Earlier today, Moscow-based BBC journalist Will Vernon noticed that Apple appears to have quietly ceded to Russia’s stance on Crimea by redrawing national borders on the Russian version of its Maps app and labeling the region as “Russia.”
I don’t want to be compared to those conservative nuts that blew up their Yeti coolers in a fit of perceived betrayal, but between this and Tim Cook cozying up to Trump in exchange for tariff exemptions, I’m getting close to planning a move away from Apple’s hardware and ecosystem if they don’t change course soon.
In a response to the overwhelming negative feedback, Google is standing firm on Chrome’s ad blocking changes, sharing that current ad blocking capabilities will be restricted to enterprise users.
Google sucks. I keep Chrome installed, but I only use it for Google’s own sites. Everything else lives in Safari, and I keep Firefox around as a backup. I never log into a Google property outside of Chrome.
There’s a system preference panel called Choosy that I’ve been using for years. It lets you set a default browser for certain URLs. I’ve configured it to automatically use Chrome whenever I click a link that goes to a Google-owned site. Works great, highly recommended.
Beyond that, though, we’ve grown ever more aware of the problems with centralizing the internet. Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.
Seeing more and more pieces like this around the web makes me think that Micro.blog has some staying power. I’m still enjoying that community even though I haven’t been engaging much over the last couple of months. Over the next few months, I’m hoping to clear some of the dust and cobwebs off of this site and spruce things up a bit.
The more time I spend on Micro.blog, the worse I feel about participating in other social networks: the creepy targeted advertising, the outrage, the endless lists of tips that imply something is wrong with me, all the notifications and suggestions that are intended to capture more of my time and attention for the benefit of the platform.
Once again, I find myself deleting Instagram and Apollo (a Reddit client) because both services make me feel dirty. Putting content on my blog feels good.
This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot. What happened in the ‘80s happened in the ‘80s, and this is set in the present day.
I’m not sure how they’re going to do this without Harold Ramis. And Bill Murray was staunchly against doing another film (going so far as to shred a draft script that was sent to him by Dan Aykroyd).
I liked the 2016 reboot, and I’m sad there won’t be a sequel. And I worry about this new movie’s existence being seen by the women-hating fans of the franchise as validation for their vile behavior toward the cast of the 2016 film. I’m also worried it’ll suck. But that’s a cool teaser trailer.
Fundamentally Broken is hosted by my friends Seth and Tim. It’s entertaining if you enjoy listening to two iOS-loving nerds drink while discussing life’s problems and occasionally technology and productivity.
Sam and Ross Like Things is hosted by my friends, uh, Sam and Ross. They talk about the things they like (no hedging!). It’s a super-positive show that always makes me wonder why I spend so much of my time being in a bad mood. If you like the show, they have a Patreon.
In my last post, and in an upcoming podcast, I discussed setting up barriers to entry for social networks as a way to prevent trolls from entering platforms. I was quickly reminded by my wife that, even though I was advocating for keeping “bad people” out, these barriers can often by used by people to exclude any group of people the community sees as unfit.
Money disadvantages those who can’t spare it. Technological requirements disadvantage those who don’t have the know-how. Personal vetting disadvantages anyone who isn’t part of your clique. It’s a short walk from there to excluding people because of gender, race, etc.
Ultimately, you end up enforcing the same broken systems that exist in real life social groups, and that’s not what we should strive for on the internet or anywhere else. Inclusion of all people, regardless of who they are, is what we should always aim for.
To be clear: my intent was not to suggest that we create barriers that exclude people in order to enforce bias. Instead, I was suggesting that having a cost-of-entry, however small, can create just enough friction to keep bad actors from bothering your community because they won’t want to expend the necessary resources to join.
The problem with this is that the available barriers are the same ones we’ve always used. How do we keep out the bad while letting in the good? How do we disenfranchise bad actors without accidentally disenfranchising someone who would enrich the community? How do we make sure that our definition of good isn’t someone else’s definition of bad and vice versa? Are some barriers more justifiable than others? If so, why, and according to whom?
As long as people are making these decisions, whether intentional or not, I believe the results will always be biased in one way or another. I’m afraid the idea of a pure community that’s open to everyone, where there are no barriers, where people who act out against one or all of the group’s members are dealt with in a way that’s agreeable to everyone inside and outside the community, will never exist. I’d like to be proven wrong.