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.
I’m done with social media. Maybe I just don’t fit into whatever the social media world is. I mean, the people who are all over the various Mastodon instances made it really clear that I wasn’t welcome there (with a handful of notable, joyful, exceptions, mostly related to my first baby steps into painting), and it seems as if I was just unwelcome because … I’m me? I guess?
Folks are saying that community management is the solution. That if you have good tools in place, this sort of thing is avoidable. To that, I say: unless your community management system can scale to 7 billion users, it’ll never work. Technology can’t solve the problem; you’d have to change human behavior, and that’s not gonna happen.
An open-door policy means anyone can come in, and they will, and they’ll bring their hate and negativity and bigotry with them. Unless you control who gets in (either directly through moderation or indirectly through obfuscation or inserting on-boarding costs like fees or requiring certain technological know-how), the masses will show up. Some of them will bring their tiki torches.
Or, at the very least, find some communities that are private or that present barriers to entry that trolls won’t or can’t cross. And then, when you’ve found a nice place to hang out, at least try to treat people decently.
I for one, refuse to use Alexa and Google Home in my apartment. I don’t trust them, much like I don’t trust Facebook. Apple seems to be doing a good job of keeping its nose clean, but who knows when they come under pressure from “activist” investors.
I can’t even trust Apple on this. My wife and I debated buying a HomePod, and we ultimately decided that no smart devices like this should ever be in our home. It’s a bit tinfoil-hat, but imagine the fun a government could have with these things. Tracking down illegal immigrants and dissidents could be as simple as tuning into a home’s always-on audio stream. No thanks.