Contract for the Web: Tim Berners-Lee calls on world governments (and us all) to make the web a force for good / Boing Boing:

Governments that sign on are asked to promise to “ensure everyone can connect to the internet,” to “keep all the internet available all the time,” and to “respect and protect people’s fundamental online privacy and data rights.”

Corporate signatories promise that they will “make the internet affordable and accessible to everyone,” “respect and protect people’s privacy and personal data to build online trust,” and “develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst.”

Individuals are asked to “be creators and collaborators on the Web,” “build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity,” and “fight for the Web.”

My changing gears from Facebook to WordPress and other outlets started before this contract was posted, but absolutely in that spirit.

I don’t know that anyone is noticing, but I know…

How to recognize AI snake oil / Boing Boing:

Princeton computer scientist Arvind Narayanan (previously) has posted slides and notes from a recent MIT talk on “How to recognize AI snake oil” in which he divides AI applications into three (nonexhaustive) categories and rates how difficult they are, and thus whether you should believe vendors who claim that their machine learning models can perform as advertised.

(164) iSongs – YouTube

November 21, 2019

(164) iSongs – YouTube:

Popular songs covered with Garage Band on iPhone, in realtime.

I have done this once, The Who’s Baba O’Relily, with a bit of trial and error… It’s fun.

Fun Tip: You can export from Garage Band to a ringtone, if so inclined…

A low moment in Apple’s proud history, and a sadly iconic moment for Tim Cook. I hope avoiding those tariffs is worth it.
— Read on daringfireball.net/2019/11/cook_trump_campaign_ad

Taken together, they show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook users’ data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over the companies it partnered with. In some cases, Facebook would reward partners by giving them preferential access to certain types of user data while denying the same access to rival companies.
— Read on www.nbcnews.com/news/all/leaked-documents-show-facebook-leveraged-user-data-fight-rivals-help-n1076986

Back to windows after twenty years – Signal v. Noise
— Read on m.signalvnoise.com/back-to-windows-after-twenty-years/

<snip>

What this experiment taught me, though, was just how much I actually like OSX. How much satisfaction I derive from its font rendering. How lovely my code looks in TextMate 2. How easy it is to live that *nix developer life, while still using a computer where everything (well, except that fucking keyboard!) mostly just works.

</snip>

My very favorite quote along these lines is from Brian Kernighan: “Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?”
— Read on daringfireball.net/linked/2019/11/01/van-rossum-clever-code

I find that python, and Perl before it, are laden with “clever solution” issues which make it near impossible for someone else to pick up a codebase and run with it.

“While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics,” company CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.
— Read on www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-50243306

Baker’s willingness to admit the technical incoherence of crypto bans is great, a massive step forward, but American legal officials shouldn’t even be debating whether or not it’s possible to ban crypto. If Barr managed to produce a working “solution” to the problems that Baker raises, we still shouldn’t use it, because Americans have the right to make choices that enhance their own security, privacy and integrity, even if that makes cops work harder.
— Read on boingboing.net/2019/10/28/san-bernadino-conversion.html

I remember when I read your column, one of the sentences that most surprised me was: “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
Yes, I strongly believe that. I think there’s many meanings behind this. One is, it was his decision, not mine. Two, at least for me, I can only speak for myself, it gives me a level of empathy that I think is probably much higher than average because being gay or trans, you’re a minority. And I think when you’re a majority, even though intellectually you can understand what it means to be in a minority, it’s an intellectual thing. It’s not intellectual for me to be in a minority. I’m not saying that I understand the trials and tribulations of every minority group, because I don’t. But I do understand for one of the groups. And to the degree that it helps give you a lens on how other people may feel, I think that’s a gift in and of itself.
— Read on peopleenespanol.com/chica/tim-cook-the-power-of-diversity/