thingles + _feature   96

Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company
Reflections from the CEO and Founder of [Gumroad](https://gumroad.com) on building the business and the significant ups and downs. He grounds back to delivering value. It seems obvious, but that is really what matters.
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2 days ago by thingles
Snopes pulls out of its fact-checking partnership with Facebook – Poynter
Facebook paying $100,000 for this service is laughable, and should mostly serve as further assurance that Facebook doesn't see value in solving this problem. It’s also crazy to me that Snopes highlights that there is no API and there isn't an easy way to flag content. Clearly Facebook knows how to make API's and how to make user experiences easy, at least when they want to.

> “With a manual system and a closed system — it’s impossible to keep on top of that stuff,” Green told Poynter in a phone interview. “Do you need fact-checkers to stop and do all this manual work? Or should fake websites just be reported through other means and supply a body of evidence that these people shouldn’t be on your platform because of their nefarious activity?”

I like this focus on engaging directly with their actual customers.

> “It’s hard for me to concern myself with making Facebook successful when it’s so hard just for Snopes to be successful,” Green said. “Our community isn’t just on Facebook. We prioritize our readers first.”

Honestly, Facebook doesn't lack resources to solve this problem.
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10 days ago by thingles
AI Helps Amputees Walk With a Robotic Knee - IEEE Spectrum
This is absolutely brilliant.

> Normally, human technicians spend hours working with amputees to manually adjust robotic limbs to work well with each person’s style of walking. By comparison, the reinforcement-learning technique automatically tuned a robotic knee, enabling the prosthetic wearers to walk smoothly on level ground within 10 minutes.

Use AI to get the computer to adapt to the human faster! 💙
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15 days ago by thingles
Deep links to opt-out of data sharing by 40+ companies – SimpleOptOut.com
What a great resource to quickly get to the controls for privacy improvements at a number of big companies. 👍
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22 days ago by thingles
Jessie Frazelle's Blog: For the Love of Pipes
When you see technical people hammering away on a Unix prompt and wonder "Why don't they do that with a fancy graphical thing? It’s 2019 after all." this explainer is a good answer to why.
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23 days ago by thingles
You Deserve Privacy Online. Here’s How You Could Actually Get It | TIME
Apple's Tim Cook making the case that we need Congressional action on privacy online. I like the idea, but I’m skeptical of it happening anytime soon.

> The trail disappears before you even know there is a trail. Right now, all of these secondary markets for your information exist in a shadow economy that’s largely unchecked—out of sight of consumers, regulators and lawmakers.
>
> Let’s be clear: you never signed up for that. We think every user should have the chance to say, “Wait a minute. That’s my information that you’re selling, and I didn’t consent.”

In the meantime I will continue to run software to defend my privacy.
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29 days ago by thingles
What It’s Like to Be A Woman On the Internet – NewCo Shift – Medium
This is a must read to give some perspective to the experience that many women have on the Internet.

> And third, and most importantly, that sometimes being a woman on the internet can be a full-time job. As I mentioned before, my role as a Developer Advocate involves a lot content creation, face-to-face interaction, and requires me to have an online social presence. In the past, I’ve dealt with everything from men commenting on online videos of me saying I should “get a tan”, I’ve been DMed creepy messages on Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram/etc. with messages like “hi”, “nice smile you got there”, and “your beautiful” (I usually respond “ *you’re ”, on that last one), and have even stumbled upon entire forum posts about me and how as a woman with a non-traditional background I’m unqualified to work in tech. Over the last three years, I have learned to brush it off and I almost always “never read the comments” if I know they’re negative (in fact, I have a necklace and pin of the mantra). **But these things add up.**

Awareness of this, followed by action by **men on the Internet**, is important. First step is being aware.
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29 days ago by thingles
For Owners of Amazon's Ring Security Cameras, Strangers May Have Been Watching
This article had two central themes for me.

First, Ring isn't applying commercially reasonable protection to the video content their users are trusting them with. This data should be encrypted, and they should not be allowing anyone in the company access to the data.

Secondly, the ominous undertones of "Ukrainian" engineers in this seems like it’s trying to imply a lack of trust, or some implicit fear. I don't expect the article would have the same tone if engineers in France or Belgium were looking at the video. It shouldn't be any different.
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4 weeks ago by thingles
T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Are Selling Customers' Real-Time Location Data, And It's Falling Into the Wrong Hands
It is obvious that the telecommunications companies know your location when you have a mobile phone, but there is some trust that that data isn't being used for other purposes. We shouldn't trust.

> Microbilt buys access to location data from an aggregator called Zumigo and then sells it to a dizzying number of sectors, including landlords to scope out potential renters; motor vehicle salesmen, and others who are conducting credit checks. Armed with just a phone number, Microbilt’s “Mobile Device Verify” product can return a target’s full name and address, geolocate a phone in an individual instance, or operate as a continuous tracking service.

This is a crisis of ethics. How is it justifiable to track your location and sell it to other commercial entities when there is no expectation that that is occurring. This has the additional issue that there is no way for the user to even know that it is or is not happening since it’s on the providers end.
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5 weeks ago by thingles
Join Analog Social Media - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
Two things on this.

1. My book club read [Bowling Alone](https://rwbook.club/book/bowling-alone/) which covers the value of clubs, and sadly the decline of many of them in America. This is a good book to go along with Newport's thesis here.

2. While I’m talking about my book club, that is a "analog social media" activity that I value and treasure.

🤝
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6 weeks ago by thingles
From the Hyperlink to the Stream: Hossein Derakshan’s Critique of the Internet in the Age of Social Media - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
I **really** like this metaphor and insight. I went back and read the original post that Newport is highlighting as well. The "web" versus "stream" thought deserves further consideration. Organic webs of links feel very much like our brain, very human, even organic. A stream of stuff is very robotic, very mechanical, not human.
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7 weeks ago by thingles
Can the Government Block Me on Twitter?: 2018 Year in Review | Electronic Frontier Foundation
I continue to find this topic interesting, and I wish it would be taken a level higher. Why is it okay for government to use a service like Facebook to share information with citizens? Facebook and Twitter require you to create an account and be surveilled. Why is it okay for a government elected by citizens to choose a medium that requires creating an account with a for profit entity and then being surveilled to get information. Email doesn't suffer this problem, and works just fine. And, I don't think a government we elect should be allowed to block us. That takes it to the extreme of requiring surveillance to get the information, and then blocking citizens from even seeing the information.
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7 weeks ago by thingles
Why the US Air Force believes in Santa
An absolutely delightful article for Christmas on NORAD and Santa Claus… 🎄

> This year, 1,500 volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs will, once again, answer over 150,000 telephone calls and thousands of emails from children all over the world. And the NORAD Santa Tracker itself will receive over 20 million visits.

🎅 Via [Chad Burdette](https://www.linkedin.com/in/strategyanddatawins/).
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8 weeks ago by thingles
Ant Colonies Retain Memories That Outlast the Lifespans of Individuals | Science | Smithsonian
Insect colonies do some pretty incredible things:

> The Finnish myrmecologist Rainer Rosengren showed that when the ants emerge in the spring, an older ant goes out with a young one along the older ant’s habitual trail. The older ant dies and the younger ant adopts that trail as its own, thus leading the colony to remember, or reproduce, the previous year’s trails.

My [book club](https://rwbook.club/) read [Ant Encounters](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8895494-ant-encounters) several years ago and it had several incredibly interesting insights into how ant colonies work and learn.
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8 weeks ago by thingles
Stop Checking Your Email All The Time (How to Break Your Inbox Dependence And Get Real Work Done)
Everything in this is so true.

> The average person checks email 77 times a day, sends and receives more than 122 email messages a day, and spends 28 percent or more of their workweek managing a constant influx of email.

That is a ton of time, and even more when you consider the mental distraction of it all. I find this problem to be very difficult to solve though. Particularly in the workplace people have gotten used to sending emails and expecting immediate awareness. Any time you send an email "Are you coming to this meeting?" you reinforce that in your culture. To some extent, the adoption of messaging in business has been a welcome reprieve from this but not enough.

Personally I use Sanebox to keep emails in different bins, so I can check them on a more appropriate schedule based on the sender and content of the email. It’s a game changer! But I still would like to get to less time in email and more time focused on things that deliver more value.
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9 weeks ago by thingles
AlphaZero: Shedding new light on the grand games of chess, shogi and Go | DeepMind
The results of AlphaZero are amazing. It’s shocking how quickly it developed winning strategies only using basic rules and playing games against itself and other algorithms.

> However, it was the style in which AlphaZero plays these games that players may find most fascinating. In Chess, for example, AlphaZero independently discovered and played common human motifs during its self-play training such as openings, king safety and pawn structure. But, being self-taught and therefore unconstrained by conventional wisdom about the game, it also developed its own intuitions and strategies adding a new and expansive set of exciting and novel ideas that augment centuries of thinking about chess strategy.

I like how this article positions that human players will be able to develop new tactics and strategies by working with AlphaZero. That hybrid human plus algorithm approach will be common in a number of areas in the future, and already is in many. Before readers assume this means AlphaZero can do anything, remember that games are closed-systems with extremely specific rulesets. The world we all occupy is nothing like that.
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9 weeks ago by thingles
New Documents Show That Facebook Has Never Deserved Your Trust | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Everything you ever thought Facebook might do with your data that you don't want them to, they are doing. The end of this article hits it right:

> No matter how Zuckerberg slices it, your data is at the center of Facebook’s business. Based on these documents, it seems that Facebook sucked up as much data as possible through “reciprocity” agreements with other apps, and shared it with insufficient regard to consequences for users. Then, after rolling back its permissive data-sharing APIs, the company apparently used privileged access to user data either as a lever to get what it wanted from other companies or as a weapon against its competitors. You are, and always have been, Facebook’s most valuable product.

I continue to happily live in an Internet, with my 1Blocker setup, that doesn't include any Facebook properties. They simply cannot be trusted with any data, and they have the most of it.
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10 weeks ago by thingles
The Total Incompatibility of Mindfulness and Busyness
Article from [Jon Kabat-Zinn](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Kabat-Zinn), one of the leaders of mindfulness practices.

> Precisely because if we are overloaded to the point of being overwhelmed, it is likely that we will be so agitated, so distraught, so self-preoccupied that we won’t be able to meet anybody or any situation from a place of ease within the fullness of our own being in that moment, and that includes, most importantly, even an authentic meeting of ourselves and those we most care about.

This is worth reading a few times, just to make sure it sinks in. Via [Leah Cunningham](https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6474770166122102784).
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10 weeks ago by thingles
We Wasted Ten Years Talking About Performance Ratings. The Seven Things We've Learned. – JOSH BERSIN
Like this perspective on performance management systems. Things of note:

1. Curious to see [BetterWorks](https://www.betterworks.com) highlighted. They seem to show up in this topic more than most. Noting to look into their solutions more.
2. The feedback topic highlighted is a component of why I've been pushing to provide more structure and guidance to the 1:1 functions in our teams. There is an incredible amount of time and investment in 1:1's, and I think many of them do not have clear goals and objectives.
3. I like seeing OKR's highlighted here.
4. I like the way this framed the engagement topic, and how a manager should think about team engagement in their overall work.

Good things to consider as your organization evolves and grows. Via [Juselly French](https://www.linkedin.com/in/jusellyfrench/).
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11 weeks ago by thingles
Information Attacks against Democracies - Schneier on Security
Bruce Schneier is a security expert, not a politician, but for this summary of the paper he did provides interesting perspective.

> This framework not only helps us understand how different political systems are vulnerable and how they can be attacked, but also how to bolster security in democracies. First, we need to better defend the common political knowledge that democracies need to function. That is, we need to bolster public confidence in the institutions and systems that maintain a democracy. Second, we need to make it harder for outside political groups to cooperate with inside political groups and organize disinformation attacks, through measures like transparency in political funding and spending. And finally, we need to treat attacks on common political knowledge by insiders as being just as threatening as the same attacks by foreigners.

It’s thought provoking to consider the attack surfaces of political systems in this way.
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11 weeks ago by thingles
Is it finally time for media companies to adopt a common publishing platform? » Nieman Journalism Lab
As a former media CTO I found this article an interesting read, and close to a topic that I have owned previously in my career. I think this is a really tough call, even today. My perspective on the matter is influenced by some key thoughts.

1. In general, for digital companies, if it’s your business then you build it, if it’s not your business you should buy it. To be clear, "buy it" may not always mean buying it, you may use an open source product. I just mean _don't_ build it. Media companies make content. **Content is their business.** By that thought, you should build this. It’s expensive, but the options that you have to present content to customers is a key market differentiator and if you don't build it you will not be able to differentiate as well as another company.

2. The article references "unique content edge cases". My background in content publishing is all financial services, and that content definitely had "unique content edge cases". Financial stories reference companies and stocks, and those references have meaning that most generic content systems cannot deal with. If you carve out "unique content edge cases" is there anything left? Shouldn't all media companies have a unique content edge?

3. The market of companies that buy these solutions is not great. You have media companies, which are struggling with digital transformation. The lack of investment in that sector will limit the providers selling into that market. I would wonder if you will get a vibrant community of providers for such a small market that has a wide variety of growth rates.

This is a tough call for the digital team at any media company. I think you have to go to the core value that your company delivers, and be really honest about it, and then make the call. Deal with the limitations or benefits that that provides after.
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11 weeks ago by thingles
How Zapier Reached $35M ARR With This SaaS SEO Strategy
I like a lot of what Zapier is doing, and this analysis of their search strategy is superb.

> Rather than trying to pitch users on the value of integrating tools, Zapier realized early on that people were already looking for specific integrations. To capture this existing intent, Zapier decided to make the app partners in their integration ecosystem the stars of their marketing and piggyback on their success.

I’ve found these landing pages many times from various searches. It’s impressive how well they thought the process through beyond discovery, all the way to initial value!

> After creating login credentials, Zapier doesn’t waste that user intent by dropping new users into a central dashboard or control panel. Instead, users are dropped right into the integration set-up flow where they can get the integration from the CTA up and running.

Very impressive and good results. Plus the strategy gets stronger with more connectors!
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12 weeks ago by thingles
The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”
This article is a great reflection on how our devices have changed certain events.

> People were visibly enjoying the opening band, at least in part because that band no longer compete with the entire internet for the crowd’s attention. Even the crowd’s milling around and chatting between acts was so much more lively. People were either talking to their neighbors, or taking in the room. And everyone taking in the room was taking in the same room. It felt great.

I had heard that Jack White did this for his shows and I have want to go just to experience it, plus the music is great.
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12 weeks ago by thingles
Steve Blank How to Keep Your Job As Your Company Grows
I think people have heard this advice before but it’s worth repeating, as it still catches everyone off guard.

> What I wish I knew was that if you’re an early company employee, it’s not likely that the skills you have on day one are the skills needed as the company scales to the next level. This sentence is worth reading multiple times as no one – not the person who hired you, the VC’s or your peers -is going to tell you when you’re hired that the company will likely outgrow you.

If you want to read a whole book on this topic pick up The Leadership Pipeline where it highlights that you need to be very thoughtful when you move into a new role, specifically on what you are going to **stop doing**, so you can be successful. By the way, sometimes the stuff you may need to stop doing is stuff you really like.

I’ve personally done an annual inventory every year for the last twenty years or so where I try to objectively ask myself what I need to start or do more of than I’m doing now, and what I need to do less of or completely stop doing. Companies, successful ones at least, grow much faster than the talent in them often can. By willfully giving up things and reassessing your own skills to the organizations needs, you stand a much better chance of continuing to stay relevant in the organization. 🚀
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november 2018 by thingles
I asked an online tracking company for all of my data and here's what I found | Privacy International
There have been a number of articles where people have gotten their personal data from Facebook or Twitter and shown the shocking level of detail in the data. This article is even more interesting because it is looking at Quantcast and the data it collects.

> My Quantcast data, for instance, gives an eerily specific insight into my work life at Privacy International. From my browsing history alone, companies like Quantcast don’t just know that I work on technology, security, and privacy – my news interests reveal what exactly it is that I am working on at any point in time. My Quantcast data even reveals that I have a personal blog on Tumblr.

There are hundreds of firms like this that sit behind every website you visit and track incredible amounts of data on everything you do. I would highlight that every URL can then be mined to generate even more insight into you.

I block Quantcast and tens of thousands of other trackers on every browser I use with 1Blocker. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you should use a tool like 1Blocker. Surfing the web without privacy protection exposes you to incredible levels of surveillance. 🕵️‍♂️
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november 2018 by thingles
Developers On Call
This is a good assessment of many of the angles of an on-call rotation in a technology team. I agree with the conclusions, and also agree with the premise that all team members for a service or set of services should be in the on-call rotation.

> Teams where the people creating the software help support the software achieve better quality through aligned incentives and increased awareness.

I like that this article calls out the elephant in the room, that there is a general culture in many organizations that developers are "above" being on-call. That is crap and needs to be dispelled whenever it is brought up. If anything, I would highlight that there are a lot of developers are just aren't all that great at being on-call. The skill argument should go the other way. Great operations engineers know how their software behaves, and they know how to push it and make it do what they want. Often the developers that wrote it have no clue. Also, the general stress and pressure of incidents is something that you need to have the stomach for.
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november 2018 by thingles
Frank Chimero · Everything Easy is Hard Again
Frank Chimero is typically an enjoyable read and this doesn't let you down.

> I wonder if I have twenty years of experience making websites, or if it is really five years of experience, repeated four times. If you’ve been working in the technology industry a while, please tell me this sounds familiar to you.

People will say that technology has a fashion thing. This is what they are referring to.

> It seems there are fewer and fewer notable websites built with this approach each year. So, I thought it would be useful remind everyone that the easiest and cheapest strategy for dealing with complexity is not to invent something to manage it, but to avoid the complexity altogether with a more clever plan.

This is what experience brings. Early in their career technologists pile on complexity to solve any problem. After years of supporting those Towers of Babel, simpler solutions tend to look more appealing.

> Last month, I had to install a package manager to install a package manager. That’s when I closed my laptop and slowly backed away from it.

🤦‍♂️
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november 2018 by thingles
Google Chrome’s Users Take a Back Seat to Its Bottom Line | Electronic Frontier Foundation
This article is the biggest part of why I won’t use Chrome.

> Google is the biggest browser company in the world. It’s also the biggest search engine, mobile operating system, video host, and email service. But most importantly, it’s the biggest server of digital ads. Google controls 42% of the digital advertising market, significantly more than Facebook, its largest rival, and vastly more than anyone else. Its tracking codes appear on three quarters of the top million sites on the web. 86% of Alphabet’s revenue (Google’s parent company) comes from advertising. That means all of Alphabet has a vested interest in helping track people and serve them ads, even when that puts the company at odds with its users.

Remember, Google was the last browser to support Do Not Track years ago. Nothing has changed regarding Googles incentives. If you value privacy, I don’t see how you can use Chrome.

The article gives Chrome credit for pushing HTTPS adoption on the web. I’m skeptical of that as well. Let’s Encrypt is the service that enabled that, and Google got a huge benefit from HTTPS allowing there bots to get a very strong signal about content quality from the usage of HTTPS.
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november 2018 by thingles
A Dark Consensus About Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley - The New York Times
This is such a hard issue. I feel very conflicted about it. I used to spend a lot of time on my Apple //c back in the day, but what you could do was so different. Now I find my son sitting on his iPad and in reality all he's doing is watching TV. No brain stimulation.

> “I try to tell him somebody wrote code to make you feel this way — I’m trying to help him understand how things are made, the values that are going into things and what people are doing to create that feeling,” Mr. Lilly said. “And he’s like, ‘I just want to spend my 20 bucks to get my Fortnite skins.’”

It is perhaps too nuanced, but I think you have to move beyond just "screen time" and really look at the activity. What is your child doing on the device? Are they programming? Diving into the tarpits of social media disgust? Watching TV mindlessly? Reading a book? Reading the largest encyclopedia in the world? Learning how to build a robot?
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october 2018 by thingles
Tim Cook data privacy speech: Apple CEO calls for comprehensive data laws in America - The Verge
Apple CEO [Tim Cook](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook) presenting on the complete disregard of privacy in the technology industry. His term of "data industrial complex" is very accurate, and I completely agree with his extension that "this is surveillance".

He coins four essential rights: right to have personal data minimized, right to knowledge, right to access, and right to security. I like the simplicity.

You can see the video [directly on YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVhOLkIs20A) or if you prefer read the [ArsTechnica transcript](https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/10/tim-cook-calls-for-strong-us-privacy-law-rips-data-industrial-complex/).

Cook references [Steve Jobs' talking about privacy](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39iKLwlUqBo). I appreciate that Apple is leading the tech industry on this important topic. It’s also clear that Cook is personally passionate on this topic. He even pulls [Henry David Thoreau](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau) in at the end.
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october 2018 by thingles
Apple Shortcuts: The Bicycle for the Mind is Back, but it’s Electric — Prolost
This is more than just an intro to Shortcuts on iOS 12. There is a complete history of user space programming tools from Apple over the years, going back to HyperCard. Skip the history part if you just want to read about Shortcuts.

> Shortcuts, the app, is my favorite thing to happen to the iPhone since the camera got decent. I truly feel that my relationship to my iPhone has fundamentally changed, because I can now build things on it that make it do things that only I would ever want. Useful things, but also fun things. Complex things and simple things.

I’ve built incredible stuff with Shortcuts and am continuing to do more. My Weekly Thing newsletter is entirely built with Shortcuts and various API’s and a little Python thrown in for fun. It is worth the effort to learn Shortcuts. They are very approachable.
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october 2018 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
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 by thingles
LKML: Linus Torvalds: Linux 4.19-rc4 released, an apology, and a maintainership note
The technology industry has an unusual amount of overly aggressive communication and criticism. Flame wars and such got their start somewhere. [Linus Torvald's](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Torvalds), the creator of Linux and Git, two of the most important software products of our era is legend for being a complete jerk to people. This about face and apology is significant.

> This week people in our community confronted me about my lifetime of not understanding emotions. My flippant attacks in emails have been both unprofessional and uncalled for. Especially at times when I made it personal. In my quest for a better patch, this made sense to me. I know now this was not OK and I am truly sorry.

This is a really big deal as Linus is a [role-model for many technologists](https://ds9a.nl/articles/posts/linus-communications/). If he thinks it is appropriate to tear people apart over their code, maybe that would be a cool thing to do in a code review at the office! Hell no.

I was also pleased to see [this commit](https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=8a104f8b5867c682d994ffa7a74093c54469c11f) to adopt a proper Code of Conduct for Linux Kernel development. To give a sense of how deep Linus' views affect the Linux Kernel team before this Code of Conduct they had a Code of Conflict!

> The Code of Conflict is not achieving its implicit goal of fostering civility and the spirit of 'be excellent to each other'.

Glad to see these changes coming. 👏
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september 2018 by thingles
To Cut My Spending, I Used Behavioral Economics on Myself - The Atlantic
I buy into this approach a lot. Tammy and I use YNAB to track our personal finances and we enter each transaction by hand. I avoid payment methods that are too convenient. I refuse to use the scan to pay features at coffee shops because I know it takes you further from the decision to spend money. 💸 Some things should not be low friction. Thought experiment, I've often wondered what if you set your password as a trigger. So, on Amazon if you set your password to "DoYouReallyNeedToBuyThisStuff?" would that trigger your mind to reconsider?
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september 2018 by thingles
Forget the new iPhones, Apple's best product is now privacy
I have been saying this for a while. I think that Apple has clearly identified protecting user privacy as a long-term focus area and a place they can differentiate and compete against Google, Facebook and many others (except Microsoft, mostly).

> Apple’s devices and software–and the company’s ethos–are now steeped in user privacy protections that other tech companies would never dream of embracing. And this isn’t a stance Apple has only recently adopted. It is something that has been building for years at the company, starting under Steve Jobs’ leadership and rapidly accelerating under Tim Cook’s reign.

This is why Apple was willing to take such a public position against the FBI when asked to bypass encryption.
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september 2018 by thingles
Habits vs. Workflows - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
Newport's post makes me feel good about the time I spend optimizing and defining my own workflows. I also like the connection to habit.
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september 2018 by thingles
Researchers to release first-ever genetically engineered mosquitoes in Africa - STAT
This headline caught my attention, and it’s actually using gene drive technology.

> Teams in three African countries — Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda — are building the groundwork to eventually let loose **“gene drive” mosquitoes**, which would contain a mutation that would significantly and quickly reduce the mosquito population. Genetically engineered mosquitoes have already been released in places like Brazil and the Cayman Islands, though animals with gene drives have never been released in the wild.

That immediately reminded me of one of the most memorable passages from A Crack in Creation, the story of CRISPR.

> CRISPR gene drives, by contrast, are self-sustaining; since the mode of inheritance appears to outsmart natural selection, the modified insects propagate and pass on their defective traits indefinitely. This thoroughness is what makes gene drives so powerful—and so alarming. It's been estimated that, had a fruit fly escaped the San Diego lab during the first gene drive experiments, it would have spread genes encoding CRISPR, along with the yellow-body trait, to **between 20 and 50 percent of all fruit flies worldwide**.

This population of mosquitos being released are 99% male, so there shouldn't be any risk.
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september 2018 by thingles
Sprints, marathons and root canals
This is how I tend to think about this type of team driven work in a product backlog. I like the name "sustainability tasks" and also agree with the sentiment that these may or may not appear in a backlog.

> Putting regular sustainability tasks into a calendar would just create noise. Putting sustainability tasks into a product roadmap has the same effect. Having a budget removes the pressure to plan, prioritise or estimate such tasks, and avoids the need to compare them to features that bring immediate value.

Allocating budget and thinking about sustainability as an investment criteria works well, and gives you a more direct way to think about that work. You may even change that investment rate from time to time.
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september 2018 by thingles
Tesla, software and disruption — Benedict Evans
This article captures part of the intrigue I have about Tesla, and what got me to place the order for my Model 3. I’m particularly interested in the integrated nature of the software stack in a Tesla, and the fact that Tesla is so far ahead of any other automotive company in how they change it. I think of what Apple did with the iPhone. Before the iPhone, the phone you bought was the same forever. With the iPhone, you bought a phone and it got better with software. The thing you already owned did new stuff it didn’t do when you bought it. Tesla has that potential, and I want to be part of it.
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september 2018 by thingles
What do you believe now that you didn't five years ago? Centralized wins. Decentralized loses. - High Scalability
There is much truth in this article, even though it’s a little hard for me to like it.

> What's more, consumers simply do not care. Users use. Only a small percentage have the technical sophistication to understand why they may want to preferentially use decentralized applications for technical reasons. Saying "It's like X, but decentralized", does not resonate, especially when the services are not as good. We had decentralized Slack way before Slack...yet there's Slack. You know it's bad when GitHub managed to recentralize an inherently distributed system like git.

Unfortunately you could say the exact same paragraph and replace "centralized" with "private".

This article reminded me of one of my most memorable conversations I had with a venture capital friend, [Michael Gorman](https://www.linkedin.com/in/mbgorman/). We were talking about the Internet and I commented that "the Internet prefers decentralization". On one level, a very technical one, that is true. The Internet is a massively distributed system. It can suffer significant outages without having total network failure. But I was mistakenly extending that concept to things being built on the Internet. Michael replied that he saw nothing to support that, that the Internet was full of "winner take all" businesses, with complete centralization and not even room for a 2nd place. He was absolutely right.
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august 2018 by thingles
Is It Okay to Say “Hey Guys”? - The Atlantic
The gendered nature of the term "guys" was brought to my attention first by [Bridget Kromhout](https://bridgetkromhout.com). At the time I honestly didn’t really hear what she was saying, but the matter stuck with me and over the last few years I've largely removed "guys" as a reference to a group of people. I think this is important, especially in industries like tech with such large gender imbalances.

> I also heard that guys could grate on women working at male-heavy companies. In tech in particular, some told me they saw the word as yet another symptom of a female-minimizing industry. “There are a lot of guys in tech and ‘guys’ is used all the time in my work and social environments by both men and women, but since it doesn't resonate with me anymore, I do feel like I'm not part of the group,” says Amy Chong, a 29-year-old user-experience researcher in San Francisco.

Per the article I don't like using the term "folks". Perhaps it is because I’m from the midwest, but I have the perception that it feels too folksy. I tend to just say sentences differently, so that I can use terms like "everyone" instead. Sometimes I get tripped up, but that is pretty rare these days.

I do now notice much more when people do use "guys" to address groups of men or women. The oddest to me is when I see a woman address a group of all women and use the term "guys". I don't correct these, but I do find it an odd use. The article actually comes to the conclusion that that is all probably fine, and will continue and that "guys" will lose it’s gender even more than it has in the past. 🤷‍♂️
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august 2018 by thingles
Beyond Interactive: Notebook Innovation at Netflix – Netflix TechBlog – Medium
The scale of this effort at Netflix is amazing.

> Every day more than 1 trillion events are written into a streaming ingestion pipeline, which is processed and written to a 100PB cloud-native data warehouse. And every day, our users run more than 150,000 jobs against this data, spanning everything from reporting and analysis to machine learning and recommendation algorithms.

I haven't used [Jupyter](http://jupyter.org) but it looks really compelling. I like how Netflix is using them for the exploration, as well as putting them into production pipelines.
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august 2018 by thingles
How I Read
I like this process for picking books to read. When you consider a book can take a few to dozens of hours to read, it makes sense to invest in a process to insure that that time is well spent. I like the various stages in this process. The tooling to pull in rating data seems a bit over the top.
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august 2018 by thingles
Working with timezones | David Turner says…
I like the use of graphs to show timezone effects! It’s simple, and very effective. Also, for people that have never had to write software dealing with complex timezone issues this is a good primer on the incredible complexity of timezones.
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august 2018 by thingles
The Speed Trap: When Taking Your Time [Really] Matters
I enjoy Tom Peters unconventional writing. This is a great 25 page manifesto for leaders.
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august 2018 by thingles
The Bullshit Web — Pixel Envy
A great overview of the mess of junk put in most websites.

> So, with an internet connection faster than I could have thought possible in the late 1990s, what’s the score now? A story at the Hill took over nine seconds to load; at Politico, seventeen seconds; at CNN, over thirty seconds. This is the bullshit web.

My personal sites have none of this. And this is why you must run software like 1Blocker. It’s not just about ads, it’s about all this bullshit.
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august 2018 by thingles
Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On?
A good reminder for leaders that emotional intelligence is broader than many people think. You need a solid foundation to engage with people, but in the workplace you also have difficult topics to navigate at times and those take a broader set of capabilities.
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july 2018 by thingles
What we buy can be used to predict our politics, race or education — sometimes with more than 90 percent accuracy - The Washington Post
Good examples of how a little bit of metadata can be used to make highly accurate assertions about the households and people behind it. ✋
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july 2018 by thingles
Atlassian + Slack | The Official Slack Blog
This is pretty amazing! Atlassian just gave up in the team chat space.

> As part of this partnership, Atlassian will discontinue Hipchat and Stride, and provide a migration path to Slack for all their customers. We are purchasing the IP for Hipchat Cloud and Stride to better support that path to Slack, while Atlassian is making a small, but symbolically important investment in our business.

😲 This [Bloomberg](https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-26/slack-and-atlassian-team-up-to-take-on-microsoft-in-chat-software) article has some of the details on how this went down. I was curious who approached who, and it was Atlassian that approached Slack.

> Taking out a competitor is good for Slack, said Butterfield: “There’s fewer choices for people.”

Slack has more leverage to raise prices. 💰
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july 2018 by thingles
devopsdays Minneapolis 2018 Keynote - Amy Patton, SPS Commerce
[Amy Patton](https://twitter.com/pattonamyj) of SPS Commerce delivered a fabulous keynote at [devopsdays Minneapolis](https://www.devopsdays.org/events/2018-minneapolis/welcome/) on adopting DevOps in the enterprise. Great perspective and recommendations for teams looking to be more effective!
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july 2018 by thingles
The P Rules
Everything in this post is awesome.

> Well, my leadership team and I soon learned that people hated our reviews. Folks who hadn't even been to one feared them by reputation. Why? We were overzealous about our own contributions and under-appreciative of the presenting team, which was disrespectful. Luckily, several regular attendees gave us that feedback and we were able to turn things around with what I call “The P Rules,” which I left written on our whiteboard for years.

This is great advice for teams and for leaders.
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july 2018 by thingles
Relentlessly Turning Input Knobs To 0 - Feld Thoughts
I feel like I've been doing this for a few years now. I would add another thought though, which is I would start with turning the input **channels** as low as possible, and then reduce the number of things in those channels. Right now I only have three channels that are meaningful: email (traditional, regular email), messages (95% iMessage) and feeds (all via Feedbin). Note that social media isn't a channel. Then I filter inside those channels.
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july 2018 by thingles
How the Disposable Straw Explains Modern Capitalism - The Atlantic
I thoroughly enjoyed this article both for the content and the history covered, but the twist at the end makes you think, a lot. _Don't cheat and read the end first!_ 🙂
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july 2018 by thingles
Scaling Agile FAQ | Silicon Valley Product Group
I've been reading a lot about SAFe and I know a number of people that are intrigued by what it offers. I've seen the struggles of Scaling Agile beyond a small number of teams and SAFe seems to have a thought for how that can be done. In the interest of sharing the positive over the negative, I came to this link from [Marty Cagan](https://www.linkedin.com/in/cagan/)'s total and complete takedown of SAFe, **[Revenge of the PMO](https://svpg.com/revenge-of-the-pmo/)** (please read in addition to this link)!

He highlights that many organizations, in his view, have yet to truly embrace the most important part of agile.

> So then – and still today – in most companies, the stakeholders still provide the teams with roadmaps of what features and projects the stakeholders think best. Even though the teams use Agile methods, the teams are not empowered and accountable in the sense I’m describing. They are there to implement.

Honestly, I would agree with that assertion.

> A couple years ago I wrote about the [root causes of product failure](http://www.svpg.com/product-fail) in product companies and I identified ten key attributes of Waterfall and project-mindset. I went through and compared this list with SAFe, and literally all ten problems exist in SAFe. Indeed, I would argue that all ten problems are inherent in that process.

He does give that there are three areas where SAFe may work well, and I note that one of them is a "big regarding-platforming event". I wonder if this goes back to product versus project organizations?

I strongly endorse his view that tools are not agnostic of culture.

> But it’s critical to realize that most tools are not agnostic. Their creators are trying to facilitate a certain way of thinking or working. You need to ensure that’s how you want to think or work.

Both of these articles are worthy reads to make sure that you see all sides of this agile discussion.
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july 2018 by thingles
Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up | TechCrunch
Amazingly deep article on all aspects of Apple's upcoming "reboot" of their Maps effort. Maps have gotten better since the alarmingly poor launch, but that improvement hasn't been able to deal with a fundamental issue of poor data on the bottom.

> Decision made, Apple plowed ahead, building a product that relied on a patchwork of data from partners like TomTom, OpenStreetMap and other geo data brokers. The result was underwhelming.

I've always felt this decision was odd for Apple and driven by missing the importance of map data early on. They had to partner so they could get to market, after relying for so many years on Google's maps. But Apple's path has always been to own all parts of the stack. The iPhone is Apple hardware, software and Apple everywhere in between. Maps was a mashup of different data.

It’s interesting to me that the mapping vans have LIDAR on them as well. They are capturing an immense amount of data here. And pulling in more data from the millions of iPhones in use. They are still focusing on privacy as well in the effort.

The results of this are going to be very interesting to see.
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june 2018 by thingles
How Silicon Valley is responding to the immigration crisis - Recode
I am often very critical of Facebook, but this is an example of something that would definitely not happen without Facebook. This fundraiser started by trying to raise $1,500 for [RAICES to fund legal support for families separated at the border](https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/bondfund). Within 2 days they had raised $1 million and are now over $20 million! I bypassed Facebook, but appreciated them highlighting this organization and [donated](https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/bondfund) myself.
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june 2018 by thingles
The Legend of Nintendo - Bloomberg
An in-depth background on Nintendo. I find Nintendo a very interesting company with such a rich history. I’m happy that the Switch is experiencing strong growth. Nintendo, for me, captures the essence of fun in games.
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june 2018 by thingles
Silicon Valley has become a ‘moral cesspool,’ says management expert Tom Peters - Recode
Fabulous podcast! 🎧 I first read [Tom Peters](http://tompeters.com) "Re-imagine!" a long time ago and he has a new book, The Excellence Dividend, that he is making the rounds in support of. I really enjoyed this interview. Very candid, blunt and succinct.
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june 2018 by thingles
Steve Blank The Innovation Stack: How to make innovation programs deliver more than coffee cups
Innovation needs a framework. Throwing hackathons at problems has a high likelihood of backfiring with frustration on adoption and outcomes.

> As organizations have moved from – individual innovators working alone, to adopting innovation tools and activities, to teaching teams about evidence-based innovation – our most important realization has been this: Having skills/tools and activities are critical building blocks but by themselves are insufficient to build a program that delivers results that matter to leadership. It’s only when senior leaders see how an innovation process can deliver stuff that matters – at speed—that they take action to change the processes and procedures that get in the way.

This framework for thinking about innovation and it’s components is interesting.
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june 2018 by thingles
Say the Hard Thing – Rands in Repose
Some very practical and useful suggestions for giving and receiving candid feedback.

> Your goal in life is to make feedback in all directions no big deal. You and your team never start in this state, they earn it. They start with small spoken observations that slowly turn into more useful feedback. They watch to see if each other are listening to the feedback and eventually acting on it.3 Once everyone has seen that feedback is both shared and acted on, they begin to feel more comfortable sharing large, more complex, and harder feedback. Why? Trust.

This sentiment definitely resonated with me.

> We exacerbate the problem because we don’t want to say the hard thing because we have the same voice in our head telling them, “It would be hard for me to hear this, so I don’t want to say it.”

It’s hard to give and get candid feedback. I tend to think we all feel we are better at it than we are. Leaders particularly have to focus on this __all the time__.
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june 2018 by thingles
Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy? | The New Yorker
In a recent dialog about privacy I was asked "Why do you care so much about privacy?" and I my argument kept going back to "because it’s my right", which wasn't doing it for the person I was talking to. This article, and this argument, resonated with me.

> Possibly the discussion is using the wrong vocabulary. “Privacy” is an odd name for the good that is being threatened by commercial exploitation and state surveillance. Privacy implies “It’s nobody’s business,” and that is not really what Roe v. Wade is about, or what the E.U. regulations are about, or even what Katz and Carpenter are about. The real issue is the one that Pollak and Martin, in their suit against the District of Columbia in the Muzak case, said it was: liberty. This means the freedom to choose what to do with your body, or who can see your personal information, or who can monitor your movements and record your calls—who gets to surveil your life and on what grounds.

I care about my privacy because I care about my liberty!
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june 2018 by thingles
Laziness Does Not Exist – E Price – Medium
This article is written from the position of a psychology professor understanding students, but it caught my attention and make me remember [Do The Work](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10645233-do-the-work) by Steven Pressfield as well.

> If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context. It’s that simple. I’m so grateful to Kim and their writing for making me aware of this fact. No psychology class, at any level, taught me that. But now that it is a lens that I have, I find myself applying it to all kinds of behaviors that are mistaken for signs of moral failure — and I’ve yet to find one that can’t be explained and empathized with.

I read this in the context of leadership and it is a good reminder that as a leader and manager you need to start with the assumption that people are trying to do the right thing. Most people want to do the right thing and be successful.

> People do not choose to fail or disappoint. No one wants to feel incapable, apathetic, or ineffective. If you look at a person’s action (or inaction) and see only laziness, you are missing key details. There is always an explanation. There are always barriers. Just because you can’t see them, or don’t view them as legitimate, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Look harder.

This is a great call to action for leaders. If you see a lack of progress, what might you be missing that is inhibiting that progress?
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june 2018 by thingles
How Disney is turning women from across the company into coders
This is an impressive program that Disney is running to get more women into technology roles.

> The CODE in CODE: Rosie stands for Creating Opportunities for Diverse Engineers. The “Rosie” part references Rosie the Riveter, the symbol of World War II’s working women; an internal CODE Rosie logo even depicts Minnie Mouse in Rosie’s iconic rolled-up-sleeve pose. In particular, the program pays tribute to the “Rosies” who programmed the U.S. Army’s pioneering ENIAC computer back in the 1940s.

It is impressive in its scope and I admire the approach. A program like this could make a difference. 🤔
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june 2018 by thingles
Follow the CAPEX: Separating the Clowns from the Clouds – Platformonomics
Capital spending by cloud providers is a reasonably good metric for their growth and investment in the future.

> As I keep repeating, CAPEX is both a prerequisite to play in the big boy cloud and confirmation of customer success. Both IBM and Oracle are tens of billions of dollars in cloud infrastructure CAPEX behind Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

The amount that major cloud providers spend on capital is amazing. This article looks at the next rung of cloud providers to see how they compare.
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june 2018 by thingles
Internet Trends Report 2018
Mary Meeker's Internet Trend reports are things of legend now. At 294 slides there is a lot here, as always. Interesting observations:

* 5.9 hours spent online per day. Up from 2.7 in 2008 and 5.6 just last year. Wondering where all your time went? There it is.
* There are 450 million WiFi networks. Wow! Turns out IPv4 lasted longer than we ever thought. 😳
* China has 500 million mobile payment users.
* There are over 30 million Amazon Echo devices out there.
* You are worth $34/year to Facebook.
* E-commerce is 13% of all retail sales.
* Alibaba is clearly an Internet giant that most in the US have little knowledge of.
* Flexibility is most desired benefit employees seek.
* Time spent on social media alone, 135 minutes/day.

This is all worth a couple of times through.
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june 2018 by thingles
Why Is Your Location Data No Longer Private? — Krebs on Security
This is a long article from Krebs but it’s a great read on the real world activity happening behind net neutrality. Additionally, I feel like legislative activity in this area shows the most direct line to lobbying and money-driven votes.

> So the carriers are already reneging on their promise to customers that they won’t share location data without customer consent or a court order. But where does that leave us on net neutrality? The answer is that the major wireless carriers are already doing what was expressly prohibited under the FCC’s net neutrality rules: Favoring their own content over competitors, and letting companies gain more favorable access by paying more.

The data that we transmit when we use our mobile devices and broadband services is immensely valuable in the market. Unless legally blocked, this data will be sold. And the sellers and buyers have no interest in your privacy or anything else about protecting you. This is the same argument I often make online with free websites like Facebook. Here I find it more appalling because we all pay, in some cases a lot, for these services! We should have an expectation of privacy.

> When I first saw a Carnegie Mellon University researcher show me last week that he could look up the near-exact location of any mobile number in the United States, I sincerely believed the public would be amazed and horrified at the idea that mobile providers are sharing this real-time data with third party companies, and at the fact that those third parties in turn weren’t doing anything to prevent the abuse of their own systems.

So the tinfoil hat people saying that our mobile phones are being used to track us everywhere are right. And it turns out most people seem to not care or not understand.
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may 2018 by thingles
Second Life: Rethinking Myself Through Exercise, Mindfulness, and Gratitude – MacStories
Federico Viticci is one of my favorite tech authors, and this post has plenty of that, but it’s also a reflection on how he has changed his life after a cancer diagnosis a few years ago.

> It's important to me because I can't squander this opportunity. Because life isn't like an arcade – you can't put more coins in to continue – yet somehow I was given the chance for a do-over and I failed to appreciate it at first. Now I have to make sure I can return the favor with positivity and stories that can help others.

This is a great article on its own, but is also a treasure trove of resources for people who want to use technology to make their lives better.
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may 2018 by thingles
Why we owe it to ourselves to spend quiet time alone every day
I can attest to feeling this and know many friends, particularly technologists, who do as well. I've referred to this as "digital fatigue" in the past.

> The destruction of our inner selves via the wired world is an even more recent, and more subtle, phenomenon. The loss of slowness, of time for reflection and contemplation, of privacy and solitude, of silence, of the ability to sit quietly in a chair for fifteen minutes without external stimulation — all have happened quickly and almost invisibly.

I believe this is part of the reason people are seeking out practices like meditation in seemingly larger numbers than the past.
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may 2018 by thingles
Supply-Chain Security - Schneier on Security
Schneier does a good job of illustrating just how hard (maybe impossible) it is to insure that the software-based devices that run much of our infrastructure and services have not been tampered with for security purposes. One of the very believable items shared in the Snowden papers was that the NSA can install a backdoor in US-made network gear before it is sent overseas. There isn't a clear answer to this issue.
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may 2018 by thingles
Map of Metal
This is amazing! 🤟 My metal residency lies squarely in Thrash Metal according to this map, and some side trips to Industrial Metal. 🎧 That makes sense with Speed Metal and Original Hardcore Punk being the contributors to Thrash. Independent of the content this is incredibly well done way to present a complex topic. I love how it embeds YouTube videos for the songs too. Also note how time is represented so well! 👍👏
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may 2018 by thingles
Is GraphQL The Future? - Artsy Engineering
A call to consider GraphQL in a bigger-picture context.

> It lets you model the resources and processes provided by a server as a domain-specific language (DSL). Clients can use it to send scripts written in your DSL to the server to process and respond to as a batch.

I hadn't considered the connections the author is making here, but they seem valid and extend the way you can build on GraphQL in very novel ways.
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may 2018 by thingles
You Can’t Handle the Truth About Facebook Ads, New Harvard Study Shows
Interesting study suggesting the ads become less effective when people understand the data tracking informing the ad. As I read this I wondered if this is maybe the same part of our decision process that turns people away from foods that have “imitation” or “artificial” prominent in the packaging. Do we see overly complex delivery systems as not being genuine?

Also, I’m so tired of ad industry representatives justifying a complete disregard of privacy and intrusive surveillance tactics under the guise of “people want **relevant** advertising”. This is a poorly formed bit of verbal jujitsu to get us to try and think people want to be surveilled?
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may 2018 by thingles
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