blog: Don Marti


Happy #buyNothingDay, and a goal for 2020

29 November 2019

Happy #buyNothingDay!

To be honest, though, I buy stuff the other 365 days of the year (2020 is scheduled to be a leap year) so I still get and pay attention to advertising.

In 2020, I'm going to see what I can do to get better ads. It seems like this is a good year to do it. Let's review. There are three ways to get an ad in front of me.

Context: pay for something I want to read

Search: deliver the ads with search results when I search for something

Personalization: place the ad based on who I am

I'm fine with the first two. Context-based advertising pays for news and cultural works.

Search advertising pays for services I use, like web search and mobile maps.

The third one, though, is a problem. The first two are positive-sum games between me and the advertiser, and have positive externalities. Personalization is a negative-sum game, and has negative externalities.

What if I treat every personalized ad I receive as a bug, and report it?

In 2020, thanks to the California Consumer Privacy Act, I should be able to opt out of the use of my personal information for ad targeting. In the long run, when advertisers figure out that I'm impossible to reach with personalization, they'll pay more for the news, cultural works, and services I want, and spend less money storing my information where it exposes me to risks like fraud and identity theft.

Here's my CCPA letter. Work in progress: California Consumer Privacy Act letter

Comments and suggestions welcome. Anyway, long weekend, longer bonus links section.

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How Much Did Russian Spy Agencies Rely On Bitcoin? New Hints In Leaked Recordings

The End Of Ownership, Military Edition: Even The US Military Can't Fix Its Own Equipment Without Right To Repair Laws

Appellate Court Supports the Power of the State over Local Control of Housing

I Went On a Propaganda Tour of an Amazon Warehouse

Germany's CDU, Angela Merkel's Party Of Fuddy-Duddies, Decides To Join The Cool Kids: Backs Open Standards, Open Source, Open Data, Open APIs -- Open Everything

Coercion-Resistant Design: or some politics and an eleven-point technical plan for how not to be governed

CNAME Cloaking, the dangerous disguise of third-party trackers

Firing 4 Google Workers Is 'Illegal Retaliation,' Organizers Say

Senate Dems Have A New Privacy Bill That Could Be The Blueprint For A Federal Law

My remarks at the town hall on Friday, November 22

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Care About Journalism? Maybe You Should Cancel Your Newspaper

Google’s Next Moonshot: Union Busting

Ruthless Quotas at Amazon Are Permanently Maiming Employees

Firefox browser will block the IAB’s DigiTrust universal ID

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How Facebook fueled a precious-metal scheme targeting older conservatives

Truth and advertising.

Ultrasound Signals – Why Epic Blocks Inaudible Audio

The billionaire behind California’s sweeping new data privacy law reveals his plans to further regulate the ad industry and fight big tech lobbyists

Why Don’t We Consider Labor-Intensive, Blue-Collar Businesses to Be Start-Ups?

20 Years After Columbine, The Mass Killing Still Isn’t Considered Far-Right Violence

GitHub is trying to quell employee anger over its ICE contract. It's not going well

The great American tax haven: why the super-rich love South Dakota

Basecamp now has a totally free version to help you manage personal projects

The everything town in the middle of nowhere

Scientists plan to flood black market with fake rhino horn to reduce poaching

In Germany, focusing on this metric let a newspaper increase reader loyalty (and subscribers too)

Even Inflation Is Worse If You’re Poor

Neural Networks seem to follow a puzzlingly simple strategy to classify images

Robots aren’t taking warehouse employees’ jobs, they’re making their work harder

Microsoft Is Going To Pretend CCPA Is The Privacy Law Of The Land – Because There Isn’t One

The wonderful world of Chinese hi-fi

Secretly Public Domain: Most books published in the US before 1964

OpenAI has published the text-generating AI it said was too dangerous to share

New York Times Will Pull Programmatic Ads From Mobile App Next Year

A Simple Question No One In Ad Tech Will Answer

Yes, progressive enhancement is a fucking moral argument

How The Texas Tribune is revamping its sponsored content (and folding its five-year-old op-ed site)

This Trippy T-Shirt Makes You Invisible to AI

Microsoft Japan tested a four-day work week. Productivity jumped by 40%

In historic shift, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE gets IRS nonprofit approval...