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I used to blog. I still do, but I used to too. Previously at blog.verture.net, now here, on a journey to explore how the Indieweb can become a larger part of my internet life.

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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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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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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.

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"The Damn. Chronic" by DJ Critical Hype - Dre's beats meets Kendrick's flow. Excellently executed. https://audiomack.com/album/dj-critical-hype/the-damn-chronic

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Is now a good time to remind everyone of alternative social networks? It doesn't hurt to take a look around, and see what kind of community you could build if you were using another platform for your social life online.

I've been eyeing https://mastodon.social for a while, and it could be your new favourite social network. I'm @kongputer, and a newbie myself. Come say hi.

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"Developers, designers, and product need to talk more on how to achieve this. A 1,700 word article might weigh 10KB but by the time you load HTML, JS, CSS, images, 3rd-parties, and ads, it can range between 2MB to 8MB depending on the web site. Bear in mind, the first Harry Potter ebook is 1.1MB and that includes cover art."

https://projects.hearstnp.com/performance/

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Plastic particles found in bottled water - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43388870 Reminds me of Anil Dash's write up about the bottled water industry: http://anildash.com/2007/07/bottled-water-is-still-a-scam.html. Get a container that you can reuse, and just fill it with tap water. Better for you, and the environment.

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Rest in Power. Craig Mack's "Project Funk Da World" and Biggie's "Ready to Die" were my highlights of 94-95.

Craig Mack, rapper behind Flava in Ya Ear, dies aged 46 - https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/mar/13/craig-mack-rapper-behind-flava-in-ya-ear-dies-aged-46