Friday, April 13, 2018

Instagram Looks Like Facebook’s Best Hope - Bloomberg

Remember, Instagram == Facebook.

Most Instagram users are unaware of all this. The service is widely seen as an escape from Facebook, so Instagram has to tread carefully to protect the app’s reputation.

If your concern with Facebook is privacy, Instagram isn’t a place to solve that. If your issue with Facebook is something else than maybe it’s fine. I’d recommend using something like to publish your own photos.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wavelength for | Manton Reece

I really like what Manton Reece is doing around, and now pulling in a native podcasting capability opens up another avenue for people to express themselves independent of big tech platforms. 🎧

The best text editor for macOS – The Sweet Setup

I’m sticking with Sublime Text as my editor of choice but it is interesting to read about Atom and it’s model for extensibility. I agree with this writeup about BBEdit. It is historically great, but if you don’t know it I don’t think I would be investing in learning it due to the lack of extensibility. ⌨️

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Johnny Cash: American Recordings Album Review | Pitchfork

I so distinctly remember getting this CD when I was in college and being instantly transfixed by it. 🎶

Cash is listening. He thinks Rubin wears clothes that “would have done a wino proud,” but he likes his individualism, and he knows that his own back is against the wall. So he goes to the hills above the Sunset Strip. He sits down in Rubin’s living room and plays songs that mean something to him, just him and his guitar, and Rubin rolls the tape. In three days, they’ve got north of 30 songs. Cowboy songs, folk songs, and old songs figure heavily. You know, songs about God, murder, trains, and everything else that makes America.

I loved reading the back story on this. I think the amazing thing about the Cash / Rubin collaboration is it cemented Johnny Cash concretely in multiple generations. How many artists ever do that? Not many.

Productivity - Sam Altman

I love the direct, to the point, writing in this. I also like that Altman’s advice is very pragmatic and not just on doing stuff, but also looking at sleep and nutrition.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Don’t Give Away Historic Details About Yourself — Krebs on Security

🔒 Interesting that bad actors are using silly social games to collect information on people that can then be combined with compromised passwords to answer security questions! Personally I always fill these security questions with random words, generated by 1Password and stored there. I use words since you sometimes have to speak these over the phone. Never share the same answers, and they are random.

JS - Blog - GraphQL Best Practices

Highlights on things to watch out for when using GraphQL.

For me personally, the thing that astounds me about GraphQL isn’t just the awesome technical solutions it enables, but also the organizational impact of a more decoupled environment where teams can develop independently of one another and focus more on upholding public contracts rather than knowing too much about internal implementations.

Thank you for making 10 years of GitHub possible

This is a fun reflection on the first 10 years of GitHub.

For 10 years, you’ve shared, tinkered, and built on GitHub from all around the world. Before we head into the next decade, we’ve collected some of our favorite moments and milestones—just a few of the ways you’ve pushed software forward.

The impact that GitHub has had on open-source, and coding practices in general is amazing. There are many services that exist today that would not if git and GitHub were not created. Let’s hope that GitHub stays in good hands.

The Nintendo Switch's Parental Controls Are Amazing

I hadn’t dug into the Switch Parental Controls but this article caught my eye so I did. Using a completely separate app that a parent installs on their smartphone to manage the switch is a very good idea, and enables a bunch of additional use cases. 👏

Farewell Social Media | James Shelley

Thoughtful writing on opting out of social media entirely.

I’m out. There are many things I hope to do while I am alive… trying to convince somebody’s advertising algorithm to pay attention to me is not one of those things. Multiply this conviction by the sense that spending time on social media is a suboptimal use of time that comes at the expense of things I truly care about and leaving seems evermore desirable. Just one life to live: I refuse to be a collateral pawn in someone else’s attention war.


Database Flow

Interesting to see this providing GraphQL endpoints to databases.

Database Flow is an open source self-hosted SQL client, GraphQL server, and charting application that works with your database. Visualize schemas, query plans, charts, and results. You can run Database Flow locally for your own use, or install to a shared server for the whole team.


Back to Basics: Coffee Brewing Methods & Gear — Tools and Toys

☕️ Very nice overview of coffee fundamentals.

I thought I’d put together a “back to basics” guide on coffee brewing. We’ve certainly covered this topic in a number of ways, so think of this guide as a compilation/remix of all that information.

I would agree with everything in here. It doesn’t address the next level topics on espresso, but this is a good starter for doing coffee well.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Troubleshooting kernel crashes under pressure

This is a fun read if you are curious to know what it feels like to be debugging a production problem on a major web property in the heat of the moment. This would have been a tricky one to track down. 🐛🔍

Friday, April 6, 2018

Radio Silence | Network monitor and firewall for Mac

I like the simplicity of this app. I have long felt that I should be using Little Snitch to keep applications on my computer from doing things I don’t like. Little Snitch is really complicated though, and Radio Silence has a much simpler interface. I’m giving this a try on the free trial.

Trump’s Campaign Said It Was Better at Facebook. Facebook Agrees - Bloomberg

Wow — 5.9 million different versions of ads? That is incredible.

Trump ran 5.9 million different versions of ads during the presidential campaign and rapidly tested them to spread those that generated the most Facebook engagement, according to the paper. Clinton ran 66,000 different kinds of ads in the same period.

Independent of the politics, you should assume that whatever advertising message you are getting on the Internet you may be the only one getting it, and it may be targeted to take advantage of specific information known only about you. Also, run an ad blocker. I use 1Blocker.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Halide, Darkroom and Rekindling Photography as a Hobby - the candler blog

I’ve been slow to adopt RAW photography on my iPhone, even though I did all RAW photography on my Canon 5D Mark II. I didn’t realize how well Halide and Darkroom were working together. I bought and setup both of them and love the power it gives me on my phone. Beware though, fiddling with RAW photos eats up battery quick.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A radical proposal to keep your personal data safe | Richard Stallman | Opinion | The Guardian

I really want to like Stallman’s perspective on privacy, but I find his positions to be disconnected from reality. I once got the opportunity to have lunch with Stallman when he was in Minneapolis and I asked him how his positions extended to services over the web. He flatly just said he doesn’t use them because it’s not free open source software. I insist that there must be a position in the middle, as Stallman’s view is not workable.

Instagram suddenly chokes off developers as Facebook chases privacy | TechCrunch

I know a lot of people that worry about Facebook but don’t seem to worry at all bout Instagram. Remember, Instagram is owned by Facebook. Use at your own risk. I won’t use Intagram as their Terms of Service take ownership and give them all rights to repurpose all of your photos for any use they want, including selling them. Gross.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Introducing 1Password Business —AgileBits Blog

This new service makes total sense from AgileBits. 1Password for Teams and 1Password for Families are great services, but were designed for small groups of people. This new service adds a number of features to work for very large groups of people. I continue to be very happy with 1Password.

Anchors Reciting Sinclair Propaganda Is Terrifying in Unison

This is why we shouldn’t have single entities controlling what appear to be a distributed channel of media. It appears locally sourced, but that isn’t necessarily true. The video showing the various anchors saying the same thing is worrisome.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Episode 4: @patrickrhone

My friend Patrick Rhone was featured on’s Micro Monday podcast. As always, very insightful comments on the philosophy of software and services and why he authors his content where he does. 👏

How Do You Make or Maintain Friends? Put in the Time. | Psychology Today

Making friends takes time. It’s interesting to see it quantified to such a granular level.

He found that it took about 50 hours of interaction to move from acquaintance to casual friend, about 90 hours to move from casual friend to friend, and more than 200 hours to qualify as a best friend.

Now you know why it was so easy to make friends when you were in the college dorm with nothing else to do.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Announcing the fastest, privacy-first consumer DNS service —Cloudflare Blog

Cloudflare continues to impress me and I love what they have done with this new DNS service. A long time ago I used OpenDNS but stopped using it when I realized they were selling data on your DNS queries. You should know that your ISP is doing that already. Comcast is looking at DNS queries to profile the services used in your house and then target advertising to you. Using a safe, secure and private DNS service is a very good idea. 👏

The Critical Missing Piece of DevOps…And How to Find It | AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog

Great article highlighting the challenges between vertical and horizontal alignment of work. One view of DevOps would leave no central service to manage processes. This is maybe okay in a very small organization, but fails very quickly. Another view suggests everything should be done horizontal via SOP and escalations, completely devoid of the benefits of DevOps thinking. The right answer is to do a bit of both, and take the best parts of each. That is possible.

The Most Common Type of Incompetent Leader

This is an important read. 👓

Absentee leaders are people in leadership roles who are psychologically absent from them. They were promoted into management, and enjoy the privileges and rewards of a leadership role, but avoid meaningful involvement with their teams.

This is why you your personal engagement as a leader is so important. If you are not engaged, you cannot possibly be a leader. If you ever feel disconnected from the mission of your work, as a leader you should step aside.

Saturday, March 31, 2018


I love this idea. Feed discovery is one of the bigger challenges of the open web. 👍

Welcome to feedBase, which as its name implies, a database of feeds. I’m asking people who read my blog to upload their OPML subscription lists, so we can mash them together and produce a graph of users and feeds that you can walk, learn from, and discover new feeds to subscribe to.

I signed up and uploaded my OPML to see how it works. I like this, but think it is probably a bigger project than Winer may be envisioning.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica - Schneier on Security

Schneier is absolutely right to highlight that Facebook is not the only company doing pretty unsavory things with your data. Put this as a perfect example for why I believe you need to use a content blocker in your web browser. Surfing the web without a content blocker is like trying to deal with email with no spam protection.

RSS Readers Are Due for a Comeback: Feedly, The Old Reader, Inoreader | WIRED

I’ve never left the feed reader world and am a very happy user of Feedbin. This article is a good overview of the RSS ecosystem and various services. Feed discovery is still the biggest issue here. Innoreader helps with that, and I’m curious how Dave Winer’s new feedbase project works out.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Back to the Blog - Dan Cohen

I’d love to see more of my friends go back to their blogs. Some nice perspective on doing that.

42nd and Vanderbilt

Photographer Peter Funch took photos at the same intersection in New York from 2007 to 2016. The photos are interesting as is the observations of the people that are in them. The introduction is a good read. 📷

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Textile Facebook Parser

Nice utility to take your exported Facebook data and get the pictures back in a way that is usable.

How I Erased 5000+ Facebook Comments and Likes

This is neat, although I don’t know why people bother doing this. Does anyone really believe that Facebook deletes things when you send a delete command? I feel with near certainty that it simply sets the information into a hidden state, not deleted. Seems like a waste of effort.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Using Ethics In Web Design — Smashing Magazine

I wasn’t expecting a comprehensive and well reasoned perspective on ethics in web design from Smashing Magazine but here it is. I like the thought and detail that has been put into this, and applaud them considering ethics in the design. 👏

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