myth is alive and well in some places (sigh).

(There just so happens to be a furry convention in Oklahoma City this weekend. Hope everyone has a good time; maybe make some memes about this.)

Meta-discussion on political discourse 

"Everyone knows politics makes people crazy. But what kind of crazy? Which page of the DSM is it on? I'm only half joking. Psychiatrists have spent decades developing a whole catalog of ways brains can go wrong. Politics makes people's brains go wrong. Shouldn’t it be in the catalog?"

"The Psychopolitics of Trauma" by Scott Alexander in Astral Codex Ten astralcodexten.com/p/the-psych

I've held off on trying to get on because it's still centralized in practice, but given that it plans to open up federation this year ( blueskyweb.xyz/blog/11-15-2023 ) it might be worth thinking about.

I plan to make this a proper blog post, but I will highlight one thing I like, the domain-name handles, which solve a problem that I've had to deal with on the (identity based on an instance which can go down).

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