"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Monday, July 27, 2015

EU Cookie Law Implementation by the European Union is a Waste of User Time and Webmaster Resources

The wheels of law turn slowly and one would think that something sensible is being done in the interim by the powers that be, but it is difficult in the present case to discover what that might have been.

We posted about the impending and in many regards superfluously invasive effects of the European Union Cookie Law more than three years ago, see e.g.:
How surprised we were then as a "publishing" blogger to receive an email today, July 27, 2015, from Google and the Google Ads Policy Team regarding "Important information regarding the user consent policy" which reads as follows:
"Dear Publisher,

We want to let you know about a new policy about obtaining EU end-users’ consent that reflects regulatory and best practice guidance. It clarifies your duty to obtain end-user consent when you use products like Google AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers, and DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Please review our new EU user consent policy as soon as possible. This requires that you obtain EU end users’ consent to the storing and accessing of cookies and other information, and to the data collection, sharing, and usage that takes place when you use Google products. It does not affect any provisions on data ownership in your contract.

Please ensure that you comply with this policy as soon as possible, and not later than 30th September 2015.

If your site or app does not have a compliant consent mechanism, you should implement one now. To make this process easier for you, we have compiled some helpful resources at cookiechoices.org.

This policy change is being made in response to best practice and regulatory requirements issued by the European data protection authorities. These requirements are reflected in changes recently made on Google’s own websites.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.


Regards,
The Google Policy Team


© 2015 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043

As a publisher using a Google ads product, you are receiving this email to inform you of an important policy change." 
We were gratified to see among the "EU cookie law solution choices" at cookiechoices.org that the solution we recommended more than three years ago, Cookie Consent by SilkTide, has emerged as the most popular solution. That is the good news.

The bad news is that the lawmakers at the European Union (EU) appear in the intervening years to have made little or no progress in adopting a user-friendly and webmaster-friendly set of rules and solutions regarding opt-ins and opt-outs for cookies.

Quite the contrary, they are contributing to a massive bloating and absolutely useless boilerplate bottlenecking of the Internet, thereby costing users valuable time by demanding even more superfluous clicks via the consenting process for every cookie-using web presence. A ridiculous state of affairs.

Opting in or out of cookies can be better and faster done simply by making the appropriate changes to the cookie options in modern browsers. The EU law is a colossal waste of time for webmasters, bloggers and users. WHO is responsible for this nonsense? They should not be in Brussels.

When one takes a look at the Cookie Consent Kit that the EU has developed, one really must ask for whom it was designed. Code-savvy webmasters need little coding assistance of this kind, whereas coding novices who run blogs or websites via the many portals and services offered, can do nothing with that overly complex, virtually useless kit. We will be surprised if anyone uses it.

We ourselves, as already stated more than 3 years ago, rely on the simple solution that SilkTide presents. Thank you.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Shocking Case of Weather Forecast Pioneer Admiral Robert FitzRoy and What it Tells Us About Politics Science Humankind and the Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the fittest? We are not sure.

How misled can your average politician or scientist be in thinking what is right?
today and yesterday?

Consider the story of the fate of weather forecast pioneer
Admiral Robert FitzRoy,
captain of the HMS Beagle for Charles Darwin's famous voyage.

Peter Moore at BBC News relates that story to us in
The Birth of the Weather Forecast
where we read informatively that:
"When one MP suggested in the [House of] Commons in 1854 that recent advances in scientific theory might soon allow them to know the weather in London "twenty-four hours beforehand", the House roared with laughter."
As amazing as it may appear to us in our modern world today, the idea of the possibility of "weather forecasting" was considered a lunacy by most people in mainstream politics and science as late as the 19th century.

Indeed, weather forecast pioneer Admiral Robert FitzRoy, "the father of weather forecasting", met with vast resistance in his era, but as Moore tells us:
"[T]oday his vision of a public forecasting service, funded by government for the benefit of all, is fundamental to our way of life. 
His department, which began with a staff of three, now employs more than 1,500 people and has an annual budget of more than £80m.... 
Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office's current chief scientist explains: "FitzRoy was really ahead of his time. He was not mistaken or eccentric, he was just at the start of a very long journey, one that continues today in the Met Office."
Little has changed in people, politics or science in the intervening 161 years.

Mankind remains as difficult to teach to rise above its biases, ignorance and superstitions as it was in the Commons of 1854 where weather forecasting was literally laughed out of the House -- by the unfit.

Paradoxically, Darwin is famous
but who knows about FitzRoy?

And yet we all should daily thank FitzRoy, and not Darwin.

FitzRoy was right -- weather can be forecasted.
Not perfectly, but enough to be of a very big help to mankind.

Darwin on the other hand told us that the "fittest" survive.
When we view the daily news, however, we are not sure about that.

Things appear to be more chance than merit,
and probabilities seem to guide survival outcomes more than fitness.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Startup Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation in the Netherlands

TechCrunch looks at startup entrepreneurship and tech innovation in the Netherlands with a focus on Amsterdam and Delft.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Brain Convolutions Develop Like Crumpling A Sheet of Paper: It's All About Space

The next time you crumple a sheet of paper to toss into the wastebasket you may think differently about it.

New research reported at the Scientific American indicates that human brains obtain their convolutions by crumpling like a sheet of paper, especially in the last trimester of foetal development.

It's all about space.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Best and Worst U.S. Cities for Recreation

"July is National Park and Recreation Month" according to Wallet Hub, who give us a list -- based on many factors including parks -- of the recreational rank of 100 U.S. cities. There are surprises.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Is Massive Eurozone Lending by Strong EU and Other Nations to Weak Economies a Clever Long Term Plan of Indirect Currency Devaluation?

The Economist has a piece on the Greek debt crisis.

Here is our question for the pundits.

Let's say for purposes of calculation that there are ca. 10000000 Greeks (it is actually more like 11 million) with a government debt of ca. €300000000000 (some say 320 billion). Reduce both by 7 zeros and you get ca. €30000 per Greek. The question then becomes why it was permitted to loan out that kind of money to a basically non-industrial 3rd world nation that has no structural basis to ever repay that kind of exorbitant debt.

Is the indirect devaluation of the Euro over time actually a clever long-term financial plan instituted by strong nations via absurdly exorbitant lending to weak borrower nations? What other rational explanation is there?

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Sizing Up the Debt Situation in Greece

Zachary Goldfarb at the Washington Post Wonkblog sizes up the debt crisis in Greece.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

The Top New Gear of Summer: Golfboard Water Bikes Electric Quadrofoil Speedboat E-Skateboard and More

Is futuristic "gear" the new trend in gadgets and inventions? Robb Report clues us in on the top new gear of summer, if you can afford it and have the time to enjoy it.

For stand-up golfers, check out the new golfboard that carries bag, clubs and player. It is a hit and already available at nearly 100 golf courses.

Have you ever dreamt of water-biking? We want a couple of these for the family!

A "quiet" electric "Quadrofoil" speedboat is straight out of tomorrow. 21 knots!

How about an electric skateboard that goes 20 mph and ranges 20 miles?

Who can resist a light designer kayak you fold up into the size of a college football tote bag? Take it with you!

Handcrafted standup paddleboards to keep you fit are at the same time also works of art. Take a look.

Climb the heights with a high end mountain bike made through cooperation of bicycle and automobile engineers.

Imagine a cast concrete no-warp billiard table or the same construct for table tennis. Weatherproof, at a cost.

Photograph it all with an innovative Leica Q that has great specifications but is nearly light as a feather.

Faster, lighter, better. That is the design-oriented but practical future of gear.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Free Windows 10 Will Be Licensed to the Device, Not to the User as Such

Coming at the end of July.... See Tech Republic for the details regarding the practical scope of the free installation of Windows 10 on PCs running Windows 7 and 8.1.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The USA and the UK are also Big Creditors of Greece

A list of countries to whom Greece owes money is found in a BBC News article titled 'No' vote 'won't help Greece'. Surprisingly, also the United States of America and the United Kingdom are big creditors of Greece.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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