tech-culture

Protocol
"As more and more of our lives start to be run and dictated by the technology we use, it's a human right to be able to see how that technology works and modify it. It’s as key to freedom as freedom of speech or freedom of religion. So that is what I plan to spend the rest of my life fighting for."
Nice profile of Matt Mullenweg and WordPress—which is still a force on the Web.
TNR
"There is no one who could meaningfully tell him no, both because he owns 58 percent of the company’s voting shares and is also the chairman of its board, but also because Facebook is organized such that he effectively has the final say on every decision the company makes; no other company this size invests so much formal or informal power in one person. It’s a terrible thing to say about someone, but Mark Zuckerberg really is Facebook. It shows."
Excellent Zuckerant.
VICE
“For small and medium companies, I generally recommend cloud services, because they don't have the people or the skills to run their own systems as securely,” Bellovin said. “But there are real but imponderable risks to one company controlling so much of the net.”
Nope, worth pondering!
EFF
Interoperability is the simple idea that new services should be able to plug into dominant ones. An interoperable Facebook would mean that you wouldn’t have to choose between leaving Facebook and continuing to socialize with the friends, communities and customers you have there.
Several concrete steps that could help reduce Facebook's harm and a nice summary of various shapes regulation could take.

I'm not on Facebook but I would love to have RSS of my friends' Facebook feeds. Then I could see their posts and read them along with the blogs and other news sources I read (in chronological order) every day.
Business Insider
"The exposed data includes the personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses."
Is this even considered news anymore?
New York Times
"They also began raising concerns about safety in Amazon’s warehouses at the start of the pandemic. Amazon fired Ms. Costa and Ms. Cunningham last April, not long after their group had announced an internal event for warehouse workers to speak to tech employees about their workplace conditions."
This is powerful. When employees speak to each other it can lead to realizing that they have common interests--even when they work in different parts of the organization that don't normally interact. Firing people advocating for safety during a pandemic is a bad look.
The Atlantic
"Over the past decade, the blockchain has become a refuge for people who need another place to rest their assets. For global tycoons, it’s just an alternative to parking their money in some real estate they would never visit."
Anil Dash (father of the NFT?!) on its origin and the current state of his problem child.
daniel.haxx.se
"Small and quick decisions done back then, that would later make a serious impact on and shape my life. curl has been one of my main hobbies ever since – and of course also a full-time job since a few years back now."
curl is one of those ubiquitous tools that all developers use. It's just part of the water we swim in and I forget that tools don't just spring from Earth fully-formed. This is a fun look at where curl came from and where it's going. These hobbyists, amirite?
cnbc
"The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers."
Findings! This all sounds promising but I’m skeptical that we’ll see meaningful change. That monopoly power has been very useful to the government.
BuzzFeed News
"The company did not catch the page despite user reports, Zuckerberg said, because the complaints had been sent to content moderation contractors who were not versed in “how certain militias” operate. “On second review, doing it more sensitively, the team that was responsible for dangerous organizations recognized that this violated the policies and we took it down.”"
Blaming contractors when that’s the moderation system they designed? They can’t control their own moderation system? Facebook stock price is at an all time high so the company doesn’t have much incentive to change their systems. It’s working well for making money, working terribly for society.
The Verge
"At least two separate Facebook users reported the account for inciting violence prior to the shooting, The Verge has learned. In each case, the group and its counter-protest event were examined by Facebook moderators and found not to be in violation of the platform’s policies."
Facebook increases engagement by recruiting new members to groups like this. This is Facebook working as designed.
youdownloadtheappanditdoesntwork.com
"On June 15, Apple rejected an update to a previously-approved iOS app called Hey. The app is for a new email service created by a company called Basecamp.

The rationale for said rejection was that Hey offered a subscription via-website without also offering a parallel subscription via Apple's in-app purchase (IAP). Apple takes a 30% cut of IAP revenues during an app's first year, and 15% thereafter."
This site has dozens of examples of apps that you can download from the iOS app store that don't work without a subscription you purchase elsewhere. This makes the rejection of the new email app Hey seem like Apple is singling out a potential direct competitor rather than evenly enforcing an existing policy.

More background: Apple doubles down on controversial decision to reject email app Hey.

Update (6/23): We're all good here? Apple, HEY, and the Path Forward.
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