/Tag: tech

Surveillance is the new black.

I saw this on Mastodon a week or so ago but… oh Stylish no. This is why we can’t have nice things, damnit.

I quite extensively use custom CSS on websites, mostly to change everyone’s ugly-ass default fonts,1 as well as some general ad removal and layout clean-up for sites I visit a lot. So I’ve switched over to the Stylus extension, and thankfully porting all my old content over wasn’t too hard.

For extra paranoia, I also added an entry in my hosts file to redirect to, just in case. Because, yanno. Privacy. What even is that, nowadays, anyway?

  1. I’m looking at you, Roboto. ^
2018-07-20T09:10:20+00:0020th July, 2018|Tags: privacy, tech|0 Comments

You must gather your party before venturing forth.

First activity with the new laptop: D&D!

Some thoughts:

  • The keyboard is… weird. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in a… very flat. low-key-travel way.
  • The battery drained fast. Like… really, really, within-three-hours fast. I’m hoping this is because I literally only just pulled it off backup restore before the game, so the OS was still thrashing itself indexing files and re-syncing with Dropbox/iCloud/whatever. Because three hours out-of-the-box battery life for a laptop is… not great.
  • The only ports are four USB-Cs/Thunderbolt 3s. Yes, even the power jack. This is very… Apple (I’m old enough to remember when they were the first to do things like remove floppy and CD drives, and this feels like an extension of that) but… in the meantime, damn USB-A to -C hubs are expensive.
  • The screen both feels (and is, resolution-wise) wa-aa-aa-ay bigger than my old MBP, even though they’re both 15-inchers.
  • Speaking of, this one’s also a fair bit lighter (the old laptop is a beast, weight-wise, which I discovered while lugging it through the world’s airports).
  • This is the bottom-of-the-line 15-inch MBP, which means 16 GB RAM and the 256 GB disk. Apparently my old computer also had a 256 GB disk, which means… I have already run out of space on the new device. Er… oops.
  • Space Grey is the best color.

Also, D&D went pretty well and our paladin now has a pet mimic, so… that’s the important thing.

2018-07-19T08:37:28+00:0019th July, 2018|Tags: apple, tech|0 Comments

Apple Cash.

Dense-but-fascinating look at Apple’s cash reserves (and loans and share buybacks).

One of the most interesting observations is, I think, the fact that Apple has so much cash because it’s so profitable it makes more money than it has things to spend it on; it basically spends as much money as it wants on R&D and still has scads of cash left over. Other companies with similar “problems”, i.e. Amazon, “solve” it by constantly expanding their business into different areas (cloud services, logistics, unstaffed grocery stores, etc.). But Apple… basically does exactly and only what Apple’s always done since it was founded; make personal computing devices.1

(And, well. There’s also this…)

  1. Unless, I dunno. The Apple Car gets announced in between when I put this post on the queue and when it pops off. Although, even then, modern cars—particularly of the electric variety—are arguably just “computers that move”, so… ^
2018-02-01T07:50:32+00:0018th July, 2018|Tags: apple, economics, tech|0 Comments

The “future” of “money”.

I can’t believe people think cryptocurrency could be useful when you can decide to buy something and then the network can just go “Uhh know what, we’re not gonna recognize that purchase, but we’re going to keep the fee anyway”. It’s like Amazon cancelling an order on you, but keeping the shipping fee. Maybe it’s not exactly the same, I don’t care, please don’t correct me if you’re a Bitcoin person.

Andrew S. tries cryptokitties.

I’m always down for people figuring out exactly how much sand the cryptocurrency castle is built with, and this post is just pure white-gold Bondi.

2018-01-29T07:42:12+00:0011th July, 2018|Tags: bitcoin, tech|0 Comments

Millennial midlife crisis is getting nostalgic and making a website in Notepad with only HTML.

2018-07-04T08:07:17+00:003rd July, 2018|Tags: nostalgia, tech|Comments Off on

The Nakamoto Scheme.

The Nakamoto Scheme is an automated hybrid of a Ponzi scheme and a pyramid scheme which has, from the perspective of operating a criminal enterprise, the strengths of both and (currently) the weaknesses of neither.

The Nakamoto Scheme draws strength from the same things which make pyramids and Ponzis so compelling, in that it promises insane investment returns, can be accessed by the man on the street with almost no effort at all, and recruits individual participants as new, self-interested evangelists of the scheme.

It has no current weakness in that the regulators, blinded by lobbying from the Valley, have seen these schemes as futuristic and cutting-edge rather than what they really are: victim factories, which in the next crash will produce hundreds of thousands of howling investors with little formal legal recourse due to four years of inaction on the regulators’ part.

Preston Byrne on the new Ponzi.

2018-01-23T08:48:03+00:003rd July, 2018|Tags: tech|Comments Off on The Nakamoto Scheme.