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Archive for the ‘Mad Cow’ Category

SECURITY

The Barrington Hills Park District Advisory Committee meets this evening at 7PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Explore request fo motion activated flood lights around exterior of RC – suggestion for solar powered
  • Explore Request for security camera outside: parking lot, tractor shed, stall aisles, outdoor arenas. mounted as high as possible. *Signs* that call out video surveillance could be a deterrent.
  • Explore request for Panic alarm suggested: at either end of barn aisle, two in the arena. A phone with direct line to 911 would be an alternative, and
  • Explore possibility of a better time for Riding Club on weekend

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.  Instructions for attending the meeting via Zoom can be found here

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Barrington Hillbillies

“TV families are a lot like real families. They always come together for Thanksgiving. For the ultimate TV Thanksgiving, look no further than the 1968 episode of The (Barrington) Hillbillies, The Thanksgiving Spirit.”

The crossover episode not only features the Clampetts, it features the cast members of Green Acres and Petticoat Junction. The episode culminates with a shared dinner that includes characters from the three shows.” (Source)

Editorial note: Many preferred to use the phrase, “Barrington Hillbillies,” when referring to the political antics of some in our “oasis of another time” Village, but that subsided until recently when the Cecola Administration took office. Now the popularity of that phrase is experiencing a resurgence.

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Common Sense

No, that’s not a typo. It’s not a practical joke either.

Roads & Bridges Chair Laura Ekstrom chose the absolute busiest day of the year at Village Hall to have her own special Roads & Bridges meeting consisting of one (1) agenda item today.  And, her special meeting is scheduled at 3 PM, a time when many people vote since they leave their workplaces early.

Turnout for early voting this year has been brisk.  The parking lots have frequently been seen nearly full, and yesterday lines were forming to vote, thus increasing frustrations.

Common sense would dictate alternative dates be chosen by Ekstrom, or short of that, a Zoom meeting be scheduled if there was no alternative.  Clearly, this escaped her.

A copy of her agenda can be viewed here, and if you find yourselves trying to vote this afternoon but unable to park, we know who you have to thank.

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Editorial note: As a rule, we ignore the incoherent and often misspelled social media rants of some in our Village. Sometimes rules need to be broken.

MC

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Meta

Jenny Kane/Associated Press

Losing ground

For years, most of the conversation about social media companies was about how powerful and dominant they were.

These days? Not so much.

The tech industry has had a rough year, and social media companies have been hit especially hard. The stock price of Meta (formerly known as Facebook) has plummeted more than 60 percent. Snap, the maker of Snapchat, has fallen more than 80 percent. Layoffs and hiring freezes are common, and some companies have begun cutting their famously cushy employee perks. (No more free laundry, Metamates!)

Social media is still an important part of billions of people’s lives. But as my co-host Casey Newton and I often discuss on our new Times tech podcast, “Hard Fork,” the industry increasingly feels as if it’s having an identity crisis.

Today, I will explain what’s troubling each of the big social media companies.

Meta

Meta’s cash-cow social media apps — Facebook and Instagram — are in decline, with younger users abandoning them for apps like TikTok. Meta has also lost billions of dollars in advertising revenue because of changes Apple made in 2021 to its mobile operating system, which made it harder for apps to track users across the internet.

And investors are skeptical that Mark Zuckerberg’s big bet on the metaverse will pan out in time to turn the company around. In a letter to Zuckerberg this week, one investor suggested that Meta lay off 20 percent of its employees and cap spending on metaverse-related projects at $5 billion per year.

Prognosis: Vitals are falling fast. The patient needs a transfusion, stat.

Reason for hope: Meta still has plenty of cash, and its new virtual reality headset, the Meta Quest Pro, is getting good reviews.

Twitter

Twitter has spent most of 2022 locked in battle with Elon Musk — who wanted to buy the company for $44 billion, then decided he didn’t, then decided he did again.

Musk told investors this week that he plans to close the deal by Friday and take control of Twitter. I’ve written that a Musk-controlled Twitter will have several major problems from the start, including a staff revolt, mass firings of executives and changes to Twitter’s content moderation rules that could be unpopular. And while Musk certainly planned for some amount of chaos, he may be surprised by how hard it is to run the company.

Even without any Musk-related drama, Twitter will face challenges. The company rarely turns a profit, and growth has been slow for years.

Prognosis: Acute short-term pain, with promises of a vague miracle cure ahead.

Reason for hope: Financially, Twitter is in a better position than many rivals. If the Musk deal goes through, shareholders will get bought out at a good price ($54.20 per share), and the company — which will no longer be publicly traded — will get some relief from the pressures of the markets.

TikTok

TikTok has what every social media company wants — a big, engaged user base, a format that keeps people scrolling for hours and an iron grip on youth culture and the entertainment industry.

But in some ways, TikTok is the most vulnerable app of all. The Chinese company ByteDance owns it, and U.S. regulators have been circling for years, looking for proof that the Chinese government is steering or influencing TikTok. If they find it, they could declare TikTok a threat to national security and ban the app — game over.

Prognosis: Unlikely to die of natural causes but could easily be killed by a blunt instrument.

Reason for hope: TikTok is incredibly popular. Politicians fearful of public backlash could look for a more moderate solution than an outright ban.

Snapchat

Snapchat is still popular among young people, but Snap’s advertising business (like many) took a dive during this year’s economic downturn, and the company recently laid off roughly 20 percent of its workers. Like Meta, Snapchat is also a casualty of Apple’s privacy changes, which made it harder to target ads to iPhone users, and a victim of TikTok, which is eating into Snapchat’s following.

Prognosis: Snapchat should recover if it survives the winter.

Reason for hope: The number of Snap’s daily active users grew 19 percent last quarter — so the users are there, even if advertisers aren’t.

The New York Times feature continues here.

Related:Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp down for users across US,” “You’ve decided to quit Facebook. Here’s how to migrate your online life elsewhere.

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