Fast Software, the Best Software


Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused. Like a good tool, it often means that it’s simple, but that’s not necessarily true. Speed in software is probably the most valuable, least valued asset. To me, speedy software is the difference between an application smoothly integrating into your life, and one called upon with great reluctance. Fastness in software is like great margins in a book — makes you smile without necessarily knowing why.

Ain’t that the truth. I’ve moved away from a lot of software because of its lag and bloat. Excel on the Mac is the absolute worst, particularly when working with East Asian languages …

Office 365 declared illegal in German schools due to privacy risks


What is true for Microsoft is also true for the Google and Apple cloud solutions. The cloud solutions of these providers have so far not been transparent and comprehensibly set out. Therefore, it is also true that for schools the privacy-compliant use is currently not possible.

— Hessian commissioner of Data Protection and Freedom of Information

This is interesting, as my employer has just invested a whole year and a bunch of cash moving us onto O365, primarily because of Germany and the complicated set of rules surrounding privacy. As an educational institution, I wonder if this will affect our architectural decisions … 🤔

Capuchin monkeys have a 3,000-year archaeological record


Bearded capuchin monkeys are more versatile tool-users than chimpanzees. They select rocks of the right sizes and shapes for a variety of tasks, from digging to cracking open a range of nuts and seeds (each has its own size and weight specifications for the perfect cracking tool).

This is downright fascinating. It would be interesting if, in a few thousand years, we find another species becoming intelligent in a manner similar to Homo sapiens. What will we do if there’s another intelligent species that is evolving before our eyes? Will we choose to leave the planet to let them evolve? 🤔

A $4bn biz without a live product just broke the record for the amount paid for a domain name. WTF is going on?


It is the Facebook we've all dreamed of. And announced it at the start of this month. Not only that but it raised an extraordinary $4bn in the lead-up to the launch, so the company is supposedly flush with cash, and says it will spend $150m on building out Voice to rival the current giants. Spending $30m on a domain name that explodes the brand is therefore almost trivial.

This is absurd. Millions for a domain name that’s $10/yr. to renew is not a good use of money given that an entire TLD can be launched for less than half of this.

There's only one problem though: the closer you look at Voice and the more it falls apart. […] First off, raised its $4bn in cryptocurrency. Investors used one cryptocurrency to buy another cryptocurrency and then used a wildly varying dollar-to-crypto-coin exchange rate to state its value. […] Two more red flags: it is based in the Cayman Islands, and every part of the company is run by over-excited tech bros with little or no experience in anything beyond blockchain hype.

Ah, okay then. It’s an episode of Hustle.

The New Wilderness (Idle Words)


In the eyes of regulators, privacy still means what it did in the eighteenth century—protecting specific categories of personal data, or communications between individuals, from unauthorized disclosure. Third parties that are given access to our personal data have a duty to protect it, and to the extent that they discharge this duty, they are respecting our privacy.

Seen in this light, the giant tech companies can make a credible claim to be the defenders of privacy, just like a dragon can truthfully boast that it is good at protecting its hoard of gold. Nobody spends more money securing user data, or does it more effectively, than Facebook and Google.

Who knows what evil lies in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows …

Have I Been S0ld? Troy Hunt's security website is up for acquisition


Troy Hunt, inventor and operator of the popular security website Have I Been Pwned (HIBP), is putting the service up for sale.

Hopefully Troy receives his due for this excellent service. Maybe then he can enjoy a bit of downtime and relax a bit.

Chinese government blocks Guardian website


The Guardian’s website has been blocked in China, amid a crackdown by the country’s authorities on international news websites to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Given how often and how blatantly The Guardian lies1, I can’t say I blame the Chinese censors for blocking the opinion site.

  1. The me at the beginning of the year would not believe the me today is saying this, but such is life.

PinePhone $149 Linux smartphone could support Ubuntu, Sailfish, Maemo, LuneOS and more


The PinePhone is a cheap, Linux-ready smartphone that's expected to ship in limited quantities later this year. It's not exactly a high-power device by modern smartphone standards, but with an expected starting price of $149, it will be a lot more affordable than some of the other Linux phones on the horizon.

I know a lot more people who are excited for this than the Librem 5 …

PragerU — Fireside Chat Ep. 84 - Get yourself a hobby!


Technology has killed hobbies.

An interesting chat on the importance of having an outlet that we are passionate about. While I could argue that technology has most certainly not killed hobbies, modern tools have certainly removed a lot of incentives for people to acquire specialized skills.

News aggregator app Flipboard breached: All passwords reset after hackers pinch user data


News aggregation app Flipboard has publicly confessed that hackers accessed personal data about its members. […] The databases that got away, according to a Flipboard statement, included account credentials, names, hashed and salted passwords, and email addresses. Some of these were SHA-1 hashed, while those created after March 2012 were hashed and salted with the more modern and tougher-to-crack bcrypt function.

Well isn't this just lovely? Fortunately, just about everyone I know who uses Flipboard also uses a password manager. This should limit the damage, but I'm willing to bet that most people using the service do not have unique passwords in place …