10076
It turns out that Facebook could in fact use data collected from its Portal in-home video device to target you with ads - Recode
I absolutely love that Facebook themselves had to correct publications on this clarification.

> But Facebook has since reached out to change its answer: Portal doesn’t have ads, but data about who you call and data about which apps you use on Portal can be used to target you with ads on other Facebook-owned properties.

So when you give your photos to Google and Facebook they mine brands and objects from them to advertise to you. WIth this Portal surveillance device they can watch the activity in your house to then shove things in between cat pictures on Instagram. **Don't buy one of these.** And also, ditch Facebook Messenger too.
october 2018
The Hidden Tribes of America - Hidden Tribes
I found this via David Brooks [Rich White Civil War](https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/opinion/politics-race-white-tribalism.html) column.

> But this can change. A majority of Americans, whom we’ve called the "Exhausted Majority," are fed up by America’s polarization. They know we have more in common than that which divides us: our belief in freedom, equality, and the pursuit of the American dream. They share a deep sense of gratitude that they are citizens of the United States. They want to move past our differences.

This data on segments of Americans is interesting and well presented. It does make me wonder if this exists independent of the marketing and propaganda of politicians, or if this is the desired outcome of those programs to slice up America into groups that can be marketed to.
october 2018
Vue's Ecosystem Growth is Taking Off… Just Like React's Did
I don't think there is anything so trendy as Javascript frameworks. Remember when Angular was cool? Oi! 😬
october 2018
Why We Always Switch Productivity Methods Before They Stick, According To Science
I've talked to a lot of friends that have tried several or even dozens of *productivity systems*.

> First things first: Take some comfort in the fact that you definitely aren’t alone. Many of us hop around and test the waters of various systems for getting our work done.

One of the best things I ever did was decide to commit to [GTD](https://www.gettingthingsdone.com) as a long-term investment as well as [OmniFocus](https://www.omnigroup.com/omnifocus) and not look around at other options. I felt that expertise and depth in one was more important than trying dozens of options fiddling with what might be best.
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october 2018
How to feel happier
Eight things to improve happiness.
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october 2018
Top 5 Contemporary Software Engineering Books – KI labs Engineering – Medium
I hadn’t heard of the first four books on this list. I’m intrigued by Developer Hegemony. 📚
october 2018
What I loved about Paul Allen | Bill Gates
A touching remembrance of Paul Allen by Bill Gates.
october 2018
StartMail - Private & encrypted email made easy
Nice to see another web-based, easy-to-use encrypted email service. This one has some additional privacy features that look great. I maintain an encrypted address at [Protonmail](https://protonmail.com) which has some similar features. As an aside, it’s notable that all encrypted email services I know of tout that their servers are **not** located in the United States as a feature. It’s sad that our government is known to treat digital right-to-privacy with so low regard.
october 2018
birdseye: Quick, convenient, expression-centric, graphical Python debugger using the AST
Very cool and powerful Python debugger. I think this could also be a powerful learning tool!
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october 2018
Fake Followers Audit from SparkToro | SparkToro
Tool to identify how many of your Twitter followers are fake. 23.4% for me.
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october 2018
Do journalists pay too much attention to Twitter? - Columbia Journalism Review
This is an important and interesting question. When I read the headline the immediate thought in my head was **"Yes!"**. The study goes into more detail and gets deeper into the impact it would have on reporting.

> “Our results indicate that the routinization of Twitter into news production affects news judgment,” the researchers write. “For journalists who incorporate Twitter into their reporting routines, and those with fewer years of experience, Twitter has become so normalized that tweets were deemed equally newsworthy as headlines appearing to be from the AP wire. This may have negative implications.” Among those implications, they argue, is that journalists can get caught up in a kind of pack mentality in which a story is seen as important because other journalists on Twitter are talking about it, rather than because it is newsworthy.

The "firehose" feed of Twitter is something that some people find uninteresting, but there are some people and professions that I think find it highly addictive and compelling. Watching an AP news feed, or a financial ticker, feels and looks a lot like watching the Twitter timeline. I count myself in the group of people that find that addictive. I tend to think journalists as a group would too.
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october 2018
Muze
High-end data visualization library.
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october 2018
About static site generators
An assessment of static site generators and the somewhat miserable landscape of authoring tools. I agree with the central push of this piece. I keep finding that static site generators introduce far too much friction into my writing process. One may note that [my microblog](https://micro.thingelstad.com) and [linkblog](https://links.thingelstad.com) are both very active while [my blog](https://www.thingelstad.com) is pretty quiet. That is almost entirely because writing for Jekyll, the static site generator I use, is too hard. Tools like [Forestry](https://forestry.io) offer some hope to make this better, but the configuration is still orders of magnitude too hard.
october 2018
ongoing by Tim Bray · On Cash
I like Bray's perspective on cash here. I tend to still pay for most of my routine, small purchases with cash. I'd add to his list of reasons the fact that as we move from real cash we devalue the expense. Keeping transactions in cash will make you more conscious of your spending, and hopefully spend less. 💸
october 2018
The Decline of OpenID
It bums me out that OpenID failed. I was a big fan of OpenID when it came out and wanted to see it grow and succeed.
october 2018
Rosie Pattern Language: Improving on 50-year Old Regular Expression Technology - Strange Loop
I didn’t even know there was an alternative to regular expressions like this.
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october 2018
The Pixel 3: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Phone
Google’s newest incarnation of their flagship phone. Some cool innovations.
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october 2018
Latest Revision to ARM Instruction Set Includes Optimizations Just for JavaScript — Daring Fireball
This explains why Javascript is so fast for certain benchmarks on the iPhone XS!
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october 2018
Teens Are Being Bullied 'Constantly' on Instagram - The Atlantic
There are a lot of kids on Instagram and this article highlights some of the dark sides of cyber bullying.
october 2018
Apple Frames: A Shortcut for Framing Screenshots from Every Apple Device — MacStories
This is a very specialized shortcut, and great for bloggers. It’s also a brilliant example of the cool capabilities that you can achieve with a Shortcut.
october 2018
How Tesla Made the Model 3 So Safe
This article highlights some of the amazing safety aspects of the Tesla Model 3.

> So basically, when Tesla says its Model 3 has the “lowest probability of injury” ever tested by NHTSA, it means that the overall VSS score (which represents the “relative risk of injury with respect to a baseline of 15 percent”) of 0.38 is lower than that of any car ever tested.
>
> That’s impressive, any way you slice it.

**Lowest ever** is very impressive!
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october 2018
RECaf Review: Effortless Caffeine Tracking — MacStories
This app is a great tool for those that want to track their caffeine intake. It’s also a great example of using the newest capabilities in iOS 12 to connect to things like Siri Shortcuts and put actionable items directly in notifications.
october 2018
Facebook announces Portal, an Echo Show rival focused on video chat - The Verge
I’m skeptical of these "Smart Screens". I’m downright cynical of one made by Facebook.
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october 2018
Tech Workers Now Want to Know: What Are We Building This For? - The New York Times
It’s about time that technology workers factor the outcome of their work into their decision to work on it.

> Across the technology industry, rank-and-file employees are demanding greater insight into how their companies are deploying the technology that they built. At Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce, as well as at tech start-ups, engineers and technologists are increasingly asking whether the products they are working on are being used for surveillance in places like China or for military projects in the United States or elsewhere.
>
> That’s a change from the past, when Silicon Valley workers typically developed products with little questioning about the social costs.

This is a good thing.
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october 2018
Statement from DHS Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise | Homeland Security
This story of Chinese security backdoor on the silicon level just keeps getting more confusing.
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october 2018
The Game of Kubb on Vimeo
My friend [Garrick](https://garrickvanburen.com) sent me this humorous and fun introduction to the awesome game of Kubb. 👍
october 2018
Help us Build Ping.MN – ping.mn – Medium
I’m curious to see how this new publication takes off. They just had their [first meeting](https://medium.com/ping-mn/noted-the-first-meeting-on-ping-mn-b4ae9e61d53d) and I like the general direction they are taking with this. Subscribed!
october 2018
Halide 1.10: The Smartest RAW – Halide
The Halide team is doing some amazing work with the new camera technology in the iPhone XS!
october 2018
DeleteMe - Privacy Protection Services
Services like this are needed, but I constantly wonder how many of them are just backdoor ways to mine your private data even more.
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october 2018
Scaling Engineering Teams via Writing Things Down and Sharing - aka RFCs
Perhaps the key to scaling isn’t as complicated as we make it — just write things down!
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october 2018
What's a senior engineer's job? - Julia Evans
It’s a little surprising that 20-30 years into the discipline of software engineering we are still debating what different levels mean, but there is a lot of ambiguity and difference between organizations on this.
october 2018
The Feeling That You’re Always Behind on Work : zen habits
I know that feeling!

> Many of us have a constant neverending feeling that we’re always behind on what we need to get done.

Okay, now you got my attention.

> And all of a sudden, you’re not behind on anything. Because what you’re doing right now is enough. And it’s all you have. Which is perfect, as it is.

A very Zen view on contentment. There is a lot of truth here, particularly the part about us creating our own anxiety rushing to the next thing. 🤔
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october 2018
The interesting ideas in Datasette
I like this set of highlights from the creator of Datasette on the main concepts that he used to create the project, and how those concepts allowed him to do some very cool things easily.
october 2018
Google is losing users’ trust.
Fair and balanced article highlighting the good things that Google has done for privacy and security online, but also critical where they have not done well with privacy. I don’t store any private data with Google and blog their trackers. I recommend everyone else should too.
october 2018
Daring Fireball: Bloomberg’s ‘The Big Hack’
This [Bloomberg report on rogue chips from Supermicro](https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies) infiltrating Amazon and Apple is pretty amazing. Gruber’s take on it is a good summary.

> I see no way around it: either Bloomberg’s report is significantly wrong, at least as pertains to Amazon and Apple, or Apple and Amazon have issued blatantly false denials.

Apple and Amazon both vehemently deny this report. Apple even issued a [second statement](https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2018/10/what-businessweek-got-wrong-about-apple/) about it. It’s hard to know what really happened, but it’s notable to me that espionage at this level is known, and will impact how we can build new technology for certain purposes.
october 2018
Mike Bollinger is stepping down from TECHdotMN - TECHdotMN
This looks to be some fallout from a [controversial article](https://tech.mn/news/2018/09/19/poll-should-minnesota-techies-be-treated-differently-based-on-their-appearance/) published by Mike’s cofounder of TECHdotMN. Unclear where this leaves the local publication. I admire what they have been trying to do.
october 2018
DuckDuckGo Traffic
I use DuckDuckGo for search on all of my devices, and I’m glad to see it continuing to grow!
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october 2018
Wi-Fi now has version numbers, and Wi-Fi 6 comes out next year - The Verge
Moving to version numbers for Wi-FI makes a lot of sense. I keep an eye on this stuff and still have a hard time keeping track of what letters are the fastest.
october 2018
Fibaro HomeKit-enabled Flood Sensor can minimize costly water damage — Apple World Today
I’ve dealt with water issues at our cabin twice now. I think I need a couple of these.
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october 2018
iPhone XS: Why It’s A Whole New Camera – Halide
In my opinion, Halide is the most powerful camera app on iOS, and this take on the new camera system in the iPhone XS from the author of Halide is a great overview of the new system. This new Smart RAW approach looks nice. I’m still completely blown away by the level of photo you can pull of an iPhone now.
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october 2018
Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine - The Washington Post
I started traveling to Ukraine twice a year right after the conflict with Russia began. I’ve always found it very jarring when I read coverage of all the fighting, and then go there and it seems completely normal in the capital. I’m not sure about the trends in this article, but I would like it if this were the case.

> Thanks to the war, and to their anger at its perpetrators, Ukrainians themselves are choosing to speak Ukrainian — more say they do every year. Thanks to the war, the different regions of this vast country are drawing more closely together

🇺🇦
october 2018
Mission, Strategy, and Tactics
Good clarifying post on the purpose and approach for mission, vision, strategy, etc. The last paragraph resonated with me.

> Interestingly, this post is an example of something even more paramount than having a mission: providing a common language for the team to use that everyone understands. Ensuring people use terms consistently isn’t just pedantry, it is potentially critical to scaling execution.

This is so true. In a larger organization simply getting everyone talking using similar definitions is a big deal. The language and definitions behind it will fundamentally alter how people use these things.
october 2018
Introduction to OKRs
Short, free e-book overview of Objectives and Key Results. Good for those that prefer to read instead of watching an overview video. This also has some nice practical implementation details about setting them up, reporting on them, etc.
october 2018
plus+codes: Personal Postcodes
Sure seems easier to use than addresses, although much less human usable.
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october 2018
FreshRSS, a free, self-hostable aggregator…
It makes me happy to see open source RSS projects. I'll still stick with Feedbin though.
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october 2018
Some possible career goals — Julia Evans
This is a good list to keep around for reference. I’ve had many experiences talking with people about their career objectives and next steps, and one of the most challenging situations can be when someone has aspirations for something new or different, but they aren’t able to express it. This list could be a good way to explore potentials in that situation.
october 2018
Here's the One iPhone XS Feature That Justifies an Upgrade
I’ve been shooting with my iPhone XS for about two weeks now and I have to agree that of the capabilities of the new camera system, the Smart HDR capability is amazing.

> In short, the iPhone XS is the best iPhone by far at approximating what you'd see with your own eyes. And most of the time, isn't the ultimate goal of photography to capture something we've seen and keep it forever?

I’ve had several pictures come off the phone that I’ve marveled at the natural exposure of the photo.
october 2018
No More Google
So many options other than Google.
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september 2018
Building With Workers KV, a Fast Distributed Key-Value Store — Cloudflare
Cloudflare is creating some great technology to surround their Workers and provide more functionality.
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september 2018
Introducing Cloudflare Registrar: Domain Registration You Can Love
I've been using [Namecheap](https://www.namecheap.com) for years as my registrar. I find them reliable and easy to use. Cloudflare has a great reputation and their entry into the registrar service may get me to move.

> Here's the promise of the Cloudflare Registrar: we'll follow the best possible security practices and offer you the best possible price. What do we mean by that? From the security side, we promise we'll allow you to enable two-factor authentication, we’ll lock your domain registration by default, and automatically enable best-practice security services like DNSSEC.
>
> From the price side it’s even simpler: we promise to never charge you anything more than the wholesale price each TLD charges. That’s true the first year and it’s true every subsequent year. If you register your domain with Cloudflare Registrar you’ll always pay the wholesale price with no markup.

Cool that they are also allowing people to get earlier access if they make a donation to [Girls Who Code](https://girlswhocode.com/)!
september 2018
Why sell zines? - Julia Evans
I've enjoyed Julia Evans' zines and this background on why she charges for them is a good read on making a side project sustainable.
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september 2018
Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information
Another in the endless series of findings on how Facebook uses your data to target you.

> I was helping him test the theory by targeting him in a way Facebook had previously told me wouldn’t work. I directed the ad to display to a Facebook account connected to the landline number for Alan Mislove’s office, a number Mislove has never provided to Facebook. He saw the ad within hours.

They are even doing this with data you give them for security purposes.

> They found that when a user gives Facebook a phone number for two-factor authentication or in order to receive alerts about new log-ins to a user’s account, that phone number became targetable by an advertiser within a couple of weeks.

The [EFF highlighted](https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/09/you-gave-facebook-your-number-security-they-used-it-ads) this terrible use of security information for advertising targeting as well.
september 2018
Firefox Monitor
Right now this is just an alternative front-end to [have i been pwned?](https://haveibeenpwned.com), but it’s great to see Firefox stepping into this space and I expect they will continue to [add more over time](https://venturebeat.com/2018/09/25/firefox-monitor-taps-have-i-been-pwned-to-inform-you-of-data-breaches/).
september 2018
Low←Tech Magazine
What a cool project -- making a very low-tech, carbon neutral website. "This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes offline." The website shows its current battery level.

> Our new web design addresses both these issues. Thanks to a low-tech web design, we managed to decrease the average page size of the blog by a factor of five compared to the old design – all while making the website visually more attractive (and mobile-friendly). Secondly, our new website runs 100% on solar power, not just in words, but in reality: it has its own energy storage and will go off-line during longer periods of cloudy weather.

😎
september 2018
Hey Siri, Drive My Tesla (How To Use iPhone's New Shortcuts)! - YouTube
I’ve been a big fan of Workflow, and now Shortcuts, in iOS for a long time. This video is a easy introduction to automation on your iOS device.
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september 2018
Safari Content Blocker Evaluations – 9/26/18 Edition – The Brooks Review
Like Ben Brooks I use [1Blocker X](https://1blocker.com) on all of my iOS and macOS devices. I love how powerful it is and that I can create my own custom blocker rules. I've tried [BlockBear](https://blockbear.com) but haven't used it a lot. I like Brooks' recommendation of steering less technical users to that one.
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september 2018
GPG Suite
I've used GPG Suite at times to encrypt mail, and it’s been sad to me to see how much negativity they are getting over starting to charge a small amount.
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september 2018
Steve Blank The Apple Watch – Tipping Point Time for Healthcare
The potential to have your Apple Watch be like a "Doctor on your wrist" is pretty amazing.

> Sooner than people think, virtually all home and outpatient diagnostics will be performed by consumer devices such as the Apple Watch, mobile phones, fitness trackers, etc. that have either become FDA cleared as medical devices or have apps that have received FDA clearance. Consumer devices will morph into medical grade devices, with some painful and well publicized mistakes along the way.

This helps reinforce why Apple has strategically positioned itself on the side of privacy. There is a **huge** market for this type of capability, but even someone that is happy to let Facebook and Google mine all their email, web searches and private photos, may be very resistant to giving their heart rate, blood pressure and weight to exploitive platforms.
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september 2018
Exclusive: WhatsApp Cofounder Brian Acton Gives The Inside Story On #DeleteFacebook And Why He Left $850 Million Behind
The inside scoop on WhatsApp founders break with Facebook.

> His motto at WhatsApp had been “No ads, no games, no gimmicks”—a direct contrast with a parent company that derived 98% of its revenue from advertising. Another motto had been “Take the time to get it right,” a stark contrast to “Move fast and break things.”

Aren't ads, games and gimmicks pretty much all Facebook is? All about the 💰.
september 2018
Walmart Requires Lettuce, Spinach Suppliers to Join Blockchain - CIO Journal. - WSJ
**Subscriber only link.** Interesting real world use of Blockchain in retail's. Food seems to be one avenue where blockchain has some immediate use cases.
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september 2018
Manyverse
I've read about [Scuttlebutt](https://www.scuttlebutt.nz/) before and found it intriguing, but this new application built on that protocol seems to be something normal folks could actually use.
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september 2018
Instagram’s CEO – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Insightful analysis by Ben Thompson on Instagram's founders departures from Facebook.

> Or Systrom and Instagram could offload all of those responsibilities to Facebook and continue being “extraordinary product leaders”, and pocket $1 billion to boot (and, to be fair to Systrom and team, that understates their gains; that $1 billion included $700 million in Facebook stock, which today is worth nearly $4 billion). It is a defensible choice (for Instagram anyways; not for the regulators that approved the deal), but the implication is that, title notwithstanding, Systrom was never the CEO of Instagram; to be a CEO is to have a company that can stand on its own.
>
> The difference from Zuckerberg — Instagram’s real CEO — is stark. Facebook launched in February, 2004, and sold its first ad two months later. True, “Facebook Flyers” bear little resemblance to the News Feed ads that power the company today, but Zuckerberg’s immediate instinct to build not just a product but a company is notable.

Wether it is Instagram or WhatsApp, the founders that sold those companies were made extraordinarily wealthy. They should not be surprised when the company that made them that wealthy takes the products in exactly the direction that was supremely obvious they would — advertising and mining private data.
september 2018
macOS 10.14 Mojave: The Ars Technica review | Ars Technica
Ars continues the in-depth macOS reviews made famous by John Siracusa, and now continued by Andrew Cunningham.
september 2018
macOS Mojave: The MacStories Review – MacStories
Everything you ever wanted to know about the newest macOS.
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september 2018
Apple and Salesforce partner to help redefine customer experiences on iOS - Apple
Not a lot of details but sounds to some extent like what they announced with IBM a while back.
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september 2018
OmniFocus 3 for Mac: Multiple Tags, Enhanced Forecast, Powerful Perspectives – MacStories
New OmniFocus 3 for the Mac and with that Omni Group has transitioned all the OmniFocus platforms onto the newest solutions! I eagerly bought my license within 5 minutes of the go live last night. 💸
september 2018
ShortcutsGallery.com - Download or share Siri Shortcuts
Good place to share user created shortcuts for iOS 12. The Workflow app used to have a place to do this and that went away with Shortcuts. It’s nice to see an independent site picking that up. There are some nice shortcuts in here to use, or take apart to understand how to build your own.
september 2018
Engineering Productivity – Camille Fournier – Medium
Productivity of software teams is a very fuzzy space. Companies have tried to figure out some way to evaluate this for 50 years now, and have gotten nowhere. It’s knowledge work, and as such isn't linear at all. Fournier's view of engineering management "… a great engineering manager is capable of creating a highly productive engineering team" is great, and I like the three key factors she highlights for achieving that.
september 2018
watchOS 5: The BirchTree Review – BirchTree
This is a fantastic review of watchOS 5. I've read a couple of detailed reviews and still learned a number of cool things I could do in watchOS 5 in this. I had no idea I could get favorites sports teams into the Siri face for example!
september 2018
Strap on the Fitbit: John Hancock to sell only interactive life insurance | Reuters
Interactive Life Insurance? Oh no. This seems like a terrible thing.
september 2018
Chrome is a Google Service that happens to include a Browser Engine
I've never used Chrome for privacy reasons, it’s too closely connected to the worlds largest advertising platform with a huge profit motive to collect information. Chrome was the last browser to support [Do Not Track](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Not_Track) while it prided itself on supporting new capabilities before everyone else. Now Google has tied Chrome even closer to it’s services. If you want private browsing Firefox is a good bet with enough extensions, and Safari does more to fight privacy invading trackers than any other browser out of the box. Matthew Greene has a more [direct reaction to this, and is done with Chrome](https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2018/09/23/why-im-leaving-chrome/). ["Don't be evil."](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_be_evil)
september 2018
Cloudflare Turns 8 — here’s what we mean by a “better Internet”
This is a great mission piece from Cloudflare. I don't use Cloudflare but I have growing respect for the amazing work and services they provide. I like their values and am curious to see what they release this week!
september 2018
New zine: Help! I have a manager! - Julia Evans
I love these zines that Julia Evans has been creating and this is a stellar idea to make one for people to better understand what their manager is doing and how to work with them. It’s a managers job to work and coordinate with their team, but this seems like a great idea to help folks learn as well.
september 2018
Simple Analytics
Nice and easy, simple, web analytics offering that respects privacy and just gives you the handful of metrics that actually matter. I’m still on the side of not collecting this data at all unless you really need it.
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september 2018
There is no longer any such thing as Computer Security
I like this position, computer security is just security, and it’s really easy these days to get exploited. This is a good overview particularly on phishing and what you can most easily do to protect yourself. 🔐
september 2018
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