Tech

US-based Firefox users get encrypted DNS lookups today or within a few weeks.

Otter

Otter is a really excellent tool for automatically transcribing audio.

Self-driving AI sends shivers through traditional supply chains

Everything you do online when you're signed into Google, and even some stuff when you aren't, becomes a part of your Google profile, but you can wipe the slate clean with these steps.

Tesla claims it can yank features from even used cars

Saver Screensson

Saver Screensson creates unique patterns on your display by randomly stacking vector stencils to create a virtually infinite, but aesthetically consistent set of possible outcomes. Screensson contains 340 individual images and 19 predefined color palettes, generating countless multilayered compositions.

I've been dreaming of something like this since the beginning of Internet media but never imagined it could be so efficient and sophisticated.

Overcast is the best podcast app (remember when they were called podcatchers?) and it keeps getting better. Grab it if you're on iOS. It's free.

Also, read the full blog post to see how it works.

Top Trump ally and consistent encryption scaremonger Senator Lindsey Graham is working on a bill that could coerce tech companies to stop providing end-to-end encryption by threatening them with massive legal liability, The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019 (or EARN IT Act).

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and make iPadOS better by turning off some or all of its mediocre multitasking features.

When we talk about Facebook’s myriad foibles and fuckups, we’re usually laying the blame on things that happen within the Big Blue App, or, increasingly, the social network’s CEO. What’s less discussed are the company’s ties to the potentially millions of sites and services using its software—but now, thankfully, we can get a window into that for ourselves. But don’t get too excited.

"Long-term sustainable source of innovation on the iPad should have come from 3rd-party developers. Look at Gruber’s example for the Mac of graphic designers and illustrators: while MacPaint showed what was possible, the revolution was led by software from Aldus (PageMaker), Quark (QuarkXPress), and Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat). By the time the Mac turned 10, Apple was a $2 billion company, while Adobe was worth $1 billion.

There are, needless to say, no companies built on the iPad that are worth anything approaching $1 billion in 2020 dollars, much less in 1994 dollars, even as the total addressable market has exploded, and one big reason is that $4.99 price point. Apple set the standard that highly complex, innovative software that was only possible on the iPad could only ever earn 5 bucks from a customer forever (updates, of course, were free).

This remains one of Apple’s biggest mistakes."

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I still adore my iPad, but I can't disagree with a single criticism I've read over the last couple of days.

'One of the things that Steve had in his, like, mini-brief for it was "I really want to be able to use this for mail while sitting on the toilet"...'

I couldn't agree more with John Gruber's harsh take on the state of the iPad:

"The iPad at 10 is, to me, a grave disappointment. Not because it’s “bad”, because it’s not bad?—it’s great even—but because great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one. To reach that potential, Apple needs to recognize they have made profound conceptual mistakes in the iPad user interface, mistakes that need to be scrapped and replaced, not polished and refined. I worry that iPadOS 13 suggests the opposite—that Apple is steering the iPad full speed ahead down a blind alley."

"The everything-computerized-and-always-connected smarthome is a work in progress. This slow pace is a good thing because it gives us time to consider new technical and societal challenges."

AKA The smart home is a disaster today and it's hard to see how it won't be a disaster tomorrow.

Vivaldi Browser

You might have heard some unpleasant stories about the Opera browser. The original Opera founder left the company quite some time ago to start Vivaldi. So, if you want the spirit of Opera without the gross business model, here you go.