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Delete your Twitter.

Your regularly scheduled reminder that Twitter is a cesspit that actively makes the world worse and that there are significantly better alternatives.

Disclaimer: I still have a Twitter account though it’s mostly a placeholder. I use it mostly for promotion and following a bunch of journalists as a kind of lazy cross-publication newsfeed.1 But all casual/social/personal stuff goes to Mastodon.

  1. And desperately wish there was a better alternative for the latter. []
2020-05-27T10:57:44+10:0027th May, 2020|Tags: mastodon, social media, tech, twitter|

Nixbiquitous.

What if Linux took over the world and basically no-one noticed?

The obvious answer is, of course, that the vast majority of *NIX-based systems most people use are propriety, i.e. they’re Android and Mac-/iOS, meaning the *NIX community itself generally doesn’t “count” them. And the place where most “traditional” *NIX-type OSes are used, i.e. server infrastructure, is generally fairly inscrutable to non-technical types. But the reality is still the reality, and it’s actually Windows that’s the weirdly different hold-out operating system in the ecosystem.

2020-01-29T09:44:20+11:0023rd May, 2020|Tags: tech|

Monopoly.

Of course Giphy is going to retain its own brand. If they renamed it to “Facebook Tracking Pixels”, usage might drop off. Think about all the messaging apps that don’t offer Facebook integration for security/privacy reasons […] where Giphy images appear. You know, like Apple’s Messages. Well, now Facebook has tracking pixels in them.

John Gruber on acquisitions.

I know it’s kind of conceptually funny to think of Facebook getting smacked with antitrust lawsuits over, like, buying a website of dank memes… but this is the reason that it’s Big Srs, Actually.

2020-05-18T12:12:09+10:0018th May, 2020|Tags: privacy, social media, tech|

Joy.

At the beginning of 2015, Alex Balk, then-editor of the now-defunct website the Awl, wrote a post of advice for young people in which he supplied three laws about the internet. The first: “Everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people.” The second: “The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything.” But Balk’s third law was most prescient, especially as we end this miserable decade: “If you think The Internet is terrible now, just wait a while.” He went on: “The moment you were just in was as good as it got. The stuff you shake your head about now will seem like fucking Shakespeare in 2016.” Reader, we’ve waited a while, and today it seems indisputable that Balk’s law has held: The 2010s is the decade when the internet lost its joy.

Clio Chang on the corporate internet.

Things That Give Me Joy On The Internet:

  • my blog
  • Mastodon
  • writing crappy little scripts to do things like crossposting between my blog and Mastodon
  • dank memes.
2020-01-15T09:15:55+11:007th May, 2020|Tags: culture, internet, tech|

Our identifiers, ourselves.

Long look into surveillance capitalism.

The EFF calls this “corporate surveillance” but honestly I’d consider that to be something different (i.e. the surveilling of employees by their employers)…

2020-01-15T09:02:16+11:006th May, 2020|Tags: privacy, tech|

Omission.

Larry Page’s efforts have made it trivial to find virtually anyone’s contact information, date of birth, siblings, and address, but effectively impossible to find his children’s names. Mark Zuckerberg wants to make everyone in the world closer, except his neighbours.

They’re fully aware of the problems they have played a part in creating, but the business models of the companies they started are dependent on everyone else not figuring that out.

Nick Heer on exit hatches.

The comment about Zuckerberg is, for those of you who missed it, because the dude bought out all his neighbors’ houses and demolished them to give his own residence more “privacy”…

(See also: Most tech company execs severely restrict their children’s access to laptops, phones, and so on, and definitely don’t allow them to do schooling like that. Often while simultaneously pushing massive one-laptop-per-child-style initiatives on everyone else’s children…)

2020-01-13T13:16:52+11:002nd May, 2020|Tags: privacy, tech|