Skip to main content

I shared a story from Apple News today here on my blog. Usually when I do this I'll expand the URL into the publication's canonical URL for posting. Normal this works fine. For this article it did not. It appears that this Scientific American story is only available through the Apple News app. This is concerning. I don't like articles like this being isolated from the web. Hopefully this is just an exclusivity period or something and it'll show up on Scientific American's website at some point in the future.


The Problem isn't Sharing Misinformation Online; it's Believing it

So, when social media platforms are merely a vessel for sharing information, one of many vessels these groups have at their disposal, what must be addressed is the “why.” Why is misinformation so readily believed? The long-term solution isn’t censoring the information that people share; it’s educating our society to evaluate and determine information as scientific and factual.

This is what I've been saying for a while. The only way to combat this is through education. We need to bring back scepticism. Remember the saying "Don't believe everything you read"?


Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police - The New York Times

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries writing for The New York Times:

The new orders, sometimes called “geofence” warrants, specify an area and a time period, and Google gathers information from Sensorvault about the devices that were there. It labels them with anonymous ID numbers, and detectives look at locations and movement patterns to see if any appear relevant to the crime. Once they narrow the field to a few devices they think belong to suspects or witnesses, Google reveals the users’ names and other information.


In 2009, the company introduced Location History, a feature for users who wanted to see where they had been. Sensorvault stores information on anyone who has opted in, allowing regular collection of data from GPS signals, cellphone towers, nearby Wi-Fi devices and Bluetooth beacons.

People who turn on the feature can see a timeline of their activity and get recommendations based on it. Google apps prompt users to enable Location History for things like traffic alerts. Information in the database is held indefinitely, unless the user deletes it.

The article goes on to describe a situtation where a man was arrested for murder because his location history showed him roughly taking the path of the vehicle used in the killing. He ended up being fired from his job and losing his car. It turned out, however, that he was innocent. He had proof showing he was nowhere near the crime scene at the time of the murder.

This is a terrifying use of location data. If you've got Google's Location History turned on, probably best to turn it off.


Watched Winterfell

Jon and Daenerys arrive in Winterfell and are met with skepticism. Sam learns about the fate of his family. Cersei gives Euron the reward he aims for. Theon follows his heart.

Watched on Plex


iOS 13: Dark Mode, detachable panels, Safari and Mail, more - 9to5Mac

Sounds like lots of good things coming in iOS 13.


Fines up to $10,000 for gas stations that don’t display carbon tax sticker | Durham Radio News

They should also be required to display the global temperature increases that are likely to occur if something isn't done.


Google AMP lowered our page speed, and there's no choice but to use it - unlike kinds

Walid Halabi writing for Unlike Kinds:

From instant answers where users read content scraped from your site without visiting it, to Google assistant reading your site with barely a nod in your direction, to AMP with plain, samey sites served on different coloured paper, and from a Google domain no less, they want people to visit Google. Not your site. Your site just feeds Google. All these recent initiatives see users consuming your content without even visiting your domain, and in some cases, without seeing your ads or your pleas to subscribe.

If Google’s users were all served by scraped content in Instant Answers and Assistant answers, and dull, non-interactive websites served from Google’s domain, publishers become nothing more than a dumb pipe. But unlike ISPs, no one’s paying them.


Seeing a black hole with half a ton of hard drives - Six Colors

Jason Snell writing for Six Colors:

That’s 700 terabytes in 50,400 seconds, or about 14 gigabytes per second. As Marrone said, if you’re dealing in petabytes of data, the fastest bandwidth you can buy is not the Internet—it’s putting your hard drives on an airplane and flying them to your destination.

That's a crazy amount of data.