• Here’s Amazon’s explanation for the Alexa eavesdropping scandal

    Weed is legal in Seattle, in case you wondered how they came up with this explanation.

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  • Obscura 2

    Out today is Obscura 2. I had a chance to play with the beta version and came to like it quite a bit, and it has become a home screen app for me. More information on the blog post here. I don’t know what it is about this app, but it’s really stuck with me, […]

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  • Instapaper Temporarily Shuts Down

    Nick Statt: Instapaper happens to be owned by Pinterest as of 2016, which does add a bit of a wrinkle to the situation as it’s not entirely clear what type of data on users’ reading habits or any other behaviors Pinterest may have gleaned from its subsidiary. When questioned by Williams on Twitter about the […]

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  • Castro Podcasts

    There’s a new version of Castro out, which switches the app to the now popular subscription model. Castro, as far as I am concerned, is the best podcasts app you can get. But also don’t take it from me because I so loathe podcasts. One thing to note here is the additional features of the […]

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  • How Facebook Binds, and Shatters, Communities

    Antonio Garcia Martinez: Facebook is to real community as porn is to real sex: a cheap, digital knockoff for those who can’t do better. Unfortunately, in both instances use of the simulacrum fries your brain in ways that prevent you from ever experiencing the real version again. But we’ll take what we can get. I’m […]

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  • Details on a New PGP Vulnerability

    Bruce Schneier: Why is anyone using encrypted e-mail anymore, anyway? Reliably and easily encrypting e-mail is an insurmountably hard problem for reasons having nothing to do with today’s announcement. If you need to communicate securely, use Signal. If having Signal on your phone will arouse suspicion, use WhatsApp. I wondered the same thing, though I […]

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  • Medium keeps killing off blogs in the name of saving the internet

    Cale Guthrie Weissman: It’s true that ad-based digital media is unsustainable, but bringing on journalists and editors and then killing their revenue in the name of a business pivot hardly seems like the appropriate fix. As one person impacted by Medium’s business changes in 2015 told me, the company is “throwing shit at the wall […]

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  • Subscription hell

    Paywalls are not sustainable, but he’s got everything else in this post wrong. The notion that article size in kbs bloat means there’s a greater cost, is bullshit. Content is the expense, not the hosting. What’s changed is that no one believes any longer that if you put in the sweat equity that you’ll cash […]

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  • Facebook accused of introducing extremists to one another through ‘suggested friends’ feature

    Martin Evans: Researchers, who analysed the Facebook activities of a thousand Isil supporters in 96 countries, discovered users with radical Islamist sympathies were routinely introduced to one another through the popular ‘suggested friends’ feature. Move fast and break things?

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  • The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News

    Robinson Meyer: And blame for this problem cannot be laid with our robotic brethren. From 2006 to 2016, Twitter bots amplified true stories as much as they amplified false ones, the study found. Fake news prospers, the authors write, “because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.” The conclusion is essentially that social […]

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  • A Good Summer Short Sleeve Henley

    Over on Everyday Wear, I posted a review of a new short sleeved merino wool Henley that is likely to be a staple this summer.

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  • At first life without a smartphone was terrifying. Then it was beautiful

    Eitan Chitayat: There were six individuals sitting down. One on his laptop, the other five all staring at their smartphones. Not one person had their head up. What’s the point of weaning me off this thing so I can enjoy looking around me when all I see are other addicts all looking into their iPhones? […]

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  • I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t

    It’s hard for me to fathom why people can’t give up Facebook, since I’ve been off of it most of my post-college life. So I found this post eye opening, and sad.

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  • Twitter Sold Data Access to Cambridge Analytica–Linked Researcher

    Selina Wang: Twitter Inc. sold data access to the Cambridge University academic who also obtained millions of Facebook Inc. users’ information that was later passed to a political consulting firm without the users’ consent. Not shocking, and I suspect this shit to keep coming out.

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  • Overcast Privacy Update

    This update to Overcast isn’t fucking around on privacy. More of this please.

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  • Amazon Alexa Has Got Some Serious Skills—Spying On Users!

    Ridiculous headline aside, Mohit Kumar: Checkmarx reported the issue to Amazon, and the company has already addressed the problem by regularly scanning for malicious skills that “silent prompts or that listen for unusual lengths of time” and kicking them out of their official store. I’d personally just assume that all Alexa-type devices can and will […]

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  • 1Blocker X for iOS Review at MacStories

    John Voorhees: Although I wouldn’t suggest purchasing an app based on the promise of future features, it’s also worth noting that the 1Blocker X team says partial site whitelisting is coming soon. When implemented, the feature will allow you to do things like unblock comments and ads for a site, but leave trackers and other […]

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  • dumber phone

    Nathan Toups on how to make your smart phone less addicting without going back to a feature phone has this closing thought: This setup will cause you to be less responsive on chats and email, but that’s sort of the point. Your phone shouldn’t dictate to you what you focus your attention on, and the […]

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  • Westport Beach Weekend Testing Sunlit

    I’ve been trying to figure out how I am going to phase out Instagram and delete that account. Sunlit is a strong contender so I took a bunch of random shots and created a “story” of sorts with them using Sunlit and my micro blog site. The results are interesting. Using Sunlit to create the […]

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  • Say Hello to 1Blocker X

    Good overview of what’s new in 1Blocker X. When I first installed the beta, I was confused by where there were so many extensions for just one app, this post explains the challenge the app faced. I’ve not kept a close eye on the content blocker race, but it sure seems to me that the […]

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