Bloody hell! Suddenly Crunchyroll is demanding that after I log in I do one of those stupid Captcha things where you click on all the pictures containing 3-legged jackals to prove one is human. This kind of stuff pisses me off. Plus, the graphics on the page it takes me to look improperly formed, as if a line of code was miswritten.

Is it a glitch on their end? Authentication server run amok? I didn’t have to do this earlier in the day.

Or maybe it is because Microsoft decided to install their browser, Edge, on my systemedge whether I want it or not. Wouldn’t be the first time a Microsoft update messed up my browsing. Other internet applications on my machine seem to have suddenly forgotten who I am. For example, my Grammarly grammar checker didn’t automatically log in.

My daughter had bought a cheap laptop just for internet browsing. It said it came with 32 Gb of solid-state memory (It was really 30) with Windows 10 preinstalled. Lo and behold, Win10 occupied 25 Gb of that memory. When this forced update came in it locked up her system, indicating that to install she needed more free memory than she had. Had to kill it in task manager.

Now, why would Microsoft be so hot for me to have to use their browser?

Crunchyroll trackers
These are just trackers from the Crunchyroll site.

One reason is branding. Microsoft wants to own you. They want every application you use to be a Microsoft application. Do this enough and you will end up developing brand loyalty. If you have some free components of Microsoft Office Suite, maybe you buy the others instead of buying a competitor’s.

Another is less above board. Windows in general – and most browsers for it – are designed to allow your activity online to be tracked. It takes effort and technical savvy to avoid being tracked and when you do that suddenly features stop working. For example, when I block tracking software, many blog pages lose certain functionalities. Maybe the follow button disappears. Maybe the like button is gone along with all the people who liked the post. Maybe there’s no comment section anymore.

Check out all the tracking that goes on when I visit Crunchyroll. All entities looking to data-mine my visit.  I usually kill them. Notice “Facebook connect?” Now FB knows what I’m watching and likely anything else I do on Crunchyroll in this session.

The point is to mine your data. It is called “Surveillance Capitalism.” What you like, who you follow, even what you say is used in predictive algorithms to figure out what you’ll buy, how you’ll vote, what your sex life is like, and even what mood you’re in. Maybe even to affect your behavior a bit. Why should Google get all that info when Microsoft can collect it through Bing?

dollar signMS browsers (Edge and Internet Explorer) all default to the Bing search engine. The goal is to deliver ads to you that you’re more likely to click on. And keep you a happy camper by making sure you aren’t disturbed by a search result or page recommendation you didn’t already agree with.

The Cortana search field in the lower-left corner with the icon that looks like a circle? It only searches with Bing. You can’t change it. And it will now bring the results up in Edge.

Google does exactly the same thing with their Chrome browser and eponymous search engine. And they probably do it better. They just don’t have a PC operating system to embed it into. If you want any privacy at all, change your search engine to DuckDuckGo.

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is an even more frightening entity with ramifications far FB data surveylancebeyond sharing your life with your friends. Everywhere you look, you see the Facebook icon. Click that icon and that adds information to their data on you. Log into a page with your Facebook creds and you’ve done the same thing   It has moved into monitoring moods, proactively changing your content to match your mood, and proactively changing your mood to make you more receptive to content. They have run mass psychological tests on people and claim to be able to diagnose suicidal tendencies in teenagers. No permission asked.

You gotta know governments are interested, if not already fully in the business. But that is a different blog post.

If Facebook isn’t appealing, stay away from Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Beluga as well. And Twitter does its own data mining.  Instead, do your socializing on MeWe – if you can find anybody you know on it.

Thanks to a marvelous blog post by Irina, I was seduced into watching Inu x Boku Secret Service.  I won’t bother you with a detailed discussion since Irina already did it so well. I haven’t read the manga but it seems likely that Ayakashi Kan is really an institution for the treatment of the emotionally traumatized where people are partnered for their therapeutic value.

According to my research, ayakashi are lesser spirits- ghosts and apparitions – who appear above the surface of water.

Until this issue is cleared up, I’ll just wander over and continue watching Resonance in Terror on Funimation. Their servers are slow but at least it’s letting me log in normally.

Not exactly Inuyasha and Kagome