Outsourcing unemployment

I’ll bet they’re celebrating landing this contract:

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) are celebrating the launch of a new Unemployment Insurance system this week – WYUI – for the State of Wyoming. The WYUI solution is a fully modernized Unemployment Insurance system that will improve the way claimants interact with the state with a more user-friendly interface and expanded self-service capabilities.

TCS’ WYUI solution is a robust, scalable and repeatable platform with the ability to integrate and control multiple functional requirements, including online claims processing, payments, adjudication, and appeals. The WYUI implementation is also one of the first in the United States to be developed, tested and implemented in Microsoft Azure in such a short time frame, and within budget. Hosting the new system on Azure makes it more scalable than the previous system, and as the data housed in the system continues to grow, the system itself can be expanded.

TCS has already enabled several U.S. states to modernize their systems to support Unemployment Insurance programs, including Mississippi and Maine, as part of the ReEmployUSA Consortium. By partnering with Wyoming’s DWS, TCS has replaced a 34-year-old benefits and appeal legacy system with a modernized system, within a span of less than 20 months.

About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)
Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last fifty years. TCS offers a consulting-led, cognitive powered, integrated portfolio of IT, Business & Technology Services, and engineering. This is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India’s largest multinational business group, TCS has more than 400,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries.

What a truly virtuous cycle! Put American workers out of work, then get paid to process the transfer payments between the state government and the unemployed workers. Imagine how much money can be transferred to Indiasaved by replacing the entire Social Security Administration with Tata Consultancy Services!

Facebook in trouble

Something BIG is about to drop.

Facebook plunges more than 24 percent on revenue miss and projected slowdown

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was set for a big down day Thursday after disappointing quarterly results from Facebook sent the social media giant hurtling toward its biggest share price decline ever and on track to lose more than $125 billion in market value.

The Invesco QQQ Trust, which tracks the Nasdaq 100 index and can give traders a good idea of how the Nasdaq stocks will trade, was down more than 2 percent at one point in after-hours trading Wednesday. At last count, the ETF was off by about 1.5 percent. Nasdaq futures opened lower Wednesday evening, off by about 0.8 percent. Facebook lost more than a fifth of its value after hours.

There is no “we” kemosabe

Mark Zuckerberg tries to use China as an excuse to avoid antitrust law:

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at the idea Facebook has become too big and should be broken up into smaller companies. The 34-year-old spent two days testifying about his company and answering questions – something he suggested an overseas company the size of Facebook would be less inclined to do.

‘I think you can bet that, if the government here is worried about…  whether it’s election interference or terrorism… I don’t think Chinese companies are going to want to cooperate as much and aid the national interest there,’ he said.

Zuckerberg also spoke out against the US constraining its own companies, noting it would only give way to overseas – specifically Chinese – competitors.

‘If we adopt a stance which is that, we’re going to, as a country, decide to clip the wings of these companies and make it so it’s harder for them to operate in different places or they have to be smaller, then there are plenty of other companies out there willing and able to take the place of the work that we’re doing,’ he said.

‘And they do not share the values that we have.’

Neither do white Christian Americans, Mark. So break Facebook up already. I’d vastly prefer civilized Chinese rule, which has a long track record of societal success, to rule by the techno-parasites of the neoliberal world order, who have already demonstrated their complete lack of ability to even grasp the basic concept of societal sustainability.

Preventing the plague

A notorious SJW explains why he won’t be attending a technology conference.

I’m not going to get into the specific policies carried out by the prevailing administration in the United States, including their targeting of transgender people, queer people, people of color, and health and reproductive rights. You can google that.

But the inclusion of this language, making political affiliation a protected class, leads me to believe that alt-right technologists would be as welcome at the conference as I would be. Including alt-right technologists who display on their clothing, for example, neo-Nazi insignia. Or t-shirts printed with anti-trans or anti-Black slogans. These could easily be interpreted as protected political speech.

To be clear, the code of conduct as it was written in 2016 already prohibited harassment of all kinds, including harassment of a political nature. But the 2017 language makes political affiliation a protected class, which means by my reading (and the Wikipedia definition) that people of specific political affiliations qualify for special protection by the authorities in charge of the event. This is a subtle but important distinction. This is an elevation of political affiliation– an actively chosen belief system– to the same level as race or gender or sexual orientation, which are not chosen traits.

You can’t make marginalized people– who are enumerated as a protected class– feel safe, and simultaneously make members of political groups who stand violently opposed to us feel welcome. And it doesn’t matter if these people act nicely in public. The very act of placing these two groups on equal footing puts marginalized people directly in harm’s way. And how would conflicts between these protected groups be handled?

See, his rights have to be protected, because if you have rights, that would harm him. And if he can’t get special treatment, he’s staying home. Which is not a bad thing, considering that he was Patient Zero for the Code of Conduct infestation in open source.

Take note, conference organizers. This is how you get rid of them without a fuss. All you have to do is make political affiliation a protected class.

Twitter suspends Spacebunny

Or rather, “suspends her account”. Of course, “suspension” is Twitter-speak for banning.

Hello Spacebunny Day,

Your account, Spacebunnyday has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules.

Specifically, for:

Violating our rules against abusive behavior.
You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.

Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts.

Her thoughtcrime was to tell a very stupid woman who had been harassing her that she was stupid. Strange, I don’t remember anyone ever being permanently suspended for telling me that.

Darkstream: Stripe and Operation Chokepoint

From the transcript of the Darkstream.

There’s a lot of folks, especially on the Right, who would have a tendency to say, “well you know, what’s the problem with that? I mean everybody has a right to sell to whoever they want to etc etc etc.” Right, and that’s true if you’re looking at it from a theoretical point of view, but the reality is we don’t live in a free economy, we don’t live in a society where you are simply allowed to go and set up a bank with 200 dollars and begin payment processing and issuing credit and all that sort of thing anymore.

I don’t think it was even a hundred years ago – somebody mentioned this on the blog – barely a hundred years ago it was possible to set up a bank for 200 bucks, start making loans, and that was how Regions Bank was founded originally. But you can’t do that now because the banks – just like the hairdressers and just like every other self-interested group of people – have arranged to set up tremendous regulatory barriers, huge barriers to entry. For example, in, I believe it was Georgia, you needed to have 1,500 hours of training in order to be allowed to braid hair professionally!

Now this is ridiculous, as anyone who has been around junior high school girls for more than about 20 minutes will know. They sit around braiding each other’s hair all the time, they don’t need to spend fifteen hundred hours to be able to do it, and so what we are seeing is a private version of what was described as Operation Chokepoint by the Obama administration. Operation Chokepoint was a plan to deny banking and financial services to companies that were selling guns. If you’re in the gun industry in any way, they were planning to target those companies, and in fact they are actually still doing so, but again on a private level because Hillary Clinton is not President, and so that’s why you’re seeing companies like Intuit, which owns Quicken, Intuit targeted I believe it was a gun retailer and possibly some gun manufacturers as well, and they’re simply not working with them now.

You know, this is absolutely ridiculous considering that we have been indoctrinated for the past however many years, it’s been 58 years or so, that you have no right to deny service to anyone for any reason. Suddenly now that the Left has completed its long march through the institutions, suddenly they are going to deny all that, they’re going to attempt to deny the financial oxygen to all the  companies and all the people they don’t like now. I’m not shocked by this. I’m not alarmed by this, you know, I’m a Christian and  we’ve been we’ve been told about the Mark of the Beast and and being
denied the ability to buy things, that that sort of persecution would happen since I was a kid at Sunday school. Now I have to admit I didn’t expect to see it taking this kind of form, but it is.

Stripe cuts off Freestartr and Bitchute

So much for Stripe as a Paypal alternative.

I thought I might share a few thoughts with you on what I regard as the biggest issue of our time: tech apartheid.

Silicon Valley wants you to believe that it is a force for good but the evidence of its bias and fraudulent dealings couldn’t be more obvious even to a fair, impartial observer.

Most recently this duplicity concerns payment processing, namely the fraudulent company Stripe which canceled FreeStartr’s account despite record low chargebacks. FreeStartr wasn’t alone. All of those companies who had their accounts suspended — Bitchute (a YouTube competitor), MakerSupport (a Patreon competitor), and FreeStartr.com (a Patreon, Kickstarter competitor)– were created by Trump supporters.

This canceling of our business was done for political reasons by Edwin Wee, a Democratic political operative turned Stripe employee, and it exposes the libertarian lie that one can simply just go and create a competitor if one dislikes Silicon Valley ventures. You can’t. We need to get over that canard.

I’ll delve into the parochial issues concerning FreeStartr’s banning from Stripe later, but I am thoroughly convinced that if action isn’t taken in the very near future, our politics will be permanently titled to the far left for the foreseeable future. Ask your congressmen, your friends, to speak out on this issue and take necessary corrections.

We’ve had other discussions about the censorship and Google, Facebook, and Twitter, and yes, those trends are extremely worrisome. But what I’m talking about here as concerns Stripe and PayPal is far more dangerous both for politics and for our society writ large.

Every regime has scapegoats, and ours is no different. Whether you’ve participated in a Twitter mob and/or been its target, you know its power. Ours is a herd based species, and it is quite disturbing the speed with which mores can shift. What was once commonplace — big game hunting, smoking, corporal punishment, etc., — become frowned upon, then the province of cranks, and ultimately unthinkable. There is increasingly good social science evidence for how this process unfolds — where a small minority changes the standards of behavior in a population. Sometimes these changes are so abrupt as to be jarring and yes, even violent. Twitter mobs force you off of their platforms and begin the practice of targeting your employment, your spouse’s employment, etc. until you are ruined. There is no due process here.

One has to wonder what the people at Stripe are thinking. If they’re just going to be another arm of SJW enforcement, there is simply no need for their services. One might as well not use Paypal as not use Stripe, after all….

Voxiversity supporters, I think the smart move is to wait and see how Freestartr handles this before we come up with any alternative plans in order to keep the video offensive going.

That awkward reality

It always catches up to SJWs, sooner or later.

IN 2015, A black software developer embarrassed Google by tweeting that the company’s Photos service had labeled photos of him with a black friend as “gorillas.” Google declared itself “appalled and genuinely sorry.” An engineer who became the public face of the clean-up operation said the label gorilla would no longer be applied to groups of images, and that Google was “working on longer-term fixes.”

More than two years later, one of those fixes is erasing gorillas, and some other primates, from the service’s lexicon. The awkward workaround illustrates the difficulties Google and other tech companies face in advancing image-recognition technology, which the companies hope to use in self-driving cars, personal assistants, and other products.

WIRED tested Google Photos using a collection of 40,000 images well-stocked with animals. It performed impressively at finding many creatures, including pandas and poodles. But the service reported “no results” for the search terms “gorilla,” “chimp,” “chimpanzee,” and “monkey.”

In a third test attempting to assess Google Photos’ view of people, WIRED also uploaded a collection of more than 10,000 images used in facial-recognition research. The search term “African american” turned up only an image of grazing antelope. Typing “black man,” “black woman,” or “black person,” caused Google’s system to return black-and-white images of people, correctly sorted by gender, but not filtered by race. The only search terms with results that appeared to select for people with darker skin tones were “afro” and “African,” although results were mixed.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that “gorilla” was censored from searches and image tags after the 2015 incident, and that “chimp,” “chimpanzee,” and “monkey” are also blocked today. “Image labeling technology is still early and unfortunately it’s nowhere near perfect,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.

Google also can’t tell the difference between black people and white people. This is the first image result for “white couple”. The second is literally entitled “Black And White Couple Stock Photo.”

And this is the third. Wowjustwow, Google clearly still has a long way to go!

The GitHub purchase

It’s not as if GitHub isn’t already moderately converged, but the Microsoft acquisition of it is unlikely to make things any less subject to converged policing:

AFTER A WEEKEND of rumors, Microsoft officially announced Monday that it will acquire the code repository site GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock. The platform is an important resource for some 28 million developers and home to billions of lines of open source code. It’s in many ways a natural fit for Microsoft, which has in recent years warmed up to open source.

But the beloved developer platform may also introduce moderation headaches. Microsoft will soon need to formally decide what will happen to the many GitHub repositories that conflict with its own interests. The tech giant will face similar content moderations challenges that peers like Facebook and Google have, but with code instead of speech.

Created over a decade ago, GitHub is where developers at nearly every major software organization, from Google to NASA, collaborate. It hosts projects as diverse as Bitcoin’s code and all of the German government’s laws and regulations. The platform functions as a kind of social network for coders; their contributions to the site can serve as a stand-in for a traditional resume. Anyone can publish open source code to GitHub for free; the platform makes money by charging individuals and corporations to keep their code private.

GitHub’s 85 million repositories help to make it one of the world’s most popular websites. They include, however, projects that GitHub’s new owner might take issue with…. “GitHub isn’t a perfect defender of censorship, but they still host Tiananmen Square stuff. That’s likely to disappear under Microsoft,” says Rob Graham, CEO of Errata Security, who helped trace the 2015 DDOS attack to China. GitHub has also been censored in a number of other countries where Microsoft has business interests, including Russia and India.

This is one of the challenges facing Alt-Tech. The conventional startup objective of selling out to a tech company for billions conflicts with the objective of creating something that is not subject to corpocracy and convergence. On the plus side, it should mean that there will tend to be fewer Silicon Valley snake oil salesmen pushing their sites on the Right.

Chinese lasers already have impact

They can’t actually take down a fast-moving fighter yet, but Chinese lasers are already inhibiting US aeriel movement:

Chinese company Poly Technologies showed off its new bit of next-age tech at a military exhibition in Kazakhstan this week. The “Silent Killer” laser is able to obliterate unmanned drones from about 328 yards away. It is, however, only able to target slow-moving, low-flying, and small-sized targets.

Silent killer’s lasers are also able to jam incoming electronic attacks, effectively making an hack attempt impossible. The weapon is capable of being mounted onto mobile vehicles as well as warships, according to its developers.

The advancement in laser technology comes just weeks after US military chiefs warned fighter jet pilots to “use extreme caution” near a Chinese base.  It later emerged high-powered lasers were in operation at the facility.

As I have repeatedly pointed out since we published Riding the Red Horse, US air supremacy probably has less than a decade left. This will have considerable implications for US foreign policy, and likely explains the push for obtaining military superiority in space on the part of both the US and the Chinese militaries.