Howdy folks. The year is coming to an end, and of course holiday travel and whatnot approaches.
This will be the last week of Stuff Keeps Happening for 2023. The show will return in 2024, kicking back off on Monday, January 8th, 2024.
Until then, I'll see you in Thursday's episode, as well as on my Twitch stream. I also highly encourage you to take a listen to my new podcast, The Atlas Loom, in which myself and DianaOfTheRose talk about worldbuilding and whatever else is on our minds.
Regardless, I'm looking forward to 2024 and I am truly excited for what is to come next year. Thank you for reading Stuff Keeps Happening. I hope it has made your days a bit brighter.
And now back to our regularly scheduled nipple talk.
Thanks for the Mammaries
For approximately twelve seconds, Twitch updated their content policy to allow BOOBS HOLY SHIT
SHOCK. HORROR. Can you imagine the absolute bedlam that would occur if someone were to see nip? My goodness.
So on Twitch, historically people stream video games and such, right? Well turns out people are also interested in other forms of content, some of which include near-nude bodies, be it body painting, erotic dancing or what-have-you. Twitch specifically updated their content policy to allow more mature content, citing that you can now stream content that "deliberately highlights breasts, buttocks or pelvic region" (thee of my personal favorites).
They also allowed artistic nudity, for like a day. Shortly after announcing these updates, Twitch was like "uh nevermind" and retracted the part about allowing artistic nudity, stating:
Moving forward, depictions of real or fictional nudity won’t be allowed on Twitch, regardless of the medium
I will say, they did cite AI as a concern, given that their policy would open up a massive can of worms around "AI artists" doing "artistic nudity" when in reality they're just making deepfake porn.
That said, this of course is yet another example of lumping all sexuality into one basket of "icky" which is just not a vibe.
I'm also desperately tired of reading the phrase "female presenting breasts/nipples" in content policies.
Google Was Giving Your Location Info To Cops
Google recently updated the way they manage your location history data in Google Maps, keeping it on your phone rather than storing it in their servers for processing. They are touting this change as having been made because they care deeply about your privacy.
But uh. In my non-professional opinion, it probably has more to do with the scathing Bloomberg report that came out in September about how Google has been handing user location data over to cops at increasingly alarming rates.
According to the report, Google received over 60,000 requests for user data in the US in 2022, twice as many as they received in 2019. The report goes on to state that Google provided user data in response to about 80% of the inquiries.
To be clear: it isn't just BIG BAD CRIMINALS having their info handed over to the cops. People just in the vicinity or who had no association with the crime could have their data handed over, unknowingly.
Google reportedly is one of the "best" companies for law enforcement to contact to gather information on people, historically able to provide extensive info on who was where and when.
Law enforcement experts say it’s the only company that provides a detailed inventory of whose personal devices were present at a given time and place. Apple Inc., the other major mobile operating system provider, has said it’s technically unable to supply the sort of location data police want. That’s OK, because many iPhone users depend on Google Maps and other Google apps.
~ Source: "Google User Data Has Become a Favorite Police Shortcut", Julia Love & Davey Alba
The Room Where It Happened Is Empty
After the recent massive layoffs from Hasbro, the dust is beginning to settle as the extent of those impacted is clarifying.
Larian Studios, the developer behind the recent D&D-themed Game of the Year winner Baldur's Gate 3, is not a subsidiary of Hasbro, but instead licensed Dungeons & Dragons for the game. Dungeons & Dragons is a product of Wizards of the Coast, which is now owned by Hasbro. Despite the unprecedented success of the game launch, the head of Larian recently posted a statement that almost nobody is left from the original team at Wizards who helped kickstart the development of Baldur's Gate 3, a pretty stark contrast to the otherwise ongoing and glowing success of the game.
It’s a sad thing to realize that of the people who were in the original meeting room, there’s almost nobody left. I hope you all end up well
~Swen Vincke on Twitter
Threads Opens Up
It's been a pretty big week for Zuckerberg's response to Twitter's implosion.
First, they launched in the EU, opening up to hundreds of millions more potential users. Especially as folks in Europe are wondering what in the actual hell Musk is doing with Twitter, it gives them an option to try something else.
At the same time, Threads is also now experimenting with integrating ActivityPub support. If you don't know what ActivityPub is (and like, 99% of the people reading this have no reason to know what it is so no worries), it is the protocol upon which Mastodon is built.
ActivityPub is what powers Mastodon to be a decentralized social network. It lets disjoint Mastodon servers talk to each other (as well as talk to other apps that support ActivityPub). Threads supporting ActivityPub would mean that Threads and Mastodon servers could interact with each other.
For example, I run a Mastodon server at https://astral.camp. My profile there is https://astral.camp/@endeavorance. If Threads supports ActivityPub, you would be able to follow my Mastodon profile from your Threads account.
This is pretty cool, but also kinda scary for some of the folks championing Mastodon as an alternative social network. Big tech companies have a looooooong history of pretending to be all excited about supporting open source projects and protocols, then taking them over and destroying them. It is famous enough to have a term and Wikipedia article: "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish"
On This Day…
On this day in 1958, the SCORE satellite was launched into space by the United States. SCORE stood for "Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment," and was the first satellite launched into space meant for communications.
What kind of communications? Well apparently it broadcast a message on a tape recorder from then-president Eisenhower. It was literally a tape recording of Eisenhower being like "ayo bruh check this shit out, this is my voice but its coming from space lmao"
Here's the Weather
- 1200 tonnes of dead sardines washed ashore in Japan
- The Israeli IDF "mistakenly killed" three Israeli hostages who were, at time of murder, holding white flags
- The House of Representatives is trying to move forward with an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, unfortunately because of the dumbest possible reasons rather than the whole "supporting a genocide" thing
- A wolf got like super lost and now they wanna try to bring her home
- Etsy is laying off 11% of their workforce (225 employees)
- A fertility doctor was caught using his own sperm to impregnate his patients
- Discord now considers misgendering and deadnaming trans users to be hate speech, which is against their terms of service.
- Rudy Giuliani has been ordered by a court to pay nearly $150 million in damages over his false election fraud claims
- After assuring bankers that they would not lose money from investing in his Twitter purchase, Musk is now seeing massive losses that have left banks with "uninvestable" debt