nathanwentworth + tech   33

Are.na / Blog – Decentralized Web Summit 2018 (Jon-Kyle Mohr)
Ultimately the realities of these questions are slowly revealed only through active engagement. At a moment overwhelmed by speculation, a thoughtful gesture goes a long way. That is to say, progressively gaining understanding through experience.
internet  human  tech 
4 days ago by nathanwentworth
How the shared family computer protected us from our worst selves - The Verge
Whatever small inconveniences we shouldered during the shared desktop era have been rendered meaningless in today’s tech-saturated households. But maybe it was those annoyances that maintained healthy boundaries and, in a way, made the family computer so special. The advent of constant access has inevitably changed our relationship with tech. At one time, discovering the magical capabilities of our devices astonished and invigorated us. Now, we find them glomming on to our routines: joining us for dinner or family strolls, going on vacations or out on dates with us, waking us up in the morning and tucking us in at night. Though it was harder to come by, the computer time you ended up with on the shared family desktop was cherished and, maybe as a result, that much sweeter. Yet there was an untroubled ritual that, day after day, required us to step away.
tech  social_media  internet  human 
5 days ago by nathanwentworth
Mirror™ for Twitter
We want to create a reality in which people are more aware of the affective implications of their words. To aid your awareness, Mirror™ for Twitter activates your webcam and shows you your face when you tweet.
tech  social_media  good  internet 
22 days ago by nathanwentworth
On observing time – The Creative Independent
Jon Gacnik muses over the internet, mountains, and the nature of time itself.

“The infoverse may be infinite, but our allotment of days is not.” We ought to be conscious of how far and how quickly we move through the internet. But without a physical way to observe our time spent online, we risk scrolling, skimming, and hyperlinking ourselves to oblivion.
tech  human  good  internet 
4 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
Take the Power Back: Activity is the Answer to the Toxic Web
You may have heard that the best way to deal with the “information overload” is to switch off your devices. To take a break from the Internet. Go for a run. Roll out the Yoga mat. Read a book. Talk to your friends. Switching off is good advice. But eventually, you’ll be back. How about changing? Changing from passive, to active. From scroll to search, from react to rethink, from like and retweet to write and link. Take the power back.
tech  writing  good  social_media  internet 
5 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
Building for sustainability with WordPress - Susty WP
This website aims to act as a guide to making WordPress websites more sustainable, and to serve as a practical example of how we can tune our websites and reduce their carbon footprint. The homepage of this website is delivered to your browser with just 7KB of data transfer. This is achieved by its theme, plugins and configuration. As of 2016, the average website data transfer was 2.3MB, making it 333 times bigger than this website!
tech  webdev  sustainability 
5 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
It was raining in the data center – everest pipkin
As the cloud enters our towns, devices, homes, and lives, it touches us. This cloud is both present and distant, physical and ephemeral. When the cloud touches us, we also become a part of the network: another node. It is no surprise that we meet such a system with paranoia, given its inherent threats. But our paranoia is not psychosis. Its hyper-connective structure mirrors the structure of the cloud itself; it’s the closest thing to a literal examination of this network that is available to us.
tech  politics 
9 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
Uses This / Aaron Swartz
I just bought a new bottom-of-the-line MacBook Pro. Before that I had an original white MacBook. I felt a little bad buying something new when my laptop was still functional, but pieces were falling off of it and it was crazy slow. I started leaving it out in the open in hopes that someone would steal it, but that didn't work. Finally, I decided to concede and just buy a new one.
interview  tech 
11 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
Failover Architectures: the Infrastructural Excess of the Data Centre Industry
In much the same way that hostile architecture design aims to control how public spaces are used, we are thus finding an increasingly infrastructured hostility toward offline practices [...]

The (mis)alignment between environmentalism and cloud services begins with the elimination of paper tickets and ends with the cashless economy.

With the cloud being increasingly lifestyled and infrastructured into a range of everyday social and economic practices and processes, data centres continue to grow in size. Far from a massive database in the sky, it is the planet’s surface and our everyday lives that are gradually being colonised by the cloud.
tech  data 
12 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
My website is a shifting house next to a river of knowledge. What could yours be?
If a website has endless possibilities, and our identities, ideas, and dreams are created and expanded by them, then it’s instrumental that websites progress along with us. It’s especially pressing when forces continue to threaten the web and the internet at large. In an age of information overload and an increasingly commercialized web, artists of all types are the people to help. Artists can think expansively about what a website can be. Each artist should create their own space on the web, for a website is an individual act of collective ambition.
tech  human  good 
12 weeks ago by nathanwentworth
Words I never want to appear in my writing; or, staying friendly towards beginners – Matthew Cassinelli
Nothing with iOS automation or the technical details of how something works is easy, simple, or clear – at some point, it was explained to you. Not everyone knows, you don’t “just” do something because there’s a verb for that action, and many complex things are rarely obvious how to use at first.

I want to avoid alienating anyone who reads my writing or wants to learn more about how to use technology – the goal is to empower, not educate from above.
writing  tech 
may 2018 by nathanwentworth
How Tech Is Remaking Fashion in Its Image
The modernist architects that Scott Sternberg cites dreamt of designing perfect modular houses for all of humanity. The end result of that movement today is a fetishized niche of elite culture and a dwindling set of museumified public buildings. Case Study homes sell on the private market for millions of dollars. Tech-wear may not be as expensive just yet, but it certainly isn’t for everyone.
fashion  tech 
may 2018 by nathanwentworth
What Does The Amazon Echo Look Mean For Personal Style? - Racked
“Echo” is a good name for Amazon’s device because it creates an algorithmic feedback loop in which nothing original emerges.
good  tech  longreads  fashion  ai 
april 2018 by nathanwentworth
Strange Loops with Jonathan Zawada | Semi Permanent
I think we'll end up in 10-20 years time realising that had massive consequences. People won't be able to afford the ongoing expenditure of arts and culture. They’ll retire and won't be able to afford to pay for Spotify anymore and realise they don't have music in their lives. It would be depressing thing to think that we once had libraries and free access to stuff, or you could build your own libraries of music and books you owned until you died, but we changed as society so that when you stop working and can't afford it you don't get access to arts and culture anymore.
tech  art  interview 
april 2018 by nathanwentworth
txti - Fast web pages for everybody
Most of the world still does not have internet, but many websites from countries like the United States are big and complicated. This makes it hard for people with slow internet to use these sites. It is even harder for those people to put their own thoughts on the internet. With txti, anyone can use any device to share their story.
tech  one_thing_well  utility  webdev 
april 2018 by nathanwentworth
The thing that really kills me about the silicon valley hypercapitalist hell spiral is how many good, desirable ideas they're killing forever by implementing them so fucking horribly that when everyone wakes up from this daze we'll reject massive swaths o
The thing that really kills me about the silicon valley hypercapitalist hell spiral is how many good, desirable ideas they're killing forever by implementing them so fucking horribly that when everyone wakes up from this daze we'll reject massive swaths of concepts reflexively.
tech  good 
april 2018 by nathanwentworth
The Case Against Google
[...] if you love technology — if you always buy the latest gadgets and think scientific advances are powerful forces for good — then perhaps you ought to cheer on the antitrust prosecutors. Because there is no better method for keeping the marketplace constructive and creative than a legal system that intervenes whenever a company, no matter how beloved, grows so large as to blot out the sun.
tech  google 
february 2018 by nathanwentworth
Anti-capitalist human scale software (and why it matters)
Twitter launches features no one wants. Parse shuts down. Websites track us to an astonishing degree. Corporations close down open systems. They turn over our data to the government.

Software and services that are supposed to make life better are becoming unreliable and untrustworthy. It is increasingly clear that our interests, as software-using humans, are diverging from the interests of software companies.

I am coming to the conclusion that we simply can’t rely on corporations to produce and maintain great, reliable, human-centered software. The systems and incentives are in direct conflict.
capitalism  tech  webdev  good  human 
february 2018 by nathanwentworth
one day I will have a computer company and it will be perfect and here are the rules for that company, A PERPETUAL THREAD
1. The entire engineering team will never exceed 12 people, the total org size will never exceed 24 people. No product needs more people, and the communication overhead becomes ruinous.

2. Real-time chat will be unadorned, un-archived, non-searchable IRC. The limitations are actually assets. Onboarding includes IRC training. Slack is banned.

4. Issue trackers are for actionable bugs and feature requests only; GitHub issues are perfect. Project planning is a separate workflow and tool, URLs are excellent ways to link these two domains. JIRA and all Atlassian products are banned.
tech  good  human 
february 2018 by nathanwentworth
Standard for technological innovation by Wendell Berry
1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that they have the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance or repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.
good  human  tech 
february 2018 by nathanwentworth
Gunpei Yokoi - Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology
Yokoi said, "The Nintendo way of adapting technology is not to look for the state of the art but to utilize mature technology that can be mass-produced cheaply."
game  tech 
january 2018 by nathanwentworth
I’m harvesting credit card numbers and passwords from your site. Here’s how.
There’s a lot of smart, nasty people out there, and 400,000 npm packages. It seems to me that the odds are better than even that at least one of those packages has some malicious code in it, and that if it’s done well, you would never even know.
tech  security  javascript 
january 2018 by nathanwentworth
Computer latency: 1977-2017
Latency matters! For very simple tasks, people can perceive latencies down to 2 ms or less. Moreover, increasing latency is not only noticeable to users, it causes users to execute simple tasks less accurately.
tech 
january 2018 by nathanwentworth
Google Maps’s Moat
Google is creating data out of data.
data  google  statistics  tech 
december 2017 by nathanwentworth
The Real Danger To Civilization Isn’t AI. It’s Runaway Capitalism
There’s a saying, popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley capitalists don’t want to think about capitalism ending. What’s unexpected is that the way they envision the world ending is through a form of unchecked capitalism, disguised as a superintelligent AI.
capitalism  tech  ai  good 
december 2017 by nathanwentworth
Something is wrong on the internet – James Bridle
What concerns me is not just the violence being done to children here, although that concerns me deeply. What concerns me is that this is just one aspect of a kind of infrastructural violence being done to all of us, all of the time, and we’re still struggling to find a way to even talk about it, to describe its mechanisms and its actions and its effects. As I said at the beginning of this essay: this is being done by people and by things and by a combination of things and people. Responsibility for its outcomes is impossible to assign but the damage is very, very real indeed.
longreads  good  tech  ai 
november 2017 by nathanwentworth
Keyboard latency
Most keyboards add enough latency to make the user experience noticeably worse, and keyboards that advertise speed aren’t necessarily faster. The two gaming keyboards we measured weren’t faster than non-gaming keyboards, and the fastest keyboard measured was a minimalist keyboard from Apple that’s marketed more on design than speed.
tech 
october 2017 by nathanwentworth
Anatomy of a Moral Panic
The real story of machine learning is not how it promotes home bomb-making, but that it's being deployed at scale with minimal ethical oversight, in the service of a business model that relies entirely on psychological manipulation and mass surveillance. The capacity to manipulate people at scale is being sold to the highest bidder, and has infected every aspect of civic life, including democratic elections and journalism.
good  news  tech  politics 
october 2017 by nathanwentworth

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