Excursions by Amit Gawande

Fast forward a year, and after a lot of trial and error I’m ready to now take the next step in removing Google from my life — I’m ditching Android.

To say that I’m ditching Android is a pretty incomplete statement - because there is no one Android. It really matter which flavour of Android we are talking about. And which specific device. For example, the bloatware might not be a problem on a unlocked Pixel device. At this point, both iOS and Android are in pretty stable states. It comes down to individual preferences. The author primarily seems to have an issue with Google, which again is justified.

Sat, Nov 3, 2018 reply links

I strongly believe we need tread extra cautiously while observing what these companies do with the internet. They would like to have their own walled sections of the internet where they define the rules and govern the policies. It started with URLs first (facebook.com was the internet for many). It is shifting to whole top level domains - Google’s usage of .new” for example.

I agree that the best solution will be to reduce the concentration of power. However, it is extremely complex to implement. There are too many parameter in play, both technological and political. It would be important to not let these walled premises build until we have the solution.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018 reply links

(…) expanding a license’s requirements beyond derived works is not entirely new; the GPLs requirement that build scripts be released is one example. But this takes that requirement to a rather different level, to the point of, Garrett suggested, even requiring a relicensing of the Linux kernel if a MongoDB service runs on Linux.

The change in licence terms sounds too stringent — far beyond just the scope of derived works which is typically the case. MongoDB can very well stop calling itself an open source software then when to use it in any significant manner, one needs to get into a proprietary license agreement. Wish the license doesn’t get approved as a valid open-source license.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018 reply links

It is so difficult to explore anything that Google announces without passing it thought the lens shaded by their ad business model. It doesn’t matter with what intention they implement a change or if those intentions are pure.

Sure, this will make the login secure by preventing credential stuffing. But doesn’t this also help them get more data from users who preferred not to by disabling JS? And was this the best and only solution to tackle this problem?

I believe internally too, Google must struggle with this perception.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018 opinion google

Infinite scroll can be disorienting, uncontrollable, and can cause your users stress (…) UX people shouldn’t consider infinite scrolling as a silver bullet to solve their pagination issues.

It’s worse when they load a new article when you reach the end of the current one. This is a hostile behavior towards your readers when you force articles to him/her in your quest for maximizing ad revenue via page views.

Mon, Oct 22, 2018 likes links

I’m turning off crossposting my blog to Twitter via Micro.blog. (…) Twitter is its own thing, it’s weird when I post something on my blog, but I have to check reactions separately on a closed social network. At least I get a webmention from Micro.blog, but nothing from Twitter.

Well, I have a different perspective to this than Zsolt. I post on my site, is all how I see it. And it then gets syndicated to everywhere - Micro.blog, Twitter and Mastodon. I do not worry about how it would be received where. If anyone responds/reacts to it, webmentions flow back to the post (from both micro.blog and Twitter, not from Mastodon for now).

Having said that, I share the experience with Zsolt that I receive most interactions from m.b. But there are posts that talk about a brand or a group only active on Twitter. Though rare, syndicating to Twitter allows getting responses from such folks too.

Thu, Oct 11, 2018 reply links
Liked the post Sans Forgetica

The desirable difficulty’ you experience when reading information formatted in Sans Forgetica prompts your brain to engage in deeper processing.

Fri, Oct 5, 2018 likes links

It’s entirely possible for a company like Google to make good, usable products that strike a balance between privacy and profit. It’s just that without some countervailing pressure forcing Google to hold up their end of the bargain, it’s going to be increasingly hard for Google executives to justify it.

Thu, Oct 4, 2018 likes links

I admire Aaron for his capability and willingness to be on road, traveling so often. It takes efforts to keep your mind fresh and body energized to fly around places. But some part of me also envy him that he gets to visit such fascinating locations and meet such diverse set of people all along. No doubt his perspective towards things is so genuine.

Travel makes you earnest. Wish I had means, and importantly zeal, to travel more.

Thu, Oct 4, 2018 thoughts

As it stands, I’ve put in 2,600+ hours and written 62,176 lines of code (mostly C++). The game’s made $27.92 in income, which nets out at about $0.01 per hour.

It is a sorry state for indie game developers; actually, the state would be the same even for the apps. But, on an average, I believe it takes significantly more effort to think of, design and implement a game. The race to the bottom on every app store out there is for sure to blame. Going indie full-time is becoming harder by the day. Especially so for new entrants.

I seem to have arrived very late to the party, and there are broken bottles and passed-out revelers everywhere.

I think many indie developers will share this emotion.

Mon, Oct 1, 2018 reply links
Liked the post The soup of abuse

I think we’re on the cusp of a huge revolution in humanity. Living in a soup of abuse and having to pretend everything is perfect, that’s the world we’re coming from. It’s the only world we’ve known.

Sun, Sep 30, 2018 likes links

♺ Reposted a tweet from Vox

Both Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh fielded questions from lawmakers and prosecutor Rachel Mitchell.

But only Ford made an effort to actually answer every question.

Sat, Sep 29, 2018 repost links

(..) it worked out all right because there was that woman using the responsive, fully interactive, enterprise-ready ERP system sheet of paper and a pencil” that allows you to reschedule bookings at will, with no programmers involved.

Tue, Sep 25, 2018 likes links

(…) we cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with. In fact, this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court. There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket.

Tue, Sep 11, 2018 likes links

In the case of Tesla, what’s missing: gravitas, which is needed when you are a public company. It needs an independent board. It needs its own Tim Cook and it needs strong executives. Musk needs to figure out how to live with the same public markets that have turned him into IronMan for some and a village idiot for others.

Sun, Sep 9, 2018 likes links
Liked the post Why Read the Classics?

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say (..) A classic is something that persists as a background noise even when the most incompatible momentary concerns are in control of the situation.

Mon, Sep 3, 2018 likes links

The power of mobs in Mastodon reminds me of the power of mobs in baby Twitter of 2009. Which is to say: it’s entirely possible it will get worse and worse — as it did on Twitter — to the point where lives can be ruined and even threatened.

Fri, Aug 31, 2018 likes links
In reply to Colin Devroe

I am happy that is the case currently. But there is a fear deep within, there always comes a time when network effect kicks in. When users who do not really have much attachment to a specific platform tend to settle down with the platforms where most of the acquaintances are. And then it is a snowball effect from there.

There has rarely been a place for many social networks to co-exists1. Hopefully, this time it is different. I doubt, but strongly wish that’s the case.

  1. Twitter is not a social network. It was only Facebook for so long.

Fri, Aug 24, 2018 thoughts

Every time I visit Aaron Parecki’s website, I come back with some inspiration - understand why & how he is implementing the things the way he is. There are many design decisions he’s handled perfectly.

But every time I visit his Articles” page, I am bewildered with one decision he has made there. He loads a list of posts, fine. But then follows it with complete contents of 20 recent articles. Given that his articles are heavy on images, that’s more than 25 MB of response. Not ideal, I think.

Mon, Aug 20, 2018 thoughts

Thank you Daniel for taking time to write the detailed post. Nanopub code and your notes helped me a lot while I was implementing the support for syndication to Mastodon. The documentation on APIs is really not clear; so was struggling a bit.

Anyway, all sorted out now. I was finally able to add the support for syndication in Blotpub.

Mon, Aug 20, 2018 thoughts

★ Liked Stories Are About Change

(..) if your story doesn’t change your lead character irrevocably from beginning to end, no one will really care about it. It may entertain them, but it will have little effect on them.

Fri, Aug 17, 2018 likes links

★ Liked Tokyo’s Long Lines Lead to Magic

Tokyo is a magical place. I knew this going in, even though I’d never been there before. It’s a fast, crowded, chaotic place, surging and staccato—until it’s not. The city is a pattern of movement and stillness, sounds and silences.

Fri, Aug 17, 2018 likes links