- The Fantasy of Opting Out – from Giacomo an interesting read about the “surveillance society” we live in, and one of the technique to try to avoid it: obfuscation;
- Stop Trying to Raise Successful Kids (And start raising kind ones.) – thanks Paolo for the input … being a parent is a thought work, and having good examples to follow is always an help;
- Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound — this article is living in my browser since… forever! It makes a strong point, and it’s also one of the most difficult article I’ve read. I use to re-read it (or try to) like an exercise to my attention;
- Google Spent 2 Years Researching What Makes a Great Remote Team. It Came Up With These 3 Things
- Why Mazda is purging touchscreens from its vehicles — a really interesting point of view on a delicate topic;
- It’s the middle of the night. Do you know who your iPhone is talking to? — don’t let you fool about the “iPhone” mention in the title. Nowadays anything connected seems to ‘call home’ constantly. And that’s a problem!
- Goodbye, Chrome: Google’s web browser has become spy software – in June this was another nail in Chrome’s coffin for me…
- Latest Firefox Release is Faster than Ever — this article is from late May 2019. At the end of November I’m still super-happy having abandoned Google’s Chrome and re-embraced the Mozilla browser ad my default;
- I wrote the book on user-friendly design. What I see today horrifies me — The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.
- The Coalition Out to Kill Tech as We Know It
- The Danger of Comparing Yourself to Others — I constantly compare myself to other people, usually up against persons I admire from an ethical or professional stand point. So this was a cool reading;
- Appl Still Hasn’t Fixd Its MacBook Kyboad Problm – Apple’s third-generation butterfly keyboard was supposed to fix all the previous defects but buyers are still having problems
- Ahead of Its Time, Behind the Curve: Why Evernote Failed to Realize Its Potential – a long, but truly interesting article on the history of Evernote, one of the most revolutionary software out there … probably killed by bad marketing;
- VPN – a Very Precarious Narrative – OK, using a VPN is a good habit, but this not save you from all the other perils out there on the web;
- Unmasked: What 10 million passwords reveal about the people who choose them – Out there we can find many dictionaries of compromised passwords, this little study shows some interesting facts about the people chosing them;
If you have something to say, say it. If you have something to share, share it. Don’t invent things to say or to share just such that you can package up that pink slime as a golden nugget of truth to trade for someone’s contact information.
That’s the same insincere, manipulative logic behind influencer marketing. It’s all about disguising the sale with a thin, flimsy layer of purchased credibility. No wonder we’re all so skeptical and cynical these days. Because we have a million good A/B-optimized reasons to be.
Not everything needs to be tracked. Not everything needs to pay off. It’s perfectly fine to do things because it’s fun, feels good, is interesting, tickles your brain, or just helps someone out.DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON
Perona views Google’s use of reCaptcha as an “online land grab” that strengthens Google’s hold over the internet. He thinks reCaptcha is similar in this way to other Google products like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a program to make news sites’ pages load faster on mobile devices but has caused some consternation from publishers over whether Google is taking web traffic away from news sites. Same goes for Google Chrome, which the Washington Post recently called “surveillance software” (I’m among those who have ditched Chrome for Firefox).
“It’s always a double-edged sword,” Perona says. “You gain something, but you’re also giving Google a little more control over everything online.” The gain is security and a better user experience, but privacy may suffer.Katharine Schwab, Fast Company
The latest version of the bot detector reCaptcha is invisible to users and has spread to more than 650,000 websites. It’s great for security—but not so great for your privacy.
This post has gone on more than long enough, but before I finish I want to address two common counterarguments I’ve heard from people I generally respect in this area.
One argument is that Google already spies on you via cookies and its pervasive advertising network and partnerships, so what’s the big deal if they force your browser into a logged-in state? One individual I respect described the Chrome change as “making you wear two name tags instead of one”. I think this objection is silly both on moral grounds — just because you’re violating my privacy doesn’t make it ok to add a massive new violation — but also because it’s objectively silly. Google has spent millions of dollars adding additional tracking features to both Chrome and Android. They aren’t doing this for fun; they’re doing this because it clearly produces data they want.
The other counterargument (if you want to call it that) goes like this: I’m a n00b for using Google products at all, and of course they were always going to do this. The extreme version holds that I ought to be using lynx+Tor and DJB’s custom search engine, and if I’m not I pretty much deserve what’s coming to me.
I reject this argument. I think It’s entirely possible for a company like Google to make good, usable open source software that doesn’t massively violate user privacy. For ten years I believe Google Chrome did just this.
Why they’ve decided to change, I don’t know. It makes me sad.Matthew Green