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Shawn vs Sean

“You can never trust a spy. Even your own.”

Technology

Our Lives Are Becoming Comfortable Illusions

> Once you start to see this, you’ll see why it wreaks havoc on people’s minds: Reality isn’t simple. It’s complex and messy. Life is full of uncertainty so naturally we’re eager to flock to media where everything makes perfect sense in neat, rounded rectangles. It’s the reductionist blender. Take my life, break it into parts, and present it back to me as a comfortable illusion. It’s hard not to buy in, even when a part of me knows it isn’t real. > There is a striking pattern in the emerging tec
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Google, Security, Technology

Google, Facebook, and The Creepy Line

> Google also makes most of their money via this same type of keyword-based advertising that doesn’t require any search-history tracking. > So why do they track it all then? Because Google is not really a search company; they are an advertising company. On Google, your searches are tracked, mined, and packaged up into a data profile for advertisers to follow you around the Internet through intrusive and annoying ever-present banner ads, using Google’s massive [https://marketingplatform.google.c
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Technology

Media’s Blame Game

> When you have sales guys (they are mostly guys) in charge, decisions will reflect their usual approach, which is to maximize their personal gains as quickly as possible, cash in their bonus checks, and then move on to another outfit desperate enough to let them do it all again. This won’t work in an industry in need of the focus, foresight, and boldness that brings about transformational change. Sadly, the media establishment’s attitude appears to track more with our politicians’ thinking on c
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Software Development

Topics & Assemblies

> “So I really believe, guys, that we are in a war of Blobs versus Chunks. We are in a war between giant, unstructured blobs of content, and clean, well-structured fields of content that have metadata attached. We are in a war of Blobs versus Chunks. You all are on Team Chunk. We cannot let the blobs win.” — Karen McGrane > As platforms proliferated, WYSIWYG quickly became WYSIWTF. Source: Topics & Assemblies | Contentful [https://www.contentful.com/r/knowledgebase/topics-and-assemblies/]
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Software Development

Storybook: UI component explorer for frontend developers

> Storybook is a user interface development environment and playground for UI components. The tool enables developers to create components independently and showcase components interactively in an isolated development environment. > Storybook runs outside of the main app so users can develop UI components in isolation without worrying about app specific dependencies and requirements. Source: Storybook: UI component explorer for frontend developers [https://storybook.js.org/]
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Cool Tools, Software Development

JAMStack 2019

A modern architecture —Create fast and secure sites and dynamic apps with JavaScript, APIs, and pre-rendered Markup, served without web servers.
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Media, Technology

Tracking-based ads, generally called adtech, do not sponsor publications

> Getting the world to mistake direct marketing for real advertising is one of the great magic tricks of all time: a world record for misdirection in business. > Tracking-based ads, generally called adtech, do not sponsor publications. They use publications as holding pens in which human cattle can be injected with uninvited and unwelcome tracking files (generally called cookies) so their tracked eyeballs can be shot wherever they might show up with ads aimed by whatever surveillance data has be
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Security

A Plan to Stop Breaches With Dead Simple Database Encryption

> In such a “client-side” encryption scheme, databases utilizing Field Level Encryption will not only require a system login, but will additionally require specific keys to process and decrypt specific chunks of data locally on a user’s device as needed. That means MongoDB itself and cloud providers won’t be able to access customer data, and a database’s administrators or remote managers don’t need to have access to everything either. Source: A Plan to Stop Breaches With Dead Simple Database Enc
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Media

TikTok Times a Billion

> In a major milestone for a Chinese technology company, the short-video app TikTok, known as Douyin (?? d?uy?n) in its home country, was downloaded over 1 billion times as of earlier this year. That’s according to statistics from Sensor Tower [https://sensortower.com/blog/tiktok-downloads-one-billion], a US company that tracks apps. > Chinese companies had already produced several mega-apps, including the social media-and-everything-else app WeChat that also has over one billion active users, b
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Cool Tools, Software Development

Cool API Tools

* https://www.getvero.com/ * https://www.imgix.com/ * https://www.gitbook.com/ * https://getstream.io [https://getstream.io/]
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Technology

Neal Stephenson – Why I Am a Bad Correspondent

> Writing novels is hard, and requires vast, unbroken slabs of time. Four quiet hours is a resource that I can put to good use. Two slabs of time, each two hours long, might add up to the same four hours, but are not nearly as productive as an unbroken four. If I know that I am going to be interrupted, I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all. Likewise, several consecutive days with four-hour time-slabs in them give me a stretch of time in whi
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Software Development

We Don’t Sell Saddles Here

> We get 0 points for just getting a feature out the door if it is not actually contributing to making the experience better for users, or helping them to understand Slack, or helping us understand them. None of the work we are doing to develop the product is an end in itself; it all must be squarely aimed at the larger purpose. Source: We Don’t Sell Saddles Here – Stewart Butterfield – Medium [https://medium.com/@stewart/we-dont-sell-saddles-here-4c59524d650d]
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Technology

Virality Is History

> We all watch different TV shows and read different books and listen to different music. So nothing catches fire and blows up, because no one’s got the time for what they’re already interested in. > So marketers furiously look for publicity in newspapers, blogs, believing it will start a fire. But it won’t unless it’s truly eye or ear-popping. It has to be equivalent to the Beatles, or at least Adele, to get traction. > Otherwise, you’ve got to convert people one by one. Which sellers hate. Bec
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Technology

Computers and Video Surveillance

> It used to be that surveillance cameras were passive. Maybe they just recorded, and no one looked at the video unless they needed to. Maybe a bored guard watched a dozen different screens, scanning for something interesting. In either case, the video was only stored for a few days because storage was expensive. > Increasingly, none of that is true [https://www.aclu.org/report/dawn-robot-surveillance]. Recent developments in video analytics — fueled by artificial intelligence techniques like ma
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Cool Tools, Security

Free Mac Security Tools

LuLu – In today’s connected world, it is rare to find an application or piece of malware that doesn’t talk to a remote server. LuLu is the free, open firewall for Macs that can protect your network connections and detect malicious activity. OverSight – Mac malware often spies on users by recording audio and video sessions…sometimes in an undetected manner. OverSight monitors a mac’s mic and webcam, alerting the user when the internal mic is activated, or whenever a process accesses the webcam.
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Cool Tools

LMMS – Let’s make music

> Produce music with your computer by creating melodies and beats, synthesizing and mixing sounds, arranging samples and much more. > Playback instruments, samples and plugins with a typing or MIDI keyboard in a user-friendly and modern interface. > Bundled with ready-to-use content from an assortment of instrument and effect plugins, presets and samples to VST and SoundFont support. Source: LMMS | Home [https://lmms.io/] Open-source music creation tool LMMS [https://lmms.io/] has issued its fi
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Software Development

Why I Switched From Visual Studio Code To JetBrains WebStorm

> In my current project, I met a developer who was really confused that I was using an editor and not an IDE for the development of large business applications. First, I did not really consider his concerns but meanwhile, I understand him. > In this blog post, I want to tell you why I now mainly use WebStorm instead of VS Code for development. > Preamble > This is a very hot topic and I know this will cause some controversy. In the following article, I talk about my experience using WebStorm in
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Cool Tools

Mac Open Web

A collection of open and indie Mac, iOS, and web apps that help promote the open web. Updated May 20, 2019Submit any new links & issues on this project at Github Source: Mac Open Web, by Brian Warren [https://macopenweb.com/]
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Design

Good Things By Their Nature Are Fragile

> In 1988 Laura and I created a three-stage model of what we called “living process.” We called the three stages Good Thing, Rut, and Transition. As we saw it, Good Thing becomes Rut, Rut becomes Transition, and Transition becomes Good Thing. It’s a continuous circuit. > A Good Thing never leads directly to a Transition, in large part because it has no reason to. A Good Thing wants to remain a Good Thing, and this is precisely why it becomes a Rut. Ruts, on the other hand, want desperately to ch
Shawn
Shawn
2 min read
Cool Tools

Ethical Alternatives & Resources

Source: Ethical Alternatives & Resources – ethical.net [https://ethical.net/resources/] Ethical.net has compiled a list of resources for “discovering ethical alternatives to stuff”. All kinds of other services and apps that tend to be open source, privacy friendly, not supported by advertising, and decentralized.
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Cool Tools, Design

Haiku Animator

Motion design for your team’s workflow Animations are hard. Collaborating between designers and developers, even harder. Luckily for you, Haiku Animator lets you bring motion design to production, starting with your design tools and finishing with your codebase. Source: Haiku Animator | Create engaging animations for any app or website. [https://www.haikuforteams.com/]
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Software Development

React UI Libs

Jetbrains – Ring UI [https://jetbrains.github.io/ring-ui/master/index.html] PrimeReact [https://www.primefaces.org/primereact/#/] Material-UI [https://material-ui.com/] ANT Design [https://ant.design/] and a bonus one for React Native React Native Paper [https://callstack.github.io/react-native-paper/] Think of them as the React versions of https://material.angular.io/
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Software Development

Proton Native – React Native for the desktop

> On mobile, it used to be hard to build beautiful cross-platform apps. Then React Native came along, giving us a seamless way to build user interfaces and manage state in code, all while doing it cross platform. > On desktop, there is no such tool. You can create a GUI using something like Qt, but for people who are used to the React workflow and JSX, there currently isn’t an alternative. > Some of you might be saying that you could do it in Electron. It’s a good tool, but it brings in a lot of
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read
Technology

Heroku vs. a private server vs. Kubernetes

Heroku vs. a private server vs. Kubernetes 1. Use Heroku (or something similar) whenever you can. It’s easy and painless. But sometimes you need disk storage, or your own database server, or a few apps which cooperate. This is hard to do with Heroku. 2. You can always run your own private server. We all know the tradeoffs here. It’s easy (but only if you know Unix by heart!), and you can set it up however you like. But servers often turn into a mess of badly-documented cus
Shawn
Shawn
1 min read