Tumblr, and the Ever Popular Misc. Stuff

I have to admit that I haven’t been keeping track of what’s been happening on the blogging/social media platform since I abandoned it years ago. I just completely lost interest in it. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the service had simply disappeared because I’d heard little about what was going on over there following Verizon’s decision to eliminate “adult” content on the service. Since probably 60% of the content on Tumblr might be considered “adult” in one way or another, it didn’t bode well for the survival of the service, so I just assumed it was going to go the way of dozens of other social media services and gradually fade away into nothing.

But Tumblr is once again back in the news. Verizon just sold Tumblr to Automattick Inc., the parent company of WordPress. When Yahoo bought Tumblr originally they paid $1.1 billion for the company. Automattick bought it off Version for — wait for it — less than $3 million according to The Verge.

How the hell does a company go from a value of over a billion dollars to less than three million? Well, it wasn’t easy. Yahoo did the best it could to kill the service off, and Verizon tried to nail the coffin shut and bury it.

“Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in a statement. “We are proud of what the team has accomplished…”

Well, I’d be proud too. It isn’t everyone who can take a billion dollar company and drag it’s value down to the point where it’s worth less than a fancy house. Takes real talent to do that. (We really need a sarcasm font)

As for what WordPress is going to do with the thing, that’s anybody’s guess. From what I’ve been hearing even they aren’t sure what they’re going to do with it. I think they bought it more because it was cheap. Sort of like when you go to a garage sale and find that $500 piece of electronics you really wanted way back when being sold for $1 and you can’t resist buying it even though its obsolete and you don’t know what you’ll do with it.

Hemp

The whole hemp situation is just getting more and more silly. When it comes to hemp and agriculture I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much hype and nonsense being spouted by people who really should know better. I hear a lot of people proclaiming that hemp is going to “save” agriculture, despite the fact that no one seems to be able to actually make any money at it. At least not here in Wisconsin. Everyone I’ve heard of who has tried raising hemp here in Wisconsin so far has lost money on it. In some cases, they lost a lot of money on it.

And speaking of CBD, what a fiasco that’s turned into. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is being sold everywhere it seems. People are selling edible products laced with CBD (or what they claim is CBD) all over the place. There are supplements and food products and oils and lotions, even CBD products for pets for heaven’s sake. And all of them make various health claims. Depending on who you talk to, the stuff will cure everything from dandruff to cancer. And almost none of those claims are actually true. CBD seems to have some benefits for some types of epilepsy, and may be beneficial to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, and that’s about it. Every other health claim you hear is unproven and quite probably an outright lie.

The other thing about CBD is that it isn’t legal to sell. At least not as it’s being sold by most places. Seriously. That link up there will take you to the FDA page that explains it. But to give you a summary, it is illegal to sell any food product, supplement or other product intended for human or animal consumption that contains CBD. The only exceptions are FDA approved drugs that contain the substance as part of their makeup, and there are only about three of those at the moment.

Why haven’t the feds gone after the places selling it? Well, they have, at least the more outrageous violators. But the rest, the FDA doesn’t have the money and other resources to go after everyone, especially when it’s being sold at every gas station, every convenience store, tattoo parlors, hardware stores…

The other problem is that you don’t know what the hell is actually in that CBD laced product you’re buying. There are no standards, no testing programs, no inspections, no nothing. So basically you have absolutely no idea what is actually in that stuff.

Ooo, purty flowers…

Antenna Update

If you remember from last time, I finally got the Gap Titan-DX vertical antenna up, but still didn’t have it functional because I didn’t have the right connectors for the coax. A trip down to the local Radio Shack (well, I call it that even though it isn’t really technically a Radio Shack any more) and a rummage around in the parts bins turned up the adaptor I needed, and it is officially on the air.

It still needs some tweaking. The SWR on some bands is higher than I really like, but I expected that. I haven’t yet tried to actually tune it by adjusting the stubs and it’s located right alongside of the garage and it’s aluminum rain gutters, which I’m sure isn’t helping things. Does it work? Oh, yeah! I hooked it to the Kenwood TS-990 with a Palstar auto-tuner, and it most definitely works very, very well. Mostly I’ve been using it with FT8 and holy cow, it gets out. It’s been giving me much better results than my OCFD antenna. I’ll put together a post specifically about the antenna with more details in the future.

ASF China Update

ASF (African Swine Fever) is sweeping through China no matter what they try to do to stop it. According to Rabobank (a huge multinational financial services company that specializes in agriculture) China will probably lose half or more of its pork production by the end of the year because of the disease. Just think about that for a moment – China is the largest producer of pork in the world, and it is facing losing half or even more of it’s pig population because of this disease. That’s going to have huge repercussions through the country’s entire economy.

Why is ASF so hard to stop? Because it is highly contagious (fortunately it doesn’t harm human beings), the virus can survive for a long time outside of the host animals, there is no treatment for it, there is no vaccine for it, and it kills almost all the pigs that come down with it. The only way to try to combat the disease is to try to prevent it from spreading, which is extremely hard to do.

That’s about it for now. Frankly I’m getting bored. It’s nice out and I could be out on the bike or puttering in the garden or playing radio, so I’m out of here 🙂

Author: grouchyfarmer

Yes, I'm a former farmer. Sort of. I'm also an amateur radio operator, amateur astronomer, gardener, maker of furniture, photographer.

6 thoughts on “Tumblr, and the Ever Popular Misc. Stuff”

  1. Great post. Have fun tuning in on Andromedan aliens. As for the pork, it’s a pig’s revenge – tired of being nothing more than ham and bacon. Maybe some people will learn the benefits of going vegetarian or vegan. Vegetarian myself, nigh on 40 years now and that’s about how long I’ve been without the Midas touch of any doctor.

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    1. Hmm, looks like the system lost my reply again. Oh, well.

      Congratulations on being vegetarian for that long 🙂 I really wish we could get people to cut back on the amount of meat they eat. We’ve known for ages that eating large amounts of meat is not good for people and that being vegetarian (or at least mostly vegetarian) is far better for our health.

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    1. I love that color combination too 🙂 I am constantly amazed at the astonishing variety of shapes and colors of some of these flowers.

      I’m hoping you’re wrong about some virus and the human race, but I don’t know – the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 infected some 500+ million people and killed at least 50 million. About a third of the world’s population was infected. And that was without modern air travel where tens of millions of people are moving around all over the world.

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  2. Tumblr made a big mistake by eliminating “adult” content, since it was all it was known for. A while back Playboy stopped publishing photo spreads and focused on articles. Yeah, right, every Playboy reader is in it for the articles! As for Automatic buying Tumblr, who would not pass on a chance scoop up an asset like that for 0.003% of its its original price?

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    1. I think it was a huge mistake too. I heard estimates that anywhere from 50% – 70% of the content on Tumblr was “adult” in one way or another. Right after Yahoo acquired it I was still on the service and we started hearing rumors Yahoo was going to try to start censoring things to make it more attractive to advertisers who were nervous about being associated with a platform that had so much material of a sexual nature on it. There was such a huge push back from the users that Yahoo had to back off.

      Yahoo really messed it up even without that, though. They removed the commenting capabilities, preventing people from directly responding to posts. You could only reply to a post via private message. That pretty much killed a lot of communities that communicated primarily via the comments. They eventually brought commenting back, but in a form that was almost useless when compared to what it had been. Most of the regulars didn’t actually go to individual blogs, they used what was called the dashboard, which was sort of an accumulator of all the new posts made by people you followed. Yahoo began injecting ads into the dashboard’s new posts listings. Shortly after Yahoo took over I noticed considerable delays when I was typing an entry or a comment, so I did some digging and ran some tracing tools and found out that every single character that was being typed was being routed first to a third party service with a very shady reputation for spamming people and “harvesting” data without user’s permission. I dug into that a bit and eventually found that Yahoo itself actually owned that as well. I’m assuming that everything that every user was typing was being monitored for anything that Yahoo could possibly sell.

      As far as Verizon was concerned, Tumblr was more of a liability than an asset. There were rumors they were just hoping users would go away so they would have an excuse to simply shut it down completely. Verizon was the one that finally decided to eliminate all “adult” content on the service. And the system they used to censor things was ridiculously inaccurate. Thousands of posts were being erased that had no sexual content at all. A single word or phrase that the system didn’t like for some reason was all it took to trigger it. I’ve since heard allegations that Verizon did it on purpose in the hopes of being able to drive away enough users that they could shut it down completely.

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