Johnathan.org

October 12, 2018

DuckDuckGo climbs to 30 million daily searches, up 50% in a year

I came across this tweet via TechCrunch:

This is fantastic news! I love that a true alternative to the mammoth that is Google (and distant second mammoth Bing). Before the end of the year, I’d like to seriously consider converting to DuckDuckGo and Proton Mail for email. We’ll see.

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Sometimes Dead is Better

Looking forward to this one.

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Stratechery: The Battle for the Home

Ben Thompson:

If the first stage of competition in consumer technology was the race to be the computer users went to (won by Microsoft and the PC), and the second was to be the computer users carried with them (won by Apple in terms of profits, and Google in terms of marketshare), the outlines of the current battle came sharply into focus over the last month: what company will win the race to be the computer within which users live?

This is a great read that everyone should comb over. Ben takes a look at each of the four (Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook) and their strengths, weaknesses, their go-to-market status,  business models, and their overall strengths and weaknesses. In general, Ben creates great content and if you agree, consider a Stratechery membership.

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Kanye West pitches Trump on ‘iPlane’ built by Apple, delivers table-top Apple store ‘keynote’

From 9to5Mac:

Kanye West was in Washington D.C today to meet with President Trump in the Oval Office. As you might expect from such a combination of two people, the day wielded some interesting tidbits: an “iPlane” replacement for Air Force One designed by Apple, West’s uber-secure iPhone passcode, and a table-top keynote at the Georgetown Apple store.

That’s the only paragraph you really need from this story because he said this, in all seriousness:

A piece of work, for sure. 

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October 10, 2018

Empathy Sebatical

Gabe, the Mac Drifter on Empathy:

Empathy requires us to inhabit the emotions of another person. That can only be done through building our own life experiences as stand-ins for the emotions of a foreign experience. Then we project ourselves into the life of the other. It’s often an unconscious response managed by our mirror neurons.

Since the 2016 election I have lost a lot of my empathy. Perhaps I’ve focused too much attention on my differences with people that cheer for racism or clap for sexism and violence against the dis-empowered. Whatever it is, I can no longer empathize with a large number of people in the world. Empathy can give us joy as easily as it can give us sorrow. I now find it difficult to mirror the joy in other people and this makes me sad. Empathy is one of the characteristics that make us special in the animal kingdom and I feel lesser for it’s frequent absence.

He brings up a good point, especially in the context of, as this New Yorker article puts it, the benevolent dictator Linus Torvalds steeping down as the head cheese over Linux. 

I’m not convinced Linus will ever change. Maybe I’ve also lost a lot of my empathy.

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October 9, 2018

Bovet’s $460,000 Watch

It might be $460,000, but it’s an utterly amazing $460,000.

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Wi-Fi Switches from Obscure Protocol Names to Simple Generation Numbers

Glenn Fleishman is great at explaining Wi-Fi things, especially why we’re moving away from 802.11-prefixed indications:

The reason for switching to numbers stems from a desire for an easier way to talk about Wi-Fi across versions. I’ve been writing about Wi-Fi since 2000, and it has always been a pain to explain what the letters and numbers mean because most people don’t really need—or want—to know anything but “this works with that at the highest speed of X Mbps.”

This explanatory nightmare worsened in the early 2000s, as the Wi-Fi trademark began to incorporate many different technical standards. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi logo gained add-ons that referred almost exclusively to standards governing spectrum usage and bandwidth rates.

Simplifying device compatibility through better naming seems like a clever idea that’s long overdue, and one that should help people who have no interest in technical standards arcana. The next time someone asks me what Wi-Fi router they should buy, I look forward to saying, “Wi-Fi 6. Look for it on the box.”

Before you know it, we’ll be having conversations starting with “what’s better about Wi-Fi 7?”

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October 8, 2018

Alphabet Shuts Google+ Social Site After User Data Exposed

Reuters:

Google will shut down the consumer version of its social network Google+ after announcing data from up to 500,000 users may have been exposed to external developers by a bug that was present for more than two years in its systems.

The company said in a blog on Monday it had discovered and patched the leak in March of this year and had no evidence of misuse of user data or that any developer was aware or had exploited the vulnerability.

Google said a software glitch in the social site gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between a major redesign in 2015 and March 2018, when internal investigators discovered and fixed the issue.

Whoops.

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Not Voting Doubles the Value of Someone Else’s Vote

David Foster Wallace wrote a great piece for The Rolling Stone back in 2000 that’s still absolutely true, today (emphasis mine):

If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.

This is absolutely true. By not voting, you’re giving 2x the power to the other side and that’s exactly what they want. This concept plays out every day on both sides of the fence and our constantly low voter turnouts are proof that it’s working. It’s painfully obvious to those who bother to pay attention (read: not those who don’t give a shit and never vote) that high voter turnout would have swayed elections in vastly different directions over the years.

Please, register to vote. Then, actually vote. If you’re in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, or Texas, the deadline is tomorrow. Make sure you’re in good status and start doing something with your power as a voter.

If you need a reminder

(h/t @nitch via Kottke.org)

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October 7, 2018

NY Times: Banksy Painting Self-Destructs After Fetching $1.4 Million at Sotheby’s

From The New York Times:

The British street artist Banksy pulled off one of his most spectacular pranks on Friday night, when one of his trademark paintings appeared to self-destruct at Sotheby’s in London after selling for $1.4 million at auction.

Because of course.

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Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography