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One great thing about the mountain of GDPR emails in my inbox is, that you realise exactly how many newsletters you are subscribed to, that you should've unsubscribed to a long time ago.

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Flopstarter | A platform for bad ideas

I immediately backed the 1D printer, because that sounds like the future right there.

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Photos: China's bitcoin mines and miners — Quartz

Taking advantage of the cheap and plentiful hydroelectric power that an army of computers require, bitcoin mining is spreading in remote parts of China’s Sichuan province. In dark and isolated warehouses, bitcoin mining machines hum along solving equations to produce the highly valued cryptocurrency.

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Scenes Unseen: The Summer of ’78 - New York Times

Long-forgotten pictures capture escape and discovery in the city’s parks from the summer of 1978.

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Sticky links - May 7th, 2018

2 min read

  • Take the power back is about how we can work our way back to the independent decentralised internet we were supposed to get. The method? "Changing from passive, to active. From scroll to search, from react to rethink, from like and retweet to write and link."  Also, turns out that teenagers today don't know what browsers or URLs are. To them, a browser is this weird app that sometimes pops up, and URLs are these cryptic things you have to write to go somewhere, it's just bad UX really. Proprietary apps is where the internet is, according to them [insert "old man yells at cloud" image here].
  • Want to leave Facebook, but don't want to lose the easy access to your friends, relatives and acquaintances? Do you also find it a bit FOMO inducing to leave it all behind? How about making it not worth going there in the first place? I followed a tip on Quora to effectively unfollow everybody in my newsfeed. Now, even when I load Facebook, my feed is empty, but I can keep Facebook as my interactive, self-correcting address book, which it is still very good at.
  • Last time I recommended installing EFF's Privacy Badger. I should have also recommended the Disconnect browser extension, which stops a lot of trackers from working on the sites you visit.
  • In Cuba, where internet penetration is at 5%, the Sneakernet is one of the most efficient ways of getting information to the rural areas. It's pretty much a weekly "Best of the Internet" on a USB stick that gets distributed around the country. It's called "El Paquete Setimanal", and shows what a curated, infrastructure-less internet can look like. You can see a directory of what was in the one from October 10th, 2016. Informational 7 mins YouTube video on the topic. Academic paper on Cuba's offline internet.
  • Do you think it's ok for your 9-year old to take public transport on their own? If you do it in the US, you might end up getting the Child Protection Services sprung on you by concerned citizens, while in Japan, your kid could be part of a TV show about sending kids on their first errand. The reason? A larger sense of social trust and self-reliance in the latter.

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This is Cuba's Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify – all without the internet - YouTube

The Cuban internet, El Paqueta, a package of content circulated weekly, is supremely interesting because it shows a curated infrastructure-less internet

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Publishers Haven't Realized Just How Big a Deal GDPR is - Baekdal Plus

On May 25, 2018, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (better known as GDPR) comes into effect, and I'm quite worried about how this will impact publishers because most don't seem to be even close to compliant.

The problem with GDPR is that most publishers see it as an IT/administrative burden. They think the only thing they need to do is set up some databases and do some other IT things ... and then redesign their privacy page.

What I'm not seeing, however, is any real change to the way publishers use data, the business models they have that rely on data, or any consideration as to what impact this will have on their editorial strategies.

So, in this article, I'm going to talk about GDPR as a concept in relation to media trends, and consider what this means for your editorial strategies. I hope I can help you realize just how big a change this actually is.

 

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Secret 7 - unique decorated 7" sleeves for charity

Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and presses each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. We then invite creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style for every 7”. 700 unique sleeves are exhibited before going on sale on a first come, first served basis priced at £50 each. You don’t know who created the sleeve, or even which song it’s for, until you have parted with your cash - the secret lies within.

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Sticky links - April 14, 2018

2 min read

  • Ad nauseam is a browser extension meant to click on all the ads that you come across when browsing the web. The philosophy behind it is, that if you click on all the ads that you come across, the advertising profile that will be built from this data, about you, is useless. You have no characteristics. You like everything. If that kind of stuff is interesting to you, you should read the article “Monkeywrenching the Machine”, it's about how you can make it harder for corporate AIs to mine your data. Both are relevant in this day and age. If you prefer something less reactive, you should install EFF's Privacy Badger in your browser. It minimises how much of your activity is trackable online, by blocking ads and trackers. You can also make some internet noise to confuse data collection algorithms.
  • I recently spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica on vacation. Fascinating country, warm people, and exotic animals. The Costa Rican address system is also exotic. They don’t really have a formal one, as you do in a city like London. One guesthouse we stayed at had the address “200 meters past the intersection with the church, on a particular road, in this town.” Their address system typically uses recognisable landmarks, and navigates you from there via directions. It turns out that 4 billion people in the world, live without an address, and one company trying to tackle this is What 3 Words. They do this by putting a 3mx3m grid over the entire world, and give each square a unique name, which is a combination of 3 words. It’s genius. We should all use it, it’s even good enough for Switzerland! Surprisingly Awesome did an episode on postal addresses worth a listen if you find this interesting.
  • More geography fun. The United States has 10 cities where the population is more than 1 million people. For China, that number is 102. I might know a handful of them. This helped me better understand exactly how populous China is, and how concentrated the population in the US is.