Bleats

All I Want In Life Is Seth Meyers' "Skip Trump Joke" Button

skip, skip, skip...

It’s not often that comedians come up with really good ideas. I can’t blame them, their job is to make fun of everyone else’s bad ideas, not come up with their own. Seth Meyers may have bucked that trend though, because I can absolutely get behind a “skip Trump joke” button. 

Me when I realise I don’t actually have to listen to these jokes

You know how some genius at Netflix created the “skip intro” button? Perfect for when you’ve ended the last episode of whatever you were watching on a cliffhanger and can’t wait another second to find out what happened. It’s brilliant. This is the same concept, except during Meyers’ upcoming Netflix special, you’ll be able to hit it whenever he starts on a joke that’s going to wind up with a Donald Trump related punchline. 

In an interview, Meyers said that the whole thing was a bit of a joke in and of itself, and he didn’t really think people would use it. “I think, look, sometimes at a fancy restaurant they’ll put parsley on your plate and you’ll think, well, that’s a nice touch, but you’re not going to eat the parsley.”

Please, no more, I beg you…

Speaking as that weirdo who usually does eat the parsley (am I not meant to?), I would almost certainly use the damn button. People are increasingly burned out by politics and political jokes, and honestly, who can blame us? Frankly, I think it would be nice to extend it beyond the realms of Netflix.

Don’t want to hear a political joke on Seth Meyers’ show? Skip Trump joke button.

Listening to your least favourite uncle talk about how he’s no Trump supporter, but damn he makes some good points? Skip Trump joke button.

Had a long day and the latest news about what the US Government has been up to is going to tip you over the edge? Skip Trump joke button. 

I don’t want to hear it!

In fairness, if you’re tuning in to Seth Meyers’ show, you should probably expect him to be making fun of Donald Trump. Seth was one of the people who got up and roasted Trump back during the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, and some people reckon that being mocked by Meyers that night was the reason Trump decided to run for President in the first place.

Maybe if Donald had his own Skip Trump joke button that night, we wouldn’t need one now.

Could The Alexa By Your Bed Help Solve A Murder?

Alexa, call the police.

Home assistants and smart speakers are popping up in more and more homes, helping us out with the mundane and not so mundane aspects of life. Falling into the not so mundane category, Florida police are using audio from two Amazon Alexa devices to try and solve a murder case

Not the witness you’d expect

The case involves a woman, Silvia Galva, who was killed after a domestic dispute ended with her being impaled through the chest with a wooden spear. Her boyfriend, Adam Crespo, has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, and says that her death was an accident after he pulled her off the bed and she landed on the spear. 

There wasn’t anybody else in the room at the time, but police are hoping that the two Alexa devices near by will serve as a witness. Their theory is that if at some point during the domestic dispute, a wake word was said, then one or both of the devices may have recorded the fight and tell police whether this case is actually a murder or not. 

Just after someone thought of using the Alexa, probably

Amazon was contacted to see what they thought about all this, and a representative made a statement that said Amazon “does not disclose customer information in response to government demands unless we’re required to do so to comply with a legally valid and binding order.”

Yeah ok, makes sense

Basically they’re not going to hand over audio unless they’re legally obliged to. It’s a solid rule to follow, but one that they may have to look at more and more often. We’ve already seen cases of smart home assistants helping out in crimes before this one. Most recently audio from an Alexa was used in solving a double murder in New Hampshire, and a domestic violence incident in New Mexico

The Silvia Galva case is still ongoing, and will be definitely one to keep an eye on. However this particular case turns out, it almost certainly won’t be the last time we see a headline that involves the words “Alexa” and “murder”.

Does Facebook Really Have To Be A Necessary Evil In Our Lives?

It might be necessary, but does it have to be evil?

I spent a lot of my time last night watching the video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez absolutely skewering Facebook founder Mark “Definitely A Human And Not A Lizard Man” Zuckerberg. It was a fantastic night, in case you were wondering.

While it’s great fun to watch one of the richest and most powerful men in the world blurt out such profound gems as “I think lying is bad”, and laugh about how bad his weird Caesar inspired haircut is, we should probably look at the bigger picture.

Zuckerberg was facing congress to defend Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra. He called the current method we have of paying for stuff “outdated,” and used that as a reason to tell everyone how much we need Libra. Now, I know sweet f-all about how cryptocurrency works, and maybe my debit card isn’t as cool as currency that zooms around the internet, but my debit card is the one getting me groceries so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But I digress. 

Once Zuckerberg had finished implying that physical money is stupid, questioning turned to some of the other business that Facebook has been involved with. He was asked about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, why Facebook won’t fact check political ads themselves, and why some of the fact checkers they do have are tied to white supremacists

I don’t need to tell you that Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool. The bottom line is that for such a powerful company, they seem to get away with a lot of shady stuff with a slap on the wrist. We all know what they’re up to, but we’re still using their website.

I’ve heard this explained away over and over again by people saying that Facebook is just a “necessary evil”. 

Let’s address the “necessary” part of that phrase first. Sure, we could all delete Facebook and it would probably solve these problems, but it would also get rid of the benefits we get from social media. Like it or not, we do get a sense of connection from Facebook. We keep in touch with friends and family who live far away, and join all sorts of groups full of people with similar interests. I’m in a Facebook support group for people with dermatillomania, and it makes me realise I’m not alone or nuts. 

Also, I’ve watched bosses in previous jobs search the names of people who handed us a resume, and get suspicious if they can’t find an account. So I’m going to go with Facebook being a necessity in 2019. Sue me.

It doesn’t have to be evil, though. 

Saying that Facebook is stuck in its ways and can’t be changed is just not true. Mark Zuckerberg created it originally as a way to rank the attractiveness of women on his college campus, so it’s not like the site hasn’t changed at all since the beginning. It’s gone from being all sorts of creepy and gross on a small scale, to being all sorts of terrifying on a massive scale.

It’s absolutely possible for Facebook to give white supremacist-tied organisations the boot, and to fact check political ads that run on their platform. They’re probably going to harvest our data until the end of time, but they don’t have to work with companies like Cambridge Analytica who are going to do dodgy things with it. 

Just because Facebook is ridiculously massive doesn’t mean we have to accept their behaviour and move on. Mark Zuckerberg should make better choices. 

Oh, and do more research next time you come up against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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