Larkin Poe Live, 2023 · Last night I enjoyed a concert by Larkin Poe (Wikipedia) at Vancouver’s excellent Commodore Ballroom. The music was just fine — more on that below — but mostly I’m here to think out loud about how Rock & Roll embeds into the wider world in 2023 ...
 
Amazon Q4 2022 Financials · For the last couple of years, each quarter I’ve been posting a quick analysis of Amazon’s quarterly business results in a Twitter thread. I don’t use Twitter much any more, and Mastodon doesn’t make it easy to post threads, so the blog it is. Summary: Amazon’s retail business loses money (as usual) but the AWS and Advertising businesses are huge, throw off lots of cash, and continue to grow fast. They subsidize the money-losing retail operation in a way that seems deeply unfair to me ...
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Abbie Angie Velar · I’m driving a loaner car from the Jaguar Land-Rover dealership, a 2023 Range Rover Velar. I’m not in love with it. But it’s got a name: Abbie Angie ...
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Quamina v1.0.0 · Today I hit the “release” button on v1.0.0 of Quamina (introduction here), a fast open-source pattern-matching library in Go. Gotta keep doing some coding to keep me honest! The purpose of today’s piece is to provide a snapshot status report and record a few technology gripes just to get them off my chest; sharing is caring ...
 
Class Reductionist · Like many geeks, I hoard a few dozen domain names, and currently they include the .com/.org/.net triple for “classreductionist”. “Class Reductionist” is considered an insult by many progressives and as far as I know, there’s no organized faction claiming the label. And while I wouldn’t either, I’m pretty sure I’d support the key policy goals that a hypothetical Class Reductionist would ...
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Winter Market · Saturday dawned chilly and rainy, but I went to the Riley Park Market anyhow. What with family and health and weather issues, I’ve been mostly cooped up lately, have been feeling caged, bored, and blue. Also, the Market is only ten blocks from our place, along a bike route. So I saddled up the e-bike and went hunting ...
 
Private and Public Mastodon · Here’s how to get into a lot of trouble:
Suppose you (like me) love the intellectual wealth found in free-form text on the Internet.
And (like me) are a reasonably competent programmer.
And (like me) have derived value and pleasure searching Twitter.
And (like me) you look at this nifty new Fediverse thing and see that it has nice Web APIs so you could build an app to vacuum up all the stories and laments and cheers and dunks and love letters and index ’em and let everyone search ’em and find wonderful things! So you lurch into the Mastodon conversation, all excited, and blurt out “Hey folks, I’m gonna index all this stuff and let the world in!”
That’s when you get your face torn off
 ...
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Is Moving to Mastodon Ethical? · The big story occupying space in my mind (and on this blog) is the #TwitterMigration. As Twitter grows troubled and troubling, “Fediverse” technologies in general and Mastodon in particular are successfully attracting many users and providing a pleasant experience. Everyone is wondering out loud whether Mastodon can take the strain and whether it can provide cool new features. What we haven’t been discussing are two ethical questions: First, is it OK to bail out of Twitter? And if bailing out, is Mastodon a acceptable place to land? ...
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Long Links · I hope everyone’s winter (or summer, depending) is going well. I find myself much busier recently, but still the browser tabs add up. Herewith another curation of long-form pieces that few will have time for all of, but a subset of them may be enriching for a subset of you ...
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Privacy Is OK · I hate to write a piece just saying Someone Is Wrong On The Internet. But Reid Blackman’s The Signal App and the Danger of Privacy at All Costs (in the NYTimes, forsooth) is not just wrong but dangerously misleading. I haven’t seen a compact explainer on why, so here goes ...
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Google Memory Loss · [Update: As of Jan 1, 2023 this is fixed! Thanks to Danny Sullivan and John Mueller of Google for figuring out what was going on. Yay!]
I think Google has stopped indexing the older parts of the Web. I think I can prove it. Google’s competition is doing better. [Update, Feb. 2022: It’s still happening.]
 ...
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Twitter Futures · I write this on December 16, 2022, as the landscape shifts convulsively, as Twitter becomes the main character on Twitter. It’s reasonable to wonder what comes next ...
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Protect Me From What I Want · Over on Mastodon, there are many people who enjoy not being in the grip of software like Facebook or Twitter that single-mindedly tries to maximize “engagement”, which means the amount of time you stare at the screen so they can show you ads. These algorithms don’t care what they’re showing you and if it turns out that showing you exclusively stories vilifying or praising Donald Trump (depending) maximizes engagement, then that’s what you’ll see. So the chant over there is “No algorithms on Mastodon!” This chant is wrong, and the discussion around it teaches us that we need clarity on what algorithms are, what moral weight they can carry, and whether they can be avoided. (Spoiler: They can’t.) ...
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Bye, Twitter · Today I’m leaving Twitter, because I don’t like making unpaid contributions to a for-profit publisher whose proprietor is an alt-right troll. But also because it’s probably going to break down. Read on for details ...
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Just Don’t · Sometimes it’s wrong to begin a phrase with the word “just”. I offer as evidence two such situations. I think there’s a common thread to be drawn ...
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AWS and Blockchain · This week saw the cancellation of the Australian Stock Exchange’s long-running effort to build a blockchain-based trading system. Which, oddly, has me thinking of 2016, when AWS decided not to make a strategic investment in blockchain, with my input a contributing factor. It felt like a good story while it was happening ...
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Mastodon Moment · My first Mastodon post (that I can find) dates from April 6, 2017. I try to check out interesting new life-online technologies, and this was one. But I found it sort of quiet and empty and didn’t say much. Now, following on Muskification, Twitter may become an unattractive online home, so it’s time to explore alternatives. I’ve been digging deeper into Mastodon (so have really a lot of other people) and this is a progress report ...
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How Much For Twitter? · Following on Mr Musk’s acquisition of Twitter a discussion has broken out about what to charge for. Which makes sense, because Twitter revenue is kind of lousy, notably out of sync with its societal importance, and now they’ve got a great big honking debt to service ...
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Online Shopping, But… · But not from middlemen I mean, especially Amazon. Like most people, I regularly buy stuff online. (I think that saying “most people” is now globally true?) But I have a big attitude problem about online retail aggregators in general and Amazon in particular. So as a matter of principle I’ve been trying to take significant purchases upstream to the source ...
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