Tuesday, September 25 2018

Done with Google

What browsers are people using? I do like Firefox but I’m bummed I can’t use OTP for Github (hence keeping Chromium lingering). Opera and Vivaldi don’t do it for me either.

Along with Project Dragonfly, these recent changes coming are just the final nails in the coffin for me.

via Matthew Green

A few weeks ago Google shipped an update to Chrome that fundamentally changes the sign-in experience. From now on, every time you log into a Google property (for example, Gmail), Chrome will automatically sign the browser into your Google account for you. It’ll do this without asking, or even explicitly notifying you. (However, and this is important: Google developers claim this will not actually start synchronizing your data to Google — yet. See further below.)

via Christoph Tavan on Twitter (HN)

“Clear all Cookies except Google Cookies”, thanks Chrome. /cc


Thursday, September 20 2018

Spotify could soon let artists directly upload their music to the platform

From The Verge

Regarding payments for the artists who upload directly to Spotify, Kene Anoliefo, senior product lead for Spotify’s creator marketplace, tells The Verge that the company will offer up 50 percent of Spotify’s net revenue with artists for the songs they upload.

Spotify has been testing the feature for the past few months with artists like VIAA and Michael Brun. Despite today’s announcement, direct uploads are still only available for artists who have been invited by Spotify to participate.

Should Spotify eventually roll this out as a public feature, it could have a great impact on the indie music market

Compared to Bandcamp it’s still not that great of a deal, but cuts out the middle-man (CD Baby, Tunecore, etc) who also charge either one-time or annual fees.

Artist accounts are free. We make money through our revenue share on sales, which is 15% for digital, 10% for merch. We also offer Bandcamp Pro (our premium tier for artists), and Bandcamp for Labels, both for a monthly fee.

Still interesting to see if this comes to fruition and to the public.

Saturday, September 15 2018

On Words

“Words begin as description. They are prismatic, vehicles of hidden, deeper
shades of thought. You can hold them up at different angles until the light
bursts through in an unexpected color.”

– Susan Brind Morrow  from “The Names of Things”


As an Emacs user, org mode is a no-brainer. I track everything with it. I wanted someway to quickly capture thoughts, links, ideas and a quick search led me to org-journal. It’s perfect! Calling C-c C-j auto-creates a file for the day with a timestamp to begin a header or press Return and make some notes.

Installing org-journal is easy if you are running use-package


Friday, September 14 2018

Previously Undisclosed Details on Dragonfly Leak

From The Intercept

Google built a prototype of a censored search engine for China that links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers, thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries, The Intercept can reveal.

The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party regime, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

Previously undisclosed details about the plan, obtained by The Intercept on Friday, show that Google compiled a censorship blacklist that included terms such as “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin.

Leading human rights groups have criticized Dragonfly, saying that it could result in the company “directly contributing to, or [becoming] complicit in, human rights violations.” A central concern expressed by the groups is that, beyond the censorship, user data stored by Google on the Chinese mainland could be accessible to Chinese authorities, who routinely target political activists and journalists.

Well, that’s terrifying. There are alternatives though.

Wednesday, August 22 2018

Ode to Gray

We assume, wrongly, that gray is flat; we’ve been conditioned to do so. Even Wittgenstein denounced it, found it lacking luminosity. But his gray was conceptual, a fiction. As David Batchelor would write: A grey of the mind is largely an absence—of colour, of interest, of warmth, of desire, of life—whereas a grey in the world is always a presence. Goethe might be right that gray “is all theory” because theory itself is gray; the theory of gray, therefore, is also gray. The reality is of gray is not.
— Read on www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/08/21/ode-to-gray/

I’m all for grey.

Thursday, August 16 2018

An intro to fish (not Phish) 🐟

It appeared to me recently that I’ve inadvertently switched to fish shell full time and am loving it! Hopefully after this little intro you will too. For a more complete introduction, I recommend the official tutorial, my aim here is to highlight some of my favorite fish features to entice you…

First, what is fish? Out of the box you get autosuggestions, 24-bit color, man page completions, tab completions, syntax highlighting, and optional web-based configuration. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Saturday, August 11 2018

Circadian Emacs

The other day I was thinking about ways to automatically change from a light theme to a dark theme at a specific time of day in Emacs. Currently I have a custom function mapped to C-x t which tracks between the Solarized Light and Solzarized Dark themes.


Friday, August 10 2018

Big changes to Privacy and Automation with Mojave

Two links concerning Automation currently in macOS Mojave, if you are a heavy user of AppleScript, read on…

Running apps with Mojave’s privacy protection via Eclectic Light Company

“Mojave protects information in three categories: prompting (such as Location Services), other data (such as Mail), and special (such as microphone audio). These in turn break down as follows.

Prompting: Location Services, Contacts (address books), Calendars, Reminders, Photos (Photos libraries).

Other data: Mail, Messages, Safari browsing history, HTTP cookies, Call history (iOS), Time Machine backups, iTunes backups.

Special: Camera input, Audio input through the built-in microphone, Automation (AppleScript and others)”

Here is a more deep-dive into the Apple Event API’s with Mojave via Felix Schwarz

“I am deeply worried that the implementation of Apple Event sandboxing in Beta 2 could make it into the final release of macOS Mojave unchanged.

As it is, it offers too little to developers who want to provide a good user experience. And not enough for utility apps and pro users who are in need of an option to exempt apps from Apple Event sandboxing.

Right now there’s a broad and diverse range of useful and beloved apps that take advantage of the Mac’s support for automation. They make things “just work”, help make the Mac even more accessible, increase productivity and make lifes easier and richer.

For many, these apps are a reason to keep buying Macs – and a part of the Mac’s heritage and DNA.

Apple Events are the core technology making these apps possible. It is therefore essential to get right any changes to how Apple Events work. So that these apps can continue to exist and thrive.

If you’re using or making any of these apps, please help raise awareness at Apple on the importance of solving the problems presented here – by duping my radar (OpenRadarRadar) and sharing this blog post.”