Judge slams hospital staff for comparing COVID vaccine mandate to Nazi crimes | Ars Technica

US District Judge Lynn Hughes called that argument “reprehensible” and issued sweeping rejections of their other claims that the mandate violates state and federal laws. In the five-page ruling filed Saturday, Judge Hughes wrote that the lawsuit by the 117 employees—led by coronavirus-unit nurse Jennifer Bridges—contained false statements, misconstrued legal provisions, wrongly claimed coercion, and made otherwise invalid arguments.

Judge Hughes also noted that on May 28, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccination, given reasonable accommodations.

Good.

More Than Manchin

I have said many times that I believe our national government has been based on two strong political parties competing for votes in the marketplace of ideas. I still believe that is the strongest manifestation of our political system. But I recognize that is not what we have now. The only way we can restore that order is to figure out how to foster action in government. And for now, the desire for action rests within the Democratic Party. The Republicans want power, to be sure, but to what end? It doesn’t seem in service to the needs of the nation. 

I most certainly agree it's not in the service of the people, but to what end indeed.

Hospital suspends 178 health care workers for failing to get COVID vaccine | Ars Technica

Still, the small faction of vaccine holdouts is vocal—and feisty—about its objections to the mandate. Dozens of people, including hospital staffers and supporters, gathered outside of Houston Methodist Baytown campus Monday evening to protest the mandate as some unvaccinated employees completed what could be their final shifts at the facility. People held signs reading “Vaxx is Venom,” “Don’t Lose Sight of Our Rights,” and “No Forced Vaccines.”

The safety of the general public is not now, or ever, eclipsed by your personal rights.

White House, Capito infrastructure talks collapse - The Washington Post

Biden had originally proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent as part of the plan, but many Republicans remained adamant that they wouldn’t support a change in the corporate tax rate. Biden later showed an openness to only raising the rate to 25 percent, and last week began pushing Republicans to see if they would accept any tax changes whatsoever.

It is no secret that the US is in dire need of massive overhaul. Enough budget acrobats, raise taxes on the corporate wealth and get it done.

Verizon says forcing people off old plans to get FCC subsidy isn’t “upselling” | Ars Technica

Verizon is defending its practice of forcing customers to switch plans to get a government-funded $50-per-month discount, telling the Federal Communications Commission that this is not the same thing as "upselling." Verizon has partially backtracked from this restrictive policy but told the FCC it will take "about a month" to deploy a billing-software update that will let more home-Internet customers get the discounts without changing plans.

It's exhausting to keep up with ISPs that are paying lip service to "improved customer care" while really wringing them out for the good of shareholders. 🥵

Trump Ban From Facebook Upheld by Oversight Board - The New York Times

Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, said the Facebook board’s decision was “extremely disappointing” and that it was “clear that Mark Zuckerberg views himself as the arbiter of free speech.” And Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said Facebook, which faces antitrust scrutiny, should be broken up.

Again. What is it about a private business, moderating, and removing users from their platform that leads people to 'free speech'? Facebook is not a public space, the internet as a whole is sure, hence Trump's new 'platform' blog is perfectly fine, but there is no expectation of free speech on a closed platform run by a private business. Like saying the New York Times won't print my article ranting about why Miracle Whip is superior to mayonnaise is stifling my free speech!

Ajit Pai joins American Enterprise Institute and a firm that invests in ISPs | Ars Technica

Pai is just another in a long list of FCC Chairmen, from both sides of the aisle to come and can from the very companies they are suppose to regulate. 😤

The cable industry's biggest lobby group, NCTA–The Internet & Television Association, is led by former FCC Chairman Michael Powell. The wireless industry's biggest lobby group, CTIA, is led by former FCC member Meredith Attwell Baker. Baker also spent time as a lobbyist for Comcast.

Pai isn't the only former FCC chair to join a private-equity firm shortly after leaving the commission. William Kennard, a Democrat who chaired the FCC during President Bill Clinton's second term, went to the Carlyle Group investment firm in 2001. Powell joined Providence Equity Partners in 2005. Democrat Julius Genachowski, Obama's FCC chair from 2009 to 2013, joined the Carlyle Group in 2014.

AT&T now offers a prepaid 100GB data-only plan for $55 per month - The Verge

AT&T says it will now offer a prepaid 5G data-only plan with up to 100GB of data for $55 per month — a big upgrade from its previous offering of 40GB for $75

I tend to be hard on ISPs, and for good reason. So I figure I should call out when they do something good too. I'll leave the argument for data caps on a consumable that is not a finite resource for another day 😉.

Biden economy and stock market have defied Trump predictions of doom - The Washington Post

rebounding economy is headed for its best year since 1984, according to the International Monetary Fund. The U.S. economy likely expanded in the first quarter at an annual rate of 6 percent and should accelerate in the months ahead, economist Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics told clients this week. More than 1.3 million jobs have been added since the election.

Shocking

The Future of Apple Podcasts

  1. 💸  Just like the App Store, Apple owns the customer relationship and can choose to offer a refund if they decide you haven’t fulfilled the benefits offered in your subscription. You have to reimburse the money, but Apple retains their cut, natch.

We're going to learn a lot about Apple Podcast Subscriptions over the coming months. Number ten from Nathan Gathright really gets to the heart for creators and why I don't believe this will change the landscape of podcasting.

Arkansas House passes unconstitutional bill putting creationism in schools | Ars Technica

Although the legal history of creationism in schools is available to anyone with a working Internet connection, the bill passed with 72 representatives, all Republicans, voting in favor. Of the chamber's 22 Democrats, 21 voted against it, and one other didn't vote.

It's not clear whether these legislators are simply unaware of the legal precedents or if they are simply using this bill as an opportunity to signal their cultural affiliations. We've contacted its two sponsors to find out. As of publication time, neither had responded.

I know there are more important things that legislators in AK could be working on. 🙄

Binance Labs leads $1.6M seed round in DeFi startup MOUND, the developer of Pancake Bunny | TechCrunch

Built on Binance Smart Chain, a blockchain for developing high-performance DeFi apps, MOUND says Pancake Bunny now has more than 30,000 daily average users, and has accumulated more than $2.1 billion in total value locked (TVL) since its launch in December 2020.

I really want to make something with an awesome name like "Pancake Bunny".

Also, I'd be hard pressed to find another paragraph stuffed with so many buzzwords.

Housing prices are out of control. Can Biden’s infrastructure bill change that? - Vox

Where are all the houses?

Restrictions like minimum lot sizes, mandatory parking requirements, and other prohibitions on multi-family housing that Biden’s plan references have the effect of reducing the supply of housing. For example, if there is a requirement that for every unit a developer has to provide two parking spaces, that ensures they have to set aside land for parking that could otherwise have been used for building more homes. Frequently, this leads developers to build fewer units — and more expensive ones at that.

According to the Urban Institute, by the end of 2020, there was only 2.5 months’ supply left of housing, meaning “at the current sales pace, the inventory of homes nationwide will be exhausted.”

Make no mistake about it. These restrictions are not in place on accident. They are purposely enacted to be exclusionary.

Clarence Thomas blasts Section 230, wants “common-carrier” rules on Twitter | Ars Technica

Thomas acknowledged that private entities usually aren't constrained by the First Amendment but added that the First Amendment may apply on a private company's online platform "if the government coerces or induces it to take action the government itself would not be permitted to do, such as censor expression of a lawful viewpoint."

This is not even remotely the right point in the stack for content moderation. Twitter, Facebook and other platforms are not public spaces affording guarantees of free speech. People removed from the platform, I would argue are not even censored. They are free to continue to spread whatever message they would like on the Internet. No one can silence your ability to spread your message on the internet. That's what makes it great, and sometimes terrible. Using a personal domain, or any other service where they have not been removed for violating terms of service or code of conduct, everyone is free to put whatever they'd like out there. No one is entitled to access on another service.

Coffee Heart Machine Learning

Still, it’s not definitive. Rather, it’s part of a growing body of evidence that, at the moment, can say little about how much coffee people should drink. “It may be good for you,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “I think we can say with good certainty it’s not bad for you.” (Additives are another story.) Getting more specific will require more research. Last year, Mozaffarian and others called on the National Institutes of Health to establish an institute for nutrition science that could coordinate those efforts and, crucially, help people interpret the results. “We need a well-funded, well-organized, coordinated effort to figure out nutrition,” he says. “No single study gets to the truth.”

The short answer is YES!, more people should drink coffee, it's delicious.

Opinion | How to Reduce Shootings - The New York Times

Gun enthusiasts often protest: Cars kill about as many people as guns, and we don’t ban them! No, but automobiles are actually a model for the public health approach I’m suggesting.

We don’t ban cars, but we work hard to regulate them — and limit access to them — so as to reduce the death toll they cause. This has been spectacularly successful, reducing the death rate per 100 million miles driven by 95 percent since 1921.

It is pretty clear how to do it. It is just a matter of public will to get it accomplished.

Dying in a Leadership Vacuum | NEJM

But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.

Just 90 days or so into the changeover of administration and Congress, it is increasingly clear that we the public did not clear house nearly far enough.

Incarceration Rates by Country 2021

The United States is the world leader in incarceration, despite the national incarceration rate being at its lowest in 20 years, with about 25% of the world's prison population being in the US. The United States currently has over 2.1 million total prisoners. The prison population in 1972 was 200,000, almost 2 million less than it is today. The prison populations in each state vary in each state, with the highest rates in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Between the constant mass shootings and the rate of incarceration we need a fundamental change in federal policy not bandaid laws, anyone's "hopes and prayers", or debate on how your personal rights outweigh the common good.

Good Fun

DuckDuckGo making fun now that Google has finally started to roll out privacy labels for their iOS labels. I'd really be curious what, if anything, is missing from this monster list.

Apple Family Business

This week Apple has been putting several products to the dirt nap, sleeping with the fishes.

Original HomePod Originally overpriced, over engineered, and stuck with Siri. While it did sound fantastic, the price tag of $349 did not offer the same features and benefits as smart speakers a 1/3 that price. And while we're used to paying the 'Apple Tax' for good products that work well in the ecosystem, this first version was noticeably lacking for the price. Even more concerning is the 4 years it's been out, it has received little improvements via updates. Most notably it launched without multiple timers, eventually released, I struggle to think of anything else noteworthy that the HomePod improved upon during it's lifespan.

iMac Pro Released the same time as the HomePod, fall of 2017, this iMac was easily the best iMac ever made. Also just like the HomePod, it was released, and left without any revisions or updates during its life. (Dropping the 8-core model doesn't count) The iMac Pro came from an alternate time line where Apple was not going to make a new Mac Pro, there was to be no more powerful, modular tower from Apple. Months before it's release, Apple had its unusual round table to announce it was changing directions. It would be almost 2 more years before the now Mac Pro is readily available, the iMac Pro, the future pro machine, was now relegated to keeping pro users content until then. Often referred to as the most powerful and quiet iMac ever, it continues to be a favorite among podcasters. Now with the M1's out, Apple is closing this time loop, leaving the iMac Pro in a short list one 1 and done products.

While these products are discontinued for very different reasons, it marks the end of the beginning into a new chapter for Apple.

100Mbps uploads and downloads should be US broadband standard, senators say | Ars Technica

The most recent FCC broadband deployment report said that, as of year-end 2019, 95.6 percent of Americans had access to fixed broadband with speeds of at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream. Deployment at higher speeds is more limited, especially in rural and tribal areas. For example, the report said that 250/25Mbps speeds are available to 87.2 percent of people nationwide, 55.6 percent of people in rural areas, and 49.6 percent of tribal residents.

3/25Mbps is can simply not be called standard or minimum, it's unusable. Anyone who believes that speed is sufficient has not spend any reasonable time trying to use speeds like that in their day to day. I get that infrastructure is expensive. That's why it's an investment, it'll take years to get there, but it's worth it. There is no excuse not to have 250/25Mbps in 98% nationwide, 90% rural, and 100% tribal. The ONLY obstacle is the will to get it done.

AT&T promises fiber-to-the-home expansion in 90 metro areas this year | Ars Technica

While 3 million locations is a substantial buildout, there are tens of millions of homes without fiber in AT&T's 21-state wireline service area. There were 52.97 million households in AT&T's home-Internet service area and 14.93 million of them had fiber-to-the-home access, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union told Ars in October 2020 when AT&T announced the discontinuation of legacy DSL services over copper phone lines.

Every house, every adult, every child, everyone has a right to high speed Internet access. In the same way you expect power and clean drinking water to be affordable and readily available, the same for fast internet access on a multitude of devices anywhere.

A good start, but only the beginning Accessible Affordable Internet for All Act

How Many Times

I asked on twitter the other day, ‘What is the equivalent of shooting 100 free throws for communication?” Several people mentioned it was to write 750 words or so a day. Now this is of particular interest to myself, bc I have started-stopped this exact task, or what feels more like a chore, multiple times in the past. None of those efforts lasted more than 14-15 days. I have even gone so far as to build an app that will count, track, and publish those posts to a blog. And while I managed to spend almost a year working on that side project. Not once did I ever get past 10 days in a row. Now the interesting thing about streaks is that once you miss one, all the motivation is immediately sucked out of your body and into the void. The effort to start again after skipping a day, I would say, is exponentially more than starting in the first place. So? How do you avoid the disappointment black hole when you miss a day or break a streak? How do you get back to it with the same vigor and dedication?

Miguel Cardona confirmed as Biden's education secretary - The Washington Post

He was chosen in part based on his track record in pushing Connecticut schools to reopen for in-person learning. In his confirmation hearing before the Senate education panel, he said he approached the job with a spirit of cooperation.

We were open and transparent with what we knew, and we made sure that we partnered with our health experts to put out very clear guidance early on to make sure that the mitigation strategies were very clear,” he said. “I look forward to, if I’m fortunate enough to serve as secretary of education, to bring that same mentality of partnership and clear communication to help recover our public education and reopen our schools.

House Republicans propose nationwide ban on municipal broadband networks | Ars Technica

PCMag recently named Chattanooga, Tennessee, the best work-from-home city in the nation, citing in part the city's "widely available broadband Internet" provided by the Chattanooga Electric Power Board. Comcast initially tried to block that public network from being built but eventually upgraded its own service to better compete against the public option.

Literally the best way to push the market of ISP's forward is for cities and other municipalities to build a better option. 🤔

F.C.C. Approves a $50 Monthly High-Speed Internet Subsidy - The New York Times

There are many challenges. Broadband maps, for instance, notoriously overcount how many households have access. If an internet service provider such as Charter or AT&T reaches just one home in a census block, the entire block appears connected on federal maps, even when all homes aren’t given the option of broadband.

Hopefully just the beginning.

The next Covid-19 vaccine hurdle: Convincing millions they want the shot - Vox

To reach herd immunity, experts generally estimate that we’ll need to vaccinate at least 70 to 80 percent of the population — though it could be more or less, because we don’t really know for sure with a new virus. Yet according to a recent AP-NORC survey, 32 percent of Americans say they definitely or probably won’t get a Covid-19 vaccine. If that holds and the herd immunity estimates are correct, it would make herd immunity impossible.

I am not interest in arguments about personal preference, or individual freedoms. Get vaccinated unless you are medically unable to. That is the only valid reason.

US courts almost always deferred to public health authorities that have deprived individuals of their liberty in the name of public health. One US state high court declared at the beginning of the twentieth century that, “[i]t is unquestionable that the legislature can confer police powers upon public officers for the protection of the public health. The maxim Salus populi suprema lex is the law of all courts in all countries. The individual right sinks in the necessity to provide for the public good” (Parmet, 1985). Even more remarkably, a plenary grant of authority was still found to be constitutional in the 1960s. In upholding the detention of a person with tuberculosis pursuant to a statute that provided virtually no procedural protections, a California appellate court declared in 1966 that, “[h]ealth regulations enacted by the state under its police power and providing even drastic measures for the elimination of disease...in a general way are not affected by constitutional provisions, either of the state or national government.”

Bayer, Ronald. “The continuing tensions between individual rights and public health. Talking Point on public health versus civil liberties.” EMBO reports vol. 8,12 (2007): 1099-103. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7401134

ISPs step up fight against SpaceX, tell FCC that Starlink will be too slow | Ars Technica

While incumbent ISPs are wary of the new competition from Starlink's low Earth orbit satellites, traditional wireline telcos are no guarantee to meet FCC deployment requirements. CenturyLink and Frontier recently missed FCC deployment deadlines in dozens of states, and both of them are slated to get more money from the new RDOF program.

I understand as a business you want to take advantage of every opportunity over your competition. But it is a really tough sell when current ISPs continually fail to meet deadlines, over charge, under delivery, and provide the worst customer service of any industry out there.

Meanwhile Comcast Data Cap

State Reps Try To Ban Data Cap

Low Income Internet Broadband

Give Everyone Internet Already

Comcast is doubling the speed of its low-income internet plan - The Verge

This is the second time in a year that Comcast’s program is getting a speed bump: it was upgraded from 15Mbps in March of last year.

The cynic in me thinks it's more expensive for Comcast to run equipment that old and slow then it is to "upgrade it" to 50 / 5Mbps for customers. It simply isn't out of the kindness of their corporate heart.

AT&T customer since 1960 buys WSJ print ad to complain of slow speeds | Ars Technica

A man who has been an AT&T customer since 1960 has a message for CEO John Stankey about the company's failure to upgrade DSL areas to modern Internet service. Aaron Epstein, 90, is so frustrated by his 3Mbps Internet plan that he took out a Wall Street Journal ad in today's print edition in order to post an open letter to Stankey.

It is both fascinating and ridiculous that this gentleman feels he has to take out an WSJ add to get the attention of his ISP. But I ask, what other choice does he have?

Comcast is doubling the speed of its low-income internet plan - The Verge

This is the second time in a year that Comcast’s program is getting a speed bump: it was upgraded from 15Mbps in March of last year.

The cynic in me thinks it's more expensive for Comcast to run equipment that old and slow then it is to "upgrade it" to 50 / 5Mbps for customers. It simply isn't out of the kindness of their corporate heart.

Rename & Destructure Variables in ES6 - Wes Bos

Today I had to look this up for the X number time, so I thought I'd post it and see if it suck.

const { twitter: tweet, facebook: fb } = wes.links.social;

The above code will pull the wes.links.social.twitter into a variable called tweet and similarly for facebook.

Instacart Will Lay Off All of Its Unionized Workers

At the time of their union drive in 2020, Instacart manager ran a union-busting campaign, circulating anti-union literature and memos intended to convince workers to vote down the union. 

The company reported profitability for the first time in 2020, is preparing to IPO at some point this year, and is estimated to be valued at up to $30 billion, CNBC reported.

More union-busting tactics from high valued, ready to IPO, Bullshit company.

CenturyLink, Frontier missed FCC broadband deadlines in dozens of states | Ars Technica

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) recently urged the FCC to block Frontier's new funding, saying that "Frontier has a documented pattern of history demonstrating inability to meet FCC deadlines for completion of Connect America Fund Phase II support in West Virginia." 

I agree with Senator Moore. Enough is enough. Frontier has shown time and time again with their inaction and inability to complete projects they are incapable of delivering results. Stop any new funding and force them to settle and pay all failed contracts.

3Mbps uploads still fast enough for US homes, Ajit Pai says in final report | Ars Technica

From Pai himself

We find that the current speed benchmark of 25/3Mbps remains an appropriate measure by which to assess whether a fixed service is providing advanced telecommunications capability. We conclude that fixed services with speeds of 25/3Mbps continue to meet the statutory definition of advanced telecommunications capability; that is, such services "enable[] users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications."

While I doubt you could do all those things on 25/3Mbps. You can definitely not do any two of those at the same time.

Ajit Pai abandons plan to help Trump punish Facebook and Twitter | Ars Technica

The scenes we saw yesterday were outrageous and extremely disappointing to those of us who cherish American democracy, one hallmark of which is the peaceful transition of power. To answer your question, I think it was a terrible mistake to suggest that the results of the election, and particularly the process that culminated yesterday in the Senate and the House, could in any way be changed. That was a terrible mistake and one that I do not think in any way should have been indulged.

A terrible mistake? No. This has been a calculated, purposeful perversion of power. It is now only a 'mistake' to subvert the election and hold on to power failed. Weeks and months of supporting blatantly false narrative of a "stolen" election can simply not be washed away with 'a mistake', 'condemnation of their actions', or other notions of separating those who continue to perpetuate the lies and those who storm federal buildings.

The Covid-19 stimulus bill expands broadband internet access during the pandemic - Vox

Broadband connectivity — or, rather, the lack thereof — has long been a problem in the United States. The pandemic has demonstrated how essential a lifeline the internet is, and how costly it can be for those who don’t have it. Work, education, social services, and myriad other activities are increasingly taking place online.

While the focus of lawmakers and regulators is often on rural broadband, getting good internet to more people is really a two-pronged problem of both access and affordability. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that 21 million Americans don’t have access to quality broadband internet, though some estimates suggest the actual number is much higher.

21 million do not have access to broadband. Imagine if that were the case for electricity or clean drinking water? It would be declared a national emergency. And yet, people are sitting outside of public libraries for hours at a time trying to get school work done, apply for state/local relief aid, or connect with family in the only safe way.

It is pretty clear that the private sector is not interested in a 'connection for everyone'. They often fall short of their current commitments while taking federal money and offering more promises without results. Frontier Gets More After Missing Deadlines or NY Settles with Version to Deliver on Contract Over and over again private companies are cutting corners, leaving out any areas that might not turn a quick profit, lobbing to keep state and local municipalities from delivering cheap high speed access themselves, it is laughable to stay that the 'market' is delivering high speed affordable internet access to everyone.

$50-per-month emergency broadband subsidies approved in pandemic stimulus | Ars Technica

Consumer-advocacy group Public Knowledge said it is "disappointed that Congress did not provide funding to keep students connected as they study from home" but that the "broadband subsidies will still benefit students and families at risk of losing their connectivity... No American should be forced to go without food, water, electricity, or essential communications over broadband."

Pretty much sums up my feelings. Broadband is essential in every use of the word. It's time to handle ISPs as that, a utility, regulated and subsidized until every farmhouse and outhouse has gigabyte speeds. There is no "free market" at work here. To pretend is to signal you can afford whatever your ISP is charging without a second thought.

In 2021, we need to fix America’s internet - The Verge

As FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote for The Verge last March, as many as one in three US households doesn’t have broadband internet access, currently defined as just 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up — which feels like the bare minimum for a remote learning family these days. Even before the pandemic, that statistic might have been shocking; now, it’s the difference between whether millions of schoolchildren can attend classes and do their homework or not. Nearly 12 million children don’t have a broadband connection at home, the Senate Joint Economic Committee reported in 2017. And the “homework gap” hits harder if you’re poor, of course: only 56 percent of households with incomes under $30,000 had broadband as of last February, according to the Pew Research Center.

What would it actually take to get viable, affordable internet to each and every household in America? 5 billion? 10 billion? Great. I say pay it. ISP's are required utility like clean water and electricity, they should be treated as such, rather than for profit companies hiding, lobbies, and defeating efforts for access at every turn.

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Americans think like shoppers, not like citizens - Vox

calling citizens “customers” implies the only thing that matters is self-interest: What am I paying, and what am I getting for it? Ideally, citizenship involves something beyond self-interest. We all want to benefit from good government, but citizenship should have a collective dimension that transcends narrow cost-benefit calculations.

It doesn't that sound far off from the tone I feel from a lot of people. Things like, "... the government should do x for me, and should stop doing y for those people." I have put Ethan Porter's book on my reading list, and hopefully I'll get to it before it's too late.

Consumer Citizen by Ethan Porter

Learning a bit of Rust

Some

Type Option represents an optional value: every Option is either Some and contains a value, or None, and does not.

Oh. Some is part of Option types in Rust, like datatypes in Haskell. We either have Some(value) or we have None. Ok. Good to know.

Updating to Tailwinds 2.0

Not a lot of fun when you're doing Tailwinds, which is awesome, in Emotion, also awesome, but the macro has been updated.

So. After some struggles I got it working. This really had nothing to do with any of the above libraries and more my own naïveté with them.

And duplicates to boot. 😩 🤞

Ok. All better there too. 😴

Live results for Puerto Rico’s statehood referendum - Vox

Puerto Rico has been a US territory for 122 years. It’s the world’s oldest colony. And on Election Day, it’s holding its sixth nonbinding referendum on the issue of statehood.

I had no idea that Puerto Rico had been a territory for a 100 plus years?!? It's just just that it isn't a state. My vote is hell yes, about time.

The tech antitrust problem no one is talking about | Ars Technica

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which promotes community broadband projects, recently estimated from Federal Communications Commission data that some 80 million Americans can only get high-speed broadband service from one provider.

This is not ok. It is laughable to proclaim that there is plenty of broadband competition, when 10's of millions only have a single option for service.

Pai’s FCC squeezes in one more vote against net neutrality before election | Ars Technica

Free Press, one of the FCC's opponents in the net neutrality court case, criticized Pai for claiming that the repeal spurred new broadband development. "Approximately 92 percent of the fiber deployments made during Pai's chairmanship were actually planned and announced during the last few years of the Obama administration, when Title II was securely in place," Floberg said. "Chairman Pai is trading away critical public protections for a bag of magic beans, and a wink and a nod from cable lobbyists. We need public servants who will actually listen to people, consider the data and serve community needs instead of long-debunked ideologies."

Once you shine a little bit of light on FCC policy over the last 4 years it becomes very clear that an "open and competitive market" on not remotely their first or even second concern.

Day 1: Finding Product Ideas

I have probably started dozens of projects over the years with the intention of selling it as a product or tutorial. Number of projects that have made it across the finish-line and available for sale? A whomping zero 🥚. ☹️ so when Gumroad put out a 14 day course to get people like me through the process, I jumped at the chance.

Pick a Topic You Already Have Expertise In

  1. Web development
  2. Testing setup and start with React
  3. Next JS Testing
  4. React Native Setup
  5. NextJS setup
  6. TailwindCSS
  7. Emotion JS in CSS

Keep Your Scope Small

Those are all pretty good sized topics. I am would like to focus on testing is some shape or form, it's a matter of what the scope will be to launch in 14 days. 🤔 let's focus on testing specifically in NextJS, something where I think there is a real need in the community.

Andrew Yang on putting millennials and Gen Z to work fixing our infrastructure - Vox

For nearly four decades, we’ve been hearing about the trickle-down economy, which promised that returning our tax money to the investors and job creators would trickle down to the rest of us. And that’s how it was sold to us, as if getting a trickle of the success of this country is something to celebrate. We need to end it and build a trickle-up economy, benefiting our people, families, and communities, on up.

There is so much here that I really really enjoy. Worth a read at least twice.

AT&T kills DSL, leaves tens of millions of homes without fiber Internet

"Across the predominantly rural counties in AT&T's national footprint, only 5 percent of households (217,284 out of 4,442,675) have access to fiber," the report said. In urban areas, the situation is better but not problem-free. "Seventy percent of households in urban counties still lack access to fiber from AT&T because the company has made fiber available to only 14.7 million households out of 48.4 million total households in these counties," the report said.

Just 5% have access to real high speed data.

In today's report, the CWA and NDIA said that "AT&T should commit to capital investment in fiber deployment that would double the number of households passed by fiber in two years. If AT&T invests one quarter of its annual free cash flow (projected to be more than $25 billion) into rapid fiber deployment, it could deploy to more than 6 million locations per year." That figure assumes a cost of $1,000 per household, which it said "should be realistic as an average cost, given the widespread fiber backbone already deployed."

Just a one quarter of it's annual cash flow can reach 6 million with an "M" every year. It is frustrating that everything is there for this to happen. Customers willing to pay, the technology and workforce to make it happen, but it goes because the profit margin isn't high enough. Not that it's not profitable, simply that it isn't profitable enough for AT&T's time.

Wowzer is WebAssembly cool!

WebAssembly is an exciting technology that is advancing the web in new and interesting ways. It opens up all sorts of possibilities and additional languages to target the browser that were previously not possible before. If you’re not familiar with WebAssembly , let’s do a lighting intro and then dive into the ways we can leverage this fantastic feature.

WebAssembly , or Wasm for short, let’s us deliver compiled code to the browser that can parse and execute leaps and bounds faster than our bundled JavaScript can. But don’t worry, it’s not going to replace JavaScript or great tooling like Webpack or Babel. It’s here to supplement and help with the heavy lifting to make our web apps run at almost native speeds! Today we can write C or Rust code that with compile to Wasm and be able to interact with our existing JavaScript web applications improving developer and user experience alike.

Great use cases for leveraging the power of Wasm could be anything that is computationally heavy to be done in the browser rather than server side. Like gaming engines, image shaders or manipulation. You might be using Wasm today and not even know. Popular tooling library source-map, that lets developers match exact source files from their bundled output, is now up to 5 times faster by replacing a couple of the most intensive mapping portions of the library with Wasm! If this has piqued your interest and want to explore WebAssembly in further detail check out the resources below. If you’re already using Wasm I’d love to hear details of implementing it the good and the difficult.

Jesse Tomchak

Are We There Yet

With another day comes another company making a push for more podcasts in it’s lineup. Today that’s iHeart Radio

From The Verge

iHeartMedia will harness more than 850 radio stations to build its podcast audience and entice potential advertisers. The company today announced Sunday Night Podcasts, in which 270 stations will play a prerecorded podcast episode in between music or talk radio. The initiative will bring podcasts to the airwaves in every one of iHeart’s markets.

I like the idea of using other avenues besides the ‘podcast app’ to expose people to podcasts as a medium. I have friends and family that continue to listen to FM radio to this day, even with dozens of other options, their car is tuned into some random station I don’t know. They are unlikely to fire up their podcast app and find something interesting to listen to. This might be a soft sell that gets them over the hump? I guess we’ll see.

Apple Arcade will likely be priced at $4.99 per month.

From 9To5Mac

According to a promotional message found in the service, the price for Apple Arcade will be $4.99 / month, including a one-month free trial. As Apple previously announced, the service will allow access to all members in a Family Sharing account.

If this is the case, I’m all in. I would have been in the fence about it at $10. That compounded with the Switch Lite at a lower price is gonna make gaming at my house with young kids awesome for everyone !!!!!

Broadband Is Not A Stump Speech

Buttigieg isn’t the only Democratic candidate calling for more broadband in rural areas. Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced her big broadband plan that would include an $85 billion grant program for nonprofits and local governments to build their own networks.

Pete Buttigieg rolls out $80 billion plan to improve rural broadband

It would be great if this sort of talk actually made it through election cycles. Like so man promises before it, ISP’s have and will continue to spend millions of dollars annually to keep their respective monopoly on providing subpar internet to rural Americans. 😢 Making promises like these nothing more than campaign rhetoric.

What to expect from tomorrow’s antitrust hearing featuring big tech

Facebook agrees to some kind of privacy law, which for some reason is very hard for new entrants to adhere to. Amazon may try and instantiate itself as basically the national e-commerce monopolist, kind of like a Bell-regulated monopoly.

Jonathan Shieber for Tech Crunch

When I hear big tech companies say, “we’d love government regulation” what I hear is something similar to what Jonathan points out. That monopolist regulation that makes it even more difficult for new or existing companies to compete, further entrenching these big companies.

the focus should be less on the global ambitions of these technology companies and more on the practices they’ve enacted to stifle competition.

We’ll see if congress can keep their eye on the ball, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Digital Library

Starbucks feels like a digital library for those that can can afford $5 coffee. I tend to see more people on their device or sharing content then anything else.

Cross Posting

So the cross posting from here wasn’t working, and it wasn’t until I figured out that the RSS feed didn’t have the updated URL scheme that the rest of the site has. 🤦‍♂️ It was only setup to populate the post slug, missing the month and year path.

Facebook denies allegations that you make friends on Facebook

Facebook also denies that it collects, records, and maintains data on users’ “information and activity,” though it does admit that “users can provide Facebook with certain information.”

Facebook denies allegations that you make friends on Facebook

It is strange to me that anyone could say this, much less write it up in an official legal document, with a straight face.

Zoom saved you a click—by giving you a security hole

And then Apple comes along and introduces a security feature to Safari that requires a confirmation click when any link in a web browser attempts to open an external app. Zoom, which likes to pass around web links as a way of driving users into conference calls, didn’t look at this security measure as something to help keep their customers secure—it viewed it as an addition of friction by the platform owner.

Zoom saved you a click—by giving you a security hole

Jason Snell is able to very articulately sum up the events and motivation behind Zoom creating a locally running server, and believing that it was ok to do in the first place.

Find the truth. Tell the truth.

This is important, because when digital projects fail, it’s often not the technology, but the underlying culture that sets the precedence for success or failure. Operating inside a culture of fear will inevitably lead to digital project failure.

Find the truth. Tell the truth.

This really echos my sentiment. That technology is the easy part, the people and the culture are the really tough challenges.

Frontier customer bought his own router—but has to pay $10 rental fee anyway

With FCC Chairman Ajit Pai having deregulated the broadband industry, there’s little to no chance of the commission taking action to stop fees like the one charged by Frontier.

ArsTechnica

Another example of “death by a thousand cuts”. Frontier can charge you 10 dollars for a router you don’t want or need, 5 more for a “warranty” you can’t opt out of, continue to track and sell your data because it’s in the “T & C”, and as the customer a majority of us only have one option for high speed internet, leaving little to no recourse but to complain of reddit and pay it. The alternative is to go without, which is simply not practical on any level.

☹️

FCC lets Verizon lock cell phones to network for 60 days after activation

While the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted Verizon’s request for a partial waiver from the open-access rule, it denied Verizon’s request for a declaratory ruling “finding the handset unlocking rule already permits such temporary locking.”

ARS Technica

As T-Mobile put it, they knew what the rules were when they bought in during the spectrum auction. I’m a little surprised at even the 60 day wavier. I’m struggling to find any tangible benefit to the customer, and not just some made up problems for Verizon. 🤷‍♂️

Bill Gates accidentally makes the case to regulate the hell out of platform companies

It’s very tricky for platforms… these are winner-take-all markets. It really is winner-take-all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90 percent as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom. There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M.

Bill Gates

My hope is after reading Ben Thompson’s Aggregation Theory I will be better equipped to answer the question I have. Ok, so how best to approach the tech industry in a way that promotes competition when the network effect is so strong?

Facebook will pay you to let it track what you do on your phone

The app will monitor which apps are installed on a person’s phone, the time spent using those apps, the country you’re in, and additional app data

The Verge

… you don’t say

The web the world needs can be ours again, if we want it

By creating a Firefox account you can increase convenience while decreasing your exposure to some harmful parts of the web. An account unlocks the full potential of tools like Lockwise, which securely manages passwords, and Monitor, a service that notifies you when your email has been part of a known data breach.

We’re offering privacy protections by default as you navigate the web because the business model of the web is broken, with more and more intrusive personal surveillance becoming the norm. While we hope that people’s digital rights and freedoms will ultimately be guaranteed, we’re here to help in the interim.

Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla

I like that Mozilla has put in effort to diverse their offerings and become less dependent on the money from Google for default search. The idea of privacy as a product is red hot right now, while most feel opportunistic I would say this is very much inline with what Mozilla has always strived for.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says photos of travelers were taken in a data breach

Washington Post

CBP said copies of “license plate images and traveler images collected by CBP” had been transferred to the subcontractor’s company network, violating the agency’s security and privacy rules. The subcontractor’s network was then attacked and breached. No CBP systems were compromised, the agency said.

Trusted with a back door because they need it to keep us safe?

Podcasts are coming

Podcasts as an industry is going to experience same defining change sooner rather than later.

Spotify begins testing curated podcast playlists

The bigger goal of these tests is to improve podcast discoverability, an issue that plagues the industry.

The podcast industry expected to create $1 billion in annual revenue by 2021

the industry generated an estimated $479.1 million in revenue in 2018 and is expected to produce more than $1 billion by 2021, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC

😳 that’s quite a bit of growth !!!!!

Comcast broke law 445,000 times in scheme to inflate bills, judge finds

When we talk about regulation for tech, maybe we should review net neutrality for ISP’s ?🤷🏻‍♂️

King County Superior Court Judge Timothy Bradshaw found that “Comcast violated the Consumer Protection Act more than 445,000 times when it charged tens of thousands of Washingtonians for its Service Protection Plan without their consent,” 

ArsTechnica

Maine lawmakers have passed a bill that will prevent internet providers from selling consumers’ private internet data to advertisers.

The state’s senate unanimously passed the bill 35-0 on Thursday following an earlier vote by state representatives 96-45 in favor of the bill.

Maine passes law preventing ISPs from selling browsing data without consent

Open Source Licenses and AWS

Lack of leadership in open source results in source-available licenses

Amazon’s behavior toward open source is self-interested and rational. Amazon is playing by the rules of what software licenses allow. But these behaviors and their undesirable results could be curbed if industry associations created standard open-source licenses that allowed authors of open-source software to express a simple concept:

“I do not want my open-source code run as a commercial service.”

It will be interesting to see how open source licensing evolves over the next couple years with the ever increasing grow of cloud services. 🤔

Congress drops proposal to ban the IRS from competing with Turbotax

Follow up from a previous post on blocking the IRS from creating a free tax filing option to compete with Intuit.

Lawmakers are planning to drop a proposal to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from offering a free online tax-filing option, Politico and Pro Publica report. The provision was included in the Taxpayer First Act, which passed the House in April but has not passed the Senate. It was backed by the makers of private tax preparation software, including Intuit (makers of TurboTax) and H&R Block.

ArsTechnica

Spotify’s new library design emphasizes podcast discovery

The new design places bolded headings for “music” and “podcasts” on the app’s library page that offer a much quicker way for people to find episodes of podcasts they subscribe to or might be interested in. Spotify users currently have to sift through six categories at the top of their library page to find a dedicated podcast section. 

The Verge

I wonder if the average Spotify user knows what podcasts are right out of the gate. Are they more likely to explore them now that they are front and center? There is a lot to be said for having podcasts as a default, think Apple’s podcast player on iOS, but it is certainly welcomed to have podcasts as a first class citizen on a popular platform like Spotify.

It’s fine

I’ve had a growing number of articles in my feed that illustrate the constant behavior of telecommunication companies. As you can imagine it’s not the good kind.

AT&T promised 7,000 new jobs to get tax break—it cut 23,000 jobs instead

Charter squeezes more money out of Internet users with new cancellation policy

Ajit Pai-proposed upgrade to 25Mbps starts paying off for rural ISPs – but it’ll take a decade. 😂

Best of all, the FCC’s chairman doesn’t seem interested in keeping them honest.

Ajit Pai refuses to investigate Frontier’s horrible telecom service

Ajit Pai says he’s fixed giant FCC error that exaggerated broadband growth

ArsTechinca

Pai didn’t release the full Broadband Deployment Report

No kidding. 🙄 But wait, with a little digging you wouldn’t believe what the results are!

Despite the limited information available, advocacy group Free Press was able to discover a huge error that showed broadband progress under Pai’s leadership was less impressive than he claimed.

So there was a big error, they fixed it, and then continue to lie about the results of their unsuccessful program. Ok. Got it.

Story with legs

Previously I’d given my thoughts on a Propublic article on a bill currently making it’s way through the Senate to ban the IRS from making a free online tool for filing. Turns out if you dig a little deeper you’ll find more of the good work from Propublic showing Intuit actively burying their free version making it as difficult to nearly impossible for regular people to find it.


To effectively bury its free filing service, TurboTax included a snippet of code in the page’s robots.txt file instructing search engines not to index it. 


Instead of pointing users toward its free file tool, TurboTax funnels the vast majority of users toward its paid and premium services, whether they qualify for free filing or not.


TurboTax and H&R Block hide their free tax filing tools from Google on purpose

Wow. I mean just wow. I really struggle to see how anyone can argue that this is in the best interest of the general public.

Intel puts 8 cores, 16 threads, and a 5GHz turbo option in a laptop processor

Ars Technica

This is a 45W processor with eight cores, 16 threads, and 16MB of cache, with a base clock speed of 2.4GHz and a turbo speed of 5GHz. The “K” on the name also indicates that the chip is overclockable: for those truly monstrous gaming laptops with high-powered cooling systems, you’ll be able to go beyond the default speeds.

Yeah, I read these specs and all I can think is, “oh boy those MacBook Pro’s just keep getting hotter and hotter.

At the top end is the i9-9900: eight cores, 16 threads, a base of 3.1GHz, and a peak of 5.0GHz. The big difference between this and the already-shipping 9900K and 9900KF is the power use: it’s a 65W chip, whereas the other two are 95W, and it’s not overclockable

Power, speed, heat. I feel like at this point Intel’s chips have passed the point of diminishing returns. I’m all for more cores and power. But that isn’t really what I need on a day to day basis. I am sure there are those that do, and for them the more cores the better, the tradeoff in heat and mobility is a welcomed compromise. For me, I don’t hit bottlenecks in my workflow with the CPU, haven’t in a very, very long time. Network, memory, possibly, and even then the times I’m waiting on my machine to preform a task is not even relative on the overall time spend in front of these things.

I’d rather have smaller chips, with longer battery lives, consuming less energy, for roughly the same amount of processing power. The idea of ARM based laptops is very exciting in this regard.

Facebook now says its password leak affected ‘millions’ of Instagram users

TechCrunch

Facebook has confirmed its password-related security incident last month now affects “millions” of Instagram users, not “tens of thousands” as first thought

How many times is this sort of thing going to happen? I mean it as an honest question? What is it that is so intrinsic and addictive that the average person is willing to blatantly ignore how damaging to the general public, social safety, and personal data?!?

Jack Dorsey says it’s time to rethink the fundamental dynamics of Twitter

TechCrunch

He also argued that while Twitter could “do a bunch of superficial things to address the things you’re talking about,” that isn’t the real solution.

“We want the changes to last, and that means going really, really deep,” Dorsey said.

Maybe they could throw in a few of those “superficial” systems just for kicks. A real solution would be face the problem head on, and stop fairly loose terms like “changes to last” and “go really, really deep”

More specifically, Rodgers asked about the frequent criticism that Twitter hasn’t found a way to consistently ban Nazis from the service.

“We have a situation right now where that term is used fairly loosely,” Dorsey said. “We just cannot take any one mention of that word accusing someone else as a factual indication of whether someone can be removed from the platform.”

That term is used to apply describe, um, Nazis and their behavior ?!?

Samsung Galaxy Fold pre-orders open tomorrow

There are early adopters, and then there are early adopters. Anyone who bites the bullet and picks up Samsung’s $1,980 and up Galaxy Fold falls into the former category. And then there are those who’ll be the first to Samsung’s site when the company opens up pre-orders on its inaugural foldable tomorrow.

TechCrunch

The question is when will you actually see one in the wild?

Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.

In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry’s profits.

ProPublic

Having just done my taxes, and paying Intuit a hundred bucks every year to e-file my federal and state taxes, this story makes me even more wound up than usual. And yes, I could manually do them myself, but I’d rather spend that time doing other things I deem more important.

It just grinds my gears when private companies push and lobby to keep the status quo, keeping entities state, federal, or local from progressing and providing appropriate help for the public. This law only benefits share holders of companies that provide tax software. It in no way can be contorted to be “in the best interest of the public good”.

🤬

Lawsuit: AT&amp;T’s DirecTV Now is a flop and AT&amp;T lied to investors about it


AT&T lied to investors in order to hide the failure of its DirecTV Now streaming TV service, a proposed class action alleges.
AT&T told investors that DirecTV Now was succeeding even as its subscriber base fell due to price increases and the discontinuance of promotional discounts, said the complaint filed Monday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint accuses AT&T and executives including CEO Randall Stephenson of violating the US Securities Act by “knowingly or recklessly” making false statements to investors and failing to disclose problems that were affecting DirecTV Now sales.

ars Technica

Big corporations can totally monitor and self police their behavior, uh huh, sure. 🙄

Judge to SEC and Elon Musk: Put your ‘reasonableness pants on and work this out’

Tech Crunch

The title of this article alone could only exist in 2019.

Talk Time

Giving my first conference talk today at Github headquarters for Reactathon. It’s gonna be a blast, tune in live. And follow along at home if you’d like, slides. A huge thanks to my wife and family for all their support and feedback, it really does take a village. ☺️

FTC investigates whether ISPs sell your data


All major ISPs denied selling or sharing their users’ browsing histories and other sensitive information in 2017, when they convinced Congress and President Trump to prevent implementation of broadband privacy rules. But since then, it has been reported that T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T were selling their mobile customers’ location information to third-party data brokers despite promising not to do so.


FTC investigates whether ISPs sell your browsing history and location data

This one’s a give me. Yep.

Seriously?

A program that allows drug agents to obtain a pool of billions of call records from AT&T is “still active,” according to a watchdog report.

DEA says AT&T still provides access to billions of phone records

It’s all in the title, how is this seriously still happening? How many programs for getting private data from customers do these telecoms have? There seems to be more open programs being uncovered every day. Enough already, I am becoming numb to the constant revelation of programs like this.

NO NO NO


“We are aware that a small number of users are having issues with their third-generation butterfly keyboard and for that we are sorry,” the company writes. “The vast majority of Mac notebook customers are having a positive experience with the new keyboard.”

TechCrunch

I am so past the keyboards, after having struggles with a 2017 MacBook Pro myself. I day dream about a Mac Mini (now that they are refreshed) and an iPad Pro lifestyle in the future, but I am still very happy with the capabilities of my Surface Book going on more than a year now. The one thing I miss daily?

$ brew install

No title

I really do like RSS, so many of the things I enjoy and rely on everything are build on the back of this simple open protocol. 😍

Year of the Mac

Given the Mac love with Mini and iMac this year, if it continues, I could see having a Mac desktop and an iPad Pro for mobile / feet up work.

This might change with the a new redesign of the MacBook Pro. A year in, I’m super happy with my Surface Book. I’ve also found myself booted in Linux for some situations. And the WLS (windows linux subsystem) is fantastic.

I could also be making up a need for me to eventually get a iPad Pro. And that’s ok. 😉

Loss of your content

Myspace has apparently lost most or all of the music files uploaded by its users before 2015, and it told users that the data was corrupted beyond repair during a server migration. Myspace apparently admitted the problem to concerned users seven or eight months ago, but so few people noticed that there wasn’t any news coverage until the past 24 hours.

Myspace apparently lost 12 years’ worth of music, and almost no one noticed

Pretty good reason to continue to beat the drum about owning the content and context of publishing things onto other platforms. Consider this same scenario with all of your instagram images in 10 years? So much of our digital life is scattered across a number of closed platforms, when they’re gone, so is your content. I think services like WordPress and Micro.Blog are leading the way in making it easy for everyone to own and Stewart where their own content goes.

Apple responds to Spotify

Full Response from Apple 

What Spotify is demanding is something very different. After using the App Store for years to dramatically grow their business, Spotify seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem — including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store’s customers — without making any contributions to that marketplace. At the same time, they distribute the music you love while making ever-smaller contributions to the artists, musicians and songwriters who create it — even going so far as to take these creators to court.

I am not sure I’d quite agree with Spotify “using” the App Store to “dramatically” grow their business without making any contributions to the “marketplace”. What they mean is using the App Store and not paying Apple for that privilege. Also the jab making “ever-smaller” contributions to the artist, is a separate issue all together and not the point of this particular argument. It’s a valid argument, just not this one.

The only time we have requested adjustments is when Spotify has tried to sidestep the same rules that every other app follows.

Mmm. That every app follows. 🤔 What about Apple Music? Does it go through the same app approval process?

The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system

Oh, you left out the part where the purchase system is the only option. Against the rules to link out the any other option Against the rules to even mention having any other products of any kind that is not purchased directly through the in-app system. This is explicably user hostel on Apple’s part. Why aren’t talking about Google’s Play Store because you can link to, mention, advertise other tiers and products in your app. That’s the point, there are options. Look at Netflix if you download the app, and don’t have an account, there is nothing for the user to do. They can’t sign up, they don’t have a clue what to do, or where to go. That is not a good user experience and wholly on Apple and their imposing rules.

I read this and I think, Apple is not budging on lowering the 30% fee. Not now, and with the focus on service revenue, not on an infinite time line. If anything, it will become more restrictive over time, not less.

Telegram gets a boast

Messaging platform Telegram claims to have had a surge in signups during a period of downtime for Facebook’s rival messaging services.

Telegram Get 3M new signups during FB’s outage

I have a theory that fb could easily be displaced or replaced by something else, that doesn’t necessarily have to be better, just available and easily accessible. It’s clear that privacy isn’t the catalyst to get people to migrate. So that lends the question, what will get people to move to a more secure, private focused platform?

Not Exactly Local News

Most of these politically motivated sites do not disclose who is paying for them, and in many cases, the content does not include bylines

GOP funds messaging sites that look remarkably like trusted local news

None of this article is surprising. The pollution of misinformation and echo chamber bias has been running ramped unchecked for years. I wish I knew a silver bullet resolution, but like everyone struggle with my own bias and opinions. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Open to practical suggestions.

Not a fan

Struggles administrating wordpress are real. Not what I want to be spending my time on.

Getting Back to Level


The FCC’s argument, at the center of the 2017 rule, that broadband isn’t telecommunications is supported by almost no experts whatsoever, yet as an expert agency it can decide such technical matters on its own. If Congress were to establish a law clarifying that, however, it would remove the Commission’s freedom in this matter and constrict it to operating as the law dictates.

TechCrunch

It would be nice to actual have laws on the books for net neutrality and not be at the mercy of the changing emotions, and lack of ethical judgment from Ajit Pai and the constant gutting of interest in helping the public at large, instead of taking advantage of them. 🤷🏼‍♂️

With USB 4, Thunderbolt and USB will converge

Your cable nightmare might soon be over. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has unveiled the specifications of USB 4.0, as Engadget reports. And USB 4.0 looks a lot like Thunderbolt 3.

Romain Dillet

I feel like ‘might’ in this instance is a pretty big stretch. I’d love it to become reality, but the promise of a unified standard to use on all our devices isn’t realistic. Look no further than the latest rename scheme from USB gen 3v2 🙄

Blackberry Sues Again

I didn’t realize that BlackBerry was still around, and haven’t been dismantled and sold off for scrape like Palm or Motorola. Turns out they are making a business as a patent troll. 🙄

BlackBerry, which refers to itself as a pioneer in mobile messaging, alleges Twitter “created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative user interface and functionality enhancing features that made BlackBerry’s products such a critical and commercial success in the first place.”

BlackBerry sues Twitter for patent infringement

Oh Brother

But it recently came out that a legislator in Montana was attempting to have the state officially renounce the findings of the scientific community. And, if the federal government decides to believe the scientists and do something about emissions, he wants the Treasure State to somehow sit those efforts out.

Montana legislator introduces bills to give his state its own science

I remember reading about the battles between science and the church back in the Middle Ages. And look at us, centuries later, politicians are still at odds with the power and truth that science brings when it’s not convenient to their agenda. 😡

Of Course They Did

In light of “meaningful regulation” from UK lawmakers Facebook continues to pat itself on the back for all of its “progress” they’ve made in the name of user privacy. 🙄

Facebook praised itself for recent changes it’s made, but the company said it’s willing to face tougher laws. Facebook’s statement continued:

We are open to meaningful regulation and support the committee’s recommendation for electoral law reform. But we’re not waiting. We have already made substantial changes so that every political ad on Facebook has to be authorized, state who is paying for it and then is stored in a searchable archive for seven years. No other channel for political advertising is as transparent and offers the tools that we do.

Facebook is a law-breaking “digital gangster,” UK government report says

New Enterprise Policy


But the Reuters report describes the use of enterprise certificates to distribute pirated versions of popular iOS software like MinecraftSpotify, and Pokémon Go. For example, a free version of Minecraft (which is normally a premium app) is distributed by TutuApp using the method. Another pirate distributor, AppValley, offers a version of the Spotify app with the ads that support Spotify and the music artists stripped out completely.

Samuel Axon @ ArsTechnica

I’m going to make a bet that WWDC in June Apple will announce, or simply roll out a new policy and process for enterprise certs for the entire iOS platform. My second bet, it’s not going to be friendly, easy, or enjoyable to use. A reckoning is most certainly coming.

It’s A Utility, Like Water or Gas

The cable lobby working towards their investor bottom line, not in consumers best interest.

Powell said there is “common ground around the basic tenets of net neutrality rules: There should be no blocking or throttling of lawful content. There should be no paid prioritization that creates fast lanes and slow lanes, absent public benefit. And, there should be transparency to consumers over network practices.”

Cable lobby asks for net neutrality law allowing paid prioritization

Its sounds like Powell is advocating for Net neutrality, but is a cable lobbyist at this time. In his next breath he uses words like, no need for regulation and “light touch”. I simply can’t trust any angle from cable companies that have time and time again abused their position and monopoly over a must have utility service. In a space with absolutely no competition or incentive to actually serve consumers these companies will continue to take advantage until they are forced to by government. Don’t tell me the market will regulate itself. There is no competitive market in the ISP space. It’s a joke.

There's An App For That?


“Given the escalating crime and lack of public safety resources, Baltimore was a great place to try something new,” Frame said of the new market. “Citizen can now help Baltimore residents in the way it has helped New York and San Francisco, with real-time notifications that let a user escape a burning building or rescue a four-year old from an abductor. Citizen, with its real-time information, may be just what Baltimore needs.”

Taylor Hatmaker @ TechCrunch

Um, yeah. The Article goes on to compare the app to popular neighborhood sharing Nextdoor, which if you’ve ever checked out is a dumpster of bias and negative gossip.

Stand Out

Tesla released version 9.0 of its software, which featured a number of updates, including a new UI on the center display and the ability to use the forward-facing camera. The dash cam feature is available only in Tesla vehicles built after August 2017.

TechCrunch

I find it more and more unbelievable that other automakers haven’t built a platform to continually update a vehicles software and add new features. We expect it from our $1,000 mobile devices, why don’t we have the same expectations for our car or truck that is 10-100 times that expensive?

The How?

In the year of content I’ve been thinking a lot about how blogs and self publishing have made a comeback in some areas from those that want to take back control of their content. Moves away from Medium for self hosting, moves away from twitter for Micro.blog, and of course the #deletefacebook trends. So how to get the mainstream to move from these centralized, locked in platforms to more open friendly places? I have no idea really, so I’ll list something out more as food for thought.

  1. Easy to engage
  2. Connection with most of the people they know
  3. Easy to share images and re-share
  4. Marketplace, options, the idea of not being locked in. The idea of take your content / timeline with you
  5. RSS is an implementation detail, not a feature.
  6. People understand the idea of subscribe and share.
  7. Public vs Private sharing. The ability to share with select people.
  8. Clean, ad free interface. The tracking and aggregation is needs to curtailed. So what is the business model? Free / Pro / Business tiers ? I dont know. :-/
  9. Cross models Reddit, wordpress, micro.blog ?

So what would a open platform using open internet standards look like ?

MS Slack ?

Pretty sure at this point most people have heard of Slack or used Slack. The chat app that has made huge inroads into enterprise and small communities alike. I used to have a Slack with friends that replaced or irc channel, now I have more than 1/2 a dozen across a variety of groups and work. It’s a lot of messaging. 🙄 Slack is currently poses for IPO, and valued around 7 billion, which brings up the point –

Is there any reason for Microsoft not to buy Slack for $20 billion? Seems like a perfect fit and at $20 billion could be a bargain.

@jyarow

I agree with Jay, Slack (right down to the new rgb color scheme from their new logo) would be a good fit for the new MS.

Hell. I’ve already got a dozen groups on my Surface Book. 😉

Spurred by Ron Miller’s piece Someone could scoop up Slack before it IPOs.

Infrastructural Sadness in America


the fact that the state of much of America’s infrastructure is appalling on its face, and even moreso when compared to nations which are on paper nowhere near as rich.

Techcrunch

I lived in London for a bit coming and going from college, and one of the things I truly miss was the public transportation. It was so quick and easy to hop a bus or train and get all over a giant city like London or Paris. That is in stark contrast to living out west in Arizona. Where the closest place to get a sandwich or a cup of coffee from where you live is often 2-3 miles away. Bus’s run every 30-40 minutes during peak times, so without a car to get around it will easily take you several hours of your day to get to and from work. Sadness is a good word for it. 😭

A Book You Say?

It’s only February so maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but this post by Claus Matzinger, author of Data Structures and Algorithms with Rust, was very encouraging.

Initially, a book was this unsurmountable challenge, but, one chapter at a time,

It’s nothing profound, but a great simple explanation of the benefits you as the author get out of tacking a project as massive as a book. You bet the resources listed are in my amazon book list for down the road. 😉

Blog is the New Black

Bringing the blog back in-house

Rework Podcast

This move by Basecamp, along with other antidotal moves from others, maybe some research later, on moving away from curated platforms like Medium and other spaces where the author or company don’t really own the content or experience, to a self hosted content service like WordPress or Ghost is really on the rise. Maybe I’m just hyper aware of it from building out my own stream of content that is not tied to a specific platform, but I’m definitely seeing a growing trend.

Just Sleazy

I know, you’re likely going to tell me “welcome to the party”, about just how blatantly gross Facebook’s actions towards users and their data have been for a long, long time. And you’re right. I’ve largely been absent from FB, still have an account, since college, but the platform has never really resonated with me. Twitter, on the other hand, I check an unhealthy amount per day. Let’s chalk up the bad actions of FB that has come out, just in the last 7 days:

Now for most companies they would be in full PR mode. Interviews, opinion columns, talk shows, the spin machine out in force. For Facebook it seems more like just business as usual. The logic is most people using the service are unaware to the level that FB is targeting them to feed the monster advertisement and revenue machine, or they know and simply don’t care. There have been waves over the past year to #deletefacebook, and that might raise awareness, it might just be noise in the thundering hose of content and ads.

Here’s what I know. A lot of people like Instagram and What’s App, I mean a lot. Anecdotally, I haven’t seen people checking facebook or talking about it as much as the previously mentioned 2 apps. I do feel like something has to give sooner or later. Most like FB’s deceitful practices will quietly find their way into all their products like a cancer sooner or later. Maybe regulation and strict privacy rights for users will force change, or another service that offers to connect you to people will come along and spark more joy than facebook does. When that happens, you can properly thank facebook, and delete your account, like I did today.

FaceTime Bug

Following an avalanche of stories breaking right now, like this one from ARS Technica

Users have discovered a bug in Apple’s FaceTime video-calling application that allows you to hear audio from a person you’re calling before they accept the call

I only FaceTime with family, I guess we’re gonna find out how many people actually use FaceTime! My guess? Pretty few use it outside immediate family.

Now does that mean that this bug doesn’t apply to me? Not at all, anyone can FaceTime my phone, and now they can listen in, even if I don’t pickup on my end. Software is hard, it will come down to how quickly Apple acts on this one.

Getting Markdown Working

With a bit of luck and a lot of trying, I’ve been able to figure out how to add Markdown support to wordpress via the REST API. This servers as a reminder to myself, and I hope it helps someone else if they come across this.

  • REST API is enabled by default for wp v4 and above, so all good there
  • Default Auth only has cookie support, and since I’m looking to interact and make quick publishing as easy as possible, this will not do.
    • JWT Can be enabled with this plugin , so that solved that.
  • Now we can post without the admin dashboard, how do we get it to format the markdown? We can add another plugin that gives us wp-com support for markdown in Posts, Jetpack.
  • With those enabled we can stringify a markdown file, and HTTP POST it to our wordpress endpoint and BOOM 🎇 we’ve been able to write in markdown, and send posts.
  • Next item, post and publish in a single request? Possibly ?

Heard That Before


“As a result of recent events, we have decided to end our arrangements with data aggregators,” a Sprint spokesperson told Motherboard in an email.

Motherboard

I feel like there was a story recently, oh yeah here we go, that exposed much the same practices from cellular providers. There was outrage then, and promises of swift action and change.

Privacy Hot Topic

Tim Cook recently penned an op-ed in Time Magazine, You Deserve Privacy Online. Here’s How You Could Actually Get It.

“I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer. Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation:”

Tim Cook

Tim goes on to outline several key points that any legislation would include. Things like avoid collecting unnecessary, consumers have the right to know, and the right for consumers to access and delete their data that companies have.

Following up Tim’s op-ed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has announced a new bill American Data Dissemination (ADD) Act

“provides overdue transparency and accountability from the tech industry while ensuring that small businesses and startups are still able to innovate and compete in the digital marketplace.”

Marco Rubio

Here’s the catch, in the text of the bill as it currently stands is the phrase, “shall supersede” , which has wide sweeping implications. Jon Brodkin’s article at ARS Technica, Sen. Marco Rubio wants to ban states from protecting consumer privacy goes into the reaction from several groups, and sufficed to say, none of them are positive. Super seeding any state action in this area clearing isn’t going to stand. California for instance, has already passed privacy law in 2018 that was passed unanimously.

To say that things in the privacy data sector are heating up this year is an understatement, while federal and local governments historical move very slow, this battle will likely play out over the next several years. You can bet that it will be a hot issue in the run up to the 2020 election.

RSS is Always Dying

I came across RRS feed in the early 2000’s through great Indie apps on the Mac like Net News Wire and others. It was a great was to aggregate all the news for hundreds, and when things got really crazy more than a thousand sites into a single convenient location. You could sync all the read articles, star and favorite ones you wanted to keep around, and share via IRC or AIM the ones you thought your friends should see, or even email something to family member or co-worker. It was a deep well of knowledge, and easy to flip through a couple times a day and stay in the know. This same publish and subscribe model of RSS is the underpinning to podcasts, which makes it beyond the reach of a single company, but also makes discovery a bit of a challenge.

You could set your watch to the regular occurance to which someone will announce that RSS is dead, today it just happened to be MotherBoard with an article, The Rise and Demise of RSS . With quotes like –


The future once looked so bright for RSS. What happened?

MotherBoard

In Author, Sinclair Target’s, defense the article is a well written history as it played out from the 90’s up til today. And I think is correct, that RSS isn’t consumer friendly or easy to understand. But I don’t think it needs to be. The gritty details of how SMS isn’t something consumers pour over, they just send their messages and have a certain level of expectations in regards to what will happen on the other end. RSS powers podcasts subscriptions, and regular people find, listen to, and are coming to the medium in big numbers than ever!

Point is RSS isn’t every exciting to most people. The question I’d pose is, what is exciting that you can do with a feature powered by RSS ?

Intel Hits 5GHz

Ars is reporting to have a new 5GHz chip, that will not exactly be available for retail sale this year.


the chip company is asking system builders to bid for the chips in an online auction. The auctions will be held quarterly, with apparently only three system integrators bidding in the first.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/01/intel-reported-to-have-a-new-5ghz-chip-thats-literally-priceless/#p3

With some relatively positive news coming out of CES that Intel will actual ship a 10nm chip later this year, this seems like another flailing swing from a falling giant.

New Setup

There is something about a new setup. You get to start over, clean, void of distractions. The possibilities are endless. That is the part I really enjoy, like many I assume. I recently set up this publishing site, a backend to manage it, a service to backup and secure the data, and on and on. I also setup a physical desk in my house for the first time in 10 plus years. Getting space set up, the monitor just the way I like it. All of this was fun to do.

The opposite of a new setup is – consistency. Coming back to something again and again. Slowly chipping away at the progress until you’ve achieved something. This is more akin to getting in shape, writing that great american novel you’ve always talked about. There is a long arduous process involved. For a lot of use it is a constant state of self doubt lows, and small achievement highs.

It will come as no surprise that one of these is vastly more rewarding that the other.

Saturation

With Apple and other companies out of runway on growing smart phone revenue, where will they turn? We can probably figure out a lot of possibles by looking at how this has played out in other industries over time. The PC went through this very recently, maybe to much so to be of any help. Have industries like auto or luxury good gone through market saturation? If so, what could we learn from it?

Piece By Piece

I often have thoughts about all the things I can learn or knock out as the weekend approaches. Won’t it be great to take time out to figure out X, or know how exactly to do Y? My plans are usually so beyond doable in a single weekend, even if I don’t have anything else planned. Things like ready that entire book cover to cover. These things are technically possible, but with even the slightest amount regular things to do, like laundry and the grocery store, these things are unrealistic. But won’t it be great? Yeah of course it would, but it’s definitely not practical.

I realize more and more, maybe it’s getting older, or having kids to steward, but the mind frame I try to put things in is less big push, and tons of little tiny pieces that I can chip away at. One small nibble at a time, that’s what is successful. I know that. It still doesn’t stop me from constantly setting up my weekend or time off to some level of disappointment when I don’t read that entire book, or complete that whole project start to finish. I guess there’s always next weekend.

Its A Real High

I gave a talk at my local meetup for React, the part I left out of my previous post was the meetup was hosted at my work. This had the added benefit of home court advantage (sports ball) I knew more people in the audience that usual, and was very comfortable. The side effect that I didn’t anticipate was the following day. I had a couple people, people not on my team, I might recognize them in the halls, maybe even say hi to them from time to time. These people stopped me and complimented me on my talk last night! ♥ This absolutely made my day. It really extended the excitement, the buzz, the high I get when I present something I like in front of a group that I really look up to.

This has an adverse effect that I’m never ready for, the crash. Coming down emotionally from a talk is, for me is physically painful. I am not sure you would categorize it as a chemical withdraw of good feelings, but that is the best way I can describe it. While I recover, my show is running late, I need to get it out the door, but I feel like nothing more than crawling into bed for the weekend.

To all those who attended and took the time to provide feedback, I sincerely thank you.

Giving a Talk, Realizing

I gave a talk tonight at the local React meetup. As always a ton of fun, it did however solidify that I am less and less interest in React, and more interested in Elm and Haskell as tools to use for solving and creating. Maybe you’re thinking, well duh Jesse, you have a JSToElm podcast?!? Are just realizing this now? And actually, yeah, it’s just sort of dawned on me. It’s not a question or a thought I’ve explicably had, but something that occurred to me while I was sitting there looking up at code on a giant projector, what would this look like in Elm, and I wonder what the type signature of that method would be?

It’s a small thing, but having moments like this can be very clarifying.

Time Tracking

There is always a time during the week when I think, “what have I been up to this week?” What do I have to show for being on the computer at night, checking my phone 139 times a day? What do I get out of this? In the spirit of ‘More Content’, I am giving time tracking a shot. So were all on the same page, here’s a short description of time tracking.


Historically, time-tracking has been being used as the simplest way to measure work and calculate payments. In today’s world, it is often used as a source of essential data on how work is performed, what can be improved, and what trends of the work process require closer attention. Advanced time trackertools are used for collection and analysis of this vital information.

https://www.actitime.com/time-tracking/time-tracking-software-essay

For my goals, I am more concerned with what trends of work have been done. I haven’t set any goals yet, I won’t even know where to start, but i figure the information gathering stage is good enough. Along with that I’ve forced myself to Pomodoro Technique every activity I do for side work. I’ve got my Toggle Time running now while I write this. And we’ll see what the graph shows in a week, and then a week after that.

For course there are plenty of apps and tools to help with all this tracking. Mac Stories has a great run down of Siri Shortcuts that will run a lot of the manual process of time tracking, removing all the excuses I have come up with to avoid it. And the really, I just want to be more productive with the time I have, and not commit more time than I already am to content. We’ll see ..

Free as in Beer?

Today Github, recently acquired by the new Microsoft, announced unlimited free repos for all. This is an interesting turn, after wide spread outcry and running to places like Gitlab after the MS finalized the purchase last year. I am more and more skeptical of free services, as we all should be I’m looking at you Facebook, I’m looking right at you, and am happy to pay for the services I do use and value. So I’m a little torn over this one. On the one hand I’m happy that MS on all accounts is showing to be a ‘good steward’ of this corner stone of open source development. On the other hand, I wonder, why? MS is still a business. Maybe it’s a bit pessimistic, but I can’t help be a little weary of the good news. Like in a month the other shoe will drop. Over the past several years I have become, more and more, and new Microsoft fan. Most know to the point, I happily use a Surface Book for my day to day work, and I freakin’ love it. Still, this move seems unnecessary? At least for me, private repos wasn’t a problem I needed solved.

Hits Close to Home

I came across this article How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation today, and while I have never considered myself a “millennial”, I am on the oldest end of that time line. Based on this feelings and perspective of Anne, and others she interviewed, I would say I’m closer to ever than being a millennial.

What has been dubbed adulting, or what Anne has nicknamed “errand paralysis”, the mundane day to day tasks of dry cleaning, post office, or other repetitive analog tasks.

But the more I tried to figure out my errand paralysis, the more the actual parameters of burnout began to reveal themselves. Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it

Anne makes some effective correlation to the burnout many of us feel in having been through school to come out to poor job prospects, or assuming massive debt to acquire more education, only to find the outcome suboptimal.

It you are a millennial, or a millennial in denial, or you know one. You need to take 10 minutes to sit down and read through Anne’s article at least once or twice.

Jesse (Millennial in denial)

Read More

I talked about themes the other day. One I didn’t mention, but wanted to outline was, read more. I love to read, but I don’t ever make it a priority in my daily life. When I was younger traveling the world, before iPhone and Kindle’s, I would always have a couple paperback books with me. What I remember and still feel, is reading is a different kind of relaxing. It feels less vegging out, when watching a movie. Not better, just satisfying a different type of down time. Make no mistake, I won’t be missing G.O.T. Or West World, but more reading is in my future for sure, maybe I’ll start with some Recommendations

Apple Letter to Investors

While Greater China and other emerging markets accounted for the vast majority of the year-over-year iPhone revenue decline, in some developed markets, iPhone upgrades also were not as strong as we thought they would be. While macroeconomic challenges in some markets were a key contributor to this trend, we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, US dollar strength-related price increases, and some customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements. 

Apple Website

Like many I can’t say the last line that iPhone battery replacements made a significant impact to lower sales than previous projected, it’s a bad look Tim. The smartphone market is mature and for the most part fully saturated. Someone like myself, who has pre-ordered most iPhones, getting the newest biggest best, have held off in recent cycles. Why? The combination of phones breaking $1,000, with the leveling off of hardware speed from year to year. Even with that, I’ve been Apple Leasing iPhones since they offered it. Pretty much iPhone as a service. At this point every 2 years seems more than adequate.

Side project lives

It’s got it’s own domain, and rough outline of a theme. HTTPS of course. Ability to post from any device and kick off a build on new content from here, or site changes from there.

Now for the hard part. More content. But the idea was to make it silly easy to push out content. Right?

Still need to set up these:

  • Projects page
  • Products page
  • About
  • Footer
  • Social accounts

Auto Publish

Netlify deploy might auto publish?

Themes

A yearly theme is a great way to keep a general focus for the long run. This is different then goals or actions. This is more like a guiding North Star. I picked up the idea from Rely FM’s Cortex which just had their yearly theme episode.

My theme this year is gonna be Creating Content. I’ll go into more detail as we progress, but really less consuming content and more creating, whatever form that happens to take.

Self publish

The idea is to be in control of the content and customize it to be more reflective of my own thoughts and ideas. It was a faint pain to set up, but I thing in the end it will be well worth it.