Facebook and Google Injured the Open Web

March 12, 2016

If you are reading this post on my blog you are one of the few. Currently most of my updates are posted to Facebook and I will tweet interesting things on twitter. I think the reason for this is that the state of the open web regressed after the death of Google Reader. When Google Reader was popular many people used it. They’d stumble upon an interesting blog, add it to their Google Reader, and when you posted an update the magic of RSS sent a swarm of subscribers to your blog. While RSS readers still exist I think that their usage is down overall. This has lead many blogs and online shops to resort to e-mail newsletters as their tool to keep people updated and engaged. Unfortuantely, the quality of my inbox has steadily declined as a result.

So this lead me to wonder what could make blogging useful again. The first thing would be for it to be easy to post to my blog the way it is from Facebook using the share tools on iOS and OS X, both of which I use frequently. The second would be for people to use RSS readers again, or for Facebook to integrate RSS into its newsfeed. Finally it would be great if my Facebook posts could automatically post to Jekyll if they met certain criteria.

Meanwhile I am on the hunt for a good iOS and OS X GitHub Pages/Jekyll client to change some habits since I do not know how long Facebook will last, but I can be fairly certain this blog will.

Under Construction

November 09, 2015

I am currently in the process of restructuring this website to make it look nicer, since I love playing with HTML and CSS, but also to make this a better portfolio pitstop. I have come to realize that a lot of blogging these days is seen and done on Facebook and so I have been posting my blog type posts there. I will probably still post here but am going to modify the site to better reflect the fact that when people land they’re likely just wondering who I am.

My First Video Blog on the Secret iPhone Warranty

May 18, 2015

How to save a little money, it works with most electronics:

Data Visualization is Compression

March 11, 2015

I cannot believe I missed this TED talk by David McCandless from Infomration is Beautiful. The most important point that he made was how long it took him to make a single graphic in his book, and that graphic provided context that otherwise did not exist. A lot of times people will put numbers on top of an image, but that kind of visualization does not have the impact that McCandless’s visualizations have. Check out the website and share your favorites in the comments.

The CIA v. Apple

March 10, 2015

From The Intercept: >By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers have sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.

Very disappointing to see this happen, but glad to see Cook stand firm to the extent he can. Ultimately the problem with any backdoor is that if it works for one person than others can exploit it. There is not some kind of middle ground where we can know for certain our devices are secure but also that the government can snoop on them. We deserve secure systems, and our privacy. These things were embedded in our fourth amendment and I think the interest of law enforcement in snooping on our communications should not override it.

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