Welcome to onfocus—a weblog by Paul Bausch where I post recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts. Subscribe here if you like RSS.
nytimes.com
"Without proper training or equipment, some of the exposed staff members moved freely around and off the bases, with at least one person staying in a nearby hotel and leaving California on a commercial flight. Many were unaware of the need to test their temperatures three times a day."
Unbelievable. This seems worse than incompetence.
pages.gseis.ucla.edu
Timeless advice that applies to more than just computing.
"Most user interfaces are terrible. When people make mistakes it's usually the fault of the interface. You've forgotten how many ways you've learned to adapt to bad interfaces."
[via MeFi]
The Mozilla Blog
"Today, Firefox is enabling encrypted DNS over HTTPS by default in the US..."
So strange to see a tech company put energy into consumer privacy but I’ll take it.
oregonlive.com
So this is happening in my state.
"According to the most current available estimates from the Census Bureau, for 2014 through 2019, the 11 Republicans who walked out represent just 36% of Oregon’s population."
The current rules do not account for a rogue party that does not believe in the rule of law.
antonhowes
Is D&D an idea behind its time?
"Physically, there was nothing that actually stopped the invention of such games centuries or even millennia earlier. It required no special level of science, skill, or materials. So why did it take so long?"
Medium
Douglas Rushkoff:
"Today, the bottom-up techniques of guerrilla media activists are in the hands of the world’s wealthiest corporations, politicians, and propagandists. To them, viral media is no longer about revealing inequality or environmental threats. It’s simply an effective means of generating a response, even if that response is automatic, unthinking, and brutish."
This is a great point about the nature of meme culture. It used to be a counterculture code language. Now it’s being used by billionaires to influence.
Building at OSU with blue sky above
Looking Up
Ferns
"But if folks make more money off of customers when they reduce latency, there has to be some power in increasing latency."
This is a hack I can get behind. If you can't slow down the velocity of information on social networks at least you can physically slow down the social networks on the piece of the network you control.
The Atlantic
"The Trump campaign is planning to spend more than $1 billion, and it will be aided by a vast coalition of partisan media, outside political groups, and enterprising freelance operatives. These pro-Trump forces are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history."
That’s a lot of economic incentive to allow lying on your platform.
mailchi.mp
Are movies getting more divisive? Rex shows that Rotten Tomatoes audience vs. critics scores are getting further apart.
"Many films from the past year saw huge disparities between audience and critic ratings. For instance, Gemini Man, a deepfake doppelganger thriller starring Will Smith, scored 83% fresh with audiences, but a paltry 26% fresh with critics."
Click through to see many more examples.

I’m enjoying the Recs reboot. I assume you already subscribe because I made subscribing mandatory last year. If not, now is the time!
neh.gov
This is a fascinating story about the rise of radio.
In the early days of broadcast development and regulation, Crosley and WLW sparked debate about what radio should and could be. Could a few clear-channel stations adequately serve—and acculturate—entire regions of listeners? Or would a national network system with local affiliates better target listener needs and interests?
As we reinvent everything with software I feel like there's a lesson for how we might think about public interest. Centralized social media websites consider themselves The World's Network but there might be better options.
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