Category: Links

John McPhee, The Art of Nonfiction No. 3

No, I just got through it. Stories are always really, really hard. I think it’s totally rational for a writer, no matter how much experience he has, to go right down in confidence to almost zero when you sit down to start something. Why not? Your last piece is never going to write your next one for you. § An old photo editor of mine always said you’re only as good as your last shot.

Writing Is A Profane, Irrational, Imperfect Act

Those who try to master perfection will always fall to those who iterate, and reiterate, and create, and recreate. Art is better than philosophy. Creation, however clumsy, is always better than sitting on your hands and fearing what damage they can do. Kill the perfect. Slay the angels. Fuck the gods. You’re human. You’ll get it wrong. Everybody gets it wrong. But getting it wrong is the only way you get close to getting it right.

Google to close Google Code open source project hosting

Google Code is to join the long list of Google projects that have been consigned to the dustbin of history. The open source project hosting service will no longer be accepting new project submissions as of today, will no longer be accepting updates to existing projects from August 24, and will be closed entirely on January 25, 2016. § Killed by spam. But not just closing, everything will be deleted.

Thousands Have Already Signed Up for Apple's ResearchKit

Stanford University researchers were stunned when they awoke Tuesday to find that 11,000 people had signed up for a cardiovascular study using Apple Inc.’s ResearchKit, less than 24 hours after the iPhone tool was introduced. “To get 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study normally, it would take a year and 50 medical centers around the country,” said Alan Yeung, medical director of Stanford Cardiovascular Health. “That’s the power of the phone.

Exploiting the Superfish certificate

With a $35 pocket computer, you can read SSL (🔒) traffic from a Superfish infected Lenovo laptop. Thus, this example proves that this exploit is practical, not merely theoretical as claimed by the Lenovo CTO. Exploiting this was a straightforward application of commonly available tools. §

KDP Select Dips Its Hands In Author’s Pockets

From Amazon’s point of view, I could see this as a “why wouldn’t we” situation. They can squeeze both ends of the pipeline (customers and authors) now that the ebook gold rush is mostly over. Yes, I may be a little biased in my opinion, and I am open to being proved wrong, but I really do think that KDP Select is becoming less about selling ebooks, and more about taking money from self published authors’ already lean pockets.

Amazon Echo Review: Talking Helper Alexa Is No Match for Siri

I already yell at my computers. I don’t want to yell at them just to make them work. Alexa is Amazon.com ’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft ’s Cortana, which all come standard with different smartphones. She’s the latest sign that big tech firms believe our future involves talking to computers that can talk back. §

Blogging's Bright Future

So well said. If Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr were to go away, what would your online life look like? And so, to be clear, when I speak of the “blog” I am referring to a regularly-updated site that is owned-and-operated by an individual. And there, in that definition, is the reason why, despite the great unbundling, the blog has not and will not die: it is the only communications tool, in contrast to every other social service, that is owned by the author; to say someone follows a blog is to say someone follows a person.

Neil Young's PonoPlayer: The Emperor Has No Clothes

The people who own these probably spend $7001 on an HDMI cable. Because false dichotomy in the base argument. Also, I can’t stop thinking PornoPlayer, but the screen has poor resolution. So that’s two things it’s bad at. My advice: If you want a better, richer, better balanced, less tiring, more comfortable listening experience, you don’t have to spend $400 on a new player and throw away your existing music collection.

AOL insider: 'The sales team is getting annihilated today'

In which I learned AOL owns the Huffington Post. AOL is moving toward more programmatic and platform-based products, while focusing its content efforts on the sites with the highest traffic, like the Huffington Post. §