Saturday Open Thread: Who Really Cares?

I think the media has traded Donald Trump for Elon Musk. Why can't the media focus on what informed members of the public care about, instead of incessantly repeating stuff that doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the real world?

Does anyone (other than individual and corporate investors) really care about the future of Twitter or Tesla? Or, for that matter, Google or Microsoft?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    In (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by FlJoe on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 10:47:50 AM EST
    the end days, a plague of childish vindictive billionaires is unleashed upon the land.

    Because (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jmacWA on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 11:24:32 AM EST
    Why can't the media focus on what informed members of the public care about, instead of incessantly repeating stuff that doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the real world?

    The job of the media today is to keep the public in a stupor.  It makes it much easier for the powers that be to fleece them.

    Wish I was not such a cynic, but that's how I see things now.

    This will make you less cynical (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 02:18:02 PM EST

    CNN just said the sold out Trump trading cards are now selling for 5 times the $99 sale price



    Who ARE these people? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Chuck0 on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 06:41:51 PM EST

    Dimwits, nitwits and halfwits (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 07:32:41 PM EST
    nincompoops, dunderheads, and schlemiels..

    And people who would eat Trump's....if they thought it "owned the libs."


    From anyone's (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 07:41:32 AM EST
    crystal ball:   Trumpists shocked that Trump digital trading cards plummeted in value, now worth a nickel in morning trading.

    Who are these people buying vaporware? (none / 0) (#13)
    by leap2 on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 08:19:26 PM EST
    Prince Bone Saw, Pooty Poot, and that little feller in North Korea. Money laundering, for sure. FatNixon's horde doesn't have that kind of bucks.

    Musk is the (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 11:57:30 AM EST
    lifesaver thrown to  the media.  Reporting of sky-rocketing crime ended the day after the mid-terms and it's no fun following falling gasoline prices.   The Biden Administration is rather boring to cover being fixated on achievements and all.  There is some re-focusing in sight with the J6 Committee report on the horizon, with previews all this weekend.

    While Musk appears to be a thoroughly unpleasant right winger, he did pay all those $billions for the non-governmental Twitter and is free to make his own misjudgments and run it into the ground in a manner as he sees fit.

     And, using his Tesla stock as an ATM to prop up Twitter is likely to place both Tesla and Twitter value on a par with crypto-currency. The best way to show disapproval is to drop Twitter and determine if you are none the worse for it.  Maybe, just maybe, everyone will be better off.  Worth a try.

    Done (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 12:18:08 PM EST
    And I agree completely about dealing with twitter.

    And Tesla stock is dying by itself.


    Gonna need a hat (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 12:20:19 PM EST
    good on Elon! (none / 0) (#7)
    by leap2 on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 01:33:15 PM EST
    from 402.67 one year ago, to 149.06 today. He's as srmat as OrangeAnus. He should go into meat sales, next.

    Twitter is dying on the vine. (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 07:18:23 PM EST
    If only I could cut the cord.

    You're on Twitter? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Zorba on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 07:05:14 PM EST
    Cut the cord, oc! Cut the cord!

    Waiting for Armando to leave. (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 10:30:53 PM EST
    Aloha, everyone. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 01:42:22 AM EST
    The twin eruptions at Kilauea and Mauna Loa have ended, just in time for the first winter monsoon. And boy, did we get pounded by rain today. We just stayed home and cleaned house, because Elder Daughter and her menagerie are flying in on Friday afternoon for Christmas weekend.

    I've gotten so tired of hearing about Elon Musk that I disengaged from American TV news this week, much preferring the BBC World Service instead. Hope everyone is doing well. I'll catch up with you all sometime this week.

    Ciao 4 now.

    Franco Harris... (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by desertswine on Wed Dec 21, 2022 at 01:22:35 PM EST
    Immaculate Reception...

    50 years ago.  Thanks for the memory Franco.

    Hakeem Jeffries (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 21, 2022 at 03:14:10 PM EST

    "Look at what's happening right now. House Republicans are attacking Senate Republicans. Senate Republicans are calling House Republicans silly and immature. The leadership situation is in chaos."


    "Marjorie Taylor Greene is fighting with Lauren Boebert. And George Santos appears to be starring in the sequel to Catch Me If You Can. And it's not even January 3rd."

    Rep Jeffries (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 21, 2022 at 04:37:42 PM EST
    is not to be messed with!   Love the Catch Me If You Can line.

    Noel y'all (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 24, 2022 at 08:34:41 AM EST

    Might as well laugh (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 24, 2022 at 08:43:04 AM EST
    I think many care what happens to twitter (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 11:22:35 AM EST
    or what happens after twitter

    Here's what I don't understand: twitter svcks even more that it has for years and everyone is looking for something else

    Why doesn't someone who cares makes BLABBER.  Or whatever.  That works exactly like twitter worked but is not twitter.

    Seriously.  How hard can it be?  It seems with the obvious ready made audience this might get done.

    As far as Instagram.  It's used by many artists I know.  Not for self promotion as much as image sharing.  It has a format that some like more than places like DeviantArt or ArtStation.

    I would say it's a place to share something other than your opinion.

    that is true (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 09:10:01 PM EST
    And reminds me that rock star photographer and creative artist Lynn Goldsmith's lawsuit with the Andy Warhol foundation alleging Warhol's infringement of her copyright on her photo of Prince is soon to be decided by the US Supreme Court. Oral arguments were in October. It will be a big opinion for artists and content creators, as well as the media moguls. I am of course rooting for Lynn.

    Next up, Cambell Soup (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 12:16:39 AM EST
    and Brillo.

    The big artists and content story (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 07:33:08 AM EST
    at the moment is to AI or not to AI.  Ox's are being gored, sides are being chosen.

    It's a fascinating ethical swamp.  Pretty much every site that shows art in now involved

    Independent Artists Are Fighting Back Against A.I. Image Generators With Innovative Online Protests
    The image-sharing site ArtStation has become the latest flashpoint in the debate over A.I.-generated art.

    Im in the DYI camp.  I agree with the guy from art station who said putting art generated by a prompt alongside art that took hundreds of hours and years of experience is disrespectful.

    On the other hand.  It's here.  And it's certainly not going away.

    And I admit to being intrigued by the possibility of using it to generate people places and things with exactly the right lighting and in exactly the pose I need.  Having spent too many thousands of hours using google to find a particular reference image.

    IMO if you want to be I pressed search "AI images of heaven and hell"

    They are my favorite.


    Adding (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 07:48:44 AM EST
    It's easier for me to be philosophical being a retired illustrator.  

    The sad truth is right now today there is no need for anyone to hire an illustrator.  For books, book covers, advertising, whatever.  

    To make it even more of a mess one of the side stories is people using AI generated art to get jobs in films and games.

    Recruiting people are threatening grim payback for anyone who does it but they seem a little like John Henry losing the race.

    Once again it's good to be retired


    This just popped up (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 08:22:58 AM EST
    yah. I used to (none / 0) (#23)
    by leap2 on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 10:38:15 AM EST
    illustrate archaeological artifacts, the old-fashioned way, on archival bristol or drafting vellum, using fine-tipped dip pens and india ink. Try finding someone willing to pay for that! Gone.

    I would love to see some (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 10:44:13 AM EST
    of that.  

    hmmmm. They're published (none / 0) (#25)
    by leap2 on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 11:54:38 AM EST
    in arcane, but restricted archaeological reports (exempt from FOIA mostly because of locational data and site-looting potential), although I have retained most of the original art. Not sure how I could show you some of that stuff. I do have some scans on my computer I could send you. It's a highly stylized method of illustration, to depict useful information on flaking, flake scars, abrading striations, lithic cortex (unmodified stone surfaces), bone modifications, edge-wear/use, artifact size and thickness, bottle-makers' marks, and so forth.

    I have a working e address listed here (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 12:06:33 PM EST
    I used to do medical illustration



    100,000,000 images without consent (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 21, 2022 at 03:22:30 PM EST
    I had to Google Warhol v Goldsmith (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 09:43:07 AM EST
    Very interesting.  It seems events are overtaking the discussion.

    FWIW I agree with you about the case.

    The AI stuff is like a meta version.  These AI systems are being educated by being fed millions upon millions of images of art created by the very people who will now be put out of work.


    Including (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 10:02:21 AM EST

    It seems to me -- not being any sort of expert (none / 0) (#27)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 01:55:53 PM EST
    in copyright law -- that Warhol's painted portraits and screenprints of famous persons, based on photographs of the subjects, are clearly new and original works of art. I own a signed Warhol screenprint of my hero, Louis Brandeis, which I find both beautiful and inspiring. (It was a 50th birthday present to myself.) It seems to me that the owner of the copyright on the underlying photo has a right (or ought to have) to payment from the artist for the right to use it to create the new portrait, but not a right to refuse to allow the artist to use it that way, according to the artist's own vision and inspiration. Does the owner of a copyright on a song have the right to refuse to allow a certain singer or band to record their own arrangement of that song, if they are willing to pay for that right? Can a novelist or short story writer refuse to allow a certain director or screenwriter to create and release an adaptation, if they pay for that right?

    Yes (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 02:39:40 PM EST
    And reading some of the details (on wiki) it seems her claim is odd.

    My knee jerk reaction is for protection of your work.  

    I do think it's almost funny with the AI controversy raging the courts are finally getting around to deciding the date if a photo (1 photo) taken 40 years ago.


    Geez (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 02:42:04 PM EST
    getting around to deciding the FATE OF a photo (1 photo) taken 40 years ago

    I don't understand what you mean by (none / 0) (#30)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 03:12:39 PM EST
    "protection of your work"? That the photographer should have a right to "protect" her work from being the inspiration for a painting that reflects a different artist's vision? Who should be protected how, and from what? I can't tell if you are agreeing with me, disagreeing, or a mixture.

    Not sure if I am agreeing either (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 03:31:10 PM EST
    I mean I think a photographer should, in a perfect world, have control over who uses her photographs and how they use them TO MAKE MONEY.  Without getting the proper permission.  
    I know zip about copyright law and the money part is CAPS because I think using them for your own amusement or that of your friends, as I often do in my drawings, is not the same thing.  Certainly not the same as the big bucks Warhol Studio.

    That said

    If you read about this particular case it sounds, to me, like they got permission.   It's confusing.  
    I'm happy to defer to J or you or any actual legal opinion.


    As I understand it, the magazine that hired Warhol (none / 0) (#36)
    by Peter G on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 09:11:06 PM EST
    to make a portrait of Prince to illustrate an article or interview or something paid the photographer a nominal amount for the right to make the photo available to Warhol to use for reference. He far exceeded that permission by (a) making his portrait by painting over the actual photo, in his characteristic style; and (b) then selling copies. Seems like Warhol Studios owes her damages for breach of contract, but it does not seem right that Warhol cannot have any copyright of his own in the portrait he created, because it is based on another copyrighted work that he used without the pertinent permissions. Which I think is what the lower court ruled.

    Post (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 06:06:07 PM EST
    seems to be the closest to twitter. Also Jack is creating a new platform called Blue I think. I hear mixed reports from people who have accounts on Mastodon.

    NOTES from Instagram (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 06:24:18 PM EST

    Instagram has evolved from photos to videos to... text?

    On Tuesday, parent company Meta Platforms said it had made Notes, a new format to share short text posts on Instagram, available worldwide. Instagram began testing the feature this summer. It's an opportune time to roll out a text feature amid turmoil at Twitter. Celebrities, including musician Elton John, have in recent days announced they've left Twitter, and creators and users have an eye on alternatives.

    But this move isn't a play for creators. Notes are restricted to users' friends, which makes it hard for a creator to share them with larger audiences. So far, posts are only visible to followers that a user follows back, or people on their Close Friends list. Notes are ephemeral, and similar to Stories, they vanish after 24 hours.

    Join no

    I have not used this


    Looks like it might be another (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Dec 17, 2022 at 01:42:53 PM EST
    Terrible horrible no good etc etc week for Donald

    Tax Returns May Be Released Next Week
    December 16, 2022 at 4:12 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 254 Comments

    "The House Ways and Means Committee scheduled a closed-door meeting for Tuesday at which lawmakers are likely to review former President Donald Trump's tax returns and may vote to release some of them," the Wall Street Journal reports.

    CNN: "The meeting is crucial for Democrats on the committee, who are running out of time to decide what to do with Trump's taxes before Republicans take over the House majority on January 3, and Democrats lose control of the committee."

    Pelosi in the House, (none / 0) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 18, 2022 at 08:50:35 PM EST
    An HBO documentary filmed in cinema verite style by Alexandra Pelosi, the Speaker's daughter, is excellent.  While several aspects of the film are in the common domain, the new shots along with the context of the Speaker's career, make for an educational viewing.

    In addition to Mrs. Pelosi's legislative achievements as Speaker, her role in curbing the damage of the Trump Administration is evident.

    What a World Cup final! (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 10:41:00 AM EST
    Everything you could ask for.

    Shout out to Leo the GOAT, DiMaria and the boys, and especially Emiliano Martinez,  who saved Argentina's bacon with an amazing save in the last seconds of extra time.

    Yet another Russian oligarch... (none / 0) (#39)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 11:25:35 AM EST
    tumbles down a flight of stairs and dies.

    Zelenov, 50, had been dining with friends in Antibes on Dec. 9 when he suddenly became unwell, falling down a flight of stairs and suffering critical head injuries. He succumbed while receiving treatment at the Hospital Pasteur in Nice.

    They should outlaw stairs (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 12:56:39 PM EST
    But then it would be elevator shafts.  I guess.

    Some oligarchs (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:37:51 PM EST
    just can't hold their polonium.

    From Moscow's stairs and elevator shafts, ... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 05:45:39 PM EST
    ... it's just a hop, skip and a jump to a 12th floor hotel room balcony or one of the bridges over the Moskva River.

    Per capita, the Russians appear to be the clumsiest people on earth. And the more that they're perceived as an enemy of the state, the clumsier they are.

    We'll know that a changing of the guard there is underway, when we hear the first reports that Vladimir Putin's stuck on the roof and they can't get him down.



    The hearing is riveting (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:04:02 PM EST
    it's gobb smacking to hear it all at once.

    Recently it looked like Jamie Raskin was backing off a little on the jet black hair dye.  Not today.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:15:00 PM EST
    at once maddening and saddening.

    yeah (none / 0) (#43)
    by FlJoe on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:21:27 PM EST
    a well put together  short synopsis of the whole story, then boom, and that's a wrap.

    Each of the hearings went into detail (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 02:00:38 PM EST
    about some aspect.  But to hear the whole sordid thing one after another start to finish was something.  

    The hubris is awe inspiring


    Criminal referrals all around. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:51:13 PM EST
    Merry xmas you orange sucking reprobates. Hopefully the orange moron and acolytes all end up wearing orange by 2024.

    Taxes (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:55:03 PM EST

    MSNBC (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 01:57:58 PM EST

    The House Ways and Means Committee will meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss former President Donald Trump's tax returns -- possibly answering questions about whether the committee could make public the documents that have been shrouded in secrecy.

    Please, please, please (none / 0) (#49)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 02:04:49 PM EST
    let Scott Perry be one of "and others" referred for criminal prosecution. Top shelf bourbon for my entire block if he's convicted.

    Sounded to me, fwiw, like Perry (none / 0) (#50)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 02:08:48 PM EST
    is only being referred to the House Ethics Committee for refusing to honor the committee's subpoena.

    Gee Peter (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Chuck0 on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 03:51:26 PM EST
    Thanks for sucking all the joy out of the season :)

    The report suggests that they (none / 0) (#60)
    by Peter G on Tue Dec 20, 2022 at 09:39:13 PM EST
    would have "referred" Perry for prosecution had he not stonewalled the committee. See pp. 77 & 88-89. Which, as I said in my previous comment, makes no sense to me. But that's what it says.

    Perry is my so-called congressperson. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Dec 21, 2022 at 11:41:40 AM EST
    Which essentially means I have no representation in the US House of Representatives. I loathe this reprobate. I wish him nothing but ill will. I hope his children find coal in their stockings. I want Scott Perry to be run out of Congress on a rail. I want Scott Perry to spend many years in a federal penitentiary.

    I have yet to see a clear statement (none / 0) (#54)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 07:23:54 PM EST
    in the news coverage whether the Committee did or did not name any other persons as the subject of a criminal referral. Perhaps the J6Comm decided today to announce the top story only, and little or nothing else that might detract. But I also haven't seen a clear statement of whether the written report, to be released on Wednesday, will contain other referrals to DoJ for potential prosecution. Raskin did announce near the end that they were referring member of Congress who disregarded subpoenas to the Ethics Committee. But I guess that does not mean that those folks will not also be the subject of criminal referrals for their actions on January 6 itself.

    Political Wire (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 07:34:18 PM EST

    January 6 Panel Refers Criminal Charges Against Trump

    December 19, 2022 at 2:11 pm EST By Taegan Goddard 404 Comments

    The January 6 Committee unanimously referred four criminal charges to the Department of Justice against former President Donald Trump:

    Obstruction of an official proceeding.
    Conspiracy to defraud the United States.
    Conspiracy to make a false statement.
    Assisting, aiding or comforting an insurrection.
    Referrals are also made against attorney John Eastman for the first two charges.

    Referrals are also made against four Republican congressman -- Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scot Perry and Andy Biggs -- for sanctions by the House Ethics Committee for denying subpoenas

    Cong. Jamie Raskin said (none / 0) (#56)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 08:35:22 PM EST
    ".. criminal charges against Donald J. Tr*mp, John Eastman and others." When will those "others" be named, if ever?

    I wondered (none / 0) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 20, 2022 at 03:06:28 PM EST
    the same thing about "others".

    My (none / 0) (#58)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 20, 2022 at 03:51:12 PM EST
    understanding is that the committee is leaving the naming of the "others" up to the DOJ. Bennie Thompson said something to the effect that because of stonewalling efforts by some witnesses they were unable to make the decision to refer for prosecution.

    Yeah, that's what the report says (none / 0) (#59)
    by Peter G on Tue Dec 20, 2022 at 09:14:40 PM EST
    but it makes no sense to me. People who did not confess or agree to an FBI (or other LEO) interview while under investigation, and/or who took the Fifth before the grand jury, get indicted all the time.

    When smart people do dumb things (none / 0) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 19, 2022 at 05:55:03 PM EST
    SITE VIOLATER (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Feb 07, 2023 at 12:54:28 PM EST