Tag Archives: The Internets!

A Business Model to Optimize Crap

Hey, if you think that’s a startling headline, the original title of the article by Cory Doctorow in Wired is not-safe-for-work. But it does touch on something you may have suspected or outright observed about social media sites and their lifecycle of desperately needing content and eventually not being that useful, but obnoxiously necessary.

It may motivate you to think rather unsociable thoughts.

In any case, I found it interesting and in line with many of my recent posts that touch on technology and how we implement it.


I’m Afraid the Force is with this Mashup, Dave

Look, I wasn’t looking for this. You weren’t looking for this. But the Internet finds ways of creating things we weren’t looking for. So enjoy one of the classics of sci-fi (2001) cited occasionally by some for why they don’t like sci-fi mashed up with another one of the classics of sci-fi (Star Wars) cited continually by too many as something that “ahktshually, isn’t science fiction.”

Cleaning Up Personal Data Online

Firmly in the “getting around to it” folder is this NPR article about changes with Google’s tools to take personal information out of searches from earlier this year.

More later this week. Right now, I’m in the midst of a sizeable casting for Jabberwocky Audio.

Sci Fi versus Fantasy

A meme tickled Twitter users’ fancy late last month and for good reason: it was a pair of pithy comments contrasting science fiction and fantasy and skewering the related tropes for both.

Mignon Fogarty has a good collection over at the Grammar Girl, but be warned! You’ll start wanting to do your own.

To whit: Sci Fi is this blog on an encrypted server you’ll need some cyberpunk hacker to access. Fantasy is this blog on ancient parchment written in a language few alive still speak.

That Piece on Focus You will Forget to Read

This interview, by Vox‘s Sean Illig with journalist Johann Hari, came out in February… and then I finally checked it out in March… and now I’m only posting about it in May.

via Vox (Getty images)

The way I finally got to it was actually to listen to it, because the article is actually a summation of a more detailed slightly-more-than-an-hour audio interview.

It’s full of useful insights especially… dang, I might need to listen to it again.

The New Generation Combating Online Misinformation

I’ve been offline for much of the past few weeks, but –in a sense– that’s okay, because the Internet can be dark and full of terrors… and terrible misinformation.

Graphic by Naomi Antonino for CNET

Luckily, there are some energetic folks who have just may have found their calling, or a significant first act, learning how inane conspiracy theories and misinformation propagate on the Web. Learn more in this long-form article by Oscar Gonzalez for c|net. And stay curious… and skeptical.

Globetrotting – Radio Edition

I remember playing around with shortwave radio growing up in the previous millennium and the excitement at finding broadcasts from other countries.

Well, thanks to some enterprising folks over in the Netherlands, you can do some globetrotting yourself without leaving the comfort of your Internet browser. Radio Garden is a project that allows you to tune into all sorts of small radio stations all across the globe. Be warned, it can be a bit of a timesuck.


You Too Can Die of Dysentery!

Nowadays, there are so many different types of timewasters online, but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a classic.

I had been reminded that one of the quintessential games of my generation, The Oregon Trail, was available to play for free online.

It seems just and right to play it on a site dedicated to Oregon tourism.

Enjoy and, remember, trade to get food and always get help crossing the river.

Google Uncomfortable with Reining in Cookie Monster

It could be the parts of the web where I roam, but I’ve been reading a lot more about privacy, whether it’s Apple’s recent efforts to make their iOS more inherently private (see pieces in Bloomberg and The Verge) or the growing rumblings of government regulation (see pieces in CNBC and in Recode/Vox).

Strangely, “G” is for cookie, according to the algorithm.

By virtue of simply being online, all of us have been inducted into one or more Big Data Mining ecosystems whereby not only the tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google mine away at our identities, but a lot of third-party marketers do too. Many of you probably know about “cookies” in general, but I would guess few of us understand their scope, and not unrelated revenue, to entities like Google.

So this article by Sara Morrison in Recode (Vox) was interesting.

And for those of you who have read this far, thanks for including me in your algorithm for today. I think.

The State of Online Gaming, the Gated Internet, and, of course, the Money

I am not the biggest gamer nor the biggest technology maven, but even so, one sees news about how much more all content is being pushed online, how more companies are trying to have consumers access things by apps, and how controlling access –to the internet and apps– is key to many corporations making money.

Into that sphere of information comes this longform article by Nick Statt at The Verge about a recent flashpoint between the makers of Fortnite and Apple. Cory Doctorow also weighs in over on Slate. Finally, Matt Stoller, an author with an abiding interest in covering monopolies, politics, and power, has his own take.

They’re are longer reads, but I found them worthwhile to better understand Apple’s app store business model, how cloud gaming services mess with their collection of coin, and many of the potential paradigm shifts at play.