Will these lists ever get shorter?
Now when we look at new things added to HMTL, new features, new browser APIs, what we tend to ask, of course, is: how well does it work?
How well does this thing do what it claims it’s going to do? That’s an excellent question to ask whenever you’re evaluating a new technology or tool. But I don’t think it’s the most important question. I think it’s just as important to ask: how well does it fail?
Nothing like a full hour of Jeremy Keith to get the year’s work started.
Anne Helen Petersen:
For the past two years, I’ve refused cautions — from editors, from family, from peers — that I might be edging into burnout. To my mind, burnout was something aid workers, or high-powered lawyers, or investigative journalists dealt with. It was something that could be treated with a week on the beach. I was still working, still getting other stuff done — of course I wasn’t burned out.
But the more I tried to figure out my errand paralysis, the more the actual parameters of burnout began to reveal themselves. Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives.
That realization recast my recent struggles: Why can’t I get this mundane stuff done? Because I’m burned out. Why am I burned out? Because I’ve internalized the idea that I should be working all the time. Why have I internalized that idea? Because everything and everyone in my life has reinforced it — explicitly and implicitly — since I was young.
This hit home. My millennial brain kept trying to dismiss the whole article as millennial whining, but it won me over in the end.
A machine learning agent intended to transform aerial images into street maps and back was found to be cheating by hiding information it would need later in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.” Clever girl!
But in fact this occurrence, far from illustrating some kind of malign intelligence inherent to AI, simply reveals a problem with computers that has existed since they were invented: they do exactly what you tell them to do.
If the watch can become people’s primary device, it may provide the opportunity to switch the media paradigm from an endless stream to a concentrated dispatch.
I was reminded of Hodinkee’s Apple Watch Series 3 review:
This image above is what I’ve carried with me the last three days. Not only is there no phone – which, let me tell you, is incredibly liberating – but also I’m now only carrying one AirPod with me at a time. I can make calls, listen to music, and use Siri all from just the single unit, which I throw into my pants pocket when I’m not using it.
Craig Mod always reminds me that words are magic:
Hiking with a Kindle definitely feels futuristic—an entire library in a device that weighs less than a small book, and rarely needs charging. And my first impulse on reading Johnson’s final line, sitting on a dirt path in the mountains of Japan flanked by Cryptomeria japonica, was to eulogize him right there, smack dab in the text while a nightingale whistled overhead. The Kindle indicated with a subtle dotted underline and small inline text that those final sentences had been highlighted by “56 highlighters.” Other humans! Reading this same text, feeling the same impulse. Some need to mark those lines.
I wanted to write, “Fuck. Sad to think this is the last new work we’re going to get from this guy. Most definitely dead as I’m reading it.” You know, something in the vulgarity of Johnson himself. I wanted to stick my 10-cent eulogy between those lines for others to read, and to read what those others had thought. Purchasing a book is one of the strongest self-selections of community, and damn it, I wanted to engage.
But I couldn’t. For my Kindle Oasis—one of the most svelte, elegant, and expensive digital book containers you can buy in 2018—is about as interactive as a potato. Instead, I left a note for myself: “Write something about how this isn’t the digital book we thought we’d have.”
There’s a subtext of the #deleteFacebook movement that has nothing to do with the company’s mishandling of personal data. It’s the idea that people who use Facebook are stupid, or shouldn’t have ever shared so much of their lives. But for people who came of age in the early 2000s, sharing our lives online is second nature, and largely came without consequences. There was no indication that something we’d been conditioned to do would be quickly weaponized against us.
Pixels of LCD monitors are usually composed of three stripes of the colors red, green, and blue. Tech enthusiast Matt Sarnoff used this property to his advantage when inventing a subpixel text encoding font. Its glyphs are comprised of colored strips only one pixel wide.
Straight-up one of my favourite internet finds of the year. Something about it just gets to me on a deep level. I’ve looked at it dozens of times and that feeling doesn’t go away.
I first came across it on Twitter a few months ago, and it’s been on the back of my mind ever since.
Very soon, the vast majority of browsers will have an engine that’s either Blink or its cousin, WebKit. That may seem like good news for developers when it comes to testing, but trust me, it’s a sucky situation of innovation and agreement. Instead of a diverse browser ecosystem, we’re going to end up with incest and inbreeding.
BDG shows how Celeste relates to real-life rock climbing and it totally clicks.
While most games will make you grind to improve your character, Celeste makes you grind to improve yourself. When you succeed, you keep that skill and that knowledge. And just link in real climbing, when you go back to a route you’ve already completed, you ask yourself: “how did I ever struggle with this?”
And that’s when you know… you have become the genius beefcake.
Will we ever run out of Celeste praise videos? I hope not.
Still, as a thought experiment, suppose Congressman Smith were right, and that Google’s search results, whether via managerial decree, general employee bias, or rogue employee, were gamed to disfavor Conservatives. The solution seems clear: create a competitor to serve the part of the market that is dissatisfied with Google.
The issue, of course, is that Google is, at least for a while (and more on this in a bit), impregnable: the company is an Aggregator with positive feedback loops everywhere.
But in the past we had browser disparity as a mechanism for delaying bad ideas from becoming ubiquitous so they could be hashed out in a Web Standards body. Some of the best ideas we have today, like CSS Grid, were pioneered in one browser (IE10) and then polished in a Working Group. If V1 of
-ms-gridwas now the de facto standard, we’d have some regrets.
There have always been bad Mac apps. But they seldom achieved any level of popularity because Mac users, collectively, rejected them.
It’s not that CSS in inherently incapable of executing complex conditions. Quite the opposite. It’s precisely because CSS selectors (and the cascade) are so powerful that we choose to put guard rails in place.