The Trump campaign’s last stand


United States v. Google

“In other words, Google can enjoy the natural fruits of being an Aggregator, it just can’t use artificial means — in this case contracts — to extend that inherent advantage.

[…]

Aggregators have powerful justifications for their dominance. That, though, is why the real question is a political one: are we as a society comfortable with a few big companies having such an outsized role in our lives? If the answer is no, the ultimate answer will not be through the courts, but through new laws for a new era. Anti-aggregation, not antitrust” (Ben Thompson).


Eddie Van Halen dies of cancer aged 65

🎸 🌋

R.I.P.



Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun


The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free” (Nathan J. Robinson).


The European Model

Europe, through regulations like GDPR and the Copyright Directive, along with last week’s court decision striking down the Privacy Shield framework negotiated by the European Commission and the U.S. International Trade Administration (and a previous decision striking down the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles framework), is splintering off into an Internet of its own.

This Internet, though, feels like the worst of all possible outcomes. On one hand, large U.S. tech companies are winners, at least relative to everyone else: yes, all of the regulatory red tape increases costs (and, for targeted advertising, may reduce revenue), but the impact is far greater on would-be competitors. To put it in allegorical terms, the E.U. is restricting the size of the castle even as it dramatically increases the moat” (Ben Thompson).


Falun 1743


Gradually, Then Suddenly

What’s going to be newsworthy by the end of the year is not technology companies saying they’re embracing distributed work, but those that aren’t. Those who thought this couldn’t work have been forced by the pandemic to do it anyway, and they’ve now seen that it’s possible (Matt Mullenweg).


Full Employment

But none of this stuff is insurmountable – it’s just hard. We CAN do this stuff. If you were wringing your hands about unemployed truckers, good news! They’ve all got jobs moving thousands of cities inland!

It’s just (just!) a matter of reorienting our economy around preserving our planet and our species.

And yeah, that’s hard, too – but if “the economy” can’t be oriented to preserving our species, we need a different economy.

Period” (Cory Doctorow).


The TikTok War


Anti-Pseudoscience Advocate Anne Borden King Has Cancer, and Now Her Facebook Feed Is Full of Pseudoscience Cancer ‘Alternative Care’ Ads

Facebook is a criminal enterprise fully and knowingly complicit in all of this — from the spread of bigotry to the spread of pseudoscience.

Conversely, legitimate advertisers are abandoning Facebook because they want nothing to do with any of this. To remain on Facebook is to be complicit by association” (John Gruber).


Don’t try to be the Alpha dog!


Laughing to Transgress

This also implies that when humor-police shows up, they are a symptom of a collective lack of understanding and of unacknowledged taboos.
When we ban fun and mockery, we ban challenging insights, and we do so at our own peril” (Steven Wittens).


How Iceland Beat Covid-19 (So Far)


Last Person to Receive a US Civil War Pension Dies

Until this week, US taxpayers were literally and directly paying for the Civil War, a conflict whose origins stretch back to the earliest days of the American colonies and continues today on the streets of our cities and towns” (Jason Kottke).


Reduced Flights Reduce Meteorological Accuracy


Wait! Rakuten bought Marie Kondo?

She has a new book coming on tidying up what workspace — Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life. Guest (sic.) what — I know, I won’t be picking that up — Marie Kondo’s hokum doesn’t spark joy anymore.” (Om Malik).


Thank god for the internet

What the hell would be happening now without it?” (Joshua Topolsky).


Alas, Zoom’s video conferencing technology is best of breed, and because Zoom is easy to use and the quality is so high, it is exploding in popularity now that the whole world is working and socializing remotely. All of the following can be — and I believe are — true: Zoom is popular, useful, and by their own admission not trustworthy” (John Gruber).

Alas, Zoom is the service I am stuck with to do my work. Yet another reason to wish this situation to be over.


Happy Piano Day!

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Albert Uderzo, l’un des pères d’« Astérix », est mort

Sad. I love Asterix. (Although, to be honest, the more recent… ) There are worse ways to go than by a heart attack at age 92 though. By Belenos!


Another great video on Covid-19.


Good summary.


Climate change is not the only threat to our plants

We should definitely take the climate issue seriously, but when it comes to biodiversity, there are other threats that are at least as important to consider, says Johan Ehrlén, professor at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Botany (DEEP) at Stockholm University” (my translation from the Swedish press release).

Yes! This perfectly sums up what has been bugging me about the otherwise great thing of more and more people waking up the the problems of global warming. Because, if we only focus on that threat we run a huge risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water. We need to fight climate change but we must not forget why we fight climate change!